Ulstalav Adventure

Arrival and the Hunt

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Nothing else happened after the incident potential werewolf corpse and the party stopped to rest for the night. In the morning, Sam informed the rest of the party that he had a vision from his deity and that his destiny laid elsewhere. Sam gave the party his used haunt siphon, a potion of cure moderate and cure disease (which was given to Mira), four potions of lesser restoration (which were divided between Mira, Klemeth, Kero and Friejha). Same then gave Gloriana his wand of gentle repose with 20 charges and a wand of lesser restoration with 20 charges. Turin decided to accompany Sam and gave the party his ring of the ram. He and Sam left after breaking fast and saying good-bye.

The group continues the journey to the Lodge and by lunch they reached a clearing with Ascanor Lodge in the center. The party approached the gatehouse of the Lodge, which was manned by two guards. Mira said, “We seek admission” and presented our invitations. One of guards said that they weren’t expecting any new guests. After asking us to wait, he sent another guard to get the porter. Mira also mentioned that we had recovered the body of a dead noble (Dravin), and the guard replied that the porter would need to be informed of that as well. The porter finally approached and introduced himself as Belik of Courtaud. Gloriana repeated to Belik what Mira had told the head guard. Belik reviewed the invitation and then stated that as the party had no reservation and looked as though we did not come for a peaceful stay that we would not be admitted. Belik then asked the party to leave the body and “be off”. Friejha took his comments poorly and insulted Belik, calling him a “self-important popinjay.” Many people were drawn from Lodge to observe the altercation with the porter.

During the confrontation, a scruffy woodsman and nobleman pushed thru the crowd heading out of the Lodge. The group overheard the woodsman say “I’ll take you there, Duristan, but I’m not taking my dogs.” The nobleman’s servants were carrying crates with a coat of arms on it, from the house of Ariesir of Ardeal. Friejha offered to take her wolves in place of the dogs and after looking over her beauty, the nobleman said he would welcome her “expertise.” Kero asked where the nobleman was headed, and Duristan said that his group was hunting werewolves. He also offered to allow the ladies (and their underling) to stay at the lodge under his invitation, which made Belik look daggers at the group and walk back to the Lodge.

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Duristan asked if anyone in the group was an adventurer. When they confirmed that was the case, he became very excited and said he wanted to hear all our stories of what we’d come across. Duristan said that he had killed werewolves himself, and the pelt he wore was from a werewolf as well. Friejha knew (and shared later to those who weren’t aware) that werewolves reverted back to human form when they died. Kero asked Mira to see if she can get any knowledge from the woodsman leading the combined group into the woods, so she asked him about werewolves. The woodsman told Mira that Belik was actually a “good guy” and that Duristan would be fitting of the term popinjay than Belik. He also mentioned that there was an incident on a hunt earlier in the day — that a stag was flayed horrifically. The guests in the hunting party were terrified and retreated back to the Lodge. He also mentioned rumors about the “devil in gray” and that Duristan was convinced the stag was killed by werewolves, which is what lead to him and the others being out now for hunting.

After a few hours, the group reached the clearing where the stag was killed. The grass was trampled and there were signs of a struggle. The woodsman Delgros exclaimed, “It’s gone!” and he and Mira started looking for tracks on what took the stag’s carcass… Mira found tracks of the stag as well as two sets of partial prints — large wolf-like prints (twice the size of normal prints, but smaller than a dire wolf) another set of prints of something she wasn’t sure what it was. Delgros looked at the prints as well and said the first set wasn’t consistent with werewolf prints. He commented that the prints looked like dire wolf but it had strange, elongated claws. The second set was that of a great boar. After confirming the trail, Duristan happily gets the party moving that direction. After 50 yards or so, Duristan and Friejha heard rustling and proceed towards the noise. They surprised three dire boars munching on the deer carcass and the boars charged at them.

Kero put some arrows into the first boar while Friejha and Duristan attacked it. Gloriana hit the second boar while Mira and the woodsman fought the third. Kero moved to join Gloriana fighting the second boar. Mira slashed her board almost in half and then Gloriana and Friejha do the same to theirs. Gloriana laid hands on Duristan to heal him and he complimented her soft hands. Duristan said that he believed the wounds on the stag were caused by werewolves (though Kero could tell the wounds he was pointing to as being inflicted by werewolves was actually caused by the tusks of the boars). Delgros took the boards carcasses back to the Lodge while the rest of the party stayed with the nobleman to try to trap the werewolf.

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Entering Shudderwood

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The group headed for the tower with Mira in the lead and Kallorm flying above. As we got closer to the crumbling, ivy-covered tower, we heard a haunting harp tune playing softly. There was a crumbled opening where the door would have been. Mira advanced to check for any traps and tracks around the tower. Mira came back to the group and that inside the tower she saw long, shimmering lengths of silk and several cocoons hanging from the ceiling. In the corner was a wide burrow opening into the ground. She also mentioned that she felt almost compelled to actually enter the tower so she thought there might be a magical compulsion. As the group neared the tower and could hear the music better, Kero and Klemeth headed towards the door. Kero entered the tower, batting away several of the hanging silk strands and then the music stopped. Kero drew her weapons and tried to cut down one of the closest cocoons. Inside the first cocoon was a goat that had been drained of fluids, which was what Kero thought might have been done if it was killed and eaten by a spider. Kero shared her thoughts with Klemeth and with Mira who had joined them inside. The second cocoon contained a horse with the same features and the third contained a human hanging upside-down, both dead and drained. At that time, the three saw a set of stairs heading up, and Kallorm fly up to the opening to check if there was anything at the top of the stairs. Kero and Klemeth saw a sealed envelop covered in blood sticking out of the dead human’s pocket, which Kero put in her pocket to look at more closely later. The rest of the party entered the tower. While Kero and Klemeth were looking over the dead human’s body, the others saw Mira jump to avoid a string of web that shot out of the burrow. The web hit the cocoon next to Mira and she saw the pale upper torso of a female with a monster spider/insect head hiding in the burrow. Mira threw an alchemist fire, hitting the creature and causing it to retreat further down its burrow. Friejha stepped closer to the burrow opening and could just barely see the creature, and started trying to cajole the monster to “come out and play.” Mira approached Friejha and tried to convince her to move away in case the monster’s range was greater than Friejha’s spells. Mira then turned invisible and unknown to the party, started heading down the burrow tunnel. The monster shot another web at Friejha and it fell short. Kero cut down the fourth cocoon and found another dead goat while Klemeth and Gloriana went to cut down the last two cocoons. Friejha summoned a lantern archon that threw light rays at the monster and Freijha threw a snowball. Kero used the wand of acid arrows to hit it as well. The cocoon Klemeth cut down held a dead female and Gloriana cut down the last cocoon holding a dead male, both of which had also been hanging upside down. The monster shot a web at the archon, which went right through the archon and hit Friejha entangling her. The archon tried to hit the monster with another light ray but missed. Friejha cast another snowball at the monster. Kero hit the monster with another acid arrow. Klemeth and Gloriana charged past her and Freijha, advancing on the creature. Mira suddenly appeared behind the monster, attacking it from behind with her daggers. It reared up and attacked Mira with its long, clawed arms. The lantern archon fumbled its light ray attack and was wounded by the monster. Friejha threw another snowball at the creature and then asked Kero to throw a torch at the webs holding her. Kero lit a torch to burn the webs on Freijha while Klemeth hit the beast with a shocking grasp. Mira stabbed the creature in the back and it exploded with green ichor going everywhere. Mira continued down the tunnel and found several web-covered lumps that bulged from the floor. The lumps turned out to be a ring, a potion bottle and assorted coins totally 750gp. Freijha cast a detect magic, which made the ring and potion bottle glow. She was able to identify the ring as a ring of featherfall but was unable to identify the potion. Klemeth was able to identify the potion as heroism.

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Kero showed Mira the sealed envelop and asked her if she recognized the seal and could open the letter without damaging it. Friejha mentioned that if the seal was broken, she would be able to mend it so that wouldn’t need to be a worry… Mira said the seal was from the Dravin family. When those who had gone down the tunnel returned to the main floor, Mira slit the letter open but was unable to decipher the letter due to the blood and gore that had made it almost illegible. Mira gave the letter to Sam and he was able to determine that it was an invitation/reservation for a minor noble, Echtmoor Dravin to a stay at the inn, scheduled for the previous week. Who the invitation was from, was too far damaged to read. Kero mentioned that taking the noble’s body along with the head of the monster (which Friejha announced was a weaverworm) to the lodge so his family could dispose of it properly might earn the group some sort of reward since he was a minor noble… Mira went upstairs to investigate but found nothing. Sam healed Mira. The party headed back to get the horses (and wolves), and then retired to the tower to rest.

The night passed uneventfully and the party headed out in the morning to continue to the lodge. We crossed a bridge and followed the path till we reached a corpse tied to a tree, with something in his chest and mouth. Mira motioned to the party to halt while she advanced on the corpse to investigate. Kero moved to cover Mira as well. Mira was peppered with crossbow bolts from the surrounding trees, and she was able to see that it was a trap as there was no one manning the cross bows. The corpse had flowers in its mouth, a silver MW hunting knife in its chest and rough ropes around its wrists and ankles. The wrists and ankles were swollen and bruised from where the bindings had cut into the bodies. Sam and Turin were able to identify the flowers as wolfsbane, enough for three doses. Kero said she wondered if whoever shot the man thought he was a werewolf and looked at the bolts that Mira was removing from her body. She noticed that there was a paste on the bolts, and Sam thought it was silver sheen, which would give the weapon the properties of alchemical silver for one hour. When examining the body, Mira was able to determine the body was fairly fresh and the trap was triggered by a tripwire in the pine needles that would need to be manually reset. The party decided to gather up the five crossbows to sell when they got back in town. Nothing else was found on the body, so the party remounted and continued down the path after Sam healed Mira again.

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Hello, Good-bye, Moving On

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After much fun spent shopping, the party received a note from the Judge, asking everyone to meet at her home. There was a woman already in the room with the Judge. The woman was young, tall with platinum blue eyes and blonde hair. Some noticed she had a faint blue tinge to her tattooed skin and exuded an aura of cold. The Judge introduced the newcomer as Friejha (and full introductions of the party to Friejha).

As mentioned previously, the group was heading to a place called Ascanor Lodge within a Shudder Woods. She stated that entrance was by reservation or invitation only. The Judge said that she would use her connections to get a blank invitation for the group. She also talked about the elaborate library at the Lodge, and that it was open for use for all guests. She indicated that pre-Palatinate Histories that might help the party learn more about the Whispering Way’s intentions. The Judge shared that the Lodge’s clientele was society’s elite. The Judge stated that Friejha might be willing to join the party, as Raz was departing to go back to Ravengro and work with Jominda Fallenbridge.

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Kero asked Friejha about her skills – Friejha replied she was a summoner who conjured creatures to fight for her. When asked by Mira if they would do recon, and Friejha said that she had other friends for that, which she would introduce if she joined the party. Mira stated that the group had a personal vendetta against the Whispering Way, who had killed a friend of ours (the Professor). Friejha accepted the group’s invitation to join. Friejha then leads the way to the back of the building, where she’s introduced her heavy war horse, her wolf and her dire wolf. She then cast some sort of spell and another creature appeared out of thin air: a blue winged serpent which she said was named Kallorm, her eidolon. Mira told Kallorm hello, and he replied in Common. Friejha said that she could call Kallorm by spell or by will, and that he had a wicked bite. She also said that she had a bond with Kallorm, similar to a wizard’s bond with their familiar, which made Sam and Turin get side-tracked thinking about bondage…

Mira asked what happened to Friejha’s last party, and was told that they parted ways. The party headed to their rooms to prepare for departure in the morning. Kerowyn helped Friejha get the horses acclimated to the wolves so there would be less issues while traveling. The group started out the next day, with Mira scouting ahead. We stopped at the edge of the Woods gazing into their deeply shadowed depths and it felt like we were staring into another world. The path looked like it had not been used in a long time. The Silent Path was marked periodically with carved bone fetishes. Friejha summoned Kallorm and had him fly above the group as another lookout. The Woods were eerily silent, though the sounds of birds passing unseen overhead could be heard periodically. Mira noticed some creatures peeking around the trees while on point, but couldn’t quite see what they were. She gestured to the group so everyone was alert. Kallorm told Friejha (who then told the party) that there was some sort of crumbling tower ahead of the group. About that time. the party heard a female voice off in the distance screaming for help. Mira waited for the rest of the group to catch up, dismounted and headed off to sneak up on whatever was causing the disturbance. Kallorm continued to fly above. Mira jumped back as she found a trap that would have gotten her tossed into a bunch of webs. Sam said he thought it might be an ettercap – purple humanoid with a spider head and sickle-shaped claws. Mira glanced up and saw 3 of these creatures 25’ in the trees above her. We attacked them before they could act, and additional ettercaps tried to ambush the group from the back. Friejha threw a snowball web at one and entangled it. Kero was slashed but she, Gloriana and Sam killed it before it could do much damage. Mira threw more darts at one of the monsters still in the trees. Turin hit the critter attacking him with a flurry of blows. The remaining two fled, and Turin killed one before it could retreat. Friejha and Gloriana killed the last one as it ran away. Mira found very little treasure on the ground or in the trees, and the group decided to investigate the tower for goodies…

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The Rescue

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Journal notes by Kerowyn

After commercial break, Sam realized he might be able to read the notes, since he had some linguist skills but was unsuccessful. Sam said he would pray for the comprehend languages instead of Raz making a potion.. Before the party actually rested, the homunculus started pantomiming urgently, Sam told the homunculus that we would need to rest before facing the beast/monster that was holding the doctor hostage… Mira pointed out that if we did save the doctor, we would have to give him the sad news that someone had looted his property. Sam asked the homunculus if it was the doctor’s familiar, and it nodded yes. The familiar pantomimed that it needed food and water to take to the doctor, so Mira gave it a day’s worth of rations to deliver to the doctor. The familiar disappeared after taking the items from Mira… It returned later, trying to get the party moving until it was told that we needed a full night’s rest and it disappeared dejectedly. The party discussed using the goat figurine in the upcoming battle.

After resting, Sam attempted to read the writing on the wall/notes using his spell. The notes talked about the existence of a bondslave thrall, which had the ability to control the Beast of Lepidstadt (AKA our friend Bebe). Also on the wall was a crude chalk diagram showing the lightning rod with two devices, one with an arrow and the words that “the storm collar must be activated to energize the bondslave thrall.” During the discussion, the party decides to try to activate the device at the top of the tower, as it was determined that activating the device would bring Bebe here. The group headed downstairs and out the building. Mira used her rope of climbing and secured it to the top of the tower. She climbed up the rope and saw a odd dual apparatus attached to the lightning rod and a bunch of cables. Mira pantomimed that is was OK and Kero, Raz Gloriana climbed the rope followed by Sam, Klemeth and Turin. There group didn’t see any obvious “ON/OFF” switches, and Raz activated his detect magic, which showed that part of the first device glowing. Raz and Mira climbed up to the top of the device. Raz started investigating the “control panel” at the top and activated it. The device started to emit a deep hum and lightning started to spark. A large bolt of lightning came down and almost hit Turin. When Raz turned on the second device, we heard a high pitched whine, and the alchemical liquids started boiling Thru the device, Raz could feel the Beast’s pain and knew he could call the Beast to him. Raz “told” Bebe that we need his help and he should come to the tower. While Raz is doing that, the iron shutters in the floor start shaking as it sounds like blows are being rained upon it.

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The group heard two big slams. Mira started climbing down the rope, but Raz realized he needed to stay in contact with the device to operate it. Those down below the devices prepared to face whatever came thru the shutters, if it wasn’t Bebe. After a final thunderous THUMP, the shutter exploded and the monster appeared. The monster was a mish-mash flesh golem of 6 or more different types of creatures: choker, ettercap, cloker, chuul and others. Gloriana detected no evil on the golem.

The group flanked the golem and started attacking it, with reduced impact. Sam summoned a swarm of bats while Turn summoned a spirit weapon. Klemeth spit acid at it, Mira initiated a back-stab attack and Kerowyn wounded it with her sword. The monster caught Kero in its clutches, wounding her multiple times. The goat charged the golem, hitting the golem with its horns. Raz threw a bomb at the golem. The golem tried to paralyze Kero, but she shook off the effects. Klemeth cast a sonic attack while the goat bit the golem and coughed up smoke that blinded the golem temporarily. Raz threw a bomb at the golem, which also burned Kero. The golem cast webs that caught Mira but she was able to break out. Gloriana dealt the final blow to the golem and it fell back thru the shutters just as Bebe appeared on the other side of the roof. Raz asked/told Bebe to insure the golem was dead and Bebe started to shred its body to pieces. Sam started healing Kero while the others headed down to the room below. In the room, the group saw a bunch of hanging chains, a woman suspended in liquid and a bunch of webs. They also saw the homunculus by an iron idol. The idol looked like an iron casket bound by adamantium. Once Raz released Bebe from the collar, Bebe screamed, “Father!” and tore open the casket. When it opened, there was an old man inside – the Doctor. He asked that the party leave him in peace as he didn’t want any rumors about what happened. He explained that he was locked in the casket by the Whispering Way — they wanted control of Bebe for nefarious purposes (the theft of the Sea Sage effigy) and had released all the Doctor’s creatures.

Raz asked for a description of the members of the Way that had attacked him, and he was able to give the party some additional information. He then asked that the party take revenge on the Whispering Way for the damages they’d done. He offered the party 1500 gp each, and Mira convinced him to increase the pay to 2000. He mentioned that the familiar heard the members talking about a place called Ascanor Lodge within a Shudder Woods — the only island of civility in the deadly depths of the Woods. He gave directions to the Silent Path, an ancient hunting trail thru the Woods marked by strange bone fetishes. The Path was located about a mile downstream from his complex. Bebe thanked the party for their help and saving “Father” with lots of hugs. Mira asked the Doctor if he had any way of restoring the abilities that were drained during the multiple battles, and he produced a wand to do so.

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The party headed back to town and spoke to the judge from the trial. She said the only remaining item was the stolen effigy. She also mentioned that she was a member of the Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye, a secret organization that seeks to defend the country from evil within and without. She said the Whispering Way was a cult that worshiped the undead and they have connections to the Whispering Tyrant Tar-Baphon. She offered 7000 gp up-front to investigate the cult and hinted that this could prove the way to be initiated into her order, if the party proved loyal and able. When the party went to the bank to get the money from the Doctor, they actually gave each party member an additional 500 gp. The party decided to spend a day or two resting, researching, healing and shopping before heading out on the trail of the Whispering Way.

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The Tower & Its Secrets

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While the bridge was damp, we thought that it would be safe enough to cross if we weren’t running full tilt… The bridge ended at a set of double doors. Kerowyn walked safely across the bridge with a rope tied around her. She tied off the rope on the far end while the party did the same on the near side, so the others would have an emergency hand-rail if needed. Mira, Gloriana and Raz went across, followed by Klemeth, Sam and Turin. Mira checked for traps and unlocked the door’s complex lock. Mira quietly opened the door, peeked in and saw a circular room. In the room was a broken cage (10×10×15) with a busted door and bent bars. Mira and Kero saw a four-armed golem heading towards them and headed in to do battle. Gloriana and Raz ran in after to fight as well… Mira disappeared after the golem thumped her severely. The beast turned towards Gloriana and almost tore her apart with its might rend. Mira suddenly appeared behind the golem and attempted to back-stab it. Then it tried to rip Kero in half. Sam healed the party while Raz hit the golem with some fire bombs. When it finally dropped, Raz performed the “Captain Morgan” pose and Mira cut off its head and arms while the others searched the room and watched the door at the top of the stairs. The party found some notes and diagrams pinned to the back of the double-door. Unfortunately, no one was able to read the writing.

Mira and Raz tried to open the trap door at the top of the stairs and weren’t able to get it open. The party noticed that the door was made of adamantium. Eventually they were able to get it open enough to see it was full of webs. Raz used burning hands to burn the webs away while the rest continued to decipher the notes. Finally, the party determined it said, “The storm collar must be activated to energize the bondslave thrall.”

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Gloriana felt a tugging on her leg and noticed a homunculus pointing at the wall. It started doing charades and after much back and forth the group determined that we needed to activate the device to get one monster to fight whatever was upstairs in the web room. It led the group back down the stairs and pantomimed that the doctor was alive but somehow captive to the evil monster or golem that was in the upper room. It “said” that it took the doctor water and showed that it had a ring of invisibility that it was using to help keep the doctor alive. The group decided to sleep and regain spells, including Raz making an elixir to comprehend languages so we could try to decipher the additional instructions on how to operate the storm collar.

On a side note, the party noticed that Klemeth’s hair was starting to fall out, his teeth were getting longer and pointier, his ears were getting longer and more leathery and he was starting to get some skin growth on his chin and scalp that looked vaguely like baby tentacles. It was not a pretty look and he was starting to have problems communicating intelligently. We discussed that perhaps it was related to the bites he received from the vargouille. Raz asked Sam about it, as it wasn’t something he could fix alchemically. Raz remembered that they have a “kiss” that will make Klemeth a vargouille within the next 2-12hrs, and it would require a remove disease. Gloriana stated she had the ability to remove it and laid hands on him to attempt to save him.

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After several minutes of praying, the party noticed that the tentacle protrusions, teeth and ears started going back to their normal traits. Unfortunately, no one in the group currently has the ability to fix the drain to his abilities. We proceeded to rest and plan for the next battle…

TBD

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Lots of Doors

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Journal notes by Kerowyn

Mira headed to the next door on the left, which was bound in iron with the door barred on our side. She checked for traps but found nothing. Raz decided to ask the spirits how many adversaries were on the far side of the door. The planchette started to move and landed on the number “6” (assuming the spirits told the truth). Klemeth cast bull strength on Gloriana and Kero in preparation for battle… Mira decides to remove the bar and open the door, and Kero stepped up beside her just in time to be almost overwhelmed by the smell of rotten meat and the torrent of water that flooded out of the room. Kero lost her balance, but Mira managed to keep her from tumbling into the pit of water. In the brief moment before the flood water hit Kero and Mira, they briefly glimpsed details of the new room: four cages containing the remains of headless hulking humanoids, the remains of a walkway and 2 doors high in the east wall. The water level raised high enough that the pit trap overflowed and set free the leaches. The leach swarms attached Kero and Mira, and Gloriana, Raz and Klemeth. Raz broke one of the vials of the yellow spores under water and waved his arms around to try and disperse the spores where they would affect the leaches (and hopefully weaken them enough to die)… Kero threw acid at the swarm coming towards her and Mira. Mira ran into the formerly flooded room to get space to fight the leaches and noticed the room was completely round. Kero followed her into the room and tried to climb to the top of one of the cages, but fell back into the waist-high water. Klemeth released shocking grasp underwater and then ran from the remaining swarm that had attacked him, Raz and Gloriana. Raz drank a jump potion but inadvertently jumped right into the swarm that had attacked Kero and Mira. Gloriana, Turin and Sam followed Klemeth out of the flooded area.

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Mira heard noises and looked up to see four huge winged heads covered in tentacles, screeching and flying towards her. Mira turned invisible. Kero released a blast of celestial fire at one of the heads and moved back towards the double doors, screaming at Mira to “get out! They won’t fit thru the doors!” Klemeth cast spider climb (with the Simpson’s “Spider Pig” music playing in the background) and started climbing the walls back towards Mira, Raz and Kero while avoiding the leach swarms in the water. The one of heads screeched and Mira was paralyzed with fear (though we couldn’t see that she was paralyzed)… The head Kero hit screeched as well but Kero, Raz and Klemeth weren’t affected by its scream. Kero and Klemeth thought the head looked like a girallon but the winged portion looked more like a vargouille.. At closer look at the caged remains, those in the room noticed that they were four-armed (though Raz said they obviously weren’t fore-warned)… Raz threw a burning hands at the closest head. Gloriana decided to head back to see if she could help those fighting the heads. The leaches returned and attacked Kero, and the heads screeched again, which made Raz petrified with fear. One of the heads flew low and tried to attack Kerowyn but missed.

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Gloriana finally joined the battle, attacked the head closest to Kerowyn and sliced it to bits. Klemeth spit acid on the leaches surrounding Raz. One of the other heads replaced the one Gloriana had destroyed. Between Kerowyn and Gloriana, they destroy the new flying head. Klemeth spit again but did little damage this time. The third head swooped down and bit Raz. Gloriana slashed at the head that had bit Raz, causing it to screech in pain. Mira suddenly appeared by one of the cages, looking like she was frozen… Klemeth jumped into the water and summoned the “Goat of Terror.” He put Raz on the goat. The last head screeched at Kero and lashed out, hitting her with its tentacles. Another scream from a head, and Klemeth also froze… Gloriana sliced another head to bits while Sam summoned a swarm of rats to kill and drive off the leaches. Kerowyn and Gloriana finished off the last of the heads. Kero, Gloriana and Turin each grab Raz, Klemeth and Mira who are still paralyzed and retreated from the room.

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Sam did a group heal for the party and used the wand of lesser restoration on Raz, Mira, Gloriana and Kerowyn. After discussion, we decided to head back into the room and explore. The cages were heavy iron. Raz cast detect magic but didn’t find anything. Mira used her rope of climbing to get to the northern door that was 30ft in the air, and found no traps on it. She opened the door to see another door five feet across from her. Between the two doors was a corridor with shelves at the close end and three doors at the far end. Everyone else climbs up the rope with Gloriana last as she fell climbing up the first time. Mira searched the bookshelf and found two potion bottle and two vials. Raz offers to identify the potions and vials: a potion of displacement, a potion of gaseous form, two vials of alchemically preserved basilisk blood — fresh enough that it can be used to restore stone to flesh (but only if attacked by a basilisk).

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Mira looked for traps on the door across the hall, and saw fungus everywhere in that room. Raz looked in the room for magic, and recognized the violet fungi and basidirond (which was the name of the hallucinogenic plant from one of the previous rooms). Raz decided to use mage hand to collect a sack each of the basidirond and violet fungi. The basidirond tried to crawl away when Raz tried to harvest it, but he did eventually collect a sackful. Raz informed the group that the violet fungi tentacles could cause flesh to dissolve down to the bones relatively quickly. Kero suggested that Raz leave the violet in the room for now and he begrudgingly agreed. The group headed down the hall to the set of three doors. Mira opened the door to the “right” and saw nothing besides water (and doors that mirrored what was in the first room). Raz detected magic in the water-filled room that was roughly about the size of a human. He focused on the aura and was able to tell the aura was moderate/strong. He told the others about the glow, Mira used her rope of climbing to tie it around the object and tried to pull it up out of the water. While Mira was trying to get the rope tied, Raz told her that the item was moving. Kero and Raz cast dancing lights into the water and saw an eight-legged reptile with transparent skin. Raz said he thought it was some sort of basilisk, and Kero proceeded to shut the door on it.

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Mira checked the door across the hall and Raz continued to detect magic. The group noticed this door was made of stone. It was also full of water, and it did not contain a cat-walk like the other three rooms. Mira heard a noise from above and saw a huge black mass about to drop on her. She managed to shut the door, and the group heard a thud hitting the door before splashing into the water below. The group discussed the possibility that it might have been a black pudding and told Raz he would NOT be collecting a vial of black pudding.

Mira opened the last door in the hallway and it lead to a stone three-foot wide bridge above a waterfall to a tower with a lightning rod on top. It was a great stone tower perched on the rock above the river with a huge iron steeple. At the end of the walkway, there was a set of double doors; no windows were visible. The team headed across the bridge to investigate the last building…

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Doors & Stairs

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Journal notes by Kerowyn

Mira decided to head up the ladder to a trap door, followed by Raz while Gloriana and Kero waited below to see what was found. She pushed it open and started hacking and coughing as a fog enveloped her and started to spread out into the room. The fog was acidic and could have caused damage to those in the room and anything out in the open (like armor and gear)… Mira, Raz, Gloriana and Kero ran out and used the nushandir to neutralize the acid before the affects could be felt (thanks to a nice GM’s change of heart). Raz was nauseated from the nushandir, but all the gear was saved. We waited 15 min to insure the fog had dissipated. Mira checked for traps when she went back up the ladder, but there were no more. The new room appeared to be completely empty and Raz didn’t detect any magic. Seeing little pits and holes caused by the acid, we discussed the theory that anything that MIGHT have been in the room was eaten away by the acid fog before we released it…

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We went back to the room with the sarcophagi to head down the winding circular staircases. The staircase was an open iron spiral over a gorge, leading to a terrace with another door. Raz volunteered to go down the stairs first, with a rope tied around his waist, in case there should be any issues. Raz tested the steps which seemed solid and made it to the bottom with no issues. He tied it off, so there would be a hand-hold for those who followed. Mira went down next and checked for traps on the terrace door but found none. Since the door was not locked, she opened it and saw three empty crates and three opaque, sealed jars. Mira and Raz stepped into the room. Klemeth headed down to join them. Raz asked Mira to check for traps on the jars and she said she didn’t find any. Raz looked for a way to open the first jar. Mira was startled when Raz screamed after opening the jar — there was a floating seahag head in it. Raz and Mira decide to open the second jar and use a mirror to look inside in case there might be a medusa head or something similar. Klemeth waited closer to the door. This time however there was a cloud of spores that billowed out of the container. Both Mira and Raz felt weaker from the cloud’s effect. Raz and Mira took some anti-toxin which kept the damage to a minimum. Raz used prestidigitation and mage hand to scoop up some of the spores and put then in a vial for later study. Raz decided to use mage hand to open the last jar while he and the others stayed on the other side of the room. They didn’t see anything come out, but Klemeth thought his dagger changed into a poisonous snake (which he threw into one corner while he cowered in another) and Mira thought she was melting… Raz walked over to the jar and saw that it held a plant — one that produces an invisible cloud of hallucinogenic spores, which he suspected was causing Klemeth and Mira problems. Raz decided to save the ta-tas first and tried to get Mira to the stairs and fresh air. Meanwhile Klemeth thought he saw a swarm of spiders climbing up his legs and started jumping up and down, trying to shake them off. Raz told Klemeth he would be safe at the top of the stairs. Klemeth ran up the stairs, smacking at the spiders. Raz put the plant into a container and put the container into his haversack. Mira finally stopped melting. Klemeth got rid of the spiders, but then had silverfish and centipedes crawling on his tunic. Raz cast charm person and convinced Klemeth the silverfish was an illusion. Mira went back down to finish checking for hidden doors but found nothing.

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Sam healed Raz and Mira, and we decided to rest again. Nothing happened during the night, and we headed to the door to the outside and the last building after breakfast. There was a path that lead to a door in the wall. Mira lead the way on the exposed path, 50 feet above the water. There are no hand rails or guide ropes. Mira climbed up with rope so the rest would have a guide rope and we tied smaller ropes around our waist in case anyone fell. Klemeth, Kero, Sam, Turin made it across, followed by Gloriana and Raz was last. We saw a rusty door at the end of the path. Mira found no traps but was unable to get the door open, which made her pout. She tried to push the door open, and quietly told the rest that the door was stuck or rusted shut. None of us could force the door open, so Raz tried a detect magic to see if there was anything on the door. Mira climbed to the top of walkway between the towers. Kero and Klemeth threw acid at the door and it finally gave in. We entered and see a hallway going left and right, and the base of what used to be a staircase directly on the other side of the door we entered. Mira walked down the “left” hallway and fell thru the floor into some water (pit trap?)… She was having problems swimming and started to sink. While Mira was sinking, she noticed a swarm of leaches heading her way. Mira sent her rope of climbing to tie around Klemeth’s waist. Raz dropped a bomb into the water and they swam away from Mira. Klemeth and Kero pulled Mira out of the water. We skirted the edges of the pit and headed towards the next door… (TBD)

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Is it real?

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Journal notes by Kerowyn

We headed into the room that contained the dead golem and noticed 2 engraved sarcophagi on the east and west walls and a pile of chains in the center of the floor. Additional preserved creatures were in this room as well. Raz checked for magical illuminations, but found nothing. Raz decided to investigate one of the sarcophagus but didn’t think he was strong enough to open it. When he turned around to ask the rest of the group for help, the sarcophagus was opened by the mummy inside. Before it could do anything, Kero yelled out to those not in the room, “Here comes the mummies!” Mira led the attack against the mummy while Gloriana ran to join her in the fray. Clemeth was momentarily frozen in fear by the mummy’s scary appearance but was able to shake it off.

While the main group was fighting the mummy, the other sarcophagus moved towards Kero, who thought it might be a mimic transformer in disguise. Raz said that it would have “snuck up” on her but she noticed it “coffin.” (The horror of bad puns might be enough to kill Kero instead – BWA HA HA HAAAAA!) Clemeth changed targets and threw spells at the mimic. The mimic hit Kerowyn and stuck to her. Everyone jumped in to kill off the mimic after finishing off the mummy. Raz decided to take some of the mimic sticky stuff for future research.

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Miro found a ring on the mummy. Raz noticed it glowed with magic and decided to identify it. Sam did a burst to heal the party and we decided to rest and regain spells. We managed to get thru the night with no monsters or mayhem… Raz was able to identify the ring in the morning as a ring of the ram with 35 charges. Sam was able to mend Gloriana’s armor so she suited up in her own and returned Kero’s second set back to Kerowyn. Raz offers to help Gloriana but she declined. Since Mira found no traps on the last door in this room, she opened it to see that it opens to the outside of the building. There was a path led north to where we could see four inter-connected towers. We went back to the first room to finish checking the two remaining doors. Mira checked for traps on the west door. She saw a stuffed bullette when she opened the door, along with a goblin dog, partially transformed doppelganger and a partially dissected bugbear. Raz found no magic in the room when he used his detect magic. Raz tried to climb and sit on top of the bullette, but kept having problems trying to mount it. (No additional comments needed.) Mira threw Raz on top of the huge bullette and Raz bit it. When asked the inevitable question, “Why?” he replied, “So I could say I ‘bit the bullet’…”

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We headed to the next door, checked for traps and had Raz open the door. There was a sea cow hanging from the ceiling and more jars with preserved octopus, two worms, a head of a scum.. A fanged eel and a strange mermaid-like creature. Sam said it was a ningyo (part monkey, part fish)… Since there was no magic, we started to head back to the previous room when Mira found a secret room with stairs going up. We headed up the stairs, with Mira checking for traps along the way. The hidden room at the top of the stairs had some harpy and gryphon remains, and the wing of a roc with its feathers coming off. Raz opened the next door and two Medusa heads came flying out. We managed to kill them with minimal damage. Nothing else was found in that room. We looked to the ladder heading up to the next level…

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Bridge Over Troubled Water

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Journal notes by Kerowyn

The night passed uneventfully… We were up at the crack of Don – and it was a terrible sight! :-)

We discussed where we should check next for the Count. We had seen a “back door” but weren’t sure where it would lead. Raz asked the spirit board, “Where is the Count?” and received the answer, “South.” Raz suggested that there might be a secret passage and recommended we look for a basement access…

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The Manor House

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Journal notes by Kerowyn

As we prepared to cross the 40-ft stone bridge, we noticed there was a golem hound – like what we defeated in Grine & Vorkstag’s business. We decided to use some distance weapons to “entice” the dog to cross the bridge and attack us on “our” side of the bridge… Raz used True Strike on the initial attack, the dog advanced but wouldn’t cross completely over. After some additional wounds, the hound retreated back to the door on the far side of the bridge. We proceeded to the middle of the bridge and the hound charged. After a long and vicious battle, we finally defeated the beast. We continued across the bridge and noticed a bell pull next to the door. The door had a picture of a sun being devoured by clouds.

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