Karthun: Land of Conflict

Fallcrest Interlude Part 2

Stasi leavers her mother’s house and goes to the House of the Sun. Stasi asks to see Kris’ father and theorizes he is under something akin to a Warlock’s curse. Hearing that involves spider venom, she speculates it could be of drow origin. Kris recalls his father telling of an altercation almost a century ago between Even

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Thunderspire Wrap-Up and Fallcrest Interlude 3

The party splits up upon being returned to the Seven-Pillared Hall: - Kris returns to the Temple of Hidden Light to meditate about what the reveal of Staasi’s benefactor means and to pray for guidance. He also warns Phelaedra about the return of Father Night. - Nord, Avorra, Staasi, and Keothi go back to Halfmoon Inn – Staasi goes up to her room and frantically scribbles notes everywhere before coming to a “To-Do List”. – Keothi, Avorra, and Nord procure rooms for the hostages they saved. - Nord, Avorra, and Keothi go to Gendar and give him little statues Nord brought back from the Well of Demons to complete their deal. - Nord, Avorra, and Keothi return Stouty to Ulthar who is overjoyed. He calls the party “friends for life” and awards them with a large bag of jewels. In addition he provides Nord with clean clothes for the dawrves back at the inn.

Back at the inn, Nord has two important conversations. Volger tells his son that his axe, Legacy, plays an important part in the fate of the dwarven people. So long as it is protected, the dwarven nation is strong. The axe is held in trust for the king, and it secures his rule. The honor passes amongst the tribes. Volger was its bearer, but heard rumors he was going to be asked to step down because of his age. With no one to surrender the axe too, he asked his friend Grundelmar Hardstone to make a forgery and his the real axe. Since his father died and the location of the real axe unknown, the dwarven nation has started to crumble. Grundelmar is revealed to be the same Grundelmar has Kris’ mentor. The second conversation is with Keyote who reveals that Volgers time is not permanent. He has a few days at most to settle his affairs before going before the Raven Queen.

Staasi and Kris have a heart-to-heart. She swears she didn’t know about the Exarch and wants to devote her life to hunting undead and joining the Church of Light. Kris is releived to hear this and promises to help Staasi see this through. They test her powers which still exist, and by virtue of the fact that he can heal their effects easily, Kris determines they do not come from the Exarch or Orcus.

The party gathers for drinks before heading back to Fallcrest when Brug, Ogre sheriff of the Seven-Pillared Halls and one of the Mages of Sarrun known as the Ordinator come and ask for an audience. The mages have ruled the Seven-Pillared Hall since the curse which dispersed the minotaurs. The party is taken to a teleport circle in the middle of the hall, and they arrive in an ornate golden chamber with four thrones. Two men occupy them, Paldemar and Hasifier, the last of the Mages of Sarrun. They ask the party what they’ve done. Avorra responds that the shrine of Baphomet has been destroyed, and the curse broken. The minotaurs will soon return. The mages seem apprehensive at this news, worried about what it will do to their status quo. Kris suggests reaching out to Thuun Fallenhorn and opening discussions with him. Paldemarr seems derisivie but Hasifier says they will take it under advisement. Both make it clear, they will hold the party responsible and summon them to deal with any threats to their order that may arise from this. As the party departs through the same teleportation circle, Avorra, Nord, and Kris notice that they are leaving a drab stone cavern. Most of the oppulence was an illusion.

The party departs for Fallcrest leaving behind the dwarven caravan and Kithri and Jacob Halfmoon. Upon arriving in Fallcrest, the party finds that a cerfew is in effect by order of Armos Kamroth, who now appears to be Magistrate permanently, and Lady Markelhay. Staasi goes home, Avorra goes to Nimozian, and the rest go to the Church of Light. Kris warns everyone not to break cerfew and to gather the next day at the Church.

Staasi’s mother is happy to see her and reveals that she has not yet moved to the safer High Town district, because Armos Kamrothhas yet to approve. Staasi warns her mother against Armos, but her mother discounts the warning, viewing Armos as a good man who is protecting the town. Staasi asks ker mother to move from Winter Haven, away from his influence.

At Nimozian’s, Avorra is rudely welcomed by Tomar Cobble, Nizmozian’s assistant/apprentice. Thuun Fallenhorn thanks Avorra for freeing his people from the curse of Baphomet and gives her 7 rings, one for each of the party. The Order of the Shattered Horn is now the Order of the Restored Horn and the rings mark the party as the Champions of the Restored Horn. In appreciation for all she has done, Nimozian presents her with Arcus, the staff of the Architect, a deceased wizard of some renown. He welcomes her apprenticeship with him if she so desires, and reveals that the next day when everyone else comes to call, he will present them with gifts as well. She also receives a letter from her grandmother. Avorra’s cousin from Mistelm has disappeared and finding him has taken presidence over dealing with her contrary ways.

At the Church of Light, the party finds Dargon attended by Kris’ mother Alyssa, Grundelmar, Vargus, Nord’s uncle, and his cousing Showna, a female dwarven shaman. All are apprehesive about the presence of Keyote fearing him a bad omen, and the dwarves are astounded to see Volger. Vargus reveals that Dargon has not been doing well. He suffered from a poison and a curse. The poison has been dealt with, but the curse has not. In order to break the curse, a sample of the same spider venom used in it is needed. He recommends the party go to the Harven Wood and take Dargon to Evenhome to get the venom needed to break the curse and find out why he was targeted, since no help has come in a week and travel to and from Evenhome only takes three days. The group makes plans to do so, and all agree to put Dargon under for the trip to reserve his strength.

Next Sessopn Plans: - Staasi will join the others at the church to be formally introduced to Grundelmar and begin her introduction to the world of undead hunting/fighting. - Kris seeks a private audience with Lady Markelhay to find out more about the curfew. - Nord talks to Grundelmar to get clues aout the location of Legacy. - The party goes to Nimozian’s for reward and to tell him aout Father Night. - The party gets taken by Keothi to a crypt serving as a Temple of the Raven Queen so he can report in. - The Party heads to the Harken Wood.

NEXT FALLCREST INTERLUDE 3 CONT.

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The Story So Far Part 3 (The Well of Demons)

The party takes Jacob Halfmoon bck to Halfmoon Inn in the Seven Pillared Hall to rest. Kris visits the Temple of Hidden Light and meets the presiding cleric, a female Eladrin by the name of Phelaedra of the Sun. He Procures a Symbol of Hope and uses her equipment to brew some potions. The rest of the party goes back to Gendar’s where Nord purchases new armor with his available funds and a barter for any antiquities found in the well. Kris purchases a few reagents. Then the party goes to Deepgems Mining Ulthar and his assitant, Weller. Ulthar is despndont at having lost his pet Dire Boar, Stouty during a gnoll raid when mining near the Well. He asks the party to be on the lookout for it.

The party descends down to the well and are visited by the Warcaller who asks if they are ready. Once they enter, none may leave until the quest is finished. He warns that in addition to Baphomet’s followers, a gnoll cult devoted to Yeenoghu, patron god of murder, also waits within. The party affirms there readiness. Upon entering the Well, the party is marked by a hazy red symbol and voice challenges them to find the Book of Wrath Unveiled, Face of Baphomet, Blood Horn Blade, and the Bell of Furies Calling to be able to reach the Shrine. The party encounters another purple worm and several gnolls, then finds a group torturing a dire board, the pet of Ulthar. The party rescues the boar,and next encounters a group of gnolls in thprocess of sacrificing a dwarf to their god. The party interrupts the sacrifice and the dwarf, Dunvar, joins the party so he mightfind his sister who was recently kidnapped along with the restof a caravan from Hammerfast. During the fight, one of the minotaurs from the murals comes to life and joins the fray. After killing the gnoll priestess, the party finds the Book of Wrath Unveiled, and Avorra is approached by a book imp, Zuuba, whom she takes as a familiar. Only Avorra and Staasi are aware of its presence. Kris casts Hand of Fate to assure Dunvar that his path and the party’s are the same, and the party finds a room with 4 doors, one open and 3 closed, a Goliath SHpeherd (cleric of the Raven Queen) named Keyote, and four statues, and . Keyote explains that he was sent to arbitrate and judge Nord’s progress through his challenge. The statues each contain a means of holding one of the four items needed to get to the shrine. Putting an item in a holder opened a door to another item. The party went through: - A room with trick mirrors to get the mask which was guarded by zombies. The mirrors eithr shot you with Necortic energy or randomly teleported you, or imprisoned you. Staasi and Keyote each got imprisoned with a person called Father Night. Father Night is a follower of the long dead god Nerull. When the party freed them, they inadvertently freed Father Night who struck Kris as a follower of Pelor and fled to one day wreak more havoc and destruction. During this encounter, the rest of the party became aware of Zuuba. - A room filled with blood and demons guarded by two huge minotaur statues that swept the room. The blade and hilt of the Blood Horn Blade were heare and had to be reassembled. - A room of gnolls and gibbering pillars with random effects guarded the Bell of Furies Calling.

Once all four items were in place, the party was transported to the Labyrinth, the demon plane of Baphomet and were deposited on a floating platform. A gnoll priest of Yeenoghu had siezed control of the Shrine of Baphomet and in a bid to sieze power. The priest, Maldrick Scarmaker, was sacrificing beings trapped in bubbles of blood. Nord and Avorra fought the Shrine, Kithri and Keyote dealt with some ghould, while Stouty, Staasi, Kris, and Darvun fought Maldrick Scarmaker. The party wond and Nord completed his challenge, but at the cost of Darvun and Jenna, Kithri’s animal companion’s life. Zuuba was also “destroyed”. Kris, Staasi, and Keyote freed the remaining captives of the blood bubbles (which included Darvun’s sister). The Warcaller appeared to congratulate the party and noticed something about Staasi. He pulled forth her “benefactor” which was revealed to be an Exarch of Orcus. The Warcaller banished him, at least temorarily. Kithri demanded Jenna be raised, but for some reason, the stormcat refused to do so. The Warcaller called forth the figure trapped in the blood bubble on the shrine’s back: Volger Kegbreaker, Nordecai KegbregaaNord’s father! The party was then teleported back to the Seven-Pillared Hall.

Next: Thunderspire Wrap-Up and Fallcrest Interlude 3

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The Story So Far... (Part 2, Thunderspire Mountain)

The party make their way to the hunting lodge of Jacob Halfmoon, Kithri’s uncle. On the outskirts of his property, they encounter a small band of orcs and an Ogre. When the party arrives at Jacob’s they find evidence of a struggle and large amounts of blood. Jacob is no where to be found. The party follows the tracks to a small ruined keep on a hill. There they encounter more ogres and hobgoblins who are members of the Skullsplitter tribe. The Skullsplitters are known slavers, and there is a thriving slave market in Thunderspire Mountain. After defeating the Skullsplitters, the party rescue a human woman, Xavia (Human rogue), and a blue storm cougar. Kithri names the cougar Jenna, and bonds with it. Xavia joins the party.

On the road, Xavia reveals she is searching for her kidnapped father. The party encounters a group of dwarves looking for a missing envoy. The party continues to Thunderspire Mountain with a two-fold purpose: find and rescue Jacob Halfmoon and help Nord complete his quest to destroy the Shrine of Baphomet.

In the entry corridor, the party is told to pay an entry toll. As some party members begin to pay, Kithri rushes in to the toll room, to look for her uncle. A fight ensues. The party stumbled onto an extortion racket run by an offshoot of the Skullsplitters. Unfortunately, they disrupted an undercover sting operation. The party revived and released the three undercover hobgoblins without finding out who they represented. The Skullsplitter’s hostage, a member of the wait-staff from the Halfmoon Inn in the Seven-Pillared Hall of Thunderspire Mountain, gratefully takes the party to the inn. There Kithri confides in her cousin, Rendel Halfmoon, that their mutual uncle is missing. Rendel advises Kithri to be cautions as the Halfmoon clan has many enemies and their position in Thunderspire is not as strong and secure as it is in Fallcrest. At Gendar’s Reagents, the party meets Gendar, a drow storekeeper who buys “trinkets and collectibles” found in the caverns of the mountain and below it. He sells one such trinket to Staasi, a small figurine she believes might have something to do with her quest for her father. It compels her to seek out the ruins of Fastormel. Avorra purchases a map of the Mountain from House Azer.

The party sets out for the Chamber of Eyes, rumored hideout of the Skullsplitters and travels along the Great Bridge.. Near the end, the party is ambushed by a group of mercenaries including a couple of thugs, three wizards, a fighter, and…Xavia.

Xavia attacks Kithri, then weaves through the party. Several try to strike her to no avail. Stassi tries to trap her and some of the thugs in a shroud of darkness. Xavia shouts, “The Halfmoon Clan should be careful with whom they interfere”. When the darkness dissipates, Xavia is gone. Staasi, bribes Serelhar, who had previously met and flirted with Avorra in a chance encounter to switch sides. The thugs and two of the three wizards are killed. The wizards were triplets, collectively called Sarven. They seemed to share one mind. Distraught at losing its brothers, the third threw himself from the bridge. Where Xavia had stood, there was a bag and a ring. The bag contained the head of Jacob Halfmoon’s animal companion, Mane. The ring bore the crest of Armos Kamroth.

The part continued to the Chamber of Eyes which was an old temple to Torog, the King of Crawls. The party fought their way through hobgoblins, humans, and goblins, until they entered a chamber where it appeared a group of Duergar were in the middle of a transaction with the tribe. Kithri’s uncle, Jacob was there in chains. The tribe and the party fought, when the fight was disrupted by a purple worm bursting through the floor. The worm attacked and ate indiscriminately. A quick truce was formed as both the party and the few remaining Skullsplitters fled.

NEXT: THE STORY SO FAR… (PART 3, THE WELL OF DEMONS)

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The Story So Far.... (Part 1)

Nord Kegbreaker(Dwarven Fighter), Avorra Fulst (Tiefling Wizard), Staasi Needleborn (Human Warlock), and Kris Benetine (Half-Elf cleric of Pelor) are summoned for an audience with the Septarch, Nimozian. Nimozian gathers the party to investigate an increase in Kobold ambushes on the King’s Road which he had traced to the abandoned Argalon Manor. In the cellars and crypts beneath the house, the party found and defeated the Skullkicker tribe, and fought to a draw the young white wyrm, Sixiiya the tribe served in the name of Tiamat. The party allowed the dragon to withdraw in exchange for its treasure and a vow never to return to the Nentir Vale. The party finds a letter from someone named Irontooth asking for an alliance with Sixxia. They also recovered and saved Nizan, Nimozian’s son who had been kidnapped by the tribe.

Upon arriving back in Fallcrest, the party is approached by Kris’s father Dargon and Ninaren, an elven scout from the Winterhaven region who has reached out to the Harken Wood elves for aid in repelling a particularly vicious band of goblins named Irontooth from the areas surrounding Winterhaven. The party takes Dargon and Ninaren’s evidence along with the note found in Sixxia’s lair to the Fallcrest council. They are given authority to investigate and aid Winterhaven on the council’s authority.

Once in Winterhaven, the team begins investigating the activities of Irontooth and his tribe. Dargon and Ninaren go on an early morning scouting excursion and our ambushed with Dargon being wounded. The party rides out with Ninaren to where the ambush took place and are attacked by the full force of Irontooth’s tribe. Nord is killed and Nemerin almost captured. The party is saved by Nord’s ressurection and unexpectedly powerful magic from Staasi. When Nord fell in battle, he was approached by the Warcallerof Kord. The Warcaller told Nord that he was needed to face an important challenge: A cult of Orcus was in a nearby keep trying to open a gate to the Shadowfell. If they succeed, legions of souls will be diverted from the Shadowfell through the portal as undead and swarm over the vale. Nord’s mission and challenge: Prevent the portal from being opened and kill every cultist of Orcus in the keep. Staasi is approached by someone claiming to be an emissary of the one behind her power. It tells her she can call on aid three times and gives her a power boost. They discover from evidence found in Irontooth’s lair that the mastermind behind this plan is Kalarel, a priest of Orcus.

Nord tells his fellow party members of his experience with the Warcaller. The party learns the history of nearby Shadowfell Keep, the locked gate to the Shadowfell, and the mirrors needed to lock it shut from Valthrun the local sage. Said mirror is rumored to be in a local site said to be where the Nentir dragon fell. The party saves the pathfinder, Douvan Staaul and recovers the mirror. They then leave Kris’ father recovering from his wounds with Ninaren and go into the keep. Three things of note happen during their adventures in the keep: 1. The party saves a goblin by the name of Splug. Splug informs the party that Ninaren is a traitor in the service of Kelerel, and Kris sends a warning to his father via Animal Messenger. The goblin owes Avorra a debt for freeing him and becomes her bodyguard. Splug causes conflict with Kris, but the two come to terms shortly before his death against Kalarel. 2. The part encounters two new members: Finnin (Halfling Rogue) and Kithri Halfmoon (Halfling Ranger). They are in the keep looking for two artifacts for the Halfmoon family. They join with the party for safety in numbers. 3. In the final battle with Kalarel, Ninaren taunts the party and makes a quick retreat, Splug is killed, Kris and Nord are swarmed by undead, Kithri and Fin are being dragged into toward the gate by a tentacled thing, and Stasi and Avorra’s attempts to close the portal backfire and cause it to start to open. At the same time, Kris calls on Erathis, the Raven Queen, Pelor, Kord, and Melora to intervene, Staasi summons her emissary to cash in her one of three times. The tentacled beast turns on Kalarel, drags him into the gate, and the portal closes. Kris beleives it to be divine intervention, Staasi belives it to be the work of her secret benefactor. The Warcaller comes to claim Nord, but the party argues his challenge is not yet complete. The Warcaller presents him with a new challenge: Destroy the shirne of Baphomet in Thunderspire Mountain. Nord has to destroy it. If anyone else does, he fails. Success will be rewarded. Failure means the Warcaller will reclaim his sould and he will not be permitted to join the battlefield in Kord’s name.

Back in Winterhaven, the party discover that when the message to Kris’s father arrived, Ninaren was present, and she attacked and poisoned Kris’s father who was now at death’s door. The party stabilized him and returned with him to Fallcrest.

In Fallcrest, the party reported back to Nimozian and the council: Nord began work to fortify lowtown against a future possile invasion. Kris took his father to the House of Sun for care from Grundelmar, dwarven head of the temple and Kris’ superior, and sent word to the Harken Wood for aid. Avorra studied with Nimozian. She and Kithri discovered he was researching chronomancy. Kithri was loaned her father’s cougar and challenged to find her won (Kithri becomes Beastmaster build ranger). Finnin safely returns Kithri home and goes looking for other work (leaves party). Staasi discovers her mother his being beaten by a protection racket operated by a gang called the River Rats in lowtown. She discovers that the gang operates out of the Lucky Gnome tavern. The party along with council member Thaldorian Ironhues go to investigate the gang, whose defining tag is a black snake tatoo. A bar fight is started when Kithri directly confronts someone about the tatoo with a handful of gang members retreating to the cellar. The part leaves Thaldorian with the subdued members uptop and persues the rest into the cellar. The gang is attempting to escape by skiff in the sewera. The part follows on a raft of its own, and a three-way fight ensues between the River Rats (the gang), the party, and an Ottyug (sp?). The party is victorious with 3 gang members killed and the leader MIA. The party retreats to Staasi’s mother’s house to tend their wounds. Kithri leaves pre-dawn to spy on Nimozian who she is suspicious of and the party is arrested on suspicion in the death of Thaldorian Ironhues who was found dead the next morning outside of the Lucky Gnome. The party is brought before Armos Kamroth, the presiding magistrate of the day and council member (The party offended Armos by seizing the floor from him in the council meeting they interrupted to get approval to go to Winterhaven. Most of the party thinks he is up to something), along with the surviving River Rats. Both parties accuse the other of being complicit in Thaldorian’s murder. Armos throws both parties in jail until he can render a verdict. Kithri tries to break into the manor house to get to the rest of the party, and a drowned undead attacks during the night and kills two River Rats. The resulting commotion draws the attention of Lady Markelhay who reprimands Kithri for her actions and scolds Armos for holding the party in jail and demands he return a verdict. Armos decrees that both parties should go free as there is only hearsey against each other. His demeanor causes many in the party to suspect him further.

The party sets out for Thunderspire Mountain to destroy the shrine and investigate the curse that drove out the minotaurs at the request of a friend of Nimozian’s, Thuun Fallenhorn, but not before being confronted by Junora Fulst, Avorra’s grandmother. Her grandmother demands that Avorra do her duty and take part in an arranged marriage for her family’s sake. Avorra refuses. Junora gives Avorra two weeks to change her mind, or Junora will collect her by force…

NEXT POST: THE STORY SO FAR PART 2

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