The Remains of War

Escape from Explictica Defilus' Lair

Session 10 – 4/27/2015

Loaded up treasure on Tenser’s Floating Disc. Identified some magic items.

Distant boom noticed by some party members. Something bad was about to happen to the underground lair.

Ran into the carpenter’s girl when preparing to leave, crying over one of the coffer corpses. Calmed her down, learn it had been her brother and agreed to take it back to town for proper burial.

She was looking for Wentin (sp?), one of Mort’s guards. She knew where other prisoners were held. Yay!

Freed Mort and one other prisoner. Found Wentin down a side passage being attacked by giant croc. Killed croc and healed Wentin.

Original path out of the underground lair collapsed. Found a couple alternate routes and eventually made it to the entrance room.

Used a grapnel and rope to help climb the stairs out, as water rushed in.

half the party made it to surfaced. Attached by trogs and ghouls. Trogs had snakes. Rest of party made it to surface during fight. Trogs and ghouls defeated.

Slept on giant turtle. Turtle unhappy. Killed turtled. Went back to sleep.

Returned to Ravenport.

The Heroes of Ravenport and the Explicticably Defiled Swamp

Session 9 – 3/22/2015

The heroes return to town, bound Talis in tow, and headed directly to Ash Tidecaller’s cottage to have spell on the halfling broken. Afterward, they caught up with Ash on what had happened in Ravenport while they were away facing the perils beneath the Chapel.

Ash told them what he knew of the refugees from the Grand Duchy of Geoff. They had arrived only a few days ago claiming that their lands were under attack by giants. The mayor had allowed them to set up the camp, and so far the Jeffies had coexisted peacefully with the town. Some of the refugees were even aiding in the construction of the defensive wall around Ravenport; a project that had been languishing do to the cult’s activities.

Theadric revealed that Derrick, the cultist who’d fled from their confrontation with Fr. Abrams, had pulled him aside with promises of Talis’ location in hopes that he could convince Theadric to slay the leader of the cult. Derrick claimed that the glamour used by the Reptile Goddess had failed on him, and he’d been forced to feign enchantment to survive. After he’d fled the temple, it became clear to the cult that he was no longer under their control and now he feared for his life.

In exchange for his life, he would lead the party through the Hool Marshes to the Reptile Goddesses’ lair, and then provide them with a map from memory of the layout of the place, laying out the quickest path to the humanoid-headed snake that leads the cult.

The party left Ash’s home, returning to town to re-provision. Their transit was interrupted by Podric, herald to Cronin III of House Secunforth, 16th Viscount Salinmoor, who informed the party of adventurers that a special ceremony was being held on the morrow at noon and that they were to attend His Noble Lordship then.

During the brief conversation the herald made the assumption that Milo (now an adolescent, due to his fiddling with chaos magic) was Theadric’s son. Milo eventually agreed that he was, as an expedient, and Theadric didn’t gainsay him.

The party split up to take care of personal business. Hope needs supplies to turn the bolt of orange silk into a proper dress. Theadric collected the Oldfur Sword from the armorer. Dr. Blackstone returned to the Dying Minotaur to clean his gear and take a bath.

That evening, while Wizzleficks was finishing up transferring a spell from one of the captured spellbooks to his own something strange happened.

Hello. Is anyone there? wrote itself within Wizzleficks’ spellbook.

Wizzleficks responded by writing, I see your words.

Where am I? the mysterious writer queried.

The cartographer wrote back: Your words are appearing in my spellbook.

By the beard of Boccob! Could it be?

Who is this?

It’s Otiluke, of course.

Wizzleficks, dumbfounded, closed his spellbook and looked across the room at Tobi. But the human was invested in a minor magical ritual. Loathe to interrupt, the young gnome said nothing.

That evening at the Dying Minotaur Hope regaled the crowd with the party’s recent adventure, and raised humble-bragging to an art.

Lio, seeking a moment of solace away from the noise and press of people accidentally overheard a Bethany Secunforth and Phineas Fogg engaging in a tryst. He quickly moved on to find a new place to meditate, unnoticed by the lovers.

The next morning Dr. Blackstone received a message from his department chair. He learned that the Grey College would indeed be sending a team of researchers, though a rival had managed to worm his way into the selection process. He also had information on the documents Theadric had sent, regarding the Oldfur’s lycanthropic curse, and the Oldfur Sword’s role in controlling it, which he promptly shared with his friend.

At noon the party attended the special ceremony, where they were introduced to the Viscount Cronin III, his consort Serbeth, and their entourage, which included Thaddeus, the Court Wizard. Podric, the herald, was nowhere to be found, so introductions on the receiving line were awkward.

Thaddeus to an uncomfortable interest in Hope’s unusual heritage, and made some snobbish comments about commoners.

The viscount was gloomy. But then, in the seven years of his reign Salinmoor had suffered two hurricanes, a plague, and a war.

The viscount, was clearly intrigued by Hope, shared his condolences for Lord Goddard’s loss, was concerned by Milo’s age, skeptical of Theadric’s paternity, dismissive of Dr. Blackstone as he would be any other academic, and spoke highly of Wizzlefick’s cartography.

The viscount also appeared to feel out using Aurelio to assassinate those he felt responsible for his daughter’s loss of virginity. Or perhaps just punish them. It was an unusual conversation.

Before the gathered townsfolk, the lord of Salinmoor thanked the adventurers for freeing the town from the cult and stopping the smugglers (his emphasis being on the latter). He then declared them the Heroes of Ravenport. Additionally, he knighted Goddard for his efforts in leading the team.

Hope mingled a bit, gathering information on the viscount’s court. It appeared that the herald wasn’t the only one absent from the festivities. Lord and Lady Antebellum were also missing.

After the ceremony the new-minted Heroes of Ravenport gathered their supplies made some last minute purchases, and headed out into the swamp, lead by Derrick.

A few hours into their journey they heard someone cry out. To Derrick’s annoyance they investigated.

Moving quietly they came upon a strange seen. Two nobles, four men-at-arms, and a red-robed figure that looked suspiciously like Scarlet Brotherhood monk were standing in a loose circle on a hump of relatively dry land.

At the center of the circle, a creature coated in white mucus hunched over a screaming Podric. The party had found the herald!

The heroes rushed forward, loosing arrows and hurling spells. Though several of those spells were directed at the creature, it was not deterred from from what it was doing to the herald before poor Podric expired.

The heroes tore through the retainers and the monk at range. The creature, now Podric’s doppelgänger, rush forward to meet Tobi and Lio, who quickly cut it down.

The nobles would prove more difficult, as the couple drew paired short swords and deftly sliced into their opponents. But, ultimately they were overmatched, and died zealously proclaiming the Scarlet Brotherhood’s inevitable ascendance.

They creature was an exact duplicate of Podric, even in death and Wizzleficks could detected no magic on it.

The creature appeared to have emerged from a large plant-like pod, which now lay open. Nearby was an unopened one which Milo promptly destroyed at range with copious amounts of magical fire. The creature within died before it could fully emerge.

They buried Podric and continued on to the Reptile Goddess’ lair.

As the water grew deeper Wizzleficks summoned a floating disc of energy on which the halflings would sit. The gnome rode on Dr. Blackstone’s shoulders to stay out of the muck that would otherwise force him to swim and the disc dutifully followed the cartographer.

They made camp before dusk and set two person watches. The night passed uneventfully.

They continued on the next day, eventually arriving near the entrance to the lair.

Derrick quickly sketched a map of the place from memory, and Wizzleficks voiced his low opinion of its quality with a stream of abuse:

“What is that? A butt?”
“If you had been my apprentice I’d have you redraw this entirely.”
“I’ll promise to let you leave alive if you promise never enter the profession of cartography”

Derrick left and the heroes approached the entrance quietly. Lord Goddard sent invisible Heccabus ahead to scout.

In the dimly lit foyer he observed four cultists in armor, holding spears. Lio, Tobi, Theadric, and Hope rushed in, taking them by surprise. The guards fell before they could raise the alarm.

The heroes took the direct path laid out in Derrick’s map, ignore side room and moving cautiously.

The first room contained a pool with a path around the outside that they followed. Heccabus, in rat form, slip into the pool bit found nothing in the cloudy water. The next room was similarly submerged, but this time with no path around and a small boat hitched at the shore.

Aurelio, Hope, Tobias, Lord Godard, and Wizzleficks piled in the boat, and once again the gnome summoned a floating disc for the halfling to ride on.

Three crocodiles reared up at the floating food tray, attempting to snatch the halflings. One manage to get a bite on Theadric, but it was slain by Tobias’ spear-cast before it could drag him under. The other two died quickly thereafter, the Oldfur Sword and Hope’s longbow being particularly deadly.

Eventually, they arrived at a door that was swollen shut. Heccabus, still in the form of a rat, wriggled under it to investigate the room and was almost immediately discovered troglodytes. Narrowly avoiding becoming the saurian’s dinner the familiar returned and warned Lord Goddard.

Unfortunately, Tobias couldn’t get purchase on the sodden door. In frustration, Lio snatched the academic’s warhammer and began bashing the door in. With help from Goddard and Milo, the door was quickly cracked open. However, the room was now empty.

They bashed in the next door without preamble and found themselves facing a foul-smelling gang of troglodytes.

Wizzleficks blasted them with a spray of scintillating light and then fell back, leaving one blinded.

Goddard called forth a crown of madness, causing one of the trogs to attack its blinded ally. Then, several of the creatures attempted to rush into the room before Tobias and Aurelio could fully block the doorway.

While the two humans kept the remaining troglodytes out, Theadric and Hope took on the ones that had managed to enter the room while Milo blasted them with bolts of fire.

Goddard continued to wield the enchanted troglodyte as a weapon, and Wizzleficks disentangled himself from the fray, so that he too was able to blast the remain enemies from afar.

Soon the troglodytes were slain, and the heroes continued on, coming to the room Derrick had marked as containing a mad priest and his undead.

Tobias pried the door open with his crowbar, revealing a room much drier than any they’d seen so far. The light from Theadric and Milo’s spells on penetrated about half way in the large open room, casting the single central column in shadow.

As they entered, two rotting undead forms stepped out from behind the column, and Theadric, Aurelio, Hope, and Tobias rush in to meet them, and cutting them down quickly… or so they thought!

The creatures reassembled themselves in a gruesome display that so unnerved Tobias and Hope so that they dropped their weapons and fled the room.

Now that light was shed on the back of the room, the heroes could see the mad priest and his pale, armored acolyte.

Goddard, Milo, and Wizzleficks quickly took down the coffer corpse and Theadric and Lio were freed up to rush forward and engage the priest and what they quickly learned was a wight.

The source of their fear removed, Hope and Tobi re-entered the room, the historian casting a spell to allow him to charge in at speed and engage the priest.

As the battle began to turn against the cleric a secret opened in the wall at Tobias back open. And out rasped the voice of Explictica Defilus, the Reptile Goddess!

A bolt of lightning ripped from the secret entrance, clipping Tobias and hitting Lio and Milo straight on. The chaos sorcerer and the already wounded paladin went down.

Hope healed Milo and Aurelio, while the others finished off the priest and his undead warrior.

Milo, restored, blasted the naga with webs, hoping to hold the Reptile Goddess in place.

The naga, unconcerned, cast an energy draining spell on Tobias. Although he made his saving throw, the damage was enough to drop him into unconsciousness. The next round, the naga cast a spell of sleep, but only succeeded in causing Wizzleficks to succumb.

The gnome was soon woken, and he, Milo, Theadric, and Tobias unleashed a barrage on unerring bolts of magical force at the beast. Lord Goddard join in with bolts of eldritch blasts and Hope with arrows.

As it weakened under the hail of magic the Spear of Vathris looked directly into the naga’s mesmerizing gaze…

…and chopped its head off.

The Chapel - Silence Restored

Session 8 – 3/8/2015

After taking a long rest in Shar’s room, the mute priest presented the party with a note. He reveals there is a very strong sinister presence in floors below. Additionally, he mentions that another paladin bearing a striking resemblance to Lio also passed this way a few months ago. Unfortunately, Shar has not heard from him or his companions since they descended.

Upon reading the note, Lio immediately descended the stairs. The party proceeded to gird their loins and followed.

A dimly lit church and chanting greeted the party at the bottom of the stairs. It appeared that dozens of people were participating in a ceremony. They were mostly arranged in rows of pews with a black robed priest and red-robed acolyte at the head of the room. Large black tapestries with the same foreign symbol hung throughout the walls of the room. Theadric determined the symbol was that of Orcus.

As the ceremony progressed, the group found they could not move. The priest turned out to be a vampiress who slew the acolyte and drank his blood. The priest/vampire proceeded to take the remaining blood to ‘bless’ the congregation with it.

She noticed the party when she reached the back of the room. She used the opportunity to taunt them. She took particular pleasure in taunting Aurelio about his brother.

When she returned to the black altar, Wizzleficks was compelled to join her there.

This caused some of the party to shake off the enchantment which prevented them from taking action. A monumental battle took place pitting the adventurers against Vanessa (the vampiress), the human parishioners, and two ogre zombies!

Highlights of the battle include:

- Vanessa disappearing leaving the party to play ‘what’s behind this curtain’.
- Milo webbing many of the commoners attempting to flee the church
- Milo also managed to surround himself in grease
- Tobias broke the spell on Wizzleficks
- Wizzleficks put many of the non-webbed worshippers to sleep
- Theadric almost single-handedly defeated a zombie ogre
- Goddard landed a few heavy-hitting eldritch blasts on Vanessa
- Vanessa created an area of rotten odor which incapacitated some of the party
- Hope brought Aurelio back from the brink of death multiple times

When it seemed Vanessa might be able to pull a victory, Lio took the Ring of Three Wishes from Hope’s unconscious form. He used the ring to wish their enemies and his brother would trade locations. With that, Vanessa and the ogre disappeared and his brother’s body appeared on the altar.
Lio saw his brother’s deathly pallor and knew he was no longer with the living. But, when he saw his brother’s eyes open, he knew what he had to do. He threw himself onto his brother’s body to hold him down on the altar. He ordered the others to slay him. Between Tobias and Theadric, they removed his head from the rest of his body.

Wizzleficks then asked for the ring from Lio. He used the second wish from the ring to perform a full restoration on Lio’s brother.

Initially, Lio was overwhelmed to see his brother returned to full life. But then his brother revealed he willingly took the ‘gift’ of vampirism in hopes of furthering the cause of Vathris with his newfound power.

Lio, in typical Lio fashion, challenges his brother to a duel to the death. His brother refuses to fight. Then, Lio attempts to reason with him by telling him to return home and confess his sins. This too, his brother refuses. Having run out of options, Lio eviscerates his brother in the middle of the defiled church. Thus, ends the miraculously saved life of his brother.

Once Lio’s brother is dead, the party goes about searching the church level. In the process, Dr. Blackstone pulls back a curtain to reveal a horrific statue of Orcus. He, Wizzleficks, and Goddard happened to be looking at it which causes them to go mute.

The statue resists all attempts to harm it. Tobias manages to drag the statue outside, but still cannot harm it and the curse has not lifted. When the group returns to Shar’s room to rest, Shar reminds them of the prophecy they showed him earlier. The group then thinks they need to find Venessa and destroy her.

After their rest, the group goes outside to find they are able to damage the statue now. Additionally, a pock-marked limping man shows up with a sack dragging behind him. Goddard’s sponsor shows up as well (but only he can see her).

She explains she was unable to harm Vanessa while she was in the chapel. But, once she was teleported outside, she was able to quickly finish her off. The vampiress’ remains were in the bag along with an amulet which Goddard’s sponsor reveals is now his. Goddard’s sponsor had given it to Vanessa, but is now giving it to him.

It is called The Amulet of the Blood Mage. Once he attunes it, any time he casts eldritch bolt, he can chose to add 1d4 in exchange of expending one of his hit dice.

Unfortunately, the curse has still not abated. The adventurers decide to explore the lower depths of the chapel in hopes of a cure or at least a clue.

The lower level is one large chamber again. In it are rows upon rows of skeletons standing at attention to the forms of the king and queen seen in the dreams. The party fought through the skeletons. When they approached the thrones, the king and queen motion pleadingly. Knowing what to do, Lio and Theadric run the nobility through. At that point, the entire chapel shudders as the evil finally is banished. The party then participates in a procession taking the corpses back to the top floor where they are re-interred. As a reward, they are given a hidden cache of lapis lazuli gems.

Having completed their duties, Goddard finds he now has the capability to transport the party home. During their next long rest, he performs a transportation ritual again and they appear… in the midst of a refugee camp.

A very brief conversation with one of the refugees revealed they were fleeing giants in Geoff. The group did not spend much time talking with them. Instead, Theadric asked to use the last wish to teleport his friend Talis to him. Once she appeared, she attempted to attack since she was still under the power of the reptile god. The group was ready and Tobias easily subdued her.

Tobias, Theadric, and Wizzleficks went to see Ash to try to remove the enchantment on Talis. The rest of the group went to gather supplies.

On the way to Ash’s, a child messenger delivered a message to Theadric asking him to meet with an unknown person alone. Theadric followed the kid to a remote part of town where he came face to face with Derrick (the man who he saw holding the cage gate in Father Abrams’ chamber).

Derrick explained that he was not really a member of the cult, but had been pretending to be a follower for reasons of his own. However, since his fleeing of the battle with the party, the cult was now after him as well. He offered to lead the group to the lair of the reptile god so he could be rid of them for good.

At Ash’s house, Talis had the enchantment removed for which she was very grateful. Wizzleficks went to visit Father Abrams who was now being housed in a shed outside of Ash’s because his broken mind made him dangerous to himself and others. Wizzleficks handed the stabbed doll to the man which seemed to tear open psychic wounds.

The Chapel - Married and Buried

Session 7 – 2/15/2015

Wizzleficks, Milo, Theadric, Hope, and Tobias had the following dream:

The chapel seems filled with light and a happy throng of people. It is apparent that a wedding is in progress. Just as the priest pronounces his final blessing upon the betrothed pair, the scene fades.

A new scene follows it – a scene as sorrowful as its predecessor was joyful. Again, the chapel is full of people but this time all are weeping. A funeral procession escorts two shrouded bodies to their tombs and tearfully places them within. Once again, the priest pronounces a final blessing and the scene fades.

A third scene follows. Again, the chapel is full of light. The adventurers themselves are the only ones in attendance, but suddenly they are struck dumb with surprise as the figure of a lovely woman appears at the altar. Silently, she beckons to the party, and each member senses a promise that person (the one who is having the dream) boundless reward if they will but follow her.

Just as that character steps forward, there is a blinding flash and a stalwart man suddenly stands beside the lady with a sword in his hand. While the lady begins the weep entreatingly, the man steps to prevent anyone from approaching her. He sadly shakes his head in refusal of the lady’s pleas. The scene then gradually fades and each character awakens

Goddard’s dreams were rather more troubling. His fiendish patron used them as the medium of communication, and tasked him with the removal of he former… client.

Aurelio slept the dreamless sleep of the righteous.

Upon awakening the party found itself in a region distinguished by sheer cliffs and dangerous precipices. It was quite cold and windy. A small chapel could be seen in the distance, the same one from the dream that most of the heroes shared.

Uncertain (except Goddard) of their location or even if it was real and not a continuation of the dream, the heroes cautiously approached the chapel. Entering they found the sanctuary in ruins, a desecrated tomb, and a stone altar.

After the discovered groves in the floor next to the altar they were able to quickly find and trigger the hidden mechanism that allowed the altar pivot, revealing a stairwell spiraling down into the cliff.

Here they found a large room, similar to the honeycomb layout of the sanctuary above. In each of the six alcoves was a painting affixed to the wall that would come to life as soon as light fell upon it.

Carved in the floor, just at the entryway of each alcove was a line of text. Thus the text circumscribed the central chamber.

They heroes investigated each alcove, writing down the text and facing the contents of each painting in turn. After defeating orcs, goblins, an ogre, and a minotaur, and freeing a mute warrior named Bran (so he wrote his name), they had collected the text:

when the light of life comes to lifeless eyes and mortal sword slays flesh immortal then will the dumb speak the dead die the dark god topple and the chapel of silence be again

Further searching revealed a door hidden near the base of the stairs, and the party descended with Bran in tow.

They arrived in a smaller hexagonal room, with a single door in each wall. Each door lead to a hexagonal room with an altar at its center, three prayer benches before it, curtains of a single color hung on the three far walls, and three skeletal warriors in vestment (color matching the curtains) kneeling before the far walls.

Lio (or was it Goddard?) kicked aside one of the skeletons while investing what was behind of of the curtains causing all of the undead warriors to rise up and attack the party.

The heroes withdrew into one of the outer rooms to create a choke point, and after a well-place web spell commenced with the grim business of dispatching the shrine’s eighteen protectors.

After littering the ground with crushed bones and torn vestments the adventures when back to searching the shrines.

Unfortunately for Wizzleficks one of the shrines was already occupied with tomb raiders who weren’t interested in sharing what they’d found.

The young cartographer’s screams brought the others running to his aid, and the pair of thieves were quickly defeated.

Theadric and Hope found the first of six hidden chambers behind the central curtain in each of the shrines. Theadric also found the first of three trapped chambers, and would plummeted to his death as a pit opened beneath his feet had Hope not grabbed him quickly enough.

After that Lio and Tobias methodically searched each hidden entrance for traps, and the good doctor used mage hand to open each door from a distance whether a trap had been found or not.

Within the chambers them found a number of items, several of which they took with them. And in one of the chambers they found a stairwell descending farther down.

The contents of the shrines lead the adventures to believe that each was tied to one of six deities: Merikka, Heironeous, Procan, Obad-Hai, Zilchus, and Velnius.

Goddard sent his imp familiar, which had taken the form of a raven, down to investigate the chamber at the bottom of the stairwell. There the invisible fiend found a rather large sleeping cockatrice.

Lio and Theadric snuck down the stairs and slew before it could wake.

The rest of the group then descended, and on existing the chamber found another central hexagonal room with a door in each wall. On this sub level of the chapel the masonry had suffered a number of cracks, and was a good deal worse for wear than the levels above.

In the first room they found Shar, an ancient and undernourished priest, who live Bran could not speak.

The floor of the outer section of Shar’s chamber had fallen away, exposing it to the open air of the cliff face. Shar wrote that he has set himself to defend the breach from evil creatures that would invade the chapel.

Shar offered the heroes the safety of his chamber, should they need to rest, as the shrine within wall still hallowed despite the breech.

Theadric, noting Shar’s emaciation, offered up some of his rations, which the priest was grateful to add to his larder.

The next chamber that was investigated contained stirges, which were promptly bathed in magical flame.

The following chamber was the home to a wight, hiding in magical darkness. The dark presented to impediment to the devilish sight of the imp, and Goddard’s prompt warning was all Lio needed to close the door.

The wight, enraged by the presence of the living just beyond his door, left the relative safety of its darkness and entered the central chamber to fight the heroes. This proved to be the last in a long line of poor choices the wight had made in its life and subsequent unlife.

On the defeat of the wight both it and the darkness of its lair dissipated. It left behind its armor and sword. The chamber contained stairs heading yet farther down into the cliff.

In the next chamber was a pair of trolls engaged in an activity that no one wanted to witness. So the heroes withdrew to Shar’s chamber to rest and recover from the battle with the wight.

After resting the group decided to slay the trolls, so as not to leave something so dangerous behind them as they descended into to lower levels.

Even caught in repose the trolls proved to be almost too much for the seven adventures to handle. After the battle they returned once again to Shar’s chamber, though this time to rest for the evening.

Fire Sale Followed by Cleaning out the Basement

Session 6 – 2/1/2015

While at the mayor’s house they learned that Ash had indeed been able to help Bethany regain her memories.

The strange changes that had afflicted Theadric during the evening raid on the Temple had begun to subside, now that the full moon had set. With a little prompting from his friends the duelist approached Ash for a diagnosis.

Ash revealed that he suspected lycanthropy, and asked some questions about how the halfling might have contracted it.

Milo felt that the changes started shortly after the Oldfur Rapier had left Theadric’s possession. Unfortunately it had left with the morning courier and was already halfway to Seaton where it was to be repaired.

The heroes took the rest of the day to recovery from their injuries. On the next morning, while eating an early breakfast a boy arrived with a message for Wizzleficks that a message had arrived for him at the general store.

The wizard headed over to the to collect his message. Milo and Hope joined him, planning to purchase some supplies.

No one in the group remembered that the family running the general store had disappeared some time ago and it had been their daughter that they’d rescued the previous morning from the crocodile cage.

Tobias and Lio tucked into a second helping of breakfast, Theadric continued to pore over the cryptic writings his father had left him, and Goddard pulled out some cards to help relieve his friends of any loose coins.

While Hope and Milo perused the wares at the general store Wizzleficks went to the counter and inquired about the message waiting for him, which the proprietor promptly handed over.

While the gnome read up on the dues he owed to the Keoish Cartographers Guild, and the bard and the sorcerr continued to browse there was a loud thunk.

Wizzleficks looked up to find that the proprietor had disappear, the windows were shuttered, and a couple burning lanterns had been spilled out onto the floor. Confused and concerned about this sudden turn of events the three arcanists tried to leave, only to find the door barred from without.

Hope was able to put out one of the oil fires by smothering it with the contents of a large bag of salt. Milo attempted to burn his way through the door with magical acid, but soon realized he wouldn’t be able to accomplish the task quickly enough.

They managed to break through one of the shutters, creating an opening that the two smaller heroes could escape through. Wizzleficks exited first, only to be confronted by the shopkeeper and his family, each brandishing a club with the clear intent of beating the cartographer to death.

Around this point word had made it back to the common room of the Dying Minotaur that there was a fire at the general store.

When Lio, Tobi, Theadric, and Goddard arrived at the storefront, they found a harried Wizzleficks, four dead or unconscious townsfolk lying at his feet, a burning building, and a few panicked commoners running about.

Aurelio rendered aid to the laid out shopkeeper, while Wizzleficks recounted what had happened. The cartographer arrived at the part in his story where the shopkeeper tried to assassinate him as said shopkeeper regained consciousness.

While Tobi restrained the shopkeeper and shouted at the commers to get a bucket brigade going, Aurelio bound the two magically slumbering accomplices. The remaining supine form had suffered from a terminal case of Milo.

Hope and Milo arrived on the scene. They had made themselves scarce, not wanting the blame for the fire to fall on themselves.

Benjin Wolf also arrived around the same time, teenaged attendants in tow, and began asking questions. He declared his skepticism that this was cult activity, and on seeing the odd symbol at the bottom of Wizzleficks letter asked if he knew what it was.

Wizzleficks told Benjin that he assumed it was the Symbol of the Keoish Cartographers Guild. Benjin informed him that it was not and refused to provide any further details to the wizard.

Hope did recognize it from her time spent in Seaton. It’s the symbol of a secret organization called The Seekers.

Ash Tidecaller soon arrived and with a spell confirmed the evil chalice’s influence on the surviving assassins. Dorian and his guards took them into custody.

With the fire under control, the heroes returned to the Temple of Phyton.

The guards at the temple had been hearing noises from the room with the trapdoor and had piled more furniture atop it just to be sure nothing could climb out.

After emptying out the room, the heroes opened the trapdoor and descended the stairs below it.

Here they found long passageway. On the left was a brick wall with a door, and at the end of the passageway was a rope ladder leading to a hidden entrance to a place beyond the temple walls and out of view from the town.

Theadric climbed the rope ladder, and wedged a piton into the door at the top to prevent it from opening.

Next the party opened the door with Fr. Abrams’ keys and found themselves in a maze, the walls all made of brick and covered in spikes.

An ogre lumbered down the hall ready to slaughter the intruders. Goddard, thinking quickly, ducked behind a wall and transformed his features into those of Fr. Abrams, and the instructed the ogre to go back to bed. To the heroes relief the ogre did just that and was soon fast asleep.

The heroes navigated the maze to its end, another locked door, and descended to the caverns below.

The party halted as a particularly large mushroom appear that the edge of their light. Lio warily shot it with an arrow, causing it to shriek loudly. A couple more arrows silenced it, but the alarm was sounded.

They moved past the deflated shrieker, descending further into the caves below and eventually came to a fork in the path. Both passages lead into pools of muddy water, and the went left, trudging slowly and carefully through the muck.

As a group of troglodytes came into view at the edge of the party’s light a crocodile lunged out from the muddy depths and slash Theadric with jagged teeth.

While Theadric and Tobias stabbed at the croc, Lio loosed arrows and the rest of the party hurled spells at the trodglodytes.

A second group of trogs came in from behind, cutting off the possibility of retreat. They also had a crocodilian pet, which slipped into the muddy water and snatched Milo in it’s jaws and began its death roll.

The paladin slung his bow and drew steel as he rushed back to deal with the croc. While it was distracted by this threat to its meal Hope pulled Milo back from the jaws and suffused the wild mage with energy from the positive plane, closing his woulds and restoring him to consciousness.

With a spell Wizzleficks sent three of the first group of trogs to dreamland. Buying Theadric and Tobi the time they needed to slay the crocodile they were fighting.

Aurelio and Hope slew the other crocodile with their swords and Milo and Goddard rushed to meet the trogs behind the group and unleashed a hellish furnace of eldritch flame, killing all four.

Tobi charged forward to engage the remaining troglodytes, now desperately trying to wake themselves. Their claws and teeth proved little use against the historian’s armored form, and while he held them the rest of the group slaughtered the foul odored lizardmen at range.

The heroes search the nesting area, Theadric found a place where something appear to have been buried and with Tobi’s help dug up a chest. Lio found the appropriate key to open it and the found a mass of coins and a brooch that Theadric recognized as belonging to Talis, his missing childhood friend.

The also found two locked rooms, that once again Lio was able to open with Fr. Abrams’ keys. The squalid rooms appeared to have once housed prisoners, but were now empty.

Theadric and Tobi dug through the room for evidence of humanoid remains, but found none.

The party returned to the surface, slaying the ogre in its sleep on their way.

The group reported their findings to the mayor, and spent the rest of the day and the next reprovisioning for a trip out into the swamp.

After speaking with Vilma Merridi to learn the direction she had seen the troglodytes travel into the swamp, they headed out into the Hool Marshes.

About midday, they were attacked by a group of giant frogs, intent on eating the halflings and the gnome, who were just the right size for their gullets. The amphibians were dispatched quickly and the heroes moved on.

After a day of travel the heroes made camp. As was now his habit, the increasingly cautious cartographer cast a spell to warn the him of approaching danger. Watches were set, with Goddard taking first.

While his companions slept, Lord Goddard Second Baron Altier laid out the candle and scroll for the ritual that would transport them to the Good Hills so that he could perform a task for his patron. He lit the candle and spoke the words, and descend into a dream filled sleep….

Off to the Temple

Session 5 – 1/19/2015

As the Town Council of Ravenport concluded their business with the heroes Hope steps forward and declares that she has composed them a song as a gift. She began to sing.

The bemused faces of the council members quickly shifted as the bard sang of their wisdom and the value of their guidance in this most troubling time. And now that they were receptive she wove in the exploits of the heroes that the mayor so wisely engaged to investigate the mansion and uncover the smuggler’s plot.

The room fell to silence and a number of pleased council members thanked her for her performance as the group look their leave.

As they finished their early dinner at the Dying Minotaur the heroes’ conversation turned quietly to the Temple of Phyton. They agreed that they was recuperate this evening and approached the temple by stealth a few hours before dawn.

After dinner they headed over to Haskel’s office where Marva, Haskel’s wife, distributed their reward (Dr. Blackstone took part of his reward in the form of a 100gp value pearl). Inquiries were made about businesses in town that might sell or repair weapons and armor, and they were given directions.

The group also asked about having the four gems they’d found in the upper floor on the mansion appraised, but Marva told them they’d need to come back when Haskel was in the office for that.

Theadric visited the smith hoping to have his heirloom rapier repaired. The smith peevishly turned him away, stating that the work he was don’t to make a shovel for a local was of far greater value than the repair of the sword, and no amount of money would change his mind.

The armorer was then consulted about the sword, but said he lacked the skill to repair such a fine weapon. He did however know a sword-smith in Seaton he felt could work on the blade. Theadric left the blade with him to make the arrangements for the repair and purchase a rapier from the armorer (with a 50% markup due to the demand for steel).

Hope purchased a suit of studded leather, and Dr. Blackstone declined to purchase a new breastplate, since it was priced out of his reach.

They turned in early for the night and prepared to head out of the inn around four o’clock in the morning. As they passed through the common room to leave they encountered Misha, who stated that she intended to go with them to the temple to help save it and begin to redeem herself in the eyes of Phyton.

Concerned about a reversion Tobias asked Wizzleficks if he would cast detect magic to make certain no magic had been used unknowingly against the group.

Misha was still unmarked by the evil enchantment, and the only malign magic was the cursed stone in Theadric’s possession.

Goddard, unwell, remained at the inn, and with Misha in tow the rest of the party headed out to the temple.

They arrived at the Temple of Phyton, and found the gate to the outer wall barred.

Tobi threw his grapnel over the wall and climbed the ease of long practice. Once he made it to the top for the wall he could see two shambling forms moving about in the yard.

Two elves chose this moment to quietly reveal themselves to the rest of the part, still waiting outside of the gate.

Speaking in Elvish, which only Theadric and Wizzleficks understood, the pair of elves introduced themselves as Llywillan and Dorian. These were the names the mayor had given the group the previous day as the town’s temporary constables.

They were there to deal with the cultists, and voiced their skepticism in regard both how to treat the cultists and out group’s ability to employ stealth. And they made no secret that they didn’t buy Misha’s defection from the cult.

While this conversation continued on in tense whispers Lio motioned to Tobi to climb down the other side of the wall and open the gate. Tobi responded by signaling that he saw two figures in the courtyard and motioned for Lio to climb up first, which the warrior of Vathris promptly did.

While Lio kept a bead on the shamblers with his bow from atop the wall Tobi quietly climbed down into the courtyard and removed the bar from the door. The ill maintained hinges of the gates groaned loudly as the good doctor opened them.

Drawn by the noise four undead temple servants and a pair of undead wolves began shambling to the gate. One took an arrow to the chest from Lio the moment it turned toward the party.

The group made quick work of the undead, with only Tobi and Theadric taking minor injuries.

The temple doors were also barred, so Wizzleficks and Milo battered them with spells until they became a smoking ruin.

Milo cast light on Tobi’s shield, and the historian stepped into the nave of the lightless temple.

There was no one in the room, and the only feature of note was a gem encrusted silver chalice on the alter.

In the bright light of the Milo spell it became clear that Theadric was still keyed up from the fight with the zombies and his cuspids and hair had visibly lengthened. Concerned, but uncertain of what to do the party continued with their mission.

Misha and the constables stayed in the nave while the rest of the party moved cautiously through the temple to the stairs to the upper floor.

The door to the stairwell locked, as they would find nearly every door in the temple. And when the door was opened they were assaulted by the stench of decay.

After ascended the stairs and arriving at another locked door, Hope was unable to pick it. Nor was Tobi able to get good purchase with his crowbar. So, they stepped to the sides of the door and Milo and Wizzleficks battered it to flinders with an eldritch fusillade.

As the smoke cleared and the light from Dr. Blackstone’s shield entered the room, they were confronted by a dozen skeletal warriors wielding bows and swords.

Wizzlefick cast a spell of protect on Tobi to ward him against undead and then the good doctor shoved his way into the room, Lio quick on his heels.

As the undead crowded in around the warrior, Milo unleash a wave of flame, roasting the skeletons to brittleness, and leaving them easy targets in the melee. The battle turned quickly in the heroes favor at that point, and soon their foes were nothing but a pile of bones at their feet.

As they searched, Theadric found a scrap of paper that appeared to be torn from the journal of a madman that made reference to a book.

Aurelio tried to open the furthest door from the stairwell, but as usual it was locked. Tobi and Lio popped it open with a crowbar, revealing a small library.

The group searched the room hoping to either find the book or the journal from which the page Theadric had found had been torn. They found neither, but did find a few more pages of the journal.

One of those pages mentioned a silver chalice.

The party rush down to the main room of the temple to find Llywillan standing over Misha, chalice in one hand and weapon in the other. Dorian was looking on in disbelieving horror.

As Llywillan’s blade descended Misha called out for Phyton’s protection and a bright light deflected the elf’s blade. (Since her rescue, Misha had been unable to channel her deities’ power.)

Thwarted, Llywillan dropped the chalice and fled out into the predawn darkness. Blood spread out from the silver cup onto the floor.

Wizzleficks collected the chalice into a cloth, being careful not to touch it. Even so, he could feel its call for him to drink from it.

Dorian was sent to get help from the guards.

The heroes returned to the second floor, this time bringing Misha along to wait at the top of the stairwell.

Hope was able to unlock the door, revealing a small room. The search of which uncovered another page from the madman’s journal. At this point, they group was able to determine that Fr. Abrams was the madman in question.

Another locked door lead from that room which they forced open by crowbar. This lead to a small hallway, and a room with four goblins.

Tobias and Lio rushed forward to harry the goblins, who were armed with bows. They biggest, clearly their leader, used one of the smaller goblins as a shield to protect itself from Aurelio’s lethal blades.

Secret doors opened in the hallway and the previous room, out of which poured a goblin ambush, cutting off Lio and Tobi from the back ranks.

Hope and Theadric’s rapiers gave answer to the goblins trap while Milo’s chaotic magic inadvertently saved him from an attack.

Wizzleficks, trusting in his arcane ward to protect him, ignore the goblin trying to slaughter him and instead sent the three smaller goblins fighting the paladin and the academic into a magical slumber.

Seeing the tide turn the boss goblin slipped out of reach of sword and spear, ran for the door at the back of the room, and began fumble with the lock on the door.

The Spear of Vathris would have none of that. Lio leapt the big goblin and calling upon the might of Vathris’ vengeance he ran it through.

Tobi ran back to the hallway to aid Milo and Wizzleficks, while Hope and Theadric slew the rest.

Milo took out the last of the goblins with the butt of his staff as it tried to flee back through one of the hallway’s secret doors.

Now that they had a key, Lio made sure the door that the goblin boss had been about to open was locked, and the heroes withdrew to the library to recover from their wounds and make certain that Dorian and Misha were unharmed.

Somewhat recovered, they unlocked the door and entered an ill-constructed room, its walls covered in blood and refuse and more pages scattered about the floor.

From what could be pieced together, Fr. Abrams’ wife, Penny, had left him and he made a deal with some entity to get her back. The deal went poorly.

They pass through a zigzagging hallway that ended in a room with a few tables and a pile of boxes. As they entered, two zombies, Bertram and his cook Snigrot, shambled out from behind the boxes.

The undead were put down quickly and dismembered. The boxes were searched, and appeared to only contain rotten vegetable matter.

Wizzleficks discovered a secret door at the back of the room. When they entered, it revealed a bizarre tableaux.

Three misshapen stone statues array before them. In the center of the room, were two zombies: Laurel and Penny. Along the right wall, near the back of the room was a divided cage. The near side contained a bedraggled girl, the far a crocodile.

Along the back wall from left to right was Fr. Abram, and man holding a rope, and a large jade statue of a naga. The rope the man held went to a pulley attached to the ceiling, and from there to the divider at the center of the cage. His hand was this only thing keeping the divider from falling and allowing the hungry crocodile to eat the child.

Fr. Abrams rambled madly and Derrick, the man holding the rope, demanded they allow him and Abrams to escape, or else the woman would be eaten.

It was at this point Abrams inconveniently ordered the zombies to attack the heroes, cutting short the parlay.

The madman then called upon his dark goddess to banish Hope from the world. She found herself briefly on the frozen plains of Stygia, and naked form called to her from within the ice below her feet. It said, “Hope, you should not be here!” Then, she returned to her companions by sheer force of will.

Theadric charged forward, leapt atop the cage and jammed a dagger in the eyelet to which the rope was attached to the divider so that it could no longer drop.

Lio, Hope, and Tobi rushed the zombies while Milo struck the mad priest with a bolt of fire.

Wizzleflicks cast a spell of sleep on Fr. Abrams, to which he succumbed.

Derrick let go the rope (to no effect) and fled to the back right corner of the room, where he dropped down through a hidden trapdoor to the room below (Misha’s, it would turn out).

Theadric, overcome with rage leapt from the top of the cage and dropped down through the trapdoor in pursuit, leaving the others to finish off the zombies.

After the zombies Dr. Blackstone moved over to the lip of trapdoor, intent to follow Theadric. That’s when Fr. Abrams supine form began to levitate off the ground and rotate so that he was upright.

When Abram’s eyelids opened, it was not the mad priest that looked out from black-on-black eyes. The creature spoke using the priest’s tongue and called on Orcus to summon four demons to attack the heroes. It then exited Fr. Abrams body through his mouth as a black cloud and flew past Tobi and down through the trapdoor.

Hope pronounced a thunder note, causing two of the demons to tumble back.

Wizzleficks placed a spell of protection on Aurelio, and the paladin charged forward into the line of dretches while Tobi attacked them from behind. Soon, the vile dretches went down to a hail of spell and steel.

Tobias stepped to the door of the cage, intending to release the captive woman, but was blinded by a magical glyph. The others were able to find a key to the cage on Abrams’ person and freed Cirilli, putting Abrams bound and gagged form in her place.

Theadric returned, unsuccessful in his hunt, and filled with rage. He shoved the jade statue through the trap door, smashing it to pieces before Tobi and Lio could stop him.

Wizzleficks hid the evil chalice in the iron maiden, and the party returned to the nave, where they found Dorian with two town guards. The heroes left them to explore the rest of the temple for danger.

In the meditation rooms, they were ambushed by three monks, two originally of the Scarlet Brotherhood, and one whom Wizzleficks recognized as Arisel!

They heroes took quite a battering from the monks before they could be subdued, taking two of the party down with them.

Lio slit the throats of the Scarlet Brotherhood monks while Wizzleficks and Misha tended to Arisel’s injuries.

In the last cell, they found a secret door beneath the rush mat. Heavy furniture was placed over it they left for the mayor’s house leaving Dorian and the guards to watch over the temple.

At the mayor’s, they found Ash Tidecaller tending to Bethany. Ash removed the enchantment from Arisel while the heroes discussed what they found to him and the mayor.

At some point during the session we figured out that the magic of Theadric’s heirloom sword was suppressing certain changes that it’s bearer might undergo.

Mouthy Mouth & Seastatue Investigation
Session 4 - 1/04/2014

After the party dealt with Sanbolet and his crew, they spoke with Ash Tidecaller. They found out he was originally from an island in the Azure Sea and relocated to Ravenport a long time ago. He was observing the group to ensure he could trust them.

He relayed his suspicions of the Father Abrams being a cult member and requested the party deal with him before the situation in Ravenport got worse. He also healed some party members of their wounds and promised to cure Bethany of her amnesia once he found the proper herbs.

A couple of things happened while this was going on. Wizzleficks tried out one of his new spells: detect magic. He soon discovered/confirmed a few items in the group were magical. More importantly, he was able deduce Misha was ensorceled. When he revealed the information to everyone else, Ash was able to remove the condition.

The other event only witnessed by Goddard was a visitation by his sponsor. She seemed relatively pleased with his progress, but wanted him to take care of matter in the Good Hills. In order to get there, she provided him with a black candle and an incantation to read while everyone was nearby.

Although Goddard’s companions could not see his patron, there was a moment when Theadric could feel her affect. At this point, Goddard denied her and told her they were his friends.

Once the enchantment was removed from Misha, she was confused. Her last memory was from over a year ago and the acolyte had no recollection of anything she did in the meantime. When Aurelio explained everything she’s done, it was too much for her and she broke down crying.

The was some debate on what to do with the smuggled goods. Eventually, it was decided to move everything up into the secret alchemist room except for one bolt of orange silk (which Hope took) and a cask of brandy.

The party spent the night in the caves living off the food stored there. The night was uneventful and they awoke the misty morning of Earthday, 20th of Ready’reat.

As they left the front door of the manor, they encountered what was originally mistaken for children playing with garland coming from a sack. Upon moving closer through the mist, they realized it was not children, but a group of goblins who had slain Sanbolet.

Unfortunately for the goblins, the group of adventurers were now seasoned fighters and slew them easily.

As the group approached the carriage, a magic mouth activated. It was set by Sanbolet and meant to be a threat to the group. Instead, though, it ended up recording his last words/screams.

When they reached Ravenport, they found it even more quiet than normal. At the constable’s house, there were two corpses hanging from a tree: Grover’s and Dillon’s. Both had had parchments stabbed into them proclaiming them to be cultists.

The adventurers continued on to the mayor’s house where they found him speaking to Mr. Wolf. Apparently, Mr. Wolf had just discovered his accountant (Jack) had been embezzling money by accepting smuggled goods and keeping the tax money for himself.

Under the guise of checking the accounting books for enchantments, Wizzleficks scanned everyone in the room enchantment. He was relieved to find, no one in the room had the same magical aura as Misha had.

Aurelio attempted to get the Mayor to place him as Constable. The mayor declined stating he already had someone in mind for the job.

Both Bethany and Misha were left in the Mayor’s care while the party planned their next steps.

When the party left the house, there was an large black bird perched on the carriage cawing at Tobias. Tobias found the raven was carrying a message which he read to himself. It was from his senior at the Grey Academy requesting a status on his mission to investigate the giant statue remains.

Dr. Blackstone relayed his predicament to his friends. They then decided to set out to the statue to see what could be found.

They hired an old crippled salt named McKraken to guide them and an old rowboat. When they got near, they saw a Scarlet Brotherhood boat at the statue. Unfortunately, they were not able to row fast enough to stop them. Aurelio fired a shot at the boat in the hopes of hitting one of the three scoundrels. They did observe one of the monks was especially odd. He was extremely pale and wore goggles over his eyes. They also saw the monks throw three crockery into the interior of the statue before setting sail.

When they reached the statue, the party found it was slowly sinking. There was a six fingered handprint where the door should be. No one could open it until Hope tried.

Inside the door, the group descended the spiral stairs leading down.

At the bottom of the stairs was strange room with Ancient Suloise writing, a chair, a wall sized scrying screen, an alcove, and a console with many gauges, knobs, and switches. Everything was in disarray and sparking. This was no doubt the work of the Scarlet Brotherhood agents.

As they were taking this all in, the group was pummeled by three grey oozes. No doubt left behind to deter the group. The heroes managed to fend them off, but sustained some damage (Tobias’ armor and warhammer; Theadric’s heirloom rapier).

The battle was over relatively quickly, but the statue continued to sink during this time and water started coming in down the stairwell.

Tobias began translating quickly. He ascertained the statue was actually a way-station to help those who were ‘worthy’ to find the lost city of the Kwalishay. He also found controls to stop the flooding into the compartment they were in.

Meanwhile, Wizzleficks sped up the winding stairs to try to escape what he deemed would be a watery grave. The flow of sea water down the stairs was almost too much but he persevered and made it to McKraken still waiting in the boat outside.

Although Tobias knew how to work the controls he could not make them respond to him. It wasn’t until Goddard decided to sit down for a rest that the controls became active, but only active to him.

Between the two of them, Goddard and Tobias sealed off the chamber they were in. Then managed to re-emerge the statue and pump the stairwell of water.

Seeing that the statue came back up, Wizzleficks dared to descend to rejoin his friends.

Tobias explained to the group the way station was some sort of test. Without hearing the full explanation, Theadric entered the alcove which promptly closed on him. He was immediately seen on the scrying device in a foreign room.

Unfortunately, Theadric failed the test and was not heard from after. The stunned party didn’t know what to do until Aurelio volunteered to enter the now empty alcove. He also failed, but the group could see his every step on the monitor. Hope was the last and successfully solved the riddles.

Once completed, the previous two test takers were released and the machine produced a paper-thin, clear sheet with dots on it with a string of Ancient Suloise numbers along one edge.

with their new-found information, the party left the waypoint and returned to the docks of Ravenport.

Council Meeting

As soon as the party returns from the waypoint, a guard at the docks informs you the council would like to speak to you. He leads you up the same hill as the mayor’s residence, but to a different building.

The guard announces your presence and leads you in. The council is arrayed before you with their various assistants. You recognize some of them (Mayor Ormand, Mr. Wolf, Haskel, and Belba). The others you have not seen before and are not introduced.

Zacharias stands and formally congratulates all of you. He also informs you the council agrees to pay each of you 500 lions for your work uncovering the smuggling ring. Additionally, they will pay you 850 lions for the contraband.

He motions to Haskel as he tells you to pick up your payment from him once the meeting is over (which should be in an hour).

[If you have any questions or comments for the council, you have a brief moment to speak]

Smugglers and Concussions

Session 3 – 12/21/2014

Jason, Jacob, and Mike couldn’t make it this session. Erik played Goddard in Mike’s stead, which is why he seems a bit muted.

Further exploration of the skeleton room led to the discovery of a secret chamber, containing one very dead alchemist, several items he’d managed to transmute to gold, and his spellbook. The spellbook had been hidden in a secret compartment accessed from the underside of the dead wizard’s work table, the latch to which Wizzleficks found.

The transmuted items included a human skull (500g.p.), an apple (100g.p.), and a rose (150g.p.). In addition there were five gold discs of the type used for assaying (10g.p. each).

Near the entrance of the chamber were three open copper pots. They were empty, and no one is quite sure as to their purpose at this point.

The corpse was clutching a 4 oz. stone. Theadric experimenting with it a bit, touching it to on of the assaying discs, the golden apple, a copper piece, and perhaps some other things I can’t recall at the moment. I should mention the alchemist’s notes implied be was looking to create a philosopher’s stone.

Lio found a few coins in what was left of the dead alchemist’s money pouch. These fell into Lio’s pocket. Anyone who noticed chose not to care.

The gold objects were placed in a sack and stashed in the barracks room where Hope and Milo guarded Misha.

Theadric and Wizzleficks noted that the stone in one of the barracks walls was different from the rest of the room. The halfling gave it a cursory look but couldn’t find any apparent mechanism for a secret door. Wizzleficks and Tobi set about it methodically and soon open the entrance to a secret cave. Looking for a mechanism for a secret door. But before they could enter they heard a bark.

The friendly dog that had interacted with Theadric on the way to the mansion was barking expectantly at the top of the cellar stairs.

We’d mostly forgotten about the friendly dog, and I don’t think he made it into the adventure log for last session.

Theadric, Lio, Wizzleficks Sylvester Fenthwick Breakenbrack, Tobi, and Goddard went up to the kitchen and followed the dog who led them up the stairs to the second floor. On the way there Wizzleficks heard a thumping overhead.

Using the direction of the sound as a guide the group turned right at the top of the stairs and started looking in each room in turn. The first was full of webs, so they passed on. The second had a dead goblin in a bed, so another pass. The third room’s door was locked.

Theadric attempted to kick in the door, but it didn’t budge. So Tobi moved up and applied a crowbar, opening the door with a crack and destroying the lock in the process. Within they saw a bound and gagged woman in naught but her small clothes.

Tobi moved into the room with the intent of freeing her. Fortunately, Theadric warned about the damaged floor stopped him from going any further. The much lighter halfling move pass the tall human and carefully walked over to the supine woman, keeping close to the wall, which appeared to be the safer course.

Theadric freed her and helped her from the room. Tobi provided her his cloak and the group began talked to the woman. She had a remarkably deep voice, believe her name to be Bethany, but claimed to remember little else.

It’s interesting to note that Theadric is damn strong for someone comparable in size to a six-year-old human, and is tied with Aurelio for second highest Strength score in the party.

Wizzleficks Sylvester Fenthwick Breakenbrack tried to ask the dog its name, but got little more than incomprehensible woofs for his troubles.

The group then explored the remaining rooms and found what appeared to be Bethany’s possessions, allowing her to dress. Her clothing was finely made, implying a high station in life.

They also found a loose floorboard containing a chest. The crowbar made another appearance and the chest was opened. Tobi removed the bundle of documents. Lio searched through the rags in the chest, locating a bag of uncut gems. The documents appeared mostly to detail the history of the mansion’s sale but at the bottom of the pile was a scroll of hold person.

After searching the rest of the second floor they returned to the room with the webs and discovered and slew two spiders, though not before Lio was bitten by the venomous arachnids. A glittering from the fireplace turn out to be a piece of crystal of little monetary value.

Next Tobi lifted Theadric and Wizzleficks up into the attic. While exploring Theadric was attacked by a pair of stirges that had been nesting in the rafters. The blood loss overtook the halfling quickly and he went down. Wizzleficks tried desperately to pull himself together and Tobi and Lio leapt up and scrambled into the attic to protect their friends.

The bloodsuckers were killed and Lio healed Theadric, returning him to consciousness.

Tobi destroyed the nest in the rafters with his spear. A ring fell out of the crumbling mess and rolled over to Theadric. He promptly put it on, and nothing immediately horrible happened.

The group headed back down to the basement barracks. Tobi did his best to explain to Bethany about the bound and gagged Misha and the tiefling she was about to meet as they descended.

After showing Bethany where the food stores were Theadric and Lio lead the way in the caves, with Goddard, Wizzleficks and Tobi following close behind.

After traveling through the caves for a few minutes, and narrowly avoiding some ceiling-growing green slime the adventurers came across an effective wall of crates and barrels.

As they were trying to quietly examine was was on the other side of the stacks of merchandise they were hit by a blast of scintillating color, leaving all by Lio and Theadric temporarily blind.

Lio saw the numerous forms milling behind the wall of goods he called for the group to fall back, out of the open and lead the withdrawal.

As the party withdrew the thugs cracked open a crate of daggers and began hurling them over the barrier, injuring Goddard as attempted to fall back.

When his vision had cleared Tobi rushed forward to protect Wizzlefick’s retreat from the humans who had climbed over the barrels and the bow wielding gnolls who were fast approaching from further down the passageway and had shot the cartographer with an arrow.

Theadric encounter another gnoll the was moving to flank the party. But when he lunged his sword into it’s curiously silent form it was revealed to be an illusion.

As Theadric and Lio try to move back up to the fighting they were once again blasted with a spray of light and this time blinded.

Wizzleficks downed a healing potion while an angry Goddard started searing smugglers with blasts of eldritch energy.

A bank of fog appeared far to the rear of the fighting, near the entrance of the cave system, with a human figure at its center.

Theadric rushed forward to Tobi’s aid and Lio headed into the fog to face whatever it held only to learn it was another illusion.

Suddenly a flamboyantly dressed figure pelted past the front lines of the fight and down the passageway the gnolls had come from. Tobi managed to nick the illusionist as he went past.

They also learned from the shouts of the none-to-pleased smugglers that this eye-shatteringly ensembled fellow was their leader, Sanbolet.

One of the gnolls stabbed Tobi, and then two of the five knife hurling smugglers got lucky and Dr. Blackstone went down. Lio rushed forward and healed him while Theadric layed about with his deadly blade.

Wizzleficks Sylvester Fenthwick Breakenbrack, in a moment of bravery or insanity, rushed past the combatants, narrowly avoiding being stabbed. He then snapped open a spell scroll and with an uttered word stopped the fleeing spell-slinger in his tracks.

Tobi regained his feet and he, Theadric, Lio, and Goddard finished off the gnoll and the smugglers on there side of the crates.

The smugglers ignored Lio’s demand for surrender.

The cartographer step around the frozen illusionist and yanked the spellbook he was fleeing with out of his hands.

Tobi and Lio charged over the crates, Tobi injuring one of the remaining thugs and Lio, like some vengeful demon, swooped down and slew one outright.

This time Lio’s demand for surrender was met immediately.

Meanwhile Theadric had moved up to hem in the held illusionist. And just it time, as Sanbolet finally broke free of the spell.

Sanbolet, unable to comprehend the extreme danger posed by his waste-high attackers ignored the gnome’s demand that he surrender and instead demanded his spellbook back.

Lio’s arrival subdued illusionist, however, and he reluctantly surrendered. Though still demanded the return of his spellbook.

I’m pretty sure I got a number of things out of order in the big combat above.

Tobi and Goddard questioned the three surviving underlings, learning a number of details about the operation, including the name of the ship doing the smuggling and her captain (Sea Ghost and Snake Eyes respectively).

In exchange for an oath from Lio for Sabolet’s safe passage more detailed information was provided, including the lantern signals used to communicate with Sea Ghost, the name of their primary client (Benjin Wolf), and Bethany’s identify as the daughter of the Viscount Salinmoor. Bethany’s amnesia was suggested to be a knock to the head when she was subdued.

As the party prepared to release the smugglers back into the wild Sanbolet made one more attempt to demand that his spellbook’s return. Lio, as Wizzleficks, Theadric, and Tobi looked on in horror tore out a page from the book containing magic mouth and hand the jagged piece of paper to the illusionist.

After the release the dog revealed himself to be a man named Ash Tide-Caller, who had been observing us, uncertain of our character, but now feeling that we were not bloodthirsty thugs ourselves had decide to approach us.

Ash is concerned about the unpleasantness happening in the region and seems to be hoping to share information, and perhaps resources with us.

Is Ash a low level druid looking for allies? A mid-level wizard planning to send us hither and yon on his business, whether we realize it or not? A silver dragon looking to set things to rights? An avatar of Zagyg out to screw with us? I’m going with druid.

Eric pointed out that a number of the barrels had been filled with brandy and that there might have been quite a boom had some more fiery spells been slung. Hurray for loot surviving the battle!

Misha Jumps Bond and the Haunted Mansion

Session 2 – 12/7/2014

The group returned to the Bog and Barrel to share information and decide what to do next. While they discussed this the town constable, Grover Ruskadell, arrive with Deputy Donovan, a well dressed man, and two teenagers.

The well dressed man was introduced as Benjin Wolf, councilman and owner of Bertram’s debts. After the travelers’ introductions were completed (with the exception of Hope, who linger back at the stairwell), Benjin informed them that he’d come to collect the Bog and Barrel and get it cleaned up and operational as soon as possible. To that end he asked that they might vacate the premises, saying that he’d already let the Dying Minotaur know they’d be needing rooms and lamenting the loss of the Golden Grain Inn to a recent fire.

Dr. Blackstone assured him that they were planning to head out to do just that and asked if councilman Wolf would care for a tour of the secret tunnels the cult had placed beneath the inn before they left.

Benjin looked askance at Grover; the constable had not mentioned this wrinkle to the councilman. Tobi then proceeded to show the councilman his new secret tunnels, as well and the hidden hallway in the walls of the private rooms of the inn.

Wizzleficks Sylvester Fenthwick Breakenbrack showed Bejin the maps he had made of the tunnels and offered to sell him a copy. Benjen did indeed want a copy, and a price of 5sp was agreed upon, with a 1sp down payment tendered and an expectation of delivery within a from the day.

The party headed over to the Dying Minotaur, ate a meal, set watches and then slept through the night without incident. Aparently Belba and Alwin, the inn’s proprietors, have a tradition of not kidnapping and brainwashing their guests.

The next morning the party prepared to attend services at the temple of Phyton to investigate the possibility that Wizzlefick’s friend, Arisel Detcharoen, was in fact the redhead priestess that Lord Goddard, Hope, and Milo had encountered on the previous day.

The day was not to go as planned.

As they left the inn a boy scream for help came running up the center of the street. Local onlookers ignored him, even going so far as to close shutters and leave the street.

Aurelio immediately approached the boy to learn what was the matter. It would seem there was something terrify going on down at the seashore, and Colin – for that was the boy’s name – was convinced to take the group to see it.

After some false starts they determined that the floating head off the shore was an undead creature, possibly a fresh zombie, tied to an anchor. While the party dealt with it Colin was sent to get the Father Abrams, in part because of the undead nature of the creature but primarily because Colin thought the creature looked like Fr. Abrams’ daughter, Laural.

After putting the creature back to rest the boy returned alone, saying he had been unable to speak to the priest. He was then able to confirm that the corpse appeared to have once been Laural Abrams. Colin was then sent to fetch the constable.

Constable Grover arrived with a steel encased Deputy Donovan in tow. He too identified the remains under Lio’s cloak as the Fr. Abrams’ daughter.

The constable said he’d take care of things from there, but that he needed us to do something for him. You see, the good constable was supposed to take Misha to see the mayor at noon, but Misha had magicked her way past Deputy Dillon and escaped.

After some back and forth Grover agreed to lend us his deputy, so that we’d be able to search with the constables authority.

The ground was still soft from the recent rain, and Lio was able to track Misha’s path from the local jail into the nearby countryside. The search ended abruptly when Lio slid into a well hidden pit trap, complete with an enormous poisonous snake.

As Theadric moved up to check on Aurelio the deputy attempted to kick the halfling into the pit. Fortunately, the duelist’s reactions we too quick for Dononvan’s betrayal, and Hope was able to send the clanking lawman over the edge instead on a wave of magical thunder.

A silence then descended on the adventures, with the exception of Lio, creating further confusion. Milo thought he saw some movement behind some nearby bushes and attempted to flush out the source of the mystical silence.

The others bombarded the snake and the deputy with spells and thrown weapons. Unfortunately, Lio, outnumbered, went down with the snake’s poison in his veins before the snake could be killed.

Donovan hurled his spear at Lord Goddard in retaliation for the magical fusillade, and wounded the half-elf.

Misha stepped out from behind the burning foliage and gloated at the party, mentioning a halfling the cult had taken. She then dropped the silence and attempted to ensorcel the weakened baron. However, Goddard’s will proved too strong for her to overcome.

After the spellcasters finished off the snake Tobi and Theadric dropped down into the pit to deal with the deputy and protect Lio. Donovan managed to get in one nasty cut on the good doctor before a fire bolt left the deputy’s head a smoking ruin.

Misha then went down under a hail of magic missiles. The party was then able to stabilize, bind, gag, and blindfold the priestess.

Lio’s unconscious form was pulled form was carefully raised out of the pit, and his wounds attended to. Donovan’s corpse was stripped of its armor and possessions and buried in a shallow grave. And after a brief rest they also learned that the spear Donovan had been wielding was magical. The impromptu bounty hunters then headed back to the jail, arriving a little late, at about half past noon.

After taking in the description of the ambush Constable Grover attempted to take custody of Misha. Aurelio, justifiably furious, made it clear to the constable that Misha interview with the mayor would include the him and that he would be acting as executioner immediately thereafter as punishment for her crimes. The cowed constable did not object.

Shortly thereafter they arrived at the mayor’s residence who seemed somewhat perplexed by the arrival of constable and his rather large entourage.

While Lio, Milo, Constable Grover, and Deputy Dillon remained outside with Misha the rest of the party entered the residence for a private conversation with Mayor Zacharias Ormond.

The mayor, it would seem, was living in fear of his own town. Long time friends had become strangers. He’d been harboring doubts about the constable and could no longer trust him. However, since he didn’t know who he could trust anymore he couldn’t do anything to replace him either. He offered to keep Misha in his own basement, or allow the party to retain custody of her.

Further he offered the group a lead as to the cause of Ravenport’s troubles, saying that numerous stories had arisen regarding activity at the abandoned mansion outside of town, near where the party had been ambushed.

The party members decided that they’d keep Misha as their prisoner, not wanting a third confrontation with the cultist and that they would investigate the mansion. The mayor then offered up his coach and horses to convey them there, which the party accepted.

The party camped at the ambush site that night, and then headed up to the mansion at dawn.

They made a circuit of the dilapidated building, stopping briefly to investigate the well, which had lost its rope and bucket. Milo caused a stone to glow with magical light and it was dropped to reveal the great depth of the well.

The travelers then entered through the kitchen, and while making a cursory examination of the room were attack by three enormous centipedes, which were quickly dispatched.

Next they entered the cellar door. On attempting to descend the moldering stairwell a feeling of intense dread swept through the party, causing several members to run out of the building in magic-induced fear.

Eventually those affected by the magical trap were convinced to attempt the stairwell again, and this time the group was able to enter the wine cellar without issue.

In the cellar they found racks full of broken wine bottles, bins of refuse, and a dead Knight of the Watch. It turned out that both the bins and the corpse were infested with what appeared to be rot grubs. Tobi was able to collect the dead knight’s broach and belt pouch, and was able to learn from the broach that this had once been Sir Abelard Secunforth.

While investigating the bins a rot grub managed to burrow into Theadric’s arm. Thinking quickly he drew a dagger and sliced it out before it could borrow deeper and then travel into his heart and kill him.

On further investigation of the cellar Goddard found a secret door in one of the walls. Entering summoned a quasit, which stabbed Theadric. It was promptly slain.

The secret door opened to reveal a sort of barracks, complete with several simple cot-like beds and dry food stores. Two doors lead off of the main room, one to a leaders private chamber, the other door – appropriately marked with the word “danger” – a room infested with skeletal undead.

The leader’s chamber boasted a small trapped chest with caused Hope’s hand to turn blue. Lio layed hands on her to remove any poison; this caused the tiny would left by the needle trap to close but did nothing for the discoloration. The box had been found beneath a loose stone under the room’s bed by Wizzleficks, and contained three potions. The bookshelf above the table in the room contained a few valuable books. The table boasted a hooded lantern.

Lio tasted the three potions in an attempt to discern their qualities. The best guess to their properties are a potion of healing (pale yellow), a potion of water breathing (pale blue), and a potion of either vigor or haste (green).

After ransacking the leader’s quarters the hooded lantern was aimed at the door marked “danger,” which the party preceded to carefully enter. Then, using the door as a choke point they fought and defeated a fair number of skeletal warriors.


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