Rise of the Drow at JeffCon

Here are some details for the Rise of the Drow campaign being run at JeffCon 2022.

JeffCon is the last MACE and it is being run to honor the memory of Jeff Smith, who passed last year. Jeff was the organizer, brains, and soul of the MACE gaming conventions throughout the Carolinas. He was truly an asset to the gaming community and will be sorely missed. Thank you Jeff for all you’ve done for us over the years.

Sign up for the games at JeffCon is through the OGRe platform at: https://ogre.justusproductions.com/index.php/jeffcon. Sign-ups begin

This game is a Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition campaign adventure that will be run in five sessions throughout the weekend of JeffCon (November 11th to 13th). The gaming schedule is tentative and has not been approved or finalized. I have asked for Friday afternoon and evening, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning sessions, each lasting approximately four hours.

It is quite likely that your character will level at least once or twice per session, so either come with a first level character already created, or I can provide a pre-generated one for you to use.

BEGINNERS ARE WELCOME, though some familiarity with Role Playing Games (tabletop or on-line) is preferred. You will be expected to level up your skills as you level up your character. If you want to bring your child with you so they can play too, please do. You know your child’s abilities and whether they can be engaged at the tabletop for hours at a time. I love kids, and I want to encourage the next generation to play, so I will try to work with you to provide them with an enjoyable time.

About Me

My name is Simon Kingaby, I’ve been playing D&D on-and-off for approximately 40 years. I love this game. I am very happy with fifth edition. I believe that D&D is a game based on interactive story-telling (role-playing) where the DM and the Players negotiate the story that the characters are living through. This is more than just dice rolling and combat. It is a tale of villains, heroes, adventure, intrigue, challenges, triumphs, friendship, fun, and, in the end, a good time should be had by all. Please come prepared to play: that is, be prepared to live the life of your character, have fun, be silly, go a little outside your comfort zone, and enjoy yourself.

Rise of the Drow


Tonight, a ceremony of light is taking place on the surface.
Meanwhile, a world away in the city of spiders, a drow matron solidifies a pact with soul-consuming entities who require great sacrifices in trade for unimaginable power. Drow eyes turn to the surface.
This adventure and setting, take characters across the surface and into the depths of the world. Adventurers will meet unique denizens, battle horrors of the Underworld, explore epic locations, and fight to stop the rise of the drow.


Rise of the Drow: Campaign Primer $0.99 – Please, if you can, purchase this primer for a brief overview of the Campaign and the Underworld Races.

Rise of the Drow: Underworld Races and Classes – If you wish to play as one of the Underworld Races, this book will be very helpful.

Occult Secrets of the Underworld – For even more options in the Underworld.

Character Creation

Please create a free account on DnD Beyond and create your character in the Rise of the Drow campaign shared here:

By creating a character in that campaign, you will have access to all the sourcebooks (in DnDBeyond that is) and you will have a vast array of alternatives to choose between.

Race: You may create a 1st level character of the following races:

Overworld Standard Races:

  • Human (Very common)
  • Dwarf (Common)
  • Elf (Rare)
  • Gnome (Rare)
  • Halfling (Rare)
  • Half-elf (Very Rare)
  • Half-orc (Very Rare)

Overworld non-standard Races:

These are much less common and will be an oddity in the communities and towns that the characters visit. However, pretty much anything goes, within reason. We will be exploring the Underworld, so keep that in mind.

Underworld Races:

  • Ahooling
  • Colliatur
  • Dødelig
  • Draaki
  • Drow
  • Funglet
  • Gitwerc
  • Hoyrall
  • Kraidyl
  • Svirfneblin
  • Vestraadi
  • Zwerc

Characters may be created using the standard rules or the Character Options rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Ability Scores: Ability scores can be generated using the standard array (15, 14, 13, 12, 10, 8) or by using the Customizing Ability Scores methods (sometimes called the point-buy method).

Feats: We will not be using Feats

Alignment: Characters can be Lawful, Neutral, or Chaotic but are usually Good or Neutral. A Lawful Evil character might be OK as long as it is not a jerk about it. Same goes for Neutral Evil. Characters cannot be Chaotic Evil. Normally, I would say that characters cannot be Chaotic Evil. However, since we’re heading into the Underworld where evil things lurk, many of the Underworld Races are Chaotic Evil. Drow society, in particular, is highly functional, despite most of its denizens being Chaotic Evil. The trick is to figure out, “As a Chaotic Evil character, how can I balance coexisting with a party with being chaotic and evil.”

Hit Points: You may begin the adventure with your maximum hit points at first level. Subsequent levels can be rolled or take the average. So a cleric with d8 hit dice would be at 8 plus their CON modifier at first level. At second level, they can either roll or take the average of 1 through 8 (rounded up) which would be 5 plus their CON modifier.

Money: Players can start with an appropriate amount of equipment or gold, depending on their class, but not both equipment and gold. Players who choose equipment have a balance of 10gp pocket money to begin the adventure.

Equipment: See money above. If you choose gold, then you will need to purchase the appropriate equipment. Characters may have a small number of portable personal possessions that are suited to their character’s background. For example, I might have a small statue of an elephant that was carved by my grandfather. First level characters do not have magic items.

Background and Backstory: There are a ton of backgrounds to choose from, or you can write your own. Please do keep in mind that we are adventuring in a place where the predominant race is Human and all other races are minorities, as explained in the Campaign Primer (see link above). Non-standard races are even more rare, possibly even unique in this region. Please do feel free to incorporate the information in this post and/or the information in the Campaign Primer to integrate your character more fully into the story. I will read each background and will keep them in mind while running the campaign.

Session 14 – A Roadtrip to Beliard

After the flood, the management at the Bargewright Inn asked the party to go to Beliard to acquire the materials and goods required for repairs and to establish land based trade with Beliard since the ships were all destroyed.

The journey was not uneventful.  First, some Bugbears tried to hijack the caravan, then some Mephits caused a little trouble.  Some Will’o’Wisps also harassed the caravan until Telfid could turn them.

The magic shop in Beliard turned out to be poorly stocked, but even so, Taban acquired a Bead of Nourishment and Ganus scored a Hat of Wizardry.

On the return trip, some Gargoyles made a nuisance of themselves. 

Then a group of Earth Cultists thought they could take on our intrepid adventurers.  They were wrong and soon paid the price for their insolence.


Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.


The business in Womford was wiped out by the flood.

Expenses at the keep are still running 5gp per day.

Elapsed time: 6 days.

Character XP XP So Far Level (To Advance) Treasure
2,225 13,683 5 (14000) Wand of Magic Missiles (attuned)
‘Splashy’ the Water Weird and BackPack
Scroll of Tidalwave
Scroll of Vitriolic Sphere
Hat of Wizardry
2,225 15,112 6 (23,000) 250 GP gold ruby ring
+1 Longsword
Potion of Giant Strength
Weird Tank (Empty)
Sytarii 0 12,070 5 (14,000) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Potion of Diminution
Wand of Winter
‘Bubbles’ the Water Weird and BackPack
Taban 2,225 12,886 5 (14,000) Drown (+1 Trident and more – see below)
Bead of Nourishment
Telfid 2,225 14,592 6 (23,000) Scroll of Lesser Restoration
Potion of Fire Resistance
Aria 0 12,200 5 (14,000) N/A
Keeley 0 6,501 5 (14,000) N/A
Noctavia 0 6110 4 (6500) N/A
Nastane 0 3942 4 (6500) N/A
Nala 0 4942 4 (6500) N/A
Unassigned Treasure:  Library of Dwarvish Tomes

Session 10 – Entrepreneurial Spirit

On returning to Womford to resupply, the party decided to hire a captain and crew for the Soaring Hippogriff, their freshly re-christened keelboat.  soaring hippogriffThe captain agreed to a fee of 10gp per day plus 15% of the proceeds.  The adventurers assigned him the task of rummaging through Rivergard Keep and salvaging anything of value.

After a busy day of shopping and negotiating, the party attended the Bargewright Inn for some dinner and a good night’s sleep.  Of course, they were welcomed with open arms and immediately recruited for guard duty for a convoy headed to the north up the Long Road to Yartar.  The trip was largely uneventful, excepting when the convoy was attacked by some bandits.bandits The bandits struck hard with crossbow quarrels flying everywhere.  One of the wagons caught fire.  Then the bandits took off, running into the trees and hills.

The party pursued.  Right into an ambush.  At first, it looked like it wouldn’t go well for the party as they were surrounded and outnumbered.  Woe be unto the bandits though as first the captain, and then the individual bandits were picked off or taken down.  Reyroris was in rare form, testing his range, he brought down bandits at further and further distances.  His final shot at a speck in the distance was rewarded by the speck crying out and vanishing into the undergrowth.

After safely returning the convoy to Womford, the adventurers headed for Summit Hall.  En route, they investigated a pillar of thick black smoke in the distance.  The smoke turned out to be a burning farm.  On hearing a plaintive cry from the farmhouse, Reyroris rushed in, dragging the farm’s owner out of the collapsing building in the nick of time.  After healing, the farmer explained that orcs had taken his wife and farmhands and left him for dead.  His wagon was missing too.

The wagon was easy enough to follow and find.  The adventurers quickly slew the four orcs that were with it, a little surprised at how squishy the orcs turned out to be.  The farmer was elated to be reunited with his wife.  The farmhands were exhausted from pulling the wagon, but they would recover.  The party agreed to escort the farmer to the Dellmon Ranch where he and his could seek refuge.

The ranch was abuzz with activity.  They were clearly preparing for war.  Earthworks had been established at the perimeter, makeshift crenelations were mounted to the top of the buildings, archers were posted around the farm and every able body was armed with something.  The adventurers were quick to volunteer to help with the defense of the ranch.

The next day, the ranch was surrounded by an orc warband of 40 or so orcs.  Aria, a druid from the Scarlet Moon Hall camp, had discovered that she had an adventurers spirit and had accompanied the party since having a taste of what they could do.  Aria cast Spike Growth, immediately hindering the progress of the advancing horde.  Their leader, an Orog, ignored the brambles, to his own detriment, and plowed forward, only to be taken down by Keeley’s fine bow skills.  The orc’s incompetent spellcaster, an Eye of orcsGrumsh, tried to be useful and failed.  Meanwhile, Telfid called forth some Spirit Guardians and a Spiritual Weapon, and, contributing his own prodigious melee abilities, became a whirling cyclone of death and dismemberment, chewing through the perimeter of orcs like a scythe through wheat.  After only a few minutes of slaughter, the defenders raised a loud cry of “Hurrah” as the last orc fell.  While there were a few casualties in the ranch, the Dellmon family survived and there was much to celebrate.  Several of the farmers and ranchers that had sought refuge had tales of narrowly escaping much smaller orc warbands as they overwhelmed defenses, killing or enslaving those within.  Many a mug was raised in praise of the party and their contribution to the successful defense of the ranch.

With the immediate danger past, the party continued their journey to Summit Hall.  There they recruited a dozen soldiers to guard Rivergard Keep and defend it from what may be left of the Water Cult.  This contingent agreed to a fee of 5gp total per day.

keelboatUpon returning to Womford, they party was delighted to find that the Soaring Hippogriff had been busy.  After expenses, they netted 825gp from the ransacking of the keep.  Their fledgling shipping business was, so far, a success.

Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.

Character XP / XP So Far Level /
To Advance
0 / 6387 4 (6500) Wand of Magic Missiles
Scroll of Haste
Scroll of Wall of Water
Scroll of Skywrite
980 / 7816 5 (14000) 250 GP gold ruby ring
Sytarii 0 / 6999 5 (14000) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Potion of Diminution
Taban 980  / 5038 4 (6500) N/A
Telfid 980 / 7296 5 (14000) Scroll of Lesser Restoration
Keeley 980 / 4581 4 (6500) N/A
Aria 980 / 4581 4 (6500) N/A
Noctavia 0 / 6110 4 (6500) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3942 4 (6500) N/A
Nala 0 / 4942 4 (6500) N/A
Proceeds from shipping, less expenses and upkeep.
(Keelboat – 50gp per ten-day, plus crew – 10gp per day plus 15%.
Rivergard Keep defense – 5 gp per day)

Session 8 – Let’s go Camping

The party decided that before investigating the stream under the Water Cult’s keep, they would root out the Fire Cult and see what was happening at Scarlet Moon Hall.  Apparently, there was some druidic rite being performed that would restore balance to the area.  Rumor has it that the druidic Circle of the Scarlet Moon knows the Rite of the Wicker Giant and that it will be completed on the morrow.

The quickest route to Scarlet Moon Hall led the party straight through the Water Cult’s keep, where they found a Crushing Wave Priest, a Fathomer and four Reavers.  The priest was quickly overwhelmed and his compatriots followed shortly thereafter.

Traveling over the Dessarin Hills, the party came across an Orge mob.  ogreWhile the party wisely went around the giant killing machines, Sytarii thought he’d have some fun and unleashed Ildon’s crossbow.  Taking careful aim at an ogrish posterior, he loosed a quarrel, that missed, of course.  The ogres took note of the miss though and chased Sytarii for a long way before they tired and gave up.  Jack-Sparrow-Being-ChasedOne of them even nicked him with a massive javelin.

Finally reaching Scarlet Moon Hall and back together again.  The party investigated a couple of the campsites set up around the hall on their way to the hall itself.  After entering the hall’s courtyard and being rebuffed, they resumed their investigations.  Discovering, among other things, a Crushing Wave Priest who Ganus befriended with a deft display of the Water Cult hand sign.

A fight broke out when two Fire Cult Priests and a wild caught Grizzly ran out of excuses.  After both priests cast Fireball the bear was able to knock Sytarii out, but the priests were killed for their efforts and the bear was allowed to run off into the woods.

Ganus went back to the campsite with a half-elf druid and her sprites, but she had taken their news that the Fire Cult was going to unleash a Fire Giant to heart and packed Magic_Scrollup and left as soon as she could.  She did, however, leave a small box in her tent with a note that said, “Use them well.”  Ganus was very happy to see a pair of magic scrolls in the box.

A little later, a battle broke out between the party and the Fire Cult as the Fire Priest and her Guardians were discovered at their campsite.  The Water Cultist aided and a group of 4 druids came over from a nearby campsite and helped as best they could.

All in all, an eventful day of adventuring, full of laughter, slaughter and fun.

Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.

Character XP / XP So Far Level /
To Advance
900 / 3672 4 (6500) Wand of Magic Missiles
Scroll of Haste
Scroll of Wall of Water
Scroll of Lesser Restoration
Scroll of Skywrite
900 / 4121 4 (6500) 250 GP gold ruby ring
Sytarii 900 / 4284 4 (6500) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Potion of Diminution
Taban 900 / 4058 4 (6500) N/A
Telfid 900 / 3601 4 (6500) N/A
Keeley 900 / 3601 4 (6500) N/A
Olive 0 / 75 1 (300) N/A
Defortune 0 / 163 1 (300) N/A
Rainar 0 / 226 1 (300) N/A
Noctavia 0 / 1730 3 (2700) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3942 4 (6500) N/A
Nala 0 / 4942 4 (6500) N/A


Session 7 – Wipe Out!

As the party collected themselves from the waves of cultists dashed at their feet, another threat came charging across the keep wall.  Four reavers, a fathomer and the leader of the keep, a wereboar named Jolliver Grimjaw.  wereboarJolliver charged in, knocking out Telfid, but the party rallied and the enemies were dispatched forthwith.  Then the adventurers thoroughly looted the keep.  Encountering little remaining resistance.  The chapel contained a cultist priestess and her guard, who attacked the intruders, so they were aggressively dealt with.  Some bugbears proved to be the last remaining resistance in the last tower.  They, likewise, were aggressively dealt with.  Exploring the secret staircase in the throne room, the party found a grotto with a wide stream running through it.  Embarking on the boats that seemed provided for that purpose, they headed downstream only to be waylaid by ghouls who capsized one of the boats, dumping the heavily armored passengers straight into the stream.  Thankfully, the other boat got back to shore safely, so the drier members of the party were able to throw a line to the wetter ones and haul them ashore.  The ghouls proved to not be too much of a challenge as Telfid called forth his holy anger and scared half of them away.  the rest were readily dispatched.

Returning to their boat to head back to Womford to restock and rest, they were nearly raided by a band of pirates.  jollyrogerI say nearly, because the party reacted quickly and decisively to the threat, killing the captain and his mate before the pirates could mount an offense.  Several remaining pirates jumped ship and swam for the shore, while one stubbornly held his post, only to be cut down.

Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.

Character XP / XP So Far Level / To Advance Treasure
Ildon Ganus 950 / 2772 4 (6500) Wand of Magic Missiles
Scroll of Haste
Scroll of Wall of Water
Fenvalur Reyraris 950 / 3221 4 (6500) 250 GP gold ruby ring
Sytarii 950 / 3384 4 (6500) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Potion of Diminution
Taban 950 / 3158 4 (6500) N/A
Telfid 950 / 2476 2701 4 (6500) N/A
Keeley 0 / 1634 2701 4 (6500) N/A
Olive 0 / 75 1 (300) N/A
Defortune 0 / 163 1 (300) N/A
Rainar 0 / 226 1 (300) N/A
Noctavia 0 / 1730 3 (2700) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3942 4 (6500) N/A
Nala 0 / 4942 4 (6500) N/A


Session 6 – Whoosh! Ew, that was wet!

The day started well, after a good nights rest at the Bargewright Inn, Keeley was ready topam18_bargewright_dm-zf-0998-75774-1-009-0 take on the day.  That all changed the moment the Innkeeper, Nalaskur Thaelond, a Zhentarim operative, walked up and asked her and the party to run the inn for a ten-day while he went to Waterdeep to sort out some supply issues.  After he left, she immediately discovered that 6 of the keys were missing.  After much investigation, all evidence pointed at the Senior Sword, Chalaska Muruin, Guardmaster for the Inn.  But it was a frame-up.  Iglor the handyman was the actual culprit and he now sits in prison.  Nalaskur was very happy that the Inn didn’t burn down in his absence, and rewarded the party handsomely for their efforts.


Continuing on to Womford in following up on their lead about the Dwarven Books, the party comes to the boat dock where they are invited aboard by one Shoalar Quanderil, a water genasiwater genasi and high ranking member of the Water Cult.  After entertaining the nosy adventurers for an interminable amount of time, he attacked.  Discovering the party was a little more resilient than he’d expected, he unleashed a Tidal Wave that nearly washed the entire party down to Davy Jones’ locker.  With Ganus’ nifty use of the invisibility spell and a few much-needed healing potions, the party was able to destroy the water wizard and his entourage.


The next day, the party took the genasi’s keelboat upriver to Rivergard Keep.  There theyfathomer encountered a sour-faced fellow with a drooping mustache named Reash.  After Ganus told him they slew the genasi, he invited them in.  An escort of 3 reavers brought them to the tower room where Reash and a small army were waiting for them.  Reash proved to be a worthy bodies.pngadversary, but the Reavers, deckhands, and bandits just kept coming.  Wave after wave of water cultists came after the party as the alarm spread throughout the keep.  And wave after wave of cultists died.  Sytarii got to experience what it must be like to be a red dragon, breathing Dragonfire and burning his attackers to a crisp.  With burnt, slashed, pierced and bludgeoned bodies piling up (34 in all), the party was able to stem the tide.  Now, after a short rest, they ready themselves to explore the keep.

Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.

Character XP / XP So Far Level / To Advance Treasure
Ildon Ganus 720 / 1822 3 (2700) Wand of Magic Missiles
Fenvalur Reyraris 720 / 2271 3 (2700) 250 gp gold ruby ring
Sytarii 720 / 2434 3 (2700) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Taban 720 / 2208 3 (2700) N/A
Telfid 0 / 1526 3 (2700) N/A
Keeley 720 / 1634 3 (2700) N/A
Olive 0 / 75 1 (300) N/A
Defortune 0 / 163 1 (300) N/A
Rainar 0 / 226 1 (300) N/A
Noctavia 0 / 548 2 (900) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3160 4 (6500) N/A
Nala 720 / 4660 4 (6500) N/A

Session 5 – LOLOL in the Monastery

What fun!  Lots of laughing out loud as the party scouted the Sacred Stone Monastery.


The day’s adventuring started darkly as the party murdered two Sacred Stone monks while the monks were picking up trash around the monastery.  Donning the robes and masks of the now dead monks, the adventurers scouted the outside of the monastery and select the northwest door as their point of entry.  As they approached the door, a monk emerged, carrying an armload of kitchen refuse, heading for the trash pile out back.

Now they take Prisoners

Grunting a greeting in their general direction, the monk did not think the costumed adventurers were a threat and proceeded on his way.  Some quick thinking from the party had him stripped and tied up in short order.  The interrogation was fruitful as the prisoner sung like a lark, divulging all he knew.  Calling forth each of his kitchen compatriates, the party were able to apprehend them one at a time, stripping and tying them all.

Cooking and Cleaning

Now that the party was all dressed in monkly robes and wearing the gilt gargoyle masks of the Sacred Stone, except Ganus who was mounted on Sytarii’s back, the party moved into the kitchen.  Sytarii and Ganus opted to stay and finish preparing the evening meal, while the rest of the party sallied forth to explore the monastery.


During the daytime, they found a lot of rooms empty and were able to move about the place quite freely.  Along the way, they found some 12-18 monks, 6 duergar and…


Eventually, they came upon Mistress Hellenrae, sparring with some monks in the dojo.

She promptly seized the opportunity to work out with fresh subjects and commanded the disguised adventurers to line up against the wall, dismissing the beaten and bloodied monks she had been using as punching bags.

First up was Taban.  Hellenrae easily avoided his clumsy attack, returning it with a flurry of blows that nearly incapacitated him.

Next up was Telfid, who threw back his robe and drew his hammer.  Bad idea.  Hellenrae saw the threat coming and caught the hammer in her left hand while pummeling poor Telfid into unconsciousness.

Angry that her sparring was interrupted by the would-be assassin, she commanded Taban and Keeley to drag the interloper away and imprison him, then dismissed them all as she turned and stormed out of the dojo.

Dinner is Servedroot vegetable display

Back in the kitchen, Sytarii outdid himself as a chef.  The meal was excellent.  And it seemed to be attended by the entire monastery.  A dozen monks, Master Qarbo and his two bodyguards, and Mistress Hellenrae were all there.  The party served the well-received dinner.  At one point, they overhead a monk ask of another, “Hey, have you figured out which of the statues are gargoyles yet?”

After dinner, Mistress Hellenrae summoned the “cooks” to thank them for an exceptional meal and to inquire as to this sudden change in flavor.  Sytarii managed to bluff his way through that conversation and the “cooks” were dismissed to finish the cleanup.

A Private Audience

After Hellenrae left, the party had one more door to investigate, following Qarbo and his guards.  Sytarii led the way and entered the Shrine of Stone while Qarbo was praying.  Before he could back out, Qarbo called him over.  With Ganus the hunch whispering in his ear, Sytarii was asked some very uncomfortable questions and expected to be struck down at any moment.  In the end, Qarbo thanked him for a good meal and dismissed him to his duties.

Back to Red Larch

Exiting the monastery the way they came, the adventurers returned to Red Larch to restock and regroup.  While there Villavoe told them about some unsavory characters, most likely bandits, that had come through a couple of days ago heading for Womford.  He also explained that it was in the interests of the Harpers that the merchant caravan that left this morning make it to Womford safely.

Mount Updmxp_088 illo

After acquiring some horses, the party headed off to protect the caravan.  Waving as they passed it, the party continued on toward Womford, looking for the unsavory characters.


Following the smoke of the bandits’ campfire, the adventurers were swift to engage.  In a protracted battle, the party defeated the sorcerer, his three reaver guards, and a half dozen bandits, ending the threat to the caravan and yielding some interesting clues.  The sorcerer had used water magic, and the reavers wielded shark-toothed longswords.  Were these members of the water cult?

Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.

Character XP / XP So Far Level / To Advance Treasure
Ildon Ganus 450 / 1102 3 (2700) Wand of Magic Missiles
Fenvalur Reyraris 450 / 1551 3 (2700) 250 gp gold ruby ring
Sytarii 450 / 1714 3 (2700) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Taban 450 / 1488 3 (2700) N/A
Telfid 450 / 1526 3 (2700) N/A
Keeley 450  / 914 3 (2700) N/A
Olive 0 / 75 1 (300) N/A
Defortune 0 / 163 1 (300) N/A
Rainar 0 / 226 1 (300) N/A
Noctavia 0 / 548 2 (900) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3160 4 (6500) N/A

Session 4 – Shallow Graves and a Manticore Hunt!

After uncovering the Believers, defeating the earth cultists and letting Larrakh escape, the party returns to the inn for some well-deserved rest and recuperation.  There, they meet Brother Eardon, an itinerant priest of Lathander staying in town, who says the missing Mirabarans passed through Beliard on their way to Summit Hall a couple of ten-days ago.


The party also remembered that the shopkeeper, Endrith Vallivoe, a Harper contact, recently came by a beautiful book in Dwarvish and has been showing it off. It looks old and important.  It was one of a dozen beautiful old books written in Dwarvish that showed up in the cargo of a shady keelboat skipper in Womford.  Vallivoe bought one of the books from a merchant recently arrived from Womford.  The Mirabaran delegation included a renowned shield dwarf historian named Bruldenthar, who was transporting his collection of manuscripts to Waterdeep. The Harpers don’t want the sage or his books to fall into the wrong hands.  Upon reviewing the book, the party told Vallivoe that it was likely the book belonged to Bruldenthar.  Vallivoe was happy to sell them the book at a discount so they could return it.


At the temple, one of the priests of Tempus, an Order of the Gauntlet contact, laments that the missing Mirabarans were escorting the body of Sir Rodimus who was killed fighting orcs in the Spine of the World. The knight was to be interred with honor at Summit Hall, the chapter house of an order called the Knights of Samular. It lies in the southeast Sumber Hills.


At Gaelkur’s store/barbershop/drinking hole, the party is approached by Larmon Greenboot, a shepherd, who says he found strange new graves out in the Sumber Hills and offers to show the adventurers the way so he can stop worrying about what is going on.



Deciding to help out the shepherd and solve the most pressing mystery, the party accompanies Greenboot to the check out the graves.  After some investigation, they determine that there was a scuffle nearby and that the graves are little more than rock cairns.  Needing to solve the mystery of who lies here, and wanting to consecrate the bodies so they cannot rise again, Telfid leads the exhumation.  The graves contain a male dwarf dressed in artisan robes, a female human warrior dressed in a black surcoat with a red axe (the symbol of Mirabar’s army), a male human warrior dressed in a black cloak with strange stony armor, and a male human in a white robe with black feathers at the shoulders with this symbol airstitched into it.  All died from arrow wounds or crushing blows.

From the hilltop, the party could see Red Larch to the west and a tall spire to the northwest.  Greenboot identified the latter as Feathergale Spire. All he knows about the place is that “knights out of Waterdeep come up here sometimes, riding on flying monsters.” Adding, “They usually keep to themselves.”


Mistakenly identifying the symbol as that of the Water Cult, Sytarii suggests they check out the tower.  Rayroris, excited at the prospect of gaining a hippogriff mount, and Taban, who correctly names the Air Cult, agree that the tower should be their goal.

After traveling a mile or two, the party is attacked from the air by a knight and two initiates on giant vultures.  The ensuing battle is brutal, with one of the giant vultures shredding poor Sytarii.  But in short order, the adventurers have slain their attackers.  After enjoying Giant Turkey Vulture Bacon for dinner, the party has an uneventful sleep and finishes the journey to the tower.


At the Feathergale Spire, the party slogs up a steep trail to gain access to the portcullis bridge into the tower.   Taban dons the uniform of the slain knight and approaches the gate.204feather

Not impressed at all by the stolen vestments, the guard at the gate denies him entry and calls out the rest of the party.  Sytarii explains that they were accosted by the wearer of the uniform and that they, unfortunately, killed him.  The guard seems somewhat mollified by this, lowers the drawbridge and invites the party into the tower with a fairly warm welcome.

After disarming them, she escorts the party all the way up 3 tall flights of circular stairs to the pinnacle of the tower where there are two knights with giant vultures. As the party emerges from the stairs, one of the guards flies out to patrol the area and a well-built male human in his early fifties with embossed feather patterns ornamenting the plates of his armor, and his kingly cloak boasting a feathered mantle smooths his white-blond hair into place, then bows low before them.  “Well met, travelers, I am Thurl Merosska, Lord Commander of the Knights of Feathergale.”  Savra, the guard from the front gate, explains the situation.  After a moment, Merosska smiles endearingly and apologizes for any misunderstanding, “There is much evil in these hills and it seems you were mistaken as such.”  At one point in the ensuing conversation, Taban says, “We’re also looking for the Air Cultists.”  At this point Merosska’s face darkens for a moment, then he smiles and says, “As I said, there is much evil in these hills.  Now, let us not talk of cultists until after the feast tonight celebrating the Knights of Feathergale’s tenth anniversary.”

The feast is a fancy occasion, and the food is top notch.  However, during the meal, one of the guards from the Pinnacle bursts in shouting, “Manticore, on the move!”  Pushing back chairs, several knights, and Rayroris, turn to head downstairs to the stable.  Before they leave, Merosska holds up a ruby ring and says, “A prize to the one who brings me its head.  Please, my guests, won’t you join in the hunt?”

Needing no prodding, the party heads to the stables as well.  There, they are mounted on hippogriffs who launch into the sky, following four knights on giant vultures.  The hunt is on!


The hunting party splits into two groups, the knights in one, the adventurers in another, searching the sky over the valley for the manticore.  It is the knights who catch up to the beast first!  The adventurers are close though and come quickly when the knights sound their hunting horns, arriving to find that one knight is already winging back to the tower after being skewered by the manticore’s tail spike.manticore

An aerial battle ensues.  As the manticore hurls volley after volley of tail spikes, the hunters pepper it full of arrows and bolts.  Rayroris swoops low, coming right up beside the creature and swings his mighty sword sending the once powerful manticore spiraling to the rocky earth below.  Returning the manticore’s head to the spire, Rayroris receives both the accolades and the prize!  “This will look good on the wall, next to this bigger head that I slew last year,” says Merosska.

Merosska also gives the party a tip, “I can tell you the location of the Sacred Stone Monastery.   I suspect the reclusive monks could be harboring evil and want them investigated.”

Savra, impressed by, and attracted to, Taban, whispers to him that the Feathergale Knights have a secret mission to master elemental air to annihilate Waterdeep’s enemies and offers to meet with Merosska to request he recruit Taban into the Feathergale Knights.  Taban quickly agrees.  The next morning, before they leave for the monastery, Merosska invites him to pledge to the Feathergale Knights and prove his valor.  Taban so pledges and promises to prove himself forthwith.


After walking a few miles up and down through the Sumber Hills, the ground starts to rumble and two hungry Ankhegs emerge to eat the party.ankheg

A battle ensues.  Telfid and Rayraris take one Ankheg, Sytarii and Taban the other.  Telfid is nearly eaten.  After finishing off the Ankheg, Telfid heals Sytarii who immediately cuts the pincers off the remaining Ankheg, setting it up for Rayraris’ final blow to smite the creature.

Alas, our tale pauses here, to be continued next week.

Character XP / XP So Far Level / To Advance Treasure
Ildon Ganus 0 / 652 2 (900) Wand of Magic Missiles
Fenvalur Reyraris 612 / 1101 3 (2700) 250 gp gold ruby ring
Telfid 612 / 1076 3 (2700) N/A
Olive 0 / 75 1 (300) N/A
Sytarii 612 / 1264 3 (2700) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Taban 612 / 1038 3 (2700) N/A
Keeley 0 / 464 2 (900) N/A
Defortune 0 / 163 1 (300) N/A
Rainar 0 / 226 1 (300) N/A
Noctavia 0 / 548 2 (900) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3160 4 (6500) N/A



The Story So Far – 2011-10-19


Player Character Role Class Race
Lofton Lorian Controller Wizard Eladrin
Jason Reef Striker Rogue Changeling
Sabin Xaelin Striker Sorcerer Dragonborn
Pete Orin Tank/




Mul (half-dwarf)
Michael Kriv Tank Paladin Dragonborn
Perrin Alphazar Striker Vampire Revenant
Jason Berrian Controller Mage Genasi
Brett Phalanx Leader Warlord Dragonborn
Lance Garo Tank Swordmage Genasi


It turned out to be a rough morning with most of the party suffering, to one degree or another, from the mysterious pox.  By lunch time, most of the guys were up and about with only Kriv still abed and feeling lousy with sores over roughly 10% of his body.  (Lose 1 healing surge.)  Orin had no sympathy though and got Kriv up so the party could go and do.


Meanwhile, Reef had met a fellow from the village of Clearwater in the Witchlight Fens.  This fellow, Gander, had come in search of aid, having heard of a band of adventurers who slew the Bullywugs in Toadwallow Marsh.  It turns out that the Clearwater, Treewater, and the Witchlight Hermitage were in grave peril.  Gander explained that the Brackmarsh Lizardfolk, servants of the dragon, Shadowmire, and several other Lizardfolk clans were vying for territory.  The Brackmarsh had decided it was time to get the settlers out of the Fens, especially those at the Hermitage.  Raids were becoming more frequent and the Brackmarsh were becoming bolder and more dangerous.  Several villages have been abandoned already with the evicted settlers either dead or scattered.  Some were now refugees at Treewater, but based on where the Brackmarsh have been raiding, Treewater might well be next.


Orin gave Gander the money for meals and a room and said they would discuss this later, after the man had taken some rest.


Someone finally figured out that the worst of the pox from the morning was around the bite’s they had received from the demons the night before.


While the party lunched in the main dining hall, a pair of adventurers entered looking for Kriv.  Phalanx, it turns out, was at the monastery where Kriv was raised.  Alas, Kriv had no recollection of Phalanx at all.  Nevertheless, after much discussion, it was decided that Phalanx and Garo could work with the party on one mission to see if the new recruits were nothing but a lot of talk and a badge.


Once the party got moving, they headed directly for the cave the Abyssal Plague Demons were coming from.


Without a lot of fanfare, they strode into the cave where they came face to face with a young Bloodfire Harpy.  The Harpy immediately attacked, swooping in and blinding and burning several people with a cloud of hot ash.  Alphazar fought back and then 3 young Harpies (regular) swooped down Screeching a thunderous scream that crushed the body and mind of its victims, dazing some.


Thankfully, all the tanks were well positioned to take the brunt of these attacks, and though he was blind and dazed, Phalanx rallied valiantly, soaking up damage left and right, earning himself the title of Meat Shield.


The battle was a hard one.  Thankfully, the young Harpies were acting like bunch of foolish school girls, and the Bloodfire Harpy had not come into her namesake yet.  Even so, it was a hard fought battle as the Harpy’s screeched and sang.  A couple of Spiny Devils joined the fray, tossing their spines into the crowd, and then thought better of it, slinking back into the shadows.


Alphazar and Orin engaged them when all the Harpies were dead.  Alphazar misjudged an attach and almost got himself killed, but by then, Kriv and Meat Shield Phalanx were there to help and short work was made of the Spiny Devils.


A search of the cave found a fiery circle hanging in the air — a portal to the Abyss.  As the party recuperated, studied the portal and decided what to do, Reef explored the cave edges and found the Harpy’s nest.  Amid the refuse and the other nesting materials, Reef found a small hoard of gold and silver, with some pretty things (gems and artifacts) thrown in for good measure.


Back at the Portal, Kriv and Phalanx stepped through, finding themselves in the middle of a black-as-coal island amid a burning sea of fire.  On the island were several Spiny Devils, one of whom noticed the intruders.  Turning, Kriv and Phalanx saw a gold hoop suspended by some strange device, and in the center of the hoop was the portal.  They jumped through to get away from the spiny devil.


Back in the cave, they watched Alphazar step through.  Expecting him to jump right back, they waited and discussed what they had seen and how to close the portal.


On the other side, Alphazar had stepped through and was face to face with an angry Spiny Devil.  They traded blows for a few rounds, with Alphazar almost falling, but thanks to his new race’s abilities, he was only dazed, which let him strike back at the Devil one more time, killing it.


After waiting as long as they dared, Kriv and Orin stepped through pushing Phalanx ahead of them, to find Alphazar standing over the corpse of the Spiny Devil that spotted them earlier.  Looking around for other danger, they saw another Spiny devil, but as they drew weapons, it turned and flew off the island, leaving them on this barren stretch of rock with nothing but the golden hoop contraption to amuse themselves with.






3 x 500gp gems


4 x 100gp gems


2 x 80gp gems


340gp + 800sp


250gp golden chalice


120gp silver chandelier


Lvl 7 magic item




Alphazar: 250 for Spiny Devil solo’d


All: 206 ea.

The Singers: A Wagon Approaches

The northern most scouts chirped like the Caroji beetle, sending the simple message to ready for battle.  Throughout the wood, 45 archers re-nocked 45 arrows and waited.  The wagon was coming from the North, this would be a shipment of payment from Daggerburg.

Omni, a warrior, prepared himself for the attack.  Around the corner to the north he saw two dire wolf steeds with goblin riders.  His bitterness and anger flamed as more goblins, on foot, came into view.  By his count, nearly 80 goblins had rounded the corner before the wagons started to come into view.  As the lead goblins passed his position, roughly midway down the line of Singers flanking the road, he glanced back to see the last wagon, followed by yet more goblins, 8 wagons in all, most, heavily laden, each being pulled by a pair of large sized Spitting Drakes.  Goblin herders wrangled the drakes and kept the train moving forward.  Following the wagons, another 30 or so goblins came into sight.

Omni did the math, this would likely be a bloody fight and several of the Singers might die today.  With that, he focused his bow on a particularly ugly goblin approx. 100′ away, and glanced to the right to check the position of the lead wagon.  As it approached the stone that marked First Shot, he drew back his bow.

As soon as the first wagon’s wheel passed the stone, 45 arrows flew into the unsuspecting goblins, pin-cushioning the Hobgoblin Commander, the dire wolves and their riders and dropping some 25 Goblin Cutters.  Even as they were falling and the goblins started to scramble about like ants after their nest is kicked, a second volley was loosed, felling another 20 Goblin Cutters and wounding most of the Goblin Warriors ahead of the wagons.

A third volley landed, dropping the drake herders and several of the warriors.  As a fourth volley flew, the drakes were getting agitated, the Hobgoblins in the rear were rallying the goblins into ragged ranks and the goblins in front of the wagons began throwing javelins into the trees.  It was obvious they had no idea where the elves were though, as all the javelins flew too low to be of any danger.  A fifth volley sung through the air, finishing more of the Warriors and the last few Cutters.  Of the original 80 goblins in front of the wagons, less than 20 remained.  The bows and arrows of the elves were finely crafted weapons.  When combined with the accuracy that years of training gives, the Singers were extremely accurate shots.  The Warriors ran around and around on the road, this way and that way, in and out, making seemingly random throws into the trees.  Seemingly random, until three of the singers fell out of their tree tops, each with a javelin in their chest.  The remaining Goblin Warriors targeted the right height and the right trees with surprising accuracy.

As the sixth volley flew, two more singers were taken down.  But, it was too little too late:  the seventh volley killed the last of the goblins in front of the train.

The Hobgoblin Commanders in the rear had split up, each taking a group of 16 Warriors with them as they flanked the wagons, looking to the trees from behind small wooden shields.  As the eighth volley started to fall, the hobgoblins shouted a guttural command, and the goblins all raised their shields, blocking nearly a third of the archers’ shots.  The remainder were wounded, but shook it off, responding by throwing javelins back into the trees.  Only 1 singer was hit, but not knocked out of his tree.  Two of the singers who had been knocked out of their trees were getting back up and gathering their bows.

A ninth volley fell and once again the hobgoblins’ command had the goblins raising shields.  This time, less than half the arrows found their target, 2 of the goblins fell, but the rest advanced toward the trees at a run in a more-or-less straight line, the hobgoblins pressing from behind.  The archer’s launched their tenth volley into the advancing line of goblins.  Several more fell, but the line kept coming.  Omni and a few others aimed for the hobgoblins, several scoring hits, but this seemed to do little more than piss the Commanders off as they urged their charges to move faster toward the trees.  Moments later, the archers were nocking their eleventh arrows, but the goblins were now obscured by the same foliage that had kept the archers safe.

Omni spotted one below him, its shield raised above its head, making itself a very small target indeed.  The goblin started climbing Omni’s tree.  Returning the arrow to his quiver and shouldering the bow, Omni started down the tree to meet the goblin.  Drawing his sword he picked a likely place and drew his longsword.  As the goblin clambered up the last branch, it dropped the shield and poked at Omni with a short spear, it missed and the elf swung down, hacking toward the goblin with a vertical strike.  The goblin ducked back around the massive trunk of the old Oak.  On the other side of the tree, just above the elf’s position, a javelin was flying at Omni before he realized the goblin had moved.  At the last moment he twisted out of the way so the sharp tip glanced off his ribcage, cutting through his leather armor and leaving a stinging gash in his flesh.  He reacted with a powerful swing of his sword, scoring a glancing blow of his own that left a dent in the goblin’s rusted helm.  Another stab missed him as he parried its thrust.  Another stab, and another, and he found himself, to his surprise, staying on the defensive.

With a determined effort, Omni swung a feint as he Danced the Steel, delivering a slashing blow that took the goblin in the thigh.  For an instant, the goblin reacted to the cut in his leg instead of the elf in front of him.  It was his undoing.  Omni seized the moment and delivered a Brutal Strike to the goblin, driving the point of his blade through armor, flesh and bone.  The goblin fell, twisting through the air and bouncing off tree limbs, landing on the ground below with a sickening crunch.

Omni looked around to see goblin corpses at the bottom of several trees.  He looked down at the wagons, the drakes had not bolted, which surprised him until he realized they were chewing on their fallen handlers.  Back down the road, he saw one of the hobgoblins and two of his warriors, running back the way they had come as a rain of arrows fell toward them.  When it landed, the three creatures were each impaled by no less than eight arrows each.  In the forest, the elves were coming down out of their trees.  There were six dead and two badly wounded, Wolajun’s leg had been pierced by a goblin’s javelin and Nijana’s hand had been run through by a goblin’s spear.  Several of the druid’s charmed the drakes so they were docile and manageable.  The Elders inspected the wagons.  One was laden with barrels of disgusting slops, the goblin’s food supply.  Another contained crates of chickens, likely intended for the drakes.  The others were laden with gold, weapons and armor.  The dead and injured elves were loaded into the wagons, and the train began to move.  Within an hour, they turned off the main road and headed north east, back to the Songwood.