Campaign of the Month: February 2012

Legacy of the Realms

"Hluthvar"
Scourge of the Sunset Vale Arc

Eleint 4-5, 1479, Year of the Ageless One


After two days of trekking through the Sunset Vale, the adventurers from Bear’s Head stood before the gates of Hluthvar. There was only over an hour of daylight remaining.

The escaped prisoner, Matteas, had led them here. Everyone recalled how he somehow managed to escape the town’s local jail in the dead of night. He said that the entire town had been captured by Zhentarim soldiers from Darkhold. Matteas also claimed that he heard horrific screams everywhere as he made his way out of Hluthvar and headed south in the Sunset Vale.

It was quiet and although there were no signs of life, everyone couldn’t shake the strange feeling of being watched. Crows perched menacingly atop the wall seemed to be staring at the group—or perhaps warning the group of impending danger.

The adventurers noticed that one of the town’s gate was left wide open revealing a dirt road that led deeper into the town beyond. As a light breeze blew in from the north, the group caught the scent of something dead and rotting.

But before you anyone can react, the dozen or more crows all around suddenly took to flight. Immediately, several holes appeared on the ground, sending clods of earth flying in all direction. From these holes, insect-like creatures emerged. Each had a long, thin body, roughly three or so feet long with a serrated spine and chitin the color of metal. The creatures had razor sharp teeth and a pair of mandibles that clicked menacingly at the group.

The group was surrounded.

Kruthik minion
Not missing a moment, Ang launched an attack against a nearby creature he recognized as a kruthik—ferocious reptilian, not insect, creatures that dwell in carved-out hives beneath the surface. Although known to exist in isolated hives across the Vale, kruthiks tended to remain underground rarely raiding the world above.

“Why are these kruthiks aboveground?” Caldreas, also recognizing the creatures, asked.

“Something must have driven them to the surface,” Deb responded as the halfling quickly made his way to Hluthvar’s wall, easily scaling it to perch himself on top. He was aware that kruthiks do prefer to live and hunt below the surface, venturing to the surface only on occasion and usually when food was scarse underground.

“Makes sense,” Lo-kag added. “In my village, I remember a kruthik attack that came after a tribe of troglodytes forced the kruthiks out of their lair. A war party from our village later found the lair and killed every one of the troglodytes.”

“Whatever these things are, they look hungry and very angry.” Winslow said as he moved to put himself between two kruthiks and Matteas.

Both reptiles launched a volley of poison spikes that struck Winslow. Bloodied, the paladin of Amanautor uttered a prayer to the sun god as he healed himself. Behind him, he heard Matteas cry out in pain as several spikes tore through his legs.

Lo-kag faced off with two kruthiks of his own while Deb, from on top of the wall, launched a deadly barrage of arrows upon any nearby unfortunate kruthiks.

And so the battle went on between the adventurers and the kruthiks. For several breaths, both sides fought ferociously. In the end, not one kruthik was spared despite one managing to crawl back down the hole it came out of. Ang struck a solid blow to its thorax or midsection causing a gaping wound to open. The fighter knew the kruthik would have to have the wound healed magically or bleed to death. The kruthik did not make it far down a carved out tunnel before it did bleed to death.

Unfortunately, Matteas was not spared. He died from wounds he suffered from the deadly spikes and the poison they injected into his body.

“We’re not alone!” Deb yelled from his vantage point atop the town’s curving walls. “I saw something fly or leap from the burned-out building to the nearby roof of the bakery—and it’s still there.”

Caldreas looked at the direction the halfling ranger was pointing to. There, on top of the roof, the Eladrin arcanist spotted a figure clinging to the bakery’s second-story roof garden. The figure had pallid skin and wore remnants of scale armor and a tattered cloak. It was also trying to hide. Caldreas recalled seeing a creature similar to what he was looking at.

“It’s a ghoul!” Caldreas yelled to the others.

Immediately, the ghoul came out from hiding and—to the amazement of the adventurers—pushed off the bakery’s roof and leaped towards a nearby tall building that resembled a wizard’s tower.

But Deb was quick to react. Leading the ghoul, the ranger let fly two quick shots that found their target. One arrow struck the ghoul in the arm, while the second shot buried itself in the ghoul’s leg and spun the ghoul in midair. Unbalanced, the undead fell to the ground crashing on top of thick thorny bushes nearly fifty feet below. Surprisingly, the ghoul wasn’t slain yet. It stood up, snapped it’s dislocated arm back into place and emitted a guttural scream at the halfling.

Meanwhile, the others quickly entered through the open gate. Inside, The streets of Hluthvar was deserted. There were no signs of life anywhere. Doors into homes and trade shops were left wide open. An abandoned wagon was visible further down towards the town’s center. A decomposing horse lay on the ground in front of the wagon, its belly torn open and its guts missing. The horse was still harnessed to the wagon.

It looked as though every living soul in the small town had simply vanished without a trace.

Img 7943
The group heard a loud crash coming from a nearby building, still slightly smoldering from having recently burned. What may have been an inn now sat in smoldering ruin. A charred sign still hung above a burned doorframe. Barely legible, the group could still make out the words, “Watchful Eye”.

“Ghouls! Come out and face your destruction.” Lo-kag bellowed a defiant challenge at the top of his lungs.

This town is ours! It belongs to the master.” The group noted that the voice was coming from somewhere inside the upper story of the burned inn.

Lo-kag pointed in the direction of the inn. “Then tell your master we’re here to take it away from him!”

Just then, several ghouls emerged from where they hid atop nearby buildings. Down one street, the group spotted a ghoul emerge from the balcony of a large weaver’s shop. On top of a two-story building with a sign proclaiming it as the town’s jail, two ghouls showed themselves and growled threateningly at the group. While another stood upon the rooftop of the burned inn.

“Brothers,” the ghoul on top of the inn said. “it’s time to feast!”

As one, the ghouls bounded across rooftops intent on slaying the adventurers. Caldreas used a spell against the ghoul on top of the inn, pulling it down onto the street below. The ghoul landed hard. Lo-kag immediately was on it with his deadly weapon. In vain, the ghoul tried to fend off the attack only to have its fingers lopped off by Lo-kag’s deadly blade.

Winslow, remembering the crossbow he left in the saddlebag of his mount, Valiant, ran back out to retrieve it.

Nearby, a ghoul clambered down onto the ground from atop a small cottage. It then sprung forward, clearing some forty feet before crashing into Ang and knocking the fighter. Ang grunted in pain as the ghoul clawed at him.

Img 7958
Meanwhile, Deb climbed down the wall and made his way towards a nearby stone tower. As he entered, he noticed a well inside and iron stairs spiraling upwards towards the tower’s rooftop nearly a hundred feet up. The halfling quickly made his way to the top and came out through a trapdoor. On top of the tower, Deb saw a small catapult with enough ammunitions nearby to sustain a long siege. Crenelated walls offered a clear view of the town below as well as the surrounding land. He also noted six other towers spaced throughout the circular town which was laid out like a wagon wheel. Quickly looking over, Deb spotted the two ghouls on the jailhouse roof. He fired deadly arrow after deadly arrow, severely wounding both ghouls but not slaying them outright.

At that moment, Winslow came back inside the gate. He shot and struck one of the ghouls in the leg. Ignoring the paladin at the town gates, the ghouls focused their attention at the halfling raining deadly arrows upon them. The two ghouls quickly leaped towards another building desperately trying to make their way to the ranger.

Deb’s well-place shot to one of the ghouls in mid-leap sent it hurtling down to the street below. Even from the tower’s great height, Deb heard the ghoul hit the ground with a bone-crunching sound. The other undead, though shot, managed to land on top of a building just a short distance away from the halfling. It howled in rage at the ranger, threatening to leap towards him at any moment.

“Come to the tower!” Deb yelled to the others below. “We can use this tower for a defensive position.”

Back down in the street, Ang felt an intense pain as the ghoul on top of him bit into his arm, tearing out a mouthful of flesh. The fighter did all he could to keep the ghoul from killing him.

Meanwhile, Lo-kag was still busy fighting off a ghoul in front of him. With a swing that could have felled a tree, the goliath struck the ghoul, slaying it instantly. Lo-kag then turned to face the ghoul pinning Ang to the ground. Winslow joined him as well.

Knowing Ang had helped from the others, Caldreas took a quick shot at the ghoul on top of the prone fighter with a deadly magic-missile. He then moved towards the jailhouse. Turning to look at the direction the two ghouls leaped towards, Caldreas noted that one ghoul made it to a nearby rooftop, while the one Deb shot slowly rose up from the ground. Unbelievably, despite the ghoul having clearly broken an arm and its back, the foul creature still had a lot of fight left in it. Caldreas began to bring to mind a spell he knew should finish off the ghoul.

Suddenly, the eladrin arcanist was knocked off his feet as a ghoul struck him from behind. He fell forward and felt a great weight on his back. A ghoul was on top of him! The ghoul stretched its jaw, threatening to tear into the back of his head. He could smell the undead’s putrid breath. Immediately, Caldreas called upon the innate power all eladrins have—and teleported on top of the jailhouse’s rooftop a short distance away. But just as he made it to the rooftop, the ghoul with the broken back and the ghoul from the nearby rooftop leaped onto the jailhouse rooftop to join Caldreas. The arcanist uttered a word and brought a bolt of lighting down upon the two, killing one instantly. A shot from Deb brought the other one down a breath after.

Meanwhile, the ghoul on the ground nearby growled in rage at having lost his prey. Wounded by an attack, it ran back inside the jailhouse.

**

The adventurers, having survived an onslaught by several ghouls, tended to their wounds. Winslow took his horse Valiant by the reigns after dumping Matteas’s body down one of the holes a kruthik emerged from.

Ang, Lo-kag, and Winslow then quickly made their way to the stone tower to meet up with Deb. On the way, they all noticed the body of a dead ghoul nearby. Caldreas recognized it as being the first one he saw on the bakery’s rooftop. The ghoul’s tattered cloak and pieces of scale armor resembled those worn by Zhentarim soldiers.

At the tower, Winslow led Valiant inside. They then bolted the door from within, as well as bolting the trapdoor leading to the top of the watchtower.

For the rest of the night, everyone wandered if anyone may have contracted the zombie plague from wounds suffered from the ghouls’ attacks. After spending the night at the tower, it was discovered that Ang was suffering from the plague. Using a ritual scroll, Caldreas cured Ang. The process almost took its toll upon Ang, who barely managed to survive the ritual of cleansing his body of the foul disease.

The group rested well into the night, taking their turns at watch. As morning arrived, the group gathered themselves for what they knew could very well be their last day together.


Adventurers:

Winslow, Ang, Lo-kag, Deb, Caldreas

Treasure:

Recently acquired: Pact Longsword +2, Plate Mail of Vitality +2, 5sp, 7cp, dirt encrusted jug with Zhentarim symbol and the name “Sergeant Petrus” inscribed on it

View
"Golden Acres"
Shadowblades Story Arc

Eleint 28, 1479, Year of the Ageless One


Gaerd De’barronn, stepped out of the Misty Forest and gazed upon the lush expanse of farmland known as Golden Acres. The farmland—all seven acres of it—was home to Goldentag Skaylebane, Rina his wife, and their young son Zak. Goldentag was a ranger who befriended Gaerd’s brother, Zaachaeus, when he left the Underdark and the drow city of Eryndlyn deep beneath the High Moor.

Since then, he had heard that Goldentag had died of old age. His body was buried next to an old cypress tree on his beloved farm. After the death of Goldentag, Rina and Zak lived on the farm for a while. They eventually moved away, but later returned to rebuild Golden Acres. Beyond that, Gaerd wasn’t sure what happened to Rina nor Zak.

A lone rider took Gaerd away from his thoughts of the past. Soon, a woman on horseback arrived. He immediately recognized her as Gomorrah Entreri, the young human woman he was suppose to meet.

“Well met, Gaerd,” the rider said as she dismounted. Fine leather armor covered her body accentuating her feminine features. A longsword—exquisitely crafted by the look of the pommel—was sheathed at her hip. He also noticed a shortsword at her hip.

Gaerd returned the greeting. “I wasn’t sure if you were going to make it,” he said.

“I wondered that myself,” the woman responded. “I ran into a patrol from Daggerford along the Trade Way. They wanted to know what I was doing on the road alone.”

Gaerd looked towards the distant farmstead. “And what did you tell them?”

“I said I was meeting a fellow member of my adventuring company near Golden Acres.”

“How far out of Daggerford do these patrols go?”

“They’re known to go as far south as Golden Acres and as far north as the Laughing Hollow.”

Gaerd started walking towards Golden Acres. “Let’s go for a walk. I need to pay my respects to an old friend.”


Halfway to the spot where Goldentag was buried, the ground suddenly began to shake. It was all Gomorrah could do to keep her horse from bolting. “What is it?!”

Gaerd unsheathed his weapon, ready for whatever was coming next.

Suddenly, something large burst out of the ground nearby. A monstrous creature, resembling a cross between an armadillo and a snapping turtle tore its way out of the ground sending huge clods of dirt raining down in all directions. The creature’s large head, covered in gray-blue plates and scales, turned to regard Gaerd and Gomorrah. It then looked directly at the horse whose reins Gomorrah was tightly holding to.

Bulette
Gaerd didn’t hesitate. He quickly cleared the distance between him and the creature he recognized as a bulette but commonly referred to as a landshark by most unfortunate enough to run into one. But as he got close to the landshark, it leaped. It’s powerful leg muscles propelled its massive frame clear over the drow. It landed next to Gomorrah’s horse and bit deep into its hindquarters, shaking its head from side to side. The horse desperately tried to break free tearing its rear leg in the process. The bulette chomped down hard on the equine’s leg dangling in its massive jaws with a bone-crunching sound. The horse managed to hobble a few feet before collapsing on the ground.

The drow reversed direction and launched himself at the bulette, driving his blade deep into the creature’s flank. It roared in pain and tried to bite Gaerd. He easily sidestepped the jaws and sliced the bulette just behind its head.

Just then, an arrow zipped past the drow, narrowly missing him. It bounced off the creature’s thick armored scales. Gaerd looked over his shoulder and saw four riders, range weapons aimed at his direction. The others fired as well, their arrows doing nothing more than to annoy the bulette. One of the riders, a sergeant judging by the insignia he wore on his armor, dismounted and ran up the bulette to fight it with his sword.

Meanwhile, Gomorrah tried to calm her horse. Blood flowed like a river out of its hindquarters. She knew it was just a matter of moments before it would bleed to death. But the tortured squeals it made made her wish she could end its misery sooner.

Carric took shots at the bullette but couldn’t penetrate its armored hide. The other soldiers who arrived with Carric also joined in the attack. They chose to use range weapons to keep a safe distance from the fierce bulette.

Gomorrah knew she couldn’t do anything to help her fatally wounded horse, so she drew her weapon and charged the landshark who was busy fending off attacks from Gaerd and the newly arrived soldier. She recognized the soldier. He was from the group of soldiers from Daggerford who were patrolling the Trade Way.

Her blade bit deep into the bulette’s leg. In respond, it twisted it’s massive body towards Gomorrah. It opened its massive jaws then quickly snapped it shut. Gomorrah barely had time to move her arm out of the way before the jaws closed, missing her arm by inches.

Meanwhile, Gaerd continued to cut into the creature. With each cut, the drow knew he was quickly wearing it down. If only he could get a clean strike, the battle would be over soon.

As if the bulette had heard him, it dove headfirst into the ground. It’s powerful claws tore through the soil like it was water.

But Geard was not going to let the creature escape that easily.

He drove his blade deep into the landshark’s side, tearing it wide open as its massive body continued its descent deeper into the ground. Within moments the bulette lay dead with half of its flank sticking out of the ground.

Gaerd turned to see a sword pointed at him. The nearby soldiers on horseback had their crossbows aimed at him as well.

“I hope you know who you’re pointing your sword at,” Geard said with a calmness that made the sergeant take a careful step back.

“I see a drow and that is enough,” the sergeant said. “Who are you and what is your business here?”

“I see that Daggerford has soon forgotten those who had helped her in times of need,” Gaerd said. He kept a firm grip on his weapon, but he held it with the blade pointing down at his side.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“No, it doesn’t seem so,” Geard said keeping his composure. “I am Geard De’barronn, brother to Zaachaeus De’barronn. Over a century ago, my brother and I—along with some friends of ours—helped Daggerford and its then ruler, Duke Ged Greatshout, against an evil black dragon that had cleverly changed its shape and appearance to win the duke’s trust. I must add, that if weren’t for our help, your town would be vastly different than it is now.”

The soldier must have been trained in Daggerford history, for he lowered his blade and quickly ordered the saddled soldiers to stand down. “I have heard of you, your brother, and your friends. Your deeds in helping Daggerford and its people have been the stuff of legends in tavern talk and fire hearth tales.”

Gomorrah, who had watched the entire exchange between Gaerd and the sergeant, moved back to her fallen horse. She tried to calm the dying creature but she knew it was useless. “Please do something,” she pleaded.

Gaerd moved up to stand next to the horse. He took his sword and brought it down mercifully upon the dying horse. It twitched once and died instantly.

Gomorrah unsaddled the horse and freed it of its reins and saddlebags.

“I am Sergeant Carric of the Daggerford Militia,” Carric said sheathing his sword.

Geard introduced Gomorrah as a fellow adventurer. He added that they were making their way towards the High Moor when the bulette attacked.

Carric said that the area has been recently plagued with attacks from landsharks. Many local farmers have lost valuable livestock to the creatures.

“Who currently rules in Daggerford?” Geard asked.

“Duke Dresden Greatshout does…in spirit,” Carric said with a tone that suggested he wasn’t happy with Daggerford’s current political affairs. “He is a descendent of Duke Pwyll and has legitimate claim as Daggerford’s ruler. But in truth, the Council of Guilds has more to say about how the town is managed these days. To add to this, Duke Dresden is old and is in ill health. The duchess died nearly a decade ago while giving birth to their daughter, who also died soon after. With no heir many fear that with the Duke’s death, the Council of Guilds will gain complete control of Daggerford, its coffers, and its militia.”

“And who commands the militia now?” Geard asked. He knew that ultimately, whoever commands the soldiers had command of the town as well.

“Well, that’s debatable,” Carric said. “By the old laws as stated by Duke Conan, rulership of the town’s economic affairs is completely controlled by the Council of Guilds. This was done to allow Daggerford to compete with the city of Waterdeep in matters of trade. But the agreement gave military power to the duke and to all his legitimate heirs. But now, that old charter signed by Duke Conan is being largely ignored. Duke Dresden’s ill health is giving many in the Council reason to wrest control of the militia.”

“With no heir apparent, the Council can certainly do whatever it wants to,” Geard said. “Duke Conan’s charter makes it so.”

“What if there was an heir that can lay claim to the town’s leadership?” Gomorrah chimed in.

Gaerd turned to regard the young woman by his side. “You heard the sergeant. Duke Dresden has no heir.”

“Well, if there was such an heir, even one born out of wedlock,” Carric continued. “Then he or she can claim the duchy. But it’s a known fact that Duke Dresden was very loyal to his beloved duchess and so—”

“I’m not talking about an heir descendent from the line of Greatshouts,” Gomorrah interrupted.

Both Geard and Carric gave Gomorrah a puzzled look.

“I’m talking about a Delimbiyrian!” Gomorrah said. “Everyone knows that the Delimbyr line goes back even further than the bloodline of the Greatshouts; back to the ancient Kingdom of Man. The Delimbiyr line is of pure nobility and can lay claim to any rulership of Daggerford.”

“Alright, I’ll agree,” Carric said. “But you speak as though a Delimbiyr exists. All know that the line ended when the last male Delimbiyr, Garth Delimbiyr, vanished without a trace and presumably died over a century ago.”

Geard noted a smile that slowly began to appear on Gomorrah’s face.

“But a Delimbiyr does exist!” Gomorrah exclaimed with a tone that sounded like a young girl opening a present on her birthday.

“And how would you know this?” Geard asked.

“Because Garth Delimbiyr’s great-great grandson is here in Daggerford.”

Geard was truly perplexed by this revelation. “And how would you know this?” Geard asked. “Anyone can claim to be a descendant of the Delimbyrs. But that doesn’t make it so.”

“I agree,” Gomorrah said. “However, my sources are reliable.”

“So, where do we find the last of the Delimbyrs?”

“In Daggerford.”

“Sounds easy enough—”

“Not entirely,” Gomorrah cut in.

“What do you mean?” Geard asked not liking where the conversation was going.

“There is a problem.”

“There always is in these situations.”

“The ‘last of the Delimbyrs’, as you put it…doesn’t know he’s a Delimbyr.” Gomorrah said.

“What?” Geard said perplexed. “What do you mean he doesn’t know?”

“It’s a secret that’s been kept from him…to protect him.”

Geard felt as though the path laid out before him had just become a lot more difficult. He had many more questions to ask, but he knew they would have to wait. Right now, he needed to visit Goldentag’s grave to pay his respects.

**

The grave was barely visible through some undergrowth that obscured part of the marker where the legendary ranger’s remains lay in eternal rest. The huge cypress tree stood nearby like some vigilant sentinel.

“Legend has it that the tree is a treant who silently watches over Goldentag’s grave,” Sergeant Carric said. “Even the forces of nature holds the fallen ranger in high esteem.”

Carric and his men had followed Geard and Gomorrah into Golden Acres. They also offered to escort the two to Daggerford after.

Geard welcomed the soldiers’ company. He didn’t know how Daggerford would react to a drow walking up to the town’s gates. It was best to avoid confrontations when possible.

While Geard paid his respects, the guards dismounted and fanned out. They kept their focus trained on the thick copse of trees a short distance away. Gomorrah stood near the edge of the nearby stream.

Geard recalled the story of how his brother first met the ranger at this spot and how a raiding party of orcs had come upon the ranger’s pregnant wife who was too busy washing clothes to notice the orcs’ approach. Fortunately Zaachaeus arrived when he did. After he had slain the orcs, Goldentag arrived and understandably mistook the drow as a threat to his wife, Rina. After Rina conveyed what had happened, Goldentag thanked Zaachaeus. The two quickly became friends.

Geard touched the soft earth with his hands. Has it truly been that long since the days of Goldentag and others like Garth Delimbiyr and Eapoe? To a drow, time is but a fleeting moment. A century goes by like a soft, gentle breeze; felt but for a moment, then is gone.

A surprised yell from one of the soldiers broke Geard’s reverie.

He quickly turned and spotted one of the soldiers desperately trying to control his mount. The soldier was tugging on the horse’s reins to keep it from bolting. Geard also spotted an arrow stuck to the ground within a few feet of the soldier and his mount. Geard also heard Sergeant Carric giving orders for the men to keep alert and find the archer in the woods.

Geard scanned the thick woods but couldn’t see anyone. Whoever it was had skills in hiding. No matter. Geard knew it would simply be a matter of time before the sniper would give himself away. And when he does, Geard would be there to greet him.

While Carric and two of the soldiers carefully made their way into the copse of trees, Geard got up and moved to the west, hoping to flank the hidden archer. He moved quickly, using the bushes and low branches to mask his approach. Gomorrah, meanwhile, quickly ran to the base of the tree and tried to hide.

Now would be a good time for the legend of the tree being a treant to be true, Geard thought. If nothing else, maybe the treant can protect Gomorrah and the soldiers while he confronted the archer.

An arrow sailing through the air caught Geard’s attention. Although fast, the arrow almost seemed to travel as if time moved slowly. He tracked the arrow’s flight. He saw the arrow fired from a distant pine tree and arc its way towards one of the soldiers. What surprised him was how the arrow went through two trees before striking the ground near the surprised soldier. The arrow had phased through the trees!

It was obvious that their attacker was not trying to kill them, but rather was trying to scare them off. The archer’s skills was not in question and his having a Phasing Weapon was further testament to the archer’s ability to put them all on guard.

Geard moved as fast as possible towards the tree where the archer was hiding.

“Whoever you are,” Geard yelled as he pushed his way through bushes that didn’t hinder him at all. “You have us clearly at an advantage. Why do you attack us? We are not your enemies. We are friends of—”

An arrow struck Geard in the leg, causing him to wince in pain. He had to end this quick! The archer was now a deadly threat, not just someone toying with the others and him.

He broke the arrow in mid-stride and moved faster.

But by the time he made it to the tree where the archer was hiding, the archer was nowhere to be found. Geard couldn’t believe how fast the sniper had moved from his hiding place.

A sound from behind Geard caught his attention.

He saw a thick patch of fog suddenly appear out of nowhere and surround one of the soldiers. Another quick movement caught his attention. It looked like someone—or something—quickly leap out of some nearby bushes and into the fog with the trapped soldier.

“Whoever you are,” Geard quickly yelled. “How dare you attack us in these sacred woods! We are friends of Goldentag and have meant no harm to you or this place.”

Suddenly, the fog swirled and instantly dissipated to reveal a cloaked man standing next to the soldier. The man held a sword—no doubt enchanted—to the soldier’s throat.

“And who are you to speak of Goldentag?” the cloaked man asked in a hoarse voice.

“I am Geard De’barronn. A friend to Goldentag when he lived. We are here paying our respects to a departed friend.”

The cloaked man seemed unsure of what to do next. Geard gripped his blade tight, ready to spring upon him if he so much as draws a drop of blood from the soldier.

But instead, the cloaked man released the soldier who quickly backed off and then pointed his sword back at the cloak man.

The archer lowered his sword and turned to face Geard. He let his hood fall to reveal a head that was in a state of decomposition. The man—or rather what was left of him—had no lips. His eyes were cloudy and to Geard, seemed useless. Even his ears were missing having long ago deteriorated.

Geard had heard of such beings. Here was an undead before him. But it was unlike any other undead, like zombies or ghouls. Geard knew he was standing before a revenant. Revenants were what became of those unfortunate enough to have their eternal rest interrupted by Kelemvor, Lord of the Dead.

But Geard knew that such acts, even by a god of death, was not done lightly. For this man to have been brought back as a revenant meant that he had been given an important task by Kelemvor. A task that he must complete or be denied the eternal sleep he deserved.

“Who are you?” Geard asked.

For a brief moment, it seemed as though the revenant didn’t understand Geard’s question. He seemed strangely confused. He looked around—at the forest and at the gravesite a short distance away. He even looked to the sky as if awaiting a message from some divine messenger.

Finally, the revenant looked back at Geard.

His answer struck Geard like a warhammer.

“I am…Goldentag.”


Heroes:

Gaerd De’barronn, Sgt. Carric of Daggerford

Companions:

Gomorrah Entreri, Four Daggerford Soldiers

View
"Sea of Swords" Part 1
Damager's Guild Story Arc

Eleint 19, 1479, Year of the Ageless One

Two days after leaving Baldur’s Gate, the crew of the Dragon’s Plunder spotted a huge sailing ship adrift at sea, covered in a thick veil of fog. The ship’s lookout noted that the huge ship—easily twice the size of the Dragon’s Plunder—was the Cottonmouth. There were no sailors on her decks. The Cottonmouth’s sails were furled and the helm was secured. The ship’s anchor had been lowered. It looked as though the ship had been suddenly and mysteriously abandoned.

Despite Captain Waveshredder’s attempt at hailing the Cottonmouth, a quiet sense of pervasiveness sent shivers down everyone’s spines. The fog shrouded both ships in an eerie pall.

Ship fog
Captain Waveshredder, along with some others, recalled that the Cottonmouth was the largest known ship to ever sail the Sea of Swords. Built in distant Luskan over a century before, the Cottonmouth was built for one purpose, to transport slaves. Her captain, a devil-of-a-man named Blackheart was said to have transported thousands of slaves before he died—reportedly of old age. But as the legend goes, another captain took over the ship’s helm. This new captain would also take on the name of Blackheart. It was also said that the ship’s captains—there were at least five known Captain Blackheart—possessed the fabled Ring of the Phoenix. A powerful ring and said to be worth a king’s ransom, the ring caused the wearer’s body would be immediately consumed by fire, his or her body turning to a pile of ash, if slain in combat. But the legend goes on to say that within a breath’s moment, the wearer would return—weakened, but alive—in a flash of fire! The ring was supposedly handed down by each captain to his successor. With the ring, every one of the ship’s captain was a formidable opponent who did not fear death in battle.

The adventurers met to decide what to do next. While some suggested that the Cottonmouth be left alone, others suggested that the Cottonmouth—if truly abandoned—could be worth a fortune if salvaged. Lyrica—under the guise of a male human merchant named Nyjel—warned that the Ring of the Phoenix should not be allowed to fall into the wrong hands if the ring was onboard. She also offered the possibility that there were still slaves left on board, but were unable to respond or call for help. After several minutes, it was decided that the three merchants along with the hired adventurers would board the Cottonmouth to investigate. Captain Waveshredder said, he would prepare enough of his crew, along with his First Mate, Bighass to take control of the Cottonmouth once it was secured. Perhaps the ship could be sailed to the Nelanthar Isles or returned to Baldur’s Gate.

Brogan, along with the others, prepared themselves. A skiff was lowered into the fog-veiled water. The adventurers then made their way to the abandoned ship.

Upon arriving onboard the Cottonmouth, the adventurers didn’t see any sign of struggle save for patches of water everywhere on deck. A set of watery footprints were also spotted near the ship’s skiff. The prints seemed to have started near the port-side rails but quickly ended near the skiff. They also saw an open hatch nearby, leading down into the ships hold.

Drowned ghost
As the group move towards the opened hatch, three ghostly figures emerged out of the ship’s deck. Each of the figures wore the simple garb of sailors, yet their undead bodies were composed mostly of water. Immediately, the ghosts advanced towards the adventurers. Each gurgled the words, “You can’t have them!” as they attacked.

A battle ensued in which the adventurers fought off and destroyed three watery ghosts while sustaining little or no injuries to themselves.

After, everyone carefully made their way down to the ship’s hold. All were ready to face any other threats that may await them onboard the cursed ship.

Below, the adventurers noticed empty cabins lit by enchanted lanterns that turned themselves on when someone entered. An empty storage are—save for some coins, several equipment, and minor trinkets—was also discovered below. The captain’s quarters, its door shut could be seen towards the ship’s stern.

But as the group made their way towards the captain’s quarters, four more ghosts suddenly materialized and attacked the adventurers. The door to the captain’s quarters suddenly burst open revealing a lavish, spacious cabin. Seated behind a finely carved table was none other than Captain Blackheart himself. He, too, was a ghost made of water.

And upon his finger, the group spotted the fabled Ring of the Phoenix!
Phoenix ring


To be continued in Sea of Swords, Part 2…


Adventurers:

Salil Bok, Ronak Tripp, Abyss, Brogan

NPCs:

Lyrica Osbourne, Damascus of Candlekeep

View
"Baldur's Gate"
Damagers Guild story arc

Eleint 7 – 17, 1479, Year of the Ageless One


Baldurs gate 2 trainer


The party traveled to Baldur’s Gate. To enable the party to remain inconspicuous and complete their task of seeking out the Damagers Guild’s headquarter in the Nelanther Isles, the group decided to split up into two groups while in the city. Brogan, Lyrica, and Abyss comprised one group while Salil, Ronak, and Damascus formed another. They all agreed that a message would be sent from Brogan’s group once everyone had done all they could in Baldur’s Gate. Brogan’s group booked rooms at the the Helm and Cloak Inn, while Salil’s group found accommodations at the Warrior’s Tooth, a cheaper, but nevertheless comfortable establishment.

During their stay in Baldur’s Gate, the adventurers took the time to sell their wares as well as acquire new ones with what money they acquired from selling their magic items.

While the adventurers were wandering about the city, they came upon information regarding the Damagers Guild. It seemed that a Shadar-kai named Bladewhisper was operating a fencing operation in the city. But rather than infiltrate the guild, the group decided to formulate a better plan on dealing with the guild.

Using various resources at their disposal, Brogan, Abyss, and Lyrica purchased a merchant ship as well as fine merchant’s clothing. The Dragon’s Plunder, captained by a cartel goblin named Captain Waveshredder, along with his firstmate, Mister Bihgass, the ship was large enough to store the vast amount of wool the group had purchased (5,000 gold pieces worth of wool). Their plan: to take their cargo to the Nelanther Isles where the Damagers Guild was rumored to have one of several bases of operations. There, they would pass themselves as merchants interested in starting a trading coster to and from the isles. To add to the ruse, they procured the services of Salil, Ronak, and Damascus as adventurers hired to help defend their valuable cargo. A halfling fighter named Cora Trueblade also showed up to accompany them on their journey across the Sea of Swords.

On the 17th day of Eleint, with everything ready, the Dragon’s Plunder set sail leaving Baldur’s Gate behind in its wake. However, the halfling fighter Cora did not appear in the morning as she said she would.

With the cargo of wool safely secured, the adventurers boarded the ship while the crew prepared to set sail across the Sea of Swords bound for the Nelanther Isles.


Adventurers:

Salil Bok, Ronak Tripp, Abyss, Brogan

NPCs:

Lyrica Osbourne, Damascus of Candlekeep

View
"Rescue at Durom's Deep"
Assault on Darkhold Story Arc (Final Session)

Eleint 8 – 12, 1479, Year of the Ageless One

Durom s deep
Early the following day after the adventurers freed Hammerfist Hall from the icy rule of the Winter Witch, Felmor—Clanlord Farsten Hammerfist’s Chief Miner—sent a crew of eight dwarves down to inspect the mines of Durom Deep’s more isolated shafts. But by evening, Felmor’s crew had failed to return. A rescue team under the leadership of Felmor’s experienced crew chief Gairg was sent into the mine to recover the missing dwarves. But by the time the sun had risen, it was apparent that they, too, had gone missing. Though no trace has been found of either group, searchers discovered tracks that they believed were left by drows.

Now, Felmor’s workers grow wary. Fearing some dark horror lurking within the ancient mine as well as the presence of drows, many of of the dwarves refuse to return to Durom’s Deep. In need of help, Felmor seeks the aide of the adventurers to discover the fate of the missing workers, and to rid the mine of the unseen threat that claimed them.

**

“Drink up friends!”, Clanlord Farsten Hammerfist bellowed across the great festhall of Hammerfist Hall. “We have cause for celebration. Our honored guests have brought ruin upon the Winter Witch and have freed Hammerfist Hall from her vile, icy grip.”

The clanlord raised his jeweled drinking cup in homage to the guests seated around the great table. Others dwarves also raised their cups and cheered for the heroes of Hammerfist Hall. For the next two days, the sights and sounds of jovial celebration was seen and heard throughout the dwarven stronghold. Bards recited epic sagas of past heroic deeds, while adding a new tale of an unlikely group of heroes made up of two drows, a dwarven tower guard, an elf, a lich, and a gnome, who by might and skill helped free Hammerfist Hall from Koliada, the Winter Witch.

But as all good things must eventually come to an end, so did the festivities see its last song sung and its last ale or mead drunk. Clanlord Farsten Hammerfist ordered the festhall cleared in preparation for a meeting to plan out an alliance with those from the Sunset Vale. It time, all was made ready for the meeting.

Zaachaeus, regent of Bear’s Head, a town in the western part of the Vale spoke at length of forming a confederacy in the Vale. The confederacy would allow for an alliance of military forces as well as paving the way for each member of the confederacy to trade freely with each other. The drow regent suggested that a central meeting place in the Vale be chosen. Permanent teleportation circles would be placed at the meeting spot where the respectful leaders could meet at a designated time. Zaachaeus also mentioned he and his friends’ plan to assault the Zhentarim keep of Darkhold. He suggested that once Darkhold was captured, forces from both Bear’s Head and Hammerfist Hall would occupy it and ensure the safety of the northern Vale and the northern Sunset Mountains. Satisfied with the suggestions, Clanlord Farsten said he would would discuss the terms with his council before making a decision. Before leaving, he invited the group to remain and enjoy the food and drink.

After the Clanlord left, four dwarves entered the feast hall and challenged everyone to a drinking match. Most participated in the drinking game. In the end, it was a dwarf named Fendar Alehole who bested everyone. Suffice it to say, with a dwarf’s clan name being “Alehole”, how can anyone best him in a drinking match?

The next day, the group was led by three dwarven guards into the mines. A teleport circle within the stronghold allowed the group to quickly make their way to the mines.

Purpleworm
Upon their arrival, the adventurers discovered a mine full of tools, ore carts, and minecart tracks leading deeper into the Underdark. The guards informed everyone that since their release from the clutches of the Winter Witch, dwarven miners have been hard at work repairing and getting the mines operational again. But now, with the dangers at hand, the work has been put on hold.

As the group made their way deeper into the mine shaft, a huge Purple Worm bore through the ground and attacked the party. A battle ensued in which the group killed the Purple Worm. Despite a tough battle, no one was seriously injured. The dwarves shared with the party, that the Purple Worm they had just slain was none other than Drengi, Slayer of Miners. For years, Drengi had claimed the lives of many miners. Although the Clanlord had sent fighters to seek and slay the great worm, no dwarf had been able to kill it.

Impressed with the party’s prowess, the dwarven guards led the party deeper into Durom’s Deep in search of the lost miners.

After searching several nearby tunnels, the group came upon a surprising sight. Several dwarves—the lost miners they were looking for—came stumbling out of a partially collapsed tunnel. When asked what happened to them, the dwarves said they were attacked by Drengi, the Purple Worm. They managed to escape but were trapped in a cavern after a tunnel they came through collapsed, possibly caused by Drengi’s attack. Unfortunately, some of the miners didn’t survive the attack.

Satisfied that they had done all they could, the adventurers returned to Hammerfist Hall.

In the great dwarven halls of Hammerfist, Clanlord Farsten greeted the adventurers as heroes once more. He also explained that the adventurers just missed seeing a trio of giants who came to speak with him. The giants bore a message from their clans announcing the return of giants to their ancestral homes in the Sunset Mountains. In particular, the giants announced the capture of Darkhold by their forces. It seemed that Darkhold once again belonged to the giants, as it was in ancient times.

Clanlord Hammerfist went on to relate how vague the giants were when he asked where their strongholds were and who their leader was. Despite that, he had agreed to leave the giants in peace. In return, they offered to leave the Hammerfist Dwarves in peace.

With news of a large storm threatening the area, the group decided to stay in Hammerfist Hall for a while.

Zaachaeus later met with Clanlord Hammerfist. In return for raw stone quarried from the Sunset Mountains, he offered the kingly sum of 100 astral diamonds (one million gold pieces). He said the materials would be used to build roads and for other projects he had planned for the Western Vale.

With the transaction made, the Regent of Bear’s Head, along with his fellow adventurers returned via a magical portal back to Bear’s Head.

All thoughts of assaulting Darkhold had ended with the news of the giants’ return to the Sunset Mountains.


Characters: Arrol Mai-fair, Omega, Dred Ironfoot, Cain Justice, Zaachaeus De’Barronn, Huntrah De’Barron


Here ends the “Assault on Darkhold” story arc.

View
"Another Round on the House" Part 2
Damagers Guild Story Arc

Eleint 6, 1479, Year of the Ageless One (Past Highsun)


Wraith became immediately aware of Daggers’s deadly skills with his twin daggers. For nearly a minute, the two faced off taking turns striking each other with deadly precision.

For every strike Wraith made against the bartender of the Wayfarer’s tavern, it was responded in kind—if not worse—by each slice Daggers made. Wielding deadly daggers in each hand, Daggers pressed on and it was all Wraith can do to keep himself from being a victim in this barfight.

After helping kill the dragonborns, Salil and Lyrica moved towards Wraith hoping to aide their friend in the fight. Although considering what Wraith was up against, Salil and Lyrica weren’t sure just how helpful they would be.

Fight at the wayfarer tavern
At the other side of the tavern, Ronak and Abyss were busy against Colrynth who turned out be a skilled fighter with his scimitar and heavy shield. Finding an opening in the fighter’s defense, Abyss drew a bloody wound across Colrynth’s chest, cutting through scale armor and muscles. Abyss knew he had struck true when he noticed that the fighter’s gaping wound continued to bleed profusely. He knew the fighter would either die a quick death or bleed out slowly.

At one point during the fight, Wraith used an enchanted item to change his appearance to match Daggers’s perfectly. Although confused by this, Daggers kept up his deadly onslaught against an opponent that looked remarkably like himself. Meanwhile, Salil and Lyrica, along with Damascus tried to attack Daggers with range attacks but the bartender’s dexterity and skills allowed him to dodge and weave through the attacks.

Wraith, wanting to gain an advantage in combat, briefly moved away from Daggers. The bartender took advantage of the respite and launched a flurry of deadly strikes against Salil who was standing on top of a nearby table. A well-placed deep cut to the legs and arms, and the changeling was dead before he struck the tabletop. Daggers turned to face Lyrica. “You’re next.” he said matter-of-factly.

Lyrica quickly moved away from bartender and almost ran into Damascus as she tried to gain some distance from Daggers. Meanwhile, Wraith made his way quickly to the fallen changeling. He took out a potion of life and administered it to Salil who was immediately brought back from death.

Abyss vs colrynth
Within a few breaths later, Ronak and Abyss had brought down Colrynth. Ronak stayed behind, while Abyss moved to lend Wraith a helping hand. Using the shadows to quickly move, Abyss appeared next to Daggers, not as himself but in the guise of an orc. Together, Abyss and Wraith continued the battle against Daggers while the others—knowing they weren’t skilled enough to fight against the deadly bartender—kept a safe distance.

At that moment, the door near the bar opened. The same young man in scale armor who had earlier delivered the cask of Amontinnado entered the tavern’s taproom. He was wielding a huge fullblade sword engulfed completely in flames. But as he entered the room, he was confused by seeing two Daggers fighting each other and an armed orc nearby. Wraith—in the guise of Daggers—quickly ordered the young fighter, hoping to fool him into helping fight against the real Daggers. The bluff worked as the young fighter tried to strike the real Daggers, who cursed the young fighter for being easily duped.

Outnumbered, Daggers desperately tried to fend off his attackers while hoping to kill any one of them. But, despite Daggers’s unwavering strikes against the three opponents, he was eventually killed by Wraith.

Dargen, the young fighter, was glad that the impostor posing as Daggers had been killed. Looking around the room, he saw that Daggers (Wraith) was nearby. Across the room, he also saw that one of the dragonborns had somehow managed to stay alive through the encounter. Little did he know that Salil, the chagelink, had taken on the appearance of Vrak to help further dupe the young fighter. The fighter looked towards “Daggers” who was standing behind him.

“Where’s Wolverine?” Wraith asked.

“What?” the fighter answered, confused. “You sent him away to Baldur’s Gate yourself to get Storm. Now, let’s kill this orc together!”

Wraith’s response was quick. He stabbed the fighter through the back.

Surprised by “Daggers’s” treachery, the fighter tried to attack both “Daggers” and the orc. Outnumbered and outmatched, the young fighter was quickly slain. His fullblade fell to the floor, as its flames sputtered out.

Wraith still in the guise of Daggers, immediately went through the door where the young fighter had earlier emerged from. A set of stone stairs descended down to the tavern’s cellar. Torches lit the staircase and the short corridor below. Downstairs, Wraith saw two doors. Opening one, he spied a room full of casks. All were labeled as Amontinnado wines. The other room also held wine casks and supplies necessary to run a tavern. He also found a secret storage place beneath a loose stone on the floor. Inside, he found hundreds of coins, a pearl, and a sheathed shortsword which later proved to be enchanted.

While the others were busy searching the bodies upstairs, Wraith broke open nearly a dozen casks, spilling their contents on the cellar floor. He then traced a line of lamp oil he had found all the way up the stairs.

Back in the taproom, the others had finished searching the bodies. Their find yielded some magic items, which included Daggers’s enchanted daggers, the fiery fullblade, as well as Colrynth’s enchanted heavy shield.

When Wraith came back, Damascus asked what he had found below. He explained that he had discovered over a dozen casks of Amontinnados as well as some hidden treasure. He also admitted to having broken the casks to spill their contents on the floor and that he was going to light the entire tavern on fire. Damascus asked if Wraith had spared any casks. When Wraith told him he had spared four casks, the priest of Oghma immediately asked Abyss to help him collect the valuable wine. Abyss wondered if selling the wine for profit would bring unwanted attention to themselves, but the priest seemed unconcerned about this.

**

Outside, with treasures and casks of wine securely placed on horses, the adventurers watched as the Wayfarer Tavern went up in flames. They then discussed their next plan. They all agreed to travel to Baldur’s Gate in hopes of finding out more about the Damagers Guild. The group also needed to sell the casks as well some of the magic items they couldn’t use. When Salil was asked if he knew of a decent inn where they could comfortably stay at, Salil recommended The Purple Wyrm. It was located in the city’s wealthy Bloomridge district, known for its rich neighborhoods and popular open-air cafes.

The group then rode on westward to Baldur’s Gate, spurring on their horses. They hoped to quickly cover the fifty some miles to the coastal city, even if it meant pushing the warhorses to get there. They knew if would be past sunset when they would finally arrive at Baldur’s Gate.

Everyone rode in silence, keenly aware that the battle against the Damagers Guild was just about to get deadlier.


Adventurers:

Salil Bok, Ronak Tripp, Abyss, Brogan

NPCs:

Lyrica Osbourne, Damascus of Candlekeep

View
"Another Round on the House" Part 1
Damagers Guild Story Arc

Eleint 6, 1479, Year of the Ageless One (early afternoon)


Wayfarer

Time seemingly stood still as everyone prepared for an anticipated bar fight.

Around the tavern’s taproom, both sides looked at one another—each waiting to see who would start the fight. Hands slowly inched towards sheathed weapons, while lips moved in preparation of rituals that will either aid allies or hinder opponents. Both sides knew that if any one of the adventurers or tavern patrons so much as passed air loud enough to be heard, all Hells would break loose.

Vrakh, the dragonborn, stood behind Ronak with his battleaxe clenched firmly in his hands. His nostrils flared as he considered his next move. He noticed the gnome and the bartender’s stern gaze, both seemingly ordering him to stand down. Vrakh took another deep breath, inhaling the pungent smell of the taproom’s filthy tables and walls. He looked towards the man seated next to him. He was dressed in full plate armor. A greataxe was securely strapped to his back.

The dragonborn thrust his battleaxe, aiming for the man’s back. But before his sharpened axe could strike home, he stopped its momentum just slow enough to tap the man’s greataxe with his own weapon. “Nice axe,” Vrakh said in common. “Bigger than mine.”

The dragonborn then turned around and sat back down to enjoy what was left of his meal and drink.

**

For nearly an hour, the adventurers sat in the tavern asking the bartender questions about the tavern and its patrons. They also asked every one their names and introduced themselves. Ronak said his name was “Tripp”. The gnome scratched his chin and said he thought he had heard of someone named Tripp from Waterdeep before. Ronak/Tripp said he had never seen the gnome before and was certain he would never forget him if he did.

The bartender said people call him “Daggers”, while the gnome with the chops and tattoos introduced himself as “Wolverine”. The fighter in scale armor and armed with a scimitar said his name was Colrynth. The dragonborns introduced themselves as Vrak, Scarrg, and Kashad. Daggers and Wolverine added that they hailed from the North, while the dragonborns claimed to have traveled from the Inner Sea area. Colrynth said he’s from Daggerford originally but currently calls Baldur’s Gate home.

At some point during the discussion, Brogan (AKA Wraith) said that the gnome and the bartender’s names reminded him of a minotaur named “Bullrush” he and some others had come across in Berdusk, a city in Elturgard. Abyss added that Bullrush had been a member of an organization known as the Damagers Guild and wondered if either the gnome or the bartender had ever heard of it. Wolverine and Daggers exchanged suspicious glances but said they had never heard of Damagers Guild.

Minutes later, a young human man wearing scale armor entered the taproom from a door behind the bar. The man was carrying a cask that seemed full. A look of bewilderment crossed his face when he saw the adventurers. He asked Daggers if everything was alright. Daggers nodded and asked him to leave the cask on the bar. The young man then went back to wherever he came from after leaving the cask on the bar.

Amontinnado red
Some of the adventurers quickly noticed the calligraphic “A” burned into the side of the cask. Damascus whispered to the others that the mark on the cask matches the insignia of the Amontinnado family who were known to specialize in the making of some of the finest wines in Faerûn. It was said that the Amontinnado family—a wealthy family who delved in magic—had been making wines for nearly three centuries. Another mark denoted that the cask contained red wine—the best kind of Amontinnado wine produced…and the most expensive. The others agreed and were aware that a cask of Amontinnado red wine could easily fetch anywhere from 1,200 to 1,500 gold pieces per cask depending on the vintage and the buyer.

“That’s some fine wine you have there.” Abyss said to Daggers eyeing the cask. “Such wine seems a bit too sophisticated for a simple tavern like this if you ask me”.

Daggers ignored what Abyss said as he faced the rest of the group.

“You’re welcome to stay for a while,” Daggers said in an icy tone. “but I’m sure you’ve got business elsewhere. And since the Wayfarer is just a tavern, I’m afraid we can’t have any of you stay here.”

The adventurers said they were just about to leave anyway, so they emptied their mugs and gathered their equipment.

**

Far enough away from tavern but still within sight, the group came up with a plan to return to the Wayfarer. They suspected the tavern of being a base of operation for the Damagers Guild so wanted to infiltrate the tavern. The plan they came up with was bold, brilliant, and unorthodox.

…The plan was for Lyrica, Salil, and Ronak to enter the Wayfarer pretending to be a wealthy couple and their servant hailing from Baldur’s Gate. Both Lyrica and Salil would use their changeling abilities to alter their forms, while Lyrica used her disguise kit to alter Ronak’s appearance to make him appear as the couple’s manservant. To make Ronak’s disguise even more convincing and mask his scent from the dragonborns, Wraith smeared horse dung on his clothing and on his face. When the group reached the tavern, Ronak held the tavern’s door for his masters, while the others entered the tavern while under the effects of invisibility potions provided by Brogan…

**

Inside the tavern, Lyrica and Salil quickly made their way to an empty table while voicing degrading remarks about the establishment’s less-than-opulent conditions. The others made their way in and saw the taproom occupied by Colrynth, Daggers and the three dragonborns. Wolverine was nowhere to be found.

Daggers, taken by surprise at the arrogance of the two strangers and their servant, tried to offer the obviously rich couple some of the Amontinnado wine. All the while, Lyrica and Salil kept up the convincing pretense of being rich—although at times a bit overplayed. The others, still invisible, had scattered themselves around the room and were worried that Lyrica and Salil’s act would be noticed for what it was, an act.

At some point, Colrynth got up and walked over to the table where the dragonborns sat. He whispered something to them. The three scaly thugs then got up and proceded to walk towards the front door, while Daggers kept an eye on everyone from behind the bar. Meanwhile, Wraith, suspecting that the tavern’s occupants were planning to attack Lyrica, Salil, and Ronak, reacted first.

Wraith, who was standing behind Daggers, became visible as he surprised him with an opening attack…

To be continued in “Another Round On the House” (Part 2)


Adventurers:

Salil Bok, Ronak Tripp, Abyss, Brogan (AKA Wraith)

NPCs:

Lyrica Osbourne, Damascus of Candlekeep

View
"The Wayward Wayfarer"
Damagers Guild Story Arc

Eleint 6, 1479, Year of the Ageless One


Damascus spun his staff over his head and brought it crashing down upon the knight’s head. The knight’s helmet did little to stave off the stunning effects of the cleric’s attack. Although injured, the man was still alive, therefore dangerous.

Anticipating an incoming attack from behind, Damascus spun upon his left heel and barely managed to block an attack that could have easily taken his head off. The new assailant resembled the one he just struck on the head. Plate armor protected the man from head to toe. He wielded a longsword in both hands while a sheathed dagger was clearly visible on his belt. Damascus also noticed an engraving upon the dagger’s pummel: an eye surrounded by three steel gauntlets radiating outwards to form a triangle—or triumvirate—of sorts.

Damascus heard another soldier making his way to join the fight, while three others were saddled on warhorses awaiting—Damascus was certain—their turn to end the warpriest’s life. And to make matters worse, he also saw a man approach on foot from the west—stopping a short distance behind a nearby mounted knight. The sounds of more people approaching from the east told Damascus that perhaps his day to stand in the presence of almighty Oghma, Lord of Knowledge, had finally arrived.

Trail fight

Brogan, flying high above the others on his magic carpet, was the first to spot the battle. He quickly relayed to the others what he saw as he took out his hand crossbow. Abyss drew out his weapon and spurred his horse forward. Lyrica, too, drew out her longsword and urged her obsidian horse forward to join in the battle. Brogan also told his fellow companions that the knights appeared to be members of the Eye of Justice, a heretical order of Torm worshippers who were all recently rooted out of Elturgard when it turned out that their leader, Samlawr, was a Curruption Devil. To the duergar and the others, it seemed that some of the evil organization’s members had since turned to banditry in order to survive.

From the north, Ronak heard the sounds of battle and decided to investigate. From a distance, he spotted a man clad in chainmail desperately trying to fend off three attackers—all dressed in plate armor and armed with longswords. He quickly made his way to help the man in chainmail, introducing himself as he struck one of the heavily armored assailants.

Ronak had traveled for miles from Waterdeep, the City of Splendors. Considered by many to be beyond his prime, Ronak became a Blackguard—a fallen paladin—after serving thirty-five years in Waterdeep’s infamous prison. Once a devout paladin of Amanautor, the Sun God, Ronak was imprisoned upon a nobleman’s request whom Ronak suspected of being evil. The nobleman’s powerful political clout, along with his religious ties to the Church of Amanautor in Waterdeep was more than enough to imprison the then young paladin for over three decades on false charges.

Meanwhile, from the west, Solil quietly made his way to a nearby boulder hoping the din of battle would mask his approach. Despite being a member of the Harpers, Solil considered himself a novice as an adventurer and didn’t want to risk himself. He recently left Baldur’s Gate after a clandestine meeting with a fellow Harper agent went awry. Upon arriving at the predetermined meeting point, Solil was shocked to discover the agent lying dead at an alley’s entrance. At that same moment, a figure stepped out of a nearby storefront and called aloud for a patrol of city guards who just happened to be nearby. The figure—whom Solil never got a good look at but did get a whiff of a strange scent of herbs from—quickly pointed to Solil accusing him of having murdered the dead agent on the ground. Solil even raised his hands in surrender and was more than willing to speak to the guards, but the blood stains on both of his hands quickly changed his mind. Unsure of how he got blood on his hands, Solil decided on the best course of action he could think of at the moment—he ran. Fortunately, Solil’s abilities as a changeling allowed him to alter his appearance and escape from Baldur’s Gate.

Brogan shot one of the knights fighting Damascus, killing him instantly. Abyss also killed another who tried to attack him from horseback. Lyrica, upon seeing a mounted knight try to flee, quickly spurred her horse to give chase.

As a knight rode past Solil, the changeling—who appeared to be in his natural appearance—quickly ran to a nearby horse whose owner had abandoned it to fight the man in chainmail. As he grabbed the horse’s reins, Solil saw a woman, sword in hand, ride past two knights who took the opportunity to attack her as she rode by them. Despite the deep cut on the woman’s leg and side, she kept on riding hoping to catch up to the fleeing knight. But as she rode past Solil, it became apparent that pursuit would be futile for the knight had gained too much ground and was already disappearing towards the west.

Lyrica gave up the chase. Instead, she turned her horse to face Solil who was holding the reins of a nearby horse. She pointed her enchanted longsword at the figure she suspected of being a bandit, despite being unarmored like the others. Lyrica quickly noticed that the figure was a changeling. “Who are you?” she asked, never lowering her blade.

“I am Solil, from Baldur’s Gate,” the changeling responded. “I’m a Harper!”

“A Harper? Most likely just another bandit like the others.” Lyrica had heard of the Harpers but had never known any of its members to openly proclaim themselves to complete strangers. She suspected that if the changeling wasn’t a bandit then he was at the very least a fool.

“If you give me chance, I’ll explain myself.” the changeling said.

Lyrica kept the blade pointed at him. “You will indeed.”

**

Once the last of the knights of the Eye of Justice was killed, everyone nursed any wounds they received during the fight. Everyone then gathered together to introduce themselves.

Brogan, Abyss, and Lyrica explained that they were on their way to Baldur’s Gate having just left the nation of Elturgard. They added that the bandits were Eye of Justice members they recently forced out of Elturgard. Solil, who didn’t seem to be trying to hide his identity as a Harper agent described his narrow escape from Baldur’s Gate, while Ronak introduced himself as well.

Damascus said that he was a Battlepriest of Oghma and had traveled from Candlekeep. Damascus was headed north hoping to find information regarding Brother Anthony Damascus, a priest of Oghma who left Candlekeep to pursue life as an adventurer. Brother Anthony Damascus had been one of his order’s well-known priest and had lived at the time prior to the Spellplague—over a century before. Beyond several treatises Brother Anthony Damascus had written on the ecology of certain creatures on Faerûn, the order had lost all contact with the adventuring cleric. Damascus went on to explain that he was intrigued by the legendary cleric’s life and wanted to find out more about him, even taking on the cleric’s name as his own.

As luck would have it, Brogan knew a lot about Brother Anthony Damascus since the cleric had been one of the adventurers who had traveled far and wide with Zaachaeus in many of his jaunts across Toril long ago. Upon hearing this, Damascus couldn’t believe his luck and was more than eager to hear more—even if the one telling the tales was hiding behind a mask.

After searching the knights, the adventurers found some silver and copper coins inside the knights’ pouches. Although they didn’t find a lot of money or any magic item, they considered the six horses as treasure that could fetch them a nicely sum if they chose to sell them later.

Abyss and Brogan further explained that along with Lyrica, they were traveling to Baldur’s Gate. They then convinced Solil to help them in Baldur’s Gate since he was familiar with the coastal city. Damascus thanked Ronak and asked him to join the group as well.

The group, now a strong party of six, headed west towards Baldur’s Gate.

**

The wandering wayfarer
A short time later, the party arrived and hitched their mounts in front of the Wayfarer, a tavern just off the trail that wound its way towards Baldur’s Gate and the Sword Coast.

Upon entering the tavern, the group found the place occupied by several unsavory looking patrons. Three dragonborns sat at a nearby table, finishing their plates of food. They eyed the group suspiciously. One dragonborn even sniffed the air in disdain as the party walked past it.

From across the taproom, a gnome in hide armor sporting tattoos of wolverines down both arms was busy sharpening throwing axes with a whetstone, while a man in scale armor glanced at the direction of the group. Behind the tavern’s bar, a man in leather armor was busy cleaning wooden mugs.

“Well met,” the man behind the bar said. “and welcome to the, ah…Wayfarer.” The group immediately noticed the sheathed dagger strapped to the bartender’s arm.

Everyone entered and sat at a bench table in the middle of the taproom. They then ordered a round of drinks to quench their thirsts. As the bartender turned his back to fill mugs with drinks from the kegs behind the bar, some of the adventurers noticed a pair of daggers hidden behind his leather jerkin, just above his belt.

“So where you folks from?” the bartender asked as he placed each frothy mug on the bar.

“Oh, you know…here…there…and everywhere.” Abyss said as he got up to get the drinks.

“I think I’ve been there too,” the gnome with the wolverine tattoos added sarcastically. He, too, rose from his seat and made his way to bar, flipping the axes deftly in both hands.

Brogan, who was sitting near the door, walked over to the bar to get his own drink. As he walked past one of the dragonborns, he inhaled deeply imitating what one of them had done earlier. Brogan then went back to his table.

For several long, tense moments the party sat and drank their fill. Finally Abyss broke the tension when he said that the tavern and its occupants seemed like a perfect setup for a bandit’s hideout or an ambush. Brogan also added that he wouldn’t be surprised if there were others hiding in the tavern’s cellar.

Upon hearing this, one of the dragonborns stood up. His fists were clinched. His nostrils flared in anger. The party’s and the occupants’ eyes immediately locked in on each other. The tension mounted in the Wayfarer Tavern in anticipation of what everyone knew was about to happen.

Bar fight!


Adventurers:

Salil Bok, Ronak Tripp, Abyss, Brogan

NPCs:

Lyrica Osbourne, Damascus of Candlekeep

View
"Wild River"
Tomb of Horrors Story Arc

Eleint 2, 1479, Year of the Ageless One (mid-afternoon)

Patch vs. wartroll
As the party rode the elven boat towards the distant ruins, they spotted a troll emerge out the nearby woods near the river’s edge. It hurled a javelin at the group, slashing Luthan’s arm before it struck the boat’s deck. Patch quickly activated his magical boots that enabled him to walk on water. He then leaped from the boat and charged the troll.

Monro took over the boat’s tiller and carefully navigated the boat closer to the river’s edge so the others can engage the troll as well. When the boat was close enough to shore, Fredara and Jobek both leaped out and joined Patch in battle.

Surprisingly, the troll proved formidable. Patch knew enough about trolls but considered the medium-size troll to be an easy kill. The troll proved otherwise. Unable to hurl its javelins, the troll unsheathed its massive greatsword and began slashing at the three combatants. With each deadly strike the three adventurers imposed upon the fearsome troll, it regenerated its wounds and retaliated by sweeping its massive blade in a deadly arc that threatened to cut limbs or slay outright. For several rounds, the battle raged on with each side desperately trying to quickly end the deadly encounter.

Meanwhile, the others on the boat launched range attacks hoping to help their comrades against the troll but the range and chaos of battle made it difficult to get an accurate shot on the troll. To make matters worse, Monro spotted three green skinned humanoids swimming downriver towards the boat. He quickly warned the others that more trolls may be coming. Upon hearing this, Patch disengaged his battle with the troll. He ran back into the river to intercept the other creatures, leaving Jobek and Fredara to deal with the bloodied troll.

Freshwater sahaguins
As the three creatures swam towards Patch who was standing in the middle of the river atop the water, Monro hurled a spell at them striking fear upon their hearts, increasing their chances of missing their target. Vyn and Luthan aided by launching their own range attacks from the boat. As the closest one reached Patch, he quickly realized the three creatures were Sahaguins—albeit of the freshwater kind. Ignoring that strange fact, Patch engaged the sahaguins in battle while the others attacked from range.

In time, the battle against the troll and the sahuagins was won.

Patch beheaded the troll. After, he and the others lifted the headless troll’s body upon the boat’s deck so they can inspect its gear while continuing their journey downriver. The sahuagins’ lifeless bodies were quickly carried away by river’s current. After several minutes, they realized that the troll’s gear were not magical in nature. They then dumped the lifeless troll’s body into the river.

Catching their breaths and healing themselves, the group continued their journey downriver towards the distant ruins.


Adventurers:

Fredara, Jobek, Monro, Patch, and Vyn

NPCs:

Luthan Graythicket (male half-elf ranger companion, from Elturgard), Orva (female gnome arcanist companion, from the Feywild)

View
"The Mines of Bellanan"
Assault on Darkhold Story Arc

Eleint 6, 1479, Year of the Ageless One


With Arrol leading Huntrah and Cain through the mountain pass, they made good time as the three adventurers made their way towards the mines of Bellanan.

Just past highsun, the trio came upon a small dale. A small, shallow stream made its way through the dale. Momentarily stopping for Arrol to get his bearings, the group spotted harpies flying overhead. Just behind a copse of trees on the other side of the trees, they also spotted two cyclopses. Each wielded long glaives capable of slicing a tree—and a man—in half. Arrol noted that the monsters must be a patrol under the Winter Witch’s command.

“Maybe they aren’t aware that Koliada is dead,” Arrol said.

Huntrah took careful aim with his phasing bow at the nearest harpy flying overhead. “Then let’s send them to join her, so she can tell them what happened herself.”

A battle ensued in which the adventurers quickly killed all four monsters. Not one of the three skilled adventurers was hurt during the encounter.

The group then took a short break while Arrol searched the area. Within a few minutes, the Ranger found tracks that led from the direction of the mines.

**

The group arrived at the mines and found it surprisingly deserted of guards. Tools littered the ground in front of the three mine entrances. A nearby stone shack was also unoccupied. The area was quiet, save for the sound of a soft breeze that rustled the leaves of several trees nearby.

“Seems a little too quiet,” Huntrah said. “I’d expect Koliada to place more guards here.”

“Maybe they’re inside.” Arrol added.

Treant
Cain pointed to two very tall pine trees nearby. “Or maybe,” Cain whispered to the other two. “she does have guards.” All three looked and quickly noticed that despite the wind blowing through the area from one direction, the leaves of the two nearby pine trees rustled in a different direction, moving against the wind.

Arrol, the elven Ranger spoke up after realizing what the pine trees were. “Great treants,” Arrol called to the pine trees in Elven. “I am Arrol Mai-fair, of The People, and from the Sunset Vale. The one you serve no longer walks among the living. We have put a stop to the Winter King and Koliada’s evil tyranny against the dwarves of Hammerfist Hall. You are free from their bonds of service.”

The nearest of the two great trees altered its shape. Branches merged to form arms and legs, while a face formed upon its wide trunk; deep knots becoming eyes and a mouth. The other nearby tree also transformed itself into a tree-folk.

“I am Mosslock.” the nearest treant said, speaking in the Elvish tongue.

“And I am Hollywood.” the other—a thinner specimen—quickly added in a flamboyant fashion. It seemed to relish attention and didn’t want to be left out of the conversation.

The three adventurers then began a conversation with the two treants. Speaking in Elven, Arrol led the conversation and persuaded the treants to go back to their forest—or wherever they’re from. He explained that the Winter Witch had been defeated by he and his fellow adventurers. When asked for proof, Huntrah showed Mosslock and Hollywood the Sword of Black Ice, a longsword once wielded by Koliada herself. Cain also presented the Ice Crown and the Scepter of Ice, items that once belonged to the Winter King.

Upon seeing the sword, crown, and scepter, the two treants were convinced. They said they were both from the Far Hills and would return there. The adventurers bid them farewell. Arrol added that perhaps their paths would someday cross again. The two treants then left and began their long walk down the mountain towards the Far Hills.

With the treants gone, the three adventurers proceeded to enter the mines; but before they could, a cyclops trailing three dwarves emerged from the mine entrance. The three dwarves carried digging tools and looked haggard. When the cyclops spotted the adventurers, he raised his glaive to them and uttered a challenge in common.

Rather than engage the cyclops outright, Arrol decided to convince the one-eyed monster to leave the mines along with the other cyclopses. Unsure of what to do, the cyclops ordered a dwarf to go back into the mines to get the others. Moments later, four more cyclopses arrived. One cyclops in particular wore leather armor and held a long intricately carved wooden staff. It had long braided hair and tattoos on its face and arms. The cyclops introduced himself as the leader and a shaman among his people.

Arrol, again tried to convince them to leave the dwarves and the mines or face the consequences. He went on to explain that the treants had already left. To further help convince the shaman and the others, Arrol pointed to the sword of black ice Huntrah wielded. He also pointed to the ice scepter and crown Cain held before them.

The shaman thought about their offer for a moment and added that they were given a chest of gold as payment by the Winter Witch and Winter King. The chest was being guarded by two other cyclopses in the mines who were also watching over the dwarves. The shaman demanded that they be allowed to take their money, promising to leave peacefully if allowed to do so. Huntrah then took out an astral diamond and threw it at the foot of a nearby cyclops. He said the astral diamond should more than suffice to ensure they left immediately and without harming a dwarf. Huntrah threatened to kill them all and take what little treasure they had if they were to renege on their word.

Satisfied, the shaman ordered the other cyclopses to leave the mines and the dwarves.

As Arrol, Cain, and Huntrah watched the cyclopses leave the mines, nearly a hundred dwarves—all weary from their ordeal—slowly emerged from the mines. Each one personally thanked their unlikely rescuers: an elf, a drow, and a lich.

Thankful that they had avoided unnecessary bloodshed, the rescuers led the dwarves back to Hammerfist Hall.

What do we sing about now


Characters: Arrol Mai-fair, Cain Justice, Huntrah De’Barronn

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.