Might of the Inquisition

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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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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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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