Okknos Prime

Torture and Death
Disclaimer: Only one person actually dies in this episode
  • Perra Talstar informs the party that their next target is Tobias Silvermoon, a wealthy halfling merchant that supplies Ravenous with weapons and armor. Lillium the Flower tells Perra that from now on they will be doing things her way. When Perra asks Lillium what this means, Lillium explains it means less killing and burning.
  • The genasi swordmage, Ashar approaches the party. Lillium and Perra recognize him as a member of Ravenous. Ashar explains that after he failed Ravenous, they killed his sister, and thus he no longer is in their employ.
  • The party is approached by Jin-Feyn Talvanae. She scolds Perra and the PCs for their wanton slaughter. She tells Perra to head back to the Team Zalthannus guildhall, and Perra complies. Jin-Feyn then informs the PCs that they have 24 hours to leave Amollo or be labeled enemies of the guild.
  • After Jin-Feyn leaves, Miria tells the rest of the party that she will not join them on this mission of revenge. The PCs head towards The Silvermoon Smithy. They are accosted on the way by Tabitha McCrae, a friend of Hope’s. She recognizes Lillium, and joins the party.
  • The PCs arrive at The Silvermoon Smithy and interrogate Tobias Silvermoon. He eventually agrees to lead them to Ravenous, but before he can, he is hit in the head by a shuriken. The PCs are attacked by several ordinary looking humans. They have rapiers and leather armor underneath their street clothes.
  • Rekas Selchar charges after one of these men. He strikes the man with a devastating blow, temporarily stunning him. The rest of the men flee, leaving their bloody companion and a small slip of paper behind. Rekas knocks out his opponent.
  • Lillium picks up the piece of paper. It invites the PCs to a duel in the Freedom Guantlet arena at midnight. It writer warns that if they bring help, he will not be there.
  • The PCs conclude that the note must be from McGregor. They wake up their prisoner, who refuses to talk until Lillium strips the man and Ashar cuts off two of his fingers. After this barbaric act, the prisoner tells the PCs that McGregor will indeed be at the Freedom Gauntlet Arena at midnight with about 30 or 40 men. He also says that Ravenous’ secret base is about 1 mile outside of Amollo in the jungle. He refuses to lead the PCs there, and assures Lillium that he will be able to escape any reprisals by Ravenous. The PCs then let him go.
  • The PCs head back to their inn to rest before the fight. The innkeeper informs them that they are no longer welcome, so they head to Tabitha’s apartment to rest.
  • After sleeping, Wil delivers a letter for Jin-Feyn to the Team Zalthannus guildhouse. Lillium and Tabitha fortify themselves with cheap booze. Then, Lillium reveals to the rest of the party that she isn’t actually Lillium. Instead he is the changeling known as Hope. He has the ability to look like any person.
  • The PCs head to the arena. Tabitha sneaks in and sees about 25 people inside. Most of them have bows. She can’t tell if McGregor is one of them. After a lengthy discussion, the PCs decide the best plan of action is for Hope to walk into the arena, along with Ashar for protection. Everyone else will sneak in. Two members of Ravenous welcome Hope and Ashar to the arena floor, and close the doors behind them.
  • Upon seeing Hope, disguised as Lillium, McGregor approaches. He can see through Hope’s disguise, and taunts Hope, telling him that he is responsible for Lillium’s death, and that he is pathetic for wearing the skin of the woman he killed. Hope tells McGregor that Lillium is in heaven, and the McGregor will soon be in hell. He concludes with a long, Shakespearean insult. McGregor is unfazed, and combat begins.
  • Hope is immediately buried under a rain of arrows. Ashar deflects all but one of the arrows aimed at him, but is soon surrounded by McGregor and his bodyguards. Rekas recognizes the hopelessness of the situation, and runs out of the arena. Wil and Tabitha shoot projectiles at McGregor. Wil is quickly incapacitated by arrows, and Rekas unlocks the arena door so that Ashar can escape. He is too late though, and McGregor runs Ashar through. Tabitha flees after this happens. McGregor’s bodyguard opens the door, and Ravenous’ archers unleash their hellish rain on Rekas. Thanks to his covered position, Rekas is not killed by the initial volley, and he closes the door again and runs. Ashar miraculously manages to regain consciousness, and plays dead. Seeing that all of his enemies are dead or fleeing, McGregor orders his men to withdraw. Tabitha follows them stealthily.
  • Ashar manages to stop Hope’s bleeding. He then jumps up fifteen feet from the arena floor, grabs hold of the edge of the arena wall, and pulls himself into the stands next to the dying wizard. He takes a potion of healing out of Wil’s pack and revives the wizard. Rekas returns after hearing Ravenous depart, and the defeated foursome head back to Tabitha’s apartment.
  • Tabitha follows McGregor to a house, and she waits outside. Hope drowns his sorrows in cheap booze. Then, he goes to look for Miria and tell her what happens. After waking up Miria in the middle of the night, they go to look for Catcall and Rovindor, but they can’t find them. Miria says she will find passage to Bonifant.
  • The next day, Tabitha sends a letter to Hope. Tabitha sees people leave McGregor’s house, but none of them are the people from last night. Hope disguises himself as an old woman, and drops a note for Tabitha. Then they meet back up at her apartment. Tabitha wants to attack McGregor’s house, but Hope doesn’t want to. Tabitha decides to flee Amollo on her own.
  • Miria looks for ships to Bonifant. Few people are willing to go there, but she finds a Vitalian freedom fighter and a Ravenous-hating smuggler who are willing to take them. The freedom fighter wants to storm the port, and the smuggler promises he will drop them off discretely. The smuggler asks for 20gp per person. Miria bargains him down to 17gp each.
A Murderous Rampage
1 in 40,000,000
  • Dryug doubles over on the ground and screams in pain. Miria asks if he is OK.
  • Dryug straightens up and replies, “He is alright.” Wil thinks he is possessed, but not by anything from The Far Realm.
  • Dryug again says, “He is alright” in response to inquiries about his health. Rekas Selchar attempts to grab Dryug and misses.
  • Dryug says “enough,” flies to the top of a building, and casts Cloud of Darkness.
  • Miria and Lillium the Flower argue over whether to look for Dryug or continue after McGregor. The chances of find either of them aren’t too good. Finally, Rovindor Hammersmith and Catcall are sent to look for Dryug. The adventurers agree to rendezvous at The Golden Hero, the inn where they planned their attack on McGregor’s hideout.
  • Miria, Wil, Lillium, and Rekas continue on to the house where they think McGregor is hiding. After a lengthy discussion, they walk up, and Rekas knocks on the door. No one answers, so Rekas opens the door.
  • No one is inside except for Torinn, the Ravenous thug that had agreed to go on ahead to fool McGregor. Torinn’s mutilated body is hanging from the ceiling with a note pinned to his chest. It reads “You may look under every paving stone in Amollo, you may corrupt hundreds of my foot soldiers, but you have no hope of finding me. On the other hand, I can find you whenever I like.” There is also a description of each of the party members and a 500gp reward for their capture, dead or alive. There is also a description of a young, human male named Hope. Both Hope and Lillium are wanted alive, and the reward for their capture is 1,000gp.
  • As the adventurers ponder this new information, the door behind them is slammed shut, and a volley of burning arrows pours into the room. Rekas and Miria attempt to force the door open, while Wil magically extinguishes one of the arrows before running upstairs.
  • Rekas and Miria eventually manage to force the door open, and see two half-orcs, two human archers, and a halfling. The archers open fire on Rekas, and the halfling entangles him in a bola. Miria rushes forward to engage the half-orcs. The half-orcs and the archers converge on her, and deal her some grievous wounds. Lillium banishes one half-orc to the feywild. Wil breaks open an upper window with his staff.
  • Rekas manages to free himself from the bola, but the halfling throws three more, missing Miria, but entangling and dragging Lillium and Rekas back into the burning building. Miria switches places with Rekas, thereby freeing him from the bola. Lillium provides Rekas with an opening to move up and engage the archers.
  • Lillium and Miria notice the building they are in is about to collapse, so they leave. Wil doesn’t notice, and continues shooting spells from an upstairs window. Lillium pushes an archer through a window on the opposite side of the street. Wil finally notices his perilous state, and uses his rope to climb out of the window.
  • The battles rages on, but the party now has the upper hand. Eventually, all of their attackers are killed. The party returns to the Golden Hero to meet up with Rovindor and Catcall, and then they travel to a different inn, Two Cauldrons, to throw any potential bounty hunters off their trail. Lillium talks Rovindor, Catcall, Rekas, and Miria into watching throughout the night.
  • In the morning, Lillium recognizes a high-ranking member of Ravenous, Perra Talstar, sitting at the bar in Two Cauldrons.
  • Perra explains that she is no longer a member of Ravenous, and is actually a member of Team Zalthannus. She wants the party to help her flush out McGregor by destroying his possessions. She says that the rest of Team Zalthannus will not help her with this.
  • Lillium wants to help Perra, but Miria and Wil want to look for Dryug. Lillium heads out to gather information. Wil tells her it isn’t safe and tries to follow her, but she eludes him. Lillium returns and says that all the low-lifes in the city are eager to collect the bounty on their heads, and that no one knows where McGregor is.
  • Wil heads out to collect information as well. He finds out that no one has seen Dryug, and that most people thought Lillum was dead. He returns to the smoking remains of the building where they fought McGregor’s men the night before, but doesn’t find anything.
  • Miria heads out to look for Dryug. She thinks he may have gone into the sewers, so she enters the sewers, but after seeing tracks belonging to some dangerous creature, thinks better of it, and returns to Two Cauldrons.
  • Rovindor and Catcall head out to look for Dryug. Perra says she will be at the Team Zalthannus guildhall if the party wants to take her up on her offer.
  • When Wil and Miria return, the party heads out after Perra. Once they meet her, they head to a warehouse that Perra says contains Ravenous’ stolen goods.
  • The party bursts into the warehouse, and begins killing the people inside. They are unarmed, but pick up pieces of lumber and such and fight back. Miria offers them a chance to flee if they want to leave, since the party is only after Ravenous’ property. Perra says “These people belong to Ravenous too,” and continues killing them. Lillium knocks out one worker who is attempting to flee.
  • The party burns down the warehouse, and argues about what to do with their unconscious victim. Lillium and Rekas wish to dump him in an alley, but Miria insists on taking him to a nearby inn, and paying for his room.
  • The party then makes their way to a ship that Perra says belongs to McGregor. Wil announces that everyone who doesn’t want to burn should leave the ship now. When people emerge with weapons drawn, Wil hurls a fireball at the ship.
  • The sailors rush off the ship and attack the party. They are easily defeated. Rekas knocks one man off of the deck, and Lillium knocks him out as he tries to swim away, leaving the man to drown.
  • The party watches the ship burn and sink to make sure nobody rescues it. They then prepare to head out after Perra’s third and final target.
Pirates and Thugs
Poor, poor Athenril
  • Lillium the Flower‘s horse refuses to carry the surviving far realm madman. The party ties him to the roof of Lillium’s carriage instead. He spends the trip alternating between shouting “You’re all going to die!”, “Your fate is sealed!”, laughing manically, and kicking the roof of the carriage.
  • The party arrives in Mocklyn. The guards ask about the man tied to the roof of the carriage. Miria explains the situation, the madman helps by continuing to shout death threats, and the guards agree to detain him.
  • Lillium is soon surrounded by her fans. She has some of them take care of her horse and carriage. She is approached by a noblewoman who says she simply must play for King Grayson Langriff tonight.
  • Lillium begins looking for a ship. She finds three ships that are headed for Amollo.
  • The Iceblade is a dragonborn ship, and runs a legitimate passenger service between Sunwyn and Mocklyn. The cost is 5gp per head.
  • The Slimy Blade is run by the elf Athenril. She offers passage to Amollo for 3gp per head, and further passage to Bonifant for an additional 5gp per head.
  • The Daisy Stem is captained by the gnome Daisy. She is a huge fan of Lillium’s and offers passage to anywhere she desires for free.
  • The party meets in an inn called The Ethereal Maiden to discuss their options. The barkeep tells them that while Athenril has never been convicted of a crime, it will-known that she deals in illegitimate goods. She’s fairly nice for a criminal though. The Daisy Stem is barely seaworthy, and could perhaps be better called a boat instead of a ship. The Iceblade is a vessel of the highest repute.
  • After some discussion, the group decides to book passage on The Slimy Blade. They then head towards King Langriff’s palace. Catcall walks beside her cheetah for once. The palace guard allows her cheetah to enter.
  • Lillium performs for the royal court. They seem unimpressed. Afterwards, the party warns the king of the dangers of the far realm. When asked for proof, they refer to the man they turned over to the city guards. King Langriff is, unsurprisingly, unaware that this happened. They then tell the king about Twin Sword Springs. Wil shows the king the letter from Vitalio, and the king agrees to send help to Twin Sword Springs.
  • Lillium asks the king’s opinion on The Daisy Stem and The Slimy Blade. King Langriff is, unsurprisingly, unaware of these ships’ existence.
  • Wil asks the king to get Vitalio to behave better. When King Langriff asks what exactly Wil wants him to do, Wil says that he should talk to the King of Vitalio. King Langriff agrees to do this.
  • Catcall and Dryug head to the druid temple to spend the night. Dryug manages to pass himself off as a druid. Lillium spends 10 gold to rent the noble’s quarters at The Ethereal Maiden. Everyone else stays in less expensive inns.
  • In the morning, everyone boards The Slimy Blade. Athenril tells everyone to stay out of the ship’s cargo hold. The voyage goes smoothly until a Vitalian privateer is spotted in the distance.
  • Athenril tells everyone not to fight the privateers, in order to keep them from destroying her ship. Wil attempts to attack the ship anyway, and Athenril tackles him. Dryug hides in the hold.
  • Dryug notices the sailors hiding some creates in secret compartments. He hides in a compartment and opens one of the crates. He finds barrels of expensive wine.
  • The pirates board The Slimy Blade and begin searching the cargo hold. They also demand money from all of the PCs. Rekas intimidates the pirates into leaving him alone, Miria convices the pirates she has no money, Catcall hides behind a larger humanoid, and Lillium gives the pirates all her money to protect Wil from being robbed.
  • The pirates leave, and Athenril sends a crewman into the hold to take inventory. The creman discovers Dryug and a standoff begins. The crewman calls for Athenril. She comes down along with her first mate. Miria sneaks in after them.
  • Dryug and Athenril trade insults, and when Athenril orders her subordinates to search Dryug, he attacks. Miria manages to defuse the situation, but when Dryug insists in getting in one last punch, combat begins again. Miria deals a devetating wound to Athenril.
  • The rest of the party rushes down the stairs. Catcall’s cheetah pins Athenril to the ground and she surrenders. Rekas asks Dryug if he is alright, and Dryug says yes. Miria asks for alcohol and Athenril gives her free reign to peruse the ship’s stores. Lillium asks for her own room and Athenril gives up the captains quarters.
  • The ship arrives in Amollo, and the PCs disembark. Lillium and Wil look for a ship to take them to Bonifant, but they can’t find one. Lillium asks her contacts where she can find McGregor and is told “at the usual place.”
  • The party heads to this usual place, and finds several lower ranking members of Ravenous. After a brief exchange, they begin fighting. Dryug and Wil are badly wounded, but get healed quickly. The party leaves the thugs’ leader, Torinn alive. Lillium promises to let him go if he talks. He tells them where McGregor is, but says McGregor will move as soon as he realizes that his enforcers have failed. Lillium then tries to kill Torinn, but is stopped by Miria. Torinn offers to try to fool McGregor in exchange for his life. The party lets him go.
  • The PCs find a back exit to the house they are in, and heads towards McGregor’s last known location.
Four Stones and Crazy People
  • Dryug puts in an order for 1700 coin purses with Lillium’s name at the tanner. He realizes that Amreth knows he is being followed, so he tells the tanner to deliver the purses to Amreth. Dryug lies and says that Amreth has agreed to distribute the purses.
  • Rekas spots a bugbear sneaking towards the camp. He charges it and several cave bears storm the camp. The bugbear is quickly killed. Rekas Selchar kills a bear almost by himself. One bear tries to kill Lillium’s horse, but is banished to the Feywild for its trouble. The party rests for the rest of the night without trouble.
  • The party arrives in Four Stones. There is a stockade around the town, but once it’s determined that the PCs aren’t undead, they are let through. Lillium has her fans fix her carriage. The talk of the town is how Valez Du’ Urth, Hilbert Cantormann, The Black Reaper, and Nedurian Telchontar saved Four Stones from an invasion of undead. Lillium finds someone who claims to have an arrow shot by Telchontar. She pays the man 150gp for it. Upon seeing this, Dryug and Rekas head to look for more of Telchontar’s arrows but don’t find any.
  • After staying the night at the Salty Duck, the party heads south towards Mocklyn. On the way, they are confronted by 6 humans. They all appear slightly strange. They announce that the party must die for interfering. They give Lillium the chance to leave; she does not.
  • Upon getting closer to the humans, the party realizes that the humans all have some strange deformities. One has weeping sores covering his body, several bleed black, viscous blood when struck.
  • The party defeats the humans and leaves one alive. He carries on about how they will all die, and that their cause is hopeless. Rovindor Hammersmith interrogates the man, and finds that the party is being hunted for their actions in the battle at Twin Sword Springs. Wil and Miria realize that the man is corrupted by the far realm in a manner similar to Cynswyn. Unlike the half-elf, these people have not tried to halt the spread of corruption.
  • The party continues on towards Mocklyn.
Well, you are a famous person
Halflings Galore!
  • Dryug goes off to scout. He returns with a female half-elf bard, Walta. She explains that since Quest was destroyed during the battle, she is now travelling south. Everyone agrees to travel together.
  • The party then meets a carriage travelling north. It’s driven by a female human bard called Lillium the Flower. Upon hearing that Twin Sword Springs has been destroyed, and that the party is headed for Bonifant, she asks to travel with them. The combined group continues heading south.
  • The road travels beside a shallow stream, which descends into a gorge. The end of the gorge is blocked by a halfling in plate armor. He demands the group’s money. When they refuse, more halflings pop up on either side of the gorge, and some rage drakes charge in from either end.
  • The halflings fire poisoned crossbow bolts. Dryug flies up to attack the halflings on one side of the gorge, and Wil teleports up next to him. Miria, Walta, and Lillium fight from the carriage. The armor-wearing halfling is quickly killed, and Miria strikes the rage drakes with several devastating blows. Lillium banishes one drake to the feywild for a short time. The other drake smashes Miria through the carriage. After Dryug and Wil kill both halflings on one side of the gorge, Dryug leaps over the valley to attack the other halfling. The second rage drake reappears and kills Lillium’s horse. The remaining halfling jumps on top of a rage drake, right before Miria kills it. Dryug jumps onto the other rage drake, and manages to control it, but Wil fries it with a bolt of electricity. The sole surviving halfling surrenders. After being looted, saying he has no more thieving friends, and promising to leave his life of crime, the halfling is allowed to leave.
  • The party arrives in Silver Hill. Everyone except the bards go to Bloodbath and Beyond to sell things. The bards send their fans to buy a new horse, and manage to secure an audience with Guard-Captain Raegnar. They perform for him and the other high ranking town guards. The guards are mildly impressed and pay the bards 16 gold.
  • Everyone heads to the Shifty Hedgehog to spend the night. Upon finding that only one room is available at the inn, Lillium demands the the innkeeper kick the other guests out. He agrees to do so, and the party is served beef stew and sourdough in their rooms.
  • Later on, Miria and Walta’s room is invaded by an angry female halfling, who apparently had this room before she was kicked out. Lillium overhears the argument, and offers to pay for the halfling to stay at another inn. The halfling agrees.
  • In the morning, the group gets ready to head on to Four Stones.
Proper Burial Techniques and Apple Juice
  • Catcall and her cheetah arrive on the scene. She begins arranging the corpses of the Vitalian wizard and the foulspawn for burial. Wil goes over to help her. The rest of the party continues questioning Chevkos.
  • Rekas Selchar walks over to Catcall and tries to take a trophy from one of the foulspawn. She objects. After failing to shove her and her cheetah out of the way, and having a debate over the necessity of mutilating corpses, Rekas takes his trophy.
  • The party is ready to leave Twin Sword Springs, but Cynswyn reminds them that they should check on the main part of the town.
  • The only standing building in Twin Sword Springs is The Hungry, Hungry Halfling. Everyone except Catcall heads over to the remains of Telmar’s Emporium. Telmar, in half-elf form, is picking through the rubble. Telmar and Cynswyn have a touching reunion. The adventurers ask Telmar what he will do next. He plans to go to Vitalio. When the party offers to help, he says that he will meet them there in two weeks. Valez gives Telmar a note to give to Tea. He asks Telmar to give it to her after he leaves.
  • Upon further questioning, Chevkos says he believes that the Vitalian army travelled to Twin Sword Springs by teleportation. He doesn’t know where the circle is. Miria and Valez Du’ Urth fail to convince Chevkos that ruling over people is more trouble than it’s worth.
  • Catcall begins performing burial rites for dead villagers. She is interrupted by a concerned villager who wonders what she is doing to the bodies. She apologizes and moves on to a different body.
  • The party hears screams from the edge of town. They leave Chevkos with Telmar and go to investigate. They find villagers fleeing from foulspawn and a human mage.
  • A fight ensues. Valez is briefly turned into a toad, Rekas charges the foulspawn, is surrounded, and knocked unconscious. Miria kills the mage, Valez revives Rekas, and the foulspawn are mopped up. Rekas takes that mage’s belt, and Catcall agrees to journey with the party and take her share of the treasure later.
  • The group walks back to Telmar’s Emporium. Telmar and Cynswyn are gone, and Chevkos is lying tied up on the ground. Valez picks Telmar up. Dryug makes an uncouth remark about Tea. Valez tries to punch him, Dryug dodges and pushes Valez into the mud. It’s uncomfortable for both Valez and Chevkos.
  • The party heads towards The Hungry, Hungry Halfling. Catcall and Wil stop to help villagers. The group sees Quadforce helping out in the village as well. Miria and Valez ask Qurok to take Chevkos to a more secure prison. He refueses. Rekas and Dryug head into The Halfling for a drink.
  • Miria and Valez ask Elured Aranel about possible places to keep Chevkos where The Black Reaper won’t find him. Chevkos suggests freedom. Valez punches him. Elured doesn’t know any good places. He suggests most cities will be unwilling to jail a tiefling on the word of some eclectic adventurers. Only Silver Hill, the city from which Chevkos escaped, would definitely take him. Elured offers to investigate if a feywild prison will take him.
  • Dryug has some beer, and Rekas has some “apple juice.” The only fresh food at The Halfling is soup. Most of the inn’s common room is taken up with villagers huddling together, wrapped up in blankets. Fredregar “Fatty” Bolger, is cooking and eating as a form of stress relief.
  • Miria sees Tea sitting by herself. The townspeople seem to be avoiding her. She is holding a note, and has been crying recently. Wil goes over to talk to her, but Valez tells him to leave.
  • The rest of the party except for Valez eventually goes to The Hungry, Hungry Halfling for food and drink. Catcall gets food for her cheetah and hawk as well. The halfling waiter is too timid to refuse her.
  • Tea and Valez have an awkward conversation. They leave (with Chevkos) for the woods. Three hours later, they return without Chevkos. Everyone else has gone to bed. In the morning, the party leaves for Four Stones. Valez says that while he was dead, he participated in a battle there, and he wishes to learn about the aftermath, specifically if Telchontar’s descendant is still alive. The rest of the party agrees to do so, since from Four Stones, they can journey to the city of Mocklyn, and take a ship to Bonifant, the capital city of Vitalio.
More buildup means an easier fight
Leeroy Jenkins!
  • After the battle with the corrupted plants, the party hears hoofbeats approaching them. Dryug hides. Rekas Selchar can tell it is a single rider on a lighter horse.
  • The rider is Telmar. He stops to talk to the party. Nothing too important is said. Different party members suggest that Telmar is a dragon. He gives unconvincing reasons why he isn’t one. He says that the corrupted plants, along with the foulspawn, are a sign of greater evil in the area.
  • The group approaches Twin Sword Springs. They see smoke on the horizon. The town is burning. The more perceptive party members hear the sounds of battle in the distance. Miria asks Telmar where the town’s guardian is. Telmar doesn’t respond, turns into a dragon, and flies off in the direction of the town. Valez Du’ Urth jumps on Telmar’s horse, and rides off after him. The rest of the party runs after him.
  • Valez comes upon a barricade in the middle of the road. Several soldiers wearing the uniforms of Vitalio man the battlements. They tell Valez to turn back. Valez tries and fails to get Telmar’s horse to jump the rampart. When the horse refuses, Valez stabs it with his spear. The horse collapses to the ground, throwing Valez in the process. The Vitalian soldiers open fire on Valez. He takes cover behind the horse’s body and waits for the rest of the party to arrive.
  • After a brief, intense fight, our heroes are victorious. They leave two of the Vitalian soldiers alive. They happen to be a couple. They say that the army is looking for some magical artifact. They also say that their army numbers several battalions. The party lets them leave. Miria binds up the horse’s wounds.
  • As the party heads towards the town, they see a large plume of steam erupt from the ground to the south. Remembering Chevkos’ words about the fire titan heart, our heroes head towards the smoke. They come upon the Black Reaper as he places the fire titan heart into a bag at his side. Valez charges towards The Reaper.
  • The Black Reaper gestures, and several other figures emerge from the forest. Chevkos is accompanied by a Vitalian mage and two large, pink foulspawn. They have taken Cynswyn prisoner. The black mark on her neck has grown spidery, black veins which cover most of her neck and half her face.
  • The Black Reaper explains that Cynswyn is marked by The Other, and that finding her in Twin Sword Springs was fortuitous. The Other’s passage into this world will be greatly eased. He then allows the heroes to choose between chasing him or rescuing Cynsywn. The heroes let The Black Reaper walk away, and engage Chevkos’ group.
  • Our heroes make short work of the foulspawn and the mage. After she is freed, Cynswyn ineffectively fires bolts of force from her crossbow. Chevkos tries to run, but is chased down by Dryug, and knocked unconscious.
You are my Sworn Friends!
  • Rovendor and Rekas Selchar leave the temple through the secret exit. As soon as Mr. Ma realizes that the Yuan-ti leader didn’t succumb to his instant friends spell, he turns tail and rides out the exit as well.
  • Hilbert Cantormann rushes forward to engage the Yuan-ti. They surround him, cornering him against a wall. Dryug pushes some of them away, giving Hilbert an escape route. Hilbert unleashes a thunder spell against his attackers. The wave of energy misses most of his assailants, but it crashes into the walls of the temple. The temple begins to collapse.
  • The Yuan-ti leader realizes the danger and flees. Dryug casts his darkness spell on the other Yuan-ti before running. The remaining Yuan-ti crash into each other as they try to all push through the door after Dryug and Hilbert.
  • Our heroes escape into the daylight as the passage collapses behind them. As they turn and look back at the City of Fangs, they see the dome of the temple collapse. The Yuan-ti’s neighbors are taking advantage of the opportunity afforded them, and are looting the city. The lizardmen avoid direct conflict with Yuan-ti forces, but are gleefully picking off stragglers.
  • The party sneaks away from the city, avoiding the notice of any Yuan-ti patrols. Several hours later, Mr. Ma approaches the party. He is accused by Wil of being a coward and a traitor. Hilbert comes to Mr. Ma’s defense.
  • Their argument is interrupted by a group of Yuan-ti. Mr. Ma intimidates the Yuan-ti into thinking that attacking the party means certain death. Their resolve is wavering when Hilbert informs them that they are going to die either way. Combat ensues.
  • The leader of this group of Yuan-ti points at Hilbert and says, “Prepare to die, my sworn enemy!” With this, the two avengers engage in hand to hand combat. The other Yuan-ti engage the other party members. They are trained for swamp warfare, and quickly move through the thigh-deep water. However, they are all easily defeated by our heroes.
  • The Yuan-ti avenger was carrying magic diamond bracers, a magic helmet, and a symbol devoted to the Yuan-ti’s dark god, Zehir. Dryug gives the diamond bracers to Miria because she is a girl. Hilbert takes the helmet, and destroys Zehir’s symbol. Miria gives Wil her magical amulet so that everyone has equal numbers of magic items.
  • Mr. Ma reveals that he is not actually looking for adventure, but rather is looking to take notes on adventurers. His people, the swamp gnomes, collect data on up-and-coming heroes, and sell this information to interested parties. Mr. Ma says he does not know who these interested parties are; he just collects the information.
  • Telmar rejoins the party. He looks as if he has been in a fight, unlike when he was found next to Kornzinalikur’s corpse. He is also not wearing the chainmail the adventurers last saw him in. Instead, he is wearing gray and black traveling clothes. He says the dragon attack on the City of Fangs was a lucky coincidence, and guesses the dragon was either gray or steel.
  • The party arrives at the Hospitaller Base. Jaeleo Artimer greets them, and tells them that Tea has brought a arcanist capable of performing the ritual to raise Valez Du’ Urth. Tea is no longer there; she had to go back to her job in Twin Sword Springs. Hilbert ceremoniously buries the dessicated badger head he took from the Yuan-ti temple. Jaeleo tells him that no one has seen the living badgers that were rescued from the temple. Telmar says that he needs to go visit someone, and leaves the fort. Before he goes, Dryug asks him if he is in the business of killing dragons. Telmar replies, “Only those that don’t know their place.”
  • Everyone heads to the room where Valez’s body is being kept. Octavius is one of the Hospitaliers standing guard in the room. They are greeted by an old woman who introduces herself as Hagatha. She places the feather of the Raven Queen on Valez’s chest. When asked why she is helping, Hagatha explains that Valez’s resurrection will annoy a friend of hers.
  • Hagatha explains that one additional ingredient is needed for the ritual. Mr. Ma correctly guesses that the missing component is a sacrifice. Octavius quickly volunteers, Hagatha makes a simple gesture, and Octavius’ life force is drained from his body and transferred to Valez. Octavius collapses to the floor. Miria rushes to help him while Dryug and the remaining hospitallers charge Hagatha.
  • Hagatha laughs manically as her form wavers and dissipates. Before she vanishes completely, she appears to transform into a much younger woman. Mr. Ma guesses that she has teleported away, and either just cast or dispelled a disguise spell.
  • Miria, Jaeleo, and the other hospitallers are unable to revive Octavius. They know little about him, except that he was originally from the Amber Forest. Mr. Ma prepares to leave with the information he has gathered. Dryug steals Mr. Ma’s notes. Mr. Ma catches Dryug in the act, but lets him take his papers anyway. Mr. Ma heads back to his home.
  • Valez wakes up. He wants to travel to Four Stones. He explains that while he and Hilbert were dead, they defended the town from an undead invasion. He wishes to see how the town is doing now. The rest of the party agrees to do this, as it is only a few days away, and the next place to go to is Vitalio.
  • As the party travels along the road to Twin Sword Springs, Silver Hill, and Four Stones, they are attacked by corrupted plants. The fighting is fierce, but our heroes are victorious. Wil captures some plant souls in his helmet.
  • Hilbert declares that with the City of Fangs in ruins, their temple destroyed, and the queen bee in his possession, it is time for him to hibernate. He walks off into the sunset, declaring “You are my sworn friends!”
Shut the Door on Zombies!
I'll sleep when I'm dead!
  • Our heroes debate on the best course of action to take. Wil suggests sleeping inside a magic circle, but most of the party is in favor of leaving. Hilbert Cantormann is concerned that more badger-people may be imprisoned within the temple. The captured badgers say they haven’t seen anyone.
  • The party reopens the secret door, and engages the undead within the room in combat. Pis licks the magic circle on the floor, thereby breaking it. The zombies and skeletal archers are easily defeated. Mr. Ma heads down a tunnel on the far side of the room. Dryug shuts the door on him, and goes to pick the lock on the sole remaining unexplored door. Mr. Ma discovers the the tunnel leads outside the City of Fangs. He relays this information to the rest of the group. Rekas goes outside and sees a dragon circling the city.
  • The badger captives want to leave immediately. Some party members wish to explore further, but are reluctant to let the badgers brave the swamp by themselves. The badger-men refuse to stay any longer and leave by themselves. Dryug picks the lock with some difficulty and reveals a set of stairs leading further into the temple basement.
  • Dryug and Mr. Ma sneak down the stairs to explore. Dryug sees seven slumping skeletons in the hallway at the foot of the stairs. Mr. Ma sees four sets of glowing eyes in the darkness. Dryug heads back up the stairs.
  • Mr. Ma uses ghost sound to mimic a human voice saying “hello?” in the middle of the skeletons. The skeletons “wake up.” The ones with glowing eyes burst into flame, illuminating the hallway. The skeletons see Mr. Ma and chase him. Mr. Ma runs back up the stairs, and turns invisible after he is hit by a fireball. The rest of the party runs in to save him.
  • The non-flaming skeletons have a nasty habit of splintering into pieces when hit. The party is devastated by these flying boneshards. Hilbert unleashes a burst of thunder that shoves a skeleton backwards. The skeleton steps on a trigger plate for two crossbow turrets.
  • Rekas Selchar is on fire and is poisoned from the boneshards. He staggers up the stairs and passes out. Everyone is unconscious except for Dryug, Hilbert Cantormann, Mr. Ma, and Wil. Wil runs up to help Hilbert, is shot by a crossbow bolt, and passes out. Once Hilbert kills the last skeleton, the remaining crossbow turret retracts into the ceiling. The surviving party members use Rekas’ healing potion to revive Wil. They manage to stabilize everyone else.
  • Wil makes a magic circle in the room with the snake symbol on the floor. He attempts to ward against every type of creature. Mr. Ma notices his circle is very flimsy and breaks it. He then helps Wil make a new one that only wards against natural creatures. This one seems to be much stronger.
  • During the night, the party notices that the sounds of battle have ceased. As Mr. Ma, Wil, and Hilbert are waking up, the party hears voices talking in draconic nearby.
  • Miria is able to tell that these are Yuan-ti, and that they are trying to get into the room two rooms away from where the party is. Rekas wants to leave the temple, and Wil lets him out of the circle.
  • The Yuan-ti patrol manages to force open the portcullis. Mr. Ma opens the secret door, and attempts to charm the snake leader. He fails. Hilbert follows him out.
Into the Temple
Dryug noisily opens the door to the Yuan-ti temple, drawing the attention of three Yuan-ti inside, who are accompanied by two firesnakes. The snake-folk approach the door, clearly suspicious of the sounds at the door. As the party decides how to begin the battle, Mr. Ma sneaks away from the door, off into the abandoned Yuan-ti city. Oddly, he walks off on foot, and the party suspects that Piss was lost in the city, somewhere between the courtyard to which Telmar has drawn the Yuan-ti forces and the temple.

The temple’s only apparent chamber is filled with the remains of recent and not-so-recent sacrifices. Bones litter the blood-stained floor, and the walls are adorned with graphic hieroglyphics depicting an inflated history of Yuan-ti military success. Viewing these walls, one infers that the Yuan-ti have an affinity for ravaging small settlements for their treasures, and a special hatred for badgers. In the present battle, however, Rekas is seen charging one of the firesnakes, who responds with a feeble attempt at biting the elusive barbarian. Dryug follows, rushing in with a skillful vortex of violent attacks, sucking all three of the Yuan-ti towards him for further attack. The second firesnake spits flames at Dryug, to which Will adds by casting an explosive spell over the violent fray, with Dryug at the center. One of the snake warriors manages to escape Dryug’s attack, striking Will with a greatsword. The other two warriors slash at Dryug—-one of the swords cuts through his skin and delivers a dose of snake venom to its target. Hilbert enters the battle to assist Dryug, using his vengeful spirit to bind one of the warriors to the ground with a forceful blow from his hammer. Miria joins the fight, but the powerful snake warrior manages to deflect her attack with his greatsword. Rekas continues to beat down upon the firesnake, quickly killing him and continuing on to the next firesnake, raising a carnal howl. Dryug unleashes an apparently sloppy, though surprisingly effective sequence of punches to the nearest snake warrior, who is confused by the sudden, powerful attack, and attacks Rekas’ new target. Will, seriously compounding the confusion of the battle, throws a giant sphere of lightning into the melee, which sears and burns the backs of all the remaining snakes, but which also shocks Dryug and himself. Miria is poisoned by one of the snake warriors’ swords, but quickly returns the attack and recovers from the infection. Hilbert assists Rekas with the still-reeling snake warrior in his corner with a radiant, echoing strike from his hammer. Rekas gives the last firesnake a heroic whack with his enormous sword, slaying it and blasting it into its master, who is crushed, burned, and killed by the overwhelming impact of the firesnake’s body. Dryug, rather frustrated with the pain of Will’s explosive fighting style, fires at the remaining snake warrior with a blast of blue energy, which goes through the enemy damaging Will in its wake; he advises the wizard ``be careful with those silly orbs.’’ Heeding this request, Will casually topples the last warrior with a relievingly accurate magic missile. The crew explores the now empty room, finding little of interest. Hilbert is visibly disturbed by the images on the wall, and carefully avoids any contact with the bones on the floor: it is likely that they belonged to deceased relatives of his, and he cannot bear the thought of disturbing their current rest, and increasing the pain inflicted on them by the Yuan-ti. Will detects a magical aura under their feet, but cannot identify it. Lead by a set of scuff marks near the foot of the sacrificial altar, Hilbert, Rekas, and Miria try to shove the altar out of its place, but cannot get it to even budge. The ever-observant Dryug finds a switch further within the room that causes the altar to slide itself several feet, uncovering a spiral staircase below. The party descends, and soon sees five humans in an oddly well-kept chamber, guarding a door. Dryug throws a flaming dagger at one of the guards, sparking a quick battle in which the humans are shortly dispatched. After finding a few gold coins, the group follows the guarded door into a short corridor. A door at the end of the hallway is locked, but after checking for traps, Will shows Hilbert and Miria how to apply the correct ``leverage’’ to open the door.

This door uncovers a chilling sight. The adventurers entered the Yuan-ti temple expecting to find snakes and snake-people, but there seem to be few such creatures lurking within the hellish stronghold. The humans in the previous fight were odd—-why should humans align with the selfish, vile, and petty Yuan-ti? Awaiting them in this chamber, though, is a horrid creature that no one in the party can identify. Floating eerily above a deep pit in the center of the large room, the ephemeral monster stares at the party with an eyeless head composed of nothing but a monstrous pinkish beak. The beak seems to be perversely fixed in a treacherous, haunted smile, which seems to be held in the air by heaps of ghastly tentacles hovering behind it. The frightening thing madly rushes towards the group, seizing at Hilbert, Miria, and Will at the door. For a blink of an eye that lasts a lifetime, they see the room fill with darkness, the only light in the world emanating from this mysterious and terrifying beast. In a split second, their minds are filled with the echoes of ageless fears… Abruptly, they awaken, overcome with despair. The monster continues its assault on Will, swiping at him with mysterious tendrils; the strange attack shreds at his very thoughts, whispering words of betrayal into his mind. As the fear shreds at their minds, Hilbert leaps forward to attack the monster, but as soon as he makes it through the door, a huge set of buzzing mechanical blades springs from a tile in the floor, wounding him, Will, and Miria. After swinging his hammer fruitlessly through the air occupied by the evil presence, his mind is taken over, and he retreats into the corridor to repeat the attack on Dryug! Will’s magical distress also tears at Miria’s mind, and he raises a fountain of flame beneath the monster, to no avail. Rekas rushes forward and starts frantically and persistently banging on the sawblades with his sword in an attempt to dismantle them, but the sharp steel shows no promise in destroying other sharp steel. Miria, glancing rather quickly over the ground for a second trap, approaches the monster and steps safely in front of it, delivering the first successful attack with her sword. Dryug joins Rekas in smashing at the first trap’s collection of saws, with no progress. Hilbert dashes around them, running to the other side of the monster, his hammer having collected a furious flame. His hammer crashes down upon the beast, wrapping it in flames as well. He attempts to follow the attack with another vicious blow, but the creature’s body seems to ripple out of the way; again, the creature enters Hilbert’s mind after his failed attack, and teleports him besides Miria, whom he savagely crushes with his hammer. Miria falls, nearly killed by the attack, and Hilbert regains consciousness, horrified by the viciousness treason to which he had been brought by the mind-controlling fiend.

At long last, the tides turn in the favor of the adventuring party when Rekas brings a crashing swipe of his sword to bear on the enemy’s beakish head, forcing it to the ground and batting it far away from the crowded doorway coming from the corridor. Dryug catches up to lend a healing potion to Miria’s body as she gets near to dying, while Will fires furiously at the crumpled monster on the ground with arcs of lightning. As Rekas and Hilber surround the creature and join together to beat down furiously upon it, Dryug turns invisible, launching himself into the fray and bringing a vicious, relentless flurry of slices and blows.

The party closes in and surrounds the creepy mind-beast, hacking and pounding away at the floating menace. It hopelessly lashes back, desperately trying to grasp at their minds and turn them against one another. In the middle of the confusion, a chandelier falls from the ceiling, crashing harmlessly to the ground as it passes through the monsters wispy tentacles. The adventurers would later learn that Mr. Ma had joined them and knocked the chandelier down with a bolt of magic energy in an attempt at ending the battle.

Finally, after an arduous, weary, and confusing fight, the group manages to take the enemy down. They share remarks about the strangeness of the battle: Rekas compares hitting the creature to slicing up a thick stack of tablecloths, and Hilbert says that whacking it with his hammer felt like bashing a mattress. Somehow, the psionic monster’s weird anatomy had made it soft and resistant to dangerous physical attacks.

The group takes a short rest, and sets to the business of determining their next step. Two doors lead out of the room, one guarded by a portcullis and one seemingly bare. Dryug finds a control panel that appears to activate the blade traps covering the floor of the room, and starts trying to break inside of it to secure the premises. However, after a long and clumsy saga of tugging and poking and fiddling with the help of Will and Miria, he accidentally sets off all the traps at once! Miria gets caught in the deadly blades, while Hilbert, across the room, jumps nimbly out of the way. With all of the traps blocking the party’s free travel within the room, Hilbert jumps across a corner of the pit to rejoin the rest of the adventurers. With a mighty, rather annoyed blow, Rekas smashes the control panel to pieces, resetting all the traps and apparently making the room safe for passage. Invigorated by his victory over the metallic device, Rekas rushes to the bare door and flings it open, as Will runs with him to convince him not to be hasty—-however, the unlocked door opens effortlessly, opening the warrior and the wizard to a fiendish sight.

The chamber inside holds a number of the temple’s deepest secrets, powers, and treasures. On four pillars lining the back of the shallow, semi-circular space are displayed four artifacts: the Ruby Sphere, glimmering with ill magical power; the Raven Queen’s feather, black as death; the Queen Bee from the Hives of Waxton, obviously suffering in a constricting jar; and the rotting head of a badger, the image of which enrages the flame that has been burning in Hilbert’s heart ever since entering the City of Fangs. While the objectives of their mission stand on these pillars, a more imminent threat stands on a short, wide platform at the center of the back of the room: a Yuan-ti summoner fiendlishly controlling conjuring before a sinister, black-red portal, pulsating with hateful magic. Besides the nefarious gate stands a gruesome, lizardlike creature. His slimy, green scales are covered with a steaming, bloody fluid that oozes from his nose, his mouth, and the ugly holes where it appears where his eyes had been violently burned out. As this blood drips to the floor, it issues an acidic hiss, spreading in a wide pool around his body and visibly tearing away at the ancient stone floors. Moments later, a second, identical creature crawls out of the portal, equally hideous and deadly. These demonic creatures, though appearing to be hauntingly blind, quickly turn their vicious eyes to the door, and with a horrifying cackle, leap to where Rekas and Will stand, slashing at both with grimy talons.

Hilbert bolts to the corner of the door despite his feet, eyes, and fur being burnt by the monsters’ acidic residue spreading over the floor and through the air. He bellows an oath of vengeance against the lizard-demons, but cannot land a proper hit on either through the crowded door. Will, right next to the awful creatures, is also burnt by the corrosion of these monsters’ oozing blood as he backs away, casting a great ball of fire into the chamber. The Yuan-ti caster is consumed by the compelling flames, shrivelling into a charred pile of scales and bones; the bloody fiends are grazed by the flames, but their bodies seem almost gratified by the contact as their scales morph to a bloody, hellish red. Intent on dispatching these beasts quickly, Will follows up with a powerful charming spell, stupefying and distracting the demons with pleasant dreams. Dryug maneuvers his way into the main battle, pounding away at one of the demons and with a confusing set of blows that causes him to turn against the other demon and attack him with poisonous claws. Rekas with his sword and Mr. Ma with his magical energy join the enemy in attacking the second demon. Repeating his vicious laughter, gargled by the vile blood that fills his throat and body, this creature retaliates by poisoning Hilbert with his terrible claws. Hilbert presses forward through the mist and rain of caustic blood, answering his foe with a swift strike from his hammer. Will aids the fight by blasting Hilbert’s enemy, and Miria follows suit with a solid strike of her staff. Dryug brings a thick, magical darkness over himself and the other demon, pummeling him in the darkness, and causing the previously bloody creature to be even more completely drenched in its acidic gore. It answers by slashing back at Dryug, as its companion teleports once to get away from Miria and attack Hilbert and teleports a second time to get on the other side Dryug’s foe deeper into the room. Hilbert pursues him and destroys him with a grand whack from his hammer, while Rekas brings the other creature within inches of death with a furious, barbaric, and desperate swing of his magnificent blade. The hapless monster is finished off by a quick bolt of magical energy delivered by Mr. Ma.

After the battle, Mr. Ma collects one of the demons’ heads; even Rekas and Hilbert remind themselves to abstain from his gumbo until such time has passed that they can be assured it will not be used as an ingredient. The portal that had conjured the Bloodseep Demons seems to have disappeared at the death of the Yuan-ti ritual caster, so the party collects the magical items in security. Hilbert takes special care to reverently wrap the badger head, keeping it for a proper burial later on; he also protectively packs the Queen Bee with his belongings to ensure her comfort until he is able to release her safely outside.

The party exits the portal-room, approaching the portcullis’d door on the other side of the psionic creature’s lair. Lightning, weapons, lockpicking skills, and the acidic blood of the demon corpses all fail to gain access to the portcullis’s other side. Upon closer inspection, Dryug finds a rope behind the gate that appears to suspend some sort of counterweight. Will approaches to burn through the rope with a small bolt of lightning, and the portcullis flies open. The open the unlocked door behind, and see a prison room behind.

Four jail cells are scattered across the back wall of the wide, shallow room. One contains a small band of badgers; another holds a set of unidentified skeletons; yet another is packed with rusted, unused weapons; and the final is simply bare. In front of the cells, in the center of the room, is a Yuan-ti of some nature, who is guarded by an oil slick that spans the width of the room directly in front of the entrance. He grins at the adventurers, obviously glad for the chance to fight them himself as he dares them to come closer.

Dryug quickly reacts, magically leaping across the room next to the lizard-man, but failing to land any substantial punches. Ignoring the failed attack, the Yuan-ti fires an impressive blast of lightning at the party, hitting Will, Dryug, and Hilbert. Will answers with his own magical storm, clearly electrifying the enemy. Rekas blindly charges forward, slipping hard on the thick oil and collapsing awkwardly and painfully onto the ground. Hilbert rushes forward, jumping clear across the oil slick and the room, landing in front of the snake-creature and bashing him with his hammer. Miria tries to follow Hilbert, but slips on the oil as Rekas did. Dryug casts a thick darkness over himself, the enemy, and Hilbert, and unleashes a persistent sequence of skillful strikes against the reptilian wizard, who helplessly tries to respond with his quarterstaff. Mr. Ma issues a chain of magical energy stretching from his hand to the enemy, continuously pulsing an attack through it. Will runs to the jail cell containing the badgers and frees them. Rekas struggles to stand, but again painfully crashes to the ground. Hilbert clobbers the Yuan-ti with his hammer, immobilizing him binding together their pain in battle, but Miria interrupts his onslaught by magically switching their positions; she guiltily giggles as Hilbert slips and falls, smacking his face on the hard, stone ground.

Rekas and Hilbert crawl out of the slippery oil to join the attack against the Yuan-ti, who retreats into the empty jail cell behind him. Completely surrounded by the crew, however, his quarterstaff and his magic prove useless in fending off the concentrated attack.

After Rekas delivers the final, crashing blow with a howling charge, the group disperses to explore the newly cleared room. Hilbert chats with the captured badgers, who reveal that they had been kidnapped only months ago, travelling through a nearby forest. The adventurers look over the fallen Yuan-ti Acolyte, uncovering a number of rings emblazoned with Yuan-ti symbols and stumbling upon a trap door in one of the cells, which opens up on several undead in a small chamber, appearing to guard another door on the other side. They quickly shut the tunnel before they are noticed, hoping to rest for a moment and think through the next step of their adventure before pressing on. They return to the main prison-chamber, and notice another stone double-door at one of the far ends of the long hallway.

Where will the weary warriors wander next? Into the hidden tunnel with the fearsome undead? Beyond the mysterious stone doors at the end of the prison hall? Out of the temple, into the infuriated City of Fangs? Or does some yet undiscovered, more terrible encounter await them? Find out on our next episode: SHUT THE DOOR ON ZOMBIES!!

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