Northern Reaches Campaign

Who's Minding the Inn?
Hragnar's Inn

Our heroes have spent a month in Port Bhaal taking care of business and relaxing. A few days before they are set to head back north, they meet a young dragonborn named Doctor Cerulean. He is a cousin of Klarent the Black, from The Nest. His cousin has suggested that he join the heroes to gain some experience of the outside world.

He accompanies the group back to Baileys, where Master Bailey asks if they would mind going over to Hragnar’s Inn a few days to the east and see if they can find what is delaying his son, Joshua, who is overdue after delivering cheese and other items to the neighboring Inn.

Traveling to Hragnar’s, the group spot a pair of booted legs sticking out of the snow under a bush off to the side of the road. Examining the body, they note that his skull appears to be somewhat shriveled, and that he has four puckered wounds on either side of his head. Doctor Cerulean tells the others of a species of creature that he has read of, called Illithids, or ‘Mind Flayer’s’ and that the wounds remind him of what he has read of them.

Proceeding with a bit of caution to a hill overlooking Hragnar’s, the group uses Ivan’s spyglass to have a look at the compound below. They see a number of creatures who are taller than the wall around the inn. At least one giant, several ogres and ettins, and they see a purple skinned, tentacled faced creature moving among the buildings. They also see what appears to be the residents of the compound, hanging by their ankles, but still very much alive, including Joshua Bailey.

As they watch, they see a manticore launch itself from the roof of the watch tower in the center of the village and begin what is apparently a patrol flight, circling outward in ever-widening circles from the walls. Scrambling to hide themselves from view, they were unsuccessful and manage to instead attract the attention of the beast. Slipping on the snowy ground as it landed, the manticore was quickly dispatched before it could attack the heroes.

Hearing a drum beginning to beat, the group looks down the hill and see the giant-kin, along with a pack of dogs, what appears to be two large boars and a couple of bears heading their way.

Deciding to give ground and find a better place to fight, the heroes retreat down the hill back towards the way they came from. Ivan lags back to keep the enemy in sight and see what they are going to do. Four of the ogres continue running towards the retreating heroes, who pick a spot to stand their ground, and do battle with the four.

After dispatching them, Ivan moves forward to check the trail behind them, narrowly avoiding getting hit with a boulder thrown by the Hill Giant. Warning the others, they prepare for the next wave, which consists of a dozen dogs, two giant boars, two brown bears, the hill giant, two ettins and three more ogres. They think they see a smaller figure moving off the road to the side in the dark and then the battle begins. A fireball makes quick work of the bears and boars, and several of the dogs, and scorches the giantkin.

A pitched battle ensues, during which, Tash steps off the trail to see if the shadowy figure is the illithid, and finds to his dismay that it is, as it steps out from behind a tree and attacks him with it’s tentacles. He manages to pull himself free of the embrace and moves back to the road, alerting Kar of the creature’s presence. Kar hits it with a magical attack, driving the Illithid off into the darkness. Tash begins to give chase, and then decides to let it go. Battered and bloody, the heroes manage to prevail over the giantkin, and although they are exhausted and battered, press on back to Hragnar’s where they overcome the remaining Ogre guarding the prisoners and release the residents. After resting the night, they return with Joshua to Baileys and inform Master Bailey of what happened. Another day or rest and they head to the Nest to inform the Ophidian Queen of the Governor’s desire for an initial talk regarding official relations. Spending the night with the Ophidians, the group head out the upper exit to go upriver and see if the Sorcerer had met Ivan’s friend.

They spend a week with the Sorcerer, who repairs Kar’s staff of power that was damaged in the fight with the giantkin. They find out that Ivan’s friend did pass through and had spent some time with the Sorcerer, Bael, before heading north into the Wastelands. Bael tells them how to find the best path down into the Wastes and tells them to be wary of the Centaurs, who are apparently allies with the giants.

Vampires, Businesses, Babies and Pissed off Trees!
A busy time to be had

The session opened with the naked vampire women on the ceiling as we left the previous session, and the heroes noticed that several more ogre zombies and another wight had entered through a door behind the ‘throne’ at the end of the room.

One of the vampires stopped abruptly, looked at Ivan and asked, “Master?”

The heroes used the momentary confusion to start attacking, when through the door at the end of the room walked a man who looked exactly like Ivan. Commanding all in the room to cease fighting, he motioned Ivan to come closer. Inquiring as to Ivan’s name, the Vampire revealed his name to be Baron Alexi Demoraff, which Ivan knew was the name of his Great Grandfather, exiled from Yvarn 150 years previously, for reasons that included the family losing all claim to his titles and land.

After a brief conversation, in which they revealed that they were exploring the island after finding it indicated on an old map and were not aware of his presence, he offered them an opportunity to leave peacefully, since he had no desire to have to destroy his own kin, but to not return lest to join him or a fight to the death (or final death) be desired. He gave them a pouch with some coin and gems in it so they did not leave their adventure empty handed.

Having exhausted most of their spells and faced with the prospect of fighting more than half a dozen vampires, one of them obviously powerful, plus the additional undead servants, the heroes gracefully accepted his terms and left the keep, finding that rain had began falling while they were inside. Approaching the spot where they had hidden their boat on the beach, they heard voices pleading for mercy in Draconic, and being told that they were bound for the master’s larder.

Taking advantage of the dark, the rain and his resemblance to Alexi, Ivan walked out on the beach and told the four people there that he did not desire the lizardmen as meals, to release them. They were released and swam quickly away, and while the four on the beach were about to realize that Ivan was not Alexi, Brother Thomas unleashed an attack from hiding upon the woman on the beach, who was wearing the ornamentation of a priest of Death Combat quickly ensues, with the priestess and a chainmail clad Dwarf succumbing to a Sleep spell cast by Karvast. The other two put up a good fight, but were taken down by the heroes in fairly short order.

Loading the bodies in one of the boats, they rowed back across to the camp where they had left Alpha, Joan and the marble automaton watching the camp, they buried the bodies, and got a good nights rest, after Ivan realized one of the boats they had found was actually a magical, folding boat. The next morning, they found the graves open, with a note left atop the pile of dirt, reading

“They will likely be better servants to me in this condition. A”

After breakfast, the heroes delved down into the Ankheg lair, where they found a few bits of gear, including a magical bow and a handful of magical arrows, and four large eggs, which they brought back to the surface.

Returning to Bailey’s, they bought a building to use as a trading post and small warehouse for their merchantile company, and spent a couple of days relaxing at Ivan’s house, before sailing back downriver.

A quick stop in Holcroft reveals that the Justicar has allowed a tavern to be built outside the walls. Tash goes and talks to Bill, the proprietor and winds up buying half interest in the tavern, which is christened “The Copper Dragon Inn” as Bill was simply referring to it as ‘the tavern’.

a couple of nights spent in Holcroft and then a quick sail back to Port Bhaal, where a week is spent taking care of business and relaxing. Ivan learns that Ambassador Esmerelda Montoya is pregnant with his child, but knows he would not make a good husband and only wants him to know he is welcome to as much time with her and or the child as he wishes. Ivan tells her everything that has occurred since they last were together, including the desire of the ophidians to have diplomatic relations with the local government. Esmerelda arranges a dinner meeting the next night for herself, Ivan and Tash, and Tash’s lady friend, the healer (who has been making trips to the mine to heal minor injuries. Tash adds her to the company payroll to make her an official part of the company) with the Governors.

After a very enjoyable dinner with the Governors, Tash and Ivan relate the events of their travels (carefully edited to not include vampires or sexual encounters with ophidians). The Governors thank them and ask them to arrange for the Ophidian Queen (if possible) and her guards to come meet with them to open diplomatic relations.

The next stop in their travels was to return to Rivenscroft to present the ‘apology’ payment to the Rivens. The Rivens give a house in the settlement to the group to use as they wish so that they are officially part of the settlement. At dinner they find out that the Treant they rescued the Farmers from was still rampaging in the lands to the west of the settlement, and causing problems. Checking on the mine and traveling to the tower of Karvast, where they spent the night (Karvast hired a Major Domo and a housekeeper/cook to run the house for him and arranged for furniture to be delivered). The next day, the group went hunting the Treant, which they found easily as it is quite large and wreaking devastation on the forest. Fire, blade, divine magics and Tash climbing up the inside of the treant to destroy it’s corrupted heart resulted in the destruction of the treant. Arranging for locals to come chop up the treant as firewood while they rested, the heroes contemplate their next adventure.

Snake People and Foggy Islands
Making New Friends and Finding a Hidden Tower

After resting up. the heroes are awakened by an agitated Alpha who tells them that the ‘floating brains’ are aware of their presence and are coming to punish them.

Moving out into the hallway, the group sees a quintet of what appears to be floating brains, with large, bird-like beaks on them and tentacles hanging beneath them as they float up the hallway.

Two of the ‘brains’ goes through a doorway as the group attacks the others. The two who peeled off attempt a flanking maneuver but with little success. The strange creatures are quickly dispatched and the group decides to explore the upper areas, and ask Alpha if he would like to accompany them. He agrees that he would like to see more with his new friends and is given a spare set of Ivan’s clothing to wear.

Climbing the stairs, Kar magically seals the door that opens on what appears to be a residential area for the serpent folk and they continue upwards. Peering out of the slightly opened doorway, the group hears a voice from the other side invite them out to join the speaker.

They see many kobolds moving about on this level, and standing before them is a Dragonborn wearing black chainmail and wearing what is an obviously magical warhammer (although it is not drawn) and with a shield upon his back. He introduces himself as Klarent and invites the group to join him for tea and snacks in their dining hall.

As they follow him, they see many more kobolds here and Klarent informs the group that he and the kobolds reside on this level, and that they serve Queen Xarisa, who would like to meet them, if they are interested. When asked about the Kobolds and the Dragonborn that raided Rivenscroft, Klarent admitted that Rhadalas was his brother and that the kobolds were from this nest. He does inform them however, that Rhadalas had been told to go get the mine working, and had not been told to do it by taking slaves from nearby settlements. He says that he holds no ill will towards the party regarding their actions and informs them that the surviving Kobolds refer to Ivan as the ‘Naked Giant’. He also tells them that the queen has been observing them since they arrived, via scrying mirrors.

At this point, he tells them that the queen is ready to see them, if they wish to follow him up to her audience chamber.

Taking the group up another level, they exit upon a level with a large, open area, with a number of serpent folk of various types milling about and kobolds running about as well. Going through the guarded doors into the audience chamber, they are introduced to Queen Xarisa, who appears to be a very beautiful woman with a slightly yellowgreen complexion and light scales on her skin.

She greets the group and asks them to join her on the comfortable cushions laid about the floor. Sitting with the group, she answers their questions with what appears to be forthright honesty, telling them that she and her people found and settled this complex some time back, occupying the uppermost 6 levels, leaving the level the party entered from empty and giving Alpha his privacy since he decided to remain in his area. She tells them the lower levels are flooded and controlled by a creature she calls an Aboleth, and tells them that there are also fresh water sea hags, sharks and a number of water-logged undead of what are most likely the prior inhabitants of the compound.

She explains that the Ring of Scale is a group of draconian races whose goal is to establish a recognized kingdom in the area from where the lair is to some way westward of their location, and to establish trade relations with the humans and others from the South.

The group spends a few days with the Queen, discussing trade and race relations among other matters. She seems to be quite taken with Ivan and spends many hours in private conversations with him. Klarent gifts Kar with a magical handcrossbow that fires radiant energy and appears to be empowered by the small black ‘box’ they found in the abandoned armory.

When the group asks about the surrounding area, especially the island shown on the map they retrieved from the crypt, Klarent tells them that some of his ‘little ones’ have seen an island that is cloaked in what appears to be a permanent mist when they have gone fishing or to trade with the lizardmen tribes in the Blackmoor Fens. He and the Queen both say that the tribes in the Fens have been agitated lately, which rings true with rumors the group heard during their travels north.

Deciding to go check out the tower, the group accepts Xarisa’s offer to disassemble a few of the beds from the empty level to take with them, and make arrangements to establish trade with the nest and also accept a chest containing a weregild ‘apology’ from the queen in regards to the actions of Rhadalas.

Upon reaching the ground level, they find a number of dead bodies, including the leader of the bandits that attacked them on the road north. Joan tells them that her former leader and his ‘friends’ attacked her and the stone man and that the two of them managed to kill the five interlopers. Ivan teaches her about gravedigging and not leaving dead bodies near the camp, and they then head towards the lakeshore.

Finding a pair of rowboats where Klarent told them to look, the group establishes a camp for Alpha, Joan and the Stone man to guard the horses and gear while the rest of them row into the visible mist. During the night, they are attacked by a large, bug-like creature that pops out of the ground. Defeating the creature, they decide to investigate it’s tunnel to see if it is alone or if it has a lair nearby. Finding a vertical shaft, Tash drops a stone down into the dark and is about to rappel down when they all hear the sound of several creatures moving upwards. Running back to the surface, they are attacked by two more creatures the same size as the first one and one which is much bigger. After a fierce fight, the creatures are defeated and the group drags the carcasses away and relocates their camp a short distance from where it was originally.

They take a boat across through the fog to the island that rises from the lake. As they approach the island, they can see the tower from the water, so Using Ivan’s spyglass, they have a look and see what appears to be two ogres in livery, wielding halberds, guarding the main doors.

Beaching the boat, they approach quietly, taking note that the vegetation as they get closer to the tower is withered and in many cases quite dead. Getting within sight of the main door, it appears that the two ogres are no longer among the living, but rather, appear to be zombies. They also hear what sounds like Yvaran music playing from inside the tower. As the ogres react to their presence, Kar blasts them and the door with a fireball, burning both zombies and blasting the door inward in smoldering pieces.

The music from inside can be heard more clearly now, and as the heroes enter the tower, they see zombies dressed in tattered finery dancing to the tunes being played by a zombified band. Outraged, Brother Thomas calls upon the power of Oberon, reducing most of the dancing undead to piles of dust, while nearly a dozen, seemingly unaffected, walk arm in arm through a door at the other end of the room. Before the heroes can react to this, the undead creature leading the band, apparently Not merely a zombie, turns and berates the heroes for interrupting the festivities the Master has requested. A quick fireball from Kar turns the band to ashes and scorches the bandleader, who is apparently more resilient, as he draws his instrument and moves forward, letting loose with a blast of music that staggers Ivan, who returns the attack with a devastating blow, slicing the undead musician in twain.

The heroes exit through the door at the end of the room and find the undead who had exited the room sitting around a dinner table as if waiting to be served food. They are quickly dispatched and a quick search of the dining area and kitchen reveal no other foes here. Leaving the dining area and looking up at the balcony surrounding the ballroom, more ogre guards are spotted. Quickly mounting the stairs, the heroes dispatch the ogre zombies with blade and magic.

Tired, the heroes decide to catch their breath on the balcony before deciding to go up in the tower or check out the stairs that lead downwards. As they decide to press on, they spot a furtive figure peering through a partially open door at the other end of the balcony. Their decision made, the heroes open the door and follow the stairs leading upwards. Opening a pair of double doors on the next level of the tower, they come upon half a dozen well-dressed, well armed beings, identified as Wights by Brother Thomas. Conflict ensues and the heroes manage to best the wights. As they discuss the wisdom of withdrawing to rest, a sound is heard from overhead and looking up, they are greeted by the sight of several naked, fanged females crawling across the ceiling towards them

(this is where this session ends. . . to be continued in the next entry)

Faceless Cliffs
Lair of the Serpent Folk

Traveling along the base of “The Wall”, the cliffs that mark the plateau separating the settled lands from the Wastelands and the rest of the Northern Reaches, the heroes come to an area filled with rubble, obviously from a section of the cliff being destroyed.

This appears to them to be the same general area as where the old map they found in the crypt showed a face carved on the cliff face, and closer examination shows exposed stone stairs leading up the cliff face to an opening above.

Leaving Joan and the animated statue to guard the horses and gear, the group mount the stairs and find a scratched, but otherwise undamaged metal door, with no apparent handles. Beside the door are a metal cone on the wall with two gems mounted into the metal below it. One is a dull green and the other a glowing red stone.

There are bits of rubble strewn around, including one large block of stone in front of the metal cone and the games. On the lower face of the door, scratched in Draconic was the following:

Your hand cannot contain me.
Your eye cannot see me.
I am fleeting when held, but you can catch me if you stand still.
(This is a riddle from Guild Wars 2 MMO)

The heroes decide the words are indicating breath. They blow upon the door, the gems and finally into the metal cone. Shortly after blowing into the cone, the red gem dulls and the green one begins to glow and the doors slide open. Upon entering the ceiling glows with bright light and the doors silently slide closed, with no indications of how to open them from the inside.

Undaunted, the heroes explore the pristinely clean, well lit dungeon that appears before them. The level they have entered appears to be empty, they find what appears to have been a barracks, with strange metal bedframes, surprisingly lightweight and showing no signs of corrosion. a dining hall with tables and benches made from the same material, a magical platform that heats up to cook food (and unwary hands that are placed upon it), a room that contains stores of preserved foods, and a very cold room containing perishable food products that seem to be fresh (and prove to be so when prepared). The group takes a brief respite here and samples the food they find, and then begin to explore the level a bit more.

They find two passageways that are blocked by fallen debris and a stairwell that leads both up and down, right next to the stairwell is an open shaft that also leads up and down. Down below about 20 to 30 feet, it appears that the shaft is filled with water, and upon examining the shaft, Ivan finds a metal ladder attached to the wall. Climbing up and peering in the next level, he sees many serpent people moving about. Going down, he finds what appears to be an empty level beneath them. Rejoining the others, they continue to explore the level they are on and find a large room with 15 statues standing about the room and a large, sunken area in the center of the room. Upon entering, one of the statues moves forward and asks if they are there for training. Hesitation and contradictory answers seem to trigger a magical response and a loud wailing begins and the lights in the area begin flashing red.

At this point, the 15 statues all animate and move forward to attack the heroes. A fierce fight ensues, with 15 destroyed statues lying about the hallway. Kar takes the head of one of the statues along with him as the group decides to return to the barracks area to barricade themselves in and get some much needed rest,

Upon awakening after their rest, they venture back down to where the fight occurred and find no debris from their fight, indeed, the floors are sparkling clean, and the bits of debris they had left out after eating in the dining hall was all gone as well.

Continuing to search, they find a room near the statue room that appears to have been an armory at one point, but is empty, except for the weapon racks and one small black rectangular item with two small gold squares on one end, which, they of course, pocket.

Heading down the stairs to the next level down, the heroes can definitely see, smell and hear water in the stairwell below them, and exit out onto the level below where they entered.

This level appears to be mostly empty, and sports a long hallway broken by a large room sporting many strange looking chairs and small tables, lined up in rows. Hearing a sound that Ivan identifies as the roar of a Bull Crocodile, they peer around the corner at the end of the hall and see at the other end a Bull Crocodile, partially obscured from view, but obviously quite a large specimen. The decision is made to attack the beast and as it is damaged from the first volley of attacks, it’s roar of pain is answered by a pair of roars from behind the wall and another crocodile, almost as large as the first, comes around the corner and begins to waddle quickly towards the group, as does the bull they first saw.

As melee is joined, the second crocodile clamps her jaws down upon Tash, inflicting heinous wounds upon him and appears to be prepared to make a meal of him as he falls, when the magical breastplate he wears begins to glow and he miraculously heals, and uses the crocodiles momentary confusion to scoot back out of it’s jaws before it can take another bite.

The two crocodiles are defeated, and as they are taking stock of their wounds and Ivan explains that Croc tail is quite tasty, they hear a voice from nearby telling them that there is at least one more down in the water around the corner.

Looking up, they see a large, scarred man, wearing strange white clothing and no shoes. He introduces himself as Alpha and asks if they would like to come to a spot where the Crocodiles usually do not venture as they appear to be wounded and in need of rest.

Following him to an area that Brother Thomas believes was dedicated to the healing arts, Alpha shows them small cubicles with strange, multi-jointed metal beds and tells them they can rest there. As he answers their questions, they learn that he was created there and has never left. Those who made him went away one day and never returned. The snake people came through some time back and told him he was welcome to stay or go as he wished, and he simply stayed, since he has never been elsewhere that he recalls.

He is unable to tell them exactly how long he has been in the facility, simply that it has been a long time. The heroes speak with Alpha for a while and decide to get some much needed rest . . .

Northward Bound
On the Road Again

After setting matters in Rivenscroft, the group heads northward with an eye towards establishing a base of operations nearer to the border of the ‘civilized’ lands.

On the road they heard that Holcroft was a ‘dry’ settlement, no strong drink allowed inside the walls at all, by order of the Justicar who runs the town. However, there have been disappearances around the settlement and word was that there was an entrance to what appeared to be an old crypt just outside the settlement on the other side of the creek that ran by the walls.

Stopping outside Holcroft, the group learned that both things were true. They stabled their horses outside the wall and headed into the crypt.

A quick venture into the crypt revealed restless dead and a stairway leading deeper into the crypt. After a quick run topside to take a short rest and commission a strong cover that could fit over the opening, the heroes re-entered the dank crypt of Verant Giantsbane.

Filled with undead (including undead wardogs and an undead warhorse), imagery and statues of snake people, giant snakes and an undead Verant Giantsbane himself, the heroes emerged victorious and acquired useful treasure including magical armor and weapons including the Axe of Verant Giantsbane himself, the axe possessing abilities that added to his long lost legend. They also found a map that showed the general area, including a few spots of interest that were not depicted on the map Ivan had received from his mentor, like a huge face apparently carved on a cliff and an island that was not marked on any map they had seen, not far from the same cliff.

Upon emerging from the crypt, the heroes, with the assistance of some of the locals, covered and sealed the crypt in case anything was left that could plague the settlers.

A barbecue and party was held (outside the settlement walls, of course) and the next day the group continued northwards, stopping at Bailey’s Travellers Inn, a walled compound centered around a large Inn and located at the entrance to the pass which leads to the Wastelands.

Along the way, the group was set upon by a small group of highwaymen, whom they readily defeated. One gave up and offered her services to the party, this is Joan, who has asked Brother Thomas to teach her of Oberon. The leader of the highwaymen managed to get away, but the group, with Joan providing directions, tracked him back to their hideout in the woods. There they found three other women, chained up and forced to do the laundry, cleaning and most likely, other, less appealing tasks as required by the bandits. The heroes freed the women and offered to escort them to Bailey’s where they could decide their own fate.

Ivan decided to purchase a house within the walls of Bailey’s and hired the most mature and stable of the women they had rescued to manage the house for him and allowed the other two to stay on as paid servants as long as they worked to the satisfaction of both Ivan and the lady he put in charge (I’ll have to check my notes and update the name later).

By the end of the first day, she had arranged furniture for the house, assigned rooms to everyone and had an excellent, hot meal ready for the heroes when they were ready to settle in for the night.

A day or two of getting everything settled in and the group decided to check out the areas on the map that caught their eye and were off to seek more adventure.

Andrash Tower
More Real Estate!

Having settled the miners into their new workplace, the heroes venture forth to find the ruined tower they were told of by the mad hermit a few weeks previously.

In the clearing where the tower sits, they find carnivorous plants that snare their prey with whip like vines. Clearing this horticultural challenge, they notice beastlike footprints (tentatively identified by Ivan as Gnoll) leading inside the tower. A quick examination of the empty ground floor and ruined second floor leads the group to the open trapdoor leading down into the cellar.

Beneath the tower, they disturb a nest of Rodents of Unusual Size, which they dispatch, although they suffer some nasty bites in the process. The Buck Rodent also joins in the fray before being dispatched. Following the muddy footprints leads the group to a secret door, which they open and they find a magically lit passageway sloping downwards.

Beneath the tower, in addition to some fiendish traps, which the heroes manage to avoid with skill and a small bit of luck, they find a summoning room, where a Gnoll Shaman is conversing with a demon who is trapped within a summoning circle.

The gnoll quickly offers a truce as they all converse with the information demon, who supplies each of them with a single bit of knowledge in exchange for them releasing him to return to his home plane when they are finished. The demon explains that he had a long-standing relationship with Demetrios Andrash, the former master of the tower, and the current pile of bones lying just outside the circle near the wall (Andrash had a heart attack and died after he had summoned the demon the last time, over 150 years previously, the Demon is seriously BORED and wants to have a conversation and then go home).

They all honor the agreement and release the demon to his home plane. Afterwards, the heroes escort the gnoll past the traps he had missed on the way down and he gives them a token of his respect and tells them that this token will allow them safe passage any time they are in the lands of his tribe.

After the gnoll leaves, the group finish exploring the tower, finding a library, an alchemy lab, a magic suppressing prison cell (complete with skeletons) and some nice items.

Karvast decides that he wants to claim the tower and have it renovated as a personal home, which he arranges when they next arrive in Port Bhaal.

Stopping back at Rivenscroft on their way back, Tash hires Andrew Riven to be their representative in Port Bhaal, and take him back with them where they set him up in offices and an apartment.

Travel to Port Bhaal
Setting up Shop

Traveling with Karvast to Port Bhaal, the heroes discuss the ruined tower they heard of and offer to let hiim join them in their travels. They also give him the spellbook they recovered from Rhandalas.

While in Port Bhaal, they take a couple of weeks to file the claim to the mine, selling a 10% share to the local Customs Officer, a Dwarf named Micah Trefalgar. They open an account and a line of credit with House Grayson Financial Services and set Clarissa up as their agent and manager of the mine.

Clarissa hires a group of miners and smelters to accompany them back to the mine.

Rest, training and relaxation is had by all while in the city. Tash and Ivan renew their acquaintances with Laurel and Esmerelda (as well as Ivan becoming acquainted with several other lovely young women in the city).

When all is ready, they take an outgoing ship to carry their equipment and employees back to Rivenscroft, where they will journey inland to the mine.

After everything is established at the mine, the group decides that it is time to find the ruined tower they have heard about and head in that direction. . .

Claiming the Mine
Strangers in the woods

After spending a few days at Rivenscroft getting everything squared away and deciding not to sail on to Port Bhaal with the Windsinger, Tash and Ivan bid farewell to Laurel and Esmerelda and they decide to return to the mines to fully scout the place and leave markers to indicate their intent to lay claim to the mine.

As they travel the path back to the mine, they come across sign (scat) of what appears to be a large Owlbear. They arrive at the mine without incident and notice carrion crows flying around above the walls. Shooting the crows down and entering the compound, they find that the corpses they left lying about has drawn some attention in the few days they have been gone.

In addition to a handful of Carrion Crows, there are two large tentacled beasts feeding upon the corpses (Carrion Crawlers) and a Ghoul feasting upon the dead kobolds in the lower mines.

The heroes readily defeat these foes and proceed to clean the compound and secure the ‘back doors’ the fleeing kobolds had used and secure the gate with some additional timbers.

After spending a few days here getting everything cleaned up, they decide it is time to go back to Rivenscroft again. Tash is excited about the possibilities of the mine and has begun talking about buying into the creamery the Rivens run, as they produce what is without a doubt a very fine cheese.

As they head back towards the settlement, they come across an old man in the forest, He introduces himself as a caretaker of the forest and asks if they would like to come back to his home, that he has some items that might be of use to them.

Since strangers offering candy, er magic items seems perfectly acceptable to adventurers (and they can always kill the bastard and take his stuff if he turns out to be evil), they follow him to his home, learning as they travel of a ruined tower a little ways to the north, about halfway between Rivenscroft and Port Bhaal. Apparently this tower once belonged to a mighty wizard of some type.

Upon arriving at the old man’s home (a huge hollowed tree) they are (SURPRISE, okay, not really a bit surprise) attacked by the man and his trained animal minions. Quickly dispatching the Evil bastard and his dog and cat (Wolf and Mountain Lion, actually), they decide to see if he actually had any items of interest in his big hollow tree or if he was just planning on killing them and having their kidneys with a nice chianti and fava beans.

Inside the tree/hovel, they find a dirty (as you might imagine) living area and a concealed trap door leading down under the tree. Venturing under the tree, they find a chamber with a woman and her son locked in cages, a large bell hanging from the ceiling and a big hole in the floor, surrounded by shackles mounted to the floor, complete with bloodstains and a scattering of bones.

Freeing the woman and her son, they learn that the most recent set of bones belonged to the woman’s husband, and that the hermit had summoned his ‘god’ from down below to feast upon the sacrifice and that she and her son were to be subject to the same fate had the heroes not arrived.

Escorting the woman (Clarissa Farmer) and her son, Tommy to the base of the stairs, the heroes lay heavy tables over the hole, then set a trap to cause an explosion and then rang the bell to summon the creature, which appeared with tentacles flailing about the edges of the table. They fled, barred the door and raced up the stairs. Getting out of the hovel just as the trap they set went off, they were startled when the hollow tree suddenly howled and began pulling itself from the ground, apparently angered.

Making their way back to Rivenscroft, they find out that Clarissa has relatives who were in mining and has contacts with the Miners guild in Port Bhaal. They offer her the job of managing the mine and she accepts.

Arriving back at the Inn, they find that another ship has docked for the night and meet Karvast the wizard.

Arrival in the North
Conflict in Cheesetown!

Tash the Merchant, Ivan the Sailor Man and Brother Thomas, blessed of Oberon all have sailed from the south aboard the merchant vessel the Windsinger.

The ship reaches Bhaal Bay just before nightfall, and is their tradition, drops anchor just offshore from Rivenscroft and the Captain informs the passengers that Goodwife Riven always offers the crew and passengers a hot meal and a free bed in the common room as a welcome to the north and to give them a respite from the swaying hammocks and bunks of the ships.

Tash, Ivan, and Brother Thomas, along with one of the other passengers, Esmerelda Montoya, a diplomat from Subelik go ashore, while Lady Montoya’s escort remains on board to guard a chest that they have been transporting on their trip.

The travelers meet the locals, as well as some other guests; a Dragonborn Merchant named Rhandalas, his Tauren guard, Throg and Laurel, a healer of Mysha. An excellent meal is had by the travelers and they all turn in for the night, although Tash and Ivan do not sleep in the common room, having been invited to share rooms for the night with Laurel and Esmerelda, respectively.

Their evening rest is interrupted by the sounds of screams, combat and the flickering lights of fires outside the inn. Throwing open the windows, they see Kobolds and Lizardmen attacking the settlement and apparently kidnapping residents. Tash rushes downstairs and Brother Thomas runs outside to help as well, while the unclothed Ivan grabs his weapon and leaps from the window onto a wagon loaded with hay below, laying into the attackers with devastating results.

Tash and Brother Thomas quickly join the fray and the attack is broken, although a head count reveals a number of residents, as well as the healer Laurel and a few sailors from the Windsinger’s crew have been carried off into the night.

The heroic trio reveal that they saw Rhandalas and Throg apparently leading the Kobolds and Lizardfolk and decide to go after them at first light, rather than blundering blindly into the darkened woods in pursuit. Captain Grovan has been seriously injured and is unable to aid in pursuit, but offers a reward for any of his men who are recovered and says he will wait a week before sailing to Port Bhaal and he and his remaining crew will help with the cleanup at the settlement.

Helping with putting out fires and giving aid to the injured brings dawn about quickly, and with a quick, hot breakfast in their bellies, our three heroes head into the forest in search of the kidnapped residents.

The tracks are easy to follow and lead the group a few miles to a small hill with a palisade wall around one end.

Gaining entrance to the compound, they make quick work of the Kobolds and their guard dogs near the entrance. Fighting their way into the caves that are revealed behind the palisade, they faced and defeated Rhandalas, his Tauren bodyguard and a large number of kobolds, although some of the kobolds did manage to escape.

Rounding the corner into the chamber where they heard the kidnapped residents of Rivenscroft, the first thing that greets their eyes in the shadowy depths of the chamber is a large dragon. Heroically rushing forward to distract the dragon, Ivan smashes his weapon into the stone hide of the dragon, revealing it to be a statue, carved from the rock of the chamber.

Investigating the chamber and the areas above as they escort the prisoners to safety, they realize that this is a copper mine and that Rhandalas and his Kobold cohort had intended to use the captives to work the mine.

Escorting the freed captives back to Rivenscroft, Tash and the others begin to excitedly discuss the possibility of filing a claim for the mine in Port Bhaal and hiring workers to operate the mine.

A note to the readers and players
My Memory

Players, I am, of course, starting this log after we have had several sessions, so the details I remember may be somewhat different from your remembrances.

If your recollections are somewhat different than mine, feel free to add your character’s viewpoints in the lines of the text if the system will let you edit my entries. If it will not allow this, then send me an email with what you want inserted and I will drop it in.

If the log setup will allow you to make separate posts, feel free to do so and post the events of the campaign from your character’s point of view as well.


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