Shadows Rising

Arrival in Forge
Time to finally meet Jamven and Bellamin

Forge.pngAfter crossing the Chasm of Forge, they entered through the side gates (the main gate of Forge was shut) into a great meeting hall that essentially functioned as a checkpoint for all people and goods entering and leaving Forge. Damvil and his brothers thanked them profusely for their assistance, and offered their home and aid to them should they ever have need of it. As the Copperhouse clan moved towards the residential block, one of the clerks of Forge inquired as to the reason for their visit. Branan assured the clerk that they would only be in Forge for a few days, and that their business was trade related. Branan did inquire as to whether or not the clerk had seen Jamven Pegason arrive, and the clerk answered by saying that he hadn’t really noticed anything out of the ordinary. Sensing the tiredness in their bodies, they decided to take Damvil up on his offer of hospitality and headed over towards the residential block.

Damvil and his brothers (and their grateful wives) greeted them with great joy and hospitality. They ended up spending the night, telling stories, drinking ale, and making new friends. After the rest of the Copperhouse Clan had headed to bed, Damvil told Branan that he hadn’t heard of anyone named Jamven Pegason and that he didn’t directly know Bellamin either—he did, however, have a friend who knew Bellamin, and offered to meet with him the next day to see if he could arrange a visit between Bellamin and the group.

After debating about setting any magical alarms, they decided that propping the passed out Marduke would suffice as a sufficient defense against anyone trying to enter the house. For the first time in many days, they all slept deeply.

The next morning they awoke to a fine dwarven breakfast—afterwards, Nerryn offered to go with Damvil while he met with his friend in order to arrange a visit with Bellamin. Returning about 45 minutes later, Damvil told them that Bellamin would meet with them at the Royal Pub in an hour. Anxious to get some answers, the group set out to meet up with him.

At the Royal Pub Branan recognized Bellamin sitting off in a corner (he had known Bellamin briefly when he was employed in the service of the Dwarf King.) They approached his table and sat down—cold and seemingly disinterested at first, Bellamin inquired as to what their interest in finding Jamven Pegason was. They told him that they had been tracking him since Glitterhaegen, and were worried that he may be attempting to trade a dwarven artifact on the black market in Forge. Bellamin shared their concern, expressing his fear of what could happen if this artifact fell into the wrong hands. As the conversation continued, Serine pulled out the second coded letter she had found on the bodies of the thugs who had tracked them from Shadow Port and asked Bellamin if he could translate it for them. Bellamin took it, read it, and quickly got up, asking them to meet with him later in the day at the Royal Palace in order to determine the next steps.

Not knowing what to do next, the group decided to explore Forge to see if they could find Jamven on their own or at least find someone who might know of his whereabouts. Branan suggested that they head over to the Crystal Gardens and speak with Pannan Soulaxe, the monk in charge who was also a close friend of his when he resided in Forge.

As they entered the Crystal Gardens they were stunned by its magnificent elegance and beauty—the gardens were full of intricately carved crystal statues, and all of the buildings reflected the very highest of Dwarven architecture. They found Pannan Soulaxe meditating in one of the gardens—he warmly greeted them and was very pleased to see his old friend Branan again.

After spending some time catching up, Pannan looked over at Marduke and called him by name—this was surprising to all, as Marduke had never remembered meeting him before. Pannan also sensed a deep magical power in Serine and bade both her and Marduke to visit with him again before they left Forge.

As they continued sitting in the beauty of the gardens, Serine had an idea—having just discovered from Pannan that the gardens can also focus spiritual and magical energy, she chanted a tracking spell on the karuviam they found in the Undermarch—the newly enchanted karuviam suddenly pulled them in the direction of Jamven Pegason, towards the Royal Palace.

The royal guards allowed them to pass (this has been arranged with Bellamin back at the Royal Pub) and they soon found themselves outside a locked door. On the inside they heard a loud thud—sensing danger on the other side, they broke the door down to discover Bellamin standing over the mortally wounded body of Jamven Pegason, slowly pulling his sword out of Jamven’s torso. Attempting to ascertain the scene, Branan tried to calm Bellamin down by speaking reason to him—meanwhile, Marduke and Serine attempted to give aid to Jamven. Realizing there was nothing that could be done, Jamven pulled Marduke close to him and whispered, “Don’t let him get it…make sure it gets to the Dwarf King.” At that, Jamven breathed his last.

Suddenly, Bellamin cursed them all for their interference in his affairs—he called for guards, but Serine blocked the door with a hold portal spell. Bellamin then turned and ran towards the back wall, revealing a secret door by which he could escape—as he turned to leave them, a horde of goblins (under his control) swarmed out the escape door and flooded the room. Forced with having to deal with the gobilns, Bellamin made his escape—as the battle with the goblins was coming to an end, the guards on the other side of the door broke it down. Realizing that goblins had somehow gotten into Forge, the dwarven guards quickly joined the fight until all of the goblins had been vanquished.

Chaos ensued—the great bells of Forge were rung and all the entrances were shut tight—the presence of goblins in the Royal Palace and the body of Jamven Pegason caused great confusion amongst the guards—Branan realized it was definitely going to take some time to sort this all out…

View
The Undermarch
Into the mountain we go...

IMG_2148.JPGAs the next day dawned in Anvil, our adventurers purchased various supplies and armor upgrades (they even negotiated a nice deal with a local armorer to be his sole supplier of enthilite for a deeply discounted price on future shields, swords, etc.) and then set out for Forge.

Originally they had thought they would walk the path, but they realized that they could travel the distance much quicker if they rode their horses. As they began their journey they noticed that all of the other horses fell behind Serine for some strange reason—no matter how much they tried, they would not pass her up. Sensing nothing wrong with any of the horses, they brushed it off and continued on their journey.

A few hours in Marduke came to a sudden halt—he jumped off his horse and began to head towards a small path that veered off the Undermarch. The group stopped and called out to him, yet he kept moving further and further down the path, apparently entranced by something calling out to him. Alatir and Branan both dismounted their horses to follow after him, attempting to speak with him and bring him back to the main path.

As the path narrowed a sudden, horrible smell came over the three of them. Three lizard-like creatures sprayed them with a foul stench, and blocked Branan and Marduke from the rest of the group. Alatir found himself situated on the other side of the lizard-like creatures in close proximity with them, while both Nerryn and Serine were too far away (back with the horses on the main road) to be of any help (they were also blocked by Alatir’s body, preventing them from effectively using their ranged attacks.)

The lizard-like creatures were vicious fighters, and sprayed their stench multiple times at Alatir, Branan, and Marduke—they also seemed to blend in to their surroundings, making most ranged attacks against them difficult to land. Eventually the lizard-like creatures were overcome, but their horrible smell would not soon be forgotten.

After spending a few moments recollecting themselves, they moved on in their journey toward Forge. After a long day of riding (and noticing that multiple times the horses would seemingly choose a different horse to follow and not pass up), they stopped and rested at one of the rest points carved out of the walls along the Undermarch.

The set out on the second day feeling better and greatly desiring to reach Forge so that they could finally (hopefully) find Jamven Pegason. In fact, Branan was in such great spirits that he began to sing a great song to the Elf Queen—as he moved from verse to verse they suddenly noticed that ahead of them the great torches of the Undermarch were being extinguished, and that a great horde of goblins was approaching them. Attracted by Branan’s singing to the Elf Queen the goblins furiously attacked them (it’s known to most adventurers, of course, that goblins despise both the Elf Queen and the Dwarf King.)

Although at times the battle was difficult (especially since a goblin shaman made an appearance) they eventually routed them. Before climbing back on their horses, they noticed several small quartz-like rocks at the base of the tunnel that the goblins had come out of. Realizing that these rocks were the same substance of the rock that Serine had been given back in Anvil, they took a few of the samples lying on the ground and carried on until they reached a resting place. Later in that evening, Marduke recalled the name of the rock— karuviam—and remembered that it has the power, under the right circumstances, to hold magical enchantments.

Suddenly, Serine had a thought—what if the rock she had been given back in Anvil had an enchantment on it? She determined that it did, and that it had the mild effect of making others around the carrier of the stone slightly jealous—she also noted that the stone somehow had the ability to move from person to person, which explained why different horses would mysteriously take the lead while others would fall behind. Serine removed the enchantment from the karuviam and they all settled in for some sleep.

As morning (or whatever passes for morning when you’re in the Undermarch) approached, the group heard a voice crying out in terror and heading towards them. As they braced themselves for a fight, a youngish looking dwarf appeared before them. He introduced himself as Damvil Copperhouse and pleaded with them to follow him—he told them that his three brothers had been captured by some foul smelling creatures, and that in the darkness, he had fled towards them.

Agreeing to help him, they journeyed off the main path of the Undermarch into an old mine that had long since been abandoned. Reaching its end, they discovered four of the lizard-like creatures torturing Damvil’s brothers, who were fortunately still alive. A battle quickly ensued, and with the help of Damvil and two of his brothers (who were freed in the fight) the lizard-like creatures were destroyed.

Realizing that Damvil and his brothers needed medical aid, they agreed to escort them back to Forge (they had just come from that direction, but they were unable to continue on to Anvil because of their injuries.)

The rest of the trip was uneventful—finally, near the end of the fourth day of traveling, they approached the great bridge that crosses the Chasm of Forge—relieved, they all looked forward to a warm bed and some excellent dwarven ale—and also a chance to finally locate and question Jamven Pegason.

View
Caravan to Anvil, Part II
“Looks like you’re having a going out of business fire sale.”

Anvil.jpgNo sooner had their journey to Anvil begun when they were beset by a group of thugs claiming to be from the ferry operator at the Bitterwood Landing. Branan tried his best to prevent any violence, however, the thugs were intent on retrieving the money that had been stolen from them when the group had left Shadow Port. Alatir ordered the wagons of the caravan to circle up, and everyone took defensive postures in order to repel the attack.

The fight was violent but short—for some reason, Alatir and Nerryn were unable to land any hits whatsoever—fortunately for them, Serine, Marduke, and Branan were able to fend off and destroy the thugs. Branan, relying (once again) on his trusty “burning hands”, utterly destroyed the attacking group’s leader, finishing him off by saying, “Looks like you’re having a going out of business fire sale” (at the beginning of the attack the thug leader had promised to put them all out of business…). Serine cast several successful, devastating spells, and Marduke supplied ample medical support. After the thugs were destroyed, they captured the horses they had rode in on, reorganized the caravan, and carried on for Anvil.

Before they left the battle scene, they discovered several small items and a coded letter on the body of one of the thugs. The letter was in the same code as they one they had discovered back in the caveSerine quickly got to work trying to decipher it.

Eventually they stopped to rest for the evening—as they set up a fire and ate some dinner, Marduke silent slipped aside to chant to his gods in order to seek their protection and healing. Branan offered to guard him while he chanted, an act for which he was rewarded later after the ritual had been completed—both Branan and Marduke felt rejuvenated by the invocation of Marduke’s god.

Meanwhile, Serine was able to decipher two names from both letters—Bellamin and Caruvial. Branan recognized Bellamin was the Royal Armorer to the Dwarf King—everyone else wondered what Caruvial had anything to do with all of this. After setting up a watch schedule, the group finally headed off to sleep.

The next morning, after breakfast and tending to the caravan drivers and horses, the group continued their journey to Anvil. At about the middle of the day they reach a watering hole (this was a stop that most caravans rested at, as it was pretty much the mid-way point between Anvil and Glitterhaegen. There they met another caravan leader who was surprised to hear of their ambush back outside of Glitterhaegen—according to him, this road was normally pretty quiet, seeing as how well traveled it is. He also told them stories (rumors, really) of living dungeons sprouting from the earth—he believed it was as sign of the fading power of the dwarves, an inability on their part to control the underworld. Eventually it was time to move on, and the group pushed on for Anvil.

As the evening came, the caravan stopped once more for dinner and rest. Serine continued working on translating the scrolls throughout the evening, while everyone else sat around the fire warming themselves and telling stories. Eventually they set up a watch schedule and headed off to bed.

On the third day they arose quickly and prepared to leave—they were anxious to finally get to Anvil that afternoon. After they had been traveling for a few hours, they came upon the smoldering wreckage of a wagon. Branan and Serine rode out on their horses to take a closer look—suddenly, from underneath the sand, two crazed bandits appeared—they were in a terrible state of disarray and the group was completely unable to reason with them.

A fight quickly ensued, although it was over in a flash—Marduke, Serine and Branan landed massively critical hits—even when bandit reinforcements arrived they were no match for the fighting prowess of our heroes. Taking one of the bandits longbow’s, they quickly organized the caravan and finally arrived at Anvil in the late afternoon.

After collecting the other half of their payment for protecting the caravan, and selling one of the extra horses at the stables, they set off for the Inn of a local merchant named Halfreck, who is good friends with Branan. After being warmly greeted by Halfreck with beer and food (and offered a deeply discounted stay for the evening) they finally had a chance to relax and catch up. Halfreck told them about the recent troubles on the Undermarch, and about how he had heard from a friend that Jamven Pegason entered the Undermarch about a day ago on his way to Forge. With full bellies and an action plan for the next day, the group finally retired for some much needed and deserved sleep.

View
Down the stairs we go--Part III
Why did we enchant those corpse slaves?

As the group stood there contemplating their next move, they heard the heavy thud of troops entering the large room that fed into the small chamber they were standing in. Realizing that they were going to have to fight their way out, they moved into the great hall to engage the approaching enemies.

At that moment, Mirko deeply regretted ever chanting that spell at the altar. Before them stood all seven of the reanimated corpses, now fully functioning zombie soldiers. Behind them, protected by some kind of force field stood Nucien, barking orders and casting spells.

The power of Nucien’s spells and the strength of the zombie soldiers proved too much for the group to overcome. Remulus did all he could to keep the group standing, but Nucien was able to counteract nearly every healing spell he cast. Mirko and Crulamin used every ounce of magic known to them against Nucien, but the spells simply bounced right off the force field that protected him—nothing was able to penetrate it. Thang and Baru knocked down as many zombies as they could, and yet more and more continued to appear from the depths of the dungeon.

As they surveyed the scene, Hobb and Aspen realized that they would not be able to win this fight. They called out to the group and ordered as quick a retreat as possible. Nucien, noticing their retreat (and determined to keep them trapped) cast a powerful spell that knocked out several support columns around the exit. As the room began to collapse around them, Thang threw his body underneath the crumbling doorway so that everyone else could safely make it out.

Mirko, who was the last to pass through the door, turned around and caught the last glimpse of Thang as he was buried underneath the rubble of the collapsing room. As the remaining six climbed up the stairs and entered the mausoleum, they quickly discerned that they didn’t have time to even stop and mourn the death of Thang. All around them, as if possessed by horrible spirits, the dead of the town of Badger began to rise from their graves. They could hear the voice of Nucien, now louder than ever, chanting throughout the town. As they fled for their lives they realized that the unthinkable had happened—the town of Badger had been corrupted by Nucien, and was, in front of their very eyes, turning into a hell hole.

Off at a safe distance they could hear the faint screams of the citizens of Badger who hadn’t made it out. An eerie light fell over the area, and suddenly it was quiet. Aspen was the first to break the silence—she murmured something about the High Druid and headed off. Mirko, the last to have seen Thang alive, wept silently and spoke of his desire to seek out the Blue Dragon for some deep questions he had. Baru, suddenly feeling the pain of having let the town of Badger descend into death and destruction, set out to find an agent of the Crusader so that he could figure out his next steps—Hobb asked if he could go with him, and after saying yes, they both set off together.

Crulamin and Remulus were the only two who remained, and they didn’t speak a word to one another for what seemed like an eternity. Then, without even offering a glance, Crulamin turned away from Badger and walked out into the darkness. Remulus, realizing he was alone, set off to Santa Cora to meet with the Priestess and hopefully find some peace to soothe his terrible grief.

View
Down the stairs we go--Part II
We should've taken the other door...

IMG_2157.JPGWith the group fully healed and recovered, they returned to the starting chamber and took the door to the right. As the path widened, they entered what appeared to be a storage room of old weapons and armor. After examining the room and realizing that there was nothing of any value, they pressed on. While walking through a narrow hallway, they came across what looked like a small landslide—they could tell that on the other side of the rubble was another room. Baru and Thang moved some of the larger rocks out of the way, creating a small hole for Mirko and Remulus to crawl through.

Inside the room, on each of the three walls, were “shelves” of corpses—they appeared to be fresh, unlike the many skeletons they had discovered in the other rooms. Finding nothing else of any interest in the room, they left and continued to push further into the dungeon, hoping that they would not come across any other rooms like this one.

Eventually they found a set of stairs that led down to a second level. The walls and floors of this level were very different from the floor above—it was made out of a very smooth stone, much like the stone that Hobb and Thang had been turned into when they opened the crypt in the mausoleum. The hallways they were in had torches on the wall—they each grabbed one and lit it, and quickly found themselves in an old, dusty library.

Old, dusty tomes lined the walls of the library, while a large table sat in the middle with various books piled high. Mirko and Remulus noticed that one book on the table was open—they recognized that the language of the book matched the Scroll of Azerul. Eager to discover the relationship between these two items, they sat down and began to try and translate it.

Meanwhile, the rest of the group moved further along the hallway. They discovered a room with what appeared to be several prison cells, each with long-dead victims inside. The group called out for Mirko to inspect the remains—he noticed that each person was killed by a powerful magical spell. Remulus, after making some headway translating the book, joined up with the group as they entered a large, mostly empty room.

As the light from their torches filled the space, they noticed a medium-sized, blood-stained altar at the back of the room. It had small lettering around the front of it—Mirko recognized it as the same writing that was in the book, and he offered a quick translation for the rest of the group. “With great sacrifice comes great power.”

Mirko chanted the inscription on the altar—nothing happened. Realizing that some sacrifice was needed, the group decided to send Thang back upstairs for one of the corpses they had previously discovered. When he returned, he placed it on the altar—Mirko chanted the words again—at first, nothing happened. Then, suddenly, the corpse sat up, staring off into the distance. Mirko, quickly remembering some of the other passages he had translated from the book in the library, mumbled a spell that caused the corpse to stand up and kneel before him.

Naturally, everyone else (except for Hobb and Thang) wanted their own personal corpse slave. Thang ran back upstairs, and after fetching a corpse for each person, they each chanted the spell, one by one receiving their own corpse slave. Since Hobb and Thang had no interest in participating, Mirko took command of the additional two.

Of course, it didn’t take very long for the group to realize that the spell was working against them. Each of them who had cast the spell was feeling weaker and weaker, while their corpse slave grew more lifelike and powerful. They each attacked their corpse slave, although seeing as how they were already dead, it had no effect. In desperation, they asked Thang to smash the altar, to see if that would do anything to break the curse. He was more than happen to smash—in fact, he smashed it so hard that the top of the altar completely broke, revealing a wand hidden within.

Mirko recognized the wand from the book back in the library, and surmised that it might be the item draining them of their life force and also the item that Nucien (the disembodied voice who had sent them on this quest) had requested them to retrieve. They quickly grabbed the wand, ran upstairs, and returned to the room that Nucien had told them to.

They placed the wand in the bowl of blood—immediately, the energy ceased being drained from their bodies. Suddenly, Nucien appeared in front of them—he thanked them for retrieving the wand, and also for the life force they had so graciously given to it that allowed him to take physical form. Off in the distance they could hear the rattling of old, rusty armor approaching. Realizing that Nucien had no plan to let them live, they braced themselves for the attack to come.

View
Caravan to Anvil, Part I
Alex only wants his fair share...

After pressing through the previous day and evening, the group finally arrived in Glitterhaegen as the sun was starting to go down. They returned to the Merchant’s Pub for dinner and rest, where Alex happily greeted them and graciously offered them food and place to stay (as is his custom, of course.) After a brief conversation with Alex (where, among other things, he shared with Branan that a messenger of the High Druid came looking for him) they all paid for rooms and got a good night’s rest.

In the morning, after purchasing additional supplies from Alex, they went over to Jamvin Pegason’s shop to see if they could get any additional information from his employees. As they approached, they heard a scuffle and muffled screaming from inside—drawing their weapons, they entered to discover the same group of dwarves that had crossed their path back in Shadow Port. Branan, wishing to avoid a bloody encounter, convinced the dwarves that they were not following them, and that it was coincidental that they had run into each other again. After some grumbling, the dwarves left. Jamvin’s employee was grateful for the assistance, although had no new additional information to give the group about Jamvin’s whereabouts.

The group decided that the best thing to do was to continue to head to Anvil. After visiting Darden, the local potion’s specialist in Glitterhaegen, Alatir and Marduke told the group that their friend, Finwick, might be able to offer them work protecting a caravan on its way to Anvil (work they had done many times in the past.) After meeting with Finwick, he directed them to Sardak, a local linen merchant, who hired them to protect a caravan which was just about to depart from Glitterhaegen.

After quickly meeting up with the caravan, they set out for Anvil, hoping (and praying) that the ride would be quick and without incident.

View
The Cave
It looks safe in there...let's go explore it!

The cave looked innocent enough, at least from the outside. However, as they ventured further in, the situation became more perilous. Alatir was poisoned by a flying dart, although he was healed by a potion the group found on the bodies of two corpses (most likely the two friends that Caruvial was talking about.) After being forced further into the cave (several doorways would become blocked by fast growing vines as they all passed through them), they were attacked by a group of giant ants. After battling their way through them with relatively ease, they approached a narrow hallway covered in spiderwebs. Rushing through the hallway, they entered a large room covered in thick webs.

After searching the room for an exit, Branan discovered that the narrow hallway they had just exited wasn’t just filled with spiderwebs—it was lined with pulsating egg sacs. Using his reliable burning hands spell, he dispatched the egg sacs with a great fireball—unfortunately, this attracted the attention of their protective mother, who came down on top of the group just as the last bit of fire in the hallway was going out.

Surprisingly, this great beast could speak—it was understandably upset about the killing of her young, and, after summoning additional giant ants, engaged them in a fierce battle. This was a rather difficult battle for the group—Branan, Marduke, and Serine were all knocked unconscious at one point, but fortunately Nerryn was there to help stabilize them. Even Alatir had difficulty at times, especially when it came to fighting off the poison of the great spider.

Eventually, the group defeated the great spider and the giant ants, although many recoveries had to be used to finish the battle. As they were rummaging about the wreckage of the fight, a loud, disembodied voice began to speak at them. Alatir, recognizing the language as elven, translated for everyone else. The voice lamented the destruction of his creatures living in the dungeon, and warned them that an even greater evil was lurking beneath the depths. The voice warned them never to return to this place again, unless they desired meeting death.

At that, they turned back and left the way they came in. They remembered activating a pressure plate that had caused a rumbling noise off in the distance. As they traversed the paths and rooms that had been blocked by the overgrown vines, they realized that the rumbling noise had opened those pathways up for them. They exited the cave in the late afternoon sun—they decided not to waste any more time, and hiked all night and the next day, arriving at Glitterhaegen around dusk.

View
Down the stairs we go--Part I
They couldn't possibly lead anywhere bad...

IMG_2160.JPGAs they headed down the stairs, they entered a small chamber with two doors. They decided to head to the left first, and come back to the door on the right later. The walls were made of thickly clumped dirt, and pieces of vine were interwoven throughout. As they moved further into the maze, they were suddenly in a large room, with a very high ceiling.

Because the ceiling was so high, Mirko casts his dancing lights spell in order to get a better look. They noticed that there were skeletons attached to the vines in this room, and that many of them had rather large gnaw marks on them. Above their heads, just out of reach, were many dark tunnels that emptied into the room. Off in the distance Aspen could hear the sound of scurrying feet.

They decided to take a closer a look at one of the tunnels, just to make sure that nothing was going to come out on top of them. Baru hoisted Mirko onto his shoulders and they carefully peered into the darkness—even with Mirko’s dancing lights the darkness of the tunnel stretched on for what seemed like an eternity.

Suddenly, several dire rats emerged from the tunnels and attacked. The group fought them off with relative ease, and decided that the only way to unfreeze Hobb and Thang was to keep moving forward.

They eventually entered a small room where the path ended. The room, like the previous ones, had several skeletons attached to the walls by vines. At the opposite end of the entrance was a medium sized stone table, with a marble bowl crafted into the center of it. Aspen went over to examine it, but on the way tripped and fell face first into the substance sitting in the bowl—it was blood.

As they continued to explore the room, a voice suddenly appeared from the silence. It welcomed them to his “home”, and told them it was so grateful that they had decided to willingly give themselves to him. Upon hearing this, they drew their swords, having little desire, of course, to willingly give themselves to anyone.

Several decrepit skeletons jumped off the walls, and an imp appeared before their very eyes. The battle was grueling, and Mirko nearly died. After the last skeleton and imp had been destroyed, the voice re-appeared—impressed by their victory over his minions, he offered them a deal—in return for releasing Hobb and Thang, all the group had to do was to find an artifact lost in the dungeon and return to him in this room. Realizing that this was probably the only way they would safely get Hobb and Thang returned to them, they agreed.

They returned to the first chamber and took the door to the right, having no idea where it was leading them…

View
The Cemetery
Nothing ever goes wrong in a cemetery

As the gates slowly swung open, Aspen, Baru, Crulamin, Hobb, Mirko, and Thang cautiously entered the grounds of the cemetery. Remulus, having a general fear of cemeteries, remained just outside the gate, watching his comrades explore the cemetery grounds.

As the group wondered around, they didn’t initially notice anything out of place. As they headed further in, they came upon three large mausoleums situated against the back wall. They noticed that the iron door to the center one was partially open, so they decided to investigate further. Inside they discovered five crypts, two along each side wall and a fifth one against the back wall.

Baru, Hobb, and Thang noticed that there was an inscription on the front of the crypt in the back—they approached it slowly, to make sure that they did not trip any traps. Upon closer inspection, they were able to decipher the inscription:

Take care and heed these words,
That even Adventurers with great courage,
Face certain death and peril from the great hordes,
Lying within this great, deep cage.

Naturally, they decided to open the crypt. As the lid was removed, a sudden burst exploded from the crypt, freezing Hobb and Thang where they stood. Baru just barely missed being struck—he yelled for his friends to come and join him, and they all entered the crypt to see what had happened (except of course for Remulus who remained outside the cemetery gates.)

As they surveyed the scene, they noticed that there was no body inside the crypt—rather, there were a set of stone stairs that led deep down into the darkness. Wary of any further traps, Aspen shot an arrow down the dark stairs—it landed somewhere down in the darkness—nothing happened. Worried that they might trigger something on the steps, they opened a second crypt in the mausoleum, removed the corpse’s skull, and rolled it down the stairs—still, nothing happened.

Sensing that the only way to save their two friends who had just been frozen was to head down the stairs, the four decided to go down into the darkness. Mirko summoned a small light, and they began to make their way down. As they reached the bottom, they stepped on a small pressure plate that the arrow and the skull had not triggered. A few moments later, Remulus came running down the stairs—the plate had brought some skeletons in the cemetery to life, who had chased him into the safety of the mausoleum with the rest of his friends.

Together, the five searched the darkness, hoping to find a way to save their two friends left behind in the crypt above…

View
Back to Glitterhaegen
We should vacation in the Bitterwood more often!

IMG_2052.JPGAfter recovering from their fight in Shadow Port, the group headed back to Shadow’s Run to gather any additional information they could about Jamven. The manager had a pretty lengthy conversation with Branan who came back to the group and told them that Jamven had left Shadow Port the previous day and was on his way to Anvil. Branan told them that the fastest way back was to head to Glitterhaegen and catch a caravan up to Anvil. After stopping at the Dancing Firefly for a bit and some local shops, they took the ferry from Shadow Port Landing back to the Bitterwood Landing and started the walk to Glitterhaegen.

After finding a quiet and safe place to camp for the night, they sat around the campfire telling stories of all the events that had already happened on their short quest. They were even regaled by Branan with the sad, sad story of Yamvin Pegason…a man who learned a difficult lesson at the hands of the Shadow Prince.

As the campfire went out, Serine cast a protective spell over their encampment and they all fell into a deep sleep.

In the early morning hours, just before dawn, they were all awoken to the sound of alarms—someone or something had tripped the protective spell that Serine had placed around them the night before. Sensing it was probably best to move on, they packed up their belongings and continued along the trail to Glitterhaegen.

As they were walking they suddenly heard a noise just off the road—investigating it further, they discovered a small cave opening covered in thick vines. Thinking this might be the cave that Caruvial was talking about, they ventured inside.

View

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