Tales from Elrond

Severius' Journal- A Brief Walk in the Depths and Horrific News

Opening the trapdoor, we proceeded down an iron ladder into the depths of a subterranean realm of Dwarven construction- Dovak was certain of that and also suspected it was of the same style that existed in the caverns deep beneath the Sacred Stone monastery. Still not fully recuperated from our battle with Dryflagon, we decided this was only going to be a cursory inspection to see what lay below.

I heard Dovak get challenged by a gruff voice in the dark and unhappy with the response he provided, a group of hobgoblins attacked us at range from a rock barricade that guarded deeper passage. With the exception of Biggle and Allegro, our party was not hindered by the dark and we engaged hobgoblins. They were dispatched, proving only a slight challenge due to our already weakened state.

A search of their bodies revealed that they were wearing tabards displaying the same strange symbol that the iron collars of the hell hounds that attacked us had and we grew wary of continuing our exploration further where we were sure more opposition would face us. It was decided we should exit and head to the Feathergale Spire to make our now-delayed meeting with Lady Sarva and address her concerns about an evil inner circle within the Feathergale Society’s ranks, including their leader Thul Merroska.
We were halfway to our destination, carefully rolling our wagon over the Sumber Hills, when we spotted a hippogriff rider being pursued by four vulture riders. The hippogriff rider was attired as a Feathergale Knight and his pursuers had the same appearance as the people that attacked us unprovoked weeks earlier. It was clear the Feathergale Knight was heading toward us and he was brought down a couple hundred feet from our position. Alive, but trapped under his wounded mount, the Knight struggled to fight off his pursuers, some of which broke off to prevent us from assisting.

A desperate battle ensued and, despite our depleted spells and yet to be healed injuries, we were victorious- slaying the vulture riders and their mounts, while saving the Feathergale Knight and its mount, which we were surprised to find was Lady Savra’s mount, Sky Dancer. We also found that we knew the Knight, Lord Daylon, the stablemaster of the Feathergale Society, who we met during our visit.

Once his condition was stabilized, Lord Daylon shared a horrific tale that gave us great cause for concern, despair and, at least for me, guilt that we did go to assist Savra earlier. He told us Lady Savra was dead, murdered by Merroska’s own hand as a sacrifice to an entity named Yan-C-Bin. Lady Savra had made some of her inquires about the Society’s inner circle to the wrong members and she was seized and killed for her actions, stabbed and thrown from the top of the Spire. Daylon, a member of the inner circle, but seemingly unexposed to the nefarious activities that were done as part of their servitude to Yan-C-Bin, disagreed with Merroska’s actions and his voiced opposition only marked his death. Luckily, with our later assistance, he survived.

It was clear that Daylon was telling the truth, I could see that he cared for Savra in a manner that was more than just friends. He loved the woman but respected her marriage to another. He was trapped in a personal torment trying to reconcile his feelings and Savra’s unavailability. His love gave him conviction and he only sought to have vengeance on Merroska and his inner circle.

Hearing of Savra’s death, and Daylon’s grief, Bruldenthar told us about one of the few remaining maintained places of the Dwarven kingdom of Tyar-Besil, a place of religious pilgrimage for Dwarves called the Vale of Dancing Waters. This place was a shrine to the great Dwarven god Moradin, and it is known to bring the dead back to life if Moradin, or his wife, the goddess Berronar Truesilver, believed the requestor was working toward a great and honorable goal of Dwarven import. Upon hearing this, hope was born and there was much to plan.5DB58068-7772-4CB6-AFE0-BE648E25CCE8.jpeg

Severius’ Journal- “ Into the Breach”

I feel sadness at the departure of such honorable and courageous people. Were it not for the druids that decided to join me and confront Elizar Dryflagon about my missing comrades and the true nature of the Rite of the Wicker Man ceremony, all would have been lost. My comrades would most likely be dead and life, possibly all life, in this Valley as well. To the druids that made the ultimate sacrifice to stop Dryflagon’s plans, I give them the utmost respect and ask that Gorm ensure their safe passage to whatever plane they hold as sanctuary in the afterlife.

As I sit here penning these words, as my comrades and I rest and tend to our wounds, I wonder what it is that is plaguing the Dessarin Valley. This is more than the simple locating and rescue of abducted caravan members. There is too much going on. Erratic weather patterns. Strange factions, such as the monks of the Sacred Stone Monetary and the fire druids of the Circle of the Scarlet Moon, interested in an unknown, but seeming nefarious agenda. The sudden aggressiveness of the Iceshield Orcs and the numerous stories of strange happenings that my band has yet to investigate. I feel there is an underlying reason that ties all of these things together. Such a small area to be the focus of such strange activity begs the question.

Only three of our druid allies remain alive after the battle that vanquished Dryflagon- Gariena, Varigo and Suruki. None of them wish to accompany us through the hatch that we discovered on the ground floor of Scarlet Moon Hall. Avenging their comrades’ death and stopping the Rite of the Wicker Man was their main concern, and with these things accomplished, they have decided to return to their homeland. We depart as friends, and I look forward to meeting them again, perhaps in more pleasant circumstances.

The last thought I wish to pen is about a strange dream I had following the battle with Dryflagon. It was more than a dream, I am sure, as I believe it was Gorm speaking directly to me. I have not heard from Gorm since his direction for me to leave Cyndicea and travel to the world above ground to spread the faith. His message was unclear, and I will have to pray further on its meaning, but I get the sense that I must return to Summit Hall, the headquarters of the Order of the Knights of Samular. The message inferred grave news and a need for my presence. I do not know when I will be able to go to Summit Hall as several pressing matters are at hand to attend to, but I will let my companions know of my dream and my intent.

Severius’ Journal- Scarlet Moon Hall Battle Royale!!

By the time the fires finally died we had lost more of our newfound allies. The battle was intense and were it not for the assistance that Biggle and I had gathered to our cause before confronting Dryflagon we would surely have perished.

B66BCFD0-9F20-4331-82B8-38798C6328F7.jpegWhen we initially confronted the Druid leader he tried honeyed words to sway the masses, while puffing casually on his pipe, but his skills at persuasion were child’s play when compared to my teachings as a priest of Gorm. I was taught since birth to influence others, to inspire courage, devotion and yes fear, fear of the unknown, fear of what Dryflagon’s true intentions were with his foul ceremony.

Seeing his efforts at speech craft failing, Dryflagon turn to violence. Unleashing fiery majicks and summoning a being from the elemental plane of fire from the giant Wicker Man. More of his followers emerged from the ruined abbey to join the battle and soon there was the smell of burnt flesh from the dead and dying on both sides. I saw nothing of the mercenaries that Biggle had hired to protect me, but I had no need of them for Gorm saw to my safety, gave strength to my cause and used me as his divine vessel to punish the wicked.

Though it cost us dearly, we pushed through the tough resistance and Dryflagon and his followers sought refuge in the abbey forcing us to ascend the wooden scaffolding that lead to the breach in the upper wall that served as its only entrance. It was during these last moments of the battle that we found my companions- Aszh, Dovak and Enna unconscious and bound in the tents surrounding the abbey, wounded but alive. I give thanks to Gorm for their return.

The scaffolding finally collapsed from the flames as Dryflagon made his escape into the abbey and my companions and I saw no need to immediately pursue him into unknown danger while many of us were on the brink of death from our wounds. No longer sustained by the majick of the Scarlet Moon Druids, their giant Wicker Man succumbed to the flames and collapsed. It made a nice bonfire to rest by as we planned our next course of action.

Severius Journal- "Call for Aid!"

As Biggle and I recuperated from our battle and conversed with Gariena, Allegro stumbled into our midst, frantic and wounded. He told us that he and the rest of the group had been attacked by the Druids of the Scarlet Moon after Aszh tried conversing with them. He seemed to think that Aszh caused some type of confrontation. The Druids summoned a creature made of fire and killed the party, only Allegro was able to escape. Aghast, Biggle and I couldn’t bear to believe such news, though Allegro insisted on seeing it.

Biggle and I were eager to check on the status of our comrades and find out the reasons for the hostilities with the Druids of the Scarlet Moon, but we were also wary of danger, considering the battle we had just been involved in, and the potential battle to come. We enlisted Gariena for aid, and the elf, still angered at the murder of her friends, agreed to help us. We then approached the first Druids that we met upon our arrival at site of the Wicker Man Rite and explained to them what has befalling both our party and Gariena’s. They seemed concerned but not quick to judge the altercation without more information. They explained to us that the leader of the Circle of the Scarlet Moon, a man named Elizar Dryflagon, told them the Rite of the Wicker Man was a complicated and delicate Rite that could not be disrupted before it’s completion. Perhaps Aszh and his group had disturbed this Rite and action had to be taken. Regardless, these Druids (Varigo, Mahoon, Inari and Fariya) agree to accompany us to speak with Dryflagon and inquiry about our comrades.

Deciding to warn others, and perhaps garner more support, we decided to talk with another camp’s inhabitants, two Druids accompanied by a bear. The conversation went pleasant enough (the bear was very agitated) and we departed ways with this pair on what we thought were neutral, if not friendly, terms and were quite surprised when they sent a pair of fireballs to erupt in our midst while we walked away. We survived this treachery, just barely and immediately counterattacked. Our newfound Druid companions joined us in the fight and the battle was quick and brutal. The two Druids that attacked us lay dead and their bear liberated by Varigo, though their fire spells nearly cost myself and Varigo our lives.

After attending to the wounded, we started towards the ruined abbey, now called the Scarlet Moon Hall, and stopped at two other camps to provide warning and enlist aid in our endeavor. The Druids at one camp, which included a sea Druid named Sauruki, agreed to accompany us but would hold judgement until they heard from Dryflagon; Sauruki Did shared with us that he too felt some apprehension about this Rite of the Wicker Man.

The last of our following were two rough-looking men who spoke little but appeared to be no strangers to violence. Biggle believes they are perhaps mercenaries, and paid them a generous fee to protect me should hostilities commence. They accepted his gold, and nonchalantly followed. I’m not sure they can be trusted, and still don’t understand their interest in this Wicker Man Rite, but if they earn their gold then I guess that’s all that matters for the time being…

Severius’ Journal- “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire”

I have only recently awaken…my wounds are deep and many but they will heal. To come so close to death’s door…to almost come to stand in judgement before Gorm….both a blessing, because I know that I have been his ever-loyal servant, and a fear, because I know there is still much work for me to do in his name.

I am still unsure of what happened…what provoked this attack on me and my friend Biggle. We had only just arrived at the campsite of the Druid Gariena and her two faerie companions…sprites I think…and were enjoying friendly conversation when the Druid and her three Ranger companions from the previous campsite approached us with weapons drawn…hostile looks on their faces. Biggle stepped towards them, most likely to exchange a friendly inquiry when they charged to attack us. Their Druid leader unleashing a magical fireball in our midst. Biggle and I were able to avoid most of the blast but the sprites were cremated where they stood and Gariena suffered horrendous burns.

Confusion gripped me briefly as I could think of no reason for being assaulted…I thought our conversation with these people was pleasant enough despite my feeling that they were being elusive about some of their knowledge of strange happenings of the Dessarin Valley and how they acted nervous during our conversation. Perhaps Biggle had shared too much of our party’s exploits.

Outnumbered and boxed in by the three warriors, we were at a massive disadvantage. Luckily my armor and shield protected me from most of the blades but the Druid was free to cast magic unmolested. Fortunately aid came to us by an enraged Gariena. In a fury because of the deaths of her friends, she called down lightning from the sky to blast the other Druid. The two became involved in a magikal duel as the warriors focused on me and Biggle. I believe that Biggle and I owe our lives to Gariena’s efforts…without her involvement we would have surely died.

Consciousness left me when one of the warriors struck me down. I remembered briefly being in sorrow because the battle was so sudden that I still had many gifts of Gorm left at my disposal and was not able to unleash their fury on my foes.

When I came to, I was relieved to find Biggle and Gariena alive and our foes vanquished. As I looked through the smoky haze to the ruins of the towering abbey and the massive burning wicker man effigy nearby I couldn’t help but to feel a sudden moment of dread…something was not right…420067A8-7B27-4922-A764-FCE098838498.jpeg

Severius’ Journal- Assaulting the Monastery Again, Disturbing News and There Be Giants

Despite the ambush in the night by the pack of hell hounds we were able to recover enough to go forward with our plan to conduct yet another assault on the monastery. I must admit that I have some apprehension about breaching the monastery’s confines yet again. The monks know we’re here and will be ready. Only Brunldenthar’s worry about his comrades in the lower levels keeps me on this course but Aszh and I suspect that the enemies are replacing their losses from the lower levels and only Gorm knows how many their ranks hold.

Their leader, the eyeless masked monk, was able to escape our last encounter and Allegro suspects that she may be found in the north western section of the monastery. We decided to enter the monastery on that side, using the same door that Brunldenthar used to escape; the now rotting body of Brunldenthar’s fellow prisoner still laid on the ground where the monks had struck him down seconds from freedom.

Our approach was anything but stealthy, heavy weapons and armor saw to that, and Dovak lead the blitz inside. Ahead, Allegro’s Mage Hand picked the lock on the door. As we suspected the monks were ready for us and Dovak was attacked the second he entered the door. Led by the eyeless monk, the monks put up a fierce resistance. I have never seen someone move so fast, and to use nothing but punches and kicks to inflict damage was a sight to see- too bad my comrades and I were on the receiving end of that combat prowess.

We were able to dispatch all our foes, with the exception of the eyeless monk, who fled through a door. We gave chase but did not know where she had gone in the maze of corridors and doors beyond. Electing to proceed with caution, we continued through the monastery, clearing the area room by room. We still had much of the monastery to search when we arrived at the main entrance, and it was here that we found the monks had been reinforced by Minotaurs. These bull-headed creatures were formidable warriors and a deadly melee ensued. DAD2DDE4-E174-4DC6-83F9-8C17BB73FD1E.jpeg

Again we vanquished our foes but were too wounded to continue our search of the monastery; if there were further Minotaurs about we would be hard pressed to survive that confrontation. Wounded, we departed the monastery to head back to our campsite to recuperate. There we found Lady Savra waiting for us.

The young noble seemed distraught and told us of her recently discovered suspicions that some of the members of the Feathergale Society, including Commander Thurrl, were part of an inner circle conducting nefarious activities. She recalled our description of the mysterious dark-clad vulture-riders that attacked us and secretly observed similar persons going to the Feathergale Spire.

D230DB77-184D-4825-AB0C-F74DBC018336.jpeg During our discussion, we noted a plume of smoke rising into the sky in the Sumber Hills not too far from our position. When we asked Savra about this she told us that a gathering of Druids was taking place at the ruins of an old abbey. A Druid circle called the Circle of the Scarlet Moon claims to know a magical rite that will stabilize the chaotic weather patterns in the Valley. Druids from afar were going to the ruins to witness this powerful rite.

Aszh told us that he had a bad feeling about this Rite, and urged us to investigate this situation. After a brief discussion, we decided to proceed to the abbey ruins to investigate this Rite, telling Lady Savra to go back to the Spire and wait for our return. Brunldenthar was disappointed in our decision due to the worry about his missing comrades but seemed to understand the difficulty we were having in fully breeching the number of enemies in the monastery.

On the way we came across a pair of Hill Giants. I have never seen such tall humanoids before, though I have heard rumors of giant-sized humanoids in the subterranean, but thankfully the confines of most areas keep these creatures from the populace. The brutal creatures tried to make a meal of us but we didn’t obliged their offer. They won’t be bothering anyone again.

The Assault on the Well of Demons Begins

In the morn, Magnara, Takashi and Lester have found that tensions, alliances and life in general has gotten more complicated by their cooperation with Meredith. Surina, having heard of the party’s relationship with the tiefling follower of Asmodeus, confronts the party on their commitment to help her facilitate conditions to encourage settlement into the Seven-Pillared Hall and surrounding areas. She believes that the next step in this process is to secretly remove the Duergar presence in the Seven-Pillared Hall to send a message to the slaver Dwarves and others that support the slave trade that they are not welcome; with the threat of slavery gone, Surina believes that more outsiders will come to settle the area.

There is a heated discussion between Surina and the party that ultimately results in Surina stomping off in disgust at their failure to commit to an immediate assault. Before she departs she honors her agreement to provide the party with secret location of the oracle, the Witching Hour’s Sage. The party discusses amongst themselves what to do and by the time Meredith returns from her meeting with the Duergar they have decided to proceed to the Well of Demons and cleanse the demon-worshipping gnolls from the area.
The trip to the Well is uneventful and the first opponents the party fights when they enter the Blackclaw Tribe base are gricks accompanied by a ghast. Despite being ambushed, the party vanquishes the creatures without much trouble. Proceeding deeper into the gnoll tribe’s lair, it becomes apparent that something supernatural was occurring at the Well. The veil separating the prime material plane and an unknown plane of evil was weak and Lester informed the party that this would mean that it would be easier for denizens of the two planes to cross over.

Continuing with caution, the party is able to ambush a group of gnolls in a mess hall and after easily dispatching them become involved in a protracted counterattack by a gnoll directing a pack of giant hyenas. Using the terrain their advantage, the party is able to funnel the enemy to attack piecemeal and with a combination of martial prowess and the magic of two warlocks, the hyenas were killed and their pack master ran off. The element of surprise now gone, the group readied for harder battles to come.

Severius’ Journal- “Reunited and Retreating”

We have learned more regarding the fate of the Mirabar Delegation during the last two hours than we have during the entirety of the proceeding month. This information is indeed very much cause for concern and speaks of a great evil growing and threatening to corrupt and destroy the Dessarin Valley, and most likely beyond, if not stopped. But I must pause and collect myself…Starting from the beginning would offer a complete explanation, yes?

After successful communication with Allegro by the blessing of Gorm’s Sending spell, we were able to reunite with our halfling friend in the room where we have vanquished the orog and ogre guards; their bodies still lay where we left them, the blood from their wounds now dry and thankfully still too soon to display the bloat or putrid smell of decomposition. After a hasty reunion and exchange of information to update each other on the past day’s events we headed upstairs intent on exiting the monastery as soon as possible to both get clear of danger and so I may treat Brunldenthar injuries. We had only just exited onto the ground floor when we were confronted by one of the Sacred Stone Monastery monks. This woman, which I only deduce based on the sound of her voice and shape of her body was different than the others we had fought. There was a conviction in her voice and an unnerving feeling about her presence which I believe was mainly due to the realization that her gilded demonic mask lacked eyes or vision slits.

The woman demanded our immediate surrender so that proper “justice” may be meted out but none in my party had any interested in complying and battle was soon joined. The sightless woman was not alone and invisible Duergar revealed themselves and joined the melee, as did another monk and a warrior covered in strange armor made of Stone. Much majick was spent by myself in our party to face such foes and I am indeed thankful to the blessings that Gorm bestowed to this humble servant. I knew in my heart that our cause was just and Gorm would provide victory. The sightless monk’s allies were slain but unfortunately she was able to escape and we elected to leave the monastery rather than engage in pursuit not knowing what more potential foes await. FB91E724-FD76-4A6E-BD2E-55D7E3A093F1.jpeg

Arriving at camp, we found Brunldenthar as Allegro described, in good spirits but malnourished and injured. Aszh and I both utilized the blessing from our patrons to heal the dwarf and much of his health was restored. With strength returned the dwarf told us what befell the Delegation- an ambush by Sacred Stone monks shortly after the Delegation had left Beliard and was enroute to Summit Hall. Brunldenthar told us that many of the Delegation were slain and those that survived were taken captive where they were escorted to the River Dessarin to meet with river pirates who were paid by the monks (using Brunldenthar’s collection of valuable books) to take the prisoners across. Before the prisoners were placed aboard, another ambush occurred, this time by vulture-riding bandits that attacked the pirates and the monks. In the confusion Brunldenthar was able to confirm that the bandits were able to capture and get away with at least one of the surviving Delegation members, Deseyna Norvael, a noble from Waterdeep. EB94A196-DC8F-4473-BBB0-EEF516A8D4B3.jpeg

With the surviving bandits retreating, Brunldenthar confirmed that he and two others of the Delegation, Rhundorth (one of Mirabar’s finest smiths and a veteran warrior) and Teresiel (a moon elf from Silverymoon) were taken to the Monastery and held as prisoners with other people that the monks had kidnapped from the neighboring towns and countryside to excavate and mine the subterranean level below the monastery.

During his captivity Brunldenthar learned that the monks were in fact an elemental cult of Earth, this particular sect being made of evil worshippers that had established a base in the Dessarin Valley. Brunldenthar admitted that he was no expert but based on the limited knowledge he did know, the cult posed a great danger to the Dessarin Valley and beyond if they were allowed to continue to grow in power. He did not know what the cult was up to, especially in the deeper subterranean level that lay below the subterranean level that was immediately below the monastery but he fears the worse, especially after the cult took Teresial and Rhundorth to the lower level a tenday or so ago. After hearing Brunldenthar’s tale, everyone in the group was in agreement that we must take action but Brunldenthar cautioned us that these were powerful enemies indeed.

Severius' Journal- "Action Uncertain?"

Dovak tells us that the ancient stonework of these caverns below the Sacred Stone Monastery are Dwarven in origin and that has lead to some speculation considering the presence of Duergar fighting alongside the Monks during our battle at the Monastery’s entrance. In our wandering of the sub-level below the Monastery, we came across a locked gate barring an ancient staircase leading further down. This gate was unlocked using a key that was found on the vanquished orog leader and after a long descent, we have arrived at a grand chasm spanned by a stone bridge. Aszh and I have discussed our observations and considered that perhaps Duergar reside in the subterranean realm below the Monastery and are in an alliance with the monks above.

Our foray into the Monastery has been a challenge certainly, and laying here in prayer to Gorm in the darkness of an ancient Dwarven hallway still surrounded by enemies my comrades and I are uncertain of our next action. Allegro has become separated from the group. His attempt to lead away our pursuers was not successful and his fate remains unknown. I am asking Gorm to bless me with a Sending spell so I might commune with my friend and ascertain his status. Above us, in the subterranean level directly below that Monastery a deadly Umber Hulk stalks the passageways. Aszh and I were nearly killed by the creature as we attempted to hold it off while the others retreated. The creature left us unconscious while it pursued the others. Fortunately Gorm was with us and he ensured the beast was lead astray while our companions returned and dragged us to safety. 690767B2-D7E3-4651-BCB0-314128653EE7.jpeg

The ancient stair and the area it lead to appears to be of questionable safety. Immediately upon attempting to cross the stone bridge across the chasm we were attacked by gargoyles which were concealed amongst the stone surroundings. The creatures were difficult to slay, our weapons seemingly not as effective as they should have been, even Dovak’s normally devastatingly powerful axe blows were significantly reduced in effectiveness. After killing two of the creatures, the third flew off into the darkness. We decided to not proceed forward. We are too weak to continue further without rest and recuperation and most of us feel a need to reunite with Allegro before proceeding further. I do not know if I have been in worse circumstances than I currently find myself in but I have faith in Gorm’s ability to provide and protect.

Lesser of Two Evils?

Lester, Magnara and Surina return to the Seven-Pillared Hall. Figuring that Takashi is not going anywhere in his current state as a stone statue, they take their time getting some much needed rest and recuperation. Lester purchases alchemy supplies from Gendar, and with the biologicals he extracted from the Basilisks, intends to brew a potion to transform Takashi back to his normal state. A conversation with the Dwarven owner of the Deepgem Company, Ulthand Deepgem, and appealing to his previous positive interactions with Takashi as a worshipper of the Dwarven goddess Ulsan secures a space in his holdings for Lester to construct a make-shift lab to go about his work.

Heading out the following day with two vials of hope in hand, Lester and Magnara make their way back to the cisterns they find Takashi as they left him. After Magnara asking for Bahamut’s blessing, Lester administers one of the transmutation potions on Takashi and are relieved when Takashi’s natural form is restored. After catching their friend up on what happened after he was turned to stone, the party heads out of the cisterns back towards the Seven-Pillared Hall.

E8E9A092-C549-4511-A191-E7774ABE8C9C.jpegEnroute, they cross paths with a tiefling warlock named Meredith who is in the service of Asmodeus and leading a small force of devils and warriors against the demon worshippers of Yeenoghu who have taken residence in the aptly named Well of Demons- an ancient area of the Thunderspire Labyrinth that was coincidentally used during the rule of the Minotaurs to worship the demon lord Baphomet. Meredith and Lester converse at length about the individual tasks they have been assigned by their patron and Lester learns that his charge is to cleanse the Well of Demons of the demon worshippers. He explains what is expected of him to his comrades and Magnara seems the most disturbed by this revelation, not entirely comfortable with being used as a tool for one evil power to thwart the evil agenda of another. Lester tries to convince the Dragonborn that his master is the lesser of the two evils but Magnara remains conflicted. Departing ways with Meredith, the party returns to the Seven-Pillared Hall where Takashi retires, Lester goes to do work for Gendar (as part of their agreement for the purchase of the alchemical supplies) and Magnara seeks the company of Surina.

After he awakes, Takashi joins Magnara in the common room of the Halfmoon Inn feeling more exhausted and ill than he was when he went to bed. Using the power of Bahamut, Magnara cures what’s ailing him and the two discuss the situation before them regarding aiding Lester in his patron’s task. Magnara eventually agrees with Takashi that they are still fighting evil and should Asmodeus’ followers fill the void left by the vanquished demon worshippers, then they will be the next enemies to fall.

At the conclusion of their meeting one of the locals, a kobold named Charrak, hands them a message from an unidentified individual praising their work against the Bloodreavers and claiming to be a member of the evil organization who the slavers work for who is seeking its downfall. With the individual requesting a secret meeting in two hours in one of the rooms off the main corridors leading from the Seven-Pillared Hall, the pair gathers Lester and the trio head out to see who this mysterious person is.

9D3ED1C6-8B23-40D9-B314-826D13B42ACB.jpegUpon arrival at the meeting site, the party steps into an ambush as a large bronze golem in the shape of an axe-wielding Minotaur pushes a massive boulder to block the room’s sole entrance while two tiefling archers rain arrows on the party from a ledge over-looking the room. The fight is pretty one-sided as Lester and Takashi struggle to protect themselves from the skilled archers while the bronze golem beats down Magnara with powerful blows. As his companions fall, Lester uses his magic to turn himself into gaseous form and escape through the boulder-blocked passageway.

Following as long as he can in gaseous form, Lester sees their attackers bound Takashi and Magnara in rope and then take them from the room to the Well of Demons where they will be turned over to the gnolls to be made into slaves or sacrificed. When he is forced to transform back to normal, Lester’s failed attempt to continue following by using stealth results in him surrendering and joining his companions as a captive. With things looking bleak the party struggles to figure out a way to get out of their predicament.

3B2DD01F-27F3-4E9B-847E-66578BE6D033.jpegLuckily, Meredith and her small force intercepts the party and their captors and a fierce battle erupts between the two forces. During the fighting Lester, Magnara and Takashi are able to free themselves and contribute to the mayhem as best they can with fists and spells still left at their disposal. The battle proves to be a bloody one and in the end only Lester, Takashi, Magnara and Meredith remain alive. A search of the bodies reveals some messages from the rogue Mage of Saruun, Paldemar, to the leader of the Yeenoghu-worshipping gnoll leader Maldrick Scarmaker talking about the party being interlopers and offering them as a gift. It seems pretty obvious that all paths are leading to the Well of Demons.


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