Raiders of the Savage Coast

...And the Hand Wipes

Fully rested, we went to find the prison cells in order to release the remaining captives. As we approached the prison, we could hear the sounds of someone being tortured. We quickly opened the door, and were immediately set upon by a woman, who had been augmented to have razor sharp teeth, and a distending jaw. We dispatched her, and examined the cells. One was occupied by a teenaged girl named Kori. The second contained a clerk named Lorat. The third held a Halfling named Glyva. All three had been kidnapped by cultists and brought here. The fourth cell contained a troll. He claimed that his master was killed, and then adopted Ironforge as his new master. The fifth held an ogre. The sixth contained a dead sea elf with a tattoo of intertwining saragasso leaves. We released them all, and then escorted the humans and Halfling back to the surface. On our trek, we learned that the Halfling had been tracking the cultists into the deep forest, where he was waylaid by crocodile men. During his capture, he saw that the cultists were being led by a tall blond woman. She mentioned a “path to Nelcashel”, and that they had to go there to retrieve the Mirrors of Prophecy.

Upon reaching the surface and returning home, we heard talk of a new popular game being played at the Cock Pit. The name of the game was Mrathrack, which was an interesting coincidence, as it was also the name of the first and most powerful member of the Blackhand. Intrigued, we headed over to the Cock Pit to check the game out. The game involved a huge circular wheel with channels in it. People would put droplets of blood in a channel, which would coalesce into an image of the donor. The wheel would be spun, the blood came together, and an image of the winner would appear in the collected blood. The whole device was magical, and funneled chaos energy from the gambling. Where the energy went, and what it was being used for remained a mystery.

We next went to visit Cmmdr. Bonaduce, Aaron, Shakes, Bellach, Zander and Bethany. We told them everything we knew about the army, the chaos cults and Mrathrack. Zarine gave an impassioned speech about the need to put aside old differences and work together for the greater good. That, and a promise to exclusively date Zander, convinced them to join and organize the defense of the city. However, to truly protect the city, we would need the help of the Tulita, the Fendrillers and the City Council. We convinced the Fendrillers to act as scouts in order to get information on the size and location of the army. We then visited the Tulita Elders. They had dire tales to relay to us. Shark attacks had been increasing along the coast. Pirates had begun worshipping the Devourer. Tribesmen would go missing for days, only to return as frenzied warriors of the Devourer. The Witch Queen had been gathering forces, and digging for ore in order to make weapons of great foulness. Weresharks were also increasing the raiding. Even given all of this, the Tulita were willing to assist the city, as long as we found some way to deal with the wereshark attacks, the city stopped its practice of over-whaling, and stopped enslaving the Tulita.

We then visited the Temple of Dumathoin to inform Banderal of the situation. While he could not take direct action in the defense of the city, he pledged healing when needed. He also provided Ironforge with a matching magical longsword and shortsword. They had been forged to fight the Blackhand. While at the temple, we spoke with Joanna. She gave us information on Krackus, Lord of the Maelstrom. He may have been the only old god to survive, and embodies the destructive force of the ocean. She also gave us 2 potions of water breathing, and 2 salves of gill growth.
We next went to speak with Aaron again, who had gotten information about the army massing for an attack. He discovered that they were about 3 – 4 days away, deep in the swamp. It contained 500 – 800 soldiers (~100 crocodile men, a bunch of kobolds/humanoids, ~200-300 tribesmen, some witches) and a black dragon…no problem

With this information in hand, we set about persuading the major Houses on the City Council to help defend the city and accede to the Tulita requests. We quickly uncovered that any united action from the Council depended on getting the support of House Tross, and either House Tillinghast or Hargrove. Since Tillinghast had come under the influence of the being instigating all of the troubles in Sentinel, we decided to go with Hargrove. Convincing Wymont Tross was relatively simple, once we informed him that we knew about his little fetish (and I do mean “little”). However, he was wary of crossing Hargrove, and would only support us if Hargrove threw in his support. Before speaking with Hargrove, we decided to get some more information about him from his estranged wife, The Baroness (who’d been having an affair with Cmmdr. Bonaduce). We found out from her that Hargrove has greater ambitions beyond Sentinel, and would eventually like to become a major power in the Empire. To these ends, he’d been stockpiling arms and armor. Using this, Zarine spun a tantalizing vision for Hargrove, with him saving the city, and being known far and wide as “The Savior of Sentinel”. He bought into this, but in order for him to support us on the Council, he required that we personally lead the defense of the city. There was one other stipulation…that we be named “Hargrove’s Hand”. Well, you know what they say about the hand and wiping…

Acquired items:
Ring of Prtoection +2
Potion of Owl’s Wisdom
Banderal’s longsword and shortsword – +2 indivdual. When wielded together, +4 each w/ defending ability. 1 / day lycanthrope bane (duration = level)
2 potions of water breathing
2 salves of gill growth.

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The Temple of Deeper Chaos

The front door of the tower opened into what appeared to be an unoccupied bedroom. A quick search revealed a jade figure of a bloated, tentacle creature holding a cracked bell (presumably some totem of the Tolling Bell cult). Inscribed on its base were the words “And on the Night of Dissolution, we shall be free”. The only exit from the room was a single door, opposite of the door through which we entered. Upon listening at the door, we heard hushed voices in terse conversation. Opening the door revealed a large courtyard with partially excavated buildings. To one side was a passageway flanked by 2 statues of humanoids, with smoky glass spheres where their heads should have been. Zarine bravely entered the courtyard, and was immediately assaulted by two ratlings and 2 human/insect hybrid creatures. The rest of us rushed to her aid, and were rewarded by a barrage of arrows emanating from several locations around the courtyard. We quickly dispatched Zarine’s attackers, and sent the snipers running.

We continued our search of the Temple by examining the upper floor of the guard tower we entered. On the second floor, we found a small child resting in a web. He moved with ease through the webs in a spiderlike manner. Zarine and Granan parlayed with it and discovered that the Night of Dissolution is a time of planar conjunction. The cultists were building a machine that will be used at that time to release something(s) trapped in another plane. The creature, who wished to go by the name “Durt”, was sent here with the pretext of helping the cultists, but in actuality has been spying on them. As such, it didn’t have a vested interest in the success of the cult. Actually, it was more concerned with securing the release of its family from imprisonment. Granan and Zarine struck a deal with it, pledging to help free its family in return for its help destroying the cultists in this temple. The deal was sealed with a blood binding ritual of very old magic. Durt gave us information on the current inhabitants, which included a Tiefling with a quasit familiar, a chaos beast, a ½ centaur/ ½ fiend, a human High Priest, and a number of prisoners being held in cells. It also gave us a layout of the temple, and warned us of the many traps.

With this information in hand, we headed directly to the inner sanctum in order to confront the High Priest while we were at the height of our fighting strength. On the way, we came across a side room that was magically trapped. After disarming the trap with the password “Naztrax”, and entering the room, we were confronted by helmed and armored woman, with snakes coming out of her head (by the way, she was NOT mentioned by Durt. It must have slipped its mind…). Tobin called down a globe of darkness, and Ironforge preceded to destroy the creature, using his blind-fighting ability. Among her belongings, we found a number of history books and a map to a large machine called Chaositech Tower: Mrathrach.

We continued towards the inner sanctum, coming across Durt, who had graciously killed one of the temple guardians for us… and was feeding on him. We found more traps, which we dispelled as before, and finally reached the inner sanctum. We opened the doors to reveal a huge shaft, whose walls were lined with crystals. Light reflected off of the crystals in a dizzying display of colors, making it difficult to focus. In the middle of this madness floated a large island, with prisoners hanging from its bottom. On top of the island was a black alter, next to which was standing a woman, completely engulfed in flames. Seeing us, she flew up into the air and immediately cast a wall of fire upon us. In addition, a bell started tolling, instilling unease in us. At the same time, another woman stepped from behind the altar and began to pepper Ironforge with arrows. We retreated back into the hallway in order to avoid the archer, and engaged the flaming High Priest when she pursued. As Ironforge and the High Priest squared off, Tobin heard rapidly approaching hoof beats. The fiendish centaur was approaching. With Ironforge and Granan dealing with the High Priest, it was up to Zarine and Tobin to take care of the fiendish centaur. Using the tiger from the figurine for melee combat, Tobin and Zarine attacked with ranged weapons. Eventually the tiger was overcome, but it had done enough damage to allow Tobin and Zarine to finish off the centaur. At about the same time, Ironforge and Granan defeated the High Priest. After some brief healing, Ironforge quaffed a potion of levitation and leapt onto the island to finish off the archer. Examination of the High Priest revealed that she was wearing some sort of graft that allowed her be on fire without being injured.

Ironforge shuttled us all across to the floating island in order to rescue the prisoners and examine the altar. After using the password to remove a glyph, we opened a secret compartment in the altar uncovering a number of items, and a note referencing one of the items, Hearsbreath. As part of a ritual to be performed on the Night of Dissolution, Heartsbreath must be sacrificed. At this point, we decided to rest and fully recover.

Acquired items:

  • Full Plate +1
  • Noxious ray emitter (Granan) – d6 non lethal damage, Fort save DC16 or nauseated d6 + 1 rounds
  • Potion of Greater Fang (Tobin)
  • Jewelry worth ~1100 gp
  • 2 large emeralds worth ~ 1000 gp each
  • History books (Zarine)
  • Map to Mrathrach (Granan)
  • Potion of Blur (Tobin)
  • Wand of Cure Moderate (Zarine) – 23 charges
  • Key Chain
  • Brooch of Shielding (Granan)
  • large chain shirt +1
  • Oil of Greater Magic Weapon +3 (Ironforge)
  • Letter with notes (Zarine)
  • composite short bow +1 (Tobin) : Roguefriend: +1d6/2d6 for rogue, sentient, champion finder
  • 2 human bane arrows (Tobin)
  • 2 elven bane arrows (Tobin)
  • Boots of striding and springing (Ironforge)
  • Heartsbreath (Granan) – breaking does 10d6 to all chaotic in 100’ radius, +2 saves and AC to all lawfuls
  • Staff of Performance (Zarine) – 18 charges
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Down the Rabbit(?) Hole

We descended down the shaft in the garden, left by the creature which attacked House Jaltos. It opened into a large room in an old tunnel system. Spare body parts were strewn about the room, as though the creature was assembled here and then sent to attack us. A search of the room revealed footprints (humanoid and rat-like) leading into a smaller shaft set into the floor. We decided to send Tobin down on a rope. About half way down, Tobin got shot with poisoned bullets, paralyzing him. Unable to hold onto the rope, he fell to the bottom of the shaft. He was then roughly grabbed, and dragged off. Rushing to his rescue, Ironforge quickly climbed down the shaft. Unfortunately, midway down, a section of the shaft extended out from the wall, closing off the shaft above and below Ironforge, essentially trapping him. Drawing on enormous reserves of strength, Ironforge broke through the bottom barrier, and eventually reached the bottom. As Granan and Zarine worked their way through the upper barrier, Ironforge took off in pursuit of Tobin’s abductors.

Paralyzed, Tobin could only take notice of who had attacked him. Looking around, he saw 3 ratlings with guns and 2 well-armed men, one of which was carrying him. Being unable to do anything to affect an escape, Tobin activated the power of the Necklace of the Night Sky. First, he was immediately surrounded by a globe of darkness, slowing his captors departure. Then, he sent the ratlings fleeing using the necklace’s fear power. This gave Ironforge the time and conditions to quickly engage the two men in combat. Eventually, Granan and Zarine join Ironforge, finishing of the men and freeing Tobin.

Healing up, we followed the passageway, leading us to a door, and a wall with a secret door. The normal door opened into a small bed chamber, adorned simply with a sleeping mat. Examination of the mat triggered an explosive trap, which prompted a barrage of gunfire and spells from previously hidden slots along one of the walls. We quickly exited the room, and opened the secret door in order to engage our assailants. We were confronted by a very tall, bone white Elf in robes, a Dark Elf woman wielding a spear, a weasel-faced man armed with a pistol and short sword, and an animated amalgamation of body parts. The Elf was temporarily neutralized by a grease spell, and the construct was kept distracted by Zarine’s drake. This left the Dark Elf and the gunman. However, even with our advantage in numbers, dispatching these remaining two was more difficult than expected. The Dark Elf was extremely competent with the spear, being able to attack more often than expected. While Ironforge was able to keep driving her back, she was able to do him great injury. And then, the balance tipped. Reinforcements arrived. Three ratlings, a dire rat and another Elf joined the fray. The ratlings and dire rat set up a perimeter, protecting the Elf, who proceeded to heal his wounded companions. In addition, the construct disabled the drake and slowly began to absorb it into its being. The situation looked bleak. However, we fought on. After a protracted battle, we were able to destroy the construct, kill the ratlings, dispatch the dire rat, disabled the gunman, and forced the others to retreat. As we were in no position to pursue, we retreated to rest and rememorize spells.

While recuperating, we caught the Elf wearing robes as he tries to sneak past us invisibly. We convinced him to give us information for free passage to the surface. He claimed to not know who Mary Black is, but told us that she is very powerful and is organizing all of the chaos cults in the area. She has brought together The Crimson Coil, The Brotherhood of Venom, and The Tolling bell. She has also enlisted the aid of a crime lord in the city proper. He described meeting two women who match the description that was given to us by the mortician, previously. We also learn that his companions had retreated to the Temple of Deep Chaos, which is run by the cult of the Tolling Bell. The Temple was excavated by the cults, under the direction of Mary Black. Mary is planning use the Temple and the chaos cults to free the 3 kings on the Night of Dissolution, which is some sort of planar conjunction. The Temple itself is accessible through a secret door, which he points out for us. Guarding the Temple is a fallen Dwarf, a female tiefling, and a magical, shape-shifting spider. In addition, residents of the Temple may be armed with Chaos weapons, needle bombs, binding bombs and acid wands. Having provided us whit this valuable information, we let him loose.

We opened the secret door and entered into a large cavern. In the middle of the cavern was what appeared to be an entire keep. Closest to us was what remained of the courtyard. We entered the courtyard. Following the Elf’s directions, we located where the Dwarf guardian was. We were able to sneak up om him and quickly eliminate him before he can signal a warning. After searching his guard station, we cautiously approached the tower entrance to the keep. A search of the door revealed no traps.

Acquired items:
+1 Full Plate (Granan)
Wand of Cure Moderate Wounds – 16 charges (Granan)
Lich Dust poison – 2 doses [ingested, 2d6 str every 3 rnds, DC17, 3 saves] (Tobin)
+1 Chain Shirt
+2 Gloves of Dexterity (Tobin)
Spider venom poison – 4 doses [paralyze DC14] (Tobin)
2 Holy Symbols – Brotherhood of Venom, coiled viper
+1 Studded leather armor
+1 Short sword (Tobin)
Masterwork double pistol
Crimson Coil cultist ring – 2
Key (from gunman)
Full plate
Wood shield
+1 battle axe
Pearl of Power – 1st level spell (Granan)
Potion of levitation
Scroll – Divine: Cure Light Wound x3, Monster Summon x3 – Granan
Silver and Mithral amulet of a skull – 150 gp
Key to a chest (Dwarf guardian)
400 gp

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History Revealed

Once the wounded were tended to, we decided to check out the tunnel the creature used to enter the courtyard. Interestingly, it was not a recent excavation. In fact, the tunnel had been dug at least 20 years ago. At about this time, Cmmdt. Bonaduce excused himself to take care of a wereshark attack at the harbor. It appears as though the attacks had been coordinated. As we were discussing whether to explore the tunnel, Zarine noticed that Zander and Chambers were exchanging knowing glances, as if they recognized the tunnel. Zarine questioned them about it. While it was obvious that they knew something, they were reluctant to share any information. Shortly thereafter, Zarine hear the words “Talk to Donovan” waft by on an errant breeze. Figuring that this was sent by either Zander or Chambers, we headed out to the Broken Skull to find Donovan (Shakes).

We found Donovan drinking with his ½ Orc buddy. He seemed eager to discuss the tunnels with us, but for some reason was compelled not to. Unable to speak about it directly, he made a number of vague references to a very attractive, youthful looking older woman (Mary Black?), the fact that no one knows who brought the veil down and who were the first explorers here, and the black hand (servants of the 3 Kings). Shakes then excused himself and quickly returned with a small sack. He gave us the bag, telling us that we can use it to find someone who can help us. We accepted his gift and headed back to our home.

Upon returning home, we upended the sack to reveal a 12 sided container. Each side held a magical rune. We intuited that the runes were a form of magical combination lock. After a couple of aborted attempts, we finally get the combination correct, and opened the container. Inside we found a matching pair of wands (break enchantment and deathward), 3 divine scrolls (remove curse, scry and heal), a small silver box etched with skeletons, containing 4 grave candles (summons a spirit to answer questions), a leather portfolio embroidered with a “W”, containing a personal journal and a letter, oh…and a screaming severed head.

We examined the journal, which happened to be a 20 year old account ledger for Delve Haven. Delve Haven was the headquarters of the first expeditionary force sent by House Tross to explore the recently accessible new continent. The group of adventures in the expedition called themselves the Waverunners. While the entries in the ledger were fairly vague, it was apparent that there were some accounting discrepancies. The ledger also contained a list of missing Waverunners, including Solomon Trafalgar (possibly a relative of the priest, Zalen).

The letter provided more information. It was written by Major Vheed, who was investigating the Waverunners. He had discovered that the Waverunners brought something back from the Elven ruins they were exploring, and this caused a huge problem. In fact, the Waverunners had to seal Delve Haven because of it, leaving someone named Sevastion trapped (and possibly still alive). He interrogated the surviving Waverunners, but was unable to pry any information out of them. He specifically mentioned that both Zander and Aaron were present when the grave portal was unlocked, and that they were both hiding something. While he was frustrated by the Waverunners’ lack of cooperation, he was hopeful that the grave candles would provide more information. Specifically, he wanted to use them to speak with deceased Waverunners. Donetllas Bilsby, the leader of the expedition, supposedly had knowledge of a magical artifact, but was sealed in the lower vaults (volunteered?) as the others fled Delve Haven. Coreanne Heavensgate was slain when the portal opened. Her remains were collected by the Sisters of Eiseth, a devil-worshipping assassin cult. Loremaster Leriam was believed slain, his remains still trapped in Delve Haven. He authored a poem called Cugny’s Wedding, which may be a cipher. Captain Solomon Trafalgar ordered the sealing of Delve Haven, his status was unknown.

Along with the letter was a torn out page containing a poorly worded poem, Cugny’s Wedding, as well as notes for trying to break the cipher. Using the extra syllable found in every 12th line, we uncovered another poem within the original called “Wave Door”. It gave vague references to directions that lead to the Wave Door, the entry point for Delve Haven,which was sealed with a portal key. We worked out that the Wave Door is close to the Lost Cove, where the Dead Gods are. There is a black sand beach on the northeast shore, with the door located 300 feet northeast of the beach, submerged in the water. Using the maps the Tulita gave us, we believed that we could find the location.

We finally questioned the severed head. It belonged to a devil assassin of Mollach. She worked for Major Vheed, and used to live in Delve Haven. She was also slightly insane. Getting cogent information from her was difficult and she eventually sunk into a catatonic state.

Given our choices, we opted to use the candles to question the deceased members of the Waverunners. The easiest one to contact was Coreanne, as her remains were being held by the Sisters of Eiseth in a deserted part of Sentinel. We sought assistance from the Fendrillers, as they had useful intel. We assaulted the headquarters of the Sisterhood, an abandoned mortuary. After combating a fire elemental and 5 Sisters, we were able to search the ossiary, and collect Coreanne’s remains. We also realized that one of the Sisters was not present, so we leave evidence suggesting that the attack on the house was done by the Minochs, a local crime family.

Having retrieved Coreanne’s remains, we returned home, lit one of the grave candles, and summoned her spirit. She spoke of the Waverunners, and their life in Delve Haven. In addition to the members we already knew of, she mentioned Jilliere Ramirez, a curly-haired, dark skinned woman, Donaovan Montgomery and Belloch, Shakes’ ½ Orc friend. She said that Delve Haven was located deep underground, and was accessible through tunnels from the Undercity. One of these tunnels connects with the runed metal door similar to the one in the basement of our house. That door was believed to lead to the palace of the Day King. In their explorations of the new continent, The Waverunners came across 6 spheres that radiated powerful chaos magic. They recovered the 6th sphere in the Elven ruins they had been exploring. Solomon believed that the spheres were somehow keyed to the Black Hand, arch magi of the 3 Kings. As such, he advised against activating them. Aaron and Zander, arch mages in their own rights, believed that they could safely use the spheres, potentially gaining great power and knowledge. So, they performed a ritual to activate the spheres. Coreanne was elsewhere in Delve Haven during the ritual, however, after it was completed, she heard the sounds of magical battle. She witnessed 2 women emerging from Delve Haven. One was a native. The other had bone white hair. Shortly thereafter, a dark ash cascaded from the sky, killing anything it touched. Coreanne’s last memory was of the dark ash falling on her.

Acquired items:
Magical Combination lock box
Divine Scrolls – Remove Curse, Heal, Scry (Granan)
3 Grave Candles – Speak with Dead, only need portion of body (Granan)
Wand of Break Enchantment – 8 charges (Tobin)
Wand of Death Ward – 7 charges (Tobin)
5 potions of Lesser Restoration (one to each of us)
10 vials of black adder venom
5 bladed scarves – favored weapon of Sisters of Eiseth
5 crossbows

View
Dead men DO tell tales

We decided to follow up on who was collecting bodies. So, we took the body of the half orc to the drop off location, and sent the signal for a pick up. Eventually, a carriage came for the body, which we followed back to a mortuary. We knocked on the door, but there was no answer. We picked the lock and entered into the reception area. While searching the reception, we heard footsteps upsatairs in the roof top garden. Zarine’s familiar, who was scouting outside, was able to see a man in the garden release a messenger bird, and then attempt to hide himself. Zarine sent her familiar to follow the messenger while we climbed the stairs to confront the man.

The stairs led up to a well-furnished bedroom, which opened up into the garden. We were able to sneak up on the man hiding there, and capture him. He called himself Artend, and claimed that once Mary found out, she was going to kill him. Apparently he was the owner of the mortuary, and had been furnishing Mary Black with unidentified bodies…for a price. He was able to give us a description of Mary, dark hair and light green eyes, as well as her tall, blond assistant. Mary had been collecting bodies for some time now. She has learned to make undead creatures from body parts, using Chaos magic to bind them together.

A search of Artend, the bedroom and reception uncovered a ledger detailing the pick-up dates and payments received for the bodies Artend sold to Mary, a key to a safety deposit box at Stross Holding Company, a dagger, an amulet of natural armor +2, a spell book and a magic tome called “Magus Rising”, which details a series of pact which can be used to bind imps. We also uncovered a secret door.

The secret door led to a small room containing a trough full of body parts. When we entered the room, the parts animated, and oozed out of the trough to attack us. We destroyed the undead abomination just as a group of people entered the loading dock of the mortuary. They had come to burn the place down, with us in it! They all wore masks that were enchanted to give the image of a carved, wooden skull, and were worshippers of Zagul, a being of the nether realms. After a protracted battle involving pitch-spitting undead spider creatures, we defeated them and prevented the building from burning to the ground. In the process, we attained 6 blood tear necklaces and two scrolls of Animate Dead.

We left the mortuary and turned Artend over to Cmmdr. Bonaduce. At about that time, Zarine’s familiar reported that it was able to follow the messenger bird to the plantation district, near the Jaltos and Stross houses. Unfortunately, it was chased away by a wyvern, so it was not able to find the exact destination of the messenger.

The next morning, we went to the Stross Holding company to open Artend’s stong box. It contained his payments from Mary Black, around 10,000 gp pieces. Interestingly, they were all in ancient coins, like the ones we found in the ruins.

Three days passed with everyone performing various chores, leading to the evening of the masquerade ball, hosted by Jaltos in our honor. This was especially irksome for Zarine, as she had accidently double booked this eveing. She had promised to attend with Both Bonaduce and Chambers. All of the town notables were present, including members from all of the Houses, Bethany Razor, Xalen, Hargrove, Thaladin Creed, and even Vincenz.

The evening was progressing swimmingly until Zarine’s familiar noticed that Ratmen were sneaking into the compound, carrying packets some strange powder, possibly poison. Shortly thereafter, Granan noticed that the protective runes surrounding the courtyard had been altered. Instead of keeping things out, if triggered, they would now keep things trapped inside. As we tried to convince Bonaduce of the potential problems, the hired performers began their play. Bored with the play, Zarine decided to scout around compound. Granan joined her. While prowling about, Zarine is attacked and capture by a couple of Devourer worshippers, who plan on taking her back to make her their “queen”.

Just as her screams reach the courtyard, the runes got activated, trapping all but Granan and Zarine in the courtyard. All of a sudden, a huge worm-like amalgamation of body parts erupts from the ground, right in the middle of the courtyard. It lets out an ear splitting screech, which panics many of the guests. Avidian, Ironforge and several of the guests engaged the horror, while Tobin went to work trying to disable the runes. Eventually, he is able to lower the barrier, and with the added assistance of the guests, we defeated the creature.

In the meantime, Granan and Zarine after dispatching the cultists came across a group of servants, who were confined to their beds from illness. While Granan was attempting to tend to them, they began to transform. They developed a sickly pallor, and then body parts began to sprout from their bodies. Granan called upon the power of his god to heal these poor, stricken innocents. However, something went wrong. His hammer began to glow red with the power of his god, which began to fill the room. Unfortunately, he was not able to control the power, which began to drain him of his life force. In the process, the servants were utterly destroyed, and Granan passed out.

The evening ended with clean up, healing and the counting of the dead. We lost 13 people in the fight, including the leader of House Bariman.

Acquired items:
Amulet of Natural Armor +2 (Ironforge)
Spell book (Tobin)
Key to safety deposit box (Avidian)
Magus Rising
6 Blood tear necklaces worth ~500 gp each
2 scrolls of Animate dead (Granan)
~ 10,000 gp
+2 Dagger of Wounding (Tobin)

View
"You're REALLY Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"

Realizing that stealth would not get us past the guards, we decided upon trickery. Tobin filled a section of the entry hall with darkness, and then used ghost sounds to create the illusion of a group of people splashing through the darkened area. This worked, as the guards went charging into the darkness. As most of the guards were searching for non-existent intruders, we entered the hall and engaged the few guards that remained on watch. In the process, Granan triggered a trap which caused a giant shark jaw suspended from the ceiling to swing down and close upon him. None the less, all but one of the guards was dispatched. Unfortunately, he was able to shout a warning before being killed.

As we proceeded into the temple depths, the sound of chanting became louder, as though a ritual were reaching its climax. The sounds of the incantations lead us into a room with a large pool and an altar. We could see a large animal swimming in the pool. At the altar stood a native, presumably the cleric, whose face had been magically altered to resemble that of a shark. He stood above another native, bound to the altar, preparing to plunge a ceremonial dagger deep into his chest. In an amazing display of archery, Tobin shot the dagger out of his hand, delaying the sacrifice. This gave Athadian and Granan time to engage the cleric. As Athadian and Granan kept the cleric occupied, Tobin released the captive. The cleric, realizing his eminent defeat, substituted himself for the sacrifice and threw himself into the pool. The water in the pool began to roil and froth, and then turned blood red. Several tremors shook the temple, as it began to sink back into the sea.

We rushed to the exit before the temple fully submerged and began to swim for shore. Just as we exited, we saw an enormous shark emerge from temple. This was no ordinary shark. It had rows of teeth which seemed to emerge from its mouth and cover the entire length of its body. Also, a dark liquid seemed to ooze from its form. Realizing that we would never make it to shore before that behemoth overtook us, we sought the safety of a nearby ship which had run aground on some rocks. We boarded the ship just as the shark reached it. Thinking ourselves safe, we were surprised when the shark began to attack and eat the ship! Luckily, Athadian and Granan found a functioning canon and were able to shoot the beast several times. While this didn’t kill it, it did wound it enough to drive it off.

We returned to the tribes with our rescued captive, who happened to be T’lal’s son. We told the elders what had occurred. Apparently, the rite we had witnessed was called Eputuses – The Rite of Transformation. It involved tattooing and starving both the victim and the priest. This ties the two together so that either the priest or the victim can be sacrificed to a sea creature, which then becomes a voracious, insatiable eating machine. Thus, we had proof now that The Devourer was returning and that his high priest, The Dalong, was active and organizing His followers. The elders were satisfied with our report, while unhappy with its contents. They rewarded us with 6000 gp worth of pearls, and some very detailed maps of the Savage Coast. Two locations were marked on the maps as remnants of the old empire, to which they give us some details. Apparently Mary Black has been asking questions about them. This is the same Mary Black who had put up wanted posters of us. They also inform us that there are rumors that The Witch Queen is gathering tribesman and creatures in preparation for an attack on Sentinel. As we left for Sentinel, we saw the tribes preparing for the upcoming war.

We returned to Sentinel to see the city in a state of chaos. The recent earthquake had destroyed many building, displacing lots of people. Certain groups had taken advantage of this, and kidnappings were on the rise. Athadian stepped up and organized a City Watch to prevent more kidnappings, while Granan used his abilities to heal the populace and retrofit buildings. Once a bit of order was returned, we set about to find Mary Black. Our only lead was that Gino Marchione, a pearl trader, may have information about her.

While we were deciding how to proceed, we were visited by Zalen, one of the priests who crossed over with us. The head of his order, Adrien Gamel, was still missing. Apparently, Adrien had been researching a place called “Gothmugomul”. It was the palace of the Day King, and was forced beneath the earth under Sentinel. Chaos cultists had been looking for it to retrieve a rib that was supposedly buried there. Zalen also told us that Aleria, the red-headed woman with the mantis tattoo, had visited him…and was with child (presumably Athtadian’s). Aleria was somehow mixed up in an assassination attempt on the empress. We were also visited by the Painted Man. He had finished some preliminary research on Athadian’s sword. It holds the sentience of Tyr, the dead god of justice.

In our pursuit of Gino, Granan was mugged, losing 1000 gp worth of pearls. We discover that it was just a local gang that runs the docks, so we set up an ambush, using Tobin as bait. Unfortunately, given the recent lawlessness , our trap caught a different group of thugs. We found out that they were collecting people and taking them to the basement of a crime family, the Minochs. We headed to the basement, where we found and released 4 captives. We also collected a ledger and a self cleaning chamber pot.

Giving up on recovering the lost pearls, we headed to Gino’s ship. As we approached it, we saw the muggers apparently casing the ship. They were planning to attack a man leaving the ship. We disrupt their plans, and recover 500 gp worth of our pearls, and 700 gp worth of new pearls. The man, Ivan Kaymere, runs the Cracked Coin, a money lending and storing establishment. One of the thugs had scribbled on his arm “Where’s my Angel”.

We returned to Gino’s boat, only to be informed that he wasn’t there. He had left last night to the Shy Mermaid, a brothel, and hadn’t returned. We went to the Shy Mermaid and discovered that Gino had been with 3 girls there last night. He had left with them to the Stormy Gables to bet on cock fights. We proceeded to the Stormy Gables, where we are approached by an old woman who summoned us into her apartment. While there, she attempted to drug us with incense. Athadian resists the effects, scares the crone off, and defeats her ½ orc accomplice. A search of the apartment uncovered Gino’s dagger and necklace.

We search the apartment building for the crone, to no avail. We did, however, find Wymont Tross, cousin to Katrina Tross, in a compromising position with a dwarven woman. After a while, we were able to pick up the crone’s trail, and followed it to another apartment building. We entered and found the woman in the kitchen of an apartment owned by Trench Skullsplitter. She told us that Gino left her place with her Halfling partner, Wellby, who could be found at the Boatswain’s Knot. We found Wellby, who informed us that Gino was dead, and that he had dropped his body off to be collected. This was a racket he had set up. He didn’t know who retrieved the bodies, but he signaled them from his apartment with lanterns. He told us where his apartment was and what the signals were.

Acquired items:
6200 gp worth of pearls
Minoch’s ledger
Self-cleaning chamber pot
+1 spiked breat plate (1/2 orc)

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"You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"

After leaving the Temple of Dumathoin, we head back home. We have a week before we need to meet with the Tribes to discuss the return of the Devourer. During that time, we clean and repair the house. Athadian also visits the shop which has opened up across the street from us, “The Black Lotus”. It is a curiosities shop, owned by The Painted Man. In addition to his wares, he can identify magical items and do historical research on them.

Also during this week, Sentinel is struck by a large magnitude earthquake. While the older buildings are undamaged, many of the newer constructions and temporary structures are destroyed. In addition, a large sink hole forms in the middle of the city, engulfing the Council of Commerce building. Interestingly, the sink hole is a perfect circle, suggesting that it is unnatural. Needless to say, the city is thrown into chaos, as no group is taking charge of the situation. Into this void steps Athadian. He quickly assesses the situation, and begins to organize relief efforts. In short order, people begin to look to him for leadership and instructions.

Setting an example, Athadian personally leads the effort to rescue a group of Halflings trapped beneath a collapsed tower near our home. The odd thing is that the Halflings are not dressed in casual wear, but appear to be equipped for something. During the rescue, Tobin notices a non-descript older Halfling woman taking more than a casual interest in the proceedings. She realizes that she is being watched and slips back into the crowd. Tobin’s familiar follows her back to the docks, where she enters Salt Shanks, the Halfling community in Sentinel. Pooling our knowledge, we piece together that these Halflings may be members of the Phendrillers, refugee gang from the empire. They are mercenaries known for stealth, infiltration, limited magic use and exotic weapon proficiencies. After saving the buried Halflings, we interrogate one of them. The only information he is willing to give us is “Warehouse 592”. He also produces a note which simply reads “bring proof to Warehouse 592”. Most warehouses are owned by House Tross. We piece together that the Halflings were hired to spy on us from the abandoned tower, and possibly retrieve something from our house. Given our previous run in with House Tross regarding the weapons of Chaos, we believe the House has something to do with that. However, we decide not to pursue this.

That evening, as the city begins to recover from the quake, we are visited by Marius Livingstone, a member of the Queen’s Inquisition. He is interested in the whereabouts of a Red Mantis Assassin named “Aleria”. We inform him that she was a fellow passenger on trip across the sea, but we had not seen her since disembarking. For some reason, he believes that she may try to contact us soon. If she does, he wants us to notify him at the Golden Goose Inn. We assure him of our intended compliance with his request, and he departs.

Several days pass, and the time of the meeting of the Tribes arrives. Tulita Joe leads us to the meeting on the island of Cacao. As outsiders, our arrival is greeted with looks of anger and mistrust. We approach the Elders of the three tribes, deep in conversation. There is a palpable undercurrent of tension. T’lal, the one who invited us, is Elder of the Ridgebacks, the Keepers of the Shrine of the Whale. Macoa is the Elder of the Hardshells, the Keepersof the Shrine of the Tortoise. Honalu is the Elder of the Whistletops, Keepers of the Shrine of the Dolphin. T’lal excuses himself from their discussion and approaches us.

T’lal thanks us for attending and informs us of the troubles the tribes have been having. Villagers go out fishing and don’t return. The only evidence left are their destroyed boats, which wash up on shore. There has been an increase in shark attacks, and those that survive the attacks become weresharks. In addition, all manner of horrible sea creatures have been sighted. All signs suggest the return of The Devourer. The only way to be sure is to determine whether the sunken shrine of the Devourer has resurfaced. The problem is that the shrine is located in a The Cove of The Dead God, which is forbidden to the tribes. That’s where we come in. T’lal wants us to see whether the shrine has risen, and if so, investigate what is inside. The shrine itself used to be Kept by a fourth tribe. Long ago, the followers of the Devourer took over the shrine and started worshipping Djobas, the shark god. When the Devourer was cast out, the gods sent a giant wave to submerge the temple beneath the ocean. However, during the earthquake last week, the shrine appears to have risen from the sea. The problem is that the other two Elders don’t want outsiders meddling in their affairs, and need to be persuaded to allow this mission. Macoa, Elder of the Hardshells, does not think that the Devourer is returning. He believes that the recent problems are caused by the settlers from across the sea slaughtering sacred animals. Honalu, Elder of the Whistletops, is also not fully convinced that the devourer is returning. He feels that the problems are caused by not properly following the Old Gods, and that they need to return to sacrificing in the Old Ways. A final decision by the Elders will be made tomorrow, and T’lal tasks us with convincing the other Elders to allow us to seek out the shrine.

That evening, we attempt to mingle with the tribes. They are celebrating, as it is rare that the three tribes come together like this. The Hardshells, who are known for their martial prowess, are engaging in wrestling matches. Athadian decides to compete in order to prove his worthiness to this tribe. The match is touch and go for a while, but he manages to pin their best wrestler. They are greatly impressed and treat Athadian to rounds of applause. While conversing with some of the Hardshells, we learn that Macoa had lost a twin in an accident with a foreigner vessel, and has distrusted foreigners ever since.

The Whistletops, known for their love of music, dance and performance, are happily singing, dancing and playing a variety of musical instruments. If only Zarene were here to dazzle them with her melodic voice and legendary storytelling. As a poor substitute, Tobin steps in and offers up an awe-inspiring display of knife juggling. This too is met with hearty appreciation. From speaking with the Whistletops, we sense that Honalu believes that the Devourer has returned, but fears that the gods will be angered if we go to the cove.

The next morning, the tribes gather to hear the Elders’ discuss whether to allow us to visit the forbidden shrine. Athadian asks permission to address the Elders, and gives an impassioned and eloquent speech about shared danger, the need to trust each other, and the consequences of failing. Between our actions last night, and Athadian’s speech today, Macoa and Honalu are so moved that they not only give their blessings for our trip, but provide 10 warriors to escort us to the cove.

The warriors lead us to the Cove of the Dead God. From our vantage point, we can see a structure in the middle of the cove, with a giant shark jaw forming an archway at its opening. The structure itself has carvings of sharks devouring all things in their paths. Instead of crystal blue, the water has a reddish, almost bloody, hue. Upon closer inspection, we can see dark shapes silently gliding beneath the surface. We decide to approach the back of the temple by canoe. We paddle out about 20 feet, and are set upon by four large sharks. We attempt to fight them off, but hey destroy our canoe and send us swimming back to shore. We make another attempt. This time, we chum the water on the far side of the cove. While the sharks are away, we launch our second canoe. As we are about to reach the temple, the sharks attack again. We make it to the shrine, but this canoe is destroyed as well. We climb onto the roof of the shrine and make our way towards the entrance. We peer into the entryway, and see that it is covered in a couple of feet of water. From deep within, we hear deep, guttural chanting. The entry leads into a large anteroom with six pillars. A dire shark jaw hangs from the ceiling. Using his blindsense, Tobin scans the room and determines that there is a person behind each pillar.

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Welcome Home!

Upon returning to Sentinel, we learn four things. One, an establishment has opened across the street from our home called “The Black Lotus” Two, we’ve been invited to a gala in our honor, hosted by Trelib Jaltos. Three, someone has placed bounties on our heads and has hired “The Hands of Slaughter” to kill us. Four, we’ve been summoned to court to answer to the charges of consorting with Chaos and harboring weapons of Chaos. Aaahhhh. Home Sweet Home.

After checking in at home, we go to the Broken Skull to meet with Bethany Razor and fulfill our agreement. She is willing to allow us to keep the majority of the stuff we found in exchange for a favor to be named at a later date. We also find out that the wanted posters may have been put up by Mary Black. Geno Marchioni may know more about this. We also hear a number of interesting rumors. Shark attacks throughout the coast have increased. Those who are bitten and survive the attack become shark creatures. Disappearances in town have increased. There is someone calling herself “The Baroness” who has been caring for a bunch of street urchins she calls “Children of the Blood”. She may be the estranged wife of Lord Hargrove.

Next, we visit Lord Jeltos. He is recovering from the assassination attempt. He informs us that the charges against us are severe and possibly politically motivated. Normally, we would have been jailed immediately, so someone must be protecting us. He, Lord Hargrove, and Cmmdr. Bonaduce put in good words for us. That would usually be enough to have the charges dropped. Since they weren’t, someone fairly powerful must be behind these charges. We believe charges were leveled by someone in House Tross (who runs the courts) or by Theledin Creed.

After some searching, we find a lawyer to take our case, Zander Brim. We go to court, and tell the judge of the nature in which we acquired our house, and the chests that were inside. We explain how the chests, which we cannot open and cannot move, may have the weapons of Chaos. We agree to have the weapons removed, and the charges get dropped. Sorcerer Supreme Chambers is assigned to examine the chests and remove the weapons, which he does. Zander Brim warns us not to trust Chambers, as he was responsible for destroying Zander.

The next week is spent getting the house in order, buying new furniture, and restoring the garden. We have the help of several Tulita, so the work goes well. We also visit Bandaral, the Priest of Dumathoin in the Undercity. We tell him of our trip, and he relates the story of Glitterhome to us. King Milair I arrived during the crossing. When he and his people arrived here, they found thriving cults of Chaos worshippers. There is an Elder Chaos Being trapped here, and the worshippers were tapping into it for their power. By the time of King Milair IV, the three races (dwarf, human and high elf) had greatly expanded their territories. The kings were known as the Night King (dwarf?), the Day King (high elf?) and the Shadow King (human?). The kings decided to summon the essence of the Chaos Being into themselves, but they couldn’t handle the power. They became corrupted and this triggered the great wars. Eventually, the High Priests called down the power of each of their gods to raise a barrier, and imprison the corrupted kings. Before the barrier was put in place, the races left this continent. It was decided that the dwarves would be the last to leave. They would buy time for the others to reach safety. Thus, the dwarven high priests stayed behind, and drained the power of their gods to raise the barrier. The ruins that we just visited were where the dwarves had their last stand. The warriors that were left behind escaped to a place called “Glitterhome”, which was created by the high mages. After the story, Bandaral gave us gifts.

Acquired Items:
Dumathoin’s Wrath – +2 Hammer of Returning, Shockwave 1/day
Karagkaz – bracelet with images of different animals – contains the last essence of the trickster god
Maya – necklace of the night sky – cast deeper darkness innately, blind sense, Achluophobia (fear of darkness) 1/day

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Crypt of the Dwarven Kings

We continue to the elevator platform, and lower ourselves down into a colossal chamber. The room contains 8 pillars, each with the holy symbol of a different Dwarven god. On the back wall is the symbol for Dumathoin, which contains a key hole. We insert the key, and a 9th pillar rises from the floor. This pillar has a space in it for a holy symbol. We use the holy symbol we found earlier, and the pillar lowers, past ground level. We hop on the pillar, and are taken to a huge chamber in a lower level. This room has statues of 4 dwarves, King Millair I, II, III and IV. The statue of King Millair IV activates, walks to Granan and addresses him as “Heir to the throne”. He tells Granan that he cannot reclaim the throne until he retrieves the crown, which is buried with the past king. The wall in the back of the room then opens, revealing a stairwell.

We follow the stairs down to a landing with 3 doors, 1 large and 2 small. The small door on the left leads to a narrow stairway which opens into a cone shaped room. Two gargoyle faces leer from the back wall. Granan is able to enter the room with no problem. However, anyone else who enters the room causes it to fill with webs and spiders. Disabling the trap requires disabling the gargoyles.

The room exits into another room with a small patch of bare earth in it. Next to the patch is a sign saying “Touch the Ground, and be purified.” Again, Granan is able to touch the earth with no effect. Anyone else causes a Xorn to be summoned.

The door from this room leads to a small hallway, which is inhabited by a drake named Prelix. Prelix takes a liking to Zarine, and decides to travel with us. The hallway leads to a room with a set of double doors, a potion, a wand, and a scroll, which we take. This room also contains a gate back up to the surface.

We go through the double doors, which open onto the balcony of a large room. Stairs lead down from the balcony to a sarcophagus…which lies open. Next to the sarcophagus is an undead wolf, and very white dwarf with black eyes. He is clad in mithril full plate and wears a crown on his head. With one hand, he holds a flaming maul, and with the other, he beckons Granan forward. Granan moves towards the figure, who says “No one can take this crown”. Granan notices the signs of insanity in the being’s face only just before he attacks. We are able to destroy the creature and his wolf, but realize that they are “Krust” and are near impossible to fully destroy. They are driven by a single task, and if defeated, will reanimate. We take his items, and place him in the sarcophagus.

We leave the room, and go through the small door on the right of the double doors in the original chamber. This leads through a cone shaped room and a room with a patch of earth, similar to the door on the left. The room with the patch of earth leads to an octagonal chamber. On top of two 10 foot platforms are battlements, each manned by a gargoyle. One gargoyle has an engraved mithril card around its neck. We mage hand the card to us, and the gargoyles attack. We kill one of them, and after speaking with the other, set it free. The mithril card is a planar key to “Glitterhome”

We return to the original room and finally enter the large double doors. Inside are 4 sarcophagi. On them are etched what we think is a history. The first shows a humanoids coming through a large portal. The second shows cities being constructed (one is Sentinel) and three kings (human, dwarf and high elf). The third shows more construction, expansion, and combat against creatures of chaos and a worm-shaped monstrosity. The final one shows more combat, the three kings performing a ritual while surrounded by chaos creatures, and then mass exodus. A further search of the chamber reveals nothing. We return to the surface and meet with the slavers. Their leader, Tormentor Kabob, accepts the spellbook and the mask of Terror we retrieved on our way here, 2 sets of dwarven armor, 2 crossbows, axe, shield and chainmail. We then return to Sentinel.

Acquired Items:
Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds
Wand of Shocking Grasp
Scroll of Mass Cure Light Wounds
+2 Mithril breast plate
+2 flaming maul
+2 cloak of charisma
+3 belt of giant strength
Dragon Rider earring – allows dragon rider to summon dragon
Dwarven crown
Planar key to Glitterhome

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The Long Descent

The elevator continues down. Part way down, we encounter a portion of the lava tube which is completely ringed with mithril etched with runes. As we pass through this area, all of the magic in our belonging is suppressed. The elevator continues down for 100 feet, ending at a guard chamber. At the end of the chamber is a set of large double doors bearing carved gargoyles, which exude an aura of fear. We force our way through the doors, and encounter two grell. We kill one, but the other escapes.

We search the room, and exit through the only doorway out, which is trapped. It opens into a larger room with a second level, accessible by a ladder, which is also trapped. The second level contains beds a table and a desk. We also find a holy symbol of Clangeddin (gem inside of a mountain) which radiates magic. On the table we find a letter Dwarven letter. It tells of a war, the planned flight from the city, and the creation of the barrier which kept this continent unapproachable. A hallway out of the room leads to a storage area, and eventually to another elevator platform.

We descend down the elevator, past another band of runed mithril. Shortly thereafter, we are set upon by 4 grell. After a protracted battle on the elevator (one of them had a wand of lightning!) we kill 3 of them, but the fourth escapes. The elevator stops in a large cavern containing a ruined city. On the far side of the lava tube, we can see another elevator platform allowing further descent. We travel through the ruined city. We find several destroyed rooms including barracks and apparent stables for dragons. We also find a finely crafted mithril statuette.

We eventually reach the other elevator and begin lowering it. Part way down, the elevator hits a platform constructed solely of skeletons. Further down, we can see another similar platform, occupied by dwarves. One of the dwarves gestures, and the bones on their platform extend to make a ramp up to ours. The 5 dwarves approach us. 4 are warriors. The fifth is a cleric with a holy symbol of a jeweled dagger (an apparent corruption of the symbol for the Dwarven god of wealth and well being). We attempt to parlay, but they seem to take exception to Granan, and attack us. We kill 3 of them, 1 surrenders, but the cleric escapes, along with the dwarves that had remained behind. We pursue them down to the next bone platform.

This platform is barricaded and guarded. Zarine speaks with them, explaining our purpose for being there, and requesting safe passage through their territory. They allow us to speak with their lord, as long as we relinquish our weapons. We do so, although some of us keep some weapons hidden on our persons. We are taken into a throne room, where we meet their lord, 3 hooded dwarves, and 3 knights. The lord has blood red eyes and fangs. He guarantees us safe passage, provided we give them Granan. We refuse and a massive melee ensues. Through the use of a well placed silence spell, a tiger figurine, and some amazing teamwork, we prevail.

Acquired Items:
Symbol of Clangeddin – radiates magic (Granan)
Finely crafted mithril statuette (Granan)
Scrolls (3) –entropic shield & aid, bone strength & summon monster II, invisibility & cause fear (Granan)
Tome of Understanding (Tobin)
Gems (~1200 gp)
+1 silver dagger (Tobin)
+1 mithril shirt (Zarine)
Masterwork daggers (3)
Dwarven ½ plate (3)
Holy symbol – clenched fist holding a heart (3)
Masterwork lt. crossbow (3)
Dwarven War Axe (3)
Shield (3)
Frost bolts (10) (Tobin)
Dwarven chainmail (3)

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