Jan 21, 994
Current party loot = 38,901 g.p.
After bursting into the ancient temple, discovering recent human sacrifice/bloodletting that appears connected to a magic circle and a likely escape by teleportation of the Imix followers, the group quickly makes sure this level is safe. Ja’Elle detects distant voices, down a stone, spiral staircase, well below the earth.
Bui uses a ritual to redistribute the party’s heal surges. Kissandi and Ja’Elle search the dead from the previous encounter. Tyzzer is given the loot found including a Ring of the Crimson Sun (LVL 14) and a Flame Rose consumable (LVL 10).
The group is refreshed and ready to descend the well worn spiral staircase to the crypts below.
Ja’Elle scouts ahead in the dark. After waiting fifteen minutes, the others go to look for him. Kissandi lights a torch. On the second level down into the earth, Kissandi is able to discern how to track Ja’Elle using light footfalls in the dust.
Before reaching Ja’Elle, the noise made by Kissandi and Tyzzer has woken some moaning undead who approach the party from the darkness of the crypts.
Ja’Elle hiding in the shadows, unnoticed by the zombie, lets one go by. After a zombie rips Kissandi’s flesh, causing ongoing pain, Tyzzer directs Kissandi’s attack and she sets slashes the zombie so hard that it explodes and takes out another zombie in the explosion. Bui is attacked, but is able to quickly destroy another zombie.
The zombies do not last long and the party is reunited.
A dense fog blocks light into another area of the crypts. Scouting ahead again, Ja’Elle enters a shrine and workroom. Edgar mumbles incoherantly to himself, using a sickle to rip apart the flesh of a recently dead victim. Two howling spirits float nearby. Several gravehounds appear to circle and tear at the flesh of other newly dead victims on the floor. Two coffins stand nearby.
Kissandi follows and is quickly attacked by the gravehounds. Bui and Tyzzer join the fray.
The gravehounds do not last long. Edgar was quickly attacked by Tyzzer, who then gave effective orders to Ja’Elle and Kissandi to surround and attack him, too. Radiant energy and damage from the Raven Queen and Fharlanghn seem to temporarily interrupt Edgar’s crazed joy in mutilation. Before Tyzzer directs Ja’Elle’s killing blow, Edgar calls out and a mummy opens one of the coffins and enters the battle.
The mummy sows fear and pestilence. He calls for the heroes to leave his crypt and enfeebles Kissandi. All within 25’ of the mummy have reduced defenses and are slid whenever starting their actions.
Bui temporarily stops the mummy from being able to attack.
In less than a minute, the heroes heavily damage the royal mummy. Ja’Elle lands the final jab.
A search of the area uncovers amazing gems in the mummy’s coffin and a hidden note under Edgar’s worktable. Edgar was clearly a follower of Orcus and others had brought him their recently dead to work on. It appears the heroes put an end to that operation. Hehe.
Leaving the cemetery, Vinny nervously approached the heroes, impressed and a little scared. He invited them back to his farm.
Vinny’s parents seemed surprised to see adventurers and were clearly protective of their farm and children. The heroes were kind in word and deed. Kissandi gave the family a gemerald. Ja’Elle began teaching Vinny and his brother to juggle. Tyzzer, Bui, and Ja’Elle all gave good advice to Vinny’s father, who was worried that Vinny may leave the farm to adventure.
After a good meal and rest for the night, Kissandi finally shook off the mummy’s curse and regained her strength. Not only that, the entire group leveled up. Ja’Elle gained confidence in his athleticism and acrobatic ability. Kissandi got a lot more durable, having survived many harrowing experiences. Bui has better honed his skills of intimidation. Tyzzer has learned enough through experience and his readings to Enter the Crucible and resist 10 damage and not be weakened for one encounter per day.
The heroes realized that this family has been different in that they were completely good, with seemingly no bad intentions, unlike so many others the group had recently encountered. Ja’Elle put a mark of the thieve’s guild on the door as a sign to look out for and protect this family. As the group left the farm, they reentered the capital city, civilization appeared starkly less civil than Vinny and his family.
In Lambasa, the heroes split up. Ja’Elle went to talk to rogue’s and leatherworkers to try to have improvements made to his clothes. Kissandi and Bui sought to find a fresh scent on the trail of Mulligan Finch. Tyzzer looked for Atli or another member of the Silver Hand to alert them that the heroes felt the cult activity in the capitol was more pressing than the giant raids.
Ja’Elle had some success, but will need to return in over a week and see if the work is done to his standard.
Kissandi and Bui went back to the storefront, to the hidden door in the alleyway that led to the basement where the ritual was performed, and eventually to Elrilmarioum at the University. They found there was little recent activity. Mulligan Finch is nowhere to be detected. The only recent clues were leading to the cemetary, temple, and crypt that the heroes just saved. It appears the heroes averted a likely undead attack on the city. It also appears that the scent of the Imix cult activity has gone further underground over the past couple days.
Tyzzer met Lyrie Akenja and her white cat. Lyrie, a member of the Silver Hand, and a scholar, advised Tyzzer to follow his brain and not his heart and to take Sarax’s advice. She said she understood why Tyzzer wanted to deal with the cult and wouldn’t stop him, but hoped he would see why Sarax had selected the heroes to deal with the giants. Tyzzer suggested to Lyrie that the Silver Hand might join with the WJN to form a larger network of allies.
The group met back up. Before leaving town, the group was able to appraise the jewels and gems from the mummy’s tomb, and found them valued at 14,000 gp.
Meeting Atli the next morning, the group sent word to Nan that they would meet him in Unrick as quickly as their phantom steeds could carry them. Atli provided a map of the area they were going to from those who had recently shared the location of Howling Crag.
After four days of travel, the group met Nan Hornberg in Unrick. After sharing past experiences including the hill giant steading stories, Nan advised the group to hire one or more henchmen to translate giant to common. He told the group it was important to stop the stone giant raids, but the goal this time was to fracture the alliance, not necessarily destroy all the stone giants because normally stone giants are not evil. Something seems to have changed recently at Howling Crag with the stone giants led by Thane Arnak.
He advised the party to talk with Unrick locals about a recent delegation sent to Howling Crag, to talk with elves in Darkgleam military encampment in the Mystic Forest who were recently attacked by the giants, and to dwarves in Ironcrown who may know more about Howling Crag.
The heroes went to Darkgleam first and met with Lyfalia, a female elf. The group gained a minor quest from her to retrieve the battle standard, atop which is a golden falcon. The elves take it as a sign of ill omen that the falcon was lost. Return it if you can. Bui asked about the WJN in the open, and Lyfalia seemingly upset left. Tyzzer tried to make things right, but the group was unable to gain any more insight at Darkgleam.
Next the group returned to Unrick, met an elder dwarf by the name of Glint. Glint gave the party another minor quest, saying that a delegation sent to negotiate a truce with Thane Arnak never returned. The group included a human noble named Merlian Saar, his two bodyguards, and their guides, a pair of goliaths. Find and rescue any survivors. Glint was hired as a translator and he tagged along with the party.
Next, the party made their way to the dwarven clanhold Ironcrown. The dwarves, until recently, had good relations with the stone giants under Thane Arnak and hoped those could be restored. But, now many were worried.
A couple dwarves were convinced that Arnak still commands the giants of Howling Crag, but feared that a dark influence has persuaded the thant to act against his better nature. A couple other dwarves said that half a year or more ago, Danica Stonesong, a dwarf from Ironcrown, went for business to several locations including Howling Crag. She hadn’t returned and they didn’t know if she ever made it to Howling Crag, but said that the dwarves and stone giants had generally good relations for decades until quite recently, and hoped to restore the good relations with the stone giants.
The group used streetwise, diplomacy, and their studies of history to uncover that the giants always have a roc-mounted sentry watching the road to the crag and the environs around it. It’s nearly impossible to avoid notice while approaching the crag. The group also learned of a secret tunnel north of the crag.
After considering three possible entry options, the group established a cave just outside of sight of the area of Howling Crag and made their way to the secret tunnel at night.
Under the cover of night, the group found a boulder. After some effort, Tyzzer with the help of others was able to move it enough so they could enter.
A 15 foot wide stone tunnel leads to the warrens, sloping upward gradually, going several hundred feet. Then, a wall blocked the way.
Tyzzer, mustering all his might, pushes against the wall. Despite much grunting and foul language from Tyzzer, the wall refuses to move even slightly. As Tyzzer is doubled over and gasping for air, Kissandi inspects the wall more closely and discovers handholds ten feet above the ground. Glint whispers something to Ja’Elle. Ja’Elle steps up to Tyzzer and asks, “Would you like me to get that?” Tyzzer, thinking the halfling must be kidding or delusional, barely even looks up to acknowledge him. In a blink, Ja’Elle has scrambled up onto Kissandi’s shoulders. From there, he pulls gently and the wall slides out of the party’s way. Ja’Elle looks down to see an astonished expression on Tyzzer’s face. Ja’Elle crosses his arms smugly and smiles.
As Tyzzer looks on in amazement, he only then notices a sign on the door. He rolls his eyes and slaps his forehead, when Glint translates the solitary word: “Pull.”
The warrens opened up before the heroes…
It is now Feb 1 at about 11:00 p.m.
Total party loot = 52,000 g.p. (SUBTRACT cost for Ja’Elle’s taylor, etc. and for Glint)