Might of the Inquisition

Raiders of the Temple of the Last Crusade
Adventure 16

Recap

In Attendance: Nohrik, Glandrin Sunbeam, Gurias Stormborn, Darian Shadowheart, Light, Reschard Tam

  • Some regrouping and purchasing is done in Alexandren
  • On the way to the lizardman temple, the party runs into Nohrik’s clan, and is met by its haughty chieftain, Tegron. He scolds Nohrik, but provides the location of the temple.
  • They trudge through the swamp and stop a lizardman scout.
  • They find the temple, and use a silence ritual to setup an ambush.
  • Fight commences. At one point, Darian leaps off of a pillar and on top of a huge blackscale lizardman.
  • Guards defeated, they go inside. At the first set of stairs is a chamber with a sarcophagus. It releases a mummy, and a mechanism causes sand and scarabs to start pouring into the room. After some effort, Darian finds the trigger to stop the sand and escape, but the party is split.
  • Using the mechanism and the scarab’s dislike of sunlight, the party manages to regroup and head downstairs.
  • A long chamber filled with traps leads to a pedestal with an idol on it. Darian removes the idol, and is chased by a gelatinous sphere. Meanwhile, traps activate and snakes come out to try to stop them.
  • Glandrin is absorbed for much of the sphere’s path, and eventually Gurias is too, but they manage to escape before the sphere collides with columns and explode. Darian and the rest escape from the temple with the idol, and the two cube goers rescue Reschard who valiantly tried to rescue them.

Rewards

  • XP: 1100
  • Money: 500 gp gem, 1050 gp, six 100 gp gems
  • Items: Wounding Dagger, Backbone Belt
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Aberrations of the Black Spire
Adventure 15

Recap

  1. Nohrik is raised from the dead by Avandra and comes back bearing a magic coin.
  2. The party is lead into the basement. On the way, creatures break free. A grell kills their guide. A grell, two gricks, and a carrion crawler are defeated.
  3. A displacer beast, gibbering mouther, foulspawn grue, and foulspawn mangler are defeated.
  4. Darian agrees to smuggle out a Beholder’s spawn in exchange for safe passage by.
  5. Kruthiks are attacking Ebbek, who turns out to be a doppelganger.
  6. The real Ebbek is found.

Epilogue

A week passes afterward, before the party sets off on their next quest. In that time, the following occurs:

  • Bennik the Wanderer, Halfling Bard, arrives from Thunderspire. He brings with him two gifts from the Mages of Saruun. First, instructions on how to draw the connecting teleportation circle, which is inscribed in the sewers beneath the Stone Pony. He also has Dust of Appearance, a one-use magic item for if they encounter Paldemarr again. Bennik takes up residence in the Stone Pony Inn, providing stories and songs. He can be consulted about matters a bard might know about, for a small performance fee.
  • While the party has been gone, [[Shen One-Eyed]] One-Eye has selected the Stone Pony as his new bar of choice. (The elven bar doesn’t serve drinks strong enough for him). As always, he has his ear to the ground about Alexandren, and some drinking money will make him loosen his tongue.
  • Terrlen Darkstalker has made an agreement with the Inquisition, like the rest of the “Chosen.” If he prevents the prophecies, they will cure him of his Lycanthropy.
  • [[BH-005]] processed the contents of the New Alexandren Library, and has a better idea of what has happened since he slept. General Cogwheel has convinced the Warforged Paladin to go to Tartarus to be studied there, but your paths may cross again.
  • Gairdan Facio has moved his prospecting business to Alexandren, and also makes the Stone Pony his bar of choice. Occasionally, if the mood suits him, he may assist as a guide if he’s in town.

Rewards

  • Coin of Avandra +2 Breathing a quick prayer to Avandra, your faith is channeled through this stone to turn the fates in your favor. Level: 8 Price: 3400 gp Implement (Holy Symbol) Enhancement: +2 attack rolls and damage rolls Critical: +2d6 damage Power (Daily): Free Action. Reroll an attack roll you made using this holy symbol and use the new result.
  • Scabbard of Sacred Might
  • 1800 gp (with bank and last adventure: 7700 gp)
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Last Breaths of Ashenport
Adventure 14
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Thunderspire Labyrinth, Part 5: Tower of Mysteries
Adventure 13

Recap

After a quick stop-off in town, Glandrin Sunbeam, Nohrik, Reschard Tam, and Grob Zerk venture to the place to find Paldemarr, the renegade Mage of Saruun, and put an end to the threat to Thunderspire. The silver key found in the Well of Demons leads the way, and allows access to a small side-tunnel. Brandishing the key at the appointed place, a skeletal apparition manifests. It claims to be a portion of Vecna’s power, and will allow them access… for a price. Upon inquiring what it wants, it says simply: “Power, secrets, and souls.” The group struggles to come up with secrets that the spirit would want. The spirit seems equally derisive of their attempts. Grob curries some favor by explaining about the Great Goat. Reschard told a bit about his past, and Glandrin revealed a secret about himself and his mission to his companions (who may or may not share it with the others in the party). The spirit was not fully satisfied, taking a bit of their life force, but transporting them to the Tower of Mysteries. There, they faced creatures known as “Norkers”, goblins that have been warped due to exposure to Abyssal energies. They also fought some Engimas, petitioners of Vecna who steal secrets right from your mind and have the unusual habit of tearing at their own flesh constantly until it whips them into a rage. Teleportation circles, like the ones found at the Ghost Tower of Inverness, connected the floors. The second floor

Rewards

  • Onyx (800 gp), Quartz (500 gp)
  • 1,000 gp
  • +2 Magic Staff
  • Ritual Book containing notes for “Paldemarr’s Planar Collapse”
  • Manuals of the Planes: “Hestavar, the Bright City”, “The Dark on Sigil, City of Doors”, “Codex Shadowfell”, “The Abyss: Pierced Heart of the Elemental Chaos”
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Thunderspire Labyrinth, Part 4: Guardian of the Well of Demons
Adventure 12

Recap

The party recovered from their grievous injuries previously suffered in the Adventure 11 Well of Demons, but only Gurias and Glandrin were feeling well enough to venture back in. Within the [[Seven-Pillared Hall]] they were found by Light and his guide Stephandrial who had been sent by the Inquisition to remind the wayward adventurers of their duties and assist where needed. Appreciating the help by the Warlock and the Ranger, they ventured back in to the Well. Back in the first room, the party discovered a heavily armored dwarf investigating the well where they had left two of the items they needed to unlock the final chamber. He introduced himself as Grob Zerk and claimed to own the mountain in the name of the Great Goat. After some negotiating, the party agreed to help him clear out the dungeon for him (or vice versa). Heading to the east, the party discovered a series of doors. Stephandrial listened at one of the doors and heard movement, and was sure there were other creatures around. Gurias stopped everyone and cast a silence ritual to block off the rooms from hearing one another. Thus, the party was able to dispatch a Gnoll warrior (who was confused why his allies weren’t coming to his aid after he kept shouting), and then a carnage demon. The demon was thrown back by a Thunderwave over a stone altar, which shattered and revealed the Book- the penultimate piece needed. To the west of the central chamber, the party discovered a massive room filled with deep pools of blood and massive minotaur statues. Some cautious investigations were undertaken before Gurias summoned a Tenser’s Floating Disk to carry him over the blood. The minotaur statues came to life and started to flail about (with flails, no less) and bizarre blood demons rose out of the pool to assault them. A battle commenced both in the corner as the blood things came to the party, and in the center where Gurias had stopped. Stephandrial and Light provided cover fire as Grob engaged the beasts directly. Glandrin performed a mighty Elven leap across much of the blood, then trudged through the remainder to come to Gurias’s rescue. Gurias swooped in to pick up a hilt in one corner, and barely managed to stay on his disk after a lashing from the other minotaur statue. He proceeds cautiously around the statue, catching his breath in the meantime. He dives in on the disk and is once again knocked down on his disk but manages to stay on. While prone, he grabs the blade, and speeds back to the entrance as the rest of the party takes down the last of the blood demons. The blade is assembled, and the party has all the pieces needed to open the chamber and face the Guardian. With a howl, the Guardian flies up from the pit, revealing himself to be a large green dragon. At once, traps around the room spring forth. An elemental vortex activates and sucks in some, grabbing skeletons restrain others, and magical crossbow turrets fire at the rest. Glandrin is the first to engage the dragon, and the two dance around in the heat of battle. Finally the others break free from the traps and also go after the dragon, making a concerted effort to push him into the path of one of the traps, a rotating energy sphere. The dragon stumbles backward under Glandrin’s assault, but the tricky dragon uses a simple charm to pull Glandrin into the path as well. Light cast a quick spell to swap positions with the Elven Fighter, and then dived out of the way. The sphere moved towards the dragon, but the dragon avoided it with his instinctive knowledge of the dungeon’s traps. However, it was not enough to prevent the adventurers from converging on the dragon and put an end to the guardian, eventually pushing it back into the hole it came from. The guardian defeated, the chambers opened to allow passage to the inner sanctum of the demonic Gnolls. A small side chamber revealed that the Gnoll Chieftan, a Warlock by the name of Maldrick Scarmaker, was in the process of trying to finish a dire ritual. If completed, a hole would be punched through to the Abyss itself, spelling trouble for Thunderspire and the entire world. The Warlock was heavily defended by a batch of demons summoned for the occasion. They kept the party at bay while the gnoll worked the completion of the ritual, the heroes standing by as captives were consumed by magic to fuel the foul spell. The third captive was consumed, and all the warlock needed to do was finish the last particularly different series of gestures and words. Light engaged him in a battle of warlock energies, attempting to wrest the magic away from him. Glandrin and Stephandrial fought their way clear of the demons to focus on the infernal warlock as their quarry. With only moments to spare before the ritual could be completed, Maldrick’s threat was stopped by the sword. In his chambers, they found a silver key, and the way to catch up to Paldemarr in his location: The Tower of Mysteries.

Rewards

  • +2 Elven Cloak
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Thunderspire Labyrinth Part 3: The Well of Demons
Adventure 11

Location #1: The entrance way contains an ambush by strange, strangling creatures, a tentacled monstrosity under the floor, and a ghastly ghoul.

Location #5: Upon entering a large, central chamber, the party is greeted by several spirits: Valdrog the Brute, Sir Terris, and Mendara the Mystic. The spirits say that they can provide clues to opening the gate to the guardian (the cause of their death) which would lead the way to the final chamber. After some pleading of their worth, some demonstrations of might (including an awesome leap by Glandrin), and some arcane tricks, they provide some information: four items of power must be recovered. A mask, a bell, a book, and a blade. Only by placing them in the four ritual circles simultaneously will the guardian appear. With that, the spirits depart, and the party sets off to recover the four items.

Location #3: The party comes across some gnolls and hyenas torturing a chained dire boar. Enraged at the boar’s mistreatment, the warriors charge forth to cut down the gnolls despite their cover and dispatch the hyenas with a few well placed blasts. The dire boar is calmed and healed, but they decide after some debate to leave it there until they can return it to town later.

Location #2: A horrid smell wafts down the corridor. The party is attacked by ravenous hyenas released from a pen by a gnoll huntmaster. As the battle is joined, a group of gnoll marauders try to out-flank the party from behind, and manage to do some damage to Gurias. However, a solid line of fighting heroes breaks through and dispatches them. Some treasure is recovered from a gnoll gambling session, and the barbarian proves his “rustic” nature by digging through a dirty kennel to find a magical cloak.

Location #8: A number of Evistro demons patrol a room filled with horrific columns. Each one is seemingly composed of bodies, which grasp and scream out at random intervals. After some time battling the Evistros, the eyes flare up from the columns and scatter the party throughout the room… some right in the path of an angry Carnage demon that guards an altar. Gurias briefly finds himself staring down a large, powerful demon before Nohrik issues a Paladin’s divine challenge to draw the beast away. After the battle, the altar is searched, and the bell is found.

Location #6: The room is filled with mirrored pillars. Terrlen is the first to glance in the room, and finds that the mirrors are magical traps. He becomes weak and fatigued after staring at one, so the party decides to try to avoid staring at them. Nohrik and Glandrin try staring at the wall and making their way around the room, but they can’t seem to avoid catching one of the mirrors out of the corners of their eyes. But the mirrors they glance at do not steal lifeforce… instead, the two fight themselves in a chamber with no exit, confronted with a crazed gnoll. They cut it down, but have no choice but to pray to their deities that their companions will find a way to rescue them. Terrlen and Gurias close their eyes completely, and make their way around the room until they reach a curtained-off section. Terrlen is the first to step through, and is immediately beset upon by scimitar-wielding skeletons. Terrlen tosses the curtain over Gurias to get him inside, before launching into a rage to tear through the skeletons. Gurias finds himself uncomfortably to the skeletons, but fires off a few quick spells to aid the raging barbarian. Though they take some serious wounds, they defeat the skeletons. Gurias examines an indentation in the altar, and activates to both return his two companions to the room and uncover the next item: a mask carved of black wood. At this point, the adventurers were forced to retreat from the Well of Demons to deal with their wounds. They hide the items in the well in the first chamber, and take along Kujo back to his owner. They are rewarded for rescuing the dire boar, and rest in preparation for finishing the Well of Demons.

Rewards

  • XP: 2000 XP for Nohrik, Glandrin, Gurias, and Terrlen. 1000 XP for Darian and Reschard.
  • Treasure: 268gp, Cloak of Resistance +2, Bracers of Defense (from the Well), 400 gp (for recovering Kujo)
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Thunderspire Labyrinth Part 2: The Horned Hold
Adventure 10

Recap

We rejoin our heroes as they still seek to unravel the enigmas beneath Thunderspire... After resting up at the Halfmoon Inn, the party is met by Terrlen Darkstalker, a local (and very feral-looking) guide. As a favor to his old friend Gairdan Facio, and because he hates those who traffic in slaves, he joins the group. The last lead at the Chamber of Eyes mentioned the Grimmerzhuls, so Terrlen leads them to the Grimmerzhul Trading Post, a shop set into the cave walls run by duergar. Reschard attempts to negotiate with the soot-skinned dwarfkin, but in the back, Darian Shadowheart has escaped from his bonds and is found by one of the duergar. The halfling cries out before attacking the duergar on his own, and the rest of the party take the opportunity to join the offensive. The battle commences, and Gurias thunderwaves the counter at the two guards, spraying gold all over the room and seriously damaging one of them. [[Image:Adventure10-1.jpg]] Other duergar in the shop move to protect their store as the party tries to pincer them in between the rooms. A Duergar Theurge joins the fight, spraying noxious fumes and explosive ash clouds over the party. The honed skills of the party, aided by the barbarian skills of Terrlen, crush the evil creatures. Further investigation reveals a back tunnel into a part of the labyrinth. The party welcomes Darian back to them at last, but realize their work is not done. Before going down the mysterious tunnel, the party stocks up around the Seven-Pillared Hall. A stop is made to the Deepgem Company, an operation run by Ulthand Deepgem. He eagerly buys the gems off the party for their full value, and then beseeches them to take up a quest for him: Recover Deepgem’s Dire Boar Kujo. ’’(This has been added to Quests.)’’ Supplies in hand, the expedition down the duergar tunnel commences. Darian steps back into his role of scout, and discovers a small series of chambers. He carefully opens the doors to each one, searching carefully. One of the sets of doors open to reveal Murklemor Grimmerzhul, head of the Grimmerzhul clan. He brandishes a huge maul, threatens the group with sale to mind flayers, and orders his guards to attack. [[Image:Adventure10-2.jpg]] As soon as he can react, Gurias lets loose his powerful sleep spell into the room, and manages to catch one of the duergar guards. Nohrik engages one of the guards, and soon discovers that they have the ability to grow to large sizes and inflict massive damage. Another duergar spellcaster launches many of the same spells as the previous one, seemingly uncaring if he affects his allies with their effects or not. Reschard concentrates on his teamwork, keeping Gurias away from the bad guys and aiding Nohrik in his fight. Glandrin steps the forefront and engages Murkelmor. Terrlen too charges into the fray with the boss duergar, as Darian keeps trying to move into optimal sneak attack position. The battle twists and turns, as Murkerlmor’s powerful swings enable him to send foes flying. The tide turns when Glandrin and Terrlen manage to take out the trapped spellcaster, who unleashes one more blast spell in the room as he is cut down. Gurias pounds on a sleeping duergar, who awakens just in time to use his growth ability and tries to smash the Eladrin. Teamwork carries the day, and the duergar are wiped out to the last. More treasure is found, including an Onyx Demon Idol that catches their eye. A recovered note indicates that some slaves were here, but were sold to the Blackfang clan of Gnolls. The party hears noises from the next room, and approaches cautiously. Throwing open the door and preparing for another fight, they instead see where the remaining slaves have been kept: including Splugh the merchant that betrayed them. A tense moment comes when both Darian and Terrlen initially want to end his life right away, but the fat merchant manages to negotiate saving his life in exchange for some information. He reveals the location of more hidden treasure in the room, and informs the party that the rest of the duergar have escaped into a secret passage that leads back to the duergar mines, where hundreds of the creatures toil in the belly of the Underdark. The decision is made to return to town instead of potentially face an army of devil-dwarves. Splugh is turned into the authorities for attempting to sell Darian into slavery, and the Mage of Saruun on duty takes the prisoner, indicating he will be dealt with properly. While taking a break at the Halfmoon Inn with a well-deserved meal, an albino kobold approaches Nohrik. The dragonborn treats the creature with contempt as it gives up a note that it was told to pass along. The note invites the party to a hidden location to help take down an evil organization from the inside. At first, it seems as though only Nohrik will go, but eventually the entire party decides to investigate. After coming to an abandoned cave, the ruse is revealed: it’s a trap! Tiefling warlocks spring out of hiding to attack, and command a summoned demon and a bronze minotaur golem to strike. The golem tramples Glandrin and pins him against the wall. [[Image:Adventure10-3.jpg]] Darian and Terrlen go after the Tieflings up on ledges, leaping on nearby boulders as necessary. The ledges and flying demon prove difficult to deal with, but a combination of reach weapons and ledge jumping allows them to take command of the situation… except for the Golem. The minotaur statue wreaks havoc through the mighty warriors, hefting its brutally sharp axe causing profuse bleeding on any whom it hits. Nohrik has enough, and calls upon the might of his god to deliver a brutal strike against the statue. Not to be outdone, Terrlen summons deep into his primal abilities and lets loose a strike with the fury of an avalanche dealing massive damage to the minotaur as well. Gurias gets the statue in his sights, concentrates, and he too delivers a critical strike of magic against the golem, channeling the creature’s own magic against it to finish it off. Within one of the Tiefling’s packs are revealed the source of the ambush: Paldemar, the rogue Mage of Saruun, is on to them. The ambush was supposed to kill the party and deliver their corpses to the Blackfang gnoll tribe. The Blackfangs reside in a deadly and mysterious area of the labyrinth known as the Well of Demons. Directions to the Well are also with the Tiefling, as the group sees where fate seems to be pointing them next…

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Part 1: The Chamber of Eyes
Adventure 9

Recap

Fresh from the Ghost Tower of Inverness, the journey continues to Thunderspire to investigate the next prophecy. Arriving at the foot of the mountain’s entrance, along the north side, Gairdan Facio says that the labyrinth is inside, but that’s as far as he can go. He recommends meeting up with Terrlen Darkstalker after arriving, as he’s a friend and fellow guide. Splugh leads the cart and the party into the twisting passages. The party hears sounds of commotion in one of the passages, and goes to investigate. They open a door and see a group of Hobgoblins attempting to abduct a halfling, and they don’t take kindly to the interruption. During the fight, the Hobgoblin mage knocks a group back, including Gurias standing just outside. He is thrown to his feet, and Splugh takes that opportunity to engage the horse into action, trampling Gurias and heading off alone into the labyrinth… taking Darian with him. The fight finishes, and they capture a Hobgoblin named Krusck for interrogation. At first, they are unsuccessful at intimidating him into talking, until Nohrik unleashes his draconic presence. Krusck tells the party where to find the rest of the Hobgoblin slavers, and draws them a map of their fortress. They let the Hobgoblin go, provided he leaves Thunderspire. He promises to take up basket-weaving for the rest of his life, and flees. They cannot find the trail of Splugh’s cart, so Rendil leads them to the Seven-Pillared Hall, the town within the labyrinth. After some exploration within the Hall, and meeting some of the inhabitants, they set off to the Chamber of Eyes where the Hobgoblin slavers have set up. They sneak by the front, climb up to a balcony, and use a secret passage to infiltrate the compound. Some goblin and bugbear guards are dispatches, after Gurias uses a bit of magic trickery to distract some of the reinforcements. Another chamber reveals a pair of Duergar, evil dwarf-kin. They engage the party, and are soon joined by the leaders of the slaver outfit. Nohrik is dragged into the fray and valiantly holds while Glandrin and Reschard establish a defensive perimeter. As the ranks of the warriors thin out, the Hobgoblin wizard tries to escape. Glandrin charges after him, but the wizard manages to knock the elven warrior to the ground. The wizard tries to open another stone door to get reinforcements, but Glandrin valiantly crawls across the ground and hacks off the wizard at the legs before it can finish opening the door. The duerger and hobgoblins dispatched, the party unlocks a chest found in the chieftan’s room filled with valuables. Nohrik is forced to rest after suffering deep wounds during the fight, but the rest press on. The party double backs across the compound, and investigates a strange idol in the fortress’s drinking water supply, but finds it to be nothing out of the ordinary. The party is left with only two more rooms to investigate. Instead of entering the main chamber, they decide to explore a side chamber that has sounds of drunken revelry. Glandrin kicks open the door, and Gurias fires off a highly effective sleep spell that affects many of the guards. Two goblins out of range of the spell slip out the back via a secret passage, and one hobgoblin is left standing to defend the hall. He at first tells the party to surrender since the goblins are getting reinforcements, but then the party manages to convince him that all the reinforcements have been dealt with. They take his surrender, and he tells them that a halfling and a human were among those sold into slavery to the duergar. It sounds as though Splugh tried to sell Darian, but managed to get them both captured. Wounded, and not willing to take on the remaining forces of the fortress, the party retreats back to the Seven-Pillared hall.

Rewards

  • XP for Reschard, Glandrin, and Gurias: 921
  • XP for Nohrik: 688
  • XP for Darian: 125
  • Loot: +1 Belt of Sacrifice, +1 Lifedrinker Longsword, +2 Delver’s Chainmail, Potion of Healing, Eight gems worth 100 each, 572 gp, Key to Krand’s Chest, Key to Chamber of Eyes
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The Ghost Tower of Inverness
Adventure 8

Prologue

Another letter received from the Inquisition, relating the next prophecy: “Seek the Enigmas beneath the Spire of Thunder, and learn their secrets.” The party rests and recovers, keeping an eye out for the return of Istarmani who swore revenge. They search for any clues towards the “Spire of Thunder” and come up empty-handed. That is, until [[Shen One-Eyed]] comes into the Stone Pony Inn. The Elven ne’er-do-well has come across some information. Because you have been so kind to him in the past, he says, that he will provide you with some information he has come across, in the hopes that you will compensate him appropriately. Far to the west, following the trade roads towards Tartarus and then heading to the mountains to the northwest, sits a Mountain that hides a maze-like series of tunnels. A group of mages rule there who have hidden away from the Inquisition so they can freely practice their arts. They have established a trading city within the mountain, where all manner of Underdark and mountainous dwellers meet to trade. They call this mountain Thunderspire, and the maze underneath the Thunderspire Labyrinth. But be careful, he says, even getting there may be a challenge. Travelers have gone missing in that area while stopping for the night in the town of Inverness. They say a haunted Ghost Tower is there, trapping all passerbys…

Recap

The party is hired by Splugh Westmeyer, an obese merchant who is looking to travel to that area as well. He has also enlisted Gairdan Facio, a dwarven prospector who can act as a guide to that region. [[Image:Adventure8-1.jpg]] The party sets out on the western trade road to Tartarus. Along the way, a group of frenzied wolves and their Werewolf master attack the cart, seemingly attempting to ransack the goods therein. They are repelled, and Glandrin notes his distaste for having to kill innocent wolves. After a few weeks travel along the trade road, the party stops near the town of Inverness. Gairdan accompanies them because he is curious, but Splugh remains behind with the cart. The town is quiet, and has an unearthly pallor over it. One man is there to explain that all the members of the town have long since died, but the tower keeps them there in the material world. Many group have tried to explore the tower, but none have returned. This does not deter our intrepid adventurers however, and they venture forth inside, across the dried up moat and into the mouth of the tower. The first floor features a number of symbols that Gurias intreprets as a ritual, and a teleportation circle. After some searching, a focus for the ritual is found. Not wanting to be separated, they all enter the circle as Gurias casts the ritual to activate it. [[Image:Adventure8-2.jpg]] Floor two seemed to be some kind of living quarters, now encompassed by a horrific stench. As the party began to explore, a hideous Otyugh burst from underneath the main table and attacked, grabbing at its newest meal. Soon, the beast was joined by two corrupted, vengeful spirits. Thanks in part to Reschard’s newfound paladin training, the threats were defeated. A quick search of the room revealed a different piece that could be used in the ritual, and that was activated next. The next room featured a lab of some kind. The notes of the wizard Paldemarr reveal that he once worked for the Inquisition, but after his wife became ill and died, they refused to bring her back to life. He came to Inverness to research on how to bring her back, but something went wrong. They find nothing else of note, so move on. A large chest of gold enticed the party in the next room, but it was soon revealed to be a trap. Though several tests were done (and some damage taken), they ultimately decide to move on. [[Image:Adventure8-3.jpg]] Some experimentation is done with the two teleportation runes, and after a few false starts, they eventually move down a level, where a pitched battle is taking place. Several warriors of the Shadar-kai, a strange peoples hailing from the Shadowfell, are fighting a group of horrific demons. The party tries to intercede, but the Shadar-kai demonstrates that they do not trust the party, even coming to a few blows. They begin fighting the demons in earnest anyway, and that combined with some stirring words, convinces them to fight together against the demonic menace. Once the creatures fall, the Shadar-kai make a gesture of gratitude, and step back into the shadows. The next floor found the party separated, and in entirely different places. Gurias watches as Arborea falls from the sky, taking with it the Eladrin citizens. He convinces himself that it cannot be real, and activates the teleportation ritual to move on. Glandrin finds himself back in his elven homelands referred to most as the Beastlands, and soon discovers his tribe and family slaughtered. He follows the trail to find a group of Eladrin claiming credit, and threatening another Glandrin. They say, “This is the price for your revolution” before the teleportation magics envelop him. Gairdan finds himself in an familiar place, but changed. A group of other prospectors, including one who looks very familiar, greet him and speak of the new Etherium find. Gairdan tries to ask the name of the familiar prospector, but then finds himself alone again. In the distance, a fight is ongoing between a giant glowing figure and obviously powerful figures. Before he can react, the teleportation magics take him away. Reschard finds himself back in his homeland in Sarta, but all is not right. Giants ravage his former kingdom. He tries to help, but is stopped… but his dead brother. He explains that this place is doomed, including the woman they both loved. Reschard recoils, before the teleportation magics return him to the tower. [[Image:Adventure8-4.jpg]] On the final floor of the tower, the party appears back in the teleportation circle. Before they can discuss what they have seen, they see a massive tear in dimensions emanating from the middle. It is here where the Shadowfell has leaked into the prime material plane. Standing near it is a horrible hag. She threatens: “I’ll eat your tortured souls!” Reschard lashes out for having seen what he did. In a blind fury, he charges across the room at the hag. Several phantom warriors emerge from the rift and swing at the warlord, but he pays them no heed and swings at the hag. Glandrin and Gairdan move up to engage her as well, and maneuver around the ghostly soldiers. Gurias stands back to fire from a distance, but then something becomes apparent that all Eladrin know: hags hate Eladrin. She teleports across the room and gives an ear splitting scream. Gairdan flies into a berserk rage, tearing at the ghosts before charging back to aid the wizard. The battle takes much of their strength, but the hag is eventually cut down, and the Shadowfell rift closes on itself. As she is sucked away, the hag confirms what the party suspected: she was Paldemarr’s wife before she became twisted by magic. The tower becomes completely silent. After being convinced the tower won’t collapse, they make their way out using the teleportation circles. Along the way, they stop back at the treasure room and find the traps have been disabled, and take the money away. Outside, the town of Inverness is gone… finally put to rest.

Rewards

  • XP: 769
  • GP: 1,100 in the treasure pile, -50 to cast the rituals to escape, so 1050 net.
  • Minor Analyze Portal Ritual: Level 1, 10 GP, 10 Minutes. Analyzes a Portal or Telportation Circle to give information on how to activate it. Provides no other information.
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The Transformation of Ceru Istarmani
Adventure 7

Recap

The next prophecy had been revealed, and it seemed to point to Istarmani, the mysterious Elven noble that the party had just delivered the Jade Chalice to. Alice Starr cited commitments to the churches in the city, Light had been called before the Inquisition, and Nohrik seemed to have come down with some kind of illness while driving in the woods. The rest of the party, however, splits up to try to gather some information. After trying a few leads, Darian comes across some ne’er do wells in the slums of Alexandren discussing their plan to hit a bunch of the churches in town. The rest of the party follows up their own leads to the Alexandren Library. Glandrin, Reschard, and Gurias head into the library while Darian tries to warn the guards of the impending attacks. An ancient half-elven librarian leads the party to a secluded section of the library about the ancient Nerath empire. [[Image:adventure7-1.jpg]] Descending the stairs into the section, they find several elves ransacking the library! There’s some posturing, but as what often happens, words are not enough, and the battle is joined. The elves pass around a bag of books and try to get it out of the library, but the PCs maneuver around to try to block them in a difficult fight. Istarmani’s lieutenant manages to break through the blockade and head upstairs… to come face to face with Darian who has finally caught up. Down below, the knocked out party members come to, and the battle continues one floor up, with the valiant halfling holding the line. [[Image:adventure7-2.jpg]] The last of the elves is dropped by a well-placed dagger. The books are recovered, and they tell the interesting story of the first Alexandren Library, the great repository of all knowledge known, which at the height of the Nerath Empire burned to the ground mysteriously. They also tell about the three Eladrin lords:
  • Istarmani, Lord of the Prime, Master of the Material
  • Istarya, Lord of Time and Space
  • Istarkoi, Lord of Ideas and Knowledge

Istarya and Istarkoi stripped Istarmani of much of his powers for reasons not revealed, and sealed his power in the Set of Jade, and scattered it throughout the world. The party debates what to do with this knowledge and how to avert the next prophecy. The only thing they can settle on is to venture into Istarmani’s compound. The mansion and its grounds are mostly undefended. A light drizzle begins to fall from the sky. Darian does some quick scouting to determine the best location to slip in undetected. From their past visits, and a drawing on their knowledge of housing ’’(via an incredible Dungeoneering check)’’ they determine the area to go where the Jade Set might be held. There’s strange chanting coming from the main dining area. The party bypasses the valuable artworks on display to investigate. The rain has started coming down faster now, with the sound of thunder echoing within every few minutes. There is speculation about the weather being unnatural. The door to the dining chamber is opened, revealing Istarmani holding the Jade Chalice, the center of some kind of ritual being performed with the help of other Elves. Darian leaps out and tries to disrupt the ritual by stabbing one of the Elves involved, but it seems to be too late. Istarmani begins laughing as the power from the Jade Set fills him again… but then something has gone wrong. He is transforming into something unexpected. The hall is filled with this sound: [http://www.critical-hits.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/fs_a002_male_laughter_morphing.mp3 Istarmani’s Transformation] With every lightning clap, Istarmani’s skin becomes darker, changing from a light complexion to that of a Drow. He curses the party and accuses them of mishandling the Jade Chalice. Energy flares out from the Jade Set, changing the other members of the ritual into strange spiderlike creatures. The Jade Set begins to erupt, spewing forth giant spiders. [[Image:adventure7-3.jpg]] The party tries to rush Istarmani, but the spider-things hold them off long enough for him to use an escape passage underneath his throne. After a few inconvienent webbings, the spiders are dispatched. Without stopping to catch their breath, the party charges on into the secret passage. A nasty spiked pit, surrounded by traps designed to push them in, poses a minor setback. Darian bravely paves the way for the rest, suffering minor spike injuries along the way (which is much better than major spike injuries.) [[Image:adventure7-4.jpg]] The passage leads on to the outside, a muddy field in the Istarmani grounds. There, the thugs and crooks who had been hired to attack the churches congregate there. “There’s those guys the boss wants killed!” they yell at the party, and charge. Darian and Glandrin move ahead and find themselves quickly surrounded, but the combined might of the party dispatches the goons quickly enough. As the last one drops, a shout and the barking of dogs is heard. The party quickly finds itself surrounded by the Inquisition who demand the party drops their weapons. Darian tries to sneak off, but then thinks better of it. The party is brought in for questioning, but are soon let go after the Inquisition superiors send down word for the PCs to be released. The only warning they receive is to not return to Istarmani’s grounds while the investigation is ongoing.

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