Sparrowfax

We're Back, Baby!
  • We head to see Rialtis
  • Even before we see hut, sense something has happened recently, from tracks
  • Come across corpse of recently deceased lady Eladrin, she’s dead from weapon attacks, she has no weapons, she’s just outside Rialtis’ head
  • Looks like this attack happened in the last 12 to 24 hours
  • Alex casts object reading on the poor dead lady’s shirt
  • Also, axe wound and sword wounds showing on poor dead lady
  • Tracks, at least two medium and one large creatures, boot tracks, leading away from PDL
  • Inside hut, some rummaging has been done, but not much in there – bed, table, pot, etc.
  • Doesn’t look like any fighting happened in hut, looks like it was rummaged after
  • Search around, looks like these attackers circled around hut in premeditated manner, attacked, and Rialtis tried to fight them off, looks like magical fighting occurred, can’t tell if just Rialtis or if attackers too, Rialtis is not here, PDL was left here to die
  • No dragging marks
  • Alex sees:
    1. image of a very large ogre with large branch, and three medium-sized orcs, two with axes and one with sword – attacked PDL
    2. image of Rialtis, strongly tinged with affection, of Rialtis using fire to fight off attacker – last sight
    3. image of market stall in large unknown city where dress bought
    4. image of Rialtis emerging from forest with bucket, heading to where she’s kneeling by water, knows area, where he fetched water from while training with Rialtis – first time seen in this dress
    5. image of pushing aside berries looking for berries to gather, handbasket at feet – typical activity in this dress
  • Ogres often make their lairs in thinly settled borderlands—places where they can find homesteads to pillage and travelers to waylay, but wild enough to discourage pursuit. They favor desolate hills and dark forests. Left to their own devices, ogres live in small hunter-gatherer bands that separate or move on when they use up the easily available food sources of an area. They prefer pillage and theft to actual hunting or gathering. Ogres are lazy and surly creatures, but powerful masters sometimes put them to work as menial laborers. The brightest ogres sometimes seek out work as mercenaries, and might accumulate arms and armor far better than those of the typical ogre. They like big weapons that make good use of their size and strength—greataxes, morningstars, or heavy flails. Ogres are fast, the orcs are good with ranged attacks
  • Jay follows tracks leading away, we all follow
  • Reach dark passageway into hillside, it’s like a ruined temple into the ground, like Angkor Wat
  • Jay goes to entranceway, then we all join him, he scouts ahead into the pitch black entryway with glowing coin
  • Jay eventually finds a door with light seeping underneath
  • We go in and enter into a food fight with 3 orcs and 3 ogres
  • Orc says Coptira (?) is going to be mad at him, then he dies horribly at Jay’s hands
  • Ghinther successfully kills an ogre with fewer than 8 hit points simply by being in his presence and chatting with him.
  • The battle is not actually that terribly challenging. We beat them into an inch of their lives, then let Jay and Peter “take the kills”.
  • We search room, find bones and flesh, etc. It’s gross.
  • We go through another set of doors and find yet more orcs, ogres. They’re praying.
  • This fight is harder. I kind of wish I hadn’t blown a daily on that last fight.
  • We run into ogre warhulk, he’s fast and very strong, does flail damage
  • Also run into ogre skirmisher, can do javelin and smash attack once per turn, he moves a lot
  • Ogre warhulk refers to Coptilla(?), who will get us.
  • The warhulk takes FOREVER. JEEZUS!
  • Jay rolls four times and STILL MISSES! A banner day for our foes.
  • Orc dragon dies off-screen
  • We short-rest.
  • Clare leaves to play with her real friend
  • we find 2 silver bracelets (100gp each) and gold bracelet (250gp) and 2 potions of healing from disabling braziers that make us sick for not apologizing soon enough to an unknown god. Yeah.
  • Find room with Rialtis caught in a ghost trap with two zombie hulks that just won’t stay dead.
  • Coptira shows up and does annoying zombie-orge-hulky things.
  • Ghost buster trap disabled, and Rialtis shoots madonna’s ray of light at them.
  • They die finally
  • Ghost dad magically makes a headband of intellect for Varik, and a Cloak of Survival for Voronwe, and then goes off to party with Obi Wan, Yoda, and Anakin near a big bonfire.
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Stunn(ed)(ing) Fighters, Sleeping Dragon
  • Tasha puts together a to-do list
  • We go back home to Sparrowfax
  • Rendell Halfmoon, in his gratitude, has arranged free passage on a ship for us
  • Night before we leave, Varik has disturbing dreams of his former master seeking help, wakes with the sense that he’s in danger
  • About 1/3 way downriver and then another couple days travel by foot to where the dude is
  • Alex says he has to leave his training early to go fight Lando in Cloud City. I mean Rialtis.
  • We make enough potions so that everyone has a potion of healing.
  • We get on the boat, get off, Alex sends an animal messenger.
  • We set up camp the first night, no difficulties. We hear regular animal noises, etc., but nobody does anything to us.
  • A couple of hours into the walk the next day, Pherakas gets a sense that something tugging at her, in a different direction from everyone else. Gets a sense that it’s some form of divine guidance. It feels like a strong calling, and it gets stronger as time passes.
  • Varik is heading Northwest, and the call is from the East.
  • We have at least one more day’s travel to get to Varik’s friend’s house. If Alex’s little animal friend has a return message, he can find Alex.
  • We all head east to follow the call of Sehanine.
  • Travel through hilly, forested terrain, pass by iron mine.
  • Off into the distance, see a path, and pass by cabins. Cabins are old and crappy. Seem old, from old culture. Ornately carved, but collapsed. Others are rickety old woodsman’s sheds. Looks like two different groups, from two separate civilizations, have lived here over time.
  • Approach clearing with buildings ahead.
  • Find town, it is where Pherakas needs to do something.
  • The town is of the more ornate style, but still old and crappy. There’s an old temple-like building, with moons and luck symbols on it
  • Looky, looky, we run into a large black adult dragon. It resists poison, can swim and fly, bites and claws have reach 2, it’s breath is acidic, it’s tail is a fearsome weapon,it can instill fear in its enemies, and it can create zones of darkness to interrupt lines of sight
  • Temple is in pristine shape, appears to be calling to Clare to make own luck. Recognise Sehanine, but old-timey statue.
  • Pray at Sehanine’s feet, get +2 to attacks and damage until end of encounter
  • Alex tries to calm down the dragon, he gets pissy. The fight is clearly on.
  • Alex puts it to sleep and we whale on him. He has unending fucking hitpoints. He wakes up and we start dying.
  • We finally kill him.
  • Find nothing on dragon. Peter rips out his fangs to keep as a souvenir.
  • We find dragon hoard. 300 gp worth of gems, 200 gp statue, 700 gp in coins
  • Clare meditates and prays at statue. Sehanine praises her for her valour, finds her worthy devotee. Offers for choice to bless armour or weapons. Clare chooses sword.
  • Sehanine thanks us, warns us that we’ll be needing her blessing in times to come. She feels she has found a strong champion.
  • We took a three hour detour from the trail to come here.
  • We call it for the night.
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Arvind to the Rescue! (Words you never thought you'd say...)
  • Arvind recovers from his state and teleports to join us. Healing! Healing!
  • The fight rages on.
  • OMG, we bloodied the warder!
  • Jay kills the warder when Tash commands him to attack while they’re both prone, it’s pretty awesome.
  • We whale on Paldemar. He bravely runs away.
  • He goes into a little room and magically shuts the door. Breaking down is initially unsuccessful. Alex determines that it has been arcanely locked. We spend some time whaling on it and, in the end, the inanimate object does not defeat us.
  • We enter and continue to whale on Paldemar. There’s a curtain around the southwest corner of the room, assuming our maps are always oriented North up.
  • We kill Paldemar, rather than taking him back to the wizards
  • find 1000 gold pieces, staff +2 (Paldemar’s staff), find a blank book, go through bookshelves and find three books that are not blank: ritual book (arcane lock, brew potion, secret chest); ritual book (incomplete ritual, in middle of being invented, appears to be to draw power from one mage to another, seems to involve necromancy); map book, which contains map of Forest of Memories – scribbled full of notes, falls open to this page, “seek Rothar”, plus ID’s magic places, plus half of the Forest is circled, “Find City of Argent!!!!”; elves know this as mythical city like Shangri-La
  • on Shoda Kava, find robes and a dagger
  • Tasha blubbers by Shoda Kava’s body, puts genitals in his mouth, cuts off head and takes it with her
  • Shuffling through papers, find drawing of Paldemar with Dryanne holding hands, looking much younger
  • Take a while, disenchant the place, then head back to 7PH and find Aurontor
  • He’s happy to see us, we show him corpses, tell him what happened. I mean, Alex shows him using the powers of illusion.
  • Tasha mails the skull head to Shoda Kava’s family.
  • Aurontor permanently waives our tithing, then gives us rope of climbing
  • The guy whose boar we found gives us 200 gp gem
  • Rendell and mom offer us free stay whenever we come by
  • The dwarf we sent mining is happy, all is going well, he will forward money for us to Alex’s cousin
  • We wrap for the night
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The Cleric is Magically Drunk!
  • After we teleport, Arvind is magically drunk or caught in that Superman II prison or something. Either way, he’s rendered useless.
  • Clare babysits him for the first fight.
  • We fight another Bronze warder, and more Norkers and Enigmas of Vecna show up.
  • We knock ‘em out like chumps, yo.
  • There’s a room with a Bronze warder head in corrosive liquid. We leave Arvind there for fun.
  • Clare takes Arvind’s potions off him.
  • There’s a room with a summoning circle. Alex deactivates it and an imp pops out.
  • Imp is smashed pretty quickly.
  • We teleport to next section.
  • Shoda Kava is in a room where Vecna was apparently the interior designer.
  • Norkers and A bronze warder join the fun.
  • There’s an annoying statue which dazes people, and a giant skull that spits fire.
  • Oh great, Paldomar has joined the party.
  • We use two potions of healing
  • As we end, we’re still in the middle of a fight – warder and Paldomar remain.
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one eyed one horned flying purple people eater
  • Marc is dead to us
  • Note: Ajax also has scar on his hand from last time
  • Arvind loans bracers of defense to clare
  • silver key pulling toward shining road
  • We hand over letter to Orontor. He makes a funny face.
  • mages are oathbound not to directly interfere with one another
  • Says there are norkers in them thar hills
  • Teaches us detect secret doors ritual
  • Says we don’t have to pay the tithe as a reward
  • Alex enchants a bunch of items for dudes
  • We follow the key into a cave map
  • Orcus talks smack through a Goblin death priest
  • Goblin AMBUSH!
  • we kill a swarm of goblins in 2 rounds
  • get 321 gp and potion of healing (jay takes the potion)
  • Oh yeah, did we forget to mention that Shodokava dudes spotted in town? Oh well.
  • Follow key to tower. A magic doorway appears.
  • There’s a teleportation circle, and a vision of vecna appears to test us.
  • EPIC FAIL!
  • we lose 2 surges, 1 encounter power, 1 daily power for duration of dungeon
  • we teleport into a room with pillars with faces. Some gagged, some blindfolded. Annoying screaming.
  • Fight norkers and annoying enigmas of vecna who control the pillars.
  • Get onyx (800gp) and Quartz eye (500gp)
  • we teleport to new room
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The Final Countdown (Doodoo dooooo doo..... Doodoodoodoodoo.)
  • Clare is off getting drunk, and Marc is off being Marc
  • We sleep and then drink anti-poison drink
  • we go to the four different areas and put the items in the magic circle thingees
  • Traps turn on: turrets, black force sphere, screaming idols, elemental vortex, and annoying grabby skeletons
  • Green dragon comes up from pit
  • We learn all about green dragon lore in theory, but never see it in practice because the dragon is put to sleep and we wail on its unconscious body for three turns until it is dead.
  • Natasha commands Jay to make the killing blow. Sorry, Peter.
  • We get to stone door (after going through annoying skeleton traps) where mist is coming out.
  • Door opens. Short rest.
  • We enter hallway and go into next room.
  • There is some ritual going on with half-dead slaves.
  • Bad guys: Evistros, Balgura, Giant Minotaur Skeleton, Winged gnoll Maldrick Scarmonger leader dude
  • FIGHT!
  • Jay and Scarmonger go toe to toe.
  • Scarmonger gives Jay a burning M-triangle scar on his hand. Jay gives Scarmonger death.
  • Arvind’s new nickname is “Coach”
  • Peter rages and then dirtnaps a couple times, periodically being healed by Natasha and Arvind.
  • We all beat on the dudes, and they eventually die.
  • We find +2 elven cloak, ornate silver key, and a pouch of letters on Scarmonger.
  • Letters say Paldomar and dude made an alliance, want to topple the mages, sacrifice to Vecna, and there’s a place called the Tower of Mysteries (Dun dun dun!)
  • I assume we heal Peter up and free the slaves.
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Bloods 'n' Cryp(t)s
  • No Tasha, no Marc, but Alex has a new token, so it all comes out in the wash
  • We enter into the screaming pillar room.
  • Turns out, the screaming pillar mouths can also spit acid.
  • We run around and get poisoned. There’s an altar, with a bell on it, in the southeastern corner of the room.
  • As Alex approaches the altar, demons start appearing – a big one by the altar, little ones from each pillar.
  • The little ones are Evistros, elemental demons, they do extra damage against bloodied targets; they get more powerful when they can swarm and have allies adjacent to targets; resistance 10 against first type of damage they take for the rest of the encounter.
  • Big demon is a Barlgura, we’ve fought before.
  • Lots of fighting. Lots of grabbing. Jay does a cheater amount of damage. Clare rolls 1 damage. Repeatedly.
  • Bell is covered with glyphs, made of gold, handle made of bone, along its lengths are sharp steel spikes. Clare grabs it when there’s only one bad guy left. Spikes drive into her hand, and it is stuck to her. When the spikes enter her hand, a magical clapper appears.
  • Clare finds a loose tile under the altar, displaces it and finds a 1000 gp emerald
  • We run from the screaming pillar room
  • There were 2 slaves from horned hold taken here by gnolls, the magical voice of memory reminds us
  • We have 3 of 4 items
  • We throw cosh into the wind, forgo a long sleep, and go to blood room
  • Blood pools are 6 ft deep and 5 ft down; pools are difficult terrain
  • We try to use discs to float across pools of blood, but there is a force that pushes the discs back to the landing
  • We can see that the two minotaur statues have bloodstains on their whips, and articulated upper limbs, so they clearly have reach and can move
  • As Arvind and Jay enter the blood, the minotaur statue awakens
  • Can disable statue if do 4 successful thievery checks, dc 20, before 2 failures; it does a burst attack, range 7
  • We also take 1d10 poison damage from blood pool, and ongoing 5, plus -2 to defences, but luckily everyone drank the resist 5 poison drink from the other room
  • Peter awesomely jumps from landing to statue to landing, thereby getting across safely but activating some more retarded Evistros to fight those of us in the blood
  • The Evistros appear to heal from standing in the blood. As they would.
  • We bring the noise and the pain. We kill them. One by one. Slowly. This battle may never end.
  • Jay spends many turns trying to climb up onto a platform to get a knife, and then Alex comes and mage hands it without difficulty.
  • Then Alex gets the other part of the knife.
  • We combine the blade and the hilt, it becomes the bloodhorn blade; +3 magic dagger, pushes 3 squares when hits, or your attack push if greater; emits howling roar of minotaur when pushes; if attacker fails saving throw, enters blood frenzy and attacks nearest person, friend or foe
  • we stop for night
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Enforced Introspection!
  • We explore south/east. Fight some more.
  • Demonic gnoll: gives allies extra attacks if bloodies foes; gets strength if attacks with group of allies.
  • Also Bar Ghoura (sp?), a demon elemental we’ve fought before. It’s fast, slams ground, when it gets bloodied it gets more powerful, has reach.
  • Also tall, armoured tiefling, with shortsword, joins us in attacking big guy.
  • Introduces self as Azkelak, has brother Katal with him. They say they were looking for treasure, ended up here, were negotiating with gnolls for their lives when we showed up.
  • Peter and Tash stay with the suspicious tieflings, the rest of us search.
  • Find small book, bound in leather, on altar – “A Treatise on the Cult of Baphomet” – how to properly revere Baphomet, etc.
  • Find chest, key around gnoll’s neck; inside, gold necklace inlaid with rubies and diamonds worth 400 gp, jade bracelet worth 100 gp, and 62 gp in pouch; shadowfell gloves level 6
  • Talk to tieflings – they were captured a couple days ago, only managed to keep lives by quick wits; willing to help us for fair share of treasure; stumbled upon this place; adventuring in labyrinth for quite some time; snared by tentacle beast in first room; they are blades for hire looking for glory; from Wild Hills; former slaves who have fled from captivity, survived eking out meagre existence until realised this would be better; were born into slavery, escaped quite young, had been working mines as children, but fled during riot
  • Azkelak knows of Maldrick Scarmaker; when he was talking to demonic priest, he mentioned that Scarmaker wanted to rededicate the inner sanctum, asked if they were willing to help; has no idea where Scarmaker or inner sanctum are
  • We let them come with us, and continue searching.
  • We enter room with blood all over the floor, bloody altar, rune circle, pillars – lesser temple place
  • It leads to a place with lots of rooms leading into new rooms, find cells, with minotaur skeletons chained to the floors/walls; they appear to have been tortured
  • We this was once a monastery dedicated to Baphomet; some of the minotaurs of labyrinth worshipped Baphomet above all other gods and demons; when labyrinth fell to ruin, this remained a centre of Baphomet rule for centuries, but they appear to be gone now; now, appears gnoll wants to rededicate the temple to Yeenoghu
  • Run into room with mirrors on pillars, magic traps that teleport us, can defeat them by destroying them or closing our eyes; they don’t affect the undead
  • Before we figure this out, several party members are transported into a room with a crazy gnoll and no exit; they kill the gnoll
  • Ghinther puts on a mask and becomes Jim Carrey, and becomes so goddamn annoying that the missing party members get transported back out of the mystery room to the entrance to the mirror trap room
  • We kill skeletons, Peter careens around attacking pillars
  • The mask gives Arvind darkvision. He tries to get Jay to wear it, but Jay refuses ‘cause it’s unclean. Our cleric seems unperturbed by this.
  • As we move on to next door, see blue spirit of minor demon, introduces self as Krazit; emissary from court of Demogorgon; eager to see both Yeenoghu and Baphomet suffer; they’re rivals for souls, would like to see the damage we do continue
  • He offers answers to any 3 questions for either 600 gp or the whole party has to lose another healing surge in this Well of Demons.
  • We decline.
  • Alex knows everything there is to know about green dragons, but Vinny hasn’t actually told us yet.
  • Come to a door that has a lot of magic on the other side of it. Open door, find two pools of blood, two huge bronze minotaur statues, dark things seething beneath the surface of the water. At back of room, two pedestals rising out of blood, one with blade (at top), other with hilt.
  • We decide to leave this room for now and come back later.
  • Go to the south, enter tiny room with 4th and final rune circle. Contains pools of various colours. Purple pool gives anyone who goes in rage, taking +1 to attack and -2 to reflex and AC; blue pool we can’t tell; aquamarine pool we can’t tell; black pool gives ongoing 5 poison damage, save ends. Arvind drinks from blue pool, no effect. Arvind drinks from aquamarine pool, senses he can resist poison for some time. We all sadly give up our plans to rid ourselves of him.
  • Everyone drinks the anti-poison pool, get resist 5 poison for an hour. Alex drinks from purple pool, lasts for next encounter.
  • Open last doors, enter Hall of Howling something or other. Oh, Pillars. Presumably we will eventually come upon the Hall that requires us not to speak, to complete the triumvirate.
  • We end there. Next time: rolling initiative!
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Challenge! (credit to Bill Cosby)
  • No Alex, no Marc. Also, No justice, no peace.
  • We found two scrolls on one of the tieflings, as well as an amulet to control the warder, but he’s dead so it’s no good. Plus we don’t know the command word(s).
  • One scroll says: “I don’t care how you do it, but deal with these adventurers. Take one of the bronze warders if you must. If they remain in the Labyrinth, they could disrupt my plans. Once you’ve dealt with them, deliver their bodies to our gnoll friends, along with the enclosed scroll. Paldemar”
  • Second scroll: has a wax seal bearing an ornate letter “P.” The scroll reads as follows: “To Maldrick Scarmaker, Exalted Chieftain of the Blackfangs and Chosen of Yeenoghu: Paldemar offers you the corpses of these champions as a gift of ongoing friendship, that our arrangement might continue to be mutually beneficial. May you savor their blood. Your friend and ally, Paldemar”
  • We determine that Yeenoghu is a lesser demon of Baphomet
  • We interrogate the remaining tiefling
  • Paldemar said to kill us
  • he was to deliver us to Meldrick
  • doesn’t know where Paldemar or Meldrick is
  • he was supposed to go to rom and set off signal to indicate he had us
  • he seems on the up and up, 29 insight check
  • has been serving Paldemar several months now, doesn’t know Paldemar’s goal
  • is Zanmar, one of the many who live in the Labyrinth, until Paldemar chose him to rise above the others
  • knows nothing of Duergar, doesn’t deal with them
  • says we should let him go or Paldemar send a rescue. We laugh.
  • We go to room and light lantern and hang, as he directed was the sign he was supposed to give
  • Jay hides outside room
  • 15 minutes after lantern lit, Jay sees a large grey cat, lynx-like, not tiger-like
  • cat enters room, says “the key is in the map and the map is in the scroll”, and then turns to walk away
  • Jay follows for a couple of minutes, nothing happens, we decide it was just under a spell
  • Jay searches scroll case, nobody finds anything
  • We scratch our heads, get nothing
  • We ask tiefling what the message means; he says he doesn’t know, one of the tieflings we killed was the puzzle master. He has no idea how to help us.
  • We go back to 7PH
  • We go speak to Aurantor, who asked us to look into Paldemar, we tell him he’s joined the dark side, hiring people to kill us
  • He is shocked, says this bodes ill for mages and 7PH because Paldemar is one of their most powerful members; seems he has finally decided to betray them all, he asks for more detail
  • He has not heard the name of Meldrick Scarmaker or Yeenoghu
  • We tell him we were attacked by tieflings and a warder, about the scrolls
  • He knows about the Blackfangs, they’re bad dudes, often capture dwarves and explorers, they’re demon-worshippers and likely do horrible things to them
  • Beseeches us to investigate further
  • Believes the only interaction people in 7PH would have with gnolls would be knowing someone who was captured
  • Recognises handwriting on scrolls and on note that sent us there, all Paldemar’s handwriting
  • We tell him of map message, he does some magic on the scrolls, says it’s beyond his scrolls – something non-magically trapped in scroll; knows nothing of gnoll cryptology, but recommends Turlin, the renowned guide guy with a daughter at the inn; he has returned and we should check at inn
  • We enter skill challenge – Three chapters, with three segments each. During each segment, we get a primary skill involved. DC 20 to pass. Each of us rolls against it, and the number of successes will be passed. +2 to that segment’s primary skill. Can pick another skill if your character would do something else, but have to convince Vinny. At end of segments, will sum all victories. Have to have reached 8 or more victories. Have to pass 8/15 challenges. 6 or 7 is partial victory. Less than 6 is failure. In 2nd chapter, if we passed the first chapter, we get +1; +0 if partial; -1 if fail. Natural 20 counts as two successes. Only once throughout process can we burn Action Point.
  • First: find Turlin. Primary skill is streetwise. At inn, we find out he has come back. He generally, upon return, he takes his daughter somewhere secluded and spends time with her. DANGER WILL ROBINSON. That shit is dodgy. ANYWAY, primary skill is streetwise. We spread out, try various skills. We talk to Rendall, his mom, various folk.
  • Clare wins only success. Rendall, though reluctant, advises us that Turlin usually hangs out in one of the upper pigeonholes. 2 successes.
  • Second: climb up to Pigeonholes. Primary skill is Athletics. 3 successes. Tasha and Jay spend action points.
  • We find Turlin and his daughter playing a game. Turlin is not pleased to see us disrupting his creepy alone time with his daughter, but he’s willing to listen to us.
  • Third: we have to convince Turlin to help us. Diplomacy is primary skill. 2 successes. Turlin is willing, if not overly eager, to assist us. We show him scrolls, tell him everything. He looks at scroll, says he knows what it is, rummages in pack and pulls out stick, burns it, lets smoke wash over both scrolls. On back of message to tieflings, map appears with several symbols, etc.
  • END OF FIRST CHAPTER: partial victory. ON TO SECOND CHAPTER. Turlin takes us out of pigeonholes, down to ground, he says we have to figure out what map means because he doesn’t know.
  • First: Dungeoneering to interpret partial map. Turlin is willing to participate, so we get additional role with +12. Looks like map, with symbols, nothing we recognise. Don’t know if it looks like minotaur language. 4 successes. We have kind of an idea of what the map looks like, Turlin thinks there are a couple of places it might be, but he’s not sure which. Definitely if we could get more of the history, of minotaur explorations, it would be helpful.
  • Second: History. Clare asks Vadriar to help, he agrees to assist us with an extra roll. 2 successes. Vadriar recognises a couple of religious symbols, so he asks us for help identifying those.
  • Third: Religion. Arvind asks Philedra, priestess of Temple, agrees to help us with an extra roll. 6 successes. Turlin thinks he knows exactly where this is, but he has to charge us to guide us. He’s only neutral to us, though interested in helping, it will cost us 2000 gold. We ask the Auruntor to help us with cost. He says he can give us 250 gp. We offer to front the cost now, if he gives us money later. We take his 250, plus 1750 from the commie bank, give to Halfmoon Inn lady.
  • Find path without any trouble, we travel, map starts to make more and more sense as we get closer. Find location – hill full of loose debris, very high, in large natural cavern.
  • END OF SECOND CHAPTER: victory. ON TO SECOND CHAPTER.
  • First: Acrobatics check to get up hill. 1 success. We make a lot of noise and have a difficult time; make it to the top rather worse for wear. Start to feel sense of unease overcome us; sense of danger. Turlin has not accompanied us up to top, his job is over, though he wishes us best of luck. See a sheer wall at the top, where we would expect to see opening of cavern.
  • Second: Insight check. 4 successes. Everyone who passed recognises the illusion of the wall and can walk through it. Tasha, who failed, is unable to wrap her mind around the fact that there is a wall there so she cannot walk through. On the other hand, there’s a door in wall, inscribed on it in red paint appear to be hand prints.
  • Third: Arcana check. 3 successes. Clare uses an action point. We manage to open door.
  • END OF THIRD CHAPTER: victory.
  • When door opens, we all feel sense of dread physically affecting us. As soon as door opens, illusion is dispelled in surge of red light, so Tasha can see everything. While in well of demons, we all lose on healing surge.
  • We enter square chamber, 5 posts with leering minotaur faces, well to southeast corner; two hallways leading out, one to south and one to east
  • We hear a message in a minotaur voice, each in our native tongue:
  • We see creatures on the ceiling. When they see we have noticed them, they attack.
  • They are cavern chokers. They’re not tough, but have reach, good at grabbing and choking people, very stealthy, good at hiding – chameleon-like. No specific vulnerabilities or resistances.
  • Ghoul enters, undead, vulnerable 5 radiant, resist 10 necrotic.
  • Then tentacles erupt from ground, spraying rocks, flailing in all directions. Tries to grab everyone within reach. It’s a Felgar, large natural beast, if you’re grabbed you take acid damage, it has threatening reach of 4 squares.
  • We defeat all but 1 cavern choker, who then squeezes into crack and runs away
  • We take a short rest. Then we head south, perception checks along the way.
  • The door to the right (east) has demon shit all over it, and is closed (at end of east hallway).
  • We come upon bloodstained floor. Cold, we shiver involuntarily. Ghostly figures raise from floor, raise hands in greeting. Valdrog (male human with black beard, clad in chainmail ripped in half); Sir Terris (dwarven paladin of Pelor, group’svaliant defender, keeps his faceplate down); Mendera (an elf, wearing green robes, is scarred and singed). Spirits greet us and ask us what we seek.
  • We can get up to 12 successes before 3 failures. Primary: arcana, athletics, diplomacy, dungeoneering. Secondary: bluff, intimidate, insight.
  • successes: 8
  • failures: 3
  • Spirits are relatively convinced that we will do some good, find us trustworthy. Explain that this area is where they were killed.
  • They tell us: “This place is the Proving Grounds, a testing place for worshipers of the demon lord Baphomet. You must find four items: a knife, a mask, a bell, and a book. You must place each of these items on one of four circles of runes found in this complex. The items must be placed on the runes at the exact same time. Three of the items are held within chambers built to test Baphomet’s worshipers. You can find these chambers to the north, west, and south of where we now stand, through these eastern double doors and then through another set of double doors that leads to the west. The fourth item, the book, is on an altar in a small shrine to the east. To the east of the Proving Grounds is the inner sanctum. Its door opens only when the proper ceremony is completed. The items used for the ceremony disappear if you try to remove them from the Well of Demons, and upon completion of the ceremony, they return to their former locations. Completing this ceremony summons the terrible Guardian and activates several traps in the area. The Guardian is a green dragon imprisoned here. It can swoop past its prey and attack. It emerges from a great pit in the center of the complex.
  • We go back to main room. Peter goes down well to check it out; just looks like an empty well.
  • We go to doors on right/east, and open them. Stench of death permeates. Yay.
  • The fight is on.
  • We’re fighting hyenas and gnoll-like creatures. Probably gnolls, all things considered.
  • We search rooms. Find 45 gold in mess hall; in bunker room, find small cache of treasure: 76 gp and topaz worth 150 gp. Looks like rest area and kennel.
  • We go south, find another set of double doors leading off the hallway to the west. Hear something moving in room; same sounds we heard coming from the area we just cleared.
  • Walls of door are covered in faded pix of minotaurs fighting each other and other creatures. Large direboar changed to floor, which is covered in arrows and blood. Hyenas circle it. Can see Direboar is a trained animal. Remember Ulfhand Deephand used to have pet direboar, which he lost.
  • Crude walls made of bales of hay across room, 4 feet high.
  • We kill everything. Then we calm the direboar, then heal him, so he’s stabilized. We can’t get him to follow our instructions, so we free him and send him home, hoping he’s okay. We search the room, finding nothing.
  • We end for the night. Still lots of areas to search, need to find the 4 items.
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It's a Trap! But We Go In Anyway...
  • Only Marc isn’t here.
  • Cold shadows fill room. Fierce demonic minotaur statute in centre of room. Broken shit all over the floor. Rusty iron door on western wall. Dead human warrior lurches forward. It sounds pretty gross. Has claws on its rotting hand. It’s a Wight: fast, does necrotic damage, you can lose healing surges, it’s vulnerable to radiant damage, it resists poison and disease damage.
  • We actually kill them quite easily. Yay radiant damage!
  • Search room. We find nothing, except find that door is locked and jammed. Nirlit opens it without incident.
  • Check minotaur statues. Remember from discussion with Vadriar (who we saved at minotaur place), realise that statue is skeletal-looking with greataxe, is minotaur version of grim reaper
  • Door opens to hallway, find alcoves with recessed chambers above each other, some bodies embalmed in them
  • Bodies are minotaurs, nothing unusual about them, they have only routine standard items
  • Further down hallway, two more alcoves, stone wall that appears standard; air in room appears very stale and still, as though undisturbed for a very long time
  • We still have the goblin slave; he begs for his life, swears he wants revenge on Bloodreavers, our super insight check says he’s honest and just wants to save his own hide. We let him go, tell him if we ever fight again, we will not be kind to him. Alex tells him where the Grimmerzhul Trading House is so he can make trouble there.
  • We apparently killed the two guys we followed from 7PH.
  • We return to the 7PH without difficulty
  • As you return into town, walking openly and triumphantly.
  • We see one of the slaves we freed; comes up and shakes our hand and is grateful. Says most of the slaves are here; some couldn’t stand to be in the caves, so they fled the Labyrinth. His name is Eric. The dwarven slaves who worked for Ulfhand went back to see him and are resting in his residence. The rest are all in the Pigeonholes. Doesn’t know specifically how many are there.
  • We give them money. Tasha gives them 9 sp.
  • Half-orc comes up, wants to shake our hands. This will be Peter’s new character. He is naked, but is wearing equipment. For some reason. Uh huh.
  • Arvind, Jay and Peter take sceptre to Gendar the dark elf dude. He offers them 300 gp for it. Arvind tries to get information out of him at the same time: o Khedira is still around town, working at GTP as usual o nothing of any significance has happened in the day or two we’ve been gone o has heard no rumours of interest o he heard we spoke to Ulfhand about a vein of gold (Arvind tells him someone else in our party talked to Ulfhand) o Arvind tells him we’re at the Inn if he has any info for us o he says he’s happy to help competent adventurers o Arvind says he’s concerned about Khedira reacting to our clearing out of Horned Hold – Gendar is surprised we cleared out Hold – outstanding work – says we’ll be celebrated – Arvind says we’re concerned that Khedira is connected to Hold o Gendar says he’s sure Khedira will be unhappy with news – Arvind asks him particularly to tell us if he hears anything brewing against us – says unlikely, but will pass on message if he hears anything
  • Alex and Clare go to sell stuff, go to Ulfhand first (for jewels and Dwarven greaves, plus to recommend a best place to sell rest of stuff, plus to check on slaves)
  • Ulfhand is talking to one of the slaves we rescued; slave points at us and says “there they are”
  • Ulfhand runs over, grabs us into big bear hug o Thank you for rescuing my workers, I had feared the worst, I am most grateful o Offers to do anything he can for us
  • Alex shows him our wares – “such fine goods, the Dwaergar have been sitting on quite the hoard – as a payment for your good deeds, let me cover the 10% tax on these goods for you” o Ulfhand is not interested in non-magical goods
  • Clare chats to slave o Tingit Silvershield, very grateful, as are all rest of slaves o Journey back was without difficulty – Labyrinth is like another home o They recognise nobody from Hold, will advise us immediately
  • We go to Halfmoon Inn
  • benet halfling travelling minstrel singing and playing on harp at halfmoon inn; song is ode to to slave-freeing heroic adventurers who came to 7PH, recounts our mighty deeds. crowd rapt in attention until we make our grand entrance and cheering erupts. rendel’s mom gives us booze. more cheering.
  • varic goes to look for arrows in discarded weapons pile.
  • we spend the night partying in 7PH. Next day small boy comes in and says Orontor (mage who sits at custom-house) would like to speak w/ us.
  • custom-house: orontor chatting w/ Brug. waves off Brug who glares at us and takes off.
  • orontor pleased that we’ve arrived. our deeds precede us. 7HP now rid of scourges. not all mages interfere, try to maintain our neutrality lest chaos break out. i personally wish to say thank you for putting a stop to such a heinous trade. [looks around to make sure no one’s near] if you could perhaps do mages favor, one of our own, Paldemar, he hasn’t checked in the past few weeks. Rather vague. Few reports leave me uneasy. Find out his whereabouts. Hasn’t been attending counsel meetings. Mages in disquiet. If you hear anything, we’d be grateful for news. notes delivered to us by messenger (random townsfolk).
  • coming out, we see kobold Charrak (Ghinther’s life partner). Arvind drops gold piece in Charrak’s hand. Charrak: man in cloak never seen before, shadowy, didn’t recognize him, but had sealed message for Ghinther personally. happened a few hours old. Message from person in org behind Duergar who wants out, approves of our adventures in HH. Written in Common. Wants a meeting in chamber off Road of Shadows.
  • Letter reads:
  • Your actions against the duergar are commendable. I am in a position of power in the evil organization behind the duergar’s actions, and I wish to help you defeat my comrades. I have been seeking a way out of the organization, and I believe you can help me. Follow the attached map so that we can meet in secret.
  • We’re all pretty sure it’s a trap, but want to check it out anyway.
  • Peter goes first to be all stealthy, we follow behind.
  • Peter arrives there without incident, hides in shadows
  • He doesn’t notice anything.
  • We catch up with him, map leads to an area surrounded by a 10’ high ridge. It’s a trap. It’s totally a trap. I mean, COME ON. Shooting fish in a barrel.
  • We inch forward, and WHADDAYA KNOW. We roll initiative.
  • We see a tall, bronze statute-looking fucker. It’s a bronze warder.
  • Instead of assuming the warder’s going to attack, Peter climbs the ridge. And then rolls a perception check to discover that he was on top of someone. He has a dagger out, is approaching with menace, doesn’t say anything.
  • He is wearing chainmail armour, no amulet visible.
  • The warder rolls a boulder over us. Nice.
  • The tiefling Heretics (there are 3) can teleport, spout fire, do shit
  • Warder is resist 5 all damage; immune to charm, fear, and poison; bonus to saving throws; axe with reach of 2; can rampage occasionally, knocking people over and knocking them prone, and has a finishing move with an axe sweep; will attempt to defend master if in danger; too large to shift.
  • Arvind’s magic hammer comes out, and is hilarious.
  • We kill the Warder, Alex kills one Heretic with his stinky cloud, we slowly attack the remaining losers
  • We decide not to kill one of them, but to try to intimidate him
  • We kill the last Heretic, then end for the night
  • Still have to intimidate the remaining fucker and do any searching
  • We level up, but that too will have to wait
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