Campaign of the Month: April 2016

Adoraith: Echoes of Epirus

Events of January 10

As the party stood nervously by the banquet table, a set of grand doors at the opposite end of the room opened to reveal a large group of finely-dressed vampires. As the vampires sat at the table, the wary party was invited to sit, watching as solid food was brought to each of their places. Edular, being Edular, announced that he was the leader of the Seekers, and that he had been sent to liberate Grazit’s son. Nonplussed, Vlad declined to cooperate as he was under the orders of Loth to keep his prisoner secure. Edular continued to press the issue, but Vlad simply dismissed the conversation and turned to the rest of the group. Cautiously, Damhsa asked Vlad if he knew of Wyreth, to which he nodded. Looking at her, he said that they would speak after the meal in private.

After a long meal that consisted of the party members ensuring that they were not eating anyone they knew, they joined Vlad in his study. There, he told them that even though he served Loth, he was opposed to her siding with the Queen of Chaos. Vlad feared that if she were to take power once more, the world would be turned upside down. Even though he could not help them directly, and did not know the location of the temple, he would be willing to send the party in the right direction. He told them of Erilion, a wizard who became a lich in an attempt to find eternal life. His attempts angered Orcus, who took him down to Thanatos and had him put in a device. Over many centuries, Erilion became one with Thanatos and had evolved into an oracle of sorts. If the party could traverse the Valley of the Cypt Things, they could find Erilion and ask him to locate the Undying Temple.

After the long talk, Vlad had Serena take the group to the basement, where he had a portal that would take the party back to Thanatos. Beginning to hate the sight of portals, they marched through it and emerged in Thanatos in a muddy area with warm geysers. Looking about, they noticed a chasm flying above them. Any hope of leaving without a battle ended when Akuma was hit with a ray of enfeeblement.

Working together, the party was able to cut down the chasme without losing any members. After a quick break to heal and restore Akuma, they set out once more to find Lacrimosa, the city which may house the oracle. However, they did not get far before encountering a gorismo which demanded that they throw down their weapons. Apparently, the creature did not know that those words translated into “please kill me,” because it only caused the party to rush into battle.

The fight was long and perilous, as the gorismo hurled boulders at the party members and stomped on the muddy ground, causing it to shake and crack. With a savage blow, the gorismo killed Elias’s animal companion, devastating the druid and infuriating the party. Attacking in a flurry of slashes and eldritch blasts, they weakened the creature until a final ice breath from Umma Gumma felled him.

Exhausted, the party quickly moved on towards the north, closer to the mountains and on firmer ground. Scouting ahead, Damhsa spotted some odd scarecrows perched on rocky outcroppings. Umma Gumma, having seen such items, explained that dustmen used them as decoys for less intelligent demons. With a wave of his hand, Umma Gumma detected conjuration magic a short distance away. Looking about cautiously, several party members noticed a shimmer to the air, which the determined to be an entrance into an extra-dimensional space.

Calling out, they finally convinced one of the occupants to parlay. It took some cajoling, but once it was determined that Elias could create food and water, the magical door opened to the exhausted party, allowing them, hopefully, a safe place to rest for the night.

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Events of January 3

When the party members landed on the other side of the portal, they found themselves enclosed in a dark, sticky, prison of webs. Uncertain of their fate, they chose to rest in their cell in preparation of what they knew would be an epic battle for survival. Unfortunately, in the dark of their cell, whilst the party rested, there was the sound of a struggle, a grunt of pain, then the distant sounds of Allyndor screaming. Unnerved, the party searched the dark recesses of their pirson and found that their comrade had, indeed, been taken by their unseen captors. They did, however, find another being in the far corner of the cell – it was a small, huddled halfling and a drooling (and snoring) Saint Bernard. With a collective, “you look trustworthy!” they welcomed Belladonna and her canine mount into their party.

As soon as they sat down to plan their escape, a figure suddenly appeared before them. He approached on his cloven hooves and introduced himself as Grazit, the Dark Prince. He explained that he had been watching the party muddle its way through rather dangerous (suicidal) quests, yet manage to come out alive (mostly), and would like to group to perform a task for him in exchange for their freedom from the web prison. Going on, he explained that Loth and Orcus had both sided with the Queen of Chaos, and Loth wanted the Undying Temple intact for her own use. However, this did not sit well with Grazit, as he felt that he was the rightful ruler of the Abyss – it was his, and his alone. If the party agreed to perform a task for him, he would release them from their prison so they could destroy the Temple. In exchange, however, they were to release Grazit’s son from his prison in the stronghold of Vlad Tolenkor, where Loth had taken him.

Resigned to another side quest, the party agreed and ensured that Grazit gave them proper directions out of the web pits towards a portal which would take them to Vlad. As soon as Grazit vanished, the webs parted, allowing the party to flee. Unfortunately, they immediately ran into their guard, a babolith, intent on destroying the party.

The spellcasters immediately buffed the fighters, then they threw themselves into a heated battle. Careful to avoid it’s rending attacks they slowly whittled it down, until, with a mighty blow, Kiwi severed its head from its body. Unfortunately, they were not quick enough to prevent its cry of alarm, which brought drow reinforcements. Working quickly, Edular encased the archers in a bank of solid fog so he and Damhsa could focus on the drow mage and rogue. Unfortunately, Ellie and Belladonna were useless the entire battle as they were caught in an unbreakable web. After several close shaves with death, the party finally managed to cut down the guards and flee down the web paths towards the portal.

After a hurried journey through the demon webs, the party finally reached the portal, which was guarded by two succubi. The seductresses wasted no time in charming Edular and Damhsa, enticing them to approach their captors in a lustful haze. Disgusted, Fritz threw out a quick dispell, breaking the charm and allowing the party to run through the portal before the succubi could so much as blink in surprise.

The party, now getting used to frantic jumps through portals, landed in the forlon courtyard of a castle. All around them, they could see carnivorous plants, writhing and salivating at the chance of a fresh meal. Carefully making their way along a small path, the group reached an area with fountains, where they noticed a vampiress sitting there reading a book. Startled, she asked the party why they were there, to which Edular replied that they saught an audience with Vlad. With a groan, the group realized that he was most likely dominated again, and they quickly threw out any plans for sneaking into the castle to retrieve Grazit’s son.

The vampire, Serena, went to speak to Vlad, then quickly returned to the resigned party. She told them at they would be seen by the master of the castle, and led them into a grand dining hall within the castle. Finding a large table set with bowls instead of plates, the group warily pulled up their collars and awaited their vampiric host.

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Events of December 27

As the party continued on its way to Vadrian, there came a low mechanical drone from above. A chill passed through the group as they looked up and spied a Githyanki dreadnought soaring overhead. After much debate, they decided to avoid deadly conflict and allow them to pass unchallenged. Pushing themselves to the point of fatigue, they finally managed to find shelter among the stone pillars to make camp atop one of the stone monoliths. It did not take long, however, for their rest to be disturbed as an abyssal drake landed nearby and the Githyanki stepped out from the darkness, demanding that “the fugitive” be handed over to them. Needless to say, Kiwi thought it best to answer their demand by planting her blade in the enemy.

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It was a fierce battle, with the party dodging the drake’s fly-by attacks while being hit with a barrage of arrows which ran through multiple party members at once. As Damhsa and Kiwi went toe-to-toe with the warriors, Elyas turned himself into a dragon to help keep the enemies at bay. Unfortunately, they were unable to keep Allyndor from falling to the drake’s aerial attacks. Empowered by the rage of losing another ally, the party cut into the enemy with renewed vigor, until the remaining two Githyanki teleported back to the dreadnought, followed by the hasty retreat of their abyssal guard-dog.

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Remembering the Githyanki’s hatred towards anyone who dared to desecrate Githyanki weapons and armour, the party left the corpses untouched. Elyas, however would not leave one of the corpses – that of Allyndor. With a great show of power, he reincarnated the fallen cleric, adding another dwarf to the group. Dragging along their somewhat disoriented comrade, the party quickly set out to find a new area to rest.

Of course, just as they found a new area to settle down, they were immediately attacked once more. This time, their fearsome enemy was a remorhaz, which came out directly from the stone pillar on which they were camped. Damhsa quickly found out how powerful the creature was when it delivered an awesome blow, throwing her from the top of the pillar. Not wanting to approach such a creature, Akuma and Umma Gumma bombarded the remorhaz with an earth-shaking barrage of lightning bolts from afar, leaving it as nothing more than a crispy hull.

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Annoyed by their inability to find an area to rest, the party members once again prepared to move out and search for another protected area to camp out. This time, when the attack came, they were not surprised that they were ambushed. No, they were surprised by who appeared. As the sudden swarm of spiders parted, they looked upon Lolth’s priestess. Luckily, it appeared that all that was required was conversation. When the party agreed to speak parlay, the avatar of Lolth herself appeared before them. She asked the party what their purpose was for being in Thanatos. Umma Gumma, not knowing any better, stated that the party would not go against Kiransalee or try to overtake her temple. Seeing the conversation go down hill, Damhsa quickly pulled Lolth’s token from her pouch and held it aloft, explaining that the party had assisted the matron of house Chumov in the Underdark. Unfortunately, this lead to Lolth stating that the party needed to follow her to the Web Pits to receive her blessing, should they survive the “education.” Not seeing any other options, the group reluctantly agreed. In front of them, a portal opened, and they jumped in, not knowing who – if any – would survive.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Elyas the Wolfhart, Akuma Bloodreamer, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Fritz, Muradin, Eluned, Umma Gumma
XP Award (APL 8): 1125
Roleplaying XP Bonus: ???

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Events of December 13

The party’s cramped rest alongside the dust men passed amicably, with the two groups parting ways once the dust storm had died down. Glad to be able to travel without involuntary exfoliation, the party pressed on towards their goal of Vadrian. After several hours of slow progress, the party spots a figure, swaddled in rags, stepping out from behind a stone pillar. Introducing itself as an agent of Wragmag, he offers the the party a way out of the Abyss should they only agree to leave the Queen of Chaos’ machinations be.

Though severely tempted, the party refused to abandon their quest. Thus, with a heavy sigh, the figure offered one last gift, pulling a severed head from it’s bag and tossing it out in front of the party. It rolled along the ground just long enough for the party to identify it as the head of Wyrruth before it was snapped up in the mouth of an purple worm as it erupted from the sands beneath them.

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Merek took to the skies, firing blindly behind him, somehow missing the barn sized creatures as the descended on the rest of the party. Damhsa soon found herself slashing wildly to free herself from one of their gullets. Amidst the chaos, Wragmag’s spokesbeing made it’s exit. Though bruised, and in some cases a bit slimy, the party were able to defeat the worms without any casualties.

The party hurried about to collect themselves after the battle before setting off once more. The day wore to a close as the party neared yet another set of pillars. As they approached this one, a demon pranced out, dubbing the party his new friends and inviting them behind a pillar, which quickly ducked around. Allyndor and Merek decided to wing around the outside of the party, however, as Merek flew along the tops of the stone pillars, he spotted a fiendish orc, pressing itself down as it waited in ambush.

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Merek called out to the orc, making it obvious to the party that he had seen someone above them, in a vain hope that the matter could be resolved peacefully, but it was not to be. While Damhsa and Kiwi surged forward to meet the ambushers on the ground, Elyas shifted into dragon form and rushed two of the casters atop the pillars. Having a preservation instinct, the orcs promptly set about defending themselves from the enraged dragon in their face, rather than assisting the melee on the ground.

Meanwhile, Merek dimension doored Muradin to the top of the pillar with the lead orc, only to see his dwarven ally be tossed to the ground by a telekinetic force. He flew back down, encouraging Muradin to quickly bury his axe in the extremely ugly “elf” before him. This continued several times before the Dwarf finally fell unconscious from one too many falls on his head. Between Merek, Muradin, and Elyas, the casters had been kept too busy to assist their warriors on the ground, and the rest party was finishing mopping up.

With the odds now turned, the party finished off their fiendish enemies before looting the bodies with practiced ease. One more battle behind them, the party began steeling themselves once more for the journey before them.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elyas the Wolfhart, Akuma Bloodreamer, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Fritz, Muradin, Eluned
XP Award (APL 8): 1125
Roleplaying XP Bonus: Damhsa

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Events of December 6, 2015

After several days of sailing, captain Laquita dropped off the party just outside Acanthus. They spent the next day filling their packs and trading their unused magical items for ones which would serve them better. Along the way, Saurock decided that he would prefer to return to his tribe – he had no interest in the goals of the Seekers. Luckily, they encountered a dwarf who seemed to be interested in foolhardy quests, so they welcomed the new member of their misfit group.

Merek was able to take the orb to the Academy of Magic, where they were overjoyed to be able to study such an artifact. He warned them of the affects of touching the item, and asked if there was a way to purge it from Allyndor and Elyas. After great thought, the head of the Academy came up with the only option – kill them and perform a true resurrection. Kiwi offered to do the honors, decapitating her teammates with a practiced swing. Gathering everyone together, they stayed at Merek’s family’s estate for the last peaceful night they would experience for quite some time.

Meeting up with Laquita once more, they set sail for Thannatos, Akuma assisting with working of the wake portal. After a bumpy ride, they found themselves in a hazy, desolate world. With a warning that she would only give the party 24 hours to return should they wish to come back with her, Laquita set them off in a dingy towards the shore. Checking the map they received from Wyreth, the party decided to head towards Vadrian, a city to the east which had an unknown allegiance. Hoping that it would be the city housing the Undying Temple, they headed out across the barren landscape.

Soon, the wind started to pick up, causing a sandstorm which not only destroyed all visibility past 10 feet, but started to scrape the skin from the party members. Hurrying towards old ruins, the party searched for a sheltered area they could take cover. All they found, however, was a cerebrith standing in front of an opening to an underground chamber.

The battle was going well until Elyas’ wolf fell unconscious, just as another cerebrith appeared behind the party. As Kiwi and Damhsa took down the creature threatening their furry companion, Muradin decimated the other with his dwarven might. Once safe, the party members quickly pulled their injured down into the chamber which held the remains of the cerebriths’ previous meals. Donning the slightly crusty duster jacket, Edular pronounced himself immune to the elements, as well as a fashionista.

Settling into their watches, it was only a matter of moments before there was a disturbance. There was a rumbling followed by the impact of a large body on the opposite side of the stone wall of the chamber. After a moment of silence, the rumbling returned as the unknown creature rammed itself against each of the walls. Nothing else occurred, so everyone settled back into their bedrolls. Of course, only an hour later, there was another interruption to their sleep as voices were heard outside the chamber.

Without warning, a smoking pouch was tossed into the chamber. Damhsa quickly tossed it back up the stairs, burning her hands. There was a pause, then a second pouch fell down the stairs. Edular waved his hands and the pouch magically flew back up the stairs once more. Finally, a bottle fell to the floor, which filled the chamber with smoke and barred the stairwell with a wall of flame. Annoyed, Merek grabbed Damhsa and Allyndor as he used a dimension door to appear behind one of the walls of the ruins, Edular following suit. Peering through the storm’s fury, they were able to see a group of humanoids surrounding the chamber’s entrance.

Edular stepped forward and proclaimed himself the leader of the party and demanded the surrender of the invaders. Needless to say, they scoffed at the claim, but the strangers seemed willing to parlay. After some careful verbal dancing, the weapons were lowered and everyone retired to the chamber to wait out the storm. Once there, the “dustmen” identified themselves as humans from Vadrian, which they confirmed was not under the rule of Orcus or Kiaransalee, but an independent entity. Unsure of what they would find, the party rested and hoped they would survive the night.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elyas the Wolfhart, Akuma Bloodreamer, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Fritz, Eluned
XP Award (APL 8): 1125

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Damhsa

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Events of November 29, 2015

As the remaining party members looked at each other with bemused expressions, Wyreth appeared in their midst. Trying to ignore Damhsa, who decided that his robes looked delicious, he warned the group that the Undying Temple was no longer in the Underdark. House Chumavh once again had the seat of power and the fire giants had left, much to the party’s relief. However, the good news was swiftly followed by the bad – the Temple had been taken to Thannatos, where half the land was controlled by Orcus, the other now by Kiaransalee. The safest route into Thannatos – if such a thing actually existed – would be via the river Styx, which could only be accessed with a wake portal. Luckily, he had taken the liberty to arrange for transportation for the beleaguered party, but it was several days’ travel south of the city.

Meanwhile, during Wyreth’s monologue of doom, Merek had used the orb’s locations as a beacon to teleport back from Acanthus. He looked around in confusion as he realized that Allyndor had fled into the forest in an attempt to keep the orb to himself. What ensued was a lengthy airborne battle as Allyndor and Merek took to the skies to trade blows. Finally able to get Allyndor to submit, Merek took back the cursed orb and forced the cleric to return to the safe-house with a series of dimension doors.

Once the party was reunited, and Damhsa’s intelligence restored with a heal scroll, the party prepared to rest before fleeing the city. As she would need extra time to pick the crayons from between her teeth, Damhsa took first watch. Unfortunately, she was disrupted by the sound of a massive beast passing overhead. She quickly woke the party, and after much deliberation, they decided to flee the city in the dark of the night. The decision was helped by the fact that their shared nightmare of the destruction of the city seemed to be occurring at that moment.

With the smaller – and slower – party members riding Elyas’ dire wolf, they raced through the dark city streets. Suddenly, they were ambushed by several half-fiend ogres.

After a swift battle, the party quickly resumed their path out of the city, moving at a brisk pace for several hours before stopping to rest. Their rest, however, was interrupted once more as they were attacked by a pack of hell hounds.

The battle was long and brutal, with several party members barely clinging to life. But, with a very rare display of teamwork, they were able to keep each other alive and destroy the enemy.

After a quick round of healing, they decided that the best course of action would be to push themselves into a forced march. Merek used the crystal ball to scry for one of the crew members on the ship which would be their transport to Acanthus. Able to connect, he teleported onto the ship to try to have the captain meet the party half way. The leopard print sails were a surprise, as well as the peg-legged, afro-sporting, captain herself. Even with his greatest attempt to intimidate her, she did not bat an eye. Finally, diplomacy won the battle, as he convinced the great Captain Laquita to sail towards the party.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party prepared for an exhausting run. Elyas shifted into a dire wolf so he and his animal companion could carry the halflings and smaller party members, while Akuma created a floating disk to carry the remaining members save Damhsa who would continue on foot as the faster human. For hours the party pushed itself along the river bank, the healers supporting the fatigued members until they were unable to go any further. After a rest just long enough to recoup, they continued on in the same fashion until they spotted something… leopard… upon the horizon.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elyas the Wolfhart, Akuma Bloodreamer, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Fritz, Eluned
XP Award (APL 8): 1125

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Damhsa

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Events of November 22

Edluar’s eyes flashed in rage as Fritz’s ice shard lanced through his flank. With a flurry of arcane incantations, a fog cloud descended upon the party. As the party scrambled to figure out what had just happened, through the temple echoed an eerie chant, “Kubli-ka, Dagon,” drawing ever closer. From the lower level, a mass of kuo-toa surged up from below.

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As Akuma snapped his fingers, dispelling Edluar’s fog, the rest of the party surged forward. While the majority of the party swung around to protect the soft underbelly of the party, Damhsa danced forward to take on half of the kuo-toa forces alone. Luckily, Merek was flying nearby, still clothed in kuo-toa skin armor, much to their enemies’ chagrin.

No sooner had the battle lines began to settle when a pair of crustacean abominations rose up from the pools within the temple. Still, the party held firm, as Edluar moved off to the corner of the temple, buffing himself and waiting for the moment to strike. Unimpressed by Dagon’s toadies, the party held firm, despite Akuma unleashing perhaps the world’s most pathetic fireball.

They held until, from the back of the temple, Nhar`qual appeared. Almost gliding over the stones of the temple, he moved towards the pearl, unleashing arcane fury within the party, leaving several of their number incapacitated. This was the moment Edluar had been waiting for, springing upon the party and unleashing a series of spells to cripple those he could. Damhsa, finishing the last of her kuo-toa, charged up the dais to face the elven wizard.

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Needless to say, the elf did not take kindly to this. With a flick of his wrist, he reduced Damhsa’s intelligence to that of a lizard – a very angry lizard. With a primal fury, she assaulted Nhar’qual, while the rest of the party mopped up the kuo-toa and aberrant crustaceans. Tired of his shenanigans, the party began taking pot shots at Edluar while moving towards the wizard.

Edluar, however, had his sights on Merek. Holding Teleost aloft, he hacked wildly at Merek, who was backpedaling around Elyas, who had joined the battle in dragon form. However, the battle was going about as badly for Nhar`qual as it was for Merek, who, just before Edluar was about to kill him, called the beguiler to his side.

Luckily, the gesture was for not, as Kiwi surged up the steps, and buried her great sword into the elf. Staggering back towards the pearl, he called out to Dagon for mercy as the inky black waters enveloped him. With this, the pearl plopped unceremoniously into the water below. Akuma stuck his hand in after it, but soon found himself screaming in agony as the vile acidic waters burned his flesh. Thinking his draconic immunity would protect him, Elyas volunteered to dive in after it.

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A minute later, he emerged from the hole, jealously stroking his orb as he glowered at the party. Hardly eager to fight a dragon, the party left Elyas with the pearl and set about looting Nhar’qual’s horde. Their new-found gains secured, the party then turned their attention to finding a way out of the temple. First they investigated the lower floors, but only found an antechamber which seemed to turn into ocean halfway through.

As they stared into the inky depths, they saw a great grotesque tentacled form float towards a humaniod form floating in the water. They watched as the forbidding mass engulfed the figure before settling into dormancy once more. Confident this was not their way out, the party returned to the upper floor, only to notice the sound of water rushing into the outer hallways from the sewers above.
Slamming the doors shut for a chance to think, the party realized there was no other way out, and decided to open the doors once more. As the flood waters rushed in, the party struggled to stay together, eventually making headway out of the temple and up into the sewers above.

Not wanting to spend anymore time in the rank air of the sewers, they made a bee-line for Harcule’s manor, only to find it now abandoned, seemingly having been so for decades. However, Akuma had left his paramour a note in his room, bidding Harcule farewell. To his surprise, it had not aged as the rest of the building had.

Deciding they needed the rest, the party settled in for the night. As Merek finished his watch, he crept into Elyas’s room, and snatched the pearl from him, not wanting it to be in the hands of a mad druid who could shift into a dragon. Staring wide eyed as Elyas shaped himself into a bear, Merek quickly dimension doored from the room, leaving an unbearably distraught druid alone in his room. Gathering up the rest of the party, it was decided that Allyndor would carry the orb while Merek returned to Acanthus to resurrect his child (again).

However, it seemed that the cleric did not have Merek’s same resistance to the pearls effects. As soon as the warlock had disappeared, so too did Allyndor. And yet, with the party scattered across the world, worse things were yet to come.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elyas the Wolfhart, Akuma Bloodreamer, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Fritz, Saurok
XP Award (APL 8): 1125

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Elyas

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Events of November 15

The party swiftly set about opening the chests they had discovered. Though a few of the traps found on the devices were sprung, the party was able to avoid any lasting damage. They did, however, gain a wealth of coins, gems, and objects d’art, as well as a few magical items. Wasting no time in identifying them, the party swiftly divvied up the loot and set out.

Exiting through a passage way behind the chamber, the party found themselves in a tunnel once again. After a bit of walking, they stopped as the spotted a hole in the floor ahead. Advancing cautiously, the party was quite surprised when tentacles rose up from the floor, and wrapped themselves around Edluar. Though they suspected Edluar may enjoy the encounter, the party members surged forward to his aid anyway. However, their attacks left the creature unfazed and it managed to swallow Edluar. Not moments afterward, the creature’s maw lurched open with a gout of flame, and a triumphant Edluar crawled out.

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As they continued down the tunnel, the party found themselves at a wall of fog. Figuring that they would likely be ambushed within the fog, the party decided to go through one at a time. Saurok volunteered to go first, and began skirting along the wall. Once he had broken through the fog, he found himself in a room, face to face with a tainted being. Calling out the party that he was not alone, the party surged forward into the fog. Sensing the party would soon join their reptilian friend, the tainted being summoned several riftmen to his aid and retreated.

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The ensuing battle was brutal. As Edluar dispelled the mist in the hallway, the party’s fighters fell back to form a line of defense. However, this worked in the favor of the riftmen sorcerers who rained fireballs down on the party. When the smoke finally cleared, Sirus and Caitlyn’s charred corpses laid in the hallway. Enraged, Merek summoned howlers to slay the casters, while Damhsa flew into a fury as she attempted to surge forward through the enemy lines.

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The battle was over soon after, with no further casualties amongst the party. While Merek picked up his child’s corpse for a second time, the rest of the party fanned out to secure the room ahead. A cursory search showed the room to be festooned with Dagon imagery, the most noteworthy of which was the door through which the tainted being Saurok had met had fled.

Not at all wary of the writhing tentacles which covered the door, Edluar was the first to step forward, and immediately fell into a deep trance, and moments later emerged seemingly no worse for the wear. While the rest of the party crowded around the door, Edluar pulled Merek aside, telling him the door required a pure soul to open, and urging him to use his freshly slain son, Sirus. Repulsed at the idea, Merek refused outright and returned to the party to discuss other options.

Eventually, Allyndor stepped towards the door, protected by the power of Farlanghan, and made way for Edluar to cast knock upon the door. To everyone’s surprise, this actually worked. The party advanced through, finding themselves in a great chamber, at the center of which lay a crystal encasing an elf girl and at the back of which was Dagon’s tear, suspended by magic. Fritz, spurred by goblin curiosity, swung his spear at the crystal, shattering it instantly.

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Meanwhile, Edluar surged up the dias over which the crystal was suspended, and with a flying leap attempted to take it. His leap was stopped short by the magical energy which held the crystal in place, and soon after, he found himself overcome with a magically induced rage at the party’s incompetence. Hoping to gather the party into one spot so that he could more efficiently express his disdain for them, he began urging the party to gather around the crystal, first to attack it, then to have them lift it.

The majority of the party remained fixated on the crystal, except for Damhsa, who true to character, was unwilling to touch any unknown magical object, and Merek. While Merek was sliding a bag over the pearl and attempting to pull it from it’s place, a stray bolt from Fritz’s crossbow lanced Edluar. His rage finally too much to contain, he began to cast.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elyas the Wolfhart, Akuma Bloodreamer, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Caitlyn, Fritz, Saurok
XP Award (APL 8): 1125

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Damhsa

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Events of November 8

Not content to remain in his room, Allyndor began to wander Harecule’s manor before accepting an invitation to the half-devil’s study. Perhaps foolishly, he accepted a drink from his host, and was soon joining his allies in slumber. The night would not be a restful one, however. The party members soon found themselves on a hillside outside of Emin Nir, watching as abyssal hordes tore through the city. Unable to act, they heard horns blow behind them, and turned to see the well-formed ranks of the infernal armies marching towards the city.

Spotting their eternal adversaries, the abyssal forces massed, struggling under the form of the simplest of battle line as they surged forth towards the infernal army. The two forces charged up the hill from which the party watched, until at last they clashed, startling the party awoke in a cold sweat. Though disturbed by the dream, most of the party returned to sleep. Akuma, however, went to his door, only to find Harecule waiting.

Smitten as ever, he attempted once more to convince Akuma to stay with him. He even went so far as to promise aid to the party in their quest against the elf, should Akuma promise to stay with him for two days on the prime material plane. Akuma remained non-committal, and Harecule resolved to give him time to decide, promising to speak with him the next morning.

However, when the morning came, it was his Ettin manservant who greeted the party, explaining that Harecule had been called away. The party set out, back to the intersection were they had faced the hezrou. After a bit of difficulty, the party was able to make it through, falling through the portal into the elf’s domain.

The party tumbled to the ground as they poured through. As they dusted themselves off, they began to take stock of their extremely strange surroundings. The walls were lined with vibrant, live coral, and as though it were a true reef, schools of fish swam through the air. As the light touched them, a school darted away from the party and set off down the tunnel.

It wasn’t long before the party encountered the first of the elf’’s defenses, as the ground disappeared beneath their feet. Though most of them managed to remain above, Elyas was dropped down into one of the pits. The druid found himself face to face with an insectoid creature as several others crawled out to face the party. Quick thinking from Edluar was able to put the one in the pit into a trance, while the rest of the party fought off the ones above.

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The battle was brief but bloody, but when the dust settled only the one in the pit remained. Before they would agree to stand on the other side of the pit, the party asked Merek to test the other side for additional pit traps, knowing his flight would protect him. However, as he turned a corner into the chamber ahead, he, too, was put into a trance and sailed into the chamber.

Sensing something was wrong, the rest of the party leapt across the pits, and charged into the next room, only to see Merek floating towards a much more massive specimen of the insectoid creatures. While Damhsa rushed forward to fight the creature, more of the smaller creatures funneled in. Squaring off with the rest of the party. Merek, under compulsion by the queen, opened fire on Caitlyn.

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Now seeing that Merek was not acting under his own will, Akuma dispelled the charm. While the rest of the party fought off the smaller insects, Damhsa and Merek focused on the queen, only barely slaying it before Damhsa fell. And with its death, the smaller brethren slumped to the ground. Breathing a sigh of relief, the party set about healing their wounds while Merek’s elementals began dismantling the pile of bones the creatures had collected. Much to the party’s pleasure, they found a cache of several chests and trunks awaiting them. And so we leave the party, eagerly eyeing their spoils.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elyas the Wolfhart, Akuma Bloodreamer, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Caitlyn, Fritz, Saurok
XP Award (APL 8): 1125

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Edluar

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Events of November 1

With the intersection now cleared, the party began to investigate the three paths ahead of them. With some cautious scouting, they discovered that one lead to the howling of tainted creatures, another to a blocked exit, and the last to a demonic presence. Figuring that the demonic presence was likely to be a larger enemy, which the party had often had good luck against in the past, they ventured down that path.

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As the demonic stench grew stronger, the party members came to find themselves in another four-way intersection, this one strewn with bloated corpses. After a couple rounds of the “Go Poke It” game, Merek hovered forward and blasted each of the corpses, causing a white puss to shoot out of them, coating the walkways.

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Wary and more than a bit disgusted, the party advanced slowly until several dretch leapt out from within the corpses. As Merek called out to the party about the demons’ propensity for summoning more of their own kind, the party surged forward to face them. However as Damhsa and Skata stepped into the puddles formed of the puss from the corpses, they discovered it to be a slime which lurched up, attempting to envelope them. Damhsa deftly avoided the slime, but Skata was not so lucky.

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Merek flew forward to save his bovine ally, and narrowly avoided teleporting next to a Hezrou which was advancing down one of the side tunnels toward the party. With this, Kiwi surged forth to join the fray, slaying one of the dretch as the puss-slime cowered from her holy aura. Before the party could inflict any more damage, the dretch doubled their numbers and the Hezrou charged into the fray.

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Struggling to continue fighting despite the hezrou’s stench, the party loosed a flurry of spells and attacks, managing to slay the dretch before they could summon another wave. The Hezrou paid little heed to the defeat of their smaller brethren; while one was flailing madly against the party’s strongest front-line fighters, the other was being made a fool of by Elias in wolf form, being repeatedly tripped back into the water. The other hezrou laid into Skata, knocking the minotaur unconscious into the animated slime.

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Howling in rage after a third trip into the sewer’s brown water, the fallen hezrou attempted to kill the druid, but was unable to land a hit before he was banished by Edluar. Now alone, the remaining Hezrou began backing off from the party’s combined might, quickly incapacitating the bulk of the party with a combination of unholy blight and blasphemy. As the rest of the party struggled to their feet, Akuma surged forth, unleashing the last of her spells on the fiend and sending it back to the abyss.

Beleaguered, but still within enemy territory, the party quickly attended to the fallen Skata. Though he still lived, he had been grievously wounded. The slime’s acid had castrated him, leaving him a steer. Forcing themselves forward, the party found the a chamber which seemed to be untouched by the slowly rising waters of the sewer.

Attempting to advance forward, the party found themselves surrounded by a magical darkness as a disembodied doorman questioned their intentions. Though repeatedly told to leave, they party stayed true to form and bullheadedly argued with the voice. For once, however, this tactic paid off, as the voice’s Master made an appearance. A twelve foot tall half-fiend appeared from the darkness beside them. Claiming to be no friend of the elf, (and obviously smitten with Akuma), he introduced himself as Harecule and invited the party to dinner within his complex above.

Once there in, Harecule helped Merek remove the cursed helmet from his head, giving a bit of insight into what would be required to be able to remove it at will. After a bit of discussion with Harecule, his Ettin butler came to summon them to dinner. It was a lavish affair, and the party took the opportunity to question Harecule on his knowledge of the elf, and Merek questioned him on the origin of Horatio’s devil box. Harecule remained a gracious host through it all, conversing with the party in between bouts of unrequited flirting with Akuma.

As dinner came to a close, he informed the party that the way to the elf’s domain was through the whirlpools at the intersections. He offered to allow them to rest with him, and even offered to allow them to stay with him indefinitely if they chose to abandon their quest for Dagon’s Jewel. The party remained unswayed, but did accept his offer of hospitality for the night.

As the party settled in for bed, Harecule visited several of them in private, speaking to Merek of his infernal father, Damhsa of her clan’s plight, reassuring Fritz that he could trust the party, and telling Edluar that he hoped he would one day find himself. The last of his rounds was to visit Akuma. He made one last attempt to convince the wizard to stay in his complex with him, to rule over the city of Emin Nir.

More than a little uneasy at the half-devil’s affections, Akuma declined. Not wanting to see the object of his affection slain, he offered him a gift: the enchanted head of Beauregard, a former companion of the elf. Though disembodied, the former rogue’s thick southern drawl still came forth, introducing himself with all of the proper niceties there of. And thus, the party settled in for what the suspected would be their last rest before facing off with the mad elven wizard, Nhar`qual Adanni.

Characters Present: Damhsa daughter of Scottia, Merek Falk, Elais, Akuma, Kiwi Fuzzyfoot, Allyndor the Wanderer, Edluar the Seeker, Caitlyn, Fritz
XP Award (APL 8): 1125

Roleplaying XP Bonus: Akuma

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