The Once & Future Realms

Feb 20th, 2016 First session of the year

After a brief examination of the tower the party decides to proceed with plan “Go forward, if something gets in the way… hit it.” by dressing up their warlock as a Host Tower wizard and barging into Rezmir’s house.

This barging works fairly well, the guards being unsuspecting and confused. The crashing wave tapestries trigger a memory in Xarath, a vision of his old master giving him a lesson about old powerful magics and ways beyond the elven mythals that were used to power advanced spells. Coming out of this he attempts to cover the delay by demanding to be taken to “him”… which triggers a bit of suspicion in the guards since Rezmir is actually a “her”.

Fighting ensues, eventually the party works it’s way through the tower killing 7 guardsmen and capturing on acolyte of “Umberlee”. They also discover a distinct lack of Rezmir, though there are signs of a somewhat hasty leaving within the past couple of days.

Some enhanced interrogation of their prisoner reveals
Rezmir left about a day ago in a hurry, left no instructions
He is a follower of Olhydra, lord of watery destruction, elemental prince of evil as is Rezmir

Ritual of Preservation
Costs 100gps in prepared oils and salts
Lasts one year, provides a single book with protection from environmental and natural damage. Dampness, heat, cold, rain, dirt, vermin, etc. will all be protected against.

Plate Mail of Acid Resistance
Created of an odd ceramic like material, this dull grey suit of articulated plate will re size itself to fit a medium size create. It provides the standard protection of plate in addition to the acid resistance.

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No, it's to much... let us sum up

Hired to guard a caravan by Gundren Rockseeker, the party rescues Lord Hallwinter from some goblins, they make their way to Phandalin, there they route the Redbrand gang of thugs and first hear of the Blackspider. Some other minor events clear out some dangers of the area. They are attacked by some assassin types but don’t gain any leads. They route a dragon in the ruins of Thundertree and discover the route to Wave Echo Cave. Therein they defeat undead, Grace is unfortunately killed, then fortunately raised by returning her to her monastery. They return to the cave and finish off some undead and then encounter the Blackspider, rescue Nundro Rockseeker and recruit Bugsy the bugbear (who’s actual name is Gerk). They then proceed to route the goblins of Cragmaw castle, rescue Gundren Rockseeker and then there is a resting while Gundren recovers. The Rockseekers decide to head to Mithril Hall, with the party tagging along as guards. Along the way the are attacked by some lizardmen and bullywugs and discover another doppelganger in lead of them. They decide to fallow some scant clues to try and track where they came from. They encounter a friendly (mostly) lizardman and convince him to take them into the castle where the raiders came from in exchange for helping his people throw off the shackles of bullywug oppression (or something like that anyways). Making their way into the castle they encounter and defeat a mage claiming to be from a rebuilt Host Tower.

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Sessions the 20th and 21st

In the aftermath of the battle the party asks the Rockseekers abut the “Dwarven Key” and find no answers. The do however find an odd clay disk, worn with age and use, that bears an inscription to the dwarven god Marthammor Duin (the god of travel and protection). Through a bit of deduction they come to feel that the token is actually a portal key, and perhaps the missing part of this puzzle.

After a brief post battle rest the party decides to head into the swamp to retrace the trail of the assassins that had beset them. Using the map, along with a borrowed skiff, they penetrate into the swamp find the remnants of a camp site, confirming their heading the right direction.

Along the way they encounter a duo of lizardfolk and decide to attempt parley. While one is reluctant, the other (a warrior named Kresst) sees in the party an opportunity and gives them much information on the state of things in the swamp. It seems that the skin takers (his word for Doppelganger) had allied with the frog men (Bullywugs) and wrested control of the lizard tribe by slaying the previous chief and taking their spawn hostage. They resided in a ruined castle in the swamp, and while he did not seem to know their ultimate plans, he was quite willing to aid the party in their mission of slaying the doppelgangers if it meant freeing his tribe.

Leading the party deeper into the swamp Kresst talks them past a lizardman guard post, and conceals the party in the shadows of a lizard-pen while he goes to make contact with the others of his tribe.

While they wait the party is stumbled upon by a returning bullywug patrol. The fight is brief, and violent, and while one manages to scamper into the open area between the lizard pen and the rest of the castle, no alarm appears to be raised.

After disposing of the bodies amongst the lizards the party relocates to an area more concealed by bushes and waits for Kresst’s return.

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Session the... 19th? Something like that... lets go with 19

The brothers Rockseeker continue their association with the party, retaining them as guards on a trip to Mithril hall. This trip starts off simple enough, over land to the town of Yartar and from there up the River Surbin towards Mithril hall. Roughly a ten day has passed, and by mid Flamerule the boat they’ve hired to carry them north is gliding past the Evermoors. While the weather has generally been good, the nights prove dark and the ships captain anchors the boat as he feels traveling at night poses to great a danger of accident.

The unfortunate side effect is that it allows a group of amphibian humanoids to attack the party. A combination of frogmen and lizardmen assault the party, though they prove to be quite outmatched by the might of the adventuring troupe. In the end they discover that the leader of the amphibious assault was actually a doppelganger.

Of note two items are recovered from the creatures, one a sword of odd construction and the other a rough map from somewhere in the moors to the river with a note instructing the bearer to “Return the dwarven key to me.” The party decides they need to ask the Rockseekers some questions and there we leave it…

The Squirming Blade
Crafted of an odd silvery-black material the blade appears to be carved with an odd swirling pattern which seems to shift at the corners of your vision. The material is nonferrous and does not rust. The sword is well balanced, though while wielded odd vibrations can be felt through the pommel.
Greatsword 2d6 slashing
Qualities: Heavy, two-handed
The sword functions as a magic weapon as far as overcoming damage resistances, and against living creatures (i.e. without the elemental, undead or construct types) it’s critical range is increased by 1 (19-20).

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An interlude...

(A summary of the transitional time…)
The group heads to Crawmaw castle and with Gerk’s help frees Gundan, routing the goblins that once dominated the ruins. Gundran informs them that a female drow had been here to retrieve him for the Black Spider but the goblin king had held out for more money and they had been debating that… they find some elven tracks that flee into the woods but of the dark elf herself no so sign.

They return to Phandelvar with enough XP to gain level 5 (6,500 total) as well as goods and coin worth 550 gps as well as a scroll of reviviify, 3 potions of healing and a scroll of silence. There they settle in to rest up and spend some time evaluating what comes next for the group.

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Sessions the 16th and 17th

After a bit of research and work the party gathers and creates the items they need to attempt the ritual. The Watcher… watches them, but does not interfere until the forge starts to sputter and flicker during the ritual. It tells them to stop, and after a brief internal debate Xarath does so. The party decides to trek to the temple of Kossuth that lies not far from Thundertree, as opposed to possibly damaging the forge.
This trip is largely uneventfull, and with the party providing the materials needed to power the spell Grace’s status as a member of the temple allows them to raise her at no additional fee. They spend a day to allow Grace to recover some of her strength and then head back to the caves.

They head back to the forge and discover that the Black Spider did in fact make a brief attempt to enter the forge area, but was rebuffed by the Watcher, who appears to have killed a couple of bugbears. The group heads off, following the tracks back to the NE area of the caves.

They proceed through a small barracks area containing a half dozen bugbears, and then further into a rough area that appears to be being excavated. There a drow watches over a small group of bugbears. The drow attempts to warn the party of, calling to Xarath by his name and promising the Black Spider’s leniency if they leave now. The party quickly dispatches two of the bugbears and the drow flees… spending only a moment to finish ioff the final bugbear the party gives chase, and though his lead is short they hear yelled from ahead “Intruders come!”.

With a quick peek into a closed door, in which appears to lie a crumpled dwarf, the party continues on to what seems to be an old temple of Dumathoin. Inside two bugbear are readying for combat, a dwarf cowers near the statue of Dumathoin, and a number of spiders lurk behind pillars (though not all see them).

Xarath uses a scroll to charm Gerk the bugbear, who quickly comes to his aid and frees him from the webs of a spider. Grace charges forward to confront the remaining bugbear, striking him with might blows. The spiders advance upon the party, but their assaults prove ineffective… the black spider himself appears, launching magic missiles then mental assaults though these are all rebuffed and he attempts to flee under the cover of a darkness spell. At this point the dwarf has also apparently decided that fear is the better part of survival and is also trying to flee… Unfortunately for the Black Spider the party manages to catch him and slays him with much slaying. They also stop the dwarf, who at first appears to be Gundran (Their original employer) and says he was captured and brought here…

Xarath is skeptical, but for the moment passes as they start to examine the room and bodies, questioning Gerk a bit. Amber and Lani go to check on the crumpled dwarf, finding the final cousin Nundro. As Lani wakes him, he is confused and then suddenly started by something as Gundran turns into a lanky blue, near featureless creature that attempts to flee… only to be brought down by Fire Bolt (and other miscellaneous attacks).

Now having a captive the party attempts to find out some info. Gerk is a mercenary hired in the markets of Skull port, and has no particular loyalty to “The boss”. The boss is a drow by the name of Nezznar, who came from a city in the underdark and seems to be the mastermind behind this scheme. His interest lay solely in the forge, though no one knows for sure what he sought. The fo-Gundran is a doppleganger by the name of Vhalak, though that is irrelevant now that his attempts to buy his life with revenge plans plucked from Grace’s mind is soundly rejected by Amber’s hammer… Gerk however, proves to be a true member of his species and accepts Xarath’s offer of amnesty and food in exchange for helping them get Gundran from Cragmaw castle.

After a brief stop by the Watcher’s room ,where Nundro argues with it over the ownership of the mine and eventually “fires” it the party returns to Phandelvar with Nundro. They take a brief time to bury the dead dwarf Tharden in a cairn near the entrance, Nundro saying that is a fitting place for his brother to rest. Nundro also offers the party a share of the mine in exchange for tracking down and rescuing his remaining brother.

Loots

Arrow Breaker
This small round steel shield bears the carving of arrows breaking upon an anvil in it’s center front. As well as dwarven runes of protection around the rim. The words “Arrow Breaker” are carved on the inside. In addition to being a +1 shield, when the user is struck by a ranged attack (including spells) they may spend a reaction to cause the attacker to roll again (as if they had disadvantage).

Silverbeard’s Fists
Appearing to be plate gauntlets of fine manufacture these gauntlets provider the wearer with a 19 strength.

Spider Staff
The top of this metallic black staff is shaped like a stylized spider. The staff weighs 6 pounds. When wielded as a quarterstaff it counts as a magic weapon and deals Id6 extra poison damage on a hit.The staff has 10 charges, which are used to fuel the spells within it. With the staff in hand, you can use your action to cast one of the following spells from the staff if the spell is on your class’s spell list: spider climb (1 charge) or web (2 charges, spell save DC 15). No components are required.The staff regains Id6 + 4 expended charges each day at dusk. If you expend the staff’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff crumbles to dust and is destroyed.

Wand of Magic Missiles
This wand of about 18” appears to be made of wood that narrows to a point on one end. A “grip” of runic symbols twists around the wider base. This wand has 7 charges. With the wand in hand, you can use your action to fire the magic missile spell from the wand-no components required-and expend 1 to 3 of the wand’s charges. For each charge you expend beyond 1, the spell’s level increases by 1. You can use this wand even if you are incapable of casting spells.
The wand regains Id6 + 1 expended charges each day at dawn. If you expend the wand’s last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the wand crumbles into ash and is destroyed.

Warden’s Staff
At first look this staff appears to be made of oak or some other hardwood, but is as hard and dense as iron. It’s surface is carved with a vine and claw motif as well as elven runes declaring it’s name. It functions as a +1 quarterstaff, but with two twists in the hands of a druid. The first is that it functions as if shillelagh had been cast upon it, allowing them to use their wisdom in place of their strength when attacking. The second is that while in animal for their natural attacks are treated as if they were +1 magical weapons.

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Sessions the 14th and 15th

After recovering from their fight with dragon the party is given information about Castle Cragmaw and Wave Echo Cave in the end electing to bypass the castle and head right to the cave.

Entering the cave the party comes across the remnants of the Rockseeker’s camp, complete with dead dwarf storage. Although hard to determine exactly the body has been dead less than a month, but more than a few days.

Heading deeper into the cave system the party is ambushed by stirges and after a blood letting battle arise victorious. A bit more exploration shows them what used to be an assayer’s office in which they recover some loot(600 cp, 180 sp, and 60 gp.). Additionally they are coming to see that the area was the site of a battle that caused much destruction to the once decorated halls…

They explore a bit more, electing to bypass the fungal cave, and coming upon a group of ghouls hiding in the shadows of a large central gathering hall. And then in what looks to bed the remains of a large mechanical smelter they encounter a flaming skull and it’s zombie pals. After this victory they rest for a brief period before continuing their exploration…

Following the “Go right your explorers” methodology the party comes to find a large cavern that shines with odd reflective bits in the walls. Inside this area two separate freestanding buildings reside though both have been damaged to some degree. The first they see it’s doors have been partially melted, and inside thy come across “The watcher”, a large floating eye-beast that speaks telepathically to the party. It appears to be the guardian of the forge and has been here some time. It’s confusion over the current state of the mine is becomes obvious over the course of the conversation.

After this conversation the party decides to explore the other room, encountering Mormesk, the remnants of a wizard who once resided in these halls. After an oddly cordial conversation, the specter attempts to make a deal to have the part kill the watcher in exchange for information on how to use the forge, as well as his assurance that he’d stop any drow from accessing it. The party withdraws to discuss this… but being the distrustful incorporeal bastard he is, Mormesk listens in and as the group decides to kill him Mormesk goes and finds some of his remaining minions and leads them to attack the party.

A viscous fight ensues, in which Grace pays a great price and is killed…

Loot stuff…
The scorched chest is unlocked and contains 1,100 cp, 160 sp, three diamonds (100 gp each), and a wooden pipe adorned with platinum filigree (150 gp).
a small collection of magically preserved books… One is a book on metallurgy and it’s uses in magical creation (common), another book on something called “The Blood War”(elven), a history of the north published in year 874 (common), a book on dwarven gods and histories (dwarven), one is a book that contains notes/formula/sketches (draconic), and a book containing a number of spells (1st level: magic missile, shield • 2nd level: blur,flaming sphere • 3rd level :fireball) and ritual spells (Identify, Comprehend Languages, Unseen Servant, Gentle Repose, Phantom Steed)

In the journal like book a large section is given out to a specific ritual and theory regarding using the Forge of Spells to rebodify a spirit…

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Session the 13th

Returning to the druid’s home the pry recovers from their fight with the cultists (And levels to lvl 4).

The next day the party heads up to ye olde dragon lair to ask Venomfang to depart for pastures that are not here. Despite the witty conversation, well told lies, and confusingly delivered pleading the situation goes as you might expect and combat ensues…
leading off with a shattered town, then a mauled elf, a lucky (and somewhat unbelievable) priestly command to grovel, some stabbing and blasting and non-poisoning, and the dragon takes off into the air escaping into the north…
After the battle the party takes inventory of the dragon’s lair, silver, gold, some moonstone encrusted goblets, a partially ruined spell book

Grace also discovers that her javelin seems to have been empowered by Kossuth…
Javelin of Fire
This javelin is a magic weapon. When you hurl it and speak its command word, it transforms into a ribbon of fire, forming a line 5 feet wide that extends out
from you to a target within 120 feet. Each creature in the line excluding you and the target must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 4d6 fire damage on
a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The lightning bolt turns back into a javelin when it reaches the target. Make a ranged weapon attack
against the target. On a hit, the target takes damage from the javelin plus 4d6 fire damage.
The javelin’s property can’t be used again until the next dawn. In the meantime, the javelin is still considered a magic weapon.

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Session the 12th

Pressing in to the town the party finds a lone house that’s been repaired and sealed up. A short examination indicates a lone resident, who is currently not in residence. The party continues on further in to town and runs across a couple of giant spiders that appear to have made a l;air inside one of the ruined houses. After a brief fight the party is victorious. While searching through the left overs they find a (quite dead) cocooned human in an odd mask and black leathers.

Russel (the rustling owl) finds a tasty squirrel that turns out to actually be the druid Raidoth who has come to investigate the noises. He and the party retire to his home where they discuss life, liberty and the pursuit of a dragon free community. He bargains for the party to aid him in removing the dragon (oh, and those dragon cultists) from town in exchange for information on there where about of Cragmaw castle and Wave Echo Cave.

That evening the party goes to investigate the old farm house the cultists have holed up in. This investigation turns in to combat, as they do, and after tweests and turns and fiery spheres and hail Kossuth javelin tosses the party emerges victorious with no one being seriously injured! Excepting Xarath who took a lightning bolt to the face and dropped unconscious and nearly bled out…

Among the cultists loot they discover a small box with three nice quality diamonds, a group of 6 poison resistance potions, and a magical dragon mask…

Mask of Protection: A mask of black leather with blueish highlights that appears to be fashioned into a stylized dragon’s head. +1 to AC, +1 to saving throws, grows warm to the touch within 200’ of a dragon and provides advantage on wisdom checks involving dragons.

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Session the 11th
I'm late, I'm late, I'm a late update... log

The day passes mostly uneventfully.

In the night the party is attacked by a group of assassins, who call themselves The White Fangs. Four lackeys took up their positions and snuck into Grace+Drulani’s room, while two more trained assassins (Initiates of the Blade) lurked behind. Lackeys are disposed of, the blades are engaged, and then defeated. One attempts to flee out the window and gets as far as the Inn’s front gate but is brought low by Xarath’s spells.

Brian (the feared assassin is captured alive and interrogated while the town-guard is taking it’s time to arrive and check up on everything. He doesn’t know much about specifics, his group was hired to take out the party because “They had gotten someone’s attention”. They didn’t deal directly with the person, so he doesn’t have any real specifics.

The party heads back to Phandlain, with it’s troupe of guardsmen. They arrive, deliver the guardsmen, and begin checking in around town. The dwarves have still not arrived, and concern is growing over their lateness. After some back and forth the group decides to try and look more into this, trying to figure out how they can find either the mine or Cragmaw castle. They are given a lead on a druid that’s lived in the area since before Elder Alderleaf was a young child.They head off in search of the druid, heading to the ruins of Thundertree… his last known location.

A wooden sign marks the edge of town “DANGER! Plant monsters AND zombies! Turn back now!”…

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