The Days of High Adventure

The Shadow Tomb, Part 2

Previously, in Days of High Adventure…
The Demilich Acererak, long-dead, has arisen once more as The Devourer, and has built Arcane Engines to tap the very magic of the planes for his evil purposes.
Shikasi Nighteye, a Shadar-Kai death cultist, has stolen into the Shadowfell seeking one of Acererak’s engines, in order to forever join the mortal realm with the land of the dead.
The party, hot on her heels, has reached another of Acererak’s tombs, filled with deadly traps and trials. They only have one of Acererak’s mad poems to guide them.
Descending through the caverns, the party reached a crossroads and turned east, through a spherical torture chamber, and further into the Shadow Tomb.
Now finding themselves in an enchanted hallway with three portals, our heroes have returned from one of the archways. Two yet remain.

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The Tournament, Part 1

EDITING IN PROGRESS.

Having re-established the city of Hammerfast, Kriv and Willaver trade goods with a local orc merchant. Petril Louken finds them and presents an invitation to Kriv to participate in a grand tournament hosted by Alan West in Fallcrest.

The party generally ignores Petril, knowing him as one of Alan West’s sycophants. Ever persistent, Petril says he will meet the party in the morning to “escort” them to the tournament.

The party decides to avoid Petril and set out for Fallcrest that evening. Kriv pulls out his Tuathan Road Whistle and uses it to help expedite their journey. On their way, they stop at Fiveleague House to purchase some magic items from Glimmerkin.

TT1-01 Five League House

TT1-02 Dinner with Nobles of Nerath

The Tournament Dinner Guest List:
Lost and Found
Enri Foeburner
Kriv
Willaver Spellsword
Thohand Songsteel
The Court of Alan West
Alan West, Duke of Westerland
Clarissa DeGarmond, Baroness of Gardmore Abbey
Regina Tress, Baroness of Silver Lake
Tarsus Nighteye, Former Court Wizard to Moonstone Keep
Shikasi Nighteye, Court Wizard
Faren Markelhay, Lord Warden of Fallcrest, Marquis of the Nentir Vale
Petril Louken, Herald of Alan West, Sheriff of Fallcrest
Esteemed Guests
Vincent Gravelstoke, Sheriff of Harkenwold
Penna Whispergleam, Diyun Ambassador, Cleric of Sehanine
Bartleby Ous’Ulvir, Drow Moneychanger
The Knights
Sir Bax Braveheart, Lord of Five-League House
Sir Dolan Padraig, Lord of Shadowfell Keep

Kriv asks Bartleby if he knows any followers of Lolth.

Shikasi Night-Eye seems upset at at the sight of Kriv, and whispers to Enri that the “unsouled” should not be permitted to walk among us.

Alan West grants Enri, Willaver and Kriv various titles.

That night, the party is woken up by Shikasi Night-Eye and her followers. They have come for Kriv.

TT1-03 Dawn Killers

TT1-04 Dawn Killers 2

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City of the Dead, Part 5

While the party rests, Kriv uses the Sending Stone to contact the Clan. He is able to reach Kryath, who reports that Talon Padraig chose not to ally with Kryath’s people against Alan West. The Clan is camped in the Moon Hills, near Fallcrest, and is about to cross the Witchlight Fens. The Fens are controlled by the Gravelstoke family of Harkenwold. He suggests Kriv speak with the merchants of Diyune regarding rumors of Vor Rukoth. Kriv mentions the tiefling spy and Kryath identifies him as Petril Louken, an agent of Alan West’s.

The ritual appears to be awakening Callastrix, she has been listening to the party and attempts to broker a deal for her freedom. She offers up the Watcher’s true name: Starris.

Enri uses the Watcher’s true name to summon him, and he appears. He tells the party of his evil plans.

COTD5-1 Starris

Meanwhile, Willaver “escapes” with Laerthar to parley with Nosnra. He asks Nosnra to leave Hammerfast, and promises to assist in fighting the fire giants.

COTD5-2 Nosnra

Frustrated by Starris’ twisted intepretation of the spirit of their agreement, Enri and Kriv convince Starris to take them to Willaver. We are all transported to Lyrane!

COTD5-3 Lyrane

Enri exchanges a gem for information on Callastrix. Lyrane shows Enri a carving of the city’s destruction long ago. In the carving, Callastrix has four heads instead of three!
Legends say Callastrix is immortal but Lyrane says Callastrix can be killed. She sees that we will find the Watcher’s phylactery and kill him at least once. She is surprised that we know of the Devourer.

Enri barters a kiss for more information. Lyrane tells them that Starris is NOT the Devourer.
The Devourer plays a longer game. We will next see him in the Shadowfell. Callastrix has no weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Her heads came to an agreement long ago that she should kill, own and dominate all.

The party leaves Lyrane behind and moves on through the ancient underground city. They come upon Callastrix frantically digging in the ground. She tells them she must retrieve Starris’ phylactery and bring it to him at once.

Kriv offers to help, but Callastrix becomes suspicious and attacks.

COTD5-4 Callastryx

Callastrix avoids melee attacks by flying above the party and attacking from out of range.

COTD5-5 Callastryx 2

During the battle, Willaver, Kriv and Thohand manage to tie rope lines to Callastrix and are able to kill her when she attempts to fly away to save her own life.

COTD5-6 Callastryx 3

Starris and Lyrane appear and attack.

COTD5-7 Fighting Lyrane

Willaver nearly kills Starris.

COTD5-8 Fighting Starris

Starris yields. The party demands that he stop his evil plans and learn to live peacefully with the citizens of Hammerfast. Starris agrees if they will give him his phylactery. Kriv refuses, and says he will personally keep it safe. Starris binds his phlactery to Kriv’s cursed statue of Lolth, binding it to Kriv’s fate.

Summary:
9100XP/5=1820 for Callastrix
700XP each for RP
Dwarven Scale Armor +3 for Kriv
Plate Mail of Etherealness +4 for Willaver
5000GP diamond
2500GP sculpture of Bael Turathi empress
Flame Tongue Longsword +3 (25,000 GP)

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City of the Dead, Part 4

Feramog flies the party to the mountain, where the orcs are already preparing defenses. While Feramog descends to drop them off, Enri shoots out blue and white fireworks, the colors of Hammerfast.

COTD4-1 Orcs

Their leader, Grosh Stormiron, challenges the party. Once appeased, he welcomes them and leads them into the cave where many kobolds are performing some kind of ritual around the frozen figure of Callastrix. The party learns from the kobolds that there are no other ways in or out of the cave.

COTD4-2 Callastrix Ritual

Grosh takes Kriv aside and asks him to lead his forces in defense of the mountain against Nosnra’s orcs. Willaver barely has time to set some explosives before the battle begins.

COTD4-3 Battle 1

The first of Willaver’s bombs to go off brings down the entire cave entrance.

COTD4-4 Battle 2

The second bomb brings down one of the columns supporting the cave ceiling.

COTD4-5 Battle 3

Lost and Found slays many giants, bugbears, and ogres. The stone giant Laerthar, the leader of this advance force, surrenders to Willaver before he is nearly killed.

COTD4-6 Versus

The party asks Laerthar what has driven the giants here. Laerthar says that fire giants are pushing them to Hammerfast. Something at Vor Rukoth is driving the giants out.

The party rests nervously, knowing that Nosnra’s full army is on their way, and the party’s “allies” – the Watcher and his people – are nowhere to be found.

Summary:
611 XP each

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City of the Dead, Part 3
A deal with two devils

The Watcher Below and his vampires agree to:

  1. Fight to stop Callastrix
  2. Fight to eject the giants and their allies or force peaceful coexistence with dwarves and orcs of Hammerfast
  3. Fight whatever force has pushed the giants to Hammerfast to begin with

Enri recognizes that the Watcher Below is a mage’s name and not his true name. He suggests we speak with Lyrane, a succubus imprisoned by the Empress of Bael Turath long ago in the depths of the underground city Tor Tormah. Lyrane will know the way under Nosnra’s steading.

COTD3-1 Lyrane

Lyrane dominates Kriv and he becomes a slave to her whims while Enri negotiates with her for information. Enri is able to get Lyrane to accept a gift of an Eladrin Circlet which Enri has been carrying for some time.

The party moves on, while Kriv, embarrassed, swears to the other party members that he will return here one day to destroy Lyrane.

The party travels through secret passages described by Lyrane and exits into a chamber with three doors. The next room they enter is occupied by Smolderheart the Fire Giant. Battle commences and is joined by ruffians who enter from a hall behind one of the other doors.

COTD3-2 Smolderheart

After, the party discovers that the arcane forge is powered by a Fire Elemental. Enri frees it and it heads out through the third door, which turns out to be a staircase leading up into the steading. The sounds of screams are heard as the fire elemental avenges itself for being held against its will in the forge for so long.

A door leads to a chamber where Feramog the Steel Dragon has been tortured by Nosnra for information on how to release Callastrix.

COTD3-3 Feramog

Feramog attacks the party! Enri is still in the corridor and cannot join the battle. She resorts to her ranged magical attacks while Kriv, Thohand, Willaver and Smoke fight Feramog into submission and knock it unconscious.

The party finds much treasure in chests.

Enri is able to use Remove Affliction to cure Feramog of madness, and Feramog awakes, thanks the party and tells them that Nosnra and the orcs are on their way to the cave of the Ember Dark kobolds, north of Hammerfast, to release Callastrix. Feramog says it will meet them at its lair later.

Kriv asks Feramog if it can help him find more of the eyes and hearts of Tiamat. Feramog suggest Kriv retrieve certain writings from Nosnra that might help.

Summary:
Secret blacksmith manual for Thohand to craft Masterwork armor
500GP / 3 = 166, 167, 167 to each of three PCs
(2) potions of vitality
7500GP Jeweled Gold Scepter
2500GP Gold Embroidered Vest
500GP Cask of Dwarven Brandy
65,000GP +4 Sunleaf Leather Armor
25,000GP +3 Rod of Reaving
65,000GP +4 Cloak of Resistance
2,500GP platinum broach holy symbol of Lolth, which Willaver touches and activates the same curse Kriv has
500GP 4 gems
4000GP
Wooden scroll tube map of lands east of dawnforge mountains, facts about strengths
DM says we can sell magic items at 50% (77,500GP)

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City of the Dead, Part 2

COTD2 Minion Brawl

COTD2 Exploration

COTD2 Trevella and Yon Torbu

The Watcher Below turns around and says “Perhaps we can do a deal!”

Summary:
Enri brewed (10) heroic healing potions, (3) potions of Elven Fleetness, (3) Cryptspawn potions.
6900XP / 5 = 1380XP

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City of the Dead, Part 1

Willaver Spellsword leads his mercenaries away on business, promising to return to the party later.

As the party is led by the captured giant, Kriv and Enri think about what they have learned from Willaver about the state of things in the Vale.

“The old noble families of lost Nerath seek armies, territory and plunder, and have pacified the Vale. Giants control the Dawnforge mountains. Alan West has named himself Duke without Nerathi approval. The other nobles of the Vale include Earl Faren Markelhay of Fallcrest, Baronness Clarissa DeGarmond of Gardbury, Baronness Regina Tress of Silver Lake, and Baron Talon Padraig of Winterhaven."

Kriv remembers that Kryath gave him one of a pair of Sending Stones to keep in touch with the clan. He asks the party to stop and wait while he attempts to make contact. After initiating communication he wakes a young dragonborn of the clan who has been tasked with watching the other sending stone for activity. He jumps up and returns with an adult. Kriv learns that Kryath is away trying to recruit Talon Padraig to fight against Alan West. Kriv asks about the relative strength of other forces in the Vale. The clan has 73 warriors, Talon has 50 more. Markelhay has no heir and upon his death his holdings will pass to West. Markelhay has 200 regulars. Clarissa has an unknown number of gnolls but claims greater than 200 warriors. Hammerfast is held by more than 200 giant warriors. West has 4400 fighting men paid with money earned through campaigns. Kriv is told Kryath will contact him in three days’ time.

The party spots Fiveleague House in the distance and decides to leave Thohand and Smoke to guard the giant in the forest just outside of town. Kriv and Enri enter the House and speak with the barkeep. They spot Glimmerkin over in one corner and approach him, hoping he might have some useful items for sale.

Glimmerkin

Glimmerkin sells them (6) Potions of Vitality in exchange for the 5000gp emerald they brought back from the Feywild. Enri purchases Boots of Leaping for 4200gp. Glimmerkin does not have the Barbed Baldric Kriv is looking for and suggests he check in Fallcrest.

Glimmerkin tells the party that they are being watched. When they turn around, a tiefling darts out from the opposite corner and leaves the Fiveleague House in an all-out run. Kriv pursues. The tiefling jumps on a horse and rides off, and Kriv attempts to follow on Dauntless and shoot the tiefling with his hand crossbow, but misses. The tiefling escapes and Kriv returns to the Fiveleague House.

COTD 1 Fiveleague House

Enri notices two gypsies and a horse-drawn wagon waiting outside. They appear to be Gwaelyn and Lily Bonecaller – but they have not aged! The gypsies call to Enri and Kriv and offer to tell their fortunes. Kriv ties a rope around Enri before letting her enter the gypsy tent, suspicious that these might be imposters.

Enri’s fortune telling goes without incident so Enri and Kriv reverse positions, Enri holding a rope tied around Kriv’s waist while he goes into the tent. Kriv’s fortune telling also goes without incident.

Enri’s fortune: “Above the lonely rock there is a glittering castle with a burning eye. Under a silver moon you will find your old enemy.”

Kriv’s fortune: “To free your people you must found Hammerfast anew, while once enemies became friends, enemies can become friends again. In the west you will build the heart of iron and the swords of the just will follow.”

We pay the gypsies 2gp.

The giant leads us on to the hills of Hammerfast, where the ground is pockmarked with mines. There are lights in the distance; the giants’ steading. We pay the giant 1gp and advise him to not tell other giants about our deal.

We enter a tunnel which opens up into a large underground crypt. Near the entrance, a ghost recognizes Kriv as a past resident of Hammerfast and warns us away – there is danger here.

A scroll mummy forms out of scraps of paper littered about the crypt.

Grisgol

It attacks!

COTD 1 Crypt Fight

After killing the scroll mummy and two zombies, we find 1200gp. The ghosts of the crypt come out and thank us for ridding them of Grisgol the scroll mummy.

A sword-bearing ghost asks Kriv to swear to restore Orcs and Dwarves to peaceful coexistence in Hammerfast. After Kriv swears the oath he bestows the party with (2) Potions of Vitality.

A kobold ghost speaks of rumors of creatures below who are controlled by an unknown wizard. Slaves are mining stone and metal for the giants to grow their army. Orcs still live in the hills and they are about to do something dangerous – they seek to awaken Callastrix, a chaos dragon. Even the kobolds thought Callastrix was too evil. Nosnra has a steel dragon who is in league with the Orcs. Nosnra is questioning the steel dragon in his dungeons. Learning the process of awakening Callastrix has driven the steel dragon quite mad.

An orc ghost tells of the city being overrun by bugbears. Goblins and bugbears have joined Nosnra. The different giant tribes are not getting along. Stone vs Hill vs some other tribe. Much of Nosnra’s army are mercenaries, only some are his hill giants. The orc ghost thinks the other races that make up the mercenaries will not fight as hard.

The ghost of Gorble Duskrider who Kriv knows as one of the signatories of the original peace between the orcs and dwarves, tells the party about the different giant tribes. There are the Stone and Hill giants, the Frost giants to the North, and the Fire giants who rule over all. Dwarves all left and set up a government-in-exile in Fallcrest. Caves should link to tunnels into Hammerfast. Kobolds know the tunnels best.

The kobold ghost describes the tunnels to the dungeon where the steel dragon is kept. There is a secret door in the back of the catacombs that leads to a library, the caves deep below the mountain connect to what might be underneath. Callastrix is a three-headed female red dragon. If she is released from the wizard’s curse that imprisons her, disaster would befall the entire Nentir Vale.


Summary:
7000XP/4=1750XP each for defeating Grisgol and learning the secrets of Hammerfast
(8) Potions of Vitality (Enri 3, Kriv 3, Willaver 2)
Enri spends 4200gp on Boots of Leaping
Party traded 5000gp emerald for 6 of the 8 potions of vitality with Glimmerkin
Enri and Kriv each pay 1gp to gypsies
Kriv pays 1gp to giant
1200gp from Grisgol, 600 to Enri, 600 to Kriv.

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"You'd never have come, were you truly wise"
The Devourer's words were all too true

The party returns to Wolfheart Island through the Fey Passage.

The secure structure Treona had constructed around the passage is vacant. They go outside to see where the guards have gone but cannot find anyone on the island. The party finds a boat and rows to the town of Silver Lake.

They find the town full of armsmen bearing the crest of Alan West. His army appears to be occupying Silver Lake. Kriv and Enri proceed directly to the Big House but are challenged by guards positioned to either side of the door. Kriv announces that they have returned from the Feywild and wish to report in to Treona. The guards do not believe him and wave them off.

Frustrated, the party goes around back where they send Bandit to recon the Big House. He reports back to Enri that he sees Treona at a large table, guarded by Alan West’s men. She appears weak. The party is alarmed at Alan’s assumed mistreatment of Treona so Vashta casts Fey Switch to switch places with Treona. Treona pops into the hands of the party and immediately begins to try to escape from them.

Stealing Treona

A man wearing shiny armor sees them with Treona and shouts out. Orcs playing dice look up. He comes over and demands that the party let Treona go, and that they identify themselves at once. He looks at Kriv and Enri and seems to recognize them. The party looks at the man and sees that he resembles an older version of Willaver, perhaps his father?

They learn that this is indeed Willaver, and that 26 years have passed while the party was in the Feywild.

Willaver leads the party to Pok’s Tavern, where they see that Pok has turned into a grizzled veteran. Kriv learns that his parents in Hammerfast have been enslaved and tortured by giants. Willaver is trying to enlist Alan’s army to defend Hammerfast against the giants.

The party says they will gladly help Willaver in Hammerfast and they leave Silver Lake.

On the way to Hammerfast they come upon a barricade manned by gnolls. The gnoll in charge speaks strangely, explaining that he is in service to Clarissa DeGarmond and that he must stop and inspect all travelers.

Gnoll Pass

Kriv says “We also serve Clarissa. Perhaps you have heard of us? We are Lost and Found.”
The gnoll seems suspicious of this but does not challenge the party out of fear. With the addition of Willaver and his mercenaries these travelers look like they can win a fight.

The party passes through the barricade and moves on to Hammerfast.

They come across some giants, ettins and bugbears!

Giants in the forest

During the fight the ettin runs away, possibly to alert his clan. The party subdues a giant and forces him to answer questions. They are able to learn of resistance fighters living in the tunnels near Hammerfast and demand the giant take them there.

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