Death Gate

Orgoth's Tower 2

06/12/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES

FOOD = Travis, DRINKS = Gees


Deep underground, beneath Orgoth’s Tower, they continued to move further underground, moving deeper under the lake. The pathway continued to slope further down as well. The Death Gate came upon a child’s sarcophagus, but it was empty and in the next room down the hallway the rogue could clearly hear creepy children’s voices singing. Zed’rath peeked into the room and found 4 child skeletons (about 7-8 years old in life before they died) happily/eerily playing jacks. Without even looking up, they invited the adventurers to come play with them and bounced a rubber ball towards the Drow. Vistra recognized them as Bonewretch Skeletons, ankle-biters. Gromel couldn’t stand to see these undead abominations and moved in to attack before Zed could try to talk to them. As the first one was bloodied it screamed in realistic, child-like pain, causing Shaika’s heart to break, ears drooping more each time we damaged the undead children. The ground around us was unholy, but the Bonewretches did not rise again as we sent them to their rest with the Raven Queen. During the battle, Vistra stated that this was exactly why she felt that people shouldn’t procreate… which confused Grom because Warforged are usually created by a group of wizards and a magic circle. One of the ankle-biters tried to chew on Vistra’s calves, but she just flexed and it couldn’t bite down.

Once the children were dead, the group continued on and the hall ended in a broom closet. Zed searched all over, but couldn’t find anything. Shaika, on the other hand, sensed magic coming through the back wall. Grom commanded us to keep searching, so the dwarf studied the stonework and quickly recognized the switch which caused the stones to fold back.

Through the portal, the group found themselves in Orgoth’s laboratory. It was dark and full of dust. There were bookshelves surrounding the room and lab tables spread all over. On three of the walls were stretched 3 fiend skins. Something tugged at Shaika’s memory and she remembered that Orgoth was supposed to have been summoning 3 fiends, but they supposedly killed him…. So something more powerful than the fiends had killed them. On a stand at the back of the room rested the fabled Tome of Alcaister. In the far corners stood grime covered glass cylinders. The SW one seemed to have been the center of a blast radius, which had damaged that side of the room, leaving the floor covered in necrotic spots of ground, which unlike the defiled ground, halved all healing. From the cylinder in that corner seemed a darkness so black that it was purple. The group spread out around the room, searching.

Suddenly, in their minds they all heard, “So, have new flies come to play in the spider’s web?Petril recognized that the voice was coming from the SW corner. In his mind Zed asked who the voice belonged to, it answered that it was Orgoth. Shaika wondered how since his body had been torn apart? Grom raised his glowing great sword, and they could see a brain floating in some liquid in the glass cylinder, with a dark miasma swirling around it. With a wet slapping sound, the 3 skins flopped off the walls and then stood up to attack (Forsaken Shells). While they fought with the walking skins, swarms of Crawling Claws come out of the bookshelves to attack the group as well. They were swarmed by the claws and and slapped by the Forsaken Shells. One of them wrapped around Grom and he got his first set of skin.

While fighting, Zed did his best to distract Orgoth by asking him how he survived. The brain explained that “the fiends had kept my brain alive to torture me, but they’d grown prideful and I’d finally been able to defeat them and hung their skins on the walls as trophies.” It didn’t do much to distract it, unfortunately. The Forsaken Shells worked to dominate party members and used them to attack each other (not to mention patting the Warlord continually on the butt). Once Zed was finally free of the immobilizing claws, he turned his Death Whisper on the Brain. He did massive damage to the glass jar surrounding him, blinding it and dropping its defenses for the others to damage better. Orgoth kept pushing Grom back as he charged it, or dominating everyone, finally the attacks broke through the glass and as the air hit the brain, it shriveled up screaming, “NOO

As they searched the room, the Wizard rushed to the book to check it out. It was the magical tome that she thought it was. The rest of them searched the room, but couldn’t find much other than arcane books on necromancy and alchemical materials so that Shaika could make them more alchemical stuff for later. Behind the other cylinder was found a box full of gold. As they were wandering around, Vistra told them that it was after sunset, so they assumed that the Vampires must be out hunting by now. It was decided that Shaika should use the alchemical items that they’d found to make alchemical fires and acids, which the rogue would then use with all of the holy water that they’d bought, to be turned into traps for the 20 coffins upstairs. They spent the next 2.5 hours creating traps and alchemical items to trap the coffins with. Once that was finished, they trudged back up through the tunnels and back to Orgoth’s Tower. On the 2nd and 3rd floors they trapped the coffins, doubling up the items on all of them. As they crept up to the top floor, Zed took point to scout ahead. The room on the top floor was covered in a thick mist, which the Dwarf recognized, but before she could say anything, the mist coalesced into the form of a vampire lord. Upon closer inspection, Zed was horrified to recognize his older brother Kelnozz, whose life he had spared years ago. The drow reached up and fingered the 3 scarred notches in his right ear. "_Ah, little brother it has been too long_, the voice of his older brother bought back so many memories as the rest of the group looked from their comrade to the undead Drow.

View
Into Orgoth's Tower

06/12/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES
Obsidian Steed All Room of Interrement Found in 4 Sarcophagi

FOOD = Gees, DRINKS = Kannarrs

In Orgoth’s Tower, Zed’rath kept searching to understand the weird breeze, it seemed that it was blowing in a South Easterly direction. They all set to searching the room. Shaika still sensed the magic from the putrid lake, while Vistra tapped on the walls. Gromel guarded our backs as Zed started searching the SE walls… and suddenly comes upon a secret stone which opens up a passageway in the wall, which leads down in the underground. A very strong feeling of “wrongness” wafts up from below. Since they haven’t finished searching the rest of the manor yet, they all agreed to close off the passageway for now and go to search the tower in the North.

In the North hallway they found an unsuspecting guard and dropped him silently in the hall and then entered the tower. As they traveled, Zed got the feeling that the oppressive nature of the place will affect people the longer they stay here. In the tower, it looked like the stairs to the 3rd floor had collapsed onto the 2nd floor. The Rogue heard sounds from up above, so he silently climbed the rubble to the next floor while Grom talked Petril into showing him the sketches he was doing when they were first entering the manor, in the hopes of improving Zed’s chances at stealth. Zed practcally flew up the stairs…

On the 2nd floor, Zed dropped the random guard with a quick shot from Death Whisper, then searched the floor while the rest searched down below. The rest of the Death Gate then joined him. The Drow decided to set up the climbing gear so they could search out the 3rd and maybe the 4th floor while everyone else searched out the rest of the 2nd floor.

Grom quickly opened the door out of the tower and suddenly a guard hollered, “we’ve got intruders!” As Zed is scaling the wall, he heard it and started cursing because the rest of the group had forgotten how to be stealthy without him… and Petril was so excited to be in battle that he actually screamed his agreement to fight, practically vibrating. The rogue hoped that their noise would cover the noise of his ascension, wondering if they didn’t deserve it (the atmosphere of the tower was beginning to affect him). The rest of the group froze up the bandits and quickly blew them away. One of the other bandits tried to hit Vistra with a thrown axe, but it bounces off her “calves of steel.”

Finally Zed made his way to the 3rd floor and found a rusted door. Even with all of the rust, he’s able to proceed silently. At the end of a small hallway, he came upon a very new, ornate door with a very complex lock, well outside his skill level. As the rogue studied the lock, he realized that the lock was set on a timer… and he came to the conclusion that it probably coincided with dusk just from what he knew about Vampires. He found nothing up on the rooftop of the tower and quickly made his way back down to join his companions. His time alone had left him jumpier than usual.

“Team Alpha” checks out the balcony on the 2nd floor and found nothing. On the East side, they found doors that have newer handles. The room the bandits came from is a dormitory, made even creepier by the red paned windows which cast the room into a blood red glow.

Soon the group is reunited and as Zed is telling them about the lock that he found upstairs, he realized that the door behind them has a matching lock. Grom tried to force the door open with his spear and even by battering it down with his shoulder, but the door resisted his attempts. Grom asked Shaika to try to burn it, but it resisted her magic. He then asked Vistra to check the masonry, but it’s perfectly fitted. Grom suggests that we see if there are windows on the Eastern side of the complex to see into the rooms. The group can’t easily reach the tiny windows, but Shaika’s fire lizard Familiar can. He crept along the side of the tower and looked into the 2nd and 3rd floor room windows and saw rooms full of many coffins. On the 4th floor, there is a small room with a single, ornate coffin in it. It would make sense that this is where they base their raids from, but the vampires don’t seem to go into the rest of the manor so the group feels safe… for now. They wonder about destroying the Vampires, but Vistra reminds them that Vampires are light sleepers. It seems that Adokus Chandler knew precisely what he was doing by sending them here, hoping that both of his “common enemies” would destroy each other.

As they head back down to the secret passageway, they realized that the dead body in the tower was gone, with no signs of it being drug away. The same is true for all of the bandits that they’d killed. There is blood on the floor, but nothing else, very odd! The secret passageway was steep but tbey can tell that it’s taking them down and out towards the lake where Shaika was sensing the magic. The walls are damp and in the distance they can hear the sounds of dripping water, which made the catgirl rather uneasy. It’s very dark in the passage, so the Warlord pulls out his Radiant Sword and lights up the way around them.

To the side they find a small room of interred bodies. To fulfill the Raven Queens commands, the Warforged and the Dwarf smashed the skeletons. Together they all pushed the lid off the sarcophagus, but found his valuables had been rusted. Grom smashed this skeleton as well and then they proceeded further underground (under-lake).

The hall opened up into a huge room with four sarcophagi in the center of the room. Zed could sense a presence in the room, but not sure where exactly, so he warned the group behind him. The rogue somersaulted into the room behind a sarcophagus, and realized that the entity that he was sensing was in the north side of the room, and he heard a strange voice saying, “we should not have come.” As Vistra joined the rogue, they could see better into the murk around them, and they noticed dead bodies, much like an adventuring party. Among the bodies shambled strange undead creatures, Pale Reavers, muttering how “foolish they were to come here, how foolish, and how hungry they are.” They continued to get closer as the rest of the group entered the room. The Death Gate members were slammed hard by all of the status effects that they were hit with, leaving them immobilized, weakened, and even the rogue is dominated. While the rest rip away parts of their essence of life force, the Pale Reaver Lord, who is in the Drow’s head, suddenly transforms into the appearance of his dead love Violet. She blames him for not saving her and then floats away, asking Zed to “come play with her.” That only seemed to piss off the rogue and helped him break free of the domination to attack it. Nonetheless, the undead all seem to attack the wizard, focusing all their attacks on her. With Grom’s final blow, the Pale Reaver Lord faded, stating that they were “finally free….” As the group took a collective breath, a raven’s feather falls from the ceiling, onto Shaika, returning her many lost healing surges. The wizard sensed magic from the sarcophagi. Inside of them, they found Obsidian steeds for each of them, obviously more useful for the living.

Zed’Rath’s Journal 1

We found stairs in the back of the room leading further down. The next room was octagonal, with a huge summoning circle in the center. The great wrongness that we’ve been sensing seems to be coming from the stones in the floor of the room. As Zed led the way into the room, many Tomb Motes rose up from piles around the room to cause trouble. One of the Motes went over to the dead dog chained up against the wall and raised it as a Death Dog, which then joined the attack. As the undead that they kill rise again, Zed suddenly recognizes that the circle represents Defiled Ground which will allow any undead not killed by Radiant Damage to rise again. Shaika and Zed are not happy because they had no radiant attacks, so they switched to using Holy Water. Finally, the annoying monsters fell, rising no more. This dungeon was taking its toll on the group!

The door to the south led to a black hall. From that direction, Zed and Petril hear creapy kid voices singing and laughing.


We all played so late that we were falling asleep at the table and yet we didn’t want to stop!

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Hunting the Bandits

06/11/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES

FOOD = Kannarrs, DRINKS = Travis

In Riatavin, Zed’rath Vrasl quickly left the Temple of Sune, fleeing the flirting priest to see what information he could dig up on the street. As he heads past a blind alley he overhears Shadow Thieves talking about their patrols, how there was “something else on the roofs, killing vampires and had only killed a thief when he got too close….”

Shaika Flamerune went to Ghalmrinnar, the Council’s town hall, with Vistra in tow. Gromel and Petril Silvershaper headed to the bookstore so that the Warlord could keep him busy.

Shaika meets Yenhand Smilebeard, a dwarven courier in Ghalmrinnar. The Wizard asks him about the history of the vampires in the area. He is reticent to share info, but when they mention Adokus Chandler he refers them to Fruven Gladstone a halfling clerk, while the dwarf continues to hit on what he refers to as the “Ale Master’s Quarterly Centerfold” (Vistra).

They quickly scramble from another uncomfortable situation and meet up with an ink-stained halfling, deeper in the library, who helps them dig up info. In the recent months the raids have increased significantly, spilling over from Erlkazar since they don’t attack their own people. The records don’t have much of interest about the Vampires, but Shaika finds info about Orgoth’s Tower. Orgoth was into necromancy, lost control of some fiends and they tore him apart. Perfect vacation spot! After their research, Shaika offers to let the librarian copy her “Principles in transmutation” book from the wizard who made her the way she is, which he agrees to wholeheartedly, and then they head back to the inn.

The old man helps Grom and Petril look up books on combat and history. Instead of waiting for the old bookseller, Grom just starts looking for what he knows he needs, pulling them off the shelf. Once he’s found plenty of books to read, he heads back to the inn to play chess with the farmers, while he has Petril begin his studies.

Not hearing anything else, Zed heads over to the Temple of Waukeen, Lodge of Coins, run by a female halfling Therora Trickfoot. Along the way, he comes to the conclusion that most of the Shadow Thieves are human, but most of the other citizens are of other races. The priestess knows most of the same things as the others, but one night a patrol was ambushed by vampires, but one survived and was brought to the temple for healing and he was muttering about “darkness incarnate” (Which leads the vampires). She admits that she’s felt necrotic happenings, but she can’t tell him much more, so he heads back to the inn to find the rest of the group.

At late afternoon the group meets up and heads to bed early so that they can get up around midnight to leave town. As they’re getting up, off in the distance they hear a scream off to the West, but decide that it’s too far away for them to get there in time to hope to save the victim. They set off walking and around sunrise the grasslands turn into deciduous trees, the ground starts to slope up into the foothills. As Vistra and Zed glance back over their shoulders they notice a haze/mist. The Drow knows that this can’t be natural so he asks Shaika to check for Arcana. She knows that the phenomenon is arcane, but doesn’t think that it’s dangerous, even though the Rogue is on his guard. The foothills turn into a swamp, which surrounds the road on either side, becoming more putrid, humid, and oppressive.

As they come around a corner, we come upon a decrepit manor, looming in the distance, sitting in the middle of putrid lake. There’s not much of a “tower”, but there is a central turret rising 4 stories. The manor is in a state of ruin and the 2nd story is collapsed, adding to the overall foreboding. The only way to approach the manor is on a stone walkway, the water is too deep and hard to see into. They make it across the walkway without trouble to find the doors intact, but the windows have no panes. From inside, they hear voices complaining about being stuck on this rock while the “elite’s” are away. Zed sneaks around closer and peers silently in the windows and sees guards behind the doors. With hand signals they set up a plan of attack and go at it. Zed drops a sphere of darkness outside the door, then shifts to the window and quickly kills two guards with one shot. Vistra bursts into the room killing another lackey, Shaika blasts the last one with magic. Unfortunately, they make enough noise to draw the attention of others, but they’re able to take the down as well. One of them tries to run, but Death Whisper finishes him.

Moving deeper into the manor everything is in ruins and the wind whistles through the open windows, furniture and tapestries are crumbling everywhere. They search the first room on the SW and find nothing but bedding, then Shaika tricks the rogue into believing that his shoelaces are untied and he notices nothing around him. Across the hallway is a cold kitchen with nothing in it. As we all return to the hall, the women feel a strange breeze where one shouldn’t be… and Shaika senses magic in the middle of the lake. Zed knows that the breeze where breezes aren’t meant to be is a sure sign of a secret passage, but for the life of him he can’t find it. So they move to the North East room, into the empty room. They find a set of collapsed stairs leading up to the 2nd floor, but nothing else.

The central north area leads into a courtyard with a very deep well, with an unsettling smell coming from it. With a makeshift torch dropped into the well, they try to gauge the distance. It falls a long way before hitting the bottom.

View
On the Road

06/01-11/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES

FOOD = Travis, DRINKS = Gees

We climb out of the crater that was Harkenvold on the Northwest side and wander around to the Southeast side. Along the way we encounter dead bodies that fell off the city as it was lifted away but they’re all pretty old and maggoty.

It’s late when we get to the first of the farmhouses and we go inside. All around it’s too quiet. As we enter the house, we can hear quiet muttering upstairs, so Zed’rath sneaks upstairs and peaks inside the bedroom. Inside an old human man rocking and muttering, “I knew it was trouble when I saw the smoke… then the whole thing just lifted up and flew away to the East.” On the wall behind him are 30 tally marks so it’s been 30 days since the attack on the Wizard’s Tower. “They were all being killed by someone or something… some folks even decided to jump to their deaths. I warned them, I did.” He then complains that he’d leave except that he can’t find the door, so Gromel carries him downstairs. On our way down, we find a Philabuster in an embryonic state and realize that the growing monster is part of the old man’s growing insanity. Grom does a mercy killing and the Philabuster disappears. We then camp in another farm for the night… just in case.

The group talked about which way to head. Muranndin in the West is a monster kingdom. Amn in the Northwest is very much against mages, so our sorcerer won’t be readily accepted, plus, we also know that the Shadow Thieves are in abundance there. They are the main group that the Death Gate Guild splintered from. They’re the more shadowy side of the guild, where Death Gate wanted to be more honorable, so we’d rather avoid them. We decide to head deeper into the region of Tethyr, namely the city of Riatavin to the Southeast seems the best route to take to find out more information.

The next morning we set out following the road to Riatavin, filling up our waterbags along he way. As we travel, this usually heavily traveled merchant road is very silent.

On the night of the 2nd day, during his watch, the rogue hears Orc battle horns deeper in the Wealdath Forest. When his companions wake he warns them that they might be travelling parallel to the Orc horde. With Harkenvold no longer there to stem the tide, the monsters of Muranndin are working quickly to spread their influence. For the next few days we’re on guard. Poor Shaika is not enduring the travel well and her poor paw pads are getting worn out. Zed does his best to apply first aid every night, and that seems to help out some.

On day 4 there is a very brazen group of Orcs in the middle off the road, with more hidden in the woods. They demand a toll, as this road is now controlled by the kingdom of Muranndin. We refuse to pay their toll, and exact one of our own… in blood.

Days 5 and 6 are uneventful and we see no one else on the road, which still seems awfully odd. About sundown, we finally come upon the “Foolish Waif” inn which looks pretty busy. Zed remembers hearing something about good ale there, and the inn is owned by a middle aged man named Walven Gellantara. He grew up in Overlook and had an encounter with the Outsider’s Group where he was sucked into a mirror in the ground and once he was saved he took the money that he earned there to move Northwest and start this inn (See the adventure in another campaign, here). Vistra goes straight for the ale while the rest of us get settled. During dinner, we overhear about troubles in Riatavin. The dwarf goes over to loosen lips with ale. We learn of dark things and troubles with murders and bandits from Erlkazar, but not much is said to outsiders.

From across the room, Zed hears something about Deathgate, so quietly makes his way closer to listen in while warming himself by the fire. A human rogue praises the gods that Deathgate is finally gone, making the area good for adventurers again. They talk about how Barakus was the worst thing to ever happen to this place. The drow listens for a while, until the room begins to empty of patrons and the adventuring group gets louder and more annoying. Our group seriously begins to take offense at their brazenness. Zed tries to catch their attention and take them outside, but fails, and a fight breaks out anyway. They’re pretty green, and we wipe the floor with them without killing them. We sleep well that night and set off the next day.

We travel for 4 more days with no encounters, but we do finally begin meet other merchants on their way from Riatavin. The landscape around the city is grasslands and rolling hills. It’s about mid-afternoon as we approach the gates of the metropolis. As we make our way through the streets, the Shadow Thieves are hidden upon the roofs, almost like the thieve’s guild is protecting the city. Very weird! The mood in town is tense and very oppressive, like everyone is on a knife’s edge.

We decide to get supples first… just in case. Odian Homeforger, the dwarf who runs Wilhound’s Adventuring Gear. He mentions that we’re in “dark times” so Vistra works to get him talking. He speaks of the bandits chewing off the hand that feeds them, but the Shadow Thieves are the only things standing between the bandits taking over. He suggests that we talk to Draga Underfoe, dwarven female leader on the Chosen Council, who can be found in the Ghalmrinnar building.

Shaika also learns about Horvan Serpenthelm, the half-elf who runs the Magic Emporium, so we visit it so that she can purchase magical supplies as well.

As dusk falls, we find Yoxen’s Burden, a nice and upscale inn run by a female hafling called Nerisstina Graveltoes (who sounds like Ms. Piggy). She surprises us by telling us that we have a message from Adokus Chandler, on the Chosen Council. He’d like to meet us at the Rooks Treasure, a sinkhole of a tavern right away, but she warns us that we should stay away from the dirty half-orc who runs the place, though.

We find the Rooks Treasure in the seedier part of town. Inside we’re directed to a private room in the back of the tavern. A tall, pale, gaunt man greets us from behind the table, Adokus Chandler. He is a member of the Shadow Thieves and a member on the council as well. He starts by informing us that the bandits are vampires who have established an enclave in Orgoth’s Tower, which is a day and a half East of the town and that they are preying on the townsfolk. The Council would pay us handsomely to take care of this enclave quietly and quickly. Grom recalls hearing that there are vampires who work with bandits and sometimes the bandits prove worthy to become vampires. They agree to pay us 300 gold each up front, and then 400 gold more when we complete the job. We’re also promised that the Shadow Thieves will neither hinder nor help us. As well, we ask for information on anything that might be known about Harkenvold. Adokus promises to do his best to research it for us.

As we return to the inn, the town is shutting up tightly. Grom goes up for an oil bath while the rest of us eat. Nerisstina tries to pry for information but we nip it in the butt. While we’re eating dinner, we’re approached by an overly energetic gnome cleric named Petril Silvershaper who once tried out for Deathgate but needed more “experience.” He’s way too energetic and scares us, but we DO need a cleric in the party…, and he’s willing to work for free, just to be with members of the Deathgate. The fact that he doesn’t expect money or a take in the treasure convinces Grom that we should “hire him.” Thus, Petril joins our party.

The next morning as we’re leaving the inn, a courier delivers our payment from Master Chandler. We then head over to the Temple of Sune and we’re directed to speak with High Cleric Elros Kittenstouch (Shaika feels very uncomfortable). He is a tall and very athletic Elf, who is very… gay and hits on the Drow! They’re able to sell us Holy Water and he tells us that the vampires and bandits are connected to the Night Barony in Erlkazar. He also suggests that maybe the priestess of Waukeen or the “word on the street” might give us more information as to why the vampires are more prevalent now.

View
Wizard's Tower 3

5/1/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES
Bag of Holding Grom Temple in Wizard’s Tower Catacombs Given to us by Master Sorinos
Flaying Gloves Zed Temple in Wizard’s Tower Catacombs Given to us by Master Sorinos
Bloodthread Armor Shaika Temple in Wizard’s Tower Catacombs Given to us by Master Sorinos
Collar of Recovery Vistra Temple in Wizard’s Tower Catacombs Given to us by Master Sorinos
Skull Mask Grom Temple in Wizard’s Tower Catacombs Given to us by Master Sorinos

CATACOMBS

They are dark and damp. In the distance a loud slam is heard as well as the muffled sounds of fighting. Master Sorinos explains to us that these catacombs are trapped against everyone and once a room is cleared and we move on, the traps in it will reset behind us… so once we get to the stone and stop Xhyonnitora, then we’ll have to fight our way out.

1st room is dark stone with a domed ceiling (like a tomb). There are construct statues standing in the room. As we step into the room, the door shuts behind us and the eyes glow to life on the constructs. The group crowds Master Sorinos to protect him and then Zed puts up a cloud of darkness to protect them both. The group then attacks the constructs. When the last construct falls then both doors open and we realize that we can’t hear any noises in the distance.


Even though he was able to see out of his Cloud of Darkness, Zed couldn’t seem to hit anything… but the darkness.

The 2nd room is almost a repeat of the first so we step up and start the battle all over again. The monsters are stronger, but we step up our attacks and take them on and quickly the Grom-wannabe goes down with a concerted effort. When the battle is over, the door before us doesn’t open. Master Sorinos further explains that until the group before us is done we can’t move on. The silence stretches on for about 10 or 15 minutes then there are blood-curdling screams, which stretch on for about 5 minutes before the door in front of us finally slides open.

The 3rd room is full of carnage and we see a large group of Shadar-kai run through the door on the opposite side of the room. There is no visible enemy in the room but there are 2 switches on opposite walls of each other. Zed and Shaika can sense a presence, but they can’t tell what. Master Sorinos tells us that there is something odd with this room, and Zed can tell that he’s covering up some serious worry. Zed notices that the bodies seem to have used their blades to kill themselves. As soon as we step into the room, we notice that there are 2 more levers and a gibbering creature in the blind corner. He is faster than us and the lights go out. The Philabuster starts juggling a light orb, then does a sonic scream and we’re all dazed. It puts out the lights again and the gibbering of random insanity begins to screw with our minds. Due to hysteria we find ourselves helpless and immobilized. Shaika pulls out her dagger and holds it to her own throat. It then fades through the wall and leaves us, gibbering off into the distance. As it leaves the hysteria dissipates as well. Sorinos is breathing heavily, he’s heard dark rumors of this monster. They are created from insanity (there was a dead body in the corner that got trapped and tried to claw his way out, so it was created from that. The way it killed the other Shadar-kai means that more Philabusters will be created. We find out that we all pull the levers down the doors will open, but as soon as we let go, they doors close again. So we drape the dead bodies onto the levers to keep the doors open.

As we enter the 4th room we see the 5 warforged putting themselves back together from the Shadar-kai passing through. Zed puts up a cloud of darkness again and the group starts murmuring about how the darkness goes up so the Drow can hide what he and the Master are doing in the darkness (Gross!). Zed contemplates how best to kill each of them all in their sleep! Then the Warforged Priest hits us all with a huge psychic attack and all joking is forgotten. It takes time to destroy them all, but finally we make it.

The 5th room is different from all of the rest of them. A temple had been carved into the side of the mountain, but it’s impossible to tell to whom this temple was dedicated. A small band of Shadar-kai are guarding the steps up to the entrance. At the top of the steps stands Xhyonnitora, he seems frazzled and tells his warriors to stop us from disrupting his ritual and then runs into the temple. Sorinos blasts the Shadar-kai, and then we finish them off. Sorinos starts looking around trying to find something. Finally he finds a pillar and gets a secret passage to open up and he tosses a bag to Vistra as his thanks. In the bag of holding Vistra pulls out a pair of Flaying gloves (AV1 pg 133), a Bloodthread Armor (PHB1 pg 227) robes, a Collar of Recovery (AV1 pg 151), and a Skull Mask (AV1 pg 144). Finally there is pouch of 6500 gold. Then we follow the Shadar-Kai wizard into the temple.

A long hallway leads into the temple. The domed room is lit from a blue light which emanates from nowhere. The tiles in the floor are of a black and white ying yang symbol. The black part of the floor radiates an evil presence while the white radiates a holiness. In the middle of the room is a dais surrounded by a gray aura from both sides of the room. There is no other exits, but Xhyonnitora is nowhere to be seen. Sorinos starts to chuckle and thanks us for helping him one last time. Xhyonnitora is standing where Sorinos used to be. He slams his staff into the ground and we’re magically picked up and thrown into the room and the door slams shut. A white and black cloud appear on their perspective sides of the room and ask “who trespasses on this holy/unholy ground and seeks to destroy the world?” Simultaneously, two figures appear in the clouds. In unison they say,”for 1000 years we’ve had charge over this relic, and you shall not end this now.” We simply ask to leave peacefully, but they will not allow it, stating that our simple presence here means our doom. Zed and Vistra guess that the devil can’t cross onto holy side and vice versa. Since they won’t listen to reason, we bring the pain! With much effort we finally beat the Devil and Angel. As the aura disappears, Zed can see a black heart on the dais and a wave of huge evil slams into all of us, centering on the stones in our chests. The hearts starts to beat and the stones rip themselves out of our chests. On the black side of the room the stones are circling one another, spinning faster and faster in a purple haze of light. The door opens and Xhyonnitora steps in. “What have you done, he screams. Who’s controlling the portal, what are you allowing through?” The purple portal has a shadowy figure forming behind it. Xhyonnitora runs for the door, but the being behind the portal slams shut the door. A voice thunders into the room ,”Leaving so soon? I have yet to give you your reward, my faithful servant.” Xhyonnitora pales even more as the being laughs. Xhyonnitora screams, “you lied to me, you promised me revenge.” The being promises again that Xhyonnitora will be rewarded. An overly large human hand comes through the portal, and purple necrotic tendrils bury themselves into Xhyonnitora’s chest. The Shadar-kai’s screams become intolerable as he literally wastes away before our eyes. “Now the pawns can see the entrance of the doom of this world.” This being is unlike any we’ve ever seen on this world. He might have been human at one time. Zed asks him who he is and why he’s here? He says, “that we’ll know soon why he was here.” He’s humanoid, in a dark cloak with glowing yellow eyes and runes underneath them. “My reward will allow you to die mercifully.” He steps towards Zed, dispelling the cloud of darkness and paralyzing us all. Then his purple tendrils wrap around us all, and we all die.

We find ourselves each standing before a glowing mirror. Shaika has a male fire genasi spirit standing next to her. Vistra sees a clan ancestral spirit standing next to her. Zed sees Violet. Grom sees all of us in our spirit form (Grom is the one taking on the forms we all see, the vision of our deaths). None of us want to go, but Grom must take us to the Raven Queen, she commands him. We are guided to the Shadowfell at a speed, which doesn’t seem possible. We travel north and it gets icier, as we approach a black citadel. As we approach, the guards salute the spirit leading us (Grom) as they would a superior officer. At the top of the endless stairs is a huge black thrones with a shadowy figure that we can barely make out. A page announces that we’re in the presence of the Raven Queen and we all bow. “Arise, I have been anxious to speak with you for some time. The gods have become very interested in what’s happening in the world. Let me explain the parts of the story that you don’t know. Xhyonnitora, as a young man, had longed for power and learned of the hand and eye of Vecna. For long years he sought them, and eagerly did their bidding. Later, the hand and eye left him. With their parting, Xhyonnitora died and then was resurrected, but the withdrawal of no longer having these artifacts drove him mad. He thought that he could get revenge on Vecna and spent the rest of his life trying to find a way, but the rest of the gods wouldn’t even help him. He then took a Star Pact and found the essence of Raven Grimwulf, an evil from another world (the elemental stones were the ones he’d conned out of the Samurai). He consumed his world and then his power began to spread to other worlds. He agreed to help the Shadar-kai and set up the means by which his essence could gain entrance into this world. The gods of Faerûn asked the Raven Queen to represent them in asking us to destroy this being. He is but a larvae of his true form… for now. To aid us in our quest, she will give us each one boon; we are allowed to choose any one item, up to level 8. When we ask, she admits that, unfortunately, the gods know very little about Raven since is from another time and space, but it’s obvious that he is a master of subtlety. She tells us that as her servants we will have our way revealed as time goes on. She then dismisses us and the Visions of Death which brough us here, whisk us back. On the return trip, Vistra won’t stop complaining. Even as we suddenly wake back up in our bodies, she’s still going, which makes us all laugh, in spite of the dread that we all feel.

As we look around, we realize that we’re laying in the bottom off a crater, feeling stiff. We drag ourselves to our feet and begin to climb out of the deep crater. When we get to the top and look around, we realize that the crater that we were just standing in used to be Harkenvold. This rocks our world, but none of us seemed to notice that Grom wasn’t with us the whole trip to the Raven Queen’s palace and back.

The rogue looks at the rest of the group, “so now where do we go?”

View
Wizard's Tower 2

4/30-5/1/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES
Residuum Shaika In every room of the 4 towers Left behind after we kill the elemental monsters
Healing Potion Shaika Mage Tower 3rd Floor She put spilled potions together to make a full potion

MAGE TOWERAIR

1st Floor – There is an orb inlaid within the floor of tower, surrounded in a nimbus of power. Shaika hears that she is welcomed to this tower. In the floors above us we can hear a massive torrent of wind. Vistra and Zed dance around flanking with each other. The air elementals blew the random bit of residuum as dust around the room. We use the kitty’s tail to sweep it up and part of the Warforged as a dust pan.


2nd Floor – This room is the school, desks lay strewn about. Vistra and Zed sing and flank, while the wind from the air elementals whistle through Grom’s armor (whistling Dixie). While in the middle of the fight, one of the Elementals whips out pictures of his little breezes to show us, while Shaika’s hair is blowing in the breeze like a super model in a hair commercial. Jenn marks the DM with blindness so he can’t find his D10 to attack us.

3rd Floor – Magicians lab. Shaika finds enough spilled potion to make 1 healing potion

4th Floor – This room is howling with wind, and a tornado is spinning on the floor. Ruined junk has been destroyed and pushed to the edges of the room. Looks like it was a demolished storeroom, the aromas of mixed components are cloying. Air elementals spawn from the tornado when others die. In the middle of the battle, we suddenly realized that Vistra is really is a female!! (She changed out her mini for a new one)

5th floor – Mage’s Library, which has been torn to shreds. Every page has ripped out and is being flung around the room. Greater Air Elemental says,”Ah, the pawns have come to play. Every world has its lifespan and this worlds time has come.” Shaika asks Vistra, “Do you mind if I hit you with something dealing 7-17 damage and then Grom can heal you?” and then she shocks her and the Elemental for 15 damage and gives Vistra a perm. The Elemental dies with a huge burst of wind knives. Zed collects the Wind Stone.

WARLOCK TOWEREARTH

1st Floor – The floor in the final tower is inlaid with a skull ringed in arcane energy. There’s the sound of rocks falling, crushing, and grinding. Once again, Shaika hears that she’s not welcome here. Shaika rushes into the room, surprised at first at how huge the rock minions are, and fries a couple of them while the rest of us spread out. Vistra “rocks on” and deals two criticals in a row.

2nd Floor – This schoolroom is destroyed and turned to rubble. Vistra thought she saw wet stones, thinking the earth elementals had peed in here. Instead some of them are covered in ink. Shaika was hit with a fly-by bubble, blown by Vistra’s controller. Vistra “Hawk” is doing X-games moves while attacking and Zed dances and damages monsters. As people are chipping away at the elementals, little chips keep flying into Zed’s eyes, damaging him a little with each battle.


3rd Floor – This floor is ringed in menhirs, which used to be portals. It looks like this is where the Warlock’s summoned the beings to make their pacts. It’s impossible to tell where they go because the elementals have been trashing them. The group discusses how shards will fly into the portals and appear later to stab Zed in the eyes.

4th Floor – Alter room, where they seal the pacts. There was a rockslide and elementals keep coming out in waves at us.

5th floor – Another library that has been smashed and shredded. As we enter, the master earth elemental just laughs like the rumbling of earth. We blind, immobilize, and knock him prone and then pummel him. As the elemental dies, something just doesn’t seem right. Before this, all of the elementals all made threats and used some special power as they died… but the silence following seems rather ominous. This stone isn’t pulsating, but the ones we’ve already captured are now pulsing and they burst from our bags and the 4 stones merge into a huge white light. Suddenly we remembered that Lia had told us of twin stones (black and white) and this one is glowing white. Time slows and then the white stone cracks and the individual stones are flying back at us.

  • Zed is hit by excruciating pain, he’s surrounded in a whirlwind and enveloped in wind… then as the wind dies down, Zed finds that the stone has enveloped itself inside his chest, but without damaging him. Zed finds himself prone on the ground.
  • Shaika is enveloped in fire, which actually burns like when she was infused with the male Genasi. The flames burn so hot that she thinks she’s going to go insane. As the pain subsides and the burning stops, she realizes that the stone is merged into her chest and she’s lying on the floor and something is staring her in the eye – a fire salamander familiar.
  • Vistra feels like she’s being crushed, and it’s harder to breath and force down the panic of being crushed. This feeling fades and she finds that as the light diminishes that the earth stone has disappeared in her chest.
  • Grom watches us all struggling on the ground in pain. He feels a strange pressure and the strange sensation of being surround by water and even though he can’t breath he feels like he’s drowning, but he’s not too concerned. The light fades and he finds that the stone has merged inside his chest. There is no damage.

GROUND FLOOR

We return to the bottom floor to find the Shadar-kai waiting with his legions. Lia makes him let her heal us one last time. We are then teleported and end up in a new part of the Mage Tower, the Archmage’s personal library. From above we hear a huge explosion and screams of pain. Our Shadar-kai guards race up the stairs. Suddenly kitty ears perk up, she rushes to the bookshelf and she starts purring for a few seconds and then huffs in indignation. Seconds after that, there is another explosion and more screams of Shadar-kai in agony. We then hear a human voice,”Bring it on you devils, I will defend my tower to the bitter end!” The Archmage isn’t happy. Grom charges up the stairs and we all follow.

The top floor is the observatory with a clear observatory dome so we can see the whole city around us. The floor is littered with the dead bodies of Shadar-kai. When the Archmage asks, we tell him that we’re from the Death Gate Guild and he’s glad to see someone else in the town cares. Grom tells him that the elemental stones are fused with us for which he’s glad. Master Sorinos explains that Xhyonnitora was foolish to take him on. He’s glad that the elemental stones are now protected. He then reiterates that this tower guards one of the Twin Stones, as Lia told us. Xhyonnitora didn’t kill Master Sorinos, and once he regained consciousness he started taking out the Shadar-Kai. He tells us that Xhyonnitora took his forces and teleported into the catacombs to attempt his ritual. The archmage will come with us, but he’s afraid that his massive spells will alert Xhyonnitora to our presence, so he wont be doing much. We step into a portal that he conjures.

View
Wizard's Tower 1

4/29-30/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES
Residuum Shaika In every room of the 4 towers Left behind after we kill the elemental monsters

HARKENWOLD

After returning to the Death Gate Guild, we were allowed to rest that night. On the morrow we decided to spend some time around town resupplying.

Shaika decided that she wanted to take advantage of the Guild Benefits so she went down to the basement of the guild to see if there was any “lightly used” robes or weapons that she could buy. The old man looked around, and not seeing anything magical, started diggin around until he unearthed a huge barrel of Residuum. Since he didn’t have anything on him, he grabbed a tattered robe and pushed it into the “magical kitty litter” and then pulled it out for Shaika’s approval. The wizard thanked him, but slowly backed out of the Guild Hall.

Vistra went to the armor smith, which was run by an extremely tall Elf. When she asked him if he had anything in her size, he began to measure her up and slightly chuckle to himself. Vistra considered chopping off his legs at the knees to see how funny he’d find it then…

Zed was wandering around town hoping to find better protection, when it occurred to him that an amulet or a cloak would work well. So he stepped into a shop specializing in amulets. He wanted to purchase an Amulet of Protection, and asked for one, but the smarmy hafling was trying to sell him every other amulet on the premises, including bogus ones like the Amulet of “She’ll Still Look Good the Next Day, No Matter How Hungover You Are…” Finally the Drow was able to intimidate the seller into finding the one he wanted.

Instead of going out shopping, Grom felt that it would more beneficial to stay in his quarters and study the Manual of Death. Numerous times, others from the guild try to interrupt him, but he turns them away. When Shaika asks Vistra where Grom is, the dwarf maiden tells her that he’s off reading, and they both imagine him in a smoking jacket, running a program called “Reading Time with Gromel” and laugh about it for the longest time.

While we’re all out supplying up, there are a bunch of explosions at the Mage Tower. From our different locales, everyone, except for myself, head back to HQ to gear up. As a rogue, I always travel with my gear… just in case. While Shaika, Vistra, and Grom are getting ready to leave, there’s a ruckus at the back of Death Gate and Barakus comes out with a wound in his side. He sends the group to keep the Shadar-Kai from getting the stones. While the group was at the ruins, the Hunters stole 4 stones of immense power from the Shadar-kai, and sent them to the Wizard’s Tower so they could study them. The Warforged clears a path as the group charges towards the Wizard’s Tower and I catch up with them along the way. As we travel, the group brings me up to snuff.

WIZARD’S TOWER

As we arrive at the tall structure, made up of a central building with four tall towers. We can see that the upper floors of the towers are pouring out smoke, and acolytes lie dead in the street. Behind us, smoke rises from Death Gate HQ filling the sky as well. It was a two pronged attack.

1. Ground Floor – As we enter the main hall of the tower, Teranor/Xhyonnitora stands above the bodies of unconscious Arch-mage and City Lord at his feet. The ground floor is full of Shadar-kai, and more are coming up behind us on the steps. We’re pushed into the room and Shaika realizes that Teranor is a Star-pact Warlock. It seems that at one time Teranor used to own the eye and hand of Vecna… but no longer has them. Teranor wishes us to play his “game” and get “his” stones back. We agree, pretending that we don’t really care for the city, and Teranor teleports away w/ his captives (The Archmage and other lead mages).



Sometimes just the intensity of our stare could almost kill monsters.

Shaika can tell that we’re being scryed. In the corner we hear a groan from an injured Deva. We heal her up and find out that her name is Lia. She tells us that the stones started radiating massive power this morning. After the pulsing stopped, the stones started spewing elemental creatures. She then explains the layout of the grounds: 1) Air in mage tower, 2) earth in warlock tower, 3) fire in artificer tower, 4) water in swordmage tower. She also speaks of a legend from 1000 years ago; 2 meteors fell from heavens, here where Wizard’s Tower stands and also at Ruins of Fastormel. Mages rushed to where the comets hit, and a black heart carved of obsidian lay here beneath this tower. In the Ruins was a brilliant white stone. She ends by saying that if we can kill the greater Elementals, we can control their stones.

ARTIFICER TOWERFIRE

1st Floor – On the floor there is a mosaic of hands glowing with arcane power. As we step through the barrier, Shaika hears “Shaika, you do not belong in these hallowed halls.” The rest of us hear an alarm wailing our arrival and the sounds of a roaring furnace. Elemental monsters drop into the room. When all of the flames are put out, Shaika collects some residuum.

2nd Floor – This used to be the school of the artificers, but there are nothing but burned desks and labs all reduced to ash. We’re attacked by more living sparks and primal fires and finally wipe up, even though Vistra and I spend most of our time bloodied.

3rd Floor – This room used to have tools and weapons, but they’re all burned up. More of the same monsters.

4th Floor – The heat on this level is even more intense. This is the foundry, the slag pit is still full of molten metal, and there are molds for creating golems. Off to the side stand lifeless golems. As Elementals come out, the slag pit lowers with each wave that comes out, totaling 3 waves.

5th Floor – 2/3 of the room is made up of bookshelves of burned books, The tables have been charred as well. Towards the back of the room stands a dais with a stone on it. Burning next to the dais is a huge Elemental Flame creature. “Foolish mortals you will not hinder my Master’s work,” but he won’t say who his master is. I run in and blind the Elemental and then I miss and throw my Alchemist Frost behind him. Oops! As Grom does the killing blow, the Elemental blows up and the light on the stone dims. Shaika takes the Fire Stone. We then return to the bottom floor to be healed by Lia.

SWORDMAGE TOWERWATER

1st Floor – Black marble floor w/ a sword covered in arcane energy inlaid in it. Shaika hears that she doesn’t belong here either. Huge water droplets drip from the ceiling and then form into water monsters. Big Primal Waters and minor Living Springs attack and as they die the room continues to flood with water.

2nd Floor – most of room is sunken 5’ below level of floor and this sunken area is pooled with water. The pooled water rises up to attack us. Vistra whacks the H out of H2O.


Shaika’s fire spells don’t mix well with the water monsters. Soon we were all steamed with kinky do perms… except the one without any hair!

3rd Floor – Another sunken room that looks like it used to be an armory, all weapons knocked off into the water. The pool of water forms into more water elementals. Levels of tower corresponded w/ level of mages… 1st floors are schools and top level belongs to the archmages. The monsters pop out of the water… “H2O Rawr!!”

4th Floor – Another sunken room covered in an inch of water. There are designs in the floor designating this as the training arena. A huge Elemental is awaiting us, but as we kill them off, more keep popping up out of the water… until we flush them down the drain! The cat-girl begins to feel that every time a water monster dies, it must be splashing on her on purpose. The wet Shifter just keeps getting angrier and angrier the wetter she gets.

5th floor – Here the master water elemental confronts us in the flooded Archmage’s library. All of the books have been drenched and destroyed. A blue stone glows on the dais. “This world shall burn and your puny attempts shall not delay the inevitable,” the elemental burbles at us. The Water Lord swirls around the room in a maelstrom attack and then we open up a can of whup-@$$ on him. As he dies he says,“Foolish mortals, my death only brings you one step closer to your doom.” Grom takes the water stone for himself. As we he head back down to the lower levels, Shaika jokes that since Grom has the water stone, maybe he could become our own personal ice machine for the Guild picnics.

We head back down to Lia to take an extended rest and Level up. As she’s leveling up, Shaika begins to feel that she’s forming a bond with something inside the stone (familiar).

View
Hum Drum... or Not

4/5-28/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES
Raven Talisman Gromel Mausoleum It’s given to him by the Sorrowsworn for the Raven Queen
Ivory Bracelet Whole Group Patio A thank you from the blind Dark One
Black Pearl Upstairs landing 1 Found on the body of a Shadar-kai

After our return, every morning we are given new assignments by a named Sprocket. Since we’re low on the totem pole, we get the boring jobs. Since working together, the four of us have found a strange comradeship.

3 weeks later, the group that was sent to the Ruins of Fastormel return worse for the wear and report in. Before we can ask anything, they are ushered into Barakus’ office and each of us are told to wait in the waiting room, except for Grom, who gets a special letter from his Goddess and the takes off, while the rest of us are left waiting outside Barakus’ office for hours.

Grom follows the letter and goes to Plot 72 in the cemetery, with ravens covering the roof. Grom enters and find 2 sarcophagi. A bone book lies on one and he feels impressed to open it. He finds out that it is the Manual of Death for the Raven Queen and teaches about the passage from this life to the next, the duties performed by the Raven Watch. While he’s reading the book a Shade of Death, Sorrowsworn, approached him and told him that he is being called as one of the Raven Watch by their goddess. He tells him that his duty will be to carry the souls of those who have died from this plane to the next. Every night he’ll have a list of the dying, he only has to think of them and he’ll appear by their side, looking like how they would picture death. Should anyone find out about the book, the Raven Talisman, or his role, the Raven Queen will abandon him… then the shade disappears.

Finally, the rest of us are called into Barakus’ office. The room is decorated in reds and golds, definitely a warrior’s office, with a huge central desk. He tells us that the group sent to the ruins was successful. They found the place overrun with Shadar-Kai and disrupted their plans. He warns us, from what the other group overheard, that we should expect to be hunted. If that’s the case, Barakus wants to use us as bait to catch them.

That night in the barracks, there are extra hidden warriors to protect us because they expect an assassination attempt. Grom isn’t there, but the Raven Queen’s power blocks that from our mind, so we don’t even notice his absence. Around midnight I sense figures in the room, but the guards seem to be out of it. As the 3 of us tense, we realize there are bodies at the end of our beds, but we realize that they’re not Shadar-Kai, they’re Dark Ones, who live among the Shadar-Kai like Halflings. As they attack, we kill 2 and take the last one captive.

The next day, Grom is back with us, like he was never missing. Barakus was able to personally get the Dark One to talk. They have found the Planar Market, a dimensional market with hidden doorways in most large towns. It seems that it is governed by a ruling clan, the Shadar-Kai clan of Harkenwold and Teranor is head of this clan, better known by his true name, Xhyonnitora. The Dark One also spoke of the hidden entrance in the cemetery; mausoleum 11729, crypt 8. The Planar Market is on a neutral plane where the planes all meet and exchange goods. Barakus sends us there to do some info shopping, but won’t give us an allowance.

PLANAR MARKET

We have to do some searching, but since Grom now knows the cemetery better, he’s able to help us find the right place. The Mausoleum is old and decrepit and feels ominous. Crypt 8 is different from the others that we pass, with 2 statues with their arms raised and cupped. Vistra notices the Right statues left hand moves when weight is placed in it. We place up to 16 gold coins before the arm swings down and the whole crypt sinks into the floor. A lower door leads to a hall that opens up on a market like one nothing we’ve ever seen before.

As we look around, the group decides to split up, trying to gather info. Zed melts into the crowds, merging with shadows and watching the street, Vistra goes into the Starfire Tavern for a drink, Grom follows and takes a table alone, and Shaika follows a divine spark and wanders off down the street. Vistra hits up the bartender for info on Shadar-kai in town. While she’s busy, a female Warforged tries to seduce Grom. I get distracted by too much going on around me and Shaika wanders farther away from the group, from shiny to shiny. Vistra finds out that the Shadar-Kai are in control of the Planar Market. There’s been an ongoing feud between the Shadar-Kai clans and the Demonic Planes (led by an Abyssal Entity). He tells her that if she follows the main thoroughfare the opposite way of the entrance, then we’ll find their manorhouse. Grom spurns the Lady Warforged and we all leave the tavern to try and find Shaika. As we trek down the street, we notice an old Wanted Poster for Zed which Grom rips down. It seems that House Vrasl has posted a reward for my head claiming that I stole something.

We search for Shaika and finally regroup to discuss what to do next. Not far from the alley where we’re talking we hear Xhyonnitora’s name mentioned and I sneak closer to listen in. An abyssal creature is asking a Shadar-Kai why they have not left the Administrative Compound as promised? It seems the Shadar-Kai made some sort of deal and are giving up the seat of power and leaving the Planar Market. The Shadar-kay says that only a few are left to wrap things up, but they haven’t turned it over due to complications in the world above, things have not been completed yet. We turn to find Shaika coming towards us. As a group, we decide to send the ladies back to give the info to Barakus while Grom and I scout out the manor. We agree to meet back at the Astral Sister outdoor café in 3 hours time.

As we split up, Grom comes up with a plan to find a interesting object to look like we’re making a delivery so we won’t attract undo attention. While we’re searching for the necessary item, unbeknownst to us, Shaika is kidnapped without Vistra noticing. Grom notices a 4-headed toucan-like animal for our plan. We purchase the noisy bird and pretend like we’re lost and trying to find the address while scoping things out. The creature is so raucous and annoying that people everywhere are doing everything they can to avoid and ignore us. Slowly we work our way closer to the Shadar-Kai Manor. Vistra, upon seeing that the cat-girl is gone, doubles back and tells us of the cat-napping. We give her the food to carry and continue with our plan. As we approach the manor, we see Dark Ones dragging a netted Shaika into the courtyard of the manor.

SHADAR-KAI MANOR

1. The Courtyard – The manor has a harsh quality to it with gargoyle statues surrounding the courtyard. We quickly approach the front door, keeping the Dark Ones off guard while we surround them. A Shadar-Kai opens the front gates and invites us inside. As we step inside, we’re surrounded in an energy field, trapping us in the courtyard. The statues come to life and we are attacked by Shadow Hunter Bats. We free Shaika from the net and set the bird aside for safety and take out the monsters, but the bats give us a really hard time. Even when the monsters are dead, we can’t leave the manor and when the manor door opens behind us, we enter the dark room, Zed scouting ahead.

2. Entry – Even with my warning the group is attacked by Dark One Assassins from the fringes of the room, until we corner and take them out. There are windows looking out on a central patio. We hear a strange tapping noise, so I sneak out to investigate.

3. Patio – This room is ringed in shadow and the noise turns out to be a Blind Beggar Dark One. I feel moved to kindness towards this cripple and my kindness gets him talking. I found out that he was blinded because his family failed their missions too often – he didn’t realize that he’s in the Manor, but he’s trapped since he can’t find the shadows. So I lead him to a dark corner and before he leaves, he hands me an Ivory Bracelet as thanks (which gives us all 60 XP then returns to being a normal bracelet). He then steps into the shadow and returns home.

4. Long Hallway A and B – Dark bone walls with white spots where paintings used to be.

5. Dining Hall – There is a giant black marble table in the center of the room with stairs at the north end leading up and down. We can hear harp music moving towards the stairs. We are attacked by a Shadar-Kai and some Dark Ones. They make use of the shadowy room to pummel us until we use torches to light up the whole room.

6. Downstairs kitchen – There are 2 Shadar-kai getting a meal who dark walk around us, but we dispatch them with the torches we’d brought from the last room.

7. Upstairs landing 1 – I sneak upstairs and hear sounds from inside the guard room. I get the drop on the 2 Shadar-kai as the rest of the part joins the fray. They find a Black Pearl in this room

8. Upstairs Landing 2 – There are two more Shadar-kai wielding chain whips here. They leave Grom bleeding profusely, but there is a healing fountain in the next room that keeps us alive a little longer.

9. Upstairs Throne Room – Teranor and two female Shadar-kai witches are discussing the move when we arrive. We find it odd that the witches don’t use magic and quickly dispatch them. They all turn out to be doppelgangers. On the Teranor clone we find papers indicating that the Planar Market was a distraction to keep us from the world above while the clan’s plans unfold. We pick up the Monster Bird and return to our world.

We return to Barakus to give him a full report and also give him the bird as a gift. He actually seemed pleased by it. Upon our return, we actually receive a bonus for the great job we’d done for Lord Severins.

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Severins Mission Continued

4/3-4/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES
Viscious Shortsword Zed’Rath Boss Room It was Soveliss’ weapon

SEVERIN’S MANOR

20. Grand Staircase – From up above, we can see the undead attacking the barricade. Without warning, Vistra and Grom are slowed, Zed is almost hit with the same magic. While the rest of the group kills skeletons, the rogue hunts down the hidden gnome mage under the stairs. Vistra tells the servants to bring the wizard to us, but he refuses, so we head into the chapel without waiting.

21. Chapel – It seems to be older than the manor, a chapel dedicated to Erathis, Moradin, and Bahamut. Shaika can sense the residue of a Resurrection Ritual but Zed can’t sense any divinity as part of the spell – it seems to be very old magic.

We leave the chapel to return the spellbook to Teranor, but as we speak to him, Zed senses that there’s a lot more the wizard isn’t telling us. Grom pointedly asks about the Eladrin we’ve been meeting. He explains to us that before the lesser races knew about magic, Eladrin were the masters of magic. Teranor, in his arrogance and desperation, dug where he wasn’t supposed to to to resurrect the Lady. He summoned the Eladrin to bring Lady Rosalie back. He needed us to get his book so he can make a scroll to undo the Fey magic. The Eladrin’s name is Soveliss.

Lord Severins is angry about what Teranor did but understands and threatens that if he doesn’t succeed then he will face his anger. We take the scroll and return to the chapel to read it there. We all pray to our gods to bless Shaika as she reads from the scroll. When she is done, there is silence. . . Suddenly there is a chime ringing the fourth hour and we start hearing fey bells and a grinding noises from a nearby pew where a Dwarf statue starts talking about how the chapel needs to be made bigger. Soon, all of the statues come to life, plants start to grow, and dragons start to roar. An angel statue near the alter talks about a thieving wizard stealing Lady Rosalie’s pinky to give her half life. The Eladrin chased the wizard out of room as he mutters the real agreement; she’ll have half life in this world and half in the Feywild. The Eladrin then stores the pinky in a blue sorrow box.

Soon, all of the statues return to their lifeless forms. As we leave the chapel, we’re accosted by row upon row of undead, but Shaika blasts them all with Burning Hands killing every single one. We return to the library to find Teranor brewing a potion, muttering something about how we need “madness” to see the Feywild. He asks us to retrieve one last item for him. In the cellar Lord Severins’ father thinks he’s a dog and has a leg bone that we need to gather. We head down into the cellar through the kitchen.

22. Dining Room – Grand affair, but no silverware

23. Kitchen – Currently empty, but there are stairs to the cellar

24. Cellar – As we descend the stairs, a wild old man on all fours growls at us, or is it something behind us? Grom swaps out the bone for a meat bone that Teranor had given us. As the old man takes the bone, he turns into a real dog. While our backs are turned, we’re attacked by invisible foes with magic. Vistra splashes wine and flings it around the room to uncover more gnomes, which we finish off. We pet the dog and then return to Teranor, who adds the bone to the concoction, totally unconcerned by the old man’s transformation, stating that it is best for all this way. As the concoction turns color, he scoops it into a vial and hands it to Shaika. He tells us that it only causes temporary madness and that he needs us to bring back Soveliss’ spellbook so that Teranor can reverse the spell. Warily, Shaika quaffs the potion and sees Soveliss standing in the door, he’s been following us this whole time. He turns and runs back through the hall and through a solid wall.



Shaika’s blast goes awry, and Zed loses part of his pants.

25. Fey Hall 4 and Spiral Stair Up – Undead bock the stairs but we kill them and continue up.

26. Fey Boss Room – Soveliss has nowhere else to run so he turns and faces us. “This is it, she is mine,” he say as he draws his sword and attacks. Much to his surprise he is quickly beaten down and on him we find a vicious shortsword, his spellbook, and the finger in a box. We return to Teranor.

As we hand the spellbook and finger to the old wizard, he greedily grabs them, putting us on guard… we try to move and find ourselves frozen. Before our eyes, Teranor changes into a Shadar-Kai, missing his left hand and Right Eye. He tells us that for 25 years he’s been serving under Lord Severins for this moment. In a flash Teranor disappears and we are released. We rush into the next room and return the finger to Rosalie. As she places it next to her hand, the enchantment is broken and the connection to the Feywild is cut. The lord is disturbed by new of Teranor’s betrayal, but will give a letter of recommendation to Barakus for us. We all return to Teranor’s room and try to search through his stuff for any clues, and one of the servants finds part of a burnt scrap of paper in the fireplace:

“Ruins of Fastormel: Key to. . . .”

HARKENWOLD

We return to Harkenvold and give Lord Severins letter to Barakus, who is impressed but tells us that a more experienced group will handle the ruins. Grom tells him about Lord Severins father and Barakus asks us to keep that a secret for now, something the Guild can use against the Severins in the future if they need to. Barakus then grips us each by the forearm and tells us that we have earned a place in the Death Gate Guild.

Guild Perks:

  • Sell back stuff for cheapest price without the need to haggle
  • Get Death Gate tattoo on top of forearms
  • Free lodging, food, and information
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First Mission

4/1-3/1499 DR

TREASURE

ITEM RECIPIENT LOCATION FOUND NOTES
Amulet of Health +1 Vistra Fey Bedroom Hidden in the decaying wardrobe
Orb of Inevitable Continuance Shaika Feywild Library This was found on the body of a gnome illusionist
Frost Spear Grommel Feywild Armory Lost among other rusty weapons

Every year in the metropolitan merchant city of Harkenwold, near the Wealdath Forest, the prestigious Death Gate Guild holds classes and has try outs to see who will be hired as Guild Mercenaries. Many try out, but few are accepted. The guild guards it’s prestige by holding its members to the highest of standards. This year, four travelers from different parts of the world have found themselves trying out for the Death Gate Guild, not knowing that fate had brought them together for a reason. Gromel – a male Warforged Warlord from the Thayan area, Shaika – a female half shifter, half genasi Wizard from the Dalelands, Vistra – a female Dwarven Fighter, and Zed’rath – a male Drow Rogue/Scout from the Earthroot Underdark region found under Thay. We had proven ourselves in all of the preliminary test, but now it was time for the final test.

Barakus, a large battle-scarred Tiefling and the head of the guild, paired the four of us together and called us into his office to give us the final test. He told us that aside to give us our final test. Lord Arthur Severins is a huge supporter of the guild and he needs a job done for him personally. Failure will look badly on the guild (no pressure). Recently, Lord Severins wife grew ill, died, and was then resurrected through a ritual, but ever since then she’s been acting odd and melancholy. Two days ago, the town lost contact with Severin’s Manor, where he’d taken his wife to recover. He let us kow that our job is to head to the manor and to deal with this issue. Success will net us all places in the guild. We are then dismissed from his office. A Tiefling named Samael and a Dragonborn named Searynox, step forward and give us instructions to the manor. It lies to the East of town, the farthest one before the wilderness.

SEVERIN’S MANOR

After stocking up on supplies, we head out to the manor, finding it with relative ease. Halfway up the lane leading to it, we hear screaming. I (Zed) go into stealth mode, carefully making my way between the lined trees and hedges to try and assess the situation, while Gromel strides right up the lane and into the open front door.

Severins Manor (#’s match rooms on Map, letters match teleport locations)

1. Entryway – Lord Severins and several servants are here barricading the way between the foyer and entryway hall. Lord Severins has dark eyes, peppered dark hair, fine robes which are now tattered and covered in blood. Even with the barricade they’re not sure how long they can hold their unseen attackers back. Lord Severins seems unimpressed with us but will take any help he can get. He tells us of how they’ve heard music coming from places it shouldn’t, they run into unseen people who they could touch and talk to, but afterwards can’t remember. Shaika and I leave Gromel and Vistra talking to the Lord while we go into the Library to speak with the old mage. Gromel also begins to help add more furniture to the barricade.

2. LibraryMaster Teranor, the wizard, in here looking through books in the library. He’s an old man and he tells us that he’s left his spell book behind in his room (in the far NE corner of the manor). Shaika and I look at each other like we can’t believe that a mage would ever leave his spellbook behind. Master Teranor is the one responsible for raising Lady Severins from the dead, but instead of using a known ritual, he admits that he used some ancient power that we’d never understand and he then draws us a map of the manor so we don’t get lost and so “nothing disappears.” We return to the Entryway, finding Gromel and Vistra wanting to move on.

3. Lady’s Room – The four of us are lead by Lord Severins in to see his wife. Lady Rosalie Severins is resting on an overstuffed couch. She’s younger than the Lord, very lovely, but she looks overly pale and exhausted and something doesn’t seem right with her. The other barricaded doors in this room look like they’ve been assailed from the outside. When we ask Rosalie more about her illness, she admits that she’d been very healthy, but suddenly fell ill and quickly died. She awoke on an alter missing her pinky finger, not like it had been cut off, but as if it had never been there. She tells us that she’s always exhausted from dancing all of the time, even though her husband tells us that she’s never left the room. Rosalie tells us a story about miniature people who took over a kingdom, but then she’s so embarrassed she never finished her story, almost like she can’t say more. We head out of the lady’s room to the East

4. Servants Quarters – in this small room we are attacked by 3 Gnomes who try to skulk around the room and attack us unseen. Luckily, our group is quick to find them and take them out.

5. Servants Beds 1 – There are 2 bunk beds and 2 trunks. I found 5 gold and some gems in the lockers, but left the gold behind for the servants.

6. Servants Beds 2 – This small room has 3 bunks and 2 footlockers, and only 1 gold

7. Hallway 1 – North of the servants quarters is a hallway filled with tapestries. As soon as we step into the hall, bells sound, the room twists around us and we find ourselves in the same hall, but now it’s older than before, the tapestries are old and decayed, there’s dust on the floor. Looking outside the only window, Shaika is able to figure out that somehow we’ve been teleported into the Feywild (a).

8. Fey Bedroom – At the end of the new hall is a bedroom with a rotted 4-poster bed and wardrobe. In the wardrobe we find a shiny Amulet of Health +1 which Vistra took to enhance herself.

9. Ballroom – The other end of the hall opens into a huge ballroom where melancholy/bizarre music is playing. The candlelight in the room seems odd, almost like it’s lighting more than just what we can see. As I step into the room, on the floor I notice that something is moving above me. I look up and realize that there are people dancing on the ceiling, 50’ above us (or maybe we’re on the ceiling). We can see Rosalie up there dancing among the others. Vistra calls to her, but she can’t hear us, so I take a coin and throw it at her, hitting her dead on. The other people in the room disappear except for Rosalie and an Eladrin man who screams at me, with magical amplification, in Elvish. “This is what he sends? How dare you come and ruin my ball. Well, on your world you have hounds, on my world we have other things.” As he says this he and Rosalie disappear and two cat-like creatures (Fey Panthers) climb down (or up) the walls to attack us. They give us a good fight, leaving us bloody, but in the end we’re able to beat them and Shaika takes the time to skin them, hoping their pelts might be worth something back home. As we leave, Vistra blows out the candles, just to see what would happen. Nothing.

10. Halway 2 – We enter another normal hall with banners on the wall that look like they belonged to ancient Drow Houses (1000+ years ago).

11. Library – This room is lined with bookshelves with crumbling old books turning to dust, a rotted desk, and a faded picture of an Eladrin (Nymisian) above the cold fireplace. As we’re searching the room we’re attacked by 3 gnomes. On one of them, Shaika found an Orb of Inevitable Continuance.

12. T-Intersection – As we leave the library and step back into the intersection, bells sound and we’re pulled back into the normal world (b).

13. Private Lounge – This decadent lounge obviously belongs to Lord Severins and everything in the room is nailed down, showing that he bought into his father’s logic that no one is to be trusted, but nothing of real interest is in the room.

14. Hallway 3 – As we step out of the lounge, we hear bells and try to jump back into the lounge, but it’s too late and we’re sucked back into the Feywild ©.

15. Sloped Hallway – This hallway slopes down and is covered in bones. As we step forward, some of the bones animate and attack, but the bones seem ancient and barely held together. When the first group is dead, a second group rises up to attack us.

16. Old Armory – Most of the weapons and armor are rusted and falling apart, but in the corner we find a magical Frost Spear which Gromel knew that he could use.

17. Storage Room – As we step into the old storage room, we didn’t get much time to look around before the bells sounded again and found ourselves back in the real world (d).

18. Teranor’s Room – Through a round about way, we found our way to the Wizard’s Room and his book was set on a pedestal in the middle of the room. Everything else in the room was protected by magical wards and we were afraid of touching anything.

19. Eladrin Library – As we step out of the Wizard’s room, back into hallway 1, we’re teleported to a rather nice Library. Leaning on the desk is our Eladrin nemesis. “Did you think I’d make it easy on you? Here’s some old friends,” he tells us in Elvish before teleporting. 2 Fey Panther attack. Once we kill them, we find nothing in the room but dust. As we leave, we are teleported back (f)

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