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
Treasure
Ildon
Ganus
0 / 6387 4 (6500) Wand of Magic Missiles
Scroll of Haste
Scroll of Wall of Water
Scroll of Skywrite
Fenvalur
Reyroris
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)
825gp

Session 9 – The Wicker Giant

After a relatively restful night’s sleep in the camp near Scarlet Moon Hall, the party roused their new Lord Commander (Ted ted ), and their druidic friends and headed up the hill to do something about this so-called “Wicker Giant” before it got loose.

Calling out the Eternal Flame Priests who were praying to the Wicker Giant, the party quickly ruined their plans at world domination.  As it would happen, the new Water Cult leader, Ted, cast Sleet StormGTY-blizzard-as-161117_16x9_992 on the priests and the Wicker Giant, wounding, and thus angering, the Fire Elemental trapped within.  Alas, the flame was no match for the deluge of thick wet sleet and the Fire Elemental was doused in less than 12 seconds.  The priests were taken down almost as quickly, with Sytarii charging into the maelstrom to thoroughly disembowel Disembowel_Movethe priest caught within.

Reinforcements were many as the Eternal Flame Guardians fired crossbow bolts at the party – only to get pulled off their perch by a well-aimed thorn-whip; an Azer came lumbering down the scaffolding only to be beaten to death by the druids and their shillelagh’s; and three Hell Hounds and another Priest came slipping and sliding through the sleet storm, emerging one at a time to be cut down by the adventurers before they could even use their formidable weapons.

After gathering their breath, the adventurers scaled the scaffolding and entered the tower itself.  Choosing not to deal with the magminsagmins below them, they ascended the stairs.  First one flight, then another, only to be surprised by a very well prepared foursome.  First, a fireball whooshed into the team, knocking poor Telfid out – thankfully, the party was well-stocked with healing potions.  Reyroris shook off the fire damage though and would have fought back, had the fireball not been followed by a stinking cloud of gaseous nastiness that left the party retching.  Two Guardians led their attack with strikes from their flaming swords, further aggravating the situation.  Then the druid, Elizar, elizarconjured a wall of fire that knocked Telfid out again.  Ganus made himself invisible and ran downstairs to take cover.  Sytarii wasn’t far behind and sprinted for the exit.  Reyroris administered another potion to Telfid and they took off too.  After a few seconds, the druid dropped the wall of fire and the foursome chased after the party.  Unfortunately, Lord Commander Ted had been overcome by the fires and was no more.

On exiting the tower, Reyroris smartly disguised himself as an Eternal Flame Guardian and started chasing Telfid and Sytarii across the courtyard.  Sytarii was running full-tilt and made it through the gateway to the relative safety of the slope beyond.  Telfid and Reyroris were not so lucky as thorny briars and bushes sprouted around them, taking the barely conscious Telfid back into oblivion.  Reyroris’ quick thinking saved the day though, as he yelled, “They went that way,” pointing through the gate and down the hill.  Elizar cleared the brambles and the foursome continued chasing after Sytarii, who was leaving them in his dust.  Reyroris dropped the disguise, healed his hpunconscious friend one last time, and the two trotted East into the hills and forests beyond.  An hour or so later, Ganus appeared, huffing and puffing behind the two.

Eventually, and, thankfully, uneventfully, the party made it to their boat and settled in for the night.  Sytarii was resting in the captain’s quarters, with Ganus in a bunk nearby.  Telfid and Reyroris stayed topside, preferring to bunk in the wheelhouse.

Shortly after they were all asleep, three hellhounds padded onto the boat. hellhounds Sytarii hid in the captain’s quarters until he heard Ganus getting attacked.  The hellhounds took turns breathing fire in the wheelhouse and Telfid dropped again, however, he was granted a boon from the heavens and miraculously recovered.  With their combined efforts, the party was able to vanquish the monsters.

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

Character XP / XP So Far Level /
To Advance
Treasure
Ildon
Ganus
2715 / 6387 4 (6500) Wand of Magic Missiles
Scroll of Haste
Scroll of Wall of Water
Scroll of Skywrite
Fenvalur
Reyroris
2715 / 6836 5 (14000) 250 GP gold ruby ring
Sytarii 2715 / 6999 5 (14000) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Potion of Diminution
Taban 0 / 4058 4 (6500) N/A
Telfid 2715 / 6316 4 (6500) Scroll of Lesser Restoration
Keeley 0 / 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 2190 / 6110 4 (6500) N/A
Nastane 0 / 3942 4 (6500) N/A
Nala 0 / 4942 4 (6500) N/A

 

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
Treasure
Ildon
Ganus
900 / 3672 4 (6500) Wand of Magic Missiles
Scroll of Haste
Scroll of Wall of Water
Scroll of Lesser Restoration
Scroll of Skywrite
Fenvalur
Reyraris
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.

Murder!

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.

poa10.jpg

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…

Sparring

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.

Bandits!

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.

***

map

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

 

 

Session 3 – Believers, Cultists and a Sorcerer named Larrakh

Please don’t forget to put your characters in DnD Beyond and to add them to the campaign:  https://ddb.ac/campaigns/join/2038241466181279

Oh, and don’t forget to level up if you have more than 300XP.  Woohoo!


It was a pretty day.  The party was enjoying a well-earned day off.  Most were at the inn, but Keeley had gone looking for her sister while Telfid was on an errand for the temple.

The peaceful afternoon was suddenly broken by cries for “Help”, “My baby”, “Get some rope”, and “Quickly, bring a ladder”.  As the party emerged from the inn, they saw that a large sinkhole had opened in the middle of the roadway.  Sytarii rushed to the edge to help and promptly fell in as the ground crumbled beneath him.  Thankfully, the dirt was soft and he took no damage.

After ignoring the town elders’ (including Albaeri Mellikho (Mellikho Stoneworks) and Ilmeth Waelvur (Waelvur’s Wagonworks)), requests to leave well enough alone, the party all went into the hole, where they found doors and tunnels leading to the east and north, respectively.  The north passage opened into the quarry.  To the east, they came upon some dwarven statues that turned out to be doors.Black Earth Symbol  To the south was a long-abandoned privy.  To the north, the tunnel led to a charnel house where giant rats feasted upon some travelers’ corpses marked with the sign of the Cult of the Black Earth.  Flame magic destroyed the rats and the party moved on, but not before several were overcome by the stench.

In the next chamber, they discovered a large black rock, floating in mid-air.  After some experimentation and judicious use of Detect Magic, they discovered a column of magic was floating the rock.  Later, they would place an unwilling cultist in the column, spinning him just so until his nausea got the better of him and he found himself spinning in his own vomit as it floated around him.

In the next chamber, they found a petrified dwarf and a wishing circle of offerings that included a good sum of coin, and a +1 magic dagger named “Reszur”, which Sytarii now holds.  While collecting the coin, a group of 8 cultists  — the so-called Bringers of Woe — and a half-orc Thug named Grund came running into the room, attacking the party with scimitars, mace, and crossbows.  In a well-fought battle, the party dispatched the interlopers, knocking one out cold for questioning.

Taban heard a plaintive cry for help from the room to the west, and, upon investigation, discovered a young boy, age10-12, pinned beneath some large rocks as punishment for not delivering a message from his father, Rotharr Hatherhand, to Ilmeth Waelvur.  The young Braelen explained that the elders of the town council were a secret organization of Believers who guard the moving stones, and make sure no one disturbs the Delvers, who are entombed here.  They believe that the moving stones are a sign and can be interpreted, often foretelling of trouble.  After feeding him and much discussion, Braelen, scampered off down the tunnel to the west while the party proceeded to the east, where they found an old man, one Baragustas Harbuckler, a Believer, sitting on a stool, whittling a stick.

Baragustas begged the party not to move the stones or disturb the Delvers, and was black earth priestpromptly ignored.  Larrakh, a Black Earth priest, cast Spider Climb to hide among the moving stones, only to be dislodged from the ceiling by Noctavia’s Thunderwave.   A protracted battle ensued as Larrakh managed to hold his own against the party until Nastane shut him down with a well-placed globe of Silence.  This sent Larrakh running through a secret door to the southeast.  A few moments later, the party heard a loud crash as he triggered a cave-in to block the tunnel he was running down.

Constable Harburk is livid, appalled and frustrated by the tale told by the party members of the dead bodies, the rats, the Believers, the Bringers of Woe, and the priest, Larrakh.   Livid because he knew nothing of the criminal activity of the town’s elders.  Appalled by the history of the Believers.  And, frustrated by Larrakh’s escape and the lack of evidence – the dead travelers’ bodies were missing!

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

Character XP / XP So Far Level / To Advance Treasure
Ildon Ganus 188 / 652 2 (900) Wand of Magic Missiles
Fenvalur Reyraris 188 / 489 2 (900) N/A
Telfid 0 / 464 2 (900) N/A
Olive 0 / 75 1 (300) N/A
Sytarii 188 / 652 2 (900) +1 Dagger, “Reszur”
Taban 188 / 426 2 (900) N/A
Keeley 0 / 464 2 (900) N/A
Defortune 0 / 163 1 (300) N/A
Rainar 0 / 226 1 (300) N/A
Noctavia 188 / 548 2 (900) N/A
Nastane 188 / 3160 4 (6500) N/A

“Reszur” is a +1 dagger decorated with star motifs and a grip of night-blue leather.  The name “Reszur” is graven on the dagger’s pommel.  If the wielder speaks the name, the blade gives off a faint, cold glow, shedding dim light in a 10-foot radius until the wielder speaks the name again.

Session 2 – A Good Day to Die

Please don’t forget to put your characters in DnD Beyond and to add them to the campaign:  https://ddb.ac/campaigns/join/2038241466181279

Oh, and don’t forget to level up if you have more than 300XP.  Woohoo!


Back in Lance Rock, the party, short a few members, turned right – into a room full of corpses and bones.  Upon contact, some of the bones rose up and four skeletons attacked.  They struck with vigor and before the party knew what hit them, Fenvalur had fallen, Ildon had fallen, and Sytarii and Telfid were unconscious.

Oreioth

After a short rest on the large stone slab in the main chamber, Telfid and Sytarii were able to slyly look around. After seeing the thin man with the black mustache and goatee, cutting open Fenvalur’s torso and playing with the innards, Telfid blasted him with sacred flame.  The necromancer turned around and with a “Tsk, tsk, we’ll have none of that,” touched Telfid’s shoulder, sending a chill through him and rendering him unconscious again.

Noticing his gear in a pile over there, Sytarii planned to get a weapon.  With catlike swiftness, he scooped up Ildon’s light crossbow and lodged a bolt in the shoulder of the nasty necromancer.

At that moment, Keeley returned from the town with reinforcements.  A dwarf wandered into the chamber, a strange, quizzical, unknowing look on his face.  Then a tiefling rushed at the necromancer yelling, “For Fenvalur,” and swiped at him with both scimitars.  Keeley followed, stabbing the necromancer from behind, while a gnome strode up and started casting spells this way and that.

pv_590

A moment later, the necromancer disappeared, only to reappear a short distance away.  However, this evasion was for naught as he was cut down, dying in a puff of black smoke.

Unfortunately, poor Ildon and Fenvalur were beyond saving.

Telfid and Sytarii recovered in short order.  The party then executed the two remaining skeletons, hunted down some zombie actors in a danse macabre, and destroyed a zombie doctor, a handful of crawling claws, and a few more skeletons.  Scouring the necromancer’s living quarters, they found some money, some jet gems, a driftglobe and a wand of magic missiles.

After returning to town and healing up, the party finally decided to put Vallivoe’s ghost to rest.  They went to the graveyard and because they wouldn’t leave, the ghost (actually a Specter) attacked.  Rainar, the barbarian, decided to open the coffin in the Vallivoe tomb and was immediately attacked by a Flying Sword.  Both the specter and the sword were dispatched forthwith.  Upon investigation, the coffin turned out to have a false bottom, concealing a little treasure.

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

Character XP / XP So Far Level Treasure
Ildon Ganus 226 / 464 2 Wand of Magic Missiles
Fenvalur Reyraris 226 / 301 2 N/A
Telfid 226 / 464 2 N/A
Olive 0 / 75 1 N/A
Sytarii 226 / 464 2 N/A
Taban 0 / 238 1 N/A
Keeley 226 / 464 2 N/A
Defortune 0 / 163 1 N/A
Rainar 226 / 226 1 N/A

Session 1 – Who is Vallivoe Anyway?

Rogue with Hand Crossbow

In the bar, the party members overheard several good leads.

  1. A little girl came in and spoke to the barmaid, “Mommy, mommy, Billy says there’s a ghost in the graveyard and I’m scared.”
  2. One of the patrons boasted about there being a great treasure in Tricklerock Cave.
  3. Another patron was overheard whispering, “I seen a skull in the woods with a big black arrow sticking through it.”

In the bar was a certain naked dwarf with a jester’s hat, attempting to entertain the crowd.  Unfortunately, he mocked Ildon, who then turned things around on the dwarf.  In the commotion, Sytarii snagged the jester hat, and the dwarf ran away, certain in the knowledge that no good would come from a confrontation with Ildon.

The party assembled and headed to the graveyard. As they were entering through the side gate, Sytarii saw a rustling in the trees opposite. He blindly shot his crossbow at the rustling leaves, only to hear a cry of surprise and pain, followed by a dull thud. Almost immediately, there was a loud crashing as something big took off, running away from the scene. Approaching the woods, the party engaged 4, now 3, goblins. After slaughtering the goblins, Telfid led the party, following some big-booted tracks in the direction of the noisy creature that ran. Finding a clearing in the forest strewn about with boulders, they came upon a very angry, very confused half-ogre. Keeley immediately took to the trees, sneaking up on Jester Hatthe ogre from behind, tearing it a new one. Meanwhile, Sytarii lined up the perfect shot, only to have the ogre duck out of the way so that his crossbow bolt tore through the chest of poor Keeley. Luckily, Sytarii was able to use the healing potion to bring her back from the brink of death.  However, as a reward for his perfect marksmanship, Ildon insisted that Sytarii wear the jester’s hat.

In the Graveyard

Tabin sensed undead in the graveyard, and as they approached one old tomb, the ghostly form of a soldier with a longsword appeared and commanded them to leave this place.  After some hemming and hawing, they decided to leave and find out more about the occupant of the tomb.  One Lord Vallivoe.

Tricklerock Cave

On the way back to town, the party stopped by Tricklerock Cave.  Upon entering the cave, they were attacked by some nasty bloodsucking Stirges. Stirge

The Stirges weren’t much of a threat, but one managed to dig its proboscis into Ildon.  Sytarii lined up another great shot with his crossbow.  He knew the moment he loosed that this was going to be a problem…  The quarrel flew straight and true, right into the neck of the unsuspecting Ildon, severing an artery and shattering his vertebrae.  Ildon dropped to the ground, dead.

Sytarii cast off the accursed crossbow, vowing to never touch the thing again.  He then picked up Ildon’s body and carried it back to town.  The jester hat was destined to become a permanent part of Sytarii’s head.  The clerics at the Temple of Tempus were willing to help, for a fee.  It turns out the constable was a big fan of Ildon and was convinced by the monk, Defortune, to cover the expenses.

Chasing Down Leads

After some investigation, and tidbits of information from a variety of sources, the party identified Lord Vallivoe’s descendant as a local thug.  Following one of the leads, Sytarii was able to locate him in a hideaway in the woods.  After stripping and trussing theSkullWithArrow sleeping hobo, Sytarii woke him, interrogated him, and after much back-n-forth, gave him 5gp and sent him on his way.  One thing the thug was good for, he led Sytarii to the skull with the black arrow stuck through it.  Sytarii read the note attached to the arrow:  “The Last Laugh, You’ll be next!  Valklondar”  Now, who was Valklondar?

Telfid paid an acolyte in the Temple to do some research into the long-dead Vallivoe.  They couldn’t find much, but they did say that Vallivoe was a friend to the dwarves of Mirabar and that his name appeared in a book that a local merchant, himself a descendant of the ancient Lord, had recently acquired.  This found Telfid leading a trip to Vallivoe’s Sundries, where Eldrith Vallivoe denied any knowledge of his good-for-nothing half-brother.

Lance Rock

At the insistence of the barmaid, Kaylessa, the party heads over to Lance Rock to investigate the “evil influence emanating” from it.  Following a trail through the brush, and ignoring the dire warning neatly painted on a sign nearby, the party proceeds to a cave mouth, similarly signposted.

ZombieWhile rifling through the pockets of a corpse in the cave, Ildon expertly ducked out of the way of its left jab as the zombie reacted violently to his touch.  The party dealt with not one, but two zombies, and proceeded into the cave.  Defortune took the lead and narrowly missed getting his head smashed in by a box of rocks that fell from above, followed by the two zombies that had been holding it.  In short order, the adventurers dispatched those two zombies and a third that came from the other side of the cave.

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

Character XP / XP So Far Treasure
Ildon 163 / 238 N/A
Fenvalur 0 / 75 N/A
Telfid 163 / 238 N/A
Olive 0 / 75 N/A
Sytarii 163 / 238 N/A
Taban 163 / 238 N/A
Keeley 163 / 238 N/A
Defortune 163 / 163 N/A