Darkness over Oscadius

Arrival in Dalasia
Session 15 Recap - 3rd of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Pilgrim Sands

Zymer and the party set up camp with Zymer preparing a spell to teleport the party to the city of Dalasia. Oath trades some scrolls for Tome of Masglowic’s Contemplation. Zymer thanks the party by giving Sastheru’s Molt a scroll of Impressive Display to the party. The party decides that Mira should take the belt, while Grom should take the scroll.

In the morning, Zymer draws the teleportation circle and the party steps through to…

Dalasia

Upon arrival, the party is surrounded by a contingency of 20 dwarven guards and approached by Rasfan who is surprised by their unscheduled use of the teleportation circle. After explaining their situation, the gnome explains that the city is pretty orderly and that no fighting, drugs, etc. are allowed, then lets the party go.

Dalasia itself is divided by many canals and bridges with soaring dwarven architecture and arches. Its streets are clean, and a general sense of low magic permeates the very streets. Harnessing the power of the river, the city’s street lights and elevators (providing a means of transporting cargo between the river and the Inner Sea) are mechanical wonders.

Grom tries to disguise his orcish nature via Thaumaturgy but he still stands out as being much taller than most of the population. As evidenced by the architecture, which was not created with the taller races in mind.

Oath uses his compass to find a nearby inn where the party gathers information about where they might find a means of travel, various supplies, and other information.

Artisan Row

Jasper finds a herbalist shop and peruses for brewing ingredients. Drugan and Grom find a smithy called Thaldus and Sons. Drugan buys a pike haft and other materials to try to convert Shimmer into a more familiar style of weapon. While purchasing he unknowingly hands Thaldus, the owner, one of the red marbled gold coins. Thaldus pulls back and makes a comment about him not taking any of that accursed red gold. After the incident, he seems a bit more suspicious of Drugan and bids him farewell. Grom inquires about a lance. Not having anything of his size, he instead purchases unworked materials to craft his own. Grom then finds a tinkerer and asks about making a grappling hook crossbow. The tinkerer shows him a much smaller version that would be suitable for a gnome or halfling. He explains that the problem is the weight of the grappling hook, even with a heavy crossbow.

Meanwhile, Oath finds a fancy-looking store and proceeds to ask the owner if they know who made his crossbow and is directed to the southern islet. Slightly disappointed he heads off towards the College of Lore.

Drugan, Grom and Jasper return to the Inn and begin discussing a cart that could carry a forge and brewing equipment.

College of Lore

Meanwhile Lyra and Mira head towards the College of Lore. Lyra investigates The Ways as a possible means of traveling great distances quickly. Mira researches Vordai of Dalasia, who legend holds wielded Conviction and Faith. Oath joins them after leaving the artisans row.

College of Wizardry

Lyra, Mira and Oath head to the College of Wizardry to ask using the teleportation circle to return to Port Trellec. They talk to Fenhani the Mage who tells them the standard cost is 300 gp per person. If that’s too expensive, she offers the party an alternative. Two traders carrying some magical components are a day late and she would like someone to check on them. If the party does that, she’s willing to remove most of the cost of transporting the party.

Dalasia

Drugan tells Grom that the party is low on funds and will probably need to take the job to pay their way home.

Mira uses Message to communicate with Odric discovering that he is alright and requesting that he meet the party in Port Trellec in four days time.

Lower Dal

The party heads to the lower section of town to explore sea travel and find shady characters. The party finds a suitably questionable tavern that is filled with sailors and laborers. Drugan immediately spots a group of folks dicing and sits down to join them. Oath watches him from the sidelines while using Minor Illusion to affect the outcome. Meanwhile, Lyra sits down at a table on the edge of the tavern while keeping her eyes peeled for someone who might know more about The Ways. Mira talks with Captain Eryn about passage to Port Trellec. Captain Eryn gives them a quote of 180 gp per person and says that the journey would take about a week depending on the weather.

After finding that passage would likely take a week the party retires to the first inn they visited to rest and plan their path back to Odric and all.

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A Dark Ritual
Session 14 Recap - 2nd of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Scales of Life

The party finishes up their rest in the relative safety of this magnificent temple. Another exit to across the room with more text upon it remains closed. Zymer inspects the inscription on the other door to the room and finds in yuan-ti “life hangs in the balance”. After taking a look at the large scale on a dais in the middle of the room with its heavier end containing an opalescent scaled feather and its raised end seemingly full of the same foul water the party trudged through on the way to the temple, Zymer then uses Living Waters to flush out the foul water and fill it with clean water. Afterward, the door to the exit unlatches but appears stuck. Drugan and Grom have a little competition to see who can open it further. Grom tries to take the feather, but it seems to be magically attached to the scale.

Defiled Sanctum

Once Grom forces the door open the party makes their way into the next room. After some investigation, it appears that the room was once a sanctum for Celeste, but now some other group has defiled it for their own purposes. Oath notices that there is writing on the walls and on the back of the doors. Zymer is able to puzzle out part of the meaning. Specifically, he notices a name – Ru’Hotep – mentioned multiple times. The party sees a natural tunnel leading out of the room.

The Tunnels

Upon entering it they hear chanting in Yuan-Ti, but the source is hard to pinpoint. As the proceed down the tunnel the chanting starting to increase in tempo. They reach an intersection of five tunnels. After a quick investigation, the party chooses a branch to head down which has shown signs of travel. They encounter a pit that is about 15 feet across. Zymer uses his Slippers of Spider Climbing to cross to the other side taking the rope with him. He attempts to attach it to a plank on the far side. Grom attempts to pull it across but the rope comes loose. Zymer instructs him how to activate the rope to have it attach to the board. After successfully getting the first one placed, a second plank is slid across to provide a bit more stable of a platform to cross on. The party then encounters a section of tunnel that at first glance appears to be undulating. Some quick thinking and experimentation show it to be an illusion that affects sight. By closing their eyes they are able to progress without issue.

Yuan-Ti Cultist Lair

The party sneaks up to the opening preparing to stop whatever ritual has been building. The party sees two large snakes slowly undulating near the entrance. The party rushes into the room trying to get a grasp of what is going on. Lyra and Drugan both go to attack one of the snakes but encounter some gooey resistance before hitting the snake. The party watches the gelatinous cube dissolve the flesh of the snake skeleton leaving the bone nagas encountered before. Once inside the party notices three Yuan-Ti that chanting and the source of the ritual off to the side. Grom, Jasper and Zymer take on the three Yuan-Ti while Drugan, Lyra, Mira and Oath handle the bone nagas and gelatinous cubes. Jasper takes out one of the Yuan-Ti, but the others ignore him. Zymer uses a Watery Sphere to restrain another for Grom to finish off. The final one finishes its ritual and transforms into a bodak. Meanwhile, Drugan and Lyra are fending off the gelatinous cubes while Oath Lightning Bolts them. Mira focuses on the awakening bone nagas. Zymer slams the Watery Sphere into the bodak restraining it which causes the bodak to focus its gaze on Zymer. He shakes off the effects while Jasper delivers the killing blow. Between the combined efforts of the rest of the party, the gelatinous cubes are now gelatinous puddles and the bone nagas are in pieces. After a brief search of the room, the party heads towards the exit which leads towards the entrance area of Sastheru’s Tomb.

The Pilgrim Sands

After exiting the tomb, the party is embraced by the sweltering heat and blowing sands of The Pilgrim Sands. Zymer offers the party several options for how he would recommend they make their way back towards Asturakar

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A Step Too Far
Session 13 Recap - 2nd of Aryth in the 2147th year

Dreham

After waking up, Grom heads to Will’s smithy to pick up his newly repaired armor. On his walk back, everything slows down. The rest of the party notices this as well. As the party hears an otherworldly wind and the tinkling of discordant chimes, time snaps back into place and the world goes black.

Sastheru’s Tomb

One by one the party comes to, many of them wretching after whatever transpired, to find themselves in immediate danger in a small tomb with the ceiling collapsing one room over and an old man (Zymer) out of breath but oddly more interested in the tomb and a cracked wall with faintly glowing text on it.

Zymer’s inspection determines that the tomb is Sastheru’s, an entity associated with the Waters of Life.

A few blows from Grom’s hammer and some bear pushes from Lyra reveal a passage into a natural cavern with a well at one end. The natural cavern halts the rock fall.

Sastheru’s Grotto

After an uncomfortable conversation with the party, Zymer reveals that they are nowhere near Dreham and are in the south-western deserts of Oscadius.

Zymer translates the writing on the door as ancient Yuan-ti that reads “the Lady of the Waters aids those that ask” and realizes that in his muttering to Hiss, he said “This is bad, need to get my bearings…”. Some interpretation of the words appears to have summoned the party to the middle of The Pilgrim Sands as Mira confirms with detect magic showing the faint remains of conjuration magic on the door.

After noticing a gleam within the now broken-open tomb, Zymer braves the collapsing ceiling with protection from his arcane ward and retrieves Sastheru’s Molt, a magical belt that can turn into an animated rope upon command.

In the mean time, Grom determines the water is desecrated, Oath detects a great evil presence to the south using his compass, and Hiss scouts the mostly-submerged tunnel into a larger chamber.

The party descends into the waters with Oath and Grom locating valuables beneath their feet. It looks as if this may have once been a well for travelers to refill their stores on long journeys, with many of them leaving an offering to the Lady of the Waters.

Outside the Crescent Temple

Through a small channel, the party emerges into a larger basin of foul water and is set upon by the very water itself. Two large entities and several small assail the party, trying to drown several of them, disappearing into the waters after both large entities were defeated.

During the battle, many of the party discovered new abilities. Jasper teleported with the dagger Flicker to find that it pulled at his soul. The pull seems to lessen with each successful use. Drugan discovered that he could put the mimic’s adhesive ability to good use, gaining advantage on a foe grappled by the graft.

Through a combination of Lyra‘s spider form and Zymer’s new belt, everyone ascends to a golden door with more Yuan-ti inscribed on it and a trickle of filthy water running out from the bottom of the door.

Zymer determines that the door reads “Those who serve the Lady of the Waters are welcome”. Mira determines that the Lady of the Waters is likely Celeste, goddess of the moon and tides, though perhaps not as she is unaware of the gods and goddesses worshiped in this part of the world. Zymer recalls that the wording of Yuan-ti magic seems to be very literal. After much deliberation, Drugan, who had been looking at the stonework, asked what was wrong and if Mira was waiting for someone to open the door for her as Zymer and Mira were in a heated debate after Zymer determined Mira was the Lady of the Waters and pushed her into the door. Zymer’s interpretation was half-correct as Mira was a lady of the water, though Drugan’s attempt to open the door must have been interpreted as service while shoving her forcefully into the door was not…

The Scales of Life

Upon opening the door, the group is assailed with a sense of dread. Two gigantic human-headed skeletal snakes arise across the room encircling something dark and awful. Those who rush into the room feel their very life-force attacked. The skeletal serpents repel the early attacks and attempt to cast curses back upon the party. Quick thinking by Zymer and Oath fizzle the incoming spells and the party unloads with an array of melee prowess and a dazzling display of spells of their own. As one snake falls, a dark form emerges radiating malevolence so strong that most avert their eyes or feel that they want to.

At this point, Lyra, in giant spider form, discovers that the abilities of her staff have begun to meld with her beast form. Her spinnerette glows with druidic symbols as she unleashes a web at the remaining Naga.

The last snake goes down to Drugan’s sword, Shimmer, and as he turns to face the mummified humanoid, their eyes meet and Drugan falls to the ground unconscious. Jasper blindly leaps into the air and delivers the killing blow as Flicker lodges in the impossibly elongated mouth. The sense of dread disperses and the body crumbles to black sand.

Grom rushes to Drugan’s aid and returns him to consciousness. The small decanter that had been trickling forth sludge now began pouring forth fresh water. Could this be the Waters of Life that Zymer was seeking?

The party bars the door they entered and rests in the relative safety of this magnificent temple. Another exit to across the room with more text upon it remains closed and a large scale on a dais in the middle of the room remains unexplored with its heavier end containing an opalescent scaled feather and its raised end seemingly full of the same foul water the party trudged through on the way to the temple.

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A Moral Execution and a Bittersweet Reuninion
Session 12 Recap - 30th of Barrakas-1st of Aryth in the 2147th year

Helgar’s Ford

The party stabilizes Darius for questioning. Mira leads the party and townsfolk in resurrecting the villager that was killed by the cultist. The party rests up and helps start the cleanup of town. Drugan acquires mounts for everyone. After a debate, it is decided that Darius should be executed because he is too dangerous to be left alive. Grom performs the executions with Darius’s own sword, Shimmer.

Dreham

The party heads towards Dreham. Oath disguises himself, but upon entering the city no one seems to be looking for him. The party realizes that the northern quarter is a mercantile district and appears to be a bit nicer than where they were before. While crossing the market a slim figure bumps into Oath during the bustle. Oath realizes that his purse is missing. He sees the hooded figure leave the market and head to a side street. Oath pursues but has to abandon his horse due to the crowd. Lyra and Jasper follow a bit behind Oath. After chasing the hooded figure for several streets, Lyra throws a tanglepatch at the figure, entangling them. Oath tackles the figure to the ground, then throws them against the wall of the alley. The figure removes their hood revealing Oath’s younger sister Keishara. While Oath is surprised she gets in a punch knocking him back. Lyra watches amused while Jasper grabs the others. Reunited, the party follows Keishara to The Crimson Griffon, a local inn.

The Crimson Griffon

The party gets settled in and arranges accommodations with Nissa for the night. Keishara introduces the party to Vindi and Will. Will creates a gold filigree bird from some gold coins. Keishara pays for drinks with Oath’s money. Oath and Keishara catch up a bit. Drugan wants to annoy Oath by talking to his sister. The party hears rumors about gnoll packs roaming into Asturakar from Calan, but they seems to be mostly to the south. There are also rumors that Calan and Odral are amassing forces over some unknown conflict. Keishara takes Oath to meet Raithe, a friend of their father. Drugan, Grom and Mira head with Will to his smithy. Thakon and Vindi remain at the Crimson Griffon.

Raithe’s House

Oath meets the eccentric and grumpy Raithe. After quick introductions, Raithe gives Oath a letter and package from his father. Meanwhile, Will takes on repairing the plate that Grom took. He also purchases several of the Torpin Brigade shields from the party. On the way back to the inn, Oath and Keishara discuss their situation and what’s next. Keishara wants to come with her older brother. Oath is less certain. Keishara gives him back his purse and the gold filigree bird.

The Crimson Griffon

Back at the inn everyone takes the evening meal and starts drinking. Drugan is excited that Keishara wants to join them if only to bother Oath. Oath goes for a walk. Drugan decides to show off to Keishara and causes a mess by flipping a table. Onevea tries to grab Drugan to throw him out, but in his rage, he grabs her and starts bench pressing her. Money is paid to compensate the other patrons for lost food and Oneva for her dignity. Oath returns during this chaos. More drinks are had. Oath plays for the patrons, getting better as he gets drunker until he passes out in the common room. Drugan falls asleep in a barrel in the kitchen. Mira has spent enough time infusing energy into her earring that the spirit inside awakens. It doesn’t really remember much from before, but informs Mira that it is different after the djinni infused the earrings. It thinks it is stronger than before. Tomorrow the party sets out for Port Trellec

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A Knight's Valor
Session 11 Recap - 30th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

Helgar’s Ford

As the party approaches the town they see several men in black robes loading goods onto two wagons. Some of the figures notice the approaching party and hail them. The party can see several villagers held hostage.

As the party huddles to discuss what to do, Thakon and Bovas head off around one side, while Jasper sneaks around the other and Lyra turns into a giant eagle to scout. While the party debates on how to bait the guards around the wagons Thakon closes with and kills one archer in a single blow starting the battle.

Combat

battle map

Battle commences with strong opening moves. Oath casts Lightning Bolt which electrocutes four of the guards and cultists. One of the cult leaders starts casting spells killing a villager and hitting Lyra. Drugan and Grom move into position. Mira creates a Wall of Wind around the crossbowmen. The last remaining guardsman rushes Oath and kills his horse, trapping him underneath.

Darius, a knight armored in black lacquered plate and three additional fighters join the fray. He uses Flicker (magical dagger) to launch himself into the air, falling down on Drugan and knocking him off his horse. As Lyra swoops to kill the cult leader, she is knocked out of her animal form by Darius. Grom and Smoke attempt something awesome, but are not quite as acrobatic as they were hoping. Grom still manages to restrain four enemies. Jasper finishes three of the four restrained enemies. Mira rides forward a casts hold person on Darius, but it’s short lived as he calls out to Nerull for her blessing. His armor is wreathed in purple and blackish flame. Lyra goes bear and attempts to maul the new fighters. Thakon grabs one and tosses him in the well, eventually drowning him. Oath eventually escapes from under the horse. Grom uses Misty Step to launch himself into the air and try the same maneuver he saw Darius use. Darius sees a worthy competitor in Grom and starts alternately attacking him, Drugan and Mira.

Mira calls on her Spirit Guardians. Oath uses Tasha’s Hideous Laughter to disable Darius. Jasper, Smoke and Grom finish off the veterans. Oath lightning bolts Darius. Darius form darkens and fire pours from him which makes Lyra and Oath afraid of him. Thakon gets a critical hit on Darius. Grom goes down, is healed by Jasper, then goes down again. Drugan staggers up to Darius and runs his spear through his shoulder forcing him to his knees and knocking him unconscious. Grom is healed, Mira uses prayer of healing on everyone. Mira attempts to revive the fallen villager. The party strips Darius of his gear and searches the other bodies.

Spoils

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Leaving Tormund's Hold
Session 10 Recap - 29th-30th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

Tormund’s Hold

While around the fire, Grom and Mira notice the strong presence of nature magic in the enclave, but it feels a bit different than their divine magic. Grom sends Smoke on a circuit around the perimeter of the enclave. Cadwyr takes Lyra to meet Bhalbrek, the lore-keeper. Inamys meets them and offers to transport them to any of several groves in the Southern Greatwoods. Meanwhile, Oath finished up his story.

Lyra is given the following:

Thakon asks if they found any of the black dragon’s treasure. Mira communes with a raven. The party decides to grab their horses to have some time to regroup and share information. Nerroth pulls Oath aside and asks for the party’s aid with the ills of the land: the corruption to the west, a bronze dragon and the general lawlessness in the land. After Oath relays this, the party decides to question her using Zone of Truth. She reluctantly agrees. They find out some about her and Thakon’s history.

After much beating around the bush she reveals a bit about the silver torcs – that they prevent actions, specifically leaving and harming others. They don’t force the wearer to take any action.

The party tries to reach an agreement to free the collared individuals in exchange for their aid. Nerroth says she’ll consider it. The party asks if anyone would travel with them, Nerroth suggests Thakon.

The party prepares to rest for the night. Drugan studies the notes from Gurzan the Mad. Grom practices projecting his will to protect his allies. Jasper works on a small wooden carving. Mira spends some time attuning to her earrings. Oath practices some new magics he’s been studying.

In the morning the party has breakfast. The approach Thakon about traveling with them, to which he readily agrees. Then the check in with Nerroth about their proposal. She agrees to let one person go. Far away from the enclave itself. Inamys then uses Travel via Plants to open a doorway to a grove just north of Dreham.

Helgar’s Ford

Drugan leads the party back to the main road, before turning south towards civilization. They pass the first village just as folks are starting to work the fields. In the second village, where Howar and Kathlyn’s farm is, they notice something a bit off. Families seem to be huddled together in the central square. A couple of wagons stand nearby. As they approach, stepping out of a building are several black-robed figures carrying what look to be sacks of goods. Upon seeing the party, one cries out and several armed men level crossbows at the party…

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The Path to Tormund's Hold
Session 9 Recap - 29th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

South Keep Ruins – Basement

The freed djinni, Timeaus, seems ecstatic that he’s free of his prison. He smashes open the door to the treasure room that he was to guard, then heads off to check something else in another part of the dungeon. The party investigates the room and finds the following:

  • 1 Packet of a powder that resembles fine sand (still unidentified)
  • 1 Wand of Magic Missle
  • 3x Citrine (50 gp)
  • 5x Hematite (10 gp)
  • 2x Turquoise (10 gp)
  • 1250 cp
  • 430 sp
  • 157 gp

They also find four greenish stones that bound the goblinoid guardians to the dungeon. They are visibly excited when the party shows them the stones. Timeaus returns, reporting that he’s laid additional wards down on the dangerous area of the where the Master did experiments. The party hears scratching at the door. Timeaus also wards that. He deduces that it must be mephits on the other side and recommends that they leave the dungeon.

South Keep Ruins – Surface

Returning to the surface, the party is greeted by cold chilly weather. Oath tries to scout and find the two “trolls” that were outside. Unfortunately, one surprises him and a small fight breaks out. The trolls are revealed to be goatmen.

After the party dispatches with them, Timeaus comments on Mira‘s earrings and tells her that they contain a small water elemental, but that there doesn’t seem to be much of it’s life force left. He performs a ritual with the aid of Lyra, Mira and Oath and re-infuses the earrings with energy. Meanwhile, Grom is re-united with his mount Smoke.

Afterwards, Timeaus departs to the Plane of Air and the party heads to meet up with Odric.

The Road To Tormund’s Hold

The party heads towards Tormund’s Hold. The trail is small and overgrown but the party makes it there fairly uneventfully. Along the way, Lyra notices some markers with Druidic messages. As they get closer some are scratched out.

Tormund’s Hold

Upon arriving at the enclave they meet a fairly unfriendly older elf, Cadwyr, who warns them that they should not be there. He’s interrupted by someone inside chastising him for being rude and telling him the invite the guests in.

The party sees a goliath (Thakon) with a pet bear (Bovas), two minotaurs (Seesru and Rasmi), a human (Teela) and a female elf (Inamys) as well as several kobolds. The party enters and trades introductions with folks sitting around the central fire and are offered food and drink since others are just starting to partake in the evening meal.

A little later a Nerroth the Wildspeaker joins those gathered at the campfire. She spends a bit of time inspecting the party members. Jasper notices traces of a chlorine-like smell when she walks by. Oath entertains everyone with recounting their adventures using the Storyteller’s Potion to create accompanying illusions. Nerroth asks some questions about their adventures, followed by the party asking about the history of the enclave. Jasper holds a telepathic conversation with Teela and learns a bit more about the silver torcs and that they prevent certain actions. Jasper relays this to all the other party members. He also notices that Thakon has a similarly styled earring…

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Who is Gurzan the Mad?
Session 8 Recap - 28th-29th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

South Keep Ruins – Basement

The party gags and restrains the large goblinoid, then Grom heals it to wake it up. Jasper communicates with it telepathically and discovers that it is one of four (of it’s kind) that act as guardians and that its name is Grunt. Grunt indicates that they were bound to this duty by The Master. Grunt seems to mistakenly assume that Jasper is now The Master.

After some negotiation about releasing them in exchange for help, Grunt talks to two of the others (including the other injured one, Grul). The party then continues to explore the lower level.

Grunt shows them to a secret door that leads to The Master’s lab and beyond. Mira remembers that she has one of the Torpin Brigade badges. When she touches it to the door a blue light spiders out, outlining the door and it opens. Inside are shelves filled with assorted animal and humanoid body parts preserved in fluid, as well as plant and herb specimens. The jars are covered with dust and cobwebs. Drugan notes that the walls and floor in this section aren’t as finished as the other sections.

In the next room are several workbenches and hooks on the walls for tools. On the benches are glass vials and decanters, Similar to the previous room there are dust and cobwebs everywhere. In one of the drawers, the party finds notes from Gurzan the Mad on various monstrosities, including basilisks, bulletes, displacer beasts, gricks, manticores, mimics, owlbears, minotaurs and worgs. They seem very academic with hand-drawn illustrations and comments about diet and habitat. Then there are a few pages with more personal details much like a journal, which basically amount to Gurzan complaining about the working conditions and others he has to work with – how they don’t appreciate his genius.

The next room is small, with some old scorch marks on the south side. One door leads to the west from which a myriad of voices can be heard. The other opens into a long room with stone bridge over a channel that carries water.

Oath tries to cross but realizes that he’s not really making progress. No matter how far he goes he still seems to be the same distance from the other side. After a bunch of experimentation, the party decides to just swim across. Besides Drugan almost falling off of Lyra’s (bear-form) back as she ferries him across, they all make it over without issue.

Once all are on the other side they venture into the next room, where they start getting a very creepy/menacing vibe. Oath tries to unsuccessfully pick the lock to the next room. Drugan tries to determine where the unsettling feeling is coming from. The wraith of Gurzan the Mad rises from the floor, menace incarnate.

After a brief struggle, the party sends his spirit packing. Drugan busts down the locked door and they find a partial case of Quickrime and some gold in a small chest.

The party heads back to the door with the voices on the other side. They decide to leave it alone (setting traps on their side).

They head back to Grunt and companions and Grom convinces them that if they just stand guard while the party rests they will definitely be released soon.

Waking refreshed, the party heads back towards the entrance to check out the unexplored doors there. Opening one they see a large room with a pedestal and glass orb with swirling mists inside of it. A voice speaks into their heads. To many, it sounds like a wind or breeze, but Mira she understands it as a dialect of Primordial.

The wind introduces itself as Timaeus a wise and powerful spirit of air. If only they would free it, it would grant them aid in favor. The party questions it further, but finds out it was bound in the orb and required to guard the adjoining room from interlopers.

After a bit of debate, the party decides to smash the orb and release Timaeus. Upon Mira hitting the orb, it explodes out in a rush of wind pushing everyone back towards the walls and they hear a voice ring out, “Yes, I am free!”…

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New Friends and the Lower Level
Session 7 Recap - 28th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

South Keep Ruins – Main Floor

The party heads further into the dungeon where they find a library. The east side has suffered some damage, but the west side had some fairly well preserved books including: “Ancient Dwarven Architecture”, “Kings of Dwarven Society”, “The Ethics of Rocks”, “How to Make a Cave: the Details of Tunneling” and “Gemstonery” (which Drugan collects when he thinks no one is watching).

Off of the library they encounter a room with a marble table with some weird buttons on top. Initially, the party entered the wrong value, triggering the east and west walls to slowly move in. Several statues were knocked over and shattered by the walls. Once the party worked out the right combination the walls receded to their starting locations. Additionally, several stone tokens were dispensed for the side of the table. The party placed a couple of these on the two remaining statues causing them to course with purple light before shedding the stone away to reveal an imposing half-orc (Grom) and an old halfling (Jasper).

Just to add a bit more color to the world as a whole, in addition to figuring out roughly how long Grom and Jasper were frozen, you would also have learned that they’re from Pold. While halflings are a large part of the population in Pold, they’re not at all common in the area of the world you guys have traveled. In fact, you’ve probably never seen one before. Hence why you though the statue was that of a child.

After a brief bout of un-petrification sickness, Grom and Jasper decide to join the party, mostly due to Lyra impressing them as a mighty bear and Mira with her wisdom. While discussing the year and events the party figures out that Grom and Jasper have been frozen in stone for hundreds of years.

In the next room, the party finds the following:

The party takes a short rest to recover a bit, the explores the next room. Inside they find three cabinets. One contains:

  • 1 Cloak of Billowing
  • 1 Cloak of Warmth
  • 1 Cloak
  • 1 Immovable Rod

The party then backtracks and investigates the a room that seems to be a pantry before heading down to the lower level (full map).

South Keep Ruins – Basement

Drugan, and to a lesser extent, Grom, lift the portcullis while Oath locks it in place.

In the first room, the party discovers writing in Orcish on the wall that says “beware the silver avenger”. Grom checks to make sure it’s not his. Jasper remembers that he has something about the silver avenger in his notes. He’s reminded that they were in the area looking for Dammath the “Silver Avenger”.

In the next room, the party sees a pile of skulls and old dried blood stains. Then they find what looks like a common room with a hearth and stone tables. They hear a noise from the next room so they set an ambush. However, when they open the door they don’t see anyone in the next room. Something invisible slams into Mira knocking her back a bit. The party tries to engage them but has difficulty due to the invisibility until Jasper lands a lucky strike stunning one to real a large goblinoid creature with massive shoulders and arms.

Meanwhile Drugan runs around with a bear trap and manages to grapple the other one, which is still invisible. He also notices the mark on his arm starts to flow out towards the invisible creature. The party gangs up on the stunned one before it finally recovers, makes a comment about the master, opening a rift and teleporting away. The second creature manages to land a few solid blows on Grom, but ultimately Oath’s dissonant whispers causes it to flee and several party members are able to take advantage of it’s flight to land attacks of opportunity before it stumbles and falls into the wall. The party then restrained the creature and have some questions to ask it…

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Entering the South Keep Ruins
Session 6 Recap - 28th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

Southern Greatwoods

The party makes camp just inside the Southern Greatwoods. Mira makes a small shrine to Sylvanus near the campsite. The night passes uneventfully.

In the morning while Oath is out foraging he encounters a strange fey that suddenly appears near him. He brings her back to their camp where she presents them with a letter and a map, before stating that her duty is done, then stepping into a tree and disappearing.

The party breaks camp and continues north. As they do they notice that the forest is becoming more old-growth with massive, tall trees. Along the way, the party hears screeching and growling off to the side of the road. Leaving the horses with Odric the party goes to investigate the noise. As they sneak closer the see a wounded owlbear facing off against two displacer beasts. A third displacer beast lies dead on the ground nearby.

Drugan immediately runs in and starts yelling to distract a displacer beast. A slaughter ensues with the party and the owlbear taking down the remaining displacer beasts. By the end, the owlbear is looking pretty rough. While Mira establishes a link with it to try to calm it, Oath feeds it some horse meat and then proceeds to heal some of the lesser wounds. The owlbear seems confused by the aid but leaves the party in peace. Drugan collects a few feathers to add to his collection.

As the party continues north, the terrain slowly rises in elevation with foothills on either side of the trail. The path they’re following looks to be in disuse with the forest encroaching on both sides. This is even more apparent as they reach the split towards Tormund’s Hold – appearing to be little more than a worn game trail.

South Keep Ruins – Surface

As the party approaches the keep they leave the horses and gear with Odric outside [retcon]. The party sneaks into the keep’s upper structures and sees a couple of large figures huddled around a fire at the far end. After rummaging through some of the rubbish in the side rooms they find a couple of Torpin Brigade badges that still held a charm. They then sneak across the courtyard to a hallway heading down into the rock.

South Keep Ruins – Main Floor

At the bottom of the stairs lies an antechamber with doors to each side. One path leads to a barracks-like room and a locked armory. The other branch leads to what looks like a small chapel, mess hall, kitchen and more rooms, one of which has a hallway leading down to a lower level.

The party decided to continue exploring the current level, finding a secret passage in a room with some weird stone pillars. Next to that room was another one with a light source that caused their shadows to cause harm (as they found out with hand puppets). A shadowy humanoid emerged that they fought with their shadows. Afterward, the light narrowed to a specific section of the wall to reveal another hidden door. Inside they found a bunch of pedestals, most were empty, but upon one rested:

  • 1 Goggles of Night

Several doors (as well as the lower level) are left unexplored…

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