Chronology (Return to Rhyl)

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back: Return to Rhyll

List of Combat Encounters

  1. Kendrick and Bandit chronies at Wilkinson Farm
  2. Hill Tribe Ogres at Alaster Farm
  3. River Tribe Ogres encampment
  4. River Ogre patrol returns to encampment
  5. Spectres in Arklow graveyard mausoleum
  6. Wyvern and Sky Ogres in Crandal's Glen
  7. Air Elemental Guardians of the chapel
  8. Clay guardians at seal
  9. Craven mage spirit in the Elven Catacombs
  10. Earth elementals in the Elvish chamber
  11. Keystone room & stone golem

back to Return to Rhyll Short List of Interactions

  1. Meet up at Shattered gate
  2. Magelus, Tristan and Lawrance after battle
  3. In the royal Court
  4. Hall of Heros
  5. Veil of Blackness
  6. Huge Shrine Room

Most recent GAME SESSION NOTES[edit]

HALL OF HEROES: THE TOMB OF MAN[edit]

Note that the evening's activities were varied and happening often all at once and this scribe missed several details. Please amend anything that has been misstated or omitted.

ENCOUNTER 10 CONTINUED[edit]

  • Pursued by five earth elemental guardians, the party has retreated from the Room of the Fallen. After the last of his allies had exited, Will Bowman moves from his spot on the tomb door stoop to join them. By the time he takes his place between Krys and Argel, Will has stowed his bow, drawn his bastard sword and readied the three-wind shield from the chapel.
  • Blauss casts spider climb and scrambles up the wall near the right side of the entrance. From about two stories up, he has a view of the door just as the largest of the elemental shoulders through the entrance, sending pieces of the stone frame to the ground. It backhands Krystovar solidly. The priest stumbles but regains his footing.
  • Taurus is the first to counter strike. The adamantine great sword proves its usefulness again as it easily carves through the outsider's stone and dirt form. If the elemental feels pain, fear or anger, it shows none.
  • Devonor lunges next and in two quick hacks he finishes the monster off. The elemental crumbles into a mound at the threshold.
  • Krys retreats to the water's edge and summons cure serious wounds to mend his many injuries.
  • A new elemental enters and brings both its massive arms down on Will. The halfling raises the three-wind shield and a aura of magic flashes as the fists rain down. Only one of the attacks punches through, but Will's armor and nimbleness keeps him from the brunt of the crushing blow. He counters with his sword, easily hitting but leaving only a deep scratch. "Why not use your bow?" Devonor suggests, but Will knows falling back to missile range will make it easier for the foes to break through the party's bottleneck at the doorway.
  • Taurus and Argel greet the newest elemental with a flurry of blows. The now raged Bison Man's are even more devastating. Argel's attacks are more modestly effective and augmented by electrical surges coming from the magical long sword found in the elven tomb.
  • An elemental from the other room erupts through its wounded ally and tries to bull rush Will. He knocks him back a few steps but cannot push in to middle of the party, but it does end up in the room against the wall and below Bluass. The wizard climbs further up.
  • Devonor steps over to check the new interloper's position and land two solid sword blows. Krys follows his brother's attack with a ray of fire from the ogre magi amulet. While both damage the monster, only the adamantium so far has fully damaged any of the elementals.
  • Will's next sword attack on same barely damages the creature. He falls back to use his bow.
  • Blauss lightning bolts the more wounded elemental with the elven wand. It still stands.
  • The elementals show no fear and mindlessly press into the room and the party's front line. Both Taurus and Devonor suffer additional wounds, but soon the party's wolf pack tactics take the last one down. Another Hall of Heroes threat is removed!

ROMANCING THE KEYSTONE[edit]

  • As the party catches it's breath after defeating the Earth Elementals, they study the large chamber for details.
    • The room is nearly a hundred feet wide with a peaked ceiling over a hundred feet high. The walls are lined with flaming torches.
    • The room primarily a deep pool of active water with several slow moving eddies visible on the surface.
    • They are standing on a worked stone platform overlooking the water. There are empty weapon racks built into walls nearest the water. A narrow wooden dock extends out into the water where a single two-man sailboat is tethered.
    • Dominating the center of the A tall obelisk of white marble is in the center of the water. It is surrounded by a number of water fountain jets that originate from the water and not from any obvious mechanism or tubes. The obelisk is carved with ship voyage scenes and with a inscription that asks readers to be unarmed when they come to honor the dead on the other side.
    • The other side platform is wider but shallower. A second dock with no boat awaits. The platform's edge is lined with four tall columns. Tall warrior statues stand at attention against each of the pillars.
    • Behind these pillars and centered on the platform is a large altar that is on fire. Behind the altar is a recessed shelf upon which sits THE KEYSTONE. A stone statue about the size of an ogre stands next to the keystone.
    • Two archways flank the altar and lead off presumably to the humankind crypts.
  • While they take in the sights, Devonor proposes that they go back to the other chamber and investigate the Halfling Crypt in order to find more magic to help battle what may wait here or back outside if they survive long enough to return to Crandal's Blight. William Bowman likes that idea.
  • They party also discusses how best to retrieve the keystone. They strongly suspect that water elemental guardians await in the depths here and that the altar flame may be an elemental of fire.
  • Blauss offers to cast another spider climb that can target more than one person to allow members to avoid the boat and water altogether. The party likes the idea, but also believes that if they violate the rules for approaching the crypts, that the guardians will attack. Blauss begins studying for a half hour to memorize the appropriate spells to aid with the keystone recovery.
  • Krys uses up two spells to heal Argel and Devonor. Some of their many injuries fade by Ehlonna's grace.
  • It is decided that they will try to follow the rules of the room and send only two members over to get the Keystone. Devonor and Taurus are deemed healthiest and quickest for the mission.
  • They prepare for the trip by placing all their weapons on the weapon racks. Devonor even empties his magical gloves of all weapons just in case the gods here know all. They decide they will remain armored.
  • The party equips them:
    • Blauss lends 1 Potion of Haste to each
    • Potion of fire protection to Taurus.
    • Argel loans his potion of Invisibility to Dev.
    • Blauss casts spider climb on both of them
    • Krys casts Bull's Strength on Taurus and Protection from Fire on Dev.
    • They empty the Bag of Holding of all weapons and give it to Devonor.
  • The pair enter the boat and cast off. As soon as the tiller is touched, the boat's sail fills and the vessel slowly moves off on a predetermined path through the whirling water eddies. It steers to the obelisk and after a few moments of reverently pointing at the inscription, the boat circles to the other side and docks.
  • When they disembark, the boat returns to the other dock using a similar route but on the opposite side of obelisk.
  • As Devonor approaches the altar, the air becomes noticeably hotter.
  • When Devonor asks the altar or spirits of the place for the Keystone, the flames grow in height and a voice asks what they have brought for tribute.
  • Thinking quickly, Taurus reminds Devonor of the two soul stones they found in Arklow's cemetery. Devonor answers that they bring the souls of two dead heroes who need protection within the Hall of Heroes. He produces the two glowing gems.
  • Spirits of human warriors clad in chainmail appear on the far ends of the platform and approach the altar.
  • Taurus pales and begins to shake with fear and awe. It takes calming words from Devonor and all the self-control the barbarian can muster to not flee.
  • As the spirits near the altar and see the tribute, they appear mildly confused, but they accept the stones and soon the voice booms out that the souls are welcome among the heroes of the land. The ghosts carry the gems through the two archways into the crypts.
  • Devonor again asks if he may take the keystone, but the altar is silent, its flames now dying down to the way they were before.
  • Dev goes around the altar and nothing happens. They think that while they have satisfied the Hall of Heroes guardians they have yet to appease Ticondrius's.
  • Taurus notices that the stone statue looks newer and of a different design than the rest of the art and architecture in this ancient place.
  • When he touches the keystone, the nearby statue straightens and turns to glower at him. When he steps away from the stone, the statue returns to its original pose. Blauss identifies the construct as a stone golem and warns of a number of dangers they will encounter battling it. "It can magically slow you and is nearly impervious to spells and magic and mundane weapons," he summarizes.
  • Devonor uses the monocle, but sees no clues or traps.
  • Taurus and Devonor quickly form a strategy. Taurus returns to the dock and, as expected, the boat begins sailing back from the other side. When it docks, Bison Man waits near it. Devonor quaffs his Haste potion and readies the Bag of Holding. He quickly bags the keystone, turns and races back to the boat. Taurus has already leaped into the vessel and readies to grab the tiller.
  • The stone golem immediately pursues Devonor with suprising speed. Devonor dodges the guardian's attacks and makes it to the boat. Taurus grabs the tiller and the boat drifts out of reach before the golem can catch up.
  • Without hesitation the golem steps off the dock after the thieves and sinks into the water.
  • To everyone's dismay, the water is not as deep as thought. Now wading, the golem continues the pursuit and will catch the boat when it stops by the obelisk on its route.
  • But before the golem gets more than a step or two, the water begins to swirl and boil as eight water elementals rise from the eddies. After a moment of uncertain dread for Devonor and Taurus, the guardians of the water glide toward the golem, leaving the boat to sail onward.
  • After a brief struggle, the golem is dragged down below the surface and Taurus and Devonor reach the dock safely.
  • There is much rejoicing.
  • As the party regroups, rearms and redistributes the potions etc, a warm breeze blows across the water, causing all the torches to flicker. A tall spectral man who could be no other than Ticondrius appears in front of the exit. After greeting and congratulating them, the spirit explains that he is but a small remnant of his true spirit that has been left behind to oversee the keystone. He asks the adventurers what they will use it for. They answer that it will be used to battle the evil that is returning to Ryhll. Seemingly mollified, the spirit goes on to ask a boon of the Heroes of the Land. Since the high priest Takal no longer stands watch over these halls, he asks if he can count on them to care for the Hall of Heroes — to visit occasionally and protect the honored dead when needed.
  • Krystovar and Taurus swear to do so as the spirit fades from view. The other party members make no such vow.

CHAPTER'S END[edit]

  • The party leaves the Tomb of Man and returns to the question of searching the Halfling Hall. While there is still interest in doing so, Argel and some prudent party members warn that the party has used most of its spells and resources for the day and many are wounded. Risking another deadly guardian or trap in the halfling tomb may mean they are unable to survive an attack by enemies that are close to finding the Hall.
  • Argel suggests that Blauss go back through the magic shadow portal and contact his raven. The mage and an escort does and he reports that it is sunset outside and that eight Air Tribe ogres are camped in the glen. They have discovered where the party dug up the Hall entrance and are trying to open the sealed door.
  • Since it is sunset, Krys decides to use his crystal ball to spy on Magelus, but since the mage noticed his scrying last time, the priest cannily targets Magelus's Cuthbert priest Jared. The mists in the crystal clear and he sees Jared in a stone chamber that may be in the Rhyll castle. He is speaking with tall men he is unable to see completely or identify. One tall figure demands that "The time is at hand! You must make a decision soon!" Jared replies, "I know, but it is difficult." Then the scry ends, possibly because Jared resisted it. When Krystovar's eye's refocus on his companions, he says that the tall figures might be those merchants from Ahlissa, but he can't say for certain.
  • Argel proposes that the party could fortify their position and then camp in order to heal and restore their spells.
  • What will the party do next? Tune in next time.

END OF 2019 SESSION

----Notes RHYL 2019.09.28



Previous GAME SESSION NOTES in date sequence[edit]

THE HEROES OF RHYLL REUNITED[edit]

  • In the Shattered Gate Tavern, the adventurers meet and old friends share brief tales of their years apart during the Greyhawk Wars.
      • Brothers Krystovar and Devonor have stayed in and around Relmor Bay during the wars. They've arrived for the festival.
      • Taurus has been living in the area long enough to now be known to the locals as Bison Man. He's been living off the land and doing odd jobs for any with the coin to pay.
      • Will Bowman, a large specimen of the halfling race with an unusual accent, has let a long winding road lead him here from afar.
      • Blauss has recently arrived in Wicklow. He is working at the local Wizard School (where Astillus studied)
      • Argel Doncant is the last to arrive. He has been on the road for over a month traveling from Furyondy through Greyhawk and Nyrond. He is not here because of the festival but is pleased to see familiar faces.
    • The bard Thadeus retells the story of their triumphs against Astillus and Icing Death. And toasts the heroes.
    • Magellus a mage of the Arcane Watch and Jared, a priest of St. Cuthbert join the toast. They are members of the Coalition, a group providing protection for the locals.
    • Wesley, a local vintner bursts into the tavern and reports he's seen lights in the abandoned Wilkinson farm and is convinced it is the bandits that have been terrorizing the area lately.
    • Magellus and the priest say they have no free men to track down every possible bandit siting.
    • Argel and Blauss rise up at the same time and approach Wesley to offer to help. The other heroes decide to join them and aid the local farmer, but Taurus is disappointed no rewards were agreed upon.
  • WILKINSON FARM
    • The rumor of bandits at Wilkinson Farm is true.
    • Argel, Krys, Will and Blauss approach the farmhouse openly on horseback. Devonor sneaks through the forested fringes of the property and hides nearby with his crossbow drawn in case of trouble. Taurus circles to the rear of the farmhouse where he notices four riding horses are waiting by a hitching post.
    • A man comes to the door and hails the visible visitors.
    • During a short conversation, he is caught lying several times andArgel spots a bandit circling to flank them.
    • Blauss magic missiles the bandit leader.
    • Devonor shoots, charges and wounds him with his great sword before the man can duck back into the house.
    • Argel suddenly shouts out "Kendrick?!" The man on the porch turns in surprise at hearing his name.Argel leaps off his horse, charges across the yard and stabs the man. The bandit collapses into unconsciousness.
    • Will draws his bow and orders the archer in the shadows to surrender. The bandit does and approaches the party's horses with hands up.
    • Taurus attacks another man inside the house who has tried to shoot Devonor with a bolt. The fight ends quickly.
    • Standing over the fallen leader, Argel pronounces "Kendrick, Butcher of Mithol-Tel, by holy writ your sentence is death," and then he kills him.
    • The group is surprised by the unexpected coup de grace.
    • House is searched. Only three bandits in total. Argel finds older humanoid tracks leading away from the back of the house.
    • They interrogate Joff, the surviving bandit. He is dumb, but knows that a figure wearing the clothes of a mage (like Blauss) visited Kendrick earlier that day and then left by foot.
    • We find a map of the surrounding area and farmstead on Kendrick.

      ----Notes RHYL 2019.01.26

  • Argel tracks the mage (alleged/assumed) to the road and marks where the trail leaves the road again so he can pursue later. He returns to the farm, trusses up Kendrick and explains that he is a war criminal from Iuz and that he's been tracking him for over a month.
    • The seemingly lawless execution angers Wil, but when Argel produces an official Writ of Littleberg, naming the butcher as guilty and sentenced to death, the halfling warrior gives him the benefit of the doubt.
  • The group returns to Wiklow.
    • The group hauls Joff (as a prisoner) and Kendrick (as corpse) back to town.
    • They deliver the prisoner to the local constable, Gurney.
    • Blauss convinces the heroes to speak loudly of how more will be learned about the bandit's co-conspirators in the morning, so that anyone within earshot will hear. He hopes that rumors of this will flush out any locals working with the bandits.
    • Argel reports back to Magelus in the Shattered Gate. Blauss joins the conversation. The mage acts suspiciously when he learns of Kendrick's fate and that the prisoner will be questioned in the morning. He also lets slip that he has heard of a Kendrick, and more possibly damning, he seems to know that our prisoner is a dolt who is not going to be much help. Blauss and he discuss some school issues as well after Argel retires.
    • We learn more of the Coalition. Some members of the coalition like Magelus are self-righteous about how they are nobly protecting the lands from evil. But the Coalition expects villagers and farmers to contribute money or goods to ensure finance this safegaurding for "the greater good." Coincidentally, the only villagers who've had trouble from bandits and mysterious fires are ones not paying the Coalition. Sounds like a protection racket.
    • Devonor decides to shadow Magelus when he leaves the inn. Dev witnesses the mage stop and speak to someone he could not see outside of town. The conversation details are not overheard. Magelus then returned to the school tower.
    • Devonor also shows Kendrick's map to Wesley and gets help labeling various landmarks on the paper. They returned to the bar with the following information:
      • The farms / vineyards in the area were marked. Ones that were circled/highlighted were all ones that have not payed the Coalition for protection. One of them burned down suspiciously a fortnight ago.
      • Other marks on the map are areas that the locals are forbidden to visit, such as the dungeon where Astillus laired.
        • Astillus's dungeon and nearby areas were magically warded years ago by Ticondrius, a mage from far across the sea in the south. He was passing through on his way to Greyhawk shortly after we defeated Astillus and Icing Death. His wards on the entrance of the dungeon cannot be broken without the "Key Stone."
      • Also found on the map was a rune that Blauss recognized. This symbol was for a rare book,Magister Luca Borgia's strutture di voti abissali vol quatro. Blauss confides that he is in the area looking for a book (this book?) and that he's heard rumors that evil forces are targetting Astillus's dungeon because something important is sealed there.
      • Argel adds that he believes Kendrick has come to this area in search of an artifact that can open a portal into another plane of existence (the Abyss?). Kendrick had aided a wizard during the war interrogate elders in the village of Mithol-Tel about the location of this artifact.
    • Will and Taurus go to the Constable to guard Joff. Gurney is lax in his duties, and they eventually decide to bring Joff back to the Inn instead.
    • Argel sleeps in the stable where they've hidden Kendrick to make sure no one disturbs the corpse.
  • NEXT MORNING
    • Krys casts speak with dead on Kendrick in the inn's stable.Argel and Blauss are with him. Argelasks the questions. Kendrick returns to his body but speaks in Abyssal. Luckily, Blauss can translate. We learn that:
      • The mage Kendrick met with was "the Master of Dragon"
      • They discussed "comings and goings, meals, locations, and sleeping arrangements."
      • He and his bandits were "harassing and seeking the Key Stone" for the Master of Dragon. We interpret this to mean Kendrick may have been helping a local either punish farms for not paying Coalition money, or trying to chase people away from areas adjacent to the warded areas near Astillus's dungeon.
  • CALL TO ARMS!
    • Wesley rides into town calling for help. Ogres are attacking Alaster Farm!
    • The group quickly rides out.
  • AT ALASTER FARM
    • The party engages several ogres lead by a hill giant and an ogre magi. The magi goes invisible as soon as the party attacks.
    • They succeed in delaying the beasts long enough to allow the vintner and his family to escape.





----Notes RHYL 2019.02.09

  • ALASTER FARM - Continued
    • Group peppers ogres with arrows while riding up.
    • Blauss ''webs'' several ogres.
    • Ogre mage reappears and casts ''cone of cold'' on Wil, Argel, Krystovar and Taurus. He thought his spell would remove most of the party, but we all survived to return the attack. A raging Taurus lances him. He takes a few arrows and before he can fly off, Devonor cuts him down with his great sword. The rest of the monsters don't last much longer. The hill giant dies at the end of Taurus's great sword.
  • FOLLOWING THE BATTLE
    • Quarter is offered and one ogre surrenders.
    • Taurus begins looting corpses and removing their heads for his collection.
    • Riders approach from town. Lawrence a guardsman and Magelus leading a mixed group of Coalition and Rhyll soldiers. About 6-8 total.
    • Krys and Argel interrogate ogre captive. Though crude and dim-witted, he utters answers and we learn:
      • He is from the Hill Tribe ogres and lives about two days north in hills.
      • The ogre magi is his tribe's shaman. He and shaman of other tribes have lead their warriors on a great hunt for a Crystal Key stone. They are also supposed to attack farms and take food and other loot.
      • The Hill Giant has only been with the ogres for a few weeks and serves an unknown cause, but the shaman say he was there to help them in their hunt. It is the Giant who wants the crystal key stone.
      • He says other tribes (weaker than Hill Tribe!!) are also on the hunt with their shamans. One tribe is called the River Tribe. That tribe is weak enough that they will ally with orcs.
    • Argelreleases the ogre as promised. This surprises Lawrence and Magelus. Taurus is also unhappy about letting an enemy leave. The wounded and weaponless beast jogs off. Argelbelieves that letting an enemy go to tell its people that the area is well-defended is a sound strategy.
    • During questioning William has looted the ogre magi and retrieved his and Argel's surviving arrows. The two of them trail after the ogre to ensure he will leave area as promised. Argel tells Krys to have group meet him back in town later today.
    • Taurus heads back to his cave with the ogre loot. He also is dragging all the enemies' heads back, so he can prepare them to be piked around the area as warnings to other ogres and enemies.
    • A rider from town thunders up and tells Lawrence that there's been another dragon sighting in clouds over town. Magelus and Lawrence suggest strongly that the party visit the court in Rhyll to report on their findings and to learn more about the dragon sightings.
  • OGRE'S FATE
    • After seeing the countryside and renewing his rusty knowledge of local roads settlements and geography Argel realizes that the ogre is likely going to run across civilians and other innocents during its two-day walk home. The risk is too great and he decides to slay it quickly and get back to town. Wil was also unhappy about decision to release the beast, so this works for him. He and Will then make their way to Taurus's cave.

      ----Notes RHYL 2019.02.26

  • ON THE ROAD FROM ALASTER FARM
    • Krys, Devonor and Blauss confer and realize that they need the hill giant and ogre magi's heads if they will use Speak with Dead again. Instead of going back to the Shattered Gate to wait for Argel and Wil, they head to Taurus's cave. It's about 10:30 am.
    • They are surprised to find Argel and Will already at the cave reviewing and dividing the loot they and Taurus have found on the giant and ogres. They learn the fate of the ogre.
    • Argel distributes a five way split of coin we've recovered. Everyone gets 24gp, 8sp, 6cp. There are three gems that need to be appraised and split as well.
    • Argel wants Blauss and Krysto see two objects in particular. A magic amulet with an abyssal design and an empty scroll case. Both were found on the Ogre Magi. The spellcasters detect magic on these and several other objects from the battle spoils.
    • Party members claim items
      • Wil claims a magic ring that has healed him slightly since he put it on.
      • Blauss is carrying the amulet and the scroll case
      • Devonor has a magic short sword of unknown power.
      • Taurus has claimed a +2 great sword with a crudely affixed hobbit skull on its pommel.
      • the remaining items are mundane weapons that Taurus has in his cave.
    • Krystovar channel heals Taurus, Will and Argel for 13 hps each.
    • Group rides to Arklo with aim of exploring the forbidden areas on Kendrick's map.
    • We encounter vintner Selene and his escort bringing a wagon full of wine and grapes back from his farm that is dangerously close to the forbidden area. Coalition guards are escorting his wagon. This is what paying the into the "community" gains you. We warn him of the latest Ogre attacks. He reports that the roads have been clear on his day's travels. He offers free wine. Will and possibly Taurus take a few bottles. Will starts drinking his.

ENCOUNTER 03 BEGINS; River Tribe Ogres encampment[edit]

  • OGRE CAMP
    • A while later as we begin to leave the farmlands and enter the outskirts of Arklo, we see and smell cookfire smoke coming from several hundred yards within a forest abutting the road. Devonor, Wil and Argel quietly enter the woods to scout the source of the smoke.
    • Blauss casts Message before they leave, creating a magical way for the scouts to report back.
    • The scouts successfully find and approach a clearing where several ogres are milling about performing camp duties. A cook is cooking at a large fire in the camp's center. Two ogre-sized tents and one larger tent make it difficult to know how many giantkind are present. No leader is obvious.
    • Argel has Krys, Blauss and Taurus move up, while the scouts creep to a flanking position in the woods behind the larger tent. A guard perks up when some brush scratches against Devonor's armor. He freezes, crossbow leveled at the guard. Wil and Argel proceed a little further, bows ready.
    • The guard begins to peer more closely at the treeline where the scouts are.
    • From their new vantage point, Argel still sees no leader or shaman. "We need a diversion to flush out the whole camp, Blauss," Argel whispers. "Is Taurus ready?"
    • Taurus was growing increasingly antsy for battle, and leaps at the chance to get things started. He raises his newly found magical great sword, charged into the other side of the camp howling a battle cry and attacked a guard.
    • The diversion worked. The guard looking for the scouts wheeled about and readied a bow for Taurus.
    • The cook fled into one of the tents. Two ogre grunts on the far side of the camp came closer to investigate the commotion.
    • Blauss casts a unique illusion affecting the three ogre gaurds nearest us and Taurus. The phantasm makes them believe they hear the sounds of soldiers approaching from the north shouting orders (perceived phantasmally as spoken in Giantish). The spell adds a dash of panic and confusion to the fray, as one of the guards starts shouting about soldiers in the north tree line.
    • Taurus closes on his first ogre, slashing it with the new blade and then following up with a pair of bull-like horns that suddenly sprout from his head! The ogre is caught completely by surprise as Bison Man goring attack disembowels him (double critical). One down.
    • As Taurus is shaking off the gore and roaring, an arrow the length of his leg gashes his arm. Unfazed, he looks for a new target.

      ----Notes RHYL 2019.03.23

  • OGRE CAMP RAID - Continued
    • Will wings one of the ogres attacking Taurus.
    • Finally the boss emerges from the large tent. He's heard no illusionary soldiers and barks out a command to the ogres to kill Taurus.
    • Argelshoots the leader and then uses Hunter's Bond to give Wil and Devonor aid in their attacks upon the boss ogre. Devonor shoots the boss.
    • Krystovar also chooses to aid Taurus by putting an arrow in the guard that just shot him.
    • The cook ogre, now armed, bursts out of his tent and rushes Taurus, but his club is easily dodged. Taurus steps in under the beast's long reach and with a criss-cross motion carves a deep X in the cook's torso. The ogre blinks, sways and then falls backward heavily, splitting open like a torn wineskin as he hits the ground. (Taurus now knows his new sword is +2)
    • Blauss targets the air between the boss and two of his guards with a fireball. All burn. The archer that shot Taurus falls. Another turns to flee north. A tent begins to blaze.
    • The boss calls the two delaying on the north side of the camp to cover his rear and then with three long strides, he is looming over Taurus with his enormous sword. Taurus is able to block most of the ogre's deadly strike, but it still cuts him deeply.
    • Argel, Devonor and Krystovar all shoot at rank and file ogres. Only Argel connects. Devonor is down to one bolt in his repeating crossbow clip and is weighing his options.
    • Taurus begins cutting up the boss, but the kill goes to Will. Two perfectly-timed arrows streak across the camp, passing between the two lumbering rear guards and into the boss's neck and ear.
    • As the boss falls, a flying ogre magi shimmers into view above the camp. His alien tongue summoning a spray of killing cold. "Shit. Not again!" Argel, Devonor and Will groan as they duck behind trees and shrub, which luckily absorb most of the wintry blast.
    • "A-ha!" Blauss exclaims as he spits out his own arcane summoning. A glitterdust spell erupts midair covering both the magi and the two rear guard in clinging glowing dust.
    • The now blinded rear guard claw at their eyes and stand their ground.
    • Devonor and Argel pepper the magi with missiles. Devonor drops his empty crossbow and reaches for his great sword.
    • Krystovar summons Ehlona's long bow with Spiritual Weapon. The glowing bow is held in the hands of a ghostly female figure and hovers in the air between the priest and his target. The arrow flies true and panic begins to creep into the oni's black eyes.
    • Taurus comes roaring around the blazing tent and barrels into one of the blinded guards. The guard howls in pain, rubs his eyes, blinks and then looks directly at the barbarian before swinging sluggishly. Taurus side steps the blow.
    • Will feathers the Ogre Magi two more times as the shaman summonsdarkness to cloak itself in shadow.
    • Suddenly, a huge dragon with metallic brass scales begins to move toward camp from the northern tree line. "Don't worry," Blauss whispers to all with his message spell, "he's my new distraction. Ignore him." The dragon's speaks in a booming voice claiming it is here at the will of the master and that the shaman should drop its defenses and land. The shadowy figure in the darkness above the clearing whirls in confusion at this bizarre new threat. Then he slowly levitates down until he is but one story above the ground.
    • A severely burned and wounded ogre who had been fleeing to the north treeline stops at the sight of the dragon and prostrates himself, whimpering.
    • Devonor sees his opening as an arrow from Argel sinks into the magi's form. Activating his magic boots, he springs from the brush, takes two bounding steps and sails up into the shadows sword swinging in a wide arc, but the oni's weapon flicks out like a whip and the blow sends him off course. His swing falls wide, but he lands on his feet and spins to plan his next attack.
    • Taurus cuts both of the remaining rear guards down easily and eyes the shaman as it drifts down the ground.
    • As the magi lands, his shadowed form begins to soften and fade. It is turning gaseous, the party realizes.
    • Argel charges, drawing his elvish short sword. He stabs the ogre-shaped shadow and feels satisfaction of resistance followed by a furious screech. "Magic weapons if you got 'em. Hit hard if don't," the ranger calls.
    • The force of Devonor's attacks with his magical blade peel tendrils of shadowy substance away from the larger form, and suddenly the ogre magi collapses and becomes flesh again.
    • "Thunk" A hobbit arrow sinks into the prostrate ogre's flank. It's terrified blubbering becomes a heavy sigh as he joins his gang in the afterlife.
    • The camp is won. The enemies are dead. "Now we're starting to feel like a team," Argel beams.

ENCOUNTER 03 ENDS; River Tribe Ogres encampment[edit]


RECAP While traveling to the eastern outskirts of Arklo, the party has successfully surprised a gang of River Tribe Ogres camped in the woods. Six ogres, their boss and an ogre magi shaman are dead in the camp clearing. The party is securing the perimeter and searching for clues and treasure. Argel has rolled over the magi and is searching it's robes. Blauss's bronze dragon illusion is lurking in the woods nearby, as is his ever-watchful raven familiar. Krystovar's spiritual weapon long bow is still hovering in the air looking for new targets. One of the tents caught in Blauss's fireball spell continues to burn.

Argel, Devonor and Will have suffered frost damage from the day's second magi cone of cold. Taurus, who bravely charged the camp alone to draw out it's forces is bloodied from a deep cut from the boss's great sword, and heavy arrows. As he releases his rage, he is fatigued and the true toll of battle is now showing in his unsteady gate.

----Notes RHYL 2019.04.13

  • OGRE RAID AFTERMATH
    • The party begins to investigate the Ogre Campsite. We estimate it has only been occupied for a few days.
    • Krys He pulls the tarp off the burning tent and stamps it out.
    • Krys steps into center of camp and channels his god to heals everyone in the group for 12 hps.
    • Wil hands Taurus his healing ring to help with his recovery and then gathers spent arrows and looting ogres.
      • 10 cps, 10 sps.
    • Blauss enters the camp and sits before his illusionary Dragon and appears to begin meditating. He occasionally reports that his raven has not seen anything nearby. His dragon sits un-moving nearby.
    • Taurus begins looting and decapitating the bodies of ogres he vanquished. He begins with the Leader.
    • Finds: Adamantine Bastard Sword, Nice Chain Shirt (med.), 30 gps, 200 sps, large key to the tent chest.
    • Devonor investigates the leader's tent. He finds a large and small chest and signs that the Leader shared the tent with another.
    • Argelloots the Ogre Magi.
      • Finds: +1 Bastard Sword, non magical pewter longsword, a magical scroll case with two pages of magic parchment in it, a magic short sword, 140 gps, uncut sapphire (1,200 gp).
    • Blauss's raven spots something moving through the woods toward camp. Turns out to be three ogres who are creeping warily toward the commotion they'd heard at the tail end of our battle.

ENCOUNTER 04 BEGINS; River Tribe scouts[edit]

    • Blauss sends his dragon skyward and has it fly wide over woods with idea of flushing the ogres from behind.
    • Devonor, Argel, Taurus and Krys move up to hide at edge of clearing and wait in hiding for the ogres to approach.
    • Taurus speaks giant and tries to bluff the ogres into approaching the camp. They are not buying it.
    • Argelsignals Blauss to have the dragon fly in and scare the ogres toward us.
    • Ogres begin to hustle into the camp.
    • We catch them by surprise. Devonor strikes first and Wil finishes the lead ogre.Argelcharges the ogre nearest him and gives it a nasty cut with his short sword. Taurus finishes Argel's. Krystovar casts command on the last ogre, but the monster resists the enchantment.
    • Final ogre is swarmed and does not survive long enough to attack. Taurus finishes him.

ENCOUNTER 04 ENDS; River Tribe scouts[edit]

    • After battle, Devonor offersArgelthe necromantic short sword that he'd taken from the battle at Alaster farm, observing that the ranger will be more likely to get some use out of it.Argelagrees tp try it out.
    • The three ogres are looted:
      • 10 sps, 5 gps, Magic Amulet, 2 bottles of wine, bracelet of human bones.
    • Group returns to investigating camp.
    • Devonor opens the large chest in leaders tent:
      • Map of area, Parchment with giant writing, coins, case with five potions pf Protection (silver) and healing (clear liquids), A giant monocle (magic), Third magic scroll case (empty).
    • Krystovar finds a small chest in the burnt tent.
      • Contains three magic daggers with two vials of poison (presumably) and a sharpening stone. The chest hid the stone and vials in false bottom.
    • Argelsearches the cook's tent:
      • A second chain shirt of good construction (med), a meat sack of human body parts and hidden pouch of 10 pps.
    • Argeltells Krys that he's found human remains in the cook tent and offers to bury them if the priest would like to consecrate the burial. Krys will do so.Argelgoes to the edge of the clearing and digs a grave.
    • Krys heals Taurus for 27 hps.
    • Devonor opens smaller chest:
      • 200 sps, 100 gps, golden chalice, pearl necklace
    • Krys translates the giant note: "Find 'M' and kill others. On Middle night, meet at grave"
    • Krys detects magic upon all the items, and then Blauss appraises some of the gems and the like.
    • Argeltastes the potions and identifies their magical qualities (protection and healing).
    • Taurus builds two litters so we can carry the ogre magi and one complete ogre corpse back for magical interrogation back in town.
    • Devonor is carrying the adamantine bastard sword and three magical daggers.
    • Group rides back to Taurus's cave to deliver the corpses and avoid scrutiny.
    • they've begun discussing their next steps. The topic of Magelus and Lawrence of the Coalition have strongly recommended that the party visit the Rhyll court and report what they have learned regarding the ogres and bandit raiders.
    • While the party has been unloading treasure and securing the corpses, they begin discussing whether we want to continue doing the perimeter search of Rhyll's outskirts or to take Magelus's advice and gain audience with the royal court to explain ourselves and learn what the nobles might know about the dragon and the key stone. Devonor is very suspicious of Magelus's urging us to leave Wicklow and wonders aloud whether this could be a way to get rid of us.
    • Plan to divide the ogre treasure and then bunk down in Taurus's cave for the night.

RECAP: Following the successful raid on the River Ogre camp on the outskirts of Arklo, the party has ridden back to Taurus's cave with new loot and two hastily-constructed litters bearing the corpses of the ogre magi shaman and an ogre tribesman, along with a wealth of severed ogre heads.

Several members still bear wounds from the day's battles, but all have benefited from Krystovar's healing powers.

They must decide what their next move will be — continue their exploration of the outskirts and forbidden areas to the north and east of Rhyll's domains, or report to Rhyll castle to gain audience with the royal court.

----Notes RHYL 2019.04.20

  • TURMOIL AT TAURUS'S GROTTO
    • Party begins deliberating on the distribution of treasure and arguments for and against heading to the Court of Rhyll in the morning or continuing their patrol of "the loop" through Arklo.
    • Debate is at times heated, but all agree to follow the majority vote for either course of action.
    • Taurus reveals (or reminds) that he is noble born of a holy knight from the Black Ice. He says his knowledge of nobility and court law makes him favor going to court first to hopefully receive an official charter that will protect our actions in the land. He believes that the Coalition likely has some sort of agreement or charter with Rhyll. Taurus believes we need a charter to protect us while investigating the lands.
    • That the Bison Man is advising us to seek court approval is not lost onArgeland Blauss, who vote with him to ride to Rhyll.Argelalso believes that court likely may have important information about the troubles their land is experiencing, information that they might willingly share to the slayers of Icing Death and Astillus.
    • Devonor is uninterested in seeking permission and suspects that going to court is playing into the hands of any enemies we've made in the Coalition or the government. He favors a compromise where we investigate Arklow and the east road and end the day in the court of Rhyll instead. Krys and William also favor taking the loop through Arklo.
    • The vote is tied and the arguments intensify.
    • Krys and Devonor leave the cave to have a private discussion. Blauss attempts to join them, and when they rebuff him, he sends his raven to watch them. They threaten to harm the familiar if they see it snooping. When they return from their talk, Devonor tells Blauss that his raven should only be “watching” them when they’ve given permission — for example, when they are scouting unknown territory etc.
    • Krys offers a magical solution for more information. Using a scrying item he has, he can spy on Magelus this evening for a short while to see what he is doing. It is a long shot, but the device is most powerful at sundown and sunup, so it is worth a try. He says he needs to find a nondescript place outside and to hide his identity in case Magelus is powerful enough to reverse the scrying upon Krystovar. The companions vote he try.
    • Blauss, a divination specialist, is especially intrigued by this revelation. He would like to see the item in action, but Krys thinks this is too risky. He promises to show him next time.
    • With Devonor watching him from the cave mouth, Krys summons the sight and finds Magelus finishing his dinner in the Shattered Gate most likely. He is with Lawrence and discussing ogres. Lawrence is noting that there was an attack and Magelus appears unsurprised. Three groups of ogres were mentioned. One was near “the ruins.” Laurence presses Magelus about “the ogres that should be on their way (back to the hills) by now.” Magelus is noncommittal, giving the warrior a look that says, “wouldn’t you like to know.” Krystovar's farsight then waned with the rising moon.
    • Krys reports this information to his companions. The information that Magelus and Laurence are aware of the ogres and possibly working with them is enough to changeArgeland Taurus’s votes. The party will leave in the morning to see if they can learn any more about the abandoned and forbidden areas near Arklo. If all is clear, they should be in Rhyll Castle by later afternoon.
    • With their goal set in the morning, the group sets about identifying and dividing the treasures from the ogre battles. With Blauss and Krystovar's help, most of the magic is identified.
    • Magic items are divided up, but this is still not their final division. The plan is to see what other treasure is gained before final claims are made. Of note:
      • Argel andKrystovarhave the twinned scroll cases, allowing them to send written messages to and fro.
      • The giant’s monocle is still a mystery.
      • The pewter sword appears to be designed to receive magical runes in certain spots. This could be something that will create a magical item or is meant for some sort of ritual.
      • Devonor reveals that he forgot to mention that he’d found a small magical rapier in a secret compartment in an ogre’s chest. Will has it. (+2 and makes him feel “lighter on his feet").
      • Much of the mundane and monetary treasure is hidden in Taurus’s cave. Some spending cash is taken.
    • The vagueness of temporary ownership of items and the plan for the morning patrol of Arklow and the east road causes Blauss, a trained barrister and scholar of foresight and logic, to question what this arrangement between us is. He asks Devonor point blank, “Are we a group?” Devonor appears annoyed by the question, answering “no.” The warrior goes on to say, he will "give his life to save any one of us that accompanies him on the road.” That answer puts the wizard mind more at ease, but Devonor has also said on more than one occasion that he will strike out on his own if he strongly disagrees with the party’s choices.
    • Krystovar still has one Speak with Dead spell studied and tries to question the ogre magi shaman’s corpse that the party dragged back from the forest. The creature’s spirit is strong however and it resists Ehlonna’s command.
    • Before bed,Krystovarsummons Ehlonna’s blessings one final time for the day, bathing all in healing light. Most are now completely mended. Devonor will wear the healing ring overnight to repair the last of his wounds.
  • NEXT MORNING
    • We wake early and travel cross land north of the road to avoid being spied by the Coalition camp.
    • Argel finds signs of old ogre and humanoid movement here and there as they move across the lands. He notes hobgoblin spoor leading to an abandoned farmhouse, but the trail is 3-5 days old, so the group keeps moving.
    • When they return to the road, they again encounter Selene the vintner leading a large caravan of wagons loaded with wine. Devonor strikes up a conversation.
      • He warns the party several times that the road they are taking to Arklow is extremely dangerous. Devonor eventually tells the man that we are the ones who slew the giants at Alaster Farm and in the woods to the east of his farm. How dangerous is the road to us?
      • Selene has heard rumors of the dead being restless around Arklo, especially around the tombs in the town cemetery.
      • He tries to hire the party to guard his goods on the road (much to the offense of the Coalition men currently guarding him).
      • He mentions that he’s been attacked by orcs in the past (not recently).
      • He witnessed Magelus use incredible magics to battle and defeat ogres in a treeline near his farm. He is very impressed with the Coalition.
      • He will be visiting court today.
      • He has very interesting gossip. The regent’s seneschal in Rhyll has suddenly taken ill and Magelus is now temporary seneschal. This news is very suspicious to the party.
      • The celebration of Middlenight occurs in two days time. It commemorates when we slew Icing Wing. We remember that the giant’s note said to meet at middlenight at the grave.
  • ARKLO
    • Town and farmland is known for its sheep and goat cheeses, but it is abandoned except for a few sheep and goat farms on western fringes.
    • Area shows old signs of giant/ogre and goblinoid tracks. (3-5 weeks old)
    • Town center is completely deserted. A stream runs along side the center.
    • Krystovar finds a stray goat in center of town. With Speak with Animal spell, he learns that the remaining animals in town are all fearful of an evil, unnatural force that spreads from the stream and cemetery at night. They know to hide at nighttime.
    • A Hieroneous temple dominates center of town. At Taurus’s insistence, we search it. It has been damaged purposefully and desecrated by Hextorians.
    • Taurus reaches through a hole in the temple floor and takes some bottles of wine from the cellar.
    • We search the entire cemetery for signs of disturbed graves. Near the river, some are.
    • A Mausoleum near the temple has had its occupant’s name scratched off recently. We gather to investigate. The tomb seems dedicated to Hieroneous and someone recalls that a hero of the faith was the reason the temple was founded and that this is likely the hero’s tomb.

ENCOUNTER 05 BEGINS; Spectres in Arklow graveyard mausoleum[edit]

    • Blauss tries the door and finds it is not locked or sealed. Devonar pulls the door open further, revealing that the entrance (and all the tomb’s small windows), are curtained in heavy dark tapestry fabric.
    • As the party decides how to proceed with their investigation, Taurus suddenly strides forward and thrusts his flaming great sword into the fabric, setting it ablaze. Blauss tries to stop him, but Taurus does not hesitate.
    • As the fabric falls away, angry wailing and groans erupt from the darkness beyond as two damned spirits materialize. One plunges its clawed ethereal hand into Taurus’s chest, snuffing out part of the barbarian’s life force and attempting to drain more. Taurus resists the life drain, but is wild-eyed with terror as his worst suspicions of the tomb’s contents are confirmed.
    • Blauss identifies the spirits as spectres and says to draw them out into the sunlight. He retreats to a safer distance and tells Krys that his channeling will be the strongest attack we have against these undead.
    • The spectres halt by the tomb entrance, apparently cowed by the morning light.
    • Krystovar channels Ehlonna and their spectral forms wither slightly. Devonor slashes one and steps away.
    • A spectre reaches into the priest’s chest. Krys is hurt but not life drained.
    • Taurus yelps like a kicked cur, slams the tomb door shut and dashes to a safer distance.
    • The party decides to finish what they started. After positioning themselves around tomb door to allow Krystovar to use his magic and Devonor to use his lunge attack, they use a grapple and rope to open the door from a distance.
    • The strategy works well.
    • Devonor gives Taurus the unclaimed magic short sword to hurl at the more wounded spirit. The blade flies true, but damage from corporeal weapons and spells are weak against ethereal creatures. The blade ends up somewhere in the back of the tomb.
    • Devonor’s nimble lunge attack is able to take the more damaged one down quickly, but being peppered with reach and ranged attacks makes the remaining specter desperate enough to dash out into the light, catching Devonor unprepared. The damned spirit laughs hideously as part of Devonors soul bleeds away (1 negative level – see below).
    • The brothers’ next attacks send the creature back to heaven or hell.

ENCOUNTER 05 ENDS; Spectres in Arklow graveyard mausoleum[edit]

    • Krys has used up the Fire Amulet for the day.
    • Devonor’s negative level means -5 hps (+ con bonus) to his total and current hps, –1 penalty on all ability checks, attack rolls, CMB checks, CMD DC, saving throws, and skill checks. He gets another save every day to remove the negative level.

RECAP: After thoroughly searching the cemetery behind the defiled Hieroneous temple in the deserted town of Arklo, our heroes have disturbed and then defeated two evil spirits haunting a mausoleum. The creatures' life-draining attacks have left Devonor pale, and the whole party waits to see if the battle is truly over. A few heartbeats later, all exhale a sigh of relief and begin to regroup in front of the yawning tomb.


----Notes RHYL 2019.05.10

  • EXPLORING THE MAUSOLEUM
    • No other signs of movement, Devonor moves into the crypt to retrieve the magic short sword Taurus flung at one of the spectres. He finds a trap door. The party debates whether or not to open the door. Blauss strongly argues that the risks outweigh the rewards and that the party should return on another day to investigate. The party decides that leaving any undead behind would be a mistake, and readies to open the door.
    • The party also now surmises that the temple of Heironeous is vacant but not abandoned as evidenced by the remaining relics in the building.
    • ThenArgelnotices that footprints come and go around the tomb's door. Also there are tracks around other crypts, but they are not disturbed.
    • Postponing the question of the crypt's trap door, the party follows the tracksArgelfound to a hill.
    • In a bid to hurry all this tedious reconnaissance and debating along, Taurus begins riding ahead to the hill's top. The party calls him back, but he ignores all but Bowman's call to return.
    • Going over the hill,Argelnotices signs of movement but nothing has been maintained. There is a larger hill 3/4 of a mile away. The larger hilltop cannot be seen. Blaus sends his raven to scout ahead.
    • Blauss’s raven spots a ruined guard post in a deforested area on the larger hilltop. An altar or obelisk is nearby.
    • Argel, Blauss, andKrystovarcrest the hill to investigate. It ascends 100 feet with rough steps carved into it. At the crest we see a devastated valley (500 square yards) below.
    • The obelisk is 25 feet tall and made of marble. There is a heathen altar at the base. It stands at the hill’s apex. According to Krysit is, old, primal, and venerating elemental magics. It is 400 to 600 years old at best guess. There are paths to and from the obelisk as well as cut flowers laid at the base. The tracks are human, months old, and account for the flowers. Ogre tracks are much more recent but they do not disturb the altar.
    • Writing on the obelisk is translated from Old Common as follows: “Herein the god’s play was ended by the righteous gathering of the few. Let them rest in heroic valor for making clear that the free people will not be made sport of.“
    • Blauss and Krysbelieve that relates to an uprising when the gods descended to Oerth and messed with morals; specifically Crandall‘s Blight - a war of gods and men that ended an incursion by destroying a glen or Valley.
    • Krys and Blauss cannot connect this hill obelisk with our current mission, so all return to the crypt.
    • Though Blauss still believes disturbing the tomb further is folly, he offers to send a swarm of insects to scout (and attack) anything in the secret area below the mausoleum. This plan is not acted upon.
    • Taurus and William enter the crypt and stand ready around the secret trap door while Devonor stays outside and uses a rope to pull it open.Argelstands outside the door.
    • The door reveals a ladder descending ten feet into an earthen chamber, which holds two coffins and shelves with items.
    • Devonor and Krysgo into the crypt. William takes his place on the ladder. Krysdetects magic, finding none.
    • William and Taurus descend into the chamber and are heard to have a whispered conversation that stops when Krysand Devonor join them.
    • These disturbed caskets are made of simple wood, however, the sarcophagi that normally would rest atop them are missing.
    • Bones and clothing are in the caskets. Krysdetects for magic again, while Taurus blesses the coffins.
    • Taurus discovers a recessed area under each coffins. Here he finds two gems, each containing what is believed to be some sort of life force. Devonor puts these in the velvet dagger box and stows them with his gear.
      • They exude a faint necromantic aura
      • They were placed recently
      • None of the other canopic vessels or funerary elements were discernibly disturbed
    • There are no hidden doors here. Satisfied, all exit the crypt, closing the door behind.
    • The group gathers the herd animals scattered around the fields and leaves them with a local farmer.
  • ON THE ROAD TO RHYLL
    • People notice the heroes heading into Rhyll. This is a well-traveled road of the poor and middle-class. The party arrives by mid afternoon.
    • The Waygate Tavern is outside the gates of Rhyll. Members of the Coalition and Rhyllian guards are there.
    • Using the inn's stable, Taurus and William change into their noble finery.
    • Taurus balks at not being presented as a noble with the group.
    • Devonor and Krysstrongly suggest that the heroes should not ask for a charter, or anything else from the Prince. It is decided that Krys, Devonor, and Argel, the Heroes the Prince will recognize, be the spokesmen during any audience.
    • A guard at the town gate stops them. Devonor grandly introduces the Heroes of Rhyll, and they are shown inside.
    • We pass many shops and a large market area that has become taverns and more refined establishments. Devonor buys a turkey leg.
    • More and more Rhyllian guards are posted on the left and right of Main Street the closer one gets to the castle.
    • We stop at the Inn of the Withered Vine, close to the castle because it has a stable. Back in the day this was the Inn of the Flowing Cup. The original Heroes of Rhyll celebrated their victory here five years ago.
    • Bowinger asked Devonor to hide his bow and arrows, but wore his swords openly to court instead.
    • Thaddeus the bard meets them in an antechamber and confirms their identity. He seems to be performing a function in the court for Magellus or for the seneschal. Has he always been involved in the court, or has Magellus brought him in?
    • The armed party is allowed into the Prince's presence, which puts some members at ease.
    • Prince Wrenthus is introduced with a very long title that includes his great assistance in helping us to kill Icing Wing. Magellus stands at his side. There are 30 to 40 other people in the hall here to petition the crown.
    • Magellus calls for petitions. Byron of Lonely Wood, master of the Guild of the Vine seeks protection. Magellus offers guarantees. The Prince seems bored.
    • Prince Wrenthus demands action as well. He appears strong and well-adorned, wearing an ornamental sword.
    • Alaster is brought forth. Magellus stonewalls, stating that the wine shipment going south comes first before other considerations.
    • Men of Almor are demanding their wine as promised and they threaten military “assistance” to help get it.
    • Thaddeus forces Magellus to recognize the Heroes of Rhyll. People in the hall are surprised and glad to see them. The crown recognizes the Heroes.
    • Devonor reintroduces everyone to the Prince, explaining that our party has come as requested.
    • The Prince welcomes them warmly, telling all gathered that, “You could never be summoned before me, it is you who could summon me.” He also adds that the heroes have carte blanche to help the kingdom as they see fit.
    • Krys introduces Taurus as “a noble prince of the land of Black Ice.” He also introduces William Bowman as “a prince from a faraway land across the ocean.”
    • Taurus, dressed as a northern noble in his finest clothes and furs, addresses the prince warmly. To gauge reactions from Magellus and the entire court and the merchants, Taurus asks the prince to grant the group a charter. Blauss offers to help write the contract.
    • The Prince calls for a recess from the Petitioners and asks the heroes to join him for a private conversation.
    • Taurus and Blauss seek out the scribe that was tasked by the Prince and Magellus to create the charter. They briefly outline specific clauses, wording and items to be included. They catch up with the rest of the party before missing anything crucial from the conversation.
    • William intercepts Magellus as the rest of the party follows the Prince. Will says, “So I want to talk to you about ogres...“
    • William will later share that during his conversation with Magellus, the seneschal left him with "the impression that the southern merchants are his most important priority, keeping them supplied with wine and cheese that the farmers and towns folk were not. Magellus asked me if I or the party wanted to join the coalition, to which I replied 'my sword is already pledged to another.' Magellus also spoke about the Dragon, it’s potential danger to shipments and asked if we were hunting for the keystone without being prompted.Lastly, the mage quipped that perhaps the next Orges would come from the sky, again without prompting or even mention of Sky Ogres."
    • While Magellus is distracted, the rest of the party stays with the Prince. After food and drink are served, the servants are dismissed.
    • Krys and Devonor ask the Prince about the Coalition. The Prince describes them as a "necessary evil."
    • Magellus and William join them and other topics are discussed.
    • Key takeaways from the conversation:
      • A red dragon has beset the land.
      • We must get the Keystone left by Ticondrius. The Prince says it is rumored to be "among the people." He shows the party a drawing of the keystone. It is an actual keystone made of some sort of crystal or glass.
      • We must reform Dragon’s Bane, a broken sword.
      • The Materials for Dragon's Bane are locked in Astillus’ Vault. Once we obtain the materials, the wizards guild and the priests group collectively have the knowledge to re-forge the sword that can slay the dragon. “Trust is placed in the earth and those who are in touch with it.“

RECAP: Within the Prince's private dining room around a table set with wine and cheese refreshments, Wrenthus and his acting seneschal Magellus are discussing multiple topics with the party. The party is being careful about what they reveal of what they know in front of any Coalition member, especially Magellus. Krystovar, Taurus and Devonor are still pale from battle with the spectres in Arklo, but Devonor soul alone still faces their lingering life drain. It is late afternoon.


----Notes RHYL 2019.05.18

  • AUDIENCE WITH THE PRINCE
    • A messenger arrives with a note for Devonor.
    • Jarred, the St. Cuthbert priest and Coalition member the heroes met at the Shattered Gate days ago, arrives to attend the meeting.
    • While all party members contribute, Devonor leads most of the questioning. The discussion focuses on the dragon, the Dragon's Bane, and the Keystone, and to a lesser part politics. Magellus shares much information, but still comes across as being annoyed and mildly evasive. Regardless, the party gleans much during their short time with the Prince and his advisors.
      • Once the Dragon's Bane materials are rescued from Astillus's underground complex, Magellus claims that only his school has the expertise and resources to restore the sword.
      • The Sword was part of Astillus's work to command dragonkind. He took many works of dragon arcana from the mage school to aid him. These are likely in the wizard's sealed dungeon.
      • Who will wield Dragon's Bane has not been decided by the court. WhenArgelsuggests the party has previous experience, Magellus cynically warns that while we did slay a dragon, Icing Wing was young. This red dragon is much more aged and powerful.
      • Magellus claims that the dragon is behind (some?) of the attacks in Arklow and Wicklow. It was first sighted in Arklo. It has not attacked the southern villages, but those villagers have seen the dragon pass over head.
      • Magellus theorizes that the dragon's lair is in the south.
      • Magellus suggests that the dragon may also be looking for the keystone so that the Dragon's Bane Sword can never be restored.
      • Arklo's surviving citizens are refugees living amidst other Rhyllian communities now.
      • Krys asks Jarred if the attacks on the land could have a religious origin or relevance. Jarred has not heard anything, and thinks the dragon has no religious motives. But this question does get Jarred to reveal a low opinion of Arklo's citizens. He believes they must have been worshiping some evil and that is partly why the town and its Hieroneous temple have fallen. Krysreveals that he knows that the temple, while defiled, still has relics within it. Krysbelieves that it was not abandoned because the priests would never have left the relics behind if they were fleeing permanently. Jarred let's it slip that he thinks Arklo's temple was a "little cult". He retreats from that statement.
    • Taurus interrupts with a claim that he has seen strange markings on trees north of Wicklow and Arklo. The symbol looks a lot like the keystone drawing and was drawn high enough that it could be giants and ogres making the marks.
      • Taurus is bluffing. He is trying to both send the Coalition on a wild goose chase AND to see if this leads to someone sending a note to the unpaired bone scroll case thatArgelis carrying.
    • This false news interests Magellus and he summons a page. After a quick whispered instruction, the page leaves.
    • Devonor asks whether these dragon attacks have something to do with Rhyll's aggressive southern neighbors (Ahlissa).Argelalso asks whether any steps, such as constructing ballista, have been taken to prepare the towns and castle for dragon attacks.
    • Wrenthus asks Magellus if he has considered either. Magellus appears unprepared for this line of questioning and dissembles, claiming he's been focused on protecting Rhyll's people and trade. The Prince orders him to contact his spies in Ahlissa and also step up on readying the towns. The group hopes this will distract Magellus from our business for a time.
    • Devonor asks how the heroes should contact the Prince should they need assistance or to report information. Most avenues to reach the Prince's ear need to go through Magellus or other court officials. The party was afraid they would say that.
    • Devonor summarizes that he and the heroes plan to "serve the Prince, find the keystone and retrieve the Dragon's Bane." "Well said," the Prince responds.
    • After a toast, Prince Wrenthus states that the heroes have "lifted his heart in a way it has not been lifted in many months."
    • The heroes bid the Prince goodbye and leave the castle without incident. On the way out, Magellus and Jarred speak to one another of going to the fortress later.
  • IN THE WITHERED VINE
    • The party walks to the Inn of the Withered Vine. The establishment has expanded over the past several years and has several additional areas off the common tap room. Originally known as the Flowing Cup, the Innkeeper has changed the name after losing all three of his sons in the wars.
    • Devonor has quietly explained along the way that the note he received earlier was from Wesley. The message was urgent and said he'd meet the heroes at the Vine and that he "hoped it was not too late."
    • The inn is busy with a dinner rush that includes merchants, Coalition and Rhyllian guards, commoners and members of the Guild of the Vine. It is early enough that there are several tables are still open.
    • Wesley is sitting with two other farmer/vintners who also have refused to pay the Coalition's protection fees.
    • While the party finds a table, Devonor smoothly hails Wesley and the vitners, buys all three a round of drinks and contrives a reason to get Wesley to follow him to the stables for a less public conversation.
    • When the pair return to the party's table, Devonor says Wesley has something we must hear.
    • "Wait!" Blauss interrupts and then explains in hushed tones that he has a spell that will make it impossible for anyone not at our table to hear our conversation. He casts silent table, and explains that we have five minutes to hear Wesley's story.
    • Wesley explains that he's been having strange visions or forgotten memories for the past four weeks or so. These awakening memories have slowly revealed secrets critical to the realm. As the party listens with rapt attention, he declares:
      • He met Ticondrius years ago, and "the man with the golden eyes" tasked his neighbor Johnathan and him to help "save the realm." If a time came that their land needed to defend itself again from evil, Ticondrius entrusted Wesley and Johnathan with the location and the means to recover the Keystone. Ticondrius trusted that Rhyll's common men and women could identify "the right people" to share this information with when needed. Wesley says that the time has come and he believes the old and new Heroes of Rhyll must be the worthies that Ticondrius foresaw.
      • Ticondrius gave Wesley the title of The Way and Jonathan the title of The Path.
      • As The Way, Wes knows that the Keystone lies in the Hall of Heroes, an ancient crypt beneath an old oak tree at Crandal's Field.
      • As The Path, Johnathan knew how to recover the stone from the Hall. Without him, any unwanted visitors can't avoid the Hall's traps and guardians. Unfortunately, unknown beasts slew John and his family six months ago. They are buried on their farm.
    • As Blauss's spell faded, some members noticed that the silenced table had drawn the attention of a few others in the room, but nothing came of it.
    • Wesley agrees to travel back with the group to Wicklow that evening. He is relieved that the party is not planning to return on the Arklow road at night.
    • The party eats dinner. Will and Blauss finish early and go on shopping errands. Blauss needs some esoteric supplies for his magical arts, while William has agreed to find a merchant to replenish the party's arrows and crossbow bolts. He also searches unsuccessfully for cold iron tipped shafts. He does find a merchant with five dusty silver-tipped arrows that he purchases.
    • Devonor andKrystovardiscuss the Charter with Taurus. Speaking from his experiences in the courts of his homeland, Bison Man explains his two reasons for insisting on a Charter.
      • First, it puts the party on equal footing with the Coalition, so if the heroes find valuable or notable items, the Coalition or realm can't legally take them away. (If the Charter does contain language that protects the heroes, this is a win.)
      • Secondly, in response to questions of why so many questionable or bad actors appear to surround the Prince, Taurus says how the court words the charter and how the Coalition and realm enforce it will reveal if the Prince is a true ally. Is he a good ruler being influenced or fooled by evil men? Or is he a ringleader or complicit in a scheme to gain power or wealth? (If the Prince allows the charter to be stonewalled or denied, then the heroes know the Prince is lying to them.)
    • Krystovar and Devonor are certain the Prince is an honorable ally, but even if he were not, pieces of paper will not stop villains from coming after the party. If anything, a legal document just serves to constrain what the party can or cannot do.
    • Argel says either side of the debate could be right. If the document provides insight into the politics here, excellent, but the ranger does not plan to allow it or anything else to keep him from protecting the people of Rhyll.
    • The brothers and Taurus "agree to disagree" on the merits of charters, and all ready to leave the walled city.
  • ON THE ROAD BACK TO WICKLOW
    • Evening is fast approaching as the party leaves Rhyll.
    • Argel checks his un paired Ivory scroll case. There is no new note yet.
    • Krystovar and Devonor broach a delicate question to Wesley. They explain that Krys's god gives him the power to speak with the departed. They could ask Johnathan questions about The Path and other matters, but they would need to see his corpse. Wesley quickly understands they mean to disinter his friend. After assurances that it will be done respectfully and that this magic is not evil, he hesitantly gives his blessing to the proposal.
    • The heroes decide to spend the night at John's farm, so they can dig up the corpse and have it ready for Krystovar's ritual in the morning.
    • About half way to Wicklow,Argelnotices two riders that appear to be tailing them. Blauss sends his raven to spy and it looks like they are Coalition soldiers. Taurus stops to check his horse's hoof, and the men seem to slow down and speed up to match the group's pace.
    • Argel tells the group to ride to the Shattered Gate and then he and William ride ahead out of sight and then hide along the road.
    • The two riders eventually pass them, andArgeland Will trail them to Wicklow. They hear the men complaining about being given this duty of following the party. They also mention that they are supposed to report if the party goes anywhere other than Wicklow. They don't seem particularly dangerous (or observant) to the ranger and the halfling.
    • Meanwhile, Devonor, Krys, Blauss, Taurus and Wesley arrive at the Shattered Gate. They begin to mingle with the night time crowd there. Thadeus the bard is again entertaining and Krysasks if he can join the musician. Delighted, Thadeus welcomes the priest and Krysproduces a flute and skillfully accompanies Thadeus's lute and song.
    • Devonor buys some rounds for locals and carouses, while Taurus leaves the bar to wait for William outside.
    • The two Coalition men arrive and hitch their horses in front of the constables building. They debate whether they should enter the Gate, but their thirst for ale eventually wins out.
    • As they enter the inn,Argeland William ride up to the Constable's building andArgelhops down to admire the men's horses.
    • Taurus sees them and calls out to William.Argelwaves Will ahead and the warrior rides up to Taurus, leading Argel's horse.
    • After a few moments, the ranger walks away from the Coalition horses confident that their riders will be slowed by loose horseshoes.
    • Back in the bar, Devonor has greeted the Coalition men warmly and bought them each a drink. The riders (and the local commoners) are surprised by the gesture. The soldiers thank him and they toast. After they drink, Devonor's demeanor switches from jovial to pointed and he asks what brings them here this evening. They lie. Devonor's demeanor becomes ominous and he tells them that lying when he's bought them drinks is a great offense. He confronts them, asking why the seneschal is having the party followed. Kryssees the room going quiet and the crowd focusing on his brother's conversation. The priest packs up his flute and excuses himself to Thadeus. The soldiers maintain their ignorance of Devonor's accusation. Devonor threatens to kill them, so his brother can speak to their corpses and get the truth.
    • WhenArgeland Will enter, the see Devonor holding one of the soldiers by the scruff of the neck while the other looks ready to do something about it.Argelcalls out, "what have I missed?" and approaches. The showdown pauses briefly as Devonor explains.Argeltells his friend that they are harmless and just following orders. Devonor is not that forgiving.
    • With the addition ofArgeland Will, the Coalition men change their story and say that Magellus wanted to know the heroes' location in order to be able to reach them if needed. Devonor explains that will be unnecessary and possibly dangerous for those that do the following.
    • The soldiers are rattled and angry, but they back off and say that the party's message to the Coalition "shall be delivered." They leave.
    • Argel believes it is not time to pick fights with the Coalition (especially the grunts). Devonor believes that the Coalition needs to be kept in line and out of the party's business. His other aim was to stop them from following us to the farm.Argelexplained they would not get far with loose horseshoes and Devonor is amused.
    • It is near sundown and Krysand Blauss plan to use the priest's crystal ball to spy on Magellus again. They retire to a rented room in the inn and begin the divination. Blauss is pleased to finally get a chance to see how the item works. It is unusual to his understanding of how divination items typically function.
    • The magic works and both of them can see Magellus at a desk in the castle. He is doing paperwork that Krystries to read but is unable focus upon. Both notice however that under the heap of papers is an object that looks a lot like one of the magic Ivory Scroll Cases.
    • Magellus stops and stretches. He imperiously says, "Bring me another wine, Priest." Jarred obediently comes into view and serves him. "Quite a day," the priest remarks. "Yes," replies the mage,"there will be much to discuss at the council meeting. But perhaps this will work to our advantage." The magic fades and the pair are left with more tantalizing clues to Magellus's allegiance and motives. The subservience of the St. Cuthbert priest is odd, as well.
    • While the priest and mage are scrying,Argeltakes Wesley aside to ask some more questions. When he returns to the group, he has more information:
      • Wesley is not needed at Arklo. He's shown us the Way and we can find the crypt. This is a relief to Argel, who worried about the vintner's safety.
      • Ticondrius divided the knowledge about his wards and safeguards among the realm's people. Nobility and scholars got scrolls and tomes and the common people received the secret of the Keystone. Wesley also thinks he remembers a sword-like object being given to someone as well.
      • Wesley added that at the foot of the tree in Crandal's Field will be a depression that must be dug out. "We'll need shovels,"Argelnotes.
      • When Ticondrius "encompassed" Wes and carried him to this tree, the wizard used some sort of round flat glass or crystal lens to "see" the entrance.
      • Argel wonders if the Giant's Monocle is the device Ticondrius used to see the entrance to the Hall. He also ponders if the pewter sword may also be one of Ticondrius's relics. (Perhaps it is needed in the Hall as well?)
      • Krys and Blauss are troubled that, if this is true, the ogres appear to know much about what is needed to find the Keystone.
      • Blauss also makes another connection. The note saying that the ogre magi are to meet someone at the grave at middle night was in the possession of the same ogres that had the monocle. The grave is likely the Hall of Heroes and the ogres at the camp were bringing important relics that had been gathered for the purpose.
    • Taurus is worried about Wesley and insists on taking him home and guarding him overnight. He tries to get Will to go as well, but the warrior says it is wiser for us to stay together. Taurus leaves with Wesley.
    • The party goes to bed in the inn, but then sneak out and travel uneventfully to Johnathan's farm.
    • After recon, we steal some shovels and locate the graves. Blauss uses a expeditious excavation to neatly remove most of the grave dirt in a heartbeat. After some careful prodding and digging, John's coffin is brought out and into the farmhouse.
    • As we ready a watch and find areas to bed down, Kryschannels Ehlona again to heal his brother and himself. Devonor is still wearing the Ring of Hardy (a name proposal) to restore himself further overnight.
  • NEXT MORNING
    • John's coffin is opened and his corpse is examined. He has been buried with funerary items dedicating his remains to Merikka, the Oeridian demigoddess of Agriculture, Farming, and the Home. John died from extreme violence.
    • Krys summons Ehlona's power to peer beyond the veil of death. John answers and his eyes open. Kryshas questions prepared. Taurus wanders into the room as the body begins to speak. His eyes go round as saucers and he about faces and quickly leaves to wait outside.
      • After explaining who we are and that Wesley showed us the Path and told Krysto ask John what is the Path? The spirit answers that the "path is set with trials to protect the Keystone.
      • How does the party navigate the path successfully? Seek protection from the elements for while they protect us, they can do ill as well.
      • Who also knows what you do about the path? None knows the path but my spirit that that has been torn asunder to lie here.
      • As the spirit is released from the spell, it adds, Avenge me!
    • Everyone sits down and discusses the spirit's answers.
    • The plan forms. Middle Night is two days away. The heroes will travel to Arklow today, recon to see if any enemies are guarding the tree at Crandal's Field. Then the party will try to find the entrance and navigate the path to the Keystone. If the stone is found, the party will keep it safe and get it away from the field.
    • Time permitting the party may set up an ambush or a stake out for whomever is planning to come on Middle Night.
    • Argel, Devonor and Kryssee to John's reburial.
    • Blauss and Krysagain scry on Magellus, finding him asleep in his bedchamber. The dozing wizard starts and sits up to see what has disturbed him. Krysshuts down the scry and he and Blauss sit back and exhale.

06/08/19[edit]

  • MORNING AT JOHNATHAN'S FARM....Continued
    • Following the re-internment of Johnathan's corpse, the party discusses several subjects over a hearty breakfast that Taurus has brought over from Wesley's farm.
      • The lack of a common interpretation for what "Middle Night" means continues to confound. Is the Hall of Heroes only accessible on this day of the month, year, century?
        • Blauss is aware of a rare alignment of the moons and the stars that happens "around" middle night this month. This astronomical event happens only once every century or so.
        • Argel believes it is crazy that Ticondrius would lock away the Keystone for a century at a time. He also suspects the note to the giants has been mis translated slightly and refers to phases of the moon. This might be a simpler way to try to tell a giant when to show up somewhere when they may not be using a traditional calendar.
        • This Middle Night is also the anniversary of Astillus's defeat at the party's hands. This seems more likely a candidate IF the The Path is only open at a specified time and day.
      • The fate of Kendrick's surviving bandit cohort, Josh, is discussed. Word was given to Wesley to inform the authorities about the prisoner's location in Wicklow. Wesley offered his guidance and sword arm to the group, but was told to tend to his farm and other independent vitners, and to watch his back.
    • Argel asks if Kryshas Detect Evil available today. He says he does.
    • Argel plots a route to Arklow and Crandal's Gorge that swings wide to the north in order to avoid being spotted on the road by Coalition or anyone likely to report to the Coalition. It goes beyond the civilized lands of Rhyll, so it is risky, but all agree and they ride out.
  • HOBGOBLIN WAR CAMP
    • At around 11am, the party is nearly three quarters of the way to Arklow whenArgelcrests a ridge and ducks down. He signals his allies to hold as he takes in what he's seen. Blauss sends his raven to scout ahead and Will begins to ride forward despite the signal to hold.
    • About a quarter mile below the ridge, a hobgoblin war party has begun setting up a fortified camp. There are two score soldiers and a single ogre magi shaman of the Air Tribe.Argeltakes note of their fortifications and guards and returns to the party.
    • Blauss reports that about ten hobgoblins total are guarding the perimeter while the remaining soldiers set up camp. The northern side is lightly fortified, likely because they only expect trouble to come from Rhyllian lands to the south.Argeladds that they have begun to cut down and pile logs that may be intended for a palisade, but at this point will give them some cover from ranged attacks.
    • On a hunch, Taurus remindsArgelto check his scroll case. The ranger finds a message within. Blauss says he detects no magical auras or traps upon it. The message is written in giant runes again and translates to: "Bring items gathered. Keystone near finding."
    • Krys uses his knowledge of languages to determine something about the writer, theorizing that he or she is not a giant by virtue of how the message is "talking down" to the recipient.
  • The possibilities that this message could be a trap sent by someone who knows the party has the paired scroll case is mentioned. The note implies that the time to get the Keystone has moved up. Could this be a ploy to get the heroes to do something rash or expose themselves, or deliver all the missing relics to the enemy? Or has the enemy realized their time is more limited now and is reacting?
    • Taurus suspected that the hobgoblin build up is a direct response to his comments to Magelus the other day. This was what prompted him to ask if a message had arrived in the scroll case.
    • The party disagrees about how to handle the War Camp.
      • Argel and Krysargue that this is a distraction that will take time, resources and blood that might make it difficult to recover the Keystone if Crandal's Gorge or the Hall of Heroes is heavily protected.Argelsays it will not be hard to find these creatures when the party has time to deal with them.
      • Will and Taurus believe attacking the Hobgoblins now is more important for slightly different reasons. Will cannot abide the thought that these evil humanoids may attack innocents, and Taurus does not want them behind him when the party gets to the Gorge. Taurus also believes that, like its Hill and River counterparts, this Air Tribe shaman may have more clues and relics. This possibility leads Blauss to vote to attack.
      • Devonor abstains from any vote, leaving the count three to two in favor of attacking now.
      • Taurus grumbles about this continuing "leadership by consensus" approach to battles. It is unclear if anyone heard him.
    • Blauss eyes glaze momentarily as he communicates with his raven. "Wait," he utters, "the shaman has disappeared ... suddenly." This changes the wizard's vote. If they cannot take the shaman, he believes the battle is not worth the risk. This news also rattles the group because they are unsure if they have been spotted.
    • Argel plots a new route south to avoid the camp and the party heads to Crandal's Gap. Blauss's raven patrols their rear, but no hobgoblins follow or change their routine.
    • Along the way, the party passes through the woods near the massacred River Tribe camp. From horseback, Taurus carves a crude symbol of the keystone into a tree in case Magelus follows up on the tall tale the barbarian wove during their audience with Prince Wrenthus.

ENCOUNTER 06 BEGINS; Wyvern and Sky Ogres in Crandal's Glen[edit]

  • CRANDAL'S GAP -- about noon
    • Group reaches northern end of the gorge and sees two Air Tribe ogres searching the far southeast corner. This is near the tree rumored to be over the Hall of Heroes, but the ogres don't seem to be searching there.
    • Overhead, a dragon-like creature Blauss calls a wyvern is circling in a lazy figure-eight pattern over the two ogres. The ogres are unconcerned with it and at one point hurl a hunk of meat up for the creature to grab as it passes low over them. Blauss knows that a wyvern will be a tough opponent for the group, but notes that it would be hard to confuse one with an old red dragon, so this is not likely what has been causing the panic in Rhyll. He is unsure of the beast's abilities, warning everyone to be ready for acid or poison breath.
    • Devonor takes the monocle from Blauss and views the valley with it. The ground at the foot of the tree glows blue when viewed with this item.
    • Blauss andArgeladvise that we wait briefly and see if any other ogres or creatures are lurking nearby. It also will allow Devonor time to recover (hopefully) from the spectre's life drain. They agree to observe for a half hour.
    • After awhile, the ogres seem to be finishing up. They stick sticks into the ground in certain spots.Argelguesses this may be them marking the area they have searched before taking a break or leaving.
    • With Krys's magical aid, Devonor resists the spectre's lingering hold on his soul and he recovers his lost level.
    • Blauss studies another fireball to use on the beast.
    • Careful to remain downwind from their enemies, the party sneaks closer to the far end of the valley/gorge, using its western rim and trees as cover. They leave their horses under tree cover between the obelisk and southern most point of the ridge. There the heroes expect to be as close as possible to attack the patrolling wyvern. They take position without being spotted.
    • As the beast glides to within 30 feet of their position, Argel signals the attack. A volley of warrior's arrows - including Krys's Spiritual Weapon - strike deep, penetrating the creatures scaled hide. Then as the beast instinctively dives away from the arrows, Blauss's fireball whistles directly into its path, enveloping it.
    • The ambush is a success, leaving the wyvern severely bloodied and possibly losing altitude. The ogres no doubt have noticed the commotion. The battle is on!

      ----Notes RHYL 2019.06.01

  • MORNING AT JOHNATHAN'S FARM....Continued
    • Following the re-internment of Johnathan's corpse, the party discusses several subjects over a hearty breakfast that Taurus has brought over from Wesley's farm.
      • The lack of a common interpretation for what "Middle Night" means continues to confound. Is the Hall of Heroes only accessible on this day of the month, year, century?
        • Blauss is aware of a rare alignment of the moons and the stars that happens "around" middle night this month. This astronomical event happens only once every century or so.
        • Argel believes it is crazy that Ticondrius would lock away the Keystone for a century at a time. He also suspects the note to the giants has been mis translated slightly and refers to phases of the moon. This might be a simpler way to try to tell a giant when to show up somewhere when they may not be using a traditional calendar.
        • This Middle Night is also the anniversary of Astillus's defeat at the party's hands. This seems more likely a candidate IF the The Path is only open at a specified time and day.
      • The fate of Kendrick's surviving bandit cohort, Josh, is discussed. Word was given to Wesley to inform the authorities about the prisoner's location in Wicklow. Wesley offered his guidance and sword arm to the group, but was told to tend to his farm and other independent vitners, and to watch his back.
    • Argel asks if Kryshas Detect Evil available today. He says he does.
    • Argel plots a route to Arklow and Crandal's Gorge that swings wide to the north in order to avoid being spotted on the road by Coalition or anyone likely to report to the Coalition. It goes beyond the civilized lands of Rhyll, so it is risky, but all agree and they ride out.
  • HOBGOBLIN WAR CAMP
    • At around 11am, the party is nearly three quarters of the way to Arklow whenArgelcrests a ridge and ducks down. He signals his allies to hold as he takes in what he's seen. Blauss sends his raven to scout ahead and Will begins to ride forward despite the signal to hold.
    • About a quarter mile below the ridge, a hobgoblin war party has begun setting up a fortified camp. There are two score soldiers and a single ogre magi shaman of the Air Tribe.Argeltakes note of their fortifications and guards and returns to the party.
    • Blauss reports that about ten hobgoblins total are guarding the perimeter while the remaining soldiers set up camp. The northern side is lightly fortified, likely because they only expect trouble to come from Rhyllian lands to the south.Argeladds that they have begun to cut down and pile logs that may be intended for a palisade, but at this point will give them some cover from ranged attacks.
    • On a hunch, Taurus remindsArgelto check his scroll case. The ranger finds a message within. Blauss says he detects no magical auras or traps upon it. The message is written in giant runes again and translates to: "Bring items gathered. Keystone near finding."
    • Krys uses his knowledge of languages to determine something about the writer, theorizing that he or she is not a giant by virtue of how the message is "talking down" to the recipient.
  • The possibilities that this message could be a trap sent by someone who knows the party has the paired scroll case is mentioned. The note implies that the time to get the Keystone has moved up. Could this be a ploy to get the heroes to do something rash or expose themselves, or deliver all the missing relics to the enemy? Or has the enemy realized their time is more limited now and is reacting?
    • Taurus suspected that the hobgoblin build up is a direct response to his comments to Magelus the other day. This was what prompted him to ask if a message had arrived in the scroll case.
    • The party disagrees about how to handle the War Camp.
      • Argel and Krysargue that this is a distraction that will take time, resources and blood that might make it difficult to recover the Keystone if Crandal's Gorge or the Hall of Heroes is heavily protected.Argelsays it will not be hard to find these creatures when the party has time to deal with them.
      • Will and Taurus believe attacking the Hobgoblins now is more important for slightly different reasons. Will cannot abide the thought that these evil humanoids may attack innocents, and Taurus does not want them behind him when the party gets to the Gorge. Taurus also believes that, like its Hill and River counterparts, this Air Tribe shaman may have more clues and relics. This possibility leads Blauss to vote to attack.
      • Devonor abstains from any vote, leaving the count three to two in favor of attacking now.
      • Taurus grumbles about this continuing "leadership by consensus" approach to battles. It is unclear if anyone heard him.
    • Blauss eyes glaze momentarily as he communicates with his raven. "Wait," he utters, "the shaman has disappeared ... suddenly." This changes the wizard's vote. If they cannot take the shaman, he believes the battle is not worth the risk. This news also rattles the group because they are unsure if they have been spotted.
    • Argel plots a new route south to avoid the camp and the party heads to Crandal's Gap. Blauss's raven patrols their rear, but no hobgoblins follow or change their routine.
    • Along the way, the party passes through the woods near the massacred River Tribe camp. From horseback, Taurus carves a crude symbol of the keystone into a tree in case Magelus follows up on the tall tale the barbarian wove during their audience with Prince Wrenthus.

ENCOUNTER 06 BEGINS; Wyvern and Sky Ogres in Crandal's Glen[edit]

  • CRANDAL'S GAP -- about noon
    • Group reaches northern end of the gorge and sees two Air Tribe ogres searching the far southeast corner. This is near the tree rumored to be over the Hall of Heroes, but the ogres don't seem to be searching there.
    • Overhead, a dragon-like creature Blauss calls a wyvern is circling in a lazy figure-eight pattern over the two ogres. The ogres are unconcerned with it and at one point hurl a hunk of meat up for the creature to grab as it passes low over them. Blauss knows that a wyvern will be a tough opponent for the group, but notes that it would be hard to confuse one with an old red dragon, so this is not likely what has been causing the panic in Rhyll. He is unsure of the beast's abilities, warning everyone to be ready for acid or poison breath.
    • Devonor takes the monocle from Blauss and views the valley with it. The ground at the foot of the tree glows blue when viewed with this item.
    • Blauss andArgeladvise that we wait briefly and see if any other ogres or creatures are lurking nearby. It also will allow Devonor time to recover (hopefully) from the spectre's life drain. They agree to observe for a half hour.
    • After awhile, the ogres seem to be finishing up. They stick sticks into the ground in certain spots.Argelguesses this may be them marking the area they have searched before taking a break or leaving.
    • With Krys's magical aid, Devonor resists the spectre's lingering hold on his soul and he recovers his lost level.
    • Blauss studies another fireball to use on the beast.
    • Careful to remain downwind from their enemies, the party sneaks closer to the far end of the valley/gorge, using its western rim and trees as cover. They leave their horses under tree cover between the obelisk and southern most point of the ridge. There the heroes expect to be as close as possible to attack the patrolling wyvern. They take position without being spotted.
    • As the beast glides to within 30 feet of their position,Argelsignals the attack. A volley of warrior's arrows - including Krys's Spiritual Weapon - strike deep, penetrating the creatures scaled hide. Then as the beast instinctively dives away from the arrows, Blauss's fireball whistles directly into its path, enveloping it.
    • The ambush is a success, leaving the wyvern severely bloodied and possibly losing altitude. The ogres no doubt have noticed the commotion. The battle is on!

      ----Notes RHYL 2019.06.08

  • WYVERN AND SKY OGRES IN CRANDAL'S GLEN ...continued
    • The many wounds and Blauss's fireball force the wyvern to descend — drastically.
    • Barely maintaining control, the creature swoops toward the party's front line, bellowing in enraged Draconic (that Blauss would later translate as), "Insolence! You wound me?! And me, a God!"
    • As it dives within a spear length from the party, Taurus bellows back, sprouts horns from his brow and leaps bare-handed to grab its neck and head in a vice-like hug. If the wyvern is unable to throw the northerner, this added weight and choke hold might force it to crash.
    • But the instant Taurus grappled the diving beast, two arrows form Argel sink deeply into its chest, killing it. Taurus has a fraction of a second to jump clear before the beast slams into the ground at their feet. "The head is mine!" Taurus grunts as somehow, despite his armor, he lands on his feet.
    • Seeing Argel has beat him to the kill, Will aims down the slope at one of the stunned ogres, wounding it.
    • Devonor's own arrows sink deep in the other ogre. Then Ehlona's spirit longbow and Krystovar's own sing in unison, sending two more deadly missiles after his brother's. The siblings' ogre reels, but still readies to attack.
    • Both ogres charge forward and hurl long javelins. One flies into the trees, but the other hits Devonor solidly, badly bruising his chest despite his armor. Argel mutters, "these grunts are tougher than the others we've encountered."
    • Just as the battle seemed under control, a hissing, guttural voice calls out words of power above them and a wave of killing frost blasts down from the sky. Will and Blauss find some cover, but the others withstand the full fury of yet another cone of cold.
    • It's invisibility ended by the attack, an ogre magi appears flying two stories above the group – It's black eyes searching fruitlessly for enemies slain by his ambush.
    • Having had the foresight to hold himself back and be ready for anything, Blauss steps forward and through chattering teeth summons glitterdust on the floating magi, showering it with blinding, magical motes of glitter that will keep it from hiding again.
    • "Good work!" Argel shouts. Without needing a command, the party's archers ready to ground the magi before it can claw the glitter from its eyes.
    • Having no missile ready, Taurus charges down the slope to engage the advancing ogres. Dodging a clumsy jab from a club, the barbarian drives Hobbit Bane up into lead ogre, cutting him in two. Howling with triumph, Taurus parries its partner's counterattack and readies for his next kill.
    • Meanwhile back up the slope, Argel's spots the magi's weak spot. "It's hide is thinner and unarmored if you shoot it below the girdle!" Argel barks at his friends. "Shoot him in the balls?" Devonor chuckles. "Like this!" Argel shouts as he sends a shaft up. The giant howls and begins reaching to shield its groin, but not before five more arrows have disappeared under its armored kilt. A sixth arrow catches the ogre under the jaw and pierces its jugular. Everyone turns to Krystovar as he lowers his bow. "Oh...were you serious about the whole 'balls' thing? Many apologies," the priest grins. The limp ogre magi slowly floats down to the ground.
    • Back down the slope, Taurus and the last ogre circle one another, each looking for an opening. "Let him have this one," Argel tells the others. The brothers and Blauss stand down, but Will won't give the monster any chance to harm an ally. He draws and fires.
    • Will's arrows appears in the ogre's arm, distracting it momentarily just as Taurus easily leaves two deep cuts in the brute's hide. Then with a sigh of boredom, Bison Man turns to walk back to the party. Puzzled but happy the horned man has dropped his guard, the ogre steps forward with its club raised just as an arrow pierces its eye to the fletchings.
    • Releasing his rage, Taurus tips his helm to Devonor, and continues wearily up the slope, as the last ogre teeters back and collapses heavily behind him.
    • Crandal's Glen and its secrets are theirs.

ENCOUNTER 06 ENDS; Wyvern and Sky Ogres in Crandal's Glen[edit]

  • BATTLE'S AFTERMATH
    • The party gathers at the corpse of the ogre magi, and Krystovar say prayers of healing, "As Sun brings Light to Forest, may Ehlonna bring Light to You." The deadly chill of the magi's ambush lessen for all, but only Will and Blauss fully recover. [Krys expends two of four daily channels]
    • After a short discussion, the party decides to quickly search the fallen and then try to hide evidence of the battle in case the entrance to the Hall of Heroes won't open.
    • Bored by the debate, Taurus begins to head up the slope to the wyvern carcass. Blauss advises that he leave the head on the beast for now until we've hidden the rest. This annoys Taurus. but he eventually agrees.
    • The party splits to attend various tasks.
      • Devonor searches the Magi. The magi is carrying:
        • A bag of holding, a magic longsword, a dagger (ornamental?), 5 gems, empty ivory scroll case (that pairs with our unpaired one), A book with arcane spells and other writings within, a magic silver flagon decorated with Olidimara's symbol, a magic giant-sized great sword,
      • Krys searches the fallen ogres. Besides javelins and clubs, they are carrying:
        • 2 small silver mirrors, a pouch containing plated silver flute, magic dirk, coins from Greyhawk City, a magic St. Cuthbert symbol.
      • In an impressive feat of strength, Taurus drags the Wyvern into the wooded ridge of the Glen. Once it is out of sight, he covers what he can with leaves and branches.
      • Will gathers spent arrows from the battle field and then aids Taurus. On a hunch, Will cuts open the monster's gullet to find:
        • A red golden egg sealed with a ribbon with arcane symbols. The egg appears to be filled with a liquid and radiates enchantment magic.
      • Argel and Blauss keep watch until it is time for the ranger to do what he can to hide the signs of the fight. Argel and Taurus carry the dead ogres to the woods and then Argel does his best to obscure the signs of the battle if any tracker should investigate the scene.
    • The magical flagon appears to fill with a different type of alcoholic liquid when it is emptied and closed. It is obvious that Devonor wants this wondrous item for himself. "Now I can retire!" he beams between swigs.
  • ABOUT 2 OCLOCK
    • With the treasure packed away or distributed, the group investigates the oak at the edge of the glen.
    • With the monocle, Devonor can see a rectangular glow radiating from beneath the earth at the foot of the old tree. Krys uses detect magic to note that the rectangle and something else several feet below the ground is magical.
    • Using the new magic longsword, Argel prods the earth and discovers that there is a solid object only about a foot down. He and Will cut up and roll away the sod and earth to reveal a stone slab.
    • The Monocle reveals a star shaped glyph in the center of the slab. Someone suggests that perhaps the star represents sunlight and that sun shining on the slab could open it. The oak is blocking ths sun, so Krystovar casts light on the door. Happily this is the key and the door rumbles out of the way revealing stairs descending into a dark corridor leading away.
    • Will volunteers to go first. He descends and finds an inscription on the floor:
      • SEEK YOU THE HALL OF HEROES? NAMES LOST IN TIME. SOULS SHROUDED IN GLORY. BRING WITH YOU GRATITUDE FOR THE FREE PEOPLES WHO HERE HAVE SHED BLOOD.
    • Will detects faint tracings of eldritch marks on the stone floor and walls beyond the inscription that Krys confirms is a Glyph of Warding designed to electrocute anyone who triggers it.
    • The party begins a long discussion over how to interpret GRATITUDE from the inscription.
    • Taurus leaves the head-scratching to his friends and goes to gather some flower "offerings" and to bring the horses closer to the Hall entrance. When he returns and the party is still mulling over what could be gratitude to these ancient soldiers, he takes a wild guess it has something to do with the Old Faith and quickly crafts several Obad Hai brooches from oak leaves and acorns. He gives one to each friend.
    • Will takes all the possible offerings and steps over the warded flagstones ... and sets off the trap. Bright flashes of lightning dance around him as he dives for cover to avoid the worst of it. The group is relieved to see that the magic does not reset once someone has set it off.
    • A bit further down the corridor, Will finds a barred door. HALL OF HEROES is inscribed on the lintel above it.

      ----Notes RHYL 2019.06.29

AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE HALL OF HEROES

  • Argel and Will inspect the locked door to the "Hall of Heroes." The door and lock are very old, but in surprisingly good condition. There is a trace of transmutation magic that might explain this preservation, but definitely explains the arcane lock that bars the door.
  • The group strongly believes based on the door and other clues that the Hall of Heroes tomb was created and in use before the battle of Crandel's Glen.
  • Krys determines that the inscriptions in the Hall so far have been in an ancient common tongue.
  • Blauss and Krys use arcane and divine power to help Will pick the lock, to no avail.
  • Blauss studies his spellbook for a quarter hour to ready a knock spell. As he is meditating on the tome, Argel and others search for secret doors in the hallway. None are found.
  • Blauss with the a guidance spell from Krys is able to knock the door open.
  • The group briefly discusses whether or not they should avoid damaging or possibly desecrating the Hall or tombs. They are here for the keystone. Will they take treasure if it is found?
    • Discussion touches on considerations such as "We don't want to leave weapons for imminent opponents" to "We don't want to offend to powers or wards invested in this place."
    • The subject is left at "Take items of utility, but take care not to desecrate the sacred"
  • The 12' high chamber beyond is an altar room that appears to be where bodies are prepared for interment in the tomb beyond. Rows of pews flank an aisle leading to a two-tiered altar suitable for two bodies. A slightly larger than life statue showing four idealized warriors with swords raised stands behind the altar. Two tapestry depicting heroic deeds hang on the left and right walls. Against these tapestries are two wooden wardrobes. Double doors are set in the center of the opposite wall. They appear to be sealed by a large ornate metal round shield hanging between them. Two bubbling fountains are inset on the left and right of these sealed doors.
  • On the altar is inscribed: STATEFULLY REST UPON HERE THE HONORED HERO PREPARING FOR THE FINAL JOURNEY. A CIRCLET MARKS THE PRECIOUSNESS OF THEIR SOUL
  • Krys and Blauss detect magic and find that many things in the room radiate magic.
    • The Statues - which upon closer inspection depict four races of warriors: Human, Dwarven, Halfling and Elven.
    • Something within the left set of wardrobes.
    • Fountains radiate necromantic magic.
  • Will lights a wall torch near the entrance.
  • Krys casts a light spell and discovers that above the altar is a medallion in the ceiling showing a distinctive design with three large spirals amidst some unknown runes. It has something to do about "The 3 winds", the spellcasters decide. The door's shield has similar spiral designs.
  • While the party fans out to search the room, Taurus pulls a pew into the open door to make sure it cannot close. He notices that these 6 to 8 large pews are each carved or formed from a single piece of oak
  • Argel opens the wardrobe that contains something magic. The shelves within hold goblets and plates of precious metal and a black lacquered case containing two long magic daggers. They appear ceremonial and have designs of winding sprigs of mistletoe wrapping the hilts. Argel asks if the daggers are the magic that Blauss detected. The mage says yes but there is also something in the bottom of the wardrobe. "A false bottom?" Argel mumbles to himself as he turns back to see if he can open it.
  • Will opens other wardrobe and finds more gold and silver goblets and dishes. He moves to the double door and studies them for traps and other notable details. He finds that they are carved with oak trees in relief.

ENCOUNTER 07 BEGINS; Air Elemental Guardians of the chapel[edit]

  • Taurus strides across the chamber, admires the shield which appears to be made of mithral and suddenly pulls it away from across the double doors it was affixed, as Blauss calls out, "What the !@$% are you doing, Taurus?!"
  • There room chills as wind begin to pour from the warriors statue. Four air elementals fly forth, each for a moment taking the form of one of the four warriors. They land amidst the party. Two are as large as ogres and two are man-sized. Judging from the menacing faces of the warriors before they fully manifested into swirling columns of air, they mean harm.
  • The elementals appear around the altar. The smaller ones dart back and forth at Krys, Taurus, and Will, while Devonor finds himself wedged between both the large elementals. Blauss is luckily on the other side of the room and safe from immediate attack. Argel moves to engage the closest large one (elf).
  • A pitched battle ensues. The air elementals are still forming when the quickest members of the party attack. The party is relieved to see that normal weapons harm these otherworldly beings, but the creatures are hard to see, lightning quick and tough. They do not go down easily and their attacks are almost impossible to block or avoid. In flurries of attacks all but Blauss are battered by gusts of bruising air, or abraded by skin-peeling whirlwinds of frightening velocity. The party is bloodied quickly.
    • Will Bowman fights for a bit before backing off to try and pick the lock on the double door. After a few tries he does open them and sees a wide corridor on the other side.
    • Confident that the tomb shield is the key to calling off the wind ghosts, Taurus brandishes it and commands obedience. They heed him not. He readies the shield and attacks. The shield proves to be surprisingly light and sturdy [Mithral +2].
    • On a gamble, Devanor lunges at the statues with the adamantine great sword in hopes that damaging them will affect the elementals. He leaves a large crack in the statue, but nothing happens. He abandons the gamble and turns back and focuses on Argel's elemental.
    • Krys summons his domain power storm burst to give his attackers a taste of their own medicine, calling out “you are the wind but I am the storm.“ Those facing his god's ire are buffeted by counter winds and knocked off balance. Unfortunately, they still attack and both the large and small elementals nearly knock Krys unconscious before he is able to fall back and heal himself. As he readies to rejoin the fray, Will calls out to stay back and see if he can get to the newly open doors. He move closer but an elemental is ready to strike if he goes too close.
    • After almost a minute of pitched battle, the tide has turned in favor of the heroes. with With Will and Krys's aid, Taurus finishes off the two smaller elementals. Argel and Devonor use pack tactics to weaken the large elementals while drawing their attention until the whole group can pitch in. Argel takes down the "elf" elemental and joins Devonor to fight the Human. By this time Taurus and Will are also free to attack the last elemental, but it is Blauss who has the satisfaction of destroying the creature with the last of many fizzling electrical bolts he has sent into the fray.

ENCOUNTER 07 ENDS; Air Elemental Guardians of the chapel[edit]

  • As the group stands exhausted and some gravely wounded, members chastise Taurus for his rashness. Then they quickly move about to finish what they were all doing before the attack.
  • Argel finds a secret compartment at the bottom of the wardrobe that contains ten magic golden circlets of various sizes that must be the ones mentioned in the altar inscription. He tells the party to collect any valuables and especially any magic they find. Their enemies will not enrich or arm themselves with these treasures, the ranger decides. Whether the party will keep the treasure for themselves, return it to the Hall later, or find some other fitting use for it has not been discussed. Devonor cleans out the other wardrobe, while Krys carefully removes objects from the altar.
  • Taurus and Will both are interested in the mithral shield.
  • Will, on a whim, drinks from one of the two fountains. Some of his wounds are healed. He drinks a second and a third time. The second time it works, but after two draughts, the magic no longer works for that drinker. The rest of the party partakes and all feel healthy enough to not bother Krys for Ehlonna's aid.
  • With the room secured. Blauss, Krys, Will and Argel return attention to Taurus and ask (in less-than-forgiving tones) why he continues to make rash decisions, such as setting off what was likely a trap. Blauss is particularly frustrated and pointed in his remarks.
  • Taurus replies, “I apologize for tripping the trap. I love nice shields. But what is done is done.”
  • His sincerity defuses most of the tension. Devonor appreciates the apology, but says it is meaningless if Taurus does not promise to change his risky behavior.
  • Taurus turns and says:
“Stop talking as if we are a 'group'. It has already been expressed that we are not! And if we are just individuals trying to save Rhyll, then I am doing it on my own because I live here. I am one of the people you all keep talking about 'saving.'” The barbarian knight pauses, "So I am here with you...but I am not with you.”
“Oh and by the way, geniuses, as individuals we will surely fail. As a team, we may stand a chance. As a team member – as if that will ever happen – I promise to consider your team-related opinions; because up to now, most of the opinions I’ve heard seem based on selfish, individual interests.”
  • Taurus goes quiet and looks at the shield in his own hands, "such as I exhibited by taking the shield without informing anyone... Again, I apologize for anyone that was injured because of me." In disgust with the entire situation, he drops the shield at the group’s feet and walks into the hall beyond the oak tree doors.
  • Will looks around, bends down, picks up the shield and tries it on.
  • It is about 3:30 in the afternoon.



back to CHRONOLOGY

----Notes RHYL 2019.07.13

08/10/19 SESSION NOTES[edit]

IN THE CHAPEL

  • In the aftermath of the battle with the air elementals, all but Blauss has drank from the magical fountains of healing in the chapel. Most that have imbibed have been well restored. None are seeking additional aid from Krystovar and Ehlonna.
  • Krys suggests everyone dump out their wine skins and he'll fill them with fountain water, in hopes that the restorative qualities will recharge after a period of time. Everyone agrees and he quickly fills 6 skins.
  • Blauss tells Argel that the golden circlets he found all radiate a weak divination magic. Argel suggests everyone wear one going forward in case these somehow will safeguard them from further traps and guardians. Taurus and Will accept the circlets, but decline to wear them.
  • In response to Taurus and Will's comments about having many of the magical weapons and other treasure on his person, Devonor unburdens his magical gloves of all the unclaimed magic weapons. Blauss makes an argument that before an official loot division, that it is logical that any item that could benefit one of them in the meantime should be held by that person. This is agreed upon. Devonor places the following on the altar and other items from around the group are also thrown into the mix. The following is redistributed:
    • +1 Short sword
      • Goes in the new Bag of Holding
    • Masterwork Bastard Sword
      • Goes in the new Bag of Holding
    • 3 "Assassin's Daggers"
      • Returned to their original case in Blauss's haversack
    • Adamantium Great Sword
      • Taurus takes this and Hobbit Slayer is now with Argel
    • Air Tribe shaman's magic long sword
      • Argel will test this blade in battle. He stores his magic longsword in his own Bag of Holding.
    • Pewter Sword, two "Soul Stones" and "Giant's Monocle"
      • Devonor has these
    • Bag of Holding
      • It is decided that Krys should hold onto this
    • 2 druidic ceremonial daggers (mistletoe motif)
      • Will and Devonor (but Krys has voiced interest in Will's when time comes).

BEYOND THE CHAPEL

  • The party forms a marching order. Argel and Will travel ahead to search for more traps. Taurus and Devonor guard the rear.
  • Blauss reports that the corridor for the next sixty feet is free of magic, so no glyphs.
  • After a few strides beyond the entrance, the ten-foot wide corridor begins to slope down about 30 degrees and travels deeper beneath the earth.
  • Just beyond the 60' feet of non-magical hall, Argel spots another glyph of warding traced faintly on the floor. Blauss confirms that it is another evocation-charged trap.
  • With the magical help of Krys's guidance and Blauss's divinatory insight, Will searches the glyph and finds his best guess as to the runes and linework that are the key to disarming the glyph. After some delicate scratching and erasing, he turns to Argel and says, "I feel good about this one," and steps onto the glyph. Blue electrical power surges from the periphery, but sizzles where he's altered the markings. The party moves safely forward.
  • Bluass begins to detect muted magical power ahead, perhaps obscured by a barrier. To the left, he senses an evocation, while on the right, is an abjuration.
  • The hall levels off and Argel and Will's light falls upon a large, solid double door, flanked by statues of an idealized human female and male warrior. Above the door is a fresco or carving of forestland. The door has a large carving of a downward pointing bow made of antlers with a large arrow knocked but not drawn.
  • To the left and right of the door are ceiling-to-floor length tapestries. Just before one can reach the tapestries, there are two iron-bound doors with more horn bow carvings upon them. One leads east and its twin leads west.
  • On the floor in front of the double door exit is a 8' round inlaid symbol. Argel approaches and calls back for Krystovar, "This looks like your bailiwick, Krystovar."
  • Krys and Devonor approach and the priest kneels to study the masterfully crafted and ancient symbol. After a moment of deep reflection, Krys rouses from a reverie and says that the symbol is a very old interpretation of the Tree of Life and it has some echoes of Obad-Hai worship. He believes it predates the Greyhawk Gods as the Flanaess has come to know them. "I am very concerned about crossing this threshold," he adds.
  • The tapestries, on the other hand are much newer than the floor symbol and don't hide anything obvious when they peek behind them. One side depicts a meadow scene while the other shows a forest scene.
  • Argel takes this warning and suggests the party investigate the side exits and the magic emanations beyond them.
  • Devonor digs out the Giant's Monocle and discovers that when he looks at this area, the all the door locks are traced by a faint green glow. Blauss cannot detect any magic on the doors, so this perplexes him. He tries to cast his detection through the monocle to no avail, finally accepting that whatever it is is beyond his power to discern.
  • Argel and Will search the area for traps and the halfling spots two small vials secreted within both side door locks.
  • The party repositions so that Blauss and Krys are within reach to aid Will in foiling the trapped door to the west. While Krys again blesses Will with guidance, Blauss surprises some by offering to help disable the trap. He's apparently got some experience in this field. The rest of the group falls back to a safer distance.
  • Despite their efforts, Will's prodding tool slips at the last moment and crack's the vial. A whooshing sound follows as a cloud of poisonous, green vapors surround the pair. Both dive out of the way to avoid the worst of it, but the little toxin they did breath causes them to spit up spots of frothing blood. Will realizes that his Ring of Hardy is the only reason he withstood the full brunt of the poison.
  • Taurus is very suspicious of the two life-like statues flanking the door and remains vigilant with the adamantium greatsword ready to smash them should they spring to life.

FUNERARY PREPARATION CHAMBER

  • The room beyond is a preparation chamber for the deceased. Six long stone tables dominate the center of the room. Wood cabinets and a large chest are the only other furnishings here. On one wall is the large horn bow symbol.
  • Argel enters and identifies the chest as the likely source of the abjuration magic Blauss detected earlier.
  • He spots a similar gas trap in the chest lock and that the top of the chest has the World Tree and some other symbols carved upon it. "Krys?" he calls as he steps back and waits.
  • Krys tells everyone that this is a newer copy of the world tree symbol, but the additional symbols suggest opening the container is forbidden. Bluass says that the abjurations he detected are inside the chest and not on the symbols. He also observes that the detail, craftsmanship and placement suggest the chest was crafted by more recent occupants.
  • Not wanting to risk another poisoning, Argel asks Will to shoot the vial in the lock from a safe distance. Will rotates the chest so that he has a clear shot from the far end of the room and sends a target arrow deftly into the keyhole, causing a larger cloud of green gas to whoosh out harmlessly before dissipating.
  • Argel opens the chest, pulls out the contents, and places them on a stone table for all to see and for the Blauss and Krys to spellcraft:
    • Five rune-covered arrows of fine construction with metallic fletching. Moderate Trans. (Will x3, Dev x1, Arg x1)
    • Fine soft boots embroidered with forest symbolism of elvish craftsmanship. Medium Illusion. (Will)
    • Leather Bracers Strong Abjuration. (Argel)
  • Blauss divines more magical emanations coming from one of the cabinets and alerts Will, who carefully ransacks the interior and finds several potions. Potions are:
    • 6 Cure Serious (everyone gets one)
    • 6 Fire protective (everyone gets one)
    • 4 Neutralize Poison (Argel 1, Blauss 1, Krys 1, Dev 1).
  • Blauss estimates that the items were placed in the chest between 50 and 100 years ago. These were not left by Ticondrius.
  • Devonor figures out that the monocle is detecting traps in the Hall of Heroes. Anything that glows green is a trap and blue glows might mean doors.
  • Will searches all the other cabinets and takes a suit of well crafted but old leather armor (mundane).
  • After finishing their search of the funerary chamber, the group focuses on the west doorway. It takes two arrows, but Will manages to set off the poison trap and the door opens.

PRIEST'S OFFICE

  • They see a small office with two doors exiting south. It is sparsely furnished with a chest, wardrobe and desk. Blauss detects magic in the wardrobe, chest and faintly upon the desk. The magic on the desk is a small potted plant that appears to be thriving despite being underground for decades. The desk has no drawers and appears to be made from one solid piece of oak. Some blank sheets of parchment and a quill are the only other items on it.
  • Argel searches the wardrobe and finds a circlet decorated with the horned bow symbol. It has an inscription in old Oeridian: "WITH THY HEART OPEN, THY MIND AT PEACE, THERE WILL WISDOM LIKE A FAWN GROW." Argel hands the circlet to Krys who puts it on and gasps in astonishment as his intuition expands and he gains insight into the history of the World Tree and Horned Bow symbols. "These symbols represented Beory and Obad-Hai in the earliest of times!" He explains.
  • Devonor searches the (un-trapped) chest and finds a fine robe of light but rugged material folded up inside. The item radiates abjuration and appears to ward its wearer from physical attack. It has a nature motif embroidered upon it. Krys dons the robe after Devonor tried it on.
  • Devonor also finds two matching magic daggers of medium transmutation magic. They do not appear ceremonial.
  • The two exit doors are magically trapped, but are efficiently disarmed by Will with Blauss assistance.
  • One room has a stone bathtub with warm water swirling in it. A magic conjuration spell appears to be supplying the tub's water. Blauss carefully looks within the tub but sees nothing.
  • Room two is a small, sparse bedroom.
  • Meanwhile, Taurus has been studying the two statues in the hall and has noticed that they are wearing real fine-linked chainmail and holding real swords. He is further convinced that the statues will animate soon. He grumbles to himself that the party should just trigger the trap and get on with the inevitable, but he resists the urge to step on the tree symbol and remains vigilant and ready for anything.

To be continued


back to CHRONOLOGY
back to MAIN RHYLL PAGE

----Notes RHYL 2019.08.10

PRIEST'S OFFICE[edit]

  • After finishing a more thorough investigation of the bath chamber tub, the party readies to tackle the large door and the Tree of Life symbol. Taurus has been eying the two flanking statues since the party began searching the offices in hopes that they may come to life and fight.
  • Blauss theorizes that the robe and circlet that they found in the office may be official costume that could help someone pass through the symbol.
  • Argel suggests that the magically preserved mistletoe plant on the office desk may hold a key to passage as well.
  • Krys clips some leaves from the plant and watches as they slowly grow back. Soon he's clipped enough for each of his allies.
  • Wearing the circlet and the robes and carrying the leaves, he enters the Tree of Life symbol. Devonor steps beside him. Nothing happens at first, but when he steps to the door, both statues animate and cross their swords in front of the door, barring passage. Even when Devonor backs off, the statues still bar entrance.
  • Krys backs away, but not before confirming that the lock has a similar vial of poison trap within it's keyhole.
  • Water from the magic bath is brought and poured on the symbol. This seems to have some effect, but again the statues animate and block the door.
  • Argel says, "We don't have time for this, so unless someone has figured out what we are overlooking here, we may need to get through this door the hard way."
  • No one has any further insights, so they send Will and Argel down the hall while the rest of the group pairs off into the side rooms. Taurus and Blauss in the office and Krys and Devonor in the burial preparation chamber. They close the doors and wait for Will to shoot the lock.
  • Will fires an arrow and it damages the lock. A cloud of green poison fills the end of the hall.
  • As the gas begins to fade, both statues step down from their pedestals and rap their swords once on their shields. Two more clay statues materialize in front of them and the assume fighting stances.

BATTLE FOR THE DOOR: ENCOUNTER 08[edit]

  • Will quickly nocks and fires two more arrows into the clay warrior nearest him. One bounces off its shield but the other strikes it. Thin cracks spider web from the point of impact, but if it is damaged, the creature's eerily neutral expression gives no indication.
  • Argel reports to the others that more statues are appearing.
  • Taurus opens his door and immediately hacks Will's statue with the adamantine great sword. The attack digs deeply into the warrior's fired hard skin and creates more widespread cracks. All realize now that the statues are at lest partially resistant to normal and possibly magical weapons.
  • Krys casts bull strength on Devonor and moves into position.
  • The two warriors in the front rank attack Taurus and show remarkable swordsmanship, both sliding their attacks deftly around the barbarian's defense and armor. It also appears that when they fight in tandem, these warriors are more dangerous somehow.
  • Devonor opens his door and then steps back, ready to lunge at the first clay warrior to appear in the portal. He is soon rewarded for his patience, as the undamaged statue from the rear rank moves up to flank Taurus. Devonor pounces and his magic Great sword puts a deep crack in it. The warrior turns and enters the room instead, slashing Devonor for his trouble.
  • Argel dashes from Will's side and joins Taurus at the front line. He lands a perfect blow on the neck of an undamaged statue and learns that the ogre magi's long sword is a keen blade. The extra cutting power helps but is still less effective because of the statue's hardness.
  • Devonor calls out that we should lure the statues away from the door, but the strategy does not have time to play out before the battle intensifies.
  • Will's next volley shatters the statue he and Taurus have wounded. As it crumbles into fine dust, Taurus rages and steps into its place and presses the rear rank, landing a devastating blow (critical). The statue dissolves into dust.
  • Krys lands a solid mace blow on the warrior attacking his brother. Devonor side steps and lands another vital attack upon the crack he started moments earlier. The warrior disintegrates.
  • Back in the hallway, A new clay warrior shimmers into view and joins the fray, slashing Taurus again. Blood is dripping from the many wounds the Bison Man has withstood so far.
  • Argel continues to hold his position so the new warrior cannot move out of the symbol area. The statue slips his longsword thrust by the ranger's shield and now his and Taurus's blood mixes with the powdered clay accumulating on the floor.
  • Taurus switches tactics and brings two thunderous sword blows down on the pedestal to the left of the doorway. The pedestal shatters into pieces and maybe some dying magic is spotted flickering in the debris.
  • All three clay warriors drop their shields and summon second long swords to their off hands to begin two weapon fighting. Taurus is able to fend this new tactic off, but one statue scores a hit on Argel.
  • Seeing that Devonor's lunge attacks are doing massive damage, he raises his shield and begins fighting defensively to keep the clay warriors in check while Devonor and Taurus rain heavy blows on them.
  • The extra effort for defense works and none of the remaining warrior's attacks score hits on the ranger.
  • Blauss enters the hallway and sends a bolt of electricity into one of the enemies. His magic appears to damage the creature.
  • Devonor moves into the hallway and lunges past Argel to score another devastating vital attack on the remaining statue.
  • Taurus ignores the warriors and lands a monstrous blow on the remaining pedestal (x3 critical 85 hps!). The pedestal evaporates. He turns upon the nearest clay warrior and criticals again (56 hps), dropping it.
  • The battle is now very one-sided. The party mops up the last warriors, Will having the honor of dropping the last enemy. None of the heroes were wounded further.
  • Taurus's destruction of the pedestals appears to be the key. No more statue warriors appear.
  • Blauss theorizes that the magic here could regenerate, so he warns the party to be wary when they return this way.
  • He also believes that these warriors may represent the element of earth as the previous warriors represented air.

THE YAWNING DARKNESS[edit]

  • Will and Taurus loot the warrior's armor and weapons. They find:
    • 5 suits of Chainmail
    • 6 Longswords
    • 5 Shields
    • 5 Helms
  • Devonor opens the door. The area ahead is shrouded by impenetrable magical darkness.
  • Blauss detects that there is a strong conjuration magic radiating from the shadows.
  • Krys takes a moment to channel healing magic upon his friends. Taurus quaffs his Cure Serious Wounds potion.
  • Argel gives Taurus a spare potion of cure light wounds from his own gear, telling him to save it for "Oh shit" situations.
  • Devonor explores the darkness with a long pole, discovering a solid floor beyond, but when he taps the floor, no sound is heard. A Silence spell effect, Blauss surmises.
  • To test if the silence is complete, Krys offers to stick his head into the darkness and listen to hear if Blauss's message spell can reach him.
  • Before he attempts this, Will ties a rope around his waist and stand ready to yank him back if something goes wrong.
  • Krys sticks his head into the darkness. The message spell cannot reach him, but he does perceive something beyond that he cannot completely understand unless he gets closer. When He begins to step through the portal, Devonor grabs him in a bear hug and while Will pulls on the rope. Nothing stops Krys and Devonor from vanishing into the black.
  • The remaining party quickly take up the rope and begin to haul as hard as possible.
  • The brothers re-emerge, but appear annoyed instead of grateful.
  • They report that their is large area with a huge tree beyond the veil of darkness and that while they appear to be underground, it appears too deep to be connected to the hallway beneath Crandal's Glen. They think this is a magic portal to 'someplace else'.
  • After Devonor proves that he can easily step back and forth between the hallway and the area beyond, the entire party follows him in.
  • A carved stone hall lies on the other side. It leads tens of feet to a very large chamber dimly lit by a glow from somewhere high above. An enormous tree surrounded by a raised square moat dominates the chamber. There is a large closed door in the tree's trunk. A bridge over the moat leads right to it.
  • Before entering the room, Krys sees that there is a shrine built in a recess i the wall to his left. An inscription in old Oerithian reads, "HERE ENTOMBED LIES D'KHAL HIGH PRIEST AND GUARDIAN OF THOSE WHO LIE BEYOND"
  • The square chamber is enormous and stretches 100 to 200 feet high and is filled with a preternatural twilight. There are large strong doors on each wall. They can see inscriptions on each one and various relief decorations. There are also four smaller trees in large pots located in each corner of the room. Cobblestone paths lead around the center tree and off to the three doors. The rest of the floor is earthen.
  • They believe that the doors bar catacombs for each of the races, human, elven, dwarven and halfling.
  • As Argel studies the ground and paths here for signs of passage and traps, Devonor and Will concoct a scheme to slow down any pursuers who reach the magical portal of darkness. They use the adamantine sword to cut a suit of chainmail and a longsword in half and then go back out to the hallway to leave them sticking out of the darkeness, in hopes that any would be trackers, will pull the armor and sword out and be terrified that the darkness can cut those who enter it in half (while disintegrating the flesh?).
  • Blauss realizes that he's lost contact with his raven when he entered the shadowy doorway. He returns to the hall to contact the raven and to tell him to stay on guard until our return.
  • The tree is believed to be the elven catacomb. There is an inscription on the moat wall that reads: "HERE LIES THE FEY ENDING THEIR NIGH ETERNAL SPAN FOR THE FREE PEOPLES."


To be continued...

----Notes RHYL 2019.08.17

HALL OF HEROES: ROOM OF THE FALLEN[edit]

Note that the evening's activities were varied and happening often all at once and this scribe missed several details. Please amend anything that has been grossly misstated or omitted.
  • The party is gazing out on the large chamber dominated by the huge tree. There are four doors to consider, one for each of the four races's catacombs as well as other odd details.[1]
  • Blauss suggests a fifth room may be hidden from view here. One where Ticondrius could hide the keystone without needing to disturb the catacombs, nor defy the symmetry of four. (four races, four elements, four classes/vocations) Without a fifth room one of a set of four might be distinguished on no logical basis.
  • Taurus says we should take a direct path to… the objective.
  • Through the monocle, Devonor can see that each door lock is trapped. No other auras are visible.
  • Casting a wary eye upon the Tomb of the high priest guardian, Argel walks toward upon the cobbled path toward the bridge leading to the elven catacomb tree. Blauss stops him and asks that he look back the way he came to see if any inscriptions are on the entrance they are using. A horned bow symbol is carved above the archway above the party. When asked if anyone should accompany him, Argel tells them to wait and see if he stirs up any trouble getting to the Tree.
  • As Argel steps on the bridge, a gentle rustling, like a faint breeze, moves through the chamber's plant life. Removing and replacing his foot on the bridge causes the breeze to waft again, but no dangers present themselves. The water in the moat is circling slowly and is reminiscent of the bath the found near the priest's office.
  • Bluass theorizes that the room containing the trees and plants are in some form of stasis while it is unoccupied. This, along with the magical sunshine would explain how they continue to thrive underground.
  • An idea crosses Krysotvar's mind and he digs out his crystal ball. With its magic, he is able to determine that this place is somehow in the same time of day as Crandal's Blight.
  • Krys and Dev join Argel at the bridge.
  • Argel reads the inscription on the Dwarven crypt door:
CRAFTERS OF MIGHT LIFTED AXE AND SPEAR TO THE HONOR OF THE FREE PEOPLES.
PRAISE BE TO THEIR FORTITUDE AND WORKS.
  • Krys's detection spell finds that the room is overwhelmingly magical. The trees have the most powerful enchantments upon them.
  • Argel and Krys will approach and investigate the Elven Tree and its door. Devonor flanks the tree and its moat on their left side. Taurus moves up to do the same on the right side of the tree and moat. Neither strays from the pathway onto the grass.
  • The Halfling catacomb door is a round door in the hobbit tradition. The inscription nearby reads:
HALFLINGS REST HERE.
ETERNALLY RETURN TO THE FEAST THEY LEFT UNEATEN,
PUTTING DOWN THE GOBLET,
THEY LIFTED ARMS,
MAKING AN OUTSIZED IMPACT FOR ALL THE FREE PEOPLES.
  • Argel approaches elven tree reverently, speaking elven prayers. He circles the grassy square around the tree and notes a oblong patch of earth behind the tree. He notes that he will come back to it.
  • Meanwhile, Blauss is back at the entrance with Will. Unsatisfied with a quick scan of the rooms' magic, he casts detect magic to study the room's auras in close detail. He notes many auras, strong conjurations on the doors, strange enchantments on the trees, but nothing provides a definitive clue as to the room's purpose and protections. He spends a few moments making sure the high priest's tomb is no threat. There is nothing notable on the tomb and only the conjuration of the gate back the way the group came.
  • Devonor notes two human statues flanking a short stairway into the human catacomb door. The door seems more grand than the dwarven and halfling doors.
  • Devonor tests touching the grass without any ill effect. Taurus matches his experiments. Both notice that the earthen area around the four smaller trees is a softer earth, almost like mulch or loam. When Taurus pokes the dirt with his lance from afar, the ground slowly fixes any disturbance on its surface.
  • Will is called to search the elven door. He confirms that another poison gas awaits within its lock. He then glances up and tells Argel and Krys to wait while he climbs up the tree trunk to explore the upper branches. He finds nothing useful.
  • Argel and Krys excavate the patch of earth behind the elf tree. There is conjuration magic, but Argel's fervent hope that the patch was the site of a buried object like the keystone, is dashed. The earth slowly begins to fill in again and repair itself as he digs. He stops after a foot or so. Krys pours water from the mote into the dirt. The earth dries quickly and does not become muddy.
  • By this time Blauss has crossed the room to direct his divination spell upon the hole Argel is digging. Blauss detects a distinct magic, but is not successful in ascertaining it's intended function.

INTO THE ELVEN CATACOMBS: ENCOUNTER 9[edit]

  • The party prepares and Will shoots the Elven door. He does and the gas dissipates quickly. The lock is badly damaged, but the door opens.
  • Will finds writing on the threshold of the door:
BLESSED ARE THE ALL THE ELVEN HEROES.
  • A narrow extremely steep stairwell leads down beneath the tree. Argel follows Will down.
  • They end up in a small square room with two hallways leading off. The halls appear to be lined with niches for remains and statues are posted further in. Facing them in the antechamber, are two statues of elves, one a warrior and one a mage. On the wall between them hang several beautifully crafted items: A suit of elven chainmail, a long sword, a helm, and a pair of soft boots.
  • Argel calls for Devonor to bring the monocle. Dev and Blauss descend the stair but don't proceed all the way into the chamber, preferring to observe from the stairwell.
  • As Devonor raises the monocle to scan the room, a deafening wail erupts from the Mage statue as a ghostly elven mage phase into view and glares at the party. "Intruders!" it screeches.
  • Before anyone can react, he casts a spell and three magic missiles slam into Will.
  • Blauss, who always seems remarkably unfazed by surprises, responds with an electric bolt. While the spell harms the ghost, the damage may be mitigated by its incorporeal form.
  • Argel orders a retreat and calls out to the guardian that the party means no harm and is a friend of the Free Peoples. He holds his hands out and steps between his allies and the enraged mage trying to soothe him in the elven tongue. "We are here for knowledge, not to defile your dead. Has a golden-eyed man passed this way?"
  • The spirit pauses, but quickly returns to a state of physical or mental torment. "I AM CRAVEN!" he bellows, before swiping Argel with an clawed ghostly hand. Argel staggers from the cold ripping at his essence. Everyone manages to clamber up the stairs (Taurus almost bowled over his teammates in his rush to escape the spirit and he ends up on the far side of the chamber above in a cold sweat).
  • Devonor calls down to Argel, "Let us know if you need a hand." He turns to the rest of the party, who are all wondering what is taking the ranger so long and says, "This is something Argel needs to do."
  • Argel begins backing up the stairs as the spirit paces and rails. It throws another barrage of magic missiles, staggering the ranger again.
  • Still hoping to parley, Argel persists, "How can I help you, ancient one?"
  • The mage casts an illusion to create two mirror images of himself before moaning, "I AM CRAVEN. I FLED THE FIELD AND LEFT MY BROTHERS TO FIGHT. I AM TORMENTED. CURSED TO GUARD THE HONORABLE DEAD!"
  • "You are not craven here now protecting your brothers. Let me help you to a honorable end," Argel says. Sensing that the spirit feels compelled to fight whatever he says, Argel draws his swords and attacks. Two of his blows dispel the mirror images and one sinks home.
  • Hearing the Argel's blades in action, Devonor descends the stairs again and tells Argel to "say the word".
  • Argel gives it, and Devonor lunges over him and slashes the spirit. As the ghost sinks and begins to fade, he tells Argel to move his bones from this place of torment. Argel says it shall be done.
  • No other guardian rises to defend the room, so Devonor uses the monocle but spies nothing in the antechamber or down the two hallways.
  • Argel finds a recess behind the mage statue with the craven mage's bones and his earthly belongings: A fine elven robe wrapped around a wand and two rings.
  • Blauss detects magic on the items and the hallways. The helm and the boots are not magical. Argel says we should leave them. Blauss agrees.
  • The group debates the question of taking items in the tomb. That nothing should be left behind for enemies to use against us wins a vote. They agree that they don't have time to find every possible item and that they will take things that are found while looking for the keystone. They also leave open the possibility that some items may be returned to the Free Peoples should any still exist.
  • The items are investigated and some are identified. The wand is a Wand of Lightning. Blauss accepts it and one of the rings which may be a Ring of Wizardry. Taurus exchanges his battered breast plate for the elegant woven mithral elven chain. Argel takes the elven long sword, which Blauss says is moderately to strong in power.
  • After discovering that the mage's robe was a more powerful version of the one found in the priest's office, Devonor and Krystovar agreed it made sense for Devonor to wear the more powerful protection, and for Krys to keep the druidic one. To further his survival, Devonor also asks to use the craven mage's Ring of Protection +1 for now.
  • They leave the elven catacombs and spike the door closed.

ELEMENTALS OF EARTH!: ENCOUNTER 10[edit]

  • Will is very keen on trying the halfling tomb next, but the group believes the human door is the most likely next choice. He shoots and sets off the door trap just to be ready if time allows a delving.
  • The human door inscriptions reads: (George, please add here)
  • The party prepares and Will shoots the human door lock. As the gas settles, the rustling first heard earlier returns but quickly becomes a major tremble as five large earth elementals erupt from the earth at the base of each tree and attack. Argel shouts to make for the door.
  • Blauss manages to act first and slips away before the elementals can begin their ambush. He reaches the door, throws it open and turns while drawing the new wand.
  • The largest elemental reaches over the moat and tries to smash Will, but can't reach and clubs the ground at the halfing's feet. The rest of the elementals lumber into attack range.
  • The party begins a organized retreat. Will is slammed twice as he darts between two elementals and makes his way to the stairway to the door. He shoots but his arrow ricochets.
  • Blauss lightning bolts two with the new wand. The closest one sidesteps most of the damage while the other takes the full brunt.
  • Taurus delays, not willing to leave any of his team behind. The large elemental punches down again at him, but the magic of his new chainmail absorbs and deflects what would have been a direct hit.[2] A smile plays across Bison Man's lips.
  • Two elementals set upon Krys, leaving him near falling for the second time since he's entered the Hall of Heroes. The other elementals find the rest of the party hard to pin down.
  • Devonor dashes over to his brother and Argel and bravely draws the attention (and parting attacks) of their elementals. This creates a window for the pair to retreat safety without being struck at from behind.
  • Seeing everyone has safely reached the room, Taurus too dashes to the other room.
  • They party sets up battle ranks guarding the entrance to the next chamber.
  • While waiting for the elementals' next move, they take a quick glance around. They are on a dock or pier of worked stone in a huge chamber filled with water. A single two-man boat is moored at the pier. Across the water is a lit area with a large archway. Two large statues flank the exit, but everyone is relieved to see what can only be the keystone hovering in the lit area beyond the arch.
  • Now how to get there without being pulverized or drowned.

To be continued....




----Notes RHYL 2019.09.07

HALL OF HEROES: THE TOMB OF MAN[edit]

Note that the evening's activities were varied and happening often all at once and this scribe missed several details. Please amend anything that has been misstated or omitted.

ENCOUNTER 10 CONTINUED[edit]

  • Pursued by five earth elemental guardians, the party has retreated from the Room of the Fallen. After the last of his allies had exited, Will Bowman moves from his spot on the tomb door stoop to join them. By the time he takes his place between Krys and Argel, Will has stowed his bow, drawn his bastard sword and readied the three-wind shield from the chapel.
  • Blauss casts spider climb and scrambles up the wall near the right side of the entrance. From about two stories up, he has a view of the door just as the largest of the elemental shoulders through the entrance, sending pieces of the stone frame to the ground. It backhands Krystovar solidly. The priest stumbles but regains his footing.
  • Taurus is the first to counter strike. The adamantine great sword proves its usefulness again as it easily carves through the outsider's stone and dirt form. If the elemental feels pain, fear or anger, it shows none.
  • Devonor lunges next and in two quick hacks he finishes the monster off. The elemental crumbles into a mound at the threshold.
  • Krys retreats to the water's edge and summons cure serious wounds to mend his many injuries.
  • A new elemental enters and brings both its massive arms down on Will. The halfling raises the three-wind shield and a aura of magic flashes as the fists rain down. Only one of the attacks punches through, but Will's armor and nimbleness keeps him from the brunt of the crushing blow. He counters with his sword, easily hitting but leaving only a deep scratch. "Why not use your bow?" Devonor suggests, but Will knows falling back to missile range will make it easier for the foes to break through the party's bottleneck at the doorway.
  • Taurus and Argel greet the newest elemental with a flurry of blows. The now raged Bison Man's are even more devastating. Argel's attacks are more modestly effective and augmented by electrical surges coming from the magical long sword found in the elven tomb.
  • An elemental from the other room erupts through its wounded ally and tries to bull rush Will. He knocks him back a few steps but cannot push in to middle of the party, but it does end up in the room against the wall and below Bluass. The wizard climbs further up.
  • Devonor steps over to check the new interloper's position and land two solid sword blows. Krys follows his brother's attack with a ray of fire from the ogre magi amulet. While both damage the monster, only the adamantium so far has fully damaged any of the elementals.
  • Will's next sword attack on same barely damages the creature. He falls back to use his bow.
  • Blauss lightning bolts the more wounded elemental with the elven wand. It still stands.
  • The elementals show no fear and mindlessly press into the room and the party's front line. Both Taurus and Devonor suffer additional wounds, but soon the party's wolf pack tactics take the last one down. Another Hall of Heroes threat is removed!

ROMANCING THE KEYSTONE[edit]

  • As the party catches it's breath after defeating the Earth Elementals, they study the large chamber for details.
    • The room is nearly a hundred feet wide with a peaked ceiling over a hundred feet high. The walls are lined with flaming torches.
    • The room primarily a deep pool of active water with several slow moving eddies visible on the surface.
    • They are standing on a worked stone platform overlooking the water. There are empty weapon racks built into walls nearest the water. A narrow wooden dock extends out into the water where a single two-man sailboat is tethered.
    • Dominating the center of the A tall obelisk of white marble is in the center of the water. It is surrounded by a number of water fountain jets that originate from the water and not from any obvious mechanism or tubes. The obelisk is carved with ship voyage scenes and with a inscription that asks readers to be unarmed when they come to honor the dead on the other side.
    • The other side platform is wider but shallower. A second dock with no boat awaits. The platform's edge is lined with four tall columns. Tall warrior statues stand at attention against each of the pillars.
    • Behind these pillars and centered on the platform is a large altar that is on fire. Behind the altar is a recessed shelf upon which sits THE KEYSTONE. A stone statue about the size of an ogre stands next to the keystone.
    • Two archways flank the altar and lead off presumably to the humankind crypts.
  • While they take in the sights, Devonor proposes that they go back to the other chamber and investigate the Halfling Crypt in order to find more magic to help battle what may wait here or back outside if they survive long enough to return to Crandal's Blight. William Bowman likes that idea.
  • They party also discusses how best to retrieve the keystone. They strongly suspect that water elemental guardians await in the depths here and that the altar flame may be an elemental of fire.
  • Blauss offers to cast another spider climb that can target more than one person to allow members to avoid the boat and water altogether. The party likes the idea, but also believes that if they violate the rules for approaching the crypts, that the guardians will attack. Blauss begins studying for a half hour to memorize the appropriate spells to aid with the keystone recovery.
  • Krys uses up two spells to heal Argel and Devonor. Some of their many injuries fade by Ehlonna's grace.
  • It is decided that they will try to follow the rules of the room and send only two members over to get the Keystone. Devonor and Taurus are deemed healthiest and quickest for the mission.
  • They prepare for the trip by placing all their weapons on the weapon racks. Devonor even empties his magical gloves of all weapons just in case the gods here know all. They decide they will remain armored.
  • The party equips them:
    • Blauss lends 1 Potion of Haste to each
    • Potion of fire protection to Taurus.
    • Argel loans his potion of Invisibility to Dev.
    • Blauss casts spider climb on both of them
    • Krys casts Bull's Strength on Taurus and Protection from Fire on Dev.
    • They empty the Bag of Holding of all weapons and give it to Devonor.
  • The pair enter the boat and cast off. As soon as the tiller is touched, the boat's sail fills and the vessel slowly moves off on a predetermined path through the whirling water eddies. It steers to the obelisk and after a few moments of reverently pointing at the inscription, the boat circles to the other side and docks.
  • When they disembark, the boat returns to the other dock using a similar route but on the opposite side of obelisk.
  • As Devonor approaches the altar, the air becomes noticeably hotter.
  • When Devonor asks the altar or spirits of the place for the Keystone, the flames grow in height and a voice asks what they have brought for tribute.
  • Thinking quickly, Taurus reminds Devonor of the two soul stones they found in Arklow's cemetery. Devonor answers that they bring the souls of two dead heroes who need protection within the Hall of Heroes. He produces the two glowing gems.
  • Spirits of human warriors clad in chainmail appear on the far ends of the platform and approach the altar.
  • Taurus pales and begins to shake with fear and awe. It takes calming words from Devonor and all the self-control the barbarian can muster to not flee.
  • As the spirits near the altar and see the tribute, they appear mildly confused, but they accept the stones and soon the voice booms out that the souls are welcome among the heroes of the land. The ghosts carry the gems through the two archways into the crypts.
  • Devonor again asks if he may take the keystone, but the altar is silent, its flames now dying down to the way they were before.
  • Dev goes around the altar and nothing happens. They think that while they have satisfied the Hall of Heroes guardians they have yet to appease Ticondrius's.
  • Taurus notices that the stone statue looks newer and of a different design than the rest of the art and architecture in this ancient place.
  • When he touches the keystone, the nearby statue straightens and turns to glower at him. When he steps away from the stone, the statue returns to its original pose. Blauss identifies the construct as a stone golem and warns of a number of dangers they will encounter battling it. "It can magically slow you and is nearly impervious to spells and magic and mundane weapons," he summarizes.
  • Devonor uses the monocle, but sees no clues or traps.
  • Taurus and Devonor quickly form a strategy. Taurus returns to the dock and, as expected, the boat begins sailing back from the other side. When it docks, Bison Man waits near it. Devonor quaffs his Haste potion and readies the Bag of Holding. He quickly bags the keystone, turns and races back to the boat. Taurus has already leaped into the vessel and readies to grab the tiller.
  • The stone golem immediately pursues Devonor with suprising speed. Devonor dodges the guardian's attacks and makes it to the boat. Taurus grabs the tiller and the boat drifts out of reach before the golem can catch up.
  • Without hesitation the golem steps off the dock after the thieves and sinks into the water.
  • To everyone's dismay, the water is not as deep as thought. Now wading, the golem continues the pursuit and will catch the boat when it stops by the obelisk on its route.
  • But before the golem gets more than a step or two, the water begins to swirl and boil as eight water elementals rise from the eddies. After a moment of uncertain dread for Devonor and Taurus, the guardians of the water glide toward the golem, leaving the boat to sail onward.
  • After a brief struggle, the golem is dragged down below the surface and Taurus and Devonor reach the dock safely.
  • There is much rejoicing.
  • As the party regroups, rearms and redistributes the potions etc, a warm breeze blows across the water, causing all the torches to flicker. A tall spectral man who could be no other than Ticondrius appears in front of the exit. After greeting and congratulating them, the spirit explains that he is but a small remnant of his true spirit that has been left behind to oversee the keystone. He asks the adventurers what they will use it for. They answer that it will be used to battle the evil that is returning to Ryhll. Seemingly mollified, the spirit goes on to ask a boon of the Heroes of the Land. Since the high priest Takal no longer stands watch over these halls, he asks if he can count on them to care for the Hall of Heroes — to visit occasionally and protect the honored dead when needed.
  • Krystovar and Taurus swear to do so as the spirit fades from view. The other party members make no such vow.

CHAPTER'S END[edit]

  • The party leaves the Tomb of Man and returns to the question of searching the Halfling Hall. While there is still interest in doing so, Argel and some prudent party members warn that the party has used most of its spells and resources for the day and many are wounded. Risking another deadly guardian or trap in the halfling tomb may mean they are unable to survive an attack by enemies that are close to finding the Hall.
  • Argel suggests that Blauss go back through the magic shadow portal and contact his raven. The mage and an escort does and he reports that it is sunset outside and that eight Air Tribe ogres are camped in the glen. They have discovered where the party dug up the Hall entrance and are trying to open the sealed door.
  • Since it is sunset, Krys decides to use his crystal ball to spy on Magelus, but since the mage noticed his scrying last time, the priest cannily targets Magelus's Cuthbert priest Jared. The mists in the crystal clear and he sees Jared in a stone chamber that may be in the Rhyll castle. He is speaking with tall men he is unable to see completely or identify. One tall figure demands that "The time is at hand! You must make a decision soon!" Jared replies, "I know, but it is difficult." Then the scry ends, possibly because Jared resisted it. When Krystovar's eye's refocus on his companions, he says that the tall figures might be those merchants from Ahlissa, but he can't say for certain.
  • Argel proposes that the party could fortify their position and then camp in order to heal and restore their spells.
  • What will the party do next? Tune in next time.

END OF 2019 SESSION

----Notes RHYL 2019.09.28

  1. At some time recently, Krystovar removed the protective robe that they found in the office and gave it to Devonor.
  2. +3