Adventurer's Beware

24 Marpenoth (Leaffall) (cont) – Thornhold

After Tamnai prepared the dead body to prevent any spread of disease, the group divided between the two wagons and started south along the High Road through the Mere. Aelith and Carden joined the outriders to scout ahead and in about an hour they reached the edge of the Mere. With rolling grasslands ahead, the group proceeded with caution knowing that Frost Giants could still be in the area. The humans seemed frightened but hopeful with adventurers escorting them. Another hour passed until a field laden with carrion feeders lay ahead. The few wolves quickly departed as the wagons rolled closer to the previous ambush site. However, the buzzards stubbornly waited until the riders were extremely close before giving flight. A few wagons were smashed and scattered about along with the carcasses of both horse and men. The giants had obviously carried some of the wagons away, but left the grizzled remains of the fallen as a sign to others of their superiority. A swift investigation revealed no survivors and the group cautiously gathered the corpses on the remaining wooden wagons and set them ablaze before continuing. Watching every rise in the rolling hills, everyone remained quiet as they continued south. Another hour exposed a fortified castle in the distance upon a rise to the southwest. Falgrim announced that the structure was Thornhold, a dwarven stronghold on the cliffs overlooking the Sea of Swords.

Hearing that their destination was a dwarven citadel, Dyan’ette pulled his cowl tightly about his face and Rhogar looked apprehensive to confront his newest race. After some discussion with Tamnai and Carden, Rhogar decided to be forthright if asked and not hide that he only recently became a dwarf. Thornhold loomed closer, a castle of gray stone with a thick curving wall and two-towered central keep. Eventually the wagons were before the closed gates of the gatehouse and a deep voice called from above, “Hail! What brings you to Stoneshaft Hold?” Falgrim announced the caravan’s dilemma and the welcomed escort of the adventurers. The heavy gates opened and the wagons wheeled into the bailey with Dyan’ette being the last to enter with his hood drawn deep over his head. A distant sound like thunder can be heard, and Carden explains to Dyan’ette and Rhogar that it is the shore smashing on the coastal rocks. The drow seems speechless at the sound. Returning their gaze to the bailey, the drab structure was utterly without adornment or ornamentation with only crenellations and arrow slits breaking the solid face of stone. Surrounding the bailey were small buildings of wood and plaster holding animals and simple shops to include a smithy, candlemaker, gemcutter, carpenter/wainwright, and a brewery. Over a dozen battle-hardened dwarves in scale armor and gripping shield and short spears kept several feet between them and the group of visitors. A hardy young mailed dwarf with silver beard clasps securing his braided beard approached, “I am Kron Stoneshaft. Welcome to Stoneshaft Hold where you find sustenance and shelter as long as you cause no grief and obey the rules of the Hold. The Keep, the walls, and any underground chamber are forbidden to visitors.” He waves one hand at the wooden structures, “These shops are available.” Then he points his other hand to the corner tower behind him set against the walls but with no obvious openings to the battlements, “Sea Tower is where you can find food, warmth, and beds for your people.” His hands return to his hips before he continues, “You may ask Grimmell within the Tower for any additional needs. For now, I suggest you allow our healers to look at your wounded.” Falgrim turns to your group and states, “I will gladly cover your cost this night for food and lodging. I only wish I could do more, but we have to assess what goods survived and tend to our wounded.” As the caravan’s able-bodied hands start moving the wounded toward an assembly area, Proo joins them. Dyan’ette walks forward and hands his letter of recommendation obtained in Goldenfields with gloved hands to Kron. The dwarf takes the letter and reads it before responding, “I see no dragonborn among you, where is this Rhogar?” After a confusing discussion with Carden and Rhogar involving the new form of Rhogar, the party reiterates that they will behave accordingly and honor the rules of Stoneshaft Hall. Kron recommends that Dyan’ette keep to the party and remain discreet. He also gives Rhogar a concerned look and asks him to keep his pretty face from causing any disruptions.

The party approaches the Sea Tower, entering a slightly warm room with simple tables, chairs, a small stage, and a long wooden bar. A single set of stone stairs heads to the upper chambers and several others are visible. Three humans in worn clothing sit at the table nearest the hearth while two halflings playing a card game of sorts sit at another in the corner. A baldheaded dwarf scarred across the face and right eye with a silver orb replacing his eye is behind the bar. His thick wiry beard jutting forward prevents sight of his mouth as he bellows, “Warm air, warm food, and fiery drink awaits you! Welcome to the Sea Tower. I am Grimmel and can see to your needs.” A busty dwarven female with braided hair wrapped in a large bun atop her head smiles widely upon sighting Rhogar and waves a hand at one of the closer tables. The group quickly secures three room for three gold for the night and Dyan’ette offers a few gold coins to cover those in the caravan once they arrive. Deciding to see Dyan’ette’s reaction to the Sea of Swords, the group ascends the stairs to the top of the tower. Carden assured to place himself between the drow and the slits while ascending so the drow could see the waters for the first time in an open space. Astounded, Dyan’ette viewed a true ocean for the first time. The group took a moment to stare at the crashing waves below and the rippling ocean as far as the eyes could see. With sunset approaching, Dyan’ette decided to remain alone on the tower top to see the sunset and reflect. Tamnai announced her intent to attempt purchase of diamond dust at the gemcutter. Aelith, able to speak dwarven, decided to accompany her while Carden and Rhogar returned to the tavern below.

Tamnai and Aelith were able to secure suitable diamond dust at a slightly increased rate from a pair of aging dwarves. Aelith inspected the wares and took note of the dwarven crafts. The Sunite also purchase a thick golden necklace similar to a torc before deciding to return to the Sea Tower. Back in the tavern, Rhogar and Carden ordered drinks and Rhogar’s golden hair and eyes quickly attracted the busty dwarven female and two other dwarven lasses she fetched to show them this enamoring armored dwarven specimen. Carden fell into the role of translator and somewhat chaperone as the ladies were none too shy in their intent to seduce Rhogar. Against his better judgment, Carden decided to leave Rhogar’s side so he could check on the possibility of some hand axes at the smithy. The rogue quickly visited the smithy and bartered for two dwarven made hand axes before returning worried at what he would find. As Carden entered, he could see the busty female dwarf sitting in Rhogar’s lap as he told of his heroics. He also caught the disapproving eye, the functional one, of Grimmel. Carden asserted himself again by joining Rhogar and ordering another drink to get the lass from the lap of his friend. Aelith and Tamnai entered and joined the pair for food and drink. Tamnai ordered a plate for Dyan’ette and took it to him on the tower top just as sunset was approaching. Seeing the drow’s stare at the setting sun, she rejoined the others in the tavern below. The group started discussing a way ahead and the need for warm weather clothing.

View
24 Marpenoth (Leaffall) (cont) – The Fog of Undeath

Dyan’ette warned the group that the fog now spreading was magical in nature and added that magical flame may disburse it. The group tensed as the fog thickened to block sight beyond a few feet. Tamnai took post in the doorway with Dyan’ette behind her as Rhogar, Aelith, and Carden encircled the entrance. The natural sounds of the swampy terrain departed and an eerie silence ensued until it was broken by the rapid growth of the foliage all about the tomb. The plants propagated as vines and tendrils twisted and thickened. The three beyond the tomb’s stone entrance found themselves up to their knees (thighs for Rhogar) in vibrant and lush growth. It was then that ‘Sentinel’ burst a warning to all that danger was upon them. The vines and foliage started to twist and entangle. Aelith quickly became grappled by them as Rhogar whirled about as a crunching sound emitted from the roof of the mausoleum. Two large crocodile-like humanoids grasped the stone lip in their clawed hands as they snapped their jaws down at the unsuspecting priestess of Sune. Tamnai gasped as the large maw ripped into her shoulder. Luckily, Rhogar smashed the head of the creature twice to give it cause to release Tamnai. From the fog, two giant crocodiles flanked the entrance and closed. Carden surprised one with an opportune attack, but the beast reacted and grasped the rogue in its giant maw filled with teeth. Aelith likewise was snatched by the jaws of the other one. Tamnai and Dyan’ette released magical barrages at the giant humanoid crocs while Rhogar struck repetitively. Eventually, one was felled and partially blocked the entrance. The fog thinned as the entangling vines continued to grip at all those near the tomb. Carden escaped the jaws of his quarry and climbed to the roof since the large humanoids were no longer on it. Nearly a score of javelins launched through the receding fog with only a couple finding their mark. Rhogar turned to aid Aelith and ended up becoming the giant crocodile’s next victim as it slung Aelith to the side and snatched the dwarf in its jaws. A fireball launched from within the tomb and engulfed many of the approaching lizardfolk, leaving only a couple remaining in its radius. The party continued to battle furiously, slaying the remaining large croc-like humanoid and wounding the giant crocodiles deeply. More lizardfolk charged again and Tamnai sent a fireball to answer their charge. Again, most of those caught with where incinerated as the wet plants hissed in protest at the heat. The giant crocodile on the left dragged the large croc-like humanoid away from the tomb when Dyan’ette dropped a darkness spell to gain temporary concealment for the group. Aelith and Rhogar held the right side while Carden over watched the right. A giant constrictor snake instantaneously appeared beside Carden and started entangling the rogue. As Carden called for the darkness to drop, a dominant lizardfolk with a trident fought its way through the twisting vegetation to close on the entrance. It skewered Tamnai before being felled by her spiritual weapon. Frustrated and uncertain of where his allies were, Dyan’ette emerged and sent another spell into the enemy. A nearby lizardfolk rushed the drow and severely wounded him with its spike shield, catching him in the lower back. As blood continued to flow from the likely fatal wound, Dyan’ette spied a lizardfolk shaman at the edge of the fog and watched as it blew a strange bone whistle. Witnessing the fatal wound, Rhogar called forth healing to close the drow’s wounds at a distance. A shrilling noise pierced the area and the creatures that lie about slain started to convulse as if returning to life. With the entanglement gone, Aelith and Rhogar quickly turned blade and hammer on any enemy near them. Carden likewise pierced the enemy as Tamnai called for Sune to burn the rising dead from this realm. Several of the zombie lizardfolk were destroyed by Sune’s radiance and the larger zombie crocodiles winced away from her symbol. Rhogar let fly the javelin of lightning to singe a few zombies on its path to the shaman. Dyan’ette misty stepped to the shaman and finished him. Tamnai sent a second discharge of holy radiance and destroyed more of the foul undead and turned the large croc-like humanoid zombies as well. Aelith and Carden finished the closest lizardfolk zombies and then the group combined their attacks on the larger undead moving away from Tamnai’s holy symbol held high above her head. Dyan’ette found the whistle and pocketed it before joining the mop up. A quick search revealed that the lizardfolk all carried crude trinkets with no true wealth.

As the group gathered at the tomb’s entrance again, a discussion about the piercing whistle sound started and eventually Dyan’ette admitted that he saw the shaman blow a bone whistle. He admitted that he had the whistle in his possession, and finally produced it after the party pressured him to do so. Carden and Tamnai immediately identified it as Nightcaller and the rogue called for its destruction. Even though Carden asked Dyan’ette to give him the whistle, the drow refused on the premise that he succumbed to its presence once. Further debate lead to admission that the whistle spoke to Dyan’ette as well when he handled it. At this point, Proo surfaced and started healing the party as all were badly wounded. As Enth appeared, she looked different. Not only was she obviously exhausted, but her normal green skin had taken a blue-green hue and her visage a more primal nature with her hair twisting into antler-like depictions. The group quickly informed her and Proo of the assault and of obtaining Nightcaller. When mentioning that she destroy the whistle, her expression changed to one of horror and she reacted, “Do not tempt me with such power!” It was decided that Nightcaller be placed in a scroll tube Dyan’ette produced and then placed in the Bag of Holding carried by Rhogar. Enth requested that she needed at least an hour of rest and the Leomund’s Hut provided the comfort needed to get this short rest. As the party and Enth rested, they conversed about how the whistle could be destroyed. As the group shared their information, a plausible means to destroy the artifact was revealed. Enth believes if it could be cast into a primordial of flame, it could be destroyed. A primordial of flame caused Mount Hotenow to erupt and destroy much of Neverwinter in the past and it is rumored that this primordial currently resides in Gauntlgrym, the ancient dwarven hold. The group intended to take the ancient coins and treasures of Glitterhame to one of the four dwarven kingdoms and Gauntlgrym is one such kingdom. The hour passes and Enth, returned to her previous appearance suggests the group continue to the High Road to exit the water soaked land of the Mere. The party decides to travel to the road and then south while there is light of day since Enth cannot travel vis the trees until a long rest is completed. An hour or so passes before the High Road is discovered on a raised land mass bisecting the swampy land of the Mere. Another hour of travel along the road encounters the remnants of a caravan approaching from the south with obvious injuries.

An outrider cautiously approaches the group and introduces himself as Falgrim. After the party announces no harmful intentions, he explains that his caravan was attacked by blue-skinned giants wielding axes the size of small trees. Aelith quickly assess them to be Frost Giants as the man continues to describe how all that remains of their eight-wagon caravan are two wagons with some injured and dead. The group approaches the two wagons to find several injured men with one on the cusp of death and another already deceased. Three horses remain of the dozen outriders and all of the men have injuries of some sort. As Tamnai and Proo go about setting bones and mending lacerations, the remaining party members inquire about the attack. It is discovered that the caravan was only an hour south of the Mere when two frost giants attacked and caused massive carnage. Only this group were able to escape and were heading back to Carnath’s Roadhouse another two hours north. The caravan originated in Neverwinter and was headed to Waterdeep with trade goods of metal, glass, and leather products. The caravan leader was among the slain and Falgrim is uncertain of what they should do beyond find a safe haven to rest and recover. As the group discusses possible options, Dyan’ette offers escort if they want to continue south. Falgrim states that Thornhold is only a few hours south and is well fortified, but he is worried of the giants. The party, though depleted and without much spell power agrees to escort the survivors to that point since it can be reached by nightfall. After listening to the group Enth approaches to state that the group has decided to assist these humans reach safety. She simply nods, then transforms into a sea eagle and flies eastward.

View
24 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – The Ascent and Questions for Enth

After much discussion and debate, the party finally settled to rest in the tomb within the protective nature of Dyan’ette’s Leomund’s Hut. After a long rest, the group chose to burn the husks of the King in Silver, the princes and their Gloomguard. Determining that the corpse of Eerayda was mostly ice, they decided to say a prayer over her and depart. Proo spent a few moments with the sorceress’ in silence and then followed the party from the room. Carefully, the group made their way back to the trapped hallway and then the strange room where they confronted the shadow mastiffs. Coming to the hall of tombs, Dyan’ette suggested to Carden that undead still lurked within, but the undead slaying rogue refused to take the bait. He simply commented that to release an undead spirit so that it may be destroyed was foolish and better to leave them sealed within their crypts and urns. Rhogar patted Carden’s arm in approval and they continued. Reentering the spear room brought another silence as Proo took time with the remains of Gurt and Devarist to ask Tymora’s blessing for their journey in the afterlife. After deciding to burn the frail dried husks of the once adventurers, Carden and Aelith took lead back through the remaining chambers. The group slowly navigated the well of shadows, the circular sliding stone room congested with undead remains, the still trapped pillared hallway, before ascending into the room littered with broken statues. Carden and Aelith lengthened their lead for the last room and the final stairs that surfaced in the decrepit stone memorial in the Mere of Dead Men. Sounds of the infested Mere were muffled within the mausoleum and a thick fog hung about the door preventing sight beyond. Aelith quietly removed the thrush given to him by Enth and released it. It darted from his palm and flew upward lost in the fog. Rhogar and Carden slid from the entrance to stand just beyond. The fog prevented any vision beyond a dozen feet, though the sounds of rippling and slithering suggested that the Mere was teeming with life. Staying within sight of each other, the party waited in hopes that Enth would respond. Rhogar and Dyan’ette hushed the group simultaneously as they heard flapping wings. A large sea eagle landed on the mausoleum and shifted into the form of Enth. She slid from the roof to stand before the group before asking, “Are the seals intact?” The party informed her that the final seal was intact, but that the others had been broken. She paused and commented that a powerful presence was nearby. Rhogar agreed and informed the group that he sensed an undead of significant power. Enth suggested that the group continue their discussion inside, but a few of the party decided to pursue their questions outside the tomb. Enth deferred and began asking and answering the group’s questions. After Proo’s recount of what happened to his group, Enth inquired of the events since. Dyan’ette, Tamnai, and Rhogar told their tale whereas Carden and Aelith injected questions of Enth and her knowledge of what was discovered below. Everyone kept an eye on the fog about them as the discussion continued. Enth revealed that the tomb’s denizens were some fallen brethren of the eladrin that chose to tamper with darkness that later consumed them. The veils between the plane of shadow were thicker then and the creation of the Shadowfell weakened the barriers. Currently, the shadow veil is as thin as that between the feywild and prime. The seals were created to keep the denizen’s patron imprisoned on this plane so that he could not access his origin, nor use Toril to gather servants like those corrupted so long ago. When Aelith shared that Enth herself seemed to be fey and knowledgeable about the seals keeping this entity trapped, she admitted that she was of the Feywild and protected it from those that would corrupt it with unnatural beings. The discussion turned toward the Sunken Citadel and the likeness found within to the eladrin brethren recently battled. Enth denied such knowledge of another site, though she asked for all the details and appeared very interested in this discovery. She surmised that not all of the corrupted were sealed here. Perhaps only the leaders and those that were defeated with this King of Silver were interned. She was not aware of any connection between the two places and commented that it was likely that survivors established their own lairs. The corrupted dealt in commanding death, thus the knowledge that a similar tomb was near a tree born from the corpse of a vampire was cause for concern. Aelith inquired one last line of questions, “Lastly, the Silver King wore this crown on his head. I'll keep it away from you, since it's cold iron and would likely burn you. It seems like a slap in the face of the fey that he was wearing this on his head, especially if he was one of your kind before. Something that would have harmed him in life became his symbol of his freedom in the afterlife. My problem with all this is that I can't tell if the Silver King was the reason the undead roamed the halls, or if his very existence is an offshoot of whatever was being held at bay by the seals. Did he have the power to raise the dead or is it just an effect of the weakening between ours and the shadow realm? And, to follow that, was he truly undead? The shadow realm isn't necessarily a realm of undeath as it is just shadows, from my understanding. Was he undead or something else, something infused with the shadow realm's magic?" Enth replied, “He served a malevolent immortal, a force of darkness whose powers are not known by me. You faced him and his followers, so you would know best if they had pierced the shroud of undeath. The Shadowfell is known to carry a taint of undeath, perhaps exposure to such has leaked into the tomb. Your descriptions of those you faced suggest that both the shadows and death permeated the tomb.” The group all feel a sense of dread and Enth quickly suggests, “This knowledge is reason to fill this tomb with as much water and earth as possible so others cannot descend or tamper with the final seal. I need time to do so. You must prevent whatever malevolence closes from interrupting.” Enth explained her plan to weaken the leaking stone stairwell wall and call the waters to flood the tomb below and then call the earth to follow. The group agreed and Proo volunteered to descend into the stairwell with the fey to protect her casting. Dyan’ette placed Desdemona on the obviously startled Proo’s shoulder and explained that the spider would allow him to see their progress or needs. As Enth and Proo descended into the tomb, the party watched as the fog thickened and creeped closer to them.

View
23 Marpenoth (Leaffall) (cont) – The Aftermath

The next several minutes passed as the party searched the Forgotten Temple and the glowing Seal. Tamnai assisted the gnome, who introduced himself as Proo Chromatospark, off of the altar and provided some food and drink so he could compose himself. Aelith, Carden, Rhogar, and Dyan’ette searched the chamber walls, pillars, platform, and eventually the twisted stone holding the glowing seal.

The group investigates the form frozen in the ice to discover that it is a human female. Proo announces as the group prods the figure, “That is Eerayda, the leader of our group…I mean…was, since all of them are now dead.” Seeing the inquisitive stares of the group, Proo waves the group over to the stairs he rests upon. “I imagine you have plenty of questions? I would if I were you. I can provide what I know.” The group gathers near the gnome and he looks at them with a sadness in his eyes. “We were a competent adventuring group, with plenty of success and coin to spend. Bando hired us to do this mission and we were eager to be back at our trade. We found that the first seals were breached, likely months ago. We investigated and destroyed the undead remains from those that likely came before us. Whether to rob the tomb or to discover its secrets, we did not know. However, our sources were depleted after the chamber filled with a score of undead resistant to even Tymora’s radiance. On our way back out, Eerayda discovered a hidden corpse and that damned bone whistle. She said that the whistle spoke to her and assured her that the seals were not enough to prevent the resurgence of the evil beyond them. She was always determined, but I should have seen this new swell of commitment for what it truly was, obsession.” The gnome pauses and wiped the tears forming in the corners of his eyes. He shrugs and then continues, “We returned of course and that is when the well of shadows took Llorah from us and even turned her against us as one of their own. My faith in Tymora prevailed, but too late. We thought to turn back then and there, but Eerayda convinced us that to avenge Llorah was the clearer choice and we must determine if the next seal was intact. We found the door along with its seal at the bottom of that pit burnt open by acid and Eerayda admitted that her negligence in targeting the shadows cowering near the door had done so. Gurt, our strategist and muscle, suggested that we retreat until we could speak with Enth again. I think he was worried about Eerayda, but would not openly admit such. She had saved us all in the past and we never had a reason to question her before. Alas, she wanted to find the next seal and advocated that it should be it be intact and then we would return to the surface. Devarist, our elven rogue, simply smiled and took the lead again searching for traps. She was correct! We did find the seal intact upon a stone door in a circular chamber.” The gnome pauses as if finding courage to speak his next words, “That…was where…I failed them. Devarist had cleared the room of traps and Eerayda was studying the seal. Gurt paced impatiently and I was tired and became careless. I simply leaned against the wall near the entrance…and…they paid the price. As a spear slid through my thigh, I watched in horror as Devarist was pierced through the head from behind and then lifted by another shaft through his torso. Gurt was hit also, impaled through the abdomen and lifted a few feet above the ground. I tried, you have to believe I tried to get to him. I could not get free of the damned barb and even the surge of healing I imbued to stay conscious was not enough to allow me to get free. I could see Eerayda making her way to Gurt, but he was pinned as well. She winded through the chamber and joined me as I was slipping. Her magics freed me, but then something rippled as if another trap had been sprung. I faintly remember her carrying me back toward Gurt. With fear and panic in her voice, she told me that if we stayed in the room, we would die…we would all die. I vaguely remember Devarist shriveling as a slow wave washed across him and I had to turn as it touched Gurt. His screams simply lessened and then fell silent. I was certain we were dead, but awoke in a dimly lit room full of crypts. Eerayda was sobbing and looked defeated. She just kept saying that we were betrayed, that she was betrayed, and that she had betrayed us. We tried to rest, but something came at us a few hours later. The grinning parched faces of death long lost to our realms took us. The smell of their old leather mixed with putrid scent of skin claimed by death. The only other memory I have before the torture upon the altar was Eerayda shrieking over and over. She kept repeating ‘Why do you abandon me now, why do you abandon me now?’ Then Tymora called to me, take the chance, follow the light even when it burns. So, I did and here I am.” The gnome released a heavy sigh, then made a half-hearted attempt at a smile.

Dyan’ette was able to determine magical auras within the room. The most powerful was the seal swirling within the blue radiance above the stone foundation. The frozen corpse of Eerayda bore Bracers of Defense and a scroll tube with a scroll of Evard’s Black Tentacles. Proo offers Tamnai her Blessed Cassock as thanks for reviving her and allowing her to look upon the realms again. He insists and states that he plans to take a prolonged sabbatical from the adventuring life and seek Tymora’s path in less dangerous endeavors.

View
23 Marpenoth (Leaffall) (cont) – The Final Seal

The corridor’s floor slightly tilted into a ramp downward toward the darkness. The group edged forward with as much stealth as Rhogar’s plated footfalls allowed. Seeing a discoloration ahead, Carden exposed the light to reveal a similar stone door like those passed previously, but the stone of the door was reddish as was the corridor and walls within ten feet of the door. A cautious check for any traps upon the discolored stone and the door revealed nothing and Carden decided to stealthily open the door. With some help from Aelith, the heavy door slid inward a few inches without sound. The group could now here a chanting of sorts in a low voice some distance from the door. A dim light could be seen through the crack in the doorway as it appeared to change in hue from red to orange to yellow to green to blue to white and then back to red to repeat the sequence. Carden opened the door just enough to see what lie ahead.

A long chamber likely over 100 feet in length and some 50 feet in width was seen with a stone floor, walls and arched ceiling some 40 feet high at the center. Strange patches of ice along the floor could be seen and Carden noticed a limp body covered in ice about 50 feet into the room beside a stone stair to a raised platform. The most intriguing object was a twisted stone bier grasping a large orb that radiated the ever-changing light. Within the sphere was the same symbol the party had seen as seals described by Enth. Other stairs were to each side with a jagged armored form standing with long shield and blade. The closest creature was dressed as the previous Prince of Red, but in black weathered leathers. It watched intently as another figure, more gaunt and tall, was positioned before the orb chanting. This creature was dressed in silvered robes and wore an antlered helm that matched the depictions of the King in Silver in the crypt room. Little from the door could be seen on the platform other than the shoulders of the King in Silver between four glowing stone pyramids. Carden relayed his view to the others and suggested he sneak in along the wall and then Aelith would follow to surprise these denizens of death.

Everyone started to plan their spells and targets as Carden slipped into the room. As the rogue slid across an ice patch quietly, it flashed and triggered an icy explosion. He reacted quickly, but winced as the magical frost still singed his exposed skin. Now alert of the intrusion, the Prince in Black and the armored figures turned to prepare their defense. Carden slid along the shadowed wall and blended into the darkness as the armored creatures called forth frost to coat their forms. The Prince in Black’s eyes glowed as he finished a spell to pierce darkness and any illusions. Aelith rushed the hall and closed with the Prince in Black, but Rhogar and Tamnai were not able to match the distance and paired off against the armored figures. Dyan’ette entered and sent a ball of flame toward the King in Silver to interrupt his ritual and possible breach of the seal. The flames erupted and engulfed both the King in Silver and the Prince in Black. As the battle waged, Aelith and Carden were able to down the Prince just after Rhogar caught the prince in his lightning bolt from the javelin that pierced the King’s chest. The armored undead proved tougher than expected as they cast both magics to claim the mind. Sheer will of the heroes along with some protective wards by Dyan’ette prevented anyone from losing their wits or focus on the enemy ahead. Once engaged in melee, the defensive shields of ice combined with flames that rebuked those that harmed the undead Gloomguards punished Rhogar and Tamnai alike. Carden rushed the King in Silver and noticed the bound gnome form, both charred from recent flame and lightning, upon the altar between he and the King. As the rogue passed the outer pyramids, a flash of light and smell of burnt flesh pulsed through the chamber. The closest pyramids dissolved to expose the headless Princes of Red and Black in their place. The forms placed the horned helms they carried on their neck and rejoined the fray. Another hidden armored undead knight emerged after attempting to mind magics on the party. Tamnai called forth blessings from Sune to fight the atrocities while Rhogar battled furiously against the armored knights gaining the advantage. Dyan’ette slung both offensive and defensive magics in an attempt to turn the fray. Aelith managed to amazingly dodge a series of powerful mystic bolts of force and closed on the King with Carden. The king disengaged Carden and Aelith since his ritual was interrupted and he was being pressed. Tamnai fell limp as an armored knights rebuke left her dying. Seeing this, Carden leaped back to the main floor to save her, leaving Aelith alone against the King and Princes. Another set of force bolts speeded at Aelith. The ranger dodged two, catching one with his blade which hummed with the force as if catching its power. However, another rocked the man back into a stone column and then last blasted his breath from him as he lay dying near the altar. At that moment, Dyan’ette sent another fireball at the King in Silver to consume him. The tattered horned crown toppled to the floor along with the ashes of the king’s remains. The princes convulsed before they two dissolved to the floor where they stood. The remaining undead knights renewed their assault with a burning vengeance in their glowing green eyes. Desperation fled about the room as Tamnai dying form received a visage stab to the neck by a knight as it passed to engage Dyan’ette. Rhogar defeated one of the knights but then fell dying from another one’s mystic magics. Carden reached Tamnai and healed her just in time before death claimed its final breath. Dyan’ette created images about him that allowed him to slide by the knight nearest him. Tamnai heled Rhogar as Carden engaged an undead knight. The last knights were defeated, though the effort dropped Rhogar one last time. Dyan’ette saw to Rhogar’s wounds with his keoghtom’s ointment while Carden and Tamnai rushed to reach Aelith and heal his unconscious form. The ranger slowly made his way to his feet and the others joined upon the platform. Carden pleaded with Tamnai to use her blessings to bring the gnome back as he felt certain that he was alive before the party attacked with such destructive magical force. Uncertain and knowing it would consume the last of the diamond dust the party possessed, Tamnai eventually started casting trusting Carden. As the dust dissolved, a flash of light sunk into the gnome’s limp form and the glowing seal above settled into a bright blue radiance. The gnome gasped for air and bolted upright before regretting the move and the obvious pain it caused. He smiled at the party as he looked about and then sheepishly commented, “Now we get to talk about the aftermath?”

View
23 Marpenoth (Leaffall) (cont) – A Seal of Hope and Shadow Walkers

Finding some more dried blood stains similar to those in the spear room, Carden and Aelith continued to lead the group forward. As they approached an opened stone door in the distance, both paused as they felt a strange tingling. Worried about traps, they retracted and felt the sensation repeat. After considering the event, they asked the others to see if they felt it. All but Rhogar shared their discovery. Dyan’ette asked the group to pause so he could cast the ritual of detecting magic to determine the effect if possible. Frustrated to pause yet again, the group agreed and Dyan’ette did discover a magical field bisecting the hall. After passing through it, he shared that it was abjuration in nature but was uncertain of anything beyond that. The group agreed to proceed and Dyan’ette went to replace is spellbook into his magical haversack only to discover that it was not operable. He returned beyond the barrier and discovered his haversack worked. The group shared the hope that this could mean that the final seal was still active since Enth had warned that the tomb seals blocked such magics. Everyone removed any needed items from dimensional pockets and Dyan’ette confirmed that Desdemona could not be called forth if stored and Aelith questioned the use of his gloves of recall. Carden decided to use the remaining summonings from his bag of tricks. The first produced a very animated baboon and the second was a large axebeak bird. Carden sent the axebeak with the baboon mounted on it forward into the mazelike room ahead. The group followed slowly just entering the room. The absence of any smell was the first thing gaining the party’s attention in the strange angled room with unconnected walls blocking sight from one side of the room to the other. A thick darkness hung in the corners and recesses of the room. The walls were once decorated with brightly painted images on the smooth stone, yet the colors had long since faded and suggested remains of what once was depicted. Everyone felt as if forms moved within the walls in their peripheral vision, but vanished when looking at the spot they were seen.

A sudden screech from the axebeak along with a series of low growls and savage attacks emitted within the room ahead. A single painful howl from the baboon and then total silence alerted the party that they were not alone. Rhogar called forth his faith and ‘Sentinel’ flared with light. The group decided to quickly move through the room and started navigating the tight corners with small breaks in the panels. As they winded through the segmented walls, ‘Sentinel’ warned all of the impending attack as mastiff like hounds flowed from the shadows as if made from its essence. The group tried to position to keep every angle covered, but the walls were angled to allow the shadowy beasts the ability to seep through the shadowed recesses of the segments. Another terrifying hound-like creature revealed itself. Visibly skeletal in nature with purple flames mixed with dark shadows constructed its body. Sickly glowing green eyes focused on Carden at the lead and then the undead horror howled a chilling bay that rippled across everyone that could hear it. From behind a wall, Rhogar wavered and took a step back refusing to look around the wall at whatever howled. The others assaulted the shadow hounds and the undead hound furiously while using the walls to keep from being surrounded. Eventually, the group overwhelmed the shadowy mastiffs and focused their wrath on the undead hound. Its demise left only the bones of whatever it was in life.

Carden and Aelith took the lead again in search of traps. A few signs of dried blood similar to that found in the spear room was the only sign anything had passed in the dark corridor. A narrow circular stone opening lied ahead. Stepping through the narrow archway, the group saw only a wide hallway leading to the right. The floor featuring what must have once been an elaborate and brightly colored mosaic, depicting a stylized representation of the afterlife, but exact details were hard to determine due to many of the tiles being cracked or missing altogether. At the far end of the hall, the face of a draconic creature was carved into the stone wall of an alcove. Water trickling from its mouth into a large stone basin directly under it in the floor. Expecting a trap, Carden and Aelith slowly worked their way down the corridor until they reached a small circular opening in the left wall. A quick glance through the opening revealed another ten-foot-wide corridor. The group discussed ignoring the fountain and just following the new corridor, but Carden’s argued that the fountain could be something more. Rhogar stepped into the new corridor and suggested the others do likewise while Carden continued toward the fountain. The rogue discovered a plate pressure trap barely visible in the cracks of the mosaic tiles in the center of the hall as he inched closer to the fountain. Aelith confirmed the trap and discovered another slightly beyond the first. Confident that the trap targeted the center of the corridor, the pair avoided it to discover that the fountain was simply that and likely just a ploy to lure the curious down the hall. The party assembled in the new corridor and Dyan’ette handed Carden a bag of sand to activate the trap behind them. Upon the bag striking the pressure plate, four magically accelerated metal rods fired down the hall and embedded deep into the stone wall where the party originally entered. Curious at what dangers laid ahead, the group continued.

View
23 Marpenoth (Leaffall) (cont) – The Mausoleum

After nearly two hours in the trapped spear room, Carden and Aelith share their belief that the trap was likely two-fold. The entire wall seemed to be the trap that triggered the spears and a detailed investigation resulted in Carden discovering an indention in the wall about three feet high near the entrance. His assumption was that the Halfling perhaps unknowingly leaned or placed a hand against the wall and was injured during the trap since a blood trail was discovered from that point to the door with the broken seal. The ring of dust around the broken seal door was mirrored along the entrance doorway and seemed to come from the absence of moisture. The belief was that a second magical trap was triggered after the first and it slowly swelled across the room consuming all moisture from those in the room and the very stone itself. With unsolved questions of what caused the sealed door to explode the group gathered themselves and pressed forward.

Continuing their search for traps, the group approached another open doorway with a heavy stone door carved with an angular elven-like face. Carden produced a small ball of fur and tossed it ahead to transform into a small jackal. He motioned the jackal to move forward and search and the small beast did so sniffing about and entering the room. As the group followed, the tunnel led to a long dark chamber filled with crypts in alcoves along its outer walls and clay burial urns in recesses along the inner walls. Under the illumination of light, a language similar to elven was visible along the stone crypts and bas reliefs depicting the inhabitants carved beyond each. Dyan’ette took the time to prepare comprehend languages ritual as Carden’s jackal searched the room and the remainder of the group inspected the first few crypts along the right wall. The crypts and urns each had a name and a possible title beneath them whereas the bas reliefs were intricately carved visages of those within the crypt and carefully sculpted portrayals of those in the urns.

Under magical exposure, the crypts along the right were revealed to hold the following:
• Kythaela Ianneeras titled as Deathwalker and depicted as a robed female elf with a thorned helm and thin blade
• Aerilaya Thyrath titled as Bloodbride and depicted as a gowned female elf with dark flaming hands
• Ialantha Elalyn titled as Gloomwarden and depicted as a gowned female elf with a dark aura and clasped hands
• Ciyradyl Miraldarr titled as Nightwalker and depicted as a lightly armored female elf with daggers and a dark shroud
• Nakiashia Waesvaleer titled as Nightcaller and depicted as a lightly armored female elf with hand crossbows
• Halaema Pamaerisl also titled as Nightcaller and depicted as lightly armored a female elf with hand crossbows

Casual observation revealed that one of the crypt’s lid along the right wall was cracked and stained with dark dried blood rivulets down its sides and about its foundation. It was the crypt labeled bloodbride and Rhogar sensed a sickening sense of dread and evil upon using his divine gifted senses. Hearing such, Carden quickly pushed the cracked piece of the lid to reveal the contents. Before he could look within, a partially translucent beautiful young elven female with bloodstained white linens rose through the stone and lifted an accusatory finger before gliding toward Carden with lifeless eyes swelling with tears. The group immediately reacted to the obvious undead presence steered by immediate attacks from Carden, Tamnai, and Rhogar. As Rhogar’s radiant strike landed, the visage of the translucent form twisted to one of pain and horror. A baleful wail erupted from her elongated mouth and Carden and Tamnai collapsed to the floor while Carden’s jackal simply disappeared. Tamnai’s death ward spell surged and Carden’s eyes flared with shock at such a potent strike from the undead banshee. Dyan’ette launched a magical assault of flaming bolts. Aelith struck with Shatterspike and Winter’s Breath while Rhogar smited with holy power. The form shriveled at the attacks and dissolved upon Rhogar’s last strike of radiant energy. Carden crawled to Tamnai’s limp form and released a wave of healing energy that recovered the Sunite. Everyone took a few moments to collect themselves and pass some healing to those in need while Dyan’ette used his mage hand to scour the crypt’s contents through the exposed break in the lid. The mage recovered twelve finely crafted amber gemstones likely valued around 200 gold coins each. The drow also retained a small sliver of bone from the remains, but alerted the others that the bones were very brittle and certainly ancient. The group finished searching the right hallway and catalogued the urns believed to be family collections of deceased. They numbered the following:
• The first urn was labeled Liavyre and depicted nine elven adults and three children
• The second urn was labeled Carphyra and depicted twelve elven adults
• The third urn was labeled Pamaerisl and depicted one elven adult and four children
• The fourth urn was labeled Urithai and depicted five elven adults and five children

Opening at the end of the right hall of crypts was a large chamber divided into three smaller chambers open to the center. A cursory glance revealed three elaborate stone coffins open with their heavy stone lids lying on the floor beside them. Mismatched faded tapestries covered the worked walls of the three areas about the coffins and appeared to depict family sigils, scenes of battle, and possible suggestions of those that once laid within. The group agreed to backtrack and search the left hall of crypts before entering the larger room with the coffins. Retracing their path, they carefully searched the left hall of crypts to reveal the following names and titles. They catalogued the urns believed to be family collections of deceased in the left hall as:
• The first urn was labeled Ianneeras and depicted seven elven adults and three children
• The second urn was labeled Ianneeras and depicted four elven adults and one child
• The third urn was labeled Miraldarr and depicted ten elven adults
• The fourth urn was labeled Nerineiros and depicted four elven adults and six children
The actual crypts along the left were revealed to hold the following:
• Lathai Ianneeras titled as Deathspeaker depicted as a robed male elf with bone staff and half-sun amulet
• Inialos Chaelyth titled as Bonecaller depicted as an armored male elf with skull helm and thick rod
• Myriil Miraldarr titled as Nightwalker depicted as a lightly armored male elf with daggers and dark shroud
• Taranath Shaymaris titled as Gloomguard depicted as an armored male elf with shield and long blade
• Arun Urithai titled as Gloomguard depicted as an armored male elf with shield and long blade
• Elluin Nerineiros titled as Gloomguard depicted as an armored male elf with shield and long blade
The last three crypts titled Gloomguard had been shattered and only stone rubble remained. The party rummaged through the stone, but no bones or wealth were found.

The party spread into the larger chamber with the stone coffins. Dyan’ette sit to focus and start the ritual for detecting magic while Tamnai and Aelith moved to the left part of the chamber and studied the ancient tapestries trying to determine their origin and the flow of the story depicted. Carden and Rhogar inspected the left coffin and then circled to the central coffin. An investigation of the first coffin revealed scores of deep, seemingly haphazard scratches along the inside near the top where the lid would have closed. Similar investigation of the lid revealed matching scratches along the inner lid suggesting that whatever was inside had escaped. Whether by sheer strength or by determination, whatever was within had escaped some time ago. The search of the central coffin proved a similar finding. Aelith and Tamnai talked the story depicted out and it seemed as if the coffin’s occupant was known as the Prince of Red. A tall royal with elven or eladrin features seemed to rise and lead similar troops in angular armor against humanoids depicted as grotesque creatures with crude weapons and metal armor. Aelith related that he believed this to be an ancient battle, later confirmed by Dyan’ette that it could have been during the Crown Wars. Tamnai discovered a dark sun symbol that could relate to an ancient death god worshipped by predecessors of current races. Upon completing his detect magic spell, Dyan’ette walked the halls again looking for magic from the crypts and urns to no avail. He returned to the large room to see Rhogar and Carden discussing the central tapestries with the others. The central tapestries revealed the rise of a King in Silver with a horned crown ruling a land along the coast and covered in forests. The most disturbing depiction was that it appeared that the King in Silver beheaded the Prince in Red and then replaced his head with a thorny helm. This was likewise on the opposite wall, but the Prince there was depicted as the Prince in Black. Both Princes were suggested to be the actual since of the King in Silver.

Listening to their discussion, Dyan’ette climbed into the coffin on the right. The drow noticed something crouched near the lid beyond the coffin. The gaunt skin of an undead creature was visible as it rose and the Hammer of Warning surged to alert everybody of the danger. The creature dressed in parched red leathers raised its clawed hand and spoke archaic words. Two bolts of sheer force launched forward. The first at Dyan’ette struck with a sickening thud and doubled the mage over in pain. The second barely missed Rhogar standing upon the raised stairs near the central coffin and shattered the stone beyond while shredding the tapestries there. The party quickly responded. Carden rushed forward to strike and then nimbly rolled away avoiding the creature. Dyan’ette dropped darkness about the undead remembering Carden’s ability to operate in such. Tamnai healed the drow while Rhogar and Aelith prepared to strike anything that erupted from the darkness. When the undead did not emerge, Carden leaped back in to strike and quickly realized that this creature’s eyes glowed with magic likely able to pierce the magical darkness. Announcing such, Dyan’ette dropped the darkness and used faerie fire to outline the foul denizen. The others quickly took advantage of this and struck repeatedly to slice the gaunt skin and pound the lithe frame. A white ichor oozed from the wounds as the undead retaliated, but it succumbed to the assault in quick order and the party remained breathing heavy and disturbed by such a foul presence. The undead form shriveled into nothingness leaving only shaded stain of darkness upon the stone.

View
23 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – The Forgotten Tomb

The group awoke and prepared spells and equipment they felt necessary for the journey into the ancient tomb. Carden informed the druid that if he recovered the bone whistle, that he would need help in destroying it as it was connected to the dracolich, Dragauloth. Enth agreed to help if she could and then took them deeper into the Mere and pointed to a small patch of ground above the waterline with thick vegetation. A square mausoleum of aged stone covered in thick moss and strangling vines could barely be seen. She provided a sketch of what the seals should look like and reminded the group that there should be six of them. She also advised the group to avoid any gems or jewels with a glow within as they would be connected to the seals and should be left alone. Enth gave them a small wooden thrush and instructed them to throw it skyward and speak her name when they exited the tomb and she would come for them. Aelith eagerly took the sketch and thrush before nodding to Carden for them to lead the expedition ahead.

The inner mausoleum was smooth and muddy from its recent traffic. The single sarcophagus in the center was opened with its heavy cracked stone lid on the floor to its side. A steep stone stairway descended and switched back thrice before opening into a chamber below. The stairs were slick from moisture leaking slowly through the cracked walls to form moss-covered patches on the stone.

The group entered the first chamber in darkness trusting to their darkvision. After discovering the room littered with parts and only one visible exit across the room, the party called forth light to investigate further. Pieces of twisted limbs with purplish taunt skin were determined to be the remains of ghouls that the other party likely destroyed. A heavy stone door with an obvious match to the seal Enth described was clearly broken with pieces missing. Beyond was a long hallway with several pitons wedged into cracks in the floor. Carden and Aelith easily identified that the pitons were disabling a trap that would drop stone blocks from the ceiling onto unwary trespassers. The hallway ended in a circular room some 15 feet tall with a dozen smoothly carved alcoves with pedestals. The pedestals were empty, but the remnants of statues were crumbled throughout the room. Carden mentioned that the statues closely resembled the elven-like statues they encountered in the Sunken Citadel where he first discovered the bone whistle. The group concluded that the statues were likely guardians destroyed by the adventurers before them. A single exit was in the form of a spiral stone stair in the center of the room. As the group started to descend, it was brought to their attention by Dyan’ette that another seal was placed here, but now faded and only visible once flush with the floor.

Descending the spiral stair slow and carefully, Carden and Aelith remained alert for traps. Reaching the bottom, a long 15ft-wide and 50ft-long hallway stretched beyond with small elevated pillars along both walls every two feet. Calling upon light again, the pair of searchers identified that a trap was still in place but previously circumvented. Chalk marked a line on the floor showing the area that likely opened into a pit trap if any stepped on the floor beyond the chalk. More marks on the pillars identified the path to be stepped upon to circumvent the trap. The group easily avoided the trap and collected at the end of the room beyond another chalk line. An arch led to another circular room with no apparent exit. The room was filled with hundreds of bones from skeletal remains of numerous humanoid races. A search revealed human, elven, halfling, gnome, dwarven, lizardfolk, goblin, orc, and gnoll remains. After a lengthy search, the group finally discovered a panel that caused the entire room to rotate and reveal an exit. The opening remained open a minute or so before returning and a lever on the opposite side was present to open the exit from within. The third seal, burned and scarred into the wall was broken. Aelith reminded everyone that this was where the first group of adventurers progressed before they returned to rest according to Enth.

Beyond the exit was a short descending ramp that opened some 20 feet beyond into a high cylindrical chamber with a narrow 3-foot spiraling walkway from ceiling to bottom. Seeing that the chamber was some 60-foot-tall and the ledge they approached was roughly 20 foot from the ceiling, Aelith and Carden decided to ascend first while the others remained in the mouth of the corridor. They discovered that the previous rogue had disarmed yet another trap that would have dropped a heavy ball of some nature from the ceiling to crush any along the spiral ramp. They gathered the others and used light to better investigate the smudges of dark ichor left along the ramp at various points. Further investigation suggested that the smudges were the remnants of undead shadows burnt from existence by holy fire or divine will. The group also discovered the clothing of a female along with scarred leather armor and mundane items that suggested that the other party’s bard may have perished here. The survivors likely scavenged any items of worth before continuing. The last discovery was that of a thick iron door with a seal upon it. However, the lower half of the door had been melted and pitted with the iron reforming on the ground below. A fourth seal had been breached and the group started to worry if the adventurers were at fault or following something that was piercing the seals.

The long 5ft-wide corridor extended some 50 feet before opening into a room intertwined with long metal poles to form a web of death. The group discovered two forms with skin taunt and eyes sunken as if they had been drained of all fluids. It was quickly determined that these two were the elven rogue and the human fighter. The party had to slowly wind through the steel barbs after Carden and Aelith agreed that the trap had been sprung and likely could not reset. Across from the entrance was the rubble from a thick stone door appearing as if it exploded. The remnants of a seal could be seen upon many of the pieces of stone, thus the fifth seal had been penetrated.

The group could see blood streaks heading beyond the door as if someone was injured, but paused to search the forms of the fighter and rogue. Both seemed to retain their equipment and Dyan’ette took the time to cast a Detect Magic with luck.

The fighter’s plate armor was pierced beyond repair and his spear was sundered below him. However, his furry boots and a sharp steel javelin on his back radiated magic. A pouch with 32 gold and 16 silver coins dangled from his neck in a small purse.

The rogue, impaled through the head and stomach, carried several items still usable. A 50ft silk rope with a collapsible grappling hook was found in his backpack along with a small bag containing a broken nonmagical lute, a strange looking whip and a vial, with the latter two detecting as magic. Another magical dagger with a green hue was discovered on his belt and a brass rod of magical nature was on the other side of his waist.

The group decided to wait and allow Dyan’ette to determine the items properties in case they could be of use as the party continues.

View
22 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – Rhogar’s Return

The morning was crisp and Enth had prepared the small clearing of grass for the spell. She waved and the earth shifted to create a hole in the center where she placed the right hand of Rhogar’s corpse. She covered the hand and continued carefully placing the gemstones and creating intricate patterns with the silver shavings, powdered gems, and rare herbs. Soaking the patterns with the oils and blood primed for the ritual, she asked the group if they any items of significance to place into the circle to help call forth Rhogar’s spirit. The group searched through Rhogar’s belongings and finally decided on his breastplate emblazoned with Bahamut’s symbol, the knight piece from his Dragonchess set, and a small stylized gold ring he carried. Enth waved the group to a distance and then started the spell. The oils flared with a greenish flame and the pungent scents herbs and metals filled the air. Everyone watched as Enth finished her spell and turned to them to inform them that they would know soon if Rhogar chose to return.

The earth rolled as if something within was moving and then a thick ruddy hand with five fingers burst out of the ground followed by another. A moment later, an unclothed upper half of a hairy dwarf emerged. His thick golden mane and matching beard were filled with dirt and the dwarf kept touching the hair as if it was foreign and unknown to him. The golden eyes of the dwarf settled on the group before his voice boomed, “What in Bahamut’s name has happened?” The next several minutes were a mix of joy, confusion, and discovery for the group. Before them was their friend, Rhogar, but in a different form, the form of a tall and muscular mountain dwarf. Enth gave them their space for a few hours as the group relayed all that had happened since the night Rhogar died.

The green-skinned elf-eared druid returned with a collection of berries and nuts for the group and then sit before them to discuss her need of them. The group listened intently as Enth revealed her dilemma. Revealing that she sought adventurers willing to penetrate a tomb in the Mere of Dead Men. A tomb sealed far in the past as part of a ritual to banish a malevolent being of great power when the veil between the Shadowfell and Toril were thinner. Bando had provided an able group of adventurers two months ago and they had entered the tomb on her behest. The previous group included a human sorceress, an elven rogue, a human fighter, a half-elven female bard, and a gnome priest of Tymora known well to Bando. The first adventure group discovered that seals were broken and the halls beyond were laden with undead that they battled furiously before they had to return to rest and heal. They had discovered three seals broken of the supposed six in place and their leader, the sorceress discovered a bone whistle that whispered of power. She found it on a corpse of a likely intruder that had been slain and turned to undeath. She claimed the whistle was a treasure that could assist them and they again submerged into the tomb after resupplying in Amphail. That was nearly two ten-days ago and she suspects them either dead or trapped somehow. She informed the group that the seals that imprison the entity also prevent any teleportation or planar shifting travel. She alludes that this same power prevents her or other fey entities from entering or escaping the tomb. After recommending that the group travel to Amphail to equip their nearly nude dwarven friend, she will transport them all to the Mere of Dead Men that evening.

Aelith refused to enter Amphail and Carden and Dyan’ette also decided to stay outside the town. Tamnai and Rhogar entered Amphail and purchased needed clothing and exchanged the plate armor sized for his larger dragonborn form for a suitable set sized for the dwarf. Wanting to keep the breastplate, Rhogar exchanged his Everburning Torch to a smith with the ability to resize the breastplate to a comfortable fit before the evening. The two returned to the party just before sundown and Enth found a tree to use for her transport spell.

The spell opened a portal in the tree and within mere seconds the group exited into a fetid and humid swampy terrain with abundant insects and strange noises. Enth recommended the group camp and Dyan’ette’s magical hemisphere was truly appreciated for the night as it kept the humidity and bugs out and allowed for temperature control to reduce the discomfort. The night passed uneventful beyond the noises of an unfamiliar terrain.

View
21 Marpenoth (Leaffall) – A Druid’s Travel

Carden and Dyan’ette pulled watch as the last of the night sky hung over them. Hearing something, Carden investigated the area near the horses only to be tripped and covered with a cloak of leaves. The commotion and slight giggling of Pavril alerted the others. When they approached, the half-elf was jesting about Carden’s appearance. After introducing herself to Aelith, she continued her talk with Carden as the others lost interest and returned to the camp. The half-elf questioned the rogue’s capacity to get into trouble and informed him that it takes her time to receive any missives. She alluded that he could drop any future reports at Tamnai’s shop in Waterdeep or to Miros Xelbrin in Goldenfields. She approved of his wearing the ring she had left and told him that their paths would certainly cross in the future. After a ruffle of his hair and comment about his white streak, Pavril left as swift as she appeared. A whistle followed by the pounding of hooves called her mount. The half-elf nimbly mounted as it passed and turned back to the south while the others started breaking the camp.

Before noon, the group approached the Floshin Estate. An inquiry with the estate guards directed them to the gardens to the east of the estate below the cliff’s there. The cold waters fell from the cliffs and gathered in a pool at the center of a lush garden with stones laid to mark its paths. After hobbling the horses beyond the garden, the party noticed a lone green-skinned figure swimming in the pool. As they approached, she noticed them and walked from the pool in the nude. Both Carden and Aelith averted their eyes to show respect. Tamnai and Dyan’ette simply watched her as she approached. Seeing the human’s reactions, she summoned a shawl of vines and flowers that climbed her form from the ground below. She announced her newly clad clothing and addressed the entire group with a lyrical voice. The group quickly turned the conversation to the need to reincarnate Rhogar. She agreed to perform this task for their aid in return as long as they had the ingredients for the spell. The group quickly agreed thinking little of what her task entailed as long as it returned their friend. She agreed and informed them that they would be travelling to the north and that their mounts could not join them. Enth expressed that she would perform the ritual to reincarnate Rhogar at dawn the following morning, but she would arrange for their mounts to be cared for by the estate. She approached and spoke with the horses, who followed her as she took them to the estate. Enth returned some time later and asked the group to follow her. She approached a large tree and stated that all were to enter once the portal opened. The party agreed and immediately stepped into the tree as a green misty portal formed at Enth’s touch and strange words.

The group, somewhat disoriented at first, noticed that they stood in a thick forest. The druid revealed that they were in the Westwood, a forest to the west of Amphail which was only about 10 miles away. She asked them to make themselves at home while she prepared for the ritual in the morning to bring back their friend, in whatever form nature chose.

View

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