CAMPAIGN CHRONICLES : HEROIC TIEREpisode H-101: Smoke and MirrorsCampaign Date: 27 Uktar 1479
A great explosion rattles the Dream of Tymora, lord Ganry's trade ship, as a group of Shadow Thieves storm it in search for a unique rune-covered tube containing scrolls they were hired to steal.
The heroes emerged from the lower deck (where they were securing a shipment for Marcus Draken) with Bellamine holding a survivour named Dakes d'Fantimore and one of the Shadow Thieves the heroes managed to subdue.
Al-Zatar was approached by a Cowled Wizard warning him that casting magic within the city is forbidden, unless you have a license. A quick interrogation and investigation of Dakes and the prisoner (Kognar) revealed that many are interested in those scrolls, including the Shadow Thieves, Lord Fantimore, the Cowled Wizards, a mage named Horkanar, and of course, Lord Ganry himself.
While trying to track the stolen scrolls, the heroes learn of a group of Dragonborn (followers of Io) that are in search of their missing high priest. Cy befriended them, stating they share some goals.
Grayseel led the heroes in the dark alleys of Athkatla and into the den of Kognar's employer, were the heroes learn that the stolen scrolls were delivered to the estate of a mage named Horaknar. The heores were given conflicting requests by the Kos of the Shadow Thieves, Dakes of Lord Fantimore and Lucious of the Cowled Wizards, were each wants the scrolls for his own means.
Episode H-102: The Forge of CreationCampaign Date: 28 Utkar 1479
The heroes decided to sniff around the mansion of Horaknar, a solitary mage who apparently is behind the Shadow Thieves incursion on the Dream of Tymora.
During their time around Horaknar's mansion, the heroes met John, a Wizard hoping to meet Horaknar for his own reasons. The heroes and John agreed to try and sneak in together, due to the fact that Horaknar does not leave his study.
The heroes returned to the inn for the night, and on their way back to the inn they encountered Znebia, a deformed Warforged made of some strange material. Cy helped him escape the city by giving him his robe, as the Warforged (who apparently arrived Amn from the southern mountains) was afraid to be caught by the city guard.
In the morning, the heroes arrived at Horaknar's mansion and persuaded Memnoh (an imp that serves the Mage) to let them into the lower floor of the tower. They managed to break the protection magic without triggering any of the mage’s magical traps, and descended deeper under the tower, were they fought chaos enhanced elementals emerging from a magical pool.
After defeating the elementals, the heroes managed to sneak into Horaknar’s study, were they surprised the shocked mage. Horaknar turned to be a Spellplagued (not leaving the study due to his condition) who is obsessed in everything related to Chaos Magic. His interest in Lord Ganry’s doing follows his obsession.
During their stay with Horaknar (and examining the scrolls, which contain blueprints for a massive forge) the heroes deduce that Lord Ganry is working to construct a magical forge, and that maybe the deformed Warforged is a failed experiment of some sort. In addition, the heroes learn that Kognar Sil (the Shadow Thief they subdued) was carrying a dagger that belongs to a knightly order from Elturgrad and that a murder took place in the Dragonborn camp early this morning near Wuakeen’s temple, with Roth somehow involved.
Episode H-103: Fire EatersCampaign Date: 29 Utkar 1479
The heroes went back to Wuakeen'a temple, and decided to split. Bellamine, Cy and Rodrick went to search for Znebia in the forest, while John and Al-Zatar secured horses and food for the journey south. On their search for Znebia, the heroes followed some tracks that led them deeper into the woods, were they encountered Ariandar, an old man claiming to be the local woodcutters headmaster near an old, dry well.
Rodrick went down with the help of Bellamine, and found the robe Cy gave to Znebia deep inside, along with a disgusting giant worm that jumped on him. After a short fight, Rodrick slayed the worm. The heroes examined the robe and found huge, talon like marks on it. Meanwhile, John uses an old contact to secure some information regarding the cultists who kidnapp wizards, and is given a name and location: Varnazz, a Tiefling advisor to some warlord in the south named Baelnar.
On their way back to the city, the heroes joined John and Al-Zatar and went to the Dragonborn, were they learned that Roth was killed by the town guard after a quarrel with Bilger, the racist merchant. It appears that several Fire Breathing Dragonborn went missing, along with Roth's mate.
The heroes managed to convince Bilger to talk, and discovered that a Kobold named Gruln pays 5gp for pointing out any fire-breathing Dragonborns in Roth's camp. Further investigation leads the heroes to Gruln's hideout near the mansion of a small-time crime lord and an associate of sort of Rodrick. The heroes kill the Kobold and his minions, and learn that the Kobolds are responsible for the kidnapping of the Dragonborn, and for their transportation to the Small Teeth mountains.
The heroes return to the Dragonborn and tell them what they've learned. In return for helping the Dragonborn, the heroes are offered a special gift - a magical red-scaled suite of armor. Cy wears it, and to the surprise of everyone present spouts wings out of it. The Dragonborn bow to him, and accept his instructions to rebuild the abandonded temple of Adol.
Meanwhile, somewhere in Amn: The quiet steps of the acolyte and the delicate rustle of his robes as he walked did not match the raging expression on his face. He touched the marble doors at the end of the cooridor and let himself into a vast room. Several hooded figure stood there, in their ceremonial clothes."There are issues we need to attend to." he said in a low voice, barely containing his anger. Some of the figured moved uncomfortably."We are aware of that," answered a tall figure. "What are you going to do about those nosy adventurers?""Me?" the acolyte hissed and smiled viciously, "Nothing! absolutely nothing!"
Episode H-104: The Road to HellCampaign Date: 30 Utkar 1479
Leaving the Dragonborn camp on their way south, the heroes stopped at Lucky Skragg's trading company and learned that the shortest way south goes through a shortcut the old Halfling knows. They also learned that the southern road (the one that leads to the Small Teeth Mountains) is crossed by a river. The heroes decided to join with Skragg's caravan to gain some much needed time in their pursue of the kobolds and the abducted Dragonborn believers.
On their way, the wagons, lead by Malager - a stout dwarf - passed by a small clearing in which a cavern opening was located. At this point, the heroes got word from Horaknar (through the magical Sending Ring he gave them) that his mansion is under attack by the Shadow Thieves. After a long debate about the pros and cons of heading back, the heroes decided to press on, knowing that Horaknar might give away their whereabouts. The heroes also speculated that the Cowled Wizards, Ganry or both are behind the attack.
Later on, the heroes ventured into the recently discovered cave and located evidence that the place was used by the Kobolds. Inside, the heroes found a small pouch containing a strange looking rock with a rune carved on it. John examined it, and determined that it can be used as a gateway for a summoned creature.
The heroes decided to activate the stone, and as a result summoned a swarm of insects that attacked them. It appeared that the stone was left there exactly for that purpose by the kobolds. The heroes defeated the creature (with John taking many wounds) and returned to their quest.
After Malager had lead them out of the forest and through the shortcut, the heroes found themselves by the river, where a local guard admitted that he had let three wagons lead by a crooked looking human to pass without examining their content. The heroes galloped as rain started to pour, and located the kobold wagons on their route south.
A chase started. The kobolds rained arrows as the heroes approached, but Bellamine and Cy jumped on two of the wagons. John used his magic to drop the horses that pulled the first wagon. After a dangerous fight on roofs of the speeding wagons, the heroes managed to defeat the kobolds.
The abducted Dragonborn believers needed some healing, which Cy provided, and one of them told the heroes that he heard the kobolds speak of a ritual that is about to commence, in which the kobolds are to sacrifice the Dragonborn leader - Saram - to some demonic god.
Episode H-105: The Road to Hell - Part TwoCampaign Date: 30 Utkar 1479
After talking to the recently rescued dragonborn, Lojan, their leader, told the heroes about an old man talking about some sort of a ceremony to be conducted by the kobolds in their lair. Unfortunately, he has no idea where that lair is located.
The heroes accepted the generous offer of 5 dragonborn who chose to accompany them in their search of their high-priest, Sarram. The rest took one wagon and returned to Athkatla.
On route, the heroes met a Tethyrian patrol led by 3 knights. Lord Aratan Cale, an inexperienced noble and his seasoned companion Arago wanted to know where the heroes headed, and what is their business with the dragonborn and the kobolds.
After talking to them, the knights told the heroes that they will be joining them, at least until Yatul, were reports of kobold activity are coming in recently. Lord Aratan arrogant manner was not very welcomed, but his silent companion Arago turned out to be a war veteren with many years of experience behind him. Bellamine tried to understand why the seasoned fighter is following the lead of the noble, and learned that the veteren made a severe mistake in combat as a division commander which took the lives of several hundred men, and was sent to this area as a punishment.
During the night, the heroes were ambushed by more kobolds, this time with many deformaties reminding them of Znebia - the deformed warforged. The kobolds were well-equipped, with metallic weapons made of the same strange alloy used in Znebia's construction. The kobolds proved to be tough opponents, and the heroes made it barely. During the fight, several dragonborns were killed, and the knights were nowhere to be seen.
In the aftermath, the heroes learned that the knights went on their nightly patrol, returning only to see the remaining kobolds flee. Cy decided to release the remaining dragonborn of their service.
Upon reaching Yatul, a strange incident occured, in which an old women asked Arago - Lord Aratan's companion - about missing scrolls. Arago blushed and sweated, but denied any connection with the scrolls, even after Rodric's and Bellamine's attempts to intimidate and convince him to talk.
The heroes decided to retire for the night, knowing that every hour might shorten Sarram's life, but confident that in their current, worn-out state, they cannot do much to help him...
Episode H-106: Wings of DarknessCampaign Date: 1 Nightal 1479
A sudden breeze at night woke up Cy and Rodrick just in time to witness a dark figure slipping out of the window of their inn's room. As they quickly woke up their friend and pursued the figure, it became apparent that the thieves took the scrolls. A fierce chase started, and in the end the heroes retrieved their scrolls, and realized that their assailants are Doppelgangers. As Bellamine suspected, the three knights that came to town with them were murdered.
At dawn the heroes started to track the trails up in the mountain. Kobolds ambushed them, but John's quick thinking and the heroes stealthy approach helped them dispatch the kobolds quickly. Later on, the heroes found the case in which Sarram was supposed to be found.
The case had veins of the strange metallic ore found on Znebia's body. The place was empty, and as the heroes descended deeply into the cave, they found a vast chamber with a burning pit, above it a cage was placed using a several chains and pulleys. Sarram was lying inside the cage.
As the heroes investigated the cave, a massive thud was heard from the entrance, and to their amazement, a Large Red Dragon charged into the cave, roaring about the scrolls. Spellplagued scars covered his head, and the heroes recognized the pattern to be the same found on Horaknar's face.
A fierce combat erupted, as the dragon tried to dump the scrolls in the flame as Sarram was f lunged into the flames. The heroes saw a portal materializing inside the burning pit, through which a demon wastrying to enter the world.
Through a great display of sword and sorcery (and a fair amount of luck), the heroes foiled the summoning ritual, saved Sarram and killed the dragon.
In a small chamber at the end of the cave, a crystal ball was found, in which a view of Werewood was seen. A ciphered diary was also found, along with the dragon's treasure, which included two magical chests that the heroes could not open.
Note: the following is a short summary of the chain of events so far, to help you get a bird's eye of the evolving story.
The following is an excerpt from Horaknar’s diary, found at the kobold caves.
Marpenoth 18, 1479
The Dream of Tymora is arriving two weeks from now. The scrolls are onboard. Shadows are lurking, be prepared. Make sure the shipments arrive in time, as construction is nearly complete.
Marpenoth 22, 1479
The miners developed some deformities, but work continues. I am moving my operations to Athkatla.The shipments will be sent when they’re ready, don’t forget who is in charge here! I will come to collect soon. Restrain your men this time, or I’ll take care of this captain of yours once and for all!
Marpenoth 24, 1479
The shipment arrived. Well done. Construction is nearly complete, but production is failing. Our contact can help, but requires a payment. Proceed as planned, but make sure any absence is well-excused.
Marpenoth 30, 1479
I have located another entrance in Werewood. Find a guide from Athkatla, pay him for his silence and send him to Fort Morninglord with instructions to meet Erindol.
Utkar 1, 1479
Our efforts are drawing attention, because your idiots at the south are leaving their waste out in the open!
Utkar 2, 1479
I have sent forth someone trustworthy to handle this. He should arrive at Fort Cragg in several days, where he can make some... adjustments. It will help if the current advisor to the lord will be...notified of this new situation beforehand.
Utkar 5, 1479
Utkar 14, 1479
Our nine-fingered friend have started overseeing the trading routes. Make sure the advisor at Fort Cragg is aware of the situation.
Episode H-107: Black CloudsCampaign Date: 2 Nightal 1479
The heroes left the village of Yatul after sharing their experiences at the Small Teeth Mountain kobold mine with the locals.Sarram - the Dragonborn High Priest the heroes saved from the kobold mine - decided to stay and wait for an opportunity to return to Amn.Bellamine left with him the dragon's hide they salvaged from the mine, hoping to create a special armor made of the dragon's scale.Sarram promised to look into it, though the process was long forgotten and is quite complex.
The heroes reached Fort Cragg two days later, in a heavy rain. The muddy roads were difficult to travel, and the journey left them soaked.At the fort - where the heroes hoped to gather some information regarding the recent happenings in the southern regions of Amn - an unpleasant surprise waited for them. As they spoke to the local lord - a warrior named Baelnar - and tried to get some information, a man named Persy Greyseel approached the lord, and turned him against the heroes. The heroes were forced to leave, as two mighty minotaurs wearing the symbol of the Naldzerau backup up Persy.
After regrouping outside and speaking to Rodrick while consulting the diary of Horakner, the heroes learned that Persy - a life long enemy of Rodrick and a member of his family - arrived here to sabotage the lords efforts to stabilize the area. Persy was sending troops to a so-called treasure hunting endeavor, while taking control of the lord's cash reserves.
The heroes learned that the lord's previous advisor - the wizard Varnaaz - was killed in a mysterious blast at the top floor of his tower. After some investigation in the tower (creating some distractions to avoid being noticed) the heroes discovered a secret passage to the wizard's laboratory.
In the lab, the heroes discovered a bound Warforged, placed near an arcane device of some sort. The Warforged had a strange biological substance attached to his skull. As the heroes started meddling with the equipment and the prisoner, a thud was heard from the lower floor.
The heroes descended just in time to see several horrid Warforged that are partly undead break from metal cages located there. A fight broke lose, and the heroes dispatched the monsters.
Returning from the tower holding Varnaaz's notes, the heroes discover that the wizard has found the Warforged accompanying the kobolds in their raids. He tried to learn how to reverse the process that turned them into half-undead.
Later on, the heroes managed to separate Persy and the lord, making sure the lord speaks to them without his "advisor". The heroes convince the lord (who has allowed Persy to take control of the fort due the young, evil merchant persuasion skills) to send Persy on a false mission to convince the Tethyrians to loan a great sum of money, in return for a fee for the greedy lord.
Persy left, and the heroes quickly had the lord see the evil ways of this advisor. A letter from Rupet (Persy's father) stating that Persy's mission is to divert forces from the Foggy Lake was found in the evil merchant's rooms.
After helping Baelnar re-gaining some control of the situation at the fort, the heroes have left for the Foggy Lake, sending a message for Sarram to come to the fort and leaving detailed instructions for the lord regarding Persy and the fort's upkeep.
At the Foggy Lake's shore, the heroes set sail into the fog, where they encountered some undead that emerged from the water using sails of their own. The undead fled after the heroes fought them, just before a mighty beast sent dozens of tentacles to grab the heroes. A fierce battle erupted, and the heroes were thrown into the waters, where they saw a massive, submerged structure with lights at its strange windows.
The tentacled creature turned to be partly mechanic, and the heroes managed to destroy it and return to the surface of the lake.
In the heat of battle, the heroes lost track of Al-Zatar, who managed to swim down and let himself into the submerged city by using his magical skills...
Episode H-108: Terror in the DeepCampaign Date: 2-3 Nightal 1479
The heroes descended into the water again, re-grouping with Al-Zatar at the tower. The submerged city of Andur-Suk loomed around them, a ghastly remainder to the dark powers of Dagon. It appeared that some mighty power is used to erect a magical barrier that prevents parts of the city from being flooded, while other are still below the water. A vast city is revealed, and several structures stand intact, with evidence of dwarven activity in the area easily found.
During their exploration, the heroes found a temple for Dagon that was now being used by the Neldrazu cultists to extract the innate magical energy from subdued wizards and store it in an arcane device.
A battle erupted, and the heroes managed to destroy the undead priest that was conducting the energy transfer ritual, at the cost of exploding the device and rattling the whole temple. Al-Zatar and John managed to tunnel some of the residual energy into a healing surge, but the explosion killed off the remaining wizards. Cy consecrated the temple, and as a result the heroes received the blessing of Kord.
A visit to another barracks-like building revealed rows of dormant Warforged and a host of Duergar working on them. The heroes retreated to reconsider their steps, as a dwarven patrol heading to the tower from which the heroes entered the city stirred the heroes into action.
An sudden attack on the dwarves at the tower gave the heroes the opportunity to question one prisoner, not before they managed to prevent one of the dwarves from calling help.
The captive (a lowly Duergar named Nux) revealed that his clan moved from Amn to this location following the leader ship of a Duergar merchant lord named Garmul. This Garmul is somehow linked to Ganry, who funded the expedition in order to use the dwarves as a work force to enhance Warforged, fuse them with undead to create a "perfect soldier".
After discovering that Garmul uses an Earth Node to provide magical energy to the various devices in the city, the heroes made camp in the tower, thinking about the overwhelming force of Duergar residing in the city, Garmul's extent of power and their best course of action.
Episode H-109: The Spider's WebCampaign Date: 4 Nightal 1479
After a night's sleep and another encounter with the Duergar soldiers, the heroes decided to use the foci crystals and charge them with the magical energy of the earth node.
John, Cy and Al-Zatar crawled through the tunnels deep beneath the sunken city, but fell to the poisoned bolts of Duergar guards. John managed to call Bellamine and Rodrick.
The situation looked grim, as the two captive were led to the earth node itself, were a Duergar priest was conducting a ritual. Around him the whole clan gathered, working on strange machinery surrounding the well.
Rodrick eliminated one of the guards silently, opening a way for Bellamine and John to charge in and distract the Duergar. Cy and Al-Zatar slowly recovered, and started to battle the priest for control of the well.
Cy managed to take control of the well's powers and removed the protective shield that kept the earth node crater from flooding. In the chaos that erupted, the heroes managed to eliminate the Duergar priest.
In a nearby chamber, the heroes found a gateway similar to the dormant one they hold, surrounded with Warforged bookkeeping notes. The gateway seem to lead to Cormyr, where the forge is probably located, and through which the newly created, dormant Warforged are led to this place.
Another finding was that of a living dwarven prisoner, who told the heroes about the Duergar priest working with an Eladrin - probably Lord Ganry - and speaking about happenings in Werewood - it seems that the demon the heroes prevented from entering the world in the kobold mines is trying for another entrance in Werewood using Ganry's help.
Episode H-110: The Black CompanyCampaign Date: 10 Nightal 1479
The heroes emerge from Andur-Suk with a host of Warforged now holding the banner of the Black Company. The newly created Warforged have listened carefully to the heroes tale of Lord Ganry's foul deeds, and were concerned about the fate of their comrades far in the Storm Horns mountains.
The heroes convinced the Warforged to unite under a single banner, and the Warforged turned to the heros for guidance in this new, strange world.
The Warforged remembered a blurred vision from their creation moment: a robed man with features much like John's in the vicinity of the creation forge. They could not tell if the man was working with their creator or not - but they are quite certain it was John's father.
The heroes decided that Lord Baelnar could train the Warforged and in return, the Warforged will help the lord in his daily tasks in Fort Cragg. The lord was overjoyed, and told the heroes that their plan to random Persy succeeded. He uses the gold to rebuild the fort. The help provided by Sarram is undeniable. The Dragonborn priest has established a small shrine to IO and Kord, and many of the fort resident are now well-equipped both physically and mentally.
The lord told the heroes about a new situation - it appears that an artifact with religious importance to Elturgard (the Paladin Nation) was stolen and was out for sale an Amn's markets. Elturgard demand the item back, and Amn denies stealing it. Tension arises between the two states.
Lord Baelnar also notified Rodrick that he has a visitor - Lady Ophelia Greyseel. It seems that the Amnian ambassador at Waterdeep made an accusation after Persy - a Waterdhevian Noble - was caught in what seems to be an act that undermines Amn security in the region. Lady Ophelia told Rodrick that both Amn and Waterdeep authorities seek him to hear his version of the story before they take any other means. She was glad to hear that Rodrick is against his cousin actions.
During their stay at Fort Cragg, the heroes had a joint dream in which an old man was resting in the bottom of a long stairway leading to a cloud shrouded citadel. The man identified himself as Adol. The heroes help the old man climb the stairs, which were marked with every alphabet known to them. The last stair was marked with a rune known to Al-Zatar alone. As the citadel doors opened, the Neldrazu appeared, and told the heroes that he didn't find any answers inside. When the heroes entered the citadel, the dream ended.
In Athkatla, Lucious of the Cowled Wizards asked the heroes for evidence of Ganry's foul play. Only well established evidence could allow him to present his case to the Council of Six. He said that the new situation with Elturgard keeps him busy now, but asked the heroes to help him bring down the Eladrin lord.
After sniffing around in the trade district (looking for an evidence trail starting with the tainted metal used to construct Ganry's weapons and the Warforged), the heroes encountered a group of sea-farers looking men, covered with tattoos. The rough men told the heroes to stop sniffing around, and the heroes attacked. The short combat ended quickly as the ruffians fled the scene when the city guards appeared, promising to return to finish the job. Luckily, the heroes managed to grab one of the ruffians for further...discussion.
Episode H-111: The KeyCampaign Date: 13 Nightal 1479
The heroes return to the temple of Io with the ruffian they captured, after sending of the pesky guard captain who came to investigate the fight. The investigation reveals that the captain of the "Silent Kraken" - a man named Talan - ordered his men to make sure no one sniffs around the docks and warehouses.The heroes decided to play a game of their own, and convinced the ruffian that they work for Lord Rupt - Rodrick's relative - before sending him off to warn the captain.
After leaving the temple, the heroes followed the crowds to Athkatla's square, were a hanging was about to commence. It appeared that three Elturgardian Paladins were caught sneaking into a Waterdhavian merchant's house looking for the stolen artifact. The crowd demanded their execution, along with that of the Waterdhavian. The guard captain returned, telling Rodrick that his presence is required for a questioning regarding the happenings in Fort Cragg and his ties to his Waterdhavian relatives.
The heroes intervened, and while Bellamine posed as the executioner they managed to set the Paladins free and took them into the Waterdhavian's merchant house. The merchant turned to be a Dwarf, swearing he had nothing to do with stolen artifacts. The Paladins told the heroes that their nation is desperately seeking the artifact, and is willing to go to war over it. They also recognized Kognar Sil's dagger when the heroes mentioned it before them, saying that the artifact keeper had two of those, and that one was used to stab him.
The heroes left the merchant's house and returned to the temple for a night's sleep. The Dragonborn priests pointed out that some strange substance was found in the temple - a slimy puddle of some sort. In addition, the Dragonborn told the heroes of a letter from Sarram asking for a specific book related to Dragons.
The heroes went to sleep and woke up in the morning only to find the Dragonborn dead, with holes in their skulls. The place was turned over, and the book that Sarram requested was stolen. A small note saying that the book contained notes from a Gensei sorcerer and an oiled wrap was all that remained. The heroes found some evidence of magic use (teleportation).
The heroes left the temple to Kognar Sil's hideout. On their way they talked to Gruln, who told them that he tried to investigate the metal origin, but heard about a merchant that was beated badly for asking the same questions, so he passed.
The heroes found a note in Kognar's hideout saying: "Hope you slept well, have an urgent dealing in Waterdeep". They opened the scoundrel's room with the key they found on him, and found themselves in a strange, shadowy reflection of their own world, where they found an Intellect Devourer along with some spidery creatures that attacked them. During the fight, two humans wearing black uniforms demanded their surrender in the name of "Kergnar". The heroes pressed the fight, and managed to overcome the creatures and the two soldiers.
The heroes seem to be stuck in this strange place, as Kognar's key does not open the portal they went in through. Al-Zatar went to examine the place, and saw more soldiers on their way to the shadowy inn.
Episode H-112: The World between WorldsCampaign Date: ?
The heroes exited the inn through the back door, and tried to lose the soldiers chasing them. As the heroes entered a dark alley, a thin man wearing rags popped his head out of a broken window and waved them, urging then to the safety of his home. The invitation turned to be a bloody one, as the man (along with his children) sprouted fangs and attacked the heroes.
As the heroes fought with the jackalweres, the soldiers circled the house. Once the last of the jackalweres was dead, the soldiers demanded the adventurers surrender. Cy sneaked out through the gutter, while the rest of the group tried to search for an easy way out of the situation. Al-Zatar broke the arguments by opening the house's basement door and talking to the soldiers.
Their leader - commander Ratley - asked the heroes to accompany him to the temple, were most of their questions would be answered. He urged them to join him, for their own safety.
The heroes followed the soldier to the temple, witnessing the bizzar world they entered. A necromancer was arguing with a Slaad over the price of human slaves in front of a Gnolish slave trader. An Iron Dragon was walking the streets with a cabal of followers.
In the temple, Greylock - Ratley's superior - explained the situation in which the heroes found themselves in. She told them that this is the world between worlds, and that entrance was much easier that an exit. She told the heroes about the Shadar-kai, and was interested to know how they got here, and even explained that Kognar Sil was a local, a member in a group called the Crimson Sashes. She is interested to learn of his method of entering and exiting the world. The heroes are also seeking Kognar, so a deal was made.
During their search in the city, the heroes met some of the local counterparts of the people they know from Athkatla, but they found no evidence of the Crimson Sashes. John went to the local wizard's guild, and found the necromancer they saw with the slaves. It appears that the Slaad won the bid, and ate the slaves he bought. In response to John's question, the wizard told him he can cast a spell to locate the artifact stolen from Elturgard. The heroes returned to Greylock, and secured the gold from her, telling her they need the cash to locate the Sashes. They did some investigation, ending up at the same inn they found themselves in when they first entered the world.
Cy went to the whereabouts of his shrine, and found one of Adol's sons - Sal - suffering from exposure to the draining effect of the land. With Sal was a book that Bellamine secured. Sal remembers a man giving him a key to the shrine, and the heroes managed to figure out that it was Kognar.
At Marcus's inn, the innkeeper gave them another key to open the same door they entered this world through after Al-Zatar waved some gold in his face. After a short argument, John took the gold from Greylock (that was meant to be used as a way to locate the Sashes) and used it to pay to the necromancer, who located the artifact in the whereabouts of Ganry's mansion (or at least, at the whereabouts of this world).
Episode H-113: The World between Worlds - Part 2Campaign Date: ?
The heroes approached the area in which the artifact is to be found, only to discover a wall surrounding a ruined fort and a single erect tower. A host of caravans circled the tower's opening, and a fire was burning, illuminating the faces of several gypsies.
An old woman, Madam Alia, explained that her tribe is known as the Vistani, people protected from the dark forces of this land, as the land is their own, and they are of the land. She told the heroes that there is a dark force in the tower, and that they are here to trade with it.
Rodrick sneaked to take a look at the content of their caravans, only to be paralyzed by the gaze of a strange creature locked in a cage inside of the caravans. The heroes managed to revive him, but Madam Alia seemed annoyed by their actions.
The door opened, and a great eye appeared. One of Alia's men removed all his weapons, and entered the tower at her command. Al-Zatar followed, and after a short moment, entered as well, only to be captured by the tower's inhabitants.
The heroes, troubled by the long absence of the sorcerer, broke into the tower, only to find a Beholder hovering above a portal to their own world in the last chamber. A host of Duergar and a single Gnoll waited there as well. Al-Zatar was a captive, and one Duergar kept the sorcerer's head inside a bawl full of water, threatening to kill the Gensei unless the heroes surrender.
A fight broke, and the heroes barely managed to overcome their foes. Wounded, the Beholder fled through the portal and tried to shut it down. John prevented the portal's closure, and the Beholder went to call for help, which appeared - to the horror of John - as his own father came to the help of the monster.
Being a mighty wizard, John's father almost wrecked the tower using a single spell, and John decided to use his father distraction in order to close the portal.
Fortunately, the fleeing Beholder left behind the Scales of Temptation - the artifact sought by so many. It is unknown whether the portal can be re-opened (from either side), and so the heroes are forced to spend more time in this dreadful place.
Episode H-114: Dark AlleysCampaign Date: 29 Hammer 1480
The heroes left the tower and met with the Vistani again. Lady Alia was so impressed of the heroes ability to deal with the dark power in the tower that she asked the heroes to help her deal with a wealthy lord that harasses the clan's women. In return, she will use her connections to set an appointment with the Crimson Sashes.
The heroes agreed, but went to Greylock and told her to replace them in the meeting and in dealing with the lord, so that everybody gets their wants (Greylock the Sashes, Alia the lord and the heroes some time in the inn were they can question the innkeeper without interference).
The heroes went to the inn, confronted the innkeeper and decided to use the Crystals to power a ritual that will allow them to travel back to their own world, utilizing the residual magical energy left from their last traversal. They landed in Athkatla once more, discovering that a whole month has passed.
Meeting Lucious, they learned that Ganry is now the sixth member of the Amnian Council, his Warforged army is used as a front legion in the war against Elturgard, and that the council is currently dispersed. The heroes managed to alert Lucious to the fact that Ganry is behind the war, and that he now "owns" the land. The heroes learned that Elturgard is counting on Cormyr to support it, while Amn is counting on Tethyr to do the same. Waterdeep is currently out of the equation due to the complications caused by the Greyseel family involvement in Amn.
After some discussion regarding their options, the heroes decided to go to Waterdeep, where the one council member that opposes Ganry is found in self-exile. Lucious teleported the heroes to Waterdeep, where they met the council member (Lady Amtharas) and convinced her that they need to find a way to tie lord Ganry and the stolen artifact and present it to Elturgard.
Lady Amtharas gathered a small meeting of the Amnian and Elturgardian ambassadors in Waterdeep. The Elturgardian ambassador, Inquisitor Nerna, was fierce in his opinion that Amn should pay for dealing with demons, and said that it is strange that the artifact is "found" exactly when his armies are gaining on Amn, but after the heroes offered the item, the identity of Ganry as the fire-starter and a guarantee of their honesty (by allowing Bellamine to be interrogated by the inquisitor), the Inquisitor agreed to hold back his army until matters are thoroughly investigated.
The heroes followed the inquisitor to his cathedral, leaving the Amnian ambassador and the council member outside. While preparing the cleansing ceremony, Cy noticed that the inquisitor is using Necrotic energy on Bellamine. Cy tried to intervene - but the inquisitor along with his men suddenly attacked...
Episode H-115: False RedemptionCampaign Date: 29-30 Hammer 1480
A great darkness descended on the heroes, and a wave of heat and sulfur crushed into them. When the darkness dispersed, the Naldrazu itself stood before them. The inquisitor was nowhere to be seen. The other Elturgardian priests shrieked and cursed the heroes for summoning the demon, and charged, but the creature and his minions seemed to feed on life force, and were difficult of overcome.
John managed to banish the demon using a well-placed spell, while Al-Zatar, finding that his powers are gone, fled the fight to try and call Lady Amtharas for help. To Al-Zatar amazement, the lady was held captive by Lord Persy and several Waterdhavian guards. Inquisitor Nerna was outside as well, lying wounded, blaming the heroes for the massacre that takes place inside.
As the heroes finished the battle, Al-Zatar confronted the corrupted inquisitor and managed to convince him to act against Persy, in-spite of the two apparently being allies. The inquisitor attacked Persy, who escaped shouting "You know he will kill us both!"
The Waterdhavian guards attacked, and the heroes realized these are Warforged dressed and disguised as man. The lady was wounded in the fight, but Cy managed to heal her of her wounds. After the Warforged were eliminated, the heroes took the wounded inquisitor to the cathedral for investigation. He was babbling about a scheme between the High Inquisitor in Elturgard and "the merchants", a scheme to start a false war using Warfoged and Demons in order to place the High Inquisitor on the throne of Elturgard, so that the light of Elturgard will wash the world clean. All he had to do is "leave the door open". He also confessed that Ganry was their connection to Amn, and that the army he was building was used as fodder, while on Elturgard side bound demons were used in the war. This way - "No one gets hurt".
During the investigation, he said that he was the gate for the Naldrazu, claiming that the "gate is inside of him". After an attempt to commit suicide, the heroes subdued him and stopped the gate from materializing again.
Cy suggested to take the inquisitor to the nearest Kord temple for a ritual of exorcism. The ceremony was conducted successfully (with Cy as the exorcist), and the darkness left the inquisitor. The heroes turned to sleep.
During the night, John witnessed a priest of Cyric entering the temple of Kord and talking to a local priest. He woke up the rest, but they were too late. The inquisitor was murdered. The heroes A chased both the priest of Cyric and the renegade Kord priest, and learned that someone arranged for the death of the inquisitor, and that the temple had several more false priests, which Cy rooted out. They also discovered that Kognar Sil was nearby, and according to his message to them, he was "trapped". A message from him urged them to "Find the flute", probably a reference to a stolen flute that once belonged to talented bard that stays in town.
The heroes talked to Lady Amtharas, and discovered she already sent a message to the Amnian council, saying that she had proof that the war was just an excuse for Ganry's ambitions. Greyseel was approached by Lady Ophelia, saying that Rupt is sick, and that Persy is going for control of the family assets. She offered Rodrick a way to bring down Persy, claiming she knows where he hides his Warforged. In return, she wants control of Rodrick's assets in Amn. Rodrick asked her to set a meeting with his father before deciding if he accepts her offer.
The heroes tried to decide what is the best way to proceed, as it seems that danger and uncertainty awaits in every direction...
Episode H-116: Deeper and DeeperCampaign Date: 31 Hammer 1480
The heroes decided to push on and seek Kognar Sil, allowing Lady Amtharas to travel back to Athkatla were the council was gathered. Worried that the heroes absence will make her task harder, she asked them to be ready to travel back using any mean possible if she asks so.
The heroes sought after the Deva who's flute was stolen, and discovered him to be a fraud - a human thief dressed like a Deva and using a magical flute to impress his listeners while charging great sums of gold. The heroes discovered that the flute was made of a special wood growing in the underdark. They also learned that Kognar was around when the flute was stolen.
A short investigation yielded that two powerful lords - lord Erkalion and lord Visrak - are caught in a struggle of power. The two hired the bards (the Deva and Kognar) to duel in a series of concerts for the elite of Waterdeep.
A seeing with lord Visrak (the one hiring Kognar) yielded that Kognar left soon after the flute was stolen. The heroes found out that he stayed in a nearby inn, and asked the innkeeper for the keys to his room. Again, John located a feint aura of teleportation. In the room, the heroes found out several parchments. A close inspection revealed that Kognar was on his way to "the mine".
The gensei used his magical power to pin point the mine, which turned out to be a dwarves mine abandoned after a drow attack. The heroes ventured in, and were ambushed by warforged riding on giant demonic eagles.
After the fight, the heroes subdued one warforged, and managed to eliminate all others..
Episode H-117: Family MattersCampaign Date: 1 Alturiak 1480
The heroes interrogated the subdued warforged, and where surprised to discover that he had a message for them, sent by his commander - Kognar Sil:
"I was hired to start a war. It's a prestigious line of work, with a long and glorious tradition. Now that my work is complete, I will withdrew into the shadows again. Farewell my friends, and may Timora’s Dreams will guide your path from here to eternity!"
After leaving the mine, the heroes hurried to Greyseel's mansion, arriving just in time for the family dinner. The butler - Breyton - welcomed them, and suggested a bath, during which the group tried to figure out Al-Zatar transformation.
After going down to the main hall, the heroes have met Rodrick's parents (Horatio and Anora), Ophelia and Aunt Nelie. After some pleasantries, dinner began.
Soon after, strange mechanical monsters attacked the mansion. Horatio fell down, clutching his chest, while Ophelia seemed to support him. After the fight, the heroes found out that Horatio was poisoned. Rodrick remembered that Ophelia is fond of needle-sharp hair pins, and indeed it was poisoned. After some interrogation, Ophelia admitted that she and Persy were scheming to take over the family business, and she told the heroes were to find him (information she was willing to give up even before in return for Rodrick's assets at Amn).
Cy used his uncanny tracking skills to track down the monsters' trail, and found out that the trail ended in the docks. Some more investigation in the area yielded that an invisible ship lurks in the docs...
Episode H-118: The Silent SerpentCampaign Date: 2 Alturiak 1480
The heroes decided to assault the invisible ship in order to capture Persy and end his evil schemes once and for all. With Rodrick's connections, they hired a small fisher's boat and sailed toward the empty dock.
On their way, they've met Avrak's Sailing Services ships, returning in this early morning hour from the sea. The sailors explained that they supplied 3 Amnian war ships on their way south. Some more questioning revealed that the sailors were not accustomed to see 3 war ships, as the Amnian fleet sails in groups of 4.
The heroes realized that the invisible ship is probably the forth ship, and approached it. It appeared that Carnago's thugs are keeping watch around it posing as fishermen, but again, with some false gold created by John, the heroes managed to secure a deal that allowed the heroes to penetrate the invisibility bubble of the ship.
After some assessment of the battleship and its crew, the heroes returned to the dock and sneaked under the dock railing up to the ship's anchor. Then, they boarded it undetected. On it, they found heavy ammunition of something that appeared to be a cannon (a rarity), and even explosive, magical ammunition.
The heroes slaughtered some unsuspecting Orcs that manned the ship using well-placed ambushes, until reaching a room in which a mechanical spider was placed. The fight drew the attention of a Half-Orc shaman, and a fierce fight erupted.
After defeating the half-orc, the heroes realized that the shaman was protecting a teleportation circle, and that the ships were made of a unique wood that made them more powerful then regular ships. Cy managed to understand how to operate the circle, and managed to mentally see that the ship's crew was aware that something is wrong, with all the crew gathering in the main deck. The sailors tried to lift the anchor, but the mechanism was brilliently sabotaged beforehand by the heroes, preventing the ship to leave the harbor.
The sounds of men running down the stairs toward the heroes jolted the group to prepare another ambush. This time, they managed to ambush the surprised Persy along with his two Minotaur bodyguards. Using very well placed blows, inventive tactics and magic, the heroes managed to defeat the orcs and the minotaurs and capture Persy once and for all...
Episode H-119: Wheels within wheelsCampaign Date: 2-6 Alturiak 1480
The heroes interrogate Persy and discover that Ganry plans to bomb the Amnian council hall when Lady Amtharas present her case to the council. Persy claims that Ganry trust the heroes to use the ship to give chase to the other 3 ships in an attempt to prevent the bombardment, thus allowing the evil lord to blame the heroes of the inevitable death of most of the council members.
Persy appears to believe in the prophetic abilities of his master, as most of what he had predicted happened, including the artifact so-called theft, the war, the Neldrazu cult involvement in the Warforged army buildup, the forge, and the recent happening in Waterdeep (the council "flutegate" issues).
The heroes, after considering their options, decided not to use the ship as expected (and fall into the trap). Instead, they worked hard to use a ritual that will allow them to use the ship's portal as a way to teleport themselves into Cy's temple in Athkatla.
The ritual required several components (Dragon's wing-parts, powder from a Vellen Tree and the help of 3 druids). Since the heroes already possessed the dragon parts (from the dragon they slew in the Neldrazu mines), they proceeded to secure the help of the druids and the powder.
Cy investigation at the botanic garden in the council hall yielded that their best chance was a family of druids living off to the east, where farmers reported giant spider sightings. During Cy's investigation, John and Bellamine took the flute to the fake deva bard, and secured another artistic showdown between the two quarrying lords, thus making sure that the council of Waterdeep will be able to resume its work and tai side in the evolving war.
The heroes trusted the Amnian warship in the hands of the Greyseel family and journeyed east. The farmers pointed them to a nearby forest, and Cy's skills in the wild allowed the heroes to spot a group of drow elves arguing about the location of a nearby outpost. The heroes tried to ambush the drow, but were ambushed themselves.
After defeating the drow, the heroes located the 3 druids. Joining forces with them, they located the grow outpost, where a drow priest was trying to impregnate Dragonborn females with a male Tiefling. The experiment was terminated by the heroes, who killed the spider-faced drow and rescued some of the dragon born females.
The druids, thankful for the heroes' help, aided them in the ritual, opening a portal to Amn. The heroes stayed to make sure the concert goes well, and at the end secured a meeting at the council.
At the council, the heroes revealed that the war was orchestrated and coordinated by factions in Amn and Elturgard. The heroes told the council that the best solution is to send parties to the Elturgardian king and the Amnian council to make sure that a cease-fire takes place. The council thanked the heroes for their efforts, and revealed that war-reports are getting more and more bloodied, as both armies seem to have lost all mercy.
The heroes then used the portal they created and materialized at Athkatla, in Cy's sealed shut temple. Adol's son is gone, and the streets are heavily patrolled by Warforged troops.
With hours left till the bombardment, there is very little time to waste...
Episode H-120: BetrayalCampaign Date: 7 Alturiak 1480
The heroes leave the safety of Cy's temple and head to Athkatla's hall. On their way, a warforged belonging to the Black Company manages to deliver a message. He says that the Black Company was outlawed, the Dragonborn banished to the mountains and the heroes are wanted as terrorists. The heroes ask the Warforged to arrive at the hall and wait for instructions.
Greyseel suggests the heroes travel through the sewers undetected. Inside, they were ambushed by several warforged, but managed to get to the sewer system under the hall. There, they spotted the ships and two flying creatures, too far and high to be identified.
Bellamine and Cy began climbing the wall, securing ropes for the rest of the group. Two warforged mounted on flying constructs fought the heroes as they climbed, but Cy managed to drop the (undead) warforged by turning them.
As the heroes searched for a way in, the bombardment started. The heroes got into the rune-covered glass enclosed hall, and Ganry - present by the force of a spell - shouted that the "Terrorists are here!". The council members looked baffled, and a fight erupted as warforged guards poured in, while Ganry shouting his blames, trying to make it clear that the heroes are the ones responsible for the attack and the bombardment.
The heroes devised a fiendish of their own, however. Using the portable portal, they managed to transfer the council members (willing or not) to Langdon's ship, which was a part of the attack, in the midst of a fierce battle while bombs rattle the city's hall.
On the ship, Langdon was seen commanding the attack by the council. Appearing at the ship, the image of Ganry demanded that he deal with the heroes AND the council members, in a clear act of betrayal. Langdon fought well, but was no match for the heroes skill, even with his ship crew fighting beside him.
As Langdon fell, Ganry pulled out his last ace. A great dragon descended and rattled the ship. The heroes, wounded and low on resources, decided to flee. The dragon tore down the ship as the heroes ran below deck to the portal. Cy managed to use his bond to the elven ship and engulf the dragon in wood, while Bellamine and Greyseel prepared the ship's magical cannon ammunition as a way to destroy the dragon (and the ship).
As the heroes passed through the portal, a terrible roar was heard, and a titanic explosion took the life of the dragon, wiping Ganry's magical image - a shocked expression on his face.
Back in the temple, the heroes discussed the situation with the now convinced council members. The situation looks dire, as the war, the presence of Ganry in the front and his still loyal army occupies the city.
A fiere debate started, with every council member pulling his own way, and the heroes offering their own take on things...
Episode H-121: CrossroadsCampaign Date: 7 Alturiak 1480
The heroes decided to go to Lucious's bookstore, to try and get more information about the situation in Amn and in general.
In his store, an old woman named Mirable welcomed them. She told them the Cowled Wizards appeared four days ago out of nowhere and took Lucious away. She specifically remembers one of the wizards, as he had scarred and burnt face. Lucious called out to him and she caugh the name: "Lashar".
Al-Zatar asked if the wizard have left anything for them, and indeed, an old tome bearing the symbol of chaos was there for them. Both John and Cy inspected him. Cy revlead that a dragon wrote it, and used his staff to decypher some of the writings. To his surprise, he heard the whispers of his inner voice again, reading the text to him. He learnt that the book deals with the binding ceremony of a power beyond imagining, and speaks about a prophecy regarding that power.
John used magic to inspect the book, and had several magically induced visions. In one, he saw a blind dragon sits on a star observatory ontop a great mountain, writing the book. In the second, he saw an ancient war of titanic proportions, in which the primordials are fighting the gods. In the last vision, he saw the 4-armed Neldrazu leading a demonic army out of the mouth of a volcano.
The heroes left the shop with the book, heading to Lucious's residence, as the old woman spoke of a magically locked basement there. On their way through the alleys of Athkatla, the heroes came upon a Blackscaled dragonborn gutted above a sewer opening. A closer inspection revealed that the dragonborn was pregnant, and was gutted for the eggs/embryos. The heroes inspected the area, and located tracks that lead into an abandoned house. Scouting ahead, Greyseel fell to an ambush of two Slaads, one managed to dominate him. The heroes darted in after hearing Greyseel call for help, and found themselves fighting their own friends, as the Slaads managed to dominate both Greyseel and Al-Zatar.
After a slimy battle with the creatures (revealing digested egg remains and embryo remains around), the heroes came out, not before destroyin two ring like artifacts that appeared to have a life of their own.
As the puzzled heroes tried to find some more clues around the corpse of the dragonborn, Al-Zatar looked above, and spotted the second dragon circeling far up in the sky like a vulture waiting for his prey..
Episode H-122 (Flashback): The Flame of Gul-Ra'daalCampaign Date: 2-6 Alturiak 1480
As the heroes are about to invesitgate the invisible ship at Waterdeep's docks, Al-Zatar sees a vision of a Gensei leading a small boat into an underwater cave opening, below the docks. He parts from the group, jumps into the water and discovers the cave opening.
Large fishes emerges from the opening, biting on small spungy looking foodstuff coming out of the opening. Al-Zatar, breathing water, dives deeper into the cave. The water fill a long tunnel, and then the tunnel goes upward and the water end.
Emerging from the murky waters, Al-Zatar finds himself in a small cave with statues of Spiders with human bodies crumbling near the walls. Runes of his family clan decorate the walls, emenating some light and a litte heat. Drow runes are also present, but all seem to be erased and covered by a strange crescent rune - Al-Zatar quickly recognizes this new rune, as it belongs to a clan of Gensei maraduers (The Moon Riders), the same clan that attacked the trade caravan in which his parents died.
Deeper into the cave, a lone figure stood knee-deep in the water. To his horror, Al-Zatar saw that it was a zombie, with its rotting flesh falling into the water, where the fish devour it. The zombie welcomed him, asking wheter it should summon the "masters". Al-Zatar talked to the zombie, and found out that his name is Makrug Enbnel, a Waterdhavian merchant ressurected as a sentinel to oversee the deals done between the Gensei and the Drow.
The zombie's memory was clouded, which Al-Zatar discovered was related to some strange rods with the mark "Adraak" which are planted in a cave-in behind the zombie. Enbnel told Al-Zatar that the cave-in is the doorway to the "Gul-Ra'daal" realm (the drow). But some magic is preventing them (and the zombie) from passing.
After some investigation and arcane research, Al-Zatar removed some of the protective rods. Soon after, 2 ghosts of very small children appeared (Talash and Lil Liandax), saying that a Gensei lured them using candies and delivered them to the drow, where "screams" and "bad dreams" happened. The sorcerer soon discovered that the Drow were harvesting the children of their internal organs while alive, for unknown purposes. A hoard of ghost-children appeared, a testimony to the evil of the drow.
Delving even deeper, Al-Zatar found a massive stone slab on which the vivisection took place, along with a ritual knife and the bones of all the dead kids (40 in number). Performing a cleansing ritual, Al-Zatar filled the area with holy water, which eventually caused Enbnel (the zombie) to melt saying "But I have yet to...".
Al-Zatar picked up a medallion belonging to the two kids, left the underground cave and returned it to their mother - an old cook at the Flaming Wagon inn. As he placed the medallion in her hands, he heard the voices of the young kids, thanking him with a sad giggle.
In Waterdeep, more investigation yielded that Ardaak was some sort of a priest that apparently still lives in Waterdeep. Al-Zatar found his small temple in the outskirts of town, surrounded by trees bearing the elemental manifest symbol of Air. While no sign of the crescent moon was visible, Al-Zatar threaded lightly as he entered the grove...
Episode H-123: Here be DragonsCampaign Date: 7-10 Alturiak 1480
After burying the Dragonborn's corpse, he heroes headed to Lucious's mansion in the Scepter District of Athkatla. Using the key given to them by Mirabel, they entered the wizard's house, finding the place sacked.
A quick descent into the basement revealed books thrown out of shelves and a magical drawing of a great dragon covering one of the basement's walls. The heroes returned the books to the shelves, taking care to restore them to their original location, revealing the same drawing on some of the books. A pattern emerged, and the heroes quickly realized that the drawing can be manipulated and opened as a door, given the pattern.
The opening led to a circular room, where a Gargoyle stood guard. Promising the Nozahg (the Gargoyle) that no items will be removed from Lucious's inner chambers, the heroes entered a room holding the map of Fearun on its oval ceiling.
The map was mathematically accurate, with lots of symbols, dots, marks and other navigational information. Tons of scrolls and books covered the floor, shelves and large table, along with navigational equipment, magical items, ritual components and more.
On a large wooden deck, a dagger pinned a small note while holding a large, blood covered chain with a pentagram on it. The note read: "Lashar's lackeys are getting restless."
The marks on the map (which the heroes reviewed very carefully) revealed the following:
John inspected the pentagram using his magic, revealing that it was created by 12 shadow-like creatures. Another vision revealed that someone tried to forcibly place it on a creature with large talons and leathery skin.
Exiting Lucious's chambers, the heroes debated where to go on from here. While doing so, Cy's messenger to the Dragonborn returned, bearing a scale on which a tiny message was written (Fort Cragg, 3 days, urgent).
While the heroes fiercely argued over the correct course of action, Greyseel followed a group of soldiers leading slaves to Athkatla's barracks and watched a man named Lord Emsel - a follower of Cyric and an ex-adventurer company owner - sending the slaves with minimum equipment to the front (as a representative of the council), offering freedom to whoever comes back alive.
Cy managed to persuade the heroes to hurry to Fort Cragg. A hurried journey through the sunken city (where they met Tevesh and his dwarven miners clan) got them to Fort Cragg quick enough, while the Blue Dragon spotted by Al-Zatar circling above.
At the fort, Sarram spoke of a vision he had in the cave while working on Bellamine Wyrmscale armor. It appears that the Dragon wants to speak to them on its own terms, at a small clearing not far from the fort.
The dragon (revealed to be the sibling of the one the heroes slew on Langdon's ship), delivered a short message before taking off into the darkness:
"Mark my words well: From the light of a candle darkness recede. Through the gate to the forest where dragons concede. From the deep where they die to the peak where they lie, at the kingdom of old the storm has an eye."
Baffled, the heroes spent the night over maps of the region, trying to make sense of these cryptic phrases...
Episode H-124: Different SkiesCampaign Date: 14 Alturiak 1480
The dragon's words echoing in his mind, Cy managed to decipher the cryptic message using a blend of luck, scholar knowledge and sharp reasoning. It seems that the path of the message begins at Candlekeep, taking a route through Baldur's Gate, Forest of Wyrms and the Well of Dragons. The heroes agreed to travel to the secluded town, following an assault on Ganry's estate.
Traveling to Andur-Suk, the heroes were ambushed by a group of Tieflings and their Drake mounts, The tieflings were after the group's gold, but quick reactions from the heroes drove away the assailants, leaving one female tiefling captive.
A brief questioning revealed that she was riding with a group of bandits, but a lucky turn in the conversation revealed that she is familiar with the inner sanctum of Ganry's estate, due to a fling she had with Menelaus - Ganry's right hand.
The heroes had a fierce argument, as the tiefling wanted a cut, and to be treated as an equal in the assault. The argument turned to an exchange of blows between the heroes, and the tiefling died by the hands of Bellamine, who refused to let her live.
The heroes - now somewhat withdrawn - continued to Andur-Suk, where they met with Sarge and Nightshade, two leaders of the Black Company. After the heroes learned that Lashar of the Cowled Wizards took control of the Warforged Army and that assassins were chasing a bounty placed on the heroes's heads, the group turned to plan the attack on Ganry's estate. The heroes were warned by Nightshade that Ganry's estate probably holds nasty surprises.
Using their skills and experience, the heroes led a successful attack on Ganry's estate. The warforged did observe a group of Amnian officials watching the attack, and the heroes responded by seeding false rumors that the attack was the council's will.
After capturing Menelaus, the heroes ventured into Ganry's main chambers, where a not even Menelaus was allowed to venture. After saving Menelaus from a clutches of a murderous vine placed as a guardian (after pushing him into a room as a precaution), the heroes return to the main garden. Menelaus warned the heroes that only Ganry ventured there.
Heedless of both warnings, the heroes entered the thick garden, and after several minutes exploring it, even Cy could not find the way back. Indeed, something was not as it seemed.
Climbing a tree, Greyseel saw strange skies above, and a vast forest stretching in all directions. The only notable landmark was a single, looming mountain-ridge with a vast castle commanding its peak…
Episode H-125: No Place Like HomeCampaign Date: ?
Venturing deeper into the forest, the heroes spotted a skeletal figure lurking behind them. Greyseel's responded with some lurking of his own, and was startled to see Dakes - missing an arm, an eye and half of his weight - spying on them.
The terrified manservant of Lord Fantimore nearly passed out of relief as he identified the heroes. He explained that he followed his master's homunculus into Ganry's estate, but was captured by the Eladrin. Ganry threw him into this world, laughing, giving him "what he wanted" (namely, to find his master).
The heroes debated whether to move toward the citadel on the mountain, when Dakes frantically told them that the portal back is probably very near. Al-Zatar and John tried using their arcane knowledge to learn something about this world, only to realize that this is not a real world, but more of a pocket dimension. Fearing that Dakes's stories about the portal are not trustworthy, Al-Zatar used his staff to get a lead, only to discover that going back (toward the portal) will be more dangerous that going toward the citadel. That said - the staff's magic suggested that Ganry is probably not in the forest.
The heroes decided to venture forth - deeper into the forest - inspire of Dakes protests and claims of Green Horrors and Eyeless Terrors in the deep of the forest. The heroes did encounter some human-like insects / lizards, but they were not very hard to overcome.
After hours of walking in the dense forest (there is no sun, therefore no way to measure time), the heroes made it to the edge of a crater, in which a mighty ruined city lies sprawled. The empty windows of the ruined structures stared at them, almost totally covered with growth and trees.
Dakes started to whimper.
The heroes descended into the crater and to the city, locating a small stone slab with the Eladrin writing "Welcome to Mulhandrin - City of Autumn - and into its eternal beauty and glory". Around, only ruin.
As the heroes advanced into the city, suddenly hoards of ape-like creatures landed around them. The creatures were clearly undead. They charged the heroes, who started a desperate run toward a building that looked like some sort of a city hall. The undead apes swarmed over Cy, and he disappeared below an ocean of bone, teeth and fangs, but the heroes backtracked and rescued him from the claws of the undead creatures.
The heroes urged each other and used every resources they had - magic, skill and amazing feats of endurance - to stay ahead of the monkeys and help those who fell behind. Luckily, the apes didn't follow the heroes into the city hall.
Just as the heroes slumped on the walls for a rest, a platoon of Eladrin Archers - all undead - lined up before them and peppered them with explosive arrows. A new battle began, with the heroes using every bit of an edge to come out on the winning side.
As the last of the archers fell into dust, the heroes drew a collective breath of relief, only to be answered with a deep, abyssal growl that came from the depth of the hall...
Episode H-126: Pillars of CreationCampaign Date: ?
The mechanical zombie that burst through the doors below the staircase broke through the staircase and leaped an amazing leap, landing near the heroes. Another battle erupted, and the heroes spotted another undead creature lurking in the darkness behind the broken doors through which the mechanical zombie emerged. The heroes gave chase after defeating the brute, and were fooled by a eerie of levers and moving walls, until Greyseel found a way to lock the sliding walls.
Capturing the skeletal creature, the heroes found that his name is Evendil, house keeper for Ganry's ancestral residence. After some talking (and the refusal of Evendil to let the heroes into the inner sanctum), the heroes cooperated and managed to break the magical seal that protected the inner chamber, to the amazement of Evendil.
Inside, the heroes found eight human-sized glass tubes containing seven Eladrin males, all seem asleep and of old age. One tube is empty, probably belonging to Ganry. A table rested in the middle of the room, with eight rings and one ritual book. A single Amber orb resting on a piece of paper was also found.
The heroes inspected the room, the tubes, the arcane devices attached to the tubes and the other artifacts, and realised that:
After explaining their suspicions to Evendil, they all agreed that in order to stop Ganry, they need to wake on of the remaining Eladrin Liches. Choosing the most "lawful" of the seven, they wake him up and feed with energy from the rings. After a quick explanation of the situation, the Lich offered his help, stating that the ancestral royal House of Ganry will owe the heroes a great debt for bringing Ganry in. The heroes accepted a token of protection along with a vision to the current whereabouts of Ganry - leading a false Amnian army of warforged to the heart of Cormyr with plans to attack.
The heroes left the house, returned to the portal and encountered an Illithid ambush. While activating the portal, the heroes fought off the Illithid forces. As they jumped through the gate, knowing that the Illithid is well beyond their power, the last thing they saw was the raging alien lunging toward the gate rune-covered operation console...
Episode H-127: Back in the Village AgainCampaign Date: 14 Alturiak 1480
The heroes emerged from the portal just to find out that time stood still during their 2 day stay in the Eladrin pocket dimension. After some regrouping, the heroes left Ganry's estate with the Warforged, headed north. On their way out of the mansion, Bellamine "briefed" the Amnian officer overseeing the happenings at the mansion, telling him that the Black Company had fulfilled its mission and that the mansion is secured.
The heroes left Athkatla, carrying gold taken from Ganry's mansion and a strange crate with no lock or hinges, and a Dragon Claw mark on it. Discussing how to proceed, Bellamine have stressed the importance of getting quickly to Cormyr, to deal with Ganry's incursion. The other members of the group suggested that Bellamine will accompany them further into Candlekeep, and let the company march to Cormyr, hopefully meeting them later on. The heroes reviewed their current funds, realizing they took 35k worth of gold from Ganry. In addition, John using his arcane powers on the crate, realizing it was used in the same ceremony he say in an earlier vision, conducted by 12 shadowy figures on an ancient, dying dragon.
A might storm gathered up north, and the weather worsened. On their 2nd night, the heroes saw strange lights and shadows dancing in the broken windows of some ruined fort along the way. Investigating, they encountered a deformed lizard-like creature who attacked them with great speed. A battle erupted, in which more humanoids (with gashing wounds in their chests and similar deformities) joined the frey.Only after Bellamine killed the creature, the heroes learned the horrible truth: it was Lucious, their friend from Amn, cursed and mutilated by some dark power.
The heroes managed to subdue one of the creatures, and after inspecting the wound, they realized it was shaped like a pentagram. Using the pantegram they found at Lucious's adobe at Athkatla, they managed to heal the creature, and learned it was a Cowled Wizard named Evelir.
Evelir told the heores about a horrible ritual Lashar (the Cowled Wizard with the burnt face) is conducting, trying to revive the Neldrazu and bind it to a human host. Apparently he succeeded, and by killing Lucious the demonic soul was freed to roam again and find another host.
Debating their course of action, the heroes decided that Amn was on its own, and headed forward to Candlekeep, where the guards refused their entrance, saying "it is best for all parties". After the heroes pressed, they were allowed entrance, only to find out that John's father, accompanied by several zombies and a mercenary lord named Vell from Neverwinter is present. The encounter nearly ended with violence, but Thalandir - the shcolar responsible for Candlekeep's administration - bellowed and reminder everyone the rules: no violence, or the draconic spirit guarding the place will make them pay.
The heroes entered the library, asking for some information. John asked about the books his father was reading, and the heroes learned that he was researching Dragonic Tombs.More research yielded some interesting facts regarding the draconic prophecy, their tombs, a location in which they gather to debate in times of need, and the location of a tomb in which a dark-elf was imprisoned after ruining a similar binding ritual to that John saw in his vision. The tomb is located in Werewood, and the dark elf used the same phrase the blue dragon used to lure the heroes to Candlekeep (from the light of the candle...).
In addition, Al-Zater learned that there is a connection between the dragons, John's Father research and a group of powerful sorcerers known as the Lords of the Tempest. The exact nature of this connection is still unclear.
The heroes still did not find any way to speak with the draconic spirit of Candlekeep, as many claim it is not a real dragon. That said, the only person who claimed to have spoken with that spirit is a Gensei named Gul-Radal, but many believe it is just an exaggeration make by that strange Gensei.
Episode H-128: RevelationsCampaign Date: 24 Alturiak 1480
The beggar placed by Greyseel to watch for activity near John's father inn burst into the library, shouting that one the zombies is out and after him. The heroes go out of the library, and meet the zombie as it approaches. The creature invites the heroes to meet with John's father at the inn.
Remembering their last encounter, the heroes ready themselves for battle. At the inn, they are surprised to see Carnavon Morningveil, the head of Kord's temple at Waterdeep and the man that witnessed the exorcism ritual performed by Cy on the corrupted Inquisitor. Apparently, one of the renegade priests who infiltrated his temple at Waterdeep (which Cy and the heroes helped uncover) returned to the temple, and told Morningveil that the Demon - the Neldrazu - seek to speak with him about a matter of outmost importance.
Since Morningveil was aware of the heroes actions against the Neldrazu, he accepted and traveled to Candlekeep - a neutral location. At Candlekeep, he met Vincent (John's father), but the Demon himself was nowhere to be seen (probably due to the heroes battle with Lucious).
The heroes went up to meet John's father, who told them that he and the Neldrazu are now free of Ganry's control - the heroes actions against Ganry have cost the Eladrin much of his control. Once free, the Neldrazu managed uncover a web of deception woven by Kognar Sil. The Neldrazu believes that Kognar is up to something sinister, taking advantage of both Ganry and the High Inquisitor at Elturgard to promote his own goals. The artefacts (Pantegram, Dragon-marked chest and Binding chains) are somehow related to these goals, as is the unholy infusion of Dragonborn and Tiefling.
The Demon revealed his findings to his superior - Asmodeous himself…and the Nine-Hells are in turmoil. But it seems that the Dragons - who observe the path of the draconic prophecy - are still not decided. Therefore, a meeting is about to take place at Wyrm Wood.
John's father urge the heroes to collect all 3 items (he didn't know they own two already), and bring Ganry to justice before the dragons. Maybe this way they will manage to unveil Kognar's true goals. If they fail - he and the Neldrazu are working on plan B...
The heroes made some more inquiries at the library, finding out that the Dragon bound to the chest is non-other than the Astral Dragon himself, vanished at the same time with Par-Rik, the elven warrior which path Cy follows. The Dragon spoke to Par-Rik using a special language whispered into the mind, much like Cy is experiencing for several months now.
In addition, the heroes learned about the Lords of the Tempest, a group of elementalists bound to bring forth the power of Primoridal Chaos into the world. Their avatar is a sorcerer who can wield all the elements at once. Such sorcerer is rarely born, and is always a sign of trouble to come.
As the black clouds form in the north and a heavy rains drops on the muddy land, the heroes set forth to Baldur's Gate, where according to the Neldrazu, the unholy Chains of Binding are about to exchange hands in a shady deal between the Nine-Fingers thieves guild and Oghma's High Priest.
On their way to Baldur's Gate, the heroes encounter a group of rangers and their elven priest, also on their way to Baldur's Gate, to hand a warrant warning the locals of Ganry's defection. The road proved dangerous, as Demogorgon beasts attacked during a particular stormy night.
At Baldur's Gate, the people are fighting for food and shelter, as the un-natural storm looms above the city central. In the crowded streets, soldiers of the Flaming Fists apprehend a Blackscale dragonborn as he tries to warn the crowed of the Face in the Cloud. A group of robed and armed Gensei track the soldiers and their prisoner into an alley, but the heroes lost them in the crowd, debating whether to follow them or not.
At that point, Stephan Greyseel, another relative of Rodrick, happily embrace his cousin, telling the heroes that the confiscated ship (the one the heroes took from Ganry) is now being used to transport food to Baldur's Gate, and is now at the port. Stephan invites the heroes to join him later on at the Silent Kraken inn, and turns to his work, leaving the heroes still debating the best course of action.
Episode H-129: Night's Dark TerrorCampaign Date: 24 Alturiak 1480
The heroes decided to track the Flaming Fists and their Dragonborn prisoner. After a short search in the sea of people that flooded the streets, Greseel suggested to try walking toward the direction of the local prison, and led the way.
After an hour or so, Greyseel heard noises of battle. The heroes rushed forward, only to witness the fleeing Dragonborn as his Flaming Fists escort are fighting the Gensei, and the Nine-Fingers (or so it seemed). Greyseel spotted a man with a dog hiding in the shadows and observing the scene, and decided to follow him. The rest of the heroes followed the Dragonborn.
Greyseel learned that the man is a Bounty Hunter following the Gensei from Cormyr. The bounty hunter - Krynt by name - told Greyseel that the Gensei stole a stone slate with runes on it from an archeological excavation site at Cormyr. Greyseel felt that Krynt was not telling all the truth, but they had no time to discuss it as the Nine-Fingers attacked them. They ran, trying to avoid the Nine-Fingers and close the distance to the other adventurers.
Several minutes later, the who group gathered at the dark alleys surrounding a crumbling mansion. Flaming Fists were locked in a triple combat with the Gensei and the Nine-Fingers. The heroes - now separated, with Greyseel and Krynt in one alley, Al-Zatar in another, and Bellamine and John in yet another - joined the fray.
Bellamine and John got entangled with a group of Nine-Fingers marauders, while Al-Zatar managed to join with the Gensei, as Greyseel and Krynt infiltrated the mansion.
John was caught off-guard by a Nine-Finger assassin, but managed to stall and even learn that the Chains were probably being transported to Stephans's ship (the heroes ship). Al-Zatar learned that the Gensei are from the Silver Marches, and managed to gain their trust, but allowed them to notice his is manifesting several power sources. Greyseel and Krynt sneaked into the mansion, encountering Dragonborn guards.
Soon all groups were locked in close-quarter combat, with most badly wounded. The heroes prevailed, and while Bellamine and John caught their breathes after finishing off the deadly Nine-Fingers, Al-Zatar and the rest of the Gensei managed to join Krynt and Greyseel. Unfortunately, the gensei killed off Krynt with the Dragonborn he fought.
The situation worsened as Bellamine, Al-Zatar and the gensei encountered a Dragonborn ambush, with the Dragonborn summoning the "Coal-Malgre" - a powerful Dragonborn spirit which is not native to this continent. At that critical moment, the other gensei showed their real face, driving a dagger into Al-Zatar's back and rendering him unconscious, whispering that they have an unfinished business with him.
Greyseel, facing unfavourable odds, dragged the slumped body of the gensei above, managing to hold back the Dragonborns and prevent them from going up as well.
The heroes then re-grouped, as Greyseel saw Bellamine and John catching their breathes, and after a short discussion, the heroes left the mansion seeking shelter from the storm and their enemies.
Episode H-130: The Spirits WithinCampaign Date: 24 Alturiak 1480
The heroes end up at the Silent Kraken inn, where Rodrick's cousin - Stephan - is enjoying the local hospitality. A young woman is tending her bruised husband at the bar, and the heroes learn that a halfling and a dwarf wearing official clothes of the Royal Guild were discussing Stephan's ship in low voices. The young man tried to talk with Stephan on the subject, but the rich noble waved him off. The dwarf, noticing it, sent forth some thugs to 'teach the man some manners'.
The heroes went up to talk with Stephan and understand if he's aware of the artifact being transported to his ship, and Cy noticed another dwarf leaving the place after making sure he wasn't noticed. Al-Zatar and Cy followed the dwarf, eventually seeing him speak with a well-dressed dwarf in the Royal Guild house. Cy and Al-Zatar return to the inn, but on their way decide to visit the ship, where they see dark figures lurking around.
Al-Zatar went to warn the other members of the group, who were interrogating the noble and the ship's captain (whom they called forth from the ship), learning that he had nothing to do with the artifact. The heroes did learn that he had hired an anonymous wizard to activate the ship's magical properties.
Cy's magic flared up at the sky - and the heroes ran down to the dock. The ship was under attack. Cy battled with an unknown force to control the ship, while a host of Nine-Fingers led by the halfling attacked the heroes and the ship. The battle was furious, and the heroes prevailed, Cy managing to take control of the ship.
Inside, they find the Nine-Fingers and a passed-out wizard. The Nine-Finger prisoners speak of a renegade dwarven Nine-Finger merchant who tried to smuggle the artifact out of the city using the knowledge he gained from a halfling who was once an Amnian Shipwright responsible for the construction of these magical ships.
Turning to interrogate the wizard, the heroes were not-entirely surprised to find that he was no other than Ganry himself, trying to put his hands on the 3 artifacts. Ganry tried to use his magic to defeat the heroes, but the rune that they received from the Eladrin ancestors in Ganry's pocket dimension saved them. As the heroes interrogated him, flaming fists arrived, threatening to storm the ship. The heroes quickly opened the ship's portal, and teleported to the Well of Dragons, dragging Ganry and the 3 artifacts with them.
The Well of Dragons turned to be a sacred place, holding 12 statues of dragons and an altar standing before a magnificent crystal statue of a dragon. Continuing the interrogation, the heroes learned that Ganry have lost all his fights, trying to get the 3 artifacts to try and place some pressure on Kognar Sil, whom he blames for his ultimate failure. The Eladrin claims that he hired Kognar - who turned to be a valuable tool - only to be manipulated by him. At the end - Ganry is willing to do anything he can to hurt Kognar, even if it means to help the heroes use the 3 artifacts and release whatever is trapped inside (a dragon spirit, according to the heroes beliefs).
Releasing the spirit, it took Cy's body. The spirit called itself the Astral Dragon, an entity trapped eons ago by the Netherese, after trying to foil their plans to resurrect their most powerful wizard - Krassus. The dragon does not know whether they succeeded or not. Reciting the prophecy, the dragon tells the heroes that in order to fight Krassus, the Lords of the Tempest (powerful elemental wizards) are to be united under the reign of their Avatar - a sorcerer with the ability to wield all forms of elemental magic. All eyes turned to Al-Zatar. The sorcerer asked about the next steps to be taken, and the dragon told the heroes that it is up to them. The dragon suggests the other continent, as it is being ruled by Dragons and have a strong presence of the Shadovar. Whatever they will decide, the Astral Dragon said, his spirit will ride with them...
TO BE CONTINUED...