There’s a gnoll in my bucket

Our hungry heroes drove a little further into the Ettercap’s lair only to find the last group of them fortified near a fire.  After fighting their way through sticky webbing the heroes managed to vanquish the horde once and for all.  Among the bones and flesh of dead animals, the heroes find the body of Halfling with some alchemical devices on his corpse.  They surmise that is must be the Halfling they were looking for.  They break camp and head back to Craigfoot Keep to re-supply.  They are rewarded for finding the Halfling and defeating the kobold and dragons but the heroes know they have a long way to go.  They still have a population of gnolls to contend with and they still can’t find the secret monastery.  After supplying up, they head back into the mountain.  As they approach the end of the last unexplored tunnel, they come to a huge cavern.  It is lit with 5 huge braziers suspended from the ceiling.  There are 4 earthen towers that form 4 huge platforms.  The platforms are connected by natural stone bridges.  This is where the gnolls are based.  The heroes rushed into the stronghold to engage the enemies.  While the melee fighters engaged the first wave of gnolls, the ranger and wizard severed the lines of one brazier causing it to destroy a bridge preventing gnoll re-enforcements from joining the fight.  Moto the rogue dove valiantly into the fight but was cut to pieces by the savage, demon-possessed gnolls.  Gnoll archers rained down arrows on the party as huge hyenas charged across the other bridge.  One gnoll, commanding a legion of vermin and crows, almost sent the cleric tumbling to his doom.  While Varis held the bridge, Kane blasted the enemies off the bridge to their death.  The first wave of gnolls has been defeated and the heroes have a head start but they lost a great comrade and still have a long way to go.

Cave-dive!

My apologies for not keeping my players up to date.  This should get us current.

Our heroes continues their trek to up the mountain.  After dispatching some bears they came to a door with a puzzling lock.  After some short deliberation they attempted to open it… and it swung open with ease.  They later determined that failure would have resulted in some form of pain.

They followed the mountain trail down through a lair of bats and after defeating a very nasty trap with whirling blades, they found a one legged kobold who wanted to aid the heroes in killing the tribe that disowned him.  The kobold lead the heroes to an ancient dwarven keep that had been taken over by the kobolds.  They fought their way through kobolds, rats, a game of skull-skull and drakes until they were able to climb a tall tower to discover the real threat.  They also lost a few members of the party.  When searching for a place to rest for the night Kava and Sarge fell and were swept away in an underground river.  Their whereabouts are unknown.  The part did meet some new friends.  They liberated a Halfling who was being roasted by the kobolds.  Moto has proven very good with a blade.  They also met a paladin named Vars who came to help the heroes after meeting up with the priest in Fallcrest.  Lastly the heroes were joined by a female half-orc ranger who had been stalking gnolls in the mountain hoping to collect on the bounty for their heads.  The new party is proving to be very effective.  The true leader of the kobolds was the grey dragon who had been harassing the quarry.  And she wasn’t alone!  The dragon and her young son blasted at the heroes but using divine intervention they were able to hold the dragon in place and lay the beat down on it.

Our heroes now continue to explore the passages of the Whitestone Mountains.  They are still looking for the gnoll encampment, the Halfling alchemist and the location of the evil monastery.

You may have noticed we have an extra person in our party.  Gary has been joining us on Skype.  It has been working out well.  He is playing the halfling.  The other party swapping came because we thought we were loosing our fighter and the party really needed a tank so our ranger became our tank (paladin) but then our original tank was able to work us back into his schedule…  so he became a ranger.  Very ironic but both players are enjoying their new roles.

Reflections

We last left our heroes in a dust covered study where they just crushed a mind-melting brain in a jar.  Kane noticed that the magical energies of the area shifted with the death of the brain.  Hesikiah started to sweat and giggle slightly.  The mirror with the trapped spirit inside commanded he smash it over the red hand on the floor.  With the death of the brain the spirit had no fear of being trapped once released.  As soon as the mirror was smashed the spell it had over Hesikiah was broken and the spirit rushed into the body of Princes Celeste.   She rose out from her grave under the red hand, thanked the heroes for keeping her safe and promised them a place of stature in her undead army.  She then rushed forward to help the heroes into the afterlife.  The heroes were very battle weary.  Kane carefully kept a safe distance while Sarge and Hesikiah kept her from the rest of the party.  Kava darted in and out managing to keep on his feet for the entire fight.  The princess used her horrific visage to cause fear in the hearts of the heroes but through sheer will they were able to stand their ground.  She blasted and blinded them with waves of necrotic energy.  Sarge was able to pin the princess.  Hesikiah finally put everything together and discovered that she was an agent of the sworn enemy of his god, Vecna!  He ran up to her, traced the symbol of Ioun on her chest and begged his god to remove this abomination from the world.  The Raven Queen was also eager to claim the soul who avoided the shadowfell for too long.  As the spirit of the princess left her body, the heroes saw a shadowy angel with wings of raven feathers grab the spirit and pull it into the next plane.

With the death of the princess they were able to study this dark library.  With the help of the local cleric they were able to determine that the princess has lured the brain (who was at one time an evil wizard) to her tower so she could steal his knowledge of dark rituals.  However, the brain was able to disrupt the princesses during one such ritual and trap her in the mirror.  Because she was so powerful she was able to have some of her undead minions move her to the safety of the upper levels.  Exhausted and completely drained both the brain and the mirror slept for hundreds of years.  They only recently awoke because the mage in the thieves’ guild stirred the dark energies of the area.  During their research they find mention of a dark monastery somewhere in the Whitestone Mountains.  They also find a crude map of path through the mountain.  No one in town seems to know about a monastery but they advise the heroes to travel to a dwarven marble quarry called Craigfoot Keep.  If anyone knows anything about monastery in the mountains the dwarves would.  After a few longs days of shopping the heroes make their way to Craigfoot Keep.

After a few days of hard travel the heroes reach the keep.  It is a simple yet strong stone keep with an active marble quarry behind it.  After meeting with a few of the keep’s residents the heroes had a vague idea of where to begin their search for the monastery.  They were also asked to take care of a gnoll problem, find a missing alchemist and take care of a dragon.  With their plates full the heroes’ set off looking for the mountain pass.

Not far from the keep the party encountered a Halfling and a Teifling who claimed they were attacked by bandits.  The bandits emerged from hiding a ways down the road.  As the party rushed forward to dispatch the bigands, the Tiefling and Halfling attacked their flanks.  Even with this disadvantage the heroes rallied and sent the thieves to the Shadowfell.

Traveling the mountains is always dangerous.  How will our heroes fair as they continue the journey.

We should open a bar!

Here is our weekly D&D update

Having just defeated the human commander and his hobgoblin lackeys, the party moves forth in search of the dwarf porter’s guild leader.  They manage to find him in the next room with a few of his buddies and his pet wolf fluffy.  The dwarf barks a warning to a little halfling who runs off into another room before rushing the heroes.  As our heroes rushed forward to meet the enemy, they soon learned that the room had many pit traps.  Sarge almost found himself in a hole and the unlucky Kava once again found himself in a heap at the bottom of a pit.  The heroes fought hard with Sarge gaining a record for most hits required to take down a K9.  After the battle Kava found a nice set of Hide armor.

After finishing off the Barstomun, the party cautiously ventures forth into a very odd room.  As they cross over a temporary bridge the room shakes to life.  The platforms shift and move and sometimes spray the combatants with fire, gas, darts or spears.  The thieves in this room surrounded the heroes and inflicted quite a bit of pain.  The hard battle concluded with Kane using his mage hand spell to turn a key, stopping the room of death.  Kava did a great job escorting the bridge throughout the battle.

The party then came to a large double door with an eye inscribed on it.  No one was able to determine what the symbol meant.  As they burst through the door they were greeted by an evil mage who’s face and arms were covered in harsh runes and symbols.  He blasted the party with thunder and lightning.  Other foes were hidden behind curtains in the room and rushed out to meet the heroes.  Kava rush forward bravely but was hammered to the ground by the mage’s guards.  Sarge used his dragon breath to light most of the curtains of fire, creating a hazard for anyone near them and eliminating hiding places.  Hesikiah did his best to keep the Dragonborn on their feet but Kava was repeatedly pummeled and remained unconscious for most of the battle.  Hesikiah did manage to bless the party.  (and don’t you forget.  Fool!)  Kane, in an act of sheer bravery, rushed forward and blasted the mage and his halfling artillery force.  He was able to take down 2 or 3 in one blast.  Sarge delivered a tremendous blow that rocked the mage causing him to run to a corner to continue his fight.  After finally dispatching the remaining guards our heroes came together and triumphed over the mage.   Their efforts were rewarded with Sarge gaining an amulet of protection.

After their long ordeal, the heroes were escorted to the lord.  With Kane waiting outside, the lord apologized for his earlier encounter.  He paid them in full plus a bonus for removing the kobold threat and offered them first crack at a bounty placed on the dragon’s head.  He also informed them that the bar they just descended under no longer had an owner (the owner was one of the thieves in the room of death) and they could have it.  They also received gold and a store credit from the head of the merchant’s guild.  They were grateful for removing the corrupt porter’s guild leader who used his muscle to extort goods and gold from the local merchant community.

The names of our heroes are now well known in Fallcrest.  Word of their deeds may even be spreading further.  The question is though, who is listening…