Okknos

Session 21A: Scrambled Eggs

The heroes continued exploring the ancient halls of the buried city. It seemed that Sunwyn sunk deeper and deeper into the wet jungle earth over the centuries, creating a series of caverns and chasms in its wake. It was in one of these vast caverns that the companions now stood. Large sections of the cavern floor were covered by magma.

“Didn’t that riddle say something about fools leaping over pools of fire?” Bell asked.

“Well, I guess that means we’re on the right track,” Eldarion replied. “Though I’m not sure leaping will be enough to get us across this mess.”

“And we’re not alone,” whispered Galendan, gesturing to a swarm of fire bats clinging to the cavern’s cieling. At the moment the giant bats seemed unconcerned with group below.

“Anyone fancy a swim?” asked Petrin, grinning from ear to ear.

“Not all of us are on such friendly terms with fire,” replied Galendan.

“The lava pools are shallow in some places,” Bell said, examining the cavern floor. “If we dropped a few well place large rocks in the right places, we could create a series of stepping stones.”

“Just tell me where Bell,” replied Kitten holding an impressive boulder in his hands.

[Room w/ magma, firebats, to be cont.]

The adventurers stopped short as before them stood the tiefling Ahjhan, flanked by drakes and shrouded in mist. His eyes swept across the group, noting each person. “Half-elf, cleric, revenant: I’m glad you all made it this far,” he said. “I’m going to enjoy killing you. The hunter has given me power; power far greater than any of you. You’re about to see what a real revenant can do.”

Ahjhan held his palm in front of him, and grinned as a ball of fire formed above it. “You first,” he said as he hurled the flames towards Eldarion. The fire hit Eldarion square in the chest, but quickly faded. “You’ll have to do better,” said Eldarion. “Oh, I will,” the tiefling replied. Eldarion charged, but Ahjhan easily evaded his attack, and said “you’ll have to do better.”

[Rest of fight with Ahjhan]

Kitten charged towards the mist after Ahjhan, but Voren stopped him with a shouted warning. “Stop! Unless you plan to be trapped there forever.” He walked to the edge of the mist and put his hand on the paladin’s shoulder. That mist leads to the fringe—a pocket of the Shadowfell, warped and twisted by the mind of whatever fallen soul brought it into being." From deep within the mist he could hear voices—cries?—and footsteps, leading away, perhaps the escaped Tiefling. He could hear echoes of those voices even as he watched the mist begin to dissipate, but paid them no heed; their murmurs commingled with the droning rumble that was ever-present in the back of his mind, that he had learned to ignore.

“Anyone pulled into the fringe will be at the mercy of its creator, and unable to leave.” The Vistani elder Voren had met with the caravan long ago had claimed that the fringe could be escaped, with guidance; better not to mention this to the others. Kitten, at least, seemed ready to chase after Ajhan even after Voren’s warning. “We should move on.”

The others stood one by one, with groans and curses and dirty looks at the remnants of the mist. No one was happy about the Tiefling getting away, but all Voren could think about was how conveniently the cloud had appeared. As though Ajhan had planned for it, or even called it into being…was Ajhan the power behind this pocket of the fringe? I thought such things could only be wrought by beings much more powerful. If Ajhan created it, perhaps… the others had already continued down the passage. Voren ran to catch up, still pondering the conception of the fringe, and an inscription found long ago in a cave he preferred not to think about.

They came to sparse, cavernous chamber furnished only by a large spherical structure in the middle of the room, built of what looked like iron, and covered with thousands if tiny spikes. The walls of the chamber and the orb itself were carved with strange, flowing patterns, craftsmanship far surpassing the stonework Voren had found in any other ruins of this age. The carvings appeared almost to flow across the surface of the rock, some seeming even to radiate heat; until he touched the wall, and found it cold, and slightly damp with the lime-rich subterranean humidity. Flowing…water? Fire? What are these supposed to represent?

“Fire and ice,” Petrin murmured, almost in answer. Voren hadn’t seen him approach. Now the orb held both their attention, the needle-like protrusions seeming more ominous.

Valez and Galendan had already approached the orb, and were inspecting it closely. Galendan touched one of the needles gently, careful not to cut himself; his fingers came away stained red. “Blood,” he said.

Voren moved to the center of the room, joining them next to the bizarre structure. Now the sense of radiating heat had become stronger, centered on the barbed globe—yet goosebumps appeared on his skin, and he shivered, as though cold. Fire and ice, indeed, he thought to himself. I wonder what would happen if I…

Petrin marched forward and placed his hand, with confidence, fully on the orb. Voren winced as he watched the spikes pierce Petrin’s hand, but the dragonborn didn’t even seem to feel it. The floor rumbled and began to vibrate as some hidden machinery kicked into motion; as Petrin pulled his hand back, blood dripping, the orb began to sink into its pedestal, and the entire structure slid back towards the far wall along a groove that Voren hadn’t noticed before, revealing a deep pit underneath.

Voren leaned forward over the pit, peering down into the darkness. A ladder was carved into one side; from below came a wave of moist, putrid air, filled with the scent of mud—and something else, something immeasurably old.

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Session 20: The Sewer, The Door, and Flat Timmy
Delving deeper into Sunwyn

The heroes were exhausted. Broken bones from undead monstrosities laid scattered about the decrepit subterranean theater. Amidst the debris they found an old mirror, one that emanated a dark power. They wondered what would happen if they turned the mirror on the Book of Years. The mirror reflective surface turned opaque as soon as the book was opened. While wondering what this meant, Kitten attempted to grab the book and wrest it away from Petrin. Petrin managed to open the book during the struggle and Kitten found himself looking into the blank pages. He became weary as his image appeared in the book.

Galendan took the book and mirror and put them both in his bag of holding. The group returned to the entry chamber to Sunwyn and were surprised to find a man inspecting the remains of the undead they previously vanquished. A familiar crow sat upon his shoulder.

“Ah there you are,” Cryer said. “I thought I spotted you trudging through the jungle. This hole stinks of undead. Why creep around in such a nasty place?”

Not waiting, perhaps not caring about the response, the talking crow relayed a message from his master, the master druid, Lady Darriph.

“It’s the minotaurs,” he said. "They’ve fooled all of Akari. Langriff watches for them by sea, but it will not be ships that bring their armies, but a portal…from the Fey Wild. My lady has uncovered a disturbing alliance between the bull-men and the Winter Court of the Fey and she requests your help.”

Cryer said the group was needed to find and kill the Eladrin Sorceror Vilus Garmen, who works for Kimath It-Arist. The crow presented the druid as Buttons, a prized pupil of Lady Darriph who learned the art of the stone teleportation circles. Buttons would be able to take the adventurers to the Fey Wild and bring them home. Many in the group had been wanting to go to the Fey Wild anyway. The companions took Buttons on, deciding to retrieve the dragon eggs first before venturing to the Fey realm.

They decided to explore Sunwyn a bit more and found a submerged passage. Wading through the passage led them into an encouter with hideous otyughs and rune spiral demons. They won the fight, but Arygno, Buttons, and Eldarion contracted filth fever. The heroes didn’t believe they had another fight in them.

Wanting nothing more than to rest, the group decided to return to the surface, and hike back to Amollo. They would return later to vanquish the bones that still rattled under the earth. Upon re-entering the jungle, Tagor’s Shroud, they found signs they were not alone. A dead owl bear, killed by magic. Sets of footprints leading to a vantage point that spied directly on the cave entrance to Sunwyn. What did it all mean? Were they being followed?

The companions decided to track the mysterious foot-prints and found they lead back to Amollo. By asking questions of the city’s citizens they discovered a man in black robes and a dragonborn had recently been seen in the city. Was it possible…Menzo and Petrin’s mother…in Amollo…?

While back in Amollo, the Eladrin thief, Galendan, sought out the wererat Rakat once more. He wanted to ask some questions, but instead found himself receiving a desperate request from the sewer denizen. Rakat told Galendan that his mentor, and one of the heroes to the poor, a philosopher named Borys Mindhorn was taken captive by secret agents of the Crimson Knights. Rakat said it was vital to rescue the man for if he should perish, that could be the spark that ignites the class war in the city. Galendan relayed this information to his companions, but the heroes would not be distracted by their mission.

Petrin himself entertained thoughts of leaving the dragon eggs for a time. He needed to know if his mother was indeed in Amollo. Was she being held captive? Under some sort of spell? Did she need help? The dragonborn would seek out Numa Woddi, a leader of the Amollo underground, and hire her to use her contacts to determine the identities of the mysterious man and dragonborn.

While awaiting news from Woddi’s agents, the heroes ran a few errands in the city. Arygno visited a healer and made a deal for a tonic that was promised to cure his filth fever. He drank the noxious potion and he soon felt much better…but why did his skin itch so much?

After a time, the half-orc Krum, who once fought Galendan to the death despite it being “nothing personal”, returned. Krum said the dragonborn was indeed a female, and a lovely one at that. She was with a wizard and two ogres in a camp in the jungle. Krum’s colleague got a little too close and was smashed by an ogre, leading Krum to remember him as “Flat Timmy”. The half-orc’s description of the scene certainly made it seem as though Menzo was here and had Petrin’s mother.

The heroes were hesitant to tackle ogres and opted to return to Sunwyn and get the dragon eggs before Menzo. Upon reaching the cave entrance to the ancient city the group decided to set a trap, to make anyone following them think twice.

After the trap was set, the heroes made their way to the chamber with the mysterious door. After inspecting the room, they realized the door was somehow operated by a pulley system tied to four pillars in the room. It wasn’t clear how the system worked, but when they attempted to pull the ropes in all four pillars at the same time, the door opened. Petrin stood by the door, patiently waiting for it swing wide and was rewarded by being thrashed by a large undead orc on the other side. His comrades rushed in and fought the creature, who was accompanied by lesser undead and emerged victorious.

A dusty dark passageway led on, but to what? Were they any closer to the lost dragon eggs? What other monstrosities might lay in wait? And what of Menzo and Petrin’s mother? What of Amollo, a city on the edge of war? They would find out soon enough.

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Session 19: "The bones doth serve him well"

…as the party’s Christmas Adventure draws to a conclusion…

Valez, Galendan and Eldarion are in the basement of Hoovan Grench‘s house, where they have just encountered an enormous man, a jaguar, and a pile of children’s toys. Valez delicately approaches the giant, speaking to him softly, and begins to play his flute soothingly. The giant smiles, hands Valez the toy boat he was holding, and begins to dance, as the jaguar looks on lethargically. Eldarion is able to load the toys into his bag of holding without further incident.

The adventurers take Grench to the city watch; he seems not only unrepentant, but proud, to have been revealed as a perpetrator of the theft, though Eldarion informs the watch of the braggart’s accomplices. The toys are taken to Trebor Mintz, who is ecstatic to see them returned, and informs the party that the customary parade is to take place that very evening. The party splits up briefly to make use of Amollo’s markets, and rendezvouses at the Liberty Tavern, before heading to the parade as evening falls.

As the parade passes, the more observant of the party members perceive smiles from the poor children to whom the toys have been distributed, but scowls and dirty looks from some prominent a members of the elite in the crowd-notable by the entourages that seem to cluster around them, even here. Clearly not everyone is euphoric about the restoration of the toys.

Louverdis Tsakoumis, the games master from the Freedom Gauntlet, finds them at the parade, and after congratulating them on this recent addition to their accomplishments, informs them that contractors have been engaged to remedy the damage to the guild hall.

The party meets Din Pilly, who has been going through some of his books, and tells the adventurers about a series of disappearances that had occurred long ago, during the founding of Amollo. On each occasion, the sign of a skull painted in blood had been found around where the victim had vanished; the disappearances seem to be starting up again. Eldarion reminds the others of the mark they had found while hunting dire apes —perhaps this is a clue they can use to discover who or what is behind the mysterious events.

Din Pilly tells them about a Dragonborn bard who is recorded as being present during the disappearances, and who had a song that was fortunately recorded for posterity. Din Pilly relates the song to the adventurers:

The Riddle of the Shroud
The bones doth merely sleep
Among treasures sunk in mud
The bones doth truly creep
And everywhere skulls of blood

The Hunter bides his time
The Prey of a dark desire
That day proud fools arrive
To leap across pools of fire

The bones doth serve him well
Ancient bonds that must die twice
The bones doth wait and dwell
Keeping watch for fire and ice

The shadows hold his eye
A horizon best unseen
For with a wingless sky
The end of the black bird queen

Voren postulates that the ‘black bird queen’ might refer to the harpy queen that the adventurers had come close to encountering before, while Valez says it must be the Raven Queen. Petrin says that he was known in the past as ‘fire and ice,’ indicating that the poem could have prophesied his coming. Voren is sure the ‘hunter’ in the song is or is associated with the undead dragonborn, Fyrus.

Petrin asks Din Pilly when it was that the deaths/disappearances had stopped occurring; the historian tells them that a series of passages under the city were found, and blocked; and that the blocking of those passages seemed to end the events. Valez asks if the passages have been reopened, but Din Pilly is unsure, though he suggests looking near the painted skull that the adventurers had found in the jungle outside Amollo. Eldarion wonders out loud if the red skulls are a sign of the Bloodskull Orcs, who seem to have owed some allegiance to Fyrus in the past.

After some discussion, the adventurers head back towards the Liberty Tavern, but take a shortcut through an alley where they are accosted by a disreputable-seeming gentleman who asserts that it would be in the group’s best interest to head on to the docks and take the first available vessel away from Amollo. When the adventurers indicate that they have no intention of leaving without their business in the city concluded, the shortcut turns into an ambush, with both ends of the alley blocked off and several archers placed on the balconies above.

The ambushers prove fierce opponents; Eldarion is repeatedly pinned to the wall of the alley by the spears of two of the assailants, while Galendan is brutally wounded by the sword of another. Petrin makes his way through the buildings abutting the alley to one of the balconies, where after a brief struggle he is able to throw one of the archers from the building. Eventually, the remainder of the attackers are vanquished, and the party finds notes offering descriptions of the party members and rewards for anyone who can remove them from Amollo—75 gold pieces living, or 50 dead.

The party continues on to the Liberty Inn, except for Valez, who decides to head to the Crimson Knights to see if he can root out any more of the conspirators who must have been working with Grench; and Galendan, who goes to track down Rakat in his lair.

At the Crimson Knights, Valez spies a grief-stricken Satno Klose, and stealthily follows him to his house. After watching Satno sleep for some time, Valez wakes him with a kusarigama to the headboard, and demands to know what is going on. Satno tells him that Grench has been released, and that at Grench‘s testimony Satno has been expelled from the Crimson Knights. Valez demands payment in return for sparing Satno’s life, then instructs him to leave Amollo and never return.

Galendan finds Rakat’s lair empty, but the wererat appears just as he is leaving, and warns him that the conflict between the affluent and impoverished of Amollo is escalating—and that, deliberately or otherwise, the adventurers are believed to be on the side of the destitute.

Galendan and Valez join the rest of the party at the inn, and tell the others of their respective conversations.

The Following Morning

The adventurers head towards the jungle to track down the mysterious symbol they had found previously, and to see if they can find a way into the tunnels that Din Pilly had told them about. They quickly realize they are being tailed by a young boy, whom they confront; he admits that he was following them, and explains that he was instructed (interestingly, not paid) to do so by a man in black robes—specifically, to follow Petrin, whom the boy identifies as “The Dragonborn.” Galendan charitably gives the boy 10 gold pieces, and is rewarded immediately by the lad’s immediate befuddlement, then delight, and finally a hug.

Once in the jungle, Galendan and Arygno are able to find their way back to the painted gules skull, which they find untouched. Nearby, Galendan finds tracks leading farther into the jungle; though the footprints appear incomplete, they seem to be the trail of something humanoid, and lead the party to a well-hidden cave entrance. Valez and Galendan descend into the cave, followed shortly by the others.

Inside, they find ruined columns and archways, and a hallway leading deeper into the cave. As they continue into the cave, Galendan hears a voice that none of the others can perceive, and warns the party that they are not alone. The party follows the hallway into a small room joining three other corridors, from which enter several skeletal creatures and a ghostly, ethereal humanoid being that vanishes from sight as the party approaches.

Kitten, Eldarion and Voren step out into the area intending to use the hallway entrance as a choke point, but are quickly overwhelmed by the surprisingly powerful blows of some of the skeletons, while some of the other party members hang back in the tunnel. The concealed specter lets out a blood-curdling shriek from the midst of the adventurers that knocks many of them prone and sends the party into chaos.

With significant difficulty (and much help from Arygno, whose efforts keep his allies from being completely slaughtered) they are eventually able to defeat the undead creatures, and take a moment to look around the ruins. Voren recognizes them as the remains of the ancient city of Sunwyn, and is able to infer the wealth, scale and technological advancement of that empire from the engineering prowess at display in what survives of its constructions.

Valez Du’Urth goes ahead of the rest of the party down one of the other tunnels leading out of the chamber, passing an underground stream and what appears to be another chamber lower down, and finds a tightly closed door. Petrin examines the door, and determines that it is held shut by some mechanism that is not driven with a key, but is unable to determine how the door could be opened. The party heads to where Valez found the other chamber and lowers him down the wet slope on a rope.

Valez Du’Urth finds a large room that appears to have once been a theatre, the passage he came through lying at the back, behind several tiers of seats now damp from the moisture of the subterranean river that runs down to the stage at the other end. Several side passages lead into the auditorium—presumably the original entrances before the water dug its way into the room—and an additional, larger door sits at the back of the stage.

Eldarion and Kitten lower Petrin down the same rope. Along with Valez, he approaches the door at the rear of the stage. As they draw closer to it, they are almost overwhelmed by a repellent stench emanating from something behind the door. Galendan, and no one else, hears a voice whisper the words “One step closer…”

Petrin throws the door open with a flourish, in preparation for a grand entrance, but comes to a sudden halt as an enormous, skeletal creature, enveloped in a sickly cloud of dust and stench, begins to move, slowly turning towards the door. Petrin slams the door, turns around, and makes a beeline for the rope at the other end of the room, followed closely by Valez.

Before they can reach it, they are intercepted by a flood of skeletons that pours in through the side doors of the auditorium, and call out for help. Eldarion anchors the rope to some rocks, and the rest of the party members climb down and engage the undead. The adventurers are able to push their way through the brute’s intense miasma and destroy it, then quickly finish off the rest of the skeletons—after which Valez and Petrin convince the others that they had had the situation completely under control. Shouts? What shouts? Must have been the wind…

The party takes a brief respite before continuing farther into the caves…

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Session 18: "You're making an attack on an insubstantial purse."

Without waiting to rest, the adventurer’s set off to track down Rakat, the wererat who has ‘acquired’ the Crown of Solace. A map of Amollo that was found in the guild hall leads them to a sewer grate, and the party descends into the putrid darkness (some more gracefully than others).

Below, they find a long corridor, leading in two directions. Acaelus suggests splitting up to find Rakat faster, but with no knowledge of what dangers lurk ahead of them, the party decides to stick together, with Acaelus and Galendan leading the way as stealthily as possible. Galendan uses his Everlasting Chalk to mark the walls as they pass, as the tunnels are not well-mapped.

Acaelus and Galendan soon come across a large chamber farther down the corridor. They attempt to scout the chamber ahead of the rest of the party, but are taken unaware by a sentient mass of acidic ooze. Acaelus, Kitten and Eldarion Telchontar are successively engulfed by the ooze, but the party eventually manages to dispatch the creature, freeing their companions.

On the other side of the chamber, the adventurers find another hallway, leading to a second chamber, this one with a heavy curtain for a door. Inside, they hear some movement; Acaelus and Galendan quietly approach…until Galendan stubs his toe on an irregular piece of stone and shouts. He quickly muffles the noise, but the adventurers hear a sudden clattering of metal from behind the curtain, indicating their attempt at stealth was in vain.

Acaelus enters the room only to find it seemingly uninhabited, empty but for a pair of pots, one containing some sort of soup that has slopped onto the table as though dropped. Noise emanates from a large chest to the side of the room. Kitten, of course, sits on it.

Inside the chest, they find Rakat, the wererat who (they were told) had stolen the Crown of Solace. The party discusses whether to torture or kill the rat, but eventually Acaelus agrees to pay Rakat 80gp to give up the crown. Rakat directs them to a room just a few chambers away, where he has hidden the crown in a pool of water. The adventurers head there with Rakat in tow to ensure his honesty.

  • On the way, Acaelus lifts the gold he had paid Rakat with, though the wererat pretends not to have noticed.

In the final chamber, they find the pool of water Rakat mentioned, filled with strange, insect-like creatures with venomous, paralyzing (as Eldarion Telchontar discovers) tentacles and far too many teeth. The party wades into the pool to dispatch the beasts only to be attacked from behind, as Rakat, released from Kitten’s grasp, charges Acaelus and engages him in combat, declaring “Only this one must die!”

The adventurers, taken by surprise, are briefly thrown into disarray, most of the party still focused on the tentacled monsters, but Acaelus [and others?] fighting Rakat. They come close to defeating him, when he suddenly teleports to the far side of the room, pulls a crown of some white, ivory-like material from the pool, and vanishes. Galendan, Arygno and Kitten alternately attempt to block the exit then track down Rakat, while the others, finding themselves slowly being overpowered by the crawling, amphibious beasts, begin to fall back, Voren Belliger and Eldarion Telchontar guarding the rear. Once the creatures are dispatched, Kitten takes a brief detour to dig through the layers of manure covering the floor of the pool, coming up with an amount of gold…and a generous coating of excrement.

  • Galendan, first to reach the chamber where the adventurers found Rakat, finds a note left by the wererat demanding a ransom of 100gp before the crown will be returned. Galendan, attempting to remedy what Rakat considers a great dishonor, leaves 160gp and his own note. Eldarion Telchontar arrives soon after and begins tearing the room apart (not a terribly difficult task, given the room’s spartan furnishings).

When the rest of the adventurers make it back to Rakat’s lair, they find Eldarion Telchontar hurling pots to the floor and overturning tables in an attempt to root out the wererat, along with the note Galendan left for Rakat. Galendan and Acaelus dispute over the need to buy back the crown, but the gold—and the note—are eventually left alone. Kitten, meanwhile, finds more tracks leading out of the room, back towards the sewer grate they had entered through. The rest of the party follows him out of the sewers, leaving Galendan behind to ensure Rakat receives the message.

  • Acaelus, unbeknownst to Galendan and the rest of the party, hides in Rakat’s lair to observe what happens.

Galendan is met by Rakat in the wererat’s lair, along with two personal guards of intimidating physique. Rakat reads the note, and seems to accept Galendan‘s apology (along with the gold), though he warns Galendan not to trust the rest of the party—Acaelus in particular. Galendan agrees that the newcomer has gained the right to be called a “friend” and has much to do to prove himself, but attempts to persuade Rakat of the integrity of his long time party members. While they can be rash in their actions their intent is an honorable one. Galendan’s protests seem to do little good. Rakat then exits, leaving the Crown of Solace with Galendan.

  • Acaelus, still hidden in darkness, follows Rakat and his escort from the sewers.

Meanwhile, outside the sewers, the adventurers attempt to determine which direction Rakat took. Kitten accosts several disconcerted passersby, asking them (with gold in his hand) if anyone has seen a rat, but the one respondent seems more interested in the gold than in honesty. Eventually he gives up and heads to a nearby inn for a bath, which the innkeeper is more than happy to allow, should it remove the excrement and associated stench from his establishment. The rest of the adventurers soon head to the same inn, having found no trace of the wererat.

Kitten arrives at the tavern, only to find Rakat and his guards already there. He apologizes to the wererat, explaining that the party (other than Acaelus) had meant no harm, when Acaelus, having followed Rakat to the tavern, reveals himself. Without giving Acaelus a chance to speak, Kitten attacks; while Acaelus attempts to Kitten’s attacks, his purse is cut, and the repossessed gold spills to the floor.

The fight is interrupted when Eldarion Telchontar intervenes, reminding the party members of their urgency. They head out to meet Viktoro Grey, leaving the gold behind.

Viktoro Grey, Osmos Portakis and the adventurers assemble in an abandoned warehouse far enough from the city center to avoid attracting attention. While Viktoro prepares the incantations that will open the portal, Voren Belliger and Osmos decide to hang back to protect the summoner; the rest of the party gets ready to head through the portal.

The portal opens; through it, the party sees a rocky, fiery expanse upon which stands a contingent of the dark dwarves that they had faced during the Freedom Gauntlet. In their midst stands Petrin Iceblade, seemingly held captive by the dwarves, and accompanied by a small winged demon that he appears to be speaking to. The dwarves attack without hesitation, appearing to have been waiting for this moment, some even making it through the portal into the warehouse before the party is able to halt their advance. Viktoro is knocked from his seat but remains mentally detached and unaware of the events surrounding him as he struggles to hold the portal open.

The adventurers push forward, attempting to free their comrade from the abyssal dwarves, but are quickly enveloped in chaos as various party members are surrounded, overwhelmed and incapacitated by the frenzied assault. Petrin Iceblade is able to get through the portal but is disabled by a blow from one of the dwarves. A monstrous, floating creature looking like a disembodied eye comes into view behind the dwarves as Galendan, his mind seemingly dominated by some unknown force, turns on the rest of the party and begins to fight them alongside the dwarves.

As soon as the party manages to recover the unconscious associates Viktoro closes the portal, preventing the dwarves from continuing their advance. The few dwarves that made it across are quickly dispatched and Galendan, still under the control of another, is knocked unconsious. Viktoro tells the adventurers to give the Crown of Solace to Galendan, which they do; when he wakes, he appears to be himself once again, though the other party members are still watchful should any injurious influence remain.

The adventurers make their way back to the guild hall, but are met before they reach it by the games master from the Freedom Gauntlet, who informs them that someone has attempted to burn it down, and gives them a note that was found: “Zalthannas – your days are numbered…” Eldarion Telchontar asserts that the arson was the work of Rakat. The party regroups to rest (and drink) at an inn nearby…

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Session 17: The Fight for Survival

*=Unknown Events

• Kitten, Galendan, Arygno & Eldarion brought their animal trophy to the game’s registration area. While doing so they discover that Kitten, Galendan and Arygno will fight in the arena while Galendan will be going through a rogue’s obstacle course. The three fighters must fight to survive until the rogue is able to complete the course.

• The group encounters team Ravage lead by Grincheaux Doss. The group seems confident that they will have no trouble winning the tournament.

• Petrin & Bell learn from Din Pilly that one of the three summoners who will be assisting in the games has been summoning creatures from dark planes. Din Pilly doesn’t know which summoner is doing so. The three summoners, Bilzack Tyvoranth, Osmos Portakis, and Viktoro Grey are the suspected summoners. Petrin and Bell tell the other adventurers later that night and promise to keep an eye on the summoners while the fight is occurring.

• *Valez Du’Urth watches and then tracks down one of the people working with the rogue’s obstacle course. While interrogating the man he learns that his name is Benet and also convinces him to insure that the main party’s rogue doesn’t finish in a timely manner.

• The next morning Kitten, Eldarion, and Arygno head over to the gladiator arena while Galendan heads to the rogue’s obstacle course.

• Galendan encounters the rogue from team Ravage and she shares smug comments about his team, which Galendan deflects.

• Petrin and Bell sit close to the summoners and keep a wary eye on the booth where they were located.

• *Valez Sits behind Petrin and Bell watching the two casually, while blending in, hoping to see the fruits of his labor.

• The gamemaster, Louverdis Tsakoumis, tells a brief history on why the games occur describing a fierce battle where the city fought off assailants until the messengers were able to get a message across and save the kingdom. The crowd roars in hungry anticipation for the upcoming show.

• The games begin and Kitten, Arygno, & Eldarion wait as team after team fights for survival in the arena.

• Team Ravage impresses everyone as they reveal themselves to be werewolves. The team does well, but the loss of their healer put them in dire straits, luckily soon after the bell sounded for the completion of the rogue’s obstacle course ending the fight.

• It was time for the party to enter the arena and they prepare themselves as the summoners open a portal to unleash several giant ants upon the group.

• Petrin starts a chant that encourages his team.

• Meanwhile Galendan climbs walls, swings across dangerous ravines, & runs into an encounter he is not prepared for, a half-Orc.

• The party battles against the ants while Petrin and Bell keep a close eye on the summoners. The summoners haven’t acted different yet, but Bell notices two summoners go down, seemingly hit from behind by several guards. Petrin and Bell move to stop the summoner left standing who turned out to be Bilzack Tyvoranth.

• In the arena the manner of creature quickly becomes more dangerous and dark as Tyvoranth summons several grey dwarves just as the last ant was dispatched. The crowd seems excited unknowing of the tragedy that could befall the historical game.

• Petrin and Bell try to push through the crowd who still don’t have much a clue as to what is truly occurring.

• Valez suddenly causes a stir when he teleports into someone’s lap then appears close to the summoner. He appears to be trying to stop the summoner and his attack draws the attention of the audience.

• Petrin and Bell attack the summoner as their comrades do battle in the arena. No bell has sounded for the completion of the rogue obstacle course, which concerns some of the party.

• The crowd begins to panic and exit the arena as fire reigns down on the summoner booth. The guards defend the summoner valiantly, but soon the summoner was dispatched, but not before a grey dwarf grabs Petrin and takes him back into a portal.

• With the summoner dead the guards return to normal dazed and confused about what happened. The party dispatches the last of the grey dwarves and meet in the center of the arena.
• Louverdis Tsakoumis gives the group gold and a treasure chest as reward for saving the game. The group is also rewarded the guild hall of the former team Ravage.

• Kitten, Arygno, and one of the guards heads to the rogue’s obstacle course to discover the fate of their comrade.

• Within the obstacle course they find the body of Galendan and a half-Orc in front of the door containing the chalice designated for the winner of the course.

• After reviving their comrade and the half-Orc they learn about an insidious plot to kill Galendan. The Half-Orc refuses to tell why or who hired him until the party became more persuasive by which the half-Orc divulged that a man named Benet hired him.

• Galendan tries to punch the half-Orc in order to give out vengeance, but the half-Orc easily dodges it and walks away. The group returns back to the arena.

• They inquire about Valez who assisted them in the arena today and Valez lies and gives the false name, Acaleous Thorne. Valez also describes himself as working for a noble within the city. Most of the party is uneasy with the man.

• They learn from Tsakoumis that they will have to go into the sewers in order to find an item that will allow them to retrieve their friend, Petrin, from the Abyss. The item currently belongs to a wererat. Valez shows an interest in the adventurer as well and tells the party that he will meet them at their new guildhall later.

• *Valez searches for Benet, but is unable to track him down. He learns from the guards that Benet has fled the city.

• The party finds their new guildhall and Arygno repairs the vandalized hall with his magic. They find some interesting maps and bring it with them as they set out for the sewers.

• Valez finds the guildhall that night and follows behind the group.

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Session 16: A Pirate's Life for We!
Shivered their timbers
  • Ash was anxious to set sail for Amollo, but the heroes had a few hours to tie up some loose ends in Mocklyn.
  • The Scorned Queen was an impressive ship and was outfitted with peculiar instruments, including large horns, an array of mirrors and an over-sized ballista. Ash explained that the sea was a treacherous place and it was important to have the proper tool for any occasion. The companions were introduced to the crew, which included: Calaren Athedrae (Ash’s Elven First Mate), Mossed Darddan (the ship’s navigator and map enthusiast), Burrako Atiq (swordmage), and Durn Moren (dim brute and expert with knots).
  • Ash gave a brief tour of the ship, but instructed the heroes to keep away from the hold as other customers paid to keep certain shipments private. The companions were curious, particularly Galendan, but they chose to honor the request.
  • While en route to Amollo, the Scorned Queen came under attack by a criminal named Bort who sought to destroy the Smoke Riders for their role in the death of his brother Mort. Ash confessed to killing the man as part of a contract. Mort was a murderer and the victims’ family sought retribution.
  • The heroes learned that a rogue wizard named Meztrek was also in Bort’s company and they discussed whether they should flee the oncoming ship. Ash simply stated that Bort was bad news and this was a perfect opportunity to finish him once and for all.
  • A spectacular ship-to-ship battle ensued with the heroes and the Smoke Riders coming out victorious. Ash and his crew came to respect the adventurers and invited them to call upon them in the future should they need anything else.
  • Once in Amollo, Petrin delivered a letter from the dwarven merchant Lipcrot Brightstone to a philosopher named Borys Mindhorn. The contents of the letter were unknown, but seemed serious.
  • The companions couldn’t pass up the opportunity to participate in the Freedom Gauntlet. To register, they had to bring a trophy from one of the many beast that lived in the surrounding jungle. Only four could compete in the games, so Eldarion, Kitten, Arygno and Galendan went into the wilds to find their trophy.
  • Meanwhile, Petrin and Voren paid a visit to the historian Din Pilly to learn more about the location of Sunwyn. They poured over countless books and old maps when they finally made a remarkable discovery. The city of Amollo actually stood upon the ruins of Sunwyn. The ancient dragonborn city was right under their feet.
  • The others found their trophy in the head of a dire ape. While in the jungle, they also came upon the corpse of an elf that at first glance appeared to be mauled by a wild animal. Upon further inspection, Eldarion deduced that the elf was killed by a bladed weapon. On a tree trunk nearby, painted in the victim’s blood was the shape of a skull.
  • The heroes brought the body with them into town and turned it over to the local watch. They then registered for the games.
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Session 15: The Game is Afoot
When adventurers go detective
  • The heroes arrived in Mocklyn and set out to investigate the recent acts of sabotage on Akari war ships in dock. Their first stop was the Crow’s Nest, a tavern on the docks. Once inside, the companions split up. Kitten joined in a game of darts…using his javelin. Petrin sang songs implying he had a friendship with the much reviled minotaurs. And Voren drank enough until he felt up for picking a fight. When the chaos became a bit too much, the Mocklyn Watch, including Shon arrived to keep the peace. Fortunately for the heroes, Shon was able to keep them from getting arrested.
  • Eldarion and Galendan decided to pay a visit to the offices of Kandarkis Shipping. The rumour was that Diamanti Kandarakis had something to do with the explosions. Eldarion pretended to be a customer in need of transporting his goods, in this case exotic lizard meat, to the city of Amollo. The receptionist took down his info and said they could certainly do business together. When Eldarion starting asking more questions about how safe the shipment would be, the receptionist called for the head of security, a tiefling named Ahjahn.
  • Ahjahn was immediately skeptical of Eldarion’s story of being a lizard meat merchant. He even took his time to mock his request. Eldarion offered a few barbs of his own and in no time at all, the two despised each other.
  • With no further leads, the heroes decided to inspect the wreckage of one of the sabotaged ships. It was there they met the Minister of Akari Defense, Gulliver Toombs. Toombs was taking notes and marking evidence. The heroes asked a few questions and were able to find out that a powerful explosion in the bowels of the ship was responsible for the destruction. Voren recognized some residue as belonging to a unique and potent explosive name dragonflame. The group decided to seek an expert’s take on the substance and visited the city’s alchemist, Winford Leake. Kitten elected to stay behind and help Toombs.
  • Winford was a large man in a small and cluttered shop. While browsing his wares the adventurers noticed a small vial of dragonflame. Petrin believed Winford was somehow involved in all of this and tried to lure him out by posing as someone in the market for a large supply of dragonflame. At first Winford said large amounts of the substance simply weren’t available, but when Petrin offered a large sum of gold, the merchant quickly changed his tune. The two agreed on a price for a barrel of dragonflame, when Winford remarked that the explosive had been quite popular lately.
  • At about this same time Kitten discovered a piece of debris bearing the mark of Leake’s shop while investigating the wrecked ship. He shared this piece of information with Toombs and the two made their way to the alchemist’s shop. Toombs quickly took over the interrogations session of Leake. When Leake remained difficult, Kitten implied that he was going to start smashing things. Leake eventually cracked and told the group that a week ago he sold a barrel of dragonflame to a tiefling with a scar over his eye (a perfect description of Ahjahn). And this morning he sold him a second barrel. It was time to pay Ahjahn another visit. During the interrogation Galendan decided to steal a few items from the shop.
  • Kandarakis Shipping was closed for the evening when the heroes arrived. The receptionist was just leaving and told Toombs that Ahjahn had not been seen all day. The heroes decided to set up a watch on the docks as they figured Ahjahn would make his move soon. Intrigued by the idea of an empty office, Galendan decided to break in and take a look around. He found nothing of worth in the office or several of the rooms upstairs, but then he came upon a room belonging to Ahjahn. In a drawer he found a signet ring bearing the symbol of the Sinking Sun.
  • That evening, the group spotted Ahjahn and two others taking a barrel upon Pellurdan’s Star. They quickly moved in to intercept. The group reached the deck as Ahjahn and his lackeys emerged from the cargo hold below. Words didn’t need to be exchanged and the battle began. Ahjahn and his men were expert fighters and nearly cut down both Eldarion and Galendan. But Eldarion willed himself back into the battle and dealt a mortal wound to Ahjahn. The tiefling, knowing he was dying teleported to the dragonflame to detonate it, but was stopped just in time by Arygno who dealt the killing blow.
  • Toombs soon arrived with members of the Mocklyn Watch. He celebrated their victory and asked them to join him and present the good news to King Langriff personally. The group agreed and soon were before an overjoyed king. He called them heroes and applauded their loyalty to the crown. He then asked them to consider serving the crown regularly, saying he needed men he could trust. Petrin began to turn the offer down when Eldarion cut him off and accepted the proposal. King Akli Langriff gave them a magic summoning stone that would call them when he needed their aid.
  • With the sabotage situation solved the heroes decided to seek passage to Amollo where they hoped to find the lost city of Sunwyn somewhere in the neighboring jungle known as Tagor’s Shroud. They eventually made a deal with a tiefling named Ash who was the leader of a mercenary group called the Smoke Riders and captain of the ship “The Scorned Queen”.
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Session 14: Zalthannus Restored
And a run-in with an old friend
  • The heroes rendezvoused with Eldarion at the cave of Zalthannus, the petrified green dragon. The group agreed that Muddy Gladwell, the leader of the halfling village of Fernwall should be the one to use the stone to flesh potion to restore the ancient beast. Muddy clumsily scaled the giant statue and managed to spill the potion upon Zalthannus before falling to the cave floor. The great statue began to radiate an intense heat. Soon, cracks appeared in the stone and the group could sense a mighty tension building. Within moments, fragments of stone exploded off the dragon, shooting shards across the cave. Then the beast let loose a terrible roar and flexed its muscles to free itself from the rest of the rock. Zalthannus brought her eyes upon the group, and she was clearly angry.
  • Zalthannus demanded to know the whereabouts of Hubren Swade. She wanted the human merchant to pay for his betrayal. Bolger Tallweed and Galendan tried to explain the man’s plight, mentioning that his family was also turned to stone. Zalthannus was eventually persuaded not to kill Hubren, but she did banish him from Fernwall forever.
  • The dragon then asked the heroes a series of questions to test their sincerity and clarify their mission. She was surprised to hear the adventurers talk about the secret clutch of dragon eggs in Sunwyn. The heroes wanted to know if Zalthannus knew of the old city’s location, but before she could answer, the sounds of an approaching lizardfolk army approaching could be heard. They thought the dragon dead and the village ripe for the slaughter. They were wrong.
  • Zalthannus was eager for a fight. She warned the heroes not to get in the way of her jaws and then she flew out of the cave and into the lizardfolk army. The adventurers quickly went after her, excited to see a dragon in combat and anxious for a fight themselves. The lizardfolk were shocked to see the ancient green dragon crash into their front ranks, rendering limbs and showering down deadly poison. Those that tried to flee her reach found themselves up against the companions, who were more than ready for them. Soon the army was defeated and the statement was made: Fernwall is still protected.
  • After the battle, Zalthannus told the heroes that she shares a bond with the unhatched dragons and can feel that they remain in their magical stasis. She told them the ruins of Sunwyn could be found in a jungle to the west. She had no further specific information on the location. She told the heroes that if they found the eggs, they could each only bond with one dragon. She made them swear to bring the eggs to her so that they could be raised appropriately through the wyrmling stage.
  • The adventurers were treated to a feast by the halflings of Fernwall. Bolger gave Galendan a quiver of poison-tipped arrows. Finny Gladwell gave Arygno a necklace made of goat bones that she hoped would bring him luck. He accepted it gracefully. Galendan gave Bolger the remainder of the stone to flesh potion and told him to use it on Hubren’s family.
  • The heroes decided to head back to Silver Hill to see if Logan Duten had returned with any word of Petrin’s homeland. Along the way they came across an old man in a loin cloth attempting to catch fish in the river, using a sharpened stick. He was having no success. Kitten and Petrin attempted to help. Kitten tried to spear a fish with his javelin and Petrin brought fire upon the water attempting to boil the fish. Neither were very successful and the old man lamented his fishless fate. The heroes asked what he was doing here and he told them he was waiting for someone named Eldarion Telchontar.
  • A surprised Eldarion told the old man that he beared that name. The old man squinted at him and seemed to agree. He said he had a message to deliver. Eldarion’s parents were not dead. The bodies that were buried long ago were mere shadows of the couple. While adventuring in the Fey Wild, Eldarion’s parents were captured by the Tapestry of Stolen Tears a malevolent group of fey obsessed with causing grief and turmoil. They sent copies of the couple back to Haven, knowing they would both die soon and spread sorrow amongst the people. The pair remain alive in captivity in the Fey Wild.
  • Eldarion was skeptical and the old man said the proof lied in the book in Petrin’s backpack. Petrin pulled out the Book of Years and flipped through the pages. He noticed the old man’s face in the book, though he appeared much older and ragged now. He also came across images of a human and elf that bore a resemblance to Eldarion. He described them to the half-elf and Eldarion confirmed that those were indeed his parents. With the message delivered, the old man vanished.
  • The group pressed on to Silver Hill where they met up with Logan. He informed Petrin that his home came under attack by the forces of an orc chieftain named Gungryn. His family survived, but his mother was taken prioner. The heroes remembered that Gungryn was the name of the orc that Menzo had gone to meet in battle. If successful, Menzo could now be in possession of Petrin’s mother and the blood of Harkano.
  • While debating next steps, the heroes were warmly greeted by Shon, an old friend of the group. He was now a sergeant in the Mocklyn watch and was in Silver Hill for one more day. He told the group that their old companion, Damakos Shieldheart had infiltrated the Sinking Sun and gained the trust of one of the Dusk Lords, an assassin named Yellowspine. Yellowspine seemed at odds with the bandit leader’s new direction and let slip that there would be a bombing attempt on the Mockly flagship called Pellurdan’s Star. Shon said the heroes should investigate. Should they thwart the bomb plot they would gain favor with King Akli Langriff.
  • The group had a lot of options on the table and a difficult decision would have to be made. But before they could set a direction, a group of men entered the tavern where they were meeting and told the other customers to leave. The leader of the group pulled a chair up to the hero’s table and introduced himself as Omvari Tivesten. He claimed to represent the citizens of Akari who were fed up with the Sinking Sun menace. The citizens pulled together their money and were offering to pay brave souls to strike at the bandits. Omvari held the purse as well as intelligence about the bandits’ movements. He proposed a deal. He would supply the heroes with opportunities to attack the Sun, and they would all share in the profit. Though he was uncomfortably slick, the companions agreed to the proposal.
  • Their first job was to bring a group of bandits to justice that murdered a baker in Silver Hill. Omvari told them where the bandits were holed up and they left the tavern at once to engage them. A battle began on the second floor of a tea house. The heroes emerged victorious, but the building was burned and decimated during the melee. Regardless, Omvari paid the heroes their reward. He told them this was just the beginning. The Sun had more devious plans afoot. He told them it would deal a great blow to the bandits funding if they could prove that the shipping baron Diamanti Kandarakis had ties to the group.
  • The group debated next steps. Eldarion clearly wanted to go to the Fey Wild and search for his parents. Petrin was tempted to embark on a rescue mission for his mother. The Sinking Sun needed to be stopped in Mocklyn. The race for the dragon eggs and the location of Sunwyn remained on the table as well. In the end, the group decided to go to Mocklyn and take it from there.
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Session 13: Rollin' on the River
Splash fight with a hag
  • Galendan was anxious to restore his right arm and immediately set forth from Fernwall with Bolger Tallweed to confront the human merchant Hubren Swade who was seen with the petrification potion that turned the green dragon Zalthannus to stone.
  • The rest of the party stayed behind to rebuild Fernwall which was badly damaged during a Troll attack. During the work, a halfling lookout approached the party and town leader Muddy Gladwell and told them a lone lizardfolk was watching the town from the bushes to the north. Apparently the lizard didn’t know he was spotted.
  • Petrin wanted the Black Scale alive, but with the rogue Galendan away, it was up to him to sneak out into the forest and approach the lizard from behind. To the party’s surprise, the dragonborn sorceror successfully navigated the thick wood and got behind the lizardfolk. He attempted to bluff the lizard, telling it he was the new Black Scale in charge of watching the halfling town. He commanded the lizard to continue looking forward. The lizard was clearly uncertain and asked a few questions which Petrin was able to answer. Petrin had additional questions, but decided interoggation would be easier with the walls of Fernwall. He knocked the lizard unconcious and carried him into the town.
  • Petrin and Voren took turns interrogating the lizardfolk (Petrin with words and Voren with a torch). The captive spilled information like a broken vase. The party learned that an army of lizardfolk would march upon Fernwall in the morning. Petrin and Kitten remarked that it would likely take an army to provide any challenge. The lizard replied that the heroes thus far had only faced their grunts, and the approaching army would contain flying draconians.
  • Muddy quickly ordered the evacuation of the village. All women, children and wounded were to depart to Wicker Glenn, another nearby halfling settlement. Eldarion volunteered to escort the evacuees. Petrin asked Muddy to consider abandoning the village but he refused stating that he would not leave the petrified Zalthannus to be destroyed. Every denizen of Fernwall owed her their life. The heroes respected this decision and decided to make a stand at the dragon’s cave.
  • While moving lumber to the cave, Arygno was approached by Drogo Cornhill. He remembered the old halfling wasn’t pleased when they first arrived at Fernwall and he didn’t look any happier. The halfling got right to the point and asked the cleric, “Why do you join in this fight? Is it for us, or do you want something from Zalthannus?” Arygno was caught off guard by the question and simply answered the group was on their side. Drogo did not seem convinced and asked, “Are you here to take her away from us? Or would you kill her?” Arygno restated that the group had no plans to bring any harm to the dragon and that they would defend Fernwall at all costs. Drogo simply nodded and moved on.
  • Meanwhile, Galendan and Bolger made their way to Hubren’s cottage. During the hike, Bolger asked Galendan what the heroes planned for the dragon. Like Arygno, Galendan replied that they were on the same side and wished no harm to the dragon. Bolger explained to the eladrin that Zalthannus meant a great deal to them, and there was concern amongst the halflings at Fernwall regarding the companions’ interests.
  • Bolger and Galendan came upon Hubren’s cottage while he was gathering wood. They watched as he carried the wood inside. Galendan came up with a plan where Bolger would approach and knock on the door while he waited in the shadows. Bolger raised his eye brows at the plan but Galendan explained that Hubren knew Bolger, but not him. Bolger agreed with the logic, but added Hubren and he may not be on friendly terms any longer, especially since the human turned Zalthannus to stone. Galendan agreed and compromised that Bolger would knock on the door while Galendan stood with him but off to the side and unseen. Before the elaborate plan could be carried out, Hubren called from inside, “Just come in Bolger, and bring your friend.”
  • Inside Hubren’s cottage were two statues, one of a woman and one an old boy. Bolger told Hubren they knew he was responsible for turning Zalthannus to stone. Hubren explained that the river hag Tavale learned about his access to the dragon. She turned his family to stone and told him if he refused to use the petrification potion on the dragon, she would destroy the statues. Should he simply obey her, his family would be restored after the fall of Fernwall. Hubren told Bolger he had a terrible decision to make, and chose his family over the dragon. He felt terrible about the ordeal. He says he will not lift a finger against the hag, but he would share her location with them and added that she was very powerful and heavily guarded.
  • While building fortifications at the cave the party came under attack by a raiding party of lizardfolk including four draconians. Two halflings were killed by glaive swinging draconians, while the heroes were kept at a distance by lightning-breathing draconians. A third halfling was rescued by Arygno. Galendan and Bolger returned from their visit to Hubren in the middle of the battle. Reunited, the heroes dispatched the rest of the lizards, but their victory was a sobering one. With the morning an army many times larger than this raiding party would arrive. They would need a restored Zalthannus to win the fight.
  • Galendan shared what he learned from Hubren and the group decided to confront Tavale straight away. Bolger Tallweed joined them. The hag’s hut was situated in the middle of a fast-moving river. It was guarded by savage crocodiles and the river banks were guarded by black scales. Petrin instructed Bolger to cross the river a ways down and sneak up on the archers on the opposite bank. They gave him 20 minutes and then launched their attack. The lizard brutes proved difficult to take down, but it was the hag herself who posed the greatest threat. She shot shards of water, like missiles, from her dagger striking several of the companions, nearly suffocating them. She walked upon the water, out of reach, continuously launching attack after attack. Bolger appeared on the scene and was able to take the archers out of the fight. Voren plowed through the river, trusting his enchanted armor to keep the crocs from devouring him. With some luck, the group managed to take down the hag.
  • Inside Tavale’s hut were two stone to flesh potions. The group gathered up the elixirs and raced back to Fernwall. Would they get there in time? Would the restored Zalthannus thank them, or eat them?
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Session 12: This...is...Fernwall!!
Here, there be halflings.
  • Once through the wall of Caerbannog the adventurers heard a cacophany of yeti howls from the southwest. The yeti accompanying the heroes snapped his head up and sniffed the air. He then tapped his chest with his mighty claw, pointed towards the howls and nodded. Petrin replied with a series of hand signals that confused both the yeti and his companions. The yeti grinned, as best a yeti can, and then he bounded off towards the howls. Eldarion was pleased to be rid of the beast.
  • The heroes, weary and battered from their orc encounters returned to Paysan Pintaude’s camp to rest. They told Paysan that they would not return to Silver Hill, but would be journeying further north. Paysan wished them well and said he would be departing south to the mining town in the morning.
  • The adventurers set out with the dawn upon the very same trail that Harkano’s daughter Annatithi and the green dragon Zalthannus were said to have taken 900 years ago. The trail brought them down out of the snowy mountains and into a quiet evergreen forest. It was refreshing to no longer be surrounded by orcs, but their moment of tranquility would not last.
  • During the hike, Petin suddenly dropped to one knee and grabbed his head. Someone or something invaded his mind and was leafing through his memories like pages of a book. Petrin saw himself and his companions delivering Harkano’s journal to Simus and hearing the translation from Stephen Crow. He re-lived his battles under Menzo’s tower and his visit to Silver Hill. At times, the invader would linger on memories involving Eldarion Telchontar. He finally witnessed the moment he stole the Book of Years from the manor of Kimath It-Arist. At that point, his mind began buzzing so loud that he thought his head might explode, and then the presence was gone and he was left to catch his breath.
  • Petrin’s episode was clearly evident to his fellow adventurers and they asked him what happened. He told them that someone broke into his mind and now that someone knew everything they did. Voren detected that the incident was clearly tied to the Book of Years, which was still in Petrin’s backpack. Voren, Eldarion and Galendan discussed destroying the book, which Petrin was not prepared to do. Kitten offered to remove the dragonborn’s head to ensure there would be no more spying. There was a brief scuffle, but the dragonborn and shifter were separated. The group agreed to let the book be for now, but they would look into visiting the Feywild in the near future to pay Kimath a visit.
  • The group followed a river north and came upon the remains of wrecked boat. It appeared a body not much larger than a child’s lied among the debris. The companions quickly moved to investigate and discovered a female unconcious halfling. Arygno brought her around and she quickly informed them that they had stepped into an ambush. Lizardmen advanced from the nearby woods while poisonous darts zipped through the air from concealed locations. Arygno told the halfling to stay down. It was time to go to work.
  • One lizardman tried to run away, but Petrin wouldn’t have it. He, Kitten and Eldarion tracked the wounded scoundrel through the brush and came upon a cave where other lizardmen seemed to be waiting. Petrin overheard the bloodied lizard explain that they had failed to capture additional halflings. The other voices expressed disappointment. Petrin than shouted towards the cave, demanding the lizards emerge and surrender. To his surprise, many lizardmen emerged, some quite large. They were grinning as they charged into battle. The trio of warriors were more than up to the challenge and before long, only one lizard was left alive. Petrin told him to return to his village and explain that the halflings were no longer their concern.
  • The rescued halfling identifies herself as Finny Gladwell of Fernwall. Her village is in trouble and she left the town to search for help, against her father’s wishes. She is hesitant to mention the nature of the trouble in her town, and refuses to answer any questions about dragons. Arygno noticed the bump on Finny’s head and healed her. Finny was amazed at his skill and thanked him for his compassion. She invited the heroes to follow her to Fernwall.
  • Fernwall is a small village comprised of a handful of huts, a meeting hall, and a storage house. The settlement is surrounded by a wooden wall, which does not appear very impenatrable. Upon entering Fernwall, many halflings ran to their homes and closed the doors. One older halfling named Drogo Cornhill asked Finny why she would bring such dangerous men to their village. She tells him the story of how they rescued her and slaughtered the Black Scales. This did little to abate his fear.
  • Finny introduced the heroes to her father, Muddy Gladwell, who is also the town’s leader. He was accompanied by the well-armed and alert Bolger Tallweed and the rather frightened Ivy Shortwick. Muddy was angry at first with Finny for leaving town and bringing back strangers, but after hearing her story he thanked the adventurers for their help. He explained that the town was in trouble, but before he could finish his tale a duck call sounded from outside, signifying that the village was under attack by trolls.
  • The heroes agreed to help defend the town. They tried to bolster the strength of the walls by adding large wooden beams, but the trolls were too strong and punched their way through. The companions and a few of the halflings who knew how to fight battled two trolls and several wolves. The troll were exceptionally strong but the heroes managed to keep them out of reach while Petrin lit them on fire. The day was won.
  • The heroes won the trust of Muddy and he told them that Fernwall had been protected for centuries by a great green dragon named Zalthannus. A week ago, something terrible happened and the dragon was turned to stone. Without her protection, it would only be a matter of time before the trolls and Black Scales that lived in the Valley of Whispers obliterated them. The heroes asked to see the petrified dragon.
  • Zalthannus is immense. Even in stone form, she exuded an aura of awe and reverence. Her cave was decorated with gems, armor, and weapons, some that looked quite old. Kitten attempted to communicate with her using his statue speech skill. Unlike the dragonborn statue in Caerbannog which had no soul or personality, Zalthannus was able to speak for herself to the shifter. She shared with him her last vision of a departing man wearing a green hood. He had thrown something at her that turned her to stone.
  • Kitten relayed the message to the others. Muddy said the description fit that of a human named Hubren Swade who had visited Fernwall many times in the past. He’s a merchant who helped the village greatly by bringing much needed goods that they could not have obtained otherwise. Both Muddy and Finny expressed shock that Hubren could have done such a thing.
  • In looking for clues, Galendan found the remnants of a broken flask which still contained a bit of thick grey liquid. Kitten said the group should test the liquid on one of the village’s goats to determine if this was the agent that petrified the dragon. Galendan was slow to respond, and in impatience Kitten picked up a goat and threw it at the flask, which was still in Galendan’s hands. The eladrin managed to dodge the goat, but his quick movements caused the flask to empty its contents on his right arm. He looked in horror as his arm turned to stone.
  • Furious with Kitten for his carelessness, Galendan demanded the group pay Hubren Swade a visit so that a cure for his arm could be found. The others pointed out that the town was defenseless and the walls needed to be repaired from the troll battle. Galendan said he would go alone, but did not know the way. Bolger volunteered to lead him to Hubren’s cottage.
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