Darkness over Oscadius

A Family Reunion
Session 27 Recap - 27th 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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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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Goblin High Jinks and a Shifty Dragon
Session 22 Recap - 19th-24th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Goblin Camp

The party makes their way east towards the Band of the Burnt Shield following Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s directions. On the way there Drugan pulls Lyra aside and tells her how he feels about their motley group, but leaves immediately before she can respond. The party stops on a ridge overlooking a valley with three collections of ramshackle buildings and tents. Drugan and Oath recognize the diminutive yellow and green skinned inhabitants with pointy ears as goblins. From their position, they can’t quite make out the banners flying above each camp. Mira speaks with a nearby cardinal and convinces it to allow Drugan to see through its eyes. With Mira guiding it and Drugan reporting what he sees, they have the cardinal scout out the camps. Meanwhile Grom and Oath watch the goblin parties ranging out from the settlement. They follow a group of three goblins and as they get close Oath casts Hypnotic Pattern. They return to the others with three bound goblins in tow. After a brief questioning and with the knowledge that the Band of the Burnt Shield is the center camp, the party forms their plan.

Jasper and Oath pretend to be traveling merchants. Lyra summons several mules with Conjure Animals. Drugan acts as their guard, while Lyra turns into a mouse that Jasper carries. The four of them make their way towards the goblin camps touting themselves as ale merchants to the goblin guards. When they reach the camp the start handing out samples why they release Lyra on the sly to scope out the main tent looking for a sceptre. Meanwhile, outside Oath calls for the Kagaz the leader and after a brief discussion about power, proceeds to join the goblins in playing a rain dance with no discernable rhythm or tune. After watching the goblins whirl around stomping their feet for ten minutes, the song winds down. Lyra breaks open the chest, finds the sceptre among several other items. She grabs the sceptre and a canine skull for Jasper before turning into a bird and flying back towards the others. Jasper and Oath extract themselves, promising to return with more ale. The party heads west towards the Seer’s Cave. Along the way Oath examines it, discovering that it allows the wielder to cast Minor Illusion.

Seer’s Cave

The party arrives back at the cave in the early evening. As they enter they notice that the cave has a different configuration than the last time they visited. A male and a female dwarven voice carry from the adjoining chamber. After a few minutes the conversation winds down an weathered dwarf in fisherman’s garb step out, sees the party and quickly excuses himself. A kindly looking old dwarf dressed in a motherly fashion steps out and ushers them in. The party seems a bit confused, but then the dwarf’s form shimmers and expands, until a bronze dragon is looming over them. The party feels the dragon’s essence touch on each of their minds. The dragon then shifts through several forms: Drugan’s father, Grom’s mother, Jasper’s son, Mira’s foster mother before settling on a more neutral form. After the shock wears off, Drugan pushes Lyra forward to present the sceptre. Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora is dismissive of it, simply telling Lyra to hang it on a hook on the wall. She then presents the party members with several items from which they can choose from. Drugan selects Braed’s Charm. Grom selects Banner of Victory. Jasper selects Potion of Youth. Lyra selects Bag of Colding. Mira selects Shard of Aquan. Oath selects Bolts of Faerie Fire. Afterwords there Jasper asks some questions about green dragons. Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora inquires as to why and Jasper recounts the loss of his son. Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora seems mournful and comments that Jasper is not the only one to experience loss. She thinks on it briefly, then tells the party she can see the potential in them and if they’re willing to spend a few days she’ll try to teach them to unlock a bit more of their potential. She instructs them in the theory, then leads them through multiple practice sessions that take up much of the next three days. Grom, Jasper and Mira seem to pick up the concepts with ease due to similarities with previous training. Drugan, Lyra and Oath struggle to make progress, but Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora assures them if they continue to practice that they’ll eventually master the concepts. Thanking Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora for her aid, the party sets out for Borja.

Borja

Arriving back in Borja, the party heads to the one shady tavern where they find Captain Kelby and his crew. The Captain informs them that they can set out with the tide if they’re ready. As the tide leaves, so does the party embark on their journey back to Port Trellec.

Port Trellec

The party arrives back in Seabottom midmorning. They make their way north discussing their next plans. Drugan and Oath head to check on Odric, before heading to Artisans’ Row to find a wainwright. After much searching they find one of sufficient quality. Inside they negotiate with the owner for a performers’ wagon with an Alarm and Arcane Lock enchantments. At the same time Mira heads towards the Santuary of Eldath to talk to Samal. Meanwhile the others run a few small errands to resupply before heading to The Spoke and Cellar. There they find an annoyed Keishara. She tells them that when Thakon and her reached Port Trellec they split up to get supplies, but he never showed up at the redevous. No one she questioned remembered seeing him. Around dusk Samal returns from his days work. He tells Mira that he did receive a raven from a Loremaster of Dalasia. On her way back to The Spoke and Cellar she hears bells tolling to the south. Upon entering the in Mira asks Darrow what the bells at this hour are for, to which he replies that they almost sound like the alarm bells but that he’s sure the city watch have things under control. Joining the others, they discuss their next plans over drinks and a meal. A young man bursts in wearing the black tabbard of the Obsidian Brotherhood, scans the room and spots a table of fellow Obsidian Brotherhood members, whispers a message to the sergeant before heading.back out the door. The sergeant issues some quick orders to her men, before approaching the party. She informs them that there has been a disturbance in the city and she has been asked to bring her men and any other able bodied folks with her to the north gate. The party agrees after deciding they need to head that way to exit the city anyway. The party gathers their gear and joins the Obsidian Brotherhood as they step out into the night…

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In Search of the Seer
Session 21 Recap - 18th-19th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Dreir Lith Altar

The party continued to fight for possession of the scrying Orb while the drider seemed to primarily focus on the opposing party. Baledin, the mage from the other party, made a remark implying that he knew Oath or someone who looked like him. As giant spiders are climbing up over the edge of the platforms, Baledin releases a Cone of Cold that wiped out every spider, froze one of his own party members, as well as Oath and Jasper. Drugan feeds Oath a healing potion. Mira alternatively heals her own party members and Sacred Flames the other party. The drider focuses it’s attention on the bearer of the Orb. Grom prepares the finishing touches on his ambush before abandoning it to chuck javelins at the drider. Mira grabs a dimmly glowing jar near the base of the alter. Lyra uses of a scroll of Earthen Blast, to throw the drider off the ceiling causing it to plumet to the cavern floor. As it reappears, Drugan finishes it off with his glaive. Jasper retrieving the orb fiends the Orb on the priest. The party stabilizes Baledin and makes their way back to the entrance.

Dreir Lith

Once outside, Oath cast Zone of Truth on everyone except Keishara, Mira and Thakon. Grom uses Lay on Hands to revive Baledin. The party asks him who he is and what they were looking for. He tells the party that he and his companions hail from Vale and that they are researchers and sometimes adventurers. Oath asks him if he knew his father, to which Baledin replies that they were sometimes contemporaries and sometimes rivals. That he felt that his father and friends looked down upon humans as an inferior race. When asked what became of his companions he is met with awkward silence. Out of shame or a sense of morality, Drugan helps him retrieve the bodies of his companions. They find one still alive. Meanwhile, Oath presses Lyra for what happened in the Feywild, but she remains tight-lipped. Once Drugan returns the party departs leaving Baledin and his companion to find their own way.

Borja

The party returns to Borja with the Orb. It is decided that Thakon and Keishara should take the Orb and head back to Asturakar to start the trek towards Tormund’s Hold. Captain “Kelby” will ferry them, then return in a couple days time for the rest of the party. The party spends the night in the one squalid inn in Borja. In the morning they break their fast and head south to Pent.

Pent

Arriving in the hamlet of Pent the party finds an old man that gives them directions to the Seer’s Cave. He instructs them to enter, ring the bell, then wait. The party follows his instructions, heading south from the village towards the seaside cliffs.

Seer’s Cave

Following the trail up the rocks, the party finds the entrance to the cave. They file inside and after a brief glance around Mira inspects the pool of water. Not finding anything off, Jasper rings the tarnished bronze bell by jumping on it. As the clapper strikes the bell more that just sound is produced. The party feels a magic reverberation pass through them. Several minutes pass without any noticeable change. As the party settles in to wait, Drugan goes to sit against the wall but falls through it. Lyra moves to block others view of what happens. Drugan exclaims that his backside can dissolve stone. Everyone else starts in amazement as Drugan appears from within solid rock. Oath inspects the area and realizes that it is simply a cleverly placed illusion. After ensuring that there are no other illusions in the chamber the rest of the party follows Drugan into the tunnel which slowly slopes downwards.

Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s Lair

They enter into an antechamber with several tunnels leading off in different directions and a pair of massive black iron doors off to the right. The walls appear to all be sandstone and the floor is sandy and covered with tracks. Sounds of water can be heard and even below ground, there’s a strong smell of the sea in the chamber. Spreading out to investigate, they find that the closest tunnel ends in a pool of water. Mira identifies it as salt water. Jasper throws one of his heads into the pool. Grom and Oath inspect the door noticing that a large glyph is inscribed upon it. Grom wanders off with Smoke to poke around deeper into the chamber. Oath decides to more closely inspect the door, touching it and releasing the magic contained in the Glyph of Warding in the process. He is caught in the throws of Tasha’s Hideous Laughter. Lyra inspects the tracks and notices that they’re not humanoid. The are larger with three pronounced toes. Grom sees a tunnel that slopes down even farther, a pool of water and a large mound or next structure. He immediate starts retreating towards the others.

In the first tunnel, the pool of water explodes soaking Jasper and Mira, as bronze dragon launches itself out of the water and pins Jasper and Mira each beneath its massive paws. With water cascading off its body the dragon spreads its wings and growls at the two of them: “What are you doing here? Why have you come?” Meanwhile, in the antechamber, three bronze guard drakes appear as Invisibility drops with one leaping at Drugan, one leaping at Grom, and one leaping at Lyra. Lyra and Grom avoid the pouncing drakes, but Drugan is briefly grappled before reversing the hold with his grafted mimic hand. Lyra Wild Shapes into a rhinoceros, while Grom attempts to put some distance between himself and the prowling drake. Jasper and Mira finally recover from their initial shock and terror and manage to get out that they are looking for the Seer. The bronze dragon informs them that they have found the Seer. They feel the dragon’s mind press briefly upon their consciousness. The dragon picks up the confused and scared Jasper and Mira, depositing them on the floor of the antechamber. Oath finally shakes off the effects of the spell that kept him debilitated and looks around in confusion.

Seeing that the intruders appear to not be seeking violence, the bronze dragon dismissing the guard drakes. Introductions are made, with the bronze dragon introducing herself as Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s. The party tells her that they were set to stop a bronze dragon raiding the coastline. To which Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s replies that she knows of no such dragon and they must be misinformed. The party tells her that they were seeking the help of the Seer to find this dragon to which she replies that she is known as the Seer. Regathering some of her courage Mira asks if Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s knows of the corruption in the Southern Greatwoods, to which she confirms that she has sensed it. Mira then asks her about the omen she received. After thinking on it a moment the dragon confirms their beliefs that the Autumnal Cloak is probably the upcoming eclipse and the Tower of Night is probably the reported black tower in the Southern Greatwoods. Unsure of if this is the wrong dragon or if their information was incorrect the party asks if the dragon might have anything to aid them in their task. Tycelle’vaerir’cy’ravora’s proposes an accord between them. If the party acquires Kagaz’s, the leader of the Band of the Burnt Shield, sceptre then she will have a reward for them. The dragon stipulates that no one can be harmed in this task and that the party has until tomorrow to return with the sceptre…

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Into Dreir Lith
Session 20 Recap - 18th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Borja

Captain “Kelby” Jones directs the party to a shady tavern near the harbor run by Myles the Barkeep. Talking to him they get directions to Dreir Lith. He tells them that the place has been abandoned for as long as he can remember. He does mention that he remembers hearing reports of the “Goddess’s Breath” from the last brave folks who adventured there. Myles doesn’t know anything explicitly about the brass dragon, but suggests the party heads south towards Pent a small fishing village that’s reported to have a seer.

Dreir Lith

The party finds their way into the foothills following an ancient trail. Mid afternoon they find the entrance set into the hillside. Carvings faded beyond recognition decorate the entrance. Making their way down a set of steps and along a hallway, they come upon and intersection. Three paths are before them. One was boarded up, but many of the boards have been destroyed. Jasper being the smallest, slides through the cracks to get a better look. Oath uses his compass to get a bearing on the best direction for their goal. Ultimately, the decision falls on Drugan who uses the ages old dwarven technique of spitting to decide on the proper path.

Dreir Lith Chasms

Following the path the party enters an open chamber dotted with stone platforms. The floor falls away to an unknown abyss on every side. As the party adventures out into the chamber a harsh wind blows at them throwing up dust and grit, blinding Grom and Jasper. Lyra casts Enhance Ability on herself and Mira. Mira casts Guidance on Oath. Jasper uses Flicker to cross the first chasm, with Oath following behind. Lyra cross with ease, but Mira slips being caught only by Setheru’s Grasp. The wind whips at them from the other direct bringing with it nauseous vapors poison several members. The party notices floating lights, perhaps torches off to the side perhaps a hundred and fifty feet distant. Jasper an Oath start exploring the next platform while the remaining party members cross. Jasper uses the same technique to cross to another platform where he recovers a board with the help of Grom. Drugan and Lyra as a giant spider head the other direction to investigate the platform there. Keishara pushes forward to spot what she can. In the process she misjudged the distance and barely catches the edge. Oath attempting to show her up fails even worse and slips as he’s starting the leap, but catches himself before tumbling into the abyss. Mira makes it to Keishara’s platform and helps her up. Drugan has returned with his plank and Grom and Jasper with theirs. The line of lights is now a bit ahead of the party. Mira and Keishara help stabalize the first plank dropped to their platform and push it on to the next one. They then stabilize the next plank before pressing forward. The rest of the party crosses as quickly as possibly and without much difficulty. Lyra uses her webbing to reach the final platform and rejoin the others.

Dreir Lith Altar

The party enters a smaller, slightly more intact chamber. A dull glow lights much of the chamber. Across the way they see a party of five well worn, middle aged humans making their way towards the far platform. Unsure of their motives the party moves towards the far platform as well. Jasper, Keishara and Oath take the lead followed up by Drugan, Lyra and Mira. Grom hangs back to try and make his way to the platform where the other party entered from. As this is happening spiders start to pour up over the edge of the platforms attacking both parties. Oath uses Major Image to throw up an illusion of a giant spider. The first two fighters in the other party attempt to engage it, but end up stumbling through it instead. Drugan uses his hand to grapple the figure closest to the altar. The mage in the other party runs up to the altar, grabs something and shoves it in his pack. Lyra webs the mage, restraining him. A drider appears from the ceiling shooting at members of both parties. Mira attempts to use Animal Friendship calm some of the attacking spiders. Jasper, Oath and Thakon deal with the remaining spiders. Jasper, Keishara and Oath close with the other party. Drugan throws the figure he’s grappled into the webbing, then attempts to wrestle the item from the mage. After several failed attempts Grom makes it to the remote platform to head off the other party. The mage cast Misty Step distancing himself from the fray. The human rouge and fighter pull back towards their cleric and mage, while the archer attempts to hold off the drider…

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Homecoming
Session 19 Recap - 5th-17th of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Mourning Tree

Immediately after Aralia, the dryad, steps into the material plane, she runs over to embraces her tree. The party watches as it returns to health and sprouts leaves. After several minutes in communion with the tree she steps away and approaches the party. She thanks them for their aid in helping restore her tree. She gifts Lyra a white oak acorn and imparts knowledge upon her of how to travel the Ways. Drugan has a serious conversation with Oath. Oath remembers reading that the Feywild is a place of perpetual twilight. When questioned about the passing of time in the Feywild Aralia replies that “time passes as time flows”. After a brief discussion, the party decides to attempt travel through the Feywild. With all the party members holding onto each other Lyra speaks the words “Aa’ lasser en lle coia orn n’ omenta gurtha” and the party steps forth into the Feywild

The Southern Greatwoods

The party steps into a shady grove somewhere in the Southern Greatwoods. For everyone besides Lyra the memory of a landscape dominated by oversized vegetation and pastel colors is fading like a dream upon waking. Unlike entering the Feywild, leaving seems to have gone slightly awry as Drugan feels protected, Grom increases in size, Lyra can only yell, Mira felt refreshed and Oath cast Fly on Jasper. A panther like fey creature with a strangely human face shakes himself and announces that his task is complete and that he’s going for a hunt before returning to the Feywild. The party looks on in confusion as he lopes off into the woods. Lyra seems angry at Drugan.

As the magical effects start to wear off the party makes their way south towards the edge of the Southern Greatwoods. Emerging from the woods near dusk, they realize they’re near Farlel. They realize based on the position of the moons that almost two weeks have passed since they entered the Feywild.

Port Trellec

The party pushes on through the night to reach Port Trellec as the sun is rising. As they approach the west gate of Port Trellec they notice carts, tents and groups of refugees outside the city gates. They see city guards trying to coral and help folks. Making their way through the throngs a scruffy looking man with what appears to be the oak leaf of Sylvanus on his shirt approaches Mira. He grabs her by the shoulder and tells her: “When the Sisters are hidden under the Autumnal Cloak, in the Tower of Night, the chains will be loosened and He will summon Her.” As the man pulls away, Mira watches his eyes fade from green to their natural color. She also realizes he smells of sour wine and the symbol on his chest is actually his own vomit. As the man moves towards an alley and proceeds to empty the contents of his stomach, Drugan moves to follow him. Lyra walks by and pushes Drugan into the filth. Oath uses Prestidigitation to clean Drugan.

The Spoke and Cellar

The party heads to the inn where they meet up with Keishara and Thakon. Thakon tells them that one of Nerroth’s contacts has turned up the location of an artifact that could enable her to scry on the area of the forest that is blocked from her view. After breaking their fast they decide to split up and take care of a couple errands before deciding what to do next.

Avora’s Shop

Jasper and Oath head to the cartographer’s to give her the dragon helm. Avora is pleased to see them, even if Oath is laying the flattery on thick. After a brief discussion Oath and Jasper settle on a map of Bremore and a small pouch of uncut rubies as the party’s compensation. As they’re turning to leave, Avora thanks Oath for letting her know about Vox Primus’s fate. She tells him that she went their with some hired muscle and recovered the bodies. She then asks Oath about occupants of the island as the cave was empty when she went there. She presses him a bit further, asking if the party found any treasure or dragon’s hoard. Oath admits they found some treasure, so leaves her with the bag of rubies and a promise to come back later.

Fireforged Smithy

Drugan stops in to pick up his order. While he’s there he sees Odric, who tells him that he has a part time job apprenticing with the dwarven brothers.

Sanctuary of Eldath

Drugan, Grom, Lyra and Mira stop in to talk to Samal. He lets them know that Corvus made it to Port Trellec and delivered the Phagestone chalice. They ask him if he’s heard of the name Nerull. After browsing his collection of books, he finds a reference to a demon lord with that name. He then confirms Mira’s suspicions about the “the Sisters” most likely being the moons Celeste and Luna. He speculates that “the Autumnal Cloak” could be when both moons are hidden on the 2nd of Sypheros.

The Spoke and Cellar

Jasper and Oath head back to the Inn to grab some drinks. Oath pulls out the Tome of Masglowic’s Contemplation and discovers that he’s farther along than he thought. The others eventually join them. Drugan works with Odric on converting Shimmer into a glaive. As the day passes the group discusses what they’ve learned. Drugan, Lyra, Mira and Jasper debate what Mira’s portent could mean, postulating that the “Tower of Night” may be the same tower that Darius mentioned. Meanwhile, Oath discovers that the greenish stone from Raithe is missing. In its place is a wooden box without visible seams. Grom and Oath puzzle over the inscribed phrase in Elvish: “No sooner spoken than broken”. After a bit, they figure out that “silence” is the answer and upon uttering it the wood parts to reveal the Tome of Gratophamn’s Bravery.

The party settles in for the night, planning on speaking with the the Council in the morning.

The Council

After waiting for several hours it is finally their turn to address The Council. Grom, speaking for the party, asks what they could do to aid with the refugees and the gnoll problem to the west. They receive many conflicting requests ranging from helping distribute supplies and handle logistics to head west to patrol for and hunt down gnolls. After the debating dies down, Samal suggests that perhaps they simply keep following the Nerull and Phagestone threads as no one else is looking into that.

Port Trellec

Leaving the The Council the party decides to recover the scrying artifact to gain more information about the tower before seeking it out. Mira uses Sending to request that the librarian at the College of Lore in Dalasia look into Nerull and Phagestone. They collect Keishara and Thakon before heading towards Seabottom, in the southern part of the city, to seek out a ship to carry them to Bremore. Asking around, they find Captain “Kelby”. He is excited to see them and lets them know that he has acquired a second vessel, partly due to their “generosity” last time. Within and hour or two they are all aboard the Orcadia as it slips its moorings.

Inner Sea

Sailing into the afternoon sun, the party heads towards Borja a small port town in Bremore. The Orcadia glides through the night and as the sun is rising the party sees the Bremore coastline…

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The Mourning Tree
Session 18 Recap - 5th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Dalasia

That night Lyra has a dream about the battle from the Night of Tears, where a group of dwarves, elves, gnomes and humans attacked a host of orcs and ogres camped around what used to be known as Celeste’s Refuge. In the morning Grom heads out to pick up his modified crossbow. Drugan tags along to pick up a breastplate. A familiar with a message finds Lyra, Mira and Oath at the inn. He relays Fenhani’s thanks and presents the party with a magical token that can be redeemed at the College of Wizardry in Dalasia. Lyra convinces the party to go with her to investigate the Mourning Tree.

The Road to the Mourning Tree

As the party travels west out of Dalasia they notice that the land to the south of the Dal River is cultivated and much more civilized. They pass several hamlets and farming villages as they travel west. Along the way Drugan informs the part of the “standard” dwarven block measurement after seeing a sign indicating distance to the Mourning Tree. Outside the last hamlet before the woods, the party sees hawkers with wagons full of cheap wares. Jasper looks for a wooden statue or figure. On past the next hill the party encounters one final wagon tended by two middle aged gnomes. Upon inspection these items seem to be of higher quality. Drugan and Lyra purchase six black candles, six bottles of holy water and two emblems of Eldath, Sylvanus and Talos each. Drugan handle out a candle, bottle of holy water and emblem to each party member.

The Mourning Tree

Upon entering the woods the party lights their newly acquired candles. They smell of sage and other herbs as they burn and give off a weird greenish flame. As the party moves into the wood, the sunlight fades rapidly and a weird gloom permeates the environment. Moving along the trail a couple hundred feet the party sees a stone tablet with remains of burned out candles and other offerings. As they progress deeper they notice small white stones that crumble easily, small scraps of metal, that the ground is soft and spongey and thick vegetation is all around them. Lyra tells that that a battle happened at this location hundreds of years ago. A coalition of dwarves, elves, gnomes and humans battle a horde of orcs. Drugan notices that the stones appear to be unnatural, almost as if they were grown instead of carved. Lyra thinks that druidic elders probably have that ability. They’re pretty faded but Lyra does notice some druidic symbols on the stones they pass.

Finally the party makes it to the center of the woods were they see the Mourning Tree. Think vines wrap around it as well as questing out towards the soil around the stone slab. As the party enters they area they encounter a few weird patches of ground that compress, then launch them through the air. The vines start to quiver and a large yellow musk creeper starts to stir. Corpses start to rise out of the ground, clawing their way to the surface near Grom. Drugan, Lyra and Oath race towards the creeper. Jasper attempts to, but is thrown through the air again. Mira helps Grom with the reanimated corpses. Drugan, Jasper and Lyra with her Flame Blade engage the creeper. The creeper expels a seed pod that lands near Mira, who promptly smashes it with her Spiritual Weapon. Oath holds off some more reanimated corpses at the ramp to the stone platform. Grom uses his modified crossbow to fire and attach the grappling to a branch on the tree. He then runs and uses one of the launcher to catapult himself at the creeper crashing down on it in a mass of metal and muscle. The creeper releases a cloud of spores charming Drugan for a short time. More seed pods are released as the creeper is damaged. Corpses continue to dig their way out of the ground. Mira and Oath make a stand with Smoke destroying corpses and seedlings that have emerged. Jasper and Lyra continue to hack at the creeper. Grom throws oil on the creeper. Drugan attacks first Grom then after escaping his grapple attempt lunges at Lyra. Lyra ignites the oil on the creeper with her Flame Blade. The creeper seems to fall limp and stop moving. Jasper and Oath engage the seedlings. Grom smashes through several corpses that have made their way up to the platform. Drugan shaking off the charm effects realizes what he was doing, quickly apologizes and moves to aid the others. With the plant on fire, Lyra tries to pull it away from the tree while the others finish off the few remaining seedlings. After investigating they discover a partly fire-damaged root, which they hack through.

The party recovers the dropped candles and other items, then gathers themselves on the stone platform. Lyra investigates the tree, which looks like the creeper has been draining of life. They notice random bits of pastels colors and vibrant colors that are popping in and out of existence around them and the tree. This continues for several minutes before the colors intensify and a dryad steps out of thin air…

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