The Emerald Spire Superdungeon

Curiosity Kills
Session 4 - Part 3

The group goes back out into the hallway. Uzure looks to see what the bone priest has on him and finds a bastard sword.

Uzure says to Iocob: “You want this?”

Azure: “Yeah.”

Uzure: “Well I was gonna take it, but I want to know if he wanted it.”

Iocob: “Are you gonna use it?”

Uzure: “No.”

Iocob: “Well someone who can use it needs to take it.”

Azure: “I don’t know how to use it.”

Uzure: “Nobody here uses two handed weapons.”

Iocob: “You can wield it one handed.”

Azure: “How?! That’s impossible!”

Iocob: “No.” He pulls his greatsword out of his sheath one handed and holds it. “Look, right here. See that’s…”

Azure: “The sword is too unwieldy to wield one handed.”

Iocob: “Well, you have to practice a lot.”

Azure: “Oh. I don’t… I have a dagger.”

Iocob: “It’s too heavy for you.”

Uzure: “I have my fists.”

The group moves back into the throne room begins to thoroughly search the room. Azure starts out following him around, but then sits down in the floor with her legs crossed, watching him. Iocob checks out the table again, using detect magic and collecting the loot.

During Uzure’s search he finds a secret door and opens it.

A few wisps of decayed webbing hang from the walls of this room, but there’s none on the stone ceiling and no sign of spiders in the room. The ceiling is blank save for four 1-foot-wide, round steel medallions, one set into each corner. The floor is equally bare except for a pedestal in the center of the floor made of a single five-foot-square block of stone, about two feet high. On the pedestal sits a metal-framed wooden chest, and to the side of the pedestal rests a shallow hole in the floor housing what looks like a brass door handle set into the stone. A stone tile lying loose nearby is clearly designed to fit over the hole, concealing the handle.

Azure: “That’s totally a trap.”

Uzure: “Hmm. So this is trap and this is probably the thing that stops the trap.” Uzure indicates the brass handle.

Iocob and Uzure then talk about the handle being made of metal and that it might be used to conduct electricity. Iocob feels that the handle will electrocute whoever touches it. He asks Azure for some healing from the wand and prepares to try the handle. Azure heals Iocob and moves out of the room. Before Iocob can grab the handle, Uzure says that he will do it and removes his chain shirt, handing it to Azure.

Azure, who is still weak from spider poison, complains about the weight of the armor and drops it beside her. “How do you wear that? It’s like a thousand pounds!”

Iocob also steps out of the room: “I will watch you from here.”

Uzure reaches into the hole to grab the handle, preparing himself to be shocked. He tries to pull the handle, but it does not move. So he twists the handle. Suddenly the ceiling falls and Uzure, having nowhere to run, drops to the floor. The ceiling stops two feet above the floor, suspended in the air.

Azure: “What did you do?!” She peeks around the corner. “That’s not what I expected!”

At that point, Uzure notices that the platform with the chest had sunk into the floor, preventing it from being hit and smashed by the falling ceiling. He starts to crawl out of the room but Azure says “Could you do the opposite of what you did and make the ceiling go back up?”

Uzure: “I don’t know.” He looks at the ceiling right above him and notes that it is not moving.

Azure: “It’s risky.”

Uzure reaches back in the hole and turns the handle back to it’s original position. The ceiling begins to slowly rise back up. He waits until he has room to stand, then looks at the metal disks in the corner of the ceiling to see if they are turning, but they are not moving. He sees that the pedastal and chest rises as the ceiling rises.

Iocob: “Maybe just mess with that.”

Uzure goes over to the chest and kneels, getting ready to react if the ceiling falls again. He tries to open the chest and finds that it is locked. He tries a key that he picked up from the bone priest, but it doesn’t work, so he puts it back around his neck. Inspecting the chest, he sees that it is made of wood and metal. He starts to use his grappling hook to try to break the wood, but then says "Hey! There were some daggers weren’t there? Weren’t there some daggers in that stuff?

Iocob: “Uh, yeah there’s also four longswords. Do you want to use one of those?”

Uzure: “I don’t care. I just want to try and pry this chest open.”

Iocob walks into the room: “Here take a longsword.”

Uzure: “Ok.” He and Iocob both use longswords to try and pry the chest open. It works and the chest pops open.

Iocob has a short celebration: “Yeah… oh!” Then the ceiling falls again. Iocob was looking at the chest and the ceiling smashes into his head, sending him to the floor.

Uzure was watching the ceiling as they were trying to pry open the chest and he again falls to the ground in time to avoid being hit.

Iocob: “I’m just gonna lay here a minute.”

Uzure, lying on his stomach: “Dude, did you not know that was going to happen?!”

Azure: “Reset it with the ring and then hold it so the ceiling doesn’t come down.”

Iocob: “I’m just gonna lay here.”

Uzure crawls over to the handle in the floor and turns it, raising the ceiling again.

Azure: “Hold it so it doesn’t go back down.”

Iocob: “Azure help.”

Azure: “Ok, ok.” She uses the wand to heal him as he crawls out of the room.

Uzure checks the chest. Inside is a bleached cat skull and an aged, handwritten note reading, “Curiosity Kills: another ingenious demise, courtesy of Addington’s Fine Traps and Defenses.” He checks for a false bottom in the chest, but doesn’t find one. So he takes the cat skull to add to the dog skull that he got from the goblins upstairs. Then he hands both the longsword he was using and the one that Iocob dropped back to Iocob.

Azure: “So that’s it. We explored this whole floor right?”

Iocob: “Yeah. Right? I think so. We didn’t go down the hole. We can go down the hole.”

Azure: “No, we’re going to go back to town.”

Uzure replies in regard to the hole in the other room: “Did we search that?”

Azure: “No, we didn’t search it. Do you want to? What if more spiders pop out?”

They look around the throne room one last time to see if they missed anything, then leave the Spire and head towards town.

On the way back to town they notice three barbarians about the time that they charge out of the woods at them. They attack Uzure, Ash and Emon. Ash and Emon were slightly ahead of the rest of the group, leading them through the forest. They combine their efforts and concentrate on one barbarian at a time.

Uzure attacks his target as Azure steps forward to use the healing wand on Iocob, who then steps up to flank Uzure’s enemy with him. Iocob swings his greatsword, which the barbarian dodges, causing Iocob to overextend and expend additional energy.

Ash takes down the first barbarian and she and Emon turn to concentrate on the female barbarian, who then attacks Ash. Ash falls.

The barbarian hits Iocob with his axe, sending him to the ground. Azure runs over and revives Iocob with the healing wand. Then Iocob swings at their enemy from the ground. Uzure continues punching the last male barbarian until he goes down.

Azure then runs over to heal Ash with the wand. She does not wake. The female barbarian turns and runs for the woods. Iocob, Azure and Emon all try to take her down with a combination of melee and ranged attacks as she runs, but she gets away.

Uzure shouts: “I’ll get her!” And he stabilizes Ash to keep her from bleeding out. Azure heals Ash with the wand once more, but she still does not wake. They load Ash up on her horse and continue to town.

View
Gorloth's Sanctum
Session 4 - Part 2

Shabby, mold-covered tapestries hang from ceiling hooks, cloaking one wall of this chamber in faded forest hunting scenes. While probably of decent quality when new, they look sad now.

A plain wooden chair of massive construction stands centered before the tapestries, facing into the room. A large stone table stands against the eastern wall. Weapons and other items are neatly laid out on the table, as if displayed for sale in a shop.

There is a skeleton sitting in the chair and a skeleton standing on each side of the chair.

Part of the group steps into the room and they hear “Who are you and why have you come?” The voice is coming from where the skeleton is seated. Though the group does not know it yet, it isn’t the skeleton speaking, but the bone priest Gorloth, who is hiding behind the tapestries directly behind the throne and watching them through a hole in the cloth.

Theodule: “We are simple adventurers searching for some lost wizards.”

Gorloth: “I have not seen them. This is my home. Leave.”

Blu: “I vote for leaving. That was pretty direct.”

Iocob: “Why would you make your home here?”

Gorloth: “Why should I not make my home here?”

Iocob: “Were you alive when the Spire served it’s original purpose?”

Gorloth: “Why is that any of your business?”

Pause.

Iocob: “It’s just a question.”

Theodule: “Just curious.”

Iocob: “Because it’s a mystery to those on the outside now.”

Losk: “We sorta need to explore this place.”

Gorloth: “You’ve been exploring this place.”

Losk: “How much of this is your home and how much isn’t? That’s what we need to know.”

Gorloth: “This level is my home.”

Iocob: “Well we’ve already been through a third of it at least.”

Theodule: “You have fewer spiders than before.”

Uzure: “And zombies.”

Pashe asks where they need to go to continue into the Spire and Gorloth says: “The pit in the other room.”

Pashe: “That’s the only way down?”

Gorloth: “Yes.”

Pashe: “Ok.”

Iocob: “Would you please answer my question?”

Gorloth: “No.”

Iocob: “What does it serve you not to?”

Gorloth: “I have no reason to.”

Iocob: “You also have no reason not to.”

Gorloth: “Therefore I choose not to.”

Iocob: “That’s true. You can make that choice. Just like we choose not to vacate your level.”

Hearing this, Blu turns and begins to try to sneak away.

Losk leans slightly towards Iocob and says: “We can take this guy.”

The two skeletons standing on either side of the throne charges and misses the group while the one that was seated stands up. Gorloth casts hold person from behind the tapestries at Iocob, to no effect.

Theodule shoots two arrows, hitting both of the skeletons that had charged and sending both of them crumbling to the floor.

Uzure and Quillaithe both move up to attack the remaining skeleton and miss.

Iocob moves forward and hits the skeleton with his greatsword, destroying it also.

Believing the battle is won, Losk moves towards the table that is covered with various weapons and such. He casts detect magic and is able to see that there are magical items on the table. Glancing away from the table, he sees that there is also a glow behind the tapestries behind the throne. “There’s something behind the tapestries. Ugh.”

At the same time, Azure grabs the skull from one of the fallen skeletons and head back to the room with the large pit that leads to the next area. As she drops the skull into the pit, another spider appears from within the webs and attacks her. Azure screams. “The skulls turn into spiders!” Uzure heads toward the sound of his sister screaming.

Hearing Losk say that there was something behind the tapestries intrigued Blu, who moves over to the tapestries to look. Gorloth swings at her with his bastard sword, but misses, and all Blu sees is the tapestries move out towards her.

Azure is still screaming from the other room: “The skulls turn into spiders!”

Uzure runs from the room he’s in to protect his sister and arrives in time to block another attack from the spider. The spider instead bites him. Uzure punches the spider back.

Quillaithe, having heard both that the skeletons don’t die unless you remove their skulls and that the skulls turn into spiders, grabs both the other skulls from the defeated skeletons with the intention of disposing of them.

Iocob also moves towards the table to inspect its contents: four longswords, a masterwork dagger, a buckler a belt of mighty constitution +2, a potion of cure moderate wounds, a flask of acid, and four small leather belt pouches. (Magic items were identified later.) Iocob still keeps an eye on the tapestries in case something tries to attack him.

Azure uses her ability to create and control water to push the spider away from her with a wave of water. Then she moves out of the room to avoid being bitten again. The spider moves back up to Uzure and tries to bite him, but misses. Uzure also misses the spider when he tries to hit it back. Azure steps behind her brother to heal him. Then the spider bites him again.

Blu decides to check for any traps that may be in the area, but sees movement through some holes in the tapestries: “Hey guys, there’s someone back there.”

Gorloth swings his bastard sword again, slicing through part of the tapestries and hitting Blu. Then he moves to the southwest corner of the room, provoking attacks from Pashe and Blu.

Iocob goes behind the tapestry at the other end of the room: “I see you!”

Losk also sees Gorloth, as he is only partially hidden by tapestries now, and takes the opportunity to cast telekinetic fist, damaging the bone priest.

Blu moves to the item table and checks for traps.

Gorloth casts cause fear on Quillaithe, but it does not affect him.

Iocob charges Gorloth and hits him with his greatsword. Losk hits him with his telekinetic fist again. Gorloth pushes through the wall to his left where there is a secret door and he moves through to the next room. Iocob and Quillaithe are both close enough to swing at him as he retreats. Theodule, Quillaithe and Iocob follow Gorloth into the next room.

Gray webbing fills this chamber. Huge cocoons of spider silk hang suspended in the webs, and the webs crawl with countless hundreds of pale little spiders. The spiders begin to form into a swarm. Crawling around and on both Quillaithe and Iocob, as they feel the biting of multiple little spiders. Theodule shoots two arrows at Gorloth, hitting him with both.

Gorloth: “Stop attacking and I’ll tell you where they are.”

Iocob: “Wizards?”

Theodule: “Call your spider thing off.”

Gorloth: “I cannot call the swarm off. I can call the large ones off.”

Theodule: “Do you have any way to defeat the swarm then? Either you kill it or I’m gonna keep killing you. Or we’re just gonna leave this room and lock you in here with it.”

Gorloth: “I have no way to stop it.”

Iocob: “I say we destroy this thing and find them later.”

Another spider appears out of the webs in the pit room. It tries to attack, but slips as it lunges forward and appears to bite itself.

Losk makes his way around through the secret door that they entered Gorloth’s sanctum through, seeing Uzure and Azure fighting a couple giant spiders: “Jeez, what are ya’ll doing in there?” Azure stays behind Uzure in the hallway, healing him as needed as he battles the spiders. Blu comes up behind Azure to receive healing as well.

Quillaithe hits Gorloth with his scimitar, doing little damage, but still slowly chipping away at the bone priest’s health. Iocob and Pashe both try to attack Gorloth, but miss. Gorloth tries again to run, provoking attacks from all combatants in melee with him. Iocob swings his greatsword and takes him out.

Everyone who is in the room with the swarm exits, Iocob pulling the body of Gorloth out with him and closing the door behind him. Then he searches Gorloth, casting detect magic, and finds that a pouch around his neck is glowing. It contains a vial of silversheen and a Spire transport token. As he is doing this he calls out to Azure: “Is everything OK down there?”

Azure: “The skull turned into two spiders!”

Uzure is finally able to kill the first spider and shifts his attention to the second one. Theodule assists Uzure with the spider, shooting arrows at it while Uzure continues punching it.

The spider swarm moves out of the room into the hallway, coming out from under and around the closed door, swarming on and around Iocob. He snatches the pouch off of Gorloth’s body and moves down the hallway away from the swarm, but the swarm follows him, biting and nauseating him.

Azure: “What is that?! He brought more spiders! Thousands of them!” Azure pushes the giant moon spider further into the room with her water ability and runs into the west side of the room, trying to avoid both the giant spider and the spider swarm that is coming down the hallway. The moon spider moves back up to Uzure and bites him.

Iocob moves into the room with the moon spider and flanks it with Uzure, hitting it with his greatsword and killing it.

Azure, screeching, continues to run through the west door in the room to avoid the spider swarm coming in the room from the south. Theodule, who is still in the hallway, is swarmed and bitten by the tiny spiders. He moves into the room to lead the spiders in.

Uzure moves by his sister to protect her. Iocob waits for the swarm to get closer and prepares to ignite his sword, holding it in the webs. The spider swarm enters the room, following Theodule, and swarms over both him and Iocob, who ignites his sword and sets the webs aflame. Theodule, Iocob and the spider swarm are all burned by the flames.

Iocob, heads towards Uzure and Azure in the hallway to try to escape the spiders and the fire. Theodule, seeing that Iocob may not last much longer, stays within the swarm and fire, trying to distract the swarm from following Iocob. Azure heals Iocob when he gets to the hallway.

After what seems like forever, the swarm finally disperses due to the fire Theodule has to move through a room full of webs on fire to get out and falls unconscious just as he makes it to the door, falling into the hallway. Iocob and Azure both heal Theodule, bringing him back to consciousness.

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The Goldenfire Order
Session 4 - Part 1

After the negotiations with the Lady Commander are complete, the group decides that they should still stay in town for a couple days because Theodule is still feeling rather weak from spider poison. Losk and Quillaithe use the time to make scrolls and learn spells, respectively. Only part of the group stays at their dilapidated house while the other part stays at the inn, but no one has any further contact with the mysterious beings that were in the house.

The next day, Iocob receives a visitor at his room at the inn. He hears a knock at his door and opens it. Theron, Abernard’s apprentice, is standing there.

Theron: “Abernard is requesting your group to meet with him at his house.”

Iocob: “Why did you not find Losk?”

Theron: “I didn’t… I… I don’t know.” Theron wasn’t really expecting that question. He was just told to find the group at the inn. Iocob’s room was closer than Losk’s.

Iocob steps out past Theron and goes a short way down the hall to Losk’s room and knocks on the door. Losk opens the door.

Losk: “What’s up? Ugh.”

Iocob: “Um, the wizard.”

Losk: “The wizard? Alright I guess I should go see him.”

Iocob: “Lord Abernard requests our presence.”

Losk then goes to Blu’s room and knocks on the door.

She answers the door. “Hello?”

Losk: “We need to go see the wizard.”

Blu: “I was gonna have a spa day.”

Losk: “No. No spa day. I was workin’ on a scroll. Ugh.”

They go get Quillaithe from his room as well.

Losk: “Alright so let’s head over to the wizard’s house.”

Iocob: “Let me put my armor on first. Would you like to help me?”

Losk: “Uh…”

Iocob: “Someone? Please?”

Losk: “Theron, why don’t you run over to the house and get the other four?”

Theron: “Ok.” He takes off.

Losk realizes that Iocob is still waiting for someone to answer his question. “Oh, you need help gettin’ your armor on?”

Iocob: “It’d be quicker.”

Quillaithe: “I can do that.” He helps Iocob.

It doesn’t take Theron much time to arrive at the house and he knocks. He waits a moment and hears nothing, so he says: “Hello?” Pashe answers the door.

Theron: “Abernard’s requesting your presence.”

Pashe: “Guys, they need us!”

Azure: “Who? Who needs us?”

Pashe: “That Aber…doodie…”

Azure: “Who’s Aberdoodie?”

Pashe: “I don’t know. That one guy.”

Azure asks Theron: “Who’s Aberdoodie?”

Theron: “Abernard?” He asks quizzically. Do they really not know his name?

Azure: “She said ‘Aberdoodie’.”

Pashe: “I sure did.”

Theron: “Ab-er-nard. Abernard.” He enunciates, somewhat offended that they can’t seem to remember his master’s name.

Azure: “Who’s Abernard?”

There is a pause. Theron’s not sure how to respond. Apparently these people have no respect. “The wizard that’s paying you to explore the Spire?” He still can’t believe they don’t know.

Azure: “Oh is he the guy in the house place?”

Theron: “He lives in a house. Yes.” Annoyed.

Azure: “I think I remember him.”

Uzure: “I do too.”

Azure: “Alright.”

Uzure: “Should we go tell the others in the inn?”

Theron: “No, they sent me here. They’ve already been informed.”

Azure: “You went there first?!” Incredulously.

Theron: “Yeah.” He thinks to himself: Why is she aggravated? Who cares where I went first? I went where I was told. You can’t even remember Abernard’s name!!!

Pause.

Azure: “That’s not nice.”

Theron: “That’s where I was told to go.”

Pashe: “They don’t know about the house. We’ll tell them we bought the house.”

Azure: “Should we tell the demon?”

Pause.

Uzure: “Is he here?”

Azure: “I think so.” She goes to the basement where Theodule is and tells him: “Hey, the wizard house man needs us.”

Finally, everyone is told, gets ready and shows up at Abernard’s house. Theron walks in and leads them up to the second floor laboratory. Abernard is there, but there is also a woman sitting with Abernard having a discussion, which they stop when the group walks in. The group does not recognize the woman.

Abernard greets the group and then makes introductions: " This is my friend Iliara Starcloak. She has asked me for a favor that requires someone to go to the Emerald Spire. As you are already making your way through the Spire, I thought that you might be interested. I’ll let her tell you the rest."

Blu: “Ok.”

Iliara: " I’m here in Fort Inevitable because several weeks ago a couple wizards from our Order…"

Iocob and Uzure interrupt.

Iocob: What Order?

Uzure: What’s the Order?

Iliara answers their question and continues: “The Goldenfire Order. They were on a mission to the Emerald Spire and they’re missing. They haven’t reported in.”

Blu sounds concerned: “Oh.”

Theodule starts: “Well we haven’t seen any….”

Iocob interrupts again: “We haven’t seen them.”

Azure: “What were they wearing and what do they look like? Cause they’re probably dead.”

Iliara: “Their names are Tiawask and Jharun.”

Azure: “That might not help us out if they’re dead.”

Iliara: “They are both young adult humans with dark hair. Tiawask is female and Jharun is male. They were probably wearing robes, though I can’t know for sure what color. Jharun also carries a staff. I’m willing to pay 2,000 gold for each wizard.”

Uzure: “Do you want us to bring their bodies?”

Iliara: “I am hoping that you find them alive. But yes, even if you find them deceased I would still pay you for them.”

Azure: “So you want their corpses?”

Iliara: “So we can give them a proper burial, yes.”

Losk: “That’s a lot of gold. We’ll try to find them.”

Uzure: “It is a lot of gold. And it’s worth carrying the bodies back I think.”

Quillaithe: “I’ve got floating disk; we don’t have to carry ’em.”

Iocob: “I don’t know what that is but what he said sounds amazing.”

Azure: “I have to ask because of the things we’ve ran into: do they need all their items on them? Because, some of the things we’ve run into we’ve looted ’em.”

Iliara: “Well, I would prefer you not take their items from them.”

Azure: “But what if someone else takes them? Do we have to hunt down their items or…?”

Pause.

Theodule: “We don’t want you to be like ‘Yes, 2,000 gold per wizard.’ Fine print…”

Uzure: “We get back and you’re like ‘I needed their necklaces!’”

Theodule: “Yeah.”

Iliara: “No, I’m not asking for the return of their possessions. I’m asking for their return.”

The group agrees to help Iliara.

Iliara: “If you would report your findings to Abernard, I would appreciate it. I will not necessarily be in town. I’ve got to go back to the Order.”

Blu: “Ok.”

Iliara: “He’ll let me know.”

Blu: “Have a pleasant trip.”

Losk: “Ugh. Alright. Ugh. Let’s go. Ugh.”

The group stays one more night in Fort Inevitable and heads out for the Emerald Spire the next morning. When they get to the second level of the Spire, they notice that the makeshift bridge they had put across the pit trap in the first hallway was no longer there. Uzure looks in the room where they originally obtained the table and it’s not there either. Blu tries to disarm the trap, but ends up setting it off and the floor opens up, revealing the pit trap once again. After a short discussion about what to do, the group decides to back-track to the first room and try a door there that they haven’t tried yet.

Blu checks the door for traps and doesn’t find any, so she tries to open the door and realizes that it is locked. She tries use her masterwork thieves tools to lift the latch holding the door in place, but is having trouble.

Azure: “What do we have you here for? Can’t stop traps. Can’t open doors.”

Uzure: “She’s not used to these locks.”

Iocob steps forward to try his hand (or better still, his sword), but then sees that the door is made of stone, so breaking through it with his weapon isn’t feasible.

A moment later, Blu manages to get the latch to release. “Got it.” Iocob opens the door. They see a hallway that has a closed door at the other end and a small alcove with a door 10 feet forward and to the left. The door to the left is held open by a jagged chunk of masonry positioned as a doorstop. The group moves forward to the open door and Blu, not trusting even open doors, checks it for traps, but finds none. Iocob pulls the door open wider so that they may see inside.

This large room has a wide hole in the center of its floor. A heavy, welded steel ladder descends straight down from the lip of this shaft. The extent and depth of the space below are concealed behind the many crisscrossing, whitish-gray spider webs filling the pit.

There is a door directly across the room from them and another door in the wall to the right. Both of these doors are also held ajar by chunks of masonry. Iocob walks to the door on the right and starts to go through it when a giant spider hiding in the webs above him throws a web at him, entangling him.

Theodule shoots a couple arrows at the spider, hitting it in the heart with the second arrow, effectively stopping the combat before it really started. The spider falls out of the webs, dead.

Iocob continues through the doorway into another hallway. As he turns to head down the hallway, he feels the floor move beneath him and he jumps back just in time to avoid yet another pit trap filled with webs. “There’s a pit. Found it.”

Losk steps into the hallway then and notices that the stone on the wall to the left of him doesn’t line up perfectly. He looks closer and notices that it’s a door. “There’s a secret door right there.”

Blu looks over the wall and also sees the secret door: “Would you like me to check it for traps?” Without receiving an answer one way or the other, Blu uses her skills to inspect the door and tells the party that she doesn’t see any traps on it.

Azure takes a closer look at the wall and Losk points out the unusual stonework. “There is a secret door there. You’re really smart for noticing that. Or perceptive. I guess intelligence doesn’t really help you see.”

Losk steps through the secret door and finds a small 10′ × 15′ space with nothing in it, but immediately notices that the wall ahead of him is also a secret door.

Azure and Blu look over the wall and do not see where it opens at.

Azure: “Looks like a wall.”

Losk becomes impatient with the rest of the group not being able to see the door and opens it himself, not waiting for Blu to check for traps.

Blu: “Ah. Now I see the door.”

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Taxes Suck / Intruder Alert!
Session 3 - Part 3

After this, the group decides to head back to town. As usual, they stop at Mosswater Gate, to have their items inspected. The lead Hellknight at the gate, Maralictor Kiera Wirt, goes through their gear and sees that they have several magical items. She says as much and Iocob replies, “We didn’t know it was magical.” She looks at Iocob and says, “Come on guys. I know better.”

As she is unable to estimate the value of magical items, she sends another Hellknight off to retrieve their appraiser while she is checking the other items. While doing this, she sees that they also have a magical ring and a couple potions.

Iocob: “Man… really?”

Kiera: “I’m sorry guys.”

Losk: “You know what?” And he takes the potions and breaks them in front of her. “Now there are no vials of liquid.”

Kiera gives Losk a stony glare, but as he does and says nothing further, she does and says nothing further. Though she is not pleased with Losk’s attitude, as at any other gate they would have been arrested for that.

They leave the gate and go sell the loot that they don’t wish to keep. Azure asks to keep the horn, that was identified as a Horn of Fog, so she gets that. After they have done their shopping, the group figures out how much they will have to pay in taxes and realizes that, aside from keeping the horn, they are only keeping barely over 100 gold. So they decide that they are going to talk to the Lady Commander to renegotiate their taxes. They figure out what they are going to say and decide that Losk and Iocob will be the only two going to discuss this with her.

Losk and Iocob go to the Citadel and meet with the castellan, Karn, who they usually pay the taxes to.

Iocob: “Do we talk to you about the taxes?”

Karn: “What do you mean ‘about the taxes’?”

Losk: “We would like to work out a deal.”

Iocob: " We’re in a situation where our trips to the Emerald Spire have become almost reverse profitable for us. We’re pulling in a negative because we can’t keep what we need to progress further. So do we need to talk to the Lady Commander or do we need to talk to you?"

Karn, somewhat uncomfortable with discussing a person’s request to pay less taxes: “Uh, yeah. That would be something for the Lady Commander.”

Iocob: “Alright.”

Karn: " You need to go down the hallway and see Erron Nythist. He’s the chamberlain. He handles all her appointments."

Losk: “Ok. Well we’ll go see him. Should we pay this giant bag of gold we have?”

Karn: “If you aren’t leaving town and you want to wait until after you talk to her, that’s fine.”

Iocob: “Yes.”

Losk picks up the bag of gold, slinging it over his shoulder with what appears to be great effort, though somewhat exaggerated.

They go down to the chamberlain’s office and re-explain their situation.

Erron: “Ok.” He opens a book. “It’s gonna take a couple of days for me to fit you in. Day after tomorrow at 11?”

Losk: “Yes sir, Mr. Nythist. Day after tomorrow at 11.”

Iocob: “Sounds good.”

They both leave and meet back up with the group. There is a short discussion about where they are going to stay the next couple of nights. Azure, Uzure and Theodule opt to stay in the dilapidated house that they are working on purchasing. Losk and Iocob go to an inn.

When they walk in, Azure and Theodule see movement out of the corner of their eye. They turn and look, but can’t tell what it was that they saw. They see whatever it was head downstairs, and think that it may be a medium humanoid, but even that they aren’t sure of.

Azure: “Well we have squatters in our house. We should probably go inform them that this house is now purchased and maybe make a deal with them to stay around if we pay them and they can like, help fix up the house and stuff. Instead of just trying to kick them out. I think that’s a good idea. But first we gotta go talk to them.”

Azure looks at the stairs down to see if any of them look like they have been used more, but can’t see that any of them have. She carefully makes her way down the creaky and shifty stairs, with Uzure and Theodule following behind.

Theodule: “Hey! We can try to sneak.”

Azure: “No, we’re not sneaking. We want them to know we’re coming. We’re not trying to scare them.” Then Azure starts speaking to whatever they saw, though she cannot see them. “I hate to inform you, but this house has been bought and is no longer vacant. If you still need a place to live though, you can come talk to us and maybe we can make you a deal, as we need a caretaker.”

There is no response.

Azure: “We mean you no harm, but here soon, we’re going to have people come in here to rebuild the place. And if they did not know you were here, which we will not tell them unless you show your presence, then it could scare them and they might attack out of fear. I would rather this not happen. I think we can find a better way to deal with this situation.”

Uzure and Theodule are looking around the room as Azure is saying this, but they still don’t see anyone and there is no response.

Theodule: “There’s no one down here.”

Uzure: “I am not going to stay in this house if somebody ran down here and we can’t find them.”

They all search the floor for tracks in the dust and dirt and even search the walls for secret doors. They are taking their time and going over every inch of it, as Uzure is afraid that his sister will be attacked if he doesn’t, and they find a hidden door in the sewer access room, where all the piping from the house runs to the sewers.

Uzure: "Well, do you want to run to the hotel and get the others? Our do you just want us to handle this ourselves?

Theodule: “Uh, probably want to go get the others but I can stay here.”

Uzure: “You wanna stay here?”

Theodule: “Yeah. Or one of you…”

Azure: “You probably shouldn’t stay here. You’re a little bit… you’re a devil.”

Theodule: “Yeah, I also probably don’t need to be running through town either.”

Azure: “They’re used to you in town.”

Theodule: “Not really.”

Uzure: “Alright, I’ll go get the others.”

Theodule hides in the shadows of the dark laundry room.

Azure sits on the bottom of the steps and continues to try to coax them out while Uzure runs to get Losk and Iocob at the inn.

From beyond the wall, Azure hears in a whispery voice with a shifting tone. “What do you propose?”

Azure: “Well, sadly enough, although I do not care so much the people in this town do. So… what race of person am I speaking to? Cause that will change the deal.”

There is no response.

Azure: “If you are a type of people that need to hide from anyone else in this town then we won’t be able to send you out on errands. That’s why I ask. Thus, your job would be different. You couldn’t be a normal housecarl.”

From beyond the wall. “We don’t make ourselves known.”

Azure: “We need someone to take care of this place while we’re gone. And it could be very lucrative for that person.”

From beyond the wall: “Again, what do you propose?”

Azure: “They would have to guard the house. Keep it safe. And not draw more interest to the house than normally would be.”

From beyond the wall: “We haven’t so far.”

Azure: “Well, pretty much this would be a legitimate job. This would be a stop to all illegal business, if you do any. Not that I care, but it would draw attention to this place. But the legal business that you would get instead would probably be way more lucrative than anything you’re doing now.”

From beyond the wall: “We will consider it.”

Azure: “We plan to stay here tonight, as this is our house. You may come and talk to us if you wish, but otherwise, do not disturb us. The Hellknights of this town can be a very vicious people. To have a legitimate job like this would be very helpful in staying alive without drawing attention. And even though you’ve been good at not being seen so far, we did see you guys as soon as we came in this house. So you won’t be able to hide yourselves from everybody. And it’s better to show yourselves to us and make a deal with us, so that we can protect you, than accidentally be seen by them and face dire consequences.”

While that conversation is happening, Uzure gets to the inn and goes to Iocob’s room.

Uzure: “There’s something in our house. Some peoples. We found a secret door in the basement. We didn’t want to proceed without you guys.”

Iocob: “Uh, will you help me don armor?” Iocob also knocks on the wall, since Losk’s room is next door, and says: “Hey!”

Losk comes over: “What’s up? Ugh.”

Iocob: “There’s a tunnel underneath our house.”

Losk: “Ugh.”

Iocob: “I know right.”

Losk grabs his gear and they go. When they arrive Azure says, “I talked to them and they are considering to take care of the house, stopping any illegitimate businesses they may have and I’m just gonna let them be.”

Iocob: “Who is it?”

Azure: “They didn’t show themselves. I don’t believe they are human, as they sound non-human.”

Uzure: “But there’s a secret door down there.”

Azure: “Are you gonna barge in on them? You don’t have to stay here tonight but I still am.”

Uzure: “Well then I have to stay here tonight and I’ll be awake the whole damn night.”

Azure: “That’s your choice.”

Losk: “So you brought me over here for nothin?”

Uzure: “Well, you know, I didn’t know she was gonna keep talkin.”

Azure: “We didn’t know they were gonna talk. They hadn’t up to this point.”

Theodule: “They could’ve came out and attacked.”

Nothing further is said on the subject so they head back to the ground floor. There, it is easily seen that others have been living there. Now that they have time to look, there are bedrolls and lots of cloths, some weapons, etc. Azure moves all of this stuff downstairs by the door and goes back upstairs. The rest of the night is uneventful, though the stuff left by the secret door is gone when they wake up.

The next day, Azure goes to speak to Zoldor about fixing up the house. Zoldor tells her that it is going to cost 1,700 gold to fix up the house. Azure says, “Ok.” And she leaves, going back to the inn to tell Losk and Iocob how much it’s going to be to fix the house. After she leaves there, she goes to the gate market and buys some flowers to put in the house windows. She grabs what she wants, hands the woman running the stall 2 gold, and starts to walk off. The woman, Ilyana Stonde, calls out to her. “Wait! That’s too much.” And she hands Azure 1 gold back.

Azure: “Oh. I didn’t know. I’ll make sure to come to you for all my flowery needs.”

There isn’t anything else that the group really does that day, though Uzure does buy fresh produce for them to eat, and they leave some by the secret door as well. But the next day, they have an appointment with the Lady Commander. Losk and Iocob arrive at the Citadel by 11 and are escorted to her office. She motions for them to take a seat, which they do.

Losk: "On our last adventure into the dungeon, in search for the “Crowned Skull”, we brought back goods totaling in excess of 3,400 gold. And our tax liability on that gold and other items we found was 1,111 gold, bringing the total taxes that we paid in the 8 days we’ve been going into the dungeon to over 3,000 gold. We were thinking that perhaps we could work a better deal."

Iocob: “We provide more than enough economic boost to the city, where we’re trying to buy the house, of course it hinders us greatly that we have to pay a 30 percent tax rate. But we’ve already made slight improvements to the inside, I’m assured. We also are having problems as we traverse lower into the Spire with simply how powerful the creatures there are. Which becomes even more of a problem when we have to give up any enchanted items to the city because we can’t afford our tax levee. So, Lady Commander Drovust, we would like to renegotiate a special tax rate for us so we may be able to perform the contracts that you have given us and be prepared for any forth going activities. We had discussed lowering the rate to 15 percent.”

Losk: "Or in addition to that, or alternatively, we could… any items that we are going to be using, not pay tax on until such time as we sell them.

The Lady Commander sat and listened to their request without saying a word. Several times there were openings for her to speak, but she was thinking, so they continued, out of nervousness she assumed. She continues to stay silent for several long moments, thinking and watching them.

She finally speaks, slowly and deliberately: “First, for clarity, was your request to lower to 15 percent or to keep items that you haven’t sold or both?”

Iocob: “15 percent.” Pause. “I think we’re in agreement that keeping the items that we need will be better, without paying taxes on them. But in the long run we would like to look at the opportunity to have both.”

Losk: “But if we have to choose, keeping the items.”

Pause.

Iocob: “Respectfully.”

Again there is a long pause. So one said 15 percent and one said keeping the items. Sure, that clarifies things. She spends some time thinking.

Drovust: “Ok.” Pause. “I’m willing to lower to 15 percent.” Pause. “And let you keep items you’re using.” Pause. “However, there may sometimes be… jobs that either Hellknights don’t have time to do or are not appropriate to complete.”

Iocob: “Done.”

Losk: “Done.”

Drovust: “In this, no one is to know that you are doing these jobs for the Hellknights.”

Iocob: “That’s fine. Discretion is something that we can do.”

Drovust: “Then we’re in agreement.” She hands him a sealed envelope. “Take this to Karn when you go to pay your taxes.”

The deal is struck and they exit the office.

View
Tomb Raiders
Session 3 - Part 2

This large stone chamber contains two clusters of four stone caskets each. In the center of the room, between the two groupings, stands an empty, unlit iron brazier that is covered with soot and smells faintly of past fires. Drapes of dust-covered spider webs cling to the ceiling. This room is dark and silent with no luminescent moss. Blu steps forward to search the room.

A chill breeze arises from nowhere with an eerie howl. The room seems to darken, and in the sudden gloom, scores of small spectral eyeballs appear, drifting with the breeze. They peer intensely before fading away.

Losk moves forward and lights the brazier.

Blu: “Are we grave robbing?”

Azure: “I will not let you do that.”

Uzure: “No.”

Iocob: “That’s what we’re here for. We’re here to accumulate treasure.”

Uzure: “Not from graves.”

Iocob: “The culture that was here all died. We’ve already robbed bodies. So… yeah, we’re gonna take some treasure from dead people.”

Uzure: “We’ve robbed bodies of people we’ve beat up that didn’t originally live here. We didn’t rob any tombs.”

Iocob: “We still robbed the dead! The dead. We’ve robbed the dead.”

Uzure: “Not dead that were…”

Azure: “…put where they’re supposed to be.”

During this discussion, Marya takes a closer look at the tombs. They don’t look disturbed, but they also don’t look sealed by anything aside from the lids being put into place.

Uzure: “These people were sacredly put here.”

Iocob: “We don’t know that.”

Uzure: “They’re in tombs!”

Iocob: “Yeah. If you died in the hall next door, I’d probably put you in one of these sarcophagi so something didn’t eat you.”

Azure: “Well that’s nice of you.”

Iocob: “Yeah, you know…”

Azure: “We still shouldn’t bother these tombs.”

Long pause.

Theodule tries to choose his words carefully: “I don’t know. I feel… part of our mission was to… defile these places anyway.”

Uzure: “No, he never said anything about defiling the place.”

Iocob: “We’re not defiling…”

Theodule: “Well of course he’s not gonna say ‘Hey go defile this tomb’ because he wants us to go do it!”

Azure: “Why are we listening to the devil again?”

Long pause.

Iocob: “You don’t have to listen to the devil, but we need to learn as much about this as possible.”

Losk: “You also don’t have to participate. To be blatantly honest. Ya’ll can wait out here.”

Iocob: “Then we’ll be the unclean ones.”

Theodule: “Everyone thinks I’m unclean already so…”

Iocob: “What if there are no bodies in here? What if there are undead in the sarcophagi?”

Theodule: “That might be a good reason not to open it, but there is a high likely-hood that these are empty because we saw all the humanoid bodies have been dissected…”

Marya: “The tombs look undisturbed.”

Azure: “I will take no part in it. And you guys are left to your own devices for what happens afterwards.”

Iocob: “That’s fine.”

Azure: “Cause I cannot condone…”

Iocob: “I’m going in here and I am opening stuff. Who is going with me?”

Theodule: “I will prepare to shoot anything that comes out of them.”

Blu: “Ok. I’ll come help you.”

Azure and Uzure go out in the hallway while the rest of the group stays to loot the tombs.

The group gathers around one of the tombs and lifts the lid off. Once the lid is off, a skeletal hand reaches out and swipes at Quillaithe, but misses. Then the group hears the sound of the stone lids sliding off the other sarcophagi.

Iocob yells to Azure and Uzure in the hallway, being sarcastic: “Undead! Are undead bad?! Undead!”

Quillaithe and Blu both try to hit the skeleton with their weapons, but the blades go between the skeletons ribs and do no damage.

Theodule hits the skeleton, but does not kill it. Iocob remembers that bludgeoning weapons work better against skeletons, so instead of using his greatsword, he pulls out an unlit torch, uses it as a club, and smashes the thing.

The lids fall off of 5 of the remaining 7 caskets and the skeletons get out and stand up. Quillaithe tries to hit one of them with a Ray of Frost spell, but misses. Seeing his attempt, Theodule informs Quillaithe, “They’re immune to cold damage!” Marya, seeing that Iocob used a torch to hit the skeleton instead of his greatsword, moves up to a different one, turns her trident sideways, and smacks the skeleton with the side of her weapon, sending it crumbling to the floor.

Losk hits another skeleton with his staff and it crumbles. Losk looks surprised for a moment, then extremely proud of himself. One of the two skeletons attacking Iocob hits him with one bony hand, then swings again with the other hand, but hits the other skeleton instead. Quillaithe punches a skeleton and it tries to swing back, but misses as it crumbles to the floor.

Blu decides that she can’t do much to harm the skeletons anyway, and since there are none close to her, she pushes the lid off of one of the caskets that didn’t open and retrieves a horn and a scimitar from inside. Marya swings at her skeleton again, but accidentally hits the coffin and drops her weapon. Iocob kills his skeleton with his makeshift club and Theodule takes down the last skeleton with a punch.

As combat is over, Blu continues around the room and retrieves a scimitar from all of the coffins, 8 in total. Blu hands over the loot she found to Losk, who can tell that the horn has a faint magical aura of conjuration.

They head back out of the room into the hallway and Blu checks the door they had previously passed for traps, then Marya tries to open the door, but it is locked. Blu tries to disable the lock, but fails. Iocob asks if anyone has a crowbar and Marya hands him one, so he and Losk work to pry open the door and manage to do so after a couple of minutes.

Wisps of decayed and sagging spider webs droop from the walls of this room, which appears to be empty except for the long-dead, dismembered corpse of a giant spider and a stout, freestanding wooden closet in the southwestern corner. The ceiling is covered with dusty spider webs bulging down from a grid of wooden beams and plaster fifteen feet above the floor. Faint moans and plaintive sobbing come from the closet.

Iocob: “There is a thing in this closet.”

Uzure: “So open it and see what it is.”

Iocob: “Alright.”

Theodule: “Try to talk to it.”

Blu: “Yeah, talk to it before opening it.”

Iocob moves forward and reaches out to open the closet. The moment the closet is touched, the voice ceases and the closet collapses, the heavy panels falling outward. Then out rushes a zombie. The zombie loses his footing on the panels and Iocob uses this opportunity to trip the zombie, causing it to fall prone, though the zombie does hit him as it falls.

Theodule shoots an arrow at the zombie and hits it squarely in the chest. Iocob hits the zombie with his sword, then turns and walks towards the rest of the party at the other end of the room saying, “Heal please? Anyone?” But before he can reach them, a heavy weighted net falls through the thin plaster of the ceiling panel directly overhead, knocking him unconscious. Uzure and Marya both move up and attack the zombie, killing it, and Azure heals Iocob.

View
Spider Infestation
Session 3 - Part 1

Pashe, who is still in town, comes across a couple of other people, a female Fetchling Rogue named Blu and a male Drow Magus named Quillaithe, who are also interested in adventuring. Thinking “the more the merrier”, she invites them to come along and leads them to the Emerald Spire.

The smaller group arrives while the main group is still in the room with the cage, right after they managed to get Losk free. They go back out to the hallway and head towards the door at the end, Marya leading the party as normal. Then suddenly, the floor beneath Marya’s feet falls away as she just manages to jump back in time to keep from falling. Below is a 10 ft drop with spikes at the bottom, a skeleton lying among the spikes. Blu comes forward to inspect the floor, informing the party that she can’t reset it to where they can walk across the floor, as it looks like it was just held up by webbing. After some discussion, they grab the 20 ft. long, 5 ft. wide table out of the room they were just in and place it across the 10′ × 10′ hole in the floor for a makeshift bridge. The bridge seems a little rickety, but manages to hold the weight of a person, so they continue. Right after crossing their bridge they come to a door, which Blu checks for traps and Marya opens.

The walls and ceiling of this room are hidden behind a thick gray-white forest of spider webs that blocks all vision beyond ten feet. Webs are everywhere, creating a maze of vertical sheets. Gray, furry dust clings to the sticky, white webs. The desiccated, shriveled corpse of a long-dead man hangs spread-eagle across one of these layers of webbing, and rusty swords, daggers, and axes hang securely from others.

Marya looks at the webs and says, “Should I burn it?” Someone hands her a torch and the webs catch fire, spreading throughout the room, but slower than they expected. Some smoke starts billowing out into the hallway, but not so bad that it is difficult to breathe. After about a minute or so of waiting for the webs to burn away, a misty vapor suddenly arises around them filling almost the entire hallway, obscuring all sight, including darkvision, beyond 5 feet.

Out of the mist in the room, a pale and round-bodied giant spider the size of a large dog comes into Marya and Blu’s view. Its crimson eyes glitter with malign intelligence as it attacks Blu, sinking its fangs into her. In addition to the pain, Blu feels herself weaken due to the spider’s poison.

Theodule, who was standing on the other side of the hole in the floor, also sees a spider come up out of the hole, onto the bridge in front of him, as he too feels the weakening bite of the spider.

The_Cellars.jpg

Before anyone has a chance to react from the appearance of the spiders, they attack again. This time the one that bit Blu bites Marya, who is standing next to her. The spider does an extreme amount of damage to Marya as well as poisoning her, causing her to fall unconscious. As she falls, the spider attempts to finish her off, biting her again.

The spider that bit Theodule turns its attention to Iocob, sinking his teeth in. However, Iocob manages to shake off the effects of the poison.

Uzure: “Where is the enemy?”

Theodule: “There’s one in front of me!”

Losk: “I’m assuming they’re all in front of us.”

Uzure can’t see the enemy, but he drops his torch and moves forward towards them.

Iocob swings at the spider in front of him, and although it is difficult to see, he hits the spider with his greatsword and does quite a bit of damage, but is unable to kill it.

Azure and Pashe are both unsure what to do since they cannot see, so they stay where they are at the back of the hallway.

Losk: “What’s going on?”

Theodule yells, “Spiders!”, as he punches the spider in front of him and Iocob. The spider’s legs curl up and it falls off the bridge into the pit. He moves forward to get closer to the other spider.

Blu tries to hit the spider in front of her with her rapier, but misses. At that point she decides to back away from combat, as she is badly injured from the spider’s initial attack.

Quillaithe moves toward the sound of combat and stops next to the fallen Marya with a spider standing right in front of him. The spider tries to bite him, but misses.

Uzure moves up to where he can see Marya and reaches down to touch her. Instantly, her wounds stop bleeding.

Iocob tries to move forward, but due to the narrow hallway, he is unable to get to where he can reach the other spider.

Uzure: “Sister! There’s someone hurt up here!” Azure moves towards the sound of her brother’s voice, but comes to the bridge and stops, not sure if it will hold both her and Blu, who is standing on it.

Azure: “Hey, get off the bridge! I can’t move across it!”

Uzure, who is standing on the “bridge”, but not where it is over the pit, thinks that Azure is talking to him. “Just a minute!”

Losk moves up to the edge of the pit, next to Azure. “I can’t get across cause people are in my way! I can’t even see where I’m going!”

Uzure: “Just a minute!!!”

Theodule, who has further weakened from the effects of the poison, swings at the spider and misses.

Blu moves off the bridge, away from combat, next to Pashe. She is also still suffering the effects of the poison.

Quillaithe swings at the spider with his scimitar and misses. The spider tries to bite him back. Uzure, seeing the spider’s intention to lunge, immediately pushes Quillaithe, which moves him just enough to make the spider miss. Uzure then tries punching the spider and misses.

Azure reaches down to heal Marya and moves forward off the bridge. Marya does not awake.

Losk moves forward and tumbles to try to get past the spider without being bitten. Unfortunately, he gets closer to the spider than he intends and is almost bitten, but Uzure grabs him and pulls him out of harm’s way.

At this point, the poison has really begun to take a serious effect on some of them and due to this, they have a hard time hitting the spider. The spider takes advantage of this and bites Losk, poisoning him.

Azure uses another cure spell on Marya and it heals her enough for her to wake. She stands up and asks, “You guys got this up there?”

Uzure: “Yeah.”

Marya, still badly injured, moves further away from the fight, not wanting to move closer anyway due to her fear of spiders. And the fact that it nearly killed her didn’t help matters.

Finally, Theodule manages to do enough damage to the spider to kill it.

Marya: “Ok. Can we go home now?”

There is a discussion about whether or not they are going back to town. Pashe decides to go back to town. The rest of the group decides to rest in the dungeon, but then can’t decide where in the dungeon. They talk about resting in the room with the cage and the room in the upper tower, but ultimately decide to rest in the room with the human-sized bed on the previous floor. They set up watches and bed down. They do not get attacked in the night and the next morning they work on getting everyone back to fighting condition with Azure healing the group. Then they head back down to the room they tried to enter yesterday.

Everything that was hanging in the webs is now lying on the floor. Losk searches the now burnt corpse and finds nothing, so he starts to pick up the rusty weapons to see if they are any good and finds that they are still usable, so he gathers two longswords, five daggers, and one hand axe. He also finds 42 copper pieces scattered on the floor. Iocob takes one of the daggers. There are doors to the left and right of them and they decide to go left. Blu doesn’t find any traps and Marya opens the door.

The floor of this small hallway is partially blocked by heaps of stone rubble. A skeletal human hand protrudes from one pile of rubble. The debris looks old, and the few sagging strands of web draped over the rubble seem to have been here for some time. Blu searches the room, finding a cavity in the ceiling where a 5-foot-diameter irregular hole rises up into the darkness. She also finds a trap in the west side of the room that seems similar to the pit trap that was in the other hallway. She manages to wedge something between the trap doors and the wall to keep it from opening. Marya throws a grappling hook up to the hole in the ceiling and Uzure climbs up, finding that the hole turns horizontal and the tunnel runs for about 10 feet and ends. At the end of the tunnel are four filled waterskins, four small wooden coffers of salted food (two with fish fillets, two with slabs of roast boar; this preserved food is far too salty to eat without being soaked or scrubbed), and 50 feet of stout rope knotted to a triple-hook steel grapnel. Uzure throws his findings down to the group and climbs down. He also keeps the hook and rope. There is a door in front of them and to their right and they go forward. Blu doesn’t find any traps and Theodule opens the door.

View
The Cellars
Session 2 - Part 2

In town, Losk and Theodule pay a visit to Abernard Royst and ask him if he knows anything about the sigil on the parchment. Abernard looks over the sigil and tells them that the language is old Azlanti and that the sigil itself is the number “Six”. Before he goes any further into explaining the sigil, Losk pulls out the mechanical arm he found and shows it to the wizard, asking if he knows anything about the constructs. Abernard shows interest in the arm, looking it over while telling Losk that the arm belonged to an Emerald Automaton, which were guardians over the tower long ago.

Losk starts to talk about the encounter and Abernard looks up at him, “Wait, you mean to tell me you came across one of these that were functional? As far as my research has told me, these all stopped working thousands of years ago.”

Losk replies, " Well, this one was under the command of a goblin wizard."

Abernard disbelievingly says, " A goblin? There is no way a goblin has the skill to master one of these."

“Well, at the very least it didn’t consider the goblin a threat. It didn’t attack the goblin. It attacked us.” Losk answers.

Abernard says nothing further, simply pondering the information he has been provided and gives the mechanical arm back to Losk. As they go to leave, the wizard remembers something. " Oh, and that parchment should have something to do with the transport system in the Spire." Losk and Theodule thank him for the information and depart.

The group spends two nights in town before heading back to the tower, except for Pashe, who decides to stay in town. Back in the tower, they take the stairs leading up before they try the stairs leading down. The stairs wind upward to the right, circling around a glowing wall of semi-translucent green stone two and a half times, climbing through ruined and impassible levels to a large chamber at the top of the tower. The curving stairs end in a sturdy wooden door with a shuttered arrow slit in its middle.

Having no time to even try the door, an arrow comes flying out of the arrow slit. Arrows are fired back, striking the door. Marya switches places with Iocob, who again takes his greatsword to the door, smashing through. The battle goes quickly, with the bugbear that was shooting at them falling after several seconds. While Losk strips the bugbear of his gear, Uzure studies the room. When everyone is just about ready to leave Uzure behind, he pushes a panel on the wall and a section opens up to the outside of the tower. There is a long drop to the ground, but Uzure figures that this was probably the bugbears escape route. Finding nothing else of interest, the group head towards the staircase leading down.

Circling down the stairs, they come to a landing where there are two more goblins! But these goblins are different than the others; it’s not hard for the group to realize that these goblins are dead, even if they are attacking. They fight these goblin zombies much like they did the living goblins that were on the landing above them, with Marya and Iocob in melee with them and Theodule flying overhead. Unfortunately, while Theodule is shooting arrows through the doorway, he flies up too much and his bow smacks the door frame, sending an arrown downward into Marya’s back, who collapses. (FUMBLE!) One of the goblins is killed shortly after, and then Iocob swings at the second one and loses his grip on his greatsword, throwing it behind the goblin zombie. Despite this, it doesn’t take long for the second zoblin to fall and after healing Marya back to consciousness, they continue down the stairs.

The steep stair descends through solid bedrock for fifty feet before ending in a stone-lined room. A large stone door stands directly south of the stair, a small alcove lies to the east, and another door to the southeast is slightly ajar. An extinguished torch rests on the floor of the alcove.

Uzure picks up the torch and puts it in his pack. Finding nothing else in the room, they approach the open door and look through to a long hallway. Halfway down the hallway are some double doors to the left, which they open and look in.

A curving wall of glowing green crystal bulges out into this chamber from one corner. A stout wooden table stands along the wall opposite it. On the table lie three rotting human corpses and the remnants of a medium-sized spider.

One of the human corpses has had all of its extremities severed, and its torso has been opened to reveal the internal organs. Another dismembered corpse has spider legs sewn onto the stumps in place of the removed limbs, all of which are neatly arranged near the rest of the spider.

A bucket full of reeking, old blood sits on the floor under the table, and needles with lengths of silken thread attached are stuck in a hand-sized block of bloodstained wax atop the table.

After taking in this grizzly scene, both Iocob and Losk enter the room, Iocob going off to the left and Losk going straight forward, triggering a trap. A ceiling panel falls open and a rectangular steel cage plummets from the ceiling onto Losk, who not only is trapped by the cage, but was also hit by it and knocked out. Inside the cage, a skeleton was suspended in a leather harness to protect it from the fall, but is jarred loose and begins attacking the party. Although they weren’t particularly equipped to deal with a skeleton, they take it out fairly quickly and start to figure out how to get Losk out of the cage. Azure walks around the corner then and sees the room for the first time, repeatedly saying: “No, no, no, no, no…”, as she realizes that something terrifying is happening in this area of the Spire.

However, the group doesn’t get very far with the cage, and Azure is distracted from the rest of the room, as a few seconds later, the skeleton’s bones start to rattle out of the cage and then they reassemble right in front of Iocob. Again the group attacks the skeleton and Azure yells for them to give her the skull after they put it back down so it can’t reassemble again. They do so, and both Azure and Uzure head back up to the top section of the Spire to put the skull there, while Uzure also grabs his crossbow that he dropped there and forgot to pick back up. They head back down and join the rest of the group in getting Losk out of the cage, which is much harder than they expected, as the cage is very heavy and made out of strong metal.

Once Losk is finally free, he searches the room and finds a couple vials of liquid, six long needles in the wax with 3 feet of waxed silk threaded through each of them, a scroll tube which holds a couple of scrolls and a parchment with another sigil inscribed on it. Luckily, this sigil is labeled in both Azlanti and Common, so they know that it is the number “four”. Under the bucket of blood, Losk also finds a key. Now they have to decide where to go next.

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The Tower Ruins - More Goblins?!
Session 2 - Part 1

While the group is in town to rest and heal, a Hellknight finds Iocob and tells him that their request to purchase the dilapidated house in town has been considered and that they need to come to the Citadel to meet with the Castellan, a male half-orc Hellknight named Karn Kerromick. After gathering the rest of the party, including Pashe (who at some point made it back to town on her own), they head to the Citadel.

Karn tells them that their request was considered and approved to purchase the building. He says that although the building is in bad shape, it is still fairly large with two floors and a basement having 210 sq. footage each, with a front and side yard equaling another 210 sq. feet. Due to this, the price of the place is still a hefty 1,300 gold. On top of that, though the group isn’t given an exact time limit on this, they would be required to fix the place up. If they are unwilling to do this, the house will be torn down for something else to be built in it’s place, as was previously planned.

The group decides that these terms are acceptable, but tell the Castellan that as of right now, they just don’t have that kind of gold. They ask if they can make a down payment of 500 gold, with the other 800 to be paid within the month. Karn thinks about this a moment, then agrees to this arrangement and accepts the 500 gold.

After leaving the Citadel the group searches out a contractor, being told that the best in town is probably Zoldor Maril, a 60 year old human male who owns and operates Zoldor’s Masonry. Losk asks him if they could get an estimate on remodeling the building. He tells them that he can do that, but it will take him at least a few days before he can go look at the building, as he is currently in the middle of other projects. With that, the group heads back to the inn.

After recuperating in town for two nights, even hiring a doctor to attend them so that they would heal faster, the group again heads back out to the Emerald Spire.

When they arrive at the tower, Theodule is asked to again fly the rope up, when Pashe tells them that there is a side path. They start up the path when arrows begin flying at them again from the dark hole in the tower. One arrow strikes Marya in the neck, as she was in the lead, and without thinking she pulls the arrow out and the wound gushes blood. (CRITICAL HIT!) Iocob makes it to her and casts cure light wounds which stops the bleeding, but she is still left feeling weaker than the blood loss should account for (1 Con drain). Two of the goblins are dropped by return fire before they even make it to the door, the third one running back into the darkness.

The_Tower_Ruins.jpg

Theodule flies into the building after him, catching sight of him a couple times, but stops following the goblin when he enters an area they hadn’t explored yet. He waits for the group to catch up and tells them where the goblin went. They head the same direction, but come to a set of double doors in a narrow hallway and open them before continuing. Hearing the group’s approach, the two goblins inside the small room ready their bows and fire at the first person they see when the door opens. While the group is fighting inside the narrow hallway, the goblin that ran comes back out to fire his bow at them. Losk manages to make it through the hallway to that goblin, but Theodule, who is flying and in combat with the other two, shoots an arrow that direction and kills the goblin before Losk has a chance to take a swing.

After defeating these goblins they notice that there are stairs leading down into the tower behind them. Marya hears some moaning and shuffling of feet coming from below. She tells the group as much, and they decide to bar the door from the outside, keeping whatever it may be from coming up behind them. The group tosses the goblin bodies out to Ash and Emon for them to strip of their gear and discard.

A single door across the hall from the double doors is locked, but Iocob’s greatsword makes short work of it and they enter to find a little goblin “armory”. The rows of wooden racks on the walls of the room hold a ramshackle collection of rusty blades, scraps of armor, and warped arrows. Most of the items in the room are unusable and worthless, but the group finds six small dogslicers and six small horsechoppers that are in good shape.

Continuing on to the next room, they are again assaulted with arrows when they open a door. The group enters to melee the 3 goblins, but the goblins keep backing up and shooting arrows. They are quickly defeated and their bodies are thrown out with the rest. Losk searches the room and finds a green mechanical arm wrapped in a tattered and dirty piece of cloth under one of the beds, which he takes with him. At this point, the group also decides that they should rest and recover from their injuries and they take refuge in the armory, as it is the most defensible place they have come across so far, as well as the cleanest.

After they rest, they move on, finding a path that leads outside to the back of the tower and another set of double doors with stairs leading up. Again they decide to come back to the stairs later. In a room with a human-sized bed, Losk finds a a bone scroll tube on a table among jars filled with eyeballs, claws, and teeth. Inside the tube is a sheet of parchment on which is drawn a complicated magical sigil in iridescent green ink. Losk is able to tell that the sigil is similar to an arcane mark, but beyond that he knows nothing.

The first thing they see when opening the next door is a green mechanical construct with a wooden peg foot and a rotting humanoid arm. Then they notice a goblin standing behind the construct when he casts bless. Theodule immediately shoots arrows at the goblin caster, taking him out. Then the party concentrates their efforts on the construct, making short work of it as well. Pashe casts the final spell that destroys the thing, but unfortunately it then explodes, leaving four of the party members unconscious and bleeding on the floor. The rest of the group quickly come to their comrades aid. Uzure looks at Iocob lying on the floor, blood pooling around him, and makes a decision. He looks at the only other party member who is awake and paying attention, puts his finger to his lips and says, “Shhh”, as he puts his hand on Iocob’s shoulder and the bleeding suddenly stops.

After everyone is conscious, the group decides it would be best to return to town to rest. On the way to town, Marya and Emon both notice something watching them. Marya points it out to the rest of the group, who look and people start to prepare themselves for an attack.

Emon says, “Just keep walking.”

Losk: “What?”

Emon: “Just keep walking.”

Losk: “Ok.”

Uzure: “What is it?”

Emon: A Wood Giant.

Uzure: “Is it friendly?”

Emon: “Mmm… territorial. And there is probably more than one.”

Uzure (speaking Giant): “Hello!”

There is no response from the giant and the group continues on their way.

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The Emerald Spire
Session 1 - Part 2

Six miles northeast of Fort Inevitable lies the Emerald Spire. Standing in a wide clearing within the Echo Wood, the Emerald Spire is the ruin of a large Azlanti tower that appears to be made of green glass harder than stone. The tower was destroyed long ago, leaving broken, half melted glass blocks lying jumbled around the tower’s perimeter and the ground nearby. The Spire’s ruins are known to be infested with dangerous monsters and the surroundings attract an unhealthy number of bandits, raiders, and hungry predators. The broad, raised clearing around the Spire is known as the Spire Glen. The glen is more than 500 yards wide, almost perfectly circular and centered on the Emerald Spire. The trees of the Echo Wood crowd up against this unseen border and suddenly halt—nothing more than a sapling grows in the Glen.

The group make it to the Spire without incident and see that the stone staircase that led up to the tower’s door is now nothing more than a rubble-strewn cliff. Pashe wanders around the side of the ruins and locates a dirt path that winds up the steep embankment to a pitch-black doorway in the side of the ruins while the rest of the group tries to figure out how to get in the front. Iocob instructs his mercenaries to stay outside with the donkey.

Theodule takes some rope and flies up to the entrance, tying it off to a column of melted green glass, so that the rest of the party can climb up. No sooner than he gets this task accomplished, there are arrows being shot at him from a couple of goblins riding goblin dogs. The goblins are screaming, “Demon! Demon!” at Theodule, who actually understands their weird language and he yells back, “I am not a demon!”, as he fires arrows back at them.

In the meantime, the slowest member of the party (Losk) was the first to get started climbing the rope, so the party is held up behind him, not knowing that there is another route into the building. Pashe enters from the side and joins the battle, assisting her companion. Both Theodule and Pashe also notice that, although they have darkvision, details of the area seem muted. This effect does not hinder them in battle, however. Pashe also notices, since she isn’t flying, that debris and melted globs of green glass litter the floor, making her have to watch her step to keep from falling.

One of the goblins rides off into another room, only to return a few seconds later. By that time, the rest of the party is beginning to reach the area. The three humans in the party quickly realize that, although they have light sources, they aren’t as effective as they should be. The light only extends in a 5-foot-radius around them, where it should extend much further; anything beyond that is pitch-black.

Seeing that they are outnumbered, both goblins ride their dogs into another room with the PC’s trailing behind. However, the goblins were trying to lead them into a trap, which they trigger as they enter a hidden tunnel leaving the room. Marya just manages to dodge out of the way of the falling rubble, but becomes trapped in the narrow tunnel with the goblins. Marya realizes that she will not survive this fight as it is, so using some quick thinking, she falls to the ground the next time she is hit and remains motionless. Her bluff works, and as the goblins think they have killed her, they exit the tunnel to join the other goblins in fighting the rest of the longshanks.

After what seemed like forever, but in reality was only about 90 seconds, the battle was over. They defeated the goblins without any casualties on their side. That is not to say that they weren’t hurting. Several of them came very near to death. After gathering everything they could find that might be worth some money, the group decides to head back to town to heal. As they are leaving, they notice that Pashe is missing. They did not find her body, so not knowing what became of her, they go ahead and make the trip to town.

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So It Begins
Session 1 - Part 1

All the PC’s have been in Fort Inevitable for less than a month. A male Human Warpriest named Iocob Kaminin was interested in adventuring in the area and decided to look for like minded individuals in town. In doing so, a party came together that also included a male Strix Monk named Theodule Roque, a female Human Shaman of the Shoanti Skull Clan named Azure, a male Human Brawler of the Shoanti Skull Clan named Uzure (brother and protector of Azure), a male Dwarf Transmuter named Losk Stigmargun, a female Sylph Fighter (Weapon Master) named Marya, and a female Oread Sorcerer named Pashe.

Knowing that they had to have a warrant for their party to legally do any real adventuring, they stopped by the Citadel to apply. Their application consisted of 5 questions and an ending statement, under which they had to sign:
1. What is the name of the company? “The Losk Company”
2. What are the names of the members of the company? (stated above)
3. Where does each member of the company hail from? (Iocob-Brevoy, Theodule-Devil’s Perch, Azure & Uzure-Cinderlands, Losk-Janderhoff, Marya-Smuggler’s Shiv, Pashe-?)
4. For what reason is the company applying for a warrant? To explore the Emerald Spire
5. If issued a warrant, the company agrees to act in the interest of good order and keep the lady commander’s laws; agree to turn over 30 percent of the coin, goods, and property confiscated to the Citadel; and turn in reports of just what actions were taken with the letter of warrant.

They fill out the application, but before they leave the Citadel, Marya also takes the opportunity to ask about the dilapidated house that they’ve seen in town. She is at first told that it is not for sale, but with further prodding she is told to fill out yet another application, this one for a request to purchase the property. Marya does so, then they take their leave.

While the group was coming together they also heard a rumor that the local wizard in town, Abernard Royst, was seeking to hire an adventuring party to explore some local ruins: the Emerald Spire. Since they are told that it will take a day or two to review their warrant request, they decide to pay a visit to the wizard while they are waiting.

Arriving at Abernard’s home, Iocob knocks on the door. They were able to make out someone yelling from within, “Theron could you get the door?!” After waiting several more moments, Iocob knocked again. Shortly thereafter, a cantankerous older fellow with white hair and blue robes swung the door open wide. “Yes, yes, what do you want? I’m very busy.” The PC’s then told the wizard their interest in exploring the Emerald Spire for him, to which he turned away and headed back into the house, saying: “Yes, yes, follow me. I’m in the middle of something. We can talk in here. Close the door behind you. Don’t try to steal anything. I’ll know and I’d hate to have to turn you into a turtle.”

The PC’s stepped into the house, a few of them glancing around to see if there was even anything worth stealing, seeing that the wizard did indeed look to be well off. Deciding not to chance being turned into a turtle, no one tried to steal anything and Uzure closed the door. Then the PC’s followed Abernard through the main room and up a staircase into a fairly impressive in-home wizard’s laboratory and study. There were several beakers with a variety of different colored concoctions and many, many books. He walked over to an open book on a book stand and continued with whatever he was doing before the PC’s arrived.

With his back to the party, Abernard says “So you’re interested in exploring the Emerald Spire are you? How much do you know about the Spire? Nobody knows much honestly, which is why I’d like to hire a group of people such as yourselves to explore it for me. I used to do such things, but my age is getting to me. It’s highly dangerous you know. The Echo Wood is not a place for amateurs, lots of monsters. I assume that you lot have experience in such affairs?”

Somewhat taken aback with the barrage of questions, Azure says, “You know it’s rude to ask questions and not give us a chance to answer.”

Aside from glancing at Azure, he offers no response to her statement. He continues, “Not much I can tell you about the occupants of the Spire depths though I’m afraid. Most around here think it’s just that ruined hunk of green glass on the surface. Hogwash! I estimate that it is at least 5,000 feet deep. Anyway, enough of my rambling! Here’s what I need: I would like to commission you to do a careful and deliberate survey of the Spire and all its levels. I want maps and descriptions of the whole structure, including all inhabitants and items. As a retired adventurer myself, I understand that you may be reluctant to give me a detailed list of any loot you find. However, you’ll have to make a list for the Citadel anyway, and I assure you I have no interest in your treasure aside from the knowledge I may glean from knowing what you found. There is but one exception to this…”

Abernard pulls a sliver of metal out of his pocket. “This… is the skymetal noqual, a substance with inherent resistance to magic. It was retrieved from the Spire depths decades ago and it is obviously chipped from a larger, sculpted item with a serrated edge. That is the only treasure I wish to keep from the Spire. I will pay you for each level of the Spire that you map for me and for the rest of the skymetal.”

The group then asked Abernard several questions, including how much he was paying for the work he was asking be done. Abernard tells them that he is willing to pay them 1,500 gp for the rest of the skymetal. As for the mapping, it depended on the map and description detail, the level itself, and how many levels there are, so he was unable to give them an exact amount. He said that he would pay per level however, but that this excluded above ground.

The group also asked what he knew of the Spire, to which he replied “Little. That’s why I’m hiring you. I suspect that the Spire itself has little to do with the Azlanti who once lived in the Echo Wood, such as is all the speculation. I believe that it’s instead associated with mysterious powers from the dawn of the world. But I could go on forever about my suspicions. I need information to confirm my hypothesis.”

The group also asks how big the skymetal might be, to which the wizard replies that he is unsure. It could be as small as a dagger or as large as a human sized statue. When the group hears this, they request more money to haul a statue out of the dungeon. Abernard declines to offer more money for the skymetal and tells them that they won’t have to haul it out of the dungeon. There is a transport system in the dungeon that they should obtain the means to use while exploring it.

With a little prodding from Uzure, Abernard also gives the party 50 gp for the warrant that they will have to acquire and supplies for mapping the Spire. The group agrees to take on the missions and leaves the wizard to his work.

The next day the company is called to the Citadel for an answer to their warrant request. Some of the party seem irritated at having to all gather at the Citadel for such a simple matter, but after a short wait in the lobby, the company is ushered into Lady Commander Audara Drovust’s office. The Commander is standing behind her desk. There is also an older human woman sitting in a chair next to the Commander’s desk. The woman is wearing finely tailored clerics vestments.

The Commander asks for the company to make themselves comfortable and ushers to the chairs that have been placed in front of her desk. After everyone is situated, she begins:

“I’ve called your company here today on behalf of the High Mother…” she indicates the older woman, “and myself to request your assistance. I saw that you applied for a warrant yesterday and that you intend to begin your explorations by heading to the Emerald Spire. It’s become increasingly clear that some powerful and malevolent presence is stirring below the Spire. Strange new forms of undead monsters have begun to plague the area in recent months, and powerful spellcasters throughout the Crusader Road area have reported scrying efforts from an unknown source able to brush aside their normal screens and defenses.”

This is where the High Mother joins in, “Although most of my attempts to learn anything about this strange new threat have proven unsuccessful, I have divined one small clue: the emblem of a crown above a skull.”

The Commander continues, “This is where you come in. I cannot afford to let this threat continue. I’m seeking a bold party of adventurers to search out the ‘crowned skull’ and destroy it before this menace grows any stronger.”

Obviously, the group’s first question is how much they will get paid for the undertaking. Though she was expecting this question, and had planned to pay them when the task was completed anyway, the greediness of adventurers annoys her. Her look of disdain conveys as much. She replies simply, “15,000 gold.”

Surprised and excited by the thought of this huge payday, the group readily agrees and is prepared to leave without any further questions. Theodule does think to ask, “Can I fly?”

The Commander replies, “Yes, you can fly in the forest and the Spire. You still cannot fly in town. We can reexamine your request for that in the future.”

Theodule seems satisfied with that answer and the group leaves. (This issue will be explained more when the character info is posted.)

Iocob stops to purchase a donkey and hire a couple mercenaries, Ash and Emon, (which is an accidental Pokemon reference pointed out to me by Buddy, as I don’t watch or play any Pokemon stuff) from The Salamander Company, then they are off to the Emerald Spire.

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