Champions of the Citadel

Preview: CotC, #3: Oni, Elves & Ogres

 

Lock the door, blow out the light;
The Hungry Oni Haunts the night
Hide and Tremble, little one;
The Oni wants to have some fun.

 

Hear it scratching on the door;
See its shadow cross the floor.
The Sun won’t rise for quite a while;
Till then, beware the Oni’s smile.

 

 
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Champions of the Citadel, Session 3: Oni, Elves & Ogres.


"He asked if I would parlay. I never said yes." – Alaer


  • The party discussed how to approach the lair of the Oni, where they last saw the Drow enter. They decide to approach from the left, in front of the swamp, and wait for the Dragonborn to attack. 
  • Doing so, they wait until dawn breaks and they hear the sound of a horn. They hear combat around the river's bend. Two blue-skinned goblins come out of the shack, across from the waterfall, waving a white fabric. The one closest to the Dragonborn is shot dead. The other walks toward the river, shouting in various languages that it wishes to Parlay. 
  • After some discussion, Alaer decides to emerge from their cover and speak to the goblin. The creature offers them a deal – one magic item, and they will pass with their lives. The Goblin says it speaks on behalf of the Oni, who he refers to as "Malleus Malificarium the Magnificent". Alaer refuses the offer. The hobgoblins let fly and shoot at Alaer, only one of the bolts hitting him, but he catches it. 
  • Linwe, thinking fast, quickly casts a spell at the shack where several Hobgoblins look toward their position at the south — the shack then becomes overrun with vegetation. 
  • A massive battle erupts, then, with a Blue-skinned Ogre bursting out from a pile of rocks and rubble, assaulting the party. They made their way across the swamp, fighting as they went. Alaer takes down the Drow though a tense battle of Darkness, traps and flying bolts. Brad casts haste on the party and keeps Linwë healed, while Adran fires off arrows at the hobgoblins and ogre. Eventually, Linwë and Adran take down the Ogre, the rogue slicing through the creature's shin before it's toppled by a blast of radiant energy from Linwë. 
  • A blue hobgoblin in plate armor appears before the bridge, and Linwë casts a spell that lets a vine lash out from a nearby boulder in the stream, pulling him into the creature-infested rapids as he disappears, sinking to the bottom. Alaer sprints across the bridge, narrowly avoiding certain death as it explodes – he stepped on a trap, triggering the explosion. 
  • Adran scales the cliff ahead as the Hobgoblins begin to tactically retreat into the cave beyond the waterfall. Then, the party sees a harrowing sight. Some goblins trigger a rock slide above the surviving 3 Dragonborn, and one of them is buried entirely under the rubble. Two remaining Dragonborn fight, the first slain by Tukk, their former ally, and the last, the leader, speared with Crossbow bolts and then thrown into the river by the raging Dragonborn traitor. The Dragonborn were defeated.
  • Adran looks to the cave, to the left, and sees a pile of treasure. It glimmers strangely, and he suspects that it is a trap. 
  • Alaer kills the fleeing goblin that tried to parlay, and approaches the Hobgoblins. They then try to speak to him, the first offering a second parlay. Alaer returns the offer with a fist, spinning about, but missing the creature, as he blurrs for a moment. Suddenly, then, an imp appeared at his side. The imp cries out at the monk, but a split second later, the imp is annihilated by a stone fist hook that comes sailing his way. 
  • Meanwhile, Adran makes his way, sneaking, around the trench. He takes cover beside some barrels, and quaffs a healing potion, mending much of his wounds. 
  • Alaer blasts away the blue Hobgoblin before him, and the remaining two inside of the shack drop to their knees, their weapons clattering on the stone floor, surrendering.
  • Alaer speaks to the Hobgoblins, and demands of them some information. After some threats of punches to the face, they tell Alaer of the Oni, that he is crafty and has many powers. They speak of traps within the cave, but mention none, specifically. They also talk about the Oni's obsession with magic items, and boast that he is "the most intelligent being in the Sword Coast". They say that the reason they are so smart is because of Potions of Intelligence that were brewed by Shushar, at first, until the Oni learned the recipe himself.
  • The Hobgoblins try to offer Alaer more information, then, if Alaer is willing to give them some gold. Reluctantly, Alaer says he can give them 100 gold pieces, in addition to letting them go. The Hobgoblins then stand, and tell Alaer that the Oni not only is obsessed with magic items. He is also obsessed with the biology and ecology of other beings. They say that he holds many prisoners of exotic races, including a Yuan-Ti, a human child, Shushar the KuaToa, a Githyanki Wizard, a Thrie-Kreen, some Duergar, two bullywug, a lizardfolk, and a Tiefling Warlock. 
  • Alaer then sends them on their way, empty-handed.
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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..."

runforest.jpg
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.

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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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