Endelwyne

Darkening Twilight Campaign - Adventure 1
The adventure continues...

A Darkening Twilight

Adventure 2.0

Narrative

The cold reached them first.  After months under the warm sun of a hot spring, they had gotten used to wearing their threadbare clothes.  In the high mountains and under a shadow of a great peak, they were suddenly chilled.

The portal had worked just as the totem-god Tamitar had said it would.  The heroes found themselves on a hill, looking down on a portion of the caravan road that was busy with travelers and merchants. To their right was the sprawling city complex of Twilight Park.  From their vantage point, they could follow the caravan road down the canyon into the city.  The famous Burroughs lined the walls of the canyon complex.  The two great peaks towered over the city, keeping it forever in shadow.

Each hero took a moment to gather himself.  Throkk wanted only a good meal in a civilized place.  Red Feather reflected on how far he had come from the days following the loss of his tribe. 

The heroes set off for the road and followed it into the city.  Passing a cemetery on the outskirts of the town a play of light and shadow caught Sharasen and Turok's eyes.  The name Throkk seemed to shine forth from a tombstone.  Until the turned and saw that it belonged to another.  Broth Rokkerth.  The sight startled the friends, they weren't sure what it meant.

Once in town, the heroes immediately felt out of place.  Their ragged clothing, dented armor, and rough demeanors set them apart.  Eyes from every corner seemed to be follow them.  With a mixture of guile and a bit of luck they made it to a tavern called the Lyrical Orc.  The doorman immediately swept them up and took them to a large upstairs room.  It was set up for larger traveling parties, and in quick order a delicious meal was set out for them.

Their first days in the city were eventful.  As they tried …

 

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Endelwyne Campaign - Adventure 2.0
The adventure continues...

A Darkening Twilight

Adventure 2.0

Narrative

The cold reached them first.  After months under the warm sun of a hot spring, they had gotten used to wearing their threadbare clothes.  In the high mountains and under a shadow of a great peak, they were suddenly chilled.

The portal had worked just as the totem-god Tamitar had said it would.  The heroes found themselves on a hill, looking down on a portion of the caravan road that was busy with travelers and merchants. To their right was the sprawling city complex of Twilight Park.  From their vantage point, they could follow the caravan road down the canyon into the city.  The famous Burroughs lined the walls of the canyon complex.  The two great peaks towered over the city, keeping it forever in shadow.

Each hero took a moment to gather himself.  Throkk wanted only a good meal in a civilized place.  Red Feather reflected on how far he had come from the days following the loss of his tribe. 

The heroes set off for the road and followed it into the city.  Passing a cemetery on the outskirts of the town a play of light and shadow caught Sharasen and Turok's eyes.  The name Throkk seemed to shine forth from a tombstone.  Until the turned and saw that it belonged to another.  Broth Rokkerth.  The sight startled the friends, they weren't sure what it meant.

Once in town, the heroes immediately felt out of place.  Their ragged clothing, dented armor, and rough demeanors set them apart.  Eyes from every corner seemed to be follow them.  With a mixture of guile and a bit of luck they made it to a tavern called the Lyrical Orc.  The doorman immediately swept them up and took them to a large upstairs room.  It was set up for larger traveling parties, and in quick order a delicious meal was set out for them.

Their first days in the city were eventful.  As they tried …

 

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Endelwyne Campaign - Adventure 20
The Dragon Speaks

Narrative

Soaring out of the sun comes a bright green dot.  With a beat of two leathery wings, its true shape comes into focus.  The heroes stare in awe and horror. The creature is the stuff of legend, a spine covered green dragon sweeps down on the roof top garden.  It circles twice, soaring just out of reach. The heroes can see its bright golden eyes watching and tracking each and every one of them.

It makes a final twist of its great wings and tail and barrel rolls to a thunderous landing in the middle of the reflecting pool at the heart of the garden.  Its great size sends forth a wall of water and lily pads across the paved stones of the once peaceful space.  It roars and looks and faces the heroes.

"I am Ferreth the Free!" It roars.

"I was once a God for the Ferrential.  A noble clan of warriors and monks, who were proud and strong.  Above all else they valued self control.  I was their perfect example! I taught them that a man ruled by his anger or by his habits is never truly free.  Instead, he is a slave to that very anger and habit.  The passions control him not the other way around.  I taught that a man must control his emotions, control his anger, to know true freedom."

The monster rages, slashing his tail back and forth.

"That was my totem!" He looks at a statue of a great warrior, hewn from rough stone.  It looks primitive, but has an incredible strength and presence about it.  The head has been destroyed but a hammer.

"Now I am free! For eons I was trapped within that totem,"  the dragon growls low and starts to move forward, "I had time to think.  I realized I had been wrong.  True freedom is what I have become.  I can do anything I want, destroy anything I want, devour anything I want.  I let only my emotions control me, my rage, my anger, my hatred.  I have become true freedom!" He stands up on his back legs and belches forth a cloud of poison gas into the sky.

"I awoke, and took this form. I have been growing these last 75 years. I have been gaining strength.  Soon, I will be unleashed on the world, I may choose to fight with the Horde when they invade the mountains. I may choose to find the elves that once persecuted my people and destroy them.  I may fly to one of the mountain cities and make them worship me again."

He growls low again, "But first, I have decided I don't like you."

His eyes flair with rage as he comes forward!

Shocked in their fear the heroes try to muster their courage.  They are stationed around a few totems and spread out as soon as the dragon comes at them. Attacking quickly from range each of the heroes musters their courage to assault the beast.  Javelins fly from the hands of Throkk, magic pours into the beast from the spell casters and arrows and cross bolts soar.  The heroes are all able to strike the beast, burning and tearing its hide.

In response, the great beast starts with a belch of poison gas, which covers the garden in a green cloud.  Expecting the attack the heroes were dispersed enough that not a one of them were dropped by the fumes, but only took minor damage.  Its frightful pressence shocks the minds of spell casters and the rogue, causing them to take cover or move quickly away from the monster.  It comes forward splashing water across the garden out of the wave pool in a great shower or noise and movement.

It goes for Red Feather, but at the last instant slips allowing Red Feather to call his two ancient tomahawks to his hands and driving them deep into the chin of the dragon.  As the spell casters and Ivor regain their wits Turok forms a plan.

"Hurt the beast!" He yells from cover, "and I will cast the final spell!" Following the idea, Throkk and Red Feather, the two great warriors rush forward.  The Rogue Ivor moves around the beast to attack it from range.  In front of the dragon he attacks Red Feather again, and then beats his great wings, driving dust and wind down against Turok, Sharasen and Zook. Knocking them prone as it leapt into the air and landed in front of Ivor, while crushing stone columns and a marble promenade.

Shocked Ivor drew his sword and attacks, while the rest of the heroes recover from the blast of wings.  Turok, seeing the tears in the beast's thick skin and the green foam welling in its mouth casts his Sleep spell.  The dragon roars and looks at the wizard, delight dancing in his eyes as he resists the spell, the last he can resist that day.  Throkk, fearful of Ivor facing the beast alone charged across the courtyard and raged against the beast, slicing deep into its tail and hind quarters.

Roaring in pain the dragon spun and regained its poison breath.  With the recent damage fresh in his mind he passed over the spell casters and blasted the barbarian at point blank range with his deadly breath.  The heroes watched as his friend vanished in the fog of unnatural green.

Fearing the worst they rushed forward, to see the half-orc still standing, but badly injured from the blast of poison.  Only his orc blood kept him on his feet ready to face the monster with a final attack. More magic and damage was dealt to the dragon, a witchbolt lanced across the courtyard sparking across the dragon with damaging lightening.  A bright white moon beam streamed from the sky and moved over the dragon's face, scorching it with druid magic.  The dragon raised up on its hind quarters to destroy the half-orc in front of him.  Lost behind the dragon, Ivor the rogue slipped out from behind a ruined column and found the side of the dragon, a scorch mark having destroyed its protective layer of scales became the target for his piercing rapier.  Ivor slammed it into his side and drove it deep, striking the dragon's heart.

The yellow eyes of the dragon, instantly cleared, and were replaced by striking blue eyes.  Human eyes.

Like a mirage the dragon vanished, and standing in front of them all stood an decorated, proud and ancient warrior.

The garden is decimated.  Somehow it lies in more ruin now than when you arrived, despite the dragons wrath, the life has gone out of the place.  The sun casts harsh shadows into the nooks and crannies around the courtyard.  He stares at you, and you see knowledge and understand in the depths below his pale blue eyes.  Then in front of you a warrior is standing.  He is dressed in ancient looking leather armor.  Its held together with wooden beads.  In his hand is a long 10 foot spear and round shield with his symbol upon it.

"I am Ferreth and I remember who I am," He says.  "Thank you warriors for freeing me from the darkness.  I was," he pauses looking around, "Confused, but there was some one here.  He encouraged me, but now I don't feel  his pull."

"I will no longer terrorize the skies, I will return to my ways and I would encourage you, see what I became when I let me emotions take over and became chaos.  Do not be ruled by your emotions, for you will be come their slave."  He walks over to his broken totem and places a hand on his statue's chest.

"You know," he says, "I can remember every face of every member of my tribe.  All of them are eons gone.  I will claim you as mine, even if you don't choose to claim me.  Do well to save this world for men and beasts.  I fear it is in a greater danger than any of us know."  He pushes on his totem and it starts to slide with a great grinding across the stones, he stands aside revealing a staircase down into the garden.

"The treasures of my tribe can be found in this grotto, you may each take what you need and no more, for this is also the only grave for my people that I have. Return when you are done".

Next to Ferreth's totem is another totem that looks like a bundle of reeds, blowing on the window a shimmering figure appears. She is a beautiful but seems completely frozen and unmoving from her spot.  "I believe Tamitar, totem-god of Safe and Good Travel also wishes to speak with you." He smiles.

"Go, down and retrieve what calls to you and return, then you can speak to Tamitar".

Shocked by the results, Turok steps forward, untrusting.

"You just tried to kill us, and now you want us to go into a dark cellar.  Prove to me spirit, that we can trust you."

"Turok," he says, "I have claimed you as my own, despite your elven nature. My shield is yours, my spear is yours, for you have freed me and I will not return to who I was.  Go. Trust me." 

Hesitantly, Zook walked down the stairs into the dark.  Throkk, still reeling from taken the full blast from the dragon, stumbled over to the group and resisted.  Drinking a potion from Turok, as he stepped away from the totem-god.

Walking down the stairs, Zook feels a draw, out of reality in some way.  Like he suddenly had traveled in space and time away from the totem garden, to somewhere else.  In the groto he found shelves lined with treasure, gold, weapons and finely crafted artifacts.  Strangely, he didn't feel a call to any of the treasure.  He wandered through the gloom and came around a corner to find an item he knew was meant for him.

Individually, each of the heroes followed the same path as Zook, walking down into the dark, only to find an item, calling to them, and having no interested in taking anything else.

Red Feather found, hanging on a reed manikin, a hood, made from the pelt of a wolf.  The head teeth of the great hood sat just above his forehead.  As he put in on magic flowed through him.  His senses, sharpened, his reflexes strengthened.  He walked out of the grotto wearing his new Hood of the Wolf with pride.

Turok was one of the last to walk into the grotto.  He was immediately overwhelmed with the arcane power in the place.  He was drawing to the back of the grotto.  Leaning in the corner of the room, away from all the rest of the shelves and military gear, he found a staff.  When he grabbed it, the power coursed through him.  As a wizard, he suddenly knew that this staff had been meant for him, across the ages.  It is gnarled and polished to show many knots still left in the hard oak.  In an art lost to the ages, the stain of the wood is a luminous dark red.

Sharasen wandered through the shelves, his short size making it hard to see the top of the storage.  Wandering into an area full of ancient weapons, he found two sticks, hanging over the edge of a shelf.  Reaching up to grab them and pull them off he found two dark wood, lacquered tonfas.  Their magical properties caused the weapons to immediately shrink to fit his smaller size.  Using his monk abilities, he took the new weapons for a quick kata, finding them to be perfectly balanced.

Turok, slowly recovering from his ordeal wandered into the dark and immediately drawing to a reed manikin rack, containing a fine coat of bronze scale armor and weapons.  At the base of the sat a pair of boots.  Their leather and fur immediately fit his half orc attitude.  He slipped on the boots and felt a connection to the ground he hadn't had before.  Allowing him to move faster and plant his feet, so as never to be moved.

Ivor discovered a pair of thin leather gloves.  When putting them on he released that they would allow him to change the power of his weapons but also could be the salvation of his friends.

Zook wandered through racks for a while.  Absorbing the history until his eye fell on a single ring.  It was made from a polished white metal, with two opals set directly across from each other.  This ring, when he wears it will being him to aid his friends, where ever they might me.

When they collected themselves back in the garden, the totem-god Tamitar spoke to them. She is completely unmoving, in a very unnatural way.

"I am Tamitar, my people were nomads and travelers.  I have not been tainted by the destruction of my totem, though I have felt the call and that desire. To fight the darkness I have become perfectly still.  I am the reason all the roads you have traveled are covered in grass, for without my protection they have returned to their early state."

"You have done well on this quest, and you have returned Ferreth to his true state.  In my powers is the ability to help travelers on their way, and to know who traveled and to where.  You have witnessed the destruction of the Book of the World names and now the man Marsus knows all our true names.  He will use this knowledge to bind us and our powers to him.  However, the Priests of Assar, creators of the Book, kept a secret copy.  Just before the war I watched as a Priest took the book and escaped.  He traveled all the way through the mountains in disguise, until he stopped in a city called Twilight Park.  I know he had the Book with him when he arrived.  His name was Ashur Anktan he was a great Priest of Assar. Find the book and his priestly medallion and you will have the power to bind or free totem-gods, just like Marsus is planning.  With this power you can stop Marsus or help him, as you choose. You can stop the Wild Hunt, if you choose.  I believe the age of the totem-gods is coming to an end, but if it doesn't than the Wild Hunt, or Marsus could rule all.  When you are ready, I can send you to the gate of Twilight Park, so you can begin your search."

As they prepare to leave, Ferreth begins to grow.  His ancient bronze armor turns into scales.  His body lengths and his face because elongated. Before them, stands a Copper Dragon.  The size of Ferreth when he was green.  Now the scales have a slight bluish tint.  His eyes are deep turquois orbs.

"I have chosen you.  As such you can call on my aid when the time is right.  Remember not to be a slave to your emotions, but control them so that you are the master of your own self.  Until then my tribe.  I will protect this place and try to find what it was that was lurking in the darkness. I fear that many of the lesser totem-gods have fallen into madness, there are certainly more dragons and even worse, so be mindful in your travels."  He roars and a great beat of his wings he takes to the air.

The weary heroes look at each other and agree that they are ready.  Sensing this, Tamitar, opened the world to them, and in a sudden flash the roof top garden that had been silient for nearly 75 years, the site of brief flourish of magic and destruction, returns again to simple silence.  The garden is empty, rubble and muddy water spread all around.  Lily pads start to curl from the day time heat.  A small red butterfly lands on the should of a broken statue, then flitters away, looking for some shade to spend the day in.

DM's Corner

So fun to wrap up the first book with the guys.  This was the scene I had waited all summer and fall for and couldn't wait to finally have it out.  Disappointed again that the CR rating and the party just don't seem to match.  I don't think the battle had the proper level of drama for a boss battle so that will be something I will look at for the next adventure.

I hope the magic items all the guys got will work well in the game, will see.

We had a great night, after the final battle we had gumbo and then the boys had a double elimination tournament.  It was a great time with a tie between the two tanks, but a close finish once Turok hit his stride, nearly beating Red Feather it came down to them both having just a few HP and shooting fire bolts at each other.

The next adventure will have a totally different feel.  I plan on it being city based, with some adventures leading out of the city.  This should get some more NPCs in the game, but also give the guys a chance to build their PCs into proper heroes, with some renown and property, etc.  Looking forward to introducing some new and much more challenging enemies in the next adventure as well.

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Endelwyne Campaign - Adventure 19
Travel through the Pyramid and Marsus Returns

Narrative

 

The banshees vanished into clouds of mist and left the heroes facing each other.  A few felt the icy grip of the banshee wail shred their souls are are left bewildered and shaken.

Throkk, enraged by Ivor's carelessness attacks the human rogue, grabbing him from behind and throwing the rogue up into a tree.  The rogue caught a lower branch and climbed to the top. He got a lay of the paths around them and pointed the party in the right direction.

Red Feather took off down the way pointed out by Ivor and came upon a giant iron pot with a tree inside.  Shocked, the tree started to bend towards him and opened two large eyes in the trunk, that looked like rotating acorns.  The treant spoke, in its slow quiet voice and begged Red Feather to release him.  The rest of the party quickly ran to the pot.  Zook cast speak with animals and interacted with beautiful parrot.  The parrot told him they were going in the right direction if they wanted to get inside.

The treant made a deal to help the party if they could release him.

Ivor helped find a lock in the iron pot and was able to crack it open.  The treant was thrilled, and went slowly wandering off through the garden, happily yelling "Freedom!" at the top of its lungs.  Before it left it told them the right direction to find a door to enter the pyramid.

They made good progress following the treant's advice.  A final push through a dense bramble would get them to their goal.

Pushing through the other side, each hero found himself standing alone in another plaza.  In front of them, wreathed in garish colors was a roiling mass of vines, covered in colorful flowers.  Shocked by the sight each of the heroes was also confronted by the fact that they couldn't remember their names, and their forms were complete nondescript.

The vines roiled around in front of them and attacked.  Each hero generated a signature weapon in his hand and created it into an energy type from the universe.  Zook called forth his wooden scimitar, covered in green, poisonous light.  Ivor found his rapier in his hand, covered in black necrotic energy.  Throkk felt the grip and weight of his great axe in his hand, ringed in flame.  Turok was holding a wizards staff, covered in the blue of pure lightening.  Sharasen clenched his fists and one was covered in pink, psychic energy, the other was covered in orange flame.  Red Feather pulled out his two tuned tomahawks both of them covered in white, and radiating absolute cold.

Each hero fought the plant on their own.  The plant changed the shades of its flowers, rotating through various colors, pink, orange, clear, blue and more.  After each shift of the color the hero was able to change the damage type, and color of his weapons.  As the hits started to pile up the characters found themselves remembering more of who they were.  Their weapons became defined, the started to remember their names and their pasts.  Figuring out the flowers pattern, some of the heroes were able to add greater damage to their attacks, others, not figuring out the plan did less damage as the flower resisted their attempts to break free from its control.

Red Feather, Ivor and Sharasen were the first to wake from their dream battle.  Waking to the real world they found their friends unconscious lying among them.  Among them were a terrifying carnivorous plant that was trying to crush the heroes under coils of slowing growing and pulsating vines.  Sharasen, waking first and moving to action, put his thumbs together and cast a sheet of flame across the plant.  His burning hands spell seared the air in front of him and scorched the plant, despite, to his surprise it being able to move away from some of the fire.

Ivor woke next, and using his rogue abilities to recognize a weakness in his adversary he drew his crossbow and fired for a pulsating vein along one of the larger roots of the plant.  The bolt tore through the vein, which poured forth an bright green fluid all over the plaza.  The attack was all that was needed to destroy the plant.  Yellow spores floated with the light breeze away from them and their friends quickly woke.

As the plant shriveled and died they heard the faint clinks of coins falling to the stone covered ground.  Searching around they were able to collect a large batch of treasure, apparently the remnants of victims it couldn't digest. They also found a pouch that contained dust of dryness, a container of Kehtoums Ointment, and a potion of Greater Healing. Throkk made sure they magical items when to Turok for safe keeping.

Gathering their new treasure, they moved quickly to a door along the first step wall of the great pyramid.

The door was locked.  Pinned to it by a simple dagger was a simple note that read:

You've made it a great deal farther than I expected.  Well done, hope to see you at the top.

Best, M

The party elected to simply burst through the door, tired of the horrible garden they had battled through.

The revealed a long stone hallway, but then realized that it wasn't so much of a hallway as it was a passage through the outer wall of the first pyramid step.  The passage lead to a large room.  Searching the area the party found that it was a workmen's staging area.  There were wheel barrows and farm implements.  Piles of mulch, now rotted and covered in mushrooms were spaced in a regular pattern around the floor of the great room.  Red Feather elected to take a rusty pick axe with him, while Zook discovered that the mushrooms were actually safe and good to eat, so he harvested a number of them for dinner.  Everywhere the heroes found evidence that tools and activities were simply dropped.  It looked like the workers had abandoned the area in the middle of a busy work day.

Finding their way to a stair case that seemed to lead to the next level the party paused.  Under the request of Turok, they decided to stop for the day and rest.  They set a watch and had a stew of mushrooms and left over jerky from their travels across the plains.

In the middle of the night, surrounded by the stillness of the huge dead vault, Ivor felt a tap on his shoulder.

"We're friends!" A small voice stated, "we mean you no harm!"

Ivor turned slowly, with his hand on his dagger and came face to face with a hover sprite.  The small fairy had a bow strapped across his shoulder and was very finely dressed.  Zook, also keeping watch but facing the stairs didn't initially notice.  But as Ivor and the fairy started talking his alarm was raised and he turned to see Ivor talking to no less that 7 of the flying fey.  Walking over he heard more of the whispered conversation.

The sprites were searching for a Red Cap in the garden and had run into the freed treant that told them they adventures were traveling through the garden.  The sprites didn't want any help looking for the fey monster, but did help heal Turok a bit more as he slept.  They answered a few of the questions, as best they could, about the totems and the pyramid garden.  The commotion woke up all the team and as the sprites vanished before their eyes, they traveled higher up into the building.

Making a quick breakfast of the last of the mushrooms the party traveled up the wide flight of stairs and found themselves in a large living space.  A network of open rooms, hallways and dorms all interlocked to form a small village inside the pyramid.  Here again, it looked like the place had been rapidly abandoned.  A search turned up only minor trinkets and personal artifacts from the people that once lived here nearly 75 years ago.  At the far end of the complex they found a security station.  Inside was a broken open cabinet that contained weapons from the original guards.  Inside, Throkk found a battle axe and shield that had a faint tinge of magic about them, but were made to a high level of craftsmanship.  He took a set, as did Zook, who strapped a shield to his back to help protect him from attack from behind.  The shield was nearly as tall as he was and gave him the look of a small walking turtle.

Red Feather also took one of the magic battle axes and a shield.  Inside they also found a few more potions of healing.  A magical shortbow was found in the back of the cabinet, a great prize for the party to use in an upcoming challenge.

Traveling higher into the pyramid they reached the reservoir room.  The Sprites had told them about this room.  All the water for the gardens was brought to this room through magical pulleys and buckets, along with water screws.  It was a nearly 100' across and fully flooded with a deep pool of water.  To cross the pool the Assarisans had built hanging stone paths around the pool, which created several smaller pools.  The heroes saw that the exit was at the far side of the room.  A torrent of water poured out of the staircase, and in a fleeting glimpse Zook thought he saw a face form in the water.  Ladders were built into the stone pathways to enter or exit the different pools.  Several of the heroes, including Red Feather went straight for the ladder, thinking to jump in.  Copper started barking and growling as soon as he got close, so he changed his mind.

Anticipating danger Zook cast his levitate spell and rose to the ceiling.  Sharasen cast spider climb and also made it to the ceiling, intending to crawl all the way across.  The party on the ground rushed toward the raging door.  To draw out any enemies Throkk dove into the largest of the pools, as swimming across was the shortest path to the exit.

Throkk swam across with ease, but when he reached the ladder on the far side, the water behind him exploded in the shape of a massive tentacle of water that smashed him against the ladder and then pulled him off and into the pool.  The attacker became invisible as soon as it returned to the water.

Seeing the great half-orc submerged and in trouble the rest of the party raced around the large pool to come to his aid.  Getting close to the torrent of water spilling from the stair case woke a large water elemental that leapt forward and joined the water weird in the water to attack the restrained and grappled barbarian.

A second water weird attacked the heroes on the edge of the pool, slamming Red Feather but unable to pull him into the water.  Turok pulled himself along the ceiling directly above the water elemental and reached into the pouch of dust of dryness.  Sprinkling the magic powder onto the monster had a devastating affect.   When the powder touched the monster it mixed with the water of its body, causing black streaks through its body as it took massive necromatic damage.  Turok followed up with a lightening bolt spell directly into the elemental, blasting it with arcane electric energy.

Sharasen, still using his spider climb to hang on the ceiling was swept up in the battle and cast witch bolt into the pool to help with Throkk.  However, the concentration needed to cast the spell banished the spider climb from his mind.  He fell, taking damage but safely avoiding falling into the pool.  Red Feather and the second water weird went blow for blow, as Ivor moved forward to help attack the monster as well.  With magical weapons and powerful blows, including critical hits that Red Feather landed multiple times, the beast disassociated and collapsed into the pool.

Under the surface Throkk raged.  The water swirled as he tapped into his orc blood to break free from the water weird, and escape being absorbed by the body of the elemental.  The first thing he did was kick and break the surface.  Taking a massive breath, he then turned and in a quick move pulled himself up and on to stone pathway above it.

With the defeat of the first water weird the team was able to move around to help defend Throkk.  Zook helped him with some healing, fueling him with gooseberries.  Turok dropped another pinch of dust onto the elemental, and it realized it was in trouble against these surprising adversaries.

Suddenly Throkk's vision went red.  Standing in front of him was a massive beast, standing on the hind legs of a great stallion, with a brown hair covered torso and massive arms ends in claws.  On its head were great elk antlers, its face was long and appeared to be a mix of equine and hound.  Behind its human eyes shown a sparkling intellect.  It wore a great belt with its symbol on the belt buckle, The Wild Hunt stood before him.

"You have the Horde blood within you!" It screamed at Throkk, the voice was like a dozen different animals all howling, yipping and hooting together. "Feel that blood, I need a great warrior like you.  Do what you are called to do and be what you are called to be! Strike down these lessors and embrace what you are!" His eyes flared white and on instinct Throkk reached down and pulled out his broken great sword.  He started to swing at the closest hero next too him, then stopped himself and instead moved the slash to hit the water elemental.  Zook, who was his closest target, noticed that it seemed the attack was coming towards him, but had no idea of the effort it had taken Throkk to redirect the blow.

The water weird that had first hit Throkk fell next. Alone, the water elemental became the focus of the whole party.  Under and onslaught of magic dust and melee the elemental finally broke.  As the magic holding the creature together returned to the elemental plane of water, it collapsed and the water poured back into the reservoir.

Again the adventurers found themselves spent and needed another rest to heal and recover their spells.

Rested, the heroes carried on.  The stair case they found lead outside the pyramid to a hidden outside staircase that curved around the five sided top most layer of the step pyramid that was the hanging garden.  The sun was out and it was a clear and beautiful summer morning.

Feeling that they were nearing the end of this journey they climbed around the stairs.  Reaching the top they entered a grand garden.  From the top the entire Capital was visible.  To the north, the only building that compared to the garden was the royal palace.  The garden was full of totems, statues of figures, abstract bundles of sticks tied in shapes, all hidden within a landscape originally designed for peace and tranquility.  In the middle of the garden was a large reflecting pool, only a few feet thick, still covered in blooming lily pads.  Looking closer however, the signs of decay and destruction were also evident.  Each totem had a broken or damaged appearance.  Flies hung around the lilies on the water, attracted by some rotting sent coming from the pool.

With a snap and pop a magical dome of energy surrounded the heroes.  Zook and Red Feather were nearly cut in half by it, but both dodged as the wall formed, but dove inside the dome.  The dome formed through a stone bench, cutting it in half.  After casing his attack spell, a robed figure in front of them suddenly lost his invisibility spell.  He pulled back his hood, and smiled.  Marsus was standing before them.

"I have to say," He said, "I am hugely impressed that you made it this far.  First, you all look terrible."  He stepped forward, putting his hand on the sword by his side.  He wore a strange metallic emblem on his chest and was wearing traveling cloths, that looked to be in very good shape.

"Turok, you look like your dying, jeez, I've never seen an elf look so, I don't know, old.  Where did the gray hair come from? And Zook! My goodness my small friend, you left a part of you behind.  And who are these two? Ugly and less ugly?"

Throkk bristled, "If you are Marsus, then we are here from the White Council, and you are coming with us."

"Oh, right, the White Council.  Thanks for that, I needed you to get them off my trail.  When I died, they could no longer scry on me, but they were still watching you, believe me.  Maybe not Sharasen though, he has the fancy amulet."

"Where's Brill," Red Feather asked, calling his Tomahawks to his hands.  It was a statement, not a question.

Marsus smiled, then grimaced, "Brill is dead dead.  He needed to be sacrificed for the cause.  I'm trying to do something bigger than the loss of some non-human to a bunch of savages."

"Anyway, here's the deal.  The Wild Hunt and his Horde are still on the march, and the world is coming apart after the Assarisans fell.  The humans need a God.  I am going to be that God. This column behind me is The Book of the World Names.  The Clerics of Assar wrote the true names of every totem-god they every captured in wet clay on this column. Each new name build a layer, so the name is actually hidden in the the clay.  With the true names of the gods, I can merge with them and take their power, just like the God-King Assar once did. This," he held up the medal on his chest, "is the totem of a god of knowledge named Syderen.  With her power I will absorb the names of all the gods listed here.  I already have the totem of the beast god  Jielarth, those gnolls we faced I can call them now. I can create an army of gnolls, if I want."

"Once I become a god, I will unify all the humans against the Horde and usher in a new age of greatness for our people.  I am offering you to join me, you can be, bishops, or lieutenants or whatever.  Even you non-humans, you can worship me too, that might actually be good. I could be the new god for all the races! Just need you to worship me. What do you say?"

Turok looked at him deeply, "What happens when you become a god, how do we know you will be good?"

Marsus chuckled, "Funny, when I am a god I will do whatever I think is best.  And I will remember those that helped me, and those that didn't" 

Red Feather stepped to the edge of the dome, "You killed Brill, I will never join you."

"Suit yourself," he said.  Marsus stepped over to the pillar, the Book of the World names and placed his hand on the column.  The totem on his chest flared and his eyes flashed pure white.  The column of sunbaked clay vaporized, like it had been hit by a giant sledge hammer and turned in to a cloud of fine powder.  The powder swirled around Marsus and twinkled, then rushed into his pores.  He turned and looked at the heroes, his eyes bright white, lancing with energy across the courtyard. Then in a blink, he was standing before them again.

"It begins, my friends.  The next step is for the council to arrive, and take me away. You all, will be left here.  No loose ends you know…"  Almost on cue, a thunderclaps of energy spiked all around them.  A strike force of White Council mages teleported to the roof top.  Marsus smiled and put his hands together as holding spells were cast on him by wands the mages were holding.  Dressed in his signature well trimmed suit, Deagean walked up to the dome of force and addressed Throkk and Ivor.

"Well done," he said slyly, "Our agreement is at an end and we have made our payment in full."  He took two steps back, and with the rest of the mages and Marsus, they vanished.

"What was your agreement?" Red Feather asked.

"That we get to leave the White City alive," Throkk retorted, darkly.  With Marsus vanishing the dome of force dropped.  They looked at each other, when a screech filled the sky and echoed off the columns and promenades of the roof garden. Circling above them, was a green shape. The creature turned and the sunlight glinted off great leather wings and a serpentine tail.  Above them, circled a giant green dragon.  They formed a defense circle as they watched it circle around the roof.  It swept down and with its tail raked the side of the pyramid, destorying the hidden staircase they had used to reach the top.

It circled one more time, and then squared, coming directly for them.

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Endelwyne Campaign - Adventure 18
Consequences and Escape

Narrative

 

The hero's excitement about Zook Timbers's finding an exit from the sealed sewer and cistern complex is quickly squashed. The team, having spread out to search for an exit has left the 3-foot tall gnome alone in one of the cistern rooms. He now faces a gibbering horror and two ochre jellies on his own.

The horrible creatures all seem to be working in concert now. The two jellies move to block the entrance to the cistern to trap Zook with the horror. The gore across the floor in every cistern room, erupts, making movement difficult for all the heroes.

Attacking the jellies is the first order of business for the heroes. Throkk Baldesh uses the remainder of this javelins to do some serious damage to the first jelly blocking the doorway as he struggles to cross the shifting, gelatinous floor. Red Feather and the two mages assault the jelly while Ivor positions himself for maximum effect against the enemies. Zook squared off with the horror, beating it with his magical scimitar. As the battle progressed the heroes were able to destroy the first jelly, causing it to burst like a balloon full of custard. The second jelly was split in half by Throok's great axe after he traversed around and entered the cistern to help Zook from the other side.

The battle turned against the group, just as it looked like it was nearly over. Zook's luck ran out as the horror was able to sink its many mouths into the small gnome. Not able to see the extent of his damage, but seeing him fall the party rushed to his aid. Invigorated by its meal of the gnome, the horror was able to launch a blast of its blinding spittle, taking a few more of the heroes out of commission. Luckily Ivor was able to keep his eyes shut, so he wasn't blinded, and was able to do enough damage to the horror to stop it from devouring Zook, completely.

The rest of the heroes destroyed the now split jellies and the horror succumbed to the damage brought on by Red Feather and Ivor. In an instant the floor went still and the beasts vanished. The team was left to help their companion. Turok got there first and was able to administer aid. Pulling the unconscious and badly injured gnome out of the undead goo covering the floor he was the first to see that his friend might never be the same.

The gibbering horror, had taken Zook's arm.

Red Feather assisted the first aid as the team attempted to stabilize their friend. Throkk and Ivor went to work on the lock holding the gate shut. Finally shattering the lock and busting through into a large drain. At the end of the horizontal drain was a grate leading to the outside and blessed sunlight and fresh air. Red Feather was able to leap up and grab the grate and then force it up and out by leveraging up the wall. Turok used his Mage Hand spell to lift a rope to Red Feather and they all quickly evacuated the sewer. They found themselves, safe. The grate lead to a bank of the river that cut between the borough they were in and the main city center of the Capital. After such an ordeal, they decided to rest. The sand bar was comfortable and they were all able to bath in the cool shallow water. Across the river the large walls of the Capital stood before them and in the distance they could even see the top of the Hanging Gardens, their final target. They had learned from Anna that the resting place for the Book of the World Names was at the top of the great wonder of the world.

Taking a few days to rest the heroes recovered from their injuries.  Zook started his new life, with one less arm and struggled with the loss.  Deciding that they had taken enough time the adventures headed back to the trail, now sensing the end of this journey was growing near.

They crossed the shallow water of the river delta and found a narrow staircase to ascend back to the main level of the city.  What greeted them was devastation.  The city had clearly been the scene of a horrific battle.  Most of the buildings, were towered higher than any they had ever seen, showed signs of collapse and fire.  The streets were paved in green grass.  White skulls poked out from the grass here and there across the landscape.

Looking for more weapons and equipment the heroes made their way over to a destroyed military fort, inside the walls of the city and just by the gates and a major bridge to one of the other islands.  They found very little, until Red Feather and Ivor were able to find an intact box, with a long sword of find quality and a hand cross bow, two items that they had been searching for throughout their adventure in the ancient city.

Marveling at the scale of the place they adventures traveled down the main boulevard, which was wide enough for at least two great caravans to pass on.  It took nearly a full day, walking and being cautious to get to the junction they needed to travel to the hanging garden.  They stayed to the main road, as they didn't want to risk traversing through the ruined back roads.

A second day of travel brought them to the gates of the famed Hanging Garden.  As they approached the entrance though, Zook and some of the others were sure they heard the sounds of Gnolls in the distance.  The horrible dog like creatures they had fought before near Gravel Creek had an unforgettable howl.  On edge, the party entered the gardens.

Once fabled for their incredible beauty and lushness, the party found themselves struck in awe by the gardens, despite years of over grown and and an almost sinister wildness to all the plants and animals they found.  The heroes had to make their way through the lower, public gardens to find a way into the base of the pyramid that made up the additional layers of the garden.

The going wasn't easy, as the deeper into the garden they traveled the more obvious it was that the plants and animals here had gone quite wild.  Every bush and tree seemed to have thorns or noxious pods.  The screams and howls of baboons was heard echoing through the canopy of the trees that now towered over most of the paths and plazas.

Looking for a way through the heroes entered a secret plaza, one of many, hidden among all the public trails and areas.  This plaza had a large tree growing in the center of it with roots, that had grown and been exposed with time.  On a hunch Ivor walked over to a strange and out of place looking ceramic pot on the edge of the plaza.  It had fallen over and was partial buried.  He reached down and picked it up, not realizing that the picked it up upside down.

The contents, ash, poured out all over the ground and a hideous shriek filled the plaza as four spirits emerged from the scattered cremation ash and formed into horrible banshees.

Swirling above them and only coming close enough to attack the banshees screeched and wailed around the heros.  The team coordinated their attack against first one, then another.  Seeing the battle was getting close, one of banshees flew to the dark space under tree in the cetner of the plaza.  Making use of the dark, away from the sun, the banshee let loose a terrible wail.  The super natural scream cut into the soul of the heroes, instantly dropping all but Ivor and Red Feather.  Now scrambling to save their quickly dying friends, the two remaining heroes stopped their attack and rushed to revive Zook, the only Cleric in the team.  Zook then in turn helped revive Sharasen, and then finally Turok, who was starting to fade into a final death, if he hadn't been saved.

Injured but at full numbers, the heroes were able to destroy the final two banshees.  Falling into the dirt, exhausted and shaken by their close call they made a quick camp to recover from the days trials.

DM's Corner

This was a great session.  The battle in the sewers and the groups escape was a great story.  I thought there was some good drama around Zook falling in his solo stand against the Horror.  When he dropped to zero he had to roll on the damage table in the DMG and rolled a 2.  Loosing his arm.  This is a cool narrative part of the character, how will the previously loner, hermit gnome deal with the loss of his arm.  I still thought the battle was "to easy" but I think it was fun.  The PCs are getting close to the final parts of "Book 1" and as they get closer to the hanging garden and final battle I am getting more excited.  I have dropped several encounters, etc. in the interest of moving the story along.

The meta game in the hanging garden was a skill check, the PCs needed 7 successes, and each failure would result on me rolling on a random encounter table.  Not all the encounters were bad, (they run into some of them in the next adventure anyway).  Ivor's critical failure resulted in me rolling on the table twice.  I rolled the 2X banshee line, twice.  The PCs had to face four banshees, which was really just on the edge of being a seriously difficult encounter, especially if each banshee was able to wail.  There is a note under the wail power that says it doesn't work in daylight, so that saved them.  As the battle was progressing and going well for the PCs though, I wanted to up the tension.  Once it seemed fairly well in hand,  I let one of the banshees wail, which dropped the majority of the party and changed the whole encounter.

The fallout for Ivor after making such a "mistake" was pretty memorable and lots of fun.  However, given that the one encounter took a good part of the gaming session, I will dial back the random encounters in the next session to keep things moving.

Thanks for the fun!

 

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Endelwyne - Adventure 17
Rats! Why is it always rats....

Narrative

The hero’s catch a bit of rest, deep under the outskirts of the Capital City. Making sure they kept a watch they all recover from the events of the day and the battle with the ghouls and ghast.

Waking, they get back to work and start clearing the rest of the drains needed to raise the flood gate. Zook Timbers leaped at the chance to clear the first drain and quickly got to work. The rest of the team stood guard, ready to attack if any more mephits showed themselves. From out of no where two Imps, a black and red and a bright pink, appeared from their invisible hiding places and attack Zook. Ready for anything the rest of the heroes attacked immediately. Zook’s powerful Guiding Bolt destroyed one of the villianous devils. Red Feather grabbed the second, just like in the first battle, but it twisted and sunk a dangerous dose of poison into Red Feather’s neck. Holding it in place the final strike by Ivor – The Rogue finished the devil.

Thankfully the third drain was easily cleared without any issue.

Gaining his courage, due to hating the slick filth surrounding them in the dank sewer, Throkk stepped forward to clear the next. His first pull of the debris pushed through into a nest of disgusting sewer rats. They crawled up his arm and covered him in bites. The team reacted quickly to defeat the swarms. Sharasen cast an illusion of cats, which scared off a number of the rodents. Throkk grabbed two and bite them in half and finally Zook had the crazy idea of clearing out the rest of the drain, which filled the room was a gush of water. It swept the rats down out of the room and away from heroes.

Looking at the reservoir they found it wasn’t yet full. So they returned to the room and started searching. Ivor was the first to see a final covered drain. This was off the ground and only about 2 feet in diameter. Throkk lifted the two smallest, Zook and Sharasen, into the tunnel so they could crawl to where it was blocked. It took Zook and Sharasen to work together to break a jam of broken boards and bricks.

Pulling hard on a locked piece of wood, the jam released, flooding the tunnel. But as soon as it did, more of the debris got caught up behind Zook and Sharasen. Stuck in the now pitch black tunnel, full of rushing water they both panicked, and started to drown.

Seeing the other team members in trouble both Throkk and Red Feather tried to reach into the rushing water to break the barriers. Throkk released a large piece and Red Feather removed the last.

Throkk captured Sharasen as he rushed from the tunnel, but to Throkk’s surprise the small halfling tried to kick out at the half orc and then rushed back into the water. Zook shot out of the tunnel and was able to roll, as he hit the floor.

Overcome by the Spirit of Aurel Sharasen tried to return to the water and drown himself. Red Feather rushed forward and tackled the small halfling, driving him out of the water and putting him in to a full nelson head lock until the halfling regained his senses.

The heroes had to recover quickly from the shock of Sharasen’s actions to rush to the flood gate door. The rushing water from the drains had filled the reservoir and raised the door, but the water was leaking out and the door was slowly closing.

All the heroes made it through, to find themselves standing in a small room with a staircase in front of them. Walking up the stairs the heroes are faced with a horror. The floor of the square cistern room is covered in a gel of decomposed bodies. They are all bothered by the scene. Ivor notices a bag of gems, but after pulling it out of the ooze and seeing a belt slip of the bag, the belt that the victim was wearing when they died, he was so disgusted he simply dropped the bag and left it.

The group sloghed across the filth of the floor into the first room on their right. Ivar crossed the large square room quickly and tried to unlock a gate at the far side. The rest of the team entered the room and took up positions to defend against any attack. The attack came suddenly as a ghast charged at them from another room, but moments before he was wihthin striking distance of Throkk’s axe the floor movved up in a heaving mass of mouths and eye balls and devoured the undead creature. Throkk witnessed the horror and while he tried to preserve his metal capabilities they slipped, from him, ever so slightly.

The group was suddenly beset as the ground came alive. Attacking them were sentient piles of gore, mouths and eye balls held together by a protoplasmic tangle decomposed flesh. Red Feather took the brunt of a terrivle attack from an ooze that congealed behind him. He was soaked in acid and had to flee the room as his armor smoked and his skin blistered. The rest of the team went to work, fighting the creatures with flaming spheres.

Not having time to dwell on the horror that had just over taken him, Throkk gripped his axe and went to work on the now screeching horror in front of him. Slash after slash took the create to pieces, and he never was over taken by the horrible screeching and talking coming from the multitude of mouths on the moving horror. With a final devestaing slash Throkk destroyed the horror. A flaming sphere burned up one of the other brown oozes, and seeing this the second pile of mouths and eyes and two other ooze simple sank back into the gore on the floor and vanished.

Taking a few moments to reset, Zook healed Sharsen, that had been dropped and nearly swallowed by the ooze.

The heroes when quickly to work, spreading out across the cisterns, checking all the locked gates to see which one would let them out. Most of the hallways were collapsed or caved in.

Finally, in the far back corner of the cistern complex Zook found a tunnel, behind an iron get he can’t open, that had the faintest glint of sunlight at the far end.

The small gnome shouted out in excitement, and in an instant found himself alone in the room facing another pile of mouth, all shreaking in delight, and two yellow brown oozes moving to his position.

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Endelwyne - Adventure 16
Escape the Sewer Adventure 1

Narrative

The heroes quickly pick themselves up after their serious fall into the sewers below the first borough of the Capital they reached. Standing in several feet of cool, rancid water the heroes were first assaulted by a horrible stench. In the gloom figures suddenly loomed out of the water and the team was beset by a clutch of ghouls, lead by a horrible ghast.

The ghast ran right at Red Feather and challenged him with his claws and fangs. Taken by the poison Red Feather found himself paralyzed and faced with the horrible visage of of the ghast licking its lips.

The rest of the group to the brunt of the rush from the ghouls. Throkk and Ivor teamed up to guard the line. Using his rogue skills Ivor wove through the combat, using his rapier to end the undeath of the beasts. Finding himself paralyzed and assaulted by a ghoul, Ivor rescued Throkk just in time. The beast still was able to bite deeply into the barbarian’s shoulder and do serious damage.

The wizard Turok cast a spell he had learned and rose about the team. This gave him an advantage in vision and he used it to cast multiple fire bolts into the face of the ghast attacking Red Feather. Sharasen, did the same, using Spider Climb up the wall and then used his vantage to hit the ghast with a wizard bolt. Unfortunately, Sharasen had to break his concentration for the Spider Climb to do so. While ghast was damaged, and Sharasen fell from the wall.

The assault on the ghast continued until the beast finally fell, leaving Red Feather to shake off his paralysis. In a panic, and to cover the exit from the cistern room they found themselves in Red Feather rushed to the northern door way. Seeing no other enemies, Red Feather turned, knocked an arrow and dropped the last ghoul through the eye.

To the north and east door ways led away from the cistern. The heroes first went to investigate the hallway to the east. Wisely, and with his battle experience showing through, Throkk urged caution. However, seeing a strange brown powder on the walls of the hallway Sharasen threw a fire bolt into the material in an attempt to destroy.

The fire bolt back fired. Ivor, sensing the danger twisted out of the way of the hallway to use a wall as cover. Standing in the middle of the doorway Sharasen took the brunt of a massive growth of brown mold. Using the heat from the fire the mold bloomed, sucking all the heat from the area and doing nearly mortal freezing damage to the small halfling. The water around his legs instantly froze, his skin turned instantly frostbite and death flashed across his eyes.

Red Feather rushed in with his tomhawks to break up the ice around Sharasen’s feet. Ivor moved to move him out of the way. The hallway completely sealed in brown mold and continued chill the room as the heroes backed to the the northern exit. They took a short rest and treated Sharasen’s injuries before the continued on.

The northern hallway lead to a cross-roads. The northern hall was blocked by a think and strong portcullis. To the east, a large flooded room was illuminated by a torch hanging on hook on the far side. To the west the heroes found their way blocked by a thick steel door.

Drawn by the strange glowing lantern Sharasen and Zook Timbers tried to cross the muddy, flooded room. Using a rope Zook advanced slowly into the room. But quickly lost his footing and falling into a pool that was completely hidden by the opaque brown water. Hands and claws immediately grabbed at the panicked gnome. Luckily Sharasen and Red Feather were able to pull on the rope and get Zook out of harms way before the ghouls trapped for eternity at the bottom of the pool could pull him under.

Trying a different strategy, Sharasen used one of his Spider Climb spells to move across the ceiling to reach the Lantern of Everglow. This magical item has a permanent stone hanging at its center which cast light in all directions. The lantern simple needs to be hooded if the light is not wanted.

After some debate, and a bit of friction, the heroes forced open the steel door, and climbed a stairway, only to find a barbed devil ordering a crew of Imps. Shocked and frustrated the barbed devil yelled the order “Finish them!” followed by, “I never get to finish my work in peace.” Before vanishing. The Imps, using their powers all vanish. While the heroes entered the room, which appeared to have been the collapsed exit to the catacombs, looking for the devils. Hanging on the wall Throkk found the tool to open the portcollis, right as an Imp appeared before him and stabbed him right in the chest with his barbed tail.

Zook rushed forward in his Brown Bear form and attacked one of the Imps, as two more appeared and attacked the team. The Imps were dispatched with out much issue, other than the poisoning of Throkk.

Red Feather used his strength to simply pull one of the Imps limb by limb.

Taking stock of the room the heroes found the Imps has been written sigils on the walls which appeared to soften the very reality of the stone.

Turok, offered some ideas. There are beliefs that there were two creators of the universe, the first God and a darker Destroyer. The elves believe there are realms outside of this one that we can see, and the devils may be from those realms. The glyphs and sigils were warm to the touch and various colors that seemed to change as the heroes watched them.

Throkk took the tool he found in the Imp room and jammed it into the slot next to the portcullis they had found. Rather than using the end of the tool that looked like a gear tooth, Throkk used the other smooth shaft end and used just brute strength to open the door. Unfortunately, he could only raise if a few feet, so the heroes had to work their way underneath. Zook had to abandon his bear form to pass through.

The floor on the other side of the portcullis was a metal grate, which Turok found had a mechanism below, as it covered a reservoir of some kind. To their left a solid steel door, with no apparent lock or opening mechanism. To their right a the sewer system continued into the dark. Investigating further the heroes found what appeared to be blocked drains.

Red Feather set to work opening one of the drains, only to be attacked by four mud mephits which had made their spirit homes in the mud and accumulated detritus blocked by the drain. The team again ran to his aid, defeating the nasty creatures but feeling exhausted by the night’s battles. The mephit’s left them coated in muddy slime, the stink of the ghouls still hung about them. Their injuries also needed attention. Deciding they had had enough for the day the heroes decided to use the room with the drains as a safe location to take a rest and recover.

DM’s Corner

This is the second dungeon of the campaign and I was looking forward to this one. There were a few details that the PCs missed. First, due to their use and reliance on flaming sphere in the previous battles I had them fall into a room full of water. They would still have been able to cast flaming sphere, but it would have taken a full action to hold the concentration on the spell if they had used it against the ghouls. Which they didn’t!

The hallway with brown mold actually led to a room they could have explored, but was designed to only help set the dungeon as a flood control cistern. They wouldn’t have found any valuable in the room and risked exposure to the mold. Having the flame bolt launch down the hall sealed the room (which was fine and saved a lot of time exploring) and also taught the PCs a lesson about the dangers of the world. Sharasen wouldn’t had died from the mold, due to help close at hand, but it dropped him to 1 Hp and could have been a disaster had there been more monsters waiting to ambush them.

The Imps and Devil’s purpose will be discovered much later in the story, but wanted to make sure the PCs understood there might be something bigger going on…

The rest of the dungeon has some random elements built in, so not sure how it will turn out. Continually surprised by the character’s abilities to over come the encounters, so might continue to slowly ramp up the difficulty until we find a better balance between the PCs and danger from their opponents.

Thanks for the fun!

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Endelwyne - Adventure 15
A new party forms and the Capital is reached

Narrative

Faced with a troll in front of them and one behind them, the heroes quickly break into action. The nasty beast in front of them, blocking their path down the bridge has and additional arm growing from this right forearm. The monster picks up a boulder and hurls it at the wizard Turok, damaging the wizard with a solid hit. Sharasen, with newly trained Monk skills rushed toward the first troll and attacked it with his Bo staff.

Red Feather turned an attacked the troll behind them with his flashing tomhawks. To help help him Turok released a flaming sphere against the troll behind them. The terrible fire attack prevented the troll from healing the damage dealt be the brutal tomahawks of the tribal warrior.

Zook Timbers followed Turok’s lead and released a flaming sphere of his own to challenge the troll ahead of them, also preventing the beast from recovering any health.

The team, exhausted from nearly seven weeks of travel across the plains fought with new vigor as two strangers joined the fight, climbing up onto the bridge. The troll’s shock and anger at their meals escaping caused them to lose all sense of their plan and attack the prisoners that had escaped. Throkk Baldesh, a battle hardened Half-Orc Barbarian met the troll with his battle axe and the battle went back and forth as the two strong melee experts damaged each other. The troll’s rage met that of the barbarian, but left the creature exposed to more damage from the other characters.

Behind them Red Feather tore down the other troll, leaving it bleeding black sticky ocher all over the bridge, before a final blast of heat from the flaming sphere finished the creature. Shocked by the abomination, Red Feather cut off its head, separating it from its body by throwing it over the bridge.

The forward troll succumbed as well, leaving the heroes spent, but alive against two horrible challenges.

Investigating the lair of the trolls the heroes found a loose stone which hid some treasure and supplies they took with them.

The travel into the first borough of the city was uneventful. The heroes were all hit with different emotions as they entered the ruined city. Signs of battle and death were visible across the vast city. Just this borough was larger than most cities and of the heroes had ever seen.

The spent the day exploring through the ruins. The wizards successfully found a spell book. Several of the other heroes found useful items and treasure. At the end of the evening, the caught a glimpse of a hooded figure on the roof above them. As they leapt up to give chase, the road beneath them gave way and they fell into darkness beneath the city.

DM’s Corner

Honestly, this was just a fun adventure. Trolls. Bridges. It was planned before Craig and Ryan joined us, but turned into a great way to bring them into the game. The characters did a great job taking down the trolls and using their flaming sphere’s to keep the regeneration powers in check. The trolls did some damage, but at the end of the day were push overs with out their regen powers.

I wanted to make sure wizards got the chance to find a spell book, as they have now leveled up while traveling, which makes learning new spells a bit more challenging.

I have a random encounter table for the capital and will use it as the PCs travel to the hanging gardens, will see what they run into!

Thanks for the fun!

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Endelwyne - Adventure 14
New Heroes Join the team

Narrative

Ivor arrived in the White City. He had left behind the the guild which had been part of his life since he was a child. He had nothing when he arrived, but quickly earned a reputation for his skills. Even with the watchful gaze of the Great White Tower, and the White Council, crime still flourished in the city.

Tonight, his target was a wealthy merchant. His employer hired him to return a personal item, a pocket watch, from the merchant. Of course, he was only returning it to the rightful owner. Ivor waited outside the merchant’s shop. The tall gentleman left right at closing time. His fine clothes and top hat should have been easy for Ivor to spot. Distracted, the young rogue missed his chance to tail him. Realizing his mistake, and in a panic he raced into the crowded street. With skill he dodged horse drawn carts that never saw him leap from the crowd. Ivor kept to alleys and tried to catch the merchant, somewhere on his route home. Ivor thought he had lost his mark. At the last moment he turned a corner and saw the hat above the crowd. He moved through the crowd like a serpent and caught up to the man.

Timing his lift perfectly, he bumped the man, shuffled to his left and quickly walked away. A heavy gold watch resting in one of the hidden pockets in his vest.

The sun had set by now as Ivor made his way across the city to meet up with this employer. In his excitement he didn’t check his tail, and never circled back check he wasn’t being followed.

The half-orc Throkk Baldesh had drank and eaten his fill, twice, that afternoon. Deciding to take a break he stumbled out of his low rent tavern into the back alley to get some air.

Stretching, he marveled at the city. Above him was the the elegant, but somehow utilitarian dome. Inside, the magic of the city kept the climate temperate, besides the White City’s extreme altitude. Belching, Throkk turned and saw a human rogue walking towards him. Then he stopped suddenly.

Ivor felt a vibration in his pocket from the watch, just before it started to siren. The ringing filled the quiet night with a terrible alarm. Fear gripped him as he reached into his pocket to remove the watch. He stopped when a shadow behind him caught his eye, and his instincts took over. He turned to find himself face to face with three black cloaked and armed ruffians. The middle of the three he recognized from the guild, he though he’d escaped.

Throok watches as words are exchanged between the two. Reading the scene, Throkk reaches back to his axe. The rogue human is out numbered and he sense from the posture of the three that he will need some help. T he three attackers draw weapons against the one.

Ivor drops the watch, as it bursts open sending darts in all directions. A few strike Throkk and he shrugs them off as he rushes in. The half-orc roars and bares his canine tusks as he attacks the assassins. Ivor, recognizes the help immediately. Even though he can’t use his sneak attack against the well trained rogues, the sudden appearance of a raging half-orc quickly turns the tide. In moments, Ivor and Throkk stand together, looking at three dead assailants. The noise of the battle has drawn attention, so the two flee across the alley and into the night.

They stay off the main avenues of the city, the great ringed boulevards. Instead they try to cut across the city heading, to a quiet area along the southern wall. Sure that they have left any pursuit behind they slow their pace and come around the corner, only to run into a finely dressed human wizard.

Deagean Truewatch introduces himself, and establishes that he knows them both. He knows Ivor is trying to escape from an assassins’ guild, and that they now know, exactly where he is. He knows that Throkk has just murdered three men in the street. Deagean invites them to dinner and walks them to a posh residential area. They walk into a Tavern called the Candle and the Platter. Despite the later hour the tavern is still full. It is comfortably appointed, with candles creating a sense of warm sophistication throughout. Deagean walks in with understood authority and not an eye in the place look up. This is all the more noticeable to Throkk. He has never been in place quite so nice, and would have expected stares or worse given his heritage.

Dinner was an full assortment of smoked meats and cheeses delivered on a silver platter. Throkk ate his way through two of them, along with several pitchers of fine wine. Deagean stayed professional throughout, and at the end of the meal, made his pitch.

The White Council, which he represents a small arm of, has need for a few people like the two of them. They have a young member of the Council that has left to go explore the old Assarisan Capital. The Council believes he is up to something that could be damaging to their interests. The target, Marsus Tanak, is from a famous and old family. His companion, Brill, is also from a royal Minotaur family. They need to either, convince them to return. Or, stop them from reaching the Capital, whichever they choose. Regardless, they need to be discreet.

Throkk and Ivor take the job. Deagan takes them to a safe house and explains how this will work. The team, including other bounty hunters will join a caravan and travel east. They will be well supplied and will travel as White Council merchants.

After a few days, hiding out in a fortress, the day comes and they head out. Joining the caravan is an incredible experience. They see the great wagons and the transforming tavern cars.

The great elevation of the White City, means that it is trapped in perpetual winter. As the caravan goes lower in altitude its like they are traveling the seasons in reverse. They travel through fall colors, brilliant yellows and reds. The low valleys are masked in morning fog.

The Caravan makes its way to Twilight Park. Ivor and Throkk take advantage of leaving the caravan for a few days. They get in a bar fight. Then they meet a strange recruiter that try to get them to go to some group called the “Council of Naman”. Finally, they are almost injured by a terrorist attack from a group called the “Scions”.

The Caravan continues East, but the White Council group sneaks off down a separate road, to the north. This road takes them away from the typical caravan road. Marsus has left Gravel Creek, so they are going a route that they hope will get them to the Capital first.

They arrive at the edge of the world. The great cliff that is the end of the mountains and they see the incredible view. The entire plains seem to spread before them, all the way to the horizon.

Their White Council leader takes them to a ruined tower at the edge of the cliff. They all walk in, and then walk out at the base of the cliff, nearly a mile and half below where they walked in.

Their next stop is in a broken canyon land. They stay for a few days, resting and resupplying with other White Council agents. There is a camp here with lots of activity. It seems they are excavating the stone villages built underneath the rim of the canyons. Ivor and Throkk see the White Council workers removing statues and boxing them for shipment.

The group of bounty hunters continue their journey and make their way to a river that will take them to the Capital. When they arrive they are outfitted with canoes and supplies by and advanced team from the Council. They are making their way to the Dysaren Delta.

The canoe trip is uneventful, until they mistakenly travel into the territory of some fierce woolly hippopotamus. The canoes are overturned and many of the party are killed by the beasts and their great tusks. Ivor and Throkk are able to save each other, but find themselves with few of their supplies, now dangerously deep in the wilderness.

They decide to travel on, with the only other survivor of the canoe trip. The Capital City remains their destination. The journey is difficult with the lack of supplies, but delta is bountiful and once they start to notice they come across ancient orchards and overgrown farms.

The small group comes across the skull pyramid as the sun is setting. The terrible toll wrought by the Wild Hunt is on full display as they look at the pile of thousands of skulls. They have bleached white in the sun over the decades since they were left there.

They are sure they just a few days from the Capital now, as they leave the pyramid behind. The Delta is in full bloom now, in the start of the summer. To make it across the swamp and wetlands they use a bridge originally built for the caravan road.

Exhausted, and hungry their guard is down as they stumble down the bridge. Behind them, and in front of them trolls ambush and capture them.

Over the next few days they have to watch their traveling companion, eaten. Just before the trolls decide who will be next, there is a commotion on the bridge above and the trolls run off to find out if more victims have arrived.

Ivor and Throkk are left under the bridge, in woven sacks. Looking at each other they know this might be their only chance to escape.

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Endelwyne - Adventure 13
Journey Across the Plains

Narrative

The heroes leave Jembokel behind for the open plains. As the sun rises on the morning after their terrible battle in the train station, they take stock of their new, rolling, home.

The train seems to be a transport of some kind, with amble room to store supplies but limited seating for passengers. The first day they simple rest, they have plenty of supplies and Zook Timbers kept the traveler’s waterskins full with his create water spells.

After several days of travel though the team realizes that they train route is moving away from their only reference to the Capital, the Caravan Routes. So on the third day they make a plan to leave the train and head overland. The heroes can’t figure out a safe way to stop the train, so judging the speed isn’t deadly, they jump.

All the heroes land easily, with Red Feather makes a perfectly timed leap, not loosing a step as he lands among the thick grass all around them.

Using their survival and nature skills the companions travel in the right direction, reading the land, to find a small oasis. They camp at the water hole for the night and refill on their water and some supplies.

The find the Caravan Road again and head north east towards the Capital. On the journey they come across a terrible scene. Dried wagon husks circled on the road where it’s obvious a battle took place. They find the remains of a few human children. Searching through the battle remains they find some rations and an explorer’s pack that is still in perfect condition after all the years in the elements.

Continuing their travels they come to a large ravine, where the Caravan Road once crossed. Now the bridge has been destroyed and with the equipment they have, scaling the rock walls just doesn’t look safe. So, they head east along the ravine until finding a passable location. Without trouble they are able to pick the Road back up and continue on.

With two hard and monotonous weeks on the trail, the heroes start to get on each other last nerves. Using some insight and diplomacy they were able to work through their issues and come together as a stronger team after having gone through a difficult period together.

As the travel gets easy and the weather improves the trip becomes as enjoyable as possible. Coming into a lush valley they find a huge migration of herd animals and are able to catch several. They make camp to smoke meat and rest. The days are warm and they are all well rested.

The main predator of the herds are a great terror bird. With the scent of the drying meat and the fact that they had never seen humans or others before, a herd of the birds decided to attack the camp.

Terror_Bird_Recreation.png

Looking for better ground, the heroes make a break for a large rock out cropping to escape the murder of terror birds. Turok and Sharasen aren’t able to make it though and get caught by the birds. The rest of the team rushes to their aid. Seeing that their prey won’t be going easy, the birds break off the attack and flee. They leave the camp in total disorder as they flee.

Despite a rest in camp and a few days off the trail, as they return to their journey it is clear that Turok’s injuries from the battle of the Will-o-wisps. In order to make it easier for him, Zook, transforms for as many hours per day as he can, into a horse so Turok can rest as they travel.

Across the world several mages of the [White Council] attempt to scry on the heroes, using a subtle spell and their abilities the mages are able to look in on the party. They are able to listen in on them for a while, before determining that their target does not seem to be traveling with them.

During the next few weeks the heroes are trapped in a terrible sandstorm. The wind whips them and covers them in a black grit that gets in their hair and noses. It is a terrible experience and at one point they have to shelter together through the night, not even able to put up shelter because of the high wind and low visibility. Luckily, they don’t loose anyone in the storm and are able to save their supplies from any damage as well.

Reaching a high ridge and looking down on the lush Dysaren Delta the PCs see what appears to be a white pyramid. All the heroes see it, but Sharasen and Zook notice what it is first. The strange landmark sits just to the side of the caravan road and at the edge of the Dysarsen Delta border of the Capital City. As the approach, the realize with horror that the pyramid is really a pile of sun bleached skulls. Some have the archaic antler symbol of the Wild hunt scratched into their bone of their foreheads.

The heroes are shocked by this testament to absolute horror that was the invasion from the Wild Hunt. The Capital City had been one of the greatest cities in the whole world, and if the stories are true, it was wiped out in a matter of days.

Out of the view of the others, Sharasen takes one of the skulls and pockets it in his pack.

The heroes are energized by the knowledge that after a nearly six week trek they are now nearing the end of their journey move quickly down the ruined caravan road. They reach a bridge across a wide creek and carefully cross it, before it falls apart.

The road carries them to another section of bridge. This time it is made from stone and still very much intact. As they travel across the bridge they notice several destroyed wagons and piles of stones, but too late, realize they have walked into a trap. Ahead of them, and behind two giant trolls crawl from under the bridge and reveal themselves. Bill and Larry laugh at each other and make jokes about tenderizing the little folk because they taste best, before pushing the wagons across the bridge and grabbing a number of stones to ready to throw at the heroes!

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