Episode 16 & 17
How Do We Get Out of Here!! Blue Alley
The room that is a Field, that a teleportation's portals in the side rooms, take a few tries for the Havocs to decipher. After the Minotaur almost squishes Jeffro and Odettis, the group moves on down the hallway. The next room has a long sword, just hanging above the dais.
Looking at the other wall, Halibru, a wee bit poisoned from reaching for the magical Bolt, but manage to snatch the Silver Bolt of Holding!
Odettis spies a hidden door in the northwest wall of the room of tapestries. Hobo Joan and Odettis investigate. When they return, Vax, Shermdog, and Halibru are missing. They push the button and fall to the floor to see if there are any clues, and when they stand Dr Scot is missing! The wall opens slightly, and they go through. Some crates have a few Healing Potions- they take them. On the other side is a golden door with no handles. Ketos tries to pick it, but nothing to pick. Along the wall is a sculpture, and where the nose would be is a button. Ketos pushes it, and the door opens.
In the next room, the words on the wall say, "Everything you see is mine." Hobo yells for us to close our eyes! She grabs a unicorn statue, and there is a flash of light, and we are all naked back at the Yawning Portal.
Mert materializes and thanks us for saving his unicorn.
As we scramble for clothes, Mert hands us his business card- a GOLD DISC.
He instructs us to rub it between our hands and ask it a question. He will show up to answer!
Shopping and a
Crypt...What could possibly go wrong…
This week's session was notable for several things. The most notable being the return of Mokon from his studies. Much of the group was taking care of private business around Waterdeep this day. However, On Mokon's return, Haalbru, Jeffro, Ketos, and Vax decide to ease their souls and take Mokon out for the day shopping.
They had heard of a fine warehouse of used weapons and armor nearby, Reuter's weapons and Sundries, that was most notable for its fine shop made arrows and bowstrings.
Not far from the
Yawning Portal, they walked over to the shop. An incredible multilevel warehouse near the High street, with a strange statue of a Harpy on the roof. On entering, they quickly saw that the selection of wares was massive, and they would need a guide.
They were obliged as they were quickly met by a human-looking fellow by the name of Joey. He directed them each to different corners and levels of the warehouse to be helped by other "Joeys" to find what they required. "just hope you don't need a Ralph" was the response to the question of why are they all Joey's?
Vax found a particular set of Bracers he had been searching for, almost at a discount...Ketos "found" a silver shiv that would fit in their mouth (for just in case?), and Haalbru and Mokon found some long-range weaponry upgrades they were looking
for. After bartering with Joey, a Ralph was summoned, and the larger human did some bargaining with the adventurers, their recent renown helping with the process. Two for the Price of Two was the end bargain, with one item's upfront cost and the second half to be paid later. The one condition is that they help promote the name of Reuters as they adventure in the land outside of Waterdeep.
Not a bad deal.
Craving some recreation
and wide-open spaces after their successful shopping trip, the group decided to visit the City of the Dead. The largest green space in the City is the cemetery that is purportedly as old as the City's oldest settled parts.
With the promise of "we'll catch up," some of the group split off, ducking
into a tavern, The Maelstroms Notch. A VERY local, local.
Upon entering the City of the Dead's vast green space, it was clear that it was anything but Dead.
Scores of families on picnics and flying kites, exercising and strolling, making use of the grand space. Craving some spooky, the group consulted with a street sweeper. They learned that there were indeed some creepy areas and haunted crypts in the cemetery, and he directed them to one.
As they approach the Garlof Family Crypt, it is indeed spooky, even at two in the afternoon. The others catch up from The Maelstrom at this point as well. Making entry to the main level of the Crypt, they find that grave robbers had preceded them, and anything of value had been looted. Heading down one level, they discover more of the same. Investigating further, they discover a new section of the Crypt, new construction.
Suddenly they are assaulted by 2 Duergar Dwarfs with the Xanathar Guild insignia.
"What have you Done
with it," they shout!
"It is not yours to
take" they holler.
Clearly, they feel that our adventurers have already taken something from the Crypt! However, they prove no match for the group, and they are dispatched before they have a chance to take enlarged form, although one does cause some difficulty as he goes invisible.
Once they are dispatched, the group does discover a stand in the new crypt room that must have once held an object of value, with a custom cut depression in the stand to hold the missing item and an inscription, "Here Rests The Stone Of Golorr"
This rings a bell in the minds of our party, something to do with Renaer
They also find some gold on the Duergar and in the hall's debris, a peculiar silver and steel key on a ring.
Deciding that enough fun has been had, The group heads back to the Maelstroms Notch...
Hills Of The Lost
As dawn breaks on the 8th of the first ten-day of Tarshak, Mokon, Jeffro, and Shermdog, having stayed out till second moonrise the evening before at the Maelstrom's Notch Tavern, are fast asleep and will no doubt be hangover when they wake.
The rest of the party wakes at a regular dawn hour and head to the Yawning Portal for breakfast and beer. After discussing the events of the previous evening and the strange clues about a "Stone of Glolorr" they ask Durnan if Renaer is about. He says that he will be seeing
Renaer later and can send him to meet them at The Trollskull later, as they are headed that way.
Also, Haalbru wanted to meet Umberrro Zaaastro of the Brewers Guild, and Durnan agreed to set them a meeting at Trollskull in the afternoon.
After discussing the previous night's events, the group agrees to award chalkboard points to Mokon and Vax.
Vax heads up to the inn to check on Calcryx
Halibru and Odettis agree to head over and check on Beora, Pilgrim, and Belinda and try to figure out how to get a double saddle made for them to ride on Beora.
Ketos, Mal, and Beora have a moment, and Beora is uncertain of
the spider but mostly okay. Halibru, on the other hand, is still most uncomfortable with the arachnid.
Meeting back at the Tavern, Vax reports that Calcryx seems unwell, looks different, and has some loose dragon scales lying about. They agree to let Shermdog know.
Ketos quietly, in her way, conveys to the party that since the cemetery visit, they feel different and now identifies as a She. She has chosen the path of the phantom Rogue and is visibly more confident. She warns the group that at times she may not be trustworthy; the sign for this is that if she speaks the words "Willow Tree" and not to trust her until she says them again.
She notes that acquiring some amber may help with this.
The group heads to Trollskull. As they arrive at the alley, for the first time, they notice a building across from theirs with a glass roof and a jungle inside! Seeing a flash of movement and some bright colors, Odettis immediately runs over to investigate and bangs on the house's back door! No stealth check.
Eventually, a fur-covered 8-foot tall creature with druid robes and satchels, festooned with
color comes to the door. The Firbolg, Ludvig, introduces himself and welcomes them into his shop or through the backdoor ( no one has manners anymore). The gang filters in, with Ketos remaining outside. As he shows them the shop, he explains
that he is a druid and has been here with this shop for about ten years after ceasing his life as an adventurer. He is apparently a Druid of vast experience.
Each member of the group present gets an excellent
feeling about this individual. They also each seem to see some benefit of this friendship to help them in their own personal quests. The shop is festooned with color and exciting objects and spell components, potions, rocks, and all sorts of riffraff flotsam and jetsam.
Odettis meanwhile sees a back staircase that she explores.
She chooses down, going down the dark spiral staircase with a choice of going upstairs or down. She comes to a heavy oak door in the basement hall. There is a face on the door, which gives the appearance that the door is sleeping. Odettis touches the door, and it screams, and she screams, and Ludwig said that's just Bob!!
Odettis apologizes for waking the door and goes back
upstairs. This, of course, is something that Odettis
promises herself, bears much more investigation.
Back in the shop, she finds some Amber, which she believes
might help Ketos after their discussion this morning. She purchases the Amber to gift Ketos when she eventually comes inside. She has a further discussion with tall Firbolg regarding a special request of her own.
She would very much like to have a special tree, a very tall
tree in the backyard of Trollskull Manor. Ludvig proclaims that this is
something that he can most definitely help with and is very easy for him to do as that is a skill directly in his wheelhouse.
They agreed to meet the next day at the Manor to take care of
this request. Odettis goes outside to get Ketos as she thinks that Ludvig may be able to help with the longevity issue that Mal Has. They head inside.
Ludvig, after hearing about Mal, says that he most certainly can help with the undead spider. Both by helping Ketos train the spider and so that he can extend the spiders undead life to a year at a time, rather than her having to blow the Night Caller Whistle every morning.
He uses some costly ingredients for the druidic spell and the party balks, not having near the amount of money needed.
"OH no, this is on the house; I just love to do favors for my friends! You are my friends, Right?
They invite Ludvig to Trollskull with them to tour the progress of renovations. There, they meet Umberto Zaaastro , Raener Neverember and Jalester Silvermane.
Jalester gives the group a stern talking to regarding their poor handling of his men previously at the Portal. Not everyone has evil intentions that stand in corners and wear hooded capes. He does, however, mention that his organization is interested in bringing Shermdog into their fold, and the group by default, as their skillset may help with some issues they are aware of in the area that need addressed.
Rainer listens to their tale of the Crypt and the Stone of Gloor and turns pale. Indeed, it is rumored that his father, before abdicating his role as the Open Lord, hid a great treasure of the City and that the Stone of Gloor is the key. He has only just come to
realize this thru recent events. This also helps explain why he was kidnapped
by the Black Network Zentharim and was subsequently taken from them by the Xanathar Guild.
Halibru has heavy discussions and negotiations with Umberto regarding the Brewers Guild, and he agrees to set them up as members thru the Tavern At Trollskull Manor.
As they are leaving, a
carnival parade turns into the alley. Clowns, fire breathers,
dragon puppets, and street performers fill the alley.
Odette's, deep blue skin turns a shade of pale sky blue as she sees a troupe of three acrobats balancing one atop a pole. Three gnomes dressed in all black. The gnome atop the rod seems to stumble and falls in front of her. As a reflex, she reaches out to him. He places a card
in her hand, and just as quickly, the gnomes disappear into the crowd.
As the parade passes, the crew turns to see Odettis still as a statue, staring at a large card in her hand, with a crown on each corner and the image of a Black Raven etched onto it. Across the back of the card, the words ." We have found you."
Till next week.
Later that evening,
Odettis finds Sherm and tell him about what Vax said of Calcryx. He has not been back to the inn and wants to check on the Dragon. She introduces him to Ludvig, whom she thinks may be able to help. Odettis assures Sherm that Ludvig is trustworthy, and Sherm reluctantly agrees to tell Ludvig about Calcryx, and they head to the tavern.
Ludwig casts a spell on
a tree, which opens up a doorway and he walks thru.
They follow. Coming out at a tree near The Yawning portal.
They notice that the sky above the Portal on this very rainy day is a touch darker than the rest.
It also seems colder in the area. They go to the room, and the outside hall and the door are cooler than usual. Worried, Sherm unlocks and opens the door.
Calcryx is in the corner, fast asleep. Ludvig is surprised to
see a dragon and nonetheless goes to investigate. Waking up the Dragon, they have a short discussion, and Calcryx goes back to sleep. Nothing to worry about here, says Ludvig, Just a dragon in his long sleep cycle. The coldness is a virtue of a small dragon's lair. Most won't notice this except you, who are attuned to the Dragon. Placated that the Dragon is in good health, they decide that the Dragon must be moved to the Trollskull Tavern as soon as possible.
Ominous bits and Pieces, Enter The Fey Wild
Haalbru, Mokon, Odettis, Ludvig, and JeffroD IPman see
Odettis staring at the Raven card in her hand; she barely heard Mokon asking what it meant and if she was alright.
This has happened to me before, years ago, in my youth. A Nobleman came to my mother's seamstress shop to order fine new robes; we worked from sun up to sun down to finish on time. The linens were more beautiful than any I had seen. He came back to pick them up and saw me for the first time.
His hatred for Tieflings was intense. He refused to pay for the robes because I had touched them. I got mad and lunged for him. He hit me with his staff, and his
guards pulled me away. My mother told him to leave and never come back. I went to the woods to calm myself, and when I came back, our house was on fire. I ran in, and my mother was dead. I found Ebony and red shard in the rubble, what looked like glass, and my mother's small box that was always by her bed. I ran out of our town, and I traveled to the City Neverwinter, where I worked as a
seamstress. I was happy there. One evening after work, I saw a crow gathering in the streets. There was a small group of Gnomes performing feats of acrobatics.
It was enchanting. Then one of them dressed in all black Gnomes tumbled over to me and handed me a card. It was lack and ominous with a creepy picture of an executioner.
He whispered in my ear, run! And I did. I worked my way down Silver Coast till I ended up in Anorac and met all of you. I had forgotten all about the card and the creepy Gnomes till tonight. The Gnomes, acrobats, are back. The cards. This is not good.
After some discussion as a group about what it all means and some general amazement at her story, Mokon did a check on the cards.
"From a deck of soothsayer cards, traditionally used to tell fortunes and foretell events, these are more intricate than any he has ever seen, inlaid with mother of pearl and lined with gold.
The meanings can vary between the two cards, and the importance of the two together would depend on the particular reading that was done. The Raven generally a symbol; of hidden information and secret
potential; this can be either good or bad. The Executioner, although ominous, could be referring to unjust or false accusations, misleading events, or hidden stories.
Ludwig recognizes the cards immediately on examining them. They are of a type of deck used y the Upper echelons of the lack Network, the Zentharim - A crime syndicate that runs the sword coast's length and breadth. He also examines the shard that Odettis had kept from that long-ago encounter.
He prepared a Scrying Spell and had a vision of its owner.
Transported into a dark castle's interior in a storm-battered mountain range, he saw a
room with three ornate chairs and only two figures, one chair lying vacant. The walls are covered in tapestries and trophies, equipment, monster heads, and some humanoid. Each of the humanoid hooded figures in the chairs had a staff at their side, as did the empty seat. The figure on the right, his staph, was missing a piece equal to the size and shape of the gem shard of Odette's.
They speak in low tones of several apparent projects. The central figure asking for updates on progress. As to the first, the secondary figure replied that "we have lost the chosen"...." we have dispatched to the north and west….As to progress on the Northern project with the dwarves, we are likewise stymied. They have hidden the pieces we seek ...we believe there is a secret fort that may hold our next clue...that is the focus of our efforts."
After this cryptic information, the group split up.
Before leaving the Manor, Odettis pays Ludvig to plant a magical tree in the backyard.
Rising above the roofs of the North end, Trollskull Tree is now a landmark in the town.
Odettis, Mokon, and Odettis headed to the City of the Dead's outskirts to find the Temple of Sylvana, where their ally Obaya resides.
On finding it, the Cleric Mokon leads the way in, introducing the party and enquiring of Obaya, The Priestess. Finding her in the interior, they related their tale to this point and Odettis's Cards.
"This is most concerning; the Executioner and The Raven are powerful cards. It is difficult to say without a proper context of reading and question. I can arrange for a reader I know in the mountains to come to the City and sit with you and perhaps learn more of what this all means. The Raven suggests that you, Odettis, may be a key to a greater picture, a puzzle of interconnected events. "
Odettis described the Nobleman from the day 10 years ago. Tall and pale-skinned, ill-tempered, blue eyes, and a burn on his left arm at the wrist, which she saw when he struck her with his staff, breaking off the gem shard she holds today.
The description led Obaya, to take a moment, a clouded look passing across her face.
I feel that I may recognize this...personality. I will meditate on this for
some time. Odettis, if you return to me this week, I can begin to train you on the art of meditation that will help soothe your soul.
Meanwhile, at the Stables, Ludwig is communicating with Beora, translating so Haalbru and Beora can come to an understanding and define their relationship.
Does she like me, asks Halibru ?
In response, the bear rears up and towers over the Dwarf, then ends down and gives a giant lick to his face.
SHE LIKES ME!
The exchange thoughts on their future together, the bear immensely enjoying the company she now keeps, no comparison to the circus owner, rest in peace, who formerly tormented her days. She agrees to Halibru's thought of a battle saddle ( as long as it is lined with sheep's wool to prevent chafing. However, she desperately wants to romp in the woods, having spent too much time in the City.
Ludvig mentions that he can assist with this once the group is back at the Manor. He has some flower picking needs, and he could bring the group along for fun and a little help.
In the morning, Ludvig transports the group via tree travel, into a strange landscape that is not quite the same as ordinary woods. Ludvig needed the group to guard as he fished for Moon Pearls. We are in the FeyWild, he simply states.
Odettis stares as her Jaw drops to the floor, for once speechless. For she knows and has a connection to the FeyeWild, a place on another plane, not of their land.
As Ludvig dives into silver waters, the group is assaulted by strange creatures. One grapples on to Beora, who, when she cannot bite it, does a spinning jump flip, trying to pin the monster under her.
Jeffro attempts to help Odettis with a sidekick; however, he is stymied by the nimble creature's quickness. Mokon casts some spells, and Odettis lets loose some bolts from her crossbow. As she does so, they are imbued with Fey energy. It appears that Odettis, when in the FeyeWild - is supercharged!
Halibru strikes down one of the creatures, and Beora then does a running belly flop on the one by Odettis. It dodges her and gets its ears bopped by Jeffro. Odettis strikes it down with her new magical charge.
An elf appears in a flash of light and casts a spell, a seven-story stone tower appearing from nowhere. Ludvig pops out of the water and calmly states, "Oh good, you got my message!"
Tales From The Crypt
Meanwhile, still in the FeyWild....
Having taken refuge in the
tower, the gang cast a spell cast by the mysterious elven friend of Ludvig, Maximus, explore and rest up the strange tower. Maximus bamfed over to Waterdeep and retrieved Sheperd Vax and Ketos (and Mal).
He teleported them a few miles away to a mysterious tomb
that had only appeared in the Fey a month earlier. On arrival, they found the area cold and snow-covered. Odettis exclaimed her lack of winter garb! Oh, and her Crossbow of Warning was glowing. They are in danger.
After a quick survey of the building, they headed inside. Quickly encountering some skeletons inside the halls,
Beora pinned one with her signature belly flop grapple, and Vax karate chopped it into oblivion.
"It is dead." He exclaimed nonchalantly.
Jeffro with a notable Javelin toss and Vax with some swift kicks. Odettis
snagged a few human skulls for Sherms collection.
Finding some Amulets of the Raven Queen on the skelly's, Ketos, Jeffro, Odettis, and Beora put them on. They instantly
saw glowing writing on the cold walls, "...a toxic place of devils and pain...it hates the light..…".
Jeffro made some torches to light the way.
At this discovery, the group headed
Where they found more writing, "...what
is dead must stay dead...and locked away…".
Odettis leads the way, instantly tripping
a dart trap. Ketos moving past her, enters the room at the end of the hall to investigate.
The floor falls away as she passes, stranding her in the middle of the room. Odettis tosses a skull at the floor, and more sections fall
away, revealing an abyss beneath! Seeing the writing on the wall, "...those who have never taken may enter
Too late, they realize that Ketos has "taken" and is triggering the floor traps.
Odettis tosses a rope to Ketos, who jumps
and falls thru the floor, barely saving herself by grabbing the rough rock wall 30 feet down.
Eventually, Beora is able to pull the rope and Ketos to safety.
At this point, it is decided the monks
should press forward and explore while the rest backtrack.
They find a room with another chasm beneath, the smell of sulfur and precarious planks, leading them across the room. With little trouble, they make their way across and out of the condemned room. Heading down the hall, they find the rest of the group at the edge of a
large and mysterious room with tall columns.
More wall writing "...do not go
down...do not let Him out".
After some not so great investigation
and perception rolls, everyone encourages Odettis to cross the room to the next hall.
She instantly triggers a trap, falling
through the floor and disappearing from sight.
Vax jumps after her.
Separated from the group, they fall 200
feet and then float to a stop, in a sulfur smelling cavern, with Harmless Giant Spiders. The floor is lava and
stone. They hear voices arguing in the distance.
Meanwhile, The rest of the group goes
around the trap and descends the dark staircase at the other end of the great hall. Eventually, this leads them to a stone bridge over lava in the depths of the dark and spooky tomb.
Ludvig dimension doors Beora across to the other side where they find Odettis and Vax, The rest cross with no issue. The party heads towards the voices in the distance.
Odettis donned her Ring of Invisibility
and heads around the curved hall, finding three figures arguing about Vecna, who called the ghost king? A giant sarcophagus and winged woman in the center in the cavern, a dark clawed and hoofed beast, and a red knight, seemingly with lava under its
Odettis feels suddenly that the Winged Woman is looking right at her. Then Vax marches right on in.
He triggers a reaction from the Beast that surrounds him with Spectral Crows in a circle. When he eventually moves out
of the circle, he takes piercing damage from the crows.
Jeffro attacked the Lava man with a
water whip, Beora tackled the Beast, Ludvig Polymorphed into a small dragon, and Odettis cast Thaumaturgy and boomed out, "Who Called VECNA!" After which, she was Slashed and hit by the Death Angel Woman.
Ludvig moved to the Angel, and Odettis shot her walloping crossbow bolt at the Death Knight, missing him. Ketos
attacks the Knight with a sneak attack, and banshee wails, vanquishing him.
Jeffro attacks the Beast and puts his
staff through the Beast ( an Aberrant Overlord) head and turns it to sludge!
The Death angel surveys them all and
then thanks them for their efforts to protect the tomb from her enemies and keep it sealed. She melts away.
Odettis, of course, runs to the
sarcophagus and tries to open it! Unsuccessfully.
Ketos sneaks over, and the cover opens
for her. Her reward is the black leather armor ( complete with Ravens Feathers) known as the Death Walkers Ward. Everyone grabs various skulls for Sherm, and as they leave the tomb, It slowly sinks back into the earth, and the snow melts.
Ludvig transports them back to the
tower, greeted by Haalbru, "Hi guys, anything fun today?"
Havocs for Hire
Shermdog - Dragonborne Barbarian
Ketos - Half Elf Rogue
Haalbru- Dwarf Cleric
Mokon- Elf Cleric
JeffroD- Eldrin Monk
Vax- Half Elf Monk
Dr Scot- Wizard
Odettis- Tiefling Ranger
Artwork Credit: Critical Role Fanart, Wizard's of the Coast, Hero Forge and Dungeons and Dragons 5E