Darkness over Oscadius

The Path to Ain Karif
Session 32 Recap - 5th-7th of Sypheros in the 2147th year

Evermoor Jungle

Exiting the cavern with mushrooms, the party is hit by the sweltering heat and humidity of their surroundings. Looking around they see, hear and smell verdant life everywhere. It’s different that woodlands they’re used to, but Lyra remembers reading about something called a jungle. Drugan is able to identify a game trail they can follow. As the party, with Lily in tow, treks through the dense vegetation, little insects start biting them causing even more misery.

The Respite

Mira spots an odd set of stones to the side of the trail. Investigating she finds a hollow tree with a small entrance between two roots. She calls out to the others and tells them she might have found a spot. Lyra notices that the stones say “respite” in druidic. Investigating the chamber in the tree, the party finds a firepit, several stools, wooden bowls, utensils, a tall walking stick and a curious instruction book with a stake. Grom, Jasper, and Oath set off in search of firewood and to forage. While they are gone Lyra and Mira figure out how their respective items work. This causes some difficulty with Grom, Jasper, and Oath getting back into the tree. As they settle in for the night, the party tries their best to get cool and comfortable. Lyra patrols the encampment as a sloth.

Evermoor Jungle

In the morning the party continues on their westward march. As the trails start to veer south, Lily indicates it’s time for her to depart and return to her herd. Mira says her farewell, then the part pushes on through the sweltering heat. After finding a stream of running water to drink and refill canteens, the party push southwest. Lyra turns into a parrot and flies up to scout for the party. She notices some movement in the canopy that seems to be heading towards the north. She relays this to the party and they decide to double-time it.

The Ghosts’ Encampment

While churning through the underbrush the party stumbles upon a small campsite. Around it are a gnoll, a dark elf, a wounded orc and a strange purple-skinned humanoid all with white warpaint markings. After a brief standoff, the two sides reach an uneasy truce. The party informs them that they just escaped from a yaun-ti temple. The gnoll sniffs at them and confirms that they smell of snakes and death. The motley crew tells them a story of escaping from the clutches of yuan-ti themselves. The orc seems to be suffering from some sort of poison, so Grom uses lay on hands to heal the poison. The drow introduces herself as Lylena and the band as part of the Ghosts of Evermoor.

The Stone Monument

The party enters a clearing and discovers a giant stone monument that appears to be a sword thrust into the earth. After a brief debate Drugan decides to not punch it. The party gathers their stuff and pushes on through the evening to reach Ain Karif.

Ain Karif

The area around Ain Karif looks familiar yet different. A tired watchman lets the party through the city gates. On the other side, they pass through a quiet marketplace and get their first view of the city. Several tiers of buildings spill down the side of this cliff towards the bay below. As they’re admiring the view Oath feels a hand slip over his mouth and a sharp point is pressed into his back, followed by “Hello brother” in a familiar voice. Stepping back Keishara greets them before embracing her brother. She leads them to the Foamy Cliff Tavern, where there are rooms waiting for them. The tavern is mostly empty now that it’s so late, but the innkeeper is able to rustle up some food and hot bathes for the party. As Keishara and Ruxley fill the party in on what’s transpired, the party’s memories begin to return…

The Temple of Set
Session 31 Recap - 5th of Sypheros in the 2147th year

The Ritual Chamber

- Lily
- books

The Temple

- yuan-ti priest
- statues animate
- spike growth
- teleport
- mushrooms
- smash some eggs
- punching
- wall of fire

The Servants and Serpents of Set
Session 30 Recap - 5th of Sypheros in the 2147th year

The Serpents Lair

The party comes to as they are tumbling through the air. Oath lands hard on a rock formation. The rest of the party lands in waist-high water, with the exception of Drugan who splashes down in slightly deeper water. The party gathers their senses as they start to explore their surroundings. A strange moss or lichen provides a dim illumination. Lyra and Mira are drawn towards a faint green glow in a side chamber. Drugan, Grom and Jasper investigate the hallways that lead off on either side.

As this is happening Oath notices movement in the water and calls out to the others just as a gigantic serpent head breaks the water. Jasper throws Flicker and gains purchase on the serpents head. Grom and Drugan rush forward to engage it as they watch it swallow Jasper. Lyra casts Conjure Animals to summon several crocodiles to harry the serpent. Mira uses a combination of Spike Growth and Water Walk to hurt the serpent and aid her allies. Panicking as he feels the stomach acid burn him, Jasper dumps out the entire vial of Haden’s Draught. The serpent proceeds to swallow Drugan. Oath drives the serpent away with Dissonant Whispers. Grom leaps at the serpent, cleaving into it with Windshear while Mira smashes it with Spiritual Weapon. Drugan and Jasper wound the serpent badly enough that it spits them back up. Drugan responds by delivering the killing blow.

Hunting around the lair for an exit the party finds that the source of the faint green glow is an eye-shaped gem. Meanwhile, Mira explores the underwater passage. It appears that the eye-shaped gem is one of a pair needed to operate the doors. Oath finds the second gem behind a small shire covered with burnt incense and other offerings. Inserting the gems into empty eye sockets in the reliefs, the doors slowly open. After everyone is through Grom removes the two gems causing the doors to slowly close behind them.

The Alcoves

The party makes their way up several passageways to find themselves in a rectangular chamber. Eight alcoves, four per side, contain eight serpentine statues. The exit from the chamber appears to be sealed, magically or otherwise. Four gemstones adorn the frame of the door. One of the four is glowing faintly. Drugan warns the others about the statues and alcoves, but Oath promptly ignores him and touches one of the statues. After inspecting the statues the party realizes that there is a mechanism that can be turned to change the number of snake heads on each statue. Discovering that the statues are pair the party deduces the correct combination to unlock the door. Readying themselves, the party rushes through only to encounter another door in a few strides.

The Ritual Chamber

Hearing some low chanting and a strange trumpeting sound on the far side of the door, the party makes a quick plan. Like all best-laid plans, it only lasted until the first contact. The party sees a large grey skinned, four-legged animal with large floppy ears and a long nose be lead in chains towards an altar by two yuan-ti. Grom plants his shield covering himself and Jasper until Oath gets his spell off. Meanwhile, Drugan and Lyra, in Owlbear form, rush into the middle of the yuan-ti and cultists slaying many of them within seconds. Mira uses Sacred Flame to mop up one of the only remaining yuan-ti with Grom and Jasper dispatch the other. Seeing no more threats, Mira uses Aminal Friendship to calm the panicked elephant. Lyra studies this new beast with curiosity. The party looks around to find a way out…

The Road Home and Next Steps
Session 29 Recap - 28th of Aryth-2nd of Sypheros in the 2147th year

The Cavern

Gathering together the handful of surviving townsfolk and a few items of value, the party rush from the crumbling Phagestone in the cavern towards the stairs up.

The Crypt

As the party passes through the crypt pale blue forms separate themselves from Drugan, Grom and Lyra. The forms bid farewell as they fade back towards their resting places. Pushing forward up a hidden passage, the party exits to the northwest of the Black Tower.

The Southern Greatwoods

Circling the outside of the Black Tower clockwise, the party makes their way to where they left their horses. As they do so they watch as the Black Tower implodes and crumbles, leaving a giant crater in the ground. Oath keeps his eyes out for Sinala, but fails to spot her. Heading south, the party along with the townsfolk catch up with the prisoners they had freed earlier. Most of them made it out of the tower safely. Mira and Corvus tend to the injured. Lyra casts Conjure Animals to summon horses for the townsfolk to ride. Even so, everyone is doubled up on their mounts. The party and townsfolk push south putting as much distance behind them as possible. As dust begins to settle, Lyra finds a good spot to make camp. Everyone sets to helping out. Grom and Oath go hunting, Lyra and Jasper find some late fall berries. Back around the fire, the party inspects the items they grabbed. Keishara examines the bow. Lyra checks out the mask. Drugan and Oath try to read Krethe’s journal, but just looking at the words gives them a headache. Lyra uses the mask’s ability to understand a language to read the journal for them. Much of the writing is about his fanaticism to Nerull. There’s also calculations for growing the Black Tower. She does find a page mentioning that while he hates non-believers like Kailu and Shylo they may have their usefulness. Nearby is a note stating that healing Kailu would be a simple matter of just suppressing the curse before curing the diseases. Lyra shares this information with Oath and the other party members. As the evening drags on, the townsfolk look at the party with a mixture of awe, fear and gratitude. Settling in for the night, each party member realizes that with every passing moment the tales of their exploits grow. When one story ends, another begins.

The Plains

In the morning Lyra summons horses again and the party continues south, breaking out of the woods northwest of Farlel. With the sun still rising in the sky the party sees a glimmer on the horizon that expands as it gets closer into the brilliant bronze form of Cy’ravora racing towards them. The townsfolk scatter and the mercenaries look a bit nervous as the party forms up. Banking hard and skidding into a landing Cy’ravora immediately transforms into a bronze dragonborn wearing leathers and a greatsword strapped to her back. Approaching the party she looks furious as she demands to know what they have done with the orb. A bit confused and taken aback, they realize she’s referring to the orb Nerroth had asked them to fetch. The party apologizes and admits they thought it simply enabled the bearer to scry. Cy’ravora informs them that it is not a simple orb, it is one of five artifacts of Bahamut entrusted to the five lines of metallic dragons. The orb can be used to summon and compel another dragon. Cy’ravora suspects a larger plot is afoot as reportedly another one of the artifacts has been stolen and is for sale on the black market in Ain Karif. Cy’ravora will forgive the party if they can reclaim on or both of the artifacts. Jasper asks about dragonslayer weapons and Cy’ravora confirms her research findings that if anyone has or can craft them it’s the dwarves of Odral in Everwhite Mountains.


The party decides to spend the night in Farlel instead of pressing on. The group of twenty travelers overflows the single inn in town, but there’s at least warm food and cold drink for everyone. In the morning the party decides to press on for Port Trellec leaving Corvus, Ruxley, Sora and the other freed mercenary to escort the remaining townsfolk back to Port Trellec.

The Road

With the walls of the city rising in front of them, the party catches up to a lone traveler wearing a black cloak just before entering the outskirts of the city. Oath and Keishara confront their father again. Oath explains that he think he knows how to heal him. Looking skeptical, Kailu complies as Mira casts Greater Restoration removing the curse, Lyra casts Lessor Restoration curing one disease and Grom lays on hands curing the other. Shocked Kailu thanks them. He follows them into the city.

Port Trellec

Drugan heads off to check on the wagon. The party spends the evening at The Spoke and Cellar. While Oath discusses future plans with his father, the other party members drink and try to relax. In the morning they head to see the Council. Surprised and impressed by the news Lord Alric asks what rewards the party would like. After a brief deliberation, they decide on a title of Count for Oath. They also request a statue be put up in their honor.

The party decides their next move should be to head to Ain Karif, Oath pulls out his notes and attempts his first casting of Teleportation Circle

Prevent the Dark Ritual
Session 28 Recap - 28th of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Cavern

View 1, View 2, View 3, View 4

As the party finishes their preparation, weird arcane surges seem to be happening. A gravitational force pulls everyone together, followed by a confused bear appearing. Mira quickly casts Speak with Animals and after giving it some food convinces it to head off to the side of the cavern. Taking stock of the situation the party spreads out to make their assault. Lyra sends the panthers to flank the enemies. Drugan and Mira move off to one side while Oath moves off to the other. Grom and Jasper take the center. Oath casts Hypnotic Pattern on the enemies in the middle while Lyra orders the panthers to attack. Drugan sprints toward the center. Mira moves to engage the gorilla-like demon. Jasper uses Flicker to close the distance and attack one of the cultists. Grom starts climbing one of the five pillars with a crystal floating on top. Alesia shakes Krethe out of his stupor before using her gloves to teleport to a ledge on one of the stone pillars in the chamber. Krethe sees the angry dwarf charging him and casts Harm wracking Drugan with necrotic energy. The panthers devastate and confuse the cultists and armed guards which mount and ineffective defense.

Jasper finishes the cultists near him. Drugan rains heavy blows down on Krethe. Grom smashes one of the five floating crystals. The shock wave knocks him off his feet, but the previous restrained townsfolk are freed. Lyra moves up towards another of the pillars with a crystal. Mira smashes Conviction into the demon she’s fighting, followed by her Spiritual Weapon. From her perch, Alesia rains arrows down on Jasper and Mira. A figure that looks like Mira walks up to Oath, shushes him and points his attention towards the center of the ritual. Oath looks at the figure in confusion. He then attempts to cast another spell but it fizzles as Sinala appears and Counterspells it. Oath bolts toward the Phagestone platform. The Mira figure ripples and another gorilla-like demon is revealed as it chases after Oath.

Jasper moves to help Mira with the demon. Grom moves around the fleeing townsfolk towards the next floating crystal. He casts Misty Step to reach it an deliver a mighty blow shattering it. Mira finishes the demon off only to see several spear men rushing at her and Jasper. Lyra reaches the top of her pillar and smashes the crystal freeing the townsfolk. The shockwave throws her off and she lands hard. A pair of hellhounds rush at Drugan, one catching him with it’s fiery breath. Krethe casts Banish and Drugan disappears from the battlefield. Sinala starts whistling and her arrow flies out and strikes Groms massive figure between the seams of his plate armor. Oath rushes towards one of the remaining two crystals and fires at it with his hand crossbow shattering it. On of the captives is recognized as Corvus. Alesia fires at Lyra and Mira.

The panthers disrupt Krethe and Drugan pops back into the battlefield to deliver the killing stroke to Krethe. Grom moves forward to engage, but Sinala retreats and casts Dimension Door vanishing from sight. Jasper runs towards the pillar and throws Flicker upwards at Alesia. The throw misses, but Jasper is able to grab on to the ledge and pull himself up. Lyra and Mira deal with the spear men. Oath casts Shatter on the final gem and the glowing portal collapses. The shockwave throws everyone back and kills the remaining hellhounds.

The party subdues the wounded Alesia. The party then quickly recovers any items of value as the platform around them starts crumbling to an oily ash…

A Family Reunion
Session 27 Recap - 27th-28th of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Corridor

Recoving from the fight with Leonir, Drugan and Grom knock down several Phagestone bars so they can rejoin the others. Investigating the room off the newly opened hallway they find dusty shelves that are mostly empty besides a few sacks. Heading past the pool of acid Jasper explores the tunnel for a way out. Lyra as a rhinoceros is unable to successfully navigate the narrow passage and gets mildly burned by the acid. After progressing thirty or so feet they notice that the Phagestone becomes normal worked stone. A bit past that they encounter a thick wooden door banded with black iron. Black iron spikes are driven in along the sides, holding it in place. Mira and Oath investigate the door for any signs of magic, but don’t find any. Debating about whether to turn back or see what’s on the other side, they finally decide to pry open the door and seal it behind them. Seeing spiderwebs and decomposed corpses dressed in similar garb to the occupants of the tower, they press on.

The Crypt

Entering what appears to be a crypt the party notices ancient detailed stonework carved in the shape of vines and flowing vegetation. While the others are exploring the chambers and its contents, Mira notices some faint blue forms arguing. One seems to want to dispose of the party while the other points out that one is sworn to the green and another is sworn to Sylvanus. A third pale blue figure steps out of a pillar and asks Mira what their purpose is. Is the party friend or foe? The figure introduces herself as Jeanna Lightsworn and after a brief conversation, Mira and her reach an agreement. The party may rest within the crypt chambers as long as they don’t take or damage any of the remains. Settling in to bandage their wounds and recover, the party finds spots to rest.

Lyra reverts from her rhinoceros form after the unload the prisoner in the corner. After everyone settles in she spends some time practicing Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s lessons.

Grom hears a voice in his head as Windshear compliments him on his bravery and describes the exploits of his first owner Ogrim the Ironfist, leader of Thane Grendek’s helljumpers. Suggests that Grom gives it a try.

Bubbles asks Mira to forgive her for not warning her about the demon and to please not banish her. Mira soothes Bubbles and tells her it’s ok.

Drugan spends some time focusing on and attuning to Hazecrushers. As he does, his skin starts to take on a sky blue hue.

As Oath settles in to focusing on the iron rod, it initially resists his attempts to understand it. Frustrated he settles into a meditative state on the cusp of sleep, when he finds himself in a cold black void. A single, giant glowing orange orb is in front of him. A harsh gravely voice speaks to him: “Ah, the sins of the father pass to the son. We shall offer you a pact as well. A bit of your power for a bit of ours.”. Oath tries to drop the rod, but it’s stuck to his hands. Oath then asks for time to think about the deal, but the voice cautions that its patience is limited. Oath asks for the entity’s name, to which he hears a discordant and painful sound and is knocked out of the void and finds himself falling over in the crypt again. Shaken from the ordeal, Oath seeks out Drugan for his advice. Drugan councils that he would always put himself in harms way to protect those he cares about and that maybe Oath should consider it in the future.

Everyone settles in for the evening in their own way.

After having the night to sleep on it, Oath decides to ask Mira to help remove the amulet. As Mira focuses her divine energy into the Amulet of Susception and casts Remove Curse the amulet pulls free from Oath’s flesh and his skin returns to normal.

Lyra feeling a bit guilty provides the prisoner with food and water after he ask. He pushes his hood back as he awkwardly eats with bound hands. She realizes that he’s an elf of a similar age to her, maybe even a bit younger. Lyra can see that the prisoner has diseased skin running from his collar up his neck. He tells Lyra that he was initially from Vale, but that in the course of his exploration he encountered some sort of disease or curse. He hid it from his family for as long as possible, but inevitably it was consuming his body. Desperate and running out of options he made a pact with a powerful entity. In exchange for keeping him alive, he did research to aid those in the tower. Unlike them he was not a true believer. Lyra cast Lesser Restoration on the elf, to little affect as something seems to swallow the magic. Lyra grabs Mira to get her opinion. Mira senses that there may be several effects causing the contagion.

Oath wanders over with Keishara to see what Lyra and Mira are up to, when they are stopped in their tracks as they recognize the elven prisoner as their father, Kailu. The others retreat to give them some room. Oath, his sister and his father have a serious conversation about what’s transpired. Oath asks his father for his help in defeating Nerull, but Kailu informs him that it would go against his pact and that the best course of action would be to leave him bound somewhere. Oath asks his father to meet them in Farlel when this is done. Kailu wishes his son and daughter luck in whatever comes next and hopes to seem them again.

Meanwhile the others debate how to proceed. The ghost of Jeanna Lightsworn reappears and offers them a potential solution in that her or one of the others could possess the prisoner. Additionally she informs the party of a path that leads down to a cavern below where dark magic is being worked.

The Stair Down

Grom leads the way down several corridors before reaching a winding stairs the hugs the wall of an enormous cavern. Slowly and steady the party makes their way to the floor of the floor of the subterranean chamber. On the way down they see a flickering orange and red glow from closer to the center of the chamber. Reaching the bottom Drugan points out that there were an odd number of stairs which is a bad omen.

The Cavern

The party makes their way towards the glow. Approaching it they see a large Phagestone platform. In the center is a large glowing orb of arcane energy. Five crystals on pillars are connected to the orb with strands of arcane power. Chained to the crystals with eldritch bindings are townsfolk and villagers. As the party quicks sets their preparations in motion, they see one of the crystals flare with eldritch energy and a villager crumples to the ground. Mira quickly casts Mirror Image and Lyra summons panthers with Conjure Animals. The other members ready their weapons…

Secrets of the Black Tower
Session 26 Recap - 27th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Third Sub-level

Scanning the room, Oath sees a covered mound in the corner. Pulling back the sheet he discovers one of the gorilla-like demons has been dissected. The hooded figure shouts to not mess with his experiments. Jasper relieves the hooded figure of anything that looks useful, including a component pouch, a dagger and a rod made of metal. Drugan knocks the figure out, leverages him onto Lyra’s rhinoceros form and ties him in place. Oath sense magic in the rod. Mira leaves the Spike Growth in place to cover their back as they finish searching the area. Grom hears a scratching noise at the door. Kicking it open he discovers a small mechanical cat. Inside the room the find a writing table and implements along one wall, which Lyra promptly destroys. Along the other wall they find bookshelves lined with tomes and various nicknacks. In the corner is a cot.

Exiting the study by the opposite door, they find themselves back in the hallway. Grom moves on ahead an spots a robed cultist, who proceeds to flee. Grom chases him down and slays him. Before he dies he tells Grom that Krethe leads them. Meanwhile, Drugan kicks down a door, finding a room stocked with a jumble of weapon and armor. Continuing down the hallway checking doors, Drugan finds a room of cells filled with townsfolk from Port Trellec. Ruxley recognizes several as mercenaries from various companies in Port Trellec, including her dragonborn friend Sora. They mention the gear they found in the room. As they are gearing up, Sora offers her services to deal with those in the tower. The other mercenaries agree to escort the civilians out of the tower following the party’s instructions.

Proceeding down the hall Drugan, Grom, Lyra and Mira move to open the remaining doors. Lyra and Mira find a guardroom filled with cots, footlockers and a table surrounded by four stools. Lyra smashes some of the contents just for good measure. Drugan and Grom discover a room stacked with bodies in various states of decomposition. Between the two doors in a pile of fresher bodies, while further back are older more decomposed bodies. While Grom notices the room has a low-level enchantment similar to Gentle Repose, it is obviously the source of the stench on this floor. Grom says a small prayer for the deceased before closing the door. Lyra notices one more door at the end of the hall. Knocking it open a wave of oppression and despair emanates out from the room. It is a shrine of sorts, tainted in evil and despair.

Oath wants to follow the corridor that leads past the laboratory and see where it leads. They follow the winding corridor for several minutes before they hear voices down a side corridor. Jasper sneaks forward to investigate. He sees three robed figures. One is concentrating as they work some sort of magic, while the other two lift a body from a cart and press it against the wall. Jasper watches in horror as the wall consumes the body and a grinding cracking sound is heard as the corridor expands. Jasper reports back to the others what he saw. The party quickly decides to deal with the robed figures to stop their work. Jasper and Lyra make quick work of the robed figures. Jasper tries to press a body against the wall but nothing happens. The party assumes that the cultist was working some magic to grow the Phagestone.

Heading back to the main corridor, Drugan and Lyra notice a change in the air flow and find a stairway leading down to the next level.

Fourth Sub-level

Heading down a hall the party encounters a cross hallway. Drugan decides they should continue straight. Partway through crossing the hallway the hear a yell and see thirty armed men plus hellhounds rushing towards them. Oath thinking quickly casts Shatter collapsing the hallway. The party decides to head away from the guards.

Rushing down the hallway the party makes it several hundred feet before seeing the hulking form of Leonir and the pale form of Sinala ahead of them. With them is a lithe figure with a bow and several guards. Reacting first, Sinala touches the wall and a ripple passes down the corridor from her hand. With a creaking sound Phagestone bars extend from the floor and ceiling dividing the party, while on each side the walls open to reveal other corridors. Grom moves to engage Leonir. Oath casts another Shatter above Sinala causing the ceiling to splinter and crack. Leonir reacts by drinking a potion that causes him to grow in size then holds the ceiling up by brute strength. Jasper uses Flicker to blink through both sets of stone bars. Drugan grapples and attempts to shove Leonir prone. As he falls part of the ceiling crumbles on the guards. The archer fires ineffectively. Sinala casts Hypnotic Pattern snaring Grom with the dancing swirls of lights. Mira casts Sacred Flame on Sinala. Jasper stabs ineffectively at the fallen Leonir. Drugan struggles free for the enemy on top of him. From one of the newly opened corridors, a huge hulking gorilla-like demon rushes out of the darkness slamming Mira with two meaty fists. Lyra attempts to gore the demon knocking it down. Mira reeling from the blow gathers her strength and swings Conviction with all her might. As she does divine light gathers around the head of the mace and explodes as she hits the demon. Drugan and Grom slug it out with Leonir. Sinala and the archer Dimension Door away as the rest of the ceiling collapses crushing the remaining guard. Oath casts Lightning Bolt at a group of hellhounds and guards running up behind them. As he does an ooze slithers up and engulfs Oath in its acid form. With Jaspers help Drugan and Grom finally defeat Leonir driving him to his knees. With the help of Lyra, Oath struggles free of the ooze and drives it back. Mira finishes off the demon as her maces partially shatters its physical form. Licking their wounds, the party prepares for what’s next…

Into the Black Tower
Session 25 Recap - 27th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Ground Floor

The party enters the tower in what appears to be a storeroom of sorts. Mira makes a light for the party to see. Jasper and Oath investigates some of the crates and bags and discover foodstuffs. Drugan and Grom stack crates to cover their magical doorway. Opening the door they see a hallway illuminated by sconces shedding a dim purple glow. Sneaking out into the hallway and hugging the walls they watch as several black-robed figures cross ahead of them. They turn down the hall where the figures came from and enter a large circular chamber. One set of spiral stairs lead up to a higher floor, while another set leads down to an underground level. After a quick and hushed discussion, the party opts to head down.

First Sub-level

The party enters another circular chamber with exits on either side and another set of stairs leading down. Drugan hears some noises coming from the further down. Grom tries to ask the axe about the layout, but it doesn’t seem to know or remember. They press on to the next level down.

Second Sub-level

The party enters a similar circular chamber with exits on either side and another set of stairs leading down. The noise is a bit louder and is definitely coming from further down. Oath investigates one of the corridors and finds a small room with a workbench and some armor and weapons in various states of repair. He snags two notebooks from the bench before leaving. The party decides to proceed to the next level.

Third Sub-level

The party enters yet another circular chamber with exits on either side and a set of stairs leading down. Upon entering the chamber the sounds are recognizable as an animal in pain. There’s also an oppressive sickly sweet smell permeating the area. The party pauses momentarily to debate continuing down versus investigating the sounds. Oath quickly scouts the fourth level down, where he hears some sounds of clanging metal and grunting sounds. Returning with what he heard, the party decides to investigate before continuing on.

Quickly forming up and heading down the hallway towards the sound the party sees several passages branch off. The stench is much stronger to their right, but the animal making noises is off to the left. They rush left down the passage. Drugan bursts through the door into a room followed by the others. Inside the room, the party sees the source of the sounds, a unicorn with black ooze slowly seeping up its legs, caged inside a pen. Just outside the pen a hood figured is making notes in a journal. Several covered mounds are towards the back of the chamber. Seeing intruders at the door, the figure lashes out about his research being interrupted as he walks over to the wall and pulls two levers. A gear starts creaking and the covers for two of the mounds rise revealing decrepit creatures with Phagestone embedded in their flesh inside cages. The cages start to lower as the creatures inside snarl and lash. Drugan rushes forward slashing at the robed figure. Jasper uses Flicker to clear the pen, then attempts to push the levers back up but fails. Grom moves to engage the creatures in the cage. The figure uses Eldrich Blast to push Drugan away. Lyra casts Thunderwave smashing the cages and creatures inside them into the wall and causing a large crack of sound to echo out of the room. Mira leverages herself up on the pen and throws one of the vial’s of Holy Water from Samal onto the black ooze working it’s way up the unicorn. In a flash of divine light, the Holy Water starts eating away at the black ooze and even dissolves the Phagestone where it hits the floor. Oath casts Disonant Whispers on the cloaked figure. The unicorn creates a Shimmering Shield around Mira. The figure casts Mirror Image on himself. Drugan runs forwards an ineffectively resumes his attack. Jasper moves to engage one of the now free zombie-like creatures, while Grom attacks the other. The robed figure casts Hunger of Hadar causing a sphere of blackness and bitter cold to appear encapsulating Drugan, Grom, Jasper, Lyra and his experiments. Lyra turns into a rhinoceros and charges at the robed figure but also clips Jasper. Mira uses her Spiritual Weapon to aid Drugan. Oath attempts Disonant Whispers again, still without much effect. Oath notices some sounds coming from the hallway behind him so he moves off to the side. The robed figure seeing that most of the intruders are contained inside the void of darkness casts Fireball on Mira, Oath and the unicorn. While Drugan and Grom struggle in the darkness, Jasper breaks free and moves to disrupt the robed figure. Bloody and pinned against the wall the figure yields and as he does, he drops concentration and the darkness vanishes. The unicorn after several attempts breaks down its pen.

Mira hears the footfalls in the hallway where they entered and thinking quickly casts Spiked Growth. A scream and gurgle are heard from the hallway as two hellhounds and three bloody guards come running in. One hellhound lunges bitting at Mira, while the other bites Oath knocking him down. Seeing this Drugan rushes towards the hounds slaying each with mighty blows. Grom is hot on his heels when he hears a gentle voice in his head: “deal with the armed ones, I will aid your friend”. Grom alters his course attacking and slaying two of the guards. The unicorn heals Oath. Jasper binds the hooded figure. Oath casts Shatter killing the remaining guard and destroying part of the doorframe in the process. The unicorn thanks Mira and the others for her aid and heals Oath again before teleporting away. Knowing that their presence is no longer a secret, the party turns towards their prisoner for answers…

The Path to the Black Tower
Session 24 Recap - 24th-27th of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Council

After stripping Jaccard of his items, the party bids farewell to the council members and makes their way out of the keep and into the city proper.

Port Trellec

Heading back towards the Spoke and Cellar the party pass the ravages of the attack. Parents looking for lost children. Children crying out for their parents. Lines of men and women manning buckets to quench the fires. The going is slow for the weary party.

The Spoke and Cellar

When they arrive at the in it is near midnight and they find Darrow behind the bar, but otherwise the common room is empty. Once back in their rooms Grom attunes to Windshear, Jasper attunes to Warden’s Strike and Oath spends a few hours reading. Drugan and Lyra decide to practice the lessons that Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora tried to teach them, but without much success.

Late in the morning the party gathers in the common room for breakfast. Drugan asks Oath why the Lightning Bolt from the previous evening was dark. Unsure as to what he was referring to Drugan and Lyra try to explain what they saw. Jasper and Mira inspect Oath to see if they can notice anything off about him. Mira doesn’t sense anything off with Oath himself. Jasper standing on stool is inspecting Oath’s ears, nose and eyes. Pulling Oath’s shirt aside to inspect his neck Jasper points out that the amulet seems to have fused with Oath’s flesh which now appears dry and cracked. While finishing breakfast they discuss their plans for finding the tower, when Ruxley comes in looking haggard as if she had a sleepless night. Striding up to where the party is seated Ruxley greets them and thanks them for their help last night. That without them, her men probably would have died. She goes on to tell the party that her contract with the Obsidian Brotherhood expired several months ago and offers her services should the party need them. After a brief discussion the party tells Ruxley about their next plans and asks if she would be able to leave that day. She tells them she needs several hours to tidy up her affairs, but will return to the Spoke and Cellar as quickly as possible. After Ruxley departs, Drugan decides to drop in an check on Odric before they leave, asking him to take care of their new wagon. Meanwhile the others gather their belongings and pack up the horses with provisions to their trip.

Port Trellec

Once Ruxley returns, the party sets out with Keishara and Ruxley in tow. As they make their way to the north gate they pass townsfolk righting flipped wagons and carts, sorting through rubble and salvaging what they can. The party exits the city without any fuss and heads north along the river.

Southern Greatwoods

The party passes through Southwood where they see the townsfolk going about their daily work. Oath uses his compass to track the direction of the tower by focusing on the red needle. Drugan talks military tactics with Ruxley. Before they reach Murkwood, Oath guides them off the road and into the timber. The party travels at a steady pace until they forced to make light for their mounts due to the heavy canopy cover. They press on for another couple hours before Lyra finds an ideal campsite on a section of fairly flat ground near a small stream. As the party settles in for the night, Jasper drinks some of his latest batch of beer, Mira creates a small shrine to Sylvanus and Oath finishes his book. Meanwhile Drugan and Lyra practice they lessons from Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora with some success. Afterwards, Lyra Wildshapes into a cougar to keep the first watch.

Grom taking the last watch has an unexpected visitor just before dawn. A small fey presents the string and bells Grom had strung back to him. Afterwards he slams his small fist to his chest then tells Grom “Strength and honor, brave knight. Her Majesty has her eye on you.” The fey immediately turns and dashes away before Grom can react. Grom takes the next hour or so to ponder the meaning of this. When the others start to raise, Grom mentions his visitor. Lyra fills in some details from their trip through the Feywild. The Lady of the Summer Court took a liking to Grom and extended him an offer. It was also revealed that Drugan caused a scuffle when he took a fancy to a special wagon in the Feywild. Lyra suggests that perhaps Oath should look for a spell that would help others remember what happens in the Feywild.

The party presses on to the northwest. Another full day and night passes fairly uneventfully. Just the normal sound of animals in the forest. On the following day in the late afternoon the party encounters an oppressive heavy feeling. The woods seem unnaturally quite and there is little sign of animals. After a bit of experimentation the party figures out boundary edge of the oppressive feeling. The party decides to make camp away from the wrongness. Mira casts Speak with Animals on a crow to glean some information about the area. She receives images of death, demons and armed men. Lyra casts Conjure Animals to create a small flock of ravens. Drugan casts Beast Sense to see through the eyes of one of the ravens. He gets a decent view from a distance of the tower and surrounding land. He notices that the layout of the complex doesn’t make much sense defensively. Drugan sketches the general layout for the others to see. Oath and Mira recognize the design is similar to a glyph they’ve seen before, a glyph of conjuration.

The Black Tower

While studying the sketch, Drugan remembers that he has Oil of the Gatekeeper. He suggests constructing a door frame that the party can position 300 feet east of the tower. Grom chops wood, while Mira, Lyra and Oath assemble the frame and camouflage it with vegetation. Once it looks passable, the party heads north with the frame. Lyra casts Pass without Trace and Oath performs Gratophamn’s Bravery. Once in place Drugan applies the Oil of the Gatekeeper and a shimmery yellow sheen appears across the frame. Drugan tests it and after a small repositioning, the whole party steps through into the Black Tower

Assault on Port Trellec
Session 23 Recap - 24th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Port Trellec

With bells ringing all over the city, the party gathers outside of The Spoke and Cellar with Ruxley and her men. Joining them are Keishara, Gilex and a another tracker. The party heads north towards the major road that cuts through artisans’ row. A few blocks north they encounter two groups of armed men dressed as city guards facing off against each other. Drugan notices that one group’s uniforms are well worn while the other group’s look much newer. Thinking quickly he advises the others to ally with the well worn group. Oath casts Hypnotic Pattern subduing the whole group. The city guards thank them for their aid and move to disarm and bind the imposters.

Moving on the party feels the ground shake as they hear a thunderous boom and the skyline to the east is briefly illuminated. Flaming rocks crash down around them. Mira hears someone moving around the corner of a building. Oath moves to investigate and runs into a cultist. Surprised at seeing Oath it calls out in a infernal tongue summoning three nearby fiery hounds. They chase after Oath with the lead one breathing fire at the party. Lyra reacts quickly by casting Sleet Storm causing the dogs to slide on a suddenly icy ground. The whole party hustles on towards the north gate before the hounds can give chase.

A few blocks later the party finds a giant crater surrounded by buildings on fire. Debating about the best way forward, the party considers following the exposed sewer versus skirting the buildings on fire. After a short discussion the party decides to make their way around the obstruction an continue following the main road.

Moving through artisans row they encounter several cultists holding open a portal while armed men are forcing townsfolk through it. Rushing forward Drugan and Jasper engage the closest armed men. Grom using his grappling hook to climb the side of a nearby building. Lyra casts Thunderwave scattering several of the armed men. Mira moves to engage one of the cultists. Oath casts Hypnotic Pattern subduing most of the armed men and most of the townsfolk. As Grom reaches the top of the building a large gorilla-like demon with blue skin and orange fur comes charging at him across the rooftop slamming into him and sending them both tumbling off the edge. A second gorilla demon launches off the opposite roof and lands near Lyra. Jasper rushes to engage it. Grom casts Compelled Duel on the demon that through him off the roof followed by Oath casting Dissonant Whispers. Panicking the demon flees only to be knocked down by Smoke and then stabbed to death by Ruxley and her men. Drugan and Mira dispatch the cultists closing the portal. Jasper and Lyra finish off their demon. Ruxley leaves her men to bind the armed men and help the townsfolk.

Continuing on the reach a fork in the road where one branch leads north towards the gate and the other leads south towards the keep. Signs of battle are everywhere. Bodies are strewn throughout the intersection. A makeshift barricade lies in ruins. The feeling of arcane energy lingers in the air. Ruxley seems disturbed by this turn of events. She mentions that per protocol, the Council meets at the keep in case of emergency. Mira contacts Samal with Sending asking which way the group should head. He informs her that the keep does seem to be under attack and that aid would be appreciated.

Heading south the party passes some nicer walled residences on the way towards the keep. A jumpy house guard accidentally looses a quarrel at the party narrowly missing Grom. The guard mutters a quick apology as the party glares at him as they pass.

The Keep

Approaching the rocky no man’s land surrounding the keep the party sees signs of battle at the first watchtower, which lies in ruins. The party sees figures moving around atop the wall. Mira can make out that many of the figures are engaged in close quarters combat. The party rushes towards the gate dodging a few errant bolts fired in their direction. They pass through the shattered outer gates into the kill box. A few more quarrels are loosed in their direction, but not find purchase. Oath fires back dropping one of the crossbow men. Jasper throws Flicker at another, knocking them off the walkway as he delivers a killing blow.

Entering the courtyard the party sees signs of battle everywhere. Bodies lie strewn about. Carts and buildings are on fire. Craters pockmark the ground. The party sends Gilex and the other scouts to check out the buildings surrounding the keep for survivors and allies. The party along with Keishara and Ruxley rush into the keep through shattered doors.

Inside the entry hall the party sees armed men and cultists in familiar black robes dressed similarly to the ones encountered holding the portal open. They around surrounding two figures arguing: a young man in plate with a wicked greataxe slung over his shoulder and a pale elvish woman with white hair garbed in leathers and a loose half cloak.
Sinala: You risk to much Jaccard. We have what we came for.
Jaccard snarls: You have no room to speak Sinala! Just because you’ve replaced Darius does not give you the authority.
Sinala: What do you hope to achieve by this?
Jaccard: Vengeance for my fallen brother! Those who ordered this should pay!

At which point Oath interrupts them by casting Lightning Bolt. Drugan and Lyra notice that it seems darker than normal, as if the core was an absence of light instead of brilliant white core. Mira attempts to cast Spike Growth, but is Counterspelled by Sinala. Grom and Drugan rush towards the pair in the center of the hall. Lyra wild shapes into a rhinoceros and charges one of the armed men, while Jasper throws Flicker at another. After taking a blow from Grom’s lance Jaccard retaliates. Sinala attempts to cast Hypnotic Pattern on the party, but Oath Counterspells it. Drugan and Jasper pursue Sinala as she retreats from the melee. Oath cast Dissonant Whispers on Jaccard causing him to rush towards the Council chambers. Lyra backs up and charges another man at arms. As Mira casts Sacred Flame both her and Jasper notice that Oath recoils slightly from the light. As Drugan and Jasper harry her, Sinala alternates between taunting them and humming a tune that causes a magical arrow to attack them. Rushing forward Mira cast Watery Sphere try to restrain Jaccard, but merely throws him soaking and wet to the floor. Lyra reverts to her elven form then Polymorphs Jaccard into a squirrel. While Ruxley handles one of the remaining armed men, Keishara chases after an armored attacker. Surviving multiple brutal attacks from Sinala, they are stymied as she reads a scroll and casts Wall of Force separating her from them. Waving at them she heads down the hallway with her men. The armored fighter busts through a side passage and attacks Lyra, causing her to loose concentration. This restores Jaccard to his normal form as Mira moves her Watery Sphere to engulf him and the chamber guards. Jaccard fights free again only attack several of the Council members, slaying one and wounding another. Keishara dashes in behind the armored fighter and downs him with a well placed arrow. Grom rushes forward smiting Jaccard and placing himself between the other Council members and danger. Lyra summons two giant eagles with Conjure Animals which she instructs to grab the wounded Council members an carry them to safety. Back in the entrance hall, Drugan, Jasper and Ruxley deal with several intruders that have just entered. Moving in concert Drugan and Jasper rapidly dispatch them, amazing Ruxley with their prowess. Inside the Council chambers Mira casts Spiritual Weapon smashing Jaccard with one final brutal blow.

The Council

In the aftermath of the attack on the keep, a few remaining city guards arrive reporting many sightings of demons and portals around the city, reports of citizens taken and finally that a pale elf and a few armed men were seen fleeing. The several of the council members decry the party for bringing this upon the city. Samal comes to their defense stating that evil should not be left to fester. Hearing both sides, Lord Alric makes his decision. If the party deals with this festering evil in the Tower of Night, then he will see them rewarded in the manner of their choice: a title, a holding or wealth…


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