Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Exiled Drow of Szith Rijun

Characters: Dusk Revin, Gallipolas & Fig, Lazbin, Narn Daergal, Rathgillian, Trizoon & Nilmith

NPCs: Tieraka Rijun

Synopsis: With his weapon draw, Dusk approaches the weeping female drow. Curled against the hewn stone wall, she continues crying with her shoulders heaving. The rouse is obvious to Dusk, and he is alert and ready when the weeping turns to rage. But the drow’s countenance is distorted with some sort of arachnid taint. The Defenders rush in to engage but only half enter the chamber before it is sealed off with webbing. The female drow bait works as three massive spiders join the battle. Facing a wall of spider webs Gallipolas and Rathgillian are contemplating the obstruction when a voice creeps up from behind.

Dusk is immediately bound by a spider’s web. Risking the pain he self-immolates, burning both himself and the webs in the process. Trizoon stands strong as Fig continues the attack. Nilmith supports them as Lazbin emerges from the invisible to strike the spiders. From the other side of the spiders’ webs, Gallipolas accosts a gnome who offers support. Finding the voice to be an ally of Dusk’s, Rathgillian burns through the webs and strikes the spiders. With the party reunited the spiders are crushed.

Once the webs settle, Dusk recognizes the whisper gnome as Narn, another member of the Divine Hammer but sometimes an absent ally. The group quickly assesses the new cavern and discovers yet another illusionary wall. To prove his value, Narn offers to explore the next cavern and spots a humanoid hiding within. The gnome confronts the obscured enemy, discovering it to be a drow armed with rapier and shield. But the drow isn’t alone as Narn is skewered from behind by a second drow warrior. Again the Defenders are ready and race to draw arms against the evil drow.

The battle draws an unseen ally of the drow as spells erupt from the far end of the cave, beyond the darkness. Lazbin’s spells are loosed against the drow, but the magical nature of the dark elf defeats the wizard’s attempts. Narn shows his value, lethally striking the drow. Overwhelmed with shear force the drow fall to blades of the Defenders and holy spells of Dusk. Gallipolas displays his newly developed powers by morphing into an elemental of the earth and gliding through the impenetrable stone as if it was water. At the end of the chamber he finds the two remaining drow, a spell caster and a priestess floating near the ceiling.

After destroying the two guards, the group pursues Gallipolas and surrounds the drow. Their might is obvious as the spell caster is subdued and pinned. With the battle lost, the floating priestess hails the half-drow Dusk seeking to parlay. Dusk is determined, knowing full well of the treachery of the drow. He disarms the female and quickly ties her up with help from Narn. Gallipolas twists the spell caster into complete submission. Dusk draws down against the priestess and begins the questioning. She is Tieraka Rijun of House Rijun, and she is the last survivor of Szith Rijun, the drow settlement below the Dordrien Crypts. Just over a tenday prior, the city was attacked by drow. Tieraka describes how her goddess Lolth has not answered prayers for more than two months. Yet another god has somehow been disrupted.

Without the prayers of her god, the priestess and her allies were overrun in less than three hours. Other drow even turned against the ruling house and joined the coup. The only element of the traitors she is aware of is that some are faithful to Kiaransalee, the drow goddess of death and revenge. She and her loyal servants were the only survivors she knows of. They escaped to this private sanctuary, reserved specifically for an instance of invasion. Only her inner circle is aware of this series of chambers. She begins to bargain but her mouth is stuffed; Dusk has heard enough. In seclusion the group discusses their options.

With the disruption of the plans of nature, they are almost sure that the disruption has extended into the Abyss. And now a new faction of drow has overrun the drow settlement Szith Rijun. Dusk speculates that it is these draw that are raiding Cedarspoke and dealing with the frost giants and the drow of Lolth were inactive against the surface world for over a century. The favored soul of Kelemvor is repulsed by this new faction of drow, but the first step is obvious: eliminate the spell caster. Gallipolas assures Trizoon that given the opportunity the drow spell caster would destroy everyone in this room, including his allies. The bard shakes his head and wonders of the complete absence of humanity. With the others’ attention elsewhere Narn sets about the murder of the spell caster, strangling the drow and ending his life after several agonizing minutes.

But the task is pressing; Trizoon uses his song and flute to fascinate the drow priestess. It takes only minutes to when her over and charm her. Previously a vicious enemy, Tieraka Rijun is now a staunch ally of the Defenders of the Dragon Coast. She outlines the layout of the city, identifying the central chasm that services the multiple layers of Szith Rijun. She also identifies the defense positions of the previous administration, which most likely have not changed as the traitorous drow are still present. The drow warriors are sure to be on high alert, but with her help the Defenders can raid the city and destroy the drow faction of Kiaransalee. After quickly scouting the forward drow guards the group decides to rest within the protective extradimensional space of Lazbin’s making. Once they have prepared, Szith Rijun will fall once more under the Defenders and the Divine Hammer.

Encounters: four araneas, two drow nobleguards, drow spellguard, drow priestess of Lolth

Achievements: captured the exiled drow priestess, learned of the drow civil war, charmed the drow as an ally and learned of the layout of the drow settlement Szith Rijun and its defenses.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Into the Dordrien Crypts

Characters: Dusk Revin, Gallipolas & Fig, Lazbin, Rathgillian, Trizoon & Nilmith

NPCs: Council of the Divine, the Divine Hammer, Calimir Hightower, Brickle Tabbot, Delle Merritobo, Kooruk Coldrock

Synopsis: The Defenders haul their captured enemy into Cedarspoke. The blind giant is heckled as he is brought to the stockades for interrogation. Dusk administers the talks directly, bluffing the giant into believing he is a co-conspirator working with the giant kind. Spilling his guts, the frost giant identifies his cult’s leader, Spirit Speaker Loktouk. They are a splinter group of a larger clan that was assimilated by an elf wizard that promised glory for their service in Ice Razor Palace. Loktouk’s control was usurped and the giant fled with a handful of followers to an isolated shrine in the mountains. The Spirit Speaker was charged with protecting something great and would not let the elf take it.

In order for the giants to survive they have been trading with the drow of Szith Rijun, a settlement below the Dordrien Crypts near the banks of the Cedar River. The giants traded dead bodies in return for fresh meat and food from the Underdark, as well as a fortune in gems. Dusk convinces the giant to lay low and wait for his signal for freedom, a signal that will never come. The half-drow reports his findings to the council and the Defenders, where they discover that the attack of the frost giants had two fronts. The second attack was just as furious and damaging, occurring on the opposite side of the river. Those giants also fled to the hills at the sounding of the horn.

Arguments erupt from the gathered council members as the interim Secretary General Calimir Hightower, High Priest of Torm, attempts to corral consensus. Shouts come from multiple directions, including the human cleric Brickle Tabbot, the dwarf cleric Delle Merritobo, and Kooruk Coldrock dwarf ambassador to Ironfang Deep. Some voice their opinion of asking the Defenders to return to Skarwall Keep to see if any other members of the Divine Hammer have survived. Yet others demand vengeance upon the frost giants by raiding their stronghold. As the snow continues to fall, the location becomes more obscured and might become undetectable. But the prevailing worry is the involvement of the drow, believed to be the assassins of Zalaznos Crinios. With the lead provided by the blinded giant, the Defenders choose to investigate the drow beneath the Dordrien Crypts.

Calimir Hightower accepts their decision. The Divine Hammer will remain at Cedarspoke to help protect the city. The Defenders will receive every expendable resource that the Council has to offer for their investigation. But the Council stills as the interim Secretary General extends an offer to the Defenders. For their repeated actions in helping Cedarspoke, Calimir offers the coveted seat of the Council of the Divine to one of the Defenders. Without hesitation, the group nominates Gallipolas, who retaliates by saying the ways of the Council will not deter his motives once the Gulthmere Forest is settled and restored. With everyone in agreement, the group departs the council chambers to prepare for the expedition.

The following day the group departs with Dusk joining them. The half-drow may become beyond valuable should the trek continue into the Underdark. Travel is slow; the snow drifts coming off the barren mountain steppes merge with the light falling snow. The effect limits their vision, but the Defenders follow the river’s edge for the better part of the day. Without the sun, it is difficult to determine when they arrive at the crypts. Two individual mausoleums stand in the shadow of a small mountain. A carved out niche cradles a large pair of stone doors leading into the mountain itself. They have arrived at the Dordrien Crypts.

Of the two freestanding buildings the group detects wicked evil emanating from only one of them. Battering down the door they find two decrepit vampires preparing to assault, but the true evil remains invisible and begins to attack the invaders. Lighting and fire blast throughout the room and the evil is destroyed. The entrance to the crypt is locked, but easily accessed through Lazbin’s magicks. Just on the interior is a grizzly sight; five decaying bodies permeate the still air of the hallway. A drow squad lies still, stripped of their armaments and clothing; their wounds indicate they were cut down from behind.

Gallipolas summons a mouth from the stone and begins to question it. The experiences of the hallway are cryptic, but it relays that other drow cut down these drow of the Spider. These other drow have passed back and forth in the crypts carrying the bodies of dead humanoids to the lower levels of the crypts. As the Defenders move further into the depths, Gallipolas summons mouths from other stone doors, who warn of violating their interiors. Adhering to the calls of the stone mouths, the party continues into the lower levels, leaving the crafted section and entering the hewn stone that provides carved holes for the deceased.

One chamber houses a statue of Jergal, guardian of tombs. But the sentry remains still as they pass. Trizoon spots the first deception, identifying an illusionary wall. Behind it massive spiders stir, awaiting their prey. A wall of fire springs into the layer, sending the creatures scurrying. Rushing into the fray, Lazbin is the first to detect the otherworldly nature of the beasts. They are not spiders but bebilths, extraplanar demons. With the creatures split, the Defenders concentrate their attacks and destroy them one at a time. As the battle vanishes, Trizoon’s quick surveillance reveals another false wall. But behind it a single female drow lies slumped against the wall of the adjacent chamber, weeping uncontrollably.

Encounters: two vampire spawn, vampire master Chahir, two bebiliths

Achievements: learned of the dealings between the drow and the frost giants, secured a seat on the Council of Divine of Cedarspoke, and discovered the abandoned Dordrien Crypts.

The Dire Call of Cedarspoke

Characters: Dusk Revin, Gallipolas & Fig, Lazbin, Rathgillian, Trizoon & Nilmith
NPCs: Julbin Cometstrike, Guild of the Naturalists, Council of the Divine, the Divine Hammer
Synopsis: Serving as an emissary from the Council of the Divine of Cedarspoke, Dusk Revin arrives in Threshold seeking out those that rescued his soul from Skarwall Keep. The half-drow seeks the Defenders to help protect the natural city from frost giant raiders, who have been testing city defenses ever since the departure of the Army of Nature’s Wrath. Dusk meets the group for the first time, and is surprised by their acceptance of his race. Trizoon’s embrace is quickly followed by introductions to the Defenders of the Dragon Coast, especially Lazbin WitchHunter, the human blood mage that secured Dusk’s soul from a hag’s jar in the evil keep of the undead.

Dusk quietly informs the adventurers of the most recent developments. The Army of Nature’s Wrath has left the city to wage war upon evil fey in the plane of the House of Nature. A cataclysmic collision has somehow resulted in the planes of the House of Nature violently merged with Fury’s Heart and Arvandor. The resulting Feywild has left the homes of the gods in chaotic array, and the Army of Nature’s Wrath was summoned to help bring order.

The vacancy of the city’s protectors left Cedarspoke almost defenseless. Hedging their bets, the council relied too heavily upon the most crippling winter on record as adequate defense to halt any assaults upon the city. Almost as if summoned the perimeter was tested by frost giant raiders. The surviving members of the Divine Hammer fended off the marauders, but fears amassed that the giants would return, and in greater numbers. Dusk brings a summons to the Defenders; Cedarspoke needs their help in the worst ways.

Desiring necessary supplies before the trek, the group heads to Julbin Cometstrike’s hut. Lazbin, Rathgillian, and Gallipolas immediately detect the presence of a mighty white dragon, the same one they faced outside of the Roadside Coaching Inn after the battle with the Wizards of Tendale. But the dragon is dramatically altered in a completely unnatural way; its eyes glowing fiercely red specifically target the group. The magical creature no longer projects majesty, only fear and hatred towards those that destroyed it. Its iron plating is still damaged and massive sections of scales are absent, revealing the rotting flesh beneath. It has been conjured from the dead.

The battle is fierce but quick. And the results are much as they were when the dragon attacked them originally. The massive husk of the abomination falls to the ground after the killing blow leaving the Defenders with too many questions. Both Lazbin and Dusk inspect the dragon and find that certain markings on its head indicate a religious ceremony was used to raise it in the form of a revenant, a form of undead that seeks vengeance upon those that killed it. The ritual identifications are obvious to Dusk; an evil cleric of Kiaransalee, the drow goddess of both vengeance and the undead. Only one wielding the Claw of the Revenancer could create and control it.

Julbin supplies the group with numerous magical amenities, but fears the worst with the news Dusk brings. He summons the members of the newly restored Guild of the Naturalists to the guild hall to bring everyone to up to date. The idea that the three planes collapsed upon each other distressed Mintassan the Planeswalker to no ends. Dusk also portrays Cedarspoke in the direst of consequences. All resources have been redirected to life saving measures to keep the citizens warm and fed. Trade has been put on ice because of the winter storms. The half-drow reminds them of the pressing need to return to Cedarspoke, and the group moves through the mirror portal to their destination, leaving the distraught Beast Tamers with only terrible thoughts of what is happening.

Emerging outside of the once glorious Cedarspoke, the group witnesses the beating the city has taken under the harsh weather. The battery of winter has left the city withered, emaciated. The saturation of snow and ice has reduced the ivy walls to brown vines left to strangle each other in a failed attempt at life. The trees of the forest lie barren, stripped of their might. Branches are moored to the snowy ground, weighed down by anchoring ice columns. Even Gallipolas is caught off guard. But the harsh realization of a dying city is shunted aside; even from this distance the group can see they are minutes too late. Frost giants loom over the city already having breeched its walls. Trees and structures are being leveled as booming laughter echoes across the snowy vale. Then true horror presents itself. Lifeless bodies of Cedarspoke residents are being thrown outside the city walls.

The first body is followed quickly by two more. The race to the city is painstakingly slow. Particularly Dusk is horrified at the disrespect for the dead. His deity Kelemvor would be most upset. Then one of the bodies flails through the sky, this one still alive. Moving swiftly to action the Defenders quaff potions of flight and speed towards the raiders. Their presence is immediately detected by several other frost giants outside of the city. Massive boulders are hurled at them from hidden niches. Gallipolas and Fig break off their approach to deal with the exterior giants.

On the inside of Cedarspoke, other warriors join the fray just as the Defenders engage the frost giants. Dusk greets his sometimes companions, immediately recognizing his fellow members of the Divine Hammer. The frost giants stop their attack to deal with the weak humanoids, but not before the sound of a horn blast echoes through the air. Outside Gallipolas has targeted the frost giant leader, a shaman sprinting from the city’s gate to the ice covered forest.

Their methods are brutal but very effective as the Divine Hammer divides the three giants on the interior of the city and begin to decimate the intruders. Matching the vigor of their counterparts, the Defenders batter their targets with an eye to Gallipolas still outside the city. Once free and clear as the last of the giants falls they move to the exterior of the city to aid the druid. As Lazbin moves to join the battle he does not spy the bodies of the dead citizens that the giants had hurled to their deaths. Tracks lead to the frozen surface of the Cedar River. The mage moves to a better vantage point and detects the reason for the missing bodies. Under the guise of invisibility magic a cluster of humanoids shifts position onto the river’s ice. Without hesitation the blood mage looses an attack upon the group but cannot engage the thieves.

Dusk also detects the disturbance and sends a summoned elemental to lay waste to any desecrators. But the immediate need is with the remaining giants. Gallipolas and Fig are more than relieved to receive assistance, as the leader has escaped into the frozen forest. With only two remaining the hammer drops on one giant, ending his torment. The remaining frost giant is captured after being rendered blind.

On the edge of the Cedar River, the huge fire element tracks the assailants only to be checked by a creature formed of only ice. Standing motionless the construct awaits the inevitable battle. Blows are exchanged as vast amounts of steam pour into the icy air. In this battle size matters and the ice guardian is destroyed.

Encounters: revenant frost-forged white dragon Salricasa, three frost giant maulers, frost giant spirit seeker, and two frost giant tundra scouts, ice golem.
Achievements: learned of the revenant ritual performed by followers of Kiaransalee, reported the events of the Feywild to the Guild of Naturalists, traveled to Cedarspoke and defeated the frost giant raiding party, and discovered the theft of dead bodies from the assault.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Plight of Drangstern’s Uereka

Characters: Barl Bloodbones, Belton Stoutshield, Domollo Blue, Qualen Shadowbourne

NPCs: Vindar Drangstern, Gianza, Redescar

Synopsis: Hearing mysterious rumors surrounding the Dragonmere, Domollo gathers his companions and searches out a visiting nobleman named Vindar Drangstern. The baron speaks of his city Eureka, one whose trade routes have been victim to attacks from mighty creatures. Drangstern solicits their aid, requesting them to join his return journey to Eureka and investigate the attacks. So far, two individual caravans have been sacked and decimated, the only remains being victims bearing claw rakes and mighty gashes from a slashing weapon. It is agreed upon that the adventurers will see out the attackers.

The trek begins the following morning, and the group trudges through the snow to a rancher outside of Teziir to procure a wagon, work pony and riding horse. Bogged down and hindered by the treacherous weather, the group only reachs the midway point before establishing a camp. Qualen reaches out to his deity Kelemvor will the rest scavage for wood. It is on Domollo’s watch, the first of the night, that he spies the caravan attackers. A pack of wolves surround their campsite, wolves twice the size of a human and gleaming white as the snow they master. Domollo raises the alarm and is joined by the rest of the party.

As the fight rages, the breath of the winter wolves is debilitating and impossibly cold. But the companions pivot about the wagon and flank the bandits. The maneuvering allies provide excellent results, as does the ranged spells from Belton. Even the elder Drangstern, with his years of battle scars and disadvantaged limp, even he is able to fend off the attack exhibiting the skills of a master monk. Several of the beasts are made to flee while the rest die where they stand. A rare winter meal will be made of the group’s kill.

The rest of the watch is uneventful and in the morning they make for Eureka. Upon mid-day, they reach Drangstern’s Eureka and to the dismay of Domollo, it is but a hamlet with less than thirty citizens. Surely a name cannot be made here, at least one that will reach the ears of the masses some miles and miles away. The man makes a plea over lunch for the citizens to abandon their oversized camp and return with them to Teziir. But the unique physiques and attire of the villagers speaks otherwise as they have found contentment at the foothills of the Giant’s Run Mountains.

It appears that Eureka is a monestary of monks. Never one to admonish free will, Domollo abandons his proposal and returns to their quest. Drangstern speaks of an eerie glow about the shores of the Dragonmere, one that has been coincidal with the attacks on the caravans. The stories have caused planned shipments from other merchants to be canceled, challenging Eureka’s status. Drangstern assures the visitors that they are prepared for the worst, but would prefer to avoid that ultimatum if at all possible.

As evening falls the group prepares for a trek into the night to find the wolves of winter. Their trail is obvious as blood upon the snow serves as a guiding beacon to their den. In the wall of a cliff-face is a natural fissure that provides egress into a cave. Upon scouting the intial corridor, Barl trips a trap and springs back to the entrance. Lots of noises are the result, and the group readies for action. Spewing from within are the remaining wolves and their masters, two ogres, one of which bears a flaming sword. Immediately the area is engulfed in darkness, which panics the group and splits it in two, Belton and Domollo on the outside of the magicked area, and Barl and Qualen remaining inside.

The ogres begin their coordinated attack, one chasing Belton and the other facing off against Domollo. Barl and Qualen battle the wounded beasts as the ogres use spells to cripple the attackers. As the last wolf is slain, the group reunites. But it is too late as the damage is done to the wizard Belton. The would-be dwarf uses a spell to sprout wings, but as he flies to safety atop the cliff, the ogre mage delivers a final parting blow sending multiple force arrows into Belton’s back. He drops out of sight, his life escaping through a ravaged body.

Belton was not unsuccessful in assailing one of the ogres and Barl and Qualen make short work of the one with the flaming sword. Domollo spins a spell from somewhere as brilliant lights stun the remaining ogre. He is joined by the rest with much desired results. The last ogre falls. Atop the cliff, Belton is revived by two mysterious travelers hailing from the land of Tear. Belton befriends them and returns to the others with his saviors. Two bizarrely dressed humanoids stand well above the rest, their skin and countenance alien to the group. Gianza and Redescar seek someone named Morgrin who has stolen the Eye of the Dragon King. Their story is strange, but Barl surmises that this ‘eye’ that they seek maybe the source of the unnatural glow on the shores of the Dragonmere. The two motives are joined as they head towards the iced over Lake of Dragons.

Encounters: five winter wolves, two ogre mages with their ped winter wolves

Achievements: dispersed the attackers of the Eureka-bound caravans, delivered the head monk to his order at the foothills of the Giant’s Run Mountains, destroyed the bandits, and met two mysterious allies to find the source of the glow of the Dragonmere.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Talona’s Ebb and the Cure of the Bloodveil

Characters: Barl Bloodbones, Belton Stoutshield, Domollo Blue, JadeBlade, Vi’Helm

NPCs: Magoovial Hammerstriker, Olan Hanch, Dalvin Crand, Gurdainz Whitehorse

Synopsis: It is a brief moment after the death of Queen Andiasin that the group begins healing, pondering what their next action should be. As curing spells are cast, the light of the private chamber flickers slightly. The adventurers rally to the chambers exit, but their attention quickly shifts back to the body of Andiasin. Erupting from within, a tangled mass of flesh, muscle and bone twists the corpse seemingly inside out. Andiasin’s body has devolved into a diseased aspect of her twisted deity. Through concentrated efforts the group splinters the newly formed body, finally destroying the body with fire.

With only sections of the underground temple left to explore, the group rushes to the unopened doors throughout the complex. They discover a hall of prisons and rescue two survivors, stricken with the Bloodveil. Both Olan Hanch and Dalvin Crand are tired but healing spells allow them to rally and the group returns to the triage center where the two rescued prisoners find empty cots to lie in.

With enough evidence and conviction to expel Eliosa from her place of power, the group carries Magoovial back to the Temple of Torm where the guards quickly assume guardianship. The parley between the temple guard and Domollo is rapid and ratchets up the aggression between the two. Barl exposes the Torm’s brand upon his chest and the group is given audience to the high priests, lead by Gurdainz Whitehorse. Their explanation is presented and Priest Whitehorse thanks them for their valiant efforts. The high priests assume possession of the group’s evidence, promising swift justice after reviewing the facts.

The story of the Hospice of the Gray Maidens is punctuated with the presence of the vampire Arkmeinos. High Priest Whitehorse speaks of the vampire as from an empire that expired a long time ago called Korvosa. The master he spoke of is disconnected from the Material Plane and lost to the ages. But Arkmeinos has survived thousands of years, and the high priests are aware of his ambitions. Ultimately this includes a cure for his vampirism. Their collaboration with the vampire is a temporary, albeit uneasy, understanding.

The cleric Magoovial has survived the God-Touch of Torm and rests under the watchful eyes of temple priests. Whitehorse is at a loss for words when the group recounts Magoovial’s saving grace. It is a moment in modern times that is unprecedented; the last God-Touch was over a thousand years ago. The group is again thanked for their struggle and promised contact when the evidence results in the arrest of Eliosa. The long day has ended and the group returns to the Smelted Horse to celebrate a bittersweet victory, passing by many Teziirans still stricken with the Bloodveil.

The next few days quickly come can go. Four days following the defeat of Lady Andiasin, the adventurers receive word from the Temple of Torm. The healers were able to develop a cure for Bloodveil based on the hidden documents retrieved from the personal study of Doctor Duvalis. Clerics are working night and day to develop and administer it to the masses, which now number a third less of the total population. The plague has left a deep scare on the city of Teziir. But justice is to be delivered. The high priests of each of the represented gods in the temple district united in a single front to arrest Eliosa. She is to be tried in a tenday for her involvement in the outbreak, and the adventurers are to be key witnesses to bring her to justice. The promise of complete victory is enough to carry the group’s spirits for a little longer in this terrible time.

Encounters: aspect of Talona, temple guards of Torm

Achievements: defeated the last remnant of Talona, consecrated the evil deity’s shrine, delivered the collected evidence to the High Priests of Torm, and recovered the cure for Bloodveil.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Journey into the Glacier of the Jarl

Characters: Hlinthi, Pardonei, Softfoot, Teldowen, Zamtul

NPCs: Ost Untomoinen

Synopsis: The journey to the suspected location of the glacier begins immediately. Ost proved to be an excellent guide, outfitting the adventurers with extreme cold weather gear. While trudging through the building snow, the group is ambushed by a trio of beasts that destroy three of their mounts. Teldowen recognizes the creatures as extraplanar, not of this plane, let alone this region. The battle is fierce but quick. All damage is dismissed as Pardonei summons new mounts and the trek continues.

They reach what can only be the suspected glacier. Again its properties are recognized as being of the Plane of Elemental Air. The massive cracked glacier blends perfectly with the surrounding base of the mountain. Finding the singular egress the party enters and is quickly checked by a platoon of pale blue dwarfs speaking a bizarre language that only the sorceress Pardonei can understand. Using her comeliness she convinces the leader that a greater toll will be provided by following the map she alone possesses. The con is enough as the leader escorts the group to a holding cell.

Under guard the group surprises the remaining four frost dwarf guardians and dispatches them. The choice is decided to follow the path of the leader who left to seek the words of the Jarl, the master of the glacier. The steps of the dwarf are nigh untraceable as the group wonders through the glacier, passing through the ice and stone walls that are capped by rolling banks of fog about a hundred feet up. With the disorienting pathway diverging at multiple points, the adventurers finally find themselves in a massive void populated by gargantuan crystalline trees. This realm of the Jarl grows more bizarre with each step.

Encounters: three greater barghests, ten frost dwarfs, the frost dwarf herald, four frost dwarf guardians.

Achievements: reached the ice glacier, convinced the herald of the Jarl to allow them access, and set about the glacier web to search for the missing adventurers of Redcliff.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Missing Vernal Key of Redcliff

Characters: Hlinthi, Pardonei, Softfoot, Teldowen, Zamtul

NPCs: Mayor Andalor, The Shaman Margool, Ost Untomoinen, Ilda Seppatar

Synopsis: Following the cryptic ramblings of the shaman Margool, the adventurers use magic to traverse the dire wintry lands to the small town of Redcliff. Their arrival coincides with the mayor Andalor presiding over the very troubled townfolk at the Inclusive Hall, the local gathering site typically reserved for worship. Andalor is entirely relieved when Zamtul arrives with several new faces. The mayor of Redcliff pulls them aside to detail the theft of the town’s only protection against the harsh winter, the Vernal Key. This mystical artifact is the only thing keeping the town alive, and now that it is missing, the magical properties that repeled the encroaching winter are gone as well. Redcliff is going to be swallowed by morning.

Andalor presents the facts as he knows them. Several days prior, a stranger came to Redcliff proclaiming treasure awaited those brave enough to enter the mysterious ice glacier that appeared recently on the farside of the mountain abutting Redcliff. This hint of wealth enticed a charismatic adventurer named Geppa to gather her band of merry men to journey to the glacier and explore it. Along with Geppa went Arel, Eron, Tech, and Ulric. When they did not return there was a small hush across the townfolk. The next morning, the Vernal Key was gone. The mayor is patient with the details, describing the artifact and the few town elders that new of the full-day ritual needed to excise the protection magicks. Only he, Ilda Seppatar, Ost Untamoinen, and Ilmanu Luuko knew of the Vernal Key.

The group decides to visit Ost at his Deerstalkers’ Lodge, where nearly ever woodland creature was stuffed and mounted on the wall. Ost welcomed the party as the establishment was devoid of outsiders, typically the wealthy nobles of Westgate that were interested in a good hunt. The oppressive winter season, not to mention the corruption of Westgate, had completely obliterated his business. Over a hot meal Ost describes the location of the glacier and offers to take them to the site. But after the rumors of Geppa’s demise, he refuses to go beyond the entry. The innkeeper is extremely hospitable and drafts a quick sketch of landmarks to target their path.

The group is adamant about visiting Ilda, the current caretaker of the Vernal Key. Ever since its disappearance she has shuttered herself inside the Stone Shrine, an intimate setting for isolated worship of numerous deities. At the shrine, Ilda is convinced to host the group along with Ost. Her mood is broken when the hastily drafted map is shown to the dwarf. She chuckles at the sketch, implying that her cartographer skills were applied to Geppa’s map. Ilda then mentions that Geppa’s secret beau is Aric they shy man who hides behind his puppets at the marketplace. The mere mention of Aric shocks Ost, as the innkeeper recalls sharing some ales with the man the night prior. Ilda leeps at the half-elf, declaring him a fool for spilling the secrets of the town elders. Perhaps Ost’s weakness for the spirits has grown during this season’s downturn in business.

Ost’s guilt rises when the party goes to leave and the door is jammed from the snow drift that wasn’t there several minutes ago. The weather is going to bury Redcliff by morning. With no time to waste the party treks to the Deerstalkers’ Lodge and prepares for the long night ahead of them. If they are to find the Vernal Key, the must find Aric the puppeteer. To find him, they will have to enter the glacier and seek the truth of Geppa and her missing band.

Encounters: Redcliff townhall meeting, speaking with the mayor Andalor, the innkeeper Ost, and the high priestess Ilda

Achievements: traveled to Redcliff through the harsh winter storm, investigated the mystery of the stolen Vernal Key, and determined the possible culprit.

The Evils of Doctor Duvalis and Queen Andiasin

Characters: Barl Bloodbones, Belton Stoutshield, Domollo Blue, JadeBlade, Vi’Helm

NPCs: Magoovial Hammerstriker, Doctor Duvalis, Queen Andiasin

Synopsis: Recovering from the smackdown delivered by the vampire Arkmeinos, the group dusts itself off and investigates the room and bodies. The man armed with cutlery and dressed in a heavy leather apron is identified as Jocylina’s lover Rolth. Numerous manic letters from the elf sorceress are found on his person. The prisoner of the vampire was definitely Jocylina’s stolen prize Ruan, the minstrel of the party at the Carowyn Manor.

Their defeat at the hands of Arkmeinos still lingers as the group explores the room. The tactics of the Physician’s Assistants reveal the mysterious green solution brewing in the massive culdrons. The room is facilitating the development of the Bloodveil disease. The manufactured virus was planted in the Teziiran population by those under Rolth’s direction. Domollo explores the upper catwalks once again and hears movement beyond one of the doors. With their presence already detected the group enters the room with expert tactics, but finds the one man behind it all. Surrounded by four of his minions, Doctor Duvalis stands secure behind his men, slowly clapping at the group’s detective skills.

Domollo questions the man on his morality, and is confounded by Duvalis’ bravado and lack of conscience. The man who engineered the deaths of hundreds, maybe thousands, claims promised gold was motive enough. The revelation sparks the group to action as JadeBlade focuses in on the doctor and charges past the minions. Again, combat spills throughout the room as the melee pivots in between massive glass chambers housing mysterious creatures. The four Physician’s Assistants are tested, but each remains beholden to the doctor. It is a truly vicious blast from JadeBlade’s dwarven war axe that stuns Duvalis. With his dying breath the evil man whispers, “What good is a reward if you’re not around to use it.” The words a buried beneath the doctor’s lifeless form.

The Physician’s Assistants are left alone, but a mysterious female voice beckons them to try for victory. One of the men unsuccessfully attempts to bash one of the glass chambers but cannot break it. The hideous aberration contained within twitches with life, all but screaming for its freedom. The creature’s prison holds and the last of the doctor’s followers is killed. The two double doors leading beyond are ajar, unable to contain the taunting voice coming from within. Domollo surmises that the owner is the mysterious Queen Andiasin, only spoken of by the likes of the Gray Maidens and followers of Duvalis. Perhaps it is Eliosa Arabasi’s alter ego, for her justice has yet to be served.

Before proceeding to the hidden voice’s location, Magoovial stops the group. As his eyes turn white, the healing energies wash over the investigators. It is Torm’s will that baptizes them with new energy and reinvigored life. No longer are they suffering from wounds; spells have returned to their minds, and mystic energies have filled their souls. After but a moment, Magoovial collapses. He lives but is incapacitated. The miracle stands as a testament to Torm’s reach. They have received the god-touch.

The lone figure in the room dominates half of the group, forcing them to pay homage for being in her presence. But the defiant Vi’Helm restores the will of the oppressed and the battle rages. Surrounded in obfuscating mist, Queen Andiasin finds the enlarged target that is Barl Bloodbones and buries her scythe deep in the Underdark dwarf. The two precise strikes prove deadly and Barl dies. From Vi’Helm’s divine vision, she senses her companion’s life force vanish. Domollo’s efforts to save the dwarf are fruitless. JadeBlade’s rage devours the dwarf as he races around the room attempting to find the flying queen.

Vi’Helm focuses her mind and disperses the mist. Finding her target she casts a spell allowing the raging JadeBlade the gift of flight. Now the queen cannot hide in the air. From beyond the Material Plane the god-touched Barl Bloodbones is met by the blessed Torm. The deity challenges the deep dwarf. As is the choice of all who parish, Barl is given the ability to return. But if he is to again walk the Material Plan, it must be as an avenger for the god. Barl promises to execute all who stand against Torm, and awakens in the midst of battle against Queen Andiasin.

The return of their fallen comrade is enough to flood the room with the morale of the adventurers. Barl stands to flank the flying witch with JadeBlade and through their combined blades, and the spells of Vi’Helm and Belton, Andiasin becomes the queen of nothing. Her body crashes to the ground, spilling the central fountain’s water, thus ending her reign of terror. Now the group has everything they need to indict the villains behind the Bloodveil. If only they could find the cure.

Encounters: four Physician’s Assistants, Doctor Duvalis, Queen Andiasin

Achievements: discovered the manufacturing facility of the Bloodveil, defeated Doctor Duvalis and his Physician’s Assistants, touched by the god Torm, and killed the witch Queen Andiasin.

The Fall of Rolth and the Truth of the Minstrel Ruan

Characters: Barl Bloodbones, Belton Stoutshield, Domollo Blue, JadeBlade, Vi’Helm

NPCs: Magoovial Hammerstriker, Ruan, Rolth, Arkmeinos

Synopsis: War erupts in the underground laboratory between the adventurers and the practitioners of evil. JadeBlade looses his rage on the awaiting priests of Tylona and Physcian’s Assistants. The group pours into the room and divides the targets. One after another falls to the blades as their leader sparks lightening from within to scorch the attackers. The advancement is slow at first, but JadeBlade and Magoovial move up to the catwalks and engage the assistants in elevated positions. Barl sends his attacker to the floor, cut down from his great sword, and pulls himself up to the suspensed walkways. As Belton’s spells cripple the priests, Vi’Helm rushes to his allies healing gaping wounds instantly.

The assault is overwhelming. Barl is the first to reach the leader and ends the man. JadeBlade and Magoovial wipe up the rest of the goons and Domollo quickly scouts the doors adjacent to the sickening room. The first door he reaches results in unintended success. Inside the room a pale man stands over another that is strapped to a table, clearly against his will. A harp lies in the corner. Domollo pieces the clues together. The man on the table is Ruan, the minstrel from the noble party at the Carowyn Manor. The crazed Jocylina wrote of her lover Rolth and her delivery of the harper to his hands.

Domollo draws his weapon, but the pale man catches his eyes. He is undistressed at Domollo’s intrusion as if a fly had entered his kitchen. Looking over the man closely, Domollo is suspect especially coming from the blood bath. As the factotum moves toward the imprisoned Ruan, the man warns him that he is outclassed and should vacate the room immediately. Domollo remembers his pact to find Ruan, but as the man speaks, Domollo spots the telltale signs. The man is a vampire. Before he can stop himself Domollo screams for the others. Shaking his head he motions for the dismissal. He introduces himself as Arkmeinos and denies the request to free Ruan. The minstrel has a unique quality and Arkmeinos’ master wants Ruan for himself.

Domollo cannot stop JadeBlade who rushes into the room and charges the vampire. The attack is wild and rage-fueled, and massively off-target. Arkmeinos concentrates on the dwarf and blasts him. The battle is joined by Barl, who immediately falls under the dominating gaze of the vampire, forced to defend the one thing he wants to kill. Domollo works against the deep dwarf as the others arrive. JadeBlade is still undeterred, swinging his axe for the vampire’s throat. The first swing is a violent miss, but the return blow lands true and slashes him. The moment he strikes the target, JadeBlade’s rage is exercised and transferred to the vampire. Now Arkmeinos’ anger is beyond suppression.

Domollo can only look on with stunned eyes as his sword stroke that would surely injure a normal man misses. The vampire looks at the dwarf as his next target, who has moved well beyond shear annoyance. His blow drops JadeBlade to the ground. Watching his group disintegrate, Domollo brokers a cease-fire. The group retreats as Vi’Helm heals JadeBlade from the brink of death. Ruan’s freedom is sacrificed for the party’s survival, but Arkmeinos sends both Vi’Helm and Domollo sailing through the air before mentally slamming the door shut. Ruan is lost to his fate.

Encounters: four Physician’s Assistants, six of priests of Tylona, Rolth the Mortician, the vampire Arkmeinos

Achievements: defeated Rolth the Mortician and his personal guards, discovered the fate of Ruan and his special ability to repel the Bloodveil disease, survived the vampire Arkmeinos, and learned of his servitude to his master.

Journey to Suzail

Characters: Brother Grimes, Hadith, Teldowen, Vall, Wicasa

NPCs: Vaushus Green

Synopsis: Vall gathers trust-worthy allies to journey to the grand city of Suzail in the lands of Cormyr to escape the winter-covered lands of the Dragon Coast. Through Julbin’s methods they travel through a magical portal to arrive at the bustling city. Although Cormyr is experiencing a cold winter, the embrace isn’t near the grasp it has on the Dragon Coast. Moving through the marketplace, the party experiences all that is Suzail. Meat is purchased, inns and taverns are patronized, and ales are sampled. They meet the man called Brother Grimes, follower of the Laughing Rogue, who is petitioned by Wicasa’s alter ego Witterrup to join them.

At the Hidden Lady, the female dwarf barkeep Vaushus Green relates a tale of a grief-stricken abode outside of the city. With the only other prospect being to return to Threshold, the group decides to investigate the house. A cozy abode is quiet, but not unoccupied. In the kitchen a red-haired female warrior stands with two hill giants and attacks the group. Responding to the commands of the fighter, the giants obey and identify their leader as Jenna. The tight confines of the room hinder the movement of the giants, and the experienced adventurers defeat the obvious intruders.

Searching the lower level, the group finds an underground access point to a strange water source. Several dead corpses are identified as those of skum, water-dwelling creatures typically subservient to a greater master. Witterrup relates some of the Cormyrean laws that rule the land, and that this minor expedition may result in the attraction of the law. The unknown element of the adventure is enough for the party to extract themselves from the house and return to the Hidden Lady. Their experiences are relayed to Vaushus who thanks them for their knowledge and offers a meal on the house. Suzail’s hospitality truly overshadows the status of Threshold, but the group returns via Julbin’s magic portal all the wiser.

Encounters: two hill giants, female warrior

Achievements: used the Guild of the Naturalists’ mirror gate to journey to Suzail, witnessed the disparity in weather between Cormyr and the Dragon Coast, investigated a mysterious abode and dispatched the trespassers.

The Black Bard Mystenaculis

Characters: Cromwell, Dorian the Shadowhunter, Gallipolas, Karne, Krullix, Jebeddo, Lazbin, Maulgrim, Pardonei, Rathgillian, Vindicus, X-Requinn

NPCs: Queen Eliasa, Vall, Zedrick Neely, Mystenaculis

Synopsis: The moment Mystenaculis’ prismatic wall is destroyed, the group attacks with the fury and gusto of an army. They must avenge the months of torment, torture, turmoil, and tribulations they have experienced since before the walls of Kelvin fell. Almost immediately, the power of Mystenaculis is felt when the lich king extracts the souls of Rathgillian and Cromwell into a gem of death. The blow is felt across the room as the group watches their mightiest fighters fall lifeless to the cold, stone floor.

Pardonei is pulled into the darkness beyond the temple’s floor and Gallipolas gives chase. Beyond their sight, the group can hear the druid’s force attack screeching horrors that can only be imagined. The remaining iron golems are slowed by lightening magic from Jebeddo and Dorian. The effect is enough to aid the front line who destroys the constructs. Lazbin and Vindicus focus on the evil entitiy, casting spell after spell with little to no effect.

The battle turns when Zedrick Neely releases the portal to his hidden dimension once again. From inside the queen elf Eliasa of the Lorel Leaf Woods emerges along with the white armored paladin Maulgrim. Immediately her mysterious song of ancient dialect fills the massive chamber assaulting Mystenaculis. The effect is overpowering and the group is able to effectively attack the Black Bard. In a glorious united strike, the adventurers destroy Mystenaculis but as his venerated body implodes a disturbing cloud floats into the blackness surrounding the shrine.

As sounds of bones and hyperextended ligaments spew from the darkness, the group only has seconds to recover. Healing is administered and spells temporarily boost the group’s strength. The sounds of impending doom grow louder as the party stands in complete defiance. But as a monstrosity emerges from the unnatural void, a wave a fear drowns the group, sending several members running for their lives in shear panic. Hovering in front of them is a massive dragon skeleton, its rotting scales somehow dangling from its decaying carcass. Mystenaculis lives!

The group’s effort just to remain in the dracolich’s presence takes all of their collective focus. The dragon’s crooked teeth form a wicked smile and from within its rotting belly, the telltale sounds of acid boil to its maw. Spewing across the room, acid burns the remaining adventurers. But the lack of additional targets for the group hinders the dragon. It is the sole focus of all of their attacks, and after an exchange of blows, the dracolich is destroyed. This time Mystenaculis is completely and utterly annihilated. Without a phylactery or another body, his essence is forever gone.

With victory in hand, Zedrick Neely releases his men from the extradimensional space. The masked creepers of the shadows are too fluid and too many to count. Although the group has reservations about the follower of Mask assuming control Dorian assures them that the damage to Westgate has been done. For years to come the city will be tarnished by Mystenaculis’ actions. Many of its citizen parished under the harsh rule or were victims of the establishment in other ways. Zedrick Neely can have his dead city. The assaulting force of the Circle of Holundi is successful in defeating the Red Guards and Green Guards as they surrender to insurmountable odds. And as the Black Guards disappeared with the destruction of Mystenaculis. The battle against evil is over for this day. The blackest night is over, and the brightest day has begun. The lands of the Dragon Coast enter a heroic age.

Encounters: Mystenaculis, dracolich

Achievements: defeated Mystenaculis and the dracolich, freed Westgate from the rule of the Dragon Coast Alliance, and allowed the power vacuum to be filled by Zedrick Neely and the Night Masks.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Oppol’s Seizure of the Temple of Ancients

Characters: Cheynar, Illdric, JadeBlade, Janora, Vi’Helm
NPCs: Jynn Thatcher
Synopsis: Qualen Shadowbourne is summoned to the hidden shrine of Kelemvor by his new mentor Jynn Thatcher, a disciple of Kelemvor who seeks to strengthen his god and re-establish his presence on the Dragon Coast. Trekking through the diseased city of Teziir, Qualen and his comrades use the poorly scrawled map to a section of the city that has been quarunteened. Massive hand-painted signs ward the area, but not a soul is around to enforce it.

The map leads them to a multi-story brownstone, but the directions for entrance indicate the shrine is in the cellar of the house. Moving through the adjacent alleyway, they are attacked by the ghost of Poor Friar Tomas. The filth of the alley works against the group as Qualen succumbs to the fumes of some airborne mold. Vi’Helm forces the ghost to flee as the cleric presents the holy symbol, but the noise of battle attracks the scarred, old man Jynn Thatcher.

Jynn invites the group into the cellar. Illuminated by numerous candles mounted on shoulder-height iron stands, the room holds several items sacred to Kelemvor, the Lord of the Dead and Judge of the Damned. A gentle-reposed corpse lies covered on a low-standing altar. Jynn describes Qualen’s particular remorse of his fallen companion Farthick and has promised to return the dwarf to the plain of the living, if he can find his soul and if he wishes to return.

But Jynn’s concerns lie outside of the city limits. It has come to his attention that a mysterious mound of stone has appeared not three miles towards the coast. Jynn announces that he is resurrecting the Eternal Order, a knightly order of Kelemvor whose purpose is to hunt and destroy powerful undead. The rumor of this stone mound houses a temple of an ancient sect. But the mystery is why it has appeared. Hand in hand with the rumor the temple is the fact that an undead kobold has taken residence inside and is manipulating the dead. Qualen’s first step towards the Eternal Order was to eliminate this threat, but the warrior lies stricken from the disease of Teziir. The others must carry out the mission.

Reluctantly the group journeys to the temple, following another one of Jynn’s crude maps. Cheynar scouts ahead of the group sneaking inside the temple threshold, but the trespassing provokes a cluster of water elementals from a broken fountain of worship. The others arrive to aid the scout, but the battle has twisted against Cheynar’s favor, forcing her deeper into the temple’s interior. Another guardian is triggered as a floating mystic cloud targets the catfolk attempting to suffocate the intruder. The group comes to Cheynar’s side and defeats the elemental sentries.

Beyond the first two chambers, the group spies a cluster of movement beyond. Moving to the central tomb, they meet the undead kobold sorcerer Oppol who has animated the bodies of his destroyed tribe. But before they can mount a unified front, damned spirits spew out from tomb chambers from behind, creating two fronts of this battle. The superior skill and weaponry of the group proves that they have come far in a short period of time. Oppol is eliminated by Illdric as JadeBlade annihilates the kobold zombie tribe.

The others fair far worse against the evil dead and Cheynar retreats to the entrance. As the kobolds are destroyed Ildric and JadeBlade return to the others and help to destroy the undead. Cheynar draws one to the temple’s door, but it returns to the tomb to expel the others. Finally, the assault ends after the last walking dead is dropped. The ancient temple stands silent but offers much in sight. Murals depict grand cities, some atop clouds and some below the sea. A warrior is depicted in a mural wearing coral armor standing proudly among his people.

The group takes etchings and recovers some of the arms of the kobold attackers. As the sun sets, the group returns through the frozen coast back to the dying city of Teziir. Jynn is astounded at their success and relishes the etchings they procured. Their treasure will go a long ways towards understanding the mystery of the temple’s appearance. Thankful for their efforts, the cleric of Torm heals their more grevious wounds and promises to focus his efforts on the dwarf warrior Farthick by asking Kelemvor to spare his soul. But something is amiss in the City of the Dead. And something is amiss amongst the lost souls of Teziir.

Encounters: ghost, two shadows, two water elementals, belker, ten kobold zombies, 5 wights, and an undead kobold sorcerer.
Achievements: defeated the evil undead of the temple and restored it to peace.

The Secrets of the Hospice of Blessed Maidens or The Dungeons of Arcona Imports

Characters: Barl Bloodbones, Belton Stoutshield, Domollo Blue, JadeBlade

NPCs: Magoovial Hammerstriker

Synopsis: JadeBlade and his companions return to Teziir with the much coveted, but also skeptical, spoils of the Astorian hideout: the case of the cure for the Bloodveil plague. The priests of the Temple of Torm are in disarray as too many of the city folk have fallen to the disease. The cleric of Torm Magoovial Hammerstrike takes the cure in possession, but expresses dismay at the current state of Teziir, especially his fallen brother Eshtani Doctri. Magoovial explains that he recently came in possession of documents detailing strife among two factions of wererats that infest the city below. One faction is lead by the wererat Geargz, the other Ariz Yelloweyes. The letter insists that Geargz and his followers intend to lay waste to Teziir and begin their campaign of rule from the sewers. Aria Yelloweyes contends that this will upset the status quo and bring ruin to her kind. At its weakest moment, Teziir is under attack.

Magoovial summons two other aides and asks for JadeBlades assistance. JadeBlade follows the cleric as the priest of Torm describes suspicions regarding the actions of Doctor Duvalis and Eliosa Arabasi. Rumors are abound of their deviance and Magoovial is to inspect the converted Arcona Imports warehouse that now serves as a triage center for those infected by the Bloodveil. The city streets are desserted until they reach the warehouse where a line of ailing people are governed by several Gray Maidens, followers of Eliosa. Magoovial dispenses with the present authority, gaining access to the facility. The sea of the dying is overwhelming as cots are populated with those struggling to live, but losing badly to the Bloodveil. But the priest stops as he sees the telltale signs of battle. Blood stains the walls as numerous bodies include both Gray Maidens and Duvalis’ masked physician’s assistants.

On the upper level of the warehouse, Barl, Crulamin, Domollo, Belton, and Vi’Helm stand outside an engraved door, desperately seeking the truth they know they must find. So far their investigation has discovered only death. Breaching the door, they find another set of patients. But these are in the most advanced stages of the Bloodveil, each strapped to their bed amidst a wicked laboratory. Three attending physicians stand at the ready and loose their crossbow bolts on the intruders. The battle is quick as the group overruns the demented assistants. As the combat ends Magoovial and JadeBlade arrive and greet Domollo’s mates. Familiar with the group, Magoovial updates Domollo with the recent knowledge of the advancing army of wererats.

Beyond the lab is an abandoned private study littered with alchemical beakers and scattered papers. Nothing of value is apparent, but the condition of the office indicates that it was recently occupied. The adjacent lab reveals cruel treatment and potential experimentation on the sick. As the group is looking for clues, the warehouse’s lift begins to move. The group moves to the sub-floor to find a vast network of rooms. Among the first chambers are a watch guard of Gray Maidens and another alchemical equipment room.

Under the guise of Physicians’ Assistants, the group stumbles upon a ritual party headed by dark priests of Tylona, goddess of disease and death. Domollo immediately falls into character, order the troop to return to the “queen” as they have been summoned. He summons one of the priests into the equipment room and, while shutting the door, instructs Barl to cut him down. The physician is slain, leaving nothing but stained robes on the chamber floor. Their infiltration is coming to an end.

The network of rooms becomes more evil with each subsequent chamber, culminating in a despicable hall of horrors. Encased in transparent walls of force, undead bodies writhe in a crawl space around the circumference of the room. Body parts pivot and blood coats the poor souls trapped within. The display is sickening, even to the heartiest of warriors. Quickly moving to through the opposing doors, the group finds a disturbing room with corpses fastened to beds in the most extreme case of depravity. It is a room of total experimentation with complete disregard of the dignity of life. The entire building is saturated in evil.

Moving through the hall of undead, the group soldiers on, passing through mighty double doors. On the other side is a montage of priests and phsycian’s assistants waiting in silence for the intruders. The room supports elevated crosswalks that pass over massive culdrons of bubbling ooze. Standing atop the central catwalk is a man dressed in heavy aprons, equipped with a multitude of cutting instruments and miscellaneous surgical devices. The room is silent in the exposure of pure evil.

Encounters: three Physician’s Assistants, four Gray Maidens, a gas-trapped foyer, a multitude of priests of Tylona, and the mad experimentor.

Achievements: uncovered the secret compound of the Physician’s Assistants, revealed the evil experiments being performed on diseased folk, and discovered the participation of priests of Tylona.