Outcasts and Refugees

Oh Gnoll He Didn't!

None of my fellow adventures were injured — only humiliated — after the black-slime-damaged bridge collapsed, dumping them in the river. While they wrung out their clothes, I explored upriver, and unlocked the portcullis gate. Dimming my lantern, I scaled the wall, pausing when I heard voices. The guards (Fraternity of Tharos members?) had been alerted to our presence. I prepared to attack from the shadows, but my bumbling compatriots made a ruckus, and the fight was on. We prevailed, but only with difficulty, as their priests hurled powerful magic at us, binding our lips, and nearly killing me with blasts of death magic. It is good to have Rivyett back with us — her magic is powerful indeed. Dvallin healed me — not the first time and probably not the last. How many of my lives have I spent?

I discovered a hole in the ceiling — exploring it further a sliding ladder was released, and we ascended into a chamber. We discovered a temple of sorts, a status of Orcus, the demon prince, and a tapestry depicting a massive battle between undead warriors vs. elves and men. I relieved myself on the statue (and was not struck down), while Kelgar discovered a passage behind the tapestry. I can only hope that our king Aedric’s map is true.

This time, my attempts at stealth worked, and we surprised and defeated a massive pack of gnolls. Aedric slayed many with his sword, Kelgar felled more with his thorny magic, and Dvallin summoned a huge guardian creature that was truly terrifying and effective.

Onward! I hope we can swiftly defeat the Fraternity of Tharos, and save the unfortunates who have been their prey. It’s good to be swinging a sword again, fighting the good fight!

Session 39- The crypt and the creature

I broke with the Harpers on fair terms. All but one may not have guessed my real reasons. I imagine I will be but a minor blip in their long memories.

I practiced hard under their tutelage and was eager to show off my new found powers. What better way to do so than with the Shadowbane Alliance? They always know where evil lurks so that I may hone my skills for good, and need never venture back down a dark path just to test my limits and power…

Luckily, the Harpers were headed in the same direction as the Alliance, and I arrived at New Sarshel not long after the rest of the party. The first place I checked was of course the temple of Kelemvor, where they told me of the inn my fellows occupied. When I arrived it was like old times, with me expertly deflecting the course jests of Kelgar and Strog. It seems I was not the only one to learn new tricks…

They told me about a cavern with insidious goings on—hooded figures stealing children in the night. Perfect. Just the place to test my new skills.

The very next day, we tried an unexplored part of the caverns and found ourselves in a crypt, with 4 stone tombs baring the symbols of Corellon and Pelor. As we were making our way out and into the hall, we were attacked from behind by a flock of sterges! Excellent! This was my chance to see if I could still inspire fear in lesser beasts. My reaction was too slow however, and one latched onto Aedric. Unphased, he easily stabbed the creature with his sword. They were attacking the others too, but my fear soon crept in, and the creatures backed away from me. Distracted by the image of terror, they were at a disadvantage to our attacks and we soon ended them.

We made our way further yet into the caverns to find a running stream. Crossing over it on a wooden bridge, Dvallin cast a ray of burning light onto a mound of algae below. I thought this perfectly stupid, especially for him, until it reared up! It was a creature! It began to attack with acid-laced blows, and I attempted to sap its life away with blight. This worked well, except that it broke into two functional pieces. Aedric dropped the Nai-Ruatha into the stream, and had to retrieve it. While below the bridge, he and Strog had a good go at the creature until it was nothing more than slime.

The bridge, however, collapsed under the strain, and those of us who made it to the other side helped up those still below. We will have to be clever in getting back…

Session 38- New Sarshel

The lads reached New Sarshel and signed in with the guards at the gate upon entry.
They acquired a place at an inn, but in typical fashion, Strogg decided to pay for all six rooms of the entire second floor for two tenday.
Going about their business:
1.)Dvallin found out about the recent exodus of priests from the temple of Kelemnvor (one of Faerun’s largest) and went to setting it back into a state of function and order, with help from sympathetic priests of other orders and local worshiping volunteers.
2.)The three stooges set off to glean information on the Grand Council, it’s members and practices, and what the problems were plaguing the city and it’s countryside.
It seems that the headman at the center of The Grand Council was a Behroun Marhana, elder and head of House Marhana. Strogg attempted to lure Behroun out with a bluffed business proposition, but it only proved that Behroun was as private and seldom-seen as tavern tales reflected, and that House Marhana had some gullible family members in it’s administrative offices.
Kelgar had devoted some time to sneakily following the patrols of officers in his old station, the Swordpoints. Most of it was yeilded no leads, but this was where the party first heard talk of the Fraternity of Tharos. Strogg associated the name with the old ruined city of Dunn Tharos, in the Great Dale’s northern forest, the Dunwood.
It seemed, through various sources, that this strange group of robed, shadowy folk could be behind all manor of local trouble. Including the disappearance of the daughter of a dear friend of the innkeeper, and other missing persons.
Some information led the three to investigate one of the city’s catacombs near a large, windowless tower, in an older part of the city. But after being attacked by a strange serpent of water and the specters that haunted the tomb, Strogg looked sick and emaciated. It didn’t stop him from venturing further to a room beyond locked portcullis, that turned out to be guarded by the mummified owners of the chamber’s treasure. The mummies were laid to dust and ash though, and treasure was taken.
The group was faced with the decision to advance further into the complex, or retreat to address Strogg’s obvious condition.

Session 37
The Road to Cormyr, the sea to Impiltur.

The Harpers and The Shadowbane Alliance continued to Suzail. On the way they passed the foothills of the Stormhorns and noticed the dung of carnivorous apes that usually reside higher in the mountains. In the village outpost of Valkur’s Roar, they found that hunter’s had been running into more and more of the beasts in the hills. Kelgar bought an ape pelt.
The group finally made it to Suzail and rested. The Harper’s left for Myth Drannor the next day and Rivyet revealed that she would be joining them.
The party continued to do stuff, but I don’t remember what. They got an adventuring charter for Cormyr and the King was impressed with the Nai Rutha and Aedric’s claims of royalty. He revealed Aedric’s presumed mother to be a member of the royal Orbaskyr line and presented a few personal documents that might add weight to Aedric’s existence.
The party boarded a ship that carried them and their mounts to Lyrabar in Impiltur. They almost got robbed by some kids and decided not to stay in the thief ridden waste of a city. They rode further east, and were ambushed by a pack of gnolls, which were quickly dispatched. But as their blood seeped into the soil, a demon was somehow summoned in the middle of the road. Instead of instructing them to play the best song in the world, the demon attacked them. It was defeated and whisked back to the Abyssal Plane, and identified as a Vrock.
The party continued and arrived at the gates of New Sarshel.

Session 36
5e Conversion

We converted characters (except Dvallin and Rivyet) to 5th edition and then played the world’s longest game of Munchkin.

Session 35
Loose ends

A ship was chartered and the party headed back to Athkatla, in Amn, and returned the Scroll of Unseen Lands. Aedric was given more historical information about Impiltur and his presumed heritage.
The party stayed near a month in Murann, waiting for Kelgar’s armor and living the easy life.
They then embarked, some with new mounts, on the long road to the heartlands. Eventually the party took a break from travel at the Borskyrr Bridge, a bridge and everchanging town of merchants and travellers. Rivyet witnessed the return of Mystra’s Weave of magic and spells all over ceased to function in their familiar format. Seeing a band of elves, two of which were sculpting small spells, the party made introductions and spent the night exchanging tales and information.
The two bands decided to join each other in travel, at least as far as Suzail in Cormyr, where the party would continue to Impiltur, and the revealed Harpers would continue to Myth Drannor.

Session 34- Dear Gods! Real Sunlight!
(From the annals of Kelgar Ironspine)

After talking to that “tiny” gold dragon with My Lord Ardich, holding the Eel at bay from the blessed wyrms hoard, and patching up our gear, my comrades and I decided to bed down and regain our might. Good thing too, My Lords new sword, The Nai Rutha, lead us indeed to safety but first through a small nest of Slime God worshipers.
Damned things blacked out a whole room with some fowl icky spell, and one of the tricksters go vanish! Not a fair fight! Even with these overwhelming odds, the Eel wriggled passed the cloud of night and with some of my help dispatched a dual-knife wielding curr.
While the battle raged the devilish trickster thinking he was mightier then our Doom Guard, was pinned to a wall by Sir Adrich. Swiftly put down with the combined might of the Lady Rivet and Dvallin.
After a little clean up and another look through the Nai Rutha’s magic handle, A tree with something a different about it was spotted. With caution and keen eyes we discovered a way home! Without delay we entered the portal and emegered in a clearing close to a town, after a little searching we found a wagon and group to travel to Waterdeep. After paying bills and collecting on bets and the like, we all went about our time spending our newly found wealth. Armor was commissioned, Statues were ordered, along with many other necessities and bobbles! Damn its good to see the Sun again!

Session 33- The Final Battle
(Strogg's Journal)

Never had I seen such a horde. All manner of decaying, putrid creatures greeted us in the great cavern. Skeleton warriors, giant scorpions, and ghouls formed the front guard, but in the back we saw the shadowy forms of giant undead trolls.

In my usual friendly manner I stepped forward greeted the undead army, attempting to initiate a parley. Could we not find some common ground? After all, we had not come to this dark plane to kill undead (except, perhaps, for Dvallin), but to find the great elven sword. In response I heard a dark voice from deep within the cavern, swearing to dismember me, or some such nonsense.

A fight ensued, and I do not exaggerate when I say it was the fiercest in my life. Not once, but many times did I expect death to find me, and once it nearly did. Only the self-sacrificing actions of Dvallin saved my soul. All of us were wounded, all badly. We fought with perhaps less coordination and strategy than we usually manage; it was if some of us were in a fog. Kelgar swung his mighty axes, Aedric his fearsome sword, Rivyett hurled dark spells, and Dvallin brought himself near death in attempts to keep us going. My sword bit into so much undead flesh that I lost count of my opponents. My finest blow was from my humble sling, I brought down a giant troll from fifty feet away.

Their leader was a dark knight that Aedric, Rivyett, and Dvallin had encountered before (and thought defeated). His sword glowed with purple malice, but faded once he was felled. Servants of Shar, all of them. I tried to imitate the evil goddesses voice with my new trinket, but it fooled no one.

Exhausted, we searched the cavern, but found nothing except two deep holes. Descending one, we came to an intermediate cavern. We could hear water below. Committing, we descended further, and came to the lair of a great golden wyrm (the “tinyest of dragons” … or was it the “tidiest of dragons”?). His pile of treasure was so vast that I trembled with gold-lust. Kelgar held me back, lest I sign our collective death warrant. The ancient creature spoke; it was known to Aedric and the others! An exchange was made, an elven parchment we carried, for the Nai Rutha itself. Aedric finally held the legendary blade. So fine it looked, I daresay I considered stealing it in the night and running off. But where would I run? And I could not leave my comrades alone in this wretched plane. Together we fight, together we live or die.

I hope to see sunlight soon. I have great plans for how I will spend my significant coin. I fear that soon my pockets will be empty again, but that is the way of Strogg. There will always be more gold to find and take, from those who guard it less than vigilantly.

Session 32- Undead!

The group reentered the caves at the lowest and southern-most entrance, but not before Strogg commanded his ring to make a ghost sound of flatulence behind Aedric. The plan was to follow the path they hadn’t yet taken, and where the flaming skull told them that there were numerous ghastly undead.
Upon entering the cave, they found undead. Zombies. Further down and south, they found more undead. Skeletons, one which had 4 amrms and a deadly scimitar in each. Then they followed the tunnel which was long and bent south west. It opened into a huge cavern containing a veritable army of…?…UNDEAD!
Start writing adventure posts.

Session 31- The much awaited hydra.

So the players headed back into the caves, through the cave entrance they had left from. They followed a long tunnel that climbed slowly upward. They came to a chamber with natural rock columns where a pack of ghouls attacked them. Soon it was revealed that they were subservient to an Intellect Devourer who badly injured Aedric and took control of his body. Aedric mindlessly wandered toward a tunnel in the rear of the room, but won control of his mind before going too far. The group then slayed the rejected beast.
Rivyet found a human hand sticking out of what had been a passage that had collapsed. She found a magical ring on the hand and believed it to be that of the wizard who the flaming skull had spoken of. Strogg took the ring.
The party decided to follow the path in the rear of the room. It seemed to zig-zag with great drops and headed east. The tunnel grew cooler and wetter with each step and soon they could hear the great falls of Skull Ridge. The tunnel opened to an enormous cavern flooded with waist deep water and islands of rock that reached the ceiling. And of course, a gigantic hydra.
The beast let out a deafening roar and went for it’s newly arrived meal. The party tried to fight, but it took all of Dvallin’s healing magic to keep them from dropping like the flies they were to this behemoth.
Finally, Strogg darted out from hiding and seemed to locate a crippling nerve cluster with his short sword. The beast roared, then fell unconscious. The group quickly left the cave through the wall of water from the falls.


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