Little 'n' Large

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)
View
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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Cleansing Kord's shrine of an Incubus
Session 17

Day 44:

The message suggests that Starchild (the leader of The Nine, we think) wrote prophecies for the temple to follow. Just as the message is finally deciphered (Skill Challenge) the door bursts open and 2 Balguras, a Hellhound and a Goat Demon assault us (Encounter 1).

We head down the right hand corridor and find a series of shrines to the main gods, though each appears to have been corrupted in some way:

  • A Skeletal Hand emerging from Avandra’s satchel
  • Evil light emanating from Corellon’s star
  • Rust and hole-ridden armour for Erathis
  • Ioun’s eye is weeping blood
  • Kord’s involves blood
  • The Shell (Sehanine? Melora?) is eating a baby!

Inside Kord’s shrine we find a water genasi huddled in the corner. He’s clearly scared but also incredibly handsome, which is a surprise. He’s called Lashiel and asks if Jacasta is still alive and coming to rescue him. Alas, she got eaten by a Goat Demon in the previous session. Something makes Max puzzled and she suddenly sees through the lies: It’s an incubus trying to deceive us! (Encounter 2) The party defeats the incubus and its attendant jovoks, despite Théorn being possessed and turning on the party for some of the battle.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???9,622 (6)
Max???10,425 (7)
Napoleon???9,870 (6)
Pennyworth???9,648 (6)
Smax???10,134 (7)
Théorn???9,084 (6)
View
Exploring the corrupted temple
Session 16

Day 43:

The door itself is about 12 foot tall and is decorated with dioramas of stories about Bahamut. There’s a sense of wrongness about the pictures though, and Hollan notices that they have been twisted to show Bahamut as a force for fear and domination rather than strength and justice. Hollan and Max sense infernal, arcane magic behind the door rather than the divine magic of Bahamut. Hollan pushes at the door and hears voices in his head asking what brings him to the temple. At his reply that he comes to cleanse it, laughter echoes from many voices in his mind and the doors swing open.

Inside there is a horrific stench of mildew. Filth coves the floors and stone edifices on the walls are scorched and muddy. Pillar-like structures are visible about 30 yards in, shrouded in mist, and scratching and laughter can be heard echoing past them. We enter the chamber, with loud squelchy footsteps. The chamber is large, but the mist blocks our sight more than about 50 yards in any direction. The pillars are columns that appear every 20 feet or so and go 25-30ft up to the ceiling, where the mist is thicker. There are more sounts of chittering and a giant bumblebee-like figure appears in and out of the mist in the distance. Max recalls a few demons that might take this shape (Gnaw demons being the most likely). Napoleon moves in cautiously to try draw our enemies out of the mist, but after a few steps spies a Dretch behind a column. He motions for the rest of the group to move closer, and as they do so Hollan spies another bumblebee further in, along with a thing looking like a human baby but with red skin and sharp teeth. We’re drawn into a fight (Encounter 1).

At the other end of the chamber there is a large doorway. The wooden doors are rotten and full of small worms, and it crumbles as we push it open. This new room is big (50 yards wide by 30 yards long) but cleaner than the last. At the end of the room is a wide set of stairs leading down, from which emanates a bright red glow but no heat. Either side of the staircase corridors continue on. There are doors to the left and right framed by stone arches above each, decorated with graven images. The image to the left shows a man in prayer, looking evil (Hall of Contemplation) and the image to the right has a man studying a book, leering at grotesque pornography (Hall of Study).

Smax checks the door for traps and listens for sounds the other side. Neither reveals anything. The door to the right feels warm, and the left door has water trickling down. For now Smax decides to scout ahead in the corridors a little. Along the way he notices a small mane on the steps as he moves past. It looks in terror and runs down the steps, but we leave it for now. The corridors both lead to another short corridor with four more doors, so Smax backtracks and we try the door with the water first. Hollan recalls that the Hall of Contemplation might contain prisoners, which could be of use to us, and Napoleon opens the door to small flood of water rushing out around our feet.

We enter a room 30m wide 40m long with rows of stone benches and pulpits in each corner. There is a path through centre and an archway at the end with an image of Bahamut wielding a hammer, sitting in judgement (Judgement = dominant, rather than blindfolded symbol of justice). We search through the room. Hollan senses dirty, watery arcane energy to the room but also some arcane magic in the next room, perhaps teleportation. We enter the courtroom.

This is a smaller room with 5 alcoves, each with small blue holy symbol on floor. Written above each alcove in draconic are “prosecution”, “defence”, “defendant”, “justice”, “jury”. Hollan also finds one for “prison”. Wary of getting trapped, we head back to study.

This door opens more easily. Hollan steps through, into a sheet of fire. The room is a burned out mess with lots of alcoves at the back and a large red gem in the centre of the room. Hollan senses much stronger magic in this room, specifically in the gem. He refuses to leave, wanting to cleanse the room, and tries poking the gem, blasting it with lightning breath. It seems to respond slightly to damage, but nothing obvious, so he gives up.

We head down the corridors found earlier. The doors at either end have images again. The first is Bahamut wielding a shield: “The Shielding Left Arm of Bahamut” and we get a sense of fire. The second image is Bahamut wielding a sword: “The Avenging Right Arm of Bahamut” with a sense of cold air. There are also two other normal looking doors.

Hollan kicks down the cold door. It contains a similar gem to before, but with bodies of humanoids (2 fire genasi, 1 water genasi) around it. Magic flows from a water genasi corpse into the gem. There are two serpent demons and a humanoid (air genasi) posing in front of this. Hollan attacks (Encounter 2).

Searching the room we think it was a lodging area for paladins. We try to barricade the door for an extended rest. Hollan inspects the bodies of the genasi and finds they seem to have been drained. We put them in one of the two side-rooms. Hollan checks the gem. It’s similar to the fire gem, resonant with the elemental power.

Hollan and Napoleon take the woman into the other side-room to interrogate. She is confused as to how we are here and who sent us, and how little we know. The gems are siphoning power from the temple. She suggests we ask why the temple was abandoned and tells us we would have to cleanse it at the root of the matter. “The Crimson Fountain” will need to be removed, and is well guarded. Napoleon asks if the power being drained will weaken the demonic influence to assist us. She says yes, but offers to remove them if we let her live. After some discussion a plan is suggested to leave her in the prison while we cleanse the temple, then get her to help remove the gems.

Hollan interrogates her further as to their plans. She says her master sent her and other genasi to the temple. They bathed in the waters of The Crimson Fountain. Those who survived used the bodies of those who didn’t as sacrifice to claim the power of the gems. There are others in the temple still, from the sounds of things. She also mentions that an elemental terror prevents most from descending further. She says Lashiel wanders the halls (she thought we worked for him) and has demonic allies. She agrees to being imprisoned but alive for now, in return for what she’s told us. We tie her up, block the entrance and start an extended rest after barricading the door.

An hour into our rest, a banging on the door wakes us and shouting in abyssal. We only understand the woman’s name (Relita). She says he is “earth one”, a demonspawn adept with an unpronounceable name. She offers to tell him everything is fine, and calls out in abyssal. He sounds annoyed and tries to break in. She says it didn’t work and he wants to come in. Smax kills her, and we prepare for the attack. The door bursts open and we see 3 carnage demons and the demonspawn adept (Encounter 3). We are desperate for a rest afterwards.

Théorn and Pennyworth, hearing noises, meet up with everyone else and as a group we attempt to leave the temple. As we walk towards the door, it seems much further away than we had expected. Nonetheless, we press on. Alas, when we reach the doorway, it has been replaced by a living, though rotten, black-coloured wall which prevents our egress. Reluctantly we return to the chamber we recently left.

Pennyworth starts examining the elemental crystals and the Green Fire WithinTM tells him that he too could gain the power of the crystals if he sacrifices enough elemental creatures to attune to them. This greases his pleasure-cogs.

Smax explores the chambers and finds a secret room just large enough for the group to fit in, so we decide to use it to good effect and rest up whilst Pennyworth and Théorn take guard. Whilst searching the room, an illegible message is discovered. Théorn and Max begin to decipher it. It’s written in an old form of draconic. Whilst Théorn and Max are working on the message, we hear noises from outside the door, as if people are searching for us.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???9,022 (6)
Max???9,575 (6)
Napoleon???9,870 (6)
Pennyworth???9,048 (6)
Smax???9,534 (6)
Théorn???8,234 (6)
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Approaching The Temple of the Clear Springs
Session 15

Days 38 to 41:

We pass the time waiting for Knight Saviour Stewart to arrive. Hollan prays at a shrine to Bahamut. A shaft of light illuminates him and he feels Bahamut watches over him. When Stewart arrives he offers Gauntlets of Breaching to help us fight the demons, and we assign them to Hollan. During the conversation we discover that Knight Adjunct Levia strongly dislikes Pastor Waverley. Hollan offers some thoughts on Bahamut from his prayers, which seems to confuse Levia’s feelings of hate towards him. They give us the map to the temple, which is located to the south.

Meanwhile, Pennyworth meets with Brysias’ brother. In exchange for certain financial considerations, this latter places latent enchantments upon Pennyworth’s obsidian spork. Should demonic entities now be slain with it, these enchantments will become empowered and considerably increase the item’s puissance.

We load up our supplies and head off that day, travelling south to the village of Bridge and then turning off the road to the south-west. We stay in a village called Renit for the night.

Day 42:

Travelling further south we end up further off the tracks and into more broken ground. The area seems to have little wildlife beyond the occasional bird of prey, which Théorn finds unsettling. Following the map we ride along a river bed, following markers until we reach a cave that marks the entrance to the underground village where the temple is located.

The large cave entrance has orcish runes painted on it and is marked with a skeleton, possibly from a goliath. Théorn corrals the horses nearby but doesn’t feel they will be safe there for more than a couple of days. We prepare ourselves and head inside.

Barely 50ft inside the cave we find orc bodies with clear hammer injuries, as well as passing some traps that have already been triggered. 100ft in the cavern sides become more regular, as though constructed as an intentional place to live in. We descend some steps onto flattened ground. The steps are crumbling a bit, and seem old.

About 100 yards past the stairs the room opens up into a vast cavern about half a mile long containing a small village of stone buildings. There are piles of orc bodies laid out in rows, as well as a cairn with a mordenkrad atop it (Fallen paladin?). We hear sounds of someone enjoying a hearty meal behind one of the buildings. It sounds like very messy eating. Wary of getting too close, we make a noise when about 80 yards away. A large cave troll appears from behind the building, spies us and lopes off away from us towards the other end of the cavern. We check what he was eating, and find part of an orc corpse. Expecting the troll to return with reinforcements we set up position in the town square and wait for them to come to us, which they do in due time and we battle a couple of cave trolls and their rust monster pets (Encounter 1).

After the fight we continue to the tunnel at the other end of the cavern and head further in. We find tracks that look like they’re made by a large snake, or some other creature with no legs. Some hear noises in the distance, which Hollan identifies as a creature known as a destrachan. We move swiftly through the caverns towards the sound, passing more evidence of orc corpses (and one paladin corpse).

We come to a crude drawing on a wall showing a troll with two heads and a whip. It means nothing special to any of us. We hear another loud destrachan sound from just round the corner and go to deal with it. We find the chief of the troll tribe along with his pets, a destrachan and a grick (Encounter 2).

After defeating the troll chief and his associates we search through the rest of the caverns and find no further trolls, but the entrance to the temple. We take an extended rest for while outside the entrance, and then prepare to head inside.


Character status at end of session:

CharacterHit PointsHealing SurgesDaily Powers usedExperience
Hollan???8,084 (6)
Max???8,637 (6)
Napoleon???8,932 (6)
Pennyworth???9,048 (6)
Smax???8,596 (6)
Théorn???8,234 (6)
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