Darkness over Oscadius

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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A Recovered Shipment
Session 17 Recap - 4th-5th of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Orc Camp

The party splits into three groups to ambush the orcs. Drugan and Mira sneak around the north side under the cover of the Silence spell to deal with the guard and free the prisoners. Jasper, Lyra as a rhino and Oath sneak around to the south to deal with the guard there. Grom enters directly from the road to create a distraction. Jasper puts on the monk moves as he leaps up the back of the sentry to land on his shoulders and stabs the surprised orc while Oath shoots him with his crossbow. Lyra waits for Groms distraction to make her move. On the other side of the camp Drugan charges and kills, the orc guarding the prisoners while Mira engages the sentry. Meanwhile, Grom enters the camp using Thaumaturgy to draw the attention of all the other orcs. As he does this Lyra charges in rhino form towards the closest orc. Unfortunately, her target steps forward towards Grom at the same moment. Jasper and Oath see several orc riders on boars racing towards the camp. Close behind them a hill giant steps out of the treeline along the riverbank. After Jasper finishes off the sentry, Oath uses his Scroll of Animate Zombie to create a distraction. Jasper joins Lyra in the melee with the orcs. The party hears a loud crunching sound followed by a sickly splat. Lyra still learning her new form, charges at a second orc, impaling him and throwing him into the cart. Two orcs charge Grom while the remaining ones engage with Jasper and Lyra. Drugan joins Mira against the remaining sentry. Grom strikes back at the orcs attacking him. Three orc riders appear from the south. Two orcs step out of the large tent and survey the scene unfolding. The female one ducks back inside. While the battle rages on near the front of the camp Drugan finishes off the sentry then frees the prisoners and urges them to flee to the north. Mira heals Jasper with Healing Word. The orc from the tent engages Drugan. A boulder comes arcing through the air clipping Drugan and the orc, narrowly missing the prisoners. The female orc rushes out with two bundles, handing one to a rider and hoping up behind a second rider herself. Oath Lightning Bolts all three boars and riders. Jasper finishes off one orc, while Grom throws a net over the other one which had yielded. Which Jasper decides to finish off anyway. Another boulder comes arcing into the camp slamming into the boar with two riders. The female orc with the bundle manages to jump off. Lyra charges the orc, slamming him into the tent, which partially collapses on him. Drugan manhandles a boulder throwing it onto the orc struggling in the tent. One of the boars, who lost a rider, charges at Oath knocking him to the ground. Grom, on Smoke, attempts to ride down the fleeing orcs. The hill giant appears over the crest of the hill. He looks on at the scene in confusion. The final rider, turns around to grab the female orc with the bundle. Oath casts Dissonant Whispers on the boar that attacked him. As Drugan races to intercept the fleeing orcs, Mira uses Animal Friendship to stop the final boar and cause it to roll over crushing the remaining rider. Grom finishes off the remaining orcs.

Grom enhances his voice with Thaumaturgy impressing the hill giant. After a brief discussion, the party learns that the hill giant just wanted the orcs out of his territory. Meanwhile, the other party members discover that the bundles were swaddled orc babies. One is mostly unharmed, but the other didn’t make it. The freed captives make their way back to the party and introduce themselves as Reilly, Yasala and Zolmec. Faced with a moral conundrum, Yasala offers to take and raise the orc baby. Drugan immediately felt immense relief. Searching the camp the party finds some vials of brightly colored powder, a moth-eaten dress, several unfinished wooden axe handles, three bottles of dwarven brandy and a bag of Endergreen Reserve tobacco. The party gets several of the ponys attached to the cart. They make there way towards Dalasia. Yasala and Zolmec take the fork north towards Tol Bravos.

Dalasia

Once the party gets back to town, they return the ponies and cart. They ask Reilly to make sure to tell Fenhani the Mage that they recovered the shipment. Afterwards the party splits up to take care of various tasks. Drugan and Grom work on constructing a lance from the raw materials purchased. Oath studies his tome. Jasper heads to the College of Lore to research dragons.

As the party settles down for the night, each member in their own way senses themselves becoming more aware, more open to new ideas. They’ve learned a lot about Oscadius. It’s hard to believe how ignorant they were, but now they have so much more to learn. They resolve to continue pushing themselves…

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In Pursuit of a Shipment
Session 16 Recap - 4th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Dalasia

In the morning, the party gathers their things and head off in pursuit of the missing shipment for Fenhani the Mage. On the way out of town, they rent four ponies and a cart.

The Road to Tol Bravos

As the party heads north out of Dalasia they notice that the grasslands immediately north of the Dal River has been recently burned down. Farther out the grass is tall and limits visibility around the road. The occasion stand of trees and scrub dots the landscape. Oath serenades the party with some tunes as they travel. As they travel, Grom notices the occasional game trails that cross the road.

The party comes across a mother rhinoceros with her young that is agitated by their presence. Mira casts animal friendship on it to calm it down and Lyra studies it for ten minutes or so to learn how to Wild Shape into a rhino.

They continue on their journey north and as they crest a hill they get a good view of the surrounding area. Off to the west, they see a line of trees that seem to be growing along a stream or small river. The wind carries the sounds of distant shouts. Lyra summons a flock of ravens with Conjure Animals which she then commands to scout out ahead of them. Drugan prepares Speak with Animals to talk to the ravens when they return. The ravens report back that a group of humanoids is moving south along a muddy riverbed. The party finds the next game trail that heads towards the trees. They hobble the ponies and set out through the grass. As they get closer they start to hear coarse laughter mixed with the yells.

The Dried Stream

Upon approaching the tree line, they see that the water is just a shallow stream in a mostly muddy riverbed. They spot the source of the voices. A human male with his hands bound behind his back is stumbling towards them being pursued by a group of five orcs. One of the orcs takes aim and lodges an arrow in the man’s shoulder, causing him to stumble. Drugan leaps into action interposing himself between the man and the orcs. Mira casts Spiked Growth on the area where the orcs stand. Jasper runs up to the man and uses the Dust of Disappearance to make them both invisible. One of the orcs casts Bless on his allies but is immediately disrupted when Lyra commands her ravens to peck at him. Lyra then follows up with Call Lightning, while Grom hits them with Moonbeam. Hopelessly outmatched the orcs rapidly fall to blows from Drugan, Jasper and Mira’s Spiritual Weapon in the form of a giant oak leaf. After dispatching the final foe, the party locates the invisible human by having him ram his shoulder into Drugan. They free him from his bonds and question him. They find out that he is indeed Durnik one of the missing traders. He draws a map in the mud of his best guess of their current location and where the orc camp he escaped from is. He mentions that there were three other prisoners in the camp as well. Oath uses Cure Wounds to heal the worst of the man’s injuries. Lyra notices that on the opposite riverbank to orcs riding giant boars pop out of the scrub, but then immediately turn around and flee at the sight of the party. Grom drags them to the sides and performs a small funeral service for the deceased orcs. The party give Durnik on of the ponies and sends him towards Dalasia promising to rescue his partner and recover their goods.

Map

The Orc Camp

Following the directions of Durnik the party makes their way towards the orc camp. Approaching it they use the ravens one last time to scout for them before making their final preparations for the coming battle…

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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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