The Remains of War

Something Fishy in Darklake
Out of the Abyss: Sessions 6

Slavers defeated, our heroes quickly freed the captives from the prison wagon. They only had a few moments to notice the anti-magic runes etched into the wagon, similar to those on the walls of Velkynvelve’s slave pens, before a new crisis fell upon them.

The handful of bugbears and goblins that had fled the battle before the party’s blades and spells could catch them were now returning at a run, screaming all the way. They were pursued by a living cloud of corrosive red mist. The goblinoids didn’t make it, and were devoured one by one while the party kicked it into high gear, loading the freed slaves and the body of the dead knight on their giant lizards (including the ones pulling the wagon) and fleeing from the cloud as fast as they could.

The cloud’s pursuit had slowed considerably by the time the group reached the chasm of floating stones, and they were able to secure the stone ferry for the return trip across it.

After crossing there were no further sightings of the mist, and the rest of the return to Velkynvelve was uneventful.

Brogin and Aurelio had recovered from their despondence and were eager for news from their friends. Unfortunately, Wizzleficks had not.

The party rested in Velkynvelve to regather their strength and raid the outpost’s supplies to help provision their new base at Xazax’s former lair.

While the heroes slept and took watches guarding there own one of the former slaves, an orc named Ront, was gruesomely murdered. The body found the next waking period, gutted with its entrails carefully arranged in some ritualistic pattern.

Aurelio and Brogin questioned the captives in a zone of truth created by the former. The spell aided in ruling out about half of the former slaves, and from there the investigation lead to a confrontation with Buppido. The derro admitted it freely, convinced that he was the avatar of a god, and that his physical form was unimportant. He was quickly restrain and stowed for the trip back to Xazaxia.

Brogin cast a spell to prevent the knight’s corpse from corrupting and the group headed out, using Wizzlefick’s maps and Lio’s uncanny recall to navigate the Silk Way without a guide.

During the journey Theadric was attacked by half a dozen phase spiders. After the battle the werebadger fell unconscious, whether from the spider’s poison of from a private vision from a displeased Spider Queen, the heroes would have to wait to find out.

On reaching Xazaxia they heroes found the way barred by a newly installed gate, and after a brief challenge the guard, one of the Order of the Chapeau, quickly recognized them and allowed them to enter.

Nero had been busy, and his efforts were apparent. The main area was now well lit, and gates barred of of the entrances into the outpost. New provisions could be seen along the was and a simple lift had been installed to access the ceiling.

To accomplish all of this Nero had had purchase some of the supplies in credit, and was about a thousand gold pieces in the red. The party provided him with the head priestess of Velkynvelves enchanted armor (scale armor +3) to liquidate, which to his pleasure was worth a great deal more than the debt he had incurred. The party also asked him to be on the lookout for high-end diamonds, so they could attempt to raise the knight from the dead.

Tobias told the veterans of the Order about their fallen knight, and that they hoped to locate a diamond of sufficient quality to give him the opportunity to return from the dead.

One of the scouts and a couple of the Zil agents had gone down to Darklake to acquire water for the outpost any were many hours overdue. When the heroes investigated they discovered a hag had slain them and eaten their hearts. She attempted to make a meal out of them as well, but was killed for her trouble.

The next day Lio took Buppido to the shores of Darklake to answer for his crimes, before the freed slaves, and the grimly apporving Order of the Chapeau. No one spoke in the (presumably) mad derro’s defense, and Buppido was given a swift execution.

After some discussion the party decided that their next goal with be to take the freed captives to the svirfneblin city of Blingdenstone, from which there was an exit to the surface. On the way they would stop at Sloobludop to return Shuushar to his home, acquire proper boats for traversing Darklake, and attempt open trade between the kuo-toa and Xazaxia.

The group left the next day, consisting of the heroes (including the comatose cartographer and languid lycanthrope), Khalessa, Shuushar, Sarith, Tenna, Topsy, Turvy, Derendil, Jimjar, and Stool.

During the preparations Lio made a pass at Khalessa. The elven spy neither rebuffed nor encouraged his attentions. Perhaps it was too soon after news of the baron’s passing and romantic entanglement was the furthest thing from her mind.

As they neared the kuo-toa settlement on a pair of makeshift rafts the group was approached by some rather angry kuo-toa warriors who Shuushar wasn’t able to talk down. The were apparently worshipers of the new god in town, a deity not particular big on peaceful interfaith relations.

Brogin summoned a whirlpool, capsizing the aggressors and pulling them under with crushing force. Those kuo-toa that survived attacked the rafts, but were quickly defeated.

Upon arriving the party was brought before the chief/king/high priest of Sloobludop, who was a great deal more friendly. He told the party that he was currently dealing with an internecine religious war. The worshipers of the new god, Dagon, where lead by his own daughter. He then tried to talk the heroes into a crazy-ass plan to have the heroes pose as captives which he would offer to her as a peace offering, at which point the heroes would kill her, breaking the opposition with the least amount of overall bloodshed. The heroes have yet to agree to anything.

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Bridge Work and Other Roadblocks
Out of the Abyss - Session 5

After defeating the drow and quaggoths defending the slaver outpost of Velkynvelve the heroes were struck by a terrible vision of Lolth, which left Brogin, Aurelio, and Wizzleficks comatose and the rest momentarily stunned.

After finding a relatively safe place to hide their ailing friends the we by the leaders of the drow outpost.

A drow priestess emerged from a guard tower that was on the other side of a narrow bridge from the landing our heroes now controlled. She unleashed a cloud of swarming, biting insects upon them for their temerity.

A drow warrior, hideously disfigured emerged next out onto the bridge, moving ahead to defend the priestess, and fired on the party with his hand crossbow.

Hope and the Dumadan scouts (Brim and Thargus) fell back and fired on the drow warrior.

Yet another drow warrior swaggered onto the bridge, moving gracefully past the priestess and roughly by the disfigured drow. He declared that he would be doing the defending, drew a wand, and used it to cast a spell that narrowly missed striking Dr. Blackstone with some sort of mystical goo.

A fourth drow figure could be seen still within the guard tower.

Then Milo, being Milo, dropped a fireball on the drow, leaving them and the bridge a bit singed. This caused the priestess to lose her concentration on the insect swarm and they dispersed.

Tobi took this as his cue to charge forward. He barrel into the drow warriors sending them over the side of the bridge and down in to the webs below and then smashed into the priestess with his flail.

Tobi was now close enough to see that the drow still in the inverted tower was another priestess, and — to judge from her accoutrements and the demonic figures swirling about her — was the Velkynvelve’s leader.

The head priestess, Ilvara, stepped out onto the bridge and healed her subordinate, whom Dr. Blackstone had been threshing.

Theadric rushed out to the bridge and hurled daggers at Ilvara, piercing her and causing the shadowy demons to disperse before they could tear Tobi apart.

The drow warriors levitated back up from the webs below and climbed back onto the bridge to their original places, now behind Tobi and on either side of the deadly halfling.

Hope, Brim, and Thargus moved to the edge of the landing and unleashed a volley on the wand-wielding drow. Milo, keeping back, hurled a bolt of arcane fire at the same.

Next, the esteemed Mr. Oldfur teleported behind Ilvara and stabbed her repeatedly with a flaming sword until she was dead.

Tobias tried unsuccessfully shove the drow warrior at his back off of the bridge. Fortunately for Dr. Blackstone Theadric was at the ready, and hurled a dagger into the warrior’s gut, killing the drow. The halfling then climbed atop Ilvara, using the Lolthite’s face for purchase, and stabbed the remaining priestess in the back.

While firing on the last drow warrior Hope called out to her allies on the bridge, spurring Tobi and Theadric to even greater violence.

The remaining drow warrior charged at Tobias, desperate to defend the remaining priestess and win her favor.

The priestess, now terribly wounded, called out to Lolth for demonic aid. Lolth found her request unworthy and the psychic backlash of the Demon Queen’s displeasure killed her.

Stepping on the failed priestess’s corpse, Theadric once more called his dagger to hand and sent it flying into the last drow’s heart. His body off the bridge, missed the webs and plummeted to the frothing water at the base of the waterfall, a hundred feet below.

After searching for keys the heroes moved quickly to the slave pens where the release the only two slaves in Velkynvelve: Sarith, a drow guard accused of murder, and Shuushar, an unusual kuo-toa who was sane and staunch pacifist, also hobbled by the drow.

Searching the head priestess’ quarters Tobi and Theadric discovered a giant spider which the dispatched along with several pillows. They also found Tenna’s Staff of Fire along with an assortment of mundane treasure.

Now that it was confirmed that they’d hit the correct outpost the party rested and planned.

Sarith revealed that they would need to leave soon if they hoped to catch the caravan before it reached Erelhei-Cinlu, and that he would be happy to aid the party as it would provide him an opportunity to get revenge for his imprisonment and torture. He also said that the murder charge against him was false. Given the deperate situation of our heroes and the fact that they’d just slaughtered a bunch of drow themselves, they didn’t really care if he was telling the truth.

Sarith told the heroes that he felt something pulling him out into the Underdark. A thread that the heroes would note for later, if they survived.

Aurelio, Brogin, and Wizzleficks were still troublingly comatose. Brim Coppervein, concerned for his friend Aurelio, volunteered to guard the unconscious heroes while the rest of the party pursued the slavers.

During the rest Milo attuned to the Staff of Fire, as the party was sorely taxed by the fight to take Velkynvelve and needed all the help they could get.

Thargus traded his crossbow for Tobias’ longbow at the Doctor’s suggestion, and scouted for the group.

Eventually they came to a deep chasm, eighty feet across and filled with floating stone columns buoyed by the Faezress. To Sarith’s dismay the ferry had been scuttled.

As they prepared to take the riding lizards up over the ceiling Thargus noticed something glinting in the distance, just across the gorge. It was a drow ambuscade.

Instead of being taken unawares in the middle of crossing the chasm, as the drow had plan, the party was able to slaughter all but one of the half dozen warriors at range. The last drow fled.

The fight concluded, the group headed up across the ceiling on their riding lizards.

Soon they neared an area where Sarith felt the slavers would make their stand, so the party halted and dismounted.

Out of the shadows appeared a drow woman, or so she appeared until she dropped the illusion and revealed herself as a surface elf spy embedded in Velkynvelve and working for Baron Münchhüber. She warned them not to approach the slavers, that it was hopeless, and that they would threaten to kill a captured knight of the Chapeau if the party was foolish enough to ignore her.

Tobias revealed that the baron was dead, and that Milo — pointing at the apparent twelve-year-old halfling — would rain flaming death on their retinue of goblins and bugbears. Dr. Blackstone further mistook her sudden intake of breath at the news of Münchhüber’s death as a relieved sigh.

Fortunately Hope was there to smooth this over. She commiserated with the elf, and then convinced her that the strange group before her actually had a chance to succeed.

Hope and Thargus scouted ahead, and soon Hope sent word back through the Ring of Whispers of a battle line of goblins and Bugbears blockading the slave carts.

A basic plan was formulated. Dr. Blackstone drank a Potion of Growth, and Khalessa, the elven spy, skulked ahead.

Ryz, the drow leading the caravan demanded that the party turn back or she would kill the knight. Tobias, sense just how close Tenna was, countered Ryz’s demand with one of his own. The could free the slaves and leave or Ryz and her retinue would be killed.

At this point one of the goblins slipped and fired an arrow and the rest followed suit.

Most of them fired at Tobi, the rest split between the halflings, as they were the most visible (Hope, Thargus, and Khalessa were hiding, and Sarith had held back out of the range of their darkvision). Fortunately few arrows got through.

Next, weilding the Staff of Fire, Milo raised a wall of flame in the middle of the goblin battleline, killing two dozen outright, and blocking the bugbear’s line of sight.

Seemingly from nowhere a cloud of noxious gas descended on the halflings, Khalessa, and Thargus. Theadric, unleashing a battlecry and ignored the pain caused by the poison, charged viciously into the left flank of the goblin line, sending a smouldering head flying.

Sarith and Tobias charged the right flank. Hope recognized a spellcaster in the goblin ranks on the right and peppered him with arrows, breaking his concentration and causing the cloud to dissipate before it could affect the others caught within.

Ryz dispatched the knight, ordered all but one of the bugbears forward, and levitated up twenty feet to see over the wall of fire.

Khalessa followed in Theadric’s, aiding his fight against the bugbears that were surging around him.

Milo maintained concentration on the wall and immolated goblins and bugbears with gouts of arcane fire.

Hope and Thargus pin-cushioned enemies while the bard bolstered her allies with a battle chanty.

As the goblin spellcaster fell and his illusion dissolved, revealing a dead drow wizard.

Milo hurled a fireball at the floating Ryz, scorching her and singing the bugbear beneath her.

Theadric, surrounded now by bugbears and goblins with Khalessa at his back laid about with his flaming sword rapidly depleting the enemies numbers. A quick strike from the elf finished a few that had survived Theadric’s fury.

Ryz returned to the ground and with her bugbear bodyguard charged the giant armed and armored historian. The bugbear scored a telling blow, wounding Tobi badly, and leaving him open to Ryz’s poisoned blade, which then layed him low.

Sarith moved forward to take Tobias place, and Hope closed in shooting all the while, striking Ryz and at the same time casting a spell of healing on Tobi.

Before Ryz could finish off the Tobi Thargus put an arrow through her neck.

With the death of Ryz the half dozen remaining goblins and bugbears fled into the Underdark.

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Some stuff happened
Out of the Abyss - Session 4

While I was out the party decided to leave the veteran warriors, Underdark guide, and a scout behind while they went off to assault a slavers compound.

Then the paid some goblins to get them over a web, avoiding giant spiders, but still getting attack by other stuff.

Then they climbed up a wall on their lizards and killed a whole lotta drow and their shaggy quaggoth servents.

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Misdirection
Out of the Abyss - Session 3

The crisis in Mantol-Derith averted the heroes turned their attention back to what brought to the outpost in the first place. From the leader of the Zil enclave they receive a ring that would guide them through the Underdark to the Stone Giant Library, where the heroes hope to find a means of sending all of the demons back where they came from. They also located a drow mage named Zilch that was willing to guide the party to Velkyvelve, the drow slaver post where Tobi’s friend Tenna was last seen. Theadric readily paid Zilch’s upfront fee of 500gp, and agreed to the 500gp addition on arrival at the slaver camp.

The heroes headed out, leaving all but Nero behind of the Zilchist Consortium employees to aid in restoring order to Mantol-Derith. The Dumadan scouts along with Lio continue to scout ahead and sweep behind the group while the knights protected the center.

At one point, the way was blocked by a behir corpse riddled with carrion crawlers. The party dispatched them and climbed through.

They passed a deep chasm in which Lio witnessed enormous tentacles plucking dragons from the misty air as flashes of light from breath weapons and spells intermittently lit the battle.

Strange fungus was found growing on clothing and spoiling food. The provisions were buried and those afflicted were cured by the burning light of Vathris. Their affliction seemed to be connected to a fungus growing on their body.

They passed into the chaotic swirl of the Faerzress, which Wizzleficks and Dr. Blackstone spent some time studying it. After camping the night in the Faerzress, everyone became more anxious. As morale waned that morning, an argument started up between Olaf of the Order and Brim which alerted a crazed stone giant to their location. After the fight and looting a large gold ring, the two reconciled and the party continued on.

Lio and Brim ambushed a pair of hezrou demons head directly toward the party, preventing the rest of the group from being taken unawares, and leading to the rapid slaughter of the fiends.

Ten days out Zilch lead them into an ambush the lair of Xazax the beholder. Enraged by the betrayal Tobi ran down Zilch and sent him low with his deadly flail.

The beholder set about attempting to blast the party with his eye rays. He seemed to have difficulty pinning Tobi down as Toby pulled from inner reserves to ward off everything the eye tyrant through at him.

The antimagic ray of the beholder’s eye didn’t do much to protect it from the hail of arrows delivered by Hope, Aurelio, and the dwarven scouts. Nor did it stop Wizzleficks, Milo, and Theadric from circling around and unleashing fireballs, clouds of acid, and missile of arcane force on the eye tyrant.

Another creature entered the battlefield offering up a reward for the heroes’ deaths. Tobi charged the creature but was knocked senseless when it emitted a blast of psychic power. Milo and Lio were struck by the beholder’s petrification rays, and the knights were mired along with Theadric by the sudden appearance of a field of sludge beneath their feet.

The knights took aim with their crossbows on the mind flayer as its tentacles began to burrow into Tobias’ skull. Their fusillade wasn’t enough to slay the creature, but fortunately for Tobi, Theadric was able to teleport himself free from the muck and shred the illithid into calamari.

The beholder went down under a hail of arrows. His deep gnome servant, Peebles, had become collateral damage to an earlier fireball.

Wizzleficks was just barely able to reverse the petrification effect before it became permanent.

Zilch’s maps, which included the location of Velkynvelve, were intact, and a fiery shortsword was located in the beholder’s pit. Theadric’s 500gp deposit was also refunded from Zilch’s corpse. Nero noted that the lair could be converted to a nice outpost, especially if a lift was installed to access the upper tunnels accessible only through the hole in the ceiling.

Wizzleficks also believes he can get the group to Velkynvelve quicker from their current location rather than backtracking to Mantol-Derith and following Zilch’s maps. However, this would mean the group would be entering uncharted territory. Additionally, all of the supplies have now run out. So, no matter which direction the party goes, they would be forced to forage for food.

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Mantol-Decline
Out of the Abyss - Session 2

The party descended into the Underdark with their extensive retinue:
• 8 of the Zilchist Consortium human employees who would lead them to their outpost at Mentol-Derith.
• 3 of King Degron’s dwarven scouts who would keep the party alert to external dangers.
• 5 veterans of St. Cuthbert’s Order of the Chapeau

Nero, de facto boss of the Consortium employees present, lead the way, while Lio and Brim (one of the scouts) scouted ahead for danger. The other two scouts remained at the rear of the party, keeping an eye out for anything trying to sneak up from behind.

On the way they encounter a cave reeking of sulphur that the dwarves warned might be flammable. The group doused any flames and relied of magical light as the Heroes of Ravenport proceeded cautiously forward to investigate while the rest of the group remained behind.

As they did so, they heard cries for help and saw two thin figures running toward them. These turned out to be two bedraggled wood elves who had escaped from drow slavers, and were now being hunted as prey by some other denizen of the Underdark. They were quickly sent back to the retainers.

The hunters were a pack of undead hounds that would slip in and out of the ethereal plane and their ghoulish master. Despite the hounds fearful baying and their immaterial nature the heroes were eventually able to defeat them and the ghoul.

The heroes fed the elves and learned what they could of the whereabouts of the drow, which was next to nothing. They then offered to allow the elves to travel with them to Mentol-Derith where the heroes would attempt to procure them a guide to the surface.

As they neared Mantol-Derith, some of the landmarks no longer synched with what was on Nero’s map, but he still managed to get party to the outpost’s secret entrance.

When they entered the chasm below the outpost proper they were greeted with eerie silence. Theadric climbed up the wall of the cliff face to investigate while Wizzleficks scried above. There were signs of unrest, and Theadric intervened as a pair of svirfneblin ran from a group of magically enlarged duergar bent on murdering them in the street.

The rest of the party leapt onto the two service lifts and began cranking their way up the side of the chasm. As soon as he was near enough Aurelio teleported to the top and ran to Oldfur’s aid.

Once the rest of the group reached the top the duergar were quickly overwhelmed. The svirfneblin painted a picture of strife between their faction and the duergar’s, with the Zilchists and drow staying out of their way.

The gnomes asked for the party’s help in dealing with the duergar siege of their enclave. Instead of moving immediately to the deep gnomes’ aid, the party headed to the Zilchist Consortium base to get a better assessment of what was going on from their allies.

The group waited in the courtyard of the Zilchist headquarters, while the outpost’s leaders met with a drow entourage seeking to maintain the peace between their two ventures and divvy up whatever was left behind by the duergar and svirfneblin hostility. However, one of the drow attacked the Lorthuun (a maimed beholder ally of the Zilchist Consortium), causing the talks to quickly escalate to a fight between the drow and the Consortium. The heroes quickly intervened, but not before the beholder was slain. The instigator laughed gleefully as the heroes took down the drow leader, but her attempt to flee the scene was foiled by the paralysing force of Lio’s spells, and then Tobius’ rope. A gargoyle, ally to the held drow appeared to aid her, but was immediately banished to a pocket dimension by Wizzleficks.

The party quickly moved the survivors inside the Zilchist Consortium’s HQ and provided some healing. The gargoyle popped back into existence only to find the courtyard deserted and his drow love behind a barred door.

The would-be drow assassin possessed a strange black gem. Theadric and Hope both chose to take it in hand and examine it, causing them to experience a strange personality shift and exhibit a dark aura when Tobias and Wizzleficks observed them with magic. Attempts to dispel the aura by both Lio and Wizzleficks were unsuccessful.

In desperation, Dr. Blackstone destroyed the gem using mage hand and his flail of frost. This caused a shadowy form of a demon prince to form and then dissipate above the shattered remains. This provided no succour to those already afflicted by the gem’s curse.

The heroes then addressed the besieged deep gnomes. The duergar had kidnapped their leader, one Yantha Coaxrock. She was being accused of stealing a valuable black gem. Tobi agreed to enter the duergar compound on the gnomes behave to learn the details of what had been going on.

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Of Cauldron and Kings and Murdered Things
Out of the Abyss - Session 1

After saving Flanaess from a poorly executed Scarlet Brotherhood plot in which an ingredient substitution nearly destroyed the Material Plane, our heroes traveled back to Sasserine, Grey College academics in tow.
In the morning after the first night in Sasserine Dr. Blackstone answered an unexpected knock on his the door to his room. At his door were two dwarves, one young, one old. The elder dwarf introduced himself as Pike, and proceeded to butcher Tobias’ name and that of Ravenport.
At first Tobias was uncertain whether he wanted anything to do with this pair, but at the mention of a lost city found in the Hellfurnaces curiosity outweighed any skepticism and they where invited it, offered wine, and asked to wait a moment while he collected some of the earlier risers among his companions.
Pike and his companion Percival had been sent by Degron Bloodbeard, self-proclaimed King of Dumadan to enlist the aid of the Heroes of Ravenport to help invest an urgent matter regarding the Underdark.
A short while later, over breakfast, the party agreed to answer the king’s call and travel with the dwarves to Dumadan. The heroes tidied up their affairs, including sending the disassembled teleportation circle they’d taken from the Scarlet Brotherhood with the academics to the Grey College in the City of Greyhawk.
On the night of the first leg of their journey to Cauldron the lesser moon (Celene) was full. This boded ill for Theadric, as the Kwalishar machine had rewritten the past and the Oldfur sword was never bequeathed to the halfling werebadger (if ever it existed at all). So, to hide his lycanthropy from his friends he made camp well away from the party.
Theadric Oldfur was not the only lycanthrope about that evening. A pack of werewolves lead by a devil descended upon the area. The werewolves sensing the deliciousness that is werebadger soon caught Theadric’s sent and the chase was on.
Theadric charged back to the main camp and soon found he could not enter the Leomund’s Tiny Hut that Hope had erected, as he had not been present when she’d cast it.
The rest of the party had been awoken by the howling of the werewolves and we’re prepared to fight as the pack, lend by a flying devil descended on them.
Hope dispelled the Hut, and the devil crowed about his easy victory collecting Hope for her mother. The battle did not go as well as the lunar devil had planned, and soon his werewolves were slaughtered and his illusions revealed.
The devil, now singed by magic and with punctured hide and pride fled into the night, proclaiming the futility of Hope’s resistance to her mother’s desires. Hope was unimpressed.
After arriving in Cauldron they were able to sell treasure and purchase supplies for the journey ahead. From there they caught a newly constructed pneumatic underground railway, in which they would spend three days before arriving at their destination.
On the train they encountered Davra Jasser of the Zilchist Consortium (a mercantile organization tied to the worship of Zilchus), with whom Aurelio struck of a conversation on about acquiring the Consortium’s aid in prosecuting a war against Rary in the Bright Desert. Interestingly, the merchant wore a rapier with a red hilt that was a stylistic twin to Song’s End.
As is often the case during a conversation with Lio the topic turned to revenge, and Jasser revealed that he sort his wife’s killer, a red-haired man with a laugh he would never forget.
Also aboard was Baron Münchhüber resplendent in fine clothes and an ostentatious turban adding to his already considerable height. He asked for a recounting of some of the Heroes of Ravenport’s deeds, but quickly grew bored and launched into an impassioned retelling of his own exploits. All-in-all he was a pompous ass.
Curious as to why the dwarves had sought out him specifically Tobias took the question to Pike and Percival near the end of the journey. They were persuaded to reveal that his name came from Tenna Shatterstar, which came as a considerable shock, as he believed that his friend, colleague, and one-time girlfriend to have been killed by the Scarlet Brotherhood when they revealed themselves and claim the Iron League states for their own.
Upon arriving at Dumadan the heroes were brought immediately into an audience with the king. Degron Bloodbeard. Also present was Elbeth Thedron, old friend and prior adventuring companion of Brogin.
Degron spoke of a demonic evil in the Underdark that he feared would find its way to the surface world if not stopped. Elbeth and Tenna were among those sent to find what they could of the cause. Elbeth was the only one to return.
Elbeth explain their plan to be capture by drow and to gain access to drow society and discover the cause of the madness wending it’s way through the Underdark. While the first part of their plan succeeded, only Elbeth was able to escape and with new information that raised more questions than it answered.
King Degron asked that the heroes descend into the Underdark, learn the cause of the new demonic presence, and put a stop to it if they are able. Dr. Blackstone, Brogin, Hope, and Theadric agreed readily. Wizzleficks agreed after it was noted that the Underdark is said to be unmappable. Aurelio wisely asked for the Kings future aid in the war against Rary in exchange for performing this mission, to which the King Degron agreed.
The king then told them that there were others present in Dumadan that might aid the heroes in their mission, but would need convincing. To that end he had arranged a banquet where the party to meet and convince these possible benefactors.
At banquet Aurelio, having already established a rapport with Davra Jasser, bargained for the use of the Zilchist Consortium’s secret outpost in Mantol-Derith. In the party provided the Consortium with a number of magic items of use to them and agreed to give 3% of treasure beyond to the first 30,000 gp acquired during the expedition. In exchange the heroes would have use of the outpost, including its agents.
During their discussion Aurelio noted that Jasser was eying Münchhüber, red hair visible now without the turban.
Hope was able to elicit the aid of the Order of the Chapeaux from their commander, Sir Lanaver Strail. This was quite a coup, given his humorless nature and unfriendly reaction to her fiendish features. Sir Lanaver provided the services or five members of the order.
Wizzleficks and Tobi were less successful with the arrogant Lord Zelraun Roaringhorn, apprentice to Mordenkainen and mediocre painter. In an attempt to win use of Zelraun’s shield guardian Wizzleficks wagered a love potion against it in a game of dragonchess. Sadly this was not a game that the cartographer was more than casually familiar with, and a love potion was release out into the wild to cause chaos.
An arrangement was made with Baron Münchhüber to involve him and his retinue in the expedition before anyone could properly warn the heroes off. Though, with the next dawn this would be of little consequence, as the Baron was found dead with a scimitar that looked very much like Song’s End still sticking through his heart….

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Death God Sampler in the Temple of Rana Mor
Session ? – 10/18/2015

After a long day of dislodging riverboats, fighting rin-ka warbands, and salvaging treasures from sunken Scarlet Brotherhood watercraft the expedition wanted nothing more than to rest for the evening. Alas, the megafauna of the Amedio Jungle was unmoved by their petty desires.

As they trekked up the old road to high ground near the temple of Rana Mor they’ve were ambushed by two hungry digestors. True to their name they spewed acidic stomach juices over most of the expedition to begin dissolving their meal. This was nearly the end of Walden Witherby, as the caustic bath collapsed the aging academic.

The party was able to dispatch the creatures, though not before several members were treated to another acid bath. They then healed the injured were able to get Walden on his feet again and continue the climb up the old road.

Upon finding a suitable campsite an enormous tentacled mass burst from the ground and drug Wizzleficks into its maw. The warriors drew steel and began hacking at it to try to retrieve the unconscious gnome from within Brogin called up spirits to hack at it and the wizards of the Grey College hurled bolts of force.

The thing snatched up Aurelio next, but he was able to fight off the paralytic neurotoxin that lined it’s primitive stomach.

Concerned for the lives of his friends Dr. Blackstone foolishly climbed into the things mouth to mount a rescue. Unfortunately, as he tried to reach past the very alive Spear of Vathris to grab the supine cartographer the neurotoxin made contact with his skin and now the historian was paralyzed.

Luckily Lio was able to tear it apart from within and free himself and his two companions. Wizzleficks was stabilized while Theadric burned the creature with magical fire. Hope then removed Tobi’s paralysis while Brogin healed Wizzleficks and anyone else injured in the battle.

Within the remain of the monsters they fond an amber block containing a small figure which they quickly determined was Milo Bushcutter, or at least an older mustachioed version thereof. In one hand he held a mirror and the other a flask the he was in the process of opening.

Following a hunch from Theadric, Tobias hammered a spike into the amber to break the flask. This release the contents, which then ate through the amber at a rapid pace, freeing Milo.

After straightening his handlebar mustache, Milo was able to explain that he was from a parallel world and had investigating the surge in mystical phenomena, which he’d determined was centered on the temple of Rana Mor. Unfortunately the Scarlet Brotherhood caught him and encased him in the amber-like substance before he could prevent it. Then a portal must have opened up taking him to this world where he was eaten by the monster that the heroes just slew.

Milo demonstrated that the mirror he held was not attuned to his world, and that it reflected what was happening their instead of the world around it.

The expedition made camp and set watches. When they awoke Wizzleficks (who’d had fourth watch) and Brogin where gone and no tracks where to be found. A look through Milo’s mirror revealed a note in Wizzlefick’s precise hand letting the party know that he and Brogin had fallen through a portal to the other side and had to leave due to Scarlet Brotherhood activity.

Worse, both Tobias and Hope felt nauseous and tired, their bodies contending with some nasty disease from spending part of the previous day breath river water. Fortunately Aurelio was able to wreak terrible vengeance of the bacterial colonies of the Red Ache, leaving Hope and Tobi merely fatigued.

The expedition continued up the old road, which was in much better repair on the other side of the mirror, and soon found themselves above the forest on an a grassy plateau with the stone temple in the distance.

A stone wall surrounded the temple, a wide archway guarded by two silent stone elephants was the only visible entrance. Looking through his spyglass Tobias was able to catch movement in one of the temples towers and the party hastened their approach to the wall to get themselves out of sight of any potential snipers.

On the other side of the archway was a causeway over a canal that presumably surrounded the temple. At the end of the causeway was sort covered courtyard before a pair of very large stone doors with no obvious mechanism for opening them from without.

They also noted an arrow loop on the wall to the left of the door. Dr. Blackstone saw no one on the other side but decided to empty his bag of magical ball bearings through the slit so as to provide a warning if anyone approached.

As Hope began the slow methodical casting of a ritual to read the words carved over the stone doors the party heard a thump as someone fell behind the arrowslit. Hope then chose to expend the energy to cast the spell more quickly, hoping to glean some method of entrance from the words so that there could escape attack. As she did this the crossbowman regained his feet and began shooting at the party, of which Tobias was the most apparent. After some abortive attempts to fire into the arrowslit the spellcasters switch to magic missiles, and Lio teleported behind the attacker, quickly finishing ending the undead assailant.

Tobias passed through a crowbar to Lio and he began moving carefully from room to room along the front of the temple while Theadric followed stealthily allow the outside of the building. Eventually the halfling entered a tower at the corner of the temple while Lio waited two rooms away, having heard movement on the other side of the door.

Theadric was attacked from above by a snake which attempted to coil around his small form, but he was able to pop free and the rest of the party rushed forward to help dispatch the serpent.

Lio then rejoined the party, and they soon found themselves fighting a priest and an initiate of Nerull in a chapel. The chapel was warded, and the air became thick with scythe-wielding spirits, driving the heroes back into an adjoining room. The initiate fell quickly to spells and arrows, the priest was another matter but the party prevailed before he succeeded in slaying any with his deadly touch.

The room adjacent to the chapel was filled with torture devices and there was an iron-barred cell in one corner. Milo’s extradimensional mirror revealed Brogin and Wizzleficks imprisoned therein, in the parallel world.

The ward eventually dissipated and the heroes continued, the Grey College delegation always a a room or two behind, taking notes and investigating details of architecture.

Two doors left the next room they found. One a set of barred double doors that they would eventually learn lead to the commissary and the other leading to the covered walkway along an inner canal.

After hacking open the double doors Hope dropped a spell of darkness of the waiting initiates, which Milo followed up with a fireball.

While the surviving initiates healed themselves in the darkened dining room a priests, a chain-wielding warrior, and a tiger came bounding toward the other door.

The fight was going well until Milo’s magic slipped out of his control with deadly results, and he became the epicenter of a powerful fireball. Even Tobias, who managed to both dive out of the way and ward himself against the effect came away singed. Only the academics, away from the battle in another room were unharmed by the unexpected effect.

After some desperate healing to bring Aurelio and Milo back into the fight the battle turned back in favor of the heroes and they won the day.

Beyond the dining area was the party found the initiate’s cells, one containing a secret cache of treasure.

Hope set up a Leomond’s Tiny Hut to protect the party, which now reduced in number could fit entirely within, and they rested the night unmolested.

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Return to the Sahaguin...suhaguin...shogun...SEA DEVIL's lair.
That Goggled Bastard

    The party was relaxing and enjoying the thought that they had pnwed the sea devils and stopped their dread ritual that would have laid waste to the coastlines of Keoland. That’s when That Goggled Bastard showed up RIGHT BESIDE a friggin revenge paladin of Vathris and got away without a scratch. Before he left he even had time to monologue before Aurelio could get off his ass and stab the jerk. The Goggled Bastard made a point to say that the intrepid heroes should stay away from the lair or else Ash Tidecaller would become “decidedly uncomfortable”. The Bastard then vanished without explaining how he got his hands on a Yugo or how he could possibly fit Ash into it.

    Once Aurelio shared the details of his encounter with the rest of the party, the consensus was immediately reached; to hell with Ash’s safety, we need to see whats going on down there! So the Swords of the Coast (still works!) set out by ship…again… to the sea devils’ lair. Using Wizzleficks’ newest happy fun toy, the party was turned into reef sharks in order to penetrate the underwater entrance without being detected. As badass as that plan was going to be, Oceanus decided to accidentally(?) trigger a dispel magic trap that turned him back into a Sea Elf. Being sane and cautious adventurers, the rest of the party said “screw it” and proceeded into a frontal assault on what would surely have been wave after wave of sea devils. Wizzleficks threw off the blood fever first and verbally bitch-slapped the rest of the party into a retreat back to the surface. On the surface, it was decided that a frontal assault on the underwater entrance would never work so the adventures opted to knock on the front door instead. Wizzleficks again put his intelligence to good use by using his spellcraft to completely convince the guard behind the door that the little gnome was the most tasty hors d’oeuvre in the history of the multiverse. With the party’s foot in the door, they were able to fight through the forces holding the entrance. They then heard screaming coming from down the corridor and plunged headlong through the hallways to discover the source. That’s when they found That Goggled Bastard on a dais and standing over Ash, freshly-severed fingers in hand. Aurelio charged the dais but promptly disappeared along with Ash and the Bastard. Swearing under their breaths, the rest of the group followed them in.

    Being suddenly submerged, the heroes surmised that they were tranported to the lower level of the lair. The fact they were in a prison cell was also a disconcerting discovery. Finding the confinement quite easy to overcome, the party began exploring their surroundings. Not far down the hall, they found a reverse dome stadium. The dome covered the field while the fans were above it. On the field was the most horrific football game anyone had ever seen. There was a large sea devil installing air conditioning on various creatures’ organs with a trident. Realizing this is another dread ritual in progress, the heroes bum rushed the giant sea devil. That’s when Oceanus decided to turn traitor and attacked the party. Hilarity ensued. After dispatching everything in the ritual room, everyone knew it was only a matter of time before all the sea devils that were observing would make their way downstairs and wash over them like a tide of bricks. They quickly made their way back to the room where they were teleported in because a secret entrance was indicated on the map of the area given by the lizardfolk. As a certain set of double notes began to build in the air, a sense of terror began to fill the party. someone was brave enough to look back and saw biggest, ugliest, most soiled-drawers-inducing shark coming down the hall at them just before they slammed and locked the door. Before the door could be broken down by the monstrosity, the secret rectal entrance was found and the pooped party made their way safely out. As it turned out they had inadvertently completed the ritual by killing the Baron (along with pretty much everything else in the room) and that huge shark was actually an avatar of Sekolah!

    In summary, by the end of the day our heroes had failed to sneak into the lair stealthily, failed to protect Ash from That Goggled Bastard (or more specifically his fingers) and accidentally unleashed a major devil upon the world. Not bad.

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Scouting the Sea Devil Stronghold

Session 13 – 7/12/2015

The Heroes of Ravenport are offered 10,000 gp to stop the sea devil’s from destroying Salinmoor’s coast, as well as scouting the sahuagin lair to cement the alliance between Ravenport and the Great Lizard Tribe.

They are provided with a ship, and joined by Great Lizard Tribe warriors, Salinmoor law enforcement (including the Will and Tom Stoutly), and Oceanus (an aquatic elf rescued from Sea Ghost).

En route the ship was accosted my giant octopodes. The heroes fended them off, but lost two crewmen and a Stoutly before the suctioning cephalopods swam off in a cloud of ink. Wizzleficks did save himself and a guard with Otiluke’s Bubbling Buoyancy. Eidolon spent some time searching above the waters, but wasn’t able to determine where the octopus had taken Tom Stoutly, much to his cousin Will’s chagrin.

Early the next morning the ship arrived in at the edge of the Sahuagin controlled waters and disembarked to the shore. Shortly before dawn they raided the Sea Devil lair from the aboveground entrance.

The Heroes of Ravenport shrouded themselves in magical invisibility and crossed the land bridge to the main doors, that while well guarded were left open to receive the night air. Wizzleficks, in gaseous form, and the invisible Theadric and Aurelio snuck quietly into the foyer. A closed portcullis blocked conventional access to the rest of the lair, and a gong could be seen beyond it.

Wizzleficks, as a being a magical mist, slipped easy past the bars of the portcullis and positioned himself out of the way on the other side, and readied himself to materialize and pull the lever to raise the gate with mage hand when the violence started.

Lio teleported past the portcullis and next to the gong. At which point he started the violence, felling one of the sea devil guards. This prompted the cartographer to open the portcullis. And then Milo hurled a fireball into the midst of the sahuagin guards, killing or injuring most of them.

Theadric chose that moment to begin slaughtering the bewildered sahuagin in the foyer who had been outside of the fireball’s blast radius. And then the rest of the heroes moved into the lair to to finish off the remaining sea devils.

With the main entrance secured the lizardfolk warriors, Salinmoorians, and Oceanus advanced across the land bridge and set in to hold the room beyond the portcullis (which they closed).

Using the lizardfolk map the heroes headed deeper into the lair. On the way to where they guessed the tidal wave ritual was being performed they encountered sea devil slavers putting humanoid slaves to work excavating new rooms and passages.

Once again the heroes where able to get the drop on their foes. This time Milo lead with a fireball centered on the half-dozen sahuagin onlookers, which Wizzleficks followed up with a sleep spell that neutralized any survivors. The rest of the party rushed in and made short work of the two whip-cracking overseers with the help of the slaves.

Theadric learned from the now freed lizardfolk slave that a demihuman slave was also being held, and he was too sick to work. The humainoids, which included an orc, a hobgoblin and lizardfolk were sent with a letter of safe passage up to the entrance. They were advised to let the lizardfolk lead the way and do the talking to avoid misunderstandings, since they were members of the Great Lizard Tribe.

The party headed to the slave barracks to find a human in tattered robes, health and sanity both greatly eroded. Attempts to render aid with food and a healing potion were not enough to save him, and just before he died he revealed the existence of secret treasure room nearby.

After some searching the heroes found the room and investigated its treasures, finding a large cache of magical equipment. They took the time to rest and discover what many of the items were capable of before continuing on, deeper still into the lair.

Eventually they came to a water-filled passageway leading down into the submerged levels of the lair. Wizzleficks used the newly acquired wand of transmogrification to transform the party into a school of fish, and the group dove down into the lair and found a room with an enormous great white shark and a quartet of sahuagin priestesses sacrificing sahuagin babies in a horrible ritual. The party then returned to the dry level above, where Wizzleficks ended the spell.

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Expedition to the Dunwater Lair

Once again, the Heroes of Ravenport were called upon by the Mayor. Lio met a traveling dwarf in the refugee camp named Brogin. He was led to this town by dire watery visions. Seeing that he looked like he was no stranger to danger, Lio invited him to join him in his meeting with the mayor.

Mayor Ormond welcomed the Heroes warmly but was surprised to see it wasn’t the whole team again. He explained that what Tobias and Theadric found on the smuggler’s’ ship was concerning to the town council. The location marked on the map wasn’t too distant from Ravenport and the cache of weapons was rather large.

He went on to explain the town was prepared to pay them 5,000 gold lions for investigating the location indicated on the map found on the smuggler’s ship. [I neglected to mention this in the session]. Additionally, the town was willing to loan the party a small ship that could be manned by Stoutlys (Tom and Wil). As collateral for the loan, the mayor requested the deed to the in recently purchased by Theadric. The deed would be returned upon the return on the ship. Lastly, he provided a choice for paying the Stoutlys: either 400 gold lions (total) or a share of whatever is found. The party opted to pay them 200 up front and 200 upon their return.

Lastly, the Zacharias told the group Oceanus (the elf found captured on the smuggler’s ship) would like to join them.

The next day, the Heroes set sail. Theadric and Tobias joined them for part of the journey. Tobias and Theadric were going to Fort Bale to use their library for research for Lio.

The sea journey transpired without incident.

At the mouth of the Dunwater, the group found two rises of land on either side of the river. One rise had an obvious cave open to the Azure Sea. The other mound had visible paths.

After a brief discussion, the group decided to take a rowboat to the paths. There, they found tracks which lead to a ford across the Dunwater. They set up a cold camp to gather intel about the comings and goings in the area.

Early the next morning, what appeared to be a hunting party was seen crossing the ford from the other side. It was too far to tell what creatures made up the hunting party other than they were bipedal.

Eventually, the party decided to make its move. Their new ally Brogin along with Lio used their skills of survival effectively to find the tracks of the hunting party they saw earlier. They followed the tracks back the way they came but it lead to a wall of underbrush. After a bit of investigation, they realized the brush was a ruse and was easily moved to reveal a cave beyond.

Inside the cave, they found a door. It was suck, but they managed to open it quietly. Lio used his newly acquired pointy boots of Elvenkind to sneak inside. He quickly found a guardpost nearby with 5 lizard persons. He alerted the party, took careful aim with his bow, and missed.

The arrow landing at the feet of one of the lizard fellows alerted them to the intruders. At this point they began to shout in Draconic and one ran off.

Seeing that the party wasn’t responding to their words, the lizardfolk gestured to the doors without attacking party.

However, this very short and limited attempt on their part to parlay was quickly brought to an end as Milo lit them on fire with burning hands. A full on battle ensued wherein the original 4 lizardfolk were rejoined by their errant fellow who brought back a lieutenant and 8 other lizard beings.

In the end, the Heroes of Ravenport were victorious. At their feet lay approximately a dozen foes and their lieutenant. However, two of them had run off.

Realizing how badly hurt they themselves were, the Heroes left the lair to make a quick camp off the tracks for a quick rest. Brogin used his survival skills to conceal their presence. It worked so well when a band of warriors with a shaman emerged from the lair, they didn’t even notice the party as it ran by.

After the short rest, the group went back into the lair. They noticed all of the bodies were gone. Apparently, while they rested someone had taken them away.

As the group wound their way through the meandering complex, they did not encounter any more warriors. They came upon many rooms: personal quarters, a kitchen with non-combatant lizard cooks, a larder, and the throne room.

In the throne room, there were two lizardfolk children playing. Discovering the party, they started asking questions and following them around.

it’s worth noting that after the short rest, Hope decided to cast Comprehend Languages as a ritual. She was able to understand what the children were saying, but could not reply. Although the party found the children to be a nuisance, they could not get them to stop following them (except briefly when Milo used a cantrip to distract them).

Hope was able to find a secret door in the floor behind the throne. It lead to a tunnel which emerged in what appeared to be the Chieftain’s personal quarters. At one point, they encountered the Chieftain’s guards who were more surprised to see the party emerging from the Chief’s quarters than they were angry.

Eventually, the group found its way to the temple where Hope overheard conversation between the shamen. Essentially, they were upset about not having found the attackers yet and this was delaying their plans for attacking the Sahuagin and reclaiming their lair.

Before she could explain what she heard to the rest of the group, one of the shamen spoke: “Who’s there. Step out now.”

Brogin shoved one of the children through the curtain they were hiding behind, but the child didn’t help the matters by pointing to the curtain and saying to the shamen “Want to meet my new friends?”

Hope and Milo stepped through and eventually the others followed suit. The shamen led the group to the Chieftain.

The Chieftain and his advisor explain that they were recently forced to move to this lair when sahuagin attacked theirs. They are working to put together an alliance to reclaim their lair. In addition, they have been purchasing weapons for this effort.

After some discussion, the Chieftain proposed he would forgive the deaths of clansmen in exchange for the assistance of the party in scouting the sahuagin and the return of everything they had taken while exploring their lair.

The advisor proposed The Great Lizard Tribe enter into a formal alliance with Ravenport. He offered to send a lieutenant and shaman as ambassadors.

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