Astorian

I see the darkness

After killing the beholder, the most of the party rested, whilst Arabella disected the corpse (as is her want) and Ado explored some more of the cave complex. Deciding to look in the big tunnel across from the party’s cave first, he attempted to jump the 25ft gap, missing by a scant 2 ft, and plummeted to the floor of the shaft. Picking himself up and dusting down, Ado decided to explore the tunnnel at the base of the shaft, as he was there. Exploring the tunnels, he found more of the beholders loot, several gems, a pair of magic boots and a tainted longsword.

Placing all these items inside his bag of holding, Ado climbed to the next tunnel, and discovered the beholders sleeping chamber, and once again tried to leap across to the large tunnel, missing again. After bellowing for his fellow adventurers to lower a rope, Ado climbed up to the party’s cave, and rested.

In the morning, using Arabella’s now famous (to the party), stone shaping skills they hooked up a line across the width of the shaft, and the party shimmied across to the large tunnel, moving down it. After travelling for a long time, with the corridor remaining a single tunnel, the party found a rich vein of platinum running down the tunnels wall. Marking it’s location for later, the party decided that this tunnel, probably led into the Underdark, and was not best explored with their current equipment.

Returning to the surface, the party headed back to Lake’s View. Without a boat nearby to ferry them across the lake, Arabella turned into a bird and flew across to the town, and procured the services of Oll Jon.

During the night, whilst Arabella was resting in the eaves of the Old Jon’s house (as a possum), the rest of the company was attacked by a gray render. A brief battle occured, with Ado twice pulling his head from the mouth of the beast, until Gaarbunn impaled it through it’s kidney, slaying it.

Upon the dawn, the party was picked up by Arabella and the Old Jon, Arabella being annoyed at missing out on the fun, pulled a dagger and lept into the corpse of the grey render, disecting it as she had so many monsters before, leaving the party to cross the lake back to town with Old Jon.

Negotiating passage back to Marash via two ships, the party returned to the six-fingered tower of Jimmy the Wizard, to get their magical items identified. The party were shocked to find out that blue-liquor drinking Jimmy had passed on, but another wizard in the tower, red-liquid drinking Jimmy helped the party out, identifing the boots as boots of striding and springing and the longsword as Nefendet, an evil sword that he suggested that the party be rid of quickly.

Concerned that they may not get the darkvision enchantments promised them, they asked red Jimmy about getting him to enchant them. After failing to realise that the party hadn’t actually paid blue Jimmy for the service, he told them to return in the morning once he had a chance to prepare the required spells.

Deciding to use their time in Marash to do some shopping, they first paid a visit to Baroaen, to keep their end of the deal with the gnome. Baroaen met with the party in the same dilapidated tavern they found him in before, and took, as his share, Nefendet, the spellbooks and some of the gems that the party had found in the beholder’s cavern.

Armed with some cash, the party plans on spending a short time in Marash to re-supply, and to recieve the darkvision enchantment from red Jimmy.

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The eyes have it

After doing some research on what a beholder can do, the party tried to track down some information about the location of a beholder’s home.

After some lengthy gathering of information, the party ended up in a seedy part of Marash, which has been growing due to the war effort.

There, they entered a dilapidated tavern, the Whispering Wind, and sought out Baroaen, the local crime master. Before they could get to Baer, the party had to talk their way past his guards, a pair of half-giants, Boulder and Crush. With some quick talking and a small bribe from Arabella, the party were allowed into the illustrious presence of Baroaen Whisper, a gnome.

Whilst talking with Baroaen, the party negotiated with the legimate businessman, and in exchange for a pick of magic items, and 60% of other treasures (with first buy rights on anything else), he gave the party a bloodied map to cave in the region of Lake’s View. Thanking Baroaen, the party left the tavern, and headed for the Marashi docks. There, the party got on a merchant’s vessel to the town of Lake’s View.

The trip took about a week, and the party disembarked on the merchants section of the exotic pleasure town of Lakee’s View. The party crossed through the town, and found passage across the lake to it’s far shore on the fishing boat of Old Jon. Halfway across the lake, the boat slowed and caught a large crab (by large, the size of a small cart). Trading their aid in bringing up the crab for some of it’s meat, the party ate well, then headed to towards the northern reaches of the Spellmist.

After crossing the Undar where it flowed in the caves of the Spellmist, the party travelled south for a day before finding a cave that was the correct size for something the size of a beholder to live in.

Entering the cave, the party found a long shaft heading straight down, to a floor about 30 feet down. Throwing down a rope, belayed by Ado, the party sent Gaarbunn down to enter a tunnel at the floors edge. Releasing the rope, Gaarbunn fell an extra 50ft to land at the bottom of the hole, as he had fallen through an illusionary floor. Splicing some ropes together, the party, now aware of the depth of the pit, successfully found their way past a small cave that appeared to be the beholders larder, then into the next tunnel down.

Moving through this tunnel, the group entered a lave cavern that contained a large pile of coins, and a collection of sticks and books. Upon closer inspection, the party discovered that the sticks were used up wands and rods, although three were discovered to be “live”, and the books were spellbooks. Deciding to use Arabella’s stone shape spells, the party crafted the cave to suit themselves for an ambush of the complexes owner. Using a bellowing Ado as bait, the party lured the beholder into the cavern and proceeded to beat up on it, with both Arabella and Gaarbunn escaping from the effects of one of the aberrations most potent attacks, a disintegrating beam.

The party have just killed the beholder and are waiting for Arabella to disect the beholders floating corpse before continuing on to explore the rest of the beholders lair.

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Eyes, Eyes and Ears

After a brief discussion about what they learned from Noiria, and the note they had found in the cave complex, the party decided to head to, and infiltrate Marash.

Sneaking Thronus in as a common fighter and comcealing the bulk of Ado, the party made it into the city, and to the Inn of the Purple Wyvern, a tavern that the party had visited before. Whilst there, they discovered that the Inn had accquired a new bard, who introduced himself as Ignacious Black, or Iggy.

After a night of planning (read: drinking), the party rose early, to work out how to enter the High Seat of Marash (the castle). They were joined at this point by Iggy, who sat himself down and offered his services to the group. Taking him up on his offer, the party gathered their gear and headed to the castle.

At the castle gates, the party tried to bluff their way in, but didn’t really have an excuse to bluff in with, so they got stuck, then threw the bard at the guards, who managed (eventually) to bluff the groups way in to the castle.

The party was escorted to the Lady’s Morning room, where there was a harpist playing for the enjoyment of several of the noble lady’s of the court. Enforcing a break, the harpist made Iggy play for a while, whilst Arabella questioned the harpist, not getting very far at all, so Arabella went off for a bit of a wander.

Whilst Arabella was off wandering, Ado discovered that the servants, in general, didn’t like High Lord Ragnar Dragonhide, and was convinced by Ado to lead the party (minus Arabella) to the head of the House Guard, Captain Ruben. As the group was shown into the captain’s office, Arabella was caught snooping about where she shouldn’t, and was frog-marched to the Captain of the Guard’s Office, where (extremely coincidentally) she was reunited with the team.

The Captain, upon hearing of the tale of the false information, and the evidence of the note, led the party to the High Lord’s Chambers, where the six Lords of Marash met to govern the city. Upon hearing the accusations of the party, Ragnar Dragonshide read a spell from a scroll, killing the other High Lord’s and the Captain of the Guard, before summoning his own guards and engaging the party in combat.

As Ado tackled the High Lord, Gaarbunn, Iggy and Arabella had a fun(ish) time sorting out the guards, a task soon made more difficult by the appearance of snipers on the balconies of the chamber. After striking Ragnar a few times, Ado knocked loose a piece of clothing, which upon leaving Ragnar, turned into a shapeless hat. Stunned, Ado looked at the High Lord to discover that he had been in fact battling a drow! Trying to finish of the drow, Ado nearly suceeeded, but before he could deal the final blow, the imposter lord crushed something in his fist and vanished.

Seeing that the High Lord was in fact a drow, the 2 or 3 guards left standing surrendered to the party. Soon after, with the High Lords returned to life, and the party rewarded by the same lords, they were tasked to find the source of the drow incursion and end it. This suited the party fine, although they where concerned about the fact that apart from Thronus, none of them could see in the dark.

After a short discussion and a failed attempt to accquire Goggles of the Night from the Marashi Military, the party paid a visit to the Six-Fingered Tower, the local wizards guild.

Upon arriving at the tower, the party were greeted by a talking doornob, which informed them to talk to Jimmy the Wizard, and opened the door for them. Stepping into the tower and standing on a platform, the party flew up the tower to a six way intersection. Picking a path at random, the party walked about 10ft before a crotchety voice yelled at them “Not that way, up here!”. Returning to the intersection and looking up, the party saw the source of the voice at the top of the tower looking down at them. The figure threw down a ladder for the group to climb up.

Arriving at the top, the party found themselves in a well-appointed living chamber, with books along one wall and a large drinks cabinet against the other. Talking to the wizard, the party asked if there was a way to grant them permanent darkvision. Muttering to himself, Jimmy stood, placed his drink on the arm of his chair, pulled a cloth from his pocket, and tied it around Ado’s eyes, delcaring (drunkenly) “There, permanent darkvision” before returning to his chair an drinking more of the mysterious blue liquid in the glass.

After a long and confusing conversation, involving more blue liquid, the purchase of the blue liquid (Jimmy’s eau de woooo), and the use of Ado as a temporary table as Jimmy’s wasn’t answering, the wizard gave the party a shopping list of goods to get in order for him to enchant the four of them that needed the darkvision.

He needs (per character):

1 beholder eyestalk
2 bat’s eyes
2 bat’s ears, taken from different bats than the eyes
3 mushrooms
and a bottle of finest whiskey (at least 50gp in value)

With this list, the party left the tower, some drunk, and returned to the Inn of the Purple Wyvern to plan their next move.

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Magical Hole

After resting to allow Arabella to prepare some earth moving spells, the party used Arabella to create a path through the stone of the cave in, revealing a tunnel, which the party then proceeded down. After about 10 minutes, the party found a series of caves that could only be barracks, however, they were all empty. Upon more searching, the party discovered that there was a second exit from the hide-out, which led up a ladder to a pallisade located in the Spellmist. Deciding that there was nothing else to do, the party returned to Hezporia.

After consulting with each other, the party decided to try and track the army, so they returned in the general direction of the vae complex. After a while, the party came across a silver-haired elf maiden, who begged the party to help free her parents from the ravages of a many-headed monster. After trying to gain more information from the distressed girl, the party followed her to a cave, in which they encountered a nine-headed hydra. After defeating the beast, Arabella resorted to her usual “druidic” exploration of the creatures anatomy, the rest of the party turned to talk to the young elf, only to find a large, silver dragon in her place applauding them.

“You have passed my test, mortals” she said, and introduced herself as Garthanoiria, or for those that couldn’t pronounce it, Noiria. She told them some mew information, and because Ado swore an oath to her, she named him one of her champions, and gifted him with tokens which he could use to call on here aid (sort of).

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Cave-in

After looting the room of the commanders, and stuffing Ado into their new accquisition (a bag of holding iv), the party explored the rest of the complex. The first thing they found was a library, packed with books on tactics, strategy, and religious materials. Seeing the religious materials, the party soon found a magical scroll, which they used to bring Ado back to life (after first removing him from the bag).

Continuing to explore, they fought a orcish patrol, and cleaned out a small barracks of orcs, probably one of many, as the force that the party knew to be involved with at Hezporia and the Adademy cave was much larger.

Continuing to the last unexplored passage, they (or rather Gaarbunn) triggered a trap that collapsed part of the roof, completely sealing the tunnel. The party is now searching for a way forward…...

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Minotaurs and Mazes

Upon entering the cave that the orcs guarded, the party were greeted almost instantly by a fork in the tunnel.

Taking the left-tunnel, the party entered a cave that had been fitted out as a stable. Unfortunately the stables only occupants were four ogres. The ogres attacked the party, and after a fast paced battle the party dropped the ogres, finding some nice magical items.

Returning to the fork, the party took the right most path, and entered under a gothic arch into a maze. Exploring the maze, the party fought 2 minotaurs, and negotiated several traps before leaving the maze, and encountering another fork in the trail. Again taking the left fork first, the party entered a largish chamber that held four objects. One was a large table, the others were a large minotaur holding a flaming greataxe, a armored woman carrying a glaive and a strange dark-skinned smalled horned humanoid with a spear.

The minotaur asked the party if they were from Uungaar. Ado replied “yes” and the minotaur, supported by the others charged into combat. A intense battle followed, with all members of the party tested to the limit, with Furstar nearly going down in the spell dual with the dark skinned humanoid.

All was well until the closing moments of the battle, when, in the seconds before he fell, the minotaur dropped Ado.

The party is now standing over the body of Ado, a coded letter in hand, wondering what to do next.

...Below is the note…

dwwhqwlrq edwwoh ohdghu qhur.

sxoo brxu irufhv dzdb iurp khcsruld dqg surfhhg wr wkh orfdwlrq wkdw mxvwlfdu bxuwkdo zloo vkrz brx dqg holplqdwh wkh uhpdlqlqj dfdghpb vwxghqwv dqg pdvwhuv. rqfh wkdw kdv ehhq dfklhyhg, uhwxuq wr wkh vwdjlqj duhd dv l pdb kdyh qhz rughuv iru brx.

lq pb kdqg
- kljk orug udjqdu gudjrqvnlq
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Something learned

Whilst Arabella was busily learning how a dragon works by dismembering the corpse of Yarlihizik, Ado, Gaarbunn and Thronus went out patrolling, only encountering a pair of wondering ogres which the trio dispatched without breaking a sweat.

After Arabella had finished, the party made it’s way down the mountain, returning to the Academy’s hideout. When they arrived, the party discovered that someone had been busy, destroying the entrance to the cave and leaving a banner planted in the ground.

Fearing the worst, the party proceeded into the cave complex, setting off a barrier trap, sealing them in, before being attacked by a babau demon that someone thoughtfully left to take care of intruders. Being barely able to cope with the demons resistance to their weapons, the party relied on Thronus casting align weapon to help overcome the demons thick skin. The party won, unfortunately, both Ado’s greataxe and Gaarbunn’s light mace took some minor damage from the ooze that constantly seeped through the demons pores.

Going into the living area of the caves, the party were shocked to find the bodies of the remaining students hanged from the ceiling, each with a plaque reading “Traitor” around it’s neck. Finding another of the banners, the party cut down the bodies and burned them, before heading to Hezporia, trying to locate the owners of the banner.

Arriving at the city, they found it full of refugees, fleeing an army, which until a few days before, was laying siege to Hezporia. Making their way in, the party found a member of the Hezporian Home Guard, and asked him about the banner, which they were informed was that of the Crown Legion of Marash, the Skullguard.

Deciding to work it out, the party returned to the caves, then tracked the force that had killed the remaining students to a cave guarded by a pair of well-dressed and equiped orcs. Silently taking them down, the party now stands at the entrance the cave, pondering…..

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There be dragons

After resting comfortably in the cave, the party set out to explore the mountain area to locate the lair of the white dragon. However, after wondering around for a couple of hours, they encountered a fierce windstorm that forced them to find shelter before a blizzard hit. Hiding in another cave, the party waited through the day, the night and then most of the next day until the storm blew itself out.

Exiting their refuge, the party looked around and spotted a white dragon flying north, obviously enjoying the crisp, cold air of the clear sky. Tracking the dragon as best they could, the party located what appeared to be a cave complex, though the entrance tunnel wasn’t wide enough for a dragon to enter, the party proceeded as stealthily as possible whilst carrying lit lanterns. They were fine until, at the front of the party, Ado was struck by a ballista bolt. Weathering the attack, the party charged into the cavern, to face off against close to a dozen whitespawn hordelings and three whitespawn hunters. Fighting furiously, with archery support from Thronus and Warspike, and with flames from Arabella, the party killed the group, and proceeded to move deeper into the complex before Arabella’s spell wore off.

This proved to be a slight tactical error, as rounding a tight corner, the white dragon Yarlihizik pounced on the party, using it’s breath weapon to full effect, before whaling on Ado, until the rest of the party could move up. After the battle as Yarlihizik fell, he screamed out in draconic, “Deparasthizak will end you!” before dying.

Just as the party were going to pat themselves on the back, a portal in the back of the cavern flared, spewing out a bluespawn stormlizard, that charged into the party, wounding Thronus, whilst Arabella threw boulders at the portal, trying to destroy it before more spawn arrived.

Dropping the stormlizard, Ado ran to the portal to help in the effort to destroy the portal. After another boulder from Arabella and a couple of mighty hits from Ado, the portal frame cracked, then exploded with magical force. Unfortunately, the magical explosion blinded Ado, who now sees only white.

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We're back baby!

Talking to the two surviving members of the masters council, Fardun and Aliana, the party discovered how the town of Uungaar was attacked, aparrently without provocation, and razed to the ground by the elite forces of Marash, the Skullguard. During this conversation, the hideout was attacked by a force of whitespawn, servants of the white dragon whose territory the Academy remmants were hiding in. After a short but fierce battle, the party defeated the invaders, then were promptly chewed out by the Masters, and were told that they needed to remove the dragon before the dragon sent the rest of it’s forces after them. Because attacking a white dragon in it’s home is risky business, the Master’s sent two of the remaining students with them, Furstar Candlebright, a wizard and his friend/bodyguard Warspike Farstrike, a archer of some skill. Readily agreeing to this, the party was also told to find and remove the leaders of the unknown forces attacking the outlying parts of Nagon.

Leaving the caves, the party, or rather Ado and Thronus were attacked by Justicar Jania and two of her assistants, for deserting the Marashi army. A mostly slow battle took place, with each side trying to beat the other into unconsiousness, with the Justicat nearly succeeding with Ado, even managing to trap his hands in a pair of manacles. However, with the help of Barry, Thronus’ giant eagle summon, they were able to knock out the Justicar’s assistants, whilst the Justicar herself fell back to get help.

Arabella then led the party, following what she could of the whitespawn tracks, until they became unreadable half way into the rocky foothills of the northern Spellmist Mountains. The party is now camped for the night, deciding which of the many caves in the mountains that a white dragon could call home.

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A late post

Alas, a post long in coming…

The party, having arrived in the city Hezporia, spent a short time looking at the sights of the city, as they were forced marched through it, by a dwarf in golden plate armor.

After passing through the countryside and being assigned to a duty station near the western border of the town, the party managed a whole 2 days in the army before they deserted.

Travelling west, the party tried to track down the remnants of the Academy, or at least the survivors of Unngaar. Finding a solid door built into the mountain, Ado tried to open it, and failed to see the trap door under his feet. Managing not to fall down the hole, he proceeded to try the door, and found it to not be a door at all, just a wall with hinges painted on it.

Discovering a ladder in the revealed trap door, the party climbed down in to round, almost spherical chamber, with a single door with three holes in it. After looking in the holes and discovering that by pulling the ropes inside they could unlock the door. Unfortunately, they got the sequence wrong, and the chamber began to fill with water. Trying as many combinations as they could, they eventually got the door open, although the water level continued to rise, at least to the height of the doorstep. Going down the revealed tunnel, that descended and was flooded.

Taking a deep breath, Ado swam under the water to the chamber beyond, and spent a frantic few minutes moving a column around, trying to unlock sonething. After returning to his fellows, they discovered how to manipulate the pillar, and by arranging the pillar just so, they drained the water from the chamber, and discovered a further descent, via ladder that led into a stone cavern, guarded by a pair of the surviving Academy students. These students led the party to the surviving Academy Masters, and now the party waits for more info…..

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