Defenders of Khelb

Beregond's Estates

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After checking in at the Golden Eel inn, the inn Chiwyll used as his home base in Everlund during the past winter (after he sold his father’s estate there), the group meets Grimshaw, working the evening shift at the inn as bartender. He is a young half elf with a strong foreign accent that Chiwyll befriended a few months back while carousing around.

The group discuss the situation and their choices, and after Grimshaw finishes his shift, he joins them for a few late drinks, while Grimshaw informs Chiwyll that Danaria, one of the younger sister owning a tavern on the other side of the town has been looking for him after he left at the beginning of the month. It becomes clear that Chiwyll had an affair with her this past winter.

Later in the night, after everyone has had a chance to dust off with hot baths, rent rooms, have diner and a few drinks (all paid by Chiwyll), Chiwyll and Grimshaw head over to that tavern to see if they can gather more information about the regent and the estate of the merchant, while the remaining members of the group decide to scout the estate at night to see if they can message Chloe and scout the place with Nevermore.

They find out that Chloe is now in the same room as Satine, both prisoners in that room, and Satine has been badly mistreated and raped. Communicating with Amitreene thanks to the message cantrip, they open the window of their room to allow Nevermore to do a cure wound spell on Satine, and also tell them that they are working on a plan to get them out the next day. The raven scouts around the estate, revealing that men-at-arms/mercenaries types have taking over the upper floor, being transformed in barracks, while the room where Satine and Chloe are held has a balcony overlooking the back of the house. In the rotunda, two guards seem to loosely stand watch, with a 360 degrees view over the estate and its roof. Another guard watches the balcony itself, from inside the upper hall on the second floor.

in the meantime, Chiwyll and Grimshaw are gathering information at Myrklin’s Sorrow tavern and the Stag at Bay, and find out that Bolen, the current regent, seemed to have been a mercenary looking to work specifically for Cuslan Beregond last year. They also learn that Cuslan has hired mercenaries every years for the past few years, and started to get a bad rep as none of the mercenary hired by him were ever seen again (except Bolen).

Regrouping for a few late drink, the group discuss and devise a plan of action for the next night, and them head out to bed after such a long day.

The next day, everyone work on their class training except for Grimshaw and Amitreene. Grimshaw rally his contacts in town to organize a mob support for their planned action tonight, while Amitreene heads out again near the estate to communicate with Chloe, making sure all is ok with them. Re-assured that at least Chloe and Satine are fed and still in their room, Amitreene sees two mercenaries entering the estate after showing something to those inside. The local contacts of Grimshaw have started watching the estate too, and report the same thing plus the fact that four servants (including the butler) seem to check in at the estate around 9am.

The day goes by, and the heavy cloud cover that was leading to the short sporadic bursts of heavy rains that have plagued the last ten-days in the area have started to lift. The sun re-appears again for hours at a time. The characters enjoy the comfort of the Golden Eel inn, and the care with which its innkeeper, the gnome Pallabar Fapplestamp, adresses its customers’ needs. The inn has a dummy practice room, as well as private booths for eating or drinking on top of the fancily decorated large common room and the well stocked bar. The mattresses are very clean and soft, beds have silk sheets, and each room has modern amenities like piss pots that empty themselves from the bottom when you pull a lever. This inn definitely matches what Chiwyll had said, and more.

After Grimshaw and Amitreene come back from their daily errand, they all regroup around diner and light drinks before going out again around 2am. The darkvision scrolls taken from Leejen are used on Juniper and Joren, while two friends of Grimshaw join the group with a lantern and non-descript outfits. Joren casts a ritual invocation of an unseen servant, and two 50’ ropes are being carried along.

The group minus Chiwyll, Grimshaw and his two acolytes approach the outer wall of the estate, located on a top of a small cliff overlooking the Rauvin river. The others are waiting down the hill for the raven to let them know when to start their distractions.

Baelfye and Amitreene, and Joren and Juniper, each looking like two couples, casually out for a late stroll after having fun in the local taverns, make sure that the street is clear. But Amitreene and Juniper both notice men standing in the shadows on the other side of the street from the estate. Unsure about what is going on, they decide to continue on, casually strolling by the main gate, and noticing lights still on in the mansion as well as two guards watching them from the rotunda on the top of the roof.

Returning by another way at the bottom of the hill where Grimshaw and Chiwyll are waiting, Grimshaw inform them that those guys hiding are likely part of the crew he worked all day to gather in case they need some more help. Reassured, the group heads back up and this time enter the brushes near the outer wall of the estate where they hid last night to communicate with Chloe and check on the girls. Amitreene start using her message cantrip to coordinate the action, while Joren uses his unseen servant to attach a rope above the wall, and use the raven to scout the estate again. Juniper and Baelfyre stealthily climb over the outer wall and enter the perimeter up to the closest corner of the house. Joren commands his unseen servant to attach the second rope on the top of the roof, and then send his raven to trigger Grimshaw and Chiwyll’s distraction while Baelfyre easily climbs up on the roof, his cloak of elvenkind shimmering patterns obscuring him from the casual watch of the guards in the rotunda, despite a light cloud cover and a waxing gibbous moon.

As they are heading uphill, Grimshaw empties a bottle of strong liquor over chiwyll and the two others men, all of them faking drunkedness and loudly singing, to call attention to themselves in the middle of the cobblestone street. When they arrive near the main gate of the estate, they use their fake drunkedness to approach it, and with a swift sleight of hand Grimshaw unlocks it and push the gate inside, entering the compound and yelling about a money debt that Bolen owes him. As the distraction takes hold, Juniper and Baelfyre move along the border of the house toward the back to reach the balcony where the girls’ room is. Joren’s raven spot the guard in the hall leaving his spot to check the front door, while two other men-at-arms come out from the main door to confront the drunkards.

Baelfyre had taken the rope he used to climb with him, and attach it so that Juniper can climb to the balcony. They both acrobatically and silently get to the balcony, while the kids open their window, prompted by Amitreene. Helped by a Guidance spell granted via Joren’s raven, Satine manages to climb down on her own, while Juniper carries Chloe on her back. Baelfyre misses the rope in his haste to go down, and fall flat on the ground, but quickly catches up to Juniper. Joren moves the other rope farther on the wall, to help them climb back over the wall.

In the meantime, the drunkard scene is playing out and the two guards at the front door are confused a bit. Attempting to push their way in the main door, Grimshaw misses a step and ends up being pushed back, while a mastiff starts barking at the commotion from the side. In the meantime Chiwyll nearly pushes the other man inside and grapples him. Alarmed by a deception that now seem to have run its course, weapons are drawn while Grimshaw yell “Rochambeau”, a signal that calls upon his friends hidden on the other side of the street. At the same time he attempts to slide a big piece of fresh meat he had borrowed from the inn into the breaches of the man facing him, but fails to do so.
The man takes a swing at Grimshaw drawing blood, while Chiwyll back up from the door, sword drawn. A dozen men converge in the compound from outside, leading the mercenaries to retreat and close the main door of the mansion behind them, while obviousy alarm is being raised inside.

In the meantime, Juniper uses her ki to easily jump on the top of the wall and from there, run over the narrow edge carrying Chloe, then jumps down on the other side of the outer wlall, where Joren has been directing his raven and unseen servant from. Baelfyre, a little bit slower and helping Satine, joins them two rounds later, while all the guards attention stay focused at the front door. There Grimshaw organizes a prudent retreat, shield drawn, as arrows from the rotunda starts flying around, and mercenaries start taking position behind the windows of the first floor. Amitreene adds to the deception by calling upon Chiwyll and throwing an orb of fire at the gate, melting some of it and adding to the confusion.

With everyone out safely, and their extraction maneuver done with one minute of time, and with the mercenaries locked up in defense in the compound, they quickly and safely retreat and disperse and return to the Golden Eel with the two girls, now freed.

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The Happy Hall of Fortuitous Happenings

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As the group discusses the possible questions to ask the merchant’s dead body, Barrus mentions that he would like to ask if the Stone Tooth is a location. Questioned about the pointedness of this specific question, he reveals to the group that he used to be a guide between Sundabar and the dwarven Citadels around the Rauvin Mountains in the North East part of the Silver Marches, and spent some time after the Darkening traveling with his mentor in that area, and they came up a remote valley deep in orcish territory with a peak that looked like a stone tooth. His mentor mentioned that this peak was called the Stone Tooth and he had heard it was a landmark for an old dwarven Kingdom in the area, of which Barrus had never heard anything about before.

With the group’s agreement, this is the first question asked, and the dead body answer “yes” to that question.
The next question the group asks is “Where is the dark lake with the Black death?” to which the response is “under the Stone Tooth”
The last question is then “What did you need more of?” to which the response is “Durggedin’s weapons”

As the ritual ends with the last question, Ceylian offers hospitality to the group, mentioning that it is a tradition for temples of Tymora to offer hospitality to adventurers groups for up to 9 days for free. He thanks the group again for the insights they have shared, and mention that he will keep them informed the next morning after the priests check on the people that got raised here in the past years.
As the priests complete a preservation ritual on Cuslan’s body, the adventurers are taken to a sparsely furnished suite of rooms all arranged around a common room with table and chairs, located in another part of the Temple’s basement. Barrus decides to head out for the night, visibly feeling uncomfortable in the temple’s surroundings.

Amitreene decides to go to one of the local tavern and gather some information about the strange occurence that happened three days ago, as they were about to head out with Cuslan. Baelfyre decides to tag along. Everyone they talk to that evening remembers it vividly, the sense of dread felt and the goosebumps and all… After an hour they decide to head back to rest.

In the meantime, Joren casts an identify on the brass bottle they have recovered from Cuslan’s coach, and find out it is an eversmoking bottle, a magical item that Juniper claims.

The next morning, on the 20th of Ches 1489DR, the group ponders their next move and decide to head out to Everlund after turning Leejen Roykins to the local authorities.

Chiwyll, Baelfyre and Juniper head out to the castle on the western shores of the river where the Shields of Yartar are garrisoned, bringing their prisoner with them. A captain of the local guards meet them, and they explain their presence in the caravan that was attacked east of the city a few days ago. Their confusing explanations seem to puzzle the Captain, who mentions his forces have investigated the scene of the attack for the past days and asks why the characters did not report the attack earlier if they survived it.

Not fully convinced by the characters’ role in this episode, he then decides to interrogate the prisoner, which once ungagged immediately claim that he has been attacked by the adventurers, and they stole his stuff.
Baelfyre retorts that he saw him kill a sergeant leading the caravan’s guards, and then flee in the woods in the middle of the assault.
Leejen claims it is a lie, he just fled because the caravan was being overunned, and did not kill anyone.
Chiwyll and Juniper realize that the only witness to the alleged murder is Baelfyre, and it is now a shouting contest between Leejen and Baelfyre.
Asking if there is any proof of the ranger’s alleged evil deeds, the adventurers must confess that there is only Baelfyre’s testimony.

The Captain then asks them to stay in town for a few days, while he takes custody of the ranger.

After concerting together back in the Temple of Tymora, with Barrus back from his night out (he still has some leaves tucked in one of his boot), they all decide to spend a few days in town and start do their trainings.
Juniper isolates herself to practice her martial routines in a very quiet location of the temple, Baelfyre hires a master at arms to practice his sword moves, while Chywill does his own weapon practice against a training dummy in one of the training rooms of the temple.
Barrus heads out of town again for the day to do his own training in the wild, Joren focuses on his books’ study while Amitreene focus on her own spellbook.

Later that day, the High Priest pay them all a visit and inform them that they have talked to a few of the people that have been raised in the past years in this temple, and all of them show some symptoms of the same disease that both Cuslan and Karina have shown, albeit not as advanced. He shares that none of the people they met had been killed by dragons before being raised. Their best theory now is that both Cuslan and Karina both seem to have a very frail constitution, and that the disease may have progressed faster with them that it is progressing for others.
Lastly, he mentions that all the people they came across started feeling the first symptoms around the end of the last month, only a couple of ten-days ago.

The next day, with no news from the Captain yet, the group decides to keep training. When the Captain finally shows up in the middle of the afternoon, he informs them that they have tracked the orcs, hobgoblins and goblins footprints from the attack’s location to a nearby cove from a small branch of the river, and found large crude boats used by the attackers to cross. The humanoids must have come from the southern hills to set up their ambush. Asking the characters if they have obtained any proof about their allegation against Leejen, the group stands by their story, mentioning Varus of the Crushing Wave as the ring leader of the attack, while Barrus explains how he got whispered messages from him, after he summoned his elemental to protect the last surviving members of the caravan. Varus had asked him as a “brother of the Mighty Earth” to hand him over the merchant, which Barrus refused. They then let the captain know they have to go to Everlund and plans to come back within the next ten-day, and possibly bring proof of Leejen’s involvment in the plot.

Finishing their training for the day, the group then regroup the following morning, riding to Everlund with Cuslan’s body and Chloe. At the location of the attack, a patrol of the Shields of Yartar is still clearing the remnant of the wagons and carts, and putting the remaining goods still there in carts. The Sergeant inform them they found and killed a few scattered humanoid stragglers, but the group decides to continue on their way eastward. The weather is bad with short episodes of storms and pouring rains, making the journey uncomfortable. They meet a small group of men having a camp fire by the side of the road and continue on. They camp alongside the road, and head out the next day to reach Calling Horns by end of day, where they arrive before a medium sized caravan coming from Yartar, after declining the offer of the caravan master to escort them up to Everlund.

After a night there, they head out toward Olostin’s Hold, their next stop, and during the day, they come across a group of boars grazing by the road and taking mud baths. They decide to add bacon to their regimen of fruit, berries and small games that Barrus have been providing so far. A short fight occurs, where Juniper is wounded by one charging boar, but eventually all boars are dispatched, one of them taken for roasting later and the five others left on the side of the road for the incoming caravan to find. This night, they feast on the boar and go to sleep, when in the early hours of the morning Amitreene hear commotion happening south of their camping ground. She wakes everyone up, and they decide to investigate, Barrus keeping Chloe at the camp site. After a few minutes in the darkness, they come upon a fight between a small goblin hunting party and two boars by a small pond. The party attacks, dancing lights are cast to provide light for Juniper and Joren, and the goblins are quickly dispatched. They all have a tribal symbol of a thorn crown entwined around a short sword. The group finishes the night without completing their long rest and head east again at first light.

By the day, still under persistent rain and short burst of stormy weather, they get closer and closer from the Evermoor. In the middle of the afternoon, a buzzing sound coming from the North get their attention, and they see a small cloud of flying creatures, each one the size of a large bird heading in their direction. Juniper perceives the creature as flying moles, and Baelfyre sends the group to gallop to attempt to avoid the dozen of more creatures buzzing in their direction, flying low above the ground. Chywill loses control of his horse who separates from the group and start dashing unbriddled southward in the surrounding hills. The flying critters pursue the main group up the road, when Juniper opens her eversmoking bottle creating a thick cloud of smoke behind them. The flying swarm then lose interest in the pursuit, and buzzes off. The group reconnects with Chiwyll who has fallen from his uncontrolled horse, and finally locate the horse a little bit farther.

They resume their journey toward Olostin’s Hold, which they reach later in the afternoon, informing a patrol from the local militia of the presence of the flying critters a few miles west from them, and learning from them that they were probably stirges, blood sucking pests that love sucking the blood out of any horse, or human unlucky to be in their path.

The last day of travel from Olostin’s Hold to Everlund happens without further incidents, and by the end of this 26th day of Ches 1489DR they enter the walls of the free city of Everlund. They try to find the location of Beregond’s Estate with the help of 6 years old Chloe with little luck until one of the adventurer suggest to find a shop she really likes, and she mention the candy store behind the big tower. From there, she can lead them to the fancy mansion that was called home by Cuslan, Beregond’s Estate in Everlund.

They go straight to the front door, and knock to deliver Chloe back to her family. A butler opens up and soon goes to fetch Bolen Sulmaster, the regent of the estate. The group informs him about the contract, the death of the merchant and the return of Chloe. As he is reading through the contract, some in the group seem to perceive a quickly hidden burst of anger, and the regent agrees to complete his part of the contract after checking that the body is indeed Cuslan’s. Amitreene asks if they can meet Satine, to which he responds that she is resting at the moment, and is not available. He will be glad to introduce them to her in one or two days if they want. The regent informs them that the merchant left earlier than he planned to Waterdeep to do a big donation to the temple of Waukeen there in the hope of finding a cure to his disease, after exhausting all the healers and clerics here in town. Despite his cold politedness, he seems eager to see the adventurers on their way, and sign the contract once the adventurers agree to release Chloe, Cuslan’s body as well as his signet ring, into his custody.

As they leave the mansion, their quest completed and a signed contract of ownership for a weapon store in Waterdeep, Joren asks his raven to peak around all the windows of the second floor of the mansion, and the adventurers then easily find a comfortable inn, the Golden Eel, thanks to Chiwyll’s familiarity with the city.

After the group settles, take their first hot baths after these nearly two ten-days on the road, and enjoy the comfort that this inn provides (all matching what Chiwyll mentioned it would be), they regroup for the diner together and discuss the next steps. Barus is missing though.

As they dine, the raven returns to Joren, and he learns that a teenager girl is indeed resting in one of the bedrooms in the second floor, but she looks bruised and battered.

After the diner, as Barus is still nowhere to be seen, the group looks for him, thinking that may be he fell asleep, but his bedroom is empty, untouched. As the adventurers regroup in the main room, and discuss Barus strange behavior in Yartar, and tonight’s disappearance, a tavern hand brings a sealed letter.

“Hi, Your dwarven friend said that I should give you this letter if I see you looking for him. Seems like that is what you are doing, right?”

The letter contains a well drawn map showing the location of the Stone Tooth peak, as well as the following message.

“Friends, if you stay in the region, it is possible that our paths will cross again, but I have to walk my own path for now.

I have left you a map to reach the remote valley in the Rauvin Mountains where the Stone Tooth I know of is located, in case you decide to search for it.

Please take good care of my horse.

Well met and safe travels!

Barus."

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Onward from Yartar

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On the morning of the 17th of Ches 1489DR, Joren heads down to “Esklindrar’s Maps, Books, & Folios” shop while Baelfyre and Juniper go buy some weapons at “Hasklar’s Arms & Armor” shop. Cuslan, with Chloe and the remaining of the group heads out to the Western Caravan Grounds.

Cuslan fails to find a coach for sale, and no caravans are heading West that day. He directs some workers to make a few rapid improvements to the group’s cart, hire a driver, and asks Barrus to be his Longstrider for the trip.

As Joren, Baelfyre and Juniper are heading to the Western Caravan ground after their short errands, a sudden silence befell the town, conversations stop suddenly and simultaneously across the town, and people look puzzed at each others for a few seconds of eery silence, before horses starts to bolt, dog barking and birds taking flight from the roofs of the town, and the sounds of the city resume while the horse handlers retake control of the horses that have bolted in panic.

Without further due, and with the cart readied with a makeshift bed, comfortable fur blankets and a canopy, the party takes the road West toward Triboar, Juniper now carrying a spear, and Baelfyre sporting on his hip two short swords, one of them a new fancy masterwork weapon. The area West of Yartar is more tamed than the eastern side. Cultivated fields, grazing animals, and scattered farms can be seen up to the river North, as well as in the Dessarin hills, south of the road. A patrol of Shields of Yartar trot past them during the day, tasked to making sure the road is safe ahead.

The next night and day on the road pass without incidents, and the company get within 15 miles of Triboar when they stop for the night. in the middle of the night, the elves keeping watch see a bright orange glow a few miles South in the hills, but a quick survey around the camp does not show any close danger, and the watch resume as the glow fades away over the next hours.

Then, as the first ray of light from the dawn peek above the horizon, a commotion occurs in the cart where Cuslan and Chloe sleep, and a frightened shriek from Chloe wakes everyone up. The characters rush to the cart, where they see Cuslan in death throes, violently trashing around, clutching for his face, eyes revulsed in horror. He yells "Why is this happening? .. I die again… the stone tooth… I need more… the black death in the lake… oh no.. no, no… not this ’ and dies within a few seconds in an anguished agonizing shriek. Amitreene quickly grabs Chloe, crying, from the cart and hold her tight, masking her face away from the horrible scene. Meanwhile, Cuslan’s body decays rapidly and stabilizes to where it now look like he died many months ago, with the corresponding smell quickly filling up the cart.

Barrus, Jorren and Juniper jump on the cart, trying to help the unfortunate merchant, but his life has slept away. Investigating what could have happened, Joren, with the help of Barrus, conclude that somehow he died from the old acid scar he had received in the past, and realizes that the nature of his wound had probably killed him once, when he received it. He may have been raised from the dead in the past, and somehow lost the benefit of this raising, something that, if true and not mere speculations, would be unheard of.

In any case, the merchant is now beyond help, and Baelfyre points out that having his contract is a good thing.

Joren does a ceremony to recommend the body and the soul of Cuslan to the gods, and the group then wrap up his body with the canopy, blankets and bags available in the cart.

They leave the cart and the two draft horses to the driver, still heading to Triboar, while they decide to return to Yartar, with their riding horses and Chloe, to fullfill the merchant’s contract.

As some smell of smoke drifts through the camp from a southern wind, the elves that were on watch, Baelfyre and Amitreene, casually mention the orange glow seen during the night to the group. Juniper, using Cuslan’s spyglass, takes a closer look south and sees thin plumes of smokes rising up from somewhere in the hills, south of the road, a few miles away. Joren sends Nevermore, his raven, in that direction to investigate further, but the group decides to head back toward Yartar to reach it before nightfall.

Two hours later, as Joren summons his raven back to investigate what he has seen in the southern hills, the company trotting eastward come upon a lone man walking the road westward. Baelfyre recognizes him as Cuslan’s bodyguard that killed the sergeant during the caravan ambush and disappeared in the woods in the middle of the battle. The man seems to recognize the group at the same time, and darts away from the road, hiding from view. After the surprise round, where Baelfyre quickly moves his horse forward to intercept the fleeing figure, the group try to pinpoint him where he hid. As they get too close, he casts a spell and then dart out South. He is quickly followed by the company still mostly all mounted. Amitreene hurl spells at him, while Juniper lands a few solid blows. As everyone tries to keep pace with the chase, the man casts another spells, viciously slashing Juniper, before running farther South, easily escaping any attacks of opportunities. Finally Joren casts a second Command spell at him, and the man falls asleep allowing everyone to catch up and tie him.

Taking their prisoner off the road, the company decides to charm him, using Barrus’s magic. The second attempt works, and as the man named Leejen Roykins finds himself freed in such friendly company, he informs them that he is following them under order of his employer, one Varus (of the Crushing Wave, Barrus mentions). He tells them that Varus is very unhappy that they prevented him to take the merchant after the ambush. As the man has a stone of sending to contact Varus, and is expected to report to him, the company asks him to report that the merchant is dead and that the company is heading to Waterdeep. Varus’s response is to keep following Chiwyll wherever he goes, as the secret of the merchant is now gone, and vengeance will be served (in more colorful and injure-laced terms). The “befriended” ranger has given as much information as he could, when Baelfyre slits his throat from behind. Losing blood, the man’s body fall on the ground, dying.

Stunned by this action, some in the group react as Baelfyre tries to finish the ranger. Chiwyll applies his healing hands to heal the man at the very last second to save his life, while Juniper attempts unsuccessfully to restrain Baelfyre.

Baelfyre steps back, expressing his surprise about some wanting to keep the man alive, as he clearly murdered a sergeant and was working with the ambushers. Hot words are exchanged, but cooler heads prevail, and decision is taken to keep the man alive.

After Joren has more time to talk to his raven familiar, he learns that the raven has seen a village devastated by fire, with a group of kobolds encircling a small partially destroyed keep, where the remaining villagers have taken refuge.

The company decides to keep heading back to Yartar, taking the prisoner with them. They reach the city at nightfall, and are investigated by a sergeant of the watch, who informs them that they should camp on the eastern caravan ground if they plan to keep the dead body with them for the night. Joren makes a quick stop at the market place to obtain a few gems in order to later cast some identify on the magical items that have obtained from Cuslan’s and the ranger’s equipment. While standing in front it, the company decides to take the body to the Temple of Tymora to see if they can preserve it better.

Welcomed by the acolytes first, and then a priest that mistakenly assume they want to raise a friend’s body, the conversation leads to a meet with the High Priest of Tymora in Yartar, named Ceylian.

Joren and Chiwyll explain the strange occurrences of the morning, also mentioning the disease that afflicted Cuslan, and when informed of the hypothesis formed by Joren and Barrus, he tells them that for a few workweeks now, raise dead spells have stopped functioning, and they do not know why.

Intrigued, and visibly very concerned, the High Priest agrees to charge no fees to cast a Speak with Dead on Cuslan’s body and preserve it for the group if they allow his clergymen to ask two questions out of the five. The company agrees, and the priests take the body of Cuslan to be prepared for the spell, while the High Priest leads the group to the hospital room, where a middle aged woman is sleeping. He tells them that she has been brought here by her friends 10 days ago, and she has been suffering for a few ten-days from a disease that the priests so far have not managed to either identify or cure. They also tried restoration or curse removal spells without any effects.

As the group approaches the sleeping woman, it becomes clear that her external symptoms seem very alike those that Cuslan had, minus the acid scarring. As a few of the adventurers express their wish to talk to her, the High priest offers to establish some degree of privacy around her first. He has himself one question for her.

Under Baelfyre’s watch, Leejen is locked in a small cell-like room with a stone bed and a grated door, a few others of these rooms lining the eastern wall of the hospital, while a few priests utter magical words, setting up four spheres of silence around the woman’s bed, keeping an area around it clear of the spell’s effects.

The High priest invite the rest of the group to join him by her bedside, the effect of the silenced zone shutting down the other sounds of the temple. With the nature of her disease unknown, they had already isolated her from the other few people lying in other beds.

Baelfyre stays outside of the privacy zone, next to Leejen’s cell, keeping an eye on both him and everything in the large open stone hall. Once the incantations are completed, the other priests resume their regular tasks, while Ceylian wakes up the woman.

“Hi Karina, these adventurers have a few questions for you, as they may help better understand the disease you are afflicted with. Before we start though, I do have one question for you: Have you ever been raised from the dead?”’
“yes, I was raised once during the Darkening”, she replies “why do you ask?”
“How long ago was it?” Ceylian asks without responding
“It was 5 years ago or so, during the fall of Nesme… We were participating to the defense of the walls against the orcs when the white dragon swooped in and froze me to my death with his breath. My companions managed to raise me after they were able to flee the city with their lives.”

At the invitation of the High Priest, Amitreene speak first, asking how she became infected.
Karina responds “I am not sure. I started feeling tired around the end of the last month, then everyday feeling more and more tired, overwhelmed with exhaustion. I came here at my friend’s suggestion, after we tried everything in term of healing ourselves.”
Amitreene then asks “Was there something strange at the period when you got infected? Contacting with someone? Visiting new places? Did you notice anything?”

“Not especially, no. I am living here in Yartar, studying the weave, and I have not traveled this past winter. I stay in touch with my close friends regularly, and used to go out from time to time. The priests told me that what I have does not seem to be contagious. The only thing that happened around 3 workweeks ago is that I started to have a hard time to focus enough to be able to cast my spells. I can still do my cantrips, but I can’t cast more powerful spells anymore, as I am too exhausted. I sleep a lot these days…”

Joren asks Karina if any of her friend has also been raised from the dead. She says that none of them has, as far as she knows, but her group split up after the Nesme battles 5 years ago, so she does not know what happened to some of them after.

She then asks “Do you believe I suffer from this because I have been raised?”
The High Priest steps in and says in his most reassuring voice “This is just an hypothesis we are investigating, nothing more. If I may ask, when you realized you could not cast your spells, how did it manifest?”
“I did not lose the spells, I still know them. It is just that at the beginning I started having a harder and harder time concentrating, and ten days ago any efforts I was trying to concentrate failed.”
Amitreene steps in again, and politely asks “What is your specialty as a wizard?”
“I am an evoker, dear.”

With no more questions for Karina, The High Priest leads the group to the other side of the hospital hall, and talks again.
“Thanks again for sharing this information with us. The coincidences with her situations and what you told me of Cuslan is troubling, and we are going to look into it more.”

Joren steps in “We need to investigate about any other people that have been raised in the past five years. Do you know of anyone else that may have been raised here?”

The High Priest ponders a moment, and then say "Yes, there are some people in Yartar that have been raised within this time frame, some of them we can check on. I will send some priests out first thing in the morning to check on them. "

He then stops for a moment, eyes losing focus for a few seconds, then whispers something back. “My priests tell me the body of Cuslan is ready for the questioning. We can keep your prisoner in this cell if you are ok with that, and we can head over there if you are ready for your questions.”

A dash-and bow from Baelfyre within the silence bubble, puzzle everyone as the group leaves the hospital hall and heads downstairs, in a lower level of the temple using long stairs and corridors lit by candles.

The group is brought in a large bare stone room, with only one small doorway, and in the middle of it the body of Cuslan lying on a stone table. A few priests are chanting in low voices around the body. Candelabras are lighting the room, as no windows or openings are visible.

As Amitreene brings Baelfyre up-to-date about the conversation with Karina, they also start to ponder about the three questions they are going to ask, when Amitreene turns to the High priest: “will we hear the questions you will ask the merchant?”

The High Priests responds to Amitreene: “We have already asked the two questions we needed to ask.”
Baelfyre then interjects: “Would you care to share what you learned? Perhaps it will help us to help you.”

One of the priests in the room whispers something at the High Priest ear. Ceylian looks the adventurers grimly. “Our first question was to make sure you told us the truth about this man’s death this morning, and his answer confirmed you told us the truth.
Our second question was about the fate of his soul, as we asked if he saw the City of Judgment before his soul departed from his body, to which he responded No”

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Heading West

Caravan.jpg

On the 4th of Ches 1489DR, the first caravan of the year leaves Silverymoon after a very long winter, heading westward.

In different capacities, the player’s characters are travelling with the caravan. Baelfyre, Amitreene and Joren all travel in a fancy first-class stage coach, while the dwarf Barrus practices with the Longstriders, helping the caravan get a faster pace.
Captain Melnick and a detachment of Knights in Silver escort the caravan.

The caravan stops at Everlund on the 6th of Ches, and gather there more wagons, a fancy private coach, some carts and a few more travelers, including Juniper and Chiwyll.

Two days later, the caravan arrives at Olostin’s Hold and stop there for the night.

The next stretch of the Evermoor Way is a 4 day trip to Calling Horns, where the caravan stop for the night on the 12th of Ches. Despite a few sightings of trolls, herds of Rothe, and other caravans, the progress is steady.

While the Knights in Silver return to Silverymoon, the caravan heads next to Yartar, leaving the Evermoors behind. Progress remains steady despite a heat wave. A trio of hippogriffs’ riders from Hawk’s Nest decide to spend the night on the caravan’s camping grounds for one night.

On the 16th of Ches, some people spot something unusual in the skies one mile behind the caravan. Unsure of the exact nature of the sightings (some mention some kind of earth mote, others believe the sightings are just mirages because of the heat wave..), the Caravan Master decides to try to reach Yartar and keep going instead of camping a last night out on the road.

At dusk, 15 miles still out from Yartar, the caravan is suddenly assaulted by a large group of orcs, goblins and hobgoblins, and quickly overrun. As the guards are falling under the assailants swords, lightning bolts disperse the carts and horses, burning some of them. Chaos and pandemonium ensues, and the battle rages on, until the players’ characters are the last ones standing and about to die. The dwarf Barrus then saves the day by summoning an earth elemental, allowing them to finish off the remaining assailants. During the ambush Baelfyre witnessed one of Cusland’s guards kill the Sergeant of the caravan’s guards and flee into the nearby woods.

Still, some unseen attackers are hiding in the woods, and request for the heroes to surrender the merchant, whose fancy luxury coach has not been damaged. As no-one has seen this merchant before, Barrus uses his elemental to open the coach, bringing him out. The merchant Cuslan Beregond is obviously ill, and has his six year old daughter, Chloe, with him.

After some discussions, the characters, still under the protection of the earth elemental, decide to make a run for Yartar with the merchant and his daughter, after he promises them to give them a large payment if they escort him to Waterdeep, where he wants to go to be healed. Cutting the elemental lose on the woods where the remaining assailants are, the characters make their escape in a cart and a few horses, transporting the merchant and his daughter and reach Yartar two hours later, long after nightfall.

They look for an inn not too shabby but not too obvious either, and end up in a modest neighborhood, at the White-Winged Griffon inn, where they book rooms and stables for the rest of the night, hoping for a much needed long rest.

After settling in, the party negotiates with Cuslan. He offers them 151 Platinum pieces as an initial payment for their help. He is planning to sell his shop in Waterdeep, and place Chloe in a private education facility there for her to grow up educated, and agrees to give the group 1/2 of the sale as thanks for escorting both of them to Waterdeep. In the event of his death along the way, the company is to escort Chloe back to Everlund and given to the care of Bolen Sulmaster, the regent of his estate, to be together with her older sister Satine. The party agrees and a Contract with Cuslan Beregond is signed.

Everyone takes a long rest, and the only incident during the night is a minor commotion in Barrus’s room, as he fells from his bed in the clutches of a nightmare.

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The Second Sundering
A brief summary of the last years in the North

In 1482DR, Bhaal, the long-dead god of murder, was reborn in Baldur’s Gate amid chaos and bloodshed. The return of Bhaal and his apparent reclamation of the domain of murder from Cyric led some scholars to believe that the rules by which all deities must abide were in flux, and this event marked for them the beginning of the Second Sundering (see an History of the Realms for more details about the First Sundering).

Strange calamities began to occur throughout Faerun, and conflicts broke out in many regions of the continent. Events like earthquake, floods, drought re-shaped some of the lands, undoing the changes brought upon by the Spellplague but also ending its wider effects. Pockets of wild magic manifestations are still fairly common across Faerun, amid the turmoils and upheavals brought up by these calamities.

In the North, between 1484DR and 1485DR the orcs of Many Arrows descended as a horde upon the land in great numbers, pillaging and massacring, while the region was under the effect of roiling clouds of smoke or some other foul substance that turned daylight into something less than moonlight and hid the stars entirely, called The Darkening . The Silver Marches were the most affected, with Sundabar being all but destroyed, and Silverymoon and the Dwarven Citadel being besieged by orcs and drows alike.

When the Orc horde cheiftain Hartusk is killed in battle by a Dwarven lord, the horde’s multiple tribes splinter off, relieving the besieged cities and citadels. Despite the retreat of the Orcs, the fall of Sundabar precipitated the fall of the League of the Silver Marches, as the dwarves retreated to the Underdark and to their citadels, blaming their former allies, especially Silverymoon and Everlund, for not helping defend Sundabar.

In the Western part of the North, the Hosttower of the Arcane rose again in Luskan, along with the Arcane Brotherhood, while in Waterdeep and Neverwinter, efforts were made to clear these cities of century-old rubbles and neglect, while ships claiming to come from Evermeet, Lantan and Nimbral sailed into ports of the Sword Coast.

In the Eastern parts of the North, the long-subjugated Bedine people rebelled against the Netherese, as their masters waged a war against the southern kingdom of Cormyr, with the help of their puppet kingdom of Sembia. Netheril attacked Myth Drannor by flying the City of Shade above it. In a struggle for control of its mythal, the flying capital of Netheril was brought crashing down on Myth Drannor, resulting in the cataclysmic destruction of both. Forced to retreat, the last remnants of the Netherese forces waged battle with the bedines for the control of Memory Spire, and the battle awakened a hive of phaerimms, whose draining magic made Anauroch a desert again.

Across the North the last two winters lasted longer than any winter on records. The solstices and equinoxes have somehow drifted. Later seasons follow suit, with each starting and ending later than expected. Prayers to the gods for knowledge and mercy seem to go unacknowledged.

The year now is 1489DR.

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Faerûn
An introduction to Faerûn, The Forgotten Realms

From the bitter, windswept steppes of the Endless Waste to the storm-lashed cliffs of the Sword Coast stretches a wide, wild land of shining kingdoms and primal wilderness, Faerûn is only one continent of the world known as Toril. Other lands lie in distant corners of the world, but Faerun is the center of it all, the crossroads and crux upon which all else turns. Dozens of nations, hundreds of citystates, and countless tribes, villages, and settlements dot its expanse.

The continent of Faerûn is a landmass of approximately nine and a half million square miles, located mainly in the northern hemisphere of the world of Toril. Sub-arctic extremes chill its northern reaches, where ice sheets like the Great Glacier dominate the landscape in blinding white. To the south are the equatorial jungles of Chult and the tropical coasts of Halruaa. It’s bordered on the west by the Trackless Sea and on the east by the Endless Wastes and the Hordelands that separate it from Kara-Tur.

Faerûn is an open land full of kingdoms and empires, large and small, and scattered city-states and villages struggling to make their way in a landscape that can be unforgiving wilderness one mile and cosmopolitan city the next.

Countless millions of humans, elves, dwarves, halflings, and other sentient beings call Faerûn home. It is a land of magic and intrigue, cruel violence and divine compassion, where gods have ascended and died, and millennia of warfare and conquests have shaped dozens of unique cultures.

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A Haunting dream...
It seemed so real, and yet...

During a trip at sea, Rastaputka, Peter and another friend get stranded on a remote island while their ship undergoes needed repairs.

During the first nights spent at the local inn, they learn that every night, one or two locals recently started to disappear each night. The adventurers investigate and find out that they are walking themselves into the sea during their sleep to later re-appear as wretched sea-zombies…

Investigating the island and it’s surroundings, a tomb entrance is discovered on a remote newly formed island, and it could possibly be the source of the new curse on this island.

The adventurers enters what look like an old tomb, with many traps and dangers. Rastaputka dies after being pushed by a companion in a deadly pool

,She wakes up… It was just a nightmare.
But it all seemed so real…
And this green devil’s face on the tomb’s wall… haunting… taunting… gaping…
.

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What happened next??
Eleint, 23, 1372

Full rest in manor basement

Curia manages to open a portal back to 7 pillars

the group returns to Silverymoon

Rastaputka hands over Mirthuvial to Tarn Hornblade,

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new friend in strange places...
Eleint, 22, 1372

Group Leaves Kopachov leomund’s Mansio, following Mirthuvial’s directions to Couleuvrine

Fight with Kuo Toas Group in the streets of Pedestal

Mirtuvial leads to t a Fight with Yuan Ti, one of them manages to escape through Portal. with Couleuvrine.. Impossible to follow through the portal

group of Vampire Spawns attacks

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Reaching Pedestal...
Eleint, 21, 1372

Groups reaches Pedestal docks
Curia creates Cannith Goggles

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