Scales of War

Ah, Travel Across Elsir Vale
Or, watching That Bitch ride that ass
Waterday, 19 Reaping, 1468 CY
  • Troyas asks if the group will be heading on to Overlook: their skills could be useful to the dwarves. Though Diony attempts to wheedle something out of him, the councilman assures the elf that the dwarves will make it worth his while.
  • The Hordebane picks up their reward from Gavriel’s Smithy.
  • Skien convinces the young stable boy to sell him the only animal he and his father have left after the goblin attack: a stubborn donkey named Jack.
  • The Hordebane catches up with the Witchwood refugees and escorts them the rest of the way to Talar, and then on toward Witchcross where they take the Old Forest Road in to Grymm’s village. Just as they are about to cross the ferry, Tanner gets a painful message from his Aunt Maa’zai regarding Kartenix. He returns to Brindol as swiftly as possible.
  • The guards head back to Talar, satisfied that the refugees are returned. Skien knows a shortcut to the monastery and convinces the party to bring his three brothers back home as well.
  • The night is uneventful, except for Grymm’s Diony-induced spill into the Elsir River. In a fit of rage, Grymm charges after the mischievous (and well-intentioned) elf to pummel him to unconsciousness. That Bitch and Jack look on and laugh.
  • Skien looks for rituals that might restore Kartenix, but finds none. He does find the poem he remembered about the Day of the Black Sun.
Earthday, 20 Reaping, 1468 CY
  • The Father at the monastery chides Skien for questioning the Raven Queen’s judgement. He confirms that there are no Raise Dead rituals in the monastery’s library.
  • The Hordebane returns to Talar for brunch at the Green Dragon Inn before heading onward through Nimon Gap and stopping in the tanning community of Terralton for the night.
  • That Bitch picked up some leather to make into a saddle and some saddlebags for Jack.
  • They ask around and hear that a blind dragonborn passed through a day or two ago.
  • Along the road, That Bitch and Skien noticed some mums blooming out of season. Grymm noticed it subconsciously, for that is what he dreamed about all night—he awoke with thoughts of his sister.
Freeday, 21 Reaping, 1468 CY
  • A few hours onto the road, the group notices the flowers again and takes time to examine them. Grymm recognizes them as his sister’s favorite flower, and Diony thinks they are some sort of trail.
  • Urgency sweeps through Grymm, and he hurries onward. Soon, he hears the sounds of battle and he draws his weapons as he breaks into a run.
  • The others hurry to catch up, and Diony sneaks through the trees to see what is going on.
  • The Green Hand, an all-female adventuring party, takes down the last of the orcs as Grymm rounds the corner, and Ireni is there safe and sound. It turns out that The Green Hand has been fighting goblins in the Witchwood, doing their best to defend the people who live in the haunted wood.
  • Ireni had been making the orcs sick so that they would be easier to defeat.
  • She greets her brother warmly, and regrets that he will not return to the village with her…but she knows that his path lies elsewhere, perhaps even in Overlook.
  • At Diony’s comments about getting her brother to bathe, Ireni casts a small charm on the necklace Grymm took from her hut in the Witchwood: it now serves to dampen the smell around him to a tolerable level.
  • Together, the Hordebane and The Green Hand travel onward to Drellin’s Ferry. Along the way, they discover a sacked wagon. Upon investigation, they find a box with the seal of the Elsir Consortium in Overlook. Diony attempts to open it, but is unable to do so.
  • At Drellin’s Ferry, the group finds Irjan outside of The Green Apple and they rejoin his company.
  • That Bitch takes Jack to the stables and sleeps with him there, only to be awoken very early by a bubbly Delora as she sees to the animals in the morning.
Starday, 22 Reaping, 1468 CY
  • The Hordebane sets off in the company of The Green Hand, and Irjan challenges one of the women to a shooting contest. She obliges, and just loses to the blind dragonborn. Jouet does not like him at all, though she respects his skill well enough.
  • They camp in the Wyrmsmoke Mountains, able to avoid trouble with their strength in numbers.
Sunday, 23 Reaping, 1468 CY
  • The party comes down out of the mountains and into the Westdeep Forest, passing within a few hours of Sodden. That Bitch is not yet ready to see his daughter, so he says nothing and continues on to Overlook.
  • The city gates are closed for the night when they arrive, but there are still some poor, desperate people wandering around in the Shantytown outside the city’s tall, dwarven-built walls.
  • The Green Hand smell the Shantytown (over That Bitch’s ever-stronger musk), and choose to camp outside, downwind.
  • The Hordebane stays at the Clean Sheets where they meet Yerrin Dalovoy, the halfling owner. Choosing to eat rations rather than trust the food there, they sleep as well as possible in a place that smells endlessly of filth.
Moonday, 24 Reaping, 1468 CY
  • Irjan is awakened by a whispered argument between Yerrin and another, larger man. When he and Diony go to “whiz” and investigate, Yerrin takes them into his confidence. There is a gang in town that demands protection money to keep bad things from happening to people in fine businesses like Yerrin’s own. He had a disagreement with the collector this morning, but he’s sure it will work itself out. But if anything does happen, he’d be glad to have Diony and Irjan stick up for him—after all, he has some connections and can maybe get ahold of some things the people of Overlook wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands.
  • Skipping breakfast at the Clean Sheets, the Hordebane heads for the now-open gate where they meet Captain Aerun and head onward to the Mountain Hearth for a bath and clean clothes.
  • Reggen, the matron in charge of the inn, has been having trouble with the “Lost Ones.” They recently vandalized her latest shipment of flour, and have been terrorizing her staff. She refuses to pay their “protection” fee, but at the same time she is not sure how far these Lost Ones will go to punish her people, her establishment, or her customers.
  • After baths, they headed to Elftown to meet with someone from the Elsir Consortium and return the box they found in the damaged caravan.
  • Bram Ironfell rewarded each member of the party with 20gp, explaining that the box contained sensitive documents regarding some land his great-great-grandfather might have possessed. He will see about sending it to relatives in the direction of Brindol after the orc excitement has died down.
  • The Council of Elders called all the adventurers to the High Hall to describe their plan for the defense of Overlook and Bordrin’s Watch: most would be delegated to Durkik Forgeheart who will be leading the militia at Bordrin’s Watch proper; the Farstriders would see to the orcs coming through the tunnels under the mountains; another group would have to journey through the mountains to the Monastery of the Sundered Chain to warn the priests there…it was bound to be dangerous if there were orcs around.
  • Edgar Sommerfield, the leader of the Farstriders, was furious that another group was offered an equal opportunity for glory, as he had made a prior arrangement with the Elders to take on the most dangerous assignment.
  • Elder Cadrick offered the group 1000gp if they could go and warn the priests if they did not already know what was coming.
  • On the way out of the High Hall of Caer Overlook, Irjan was approached by his brother, Danobre, who promised to leave a message for Irjan at the Mountain Hearth for when he returned from doing the Council’s bidding.
  • The Hordebane makes ready to set off into the Stonehome Mountains…

Death Toll

Sickly orcs who held Ireni captive are now very dead, killed by The Green Hand.

New Acquisitions
  • 150 XP to all players (Total: 3287).
  • Everlasting Provisions
  • Chainmail Armor of Fire Resistance +1
  • Jack the Ass was purchased from a lonely stable boy in Brindol.
  • Ireni was found.
  • 20 gp to all players for returning the Elsir Consortium box to Bram Ironfell.

Character Journals

Click your character’s link below to create your journal entry on a new wiki page:
Diony – Session 7
Skien – Session 7
Tanner – Session 7
Irjan – Session 7
That Bitch – Session 7
Grymm – Session 7

Out of Character

Discussion completed on house rules: Temporary Boons and Points of Awesome will stand as they are written, and Fate Points (and little chips of fate) are up to each character to keep track of.

Everyone except Irjan has an additional banked Point of Awesome as he is the only one who used his Boon.

Family Affairs, Wedding Bells, and the Adoring Public
What's not to love?
Waterday, 19 Reaping, 1468 CY

Irjan and Diony continued on their quest for more drink, followed more sedately by That Bitch (only because he was looking forward to spending the evening telling stories to Thurann), Skien, and a once-again ripe-smelling Grymm. When they eventually retired to their rooms at Chatrenn and Sons, Aviella and Tanner were nowhere to be found. Thurann was waiting with Sylvie with a note that explained Aviella’s absence: she had been conscripted to help her sister with wedding plans—the couple was fiercely determined to marry before anything else could happen. With her regrets, she took her leave of the group for now and promised to catch up with everyone in Overlook if she could manage it.

After a long and draining day, Tanner finally managed to escape his family—well-intentioned though they are, he prefers them in small doses. Particularly for Tanner (though a few others suffered brutal hangovers of their own), the sun rose far too early, yet if they wanted to “escort” the rescued people of the Witchwood back to their homes, they would have to be up at the proper time to do so.

Irjan awoke early (despite the aftermath of his quest for drink) and left town, heading west as quietly as he could…

"Hordebane" Returns Victorious!
Now how soon can we leave Brindol?
Starday, 16 Reaping, 1468 CY

There was a palpably-numb moment of silence as the presence of Kartenix the Chilled registered, and then everyone broke the ice and began talking at once. Well, the villagers didn’t have too much to say, except for Zerriksa (never at a loss for words, that one) and Thurann. Ultimately, it was decided that the severely frost-bitten man would accompany the group back to town in hopes that some cure might be discovered for him. Though some—like Diony—didn’t agree, and others—like Skien—were conflicted, others completely took to the coldest of their companions: Irjan and Tanner rigged up a makeshift leash and Kartenix became the dragonborn’s seeing-eye zombie when he wasn’t being all sneaksie-like.

With a ritual and Kartenix in place, the group took an uneventful rest as they prepared to go after the last captured citizen of Brindol: Adronsius. Upon awakening, Diony realized that the dimness around him was slowly weakening…when he examined his Chip of Dimness he noticed the magic in it was fading and would be gone in a couple of days.

Heading off to the last unexplored section of the ruins, the party made great haste to reach Adronsius before it was too late. A number of drake swarms and goblins were in their path, as were some runes in the floor that gave off heat, but those were quickly dispatched and soon all had little drakes to roast on sticks for a light snack. In the next room, they found the dwarf shackled to the wall and beaten within inches of his life. That Bitch quickly healed him, but he was so weak that he could not walk. He admitted that the goblins had beaten him almost constantly, seeming to have a particular hatred for dwarves. After fashioning a stretcher for the dwarf, the group returned to the others, guarded by Aviella, and they set off to leave the ruins.

Climbing the stairs, they found that a horde of goblins (and other goblinoid creatures) awaited them. The clans that had united under Sinruth’s leadership demanded satisfaction in the form of an honor fight to prove that treachery had not led to the fall of their might chieftain. The hobgoblin chief, Muuk, led negotiations, and was joined by an overlarge bugbear and a sniveling little goblin in tattered robes. Each tribal leader had a banner, and each nominated a champion from their tribe to fight against the group who had supposedly slain the great Sinruth with no trickery. Eventually, the group realized that the goblins had some prisoners with them as well, and they bargained for the prisoners’ release if the party were to find honorable victory. It was a difficult battle, but Muuk was the first to be taken down. Soon, all of the elite warriors and chiefs were killed except for Muuk, whom they kept alive to honor his end of the bargain. True to his word, the goblin tribes disbanded, and left the prisoners for the adventurer’s to return to their homes.

Among them, was a young girl from Grymm‘s village, but he couldn’t quite remember how he knew her. She was a girl of about 12, and she explained to the others that she was Ireni’s apprentice. Ireni was captured too, but the goblins traded her to some sickly orcs (who had eaten burnt fish) in exchange for two barrels marked “XXX”. There were also three men from Skien’s monastery in the Witchwood, two young ones that he recognized and an older one he didn’t know. The Father, he learned, had survived the attack and was likely rebuilding after the goblins’ raid.

With so many more charges to care for, the group hunkered down outside the ruins for a rest. Traveling at night seemed a poor choice, especially with so many weary villagers. During that time, Zerriksa approached Skien and mentioned in a most off-hand manner that she might know someone who might know a little something about Kartenix’s condition. She left it at that, despite the shifter’s questions, claiming that her old bones needed rest just like everyone else.

Fortunately for everyone, the night passed uneventfully once everyone had tracked down enough food to feed the entire group.

Moonday, 17 Reaping, 1468 CY

The next day dawned and after a few hours the party managed to get all of their charges underway. The trek was long and arduous for many of the travelers, but as the sun began to set they saw the lights of Brindol in the distance. A few of the group set off across the northern bridge to solicit some carts for their goods and wounded. The guard summoned a messenger—Alys—who quickly appropriated carts for the heroes’ use and set off to alert Councilman Troyas that the adventurers had returned successful. Hiding Kartenix in a cart with the artifacts, and loading the wounded into the other, the group headed into town and no one seemed to notice the curtains on the side of one cart becoming slightly stiff with frost in the middle of summer.

Troyas came down to meet the party in the courtyard, and sent the rescued home to their families—those who couldn’t return home were put up at the closest inn or found relatives. He offered half of the party’s payment, and stated that the townspeople would give the rest of the reward the next day with a ceremony at the tenth bell. His glance included everyone—even those he hadn’t hired—as he expected all of them to attend. He also waved Alys over, and informed her to call a meeting of the council immediately. “You have all done well,” Troyas said, “and you have earned your rest. Take it at Chatrenn and Sons—Sylvie will see to it that you have hot baths, hot meals, and quality rooms for the week.”

Skien gestured for the councilman to join him by the cart containing Kartenix, indicating that there had been a “complication.” He lifted up the frosty curtain and revealed what had become of Kartenix. Troyas drew back in horrified shock, and when Skien offered no explanation he sought it from the rest of the group. Eventually, after heavily weighing the possible outcomes, he elected to allow Kartenix to remain hidden in town until dawn on Diamond League Day. After that, the zombie would either have to be taken out, or disposed of. He didn’t want rumors spreading through the city (never mind that all of the rescued captives knew about zombie Kartenix), and he knew such a thing would be hard to keep quiet. Zerriksa offered to keep Kartenix a secret in her barn on the outskirts of town. Though Thurann wanted to accompany his father, That Bitch explained the situation to him when Skien wordlessly hauled him away. Reluctantly, the boy agreed to stay with That Bitch, and the dwarf ended up telling him all manner of tales until finally the boy fell asleep.

After dinner, Tanner stopped by his cousins’ house and learned that Uncle Doo’gras and his siblings Mar’ten and Eleanor were in town. According to his uncle, things were really heating up for the dwarves over at Bordrin’s Watch, and he advised that everyone head to Overlook to help out. Mar’ten blathered on about investing gold and something called a “stock market” while Eleanor remained coolly quiet, saying only just enough to be civil to her little brother. With Auntie Moo’haa not yet in town, Tanner decided that he could get away and sleep at Chatrenn and Sons more easily than he could sleep in a house half-packed with his family.

Godsday, 18 Reaping, 1468 CY

Early the next morning, Skien stopped by the Great Hall of Valor to donate the battle standard from the defeated hobgoblin chief, Muuk, to Sertanian’s collection of artifacts. The old castellan was delighted with the shifter’s donation, and asked what name to call the group by so that his display of the item could include an appropriate explanation. Skien told him that it would be announced at the ceremony, and quickly hurried off to find the others and decide upon a name.

A number of options were discussed, but none of them seemed to have the right ring. The “Platinum Defenders” or “Diamond League II” just didn’t make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy until the suggestion of “Hordebane” came up. Having disbanded a veritable horde of goblins, everyone felt that this best described the group as a whole…and they set off to get to their own ceremony on time.

Lord Jarmaan led the ceremony and presented the Hordebane to the adoring and grateful citizens of Brindol, offering what reward the city could spare after the goblin attacks. Councilman Troyas was towards the back of the other councilmembers, his part in hiring the adventurers forgotten or glossed over. During the ceremony, Eleanor recognized Irjan as a prisoner escaped from the jail where she works in Dennovar, and she spoke to Tanner about it to no avail. She decided that she must go and convince the guard to help her take Irjan into custody for questioning.

More of Tanner’s family arrived, including his cousin Roderick and Auntie Moo’haa. Despite a little confusion when Roderick and Tanner stopped in at a tavern—for the barmaid, Julie, recognized Roderick as the tiefling who had saved her during the goblin attack at the Antler and Thistle—a good time was had by all…except perhaps Tanner. He was still feeling anxious about presenting himself to Auntie Moo’haa.

Meanwhile, Eleanor and the guards caught up to Irjan who was drinking and making the rounds with Diony and several other members of the Hordebane. Irjan resisted going into custody, making it his word against Eleanor’s…and without the support of Auntie Moo’haa when she arrived, Eleanor didn’t stand a chance. Fuming, she stormed off and sent a messenger off to Dennovar.

Tanner finally explained to his aunt that he was not actually a swordmage, and that he was instead a bladesinger. She was not pleased by his deficiency in education, but she figures that these imperfections can be fixed in due time. Frustrated when Auntie Moo’haa didn’t listen to his explanations, Tanner decided to pay a visit to his other aunt, Maa’zai, for she is a wizard who has faced years of disdain from the family for not becoming a swordmage.

Who should they find at Maa’zai’s home on the outskirts of Brindol but the zombie Kartenix. She had just stashed him in her dimensional closet, planning to experiment with the magic giving him life (or un-life as the case may be). However, Tanner convinces her to attempt to cure the guard captain because the happiness of his son, the young Thurann, is at stake. She agrees, in part because such experimental work is in the same realm as her interests these days.

Skien offered some notes he had taken down on the rituals that could have been performed to raise Kartenix, after scrawling an additional note on top. She flipped through them distractedly, dismissing them almost immediately, but added them to her piles of books and scrolls to examine more later.

Heading back into the revelry of town—which hit its second wind with the arrival of Moo’haa herself—Uncle Doo’gras passed by again, reminding Tanner that all the swordmages in the family should head for Overlook to help the dwarves. He gave Tanner a knowing look. “I’m sure if you help out there, you’ll be able to learn enough to satisfy Moo’haa—and you’ll be doing heroic things like a hero!”

The Hordebane headed back to Chatrenn and Sons for another night, meeting up once again with Aviella who had spent the day watching after Thurann and reuniting Adronsius with his betrothed. It seemed no one really wanted to stick around in Brindol, and the rescued captives from the Witchwood were apparently going to be escorted back out to their homes the next morning. And the woods were on the way to Overlook…

Death Toll

Chieftains/chosen champions from various goblin tribes were slain, with the exception of the hobgoblin chieftain Muuk.

New Acquisitions
  • 475 XP to all players (Total: 3137).
  • Adronsius was found.
  • Battle Standard of Might (carried by Skein)
  • Battle Standard of Healing (carried by That Bitch?)
  • 340 gp
  • 2 Potions of Healing
  • Two magic items from Gavriel Arms and Smithy of your choice (as long as it’s in stock), one of Level 2, and one of Level 4.

Character Journals

Click your character’s link below to create your journal entry on a new wiki page:
Diony – Session 6
Skein – Session 6
Tanner – Session 6
Irjan – Session 6
That Bitch – Session 6
Grymm – Session 6

Aviella – Session 6

Out of Character

We also discussed a few new house rules and agreed to put them in effect for next month’s session. There is a part about Temporary Boons and Points of Awesome that is in italics: we did not specifically discuss those points, so I would like some feedback on how you would like to handle late journals if that does not seem balanced.

Tanner and Diony each have 2 Points of Awesome banked from staying 100% on top of their journals.
Everyone else has 1 Point of Awesome banked for writing at least some journals.

A Chill in the Air
Sunday, 16 Reaping, 1468 CY

Time froze as zombie-Kartenix stepped into the room, the air temperature noticeably dropping a few degrees. Breath condensing in tiny clouds, Thurann struggled against Skien‘s restraint but was no match for the shifter’s firm grip. That Bitch and Aviella rose to their feet to see what all the commotion was about. Mirtala pushed herself up weakly with one elbow, and gasped at what little she could see through everyone’s legs. Jalissa clung to Grymm, keeping the strong young man between her and this new threat. Irjan and Diony stood by, waiting to see (or hear) what would happen as Tanner cried out for the zombie to stop before he could hurt his son. Sertanian adjusted his monocle nervously, scowling with his hand resting on his slightly too-heavy sword. Zerriksa seemed to be the only one unperturbed as she hobbled over toward the fountain to refresh herself. “Yeesh, you’d think these people’d never seen a friendly zombie before,” she grumbled to herself, settling her old bones gingerly on the edge of the fountain before scooping some of the clear water up in her hands to drink.

An Eventful Morning
Everyone can learn new tricks...
Sunday, 16 Reaping, 1468 CY

As Mirtala’s condition worsened, That Bitch and Aviella set up a makeshift camp by the fountain of clear water where Thurann had been held captive. Everyone refilled waterskins and those who weren’t all about the healing hurried onward. Grymm wanted Jalissa to stay behind to help the healers with the sick woman, but she wasn’t willing to leave his side. Thus, the smelly youth hung back as the others (some more gratefully than others) followed the corridor back through the room where they had battled the wight.

Passing quickly and quietly through the room with the pile of gravel where the stone statue had come to life, they returned to the doors that Irjan had failed to sneak past before. One door was slightly open, and only the faintest flicker of light was visible. Everyone was nervous, concerned that the so-called General waited behind the doors, and certain that a hard fight awaited them.

Diony eased the door open so silently that Irjan didn’t hear it and padded his way inside to find an empty room with no other exits. Though torches burned brightly, a black obelisk set up like a shrine seemed to be sucking the light from the room, much like the Black Sun mosaic had been elsewhere. Tanner, Skien, and Sertanian began examining some of the artifacts strewn about the base of the obelisk—several items were from the Great Hall of Valor. There was the ceremonial longsword, the heraldic battle standard with shaking hands, and three shields of the Red Hand with a charred hole near the center. Thurann proved quite resourceful as Diony searched aloud for a chisel of some sort. He used it to—eventually—chip off a small, triangular flake of the obelisk. As he held it in his hand, he felt it dimming the light around him.

They dropped the artifacts off with the other party members before heading back into the rest of the complex to see if they could confront the General. The room where they had battled spitting drakes would have smelled more rotten if it hadn’t been for the chill in the air. As it was, that gust of cold was the only thing that let Irjan know that Diony had opened another door. Stairs led up into the darkness, and the two stealthy ones cautiously ventured ahead—Irjan actually disappeared and nearly got shot with one of Diony’s crossbow bolts for his trouble.

A number of cold menhir stones stood in the room they found themselves in, and fortunately for Thurann, the group was interrupted in their exploration by a large hobgoblin wearing heavily spiked plate armor—this could only be the chieftain or general that they’d heard about. The mighty hobgoblin set his spiked chains whirling, tripping and kicking his enemies in the face when they were down. Skein was more than ready for him, however, and struck him hard not once but twice! It wasn’t long before the chieftain grew angry, his chains whipping the space around him so that none could approach unscathed. Tanner backed out of range, firing off a few magic missiles as he tried to decide how much he was willing to get hurt in this fight. Working together, the party managed to take Sinruth the hobgoblin chieftain down, losing only Skein’s glaive in the process. All the other injuries would heal, especially after a decent night’s rest. In Sinruth’s possession they found his orders and some tactical maps. He also had the missing ornate dragoncrest helm and a set of filigreed gauntlets.

When they returned to the others, it seemed that they had been pestered by a few wandering ghosts and specters, so it didn’t take much coercing to have Jalissa cast her Eye of Alarm ritual so that all could sleep without needing a watchful eye. Skein practiced with the full blade that had been found in the throne room, Tanner learned a new spell to better protect himself, and Irjan and Diony worked together to learn a few new tricks from each other. It was almost the end of their rest when Jalissa’s ritual screeched a warning that woke everyone.

A ghost passed out of the wall above Irjan, and still others drifted down the hall from the throne room, rushing to attack. Despite their coordination with each other, they were no match for the adventurers—but Thurann has learned to be very afraid of ghost stories. Skein’s quick words to the Raven Queen were all that saved the boy from a grisly death.

In the morning everyone was feeling a little stronger, though Mirtala had likewise been terrorized by a ghost and her fright worsened her condition once again. Leaving all of their rescued charges behind, Irjan, Diony, Skein, and Tanner set off to see about exploring one or two other parts of the dungeon and possibly rescuing another prisoner. They used the ropes to climb down some deep pits into a damp, mushroom-filled chamber. There they were set upon by some very large drakes, and quickly discovered that all the mushrooms were different—where some granted concealment or shrieked, others burst open with sleep-inducing spores or poison. As they fought the rage drakes, an icy zombie shambled forward groaning “Thuuuurrrrrrrnnnnn.” Though the group began attacking the zombie form of Kartenix, the zombie offered no hostile actions except for the frozen air that hung about him. Tanner tried to reason with Z-Kartenix, but it took him some time to figure out how simple he had to make his speech.

Just as Tanner convinced the zombie to stay out of the way for everyone’s safety, Diony went to climb up one of the ropes when he heard a number of booted feet leaping over and treading heavily down the corridor above. He managed to fire a bolt which caught the last of them—a hobgoblin, he thought—and got their attention even if it didn’t hurt. Four elite hobgoblin soldiers dropped down and charged to attack. Meanwhile, Irjan had disappeared once again and cut the other rope so that the other two soldiers fell to the bottom of the pit in a heap. Two archers harried the dragonborn, while the two soldiers who were standing went to beat on Skein. Everyone used the mushrooms to their advantage—without doing so the fight might have proved deadly. The last archer managed to escape—barely—and he hurried back the way the hobgoblins had come.

Our heroes, having taken a beating, were prepared to head back to the others and rest up so that some of their worse injuries would heal…but Irjan and Diony went to listen at the doors across the chamber from them and they heard a voice speaking on the other side. Getting the rest of the group together, they opened the door and the voice that bombarded them cracked with age and irritation as Zerriksa browbeat the party with her nonstop griping. She was seated in a magic circle, which took Tanner only a little bit of time (and pain on Zerriksa’s part) to figure out so that they could extract the old woman from her prison. Even though she turned her nose up at first, she helped Skein butcher one of the rage drakes due to her severe hunger. Then they proceeded up the steps to the entry chamber and made their way back to the fountain and the rest of the group. Along the way, they removed a cache of hobgoblin weapons (all with the same arrow emblem on the hilts) and stored it in Zerriksa’s prison. The Kartenix zombie also followed along, its slow shamble accompanied with his mournful moaning: “Thuuuurrrrrrrnnnnn.”

When they finally returned, it was likely midday though difficult to tell after so many days inside the complex. Skien attempted to prepare Thurann for his father’s appearance (which was strange after Diony insisted that the boy’s father was dead), and the boy turned in time to see his father stumble through the door. He tried to pull away from Skein’s vise-like grip on his shoulders so that he could hug his dad, and Kartenix’s pace seemed to quicken when he saw the boy. Tanner saw the trouble about to happen, and he shouted, STOP!” just in time for the zombie to stop before freezing young Thurann in his tracks.

Death Toll

Skein and Irjan nearly died, but were stabilized just in time (by Diony and Tanner respectively).

New Acquisitions
  • 688 XP to all players (Total: 2662). Everyone is now LEVEL 3.
  • Cloak of the Walking Wounded +1 (worn by Tanner)
  • Bloodguard Shield
  • 260 gp, Thurann found (and kept) 3 sp
  • Hobgoblin Chieftain Sinruth’s heavy spiked plate armor (carried by Skein)
  • Chip of Dimness from the black stone obelisk (held by Diony)
  • 2 meals’ worth of fresh, untainted Rage Drake meat for everyone (7 PCs and 6 NPCs)
  • 20 ft of mildewy, moldy rope (carried by Irjan)
  • A belt pouch full of stones, and a leather sling (given to Thurann)
  • Kartenix the Chillborn Zombie was found, and “tamed” by Tanner.
  • I believe all of the artifacts from the Great Hall of Valor were recovered.

Character Journals

Click your character’s link below to create your journal entry on a new wiki page:
Diony – Session 5
Skein – Session 5
Tanner – Session 5
Irjan – Session 5

Aviella – Session 5
That Bitch – Session 5
Grymm – Session 5

It's the Witching Hour
and all is...well?
Sunday, 16 Reaping, 1468 CY

With the death of the wight and the dissolution of its powerful ritual, something about Rivenroar seems intangibly different. Footsteps—even Diony’s, much to his dismay—echo hollowly on flagstone floors, somehow more eerily than before. The sunrod in Tanner’s hand flickers, despite it having at least an hour of light left. A chill breeze passes when doors open, raising the hair on the back of Skien’s neck as goosebumps prickle over his skin. Irjan feels sluggish and notices that the stone floor seems colder than before. The rescued citizens of Brindol huddle together, helping Mirtala as best they can—though Jalissa has resumed clinging to Grymm—and Aviella tactfully encourages Sertanian to show as much bravery as the young Thurann who, despite his ordeal, still doesn’t believe any of the ghost stories That Bitch is telling.

It is as though Rivenroar is empty, its lurking haunts fleeing the powerful adventurers that slew the most powerful of them all…or perhaps they are just amassing their strength for vengeance.

The Longest Day
Wait, what day is it now?
Starday, 15 Reaping, 1468 CY

After rescuing Jalissa and getting Tanner over his paralysis, the group hurried onward following the directions Aviella had extracted from her goblin interrogation. Irjan went to take a listen at the base of some stairs, not wanting anyone to sneak up on them from behind. Diony went along, not wanting to be left out. Unfortunately, he missed a step and the two tumbled to the bottom of the stairs, a short distance from a faintly glowing pool of water. Irjan dipped his bowl in and drank while Diony—and the other who followed later—observed in wonder. The scrying pool, which tasted like dead things, showed a few seconds’ worth of images in various rooms. This gave the group a few hints about what would be in store.

Grymm persuaded Jalissa to stay with Sertanian and the very ill Mirtala, and he and That Bitch led the way into the room with the Black Sun Mosaic on the floor. A pack of zombies were basking in its unholy darkness, and though Grymm and Aviella fell prey to the fell claws of some ghouls, the others moved in quickly to avert serious danger from their foul bite. The beginnings of teamwork became apparent as That Bitch and Skien called upon their gods for assistance to whittle down their undead opponents. Aviella also stepped up to keep Grymm healthy so his defenses remained stronger longer. They took a break in the scrying chamber before proceeding onward through a collapsed corridor. Once again, Irjan scouted ahead, using his senses to feel his way into the room. Diony soon followed, practically materializing behind the dragonborn just as some movement caught his attention by the ceiling. Zombies scrabbled down the pillars and raced to attack.

The other hurried to climb up into the room: Irjan lent a hand to everyone trying to get up while Diony fought them off. The tables turned when the statue in the center of the room came to life and crushed the elf in its stony grip. As the others rushed forward to revive Diony, the statue flailed and shattered the pillar in a shower of sand and acid that knocked down Skein and Tanner. Aviella charged forward to retaliate and Irjan administered a healing potion to Tanner while That Bitch healed Skein. Once everyone was back on their feet, they quickly cornered the statue and Skein delivered the final blow, shattering it into gravel.

A raspy whisper echoed harshly down the hall, and the group (save Irjan) could see the skeletons pause in their arcane work as a regal undead pointed its withered finger at you. “You’d best run now while you have the chance.” All except Irjan heeded this warning, for the dragonborn went to check the hall to the north where he found a door. He inched it open to have a listen…but the door scraped loudly on the flagstones of the floor and the chanting inside stopped. Irjan quickly turned and ran to follow the others, and Tanner helped lay out some ball bearings to help slow anyone who followed. Eventually they all made it back to the small room where they had saved Jalissa, deeming it to be the most defensible place to rest. Jalissa cast a ritual that would keep watch for them, and most slept fitfully but well enough to be refreshed.

Breakfast was a few tainted rations that Tanner had picked up from some of the defeated goblins, and most felt ill but none so bad as Mirtala. Aviella was able to shake her Filth Fever, but Mirtala would need more focused care when they were able to return to Brindol. For now, the best they could do was keep her fed (with non-poisonous food), hydrated, and rested so that her condition would not worsen. Aviella guided Sertanian so that he could care for her with Jalissa’s help (assuming Grymm asked her to help, of course).

With a few uncomfortable tummies, the heroes raced against the clock, following in their footsteps from before. When they reached the collapsed corridor, they found that Irjan had been noticed and a few more zombies and a mage of some sort (hard to tell with it silhouetted) were waiting. The party defeated them quickly and heard crys of pain and a surprising number of curses coming from around the corner. The group kept their light hidden by the brazier lighting the room where they fought the statue and crept forward into darkness to save the boy.

It was nearly midnight when they finally brought some light into the throne room, and there they found young Thurann pinned to the ground inside a ritual circle. A skeleton with four arms moved in to attack, and the wight casting the ritual paused long enough to sling necrotic energy down the hall, freezing Skein in his tracks. In the midst of the fight, Diony noticed a faint glow coming from behind the thrones, hidden by some armor that looked like a shadowy curtain. Behind the armor was a faintly radiant fullblade, its blade shimmering with muted light. Meanwhile, Irjan went over to the boy to free him, but did not realize there was a magic circle and he felt fire burning through his senses as if to remove them as his eyes had been. He did his best to free the boy, but something still kept him trapped.

The wight continued his ritual, sucking life from Thurann and the now-trapped Irjan as Skein struggled against the power that held him immobilized so far away. Other skeletons rose from piles of bones, but the group quickly cut them down as they continued to battle the four-armed skeleton. A few hits caused bones to shatter explosively, and one of the shards knocked Thurann unconscious. That Bitch and Aviella raced to heal him—though he wouldn’t awaken, they knew that he was still alive.

The wight, seeing all of his minions falling, used sheer force of will to push Aviella into the magic circle, also trapping her with her own personal torments. Despite the life force the wight was draining from the three in the circle, the others quickly cut it down, led by Skein who wrenched himself free just in time to charge forward with the blessings of the Raven Queen.

Sunday, 16 Reaping, 1468 CY

It did not take long for Tanner to finish unraveling the magic circle, freeing Thurann, Irjan, and Aviella. They healed up quickly, and the brave boy offered what little he’d been able to steal from his captors that the party may be able to use it to find his father. He ran down the hall, followed by the somewhat battered adventurers, pulling a small bag of coin and a healing potion out of his secret stash where he had been imprisoned.

No one had the heart to tell him that his father was likely dead.

Death Toll

The Deathlock Wight, a major badass, fell to the adventurers this evening, weakening all undead in the entire complex with his passing.

New Acquisitions
  • 418 XP to all players (Total: 1974)
  • Gloaming Leather Armor +1
  • Sunblade Fullblade +1
  • 1 Potion of Healing
  • 110 gp, 200 sp
  • The plucky Thurann was dramatically rescued from a nefarious ritual being cast by the Deathlock Wight/undead lord of Castle Rivenroar.

Character Journals

Click your character’s link below to create your journal entry on a new wiki page:
Diony – Session 4
Skein – Session 4
Tanner – Session 4
Aviella – Session 4
That Bitch – Session 4
Grymm – Session 4
Irjan – Session 4

Race to the Rescue
A Heroes' Test

With Tanner finally able to move again, the group hurried the rescued citizens of Brindol onward. Though he wasn’t worse for wear like some members of the adventuring party, Sertanian looked tired and hungry from his long day. Mirtala was tight-lipped, but more from fever than anxiety now. Aviella’s presence seemed to be helping her stay alert, though she regarded Irjan with more than a modicum of suspicion after seeing him shoot arrows through a few goblins. Jalissa clung to Grymm’s arm, listening only to him.

That Bitch called for a brief break so that everyone could put something in their bellies. Rumbling bellies wouldn’t make sneaking or fighting any easier. Skien went to take a quick drink from his waterskin but paused when he realized that he only had a little left—little more than a swallow or two. He knew they would have to find water sooner rather than later, if not for them then for the rescued. Diony struggled to cleanse corrosive oil from his thieves’ tools so that they would work again—you never know what kind of surprises the goblins might have in store…

Countdown to Certain Doom(?)
10 hours until the ritual is complete...
Starday, 15 Reaping, 1468 CY

Our intrepid heroes hurried off down the long corridor after the goblins whom they had overheard. The room on the other side of the last pit was brightly lit and filled with some waiting hobgoblins. Though That Bitch tripped over the perilous amount of ivy he had placed in his beard to thicken it up and tumbled down into a patch of mushrooms when trying to leap over a pit, Diony was quick to move into the room and fire a crossbow bolt through a hobgoblin’s head, killing him instantly. Soon Irjan felt his way into the room and finished off the archer, pinning him to the stone wall with a large arrow shaft by his throat. The hob’s breath gurgled to a stop as footsteps pounded down the wrought iron spiral staircase.

A second and third wave of hobgoblins came down to face the party, but the group had learned from their experiences in corridors and had blocked the hobgoblins in. Though their phalanx was still strong, the lack of maneuvering was their downfall as they were continuously beat down—particularly by Grymm who was in their face the entire time. Their noses suffered greatly, but they did not live long enough for any scent-related health issues.

Just as they finished mopping up the hobgoblins, Irjan heard a woman’s scream coming from the doors to the south. Not wasting any time, they rushed in and found a woman, Mirtala—her eyes wild with terror—tied to an alter to the Raven Queen with dire rats biting at her. The group quickly dispatched the rats, and even handled the goblin lurking in the shadows who kept firing pot shots at the adventurers. Aviella contracted Filth Fever—something also affecting poor Mirtala whom Tanner, Irjan, and Aviella eventually managed to calm down. That Bitch thought Mirtala could use some facial hair to improve her looks.

Sertanian rushed in after the battle was won, carrying the lantern from the Rivenroar family crypt, mentioning that he’d noticed the same black arrow symbol on all of the goblins’ weapons. He also said that he’d heard some noises down the long hallway with the pits.

Skien rushed into the crypt a few moments later, just as Tanner and That Bitch were about to take the lid off of a sarcophagus. He noted that the two altars in that crypt were dedicated to Bane, but had been recently “rededicated”—they were originally altars for worshiping Vecna. Also, an inscription around the top of the walls by the ceiling read:

Here lie the Rivenroars until the Day of the Black Sun. If you seek their monument, look at the lands around you.

Aviella and That Bitch found some old incense and other relics of the Raven Queen in the altar in the room where they’d found Mirtala, and they secured them, giving them to Skein.

With Grymm’s help and with That Bitch using a lever, they finally managed to pry some of the sarcophagi open, finding some gold, silver, and healing potions. There was also a very fine cloak—though to get to it, Diony got a corrosive oil on his thieves’ tools which he’ll have to get off before they’ll be effective again.

Mirtala was able to tell them (eventually) that Adronsius was in a crypt with a J-name, but she didn’t know where. However, they wanted to make sure that there weren’t any other hobgoblins waiting upstairs. They climbed the spiral staircase and looked through the goblins’ things. Tanner found some trail rations, but most of the rest was either primitive tools or ragged clothing.

The corridor led back around to the landing where they’d fought cold zombies before, and Diony heard voices on the other side. They burst in, and were shocked to find that Kartenix was nowhere to be seen. Tanner (and later Skein) saw some used arcane ritual components, and eventually determined that some sort of necromantic ritual occurred. The hobgoblins in this room were lounging—apparently no one had warned them to be alert, or else they’d gotten bored—and they quickly fell as the group moved in and separated them from each other. One goblin they kept alive for questioning, though Sertanian wanted very much to end the foul creature’s life.

That Bitch drew his breath in and scared every being in the room with the impressive hiss he had been secretly practicing for years. (When That Bitch had lived in a crowded village, he used to hide just inside his bedroom window and practice his hiss at unsuspecting passers-by.) The spit-filled hiss quickly coaxed the impressionable young goblin into cooperating with Aviella’s interrogation. The group learned that Kartenix had walked out of the room on his own, and that he was a (somewhat) ally of the goblins. They also learned that there was a priestess-type who was a prisoner, and that she was just upstairs and to the left. They also learned—though it took more hissing from That Bitch—that the young boy was to be used for a ritual that would be completed that night at midnight because the stars would be right (or some such astrological nonsense). The goblin provided directions to get to the throne room where the undead would be performing the ritual. Aviella also asked about the “general”…and almost signaled to the That Bitch to hiss again when the goblin spilled the beans. For some reason, everyone inexplicably believed the noise was coming from That Bitch’s beard, which was insulting. He had achieved that level of excellence through old fashioned hard work. The goblin informed them that general could be found up the stairs, at the highest level. They also learned that Adronsius had been taking a beating from the goblins, and that he was in a room near some burning runes.

Sertanian was ready to end the miserable goblin’s life, but Aviella suggested letting the little bugger go free. The old man considered for a moment too long, because Diony decided to shoot the goblin in the head. It died instantaneously.

Climbing the stairs on the way to find the young Thurann and save him from whatever evil ritual was to be cast, the group found more hobgoblins and some drakes that could spit acid. These hobgoblins were more alert, but they were no match for the group. Two goblin casters joined the fray with another spitting drake. Though the acid was quite corrosive and damaged many a weapon, the group eventually managed to defeat them and their vexing clouds and stinging hexes. To the left, they did indeed find a priestess chained to the wall—the very grateful Jalissa who is now quite clingy to Grymm.

Three sunken sarcophagi were in that room, and one of them had purple oily substance smeared on it. Aviella went to get some of the goblins’ robes to wipe off the strange substance, and in the process found two small vials containing a thick tonic which turned out to be antivenom. Using one of the hobgoblins’ swords, Tanner wiped at the purple liquid with the robes but didn’t notice it dripping down the sword onto his hands. After about a minute, the tiefling froze in place, unable to move. Turned out this was Carrion Crawler Brain Juice, a very powerful paralytic, and he was going to be there for a while. Thinking quickly, the group administered one of the vials of antivenom and used their knowledge of healing to help him shake off the poison’s effects sooner than would otherwise have been possible.

Inside that sarcophagus, they found some more treasure, including a few ritual scrolls.

The group quickly prepared to move on, hoping to reach the throne room in time to stop the ritual and save the boy. After all, they only had about 10 hours left!!

Death Toll?

Kartenix is missing from the landing near where you faced the Chillborn Zombies and the Mage Wight last session. There were used ritual components scattered around the area with a residue of necromancy.

New Acquisitions
  • 503 XP to all players (Total: 1556)
  • Cloak of the Chirurgeon +1
  • Scroll of Transfer Vitality
  • Scroll of False Life
  • 3 Potions of Healing
  • 2 vials of Antivenom
  • 5 days worth of Trail Rations
  • 200 gp, 120 sp
  • Old Relics/religious ritual components of the Raven Queen (no monetary value)
  • Mirtala was found in the Fresco Room (displacer beast statues) being nibbled upon by rats. She is still suffering some aftereffects, but she follows along closely enough.
  • Jalissa was found in the Von Adrez-Kauthin Crypt, chained to the wall. She is VERY happy to be rescued and clings to Grymm despite the smell.

Character Journals

Click your character’s link below to create your journal entry on a new wiki page:
Diony – Session 3
Skein – Session 3
Tanner – Session 3
Aviella – Session 3
That Bitch – Session 3
Grymm – Session 3
Irjan – Session 3

The Best Laid Plans...
Starday, 15 Reaping, 1468 CY

The explosion rocked the foundation of Rivenroar to its core, aftershocks rippling through the network of corridors, rooms, and tunnels. Our intrepid heroes were not the only ones who noticed it. Sertanian too was affected: though he weathered the rude awakening with dignity, he spent the rest of the night holding his sword at the ready—if it trembled slightly he denied it emphatically or blamed it on his age. And though no hobs or gobs came to break down the doors of their makeshift camp in the goblins’ former barracks, all was not still.

It was more a feeling than actual perception: something That Bitch could feel through the stone as he slept; something Irjan knew but could not explain how he knew. It was Diony whose straining ears finally picked up the faint sound of footsteps in the long corridor beyond the north doors—the doors in this place baffled the sound remarkably well. He quietly cracked the door open to peer into the darkness, and it was just enough to allow those awake to catch the last part of a goblin conversation as they rounded the far corner:

“Okaan daan karthec hagec kaakhor dhuul Witchwood, daan’k magaan kaakuugaalkaac—”
“Ac ar daan druuc’d? Daan’kaan kakhaan. Khruun. Daan ghuugaan khruul…”

Aviella was just able to make out the meaning over Tanner’s soft snores, and Grymm definitely heard them mention the Witchwood. Their reactions soon roused the others and everyone made ready to head off once again into the yet-unknown parts of the dungeon.

Their rest at its end, Skien went to check the damage in the entry chamber—and he noticed a few things had moved since they’d last been there…


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