In the Shadow of the Gods

Adventure Summary - 03/12/16
"The end of an era..."

The party surveyed the scene that unfolded before them. The precarious henge of stones guarding the crown hung suspended over an active volcano.

A construct guarded the crown as two followers of Mrykul sacrificed themselves to call upon a dread servant of the fallen deity. A Dracolich.

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Rising to the occasion, Cedric was recognized as staying true to his course, and Bahamut lifted his curse of human form. As a reward, Cedric polymorphed into his Gold Dragon form and battled the Dracolich and the Rune Golem holding the crown.

The party battled the construct, the Dracolich, and the henge barrier expanding great effort to destroy the crown, and prevent the resurrection of Mrykul.

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Once the powerful enemies were vanquished, Akachi was brought forth to destroy the crown. The spell etched into his skin came alive and worked its destructive force.

Temporarily the soul of Anneth occupied Amariel, in this manner Anneth was able to deliver a message to her love. She went on to the afterlife followed by Akachi.

The party discovered that as Akachi disintegrated, he left behind two clay tablets. These were recognized as the Tablets of Fate, the portfolio of the gods of Faerun.

Amariel sized the tablets, but on the way to the Temple of Helm in Waterdeep, the power of the tablets compelled her to attempt to wield them, as Ao would, to oversee the gods.

As the party arrived in Waterdeep Amariel attempted to abscond with the tablets, but was dutifully chased by her party members into the streets of Waterdeep eventually being taken down by Bryony, Anton, and Cedric.

Rendered unconscious, they took Amariel to the Temple of Helm. Cedric participated in a ritual calling forth the only god left, Helm.

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Helm took the tablets, and restored them to Ao. The world-ending future once envisioned was averted. Mrykul’s attempt at resurrection, failed. The spirit plague, ended.

Each member of the adventuring group was granted a wish. Amariel had her soul restored and grew in natural power. Cedric gained a Holy Avenger and Anton was bestowed the Helm of Glory. Bryony discovered her draconic heritage, and her arcane abilities had much increased.

The group left the temple to the awe of the clergy of Helm and to the gratitude of the citizenry of the Realms.

The end….for now.

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Adventure Summary - 02/27/16
"Fantasy Island....not"

The party was dropped off in an underground cavern so they could make their way to the surface and investigate their surroundings. Cedric and Amariel sent forth their Bear and Owl to recon the tunnels, they made a selection and began the ascent.

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Once they reached the sinkhole at the end of the tunnel, Amariel sent Athena to scout above and she reported back that a patrol of Ogres was nearby.

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Mad Mickey got upon the flying rug with Cedric and floated onto the surface of the island to investigate the patrol. The squad of Ogres were being lead by a human donning a cloak with the symbol of Mrykul embroidered upon it.

One of the Ogres spied Athena and was going to attempt to put a crossbow bolt through it but the Owl quickly hid. The patrol bypassed the sinkhole and wandered off through the jungle.

Mad Mickey also noticed, and informed the party, that there were dragon riders in the sky keeping watch as well.

The party stealthily made their way through the jungle until they reached the base of the volcano. Unfortunately, some of their group was spied by a dragon rider. As the guard dipped down for a closer look, ready to alert is comrades, Akachi let loose one of his tattoos killing the guard and the dragon in one fell swoop and avoiding detection for now.

Cedric pulled Akachi to his feet and they made their way up the side of the volcano eventually finding a tunnel carved from lava of a previous eruption leading them into the heart of the mountain.

The heat from the lava thousands of feet below permeates the air. The area before the adventurers unfolds to show hanging suspended by three stone pathways a henge of standing stones that encircles and protects the crown.

To be continued.

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Adventure Summary - 02/20/16
"Sail away, sail away, sail away..."

The group spent some downtime in Baldur’s Gate to recoup, outfit, and investigate various threads of inquiry.

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Amariel, Bryony, and Cedric sought out appropriate gear by which to fashion the gems they acquired. Anton brought his trinket to a mage which conducted some experimentation upon the glob of necrotic flesh. Additionally, Amariel brought her collection of buttons to some knowledgeable gnomes and made some interesting discoveries regarding the properties of the buttons.

In a previous session the party secured passage with a halfling and his crew docked within the lower city of Baldur’s Gate. Captain Hammond Stormfoot agreed to especially charter passage to an island off the Sword Coast where it was told by Akachi dwelt the Crown of Horns. The powerful magic item that is feeding upon the energy of fear in an attempt to resurrect the fallen god of death, Mrykul.

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After conducting their preparations, the group left early aboard The Seawolf, a 170ft long Brigantine ship crewed by a mix of human, half-elf, and halfling sailors.

On the first day out of their two day excursion, it brought them in contact with type of sea monster known as a brine serpent. Both Amariel and Cedric worked to fend off the creatures and avoid any conflict. The sea serpents were successfully chased off with minimal injuries inflicted upon the crew.

Night passed uneventfully, but the next day Anton and some of the crew had the unfortunate experience of being telepathically charmed by a sea-going aberration. Although Cedric and Amariel made heroic efforts, Anton fell overboard and was grappled by the monster. Upon crashing into the water and being subsequently held fast, he was able to overcome the charm and work with his adventuring friends to chase the monster off.

Finally, after sailing most of the day they arrived at their destination only to discover that no island appeared to exist. Amariel and Bryony worked to detect and dispel the powerful illusion that masked the presence of the island and then considered their options for an approach.

Captain Hammond offered the use of his gnomish submersible which he uses to search for salvage and treasure.

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Delving into the ocean, the party was piloted through under island tunnels approaching closest to the geocentric portion of the island they could navigate. The pilot dropped them off, and so they begin their exploration.

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Adventure Summary - 01/30/16
"The dark tower..."

Our intrepid adventurers made their way into the tower of ash, seeking a key component of their overall quest.

The first level of the tower introduced them to a seemingly opulent throne room filled with treasure. While some of the players were enticed with the treasure, others saw through the illusion and prepared for the attack when several ghouls and two wraiths appeared to confront the players.

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Once they fireball’d the undead to a crisp, they discovered that there was a way out of the throne room through the throne itself due to Amariel finding a hidden piece of parchment that tipped off the group as to how to proceed.

The next level brought them into a portion of the tower overrun with garbage, trash, and horded things. Slothful, corpulent ghouls sprung from the refuse as a famine spirit attempted to engulf the players into its stomach. Once they defeated the undead, the famine spirit disgorged some treasure that Bryony collected. The group discovered a doorway on top of a pile of rubbish and left the area.

The next level that embraced them was an ominous dungeon door placed at the end of a hall. Damakos went to work on the three locks of the door but discovered that if he failed picking all three successfully, the locks would reset and the hallway behind them would slowly become blocked with several ton blocks falling from the ceiling. The blocks slowly advanced if Damakos made a mistake, but thankfully he picked all three successfully.

Once through the door, the party went down a winding tunnel only to have it unfold into a seemingly endless catacombs. The catacombs soon came “alive” with skeletal warriors that confronted the party after they ingress’d further inward.

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Once they defeated the skeletons, upon their recovering the treasure, Cedric discovered a perfectly blue rose within the rib cage of the more powerful skeleton warrior. Glowing with magic, they discovered the rose transported them to a magical garden with a seemingly idyllic cottage centered within.

They soon discovered that the cottage was the prison of Akachi, the creator of the mask. After speaking with the former priest of Mrykul, they found out a method to help Akachi escape. They gave blood to each of the 5 points of the pentacle that bound Akachi and his jailer to that plane. Once giving their offering the defenses dropped, and Akachi was enable to use his tattoos to transport them to an area outside the city of Baldur’s Gate.

It is there the players entered the city, recouped themselves, and learned more about the choices that face them.

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Adventure Summary - 01/23/16
"The deadly hunt..."

Malar’s realm in the abyss, the Land of the Hunt, stretches out before the players. Green plains lie at their feet, off in the distance forested hills are laced with rivers and snow capped mountains spew waterfalls.

The land appears deceptively beautiful, but an aura of tension and dread seeps out from the green.

Storms of snow or hard rain appear and reappear quickly, and there is no sun in the sky. Shrill cries both on the ground and in the air echo in the distance. Where the players would expect to smell seemingly fertile land, instead the wind is heavy with the scent of blood and flesh.

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The players traversed the plains until the edge of the dark forest, taking flight in their rug they managed to get halfway through the stretch of woods when their rug was attacked by lancing bolts of lightning. Setting the rug on fire they did a controlled landing onto the forest floor before being set upon by treant’s crackling with magic electric energy.

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After an intense fight the players rested and recouped from their wounds setting once again off for the mountains, as they have been guided so far by the Mask of the Betrayer.

Once in the mountains they came across the stones of the oracles. A set of large standing stones nestled within a valley.

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Not finding any entrance and no sign of the individual they seek, they setup their magical Gazebo within sight of the stones to rest, only to be visited by an elderly man dressed in stained and dusty traveling robes, known only as the “Caretaker”.

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As he speaks, the wind picks up, and within the course of a minute a thick twisting pillar of billowing smoke appears within the center of the oracle stones. The pillar reaches into the sky for as high as can be seen.

The caretaker says " The mask will show the way in. From there, what you seek, will also be your greatest fear."

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Using the mask, Bryony is able to see a way into the tower of ash and smoke and leads the rest of party through.

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Adventure Summary - 01/16/16
"Trek into darkness..."

Following Perric with Elror from his party, the group went invisible and had Arth follow the carriage taking the wizard to his rising ceremony.

The carriage stopped by a walled in home located in Shadowdale. The party regrouped with Arth and confronted Perric after he revealed he knew their presence.

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Perric engaged the party in conversation with their goals. It was discovered that the followers of Mrykul and their attempts to bring about the resurrection of their fallen deity would plunge the realm into a chaos it may never recover. It was to the benefit of both parties to prevent the rise of Mrykul so Perric informed them he could bring them to both the last mask fragment, and Akachi, the original betrayer.

After striking their deal, the party gathered their equipment, stepped through Perric’s cloak, and entered into the Abyss.

There they encountered a large stone structure in the shape of a beastly cat. On the approach they were attacked by strange constructs stitched together by parts of various aberrations.

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After solving a puzzle to gain access to the structure, they entered into the petrified creature and were summarily ambushed by golems.

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They defeated the golems and proceeded to the head of the structure where they encountered the last of the cultists they had chased in a botched summoning. They then were able to retrieve the last mask fragment, place the pieces together, and in doing so, gained insight into their quest.

Cedric used his crystal doorknob to transport themselves to the different realm within the Abyss they needed to be.

The party ended up at the edge of Malar’s realm, the Land of the Hunt.

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The quest continues.

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Adventure Summary - 12/19/15
"Short, but sweet...."

You successfully traverse the snowy landscape bordering the Anauroch Desert in your flight to Shadowdale.

When you arrive on the outskirts of Shadowdale, you are aware that while the Zhentarim are an occupying force, the events of Shadowdale continue to swirl around you.

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As per the invitation that Bryony received, your group preps to make an appearance at the home of a wizard in the employ of the Zhentarim. One Elror Mithranthin.

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The party is to honor Elror’s raising into an exclusive wizardry order known as the Wretched Circle.

Elror states that a representative of the circle is visiting him that evening to escort him to where the raising ceremony will take place.

When that hour arrives the party is stunned to see Perric, the farmboy Amariel killed back in the Shadowfell after he had been bitten by the vampire Morvath, is the supposed representative sent by the Circle.

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To be continued…

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Adventure Summary - 11/21/15
"This land was green and good, until the crystal cracked..."

After descending into the caves, fighting off guardians and navigating cave-ins, you finally made your way to the lair of Acenagari.

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Amariel strikes forward into the cavern, only to notice in the reflection of the slow moving underground stream there are red dragon eggs clustered in the rocky ceiling above them.

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The plan changes as the group decides to send an ambassador to Acenagari to speak with how she may be removed from the cavern.

Acenagari is intrigued by the approach. Amariel notices that a sword is impaled in her where her throat meets her chest. During a dangerous inquiry, Acenagari reveals that sword was stuck there by the warrior-king Jonas Steelbeard. His kingdom lies to the north between the The Glimmerwood and the Ice mountains.

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Acenagari wants his head and she may consider leaving. However, in further discussion, it is revealed that Acenagari would be willing to relocate her brood if she obtained credible and reliable information on the whereabouts of 3 offspring of Xylarien. Xylarien is a gold dragon who killed her previous younglings millennium ago, and Acenagari seeks her revenge upon her surviving children who have mysteriously disappeared.

To seal the pact, Acenagri holds Amareil’s life force hostage.

The party leaves the caves and reports to Seth their guide who relays the information to Lord Rathburn. Acquiring some local supplies and trinkets, they pack up their flying carpets and plot a journey to a library in Shadowdale, skirting the The Great Desert.

En route to their stronghold outside of Elterial, they are attacked by strange creations of unnatural origin. They fight off the flying werewolves, and land safely at their home base.

They learn that while the stronghold is doing well, things are in turmoil within their patron house Cardanion, and the houses of Elterial are battling for political supremacy in the city. Triggered by the assassination of the Lady Ardessa.

To be continued!

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Adventure Summary - 09/26/2015
"The hills are live, with the smell of dragon's fire..."

The players entered the town of Loudwater and made contact with their contract employer, Lord Rathmor.

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Nathan, the Lord’s representative in the town discussed the details of the contract. The players would get 8,000 gp up front, and 10,000 gp when the job is complete.

The objective is to either kill, or chase off, the ancient Red dragon that has taken up residence on his lands, Acenagari.

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Lord Rathmor agrees on a split of whatever the dragon may be hording 50/50.

The Lord also requires something of the dragon to prove it’s death, and he sends his guide and woodsman Seth to accompany the group and witness events.

As they go to traverse his lands to the hill under which Acenagari has taken refuge, the party and their guide encounters an Orc patrol with a diplomat, Tark, who makes an offer to meet with the group a party of orc soldiers to take on Acenagari.

The orcs have been plagued with the dragon’s presence, which has required tribute and sacrifices of their tribe they cannot afford.

Agreeing to the arrangement, the party moves to within several hundred yards of the entrance to the hill caves in which lies the dragon. As they are eating their supper, Cedric notices the campfire intensify and become a column of flame by which several fire elementals launch themselves out and attack the group.

The batter rages for several rounds, but the opponents are eventually doused, allowing the group to get much needed rest to prepare for the decent into the caves.

Until next time!

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Adventure Summary - 08/19/2015
"Don't stop, believin..."

The party finished off the night at Daggerford and then trucked off bright and early in the morning heading East for Loudwater.

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As they tread through the land, they eventually came to the small village of Secomber. After securing an Inn they visited the local tavern to unwind, unbeknownst they would be unwinding more than they cared for.

While supping in the common room, the players were interested in seeing a troupe of four elven dancers take a small stage in the tavern and put on a show. The patrons and most of the party were lulled into a trance, feeling utterly compelled to part with their coin.

Antone, Cedric, and Amariel did not fall for the enchantment and sought to put an end to illusion. They discovered after the troupe had been chased off the stage, that the Elves had celestial bloodlines that inadvertently enchanted those that watched them. The Elves left the village hurriedly, bemoaning their curse.

After sorting out the issue and returning the money to the patrons, the group settled down to get in a good nights rest before starting for Loudwater.

After leaving Secomber, they had a strange encounter on the road when they stopped for the night. Sobbing noises, and strange eyes bothered them throughout the evening. Eventually the dawn broke and then by mid-day, they made it to their destination, the village of Loudwater and to their employer, to see about a dragon.

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To be continued.

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