The Morning Lord's Glory

Durden Yauntyrr
Eagle's Eyrie: Session 4

Final Confrontation

Undead_Werewolf.jpg

  • The group spoke briefly with Durden, but conflict was inevitable as the Drow blocked thier only escape from Eagle’s Eyrie.
  • Durden was felled along with an undead Dane.
  • The group found a letter from Mykiira describing their intent to attack Dagger Falls and Durden’s mission to stop the group from escaping Eagle’s Eyrie at all costs

Let there be Light

  • As the group emerged from the Temple of Dumathoin the darkness the pressed upon the group was gone.
  • Looking upward in the atrium mirrors could be seen dotting the many levels upward. Sunlight streamed into the atrium from above as if daylight were filling the room.
  • The group rode the dwarf “elevator” a platform controlled by a series of chains, pulleys and counterweights.
  • At the top were the ruins of the dwarf watchtower that towered above the river valley and Dagger Falls below. A massive shear cliff awaited the group.

The Descent

  • The group chose to climb down the sheer cliff. A series of skill checks were needed to make their way down.
  • After comfortably landing below, the group made their way back to the Northspire encampment on the south side of the river near the Teshford Arms.

Varic and Torian

  • After arriving at camp the group convened inside Tavion’s tent. A makeshift table with a map of Dagger Falls stretched out and pinned by Daggers is in the middle of the room.
  • Tavion the Bull can be seen towering over the table with a lithe man standing beside him. He stands may 5’10", jet black hair slicked back with a well manicured goatee. He speaks with a refined, arrogant air and it’s clear he is the man in charge.
  • He introduces himself as Varic and explains that he has taken command of this encampment.
  • After the group debriefs Varic and Tavion on the events inside of Eagle’s Eyrie and their success in acquiring the Torque of Lathander’s Blessing Varic begins to brief the group on the current events.
  • Their briefing is interrupted by several guards who drag in a wood elf who is looking in rough shape.
  • Waylan and Nathier interrogate the elf and learn his is part of the Eldreth Veluuthra, a xenophobic group of elves out of the Border Forest.
  • The Veluuthra hate humans and will kill on site because of their encroachment and disrespect for their lands. He explains that they have allied with the Zhentarum to destroy Dagger Falls.
  • Their job was to take and hold the Forrest Gate which they have done.

State of Affairs

  • Varic explains that in addition to the Forest Gate being occupied that the Zhentarum have captured the River Gate.
  • A darkness continues to emminate and pervade the surrounding land – it seems to be originating from the Temple District and the abandoned Temple of Lathander’s Light.
  • It is believed that there is a large contingent of Northspire Mercenaries within and around the Constable Tower presumable protecting Lord Morn.
  • It is unknown the state of the rest of the city.
  • Intelligence has revealed that Kessla has been captured and is being held by a group of Humanoid Zhents at the Red Rock.
  • Varic sent a group of Rangers into the city via a sewer drain on the south wall that led into the Abandoned Warehouse District to collect intelligence and hopefully discover what has happened at the Constable Tower. He has learned that they have also been overrun.
  • Varic is also aware of secret entrance to the Constable Tower on the west side of the city that the Spire often used for spys and scouts.
  • Varic sets three missions before the group – 1) Rescue Kessla – she knows too much and if her knowledge fell into the wrong hands it could be devastating 2) Reinforce the Rangers and break through to the Constable Tower 3) Sneak into the Constable Tower via the secret entrance on the west wall of the city and 4) Break the Zhent hold on the front gate and recapture that point
  • After some deliberation the group decides to rescue Kessla

Kessla

  • Tavion provides a distraction with a coordinated attack on the gate – just enough to get the Zhents attention and provide the group the time needed to slip north toward the Red Rock
  • The group finds that there is a sizable contingent of orcs, ogres, and half-giants encamped around the Red Rock.
  • Two lone orc guards are at the back exit to the Red Rock, but there is a patrol of orcs as well scouring the perimeter.
  • The group easily dispatches the orcs at the back entrance, but a patrol of orcs comes upon the group.

We left if off at this point with an encounter at the back of the the Red Rock

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Into the Darkness
Eagles Eyrie Session 3

Shrine of Vergadain

  • After a slumber, an exchange, and good meal the group decides to set out.
  • The lever behind the sarcophagus was activated – grinding of stone and metal could be heard through the walls.
  • Before leaving Vergadain informed the group that he has kept the shrine of his brother, Dumathoin, hidden from the drow invatders, but his power is waning.
  • As they departed the safety of the shrine, the door slid shut behind them sealing the shrine and tomb.

The Visitor

  • The cavern is now devoid of any light and an unnatural chill has descended.
  • A pinpoint of light begins to expand and the face Myrkiira Desptyl appears before them.
  • “This is now the realm of Kiaransalee,” She proclaims. “Darkness shall soon fall upon Dagger Falls!”
  • Myrkiira does her best to persuade the group to turn back and reveals that Dagger Falls is under serious attack
  • Undeterred the group forges ahead with a scream of rage from Myrkiira and her image fades to a pinpoint of light.

A Dark Cooridor

  • With the door now open the group makes it way through the far Northwest door.
  • Upon entering the hallway the group is overcome by an insidious crawling in the back of their sculls.
  • Waylan immediately drops unconscious to the floor being overcome by an unseen force.
  • Kotono and Nathier are paralyzed and staring in horror.

Trapped

  • Kotono finds himself in a barren wasteland. Dust blows across the dry parched earth. A lone lifeless tree can be seen in the distance. Shambling corpses with drawn gaping maws stumble across the landscape. Kotono, using his training, focuses inward to ward off what he recognizes as a psychic attack. Three floating ethereal woman appear before Kotono flying about him. Their faces shift from the visage of a beautiful youthful elf to a horrid undead corpse. Mocking Kotono, they tell him that the Vengeful Banshee is coming and eternal darkness will reign. In an instant, Kotono pushes back the darkness and regains his sanity (gains permanent advantage on fear saves).
  • Upon waking, Dervin and Sam are desperately trying to wake the others. Dervin, praying to the Morning Lord is able to restore Waylan and Natheir. Disturbed and shaken they continue down the corridor. Their light sources seem to be pressed upon by some magical darkness.

The Warehouse

  • Pressing forward the group comes upon a large stonework staircase bearing the markings of the Brightblade Clan that ascends and winds upward.
  • They reach the level above and it is a warehouse of sorts with stone racking holding barrels and crates of semi-precious metals in various stages of processing. It looks as if the dwarfs left in the middle of their workday with items strewn about the area. There is a large elevator with a crane looking structure in the center of the room that looks to be used for offloading cargo. Upon further inspection it could be used to ascend or descend in the Dwarf hold.

The Atrium

  • The groups decides to ascend further up the staircase. At the top there is a large archway with two massive stone Dwarfs on either side. Dwarven ruins are etched across the top of the archway.
  • Upon entering through the archway, the group discovers a large, circular chamber, with massive columns rising into the dark above. It is an atrium with an unknown number of levels ascending above. The floor is black obsidian with alabaster inlays that outline the Brightblade clan symbol, a long sword emblazoned with flame.
  • After Dervin cast light on a stone and threw it into the chamber, several shadowing figures are seen on the level above. Casting daylight Dervin runs across chamber with the group in tow.
  • As if on cue, the wall on the far side of the cavern dissipates and Vergadain can be seen frantically motioning the group forward.
  • Drow are seen nimbly sliding down the columns in pursuit of the group.
  • The group dashes through the large Archway as Vergadain raises the barrier again.

Temple of Dumathoin

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  • A narrow stone bridge spans a deep cavern to a archway emblazoned with the symbol of Dumathoin, A Mountain Silhouette with a green gem shining from the heart of the mountain.Dumathoin_Statue.jpg
  • The group enters a chamber with a similar polished obsidian floor. The same image above the archway they entered through is carved into the floor. A recess, the shape of the gem, is cut into the center of the floor. The walls curve upward and form a dome of polished obsidian, dark as night. The most stunning feature is raised diadem at the far end of the chamber with a massive statue of Dumathoin himself sitting upon a great stone throne. In one hand he holds a noble hammer and the other a kingly rod. There are two sealed arched doorways on either side of the statue.
  • Stepping into the recess, a pedestal raises up. Nine marking lines of glowing purple flow outward from the pedestal across the obsidian floor to nine pedestals that raise up from the floor on the perimeter of the domed chamber evenly lining the chamber. A booming voice breaks the silence, “Make your Offering.”

Offerings

Nine constellations are dimly lit in the dome aligned with the nine pedestals. The group places the following offerings – with each the items are consumed into the pedestal and the same line flows up the pedestal along the wall and up the domed wall to meet the constellation of a dwarf God, fully illuminating the constellation.

  • Dumathoin – (Dervin) Kessla’s poem scroll
  • Moradin – Sentinal Shield (Dervin received Moradin’s blessing – shield attributes became abilities)
  • Clanggedin Silverbeard – Dane’s Claw
  • Vergadain – (Nathier) Lucky Coin
  • Dugmaren Brightmantle – Map of Eagle’s Eyrie
  • Haela Brightaxe – (Kotono) Broken Katana
  • Abbathor – 1000 gps
  • Marthammor Duin – Bedroll & Cloak
  • Berronar Truesilver – (Kotono) Family letter

Blessings:

  • Dervin – received Moradin’s Blessing of the Sentinel (from sentinel shield), permanent advantage on perception and initiative checks, +2 Strength
  • Kotono – received +2 Constitution, permanent advantage on fear checks (from time in the void)

Inner Chamber

  • With the last item consumed, a booming response echoes through the chamber, “Your sacrifice has been rewarded.”
  • The pedestals sink back into the floor and with a rumbling and grinding of stone, the two doors on either side of the statue slide open.
  • The group made it’s way into an inner chamber. Each wall is lined with raised sarcophagi with a relief of a dwarf hero on each lid.
  • At the end of the chamber is a statue of a dwarf king with arms outstretched. Around his neck is a simple golden torque made of three braids of gold intertwined. Each braid is a slightly different hue ranging from gold to a metallic shade of red to a metallic shade of green. Affixed to the front of the torque is a round emblem of a sun rising with it’s rays casting down.
  • Upon touching the torque Dervin’s will is pressed upon by the will of Lathander’s Blessing. The groups aids Dervin as he communes with the the artifact.
  • The Torque agrees to allow Dervin to be it’s champion to regain it’s place within the halls of Lathander’s Light, the corrupted temple.

The Retreat

  • Upon leaving the Inner Champer and entering into the temple proper, figures are seen entering the far end of the temple.
  • Durden Yauntyrr strides confidently into the chamber flanked by his drow brethren…

We ended here with group on the cusp of an encounter with the Drow led by Durden…

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As Luck Would Have It
An Exchange

A Trap

  • After considering their options the group decided to follow the drow tracks through the door to the south.
  • Nathier and Waylan surmised that the door was barred from the other side and was most likely mechanical in nature.
  • Looking for a lever of some kind they decided to explore the door to the south east.
  • Leading up to the door were several stone stairs. The arched door had dwarven ruins across the top that sparkled as if precious stones were refracting light.
  • Dervin was able to spot a pressure plate on the steps.
  • Nathier was able to disarm the pressure plate, but a secondary element of the trap was triggered…stone could be heard grinding an a “chunk.chunk.chunk” like a ticking of a stone clock could be heard.
  • Skill Challenge: a chain trap encounter was triggered…a series of traps were set in motion (4000 XP)
  • Round 1 – A slot opened up above the archway and a green ball shot out; as it shoots through the air it expands into a barbed net – Nathier deftly rolls out of the way, but Waylan is entangled by the net and poisoned. Additionally the Net pinned Waylan to the stone. Kotono began untangling the net from Waylan but is poisoned by the barbs of the net in the process.
    *After inspecting the stone around Waylan the outline of a pittrap was found by Nathier. Rushing up to the doorway, Nathier was also able to spot a master mechanism along the door which required two successful disarm traps rolls over two rounds to break the chain trap. He succeeded on the first.
  • Round 2 – After more grinding of stone a nozzle appears in the slot above the doorway – a spray of acid shoots out covering the group. The hiss of of the corrosive liquid hitting rock, armor, and flesh fills the air with the smell of burning flesh. Waylan screams and falls limp. Dervin casts “Spare the Dieing” on Waylan. Nathier was able to succeed on the second disarm trap roll halting the chain trap.
  • Round 3 – Nathier begins cutting Waylan loose, Kotono assists, and Sam begins cutting him loose as well.
  • Round 4 – Waylan is cut loose, stabilized, and after a health potion back on his feet.
  • XP – each PC received 800 XP for the trap. Additionally, Dervin and Kotono received 500 XP for their efforts in overcoming the Trap.
  • As the trap is disarmed, the runes begin to glow and fade. A sparkling glitter falls from the arch of the doorway. With a shutter, the stone door slides back and into the wall. A darkened hallway can be seen.

Shrine of Vergadain

  • Dervin sheds some light in the hall. On the wall to the left is a mosaic of a well traveled road with a sunset. On the right are three reliefs depicting a tall dwarf in brown and yellow robes that look road worn. Large money pouches line his waist. He is laughing and playing a lute surrounded by dwarfs dancing and singing in a tavern. There is also a relief of a large treasure horde being guarded by serpents and vermin. On the inside is a small chamber with a sarcophagus at the far end.
  • After Nathier clears the room (no traps) and finds a lever on the other side of the Sarcophogus (presumably for the barred door).
  • It is decided that the group will shut the chamber and take a short rest.
  • Waylan discovers a compartment below the Sarcophagus with a treasure horde.
  • The Group discovers the following: 1100 CP, 6000 SP, 1900 GP, and 110 PP.
  • There are a number of fine items in the chamber, but out of respect for the dwarves it is decided to leave most of them. The decide to keep a platinum cloth sash (250 GP) and a Quarts Scroll Tube (250 GP). Inside the scroll tube is a note with several crude maps written in dwarvish.
  • Additionally the group finds a grey bag (Bag of Tricks) with pictures of animals on it. Darvin pulls out a furry ball and tosses it to the ground and it shifts into a Giant Badger that is subservient to him.
  • A small silver raven figurine and a blowgun are also found. Both of these items radiate magic upon inspection.

A Needed Slumber

  • As they take their rest, a soft melody fills the room and they fade off into a deep slumber…
  • Upon waking (they received the benefits of a full rest), a kingly feast awaits them. Lively music fills the chamber. A large dwarf matching the relief is playing a lute while sitting atop the Sarcophagus.
  • “Eat, drink, laugh, my friends!” Releasing his lute it continues to play and he joins the group at table. The groups soon finds themselves eating the most amazing meal with all their favorite dishes, foods, and drink. They soon lose themselves in one another’s company and laughter fills the room. They no longer worry about their circumstance (Hero’s Feast).
  • After finishing the meal they speak a bit. He asks to see the note and with a wave of his hand returns it in a script that Dervin can read. It is a detailed map of the location of the Torque of Lathander’s Blessing in the upper halls in the temple of Dumathoin. “I have managed to keep our intruder’s gaze from it’s whereabouts in my Brother’s hall.”
  • Looking at Waylan he says, “I understand you have a most interesting item that grants luck – I greatly desire to see it!” Waylan is slow to trust. “It is not yours to hold or give.” Turning to Kotono he asks his permission. Kotono agrees and Waylan tosses him the dice.
  • “Bert was an exceptional man. It was unfortunate his demise.” Kotono shared his guilt and feeling of responsibility for his death. “Bert’s destiny led him to his death. It could not be any other way. He willing chose and embraced his path. It is not your fault what happened that day. Be at peace now.” Kotono nodded in acceptance.
  • Inspecting the bone dice, he asked, “Perhaps you would be willing to barter for something of equal value?” Pulling a beautiful dagger from his belt. The golden hilt holds three gems. Two of the gems are a dull, tarnished grey while the last is like an ocean swirling within. “This blade will grant luck as well and it comes at the end of pointy steel! When you most need me call on me and I will be there.” Kotono agrees to the exchange.
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Dwarven Wood
Things aren't what the seem

Exploring:

  • The group explored the cavern hall
  • Dervin (Survival, Nat 20) finds tracks of 8-10 drow leaving through a passage along the south wall
  • Additionally, the two drow from the wall have disappeared to the far west of the cavern hall
  • Dervin also located a secret door along the north wall.
  • Opening the door, led to a passage that descended back to the east…there is a trail of blood.
  • The passage ends at an iron door with port slot.
  • Waylan is able to easily unlock the door.

The Troll

  • Inside the iron door is a small chamber with a bedroll at the far end.
  • A body lay motionless
  • Dervin discovers that it is “The Troll”, she is unconscious, overcome by drow poison
  • Uttering a prayer to Lathander a warm light fills the room
  • Black entrails envelope crossbow wounds pulling the poison out of the body, pooling on top of the wounds
  • Waylan quickly grabs a vial and captures the poison for future use (1 application)
  • After visiting with Mestin it is decided to retreat back to the Umbra Lupus camp in hope that Tristan has reached Torian and a forward operating base has been established.
  • Natheir returns her sabre.

The Moon Maiden

The Troll leans heavily upon Dervin as he helps her up the stairs to the Cavern Hall. As they reach the secret door a sharp pain pierces Dervin’s head. In an instant he is standing before the Moon Maiden, although her visage is wavering, struggling to break through the veil. She reaches out in desperation, “The Torque lies within. It must be recovered!”

Kotono and Waylan hear her voice in their heads, “The Torque lies within…it must be recovered!” Looking back they see Dervin grasping his head in pain. “We must not leave this place without the Torque.”

Mestin looks at Dervin, “Change of plans, eh? Well, if the Moon Maiden is calling then you must go. Don’t worry, my child, I’ve escaped much worse in my day.” After reaching the entrance to the Eagle’s Eyrie she quickly slinks into the shadows and is gone.

Dwarven Wood

  • A sizable dwarven vessel lay docked at the far end of the cavern hall.
  • It looks as if it has been decades since it was last used.
  • While the other begin exploring the boat, Dervin is able to disbelieve the illusion
  • He sees a drow vessel with two drow on the deck, hand crossbows trained on them
  • A fight ensues and the drow are quickly subdued
  • Waylan is able to intimidate one of the drow into speaking:
  • They learn that the drow wizard, Durden, is in control of the drow encampment. He is the same wizard they have faced two other times; at Kellet and the Abandoned Warehouse.
  • It is unclear if Myrkiira is here or not.
  • Waylan searches the lower hold and finds a note from Myrkiira to Durden

Durden,
I believe my ruse is coming quickly to an end. That pompous half-snout merchant is getting greedy. If he isn’t careful the Spire will figure out his little game. His thugs are beginning to overstep their bounds with their “protection racket”. That halfling rat better keep him on a leash. I’ve been approached by several merchants asking if I’d be willing to speak with Waukeen’s puppet and I’ve played the scared little elf well. I’ve also been approached by an easterner who has asked way to many questions. I believe this is one of Dreg’s handpicked Lieutenants. I believe I threw them off my trail with a few sobs. I was pleased to hear the progress made at the Warehouses. It is critical that we regain control of the temple in short order and pulling this easterner to that location is key. Don’t underestimate them this time. As I promised, I have secured the loyalties of the human-haters at the Flaming Tower. They are poised and at the ready for the “Night of Reckoning”. The night is coming, my love. Be ready. Stay alert. The Siblings are waiting within the Dodrien Crypts at Mother’s request. Hunt, slay and animate those who scorn the Revenancer’s power, and answer any slight a thousandfold, so that all may know the coming power of the Vengeful Banshee! Dagger Falls will be ours and Lord Morn will pay with his life! ~ Myrkiira

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Of Dwarven Effigy's
4/2/2016

Silent Bells

The group is exhausted from the better part of day spent spelunking and tracking the drow to the cavern entrance to Eagle’s Eyrie. Great care was taken to cross the expansive underground lake without detection. The Troll lay presumably within, wounded and no doubt being interrogated. Time is of the essence. Tristan’s warning echoes in your memory, “She knows too much.” There is also the matter of the Torque of Lathander’s Blessing. A powerful artifact that supposedly holds the key to restoring the Temple of Lathander’s Glory and dispelling the darkness covering the land.

Dervin stares quizzically at the simple silver bell ringing silently, suspended, floating from the massive dwarven statue. Following the silver wire upward it is attached to the archway formed by two massive stone battleaxes. A sinking feeling hits like a drunken haymaker. Snapping his head around to the weary band behind him, he points frantically while putting his finger to his lips. The smell of rotting flesh fills the air and splashing can be heard near the shore. Sand and rumble explodes at Waylan’s feet as a crossbow bolt narrowly misses Kotono. Instinctively, Kotono swivels on his back heal and snatches a second bolt out of the air from the opposite direction. Cracking and snapping of stone echoes off the cavern walls. Two red eyes flash within once hollow, lifeless stone sockets. The stone battleaxe forming the left side of the archway crashes to the ground…"

Encounter:
Stone Golem (Dwarf Statue), 6 Zombies (from lake), and 2 drow (along wall)

Outcome:
Defeated all foes handily, but sustained heavy damage.

“The red eyes flash and flicker and the sound of stone grinding echoes off the cavern walls like a moan of death. Rock shards splinter and shatter. The right knee of the massive stone dwarf crumbles into dust as the magic holding the construct together dissipates like dust in the wind. The upper torso lurches forward falling, crumbling like an avalanche of boulders and debris. Kotono, shrouded in the golem’s shadow, deftly springs backward as the golem shatters upon the sand, melting into the ground like clay in the rain. "

Eagle’s Eyrie – Lower hold

  • The group explored past the broken, massive door to the lower hold…quiet.
  • A trap was found on the door leading to the first chamber, but otherwise…quiet
  • They enter a large chamber that has a “gaming pit” to their immediate right
  • There are three doors exiting the room – one immediately to the left along the same wall of the door you exited. There are two other doors along the south and north walls of the chamber.
  • There is a large candle lit wagon wheel chandelier suspended by a rope in the middle of the room
  • A large table (10′ × 35′) positioned on an elaborate rug sits in the middle of the chamber
  • It is in disarray and looks to have been abandoned quickly with food, plates, and beverages in various stages of use
  • There is a railing on the other side of the table and the sound of moving water echoes off the chamber walls.
  • Movement is seen at the far end of the chamber…

We will pick up at this point next time…

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Your Purpose
Kotono's Memory 2

Twine and bundles

Chan_Shin__Kotono_s_Father_2.jpgA merchant. What does a merchant do anyway? Your father was often busy and away, but when he was home you looked forward to tagging along on “his business.”

A warehouse. Playing. Dodging between crates and barrels. Your father said, “Stay close. Stay in earshot.” Coming around a corner quickly you stumble, knocking over a barrel spilling it’s contents across the floor. Small sackcloth bundles bound with twine. You pick one up and it fits perfectly in your palm.

“Son!” Your father shouts from around a large spindle of twine. Startled you step back tripping over a pile of sackcloth linen. Your father runs up to you and sweeps you up in his arms. “I told you not to wander off!” The bundle falls breaking open on the stone floor. A fine, translucent, sand-like substance spills over the floor.

“Father,” you ask, “what is that?” Turning to see the broken bundle your father pauses. “Nothing, child…nothing.”

The Dragon

With a snap of your staff you ended her miserable existence. You did what you said you would do. Olive’s lifeless body now lay at your feet. The stain of her betrayal will no longer haunt Dagger Falls. A familiar burning crawls beneath your left forearm. You look down to see the tattoo of the dragon growing, twisting, writhing around your wrist and forearm. A soft glow and warmth fills your being as your memory drifts away…

The fire dances and pierces through the cool of the night. You stare intently at the tattoo. Mesmerizing. At times it seems to crawl along your skin. The same tattoo your master gave you many years ago. Spirit of the dragon. To look at you now. A foreigner in an alien land. A mercenary. Swinging steel like a commoner. How much longer can I do this?

“K!” The familiar sound of Dreg’s voice pierces the silence. Out of the darkness a familiar figure emerges, standing tall with a broad smile. The firelight dancing off his face. “May I share the fire with you?” You nod and motion for him to take a seat at the fire with you. After a long while, Dreg breaks the silence, “Kotono, you have served me well and have earned great honor. I am grateful to call you, friend.” You look up and see sincerity, depth, understanding. Who is this half-orc? “I have watched you for some time. Why do you stare so intently at that tattoo?” You look at Dreg and a tinge of fear sweeps over you as you consider him seeing you for what you really are, but then, peace. Reaching out to you he grasps your wrist. “I know you are not a common mercenary. I have seen this tattoo before. Steel is not your weapon. Embrace your destiny, friend.” A soft glow and warmth fills your being…

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Alley Rat
Waylan's Memory

It is mid-day and the sun is beating down upon the dusty streets of Calimport, but Pasha Moosha Rafeeq Jaadallah’s compound is bathed in shade from the lush fruit trees, ferns, and bushes; with an ever flowing fountain in the center of the court yard. No doubt a manifestation of a water genasi…enslaved like most who walk these grounds. Making your way across the courtyard, the familiar sound of the ancient Oud fills the air as each note dances and beckons you forward. Your father played the Oud…skillfully as you recall. Two guards stand on either side of the arched doorway. As you approach they pound their spear shafts on the white marble floor announcing a visitor. The sweet smell of the hookah wafts from within as a guard opens the drapes of the room. The guardsman looks intently at you. As you meet his gaze head on, he growls angrily, “You’re late…” Flashing a confidant smile and slight bow you you lower your eyes and utter in Calimshite, “Alay-hi wa-sallam”. It had been sometime since you had spoken the words of your ancestors and they flow easily from your lips, “Peace be upon him.” Your father once said to you as a young boy, “It is our wits that set us apart as men…you must first learn to use this,” poking you gently on your forehead, “before I teach you to use this,” as he brandished a dagger from beneath his sash. Gazing back to the guard you see his visage soften slightly as he responds, “And with you as well.”

Something heavy and cold slams into your back with just enough force to stagger you forward, “Move!” Regaining your balance you glance uneasily over your shoulder seeing a much larger guard nudging you forward with the haft of his spear. “Men have died for less than keeping a Pasha waiting.” With a sigh of indignation, you step through the draped beads hanging from the entrance.

Your eyes take a moment to adjust to the light as you strain to see the room. Floating globes emit a soft glow. White marble pillars line either side of room and the soft glint of the alabaster inlays dancing before your eyes. Large, lush pillows are strewn throughout the floor. Servants mill about the room refreshing drinks, and small entourages of nobles line either side of the room, lounging and murmuring in hushed tones. Their gaze falls upon you. You quickly note the number of guards and their locations throughout the room, “…13, 14, 15…one exit to the south, but heavily guarded…”, you think to yourself. “Survival,” your father once said, “is matter of a keen mind…always know your exits, my boy.”

You instinctively grasp for the package secured under your sash. It’s there. Good. “I just need to make this last exchange,” you think as you confidently stride forward. With outstretched hands you approach, “PASHA,” you exclaim, stepping toward the raised diadem at the far end of the hall. A nervous quiet fills the room as the strings of the Oud trail off. A heavy hand falls on your shoulder, “Speak to the Pasha again and it will be my dagger you’ll feel next.”

Like a cobra rising from his hollow, the portly Pasha raises his gaze to meet yours. A petulant, foul, disturbed man whose cruelty has seen no bounds. His vision has entrapped you long enough. There he is arrogantly lounging on large, plush cushions. Silver trays of meats, cheeses, and the finest fruits surround him while the masses starve outside his compound. A large flagon of wine rests comfortably in his left hand. The glint of his signet rings dances off the shine of his cup. His finely manicured beard flows easily down his chest. Taking a long drag off his Hookah, seemingly undisturbed by your histrionics, the Pasha slowly digests your greeting. “Fahzim, is that anyway to treat our guest?” You feel his hand withdraw from your shoulder with a shove and he steps back. “Alley Rat…” His pregnant pause fills the space, “it is good to see you.” His voice suddenly trails off into a disgusted tone, “I hope you will not disappoint me again.” Spite fill his voice.

Out of the shadows behind the Pasha a man steps forward and stands at his right. You have heard of such men from the far east, but his visage still strikes you. He is nearly expressionless, with intricate woven robes, and a long mustache and beard. The Pasha has gained considerable control of his subjects and the tent cities surrounding Calimport with a drug that has become known as “Ghoul’s Touch”. It is highly addictive and turns it’s victims into mindless slaves that will do anything for the next dose. The Pasha has quickly climbed over his rivals while controlling the market in Calimport. Could this be his secret supplier?

“Why you would go to such lengths to find a father that has cared so little for you I can not understand.” Taking another long drag from the hookah, he exhales billowing the fragrant smoke above him. “Your father was one of my best men. Loyal. Skilled. Why he left is still a mystery to me. I did nothing but care for him like a father.” He looks intently at you and lowers his tone to a hush, “I even cared for his own son.” Looking around the room indignantly, leaning forward, he shouts, “Am I so evil that I care for those who are closest to me?”

The eastern man suddenly shouts in a language unfamiliar to you, “Jūbun’na!” Angrily he turns to the Pasha and begins speaking angrily to him. The Pasha raises a hand to the man. “Now, now, my friend…we will get to the point.” Turning his attention back to you the Pasha gets down to business, “Where is it? This is your last chance or the deal is off,” he spits at you.

Reaching into your sash you feel the envelope with it’s wax seal unbroken. Many men died for this. From behind, you hear the guard, “Don’t do anything stupid…give me the package.” Turning and meeting the guards gaze you lean into him and whisper, “Men have died for less, Fahzim.” You slap the envelope in his hand and quickly turn back to the Pasha. “It is finished,” you mutter under your breath. The guard, clutching the note, approaches the Pasha and hands him the note. The Pasha quickly breaks the seal, “Alley Rat, you have done well. Now, as we have agreed. Here is the location of your father.” After quickly scanning the envelope’s contents he hands it to the easterner. With a nod, the easterner turns and leaves the room. Pulling a scroll from his robes he beckons Fazhim to lean down to his side. Whispering in his ear the Pasha places the note in his hand. With a nod Fazhim turns and approaches you. You snatch the scroll from his hand and bow while backing away. “Your father is in Zhentil Keep, Alley Rat. You have a long journey ahead of you. If you change your mind, I am in need of a Lietenant.”

Zhentil Keep….why would your father be in Zhentil Keep?

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Chance Meeting
Dervin's Memory

Dervin looked over his shoulder and shouted, “Waylan, I need some help back here. Can you keep a look out at the cave entrance?” With a grumble and a wince Waylan shot back, “Yah…give me a second.” After a moan and the sound of shuffling Waylan emerged at the cave entrance and slumped down with his back against the barricade. “I need some rest…we all do before we get ambushed again.” Dervin looked at him seeing him painfully clutching his side, “That Dane did a number on you, huh? It’s nothing the Morning Lord can’t fix my friend.” As he approached Waylan, with a prayer on his lips, his hands began to glow a bright light that filled the room. Waylan could feel the supernatural warmth radiating from Dervin’s hands as he approached, knelt at is side, and touched his wounds. It faintly reminded him of a warm morning sun breaking over the horizon of the Calimshan desert. In an instant the pain subsided and he could breathe easily again. With a nod he made eye contact with Dervin and muttered, “That always amazes me no matter how often you do it…my thanks.” With a soft smile, Dervin nodded and stood, looking intently within the cave. “I guess I should check things out.” The familiar smell of manure and hay emanated from within and the rustling of an animal echoed off the walls. Sure enough a small manger lay within where four draft horses were corralled. As if by second nature, Devin’s thought were to the care of the animals. He quickly grabbed a bucket and dipped it in a cistern in the corner of the cave and began filling the troughs with water. A soft winy of approval echoed off the cave walls. Finding a bag of oats he grabbed a handful and approached an old mare. She sniffed briefly then eagerly inhaled the oats from his hand. A flash of light in Dervin’s minds eye pulls him into a distant memory…

Looking about the noontime sun is beating down. You pull you hat down a bit to deflect the glare. It’s a warm, humid summer day. Thirst is on your lips as you make your way to Seth’s for a beverage. A flash of your last “stop” which ended three days later in a manure pile on the edge of town furls your brow a bit. “Just one drink,” you think with a bit of resolution. You don’t make your way often to Brightdale, but when you do Seth is a welcome ear to bend. Approaching the Shepherd’s Plate a majestic white mare can be seen tied up to the hitching post. It lifts it’s head from the water trough and whinnies as you approach. You’ve always thought if you weren’t a shepherd, opening a stable would be your calling. Someday. This noble steed stands 17 hands tall with a beautifully braided mane and tail. The tack is weaved with intricate elf designs unlike you have seen in these parts. The locals prefer practicality over beauty. Well, to Seth’s.

As Dervin enters the Shepherd’s Plate a middle aged, balding man looks up from behind the bar with a wide smile, “Dervin! Good to see you, my friend. What can I do you for?” Dervin smiles widely and lays down a large sack of supplies. “Your finest, Seth…” With a nod and a wink he pulls out a large shot glass and fills it half full sliding it toward Dervin. “That horse outside…have you seen it?” Dervin asks. Looking up from the wash basin behind the bar, Seth ponders for a moment, “Oh yes…white mare? Half elf maiden…a looker.” He shakes his head and says,“Beautiful animal, eh?” Dervin nods while taking a long quaff. A sweet smell fills the air and a beautiful humming can be heard from behind. Dervin turning to look over shoulder is caught by surprise; Seth slightly undersold the beauty of this woman as she approaches.

“Dervin, yes?” she inquires with a slight smile and an almost melodic quality to her voice. She is extending a scroll tube toward Dervin expectantly. With a twinkle in her eye she says, “I was told I could find you here.” She again looks expectantly at Dervin, “It’s for you…May the Morning Lord Bless you.” Dervin, snapping out of a bit of a trance, hesitantly reaches out and grasps the scroll tube. With that she flashes a broad smile, abruptly turns and exits while humming a vaguely familiar tune. Staring at the tube, the familiar aroma of alcohol draws Dervin back. He slowly raises his glass one more time…

The soft whinny of the feeding horses brings you back. Your pulse quickens as you instinctively reach into your pack, nervously searching about. As you grasp it your pulse relaxes. You pull out a weather parchment that looks to have been folded and unfolded many times older. It is stained and frayed at the edges.

The joyous hour of Nature’s grand triumph
That confirms Her reign and endless might
The most splendid hour when child is born
Why did that happen on the darkest night?

Was that cowardly Sun too afraid to come?
Was the dark shroud to thick to disperse?
Did you with all might fail to intervene?
Was it too hard to render the sky serene?

On the rainy night of the bleak elient
The two smooth loving hands held me tight
Yet too fragile they were to give shelter
So doomed was the child to last in plight

Was your watchfulness for a while asleep?
Why have you forced me to worry and weep?
Were not your clothes in the while green?
Had for a mistake become my soul unclean?

Shall uncertainty always thus torment me?
May I ever leave this pit of my distress?
Nothing then I know except one sure thing
Still I adore you in your mournful dress!

Source

Return to Cavernous Dreamings

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Honor
Kotono's memory

Honor

Kotono made his way to his Captain’s tent to make his report. The rythm of the steadily falling rain beat upon his armor. Looking about the camp was a muddy mess as each footfall splattered mud in all directions. After a quick bow to the guards, they quickly parted and opened the tent entrance for Kotono to enter.

Qiao_Jiang__Kotono_s_Captian_2.jpgCaptain Qiao Jiang was seated at a desk intently writing on a piece of parchment. Kotono bowed and silently waited. “Your report,” he snapped. Kotono cleared his throat and spoke clearly, “Sir, we have encountered heavy resistance to the north…” “Silence!” Qiao Jiang looksed up from his paper and slowly stood up. “Word of your incompetence has already reached me.” Kotono met his stare and retorted, “Perhaps if I had better trained scouts…” “Excuses! If you need better trained men, then train them.” A violent flash of his two men being run through and their screams fill his memory. For three days he has relived this painful memory and the burden of reporting this news had weighed heavily upon him. " They were fools, barely 18 winters, and had no business on such an important mission," he thought. “With all due respect,” Kotono began. “Respect!” Qiao Jiang snapped. Slamming his hands down upon the desk, he stared intently at Kotono. Spite filled his words, “Perhaps I should report of your failure to your father? How would you like to dishonor your family?” With that Qiao Jiang rolled up the parchment and placed it into a tube. With a snap of his wrist he thrust the tube forward. Kotono grasped the tube feeling it’s cold weight fall into his grasp as well as the cold stare of Qiao Jiang. With a quick bow and a turn he made his way out of the tent.

Rain continued to fall as he emerged. Torches were now lighting up the camp as he walked slowly but intently forward his mind a blur with a mixture of rage and indignation. Looking at the tube in his hand he slowly pulled forth the parchment.

Captain Jaing,
It is with great heaviness that I write to you. It is of great importance that you deliver this edict of death to Lieutenant Kotono Shin. His father, Chan, committed honor suicide as a way to repair the dishonor to his family caused by the recent allegations of fraud in his business dealings.
Respectfully, Diplomat Shu


Written at the very bottom in the Kara Tur symbol for Honor and the handwriting of Captain Jaing
“May the honor of the father not be lost upon his son – will you do what is necessary when the time comes?”

Kotono stood motionless in the middle of the camp staring at the parchment as ink began to run to the edges. He slowly began to rip and tear letting each piece fall to ground like tears.

With a start, Nathier could be heard, “K! K! Are you all right?”

Back to Cavernous Dreamings

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Cavernous Dreamings
Aftermath

Aftermath

  • The smoldering carnage of cedar and elm casts light dancing off the cavern walls. Dervin’s well placed Fireball once again turned the tide of battle. The entrance to the Umbra Lupus encampment is in ruins as the wooden fortifications lay burning and broken. The mighty werewolf alpha, Dane, lay slain surrounded by three packmates. Olive’s lifeless corpse lay slumped against the wooden barricade near the wagon on the south side of the encampment. Kotono, a man of his word, ended her foul life. Olive’s words about eternal darkness and one more powerful than Myrkiira, the drow with the poison dripping mace you faced in the warehouse, still ring in your mind. Nathier breaks the silence, “Well, K…what next?”
  • One unconscious captive remained – he was bound and gagged by Sam who secured him by the wagon. Waylan, grabbing his side in pain and breathing heavily, slumped with his back to the barricade near the wagon.
  • Nathier and Kotono made their way into the large canvas tent along the north cavern wall of the encampment while Dervin went into the side cavern to the south.
  • The canvas tent contained 15 cots at one end with a kitchen, tables, and benches toward the middle. To the east end of the tent was a partitioned section that served as the leader’s quarters.
  • While searching Olive’s personal quarters found many documents of correspondence between the drow Myrkiira.
  • Of specific interest were letters detailing the plan to lure the Spire to the Abandoned Warehouses for what they called “The Atonement”. There were many references to the “Eternal Night”, “The Mother”, and each letter ended with “May the Lady of the Dead and her vengeful cry usher eternal darkness.”
  • Additionally, Nathier found a paper with an eastern symbol on it. Quizzically he handed it to Kotono.
  • Kotono’s head swirled as he looked upon the Kara Tur symbol in bewilderment…a memory was creeping to the surface…

Honor

  • Kotono stands motionless staring at the note. With a start, Nathier could be heard, “K! K! Are you all right?”

Chance Meeting

  • Dervin looked over his shoulder and shouted, “Waylan, I need some help back here. Can you keep a look out at the cave entrance?”

Taking a Rest

  • Dervin finds nothing of value within the cave other than a stairway leading to an overlook above the camp where a separate camp site is found…this was most likely Dane’s hiding spot.
  • The group cleans up the camp, moving the bodies within the tent on the north side of the camp.
  • The rest was uneventful.

Into the Deeps

  • The passage winds east eventually opening up to a larger cavern – there is a passage that continues to the east and another passage to north.
  • The tracks of 7 rangers can be seen coming from the north…it was presumed this was Mestin’s group.
  • There is evidence of a large skirmish in this area…ranger arrows are embedded about. There are several dead drow.
  • There is also a trail of blood heading further to the east.
  • The trail of blood leads further east about 200 yards to a ranger who is unconscious and bleeding out.
  • After some quick medicine work, Tristan is able to regain consciousness and provide some information about a fierce battle that ensued.
  • Tristan fears that Mestin “Troll” Durmark may have been captured and cautioned that she must not fall into the wrong hands because of her intimate knowledge of Dagger Falls.
  • Along with several more dead drow and several more rangers, Dervin finds evidence of a scuffle on the ground near a saber not far from Tristan. Natheir recognized the blade as the Troll’s. He comments, “She wouldn’t be caught dead without it.”
  • Tristan is able to make his way back and plans to secure the encampment with Tavion as a forward operating base.
  • A bit further down the path a shallow underground river is found with more evidence of a skirmish with several more dead rangers and drow. The blood stops at the river crossing.

A Broken Bridge

Underdark_lake.jpg

  • The underground passage opens up into a very large cavern with the sound of water lapping up onto a beach…phosphorescent algae slightly illuminate the water.
  • A broken and shattered stone bridge makes it way across the lake – knowing the history of the dwarves that left this watchtower keep in haste, it was most likely sabotaged on their way out.
  • There is evidence of some sort of boat that shoved off from the shore along with many footprints in this area…they are fresh.
  • There is a small skiff pulled up on the shore as well as a pole with a rope extending out into the lake possibly used for crossing.
  • The group makes it’s way across the lake diligently and slowly without event (skill challenge).
  • On the other side two large carved stone dwarf statues in full regalia, shields with a swords crossed for an archway…a carved path leads up the cliff face.
  • Upon approaching the stairs Dervin notices a small silver bell hanging from one of the statues rocking back and forth as if ringing without any sound.

This is where we will pick up next time

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