Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Searching For Jaryn

Ethan stood at the bow of the Urchin's Pride. Seamist spraying him with every crest of the waves. The Soarwind vessel's progress through the sea was rhythmic, it had a hypnotic pace to it. Ethan reflected on the difference between the Elemental Airship he had been on only weeks before and the Urchin's Pride. Both he knew took skill to pilot, but the Pride also took teamwork.

Glancing up at the rigging Ethan could see several crew trimming the sails to adjust for changes in the wind. This work was necessary to keep the ship working at an optimal level. Every man played a part in keeping the vessel working, unlike the airship's that House Lyrander possessed. Those were reliant on Dragonmarked Heir's dominating the elemental that powered the ship. Ethan had no doubt they were difficult to pilot, but there was no team element in the success.

With a sigh Ethan returned his gave to the waves crashing against the Urchin's Pride. He had been disgruntled of late. The encounter with Tharunn hadn't gone well. After the boy had run off Ethan had looked for him, with no success. Tharunn had disappeared. Eventually, Ethan's companions had said it was time to move out. The thought that the boy was alone in Flamekeep left Ethan feeling hollow.

Arriving in Merylsward several days later the party quickly found accommodations and set about the task of locating Jaryn. Distancing himself from the party Ethan quickly scouted out the less than reputable locations of the town. Knowing that the individuals he was seeking out wouldn't likely be interested in talking to a Kinght of the Flame. Aundair and Thrane had battled heavily during the last war, and the people of the Eldeen Reaches had seen some of that aggression. Though he had missed an encounter with the cultists, Ethan had learned some valuable information about Jaryn and where he may have been headed.

The party had been searching for Jaryn for over 40 days. So far the search hadn't resulted in much new information. The weather was bad, with fresh snow falling daily. Visibility was poor as the wind lashed out and blew the snow around. Ethan walked out front of the party leading the way. A rope lashed the party together so they wouldn't loose each other in the blinding blizzard.

The going was slow as Ethan methodically tested the ground in front of him. For every step he took he pierced the ground before him with a staff, ensuring there were no sink holes. So close to the Demon Wastes the terrain was treacherous with jagged cliffs and steep inclines. The party didn't want to find themselves up to their heads in snow. This had been the routine for weeks now and the party was clearly exhausted with the pace. Only Braddoc's military training had kept them going this long.

As Ethan moved methodically forward, the party trailing him by twenty feet he heard a loud crack. Freezing in place Ethan looked for the source of the noise. The blinding snow provided no clues. Ethan was about to continue forward when the ground fell out from under him.

Arms flailing Ethan fell and was swung by the rope tethering him to Braddoc. The wind was knocked out of him as he slammed into a cliff face. As he hung from the rope Ethan was glad he had taken Nenia's suggestion and used the rope. He felt himself being raised up and that's when the rope snapped, sending him plummeting down the cliff face.

Reaching for his dagger Ethan plunged it into the icy cliff praying Olladra hadn't abandoned him yet. The dagger found it's mark and Ethan's progress downwards came to a jarring halt. Ethan hand no idea how far he had fallen, the blizzard was obscuring all sight beyond 10 feet. Pulling another dagger out Ethan began pulling himself up. Using the daggers as spikes he drove them into the icy cliff face and pulled himself up.

Ethan didn't know how long he had been climbing for. Feeling had abandoned his fingers long ago and his left leg was tingling. It was sheer will power that had kept him going, but Ethan knew that wouldn't last for much longer. He was loosing the battle. Drawing upon the magic in his gloves Ethan felt a surge of strength and continued his ascent with renewed vigor.

Delian stood at the edge of the cliff. It had been almost an hour since Ethan had plunged over the edge. The party had given up searching. They had all agreed it was too dangerous to climb down after Ethan. Truth be told, Ethan was the only party member qualified to even attempt the climb. They had to face the facts, the elements had bested them and they'd lost one of their own. Delian said a silent prayer for his fallen friend and turned to return to the others. That's when he heard it, a scraping sound. Surely the weather was playing tricks on him. Yet, there it was again. Moving carefully forward Delian approached the noise. As he arrived at the ledge he looked down only to see a gloved hand drive a dagger into the ice and pull its owner over the cliff.

Sterling stood waiting for Delian to return so the party could continue. Ethan's death was unfortunate and he would miss Rogue, but the party needed to press on. Looking towards the Paladin Sterling watched as he dragged a body over the cliff face. Running forward Sterling arrived at the scene. Ethan lay at the Paladins feet, his exposed skin blue with cold. Worse Ethan's left leg was mangled and bloody. Looking over the edge Sterling saw a trail of blood running down the cliff.

Calling to Jonathon the Warforged hoped that his friend wasn't past saving.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back in Merylsward

16 Olarune
A bitter wind made the candles flicker as the door to the make-shift temple opened. Emesha looked up from her meditations to see a tiefling quietly shut the door and step into the room. Years of experience instantly warned her that there was more to this man than met the eye. However the Flame within her heart called her to treat everyone with respect – if not wariness.

“Well met,” she said as she rose from her mat. Her companions had already made their way to their bunks in anticipation of tomorrow’s journey back into the wilderness. A month was far too long to be holed up in this place while the cult moved throughout the lands. “How can the Flame be of service to you?”

The tiefling smiled. It seemed genuine enough. “I have traveled far to come to this place. It is my hope to find a champion of your faith in this town. He is known as Jaryn. Do you know of his whereabouts? I am in urgent need to speak with him.”

Emesha held the emotion from her face. This was the second time in a month that Jaryn’s location had been sought after. What had he got himself into? It must be important for people to follow him half way across Khorvaire. “I do not know where he is. I have not had contact with him in a few months – not that I think it is any of your business. What do you want with him warlock?” She could tell by the slight raising of his eyebrow that she had guessed his attire correctly.

“I only wish to seek his assistance in locating an item I am seeking. I believe he has knowledge of where it may be located.” He paused. “Not that it is any of your business good cleric.”

A moment of silence passed between them as the tiefling took in the room. He took a step toward one of the torches and warmed his hands. Emesha thought she saw the flames actually reach toward the warlock. She shook her head. It was time for this one to leave. A sense of unease filled her heart.

“You are correct. It is none of my business…” she paused.

“Skamos” he said without turning his head.

“Skamos.” She continued. “However you are not the first one seeking my comrade and the others have quite a head start on you.” Her mind reeled. Why had she said that? Dread filled her heart. This warlock was up to something. There was no way she would have divulged information like that willfully to someone like this. She started toward the rear of the room. She needed to get some assistance. If she could reach the door she could easily raise the alarm.

Suddenly her body immobilized and her mind shrieked as a sudden blast of pain tore through her mind. The warlock was looking at her now. Somehow he was tearing memories from her. Back through the previous weeks they flashed until they settled on Jonathon and his comrades.

“Ah.” he said. “It seems that my friends are more astute than even I gave them credit for. No matter. I must admit that I was not relishing a cold journey through lands ruled by narrow-minded nature lovers. They have saved me a trip. I thank you for your assistance Emesha.”


In the morning they found the door of the temple ajar and Emesha’s frozen corpse lying in front of the altar of the temple. There was no sign of a struggle.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Information Gathered

Information learned from Emesha in Merylsward:
Who is Jaryn?
"Jaryn is a stalwart of our faith and a veteran of countless campaigns against the cult. He and a group loyal to him undertook a mission a year ago that would have struck a mortal blow at the heart of Naarash."

What was Jaryn’s mission?
"While our order defends the villages of the frontier, Jaryn and four companions sought to take the battle to the heart of the cult. Naarash’s faithful are based in a great temple in the Moonsfall Mountains. The Pillars of Night, they call it. Jaryn swore to break the cult by destroying its leaders."

What happened to Jaryn and his group?
"Our last contact with Jaryn was a sending ritual four weeks ago that placed him deep in the borderlands at the head of a trail he called the Black March. We have had no further word."

Who else was in Jaryn’s party?
"Four faithful of Pelor—Andressa and Annika, sister-clerics of our order; the fighter Kelma; and Dajani, a tiefling sworn to the Flame's cause."

Who is Naarash? What is the Hand of Naarash?
"Naarash is said to be a hobgoblin prophet of Bane but no history speaks of that name. The Hand of Naarash arose as a hobgoblin cult five years past, though it now counts all of the borderlands’ races among its members."

What activities does the cult engage in?
"They prey on the most isolated frontier villages for converts and spoils. Townsfolk are given the choice of joining the Hand or accepting the salvation of death."

Why do you need our help?
"Our own operatives are too well-known among the cultists. Two groups have tried already to follow Jaryn’s path. Neither returned. Acapable party unknown to the cult might succeed where others have failed."

Information and rumours found in the frontier:
"I saw this paladin of yours. He and his group were headed west. I told him all he’d find west was cult trouble. He was smiling as they rode off."

"The Hand’s enforcers were always after silver and gold, but that’s changed. More of their death squads are on the hunt for arms and magic now."

"Used to be, the cult’s hobgoblins were thugs that a strong threat and a pitchfork could drive off. Now, they fight like soldiers."

"We were hit by the Hand twice in the past year. Your Jaryn and his group came through, told us not to worry about the Hand no more. Cult came back just the same."

"I never saw him, but I heard about him from three different villages northwest. Jaryn and his band of Pelor faithful were going after a Hand chieftain named Larkazh—foulest hobgoblin Hell ever spawned."

"Heard about a fight between the paladin and a force of Hand members come down from the north to hunt him. Didn’t see it, but the crows were thick over the hills."

"That fight was eight months back. Naught there but hobgoblin bones now and three cairns on the field, each capstone painted with the Silver Flame."

"I heard a story from a refugee family out of the Harsmad that met a holy knight of the Flame. Said he looked like a wild man—mud and brambles in his hair, a string of hobgoblin teeth around his neck."

"Caravan of refugees came through four months past on its way south Refugees said they met a knight heading the other direction. Shared a campsite with him. Said he preached the faith of the Flame. When they woke up, he was gone. But there by the fire was his gear—armor, shield, and all. He took his sword and waterskin and naught else, heading straight for the heart of the hills and the Moonsfall Mountains beyond."

Clothes Make the Cultist
All the cultists you have faced wear the symbol of Bane— either painted in black on a loose-fitting gray tunic (worn over leather armor if applicable), or painted directly onto heavier armor.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Recap #13 - The Group Reaches Out...

  • The party opted to take the Soarwind ship to Merylsward. It took 13 days and cost each member 64 gp. (Be sure to deduct it from your gold)
  • They arrive in Merylsward on 10 Zarantyr at about 4 AM.
  • They follow the captain’s advice and head into town to an inn he recommended. Jonathon went up the street to stay at the small Church of the Silver Flame. (If you want to call it a church. It is the Eldeen Reaches after all. More like a makeshift shrine than anything. The only reason it is tolerated is because they have been assisting the local refuges.)
  • After a few hours rest the group begins the quest to find out where Jaryn might be located. Several inquires within the town divulge the following:

The area outside the town wall known as “The Pits” is swelled to capacity with refugees fleeing the frontier lands. A cult known as the Eye of Naarsh has been recruiting members – or “saving” those who refuse to join.

Jaryn had been in town a number of weeks back. He had arrived via an airship with 4 companions. After a short stay he headed west into the frontier to deal with the cult once and for all.

  • Assuming that the group would be heading into the frontier the party stocked up on some supplies and Sterling looked into hiring a tracker to help them navigate the lands.
  • With no other leads within the town, the party headed into The Pits under the pretense of assisting the Silver Flame people with doling out food and clothing to the refugees.
  • A short time later the party found themselves near the western edge of the camp when they heard screams of terror and saw people fleeing toward the town gates. A cult death squad (as the locals called them) was raiding the edge of the encampment.
  • Quickly the group jumped into action and (quite a while later) they were able to defeat the mage, 2 guards, and 2 bandit humans. Jonathon’s attempts to rescue a refuge trapped under a fallen tent were thwarted when he inadvertently killed the unlucky soul with an area blast spell.
  • The group killed all but one of the attackers. However when they removed a curious necklace made of a ring with a red gem in the centre from around his neck, the gem dissolved and the captive died.
  • As the battle ended a half dozen battle-ready people ran into the camp seemingly in pursuit of the now-dead assailants. Emblazoned on their gear was the mark of the Silver Flame.
  • Their leader – a female human named Emesha – thanked the party for their assistance. They had been tracking the death squad for 3 days. She asked if she could meet the party later to discuss some matters of import. The party agreed to meet her at the inn around the dinner hour.
  • During the meeting Emesha informed the party that she was a cleric of the Silver Flame. She was specifically of an order called the Light of the Sun. They were dedicated to fighting the Hand of Naarsh as the cultists have named themselves. She wants the party to try and find the location and/or fate of a champion of the Flame named Jaryn (dun-dun-dun!) His mission was to strike at the heart of the cult by taking out their leaders. However, it seems they lost contact with him several weeks ago. He simply stopped replying to their periodic sending rituals.
  • (I’ll put the specific info learning in another post.)
  • The party was able to hire a tracker and they set out the following day. (12 Zarantyr)
  • For the next several weeks the group wandered the frontier looking for signs of Jaryn and his party. They came across a number of small hamlet and farmhouses dotted throughout the region. While most people were reluctant to talk to the group simply out of fear of reprisal from the Cult, a number of them were able to provide the group with hints and rumours.
  • (Again, I’ll put the specific info learning in another post.)
  • Finally, one dusk, they arrived in a very small village called Erstlin in the NW of the Eldeen Reaches – almost on the foot on the mountains marking the border of the Demon Wastes. Here they were met by the town’s leader named Perren Auldwyl. He was polite and offered a place to stay for the night but forbid the party to ask about the Cult. He seemed adamant that the town was able to walk the line with the Cult and they didn’t want to stir up trouble.
  • However trouble found them. They group was surrounded and attacked in Perren’s home. 2 Bugbear warriors, 2 hobgoblin archers, and a hobgoblin warcaster laid a beating on the group. However they were able to overcome their adversaries and were rewarding with a +2 magic rod that the warcaster was carrying. Their attire confirmed that they were members of the Eye of Naarsh.
  • The party was able to revive the unconscious Perren and learn the following information:

Perren rubs his head and says “Unless you’re planning to stick around to take on the group that comes looking for this one, you ain’t done us no favors.” Auldwyl pulls aside the curtain to the bedroom, showing the crates stacked there. He opens one, revealing a brace of black-fletched arrows. Another crate contains longswords, and a third is packed with steel helmets.

“The Hand is running weapons north,” the old man says quietly. “Erstlin’s a stop-off point, last town short of the wilds. We give their smugglers free run of the town, the Hand leaves us alone. You folsk will have to clear out at first light.”

The next day the party followed Perren through the village. To their surprise the place was a bustle of activity. It seems the story of the battle had spread through the night and the locals wanted to see the victors. As they neared the last of the small buildings a young woman steps forward.

“Name’s Shandra. Hobgoblins killed my pa when they first came. Said it was a warning. I followed them, meant to take revenge but I couldn’t keep up. But I saw where they went. I can make you a map for finding their Black March. Take my advice though. Only a fool would fight their way in. The pass is well-travelled by the Eye.”

The map leads into the mountains to the west. Your tracker says he will take you until they have found the path but no farther. The lands beyond Erstlin turn to hilled forest, offering better shelter and obviating the need for Endurance checks. Three days out, they stumble upon an ancient ruin shrouded in stunted spruce – a shrine or temple reduced to a foundation pit and a half dozen pillars among the trees. They decide to use this place a shelter for the night.

The date is 6 Therendor. (You were in the wilderness for quite some time folks.)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Letter from Dad


I hope that this letter finds you well. I have sent Grandor Smithhammer to Sharn to make contact with you. He should be there on the 7th of Zarantyr. I ask that you meet with him upon his arrival. He will be in Sharn on family business with the local Houses. Please make yourself available to assist him on this important family deal. He can elaborate further in person.

Yours in Steadfastness,

Chief of the Stoneshields


The next time you want to check up on me, come yourself.

Your Son in Exile,


Saturday, December 6, 2008


I'm going to take a small liberty as DM in regards to Merylsward. I am going to say it is much closer to the water than it looks on the map. Here is a description I found on the Interweb that I will use as a description.

Located to the far north of the Eldeen Reaches, by the Eldeen Bay, the town is situated on an open area of land approximately 30 miles east of The Towering Wood.

Originally a frontier fort to protect the farmers in the region, the town grew with the families of the guardsmen and various support facilities. The town grew slowly until House Vadalis established an estate there. The town swelled in size, stabilizing on todays population of about 1200. A city wall was erected on the insistence of House Vadalis, constructed from locally mined granite. While the city itself may seem gray and dour, the inside of the buildings are usually quite colorful.

Merylsward has a small dock area down by the Eldeen Bay. A steep ridge separates the city and the docks, accessible through a set of stone stairs predating the city, a lift constructed and operated by House Cannith, and a road traversing the ridge about a mile to the south.

The town is highly seasonal. During summer and fall the city swells with seasonal workers helping with the spawning, hunters, traders from the Lhazaar Principalities and people wanting to earn money on those. These people take up residence in the Pens, an area outside the city walls consisting of tents, semi-permanent and quickly built structures. The Pens contain huge markets where someone can get their hands on just about anything during the season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Chat With Tharunn

Gulls squawked as they hovered over the harbour of Flamekeep, circling above waiting for an errant fish to slip off one of the many skiffs currently unloading its cargo. The dock district smelt just like the dock ward in Sharn. Located throughout the ward were all the businesses that other’s didn’t want to see or smell. The lowest of the low lived in this ward and Ethan knew it. He also knew that those who lived in palaces up above needed those who lived so far beneath them, whether they wished to recognize that fact or not.

The walk through the dock district was pleasant. Tharunn carried the conversation pointing out landmarks and favorite locations. He pointed out to Ethan the first place he ever stole food, his face turned red as he realized what he just said. Ethan just chuckled and thought of the first loaf of bread he ever stole. Truth be told he was rather fond of the boy and that was part of the problem.

After Tharunn had gone to bed the evening before Ethan had sat around as his companions planned their next move. Ethan couldn’t care less where they travelled, so long as he had the opportunity to practice his craft. He’d been working on some new maneuvers that he wanted to try out. He’d sat back and let the others debate the merits of the choices set before them. One thing had become abundantly clear, Tharunn wouldn’t be travelling with them any further. The task of breaking the news had fallen to Ethan and he still hadn’t figured out what to say.

Tharunn hadn’t spoken with Braddoc since the boy felt the dwarven warrior abandoned him when the dragon attacked. Ethan didn’t want the boy to feel betrayed again; he’d lost enough over the past weeks. It was something Ethan was familiar with and it had taken him years to finally find a new home. Tharunn had latched onto the party quickly, adopting them as his new family. Ethan dreaded the task ahead. Six take the others for leaving the task to him.
Stopping at a merchant’s stall Ethan purchased fresh fish and crisped potato’s for the two of them. Ethan continued to listen to the boy as he talked with a full mouth. Finding themselves at the beach Ethan began skipping stones into the bay. Looking down at a stone in his palm he figured now was as good a time as any.

“We’re leaving Flamekeep tomorrow,” Tharunn’s ear’s perked up at the news. “It’ll be dangerous, we’re heading after Jaryn. We feel it’s our best chance to figure out what’s been going on.”

Tharunn was obviously excited about the prospect of further travel, “That’s great! I’ve got my bag all packed, I’m ready to go. You don’t need to worry about me.”

Ethan chuckled, “I know Tharunn, you’re a smart kid and you know how to handle yourself. You’ve grown a lot over the past few weeks. I’m proud of you.”

Tharunn glowed as the comment was delivered. “I won’t let you down Ethan, you can count on me.”

The look on Tharunn’s face was serious, far too serious for a boy so young. “I know Tharunn”. Ethan sighed, here it comes he thought. “Unfortunately the others don’t feel that way. They worry that you might be a liability to the group; that you might get in the way.”

“That’s not true” the boy protested. “You told ‘em didn’t you Ethan? You told ‘em I could hold my own didn’t you?”

“I did Tharunn and I know you’d be a valuable addition to the party.” Ethan paused, his face clearly showing his frustration.

“What is it Ethan?” Tharunn asked.

“The others are right Tharunn; you are too young to travel with us. Your uncle Dourstone would tan my hide if I let you come with us. You understand don’t you?” Ethan clearly didn’t know where to go from here; he could see the disappointment written on the boy’s face. “I want to give you something Tharunn. You’ve proven yourself to be fairly good with a dagger, it’s time you had a good blade. My first dagger was given to me when I was a little older than you. It was given by ah, a friend of my mother’s.” Ethan fought hard to control the anger that was rising from within. “This dagger has been my most prized possession for many years. It carries with it many memories and lessons. Lessons I learned the hard way. I want you to have it and when you’re ready I promise that you can join us on this adventure. Do we have a deal?”

Letter from Ragnolin

The gnome entered Thelio's waiting chamber. Thelio's assistant easily recognized the symbol of the House Sivis upon the lapel of the delivery man.

"I have a message for the warforged named Sterling."

His face showed no emotion as he waited patiently for Thelio's assistant to retrieve the warforged from his musings.

"Are you the one known as Sterling?"

"I am." replied the warlord.

The gnome's eyes glazed as he spoke a quick incantation beneath his breath. Whatever it was he did it seemed to satisfy Sterling's claim. He handed over a sealed note, nodded, and left.

"Thank you Reeson." he said to the butler. He opened the letter and read it to himself. No emotion showed upon his face as he took in the information it contained. When he was finished he turned and went to seek the others. They needed to hear this.

Hail respected members of the Clifftop Adventurer's Guild,

In my last letter I told you I would help you in any manner I could. To that end I wanted to update you on some information and happenings that pertain to your current situation.

The elf, Kal'ser, who hired my dear friend Kartenix and his group is here in Sharn. He came to see me late the other evening. He was concerned that he had not received the item and was looking for an update on its status. After learning of the fate of his employees his mood seemed to darken. Aside from his obviously sincere condolences, he was very concerned that two of the items now seem to be in the hands of the tiefling Skamos. He wishes to extend the contract that was drawn up with Kartenix. Upon retrieval of both stolen items he will not only make good on the gold promised Kartenix and such, he will double that amount. He would not name the amount of the payment. My years of experience in dealing with these types of folk tell me he is holding back information but I do believe that he is honest in his offer.

I did not tell him that I have already asked you to follow up for the Guild's sake. A shrewd adventurer would consider this an opportunity to make additional profit for something they were goig to do anyway. Of course, the choice to do anything is yours.

Enclosed is a letter of credit for 100 gold to help cover the cost of your stay in Flamekeep.

It is my hope that I receive word from you regarding your next move.

Ragnolin Dourstone.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Delian’s Observations - Homecoming

19 Vult

I’ve heard many veterans speak of a euphoria they experience when returning home after a long campaign, but it wasn’t until I got off the lightning rail in Sigilstar that I truly understood what they meant.

Less than two years had passed since I left Thrane for Breland. But upon seeing the familiar sights, walking down the streets I travelled during my childhood, and seeing my father again that I truly realized how much I missed it all.

When in Sharn I learned to ignore the stares and insults thrown at me simply because of my nationality and my faith. Being home and being accepted allowed me to lower my guard. People smile as I walk past them. Many offer me the blessing of the Flame and wish me well. The warmth of community has reminded me just how brightly the Flame can burn.

But as I enjoy this homecoming my companions receive the flip side of the coin. Their clothes, mannerisms, and speech clearly mark them as foreigners. The sight of a warforged walking freely causes great concern for many common folk.

It seems that my own countrymen have the same dislike for my companions that the Brelish have for me. It’s funny how people of different countries can behave so similarly. Perhaps they are not as different as they all think they are.

Regalia of the Phoenix

After all the research done prior to Kartenix’ expedition North, Thelio was able to tell you the following information about the items being sought.

The set consists of 4 items
  • Raptor’s Mask – taken from Hi’relle by Skamos. Said to give bonuses to sight and to protect the wear from conditions such as blindness.
  • Crown of Flames – taken from Delver’s Dale by Skamos via Sinruth
  • Talon Scepter – location unknown
  • Phoenix Cloak – location unknown

He also tells you the following lore regarding the set known as the Regalia of the Phoenix.

The regalia of the phoenix sears its story into the mind of every ambitious noble who hears it. It made its first fiery appearance in the possession of the Phoenix Queen, a sorcerer of tremendous power who took the throne of a long-forgotten kingdom by force. Because the Phoenix Queen possessed all the elements of the regalia, she could not be defeated, and anyone who rose against her was burnt to a cinder. After years of her vicious rule, a lover tricked her into removing her mask, pleading with her to see her face. When she pulled the mask away, revealing a face of cold beauty
untouched by remorse or sorrow, assassins rose from the shadows, and she fell beneath their many blades.

After the assassins killed the Phoenix Queen, they quarreled over the regalia. Only four survived, each taking a single piece. Fearing attempts by the others to steal their pieces, they fled the kingdom, spreading knowledge of the regalia of the phoenix to foreign lands.

The forgotten kingdom of legend was an elf-empire, and some say that the Phoenix Queen’s lover also survived the assassin’s quarrel. According to some, the lover was true to his pitiless mistress, and the assassins tricked him into asking the queen to remove her mask. Rumours persist that this elf lives still, clutching to life despite his extreme age and the call of his ancestors, hanging on with the inhuman strength that only a thirst for vengeance can give. It’s said he seeks any who would dare profit from the assassin’s foul deed by using any piece of the regalia. When he finds them, he snuffs out their lives as calmly as one might blow out a candle.

Current Timeline

Just so we know where we are at in terms of the date:

8 Vult - Sinruth’s trial
9 Vult - Received letter from Ragnolin
11 Vult - Left Delver’s Dale
11-18 Vult - Travelled by horse to Hatherill
18 Vult - Arrived in Hatherill, got on the Lightning Rail
18-19 Vult - Lightning Rail to Sigilstar
20 Vult - Lightning Rail to Flamekeep
20-25 Vult - Investigating in Flamekeep

The date you arrive in the Eldeen Reaches depends on the mode of transportation you choose.

Travelling to the Eldeen Reaches

24 Vult

Assuming that overland travel is not an option, we’ll have to travel by air or sea.

Taking an airship is prohibitively expensive and I don't think we can afford it. Although the journey to Merylsward can be covered in just over 1 day it would cost us 600 gp each. I know I cannot afford that.

That means we travel by sea. And as with the airship, cost will be a huge factor for us. The two options that fall into our price range are a traditional sailing ship or soarwood sailing ship. Neither typically has any ties to House Lyrandar and as such are not powered by elemental and do not usually have a Lyrandar captain at the helm.

The sailing ship will take 13 days to reach Stormhome and then another 15 to reach the north coast near Merylsward. The 28 day journey will cost us 39 gp each.

The soarwood sailing ship will take 6 days to reach Stormhome and then another 7 to reach the north coast near Merylsward. The 13 day journey will cost us 64 gp each.

So for a difference of 15 gp we can cut our traveling time in half.

Since Merylsward is landlocked we’re looking at a 25 mile ride through the forest once we disembark. But even at half speed we should be able to cover this distance in 1 day.

Assuming we can all afford the 64 gp, I've got contacts in the Church who can help us find an honest and reliable captain. Once we agree on a course of action it should only take a day or two to find a suitable ship.

I can also arrange for everyone’s travelling papers. That’s another 25 gp each and is an unavoidable cost of crossing an international border.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Recap #12 - Information Overload?

Lots of information to absorb from this recap!
After reading the letter from Ragnolin Dourstone the party decided it was time to do some information gathering. They talked to Tharunn, Sertanian, and Sinruth. Here is the information in no particular order:

Tharunn’s details and info on the NPCs

  • Tharunn had been born in Sharn. In fact he spent the first 2 years of his life within the guildhouse.
  • He moved to Flamekeep when he was 2 and lived within the church while he father was away. His mother died at birth.
  • He had been travelling for about a month with his father. They were taking the scenic route to Sharn so that Kartenix could teach him about travel and general wilderness survival.
  • They had been beset by wererats and his father contracted filth fever. That is why he was in bed in the inn during the original hobgoblin raid.
  • He knows the following people:
    Kartenix (human fighter) usual travel companions were:
    Hi’relle – Halfling Ranger was killed by Skamos and relieved of the item he was carrying.
    Dylol – Gnome Wizard
    Tassad – Human Cleric - Both Dylol and Tassad were found dead in the Silver Mug Inn where they had been staying. Evidence of a battle indicates they died fighting.
    Hovet – Half-Elf Bard went missing around the same time Dylol and Tassad were killed.
    Jaryn Votuur – Human Paladin of the Silver Flame was a long time friend of Kartenix. Tharunn speaks highly of him as Jaryn taught him to read.
    Thelio – dwarf who owns an extensive library of old books and historic data. Tharunn is fond of him as the old dwarf has taught him many lessons based on history.
    Kristoff – Human mage who was helping Kartenix research information on his latest mission. Not many people like him as he has the social graces of a bugbear. He never smiles, is snobby, and very matter-of-fact.

Info from Sertanian

  • Sertanian checked records. Didn’t think it was magical. Been on display for so long. No one has touched it in decades.
  • In 816 YK, Elmen Von Jallach obtained the helm after a great battle against the goblinoids in the area.
  • It is said the power of the crown helped the leader of the goblinoids to bring the tribes together.

Info from Sinruth

  • Delian promised to ensure Sinruth’s last days were as comfortable as possible.
  • Sinruth wants revenge on Skamos for leaving him hanging
  • Only reason PCs weren’t swarmed by the crypts denizens was that Skamos wouldn’t allow it. Almost like the tiefling was testing the PCs.
  • Skamos had promised Sinruth leadership over all the regions hobgoblin tribes in exchange for his assistance in raiding the town.
  • Found it amusing that after countless battles his bodyguard Gorax was essentially hugged to death.
  • Only request was to be buried with his weapon.

Details on Kartenix’ recent job

  • Group was hired by elf named Kal’ser to obtain an artifact from a ruins on the edge of the Demon Wastes.
  • They were successful in obtaining and returned to Flamekeep to retrieve payment.
  • Thelio told them it was a Mask known as the Raptor’s Mask. Not sure of full powers but knows it help you see better and helped protect the wearer from effects that obscured vision.
  • Old temple in the North of the Eldeen Reaches. It was in the possession of a viscious Mezzodemon named Harkulith. They are known for hording treasure. How the group managed to retrieve the item from him and his lackeys remains a mystery to Thelio.
  • When they got to Flamekeep they were given a note requesting the item be moved secretly to Sharn.
  • They were asked to avoid air and rail travel as those modes of transportation were being watched.
  • Kartenix and Tharunn took the opportunity to make the trip together so Kartenix could teach his son about the wilderness.
  • Hi’relle was given the item since he was most familiar moving stealthily through the wilderness if it was required.
  • Other 3 members stayed in Flamekeep to keep up appearances that item was remaining there.

Info Learned in Flamekeep

  • Kristoff seems to have taken an expedition to somewhere in the Talenta Plains.
  • Jaryn left Flamekeep 3 weeks ago with his 4 usual party members. Seems he made a promise to help fight a cult uprising in the Eldeen Reaches.
  • Tharunn actually came through for the group and found out that Jaryn must have been in a rush as he pulled in some favours within the church and made use of an airship to get to Owl’s Perch. From there he was heading to Merylsward.
  • Before you guys leave Flamekeep you receive a message from Delver’s Dale that a hobgoblin raiding party managed to sneak in and free Sinruth two days prior to his execution. 4 guards were killed in the escape. Nothing has been seen or heard from him since.
  • Info on the Regalia of the Phoenix is in another post.

Encounter in the Wilderness

  • En route to Flamekeep the group had a run in with a young green dragon.
  • Nenia managed to hide herself, Braddoc, and Delian with the magic candle but failed to include Tharunn who assumed he'd been abandoned. He no longer trusts those three.
  • Sterling struck a deal with the dragon. In exchange for safe passage he gave the dragon his Amulet of Health +1, 300 gp, and a horse.
  • The deal was almost blown by Braddoc who REALLY wanted to fight the scaley beast.
  • The incident strained some relationships within the group. Tharunn lost all respect for Braddoc as his father had always stressed that the only way to survive was to work as a team. One loose conductor stone can bring a whole train crashing down as Hi'relle used to tell him.

Delian’s Observations - The Green Dragon

14 Vult

I’ve read of dragons and seen illustrations in books, but never did I expect to see one with my own eyes. The dragon we encountered must have been very young because it stood only three times the height of a man. Only three times! I say it like it’s not still a tremendous size for any living creature.

I credit the quick thinking of Nenia and Sterling for our survival. I know Braddoc wanted to fight the creature, and I’m sure he could have dealt it a tremendous blow, but cooler heads prevailed in the end. The use of the magic candle to hide most of the group, and Sterling’s decision to talk to the intelligent beast allowed us to survive the encounter unscathed. The material costs were high but how can anyone put a gp value on a life.

I don’t know if I would have been able to keep my cool and composure in the face of such power. I feel I owe Sterling a debt of thanks and have told him so. In the short-term I have given him 100 gp to ease his material loss. But I feel that there is still a great debt that has gone unpaid and I look to the Flame to provide me guidance as I seek the appropriate means to repay him.

Jonathon's Wish List

(1) Long Sword +1 [360gp]
(2) Long Sword +2 [1,800gp]
Currently no magic weapon.

Happy for now with what I have+3 would be nice :)

(1) Bashing Shield (1,000gp)
(2) Guardian Shield (Level 10)

(1) Amulet of Protection +1 [360gp]
(2) Cloak of Resistance +1
(3) Cloak of Resistance +2

(1) Horned Helm [1,800gp]
(2) Goggles of Night (Level 14)
(3) Helm of Ghostly Defense (Level 22)

(1) Potion of Healing - A bunch[50gp]

Iron Skin Belt [1,000gp]

Wondrous Items
Dimensional Shackles (Level 17)

Character Sheet - Level 5 (Jonathon)

Level 5

Init +2
Speed: 5

STR 19 +4
CON 13 +1
DEX 11 +0
INT 8 -1
WIS 14 +2
CHA 14 +2

Hit Points = 50
Bloodied = 25
Healing Surge = 12
Surges/Day = 8

AC = 22 = 10 +8[Chain Mail +2] +2[Shield] +2 [1/2 Level]
Fort = 17 = 10 +4[Str] +1[Human] +2 [1/2 Level]
Ref = 15 = 10 +0[Dex] +1[Human] +2[Shield] +2 [1/2 Level]
Will = 17 = 10 +2[Wis] +1[Human] +2[Class] +2 [1/2 Level]

Senses:Passive Insight: +19
Passive Perception: +14

Acrobatics 0
Arcana 6
Athletics 3
Bluff 4
Diplomacy 9
Dungeoneering 4
Endurance 0
Heal 9
History 1
Insight 9
Intimidate 4
Nature 4
Perception 4
Religion 9
Stealth -1
Streetwise 4
Thievery -1

At Will Powers:
[1] Priest Shield
[1] Righteous Brand
[R] Sacred Flame

Encounter Powers:
[C] Divine Fortune
[C] Turn Undead
[C] Healing Word
[1] Wrathful Thunder
[3] Split the Sky

Daily Powers:
[1] Avenging Flame
[5] Weapon of the Gods

Utility Powers:
[2] ???

Ritual Book: Gentle Repose, Make Whole

[R] Weapon Profiency (Long Sword)
[1] Shield Proficiency Light
[2] Shield Proficiency Heavy
[4] Toughness

Basic Weapon Attacks:
Long Sword +2:
Attack: +11 (+4[Str] +3[Weapon Profiency] +2 [1/2 Level] + 2 Magic )
Damage: 1d8 +6, Versatile

Attack: +8 (+4[Str] +2[Weapon Profiency] +2 [1/2 Level] )
Damage: 1d6 +4, Heavy Thrown

Equipment (Non Magical):
Heavy Shield
Standard Adventurer’s Kit
Javelin x 5
Climbers Kit

Equipment (Magical):
Weapon Slot: Long Sword +2
Armor Slot: Chaim Mail +2
Item Slot: Holy Symbol +1
Feet Slot: Acrobat Boots

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Braddoc's Thoughts

Leadership. It's what I have been asking for Sterling and Delian to show for as long as we have been travelling together. I am now regretting it.

Cowardice. That is the type of leadership they have chosen.

Appeasers. Skulking about. This is no way for warriors and heroes to behave. Buying our way through public land, at a price immeasurably too high. Hundreds of gold and an innocent, loyal animal just to avoid combat with a puffed up reptile.

Pusillanimity. Hiding behind undue fear of loss to minor challenges.

Honour. In order to retain my honour, I may have to bid adieu to these folks. If they continue to conduct themselves as spineless syncophants they are not worthy of my companionship or friendship.

My association with them hangs in the balance.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Delian’s Observations

10 Vult, 998 YK

Since rescuing Jalissa from the catacombs she has been smitten with me. Before we found her she underwent a terrible ordeal and it nearly broke her. She was fragile, vulnerable, and desperate. And then she saw me and everything changed for her. She clung to the hope that she would be rescued and that hope became reality. She felt she had lost everything, and when I freed her she felt like she needs to offer me everything she had in return. She keeps thanking me for saving her life. I have told her repeatedly that it was the efforts and heroics of many people that lead to her freedom, but she doesn’t hear any of it. I believe she thinks she’s in love with me.

Clearly the feelings stem from the circumstances of her capture and rescue. She would feel the same way about whomever she first laid eyes on. Had Braddoc gone into that room first this would be his problem and not mine.

But eleven days have past and Jalissa is still enamored with me. She has had plenty of time to show a change of heart. She is back in her home surrounded by her friends and family. She should feel safe here. She should not be acting out of character. So does that mean that she is developing genuine feelings for me? It may be naive of me to thinks so, but what if that is exactly what’s happening. I’d be a fool to turn away the advances of such a beautiful woman. She is everything I desire.

If I take the reward Jalissa is freely offering me, the people of Delver’s Dale and my own companions might think I have violated her trust. They may scorn my reciprocation of her affections. Well, that’s just something they will have to deal with. I will spend one night with Jalissa before we leave for Flamekeep. Accepting her love may seem inappropriate now, but repressing my own desires and later discovering that her feelings were genuine would make me feel stupid for a long time to come.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Correspondence - 9 Vult

9 Vult

Master Dourstone,

I was surprised to receive your letter. We are doing well and resting after rescuing some prisoners from Delver’s Dale. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Upon arriving in the Dale the town quickly came under attack. The group ran to assist the local militia however the attack was a diversion and several townspeople were kidnapped and priceless artifacts were stolen.

We managed to rescue all the captives but one. Unfortunately, Kartenix fought to free himself and was killed. Also, we failed to recover one of the items. A crown of some sorts, the teifling Skamos seemed to think it had great value. I feel that I have failed you, the Guild, and most importantly Kartenix. We were to escort him to Sharn and instead we allowed ourselves to become distracted.

However, this is all in the past. We will of course travel to Flamekeep, though without the information Kartenix could provide I feel that we will fail again. It is a hard thing to feel so helpless.

Otherwise, things have been well. I continue to keep write my journal as you suggested. At first I was hesitant; however I believe it a good way to reflect on how I have grown. I must confess Master that I enjoy the thrill of battle in a way I could never have imagined. My thoughts run dark as I envision new ways to battle and bring down my foes. I fear I delight in the pain of my enemies too much.

I must confess I was puzzled when the boy Tharunn, Kartenix’s son, delivered your letter to me. My puzzlement turned to wonder as I noted the smaller envelope inside the first addressed only to me. As the others were present when the letter was delivered I slipped the second envelope into my bracer. I do not believe the others noticed this and having read your private letter I realize this was a wise course of action.

I thank you for sharing your discoveries with me. This brings trouble I long thought buried back to light. I will tend to these matters when I return to Sharn. If you could see to it that she is looked after, I will repay any expenses. As for justice, or perhaps my final vengeance, it will have to wait.

Regarding your final request, I will of course keep my eye out and report back to you on my findings.

Olladra guide you,

Ethan Dalruun

Delian’s Letters

10 Vult, 998 YK

Greetings, father

We have returned to Delver’s Dale, our mission mostly successful. We were able to rescue seven of the eight prisoners. Unfortunately Kartenix, Ragnolin’s friend and the man we were here to meet, was killed by the monsters that inhabited the catacombs. I have no doubt that Kartenix fought bravely to free himself and his son before being killed.

Kartenix’s son, Tharunn, was greatly affected by the violent kidnapping and then by knowledge of his father’s death. He was extremely taciturn in the days following his rescue, but he is young and strong. I have no doubt that he will recover quickly. I have spent time explaining the cycle of life, death, and renewal to Tharunn. I don’t know if it’s helping him, but I know it’s the right thing to do. Having lost mother when I was a boy, I can greatly sympathize with his current situation.

Over the past couple of days he has taken a shining to the party. When he is not in the care of Jalissa, another one of the freed captives, Tharunn follows us around Delver’s dale. I’ve even seen him imitating us and pretending to be an adventurer battling monsters. I suspect that he is reenacting how he would have saved his father if he was bigger and stronger, like we are. Again I have become a reluctant role model.

I have worked with the local clergy to council the other kidnapping victims as well. My training in diplomacy and human interaction has proven remarkably effective. I have made many friends in Delver’s Dale and I know that my efforts have provided the victims with some comfort. In many cases they just needed someone they could talk to, someone who would not be judgmental. I was happy to do it and could feel the flame burning within me as I helped so many people deal with such a terrible ordeal.

We have pressing matters in Flamekeep and will be leaving in the next couple of days. Hopefully we’ll have time to stop in Sigilstar along the way. I miss you greatly and long for the familiar sights of the home.

We decided that it is best for Tharunn if he remains in Delver’s Dale in Jalissa’s care for the winter. Bringing the boy on the road is too dangerous at this point. When we depart Delver’s Dale I hope that Tharunn will not revert inward and shut himself off again. I have spent time with many of the townsfolk assuring that the boy has the love and support he will need in the coming months.

Hopefully I will see you within the next month, father. Flame keep you safe.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Aftermath of the Rescue

9 Vult

After Sinruth's so-called trial, the party made their way back to the Rusty Kettle Tavern. The strains of the rescue were beginning to subside as bruises and cuts began to heal. Rest and ale can do wonders - especially when it is free of charge. Rescuing the cook of the establishment has its perks.

In the days since their return they could hardly spend a moment outside without someone singing their praises and thanking them. Jalissa made frequent visits to dote upon Delian. Each night Sertanian and Adronsius ensured that everyone in the Kettle knew of the heroic deeds of the group. Even crotchety, old Zerriksa nodded her head and thanked them. The innkeeper noted it was the most cordial thing he had seen her do in years.

Today was different. For once the group was left in peace - or so they thought.

A breathless Tharunn hurried into the main room. A quick scan of the patrons and he marched determinedly over to Ethan. "A message for you Ethan. Sealed and everything." He handed the parchment over.

As Ethan opened the letter, Sterling appraised the recent orphan. While the warforged had not known the boy prior to his rescue, he was sure that the lad had changed in the last week. More determined, sullen, and focused. The death of his father was a hard blow to take - especially for one so young. Even now he watched him gaze intently on Ethan. The lad's attachment to the rogue was incredible. The boy watched his every move. Sterling had even caught him imitating some of Ethan's attack moves one evening. While the warforged held Ethan in the highest regard, he wasn't so sure if this was what the boy needed at this time. Perhaps more of Tharunn's time should be arranged with Jalissa. At least until they could get the youngster back to the guildhall and under the care of Ragnolin.

A low whistle escaped from Ethan. "Looks like we aren't heading to Sharn." The group looked a little confused. Ethan kept them in suspense a moment until he noticed Braddoc's eyebrow raise and Nenia's face turn slightly red. Even the usually stoic Jonathon seemed ready to snatch the parchment from Ethan's hands.

"Ragnolin needs us to head to Flamekeep. Looks like we've got ourselves in up to our necks with this Skamos fella. Ragnolin wants to nip this in the bud before anyone else in the guild meets an untimely end."

Sterling put out his hand to receive the note. He read it aloud to the group.
Hail to thee.

I trust that you have all fared well and have located Kartenix by the time you read this. Some things have come to light since your departure. Based on the events, I must make an unorthodox request of your talents.

As you know all of Kartenix' previous group have either met sudden violent ends or can not be located. He can tell you more of them if wishes. We are almost certain that the circumstances surrounding these tragedies are directly tied to the recent job they performed. I am sure that you have conveyed the news of Hi'relle's death to my old friend by now. We believe this Skamos character hunted your fellow guild members down to find the location of an item they procured. I am unsure of the exact details but some information has come to light that suggests that it was part of a set of items. Sets like this are rare. The individual items contain potent enough magic but when used in conjunction they are devastatingly powerful.

It behooves me to ask you to return with Kartenix to Flamekeep. He needs to locate whatever sources of information he used to track the item down in the first place and try to determine the true threat. A reclusive historian by the name of Thelio, a paladin by the name of Jaryn, and a mage named Kristoff seem to ring a bell from my previous conversations with Hi'relle. Kartenix should be able to assist you there.

Give my regards to Kartenix and the rascal Tharunn. I look forward to seeing them when you finally get back to Sharn.


Delian noted Ragnolin's seal at the bottom of the letter. "It seems we better find the best route to Flamekeep."

Braddoc's eyebrow flew up. "You holy rollers have ale there right?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recap #11 - Meet Sinruth

  • Party moved east down pillared hall.

  • encountered a group of undead led by a Deathlock Wight. Group consisted of 2 gravehounds, a boneshard skeleton, the wight, and 5 decrepit skeletons that kept reanimated until all 5 were dead at the same time.

  • Sterling tried to intimidate the wight to no avail. Trading insults was fun.

  • Party eventually conquered the challenge and recieved some nice loot.

  • Went back west then north into an old shrine with an obelisk. Inside were 2 more wererats, a bugbear warrior and a sneaky little gnome arcanist. A nice bonus to the party was when the bugbear charged Ethan flinging a pew out of the way and subsequently knocked one of the wererats prone.

  • The party made quick work of the wererats and the bugbear but the arcanist was able to sneak away and flee. In the room was some of the missing artifacts.

  • Two options left to explore. The first ended up being a room with a scrying pool. Nothing overly exciting. Would have been much more useful earlier in the dungeon romp.

  • The second and last option was a stair leading up from where they found Jalissa. It led to a pitch black room containing several tall thin menhirs that emitted cold. While trying to determine if it was a freeze trap or something, the party threw water on and between the first two to see what would happen. At that point a door opened on the far end of the chamber and laughter echoed through the room.

  • It was none other then their previous aquaintance Skamos the warlock who killed Hi'relle. He held a crown of sorts in his hands. After some brief posturing he set two of his lackeys on the party and retreated back through the doors.

  • The lackeys were in fact Sinruth the hobgoblin leader of the raid and his bodyguard Gorax. Some well played tactics made this fight much easier than it could have been. Sinruth was unable to use his spiked chain to full effect in the midst of the menhirs and Sterling's grasps kept Gorax from being the threat he could have been. In the end Gorax was killed and Sinruth was knocked unconscious.
  • Skamos returned to taunt them and then retreated some once again. The party gave chase. Bursting through the last doors, they caught a last glimpse of Skamos reading a ritual from a scroll and teleporting to some unknown location.
  • Phats loots were found. Crown in Skamos hand turned out to be the Helm artifact they were supposed to retrieve for the townsfolk.
  • Party gathered the rescued hostages and headed home. On the way they collected the griffon egg from the clifface. Nenia had a particular interest in it.
  • Slow but uneventful journey to Delver's Dale took another 4 days putting them to 2nd of Vult upon their return.
  • Received quest reward for hostages. Received quest reward for items even though 1 was missing. Bringing Sinruth back alive made up for that issue.

The Best Route to Flamekeep

10 Vult

Two days following Sinruth’s trial the party met in the common room of the small cottage the grateful people of Delver’s Dale graciously provided for them while they remained in town.

Delian unrolled a map of Khorvaire on the table and motioned for the others to gather round.

“Ragnolin wants us to go to Flamekeep,” he said pointing at the capital of Thrane, clearly marked with a star and labeled on the map. “Our route and method of transportation is largely dependent upon our time and our resources.” He paused a moment allowing the party to take this in. “I’ve been working with a few of the town elders to determine the best routes for our journey. We’ve come up with two options.”

“The first option is to head to Hatheril and get on the lightning rail. Which means that from Delver’s Dale we take the King’s Road South and then East to Hatheril,” Delian said as he traced the route on the map with his finger. “It’s roughly 400 mile and on horseback would take about ten days. Or we take a more direct route to Hatheril through the gap in the Greenhaunt Woods. It would reduce the distance by almost 100 miles and could save us as much as three days.”

Delian noticed a few of his companions nodding so he continued. “From Hatheril we can take the lightning rail all the way to Flamekeep. It’s a 1,400 mile journey that will take a mere two days,” he paused. “But it’s not cheap. The standard fare for each of us would be 277 gp.” Delian noticed one person fidget and heard another gasp as the enormity of the cost shocked two of his companions. “Steerage fare is a little bit more reasonable at 42 gp each, but it would be an extremely uncomfortable two days.”

Waiting for a few brief second, Delian continued. “The second option in to travel north and make most of the journey on horseback. We take the King’s road north for five days to Craigwar covering 200 miles.” Delian drew the proposed route on the map with his finger. “Then we cross the boarded into Aundair and continue North-east to Marketplace. That’s another 150 mile and will take four more days.” Delian knew that crossing into Aundair should pose no problems for the others, but his nationality and religious beliefs could generate some unwanted hostility if he ran into the wrong people. But he wasn’t going to let his fear show in front of the party.

“From there we cross into Thrane and travel cross-country to Sigilstar. That’s 310 miles as the dragon flies, or 400 if we stick to the King’s Road. Under optimal circumstances the direct path will take us eight days and keeping to the roads wil take us ten.” Delian traced his finger on the map across the flat, featureless centre of Thrane, tapping it twice on the large circle marking Sigilstar. “Once in Sigilstar we can travel the 300 miles north to Flamekeep by the King’s Road. It usually takes eight days.” At least it had on the many occasions Delian had traveled that road himself over the years. “Or we can take the lightning rail for the final leg of our journey. It’s a ten hour ride. The standard fare is 60 gp for each of us, or we can tough it out in steerage for 9 gp each.” Delian noticed the barest hint of a smile on his companion’s face at the mention of avoiding eight more days on horseback for the mere cost of 9 gp.

“This option is 17 days of hard riding to Sigilstar. From there it’s either an additional half a day by rail or eight more days on the road.” Delian pulled back from the map, standing up straight. His companions leaned a little closer to the map and took a few seconds to take in the options he just presented them with.

“Of course,” Delian said as if just remembering some insignificant detail “this is the best-case scenario I’m talking about. The harsh winter weather has just begun. As we travel north into Thrane the snow will get deeper and the wind colder.” One companion pulled their cloak a little tighter as if Delian’s mention of the cold wind had just chilled them.

“The King’s Roads are travelled all year round, minimizing the likelihood of prolonged snow build-up. Traveling the King’s Road also provides some security since it is so heavily used.” Delian paused. “Travelling by our own path makes us an appealing target to bandits or monsters,” Ethan nodded in understanding and Delian thought he detected a hint of excitement from Ethan at the possibility of fighting such enemies.

“The lightning rail is not hampered by weather.” Again, Delian paused to let his point sink in and to let the group contemplate options in their head.

Taking a breath, his demeanor serious and positive, and his voice slightly diminished to force the group to lean ever so slightly towards him to hear him clearly, Delian went on. “My recommendation and preference is to take the lightning rail from Hatheril, travelling in the steerage car. The 42 gp fare is a lot of money, but it will get us to Flamekeep the fastest.”

Delian continued in a sterner demeanor speaking clearly and a little bit more slowly. “I’m hesitant to travel across Thrane’s heartland during Vult and Zarantyr. If the weather gets really bad we could end up stranded in some small community for weeks. And if we’re unlucky and cannot find suitable shelter at all then I doubt we’ll ever make it to Flamekeep.”

“Regardless of which route we choose we’ll need to pass through Sigilstar.” Delian smiled and his body language clearly showed a more relaxed posture. “On a personal note, while we’re there I would like to visit my father. I’m sure he would like to meet all of you. I write him regularly and have been telling him of our exploits. If nothing else, it will be one night in a comfortable bed surrounded by friends and family. After days on the road or hours in steerage, I suspect a fresh meal and a warm cup of tea will sound pretty good to everyone.”

“Let’s discus which route we’re going to take. The sooner we leave the better our chances of avoiding the inclement weather.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Fate of Sinruth

8 Vult – Delver’s Dale Council Chamber

A hushed silence descended on the crowded chamber as he was led in. Khyber take them all. He controlled the momentary flash of anger that rose in his chest.

The four days immediately following his defeat had been a blur. He couldn’t remember the exact details of how he had come to be here. Snippets of tripping, impossibly tight bonds, and meager meals floated on the edges of his mind. What he did remember in exact detail was the damnable tiefling. The emissary’s words had somehow lost their power and promise as he had trudged with these filthy creatures back to this hole of a place. He knew that he had failed the test. It nagged at him. The tiefling had used him. Test indeed. It was of little consequence whether he and his bodyguard had bested the intruders or not. The blasted warlock had already claimed his prize and secured his escape route.

He would pay someday. Revenge would be exacted. Today was not that day however.

His thoughts drifted back to his predicament. He had been held in some pit of a cell for nearly a week as far as he could figure. His guards had shown him no mercy. It was expected. He had shown none to his own prisoners. Use them for information and entertainment before turning them over to the wight. Such was the manner of their arrangement – sacrifices in exchange for use of the crypt. Simple and effective.

His head was pounding from lack of food and his beatings but he wasn’t about to show fear to these worthless beings. He held his head up high and glared at anyone foolish enough to catch his eye. Oddly enough the only creature able to return his stare for more than a few seconds was the young human who he had captured two weeks ago. Utter defiance and hatred was in the child's eyes. The hobgoblin almost felt a little respect for the orphan. Almost. A sudden jerk on his bonds snapped him back to his surroundings.

Clinking chains were the only sound as the procession stopped in the centre of the semi-circular dais upon which his apparent judges were settled. The four humans and one half-elf look down on him with a mixture of disgust and anger. If only he had his spiked chain. A quick flick of the wrist, a trip, and a stomp to the head would make quick work of these pasty aristocrats.

After a moment the half-elf spoke. “Are you the hobgoblin known as Sinruth?”

The hobgoblin’s only reply was a carefully orchestrated spit and a nod.

“Then, Sinruth, under the laws of our lands you are charged with murder, kidnapping, robbery, and general hatemongering. Should you be found guilty of these charges you shall be put to death. What say you?”

Sinruth thought for a moment. These people had already sentenced him. He could see it in their eyes and demeanor. No use in parlaying with these fools.

“I say that my only mistake was not finishing the job. Mind if I borrow my weapon for a few moments?” He spit again and leered at one of the humans on the dais.

Surprised gasps ran through the crowd. A shout of “Hang ‘em high!” echoed throughout the room. The half-elf raised his hands calling for silence. As his wish was granted he spoke again.

“I take your reply as admission of your guilt. Your fate will be determined by this council within the next few days.” His gaze moved to Sinruth’s guards. “Return him to his cell.

As he turned he caught sight of the group that had captured him. They would pay. If he had to return from the pits of hell, they would pay.

Recap #10 - Nice 'Shrooms Man

Just whipping in a quick one. This is long past but I want to at least have a skeleton of what happened.
  • Party decided to check out the stairs going down near the entrance. Was a room full of mushrooms, 2 rage drakes, and goblin sharpshooters.
  • Good fight. Mushrooms did nasty things if you stepped on wrong ones, drakes and sharpshooters worked well together.
  • Found Zerriksa. Crusty old crone trapped in magical trap. Nenia's excellent Arcane knowledge made quick work of the trap. The party took a tongue lashing from the old bag before returning her to the rest of the rescuees.
  • Headed upstairs where they met an ambush of hobgoblins melee, some drakes, a hobgoblin hexer, and some crossbow turrets. Solid fight. Ended in victory after some solid tactics by the PCs. In room to the south the team found Jalissa bound to a wall. She instantly clung to Delian as he was the first one into the room. He basically has the most devoted groupie ever now.
  • Team headed North. At a 4-way interestion they went east. Found Thurann tied to a fountain in the dark. No monsters around that could be seen. They didn't tell him that his father was dead until he was returned to the safe area.
  • Team returned to intersection and was surprised by a partol of ghouls and skeletons. Undead retreated into the room they just left and slammed the door closed. Turns out they wanted to fight upon a black swirling area of negative energy that gave them regeneration 5.
  • Braddoc got in one of the most devastating blows of the campaign so far by dropping 3 of the undead from 1/2 hps to dead with one Sweeping Blow.
  • Proceeded West into t room with a raging demon. The beast seemed trapped in an invisible 20 foot square prison. On the far side was a human tied to a pillar and surrounded by dire rats. Noting that the demon was unable to get to them the group quickly split up and went around the "cage". That is when the trap was sprung. The human uttered a command word and released the demon.
  • When the party got closer they saw that the human was indeed a wererat. Two of the direrats changed to their bi-ped form and accosted the group.
  • Excellent tactics made quick work of the demon and its cronies.
  • That is where we ended for the night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Trust is a funny thing. I've never had much use of it until recently. I'm surrounded by new people, I dare say friends. However, trusting them hasn't been easy.

Take Larien, her beauty still enchants me. I thought of us as friends, closer in the way we battle than any of the others. Yet, she left our group without a second glance. On to greener pastures, the trust I placed in her was broken.

Jonathon is as devout as they come. However, in combat he often rushes heedlessly to save innocents. The result is that our group suffers as he's either to far for us to reach, or unable to come to our aid when we need healing. His motives are good and I don't fault him for that, but I can't trust him to be there.

Braddoc is as steadfast as they come. However, he has no patience and he swings his axe about in battle with little regard for others. He may have dropped three undead with one blow, bragging of his strength, courage and skill at arms. Olladra help me if I mentioned that Sterling, Nenia, myself and even Braddoc had hit all of them several times before they dropped. It makes me question his motives. I'm out here at Master Dourstones request, I'm not sure about Braddoc.

Nenia is an interesting one. She keeps mostly to herself and while I've benefited from her magic in battle she has shown herself to be reckless. She deliberately cast a blast spell that caught Delian in it's effects. This clear disregard for the safety of others makes me think I should keep a close eye on her, in case she needs to be removed from the fight lest she kill one of us.

Thinking of Delian, he's supposed to be a Paladin of the Flame. I look to him to be on the front lines of our battles. Yet when we fought the undead earlier not only did he not provide any information about how to defeat the foul creatures, he fought the battle from the rear. Throwing javelins, leaving the rest of us to take the damage from the foe. Though he's healed me many times in battle, with his heavy armour and formal training he should be in the forefront of battle, not the rear. I wonder if he's insecure, like me, with his abilities and that is why he hangs back.

Finally, there is Sterling. His resolve and determination are beyond reproach. I have learned that he has a deep understanding of tactics that I can't even begin to understand. However, when battles are over and we are recovering he never offers any advice. He had no words of reproach for Nenia when she blasted Delian. No words for Delian to move to the front of battle and allow his heavy armour to absorb blows. Perhaps he too isn't as confident in his abilities as he lets on.

It seems that each of my companions has great strengths, but also worrisome weaknesses. I trust each of them however, I need to be careful. I may have found a new family and place of belonging but, it doesn't mean I should let down my guard.

Braddoc' s Viewpoint

I see the way they look at me now. Respect? Fear? Jealousy? One lucky blow and they change their tune. It matters not to me as long as they finally realize that I am the keystone of any battle we engage in. It took them long enough, the stories of them barely making it out of battle after battle when I am covering another task should have clued them in long before now.

Our party tactics are starting to improve to the point where we aren't always on the brink of disaster. Our after action 'discussions' are leading to smoother tactics. Now, if only one of our 'leaders' would lead instead of reacting in battle we could get ahead of the game.

I fear all of this talk about naming ourselves is getting ridiculous. We have to accomplish something before we can expect people to actually care what we call ourselves. We're still just another party of adventurers biting off more than we can chew time after time until we die a violent and messy death in some hole no one has ever heard of.

Dol Dorn help me... all of this and I still have to respond to that letter from my father.

Delian's Observations

I travel with an eclectic mix of people I’m slowly, if not reluctantly, beginning to call friends. They represent different walks of life and each possesses gifts and strengths which make them unique… and in some cases dangerously powerful. And I suppose I must include myself in this apt description of our adventuring company.

Braddoc Stoneshield is definitely the most understated member of the party. In many ways he epitomizes the dwarven warrior stereotype. He is quiet, gruff and rude, and his physical strength outclasses anyone I’ve ever met. He wields his battleaxe like it is an extension of his powerful body.

I’ve watched him struggle to master fighting with such a diverse and disorganized party. I assume that before joining the Clifftop Adventurers Guild Braddoc fought side-by-side with other dwarves. Having military training myself, I understand how difficult it can be to go from fighting in formation, with everybody in the line performing their role as expected – as ordered – and the company striking with precision, to running into combat haphazardly not knowing if your companions are behind you, beside you, trying to get around you, or moving to flank the enemy. I too have adjusted my combat tactics as I got to know how every member of the party puts their skills to the best use. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how powerful Braddoc really is.

The party ventured cautiously down a corridor during our exploration of some old catacombs near Delver’s Dale, when a door unexpectedly opened and two ghouls and four zombies started moving into the hallway. Before the party could deliver any real damage, the intelligent undead signaled retreat, moved back into the room and closed the door. The party quickly followed. Once inside the room we saw all the undead standing on a swirling dark sun pattern in the centre of the room. An aura of evil spewed forth from the dark sun, offending all that is good, and giving the undead additional strength, power and resistance to our weapons. The party moved into the room and began fighting, attempting to rid the world of such foul mockery to life.

It was during the battle that I witnessed Braddoc display his true potential. With one mighty blow from his battleaxe he mowed down two ghouls and one zombie. He utterly destroyed the three monsters through sheer force. He was able to take down three by himself while the rest of the party worked together on the others. And as soon as he dropped those three undead, Braddoc moved to again crush one of the remaining zombies with a single strike. The awesome display of physical might and precise blows was truly something to behold.

I realize that every person has their own method of contributing. Be it a contribution to life in general or contribution to a particular situation. Braddoc Stoneshield has demonstrated beyond any doubt that his contribution to this adventuring party is the power to destroy his foes, tempered by his judgment and a desire to uphold the values he believes in. My confidence in this party’s ultimate success continues to rise knowing that Braddoc will be fighting beside us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Delian's Letters

Greetings, father

The Church of the Silver Flame takes a lot of criticism regarding its involvement in the purge of lycanthropes from Khorvaire. I’ve met many Church elders who carry the weight of the Church’s misdeeds heavily upon their shoulders. It’s so easy to look back on history and pass judgment. And for a long time I too felt some small amount of guilt for my association with any power that could deem it necessary to make it their mission to exterminate an entire race of intelligent beings. That changed today.

As we delved deeper into the caverns seeking to rescue the seven captives and recover the stolen items from Delver’s Dale I encountered actual lycanthropes for the first time. We entered a chamber and saw a man bound to a pillar. He was surrounded by three very large rats. In the centre of the room was a large creature, clearly demonic in nature. The demon seemed to be bound by some kind of enchantment, which was luck for our party and the captive. I quickly moved around the perimeter of the room to free the bound man. One of the giant rats attacked me and the other two swarmed the prisoner.

We quickly learned that the situation was not as it appeared. The captive was not a captive at all. He was deliberately playing a role to lure us in to the chamber. With a single command word he released the demon from his enchanted prison, freeing it to attack the party. I worked to destroy the filthy dire rat as it bit through my armor trying to overwhelm me. The rest of the party engaged the demon.

As I fought with the giant rat, I was shocked to see that the captive and the two other rats were in fact lycanthropes – wererats! They assumed a human-rat hybrid form and skulked around the room trying to ambush my companions and stop them from destroying the demon. Fortunately my companions were able to quickly and decisively defeat the demon and the wererats.

I regret that I was not able to fight the lycanthropes myself. But just seeing them up so close, attacking the party, and trying to do us harm caused a flame to ignite within me. I have lived my life under a cloud of prejudice and try very hard to accept everyone regardless of their differences, but the lycanthropes are clearly evil. As I reflect back to my teaching, now put in context with this battle, I see how Paladins of the Flame could want to destroy such filth. I have also come to realize why so many followers of the Flame carry silvered weapons, even though the likelihood of needing them is remote. I felt a sense of helplessness as the lycanthropes attacked my companions. When we complete this rescue mission and return to town I will be arming myself with a few silver weapons. I don’t want to be caught unequipped should I ever need to battle lycanthropes again. Flame take them.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Adventuring Company Name

Hey guys, was just wondering if anyone had any idea's for a name for the party. Being we are a group that works out of a guild I thought it might be appropriate.

Looking back to older campaigns;

The Forest Game (epic game): We were members of the King's Own, known as the 'Ghosts'

Derek's Eberron game: While we didn't have an offical party name I think 'The Train Wreck' would work.

I'll be honest in that I don't have any idea's at this point. There hasn't been a moment that jumps out and makes me say "That's who we are." However, maybe one of you has had such a thought.

Just thought I would toss the idea out there.


Pain, pain is all I know. The cursed Hobgoblins have likely done me in. I don't think I can survive another bout of their questioning. I've lost too much blood to endure further. The best I can hope for now is to die with my dignity intact. Six take every last of these foul creatures for I don't understand their motives. Their questions lack purpose and direction. They seemed to only want to torture me for the sake of it. They thrive on the pain they cause. Six take them!

The cold of this cell leaches into my body. I shift to find a more comfortable position only to find I have another unknown bruise. The smell of my own refuse assaults my senses, I'm careful to avoid that area of the cell.

I begin to loose track of how much time has passed. I realize that no one is coming for me and that I will likely die in this cell. I hear noise from above, it isn't the typical sounds the Hobgoblins make. No I hear the sounds of battle, perhaps I'm not to die down here after all.

The battle that raged above has ended and yet no one comes. All is silent and now faint traces of light descend down the stairs. As the light grows brighter a figure detaches from the shadows and stands to it's full height. The figure appears to be human, with long hair. A wicked dagger is clutched in his hand. He says nothing as he enters further into the room. His eyes taking everything in, searching for hidden enemies. Satisfied he waves his hand briefly.

I hear a commotion at the top of the stairs, within short order several other figures enter into the room. A burly dwarf in heavy armour. His axe gleaming in the light. He looks dour, perhaps the most taciturn looking dwarf I've ever seen. He is followed by a half-elf, standing tall and proud, the symbol of the Silver Flame gleaming on his chest. Next is a Warforged, his sentinel eyes absorb everything. He seems to be calculating odds as he strategically positions himself at the base of the stairs. Finally, a rare beauty. Another human and judging from her robes she practices the arcane arts. Perhaps I and the others who were taken stand a chance after all.

The first human approaches my cell. He gives me a look over and deciding I'm not a threat to him turns his attention to the lock on the door. Before I'm even aware of it I hear a click and he's opened the door to the cell. With the briefest of nods he beckons me out of the cell and moves towards the back of the room.

The others move forward and begin to question me. They've obviously been sent from the village to find me and the others. They question me about the hobgoblins asking for numbers and why we might have been taken. I answer them, but my attention is diverted by the rogue. He doesn't seem to care why we've been taken. He takes no part in the questioning, he doesn't even appear to be listening.

Instead he is studying the table on the far wall. The table with all those devices of torture. I watch his eyes move from implement to implement. He appears to be cataloguing them. Slowly he begins to pick them up, one at a time. He studies their blades, prongs and curves. He tests how sharp they are. As I watch him work with these weapons I am overcome with a sense of dread. This man is no hero come to save us. He is a killer. His hands seem much more familiar with the devices than the hobgoblin brutes.

I begin to shake and tremble. The others assume it is due to my imprisonment, the reality is I am afraid of this man. Ethan, I hear one of them call him. He looks up, his eyes intent, it's time to move onwards. He quietly climbs the staircase, silent as a ghost. I look at the others a pleading look in my eyes. Do they not know they associate with a killer? Host save me, I pray I live to see the sunlight.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Recap #9 - Kartenix' Fate Discovered...

  • Sertanian is an old man but he seemed ready to take the fight to his captures. In his weakened state he would be more of a liability than anything. The party convinced him that the best place for him was back with Adronsius in case the dwarf needed assistance with anything.
  • After a quick escort back the party moved back up to the previous crypt and then east up the stairs. The room is dark but Ethan can see enough to take note of the multitude of spider webs in the room. Surely this is where the ettercaps that Sertanian mentioned stayed.
  • Correctly expecting an ambush the party moved up the stairs and were greeted by 3 ettercaps. Two were guards wielding halberds and the other was a webspinner. While the guards kept the group busy the webspinner covered the area in web nets making in nearly impossible for the group to move about the room.
  • Eventually the party bested the guards and were nearly done with the webspinner when it decided to flee north through a double set of doors.
  • In a momentary fit of bravery (maybe) Nenia decided to pursue their quarry into the hall and to the east – right into a waiting hobgoblin soldier.
  • The soldier retreated and sounded the alarm. Nenia came to her senses and quickly retreated back into the webbed room and slammed the doors closed behind her. At this point Nenia and Sterling wisely used their fire magics to clear the path of webs. While doing so they came upon a fresh corpse in the corner hidden under the webs. The insignia of the Clifftop Adventurer’s Guild upon the cloak of the fellow made known the victim’s identity – none other than Kartenix. It seems he had followed through with his intent on fighting the ettercaps and had met his fate.
  • Quickly gathering his corpse and some magic items near him, the party made a hasty retreat back through the crypts to where Adronsius and Sertanian were holed up. They sealed the door and healed their wounds over a long rest.
  • After 6 hours the group decided they had best find out what was going on outside. They perceived voices on the far side of the door. Stealthy preparation and a quick surprise easily gave the group the upper hand on the foes that awaited them. It seemed that the hobgoblin who sounded the alarm had been ordered to guard the group simply to contain them. At least his death meant he wouldn’t have to face the wrath of his superiors!
  • Carefully moving back through the dungeon and into the webbed room, the group met no resistance. Proceeding into the area previously occupied by the hobgoblins proved to be an easy task – they had killed them all in the ambush.
  • Moving down a circular stairs they found a room with some sarcophagi . The room had been transformed into a living quarters of sort – complete with a stinking hole that could only be a latrine. In the south of the room was a set of double doors.
  • After check the doors for traps, Ethan scouted forward. Around a corner to the east he discovered a room dimly lit by candles. Four statues of displacer beasts lined the path to an altar upon which was strapped a woman frightened to the point of catatonia. This had to be Mirtala if Adronsius directions had been true.
  • No sooner did the party step into the room when they were beset by dire rats and gnome skulks waiting in ambush. Excellent use of tactics made this a relative walk-in-the-park for the group.
  • After untying the woman, the party was unable to get her to assist them with information on the missing prisoners and artifacts. (*cough* failed skill challenge *cough*) They opted to return her to the other rescued folk and take a well deserved rest in order to rid themselves of the gift of the dire rats – filth fever!

Recap #8 - Mmmm.... Jelly...

  • The party decides to leave Adronsius holed up in the area. The door is locked and a password is given. Adronsius advises them that if he doesn’t hear from the party in a day he is going to try to get home on his own.
  • The party returns to the entrance. They notice the goblin is gone.
  • As the party prepares for the worst, Ethan checks the West door. Opening it reveals a hobgoblin on watch but caught off guard. Seeing Ethan he flees down the hall and around the corner yelling in goblin for his comrades to prepare for battle.
  • Rounding the corner the party enters a Goblin Warren. They are confronted by 2 soldiers and 8 grunts. A well placed blast from Nenia kills a number of grunts and forces the rest to spread out around the room – a definite blow to their phalanx tactics.
  • During the fight a door to the north opens and two sharpshooters set up pelting the party with bolts.
  • Solid tactics by the party make quick work of the hobgoblins. One grunt attempts to flee through a door to the West but meets his fate to the weapons of the group.
  • Ethan notices the sharpshooters preparing to flee over a deep pit in the north hall. Bravely – or foolishly – he places himself between the goblins and the pit in order to block the route. It is almost his end as the goblin attempts to bullrush him into the gapping pit. He quick reflexes allow him to catch himself on the edge of the pit however.
  • Nothing of note is found within the room so the party takes a brief respite. Surmising that Adronsius did not cross the pits blindfolded they decide to head through the West door.
  • The hall beyond is clear. As they round a corner North, they behold a shimmering image of a seeming long-forgotten castle. Nenia judges they are in the presence of an ancient teleporter.
  • As they study the flickering image, an ochre jelly slides through the portal and attacks them.
  • Fierce battle ensues as slime seems to ooze its way wherever it wishes. After dealing some significant damage the ochre jelly splits into 2! To make matters worse 3 spectres slide out of the walls and attack the party as they are embroiled with the jelly. The attacks of the specters seem to sap the very vitality of their targets. After dispatching the slimes and two of the specters, the third turns invisible and disappears without a trace.
  • A couple more checks reveal to Nenia that this portal is not functioning correctly and is indeed only a 1-way portal from wherever the pictured castle is located. The party wisely gets out of view before something else on the other side takes notice of them.
  • Hallway east leads back to the hallway with pits. In order to slow any foes further up the hall, the party removes the ropes dangling over the chasms and stow them in their packs.
  • The party opts to run passed the portal again and try the West door of the portal room.
  • Moving along the hall the party enters a pitch black room. The North and South walls of the room hold skeletons of the Von Urstadt clan, once prominent in the region. It is a crypt. On the North wall is a double door.
  • Ethan moves into the room followed by the other members of the party. Suddenly a gnome chuckles as it opens the North door. As the party springs into action a sudden bright orange glow bursts from through the doors and two magma claws skuttle into the room.
  • A few singed eyebrows later and the party mops up the foes.
  • Scouting east reveals a stair climbing into the darkness. Through the north door a stairs descends into pitch black. Both paths are eerily silent.
  • Opting for the lower room, Ethan takes point and descends the stair. Hearing nothing of note he uncovers his sunrod to reveal a room of torture. Along the north wall are two holding cells – one of which contains Sertanian – advisor to the council of Delver’s Dale. Bravely he informs the party that he alone knows what the missing relics looks like, that Mirtala the cook is down a spiral staircase beyond the ettercaps and that Kartenix is most likely dead since he was planning on fighting his way free.

Recap #7 - Griffins and Goblins and Spears! Oh my!

  • Party summoned by Councilman Eoffram Troyas
  • Offers information and assistance but party needed to prove themselves trustworthy
  • Successfully earn respect and trust
  • Offered reward for rescuing captives and securing return of valuable heirlooms of the town
  • Party agrees. Rests while preparations are made for them. (25 Aryth)
  • Left Delver’s Dale to follow trail of hobgoblins to ruins of a castle located a few days ride from the town.
  • Trail relatively easy to follow.
  • Travel for 3 days (28 Aryth)
  • Attacked by griffins. Kill and drive off attack. Notice egg up on cliff face but decide to leave – for now.
  • Find ruins. Nothing found in ruins themselves but outside in cliff face they find entrance to old crypt that seems to be recently used.
  • Party descends stairs and is greeted by 2 goblins firing hand crossbows and 4 wielding heavy shields with flails.
  • Two sharpshooters eventually try to flee. One is slain and the other is captured.
  • Bodies piled by door. Goblin interrogated. Seems more scared of someone named Sinruth than of the party. Very little information learned as goblin spent most of his time performing duties near the entrance.
  • Jonathan promises no harm will befall him and he would be freed but Ethan clunked the goblin hard and knocked him out.
  • Not sure which was to go, the party headed through the East doors. The hallway turned North up a stairs into a room with glowing symbols on the floor.
  • Ethan moved into the room, spotted nothing out of sorts and checked out some doors to the East. When he opened the door he was swarmed by an ambush!
    Needlefang drakes and Gnome skulks sprang from the debris laden alcoves in the walls and two hobgoblin archers through the doors open to assault the party with arrows.
    As the tide turned in favour of the PCs, the hobgoblins slammed the doors closed and retreated down hall.
  • Jonathon follows and inadvertently trips a spear trap. To his horror his blundering also causes spear to thrust from the floor and skewer a dwarf chained to the far wall.
  • Holy rage fills Jonathon and he slams into the nearest hobgoblin with such force that it is knocked flying.
  • As he is battling with his enemy the other party member round the corner to assist. Despite warnings, Delian blunders into the trip plate again and inflicts more damage to the dwarf on the wall. It nearly finished the dwarf.
  • A short battle and the hobgoblins are dispatched. The Dwarf is rescued and the party learns they have rescued their first hostage – a surly dwarf named Adronsius.
  • The dwarf describes the path to Mirtala – as he was blindfolded.
  • The party rests.
  • During the night, Jonathon holds true to his word as he sneaks out and frees the goblins bound by the front door.