Siliceous

Visions, Riddles, and a Shortcut to the Rift
June 29, 2013

Between sessions…
Fyrai summons each of the player characters into a small room to receive questions. Based on answers to those questions, each character is given a challenge.

Starting the session…
Feb 9, 994 at 8:30 am
Glint & Tegan both dead are being carted along by the sheep from the stone giants.

In Tyzzer and Ja’Elles’s vision, Tyzzer is a newly crowned king facing many challenges. Ja’Elle tells Tyzzer that this is the chance to take out the dragon. Tyzzer, convinced by Ja’Elle and the Highways and Byways Chair, decides to personally join in an attempt to destroy the dragon, forgoing other threats including finishing the threat behind the giant raids, a seemingly much more powerful threat in devils, and the ongoing concerns about elves.

In Bui & Rowena’s vision, Bui and Rowena make their way through Dis part of Hell. Choking on ash, they make great progress towards a source of power. Bui decides the source of power will be better than his prayers in saving multitudes of lost souls. Near the goal, Bui distracts devils and sacrifices himself so Rowena can reach the power source. Rowena puts on a helm of unfathomable power even though she knows it will not help her free the lost souls.

In Kissandi’s vision, she and Ja’Elle make their way through a crypt full of countless undead. In the name of the Raven Queen, Kissandi heroically takes out several undead before succumbing to the never ending horde.

After the visions, Fyrai and Thorbalt are somewhat satisfied and feel they can trust the heroes enough to share the wealth of the ancient empire with the group. But before sharing, the group must solve some puzzles.

Dragon Puzzle – Thorbalt tells the party that Bahamut will grant you protection if you solve the riddle. The party descends a staircase and enters a square room made of sandstone. The far wall has a 10′×10′ engraving of a dragon head with a black crystal in the center, a red crystal in the top, a blue crystal on the left, and a white crystal on the right. Runes are engraved above the dragon head.

A translucent rod lies on the ground.

Rowena uses her ritual and read the runes. They read in draconic, “Thrice blessed fire protects thy flesh against Adaelantar’s wrath.”

Kissandi, Bui, and Rowena are able to change the color of the rod. The party figures out that using different colors on the rod and touching it to the crystals on the engraving have different effects. Pretty quickly the party is able to turn all the exterior crystals to red. The center crystal is touched. Having solved the puzzle, the stone wall creaks open. The adventurers move into the hidden chambers as the dust settles. A wave of fire engulfs the room and the party. Nobody is hurt. All are energized, gaining the effects of an extended rest and regaining lost healing surges from their earlier visions. Not only this, but Glint and Tegan return to life!

Fyrai is impressed and now challenges the party to three riddles. For each riddle solved, the group will receive an additional reward.

3 Riddles – the group solves all three very quickly.

Riddle One given by Thorbalt:
I am all on my own,
Wounded by iron weapons and scarred by swords.
I often see battle.
I am tired of fighting.
I do not expect to be allowed to retire from warfare
Before I am completely done for.
At the wall of the city, I am knocked about
And bitten again and again.
Hard edged things made by the blacksmith’s hammer attack me.
Each time I wait for something worse.
I have never been able to find a doctor who could make me better
Or give me medicine made from herbs.
Instead the sword gashes all over me grow bigger day and night.

Answer: A shield – what you must provide the world

Riddle Two said by Thorbalt & Fyrai in unison:
Turn us on our backs.
And open up our stomachs. You will be the wisest of men.
Though at start a lummox.

Answer: A book – do not forget your studies

Riddle Three given by Fyrai:
I am, I’m not. I visit young and old,
Some I make timid and some I make bold,
Unwise is the one who pokes fun at me.
Beware, for I am a shadow of thee.

Answer: Death – will come for all of us, be sure to equip your world to thrive without you.

Rowena comes up with a riddle that stumps Fyrai and Thorbalt. Answer: Teamwork. An extra reward is earned.

Rewards:

  • A room full of ingots, each worth 100 gp – the group is able to put 100 in the cart (total 10,000 gp)
  • 5 potions of vitality (each PC takes one)
  • a map to the Frost Giants lair in a great rift.
  • Ashes of Royal Hubris x3 LVL 15 consumable (Kissandi takes all 3)
  • Symbol of Battle LVL 15 (Bui takes it)
  • Obsidian Sliver LVL 18 (Rowena takes it and gains the elemental origin)
  • Orb of Drastic Resolutions LVL 18 (Rowena takes it)
  • Information about the ancient dragonborn empire called Lantheon (Tyzzer learns more)

Lantheon (ancient dragonborn empire) myths/history learned (some from Tyzzer’s memory of his historical studies, some from Fyrai and Thorbalt):
Info: (learned last time with history check by Tyzzer is highlighted in yellow)
Long before Terkent, Rhendlich, Mar-Dir, and all of today’s continents, there were ancient empires. One of those was controlled by the dragonborn who worshipped Bahamut and lived on both sides of what you call the King’s Mountains. Many races existed in peace for many years. It was called Lantheon.

Many lords ruled. There were no kings. The lords needed to rely on one another for trade, for alliance against anything evil, and help in time of need. This worked to varying degrees, mostly very well for quite some time.

The ancient empires were before Millus Adreus and the elven written history on this continent.

For many years, under the rule of the Lantheon lords,there was a general peace and many thrived. It is when secrets crept in that the foundation crumbled, and crumbled fast. Backroom deals were made, leaders tried to preserve their power with better deals and select allies, not considering or sometimes intentionally harming others, even friends. In some cases a blind eye was turned. In others, rulers joined in on the corruption. Soon, many evils that had been for generations repressed, emerged again in strength until the empire collapsed under its own weight. We do not wish to see this happen again, but fear the process has already started over.

Nobody knows the specifics of what led to the corruption that meant the downfall of Lantheon, but there are many guesses, many centered around:

  1. The lords alliances broke down into petty land grabbing and fear
  2. Outsiders penetrated the leadership
  3. Faith in Bahamut dwindled

No matter what led to it, the lords of the Lantheon fell and haven’t been heard of for ages.

Fyrai and Thorbalt tell you they are the current generation of two families that have been set to guard their treasure and knowledge.

They hope to find the clues to the fall of the empire and hopefully one day bring it back to prominence in this land. They hope that you can help restore today’s world.

Choices made

  1. Not to return to civilization to touch base with leaders of the Silver Hand, the Sojourners, the Woodland Justice Network, or any other allies to give and get information. Forgoing checking in with those who sent you on the mission or finding out any more about your mission(s), the group chose to save time and avoid more raids by giants by plunging directly towards the newly learned location of the frost giants.
  2. To go directly to the rift where the frost giants live and attempt to lay waste to them.
  3. To send Tegan (Glaive) back to help Glint return home. They took a dimension door created by Rowena to the university in Lambasa. They were to deposit your money in a safe spot, Glint was to take his pre-determined cut of the money, and Tegan was to walk Glint back to his home near the edge of the King’s Mountains. Tyzzer told Tegan and Glint to tell Elrilmarioum and members of the Silver Hand whose paths they cross that the party is taking the attack to the frost giants at their rift and to tell them the party’s plans.

The heroes know frost giants are strategists and are evil, but do not know precise goals and have no particular quests as they proceed. They presume that the goal is to wipe out the frost giants and are confident in their ability to do this.

It takes three days and nights to traverse deeper into the King’s Mountains before the heroes find the location of the frost giants and are able to locate a cave a safe distance away.

FROST GIANT INTRO -
Your exhausting trek through the King’s Mountains ends before an icy rift that plunges hundreds of feet – a cold and cruel abyss. Steps carved into the north end of the rift split into two sets of stairs that descend the western and eastern faces of the rift, ending at a series of wide, icy ledges. From those ledges, tunnels lead into the faces of the rift. Below each precipice, white mist obscures the bottom of the chasm."

You found a nearby, but hidden cave. You discussed finding a raiding group, but decided instead to approach the rift at nightfall. You waited until night.

The rift is freezing cold with howling winds.

You descended down stairs on the north side of the rift.

Ja’Elle scouted ahead along a ledge slightly to east side of the northern part of the rift, called the group down to a cave face while he investigated.

After hearing two giants playing down a passage to the north, Ja’Elle discovered 2 (?) or more winter wolves sleeping in a passage to the south. The group quietly entered the cave.

Ja’Elle and Kissandi tried to quietly approach the part of the cave with the wolves. A loud crunch made by Kissandi likely woke the wolves…

Total Party Loot (most stored in civilization at “safe” locations) = 66,145 g.p. (owe Ja’Elle’s taylor 500 g.p. more when receive final product)
Current Date & Time = Feb 13, 994 at 8:30 pm

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Kissandi's Second Prayer and Unusual Guardians of an Ancient Dragonborn Empire
June 15, 2013

Feb 9, 994 at 8:00 a.m.

Minion Pyramid Scheme & The Hall of Dragons
Ja’Elle & Kissandi each get a boon for their reflections on last episode. Both selected the fortune Let’s Try That Again.

Upon entering the outpost area, the heroes heard the voices of Thorbalt, a dwarf, along with a female cackling gnome. Facing various and plentiful minion enemies, following Kissandi’s quick thinking and advice, the heroes figured out how to deactivate the replenishing of the minion groups and won the fight. Ja’Elle, despite going off on his own and getting separated from the rest of the party survived the encounter. Thorbalt and the gnome escaped. The heroes took 10 minutes to rest and recover before following where they believed the dwarf and the gnome were calling them to go. Through a hall of dragons, the heroes nearly bypassed the trap, fighting an animated colossus head and hand, along with 4 stirge swarms that emerged from the dragon mouths when the trap was triggered as Bui slipped off the rope while trying to stay above the pressure plates.

The group bested the first two of three challenges set forth by Thorbalt and the female gnome. Tegan had the life sucked out of him by stirges and has been added to the cart with Glint, pulled by the sheep. Rowena is ready to rejoin the fray. Everyone else is hurting pretty good. The heroes made it through the minion horde and the hall of dragons. We’ll see what the third challenge presents and if the heroes can earn the trust of Thorbalt and the gnome next time…

KISSANDI’S SECOND PRAYER:

My Lord:

I know that you have a purpose for each of these beings I travel with. They each serve a function- as do I. That is to allow the halfling the opportunity to destroy those who might oppose you. My faith is only strengthened when I am reminded that while two among us lead during times of communication and negotiation, it is I that must take control during times of conflict and challenge.

Thank you for giving me the strength to remind the “Warlord” to think of his lessons to remember how the Trickster works. Thank you also for reminding me to command the priest to let me do looking. Sometimes I wonder if his god has only given him one strength – albeit a powerful one.

I at times believe there is hope for the bald elf, but she too often takes our leave. Is she with us? Please give me a sign.

As far as the little one is concerned, I am continually amazed and know that you have chosen the correct vessel for delivering your vengeance, when I witness him getting himself into and out of trouble. I am honored that I have been picked to be his deliverer.

Please give me strength during our third test.

Forgive me for the brevity of this prayer as we must press on – but this you already know your magnificence.

K

Paused on Feb 9, 994 at 8:30 a.m.
Kissandi retains Let’s Try That Again fortune card, but needs to use it during this side quest.
Glint has been dead a few days. Tegan just died.
One encounter past milestone, three past extended rest.
Current Party Gold: 62,345 g.p. (owe Glint (dead) or his family 6,000 g.p. more after Feb 12; owe Ja’Elle’s taylor 500 g.p. more when receive final product)

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Deeper into the King's Mountains
April 25, 2013

Feb 4, 994 at 10:00 p.m.

Group just leveled up to LVL 15.

The group attempted to deal with the tenebrous assassins, but kept their cool to stay on good terms with Thane Arnak and Utanu, the three-eyed stone giant seer.

Venturing to find the ingots with the company of four goats and a small wagon, the group followed the directions of a stone giant and journeyed for four days deeper into the King’s Mountains. Mostly, the group stayed on course. On two occasions, the group got off the path and encountered troubles that presented challenges. Both challenges were easily met, but Glint was killed. His body preserved by Bui, the group continued on. The group left off approaching the presumed destination.

Today’s episode is told through the eyes of a few characters:

Kissandi:
I am Kissandi. I am cool. The Raven Queen is cooler.

The fools from the tenebrous cabal were allowed to live so that I might advance the wishes of the RQ here on Terkent. Soon enough they will feel the fate of her never ending winter.

Once again I allowed the talkers to waste their time and breath. It led us to an exploration through mountain passes. Are those others blind? Oh well. I saw many of the potential problems and even snuck through areas that were of no consequence to the the RQ. When my blade was needed I was more than up to the task. I must admit I find a strange attraction to the woman man Tyzzer. He has allowed me to see weaknesses in our foes defenses that I would have not noticed otherwise allowing extra attacks. Once he even shouted out a flaw as I flew past a gargoyle allowing me multiple attacks. The landing was not very smooth but I am working on that less important feat of skill even as we speak.

Ja’Elle:
As the party made its way toward and into the mountains, Tyzzer went to great lengths to demonstrate his athletic prowess. As impressive as Tyzzer’s displays were, he always found that Ja’Elle was one step ahead of him performing ever so slightly more impressive athletic displays. What’s more is Ja’Elle’s displays added just enough acrobatic panache to wow even the most hard to please audiences.

The gargoyle leader grabbed Rowena and carried her high up to a perch atop a wall. Despite struggling mightily, Rowena was neither strong enough nor limber enough to free herself from the gargoyle’s tightening grip. Ja’Elle saw what was happening, and knew he needed to act quickly to free her. He devised a plan, and sprung into action. His dagger became a blur as he made swift, sweeping attacks. His first attack found its mark, as one of the lesser gargoyles was hit and exploded into countless crystal shards. With lightning speed, Ja’Elle’s dagger was airborne again and heading directly for the gargoyle leader. He never saw it coming, and the sheer force of the weapon plunging into his midsection knocked him off the wall and sent him hurtling toward a crevice in the floor. The gargoyle was able to regain his balance quickly and save himself from what could have been a life-threatening fall, but in the process was not able to maintain his hold on Rowena. She was now free to start launching attacks from atop the wall. Meanwhile, Ja’Elle returned to his position in the shadows to await another opportunity to strike.

The party found itself surrounded by four umber hulks that had burrowed up from below the ground. Thanks to Tyzzer’s keen senses, he was able to alert the party before the ambush could be sprung. Ja’Elle jumped into action immediately in the hope of turning the tables on the umber hulks and catching them off guard. He dashed across the battlefield, taunting each umber hulk he passed. His quick movement and aggressive actions left them bewildered. The three umber hulks that were goaded into trying to attack Ja’Elle wound up attacking themselves instead. Unfortunately, only one of them landed an attack, but Ja’Elle was able to further use the confusion to his advantage as he moved to better position on the battlefield.

Ja’Elle had been waiting for this moment. An umber hulk who was not yet bloodied had left his flank exposed, so Ja’Elle decided to make him pay for the mistake. Moving from his hiding place, Ja’Elle quickly flanked the umber hulk and launched a brutal attack. A well-placed blow rendered the beast unconscious. Ja’Elle then followed up with a coup de grace that dealt devastating damage to the prone enemy.

Tyzzer:
Tyzzer took the lead in the discussions with the Thane and Utanu, and was very diplomatic and kept us in good standing with both giants (although some aggression might have helped us find out more about Utanu’s motives). He was also able to use his athletic abilities and crafting skills to help us navigate the tunnels. In the fights he just did his normal thing: he got pummeled and gave orders.

Current Date and Time: Feb 9, 994 at 8:00 a.m.
Current Party Gold: 62,345 g.p. (owe Glint (dead) or his family 6,000 g.p. more after Feb 12; owe Ja’Elle’s taylor 500 g.p. more when receive final product)

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The Ghal-Thrad
April 27, 2013

Feb 4, 994 ~ 5:00 pm

Group is awarded a milestone for bypassing the gargoyles successfully.

Kissandi confronts Dmitri, a shadowy humanoid who serves Merlian Saar. Kissandi notices markings on Dmitri and asks him if he serves the Raven Queen. Attempting to pull rank on him, Kissandi draws the attention of both of the tenebrous humanoids.

The group decides to have Glint wear the cap of disguise to pass Merlian Saar, who he would recognize, in hopes that Merlian will not recognize him.

Tegan and Glint join the group.

Glint informs the group that the Stone Giants suggested one of two paths, either sneaking by the throne room on an open-faced ledge or going through the gardens and trying to befriend Shoggo and Zorsa.

In an attempt to be fun guys, the group goes to the gardens. Quickly hearing shriekers piercing shrieks the group huddles in the doorway and notices a riot of fungi filling the cavern. Colorful glowing fungi grow on the walls, and heaps of refuse have given birth to towering mushrooms, broad toadstools, and carpets of thick, moss-like mold. Tiny cave crickets and beetles skitter around the garden, and fireflies flit about in great numbers. The cavern is dimly lit by the fireflies and glowing fungus.

The group initiates talks with Shoggo, a hunched male stone giant who wields a moldy great-club, carries a bulky sack, and wears a curtain of black mold as a cloak. Shoggo has various breeds of fungus growing on his head, face, arms, and shoulders. An enormous beetle with wicked mandibles and a large bell-shaped protrusion on its head follows him around as though it is his pet.

After Bui and Tyzzer diplomatically encourage Shoggo that they are there to help, while Kissandi and Bui notice the amazing plant life in the cavern, Zorsa, a female stone giant wielding a glaive, her flesh encrusted with fungus, wearing a breastplate and greaves made of insect chitin enters the conversation. She carries two small crates filled with carrion crawler hatchling swarms.

The stone giants are quickly convinced that the group’s intentions are not to harm the thane, but in fact to help. Shoggo and Zorsa put their lives on the line and give information to the party that provides two options. The first is to convince the thane that they serve the Elder Elemental Eye, because the thane believes he is a champion of the Elder Elemental Eye. The second option is to try to destroy the stone that was unearthed that seems to be controlling the thane.

The group chooses to go into the cavern and try to destroy the stone.

Before the party leaves, the party accepts the giants offer of Deathwort, Spore Bombs, Gorgonband, and Dragonheart Pods. The Deathwort is eaten right away, giving all a 1 item bonus to death saving throws for 24 hours. The Spore Bombs can be hurled as a standard action: area burst 1 within 5; +17 v Fort; 2d65 poison damage and target is slowed (save ends); exploding bomb creates a zone that lasts until the end of the thrower’s next turn – any creature that ends its turn in the zone takes 10 poison damage. The Gorgonbane, when applied to a petrified creature (standard action) restores the creature to flesh after 5 minutes. The Dragonheard Pods are eaten right away and give 10 temporary HP that last for 24 hours.

The group enters the cavern behind the throne room. It is brightly torchlit. Bubbling pools of hissing liquid surround massive columns of rock that support the 50-foot high ceiling. Dangling above the pools are wooden cages, some of which have been eaten away, as if by acid, others of which hold coughing, malnourished prisoners. Curtains conceal exits to the north and west, and 15-foot high ledges overlook the cavern to the north. To the south, the floor plunges into a jagged pit. Four skull-faced phantoms fly above the pit, their ghostly tentacles trailing behind them.

Kissandi uses and action point to charge and obliterate one of the spectral terrors. She notices in the 20 foot deep pit below, a large egg of smooth purple stone with black veins. Rubble surrounds it. Images reflected in the stone’s polished surface are horribly deformed. The stone immediately replaced the spectral terror Kissandi destroyed.

Tyzzer hurries to the rescue of one of the prisoners, leaping across the acid onto the wall, swinging the hanging cage to safety.

Kissandi gracefully tumbles into the pit to damage the Stone of Madness, the Ghal-Thrad. She calls upon the Raven Queen to help remove the power from this stone.

Tegan is ordered to help Kissandi. Ja’Elle scouts the ledges and then hustles to help Kissandi. Bui goes to help Kissandi, too.

Feeling the Ghal-Thrad being attacked, Arnak and those who served him entered the cave from the throne room. Five galeb duhrs were summoned. Bui tossed a spore bomb that slowed all five of them. Over the course of the fight, Tegan destroyed many of the galeb durh, once sliding down into the fissure to smash one.

Arnak threw rocks and did some heavy damage to the party.

Thundergore, the steel gorgon, charged in and did tremendous damage to Bui/Tyzzer. Bui quickly made it so Thundergore could not attack.

Then, Bui significantly reduced how much damage Arnak could do.

With Kissandi and Ja’Elle in the fissure for most of the fight, the spectral terrors tried unsuccessfully to keep them away from the Stone of Madness. With the power of the Raven Queen, Kissandi did immense damage to Stone and helped Ja’Elle find vulnerable cracks in the surface of the stone. Eventually upon Tyzzer’s battle command, Kissandi dealt the final flow to the Ghal-Thrad. The stone exploded damaging all near it, obliterating all the spectral terrors, a couple galeb duhr, and knocking Ja’Elle unconscious.

This couldn’t have come at a more opportune time, as Thundergore was finally going to be able to attack again, and Kissandi achieved the 12th success in the skills challenge while perched precariously with two failures. Another failure would have meant restarting the skills challenge, but this time in the midst of a difficult fight that was going in the wrong direction.

The thane came to his senses and called off his allies from the fight. Ja’Elle was healed.

The group gathered and tried to convince Thane Arnak to fracture the alliance he held with the fire and frost giants. Reminding him the alliance with these evil giants could not be trusted and that living in harmony with the surrounding creatures was important was convincing, but not quite enough to overcome the threats of repercussions from the other giants for fracturing the alliance. Coming very close to convincing him, the party couldn’t quite close the deal. Thane Arnak did make vague promises about limiting the number of stone giants he sends to bolster Snurre, the fire giant chief’s army. He did promise to reconsider his position if Jarl Grugnur, the frost giant leader, is eliminated. The death of the frost giant jarl would be enough to make Arnak sever his alliance with Snurre.

Thane Arnak thanks you for freeing him from the control of the the Stone of Madness and rewards you with his personal treasure. This includes:

  • +4 flamedrinker plate armor (LVL 19 item)
  • golden drinking horn studded with obsidian (value 5000 gp)
  • bejeweled alabaster pyramid (value 5000 gp)
  • 10 100 gp ignots stamped with imperial emblem of an ancient and ruined dragonborn empire (value 1000 gp)

He also tells the group that the ignots in his hoard are part of a larger trove hidden in the mountains. He divulges the location of this lost dragonborn trove.

The group asked Thane Arnak if it would be okay to destroy the tenebrous ones serving Merlian Saar. Arnak said that Merlian was coming to warn him of the party’s entry and attack on the Ghal-Thrad and likely were watching the whole thing, probably having fled at this point. Arnak said your dealing with Merlian and the shadowy figures serving him were yours, and he would not stand in the way.

The players level up to Level 15.

Current Date and Time: Feb 4, 994 at 10:00 p.m.
Current Party Gold: 62,350 g.p. (owe Glint 6,000 g.p. more after Feb 12; owe Ja’Elle’s taylor 500 g.p. more when receive final product)

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Unexpected Alliances
March 29, 2013

Feb 4, 994 at ~ 3:45 a.m.

Quick Recap = Impressing the adamantine dragon Ezevon and two stone giant cavestalkers, you have made progress, avoiding an earth titan and finding the likely villainous peace delegation on the way to the throne room has presumably positioned you much closer to meeting the thane.

Longer Story:
Diplomatic efforts led by Bui were a success with Ezevon who seemed impress by the group’s prowess and their offerings. Information about a better route to the thane was gained. A safe resting place was granted by Ezevon.

We learned Ezevon is allies, possibly even friends with the Thane. The Thane is in the warrens to the SW. The Humanoid group came through but did not leave and Ezevon does not think they were here for peace negotiations (maybe the giants told us this?).

The group took an extended rest.

Tegan “Glaive” was left to recover more fully. He is not dead yet. He’s getting better.

Glint requested more protection, stating he does not have the strength to survive another hit.

After the extended rest, Ja’Elle scouts and Tyzzer talked more with Ezevon.

Ja’Elle gains 6500 gp in numerous coins from the haystacks where the stone giants slept.

The group decides to head south, southwest. Ja’Elle uses the last ungeant of darkvision to scout ahead into a forest of stalagmites. One of the stalagmites is actually a roper and surprises Ja’Elle. Ja’Elle shouts for help. The others come to his aid. Another roper emerges. Two stone giant cavestalkers lob lightning geodes and then regular boulders at the party.

Well into a difficult battle, Kissandi stands alone vs. one crag roper and two stone giants. She uses bracers of speed to weaken the roper enough to allow Bui’s standard of the silver dragon to finish the roper. Ja’Elle and Bui recover quickly and help turn the tide. Tyzzer, on death’s door, survives, too.

Together, Bui & Tyzzer convince the stone giants to stop the fight, that the party did not come here to kill stone giants, but to broker a peace. The stone giants offer to help the party. The group finds a LVL 16 Horned Helm. Tyzzer keeps it for now.

We learned what bad guys are where and the most direct path to the Thane. Gargoyles should leave us alone if the giants are with us. They will help guide us and pass monsters but will not ignore other giants or orders given to them involving us.

We also learned from the cavestalkers that the female stone giant leader may actually be acting on behalf of the thane.

Avoiding a titan, the group takes the route east past numerous gargoyles perched on ledges that blend in well with the surrounding caves and water source. The gargoyles do not attack because of the stone giant escort.

A large block on wheels is moved to the side and the group continues south. The giants do not want to accompany the group as they approach a cavern currently inhabited by humanoids the giants say are working with the thane.

Ja’Elle scouts ahead again and overhears Merlian Saar, a noble from Unrick who was sent on a peace mission, apparently scrying on someone outside of the caves.

Ja’Elle, and soon later the rest of the group minus Glint and the two stone giants enter the conversation with Merlian Saar, his two goliath bodyguards and two female tenebrous (shadowy) creatures.

We think Merlian seems skeevy and untrustworthy. We don’t know what deal he has going on but he certainly isn’t here on for peace negotiations.

Tegan “Glaive” is ready to rejoin us, and we are ready to move past Marlian Saar and his associates…

Current Date and Time: Feb 4, 994 at 5:00 p.m.
Current Party Gold: 51,350 g.p. (owe Glint 6,000 g.p. more after Feb 12; owe Ja’Elle’s taylor 500 g.p. more when receive final product)

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Out of the Darkness, Ezevon the Adamantine Dragon
March 8, 2013

Continuing the battle against the stone giants from last time…

Tyzzer did some cool shit in the fight and protected Ja’Elle.

The last giant ran into the darkness and the shrieker erupted again.

Kissandi killed the giant, only to see a large adamantine dragon swooping down out of the darkness to bite and grab her.

Fairly quickly all but Ja’Elle were trapped within ten feet of the dragon, Ezevon, and unable to move without the Ezevon’s wings knocking them flat. Ezevon’s ability to fly, his thunderous breath, and his reach continued to keep the party down. Despite this huge disadvantage, slowly but surely, the heroes bloodied Ezevon. Bui and Tegan were knocked unconscious.

Tyzzer, without a heal surge left and bloodied took a big risk and offered the dragon his weapons. After a negotiation, the Tyzzer gave the dragon an amulet, a magical hammer, and his bastard sword. Kissandi gave the dragon a ring of fireblazing. With this, Ezevon accepted, allowed Tyzzer to keep his bastard sword, and flew back into the darkness from whence he came.

Tyzzer waits 5 minutes and then heals the Bui and Tegan. The plan, as the group left it, was to send Tyzzer to talk with the dragon without Ja’Elle or Kissandi, in an effort to gain information about the stone giants.

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Warrens Part Two: It's Electric
February 16, 2013

Feb 3, 994 at 4:00 a.m.

The encounter with the stone giant raiding party has gone south…

We awoke in the middle of the night.

The stone giants meet us on the Kings Road. We tried to negotiate. It didn’t work. It looked like they wanted to fight us. Ja’elle hesitated. Tyzzer charged!

They fight back.

Ja’Elle kills all the big Giants (under the direction and coaching of Tyzzer)
Kissandi kills Krenshar and a Minion.

Bui gets the remaining two minions to surrender.

Bui enters into negotiations vs them, with the translative services of Glint.

Bui offers safety to the minions.

We learn that Belastraya has been put into position to order raids. The Thane is her brother. For some weird reason, Belastraya has been taking more power than maybe she should.

It doesn’t seem likely to Glint that we could diplomatically negotiate with the stone giants. He suggests that we would pretend to represent some other group.

We tie up the two younglings.

Glint and Kissandi engage in deep and meaningful conversation. Glint urges the party to get to the Thane.

A rider approaches. He asks how we are doing. It is Tegan Sell. He was sent by Nan Hornberg to find Tyzzer Zanine. He slaps his horse who runs off. He wants to serve Tyzzer. Stories of our renown have reached Glim. Tyzzer will take him under his wing.

We sleep with the giants.

Feb 4, 994 3am

Tyzzer moves the boulder at the back entrance to Howling Cragg. We move in towards the Warrens. Strength check. Success.

We move towards the lightning.

and then attack it. Kissandi shuts it down. Moves in and discovers Vortices. They attack us.

Tegan and Sara help us out.

We kill the wind.

There is a pile of geodes. 2 small piles of melon sized geodes.

And then Primus!!!

Kissandi soothed the sheep with a 33 nature check.

The stone giants are in the sheep room. We leave. The stone giants intimidate the sheep.

FIGHT

Using the tunnels of the warrens, the electric stalagmites, and some decisive tactics, the heroes seem to have an advantage against the stone giants. However, Glint has fallen again and piercing shrieking from the dark western room could mean that this battle is not won yet…


PAUSE -

Feb 4, 3:30 a.m.

Party Gold = 45,500 g.p.
Owe Glint 6,000 g.p. more after Feb 12
Upon receipt of item, Ja’Elle will owe the taylor 500 g.p.

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Entering the Warrens
February 1, 2013

ENTERING THE WARRENS
February 1, 994 at 11:00 p.m.

• We enter the warrens
• Ja’Elle scouts and see to the east is a large cavern with stalagmites emanating lighting and bright light. The cavern crackles with electricity (and danger!!!!)
• There is darkness to the west.
• Ja’Elle uses one of the unguents of darkvision so he can see in the dark. (Last for an hour)
• In the dark cavern there are two stalagmites. Farther on, there is a ledge. To the north there is a large stairway.
• We need some action. I’m starting to feel like I’m writing an old school text adventure.
• Ja’Elle hears bleating up the stairs, and there’s light up there.
o He checks it out and it’s sheep and carts and stuff. Seems like raid spoils.
• We head over to the ledge in the dark.
• Something up on the ledge shrieks and attacks Ja’Elle and misses.
o We retreat and the thing keeps shrieking for a while.
• We decide to head up the stairs and pretend that that’s what we meant to do all along.
• We all see the bleating sheep and carts with merchant emblems.
o Tyzzer recognizes the emblems as from the nearby towns of Pontatana and Ibium.
• Some more scouting.
o Ja’Elle finds a room with something in it that he can’t hear.
• We go up the stairs.
• We enter a hallway lined with large dour stone giants heads about 15-18 ft. tall. It goes both north and south from here.
• Bui, Tyzzer, and Glint do some dungeoneering and decide to head up and north.
• Ja’Elle goes ahead and we follow.
• At the top of the stairs, Ja’Elle sees several stone giants in front of a dais and throne. One of them is a stone cold chick. There’s also a really big boar. And a fluttering curtain – gotta watch out for that.
• Bui and Tyzzer try to talk to the woman giant.
o We say that we are advocates for the local towns of Unrick and Clan Ironcrown of the dwarves. She doesn’t like that we bring them up.
o We continue to talk to her, but she is not happy that we have invaded her Warrens.
o Negotiations inevitably break down and one of the guard/advisors goes inside to get more giants to hurt us. Clearly she will not be convinced with diplomatic efforts.
o We learn she is the Castellan of Howling Crag, meaning she is in charge while the Thane is gone.
o Looks like we’re gonna fight.
• Belastraya is able to teleport/meld into the stone of the cavern.
• Kissandi goes after Belastraya
• Ja’Elle gets himself surrounded by 5 stone giants and starts doing some damage.
• It seems like the other giants are not as fervent as Belastraya
• Bui finally intimidates the other giants into letting us flee, but they still have to follow Belastraya.
• We flee.
• Belastraya reappears and commands the giants to attack.
o They do.
o We run.
• Everyone stumbles a little bit on the way out, but with Tyzzer’s encouragements, Bui’s deterence of the enemy, and Kissandi’s and Ja’Elle’s guidance, we make it through the first section.
• We continue to hustle out of the Crag, and everyone contributes to the escape.
o This time, Tyzzer knows which way to slide the door and throws it open for everyone to get out. He flips off Ja’Elle (in a friendly way) as he passes.
• Plans:
• Sneak back into the Crag?
• Wait for a raid on a merchant caravan and question them?
• We decide to wait for them to come out the main entrance to ambush a raiding party with the intent of questioning one of them about the Thane.
• One day passes.
• A raiding party appears in the middle of the night.
• Tyzzer and Bui address them.
• They demand we all show ourselves.
o We do, Ja’Elle hesitantly.
• Negotiations aren’t going well.

Now February 3, 4 a.m.
Gold = 45,500 g.p. (owe Glint 6,000 g.p. more at end of two weeks of service at end of Feb 12, owe Ja’Elle’s taylor 500 g.p. more when receive final product)

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A Catalyst for a Future Hero?
January 26, 2013

Jan 21, 994
6:00 p.m.
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)

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Saving Rowena and Vinny
January 11, 2013

Jan 17, 994, 10 pm (38,901 gp)

Arriving back near Lambasa, with two days for an unwanted mission from PR III to find out about the local elf network to save Rowena, the four reenter the capitol. Seeking information, Bui meets with Vale Temeros. Vale alerts Bui of a dragonborn seeking us. We give some money to a nearby barkeep who sends two halflings out to find this dragonborn. One returns with Atli. Atli has a lot to say: “I heard you were here, but when I arrived you were nowhere to be found. Word came to the Silver Hand that the Steading fell by your hands, but you had been captured. Then we heard you had been seen in Lambasa. Sarax sent me to let you know you are needed.

The mission you accepted, against the giants cannot be delayed further. Delays lead to more towns, farms, and civilization being laid to waste. We fear destruction by the giants will escalate even further if you don’t act quickly.

We have learned a about the location of the Stone Giants. We believe those serving the giant hordes come from Howling Crag. We gained the information about this from dwarves who live near the King’s Mountains, who you helped. The Stone Giant Thane Arnak is the least likely to join the other giants. However, Stone Giants have emerged from Howling Crag to join the rampaging hords. The dwarves are convinced that Arnak still commands giants at Howling Crag, but fear a dark influence has persuaded the Thane to act against his better nature.

Check in with those communities around Howling Crag that still remain and with Nan Hornberg, who will meet you in Unrick. Before you leave, send word to Sarax, so he can get word to Nan and ensure he is there to meet you when you are to arrive.

Javok found us. He recognized the silver cufflink worn by Rowena. Where is she? Javok said he did all he could and put his life at risk a couple of times to keep you alive and to bring us what news he could."

The group goes to Elrilmarioum at the University.

Elrilmarioum feels that the Woodland Justice Network needs Laeralin back, but advises against giving PR III any names of any council members, including Leogrator. When told of the actions of the Imix cultists in town, he asks the party to help with that problem. The group hesitates to do this right away because of Vale’s advice to not fight on the streets or in city shops.

After a good night’s rest at the University, the group spends the better part of the next day and a half plastered. In a moment of clarity, Tyzzer attempt to return to the castle were thwarted when he found it closed and heavily guarded.

Returning to the spot in the woods used last time, the group was transported back to PR III.

After PR III thanked Bui for sharing information about Leogrator and the 12 person WJN council, he told them that someday he and the party would be allies. Then, Zarenthal returned and transferred the party with Rowena back to just outside Lambasa.

The group took Rowena back to the Elrilmarioum at the University, so she could recover and regain her strength by communing with Corellon and all the beautiful art at the University.

After receiving and following council from Elrilmarioum on how to best proceed quietly in Lambasa while trying to thwart the Imix cult, the group returned to the secret entrance to the basement under Bamrah’s. Ja’Elle scouted and then the group descended two flights of stairs and entered the room together.

Upon entering, at first glance, it is a nearly empty room. Only one figure remains, tied to a wall. Ash covers the floor, nearly a half foot deep in front of her. Tied into charred ropes, a humanoid, severely tortured hangs limply on the wall, still lightly weazing … her wrists, where the ropes are still tied are severely chaffed, almost aglow…clear lash marks all over her body, neck bleed, weep, and have a similar almost fiery glow. As Kissandi and Tyzzer hustle towards her, she says “no…it’s too late for that.” Then her body almost takes on a life of its ow and she says, “the others… the others… they are monsters… they are lost… destroy me… you must… you… you will know what to do… follow the symbols and colors to help others.”

Kissandi cut the ropes that held her, quickly prayed over her, realizing she was transforming from life to undeath. After giving her a quick death, Kissandi prepared her body and ended the transformation.

Searching the room, the group found Drawmig’s Instant Summons Ritual laying amidst the ash and 1 Potion of Vitality and 1 Elixir of Fortitude LVL 13 in a nearby sack.

The group also found geometric symbols and colors (blues, yellows, reds), in some sort of a pattern. Using prayers and perception, the group uncovered this must be directions to another location where the cult might be found. Kissandi prayers to the Raven Queen led to the symbols sparking. Bui was able to discern that sparks pointed west, but the group could not figure out enough to go on from just the clues.

Next, the group went to a Pelor shrine on the west side of town. With the help of a female dwarf cleric, the party was told that their was an abandoned old temple two miles west of town. Kissandi left so fast that all the dwarf cleric saw was a cloud of dust.

The group headed west, through some farmsteads, reaching the not-so-abandoned temple when Kissandi spotted some movement by a nearby scarecrow. A small boy, no more than eight years old was trying to watch what was happening through the fence and in the graveyard. Quickly the attention of the party turned to a graveyard with numerous skeletons and zombies rising from the graves in the nearly frozen earth.

Kissandi, servant of the Raven Queen, seeing servitors of Orcus mocking death and all that is sacred, flew into battle. Initially met at the entrance gate, Kissandi and Ja’Elle were able to move freely about the battlefield throughout the battle, and seemed to have a 10-15 foot shield between them and their enemies because of Ja’Elle armor of repulsion and Kissandi’s ability to push away her enemies. Tyzzer and Bui held fast at the gate, protecting young Vinny, the boy who watched in amazement and fear as the heroes helped rid the cemetery of so many vile monsters.

Kissandi using a sort of black magic, destroyed many of her foes with radiant powers and drawing the majority of their focus and their attacks. Kissandi destroyed the wrackspawn that momentarily trapped Bui in an extradimensional space inside of itself.

Ja’Elle dealt a ton of damage and the killing blow to the Deathpriest of Orcus. He also destroyed the wrackspawn that had weakened Bui and Kissandi. He leaped over a fence to flank a wight near the end of the fight.

Bui called upon the god of travel to empower his attacks with radiant energy, damaging and destroying undead. His power to heal all of his allies, but Kissandi more than others kept everyone on their feet and the monsters at bay.

Tyzzer stood tall, protecting Vinny while commanding the battlefield, giving Kissandi and Ja’Elle great advice on how to land damaging hits to the enemy and using inspiring words to renenergize his allies.

When the dust settled, the heroes destroyed eight zombies, seven skeletons, three sparks (small fire elementals), two wrackspawn, two Orcus cultists, and a Deathpriest of Orcus. A few other undead retreated including two blazing skeletons and a regular skeleton, along with two cultists (likely Imix), a salamander archer, and a firey humanoid leader-type. By the time the heroes overcame their foes and entered the temple, it appears the enemies that fleed were gone.

The temple contained what appeared to be a magic or teleportation circle that had been defiled by the blood of two cultists who appeared to have had their blood spilled all around the magic circle on the floor.

The heroes have just entered the temple as the encounter continues next time (no short rest yet).

Vinny’s fear has been replaced with awe and inspiration. His families farm may soon be safe again…

Time = January 21, 994 at 6:00 p.m.
38,891 gp
Distributed two potions found this session & ritual

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