A Thousand Shades of Grey

Campaign Diary Compilation

The Lost Adventures – Part Three

-After returning to the surface, the party discovered a narrow trail that lead around the perimeter of the excavation site, up the hill and northward into the forest depths beyond. For many hours they followed the trail, winding their way ever deeper into the woods and evaded several traps (presumably set by the kobolds).

- They arrived at last at the base of a waterfall. Around the pool, kobold signs were evident and an empty wagon sat across the small pool. On the opposite side of the pool, an ancient altar had been defiled by the kobolds. What was once an ancient woodland shrine to Maelestirith, had been twisted into a mockery of Zagranic by the kobolds. Seven Heads had been crudely crafted from wood, sticks, and other debris and strapped over the original shrine. Rishian almost had a heart attack at the disgusting sight of it.

Kobolds of the Broken Dragon

- Sneaking into the chamber behind the waterfall, the party encountered a small band of kobolds, casually going about their business. One of the creatures stood at the base of the pool, peeing into a bucket that hung from a chain that went through the cavern ceiling to the upper levels. Several other kobolds were toiling in labour, and lsounds of kobolds shouting could be heard deeper into the chamber beyond. Apparently, there was a town hall meeting underway.

- The party began to make short work of the Kobolds within, when they discovered that the congregation of kobolds were gathered for what appeared to be a “lottery drawing” lead by a twisted kobold shaman with one red eye. In one hand, he drew chits from a bucket, and in the other he held a twisted wooden staff with a crude bird cage hanging from the end. A slight glowing came from the cage, and each time he shook it, the light would increase momentarily in a cloud of shimmering blue dust, and then fade away to a dull shimmer.

- The kobold crowd assembled in the common hall screamed in fear and panic as the party brought mighty battle to shaman and his minions. Huddling in the corner, the party quickly dispatched the spearmen, even as a stranger appeared out the shadows to aid the party in their butchering.

- As the shaman fell to Xil’s blade, he shook the cage violently, and Xil was enshrouded in a blue glowing dust. Momentarily distracted, Xil realized that the magic dust was trying to charm her, and but she shook off it’s effects and cut the shamans throat with a well placed thrust. As she stood over the dead shaman, Xil’s eyes cleared, and she could make out the form of a minute female pixie within the cage, badly beaten and obviously mistreated. Her aura light was dim, and Xil crushed the wooden cage, freeing the small pixie from its torture and torment. It suddenly swirled into the air, circling Xil and chittering in a high pitched twinkling song and gently kissed Xil on the forehead before fleeing off into the darkness.

- From above, viscous shouts were heard calling down, calling for “Bloodeye to keep his folk under control”. The party turned the corner and atop a long flight of steps, saw massive brutes looking down. Calling challenge, the party did battle with the hobgoblins on the very steps, nearly meeting their match in a pitched battle against the hobgoblin phalanx. From the chamber beyond, they could hear more hobgoblins shouting, and from behind the party, the newly arrived SHifter warned that another group of hobgoblins were climbing down the chains that hung above the pool at the entrance. The party had become surrounded, and a great battle ensued, even as the horde of kobolds in the main chamber began mobbing the surviving kobold spearman.

- When victory was finally theirs, the party climbed the steps into the hobgoblin chambers above, only to find that they had emptied and retreated through the complex into the upper depths of the tunnels. As the party tracked, they realized that there had been a great and giant spider, a pet it would seem of the hobgoblins, and they followed the hobgoblin trail with caution.

- After defeating the hobgoblin guards left behind to stall the party, the group emerged to the surface, and stood amongst the ruins of a once great keep, high over top the pool below. They followed the hobgoblin trail through the ruined courtyard into the keep graveyard, and saw one of the crypt doors close on the opposite side of the graveyard.

- The party entered the crypt and found the burial chamber of Keegan’s wife and sons. Between their stone tombs, a set of stairs lead into the darkness below. The party descended into the depths of the earth once more.

- Entering a great chamber far beneath the crypt, the party found the remaining hobgoblins and pet spider they had been tracking. Amongst a massive chamber of many pillars, and against the opposite wall, a large altar stood. Atop, a great cauldron held what would seem to be kobold eggs, and horrific statues of a seven headed dragon wound itself around. From the cauldron, a river of blood flowed, like a kettle of boiling water, and pooled itself along the floor before flowing through a mighty pit in the chambers center. At the top of the altar, a beautiful elf maid stood chanting in a horrific tongue, seeming to call the blood forth from the pool.

- The party did great battle as the hobgoblins attacked, and one jumped onto the back of the massive spider, riding it like a horse into the fray. From atop the altar, the elf maid drew a mighty bow of dark an twisted oak, launching massive arrows into the party.

The Ravings of the Hag

- As the melee continued, the elf maid noticed the ancient blade taken from Keegan’s tomb on Xils back, and became utterly enraged. Screaming hysterically, the elven visage wavered, and she transformed into a white haired hag with 3 arms and the tail of a snake. Screaming for the sword, the creature vaulted into combat, single mindedly trying to take the ancient blade.

“NOOOOOO!!! GIVE ME THE SWORD!!!” the creature called, “THIS CANNOT BE! THE MAD DUKE WAS UNDONE LONG AGO!! THIS REALM IS TWICE CURSED, AND IS MY MOTHERS OWN!!! NOOOOOO!!! WE ARE SOOOOO CLOSE!!! GIVE ME THE SWORD!!!”

The great melee continued for some time, and at length, the party had won the day. Standing over the bloody form of the hag, in the midst of the river of blood, the party prepared for the final blow, even as the hag looked to them and laughed in the face of her own death.

“Foolish mortals!” she spat at them, " Think you have won do you? Think you have found the heart of it?? HASHAHAA! My mother’s puppet is but a pawn in the great game, and has unwittingly traded the suns stone for an empty promise!!! The dragon reborn shall not be his… my mother has already laid claim to both throne and unborn king! I fear my poor lover shall find naught but death, and yours will all be among them!! HAHAHAAAAA!"
And then the party killed her.

Descent into the Depths

- The party descended into a nightmare. Crimson streams of blood spilled from the chamber above to form a shallow pool in the center of the chamber, filled with what would seem to be the bones of an ancient dragon from legend. Held together with strands of rope, twine and sticks, the skeletal framework was far from complete.

- To the side of the pool, a yawning black portal dominated the northern wall of the grotesque chamber, even as the darkness within the portal strained and swirled like a vicious clawed beast, raging against the edges of the portal as if held behind glass. A circle of blazing ruins had been inscribed on the floor before the portal, and pulsed in time with the angry raging of the darkness within the portal.
The thing in the portal

- Opposite the portal, a massive statue of a seven headed beast stood, pointing towards the portal of darkness with a vile claw.

To the east, steps rose to a platform where a pit was flanked by two smaller statues of a demonic figure (Orcus statues).

To the west, another set of steps ascended to a 10’ high ledge supporting an altar of bone and several wide pillars. A human male wearing a massive horned held and carrying a skull-capped rod stood behind the altar, deep in ritualistic chanting and preparing to carve the heart from the kobold strapped to the altar top.

- The party split up into the chamber, taking to the shadows and drawing the attention of the fiends within. As the party battled, the darkness behind the portal burst forth, it’s long tendrils reaching out of the veil and joining the assault, the tendrils flailing, trying to grasp a hold of a mortal form and drag them within the blackness.

- As the party did battle, the priest recognized his impending defeat. Cursing the heroes with the very depth of his soul, Kalarel embraced the tendrils of blackness, and was pulled through the writhing veil within the portal. The writhing mass swirled and gyrated momentarily, like a snake swallowing its prey, and then coalesced into a pitch black mirror of nothingness. The glowing runes on the floor before the portal slowly dimmed and only the slightest traces of it’s once brilliant radiance could still be seen.

As the party stood in a shocked awe, Xil cursed in rage “KALAREL YOU COWAAAARD!”

- And then there is silence.

The Lost Adventures – Part Two

- Arriving after 2 days travel south into the Dornbriar Wood, the party finds themselves at the same hill where Egas was attacked nearly 2 years earlier. Now, the hillside is lain waste, a massive crater has been dug into the earth, and around it a shabby wooden palliside has been erected.

- Defended by kobolds, the party does great battle. At the base of the excavation, the skeletal remains of what can only be described as a dragon of legend stands partially excavated from the earth. In the earthen cliff face behind, a small tunnel has been dug that descends down into the very bowels of the earth. Of course, the party descends.

- Arriving in the kobold warren proper, the party set about obliterating the remaining kobold clansmen. The eventually discover an ancient stone doorway deep within, appearantly uncovered during the kobolds tunneling.

- The party tries to open the ancient door, but it is only by the hand of the tonguless youth which the Goliath Warden carries upon his back that opens the door. The party begins to suspect there is more to this boy, and the Goliath smirks knowingly – he had recieved a small amount of jibbing from his fellows for bringing the young lad along.

- Entering the ancient stone tunnels, it becomes appearant that the doorway warded an ancient tomb. Filled with death, decay, dust and a fair amount of human zombies. Something stirs in Xil’s heart however, for the undead do not seem to be seeking the life blood of the living. Rather than mindless hatred of all life, the human undead stand motionless until attacked themselves.

- About the crypt, ancient script is carved into the stone archways:

“Behold, the bravest of us stand warden over the tomb of the Damned Prince
_ Consented to Eternal Silence lest his name be spoken_
_ nor risk arousing him from slumber_
_ Let none pass who would aid Him_
_ Cursed to dream eternally of his treason”_

- The party enters the tunnel beneath the script, and of course, is attacked by the zombie horde.

- Below, in the Tomb of Wardens, an unearthly fog lay upon the chamber floor, and all along the length of the chamber, stone sarcophigi of ancient design stand. As the party enters, the sarcophigi burst open, and hordes of undead human skeletons in ancient armour pour out. The party is hard pressed to defeat the endless undead horde, and as Xil manouvers deeper into the crypt, two stone gargoyle creatures animate from either side of the massive tomb doors at the far end of the crypt.

- On either side of that ancient stone door, an alcove with an altar are found, and Xil quickly searches the northern most altar while her commrades hold off the undead hordes. She finds archaic script scrawled into the stonework:

“The Emerald Dragon is my heart, my life, and my love. As Her blood created the world, and as Her sacrifice saved it, my offering, a penance though it is, I grant willingly and gratefully. Blessed are those who praise the Emerald Mother.”

- Taking a daring risk, Xil stands and slices the palm of her own hand open with her dagger, letting the blood drip onto the altar below. As she does so, the chamber is suddenly filled with light from the cuppolla overhead, and the deathfog begins to dissolve around her knees, even as the hordes of undead crumble into piles of inanimate bones and archaic armour.

- Opening the ancient doors, the party beholds the final resting place of the Lord of this hall. Upon a raised dais nestled in an arching alcove opposite the door lies an ancient stone sarcofigus, nestled in the lap of a cross legged statue of a blindfolded female humanoid. Half her visage is that of a twisted demon, and the other, a beautiful angel. Her arms are crossed beneath her bosom, and in each hand a dusty and tarnished scroll tube is held. One demonic wing wraps around the northern alcove, while the other angelic wing embraces the southern half of the alcove. The dias steps are littered in bas relief of horrific images of a crowned knight slaying and murdering his servants, and portrays the epic battle to bring him to heel by his own knights, eventually depicting the mad kings entombment in this very crypt.
Upon the lid of the granite sarcophagus is written an ancient script.

“Entombed alive as punishment for his blasphemous sins, and cursed eternally by the Earths Daughter, lay Keegan von Beighrudd, once Prince of the Kali, Duke of Eirynvarthiel, First Knight of Nephythia. May he be damned forever for his treachery.”

- As the party slides the lid from the coffin, they see a ghostly image of a human man laying overtop of ancient skeletal remains, a magnificent silver longsword still clutched at his breast. As they reach in to try to claim the ancient blade, the eyes of the ghost thrust open and it soars into the air, screaming a bansees wail at the interlopers who have defiled it’s lost tomb.

- After a brief but vicious melee with the spectral Prince, it suddenly ceases to press the attack as it’s lifeless eyes fall upon the speechless boy clutching to the back of the Goliath. The Ghostly visage drops to the chamber floor, repeatedly calling the young boy Lord Gweirod and incessantly pleading for mercy and forgivness from him, even as the party stands in shock and dismay.

- At length, the party parlays with the ghostly visage of the forlorn Duke Beighrudd, and promises to return his sword to it’s rightful place to King Gwierod’s tomb within the Nephythian Citadel. Only then, shall Keegan’s curse be broken, and his spirit lain to rest.

From the Undead Duke, the party learned the following cryptic histories:

What Can Be Learned in Death

The cousin of King Gwierod, Chief of the Dornes who wed Nephythus, Keegan was awarded rule over Jehrenvarthal in attempt by Gwierod to placate Keegan’s ire over his rebuked advances to Nephythus herself. Keegan was never able to forgive his cousin for what he perceived to be his fault – Nephythus would have loved him instead, had he but been the first Dorne chief to land on these shores. And his heart grew bitter, his imagined slights and wrongfully displaced power became ever more exaggerated. Keegan eventually succumbed to his bitterness and hatred, encouraged by the dream whisperings of a maiden’s soft whispers, and snuck into the Citadel and slew the King in his own bed with Gwierod’s own sword “Aecris”.

Nephythus cursed Keegan to undeath, and banished him and all he held from her realm. Heartbroken, Keegan fled back to his hold of Heathbrett and mourned his loss. Eventually he was visited by a woman whose beuty rivalled Nephythus’ own and was seduced.

This final act of betrayl broke his sanity. In a fit of madness, he murdered all within the keep, wielding the now cursed blade Aecris against them all. His own knights rose against him, and many were slain. Eventually Keegan was overcome, and they buried him alive in a tomb on the very edge of the duchy, where an ancient legendary dragon was once said to have been buried. They believed it’s magical power would aid in keeping Keegan’s madness at bay, and the best of them volunteered to sacrifice themselves by interring themselves in the crypt they had wrought, forever after standing warden over their mad king.

Thus was the ancient Duchy of Jehrenvarthal lost and twice cursed. Thus was the Dorne Empire sundered and broken.

The Lost Adventures – Part One

Prelude

“__… No sooner had Vain and Brox suggested they keep the cultist alive and question him, Xil spat into the Odicus’ face “I’ll see you in Hell!”

“I’m glad it’s you,” he sneered back at her.

Xil drove her dagger through Odicus’ chin and into his skull. Xil stared into the dying man’s eyes, satisfied, avenged.__"


- The party entered the wagon through a trap door in the roof, and beheld a horrific sight of a human male held against the front of the wagon, his entire body wrapped in hideous glowing vines, each one seeming to suck the life essence from his body and channel it back to the pod proper which was growing around the base of a massive tome.

- After a great struggle, the party managed to free the elderly man from his horrific stasis, and free the book. They returned the old man and the tome to the locksmithy to take their rest. During this time, they learned the old man was a wizard named Egas, whose last memories were of travelling south into the dark forest of the Dornbriar in search of a massive arcane power source which the old man could sense. The last thing he remembers was walking up the hill from the rivers edge, when his party was assaulted by demon-dogs and a massive goblin with an iron tooth.

- The party is interrupted by the arrival of a group of “Brigands” (see Members of the Foot, that ask the party to join them to form a new crime family. As I recall, the party did not take kindly to this attention, and threw the merry band of brigands out on the street.

- The Spider, Malic Erindol, sets a bounty on the heads of the party for their parts in the upheavel of the power of Sandpoint, and otherwise generally messing in his affairs.

- The Tyrellian League arrives in Sandpoint, and hunts down the party in the Locksmithy. Each member of the party is fined 500 Crowns for their part in the “theft” of the Dragonborn gladiator that their Guildsman had meant to sell Malic Erindol. The League is also very interested in finidng the location of the Sea Spider Malic, for his heinous savagery against that same guildsman and his subsequent illegal incarceration and torture.

- The party ended up back at Malic’s warehouse, and basically beat the snot out of most of the thieves within. The Tyrellian League showed up and captured Malic Erindol, transforming him into a Guildmule, and sentencing him to 20 years hard labour for his crimes. THe party stood now in the ruins of the Pirate Lord of Nephythia, and the surviving thugs proclaimed them as Lords in Malic’s place. CHief among these ragtag servants, was the infamous Counter Pennylots, the Keykeep of Erindol Hold; Warehouse of the Sea Spider, Malic Erindol, a middle aged human midget, covered in chains attached to cannonballs to keep him from running off with a massive key ring necklace. Skilled administrator, accountant and language interpreter.

- Enter the creation of The Foot… “Why do we have to be called the Foot???” they asked. “Because,” Brox said, “You get to kick ass!!”

- Sandrick’s Arrival: A big ass ship is docked in the deep harbour, the figurehead of which is Xils father, turned to wood as punishment for his betrayl of the Holy Spectres. Xil will recognize the still human face & form as her father. The party awaits for the longboats to land on the beach of Sandpoint, and a mighty battle ensues. At length, the party is successful in driving the vile minions of Zagranic back to sea, but as they celebrate their victory, a second landing force is preparing to begin the second wave. The party retreats back into the depths of the city, eventually making their way back to the Locksmithy.

- The party retrieves the lost tome, and flees the now secured locksmithy through a secret tunnel. Making their way into Delvers Dale, they bargain with the exiled Alendverran Guilder Arduras Vesk. In return for the entire share of Malic Erindol’s hold, the now ruined Boathouse, and a promise not to tell the Tyrellian League that he is here, the ever practical Arduras agrees to hide the ancient tome in his deepest of vaults.

- THe party leaves Nephythia behind, intent now upon finding the lost source of power which Egas felt so long ago, and the pursuit of Kalarel.

TOUBH – Game Session #5

Friday, December 11, 2009, 03:05 AM PST
Categories: Dungeons & Dragons
Posted By: Thazar-De

Road weary and battle worn, the unlikely trio of elf, dwarf and goliath had their spirits lifted when they finally caught sight of their destination. Things are quieter now than when they left Sand Point some six days prior. Then the streets were dangerous and in chaos as rival factions of the local underworld warred. There was no reprieve for the common citizen neither as the lower wards descended into anarchy, for the Harbingers were besieged by a coupe initiated by the city’s clergy seeking to prevent the Harbingers from waking the Living Goddess, Nephythus.

Out of habit, Rishian drew up the hood of his cloak in an effort to hide his elven ears but it was hardly necessary as their giant companion drew stares from the few xenophobic citizens of Nehpythia brave enough to leave their homes.

Confident in the ancient ancestry his people had within the city, the proud dwarf Brox leads the way as the companions travel the winding streets and alleys of the lower ward Sand Point to the home and business of their enigmatic associate Heuri, the locksmith.

Nearly fully recovered from the illness which left her bed ridden for the past several days, Heuri opened the door for her companions and their hulking new acquaintance. Introductions were quickly made and stories exchanged of recent adventures. Heuri, feeling more trusting of her recently acquired friends shares her secret that she is in fact a changeling, a race able to assume the appearance of any member of the humanoid races. It wasn’t much of a surprise, even for the goliath Vain as Rishian and Brox had spoken of Heuri and her peculiar mannerisms as well as the sudden appearance of unfamiliar persons who seemed to have intimate knowledge of the elf’s and dwarf’s business in Nephythia.

Heuri properly introduced herself to her friends using her real name Xil, but still chose not to show her true form. She did however confirm that they also knew her as Durko Caine, a member of the Alleymen thieves guild and Colstan Rhuul, a local smuggler.

Once Xil had been brought to light of recent events, the four set to planning their course of action. Rishian disclosed the quest set upon him by the elders of the neighboring Elven nation to find a means to seal a portal used by orcs and other goblin kind to war upon them. Brox still needed to find the mysterious one-eyed dwarf that lived in Xil’s home a few years ago and for reasons unknown traveled to the dreaded Dornbriar Wood. Of course there was still the matter of the book that seemingly everyone was looking for since the day of Malic’s auction and the fire that severely damaged his warehouse. Xil also mentioned the little boy she has seen loitering outside the shop several times over the last week. This brought additional concern to the others, especially Rishian, but Xil dismissed it as coincidence.

Since the four would be in the city for some time yet, and the fact that so many sought to retrieve it along with the presence of the strange robbed men who appeared to be members of a cult devoted to Zagranic, an evil god of tyranny, has conferred a feeling of dread over the group and it was decided that this mysterious book needed to be found.

No sooner had the party agreed upon it’s next course of action, the sound of a mailed fist hammering on the door and a voice boomed, “Open up by order of the citadel!”

Xil swore under her breath, the Harbingers had picked a fine bloody time to be displaced. You paid your dues and were left alone, now every damned self absorbed bureaucrat would be sniffing about for their cut. Not wishing a confrontation and risk losing her shop, she silently ushered her friends into the workshop in the back and closed the sliding doors then gathered herself in a blanket, took on a sickly appearance and unbolted the door.

The door was thrust open, Xil contemplated on holding it fast by bracing it with her foot but thought better of it to maintain her disguise. A group of four yellowish skinned, pointed ear men in chain armed with broadswords were gathered in front of her shop. Gnomes of the Adoggin faith they were, having cast down the Harbingers they were now in control of city.

“The shop is closed,” she coughed at the gnome standing before her, obviously the leader of the group. “I’ve been ill with a fever.”

“Stand aside,” the gnome commanded. “We know the three strangers are here. They were seen entering this establishment and are wanted for committing crimes against the Living Goddess.”

“They are no longer here,” Xil lied. “I sent them away.”

“The three were not seen leaving this building,” the gnome glowered at Xil. “You dare defy the will of the Living Goddess!” and motioned for his three companions to force their way into the shop.

Xil was unable to prevent the bull rush that pushed her into the room. The three soldier gnomes gained entry and proceeded to turn over shelves scattering the shop’s wares.

Protesting with curses, Xil hoped to buy her companions time enough to escape the workshop via the hidden trap door in the floor. They had used the hidden room several days earlier when rescuing the dragonborn and knew how to access the room’s secret trap door. Xil continued her verbal assault upon the gnomes lamenting that she pays her guild dues and taxes and failed to see the need to damage her livelyhood. The leader scoffed at her and tossed a small bag of coins onto the floor.

The soldier gnomes were about to enter the workshop so Xil decided to move to intimidation. “I’ll have your rank and designation!” she spat at him venomously. “When I’m through you’ll be lucky to be guarding the swamps.”

Her plan worked, somewhat. The soldiers paused briefly and Xil’s companions were safely hidden in the secret cellar beneath the workshop.
The gnome leader had had enough of Xil’s insolence. Raising his right hand which glowed briefly with a pale blue light, Xil felt the attack upon her mind but she had a strong will and resisted the assault.

“You get that one for free,” Xil hissed. “Another will see my dagger in your heart!.”

“Blasphemer!” exclaimed the leader, but thought better of continuing his attack. “Get on with it!” he barked at the soldiers.

“Just don’t make a mess,” Xil warned.

Failing to find the three criminals, the gnomes grudgingly left the locksmith. “We’re watching you!” the gnome leader warned and stormed off down the street bullying any citizen that happened to cross their path.

Hoping to meet the gnomes again in the future, Xil bolted shut her door and went into the workshop to retrieve her companions.

“They were after us?” Vain wondered allowed. “For what reason?”

“They didn’t say.” Xil replied while straightening up he shop somewhat.

“Well so much for visiting an armorer today,” grumbled Brox.

Rishian started up the stairs, “I should be able to spot anyone watching the shop from upstairs.” The others followed.

Peering out the second story windows, Rishian and Xil spotted a strange looking creature in a narrow alley across the street. Rishian immediately recognized it and pointing out it’s location motioned Brox and Vain to have a look. Rishian informed Xil that they had seen these creatures before at the old crones hovel. She had called them fell hounds but didn’t elaborate on what they were.

“We need to kill it,” Vain surmised.

A plan was quickly hatched. Xil would move outside to give the beast something more interesting to watch while Rishian took a position on the roof to cover the street with his bow. Brox and Vain would exit via the hidden cellar and work their way toward it from the rear of the creature’s position.

Rishian opened a window and stealthily stepped out onto the roof over the store front while Xil changed shape to Durko Caine, went out front and started opening the shutters on the stores windows then sat on the stoop sipping a cup of tea. Brox and Vain quickly made their way out into the alley via a tunnel attached to the small hidden cellar.

Xil nonchalantly kept an eye on the creature in the alley, and saw that Vain had taken up position on the roof of the building next to the alley when she caught movement in the street to her right. The recent presence of the gnomes drove the citizenry indoors, so it was rather unexpected to see the same boy that had been loitering near the locksmith strolling down the street. It was possible that the child might become caught in the upcoming fight, but the party couldn’t concern themselves to much with that. A distraction could allow the beast to escape and report back to its masters. Besides, Vain intended to drop in front of the beast cutting off it’s route to the street while Brox would charge from the rear preventing escape.

Vain leaped from the roof, his falchion taking a chunk from the beasts mottled hide. Readied for Vain’s attack, Brox gave a dwarven battle cry and charged at the beast but missed his mark with his hammer. Rishian moved to a better position and Xil swiftly moved into the street letting a dagger fly, but it to missed the beast and bounced harmlessly off Brox’s shield.

Unhinged by the sudden assault the beast turned about several times then with uncanny speed crawled up the wall like an insect over Vain and into the street. The creature didn’t escape unscathed however, it’s movement created openings for both Vain and Brox to attack it again. Both managed to strike the creature, but failed to put it down. Having escaped the alley, the beast immediately made for the boy in the street. The child was paralyzed with fear and as the aberrant critter reared up to bite the boy two arrows sank deep into it’s flesh and Xil closed the distance drawing another dagger and thrusting it into the base of the monster’s skull finishing it off.

The party quickly surveyed the street for additional enemies. Finding none, they turned their attention to the boy and the slain beast.

Hoping to be able to learn more of the creature’s nature, Rishian prodded its corpse with his boot. The hound’s body sounded hollow. Intrigued, Vain bent down to collect the hound’s corpse, but it was in a rapid state of decay and after a couple of minutes there’s was nothing left.

Xil suggested they remove themselves from the street and before the boy was able to bolt, Xil had him by the collar of his filthy jerkin and lead him into the shop trying to soothe him by repeating he was safe now and that she was going to find him some food.

After bolting the door of the shop, the party retired to Xil’s second floor apartment. Xil sat the boy at a table and after a little straightening up fetched the child a chunk of bread and a bowl of stew warming on the hearth. They let the boy eat and after his second helping began to prod him with a few questions. His first guttural reply made it apparent that someone had cut out the boy’s tongue.

Through charades, deduction and painful interpretation, the party learned that the boy’s tongue was removed by Alleymen for having witnessed them moving a large tome. The coincidence could not be easily ignored, surely this was the very book the party was seeking.

Xil produced a gold coin and offered it to the boy who greedily snatched for it but was unable to secure it from Xil’s grasp.

“After you lead us to the book’s location,” she bribed.

While the others prepared to leave, Xil moved about her apartment, workshop and store setting the various traps in place to protect her establishment. Checking that they weren’t being watched, the party stepped into the street and followed the boy through the alley’s of Sand Point heading in the general direction of the docks.
At the southern end of Sand Point was the harbour and the docks. The young lad indicated the large warehouse and boat house at the edge of the river was where he saw the Alleymen moving the tome. Xil placed a gold coin in the boys hand and sternly instructed him to stay away from the locksmith to which the boy nodded and then quickly ran off.

From a safe distance and hidden by neighboring buildings, the group of adventurers surveyed the immense structure. It was about three stories in height and some 150 feet long. There were several attached piers with a few boats moored. Of course it was guarded, a couple on the roof with crossbows, several around the perimeter trying to look inconspicuous. The upper stories had windows but the main floor only had a large set of doors with a smaller man sized door next to it. On the east side of the building a familiar massive black carriage was being loaded.

The companions agreed that a reconnoiter of the warehouse’s interior was definitely required but to gain access required a distraction.

Rishian grinned at Xil, “You do have a penchant for fires.”

“I do happen to have a flask of oil with me,” she replied dryly.

Even at a whisper Vain’s voice rumbled, “We want to investigate the warehouse, not raze it to the ground.”

“True,” Xil almost sounded disappointed. “One of those boats would do nicely though.”

Rishian was volunteered to set fire to the boat, so after preparing the flask to ignite when thrown he slipped into the water and swam beneath the boat house and piers to the targeted boat. While swimming beneath the boat house he discovered a 20‘ diameter hole in the floor covered in vines. He returned to his companions as quickly as possible to report his findings. This changed the hero’s strategy a bit. Vain would accompany Rishian and enter the warehouse via the opening in the floor. As Brox was ill suited for water, he and Xil would take up position across the street and enter through the door after the guards departed to put out the fire.

Rishian made it to the boat undetected while Vain lingered near the opening in the boat house floor, lit the flasks wick and tossed it onto the deck of the large boat. It seemed the boat had been docked for some time, and the dry planks of the deck quickly caught flame and soon became hot enough to burn the pitch used to seal the boards of the deck and hull. Black, sooty smoke billowed into the air and the alarm was sounded. Rishian swam over to Vain and together they climbed the vines entering a bizarre chamber in the boat house above. The room was immense taking up the majority of the the boat house and large portions of the adjoining warehouse. What was so bizarre was the entire chamber was overgrown with strange looking vines, right up to the ceiling thirty feet above. Scattered amongst the vines were mottled and leathery pods that seemed to occasionally rustle or appeared to be breathing. The vines nor the pods weren’t anything that the ranger nor the warden recognized from the natural world. Not noticing anyone else in the vicinity, the pair moved further into the chamber which proved difficult for the vines clung to their feet and legs, impeding their movement.

As the alarm went up for the fire, the guards in front of the warehouse drew scimitars hidden beneath their cloaks.

“Shite,” Xil cursed. “So much for the element of surprise.”

In a blur she was suddenly standing in the middle of the street flinging a dagger at the closest guard. It caught him in the throat spewing a great gout of blood as it severed his carotid artery. The force of the throw slammed the guard into the wall of the warehouse and he sank to his knees grasping at his neck trying to stem the flow of blood. Brox adjusted his plate armor and strode out into the street, taking up position in front of Xil.

Quickly recovering, the other two guards charged at Brox but only one managed a glancing blow with his scimitar, the other blocked by Brox’s shield knocking the guard off balance allowing Xil to easily move in behind drawing another dagger. Pulling the guard’s head back, she plunged the weapon up to the hilt into the guard’s jugular notch. The guard gurgled a bloody cry as she repeated thrust the dagger in and out of the guards chest cavity and sawed the weapon side to side for good measure before dropping his corpse to the sandy street.
The remaining guard prostrated himself, kissing Brox’s boots begging for his life. Contemplating on dispatching the foolish wretch, Brox instead made his way to the east corner of the warehouse where he could see three other guards hastily complete loading and securing the wagon.

Meanwhile, inside things had become complicated. From out of the vines in the walls strange plant creatures had appeared and made their way toward Vain and Rishian. The plant creatures were vaguely humanoid, walking upright, but instead of arms they had a half dozen thorny vines which whipped about. Screeching they lashed out at Vain and Rishian, inflicting several small cuts which burned fiercely. The wounds were painful, but hardly life threatening. Rishian’s swords rung loudly as he drew them from their scabbards and in a single fluid motion slashed the mutant plant with both weapons sundering it into a pile of leathery bark and twigs. Not to be outdone, Vain drew himself up raising his khopesh high and came down onto the abberation closest to him splitting it down to it’s nave. With the second plant dispatched, Vain was able to move closer to the third plant still threatening Rishian. Drawing upon the natural elements, Vain put forth a challenge upon the remaining plant daring it to engage him but the single minded creature continued it’s assault upon Rishian provoking nature’s wrath to funnel into Vain. The goliath’s mighty sword crashed down onto the monsterous plant bursting it asunder.

At that moment a sick sounding plop came not far behind Rishian. One of the pods had broken open and was oozing a foul smelling slime. From the bow of the flaming ship a small lizard like creature was placing another stone in his sling.

“Go on,” Rishian assured Vain sheathing his swords and drawing his bow. “I’ve got this guy.”

While Vain made his way through the vines to a set of double doors at the other end of the room, Rishian exchanged fire with the kobold slinger and newly arrived wyrmpriest moving steadily towards the doors Vain just exited. Brox continued moving along the side of the building stopping in front of the black geldings harnessed to the carriage. Xil quickly followed, moving along the edge of the road on the other side of the carriage. Stopping near the head of the other horse, she let fly her bloodied dagger hoping to catch the driver but the massive carriage afforded him some cover and the dagger sunk deep into the driver’s wooden seat.
Crying out in alarm, the driver alerted the guards they were under attack. A guard moved toward Brox while a second moved around the carriage towards Xil. They slapped the rumps of the horses with the flats of their blades, but the horses didn’t budge. The guard in front of Brox thrust his sword, but was turned away by Brox’s shield. The third clambered up the rear of the carriage to stand on the roof where a tall bald man in black robes suddenly appeared. It was the same man that came to the locksmith several days earlier and that most certainly leads the cultists that assaulted the Sea Witch’s sister, Mirtana. His name was known to the heroes, Odicus.

Brox brought forth his holy symbol and called upon Moradin, the god of the dwarves, to smite his foe. The symbol glowed with silver light and the black robed man was engulfed in ribbons of silver radiance. Screaming in pain Odicus grabbed his face, dazed by Brox’s prayer. Fearing to be run down, Brox shifted out of the path of the horses and carriage to engage the the guard next to the building. Uttering an oath to Moradin, Brox’s divine challenge confronted the guard with imminent defeat.

Vain suddenly appeared through the side door and quickly surveyed the situation. Deciding to take advantage of the guard cowering before Brox, Vain charged ignoring the minor gash he received from the third swordsman atop the carriage. His khopesh cleaved into the back of the guard severing his spine and very gruesomely ending his life. Nature’s wrath flowing through him, Vain’s thunderous roar of triumph cowed the three atop the carriage as his flesh became a protective shell of earth and rock. Riding the blood lust Vain took a broad sweep of his khopesh, cutting into all three men atop the carriage knocking them prone. The driver and the guard fell to the ground lifeless, the cultist managed to slowly regain his feet. A peel of thunder sounded Nature’s pride.

Xil moved quickly against the remaining guard, her face morphing into the likeness of the guard standing before her. Dumbfounded, the guard’s sword arm dropped allowing for Xil to slip past his guard and slash her dagger across the guard’s throat painting the side of the carriage crimson. Recognizing the man robed in black from old repressed memories, Xil stepped up the side of the carriage to stand before and challenge the Odicus, the man responsible for her parent’s murder more than a decade ago. The cultist having seen Xil’s trick on the guard recognized her for the changeling she was.

“I knew it!” he exclaimed. “Now I send you to your parents, doppleganger!”

He chanted arcane words, his hands began to radiate a dark purple radiance and as he reached to touch Xil and snuff her life force, spectral vines lashed out from Vain and grasped the cultist pulling him from the carriage. Unable to hold his balance, the cult leader crashed to the ground. The horses began to bolt. Wishing to stop the carriage Brox struck the horse next to him hoping to hobble it enough to stop but it only seemed to spur the horses on. He next tried to smash a wheel to slow the carriage enough that it could be run after, but the carriage was too well made, the wheel’s too sturdy.

Rishian exited the side door of the warehouse and seeing the carriage careening into the street sped off after it easily catching the horses by their harness and reigning them in. Xil ran to the end of the carriage and gracefully somersaulted off the roof landing in a predatory crouch. At once she was upon the cult leader, the point of her dagger pressing into Odicus’ neck. No sooner had Vain and Brox suggested they keep the cultist alive and question him, Xil spat into the Odicus’ face “I’ll see you in Hell!”

“I’m glad it’s you,” he sneered back at her.

Xil drove her dagger through Odicus’ chin and into his skull. Xil stared into the dying man’s eyes, satisfied, avenged.

At the Sea Witch – an Interlude

At the Sea Witch – an Interlude
Thursday, December 3, 2009, 07:06 PM PST
Categories: General
Posted By: Ravidell_the_Black

The torch light glinted off the piles of golden treasure and polished antiquities of the sea cave. The crash of the waves against the cliff face outside reverberated through the warm grotto like a massive drum, almost hypnotizing in it’s low rhythmn. Rishian sits crosslegged on a velvet rug, intently studying the fragile mobile of sticks, string, seashells, and stones he holds before him. Brox stands behind him slightly, muttering under his breathe about how it is that soothsayers can never answer a question without layering it in riddle. Vainglorious sits huddled beside the two, obviously cramped in the small cave, and watches Saerina with a calm but unfaltering gaze.

Saerina kneels on the rocky floor in the center of the seacave, busyily preparing some arcane ritual over the small tide pool of seawater before her. About it’s rim, she has lain dozens of shells, beads, pearls, and candles. Motioning over the small pool with one hand, she slowly sprinkles something that appears to be sand into the water as she mutters archaic chants.

Again the sea crashes against the cliffs outside, and as the booming crash reverberates through the chamber, Saerina suddenly screaches and her body is jerked upright like a rag doll, her limbs stiff and taught, and held erect only by her toes. Her eyes roll back into her head, and her hair begins to swirl around her face as if she were submerged in water. In an unnaturally dee[ monotone chanting rythymn, the voice that exudes from her deathly blue lips echoes upon itself:

“THE FERRAL KING HAS LOST HIS LOVE ANEW
_ SPURNED ONCE BY CHOICE AND TWICE BY HATE_
_ HIS SISTERS MALICE KNOWS NO BOUNDS_
_ WITH HER TEARS SHE HOLDS HIS HEART IN THRALL_
_ AND SENDS VENOMED FANGS BENEATH HIS THRONE_
_ TO AVENGE HER MOTHERS DISGRACE_
_ AND WED THE DEAD SON TO BE CROWNED QUEEN_
_ THE DARK DAUGHTER RECLAIMS HER PLACE_
_ AND HER MOTHERS WORK UNDONE”_

Saerina suddenly falls to the floor in a heap, her crumbled body falling into the glowing and steaming tidepool at her feet, unmoving. The waves crash into the cliff face once more, and from high above, the mournful wail of twin voices is heard echoing through the night.

The Table of Underboughs Hold Diary – Session #4

The Table of Underboughs Hold Diary – Session #4
Monday, November 30, 2009, 12:08 PM PST
Categories: General
Posted By: Ravidell_the_Black

Session 4 Notes
The party remains in the junkyard bog of Mirtana, helping her pack her things in preparation for her to leave the area following the assault upon her hold. As they await, Rishian notices a flash of movement from the corner of his eyes, catching only a brief glimpse of a small 4 legged creature racing between junk piles. Brox quickly shouts warning, for he spots a second creatures swimming slowly across the murky waters north of the junkyard, slowly “dog-paddling” its way towards the large warehouse where the party knows the dark carriage and it’s masters lair.
Convincing Mirtanna to hurry, the party escorts her across the bridge and the group parts ways. Rishian, the Goliath and Brox turn west, leaving the city.
At the city gates (which they find abandoned and swinging open), they discover the hastily abandoned remnants of what appears to have been a Harbinger Stronghold during the recent rebellion. They find clues that seem to indicate that the Adoggin Priests have declared the Harbingers disbanded and marked as heretics. A religious civil war has obviously erupted within the city of Nephythia, and the Harbingers seem to have lost the initial battle. Travelling into the woods, the party comes across a small hovel a few hours outside the gates. Signs of strife and battle are abundant, and the village is abandoned. In the alleyway, they find the remains of a heavy armour war horse, and the cadaver of a gnome priest of the Adoggin faith. The group takes shelter in a nearby house for the night as a severe storm sets in upon the city. Travelling through the wilds for another 2 days, the group stumbles upon a small glade with a rotten cart at its center. Around it huddle many small humanoid figures, screeching and gibbering amongst themselves in some strange language. The group attacks the strange creatures, and with several well aimed arrows, Rishian brings down the leader. Brox charged into the woods, and smote the lieutenant, who was firing stinking pots of reeking goop at them from the cover of the forest. In short order, the group had dispatched the majority of the small dragon-kin creatures, while the remainder of them leapt into small warren tunnels burrowed beneath the cart. Always thorough, the party builds a fire atop the cart, and burns the warrens beneath in a smoldering bonfire. The next morning, the group at last finds the ruins of the Fist of the First Men, and enter. Moments later, Brox is surprised by a giant 2 Headed neandrethal, and battle quickly ensues. Rishian lands several well placed arrows into the fiend, and Brox calls his divine power down upon it. Within moments, the giant caveman lies upon the ground, and begins to cry like a hurt child. “UH-oh…” says Brox, as even then the trees overhead begin to dance and writhe in a whirlwind of anger, and a strong mist swirls into the ruins from the sky overhead. In a flash of mist, leaves and sea water, a beautiful human woman stands before them. “WHO DARES ATTACK MY SON IN MY OWN DEMESNE!” she screams.
Brox quickly leaps to help the fallen giant, and begins healing him, and much fast talking ass kissing ensues. When the group shows the loom to the woman, she seems to calm her anger. Leaving her son to his chamber, Saeriena leads the party down the side of the cliff face and into her sea cave far beneath the Fist of the First Men.
There, after much negotiation, she gives the party a decrepit and fragile “baby mobile” of sticks hung wit hstring, leaves, sea shells, and other natural trinkets. She tells them that it is a compass of sorts, and will help the party find it’s way through the dark forest. She tells the party of the Toweroak, and the myth that says it was the First Tree, and how legends say it forms a gate between this world and the Feywild, the place where Maelestirith crossed over into the mortal realm during her fateful battle with her evil sister Allyntra, and where Maelestirith died, the Gwierood Thorne grew, guarding the Toweroak portal to the Godsrealm and empowering the earth beneath it with magic. It was from these roots that the first Mithral was created, and Brenna mined the mystical ore into the first mithral armour.
She also informed Rishian that the “Pentastella” was a group of Knights in the ancient days of the Dornish Kingdom that served the Dorne Throne (being the human King Gwierod and his wife Nephythus) as heroes of the realm and righters of wrong. Based upon the virtues of their best five members, the Pentastella warded the Kingdom from its enemies for nearly a century. The Order was eventually disbanded and faded into obscurity with the death of the Dorne King and the retreat of Nephythus from the eyes of men. With the Dorne Wars that followed, the Dorne Empire shrank until all that remained of it was the City State itself. From the ashes of this Lost Order, the foundations of the Harbingers was lain, and this group has protected the White City ever since.

Brox realizes that he must return to the city in order to commune with his Goddess at his altar in the Locksmithy, and the group prepares to return with the morning light.

Table of Underboughs Hold Diary – Session 3

Table of Underboughs Hold Diary – Session 3
Monday, November 30, 2009, 11:37 AM PST
Categories: General
Posted By: Ravidell_the_Black

Session #3 Notes
Brox and Rishian leave Xil behind in the locksmithy and make their way back to the Bog-Dale of Mirtana Ardonus and her “junkyard”. Crossing the bridge once more, Rishian immediately notices that the drooling hound is missing, and it is then that they hear sounds of shouting and battle coming from further in the dale. AS the group approaches, they are ambushed by a hidden archer in the bluff to the north, and they scramble for cover. Moments later, a massive humanoid figure appears from the woods, his skin white and streaked with grey, and then bolts back into the woods to assault the hidden sniper. Rishian lends his aid to the strange goliath, but Brox takes the battle to those in Mirtana’s glade, and races into the fray. Once the sniper is dispatched, the strange half-giant and Rishian join forces and race to the aid of Brox. Coming upon a scence of chaos, the group witnesses a dark robed figure atop a pile of Mirtana’s “treasures” blasting the witches “feyhound” with balls of fire. Brox takes up the challenge, and a great battle ensues during wich time they realize that this robed man is a tiefling and was one of the very same figures who they met at Xil’s smithy the day prior. As the group battles, they notice that a second group of robed men are assaulting the hovel of Mirtanna, trying to smash the door open and gain entrance. Her hound is severly wounded in the battle with the Tiefling and the party races to lend aid to Mirtanna and lift the siege on her hovel. Once inside, they encounter the group of familiar dark robed, ashen skinned men locked in battle with a great vine, and there is no sign of Mirtana. The leader of the robed men holds a strange looking beaked hound by a chain, and his companions hold the party in locked combat. During the battle, one of the fell enemies is slain, but with a brief gesture from the tall leader, the dead arises and begins to assault the party from the rear. The hound is let loose upon the party, and as Rishian lands several well aimed arrows into the fiend, large clouds of hideous spores and dost erupt from the hounds wounds, causing a stench of the grave and rotten flesh to assail the party. The leader takes the opportunity to escape through a door, and begins to flee the glade for his life, but the party manages to bring him down before he can make good his escape. The group begins to “question” (interrogate more like) the leader, whose name they learn is Mendacant. Upon his person they find a magical short sword, and a leather satchel that contained several letters. They also discovered a strange symbol of a bird erupting from a set of twin fangs, which they later learn to be the Holy Symbol of the Dark God Zagranic. Brox also learns that the symbols dark metal is only mined in the northern mountains of Isgarand, deep in the oruk mines. As the Goliath handed the letters out to the party, each note erupts in a burst of flame as it is read, and it is only Rishian’s quick reflexes that prevents his letter from also bursting into flame. After further interrogation, the Goliath and Brox swear to help Mendicant by “Bringing Ordicus low”, in return for Mendicant transcribing the remaining letter. Begging for a quick and honourable end to his life, and satisified that the group will fulfill their promise, Mendicant reads the last letter aloud which Rishian transcribes before burning the original letter itself. The note read:
__Menidican,

The Holy Spectre cares not for the will of the lesser ones. You will play your part in their schemes, but remember always that your soul belongs to the Elder Altar for eternity. You will aid the fools in their search, but once the text has been recovered, you will inform me at once.
Sandric__ The party finds Mirtana, and Brx heals her fey hound. Mirtana has them carry her hound into the house, where she motions her vine to cacoon it in a crysallis of tentacles. Mirtana then has the vine do the same to Mendicant, who screams in pain and fear as the vine enshrouds him. The branch and cacoon that is formed soon withers and dies, absorbing the evil of the ashen skinned man within. Rishian asks Mirtaana about “The Child King” of the forest, and Mirtaana informs him that the Dornbriar is ruled by an ancient power of the old world, one of the children of the Earth Mother, Maelestirith. It is because of his wrath that the Dornbriar is such a dark and sinister place. “Not exactly evil, but very angry.” Mirtanna gives the party a small locket in the shape of a loom, and tells them that it will prove them a friend of hers to her sister Sareina, who lives 3 days west of the city, along the sea cliffs and beneath the ancient hold known as the Fist of the First Men. There, she says, Saerina may be able to tell them more of their quest. The party prepares to leave at once, remaining behind only long enough to help Mirtaana clean up the mess and pack her things.

Table of Underhoughs Hold – Session 2 Diary

Table of Underhoughs Hold – Session 2 Diary
Monday, November 30, 2009, 11:09 AM PST
Categories: General
Posted By: Ravidell_the_Black

Session #2 Notes

Play started in the Locksmithy, and as the party examined their options, a black carriage trundled its way towards Xils’ smithy. Acting quickly, Xil and Rishian took to the smithy rooftop, while Brox posed as the “new” proprietor of the lcksmithy.
The carriage stopped outside the doors to the smithy, and several dark robed figures emerged and entered the shop. The hair stood up on the back of the characters necks as the group took up defensive positions within, and began ot study the building interior. After long moments, the tallest of the dark robed figures strode to the counter, and began to ask Brox many questions about the smithy. Bluffing his way through it, Brox seemed to manage to convince the dark group that he had just purchased the smithy. The tall man leaned close and asked in a treacherously bitter voice that caused Brox to shake in his boots,
“Is the son better than the father??”
The figure placed a stout black iron lock on the table before Brox, challenging him to open it. When he was unable to pick it open, the mans’ suspicions were obvious, but Brox seemed to be able to bluff his way out of it. The dark robed figures backed out of the smithy, their suspicion obvious, but left peacefully. As Xil watched from the rooftops, she could not help but feel some sense of familiarity with the figures below, and as the tall figure twirled a small ornament around his finger, Xil had a flashback to her youth of a similar motion. The feeling passed as quickly as it came however, and the party reconvened in the locksmithy. Once the dark figures left, the group freed the Dragonman and his half elven soreroress, and sent them out of the city to their freedom through the tunnels of Sandpoint. The group was determined to locate the lot Chalice that Xil had inadvertently traded away to Marius Fenwith, one of her fences, and set off to Delver’s Dale to locate the jeweler. Along the way, the party managed to evade several street gangs and mobs that were rioting and taking advantage of the chaos that had enveloped the city since the Upperwards of Nephythia had erupted in chaos several days earlier.
As they travelled through Malic Erindol’s territory, they came upon a makeshift crowscage hung from the rafters over the bridge out of Sandpoint. A small crowd was gathered around it, poking the figure within with sticks and throwing stones at the prisoner. As the party approached, they saw:
Hanging before you in a small gibbet is a badly beaten guilder, covered in a thick layer of sweet honey and swarming with flies and a multitude of other small biting insects. On a small wooden plaque hanging below the gibbet cage is written (apparently in blood) the words “Sold me a lemon”. Judging by the number of rotten tomatoes and cabbages littering the ground beneath him, the locals haven’t been kind to the small merchant prince either.
He opens his one good eye, the other swollen shut, and mumbles through broken teeth and sliced lips “__You haf my frofedie feefs…__”
The party recognized the small guilder as Lestan of the Couerdestelle Caravan, the very one that they had witnessed selling the Dragonman to Malic Erindol the day before. Either a sign of Malic’s malice and power (or his foolishness), the Guild will certainly seek out revenge for the mistreatment suffered by one of their own. The party crossed the bridge out of Sandpoint and into Delvers Dale, leaving the small merchant (and Malic Erindol) to his fate as the mobs returned. As the party crossed into the dale across from Sandpoint, they encountered a group of yellow skinned gnomes, the Melkonin servants of the Adoggin faith of Nephythia. In their midst, a fully armoured man was strapped to a warhorse, his armour dented and he was bleeding. The melkonin gnomes surrounding him held chains that were lashed to the man, and their companions carried long staves which they beat the man with as they walked. The party stood to the side to let the procession pass, but as they did so, the armoured man leaned over towards them and shouted “__FREE THE LIVING GODDESS FROM HER LIFELESS SLEEP!__” even as the gnomes began beating him into submission anew. The party moved further into the dale, and encountered a small rag tag group of Alleymen (the Beggars Union controlled by Allister Tarik) that were lurking in the trees outside of the bridge into Delvers Dale. From these men, the party learned that:
1) Nephythus, the living Goddess is dead! Killed by her own Knight Protectors!

2) Tarik wants his book back, and has begun burning the city in a rabid hunt for his stolen property. We control the First Ward completely, and the Adoggin have sent the Melkonin into the lower city to try and find Alester Taric himself!

3) The Harbingers have betrayed the faith and killed the High Priestess. The Adoggin have declared the Harbinger Order disbanded and proclaimed each one a heretic. A 100 Kalidorian Crown bounty is paid per Harbinger shield brought to any Gnome controlled gate!

4) Kalidor marches against us! The Old Blood comes for what they were denied! WAR IS UPON US!
The party crossed the bridge into Delvers Dale, and eventually found the shop of Marius Fenwith. There they learned that he trades his unsellables to the crazy old crone of lower Sandpoint, Mirtana Ardonus. The group left the Jewelers, and stopped by to visit the renegade Halfling crime lord Aduras Vesk. [I can’t recall why though, but I do remember him giving you each a medallion showing you in his employ.] Leaving Delver’s Dale behind, the group travelled to the southern most tip of Sandpoint, and crossed the bridge into the stenching bog dale and junkyard of Mirtana Ardonous, intent upon retrieving the lost dwarven chalice. There they were greeted by a large, drooling, snot eyed hound before encountering the crone Mirtana. Through a series of honey tongued negotiations, the group managed to convince Mirtana to trade them for the dwarven goblet. While searching the junk piles, Rishian discovered a thin metal amulet in the shape of a leaf, and moments later found the dwarven goblet at long last! Returning into the war zone that was Sandpoint, the party narrowly managed to avoid being mugged by a group of ruffians that had laid claim to the alleyway in which they had hidden a bag of trinkets from Malic’s warehouse a day earlier. Recovering the bag, the group returned to the locksmithy and Brox set about sanctifying the old dwarven altar. After many long hours, the altar was reclaimed by the Holy Flame of Brenna, and Brox placed the guildlocked chest upon it and called upon the power of his faith in hopes of opening it. Rather than opening the lock and breaking the Guild Seal however, the chest simply disintegrated into ashes, leaving the intact guild lock in a pile of soot and revealing an ancient pair of gauntlets. Confused as to what to do next, the party decided to part ways for the moment. Brox and Rishian prepared to return to Mirtana’s abode, convinced that she is actually the Sea Witch, and hopeful that she might be convinced to grant them some much needed information regarding the mysterious one-eyed dwarf who fled the city and into the dark wood of the Dornbriar years ago.

Session #1

The Adventure Thus Far
Sunday, October 11, 2009, 12:14 PM PST
Categories: Dungeons & Dragons
Posted By: Thazar-De

Arriving by sea an unlikely duo of dwarf and elf make their way through the dark streets of the outlying Nephythian district of Sandpoint seeking meaning to cryptic prophecy delivered by their respective elders.

Brox and Rishian with only rumor as their guide, find themselves before the heavy wooden door of a locksmith’s shop. Closing his eyes and offering prayer to The Lost Flame (Dan confirm the name of your faith/deity), Brox detects the faint traces of the aura which made this place holy to his people. With new found confidence, the dwarf reaches for the latch of the door eager for insight into his quest of which he was certain was to come. His near preternatural senses warning him Death was near, Rishian loosened his swords in their sheathes and followed his companion inside.

The receiving area of the shop was well organized. The walls supported several shelves holding locks of various sizes and design and other contraptions the two could only guess their purpose. In the corner behind the door a small table stood with a few chairs placed neatly beneath it. Directly ahead stood a couple of strong boxes and a small safe. A well constructed counter, albeit of common wood, enclosed a small space in the corner opposite the door. Standing before the counter, crossbow in hand, stood a remarkably beautiful human woman dressed in well fitted leather armor.

“Well met,” she smiled sweetly.

(I’m having trouble recalling the specifics of our meeting, specifically what it was you were asking for Dan. All I know is that I sent you to the inn keeper as I was in a rush to leave for the auction.)

Disillusioned from his meeting with the beautiful Heuri and seeming to run into nothing but dead ends, Brox’s faith strengthened his resolve as he trudged off to the inn grumbling to himself. Pausing briefly on the steps of the locksmith’s shop, Rishian couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but something was simply not right with that woman. Her beauty was unearthly, rivaling the fairest of elf maids, yet a palpable aura of death seemed to surround her. Brox’s shout to pull his head from his arse shook Rishian out of his deliberations and he trotted to catch up with his friend who was now half way down the street.

Watching them leave her establishment, Xil morphed into a young dark haired man and adjusted her armor to better fit this form. Suspicious of her visitors, but without time to follow them herself, she new the inn keeper would learn all there was to know of them and relay the information to her later. Stowing her crossbow, she double checked her gear and left through a secret exit after bolting the front door.

Keeping to the rooftops, Xil made her way to Malic’s (aka The Sea Spider) auction. Near the entrance of Malic’s warehouse, and location of the auction, Xil noticed a couple of large and ornate black carriages. Bluffing her way past the guards, Xil immediately began surveying the large chamber and its inhabitants. Various members and leaders of the local gangs were present along with other miscreants and on-lookers. Aduras Vesk, halfling guild-master and crime lord from the neighboring district of Delver’s Dale, was last to enter the building….followed by Brox and Rishian! Cursing under her breath Xil realized they intended to speak with Vesk, a very dangerous thing to do as they were not familiar to him and were unannounced.

She approached the dwarf and elf from behind, asking what they were doing here since they were instructed to wait at the inn by Heuri. No doubt this surprised them, since the only two people who knew of this other than themselves were the inn keeper and Heuri herself. Xil explained she was an associate of Heuri’s and that they were in grave danger in this place, that the crime lords were not to be trifled with. After learning that the inn keeper suggest Brox and Rishian speak to Vesk, Xil instructed them to stay out of sight and she would arrange a meeting.

Vesk’s entourage, being familiar with Xil’s current guise, allowed her to approach Vesk and speak briefly with him. She managed to arrange a meeting later in the day for Brox and Rishian at their inn. At that moment, a cheer went up in the crowd as Malic and his guards entered the room from behind the mezzanine. Malic was also accompanied by five persons hooded and robed in black as well as a sixth person (need a description of the half-elf).

After an ostentatious speech, Malic begins his annual event with the usual entertainment, blood sport. A large cage is brought in through a large set of doors at the rear of the building, and drawn from the cage was a dragonborn. He was muzzled and weakened, suffering from several wounds, undoubtedly at the hands of his guards who beat him with staves until he stood in the center of the room. Defiant he roared through his muzzle at his guards and the crowd. Another cage was brought in and from it was loosed a savage bear which immediately charged at the dragonborn.

Xil was angered beyond reason and quickly formulated a plan to rescue the dragon-man. She found Brox and Rishian and commanded them to unhook the harnesses that held the horses to their carriages outside while she sought out a fire source. She needed a further distraction for the distraction she had planned. Quickly and stealthily she accessed a side door on the main floor while the dragonborn went hand-to-hand with the bear and seemed to be getting the upper hand. The door lead to a room where the items for the day’s auction were being stored. Malic’s guards were busy searching for an item of seemingly great importance, a book of unknown nature. While they were preoccupied, Xil “procured” a lantern from the counter and began to head back to the main room intent to start a fire under the mezzanine when a thought of evil genius came to her and she smashed the lantern on the items for the auction.

Xil returned to the main chamber and relocated Brox and Rishian. After barring the large sliding doors of the main entrance, leaving only a small door open, Xill quickly explained that they had to help the dragonborn, that this treatment of non-humans was deplorable and the humans must be made to suffer for it. (I believe Xil made another comment at this time that eluded to her true nature, but I can’t remember the specifics). Brox and Rishian naturally were reluctant to throw in with this person that seemed to know them but they knew nothing about. Xil basically blackmailed them into assisting reminding the two that she had arranged the meeting with Vesk and that was no small favor. She said to wait for her signal then to get the dragonborn out the back door. The battle between the bear and the dragon born raged on and Xil made her way back to Vesk’s entourage. She waited until she saw smoke billowing out from the door on the main level and went to pilfer a dagger from Vesk. She was jostled by the crowed and Vesk noticed her asking what she was doing.

There was no point in trying to lie her way out of it, “Making it look like Alester Tarik was trying to kill you.”

“I like your style,” Vesk smiled. “You come see me for a job later.”

Xil grinned and the alarm went up that there was a fire. Xil stood up and yelled “ASSASSIN!” as she smashed one of Vesk’s cronies in the face then hurled the dagger across the room to the other mezzanine where Tarik, another crime lord, sat, burying the dagger half-way to the hilt in the back of Tarik’s chair.

(I believe there was some shouting to save “the book” at this point from Malic.)

Chaos ensued. The gangs immediately went after one another. Malic’s guards ushered him and his mysterious guests away from the melee and then moved to quell the riot. Brox and Rishian moved in to free the dragonborn who had already killed the bear with his bare hands. Xil leapt over the mezzanine railing to join them and they quickly dispatched the guards. During the fight the three noticed that a half-elf maiden was openly using magic to assist them. Uncertain of her motives Rishian (I believe) confronted her and it became know she was familiar with the dragonborn who corroborated her story. Together they all fled through open back doors.

No sooner had they exited the building, the front doors burst asunder and the plated guard of Nephytia, the Harbingers, strode in evoking a word of command. Fortunately, the group was out of range for it is said that none have the will to disobey the Harbingers when the speak the word of the Living Queen.

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