Night Below

Session 19
Day 53

The party spread out as arrows rained in. Four humanoids stood firing at a distance and the party closed in. A fifth came out of the shadows once combat was engaged. A lengthy melee resulted in the death of three of the attackers, and moderate injuries were sustained by the party as well. Reinforcements were heard in the distance as one of the attackers tried to escape the melee. The party finished off a fourth attacker and took some time to heal.

Anghara summoned a monstrous centipede from a magical necklace to fight for the party. The reinforcements made quick work of the centipede with a concentrated effort. The party agreed to attempt to retreat and flee the cave. The attackers gave pursuit and the party halted at the exit to the cave to make a stand. The attackers took a moment to drink potions before engaging.

The melee was close with two of the attackers dying, but they soon gained an upper hand resulting in the deaths of Sonja, Feljos, and Mik. Anghara and Pietr fled back towards town with a hail of projectiles at their back.

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Session 18
Days 46 - 52

Some additional evidence was uncovered and related by Pytherion. 2 potions were found which bore an aquatic symbol matching that found on the ring responsible for the flooding in the party’s earliest adventure. Also, the two men who had been the most powerful among the melee combatants at the keep were noted to have a strange, fishy odor, which Pytherion told the party was the same as found on a man who tried to kidnap the party’s wizard in their first encounter. The party still has not found a purpose for the large, gilded key they found. Pytherion left the party to pursue his own goals.

The party left the keep and went first to Kuiper’s farm and shared the tale of the battle at the keep, then continued to Millborne to resupply. The party then returned to Lord Parlifrey with the news of the battle at his ancestral home. Later that day, a raven arrived with news that a priest had just been kidnapped in Millborne. The party made a quick trip to Thurmaster to share the information with Tauster. Tauster informed the party that the potions with the aquatic symbols were very powerful magic, and close to being artifacts. The party then returned to Millborne to investigate the newest kidnapping.

The party encountered two Ghoul Hounds on the way back and Mik was diseased in the fight. Pietr cured Mik with a scroll. The party reached Millborne and spoke with Jarald about the kidnapping. There was an obvious struggle, and a woman saw a group of humans or humanoids carrying what appeared to be a person wrapped in a rug or cloth northward, skirting the hills, two days earlier. The party consulted Lord Darius Carmen and Old Grizzler as well. Old Grizzler told the party that there was an old mine, the Garlstone Mine, in that direction, and gave the party a hand-drawn map of the interior.

Lord Darius Carmen loaned the party horses to make the trek to the mine, and had his men bring the horses back. The party entered the mine, which appeared to be approximately 10′ × 10′ and went back into the hills beyond sight. 200’ in, the mine opened into a large cavern. The party went right, into a section called the Dream Cave first, and crossed a stream to the Queen of Souls pillar but found nothing. The party returned to the first cavern and proceeded to the Flitch of Bacon section of the cavern, where an alarm (which appeared to be magical in nature) sounded briefly. The party spread out and waited for an ambush, but none came. The party found a landmark from the map called Pargentor’s Cat which was a large rock shaped like a cat’s head. The party proceeded to the last chamber on the first level of the map, called the Grand Cascade. Upon entering the area, the party encounters arrow fire from unseen foes.

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Session 17

The party had just defeated the evil priest and collected loot. Pieter identified the scrolls and wands, and a few potions left behind. The party decided to clear the rest of the keep, looking for more loot. They discovered a large crypt, surely a family crypt of Lord Parlifrey. The crypt had been the scene of a battle long ago and was strewn with skeletal remains still clinging to bits of armor and weaponry, and scorch marks among the ruined crypts.

The party also discovered an old altar which had been desecrated and repurposed for some sort of necromancy, and was guarded by four skeletons, which the party slew. Another room contained the skeletal remains of a male, whose neck had been shattered, lying in a bed. Although the room was locked, it contained nothing of value other than a ring on the skeleton’s finger.

The party found a room with cells and 2 guard dogs. While dealing with the dogs, an attacker crept out and caught Mik in a garrote. The rest of the party slew the attacker and helped Mik out of the garrote which had nearly killed him. Sonja managed to leash one of the guard dogs after subduing it by force of will.

The party found and defeated a carrion crawler in the latrine. It had apparently forced its way through the decrepit grate covering the latrine pit. Finally, they found a peculiarly large rat with a horrid infection in an old storage room. The rat was slain quickly. This was the last encounter in the keep. The party was spent, and rested the night in the keep comfortably in a guard room near the gate, after barricading the hole where the gate was smashed. Pytherion did not participate during this part of the adventure.

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Session 16

The party had split and continued to pursue the stranger who ran in to a room with an evil cleric commanding a small army of undead. Sonja blocked the door preventing the undead from overwhelming the 3 adventurers who had found them. Anghara used her turn undead ability to panic the undead, clearing a path to the evil cleric.

Upstairs, Feljos and Pieter tangled with four undead of their own, which Feljos rebuked and Pieter then hacked apart. Feljos also discovered a trap door in the same room. Pytherion lost interest in ransacking the keep when he discovered his party had taken off, and went to follow the members who had run off after the stranger. After destroying the four undead, Pieter and Feljos also went to rejoin the other party members.

The evil cleric managed to rally his minions and the fighting grew intense. Pytherion and Sonja did some heavy damage, but the evil cleric incapacitated Pytherion and feared Sonja. Pieter arrived in wolf form and leveled the battlefield with trip attacks on the evil cleric and some of his minions. Anghara beheaded the evil cleric after his death to keep him dead.

The party managed to overcome the evil cleric and his minions, and proceeded to loot the keep. Pytherion burned a painting, but Pieter managed to save the others and a tapestry for learning and monetary needs. The party found three keys on the evil cleric’s corpse, one of which opened a small coffer that was found under his bed. The coffer was protected by a glyph that injured Pieter with acid.

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Session 15

The party arrived at the abandoned keep during daylight, but kept to the forest outside of the cleared field around the keep until dusk. Very little activity was noted in the keep; only the opening twice of the peephole on the front gate, which was left open the second time. Mik used the cover of dark to scout the outside of the keep for an entrance, but none was found. Mik had heard some whispering from inside the keep but was unable to identify any words.

Mik returned to the rest of the party and reported his findings, warning that it was possible that the party’s presence was known. The part planned to sneak to the keep’s outer walls where Anghara would create a “dark way” magical bridge, and Anghara, Mik, and Pytherion would run over the top, then unlock the front gate to let Feljos, Pieter, and Sonja through.

The party moved hastily toward the outer wall, and were met with a flight of crossbow bolts. The party hastened to the wall and Anghara, Feljos, and Sonja fell into a pit trap. Anghara made a dark way bridge to climb out and Pieter cast an obscuring mist to cover their escape from the pit.

The party moved close to the wall and headed for the front gate. Pytherion smashed the gate down with his sword using one of his martial stances. The party was met at the gate by seven brigands and a guard dog. They stayed at a distance, one wielding a torch. Mik noticed that the hay covering the ground at the entrance appeared to have oil in it, and warned that the brigands may intend to ignite it.

Pytherion rushed the torch-wielder and slew him, but the torch flew into the hay, igniting it to a blaze. Sonja rushed the brigands and slew two. Pytherion slew two more, then Sonja two, then Pytherion two more again. Two stronger men rushed up to fight as well, one wielding a greatsword, the other a rapier. The greatsword wielder fell first. The rapier wielder proved to be a trickier target, using his dexterity to his advantage. Mik and Anghara moved to surround him, and Mik caught him with a hard punch to the head. Pytherion finished the rapier wielder off with a fierce hack from his sword.

Anghara and Mik noticed another fellow appear, then run inside the keep, and gave pursuit calling back to the rest of the party. Feljos, after gathering some of the loot, and Sonja moved to help in the pursuit, with Sonja’s speed moving her to the head of the chase. Pytherion and Pieter went to search other rooms in the courtyard, where Pytherion found a chest of loot, and Pieter found several zombie-like undead shuffling about in a closed room.

The chase led the four pursuing members of the party deep into the keep, and down a spiral staircase below the tower, then into another hallway. They heard banging, as a hand on a door, and some words. When they caught the fleeing man, he was found in the company of some sort of necromancer and a small army of undead creatures.

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Session 14

After a failed assault on Lord Parlifrey’s old abandoned keep, Pytherion returned alone to bring Parlifrey the news. Abthek, Kirein, and Jianna had fallen, and the cleric Gemini took off on his own. Pytherion told Lord Parlifrey that he would recruit new adventurers in Millborne, and Parlifrey loaned him a horse to hasten his journey.

Pytherion, upon entering Millborne, also related the tale to Lord Darius Carmen. Carmen felt that it was most urgent that Pytherion and party return to the abandoned keep before they reinforced with more brigands.

Pytherion encountered some adventurers in the tavern in town and discussed his needs. The new adventurers were unsure what to make of Pytherion and his tale, as well as his flamboyant character and arrogance. These new adventurers included Feljos and Sonja Winterblud – two well-equipped wildfolk, Mik – a scruffy-looking city dweller from Torril’s Gleam, and Pieter – a well-dressed holy man.

They all agreed to join Pytherion, but Feljos, Sonja, and Mik split off on their own for a day to scout for bandits in the woods to attempt to join the bandit’s group disingenuously in order to have part of their force inside the bandit camp. No bandits were found, so they rejoined the main group after slaying two canine creatures that attacked in the night.

The party set out the next day through the forest towards the abandoned keep, where they encountered some large spiders and a strange creature that may have been commanding the spiders. The party easily fought off the spiders, and the other, unknown creature set off through the treetops and out of sight.

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Session 13

After the party went back and told of the encounter they decided to set out and figure out the mystery of the keep. They had little trouble getting there as it was only a day and half’s travel. As they got there however misfortune came about them. As Pytherion and Abthek walked straight up to the keep Pytherion fell into a pit trap. As soon as the trap was sprung archers rained arrows down on Abthek as the party scrambled to make sense of the situation. They decided to retreat after a rescue attempt on Pytherion failed and left Jianna down there with him. As the bandits that attacked them came out of the keep they decided on a counterstrike but could not overcome the sheer numbers of the bandits. As Pytherion and Jianna got out of the pit the party was finished but all was not lost as they attempted to escape. Unfortunately Pytherion was the only one fate had smiled upon that day as the bandits were able to keep up with Jianna but she did not go down without a fight. Pytherion however ran as fast as he never looking back.

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Session 12

The day began as usual for the adventurers as they prepared to enter the crypt. They entered with a hesitation not forgetting what had happened to them the last time. As they traversed further through they discovered a tunnel which branched into three separate directions. The first tunnel they explored had contained many items and valuables as well as 2 creatures made of bits of bone, teeth, and hair and a creature that resembled a brain. They fought well against the creatures and were soon victorious but not before Pytherion was controlled by the mysterious brain. They quickly gathered what was in the chamber and moved to the next which contained an underground lake. As they stepped into the cavern they noticed some humanoid figures they later discovered to be ghouls that were quickly dispatched by the group. The last tunnel led straight into a room with quite a few embalming tables and some more ghoulish creatures that meant to attack the party once more. The battle was swiftly ended when Pytherion charged the creatures and struck them down one by one. The party discovered that the creatures were being created by the ghouls they had encountered previously so they decided to rush back and tell of all they had learned.

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Tenth Session

The party followed the directions of the recently freed prisoner to the Gnoll camp to attempt to free the other prisoners. The camp was large, but the Gnolls were sleeping during the daytime and the party was able to catch them unaware. Never-the-less, it turned into a long battle. The party had hoped that the prisoners, once given an opportunity to escape, would help fight. The prisoners proved to be cowards, and did not exit their cell when given opportunity, perhaps due to the fact that the battle seemed to be going poorly for their rescuers.

Pytherion was once again gravely wounded. The party had split, making them rather vulnerable, and Gemini also took a wound that incapacitated him. Jianna and Damaris managed to free a captive bear that wreaked havoc amongst the Gnolls, slaying 2 or 3 before he fell. The party narrowly triumphed at the end, but the Cleric, Gemini Dangerfoot, lay at the brink of death.

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Ninth Session

The party resumed attempting to follow the trail of the kidnapped pilgrims south towards the Redwood. With no sign of the pilgrims or their captors, the party agreed to set off to Kuiper’s farm. A bird’s caw caught the party’s attention. Kirein spotted a raven with a message tube attached to its leg. The message was from Shiraz the Ranger, asking the party to meet her at the junction of the Oldscutt and Churnett Rivers.

The party rested their mounts, then headed to Kuiper’s for the night. The party enlisted Kuiper’s aid in tracking the kidnapped pilgrims. That night it rained and made tracking harder. Kuiper attempted speaking with animals, but to no avail; the pilgrims’ trail was cold. The party and Kuiper went their separate ways, with the party returning to Lord Parlfray’s keep to report the news. Kirein noted that Lord Parlfray seemed nervous at the mention of the prisoners last being seen heading south.

Lord Parlfray later privately confided in Kirein that this troubled him because the Parlfray family had once held another keep in the Thornwood (south of the kidnapping) that had been wiped out by unknown forces many years past, and feared that someone may be using the old keep as a staging area for evil deeds. Parlfray told Kirein that if the party went there, anything found that may besmirch his family name was to be kept secret, to which Kirein agreed. Parlfray then urged the party to answer Shiraz’s summons while Parlfray sent a scouting party out to ascertain whether or not the old keep was being used as he suspected.

Lord Parlfray entertained the party with a feast and a local bard. No other news was gathered. Pytherion sparred with some of Parlfray’s guards, and caught the attention (and affection) of a female guard. Jianna caught the attention and affection of Parlfray ‘s son, Lyntern. After the feast, the party rested and left the next day, heading west to the river junction. Two days’ travel was made with no encounters, and the party met with Shiraz.

Shiraz told the party that a family of Aarakocra, living near where the Patchwork Hills met the Thornwood, were being harassed by a group of Gnolls, and Shiraz feared for the lives of the Aarakocra. She wished to enlist the party to put an end to the Gnoll attacks. The party agreed and set out for Millborne to rest for the trip the next day. The party ordered supplies while in town, then set off to Harlaton then along the Terraces to the edge of the Thornwood. They followed the Thornwood’s border to the Patchwork Hills and traveled until late afternoon and set up camp.

That night, the party was attacked by a Gnoll hunting party during the second watch. Four Gnolls and two hyenas attacked and were defeated. Pytherion nearly lost his life in the encounter. A human prisoner was discovered shortly after, named Lentl. He claimed that the Gnolls had a camp nearby and could show us where it was, as well as described the layout and that there were approximately 9 Gnolls there, including some kind of leader who was much larger than the rest, and 4 other prisoners, consisting of 3 Humans and an Orc. The prisoner urged us to hurry, but the party was in a much weakened state with the critical injury of Pytherion.

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