A long time ago, in a University not-so-far away, a group of students got together and played cards, board games and an assortment of RPG’s (Call of Cthulhu, D&D, M.E.R.P., Monster Horrorshow, Star Wars, Warhammer FRP) nearly every day.
Of everything we ever played, Dungeons and Dragons (Basic, 1st, 2nd & Oriental) was played the most. It’s been my personal favourite since High School in 1980.
Starting at university, I ran a 1st/2nd edition game that ran for about ten years. It started with four of us and eventually involved eight people.
In 2003, I talked three of the guys into starting a new campaign (3rd edition) that is still running now. There are now six players and myself, and since we generally play when at least five of them are free, we don’t get together more frequently than once a month for this campaign. Things like work & children tend to make getting everyone together a lot harder now! (A smaller group of us started a separate Pathfinder D&D campaign that is able to meet more regularly.)
This page is to chronicle the game we have been playing and the adventures their characters have enjoyed. Most of the adventures were published ones (TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Dungeon magazine, Goodman Games), and others that I wrote myself. It was a delight to run some of the famous 1st edition adventures that I converted to 3rd edition – most notably the Slavers and Giants series. We never got to play most of these in 1st ed.
The campaign is set in the “World of Greyhawk” beginning in the Common Year 574. Over thirteen actual years (or two game years) the characters have reached 12th level. [We have a much slower level progression (experience) than is normal for 3rd edition.] I’ve been keeping this “adventure diary” since we started, and I really wish that I’d done this type of record for other campaigns (and game systems) that I’ve DM’ed or played in. I’ll keep adding to it as the adventure progresses, and there is a list of adventures (and source) at the end.
Introducing the Characters:
Figjam – A Human (Oeridean) Barbarian born in Bone March shortly before the humanoid invasion of the country. He has a younger (half-Orc) half-brother called St’ven who has met up with them a few times. Figjam is a cautious warrior, with sword and shield, dealing considerable damage when raging. He often finds himself in the wrong place – holding back when the party wants him in the middle of a fight, or charging in when others want him to wait.
Levallious Nailo – A Gray Elf Ranger who is skilled with two swords but is usually found accurately firing arrows from the rear of the group. He hates giants. His keen eyes frequently spot things the Rogue misses. He has a wolf companion and frequently tries to provided level-headed guidance to the party. He was born in the Vesve Forest.
Myste – An orphaned Half (High) Elf Sorceress, found in the Axewood (Ulek/Keoland) as a small child. She remembers nothing before this. Mistress of elemental magics and a Fate Spinner. Opponents find things are not always what they seem to be as she twists luck and changes outcomes.
Pyro – A Flan Human Wizard from Veluna. He specialises in evocations – particularly dealing with fire spells. He’s also the most impulsive of the group and least patient. Often flying over the rest of the party, he’s a great source of knowledge. He keeps a range of wands and has huge variety of spells in his books.
Brolith Ironfist – Quiet and thoughful, this Human (Suel) Monk hails from Keoland. His fast movement and good stealth make him a natural scout. He’s usually well ahead of the group with Khufu. A powerful combatant against lightly armoured foes, he usually flanks with the Rogue.
Khufu – Though born human in Furyondy, a cursed dagger changed him into a mountain Dwarf while adventuring. He’s more a stealthy warrior than a thief, which the party sometimes regrets when faced with high-end magical traps. Trained primarily as a Rogue, he’s also been influenced by Fighters and Assassins. Mostly wields Whelm, a giant-bane hammer, but also has an assortment of different weapons at hand.
Caranthir Aranlas – A High Elf Cleric (NPC) favouring the domains of Good and War. She has joined the party on occasions when not serving the Temple of Corellon Larethian. Whether blasting enemies, strengthening the party or healing them, she has been a valued ally.
It is Common Year 574. The arrival of Spring finds three would-be adventurers looking for a challenge in the town of Viroc in the Principality of Ulek. Levallious Nailo, Figjam and Myste meet in an Inn during the festival of Growfest. They are employed by Master Garret Barreltop, a Halfling Merchant to act as guards for himself, his clerk friend and his cart of goods as he travels to Havenhill.
Planting (Low Summer)
1st Stop at a way house called the “Inn of the Smiling Spirit”. The Inn is deserted, but for one body of a young man and three fresh graves. The group investigate and eventually defeat a Slithering Tracker that has killed all the inn staff. (An almost invisible ooze creature that paralyses its prey and drains them of blood.)
2nd Arrive at the town of Havenhill. Decide to head for the coast.
4th Arrive at Tarsil, a large coastal town and port. (Pop. 4000, mostly humans and dwarves.)
5th Meet Caranthir Aranlas (High Elven Cleric) and accept a ‘mission’ from the town Mayor Jarek Renbrik (Human) to explore Hollow Point. It is thought that bandits are using old smugglers tunnels connecting caves that were once occupied by troglodytes.
6th – 10th Explore and clear the caves. Old tunnels that get filled by high tide hold giant rats, a giant crab and a pair of lizard folk. Larger dry caves have been taken over by a band of Kobolds led by a Sorcerer. After hurt badly by traps and magic the group retreats, to be joined by Pyro – a Human Wizard. The Kobolds are then defeated, and the last part of the caves explored – old carved tunnels that hold Undead – a ghoul and a shadow. Return to Tarsil & claim reward.
13th Myste, Pyro and Levallious capture a Giant Scorpion in town and investigate the girl who turned into a duck… um, goose!
15th Have lunch with the Mayor Renbrik and Nori Gilballin, the Guard Captain (Dwarven). The group is asked to investigate a structure rediscovered on the north road and rumours of goblins. Encounter a Giant Wasp while travelling and Myste ill from poison. Stay at village of Cliffton.
17th Arrive at hill and investigate site. What appears to be a very old structure has been uncovered, perhaps by earth tremor and animals. Many chambers underground have partially collapsed or are filled with dirt and rubble. Mostly vermin inhabit the chambers. A secret vault has an armour construct guarding some treasure. They defeat the construct and a goblin scouting party that arrives. Recover items. Return to Tarsil on 19th meeting again with Mayor & Guard captain. Have a wizard examine the Gem Rod recovered.
20th Testing the Gem Rod with an Obsidian Gem sphere & Jet sphere. Travel to the town of Dorimdall then the City of Kilbaldukr. Return to Tarsil. Believe a second complex is hidden in the Fellbent Forest, north of Tarsil.
27th Explore the Fellbent Forest, locating a complex inhabited by Hobgoblins and mindless flesh-blob Devils. Recover a second Gem Rod, and believe a third complex exists. Return to Tarsil.
28th Planting – 5th Flocktime. Rest and training. The characters are now Second Level.
Flocktime (Low Summer)
6th The PC’s ride to the ruined village of Kordak, south of Fort Belgak. The underground complex is full of undead – mostly skeletons and zombies. The vault holds a spell-stitched ‘Bane Dead’ creature that fights them for a while then leaves. It is resistant to damage from most weapons, even the magical sword wielded by Levallious. Return to Tarsil.
8th The creature that was released has resurfaced – Fort Belgak is attacked by an undead humanoid that is killing dwarves and destroying property. Normal weapons and missiles cause no damage and spells seem ineffective. Captain Gilballin recalls that Aldamir, a Paladin killed near the ruined village of Kolchap had a Longsword that was particularly damaging to undead. The Mayor asks the PC’s to go to the ruined village to recover the weapon from the shrine where the Paladin was entombed
9th The Party travels to the ruined village of Kolchap – seeking the longsword of the Paladin Aldamir who was buried in the graveyard there. They arrive late in the afternoon and follow a small group of goblins to the old village church. They make a surprise attack on many goblins and some minor undead led by a few hobgoblins and some Priests. Knowing that some turned skeletons and potentially other humanoids may be below ground, they retreat just out of the village, to heal and ready spells.
10th Returning to the church, they defeat the zombie guards and enter the dungeon. Hobgoblins, skeletons and a human cleric are defeated and the Bane sword reclaimed. Two Mercenaries are rescued – one, Thea is the daughter of Tarsil’s baker. (The girl who “turned into a duck”.) Return to Tarsil and report.
11th On the journey to Fort Belgak they defeat an ambush by bandits and are joined by Brolith Ironfist, a human Monk. (He is the only survivor of an earlier ambush.) The Party consults with Lord Thalin. They wait for the undead creature to arrive and defeat it (and its Ghoul associates) with the sword that proves to be an Undead Bane. Feast and rest at Fort Belgak.
12th Return to Tarsil to replenish supplies and rest.
15th Captain Gilballin contacts the Party. The captain is a collector of fine weapons, especially those of Dwarven manufacture. He has a cousin who believes he knows the location of the ruined dwarven stronghold of Khundrukar. [Durgeddin the Black was a master smith who waged a decades long vendetta against orcs until his hidden stronghold was discovered and overrun about a century ago.] The cousin, Mori Bordalthur works as a smith for a Keep in the Lower Lortmils, near the borders of Ulek, Celene and the Wild Coast. If the party is interested in journeying to that area and exploring, then the Captain offers payment of 500gp above market value for any blade of Durgeddin’s they recover for him. (He offers scrolls concerning Durgeddin and Khundrukar, as well as information about the Keep and surrounding area.)
17th – 21st Party travels north through Kilbaldukr towards the Keep. (Leisurely travelling along the roads.)
22nd Stop overnight in the Village of Trellmont. A young man is killed overnight by a “demon-spirit” which apparently attacks once a month for three months every nine years. The party decide to investigate the death and speak with town-folk about the legends and stories.
23rd Following story and rumour, the party track the creature to its cave-lair north of the town and fights its “projection” and kills the creature itself – a black leathery-skinned winged humanoid. It is later identified as a Berbalang.
24th Arrival at the “Keep on the Borderlands”. The party learns that Mori only stays at the Keep one week each month. The rest of the time he does a circuit of villages close to the borders as a travelling smith. He is not expected back for 10 days. The party pays for 2 private rooms at the ‘Green Man’ for a week. They talk to people around the keep, and then head along the north road seeking the “Caves of Chaos”. They encounter a few Stirges and clear out most of the Kobold inhabitants of one of the caves.
25th Having camped near the road, the party are disturbed (not attacked) by Kobolds during the night. In the morning they move back to the caves and ambush the Bandits using a large cave to the north at the entrance to the ravine. About a score of human bandits and their leader are killed. A locked but vacant room appears to be the bedroom of eight absent Halflings. A secret passage is discovered into another area that holds only dead Orcs and a few zombies. The group rests through the remainder of the afternoon and evening.
26th Very early in the morning the group enters into the first cave to the south and kills many goblins. They are driven back after encountering the Goblin leader, some Hobgoblins and a Troll. Retreating to the Bandit cave to rest, they find that the Halfling thieves have returned and their attempted ambush proves nearly fatal to party members. A few of the unconscious Halflings are taken captive and the party rests for the rest of the day, heading back to the keep in the afternoon.
27th The party receives a reward from the Merchants Guild for removing the Bandit threat. They purchase some supplies and hire a henchman to watch over their horses while they adventure. (Cob – a Human huntsman agrees to work for 1gp a day, plus bed and board.) They also meet Khufu, a young human male Rogue who joins the party. The slightly larger group returns to the caves, leaves Cob with the horses and proceeds to defeat the remainder of the Goblins and Hobgoblins. They locate a secret passage into a quiet dusty area linking with the Goblin caves in two locations. They rest and then prepare Alchemist’s Fire and ambush the Troll. This time the overwhelming force is on the party’s side. They continue into the quiet southern cave and destroy skeletons and zombies led by a pair of undead arcane spell casters.
28th The victorious group rests and returns to the Keep to sort out treasure and identify their new-found magical items. The party rests, studies and trains.
Wealsun (Low Summer)
1st All the party have now reached Third Level.
2nd The PC’s leave the Keep at dawn and return to the caves. Choosing a new cave in the southwest, high up the ravine the party kills an Owlbear, Figjam has his mithril shirt eaten by a Rust monster and they destroy some Skeletons and Zombies. The rescue of a young girl gives them warning of the cave complex and they fight her keeper – the Necromancer Tarlech and his Mummy Cat. Four other badly weakened prisoners are released. They find a little used secret passage containing some Yellow Mold and the hiding place of the Necromancer’s spell book, and a secret entrance into the Hidden Temple crypt. Badly weakened by Mummy Rot and drained by the Mold, the party escorts the former prisoners back to the Keep. They encounter a land-shark on the road and drive it off almost mortally wounded.
3rd The PC’s get healing and are cured of disease at the chapel. Speaking with Dapra, they learn that the Necromancer and the Undead Mages were allies to evil priests of the “Hidden Temple”. The Priests used to get prisoners from the Bandits for sacrifices or to give to their allies for test subjects. Dapra was to be trained by the Necromancer as his (unwilling) apprentice. Her father, Asham the Cooper, reveals to the Levallious that he had made barrels for Mendel (a fat human Merchant who passes through the Keep regularly) with hidden compartments. When Asham realised that Mendel must be a smuggler he refused, but then his daughter vanished. Mendel told him that his daughter would remain safe “with the Hidden Temple” as long as the cooper kept quiet and supplied his special barrels. The party stay the night with Asham and his brother, Hobbin, the carpenter.
4th Figjam watches Mendel leave the Keep in the morning. The fat and friendly merchant generally stays at the “Green Man” in the Keep. He is usually encountered with two young ladies and two bodyguards. (Human, male & female.) Two donkeys lead a cart loaded with some barrels. The merchant is expected back in about two days. Asham decides to send his wife and children away for safety to visit a cousin in the country. The PC’s leave the Keep, arriving back at the Caves by midday. Entering the Temple crypt they are attacked by Shadows. The kill two and turn the remaining three. They defeat a powerful knight and surprise two priests and a bandit. The Priests worship WeeJas (a female goddess of magic and death) and Pyremius (a male god of fire and murder). They enter the main hall of the temple and are attack by the two head priests, a lesser priest and eight bandits. With most of the party barely conscious they find the main entrance to the Temple cave, where Khufu is almost killed by a Lurker that clung to the ceiling. They retreat to the former bandit cave and rest for a day and a half.
6th Before dawn the PC’s return to the quiet halls of the Temple. They break into the chamber of the head priests and startle a few Kobolds ransacking the guest room. Skeletons guard a large audience hall where a vision of the goddess WeeJas enchants most who see her sitting on the throne there. Myste and Pyro decide that it must be a powerful illusion and charm. A nearby mausoleum holds some zombies. All the undead are destroyed. The northern part of the Temple holds a large shrine to WeeJas, complete with about two score of robed skeletons and zombies. These are also destroyed and a hidden treasury discovered. Mostly copper and silver coins remain, defended by a Slithering Tracker. It appears that other items have been removed.
The rest of the Temple appears to have been abandoned by surviving priests – empty rooms hold empty cupboards and chests. The party rescued a number of weak prisoners and the group decided to return to the Keep. While travelling along the road they meet a dozen pilgrims of Lirr (a Goddess of poetry and art) who are travelling south. One pilgrim has had a vision of Quonzar, a prophet of Lirr, and will recount his story to the elders of the church. They chant, sing and recite poetry on the way to the Keep. The pilgrims stay at the Green Man in the dorm and the party is invited to have dinner with Devereau, the Castellan of the Keep.
Asham spoke with Abercrombie about Mendel, who spoke to Devereau. Both interviewed prisoners rescued from the caves. Abercrombie will offers them free healing while they stay at the Keep and they do not have to pay for their rooms in the Inn. Devereau asks them to assist Jadale (Militia leader) and Sabine (Gatekeeper) in the arrest of Mendel when he returns. The party agrees.
7th The Merchant’s guild has now raised a further 200gp reward, as the road has been bandit free (and land-shark free) for a week. The party resupplies and identifies items and talks with Mori Bordalthur who has returned. He speaks with them about Khundrukar and shows them his map. He will escort them part of the way into the mountains when they are ready to travel. Mendel and his bodyguards arrive and are arrested after a short fight. Immediately after this the Pilgrims say goodbye as they leave to continue south. Figjam and Levallious notice that one of them is missing. The Pilgrims explain that Sister Betik who disappeared overnight has been “taken by Quonzar” and must be sitting with Lirr in the world beyond this one. It turns out that others had disappeared on the journey to this point, and the Party suspects foul play. A detect evil spell reveals nothing but a strange aura around Brother Mathias. Pyro and Myste begin to use spells to stun or sleep the Pilgrims and the unaffected “Brother Mathias” attacks Pyro with extremely large teeth and claws. The creature is quickly defeated and the city watch reassured. The doppelganger-like creature is considered to be a sign from Quonzar by the recovering Pilgrims who continue their journey convinced that their Goddess is watching them.
8th The party returns to the caves early in the morning and using knock spells to open the complex secret doors begins to explore tunnels beyond. They quickly realise that they cannot determine directions or made a reliable map. Some form of magical confusion makes progress difficult. They encounter and kill two minotaurs and find links between doors. They determine the main entrance to these tunnels but limit their exploration to the length of their rope.
9th The source of the Goblinwater proves to be a set of small caves filled with fungus. A tentacled creature lives in the pool of water where a spring bubbles up to form the Goblinwater, they encounter a gas spore for the first time, screaming mushrooms, giant fungi that inject poison and kill a group of giant rats that includes a were-rat. A cave strangely clean of fungi contains a green slime and a gelatinous cube. In the afternoon the group searches the trees and locates a small clearing with a cave mouth and a sign that welcomes humanoids! The cave holds Bugbears who wish to negotiate. The party sits and “talks” (using comprehend languages) to the Bugbear Shaman and enjoy a good feast of venison and wine. The Bugbears seek to unite the humanoids in the caves to fight against the Temple priests and their undead. They seem unaware that all the other humanoids are now dead, but the party informs them that they have killed the priests. They offer a priest they captured to the party, and Myste ransoms two other captives also. The two humans claim to be innocent travellers but the PC’s are certain they are bandits. All are taken back to the Keep for trial. The party estimates the Bugbear tribe to number between one and two-dozen individuals, and have seen perhaps half of their cave layout. The party arrives at the Keep in the middle of the night but are recognised by Jadale and allowed in.
10th The party buys and sells equipment – Moseley, the Quartermaster – has obtained a number of items that they are interested in, including pearls, potions and scrolls. Returning to the Caves, the party goes back into the Temple cave and follows the long passage south-west. It emerges in a barrow in a forest clearing. A dozen skeletons guard the barrow, which is engraved with the word “Quasqueton”. The group investigates a few more secret doors, once again finding direction-confusing tunnels.
11th After resting and regaining knock spells, the party enters a tunnel from the Necromancer’s chamber and near the limit of their rope locate a well-furnished chamber and a young woman who is robed and hooded. She claims to be a prisoner of the minotaurs who wishes to leave the tunnels, and who suffers from a curse – those who look at her face may die. Pyro and Brolith do a quick search of the chamber and locate a secret door. Pyro believes the woman to be a medusa, although a quick look at her face with the aid of his lantern reveals a pretty face and does not turn him to stone. They lead her out of the tunnels to the rest of the party, where Pyro loudly and distinctly repeats what they have learned, focusing on the woman’s “curse”. She is offered healing by Caranthir, and the rest of the group watch her carefully.
She runs away from the group, and Brolith and Levallious attempt to follow her, but say that they cannot see her from the cave mouth. The group returns to the cave chamber and open the secret door, revealing much treasure – mostly coins, jewellery, armour and weapons.
After a check of one more secret door, and the discovery that some magical gems are Ioun stones, the party returns to the Keep. They speak to Mori and prepare to follow him into the mountains on the next day.
12th The party purchases two horses as pack animals and decides to gain a second hireling to watch over their horses and equipment. From the Keep, they hire “Third” who has been working as the unofficial bouncer for the One-Eyed Cat. She is a pretty, pale-skinned warrior woman who doesn’t speak much common. They provide her with a horse, and she joins Cob and the PC’s. Mori leads them along the North Road past the caves and then along a trail towards the northern mountains. They stop at a cabin on the edge of the forested mountains. Figjam catches rabbits and Khufu spots a female figure holding a bow watching the cabin. She is apprehended after a struggle and the party decide to take her back to the Keep. She refuses to speak to them or explain her actions, but her dress and style is similar to the bandits at the Hidden Temple.
13th & 14th Return to the Keep with prisoner and leave her. Mori remains at the Keep while the party returns to the cabin.
15th Travelling north into the southern end of the Lortmil Mountains using Mori’s map.
16th Continuing into the mountains until the “Stone Tooth” is sighted in the afternoon. The party makes camp near a path that leads up the mountain. After a short rest, Cob and Third are left to guard the horses, while the other PC’s make their way forward. Khufu scouts ahead and finds two Orcs guarding an entrance to the mountain. The initial level of Khundrukar is inhabited by Orcs, lead by an Ogre. The Orc sentries are quietly located and killed, followed by the interior guards and leaders, including a Shaman. Stirges guard a natural tunnel deeper into the mountain. The party locates a door guarded by a dwarven firetrap but decides to rest before further exploration.
17th The party returns to the firetrap and during discussion Pyro laughs, grabs the door handle and pulls open the door. Flames billow out over a great area, but only set Pyro alight. The rest of the group put out Pyro and stop the door from closing. Khufu disarms the trap and Myste is able to drain the tanks in the small chamber revealed – a liquid that reacts like Alchemist’s Fire. Two captives (young humans from farms in the area) are rescued and returned to the camp made by Cob and Third out by the path up the Stone Tooth.
The tunnel into the mountain leads into a series of very large caves. Troglodytes inhabit a few of the caves, led by a Sorcerer with a pet Giant Lizard. A Subterranean Lizard guards some treasure, and a Dwarven crypt is found and looted. A mold-filled cave holds one of Durgeddin’s swords and an underground stream flows down a sinkhole, accompanied by stairs down. A very old passage has been tunnelled through to this level – possible used by the troglodytes to reach the surface. A vast glittering cave is filled with fungi and two tentacled snake-like creatures guard a door up what appears to be the Durgeddin’s foundry. The PC’s rest again.
18th Two false doors and three statues that swing axes at anyone attempting to open the doors guard the foundry entrance. Having noted the trap, the party finds a secret door leading into a grand hall and a large foundry. A small group of evil Gray Dwarves (Duergar) are found here using the foundry. After three short fights the Dwarves are defeated and a few chambers searched. The party is becoming overloaded and returns to the camp outside Stone Tooth to rest. They learn that Cob and Third fought and killed a patrol of four Orcs returning to the Dwarven Stronghold. The Party decides to return to the Keep with the two former Orc-prisoners.
19th – 21st Travelling back to the Keep is mostly uneventful. A few Monstrous Spiders and a Dire Wolverine are killed. The PC’s arrive back at the Keep on the 21st in the late afternoon. They clear out their packs and resupply, also identifying magical items.
22nd – 28th Rest, study and training.
Richfest (Midsummer Festival)
1st – 7th The PC’s enjoy the festival and each member achieves Fourth Level.
Reaping (High Summer)
1st – 3rd Return to the Stone Tooth and set up a camp not far from the main trail into Khundrukar.
4th Enter into Khundrukar, with Khufu and Brolith scouting ahead. In the large fungi filled cavern on the second level, they encounter a Gargoyle, which appears to have entered by the shaft to the surface. (Previously used by Trogs.) They make their way into the Foundry level and continue exploring. An underground stream makes a waterfall down a deep chasm.
They note an old chain ladder that descends into the depths from a small ledge that can’t be reached. The other chambers off the great hall appear to have been looted by Orcs long gone – though the remains of smashed furniture, orc graffiti and the occasional skeletal corpse of an Orc or Dwarf can be found in the chambers. A dead Orc champion – now a Wight and two Ogre Skeletons, guards a desecrated Shrine. Caranthir easily destroys the skeletons, but the Wight drains & weakens Figjam before it is destroyed. A ghostly shade that gibbers and moans in Dwarven attacks them as they explore the rooms here, hypnotising half the party. It is defeated quickly once the group learn to “awaken” their stunned fellows. Some Skeletons, an animated rug and an animated arming dummy provide surprise and caution before they encounter a slender human woman called Idalla. She appears to be trapped in a chamber in the Foundry, a magical barrier preventing (only) her from leaving. She says she is a Cleric, the last remaining member of an adventuring group killed by a wizard, whom she has not seen for a few weeks. She claims to need permission to leave the room, and once granted that by some of the party, is extremely pleased. She shakes hands, voices her thanks and hugs one or two party members. Figjam flirts with her and begs a kiss – that he later realises has drained his life force. Idalla, now outside the chamber, vanishes. The party does a check of the remainder of the foundry, finding a secret passage that leads to the chasm ledge. A secret compartment produces some gold and a gem. The party return to the camp outside to rest having decided to return to the Keep for healing.
5th – 7th Travelling from the Stone Tooth to the Keep.
8th Rest one day at the Keep after Abercrombie restores Figjam.
9th – 11th Returning to the Stone Tooth.
12th Rising early from the camp the party enters the sinkhole from the second level. This new area appears to have been mostly storerooms, now flooded and holding nothing of value. A Gray Ooze is found in one of the rooms, and a Roper almost kills a few party members before it’s strands are broken and it is killed. Its body holds a ring and six gems. The party rest before finishing exploration and then heading back to the foundry to climb down the chain ladder into the chasm. The underground stream previously encountered seems to originate here, from a large underground lake. The natural passages and paths around the lake are undisturbed except for some wet reptilian footprints. Two old dwarven bridges are also here. A horse sized black Dragon lives in the lake. It attacks the party from the water with its acid breath and dives in and out of the lake to attack members of the group. It is defeated with difficulty. An island in the lake holds gold and silver pieces, a wand, a magical shield and a magical dwarven war-axe that bears Durgeddin’s rune. The party returns to the surface to rest and prepare to return to the Keep.
13th – 14th Travelling from the Stone Tooth out of the mountains to the North Road.
15th The party arrives at the Keep to find that someone or something has killed Abercrombie (Priest), Sabine (Gatekeeper) and Master Nashe (Treasurer and clerk) during the last few days. The party look around the Keep and ask questions about the killings. Caranthir uses detect spells to determine that someone staying in the Guild House is evil. They stay out at night while the Keep’s inhabitants are locking down for the night and are surprised by an Assassin and a Mage. The Assassin is killed, but the Mage is knocked unconscious and taken into custody by Jadale and the guards.
16th –18th Jadale and the Keep’s lord, Devereau meets with the party to question them about the night’s activities. The party stays in the Keep buying and selling equipment and supplies. Cob chooses to leave the group, as they don’t plan to stay in the vicinity of the Keep, but Third is willing to stay with them in order to see more of the world. A Cleric arrives from Kilbaldukr to raise the assassin’s victims from the dead and question them. Tomas and Helga are identified as the killers who apparently wished to make a reputation for themselves as assassins by killing everyone in the Keep. The party are rewarded for their efforts with most of the equipment confiscated from the pair.
19th The party leaves the Keep heading for a city in which to buy magical items.
22nd – 24th The city of Kilbaldukr, (Pop. 9000, mostly Dwarves) is built around and within a hill. The party buys equipment and begins a “test” by a pair of Gnomes (Dace and Rald – a Bard and a Wizard who call themselves “The Emerald Sage”) looking for some hired help. The test mostly consists of tracking down one of the Gnomes, solving some riddles and finding some simple items in the city. 3 Xorns – tri-armed and legged earth creatures – appear to have been summoned (perhaps as part of the test) attack the group. The Gnomes want people to complete tasks (exploration, recovery, general adventuring) for themselves and the Council of Kilbaldukr. The reward will be in the form of magical assistance or items, as well as monetary.
25th – 26th The group returns to Tarsil.
27th Meet with Captain Gilballin. He is extremely pleased with the four weapons brought to him and pays handsomely. While staying in Tarsil, Pyro’s Gem of Insight disintegrates and increases his Intelligence and Wisdom.
Goodmonth (High Summer)
2nd The Gnomes contact the party and request their assistance in Kilbaldukr.
4th Arrive Kilbaldukr, meet Dace and Rald. They explain a brief history of the Ulek States and how a now-ruined town to the west is reputed to have burial chambers under a Temple of Norebo. The city council has found a document that mentions a “Rod of Makris” was buried with a Baron there. A group sent to investigate has failed to report. The party is asked to investigate. A finder’s fee will be paid in addition to a stated reward for recovery of items from the tomb.
5th Explore the ruins of Opet and locate Temple. Encounter a few bandits who appear to have killed the first exploration team and taken up residence in the temple basement. There are secret rooms and passages within the basement area that lead to trapped burial chambers. A few undead also defend the tomb undisturbed for perhaps 150 years. More bandits return to the temple before the party leaves, but are killed. Return to Kilbaldukr with an assortment of jewellery, armour and weapons from the crypt. The Rod that is recovered gives Brolith a bad feeling.
6th Dace and the party meet with a council representative who chooses which items they wish to keep. The party is provided with a generous reward and accommodation is provided for them at the city’s expense for the next week. They are asked to stay in the city for a while.
11th The Emerald Sage meets with the party. Rald tells the party that it is known they were involved in the capture of a Slaver called Mendel to the north – this is related to their next quest.
Slavers have not previously been a problem in the Ulek States or in Celene, generally restricted to areas like the Wild Coast or the Pomarj where preventing such activities is harder. The neighbouring countries of Celene and Ulek are also concerned that pirates and slavers plaguing those countries may begin ranging further along the coast or moving inland. The Queen of Celene and the Prince of Ulek are working together to wipe out the slaver actions in their countries that seem to have begun or increased recently and have made contacts with certain people within the Wild Coast in an effort to stop the wider actions of slavers in this region.
The party is to be one of two groups led by Dace who go to the town of Morlett – the party to strike against a group of slavers as they leave the town, while another team will attempt to capture the “guild hall” used as a base. The slavers seem mostly to be charming or sleeping their prisoners in order to transport them.
13th Arriving in Morlett, the groups stay at an Inn “posing” as adventurers.
15th Early this morning the signal to prepare is given and the party uses Invisibility to follow a group of guards and charmed slaves out of the town, where they ambush them. Myste webs the main group while Pyro uses sleep spells and the others strike down those that resist. All are captured alive and returned to the town to sort out slaves from slavers. Both groups rejoin briefly at the “guild hall” where each follows a secret passage under the building to capture more slaver guards.
16th The party returns to Kilbaldukr where they are rewarded. It is believed that only a few slavers escaped and the documents and captives seized are hoped to provide information that can be used to close down the slavers activities in the country completely.
17th – 20th Quiet rest, recovery and shopping in Kilbaldukr as the Gnomes collect information about a lost monastery.
21st Each member of the party is given an envelope and then attacked by a thug. No great injury is taken by party members and a few of the thugs are captured. All appear to have been separately hired to beat up the party by a middle aged human male, possibly Oeridean. The envelope contains a simple printed note: “Mind your own business.”
23rd The Gnomes meet with the party. About 70 years ago there was an order of monks called the “Cobras” whose monastery burnt down in 517CY. It was thought that there might have been Yuan-ti influence. (Yuan-ti are a race descended from humans and snakes.) Recently a lost traveller has reported a ruined building with snake carvings in the Lower Lortmils. The party is to explore and bring back any documents found and details of the building, statues and any living inhabitants.
24th – 26th The party travels to the Lower Lortmils and begins searching valleys in the area not fully detailed on their map. They kill a number of wolves and two Ogres, before finding a narrow ravine that leads them to a structure built into a cliff face, with surrounding walls. They are met by Marin, a human male who takes them to meet “the master” – an ambush by a Dark Naga and Droneth, a human Fighter-Sorcerer. They are defeated, and the structure searched. Some books are recovered, and an almost comatose human farmer released. It is thought that the other humans may have been charmed. Prisoners and information are brought back to Kilbaldukr.
27th – 28th After examination and magical query, it appears that the prisoners had become “tainted-ones”, working for the Naga. Droneth appears to have been a willing accomplice to the Naga, who was working for Yuan-ti. They captured farmers and gave them an irreversible Yuan-ti poison that made them servants and gave them some snake-related abilities. The sick farmer transformed into an insane half-snake mutant while under observation – a side effect of the poison introduced to his system.
Harvester (High Summer)
1st Brolith wakes to find a snoring Halfling occupies the bed next to him where Khufu went to sleep.
2nd The Gnomes have a new mission!
Previously the party has fought and captured slavers in the town of Morlett, and similar groups have struck against Slavers in both the Principality of Ulek and Celene. Action has continued, both the gathering of information and strikes against slavers.
Through information gained from escaped or rescued slaves, as well as from captured slavers, the lords have traced the slavers to a port from which they launch their attacks on the coast – the despoiled city of Highport, in the Pomarj. Such a base if sure to be defended, and a strike against it by stealth is thought to be most appropriate. Several bands of adventurers have been gathered to infiltrate the base and destroy it and its leadership. It is considered that the true strength and extent of the slave ring is not known, for they seem stronger and better organised than their raiding parties would indicate.
The target is a ruined temple located on the edge of the city. The slavers there are primarily human with orc and half-orc guards. The slaves are kept in cells on an underground level, guarded by an ant-like race of humanoids.When possible, the leaders are to be identified (dead or alive) and any documents/information concerning the Slaver operation to be collected. The party is teleported to one of the border forts near Morlett. From there they cross the river into the Pomarj. During the three days of travel to Highport, Khufu transforms into a Hobgoblin overnight, a patrol of a dozen Goblin is killed, and also a Young Red Dragon and a pair of Ghouls. Khufu becomes human-like again – a Tiefling.
5th Arriving in Highport, the party poses as a group interested in buying slaves. The city is still in ruins – rebuilt only enough to make it liveable by the Orcs and half-Orcs that live here. Many Humans and other humanoids also dwell here. Warehouses cover parts of the shorelines, while other city areas are unused, abandoned or have tent-fields. Some areas have shops, inns and taverns. The party locate the ruined temple of Elhonna that has been converted to a Slaver base and make camp in a small ruined building nearby. They ask questions of a few people in town and obtain a slave. It seems that slaves arrive primarily on yellow sailed “slaver ships” that dock here and are sold at auction– many bought by temples (probably for sacrifice) or for menial labour in the city. There are rumours that merchant caravans take slaves to other cities by the coast road and the “slave road” that crosses the central region of the Pomarj. A report is made to Rald and under cover of darkness the group moves onto the roof of the temple.
Four patrols (Skeletons, Zombies and Orcs) are quickly and quietly killed then the party moves into the gatehouse. Many Orcs and Half-Orc guards are killed in the gatehouse and courtyard, and in an adjoining barracks. The centre of the old temple has been converted into a Shrine to Gruumsh, the Orc God. Here half-orcs and a troll defend a human priestess. A packet of papers concerning slave sales and a regular caravan is found in a hidden compartment. Two separate trapdoors lead into underground tunnels. At some point everyone realises that Khufu is now a Dwarf!
The party decides to check the rest of the upper level for guards. The remainder of the Temple proves to be mostly abandoned and in ruins – some ghouls and a wight are destroyed. Orcs are encountered only in a stable and a guardroom near the old temple cemetery. A set of stairs is found that lead down. The guards near the cemetery are fearful and tricked into opening the barred door by Figjam telling them (in Orcish) that he leads more Orcs. One captive prisoner talks about the “garden of death” where the plants kill and dead things live. The group decides to fight and burn their way through to the mausoleum where there is an entrance to the sewer level. After being battered by trees, vines and thrown stones and branches they enter the small building and go down stairs into tunnels. The tunnel seems part of the same system reached by the other entrances, but these stairs bring the group close to a chamber with Orc guards and a human rogue. They are webbed and quickly killed. A desk here has many papers concerning the Slavers. The next two large chambers have pens and cages for slaves. Three insect-men defend one, and orcs the other. A possible merchant or slaver, a mage and a warrior are also fought here. Just over a dozen slaves are being held.
6th Away from the slave cages are two other areas – the main sewer channels which have caves filled with Orcs and Ogres, and a small cave network which is inhabited by the insect-men and their giant ant assistants. A few patrols are defeated in the sewer tunnels. The largest cave includes an Orc Chief, bodyguards and non-combatants as well as many Orc warriors. Another cave held guards and a Shaman. Perhaps fifty Orcs are killed along with five Ogres. There are four main caves that hold the insect-men, some grub like young, and their Queen. Figjam blows his horn to summon his troop of Barbarians who decimate one group of guarding insect men. An attempt to lead the Queen’s guards into an ambush fails and the encounter becomes a focused fight around the queen herself – who looks much like a giant white worm.
Confident that they have cleared the lower level, the party returns to the ruined courtyards of the Temple. Climbing over a recently constructed wall gives access to a restricted area that is full of detailed but damaged statues. A Basilisk proves to be the reason for the area being sealed off, and Myste is transformed into a statue while the creature is fought.
The group contacts the Emerald Sage, who teleport in to collect papers, captured slavers and the bodies of leaders. They also start bringing in Dwarves and Human warriors. They plan to use illusion to make it look like the Orc guards are still here and that no changes have occurred at the Temple. The troops also start bringing the slaves out in order to transport them back to Ulek. The party is teleported back to Kilbaldukr to talk about what they have done and seen, and be brought up to date on the Slaver situation. The countries around the Wild Coast and the Pomarj have begun a crackdown on illegal activities and are inspecting docks and ships. Ulek, Hardby, Greyhawk and Furyondy are working together while adventuring groups are now ready to begin attacks on slaver bases and way stations that have been or may be identified. It is hoped that this increase in anti-pirate activity will support the party – in that they will not be expecting another caravan of slaves from Highport in the near future.
6th – 13th The party members are healed, treasure recovered is identified. The Emerald Sage arranges and pays for training to Fifth Level. After one week, the party meets again with the Emerald Sage, which now has the information to strike at the next link in the chain of the Slavers Organization. Rald has arranged for “Ghost Touch” to be placed on the Undead Bane Longsword. The Emerald Sage has gained the following information, from questioning slaves, captured slaver leaders, and from documents obtained from the Temple base:
Pirate ships dock at Highport with slaves, who are transported to the Temple. Sleep and Charm (by spell and potion) are mostly used to control the slaves who are mostly human. At the temple, the healthiest are sorted out and prepared for a trip into the central Pomarj. A caravan is organised every one or two weeks. Captured slaves who are ill, crippled, young or old are generally sold at auction in Highport. Some are purchased by merchants for sale elsewhere, others as personal servants or slaves, and many by the Temples in Highport for sacrifice.
From the Temple, slaves are transported in caravans to a stockade in the Drachensgrab Hills. Supposedly used as a way station for merchants and travellers, the fort is really a processing and fattening centre for acquired slaves. Here they are treated for illness and disease, and fattened up, before Slaver-selected merchants transport them to towns and cities, or out of the Pomarj. A few are directed further inland for the Slave Lords themselves, or for ransom demands if the slave is an important or valuable person.
The last caravan left a few days before the party entered the temple, and comprised of two-dozen slaves. It is believed that an Elf called Markessa is the local overseer of the Slaver’s operations, and that a human named Icar is the Fort’s garrison commander. Markessa is a warrior who is known to use some magic. One of the most prominent merchants involved with transporting slaves is a human named Estelreth. He often stays at the Fort.
There are also references to “the Nine” which is presumed to be the Slave Lords themselves, the “Aerie” and a town called Suderham, which are to be found in the Drachensgrab Mountains in the centre of the Pomarj.
The Emerald Sage knows of the old city of Suderham, which was constructed on a crater island in an extinct volcano in the Drachensgrab, by “Mad” King Olarek. The city was meant to be hard to find and very defensible. The King rode out to fight the invading humanoids in 513CY and he and his army were decimated. It was thought that the invaders razed the city. It seems it survived and that the Slave Lords dwell there.
14th – 15th The party is teleported back to the Temple base. They pose as guards for Dace (dressed as a merchant with an illusionary cart) and become one of a few groups heading into the central Pomarj. The second night sees them camped in the foothills in some clearings just off the main road. One of the clearings turns out to be roughly circular because of the stones inlaid in the ground. An animate evil tree guards the dais and two trapdoors into a lower level. The stones are marked with runes and symbols of Beltar – a Chaotic Evil, Suloise Lesser Goddess of death and darkness. Many of her worshippers were hunted down in a great purge following humanoid invasions of the “good” lands about 480 CY. This hidden structure may have been undisturbed for almost 100 years. The small collection of chambers held many traps and a few undead guarding a little treasure. Crossing an underground lake led to a small island with an animated skeleton and a collection of treasure. Then back above the rest of the evening and night was spent recovering.
16th The party arrives at Dace’s camp in the hills close to the Slaver’s Stockade. A group of Dwarves has been watching the stockade and taking notes on its structure and defences. The fort is on a high steep hill just off the slave road into the centre of the Drachensgrab. A ditch surrounds it, and there is one access road guarded by a drawbridge. The main guards on the walls are hobgoblins, although humans, gnolls and goblins have also been sited. The outer wall of the hill fort is an earthen rampart topped by a wooden stockade. The curtain wall is made of stone and 35’ high, with three levels. (The guards are estimated to be a dozen hobgoblins.) Behind it, the ground slopes upward across an open courtyard to the gatehouse. The Gatehouse (three levels plus watchtowers) and main walls have pairs of Hobgoblins roughly 60 feet apart – during the night, less during the day. (About thirty visible on the parapet at any time.) Guards rotate posts every half hour. The main keep building is only 20’ high, so anyone on the walls can see across the entire keep.
The party decides to ignore the curtain wall and make a strike to the top of each of the Gatehouse towers. Each pair of guards on the walls can only sight the guards immediately adjacent to them on the walls, and none can clearly see the top of the gatehouse. Three members of the party fly and/or levitate to the top of each tower using sleep spells and silence spells to eliminate the guards. They then work downwards clearing the interior of the gatehouse. Dace casts an illusion of a pair of hobgoblins emerging to begin patrol, and as the guards enter the gatehouse to be relieved they are killed. None of the guards on the walls become alerted and eventually all on the wall have entered and been disposed of. No warning appears to have been given to the main building in the stockade. Apart from a garden courtyard with some apes in the trees there are no more guards.
Entry into the main building is done quietly. In general, it appears to be untidy and not cared for. There appears to be no interior patrols and the mostly sleeping Hobgoblins in the barracks area are quickly defeated. The next section is guarded by some Hobgoblins who are more alert, but their attempt at an ambush with a few dressed as mummies doesn’t work. The first slave holding area is discovered – about thirty slaves (mostly human) and one hobgoblin stand or sit dazed and unresponsive. A Cloaker, the creature that seems to have caused this affect by prolonged sonic-influence stuns Figjam and wraps itself around him. Its tail batters Pyro almost to unconsciousness, as the party try to kill the monster without doing too much damage to Figjam. A long passage defended by Orcs, Goblins and some Kobolds leads to the kitchen/dining room in the centre of the building. Hobgoblins and three Were-boars are waiting for the party – a large Ogre and Icar, a blind Human warrior, lead them. Figjam blows his horn of Valhalla and the party charges into a long melee. The summoned barbarians make the fight rather one-sided, but the blind leader, who seems to sense or hear those around him, holds out for some time. Eventually all the opponents are defeated and the area searched.
A storeroom has moving shelves that hide stairs going down to a lower level. Icar’s quarters reveal a trapdoor in the floor with a ladder going down and a treasure cupboard that imprisons a medusa. Unfortunately Levallious and Khufu meet its gaze and are turned to stone. Figjam narrowly avoids the same fate when he is shot in the back by Myste with a misfired crossbow bolt and glances up, but the party kill the creature without more casualties.
The remaining party members quickly investigate the rest of the fort. The last section is a number of abandoned rooms, which have been “haunted” by a wild “madman” living in the roof-space, who makes noises and moves furniture by wires. He is located and subdued in the ceiling by Brolith. The group then works its way through the curtain wall. The Hobgoblins there are also quickly defeated. A ghostly figure in one part of the wall takes control of Figjam’s body. Myste convinces the former guard that the “invaders” are defeated and the spirit leaves. The drawbridge is lowered and Dace and the Dwarves move in to keep watch on the stockade and fort. Rald arrives and turns Levallious and Khufu back to flesh. The group rests.
17th While the Gnomes begin looking around the Keep and the Dwarves search and pile up bodies, the party uses a trap door and ladder from Icar’s room. A secret passage emerges behind a large chained wolf in an alcove. It and its partner across the hall are quickly killed, but not after their howling alerts the surrounding areas. The north end of the passage reaches double-doors that open into a large room, while the south into a large cave. Two goblins mounted on the huge wolves – worgs – charge in from the south. Quick action deals with them, and the moves into the southern cave to fight the many goblins and worgs there. The worg den off the main cave is small and locked, and the main exit leads into a natural cave system. A net trap is disarmed, some bees fried with fire and a steam filled cave of stalactites and stalagmites carefully navigated. A secret door accesses a torture chamber filled with goblins and some worgs. Their grey-skinned thin human leader turns out to be an Ogre Mage, who is killed as he attempts to escape the vicious combat. A knock spell gives access to a secret store room and through to the hirelings quarters… they capture an Alchemist, but their presence is discovered and Markessa leads a force of Goblins, Gnolls and Bugbears against them. Webs are used to corner Markessa but she proves a tough defender until her magical protections are nullified by Pyro. The combat stretches into other chambers and up against a Hobgoblin Shaman with more goblins and an Owlbear. Markessa reappears, alive and fully armed and armoured, greatly disturbing Figjam. Once all the defenders are killed, they learn that the “second” Markessa is a similar looking elf whose appearance has been slightly altered to make her look like a twin. The slave hall holds perhaps a hundred slaves of different races and ages. Markessa’s quarters are defended by magically barred and trapped doors. After quite a time all the chambers are searched. A secret tunnel from Blackthorn’s chamber (the Ogre Mage) leads to a treasure room, and another cave tunnel eventually leads out from under the keep into the surrounding hills. The remainder of the complex contains mostly storerooms, a few traps and a now empty guard room. The slaves are assisted out of their cells with the aid of Dace and the dwarves, and papers from Markessa’s & Blackthorn’s rooms given to Rald. The party returns to Kilbaldukr.
18th-23rd Rest is welcomed and trainings brings all the party to Sixth Level.
24th Using the information gained from both the Temple in Highport and the Stockade in the Drachensgrab Hills, various forces have been active. A number of hideouts and way stations have been raided in the Wild Coast, and two of the Slavers ships (the Ghoul and Bloodwort) have been captured. Over 100 slaves (mostly adults) were found below the Stockade. Rald has been arranging caravans and sometimes magical means of transporting these people out of the Pomarj. Nearly all were in good health and this has made questioning them and moving them much easier.
It appears that there are two groups of slavers –the “Outer Council”, which appears to include minor leaders controlling such places as the Temple and the Stockade, and the “Inner Council”, which has nine members – the true Slave Lords. Three of “The nine” have been identified in documents – Eanwulf (the leader), Klim, & Edralve. Most of the leaders are thought to human, and it is likely that one is a member of the Scarlet Brotherhood (probably a Monk). Edralve is an unusual elven name – it is thought that she is a Drow. Some of the captured documents as well as other information received, suggests that there is some sort of power struggle happening between Klim (rumoured to be a Priest of the Earth Dragon) and Edralve (probably a Warrior Priest).
The bulk of the Slave trade appears to have been centred at the Stockade, but directed from Suderham. Most of the slaves are “fattened up” and then sold. Very few slaves actually travel to Suderham – only those with special talents or abilities, or those worth ransoming. There does not appear to be any distinct trail further into the Drachensgrab Mountains. Apart from the Slave Road that crosses the western mountains, there are only trails that mostly lead to humanoid camps and villages. The central mountains are a very rocky and rugged area. Within two days of travel from the stockade, the lightly forested hills are left behind. There are many granite outcroppings, ravines, fast flowing streams and switch-backed turns. Rocky fields and barren stretches have made it impossible to find any traces of the few slave caravans that have permission to enter Suderham. The information carefully gathered and researched gives hints and indistinct directions to the location of the Slave Lords base. Magical assistance has also been used to help pinpoint an area for search.
An extremely steep volcanic crater rises around the peak of Mount Flamenblutt. Nestled in the crater, is a seemingly peaceful valley and brilliant blue lake. In the middle of the lake is the isle of the slave lords. Called the Aerie, it is accessible by boats and raft ferries. The extinct volcanic peak has the small and well-defended city of Suderham, home of the previous citadel of King Olarek.
The common entrance is well camouflaged by steep cliff walls – a steep and winding trail that switches up the side of the mountain. Near the top is a small gap in the cliff walls, through which caravans pass. The rim-cleft is narrow and extends about 150 feet to a gatehouse that is very well defended. Those without the correct passes are threatened and ordered away. Assaulting the entrance with any size force is not an option. There appears to be some magical barrier or force over the crater. It has not been possible to use magical means to learn more about the island or city, neither to teleport into the crater, nor use spells to cross the cliff walls. (Eg, by flying.)
A second entrance is mentioned in a document recovered from Blackthorn’s chamber in the stockade. It appears that the Ogre Mage was sent to keep an eye on Markessa by some of the Inner Council, possibly Edralve. The Slave Lords and a few privileged persons have access to a hidden series of tunnels that pass under the base of the crater wall and lake to emerge onto the island. Dace has been scouting around the crater wall in polymorphed form and believes he has located the cave entrance. The document also mentions tunnels under Suderham that give access to the lower levels of the Slave Lords citadel.
Dace believes that they have an agent inside Suderham. (Or at least they had.) A human using the name “Deeb” has been acting as a guard for hire in the Pomarj for some time. He entered Suderham with a merchant believed to be a slaver four days ago. All contact with him has been lost because of the aura over the crater. He knows of the party and is likely to be watching for them. He will use a pass-code “the Rod of Makris” to alert them. One of his tasks is to find a way into the slaver’s citadel as well as more about the slavers themselves.
27th The party reaches the caves Dace has located and begins to search them. One passage leads into a carved tunnel and chamber that in turn has a pit with a “salt-slide” into a cave system guarded by Gnolls. Long natural tunnels connect natural caves and carved chambers, which hold guards or traps. Piercers fall from the ceiling of one cave, gnolls and hyenadons dwell in another and a storoper (a short roper with a petrified appearance) is in a third. The unusual traps include breathable goo and an electric barrier, a rope hanging over a large acid-filled pit and a wooden room inside a spike-walled stone chamber. The final room appears to hold Ghouls, Gnolls, an Anklyosaurus and a larger spell-casting Gnoll. The ghouls and half the gnolls are actually illusions that disappear when struck. Figjam strikes the charging saurus to learn it too is an illusion that covers a Rust Monster. His undead-bane sword corrodes on impact. Eventually magic and melee overcome their opponents and the human illusionist directing the gnolls. The party rests in Pyro’s extra dimensional rope-space and emerges from the last tunnel onto the Aerie amid the crater lake. They stand amid farming land overlooking the ramshackle slum between the docks and the fortified Suderham.
28th Rested and recharged, the group poses as guards for Myste and Pyro and enter the slums outside Suderham. They enter an Inn and attempt to gather information about the town, guards and entry. Figjam learns a little from two off-duty guards and the others are approached by Oric. They arrange to meet at his home and learn a little more history of Suderham. Most of the people living here are original residents from the time of King Olarek. Others are labourers brought in by the Slave Lords. Neither of those groups has much status here, nor can they leave the island. Only those with passes provided by the Slave Lords are able to enter the Aerie, or Suderham. He tells them that the Slave Lords seem to know most of what goes on in town, and use both Drachen Keep (a combination castle and temple) and their citadel in Suderham.
Deeb is inside Suderham and will be watching for them. They should be able to contact him at the “White Knight” tavern. There is much debate on entering Suderham and finding Deeb. Pyro charms two outer gate guards and learns that passes are necessary to get through the gate. He uses invisibility to slip in behind a merchant and looks around. The rest of the group ambush two palanquins coming up through the slums. Most of the guards are knocked out and the remainder surrender. Myste pays them off and offers more money later if they now work for the party – they accept. With Myste posing as one of the now bound and hidden merchants, and Khufu and Levallious in the other palanquin, they use the merchant’s passes to enter the town.
A beggar surreptitiously passes Myste a horse head carving and is carried off by the guards for bothering merchants. As the group start to look around town, they realise the beggar was Deeb. They locate the White Knight Inn and arrange for rooms while Brolith goes to locate Deeb. After a few conversation and passing of monies, Deeb is bought out of prison and joins the group. He informs them that there are usually three to five Slave Lords at the citadel at any time, where they meet with merchants and plan operations – most often Eanwulf (leader, fighter and pirate chief), Stalman Klim (High Priest of the Earth Dragon), Nerelas (Assassin) and Ajakstu (Mage). The Slave Lords are often seen on the island, but with many guards. Occasionally some of them travel alone, and a few are known to use the services of the “Sign of the Rose” next door. (A “bawdy house”.) In particular, Deeb has seen Nerelas enter the inn, but leave the citadel later. He has been into the premises and believes a secret passage leads from there to the citadel. Khufu and Brolith use invisibility potions and follow Deeb and Pyro into the building. Pyro charms the madam, and they tour the facilities. One room is reserved for special use only, and with madam distracted elsewhere, the scouts search and locate a trapdoor and secret tunnel. Pyro leaves to signal the other, and while Deeb stays with the madam, the party enter the tunnel.
An armoured flesh golem guards the well constructed tunnel that looks a little like sewer tunnels. A secret door enters a complex of passages and rooms with such guardians as a Mimic, Hell Hounds, a Minotaur, Gelatinous cubes and a number of traps. An underground lake and a Shambling mound are the last obstacles to a lit passage that ends at a concealed door. Beyond, in a large room with a table and nine throne-like chairs wait four of the slave lords, closely watching something.
One waves a hand, and a stone barrier falls behind the party, blocking their escape. The four Slave Lords – Eanwulf, Nerelas, Ajakstu and Brother Milerjoi (Scarlet Brotherhood Monk) stand and face the party. A crystal ball is revealed on the table, and Myste realises that a silence spell is in effect near the doorway. Figjam, Khufu and Brolith charge in as Pyro casts a fireball. Myste steps into the room and to the side – out of the silence affect while Levallious moves in similarly, and both begin missile fire. Ajakstu, protected by defensive spells shrugs off multiple attacks and throws a fireball back at the group. Melee and spell casting begins wholesale. Figjam summons barbarians with his Horn, and Stalman Klim walks out from one of the walls. Most of the barbarians are killed in the next fireball, and Levallious hits one with a human-bane arrow that misfires because of a curse. In general the party shrugs off most of the fire spells thrown against them, and Figjam eventually knocks Eanwulf out. Brolith is struck unconscious about the same time that Nerelas and Ajakstu are brought down. Milerjoi is knocked out soon after, but Caranthir is rendered unconscious by poison gas and Pyro struck down by a blade barrier. Levallious, Myste and Figjam also succumb to the gas. Khufu gulps an Invisibility potion, fighting off the gas effects and tries to escape the room. It is while he is successfully picking the locked door out, that he is paralysed by a spell from the High Priest, who gloats that he is able to see invisible things, and that everything has almost gone just as he planned.
An unknown amount of time later, each person awakes in a 5-foot square stone cell. They have been stripped of everything but minimal clothing and separated. Manacled to the wall, opposite a locked ironbound door with a grill, they are individually questioned by various slave lords and guards. Loud noises and gongs ring at irregular intervals making sleep periods short and interrupting any attempts to memorise or recover spells. Those killed have been raised from the dead and the wounds of most have been healed. Perhaps two days have passed before a tremor passes through the structure – probably Drachen Keep – shaking the walls and floor and making dust fall from the ceiling. Shortly after, Stalman Klim calls loudly to them – saying their usefulness is at an end; they have served their purpose and shall now be sacrificed to the Earth Dragon. He calls for the Smoke of the Little Death… and gas hisses from the wall and unconsciousness claims the party.
Again they awaken… this time all together in a cave underground. Khufu’s darkvision confirms they are alone. Myste is able to cast a light spell – revealing a cave about 30 feet in diameter with four exit tunnels. A cloth scroll tube lies on the sandy floor – it has an assortment of arcane spells and a note from Edralve – claiming she & they have been set-up, and that they should seek revenge at the slaver’s boat.
The tunnels all appear naturally formed to Khufu, generally dry and solid. Khufu and Brolith lead an exploration of the tunnels. A faint light is noticed in one and they group moves toward it. A creature composed of sand attacks them and Brolith fights it, assisted with punches from Figjam and Khufu. Further along the tunnel is a Will-o-wisp. This time it is mostly magic missiles that defeat the creature. Nothing more is encountered in the tunnels until a deep pool of water is found. A Giant Crab rushes Figjam as he approaches but it is eventually battered to death. The fresh-water pool has an underwater tunnel, a current and some fish that aren’t blind cave-fish. Figjam finds some plant tubes growing underwater that he can use to hold extra air, and begins to swim through the underwater tunnels. Khufu and Brolith join him when he locates another cave with air, and another crab. Eventually one of the passages rises into an air-filled tunnel that leads to the crater lake around the aerie – escape. Tremors have been coming more often and as they emerge they hear the thundering of the no-longer dormant volcano. Clouds of smoke and ash are jetted into the air, and flames rise to the southern side of the island where the forests burn.
Archimedes and Thule quickly locate them and they meet close to the now ruined collapse of Drachen Keep. Making their way through the abandoned fields they loot houses of clothes and knives. Archimedes warns the party of looters on the road to Suderham and they set up an ambush. The small group of humanoids and guardsmen are quickly defeated mostly by magic, providing more weapons and a little armour. Closer to Suderham they skirt a large mob of ex-slaves and farmers who are killing slavers and guardsmen. Deeb sights them and provides a magical scroll and some more weapons. Suderham has partially collapsed and the remainder of the town is engulfed in sulphurous clouds. Five slave lords appear to have escaped the chaos on the Aerie and are loading their boat – the Water Dragon – in preparation to flee. The slave lord’s reputation and a small group of guards keep a group of townsfolk back. Khufu and Brolith swim out to the boat, ready to climb aboard. Myste casts fog cloud and both she and Deeb hysterically persuade the townsfolk that poisonous gas is approaching. In the panic that ensues, most of the party attacks the guards while Pyro fireballs the slave lords. Stalman Klim, Edralve, Ketta the Thief, Lamonsten the Illusionist and Theg Narlot are fought and killed. Townsfolk and drafted to assist in sailing the Dragon across the lake and the party’s belongings are found in the hold. The party gathers the Slave Lord’s equipment and bodies, suddenly realising that the High Priests is missing. As they reach the crater edge, the volcano on the island explodes into greater clouds of ash and lava.
The townsfolk travel out of the crater amid small groups of ex-slaves, townsfolk and occasional guardsmen. Rald contacts Levallious and they meet the gnome pair back at the stockade in the hills. Some groups of former slaves are gathered here, and the party teleports back to Kilbaldukr to debrief and rest.
They learn that it is now the fourth day of Brewfest. Equipment is sorted and new items identified. It is presumed that the High Priests body has been taken by magic, and the fate of four other slave lords is unknown. But half the Lords were definitely killed and their base of operations is destroyed and gone. The Slavers threat has certainly been ended.
6th In Gygrax, the Lord of Ulek arranges an audience with the group and they are granted a signet ring that proclaims them agents and friends of Ulek. A monetary reward is also given. The party stays with the gnomes in the capital to celebrate the remainder of the festival.
1st With summer over and autumn beginning the group returns to Kilbaldukr. The Gnomes have no tasks at present and the group has been spending their reward and enjoying life. Pyro spends time researching and creating some magical items. Soon enough they begin scouting around Ulek in a relaxed fashion.
16th While in the North of the Principality, the party stops in the town of Belonarr. Guard Captain Dronal informs them that bandits may have killed two or three dozen people over the past two weeks and seem to be getting bolder. The attacks have been spread over an area close to the forest edge and the most recent attack was against a merchant with a cart and four guardsmen – the broken cart and bodies discovered early yesterday. The party examines the site and tracks the bandits back towards the forest as the sunsets. While camping overnight they are attacked by a group of Orc bandits with an Ogre. They are swiftly defeated.
17th The newer tracks lead to an old Dwarven mine in the forest. Figjam moves around carefully one way, and Khufu and Brolith another, and mark the positions of a few Orcs. The rest of the group marches down the road to draw out the expected attack. The bandits here use dogs, wolves and some boars as part of their attacks and it takes some time before all the buildings are explored and Orcs accounted for. In the mine complex, a bear, another Ogre and a few Orcs are encountered before the stronger Orc leader is fought. He narrowly escapes by using magic. [The Gem of Seeing reveals him to be an Ogre Mage using polymorph.] Unconscious bandits are rounded up and ears taken to claim bounty. The equipment used by the bandits includes much masterwork equipment, much to the groups surprise. The bandits were very well equipped, and certainly would have been more dangerous if not routed now. The party at Belonarr for a while, but no news is heard of the escaped Orc rogue/mage.
[In the lands south of Greyhawk, other groups of adventurers have continued tracking down slaver contacts and bases. The information captured both from the party’s efforts in the Pomarj and other groups in the Wild Coast have been of great use to putting an end to the Slave Lords activities. Indeed, if any of the Slave Lords have escaped it is not thought that enough of their operation still exists for it to be resurrected.]
23rd Rald contacts the party with the news that someone in Safeton has recognised one of the missing Slave Lords passing through. From the description given it is the Assassin Nerelas. It is thought he is probably heading for Greyhawk or further east – perhaps towards the Scarlet Brotherhood. Rald meets them and teleports them to Bright Tower Keep, a walled fort on the western shore of the Selintan River. Divination has suggested that Sevant’s Tower – a partially collapsed tower, unused for over a decade – may have been a Slaver base. The tower, once the home of the Mage Sevant, is reputedly haunted and full of magical traps.
24th Three squads of soldiers accompany the party to the damaged tower. Archimedes scouts the tower for the party. The soldiers give the party time to approach before moving into a rough circle around the tower. Khufu and Brolith cross to the tower using stealth, climbing to the upper level. Myste flies invisibly to the top. Together the three neutralise the half-orc guard on the top and those on the third level. The rest of the party climb or fly in to the top of the tower. One of the thieves on the second level escapes to warn those on the ground floor. Moving down to the ground floor, Myste uses Web to block the entry and Pyro fireball to damage the forces against them. Four half-orc guards and three human rogues are here, led by Nerelas and the monk Milerjoi. Nerelas and the thieves use sneak attacks on the party to badly wound many of them and so Figjam summons his barbarians. The opponents are slowly defeated, though Milerjoi monk escapes into the basement. A frantic search of the basement follows. Brolith (moving much faster then the others) opens any doors he can and thinking he has found the hiding Slave Lord is almost killed by an Invisible Stalker. An exit from the basement to the well outside is found. The fleeing Monk is slowed by soldiers, but brought down by a brilliant arrow shot by Levallious.
27th Dace arrives at the Keep and passes them a strange magical necklace. The amulet looks like a large Jacinth (fiery orange gem) set in a silver disk, the whole is suspended from a silver chain. Dace explains that it cannot be teleported, and Rald would like the group to bring it to him in the City of Greyhawk. The group travels north following the Selintan River and after six days on horseback, arrives at Greyhawk.
5th The party arrives in Greyhawk to deliver the necklace. Training brings all of them to Seventh Level.
13th– 15th While staying here and running small errands for Rald, they learn of the theft of three magical items from the city.
16th Through Rald, they are employed by Riikan Dack. He offers them 100,000 gold to recover his magical trident Wave. A thief using the name of an ancient Wizard called Keraptis has apparently taken the weapon to “White Plume Mountain” – a volcanic peak in the Shield Lands. A poem left behind taunts heroes to come and recover the three stolen items – Wave, Whelm & Blackrazor.
A week’s voyage on a galley takes the party across the Nyr Dyv to Alhaster, then four days north to the village of Yellowreach, only 5 miles from the mountain. A cave on the mountain side releases a blast of steam that gives the mountain its name. A trapdoor under the mud opens to a spiral staircase going down into the warm, humid passageways.
28th – 1st The complex under the mountain branches into three ways – guarded by a Gynosphinx who asks for answers to riddles in order to pass Symbols protecting each passage. The party solves the riddles quickly, and make their way east through the foot of murky water. Khufu leads the way by walking on the water, but not until Brolith loses his elven boots to a green slime do they begin careful probing of the floor under the water. Globes holding monsters and minor treasure, a golem number puzzle, a mimic and a cavern hung with chain discs lead to a final chamber guarded by a Vampire Dwarf who swings the Warhammer Whelm in combat. The vampire is defeated, and his coffin dug up from under the floor to recover the hammer and destroy the creature properly. The northern passage leads to a large flooded chamber where an aquatic monster pulls Khufu into the water. Figjam quaffs a water breathing potion to fight the monster, while Myste and Pyro kill a hag who appears with magic. Beyond, a human fighter and werewolf sorcerer guard the way into a huge water filled cavern. A magical membrane holds back the water, but while fighting a gigantic crab and recovering Wave, the membrane is punctured by a stray arrow, and the group barely escapes before the bubble collapses and boiling water fills the cavern. The group now head west, across a water filled pit and past wall plates that heat metal. Ghouls, a harpy, more pits and a magical floating river lead to warriors guarding the final chamber. Rectangular glassteel terraces lead to a door. The terraces hold giant lobsters, scorpions, sea lions and finally manticores. Water breathing and careful use of magic leads them through the levels to the door. The final opponent is an Ogre mage who guards Blackrazor. He is quickly defeated and the party rests before heading back out… to find the gynosphinx replaced by an efreet – a humanoid from the elemental plane of fire. A long fight ends in victory for the singed party.
2nd The trek back to Greyhawk begins.
12th Arrival back in Greyhawk City brings a huge reward from Riikan.
13 – 19th Pyro and Myste spend time reading through the two books recovered from under the mountain on the journey back to Greyhawk. The tattered journal taken from the coffin of the Vampire Dwarf that wielded Whelm, makes reference to the hammer. It appears that the Dwarves name was Ctenmiir and that the hammer had been his possession for some time before he became a Vampire. The History Tome held by the human and were-wolf is mostly concerned with the area about the Shield Lands and makes mention of both Keraptis and the sword Blackrazor. Further research in Greyhawk provides more clues to the history of all three weapons. All appear to be Legacy items – weapons that increase in power as their wielder does. Figjam follows the ceremony they have discovered to awaken and master the will of Blackrazor, while Khufu claims Whelm.
20th -28th While staying in Greyhawk City, Brolith locates a Monastery in the River Quarter of the city. The monks of the Brotherhood of the Dark Moon train here. The party also find some useful shops in this part of the city – Hauld’s Apothecary (a seller of potions, ointments and alchemical items), Geeridan’s (a general store), and Nulligan’s Trove (a shop selling curio’s and magical items). A Wizard named Khellek also has a tower in the area – he sells arcane scrolls and spell casting services on occasion. Rald has no plans for the party at this time, so they are left to their own devices.
Year: 575 CY
Needfest (Midwinter festival) – Spent largely in Dyvers celebrating the New Year and Midwinter. The festival ends with the Feast of Fools.
Having returned from the Northern lands in time to avoid the worst of the winter weather the group decides to head slightly west and travel between the larger cities of Greyhawk, Dyvers and Verbobonc. They sign on as guards to a number of merchant groups and spend much time in warm inns. When there is no snow, they take the opportunity to hunt humanoids in the Kron Hills. This activity earns enough money to pay for the parties upkeep and general expenses through these months.
15th While heading out of the Kron Hills, close to the Gnarley Forest the party comes across the looted and broken remains of three carts. There are signs of fighting, and many boot prints, but few bloodstains. There are no bodies, not even of horses, and much of what remains has been burnt. Levallious follows scant tracks and a half-elven male is discovered webbed to a tree. His neck is broken. The party decides to investigate and Levallious leads them into the forest to a long rocky slope and a sheer cliff. At the base of the cliff the party locates a cave entrance guarded by bugbears, and a strange humanoid who uses magic and has spider-fangs. Further into the tunnel, webs and gigantic spiders fight alongside a spider-like humanoid. Khufu and Pyro believe that they have encountered an ettercap (the spider-humanoid) and perhaps a more intelligent species called Aranea – a magic-using, shape changing spider race. The tunnel complexes holds more spiders, bugbear guards and many aranea. Their leader appears to have been organising raids against merchant wagons, capturing travellers and robbing local towns. Seven very weak prisoners are released. Most were probably being kept for food, while a few may have been held for ransom. One is Geneviere DeGuare, a partner in a merchant trading company, captured a week ago. The party agree to escort all the prisoners to the closest large town, Noldac, where Geneviere has agreed to pay them a 5000gp reward for her rescue.
16th After resting and much strength restoring by Caranthir, the group return to the roads and arrive in Noldac. Geneviere takes them to the local office of R.G. Trading to find it surprisingly empty. While she looks around the office, she is struck down by a humanoid avian creature with a large curved sword. The creature is about 5 ½ feet tall, with light grey feathers, wearing a belt and carrying a khopesh sword. The creature apologises to the party for its “business transaction” in common and fades into the shadows before their eyes. Magical detection suggests that the creature has evaded them and a search of the premises locates the unconscious body of Allain – the missing area supervisor. Caranthir revives Geneviere from the edge of death and once healed, she and Allain swap information and try to understand what has happened. Allain was knocked out suddenly only a few minutes before Geneviere arrived at the office. He is surprised to see her but pleased to have her back. It was known that her caravan was attacked and she was assumed captured or killed by bandits. While her company has some business rivals, she doesn’t think any of them would try to kill her. She asks the party to escort her to the main company office at Verbobonc as bodyguards, offering a further 5000gp reward.
17th After an uneventful night, the party is attacked by thugs as they prepare to leave Noldac. The falcon humanoid again attacks, hurting the party who this time strike back, but once more the creature vanishes into the shadows of the Inn. The thugs are easily beaten and the town guards take all but one (who Figjam killed) under arrest. Geneviere attests to the party acting in her defence and avoid a fine for disturbing the peace.
18th Verbobonc is a large city. It takes time to reach the Trading Office, but questioning the staff and searching the office of Geneviere’s partner Maron reveals much. The staff are happily surprised to see Geneviere, after Maron announced to them her death by bandits a week ago. A note for her ransom is found in Maron’s office, but nothing to indicate it was paid, and differing sums of gold and gems appear to be missing from the offices without being properly accounted for in records. Maron seemed very pleased last week, but yesterday seemed unhappy and left the office suddenly. Messages are sent to the town guard and the party proceeds to Maron’s house, where he is caught by Brolith and Khufu. The “falcon” attacks a third time, but wounded flees through Maron’s house and breaks a rear window. A normal size falcon is seen flying away, and though Archimedes watches it, Pyro determines it to be only an illusion.
Maron is handed over to authorities, and the party learns a little more. Maron decided to use Genevieve’s capture as an opportunity to take over the company, hiring an assassin – the “Grey Falcon” – in case she escaped or was released. The falcon himself later leaves Geneviere a note saying he only makes three attempts on a target’s life, and that he doesn’t think Maron will be needing any of his fee returned as might be normal for not fulfilling his contract. He also states that his contact with the party was “fun”. The party learn that the falcon is thought to be a Shadow Dancer – with skills that allow him fade into shadows and use shadow to make short teleports.
The party stays in Verbobonc for a week, followed by an slightly longer time in the warmer Wild Coast. Caranthir leaves the party – returning to the Duchy of Ulek after receiving a request to visit from a friend.
6th Heading northward along the lake road towards Dyvers, the party finds themselves in the middle of a thunderstorm that also brings a vision or re-enactment of the past for all but Pyro. They see the death of a young man that occurred at that spot almost 70 years ago. The vision helps them to find the remains of Rodric Daanore and a short journal that gives details of the destruction of his family and home by a curse placed by a relative who died in 403 CY. The party decide to head back to Caltaran for the night and make enquiries about the family and estate which is not far away. Most information they can gather matches with that of the journal – The Keep of Daanore was built near Ranholt about 370CY by Myron Daanore. He had two sons – Lembar and Myron. Myron was reputed to be an evil necromancer who built a hidden complex linked to the family crypt. He disappeared, possibly killed by his brother in 403. On his deathbed, Lembar had a vision of his brother and stated that the “structure of evil” must be destroyed by 503 or the family would be cursed with destruction. Between 503 and 506, Rodrick saw all of his family die in unusual circumstances, and after the Keep was destroyed in a storm he fled to Caltaran. The journal mentions detail about his family and the crypt.
7th The party heads to Ranholt, one day’s ride away. Pyro has heard a rumour that bandits use the ruined keep as a base, making people think it is haunted to keep them away. They ask a few questions in town, then head directly out to the keep. Little is left of the Keep – ruined walls surrounding a pile of burnt timber, stones and tiles. While searching the ruin, Figjam comes across an old man looking around the ruins. He yells at Figjam to go away, and berates him (and the rest of the group as they approach) for being around his home. As some of the group realise they can see through him, he disappears. A moment later, the Ghost reappears, rushing at Figjam and vanishing again. Figjam stands stunned for a moment, then walks quickly off to the south, not responding to the rest of the party. They decide to let him go, and believe that he may have been possessed. ‘Figjam’ leads them along faint paths into the Twisted Wood, direct to the Daanore Crypt. He pushes open the door and walks down into the tiled foyer – looking at the floor he cries out “I’m too late! – and collapses.
Figjam relates that he was controlled by someone called Lembar, who was trying to stop his brother Morfans. A skeleton lying in front of the main doors animates and attacks but is quickly destroyed. A slab in the floor details the Daanore Family tree with Morfans name removed. The side chambers are mostly filled with rusting or decaying adventuring equipment and blank tomb slabs. The main doors into the tomb are locked and trapped. Khufu picks the door locks and manages to bypass the trap. Pyro & Khufu make careful examination of the main hall, learning it is filled with mechanical and magical traps – some of which they disarm, others are set off, and tiny figures made of dirt, bone, hair and bits of stone attack them. Once defeated and certain that the traps are clear, the group opens the first door. The tomb holds vacant sarcophagi and two corpses surrounded by decaying and damaged equipment. The apparent tomb robbers appear to have been killed by shadows who rise out of the ground to attack. The party locates a secret door in one wall, guarded by a magical trap. Behind this is a magically created stone wall. Figjam has been weakened by the shadows and so Brolith batters down the wall, revealing a short passageway. Khufu triggers a magical trap that weakens him, but he picks the lock on the iron door at the end of the passage. Beyond is a tomb, marked with Morfans name and guarded by a bugbear skeleton. Figjam destroys the skeleton and they examine the tomb. They think they can hear something inside the tomb, so Brolith tries to encourage Morfans to emerge. After partially shifting the lid, something begins to push it aside and Brolith runs out. As a humanoid figure stands up within the stone coffin, Pyro blasts the chamber – incinerating everything within. Hopeful that they have killed the undead Morfans, they search the chamber, finding scraps of charcoaled flesh and a few burnt or melted items. The rest of the chamber is empty, although after a thorough search Khufu finds an extremely well hidden secret door.
Beyond it is a magically created tunnel through the stone into a small network of natural caves – filled with fungi, bats and an underground stream. The last chamber has a slippery sinkhole, a rusting iron door and an Ochre Jelly, which divides when struck but thankfully burns! Once the door is unlocked and opened, Khufu moves forward to search the well carved stairs and passage revealed. He triggers a magical trap that greatly slows and weakens him, but locate and jams shut a pit trap. Pyro dispels the magical seal on the door beyond and Figjam opens the door. A magical trap pushes him back, but thankfully the pit is not open. The final chamber has stairs that lead to a blank wall – but no searching or magical examination reveals any portals or hidden space. While having a brief rest, Pyro exhorts Khufu to search the pit – it is opened again, and Khufu lowered to discover a well hidden secret door!
8th The secret door leads into another level. Khufu suspects Dwarven workmanship in the construction. Brolith and Khufu scout the level – an outer passage surrounds an inner hall and a set of small rooms. A few animated bugbear skeletons guard the outer hall, and they are quickly demolished with Figjam’s help. A voice challenges them and Brolith sights a creature in one of the inner chambers. The creature emerges – a Dracolich – and Figjam blows his horn summoning Barbarians. Morfans Daanore – a Ghost – appears, casting spells and taunting the group. In a tough fight, both opponents are defeated. The chambers are carefully searched – most are empty but for broken and decaying furniture and other bits and pieces. A well hidden secret door has a short passage with a magical rune trap. Khufu attempts to disarm it but it activates and he is stunned. When Figjam tries to pull him out, he to is affected. When Khufu attacks Figjam, then starts to wander away, the group carefully separates and holds them down. Myste and Pyro believe the magical effect has made them insane – and both go through phases of hostility, stupor and lucidity. Both are bound, and the chamber behind the discharged rune searched. A magical cat attacks them and after killing it once, it returns fully healed and slightly larger. This time Brolith stuns it and they tie it and put it in a bag. The carefully search and clear out the chests, and head out of the tomb complex and head to Dyvers.
9th – 13th Travelling to Dvyers. Restoration of drained ability scores and sanity. Identification of magical items and return to Daanore Keep.
13th In the crypt the opened doors have been closed. This time the group moves room by room clearing and searching the crypt chambers. The traps have not reactivated, but most of the chambers hold undead – the animated or transformed corpses of the Daanore family who died from 175 to 70 years ago. The only tomb that feels peaceful and appears undisturbed by corruption is that of Myron Daanore and his wife, the founders of Daanore Keep. The other tombs have shadow-like undead that drain wisdom, juju zombies, wights, a wraithlike cloud and a powerful frost-covered skeleton that drains heat from any nearby. The group rests briefly and checks for magical items from the treasure recovered. A magical summoning horn is one of those items.
The group moves down to Morfans chambers and soon encounter him again. Pyro is lucky with a fireball and inflicts great damage, so that the ghost is quickly defeated, having only cast one spell at Levallious which he resisted. Stairs out of the level through a secret door into another level that appears to be a large shrine to Nerull, a neutral-evil God of Death. The stonework again shows Dwarven work and some stone-shaping.
Brolith and Khufu quickly scout around. A large statue of Nerull stands near where they enter, close to a heavy barred iron door. Normal doors lead of three short halls from the main shrine – a very central room with smaller statues and an altar. Faint unrecognisable speech can be heard from behind one door, and while the scouts watch the main chamber, Figjam and Pyro work together to fireball one chamber. The voices were from Bugbears – all are killed or unconscious. The next room also has Bugbears, and Levallious fights them with aid from the others. Brolith and Khufu ambush the guards from the south that have heard the noise – more Bugbears and some Were-Rats. Pyro webs the third passage to prevent reinforcements and a general melee begins. The last passage holds the Bugbear and Wererat leaders (a Warrior and Warlock) until the rest are defeated. A fireball hurts the leaders and starts to burn away the web and Levallious targets any that move out of their doorways with arrows. Once the web is gone, the party overcomes the remaining opposition. The treasure found here is mostly coins. The large Nerull statue has large emeralds for eyes, and it animates when Khufu tries to remove them. Brolith is amused as he watches the rest of the group slowly batter the motionless statue to pieces as he has realised that the “attack” is an illusion.
Beyond the barred iron door is a natural seeming cave tunnel. Curving tunnels lead up and down, linking small caves together. Some are empty except for dust or rubble. Other caves hold a mimic, a brain-shaped levitating monster with paralysing tentacles and a grey ooze. A large cave with many holes in the stone has a number of rounded rubbery red creature that are attracted to Figjam. They sit on his back and whistle, until Levallious fires an arrow at one – it explodes, and all the other creatures attack those they are close to. Sharp weapons seem to burst the creatures doing a small amount of damage to any nearby. Those creatures that don’t flee are quickly killed (or burst) and Figjam is annoyed that he took more damage from those burst by their archer than from their claws. While most of the group rest, Khufu and Brolith investigate the last passage. Levallious realises that have not returned after a while and he goes to look… he also fails to return or make any response when the rest of the group call. Myste and Pyro use light spells to brighten the passage and use mage-hand to move a mirror down the tunnel curves to look ahead. They sight the missing party members clothes and equipment – lying on the ground – and recover these carefully. The worked stone chamber around the bend has some discarded torches and what could be a mirror on the wall. They surmise that the mirror has trapped or absorbed the life or bodies of Khufu, Brolith and Figjam. Myste uses a sonic spell to try and break the mirror – succeeding on the second attempt. Three naked party members appear in the chamber, as well as a naked human farmer, two bugbears, a troll and a displacer. Both bugbears attempt to flee – one is knocked out by the displacer and the other flattened by the troll. Both Levallious and Khufu tumble to safety and the clothed party members attack. Brolith stands naked and fights amid the chaos, landing blows but not even being scratched. Once the foes are slain, the group rests. The farmer, Torbis, was captured by Bugbears about three weeks ago. They let him go into the caves, telling him he would be free if he found a way out. He is escorted home, and the party again returns to Dyvers.
16th Readying – 12th Coldeven.
The party rests, trains, studies and Pyro crafts a few magical items. They have now reached Eight Level.
While staying in the Inn of the Blue Raven, they are attacked at night by Morfans who has “entered” the room being shared by Khufu, Brolith and Pyro. Pyro awakes blind and unable to move, while Khufu and Brolith fight him. When the others break into the room, Morfans phases through the floor. When the party charges downstairs, they find the ghost juggling chickens and dancing around with the other inn patrons. The ghost is revealed to be an illusion cast by Khufu, and the whole encounter a set-up between he and Brolith.
The group thinks about destroying Morfans’ complex which they believe should banish him but can’t think of anything within their abilities. Pyro and Myste spend some time contemplating the mystery of the Blue Raven – an actual raven that lives at the Inn. With the aid of Archimedes, they believe the talking magic-resistant raven to be a former familiar of a powerful wizard. What first appears to be theft of minor items from Khufu and Brolith leads to a chase with the remainder of the party misdirected, then Brolith and Khufu stalk and fight an individual who evades Khufu and fights Brolith to a stand-still. This all turns out to be a test by some members of the Dark Moon monastery in Greyhawk. These members though, train as enforcers and ninjas, not monks – Brolith and Khufu are invited to join the order. The group decides to head back to Greyhawk City.
15th Coldeven (Spring)
Approaching ‘Zagig’s Bridge’ close to Greyhawk City, the party comes across a group of half-Orc bandits that have ambushed a caravan. The bandits are led by a Sorcerer mounted on a Wyvern, but are quickly defeated. A badly injured survivor from the caravan – Ricard Damaris – is the proprietor of the Green Dragon Inn in Greyhawk City. Once healed, and on the way to the city, he tells them that a larger group of bandits attacked the caravan. The leader nearly killed him and stole his magical sword. The bulk of the force headed off to the west with their spoils, leaving a scattering of bandits to kill eyewitnesses to the attack. Ricard offers them a month’s lodging at his Inn in return for their rescue.
In Greyhawk the city is getting very busy. The body of Riggby is on its way to Greyhawk, and many people are gathering for the funeral. Clerics of Boccob and St Cuthbert have come to honour their hero and rumours state they are also preparing for an attack by Iuz on the city.
[About 5 years ago Riggby, was one of a group who released Iuz from imprisonment under Castle Greyhawk in an attempt to kill him. Iuz escaped, but swore vengeance against them. Riggby has now died of natural causes.]
18th Close to the Inn, Brolith learns of a contest – a huge ruby is offered to any group who can defeat the Dark Moon monastery’s elite monks in non-lethal combat. The party enters the challenge and after a short but difficult combat, wins!
20th The party travels east along the Nyr Dyv, wanting a break from the bustle of the city. Arriving in Carnelloe, a small town on the coastal Cairn Hills between Greyhawk and the Duchy of Urnst, they learn of a haunted fortress and a plague of Harpies. Harpies have been digging up graves and preying on sheep for many years, but now they seem bolder and people are starting to disappear. Lord Astriad Pendour inherited the manor of Carnelloe from his Uncle a year ago. Three weeks ago he went to Gurnard’s head to destroy the harpy threat, but did not return. Now his wife and daughters have been threatened unless Lady Pendour hands over the key and contents of her husbands magical lockbox. The only key was with her husband. She asks that the party recover her husband’s body and retrieve the missing key.
Gurnaud’s head is a tall rock pinnacle with a tower and complex inside the rock. Once a fortress, it was under siege about 100 years ago, when the town was larger and part of a noble province of Urnst. It was abandoned perhaps 75 years ago. The party reaches it by wading through the sea entrance at low tide. Some sunken treasure is guarded by young sea-trolls, and the inner stair by two Rook harpies and skeletal crossbowmen. The Rooks seem much like typical harpies, only their cry provokes fear rather than an enchanted trance. Atop the rock, the party sights a body hung above the tower. Brolith and Pyro are battered by the wind as they fly to the top, while the others break into the base of the tower and meet together inside. More harpies guard the tower top, and an Ochre Jelly is encountered in the otherwise dusty and abandoned rooms. A hidden note in a trapped chamber appears to date from the time of the siege. It suggests that some of the officers and men seemed to find an evil strength while others starved to death.
From the tower basement, caves lead into the rock, with carved out chambers. A gargantuan centipede guards the main entry, then Zombies, a ghoulish frog, magical traps and a chain wrapped Ghast. A number of religious symbols are found and a few statues of a crow headed female humanoid. In the largest, lowest cave is a lake of foul tar. The tarry humanoid that emerges from it proves dangerous but is defeated. A forge of sorts is found here too and quickly examined in the noxious air that hangs over the tar.
The next level has a large forested chamber, with a sunny magical ceiling. A vine attacks Brolith, and when dozens of agitated crows begin to swarm the party and a huge eagle attacks, Pyro launches an enhanced fireball which kills all the birds and devastates the trees and undergrowth.
21st Having now alerted the complex, the group slowly fights their way through the main passageway south. Most of their opponents are low level priests. Two ghouls and a few ghasts fight with the human priests, and a Duergar warrior/mage defends a smithy with some hell hounds. Many small monastic style cells and a few larger rooms – a kitchen, dining room and a study – are checked and cleared. A locked door is opened onto stairs leading up, while a chill white mist drifts down. This leads into a huge hall, lined with braziers and a candle lit golden statue. Two priests defend the chamber, are killed, but then rise again as undead. The High Priest – a Ghast – is revealed on an upper balcony, but the magical mist in the chamber and his own magical defences make him an extremely tough opponent. With much relief the group rests for a few hours then heads back to Carnelloe to hand over Lord Pendour’s body and key. On their return they are attacked by the seneschal and some black garbed warriors. A long fight ensues, but all are defeated and Lord Pendour’s box is opened. It holds some gems and jewellery and two journals.
22nd Lady Pendour studies the journals and the ‘Coffer of Scrying’ while the party returns to Gurnards Head. They wish to recover many detailed building models from the tower and temple, as well as gold plating from certain of the statues. They find that many of the human priests that were killed have risen as Zombies, and the leaders of the Temple have also been regenerating. Thankfully, they haven’t had time to fully heal or recover spells. This time, all body are gathered after the fight and burned with fire and acid. The model of a castle in one chamber is linked to a secret door that hides a treasure room, so the group is very pleased to have returned.
23rd The journals – one by Lord Astriad Pendour, the other by his Uncle Naridal – reveal much about the court of the Duchy of Urnst. They also suggest that Gar Ebal, the seneschal, fell out of favour with the court and may have been responsible for Naridal’s death. Lady Pendour begins the ritual of Scrying – visions of the fall of Gurnard’s Head are seen along with the influence of a giant crow shape – which the party now believe represents Malatoch, a demon whose half-crow half-human statues filled the temple. Gar Ebal is also shown in a series of visions that show him as a younger man exiled from court and unhappy with Naridal for not sharing secrets from court. A crow shape offers him power and life, and assist him to remove both Naridal and Astriad, and threaten Lady Pendour with the help of a man in black.
There are also some visions of the future – one shows the party around a wooden platform with something small, dark and twisted while a bird shadow grows around them. Another shows Myste holding something tiny up while light shines across her. A third shows Lord and Lady Pendour watching their daughters sing. The daughters are obviously older.
Lady Pendour is extremely grateful to the party. She will use some of the gems from the box to send for a Priest from Leukish (the capital of Urnst) to raise her husband back to life. She rewards the party with some rubies and a magical circlet that negates certain blows in combat. The group stay in Carnelloe for a few days.
26th This day starts pleasantly, but is made notable by a mass exodus of crows. Hundreds of crows pass through Carnelloe and leave Gurnard’s Head flying west. The party decide to follow the crows which are heading roughly along the Nyr Dyv towards Greyhawk City. Along the road they note a low hill covered by trees. The crows seem to have stopped here. Where a path leads off the road, they note the bodies of two humans and are attacked by the assassin vine that killed them. The vine is quickly destroyed and a handcart and tools suggests that the dead men were repairing the road. The path to the wooden hill is damp and the hill surrounded by mist. From a distance crows can be seen sitting in a massive oak tree and on the top of standing stones that stick up out of the mist. A plant creature and a dire boar attack from the mist, before a stone trap door is found at the base of the oak. Moving around the hill, the party counts fourteen eight-foot high stones, one of which has fallen – possibly due to the cutting down of trees close to it. Crows swarm and attack and Pyro uses a Fireball to kill most of them. He also translates the runes on the seal, while Levallious speaks with the oak tree. Both learn that the hill and stones are part of the “Sickle Rock Grove” a place of old druidic magic that guards something old and wrong. The tree is encouraged to shift it’s roots so that the entrance stone can be moved.
A stone staircase leads fifty feet down into the earth, and a passage guarded by small razor sharp roots. The main chamber is huge – a hemisphere almost 100’ across. Khufu locates a round stone door set into one wall and obscured by plants. He doesn’t believe it has been opened for a century. Pyro translates the runes on it – The final remnant of the arboreal roost of Malatoch, the Crow Goddess. The “Druids of the Covenant”, apparently left it here to see if it would regrow into something pure or corrupted. Another door, one well used leads into passages, but the group are attacked by a dryad and a half-elven druid. Their attackers claim that the intruders are impure and destroyers of the forest. Levallious urges the party to fight non-lethally, and tries to reason with the druid. The party, taking serious wounds, fights back strongly. The dryad and druid refuse to listen, but badly wounded, step into trees in retreat. The passages lead into a garden “shed”, compost room, seed storage, well, bedroom and an aquatic garden. The Druid attacks Pyro from the rear in the form of a Dire Lion while Khufu and Brolith negotiate traps around the bedroom and a secret door. He is killed, as are the strange gardener who attacks them with a shovel, and the giant stirges from the water garden. Levallious has the feeling that all have been corrupted or influenced by the evil artefact held here. They are left with the unopened stone portal – which has a passage guarded by skeletal zombie crows and a pit trap. The crows are burned and eventually a way opened into a massive chamber full of tree branches and leaves. It appear to have neither ceiling nor floor, only a wooden platform in the centre with a burnt length of wood. Some of the group move out onto the branches and four small demon creatures flow out of the trees to attack. Once defeated, Pyro and Brolith reach the platform – they believe the burnt wood is a root. Then crows take flight, cawing madly and in an explosion of leaves a seven-foot high, half-crow humanoid female appears above the group – Malatoch has been summoned.
The carrion crow goddess proves resistant to some weapon damage and nearly all spells the party throws at her. She strikes multiple times with her short sword, dealing vicious blows to Figjam and Khufu. Brolith grabs the charred root and brings it back to the entrance where Pyro and Myste try to destroy it. Malatoch lands in their midst and strikes at all of them. Figjam is knocked unconscious, with Khufu and Brolith barely active, when Myste rolls time back slightly, and this time he does great damage to the root, and Figjam avoids the blow that previously felled him. The root is destroyed, and after one more strike, Malatoch vanishes with a cry of angered defeat. The party make their way quickly out of the Grove and rest away from the hill.
28th The party arrived in Greyhawk City, feeling healed and rested, but still thinking about all they have faced in the last week. They take up lodging again the ‘Green Dragon’.
1st – 7th Growfest celebrates the arrival of Spring. The party spend the festival resting, trading equipment and getting Pyro to manufacture a few items. Highlights are St. Cuthbert’s Day on the 4th with a procession through Greyhawk and the Desportium of Magic on the 7th.
Planting (Low Summer)
The party gets training to Ninth Level and continues buying magical items and assisting Pyro in his crafting.
Flocktime 6th – 9th
The Gnomes of the Emerald Sage are researching some “stones of power” and want the party to see if a dead wizard’s tomb has any books or scrolls that might assist them. They suggest that travelling to Adurath to find the tomb will be good practice for Pyro with his Teleport spell. Adurath is just north of the Kron Hills in the Kingdom of Furyondy, south of Devarnish. They arrive in the small town at the beginning of their three-day ‘Summer Fair’. The party enjoys the sights, food and drink, and enters many of the contests. During the river swim, Figjam is narrowly beaten by a large Half-Orc who turns out to be St’ven, Figjam’s older half-brother. Brolith wins the Obstacle Course, Levallious the Archery Tourney. Both Pyro & Myste do well in the Arcane Challenge. At the end of the fair, people start to depart the town – the party fly around the hills nearby and locate the illusion disguised tomb of Harseth the Neverlost, a former Gnomish Wizard. The tomb holds a number of statues, a few Stone Golems and a rolling rock trap that nearly kills Figjam. (Myste resets time allowing him to get out of the way.) A number of other magical traps are disarmed by Khufu or dispelled by Pyro. A collection of books about different forms of magic and a few items of treasure are recovered.
The Emerald Sage spends time looking through the material recovered and believe that one stone they are looking for is supposedly buried in an ancient tomb hidden in the Bright Desert, south-east of Greyhawk.
24th Following the researching and divinations of the Gnomes, and searching likely hills in the desert eventually locates a hill with boulders placed to resemble a skull. Three entry passages are uncovered and two are trapped dead-ends. The third is ornately tiled and painted. Small runes in the tile mosaic have a riddling challenge from “Acererak” with directions to and warnings of his tomb complex. Acererak was a powerful wizard king who constructed a labyrinthine crypt filled with terrible traps and valuable treasures.
25th – 28th The party explores the tomb, withdrawing to rest and recover a number of times during the process each time exploring a new part of the complex. Pit traps are commonplace, as are trapped doors and boxes. Most of the traps are disarmed by Khufu. The initial hall has a misty archway that teleports people into a metal box with levers. After avoiding a very deep pit, they find an exit that leads into a chamber with three chests. Each chest has a magical trap – one fires dart, one summons snakes, and the last summons a bone golem. One holds a magical ring, the others are empty. Secret passages lead to both the original hall and a new hall with another misty arch. The walls are painted with many creatures holding coloured spheres – some are illusions hiding false doors and crawl ways.
One crawl way leads to a room with a brain in a jar that charms Khufu and attacks with mind thrusts. Another has a huge statue of a four armed gargoyle. A third leads into a sequence of seven secret doors and small magically trapped rooms, which then opens into a larger room with a real huge four-armed gargoyle. This creature almost kills half of the party before it is killed. The final crawl way leads into a temple – filled with wooden pews, a glowing altar, urns, and an archway of glowing orange mist. The walls are marked with the symbols of good deities, and paintings of rotting and skeletal people. A magical trap on the altar triggers a lightning bolt, while the pews hold coins in hidden compartments and some poison gas. One sealed urn releases a great bloodmote swarm (undead mosquitos) and experimentation by Brolith reveals that the orange mist can change a persons sex and alignment. Passing through multiple times gets Brolith back to being male, but also teleported naked back to the complex entrance. There is no sign or trace of any of his clothes or equipment.
A secret door in one wall has a narrow slot in the wall with a “O” marking. The great wedge of anti-magic stone is made to sink into the ground by inserting a magical ring, which is crushed and destroyed in the process. The new area entered has multiple pits, stairs, and great fire trap, poison gas and a lich that is easily defeated after a lucky strike by Figjam blinds it.
Pyro notes a very well hidden secret door while checking the area for magic. This brings the group through a wizards lab with a gelatinous cube (and two parts of a magical key), a pit that shoots spikes, and a chamber with tapestries that become green slime. More pits and false doors lead to a misty chamber with a singing undead that dazes some of the group, and a stone golem shaped like an elephant that tramples opponents. Another secret passage leads to a door opened by pushing blades into slots, and a large columned hall with a throne, an evil magical gem, a crown and a sceptre.
Touching the columns makes people levitate, and the breeze in the room pulls them towards devil “mouths” trying to suck them in. They tie a flying Pyro to a rope, and Figjam leads him around like a balloon, discharging the effect on each of the pillars. The sceptre is used to open a secret door behind the throne – a passage of steps up to a huge set of locked mithril doors and a bronze key that most of the group cannot bring themselves to touch. Both of the keys found only cause electrical shocks when inserted. The sceptre is discovered to open the doors when touched to the depression around the keyhole.
The new chamber holds large iron statues, chests and a stone sarcophagus engraved with the name “Acererak”. The room is in an anti-magic field and the chests are triple locked with poison needles. One chest holds thousands of gems, that once removed from the tomb prove to be worthless. The great coffin holds a few bones, bits of a robe and wrappings, a broken staff and a shattered skull. The staff proves to have been a Staff of the Magi – it explodes when removed from the chamber, badly injuring Pyro. A thorough search reveals a secret trap door under one statue.
Another passage leads back through magical one way doors into a previous passageway, but Khufu noted a secret door near a corner. The first key discovered fits a small keyhole and a thick wall slides door revealing a short hall with an arched ceiling and a depression and keyhole in its floor. Khufu disarms a magical fireball trap on the lock, but once the key is turned the hall is suddenly filled with a mithril vault that rises up crushing Khufu and Brolith to death. Myste quickly resets time with her bracelet and gives them a chance to clear the area as soon as the key is turned a second time.
The mithril vault has a door with a ring pull that appears to be free of traps. The small chamber inside has a pile of gems, coins, vials, scrolls, and varied equipment. Some of the items are Brolith’s. A stone table at the back has thick dust, bone shards and a skull. The dust swirls into a ghostly form that Figjam attacks while Brolith grabs a few pieces of his more quickly readied equipment. The ghost is quickly destroyed, but the skull floats into the air and a faint light gleams in the gem eyes. The skull – the Demi Lich Acererak – is immune to magic, and very resistant to weapons. It kills Myste, Khufu and Levallious by draining their souls from their bodies before Figjam is able to shatter it with a blow. Party members are healed, the treasure is gathered and the party teleport back to Greyhawk after resting outside the complex.
One gem recovered, a black Opal is claimed by the Emerald Sage as the power stone they were looking for. They reward the party and help arrange True Resurrection for the dead.
Wealsun (Low Summer)
15th The Emerald Sage has been studying stones of power for some time. They have fashioned an Amulet into which they have placed the stone recovered from Acererak’s Tomb. The Amulet can now open a portal to the location of another stone, and then be used to locate the next stone. They believe there are four more stones that they wish the party to recover and place into the Amulet. Pyro learns how to activate the amulet. The party is told that each portal may open into another plane or reality. Divination reveals a phrase: “Seek one in death, another in darkness. Transition hides one, fire exults, madness consumes.” The Gnomes believe that Acererak’s Tomb was “death”.
16th The party opens a portal – the misty glow is like a window onto a grassy area surrounding a huge stone. Each walks into the portal and exits Greyhawk…
Day One – “Madness”
The party arrives in the middle of a great circle of standing stones, but not in the order they entered. A dozen goblins are here, but are defeated before the last party member arrives! A path leads to the partly restored ruins of a temple. Inside, two groups seem to be fighting against each other. The defenders are Human, but half of them seem to be crazy, while Orcs have been invading the tunnels. The party eventually realise that the Goblins and Orcs look wrong – both humanoids have green skin – not the usual orange or grey.
A magical Star Ruby is recovered before reaching the portal site. Some type of human plague-priests here summon a headless tentacled beast that paralyses with an acidic touch. They are defeated and the group rest before opening another portal.
Day Two – “Transition”
The party arrives on a ridge just before dawn. One side of the ridge looks over rocky hills, barren except for old dead trees. The other side is a green valley filled with fog and fruit trees. While the party make observations they are attacked by unusual missile weapons from the fog. A confused combat begins against the mostly hidden opponents – who are revealed to be tall humanoid rabbits, with leather jackets and swords. Two hold strange-shaped metal wands. One burns its target and the other fires small metal sling bullets. A huge wolf-like creature with bony plates, scales and fur is attracted by the fight. It nearly kills Figjam and takes little damage from weapons. The party flies above it and resorts to high-damage spells to kill it. After healing, it is noted that magical powers seem weakened. The group begins to seek the next gem, moving through steep hills and valleys and passing a dead humanoid. It has feathers, both arms and wings, and four thin legs. The group arrives at a steep gorge with a cliff wall. The wall is unusually smooth non-magical stone, with a great doorway. The stone is not natural, and both it and construction within the entrance – using both stone, large slabs and beams of rusted metal confound Khufu. The party move forward…
…Figjam lies on the ground snoring in the gorge. Brolith, Khufu and Myste have “new” but recently healed wounds and Levallious fresh claw marks. Khufu has a headache, but no-one recalls how they got back outside or any details of the hour or two that may have passed. Pyro has a new gem in the amulet. They re-enter the complex and move into a hall with pillars and large metal boxes. Five large badger-like humanoids attack from ambush. Their claws match the recent wounds taken. They are defeated and the next opponent is a floating metal construct. The final chamber holds a second metal construct and many metals boxes and panels with blinking lights. Nothing is magical, and a compartment holds two rings from which stones have been removed. Pyro has been trying to locate the next portal site – it appears to have been moving. Back outside, in the gorge they are attacked by a human with four arms and a cat-like humanoid with eyes that emit a burning ray. Both wear armour. After the combat the group realise that a plant creature was attacking with metal blasts, while charming most of them into not noticing it. It teleports away when threatened. While trying to find the portal again – a Githyanki Knight appears and with gestures challenges Figjam to a duel. They have barely begun fighting when Pyro notes a second, invisible Gith and Myste fireballs both. The short combat ends when the second Githyanki, wearing a bracer with gems opens a portal and both move through it. It is discovered that the new gem in their Amulet is not magical – they have been tracking the Githyanki who have claimed the power stone that the group want. They enter the portal…
Day Three – “Dinosaur Valley”
Emerging in a large cave, the group are attacked by a huge bear. Outside the cave they find themselves in a valley with huge plants and trees, inhabited by great reptiles and beasts – dinosaurs! An assortment of huge reptiles and incredible beasts are encountered and fought before the Amulet leads them across the valley. They are attacked by a Tyrannosaurus that turns out to have killed/swallowed the Githyanki with a deep crystal bracer. The bracer holds three magical gems, one of which, a White Opal is the power stone the group is looking for. The Gith Knight attacks them but is forced to retreat and Plane Shift. The party returns to the cave they arrived at and rest.
Day Four – “Fire”
The party opens a new portal emerging into a huge dark chamber. Stars can be seen through a large hole in the ceiling. The floor and walls appear to be mostly hard stone, though there are sections of worked stone and pieces of corroded metal. Passages link chambers, occasionally at odd angles and different sections are sometimes different colours and materials. There is a distinct smell of smoke and rotting material.
The group is initially attacked by two different insectoid creatures – one small and the second type large and upright. Both have chitinous hide, six limbs and taloned claws. Metal doors slide up providing access to side chambers, while holes in the walls provide access to others. In further passages, the creatures attacking are more demonic – huge scaled canine beasts whose bite causes heat damage and skeletal humanoids with horned skulls & bony red-scaled torsos. Occasionally, howls, screams and hooting noises sound in the distance. The largest chamber entered is a crossroads of passages with two levels. From above, four human sized warriors clad in close fitting armour fire magical rods down at a huge monster that appears to be half fire-demon and half mechanical spider. A few hounds and skeletal humanoids attack the party, while the demon kills some of those above.
The initial opponents are defeated and Khufu and Figjam engage the demon, while the remainder use ranged weapons and magic against it. The group barely has time to examine bodies when four large humanoids walk into the chamber. They wear old and ornate armour completely encasing their bodies with fearsome shaped helmets. Their weapons are great noisy axes with spinning edge blades. The armour they wear resists much damage and they are difficult to defeat. Once killed, smoke wisps from empty armour, and one of the now-empty ancient-seeming suits has a magical power stone inset – a Fire Opal. There is much noise is the distance now – alarms and an increasingly strong wind. The party open a portal near the centre of the chamber and depart…
Day Five – “Darkness”
A group of mercenaries are called before the Matron of House Cadyrenne in her fortified house estate in the Underdark. Igjam (a quiet but hulking Bugbear Barbarian) and Khufu (a moody Duegar or Grey Dwarf Rogue) escort three Drow – Levalli (male Ranger), Pyro (male fire Wizard) and Myste (female elemental Sorceress). They are joined by a enigmatic male Githzerai – Br’lith. A few miles to the west is the Drow city of Gloomveil, while to the east a large cavern has tunnels that lead towards the Svirfneblin (Deep Gnomes) city of Eveningrock, the renegade Drow House Sorethin and a powerful human Lich Kelborne Selbrei.
A house patrol has been decimated by what appears to be a new weapon. The lone Drow survivor has died horribly – his flesh decomposing while his armour and weapons were already corroded. The great magical force that did this was contained in some sort of flying ship of bone. The matron sends you out to the east to find the weapon and return it to her.
In the eastern cavern the party finds some uncommon bone fragments and a possible path created by something quite large. Following the trail they go to the south eastern tunnel heading into a large cavern holding a three tiered ziggurat of polished black basalt. Nearly sixty feet high and one-hundred and thirty feet across the base, it has a green light shining from the top and an open archway leading in at the base. The light shines from a hole in the ceiling and Archimedes reports it causes pain and feels wrong. Khufu and Levalli find no other entrances. Igjam, Br’lith & Khufu enter the first hall which is filled with rune marked pillars and a voice speaks warning of intruders and a door falls over the entry. Those inside realise that there are words marked on all the doorways that may relate to the moveable runes on the pillars. They use gaseous form to send Khufu out to get Myste and Pyro to decipher alchemical runes and draconic riddles. Khufu returns inside and they are able to open the main door and work out what is required for each of the other doors. All the side chambers are tombs – mostly with active undead (including 2 Spectres and a Vampire) and treasure. The northern door leads into the remainder of the ziggurat. Various chambers are defended by constructs and undead. Myste is particularly impressed to recover a tiara which can be used to summon a powerful monster. The lich himself attacks them as they ascend complaining that the truce between them is broken since the Drow have now attacked him twice. He is defeated in a difficult combat and exploration continues. Upper levels are mostly guest chambers, workrooms and storage. More constructs and a Bone Devil guard entrance to an empty tomb and a library. Kelborne Selbrei has many books on the construction of flying air-ships. The Lich returns and is once more defeated. A locked door opens on a chamber with six fresh corpses and a plinth with a large red crystal – the Lich’s phylactery. Figjam takes time to shatter it. The final chamber in the ziggurat has a large glowing statue that resembles the Lich. It is highly magical, and also radiates an energy that causes magic to be unstable and damages the flesh of any creature getting close. Khufu is determined to shatter the statue by force after other means are tried to counter the effect. After he has done so, the fragments remain just as dangerous. A secret closet holds arcane formulas for manufacturing & commanding a particular airship. It appears that a force of Drow attacked the lich and stole his “necroship”. Damaged in the escape, it now releases harmful radiation. The destroyed statue was the ship’s power source. There are debates as to how to explain this to the Matron.
[Day Six] After resting they return to the main cavern, attempting to track the necroship and enter a tunnel that leads into the area claimed by the rival Drow House Sorethin. They defeat a huge spider golem then enter a huge set of caverns that appear recently damaged by powerful magic. Cracks in the floor and walls allowed lava to seep to the surface – flaming pools and vents of steam make everything hot and humid. Bodies of Sorethin Drow lie on the floor of the chamber and in the rooms of the damaged buildings. A Temple to the Spider Queen has been taken over by Grimlocks, but they are quickly killed with Pyro and Myste’s magic. Small fire creatures attack from a lava pool and are beaten back.
Khufu taunts them from a distance and amazingly dodges all five fireballs thrown at him! Pyro uses Cone of Cold to cool a tunnel full of hot steam and kill the small humanoids hiding in it so that the party can reach the final building – a three storey tower with no doors or windows. A secret door is discovered and opened. As they enter, Br’lith and Khufu dodge a lightning bolt fired by a drow statue. They work out that turning the statue opens the other doors in the room so the remainder of the group are able to enter and begin exploration. The first level of the tower has a kitchen, dining room, & a defaced shrine. A guard post has two dead drow warriors. The tower is quiet but smells slightly of death and decay. The second level holds many zombies which appear to have killed Drow apprentices in their rooms. Which clearing this level the group is attacked by a fire elemental and a wild-looking male Drow using acid-based arcane spells. The drow retreats and the party uses rope-trick to rest in their extra-dimensional space.
[Day Seven] The group emerges to find Ogre Zombies posted around the level and takes time to destroy them then engage the Drow Wizard who seems to think they are working for the matron of House Sorethin and want to take something that he had stolen. This time he is killed. The final level of the tower holds his bedroom, workroom, library and treasure chamber. The group rest for a short time while sorting through the books and items on this level for anything valuable. In the workroom is a portfolio of incomplete necroship plans. The formulae recovered from the Lich’s base make both comprehensive.
[Day Eight] The party returns to the main caverns and makes a though search for the trail of the necroship. There are two major crash sites with magical radiation, rare bones or fragments and many bodies – one group is the doomed House Cadryenne patrol, while two other groups are House Sorethin. Three deep Gnome corpses are also found, and an enraged Earth Elemental. Further along, four deep Gnomes are surprised while talking about a flying bone fortress that has been discovered. They are swiftly dealt with and the party moves quickly towards the Gnome city of Eveningrock. Ahead in the tunnel are a score of Gnome warriors, pulling what must be the necroship along with many ropes. The party overwhelms the Gnomes and begin to tow the airship back towards House Cadryenne.
Along the way Pyro flies over the radiating ship to get a better look at it and feels a strange fascination towards a gem set in the control panel. He takes damage recovering the gem – a Star Sapphire – and realises he is wearing an amulet with an empty socket. Placing the gem in the socket causes the Amulet to glow and all the group have the sudden realisation that things are not what they seemed. Previously they have entered portals to other dimensions or worlds where magic or technology functioned in curious ways. This time it appears they are “under” the Flanaess on Oerth, but they themselves were transformed. Knowing who they really are, they do not wish to hand over the ship to the Drow Matron. Approaching the House Compound towing the necroship, they see a force of Drow warriors move out to escort them. Pyro determines the local of the final portal – near the lake south of the compound and they quickly move that way. Pyro opens a portal and they all quickly enter it as the Drow force realise that something is wrong. There is the pleasing realisation that they still have all the documents concerning the necroship with them and they have only left the damaged and powerless airship for the matron.
…the group arrive in random order in the room they left from – which now has chairs, a table with drinks, glass & a bowl of nuts and no exits. A small statue advises that “Visitors were not expected today. Please have refreshments and a seat. The Emerald Sage will see you soon.” The eight-foot tall demonic humanoid toad with clawed hands that has appeared with the group is not impressed… “Puny things! Where have you dragged me?” It’s stench nauseates half the group to the point they can do nothing and it proves greatly resistant to weapons and magic. The fight is only turned in their favour when Myste uses her new Tiara to summon a large earth elemental to pummel the demon to death. Eventually the two Gnomes of the ‘Sage arrive to greet them, arranging food and healing.
7th It is the last day of festival – to the group it seems that little more than eight days have past, but the Emerald Sage informs them that it is actually nineteen.
Reaping (High Summer)
1st – 8th Rest and training. The party all attain Tenth Level.
9th – 20th Each party member spends time reading a magical tome recovered from the Drow Mage of House Sorethin, in order to increase one ability score.
10th Khufu celebrates his “17th” birthday, although his Dwarven body seems to be more like 58 years old.
16th Meet with “Velinax the Vermillion” who wishes to employ a group to hunt a beholder for him and his partner Tarren Trasker. Velinax is a former Bard, and his friend is a Wizard – both have made a study of aberrations and wish to have the remains of a beholder – or maybe even a live specimen – to further their study and experiments The party are paid a small sum to travel to Cumbert in Veluna, south east of Dapple Wood to meet with both their prospective employers.
23rd Arrive in Cumbert, Veluna. Agree to terms and have a general discussion on the nature of beholders. The party will meet the pair in the logging village of Burke’s Crossing to the north in two days. (Brolith turns 18!)
25th The party arrives at Burke’s Crossing and hire two rooms at the “Knotty Pine”. The Wizards had arrived yesterday and went out this morning. Though expected back that evening they do not return. The party talks with the locals and learn of disappearances, strange lights and a new statue in a clearing. Rumours suggest bandits, ghosts or some other supernatural thing.
26th The party heads out with the morning wagon to the logging camp. They speak with Dak, the cook for the loggers. He last saw Velinax and Tarren yesterday morning. They follow directions to the statue – determining that the detail on both bust and plinth could be a result of petrification and careful use of disintegrate. Small stone projections are found in the grass like mini stalagmites, but Khufu & Levallious believe they have been “placed” or dropped recently. They are attacked by a bear, but find no trace of the wizards on their steady search north up to two miles out from the logging camp. Once back at the Inn, Khufu observes that their room has been searched. They slip into the Wizards room and search locating many notes on Beholders and a map that has directions to the presumed beholder lair.
27th During the morning meal, four adventurers arrive – a human warrior, dwarf warrior, and two humans who may be mage & rogue. They state that they seek a lady Knight named Mikanda. The knight they seek hasn’t been in town for a week. Khufu’s friendly approach is rebuffed – it seems this party also seeks a beholder and don’t want to share fame or fortune. The rivals pay for rooms and head upstairs. The party heads out with the logging wagon again, leaving Archimedes to watch their rooms. At the logging camp, Dak informs them that other adventurers arrived by magic and have headed towards the statue. The party follows their map and mid afternoon encounter what looks to be a beholder, but after Figjam strikes it becomes Tarren. He claims to have just seen a beholder and was coming to warn them. He thinks it is Godsday – the 25th – and is confused about the loss of time and his illusionary appearance. He says Velinax left him here mid-morning and was heading back to the village.
They head onward to the lair – a tunnel entrance in a cliff face on a rocky hill. The tunnel leads into a large cave filled with shriekers and giant beetle, then to a finely carved hemisphere with a 200’ deep well. As they seek a safe way down, it seems a beholder is toying with them – using anti-magic to temporarily cancel flying and spider-climb, inflicting wounds and disintegrating rope. Eventually all that can use magic to get to the bottom of the shaft do so, with Brolith and Figjam climbing down, then falling the remainder of the distance into the water at the base of the lower chamber. A tunnel leads into another cylindrical shaft, this one much larger. Trapped in magical stone at its base is Jelifer – the female warrior leading the other adventuring group. The black stone that makes up the floor here is magical – and vanishes in the Beholders Anti-magic. The group had levitated down the previous shaft and been trapped here in the stone. The beholder took time petrifying the others and then taking their statues up the shaft. While the party discusses tactics, Brolith turns invisible and does a quick scout of the top of the shaft locating two tunnels – one leads to a shaft parallel to the well where the beholder used peep-holes to attack them. The second has the petrified members of the other group on ledges. He doesn’t see the beholder and returns. Khufu spider-climbs around the shaft searching for anything hidden and is attacked by the beholder. The party spreads out to attack – Figjam, Levallious and Khufu firing missiles causing minor wounds. The beholder closes its main eye trapping Figjam and Khufu, then petrifies Pyro. It retreats up the shaft. Gaseous Form and Reduce are used to free individuals from the Blackstone, and flying potions are used to assist in getting everyone up to the tunnel at the top of the shaft.
A chamber holds petrified villagers and the missing wizard – Velinax. Moving along into large circular chamber the party are split – a blackstone wall suddenly appears – leaving Levallious and Myste outside. The rest of the party engage the Beholder. Two Gas Spores drift towards the group but they are harmless exploded while Figjam gets a hand up to the balcony where the Beholder is. It disintegrates Jelifer before Figjam kills it. Myste flies out to collect Tarren while the others break the blackstone wall. They un-petrify Velinax and Pyro and start to move statues back to town. The Beholder is identified as a Death Tyrant, an Undead Beholder – not the one that Tarren saw. They suspect another Beholder has been active here and the Death Tyrant merely a servant.
28th The party is resting in Burkes Crossing and sorting through the treasure recovered. The Wizards pay the fee negotiated for the parties assistance and say that they will stay here for a time – restoring villagers and exploring the Beholder lair. They will contact the party if they learn anything of interest or have other work they wish the group to assist with.
Havester (High Summer)
The party teleports back to Greyhawk City, spending a quiet month recovering.
15th The Emerald Sage contacts the party to aid in the search for the Wizard Alzir Bectarl, who disappeared along with his tower early in the Year 286. The ES has an old letter that mentions the Wizard constructing a fountain for a friend.
16th Figjam, Brolith & Myste travel into the Duchy of Urnst, near Nystaran. The old fountain turns out to be a “map” showing the location that Alz moved his tower to. Hidden runes state: “The larger is here, the lesser is near. The citadel is midway when the handmaiden reveals her full beauty.” It sounds like the tower is meant to be accessible when one of Oerth’s moons is full.
17th The location is determined and scouted – between the Nyr Dyv and Lake Karus – part of a grass clearing looks different from the air. Digging in the centre with Earth Elementals reveals foundations and stairs leading down. The basement is guarded by magical traps, undead warriors and three different “air” guardians – a Belker, an Air Elemental and Will-o-Wisp. Small rooms hold dragon statues, with gems hidden in compartments underneath. A fountain in one chamber recites a phrase: “Six beasts, four nights, three keys, one door.” The group waits till nightfall before returning to Greyhawk. The Gnomes suggest going back when the lesser moon, Celene is full, during the next festival week. The party is to ask to borrow a platinum amulet.
4th Brolith and Khufu are pursuing something for the Monks of the Dark Moon Monastery in Greyhawk City. So Levallious, Figjam, Myste and Pyro go to Urnst and clear the area around the basement. Just after sunset a great stone door and archway appears at the southern edge of the building foundations. It stands eight feet high and four feet wide. Surrounding it is the transparent outline of a tower – sixty feet square at the base and sixty feet high. The stone door has no handle but there are sockets that fit three of the gems found. The door opens to a solid and furnished foyer.
A visitors book shows many visitors up to Fireseek 286, then only four visits – in 327 (Lyzandred), 407 (Zagig Yragerne), 464 (Master Rafnalion), 556 (Mordenkainen & Lord Robilar) – all during festivals. Pyro & Myste add their names. The remaining chambers on the first floor are a lounge, dining room, kitchen, study and bedrooms. All are carefully searched and checked. An illusion covers a magically trapped door to web-filled stairs. A magic mouth taunts seekers of challenge. The second floor has workrooms, a summoning chamber and invisible phantom watchdog. The third level is entirely small magically trapped rooms, each with a puzzle to be solved. Secret doors then lead to the next room. Finally stairs lead up to a set of panels engraved: Might, Intellect, Agility, Insight, Stamina and Charm. Each person chooses a challenge and finds themselves elsewhere. Might – Figjam defeats an ogre barbarian. (Success) Charm – Myste kills halflings and goblins trying to figure out how to pass a series of traps. (Failure) Intellect – Pyro is involved in a visual puzzle, a mathematical puzzle and a riddle. (Success) Agility – Levallious faces a balancing bridge, a chasm leap, then tumbling and dodging falling rocks. (Success). All four then find themselves in a similar room. Stairs lead up to the fourth level – a large chamber with a life-sized statue of a old half-elven male. The statue speaks, greeting the challengers and offering a reward to those who succeeded – an increase in one of their attributes – before teleporting them out of the tower.
5th Returning to Greyhawk City, they report possible success and hope that the gnomes are contacted by the Wizard Alz at some stage.
6th The Emerald Sage passes on a letter from Velinax and Tarren that they have received by courier from Veluna. The long winded letter asks the party to meet at the mages’ home in Cumbert, Veluna in two weeks time. It states that they have information about the Beholder lair that the party assisted with and a related matter may require some investigation within Cumbert that may suit them. It does not involve hunting a beholder.
Leaving on the 9th, it takes the party eight days by horse from Greyhawk City to Cumbert. Following the Velverdyva River, the party passes through Dyvers and Verbobonc.
17th The party arrive in Cumbert mid afternoon. Brolith is apparently the 131st visitor to Arry’s Animals – and is awarded a free gift – a large black hare. They find Tarren and Velinax’s house – looted and burnt down. While looking through the ruin they are attacked by a group that first questioned them about their association with the missing mages. One of their attackers is petrified, while the others (mostly dead) are handed over to the city watch. A disguised Velinax bumps into Levallious and asks the group to meet him in an inn later that evening. The story of the mages unfolds: The two examined the corpse of the Death tyrant. They felt that a Beholder Mage, acting in a fashion entirely unlike a normal beholder, must have been nearby and a testing its creation. After speaking with the other adventuring party, they started to investigate the circumstances leading both groups to hunt for the same beholder. Both the mages contact (Vanauer, male human bard) and the other groups contact (Lady Mikanda, female human Knight) had stories that contradicted each other. The bard was meant to be connected to a shadowy group in Cumbert. The mages sent a letter to the party and began their own investigation. Between the 10th and the 15th thugs attacked them, Tarren was kidnapped, their home was looted and then later burnt down. Velinax went into hiding and waited for the party. He believes a criminal group wants the mages out of the way.
The petrified attacker, a half-orc is reverted and questioned. The “Unblinking Eye” is led by the “Faceless Man” and has replaced the original Thieves Guild. They primarily deal with theft and protection. Both Velinax and Tarren were to be “brought in” but now only Velinax is wanted.
18th Pyro uses an illusion to impersonate the captured thief and tries to meet a contact in town but nothing happens. The group debate methods of locating or infiltrating the organization.
19th Myste uses magical charm to make their prisoner believe Velinax is hiding alone in a ruined building outside Cumbert and they release him. Later that day a small group approaches the ruin quietly. The party quickly kills three of them and one escapes. Velinax decides to head back into town in disguise and see if he can learn anything more valuable.
20th The party meet with Velinax. According to rumour, Velinax has been hiring adventurers to attack the guild. Apparently there is a guild informant called “Minda” who can be contacted near the public market. Velinax approaches her and arranges a meeting. Archimedes follows the women when she leaves the market. Invisible guild members attack the party in the market – this group seems better prepared and more dangerous, but are still defeated. The party enters the slums and Myste uses magic to convince Minda to tell them what she knows for a lower price than she had asked. They get the location and map of a warehouse that is a front for the organization headquarters. The party learns where in the dock area this is and use Rope Trick to rest out-of-sight.
21st Early in the morning the party invisibly enter the warehouse through a side door. They quickly defeat the manager, surprise guards and enter the headquarters before an alarm is raised. A lower level has an invisible barrier and Myste summons an earth elemental to tunnel around it. The elemental then spearheads the advance into the final chambers against guards, a wizard, monk, and a hex-blade. The final statue-filled chamber of the faceless man holds two humans who transform into Beholders! One escapes down a shaft blocked by blackstone while the second, a Beholder Mage, engages them in combat. The Beholder Mage suggests that all has gone according to plan, but that they will fail this part of their trial. The monster inflicts much damage, but is defeated without casualties. Finding a way down the shaft, the party kills a 6-headed hydra, rescue a poisoned and unconscious Tarren and fight a Spectator & two Gas Spores. The other beholder seems long gone now – down a tunnel into the earth that has collapsed behind it.
The party return through the Guild’s chambers looting what appears valuable. The party head’s out to a farm owned by Velinax’s cousin to rest and recuperate. Tarren recovers – remembering little of his capture except that he heard the Guild leader comment that he was bait for a testing program.
22nd – 23rd Rest and healing. Velinax has reported Tarren’s kidnapping and the town watch has searched the Guild headquarters and seized goods from the warehouse. Arrests have been made and the Unblinking Eye is in disarray if not actually destroyed as an organization.
24th The party farewell the mages and leave Cumbert with a hefty reward.
28th Levallious celebrates his 126th birthday in Verbobonc.
14th Caranthir arrives in Verbobonc and is able to rejoin the party for a while.
18th Figjam celebrates his 19th birthday.
20th The parties hireling, “Third” advises that her cousin is arriving in Verbobonc. (Teleported to Greyhawk, then sent to Verbobonc by the Emerald Sage.) She asks for a few days off to spend time with him.
21st Third introduces Maycan tar Zoril. “Third” explains that her full name is Maali bel Callan, and that she is the youngest of a minor noble family. Maycan’s father, the Viscount of Javan asking for heroes to come to Istivin in Sterich to fight against the humanoids and giants invading from the mountains. Third must return home to Sterich to aid her family and asks that the party go with her. The group decides to travel to Sterich and spend the rest of the day getting ready. Pyro hasn’t been to any places along the way to be able to teleport the group so they must travel overland.
22nd – 24th Party travels to Enstad in Celene.
5th The party arrives at Axegard on the border of the Axewood and the Duchy of Ulek, having crossed a pass through the Lortmil Mountains.
13th Travelling through the Kingdom of Keoland, the party arrives at Flen on the Javan River. The border between Keoland and Sterich is crowded with tents and refugees. The party is told of raids by varied humanoids, ranging from goblins and orcs, to ogres and hill giants. There are rumours that Istivin has fallen under an evil curse, a blackness that destroys all it touches. The King of Keoland has called for any who can fight to aid Sterich.
15th Two hill giants and eight ogres attack the group from a distance. The stories of giants and humanoids are true. Later that day a band of about thirty hobgoblins ambush the party.
16th The party approaches Istivin. Even from several miles away a great black hemisphere can be seen amid the city where the towers of the Earl’s citadel should rise. A patrol directs the party to the manor of Algorthas the Seer outside the city. At this temporary headquarters they meet the Wizard Lashton (agent of the King of Keoland), the Cleric Randos and the Seer Algorthas. Lashton demands their identity and mission, then sends them out to find and destroy the giant headquarters. Randos and Algorthas give them advice.
Sterich is a farming and mining Earldom. It has always dealt with humanoids, including giants raiding from the southern and western mountains. Recently, the size and number of raids dramatically increased. Several giant leaders have emerged (and possibly some other force) and are coordinating attacks. Then, a fortnight ago (3rd Sunsebb) the city awoke to the magical black sphere covering the entire Citadel of Istivin. Those native born to Sterich can pass through the sphere, but to outsiders it is as hard as rock. It is resistant to weapons and magic, and no-one has emerged from the sphere, which is slowly expanding.
17th Leaving Maali and Maycan to search for family members, the party heads southwards. They have been directed to cross the Davish River and search the Jotens where many giant led attacks are believed to originate.
18th Entering a village late in the afternoon, the party stop at the local inn. Figjam stands up to a rough looking drunk who harasses a serving girl. The man threatens him but leaves. The villagers have ignored the confrontation, but now seem dismayed and worried. The girl tells the party that the man was Albere, a henchman of Big Johann who is now likely to punish the villagers. Big Johann turns out to be a Firbolg – a ten-foot tall humanoid – who attacks the party when they emerge, along with Albere, four thugs and four ogres. After they are killed, the grateful villagers explains that Big Johann chose to stay and dominate this hamlet while raiding other towns in the area.
20th Following the mountain line to the south-west the party is ambushed by five hill giants. After a difficult fight the party obtains a map showing the Davish River and western Jotens. There are marks that suggest a base about 70 miles south of Mittleberg. The party notes that the weather is much colder now, with light snowfalls along the mountains.
22nd The party locates a valley in the pine forests of the Jotens that holds a huge timber fortress. Over their midday meal they plan an attack. Archimedes has scouted. He reports a single giant in the watch tower, and some very big wolves in a courtyard.
Using silence and invisibility the party climbs or flies into the tower. The hill giant on watch is quickly killed by half the party, as are two sleeping ogres found in the entrance hall below. Two stone giants enter the hall and the rest of the party defeats them. The two giants have come from a long wide passage leading into a huge feast hall. A long combat begins with powerful spells and a great melee. Four giants flee but the party estimates that they have killed eight Ogres, another Stone Giant, a Cloud Giant and nearly a score of Hill Giants. The party take a minute to heal while Levallious and Brolith keep lookout and then the fight begins again. A few giants and some dire wolves circle around behind the party from the north, while another giant leads ogres from the south. Large groups of orcs, led by bugbears begin attacking from within the southern part of the building. Perhaps four score of orcs and a score of bugbears are killed before the few survivors retreat back down stairs to a lower level. The party makes a quick search around the whole of the upper level of the steading, grabbing obvious items of value and fighting a few more giants and dire wolves. A meeting room has a hidden door and stairs down.
The party emerge in a huge room empty but for what appears to be some coins and gems – Khufu warns of a trap and the Pyro notes the treasure is illusionary. An adjacent room holds four manticores and a treasure chamber. The beasts are killed and treasure taken. A secret door leads into a passage with peepholes looking back into the large room and also into another large room filled with bugbears, orcs and a few giants. They are watching towards the other set of stairs to the ground level. Throwing open a secret door, Pyro blasts the chamber. Levallious fires arrows while Figjam blocks entry to the passage. Myste divides the chamber with a Wall of Fire and after killing two fire giants, a hill giant and the scattering of orcs and bugbears on their side, they close the secret door. A quick debate follows and the group decides to use a “rope trick” spell to hide and rest invisibly.
23rd Perhaps ten hours later, they emerge – surprised to find no giants or guards downstairs. The lower level is now given a though search – but only a few bugbears remain to oppose them. Some weapons and equipment (mostly giant sized) is recovered and some prisoners released – Kimbal (Human merchant), Robbert (Human engineer), Rallenill (Elven Fighter/Sorcerer), six Dwarves (Commoners) and Connat (Dwarven Fighter). The merchant quickly proves to have been driven mad by his imprisonment and torture. A score or two of orc slaves remained locked in cells and a natural cave system separated from the main chambers holds escaped orc slaves who surrender and troglodytes who fight. On the upper level of the steading they fight a score each of bugbears and orcs in the tower and entry hall. Dead giants have been piled in the courtyard and burnt after being stripped of valuables. There is no sign of other giants – particularly females and young. Archimedes reports a large group heading north into the mountains hours ago. A few of the group stay with the ex-prisoners while Levallious leads the rest into the mountains. A few small groups (probably young giants and adult females) have divided up and headed in different directions. A half-dozen of hill and stone giant males are tracked to a small cave on a mountainside overlooking the valley with the steading. There is no further sign of the giants and Pyro detects faint magical traces, possibly a recent transportation spell. Returning to the steading, the party recovers anything valuable, including maps and documents and begins the trip back to Istivin.
28th The party arrives back in Istivin. Lashton has them explain all that has happened since they left Istivin and thoroughly questions their report as to encounters, actions taken and results. All relevant materials captured are passed to Randos and Algorthas to look through and each member of the group writes a statement of events. With the onset of much colder weather, attacks from the mountains have practically ceased. Humanoids and giants already in Sterich are not active, because snowfalls prevent troop movements and retaliation.
Rallenill and Connat have offered to fight with the party. After discussions over treasure shares and future directions, Rallenill decides to look for his kin, while Connat seeks revenge. (The group is loathe to share treasure with anyone.) Lashton orders the party to report back after Needfest – their capabilities make strikes against giant held locations possible where general soldiers are useless. Pyro teleports the party back to Greyhawk city to rest, heal and identify treasure. One sword recovered proves to be a Giant Slayer.
Year: 576 CY
Needfest (Midwinter festival) – The party celebrate midwinter in Greyhawk City, where the surrounding hills and the Nyr Dyv create milder weather than in surrounding countries. Light snow and fog is common under cloudy skies.
1st Pyro teleports the companions to Istivin which is under heavy snowfall. Lashton informs them that physical and magical evidence suggests that a Frost Giant Jarl holds a position of great importance in the invasion. The frost giant stronghold is rumoured to be located within a glacial rift in the Crystalmist Mountains. The Crystalmists dwarf the Jotens. Most of the peaks are snow-capped year-round and glaciers are common. The greatest of the glaciers forms the headwaters of the Davish river. With winter trapping most forces on both sides, a strike into the mountains against the Frost Giants will not be expected.
2nd – 9th The party teleports to the abandoned Hill Giant steading, then travel to the headwaters of the Davish river. They leave their horses here at a small village and guard post and continue into the mountains on foot. Five days of exploration on foot and with limited flight locates the rift in the glacier. A small group of Frost Giants, and a bunch of Yeti’s are fought and killed.
10th – 11th The long, deep snow-blown rift valley has caves along both sides. The party fight and explore their way along one side and then back around the other. Three dozen Frost giant guards and their guests – Hill, Stone, and Fire Giants are encountered, as well as winter wolves, ice toads, yetis and ogres. Huge blocks of ice contains bodies and minor treasure. A cave filled with a huge colony of brown mold makes a safe resting place within the complex once destroyed.
12th – 13th A tunnel to a second level has large caves that appear to have partially collapsed and abandoned. An old map is found that is proved to be a false lead when a cave meant to be a “storeroom” holds a pair of adult White Dragons. Most of the warriors are frightened by dragon fear, making for a difficult combat. Pyro is seriously hurt by a fireball from Myste and teleports back to Greyhawk. While trying to rest after the combat, the party is attacked by Frost Giants and polar bears, who emerge from a hidden door nearby. The party abandon their attempt to rest and push into main caverns killing some more Frost giants, five Ogre Magi, a dozen Ogres and a Cloud giant. The caves continue and are getting larger, and so when there is a pause in fighting, the party retreats to the dragon cave. This time they are able to rest. When ready to continue the fight, they find the caves are empty – like at the Hill giants steading, the main group of Frost giants here have taken the chance to take valuables and leave the caverns through a rear tunnel leading away from the rift. The party thoroughly search the caves and claim what treasure they can.
14th – 24th With limited carrying capacity, they take the most valuable items and return to the guard post at the river. Here they obtain 3 mules in addition to own horses and return to the glacial rift. They then transport all the treasure they can to a safer location on edge of Crystalmists and hide the bulk of the treasure.
3rd – 19th The party arrives back in Istivin and are able to arrange to be teleported to Greyhawk City. They sell some of the treasure, and locate and convince Pyro to return with them. They are able to teleport back to collect the treasure and then remain in Greyhawk to train. (Eleventh level).
20th Teleport to Istvin. It is believed that King Snurre is the overall commander of the giant forces. The party is sent to locate his hall in the Hellfurnace Mountains to the south.
21st Teleported to Melkot in the Tor Hills, on the edge of the Yeomanry. Horses used to ride into the northern Hellfurnaces.
26th In the peaks of the barren and smoking Hellfurnace Mountains, the party locates a high hill with a well trod path leading to huge obsidian doors. The Hall of King Snurre, leader of the Fire Giants has been found. The surroundings are hot and dry, but the party finds a small cave about a mile away to leave their horses and some provisions. They scout the area and rest.
27th The party begins to stealthily enter the hall. The entrance passage leads into a long and very wide pillared hall guarded by Ettins, with a throne at its end. In the midst of the fight against 2 Ettins, 2 Hell hounds and eight Fire Giant warriors, the King escapes into a disguised passage south. More Fire Giants are attracted by the combat and by the time the party can chase the King, he has collected his wife and fled through their rooms into a secret tunnel. In the tunnel they find a hidden treasure chamber guarded by a ten-headed Pyrohydra. It is quickly defeated but the King and Queen have escaped by another tunnel. The party fight more Fire Giant guards, some Trolls, Hell-hounds and a Chimera. They take time to heal then begin to search the rest of the level. There are many Fire Giant guards, Gnoll slaves, Trolls, Hell hounds, and the Frost Giant leader from the Glacial Rift. Attackers also include three Drow (two dark elf priests and an arcane caster) and three Rakshasa (tiger humanoid sorcerers) who initially use illusion to disguise themselves as elven prisoners. A Dwarf, Ombidal is rescued from a cell. He states that he is the Baron of Melkot and has been a prisoner for 10 years. The party helps him reclaim his equipment and he fights with them. They find many female and young Fire giants near a passage to the second level of the complex and when ambushed by guards and hell-hounds, Ombi turns against the party. The giants are killed, (all are fighting to the death) they knock the Dwarf out, and choose to retreat to the treasure cave. They hear Ombi’s excuses for attacking them and learn about the second level. They rest and leave him bound and manacled in the cave.
28th On the second level the group finds mostly empty chambers – torture chamber, storerooms, barracks, a smithy and a tomb. Other chambers contain guests that have barricaded themselves – 5 Hill, 4 Stone, 2 Frost Giants and 2 Cloud Giants. A large temple decorated in red, black and purple has disturbing images of sacrifice and most of the group feel uneasy within. Nearby are hidden chambers for Drow priestesses; that appear to have had some items recently removed, though much jewellery has been left behind. Fourteen cells are opened and checked. Found are Garethis (a female human rogue), two centaurs, eight elves, a human merchant, nine gnolls, an insane troll (who attacks immediately), a drugged and unconscious Titan, and Boldo (a Fire Giant). Most of the Gnolls run away, though two remain with Brolith who has given them food. One elf is Shallaria (a female noble from the dreadwood, Keoland). The centaurs had been searching for her, and they guide the elves and the merchant to freedom. Boldo turns on the group when they find a guard room with another fire giant and three were-rats. A secret door from the guard room leads to a chamber with another seven were-rats and treasure. Kendarr the Titan (a twenty foot tall warrior) is healed and the poison in his system neutralised. He wants to stay with them while they fight giants, as will the thief. A narrow hidden tunnel leads to the third level, but emerges between two chambers with male Drow warriors. The party rests in the lycanthropes chamber.
1st The party decides to enter the third level from the main tunnel. While they decide which of many tunnels to take, the Titan heads north calling a challenge to any Giants. He stops in a huge chamber where he sites a sleeping dragon on a huge pile of treasure. Pyro determines that it’s all an illusion covering stone pillars and rocks, but a large beast is amid them. They advance to fight, finding a great grey-scaled bull – a Gorgon – that breathes a cloud of deadly gas. Figjam and Garethis are petrified. The beast is quickly killed and a dozen Fire Giants (including King Snurre and his wife) and some Hell hounds are fought close by. With aid of Kendarr they are quickly defeated and the party moves on. There are two major combats against drow forces mixed with Trolls. The Titan leaves after the first of these – he hates Fire Giants, but doesn’t care to chase dark elves. A tremor shakes the caves. Empty chambers lead to a river of molten lava and a demon guarding a broken magical portal and a collapsed tunnel into the Underdark. The party heal and explore the remainder of the level – lots of Trolls, two large fire lizards, ropers, grey ooze and green slime. After collecting treasure and worthwhile equipment, they locate a secret door that leaves down to a huge cave and a fifteen foot tall human male who introduces himself as “Lord Braz”. All of the party slowly enter the chamber to look around. He says that he accepts tribute from the Fire Giants and asks about the party. There is also a huge pile of treasure in the cave.
Only Pyro converses much with the figure and True Sight reveals him to be a huge Red Dragon, with a number of magical aura’s. When Braz appears to be getting annoyed at the party, they leave.
Pyro teleports with most of the collected treasure (coinage) to Greyhawk City to buy some scrolls and misc items and covert coins to gems. The rest of the group rest.
2nd Pyro returns to Istvin to report and learns the black bubble is shrinking. He hands over collected documents. The party is ordered to report for exploration no later than 7th Coldeven. Teleports back to caves. The party has collected and sorted remaining treasure from the Giant Halls. Figjam is made flesh and healed.
3rd The Dragon is attacked and quickly defeated. The party collects the treasure horde and returns to Greyhawk to sell items and assess their wealth.
6th Return to Istvan. The party is sent into the city ruins to hunt drow. Parts of, and sometimes whole buildings, are missing as if removed or disintegrated. They sight no bodies, just rubbish and occasional bloodstains. They defeat some Drow warriors, a Drider and three demons that were guarding a magical portal. They are also met by St’ven, Figjam’s half brother. It appears that most of the drow have retreated and the warriors and demons were left behind to destroy magical portals. Pyro flies back to the command post briefly to report what have learned and they enter the portal – arriving in the market district of Sigil, the city of doors. (They learn that the city is built on a huge ring shape that floats above a tower on the Outer Planes.)
They sell and buy items and try to lean about the portal they have entered by, any drow activities and learn about the city itself. Attempting to return home they find that the portal they entered through is closed, inactive or has moved. They visit the Library of the Lady and learn a little more about portals, then meet two Elven Priests [Mareliss & Litharin] who know Caranthir, though they have not seen her for about 50 years. The party are offered a house to stay in while the Priests travel to Celestia (a Lawful Good plane) then Arborea. (a Good plane, home to the Elven Court). They expect to be away for perhaps a month.
A number of sources about portals have been suggested – Planar Scholars Kemet and the Lady Gbemisola, a githzerai scholar who is often found at the Stygian Oarsman, and the Library of the Lady. Having already been to the library, then seek out the Stygian Oarsman (a tavern or inn in the Lower Ward). Brolith and Khufu speak with Rule-of-Three, the Gith scholar. He stays at the Inn to hear rumours, collect information and meet people. He suggests that they come to see him again tomorrow as he might be able to find a portal for them.
7th All of the party members had vivid dreams. Most relate to things they have seen or heard of in Sigil, and many suggest meetings, travel, choices and a drow or demon led threat to the Flaneass. Rule-of-Three: He states that he isn’t fond of the Drow and wants the party to do three tasks in order to return to Greyhawk. The first task is to go to the Tower of Prophecy – a Lawful Good Temple to Bahamut (the Platinum Dragon) and three unknown Gods. At the Temple, one of the wardens agrees to open the “eye” – a mechanical holy device – which blinds everyone temporarily and grants a glowing written prophecy.
“The bow of beasts dissolves the taint of the corrupted,
The bitter ice hides a giant’s sword to crack Abyssal armor.
Search the Lady’s wisdom and the book of flesh,
Bide your time, and flee when the goddess shakes her web.
A pair of keys: a blackened tongue, a golden word,
Pass through three gates: serpent, darkness, stone.
Kill the queen in her black pearl, and find
Near the throne a fourth gate – home.”
Back to Rule-of-Three. He asks the group to take a portal to Yggdrasil (the World Ash, a magical tree that links planes) and then to the Beastlands to recover Thaas <Elven for The Vigilant Bow> a magical longbow. Pyro is able to learn some new spells relating to portals and mirrors from “the Book of Flesh and Mirrors” owned by the Githzerai and the party spends two weeks in Sigil training and making/upgrading items. [Twelfth level]
21st – 23rd The tree of Yggdrasil: Miles into the air, Levallious obtains a Ratatosk guide (a humanoid squirrel race) and a few days are spent travelling across the tree to a branch with a portal to the Beastlands. Almveig (the guide) says he will wait at the portal.
24th The part of the Beastlands entered is heavily forested and always night. The group is attacked by three Displacer Beasts, then by a fey hunter mounted on a great horned lizard. It blows a horn that makes Khufu shaken and shoots at Pyro when he disintegrates the lizard. The hunter is shot by Levallious, then disintegrated by Myste! A large animal track leads to a clearing where a druidic tree asks everyone to leave. Levellious (and then Myste) speaking in Sylvan convince it to let the two of them pass to see if Levallious is worthy of Thaas, and they continue to a small island when Levellious is able to take the bow. [It’s a +2 Chaotic & Evil Outsider-bane composite longbow that adjusts to suit the wielders Strength.]
25th Back on Yggdrasil, a Ratatosk called Fastmundr is a new guide. Almveig has been eaten by the “evil branch” which dwells a bit higher up the tree. After convincing Almveig that they can help, the party is led to that area to kill the thing damaging Yggdrasil and eating squirrel folk. The creature is like a mobile flesh-eating tree, highly resistant to magic. It tries to swallow Khufu before being destroyed. The group spend the night with a great gathering of celebrating Ratatosk who gift the party with a Cloak of Invisibility, and some useful magical nuts. They have heard from some Midgard dwarf travellers that the frost giants of Rime Thuras have a demonbane weapon. There is a portal to the land of the Frost Giants on a branch just a day’s travel lower.
27th Rime Thuras, or the Iron Wastes, is a layer of the Abyss covered in ice and snow. It is the dominion of the Demon prince of giants – Kostchtchie. The party heads towards a distant mountain and locates a shrine of it slopes. Here they defeat a large group of Frost Giants and claim the Demon-quelling sword. The weapon is a +3 mithril Evil-Outsider-bane great sword, with Frost & Sizing. On the way back to the portal (to the World Tree) Archimedes and Pyro note a group of about two dozen Giants heading towards the portal site. Arriving ahead of them, they are surprised by an ambush of Frost Giants hidden in the snow around the portal. After a short fight, the party escapes through the portal and Pyro seals it with magic. After resting overnight with the ratatosk’s the party heads back across the tree to the portal to Sigil.
2nd At the Inn, Rule-of-Three asked to see the bow “Thaas” recovered from the Beastlands and was impressed to see that you had also turned up with a demon-bane sword. He asked you to enter the Demonweb and find Lissondra, a renegade drow who rejects Lolth and get a report from her in exchange for some books. While looking around Sigil, the group was confronted by two large bear-like humanoids (Warden Archons) from the Tower of the Prophet who had become convinced that you were in league with demons. They ordered the group to accompany them to the Tower for questioning. Pyro started to confuse them with questions about laws and rights, until Figjam rounded a corner and they declared him to be evil. Some careful diplomacy stopped a potentially nasty fight and everyone went to the Tower for a a long conversation about where the party were from and what they were doing. Figjam was released from a curse and changed back to Chaotic Neutral (from Chaotic Evil) and you were told that Rule-of-Three is a demon and not a Githzerai.
3rd Through a portal to the demonweb – tunnels of webbing that seem very tough and magically resistant. Two connections of passage-ways were empty of creatures (one was a shrine to Lolth with a gigantic silver spider statue) and a third held three Phase Spiders. A spider-like aberration that looked like a mass of hairy spider legs attacked from a tunnel while Pyro debated on how to take the statue with him. A secret panel in a stained glass window led directly to the chamber of Lissondra. She admired Myste drow-made armour and offered them some advice about the demonweb. They are on one of the upper levels of the web that has connections to a number of other planes and material plane worlds, many conquered by Lolth. A black gate blocks access to the lower levels. They passed over the books and were given a sealed letter for Rule-of-Three. They quickly retraced their steps through the Demonweb and returned to Sigil.
The party now learn that Lolth has issued invitations to other demon-lords, and plans on holding a Council with the aim of unifying them together against mutual enemies. Leading an invasion of demons to Oerth is also one of Lolth’s hopes. Apparently her attack on Sterich is merely a test of Flaness defences, an initial foray in her plans to add the world of Greyhawk to her dominion.
4th Rule-of-Three has been contacted by an representative of Orcus, the Demon-prince of Undeath. One of Orcus’ ambassadors, Dawnat Sanp, will meet the party in the Graz’zt’s demon capital Zelatar. The party take a portal to the plain of Azzagrat, outside the city and are immediately attacked by a hezrou demon who wishes to add them to his collection of slaves. The fight is over very quickly, and one of the slaves offers to guide the group through the city in return for his freedom. After a confused day of travelling through the city which spans three levels of the Abyss, the party eventually locate the Inn where Sanp is staying and Brolith and Figjam manage to meet with the undead bone naga. Sanp tells them that the Demon Council meets in a week, gives them a possible map of the Demonweb (though things often change in Lolth’s realm) and the password for the Black Gate. However, the password is a dread word in the Dark Speech and has nasty effects on mortal ears. Brolith is momentarily stunned and Figjam enraged – he attacks Sanp, then is quickly restrained by Brolith. They make apologies and the Sanp hands them a scroll of dread word, that a wizard can use to read the password safely. The naga also decides to give them his council pass – a golden parchment inscribed with Lolth’s thin writing and seal. The only ones who have such a pass are the aspects of the demon lords and their ambassadors. The party can represent themselves as Orcus’ ambassadors!
The portal they arrived by was one way and the group spend the rest of the day trying to find a way back to Sigil. They locate a reputable fortuneteller and are told a riddle to guide them back to Sigil. They leave Zelatar, heading northward towards the river Styx. During the night they are attached by a huge undead hound and two Abbyssal Giants. A Hag takes the souls from the giants and uses one to summon a ferry on the river. The Yugoloth ferryman aggress to take them up the river and eventually out to a fountain in Sigil.
5th While returning to their house to rest they are attacked by four mercenary demons that use cloudkill spells. The demons announce that they aim to collect a bounty on the adventurers heads. This fight attracts a few spectators and lasts longer than usual. Afterwards the group rest and regain spells.
6th The party meet with Rule-of-three, rest and report their activities to the Tower of the Prophet. They have some time to speak with St’ven and repair equipment and buy anything they need. Both Orcus and Rule-of-Three have urged you to disrupt the demonic council – causing trouble among Lolth’s servants and the demon lords. The Tower archons have feared you were amid a demonic plot and agree that the spider queen must be stopped. Levallious and Caranthir discuss the prophecy you were given and feel that you have fulfilled the first half and understand the remainder. This is a chance to stop Lolth’s planned invasion of Oerth and there should be a portal to get you home.
Planting (Low Summer)
3rd All of the party (including St’ven) enter the Demonweb through a new portal. The entrance chamber is empty, like the last visit. Changes in the layout of the demonweb are quickly realized when they reach the chamber of the renegade drow without passing through chambers that they had last time. The room is empty, as are following tunnels until they are attacked by two huge spiders at an intersection. Further on, a rocky cave has a spider-leg horror.
Reaching a hemispherical hall, Levallious realised that the “abstract” mosaic actually portrays a current map of the Demonweb. He determines the general layout and the party’s current position. A female Drow leads male warriors out of the darkness and challenges the “mortals wandering the Spider Goddesses web”. She is quite surprised when Figjam shows the council pass and states that you are Orcus’ ambassadors. She teleports you all to the Black Gate using a “key” and the floor inlays. Pyro opens the gate using Dread word and you proceed along a tunnel indicated by a drow guard. Some large Spiders and a drow assassin attack the party and are defeated. Reaching the foyer to the Council Chamber, Figjam displays the pass to a huge spider Golem and there is the first view of the vast council hall.
In the long chamber are aspects of Yeenoghu (Lord of Gnolls), Baphomet (Lord of Beasts), Demogorgon (Prince of Demons), Obox-Ob (Prince of Vermin), Malcanthet (Queen of the Night), and Pale Night (Mother of Demons). Gnolls, minotaurs and succubi accompany them. Three vrocks, a frost giant and an occuclus demon appear to be ambassadors. A number of Drow warriors are to be seen as well as two female Drow near a large throne. A bebelith (demon spider) guards stairs lead up to an audience chamber, where the demon lords are being called to speak with Lolth before the reading of the Pact. The party prepare many protective spells and enhancements and enter the chamber. Figjam is soon attacked by the Frost Giant who recognises the demon-slayer sword he carries. The Occulus demon recognises Thaas being fired by Levallious, and so attacks him. Obox-Ob challenges the group on the death of the occulus and the party also attacks the vulture demons. This is all resolved without much injury to the party.
The lady of the succubi, Malcanthet leans over the balacony and transforms into Grazzt (Lord of Tyrants) mid-speech – calling on the demon lords to destroy the intruding mortals. Demongorgon suggests that the dark prince should be able to deal with them on his own. The succubi launch of the balcony as Graazt moves to the stairs and is met by Khufu and Brolith. Levallious and the casters take down the succubi, while Figjam attacks the drow commander below the stairs. They are defeated and chaos breaks out among the demons. Yeenoghu attacks Baphomet, and all drow move against the party. Myste and Pyro work together to devastate the central area with magical cold. Demongorgon stands back as the bebelith jumps off the balcony to join the attack on the party.
Two of Lolths aspects leave the audience chamber and attack – the Hammer of Lolth (a female drow head on a spider body) drops from the ceiling and the Envoy of Lolth, a sorcerer, casts spells from the balcony. A steady combat takes its toll on the party’s enemies. Eventually, only the Envoy remains. She casts powerful spells – Figjam is feebleminded, then Brolith also, while Myste is confused. She is eventually killed. The party heals and restores its wounded and quickly checks all opponents are dead.
The audience chamber is empty, but the party notes a secret door behind the throne as they are attacked by a ten drow. They are all killed and the secret door leads down a web tunnel to a portal. A bodak guards it, killing Khufu with only a gaze. They strike it down fast enough for Caranthir to revive Khufu. Thousands of spiders swarm along the tunnel as they realise the portal leads back to their world. They quickly activate it and pile through.
They group finds themselves in the huge courtyard of a palace, about to be attacked as intruders by soldiers and mages. Three archons from Celestia step into the world around the party, stopping the passage of time and sealing the portal to the Demonweb. They declare the party heroes and announce that they have defeated a pact that would have led a joint force of demonlords against first the Flanaess of Oerth, and then against the Upper Planes. The archons escort the group to meet King Skotti of Keoland, who declares them Champions of the Realm.
4th-10th The party are guests of the King and spend a week being feasted and treated like royalty.
The giant invasion of Sterich is now mostly controlled. Troops from Keoland, aided by those from other surrounding lands as well as many adventurers, are freeing places held by giants and tracking down other still within the country. The after effects of the invasion are mostly being felt in Keoland now, where patrols of the Kingdom’s roads and borders occur less frequently and many soldiers stationed in populated areas have been withdrawn. As a result, there has been a great increase in the activity of bandits and thieves. You have been asked to aid in hunting down such threats to Keoland’s security.
11th – 21st The party spends some time posing as travellers and merchants trying to attract the attention of bandits. They also track down bandit encampments when they can.
22nd – 23rd In the town of Woodsage, on the southern border of Keoland near the Good Hills and the Dreadwood, they meet with the Ranger Knight Andalas. Andalas tells them that there is a rumour going through the hills and mountains to the south of Keoland that the giant invasion has conquered Sterich and is now attacking Keoland. As a result, there are growing attacks by humanoids out of the Joten and Hellfurnace mountains. The town is attacked by goblins, hobgoblins, a few ogres and a hill giant. The party defeats the attack on one side of the town. Levallious begins to follow their tracks and they use Pyro (flying and invisible) and his owl familiar to scout into the forested hills seeking the staging point of the attack. He locates a clearing with dozens of goblins. The group assaults the camp with area effect spells and then moves into an old mine to attack the hobgoblins and ogres supporting and leading the goblins.
24th The party outwit a few thieves that try to steal items from them and then ready to leave with two horse drawn carts. Myste poses as a merchant and the carts appear to be well loaded with valuable trade goods. Some of the group ride on or in the carts and the others ride alongside. They are going to follow main roads north-east towards Cryllor into the Good Hills. They are aided by Merik and Physer, Keoland soldiers who drive the carts.
Flocktime (Low Summer)
1st An attack by goblin archers and orc warriors on the carts is defeated.
3rd A body is found along the road. Apparently a mountain hunter or trapper, he has been stripped on anything of value and an orcish sword is still stuck in the corpse. Tracks lead to four more human corpses and a dead orc. Levallious and Figjam surmise that up to a dozen orcs have been involved and they follow the trail into the hills. Pyro flies (invisibly) ahead into a canyon with many trees at the entrance and some huts around a fire at the end. He sights a dozen orcs and notes some other figures not moving in the huts. The group think they might be captives and move forward to attack on Pyro’s signal – a fireball on the orcs. The orcs are all killed immediately and the surprised group converge on the huts. Ten bugbears emerge and attack. While engaging these, three more groups of bugbears, all invisible, begin to attack those around the canyon. They are supported by two casters (one human, one half-orc) using mostly illusion and enchantment spells. While the bugbears do little damage after their initial attack, it takes some time to defeat them all. The half-orc sorcerer is disintegrated quickly by Pyro, while the human wizard fights for a little longer before unsuccessfully trying to flee. The party recovers a significant number of coins, gems, some jewellery and minor potions and scrolls. This doesn’t appear to be the bugbears lair, merely an ambush site, and there is no indication of where that might be. The party returns to the carts and continues their journey.
12th Across the river from the city of Cryllor, the party approach the edge of the Jotens and the Little Hills. There have been reports of humanoids attacking villages here on the edge of the Yeomanry League. Arriving in the large town of Amril, the group meet the merchant Chelsby and his partner Zachary. They deal in spices, wines, silks, clothes and expensive foodstuffs. They have been delayed here, trying to hire guards for the trip through the nearby mountain pass to Tucksvale in the Yeomanry proper. Attacks by goblins and gnolls have destroyed a couple of small villages nearby and the town itself can’t spare militia to escort caravans through the pass. Myste pretends that she has an interest in travelling to Tucksvale and Chelsby hires the party to guard his two wagons as well. Chelsby already has six men-at-arms but the group doesn’t rate them highly as combatants.
13th It takes most of the morning to reach the entrance to the pass. The natural pass is nearly forty miles long, found by dwarves who established an outpost here and mined silver and gold. They left the played-out mines over a century ago. Once in, a crumbling narrow stair up the side of the pass is noticed. A hermit is supposed to live that way. Pyro flies up and finds a small plateau, and searching finds a crevice or tunnel – it appears to extend too far to explore at this time. In the late afternoon, some small empty caves are found high up on the cliff face. Nothing disturbs the caravan when it makes camp for the night.
14th The caravan reaches a rock-slide blocking most of the pass in the late morning. A stone giant steps out from behind a large boulder and demands 3000 gold. Chelsby refuses and calls for the guards to destroy the monster. As the party move forward to attack, more humanoids appear on ledges or in the pass, and a brownish metallic coloured dragon appears breathing lightning as it overflies the caravan. A few of the guards and Chelsby are killed or knocked unconscious. Pyro scans the pass, calling out the locations of the invisible humanoids before they appear. The humanoids are a minotaur, a hill giant, an ogre, an owlbear and a large red frog-like humanoid. Most attack with weapons, one casts a fire-bolt and a couple use lightning. It is unclear whether they cast spells or are using items. Pyro realises that all except the dragon are polymorphed or shape changed. He realises that they are actually ogre magi. The dragon returns and lands to attack Levallious and those near him. It appears to be a young dragon. The fight that follows kills nearly all the men-at-arms, and wounds many of the party. One ogre mage is killed and the wounded ogre magi and the dragon begin to retreat, many turning invisible to flee. Khufu grapples one before it begins to fly off. With the visible dwarf clinging to its legs, the invisible ogre mage is knocked unconscious with a lucky blow from Figjam who flew after it. There is some quick healing and one badly damaged wagon is abandoned. Magic and physical effort clears the pass and the group move on. They soon reach a natural valley in the pass and find the remnants of abandoned dwarven mines. At the other end of the valley Khufu notes a pair of huge stone doors. The passage of time has mostly disguised the dwarven construction, and they appear to be magically sealed. The party wishes to investigate, but decide to return later. They press on and camp for the night, again undisturbed.
15th The caravan leaves the pass and arrives in Tucksvale mid afternoon. Zachary rewards the party for their efforts. He plans to return to Amril in about a week if they wish further employment.
16th An early start, leaving the wagons behind, gets the party back to the doors in the afternoon. Pyro is able to dispel the magic that holds the door closed. A long tunnel with worn stairs zigzags up a tunnel carved out within the cliff walls.
|List of Adventures|
|Through the Night||1st – 2nd||June 2003||Dungeon #29|
|The Crypt of the Trogs||1st – 2nd||June 2003||Tarmor|
|Pillars of Doom: Obsidian||1st – 2nd||June 2003||Tarmor|
|Pillars of Doom: Jet||1st – 2nd||June 2003||Tarmor|
|Pillars of Doom: Black Pearl||2nd – 3rd||Aug 2003||Tarmor|
|The Shrine at Kolchap||2nd – 3rd||Sept 2003||Tarmor|
|A Local Legend||1st – 2nd||Dungeon #31|
|B2 The Keep of the Borderlands||1st – 3rd||March 2004||TSR|
|The Forge of Fury||3rd||Wizards of the Coast|
|The Opet Tomb||4th – 5th||Aug 2004||Tarmor|
|Slavers Prelude||4th||Jan 2005||Tarmor|
|The Eye of the Serpent||4th – 5th||Feb 2005||Tarmor|
|A1 Slave Pits of the Undercity||4th – 5th||April 2005||TSR|
|The Pit||4th – 5th||Mar 2006||Dungeon #17|
|A2 Secret of the Slavers Stockade||4th – 6th||April 2006||TSR|
|A3 Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords||5th – 7th||Nov 2006||TSR|
|A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords||5th – 7th||Mar 2007||TSR|
|Rukka’s Raiders||7th – 8th||Apr 2007||Tarmor|
|Slavers Postlude / Sevants Tower||6th – 7th||May 2007||Tarmor/TSR|
|S2 White Plume Mountain||7th||Apr 2007||TSR/Wizards|
|Cave of Spiders||9th||Sept 2007||Wizards of the Coast|
|The Secret of Daanore||8th – 10th||Oct 2007||Tarmor|
|Aerie of the Crow God||7th – 8th||Mar 2008||Goodman Games #5|
|Seed of Evil||7th – 8th||July 2008||Goodman Games #5B|
|A Question of Ethics||10th||Sept 2008||Wizards of the Coast|
|S1 Tomb of Horrors||9th||Nov 2008||TSR/Wizards|
|Power Stones / Portals||9th||Aug 2009||Tarmor|
|Mysteries of the Drow||7th – 9th||Jun 2010||Goodman Games #8|
|Eye of Pain||6th – 8th||Nov 2010||TSR|
|The Tower of Alz||9th – 10th||Apr 2011||Tarmor|
|Eye of Doom||8th – 10th||Jun 2011||TSR|
|Darkness over Sterich||10th||Sept 2011||Tarmor/TSR|
|G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief||10th||Sept 2011||TSR|
|G2 Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl||10th||Apr 2012||TSR|
|G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King||11th||Nov 2012||TSR|
|Expedition to the Demonweb Pits||11th-12th||Jun 2014||Wizards|
Phantasm Chasm 12th July 2016 Dungeon #14
Deception Pass 12th Aug 2016 Dungeon #23