Marches of Windhaven

Session 8: Decisions

After our heroes finish looting the temple, they speak with Vrak. They are welcome to stay in the valley, but he is not keen on having other living invading the area. Davingnon, convinced that Torinn is blood kin to the the most recent Baron, brings up Torinn’s family name to Vrak. Torinn proceeds to argue with him and explain that no, the family name means very little in this case. Vejik explains that there were not many dragonborn and very few trained drakes. All the untrained Warwing drakes left the area as Vejik slaughtered the sheep population. According to the flight path map that was found, Vejik had been raiding nearby caravans with his drakes for some reason.

On a whim, Tomis returns to the floating tower and looks around. He finds a letter from Bejik. “We have seen our first Warwing Drake today. From a distance,true, but it can be nothing else.” He makes it clear he wanted to reform the Wing of Zehir.. It appears that perhaps the other followers of Zehir thought he was loony and did not follow him. There may be more to this group of Zehir followers…

Sunarias took a handful of books from the tower – “The Dragonborn Empire of Arcozia”, one on herbs, one on the philosophical nature of magic, and a small tome on Zehir. From the tome on Zehir it is discovered that he is the god of darkness, poison, and assassins. Snakes are his favorite creation, and he wants his followers to use poison and kill at night.

They return to the town of Elkridge and speak with the elders. The Elders wish to know if the heroes havesolved the problem they set out to solve: the drake “attacks” on the village. Sunarias explains that the lack of sheep is the cause of the drake displacement, and the elders agree to send a number of sheep to begin to repopulate the Summit and centralize the drake population again.

The heroes set out again for Althor. Three days later, they arrive at the city. It is a metropolitan area bigger than Fallcrest, and is known as a somewhat scholarly town. Sunarias has a letter of introduction to a mage named Magden from Nimozaran the Green. The group also intends to speak with a sage named Yvette about the possible location of the dragon Sythyx and his apparent master, Mynemeth.

Asking a random stranger about inns, they learn about the Busty Furkin, Cask and Pipe, Blue Horse, and White Lion inns (from lowest class to highest). They visit the Cask and Pipe, where they eat Liver & Potato Hash, and order some mead and ale. They are approached by a mercenary named Beran. A merc group called the Blood Legion is, apparently, recruiting for a job to the east involving a dispute between two earls, including the Earl of Galesworth. The heroes tell him they probably are not interested.

After asking around, they find the tower of the mage Magden. Red roof, colored glass windows, runes inscribed at various intervals, and a big oak door. An eyeball in the door greets them and lets them in. They venture upstairs – no door, just a landing on the second floor – and enter a large cluttered room on the third floor with the mage – an older greying man with a long beard. His cat, Max is laying on a rug near the fire, and a grey humonculous named Perkins is stirring a pot of something. After informing Magden that they are going to see the sage Yvette, he responds, “Dressed like that?” Apparently our heroes are somewhat dirty after their adventures. Everyone except Sunarias is sent downstairs (following the cat, Max, to the second floor landing where there is now a door) to eat sandwiches while Sunarias receives his familiar, a lynx-like cat named Sithara, which is Eladrin for “cat friend”. Downstairs, the cook, an older halfling woman named Tilly, talks Tomis’s ears off.

Max returns and unexpectedly transforms into Madgen. He asks the heroes about retrieving an artifact. Willemot the Wizened, it seems, might be on the trail of this artifact, and Madgen certainly doesn’t want to let him find it. The artifact has something to do with Nithawyn, the Elvish sword-mage. Its qualities may have something to do with aberrent creatures. It may be in an old temple to the southeast of Althor. Realizing he has an appointment, Madgen disappears before giving any more information, telling the heroes to return the next day.

They head to the nearby market and purchase silk merchant clothes with the intent of impressing the Sage. Yvette’s butler answers at her small cottage and the heroes make an appointment to return the next morning. Returning to the Cask and Pipe, they are greeted once again by the Blood Legion merc during a dinner of spicy boar parcels (followed by strawberry custard). “I know you’re not going to join us.” He instead tells of a smalelr job involving a Lord Blackheath at Billingson’s Ford to the Northwest, who is apparently having trouble with Orcs. Pays 350g. Sunarias makes it clear he wants to go after the artifact for Magden.

After waiting in her anteroom for about 30 minutes, Yvette finally ushers our heroes into a cozy room full of bookshelves and floored with a exquisite thick carpet. Mynemeth is a red dragon and a he, although referred to as having a “black heart”, so possibly a black dragon, or somehow related to the blacks. Red dragons breathe fire, while blacks breathe acid. On some occasions a dragon will mentor another if the arrangement proves useful – this is apparently what is occuring with Mynemeth and Sythyx. It is very unusual for one to be offering another trinkets from their hoard. Yvette’s resources say, however, that Mynemeth was vanquished by a tiefling warlock named Ilrayhir by unknown means a very long time ago. Dragons seldom live beyond 2500ish years, so even if Mynemeth survived that encounter he should be dead by now.

Concerning Sythyx: There is probable draconic activity several days to the Northeast involving a white dragon. An agreement is made to give 10% of the dragon horde if Yvette gives the heroes all the information on this draconic activity. A group of contacts in the town of Cheswick has sent the information to Yvette – apparently there are indications of draconic activity but no one has actually seen the dragon. Yvette agrees to send any further information to the heroes’ room at the Cask and Pipe.

They head to the Blue Horse to see if there are any more leads. Broiled mutton and rice or steak and vegetable stew are cooking. An elf approaches, dressed like a merchant. Sunarias apparently saw him on the street earlier, watching the heroes. His name is Dervas, and he works for a merchant house. He is looking for people who can help with a small problem with a rival merchant guild. The discussion sounds very shady, and the heroes are defensive about accepting such a job, even for the offered 1000g. Not willing to discuss any further details, he tells the heroes to venture to Shalespring if interested, 2 days to the south, and speak with Lorvell the merchant. A decision must be made this very night.

The heroes discover nothing of interest at the White Lion. Very stuffy atmosphere.

It is finally time for our heroes to return to Magden’s, where they enthusiastically eat more of Tilly’s sandwiches. The heroes are pressed into making a decision whether they will help Madgen or not. Tomis wants to either find the artifact or go after dragons, Davingnon believes dragons or orcs are the only noble causes, and Torinn and Sunarias are keenly interested in finding the artifact. After a lengthy discussion, it is decided that they will indeed help Magden find the artifact.

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Session 7: Bejik's Last Stand

Our heroes, having temporarily defeated Vrak and the other thralls under Bejik’s service, approach the floating tower. They see a Dragonborn at distance, and Tomis decides to move in stealthily for a sneak attack. This doesn’t turn out well. The Dragonborn sees him and shouts for backup while poisoning his weapon.

A battle ensues. Archers fire poisoned arrows from the floating rocks and tower above, a drake and rider fly down to harass Torinn, Sunarias manages to hit with a Phantom Bolt knocking the rider off of the drake, and Tomis decides to go climbing only to get impaled with a poison arrow forcing him to jump 30 feet back to the ground (Where Davingnon was waiting with a pep talk). Tomis was particularly insistent that the drake fly away – a strategy that did not prove effective. After many almost deaths and a few healing potions, the heroes are victorious, ending the battle in the bottom floor of the tower over the corpses of the archers.

On the second floor of the tower they find beds and a locked chest (Which Tomis gladly opens). On the third floor, there is a table with a few scattered papers and ink on it beside a bookcase filled with old tomes. The table sits inside of a magic circle. One of the papers on the table shows the lineage of Bejik, Baron of Vaeleraas. A book nearby explains the origins of the title: Thousand(s?) of years ago, during the Battle of Dankmoore, a dragonborn named Heskin saved the dragonborn Emperor with a spell of light and was bestowed the title of Baron of Vaeleraas. After searching further, they find another paper describing the lineage of another Baron of Vaeleraas that was more yellowed – this one was written about 80 years ago. Sunarias discovers that the newer lineage is actually a fake, clearly written by Bejik to fool Vrak and the other thralls of the Baronage. The family name of the true Baron is Elhorn – the same family name that Torinn has.

From the top of the tower the heroes survey the area and discover what appears to be an excavation. They travel down there, where they found what appears to be a recently moved marble slab. After moving the slab, they discover a tunnel which leads down into an underground structure. Tomis decides to head down first and immediately triggers a trap which immobilizes him and Davingnon. As they press on, the structure appears to be a ruined underground temple with many broken statues and collapsed ceiling beams.

Bejik yells a taunt and the lights in the temple are extinguished, forcing the heroes to rely on Sunarias’ magic light during the ensuing battle. Vrak is in a small upstairs alcove, and Torinn quickly hands him the fake letter of heritage and explains the situation while the rest of the party begins to be pelted by arrows and surrounded by dragonborn and Bejik. Vrak joins the fight against the imposter, and Bejik retreats into a large temple room where he attacks from the back of a Warwing. Torinn goes to deal with dragonborn archers in an alcove in the back of the room, while the rest chase Vejik as he tries to head towards the exit. A friendly drake flies down the entrance tunnel, trapping Bejik in beteen. Our heroes make an attempt to get Bejik to surrender, but end up having to finish him off.

Among the bodies are found Shadowsteel Gloves, a Blackened Shield, and Catstep Boots.

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Session 6: Journey on a Stone Canoe
  • We go to the village center to talk to the village elders.
  • The elders say that they have never seen the drakes that attach being ridden.
  • We show them the map we found. The elders say that the center point of all of the flight paths is Morningfall Summit. The villagers say that no one ever goes there. Those who have tried never return.
  • We decide to head out to Morningfall Summit the next day.
  • The villagers invite us to stay the night at Jeral the baker and Margie his wife’s house. They have three children: Becka, Jake, and Cassey. Becka seems to have developed a crush on Davingnon.
  • As we leave the meeting one of the elders, Cyril, pulls Torinn aside and whispers to him that 100 years ago his grandfather went to Morningfall Summit and saw the spirits of dragonborn.
  • The next morning the village elders loan us some gear we will need to get to the summit. As we are getting ready to head out, a bunch of kids run in and say that the village boys have decided to take it upon themselves to kill a drake. Apparently the village girls have been teasing the boys because they are not as heroic as Davingnon.
  • We run out to the where they boys are reported to be. The boys have cornered a sickly drake and are hesitantly considering attacking it. Davingnon talks to the group of boys and tries to convince them to go home.
  • The drake has no saddle, but has an iron collar and a brand. The drake seems sick, and seems to have some brain damage.
  • The drake can talk in simple sentences, but seems to have trouble communicating because of the brain problems. It says that it killed its rider, that its head hurts, and that all of the drakes are starving because there isn’t enough sheep. Then the drake has a seizure and dies.
  • The village gives us a guide, Jacob, who says he will show us how to get to the summit. He takes us about 6 miles out of the village and then says that he won’t go any further.
  • The going is tough, but not impossible.
  • We come to a cave, off to the side of our path. Around the outside of the cave are non-drake scratch marks. Tomis sneaks up to the cave, and then once it’s clear it is safe, we all go in.
  • In the cave is a giant pool of water, as well as a number of giant bats and rats.
  • Tomis finds a secret tunnel under the surface of the pool which comes out into another cave room. In the room is a dead gnome adventurer with three vials of ghost strike oil.
  • We head out past the cave and up to Morningfall Summit.
  • At the top is a half-mile wide bowl. Within the bowl are the ruins of a marble fortress. The ruins are suspended in the air, floating in the place were they were originally built. In the center of the bowl is a large tower that appears to be in better shape than the rest of the fortress.
  • Sunarias knew the following about the fortress: The stone is covered in ancient dragonborn writing. The ruins match a flying citadel that was used 1,000 years ago by the ancient dragonborn empire to transport warriors, and was destroyed by the tierfling at the height of the war. The crash location was previously unknown. The citadel was known as Ustraternes, or the Wings of Morning.
  • We head towards the towers and find a statue of a dragonborn on a spur of rock. We notice that similar statues are set periodically in a circle around the tower.
  • Davingnon approached the statue and a dragonborn spirit, Vrak, appeared. Vrak stated that we should leave because he and his warriors were bound to defend the area, following the orders of his new master. Vrak was steward to the house of Tiburcaix and his master was Bejik Vuthinear, the last scion of the house of Tiburcaix. The house of Tiburcaix was very important in the ancient dragonborn empire. Vrak told us that Bejik worships Zehir and sullies the honor of his ancestors and their noble history.
  • Because he is bound to his duty, Vrak would not let us pass, despite our attempts to persuade him otherwise. Tomis pushed over Vrak’s statue, but it had no effect.
  • We decided not to fight him, as he seemed quite noble, and we made camp at the edge of the bowl.
  • In the morning we found a floating rock and got on it. We used Mage Hand to push the rock, and we attempted to sneak past Vrak in the air.
  • Vrak discovered us despite that and attacked us with skeletons, zombies, and specters. The battle took place on the floating rock and in the tree tops. We were victorious and Vrak disappeared.
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Session 5: Destruction of the Crystal

Afer failing stealth, we move into a room with a number of culists, as well as the Reeve from town – Toraash. There are various villager cultists as well as a Dolgaunt with its tentacles on an unconscious dwarf female, which we assume is Doria Greyfist. Toraash mentions the god Bellashyrra and invites us to join them, which Tomis responds to by stabbing the nearest cultist in the head.

Torinn charges and breathes initially. Davingnon uses Bastion of Defense which proves invaluable to the fight. Cultists continue to stream in to the room during the fight, forcing us to kill six of them.

After the fight, we revive Doria who asks where her husband, Rorig Greyfist, is. We tell her for follow behind and continue to the next room. This room has a large crystal in the center surrounded by runes. Many crystal cages surround the room containing villagers.

Sunarias and Tomis succeed in disabling the large crystal in the center releasing everyone from the cages. We lead them back to town. A few villagers are angry with us since their family members died. Davingnon succeeds in calming down one of these, the wife of the miller. A few people are gone from town – presumably cultists who saw us returning and fled. We check for eyes on all remaining townspeople.

We learn Rorig is a ferrier. We sleep at Doria’s place. During breakfast the village elders arrive and give us an ancient shield (perhaps worth 300 gold) for our assistance. Doria asks us where we are going. We’re going to find information on the dragons Sythyx and Melethor. We were told there is a scholar in the town of Althor who knows about such things. Rorig informs us that the bridge on the main road to Althor is out – we have to either backtrack to Fallcrest and take an alternate route through Barrington or take a treacherous path through the mountains. Being adventurers, we opt for the mountains.

A day into travel we come upon the edge of a village. Kid sees us and yells, “They’re here!” Townsman says, “They’re waiting for you in town” and waves us on. Apparently villagers are being attacked by flying monsters of some sort. We hear a scream in the distance. “Thorgrim’s Place – he was having trouble boarding up. Help him!”

Encounter: Two buildings, three drakes. The drakes used to be used as dragonborn as mounts, but are though to have been extinct for at least 500 years. Two drakes were bloodied and flew to the barn. Torinn makes an epic jump to grab a drake and fails. He then knocks one out.

Townsmen come up after we disable drakes. Mavros says they will take us to town hall. After some debate we kill the drakes. Crude map in town hall where other drakes have been seen. Plague on village – no pattern in attacks. They’ve been carrying off livestock and villagers. Apparently the half-orc we met earlier was telling stories of us, presumably to force us to stop and help when we arrive. The villagers expect us to save them.

Kid runs up and says father is dead – more drakes are attacking. We run to help. Only one drake – it is wearing a harness. Drake was nuzzling the “victim”, but sees a butterfly and runs off. Davingnon wakes the father, and he says he was knocked out and hit his head on a rock. Drake is very docile. Obeys Torinn’s commands. Symbol on gear – God Zehir. God of darkness, poison, and assassination.

“Watch this guys.” Torinn gets on him and he flies up and starts bucking. We play with the drake for a while and he seems to like us. We take a health potion, ancient dagger, and an anti-venom tonic. Antique dagger dates back to the dragonborn empire ~ 1000 years back.

We tell it to go home, and while folliwng it we come upon a corpse of a dragonborn who apparently fell off of the drake. He has a tabard in a tree – emblazoned with the symbol of a wing in the shape of a Z. This is not a normal symbol of Zehir. Map on the body showing flight paths as well as a point near the summit of the nearby mountain where the paths converge. We resolve to show the map to the village elders.

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Session 4: Descent into Khyber
In which many eyes and mouths are encountered

 

  • The party carefully entered the cave.
  • there were moving red runes on the cave walls; after some investigation, we walked by them w/o incident
    • Sunarias managed to determine that they were names of people, and most likely victims of some sort of ritual.
  • we came across a circular magical trap on the floor, blocking our path; Sunarias and Tomis disarmed it without incident
  • we came across three desecrated alters to gods of good; we could hear chanting coming from farther in the cave
  • we came across a room of worshipers; in it were several worshipers, an orc, a Dolgont, and a giant eye set in the wall of the cave; Tomis attacked an orc worshiper who turned out to be an ally spying on the worshipers; the eye used mind control to cause Tomis to attack Davingnon; all in all, the fight was very confusing
  • after the fight we talked to the orc Ashalon; it turned out he was there because he was attacked near the cave and wanted to find out what was going on; so he disguised himself and sneaked in; also, he was a scout for the orc armies during the "Orc Wars" and was captured; he was a prisoner of the keep when it fell; Davingnon remembered him; after we argued with him about that, he left
  • when the eye died, a passage opened in the room; Ashalon told us that the passage entrance would only be open for a limited duration
  • we followed the passage; the walls started to become red and slick like the inside of an esophagus; we heard weird whispers in our head; an oppressive magical darkness seemed to be damping our light sources; Sunarias realized that we had entered the realm known as Khyber
  • we came to a room with four Dolgrims around a purple glowing pool; the liquid was the blood of Khyber; we fought and killed the Dolgrims; they had four arms and two mouths and gibbered constantly; they moved twice as fast as a human; we fought and killed them
  • we filled our waterskins with blood of Kyber, turning them into healing potions, and Davingnon and Tomis rested by the pool
  • * we moved further into the tunnel and the darkness become more oppressive; eventually the darkness was almost absolute; we all held onto a rope to keep track of each other
  • the passage expanded again into a room or cave; we were attacked by inky darkness itself; it was a chaotic fight; it enveloped Torinn several times; Tomis attacked a pool of water to great effect; we vanquished the darkness
  • * Tomis dived down into the pool of water, but found nothing; Tomis dumped out the blood fo Khyber and filled his waterskin with the dark water
  • we returned to the blood of Kyber pool and Sunarias and Torinn rested; everyone made Tomis leave his waterskin of dark water behind cause they're jerks (and it was actually bringing the darkness along)
  • we moved on past the cave with the dark pool and entered a room with three Dolgrims and one Dolgont; during the fight we discovered that there were mouths in the floor; they would open up under our feet and bite us; the Dolgont was able to push us all into the mouths using a psychic blast

 

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Session 3: Kobold Hall and Blackroot Village
In which a dragon is nearly slain but escapes and our heros embark upon a delivery quest
  • fought white dragon in ice caves; Sunarias nearly dies
  • found dragon hides, two swords (Luckblade and Lifedrinker), and a note
  • started walking back to Fallcrest
  • was ambushed by wolves; Sunarias nearly dies
  • at Fallcrest Tomis used party’s gold to buy Torinn a nice present (Ropen Belt of Vigor)
  • the rest of the party returned the dragon hide and clockwork to Teldorthan Ironhews
  • he was very happy we returned the clockwork innards and said that they were part of a present for his recently married daughter Doria Grayfist
  • Sunarias visited his wizard’s guild, learned a ritual, and told his teacher Nimozaran the Green that we was going to head out with us; he learned of a dragon sage Yvette in Althor that might know more about the dragon and the dragon’s note
  • we deiced to travel to Althor to learn more about this dragon
  • we agreed to take Teldorthan Ironhews’s finished clock to his daughter as a favor since her new town Blackroot Village was on our way
  • the travel to Blackroot Village took 3 days
  • there were many orcs and half-orcs living there
  • we were confronted in the town by the orc reeve Torash; he asked what our business was; when asked about Doria, he said she went back to Fallcrest; we were suspicious
  • we found Doria’s house and investigated; it was trashed as though there had been a struggle; we found an obsidian stone tip and a necklace with an eye surrounded by obsidian shards
  • a crowd gathered round the house, upset that we were there; they said we had to right searching Doria’s house
  • we left town and followed a group of suspicious people; we found a path they had likely taken and followed it
  • we came to a cave; Tomis sneaked forward to check things out and we were ambushed by two orcs and two humans; Tomis almost died
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Session 2: Kobold Hall
In which a halfling's sense of scale is noticed to be different from that of a dragonborn

Sent Tomis through portcullis to open it and scout the next room. Next room had an altar to Tiamat, about 3 kobolds, and arrow traps activated via pressure plates. Failed horribly at perception.

Tomis sent to scout again. Returns with high tales of giant kobolds on 30 foot high pillars swinging rocks. Ends up being sling kobolds on top of 10 foot high platforms swinging a slimy rock down to hit skulls placed on sarcophagi. A large wooden door between the platforms was locked and barred. Torinn manages to climb up one platform, while Sunarias ignites a fireball on the other platform. Two guard drakes also came up from behind the gate to attack Torinn.

Down the hallway behind the door was a room with a platform in the center and one on the far side. Encountered a flying white drake, a spellcaster kobold, two guard kobolds, and two sling kobolds. Room was trapped with a giant boulder that rolled around the center platform, crushing Tomis at one point. Sunarias fell and almost died, but we barely managed to all survive by ending the fight in time to stabilize Sunarias. Spellcaster kobold had a bag with a key, a message in pig-draconic revealing where a hidden door was located, as well as an Orb of Insurmountable Force which Sunarias carries.

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Session 1: Fallcrest and Kobold Hall
In which our heroes meet each other and enter Kobold Hall

Davingnon, Torinn, and Tomis arrived at Fallcrest. Talked to armorsmith (Teldorthen, dwarf) about repairing Torinn's armor. He asked us to recover a shipment of green dragonhide which was lost when a caravan was waylaid by kobolds at Kobold Hall. Traveled to Kobold Hall and encountered Sunarias, who was sent to there by his mage's guild to investigate. Entered the manor and found a trap door. Went down into the trap door and encountered four kobolds. Fought and killed them.

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