Day ?, continued:
Moving through the barracks we take the remaining sleeping dragonborn prisoner. There are also stables, with strange claw marks everywhere. There is an area for prisoners, but we find none alive. Broken, in the corner, lies the body of Sir Ulrich.
We question the prisoners, asking where their captives have been taken. They aren’t cowed by threats of death, but threats of taking their souls works fine. They say the prisoners were captured just outside the Temple of Clear Waters, having exited through unknown means. They were brought to Gosfair and interrogated by Essian until one broke and said they knew the location of the tomb of St Bradaman.
Plutarch Redthroat then took an innocent prisoner for a ritual to destroy the blade and set off for the tomb. The remaining prisoners were given to the yuan-ti for ritual torture. The dragonborn don’t know where they were taken, but Pieter and Pennyworth recall that yuan-ti rituals take place hidden from the sun. Pennyworth has a flashback to battling in a sandstorm with a giant warforged, before opening a hidden entrance to a tomb and descending into the earth. We are also able to ascertain that:
- Plutarch Redthroat has gone to seek the tomb of St Bradaman, located in a cavern near the peak of the highest mountain, and he expects to get there by the end of tomorrow.
We look for information on where the yuan-ti went. The locals mention, amongst other things, that a tiefling knight called Sabine von Osterhagen arrived in the area recently with an accent similar to Max’s. She was here for XXXXX? They were also able to direct the yuan-ti to a couple of underground temples uncovered by the Band of Five. Both are to the south of here, a temple to Erathis, to the north of Winimoocha, and a temple to Corellon, further over to the south-west. The locals mention that a halfling was amongst the prisoners taken by the yuan-ti. Religious recollections suggest that the temple of Corellon is the more likely option
We gather about 1000gp from the captive dragonborn. The people give us 6 spare horses, and we ride hard to the south, arriving within 8 hours (3am). There appear to be no yuan-ti on guard. The entrance is barely hidden (the Band of Five cracked and moved the magic boulder that used to hide it), and looks like a cave. Yellow light shines up, and we can smell incense. We tie up the horses and charge in to see guards, prisoners and Essian the Malevolent standing over a prone Obb/Pob and press the attack (Encounter 1).
We rescue Sparky, Levia, Obb and Clementine. They appear to have been in captivity for a week and are at least a few days off fighting fitness. They ask for news of the Temple of Clear Waters. Levia says there must have been treachery involved in their capture, as they found the location of St Bradaman’s tomb while researching inside the siege and used a secret exit. They found the enemies waiting for them outside. During their torture, Sir Ulrich held out for a while but succumbed eventually and gave them the location to St Bradaman’s tomb. Pieter remembers at least three ways of using teleporter magics to exit the temple (one method goes in both directions).
Napoleon loans Clementine a vengeful short sword +1. We take the fresh(er) horses and ride fast to the mountains, eating some of the feybread bisuits ourselves and feeding the remainder to the horses.
We dismount at the mountains and race up the trail in the morning light, many of us struggling a little. Chardonnay can see the other group ahead of us, and at a fork in the path that splits into a trail or a tunnel one of them reads a scroll and turns invisible. We use a combination of helping each other and Hollan’s assisted flying to catch up somewhat, and arrive at the fork to find tracks suggesting the enemies went through the tunnel. Pieter prays to Bahamut for guidance.
We use Hollan’s flight powers along with Max’s Arcane Gate to hop up to the top of the mountain, landing on a small ledge. A path leads to another cave, radiating with holy energy, as though the waters from the Temple of Clear Waters frozen in the air. Theorn hears muffled voices from the cave behind us and we move to higher ground. Pennyworth hides in the snow and Theorn stands as sentry, while the rest head to the cave. Inside the higher cave lies a cairn, with a sign saying “Here lies Sir Bradaman…” (CHECK WITH JOE) and a sword buried. Pieter steps forward and takes the sword.
Further down, emerging from the cave is Plutarch Redthroat and his gang, with Thena in captivity. Redthroat, a 7 foot dragonborn is dressed in finery and we recognise the Ring of the Dragon Emperor on his hand. Plutarch banters for a bit with Theorn, mentioning that Brindeez is tasked with wiping out the nearby shifters, before attacking (Encounter 2).
We rescue Thena, and she gabbles a lot. She talks about the Ring of the Dragon Emperor, St Bradaman and his tomb, and Brindeez Sharptooth (who has killed Katya’s 12, a group of adventurers). We descend the mountain by the same route we used to get up, discussing our next plans.
It is now about 6pm on Day 3 since we returned from the Feywild, and our estimates suggest that the temple siege will break through sometime on day 5. We ride hard towards the temple, arriving at the river at 4am of day 4. The horses are weary so at this point so we ride more normally to keep them healthy.
About 1pm we’re an hour away from the temple and riding through unfamiliar territory. The ground is hilly and broken, and Theorn leads the way but we don’t think we can get closer riding without being spotted. Pieter knows of a stone circle that can be used to teleport into and out of the temple, but it’s about 30 minutes north-east.
We leave the horses and jog to the stone circle. About a mile out, we crest the brow of a hill and spot the opposing forces. Something like 100-150 forces composed of duergar, derro, gnolls, goblins, dragonborn, 4-5 hill giants. We spot patrols going round the camp at regular intervals. We can avoid the patrols getting to the circle, but won’t be able to complete the teleportation ritual before they arrive.
We plan an ambush for the duergar patrol in a nearby shallow ravine between hills (Encounter 3).
We capture a derro warrior for interrogation, and then trigger the ritual and appear in an antechamber within the temple. We’re greeted by Stewart, along with several of the genasi we fought alongside before. The temple is clean and pleasant this time, and we’re allowed to drink from the waters and rejuvenate ourselves (extended rest). We’re assigned forces to lead in the defence of the temple.
It is now 2:30pm on day 4, and Knight Commander Stewart estimates that the siege will be broken in about 20 hours. Theorn’s blade is displeased that we did not assist the shifters.
Character status at end of session:
|Character||Hit Points||Healing Surges||Daily Powers used||Experience Points|
|Hollan||96||10 remaining||-||38,179 (12)|
|Max||81||10 remaining||-||38,277 (12)|
|Napoleon||83||7 remaining||-||39,588 (13)|
|Pennyworth||94||12 remaining||-||39,333 (13)|
|Pieter||108||13 remaining||-||35,482 (12)|
|Théorn||102||10 remaining||-||39,469 (13)|