Champions of the Citadel

Champions of the Citadel, Session 2: The Rauvin River Runs Through It
"It's the Dark Elves, I am your friend, join our fire"


"The Twelve are walking the Material Plane, Orcus' layer is empty." – Vrock Demon


  • The party disguised themselves as cultists, Damien Hirst bound a Vrock demon from the Abyss which they interrogated. The Vrock told them that twelve demon lords were out of the abyss, walking the material plane. When asked if the demon lords were all in the Underdark, it said "No."
  • General Donli told the party they could take the Haversack of the king, which was full of climbing equipment and Horseshoes of the Zephyr. When guiding them toward the Felbarr Fields, Donli told them the Ironmaster was a dwarf druid in the mountains. He also asked them (at the request of Logan Orckiller) to take care of a tribe of blue goblins near Rauvin's Peak, where the Ironmaster was, saying that they had kidnapped a young girl named Dixie.  

  • The party departed from Citadel Felbarr down the Rauvin Valley from Felbarr Fields. After two days of hard hiking, their sleep was rudely disturbed in the evening. During his watch, Linwë noticed a white Dragonborn approaching the party. After a tense moment, the party were confronted with a scouting party of six white Dragonborn, tracking some wood elves who had attacked them earlier. They were led by a Dragonborn named Chakra. The party told them about the Drow, and that the Drow were masquerading as Wood Elves and Dragonborn to entice conflict between the two. After an uneasy discussion, the Dragonborn and the party came to an uneasy truce. One Dragonborn, named Tukk, however, was really unhappy with this.

  • During the night, Linwë's mace Dawnbringer was taken. Using the Stonespeaker crystal, the party scryed the mace, seeing two Wood Elves carrying it, discussing the party in mocking tones. They passed into the Goblin clan, past a Hobgoblin guard and some Ogres, behind the waterfall. After passing through some winding caverns, they eventually reached a massive, blue skinned creature they referred to as "the Oni". Tukk, enraged, ran at the party, shouting obscenities. He was blocked by other Dragonborn, as Chakra approached the party and watched into the Stonespeaker crystal. The Wood Elves turned back into Drow, then, and continued talking to "the Oni". It was then that the party saw Shushar, their lost companion, enslaved by this blue-skinned creature, which demanded that he make Potions of Intellect. Chakra, enraged beyond belief in the revelation that the Drow have been behind this decades-long feud between races, approached Tukk and knocked him out. 
  • The party ran onward to find the Drow and the Oni, together with the Dragonborn. When they approached the camp, they climbed up in the trees, while the Dragonborn circled around to the other side. The two groups agreed to attack the camp at first dawn, the Dragonborn from behind and the party from the front. Over the night, the party saw a rolling, green fog cascade over the ground, and they recognized it as the Faezress, which they had seen in the Underdark. Over the night, they saw Tukk, who didn't see them, approach the goblin tribe. Tukk conversed with a Hobgoblin a while, then accompanied the goblinoid into the cave beyond the waterfall.  

 

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Champions of the Citadel: Session 1
"Yer now Champions. Champions of the Citadel"


"Yer now champions. Champions of the Citadel; of Citadel Felbarr. Wherever you go, you represent Citadel Felbarr and the Warcrown Legacy. This is no small gift, this boon. It is the first time such a thing has been granted to non-dwarves. So keep it te yerselves should ye be in the other Dwarfholds. But hold yer heads high, for the blood of our ancestors run deep in yer spirits, now."

- General Donli Gemheart


 

  • The party defeated the mages in the Cloister of Trials.
  • Upon investigation of the King's chambers, they discovered that the High Inquisitor Kortak Pageturner had his memory modified to think that he saw the party kill the king. They also discovered, when trying to speak to the spirit of the dead king, that the body of another dwarf was disguised as the king. They scryed the king the next day, and found him suspended above a tower somewhere, his back emblazoned with the outline of the Demon symbol.
  • The general declared the party Champions of the Citadel, and awarded upon them the Boon of the Citadel, awarding them newfound Dwarven spirit and constitution.
  • Alonzo Buchanan received news that Lady Daria Neverember declared war on Amn, causing the faction leaders to urgently depart and begin damage control.
  • General Donli told the party they should go to someone called The Ironmaster, who would train them in the art of riding gryphons so they could get to the place above Gravenhollow. He gave them a Writ of Passage and told them how to get there. He also gave them uniforms; Tabards of the Citadel, and traveling clothes and supplies for the road.
  • Damien Hirst said that he could bind an imp from the Abyss that could be interrogated by the party, who decided they'd disguise themselves as members of the Cult of Orcus to misinform the Imp.
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Recap: The Lemon Party Escapes from the Underdark

Imprisoned in the Drow prison camp Velkynvelve, the prisoners get to know one another and the party is formed. The party consists of:

Player Characters:

  • Alaer Rezial, Wood Elf Monk of the Open Palm
  • Arizira, Half-Orc Thunder Cleric
  • Bryn Liadon, Wood Elf Druid
  • Gwyn Stormseeker, Half-Elf Warlock of the Great Old One
  • Linwe Sparklehorse, Wood Elf Nature Cleric
  • Faelookon, Bronze Dragonborn Bear Totem Barbarian

NPCs:

  • Buppido, Derro
  • Eldeth Feldrun, Shield Dwarf from Gauntlgrym
  • Jimjar, Svirfneblin from Blingdenstone
  • Prince Derendil, Quaggoth who thinks he is a high-elf prince polymorphed into a Quaggoth
  • Ront, Half-Orc
  • Sarith, Drow prisoner
  • Stool, Mycanoid Sprout bullied by Sarith
  • Topsy & Turvy, Svirfnebli twins from Blingdenstone

The party’s prominent Drow captors:

  • Mistress Ilvara, Drow Priestess and leader of Velkynvelve
  • Asha Vandree, Drow Priestess and second-in-command at Velkynvelve
  • Shoor Vandree, Drow warrior and current patron of Mistress Ilvara
  • Jorlin, Drow warrior and ex-patron of Mistress Ilvara.
  • Various Drow scouts and Quaggoth enforcers

1. The party escapes from Velkynvelve after a distraction beset upon the prison camp and Faelookon breaks off the bars. They kill half a dozen Drow and leap down the waterfall to the water below, fleeing down one of the passages. Before they could escape, Eldeth and Ront are both killed. Eldeth asks the party to return her remains to Gauntlgrym.

2. In the tunnels of the Underdark, the party flees the Drow and tangles with the violent wilderness of the caverns. During their flight, Sarith is killed for betraying the party. His corpse explodes into spores, infecting Linwe with an unknown ailment. Later, Buppido becomes known as a psychopathic killer, and eventually kills Stool in the night. The party kills Buppido in retribution for his killing.

3. The party reaches the Kua-Toa city of Slubloodop, led there by Shushar. There, they are taken prisoner and the Kua Toa archpriestess tries to sacrifice them to a diety known as “Leemoogoogoon”. Demogorgon emerges from the Darklake and destroys the Kua Toa city, as infighting breaks out among the Kua Toa worshipping Leemoogoogoon and Blidoolipoop. The party kills what Kua Toa stand in their way between them and freedom, and flee the city in a Kua Toa longboat together with another prisoner, the Duergar Hemeth Steelshadow. During the flight, Faelookon narrowly avoids certain death by Demogorgon. Tragically, however, his brother Bryn Liadon is slaughtered by Demogorgon, as is Jimjar and Prince Derendil. Shushar was taken away and the party never saw him again after the chaotic events. Faelookon is afflicted with a curse or madness making him forced to do whatever anyone asks. Alaer discovers this, and tells Faelookon to only do what he says, himself. He shares this information only with Linwe.

4. The party traverses the Darklake and nearly avoid disaster when attacked by manta rays. They discover a svirfneblin stowaway: Ten, the svirfneblin wizard. Hemeth and Ten argue vehemently about whether the party should go to Blingdenstone or Gracklstugh. They decide to go to Gracklstugh, since Ten lies about Blingdenstone being destroyed. Pressing onward, the party narrowly avoids a watery death by a Darklake Tsunami as well as a horde of stirges. They enter a passage underneath the Darklake and get their first respite since departing Slubloodop.

5. Continuing onward, the party deal with the various dangers of the Underdark. In one of the smaller tunnels, they narrowly avoid being crushed by a collapse triggered by burrowing Purple Worms. The rockslide reveals a hidden tomb within the stone, which the party learns to belong to Brysis Khaen. By solving various puzzles and reading the hyroglyphs and murals upon the walls of the tomb, the party deduces that Brysis was a human mother who tragically lost her children to attacking demons. She banded together with four dwarves and ventured out into the wilds to fight back against these demons. At some point, she acquires a mace of sunlight known as Dawnbringer. The last mural depicted Brysis and her companions being defeated by a wraith in a burning scene depicting an encroaching demon army.

6. In the tomb, the party mistakenly released the wraith, and fought it and several ghosts. During this fight, Alaer and Arizira discovered Dawnbringer in Brysis Khaen’s true tomb, and Linwe uses the mace to fend off the undead creatures. Sadly, however, both Hemeth and Arizira are killed in the fight against the undead. The party then discovered a secret exit beneath the tomb, including a stockpile of treasure that contained, among hundreds of gold pieces, a Necklace of Fireballs. The party flees this exit into an underground river, though Ten is slain by the wraith just before he can depart from the tomb.

7. At the end of the river, the party discovers two rock gnomes, Rodney and Carrey, who knew Gwyn during their time of imprisonment on the surface. The party learned from Rodney and Carrey that they were also kept prisoners of Mistress Ilvara. They were heavily scarred from the torture the Drow Priestess put upon them after the party’s escape months prior. Faelookon saw his axe in the possession of Carey, and traded her for another weapon. Shockingly, Rodney also was in possession of a letter written by Alaer Rezial’s sister. She was imprisoned some time far before the party was captured, and had revealed that the Drow were disguising themselves as Dragonborn and raiding elven camps, inciting racial hatred between the Dragonborn and Wood Elf people. They exploited this chaos to capture slaves of the two races, as they fetched the highest prices on the Drow market. Alaer read this letter and shared these revelations with the rest of the party.

8. Continuing onward, the party traversed through an underwater passage into a sunken temple. They fought off various powerful oozes and ichors before being trapped in a room containing a statue of a faceless god resembling the patron of Gwyn. Gwyn recovered a Rod of the Pact Keeper from this statue, which fell backward to reveal a half-elf Bard, who couldn’t recall his name. Faelookon dubbed him Brad the Bard, Found in a Pitt. In the temple, Alaer befriended a sentient, intelligent gelatinous cube named Glabbagul. The cube assisted in their escape, as the party dove down into an escape chute just before two black puddings, and landed… back in the Darklake.

9. The party landed just a few kilometres shy of the docks of Gracklstugh, the city of the Grey Dwarves. They negotiated passage into the city with a Svirfneblin named Kazook, who had two goblin bodyguards, Yukyuk and Spiderbait. When being led into the city, Brad tried to pickpocket a Duergar while Brad’s arms were bound and he was blindfolded, resulting in him being caught and the Duergar stabbing Brad. Kazook saved Brad from being executed on the spot, promising the Duergar, Hagg Stonefist, that Brad would visit his Brawler’s Guild to fight (and die) in the arena, once Kazook “was done with him”.

10. In Gracklstugh, the party allied with:

  • Captain Blackskull, leader of the Duergar Stoneguard, who asked them to learn more about the Grey Ghosts thieve’s guild and recover proof of corruption within the city. She asked them to kidnap the Derro Droki.
  • Themberchaud the Wyrmsmith, the red dragon who asked them to recover a missing Red Dragon Egg. Kazook also had asked them to recover the egg.
  • Elliandreth, the Seer in the Dark, a Derro savant who was fixated on knowledge and shared with the party some valuable information about the city and the Underdark.
  • Jarlaxle, a Drow brigand who warned the party of the ‘Watchmakers’, a band of bounty hunters whose members included Kazook. He also agreed to smuggle the party out of the city in exchange for the party’s allegiance and a favour to be provided to him in the future.

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11. The party discovered that Kazook planned to betray them to the Drow. They killed him and burned down his hideout.

12. They went to the Stonefist Brawler’s Guild, where they defeated Hagg and his family in combat, winning their slaves. They recovered 22 slaves, one of which was an old, haggard man locked behind three massive steel doors. They kept the slaves in Kazook’s hideout, and the old man in their room at the inn.

13. Later, they discovered where the Grey Ghosts hideout was, and in those tunnels fought off various Derro and creatures. They encountered a band of Myconids, who asked the party to “Attend a wedding”. They declined, and took with them a Myconid sprout named Rumpadump. Here, they discovered some evidence that Captain Blackskull’s lieutenant, Kula, was collaborating with the Grey Ghosts. They returned to Blackskull to provide this information. She informed them that the Drow were outside the city, and that she would keep them from entering Gracklstugh so long as the party agreed to purge the tunnels of the Grey Ghosts.

14. Afterwards, the party went to Elliandreth’s house, as Blackskull said that he could provide the slaves with paid labour while the party dealt with the Grey Ghosts. While speaking to him, Faelookon became suspicious of the Seer’s tattoos, a strange symbol that the party had seen throughout various peculiar places, and which was also tattooed on the backs of the slaves. They pressed Elliandreth for an explanation, and under duress, the Seer admitted that the symbol had to do with the demon lord Orcus. He admitted that he was constructing an undead army and was worshipping Orcus, guiding the demon lord to Gracklstugh so that he can study Orcus, and some of the most horrifying aspects of death and undeath, in person. He said that Orcus and his forces were several days’ march from the city. He then transformed into a Bodak, a hideous, terrifying creature of great power that is directly linked to Orcus. The party fought and destroyed the bodak.

15. In Elliandreth’s house, the party discovered that he had a large basement cavern that was magically locked. Linwe broke the lock, and inside the party discovered hundreds of zombies stuffed into the room. They could not re-lock the door, as it disappeared when unlocked and had to be magically re-applied. In a panic, Alaer sprinted to Blackskull, to inform her of Elliandreth’s allegiance to Orcus and the undead army.

16. When Alaer got to Blackskull, she told him that she knew of the ploy. She, too, had allied with Orcus, and was similarly guiding the Demon Lord to Gracklstugh. She believed that Orcus would drive the Duergar back into their ambitious, violent past, and could provide an undead army with which they could raid and destroy the Dwarven undercities in the mountains and their settlements on the surface. Alaer punched her in the face and sprinted to Themberchaud, who told him that he, too, was communicating with Orcus. The Red Dragon said Orcus promised him greater power and treasure, and domination and leadership over the Duergar and Dwarven populace.

17. Alaer sprinted back, and the party blocked the door before returning to the inn. They fought and killed Blackskull and her guards, in a violent battle that climaxed with the Old Man Prisoner remembering his identity and powers, after several lesser restoration spells from Linwe and encouragement from the party. The party, together with Rodney, Carrie, and the Old Man, fled back to Kazook’s hideout, where the slaves were kept. Here, they agreed to release the Undead as a distraction, and try to escape the city. Faelookon and Gwyn removed the furniture blocking the zombie door in Elliandreth’s house, and on their return to Kazook’s, incited a Derro insurrection.

18. Once back at Kazook’s, the party spoke with the Old Man about his powers, learning that he was a Warlock of Demogorgon, named Aaron. Aaron told them that he had vague memories of falling into blackness, and said that he may have inadvertently opened a portal to the abyss decades prior. He had no recollection of how he ended up a prisoner of the Stonefists.

19. Kula entered Kazook’s, and after a tense moment of confrontation with the party, told them that he was actually an undercover agent of the Empty-Scabbard Killers, hired by the Grey Ghosts to watch and eventually dispatch Blackskull. He told them that the slaves needed to be used to sacrifice in the Grey Ghost’s hideout, as their suffering was being used to fuel magic that was hiding the location of Gracklstugh from Orcus and his army. He rewarded the party for killing Blackskull and Elliandreth by providing them with a massive crystal, known as the Stonespeaker Crystal. He had no idea what the crystal was used for or valued at, and said he had no use for it, himself. He then departed the city.

20. A hidden trapdoor in Kazook’s revealed Topsy and Turvy, who had heard that the party was in Gracklstugh from their leader, a Svirfneblin named Goldwhisker. Kazook had informed Goldwhisker of the Party’s location, and having recognized the description of the party, Topsy and Turvy made for Gracklstugh to recover them before Kazook could inevitably betray them.

21. Topsy and Turvy led the party and the slaves through a hidden passage out of Gracklstugh along the Darklake. Aaron left the party, saying he was heading toward Demogorgon. Faelookon tried to stop him, but was unsuccessful.

22. The party eventually arrived in Blingdenstone, the ruins of the former deep gnome city. They discovered that the city was split into two warring factions, Wererat and Normal svirfnebli. The party spoke with the Wererat leader, Goldwhisker, who refused to aid the party after learning that they killed Kazook, his son.

23. The party then went to speak with the normal Svirfnebli, lead by a svirfneblin named Burrow Warden Jasper. They received a warm welcome once the deep gnomes heard of their experiences at the hands of the Drow and Duergar and, after a night of heavy drinking, were distraught to learn of the party’s encounter with Demogorgon and the Orcus plot in Gracklstugh. The Burrow Warden agreed to provide the party a route to the surface so long as they helped the deep gnomes. He wanted them to help him broker a truce with the Wererats, and investigate rumors of a high ooze population in the rear tunnels, and the existence of a magical ooze leader, known as the “Pudding King”. They agreed, and successfully negotiated between the two Svirfnebli factions. Goldwhisker agreed to a truce if the party disposed of a basalisk nest near the Wererat tunnels.

24. The party went through the tunnels and killed the basalisks, destroying their nests. While battling a Basalisk patriarch, Gwyn was slain. He was resurrected using a reincarnation scroll that he found in Elliandreth’s house back in Gracklstugh, and came back as a Wood Elf. However, Gwyn’s back now sported a tattoo identical to that of the prisoners.

25. Accompanied by a Wererat wizard named Chipgrin and a svirfneblin fighter named Rorack, the party then travelled half-a-dozen days into the rear tunnels behind Blingdenstone, after the rumored Pudding King. Gwyn told Carrie and Rodney to remain in the Svirfneblin tavern, as he didn’t think they would be safe coming along. They encountered many oozes and, eventually, the Pudding King. While fighting against the Pudding King, the party were surprised by a medusa. Gwyn and Rorack were turned to stone, and several members of the party nearly died in the tense battle.

26. The party then decided to leave Rorack behind, and began the (very) slow trek back to Blingdenstone, pushing the statue of Gwyn along the way. During their travels, Faelookon asked Chipgrin to investigate the Stonespeaker Crystal. The Wererat wizard claimed he could not exactly deduce the properties of the crystal, but did detect some scrying magic on Faelookon’s person. Upon further investigation, the party discovered that Faelookon’s axe had been imbued with a scrying charm, making it possible for someone, somewhere to easily scry the axe and reveal the party’s location, and hear their speech.

27. After nearly a tenday of travelling, the party encountered a saddled Carrion Crawler, which Brad was able to wrangle. Thinking the Carrion Crawler could carry Gwyn to Blingdenstone, the party tried to lift the petrified warlock ontop of the worm. While they mustered the most strength they could, and lifted Gwyn to the level of the worm, as they dropped him, he obliterated the creature, squishing it and spewing its guts all across the caverns.

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27. Seeing that the guts reduced the friction of Gwyn as he slid across the cavern floor, Faelookon recalled an Oil of Slipperiness that he discovered back in Brysis Khaen’s tomb. He applied the oil to the petrified Gwyn, and the party rode the slip-and-slide statue at top speed back to the svirfneblin city.

28. When returning to the city, the party met with the wererats, and learned that a dozen gnomes were missing. Additionally, parchments appeared overnight across the entire city, inscribed with the symbol they had seen tattooed on Elliandreth and the slaves. Making little headway with the wererats, the party returned to the tavern where Burrow Warden Jasper was holding a tense meeting with the svirfneblin and the slaves. After an hour of tense discussion, the group agreed to have the Svirfneblin shaman investigate the symbol on the parchment and tattooed on the slaves, before she could restore Gwyn to flesh. While channeling a spell on the symbol tattooed on one of the slaves, a little girl elf, the shaman claimed she heard an undiscernable word in her mind. Faelookon asked if it was “Akashet”, and after uttering the word aloud, the prisoners suddenly transformed into 20 bodaks! The party took Gwyn and the Shaman and fled to the Earthcaller Circle, pushing her to save the warlock.

29. The party witnessed the bodaks flood the city, slaying Svirfebli and Wererats alike by the dozen. Several of the bodaks merged together, shapeshifting into a four-meter tall creature of torn bone and flesh that grabbed gnomes and put them in it’s chest cavity, digesting them and spewing out zombie gnomes in their place.

30. The Shaman restored Gwyn, and the party fled down the tunnels, following Chipgrin as he led them to the surface. They encountered several wererats, who blamed the party for the undead incursion.

31. After two tendays of hard travel, the party eventually reached upper caverns far from the gnome city. During their travels, Linwe had recurring visions of Bryn, Faelookon’s brother and the Druid killed by Demogorgon, being tortured by Mistress Ilvara. As they reached a final cavern, where they heard the sound of the wind, the party finally saw what they had been chasing the last half-year in the underdark: Sunlight!

32. But alas, it was not true! The sunlight was an illusion, created by Mistress Ilvara, who surrounded the party with her Drow war party. In an epic final battle, the party fought valiantly against the Drow. Mistress Ilvara claimed that she had been tailing the party for months, resurrecting their compatriots to torture them endlessly for information and pleasure.

33. Mistress Ilvara was eventually slain in an epic fireball, as Brad threw the entire Necklace of Fireballs at her and Jorlin, obliterating the Drow in a plume of destruction and death. The party then systematically eliminated each of the remaining Drow, fighting with the most skill they had exhibited since their departure from the prison camp. Near the end of the battle, Chipgrin shattered the mountain wall several times, revealing true sunlight, and the surface.

Finally, the party had arrived on the surface, after six months of torturous travel through the violent dangers of the underdark!

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OotA Session 14: Run, Linwe, Run
"The Inn? Why it is right this way..."

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Having arrived in the city of Gracklstugh, the party had no time to rest as they were basically kicked out of the very first Inn they had entered because they are not folk of the underdark, and goblins. Linwe took pity on the foolish bard and healed some of his injuries from the trip into the city. On the way to a more hospitable place, Ghohlbrorn’s Lair, the party saw several gnomish, green creatures as well as a red-skinned dwarf. From a side alley, unexpectedly a half-orc woman asked the group to quickly follow her. While the experiences in the underdark had made everyone wary, the party and especially an unconvinced Faelookon agreed to speak in the inn they came from. In the inn, the group witnessed a sudden fight breaking out between two Duergar guests, and Linwe used the opportunity to steal a wallet with the help of the bard. However, the tavern’s barman kicked the group out for the second time in succession.
The half-orc, intimidating with her 2 meter’s height and an iro hairstyle, offered to show the group to Ghohlbrorn’s Lair. Not only was the party unable to pronounce that place’s name, the group got lost and with obviously stern guardsmen following the group walked onto a bridge that looked really wrong to Brad the bard, whereupon the party walked back, right into the arms of the guard that demanded to see their “seals”. Devoid of such I.D., the group’s fastest sprinters decided to leg it and so Linwe and Faelookon dashed away. The half-orc and the bard decided that the guards at this point would shoot to kill and ran for it. Indeed, the guard officer ordered to kill the runners and Brad’s attempt to climb a wall failed while cleric and barbarian dodged and brawled, respectively, their way through the mass of citizens and guards that started to enclose the entire part of Gracklstugh. The half-orc collapsed under the attack, whereas the remaining party got captured and tied up. Brad saw that the Duergar did revive the half-orc, seeing the first sign of care for people not from the underdark.

The group awoke in a cell that was guarded by none other than Captain Blackskull, a name they had previously heard from Kazook. In the following exchange, the party received valuable information and won an important ally.

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OotA Session 13: Gracklstugh
"Shut up Spiderbait" -- Kazook

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  • Brad swam to the docks and snuck up on a Duergar, playing music for him. The duergar rounded on the bard and drew a dagger, angrily barking at him to get down. Brad complied, and the Duergar kicked away his lute and took his crossbow. Brad told him he was an escaped prisoner, and the Duergar whistled, calling out in a language Brad couldn’t understand. Thankfully, Brad rolled into the water and swam back to the party, out of reach of the Duergar.
  • The party decided to wait and watch the city instead of scouting ahead or sneaking into the city itself. Brad also considered coming as a circus.
  • The party witnessed the murder off a Duergar on the dock. Brad tried to stabilize him, but was unsuccessful. The Duergar was murdered by two others who had their faces obscured with hoods, red gloves and white, glowing daggers. Brad tried to drag the body to the party but failed, as it sank.
  • Alaer recovered everything from the body and together the party went through what Alaer had found. The Duergar had coinage of a surface currency; gold coins of Silverymoon. He also had a tablet with instructions inscribed about a meeting at the dock. The party decided to wait for whomever he was to meet.

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  • The party waited and eventually saw a gnome and two others come to the same spot. They swam out and met the gnome, named Kazook, who introduced him to his Goblin bodyguards, Yukyuk and Spiderbait.

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  • The party parlayed with the Gnome and agreed to exchange information. The gnome told them they were in Gracklstugh and the party told him of the Duergar’s assassination. The gnome said that he could sneak them into the city, for a price. They agreed.
  • The party were brought into the city by Kazook and Brad got caught trying to pickpocket a Duergar. The Duergar stabbed Brad and Kazook said that “Daniel” (his name for Brad) would be given to the Duergar, named Hagg Stonefist, when Kazook was done with him.
  • Kazook brought the party to an inn for Duergar patrons only, where they had a brief conversation in a room upstairs. Kazook gave them a watch and told them he was a watchmaker, and to keep an eye out for the watch of the assassinated Duergar, named Werz Saltbaron. He told them that in exchange for smuggling them into the city, they would have to do some tasks for him. He told them to deliver a bag of gems to Blingdenstone, and that when their presence in Gracklstugh was noticed, they would be taken notice of. He said if anyone asks them to do something, to tell him first. He said to communicate with him, to leave a weapon outside the door they were staying wrapped in clothes and with the exercutioner’s hood they had worn over the hilt, and Yukyuk would know. Finally, he told them they would not be allowed to leave the city until the Stone Guard gave them Permission, and that rumor had it that the Drow were looking for them.
  • Kazook told them they could only rest at the Ghohlbrorn’s Lair, the only Inn that accepted non-Duergar, but that it would cost them money. Alaer asked how they could earn coin, and Kazook simply responded, “that’s not my problem”.
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OotA Session 12: Tentacle and Jellies... are we in the Japan of the Underdark?
"Glabagul, you are my best friend level 3" - Alaer

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  • Using a net Faelookon had taken from the Kua-Toa settlement of Slubloodop, the party pulled Gwyn out of the pit and away from the Black Pudding. Alaer got the net around Gwyn, who was naked from the Pudding dissolving his armor, while Faelookon grabbed Alaer’s ankles and Linwe grabbed Faelookon’s legs.
  • As the pudding pursued them, climbing out of the pit, Alaer ran onward and came to a door. The door depicted a large, octopus-like homonid that had tentacles for arms and no face. It had it’s right tentacle raised to the ceiling and the left tentacle on the ground. Rodney rushed to the side of Alaer, who placed his hands on either tentacle of the stone depiction. The silhouette of the faceless creature illuminated with a glowing light, and the door fell away. Rodney and Alaer then came face-to-face with a Gelatinous Cube, which spoke to them telepathically. The Cube introduced itself as Glabagul, a socially inexperienced and curious cube that insisted on following the party if it were to help them by moving aside and blocking the pursuit of the puddings. Alaer told him that he would be his super best friend, and that there were 10 best friend levels which Glabagul could advance.

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  • When the cube moved aside, Alaer informed the others to quickly follow. As they did so, Faelookon carried the naked and unconscious Gwyn and Carrie, who was blind and couldn’t flee herself without help. He tossed Gwyn over one of the pit traps, which presumably contained more Black Pudding, and leapt with Carrie on his back to the other side. His elbow brushed the wall, however, causing him to lose balance and fall into the pit. He caught himself at the last minute, though, and pulled himself out, up from the pit. A black pudding emerged, and angrily splattered at the gnome and Dragonborn combo, missing them both.
  • The party quickly reunited inside the small circular room behind Glabagul as the Ooze sealed off the puddings’ pursuits. In the room, they saw a large statue of a similar Octopus-like creature, though this time it had a face, and had it’s tentacle extended around a black, curving rod.
  • Several smaller statues were scattered around the room, and they came to life upon closer examination by Alaer and Rodney. They attacked, and the party fought back. With slashes of their swords and axes, Rodney and Faelookon’s weapons deteriorated and the oozes split apart into many smaller oozes. They fought bitterly and patiently, though, eventually killing the creatures. Gwyn himself came to, and killed the second last ooze, taking aim at the last, though it was slain by Rodney’s hand crossbow bolt.
  • Gwyn then used Faelookon to stand on his shoulders and reach the rod, which called out to him in a supernatural way. Dawnbringer cried out in panic, then, urging Linwe to depart from the room and informing him that she thought it a very evil, evil place. As Gwyn’s hand closed upon the rod and removed it from the statue, his arms suddenly shifted and snapped, transforming into long, thick, writhing tentacles.
  • The statue then slowly fell backwards to reveal the scantily clad figure of a pale half-elf, curled in the fetal position in a small pit that was underneath the statue, a lute between his arms and chest and a crossbow tied to his loincloth. He stood up groggily and greeted the party, who interrogated him briefly. The half-elf didn’t remember his name, even under durress by the new tentacles of Gwyn, so Faelookon dubbed him Brad, since he came from a Pit. From thereon out, he was dubbed Brad the Bard.
  • Glabagul then told the party that “He sometimes talks to me, he isn’t very nice. But he is the one who made me able to thinkspeak. He is the ruler of the puddings and oozes, here.”
  • Faelookon then searched the water, and pulled out two oddly-coloured potions. One dark, thick looking potion and another that seemed transparent and oily. He tucked them into his pack as the others investigated as well, finding nothing else of value. The pool then started to vibrate and slosh about, as Dawnbringer cried out again to Linwe in warning. Faelookon stuck his hands into the pool, again, trying to connect with something in the statue as the group became desperate for an exit, Brad and Gwyn both firing spells through Glabagul at the Puddings. Suddenly, a voice bellowed through the cavern as it darkened and shook. Faelookon fell unconscious as the voice said:

“You who enter, nothing but flesh for me to consume. Faceless, useless, wasteless, you have come!”

  • Gwyn answered to the voice, thinking it his patron. The voice bellowed back that it is no master, and the water began to bubble violently, sticking to the top of the pit and stone, slowly rising from the fountain and forming odd shapes and shades, giving parts of it the appearance of gaping eyes.
  • The party then decided it was time to go, and asked Glabagul to strategically block the Puddings while they escaped. The cube agreed, and they stealthed past the ooze down the hallway, into the watery room that had used to have the stone cover. The stone was now gone, and in it’s place was a watery tunnel. After Alaer had scouted ahead, the party followed, and after a rough tumble through a watery slide, splashed into a large lake-like pool of water not too different from the Darklake. In front of them was a sprawling, massive city illuminated by lights, mostly yellow with fire, but at the top of the buildings, green and blue lights flickered among the hanging stalagtites. Silhouettes of short, fat figures could be seen walking across the docks in the distance, and no beach or shoreline was in sight. The distant clank and clink of hammer against metal met their ears, and they swam to a nearby stalagmite for shelter.
  • Oddly, Carrie was not nearby after the landing, and they found her floating face-up in the water by the stalagmite. They also could not find Brad, who had swam ahead of them, only to be spotted by Faelookon. They took the moment to rest, not thinking much of the three distant “ker-plunk”s that could only be the two puddings and Glabagul.

Waterycity.jpg

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OotA Session 11: Rodney, Carrie & a barrel of ooze.
"What's in the box?" - Alaer

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  • The party went through the violent rapids of the underdark river and ended up in a rising basin; a dead-end after a particularly nasty waterfall.
  • They met Rodney and Carrie, two gnomes who had a history with Gwyn and were also captives of Mistress Ilvara. They both sported nasty scars on their faces – Rodney with scars across his lower jaw and Carrie was blind, a blindfold covered some kind of acid burn scar on her face. They revealed that they received the injuries from Mistress Ilvara after the party escaped.
  • Faelookon found his ancestral axe, which Carrie had taken from the Armory in Velkynvelve, the Drow prison camp.
  • Rodney gave Linwe and Alaer a note that Carrie had found in her cell before arriving as a prisoner herself, written by a young wood elf named Brianna Rezial, who had occupied her solitary cell before Carrie, and was presumed dead. The note detailed that Brianna had witnessed the Drow masquerading as Dragonborn to attack Wood Elf camps and vice-versa, exploiting the racial conflict to garner slaves and kill surface dwellers.
  • The party swam through an underwater tunnel and surfaced in some kind of temple.
  • Inside, they found a box with an engraving in the bottom: “Look into the emotions of the face of the faceless one”
  • They encountered and defeated several grey ooze monsters before coming to another watery dead end, an interesting, flat stone circle covering another potential underwater exit. Engraved upon it was Gwyn and Faelookon both tried to move the grey stone, and Gwyn even tried shooting at it, but nothing happened.

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  • They backtracked in the temple to four long hallways. Upon closer inspection, Alaer noticed four faces carved into the ceiling, each of them representing a different emotion: happiness, sadness, surprise, discontent. Faelookon inspected the area beneath the frowny face (discontent) and noticed that the floor was an illusion.
  • Gwyn, feeling something mystical and ominous in the temple calling out to him, made his way down the same passage as where Faelookon was. He, too, noticed the illusion in the floor, and sensing that his patron was testing him, leapt down the pit.
  • Gwyn landed hard as he fell 10ft into a 15 × 15 ft pit, and a massive black ooze immediately beset itself upon him, knocking him unconscious with it’s acidic stick.
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OotA Session 10: Ten ten ten teeeeennnn...
"I go down on her" - Faelookon

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  • The wraith returned, and savagely wounded both Hemeth, rending part of his cheek from his face, and Faelookon, tearing chunks of skin from his back.
  • The party slew the spectre of Arizira, but not before it could wound Ten, who infused himself with false life.
  • Hemeth used some unknown magics to bring Alaer back to life with 1 HP, grunting and singing raggedly through his teeth while doing so.
  • The wraith killed Hemeth as the party argued about finding a way out. Dawnbringer told Linwe of a room underneath her “resting place” (where the party found the mace).
  • The party approached the wax statue in the lowest room and Dawnbringer told them they had to melt her one of two ways… one of which was with fire. Faelookon tried to melt her with some sweet dragon lovin’ but rolled low on his sexual performance check. So he just picked up the wax statue and moved it out of the way.
  • They descended down and found in the room some treasure and a necklace. Ten took the necklace and Gwyn put the treasure into Faelookon’s bag.
  • Alaer scouted ahead and saw a room that looked like an apothecary.
  • Gwyn followed and saw a room that looked like a library. They discussed why the room was different for different people.
  • Linwe went ahead and saw an empty room with a black door, inside of which was affixed a zombie-like corpse of a female, with her rotted hands extended out of the door itself. When Linwe held Dawnbringer out, Alaer and Gwyn saw what he saw. They concluded the rooms they had seen were illusions.
  • Alaer placed his hands on those of the woman in the door. The hands closed on his and a riddle spoke out into everyone’s minds, with a voice identical to that of Dawnbringer that Linwe was hearing. Faelookon and Ten successfully guessed the riddle, and the door disintegrated into ash.
  • Beyond the door was an 80-ft cliff, down which spanned a sturdy rope ladder, and the sound of rushing water. Alaer made no delays and immediately started to climb down.
  • The wraith turned Hemeth into a Spectre and found the party, Ten threw one of the firey globes from the necklace at the wraith, which damaged it, but not enough to hold it back, though debilitating the undead creature enough to get out of reach of its deathly claws.
  • However, unfortunately, the Specter of Hemeth lashed at Ten, piercing his heart with an icy corporeal blade. Ten fell unconscious from his wounds, bleeding to death.
  • Faelookon threw the treasure away, narrowly missing Gwyn and even more narrowly missing Linwe. It fell to the ground below, but not before Alaer could call out “Nooo!” and reach out with his hand to catch what he could: 3 gp.
  • Faelookon scooped up Ten as Gwyn blasted the wraith one last time, and the party headed down the ladder, but not before Gwyn and Linwe lost their grip and tumbled to the water, below. Faelookon tried his best to stabilize Ten, but to no avail.

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  • Ten bled to death with -10 HP on 10/10 during the 10th session at 10 p.m. while it was 10 degrees outside.

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OotA Sessions 8 & 9: Riddles in the Dark
"Why is everyone so crazy?!" - Faelookon

TL;DR:

  • While walking down a cavern, a purple worm caused a collapse which revealed doors to some kind of tomb.
  • The party entered the tomb and solved various riddles to reach the lower depths, hearing a voice that beckoned them onward, crying for help.
  • The tomb appeared to be of Brysis Khaen, a woman who, if the murals are to be understood correctly, tragically lost two children, became an adventurer and acquired some kind of magical mace, and was killed in some place that looked like hell by a wraith.
  • The party opened the black marble sarcophagus and released the wraith after hearing the voice inside it. The clerics turned the wraith.
  • Looking for a way out of the tomb, the party accidentally released several specters, which were either slain or turned.
  • They uncovered the mace from the murals in the lowest part of the tomb.
  • Linwe disappeared when he touched the fungi, going to some kind of fungal place where he encountered the Demon Queen of Fungi, Zuggtmuoy. He returned, physically unharmed.
  • The turned wraith and specters returned and killed Arizira and knocked Alaer unconscious.
  • Faelookon, who was carrying the mace for the unconscious Alaer, gave it to Linwë, as the mace called out for the cleric. The mace spoke to him, saying that if he spoke the mace’s name, he could wield it’s true power. After some time, Linwe said “Brysis Khaen” and the head and stem of the mace turned to pure light. The sentient weapon then revealed its true name… Dawnbreaker
  • Gwyn turned invisible
  • The party is currently fighting the Wraith and Specters while simultaneously searching for an escape from the tomb.

Of Worms and Men

The party fled from the silent, piercing gazes of the beholders back to the open cavern of tongue-fungus, and quickly decided in which direction they should continue. They took the right passage, following the intuition of Alaer and Hemeth, and marched onward at a quick pace.

As they marched, the cavern thinned to their sides, keeping them moving in single file, as the ceiling above expanded into the darkness well above their line of sight. They became uneasy as they heard the skittering and clacking of insect mandibles and legs from above; a distant glow of light from Linwë’s Sacred Flame illuminated dozens of giant centipedes some hundred feet above them. The hundred-legged insects seemed to follow the party from above, skittering in parallel to their march through the darkness of the Underdark. They took no heed of the insects, however, as they strode further onward.

Not half an hour later, they started to hear a distant, rhythmic rumbling ahead. They ignored it, continuing their uneasy march underneath the centipedes, but it sounded again, this time louder. And again, some five minutes later, and again ten minutes after that, louder still. The final rumble shook the ground under their feet, and the party realised that they had to make a decision: onward toward the unknown tremor or back, possibly trapped between beholders and centipedes. In this circumstance, they felt that they had little choice. They continued onward, running now.

As they broke into a run, the clattering of the centipedes also picked up pace, but not before the loudest rumble yet vibrated the entire passage, causing small rocks to fall from somewhere above and the adventurers to desperately stabilise their footing. Ten fell on his back as well as several others, and as they all began to pick themselves up, they saw the half-size centipedes raining down upon them, shaken from the walls by the approaching earthquake.

They engaged the centipedes, quickly despatching most of them, before another even more powerful tremor shook the passage violently, shaking insects and adventurers alike, dropping more of the many-legged monstrosities down on the party. They dodged the falling insects and rocks alike, as Ten backed further down the passage to dodge the jaws of an approaching centipede. Then, a bellowing roar deafened all that could hear, and echoed throughout the chamber as a massive purple worm, the size of an Arch mage’s tower, smashed through the stone wall and into the next. The worm broke through the stone like a cresting dolphin through the surface of the sea, and knocked everything and everyone onto their knees or backs. Massive shards of stone and slate fell upon the combatants, obliterating several of the centipedes and coming within inches of trapping several party members. Gwyn was clobbered by a stone, but dove from the most dangerous rubble, as the passage on either side of the party caved in, trapping Ten and clouding the rest in dust and debris.

As they arose and dusted themselves off, the party took a head count. They discovered Ten was missing, and shouted out to him. Their voices fell on the deaf ears of the stone, and after half an hour of desperate calling and searching, Arizira focused her magics to locate the dagger that Ten used, whereby she saw a small svirfneblin hand carving at the stone, digging his way slowly to freedom. Comforted by the fact that their companion was safe, the party then searched for a way out. The passage both behind and in front of them was blocked by the cave-in, but as the stone fell, it revealed something else. Gargantuan stone doors engraved with various symbols and hyroglyphs adorned the doors. The stone itself trembled with age as Alaer and Faelookon grabbed the handles, pulling the doors open, revealing a blinding white light.

The Tomb of Brysis Khaen

The party shielded their eyes and tried to get a glimpse of what laid beyond. They saw what appeared to be a large stone tree, fluorescing with a stunning white light. The leafless branches stretched to the fourty-foot high ceiling above. Beyond the tree, a similarly sized pair of doors blocked the way to another place, possibly a way out, the party reasoned. They walked past the doors and into a large stone room, barren yet solid and crisp, artfully worn from the stone around it. They moved in front of the second set of doors, in which an intricate scene was carved into the stone. A tall, fair woman with shoulder-length hair and muscles thin yet rippling down her body stood at the front. She was clad in a gladiator harness overtop of a thick layer of sleeveless leather armour. In her one hand she held a mace, around which beams of light seemed to show it shining, while her other hand was outstretched in front of her. She faced the outside of the carving, toward the party and the tree. At her right and left side were two dwarves, each outfitted in different armours with different weapons. The quintet formed a v, with the woman in front, at the precipice of some cliff underneath their feet. Linwë marveled at the sculpture and Alaer and Faelookon admired it’s beauty. There was no door handle, though, so the party paused a moment before Alaer reached forward and placed his hand upon that of the woman. As he did so, he felt the stone grind and shift, as the hand emerged from the door.

Quickly, alaer recoiled back his hand, and a soft, monotone woman’s voice rang out:

“I am sometimes strong and sometimes weak
But I am nobody’s fool.
For there is no language that I cannot speak
though I never went to school. What am I?”

The party pondered this, realising it a riddle. They discussed between them and called out what they thought to be the answer, again and again, but to no avail. “Love” “voice” “friendship” … Dozens of words met the stone wall with an empty response. Gwyn then spoke softly, mostly to himself, as he considered the riddle… “An echo?”

The doors trembled as they slid away from one another, revealing a descending staircase ahead. Behind them, the tree dimmed and sank, corkscrewing itself into the ground until there was nothing but a dimly lit black hole in the centre of the room. Gathering their ragtag acquired belongings, the party followed Gwyn into the next passage, descending down the first flight of stairs before standing in front of a beautifully intricate mural. It depicted a woman, the same as the one carved into the doors, standing above the corpses of dozens of demons and devils, surrounded by fire and spewing lava among jagged rocks. With her mace, she fought with a whispy, skeletal creature, featureless aside from its bony hands and ribs, shrouded in a mist. She grit her teeth and was depicted in mid-strike. Beneath the mural was an engraving in old Dwarvish script, which read “Ye who have entered the tomb of Brysis Khan. Behold her tragedy.”

The staircase continued to descend steeply before leading to another, larger room. Opposite the staircase was a hall, which led to a smaller room beyond. A silver urn, placed atop a stone pillar, could be seen among several sarcophagi, there. To the right of the staircase, a smaller hall led to a black door, or darkness? The hall was too obscured to tell. Left of the staircase, the room was barren and clean, delicate patterns carved into the stone walls and floors. No cracks or mildew marred the stone with age. Against the leftmost wall was a large statue of a multi-appendaged woman, her face forward and wretched open into a scream. Her eyes were featureless and sunken, and her jaw fell four times more open than that of any humans. A wavy, thin tongue reached out nearly a foot from her mouth before forking into the air.

The party walked first toward the statue, and Gwyn reached out to touch the tongue. The same female voice echoed through the chamber:

“Often held but never touched, always wet but never rusts
Often bites but seldom bit, to use me well you must have wit.
What am I?”

Before anyone else could open their mouths, Gwyn chuckled and spoke calmly, “Your tongue”. He then flicked the tongue of the statue, which cracked and splintered before crumbling cleanly into a pile of ash at their feet. They approached the ash and shuffled it about with their feet, which unearthed child-sized bones of two humanoids. Disturbed, they decided to start to search for a way out. Then, suddenly, they heard a weak female voice calling out from behind the black door, “Help me, I’m in here!”

Alaer dashed forward and approached the door, before anyone could say anything. Gwyn and Arizira called out, but Alaer, standing before the form of some kind of hooded monstrosity, similar to the one in the mural, placed his hands on it’s extended skeletal palms. The skeletal fingers closed around Alaer’s hands, and as he panicked and pulled back, the form came forth, emerging out of the black door just slightly; an impression of death. A ghastly voice rang through the room, a third riddle:

“Sturdy Strong Stable Still
Often shaken, but not at will.
High and low I may be found
both above and underground.”

Arizira and Gwyn both called out potential answers, and with each one, the skeletal figure receded further into the door, obscured by the blackest of blacks once underneath it’s marble surface. Alaer distressed as his hands approached the blackness of the door, and shouted “A tree!”

Blackest of Blacks, Darkest of Darks

His hands were released, and Alaer backed up, suddenly, as everyone watched the door disappear into the ground. They heard the plea for help, again, calling from this newly opened room. The party strode carefully into the room, preparing for battle or traps, at the least. What they saw dumbfounded them: an elaborate panoramic mural spanning the entirety of this small room, depicting a beautiful but tragic scene. In the center of the room, a massive black marble sarcophagus lay. They then searched for the start of the mural, and observed it from beginning to end:

  • On the wall closest to them, a vibrant scene of greenery and life. Animals frolicked and filled the forest in front of a small log cabin. In the foreground, two children laughed and played, their innocence shining. Sitting between them a younger, fuller version of the women they first saw: Brysis Khaen. She wasn’t muscular or stiff, as she was on the first doors, but light and full, glowing with contentment.
  • The following wall depicted a much more macabre scene: trees burning around the log cabin, the ground shimmering with blood of animals and two tiny mutilated corpses. The woman, covered in wounds and singed clothing, wept into her blood-stained hands, kneeling over the two dead children.
  • The next, largest wall depicted a progression. It showed the woman, weeping, moving through violent weather on a stony mountainside, naked. In one hand, she held a rusted sword, the only other possession being bundles of rags that covered her feet. Later, it showed her fighting gnolls and kobolds, slashing at bears, as she became more refined, less injured, and more angry. Her naked, withered body was now defined by muscles and covered in various hide armors. Finally, it showed her, as the party had seen previously on the first doors, standing before four dwarves, her hand extended and her posture firm. In her other hand she held a mace that glowed vibrantly.
  • Adjacent to that, the fourth wall depicted a violent battle between demons (or devils?) and the dwarves, in the background, or Brysis, in the Foreground, who sparred with the wraith creature shown previous. This was similar to the mural on the stairs, but showed more detail. Brysis sported several grievous wounds, and in the background the dwarves were even worse. Several seemed partly impaled by spears, while another was missing his left hand. At the centre of the mural was the mace, held high by Brysis above her head, coming down on the wraith, who had one clawed hand imbedded deep into her sides.
  • The final mural, directly right of the doorway where they had come, depicted harrowing defeat. A mountain of evil creatures laughed and shieked in glee among fire and lava spewing smoke and blackness, as the wraith tore Brysis limb-from-limb, sucking her soul from her mouth. Devils closest to her hacked at her with barbed instruments, tearing bits of flesh away as they licked their lips.

The party shuddered at the pictorial story, but were roused to their senses by the voice, calling for help from within the sarcophagus. Alaer and Faelookon rushed to the Sarcophagus, pushing the lid off with all the strength that they could muster. The lid came off violently, revealing a stirring cloud of smoke at the top of the sarcophagus. Gwyn used his mage hand to try to grab something that may lay inside, thinking the mace might be there. He instead felt something different, something strange. A wraith emerged from the smoke and howled, shrieking as it attacked the party.

As they engaged the wraith, they slashed and battered it with all the magics and energy they could, but it wasn’t too effective. The wraith went through Gwyn and pulled at his soul, rending bits of his flesh, but avoiding severe damage. Gwyn shuddered as the wraith passed through him, seizing up with the traumatic experience. He straightened, however, and tried to blast the wraith with purple energy, narrowly avoiding the cowled head of the creature.

Alaer called to Arizira and Linwe, asking them to do something clerical to the undead wraith. Linwe then called out to his god, Meilikki, his devotion striking fear into the heart of the wraith. The creature whisped away, disappearing through the furthest wall and out of the tomb. Gathering their senses, the party regrouped in the room of the largest sarcophagus. Gwyn became irritated, snapping at the party that they were taking too long, and started toward the tomb entrance. Meanwhile, Linwe leapt into the sarcophagus, thinking something to be at the bottom. Indeed, he found a rolled up piece of parchment, and was just narrowly able to get out of the sarcophagus before the lid magically slammed shut, sensing someone had re-entered.

The parchment contained another riddle, this one more ambiguous than the others. It pointed toward an exit of the tomb, something the party was eager to find before the wraith could return. They went into the room with the four smaller sarcophagi and searched around. Alaer moved the top of one, and a Dwarved specter emerged. It lunged at Alaer, who called out to it, asking about Brysis Khaen. The specter siezed up, contorting itself before babbling some nonsense and calling out names. It then attacked the party, but not before Arizira could then turn it, causing the specter to flee from the tomb.

Dawnbreaker

Turning to the next sarcophagus, Faelookon removed the lid, which unveiled a descending staircase. Arizira and Alaer quickly descended down, where they saw the mace from the mural being displayed in a massive golden chest, atop of a red velvet cover.

Alaer grabbed the mace, which caused Arizira to fume in a spat of rage, saying that she had seen it first. Alaer said that now was not the moment for discussion, and that they could discuss it later…

… in progress

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OotA Session 7: Blidoolipoop, is that you?
"I'm daaaaaancing! I'm daaaancing! I don't know, I'm daaaaancing!" - Linwe

TL;DR:

  • The party killed the trolls, one of them fled into the darklake, talking about Blidoolipoop.
  • The party decided to follow Hemeth, going left and toward Gracklstugh.
  • They encountered a hoard of stirges and, as a tsunami approached them, Arizira shattered the wall, which caused a large stone to destroy the ground beneath.
  • Everyone jumped down the hole and Ten froze it shut, preventing the water or stirges from raining down on them.
  • The party continued onward until they came to a large spherical cavern, the walls were covered with a tongue-like fungus. Four passages faced them, Hemeth didn’t know where they were and which was best to take.
  • During their rest, Alaer saw what appeared to be a beholder. He roused the party, and they confirmed his sighting. They saw up to a dozen beholders, and fled.
  • Upon waking Linwe, he broke into dance uncontrollably, and had a sudden fit of amnesia.

The party engaged the trolls in combat, trading blows with the creatures in spells, blades and fists. The claws and teeth of the trolls seemed to hit nothing but air, however, and the monsters were infuriated with their lack of success. Blades colliding with the trolls resulted in deep wounds, but they only seemed to heal again! Gwyn connected with one troll and tried to convince him to flee, telling him of Leemoogoogoon. The troll called back that Blidoolipoop would come ravage them “herself”, and he roared before leaping into the water. The second troll was being pelted with guiding bolts from Linwe and the fists of Alaer before he was commanded to run backwards by Arizira. The Half-Orc cleric called to Thor, and shattered the ground underneath the troll, which was then wedged into the stone. Alaer saw an opportunity, and tried to sunder the ground further, causing the ground to collapse and the troll to fall some sixty-odd feet to the ground below, though Alaer caught himself on the cavernous crust of the shattered stone floor in time, Hemeth pulling the monk to his feet.

The party then debated as to whether they should head right, which Ten insisted was in the direction of Blingdenstone, the glorious Deep Gnome city that he didn’t truly believe to be destroyed, or left, where Hemeth said Gracklstugh and a dutiful award awaited them. They decided to go left, much to the protest of Ten, who shut up abruptly when Linwe reminded the Svirfneblin that he owed his life to the party but they owed him nothing in return, and that they had no reason to trust Ten. Gwyn laughed at the name, reminding everyone that every time they counted they’d have to say his name.

The party started marching, and they did so for several hours. They left their repaired longboat behind, but they started to hear a distant thumping… flapping? Banging? It seemed to be getting louder, and it came from all sides. Confused, the party tried to get a sense of what was going on. As they looked off into the distance of the darklake, it seemed like the horizon was rising. The situation started to feel disorienting, as the party began to feel like the ground was tilting as it rose in the distance. The banging became more rapid and loud, thundering repititiously until it was near-deafening. It was then that Faelookon saw a mass of Stirges flapping fervishly, approaching the party at breakneck speed, their wings beating the air with the noise they had heard!

The party readied themselves and frantically tried to think of an escape. They thought to dive into the water, but then saw that the horizon wasn’t just rising… it was an incoming tsunami! The panic became real and they drew their weapons, preparing to fight their last battle. Gwyn ran forward and fired off blasts into the cloud of stirges, killing one of the hundreds that approached. Desperately searching for a safe place to hide, Alaer dipped into a small rivet in the wall, which did no real good – and called for the rest to do the same. Arizira shook her orcish head and called out to Thor, aiming to shatter the wall to create a cave or hiding spot. A massive line of cracks sprouted through the wall and small to medium sized stones began to fall, revealing nothing, until a massive fourty-foot shard of the stone wall broke and fell, violently colliding with the ground and leaving a trail of smoke.

Hemeth tried to dash through the smoke as Gwyn started to feel the first onslaught of the stirges, who bit into his flesh and sucked at his blood, several of them attaching to his torso. Hemeth didn’t make it through, though, as the party heard him scream, his voice growing fainter, before hearing a thud. Arizira followed to a similar consequence, and the others began to realize that there might be a hole in the ground! Ten fell, then, before Linwe blew a gust of air that threw the dust and smoke toward the encroaching cloud of stirges that surrounded Gwyn, who desperately fought to surface from the stirge smother.

Each of the other members of the party then dove down the hole, landing 60 feet onto the stone – some gracefully (Alaer) and others not so much (Everyone else, thankfully Faelookon was raging). Gwyn then made a break for the hole as the water approached closer and closer, a wall of watery death now towering overtop of the warlock, who was covered in bloodsucking beasts. It seemed as if oblivion would finally claim him; but Gwyn decided it was not the end… at least not if he had anything to do about it! He lept headfirst down the hole and collided with Hemeth, falling unconscious and splattering the others with blood from the attached stirges. He laid in a crumpled heap, barely breathing and inches from death, before Linwe quickly crawled toward him and spared his death. At the same moment, Ten burst up and shot a ray of frost toward the hole above, sealing it with ice just before the onslaught of stirges and watery mass could burst through the hole onto the fallen companions.

And all was still. All was quiet.

For a moment, they had rest, quiet and safety. The party passed the hours catching their breath and asking Hemeth about their location. He didn’t seem too sure, but he said they were “definitely not going in the wrong direction”. Hours later and they continued their march down the tunnel, which began to fall deeper and deeper at a 30 degree angle toward the blackness of the underdark. After a half-dozen hours of marching, they came to a massive chamber full of some tentacle-like mass writhing along the walls. As they got closer, the party saw that each writing red thing resembled a human tongue. Revolted, but deciding that the display was ultimately harmless, they decided to rest there. On the opposite side of the cavern were four tunnels which continued into the darkness. Hemeth didn’t know which was correct, and needed time to commune with the stones.

While the others rested, Alaer back-tracked to check that the icey patch in the ceiling had held, and that there were no more monstrosities sneaking upon them. He noticed a small trickle of water, and after some minutes, saw a strange, grey pullsing bulb on the stone floor. Carefully, he continued forward to investigate it, and saw a few dozen more. He turned back for a moment to check behind him, and as he returned to the pulsing bulbs, aiming to investigate them further, he saw a massive Beholder blankly staring him down. Reflexes took over in the place of panic, and Alaer flew at top speed back to their makeshift camp. He awoke the others, and as he awoke Linwe, who had been investigating a carving of Leemoogoogoon the party took from a Kua-Toa, Linwe stood up and began to dance uncontrollably, shouting that he didn’t know anyone, didn’t know what was going on, or where he was. The chaos that ensued was pure insanity as everyone heard of the Beholders and tried desperately to rouse Linwe from his dancing lapse of memory. After several minutes, Linwe eventually stopped and came to his sense, having no clue what exactly had transpired. When hearing about the Beholders, he joined the discussion about what should be done.

Hemeth refused to go back, while Gwyn and Alaer suggested investigating further to be sure that the Beholder hadn’t followed him. The party agreed and even Hemeth and Ten reluctantly followed their new companions back up the tunnel in the direction from whence they came. After marching half an hour, the party ground to a halt as Alaer recognized the trickling stream. Carefully and slowly, they made their way forward. As they did so, they noticed the pulsing grey blebs, and not just one beholder, but at least a dozen, each above one of the grey pulses.

Frozen in shock, the party stood in silence, as Gwyn tried to connect to the mind of the first Beholder. The scaled creature and all his eyestalks did nothing, and did not answer, only stared motionless into the soul of the warlock.

“Well,” Hemeth said, “It’s time te run!”

“Yeah,” Alaer whispered back, “Or time to TPK…”

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