Astorian

The End, Part 2

Upon arriving in the High Lord’s Chambers, the party are briefed by the High Lords.
“Shortly after you left, the host that you see surrounding the city appeared, both on land and sea. The monsters on the rafts and boats just outside our harbour are not a problem, our flagship, the Inevitable, has been able to sink a few of them, and the rest of the fleet is staying back. It’s the land that concerns us more. Even though the walls of Marash are thick, there are enough creatures out there to if not breach them, certainly to scale them, even if it is over the corpses of their allies. Our ballistae and catapults can kill dozens in a minute, but we have limited ammunition in our magazines, and with our armies so depleted from Dragonhide’s Folly, we will be very hard pressed to hold the horde back. Tell us, did you locate the orb?”
After the party responded in the affirmative, the High Lord’s let out a collective sigh. “Thank the Celestials, please, hand it over to the Blade of Heironeous and his priests, surely they can get it going in short order.”
As the party handed over the Orb, the sky went suddenly dark, as if someone and pulled the curtains across the chambers window. Moving to the windows (which were uncovered), all present in the chamber heard the chanting of the horde outside of Marash, “Tarthuul Kuur, Tarthuul Kuur”, and as the party look to the sky, they could see that one of Kundar’s moons, Sylha, had moved in front of the sun, casting the entire region into a kind of late twilight.
The High Lords admonished the Blade of Heironeous to be quick with his investigation of the Orb, and asked the party to help out on the walls as best they can. Uneasily agreeing, the party handed the Orb to the Blade, and left to man the walls of Marash.
Reaching the walls, they could see the battle was on in the full, with ballistae and catapults keeping up a constant stream of boulders and heavy spears out into the mass of orcs, goblins and ogres, killing dozens every few seconds, with the few archers and crossbowman that could be mustered firing constantly, finding it impossible to miss hitting a monstrous form.
More of interest to the party, were a few dark forms, barely visible in the mass, apparently directing the chaos of the horde, and Arabella, with her keen sight, could just barely, at the rear of the throng, make out a large shadowy shape, surrounded by several dark figures, which she recognised as drow.
Before they could do anything about it, several ladder teams made it to the base of the wall, and were raised, seemingly impervious to the sporadic spells being launched from the walls by the city’s wizards. As soon as the tops of the ladders touched the crenulations of Marash’s walls, several ogres leapt off them, trying to clear some space for the smaller goblinoids and orcs to secure the beachhead. Ado and Gaarbunn waded into the frantic melee, whilst Thronus helped to heal the wounded archers who hadn’t been quick enough to escape the first swings of the ogres. Arabella started to hurl spells and the dark shapes amongst the horde, bringing down a couple of them, whilst Iggy sang songs of courage and valour, boasting the morale of the troops of Marash. Slowly, the party managed to secure that section of wall, but as they did so, another section became threatened, and they hurried over to help. This continued for what seemed to be hours, with wall sections being secured and others threatened, though in reality it could of only have been a few minutes, until suddenly, the sky above the Temple of Heironeous exploded in a fierce orange light, and a dozen, no two dozen, no too many to count Battle Dragons appeared, and winged their way to the battlefield of Marash’s walls. All of the dragons attacked the horde but a few, who went after the large shape at the rear of the invading force. However, before these dragons could even get close, they turned slowly colourless, then vanished into clouds of sparkles, presumably sent back to wherever they came from. Seeing this, one of the larger dragons, landed inside the city, near the walls, and stretched her head over to address the party, who now had a brief respite.
“My name is Gramzon, and you must come with me. If you can defeat the leaders of the horde, they shall surely flee!”
After having their wounds tended by priests of Heironeous, the party mounted up on Gramzon, who took off and flew out and around the horde, coming at the command group from the rear, landing about a mile off to offload the party.
Once the party had climbed off Gramzon, she took off, going back to the horde the same way she had just flown, leaving the party to trudge towards the hordes leaders.
As they got close to the commanders, the party rushed in, catching several of the drow by surprise, and began to slowly kill their way to the commander of the horde, a hideous black and purple scaled dragon, whose form seemed to float away on the wind. Once the party had killed most of the guards, three figures stepped forward from near the dragon, one was instantly recognised by Ado as the drow who had been impersonating Lord Ragnar Dragonhide! Whilst the rest of the party attacked the other two figures, a drow wizard and a female priestess, Ado and “Ragnar” squared off and duelled.
The dragon, after watching for a few moments, joined in the battle, sorely pressing the party, until Gaarbunn, along with Iggy, took down the priestess and turned to fight off the dragon, with Arabella and Thronus joining soon after, dispatching the wizard quickly now that the priestess was unable to support him with defensive magics.
As the party fully engaged the dragon, Ado scored a wicked hit on the drow. Now in his bear form, Ado literally took the head from “Ragnar’s” shoulders, and then Ado lumbered up to engage the dragon.
Even though the party were exhausted, even though they had few spells to sling, and the rear ranks of the horde were turning back to aid the dragon, they were victorious, bleeding from hundreds of tiny cuts, the party stood their ground as the rear of the horde, then the rest of it, broke ranks, and fled the field, desperately trying to escape the few battle dragons still alive, now that the leaders of the force and been killed. Some of the horde passed so close to the party, that if they held out their weapons, an orc or goblin would have run itself through. Thankfully, it was over. The horde had fled, and the city of Marash was mostly intact, the few holes in its walls caused by misfired catapults than the enemy. As the party trudged their way to the city gates through the bloody mud and corpse piles, they made to the city gates, which were flung wide, and the party were welcomed into the city as heroes.
Slowly, the clean up of the area outside the walls began, whilst the party licked their wounds, and tidied themselves up. For their services to Marash, each member of the party were given the title “Saviour of Marash”, and granted more land to each of their baronies.


Thus ends this campaign, and our time playing 3.5e. Join me soon for more dungeon exploring action as we rip open 4th edition later this year!

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The End, Part 1
A narrative tale of the end of the campaign

After resting for a short time, the party continued down into the depths of the dungeon, following a long twisting dark stone passage until they exited onto a ledge at the edge of a fantastic cavern. The cavern was simply immense, almost a mile long, and filled with sunlight and jungle. Gaping at the impossibility of it, the party moved to the edge of the ledge and descended down the narrow and winding path cut into the rock. Reaching the bottom, the party had to hack their way through the dense vegetation, in the process disturbing a group of dark furred and horned dire apes. These fiendish apes attacked the party, hooting war cries, and were met by the blades and spells of the party.
The party, now veterans, quickly dispatched the gang of dire apes, taking only minor wounds. They then proceeded to the far side of the cavern, where they found a heavily carved stone structure, the size of a large house, covered in creepers and vines. Pulling away the plants, the party found that the carvings, while worn, depicted huge dragons, much larger that any the party had encountered, flying out of a hole in the sky. Leaving the beauty of the entrance behind them, the party entered the structure, and narrowly avoiding several traps, including a nasty pendulum trap over a false floor of quicksand.
Exhausted after negotiating the traps, the party staggered into a round chamber, supported by four pillars, each a different colour, one yellow, one green, one gray, and one black, surrounding a dazzling altar, apparently made from a single massive diamond. On top of the altar, upon a jewel-studded velvet pillow, rested a clear glass orb. Approaching the orb, Arabella, noticed that the orb was not in fact clear, but was rather finely engraved with runes, so close together and so precise that the orb, from a distance appeared clear. Ensuring that the rest of the party were ready to either run or fight, Arabella reached out and pulled the orb from the pillow.
As she did so, beams of energy flashed out from the surrounding pillars, in colours of purest yellow, green, gray and black, striking the orb and flooding the chamber with an incredible display of cycling colours.
When the beams ceased, the orb, now filled with a roiling display of colours and light, pulsed with a clear white light, momentarily blinding the party. When the group could see again, they each felt much stronger and more capable.
Carefully placing the orb into Ado’s bag of holding, the party left the temple, travelled quickly back through the traps and the jungle, climbed the cliff path, travelled the obsidian tunnel, and exited into the magma filled entrance chamber. There, across the narrow stone bridge, the huge entry doors slammed shut, and a further huge piece of stone slid from the ceiling down to cover the doors. This stone then became shrouded in mist, seemingly able to exist despite the incredible heat of the magma. As the party prepared to cross the bridge, then deal with the door, the magma itself seemed to come alive, and formed itself into an Ember Guard, with several magma golems in support.
What ensued was a truly epic battle, with spells being thrown, shapes changed and war cries yelled. Iggy and Thronus dealt quickly with the magma golems, pelting them with spells of cold, while Ado and Gaarbunn hacked their way into the Ember Guard, with Arabella providing assistance with whichever team needed it.
After destroying the constructs, and with all the party suffering from burns and scalds, they approached the door, and spent several hours figuring out how to open the door. Eventually, they got it open, and, using several of Thronus’ air walk spells, they made their way quickly towards Marash.
On the second day of their travels, before Thronus could cast his spells, the party were attacked by a half dozen of the black-scaled creatures they had faced in the entry chamber to the cave they had just left, who glided down from the back of a huge black dragon, who opened proceedings with a huge blast of acid. The party, grounded, had little trouble dealing with the ground forces, but struggled against their airbourne foe, who consistently circled the party and bombarded them from above with acid breath and spells. Eventually Arabella, Thronus and Iggy managed to force the dragon to the ground using magic to damage it’s wings, and once the dragon was on the ground, with Ado and Gaarbunn joining in, they made short work of the beast.
After a brief rest, the party continued on to Marash, and as they approached the city, found that the city and been surrounded by land and sea by hordes of orcs, goblins and ogres. Thankfully, due the magic of Thronus, the party managed to land on top of Marash Castle, and were escorted to face the High Lords.

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More Magma

Finally, as the mist of the drow’s misty spell disipated, the party were interupted by a loud banging at the door. When Ado, who was closest to the door, opened it, he was barreled aside by several of Marash Castle’s guard, whom asked the party what was going on. When the party related to the guards what had happened, the guards (after allowing Arabella to find her pants), quickly took them to see the residing High Lords, whom were not impressed to be woken early by reports of a fight inside their walls, less so when they were told that the assailents were drow.

Mightily upset by this news, the party were instructed to visit their estates, while the High Lords consulted their various oracles and diviners.

During the time that the party were away from Marash, they visited their respective lands, settling in their various groups of refugees from the drow city of Nar’Gatha. After touring all their respective lands, the party returned to Marash, where the High Lords informed the party that they needed to recover the orb of travelling, a powerful artifact that allows travel between the planes with greater accuracy than what is normally achievable with such spells.

Travelling south to the very tip of the Spellmist mountains, via a ship then camels, where they searched the base of the mountains for a cave. Finding the cave, they turned their camels loose, then entered the cave, and after a short distance of travelling through the cave, they came to a pair of massive bronze doors, carved in an elaborate and ancient style, resembling that of huge dragons. Pushing the doors open, which was easy as the doors moved on concealed runners, revealing a awesome sight.

Stretching out in front of the party was a huge bridge, without any walls and very narrow, arcing out over a huge, magma filled gorge, constantly being filled by two huge magmafalls. On the far side of the bridge, the party could make out several figures and towers, protecting the approach to that side.

Seeing the forces arrayed against them, the Garrbunn ran to the middle of the arcing bridge, only to discover that someone had poured oil all over the middle portion of the span, making it hard, but no difficult to cross. This changed, when several archers on the top of the towers began to fire arrows at Gaarbunn and the rest of the party. Thinking quickly, Iggy unleashed a mass fly spell, enabling the party to move across the chasm easily, without fear of falling into the boiling hot magma. Led by Gaarbunn, Ado ran across the bridge, and whilst Gaarbunn engaged the spear fighters, Ado launched himself at the troops commander, a massive minotaur. Ado was surprised when his first swing missed, and shocked when the second swing, a blow that might have felled a lesser foe, the minotaur pushed aside with his palm. Both Ado and Gaarbunn launched themselves at the minotaur, fending off attacks from the spear wielding creatures, which now Ado and Garrbunn were closer now, appeared to be some sort of dark-scaled humanoids. Fighting hard, and Ado resorting to his bear form, and a little assistance from Iggy’s spells, the minotaur finally fell, with Ado leaping up to the nearest archer nest to deal with the bowman, and Garrbunn finishing up the spear fighters. Unfortunately, during Ado and Gaarbunn’s respective fights, Iggy and Arabella were subject to lots of arrows from the entrenched archers, one arrow, a mighty shot, nearly killed Arabella, but fortunately, Thronus, always on standby, flew forward and managed to keep Arabella from the heavens.

Finally, the last archer, seeing his companions cut down, threw something to the ground, and in a flash of blue light, vanished from the party’s sight. Exhausted, partially from the heat and partially from the epic battle, the party are catching their breath, before exploring more of this fantastic site.

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Magma

The party, after resting in Marash, had Thronus cast some air walk spells to speed them quickly to the site of the Old One’s laboratory, to the confluence of magical energies in order for Iggy to think about his past, his future and the present. Before Iggy could prepare the area for him to mediate on these things, a massive Ember Guard, a creature from the lower plains, pulled itself from the lake of molten magma, and proceeded to attack the party.

The party, at first unable to damage the creature in any way, slowly overcame it’s resistance to damage, and eventually sent the creature bcak to the hell from which it came. The area, now mostly safe, was now ideal for Iggy to perform his mediatations, and after a few hours, the soul of Iggy was back in alignment.

After resting for a few hours for Thronus to recover his spells, the party air walked back to Marash, where they took up residence (for the moment), in Marash’s castle, where, after arranging the supplies south for their new holdings, they took to their beds.

In the morning, as the party left there rooms, they were attacked by drow ninjas. Iggy, being the only one not surprised, managed to defend himself from the attacking drow, but Arabella, Ado and Gaarbunn were all struck at some point by the drow, and in Arabella’s case, by a concealed assassin. The subsequent few seconds passed quickly, with both Gaarbunn and Ado taking down their opponents quickly, and moving to assist the others, a task made more difficult by the ninjas ghost stepping every few seconds to throw the party off. After the ninja were defeated and the assassin badly injured, the assassin faded from sight, and filled the room with a magical fog, which allowed the assassin to heal, and, to deal a near fatal… a serious wound… actually not badly hurt Arabella before stealing a hank of her hair and leaving a note in drow “Vengeance will be ours”.

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Spiders!!

After having a mostly restful sleep in the hovel of a friendly dwarven matron, the party got up an prepared themselves for what was probably going to be a massive fight to escape the city. The party quickly moved to the gatehouse by which they had entered Nar’Gatha, pushing their way through the throng of gladitorial and dwarven slaves, all which had armed themselves from the market district of the city, and who were acting as a rear guard for the few warriors at the gates themselves.

Reaching the gate, the party found a drow wizard blasting away at the cover that several dwarves and gladiatos were using as cover, protected by several drow fighters. Seeing the arrival of Ado, the gladiators rallied to him, whilst Iggy headed for the dwarven fighters to support them, with Gaarbunn and Arabella moving into cover against one of the buildings, and Thronus moving to assist Ado.

After unleashing several spells at the wizard, and only inflicting minor damage, due to the drow’s innate resistance to magic, the wizard reached to his neck and grasped an amulet, and without warning, the entire side of gatehouse, the portion just above the gates themselves, came to life as a gargantuan spider, which covered the drow for a few moments from Arabella’s lighting storm, before stomping off to intercept Gaarbunn, who, after surviving part of the building he was using for cover collapsing on him, and recieving a spider climb spell from Arabella, had climbed onto the roof of said building in order to pounce on the massive construct.

A few moments later, after Gaarbunn had leapt onto the spider, and the drow wizard was taken out, both the dwarves, aided by Iggy, and the gladiators, led by Ado, rushed the remaining drow at the gates, with only a single gladiator falling to the spider’s venomous bite, his strength drained from him. The dwarves, using their typical wedge formation, quickly dispatched the drow warriors, and the leader of the dwarves, Hedin Ordak, threw the wizard’s amulet to Iggy, before he and his dwarves began the task of forcing the gates open.

With Ado, Gaarbunn, Arabella and most of the gladiatorial force fighting the spider, and barely scratching it (apart from Garrbunn, with his adamantine sword), Iggy tried to use the control amulet to halt the beast. He did so, briefly, allowing the other members of the party to attack and move around the spider to the best positions without fear of being hit, and, with Ado, now buffed by Thronus and in his mighty bear form, did what most children do: he proceeded to rip the legs of the spider, well leg, and in doing so, broke open one of the magical conduits inside the construct, spewing brightly coloured magical energy, rendering the massive spider a rather interesting sculpture.

With the death of the spider, the dwarves managed to break the gathouse doors open, and with the party and the gladiators, they fled the city of Nar’Gatha for the safety of Ordak Hall, some 15 days away. Thankfully, due to the size of the group leaving Nar’Gatha, some 1,800 dwarves and 2,000 gladiator slaves, they were left alone in the underdark, until they finally reached Ordak Hall.

At Ordak Hall, the party were welcomed back as heros, and a huge banquet was arranged, with much drinking of dwarven ales, and the banquet lasted several days, and the hangovers a few more. As a reward to the party, they were all named dwarfriend, rewarded with several very nice gemstones, and told if they needed any aid, either building, forging or fighting, to call on them. Leaving the dwarven Hall, and moving quickly through the underdark to an exit cave near Marash, the party managed to beat the worst of the winter weather, arriving, with their force of gladiators, on Last Day, the final day of 1100(7).

The next day, being the first of a new year (1.1.1101(7)), the city of Marash bestowed it’s new year honors, the party, having successfully stopped the dark elf threat on Marash, were mentioned, and each was named to a Barony. Thronus became the Baron of Lightdell, a small settlement on the edge of the Starwood, to the south of Marash. Iggy was named Baron of Corcliff, a coastal town, again to the south of Marash. Iggy’s neighbour would be Arabella, just a days journey to the North, who was named Baroness of the Oldshore Coast, and bridging the gap between Thronus’ new domain, Arabella’s new domain and Iggy’s new domain, were the new domains of Ado, who was named Baron of Griffenbarrow and Garrbunn, named Baron of the Snowplain.

The party is now in Marash, debating the splitting of the gladiators into their new holdings, and planning their next move, after Ado informed them of some disturbing information he recieved from Moiria….

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Assassination

After a quick stop at the Inn for preparation, with Arabella recieving a new tongues spell, and Thronus being bound (loosely) by Iggy, the party were re-escorted to the Fane of Lolth by the Temple Guards, and brought back to the High Priestess’ chamber. In the Priestess’ room, before Thronus could be bound to the well-used manacles attached to the wall, he slipped his bonds, much to the surprise of the High Preistess, and cast a spell of silence, before Arabella unleashed a flurry of strikes with her sword, scoring a glancing blow across the Priestess’ shoulder.

Seeing Arabella launch her first strike, and seeing (or rather hearing) the lack of sound coming from the chamber, Ado launched himself between the two Temple Guards, and whilst moving, enraged himself into his bear-form and attacked the Preistess, grabbing her and wrestling her to the ground in order to further incapacitate the Preistess, and make even more difficult to cast any spells. With the Priestess held, both Ado and Arabella proceeded to attack Priestess, eventually bringing her down.

Across the chamber, near it’s entrance, Gaarbunn and Iggy, and later with the help of Thronus, fought the temple guards, with Gaarbunn notably piercing the shield of one of the Tower Guards before stabbing himself in the foot, and with Iggy successfully breaching the dark elves innate ability to resist magic, to freeze him in place with a hold spell.

Once the guards and the Preistess had been killed, Arabella told Ado to throw the Priestess out of the window to make a statement to the city of Nar’Gatha, and used her gifted feather token to send a short message to Astrath Qandro, telling him that the position of High Preistess has just opened up to applicants.

Unfortunately, trying to throw the dead High Priestess out of the window allowed several things to occur. Firstly, that Lolth had returned her to life because of a death pact, meant that she had only died for a couple of seconds, and secondly, she was able to subtly cast a spell once she was brought free from the area of the silence. The spell she cast was a good one, a powerful conjuration that swapped her body for that of a Hezrou, a toad-like demon from the lower levels of the Abyss. This demon had the upper hand for a few moments, the dreadful stench of it’s foul plane of existance leaking into the material world with it, causing most of the party to get nauseous. Eventually steeling themeselves against the stench, both Ado (now returned to his human form) and Gaarbunn, each with a blessed weapon, waded into melee with it, while Iggy and Arabella pelted it from range with bleesed arrows and magical boulders, respectively.

The demon fell quickly, unable to cope with the holiness of the teams attacks, and fled to the back to the Abyss, it’s body sucked into a black hole with a loud “plopping” sound, and the High Priestess appeared in the demon’s place. The party then attacked the returned and healed Priestess, although Gaarbunn was the only one able to effectively hurt her, as the Priestess had used her time in the Abyss well, not only healing herself, but reinforcing her defences, even going as far as to turn her body to stone!

Alas, this was not enough, as the Priestess, now surrounded by foes, quickly fell, her mind-attacking spells apparently no match for the wills of Garrbunn and Ado. This time, when she died, the party made sure of it, while Thronus threw all the valuables into the party’s bag of holding, including the Axe of Navauk, a powerful dwarvencraft waraxe, as well as a deep red and black suit of scale mail, a silver breastplate with golden feathers engraved on it, a black morningstar forged from a single piece of steel, a shortbow with jade inlays, a sickle whose blade bears an image of a thunderstorm, a wickedly sharp greatsword, with a saw-like blade and stained with blood, and a magnificently jewelled longsword, whose crosspiece looked like a pair of griffon heads.

Re-tying up Thronus, throwing him over Ado shoulders, the party quickly and calmly left the Fane, although they had some issues leaving, as Arabella activated the lift’s controls, she had to jump onto the platform, making it swing like a pendulum, neatly throwing off Iggy and Ado (with Thronus) and a few seconds later, followed by Arabella and Gaarbunn.

Marching away from the temple (and the red splat that was the High Preistess), the party headed for the Slums of Nar’Gatha, avoiding the sudden outbreak of interhouse war, started by the Qandro, who already had much of their forces mobilized.

Reaching the Slums, the party showed off the Axe of Navauk, and were quickly hidden by the dwarven slaves, who told the party to rest, whilst they started a revolt in the Slums, with a view to reaching the forges and fully arming themselves (and the other slaves, although that was somewhat a reluctant bargin made with the party). When the dwarves left, Ado and Iggy went to the run-down tavern that Ado had visited the night before, and managed to rouse the drunken gladiators to cries of “Freedom!” and “Revolution!”, before Ado and Iggy, (barely) made it back to the safety of the dwarven hovel to rest.

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Chaos has it's charms

After securing lodgings for themselves at a suitably lavish Inn, the party decided on a course of action to get more info about the city and it’s ruler, the High Priestess of the Inner Fane of Lolth. Deciding that having Gaarbunn and Ado go into the arena as master and gladiator save would get info from the lower class of the town, the pair set off to the arena, whilst Iggy and Arabella discussed the questions that they would ask of Ehlonna via Thronus in the “morning”.

At the arena, Gaarbunn entered Ado in the “team vs. monster” event, managing to get Ado, (after a very quick examination), onto the team fielded by House Qandro, the same house that they suspect that the helpful mage at the gate belonged to. In order to seem like a typical bored drow noble, Garrbunn placed a 2,500gp bet on the House Qandro team to win, and sat with Master Qandro (who gave no other name), and tried to ask him and his retainers questions about the state of the city. All Gaarbunn was able to gleam was that Master Qandro wanted to buy Ado from him for a ridiculos price once Ado and House Qandro’s team quickly slew a armored fire giant, though there was a glint in his eye when Garrbunn mentioned that his mistress was interested in sowing Chaos in Nar’Gatha by… changing the ruling situation.

Mighty pleased with his victory, Ado managed to get himself invited to a slave/gladiator tavern later that night, and got himself involved in the fledgling resistance, and told that if he could aquire for the slaves enough weapons (to fit out the dwarves and the gladiators, soem 3,000 slaves), they would help take the city, starting with the forge and market districts.

Upon reporting this to the party, the group cast their divination and commune spells to gather some intel on the High Preistess and her minons. Most of what they learned would soon come into play as the High Priestess, via her Temple Guards summoned Arabella to the Fane of Lolth in order to present her with her gift.

Upon entering the chamber of the High Preistess, Arabella quickly identified the Axe of Navauk hanging on the priestess’s wall, and proceeded to negotiate her presentation of her gift, Thronus. After reaching an accord, the Arabella was marched back to her Inn, where she instructed the others on what to do, with both her and Garrbunn recieving “boosts” to their tongues spells, and with the party calling upon Iggy to bind Thronus (and hide his holy symbol) so he would be able to cast a silence spell at the opportune moment.

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Drow, Drow, Drow, Drow, Bodak

After making a plan of entry for the upcoming drow city, the party left the safety of Ordak Hall and began on their 10-day journey to the drow city of Nar’Gatha. The first day went well, with both Arabella and Garrbunn getting used to their disguises that they would use in order to enter the city, with some help from the knowledge of Iggy.

On the second day of their travels, the party encountered a group of drow, travelling in the same direction that they were themselves going. The group of drow challenged the party, however, they did it in a tongue that none of the party understood. Fearing that they would be found out, (especially as they had a Aasimar free and armed amongst them), the party launched a premptive strike against the newcomers, quickly silencing several of the drow, although one managed to escape, his flight didn’t last long, as Ado, in bear form, charged after the drow and brought him down a short distance away.

Deciding that the drow’s gear would aid in their disguises, the party appropiated sevearal items and packed the rest into Ado’s bag of holding, before continuing on their journey.

A couple of day’s later, the party were nicely surprised by a pair of bodak, who’s fearsome gazes were nearly the end of Iggy, but the party, despite their weapons bouncing off the bodaks tough skin, they eventually killed the undead.

A few days later, the party approached one of the gates into Nar’Gatha, and quicly bound stripped and bound Thronus, in order to pass him off as a prisoner, which the the assumed identity’s that the party put together were going to offer to the High Priestess of the Fane of Lolth.

Approaching the gate, the party were in awe of the detailed stone work of the massive gatehouse, and by the way the reliefs and valleys of the huge spider scuplture were picked out in faerie fire. Entering the gatehouse, the party were questioned by the clerk there, and Arabella, playing the part of an insulted noble female, neatly choked and intimidated the clerk in order to be allowed entry into the city.

Arabella, tipped the noble gate captain with a magnificent gem, and in exchange, the drow slipped her a feather token, and his name, “Astrath”, just in case.

The party now stands inside the city, near the gatehouse, wondering what to do next

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There be dwarves

After resting in Thengir Hall, the party debated where to go next. Deciding that their priority was to sort the drow out, the party using their new compass, pushed on through the tunnels to the south-west of the hall, and continued through from the relative calm of the tunnels near the settled areas near Thengir Hall, and entered the true Wilds.

Not too long into their journey, the party fought a trio of trolls. Thanks to the enhancements of Iggy and the slicey-dicey of Ado and Gaarbunn, the regenerating monsters quickly fell. The party continued onward, having another brief encounter, this time from a group of wraiths, which, by invoking the power of Ehlonna, Thronus banished.

The only spot of bother the party had was when they entered a large cave, inhabited by a Yrthak, a sound sensing beast that launched sonic energy at the party, while remaining out of reach of the partys’ darkvision range, until Thronus called upon the power of his heritage and summoned a sphere of light onto a nearby stalacmite. The beast, sensing from the party’s movement (and the spells being thrown it’s way) that it could be seen, swooped down and snatched Ado from among his companions and flew off with him, eventually reaching the heart of the Spellmist.

After a few minutes, Ado was able to struggle free and leap to safety in a nearby snowdrift. Joined shortly afterward by a amused Arabella, the pair hiked back to the cave which they had recently flew from, and descended back through the tunnel to the rest of the party, who had a chuckle at Ado, before marching onwards.

A few days later, they encountered a dwarven patrol, much more battered looking than the dwarves of Thengir Hall, and were promptly semi-arrested for being crazy or suicidal. After meeting with the leader of this dwarven Hall, Lord Ordak, a combination of the two was decided upon for the partys status. After asking them to recover the Ancestral Weapon of the Ordak, a mighty dwarvencraft battleaxe, Lord Ordak wished the party well, although it was clear from his tone that he really doesn’t expect to see them again.

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Cash 'n Cave

After spending a day in Marash to recieve encantments and to do some shopping, the party first decided to head to the nearby mining town of Saragras, which they had passed through previously with the Old One.

Seeking out the factor of the mine there, the party negotiated for a good price on the vein of platinum that they had discovered in the beholders cave. For a while, the Factor wouldn’t pay more than 15,000gp for the location, until Iggy brought his considerable musical talents to the conversation, planting a suggestion that 25,000gp for the vein would be more reasonably. Taking the word of the bard in, the Factor agreed to 20,000gp, with a bonus that Caratra, the foreperson that he would send with them, would pay if she thought that the vein was worth the full 25,000.

Escorting Caratra back to Marash, with a view to buy passage on a ship back to Lake’s View, the party was attacked by an Elder Earth Elemental, that appeared from nowhere. With it’s supernatural strength blunted by a strength draining spell from Thronus, the party were easily able to handle the massive elemental, although as the force left the earthen form, the remains fell on top of the party, with most dodging out of the way of the impacting weight and the subsequent dust cloud.

Returning to Marash, the party quickly found a ship heading north, and boarded the saucy sow, a trading vessel, and spent a few weeks traveling to Lake’s View.

Upon arriving in Lake’s View, the party crossed the lake, and quickly headed for the beholder’s cave. At the cave, the party showed Caratra the vein of platinum, and gave the party the agreed upon value of 20,000gp in gems, as well as the bonus amount of 5,000gp (also in gems), before reading from a scroll and magicing herself back to Saragras.

The party then went spelunking, getting turned around once or twice before reaching what appeared to be a barricaded and fortified cavern. In this cavern, they were attacked by a group of Xorn, and during the fight, Ado discovered a Spear of dwarves, guarding the barricade.

Once the rest of the party finished off the Xorn, they quickly negotiated with the dwarven Spearwielder, and with a conversation of “Take me to your leader” the party was escorted through adamantine reinforced tunnels to Thengir Hall, home of Clan Thengir. They were presented to the clan chief, Durnak Thengir, who, apart from having a passionate hatred of elves, aided the party by allowing them to purchase adamantine weapons from the clan, as well as gifting the party with a Lokston, a dwarven compass that allows the user to find north whilst underground. The party was also shown the dwarven route to the surface, with exited into the western ranges of the Spellmist, not more than two weeks march to Raston, a small city during good conditions. However, as the season is turning from late summer into early autumn, the storms that come off the western range of the Spellmist can be deadly.

The party is now debating, in the safety of Thengir Hall their path…

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