The Dreams of the Dragon Kings

Chapter 3: Sessions 14, 15 & 16
Kroth, High Champion...

Before you left town, Andos approached you for a quiet word away from the locals where she told you that she had asked Ditri, the night he was killed, if he had heard the name Gethrel and that he had seemed quite startled that she knew the name and questioned her quite roughly. She told him he had been behind the attack on the Moredan Mines and he bade her keep the information to herself. Later than night she overheard Ditri and Briette discussing Gethrel, that one of their scouts who was captured by goblins and escaped heard the name discussed by them. She says that he sent a raven back to Haelkaedea later that night, and the following morning when she was given leave to go she went back to Loroven.

You headed down to the front to meet with Bastian and had an uneventful trip there. You found that the camp had expanded within the bounds of the palisades to accommodate the imperial soldiers who had travelled down with Kroth and passing through to the Black Arrows camp you found Blaine who escorted you to Bastian’s tent. He told you that Briette had been arrested on suspicion of assassinating Ditri but could tell you no more. When you arrived at Bastian’s tent, Samael and a woman you did not recognise of lower rank left and Bastian invited you in to talk. He told you that he had questioned Lanisse about the incident back in Loroven after you told him of her involvement, and that he believed, in light of Ditri’s death, she had misinterpreted the information that she came upon. She knew that an order had come from Haelkaedea to The Bell and Blossom calling for the assassination of one of the Commanders; Bastian said that he believed in her infatuation with him, she had simply assumed that he was the target. You asked him about Briette and he said he didn’t know much, but that Lara, the Acting Commander of the Ironstrike seemed convinced of her guilt. You relayed the information from Andos to him, and Bastian too seemed surprised that you had encountered Gethrel and that his name was a matter of secrecy in this camp, but you persuaded him to introduce you to Lara and see Briette to see if you might learn more from her.

Bastian and two of his men escorted you across to the Ironstrike Camp to Lara’s tent where you were introduced to her, and again relayed your information. She told you, in return, that a young soldier by the name of Aerun said he thought he had seen Briette sneaking in to the back of Ditri’s tent the night he was killed, but that he had thought little of it as it was well known that Briette was overly-fond of him and that they were friends. Briette had no alibi and swears she was asleep in her tent, so with no other evidence for or against, she remained in custody but Lara said she could not simply release her without some evidence to suggest that she was innocent. Lara and Bastian went with you to Briette to question her, but she could reveal no useful information, though you believed she was sincere in her insistence that she was in her tent and did not see Ditri again after they spoke earlier in the evening. She was clearly very distressed at his death and asked Lara if her family had been written to as she had requested.

Back in Bastian’s tent with just the three of you and Bastian and Lara, Melfice posited the theory that Gethrel had an influential friend in a high place in the capital who learned that Ditri had received information about his involvement through the missives he was sending back and had sent someone to have him killed. You concluded that in any regard, the assassin must have been someone already in Loroven, and you talked about a number of possibilities including Ferena, a companion, Andos and finally remembered that the minstrel from the Blossom, Doraiya, hadn’t been there the past few nights. While you were discussing the matter, a cry went up from across the camp and you all raced to the Imperials area to see what was happening. One of Kroth’s personal guards had been found dead with a puncture wound at the back of his neck and moments later, a roar from Kroth’s tent brought your attention to a shadow slipping away across the camp as Kroth staggered out, seething and shouting with a bleeding wound at his shoulder.

Melfice gave chase, followed swiftly by Thauvin, Brigit, Bastian and Samael, and you managed to follow the shadowy figure out of the camp and into an area of woodland where you started losing ground. Melfice used Faerie Fire to light up the attacked, and though you made several attempts to injure your quarry, (and they several to use magic, to no avail, against you) it was only when Melfice pushing onwards at great speed managed to get a lucky hit in that you took them down. Though the assailant looked completely unlike the redheaded minstrel from the Blossom, you deduced between her that though in a very effective disguise, it was indeed Doriaya that you had tracked down and killed. Samael carried her body back to the camp with you, and you presented her body to Kroth and were met with some acknowledgement but no thanks.

Briette was released from custody, and Bastian invited you to stay the night at the front and head back in the morning, which you did, and finding Blaine at a campfire you asked him to introduce you to Melfice’s replacement, Nova, before you settled down for the night. In the morning you returned to Loroven and there went straight to The Bell and Blossom to give the news to Ferena and ask to see Doraiya’s room. Struggling to believe her friend of seven years was an assassin, Ferena was reluctant to let you at her possessions, but was eventually persuaded and escorted you while you looked. Going through her room, you found amongst many unremarkable things, a paste cameo pendant which it transpired opened up as a locket via a secret catch with a very vicious ingestion poison inside called Midnight Tears. Melfice scraped the poison powder into a vial and etched into the metalwork underneath was a twin fanged dagger that Thauvin recognised as a sign belonging to a guild of assassins who were active before the civil war. You also found a letter in a locked drawer starting ‘Dear Sister’ which appeared to be written in a form of code akin to Thieves Cant naming a time and place in Kagain and a date a week away. A more comprehensive search of the room also revealed a movable piece of skirting board with a +1 Dagger and a single sending stone tucked into a nook behind.

XP Round-Up
1100xp for killing Doraiya, 50xp for clearing Briette’s name, 100xp for piecing together information on Gethrel.
1250xp/3 party members: 417xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (5226) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 5643xp!

You stayed the night at the Blossom and in the morning when you came downstairs, Andos introduced you to a Dragonborn by the name of Hasvik and a young stealth-Tiefling by the name of Aneboda who had disembarked a cargo shop, The Venomous Wench, stopping at Loroven during the night. She said she had spent the evening chatting to them and suggested that Loroven was not a very welcoming place for strangers given recent events and asked if they might travel with you all to Redvale. Having spent some time getting to know your new companions (and eating the Blossom out of hearth and home), and checking in with Hraemr, the five of you left Loroven behind you at dusk and started making your way toward Kagain, through the hills.

Close to dawn, you managed to spot an incoming ambush of bugbears and a bugbear chief who you fought off, followed swiftly by another four. Further along the path you spotted where their tracks wove away into the hills, and Melfice and Aneboda scouted ahead to find an adult bugbear and her infant cooking over a fire. You dispatched them both, and then camped for the night in the hills, scalping the dead to collect a bounty in Kagain. The rest of the journey passed without interruption and you arrived in town late evening on the third day out of Loroven, where you handed in your evidence to Raefe and collected your bounty, and stopped for the night at The Dancing Nymph.

XP Round-Up
1650xp for 2x Bugbears + 1x Bugbear Chief, 1200xp for 4x Bugbears, 200xp for 1x Bugbear mother, 50xp for collecting the bounty at Kagain.
3100xp/6 party members: 517xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (5643 and 4600) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 6160xp, and Hasvik and Aneboda on 5117xp!

You set off in the morning from Kagain and north into the hills toward Redvale. Part way along the path Melfice spotted movement in the foliage up ahead and you were set upon by a pack of Dire Wolves. Several of you were wounded along the way, but you managed to fight them off eventually and Hasvik and Brigit each skinned a wolf for their pelts before you headed onward. You reached Redvale in the afternoon of the following day, and there you returned Pellion’s father’s sword to her for which she gave you 100gp, a discount in her shop and her heartfelt thanks, you sold many of your gems and precious items to Genevere in exchange for a credit note which Melfice promptly used to commission a new Masterwork rapier set with an obsidian from Pellion, you sold spare armour, weapons and other items to the merchants in town and Hasvik and Brigit both commissioned work on their pelts from Thorun.

You failed to find a market for the magic dagger or the deadly poison, but Hasvik managed to haggle/intimidate the price down on a finely crafted cloak pin from Haelkaedea and Melfice intimidated information out of Brogan about the Assassin’s Guild. He told you that they were still operating but they were extremely quiet about it, and that he had been asked to prepare poisons for them in the past but had never met one himself. A letter also came back to Thauvin from Haelkaedea, explaining that his contact had inquired about Gethrel and learned that he was a member of the College of Mages when the civil war broke out, but that his investigations were shortly and swiftly shut down. He said you might learn more from a former elven companion of Gethrel’s by the name of Vaelenn last seen in Naimar to the west.

All but Brigit then went to The Gem to pass away the evening, where you caught up with Neris and Brys, the latter most excited to hear of your battles and adventures and handle the magical items you had acquired. Neris told you that Shye had returned home to her family where the Black Arrows were helping to rebuild Moredan, and that Brys had taken up weaponry training with Lothion one afternoon a week.

XP Round-Up
1500xp for 5x Dire Wolves, 200xp for returning Pellion’s Sword, 100xp for getting information out of Brogan, 50xp for inciting mischief in Brys.
1850xp/5 party members: 370xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (6160 and 5117) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 6530xp, and Hasvik and Aneboda on 5487xp! That’s a level up for Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit!

Chapter 2: Session 13
The vault...

With Adelyn gone, you slotted the keystone into the vault door and opened it, and with a whirring of cogs and clunking of bolts the double doors unlocked and swung open, revealing a small room beyond with stairs down. You clattered down to the chamber below which had a small passageway opening into a grand vault. Several chests sat around the room, along with pieces of armour on stands, weapons and adornments on podiums and cases, shelves of bottles and vials and at the far end of the room a huge stone statue towering 15ft tall. Brigit instructed her familiar to fly into the room and grab the shiniest thing it could find, and the moment its talons touched a gemstone, the statue came to life and swung at the familiar (missing it) and began stomping across the room towards you all, the ground shaking and dust filtering down from the disturbed stone.

Acting quickly, you each grabbed an item from the vault Thauvin and Brigit snatching a pair of goggles and crystal lenses, the Monk grabbing a pair of gloves and Ola seizing a shield emblazoned with an eye; Melfice darting across the room to get the item he was sent to retrieve and the rest of you barrelled back out to the stairs with the pseudodragon. Melfice hesitated, spying another item he wanted and took a heavy blow across the shoulder from the golem. Ducking around its legs, he grabbed a pair of boots and raced out after the rest of you, and you clambered up the stairs, threw the vault door closed and locked it. You ‘kindly’ left a note on the door for other adventurers alluding to the danger within, and then promptly took the keystone and hurried back up to the upper levels of the dungeon to rest in the ammo room.

The night passed without incident while you each took the time to learn how to use the items that you had retrieved, and the following day you made your way safely back to Loroven, to discover the town overflowing with soldiers bearing the imperial standard, and rumours that High Champion Kroth, the Half-Orc councillor from the Warrior’s Guild was among them. Stopping by The Yardarm, you picked up a message from Bastian asking Melfice to come and see him, and a pouch of coins from Ysola and noted that The Lady Asorath had left port. Hraemr warned you that one of the Black Arrows,Samael had been heard smack-talking Hroth, and Melfice spoke to a couple of the Black Arrows and learned that news had just reached the town and was being kept under wraps that Ditri, commander of the Ironstrike, was dead. Lurking around town and listening to the chatter of the soldiers, you could learn of no ulterior motives to the sudden appearance of the imperial soldiers, but at The Bell and Blossom you nearly got into a fight with some of them when you heard them direct a racial slur atFerena and took offence on her behalf. Dropping by The Phoenix Inn, you saw Kroth in person and Melfice tried and failed to garner more information from him about what he and his men were doing in Loroven, but you did learn that they were marching down to the front at first light.

Ola and the Monk decided to head north to Haelkaedea to gather more information, and you parted ways. Melfice, Brigit and Thauvin then dropped by the town hall to leave more supplies with Blaine and confront Samael who flatly denied saying anything about Kroth and sneered at you for not re-joining the fight, though you weren’t convinced by his bullshit. You went to the Companion’s Guild and persuaded Lanisse to see you, and there you apologised for your demeanour the last time you met, and gave her a gift of the pearl pendant by way of an apology. Brigit hired a companion for herself and another for Melfice so that you had rooms and someone to pamper you for the night, while Thauvin earned his keep by playing at The Bell and Blossom, and Melfice left a message for the Thieves Guild and got one in return with an arrangement to meet the following day.

When you went to the Blossom for breakfast, the soldiers were all gone, and you found Andos there. She said she had been down at the front lending aid at the camp, and thatDitri had been assassinated in his tent, but they didn’t know who by. She said she had plans to travel to Redvale to tell Fulaine because Briette was trying to keep the news from reaching her, and you invited her to travel with you when you got back from the front, which she agreed to do. Attending your meeting with the Thieves Guild, you met with a different representative by the name of Chet, a young rogue in their late teens or early twenties who collected the item and extended an invitation to meet the Guildmaster. Melfice persuaded them to allow his companions to join too, and Chet agreed. That night you followed a shadowy figure from behind The Yardarm to a warehouse out at the edge of docks and there, the three of you met Gavarre, the Guildmaster for Loroven and acquired a new quest to retrieve a box with certain markings inscribed on it from the Tower of Ugon, a tower belonging to a wizard who had not been seen in some time on the coast of the southern plains outside of the human lands. He gave you a crude map of the area.

Your plans going forward were to go to the front to speak to Bastian, to travel to Tam to pass on news of Enger, to go to Redvale to return the masterwork rapier to Pellion and then to head south and across the river at Kagain to head through the mountains, around the fighting and towards the Tower of Ugon.

XP Round-Up
500xp for completing the Thieves’ Guild quest, 100xp for rebuilding bridges with the Companion’s Guild, 50xp for standing up for Ferena and 50xp for supplying the Black Arrows with more weapons.
700xp/3 party members: 234xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (4992) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 5226xp!

Chapter 2: Session 12
Into the bowels of Surroth

After resting from your battle, you headed north through a locked door to the room with the yellow mould and were set upon by animated armour and two skeletons. Dispatching them quickly, you pushed west into a small dining room, fighting off another four skeletons and heading south to a smaller chamber with a number of large barrels. Finding a strange yellow substance in the base of one barrel, you decided that Thauvin should set fire to it, and lo, a flaming ochre jelly slithered out to engage you all. After managing to slice it into two smaller jellies and up the ante, reduced it to a dead puddle of goo and moved on to loot the offerings from the alter of Ulaa in the next room.

Able to go no further due to more collapsed ceilings, you doubled back toward the north-western-most room, killed a handful more skeletons and then preceded down to the level below. In the first chamber you spied a set of large ornate double doors ahead with a puzzle lock on the door. Part of the room had collapsed in, crumbling one of two great statues with it and a pedestal in the centre had the spilled remains of a broken glass tank. A crystal lay shattered on the floor, while another sat in the hands of the undamaged statue, behind which a doorway had been revealed. Following the passageway led you to a large room with a floor to ceiling mirror on the far wall reflecting everything in the room but you. Two statues stood in either corner, one had had a masterwork shield placed in it’s hand, and the other a masterwork rapier set with a ruby (matching the description of the one stolen from Pellion’s father) in its outstretched hand. As Thauvin approached the mirror, his reflection appeared in the glass, its actions slightly delayed, and he spied a short passage beyond. After some conversation and experimentation with some beef jerky, Melfice tied a rope around Thauvin and dipped him to and through the mirror to see what was beyond. On the other side, a creature looking very much like Thauvin stared back, and promptly boxed him around the ears, knocking him unconscious.

Ola, the Monk, Melfice and Brigit pushed through the mirror and pursued the doppelganger into the next chamber, avoiding a mirror that had been placed in the floor opening up a passage below, and having intimidated it into a corner, killed it swiftly. Some bright spark noticed indentations in the walls and the ceiling into which the mirror would also fit, and so methodically, you worked your way around each of the walls, revealing a hungry mimic in one chamber, a set of three potions in another (one, that after a taste test, turned out to be poison disguised as a healing potion), and three magical scrolls in the last – including a banishment scroll which Brigit promptly used to rid the Sword of Doromen of its vengeful spirit while the rest of you rested.

Clambering on one another’s shoulders in order to place the mirror into the slot in the ceiling, you managed to climb up into the chamber above and then down over 50ft of stairs to a large, dark chamber with sheer marble walls and soft mulch underfoot. Spying platforms high above you that you could not reach, you nevertheless explored the dark room, and as Thauvin discovered a gleaming pearl pendant half buried in the dirt, Melfice managed to sweep in just in time to save him from an attacking shadow. Making haste with your exit, you all hurried back up the staircase and into the mirror room, taking the final passage downward and finding yourselves back in the same room on the upper platforms.

Melfice and Thauvin and Ola worked together to navigate the puzzle: Ola holding down one lever while Melfice and Thauvin floated across the room on a moving platform, and just as Melfice was about the repeat the process on the other side, you were attacked by two more shadows which got a hold of Melfice and Thauvin, draining away some of your strength before you managed to kill them. When you could see no more shadows, you got Thauvin transported across to the final platform where he entered a small chamber and found the puzzle key in a wooden box.

On your way back to main chamber you discovered that the rapier with the ruby had been removed from the statue and that the passage behind you through the mirror was now closed, and in the next room, you were greeted by the voice of a young woman, Adelyn, who stepped out of the shadows. She offered to trade you the keystone for the rapier, but you refused, and then offered to give it to you if you would allow her to enter the vault with you and take first pick of what was inside. Again, you refused, and so Adelyn with lightning movement seized the keystone from Thauvin’s hands, and almost managed to dodge him as he grappled her. Almost, but not quite. The rest of you beat her to within an inch of her life while Thauvin kept hold of her, and at the first opportunity. she begged for her life and grudgingly you accepted. She said she hoped you survived the vault, and that she would see you again, disappearing in to the shadows holding her gaping wounds. (No storyteller bias here, honest!)

XP Round-Up
20xp for 1x lock, 400xp for 2x animated armour + 150xp for 2x skeletons, 300xp for 4x skeletons, 450xp for 1x ochre jelly, 450xp for 6x skeletons, 700xp for 1x doppelganger, 50xp for figuring out how to open the doors in the mirror room, 450xp for 1x mimic, 100xp for 1x shadow in the lower room, 300xp for 2x shadows in the upper room on difficult terrain and 30xp for navigating the moving platform room without errors.
3400xp/5 party members: 680xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (4312/1847) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 4992xp, and Ola and the Monk on 2527xp!

Chapter 2: Session 11
The last days of Doromen

Following crude drawings from Melfice, Ola and the Monk caught up with the rest of you while you were resting, roundly mocked Thauvin’s loss of beard and then carried on through the ruins after discussing the encounters and findings thus far.

You discovered the remains of a war room with a scattering of hand carved figurines and part of a message which read ‘…in the skies to the west. Make preparations.’ You found a door that had been wedged shut from the outside and within you fought a hungry carrion crawler. In the south-east passages you passed through several locked chambers including a guard room, some cells – one containing the corpse of a bugbear and the other (its bars prised apart, warping the still locked door out of its frame) a small gold and brass pendant with a Dwarven crest which you identified as belonging to the line of Dorogur, father of Doromen, and the guard captain’s office which had been locked and barred from the inside. Among other items in the office, you discovered another scroll which read ‘The rogue seems to have been driven mad, and has been imprisoned after coming to blows with Elthos. We await an escort from Glosomer.’

Then, climbing down to the level below through the collapsed floor in the northernmost chamber, you encountered a hall littered with skeletons and a pair of suits of armour flanking a door to the south, and passages to the east and west. Investigating the heavy carpet in the main hall to see if it concealed something, you managed to disturb a yellow mould and Ola was almost laid low having been caught in a cloud of it. Investigating the rooms to the east, you passed through an empty chamber and managed to avoid walking into the embrace of a gelatinous cube in the chamber beyond – thankfully Thauvin spotted it in time and you managed to back away and take it down before it engulfed any of your party. You looted its remains and moved on south, picked a lock and found yourselves in a bedchamber, untouched by the ravages that had damaged so much of the rest of the fort. Avoiding the trap on the chest, you picked the lock and discovered a set of masterwork studded leather and rust-coloured clerics robes inside. The dresser yielded some more valuables and Thauvin spotted that it might be moved to reveal a secret door behind. Triggering the opening mechanism, you were presented with a small chamber stained with blood and viscera with an altar to Nerull at one end, and the skeleton of a shackled dwarf displayed across it.

Heading back west, you entered a small corridor in which a voice spoke to you part in Undercommon and part via telepathy from the darkness. Having failed to catch it unawares, Melfice struck up a conversation with the spectator, a lesser beholder which referred to himself as ‘Thing’ and learned that he had not seen his master in over a hundred years, and that he left his last post when the fires came. He warned you of the ‘darkness’ below, and mentioned that he guarded a secret door, and so at the first opportunity Melfice attacked and you made short work of him. Investigating the secret door that he said he guarded, you found a small chamber but there was no sign of treasure or further secrets within. Having checked the route south and found a crawlspace in a broken down room that lead up the mountainside, and a chamber with stairs leading down again, you decided to head back north to finish clearing the current level of the dungeon, and picked your way into a locked recreational room where a dozen or more skeletons lay among overturned chairs and tables and bookcases and a great deal of dried blood. Ten of them animated when you stepped foot inside, and though you took quite a beating, between you you managed to finally crush them all back to bone dust and heal your wounds.

XP Round-Up
450xp for 1x carrion crawler, 50xp for 2x locks, 30xp for history check, 40xp for 2x locks, 450xp for 1x gelatinous cube, 20xp for religion check, 50xp for 2x locks, 30xp for 1x trap, 30xp for finding a secret door, 20xp for religion check, 700xp for 1x spectator, 30xp for secret door, 20xp for 1x lock and 1000xp for 10x skeletons.
2920xp/5 party members: 584xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (3728/1263) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 4312xp, and Ola and the Monk on 1847xp!

Chapter 2: Session 10
Onwards to the Fort of Surroth

Rounding the tree-lined corner of a road, you came across a dozen Ironstrike soldiers carrying three severely wounded back to Loroven who had been set upon by a pack of dire wolves. Between you and the soldiers left standing you managed to beat them down, killing the last as it attempted to flee. One soldier was lost in the battle. While Thauvin healed some of the lighter wounds from the battle, the rest of you skinned the dire wolves and gave their pelts to the Ironstrike to take with them, and Brigit kept one back for herself. Ola and the Monk then escorted the soldiers back to the Dyan, with instructions from Melfice on where to go to follow after them, while he, Thauvin and Brigit pushed on to the mountains with a warning from the soldiers to look out for an owlbear that had been seen prowling nearby.

Travelling on for another couple of hours until nightfall, you stood with your backs to the setting sun and spied an outcropping in the form of a wolf which pointed you to a small path pushing up the mountainside, and decided to camp for the night before the last stretch to the fort. The first two watches, while Thauvin and Brigit slept, were uneventful, but in the early hours of the morning an owlbear managed to catch the last watch unaware, and with a couple of swift moves, knock Brigit unconscious. Thauvin, in his panic, managed to fumble his bottle of alchemical fire and Melfice awoke to find Thauvin on fire, and Brigit being carried off by the owlbear. Luckily Melfice reacted swiftly enough to drop the owlbear before it could get any further, and help put Thauvin’s flames out – Thauvin having lost half his beard, one eyebrow and some of his hair.

After bringing Brigit to and healing yourselves up, you slept a few more hours before heading up into the mountain under the noonday sun. When you reached the fort, you found a crumbling ruin burnt and blackened with little left standing. Thauvin told you that this was the Fort of Surroth, a Dwarven outpost belonging to the now fallen city of Glosomer to the south. Glosomer was overrun by orcs and goblin hordes some 45 years ago, orcs from the south and goblins from the north – and no warning was given. Many believe that, had the fort sent warning of the goblin hordes moving south, the dwarves would have had time to prepare for an attack on both fronts and may have managed to hold the city. Why word was not sent from the fort was unknown at the time, and the years have allowed rumours of treachery to fill the void.

The stairs to the lower level led only to a collapsed passageway, but you found a chamber on the surface that had caved in to a room below, and just as you began to climb down, a pair of gargoyles swept in to attack you from the crumbling towers. Realising quickly that your weapons did little to harm them, you backed into the shadows and allowed Brigit to concentrate her magical attacks on them one at a time, while Melfice and Thauvin chipped away at them. Once defeated, the gargoyles shattered into stone and dust and you set about exploring the room you had climbed into – once a canteen – and the rooms surrounding it – a collapsed bunk room, and a storage chamber with broken crockery and rotten supplies, in which a skeleton wearing a golden locket was curled up. You also found a couple of intact bottles of Evermead nearby. You then made your way through a muster chamber, and into a room where you found four hobgoblins sitting around a small fire, killed three and lost the fourth as it ran deeper into the complex to warn others. Pushing onward more cautiously, you eventually engaged the remaining hobgoblins and their captain in a huge decorated hall, partially collapsed.

Having searched the bodies, you then discovered a locked store full of ammunition supplies, Thauvin used ‘knock’ to get through a large pair of ornate doors leading to another collapsed room by which the next level down might be reached, and on the way to an empty armoury, Thauvin also spotted the outline of a secret door which he opened. You managed to avoid the trap on the treasure chest inside and opened it to discover a shortsword etched with runes, wrapped in cloth. Thauvin recognised the blade from descriptions, and explained that the sword belonged to a fierce and bloodthirsty Dwarven rogue by the name of Doromen. Doromen belonged to the now fallen city of Glosomer. The story goes that the sword was cursed and that Doromen eventually met his death by it, when he couldn’t back down from a battle.

You settled down into the armoury for a short rest where Brigit spent some time trying to learn about the sword, and confirmed that it was indeed cursed; possessed by a spirit of vengeance which must be banished before it could be safely used.

XP Round-Up
1000xp for 5x dire wolves, 140xp for soldiers left alive, 20xp for healing a soldier and 40xp for donating 4x wolf pelts to the Ironstrike.
1200xp/5 party members: 240xp per character.

1050xp for 1x owlbear, 20xp for history of the Fort of Surroth, 1350 for 2x gargoyles, 30xp for breaking through the warped door, 600xp for 4x hobgoblins, 900xp for 2x hobgoblins + 1x hobgoblin captain, 30xp for picking the lock to the ammo stores, 40xp for finding the secret room, 30xp for opening it, 20xp for finding and evading the dart trap and 30xp for history of the sword of Doromen.
4100xp/3 party members: 1367xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (2121/1023) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 3728xp, and Ola and the Monk on 1263xp!

DING! (Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit have levelled up!)

Chapter 2: Session 9
Secrets Meetings, Shenanigans and Getting Shmashed...

The Monk and Ola caught up with the rest of the party, finding Melfice down at The Yardarm who introduced them to Hraemr and caught them up on recent developments. They caught up with Brigit up at The Bell and Blossom who was busy trying to get to know the kitchen staff, and finally went up to The Phoenix Inn to join Thauvin, only moments after Bastian arrived there, one day earlier than expected. Melfice quickly inserted himself into the conversation between Bastian and Deryn, and introduced the former to the rest of you, and stayed with him until he left to turn in for the night after persuading him to go drinking with you all the following evening.

Melfice then went to his late night rendezvous with a representative from the local Thieves’ Guild who promptly sent the rest of the party packing, ascertainedMelfice’s motivations in contacting them, and presented him with a task as a form of test. They tasked him with retrieving an item of interest from a ruined fort in the mountains, south of Loroven, and mentioned that if he was seeking Adelyn, he might be interested to know that she was already on her way there, seeking the very same thing. To find the fort, they told him to head to the point where the two easternmost of the Totherenn mountains met, and with his back to the rising sun, to follow the gaze of the wolf.

Rather than risk leaving Bastian unguarded, you decided to stay the night in Loroven and go ahead with your drinking plans for the next day, posting yourselves on watch at each of the drinking establishments across the town. Mid-afternoon, Bastian went to The Phoenix Inn to chat to Elucia, and Melfice attempted to head him off again and was encouraged to give him some space. Ascertaining, once he left, that Elucia was not sneaking off to meet him, you met back at The Bell and Blossom and were joined by Bastian about an hour later, and a night of drinking ensued while you each kept careful watch and took measures to try and avert any possible attempts to assassinate him. Glasses were knocked, drinks spilt, food sampled and bar staff eyeballed, and if any attempts were made, they were not successful. When Bastian excused himself later in the evening, Melfice followed him and alerted the rest of you when he saw him heading back towards the Phoenix. Brigit sent her pseudodragon up to watch from above, while the rest of you charged into the Phoenix to find Elucia there and Bastian not, while Brigit saw through her familiar’s eyes Bastian meeting a cloaked figure in the streets behind.

You raced back out, splitting off into two parties to try and close in on the alleyway encounter. Melfice saw Bastian stumble back as the figure pelted away in the other direction, and shouted a warning allowing the others to intercept while he ran to Bastian’s aid. Ola tried to grapple the fleeing assailant, but was skilfully dodged, until the Monk took them down with his wazzy monk powers. The figure doubled over with a shriek, and Bastian (apparently neither stabbed nor poisoned) pulled himself upright and ran to her aid, revealing Lanisse under the cloak. Thauvin managed to administer some healing before more damage occurred, and in the confusion and anger that followed, Bastian drew a blade to protect her while Thauvin tried to explain what was happening, and Lanisse muttered apologies and tried to diffuse the situation, begging leave to go back to her guildhouse and recover from her injuries. As you left, you saw Elucia heading your way, who then quickly diverted.

With the confusing events of the night and several hours drinking behind you, you elected to stay another night in the town and head toward the fort first thing, only after checking in on Lanisse the following morning. You received a somewhat frosty reception at the Guildhouse, but she showed you into a private room and paid you one and a half times the gold she had promised, and said it had all been a mistake. When questioned more pointedly by Ola and Thauvin, she said that you had stumbled upon a lover’s tiff, nothing more, and mistaken it, but that the fault was not yours. It is unclear whether there ever was an assassination called, and if so whether it failed or was not attempted, whether Lanisse was involving you in a ploy to make sure Bastian and Elucia didn’t dare pursue a relationship together, or whether other things were going on behind the scenes. Regardless you got your gold, and Thauvin and the Monk, if not the others, were more than glad to put Loroven behind them and head out of town.

Having been paid, Melfice also checked in on Bastian and, finding him asleep, left him a note telling him that it was Lanisse that had put them up to keeping an eye on him and warned them that he was likely to get into trouble, explained why you acted as you did in the alleyway and told him you’d likely be back in town within the week. You then set off across the river and onto the southerly road toward the mountains, running approximately a day and a half behind Adelyn, to the best of your knowledge.

With dusk falling, just as you were about to turn off the path away from the fighting front to the south and cut across toward the fort, you heard sounds of fighting up ahead; howling, clashing of swords and shouting, and ran in prepared for a fight.

XP Round-Up
100xp for wrapping up business with Lanisse, 200xp for safely escorting Bastian for an evening with various diversions and shenanigans, and 50xp for character-developing RP.
350xp/5 party members: 70xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (2051/953) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 2121xp, and Ola and the Monk on 1023xp!

Chapter 2: Session 8
The Hive of Scum and Villainy...

Following on up the path toward the gnoll camp, Melfice, Thauvin, Andos and Brigit took on a final gnoll pack lord and two gnolls, looted their corpses (on which you found a map depicting a point between two hills close by a river), and camped for the daylight hours with the horses. The next day you carried on and arrived at Loroven by dusk, handing off your horses to the local stablemaster as you had agreed with Haseran.

You went to The Yardarm and met Hraemr, the proprietor, and asked around for information on the blonde-haired thief, and learned that Bastian, commander of the Black Arrows was likely getting himself in trouble by making eyes at Elucia, proprietor of The Phoenix Inn and wife to Deryn. You met Ysola and Matthieu, the captain and first mate of The Lady Asorath which was docked in the harbour, drinking with their motley crew of seamen. You then checked in at the barracks where you met Blaine andSamael of the Black Arrows and Briette of the Ironstrike Militia and learned that both Ditri (commander of the Ironstrike Militia) and Bastian, were currently down at the front across the Dyan, but that Bastian was expected back in Loroven in the next few nights. You talked to the soldiers there; the consensus seemed to be that the fighting is at something of a stalemate, with many suffering long-term injuries and several killed but no ground being gained. Briette offered to take Fulaine’s message to Ditri but you suspected her motives and Melfice engaged Blaine to carry the message for you instead. He promised to take it the following morning. You witnessed some friction between Samael and Melfice but you gave Samael the weapons you had looted from the gnolls to resupply the Black Arrows and he agreed to get them to the troops.

You went to The Bell and Blossom and secured rooms there for your party, and met the owner, Ferena, a half-elf, and the resident minstrel Doraiya. You also met Lanisse, Mistress of the local Companion’s Guildhouse who chatted to you for a while and then inquired about hiring you for a delicate matter. You agreed to meet with her the following day. Melfice went looking for evidence of a Thieves Guild operating in Loroven using the information Brogan had given him, and left a message at a dead drop site that he was looking for work and to contact him by leaving a message with Hraemr. The three of you then passed the night at The Bell and Blossom. You do not know where Andos stayed. The night passed peacefully, but in the morning Melfice found a note tucked under his bags which read ‘I gather you are looking for me. I suggest you stop.’

The following day, Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit looked around the local trading post and then went to visit Lanisse at the Companion’s Guildhouse. She told you that she had learned that someone had hired an assassin to take out Bastian with poison; she doesn’t know who was responsible but agreed with your suggestion that Deryn seemed a likely suspect. She said she didn’t believeElucia had been unfaithful, but that Bastian usually got what he wanted, and that the young couple were used to big city life and perhaps didn’t realise the damage they might do to a small community with their personal drama. She said she expected that The Bell and Blossom would be the most likely place for the assassination attempt to occur, and offered you a mild poison to use in its place as a possible tactic to expose the failed attempt, if you could not find another means. She asked that you not make her involvement in your actions known to anyone, especially Bastian, and warned against going to him directly with the information as he would either not heed it, or would cause a scene and make matters much worse. She offered you 100gp for your services, if you could avert disaster discreetly.

Brigit then stayed to partake of the Guildhouse’s services, while Thauvin went to spend time at The Phoenix Inn to get a read on Elucia and Deryn. Deryn was not due there until later, but he chatted to Elucia and learned that she and Deryn were from Haelkaedea originally and came to Loroven to ‘live the dream by the seaside’. He offered his services as minstrel for the evening to better observe the couple and spent much of the rest of the day there. Meanwhile, Melfice went and dropped 50gp on Ysola and Matthieu asking to hire their men for a day to try and track down the blonde-haired thief, hoping that by making some more noise, you might draw her out. The name you were given for her was Adelyn. Meanwhile, a note was left for him withHraemr with a time and a place to meet, presumably from the Thieves Guild.

XP Round-Up
975xp for 1x gnoll pack lord + 2x gnolls, 25xp for tracking more information on the thief, 30xp for having the message delivered to Ditri, 50xp for helping to resupply the Black Arrows, 25xp for tracking down the Thieves Guild and 50xp for character-developing RP.
1155xp/3 party members (minus Ola and the Monk): 385xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (1666 p/c) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 2051xp, and Ola and the Monk on 953xp!

Chapter 2: Sessions 6 & 7
Onward to Loroven

You set off with Fulaine at first light up to Moredan, and while Fulaine and a few of the miners went to check the mines, you began to help the villagers rebuild some of the damaged structures and bury their dead. Thauvin and Brigit kept the children amused with tales and music and magic. Brigit vanished into the woods awhile and returned with a new pseudodragon familiar, and you settled for a night in Moredan, and returned the next day to Redvale where you collected your reward.

Thauvin gave some of his portion to Finn, and he and Ola went and commissioned an armoured parasol for Melfice to shield himself from the sun, and to use as cover, if need be. Meanwhile Melfice went to give the news to Brogan that they had persuaded the Merchants Guild to reconsider his membership, and Brogan gave him some information on how to identify if a thieves guild was operating in a town and how to contact them. Whilst availing yourselves of Neris’ hospitality, you managed to cause a bit of friction by discussing a possible future as an adventurer with Brys, however you closed the matter by suggesting perhaps she train up to protect her home rather than to wander in search of trouble.

A chat with Lothion at the Champion’s Rest revealed that his adventuring days had been brought to a close by stumbling upon a nest of vampires to which he lost his entire party, and The Monk suggested he put his former livelihood to some use in training up new fighters to protect Redvale in the future, including Brys. Gamley told you of his many travels around the human world and the various establishments in which he had played, and requested that if you were to discover any other good establishments on your travels that might welcome a minstrel, that you send him word as he is looking to move on. Brigit then seduced the halfling and took him off to bed, while Fulaine asked you to take a sealed letter with you to Loroven to be put into the hands of DItri, commander of the Ironstrike – and specified that it should go into no one else’s hands.

XP Round-Up
50xp for helping the villagers to rebuild their homes, 50xp for giving Finn the means to secure her sister’s safety, 50xp for setting up a contingency to protect Redvale in future and 50xp for character developing rp.
200xp/5 party members: 40xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (913 p/c) puts you all on 953xp!

Melfice, Thauvin, Brigit and Andos set off on the road to Kagain which was quiet and the journey mostly uneventful. A couple of lonely trade carts trundled up and down the path, and for a moment, you thought you saw something sweeping through the sky over the mountains in the distance, but perhaps it was just a cloud.

In Kagain, a high-walled farming community you were given a slightly tentative welcome from a guardsman, but were shown to The Dancing Nymph where you stopped for food and drink from Goren. Raefe the Guard Captain checked in to greet you and warn you of bugbears on the road, and when pushed told you that he had seen a woman in black leathers with platinum blonde hair pass through one or two nights ago. You stopped in at Branthon’s Emporium briefly and purchased some trinkets from Branthon and then went and rented some mounts from Haseran, setting on toward Loroven at nightfall.

Determined to push on through the night, your journey was interrupted some hours in when in the hills you discovered a gnoll ambush up ahead. The party pushed forward and caught the five gnolls by surprise, and then followed a dirt track up into the hills towards where the pseudodragon had spotted a camp with more gnolls. You were met on the path by two gnoll pack lords and a handful more gnolls and dispatched them, taking some damage along the way. You felled the second wave and paused to heal up before carrying on.

XP Round-Up
25xp for tracking more information on the thief, 750xp for 5x gnolls, 1125xp for 1x gnoll pack lord + 3x gnolls and 975xp for 1x gnoll pack lord + 2x gnolls
2850xp/4 party members (inc. Andos, minus Ola and the Monk: 713xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (953 p/c) puts Melfice, Thauvin and Brigit on 1666xp, and Ola and the Monk on 953xp!

Chapter 1: Sessions 4 & 5
Liberating the Moredan Mines

The party settled down for a night’s rest, disturbed only by one curious goblin on Melfice’s watch who was quickly dispatched. In the morning, you headed back to the main cavern and cut north through the smelting room and past a burned corpse and on to a small stock room. Thauvin discovered a crossbow trap but failed to disarm it and was shot in the side, while The Monk retrieved the 63 bars of iron and agreed to carry them with Ola so that you might return them to the village.

Trying the rest of the adjoining passages, Thauvin finally retrieved his throwing axe before the party pushed north into another cavern and a mostly-empty storage chamber, and then went skidding down a steep slope into a chamber with an underground river where Finn was fighting desperately against the current to avoid getting dragged downstream. You jumped in, ropes in hand and managed to pull her out just in time as the water threatened to sweep her away, looted the bloody corpse of the goblin she had been fighting before toppling in, and once Thauvin had healed her wounds, Melfice promised her an item of treasure you’d found in exchange for taking Brys safely back to Redvale.

Pushing in through a southern passage, you successfully traversed another drop shaft and clambered back up a set of steep passages toward the northernmost chamber where again the river cut through the mountain. Here, you dispatched two goblin archers and crossed the river just in time to meet the Hobgoblin Ovak as he came charging out of the crescent chamber with one last goblin. He was no match for your numbers, and you swiftly slew the goblin and took Ovak down, only pausing at the last moment to spare his life at Deos’s plea, so that you might question him.

In the crescent chamber beyond, you discovered what the goblins had been coveting: a large long vein of Redvale ruby, or Dragonfire gems almost 2ft high and 20ft long, and Thauvin regaled you with the tale of Joriah’s Peak:

Folk legend would have it that almost seven-hundred years ago, the Arch-Wizard Joriah trapped a mighty red dragon Egoroth inside the bowels of the mountain with powerful magics, and that Egoroth thrashed about in anger, spewing flames so fierce that they filled every crack and crevice in his chamber and forced veins of fire through the very rockwork of the mountain itself. All across the plains, those who looked toward the mountain could see plumes of smoke rising from small fissures in the rock as the flames found air once more, but heavy rainfall from a storm brewing overhead cooled the dragonfire so fast that it crystallised in its path; and Egoroth’s tomb was sealed fast.
That storm raged for a full week, devastating houses and farms for miles around; it went down in history as the Tenday Storm. Some say it was nature balancing itself, for when great magics are used to shape and carve the earth to such a task, nature takes its own back from the land. Others say it was the howls of Egoroth that brought the storm upon them with such ferocity, lashing out in his final hours.

XP Round-Up
25xp for 1x goblin, 50xp for saving Finn, 25xp for character developing rp, 150xp for 3x goblin guards, 300xp for 1x hobgoblin, 50xp for folk legend.
600xp/5 party members: 120xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (645 p/c) puts you all on 765xp!

As you tied up Ovak’s unconscious body and took away his weapons, Melfice went through his pouches and found an unsigned letter that read ‘Redvale have called for aid. Expect intruders. It is imperative that you hold the mine until I arrive.’ Ola, Melfice and Thauvin roused the hobgoblin and questioned him, with Melfice’s careful applications of pain in pursuit of information. Proud and contemptuous, the hobgoblin spat and snarled at you, but finally gave up what little he knew. He told you a man had come upon his raiding party in the mountains south of Kagain, across the Dyan river, and slew all but him. He then charged him with hiring a tribe of goblins to come and take the mine, with the promise of gold, power and command of a larger force if he succeeded. He did not know the man’s race or profession, but said that he was a magic user of some description, and that you might as well kill him now, as if you did not, then this man would. In his dying gasps, he uttered the name ‘Gethrel’. Meanwhile Deos had slipped away unnoticed.

You rested for a short while before heading out of the mine, clearing one last chamber along the way where the goblins had been stuffing their ill-gotten gains, skillfully picking the lock and disarming a poorly disguised bear trap. Once out of the mines, you spoke to the village elder in Moredan to ask the villagers not to return to the mines just yet, under the ruse that the hobgoblin boss still remained within in order to give yourselves time to decide what to do about Gethrel, if indeed he was still on his way. The village elder bade you take the iron down to Redvale where they would be expecting a shipment at the Merchant’s Guild and you headed back down the mountainside toward Redvale.

In crossing back over the river, Thauvin spotted a dark shape upstream, and upon investigating further you discovered the corpse of Enger who had been cut through with a blade and left to swept away by the current. You gave him a decent burial, and took a stone from his tomb and the sabretooth necklace from his throat so that you might return them to his tribe, and then carried on back to Redvale.

Once in the town, you saw that Brys was safely home and returned Neris’ crossbow, who promised you free food and board at The Little Gem whenever you needed it, and you relayed your information to Fulaine in private. After some discussion, you agreed to return to Moredan with her the next day to check the mines were clear and allow the miners to go back to work so that you could collect your reward. Melfice gave Finn the necklace he promised her, and paid her to carry a message to Loroven the next day to requisition some mercenaries from the Black Arrow to protect the mines. You traded the majority of your gems to Brogan in exchange for alchemical fire and an alchemist’s kit, and learned that he had been rejected from the Merchant’s Guild due to having previously dealt in dangerous substances for a more shadowy organisation. Brogan insisted that he was (mostly) on the straight and narrow now and asked you to see if the Guild could be persuaded to rethink their opinion of him, and in exchange he’d give Melfice some information that may be of interest to him. He also told you that a couple of caravans had been attacked en route to Redvale from Suvenn, though the escorts had been left alive. Thauvin sent a message via Brogan’s trade caravans back to Haelkaedea to a friend, to see if he could learn anything from the College of Mages about Gethrel.

Thauvin retrieved his deposit from the stablemaster and you went to see Genevere, the gemcutter, and Thauvin managed to both get a good price on the rough ruby, and get Genevere to put in a good word for Brogan with the Guild. You also told her about the vein that had been discovered in the mines. You sold some weapons to Pellion and learned that her father’s last and best creation, a masterwork rapier set with a Redvale ruby had been stolen just a two days prior by a woman in black leather armour with platinum blonde hair who had since skipped town. At the armoursmith’s, you ordered a set of splintmail for Ola from Thorun who, like Thauvin hailed from Gognomar, and admired the magical shield that was on display in his shop. Thorun said he had earned it in trade from a wizard by the name of Eridan from Haelkaedea.

Thauvin and Ola took the iron to the Merchant’s Guild, where Thauvin managed to convince the guildmaster to reconsider Brogan’s membership, and the guildmaster gave you a receipt to take to Moredan with the promise that their goods would follow up over the coming days. Meanwhile Melfice returned to the bar to discover Andos had returned, and learned that not only does she not remember where she’s from originally or what her given or chosen names were, but that she doesn’t seem to remember much about Drow culture at all. Discussing where to go next, you all agreed that you would head towards Loroven in case the goblin skirmishes there were linked to the attacks in the mines, and that you would travel via the village of Kagain which may have been overlooked by the goblins during the civil war, making it a prime target now. You agreed to travel in approximately four days time and invited Andos to travel with you, as she too intended to head for Loroven.

XP Round-Up
100xp for getting information out of Ovak, 20xp for picking the lock to the loot chamber, 20xp for disarming the bear trap, 50xp for returning the iron to Redvale via Moredan, 25xp for finding and burying Enger, 50xp for getting the Guild to reconsider Brogan’s membership, 125xp for returning Brys safely and uninjured, 250xp for completing the Moredan Mines quest and reporting in to Fulaine, 50xp for selling the Redvale ruby to Genevere and telling her about the vein, and 50xp for character developing rp.
740xp/5 party members: 148xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (645 p/c) puts you all on 913xp! Ding!

Also, having looked through everyone’s RP items again, I think everyone has earned an inspiration die. Melfice has been throwing himself on the line for other characters, Ola’s been gleefully hurling and receiving insults, the monk has been talking about fate and the cosmic plan, Thauvin has been spinning historical tales and Brigit has been embracing the ‘fun’, even in the midst of danger.

Chapter 1: Session 3
Rescuing Brys...

You charged on through the mines to investigate the sounds of wolves further in, and after a swift fight with a pair of wolves who broke free of their leashes and a pair of bugbears drawn in by the sounds of battle, you turned back to the central chamber to learn that Andos was heading back out (and showed you the direction from which she had come), while Enger was determined to push onward on his own.

You backtracked to the door you had passed while running to engage with the battle in the central chamber and raced down the sloped passage inside to only narrowly avoid triggering a boulder trap at the bottom. From there you discovered a chamber in which many dead bodies were piled, and a prison where a number of miners and villagers, and a rather grumpy looking goblin were being held. After dispatching the goblin and worg guards, you freed the villagers (a women named Mendrel told you they had been beaten and threatened) and while Melfice and Brigit escorted them back to the village via Andos’ route, Thauvin, The Monk and Ola stayed behind with Deos to question the imprisoned goblin.

Grug, the goblin, bargained his freedom for information – he told you he had been beaten and imprisoned for trying to prise some of the red gems from the mine walls (which the goblins had been expressly forbidden from doing), and that his tribe were hired by a hobgoblin called Ovak with promises of gold, power and mayhem to take the mines. True to his word, Thauvin let Grug go and the three of you waited in the prison for the others to return.

Melfice and Brigit saw the villagers safely out via an unfamiliar route, and then decided to shortcut back through the mine via another unsearched route. You found Brys tied and gagged in an ante-chamber to the east and avoided triggering an alarm. However, despite being warned that there were four goblins in the next room, you dispatched two and were jumped by the remaining two while looting bodies. Thauvin Karaban, The Monk, Ola and Deos came to the rescue, and after clearing the area and releasing Brys, you retrieved some loot including another key from the goblin corpses and retreated back to the prison room with Brys to rest for the night and heal.

You arranged watches and Melfice set an alarm trap across the only route in, and then the party settled down for the night.

XP Round-Up
225 for 3x wolves, 400xp for 2x bugbears, 10xp for disarming the boulder trap, 225xp for 3x goblin guards, 150xp for 1x worg, 60xp for picking 2x prison locks, 50xp for escorting the villagers safely out, 30xp for getting information from Grug, 20xp for disarming the alarm trap, 300xp for 4x goblin guards.
1470xp/5 party members: 294xp per character.

Added to previous sessions’ xp (351 p/c) puts you all on 645xp!


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