Kern

Session 030
UnBEARable Ambush

This session begins after we reached a dead end while wondering through the underground tunnels, we now stand in a room with only one path – the way we just came. Above there was a fissure in the ceiling where Searos climbed through and returned with much haste; an enraged bear clawed at us from the other side. Grasping the other end of the rope wrapped around the bear’s neck, Geoffrei slammed the bear into the rock, knocking it unconscious. Searos vanished once again through the crack.

  • After a time, Searos’ voice fills the empty cavern, calling out for everyone to come up so they may attack the bear together. But only Geoffrei answers the call, and scales the stone wall with ease. Standing above the creature they steady their weapons and strike simultaneously. More red blood trickles into the cavern through the crack as roars of rage echo down the cavern. In response to the sounds of combat above, Bantin boosts Salemar up the rope, then begins to climb behind him, shortly after Scord commences to climb.
  • Eventually everyone except the Doctor arrived at the top to witness the brutal mauling of their friend Searos, the massive furry figure stand towering over the mangled body. Bantin hurries over to grab Searos, and toss him down the crevice where The Doctor remained to catch him. Meanwhile Geoffrei makes great efforts to calm to bear, it moves towards the mouth of the cave and watches angrily as we made our way back down the crack into the cavern once again.
  • Back in the cavern exhaustion begins to set in and we set up camp for the night. Nothing too eventful passing during the night; at one point Scord sees what she believed to be a figure in the distance, but no other other signs presented themselves to cause concern. In the morning we moved back through the tunnel to the cavern with the river where we noticed a flickering light source.
  • Near the light a man lie on the ground injured with a torch perched on a rock. The Doctor patches up the man’s wounds as Salemar questions him, but he could gather little information from the man. After The Doctor had finished, the man stood up and shouted “NOW!!!” – soon after balls of hardened mud crash down upon us from the other side of the river. The man sheds his skin unveiling a watery form as he shifts away across the river.
  • Bantin moves across the river using his boots when launching itself from one of the stalactites a stone gargoyle slams into Bantin, knocking him upon the surface of the water. Geoffrei crosses the river to find 4 earth elementals drawing earth from the ground. A bulkier gargoyle comes from behind the group and attempts to gore Scord, eventually grabbing her and pulling her into the air above the river. But she manages to slide out of it’s grasp as she plunges into the river.
  • The Doctor, Searos, and Scord all attempt to swim across the river, but the current proves too difficult and pulls them under. Meanwhile, Bantin, Geoffrei and Salemar battle with the remaining elementals.
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Session 029
It's Kruthik Killing Time!
  • This session begins while the party is squeezed in a tunnel and had reached a dead end. At the dead end was two levers which Geoffrei had just pulled.
  • Shortly after pulling the levers we were surrounded by a loud rumbling as the tunnel shook. After roughly 10 minutes the vibrations stopped, nothing in the tunnel appeared changed. Moving back out the tunnel it began to level out and veer off the right, different from the direction we came down. This new section of the tunnel appeared to be made exactly the same, except a half-crushed kruthik lying in the path.
  • Continuing down the path, one section on the wall the stone is cracked and from that point a door could be seen at the end of the tunnel. The crack appeared as if something had pushed up against it from the other side. Heading over to the door; it was a stone slab, with no handle. Geoffrei leaned his weight against it and the door slid into the wall, opening the tunnel up into a T section.
  • The path to the right was another closed door, and to the left was another door but it was open. Investigating the side with the open door led to a room with an empty stone table, and two large dwarven statues with their hands cupped open standing on either side of a large steel reinforced door. At the base of each statue was an inscription, which Bantin translated; (right) “I drive men mad for the love of me. Easily beaten, but never free”, (left) “Ripped from my mother’s womb, Beaten and burned I become a bloodthirsty killer”. Each statue had a sepression with a raised hammer on it. Pondering a moment on the riddles the statues presented, we concluded that the left statue was referring to Iron, and the right statue was referring to Gold. Recalling the golden hammer we discovered from the Adela’s “junk” pile, we would now need to search for one made of iron in order to open the door, it seemed.
  • Having no way of opening the steel door we turned around and moved towards the closed door, it was unlocked and opened up into another tunnel, this one was much more cavernous and widened steadily as we continued. Moving forward through this tunnel we start to hear echoes, rumbling and clinking noises. Pausing for a moment to inverstigate the source of the sounds; we notice a distinct and familiar scratching sound.
  • Eventually the this path opened up into a fork, here that was a much higher ceiling, in the center was a rising which joined with the ceiling, dividing the path into two. There were a few ledges and risings and an faint blue light lit up the walls of the cavern. Examing the two paths it appeared that the left path began to rise, while the right decended further.
  • From here more distinct snarling and clinking sounds came from some holes in the walls. Kruthiks burst from some of the larger holes in the cavern, 4 total. One kruthiks begin to eat from a patch of glowing blue mushrooms when it’s chitin began to glow, enhancing the effects of the poison from it’s spikes. Two large worm like kruthiks burst from the ground blocking our path as we attempted to engage the kruthiks, A hive lord emerged from a hole in the center pillar, it’s entrance amplified the sounds of skittering as the kruthiks moved around aggresively. A short while after another worm kruthik burst from the wall and joined the fight.
  • The battle went on for quite some time until eventually the kruthiks froze, as if they were listening to something, and the began to flee. Unknown as to why they fled we took a short rest near the pillar and destroyed some of the mushrooms. After resting the sounds of skittering faded, and we head down the right path which led us further down. After 45 minutes of following the path it straightens and opens into a larger cavern. This cavern was flat and a stream of water ran across the center, at the other side there were two large tunnel openings on in either direction. We choose the right passage again, down this path there are no kruthik openings, and the path starts to curve off and continues into another small chamber with a crack in the upper wall where some light was shining through.
  • Searos climbed the wall with a boost and through the crack, after sometime there was loud roaring and Searos returns flying through the fissure holding a rope. The rope tightens just before he hits the floor, and then he starts to be slowly pulled up back through the fissure on the rope. But before he gets pulled back through the crack Geoffrei grabs the rope, and with Salemar and Bantin’s help they manager to pull the rope back down, snapping the rope in the process. Looking through the crack a large bear could be seen on the other side of the crack, unconscious.
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Session 028
Jars, Jars and More Jars

This session begins right after the conclusion of a battle in the room with the disected kruthiks in the uncovered ruins. The last of the Ghast’s had been slain, leaving one option; to chase after the necromancer that fled after sending his minions.

  • Before heading down the path the robed figure escaped through we spent a brief moment sifting through the piles of crushed bone and rotting flesh for valuables. Our searched yielded 2 opals, which appeared to have been used to channel the Ghasts. We then commenced our pursuit down the corridor.
  • The hallway bent to the left, where a dim torch light could be seen. Approaching the light, the hallway opened up into a large chamber that appeared to be at one time a meeting hall. Now, the walls were eroded and the floor had been excavated. Four massive columns prevent the roof from collapsing – one pillar lie across the room where it had fallen; the ceiling where the pillar once stood was cracked. Water dripped through the cracks onto the floor, where it gathered in the center of the room.
  • One torch stood near the entrance to the hall, it’s light barely reaching the other side of the chamber – where there were tipped over stone tables 20 feet up above the area that had been excavated. A ladder appeared to have been pulled up and placed on top of the rising. Behind the tables, there were two skeletal figures each holding a bow. Each corner in the room there were dwarved statues carved in the stone walls.
  • Looking over the massive room, a voice echoed from the shadows; “Theives! Get out! You’re not welcome here!”, it was the robed figured, he was standing on the rising on the other side of the room, behind one of the tables. Parleying with the man, he revealed this is where he lives. He appeared to have some strange obsession with jars, and was convinced we were there to steal them. When the man looks away for a moment during the conversation, Searos slips off to the side behind one of the pillars, and began to descend into the pit down a ladder. The necromancer began to become suspicous, and eventually Searos’ was heard and discovered by one of his skeleton minions.
  • Upon this discovery the man begins to chant and cackle as dark energy bursts from several bone piles in the pit. The bones began to shake, and assemble. More skeletons, ghasts, and a flaming skeleton emerge from the piles as we hurried down to engage them. Two Ghasts pincered Searos; clamped their foaming jaws onto and arm and left and open him up like a christmas cracker. They began to feast on his organs as he faded into unconsciousness. The Doctor and Scord focused their healing energies and rescued him from the jaws of death, literally. Bantin began to scale the wall where he was frozen in place by the burning skeleton, where volleys of arrows rained from the skeletons above.
  • The tables began to tip in our favor; Geoffrei scaled the rising with surprising ease and charged the necromancer over one of the tables, landing on the floor with a crunch. No longer protected by the wall be began to panic, and offered us a deal. He proposed to show us some passages we would likely be unable to find ourselves in exchange of leaving him and his collection of jars and other invaluables alone. We agree, but only on the condition that he remain bound for good measure.
  • The necromancer introduces himself as Agera, as he opens a set of doors on top of the rising. “Left is my things, to the right is junk. I just ask that you leave my things”. We split up to search the rooms. The room to the left contained a variety of jars, which Agera was eager to show off to the group. The other room was filled with useless garbage and junk, but which some effort, moving aside the garbage revealed a variety of magic treasures.
  • Agera then led us back to the room with the furnaces. He points out a few symbols, explained their meaning, then leaned into the furnace to push down on a pressure plate where the symbols indicated. The wall in the back of the furnace slid aside unveiling a small passage. Squeezing through the tunnel, it eventually leads to another empty furnace. Exiting the furnace led to a room with a table and eight bed frames. One door led to another room which had a few tables and bed frames, there was also a set of closed doors.
  • Searos attempts of unlock the door, but a dart shoots into his hand to thwart his attempt. Recovering from the wound, the group begins to move around the room in search of pressure plates. Three different plates were found in different locations. Pressing the plates, the door opens up into a closet of armor stands and axe stands, a few battle axes still remained. Checking the other room with the bed frames there was another fireplace with a pressure plate, which opened up into another tunnel, the tunnel was steep and led downward. The tunnel continues to descend for a while, until it ends abruptly.
  • Along the wall there are two switches. After some debate over which to pull, Geoffrei pulls down both, we now wait to see what happens.
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    Session 027
    An Undead Lead

    At the end of last session we has just reentered the first bandit camp we came to and dug out the collapsed cavern. Entering the cavern we eventually came upon a room with some books and a map.

    • The only other door leading out of the room was also barred, taking the bar off and opening the door led to a corridor. The corridor opened up into a large room, all around the room were big stone tables, with wooden chairs. On one side of the room there were two fireplaces, the ashes inside were still smouldering. One table surrounded by chairs had a bunch of parchment scattered upon it. Much of the writing is similar to the phophecy writing given to Valthren in Winterhaven. In a pile of parchment there was a particular book that looked familiar; it was a book that Paradox was seen with. In the text the word “Bargainer” was underlined several times with questions in the margins; “Who is he?” “Is it a he?”. There was some more sketching on the page, one section listed a bunch of races we were familiar with. Everything was crossed out except Human and Half-elf which where circled.
    • The other tables have dead Kruthiks on them, chained down and dissected. On one table the chains were broken, near the table next to the wall there was a door that was half open. Opening a door was a room with a hole in the wall, in one corner of the room there was a pile of bones which were emitting a faint glow. Salemar attempted to purify the bones, and their glow dulled slightly, as Searos stuffed the bones in the hole and tossed the head into one of the fireplaces.
    • Looking around further in the first room, another door on the furthest side of the room swings open. Two rotting bodies spilled into the room, along with a robed figure who takes a quick look at us, then runs. Out from the fireplace skeletons begin to emerge from the flames, their bones remain encased in fire and begin to launch orbs of fire.
    • After heading some stirring in the room with the hole, Salemar braces the door. There is some battering on the other side but he manages to slam it shut and keep it closed. Eventually, the force builds up and breaks down the door; a larger somewhat muscular undead with foam dripping from it’s teeth came forth followed by a handful of skeletons. A strong stench surrounds the muscular skeletons, disorienting and slowing down foes near it.
    • Suddenly in the middle of battle, a wight appears behind Bantin and unleashed a loud shreik which dazes those nearby. It then proceeds to reach out towards him, reaching inside. Bantin becomes enraged by this and strikes uncontrolably at Salemar, but Salemar deflects the blow. The zombies grab onto Salemar and Geoffrei, while the fire skeleton’s fling orbs of fire at Scord and Searos, one orb misses and lands on the parchment, igniting the paper.
    • Searos unleashes a flurry of shuriken on a group of skeletons as Geoffrei unleashes a cloud of grit and blood providing cover for us. The skeletons are eventually dispatched, the parchment on the table now ashes, however we managed to recover the important parchment. Unfortunately the lead did little to explain what happened, but instead provided more questions.
    • Now we stand in the room with the dead Kruthiks all alone, some of us already heading towards to door to chase after the robed figure.
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    Session 026
    Skarm Unleashed

    At the end of last session, the party had just finished dispatching the two cultists and fire lizards. The portal remained open; the image of a rock pathway frozen on the surface. There was no sign of the third cultist that had used it to escape. Though exhaustion from the repeated battles was beginning the set it in, this was clearly no time for pause. Something needed to stop the portal, and soon.

    • We entered the portal together. Inside was much like what Bantin and Searos described from their ventures, but even with that knowledge the incredible warmth and surrounding pink abyss of clouds invoked much discomfort. We pressed on, however, down the stone passage which stood ahead just as displayed on the portal surface.
    • The path eventually led to a large cavern, where inside the escaped cultist stood, along with two others, around another alter but this time a staff was suspended above it. Focusing on their ritual, they did not notice us until we bumped unexpectedly into a magical barrier upon our approach; causing one cultist to cast a quick glance on direction but did not stop chanting. As our eyes adjusted to the darkness of the cavern the shadows revealed the bodies of several other cultists. Each with a crooked dagger plunged in their chest, the blood streamed from each wound and gathered at the base of the alter where it was being drawn up towards the staff.
    • Geoffrei smashed his halbred against the barrier, and while at first nothing seemed to happen spider web cracks appeared and the dome collapsed. As the barrier fell a force sucked everyone inside, the chanting was much louder but still incomprehensible. The same strange force wormed it’s way into our minds, many of us couldn’t resist the force and found themselves no longer in control of their body; the lurched forward towards the alter. One of us even dropped to their knees.
    • Those that retained control tried to stop the cultists; who continued to chant louder and louder. Searos reached up to touch the staff, hoping that would interrupt the ritual. But the instant he touched it he stopped moving – frozen in place grasping the staff. Geoffrei stepped up and attacked the staff, chopping off the bottom of the shaft and releasing Searos. Blood started pouring out of the staff and finally the cultists stopped chanting. They started to panic and shout saying “You fools! Now we have no bargaining power!”, they started to tremble, and soon everyone started to do the same as the whole cavern began to shake. The ground beneath us started to boil, the cultists began eying their daggers as we made our escape.
    • The sounds of searing pain filled the air as we exited the cavern and entered a world of chaos: boulders of molten rock rained from above, making crossing the passage back difficult if not impossible. As if it had a mind of it’s own gouts of lava shot out as us, hardening and trapping whoever got hit. Everyone tried their best to move across the pathway as quickly as possible; moving ahead, and helping those that were struggling, but the heat became overwhelming and it drained our strength causing everyone to pass out. The last sight before we became unconscious was the outline of a strange demon pausing to look back at us before entering the portal.
    • We all awoke to find ourselves outside the portal, tied up and bound around the circle of stone pillars. We untied each other, and collected our things that were gathered in the center near the alter. Still feeling a little light headed everyone tried their best to analyze the situation. It didn’t make sense why we weren’t dead, but there were signs of a battle… Scord detected the magical remnants of one of Paradox’s spells. Looking among us, we hadn’t realized but Paradox was not longer with us, the kobold chief was missing as well.
    • We paused for a bit longer to shake off the last of the effects of what happened, the adrenaline of recent events faded. We needed to figure out what to do next, looking around we noticed the ground was seared and burnt to the west. The Doctor prayed a silent prayer to The Wandered, who gave us our options of travel. We decided to venture back to the very first bandit camp we came to – the one with the collapsed cavern. If we could find the final piece of the relic it would answer some of the questions we all had.
    • We made it to the camp fairly easily, the collapsed hole was still there. Everyone grabbed some tools and helped clearing out the hole. The search gave way to a set of carved stone steps that led further into the ground. The stairs led further down into a passageway, there were a few skeletons that lie in the opening of a hole on the wall and led into a chamber. We were just about the cross the chamber when Searos noticed a thread across the floor. He disarmed it and we moved through the door at the other side. The door led to another passage, which eventually split into three different paths, we chose to go into the path furthest to the left. At the end of this path was a solid rock door, there was no handle to open it from this side. We noticed a small hole in the wall a way back, Searos investigated it, and discovered it was a kind of mechanism for opening the door. After some time, a silent click could be heard and the door slid open.
    • This door led to another chamber which had another door at the other end, however there was a deep chasm in the center of the room preventing us from passing. But not for long, Bantin drew his bow and Searos tried a rope to it as he fired it at the door. The arrow stuck in the door, Geoffrei and Salemar held one end as we crossed one by one with some difficulty. Geoffrei crossed last, clearing most of the gap with a mighty leap, and then climbed the rest of the way.
      This door wouldn’t open either; it felt like it was barred on the other side. Everyone stood to the side as Geoffrei rammed the door with his shoulder. The door burst open into what appeared to be a study. There were a few books on a shelf and a few papers on a desk. Geoffrei approached the shelf and took a random subset of books, the others took a quick look at them for a book that might help explain what was happening. Finally on the desk among the papers was a map. Now we all stood around the room studying and searching for any helpful clues.
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    Session 025
    The Last Portal?

    Last time, the group had just finished closing another rift, and recovered the second relic. Experimenting with combining the two pieces, a brief flash of pink light appeared in the distance to the north-west. The light had to have some connection with the relics; and so the group headed in the direction which it appeared.

    • On the way to the light, we wondered upon a peculiar statue. It resembled a lizard, only it was much larger than any we had encountered, and it had wings. We also noticed the claws were missing on the left(?) talon. Salemar began to place one of the dragon statues in different nooks and crannies on the statue furiously… but nothing came of it. Next to the statue was an impression on the ground. Searos was called back from scouting ahead and ordered to dig at this location, but nothing was found.
    • No clear explanations were presented explaining the strange statue or the impression, so we continued our journey towards the light. Moving through to forest we eventually came upon a clearing, it was now fairly dark, but we could see in the middle of the clearing stood six pillars, which formed a circle. In each pillar a rune was carved which pulsed with red energy. In the center of the circle was a stone alter. Through the darkness we could also make out a portal on one side of the circle, and three robed cultists who stood around the altar.
    • Paradox positioned a sleep spell on the cultists; it failed to take effect, and the cultists were warned of our presence. One cultist ordered the other two to stay as it entered the portal. We began to advance on the circle, but it became difficult; the ground near the pillars began to rumble and shift, displacing it’s victims.
    • Upon approaching the circle, a more detailed view of the circle became possible. We noticed a body lying on the altar, with a passage carved in it’s skin, sphere of red was suspended above the body. And possibly the most disturbing was above the altar we could see a familiar statue; the lizard with wings – even it’s talon was missing it’s claws. Getting this close the statue began to glow red as it appeared to awaken. It did not move from it’s position, it stayed above the portal observing the battle below.
    • The statue emitted a piercing shriek. From off in the distance two winged lizards answered the call, and began to swoop down on our position. Searos disengages from battle to enter the portal, but returns shortly afterward unable to close the portal.
    • The cultists and the winged lizards are dispatched. All that remains is the body on the alter with the sphere and the portal. Exhausted, covered with soot and sweat, we now stand in front of the portal alone.
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    Session 024
    The Second Piece

    This session began by concluding the conversation with the bandits whom we had just rescued. Their reports of lights to the north and failure to hear from scouts sent that way, along with Searos’ tale of a second rift caused conflict on what was to be our next path. While it was clear the Dwarves desperately needed our help against the horde that lie entrenched at their door step, the threat of another opened rift was a more present and nearer danger.

    • At our request the bandits led the group a little ways to the north. Their orders, it seems, were to create dig sites like we’ve already seen around this area in search for ruins, or more accurately; the relics inside. It was likely that if there was a second rift, the next camp would be where it would be located.
    • Moving through the forest Geoffrei picks up the scent of smoldering ash in the winds. A ways ahead and soon everyone could smell the same. At this point the bandits fall back, we would have to carry on alone. The smell continued to thicken, eventually it overwhelmed the senses; forcing many to cover their nose and mouth with an arm or a cloth.
    • The source of the smell was a small clearing; the ground was covered in ash, leading up to a small rising where upon the ground was still burning. Three molten rock elemental stood around another rift that lie at the base of the rising. A few fire lizards moved comfortably through the ash, above, one fire elemental was spreading the fire upon the rising.
    • It was obvious what had to be done, Bantin and Salemar charged the rock elementals. But they proved much hardier foes than expected, the ash covering the ground made moving around difficult. Geoffrei charged the fire elemental up top, while Paradox cast a putrid cloud which enveloped the lizards. Salemar managed to knock one of the rock elementals down a tunnel that appeared to have been dug out.
    • Once an opportunity presented itself, Bantin entered the rift in an attempt to close it from within. The same happened with the previous rift; the rest of the group was completely disconnected from anything that was happening inside the rift. The battle continued, until a short while afterwards the portal began to flicker and it’s borders caved in. After a small puff the rift vanished leaving a sweaty dusty Bantin on the ground.
    • The battle concluded itself shortly afterwards, and the group was now able to take a closer look at the clearing. It was clear that there was a camp here, at some time, but there was very little evidence of it now. There was a rope ladder that led down into a tunnel. Descending into the tunnel lowered yourself into a passage which had several bodies scattered around.
    • Upon one of the bodies a peculiar cloak was recovered; like the amulet found at the last camp it also had a shard of a cracked gem on it. What was even stranger, when the amulet and cloak were placed near each other they seemed to attract each other. Some of the group were curious to see what would happen if the two pieces were allowed to join each other, while others were worried; we had already witnessed the destruction which these relics were capable.
    • After some consideration, the group positioned themselves safely around the clearing while Salemar and Searos joined the two pieces. Upon being joined the two pieces did fuse together, they fit and completed each other almost with unnatural ease. Satisfied with the experiment, the two pieces were then separated. Now, standing among the ashes, the camp was strangely silent; a welcome contrast to the battle that has just concluded. Bantin lie exhausted on one of the singed bedrolls, while others discussed our next course of action.
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    Session 023
    Rifts and Things

    This session begins at the start of a battle that had just begun as we arrived at the bandit camp that was emitting strange lights, which we now know originated from an elemental rift. Upon arriving at the camp, the bandits (primarily hobgoblin but some humans were also present) were in the middle of fighting a losing battle; a majority of their numbers were already strewn across the camp. On the side of the camp furthest from the rift, three molten rock elementals were locked in combat with the remaining bandits. Two other elementals leaked out onto either side of the rift, one noticed Searos, who was scouting at the time, hiding behind a tree near the camp and incinerated the area in a pillar of flame. By this time the rest of the group caught up and the decision was made to help out the bandits. If we were able to rescue them, hopefully we could discover the cause of the rift.

    • The group began to work on the closest fire elemental, the intensity of it’s heat was quite familiar; it was clear that these were identical to ones we fought before. Geoffrei weaved around the broken pieces of barricade that the wrathful winds had tossed around and engaged the other fire elemental. Paradox coordinated a skillful explosion around the bandits, and managed to knock over all three of the other elementals, buying the bandits a moment of time to join their shields together and form a shield wall. Behind the wall, a few bandit archers aimed a volley of arrows at the rock elementals, but the arrows bounced off their craggy exterior.
    • Now positioned a bit closer to the rift; Paradox took a moment to examine the energies in the portal. Amidst a cloud of pink, an image of a book on a pedestal; possibly a look into what lie on the other side of the portal? Paradox established judging by the movement of the different arcane energies in the rift that the book was indeed important. But to determine why he would need more time to study the rift.
    • By this time the first fire elemental had puffed out of existence, and the group advanced on the rock elementals which continued to strike at the bandits. As this happened, the rift became unstable and another fire elemental along with two lesser fire lizards were summoned from the rift and began to launch gouts of flame at Bantin and Salemar.
    • Fearful of what might happen if the rift continued to destabilize, it became clear that something needed to be done. The group decided that someone nimble would have to enter the rift, and stop it from within. Hoping to put an end to the chaos, Searos dashed away from the rock elemental he was fighting, who shot a fist of molten spikes in reaction to his escape. Searos ducked under the extended pillar of rock and fire, continued towards the rift and stopped a few feet from the entrance. At this moment he snatched a handful of rope, his hands were nervous and shook terribly, but the importance of his task allowed him the focus enough to tie a knot around himself. The rope gave him the illusion that he was now prepared for what he was about to do next… Searos closed his eyes, took a deep breath and entered the rift.
    • The battle went on for a few moments. The Doctor approached the entrance of the rift and examined it; she could see the pedestal and the book, and an image of Searos, as if he could reach forward and touch him. But he wasn’t moving. This caused him some worry. In response Paradox examined the portal shortly again, and noticed the energies moving between the book and the rift were no longer there. But in his opinion this did not signify that anyone on the other side was in peril.
    • Only a few moments later, the rift became more unstable than it had even been; the energies within the portal began to disappear and the strong wind began to die down. Borders of the rift started to move inward, shrinking in size. The rift now shrank rapidly until it blinked out of existence, and on the ground gasping for air lie Searos.
    • After making quick work of the remaining elementals, only two of the bandits survived. However, they did trust us enough to share their story on what happened; Their leader, Lortz, had been ordered to find some catacombs at this location. Having more time now to focus on the surrounding details of the camp we do notice a passage that leads into the earth, there are carved steps leading down, one would assume following the steps would lead you to that catacomb. The bandit continued, explaining how Lortz and a few others recovered an amulet from the catacombs, and how after returning to the surface the portal opened up right on top of Lortz killing him instantly. Examining the corpses scattered around the camp we did find Lortz’ remains, and with it the amulet described by the bandits. Whatever arcane energies had opened the portal, however, was now no longer present.
    • Searos then explained what happened inside the rift. He said that there was a passage above the book which read: “Skarm’s inferno shall engulf the mountain-folk, and never again will He suffer mortals to reside freely within the earth.” closing the book caused the rift to close, and that he also noticed that there was another platform with an alter and rift that he could not reach. So there was another rift open somewhere.
    • The bandits mentioned that they saw more strange lights in the sky to the north, and sent scouts to investigate but have not heard back from any of them yet.
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    Session 021
    Wait... another Dragon!? No way!!

    At the bandit camp:

    • After Salemar failed to convince the hobgoblin(?) bandits that we were aligned with
      them, a volley of arrows rained upon the group from the surrounding forest by
      surprise. Luckily, nearly all of the arrows failed to meet their targets.
    • What seemed to be the leader of the band emerged from the nearest tent, shouting
      orders for the archers (which Geoffrei understood/translated) to close in on the
      camp as he joined the ranks of two of the larger hobgoblins, spinning his flail.
    • Bantin split from the path, took to the forest where he found and slayed one of the
      archers. Paradox also found a nice spot for his color spray among the 3 shield
      wielding fighters ahead dazing and hindering their action, however, this did not
      stop them from executing their orders; they formed a strong shieldwall and readied
      their attacks, attempting to strike at anyone who came nearby.
    • Geoffrei charged around the shieldwall, behind a few tents, around to the rear of
      the camp where Searos was battling with an archer that had spotted him. With
      Geoffrei’s help, Searos was able to unleash a series of deadly slashes which brought
      the archer down.
    • Soon after, a robed hobgoblin emerged came out of another tent, and came to arms
      near the shieldwall. Motioning with his hand he drew Paradox into the grasp of the
      warriors. With weapons ready they unleashed a brutal assault upon him, Paradox passed
      out.
    • The warriors converged upon The Doctor when Scord brought Paradox back to his feat
      and back into the fight, Salemar remained close by, doing his best to make sure they
      would be safe.
    • Now conscious, Paradox unleashes multiple explosions around the camp, which knock
      most of the hobgoblins to their knees. Geoffrei rejoins the group at the front of the
      camp and takes revenge upon the robed bandit.
    • Searos along with another human follow shortly after Geoffrei, throwing a flurry of
      daggers and shuriken and the remaining hobgoblins.
    • After the fight the group looted the camp and found a variety of valuables and
      gold. A shipment of Iron bars that was sent from Tharg’Calan was reclaimed and
      placed in our Bag of Holding. A collapsed cave/manhole was found where it appeared
      the hobgoblins were digging previously, in search of something, evidently they did
      not find what they were looking for.
    • The human which followed Searos is named Jarvis, from the way they speak with each
      other they seem to know each other before the fight. Jarvis offers to take the group
      to a camp of his near the river to the south, where he has a small stash of items to
      offer to the group.

    At Jarvis’ camp:

    • Arriving at the camp, Jarvis digs up a small chest which contains several pieces of
      gold and a bow which he keeps for himself. Nothing too significant of note about the
      camp, it appears to have seen little use in the past while. Upon setting up camp,
      many of the adventurer’s begin to feel sick, and strangely, they all share the same
      symptoms; sore throat and blue phlegm. A disease, for sure, as far as The Doctor
      could tell, but none of which he has ever encountered. Paradox and Jarvis are the
      only ones who seem to show no signs yet of any illness.
    • Geoffrei senses a storm is approaching. Despite having a fire pit available, no fire
      is lit, the group spends the night just below the tree line near the river, in
      anticipation of the rain that would be to come. Thunder and lightning makes things
      difficult for those staying awake keeping watch.
    • During Salemar’s watch he is struck from behind by a bronze dagger, infused with
      necrotic energies, but when he turns around he finds no one. Shortly after, the team
      can hear a sheik from where Jarvis was sleeping; a lizardfolk stands over him,
      Jarvis is covered with blood, but still alive.
    • The commotion awakes Searos first, shortly after Bantin, then Geoffrei/Scord force
      themselves awake and prepare for battle. The Doctor remains asleep.
    • The lizardfolk are very difficult to see in the dark and thus their numbers are
      unknown, the group attempts to retaliate, however the desperate attacks find
      nothing. More lizardfolk appear more in the distance, these two are emitting a very
      distinct aura of mist which provide adequate cover for their lizard brethren.
    • Amidst the mayhem, another lizard emerges from the shadows and strikes a menacing
      blow at the unconscious Doctor.
    • From the river, behind Scord, another black scaled dragon explodes from the river
      surface and takes a chomp at Scord, but fails. The dragon is identical to the dragon
      slain in the cave under the lake. The dragon appears to be consumed with rage at the
      loss of it’s mate, it’s sorrow washes over the party, weaking everyone to it’s
      inevitable fury.
    • Against such incredible odds, the group feels the only way to survive is through
      some form of parley. Salemar offers his condolences to the dragon in hopes to soften
      his madness, but his words do not reach the dragon as well as he’d hoped. The Doctor
      as well tries to convince the dragon to halt it’s attack, but mention of not
      skinning his mate reminds the Dragon of his loss, and his fury only increases.
    View
    Session 009
    MANWICH!
    • Upon reaching the surface, the group resolves to check some of the other rooms on the main level of the castle for the tomes they were supposed to find for Valthrun. After wandering around the castle for a bit, they discover the library, and are able to recover several tomes including those that Valthrun requested.
    • Seeing no other reason to stay in the castle, and with evening approaching, the group resolves to head back to town from the way they came. They make their way back through the corridors to the room where they first entered, and went back through the secret entrance. Once they emerged from the other side, they began preparations to cross the moat, wary of the insects that had attacked them here earlier. Fortunately the bugs do not seem to want to start a second round with the group, so the crossing of the moat is fairly uneventful, with no real difficulty encountered for any party member in the climbing of the walls, even for Paradox.
    • Reaching the far side, Geoffrei perceives that someone is watching them, and scans the surroundings for who this person may be. Upon close examination, he discovers a half-elf, who runs once their eyes meet. The group gives chase, running recklessly down the path that took them so much longer to climb earlier the same day. The half-elf attempts to lose the group by taking several shortcuts, such as running over a fallen tree suspended over a chasm, but Geoffrei, Bantin and Searos remain hot on his heels as Salemar and Paradox bumble about further behind. As the terrain begins to level out, Geoffrei finally manages to tackle the half-elf, and the three adept pursuers tie him up for questioning.
    • Upon interrogation, the half-elf is revealed to be a member of the Homeguard. In fact, it’s Marek, the fellow meeting with Ninaran before. He claims that he was sent to keep tabs on the groups that had headed off to the keep, since the Homeguard had found it suspicious for several groups to be heading there in the same short span of time. Marek is able to identify himself as a member of the Homeguard, quelling suspicion of him just being a liar. Despite some members of the group contemplating just killing him now since he seems like a shifty character, Salemar forces them to let him go as they have no proof of guilt in any of the happenings in the castle. Marek indicates that he will be reporting to his superiors about this altercation, and then heads East. The group finds this strange because Winterhaven is located South of them, but figure that either they’ve been duped or the Homeguard forced has mobilized from where it was in Winterhaven.
    • The group returns to Winterhaven soon after this, and begin the process of selling their hard-earned loot and talking to the important individuals in town. Estevan reports that the liquid the group gave to him before from the glacier can be used to purify any body of water with only a few drops, and gladly provides the group with several samples for their personal use. He also offers the group a new job guarding his caravan when it heads East in the days ahead. The group considers his offer, but inform him that they must consider their options because something is amiss in these lands.
    • The group returns the desired tomes to Valthrun, who indicates that things are “very bad” and also “not good”, among other foreboding messages. After this transaction is completed, the group leaves Valthrun to his studies and goes to meet the Lord of the town, and discuss their findings with him. When they arrive there, they find that Landon Colvar of the Homeguard is already discussing matters with him, and the group joins their meeting. When the group indicate that they met with Marek, Landon expresses disappointment that the group did not bring him with them, as he abandoned his post only days ago. Eventually Valthrun bursts into the room with more information on the prophecy, which indicates that the “event” may be close at hand. Colvar indicates that he intends to take his troops south to <some>, and that he would welcome the presence of the adventurers if they would wish to join him.
    • After retiring for the night to consider their options, the group resolves to head south with Colvar’s men, and let Estevan know that they cannot guard his caravan again at this time. Although somewhat disappointed, Estevan wishes the group the best in their travels, and the group hopes that they will see him again.
    View

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