Bloodstonelands Campaign

Session 9 - 2nd Ride of Mirtul, 1459 DR Year of the Forged Sigil

After interrogating Elzid for a few hours and resting. The party prepared to exit the dungeon. While Artemis and the group fidgeted with the knock scroll and talked to each other. Erilyn approached Remiel and offered him a golden bracelet. She told him that it was for protecting her and showing kindness. Remiel tried to give the bracelet back to Erilyn, but she refused.

The party then moved into formation and traversed the circular stone stairs back to the surface. The PCs arrived at the top of the stairs and were greeted with the sounds of battle. A dozen hooded figures wielding vicious looking battleaxes were engaged in battle with six other warriors who appeared to be elves. The hooded figures wore black tabards and their cloaks were adorned with various types of coins. Although the party couldn’t see their faces, they noticed long white reptilian like tales protruding from their backs. At that time they witnessed one of the hooded figures hack into the leg of an elf. His screams were quickly ended as the other figure flanking him followed through with a strike to the back of his head killing him instantly. At that moment, two of the elves tried to flee, but the cloak figures engaged with them didn’t hesitate to embed their large battleaxes deep into their backs, severing their spines.

Near the bottom of the hill beside a large tree, the party saw a lady wearing an elegant white gown that was embroidered with gold and silver. The Lady had a slender figure and long flowing golden hair that covered her face. Her graceful stature and pointed ears clearly revealed her elven heritage. The lady was armed with a longbow and a long sword rested in a scabbard attached to her belt. She did not appear to have noticed the party.

Standing about 20 feet away from the hooded figures was a man wearing a black hooded robe over a layer of chainmail. He carried a black bladed khopesh in one hand and a wooden triangular shield in the other. A silver holy symbol adorned his neck and the symbol of Tiamat adorned the center of his robe. The man barked orders at the reptilian figures saying, “That’s right! In the name of Tiamat, show no mercy!” He then turned around quickly to look towards the east.

From the east, the PCs could hear the sound of heavy galloping. Seconds later a fully armored knight on horseback charged into the melee. The Knight was covered from head to toe in finely crafted plate armor and his black stallion was equipped with chain barding. A white plume adorned the top of the knight’s helm and the tabard he wore identified him as a Knight of the Golden Cup.

As the horse picked up speed, the knight lowered the visor on his helm and pointed his lance toward the group of cloaked figures. Within seconds, the lance pierced the chest of the closest figure. Upon impact, the creature fell backwards, but the bloody tip of the lance jutted out several feet from its back, stuck firmly into the ground, and impaled the creature upright. The Knight continued his charge through the ranks of the enemy trampling another creature under the hooves of his great stallion. At that point, the horseman rode away from the skirmish, drew a broadsword, and turned around for another charge.

Surprisingly, the elven maiden expertly fired two arrows in rapid succession into the exposed back leg of the stallion. In response, the horse reeled up in pain, collapsed, and threw the knight to the ground. The elven lady then looked up at the dark blue sky and into the setting sun. She then moved behind the large tree.

Then only a few feet away, the party spotted a female half-elf hiding in the main floor of the tower. She appeared to be observing the battle, but she quickly turned around when she heard the party walking up the stairs. When the party was up the stairs the half-elf gestured in a friendly manner by playing her lute. Remiel suggested that the party help the knight and Loki wanted to kill the elven lady. It didn’t take long for the party to swiftly enter the battle.

The battle continued with one of the white claw soldiers slashing his battle axe into the side of one of the three remaining elves. At this time, the man wearing black robes noticed the party and decided to watch them before acting. The female wild elf engaged in melee tried her best to parry a strike from one of the soldiers, but she wasn’t strong enough to stop the attack and screamed as it hacked into her arm. After regaining his composure from the fall, the knight stood up and calmly brushed the dirt off his armor. One of the soldiers then charged the wild elf archer while he was trying to reload, but the attack only slightly wounded him. Another soldier attacked the wild elf male and slashed his battleaxe deep into his leg. Seeking revenge the female wild elf embedded both of her swords into the belly of the beast and severely injured it. Her companion slashed into another one of the creatures with his long sword. Artemis charged into the fray and pointed his long sword at one of the soldiers invoking his Lighting Lure power, teleporting him away from the two elves fighting for their lives. The battle quickly became a chaotic melee with everyone unsure who the enemy was.

At that point, a man dressed in leather armor and wielding a long sword leaped out from hiding and charged Artemis. The ducal guard thrust his long sword into Artemis causing blood to cover his entire left side. Then, just as the female wild elf managed to dodge another battle axe, Elzid exclaimed, “These are duke Konrad’s men!” Chotuk then used his Sacred Flame power to attack one of the soldiers, but missed. The halfling cast his healing word prayer and healed Artemis who was now badly injured. Hoping that she chose the right side, Tulani helped the party and attacked one of the soldiers with a psychic spell that injured his mind. Loki then invoked a scorching burst over the Inquisitor and three of the dragon men beside him. Three of them avoid the flames but one of them became completely engulfed in the flames. Tulani addressed the party, “I like how I take a break from traveling, you guys emerge from nowhere and we start attacking people” Torment was quick to reply saying, “Trouble seems to follow us around” At which point Remiel interjected, “As long as you are on our side lass.”

A white claw soldier then ran up and hacked into Artemis, injuring him severely. Remiel then invoked a Forceful Denunciation prayer at two of the soldiers and the ducal guard. “Stand down servant of the Dragon Queen” Remiel commanded as his spell killed one of the soldiers and severely injured another. The ducal guard, however simply shrugged off the attack. One of the white claw soldiers’s charged at the knight and managed to hack through his heavy plate armor. The solider then released his dragon breath on the knight, but missed him. The wild elf archer moved away from the warrior engaged to him and fired an arrow into the side the soldier that was attacking his companion. Sharke then attacked the Ducal Guard using his magical broadsword and slashed his chest wide open. The attack filled Sharke with a renewed strength against the soldier. Torment then took two swings at one of the soldiers and severely injured him.

After observing the party, the inquisitor launched a Ray of Black Ice at Artemis. The ray hit Artemis and drained some of his life-force away sending it into the ducal guard empowering him. Elzid moved to the back of the towers main floor in an attempt to hide from the battle. Then the soldier attacked the female wild elf, but she easily ducked under the blow. In anger, the white claw soldier released a blast of cold breath on both of the wild elves. She dodged away, but her companion wasn’t as fortunate as his arms became frozen. Another soldier took advantage of the male elf’s pause and hacked at him with his battleaxe. It then released a blast of dragon breath at both of the elves. The heartless creature even hit one of his own soldiers in the process.

Finally able to act, the knight slashed his broadsword into one of the soldiers twice. That soldier moved away from the knight and attacked Torment by slamming the side of his axe into Torments arm. Responding to the attack, Artemis teleported the creature away from Torment and made him reappear adjacent to him. The teleported dragonborn took advantage of the situation and released his dragon breath on Sharke, Loki and Remiel who are were now in range. Everyone dodged the blast, but Loki, whose face and hands became frozen. The wild elf female leaped around and attacked with both of her swords, but only managed to slice open her opponent’s leg with her long sword. The wild elf male found an opening and scored a critical strike, embedding his short sword deep into the chest of one of the soldiers. Artemis invoked a Sweeping Frost blade at the ducal guard and three of the soldiers. The ducal guard dodged the attack, but the soldiers were blasted with magical cold that even their natural resistances failed to protect them against completely. Everyone in the path of the sword became immobilized from the attack.

Then in a great rage the ducal guard transformed into a creature that was half man and half snow leopard (a were-snow-leopard). The creature ripped off its armor and leaped at Artemis and attempted to rend him with his rear claws. Artemis managed to dodge out of the way, but noticed that many of the creature’s wounds were completely healed over. Then one of the other soldiers attacked the wild elf male and chopped into his left arm. The soldier beside him attacked the female wild elf and slammed his axe on her to her foot. The creature then blasted its freezing dragon breath over the wild elves, Artemis, and one of his own companions. Chotuk Hab then invoked his divine glow on four of the soldiers. The prayer was powerful enough to kill one of the soldiers and greatly injure another. Chotuk also called forth a healing word prayer on Artemis healing his wounds.

Tulani then attacked a soldier with her Vicious Mockery power causing psychic injury to him. She then shifted the ducal guard around so that the party could later gain a flanking position. Loki invoked a scorching burst spell on four of the soldiers, killing one of them and burning the other three badly. At that time, one of the soldiers jumped up high into the air and slammed his battle axe over the wild elf males head sending the elf convulsing on the ground. Another soldier took a strike at Artemis, but it stumbled and missed. Sharke, while flanking one of the soldiers, slashed at him with his broadsword and caused him to shriek in pain. Remiel invoked a Crown of Retaliation on the ducal guard and severely damaged him. Remiel then followed with a sun strike prayer and killed one of the soldiers. Another soldier attacked Torment with his axe. Torment tried to dodge out of the way, but the strike was too fast and it hit him hard. The solider then used his dragon breath on Torment and the Knight, but they both leaped out of the way.

The wild elf archer expertly fired an arrow into one of the soldiers and killed it. Sharke attacked the ducal guard, but the guard, who was now half man and half snow leopard, simply leaped high into the air and landed 15 feet away. Torment attacked the soldier with a radiant vengeance prayer blooding it. The inquisitor charged at Sharkey and viciously swung his black bladed khopesh at him. Fortunately, Sharke parried the attack, but not before he became overwhelmed by the evil presence that surrounded the man. The presence was so intense that Sharke began to loose confidence in his abilities. The Inquisitor then tried to attack Sharke for a second time, but could only curse as Sharke evaded his attack yet again.

The Knight called forth a holy strike and crushed the white claw soldier’s head under the pummel of his sword. Fighting for her life, the wild elf female feinted with her long sword and then, after creating an opening in the soldier’s defenses, embedded her short sword deep into the creature’s ribcage. Artemis attempted to invoke another Lighting Lure on the inquisitor, but missed. He tried the same spell on the ducal guard, but also failed to injure him. At that time the ducal guard, roared like a great cat, regenerated, pulled out a black scourge, and charged at Artemis. The swordmage was far too quick for the attack and stepped aside, clearly he found the attack very predictable. Despite his failed attack, the lycanthrope managed to shake off Remiel’s Crown of Retaliation. Then another soldier slashed his battle axe low at Artemis, but he simply jumped away and parried the attack with his longsword. The swordmage, however, wasn’t as fortunate against the soldier’s breath weapon, which froze his legs and caused him to grimace in pain.

In a rage, the soldier fighting the wild elf female, crushed the male elf’s skull into the ground. He then hacked into the female elf with his axe and used his freezing dragon breath on her. At that time Chotuk invoked a bless spell on the party and launched a Sacred flame on the lycanthrope, but the spell went high into the air and completely missed. He then quickly tried again, taking more time to aim, and scorched the creature with holy fire. Tulani then used her Majestic Word, healed Torment, and then invoked a Shout of Triumph on the Inquisitor, one of the soldiers, and the ducal guard. The ducal guard and the soldier were battered with thunder magic. Loki then launched a scorching burst at the inquisitor and one of the soldiers. The flames set the Inquisitor of Tiamat’s black robes on fire and seared his flesh. The soldier that was caught in the attack suffered a similar fate.

It was a this time that the party noticed that a giant eagle launched itself high into the sky from behind a tree. It was the same tree that the Elven lady moved behind.

One of the soldiers leaped at the wild elf female and slammed his axe into her knee. The blow was just too much for the elf and she fell to the ground unconscious in a pool of her own blood. Another soldier then hacked into Artemis adding to his many wounds. Seizing the opportunity, a soldier came out of nowhere and charged at Artemis and embedded his axe deep into his shoulder. Remiel called forth another Sun Strike prayer and killed the lycanthrope instantly. At that point, Remiel called out, "May Ilmater have mercy on you for your cruelty! At that point the wild elf archer fired and arrow at the inquisitor, but the projectile was blocked by the man’s wooden shield. Then, torment focused his fury at one of the soldiers and embedded his two handed battleaxe deep into its chest, which caused the creature to howl in pain.

After witnessing the quick death that the ducal guard suffered at the hands of Remiel the inquisitor ran away. Sharke and Artemis tried to attack the fleeing inquisitor but he blocked the attacks with his shield and ran as fast as he could. Then the giant eagle, which was flying high above the battle, swooped down, picked the inquisitor up off the ground, and proceeded to fly towards the city of bloodstone. The battle continued and the party was able to cut one more of the soldiers down, but not before three others escaped. In addition, the wild elf archer took the opportunity to run away towards the river as fast as he could.

After the battle, the knight introduced himself as Sir Holland. He offered to return Erilyn to the town of Windless and told the party that their reward was waiting for them at Grohmbar’s tower. Sir Holland told the party that Grohmbar had asked the knight to check up on the party (see the conversation with Sir Holland on the forums)

DM’s Notes: The party made quick work of the dukes men. The battle never became the challenge it was meant to be. Even the Inquisitor saw a few of his most powerful attacks completely fail. I was surprised that the party didn’t make more of an effort to save the wild elves.

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Session 8 - 2nd Ride of Mirtul, 1459 DR Year of the Forged Sigil

Sharke read the poem on the folded note, "There was a handsome mage of bloodstone, his deeds were far from complete. When he returned from a corner of hell, they exclaimed, “Is this a spell?” That handsome mage of bloodstone."

Loki and Artemis quickly realized that it was not a knock ritual that was activated from the scroll as they had thought. All of a sudden, a circular ring of fire erupted on the ground. Within seconds a pillar of darkness rose from its center. Various faces shifted and dispersed around the pillar, reforming again and again in an endless rotation around the darkness. Then, the smell of sulfur filled the chamber and a dark ominous scream echoed around the room. Stepping forth from the dark pillar was a tormented fiendish humanoid figure with a very long tail. Half of his face was scarred and burnt beyond recognition and a single horn protruded from his forehead. Burnt and parched hands brandished a black staff covered in various runes. As the figure leaned on his staff the party noticed a large hunch protruding from the back of his tattered robes. The figure quickly looked around the room and smiled at the party.
Artemis Greencloak recoiled when he realized that the note activated some kind of gate ritual. Torment gasped, “I think we may have just summoned what Elzid had been trying to when he blew this place up!” The figure addressed the party in a raspy voice, "Welcome mortals, and thank you for considerately returning me to the realms. I had expected the duke’s men or worse, but I will thank you nevertheless. My name is Elzid may I ask who you heroes are? Upon hearing a familiar voice Erilyn move from behind the party looked at the figure and asked, “Who is that? Is that you Elzid?” While looking at Erilyn accusingly, Chotuk replied, “My name is Chotuk Hab, sir.” Ignoring the halfling, Elzid turned his head to look in the direction of Erilyn and upon seeing her; attempted to cover his face with his hands. When Erilyn realized that the creature she was looking at did indeed appear to be Elzid she screamed in terror. Elzid turned his head away in shame and tried to explain what had happened to him, “You mustn’t see me this way. I can explain. Please let me explain. I was tortured. They twisted me into what you see today. I did all of this for you. Please look past my outward appearance. I love you with all my heart”. Erilyn so revolted at what she saw standing before her cried out, "No it can’t be! You are a fiend! "With a further attempt to console her, Elzid pleaded, "No please Erilyn, I am not a fiend and I never was. You know that I am a good man. They did this too me! Don’t be afraid, my love. Have pity on me. I am still the man you love. "
Noticing Erilyn’s predicament, Remiel moved to her side and became ready to comfort or restrain her as needed. “Elzid you are too horrible to imagine! I trusted you!” exclaimed the girl. “Umm, maybe calling him names isn’t the right approach”, Chotuk replied. With a curious tone Torment interrupted the two of them and asked, “Have we summoned you back from the nine circles of hell Elzid?” Remiel paused to consider the ruins, the notes, the letters, and agreed, “I believe you are right Torment. Elzid left behind his own escape clause, a way to evade the devils he had previously made pacts with.”
Ignoring the conversation between the deva and the Tiefling, Elzid screamed, “No! Erilyn you can’t say that. I will still make that perfume I promised you.” Elzid continues to attempt to convince the girl of his genuine love for her and after several moments of crying from Erilyn. She finally dismissed him telling him that she couldn’t love him anymore. Then, unexpectedly and in a fit of rage, Elzid turned on the party and yelled at them, "No! You will all pay for this! What thoughts have you poisoned her with? I was going to let you have all my treasure and let you leave in peace. But now, it is clear to me that you must pay for your crimes. You no doubt already had your way with her. With that Elzid slamed his staff on the ground and unearthly screams of agony filled the room. Chotuk Hab commented, “What? We can’t get her to shut up, if that’s what you mean” “Don’t be ridiculous”, Remiel interjected. Torment followed with an accusation of his own, “What spells did you use sir, to keep her blind and captive in this tower?” Then when he noticed Elzid’s chanting, Torment readied his battleaxe and proclaimed, “If a fight is what you want sir then we shall send you back to the depths of hell from which we summoned you.”
The battle began with Artemis Greencloak taking no chances by invoking a Lighting Lure through his sword, but Elzid was too quick and deflected the attack with his runic staff. Sharke was also quick to react and slammed his shield into Elzid’s side knocking him prone. Despite being prone, Elzid teleported to the other side of the room and black shadowy claws rose from the ground around Sharke’s feet. Fortunately, the fighter was far too quick and the claws failed to injure his legs. Torment charged into the fray, raised his battleaxe over his head and slammed it hard into the floor missing Elzid. The avenger then followed through with another strike that sunk deep into Elzid’s leg. When he was hit again, Elzid teleported to another location in the room and several shadowy like claws appeared under Torment and slashed into the flesh of his legs.
Safely away from attack, Elzid picked himself up and began to invoke an area of effect spell, but hesitated when he realized that such an attack wasn’t possible with Erilyn in the way. Elzid then launched a charm spell at Remiel, but failed to control the deva’s mind. Despite being attacked, Remiel tried once again to calm the man down, “there is no need to fight!” Elzid coldly replied “you must be joking”. Well if you will not renounce your past, then you deserve the damnation you have brought upon yourself", answered Remiel. Chotuk Hab seconded the comment. Then as the deva spoke his last words, "a surge of divine power filled the air in front of him, destroying the claws under torments feet. At that time Torment tried to convince Elzid to stop his attack. Surprisingly Elzid paused for a bit to consider what the tiefling was saying. Perhaps Elzid could identify with the tiefling and realized that he was now no different in appearance to Torment, but his anger soon overwhelmed him and Elzid shrugged the thought away with a huff.
Loki attacked with a phantom bolt that failed to injure Elzid. Loki quickly tried again with another bolt and this time hit Elzid in torso, pushing him back several feet. Erilyn worried that she could be in a dangerous situation asked, “Should I stay here?” Remiel answered, “Yes, stay with me Erilyn.” “He will not harm you.” Loki told Erilyn, “you are our only hope to save him”, but then held his breath after telling such a lie. Artemis attacked with a Crackling Burst blasting Elzid and followed through with a Booming Blade but missed. Torments divine guidance allowed Artemis to make another attack that hit him. Unfortunately, the hit caused Elzid to teleport to another section of the room and summoned more claws under Artemis’s feet. The swordmage was far to nibble and easily avoided the attack. While spinning around Sharke took a swing at Elzid with his broadsword, but missed. The attack allowed the fighter to land in a stance that would allow for a more powerful subsequent attack against Elzid. Chotuk took the opportunity to talk to Elzid diplomatically, but his efforts were completely ignored as Elzid was far to enraged. Torment attacked the claws under his feet, but they were far too quick and easily avoid his battleaxe. The claws responded by latching on to Torment’s legs and raked his flesh.
Enraged Elzid raised his runic staff over one shoulder and slammed it into Sharke causing a shockwave to shroud his entire body and immobilize him. Elzid then spun around and slammed Artemis with his long tail knocking him back several feet away. Noticing that Elzid would not listen to reason, Chotuk attacked Elzid with a Lance of Faith, but the spell hit the ceiling as Elzid ducked. Then Remiel proclaimed, “As you will not submit, you shall reap the rewards of the pain you inflict!” Remiel then invoked a Crown of Retaliation on Elzid, but the crown failed to have an effect on the wizard. Sadly, even the deva’s attempt to alter fate failed to guide the crown on top of Elzid. “Can’t say we didn’t try!” exclaimed Chotuk. Loki then invoked a zone of flames on Elzid and the claw. Elzid was burned a bit by the blast and was knocked prone. Not knowing what to do, Erilyn cried and hid behind the party. Remiel responded by patting her on the shoulder, but quickly turned his focus to the battle in front of him. Artemis then commanded his sword to freeze over as he spun around and attacked low with his long sword. Elzid avoided the strike, but freezing cold emanating from the long sword caused Elzid to become frozen in place. The cold also destroyed the claw that was under Sharke’s feet. Without the claw attacking him anymore, Sharke focused his attention back to Elzid and swung at him with a powerful diagonal chop of his sword, but Elzid deflected it with his black staff. Torment, concerned about the claws under his feet, swung his battleaxe and easily destroyed them.
Elzid stood up and invoked a charming command of obedience at Torment, ordering him to kill the deva. The spell overcame Torment’s will power, and forced him to charge at Remiel. Torment could only watch in horror as his body raised his battle axe and hacked into the deva’s side. Pleased with the success of his spell, Elzid replied to the tiefling, “Yes that’s it. Now we really do understand each other”, but Elzid’s mocking comment was cut short as the radiant energy from Remiel’s Crown of Retaliation burned Elzid’s flesh. The spell however, disappeared as Elzid shrugged it off. Chotuk tried again to attack Elzid with is Lance of Faith, but Elzid effortlessly dodged the attack. Torment, now recovered from the charm that Elzid placed on him apologized to Remiel, “I am sorry, I just felt compelled to strike a squishy.” Remiel enduring the pain from Torments axe shouted at Elzid, “You may try to turn us against each other fiend, but we know our enemy.” Remiel noticing that Elzid was vulnerable to radiant energy blasted Elzid with a Sun Strike twice. Causing him howl in pain each time the rays burned his corrupted flesh. Erilyn then screamed at the top of her lungs, “Stop Elzid stop!” Elzid however, completely ignored her. Torment called out to Elzid, “continuing this fight will only ensure your demise Elzid!” Then Artemis attacked with his Booming Blade power only to see it furiously wacked away by Elzid’s staff. Noticing an opening in Elzid’s defenses, Sharke expertly poked his long sword into Elzid’s side, but just as before, Elzid teleported into the hallway and more claws appeared around Sharke’s feet. The claws attempted to rend Sharke’s flesh, but failed to penetrate his scale armor.
Now in the hallway, Elzid seized the opportunity and blasted most of the party with fire and brimstone. Sharke, Artemis, Chotuk, and Torment, were all knocked to the ground and burnt badly. Chotuk Hab was hurt the most and is relentlessly burnt by the flames. While grimacing in pain, Chotuk Hab managed to stand and attack Elzid with his Lance of faith. The pain however was too much and caused Chotuk’s lance to miss wildly. Remiel attacked again with a Sun Strike and burned Elzid’s flesh with radiant energy. Loki took the opportunity and cast a chilling cloud in the area around Elzid. The spell froze his flesh and destroyed one of the claws. Erilyn cried out yet again for Elzid to stop, but he continued to ignore her. Artemis then charged into the hallway at Elzid and hacked into him with his long sword, but Elzid teleported away back to the room. Just as before, a claw appeared under Artemis’s feet, but failed to injure the swordmage. Sharke then stands up and attacks one of the claws and obliterated it. Torment picked himself up from the floor and swung at Elzid with his battleaxe hacking into his flesh and burning him with radiant energy. Another claw then appeared under Torment and flailed wildly, but the avenger found their attacks far too predictable and dodged them with ease.
While suffering greatly from his injuries, Elzid lifted his staff high in the air. Gradually, the sounds of tormented souls filled the chamber. Erilyn, Loki, and Torment became stunned with fear. Initially, torment tried to laugh it away with maniacal laughter, but his voice turned into a whimper and he was overcome with fear. Chotuk then healed everyone in the room and the claws in the room became weakened by his Beacon of Hope. Remiel moved back to defend the stunned Erilyn and yelled, “Fiend! You have caused too much suffering!” He then called forth another sun strike on Elzid, but the tears in his eyes blinded him, sending the ray of light off into the corner of the room. Chotuk asked Remiel, "Why are you crying? For which Remiel could only lament, “Those poor tormented souls” Ignoring the sounds, Artemis attacked with another lighting lure and teleported him into one of his own claws of damnation. When Elzid appeared in the claws he recoiled in pain as they raked his flesh. Sharke moved up beside Elzid and took a careful strike at the wizard, but it was blocked by Elzid’s black staff. At this time, one of the claws under Torment’s feet slashed his wide legs open.
Elzid then invoked another charm command at Sharke and ordered him to attack the Eladrin. The fighter tried his best to resist the command but had no choice but to swing his sword. Thankfully, the swordmage was prepared and parried the strike away. Chotuk Hab then attacked Elzid with a sacred flame, but missed Artemis attacked Elzid with a lightning lure and hit him. Sharke with a sure strike missed. The claws under the avenger attacked and raked his flesh. Elzid tried to attack Sharke and Chotuk with his staff and tail but missed both. Chotuk Hab used a divine glow on everyone and tried to attack Elzid with a sacred flame, but misses again. Finally, Remiel followed through with a yet another Sun Strike and knocked Elzid unconscious.
Elzid awoke to find the party surrounding him with their weapons and spells at the ready. Elzid begged for his life and the party agreed not to kill him. After some convincing Elzid broke down and revealed much about the situation in the valley. He also promised to make amends for the evil that he caused. It was agreed, that he would begin his acts of restitution at the monastery of St. Dionysus and help rebuild the library that he had once burnt down.

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Session 7 - 2nd Ride of Mirtul, 1459 DR Year of the Forged Sigil

The battle continued with Remiel calling forth a sun strike on the Animated Human Painting, which collapsed the construct into a burning pile of ash. Loki raised his orb high in the air and followed with a chilling cloud spell targeting the paintings. The drow painting was fortunate enough to dodge out of the way, but the dwarf’s beard became covered in icicles. The halfling Chotuk called upon his faith to strike at the dwarf painting with a magical lance, but the dwarf painting simply smacked it away with its morning star. Then, noticing an opening in the dwarf painting’s defenses; Sharke raised his new found magical broadsword over his head and followed through by slashing hard into the drow painting’s shoulder. The blow was so devastating it almost split the painting in two. Still staggering, the drow construct’s next attack on Torment was easily deflected by the two handed battle axe that Torment procured from the bugbear skeletons. Despite being frozen by Loki, the dwarf smashed his morning star into the Eladrin’s knee cap almost crippling him. If it was a real dwarf it surely would have taunted the Eladrin. At this time, the paintings moved into position to guard each other.

“Kill it Max!” shouted Chotuk from the back ranks of the party. “I’m trying, but it won’t hold still” said Max as his distance dagger was dodged by the drow painting. It was then that Artemis channeled powerful magic through his sword, but unfortunately his sword swing failed penetrate the dwarf painting’s double morning star defenses. Those defenses also parried a sword swing by Sharke that came across horizontal towards its neck. That swing created an opening in Sharke’s defenses as the drow painting thrust its rapier deep into Sharke’s shoulder. Torment tried to lop off the dwarf painting’s feet when he poked high and spun around low at the dwarf’s legs, but the dwarf simply slammed his morning star down and knocked the axe away with little effort. Noticing another opportunity, the drow construct trust its rapier at torment just missing his head.

Pleased with his previous strike on the human painting, Remiel called forth another sun strike on the dwarf construct. This time, however, it went a little too high and shot over the dwarfs head. Loki, wanting to show Remiel how it was done, called upon his arcane powers and pushed a scorching burst of flame over the paintings causing them to ignite into flames. With little other option, Chotuk blasted the dwarf with another radiant lance that pierced the dwarf’s chest. This attack allowed Chotuk to imbue Torment with more energy to attack. The drow painting attempted to slash Sharke across his neck, but Sharke simply raised his shield and blocked the weapon. Max tried to engage the drow painting from a flanking position, but when he missed with his dagger he quickly shifted away from the melee. Concentrating again, Artemis channeled energy through his long sword and struck the dwarf construct under its right arm. The spell’s energy surged through the sword and jolted the dwarf with arcane power.

For a third time, Remiel shot a sun strike at the dwarf construct, but it barely missed the creatures head yet again. Chotuk thinking the same way, summoned another lance at the dwarf painting, but unlike Remiel, he hit for the second time and blasted a chunk out the dwarf painting’s side. With everyone ganging up on the dwarf painting it was clear that its demised was imminent. Sharke took no chances and finished the dwarf off by slashing the dwarf from low to high. When Sharke ended his strike with his arms raised, the drow painting seized the opportunity and viciously stabbed Sharke in his exposed chest causing blood to poor out over the broken painting of the dwarf.

At this time the drow painting remained the last construct standing and was flanked by the party. Even with the advantage in combat Torment took two wild swings at the drow painting and missed. It seemed (at least for Torment) that this drow painting still had some fight left in it. Sure enough, the drow construct continued to push his rapier into Sharke’s chest causing more blood to spill over the broken dwarf construct. Max, undistracted by the handy work of the drow painting, threw his dagger into the drow construct’s back causing it to collapse on top of the blood soaked dwarf construct.

After a short rest the party licked their wounds and realized that they were completely exhausted. It was then that the party opened three of the spheres and found: Elzid’s Journal, Potion of Resistance (Poison), Ritual Scroll of Arcane Mark, Ritual Scroll of Silence, Scroll (with the words, “thisus” and “thossum” written on it), Treasure Map, and 400 copper coins.

Then just as Artemis was trying to open one of the spheres, a large metal snake leaped out of the sphere and bit the sword mage on his neck. Artemis eyes opened wide as he felt the snake injecting poison into his veins. This completely surprised the party as everyone was clearly more interested in the treasure then in taking precautions (like searching for traps). After they heard the screams of Artemis, a deadly melee ensued. Then, Loki and Artemis realized that this was another construct called an Iron Cobra and that it was extremely dangerous. Before anyone could act the snake coiled its head back and bit deep into Artemis’s wrist.

Previously while resting; the party speculated that there could be a command word for the constructs they fought earlier. Using that suggestion, Remiel realized that there could be a command word for the Iron Cobra as well. In a mad rush the party tried to recall all possible command words that they previously discovered throughout the dungeon. In a painful cry, Artemis frantically called out “Thisus”, but the metal snake continued to bite hard into his wrist. Failing that, Artemis caused his long sword to freeze over. He then blasted the snake with cold energy immobilizing it in a thick layer of ice. It was then that he felt the poison from the snake burning his veins from the inside. Then torment said, “Kizzimic”, but nothing happened. Torment tried to crush the snake with his axe and blast the snake with radiant energy, but he only managed to slam his axe into the floor. Sharke tried to crush the snake under his shield, but he also failed to damage it. When Loki saw an opening he summoned a phantom bolt at the snake only to have it hit the wall. Loki was just thankful that the snake was immobilized. He then taunted fate (and the DM) by merging a few of the command words on the wall together by saying “Me-Ta-Garlock”. Of course, nothing happened. Then Artemis said both words “Thisus and Thossum” and the snake stopped moving. At the same time Sharke said “Tarlock” and the middle door they had opened previously appeared again.

Relived that they survived the deadly encounter with the Iron Cobra, the party proceeded to experiment with the doors to the treasure vault. They discovered that when a command word was spoken the corresponding door would appear with the appropriate key in the lock. The doors could also be opened from the inside by touching them, which would cause them to disappear.

The party opened the last two spheres and found the following: A folded note, Large Metal Tome (Artifact), a note with a list on it, Elixir of Aptitude, Fire Beetle Potion, and 3 Potions of Healing.

After gathering all the treasure the party moved to the small secret room and took an extended rest. During their rest the party examined the treasure they found. It was at that time that they noticed that the 400 copper coins they found were actually 400 gold. Loki speculated that there must have been an illusion masking the coins.

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Session 5 - 2nd Ride of Mirtul, 1459 DR Year of the Forged Sigil

While in defensive positions at each door, the party continued to discuss their next move. Then unexpectedly, Machera fell to the ground reeling in pain clutching the area where he was bitten during the spider attack. The PCs watched in horror as all manner of carrion burst from Machera’s stomach, eyes, and mouth, devouring his flesh. Even his equipment was devoured by the insects’ apparent acidic ichors. Loki thought that he would have time to save Machera with a freezing spell, but the insects were far too quick. In fact, within the blink of an eye all trace of Machera and even the acidic pool that was once his equipment vanished. It was very clear to most in the room that some kind of magic was involved in the attack. Max however coldly dismissed the incident by saying, “So much for that guy, now what?” The party continued their scans of the room for the imp and Loki threatened to freeze every inch for the entire room with one of his spells.

At that time, the party heard a thud against the south west door that Torment was guarding. They then heard, the muffled sounds of a man cursing, “By Tempus’s right arsecheek! Cut me loose!” Not sure if this was some kind of a trick, Torment decided to open the door. Torment pushed the door inwards and had to react quickly when a net with a man trapped inside swung down from the ceiling. Torment was lucky because the trap could have seriously injured the tiefling. Suddenly, the man attempted to grab for a sword which was on the ground beneath him. After that Chotuk demanded the door be shut. Max, who was developing acute paranoia, screamed for someone to stab the man in the net and take no chances. Torment attempted to slam the door shut, but realized that the net and the man were in the doorway. Just then, Max became very distracted and left his door unguarded. Loki was quick to warn Max of his laps of judgment, but max continued to approach the man in the net with the intention to bash the man senseless. Then Torment, the more level headed of the group (for the moment) suggested that the man be interrogated and proceeded to cut the man down from the net with his sword. At the same time, Remiel decided to accompany Erilyn Windfellow to the main chamber and join back up with the party. When the party was back together again, the man in the net introduced himself as Sharke. Some of the PCs introduced themselves and the paranoia that was previously directed toward the human slowly subsided. Sharke explained that he came looking to collect the bounty for finding Erilyn Windfellow. He told the group that a magical spell put him to sleep and that he woke up to the sound of the party’s bickering. After an excessive amount of defensive posturing, formal greetings concluded and most of the party quickly ignored the immediate threat that the invisible imp posed.

After looking around a bit more, the party could see that the door they had just opened exposed a small room. Lying on the floor of the collapsed chamber was a dead goblin. Several rats could be seen gnawing at the corpse, while a few others frantically scoured the debris-strewn corners for edibles. Partially devoured rats and old rat bones littered the floor. Searching the rubble in the room, Torment found a small stash of treasure which included several coins, a few valuable objects, several simple weapons, a red and blue key, and a few alchemical components. Sharke found a portrait of a handsome man. The PCs showed the portrait to Erilyn and she identified it to be a portrait of Elzid. Upon finding treasure in the room, Loki decided to ignore his own advice and abandoned his guard of the door to approach the party. Shortly after he began to examine the items, Remiel noticed that the door Loki was guarding was open. It was open just enough for the imp to have escaped into the main chamber.

Knowing that the imp was about, the party tried their best to gather their wits and proceed along an intended course of action. With the chaos that ensued, Sharke was quite amazed at how undisciplined the party was. Clearly, this band of heroes had no direction or even a leader. Remiel asked Erilyn if she knew anything about the imp or about the towers basement in general. Erilyn told them that she didn’t and continued to murmur about Elzid being a kind and loving man. At that, many in the party were stunned at the level of naivety the girl had displayed. They even suspected that she was under the influence of some kind of magical spell. Max suggested that Erylin be knocked unconscious. In response, Remiel scolded max and Chotuk dismissed the idea since he realized the party would be forced to carry her around. With that comment Remiel apologized to Erilyn. Max of course took the opportunity to further taunt the girl. Remiel further rebuked Max and demanded that he cease his nonsense. Fortunately, Erilyn, was far too distracted with her concerns for Elzid then to pay much attention to it all.

With the infighting over, the party decided to search the north east room. They discovered that the far end of the room had collapsed leaving little more than a pile of rubble. However, the corpses of two goblins lied sprawled among debris, spears jutting out of their backs. At that time, Sharke used his sunrod and Loki cast a light spell on Sharke’s shield. With light, Max, Torment, and Sharke searched the room. Remiel and Loki remained in the main chamber to keep an eye out for the imp and to protect Erlyn.

While listening for danger, Remiel heard movement towards the middle of the chamber. Loki responded by preparing a freezing spell in case the imp appeared. Sure enough, the tiny devil appeared behind Erilyn holding a dagger across her throat. The creature smiled and glared at the deva with his sharp yellow teeth. Clearly, the tiny devil believed that the party was a bunch of “do gooders” and would become impotent during a hostage situation. Wasting no time at all and with absolutely no regard for the life of Erylin, Loki let loose a chilling cloud spell. The spell injured the imp, but not before the imp panicked and viciously sliced the ladies throat wide open. As blood pored over the ladies white dress she collapsed to the floor. Shocked and in complete disbelief that he had underestimated the PCs inclination for evil, the devil flew away down the hallway and neglected his magical powers to escape.

Reacting immediately after the imp’s assault on Erylin, Chotuk ran to Erylin’s aid and cast a healing spell on her. The wound across her neck vanished and she quickly regained consciousness. The lady would have surely died if Chotuk failed to arrive in time. In a blaze of speed, Max charged down the hallway looking for the imp. When he found the devil near the door to his right max slashed the creature with his dagger. Then in a rage of anger over the attack on Erilyn, Remiel charged after the imp. The deva cast a radiant spell in his direction but missed his mark. At that time, Sharke ran from the room and attacked the imp with a charge of his own, bashing the creature with his shield and knocking him prone. Loki attempted to attack the devil through the doorway, but the imp had superior cover and his phantom bolt missed. At that moment, the imp realized that he was in trouble and moved away from the party. He then cast a powerful phantom spell of his own in the parties’ direction. All those in the hallway saw the ground underneath their feet disappear and they began to think they were falling into a chasm. Despite Max being immobilized he managed to throw his dagger at the imp and hit him. The imp screeched in pain, obviously still injured from the previous encounter with the party and fell to the ground dead. As he returned to the nine hells, his corpse ignited into flames and only ashes remained. The large iron key and the imp’s wand were later found in the ashes.

At this time, Loki was thankful that his actions didn’t result in the death of Erilyn. He may have been in shock over his own actions, but it didn’t stop him from immediately retrieving the seemingly powerful wand the imp was using. After stashing the wand in his pack, he swore to himself that he would never do such a foolish thing again. Without a lecture from the party over the incident, the PCs directed their attention to the room they were previously searching. Within they found a bottle of elven wine, a finely crafted dagger with an exceptional gem in its pommel, and a few other trinkets. It didn’t take long at all for Max to claim the dagger and become transfixed with its obvious magical qualities against tiny creatures. In the mean time, the party celebrated the imp’s destruction and passed the wine around. During the celebration, Remiel engaged in further conversation with the lady and learned that she didn’t recall ever being in the basement of the tower. She also told Remiel that the last thing she recalled was being upstairs with Elzid asleep in her bed. Realizing that the lady seemed to be “involved” with Elzid, Remiel quickly drank the last of the elven wine.

The party searched the north western room and discovered an orc’s skull that contained cheap jewelry. After a quick vote, the party proceeded to open the open door at the end of the first hallway. In no time at all, Max searched for traps and picked the lock with little effort. Thereafter, the party discovered that the red key they previously found fit in the lock of the door. The party readied themselves and Sharke opened the door to reveal a 30’-square chamber that appeared to have been undamaged by the blast that destroyed the tower. A circle surrounded by magical runes was painted in the middle of the floor. A wooden lectern stood close by. Resting on the lectern was a sheet of parchment yellow and curled with age. Two evil looking statuettes sat at the base of the lectern.

The scroll reads: With tongue of flame, I send thee on Thy journey into fire; To infernal planes, I say “Be gone!” Lest thou arouse my ire.

Loki deduced that the circle was made for summoning both devils and demons. He believes that it was created by a very powerful wizard. He found it odd that a circle would be created for both, but then realized that the circle was later modified to work for devils. Some in the party thought it would be best to disable the circle, but Loki pointed out that it would be a bad idea. If a devil or demon was summoned using this circle and it was damaged the fiend could escape. The scroll found on the lectern was magical and Loki identified it as some kind of banishment ritual. For safe keeping Loki asked Remiel to hold on to it.

Thinking it wiser to leave the summoning room alone, the party left the room and chose to investigate the unopened secret door. Remiel and Loki kept their eye on Eyrlin and continued to observe her reaction to the library, the writing on the wall, and the burnt books. They concluded that she appeared to be honestly seeing everything for the first time and didn’t dismiss or over react to anything in particular.

As the party members were clearing the rubble away from the secret door, the party began to speculate what had happened to Elzid and the tower. Sharke thought that he may have faked his own death in an attempt to run away with the girl. Chotuk suggested that Elzid enchanted the girl to love him completely, so that his name would be remembered positively, instead of for his evil. Remiel speculated that Elzid may have shed his evil ways and pointed to the poem they found as evidence. Erilyn confirmed that the poem was written with Elzid’s hand writing and that he always wrote poems for her.

Clearing the rubble away, the party opened the secret door and discovered a 10×10 chamber with a wooden chest on the floor. Max detected a powerful magical trap on the chest (a fireball) and expertly disabled the trap with little effort. After picking the lock the party found a magical broad sword, a hellfire wand, and a large brass key. Unknown to the party, max secretly pocketed the brass key and left the room. Sharke claimed the broadsword and Loki added the wand to his collection. Noticing what was going on, Erilyn asked if the party had plans to return Elzid’s property to him. Torment assured her (lied) that they were collecting Elizd’s possessions with the intention to return them. The tiefling’s tone was so convincing that even Remiel believed him.

The party then gathered in front of the trapezoidal stone door and prepared to attempt entry…

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Session 4 - 2nd Ride of Mirtul, 1459 DR Year of the Forged Sigil

After resting for a short while, the party decided to chase after the imp. When they exited the main chamber they entered a corridor that contained three more doors. With the party overcome with indecision, Torment’s patience began to run thin and he took the lead. Despite having Torment as the parties trap activator, Max continued to search for traps in front of the rest of the party. Wasting little time, Torment charged at the closest door attempting to break it down. Unfortunately, he hit the door the wrong way and slipped, almost slamming his face onto the cold stone floor. Refusing to believe that torment couldn’t break the door down; the party became concerned that door was barricaded. When Max arrived, however, he simply turned the door handle and it opened with ease. Needless to say, Torment was somewhat embarrassed when he stood back up on his feet and didn’t say much.

With the party back in formation, they walked passed the door into another short hallway with two more doors. One of the doors was made of stone and was trapezoidal in shape, becoming wider toward the floor. Carved into its face was a horned and leering gargoyle fresco with a large keyhole set into its gaping mouth. Loki detected the presence of magic emanating from both doors. Max approached the wooden door to search for traps, but was startled by the appearance of a large magical mouth that said, “Be gone! or by Zotzpox name you shall be cursed”. Loki then observed that the magic on the door quickly faded. No further traps were found on the door, but the door was locked. Max also discovered that the stone door had two magical traps. Max decided to leave that door alone and moved to the wooden door to pick its lock. The lock was easy to pick and the party nominated Machera to open the door.

Upon opening the door the party discovered what appeared to be an old library. The chamber was 20’ X 30’ and was destroyed by fire. The charred remains of tables and shelves littered the room, and burned books lay scattered on the floor. Ruthlessly etched on one wall were the words “ELZID WAS AN EVIL MAN” with the E’s scrawled backward. Searching the books Torment discovered a scorched book titled “The Making of a Good Tyrant” with a letter addressed to the wizard Mortimer stuffed inside it. The letter read as follows.

“I cannot believe that the infernal dukes would reward me so unfairly, especially after all my evil deeds. I ask for a legion of devils, and instead I get one measly…(letter burned here)… Would you be so kinds as to return the book you borrowed from me last winter? There are some particularly nasty spells inside, as you well know, that may be useful”.

It became rather apparent to everyone in the room that the books were deliberately set ablaze. Further searching revealed a button in the west wall that caused a secret door to open. The secret door revealed a long hallway that extended into darkness. The party traversed the hallway in formation and discovered a room full of webs at the opposite end. Torment and Machera took the lead and approached the edge of the webs. Immediately, two Giant spiders leaped out from the webs and attacked. Machera was caught off guard and was struck down, poisoned, and knocked prone. Torment was more fortunate as he managed to dodge the spiders attack. Responding quickly, Chotuk wasted no time to heal Machera. The party made short work of the spiders, but not before Loki set the webs on fire with a powerful magic spell.

After the flames died down, the party took a closer look at the room. The dusty, unlit room had collapsed in response to the explosion of Elzid’s tower, and heaps of fallen rocks and debris were found piled up on the floor. In one corner of the room, the party noticed a bunch of broken potion bottles with their liquid contents flowing into the cracks along the stone floor. The party deduced that the potion bottles were once caught in the webs, but must have fallen and shattered on the ground when Loki set the web on fire. After that blast Loki, forced himself to remain proud of the fire spell he had previously cast. During an extensive search of the area, Remiel discovered a secret door in the north east corner of the chamber, but the rubble prevented it from being opened. On that note the party took a short rest and discussed their plans.

While resting, the party discovered that the flaps on Loki’s and Max’s backpacks were open. Some suspected that tiny spiders had entered the packs, but Loki became outraged suspecting that their conniving little friend may have pick pocketed something from them. Sure enough Max’s pack was missing the Large Iron key the party discovered in the statue. At that time, the party decided to chase after the imp. They became very worried that the imp may be trying to open the stone door that they found in the second hallway.

In hot pursuit of the imp they arrived at the hallway with the stone door. After examination they realized that the door wasn’t opened and the key hole didn’t show signs of recent use. The party then decided to proceed to the first hallway they entered and examine the other doors for recent signs of entry. They found that one of the doors had been opened recently. The rogue searched for traps and upon finding none proceeded to expertly pick the lock. With little effort the lock was picked. Thereafter, everyone gathered behind Machera as he opened the door.

Beyond the door was an unlit 20’ X 30’ chamber. A dirt stained rug covered the floor and at the far end of the room was a splintered desk. A beautiful woman dressed in white sat behind a desk, her expression was pale and emotionless. Near her stood a pair of huge bugbear skeletons, each 7’ tall and wielding fearsome battle axes.

While Remiel stepped into the room to communicate with the lady, Chotuk, Machera, and Torment all entered the room and took defensive positions. Immediately, the two skeletons raised their battle axes and charged the party. The first skeleton to act ran at Chotuk and sliced into his side with a large battle axe. Machera moved into the center of the room and attempted to pull the skeleton away from Chotuk, but the creature didn’t budge. The second skeleton charged at Torment and wedged its battle axe into his shoulder. In retaliation, Remiel blasted the skeletons several feet back into the room with divine energy. At that point, the skeletons could barely continue standing. Just before the party dispatched the skeletons, the imp appeared behind the party and pointed his wand at max. The Halfling was struck with an enfeebling ray that greatly weakened him. At that point, the cowardly imp took off down the hallway and cursed the party telling them that they would all suffer the flames of hell soon enough.

In response, Max decided to pursue the imp. Listening he heard the sound of flapping wings just beyond the door that opened into the main entrance chamber. Quickly, he moved up to open the door and could see the imp flying above him. Max ran under the imp and thankfully due to his small size managed to dodge a tail sting attack. The entire party chased after the imp. Chotuk and Loki moved into position and assisted by tossing ranged spells at the imp through the door. Unfortunately, much like the first time they encountered the imp, it turned invisible and cast a magic spell to retreat away from the party. Not sure were the imp went the party proceeded to close all the doors shut. In no time at all each of the 4 doors in the main chamber were closed and guarded.

In the mean time, Remiel remained behind to assist the lady in anyway he could. Noticing that the lady was unresponsive, Remiel decided to place a hand on her to see if she was ok. At that moment, the woman woke from her trance. At first she was confused and didn’t know where she was, but Remiel’s efforts to calm the lady down apparently succeeded. As the conversation evolved it became clear that this woman was Erilyn Windfellow, the lady for whom a reward was posted by the Knights of the Golden Cup. Oddly, the woman was convinced that Elzid was a kind and loving man. She also refuses to believe that anything could have happened to him.

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Session 3 - 2nd Ride of Mirtul, 1459 DR Year of the Forged Sigil

After the party’s victory, Loki (who was absent for the centipede encounter) returned and explained that he was trapped inside of an extradimensional maze. He was convinced that he was the victim of a powerful spell cast on him shortly before the encounter with the centipedes. Not sure what to believe, the party continued on their way to the tower. Loki, then started to examine the book that Max had found. Upon reflection, Loki realized that the cover was still of use and that the book could be repaired. He also noticed that the telltale signs of magical energy flowing through the cover of the book were slowly fading away.

Finally after resting and regrouping the party continued their short trek to the tower. Halfway there they discovered a large gargoyle statue. The statue was apparently once attached to the tower. No markings of any kind could be found on the statue, but it was clearly burnt from the explosion. Beside the statue Max found a set of seven keys on a key ring.

Happy with their search of the area, the party entered the towers main floor (which was now open to the sky) and found a dark circular staircase leading down into the darkness. While the party debated entering the tower a few of them decided to search the main floor. Max’s keen eyes spotted a burned scrap of paper with a poem written on it.

Do I love you? Yes, I do.

I’d shed my evil ways for you.

I’d turn my heart from black to true, yes.

My heart, I’ve given unto you.

The party quickly mocked the writer of the poem and Loki speculated that the wizard Elzid was seduced by a succubus. The other companions joked that Elzid’s girlfriend (the dead girl) left him due to his poetry skills, preferring her chances with the giant centipedes outside.

Through furthere searching, Remiel uncovered a small ebony statue of a devil. Reflecting on their religious studies, Remiel and Torment realized that the statue was used by devil worshipers, mostly by those devoted to Asmodeus. With little regard for its value, Remiel smashed the statue to dust. A few of party members suggested that the cost come out of Remiel’s share of the treasure. Regardless, Remiel shrugged and was confident that the gods would be pleased with his actions.

The groups’ next action was to form into an acceptable formation and traverse the stairs. The party nominated Machera as their torch and cast a light spell on his helm. Confident in Max’s acute senses, the group had him lead the way searching for traps while hiding several feet in front of the party. When it was clear that max didn’t activate anything and didn’t find any traps, Machera made his way down the hallway. Unfortunately, the warden stepped on a pressure plate half way down the hallway. Clearly the warden weighed much more then max did and caused the trap on the floor to activate. With the party expecting their imminent demise, a large stone block began to slowly extend out from the west wall.

Fortunately, the party had enough time to run past the block before it sealed the hallway. The stone block, however, created an extremely loud grating sound that reverberated throughout the area for several seconds. Obviously, it alerted the entire dungeon to the groups’ arrival. With their novice entry into the dungeon complete, the party congratulated Machera and continued to the end of the hallway.

The hallway opened up into a 30’-square chamber covered in thick dust. Lying in the middle of the floor were two dead goblins, their spears still clutched in their hands. At the far end of the chamber, a statue of a horned bipedal creature stood in a shallow alcove. The statue pointed toward the party with one cruel finger and its stony visage displayed a menacing grin. The chamber had four doors, two of which hung open on their hinges.

The party entered the chamber to search for magic, examine the corpses, and investigate the statue. Chotuk discovered that the goblins died from the same poison stinger that the woman outside the tower died from. Remiel realized that the statue was that of a greater devil, perhaps a horned devil. Loki’s examination of the room revealed that magic was emanating from the statue. Further examination of the statue by Chotuk revealed a hair line crack around its neck.

At that time, maniacal laughter as loud as eight men screaming filled the chamber. A few of the party members covered their ears, but Torment proceeded to mock the laughter with his own brand maniacal laughter. Then in a huge burst of flame a large horned devil appeared in front of the statue.

From 30 feet away, Max realized that the creature was an illusion. Unconcerned, Max expressed more interest in the door to his right and didn’t warn the party that it was an illusion. Apparently, Max can spot an illusion from a great distance, but can’t notice a simple trap that even a lowly street urchin could find. In turn, the entire party with the exception of Machera realized that the creature was illusionary (Even the DM failed to disbelieve the high passive insight rolls). In an attempt to help the party notice the illusion, Chotuk moved to occupy the same space as the illusion. In spite of this effort, Machera refused to accept the truth of the illusionary creature. To him the horned devil was real and when the fiend smacked him with its huge chain he thought it had almost killed him. Thinking that the statue may be the source of the illusion, Remiel cast a powerful magic spell on the statue and caused its head to explode. The illusion, however, remained active.

At that time, a tiny devil appeared flying in the air behind Remiel. The devil attacked with his tail and Remiel groaned in pain when he felt the stinger pierce his jugular. If the pain wasn’t enough for him to endure, the poison that began to course through his body surely was. Clearly the tiny devil hated the deva with a passion and enjoyed injecting him with every drop of his poison. At that point, the imp called the party a bunch of fools and told them that the nine hells would soon arrive. (The gods were protecting Remiel as the DM didn’t apply max damage for that critical).

With the party no longer distracted by the illusion, as the imp (and DM) had hoped, they seized the opportunity to pay back the little imp with some of their own retribution. Max maneuvered behind the creature and attacked while effortlessly dodging a tail sting attack. Torment then pounced on the devil and with one swoop of his great blade the fiend was almost cut in half. By this time Machera, no longer affected by the illusion, moved in and slashed it with his longsword causing the creature to be slowed. Remiel then followed through with a spell of his own that caused further suffering to the imp. With the creature surrounded, the party thought there was no escape for the evil fiend.

After being surrounded, cut in half, and slowed, the tiny devil’s facial expression, which had previously been one of malicious superiority, was replaced with panic and fear. The imp attempted to retaliate by pointing his wand at each of the party members, but he quickly revoked that action as the plight of his predicament dawned on him. The panicked imp cowardly turned invisible and cast a magic spell on himself to hastily retreat from combat. Regardless of the parties’ effort to attack him from behind as he retreated, the magic enabled the imp to quickly shift past the south east door and slam it closed.

During the encounter with the imp, Loki investigated the headless statue and the source of the magic he detected. He reached his hand down the statue’s neck and pulled out a large iron key, a wooden scroll tube, and a potion vial. After taking a short rest and helping Remiel recover from his encounter with the imp, the party discovered that the scroll tube contained a Ritual scroll of Magic Circle and the vial contained a Potion of Spider Climb.. The large iron key, however, was non magical.

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Session 1 - 2nd Ride of Mirtul, 1459 DR Year of the Forged Sigil

It all began several rides ago after the characters arrived at the Damara Gate. Some of them traveled together and others alone. To their dismay, each arrived at the Damaran Gate only to discover that it was filled with 100’s of refugees from various locations within Bloodstone Valley. Consequentially, food at the gate was sparse and good ale was almost non existent. Several refugees were sleeping along the wall and to make maters worse a number of them were suffering from various illnesses.

With this situation in mind, it didn’t take long for each of them to find the kind of friends they were searching for. The six travelers formed an adventuring party and began making preparations to head out into the wilderness to find adventure.

Fortunately, the prospect of adventure came one night when the party overheard a few guards talking about a lookout tower that needed to be supplied with illuminating equipment. The guards, however, had no manpower to spare and they didn’t want to travel in to the valley.

After gathering the group, they approached the Captain on duty and made their services available. With little negotiation, he agreed to let them take the mule and wagon full of illuminating equipment to the tower. He supplied them with a map of bloodstone valley and indicated the towers location. In addition, the Captain made it very clear that the shipment was important. He told the group that if the tower became non-operational there would be no advance warning of an attack on the Damaran Gate.

After a few days travel and several hours searching the party discovered the tower nestled high in the mountains north of the town of Windless. They traversed a mountain path for an hour until finally the party arrived at the base of the tower. Before any of them could even knock on the door, it burst open wide and a dwarf with a long golden beard holding a metal ale stein greeted them all. Grohmbar of Clan Orothiar was overjoyed to see the group and in return for delivering the needed supplies he granted them all a level of hospitality that would rival the feast of a great king.

For a week the party, enjoyed excellent meals complete with a wide selection of Grohmbar’s stock ale, spirits, and wine. During this time the party noticed that every once and a while Grohmbar had a somber expression and stared at one of the crates the party delivered.

After what was clearly an emotional affair the dwarf finally opened one of the crates that the party had delivered labeled “FRAGILE Nanfoodle 2000”. The crate contained a large glass lens and a few brass metal rings. The dwarf took the rings and the lens up to the top of the tower. At the top of the tower the party discovered a very large cylindrical device pointing up into the sky (a huge spyglass). At one end of the device was a small seat attached to the frame. Various levers extended to the left and right of the contraption.

After inserting the lens and rings into the spyglass Grohmbar sat down in the chair and looked into the small end with one eye. He then used the levers to pivot the device around to face the north. Grohmbar stared into the spyglass for several minutes and said nothing. It was at this time that the party noticed a tear run down his cheek, but when the dwarf realized that the party was staring at him he ran to the exit and slammed the trap door behind him. Immediately thereafter the party heard a thud, a crack, and then several grunts. Lead by Remiel, the party arrived at the bottom of the stairs and found Grohmbar knocked out cold and covered in blood. With a combined effort the party healed Grohmbar and saved his life.

At the same time, Chotuk curiously looked through the spyglass to see what had upset the dwarf. He discovered that the dwarf had his gaze fixed on the entrance to the Bloodstone Mines. Further examination revealed the presence of the army of Vassa and a second unidentified group of figures. It was also clear that an organized digging effort was underway.

At this time a massive thunderous bang penetrated the tower. Strangely, the sound even woke the dwarf from his drunken slumber. With Grohmbar’s assistance the party used the spyglass at the top of the tower to discover that the Tower of the Sage had exploded. To the parties surprise, Grohmbar was quite pleased that the tower was destroyed. He told them that the tower was no longer inhabited by the great sage, but was occupied by a wizard named Elzid. According to the dwarf, the wizard was handsome and charismatic, and he used his alchemical skills to seduce wealthy young women with love potions. He also dispersed potions that caused madness, sickness and death.

When the party realized that they had finally found something interesting to do they took off immediately. Most of the party was in such a hurry that they never even bothered to ask the dwarf any questions regarding Elzid or the tower. The dwarf did, however, have the chance to tell a few of them that a young maiden by the name of Erylnn Windfellow went missing from the town of Windless and was believed to have been seduced by Elzid. The dwarf also told them that the Order of the Golden Cup is offering a reward for her safe return, but he didn’t know any of the details. In addition, the dwarf believes it to be imperative that the party finds out what happened to the wizard and the tower.

After a few days journey the party arrived at the hill in the morning. The area was full of grass and wildflowers surrounded by footpaths and copses of trees. Scattered on the hill were the stony remnants of Elzid’s tower. The rings of debris clearly indicated the magnitude of the explosion that destroyed the structure. Tight clusters of black marked the area where the tower once stood.

While searching for tracks, the party discovered the corpse of a woman surrounded by the tower’s debris. The corpse was wearing clothes, but appeared to have no weapons or equipment of any kind. Upon closer inspection the party realized that the woman died from a sting on the back of her neck. Using their knowledge of nature they realized that the wound was made from a poisonous stinger of unnatural origin.

At this time it is unknown if they found the corpse of Erylnn Windfellow. Perhaps the dwarf would have provided a description of the woman, but the party never asked. It also remains to be seen what the party will do. Will they search outside the tower or take a closer look at what remains of the foundation?

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