Little 'n' Large

Summer ball
Session 27

Day 3 in the Feywild, continued:

We take six tail feathers from the harpies as proof of our endeavours. Napoleon attaches a note, written in common and explaining that they are working to free the shifters, to the harpy that was left alive. It is woken and flies off to the south-east, towards some mountains, somewhat confused. The party then retires to the farmhouse to rest. The guards kick some shifters out to sleep in the open to make space, and we hear them calling out in the night for the angels to come and take away their tormentors.

Day 4 in the Feywild:

We set off back to Titrian on a misty morning. The route is safe and speedy, and we arrive around noon. Making our way through the crowds to our contact, Théorn spies some shifters of types he hasn’t seen before (beaver and skunk) and Napoleon and Hollan are pickpocketed for 150gp each.

Arriving at our meeting with Meklel, we present him with the harpy tail feathers. He acknowledges our fulfilment of the agreement and officially extends an invitation into the city to us. He seems impressed with our success and says that House Fallael may want to “deepen our friendship” at a later date.

Meklel escorts us to the city entrance to formally invite us in, but about 100ft from the gates a group of figures approach. Three are armoured and wearing House Autumn symbols, but the other three are dressed in finer clothes and sport House Miheil decorations. One is particularly well dressed and aristocratic looking. Meklel greets this last as Bastil Miheil. Bastil notes that until we reach the city gates our invitation doesn’t come into force and Houses Autumn and Miheil are free to stand together against his brother Kellerin‘s murderers. House Autumn told him they had visions of Kellerin’s end and our involvement. He wants vengeance, and in particular wants his brother’s armour “carved from the animal’s body”, leading an attack against us (Encounter 1).

The battle ends with the surrender of Bastil Miheil after too many of his allies are defeated. He offers an invitation into the city from House Miheil to parley. Pieter negotiates with him as we head towards the gates. The gates themselves are made of ironwood and are clad in ivy, and guarded by ceremonial guards from each of the Seasonal Houses. A robed figure with folded arms greets us and asks who enters. Bastil and Meklel both formally sponsor us and we are welcomed in, though Théorn and Pennyworth are advised not to remain too long.

We pass through the gates and see a grand palace that rotates in the centre of the city. A weathervane on the top is currently pointing towards a sun, which we take to be indicating that the evening’s court will be held in the palace of House Summer, as we’ve previously been told. We accept the hospitality of House Fallael and are taken to ?? by Meklel.

Mira, our concierge, greets us and advises us to avoid the areas of House Miheil and House Autumn. She escorts us to living quarters and assigned two shifter servants: one female razorclaw and one skunk shifter (who informs us that they’re called “Stinkers”).

Théorn talks to the shifters while Pennyworth asks Mira about Lucan, the elf that Alyssa Withers is searching for. Mira says she could announce our presence to him if he is here, but she can’t confirm whether he is or not. She asks if we are associates of Alyssa, to which Pieter responds that we ask on her behalf.

Max studies a map of the city while Napoleon and Pieter go to trade in the various furs and gems we’ve acquired. They find Sharrod Yirrian, who describes himself as a custodian of interesting items, rather than a shopkeeper. He gives us 10% more than we expected for the displacer beast furs and still seems happy. After payment, Pieter asks him why he was so happy with the deal and he responds that an artisan needs such things but that unless he were distracted by the acquisition of an interesting item his manners would not allow him to reveal who. Pieter gives him a Talon Amulet +1 and Sharrod reveals that he is one of just 5 suppliers to the artisan Elthien. He even says he could arrange an introduction within a few days, or sooner if we have an item that might interest Elthien. It will cost us 10% of the price of the item we procure as commission. Pieter tells him we have the skin of a displacer beast packlord, and Sharrod says he may even meet with us the same day.

Max goes dress shopping, meanwhile, in her little girl disguise. She finds a shop and is attended to by an eladrin lady and a hedgehog shifter. She is offered a beautiful dress in return for a favour. If she embarrasses Lyril Miheil at a public function then the dress is hers. She’s given a nice summer dress until the favour is done. Pennyworth procures a decorative burqa for 20gp.

At around 5:00pm a squirrel appears at our window and sings, inviting us to a meeting with Elthien and Sharrod. We all go to see what develops, and on entering the shop we find an incredibly old looking eladrin seated with two strange looking tools. Elthien speaks with short, clipped tones of impatience but is very pleased with the displacer beast packlord pelt, especially with how fresh it is. He makes us an offer. For 4,000gp he will produce either 3 suits of displacer beast armour +3, or a single suit of displacer beast armour +4. We settle on some feyleather displacer armour +4 for Hollan Darkwing to wear, and pay Sharrod the 400gp commission we owe him. Pennyworth also presents the elemental gemstones he acquired from the Temple of the Clear Springs and asks for a circlet of some sort to be made. This costs him 400gp.

We then go to spruce up before attending the Summer court in the evening. Hollan finds a local gnome who decorates his armour in summer themes in return for the crystal ball that Hollan has been keeping.

Bastil Miheil arrives to escort us to court in the Summer palace. It is a glorious golden palace, though there is a feeling of tension in the air. Sprites and faeries fly decorations around the large ballroom. There is a sandy circle in the centre of the room, then about 20ft out from that a circular table. We are welcomed by a maître d’ called The Castellan, who explains the etiquette and process of the evening. The guests arrive in order of importance, with the most important being last. Then petitions are brought before The Lady of the Seasons, before finally getting to food and entertainment.

He then announces our arrival and takes us to our various seats. Théorn is seated at the periphery with some rough looking adventurers, including a half-orc. Pieter is seated with Bastil Miheil, on his (Pieter’s? Bastil’s?) request. The remainder of the party are placed with other non-eladrin, including a human woman later identified as Alyssa Withers.

We get settled in, exchanging pleasantries to a general hubbub of gossip and discussion. Then the leaders of the noble houses of Titrian are announced: Saldine Dejarin arrives with a bladeling, and Tuthien Miheil arrives along with his daughter, Lyril Miheil. Finally, The Lady of the Seasons enters. She is tall and spindly, with legs that bend in many places, and walks with an almost clockwork gait. She wears a mask indicating summer, and we can see those of other seasons around her head.

She sits, and calls for petitions. First to approach her is Halley Windrunner, an elf who gives an impassioned speech asking for a fourth and final time for her eladrin cousins to give aid to her tribe before they are completely destroyed by the dragon Shivastri. The Lady waves her away, much to her distress. There are then a few minor disputes between nobles, one of which leads to a brief duel between a pair of eladrin in the sandy arena and resulting in the death of one of the combatants. Finally, Alyssa Withers approaches The Lady and requests to be allowed to speak to Lucan about her sister. She emphasies that she means him no harm and simply wants to ask some questions. The Lady ignores her completely.

Lyril Miheil remarks idly to Pieter that the party is boring, with only a single death so far. Food is served, and she chats to Pieter, asking the manner of her older brother Kellerin’s death. Pieter explains in diplomatic terms, but she is not at all unhappy as she is now next in line to be leader of House Miheil.

Théorn talks to the half-orc at his table in draconic. His name is Ugg Dwarfslayer, and he is here as a guest of House Dejarin, trying to work his way home to the mundane realm. Pennyworth enquires about Fereal and has him pointed out as the eladrin closest to Théorn’s part of the table. He goes over to talk to him. Fereal is in a bit of a funk, seeming haunted and his eyes searching the crowds. Pennyworth says he wishes to hear his stories. Fereal replies that he wants only one thing, and that “he has been taken from me” as he “lost him two years ago in this den of sin”. He refers to his friend/partner/lover Mathis Andrellian, a paladin in House Summer who disappeared two years ago. Nobody will talk to Fereal of it when he tries to ask. Pennyworth offers to assist him in return for stories of Kalashnakash.

Napoleon is approached by the bladeling that arrived with Saldine Dejarin. He introduces himself as Kennet Sharma and says he is seeking Smax O’Desperation, asking Napoleon if he is familiar with Smax, as he has heard of the party’s activities. He mentions in passing that it has been three months since the Temple of the Clear Springs was cleared (though it seems a much shorter time for the party). Napoleon replies that he hasn’t had dealings with Smax for a long time, and Kennet remarks that Smax can not be trusted. He departs, but leaves Napoleon with a business card that declares Kennet to be working in “Personal Removals”.

Napoleon and Pieter then go to talk to Halley Windrunner. She is drunk and bitter, but perks up a little when we tell her of our plans to battle Shivastri. She isn’t impressed at first, but the mention of slaying Korax raises her estimation of the party’s capabilities. She can’t help much, but offers assistance in transportation back to the mundane realm when we’re ready, and is greatly appreciative.

Pieter then goes to talk to the House Summer retinue, and seeks an introduction to Lady Carpathia. After some discussion he is eventually lead by a servant through winding corrdors to a small, simple room containing Lady Carpathia. Pieter explains our intentions towards Shivastri, which she seems happy about. He then explains about our desire to use Kalashnakash’s sword for these purposes. Lady Carpathia seems concerned, but considers it. She explains that she needs a favour done. Zidelis Yirrian and her entourage have caused insult and Lady Carpathia wishes them to be dealt with permanently. However, this needs to be done after they have left the hospitality of her court and before they arrive at their home. She says that if by sunrise they still have not arrived at the residences of House Yirrian then she will consider the task complete and grant us the requested truth boons.

Meanwhile, Théorn attempts to assist Max in her attempts to embarrass Lyril Miheil. He approaches the lady, loudly proclaims her beautiful and kisses her full on the lips. She is outraged and calls for guards, whipping him across the face. Everyone freezes, as the Lady of the Seasons approaches. She traces a finger along the cut on Théorn’s face and tastes the blood. She says she recognises his spirit, and compares it to that of Kalashnakash. Théorn debates with her a little over the status of shifters and her treaty with Kalashnakash, until The Lady declares tomorrow’s banquet to be in House Dejarin and that all shifters are invited if they wish to attend of their own free will. The entertainment will be a duel between Lyril Miheil and Théorn Deodhoran. At this point, the party is over.

Pieter identifies Zidelis and her band of paramours as the guests start to leave, and shares details of Lady Carpathia’s request with the rest of the party. Zidelis’ entourage includes Davec, an eladrin archer, and Gern Sironson, a gnome bard. Some in the party have reservations about a planned murder, but an ambush is prepared and we pin them down in an alleyway. Théorn begins to prompt an argument with Zidelis and Gern. Napoleon’s conscience gets the better of him, however, and steps in to diffuse the fight before it begins. Instead he invites them to a drinking contest (Skill Challenge), should they know of a suitable establishment nearby. Gern leads them to a “human bar” in the city and they settle at a table. Napoleon speaks to a waiter to get Gern’s drink spiked, but he is wise to such tactics and randomises the selection of mugs each round once they arrive at the table. At the end of a very messy night of drinking and a close call on Gern Sironson’s iron constitution, Théorn is the only person left standing and claims victory, carrying his compatriots back to their quarters and leaving the defeated group to slumber well past dawn.

Day 5 in the Feywild:

At 9am a squirrel arrives and acknowledges the success of the party’s favour to Lady Carpathia, as Zidelis and her group did not return home by sunrise, and invites us to the palace of House Summer in 2 hours’ time to claim our prize. Théorn spends this time inviting and encouraging the shifter servants to attend the evening’s festivities in House Dejarin.

We’re wary of walking through House Miheil territory to get to House Summer, so we ask our concierge if she can help us. Mira tells us she can arrange for us to be teleported directly to the palace, but it will cost an interesting item or some gemstones. We offer the Boots of Adept Charging that Théorn no longer needs, which seems to be acceptable. We put all our weapons and armour into the Bag of Holding, and are taken to a room for transport.

The teleportation arrives in the palace ballroom where court was held the night before. The room is a bit darker and more gloomy than yesterday, and there are beetles scuttling everywhere. The Castellan greets us, accompanied by guards, and asks our business. We explain that we’re here to see Lady Carpathia about a favour and he escorts us into a small room. There is a brief flash, and we find ourselves in another room.

Lady Carpathia enters. She says she does not wish to speak of what happened, but thanks us and says we may have one truth boon each if we wish. However, she warns us that each question comes with a price, though isn’t clear on what that price is. She also says that while the boon trance is upon her she changes, and we should only trust what she says that directly pertains to answering our question. She then leaves to prepare.

After a short while we are ushered into a room with ledges on either side and an abyss between. The Castellan teleports us all across, and we then enter a new room containing only simple wooden benches. In turn, Pieter, Pennyworth and Théorn pass through the door to ask their questions, whist the rest of the party remains and waits.

The three return together and hurriedly request the armour and weapons from the Bag of Holding. Whilst suiting up, Pennyworth explains that someone or something (that we suspect to be Black Annis) is masquerading as Lady Carpathia and keeping both her, and Mathis Andrellian, prisoner in the palace. Mathis was able to see through the disguise, and was thus imprisoned.

The doors open, and ‘Lady Carpathia’ enters with a retinue of guards. When accused of being an imposter, she acknowledges it and says she never intended to keep us alive. She just wanted to see what answers we could wring out of the real Lady Carpathia. She leaves, ordering the guards to kill us (Encounter 2).

Once we defeat the guards, we recap what answers were given to the three questions asked:

  1. Pieter asked Lady Carpathia what her story was. She told him that the enemy had swarmed her with bugs and taken her face.
  2. Pennyworth asked how we could find Mathis Andrellian. Lady Carpathia responded that he was in the deepest recesses of the building, in a place that lies beyond the sleeping area of the master of the palace.
  3. Théorn asked of the fate of Kalashnakash after meeting with The Lady of the Seasons. He is told that four champions from seasonal houses approached. Three of them attacked and died. The final champion, Fereal, showed Kalashnakash what he’d done, and he felt remorseful and left (leaving the sword, we think) to kill himself, but on the blade of another. There is an implication that it might have been Kennet Sharma.

Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan838 remainingBlade bolt, Counterstrike Guards, Sword of Gales24,501 (10)
Max?? remaining?24,334 (10)
Napoleon674 remainingCouteurs of Second Chance, Shadow Hound Armour25,645 (10)
Pennyworth787 remainingFeast of Souls, Tyrannical Threat, Elemental Air Crystal25,390 (10)
Pieter?? remaining?24,819 (10)
Théorn576 remainingCombat Surge, Oak Hammer Rage25,526 (10)

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Arrival at Titrian
Session 26

Day 2 in the Feywild, continued?:

Concerned about the warning of the Curse of Black Annis, we set off back to the site of Dappledown at as fast a pace as we can manage. Unfortunately this means a lot of stumbling into funghi (releasing debilitating spores), tripping over branches (taking damage) and disturbing clouds of biting insects (hindering healing). We also become aware towards the end of this leg of our travels that the noises have attracted predators and we’re being stalked, before a trio of sabre-tooth tigers attacks us (Encounter 1) just before we reach our destination.

Shortly after we arrive at the site of Dappledown, though we can no longer find it, with about 7 hours until night fall. Three obvious paths begin from here, each looking oddly inviting. They show:

Path 1. Tree branches showing signs of different seasons
Path 2. Elegant sweeping branches, sweet smelling flowers and so forth
Path 3. A rock path leading up to birds, high winds and steep drops

We look to Théorn, our tracker, for advice. After a brief communing with his senses and his god, he feels a pull towards the Path of Seasons. We duly set off down this path. No sooner have we gone a few paces than we find ourselves separated somehow and confronted by animate trees that talk to us.

  • Théorn is told by a snow-covered pine that he is a child of winter, and that we must walk each season as though through the seasons of life.
  • Pieter is greeted by an elm and given the “blessing of summer”.
  • Pennyworth chats with a willow, who calls him a child of spring because of the life within him.
  • Max is visited by an ???, named a child of autumn and told of the glories between summer and winter.
  • Hollan, talking to an elm split by lightning, is asked if he is the danger or the shelter of summer. He replies that he is both, and the split tree merges back together.
  • Napoleon is found by an acorn, he is the seed of potential. Other have a path, where he has a map and can choose his path. Napoleon chooses spring: capricious, full of life and helping others grow.

The group then reappears back together upon the path, surrounded by signs of spring. We continue walking, but after an hour we seem to be treading the same ground over and over again. We adjust our marching order to match the order of the seasons. All that changes is that Napoleon and Pennyworth feel happy whilst the rest of the party feels discontented. After an hour of this we try a different tactic, with the summer people in front and fixing summer in our minds (as the next season after spring). This too fails to work.

Finally we try crawling like children (the springtime of life), and the path changes to summer. We stride through summer and arrive in autumn with sunset approaching fast. We gather branches for walking sticks to walk through autumn, and notice movement out of the corners of our eyes while doing so.

Pennyworth has a sudden memory flashback, of him and four other “iron-born” as a group called ‘The Iron Fist of Kezrak Azad’, reaping a harvest of eladrin while armed with glaives.

The sun sets on the autumn path as we move in to winter. We hear a howling on the wind and cackling at the edges of our perception. A shadow flits across the face of the moon, and suddenly the nieces of Black Annis, Selenis and Glump, joined by her sister Thistlewhite, attack us along with their eladrin bodyguards (Encounter 2).

After defeating the attack we take the bodies of our fallen foes to enact a makeshift funeral procession. Thus winter turns once again to spring and the paths ends in sight of the large, gleaming city of Titrian. It is surrounded by walls, with caravans going in and out of the gates. Fey residents are visible all around, and a large fair is present around the entrance. The city itself is dominated by a huge tower, surrounded by eight smaller towers. We light a funeral pyre at a distance to complete the process and approach the fair, with Pennyworth and Théorn disguised by heavy cloaks (Quest Complete).

First we make our way to the wine tent, where the barkeep appears to be part tree. Napoleon buys a drink, whilst Pieter retires to a table with a bottle of wine and two glasses to watch a half-elven bard performing. A human woman joins him and introduces herself as Alyssa Withers. Her family were the protectors of Orm, one of the countries of the Hundred Kingdoms. Pieter asks if Alyssa knows of the Temple of the Clear Springs. She has, but only as a lost temple, and begins to get confused over timings from Pieter’s choice of words and begins to worry that she may be too late for her quest. She is searching for her sister Cassandra, a princess of Orm. The last person to see Cassandra was an elf called Lucan who has taken refuge with House Fallael. Alyssa wants someone to gain access to him to ask questions. If we can help her finding Lucan then she will help us as best she can. She will be back here in X days to meet us, if we have anything to help her.

She also explains a little of the politics of Titrian to Pieter. The city is run by eight noble houses:

House Miheil (“Hunters”)House Spring
House Yirrian (“Artisans”)House Summer
House Dejarin (“Who Remain”)House Autumn
House Fallael (“Accepting”)House Winter

along with the Lady of the Seasons. She mentions that House Fallael, lead by Blissit, has a dislike of the hunting of sentient creatures which causes them to quarrel with House Miheil, and that she is a guest of House Yirrian.

Pieter presses Alyssa for more information on our searches. She’s heard a lot of Kalashnakash since arriving in the feywild, mostly as stories to scare children. She says some of the stories don’t make sense, and some even suggest that Kalashnakash is still alive. She has also heard of some sort bargain between him and the Lady of the Seasons. The stories say he sacked Titrian, killing all the children and all but one of House Dejarin. He also struck the Lady of the Seasons a terrible blow, which lead to a truce whereby shifters wouldn’t be taken as slaves. As we’ve seen, they are again being taken as slaves now but Kalashnakash has not returned. His sword was known as “Elf Sorrow”, apparently.

Hollan goes looking for weaponsmiths to try find someone to make him some javelins using the sabretooth tiger teeth. He finds that Elthien, a master weaponsmith, is currently a guest of House Yirrian and looking for something interesting for his next commission.

Théorn finds another bar, with shifter kids that look like foxes and hares serving the drinks. Asking around he’s told of rumours that someone is breeding shifters as servants, specifically trying for pale fur and violet eyes, and to speak to a shifter called Old Gerret for information. Gerret is suspicious of uncollared shifters but once won over he directs Théorn to another shifter in the tent called Bobbit. Théorn goes to find him. Bobbit tells Théorn that the breeding shifters are owned by Lyril Miheil and that uncollared shifters that are caught get sent to House Miheil’s mines. Every month one of them is given to the cyclops tribe as tribute.

Pieter talks to another bard and invites him to a private tent he’s hired for the group to sleep in (40gp/night). The party regroups and shares what they have learned before being joined by the bard. We learn that the Lady of the Seasons holds court in one of the houses of the four seasons every three days, with no discernible pattern to the selection. Invitation into the city grants you guest status, which means that any slight you cause is a matter between you and the target. Without this guest status, any insult means that the whole city turns on you. Apparently Kalashnakash got an invitation into the city, meaning that each house had to fight him separately, though Houses Spring and Fallael each had few casualties apparently.

The bard arrives and negotiates a price for the information we want. Once paid, he adds a little more information about the legends. Kalashnakash brought 12 tribes of shifters into the feywild with him (presumably most of these are extinct on the normal plane) and may be sleeping until the 12 tribes need him. A ‘traitor’ invited him into the city and the Lady of the Seasons hasn’t spoken since the truce. There are several rumours of what might have happened to his blade but Lady Carpathia of House Summer knows some facts, and will grant a boon for a price. The various rumours are as follows:

  • The Lady of the Seasons has the blade
  • The blade was stolen by Black Annis
  • Fereal of House Winter, the only survivor of the battle by all the House champions against Kalashnakash, may have the sword.

The group then sets about seeking more information on how to gain an invitation into the city. We’re told that they are often given in return for rare items or services rendered. Napoleon talks to a fur trader to see about being put in touch with someone who might offer an invitation in return for the displacer beast packlord skin, but becomes suspicious about the details and notices he is followed when leaving the stall. He loses the tail and returns to the group.

Pennyworth overhears some half-elves discussing methods of procuring invitations, and learns that House Fallael often prefers services rendered in the form of dangerous activities due to a lack of their own brave warriors. Pieter learns that Lady Carpathia has been interacting a lot more in recent times, attending House Yirrian often but granting the truth boons less often.

Pieter goes to talk to Meklel, a representative for House Fallael. He is a little more squat and swarthy than most eladrin (we suspect part elf). He seems curious about our party, as he there is a group of harpies troubling a silk farm to the south and he wants someone to deal with them. He seems uncomfortable when referring to the workers on the farm, though. Pieter agrees to the mission and gets directions to the farm. Meklel says to return to him here, or to one of his brothers (his uncle has many siblings), with six harpy tail feathers once we’ve completed this task. We return to the tent for an extended rest for the night, as it is getting late.

Day 3 in the Feywild:

First thing in the morning we set off for the silk farms, using the map provided. The journey seems much easier than our earlier travels in the feywild. We reach the farms after a few hours. At first we hear only silence, then … ??

Shifters work along ivy-clad walls with large worms on them. The shifters are shaved and iron-collared, to Théorn’s disgust. Théorn tries to talk to the workers but they are not very responsive, seemingly from a life in captivity. They talk of the “angels” who come from the skies and take away their tormentors. Two armoured eladrin approach us and we make our introductions. They tell us that the harpies destroy and foul things, abduct and attack eladrin guards but leave the docile workers alone. They attack at dawn and dusk, and seemingly often in reply to cries from the workers. Napoleon suspects that negotiation might even be possible, if we explain to the harpies that we’re working to liberate the shifters, but the rest of the party thinks it’s too risky and decides to do battle to be sure of getting the invitation into the city that we need.

With dusk some time away we search around for an open area to entrap the harpies and set up some campfires to provide enough light for battle. Napoleon ‘chastises’ Théorn with a whip to ensure authentic cries, until we hear the sounds of harpies approaching. Most of the group stuffs wax in their ears to block out the dangerous sounds of harpies’ cries, though Napoleon and Hollan only follow suit after suffering the effects. The harpies are defeated (Encounter 3) and 6 feathers are gathered. Napoleon spares the life of the one he defeats, knocking it unconscious instead and hoping to send back a message somehow…


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan267 remainingBlade bolt, Bahamut’s Protective Ward, Dimensional Thunder22,819 (10)
Max709 remaining-22,652 (10)
Napoleon456 remainingAll except Elemental Cube23,963 (10)
Pennyworth4810 remainingVile Brand, Belt of Fitness23,708 (10)
Pieter85?10 remaining?Medic’s Longsword, Hallowed Circle?23,137 (10)
Théorn629 remainingTorc of Fortune23,844 (10)

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Orienteering in the Feywild
Session 25

Day 1 in the Feywild, continued:

Elsewhere…

Pennyworth and Max awake in darkness within a blue, glowing pentagram. They are in a roughly circular cavern about 40-50 ft across. There is another glowing blue pentagram on the wall and a ledge running around it approximately 30 ft up that leads to an exit. They can hear noises from the exit, but can’t make out detail. Pennyworth cracks open a sunrod, which prompts sounds of surprise from the exit, then silence.

Investigating the pentagram, Pennyworth vaguely recognises it as being designed for those like him, and assumes that Max was simply swept along with him. Testing this, Pennyworth can’t exit the circle, but Max is able to. As she steps out, they hear a voice say “Interesting”. Then Pennyworth teleports out.

A woman enters the cavern. She looks to be in her mid-20s, either human or elven, with long dark hair. She notes that Pennyworth is unusual, and introduces herself as Juvis. She says that it’s been a long time since any iron-born tried to bring cold iron to the feywild, and that the trap holds those not breathing and sheathed in metal. Pennyworth makes introductions and explains that our mission here is not to do with the fey and asks to be allowed to leave. Juvis requests a bribe, of a magical item, but Pennyworth and Max refuse so she leaves.

Once she is out of the cavern Pennyworth summons Chardonnay. He sends her flying up to scout, and then to take a rope up and loop it round a boulder so that they can climb up. As Pennyworth clambers up, Juvis and an eladrin run back in. Pennyworth negotiates with them to stall for time while Max climbs up but they attack (Encounter 1a).

Meanwhile…

Théorn puts on Kellerin‘s armour to taunt him, while Pieter negotiates with him in elvish. Kellerin hasn’t heard of Shivastri, but mentions that he comes from the city of Titrian, which is governed by 8 noble houses. Pieter offers whatever funereal rites would be needed for the dead centaurs and Lellerian. We agree to bring along the bodyguard’s body for resurrection. Kellerin tells us there are three paths to the city:

  1. The Path of Seasons
  2. The Path of Sky
  3. The Path of the Fair

and that the next stop on the way is the gnome village of Dappledown. Napoleon tries asking about the missing companions, and at his description of Pennyworth Kellerin mentions holding defences guarded by “Wise Women”, or Hags.

The group starts walking, with finding their companions fixed firmly in their minds. Further along the foliage around the path changes to autumnal and we hear singing in elvish (a song about eating gnomes). Kellerin says it’s the song of a Verbeeg hunting party. Verbeegs are a type of giant, but a little one, hence the name (“For giants, they’re not verbeeg”). We decide to hide beside the path and see three giants carrying four gnomes trussed up on poles, two each between them. Unfortunately they see Napoleon and attack (Encounter 1b).

Back with Max and Pennyworth…

Max and Pennyworth explore the caverns. Pennyworth fails to disrupt the blue pentagrams, but they find red and purple pits. It does not appear to be an obvious Hag’s lair. Pennyworth tries to disrupt the spells by overloading them. Explosions ensue and the cavern shakes as Max and Pennyworth flee the crumbling and imploding caves. Rocks fall. Nobody dies.

Outside, Max and Pennyworth find themselves in front of a hill, with snow-laden trees all around. Fey energy is all around and Chardonnay can smell Winterclaw owlbears in the vicinity. They set off towards a mountain on the horizon.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party…

Napoleon frees the gnomes, named Zordan, Zavlinda, Lane and Harrow. Zordan explains that they will answer questions, but that one of them lies while the others tell the truth. Each can be asked a question in turn, otherwise the words will be twisted by “The Lady” (Lady of the Seasons ?).

Some complicated and confusing questioning eventually suggests that we travel east, “to where the bears shit ice”. We set off, and the surroundings eventually shift from autumn to winter. Théorn finds some dung, stepping on it and hearing it crunch icily.

Returning to the others…

Chardonnay flies up to see the mountain and act as a waypoint, but she keeps ending up behind. Shadowy figures can be seen in the trees, stalking along nearby, as Max and Pennyworth seem to be travelling in circles.

The shadowy figures turn out to be the rest of the group, and the party is reunited. After brief updates from both sides, Kellerin interrupts to tell us that we’ve been targeted by a displacer beast packlord. As we prepare for attack, four displacer beasts stalk out of the forest, followed later by the packlord (Encounter 2). The fight is difficult. Kellerin is eaten by the packlord and Pieter doesn’t survive the battle.

Afterwards, Théorn skins the beasts and we gather up Pieter’s body before stumbling in a daze and making our way to Dappledown. Arriving at the town we’re greeted by Zordan offering gnome mead, which Théorn drinks. He says that we’ll have to talk to Quellesteen, the village elder, about raising Pieter and that she can be found in the tavern.

We head to the tavern. Quellesteen sits snoring by the fire, a gnome woman with a long, braided beard. Napoleon tries to buy everyone a drink, but they won’t take his money and are insulted so give him “the bad drink”. He drinks it and promptly falls asleep in the chair opposite Quellesteen, who wakes up and rises.

Théorn negotiates with her, which is helped because we apparently killed “The Pack of Queen Scar”. She takes the party (sans Napoleon) through a secret passageway behind the fireplace into her study. After some searching she offers a raise dead spell that she acquired as a gift from House Miheil, in return for 700gp (the gnomes use it when they travel outside the feywild) and a favour. The gnome village is scared of two things. First, there is a tribe of cyclops to the north that raids their town. Secondly, there is a pack of firbolgs to the south who eat gnomes. If we deal with either one of those, then the favour will be considered done. Once the favour is done we won’t be able to find the village if we return, just the paths to Titrian.

Day 2 in the Feywild:

Pieter has visions whilst deceased, of the sun, a dragon, a man with a hammer, a raven and a handshake. Then everyone awakens half-buried in soft earth and leaves. We dig ourselves out easily, feeling well rested. Pieter, alive again, senses that Shivastri knows he is back and will be searching for him.

Théorn finds a leaf attached to him. It has a message written on it that says one of his companions slew Juvis the Hag, and the curse of Black Annis is upon him. That we would best be in civilisation before night falls.

We pick a direction, think of the firbolg pack, and set off at a reasonable pace. Despite a few minor injuries and mishaps we find a firbolg camp and deduce that they aren’t far away, so we track them quickly until we get close enough to hear them, then set an ambush which quickly dispatches the firbolg pack (Encounter 3).


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
HollanFullall remainingnone20,499 (9)
MaxFullall remainingnone22,152 (10)
Napoleon525 remaining (HS value -1)none21,643 (10)
PennyworthFull1 usedFeast of Souls21,388 (10)
PieterFull1 usednone20,817 (10)
Théorn759 remainingCombat Surge, Oak Hammer Rage21,524 (10)
View
Up a mountain and into the Feywild
Session 24

Day 54, continued:

The party takes on a ranger named Robin as a guide, introduced to us by Clementine. Suddenly, Pieter collapses. Investigating, the arcane PCs can sense that he has travelled through time somehow and upon checking for injury we discover that he has a large, jagged scar across his chest, bubbling with acid. Some sort of intervention from Bahamut is apparently keeping the wound at bay, but it is not healing. The wound appears to have been caused by a dragon’s claw. Pieter awakes, and says that the dragon knows he is coming. We set off after Rakanx in a hurry.

The new hunter assists us with the tracks. Rakanx appears to be just a few hours ahead, and a little after noon we pass through Bayard. The villagers there say they saw a small boy riding a huge horse through town, and Robin locates tracks to match heading in the right direction. About 6 hours later we arrive in the foothills of the mountains where the griffon outpost is located. Night is falling and we’re getting hungry, so we make camp. We find a defensible clearing, but there are what appear to be orc statues all around. Fearing basilisks, we set up a watch throughout the night. Some noises are heard, but nothing disturbs out rest.

Day 55:

We wake early and try to pick up the trail. We come across a large horse unattended and untethered, with tracks from small footprints nearby that the ranger estimates to be about 18 hours old. The path from here is rocky and uneven, so we tie up the horses and continue on foot.

Barely an hour in the path is blocked by rubble from a rock slide. While climbing through, Théorn prompts a further rock slide which leaves him and Napoleon trapped under boulders. It takes some time to free them, and in the process the Sword of Gales is snapped whilst being used as a lever. The party decides to rest for an hour to allow Hollan to repair the weapon.

Once we pick up the pace again, the trail starts to drop off sharply to one side so we make our way carefully but as quickly as we can. By midday we come to a chasm. There is a rope bridge attached to the other side, but it has been cut on our side. With a combination of teleporting and firing arrows attached to ropes we are able to secure the bridge temporarily and somewhat shakily for a few crossings, but the knots fail and Théorn tumbles to the bottom of the chasm. He survives and is able to climb up, but is not in good shape.

These problems have delayed us by about 4 hours now, but we find the trail again. After a short way, the small footprints shift to large clawed dragonborn prints. A sharp smell is also apparent, and along the path we find a basilisk corpse. It’s been cut in half and poison is dripping from the wounds. We can also hear more basilisk noises around the corner in a slightly wider section of the route, so we move into position and attack pre-emptively (Encounter 1).

Continuing past the basilisk encounter, we start to see creatures flying a long way above us that we suspect are griffons. As we get closer Hollan senses the power of an arcane ritual getting close to completion ahead, so we begin to run. This isn’t without its problems, as Napoleon and Pieter fall behind and the latter nearly slips over the side of the cliff path, but we arrive before the ritual has been finished.

At the top of the mountain we find a clearing of sorts with some stables. Outside, we are shocked to see the small boy who guided Pennyworth to the barn for his meeting with Fyodor conducting the ritual with the aid of scrolls and a set of candles. When he sees us he changes shape, into a large dragonborn. Four griffons circle nearby. Rakanx whistles and a drake lands next to him. Pieter recognises both the portal drake and Rakanx, whom he identifies as one of Shivastri’s lieutenants, from his past. Rakanx offers to let Robin depart, as she isn’t involved. In response she fires an arrow at the portal drake, missing but prompting the start of a fight (Encounter 2) which includes Hollan putting out the candles and disrupting the ritual, and Napoleon seeming to tame The Best Griffon Ever.

The battle results in the death of Rakanx, so after the fight Napoleon takes The Best Griffon Ever to the stable to feed it and calm it down while the rest of the party uses a scroll of raise dead to bring Rakanx back to life for interrogation. During the questioning, Pieter shows his wound and reveals that he was present at the razing of the Temple of the Clear Springs.

After some bluster, where he reveals that a great duergar smith named Ganash forged his sword, and has also forged other weapons for Shivastri’s minions, we learn that Rakanx is not afraid of death, as he believes he can serve Tiamat in the afterlife. So we threaten him instead with ? (Don’t remember. Pennyworth eating his soul?) and he promises to answer three questions in return for a clean death.

Firstly we ask what Shivastri’s intentions were towards this area, and why. It transpires that her sisters are displeased with her relationship with Kagil, the beholder, and so Shivastri is wanting to relocate. To this end she sent Rakanx as her agent to take control of appropriate business, people and places as necessary to give her a power base when she arrived so that she could begin breeding without interference or distraction.

Next we asked where he was planning to go once he had acquired a griffon mount, and what his plans were. Sadly this tells us little, as he was just heading back to Shivastri’s lair to report in and get further orders.

Finally we seek information about the location of Shivastri’s lair and surroundings, including what forces we might encounter. Rakanx tells us that her lair lies to the south in a dormant volcano called Mount Balash, and that her territory extends north of this volcano over a swamp named the Slough of Despond up to the town of Fontaine. This town doesn’t actually know they are in Shivastri’s territory yet, but other local populations include elf remnants, bullywug tribes, lizardfolk lands, underground duergar dwellings and some dragonborn worhippers of Tiamat.

As we promised, we grant Rakanx a swift, clean death. Napoleon then sets The Best Griffon Ever free and the party makes its way at a more leisurely pace back to Ravensburgh. Along the way groups of gnolls are sighted, but they run off when they see us.

Day 56:

Back in Ravensburgh we go to Thena to see if she has maps of the area to the south. Unfortunately she does not, and would be grateful if we could bring any back with us, but she does know that Fontaine is one stop along a river trade route. It’s a town where humans and bullywugs come together to trade.

Théorn asks Thena if she knows of the shifter legends of Kalashnakash. She knows a little, thanks to an eladrin friend from university called Etheriel. Kalashnakash apparently wasn’t from this area, and wielded a sword called “Elf-Killer” that destroys the souls of fey creatures. This makes him unpopular with eladrin, and they call him “the beast with one long claw”.

The party decides that as we suspect there to be a portal in nearby forests (Session 04) we are better off pursuing this avenue of investigation before making the long trip south to deal with Shivastri. Théorn enquires of Thena whether she sells scrolls to open portals to the feywild. She says she can reopen existing portals, but that she would have to come along herself to perform the ritual. We pay her in advance using loot acquired from defeating Rakanx and go about making preparations for departure.

Hollan talks to Garn Gunderson to ask if he is able to further enhance magical weapons. He is only able to forge mundane items though. The magical armour he produced as a prize for Goblinfest 25 was enchanted by a mage called Merlua, but she usually lives in a village in Affen. He gives Hollan the location, though.

Robin is sent to buy a scroll of raise dead from Pastor Waverley. He discovers that she can’t read and sells her a scroll, along with some pipeweed, that we later determine to be his laundry list. When the rest of the party accompanies her back to get it replaced, he apologises for the clerical error and blames it on Albar. Whilst fetching the correct scroll he mentions that he is pushing to have to the town of Ravensburgh renamed “Waverley”.

Day 57:

The party rests for the night, then in the morning collects Thena and we head east to the forest. As we approach the feywild portal area we feel our senses heightened, colours are brighter and nature seems more vivid. Once we arrive in at the oak tree Thena performs the ritual. Whilst staring at the tree, most of the party transitions into the feywild. However, once we’ve arrived we discover that Thena, Pennyworth and Max have vanished.

Day 1 in the Feywild:

The remainder of the party, finding themselves in the feywild with no real idea where they are, decide to go searching for people by trying to find a river to follow. Robin finds evidence suggesting water to the north so we head in that direction. Thick undergrowth causes some difficulties for our horses, but we are able to progress. The noises of the forest are louder here in the feywild.

We come to a small stream and follow it downstream to the west. Two hours later we still haven’t departed the forest that would have been long behind us in the normal realm. We hear a hunting horn ahead of us and approaching, followed shortly after by a loud, bellowing laugh. The stream kinks ahead a little, so we ride up to the corner to get a better view. There were see a couple of eladrin knights on horseback, along with two centaurs, hunting a shifter of a type we do not recognise with a pack of hounds.

We hail the group and everyone stops in confusion. One of the knights bows and introduces himself as Kellerin Miheil, the other eladrin as Lellerian and the two centaurs as Carl and Barl. He asks why we have interrupted his sport and trespassed on his hunting grounds. Théorn tries to stick up for the shifter and he demands that we be put to death and leads the others in an attack against us (Encounter 3).

After the battle, and with all of the rest of his party dead, Kellerin surrenders and asks what we want, complaining that we would not have been successful if he had his magic blade with him. We enquire about this and are confident that it is not the “Elf-killer” blade we’re searching for, though he knows of the stories of Kalashnakash. Kellerin thinks that we’ve been sent by one of his enemies, perhaps from House Dejarin or House Fallael, but refuses to speak to “animals” (e.g. Théorn).


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience Points
Hollan?? remaining?19,448 (9)
Max?? remaining?20,032 (9)
Napoleon576 remainingCouteurs of Second Chance, Knock Them Down19,647 (9)
Pennyworth?? remaining?19,268 (9)
Pieter?10 remainingLay on Hands (1), Hallowed Circle19,821 (9)
Théorn5410 remainingCombat Surge, Frost Wolf Rage19,528 (9)
View
Seeking Rakanx
Session 23

Day 51, continued:

The PCs interrogate Cezar after the fight. He pleads for his life and offers riches in return, including the deeds to The Orc’s Head, the current stock and the enchantments upon it that prevent fires. He claims he’ll need an hour to gather those, and other sundry items, from his study. We offer a provisional agreement and Théorn senses relief and hope in Cezar’s body language, which makes us suspicious.

Max is left with him in his study to ‘interrogate’ him for a few minutes, and discovers that Cezar is more afraid of someone else than of us. After further threats from Max, Cezar offers information for his life and tells of Count Rakanx, and produces a letter from a hidden drawer that he had been hoping to destroy when we weren’t looking. Cezar wishes to live, but says he will only be safe if Rakanx believes him dead.

Meanwhile, a paladin rides into town and arrives at Pastor Waverley‘s church. He seeks those who liberated the Temple of the Clear Springs. Pastor Waverley and the paladin, named Pieter (who donates 100gp to the church) both head over to investigate the disturbance in town. They arrive in time to find Pennyworth wailing over the death of Elkovar and telling all who will listen the story of this ’sartorial giant’. Pieter recognises the warforged from a vision, striking down a demon, and goes to introduce himself while Pastor Waverley arranges a funeral pyre in the town square.

Back at the interrogation, Max learns that Rakanx appeared to Cezar each time under a different guise, though always carrying a sword dripping with poison. He had apparently noted Cezar as someone of promise and recruited him to an organisation interested in the surrounding area. This organisation wished to have leverage over any freelance adventurers in the area and required that Cezar keep them in his pocket. Cezar suspected the involvement of merchant guilds from Affen, but Rakanx terrified him and so agreed to this and the regular monthly payments he was required to make to Rakanx. The next such payment is due in just two or three days. As a condition of this arrangement, Cezar was required to distance himself from Brysias.


I NEED A BIT OF HELP DECIPHERING THIS BIT OF MY NOTES. I’VE COPIED VERBATIM WHAT I WROTE DOWN AT THE TIME. DOES IT SOUND FAMILIAR TO ANYONE?

The party regroups, and Pieter joins them. Carson (human battleaxe) asks who the new boss is. Max chats to him for a bit. Marvin.

The PCs discuss arrangements for the town in light of the power vacuum that Cezar’s absence will cause.

Hollan offers Clementine the inn (Mark = The Ugly), as long as Thena does the maths. Dragons to the south.


Mal Sheringham has correspondence for Max, both a letter and an additional note.

Meanwhile, in The King Valiant Pennyworth talks to Brysias to sell on various acquired magical items that we no longer have need of. She is also seeking help for her brother Fyodor, who has money troubles and has an item for sale that Pennyworth would be interested in. Pennyworth is indeed interested and the party agrees to meet with Fyodor in the village of Trenton.

Brysias, who is uninterested in the local politics as she will be leaving the area soon, mentions during the transactions that another shifter bought a very poor quality dagger from her barely an hour ago. Théorn is curious about this and goes looking for this shifter, accompanied by Hollan and Napoleon.

This other shifter turns out to be Theorn of the Tattoia tribe, who is not at all happy at discovering that Théorn now uses a sword. He talks of the the legend of Kalashnakash, He Who Wielded Wrongness, and whether Théorn is trying to follow in his path. Theorn hopes that Théorn will see the light and turn away from this shame but is convinced to keep quiet about it for now.

The PCs try to talk to the movers and shakers to set up some sort of town council (Skill Challenge) before we depart. Hollan talks to Clementine, Pieter talks to Pastor Waverley, Pennyworth talks to Thena, Max talks to Carson, Napoleon talks to Mal Sheringham and Théorn talks to Alberno. All save Clementine agree and gather together in the evening, before Elkovar’s funeral and wake.

The PCs use the funeral and wake as cover to sneak Cezar out of town without anyone seeing, to maintain the cover story that he is dead.

Day 52:

Early in the morning we set out for Trenton to meet with Fyodor. En route we are ambushed again by gnolls (Encounter 1) but arrive without problems.

Arriving in Trenton we find Fyodor’s house and Pennyworth announces our presence. Fyodor answers the door and we see two other tieflings in the background introduced as Pyotr and Vladimir. The rest of the PCs retire to a nearby inn while Pennyworth conducts his negotiations.

Pennyworth chats to Fyodor. They discuss the recent upgrade in power of his Rod of Corruption and Pennyworth gives Fyodor a gift of a vial of the corrupted water from the Temple of the Clear Springs. The negotiations settle on 3,000gp for a suit of leather armour of Dark Majesty, but Fyodor needs the money urgently and Pennyworth will have to meet them the following day in the village of Dung to collect it, alone.

Day 53:

The party travels to Dung and checks into The Horse’s End. After a dull evening, Pennyworth is approached by a street urchin, who leads him to a small barn on the edge of town before running off scared.

Pennyworth enters the barn and is greeted by Fyodor along with his friends Pyotr and Vladimir. Fyodor presents the armour and suggests that Pennyworth try it on to see how it fits. Pennyworth, suspicious of this, summons Chardonnay to keep an eye on things. Fyodor protests that he has a phobia of owlbears and asks that she leave, so she is sent outside. Upon inspecting the armour, Pennyworth discerns that there is an illusion enchantment on it. He complains about this and starts to leave. Fyodor confesses that the armour would paralyse him, saying that he is desperate for the 3,000gp to pay his debts to a very scary man, and begins to threaten Pennyworth unless he hands over the money regardless.

The three tieflings move to attack Pennyworth and he sends Chardonnay flying back towards the inn to alert the rest of the party. Unfortunately the PCs don’t hear her screeching in time to arrive before Pennyworth has been knocked out and his money stolen, with the three tieflings fleeing shouting that Rakanx needs his money. The rest of the party chase them down, with Napoleon pausing briefly to rouse Pennyworth as they pass. Fyodor and his compatriots are caught and a fight ensues (Encounter 2), with The Green Fire WithinTM Pennyworth hungering for Fyodor’s soul. This hunger subsides after Pennyworth has a vision of a silver boy and green fire and all three tieflings are taken alive for interrogation.

Returning to Dung after the fight, Hollan inspects the armour closer and senses draconic enchantment. As Fyodor begins to wake, the armour is placed on him and he spasms painfully before being paralysed. With Fyodor unable to move we interrogate him.

It seems that he ran up excessive gambling debts without realising that it was Rakanx who controlled his debtors. Rakanx apparently wanted to use this leverage to get to Brysias, in his capacity as an agent of a black dragon. This dragon, named Shivastri, is located to the south and is much feared by the locals. She is the daughter of Sharn, an elder black dragon, and has links to dragonborn worshippers of Tiamat who wish to kill all those without scales. She has also recently taken a beholder as a mate.

Fyodor met with Rakanx last night and they worked on the plan to trap Pennyworth. Rakanx had heard of Cezar’s fall and of the destruction of Teveston, a village four days’ travel away, by the forces of Malificent Blacktree. Due to our actions Shivastri wanted Rakanx to conclude business here and leave the area. Thus Fyodor says that Rakanx was no longer interested in his sister Brysias and needed to leave the area rapidly once he had wrapped up all the loose ends. To this end he sought information on where to procure a scroll to control gryphons (which can be found to the north) and was directed to Thena.

We decided to rest in the inn and wait for Rakanx, as he is due to return, though we allow Pyotr and Vladimir to depart.

Day 54:

Rakanx fails to show through the night so in the early morning we decide to race to Ravensburgh to try catch him before he reaches Thena. We buy two extra riding horses and ride hard.

Departing, just outside of Dung. we find the corpses of Pyotr and Vladimir with their heads dissolved by acid. Then near Trenton a horse goes lame and in a rush it costs us 200gp (including 100gp deposit) to replace. A final horse goes lame as we arrive in Ravensburgh, but we rush to Thena’s church.

We can’t find Thena in her church and we’re directed to The Orc’s Head, where we’re told she’s in council. We locate her, and she says that a gnome (Rakanx shapeshifting?) bought a scroll of gryphon control just earlier today. She tells us that there is a gryphon post about two days’ ride to the south-east that was abandoned because of basilisks in the area, though she has scrolls to help against the petrification attacks and a bit of information on basilisk types and their abilities.

The scroll that the gnome bought is for a ritual that takes 24 hours to perform, so the party decides that it’s worth chasing to see if we can catch Rakanx before the ritual is completed and he escapes. We stock up on supplies quickly to set off to the south-east…


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???17,778 (9)
Max???20,032 (9)
Napoleon???17,977 (9)
Pennyworth???19,268 (9)
Pieter???18,151 (9)
Théorn???17,858 (9)
View
Cezar's defeat
Session 22

Day 48, continued:

With the temple now cleared everything feels clean and pure, the artwork returns to normal and the exits clear. Pennyworth inspects the site of the portal to make sure it’s sealed and is satisfied that it is. He cuts off parts of the genasi corpses, which Sparky Jr. is alarmed at, but explains that it’s to preserve part of them for resurrection rituals.

We then depart the temple and exit the underground cavern, back into daylight. Sparky Jr. is not used to this plane and is intrigued by all the sights and substances. The rest of us smell cooked meat and, upon investigation, find a campfire and half of a cooked horse in the entrance to the cavern. Nearby we locate ogre droppings and discover that our horses are missing. Théorn finds the tracks for about 5 to 10 ogres leading our horses away. Since it’s only around noon we decide to head after them whilst we still have some light. About 5 or 6 hours later the sun is starting to set but we feel close so press on. Towards midnight Max starts to get worn out as we realise we’re heading for the village of Renit, but the trails are much fresher now and we can still follow them in the dark.

Approaching, Max hears grunting noises ahead and a horse whinnying, and spies signs of a campfire over the crest of a hill (Skill Challenge). Pennyworth sends Chardonnay to fly over and scout. She returns to report seven ogres roasting a horse over a fire, one of these is standing guard looking away from our direction, a couple are dozing by the fire and the rest are eating and talking. We try to manoeuvre into position for a surprise attack, but make too much noise at the last minute so rush in before they can regroup too much (Encounter 1).

After the fight we march on the short remaining distance to Renit. Despite the late hour the guards allow us in and offer us free accommodation in the inn when we explain that we’ve dealt with the ogres. They seem a little suspicious of our shifter companion, Théorn, but not problematically so. When we arrive at the inn the owner recognises Hollan’s name and says he has a message for him. He gives him a note from Clementine warning us that Cezar has put a bounty on our heads after receiving a letter that rattled him, and that Feam Tortress’ gang are waiting to ambush us in Bridge. We rest here for the night.

Day 49:

We decide to send Max and Sparky Jr. to scout Bridge as they won’t be as easily recognised. They cross the bridge, passing a wagon going in the opposite direction, and look around town. They identify about 3 or 4 people that look threatening, one of whom chats to them for a while. He seems mainly interested in a warforged, and unconvinced by their stories. They notice that the wagon they saw earlier is just going back and forth across the bridge. Max and Sparky Jr. go into the inn, where Max asks about the wagon. The innkeeper knows little, but mentions that the group are paying for rooms for 9 people.

Max and Sparky Jr. continue along the road to Gosfair to avoid arousing suspicion, but look for a suitable place to cross to return to the rest of the group. Eventually they settle for Max weighing herself down with rocks and walking across the river, heading to find the rest of the group and inform them what’s going on. We march along the river to Gosfair.

Upon arrival at Gosfair, Sparky Jr. manages to bluff his way past the guards, pretending to be human. They try to recruit him, directing him to Knight Adjunct Levia or Knight Sergeant Ulrich. The rest of the group comes to a ferryman who will carry them across the river but charges extra for non-humans (50gp). Hollan teleports over and pays him for the rest of the group. We ask the ferryman where we can find Knight Adjunct Levia, and he directs us to the paladins’ compound.

On our way we are approached by 3 paladins looking aggressive. They recognise Hollan though, and ask if he will vouch for the rest of us. He does so, and they escort us to the compound. Hollan asks them about Johan, the paladin he tried to convert after Goblinfest. The paladins say he is now an apprentice training with the Wheelwright family, and do not seem impressed with this.

At the compound we see Ulrich outside, training new recruits. Another paladin motions us inside and we enter to find Levia waiting. She assumes we failed in our mission until Hollan produces his vial of the purified water as proof. She is clearly upset, seeming to think it was her destiny to do this, but genuflects before Hollan and calls for Knight Saviour Stewart. He is happy with the news and Hollan asks if the paladins will resurrect the genasi that helped us. Levia offers to double our reward for the mission (2000gp) and put it towards the rituals, and we accept. Stewart wishes to offer Hollan something extra and asks if he might borrow his brooch of Bahamut, which Hollan agrees to.

We’re offered rooms for the night and go to rest, but once the others have left Pennyworth approaches Levia and gives her Sparky Jr.‘s father’s finger. We spend the rest of the day and the night in Gosfair, relaxing. Hollan spends time with the Wheelwright family and Johan, and we stock up on healing potions. Knight Saviour Stewart brings Hollan’s brooch back to him, strengthened by the power of Bahamut, and we ask him if he’s heard of Feam Tortress. He has, but knows little beyond that they’re a group of human adventurers (one member uncertain). In the evening, Sparky Jr. is brought before his father, alive again, after Levia used the finger to resurrect him. They have a tearful reunion before we rest for the night, but Sparky Jr. says he will continue to travel with us for a while longer since his father has to recover his strength.

Day 50:

In the morning we ride for Bridge and spy out what we can see of Feam Tortress and his crew. We sneak in from the side of town, away from where their snipers are watching, while Théorn strolls in along the high street as a distraction. He swaps jibes with Feam for a few minutes, until our sneaking around is heard and a fight ensues (Encounter 2), which burns down the inn and sets fire to some of the surrounding buildings. We manage to prevent any buildings besides the inn from getting too badly damaged, but the inn is beyond repair. Hollan and Napoleon donate some funds to have it rebuilt, and some of Feam Tortress’ surviving crew say they’ll stay and run the inn. We drink with them for a while and press them for more information. They don’t know why Cezar sent after us, but do recall he was shaken by the letter he received before doing so. They also mention that Elkovar is Cezar’s new bodyguard. We rest in town for a while and then head to Ravensburgh.

Day 51:

We arrive at Ravensburgh and head directly to The Orc’s Head. We spot lookouts going ahead to warn of our arrival. We stand well back from the inn and someone comes out to negotiate with us. Max sets fire to the whole front of the inn in response. Cezar shouts as us from a window on the second floor, and guards pour out to attack us followed by Cezar and his bodyguards. In the ensuing fight (Encounter 3) many are knocked unconscious, some are killed, including Elkovar, and Cezar is eventually forced to surrender and is taken captive.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???16,545 (9)
Max???18,799 (9)
Napoleon???16,744 (9)
Pennyworth???18,035 (9)
Théorn???16,625 (9)
View
Purity once more
Session 21

Day 48:

We enter the portal. Emerging from the other side we find ourselves in a large red cavern. Three doors exit this cavern, each into large rooms. Through the first door we can see an incline into dark water, through the second we see a large rotating cylindrical corridor and through the third we can see a room with many holes or pits in the floor. After a few minutes’ investigation arcane energy can be felt building up on the cavern, suggesting we should exit quickly.

We enter the second room and the door seals behind us, showing four elemental symbols (Earth, Air, Fire, Water) matched by the same four symbols at the other end of the corridor. One of us presses the Earth symbol at one end, and the other presses the Fire symbol at the other end. Lava begins to flow into the room, with creatures made of magma emerging from the walls and lava (Encounter 1). After defeating them the arcane energy begins to build in this room so we return quickly to the large red cavern. The door seals shut behind us and we are left with two doors to choose from.

We enter into the room with the pits in the floor. The ‘pits’ are actually a lower level. One set of elemental symbols is again on the door behind us with the opposite set at the far end on the lower level. The party splits in half to press the Earth and Water symbols. Mud flows into the lower level of the room, making movement difficult, and we are beset by mud elementals (Encounter 2). We then return to the cavern before entering the final room.

This room is the one with the incline into water. One set of symbols is underwater, so we send the non-breathing members of the party to them. We press an Earth symbol and an Air symbol. The room is filled with a dark cloud that obscures our vision and we battle air creatures and an aquatic demon (Encounter 3).

This time the door we entered by clears but it looks into a new room we have not seen before. The room is pentagram shaped, with four plinths holding gems. Energy in the room coalesces into the form of a vrok, who declares himself as Kezatakon, a servant of Pazuzu (Smax has a flashback). After a hard-fought battle (Encounter 4) we are ejected back through the portal and the waterfall. Pennyworth sporks Kezatakon through the chest and his Rod of Corruption is upgraded in power, though not as much as he’d hoped. The corruption in the temple clears and a feeling of purity radiates throughout it. Hollan drinks of the pure water in the waterfall and is blessed by a Boon from Bahamut.

Smax goes missing the aftermath of all this.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???14,955 (8)
Max???17,209 (9)
Napoleon???15,154 (8)
Pennyworth???16,445 (8)
Smax???16,918 (9)
Théorn???15,035 (8)
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Portal to another plane
Session 20

Day 46, continued:

Two other doors exit the room. We interrogate some prisoners before continuing. We learn that non-corrupted genasi are being kept captive waiting for sacrifice to hold open the portal to the Elemental Chaos, and will likely be executed if the corrupt genasi are alerted by either a noise or the next set of prisoners for sacrifice not turning up on schedule in a few hours. We decide to try rescue the innocents and move quickly on. Théorn runs in to a room and a fight ensues (Encounter 1).

We progress on and rescue about 50 genasi prisoners from a large octagonal room after a quick battle with the corrupted genasi and demon allies guarding them (Encounter 2). We then have a choice of two routes. One exits from the cathedral earlier and some brief scouting finds a staircase and sounds of running water at the end of it. The other route is past the prison area to a room where the portal to the Elemental Chaos is being held open by the powered gems.

After some discussion we decide to try shut down the portal before going down the stairs any further into the temple. We sneak the prisoners back to the cathedral and arm them with supplies from the armoury. After a few rousing speeches and promises we persuade them to guard us while we rest up for an assault on the portal (Skill Challenge part 1).

Day 47:

A few interruptions occur but we are able to properly rest, and then we march down and prepare for the assault. We charge in to surprise the gathered demons, clearing a route to the portal and then defending the arcane energy wielders and heavy-hitters while they destroy the four crystals anchoring the portal. We eventually succeed in disrupting the portal to close it (Skill Challenge part 2), but the genasi have all perished and some of us are badly injured. Nonetheless we then turn to eradicate the remaining demons now their power source is reduced or gone (Encounter 3).

With this victory behind us we take a short rest and then press on down the stairs to take advantage of having interrupted the flow of power to the demons in the temple. At the bottom of the staircase is a simple, small room containing a corrupted Bahamut angel and some attendants guarding a corrupted waterfall in front of a portal. The corrupted angel attacks, along with two attendants (Encounter 4) and whilst narrowly defeating it one of the attendants reveals that its master is Pazuzu.

The corrupted genasi attendant is interrogated as to what is behind the portal. The only answer we can get out of him is “The Gauntlet”. Pennyworth encourages Sparky Jr. to get revenge for his family by executing the corrupted genasi attendant. We decide that it’s safer to be well prepared before undergoing this, so take an extended rest.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???12,264 (7)
Max???14,518 (8)
Napoleon???12,463 (7)
Pennyworth???13,754 (8)
Smax???14,227 (8)
Théorn???12,344 (7)
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Genasi, both good and bad
Session 19

Day 46:

With everyone now more or less recovered, we head on and come to a large double-sided door. The images on this door don’t seem corrupted anymore. Théorn opens the door and we hear sounds of fighting ahead in a large room. Smax sneaks ahead and spies a large number of genasi sparring in the room. We try to sneak in, but Pennyworth clanks too much and we’re forced to battle them (Encounter 1).

The room seems to be a training room and quartermaster’s store, full of armour and weapons. Smax interrogates the defeated fire genasi elite, while Théorn and Pennyworth interrogate the earth genasi. The latter informs us that the temple is consecrated to Pazuzu, but gives us little else of use so Pennyworth sacrifices him to the earth gemstone. He then asks the fire genasi about the cleric who wrote the letter, but the prisoner seems either to know nothing or to claim the cleric is now a minion of Pazuzu.

Going through the doors at the other end, we come into another chamber about half the size of the earlier one. It has 4 plaques with names and dates on the wall, and fonts with blood-red water trickling into them from holes in the wall. Plaque with clasped hands has 6 names, one with sword has 22 names. Max notes down the last names appearing on each list. We return to the armour behind the screen and speak the last name on the clasped hand list. A glowing circle appears and the panel slides back to reveal Mithral Rimefire Plate Armour.

We then head back to the plaque room and kick open the doors. It’s a cathedral full of genasi, some bound and captive, in a queue being plunged into a blood red pool at the end by some corrupted genasi. A cow-demon is amongst them (Encounter 2). During the fight portals open and more and more enemies flood in.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???10,747 (7)
Max???13,001 (8)
Napoleon???11,276 (7)
Pennyworth???12,224 (7)
Smax???12,710 (7)
Théorn???10,827 (7)
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Going underground...
Session 18

Day 44, continued:

After defeating the incubus, we move along to examine the corridor further. Going around a corner we find the panels behind which the armour is hidden, but can’t open it (Théorn’s Strength of the Green Dragon fails him). There is one set of panels telling the story of the creation of this temple and another showing the story of The Nine

Then, we encounter a weird elemental teleporting room filled with demons, which we clear fairly comfortably (Encounter 1), though it proves time-consuming as the teleportation spots keep being randomised and moving around a 4 quartered room, with a small platform in each quadrant surrounded by one element or another. Smax gets stuck in the dark, behind an earth wall with a meso-demon which proves challenging. Max does good work taking out a number of the demons. After this we need a break and take a long rest. During the rest, Pennyworth uses the bodies of the defeated demons to attune an elemental water crystal to himself.

Day 45:

Having cleared this level of the temple (Quest Complete), we head downstairs. The first thing we find at the bottom of the stairs is a chained Elemental Terror, made of flame at first, in a wide section of passageway containing 4 crystals, each of which emanates a different elemental power. Pennyworth uses his crystal to disrupt the elemental power flowing from the fire crystal and this effectively makes the Terror vulnerable but of a different type of element, so fire, mud, cold, silt, etc.

Théorn goes toe-to-toe with the Elemental Terror and we take it down, only for it to get up again, this time connected to the air crystal. Pennyworth breaks this one and again we take it down. It comes back up, connected to the earth crystal and again pounds on us. During this period, Max spends some time blinded. Théorn finally takes too much damage and falls unconscious. Pennyworth and the rest of the group take the elemental terror down but it returns, connected to the final crystal, before anyone can act and its damaging aura from the water crystal power is enough to put Théorn down permanently. Despite the loss of the group’s main melee defender those of us still standing manage to just about defeat the elemental terror (Encounter 2).

During a long rest for most of the party Pennyworth uses one of our scrolls to raise Théorn back to life. Théorn recalls little of his time in the shadow realm besides a choice between spear and sword, but is not happy at being brought back as his people will not listen to a ‘dead’ person. Arguments ensue. The remainder of the group rests, but Smax has dreams


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???9,922 (6)
Max???11,895 (7)
Napoleon???10,170 (7)
Pennyworth???11,118 (7)
Smax???11,604 (7)
Théorn???9,721 (6)
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