Last Time On D&D

Night 09 2012-08-29
"Sunkenblot"

In which Jimminey gets the book “Fire on the Open Sea”, Clairebelle removes a magical sword from the ground, the group helps an elderly couple being robbed, and the group works their way around Sunkenblot.

_The party set out from St. Forget, their new traveling companion Cecil in tow. On the road they encounter a strange, still wolf, who leads Clairebelle into the nearby woods. In a grove she finds a weathered blade impaled in the earth, guarded by the wolf’s packmates. They urge her to remove the blade to let the earth heal. Clairebelle gives the blade to Flynn on the promise that he not sell it.

When the party nears Sunkenblot, they encounter some poor farmers being harassed by harriers. The party makes short work of them. Crystalis reveals something of his true nature in the battle. Cecil makes out with a grayhawk ring. He is decidedly sneakier now. Flynn convinces the farmers to make way for the St. Forget farmer’s market. They make a gift of their wagon’s corn to the party.

In Sunkenblot, the party is reunited with Hrummek, and two children attempt to pick Cecil’s pockets. Jimminey, Cecil, and Hrummek obtain seasickness potions, and Hrummek and Jimminey also buy Vitaslurp.

Hrummek rides the boats in Cutty Square, gets curry at the Green Mustache, and afterwards the party has a heart-to-heart with Clairebelle about Crystalis.

In the morning the party heads out to talk to Harbormaster Brion, who gives them a run-down on vessels departing for Ballyhoo. Nemo Diomedea (Aventi), Akinu Blackback (Darfellan), and Jonas Whelk are all sailing out soon.

Hrummek gets a kitten sweater.

The group talks to Jonas at the Tipsy Harlot; he says he will accept 5g or hard work for passage, and will sail when ready.

Flynn drops off the mysterious sword at the blacksmith’s for reforging; he asks for 50g payment. _

Sankari Rinnassa Palon – Fabled Dwarf Swashbuckler

Cecil – Southern Lands, Sorcerer, automotons.
Worships Boccob – Nuetral God of Magic

In Sunkenblot
Davey Cutty – Founder of Sunkenblot

Harbormaster Brion, refers group to Jonas Whelk to charter a ship to Ballyhoo.

Jonas Whelk – Captain/Navigator, ship Lazy Skirt

Zee- Lazy Skirt’s Windsinger

End of Night 09

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Night 08 2012-08-15
A Job In Blackwood

Placeholder Summary – Needs More Details

Met Friar Lewis along the way.

The band of bards from the Heironious Academy of Music and Valor demands custody of Simon!
Not without a fight!

Friar Lewis took off running in the other direction.

Vielle pretty much mutilated the bards and broke their fingers, and cut out the tongue of their leader, Ephestus.

Things went splendid once we reached Blackwood with the wine, and we returned to St. Forget triumphant (5g per day – collect recipts
7.5%).

June procured a journal page of the late Mayor Strahdavari. Evidence pointed to a mountain named The Stone Tooth where another Protector of the Seals named Nightscale potentially resides. The next step was finding a way to cross the sea in the port town of Sunkenblot.

(Could the Stone Tooth mountain be the legendary Khrundukar, forge and mines of the fabled dwarven blacksmith, Durgeddin the Black?)

End of Night 08

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Night 07 2012-08-01 - Part 2
"The Town of St. Forget"

The group set out for St. Forget to discover more about the mysterious amulets that may be protecting the world. Hrummek proclaimed the city of St. Forget a hell hole and peaced-out to Sunkenblot. Upon arrival in the town (after a quick detour to mushroom hunt in the middle of winter), our fearless adventurers found the walls of St. Forget suspiciously free of mutilated bodies, and the town itself a quiet little paradise, if a little eccentric. Vielle and Flynn made friends in The Wooden Stake, a rival bar of the seemingly state run Dog&Duck, and questioned bar owner Jeremy Dean about the mysterious Mayor Stradavari. Across town, Jimmminey, Clarabelle and Thoril investigated the Temple of Pelor, found it in good repair, and spoke to a young clergyman called Hammish Fop . Hammish informed them that the temple has only recently been reclaimed by Pelor’s worshipers, after a sudden change of heart by that dastardly Stradavari. Thoril, Clarabelle, and Jimminey also learned that Stradavari keeps his odd hours because he is in fact a Vampire. Somehow this was shocking to all but Flynn.

Vielle and Jimminey made an appointment for a job interview with Stradavari’s assistant after sundown, and in the down time, Vielle spent some time searching the libraries of the Inn. The interview went well, despite Stradavari’s assistant being rather vague about his whereabouts, and the gang was enlisted as bodyguards for administrative assistant June Wells’ little brother Simon Douglas. The adventurers then had a good night rest at the inn. (also Jimminey bought a “ward undead” amulet, and Thoril spoke to June alone….)

In the morning, Vielle woke early to speak with the alchemist, a friendly gnome who told her of a place to find Chocophizz in Blackwood. Vielle looked through his books and found some useful information on poison, and borrowed a book on magical societies which she has not yet read. After the alchemist, you all met at the eastern gate to collect Simon (who looked a little young for the job) and the wine you’d be transporting to Blackwood. On the road, you learned that Simon was trained by a bardic college in a single spell to kill Stradavari, but upon his chance to use it, he learned that the bastard had already turned his sister. June shoved a desk leg through Stradavari’s back about a year ago, and has been operating as de-facto mayor since then, hence the upcoming election.

That night as you made camp, Vielle kindly offered to take first watch. As soon as night fell, she cast sleep upon her companions and hunched over the ring on Thoril’s finger to dispell any magic in the ring. Before she could, a monstrous undead thing crashed through the woods, shrieking that he’d found a feast. She woke the rest of you, and you kicked some ass, with Simon watching on and jamming out a moral boosting tune. As the first creature crumbled, three more ran out crying for food. These proved more difficult, and a few fell while Flynn stood fast. As Thoril went down, Simon had a fleeting moment of bravery, and he rushed over to use the ring on Thoril’s finger, casting a healing spell. Despite the (perhaps overzealous challenge rating), the team prevailed, the three undead hulks fell to the ground and the woods were quiet once more. Quiet, except for Simon:

“That was so AWESOME! With the fricken swords and fire and even that little furry guy was all like CHOMP and Pelor’s FIERY ASS BEARD you guys that was like… METAAAAAAL! …you guys are the coolest people I know.”

End of Night 07

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Night 07 2012-08-01 - Part 1
"Escape To St. Forget"

The body of the Mayer of Fairhill drops to the floor, dead. You hear the noise of several persons coming in through the front door and up the stairs.

Grizzelly, Jimminey, and two other dwarves burst into the prison room. Grizzelly exclaims “Great Moradin’s Beard!!! Why is the Mayor dead?!”

“Look, there’s no time to dottle, guards are on their way to apprehend the lot of ya for breakin’ in ta free Baran – noble intentions or not – you’ll be wanted for assassination now as well! We got to get you lot back underground!”

“Aye, ye might be able to take down the entire brigade, but you got to look at the whole picture here! They’re not gonna understand! Not now anyways.”

Once underground…

“The citizens of Fairhill are in a panic state! This needs time to cool down. The Firechests will stay here t’ look after things and take care o’ Baran here. You need to get to that other town, St. Forget, and figure out what that Stradavari fellow might now…

But you canna just barge over there demandin things. There’s a sayin’:

a dwarf cuts in “Forgive your enemy but remember the bastard’s name?”

“Nuh nuh ye dung f’ brains, that’s not the one I’m thinkin’!”

another dwarf pipes up “Gold canna buy ye happiness, but it’s more comfortable t’ cry onna silk pillow than th’ cold, hard ground?”

“UCH! Ye not helpin’!!!!”

yet another dwarf answers “Alchohol doesn’t solve yer problems, but then again, neither does milk?”

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! Help someone when they are in trouble – they’ll remember you when they’re in trouble again.”

All the other dwarves in unison “Ahhhhhhhh, hhmmmmmmmm”

“What I’m a sayin’ is that p’raps this Stradavari fellah might need help wit somethin’….find out what it tis, help ‘em, and he’ll owe yewww.”

“Ahhhhhhhh, hmmmmmmmmmm”

“Fer cripes seak, guh. JIMMINEY…I think yew should go with yer band o’ heroes here, help em sort this out. I’ll stay here an’ keep this lot in line.”

Jimminey nods “AYE, I used to be an adventurer like them, but then I took an arrow to th’ back. I lost em once, I won’t loose em again! LETS GO!!! TIME’S WASTIN!”

“With the mayor dead an no witnesses you lot are fugitives, linked with breaking Baran outta custody of the mayor, and for, well, assassination of the mayor. This map here o’ Baran’s can get us out of Fairhill without ever havin to set foot above ground. I’ll lead the way and we’ll take the west road out and we’ll reach the town of St. Forget by nightfall”

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Night 06 2012-7-08
"The Truth About Fairhill"

Hrummek takes the group to a location where some of her relatives live.

Refuge at Barnaby’s Caravan
Barnaby lives in a caravan about a mile outside Fairhill, in between a river and a small hill. The caravan was parked in front of the hill almost eight years ago, and a house was dug into the hill behind. Hrummek is able to deliver her present, though a little late, and the group is able to rest and recover.

Back to Fairhill – unknown group of dwarves that look familiar with fiery chest hair grab the groups attention and bring them to a different inn near the town square and to their room.
There, in bed, healing with bandages but putting up a feisty argument is Jimminey!

Jimminey says that the town has been growing super agitated, and it’s about to boil over. The focus of this commotion is Baran. He is constantly surrounded by guards, but the town is turning against him. We’re on the verge of a riot.

From your window you hear sounds of shouting and accusation.
As you look out you see villagers are massing, and at the center, surrounded by guards, is Baran, trying to calm them down and assure that everything that can be done is being done.
But the citizens aren’t pacified this time, they’re just getting angrier.

Everyone heads down and joins the crowd. Before the villagers drag him away, Baran desperately passes a folded paper to Thoril, “Druid! I know you were here looking for answers earlier! Please take this! This will give you answers that you seek! Please know I meant no one ill will, AAAAAAAGH! FORGIVE ME!!!”

The adventurers maneuver through the crowd to detain Baran, however the Mayor arrives and leads Baran away to his quarters to await further trial.

Thoril finds that the paper is a map with a depiction of the passage leading from the tree growing atop of the rock, and to an underground map of Fairhill. There they discover the Journal of Baran, entailing his life as a Protector, a secret order sworn to safeguarding the broken seals to the portals of the Chaos God. Baran’s journal describes the history of the Chimera God of Chaos, as well as the story of the Mind Flayer’s abduction of his daughter, Celeece, and his discovery of someone known as Strahdavari residing in the town of St. Forget who may know more on the true nature of the seals.

The group realizes as much as they wanted vengeance, Baran needs their help. As the group races back to the Mayor’s building, they find him torturing Baran to his death! The Mayor is revealed to be a thrall of the mind flayer and his life is put to an end!

End of Night 06

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Night 05 2012-07-07
"The Forgotten Graveyard"

As you emerge from the portal, you have little time to ponder over what happened and why.
You see the familiar hourglass moons in the night sky, and hear a horrid scream from off in the distance. Hrummek is still missing, and it could be her!

Hrummek, as cold, bony hands claw at your legs and drag you back down into the darkness, you have a chance to turn and see your attacker before you both fall back down. Hungry eyes burn like hot coals in sunken sockets as a ghoul tries to drag you back down into the earth!
This foul creature appears more or less humanoid, but has mottled decaying flesh drawn tight across clearly visible bones, and a hairless body. A raspy shriek echoes in the tunnel as is bares its sharp, carnivorous teeth, ready to bite!

You arrive at a chapel-like mausoleum that looks claustrophobic,
even from the outside.
Inside is an empty sarcophagus,
it’s heavy lid broken upon the ground at its side.
Even more disturbing is that there is not much of a bottom inside this tomb…
but a tunnel that goes into the earth.
You hear sounds of raspy breathing, and limbs flailing in a wild struggle.
There is an iron gate strewn with grave moss barring your way.

As the group is reunited, it is good to see everyone alive.
As news of Jimminey is about to be told,
more shrieks are heard from around the mausoleum.
Three more decaying bodies shamble into view.
The stink of death and corruption surrounding these creatures is overwhelming!

Wandering around the corner is a ghoul angrily conversing with two other ghouls. Their leader is frustrated and enraged about something, but the other two ghouls look listless and inattentive.
“…and when I find the traitor I will eat his face right off!!!
Where is he! WHERE?!
YOU!!!
You’re working for him aren’t you?!
He left me here and ran off with his part of the map!!!
He thought he could have the family fortune!
My so called brother is nothing more than a good for nothing GRAVEROBBER!!! Rip them to pieces!!!”
The ghouls lunge forward, attacking as one!

Clutched in the ghast’s hand is a bloodied piece of torn parchment.
It looks like her words were true,
It is piece of a map of this very graveyard.
The brother he spoke of may have the other.
You see very small writing on the top and the bottom of the map.

You continue to look around.
The air is damp and foggy.
Tombstones dot the landscape in this unkempt graveyard.
Stonework and fencing rise twice your height around the perimeter,
and it looks like it could be warded.
It’s definitely meant to keep things from getting out.
Off in the distance a solitary hilltop rises in what seems to be the center of this land – at its crest is a large statue.
Even visible from where you’re standing it is Death holding a sword upwards in one hand and an hourglass cradled in the other.
Perhaps you can get a better view of the graveyard from up there?

The Hilltop of Time
Making your way up the hill proves more of a challenge than thought.
The grass is long and slick, but eventually you come across a made pathway that spirals its way around the hill to end at the apex.
After you reach the top you come to the base of the statue of Death.
The statue is very large, easily 20 feet tall.
With the two moons close together the statue casts a long shadow, its sword tip even reaching to a distant grouping of trees to the Southeast.
What was that noise?

It sounds like nails scraping against metal. Another Ghoul descends from above, slamming onto Clairebelle. Screaming into her ears:
“What have you done with her?!
Where is my sister?!
Damn her for leaving me!!!”

You find another graveyard map piece in his pocket and family vault key around his neck.
Along the key’s handle in very fine script is the phrase
“Tho my pauldrons shall protect me, I wear a lock upon my heart.”

As you begin to walk away you hear something disturbing behind you…
Turning around you see the animating force of the ghoul tearing free of its body, manifesting as a glowing, green phantom of its former self.
“Your outrageousness knows no boundaries! Even in this form I will have what should have been rightfully mine!!! AAAAAAAAGGHHHHHHHH!!!!”
The Ghost of the Ghoul that was once a poor nobleman gathers force and rushes into the group, his face twisted in rage and greed.

It seems like the ghost of the ghoul is gone for now. Perhaps now would be a good time to look at the maps…
With the two moons close together the statue casts a long shadow, its sword tip even reaching to a distant grouping of trees to the Southeast.
“The Sunrise or the Moonrise?
A hilltop cannot say.
Miremurk or Murkmire?
The Sword of Time points the way.”

The Murkmire Forest
Nearly lifeless trees, gnarled and bent, cluster together in a dense, but skeletal forest. It’s difficult to see through it all, it’s like they’re absorbing the moonlight. Critters out of sight slither and skitter around on the ground, and up above. The stone pathway under your feet winds its way through, ending at a squat block of ornately carved stone some 30 feet in. This mausoleum different from the others, but how, you cannot say.

On both sides of the pathway lay pools of mud as far as you can see. Thick, oozing muck that seems like you could sink from sight the moment you stepped onto the sludge. You come to a fortified iron door with an unfamiliar family crest engraved upon it, and there is a lock in the shape of a gargoyles face set into a latch.

The key meets with resistance as though it doesn’t belong, almost as if the lock is resisting, when suddenly they key falls into place, and the heavy door glides open.

Before you stone steps curl and descend into the darkness below.

Inside the Burial Chamber
Your echoing footfalls resound off of the carved walls of this family crypt. Rows of buried dead lie entombed in a silent and deaf family reunion. Nothing seems out of place in the dank and mildewy confines, and at the end of the singular aisle is an impressive tomb.

The resting marble figure clutches onto a powerful broadsword atop of an ornately carved sarcophagus. The same family crest on the door is repeated all along the frame of the lid.

Etched into the sides of the marble tomb you read the phrase
“I doth not hold the key, but I shall always provide what I can to those who do.”

Inscribed along the flat of the blade is the phrase
“A lock can be placed on ones own heart, so do what no blade can do and pierce true.”

As you place the same key into the hole under the pauldron, you hear a sturdy click, and the lid of the sarcophagus slides open at the top, gliding across horizontally. Stale air escapes, and you all stare into this tomb that is actually a vault.

Treasure Inside the family vault
Bag of Gems = 140G including amber, amethyst, coral, garnet, jade, jet, variety of peals except black and freshwater. 6000cp
Ruby Ring = 9000G “Whether pried from its setting to be sold or simply lost in daily wear, one of the twin rubies is missing from its perch in this golden ring”
Silver Ring = 600G “Small rubies and sapphires adorn the coronet holding the pentagonal emerald in this plain silver ring.”
Silver Sword Brooch = 80G “A stylized iron sword piercing an abstract silver hoop makes up this two-piece brooch.”
Crystal Butterfly Ring = 90G “As delicate as it is beautiful, this carved crystal butterfly floats over the finger on which this ring is worn.”

Clairabelle:
Chrystalis moved so quickly you don’t think anyone noticed. He’s always hoarding things. Small as he is he’s still a dragon. You only look down to see what he’s taken when he begins chattering excitedly at you. That’s when you realize he’s not hoarding for himself. He’s brought something for you. The golden chain is nothing special you’ve seen dozens like it before. The gemstone is a different story. Even in the torchlight you can see the sparkle it has. As if you were looking upon the stars. The shape too is unusual a perfect tear of sapphire so blue as to be nearly black. Yet it looks and feels so familiar. Where could you have sen this before.

Flynn:
At first glance its just a military medal. Someone here must have been of great prowess for it to be buried in a family vault. Yet something about it stands out, calling to you. Yes, that’s it! The etching along the edge, though worn smooth in many places, is your family motto! Is this really the missing McCocken Medal of Honor? Your father had always said Granddad’s father was a great military man. But these are not the family burial tombs. How in the Nine Hells did it come to be here? Can it help you restore the family tower?

Hrummek:
Pushed to one corner you see the golden spine of a book. As you turn to leave your companions to their looting you notice the etched emblem of Fharlanghn rests upon the book. Perhaps this is the path he wants you on after all. As you gingerly remove the book from its resting place you find a beautifully worked chain is attached. It seems this was more than a book to someone. An amulet invoking Fharlanghn? Truly odd, but why is the front cover missing? Surely your companions would see no harm in you keeping this token. After all it’s hardly more than a trinket to them. Besides it will take you several months to get the enchanted test to divulge its holy secrets even if Fharlanghn helps you with it.

-For some reason the simple bloodstone bracelet cries for you to pick it up. It seems such a shame to leave it here, but you can’t figure why you would even be drawn to it. Then you notice the dwarven markings on the band and the crossed sword and hammer etched into the stone itself. Perhaps it might mean something to the Firechest Clan, a small consolation for the loss of their kinsman. It only seems right.

Thoril:
What a charming piece of amber. Even Obad-Hai would find the fairy trapped within a testament to the true neutrality of nature. Whoever had this gem mounted must have had the deity in mind. The mounting is simple and the cord little more than a finely dyed and polished piece of leather. If greed were a druid’s way you would take it from this accursed place. As you are about to walk away you notice the fairy trapped inside move. Merely a trick of the torchlight you assure yourself until she changes her entire position. This is no natural piece of amber. You must find a way to free her.
Obad-Hai would expect no less of you.

Vielle:
Vielle your hand glides over the soft supple wrapping of fine leather. The package isn’t overly large maybe the size of a book. If you had to guess you’d say it was an ornately covered book probably worth more to the dead than the living. Still you can’t seem to pull your hand away from it. As you cautiously open the leather you find an ivory comb with two missing teeth. What an odd thing to place so lovingly in a family treasure. The delicate ivory displays fine etchings along the teeth. If you had to guess they alone cost a small fortune when the comb was craft. Not to mention the small gems glinting merrily along its spine. The missing teeth just pique your curiosity all the more. Is that discoloration part of the ivory or maybe dried blood? And that’s not even the biggest mystery. Why was it bound with this tome? The book at first glance is nothing special until you truly see the magic pulsing in the script itself. This will take many months to unravel. What can be learned from these items and where did they come from?

As the rewards of your riddle-solving and pathfinding gives rise to everyone’s mood, you feel a small tremor. Then a thudding force shakes the walls, and dust drifts on top of you. Suddenly one of the walls bursts open and mud gushes in!
A gigantic worm spills into the room like eviscerated intestines. The thick hided monstrosity bellows from its filthy maw, seeking out corpses to devour!

As the Rot Worm is about to retreat, Thoril blasts the worm with a blizzard of ice, nearly freezing it solid!

The Rot Worm convulses into its final death throes, and exhumes the same bile like fluid, puddeling acid around the globosular corpse. You definitely do not want to come into contact with this corrosive slop.

The Gate of Forget
Nearing the Gate of Forget you hear a grating, metallic squealing sound of resistance. You almost wish to cover your ears and block out this aggravating, piercing noise that does not cease or change in pitch.
You approach an imposing gate of wrought iron and steel, twisted into the visage of a skull. Laid into the décor of this gateway are numerous skulls as well, all glowing with unnatural phosphorescence. The walls look sickly, wheezing a molding green colour. Entwined within the twisting metal of the gate are silver chains glowing like moonlight. How anything so seemingly delicate could cause the gates to make such an unholy noise is beyond you, but the way out is shut magically.

You feel like you are being watched

You can see a stone gargoyle perched upon an ordinary gravestone watching you with interest. The corner of his mouth subtly widens into a grin, and then addresses you:

”If you haven’t noticed by now, this place is magically warded.
I was enjoying a nice nap when it all happened
and when I woke up I was trapped here.
If you let me walk out of here with you – and fly off unharmed –
I promise to give you an interesting morsel of information that
you would all be very interested to know.
Do we have a deal?”
__
“I will tell you what. I shall give unto you all two deals in one! One is of the past, the other for your future…”
__
“A quartet passed through here –
one a brother, another a sister, and two hired thugs.
The siblings magically sealed the gate;
no doubt seeking graves to rob and did not wish to be interrupted.
Their magic can be shattered, as they were not patient in casting,
nor with each other.
It is strong magic, but sloppy.
Ammeters.
Truth be told, I wager that if they are no more, their magic will not keep its hold either.”
__
“Information travels – from creatures unto the beasts, to vermin unto the insects – and from what I hear, everything is simply ABUZZZZ with the fact that you there put Ilsenbossk in quite the tizzy.
A mind flayer loosing his prey?
He is positively FUUUUMING with rage – and embarrassment.
Oh he’ll be the butt of jests for yeeeeeeears to come! chuckles
__
“At any rate, he is doing everything in his power to search for you.
I would be very careful where you tread.
Fortunately you haven’t made too much of a ruckus here in this forgotten graveyard, tho I do stress “too much”.
__
Bored Now, please uphold your part of our bargain.
I’ve been quite hospitable to you thus far
and we wouldn’t want to sully our wonderful accord, now would we?
Oh, and trust me, I won’t pass along that you’ve been here.
Illithids are as unnatural as they come.
Always seeking chaos and the end of the world and blaaah, blaaah, BLAH!"
__

End of Night 05

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Crossover Campaign 2012-06-02 - Brent's BDay
"And Now For Something Completely Different"

In which Jessica DMs a 3 group campaign crossover event for Brent’s Birthday which was epic and awesome. The cake was awesome, too!!!

Vielle of The Broken Song,
As you rush to the aid of your companion, a portal suddenly opens beneith you.
You find yourself swept along with a multitude of others. As you struggle towards
the edge of the tumult, the portal opens back up, dumping you upon a village road.
Looking up, you are in the company of a Gnoll ranger, a Half-Dragon mage,
and a Drow monk…

Thoril Fhanda Harsorcer,
As you rush to the aid of your companion, a portal suddenly opens beneith you.
You find yourself swept along with a multitude of others. As you struggle towards
the edge of the tumult, the portal opens back up, dumping you upon a village road.
Looking up, you are in the company of a Half-Elf paladin, a Human cleric,
and to your amazement, Jimminey!

As the shock of teleportation wears off you have a chance to look around you. Some faces look familiar and still most are unknown. You figure they must be at least as strong as you to have made their way out of the crowd.

“As the dread guards die they fall into useless rusted piles of unsalvageable armor.”
“You find yourselves in a warren of underground caverns.”

You can see torchlight flickering off of the walls and here indistinct chanting in the distance. As you approach the center chamber you can see 4 human wizards performing some kind of ritual. There is a female demon in the center of the ritual holding an orb.

As the last wizard falls you here Demona hiss, “Worthless! They can’t even stay alive long enough to complete this simple task. Now I must deal with you vermin!”
Her transformation from demon to dragon is staggeringly quick. Standing before you is a wyrmling red dragon. She holds the same orb as before though it no longer holds her interest as much as you do.

With her dieing breath Demona wails, “How could this happen to me?! I am stronger than all of you! How could my allies be right about your powers? They are so weak?”

As you celebrate your victory over the demon and her cronies an ominous voice calls out,

“Foolish Demona! You almost cost me my plans. She wasted her power! Her ego and stupidity was her undoing by these would-be heroes! I cast you back to where you came from – before your deities decide they can save this realm from me! I shall give you a fleeting moment if you wish to say your farewells, for I doubt any of you will live to see each other again!”

- – -

As you bid each other an uncertain farewell, a portal yawns beneath you, bringing you back into your realms.
Why were you brought there to begin with, and what was that voice speaking of?
Were Demona’s allies those who have been hunting you in the Lands of Fairhill?
Were Demona’s allies those who you have been seeking retribution on for the City of Chiron?
Why did Demona single you both out in all this?

Assuredly, there are more questions than answers, and those who may have had some insight are now returned to their own realms. Hold fast, adventures, for the world is darkening from the inside…

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Night 04 2012-5-02
"Blood, Brains, And Balls: Meeting Flynn McCocken"

Summary of Night 4

Flynn McCocken…
You awaken, realizing you are being carried arm in arm by two orc guards, but you make no move just yet to let them know you are alert and aware. You have been working in the mines for who knows how many months now, and you believe you are being taken away for your stubbornness as well as your attempts to inspire courage and rebellion in the other slaves. They, like you, answered the call for help in the town of Fairhill from the head guard known as Baran. You know now that it has been a ruse, as he’s been sending adventurers into the orc’s hands through a “secret entrance” and with the promise of silver for orc scalps.

How did Baran come to this? Who knows, but you know he stays safe from the orcs by hanging a strip of shimmering blue cloth from his window. You’ve also learned that they are digging for something, not just minerals and ore, but for something very powerful.

It is time for you to escape! It is time for you to bring Baran to justice and return to free these enslaved people! You open your eyes just barely to notice you are being dragged along the same looking caves, slick from dripping water. The torchlight barely reflects off of stagnant pools of muck. The orcs are talking to each other, not really paying much attention to you as they beat you pretty soundly earlier.

What do you do?

(Answer: Kick a lot of ass. I mean…it was brutal. He was covered in blood, brains, and balls!)
(DM note to sell: Never just “knock” a player unconscious. BAAAAAAAAAAAAD idea.)

The Group
The bridge has collapsed; the orcs are no longer a threat. Vielle is recovering from her phobic encounter with the spiders, and has just had her mind gazed into by the Mind Flayer. It seems Jimminey has fallen from sight, and you all realize that there are several passages to take that could lead anywhere. The Mind Flayer laughs and taunts you from the other side, but the distance is too great for any side to make an attack, magical or otherwise. You have a short time to recover and talk.

(Hrummek says one of the most awesome eulogies in existence about the demise of Jimminey)

You see an orb of light in front of one of the passages to take, and the ethereal words of the young girl pleads for everyone to follow her to safety.

The orb immediately takes off, illuminating the passage with spectral blue light. She is moving very fast, and you have to hurry to keep up.

Behind you, out of sight, the Mind Flayer has begun to levitate over the casm, stalking you.
An image of the mind flayer’s oily visage enters your mind. Hrummek becomes disoriented and looses the group.

Hrummek, you become disoriented and slow down. The Mind Flayer speaks to you:
“Oh Little, LITTLE mouse. laughs, then sing-song I saw what you were thinking! You dared to think a mere dirk would do ANYTHING against me?! Especially one as BLAND and Substandard as what you can barely afford? Now scurry! Scurry away, to wander alone. Alone and lost whist I go torment your so-called friends who left you behind like dung on the road.” laughs
Hrummek, you come to and realize that no one is around. You are lost.

Thoril, you continue to follow the group. The Mind Flayer speaks to you:
“You dare escape!!! I will extract your mind in a very slow and painful way, oh yes I will. I did not bother with so much preparation for you to simply slip away because of a band of desperate souls happened upon you! I will torment and defile them the same way I did to the others STUPID enough to follow you here!!!”

Vielle, you see Clairebelle next to you, and the faint outlines of the cavern and the pathway that winds before you as the spectral orb of the spirit girl presses onward. The Mind Flayer speaks to you:
“*laughs* I saw mommy and daddy…oh you are indeed a very SPECIAL …THING aren’t you? Your mind will be quite interesting to taste, especially when I let those creepy crawlies you are so afraid of trickle across your skinnnnnnn…”

Clairabelle, you see Vielle next to you, and the faint outlines of the cavern and the pathway that winds before you as the spectral orb of the spirit girl presses onward. The Mind Flayer speaks to you:
“Sooooooo much potential, but you would taste so bland at this point. I shall let you blossom for a while…and think upon dear ol’ daddy. Poisoned! How horrid. Death does seem to have a way of following you around doesn’t it? Will these others end up like poor…little…Aurora Wolfstrider?…Will Thoril be next?…. ”

Hrummek vs The Trap Room
You have wandered into a passage that leads down and curves left a short ways, descending a flight of uncut stone stairs. Your feet touch on gritty black sand at the bottom, water is lazily dripping and running down the walls of the cave, and it is hard to see the ceiling, though there are stalactites and stalagmites forming everywhere.

There is only one way to proceed, through a narrow tunnel that seems to be almost carved, yet still naturally formed, with a total of 6 dark alcoves along the way, one on either side, three times down. The tunnel seems to end in a small cavern, about the same size as the one you’re currently in, though there is torchlight, and you can see two treasure chests!

What do you do?

A massive and ancient crudely made bell falls behind you with a dull gong, effectively blocking any going back. You cringe, hoping that gong wasn’t an alarm. However, you are closer to those treasure chests. What do you do?

Moving forward, you hear a click, and an iron cage falls down around you.
You have a split-second to jump onto the side of the cage before 9 evenly spaced iron spikes shoot up through the ground, nearly impaling your leg!
You dare not let go of the side of the cage.

Looking around, you know you’re in an iron cage big enough for a troll. The cage is pretty rusty from all the dripping water…perhaps some of these rusted bars can come loose…

You squeeze your way out of the rusty cage and crawl down back to the floor.
You can see now that each of the alcoves have piles of bones, but nothing looks recently made. There are stagnant puddles of cavewater everywhere, and one alcove in particular has a lot of cobwebs, though it looks to be vacated. You could probably guess that no one or no thing has been down here in a while.

The ground beneath you buckles and bursts outward as a giant hand unfurls, grabbing and clawing blindly where you are! The guardian hand squeezes your body tight!
The hand looks old and brittle; each finger you hit lops off and tumbles to the floor in a heap of dust and dry flesh.

You turn around and wipe your brow. You can clearly see two treasure chests illuminated by two torches along opposite walls…

As you open up the treasure chest, you see a pair of boots with the crest of Fharlagahn on them! As you triumphantly claim your prize, you feel your fingers covered with a thick slime, and you recoil in horror. Of course, by this time, it’s too late, as the chest bounces towards you with outreached arms, sputtering in common,

“WHATSITWANT!?! WHATSITWANT?!?! WHATSITGOT?!?! WHATSITGOT?!?!”

Mimic’s death
“NOOOOOOOOOOO!! WHATS IT GOOOOOOOOOT?!?!?” D=>

The mimic falls apart in a pile of framework and wood, quickly loosing its form and becoming organic matter seeping into the ground.
In your struggle, you have knocked over the actual treasure chest, and breathe a sigh of relief to know that it is an actual treasure chest.

You find:
A large, dart-like needle
A bag of Caltrops (nasty little buggers)
A nice scroll case made of leather, empty of contents
A day’s worth of trail rations
A sunrod (6 hours of light then its just an iron rod)
A health potion for 10 HP
And 200 silver.

Collecting yourself, you now are faced with the task of getting out. The way you came in is blocked, and you’re not sure if there are any more traps.

You notice two decorative skulls attached to the wall with a ring and chains hanging from each. Do you pull on the chain?

As you tug on the chain, you hear the sound of sliding stone a ways behind you. It looks like small passage has opened up behind the cobwebs in the alcove! It’s a way out!

As you swipe aside the vacant cobwebs, you crouch down and step into the passage, you mind wonders what has happened to the others, and to the Mind Flayer…

Flynn McCocken
An orc slaps you across the face, “Eh you! WAKE UP!!”

“What you did to them wasn’t very nice now was it?
I have just the thing for someone like you! and punches you in the stomach
“Now I just need to find it in these boxes….”

The Orc leaves the room through a wooden door, and you look at your surroundings. You are in a plain, stone prison area, 15X10 feet, divided into 4 stalls, each with manacles. Even though there is stone all around you, it smells a bit organic, like plant fertilizer. From where you are you can see you are the only LIVING prisoner, and hear nothing except the orc rummaging around in the next room, cackling to himself.
In a moment the orc comes back with a crate to which he sets down on the floor. He takes off the lid and slides the box over towards your legs with a mischievous chuckle, and before you, crawling out of the box towards you is a small carnivorous tendriled plant.

He begins laughing harder and harder as you contend with an Assassin Vine sapling.

“Looks like this lil’ fellah has taken an interest in you!
I’ll let him have a bit of fun before the master shows.”

That, of course, was a very bad idea…

The Group finds Flynn
As Vielle, Clairebelle, and Thoril follow the spectral orb through the caves, you notice the pathway and walls show signs of intelligent design. Trying to shake the haze of the Mind Flayer’s intrusion into their consciousness, they realize that Hrummek is missing from the group.
You see torchlight coming from a stone archway, and hear further inside the mischievous chuckling of an orc.

Inside the room an orc sitting on a crate looks up at you in shock, then bolts into the next room and opens up a very large crate. The orc laughs and says “Good luck mates!” and slams the wooden door, disappearing into the third room behind him.

The lock to the large crate has been undone, and the panel has fallen open on its own. You see a very aggressive, and very hungry, subterranean assassin vine, and are hit with a very strong odor of organic fertilizer.

Flynn saw there were people rushing into the first room just as the second orc rushed in and slammed the door. Quickly the second orc blubbers to the first,

Orc 2“There are escaped prisoners storming through the door! But I got em good I did!”

Orc 1 “Gogar! What in blazes did you do!?!??!”

Gogar triumphant, “I let loose the assassin vine on em!” ___________

Orc 1 “You idiot!!!! We’re the only ones over here while the others went with the Master to go take care of that band of dwarves that just came in through the secret entrance!!!”

Gogar “No problem, I’ll just lock the door with me keys!!!!…Uhhh Ohhhh”

Orc 1 “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOGAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!! You left the keys in the first room!!!!”

The Orc torturer proceeds to strangle and beat up Gogar, forgetting about you chained to the wall, still contending with the Assassin Vine Runner.

As you kick off the Assassin Vine Sapling, it flys through the air, landing squarely on the orc captain’s face, and begins entangling him around the neck! Flynn holds onto the chains of his bonds and lifts his legs into the air, wrapping them around the orc’s neck, putting him in a choke hold! (Holy Jeez!)

As Thoril races around to free the prisoner in hopes for aid in return, he bursts into his cell, seeing a nearly naked man covered in brains, blood, and balls. Two orcs lay dead at his feet. Looking up at Thoril he says in a voice like gravel, “Release me.”
Thoril thinks this a good idea, “Okay.”

Epic.

Vielle narrowly escapes death and the Assassin Vine is no more.

Hrummek
You notice a passage that breaks off to your left that has gusts of alternating hot and cold air coming from between two thick stone pillars that become one with the cave. As you look upwards you see at about 20 feet high the columns finally meet into an archway. At its zenith there is the carving of a very primitive looking felidae. At your feet is a perfectly symmetrical symbol of fire and water, including numerous markings that are unfamiliar to you that outline the symbol. You do feel exchanges of heat and icy wind somehow. There is an immense feeling of pressure preventing you from going through. The sinister feel and look of this archway is not something you should soon forget. You should probably continue on the direction you were going.

You continue along and notice the pathway begins to slope upwards, then it becomes a steep slope. There is a beam of light shining from above just ahead! As you get to the end of the tunnel, you see the only way out is up. The bluish light illuminates protrusions you can grab hold of to climb upwards. Do you go up?

As you pull yourself up through the tunnel, you get a very close look at what you’re grabbing onto…bones.
Grabbing onto bones, roots and clots of dirt, you reach the splinter of light, and notice you have come into a stone enclosure, and there is flat, polished stone on top, resting above you. It looks like you can push it aside if you can get a good bracing inside this quadrangle.

As you move the heavy stone to the side, you look around to see you are standing inside a sarcophagus, and there are 3 walls close around you and one closed iron gate. You can see the two moons in the night sky crossing over each other, making them into the Hourglass Moon. Fresh night air!!!

Suddenly cold, bony hands claw at your legs and drag you back down into the darkness!

Your story has ended for tonight, Hrummek Silverfish.

The Group
After some time the girl’s spirit escorts the company towards the end and asks that in return for her help that you bring her father, Baran, to her as her spirit is tied to the mountain.

“Please help me as I have helped you. Hurry and bring my father back to me, please. I am so lost here. Please, bring me my father. My soul can then rest and I will be at peace if I can just see my father before me again. There will be marble stairs that will lead you to the surface. Bring him back to me. Back to Celeese.”

As you make your way you notice the walls turn into stacks and stacks of skulls and bones, and your footsteps echo upon polished marble. As you ascend the stairs to a double archway, you smell fresh night air and can see the two moons forming the Hourglass Moon in the sky. All of you hear a shrieking scream off in the distance.

End of Night 04

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Night 03 2012-04-04
"Five Silver Per Orc Scalp Sounded Good At The Time"

Summary of Night 3

Just as the group was about to resume its hike up to the secret entrance, there was another rustling. Bracing themselves for the return of the Barbarian, the group was instead faced to face…er…hat!…with Hrummek, the Halfling Cleric!

After some banter, Hrummek decides to throw her lot in with the orc-slaying fortune hunters, but notices that this group of adventurers has not been together long, nor do they seem to know each other well…

When they arrive to the “secret entrance” they walk some for some time without incident. Suddenly an ambush is sprung behind them! An orc mockingly laughs, “Looks like Ol’ Baran sent us a good lot for the mines, eh!?!” and 10 orcs descend upon Jimminey, Clairebelle, Vielle, and Hrummek. The orcs failed to capture their prize and met a gruesome end, though Hrummek fell unconscious to a wound and Vielle collapsed from exhaustion.

Taking the only one way to go, they went deeper into the mines, discovering an extremely weakened and incoherent Male Human Druid chained to the wall in a holding area. They manage free him and find out two key things:

One is that Baran sets up those who try go to the “secret entrance” in the mines for the bounty on orc scalps, and he was one of those persons. He thinks his party has already died within the mines, but has spoken with several others captured before being left to die in the holding area for being too weak to work.

Another thing is that there is a spirit also in the mines that seems to be a young human girl; lost, upset, and crying, but not aggressive. Sometimes she will ask where her father is.

The group hides as a marching troop of orcs pass by the room, and decide to follow them at a safe distance, heading towards the flow of air. As they sneak out of the room, Jimminey noticed that Veille had some fist-sized spiders on her back, resulting in a phobic fit of screaming. The orcs hear and pursuit is on, driving them further away from the mines and deeper into the mountain.

Bursting into a large, vaulted room with no end in sight, they lock the doors and turn around to see pillars carved into faces of torment, an altar, and a glowing green pool filled with a briny fluid. An omnipotent laugh reverberates through the cavern as a Mind Flayer slowly levitates from within the pool, his presence affixing the adventurers, motionless. Hrummek wonders if she should throw a dirk at his skull, Jimminey thinks about making a last stand, while Vielle’s mind is gazed by the Mind Flayer. Thoril sees that there is a rope bridge at the end of the cavern and whole group makes a dash for it. The orcs crash through the door in maddening pursuit as one by one they make their way across the bridge.

Knowing that the orcs will be upon them before all can safely cross, Jimminey is the last to cross, buying the group time as he defends the bridge’s foundation. As he turns to race across, an arrow pierces him in the back, and he tumbles into the fathomless abyss below. The orcs rage across in frenzy, and the bridge collapses from their weight, all disappearing from sight.

Vielle, Clarebelle, Hrummek, and Thoril look on to see a spectral orb floating towards them, which materializes into the spirit girl that Thoril previously described. She asks them if they’ve seen her father, to which they ask her who is her father. Her reply is…Baran.

End of Night 03

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Night 02 2011-12-21
"It's All About Family"

Summary of Night 2 (12/21/11)

The group met early that morning, noticing that Clyde never showed up, probably still passed out and in bed. Agreeing to leave the town of Fairhill, they ran into a rampaging, unintelligible Human Barbarian in the woods.

7 orcs crashed through in pursuit, though the barbarian killed only one to make an example. After the fight, communication seemed strenuous, ending with him resuming his collisions through the trees, disappearing back into the forest.

[Group leaving Fairhill, ran into rampaging, unintelligible human Barbarian. Efforts to calm and subdue him ended with a sleep spell and reawakening by water. 7 orcs crashed through the clearing and fighting broke out, however the barbarian seemed to kill only one to make an example. After the fight communication seemed strenuous, ending with him crashing through the trees, disappearing. It would seem that he was a slave of these orcs as he called them “family”.]

End of Night 02

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