Labyrinth Lord Lives

The Adventures at Castle Amberville
Ghosts are about us...

With the feast finished and the ghost-guests gone, the Nice Company spent a few minutes re-grouping and sobering up. Thankfully, both Xandros and Verdand overcame their poison affliction, and are now safe, at least from Poison, as Xandros is looking paler by the moment.

The Nice Company then decided it was time to explore some more of this strange place called Castle Amberville. And so, out of the doors they went, into a large outdoorsy place under a massive glass dome. A path ran down in between trees. There was no wind, no noises either. At least none one expects to hear in a regular forrest.

As the company made it’s way towards the unknown, the trees got thicker, and weirder. So weird, that some of them decided they weren’t really trees, but instead tentacled things with a tree trunk as body with a gnawing mouth on it. Kayoshin and Brandr got grabbed and chewed up, a bit, but with the tentacles cut, the trees that were not couldn’t really do much harm. Brandr did feed a flask of oil to one of them, just for good measure anyway.

Further in on the path the trees thinned out, bushes lined the edges of the path, and some rustling came from them. Shadows could be seen moving. Arrows were shot, oil and fire was used, but nothing happened, other then a bush catching fire, of course.

As the company moved further in, they finally meet another person that looked normal, was not translucent, and did not have a cat head’s on a human’s body.
She seemed curious about the smoke rising; the party intercepted her on the way there, and the charismatic Brandr tried his charm.

“Hullo, fair lady! we are the Nice Company. Greetings, and who might you be”
Isadora, for Isadora was her name, was instantly curious of the party, greeted them warmly and a fairly long conversation followed.

According to Isadora, the trees could be either put to sleep, or would not harm a wearer of a certain ring. She did not seem to mind that the Nice Company had taken care of them..
When asked about the feast, for a feast it seems to be called, she replied that it was a creation of Ettienne’s. She was kind enough to perform some sort of spell (a complicated version of dispel magic) and our somewhat translucent friends (Xandros and Kayoshin) seem to feel just a tad more solid. It appears, they have roughly a week’s worth of time before they become permanent members of the feast.

Isadora was a mountain of information. She mentions that:

  • Isabel might be able to help with the Translucency issue.
  • Simeon, who can be found in the chapel should be able to help too
  • Leaving Glantry was not a choice. it was intentional, and it happened as a byproduct of a disagreement between Camille and Therese.
  • It appears the castle has been gone for 110 years (110 years have passed within the castle) however, only 50 years have they been gone from Glantry. Time moves in different speeds between these two words.
  • It appears they cannot leave the castle, they are trapped here.
  • They don’t seem to age. They don’t sleep, or seem to need sleep.
  • The mist is the nothingness
  • They are bored, immortality spent in one single place doing the same thing every day, seems to bore them. Isadora, for one, would be more then happy to leave this place and return to Glantry
  • When told about the McGregors (sp?) forcing the magic out of this world (Brun), she believes they found some artifact that could achieve this, because this is magic beyond their abilities.
  • When told about the meeting with Jean – Louis, she mentions, in relation to him leaving abruptly, that the Nice Company must have asked questions about the curse
  • When pushed further on this topic, she too refuses to talk about the curse.
  • She mentions Richard could tell us more about this.
  • The curse is related to the disagreement between Camille and Therese.
  • It is believed that Therese might be dead. She’s not popular.
  • Camille, her husband Etienne and Therese seem to be the head of the family
  • The head of the family seems to have disappeared
  • We can find more info in the Throne Room, but it is advised that we do not go there directly. There are secrets to this place we need to enfold first, before venturing there. some horrible dead probably awaits for us there..
  • The Throne Room is in the East Wing
  • We should most definitely stay away from Andrew-David
  • The path in front of us leads to the Chapel to the North, and to the West Wing, guess where, to the west, of course.
  • There will be a fountain ahead of us, we should not drink the water. Nor should we pick the flowers. And by Jah, we should not harm the wild life.
  • When asked if she would be supportive of the Nice Company, and knowing that the main goal is the return to Brun, she provides the company with a Lacquered Wood, which when broken, will notify her of our location, and she can come to us within 30 minutes.

After the long 3rd degree, I’m sure it felt like one, the split ways, Isadora going to the East Wing, and the Nice Company, west, and north towards a bridge. A river doubled under it, passing it twice. Hooves could be heard from behind, a flash and a blur, a goat-man ran by. When on the bridge, a voice asks, “Will you pay the toll bridge”.
“I will not” – the goat-man said, “However, be patient, my brothers and cousins that are much bigger and fatter than me are just behind me”. With another flash and blur, goat-man disappears.
The Nice Company sees all this, and plans ahead. “Nay” – they say when asked again about the toll, “We shan’t pay the troll, there are cousins and fatter people behind us. Be patient”
Seems, however, that the troll, because of course it is a troll, has no more patience.
“Fine Fine” – says the Nice Company – “what is this toll”
“A dwarf size or larger” – says the troll. “Well, fantastic” – replies the Nice Company, – “we have plenty of Dwarfs here in this bag.”
The troll, big and stupid, and smelly, and dumb as he was, looks into the bag, puts his arm in, but no Dwarfs does he find. Caramel, ties the bag around his arm. Verdant backstabs him. Xandros tries to dismember him on the knees. Gertie flails her mace, Brandr misses him by a mile. The troll, surprised, with his arm stuck in the bag, tries to bite Caramel but only has a taste of his armor. After a little time, there’s a troll’s body on the bridge, but no troll’s head. Xandros, for good measure, decides to decapitate and kick the head in the river.

And so, on goes the Nice Company, and all the way, thinking hard to themselves: “Does a troll a wildlife make?”

Finally, the fountain. “Do not drink the water”, Isadora said. But she said nothing about not looking into the padlocked Chest on top of the water. Between a grappling hook, the Rope of Climbing, pulling, looking for traps, and lockpicking and opening the chest, the Nice Company is richer by 2000 additional gold pieces and the proud owner of a large silver key.
By the way, of course, no chest is so easily plundered. While the Company is trying all of the above, a large, spidery, tentacle-y, sucky arm creature jumps on Caramel and bits and pierces with it’s appendages. The Nice Company makes quick work out of this one too.
Onwards they go, again thinking to themselves: “Does a spidery-sucky-leggy-creature a wildlife make?”

Double doors to the north are presented to them, inside they go. Looks like a chapel, feels like a chapel, there’s music like as if in a chapel. It must be the chapel. And maybe, Simon is here.. but so are some statues, marble, different expressions in their faces. When investigating one, it comes to life, gently touches Brandr in the face, goes back to being a statue. Brandr feels weird about it, but also seems to feel just a tad smarter.

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Back to Glantri
Xandros' soul pointer is actually kinda handy

After receiving the extremely well timed letter from the Aron, the Hand of Erewan, the Nice Company agreed to head back to Glantri and help out the House of Erewan against the MacGregors. Gertie, Xandros, Brandr, and Karamail owe then and Verdant, Kayoshin, and Fizz are happy enough to go along. Especially in light of the common enemy and danger posed by the MacGregors.

So on leaving Tallow’s Deep the Nice Company heads south. They tell all the townspeople who will listen that they have to go back to Specularum and report to the Duke about Penhaligon and the Monastery of Ket. They also send a letter to Magdalene the Distracted, informing her of what they learned about her question.

Once well on their way and out of view of the town, the Nice Company doubles back and heads north to Selenica. They enter the town in groups of two, to throw off anyone looking for them. Gertie acquires some non-cleric attire, and puts a bit of a paper maché disguise on her mace to make it look more like an axe.

The Nice Company is about to head west and start the overland journey to Glantri, however, Xandros notes that his soul pointer is now pointing south. And in fact seems to be close enough that he can triangulate.

Xandros leads the party, via his soul pointer, to a pentagonal tower that has seen better days. The base of the tower, inside and out, is covered in soot. The door is partially blocked by a fallen guillotine and two halves of a skeleton. The ramps and ladders up the tower have a variety of nasty traps. The very topmost floor of the tower has some sort of teleportation spell built into one wall.

Xandros heads through and once he doesn’t die horribly, the rest of the party follows. The place they end up is still the top of a pentagonal tower, but the view out the windows is of the hills and plains near Glantri.

This new pentagonal tower is not trapped, but is rather abandoned. So the Nice Company gets their bearings and heads Southwest to meet up with the Hand of Erewan.

DIscussion with the Hand of Erewan leads to the party learning about the D’Ambervilles and their vanishing castle. The Hand of Erewan learns in turn about how the MacGregors are draining the magic out of the world. At the end of the discussion the Nice Company agrees to enter the castle of the D’Ambervilles and return with as much help as they can find.

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A long-awaited message

As our adventurers return to civilization, the path inevitably leads back through Tallow’s Deep. Reminding our entrepreneur of his debt results in a thousand silver pieces worth of semi-processed ore in small oblong pieces for melting, at of 5 pounds each.

The goblins haven’t been back, and the worst the town has experienced have been break-ins by raccoons and and the destruction of an outlying shed by a too-curious bear. The Nice Company is viewed as local heroes by now, and people turn out to give a few minor gifts: a “lucky” pickaxe, a (purported) 400 year old coin from Thyatis, a few pounds of choice bacon. And some cheers.

The innkeeper offers rooms on the house. It’s not like traffic has yet returned to normal anyway. He also has a delivery for you. “Only just arrived a couple o hours ago. Funny that.”

There’s a scroll, in the style of high-brow elves, with gold-gilt lettering on a materiel that is probably paper but suggestive of leaves. The seal is the House of Erewan, and the lettering reads “To the Nice Company”.

Friends, and future friends.

It is good that this letter will find you well.

The trees whisper that you are ready, and it is good that you are, for I have acquired new information that time is running short. House Crownguard, the McGregors, begin to move their pieces on the board. Unchecked, they will have a simple majority in the Parliament, and they will move to replace the vacated seat by the House Sylaire, the D’Ambervilles. Effectively, this will leave the McGregors unchallenged, and able to command the might of our army without a strong consensus, not to mention the various other tools of warfare public and secret that Glantri possesses. Their next steps are harder to predict, but given that their speciality is the magic of Death, I and my allies have no desire to find out.

I task you to return to Erewan with all possible haste. I expect we have less than a month to avert the worst, so I expect . I have every reason you can reach Erendyl town, the tower of Ellerovyn, Trintan, or even Wood’s Hollow for all that matters, though if you return there I suggest you do so in disguise.

I will give details on the specific nature in the plan in person. However, do come prepared for a rather extended foray. We’re happy to provide plain supplies, but if you have things you must see to in the next few weeks, please see to them as quickly as possible.

Please do not permit this note to be read by any third parties.

Aron, Hand of Erewan

Please do remind Sister Gertie to dress inconspicuously.

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Search for the book of truth
One Question, Two Answers

After clearing up the Mine of Many Horrible Goblin Traps the Nice Company went back to Penhaligon to heal up and restock. There was some training and a whole lot of selling off of the contents of the Bag of Holding.

The Nice Company then set out for the Book of Truth. There was some questioning of a farmer, who revealed that people occasionally go into the monastery, but nobody ever comes out. At least not anytime lately.

Scaling the icy and snowy mountain where the monastery was located was cold, but not excessively difficult. The Nice Company found the entrance, and tripped over a snow covered corpse on the way in. Aside from more corpses and an ice spider the first few rooms seemed pretty empty. Though the corpses were a bit suspicious. There was one group of three that looked like they’d had some sort of suicide pact, but with biting? It was rather confusing.

This foyer lead to two connected rooms. Both had a pillar in the center; one room’s pillar had religious sayings about Ket and truth, but the other room’s pillar had chunks taken out so that the words were unreadable. Possibly someone hadn’t liked those Ket sayings about Truth, Justice, and the Karameikos way?

Xandros and Kayoshin led the way through another hallway over lava and into a training room. The lava was regrettably active, so they and the direwolf puppy had to do a bit of stop, drop, and roll. But everyone survived the burnination. Of course everyone else had to quickly join our intrepid trail blazers when three horrible lava zombies crawled out of the lava and started attacking.

Exploration of the rest of the training room and the doors leading out of it revealed a linen closet, a laundry room, and ramp downwards. Further inspection of the linen closet and laundry room led to the discovery of a secret door in the laundry room.

The Nice Company investigated the secret room, and found 4 monk zombies! Monk zombies are very scary. So scary that Brandr, Xandros, and Kayoshin dropped their weapons and ran back into the training room. Gertie, Verdant, and Karamail re-killed the zombies. But for those not directly involved in zombie killing there was a lot of running about and flailing and yelling in fear.

Once the monk zombies were dead and everyone was calm again, the secret room’s contents were investigated. First item: a pit trap! This item was dramatically discovered by Brandr. He also discovered that it was about 100 ft deep, but fortunately not straight down. Other items in the secret treasure room were a whole bunch of gold, silver, and copper coins, as well as a few jars and small statues.

The rest of the party (more carefully) followed Brandr down the pit trap. There another corpse was found and looted. Verdant acquired another ring, this one let her get quite close to the lava with no sweaty side effects. Unfortunately, other than lava and the already looted corpse, there wasn’t anything else of interest down the pit trap.

There was also a small hidden hallway between the treasure room and the training room. In it there were a couple of adventurer corpses and the not-corpse of a rather book obsessed young human.

This young man looked quite scorched around the edges and appeared to be very poorly equipped. He introduced himself as Fizz and said that he’d been in a tower reading books and had apparently read the wrong one in the Forbidden Section of the library. After some questioning it was revealed that he was able to hit things with a mace and also cast some spells. The party decided to let him tag along.

The Nice Company then headed into the hallway that sloped downwards.It led to a sort of fancy altar room. There were a couple of stylish bridges leading over the lava and to and from the altar. Opposite the ramp the party had entered there were stairs leading up and out. The room also had tapestries with Ket on them and pillars engraved with runes of elemental control. The altar appeared to be a symbol of Ket but with knobs at the center and ends of the arms.

Brandr and Fizz were immediately in favor of turning knobs. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and the rest of the party investigated the room before anything too hasty was done. Of great interest was the fact that he floor and about three feet up the walls was almost entirely scorched. Verdant and Kayoshin checked out the stairs leading out of the room opposite where the party entered, and stationed themselves by them to make sure that no portcullis was dropped to lock them all in with any potential rising lava.

Once Fizz and Brandr started pushing knobs, ominous thumping and clunking sounds echoed through the room. The was some sort of swirling lava action in between the two halves of the raised flooring. As the lava rose the rest of the party headed over to the stairs. Brandr and Fizz kept trying different buttons to see if they could stop the rising lava, but eventually they made a break for it and reached the stairs just before the lava burned them.

The party retreated up the stairs, but were pursued by several lava creatures. Despite the creatures being entirely made of lava no one was set on fire. Verdant and Xandros were quite agile with their dodging.

A bit of investigation revealed a secret door headed South. It lead to the Abbot’s quarters, which had the actual door barricaded shut. These rooms were filled with his deranged ramblings about how the rest of the monks were out to get him, especially his second in command.

The party continued towards the South, and found a couple ransacked monk cells, as well as a completely ransacked barracks. Verdant had a great time tossing at least thirty beds. Her bed tossing was quite fruitful; she discovered a pouch of coins and a platinum ring.

Traveling further South, the monastery kitchen was full of ghouls. These ghouls had apparently been kept from breaking out of the kitchen by the symbols of Ket on the doors. Also the barrel of pickles was full of a dead armless monk. The monastery had clearly suffered some very strange happenings.

The monastery dining hall had a cold creature that almost froze Fizz when he tried to check if it was friendly. (It was definitely not.) Fortunately, the rest of the party destroyed it before Fizz was turned into an ice sculpture.

Going back through the secret door in the Abbot’s room the party headed up the stairs. The Book of Truth was waiting behind a ratty drape. On the cover the phrase “One question, two answers” was embossed in everyone’s native language.

It turns out that the Book of Truth could also be called the Book of One Answer to the Question You Asked and One Answer That Was Personally Horrible and Would Mess With Your Head. Which explained why all the monks were dead in suspicious ways. All members of the Nice Company and hangers on asked a question, and the first answer was useful. However, the second was rather unsettling..

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No Good Deed Goes UnTrapped
The Nice Company investigates the silver mine of Tallow

The Nice Company stopped in the mining town of Tallow on their way to the Book of Truth. There, while drinking copious amounts of ale, they learned that the town’s silver mine had been overrun by the Crush the Skull tribe of goblins.

Kayoshin was quite insistent that the goblins be wiped out. She was all for as much Goblin death as could possibly happen, especially as it was the Crush the Skull tribe. The rest of the party agreed and haggled with the leader of the town to get a reward when we killed the goblins and rescued their miners.

(It turns out that Xandros is not the best at negotiating, so we will only get paid 50 silver upon mine fumigation and rescuing…)

Upon entering the mine the Nice Company quickly discovered that everything was trapped. The entire mine was full of goblins and traps and secret doors. Everything that looked like an actual door was a trap. The only way forward was to find the secret doors, which were hidden between and around all the traps.

There were pit traps, hidden arrow slits, a river that could be diverted to release a 10ft wall of rushing water, giant millipedes that were dropped on our heads, poking spears to try to unbalance us into falling into a spiked pit, an enormous hungry eel that we almost got dropped in with, two different instances of boulders being dropped on our heads, a trapped statue, portcullises dropping to trap us in a confined and deadly space, and of course there were many many goblins lying in ambush.

Also don’t forget about all the tiny cramped passageways filled with ambushing goblins.

And the secret doors that were hidden behind other secret doors.

These were some seriously paranoid goblins. Which may have turned out to have ben a good idea for them. Of course, it would have been better if they weren’t murderous little shits to start with. Then perhaps they wouldn’t have to worry about furious vengeance.

The Nice Company did find and free the captured miners. They were given directions and helped back towards the entrance to the mine/goblin trap-fest.

There was also a fun interaction where the Nice Company found itself part of a Goblin gambling scheme. Regrettably this scheme involved dropping boulders and betting to see who of the party would get crushed by them. Shortly thereafter, the party holed up in the gambling room and used Web to keep the doors shut so that everyone could get a good night’s rest.

Final Climactic Battle! The party is ambushed (yet again) by many goblins. With a clever use of web and lots and lots of flaming oil 70+ goblins are killed and the rest flee in fear. Karamail has a major badass moment when he executes the Crush the Skull leader on his own throne.

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Goblin traps & underground adventures
Damned Goblin traps

One single sentence :

Freaking Goblin traps everywhere !

goblin_archer_by_mortis_of_midian.jpg

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Moving Along
Back to Penhaligon and then onwards

The Nice Company cleaned up loose ends at the Castle of Skull Mountain. The Gnolls were sent on their way, per their surrender agreement. Karamail forged a brand shaped like a broom, and the Goblins and Hobgoblins were branded and then driven off. A cart was found in good shape and Kayoshin’s and Xandros’ horses were hitched to it after it was heaped with the contents of the armory. The humans, including Ilyana and Blackmorn, were manacled and tied to the back of the cart.

Arriving at Stallanford, the Nice Company delivered the cleric, Father Alric, and his staff to the grateful town leadership.

The Nice Company then headed to Penhaligon. Along the way they questioned Ilyana a bit more and discovered that it was likely that Theosius had charmed her into doing what he wanted with the sword.

Once at Penhaligon the Nice Company oddly didn’t ask for much in the way of reward from the Baroness. They turned Ilyana over and then asked for a letter of glowing recommendation to be sent to the Duke in Specularum.

After some rest and restocking, and a bit of training the Nice Company headed off to the North to look for the Book of Truth. Which is apparently a book that will give each person the answer to one question.

On the way to the Book of Truth the Nice Company stopped at the mining town of Tallow.

The party stopped in for a drink and some info at the tavern and heard all about how goblins had invaded the silver mine. So of course, the Nice Company decided to help out the townspeople with their goblin problem.
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Have Fun Storming The Castle (of Skull Mountain), Redux
Being the adventures of May 13 and May 27

Verdant was a silent and invisible assassin of awesomeness. She successfully and quietly hopped up the back keep wall. Then she scouted the stone buildings and found the room with the wizard Tarroyo and the fighter Merkul asleep in bed. She also found a trapdoor in their bedroom and successfully snuck down through it.

Down the trapdoor Verdant explored silently and carefully. She found some cells with the missing Cleric in one of them. A slightly confusing conversation was carried out between invisible Verdant and imprisoned cleric, but the Cleric was freed from the cell and followed Verdant up through the trap door.

Apparently the Magnificent Gentlemen had sold the cleric to Illyana.

At about this time Kayoshin gathered a small group of rats from within and around the keep and sent them into the room that the archers had come out of previously. Once they were in there she ordered the rats to chew on the nocks of the bows, thus disarming the archers.

Verdant quietly and carefully removed most of the weapons from the bedroom with the wizard and fighter. Then she assassinated the wizard and started attacking the fighter as soon as he woke up. She chased the mostly naked and unarmed fighter out into the courtyard of the keep.

At the same time the rest of the party stormed the front gates of the keep. A clever use of Knock by Brandr opened the gates. We left five hired archers outside the gates to keep the gnolls and goblins on the walls occupied, while the party stormed in and headed for the Orc barracks.

Verdant finished assassinating the fighter and retreated back to the bedroom with the trapdoor. There she tossed the bed, but found nothing. So she used a disguise to casually escort the freed cleric out to the walls.

In the Orc barracks Brandr put many Orcs to sleep, and then the party killed them all. Attacking in the middle of the night has a handy advantage of not fighting Orcs in armor. After the Orcs were all massacred, the party went back out to the gates and took over one of the gate towers again. Hobgoblins and Goblins were put to sleep and killed, not necessarily in that order.

Verdant and the rescued cleric successfully made it to the top of the wall and the cleric was lowered down the outside to go join up with the hired archers in relative safety.

The Human archers, armed only with swords, and a whole pile of Goblins, poured out of their respective barracks, just in time to get hit with a Scroll of Fireball from Kayoshin. The ones that didn’t die outright were set on fire.

After that the rest of the keep inhabitants surrendered. Verdant met up with the party. The hired archers (the two who were left) and rescued cleric came into the keep and guarded the prisoners while any remaining living gnolls, hobgoblins, goblins and humans were herded into the stone barracks that the human archers had come out of.

The party then spent some quality time looting everything available. First stop was the keep armory, where with a ranged weapon restocked arrows and crossbow bolts and where Kristek got himself a longbow. The armory also supplied several casks of oil which were dumped around the keep and one was positioned at the top of the trapdoor. Next looting stops included the gnoll, orc, goblin, and hobgoblin barracks where a variety of coins and some gems and jewelry were deposited into the bag of holding. The Mess Hall was also hit up, and Kristek drank a fair bit of beer. The final looting location was the Goblins Direwolf stables, where Kayoshin found and took a Direwolf puppy.

~Freeze Frame~

With a bit of description of what Verdant had seen earlier the party went down the trap door.

The first room remained empty aside from the suspicious and icky blood stain. Of course that meant that we entered the room the stain was coming from. A bit of listening and looking had the party prepared for an encounter with an Owlbear. We rushed in, fighters first, and quickly brought the Owlbear down. Regrettably, we had not seen the Ogre behind the door. Luckily for Brandr, the Ogre was more than a bit thrown of his game and Brandr’s hair was merely ruffled. The party, with reflexes like cats, spun around to bring down the Orge. Brandr, with reflexes like a slightly more skittish cat, ran out of reach of the Ogre. The Ogre was swiftly slaughtered.

After that the party moved out into the hallway, and looked into many of cells. All of them were empty. Several storerooms were also investigated, and Kristek stuck a small barrel of beer into his pack.

Attempts to investigate the room in the center of the cell area resulted in suddenly being face to face with six of the vulture humanoids. They were actually called Kree, were apparently pleased to see humans, and were happy to give the party information. Ilyana had the Talon of Grexis and the vulture people were sworn to follow it and assist it’s holder. However, they weren’t completely sure that Ilyana was the rightful holder. They also shared a variety of troubling details about Theosius’ ability to control and pursuade, and their belief that Ilyana wasn’t in control of the Talon, but it and Theosius were in control of her. The Kree were unable to aid the party against Ilyana, but they did agree not to get in our way.

Next Verdant listened at a door and determined that it was a barracks for a few guards and the guard captain, named Blackmorn, that the Kree had mentioned. A bit of clever planning ended with the Owlbear corpse being dragged down the hallway a few yards past the door to the barracks. Once that was in place the party hid around the corner and readied their ranged weapons. A loud pounding and hooting noise was created to draw out the guards. Three guards popped out of the door and went to investigate the Owlbear, before they were turned into pincushinons.

Half the party went in to investigate the barracks. The other half stayed in the hallway to check out the second doorway down the hallway (past the Owlbear corpse). We all burst into the next room together, expecting to see Blackmorn, whose voice we thought we’d heard sending the guards out to investigate the noise we’d created. Instead we found some poor man tied to a chair in the middle of a sorcerous diagram staring at a spinning cube floating in front of him. We freed the man, but he couldn’t really tell us much, since he’d spent his time either in a cell or drooling and looking at floating cubes.

We directed the newly freed man up and out of the keep, and then did a thorough search of the room he’d been in. A secret passage was found leading out to the hallway around the corner. The party rushed off down the hall in pursuit of Blackmorn.

Regrettably Blackmorn wasn’t completely stupid. In fact after slipping away he’d set a trap. A trap that the party literally fell into as the floor went out from under them. Fortunately only Xandros, Kristek, and Kayoshin fell into the pit. Verdant and Karamail were just close enough to need some fancy footwork so they didn’t fall in, too.

Brandr and Verdant start to help get the rest of the party out of the trap. However Karamail and Gertie hear the sound of a door opening and closing behind them. They turn in time to see a man in very ornate plate armor come out of a secret door and head back down the hall past the Owlbear corpse and towards the exit. So of course Karamail and Gertie take off after the man (who turned out to be Blackmorn), and chase him down.

Karamail was especially nimble and Blackmorn tripped over his feet, so there was a pretty speedy apprehension of Blackmorn. By the time the rest of the party got there Karamail had tackled Blackmorn and Gertie had searched him and removed weapons, armor, money (gems and coins), wolfs’ bane, and the cell keys. The various spiffy items went into our bag of holding, and Blackmorn was locked into a cell. We asked him a few questions about what he was doing with wolfs’ bane. However, he was unamused at our concerns that he was a werewolf.

After that the party investigated the secret door that Blackmorn had come out of. It was his bedroom, in which he was keeping a prisoner. Verdant tossed the bed, but didn’t find anything other than dust bunnies. The prisoner turned out to be a rather dirty and scratched up woman. Her name was Sariah and she was a bit wary of the party. However, she was rather pleased that we had disarmed and locked up Blackmorn. She was also very interested in revenge and wanted to help us attack Ilyana and Theosius.

Brandr tries out his white knight routine on Sariah. After Sariah declined heading out and up to safety we armed her with one of the spare long swords from the Bag or Holding. Brandr was all too happy to chat up the rather disheveled former prisoner and attempt to show her how to use the sword.

The party stormed into the throne room with Theosius and Ilyana, and were faced with a number of undead, two guard dogs, and Theosius and Ilyana. Gertie turned a number of the undead, Kayoshin slept the dogs and then webbed Theosius and Ilyana. Karamail, Xandros, and Kristek stabbed at the closest of the undead. Verdant and Brandr used various ranged weapons to lock down Theosius’ spell casting. Sariah, to the surprise of everyone, turned into an actual tiger and did her best to bit and claw Theosius.

The party had been expecting that Ilyana would be charging up to attack, so our ranged attacks had gone to taking out Theosius first. Especially after the warning from the Kree vulture people that Theosius was entirely too charming. This expectation was overturned in the worse way when Ilyana raised her sword and called down some sort of nasty wind upon us. Her second magical attack with the sword ended up blinding Verdant, Xandros, and Kristek in addition to doing nasty feathered wind damage. Fortunately by this time everything was dead except for a few of the turned undead who were still cowering off to the side, and Ilyana herself. We remembered just in time that we were supposed to bring Ilyana back alive for trial.

While mopping up the remains of the combat in the throne room Kayoshin divested Ilyana of the magic sword that had wreaked such havoc upon the party. This turned out to be a bit more chancy than expected, but fortunately Kayoshin resisted the sword’s mind control. Perhaps the sword showing armies of goblins to lead was less effective on someone who wanted to stab all of those goblins. Kayoshin managed to keep control of the sword and used it to remove the blindness from Verdant, Kristek, and Xandros.

The party investigated the living quarters of both Theosius and Ilyana. Ilyana’s room had a bunch of fancy clothes. Some of which Brandr insisted that Sariah needed. Theosius’ room was revealed to have correspondence between himself and Truthkeeper Tangor. Which made us wonder how the Talon of Grexis tied into the Head, Heart, Body theocracy we’d run into with the mind controlled elves at the Temple of Grey Mountain.

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In the Castle of Death Mountain (And Elsewhere)

“So the heathens were camping out in a cave?”, a slender man in a black robe speaks.

The other figure bows. He wears armor burnished so brightly you might think it silver, and stands high at over 6 feet.

“Yes, Theosius.”

“Merkul, you can see the journey to spread truth and light to a land of darkness can be beset with peril. Bring brotherhood and unity among previously warring tribes and they will call you a menace.

Already we have lost two of our Kree brothers to their cruelty, simply as repayment for spreading the Word.

Your duty to guard us will not be easy, but it will be rewarded."

“Sir, I expect they will return, or someone else in their place. Perhaps we should seek counsel with the Lady?”

“Indeed we should, were she not otherwise engaged. She communes with the Blade. I will talk with her this evening.

“As for our antagonists. Indeed I expect to see them again, but they are talented, and those of talent are rarely dim-witted. It is likely that they can be enlightened. We may profit from this yet.”


Elsewhere in the multiverse:

In the blackness of nothingness between the planes, there is absolute silence. No thing has been here for millions of years. Or is it that time itself cannot find this remote pocket? Its very nature is anathema to life, light, and matter.

If any voyaging Dream-Mage or Illithid were sending its consciousness this way as a path bewteen Nirvana and Tartarus, it would scarcely bother to perceive the place, known as it is to be profoundly empty.

But … what is this? A faded, pallid light appraoches. A shape slowly emerges. It’s squarish and flat, and seemingly made of stone. A building! Hulking and lacking entirely in windows, but with a low recessed doorway sealed with a huge stone slab, and sealed with a crest: a black shield with a golden phoenix, and over it a medium yellow crown.

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A tomb.

And on it drifts again. Slowly sliding out of view into the inky blackness.

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Run away!
In which the party expeditiously retreats -- and then proclaims the task is clearly impossible

Having killed unnumbered hobgoblins, goblins and so forth, the party decided it was time to end the foray, and retreated to their cave.

On the way back they were chased by a group of goblins on dire wolves — snuffling as they went — and two strange vulture-men weilding cruel dual scimitars.

The attack was ultimately repulsed, but the cave hideout seemed all but discovered, and the party ran off to town to ensure their items were identified, and that recouping of health points was possible.

In the process, they repeatedly proclaimed that defeating the forces was definitely beyond their capability to many listening parties….

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