After the Summoning Wars

Session 27
The Necromancer
  • Newton, Thomas and Jenny return to the Havenites with the rescued halfling children.
  • As the day’s hike comes to a close, Aulara pulls Thomas aside for questioning.
  • She mentions that tonight is the first of three consecutive full moons, and asks if Jenny will be a problem (indicating she recognized her true nature with true seeing).
  • Thomas is unsure, and asks Jenny.
  • She decides to leave the camp for the night after speaking with Aulara in private.
  • Newton, being immune to disease, offers to join her, and the two head out for the night.
  • During the night, Newton is awakened by a terrible dream in which he’s overcome by undead monsters.
  • He looks around and notices a small paper-wrapped package near Jenny’s sleeping body.
  • He casts detect magic on the box and finds it radiates a powerful necromantic energy.
  • He decides not to awaken Jenny for the moment, but he’s unable to return to sleep, fearing whatever must have secretly gotten the object so close.
  • After some time of Newton keeping vigil, Jenny awakens from a nightmare of her own.
  • Newton asks her what it was about. She claims it was a trauma from her childhood when she and her brother, Alex, and Ben would hide from their father during full moons.
  • She lays back down to sleep, but notices the package.
  • She reads a small scrap of paper attached to it which reads: “To the Fox, From the Lion”
  • Jenny and Newton both immediately realize the significance of this phrase: I’ts a message from a necromancer named Tim Craddock, also known as the Corpsecrafter.
  • Jenny opens the package and finds a gray ring, which she recognizes as a protection against some necromantic and undead effects
  • She sniffs around and recognizes the scent of “The Mud Snake”, later explained to be a creature called Chimmetz.
  • The two decide to finally reveal the truth about Jenny upon returning to the party, since this may be a sign of some ill intentions.
  • The next morning, Thomas receives news from scouts that the Corpsecrafter and some of its creations were spotted during the night.
  • When Newton and Jenny arrive, he passes on the news, and they’re not surprised.
  • Newton reveals that the “lessons” he has been sharing with Jenny have actually been discussions about their mutual experiences with Craddock.
  • They have been talking about their experiences under the guise of a fable, calling Jenny the Fox, Craddock the Lion, Newton the Traveler (or cub on occasion), and other such obfuscations
  • The note last night suggests that he has heard these discussion by some divination, and the ring suggests he believes Jenny may soon encounter undead.
  • The group, including Bee, discusses possible reasons for this, and agree that a possible scenario is that the Corpsecrafter has plans against Haven.
  • They decide to seek him out and confront him, hoping to protect the refugees.
  • With the help of some scouts, they track him to an abandoned town a few miles North.
  • They enter the town and are beset by skeletons and zombies, several of which they suspect may be the gnolls they killed only yesterday.
  • Newton destroys several through turning, but less than one would expect with such normally weak creatures.
  • His greater turnings also affect Jenny more significantly than than the normal turnings from before.
  • These undead are stronger and more durable than their average kind, and the cold damage of their claws and slams reveal the same handiwork that has given Jenny her undead aura.
  • Once the mindless minions are dispatched, the party approaches the temple in the center of the town.
  • Newton detects many undead auras, and blasts the interior with a flame strike
  • Several more zombies stream out and continue the onslaught of their kin
  • An evil shadow follows shortly after and attacks Newton.
  • The cleric, in return, follows it into the ethereal plane using ethereal jaunt to confront it.
  • Meanwhile, Jenny and Thomas combat the fiendishly durable zombies.
  • Bee remains fairly uninvolved until the shadow begins targeting him for its strength damaging attacks
  • He enters the fray with the zombies, since the shadow’s tactics of retreating into the ground after each attack leaves it largely out of his reach.
  • Newton pounds the incorporeal fiend with everything he has, but it resists every attack.
  • Finally, Bee manages to catch on to the shadow’s tactics, and strikes it with his magical claws as it emerges from the ground.
  • Alas, it also strikes him with a particularly potent strength-damaging attack shortly after.
  • After the destruction of the remaining zombies, Jenny calls out to the shadow by name, asking Sliven to back down.
  • Sliven flees Northbound, and Newton gives up chase once he realizes the monster outpaces him.
  • The party regroups and searches the town for any sign of Craddock.
  • Inside the temple, the only clue is a rather blatantly placed map indicating another town several miles North of their current position.
  • The party travels North, but night begins to fall before they arrive.
  • Newton, not interested in confronting undead under the shroud of darkness, suggests bedding down a mile outside of the town.
  • Bee takes first watch, while Jenny offers to take second.
  • Newton expresses concern over her ability to maintain watch while battling her nature under a full moon, but she insists she’ll be able to handle it.
  • During her watch, though, Bee awakens and realizes he doesn’t smell her in the area.
  • Bee wakes the others, and Newton finds the note she left behind: “It’s too dangerous for you all. I need to do this alone.”
  • The session ends as Newton and Thomas wonder what to do.
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Session 26
The Trail to a New Haven
  • The party reluctantly leaves Haven and the Cursed Forest Behind
  • Toodar and Maroonda guide the displaced people of Haven to the North-West side of the mountain.
  • The two giants remain behind as the refugees set out West toward the Ebony Forest, where the elven protectors with whom Mother Llewellyn negotiated refuge for the uprooted citizens.
  • As the 800+ people travel, Aulara and Fierna speak with Thomas and the other party members about precisely what happened.
  • Thomas explains everything he learned from Llewellyn in the past 24 hours.
  • Newton also reveals that Terra wasn’t under any enchantments when she confessed to supporting Roonda’s betrayal of Llewellyn.
  • The handmaidens worry that they will lose the confidence of the people is they learn that they’ve been fooled for so long.
  • After some discussion, Newton convinces Aulara that honesty about what happened is the best way to begin rebuilding.
  • The “Havenites” reach a forested valley at the base of the mountain after several hours of travel, and are met by some of the Ebony elves.
  • Aulara takes this break to call together the elders of the community and explain what happened, and what is ahead of them.
  • This is met with mixed responses. Most are understanding, but others are outraged at the deceptions that plagued them for the past years (and even decades)
  • In the meantime, Bert gets a sending from Adriana Prieto asking for an update on Durgard’s hammer.
  • He lets her know that they acquired the hammer, and she asks the party to return with it, since the Vertragus has been called back to the Arcane Empire and must leave soon.
  • The rest of the party decides to remain with the handmaidens and the Havenites until they’re safe, so Bert takes the hammer and teleports to the airship.
  • Before he goes, Aulara gives him a ring of evasion as a gift for helping save the Havenites
  • Aulara casts wind walk on herself and a number of the children, intent to get them to the safety of the Ebony Forest as quickly as possible. She promises to be back the following morning.
  • Thomas warns her about the possible threat of the Vertragus or other Arcane ships in the area, and she thanks him for the information.
  • Before she leaves, Thomas also says that when he discovered she was dominated earlier by Roonda, he was going to try confronting her to see if her unwllingness to kill him would break the spell.
  • Before Aulara can speak, he interjects that he’s glad he didn’t, because he knows her duty to protect the people of Haven is more important than his life.
  • He therefore believes she would have killed him, since she saw him as a threat at the time, and he’s okay with that.
  • Without a word either way, she and the children enter gaseous form and fly away Westbound.
  • The group travels for some time longer until evening arrives, and they make camp.
  • Fierna gives each party member a magic item as a gift for their heroism that day:
    • Bee gets an amulet of mighty fists +2
    • Newton gets a healing staff and a ring of water walking
    • Thomas gets a periapt of proof against poison
    • Jenny gets a ring of invisibility
  • Newton and Jenny continue their daily Peloran lessons, and Bee rebuffs any of Thomas’ attempts at conversation, preferring to join any druids or rangers in their activities.
  • Thomas speaks with Fierna about her experiences after Roonda betrayed Llewellyn, and he begins to realize that her regret stems mostly from a realization that Roonda too easily manipulated her proclivity for violence.
  • He also reminds her that he and Newton have some sort of life-leeching aura, so they may not be the best people to protect the children in the group.
  • Fierna agrees, and the next day Thomas, Newton and Jenny join the rangers in the advanced protection party.
  • A group of scouts report a large group (200+) of gnolls slavers in the path of the refugees, but they estimate they’ll be out of the way soon.
  • When they report that the gnolls are also transporting over 100 slaves, Jenny requests that the advance group (some 60 combatants strong) try to find a way to free them.
  • The ranger commander, though, refuses to abandon the refugee group, lest something happen in their absence. Thomas agrees.
  • Newton manages to convince the commander to allow them and a small group of rangers and scouts to shadow the slavers.
  • The commander agrees to divert his forces temporarily if the gnolls decide to make camp within the hour.
  • Jenny claims to know their habits, and insists that they will be stopping any minute (gnolls are largely nocturnal).
  • The three set out with their four elven rangers and avoid the gnoll rear scouts, hoping the main force will stop soon.
  • After an hour passes, the slavers still show little sign of stopping.
  • The rangers insist they turn around, but Jenny and Newton ask for more time. Jenny again insists to know they’re behavior well enough to suggest they will stop soon.
  • Thomas asks her how she knows so much about gnolls, and she reminds him that she, her father, and her brother, Alex, were slaves of the gnolls when she was a child.
  • Thomas realizes he won’t talk her or Newton out of pursuing the slavers, but he can’t force the elven rangers to join them, so he lets them return to the main force.
  • After more following, the three party members see that the gnolls have made camp in a burned down village by a stream.
  • With the help of an oil of armor silence and castings of invisibility from Jenny, Newton manages to sneak into the camp along with his rogue-like companions.
  • They identify the holding areas for the slaves, as well as a cache of stolen weapons.
  • Without any backup, they decide the best course of action is to arm as many slaves as possible and create an army of their own.
  • Newton is prepared with two castings of earth reaver so the plan is to cast it on the highest concentration of gnolls directly before the newly weaponized slaves are prepared.
  • Thomas and Newton butt heads unexpectedly when Newton refuses to follow the initial plan of using earth reaver on the sleeping gnolls
  • When Thomas demands an explanation, seeing as Newton’s killed evil creatures in their sleep before (see Before Session 1), he states that he has regrets for his actions and will no longer do that.
  • Thomas once again concedes to his requests, and the plan is to awaken them with a loud flame strike, then attack in earnest
  • Jenny and Thomas catch some gnolls in a small building by surprise and kill them (though they nearly botch the whole thing when one cries out for help)
  • Once Newton gets in position, Thomas and Jenny move to the wagons of stolen goods and collect some weapons after killing their guards.
  • They sneak into one of the central holding pens and kill the guards.
  • A hobgoblin quickly takes charge and distributes the acquired weapons to his fellow goblinoids before any of the other slaves.
  • After sneaking a few more shipments of weapons to the pens, the hobgoblin convinces Thomas to release a rather burly bugbear.
  • He does so, and the barbarian nearly blows everything by trying to head straight into combat with his captors, but the hobgoblins convinces him to wait.
  • Before all the slaves can be released, a patrol of gnolls notices some of the slaves out of their bindings and attack.
  • Almost simultaneously, another patrol notices the corpses near Newton’s position and begin to converge on him.
  • Newton fires his flame strike, and the fight begins.
  • The armed slaves fight the tide of gnolls, while the sleeping gnolls awaken to join the fray.
  • Newton fires off his two earth reavers in rapid succession, badly injuring a majority of the gnolls.
  • Before the slavers can realize what has transpired, nearly half of their force is slaughtered. The remaining slavers flee from the city, many dying to vengeful slaves.
  • In the aftermath, the goblinoids finish killing and looting the gnolls along with some opportunistic halflings.
  • Many slaves quickly thank the heroes before grabbing what kin they have and fleeing.
  • The party notices a few halfling children with no family to help them, so Thomas offers them protection with the Havenites.
  • They accept and mount Newton’s horse.
  • The party also finds a young hobgoblin boy teen with his legs cut off above the knee.
  • Newton heals him with a regenerate spell.
  • The boy thanks him sincerely, but declines the offer to join them, deciding to join his own kin instead.
  • After seeing as many slaves to safety as they could, the party returned South to catch up with the Havenites.
  • Jenny thanked her companions for taking this risk at her request.
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Session 25
Raiding Haven!
  • The party find themselves as prisoners of the Great Leader
  • Mother Llewellyn does her best to prepare them for the impending fall of Haven, with which they will provide assistance!
  • Bee tries to suggest tricking the Great Leader and defeating him, but everyone decides it’s too risky, and saving the people of Haven is the highest priority.
  • After some planning with the Great Leader and his generals, Llewellyn disables a number of Haven’s defenses.
  • She admits in private that she’s also focusing on delaying the Great Leader and his parties.
  • The party escorts her to one of six power nodes giving power to Roonda
  • Llewellyn summons a tree ent which helps her animal companion, Klatex, keep the attacking plants at bay.
  • The reach a grove circle and Llewellyn asks Bee to dig at the base of a mighty tree.
  • As he does so, a dryad emerges and asks him why he’s hurting her tree. He says Llewellyn has ordered it, and she hides in the tree, apparently dissatisfied.
  • Two huge oaken defenders emerge and attack the party.
  • The party springs into action, defeating the creatures, while only losing Llewellyn’s tree ent in the process.
  • Bee finishes digging up the magical root and cuts it free.
  • Just then, Fierna arrives with her fire elemental. She attacks quickly.
  • Bert tries talking to her, while Newton and Thomas try to remain hidden.
  • Fierna is unconvinced and continues the attack, turning into a dire polar bear. Llewellyn speaks up trying to convince her as well.
  • The party agree to drop their weapons and let Fierna see Roonda’s treachery for herself.
  • Fierna pins Bee and threatens to kill him, but she yields and allows the party on to see Aulara in Haven.
  • The party sees Haven for the first time, a beautiful if quaint village built almost vertically inside the central stone spire of the Cursed Forest.
  • They hustle to the center of town and find Aulara with a few elf rangers and her air elemental.
  • Fierna tries to speak, but Aulara attacks quickly. She captures Bert and Klatex in a whirlwind, then transforms into a battlebriar.
  • Bee positions himself between her and the others and tries to convince her that he’s a trusted protector of druids, taking the brunt of her attacks.
  • Llewellyn realizes she’s dominated by Roonda’s magic. She and Fierna try to dispel the magic, but fail after several attempts.
  • Bert gets Klatex to safety while Thomas and Jenny keep the elf rangers busy.
  • Thomas prepares himself to face Aulara, believing that the woman he saw as his mother for decades would not kill him.
  • Right before he can test her love, though, Llewellyn stops concentrating on her distractions of the Great Leader and dispels the domination.
  • Aulara immediately cries out that Roonda has betrayed Llewellyn and has taken over the magic of Haven.
  • Fierna is now convinced that this strange Llewellyn and the party are telling the truth.
  • Llewellyn orders the two to gather up all the citizens of Haven and get them out via secret tunnels.
  • She and the party rush up steep steps to the final magic grove to face Roonda.
  • Along the way, though, they are confronted by Terra and her earth elemental.
  • They tell her that Roonda betrayed Llewellyn, but she claims to be fully aware of his treachery and in league with him.
  • As she attacks in elemental form, Bert and Llewellyn fly to the cliff above.
  • Bee once again positions himself in front of the druid, trying to convince her that he’s a friend, but she attacks mercilessly.
  • Newton attacks Terra from range while Thomas and Jenny handle her elemental companion.
  • Bert, Klatex and Llewellyn keep away from Roonda’s final protector, the Minotaur Brutus.
  • The situation becomes desperate below as Bee approaches death under Terra’s devastating attacks. He rages and jumps from the switchback below the cliff to escape her. His companion, Bessie, flees down the mountainside.
  • Above, Llewellyn transforms into a cloud giant and flies toward the many illusory clones of Roonda gathered around the magical focus of Haven.
  • Their battle causes the magic to surge, knocking Bert into glowing tree roots. He’s absorbed bodily into the tree.
  • Newton attempts a final attack against Terra: disintegration, but it fails and she brings the cliff side down on the party with an earthquake spell.
  • Newton and Bee fall unconscious under the falling rocks. Jenny runs to Newton’s side to stabilize him.
  • Magical energy coruscates from the mountain above where Llewellyn battles Roonda, tearing the trees from their roots and sending them falling on the party below.
  • Just before they land, Bert emerges from nearby roots sticking from the rock wall, and dimension doors the party to the nearest escape tunnel.
  • The building housing the tunnel begins to crumble. Bee spots Bessie outside and calls to her.
  • The party flees into the tunnel as the building collapses around them, killing Bessie.
  • As the party flees deeper into the tunnel, the sounds of destruction fade to a deep and distant thumping.
  • Eventually they encounter Fierna guiding the tail end of the Haven escapees.
  • They walk for nearly an hour until they emerge at the interior of the crater housing, overlooking the Cursed Forest and Haven.
  • The spire housing the ancient town has collapsed, and the Great Leader’s flying forces circle it like vultures.
  • Aulara lays a hand on Thomas’ shoulder and leads him to more tunnels to safety.
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Session 24
The Great Leader
  • See News of the World
  • See The Tale of Plague
  • See Excerpts from the Diary of Gambol
  • See Activities Aboard the Vertragus
  • Thomas cases the Vertragus for some time, trying to determine the security they employ, particularly in the restricted areas.
  • He asks Adriana if he can help them test their security, and she agrees.
  • Thomas hides. After a few minutes, security personnel enter the room in which he’s hiding and search earnestly.
  • As he’s trying to slip out unseen, Thomas is suddenly compelled to announce himself to the guards.
  • They escort him to the brig, and Adriana thanks him for his participation, then releases him.
  • Thomas decides not to try sneaking into any restricted areas, fearing he would be found far too easily.
  • Meanwhile, Bert, Adriana, and the ship’s diplomatic envoy travel to the Dragonrange Mountains to meet with the dwarves per the agreement with Creben Durgard
  • They pay the king a fair gift, but Durgard’s family request a relic called Smine’s Hammer.
  • The hammer was lost by Durgard when he was captured by the Red Fang faction of the Warband
  • It has been taken to Lithicopolis, the headquarters of the Great Leader
  • The party decides to use illusions and mundane disguises to sneak into the city to retrieve it.
  • Bert and Newton dress as hobgoblins, Thomas and Jenny dress as elven alchemical merchants, and Bee dresses as a bodyguard.
  • Once inside, they use locate object around the various camps in hopes of detecting the hammer.
  • When that proves unsuccessful, they gather information on the Great Leader and any interesting items he has.
  • They learn he’s a half-dragon hobgoblin, and that the hammer was given to him as a gift from the Red Fangs.
  • They manage to gain access to the more restricted section of the city carved into the mountainside.
  • Once inside, they try detect magic again. They detect the hammer and try to find it.
  • The spell ends before they can locate the hammer, so they decide to look for the archives in order to learn more about the layout of the palace and the mountain city (and hopefully defenses).
  • As they explore the halls, they encounter a large monstrous creature: a mixture between a giant praying mantis and a hobgoblin.
  • As he passes, the party spots the numbers “028” on the back of his neck, possibly relating his condition to Bee’s
  • The monster turns and calls to Meerkin, who had apparently stopped to stare at the party.
  • He indicates that he sees through their disguises, but he doesn’t seem to specifically recognize them.
  • Thomas asks if he’s in trouble with the Great Leader, and Meerkin actually says the leader is in trouble with him!
  • He identifies the monster as Colonel Grekobik Greenwell, and follows him to meet with the Great Leader.
  • The party eventually finds the Great Leader’s secretary, and she immediately ushers them to a waiting area (much to their surprise, since they don’t seem to have a good reason).
  • In the waiting room, a number of goblinoid children play, and some adults mill about.
  • After some time, the monstrous Greenwell and Meerkin exit. Greenwell leaves, but Meerkin remains.
  • Shortly thereafter, more humanoids exit, followed by the Great Leader.
  • He demands the party remove their illusion. While they’re willing, they’re unable since they didn’t cast it. Meerkin helps by dispelling.
  • The Great Leader dismisses everyone, though a small goblin boy remains.
  • The Leader asks why the party was there incognito, and they confess to seeking the hammer.
  • The goblin boy retrieves it from the other room and gives it to the Leader.
  • He asks what the party intends to trade for it, and they offer their services in finding and securing the ancient magical locations rumored to exist around the city.
  • The Great Leader decides to give them a task: enter the Cursed Forest and remove the protector from power.
  • Thomas realizes he must be referring to Mother Llewellyn, and tries to talk him out of it.
  • The Great Leader says “I may have someone here able to change your mind.”
  • The goblin boy steps forward and introduces himself as Mother Llewellyn.
  • Thomas and the others are flabbergasted, but the goblin convinces Thomas that he at least has all the memories of the beloved matriarch.
  • The Great Leader leaves, giving them the chance to speak in privacy.
  • Llewellyn reveals the uncomfortable truth about why she seems to be in league with the Great Leader:
    • She/he reminds Thomas of the gnome Roonda that came from the Wildlands many years ago and joined the community in Haven.
    • The two of them retreated into isolation for long periods at a time, leaving much of the administration and defense of Haven to her handmaidens Aulara, Fierna and Terra.
    • Unbeknown to the denizens of Haven, Roonda killed Llewellyn five years ago and assumed her position.
    • Unbeknown to Roonda, Llewellyn managed to save her soul and be reborn as this goblin boy. Sadly, she lost much of her power in the process.
    • Now, Roonda is trying to summon the ancient Fey Lords using the natural magic Haven.
    • Meanwhile, Tildekaar (the Great Leader’s real name) is making plans to invade Haven and utilize the powers for himself.
    • Llewellyn seeks to stop Roonda, but the cost is that Haven will be lost, and Tildekaar will gain the power.
    • She has convinced him that the defenses are too powerful to overcome without her help, but he won’t hold off much longer.
    • She intends to defeat Roonda (possibly even kill him), and destroy as much of the magic as she can before Tildekaar can get it.
    • Sadly, Haven will be destroyed in the process. For that reason, and the added danger of the Warband, one of the handmaidens must be convinced to lead the people of Haven away to safety (routes exist and there are friends on the outside).
  • The party asks her about the Great Leader
    • The two of them were friends millenia ago, and he was even present for the founding of Haven
    • They and others built the city, then the forest, then the mountains to protect the natural magic at the center (possibly originating from the Fey Lords)
    • Tildekaar became obsessed with the power, though, and discovered how to extend his life by reincarnating.
    • When he became too dangerous, Llewellyn banished him to another plane.
    • During his exile, he amassed the construct army he controls today
    • Somehow, he returned to the Material Plane, and seeks to regain the power of Haven to build an Empire.
  • Thomas, realizing Llewellyn has much to teach, tells her about Mystique and asks if she has any advice
    • It is a “goliad”, a creature of immense power. It treats the world around itself as highly morphic, and can change the land and even creatures at will.
    • Mystique seems to be unaware of its power, but it’s still potentially very dangerous.
    • Three goliads have entered the Material Plane in the past, and all of them wreaked terrible havoc. Two were banished, and one chose to leave on its own, suggesting they are possibly capable of learning empathy.
    • Whomever is disguised as Thomas and influencing Mystique wields great power. Mystique must be returned.
  • They also ask about Meerkin.
    • He is a zern, a creature with the supernatural ability to change forms, similar to a doppelganger. They are naturally inclined towards transmutation magic.
    • She doesn’t know his motivations, but Tildekaar seems quite interested in him.
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Session 23
The Demonweb Portal and the Fate of Creben Durgard
  • The party filters into the cavern as they feel comfortable.
  • Thomas hides, The Brothers and Bee find strong forward positions, and Liev Bolt remains behind the door.
  • Commander Caras checks for evil, and is surprised to find that the arrayed drow are not evil.
  • Everyone suspects a ruse, and several characters discover that the praying drow are illusions.
  • The Priestess near the portal begins to cast again, and this time the adventurers respond with force.
  • Bee attempts to disrupt her casting, but she successfully completes a fog cloud. Bert easily dispels it, though.
  • The elf hits several party members with mind fog suggesting they may be facing dominations soon.
  • Bolt attacks the Priestess with black tentacles (capturing the elf and Blue as well) while Villeous and Caras move up the center.
  • Newton, Bert, and the Brothers battle monstrous spiders on the left while Bee and Thomas hold the right.
  • The spiders die easily, and the priestess escapes the grappling tentacles and flees into the webbed portal.
  • The Blue casts freedom of movement which Bert tries to dispel (accidentally dispelling the domination on it instead)
  • The Blue flees down the steps screaming about a green fog, but falls unconscious as he passes over a glyph of warding.
  • Villeous casts consecrate on the portal just as three bebilith and a green fog emerge.
  • Bee enters a bear-rage, Newton calls upon righteous might and Divine Power, and the brothers expand to face the creatures.
  • The elf, seemingly still dominated, inspires the monsters with her bardic music.
  • Liev Bolt strikes the bebilith with an empowered cacophonic burst, bringing parts of the ceiling cave down on them, the Blue (killing it), and the elf.
  • When Bee displays remorse later over the Blue’s death, despite his companions’ insistence that the creature was evil, Villeous introduces the possibility that their plan was programmed Durncart Syndrome
  • The green mist begins dominating party members, but Bert focuses on countering it with his own bardic oration.
  • Two of the bebilith fall fairly easily to the combined might of the melee combatants (and Thomas’s hidden blade).
  • Bolt dismisses the black tentacles in the hope of releasing the possibly innocent elf, while Bert tries to free her from her compulsion.
  • Just as it appears to be coming to an end, three more bebilith arrive, though one is wearing magic gear, suggesting it may be a more formidable foe.
  • The elf flees down the steps safely as the arriving beblilith attempt to attack and rend the armor of the defenders.
  • Bert continues to temporarily counter the green mist’s domination attempts, while Villeous delays the bebilith poison in the veins of the warriors.
  • The elf, now free of her domination, inspires her new allies just as Bert’s inspiration fades.
  • After a hard-fought battle, the invading bebilith are slain, and the green mist flees into the portal while Bee advances upon it.
  • The portal closes, blasting the area with negative energy as it does.
  • The party finds a more permanent solution to their allies’ domination once the area is safe.
  • Villeous and Bert then move to the portal to inspect it (Bolt stays back just in case) while the others secure the area and inspect their fallen foes.
  • Meanwhile, Yasu contacts Caras from the surface stating that the surface location is not yet secure, since some hobgoblins had arrived to do combat.
  • It’s quickly resolved, though.
  • After some study, some help from Haverdy, and a few failed attempts, Bolt joins the other scholars and successfully seals the portal.
  • Thomas questions the elf they rescued:
    • Her name is Bralani
    • She was a member of a diplomatic envoy from the Wildlands sent to contact members an elven grove in the Northern Freelands.
    • They were captured and mostly killed by an illithid (inferred from her description of the creature)
    • She was kept unconscious or in the dark most of the time, but she was eventually given to these drow.
    • Her illithid captor then opened the portal using an orb identical to the one the party possessed for closing the portal.
    • She was dominated and forced to inspire her drow keepers with her music. She was otherwise unharmed.
    • She claims to be an aristocrat/bard by training.
  • The party teleports back to the surface along with Bralani, their single drow prisoner, and one of the abyssal ghoul corpses.
  • Caras speaks with Yasu about how to handle prisoner transport, the nature of each of their battles, and any other strategic decisions.
  • Meanwhile, Jenny finds Thomas and shares most of the magic items and gold she managed to find on the hobgoblins they battled.
  • After some discussion, the party returns to the Vertragus with Bralani and the drow prisoner, making sure to blindfold and imprison them immediately.
  • Bralani is treated well despite being imprisoned, and she seems to understand that it’s necessary until they can determine her intentions.
  • Bee speaks with Captain John and Lady Moreau about what he perceives as an injustice against Creben Durgard.
  • Lady Moreau agrees to speak with Captain Striker about allowing a hearing to discuss the dwarf’s fate, including allowing Durgard to advocate for his own interests.
  • Striker agrees and the hearing is set for the next day.
  • Bert, along with oversight from Adriana, speaks with Durgard prior to the hearing and makes a proposal:
    • Durgard will agree to travel to the Arcane Empire and reveal what he knows.
    • He will be allowed a visitation from his family prior to the journey to the Empire.
    • The Dwarven rulers of the Dragonrange Mountains will be given gifts on his family’s behalf so they may regain the honor he lost.
    • He will be allowed to return to the Dragonrange once he has divulged the information he knows (Durgard doubts he will outlive his usefulness).
  • Durgard seems to accept these terms, and will present them at the hearing.
  • In the meantime, Jenny speaks with Thomas about her life, since she no longer needs to hide her lycnthropy from him (which is a large part of her life):
    • She and her twin brother, Alex, were born in Roche to a merchant’s daughter. Her father and Benjamin were absent at the time.
    • The two were sold to a couple in the Wildlands, since their mother and her family would not accept lycanthropes in the family (“At least she didn’t drown us.”)
    • Their father rescued/kidnapped them from the people in the Wildlands a few months later (according to Ben, since Jenny was too young to remember).
    • The four of them spent the next eight years traveling between The Freelands and the Arcane Empire, with Benjamin and their father getting odd jobs.
    • They had to keep moving, since word of her father’s affliction (and his inability to control it) wouldn’t allow them to stay anywhere for long.
    • Eventually, Benjamin refused to continue to live like this (he’s not afflicted, so he has more options) and he remained in the Arcane Empire for the winter.
    • That winter, Jenny, Alex, and their father were captured by the gnolls of Canistooth.
    • Over the next months, Alex and their father died.
    • Jenny eventually escaped, though into the hostility of the Freelands.
    • Luckily, she was found by an old friend of her mother’s who nursed her back to health.
    • He taught her how to use her arcane ability (particularly necromancy).
    • Eventually, he took her back to Roche and gave her a home there, where she lived until leaving with Thomas and the party.
  • The next day, Creben Durgard’s hearing commences.
    • Adriana claims “status-quo”; namely that Durgard is currently being transported to the Arcane Empire as a prisoner of war, and will be questioned there.
    • Lady Moreau claims grievances on behalf of Peloria, noting the more immediate threat Durgard’s weapons may pose, as well as the efforts (and lives) expended to get him.
    • Durgard argues for his freedom to return to Dwarven lands based on religious rights.
    • Diplomacy commences, with Newton arguing that the proper religious respect can be found in Peloria, and Bert arguing that the Arcane Empire can better utilize his information, stating that religious problems can be solved anywhere (“It’s simple planar metaphysics!”).
    • Lady Moreau silences Newton and cedes the right to the Arcane Empire to take and hold Durgard, contingent upon some sort of official alliance and/or sharing of information agreement.
    • Durgard then presented the plan Bert had discussed with him.
  • Captain Striker demands that Durgard provide a high-level description of the weapons he developed for the Iron Kingdom before agreeing to any terms. They are as follows:
    • Alchemically powered airships (he helped develop the chases and propulsion devices, but knows little about the alchemical substance)
    • Advanced cannons and alchemical charges (he helped develop the cannons and knows a little more about the alchemical substance)
    • Human-piloted “constructs” (he helped develop the body and mechanisms)
    • Some details on how the Iron Kingdom managed to keep these developments secret.
    • No indication of extraplanar beings or magic, though possibly some divine magic
  • At this point, the Captain accepts the terms and the Adriana begins planning for interacting with the Dragonrange dwarves per Durgard’s terms.
  • After the hearing, Captain John asks Lady Moreau how things went.
  • When he learns that she has ceced Durgard to the Arcane Empire, he becomes furious, claiming that the men he lost have died in vain. It also becomes apparent that he sees the Empire as the “Ancient Enemy”.
  • When Newton tries to convince him that what’s happening is best for Peloria, he responds with “Oh I’ll see to what’s best for Peloria”.
  • The session ends with Newton concerned about Captain John’s mental state.
View
Session 22
Ghouls, Drow, and ... Huh?
  • The fight continues as Bee drops another lesser ghoul with well-placed arrows.
  • The Brothers defeat two of the remaining lesser ghouls with the help of Commander Caras.
  • The advanced abyssal ghoul moves to cover the entrance of the cavern and attacks Bee once again while its remaining lesser version pins the summoned bear that grappled it.
  • Newton and Bert finish off the remaining lesser ghoul, allowing the others to focus on the advanced specimen.
  • Villeous gets the first strike with dispel evil, but the ghoul resists the banishment effect.
  • Thomas and his summoned bear strike the behemoth from below as Liev Bolt attempts to overcome its spell resistance.
  • The Brothers find a position out from under the creature and enlarge themselves while Caras attacks it with her short bow.
  • As Bee moves out of range, the advanced ghoul turns its ire to Villeous, though he avoids its dreaded grapple.
  • The attacks continue as each character whittles down the monster’s hit points, and the creature ineffectually attempts to grapple the halfling, until it’s finally felled.
  • The group explores the cavern for some time, discovering that the door on the other side has been covered using stone shape or something similar.
  • Bee’s old prison is occupied by the corpses of his former screecher fungi guards.
  • The double-doors thus far unexplored reveal only rubble behind them.
  • The cavern itself holds the corpses of a number of drow, which the party loot with glee.
  • The advanced abyssal ghoul also carries a large amount of magic items in its bowels, Bert and Bolt are exposed to the creature’s demon fever.
  • They explore down the spiral staircase to find a deep pool of water below the cavern. Bee spots a kapoacinth in the depths and the party retreats up the steps.
  • The decision is made to break through the shaped stone into the cavern beyond.
  • The Halsmith brothers spend some time hacking away at the wall, but the group ultimately allows Bolt to use passwall to get through.
  • Bolt launches fireballs into the cavern while Newton moves in and uncovers his daylight shield, blinding any drow.
  • After a few rounds of uncovering hidden drow, the opponents fall rather easily.
  • Bert and Caras manage to capture one of the wizards and interrogate him.
    • The priestess the party killed was the head cleric, and one of her acolytes is now in control.
    • The blue has taken control of their new leader, though.
    • The drow has no idea what the blue’s motives are, but they seem to be aligned at the moment (avoid the ghouls and keep the portal protected).
    • The portal they seek is behind some nearby double-doors (and the forbiddance effect is absent directly around it).
    • There are “fewer” drow in the next area, but they will fight to the death to keep the portal open.
    • The portal is ancient and was abandoned long ago, but it was opened recently, and the drow returned.
  • Bee knocks out the wizard, and the party prepares to storm the portal room.
  • Thomas unlocks the door, and bolt fires a fireball as the doors open, but there’s a surprise wall just behind the doors, causing the fireball to explode prematurely.
  • The brothers begin to break this wall down as well.
  • Once a small hole opens up, Bolt fires a few fireballs into the room.
  • The party notices some harp music in the room that’s interrupted by one of the fireballs.
  • A female voice speaks out sadly in elven “Why would you do that?”
  • The brothers finish breaking the wall, and Newton storms in with daylight to blind any drow.
  • Inside, the party finds two lines of drow standing unmoving and silent, facing the portal at the other end of the cavern (away from the door).
  • At the top of some stairs is a massive column of slowly flowing webbing reaching from ceiling to the floor.
  • In front of the portal stands a drow priestess flanked by the blue to her right and a female high elf to her left. The elf carries a small harp and is likely the one who spoke before.
  • Villeous tries to cast true seeing, but the priestess dispels it.
  • The session ends as the party members filter into the room and try to understand this strange development.
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Session 21
Abyssal Ghouls!
  • As the discussions come to an end on the bridge of the Vertragus, Adriana informs Captain Striker that they will be taking off in about three hours.
  • Villeous and Liev Bolt request the Gateway Key so that they and Dr. Haverdy may study it before they set out to close the portal.
  • Thomas and Bert agree, but Bert insists on joining them. Thomas watches the door from outside, in case Bert comes into danger.
  • Newton offers to Captain John Thorn to scry on the missing rangers.
  • He agrees, and they head off the ship to avoid being watched. Kelly Palmer insists on checking her husband, Doug.
  • Jenny finds Bee and they go to watch if anything comes up.
  • They see that Doug is still alive, as are Marcus Terennis and several of the other rangers and freemen.
  • They are bound with gold cord and have been dressed in white robes.
  • As they watch, some white-robed men with white hoods gag Doug and drag him away, as Marcus screams in protest.
  • They move him to a basin, and bathe him in a clear liquid as another priest comes into view, marked with a Crimson Fist.
  • The priest speaks a long benediction, during which it becomes apparent that Doug will soon die.
  • At the end of the benediction, he and Doug are both engulfed in flames, though as they subside the priest is untouched while Doug is a smoldering corpse.
  • He carries Doug’s skull back to the remaining men, allowing the scrying sensor to reveal them.
  • Other acolytes are bathing the other men in liquid, and they drop a torch on them, setting them all aflame.
  • The priest looks directly at the sensor and invites all those seeking salvation to bring the dwarf with a “017” on his neck (Bee) to him. They will all be freed.
  • The scrying is then dispelled.
  • Kelly is striken with horror and grief at this point, and calls Captain John a coward and a fool.
  • Bee tries to calm her, but makes her even more furious.
  • Captain John reveals that he’s been stripped of his officer title (so he’s really just “John”) because he disobeyed orders and deserted troops when raiding the orc camp in Session 3
  • Strongheart gave him the option of doing reconnaissance in the Freelands as opposed to jail time, and he accepted.
  • Doug, Marcus, and the others followed him out of loyalty, and now they’re all dead.
  • He makes it his mission to get Creben Durgard back to Peloria and not the Arcane Empire, as that’s his only hope now of redemption.
  • More details about the above interactions can be found at The Fate of Doug Palmer
  • Newton and Jenny join Kelly and council and talk with her, hoping to give her some peace.
  • Bee tries to talk John into helping him break Durgard out (with the hopes that Durgard would simply be let free, though he keeps that part to himself)
  • John seems somewhat willing, though he also seems able to see through Bee’s attempts at duplicity.
  • Meanwhile, P-Pot finds Thomas outside Dr. Haverdy’s door and convinces him to join her to “see something cool”
  • She gets him to unlock one of the off-limit doors while she places a crystal on the door to disable any alarm.
  • They go inside to find two large cylinders reaching from floor to ceiling. They are broken into parts that slowly rotate and counter-rotate around a faint light in the center.
  • Thomas grows uncomfortable, but P-Pot is enamored by the objects and convinces him to stay.
  • As the ship takes off, the cylinders rotate faster, and squares begin opening up in the floor.
  • Before Tomas can get P-Pot out, she steps on one, revealing that it’s solid.
    He tries to drag her out, but she resists and forces him to lay on one. Eventually the entire floor vanishes beneath them.
  • They watch for a short time as the world below them becomes smaller.
  • P-Pot flirts with and teases Thomas for a short while, but he eventually convinces her to leave with him.
  • He re-locks the door and P-Pot takes the crystal back.
  • Chef finds the party members and gives each of them a tablet that’s intended to combat altitude sickness, as they are not yet acclimated to the high altitude.
  • P-Pot trys to convince Thomas not to take it, but he’s at this point realized she’s a bit of a whimsical liar.
  • Bertrum, meanwhile, spends the next several hours learning about the ritual necessary to use the gateway key to close portals, He realizes it’s more of an art than a science.
  • Bee, sets out in the night upon Yasu’s dire bat to find a bat to act as a scout in the caverns the next day.
  • Yasu encourages him to handle the bat himself, though she assists when it becomes apparent he’s not particularly adept.
  • She also tries to teach him spells, though she learns that he lacks the wisdom to cast them.
  • He uses the animal whistle that he got from Magical Trevor, and it’s effective. Yasu tells him that it possesses magical abilities to charm animals.
  • They return to the ship with their new companion, to find Commander Caras laying in Yasu’s “nest”.
  • She seems surprised to see Bee and asks him to leave, and Yasu asks that Bee give them about an hour.
  • Bee listens for a short while outside the door, and infers that Caras is used to having some intimate time with Yasu, which he may disrupt, as he’s temporarily living in her natural zone.
  • Bert and the other researchers eventually call it a night, and Dr. Haverdy convinces him to let him keep it for the rest of the night so he may research it further.
  • Bert agrees, though Thomas insists on remaining outside his door.
  • During the night, Thomas is awoken by a clockwork golem cleaning the hallway. He listens to the door, and determines that Haverdy is still working and undisturbed.
  • The next morning, Newton and Jenny pray. For the first time, she remains for the entire hour.
  • Bert, Villeous, and Liev Bolt meet with Dr. Haverdy and discuss anything else he learned that night. He casts telepathic link on them and himself so he may provide further guidance later should they need it.
  • After some preparations, the raiding party set out, atop many flying steeds. Bee is again forced to leave Bessie behind, though he now has his bat.
  • Jenny remains with the group keeping watch at the surface, while Commander Caras, Villeous, Liev Bolt, and Dean and Carlos Halsmith join them below in the drow caverns.
  • Inside, they find several lesser abyssal ghouls trying to hide from them.
  • Newton buffs his turning ability, and destroys one of them with a greater turning.
  • The remaining four rush the group, and the Halsmith brothers jump into action, blocking them and dealing significant damage.
  • Bee transforms into a bear, Bolt attacks with magic missile, Thomas employs holy water, Bert provides oration bonus and attacks with his spear, Caras smites evil, and Villeous remains available for healing.
  • One of the ghouls provides flanking on one of the brothers, and despite their high AC, he’s badly injured by a single sneak attack.
  • The party defeats the remaining ghouls shortly thereafter, but they learn they have to be more careful tactically.
  • When they try to find the secondary portal in this cave, they see it’s vanished.
  • The small crevice they used previously has been widened significantly, suggesting the advanced ghoul is somewhere beyond.
  • The party inspects it, and Caras’s detect evil finds more evil creatures below, which they assume to be more abyssal ghouls.
  • They cast hide from undead and climb down. Once half the party reaches the bottom, the ghouls strike, though the party is more prepared for them this time.
  • The creatures attack, but the party keeps them at bay, while the members still in the crevice above provide covering fire.
  • Just as it starts seeming they have the upper hand, though, the advanced abyssal ghoul appears above Bee and attacks him, having apparently crawled across the ceiling or wall of the cavern.
  • Villeous blocks it with stone shape, but this will only slow it for a moment.
  • The struggle on the ground suddenly becomes more dire, as the remaining ghouls vie for tactical advantage, badly injuring Caras.
  • The session ends as the party begins to spread out within the cavern.
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Session 20
Negotiations Aboard the Vertragus
  • See Session 19 and the EAS Vertragus for details on the end of Session 19 as well as activity between sessions.
  • First Officer Adriana Prieto gives the party (sans Bee) a tour of the Vertragus.
  • Much of the ship is off limits. The party doesn’t press the issue.
  • Bert notes that the cannons must have been retrofit, since the ship is older than cannon technology.
  • Adriana acknowledges that, though alchemical research is often looked down on by the arcane community, it has its uses.
  • Thomas has heard of lifting devices similar to those on the ship, but they were much smaller and used levitation as the mechanism.
  • Adriana confirms that they once existed, but are not as efficient and suffer from degradation much faster.
  • They also notice that one of the crew quarters is labeled “Major Trevor: Magical Items Acquisitions and Distributions”
  • There’s a ruckus down at the stern of the ship, so Adriana excuses herself to check it out.
  • The party returns to the stables to get Bee, but he’s gone missing.
  • They look around and find that he’s the source of the ruckus.
  • Lady Tanya Moreau is there, and she says that she has accidentally given Bee the impression that he’s dead and this is the afterlife.
  • Bee has bothered Chef by trying to eat the hog whole, but several of the crew members managed to restrain him.
  • Bert convinces Bee that he’s not dead, and Bee apologizes.
  • The party speaks with Lady Moreau and find that she had her own adventures while trying to avoid captors, that’s why she didn’t meet them in Swellburg.
  • She offhandedly hints that she had some dungeon crawling adventures of her own, but she brushes them off when asked for more details, other than she acquired a dagger for one of her accomplices in exchange for his assistance.
  • Lady Moreau and Jenkins took care of Bessie for Bee, and she returns to Bee at this point.
  • The party gets Villeous to cast sending to Captain John Thorn.
    • He is safe and coming to the ship with Captain Sven Striker
    • Also safe and returning are Creben Durgard, Kelly Palmer, and Corporal Steven Lorne.
    • All others of his party are either dead or missing.
    • Villeous says he must report this conversation to Adriana, since the information pertains to Captain Striker’s activities.
  • The party cleans up and joins the Kordan celebration that Chef put on.
  • Bee wrestles Dean and Carlos Halsmith simultaneously, which ends in a draw.
  • They drink and be merry.
  • Thomas meets another xeph on the crew: P-Pot works in the stables with Milkman. She immediately sees through Thomas’s disguise, but doesn’t mention it to anyone else.
  • Bee gets drunk and passes out outside, while the others go in to rest.
  • The next morning, the party sets about clearing up a few things.
  • First, Newton casts detect evil on Jenny, and determines that she’s not evil.
  • Next, they ask Adriana if anybody on the ship can teach them about extraplanar creatures. She introduces them to Dr. Haverdy
    • Haverdy is quite strange and forces them to do seemingly arbitrary things, including knocking on the door in an intricate pattern.
    • He tells them the creature is an abyssal ghoul, and it will feed very quickly on the few drow they witnessed.
    • They ask about extraplanar creatures following them from the Astral Plane.
    • After getting more information, Haverdy kicks them out without any answers.
    • Bert convinces him to explain, but Haverdy swears him to secrecy, and makes the others leave.
    • Newton leaves without performing the intricate knocking ritual Havedy requested, but Thomas and Jenny make an attempt.
    • Bert learns what Haverdy knows about the strange occurrences following Thomas and Newton.
    • When the others ask Bert about it, he says it’s a temporary affliction caused by excess bleeding from another plane. It will wear off over time, as long as they avoid other planes.
    • The others don’t believe him, but they don’t ask further.
  • The party visits the armorer and sells their masterwork and some magic items.
  • At this point, Trevor’s shop is open and they visit him. They sell their remaining excess magic items and buy some upgrades, mostly to armor.
  • Bee tries to help Goat, the blacksmith/armor-smith, make barding for Bessie, but the smith kicks him out after a short time.
  • Thomas, Newton, Bee, and Jenny go for a walk and discuss some things while Bert visits Haverdy again.
  • Newton asks Jenny about her lycanthropy:
    • She was born with it
    • She wishes to have it removed, but even the most powerful magic may not work
    • She can control when she changes, but her behavior becomes very different when she does
    • Benjamin is not a lycanthrope
    • Their father became afflicted after Ben was born, but her mother is not
  • Next, they broach the subject of her undead aura. Bee and Thomas say they will defend her, no matter what, so she needn’t fear Newton’s response.
  • Instead, she opts to speak with Newton alone. The others comply, and she speaks with him for a short time.
  • When they return, Newton seems perturbed, but they both look fine, and Jenny even seems a bit happy.
  • Newton explains that the problem will be resolved in time, and Jenny may now leave his presence without problems.
  • Bert has returned to the party at this point and they all watch a group of about ten flying mounts return to the vessel.
  • They hustle to the stables to see who has arrived.
    • Captain Striker and his team have returned. They have with them everybody from Captain John’s group that they could save.
    • Bee goes to talk to the woman, Yasu Yukimura, riding a dire bat and asks if she’s a druid.
    • She confirms she is, and Bee asks to learn from her. She invites him to ride with her, and they fly to a higher deck.
    • Jenny asks Captain John what happened to Benjamin, and he tells her that Ben left the group well before the ambush happened.
    • The rest of the group was captured or killed by some Kordans from an unknown house.
    • They remained on the defensive until Captain Striker and his crew rescued them.
  • After a short time for cleaning up and internal debriefing, Captain Striker calls the party and John to the bridge and they discuss business
    • The party describes their recent escapades in the Freelands (excluding any details about Haven).
    • They also describe their problems with the drow and the abyssal ghoul.
    • Striker says he knows about Thomas and Newton’s involvement with the Illithid Portal in the Luminous Mountains
    • He reminds them that they have one of two Gateway Keys, the other having been stolen from Professor Farnsworth a few weeks ago.
    • At Striker’s request, Thomas shows that they still possess their key.
    • Striker asks to have it, but they refuse.
    • He explains that he has been tasked by Lord Bluemont and the Arcane Empire hierarchy to retrieve it, and close portals that have begun to open since the Minor Illithid Invasion occurred.
    • The party offers to help, and The Captain agrees to let them assist with the portals they discovered in the drow caverns.
    • They also discuss the Warband and Great Leader, including the strange constructs.
    • It becomes clear that Striker knows a fair amount about the hobgoblin movements, but not much more than the party.
    • Finally, they mention the man with two huge constructs piling dead bodies in one of the Northern cities.
    • One of Striker’s advisers suggests it may be the Corpsecrafter.
  • Next he speaks with Captain John.
    • He claims that Durgard will be transported to the Arcane Empire.
    • Captain John argues, but to no avail.
    • It also becomes clear that Striker has no intention to mount any rescue for the remaining members that went missing near Swellburg
  • Meanwhile, Bee speaks with Yasu for a short time in the “nest” she built in the ship’s greenhouse.
  • She is willing to teach him what she can, and also offers to let him stay with her until he can make his own natural surroundings on the vessel.
  • Next, Bee finds Durgard being guarded by some of the guards on the Vertragus. They refuse to let him speak to him in person, so Bee shouts through the door.
    • Durgard thanks him for switching places with the Warband hobgoblins.
    • He also says he just wants to be with his family in the Dragonrange Mountains.
  • The party offers to help Captain John scry on any missing comrades, and he accepts their offer.
  • The session ends as Newton prepares the crystal ball.
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Session 19
Narrow Escape and Discoveries
  • Thomas throws the ring bearing the silence effect at the drow wizard, hoping to stem his ability to cast.
  • Bert casts grease on Bee, allowing him to escape the black tentacles with ease.
  • Jenny becomes visible again, revealing she has also been captured by the tentacles.
  • Thomas reaches the wall below the crevace, and Newton casts wall of stone, protecting the party members below.
  • Bee climbs the wall and crawls behind the party, only to discover that the priestess and three of her defenders have appeared behind them.
  • Bert greases Jenny to allow her escape, and Thomas climbs the wall to join the rest.
  • Bert and Newton hear the priestess behind them casting, and Bert realizes that she has formed an abjuration to prevent any teleportation.
  • Bee attempts to fight her as her henchmen fire crossbows at him and the Blue, the later of which is left unconscious from their poison.
  • Newton, Bee and Thomas exit the crawlspace as Jenny reaches the party, and they face the priestess in combat.
  • At this point, the portal they used to flank the party is visible as a semi-ethereal tunnel walled with gently undulating webbing.
  • The sounds of a horrible creature issue from its depths…
  • The fight rages, as Bert and Jenny are unable (or unwilling) to climb out of the crawl space, and the rest of the party struggles to kill the priestess in order to end the abjuration
  • Just before being felled, the priestess shapes the stone at the opening of the crawl space, separating the party.
  • Jenny and Bert fend off some drow that finally scaled the wall Newton formed, while Bee, Newton, and Thomas face a more sinister foe.
  • A large, ghoul-like creature emerges from the webbed portal and attack one of the remaining drow.
  • Bee tries to break the wall separating the party, while Newton and Thomas ineffectually fire several bolts of dismissal at the creature.
  • The creature pins and kills the drow and advances on the party.
  • Meanwhile, Jenny becomes overwhelmed by the attacking drow, and transforms into her wererat haybrid form for the first time.
  • She ferociously attacks and kills one of the drow.
  • Bert does what he can to wake the Blue, but fails and instead moves toward the wall where Bee is breaking through to unite the party.
  • Just as Bee breaks a hole in the wall, the monster grabs and begins to pin him.
  • Bert tries to get the party together so they can make a chain and dimension door out of trouble.
  • Jenny casts vampiric touch, marking the first time she uses necromancy since Newton forbade her in the Cursed Forest.
  • Just as the party forms a chain for dimension door, the creature drains Bee of all his wisdom, leaving him unconscious.
  • Bert casts the spell, and the party emerges on the surface, where the horses had been hidden, only to find the horses gone and the position secured by the hobgoblins.
  • The construct demands their surrender, and the party is unable to resist in their weakened state.
  • It orders Thomas to tie up the conscious members, which he does to the best of his ability. Jenny vanishes before he gets to her, upsetting the construct
  • The construct grapples Thomas and deals nonlethal damage to him until Jenny emerges from invisibility and attacks.
  • Fearing that the construct will kill her, Thomas joins the fight.
  • Just when it seems that this is a no-win scenario, the hobgoblins stationed on the hill above are blasted with several fireballs
  • Newton and Bert immediately break their binds, while Jenny and Thomas assault the construct.
  • They focus their energies on the construct, as the hobgoblins are mostly distracted by the hippogriff-riding assailants that had launched the fireballs.
  • Thomas is badly injured and falls back, only to be dropped by a stray arrow.
  • The construct is finally brought down, and the hobgoblins are routed by the flying cavalry.
  • Bert feeds a curing potion to Thomas, bringing him back to consciousness.
  • Bert flees to the trees, while Newton drags Bee to safety.
  • Jenny, though, grapples Thomas, much to his surprise, and kisses him. Her mouth is freezing cold, so much to as to injure Thomas slightly.
  • She releases him and wanders to the corpses of the fallen hobgoblins.
  • Thomas follows her after a short while to get her to regroup with the others, only to find her feasting on the corpse of one of the fallen goblinoids.
  • He gives her some time and leads her back to the others. She seems to be ina bit of a daze.
  • Bert convinces her to return to human form, as she would likely be in danger if others found her this way.
  • The party heals up their wounds until the mounted cavalry land and address them.
  • The leader of the three intruduces herself as Commander Tala Caras.
  • She claims their military unit was performing drills in the area when they were ordered to seek out the party.
  • She asks the party to join her at their nearby base and speak with her commanding officer, Captain Sven Striker.
  • They learn that the military unit is actually a privately operated force under Lord Bluemont of the Arcane Empire.
  • The party follows Caras and her men to her base. They reach a ridge over a valley and discover that the “base” is actually a large airship. The party is truly stunned.
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Session 18
Finding Bee
  • Newton tries to trick the ettercaps into going down into the stirge lair. He pulls items out of the magician’s hat, but is unable to find a good use for them.
  • Bertrum and Thomas devise a way to fill the cavern with smoke to disperse and scare the stirges.
  • Once that is done, the party enters the stirge lair and kills off some of the remaining creatures.
  • They move down to a deeper lair only to discover an even greater number of stirges.
  • Bert uses the guts of the Tomb Spider to scare them away (they fear the scent), and the others pick them off from a distance.
  • They once again use a smoke screen to clear away an area around a hole to move deeper.
  • Thomas drops down an is immediately attacked by a Roper.
  • He attempts to escape, but is grabbed and parylized quickly, followed by Bert who manages to provide a smoke screen before losing his strength.
  • Newton and the Blue drop down quickly, assisted by Jenny’s feather fall spell
  • The party attempts to disable the creature, but it proves to be far too resistant to spells to be easily brought down.
  • Newton restores Thomas’s strength, but it’s quickly sapped away again.
  • The blue switches Jenny and Thomas’s place just before the Roper can get the chance to coup-de-grace him.
  • Newton uses divine power to grow large and bash at the creature, while Jenny escapes its grasp and moves to flank it.
  • The Blue hides.
  • Newton manages to distract the Roper long enough to destroy it before it can cill Thomas or Bert.
  • Newton once again restores Thomas’s strength, and Jenny gives Bert a potion that gives him just enough strength to walk around.
  • The party discovers a crevice filled with spider webs.
  • Thomas investigates and overhears drow speaking. He repeats a few words back to Bert later who translates out “priestess”, “webbing”, “summon”, and “creature”
  • The Blue gives them a quick description of what he knows about the place where Bee is hidden.
  • When Thomas investigates again, he discovers that they are close to where Bee is being held.
  • The party formulates a plan:
    • Thomas and Jenny will climb down and infiltrate using invisibility and silence.
    • Once they’ve got him, Newton and Bert will create a distraction, including covering their retreat with a wall of stone.
    • The Blue will remain in contact with Thomas via mind link this whole time and the party will coordinate that way.
    • Once outside of the abjuration, Bert will dimension door the party to safety, and the Blue will dimension door himself out alone. Bert gives him the rendevous coordinates neart the horses.
  • The preparations are made and Thomas and Jenny move toward the door where Bee is being held.
  • Bert creates a subtle distraction to draw attention away from the doow and Thomas and Jenny try to open the lock and disable the traps.
  • Jenny fails to disable the trap, though, and it’s sprung, alerting everyone in the room to the problem.
  • They quickly call reinforcements and begin searching for the cause.
  • Thomas and Jenny move past shrieker fungi (they make no sound in the silence effect) and open the next door (the traps are successfully disabled this time).
  • They find Bee inside, badly beaten but still alive. They remove his shackles and make him invisible. He recognizes them by their scent.
  • In the meantime, the priestess has arrived, and she has instructed the drow to wait for her command to attack.
  • Thomas tries to wait them out, but it becomes apparent that they’re waiting for the invisible intruders to make the first move.
  • As soon as they open the door, the priestess cast dispel magic and they all become visible. She then leaves.
  • Jenny quickly becomes invisible again and Thomas moves while hiding.
  • Bee rages and runs headlong toward his escape (Bert is providing light and instructions)
  • Bee is captured by black tentacles, as well as possibly Jenny.
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