Legend of the Leviathan

Session 50-51: Bolothamogg who Watches from Beyond the Stars
"It is a secret that would have all the gods at your throat"


"Magnum Opus might be what cultists or servants would call him. He is an Obyrith; Bolothamog who Watches From Beyond the Stars. None can say for sure what he – or any other Obyrith – want, but tales of Bolothamogg pit it as a sentinel… watching and awaiting something, someone or some specific period in time." 


In Brevitis: 

 

  • The party went into the Uttersea, a demiplane-like place bordering the Astral Sea, and completed the trials of Amenotep, an Astral Sphinx, whereupon they confronted Astral Projection-like depictions of Alkahest and Midnight. The projection of Itrix claimed that Alkahest had the fourth set of Nether Scrolls. The trial was interrupted by the Aboleth and the Fire Giants, who tried to enslave Amenotep. In the fight, they killed King Ignatius and two Aboleth, reclaiming the gauntlet, which now contained the Fire Primordial.
  • Amenotep opened the gateway to Bytopia, where they were to deliver the Gauntlet and claim the Book of Exalted Deeds. There, they met the Gnomish pantheon, and learned much about the threat posed by Bolothamogg who Watches from Beyond the Stars, the true name of the Beholder Magnum Opus. As time moved slower on Bytopia, they decided to stay there and rest, as well as gain valuable upgrades and information. 

In not-so Brevitis:

 

  • Glan'darok warned the party of the Dragons and they agreed to make haste for the Uttersea in the morning. Thaldrak released the Wood Elf female, who took one of the Barbarian longboats from the island. Glan'darok freed Akilah, the Calimshani, who elected to stay with the party. 
  • They interrogated King Karsi for more information about the Dragons, whom he referred to as Echoheart (the Ruby dragon) and Ionova (the Flame dragon). He snuck off in the night to the Southern part of Tuern. 
  • The next morning, Ionova the Flame Dragon attacked, and the Barbarians either fled the island or retreated. The party made for the Uttersea while the Barbarians eventually regrouped, several tribes charging from the horizon as the party descended into the dormant volcano. 
  • In the Uttersea, the party saw a massive pillar of lava that flowed from the top like a fountain, though they felt no heat. A long bridge stretched from within the pillar to the bottom of the long, winding staircase that spiraled around the inside of the volcano. As they got closer, the temperature of the volcano actually dropped, and the colour of the lava shifted from an angry yellow-red, to a calming blue-magenta. It was so cold that they could see their breath. 
  • Figuring they had to cross the bridge, Arentian used the spell fly to pass underneath it, circumventing the flowing "lava" (which had dispelled T'avin's familiar and froze his quarterstaff as he plunged it into the liquid). Behind the bridge, Arentian saw a massive octagonal pillar made of gleaming obsidian, with a ten-foot path extending from it, a balcony without a guardrail. As he landed on it, two massive metal-and-stone statues animated and attacked them, as the lava immediately stopped flowing.
  • The party fought and defeated the constructs, that had nearly knocked Glan'darok from the bridge. T'avin disintigrated part of one, though his spell merely buffered the surface of the obsidian pillar. Arentian discovered a withered elven skeleton behind the pillar, having some scrolls and journals as well as a magical garment and staff. 
  • Once the constructs had been defeated, large doors, that had previously been seamlessly sealed shut, began to open. Beyond was an opaque darkness the likes none of them had ever seen – save for perhaps T'avin. 
  • On the other side, the party emerged on a strange place: 

    • They stood upon one of two massive islands in the center of a pink-and-white river. The river flowed violently and infinitely from one direction in front of them, to infinity behind them. There was no gateway visible from whence they'd emerged. 
    • There was no other shoreline aside from these two islands, and sixteen smaller islands that surrounded them. On each of the smaller islands were rectangular gateways, decorated in runes, but clearly inactive.
    • There was no sky. It was a dark void without stars, clouds or anything.
    • It was as if they existed in a pocketed space. Their movement left echoes and their voices resonated as though they were in a medium-sized stone chamber. 
  • They were greeted by a celestial creature, an Astral Sphinx named Amenotep. It looked like a lion with wings, made purely of star-stuff. The creature ascended into the void after greeting them, where it was merely represented as though it were a large constellation of a lion's head in an otherwise starless and featureless sky. 
  • Amenotep spoke at length with the party about their mission, their individual ideals and experiences, as well as their personal nemeses and rivals. 

    • Charles Nandar spoke about the werewolf who first infected him, and his desire to relieve that curse. 
    • Akilah spoke of her regret for facilitating the exchange of a massive Halruaan airship between a wealthy Calimshani Guild and the Zhentarim, who then flipped it for great profit to the Amnians. She talked of being abused by an Amnian captain.
  • Thereafter, Amenotep gave unto them a challenge of three Trials: A Trial of Courage, A Trial of Innovation, and a Trial of Compassion. He told them that he would bring forth their greatest living enemies, and the party would have to face their conflicts, try to resolve them using devices granted by Amenotep based on what they had previously told him, and that they should demonstrate compassion in their resolution.
  • While they received time to plan and prepare for their trials, they didn't do much with the objects, aside from Thaldrak donning the cat mask he was given, and Glan'darok crafting a beerbong that sprayed ale. He was very proud of it. 
  • Amenotep summoned forth from a magical gateway Itrix Soban, T'avin's father, Manion, three other Thayan wizards equipped well with magical utilities, as well as Midnight and a werewolf.
  • The werewolf dove into the astral sea, as T'avin and others engaged Itrix and the wizards in dialogue. Glan'darok tried to spray them with ale, but tripped onto his face and lost his beer bong. 
  • Itrix bragged that they had already obtained the fourth set of scrolls, and implied that they had captured the Djinni Lord. He said that once Eleviir had devined their position, Magnum Opus would arrive and annihilate them. 
  • Instead, an Aboleth arrived together with King Ignatius, who donned Philock's Fist, now aflame with the contained Primordial, and several Fire Giants. They started assaulting the wizards, who angrily refuted the assault with claims of an alliance with "The Sovereignty". 
  • As combat erupted, the party was engaged in a three-way fight with Alkahest and the Aboleth/Fire Giants. 
  • Itrix disappeared and the other wizards fell into smoke when dispatched. Only midnight remained, whom Kay was tricked into attacking when he was mind-controlled by the Aboleth. Kay brutally eviscerated the Shapeshifter, only to come to his senses when she retorted using a hellish curse to burn at the halfling's mind. 
  • Amenotep had shouted that "this was not a part of the trial", and roared several times, instilling fear into the normal Fire Giants, though he suddenly went very still and quiet. Thaldrak and Glan'darok had seen that there was another, greater Aboleth that was assaulting Amenotep, apparently outside of their reality or perception. 
  • T'avin hit King Ignatius in the balls with a scorching ray.
  • Glan'darok raised the Astral Sea, causing Midnight to be swept away together with the normal Fire Giants. Now all of them could see the Aboleth that had wrapped itself around Amenotep with it's tentacles. 
  • The smaller Aboleth tried to claim the Gauntlet from King Ignatius and flee through the realmtear that they came from, though Glan'darok blocked it with a wall of fire. Thaldrak threw Kay – now hasted by T'avin - toward the Aboleth, and the halfling held onto the scorching gauntlet, burning his hands in the process. 
  • The combined spellpower of Arentian and T'avin assailed the tentacles of the monster, causing its grip to loosen on the gauntlet as it eventually dropped, Kay landing delicately on the ground and sprinting away. T'avin then annihilated the creature with a well-placed firebolt to the eye, its head exploding in a flowering mass of gore
  • King Ignatius then assailed the party, using his great flaming sword to try and slice at Thaldrak and T'avin, brutalizing the sorcerer and punishing him for the previous strike on the Fire Giant King's balls with two mighty swings of that greatsword. Though Thaldrak came up behind him and annihilated him with with numerous quick slashes of his blade, stabbing the giant through the ribs, and decapitating him as he fell. 
  • The greater Aboleth then turned its attention toward Kay, and pursued the halfling in the interest of retrieving the gauntlet, again. Having already faced a few strikes from the party, including one well-placed dagger that pelted against its head, it didn't fare well against their combined might. 
  • The party defeated the creature and saved Amenotep, who congratulated them and thanked them for their aid. He granted them success in the trial, and bid them onward to Bytopia.
  • They agreed to take the Gauntlet there, where it would be guarded in the place of the Book of Exalted Deeds. 
  • Amenotep warned them that Bytopia was home to Garl Glittergold and the gnomish pantheon, well-known to play tricks on visitors from other realms. 
  • They went through the portal and saw a horrific abyssal landscape with ruin and misery. A twin-headed, gargantuan demon roamed the realm, tearing apart lesser creatures in a bloody mess. T'avin called out the illusion for what it was, though Glan'darok began to stutter as the massive demon-thing made its way toward them. 
  • The illusion fell, and they found themselves standing before a panel of remarkable-looking gnomes, a pillar before them where a golden, immaculate book emblazoned with gemstones and other valuable materials hovered. Garl Glittergold disappointedly spat at their seeing through his prank.
  • Surrounding them were large windows that stretched from the floor to the ceiling… though the ceiling was simply a mirror of the floor. Outside the window they saw two other spires that stretched between two grounds, mirrored land with sky in between the two horizons. The otherwise unimaginable landscape was both breathtaking and surreal. Peculiarly, too, there was a massive crystal chain that stretched from the ground between the three spires into that infinite horizon between the lands, disappearing into infinity. 

  • They spoke at length with the pantheon, introducing themselves in reverence and with respect as they discussed the plight they faced and made clear the threat that Magnum Opus and Alkahest posed should they get all five Nether Scrolls. Kay reminded them that Karsus killed Mystra the last time it happened. The pantheon agreed to provide them some aid, but cautioned against full divine intervention at the risk of attracting the attention of greater dieties and beings. They described the Time of Troubles, when gods were cast out of their greater planes to walk the Material Plane as mortals, punished for their intervention. 
  • From Garl Glittergold and a yellow-skinned Illithid, they learned much. Garl Glittergold told of the Illithid, Dr. Oxox, whom had refuted his heretage and through miraculous methods achieved demi-godhood, taking a permanent position as the guardian of knowledge in one of the spires of Bytopia (Transpire). From these two entities, they learned:

    • Magnum Opus is indeed a threat, and more powerful than the Aboleth and Slakarthel.
    • All three of those entities were Obyrith, ancient beings that hail from one of the Far Realms, places beyond planes or true comprehension.
    • Magnum Opus was the first beholder, and all other beholders were born of its dreams.
    • Slakarthel is a psionic kraken, the weakest of the three, whom was previously contained by the ritual totems upon the islands around the Sword Coast. Its motivations and aspirations seemed to mostly pertain to protecting its seclusion and existence. 
    • The Aboleth's leader is not known, though their motivations are always plots against the gods. With use of captured primordials, such as in the Gauntlet, they could easily pass through the realms, unleashing armies upon the gods who banished their empire millennia ago. 

      • Dr. Oxox, at the persuasion and behest of both Kay and T'avin, told them the legend of the origin of the Aboleth. He said that the story surrounded a great secret that he couldn't divulge, as it would anger all the gods, and that knowledge could decimate the mind of a mortal.

 

Find this legend here.

 

    • Magnum Opus was likely a name ascribed to the Beholder by a cult, or as an alias, and they learned its real name was Bolothamogg who Watches from Beyond the Stars. 
    • Bolothamogg's motivations are unknown, as are all of the Obyrith, and only another Obyrith could provide actual truths about the being. There exist legends that Bolothamogg exists as a sentinel for the Obyrith, watching from the Far Realms for a specific time, place, or event. 
  • Glan'darok and Thaldrak freed Gwennys from the gauntlet. She no longer could be reincarnated, and would be stuck on Bytopia, but they realized that while the Fire Primordial was contained with her, she was being tortured by the infinite flames. From her they heard that she thought Vigil had been conspiring against Magnum Opus. 
  • They claimed the Book of Exalted Deeds and replaced it with the Gauntlet containing the Fire Primordial, and decided to stay on Bytopia for 12 days, the length of time lasting 1 day on the material plane. 
  • The gods warned them not to ask about or go near the crystal chain which spanned through the plane.

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Session 49: An Unexpected Tuern of Events
"You telepurted her baby!"


"Actually… uh… she's the baby's dead. And Bree's dead, too."


In Brevitis: 

 

  • The party watched the apocalyptic destruction of Mount Hotenow's eruption, noting that magic users in Helm's Hold and some small parts of Neverwinter managed to block the rolling pyroclastic flow with magical means. Fast flows of lava flowed down through the river and eventually into Neverwinter, then into the sea, with a steaming, hissing sound. 
  • The Fire Giants made their way through the cloud and (in)to the volcano, where they heard tremendous roars and the sounds of fighting. The Vonindöd construct remained – fully or partially – constructed, Northwest of the erupting volcano.
  • Anael stood already on the island, invisible to FourN's normal detection and sight, and watched some distance from the party. After being approached by Thaldrak, the dwarf soon learned that the woman was not truly Anael. She spoke with a flat, emotionless, distant tone, and wore red robes with gold trim, similar to those of Thay. She claimed to be Szass Tam, Lich Lord of Thay, who was "borrowing" her body to speak to the party. After tense moments of confrontation, the party agreed to listen to the possessed Goliath, who promised itself an ally and not allied with Valindra. He told the group:

    • Valindra had betrayed him. Her mind was fractured and she was kept sane and stable only by the will of a powerful being, whom normally has always been himself. She was always obsessed with triggering the explosion of Mount Hotenow in vengeance of her lover, Arkham Greath, whom she believes destroyed. The possessed Anael insisted that was not the truth. It also dismissed the possibility of the Dread Ring, a construct that it claimed no longer held "real power". 
    • She brought him the gauntlet and he planned on fetching the third set of scrolls to aid in his civil war, having already read the previous two sets in the past.
    • He brought some of his highest Zulkir to Shanatar together with Valindra, where they defeated and imprisoned the Dodkong in a demiplane and enslaved the Stone Giant undead, sending them back to Thay to be a part of his Army. 
    • He opened the Vault of Shanatar, which is when Magnum Opus appeared together with four dozen heavily equipped soldiers of his former citizens and the Kraken Society. His surviving Zulkirs were slain, and he managed to destroy all of the Thayans and Kraken Society soldiers, and even wound Magnum Opus, but in the end, the Great Beholder destroyed his body, claiming the Gauntlet and the scrolls.

 

  • Szass Tam proposed an alliance with the party to destroy Magnum Opus in exchange for a 100-year delay on his pursuit of the Nether Scrolls. The party debated it at length, but Glan'darok intervened and tried to cast out the Lich Lord from Anael, which resulted in her crumpling to the ground, dead. After the shock and sorrow wore off, Thaldrak buried her behind the Cathedral, saddened at the loss of yet another ally. 
  • The party discussed where they should go and how they should get there. Siras kept mostly to herself, distraught from witnessing the destruction of Mount Hotenow's eruption, but her and T'avin still insisted on pursuing the salvation of Bahamut. A number of alternative possibilities were raised, but ultimately, the party agreed that it was perhaps the best course of action. 
  • FourN informed them that the Cloud Giant Citadel was moving toward them, likely in pursuit, and suggested that they begin fleeing. 
  • They first teleported down to Helm's Hold, where they met the Paladin Blithe, whom apparently had survived the attacking Frost Giants and the eruption. Harpers and Lord's Alliance scrambled about, readying themselves for potential attack and dealing with the immediate consequence of the disastrous cataclysm. He told them that the last time the eruption occurred, ashen zombies arose from those who were killed in the blast, rising up in a swarm of undeath to overwhelm the living. Thus, everyone was prepared for such an event, though this did not seem to be transpiring. He led them down below, to Dumbledilp.
  • Dilp was hurriedly giving instructions to Harpers, who were popping in and out of teleportation circles in the three-storey-deep bunker room. He was otherwise alone save for a small Halfling Warrior who stared into the distance, occasionally stroking his small, white chin beard. Dilp and them exchanged information, filling in Glandarok and Arentian on the situation and further discussing how they would proceed. Dilp said that they had arranged a tactical team to try and infiltrate the Vonindod from within, in an attempt to cripple it from eventually functioning. He further said that the Harpers had laid a trap for T'avin's father, Itrix Soban, and that they had uncovered some information alluding at a link between Alkahest and Amn. Kay furthered this hypothesis by informing Dilp that Blithe the Burdened, otherwise known as Vigil, the Death Knight, had been freed of the Palantine Incubation by Amn once he had become a Blackguard, spending much of his time there before returning to the Sword Coast. Dilp promised to further investigate this lead and inform his spies, then tell the party what else had transpired. 
  • Beyond that, Dilp had said that many resources were dedicated to tracking Zhentarim movements, and ensuring that their search for the Nether Scrolls didn't turn into a full-faction war. It appeared to be a mostly-covert operation, and Dilp promised to provide information on the Zhentarim movements and Midnight when he could. Kay and the party also provided him some more scattered bits of information that could help.
  • Dilp told the party that they could try to capture an Elder Elemental to contain the Vonindod, which they would find in the Elemental Plane of Water, known as a Leviathan. He proposed getting there by casting Plane Shift on a Bowl of Water Elemental Control, which Glan'darok still had. While none of them had access to that spell, Dilp said that via Yartar they could approach the Harpells – if they still lived after the eruption – and ask their spellcasting aid. Ultimately, the party decided against this course, as it sounded too dangerous and far away from their main goals. Spurred on by the inspiration of T'avin, they agreed that saving Bahamut was not only a possible goal given the reclaimation of Arentian and his teleports, but also one that could drastically tip the scales into their favour. Some doubts were levied, however, as to whether Bahamut would truly intervene, thereafter. Thaldrak and Kay pointed out that divine intervention was hitherto unseen in the calamities of the last months, though T'avin and Glan'darok retorted that it may be unseen, but could very well still be occurring, and Bahamut was a goodly god who they believed would stand against those evils, if saved. 
  • After they rested, the party teleported to Ravenstone, using Bree's finger as a focus. Siras remained behind to recuperate from the trauma of the recent days and to keep a close eye on the floating city. There, they arrived atop Bree's parents bed, much to the shock of her mother. Arthur Hodge, her father, ran into the room, and a rather awkward confrontation ensued with Arentian. The couple recognized the party, and asked about Bree – if she ever found them and Arentian, and how she was doing. Skirting the social tension, Glan'darok and Thaldrak left the house to wander the town and let their minds better deal with the tragedy of losing Gauntlgrym. T'avin went to fetch Charles Nandar, while Arentian hid in the bathroom, leaving Kay to head downstairs with Ms. Hodge while she prepared a cup of tea. 
  • Pushing the envelope, Arthur further inquired about Bree through the door, while Arentian tried to escape through the window. Unfortunately for him, though, he broke the glass loudly, causing alarm with the Hodges. He repaired it, and eventually emerged. He first lied to them, saying that Bree was fine and had departed, but eventually admitted that her baby was lost, and she herself was killed. Flying into a fit of rage and distress, Arthur flung himself at Arentian and clobbered him once with the hardest strike he'd ever mustered, then again with a punch to the gut so hard that Arentian soiled himself. Finally, he threw the sorcerer down to the ground and pinned him there, before rolling over and falling into despair. Arentian didn't fight back, and Kay just watched the scene in shock and awe.
  • Glan'darok and Thaldrak went to the house of Destiny, where Glan'darok noticed infernal writing along the wall and recently-rebuilt doorframe. He knocked, and she opened the door, immediately recognizing Thaldrak. She demanded to know the whereabouts of Kay, though when Thaldrak did not answer, she ran off to the inn, screaming angrily. Stepping into her house, Glan'darok noticed an Altar to Baphomet. Crying out in distress, he began to shout that it was wrong, blasphemy and demon-worship. Thaldrak merely laughed, bringing back memories of Enthoril doing the very same thing, and urged the cleric onward. "What are you going to do about it?" Glan'darok used his magics to shape the altar into one of Moradin, the hammer and anvil, as Thaldrak chuckled heartily, the amusement a welcome change of mood since the cataclysm of yesterday. 
  • Meanwhile, Kay and Arentian attracted the attention of some Zhentarim agents as Destiny came running toward him, screaming, her voice Thaumaturgically amplified to echo across the land. T'avin joined with a drunken Charles Nandar, whom emerged from the Inn, shouting obscenities at the rogues. Kay and Arentian tried to convince the agents to back off, but when they didn't, easily dispatched them. Thaldrak, Glan'darok and Arentian then went to find the other three agents, and dispatched them just as easily, cutting them down. They were in the basement of a recently-built guardpost south of the town center, which was stocked with claimed valuables from the townsfolk, as well as a massive rainbow, reflective shell of a Flail Snail. Arentian shrunk down the shell and took a plate depicting the Hodge Family, opening the door to their house and chucking it on the floor with a quick "sorry about your daughter". Thaldrak found some of the orange crystal drugs, and recalled from Dilp that the folk from Tuern traded intoxicating substances for the Jade and other gemstones that were prevalent on their island.
  • Meanwhile, T'avin urged the townsfolk to keep the party's appearance a secret, as Kay pointedly reminded them that there was a nonagression pact between Midnight and themselves. He incinerated the remaining unconscious Zhentarim to burn their hostile traces. While the townsfolk were compliant and thankful for their liberation, T'avin reminded the group that keeping an entire town silent about an adventuring party killing six Zhent agents – especially with an upset Tiefling woman about – was nigh impossible. With that, Arentian teleported the lot of them – together with Charles Nandar – to Tuern. 
  • They arrived on shores of black sand, near a small, snowy mountain range. To their right was a settlement of large, tribal-looking people who sailed longboats out in the direction of the looming ash cloud to be seen miles to the southeast.
  • T'avin reminded them that the Book of Exalted Deeds was to be found in a place on Tuern known as The Uttersea. 
  • They buried the massive Flail Snail shell, and were approached by a band from the town. Thaldrak offered them the drugs, immediately… which was taken with much enthusiasm. Half of the band took the intoxicants, while the others led the party back to their king. 
  • The party took drugs and drink with the tribe and partied into the night at their insistence. During this surreal experience, they got some information about The Uttersea from the inebriated King, and Thaldrak and Glan'darok were forced to fight one another for the entertainment of the tribe, as they lasted the longest in the drinking competition. Thaldrak was given a wood elf woman as "a prize" and had to "entertain her all night", though it was implied that he was to do this in a literal sense, by acting for her or telling her stories. Glan'darok was given the Calimshani woman, who was chained to his wrist, and was then given a choice to sing to either a Dragon of Flame or a Dragon of Rubies. He chose the rubies, and was led to the beast.
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Session 48: Long Hard Road Out of Hell


"You have to warn our people… I am a Queen, this is my duty…"


In Brevitis:

 

  • The party defeated the Necromancers, who tried to use spells to bring down the Iron Tabernacle in Gauntlgrym. Thanks to the combined efforts of Thaldrak and Glan'darok, the holy house of the Dwarves remained intact. Thaldrak took a potion to make himself giant-sized while Glan'darok healed him, then used his creation spells to seal the damage to the massive tower. 
  • Once Siras had rejoined the group, Arentian teleported the group down below to the Forge, together with Queen Frida Stoneheart, Pickle Bouldershoulder and two other Dwarf veteran fighters. Pickle sent a bird to inform Kay and T'avin about what had transpired.
  • Meanwhile, Valindra mind-controlled Bree while one of her Thayan Necromancers tried to read her thoughts. While he failed in his first attempts, he eventually succeeded, and the pair learned of the Sword of Luck. Valindra made Bree use the blade to call out a wish "I wish for Arkham Greath to appear beside me, alive", but nothing happened. Furious, Valindra muttered instructions to the necromancer, who took the blade from Bree and teleported away. 
  • Kay and T'avin tried to see what they could do to put together a pseudomagical wand of "Meteor Storm", but upon learning that it would take nearly a tenday, bailed. They received Pickle's message and got FourN to teleport them down to the forge – though their teleportation had a substantial chance of failure… but they succeeded. 
  • Down at the forge, the group saw William Whetstone with his child interpreter, and three drunken dwarves who were celebrating the reclamation of the forge. Once Kay and T'avin arrived, they hastily put together a plan to surprise Valindra when she would inevitably arrive. 
  • Once Valindra arrived, she had an imp she conjured to peek around the corner, being annihilated by the combined preparatory forces of the party and their allies. However, this didn't stop her, as she pulled out a staff that had large chunks of earth circling around the top, and rushed forward to the bridge, casting a spell of Earthquake that ruptured the ground in and around the forge, causing a massive chasm to appear between there and Maegera's Fiery Pit, below, and burying most of the allies in rubble.
  • In the ensuing battle, each member of the party contributed in their own way, launching spells, attacks and insults Valindra's way to try to keep her and their mind-controlled barbarian companion away from Maegera's prison. Eventually…
  • The party freed Bree
  • Valindra successfully broke all four pillars of Maegera's prison
  • Bree pushed Valindra into the lava, destroying the body of the lich.
  • Maegera broke free from her prison and awoke, rampaging until T'avin banished her.
  • While banished, the party made a hasty plan to retreat, Bree and all the dwarves but Glan'darok and Thaldrak agreeing to remain behind and try to hold back The Dawn Titan, insisting that the party had more important things to do in warning Gauntlgrym and stopping the Giants. 

  • Maegera annihilated those who remained, and the party warned Gauntlgrym before fleeing to their flying Netheril City, where they watched the eruption of Mount Hotenow, the ash consuming everything around it… from Luskan and nearly to the Northern Sword Mountains… with an unknown tens of thousands incinerated underneath it's blanketed embrace.

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Session 47: Wish
"I wish..."


"Sixty years ago, I warmed these halls with Maegera's magma. And I'm going to do it again."


In Brevitis: 

 

  • The party discussed the possibility of casting the spell Wish with the Luck Blade at great length, and decided that they would try a detailed wish to remove their curses and retrieve both Arentian and Siras back. 
  • Bree cast the wish in the morning after the party went to great effort to write the wish. When they cast the infamous spell:

    • Kay was rejuvenated to his more youthful, healthy appearance. 
    • Thaldrak vomited up a head-sized egg.
    • Bree's blackened arm returned to normal, and her scar across her lower abdomen disappeared and the area filled with healthy matter.
    • T'avin returned back into a half-elf, his curse lifted and his soul freed from Ghaunadaur's grasp. He was a mithral Dragonborn no longer.
    • Siras returned to the party as a half-elf, her intelligence and charisma restored.
    • Arentian was brought forth from his imprisonment, first appearance enlargened and covered in furs, holding several giant mugs of mead.  He shrunk down to normal size and dropped the items, as well as an assortment of giant-sized equipment he was carrying. Bree knocked him unconscious, immediately, in a spat of emotional rage.
    • Yao Min was restored back to his "original" form, as a Planetar angel. Interestingly, his feathers were tinged red, and he had a long, scaly tail that ended with a plume of similar feathers as those which protruded from the wings on his muscled back. He was articulate and clear, no longer babbling and incoherent. 
  • The group rejoiced that there spell had apparently worked to it's full effect, celebrating gleefully at the return of Arentian and Siras, and in awe at the sight of the Planetar Yao Min. Yao Min offered the party a last aid before he was to depart to his homeland of Kara-Tur. The party asked how he was cursed, and he told a tale of conflict between rivals that led to a rival leader – also a Changeling, like midnight – who used a three-stoned ring to turn the Planetar into an incoherent old man and trapped him on the Sword Coast. 
  • Yao Min offered the party to commune with a diety for aid in the coming battle against the giants, and they agreed to let Glan'darok commune with Moradin. The cleric beseeched the dwarven deity for aid, and Moradin bestowed unto them the 'Soulforged' boon, granting them increased wisdom and their souls protection so long as they remained on Delzoun land. 
  • Yao Min then beseeched the party to try and end the conflict with the giants without bloodshed. He even suggested that the Dwarves give the giants the primordial, postulating that it was potentially something too dangerous to keep in the grasp of Dwarves, who might just use it to grow material wealth and succumb to greed. Instead, he thought, the giants might be better protectors, and the Vonindöd might even be something that would benefit, not destroy the sword coast. He told the party that without knowing the giant's true motives, they could not condemn them to bloody war. Yao Min then left, desiring to return and provide aid to his homeland.
  • The party returned to the upper levels, feeling tremors in the mountain en route. They broke the news to the Dwarves in the Minecart Switching Station that the forge and Maegera's Fiery Pit had been freed, news which was met with Jubilation.
  • They later learned from Arentian that he was imprisoned in Ysgard, where time seemed to have passed much more slowly, as he was under the impression that he had been there more than a year. He had been imprisoned in a cask of mead in a Frost Giant Hall, and when discovered, was nearly killed by the creatures. However, they decided to adopt him as a sort of pet, and some eventually came to like the wizard. They taught him how to fight, and he became a new source of power for the giants in their infinite war for the Seat of the World, the giant throne of Ysgard left empty with the departure of Annam the All-Father, which was vied for by every other giant leader. Arentian's presence there became a great point of contention among the giants, and he had overcome a lot of adversity both in and out of combat. They had devised a brew of ale which grew him to giant size so long as he remained on their plane of existence, and made him fight daily in the warring against Fire Giants and others. Arentian also now seemed to speak Giant. 
  • They headed upstairs to meet with Queen Frida Stoneheart, and saw that the throne room was full of Hobgoblins – one of which was blue – black tieflings and grey-skinned humans, as well as other humans. They later learned that the Black Tieflings were known as Shadowvar, while the Hobgoblins were likely the band from the nearby Neverwinter Wood, and that all groups wished for refuge from the encroaching giant and orc forces, in exchange for aid in the coming battle. 
  • They rejoined with Frida, who was resting while using a magial beverage – Fannigan's Dream Ale – to commune with the other Dwarfholds. She told them that Fire Giants encroached on the Northwest, and had begun a massive stone construction. To the south, Trolls and Frost Giants had been spotted, and a goliath companion of the party – Dusty – had been arrested after angrily insisting a pre-emptive strike on the frost giants after arriving to warn Gauntlgrym of the pending assault. To make matters worse, a Gryphon Rider patrol from Waterdeep had spotted a cloud Giant Citadel heading from the North toward Mount Hotenow, and had gone to investigate the perpetual cloud cover above Gauntlgrym, but hadn't been seen, since.
  • The party discussed strategy, and informed Queen Stoneheart that the Pit Fiend had been defeated and the Forge liberated. They told her that they had one Wish spell left, and discussed how to best use it to aid Gauntlgrym. Eventually, they decided it best to try to wish for King Hekaton, the Storm Giant King, whom they said had been imprisoned, resulting in the Giant Ordning -  their social heirarchy and religion – falling apart and destabilizing the creatures. They believed that King Hekaton could prevent the conflict, and restore the giants to their previous – and less dangerous – organization. Queen Stoneheart reluctantly agreed, but said that they should carefully consider the option. Bree returned Clangeddin SIlverbeard's Shaver to Queen Stoneheart. 
  • Queen Stoneheart and the Party learned that there was to be an impromptu celebration of the liberation of the Forge, and decided it best for city morale to have a brief celebration with some drink and song before returning to restoring the defenses. Glan'darok joined the Queen with Bree, Arentian and Thaldrak. Meanwhile, Kay and T'avin returned to the party's home base, while Siras went to speak to the Dusty, the creature that had been impersonating her, and Virro / Zephyr Zanzibar, whom the party learned were captured in Mirabar for attempted thievery – Virro on suspicion of conducting a great heist of the Axe of Dwarvish Lords from the Vaults of Citadel Adbar.

    • The celebration took place in the Iron Tabernacle, and quickly grew into a large party consisting of most of the folk of Gauntlgrym. Spirits were high, and after a few drinks, some of the braver Dwarves even ventured down to inspect the Forge first-hand for themselves. Glan'darok bit off a bit more ale than he could chew, relishing the accomplishment after being able to speak to his deity, as Arentian drank himself into a stupor. 
    • On the Island, Kay and T'avin encountered Midnight, who exchanged vague words with the pair before making them an offer. Apparently Alexandra had been an agent of the Zhentarim and a would-be spy the entire time, compromising their plans. They learned that FourN had killed the Gryphon Rider after he discovered the island, and heard from Midnight that she thought FourN to be a Yugoloth. FourN became enraged at this, and teleported her to the latrine. There, hostile words were exchanged before she departed the place, a tentative truce seeming to have been reached between the parties. Unfortunately, however, she had taken Alexandra, Imrith and Harshnag with her.  
    • Siras went to the dungeons and spoke with Dusty, who angrily warned her of the coming Frost Giants. He blamed the party for the invasion, saying that if they had came to get him sooner, he would have been able to warn them more prematurely. He said that the giants aimed to attack on the Summer Solstice, 20 Kythorn, less than two days away. He said that cloud giants planned to drop a massive iron anchor from their citadel through the plugged hole of the volcano, allowing Fire Giants to drop or climb down into the volcano and retrieve the primordial. She urged Dusty to remain calm – much to his displeasure – and moved along. Thereafter, she saw Virro – disheveled and worn – together with the very undead Zephyr Zanzibar. She spoke with Virro and Zanzibar, learning that Virro had actually been involved with the crime, and refusing to speak of the Nether scrolls or the guild. Virro was panicked and urged Siras to find a way to free the pair from the prison. She seemed to be under the impression that Vigil was betraying the guild, and wanted to warn Magnum Opus. Remaining firm and silent on that point, Siras merely left the pair with a promise that she would do her best to aid them, but would respect the Dwarven law. 
  • Meanwhile, at the party, two groups of Dwarves appeared, led by head clerics who were carrying Water Elemental bowls. The clerics asked where the bowls should be brought, one of them directly asking whether she was to go down to the forge. She didn't seem to want to, and Thaldrak became suspicous of her questions and seeming need for accompanyment at that time. He noticed above the crowd, her rancid stench of death, and immediately suspected that she was the Thayan Lich whom infamously had triggered the explosion sixty years before. The other Dwarven party – apparently from Mithral Hall – joined the celebration, while the one iwth the suspicious cleric left.
  • Thaldrak confronted the cleric outside the Tabernacle, aiming to imprison her in the Iron Band of Bilaro, but missed. She tried to urge calm, but he shouted alarm and called for aid. He slashed at her with his blade several times as Bree leapt upon the closest of her would-be Dwarven companions. That is when her companions attacked, bursting into streams of angry magics, as she cast a spell and took control of Bree's mind, one of her followers then opening a Dimension Door and pushing Bree through, as it closed behind and she, her companion and Bree were no longer visible. The dwarven companions then dropped their disguise, and appeared as ghastly pale mages of Thay, clad in red robes and bearing horrific tattoos upon their bald heads. They sent spells of contagion, darkness and fire into the Iron Tabernacle, killing dozens of Dwarves as full combat erupted. Glan'darok called to Moradin and turned the ravenous undead mages as Thaldrak realized that Bree wore Athrogate's Belt of Storm Giant Strength… and was taken by whom he thought was Valindra Shadowmantle… the Lich who caused the Eruption of Mount Hotenow by controlling Athrogate while he wore that same belt, sixty years ago. 

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Session 46: One-Two Punch
"There's enough treasure here to please a Dragon"


"Beware the Blade of Beshaba…"


In Brevitis:

 

  • The party fixed the minecart switching station
  • They headed down to the forge from the switching station tunnel, encountering ghosts along the way who gave them various vague warnings of what laid ahead.
  • At the forge, they encountered the Fire Shade of Athrogate, walking among corpses existing since decades of creatures he'd previously defeated, or whom met their ends prior to his existence 60 years ago. 
  • They spoke with Athrogate and learned that he would be forced to attack them if they entered the forge, and that the only way they could release him from his curse was to destroy the Fire Primordial. They offered him release from his prison, and in return, he gave them advice on how best to defeat him and the Pit Fiend beyond. He told them that, should they engage him with multiple combatants, the forge would summon elemental aids to his side. Thus, he recommended that someone worthy face him 1-v-1. 
  • Thaldrak accepted this challenge, and after taking an evening to rest and have blessings bestowed upon him by his allies, took on Athrogate. In a bout of sheer will, strength, and luck, Thaldrak struck a mighty blow that killed Athrogate in one hit. 
  • After taking down Athrogate, the party rejoined Thaldrak in the forge and congratulated him, searching the loot strewn amongst the room for useful items. They found a number of interesting things:

    • From Athrogate:

      • Belt of Storm Giant Strength
      • Two +1 morningstars, each of which do more damage to dragons or giants.
      • Ring of spell turning
      • Ring of protection
    • A headband of intellect, placed upon the head of a female elven corpse
    • Scarab of Protection, which had several charges already used
    • A Skull of an Anunnaki, which spoke to T'avin when he touched it.
    • Oil of Slipperiness
    • Sovereign Glue
    • Universal Solvent
    • Glamoured Studded Armour
    • Eyes of Minute Seeing
    • Gloves of Missile Snaring
    • A few dozen gemstones and hundreds of gold pieces
  • They continued onward and faced the pit fiend, Beealtimatuche, who wielded the Blade of Beshaba, a greatsword held in one hand by the great fiend. In hard-fought combat, they faced and defeated the great devil, claiming the sword, which was no longer cursed, and turned into a Blade of Luck…
  • The party then returned to the forge, and began a discussion about what they would use the sword to do… the Wish spell was finally in their grasp.
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Session 45: Feuerkrieg
"Are you sure about plan 1331?"


"If those gems are ever missing, I know who I will look at, first!"


In Brevitis:

 

  • The party defeated the remaining hostile spirits in the Minecart Switching Station
  • They explored the area and found a large chamber below, with statue of a Rock Gnome head, spending much of the day discussing how to descend a 20-foot drop to the stone below. Over two dozen plans were proposed before they used a rope to climb down. 

    • The statue depicted Duveas Whitshield, one of the prophets of Gond, the gnomish god of invention. 
    • The right pupil was a massive, bluish sapphire gemstone while the left was a massive, red ruby. 
    • A massive right hand emerged to the right of the head from the wall, holding a bronze brazier that was empty, and engraved with gnomish runes. 
    • The same would be the case on the left side, except that the hand was broken off of the wall, and the brazier was missing from that hand.
    • On the ground in the massive chamber were two elevator platforms that moved and rotated minecarts onto the bridge, above. Switch and lever stations were rigged to the elevators, but were not powered.
  • Kay and Glan'darok argued about the gemstones, Kay wanting to have a closer look, while Glan'darok defended it as an important relic of the Delzoun homeland. 
  • Kay, T'avin and Bree went to investigate one of the upper rooms above the head statue, finding the dessicated corpses of Drow among a few books and many coiled, steel balls. Etched upon the wall were magical elven runes that read "Know that the last stand of House Malorn was here." Kay identified the runes as a curse, while T'avin dispelled it. 
  • Meanwhile, Thaldrak and Glan'darok worked together to try and solve the riddle of the statue, learning that they needed to fill the brazier on the right side with water while the one on the left should be filled with fire. Glan'darok repaired the left stone hand protruding from the wall.
  • T'avin found the manual for the device in Dwarvish, and they together deduced that pure water had to be added in one brazier while fire was added in the other – though the other brazier was missing. 
  • They rested overnight and decided to continue onward to the armory by foot, discussing a strategy on how to deal with the fortified area. 
  • En route, they discovered some creatures with glowing eyes, black skin and fire for beards and hair. The creatures claimed to have been trapped between the evil spirits and the salamanders, and were brought forth by the Drow from the Fire Plane. They claimed the Salamanders were enslaved by an Efreeti named Ziki.
  • The group concocted a plan to deal with the fortified armory, and made their way to the dangerous place. In a heated combat, they defeated the salamanders and their accompanying fire elementals, Kay sneaking into the bunker and flanking the creatures while Thaldrak and Bree led the charge in front, supported by Glan'darok and T'avin. They defeated the salamanders before they could succeed in summoning forth the Efreeti. 
  • Yao Ming banished the Azer back to the Elemental Plane of Fire with help from T'avin, though they did not participate in the battle against the Salamanders. 
  • Inside the armory, Kay noticed a hidden passage behind an illusory wall that had seemingly gone unnoticed by the flaming creatures. Inside, a few magical books were gathered by an Illithid skeleton, a Dwarven Thrower hung on the wall. The Armory itself was littered with +1 metal armors.
  • The group decided to bring the other brazier, which the Salamanders had been using, back to the Minecart Switching station to reactivate the carts. 
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Session 44: And So There Was a Clock, Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock...
"There is a Pit Fiend trapped within the Forge..."


"So long as you stand in these halls, you are queen of nothing."


In Brevitis:

 

  • T'avin, Thaldrak, Anael, William Whestone and his child interpreter were teleported down to Gauntlgrym with the Anvil, while Kay and Bree remained behind. Kay and Bree spoke to Harshnag and Imrith on the Island:

    • Harshnag was upset and bored that he wasn't fighting, and that he had been relegated to such an insubstantial position in the eyes of Imrith. 
    • Imrith had found some magical items on the Netheril Island that she wished to share with the party. She was cagey when asked about the staff by Kay, and the deity associated with it.
  • T'avin and Thaldrak went down to Gauntlgrym,  where they were teleported into the throne room before Queen Frida Stoneheart and Flame Keeper Glan'darok Goldbrow. William Whetstone presented the Anvil as a gift, which was allegedly received as some kind of lost Dwarven artifact of the halls. T'avin and Thaldrak warned them of the coming giant assault, and gave them information about the attack, what the giants want, and who they were.

    • The Queen was skeptical, and did not immediately trust the group who had magically teleported into her throne room. T'avin told her that a mage in Neverwinter named Four-N had owed them a favor, and teleported them within.
    • The Queen and the Flame Keeper asked them many questions about their story and their identities, and eventually they agreed to undergo a circle of truth once their allies had arrived the following day. 
  • Flame Keeper Glan'darok cast a spell of Remove Curse on Anael, who collapsed when it was done. He led them to the Cathedral on the city floor beneath the throne room and royal quarter, where they rested and contemplated the coming day.
  • That evening, some of the group were wrought by horrific nightmares and the sight of a decrepit, undead face speaking to them. 
  • Anael remained sleeping, Thaldrak ensuring that she rested safely, and seemed healthier after Glan'darok had cast the spell upon her. 
  • The next day, Kay, Bree, Imrith, Yao Min and Siras all teleported down to the gates of Gauntlgrym, where they were greeted by T'avin and Thaldrak accompanied by a platoon of 40 armored dwarves, led by the cleric Glan'darok. T'avin tried to convince the cleric to cast a spell of Sending, intending to prove that the spell did not work, but the cleric dismissed this as trivial unimportant nonsense in comparison to the pending attack on the dwarf city.
  • They rejoined the Queen in the throne room, who was there together with a dozen or so dwarves, as well as a peculiar, short, dirty, green-bearded dwarf who she introduced as Pickle Bouldershoulder, the Hall's druidic messenger.
  • The group underwent a rigorous interrogation, Queen Frida Stoneheart asking many hard and abrasive questions to Bree, T'avin and Kay, before providing a softer, warmer welcome to Thaldrak. She admitted that she had confirmed that her brother knew Thaldrak – Brom – and that the pair had served together in Thaldrak's old army brigade, the Burning Squadron. A few points that stood out among the interrogation:

    • Bree told about her arm, cursed by Bane, the God of Murder, and answered with difficulty the questions about harming innocents and working together with the Zhentarim.
    • Kay was asked whether he knew Virro and Zephyr Zanzibar, giving information about their suspicions concerning Zephyr Zanzibar's nature as an undead, and Virro's connection with their enemies.
    • Kay divulged information that they had enemies in the form of Aboleths, a Kraken named Slakarthel, and The First Beholder, Magnum Opus. 
    • T'avin mentioned "the island" in passing, though was able to dodge details concerning it's whereabouts.
  • When the Queen went to interrogate Siras,  the woman resisted, succeeding on her resistance from the spell. This was unexpected given the nature of the feeblemind affliction working upon her, and placed her under immediate suspicion. Glan'darok cast a spell of detect Evil and Good upon her, discovering her to be a Fiend. T'avin immediately attacked her, followed by the others in their group.
  • The creature was grappled by Bree and cried out in a croaking, gurgled language that none could understand. It cast Fireball centered on itself, nearly killing half a dozen dwarf fighters. 
  • They knocked the creature unconscious, as it dropped the form of Siras and became it's natural self, a large lizard-like creature four times the size of Bree, with stretching arms and legs and long talons protruding from it's three-fingered hands. Webbed limbs and green scales marked it as something otherworldly, as bluish markings along it's side and red-tipped spines down it's back gave clear signs of possible poison or venom. Bree and the Dwarves manacled the thing, as the dwarves led it away to the dungeons, to be later interrogated.
  • The Queen informed them that Pickle used his animal messengers to discover from Mirabar scouts that the Fire Giants and Orcs had launched an attack on Luskan from the north, and that they numbered around 200 and 500, respectively. Based on that, they assumed that the Fire Giants would approach Gauntlgrym via the main Luskan passage, giving them within a tenday or less to set up defenses. More alarmingly, however, the Queen said that the destruction of the Arcane Brotherhood's Hosttower would destabilize the magic securing the primordial, resulting in earthquakes and vulnerabilities that could lead to another eruption. Based on this, she asked them to secure the lower levels of the city. Her and Glan'darok told them that:

    • The Forge held the enraged spirit of the dwarf who was tricked into causing the eruption that destroyed neverwinter six decades prior.
    • A pit fiend, summoned by Thayans sixty years ago in the battle to stem the primordial's rage, had been trapped in the Firey Pits, unable to leave, but also unable to do anything while the hosttower remained. If it was destroyed, though, the pit fiend could easily trigger another eruption. Worse yet, the Pit Fiend was surrounded by angry fire elementals, trying to slay it but unable to, given it's hellish resistance to fire. The beast also had in it's possession a great sword, an artifact from Gauntlgrym's inception lost in the lava and likely found by the beast. 
  • The group agreed, and departed immediately to begin on their arduous task, together with Glan'darok, while the Dwarves began to prepare the city for war. 
  • En route, Imrith raised objection with a few points of the plan, but in a discussion with Kay, recalled that he had said his name was Kay Glimshine within the circle of truth. Trying to recover from this fault, Kay explained the name change, when Imrith had a sudden flash of insight, recalling that Bree had said Arentian was her lost lover who had travelled with the party until his disappearance. Enraged that she had been duped by a lie, Imrith embedded Harshnag's magical battleaxe several metres deep into the stone of the closest wall, before returning to the throne room in search of the exit. It was during this time that Thaldrak told Glan'darok of her true nature as a storm giant, and not the red-haired, freckled girl who she appeared to be. 
  • Startled by this revelation, together with the knowledge that a giant attack on the city was imminent, Glan'darok fled to the Queen and told her of this. She challenged Imrith, raising her weapon and condemning her subterfuge. Imrith herself was in no mood to bargain, and a tense standoff ensued between the queens. T'avin and Kay were able to defuse the tension, however, as Queen Stoneheart merely dismissed the stone giant without combat. Disheartened and upset by the loss of their strongest ally, the party continued to descend further below, upset with Glan'darok but understanding how such a disaster could have transpired. 
  • When they eventually reached the minecart switching station, the party was assaulted by black, shadowy, unintelligent ghosts and other undead. A raging shadowy hulk of a creature assaulted them, too, and while things looked dire, they were able to defeat the beast and half the ghosts, Glan'darok channeling the powers of Moradin to force the others to flee.  In that fight, Kay nearly succumbed to the ghastly talons of one such creature, though they won out, in the end. Only within sight of the quarter-mark of their arduous task, the party realized then the weight of the burden on their shoulders. 
View
Session 43: Two Minutes to Midnight
"I... have made... a mistake..."


"It's fine… everything will turn out fine…"


In Brevitis:

 

  • Kay, Thaldrak and T'avin attempted to burgle the manor of Vadania at the Old Neverwinter Museum. Their first attempt failed when Thaldrak was bullied by the guardsmen into assisting them in a rough-handed arrest of a drug-dealer, Kay and T'avin intervening when the guards tried to force the drugs – orange crystals that many in the city referred to as Elytron Crystals – upon their friend, as they had done to the drug dealer, himself,  causing him to slump into a state of semi-consciousness.
  • The group defeated the violent guardsmen, whom claimed to be loosely affiliated themselves with the Flaming Fist Mercenary group, with a serendipitous arrival of a dragon-like creature that polymorphed one into a rabbit, while Thaldrak knocked the other unconscious.
  • Fleeing back into the inn they were using as a base of operations for the burglary, the group surprised a nobleman and his minstrels, who decried the blood on Thaldrak's clothes and upon their weapons. Using the drug-related incident as inspiration, they told the man that the area wasn't safe, and that there was a tussle with drug dealers nearby. Startled, the man wanted to follow them to wherever they were headed, assuming they would go to a different inn. They fled, T'avin resorting to banishing one of the minstrels who followed them on the instructions of the lord, and looped back around to break the chase and give Kay a chance to repeat the burglary without any assistance.
  • Kay completed the burglary rather swiftly and efficiently, planting the Drider statue acquired from Dalton De'Vir beneath a floorboard in a room with an altar or memoriam to an older red Dragonborn before leaving to rejoin his friends.
  • That night in the common room of the Hall of Justice, the group were troubled by startling dreams. Kay and T'avin couldn't appropriately rest, Kay hallucinating the sound of ripping fabric and flesh, seeing daggers in the hands of the stirring commoners around him, while T'avin had dreams of his hand being crushed in turning gears. Thaldrak only dreamt of a shaking egg, while Bree remained in the prayer room of Lathandar, above. However, they all had a dream of a stirring in the darkness, something moving and shifting, indecipherable whispers. They could see the movement, could see it was something humanoid, but could make out no visual or auditory details. Alarmingly, the next morning, T'avin's hand ached and swole.
  • The following morning, the group visited Rayne after handling some personal matters in the city, T'avin warning Blithe of the Order of the Gauntlet that he couldn't send to Dumbledilp. 
  • They went to Rayne, who was sitting in a private chamber in Neverember's bunker, drinking celebratory gin together with a healed and newly-outfitted Dalton De'Vir. The drow looked rather pleased with himself, as Rayne frivolously congratulated the party on their successful plant. Displeased with her disposition, the party fetched a cleric – one of the twins – who cured her of her drunkenness so they could speak more frankly. Though while still drunk, Rayne elaborated on the potential consequences of what a favorable investigation into Vadania could result in, that the Zhentarim would be able to move more crystal throughout the region, and laughed at her venomously when Kay told of the shrine to the Dragonborn. According to Rayne, the Dragonborn was once Vadania's butler. 
  • Once sobered, however, they discussed how things would proceed, and the likelihood that Vadania's attempt at Lordship in Neverwinter would be dismantled by the planted Drider statuette. Rayne seemed thoroughly confident that Dalton's testimony would incriminate her, and confident yet in his further abilities that "would be of great use to the Zhentarim, here". The party warned her of the silver-tongued Drow, and cautioned her yet about the potential threat that Midnight posed via the message to Kay. Rayne yet again dismissed this rather flippantly, not quite believing the possibility, but insisting that measures had been taken, nonetheless. They parted ways on amicable terms, but not before the party received three magical potions from Rayne, a potion of flying, a potion of giant size and a potion of speed. 
  • Before departing Neverwinter, the party sought an item made in Gauntlgrym to expedite their travel to the Dwarven city, which led them back to William Whetstone, the deaf smithy and his translator apprentice. Apparently, the dwarf himself – satisfied with his recent work and discovery of someone worthy to receive his blessing and blade – was planning to go to Gauntlgrym. To this end, the blacksmith sold his possessions and spent his life's fortune acquiring a great gift for the city – a magical Platinum anvil. The group offered to trade him for the item, but he refused – Thaldrak even trying to return the sword in exchange for the thing, much to the displeasure of Whetstone. In the end, they convinced the pair to accompany them to Gauntlgrym, via their own roundabout, magical way, insisting it safer and quicker than the road to the city beneath Mount Hotenow. 
  • The party returned to their home base, Kay having to use the Potion of Flying to return to Four-N and have him teleport the others to the cathedral. Before that, however, he observed Harshnag hurling boulders at Astrus in rage, Astrus having grown to nearly twice the size that he was prior to the party departing for Neverwinter. Harshnag angrily yelled that Astrus had eaten the Epoch Engine. Inside the cathedral, FourN had created a beach-like atmosphere, filling the place with sand and placing a strong sunlight above the Mythallar, laying upon the ground with Siras and Alexandra on either side of his currently bodybuilder-like human form. FourN teleported the group back within the cathedral, together with the Dwarf and his translator, who were stunned and awed by their new location.
  • FourN was insistent on Anael and Astrus being removed from the island, saying the former an irritant and the latter a threat. The party did not allow it. 
  • However, FourN teleported Astrus "away" to somewhere else, after having received the command from Thaldrak to do so if Astrus was a threat. Bree went to find Yao Min while Kay led Whetstone and the child apprentice to Thaldrak's house. 
  • Kay went to investigate Anael and found her laying, curled up on the bed in FourN's room, surrounded by the impish elemental creatures who were throwing things about and shrieking madly. Amid the chaos, Anael wept and shook with fear, truly unable to see or really function, looking emaciated and worn from the stress of recent days. Kay consoled her and led her out to a shocked Thaldrak and a relieved FourN, who simply dismissed her physiological state as an annoyance and resigned himself back to his room to "clean up". 
  • The party then went to Imrith, who had taken to cleaving a throne-like cave for herself in one of the Western mountains (Harshnag had built a log cabin for himself in the East) and requested her attendence in Gauntlgrym, to which she agreed. 
  • The party then rested the night, and were disturbed by troubling dreams. T'avin again had dreams of gears crushing his hands, but some emaciated, undead, decrepit zombie hand took his and removed it from danger. The same happened with Thaldrak, who saw a grey lizard-creature emerging from an egg, gnashing at his hand with razor-sharp teeth – the same hand taking Thaldrak's and moving it from danger. However, they both saw movement and shadows before them, like a darkened, invisible face, mere centimeters from his. They heard the featureless whispers in their minds again, as the face blurred and melted, warped and tore… "I… have made… a mistake…"
  • As they awoke the next day, gathered their things, and teleported to Gauntlgrym.
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Session 42: Squeak!
"I don't even know why I'm talking to you"


"I don't think you want to be messing with me" – Thaldrak


In Brevitis:

 

  • The party learned that T'avin had been turned to a squirrel… possibly by his father, or by other magics.
  • During the remainder of their rest, they were interrupted by a group of rough-looking outcasts, together with a young teenaged boy and a figure shrouded entirely in dark cloth garb. After some tense conversation and thinly-laced threats, the party refused to parlay with the group, who themselves refused to depart on their own way. Thaldrak rushed onward to them, upon being alerted to an ambusher behind the party, and brutally slew the first of the would-be bandits, before knocking out the teenaged wizard.
  • A troll then attacked the party – who were surprised that it was not more bandits – as the group gave way and fired on the party from afar. The party defeated the troll and took down the party's leader - the shrouded and heavily-accented stranger – who surrendered while the rest fled.
  • The party unmasked the man, who turned out to be a Drow, and interrogated him. He told them:

    • The purported location of his group's hideout
    • That the trolls were led by a four-armed frost giant
    • That there were purportedly two groups of Drow in nearby Neverwinter:

      • Bregan D'aerthe, led by Jarlaxle
      • House Oblodra, a psionic house of nobles
  • Thaldrak knocked the Drow unconscious while Kay stripped him of his inventory, finding vials of poison, a magical cloak, and an intriguing ivory statuette of a half-spider half-naked woman. 
  • They took the Drow and the unconscious boy and caught up to the caravan of knights from Helm's Hold, turning in the pair and resting for the night with the group. During the night, they overheard the boy talking to the mage, quite hysterical, about his experiences with the highwaymen, and that he had been with them since fleeing Triboar, after it was attacked by giants.
  • The mage found a way to remove T'avin's curse that had him shapeshifted into a squirrel, and was concerned when she identified his other, darker curse of Ghaunadaur. 
  • Anael sent to T'avin and informed him that she could no longer scry, and was stripped of her divination sight. She was mortally terrified, telling him that she only scried Szass'tam once, but was horribly frightened of any repercussions. 
  • Kay received a message from The Shell in Waterdeep, warning him that Midnight was "making a move on the big eye on the evening of the 12th" and that Kay was expected to be in attendance, arriving at The Dripping Dagger in Waterdeep by noon, the next day.
  • That next morning, the caravan rode together Northward to Neverwinter, where they split up.

    • Thaldrak & T'avin went to go hand in the Drow to Mintarn Mercenary Co.

      • The place was closed, and they met two other bounty hunters, a large human woman missing a few teeth named Myram and an Earth Genasi named Rocky, who had captured Copperhead on a bounty from The Snail in Daggerford. Thaldrak went onward to turn in the bounty with the other pair at the Open Eye Society, another mercenary hangout run by a Tabaxii named Kalindra. 
      • T'avin went to the House of Knowledge, where he attended and facilitated the interrogation of the boy from the highwaymen group. He learned that King Ignitius attacked Triboar with other fire giants, using orcs as an initial invasion force. He made the townsfolk dig up the Vonindöd piece from the center of town and then killed them all with a flaming longsword "as big as the windmill". The boy and his sister fled, whereupon he had little memory of what transpired. He said he remembers encountering red-skinned people, then the next thing he knew, he was with the highwaymen, who had said that they saved him and that hobgoblins had killed his sister. He participated in the murders of the Harkness family, the bandit group forcing him to kill one of them as a Rite of Passage. 
    • Kay & Bree went to the Hall of Justice to meet Rayne, Kay having earlier promised her to stand in a circle of truth concerning the information pertaining to midnight. 

      • Rayne said she had information specifically for T'avin.
      • Rayne interrogated Kay within the circle of truth, cast by High Exarch Tippletoes, and asked him questions about Midnight, his party and Gauntlgrym.
      • She disclosed that Vadania had become a bigger threat than she anticipated, as well as Jarlaxle, who had subverted some of the council. Kay floated the idea of getting Vadania incarcerated, or investigated for unlawful deeds, and so a plan was sprung… 
  • T'avin and Thaldrak arrived as Rayne had left, finding Kay, a plot brewing in his mind… 
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Session 41: Aw Nuts!
"Are we really intending on sleeping in the rain?"


"I was there when Mount Hotenow erupted. Valindra controlled Athrogate. It was he who disturbed Maegera, with his giant strength gifted by the girdle on his waist. I tried to stop it. I could not"


In Brevitis:

 

  • During the party's next rest, an orange, magical staff appeared in T'avin's bag, of unknown origin. They discovered it the next morning and, when asking the priest about it, saw that she had taken up a new, recently-discovered pet – a tiny, hideous creature that looked like a cross between a bat and a pug. Their new companion – the Albino Monkey that Bree had recently taken a liking to – seemed wary of the thing. They later learned that the creature was a homunculus, a familiar-like thing tethered to it's creator. From the priest, one of the two gnome twins, they heard that there were many rumors about why the party was in the city, why they were resurrected, and what their connection to Neverember was. Two of the existing rumors going around was that the party was investigating the murders of the Harkness family, farmers to the South, or to deal with a large band of trolls further South of Neverwinter, along the High Road.
  • They learned that the Monkey could talk, his name was Johannes Stonesberg, and he had stolen the staff for T'avin as "a gesture of good faith" from the House of Knowledge.

  • T'avin and Thaldrak went to return the staff to the mage at the House of Knowledge, then went to speak with Neverember. There, he relayed some more information about the political crisis gripping the city. T'avin noticed that Neverember exhibited alarming signs of senility, forgetting important statements and declarations that T'avin had only told him two days prior. Furthermore, Neverember seemed not remotely concerned about his fate, and while he was indeed worried about Gauntlgrym, his general mannerisms were still remarkably calm. He was imprisoned in the same lavish dungeon (though in separate cells) as a Drow named Altair De'vir, who shot snide comments to T'avin through his bars. 

 

  • After that, the pair split up to go deal with separate errands in Neverwinter.

    • Thaldrak went to speak to the Dwarf merchants he knew, where he secured some basic equipment. Then, he went to meet William Whetstone, an old, deaf and battle-hardened fighter from Citadel Felbarr that now ran his own forge in the city. There, the deaf dwarf fighter challenged Thaldrak to a duel after interrogating him about his code and honor. Thaldrak easily defeated him, but respectfully so, and William Whetstone gave Thaldrak his own sword as a reward – a Blade of Alarm.
    • T'avin went to go and speak with Vadania and the council, who were immersed in a meeting in The Cloister. However, rigorous law and protocol prevented him from interrupting this meeting, and a scalding conversation with her Secretariat sent him returning to the Hall of Justice, shaking his head and frustrated with the unintended political turmoil. On his way out, he got a sending from Dumbledilp, who updated him that an equipment care package was en route from Helm's Hold with ETA 1.5 days, and from Anael, who was convinced that Szass'tam had seen her scrying when she scried the gauntlet, and was now watching her. 

 

  • Kay wrote down the information about Midnight while Bree visited with Johannes. However, they received a surprise visitor by the name of Jarlaxle, a High Elf wearing exotic and eccentric clothing, including an eyepatch that matched that of Kay, exactly. Jarlaxle offered to trade information with Kay, wanting to hear more details about the threats posed to Gauntlgrym and Neverwinter in exchange for a first-hand account of the first eruption of Mount Hotenow. Jarlaxle told Kay that he had been there, a part of an adventuring party who were trying to beat the ambitious Dwarves in discovering Gauntlgrym and her secrets. There, they discovered the sleeping fire primordial, and he was betrayed by one of his allies, Valindra Shadowmantle, who mind-controlled another of their party and forced the strong dwarf upon Maegera. This resulted in the eruption, and Jarlaxle claimed that only he and Valindra survived. He gave Kay a Stone of Sending to "keep in touch", Kay thanked the elf for the information and returned to the room to find Rayne Nightshade awaiting him.
  • Rayne chastised Kay about meeting with Jarlaxle, warning the halfling that he was not to be trusted, and was trying to wrest control of certain interests in Neverwinter out of Zhentarim hands. Kay negotiated for information with Midnight, asking for 10k GP in exchange for the valuable insider info on Waterdeep's new leader. Rayne put forward that it was impossible given the city's current debts and political situation. They came to an agreement, however, together with T'avin, that the party would receive 500 GP in assets together with four equipped horses. During this arrangement, she also let Kay know that Midnight had messaged her suggesting that Kay was her agent, implying that Kay might be working against Rayne as a double-agent betrayer. Insistent on his willingness to collaborate with the Neverwinter Zhentarim, Kay offered to take a Zone of Truth spell while he orally divulged the information. Rayne agreed, but said that she would only be able to do so the following morning or evening. 
  • The party, once rendezvoused, decided to depart already that night to meet the en route caravan, concerned that it would be held up by bandits or other nefarious beings. They slept in the cold night without food or shelter, much to the distaste of Johannes, and continued at a fast pace the following morning, with the new horses given to them by Rayne. They came across the caravan after six hours of travel, finding it upended and broken, their gear still secured in three boxes along the road. Blithe Nithilaar, a paladin of Torm and the Order of the Gauntlet, greeted them, saying that they were attacked by a group of trolls and were barely able to fend them off. He gave Bree his own Gauntlets of Ogre Power, and passed the equipment on to the party. He also inquired as to the whereabouts of Ambassador Lo'gar, who was supposed to have left Neverwinter several days prior for Helm's Hold, but never arrived. Concerned that Lo'gar was waylaid by the same trolls, or maybe earlier in the road, the party decided to pursue the green beasts into the eastern hills and thin woods. They set a trap for the trolls, camping before a giant fire beneath a tree, upon which Johannes slept on the lowest branch. 
  • They were beset upon by 8 trolls in the night, who viciously attacked T'avin as he slew fireballs and Kay, Thaldrak and Bree tore troll flesh with their new steel. They won the day, killing half of the creatures while the others fled, but sadly (or not, depending on who you ask) T'avin killed Johannes with collateral damage of a poorly (or well-) placed fireball. But karma would be a creative bitch… as just before the trolls fled into the night… T'avin turned into a squirrel.  

How did this happen, might you ask? Well, no one knows for sure… except for T'avin, so let's ask him…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6IR0JmfkvQ 

 

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