Night Below

Session 25
Day 64-65

In order to help quell suspicions about the mysterious children, Bari cast a Detect Magic spell to see if perhaps there was anything magically odd about the children. it was then that Pieter, an earlier ally, rejoined the party. As Bari cast, the children turned into Ogres and a melee ensued. The Ogres were subdued with magic and finished off with melee damage. The Ogres indeed wore magical pendants which were not identifiable at present, but were suspected of providing the glamer.

The party looted the Ogre corpses, then checked the fallen giant and his crocodile minion, as well as their lair. The party agreed to rest for the night on the now unoccupied island where the giant had made his camp. The party was awoken in the last watch by a marauding Manticore which assaulted the party with spikes which it flung from its tail. The Manticore evaded most attempts to hinder its flight, save once plunging into the swamp out of the reach of the party. It was eventually brought down by Bailey’s acid breath and finished off by Pieter. The party finished the night without further disturbance.

After their fill of fresh crocodile meat, the party agreed to press the search one more day in the direction the “children” had been attempting to herd the party in. The party soon found a small, dark island in the swamp, full of tall trees. Taron and his barbarian companion agreed to scout the island and report back to the party. They came back with a large plant creature following, and its minions attacking. The party made quick work of the minions, then fought the huge-sized plant creature. The plant used some sort of spores on one of Lirendel’s summoned creatures and took control of its mind. The plant attempted similar attacks on the party, but with no luck. The party eventually slew the giant plant creature and plundered its loot.

The party continued the search further and found a small cave opening ahead. The party went in together, finding a kitchen of sorts with human bodies strung up from the ceiling, and body parts butchered for upcoming meals. There was no living creature in this section of the cave, so the party pressed inward. Further down the tunnel, the party found a huge purple beast with five heads, which also saw them and roared as it charged.

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Session 24
Day 59-64

The party, minus Suji, prepared for travel to Thurmaster and found two new adventurers, Taron (a Half-Elf rogue) and Herger (a human Barbarian from the hills to the north) in town. The party agreed to take them on for the trip to Thurmaster to investigate the giant sightings. The next day, the party set out eastward and was joined by Suji who had finished his ritual. They headed along the river to Kuiper’s farm and relayed some of the new information to Kuiper. They also asked Kuiper if he had any information about the Underdark or Illithid, but he did not. They continued journeying without incident to Thurmaster.

The party was greeted heartily upon arrival, and were met with pleas to resolve the giant issue. The party first went to Tauster to exchange information and inquire about a spell for Lirindel. After the brief meeting, the party investigated the site of the giant attack, finding only ruins and large footprints going toward the Shrieken Mire. The party was also warned that Lizardfolk lived out that way. They set out immediately into the Shrieken Mire, slowed by boggy terrain.

The party went the first day without incident. The second evening, the party camp was attacked by two harpies who split the party with enchanting music of some sort. They slew one harpy quickly, but the other proved luckier and it flew off into the darkening evening.

On the third day, the party found two children who claimed they had escaped the giants, but that their brother was still captive. The party found the place where one giant was camping with an extremely large pet alligator. The party used some illusions to hide and lure the giant and alligator out and towards them, rather than attempt to approach or fight in the water terrain. Some serious injuries were taken, but the party managed to overcome the large foes with magic to debilitate them, and melee to hew them down.

The children claimed that their brother was still missing, and must be in a nearby cave. Something tipped off Taron that the children were being dishonest in some way, which he relayed to the party. Upon closer examination, some other party members felt he may be correct, but the party remained divided at present.

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Session 23
Day 59

After leaving the Orc women and children in their section of the cave, and feeling sure the Orc women would not betray them, the party pressed forward to the still unexplored part of the cave. Four new adventurers met the party, apparently being sent by Lord Carmen. A cleric, a ranger, a Half-Orc warrior, and and Elven wizard. After brief introductions, the original party members brought the new arrivals up to speed on the events thus far. It was clear that up ahead another Orcish party was gathering to do combat.

Eight Orc warriors led by two of their shaman met the adventurers further in. The newly reinforced party made quick work of the threat with minimal damage taken, although the Orcish magic seemed to have bested the Half-Orc warrior. After the battle, it was discovered that one of the shaman held a magic spear and reeked of the familiar fishy stink of those who imbibe the mysterious evil potions. The party also located Snagger the Dwarf’s missing gear and ale, of which, when returned, he partook of a draught with Anghara in thanks. Viko escorted Snagger and the human former prisoner back to town safely as the party pressed on down through the cave.

A new tunnel was discovered at the end of the Orc cave, leading down a long way. After some time without incident, the party was surrounded by a stealthy bunch of Gnome-like humanoids. These Gnomes did not appear threatening, and Bari began a parley. The Gnomes told the party that the tunnel leads to the Underdark and that many surface dweller prisoners with magical ability had been brought through recently. They also warned the party that they were not prepared and should return to the surface to prepare and learn of the threats they may face below ground. The party was to return in one week and meet the Gnomes again. The party agreed and left, thanking the Gnomes for the information.

On the way back out, the party stopped and ordered the Orc women and their lot to leave the caves, as they would be locked. The party offered the Orcs safe passage, advising them to seek out their kin in the hills to the north. The Orcs agreed and left with the party escorting. Once passing the gates, the party returned to search the final cave where the Orc women had been, checking for prisoners or clues. None were found. The party locked the gates to the caves and returned to Millborne.

The party reported to Lord Darius Carmen, and learned that there had been recent attacks by Giants in or around Thurmaster. The party relayed all information that they could and agreed to prepare and set out for Thurmaster as quickly as they could, as well as begin stocking supplies for their next venture into the caves. Suji the Druid took leave immediately upon returning to perform some ritual, only saying he would be back in one day.

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Session 22
Day 58

The party had recruited two new members in town, a bard named Blaine and a barbarian named Viko, and restocked before returning to the cave. The large double doors before them seemed well maintained, and held large locks. The large gilded keys the party had acquired in the past seemed to fit well, and opened the doors with a loud click. Immediately, a cry went up on the other side as Orcs rushed to defend the door.

Seven burly Orcs and some sort of lizard humanoid attacked. The lizard was provoked by the Orcs using some sort of pepper-based salve that was rubbed on its tail. Viko discovered that it was highly irritant and seemed entirely mundane. The party dispatched the Orcs fairly quickly, and only Viko sustained serious wounds, which Anghara and Bari healed. The party found little of interest in this entrance area.

The party ran into a patrol of Orcs further in, down a tunnel that ended in a small cave serving as barracks. One was particularly large, apparently having some Ogre blood. Anghara slew the largest Orc single-handedly after the Orc had targeted her. The rest of the party hewed down the remainder of the assault. It was noted afterwards that the largest Orc also had the peculiar fishy aroma of the potions, and those who imbibed them. In this cave also were two prisoners, a Human and a Dwarf. The Human was particularly frightened and beyond usefulness. The Dwarf still had his wits about him, and identified himself as Snagger, nephew of Old Grizzler.

Snagger claimed to have seen Jeleneth come through some weeks earlier, and said they had been planning an escape when Jeleneth was taken off and not to be seen again. Snagger wanted to get his armor and gear back before leaving, and decided to camp in the first area the party had cleared. The Human was too weak and frightened to go back to town alone, so he waited with Snagger. The party agreed to try to find Snagger’s gear as they searched the rest of the tunnels.

The party found one more cave full of Orc women and children, and were warned not to enter. The party bantered briefly with the Orc woman, and agreed to leave them be if they would not attack the party or otherwise cause hindrance. The party pressed on to the last unexplored area in this section. It seemed like there would be some resistance ahead.

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Session 20-21
Day 55-57

The party encountered two humans in the cave and a fight ensued. They had been part of the group from the original encounter that claimed 3 party members’ lives. The two human brigands were reinforced by two armored Orcs that came in from the rear. No sooner the party slew these four, then two human clerics controlling seven zombies attacked. The party made fast work of the zombies as the clerics were forced to counter a silence spell, momentarily incapacitating them. The party then moved in to finish off the clerics who proved more resilient than any of the other encounters. In their loot was found another large gilded key, and also a ring with the letter “J” engraved.

The party ventured further into the next cavern off of the main tunnel., and found a cabin full of supplies like rope, oil, and rations. There was also a small lake inside, and an object was seen glinting like metal near the back of the cave where the water and cave wall met. It turned out to be a small, severed Halfling hand wearing a ring, and was guarded by a giant eel in the lake. The party had a tough fight in the eel, but eventually overcame it.

The party went back to the main hall and found a second cabin that stunk of what was most likely Orc occupancy. No one was in it. The party proceeded to the next cave called “The Dome” where a body was seen floating in the distance. Suji attempted to swim out to retrieve the body and was assaulted by two giant catfish. The party attempted to pull him back to shore as Suji attempted only to defend himself. Eventually the party overcame the catfish, almost costing lives in the fight. The party left the corpse afloat for the time being.

The party went to one of the last caverns, called “The Crab Petals” and were met by two cave fishers who proved very adept combatants with their sticky tendrils, and fighting from the ceiling. The party eventually slew them as Geoffrey pelted them with crossbow bolts and Bailey spewed acid on them.

The final cavern contained another small cabin with some loot, two more of the strange fishy-smelling evil potions, and a curious miniature ceramic hut. There was also a small tunnel in the back of the cave which lead into darkness. The party voted to go back to town to secure the loot and report findings. Suji got an idea to summon a Hippogriff to retrieve the corpse from the lake, and did so successfully. The corpse seemed to have been someone murdered by the brigands and dumped in the lake as Anghara noted the fatal crossbow wound in the heart and the presence of a deadly disease on the body. Also a seemingly magical brooch was found on the body.

The party returned to Millborne and reported its findings to Lord Darius Carmen. The ring with the “J” engraved and also a cloak the party found turned out to belong to Jeleneth, the first known arcane kidnapping victim. The family expressed their gratitude and urged the party to continue searching in the caves as soon as possible. Also the missing priest had not been found.

The party said farewell to Geoffrey and Pieter who had been recalled by their order, but managed to recruit a bard and a fighting man in town. The party rested and returned to the last cave where they had found a small exit tunnel. The tunnel seemed to wind on forever, then finally let out at a large set of double doors with giant keyholes which looked appropriate for the over-sized gilded keys the party had discovered.

The party opened the doors . . .

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Session 20
Day 54-55

Anghara and Pietr arrived back in the town of Millborne and recovered from their wounds the next day. The following day, they met more adventurers who had come in via merchant barge, including a Gnome Dragon Shaman riding a dog, a mysterious spell caster named Bari, a Crusader named Geoffrey, and a Half-Orc Druid named Suji.

After introductions were made, and the newest members brought up to speed on the recent events, the party rested then set out the next day to return to the Garlstone Mines. The entrance was clear and the party proceeded in. The party made it about half way to the first ambush area when they encountered 7 zombies, with the slain party members among them. The party quickly dealt with the zombies and proceeded to the first ambush point, but no one was there. Suji and Anghara scouted ahead and encountered 2 Orcs standing guard to the entrance to the lower levels. Anghara charged toward the Orcs and Suji followed thinking to attempt to parlay when a winged creature dropped with a strong blow and grappled Suji.

The rest of the party reached the scouts and the melee ensued. A Half-Orc rogue crept out of the shadows and joined the Orcs. This fight was much harder than the zombies, and Suji was seriously wounded, but the party prevailed and everyone healed.

The party descended a 40 ft ladder to the lower levels. A voice was heard far off down the main tunnel, hinting to a trap being laid. The party decided after some debate to check a side cavern first. The party split in two, with Pietr and Suji both in wolf-form, and Suji’s companion stalking in the shadows while the remainder of the party marched straight in bearing a lantern to call out the hidden foes. Bari sent a magical glowing figure ahead, and some startled response was heard off in the shadows. The party braced for a fight.

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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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