Might of the Inquisition

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad, mad dragon
Adventure 6

Recap

Emerging from The Tower of Talon Pass, the party is shocked to discover that Istarmani’s horses are gone! Some quick tracking work indicates that they have been stolen by some heavily armored humanoids, and headed west. So the party gives chase! They cross one of the trade roads into one of the open areas, then the sun seems to be going down… until they look up. A massive dragon figure flies in close, and threatens them for killing his little brother. At first, the thought is entertained of fighting the black dragon, until they realize just how big he is! Many take this opportunity to flee into the forest, but Light decides to stand his ground and say he had nothing to do with killing the dragon. The bluff is somewhat successful, with the dragon saying he’ll kill him last. Quickly, the warlock also flees into the forest. Reschard tells everyone to split up, and signals that they head towards Portalis, with the message being carried down the line. Some chose to try to fake out the dragon with what direction they’re going, with others finding a good hiding place. [[Image:7-1.jpg]] After a few minutes, they believe they’ve temporarily lost the dragon, and they meet up in the direction of Portalis. Along the way there they come across some caves that could be handy for hiding from the dragon. Darian sneaks in, and finds the caves infested with kobolds! He sneak attacks one, and the rest of the party move up to deal with the others coming out of the caves. A battle ensues against the kobold hordes in the caves. As the wyrmpriest leader is on his last legs, he lets out a shrill shriek, which echos through the caves… and into the chasing dragon’s ears. It will be upon them soon! More kobolds are dispatched, but everyone retreats into the caves to find proper hiding places (including the two surviving kobolds.) The dragon arrives and begins investigating the caves, sniffing around outside (because they are too small for him to enter fully.) The party is able to be well hidden (with Nohrik choosing the perfect disguise behind a statue of Tiamat), but the kobolds are not. The dragon decides they aren’t worth his time, so he growls at them with all his draconic scariness, literally terrifying the piss out of them. With a chuckle, the dragon takes off. The party has a discussion about what to do with the remaining kobolds, and ultimately decides that even though they are evil, they won’t kill them. They settle on destroying all their weapons, and Nohrik makes them promise to do good from now on. With that (and grabbing all the kobolds’ ill-gotten loot) they head back into the forest to try to pick up the trail of the horses. Along the way, they encounter a strange settlement in the middle of the woods, seemingly civilized but without the protection of the Etherium. A party vote has to be taken to enter or not, with a slim majority voting to investigate. They are greeted by Barl Stonedown, who asks if they are members of the Inquisition. There’s a brief moment of confusion as Light answers “Yes” and others answer “No” and they are forced to hint at their strange situation, but Barl ends up trusting the party and letting them in. He explains that this is the location of The Enclave, which is further elaborated on by Teclis Ro, the defacto leader of this place. The party is given the opportunity to rest, and served a fine ale (in exchange for keeping mum about this place.) During the course of the conversation, it is revealed that Barl saw the horses come through on his scouting mission earlier (ridden by Hobgoblins), and can point the party in the direction. In fact, they can even head off the hobgoblins by taking a short cut… straight through an Owlbear nest. Having heard of these legendary creatures, they jump at the chance to fight them. [[Image:7-3.jpg]] They find the owlbear nest, with several owlbear young lapping at a small pond and others eating from a mushroom field. An owlbear mother keeps watch, and spots the party as they approach. The party avoids the brush in front of them, some noticing the briars and strange mushrooms within. As they move to engage the owlbear family, Gurias decides to use Mage Hand to pick up some of the strange mushrooms, and toss them at the owlbear mother, and the mushrooms explode in a cloud of spores! Coughing and struggling to stay focused, the owlbear mother nonetheless sees Darian cut down one of her young, so she disengages from Glandrin and charges the halfling, striking him with a series of brutal strikes. Nohrik too strikes down one of her young, earning the ire of the mother. She lays into both of them, hacking away and trying to rip their skin right off with her powerful beak. Behind her, Light blasts away the remaining two young, but uses his warlock powers to remain hidden from the mother. [[Image:7-4.jpg]] Despite her fury, the owlbear mother is surrounded, and as she becomes wounded, lets out a deadly “HONK” that stuns nearly everyone around it. [[Image:7-5.jpg]] It’s still not enough, as the party beats her into submission. Darian takes her head as a trophy. [[Image:7-6.jpg]] The party presses on through to intercept the hobgoblins on stolen horses. They set up an ambush at a crossroads, which is successful for some, but the martial types are not very good at stealth. Arcane energy blasts off the riders of some of the horses, and the party moves to jump aboard and calm the horses. Gurias uses his fey step to teleport another horse. In the process, Nohrik is trampled a few times. The hobgoblins are dropped, all except for the commander. The commander offers a deal: if they let him go, he will return to Lord McNuggety and tell him to be lenient for sparing his life. If they cut him down, the entirety of the Nightfist Mercenaries will come after them. Everyone agrees, except for Darian, who swears to kill the hobgoblin. Alice and Reschard move to stop the halfling, but he is too small and slippery. He lunges at the commander, but the commander was ready and parries the blow. The commander slips off his horse and withdraws, leaving the horse (and his equipment) behind. However, just as the horses are mounted, a now familiar sound starts… the sound of a fast-flying enraged black dragon. Portalis is in sight, with the horses running at top speed (past a few confused merchants), into the range of the Etherium. The dragon hits something in mid-air, and is racked with pain, before he has to retreat. In disgust, he spits acid at a few of the trees nearby before taking flight away in disgust. They take a more leisurely journey back to Alexandren. The first stop is the house of Istarmani to receive their reward. They question him about why a mural in the Tower of Talon Pass looked so much like him, to which he responds that it was probably an ancestor. The PCs don’t buy this answer, but they are happy to receive their reward for returning the Jade Chalice and his horses. The last stop for the evening is back to the Stone Pony Inn, where a letter waits from the Inquisition. The next prophecy is waiting for them and it reads: “When the Queen of Spiders and the Lord of the Prime grasp the Cup of Green, the transformation can commence.” And they begin to wonder…

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The Treasure of Talon Pass (Part 2)
Adventure 5

Recap

After the series of battles that the party encountered in the Tower of Talon Pass, they decide they need to rest before descending another level. Gurias and Darian were wounded in the last battle and have to bow out for now, lest their injuries become permanent. However, while resting, Nohrik manages to catch up the party (having finished observing a holiday of Avandra) and ran into a young Wizard named Alastair on the way who was also searching for Talon Pass to study it. He joins up with the group to help clear the tower of the monster infestation. [[Image:talonpass6.jpg]] The party descends the stairs, and encounters a group of drakes, some of whom spring out from a curtain in the center of the room, and begin to fly about. [[Image:talonpass7.jpg]] At the other end of the room, magically animated ballistae (a kind of homunculus called an Arblaster) guard a stage. In the center, a 12 foot tall statue of a warrior watches the room. As the melee combatants climb on the stage to engage, the statue is revealed to be trapped. The Arblasters try to scuttle away on their tripods, but are cut down. [[Image:talonpass9.jpg]] A stone door leads to a rough tunnel leading onward. A passage splits to the left into a wider cave, revealing a small pool of water… where a large black dragon cools its tail! Skalatharin, black dragon boss of the kobold tribe, lives in this area. Startled by the intruders, he exudes magical darkness which coalesces by the entrance. This forces the party to change tactics a bit and make their way through the blackness. Light and Alastair try to find another way around, but only succeed in narrowly avoiding attention by other monsters in the next room. [[Image:talonpass8.jpg]] An epic fight commences against the dragon, with party members falling before its acid breath and mighty claws. The adventurers through all the tricks in their repertoire at it, and finally have it on the run. The dragon cloaks itself in darkness to try to rest and recover, making it impossible to find within to fire at. But Alastair, their new ally, has the idea to throw a Cloud of Daggers blindly within the darkness, which managed to grind away at the dragon by filling the air with force daggers. It soon has to retreat, where several of the ranged warriors are waiting, and cut the dragon down. [[Image:talonpass10.jpg]] After a breather, and a few minutes to scoop up the dragon’s horde, they continue down the hallway. Within is a strange chamber with a glowing arch over downward stairs. Guarding the stairway are some metallic-dog homunculi, and an Imp like the one fought previously in the Well of Portalis. During the battle, Glandrin notices as mural running along the walls. While most seems to depict the ancient human empire, one wall seems to have an image of their employer, Istarmani, with two other Elven figures of great power and mystery standing beside him. They make a note to follow up on this later… [[Image:talonpass12.jpg]] Before venturing past the arch, the party decides to double back and investigate a side room. Unfortunately, they walk into an undead ambush, as ghouls pop out of two side rooms, and a sinister wraith passes through a door to attack. Alice turns undead right away, and sends the wraith momentarily reeling back through the door while they deal with the ghouls. Alice’s mastery of radiant power makes destroying the undead abominations much easier. [[Image:talonpass11.jpg]] Convinced that they have rid the rest of the tower of sinister creatures, they venture back past the glowing archway. The new room is illuminated with the eerie glow from the arch. Looking around, the chamber is multi-leveled, and they appear to be in some kind of pit. A voice from up above cackles something about being worthy, and unleashes skeletons into the room from side chambers. The skeletons attempt to bombard the party and push them into spikes on the side, but are quickly cut down. The party makes its way up the sides of the pit but are blocked by a pair of guard drakes who are ready to snap at them. Along the other side, Light and the evil wizard engage in a magical duel. Though he manages to push party members back into the pit, the wizard is defeated, and they recover the Jade Chalice. Upon exiting, they find that their horses are missing, which their employer specifically asked them to take care of. The party decides to recover in the Tower before setting out after them. But the entire time, they cannot help but feel that something is watching…

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The Treasure of Talon Pass (Part 1)
Adventure 4

Recap

Two carts departed from Portalis to bring their heroes back to Alexandren. One ran into some trouble along the way. The other arrived safely back at The Stony Pony Inn. The latter found a letter waiting for them from Istarmani, who invited Glandrin, Gurias, and associates for a job. They sought out the noble’s manor, which was staffed entirely by Elves. The noble was dressed in an elegant but utilitarian outfit colored crisp black. he introduces himself personally, and says that there is an object of which he needs recovered. The Jade Chalice is the final missing piece in an ornate set crafted long ago. Treasure hunters have long sought it out, since many know of it but none have managed to lay eyes on it in centuries. A new lead has arisen as to its location- since Istarmani’s rival has sent the Nightfist Mercenary Company to a location beyond the reach of the Etherium to recover it. Now that he knows the location, Istarmani seeks some hearty Elves (and companions) to recover it for him before the Orcish mercenaries do. The party tries to inquire as to the identity of Istarmani’s rival, but he refuses to elaborate, leading them to make some wild speculations. Istarmani offers a tidy sum to bring him back the Jade Chalice, and additionally switches to Elven to make some more personal offers to Gurias and Glandrin. The party agrees, and the party is supplied with horses to travel to the location as quickly as possible to head off the mercenaries. A quick stop back at the Inn leads the entire party to reassemble, sharing quickly the details of their last adventure. Another note has arrived, this one from the Inquisition: the second prophecy has completely disappeared from the magic scroll, which indicates that it has been stopped. They are working on deciphering the third prophecy, so the party has some time. With that, they head off! Thanks to Istarmani’s directions, they find the former Tower of Talon Pass, with stairs leading downward from behind a waterfall. Outside, they tie up the horses, and notice that a large group has recently come through here… the Nightfist Orcs have beaten them there. [[Image:talonpass1.jpg]] Descending into the first room, the party finds two ways to proceed. One set of doors is busted open. The other is shut, and has red writing painted over it in Draconic. (Unfortunately, the only member of their group that speaks Draconic stayed behind.) Darian rigs the busted open doors to alert the party if anyone tries to come through there, and hopefully slow the orcs down. [[Image:talonpass2.jpg]] Proceeding through the door, Darian scouts down the dark passage, the rest of the party trailing behind. As soon as the last person steps through, the door shuts on its own and seals itself. Shuffling footsteps reveal the presence of a zombie regiment, who had been standing guard for centuries. Two other undead, dressed in officer clothing, spring out from a side passage. The zombies are easily dispatched thanks to judicious use of Icy Terrain and fighting prowess. The two wights are a bit tougher to handle thanks to their horrific visages scaring away any who come near, but are eventually hacked into dust. [[Image:talonpass3.jpg]] The party searches the rooms, but finds nothing of value, so they backtrack through the other passage. Once again, Darian sneaks ahead, and comes across two wolves gnawing on Orcish and Kobold bones. Darian, from his hidden position, takes advantage of the situation and throws a shuriken in the exact right spot to deal massive damage to one wolf, which Reschard and Glandrin rush in to finish off. This alerts the Orcs in a corner, who charge at the party, lead by a fearsome Berserker. A mass melee ensues, with the combatants swirling around each other in constant attempts to gain an advantage in combat. Icy Terrain once again takes out a number of foes at once, Light unleashes his horrific nightmare attack on the Berserker, and Darian jumps and rolls around to take advantage of enemy weak points. [[Image:talonpass4.jpg]] The next room contained a single orc hiding behind a pillar, being bombarded by Kobold slingshots from a high ledge. Darian wastes no time in dispatching the Orc, who can only give off a pathetic look before collapsing. The slingers harry the party, who are then flanked by Kobolds wielding black dragon scales as shields. One of the Kobolds wields a magic short sword, which Darian quickly scoops up and claims as his own. After defeating all the Kobolds (and getting unstuck from glue and shaking off the stinkpots) they raid the Kobold living quarters and pocket the gold they had. [[Image:talonpass5.jpg]] They move on to the next room to find another contingent of Kobolds waiting for them. One there unleashes various spells, and at one point breaths acid over a group of our heroes. Soon, those kobolds join the ones in the previous room in death. At this point, the heroes decide that they are exhausted and need to rest. Darian and Gurias suffered wounds in the battle that cause them to fall back for the time being. The rest try to find a safe camping spot for the night to rest and recover before tackling the second level of the sunken Tower. However, the dying words of one of the Kobolds still worries them: “Skatharilan kill you.”

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Little Issues With Dragons
Adventure 3

After Adventure 2 in Portalis, the townspeople are grateful. So grateful, in fact, that they offer to give the heroes who rescued their children a ride back to Alexandren. The carts can only carry 4 people each, so two carts set off on different paths towards Alexandren. This is the story of one of those carts. Nohrik, Alice, Light, and Reschard arrive in the town of Johannsville to grab some quick dinner. While trying to enjoy an easy meal, Nohrik and Light are accused of being up to no good, and being involved in the recent dragon attacks. They do their best to dissuade the townsfolk that they are just passing through, and buy everyone a round to prove their intentions. One man in the bar is unconvinced, and fetches Leonard, the town sheriff. The helpful bartender explains that the folks of Johannsville have been harassed by a dragon, and as a result, are becoming increasingly desperate and skittish. The party decides to investigate the town, and agree to meet up at sundown to figure out what to do next. Light and Nohrik offer to investigate by heading over to the side of town where the halfling families reside. Investigating, they soon spot a dirty-looking halfling attempting to pick Nohrik's pockets. They grab the halfling and begin to interrogate the thief. Fearing for his life, the halfling calls out a prayer to Tiamat, Goddess of Evil Dragons and Greed. This surprises the pair, who latch on to this lead. The halfling identifies himself as Alastair Proudfoot, and he hurriedly explains that Tiamat worshipers have come to town to help the halflings steal from the townsfolk. Nohrik and Light place their hands over the halfling's ears, and discuss a ruse. They claim that they are members of the Cult of Tiamat, here to assist. Alastair offers to lead them to "the boss", and the pair follow. Meanwhile, back in the tavern, Alice and Reschard meet with the Sheriff. The Sheriff clearly is not all that bright, and fond of the drink. He gives some warnings to the pair about not stepping out of line- before returning to his drink. Alice steps out of the tavern, and begins to give some speeches to raise the spirits of the humans of Johannsville while Reschard holds down the fort. Nohrik and Light are lead deep into the forest by Alastair, and out of range of the Etherium. Alastair points them into a strange ruined structure, and says they are to meet with the boss by themselves. Alastair takes his payment, and runs back off into the forest. The pair sneak up cautiously… then hear shouts coming up from the side. "Come face me, dragon!" shouts a would-be dragonslayer. This is enough to draw forth the resident of the structure: a large silver dragon. With slow, ponderous steps, the dragon advances on the dragonslayer. Nohrik and Light come out of hiding to try to intervene. The dragon inhales deeply. The dragonslayer turns and flees. The dragon exhales before turning his attention to the other two. They explain that a dragon has been harassing the townspeople, but quickly determine that this dragon is not the one. Not only does it seem to just want to be left alone, but it's repelled by the Etherium. It would take considerable effort to harass the town… but the dragon declares that if he is not left alone, he will make the effort and wipe the town out once and for all. Nohrik asks the dragon for anything that might help prove that the dragon has been "defeated" for calming the townsfolk, and it offers up some of its waste. They take a foul-smelling bag back to town. They also swear that they'll find and get revenge on Alastair, who tried to get them killed. Back in town, something has stirred up the townsfolk. The humans in town, lead by the Sheriff, bear torches and march on the halfling part of town. The blame has been placed on the small ones' shoulders. Reschard and Alice sneak around to halfling part of the village, and desperately try to come up with a plan. They can think of only one thing: "DRAGON! THE DRAGON IS ATTACKING!" While some halflings remain barricaded in their homes, some are convinced of the impending attack and run out into the woods to try to be safe. The angry mob also hears the warning about dragons, and breaks down into confusion and disorder. The mob is disbursed and the Sheriff returns to the bar. Nohrik and Light return and meet back up with Alice and Reschard, who exchange everything that's transpired. This gives them a quick opportunity to scout around, and they realize that some of the houses look a bit nicer, and haven't been used in a while. Could the halflings really be to blame? However, they decide to turn in for the evening, because tracking in the dark didn't seem wise. They return to the inn, where the bartender quickly lets them in ("there's a dragon out there, don'tcha know".) They hand over the dragon waste and say they've killed the dragon, and that's the proof. The next morning, rumors have begun to spread about the dragon's demise, though none are yet entirely convinced. The party heads out to follow the trail of halfling feet into the forest. [[Image:forestbattle1.jpg]] The trail leads to a small clearing, and a strange stone structure. As they move to investigate, arrows fly out from the forest. A group of elves come into view, shouting "We will defeat you, vile orcs!" It is soon apparent that the elves are under some kind of magical effect and cannot tell what is going on. After a few vicious arrow shots from the elves, the party learns to weave in and out of the forest to gain an advantage in the fight. Alice fires off a Cause Fear prayer at one of the archers, who flees into the forest. After shaking off the fear, the elf returns to the fight… but no longer under the magical effect. The battle ensues, with the party making sure to just knock the confused elves out instead of killing them. The spells wear off, and the elves explain why they're there. The area is a strange overlap between the prime material plane and the Feywild… and something has come through from the other side. The elves were sent to investigate the incursion, but fell under the effect of an illusion spell. One of the elves offers to try and track whatever came through. [[Image:ruinedchurch.jpg]] The path through the forest leads to a ruined church, overgrown with vines. Standing outside are two human guards, who are alerted to the not-so-stealthy group coming through the forest. Fortunately, they get the jump on the two guards, and knock them out. They spread out to look in the church, and witness an odd ceremony of halflings inside the church. On the pulpit stands a gnome wielding a small wand and an ornate blade. Nohrik the Paladin will not stand for such blasphemy, and kicks down the door. The chant begins: "Summon the dragon! The dragon! The dragon!" and magic pours from the head gnome, who forms into the shape of a green dragon. However, the party is not fooled by such a simple illusion. Light unleashes his Curse of the Dark Dream spell, which disrupts the illusion and summons back the gnome. The gnome refuses to go on without a fight and casts a spell to warp the terrain around the church. Then the gnome slips into the shadows, along with another gnome compatriot. Alice realizes that she has no magic to dispel invisibility magics, but decides she doesn't need it. She lights a torch, and begins to spread the smoke around the room, catching one of the gnomes in its area. Reschard reaches his halberd through a broken window to stab at some of the halflings, before finally stepping through to engage. Light blows out a window with an Eldritch blast. Nohrik sees Alastair among the halfling combatants, and decides to exact some revenge. Nohrik summons up a powerful strike against the annoying thief, but the halfling is granted a "second change" and just barely manages to get out of the way. Deciding that this is enough for him, Alastair flees into the forest. Alice takes off after him and summons a surge of energy to blast at him. The party tells their elven archer companion to chase after the halfling, who agrees, knocks an arrow, and fires straight into Alastair's heart. [[Image:ruinedchurch2.jpg]] The gnome illusionist and all of his followers are dispatched. The threat of the illusionary dragon has ended. Light makes sure to retrieve the pact blade from the gnome's hands, and everyone is sure to collect all the ill-gotten wealth the small ones have taken. The scheme becomes apparent: harass the town with an illusionary dragon, create panic to feed the goals of Tiamat, while the halflings take advantage of the confusion to rob the town. [[Image:deadalastair.jpg]] The party returns to town triumphant. Unfortunately, their experience at the church seems to confirm that the halflings are to blame, and the villagers will probably bring their ire against the small ones, whether they are involved or not… Loot * +1 Pact Blade Dagger (claimed by Light) * 350 gp

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The Hamlet of Lost Children
Adventure 2

After the events of Adventure 1, the party return to The Stone Pony Inn to rest and recover. Kelric offers the party rooms to stay in for as long as they like, in gratitude for saving his son and his Inn. Waking up the next morning, the party has two visitors, fresh from the office of Ebbek: Nohrik and Alice Starr. They are joining the mission, and bring with them details of the next mission. The Second Prophecy has something to do with missing children, so the party should investigate any missing child reports. From there, everyone decides to split up: * Light and Alice head to a local orphanage run by Pelorite Nuns. They don't have anyone who's been missing any moreso than normal. * Gurias heads to the Black Spire to speak to Ebbek, but is told that Ebbek is a very busy man and can't see "just anyone off the street", but the message will be passed on. * Darian wandered in the city, trying to eavesdrop on random conversations in case one lead to a clue. He heard [[Rumor: Ghost Tower]] and [[Rumor: Dragon Attack]]. * Nohrik went to the City Guard to ask at the front desk. They responded that they couldn't issue any reports until 48 hours missing had passed. However, he did find Rickert. * Reschard spoke to Benny, Kelric's son. Benny hadn't heard anything from his friends about anyone missing, or further encounters with goblins. * Glandrin went carousing at a local Elven bar for information, and heard [[Rumor: Elven Noble]]. * After failing to find any information at the orphanage, Light and Alice head to the slums of Alexandren, and try to get themselves attacked by street urchin so as to question them. However, Alice's performance is less than convincing, and they are ignored. Everyone reconvenes at The Stone Pony, where Nohrik introduces Rickert to everyone. Rickert explains that his son Billy has gone missing, along with two other children. He comes from the small town of Portalis, at the edge of the range of Alexandren's Etherium and one of the small farming communities that supports the main city. The party agrees to head out to there, leaving Rickert behind to place a missing person's report with the city guard when the requisite time had passed. A few hours later, the party arrives at the town, to find it in sharp contrast to the bustling city life. Most of the townsfolk were still working in the farmlands, leaving few to speak to in town. The party investigated Rickert's small house, finding nothing unusual in the brickmaker's home and workshop. A local shopkeep gives a little information, saying that Timmy, Billy, and Mandy are the three missing children. Meanwhile, Gurias has a strange feeling about the Etherium's effects in this area. Reschard goes out into the farmlands to speak with one of the villagers, and his son. The boy is initially reluctant to discuss anything, but after Reschard speaks of his own son and offers him a sunrod to play with, he opens up a bit. Billy, Mandy, and Timmy were dared to go down the Haunted Well at the edge of town as part of initiation into the kids' club, but then they never came back up, and the kids who dared them were afraid they would get in trouble so they didn't say anything. Reschard leaves to share this information, while the boy is grounded by his mother and has the sunrod taken away. [[Image:well.jpg]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/davethegame/2644161141/ Full Size, Annotated Image] The party converges on the Well just outside of town (but still in a paved section.) Alice and Norick move to investigate the well… but are ambushed by very large spiders leaping out of the well. Some strange beetles follow them out shortly thereafter, and begin spitting fire on whomever they see. The beetles get off some good shots, and the spiders wreak all kind of leaping-havoc, but all the bugs are squashed. After some rest and recovery, the descent down the well on rope begins. Reschard and Glandrin are the first down the well, spotting only some old skeletons at the bottom. But as they investigate further, they are engulfed by something quite gooey… [[Image:cube.jpg]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/davethegame/2644988132/in/photostream/ Full Size Image] The two manage to get off a quick cry for help before being absorbed into the Gelatinous Cube, and can only watch in horror as the skeletons rise around them and draw weapons. Darian and Norick rush down as quickly as they can, but end up taking some damage from the fall. The others try to avoid falling by being careful down the rope. The skeletons are easily broken apart, except for one more heavily-armored skeleton who harasses any not absorbed. But the biggest problem is dealing with the ravenous cube, which at one point manages to absorb 4 of our intrepid heroes at once. Everyone is knocked to the brink of unconsciousness at least once, but some inspiring words from the Warlord keep everyone going just enough. At one point, the Warlock inflicts horrific hallucinations upon the Cube (What are Gelatinous Cubes afraid of? They speculated hoses) and those hallucinations cause it to stumble into the Master Skeleton and deal some damage to it. The cube also falls victim to a patch of Icy Terrain, sending the cube toppling over and disoriented until it manages to right itself. The rogue somehow manages to regain his range of motion within the cube, and viciously stabs at it from the inside. Enough combined attacks puncture it, letting all those trapped within spill out. From there, everyone is able to focus their attacks on the one master skeleton. A long rest follows as everyone tries to get the goo out of their clothes. They poke around the room, and discover two important things: one, the master skeleton was wielding a magic scimitar, which Glandrin gladly takes for himself, and two, Timmy had been hiding behind a loose stone in the wall of the well. He says when the three kids came down, they were attacked by the cube, and scattered around to hide. He is helped back up the rope by Reschard, before everyone sets off through a heavy stone door towards the rest of the tunnels connected to the well. [[Image:tunnels.jpg]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/davethegame/2644989470/in/photostream/ Full Size Image] Scouting ahead, Darian discovers the tunnels split three ways. He hears water down one way, and encourages everyone to follow him. However, the party quickly discovers what's down each way. The passage to the right contains a cavern where the floor has collapses, and a little girl just barely balancing on a ledge. The left passage contains a slow-flowing stream, from which a creature made of vaguely sold water emerges. The passage straight ahead contains some manner of zombie hounds, and a murmuring child. The warriors move to engage the hounds, while the rogue engages the water-creature by himself. Alice stays behind to try and help the girl, and encourages the girl to jump to her. At first, the girl is afraid, but the Cleric's words convince her that she'll be safe… and by a miracle, the little girl has enough strength to make the big leap across to safety, before heading out of the well. The warriors manage to get the hounds into a chokepoint in the tunnels, and even though the hounds are effective at knocking the warriors over, they still manage to mostly hold the line against the vile creatures. Meanwhile, the rogue continues his fight against the water creature, only to have it split into two before him. The creatures are all dispatched before they investigate the murmuring boy. As Light reaches down to help the boy, he vanishes, and the ceiling collapses in on the area. Light manages to draw upon his Warlock powers to just barely get out of the way. Though two children have been rescued, the third still has not been found. Gurias attempts to trace the source of the illusion, and leads the way down the tunnel past the river. [[Image:chamber.jpg]] [http://www.flickr.com/photos/davethegame/2644164849/in/photostream Full Size Image] Darian once again scouts ahead, and comes across a massive chamber. In the middle sits a gaping mouth that seems to be formed out of the stone itself, but leads to somewhere else. In the corner, down a rocky slope, two winged beasts torment a small boy. Darian cannot let this stand and charges in to save him. The mouth begins to cough up strange beings that appear to be made of solid fat. The rest of the party moves in to fend off the creatures and save the boy, while dealing with the creatures crawling out from the mouth. Gurias throws a sheet of ice over the mouth to slow down anything coming out of it. One of the winged things is dispatched, and the other turns invisible. The other fat-creatures are killed off, dying in an explosion of grease and pus. Just when they think everything is under control, a large demon crawls out of the mouth. Light recognizes it as a powerful Carnage Demon, a fearsome demonic killing machine. Alice and Nohrik throw radiant energy at the mouth, and find they can damage it. After hitting it with enough strikes, the mouth begins to implode, taking the whole cavern with it. Most of the party manages to flee (with Reschard taking the small boy in tow), and Glandrin braves guards the rear, taking a swing from the creature. Everyone manages to get out in time before the cavern collapses, taking the demon along with it. Rickert has returned to town, and is grateful to see his son back safely (though a bit torn up.) The boy managed to find a pouch in the tunnels, which he gladly gives to the party. Several of the townspeople also hand over some of the weapons that have been passed down from their forefathers to get some use by the PCs. '''Loot:''' * +1 Thundering Scimitar (already given) * +1 Orb of Sanguinary Repercussions * +1 Razor Scale * +1 Curseforged Chain * +1 Lifedrinker Halberd * +1 Cloak of Resistance * 200 gp 

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The Beginning
Adventure 1

The party is called before Ebbek the Inquisitor inside the Black Spire. He has promised each person a favor that only The Inquisition can grant in exchange for their service. 25 years ago, when the Etherium fell from the sky, it had another effect beyond what the public has seen. The Inquisition has a scroll recovered from the Great Alexandren Library that lists 12 Prophecies. The first prophecy predicted the coming of the Etherium. The last prophecy depicts the fall of the Alexandren Empire and of the Inquisition. The people cannot know about these prophecies since it would cause wide-scale panic. The party's objective is to stop the middle 10 prophecies from coming to pass. The party will operate autonomously, and has no official sanction from the Inquisition. Fail, and the favor will not be granted. Die, and you will be replaced. After a few questions about the arrangement, Ebbek sends them off to meet with an informant about a situation in town that may have to do with the second prophecy. On the way, the party exchanges introductions before arriving at The Stone Pony Inn. Upon arriving, they find their informant: and he is missing his tongue. He tries to communicate that something short attacked him. They are interrupted by a scream from the kitchen, and the cook fleeing in a panic. Goblins made their way into the Inn, and tried to attack! After taking care of the initial scouting band of Goblins, they party discovers a grate in the floor leading to the sewers. After making sure everyone is alright, they descend. The sewers below Alexandren are twisty and filthy, requiring some knowledge of the city and tracking skills to find the Goblin hideout. A particularly open part of the sewers reveals a Goblin barracks where they have set up homes. The goblins attack the intruders, using all the weapons at their disposal (including a large collection of rats.) A battle ensues that involves jumping over the gross sewer water and being bitten by rats (both in a swarm and thrown.) Taking a few hits and shaking off some disease, the party is victorious. While searching around for anything the Goblins might have stolen, they discover a secret passage in the stonework. The small passage leads to a hidden research chamber. There, a human woman covered in filth has a pile of organs that she appears to be fashioning creatures of out. As they approach, she orders her creations to rise forth and attack. While two of the shambling forms intercept the party, one appears to be particularly powerful, drawing on the power of a glowing green piece of rock embedded in his head. Gurias uses his sleep spell on the guardians, causing them to collapse and the fighters make short work of the creatures. This opens up the corridor for the Warlock, Rogue, and Warlord to engage the Necromancer. Obviously frail, it doesn't take long for them to subdue her. Darian Shadowheart draws up his blade to finish her off, when Ebbek enters the chamber behind them. He orders them to release the woman to him. A short debate follows, with some of the party calling for the Halfling to finish the job despite the Inquisitor's order. Eventually he relents, and Ebbek takes the woman away. On the way out, Gurias asks him for some kind of explanation. The Inquisitor explains that this is his wife, who worked with the Etherium when it first came, and since has been overtaken by madness. He then tells them they've done well, and leaves them to take the rest of the possessions out of the room: a treasure chest filled with gold and potions, and a dark tome that Light is especially interested in. Loot: 520 gp 2 Potions of Healing

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