Jyaxx's World: Weirduun

Back To The Beginning

Chasing after the lone surviving Drow, the group came to a stairwell behind the door that was left ajar. Zasheid pulled out a ball-bearing from his pack and had Dekkum cast his light spell upon it. Throwing the bearing down the stairwell, it reached the bottom without incident, and so the group followed the Assassin. Checking the door handle, Zasheid accidentally pushed the door open alerting whoever was inside to their entrance. Poking his head inside, Zasheid noted nine enemies: four Kobolds, three additional Drow, the one fleeing Drow, and an insectoid monstrosity eagerly awaiting their entrance to the room.

Chainer was the first to rush into the room and managed to flip over a wooden table to provide cover for himself and the rest of the group. The party quickly followed behind and began to dismantle the enemies in gruesome efficiency. The previously fleeing Drow made his way to the back of the room and jumped into a pitch black hole, where he began to slowly fall to whatever lie in the depths. Zasheid throwing caution to the wind jumped into the hole after the Drow and managed to cling to his back instead of falling to his uncertain death. Dekkum erupted into his true Aasimar form with magical / incorporeal wings unfolding from his back and dove into the pit after the two. He managed to grab a hold of Zasheid and pull both him and the Drow from the pit. Chainer quickly incapacitated the Drow, allowing the others to explore the chamber they were currently in. They quickly found that the hole was hundreds of feet deep and lead to the mysterious “Underdark.”

The group returned to Kyloth where they turned the Drow prisoner over to Lissandra and Jarka and the town’s guard. After providing the location of the chamber and of the skirmish, the conversation quickly changed to Jarka’s investigation into the Lady Rainkus accusations that the group had initially brought forth. Jarka and Lissandra were able to confirm that the accusations were in fact true. Additionally, they found out that Lord Rainkus had “lost” his wife for a short period of time before the current Lady Rainkus appeared in Kyloth. Immediately after, Lord Rainkus began the juxtaposition of his normal calm and caring demeanor. All that Jarka said was that Lord Rainkus had committed an unforgivable crime and, apparently in his grief, committed suicide, relinquishing his title to the new Lady Rainkus. To make matters worse, Jarka and Lissandra informed the group that “new” Lady Rainkus was actually a Succubus, and was receiving her orders no doubt from a higher up being. After the defeat of Lady Rainkus, the estate fell into disarray and is currently being sold off to other royals within Kyloth. The “Talkins” family apparently had been colluding with the Rainkus family, but with the current upheaval, they would no longer play any part in further harming the inhabitants of Kyloth.

On a more positive note, however, the heroic accomplishments of the merry marauders eased the tension with the town guard. Furthermore, the group threw a party at the Bloody Dagger to celebrate all they had managed to do during their short period of time in Kyloth. During the party, Dekkum and Rowyn heard a voice inside their head telling them, “You’ve done well. Seems like you’ve found out a lot, but you have more questions than answers at this point. You will need to go back to where it all began.”

The troubling message from the night before was shared with the group the following morning, to which the group quickly agreed they would pursue with the two Aasimar (whether they liked it or not) to the forest where the two had first encountered each other. During a short break on the second day of their travels, a rumbling in the ground was followed by six large Ankeg erupting from the ground and encircling the group. Yet the battle-hardened group made quick work of the insectoids and continued on to the edge of the Wormwood Forest.

Learning that Rowyn’s enclave was from a section called the Frantell that still remains, the group continued to the section that was destroyed called Bruntz. Upon reaching the outskirts of the devastation, the two Aasimar were hesitant to continue. As they paused in an uncomfortable silence, Dekkum and Rowyn stopped to reflect on their past and the events that lead to the destruction of the forest when their Aasimar senses were triggered. Aasimar have an innate ability to feel when others of their race are near. However, this feeling was much stronger, almost overpowering. The flapping of wings overhead alerted the rest of the group to the entrance of another being with silver skin and pure white eyes. As the wings curled behind the body, and the being approached the group, they all realize at once it is Micah, the historian from Sahyrst, albeit in a more powerful form. Furthermore, Rowyn and Dekkum recognize Micah as a deva, a celestial being of the gods. When Micah spoke to the group, Rowyn and Dekkum confirm it was his voice they heard in their heads the night of the party.

Micah explains that he had brought Dekkum and Rowyn together and that the destruction of this part of the Wyrmwood was not their fault; the forest could not have been saved. The attack on the forest was two-fold, a draining power, sucking the life force from the forest for obviously nefarious means, as well as a trap for any of celestial blood. Any spell cast upon the forest that was tinged with celestial power would incapacitate the user until they, too, were consumed by the draining magic. Rowyn fell victim to this, but Dekkum, upon an impulse either divine or simply a powerful instinct, had chosen to save Rowyn. Sylvanas knew the forest was beyond help, and recognized too, all the Dekkum had accomplished as well as all the good Rowyn had achieved for the light in the years since her rescue at Dekkum’s hand. This is why Dekkum’s powers never left, as he had never lost the favor of Sylvanus.

Micah explains that he is the designated protector of this isle, and is very thankful for all of the work that the group has done.

Micah turned to Chainer and told him that the demon he was looking for was named Krexal. He had originally hidden the name of the beast to protect the innocent on the island from a holy war occurring between the demons and the witch hunters. Krexal is a general in the armies of evil that are currently at war with the powers of good. Dragons play a strong role in this war, and are always the focal point of strife.

Along this vein, he then mentions a Black Dragon on the island, the same dragon that killed Llearic’s family. Micah is dismayed at how long the evil dragon has been at work on “his” island, but has recently discovered why. An amulet of immense power is guarding the dragon against any of pure celestial blood. The amulet was a well-guarded secret, so Micah is unsure of how the dragon located it so easily (some of the group have a quick flashback of Carric’s tale where he told the dragon of something powerful in order to stop him from finishing off Llearic). With the presence of a black dragon, Micah recognizes that this island needs more protection than he can handle. He has sent for help, and knows that a silver dragon is currently on its way. He explains the uniqueness of this island, that while it appears to be a very isolated island, that in the last Great War, this was where the final act occurred. The island was a cesspool of evil, with a sprawling, well-protected city providing power, weapons and supplies for the bad guys. A particularly chaotic god on the side of good took it in his own hands, and in an act of immense power, struck at the center of the city, sinking half the island hundreds of feet below the sea. The attack killed most everything in the city, including the thousands of innocent slaves being held there. The death of so many innocents angered the more lawful and even neutral gods and while the chaotic god was weakened by his attack, they destroyed him and struck his name from history.

Only the gods know what treasures and items of power may be found in that city under the waves, but that is for another day. Now, Micah urges them to defeat the black dragon and clear the way for the silver dragon’s arrival. The dragon is nestled in the lowest regions of the Dwarven Hold known as Guun Kalduhr, however, the Dwarves of this island are a bit isolationist, and are unwittingly becoming more so with the influence of the dragon below them. The dragon is attempting to create more and more of a protective layer around him.

Furthermore, Micah turns to Zasheid and informs him that his homeland will be key in the next steps to putting down the hand and defeating the evil across the land, as the group’s destination should be the mainland after killing the black beast.

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The Rise of the Drow
Purple Mushroom Gang

Seeking out the next opportunity to prove themselves to the City Watch and Lessandra, the group set out to track down the “Purple Gang” who were rumored to be spreading drugs and mushrooms throughout the city. After little consideration, Llearic opted to use his knowledge of the drug trade in the world to set up a sting and attempt to buy drugs from a gang member in the hopes to learn more about them.

In the middle of the night, Llearic snuck out from the Bloody Dagger Inn and found a gang member in an alleyway. After spending 45gp, Llearic purchased every ounce of drug that the seller on his person. Testing the product (mushrooms to be exact), Llearic instantly knew it was something potent and somehow managed to find his way back to the Inn while causing a ruckus that woke up several of the party members. Immediately knowing what he had done, they hid the drugs and managed to put him to bed without further incident.

The following morning, Zasheid checked in with his informant / contacts, but was rewarded with very little useful information. The gang was apparently new to the city, and they had risen through the criminal ranks in the city quickly, and were cornering the market on the drug trade. So far, every member of the gang that had been questioned was very tight-lipped about the organization, the drug/mushrooms, or anything else that could be used to infiltrate their ranks.
Following up on that information, Dekkum reached out to an Apothecary to see if they had any additional information about the mushrooms. He was awarded very little information in regards to the gang, but that the Apothecary had a serious disdain for this drug and there had been no cure found yet. Several cases of overdose resulted in people literally losing their minds and never recovering.

Seeking to cover more ground, the group broke out individually to search the city. Chainer and Rowyn managed to find leads to the gang hideouts throughout the city, and returned to the group to share their findings. Opting to follow Rowyn’s lead (as it lead to a magical / hidden doorway in an alley), the group continued with their sting operation and had Llearic front as the buyer, and Rowyn as the wealthy backer looking to get into the drug trade game. Zasheid donated 200g to put into a chest as payment to help along the sting.
Meeting in the cover of night, Llearic and Rowyn met with the contact in the alleyway to set up a deal, with Zasheid looking out from the rooftops above. After much debate, they were directed to the Tainted Timber tavern where they would meet with someone more higher up in the organization who could continue the conversation. (Zasheid watched the man disappear behind the magical doorway in the alley that Rowyn had found).

After meeting in the Tainted Timber with the next contact, the group is informed that there is a limited supply of the mushroom drug, and an even limited distribution train coming into the city, but the Purple Gang would still consider doing business. The contact requests that in 2 days they meet again, and he will have more answers and information about the possible budding relationship between the two parties. However, he requests a distribution plan and a price for doing business.

Not wanting to wait an additional 2 days, Zahid and Rowyn head for the magical doorway in the alley. Pretending to be a drunken couple, they sneak into the alleyway and get behind the magical door to find a locked solid door. Zasheid unlocks the door, and they return to the alleyway to motion the rest of the party forward. Traversing down a staircase to another locked door, Zasheid unlocks the door once again and notices there is at least one person in the room, and gives Chainer a grin and the sign to kick it open. Upon kicking the door in, the party is met by 3 soldiers who have the makings of hardened adventurers. Llearic was cut down by one of the enemies, but Rowyn was able to bring him back from the grips of death, which put him into a rage, to which he used to strike down the rest of the foes.

Leaving the room, the group traversed a hallway full of pressure plates to come to another door. Zasheid attempting to pick the lock again heard voices behind the door. Cracking the door a bit, Dekkum takes a small mirror and looks into the room after recognizing the language being spoken behind the door. Looking into the mirror, he sees a dark-skinned face looking right back at him with white hair on top of its head. Knowing they have been discovered, Dekkum barges into the room yelling “Halt! Who goes there?” 4 dark-skinned figures in the middle of the room staring back at him and draw their weapons.

After a short battle with what turn out to be Drow, the leader used a drow skill to cast the entire party into darkness and escape out of the door in the back of the room. Knowing now where the mushrooms are coming from, the group determines their next course of action.

Ending xp: 8600
Loot: Short Sword to Zasheid
Gold: N/A

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An Understanding

Below is a (not-so-short) synopsis of the discussion held between all the members of this group. I want to thank everyone for participating in this and taking it seriously. I truly feel like this was very necessary for the health of the group and for future adventures.

Please take the time to read through the points below to make sure we all have the same understanding. As both a confirmation that you read it, and as a bit of fun, I would also ask for every member of the group to comment on this with their current favorite memory or situation thus far in the campaign. NO REPEATS! So read and comment before someone uses your idea! Thanks for reading!

Topic: Questing and knowing what to do next

  • Party prefers more linear paths towards the story than the lack of direction brought about with an open world feel
  • What the DM considered “railroading” early in the campaign isn’t what it felt like for the party
  • Non-Optional quests that veer from the main storyline are not as enjoyable

Solution:

  • DM will create more of a linear path with optional side quests, providing more clear direction and decision points

Topic: Pacing and distractions

  • Group feels like if we are going to dedicate time to doing something, that a more concerted effort to stay focused is needed.
  • Individual and separate actions can be interesting but also easy to lose the attention of the group when they occur.
  • Conversation with unimportant NPCs can drag on a bit long

Solution:

  • DM will try to keep table more focused. The party will help by doing the same, being gracious when it is mentioned that they are off-topic or distracted, as well as helping be aware that when a party member does appear distracted/disinterested they may be accidentally excluded and everyone should work to include that member
  • Group will limit the times that they split up, instead work towards getting a group decision on how to proceed
  • When individual actions are needed/wanted, DM will attempt to keep them short, and the party members will try to limit the unnecessary questions. If additional non-critical information is needed, outside of game time communications can be utilized (later emails, texts, conversations, etc.)
  • DM will cut down on the frequency in which he asks for what each individual will do, and in return, if there is something that a party member really wants to do, they will need to speak up to do so.
  • More killing! :-D

Topic: Leadership

  • Party members are aware of a lack of leadership, but unsure how to resolve, as no one wants to always be the leader and making decisions, yet recognize that the result is long conversations and loss of time

Solution:

  • Party will attempt to assign a temporary leadership role based upon the situation/quest/event.
  • If a party member wants to lead a particular event, they should speak up (out of or in game) to get the agreement of others to proceed
  • Party agrees to follow the current leaders guidance unless it goes completely against what they feel their character would do
  • Current leader will do their best to make sure all voices are heard
  • DM will assist with making sure the leadership role is established, rotates, and is acting properly (e.g. overbearing, demanding, etc., but honestly I don’t think that will be an issue)

Topic: Meta-gaming

  • Meta-gaming is a concern of the group, and frequently question if what they do is allowable or not
  • Party sometimes have a bit of an issue discerning character knowledge vs. player knowledge, or sometimes over analyze the connection
  • Party is unsure how often they should recognize the creature they are up against

Solution:

  • DM does not think anything that the party has done to be a negative form of meta-gaming
  • DM will try to be more aware of the information that is given when appropriate, to limit the need of the party to separate the two different “knowledges”
  • Meta-gaming can frequently be used in place of overly complicated descriptions. Simply asking, would my character know “this” is perfectly fine. Frequently the answer will be a simple yes or no, other times it may require a dice roll.
  • For creatures, the assumption is that the party is a group of adventurers who are worldly and would have knowledge of many creatures, though intimate knowledge is less common. For example, the entire party would have immediately recognized a drow, even if they hadn’t seen one before. Though only a party member with a particular history or connection to them would have been able to discern any weaknesses or strengths.

Topic: Feedback

  • The DM has been attempting to filter through the commentary at the table to discern the feeling the party about different situations. Some commentary is simply joking around, while other statements have held truth, and the DM has struggled to understand which is which.
  • Party members have voiced some frustrations individually, sometimes to the DM, sometimes to each other

Solution:

  • The group members are all friends, and should be able to talk as such.
  • The group will attempt to voice any frustrations as they happen, so that the frustration doesn’t grow. However, if it is something better not mentioned at the table, the DM will gladly talk about it later as needed.
  • The party can continue the commentary at the table, knowing that if they have any true issues with the path/methods/pacing, etc. that they will specifically bring it up to the DM and/or party when appropriate.
  • DM will continue to solicit feedback from the party, knowing that any criticism is meant to be constructive. If the DM feels otherwise, it will be discussed individually or outwardly (as appropriate) to try to find a solution.

Conclusion

So, what’s all this for? This is a lot of text to make sure that we are all having fun. This is a reference point so that we can all feel comfortable that we are trying to do what we can to make everyone as happy as possible and to have a great time making memories and future jokes. These are not rules written in stone, but nor are they difficult to follow. I’ve probably over done it with my explanations, but I feel strongly that these communications were important, and didn’t want to walk away with any misunderstandings.

I ask again that you leave a comment with your favorite memory of the current campaign, as well as any feedback about the conversation, letting me know if I forgot something or if you have a different sense of what was said. Thanks again for reading the wall of text!

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Soldiers of Fortune
February 3rd

After successfully escaping the estate of Lady Rainkus, the party made it back to town and began their attempts to bring Lady Rainkus to justice. Chainer and Rowyn went ahead to the Bloody Dagger to inform Gilly of their prisoners and the encounter in the sewers with the undead, the necromancer, and the implications of Lady Rainkus with all the weird on-goings in town. Dekkum, Zasheid, and Llearic continued on to find the Town Watch to request an audience with a person in charge, and to secure the capture guards.

The encounter with the City Watch did not go quite as planned, as the three party members were escorted off the street and into the Watch Barracks by weary and questioning guards. Fearing the worst, the party took up defensive positions in the room and waited. Surprisingly, they were met by a bronze Dragonborn with an ornate sword and a scar over her left eye, along with a gauntlet symbol representing the god Toren hanging from a necklace.
“There had better be a very good reason why you have two of Lady Rainkus’s guards in my building right now,” she said. As the party attempts to explain everything that has happened, they plead for her to send her remaining guards out of the room to avoid any prying eyes or spies learning about what they had found. Hesitantly the Dragonborn agreed, but several minutes later, an older gentleman with piercing blue eyes, a broken nose, and a sword with an ebony hilt enters the room.

The Dragonborn then introduced herself as Lassandra, and the ominous man as Jarka, the chief investigator. Jarka is apparently called in whenever something needs to be investigated … more in depth. As the party introduces themselves, Dekkum leaps into detailing the past few days escapades and the eventual capture of the two Rainkus guards. Before he can get very far, Jarka cuts him off at the insinuation that Lady Rainkus could be involved. Zasheid steps in and explains his past relationship with his employer and his dealings to help smooth out the situation. Jarka seems to relax a little bit, and Dekkum takes a step back and starts at the beginning. He explains what happened in Sayhurst with the merchants and the were-rats and the implications of nobles from Kyloth, and how the group came to be presently standing in the Barracks.

Not being one to believe such a far-fetched tale, Jarka deems a greater investigation into the facts needs to be made before trust can be granted. Lissandra provides the name of a contact that the group can work with to begin to earn the trust and prove their worth to her and the City Watch.

As the group begins to gear up for more merry marauding and adventure, they stop in to inform Gilly at the Bloody Dagger Inn that additional activity may be occurring in his establishment and pay to hire some extra security for him and any additional needs the group may have.

Following up with the contact, the group encounters Ygin (U-Gin), a Half-Elf with a shaven head. He provides the group with two possible tasks to complete:

1) There is a cult gaining influence and setting up a base of operations outside of the city near the woods. The City Watch does not have the power to take care of the cult and needs an outside resource to “do whatever is necessary” to quiet these followers of Tahlos.

2) Increase the nobility of the City Watch by dealing with a gang / drug ring involving mushrooms. The City Watch is aware of the gang, but hasn’t had any luck finding the source. The gang can be identified by a Violet Sash or Scarf, and to following any Violet Arrows found on buildings or hidden throughout the city. This job must be handled quietly and without raising alarm within the city.

The group opted to remove the cult as their tie with Tahlos arose suspicion and a growing hatred for the cult, as well as the realization that nothing was ever completed quietly with this group.

Exploring the woods, the group came to a gully. Zasheid announced confidently that this would be a great place for an ambush. Having said that, four bugbears appeared above and in the gully, with an accompanying ogre. The group was able to defeat the beasts without sustaining serious injury and explored a game trail that lead to an encampment. It looked as though it had been used by the bugbears / ogre previously, and had been since ignored. Backtracking, they began to follow the original path and came to a clearing with an enormous tree, and some chanting coming from behind it. As the group snuck up closer, they were able to see several cult members surrounding a high priest next to a golden spear that was sunk deeply into the tree base. There was scorched grass leading from the forest to the base of the tree. Dekkum and Rowyn took great offense to someone loosing a weapon into a tree in the attempt to damage the forest.
Zasheid used the sending stones to inform Chainer that he had a clear shot on a target, but wasn’t sure on the choice to take it or not. Chainer informed him, if you have a shot and feel there is a threat, you have the green light. Without further consultation, Zasheid loosed an arrow and suck it into the high priest. The rest of the group charged out of the woods and engaged the remaining cultists. They struck down all except for one that attempted to escape, but they were able to subdue the final cultist and drag him back to the tree.

Rowyn and Dekkum checked on the tree and found that it was dying and there was no way to heal it. The outrage began to set in as they looked to the prisoner for answers. Finding some sick enjoyment in interrogating prisoners, Chainer informed the group to look away as he questioned the prisoner. Taking the prisoner by the back of the head, he slammed him face first into the base of the tree. In a low and cold voice, he began to ask the prisoner short and simple questions about what happened, how many more of them they were, and where they came from. When the prisoner fumbled over his answers or didn’t provide adequate responses, Chainer slammed his face back into the tree.

  • Rowyn cast a spell or used an innate ability to peer into the man’s mind to see what had happened. Saw a man step out of the woods, hurl the spear towards the tree, and scorch everything into its path* — Need clarification here

The Lightning Spear was identified and claimed by Zashied as the Javelin of Lightning.

I believe we returned to the city afterward and spoke with Lissandra and voiced displeasure at being a hit-squad, and informed her they would no longer be hired assassins to do her dirty work

Total loot: 35gp each
Javelin of Lightning
<ending>

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The Birth of an Air Elemental

After the defeat of the menacing fish swarm, the party dared to look through the small barred window on the bolted door. Dekkum being the boldest of the group peered through the window and found a swarm of zombies shambling around. Upon recognizing a meal, the zombies began to pound against the door, forcing the group into action. As the door splintered from the hinges, Zasheid threw two flasks of oil into the oncoming zombies, and Rowyn followed up with a fireball igniting the shambling dead. A well-placed spell of Moonbeam, along with good old fashioned brain smashing carnage so every zombie re-killed and laid to rest. A quick search of the body identified a deformity of varying sorts on every single one of the bodies that could not be identified as post-mortem or not.

Finding a small steel ladder leading to a hatch in the ceiling, Zasheid attempted to unlock and open the hatch. Although he was able to disable the locking mechanism, he lacked the physical prowess to open the portal. Chainer (being the door-kicker-iner that he was) put his shoulder to the task of not-so quietly opening the hatch. Realizing there was something heavy on top, he huffed and puffed and was finally able to wedge a crowbar into the gap, and then force the hatch open causing a ruckus, as something toppled to the floor that had once been on top of the hatch. As Chainer entered through the hatch, he found a dresser on its side, five demonic beings held in restraints, a monstrous being shackled to a table, and a rather put-off looking spell caster standing being a barrier in the room. The wizard asked the obvious question of “What are you doing here?” to which Chainer (being the charismatic charmer and people person that he is) responded that this was the only way out of the sewers, and upon seeing bookshelves, became enamored with the idea of doing some light reading. Zasheid was able to come up out of the sewer and hide behind the toppled dresser during the discussion to help assess the situation. Chainer made a plea to take several of the books and be on his way when Rowyn come up out of the sewer and triggered the wizard into action.
The restraints came off the beasts around the room, and the rest of the party came out of the sewer and jumped into action. One of the beasts barked orders to the subordinates, but they were no match for the merry marauders, and they quickly carved through the beasts. Annoyed and embarrassed, the wizard fled from the room using the cover of his barrier, but before he left, animated the beast on the table and sent it into action. Unfortunately, the animated beast was quickly laid to waste as the party would not be swayed from pursuing the wizard. Zasheid was able to etch away at the runes on the floor to deactivate the barrier (of course, Chainer managed to grab some Necromancy Tomes and study the body before they chased out of the room.)

Zasheid took the lead and explored the three rooms that were on the immediate floor. In the first room, he discovered a library with a flickering light source (they obviously did not tell Chainer). The second room appeared to have nothing of note to it, but the third room contained shuffling and moaning noises through the door which the group opted to not pursue any further. As Zasheid crept up the staircase to the next floor, his spider-senses tingled and he found a trip wire. Rather than trying to have the entire group clamor over it, he attempted to disable the trap (because he said he was “proficient”). Sadly, he was not able to safely remove the trap, and the upper portion of the staircase went crashing down some 15 feet to the floor. As he returned to the group, his response was to “sshhhhh” the group, but thankfully informed him that he was okay, and not to worry. After that incident, they were forced to tell Chainer about the library (if only to explore an alternative means to get up the stairs….and the entire library made it into the bag of holding) as they devised a way to get across the now destroyed staircase. To further exhaust their exploration of means, Zasheid had Chainer kick in the door to the second room (after stating it was "safe). Chainer was rewarded for his superb door kicking abilities with a dart to the shoulder, which he graciously handed to Zasheid. The room contained some magical reagents and study material used by the now long since escaped wizard.

Llearic was able to climb up the shaft of the staircase and string ropes across the expanse in the staircase to get everyone over to the next floor. As they explored the new floor, they found windows that displayed an outdoor courtyard with servants and guards in the regalia of Lady Rainkus. As Zasheid began checking for traps on the doors, a decision was made to open the second doorway in the hallway. Chainer once again did the honors, and with a mighty kick, took the door off the hinges and sent it sailing into the room …. to the not so stunned Lady Rainkus, the wizard (now labeled as a Necromancer), and eight of Lady Rainkus’s guards. Six more guards appeared in the hallway effectively sealing off any escape the party may have had.

Pointing out to Lady Rainkus that she was in league with a Necromancer, and that if we bumbling fools could follow the sewers and zombies to her doorstep, then it was only a matter of time before someone else figured out did NOTHING…..and with Zasheid being no help in his state of shock and “Oh Shit I’m Dead,” and Lady Rainkus promising death or imminent torture, Chainer did the unthinkable. He fished into his pocket for a gem, threw it aginst the far wall, and released an Air Elemental into the room. Even though Chainer gave Lady Rainkus the ultimatum to release them or face the Air Elemental, she couldn’t help but be snarky and refuse the terms of the surrender. Sooooo, Chainer set the Air Elemental onto her and the Necromancer. After a thorough smashing and bashing of the “Lady”, the Air Elemental released a whirlwind and sent Lady Rainkus and the Necromancer flying across the room. While Chainer and his new pet were having fun, the rest of the party began to dispatch the guards in the hallway in an attempt to create an escape route. Rather than fighting fairly, Lady Rainkus opted to vanish into a cloud of smoke, leaving the Necromancer to smooshed to pieces under the destructive power of the Elemental. Chainer was able to get the guards who still remained alive to surrender and even took a few hostage to corroborate their story to the king.

The party escaped back across the fallen staircase and (gently) put the remaining guards at the bottom of the staircase chasm, then fled through the sewers. Sadly Chainer had to say goodbye to his new pet and released it back into the ether from which it came. Their hopes were high as they planned on seeking an audience with the king, or the guard, or anybody in a place to pursue Lady Rainkus as they now had proof of her shady dealings, and attempts to flood the city with undead.

Ending XP: 7,200/14000
Coin: 15gp each

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An Adventure of Information Gathering
Loot Identifying

With the dark and brooding castle cleared of all evil, the team got down to securing their loot. Zasheid boldly picked the lock on the sealed chest and pulled out three sealed containers, several coin. The boxes were scanned by Dekkum and revealed that the largest of the boxes was not magically sealed, and contained three vials of varying colors. The other two smaller boxes both had a magical aura around them, prompting the adventurers to not wish to open them on their own.

After returning to the city and doing some digging, the party was able to track down an organization calling Mazebridge that was willing and able to magically examine and open the sealed containers. The group was able to acquire the following items from the chests:

2,600 gold pieces — 400 silver pieces — 1,000 copper pieces
1 vial – brown/silver/grey = Potion of Climbing (went to Zasheid)
1 vial – gray = Potion of Hill Giant Strength (went to Chainer)
1 vial – clear with a claw = Potion of Animal Friendship (went to Rowyn)
2 Oval stones with a face on each one (facing each other)

The smallest chest (which had a Necromancy, Enchantment and Conjuration aura upon it) was left unopened.

After the loot was procured, the party went back to the Bloody Dagger to recuperate. In the morning, Llearic and Chainer awoke to a severed head in their room. The head belonged to the informant that had told them of the dealings between Lady Rankis and the Thieve’s Guild in the city.

Zasheid quickly sent a message to Lady Rankis informing her of his desire to meet and speak about the severed head that was found, and to ensure he is still in her good graces. Meanwhile, Chainer headed for the city’s library in the hope to learn more about Crexal. Rowyn, Dekkum and Llearic headed for the City Hall in hopes of purchasing the castle as a new base of operations or tracking down the previous owner to find another link to the Hand.

Chainer — Found no additional information about the Noble Houses that could be useful, and only that “Crexal” was a source of power linked to a portal leading to the nine hells, and had the term “demons” associated to the name.

Dekkum / Rowyn/ Llearic — spent all day padding pockets and seeking the right people to speak with, only to learn that they could not purchase the castle and that the previous owner could not provided to them by city hall. However, the location used to be a church property, affiliated with the church of Tomos, and at one point, owned by a Merchant Collective that currently owned properties around town.

After the group met back up again, they decided to head back into the sewers to once again seek any evidence of Lady Rankis’s affiliation with the Thieve’s Guild or any other natural undertakings. After an uneventful walk, the party came to a wide open room with a sealed door at one end. Upon investigating the room, the group was set upon by dark shadows int the water, that turned out to be schools of biting fish. They defeated the fish, and awaited for further action, and questioning why the door would be locked from the inside, and who and why the fish had been left in the pool.

Expedition Ending Experience: 5,800 / 6500
Character Level: 4

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The Return of Carric
Nov 5th Exploration

The troupe was able to find a helpful cleric to remove the petrification from their new friend Zasheid after the encounter with the basilisks in the sewers. Upon returning to the Bloody Dagger, Gilly informs Chainer that Graham is in town and wishes to meet.

While entering the Tavern however, Carric is enjoying a beverage in one of the corner booths waiting for the party as though he hadn’t been sucked back into an alternate dimension.

Graham informed the group that he had been traveling North tracking the Hand, and had uncovered a small operation being run in disguise out of a Church, and sending recruits back to Kyloth. Chainer informed Graham that the same had been found in Sayhurst. He continued by informing the party that there was an unknown sickness affecting those near the coast on the outskirts of town.

After a quick discussion, the group agrees to seek out the illness and put an end to whatever evil is behind it. Following Graham through town, they arrive at a large gothic building with statues around the rooftop. When Zasheid attempted to pick the lock on the door, the statues came to life and attacked the party. They were able to defeat the gargoyles, and after Chainer (as usual) kicked in the front door, the party quickly found themselves outnumbered by five robed figures and two two-headed dogs in the main entry way to the building. After a long drawn out battle, they were able to interrogate one of the robed figures to learn more about what was happening in the tower. He informed the group that there were not many “more of us” in the building, and not to go deeper into the basement because there are things we wouldn’t want to deal with. There also were no more greater demons left in the building, but things that were “not of this world.”

Several of the robed figures had a mark resembling a Hand burned onto their bodies along with self-inflicted cuts. Chainer and Graham immediately discerned that these were rogue Witch Hunters; those that had succumbed to the darker temptations of being a Witch Hunter.

Upon venturing further, Dekkum detected magic and the group found a blue door with a halo that could not be opened safely. Anything that touched it was launched across the room by magic. Further below in the building, there was a room with 4 doors that had blood seeping out beneath each door. Bursting into the room, the group defeated several Manes and Quasities, which were lesser demons, as well as defaced and destroyed summoning circle that was on the floor.

As the group entered the bottom floor, they found a summoning circle glowing and spewing forth lesser demons / shadowy beings into the room. As the beings were defeated, and ice storm appeared in the room and a voice rang out from the behind the portal saying that "we would longer interfere with the plans and powers that had been granted by Creexal. Llearic was able to discern that the portal lead directly to the Abyss! As the group entered further into the room, a woman with a gigantic burnt hand on her back began to throw lightning bolts and magic missiles at the group. The group was eventually able to defeat her, and once defeated, the portal closed in on itself and vanished. The group quickly destroyed the summoning circle on the floor.

On the way out of the building, the magically sealed door(s) was unlocked and the group found a sealed chest to compensate their efforts.

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The Adventure Continues
Enter Zasheir

The adventuring heroes find themselves in the capital city of Kyloth, for once without the usual banter and incredulous Cerric at their side. Kyloth is seat of power for the kingdom, which is currently occupied by the benevolent Helix Rainier, and celebrating its 150th Anniversary of being founded. There are three houses fighting for power: Lord Tolkin, Lord Rainkus and the Noble of Wilhye.

Our heroes settle on the “Bloody Dagger Tavern” as the base of operations, managed by a Dwarf named Gilly (who is a friend to the Witch Hunter guild). The troupe split off in search of additional information:
Chainer – Inquiries into the whereabouts of Graham, the Hand, and the Scholar who fled from Sayhurst).
Llearic – Investigates into the doings of Lord Rainkus, after having been found in league with the WereRats.
Dekkum – Searched for any additional information about the Hilt of his new sword.
Rowyn – Assisted Llearic in the investigation of Lord Rainkus.

After their investigation, Llearic and Rowyn find that there is no longer a Lord Rainkus, only his wife, Lady Rainkus. The late lord passed away within the last month of unknown causes. Before his passing, however, he had begun to change his mannerisms and act out of character. It was uncovered that the Rainkus family had affiliations with the Merchant’s Guild, while there were rumors of her activity with the Thieve’s Guild.

Dekkum uncovered information about a weapon called the “Sun Blade” which matched the hilt he currently possesses. He was able to attune himself to the weapon, and now holds a sword of pure Radiance.

Chainer was unable to find any solid information on the whereabouts of the Witch Hunter Graham, nor any additional on-goings involving the Hand in Kyloth.

After learning about the involvement of Lady Rainkus and the Thieve’s Guild, the group arranges a meeting with a member of the Thieve’s Guild through Gilly at the Bloody Dagger Tavern.
(Enter Zashier – Zashier checks in with his contact in the center of town in an upscale location, only to find that the contact is in-fact his employer, Lady Rainkus. As he is detailing his doings, he senses magic coming from Lady Rainkus. She commands him to kill the group of adventueres causing problems in town, and even though he is able to resist the magical command, he agrees to the mission to save his own skin.)

The party goes to the Festival in town, and on the way back hear a scream come from an alley. A large constrictor snake has a woman in a death grip, while a swarm of smaller snakes begin to emerge from a sewer grate. The party was able to kill the snakes and save the woman (while Zasheir watched from a rooftop hidden from view). The woman explains that the neighborhood has become increasingly scary and that there have been strange noises at night. from the areas around the houses of Rankus and Wilhye.

Upon returning to the Bloody Dragger Tavern, Gilly confirms that there has been some unusual activity going on, and that there has even been some Undead activity in the town. At that time, the group meets with their “Contact” from the Thieve’s Guild while Llearic drinks at the bar. After getting the informant drunk, he confirms that Lady Rainkus does have money tied up in the Thieve’s Guild, and has a strong influence over the guild which has led to fueling the rivalry between the Nobility and the Private sector of merchants.

While speaking with the informant, a strange man appears next to Llearic at the bar and asks why they saved the woman in the alley. After stating it was the “right thing to do,” the man explains that he was commanded by Lady Rainkus to kill the group, but has decided against it. Reveals himself to be Zasheir, an Assasin for hire. After some deliberation, a meeting is set up in the morning to learn if the party can truly trust Zasheir. They meet outside the sewer grate that the snakes were found at and enter the sewers below the city.

Once in the sewer, the party makes their way South/West towards the House of Rainkus. (while to the East is the House of Wilhye). After exploring the sewers, the group encounters a large group of undead. After defeating the horde and finding a corpse pile, they begin to hear dragging noises. Two basilisks appear in the sewer. The Party was able to defeat the beasts, but not before Zasheir was turned to stone. They escaped the Sewers and sought out a Cleric that could help un-petrify the Assassin.

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The Road to Kyloth

With major events pointing them towards Kyloth, the band decided to take to the road to track down further details. On the road they encounter a traveling Halfling merchant on her cart being harassed by some bandits. After a short conversation to confirm the intentions of the bandits, the adventurers make short work of them. The grateful Halfling, Kithri Shortstride (Kat) offers a discount on her wares as well as well as free identification of any items they are carrying that she might be able to recognize. She keeps eyeing Dekkum as if she knows him from somewhere, then upon confirming his name, tells him she met up with his old teacher Mareth. She produces a scroll for Dekkum from Mareth, saying he gave it to her, knowing the island wasn’t so big and that her travels would likely cross paths with Dekkum.

The message spoke of Dekkum’s path towards redemption, and that he knew of a tool that may assist in his coming trials. He provides the necessary information to find and begin the ritual, saying that the test ahead requires it be completed between noon and nightfall. No mention of the path ahead, Dekkum decides that it is still worth pursuing and he and the group headed off to find the location mentioned.

Finding the location in a non-descript stretch of grasslands, Dekkum prayed through the morning, starting the ritual at midday as written. The scene became hazy around the group, before coming back to focus as a thickly wooded area. “Let the games begin” said a small voice, somewhere nearby. There was only one path forward and the trees crowded too close to go another direction, so down the path they went. Then the tests began, first an illusionary Owlbear, followed by some real centaurs, then real Owlbears. They escaped some ambushing spiders, and then rescued a giant elk from the grip of some blights. In the end, they were rewarded with what looked to be an incomplete sword, but the hilt exuded magical power, and was obviously more than could be seen. Once the sword was obtained, the scene faded out, and they were returned to the grasslands. Though they had walked some distance, they were exactly back to the ritual site.

With the new weapon in Dekkum’s hand, they continue on to Kyloth. As they approach they find that Kyloth is in the midst of its 150 year anniversary of the landing and colonization of Espen which started right there in Kyloth. On their path through the colorful sprawling tents toward the city proper, they were stopped by a jeweler. She started by offering her traditional fare, but quickly noted that this group would not be interested in minor trinkets. She brought out a black gem, saying it might be of interest to a magic user. After identifying Carric as the magic user of the group she describes the gem as an anti-magic item that, once in contact with someone under a strong magical enchantment, will crack and nullify said enchantment. As she says this, she hands it to Carric, at which point it immediately cracks. The jeweler is perplexed, but Carric just looks resigned. He realizes what happened, and as his body begins to fade away, he explains to his companions that he will be just fine, but that he is going to be gone for a while. He fades away to nothing, and the broken black gem falls to the ground.

<somewhere>

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Galadhor Hold

After taking a bit of a rest, the group re-entered the church and took the stairway deeper into the earth crossing over a small entrance into a round room. The scene below was a grisly one. Once illuminated, it could be determined that what was once used as a storage area had been converted to a chamber for sacrifices. Blood stained the floor, with satanic markings all around. Rowyn was drawn to a rune on the wall. Once she touched it, a blue light flared, and for an instant, everyone felt judged and weighed. Then, in a blink, they were gone, transported to another location in an instant.

They find themselves in a smaller square chamber, surrounded by stonework they had only seen during their underground foray with the wererats, as well as the round room they came from. Investigating further into the adjoining room, they brought back a desk “locked” away in the ethereal plane. The power of the hold activated, but then turned a sickly red color. This brought about a chain reaction that had them fighting animated swords, armor and skeletons. With some new “old” information in hand from the desk, they fought their way through the hold, fighting off strength sapping Shadows, some more skeletons, a poltergeist and a spector. Locating the vault that was indicated on the map, a small puzzle was all that held them back from few magical items. Using fresh air as their guide, they exited the hold through a small natural cavern that lead out a cave on the south side of the cape that Sahyrst sits on… Baldre’s never going to believe this one…

However, he has confirmed all the other things the adventurers have done and rewarded them for their efforts, a handful of confiscated gems and potions for their hard work.

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