Crossing the Silken Paths

Yuk Yuk and Spiderbait continued to lead the party through The Silken Paths. Suddenly the two goblins looked scared and flipped away through the webs to hide. Four ettercaps came into view on the periphery.


Templeton Daltrey was first to react. He cast a darkness spell and created a 30 foot diameter sphere of darkness behind him. He stepped into the globe of darkness and vanished from view. While inside he used his mage hand to flick a jewel attached to his goggles of night down in front of his right eye. Templeton spoke a command word of ‘Revioso’ and the gem of seeing’s magic burst to life providing true sight out to 120 feet. He not only saw through his darkness spell but also could easily see the ettercaps.

Davra Jassur cast a spell and The Crow vanished. She then eased back into Templeton’s darkness and disappeared from view herself. Just then 8 giant wolf spiders descended out of the webs from above to attack the party.


The ettercaps shot webs from range at the party members they could see. The sticky webs restrained them and held them in place. Brenn powered his way out of the webs and Quintus cast a freedom of movement spell on himself that allowed him to simply slide right out of the webs. Quintus, Kareep, and Brenn lashed out with their melee weapons and cut down many of the wolf spiders surrounding them. Although the ettercaps had withdrawn to hide out of normal darkvision range, Templeton could still see them with his true sight. He took careful aim from the cover of his darkness spell and let loose a bolt from Sky Piercer. The critical hit caught the ettercap in the neck and tore its head clean off its body. Shortly after that Templeton killed another ettercap with another well placed shot and Brenn, Kareep, and Quintus continued to carve up the spiders surrounding them.


It did not take long for the remaining ettercap to flee as all of its allies were destroyed. With the threat gone, Yuk Yuk and Spiderbait returned. Quintus did some quick healing and then the party was on its way across the Silken Paths once more. Further on the guides suddenly cursed and sprinted away from the party. Templeton still had 120 feet of true seeing going and he saw multiple spiders approaching through the ethereal plane. He warned the party and then cast another darkness spell, this time on a small onyx gem in the palm of his hand. The darkness enveloped the entire party but when Templeton closed his fist to cover the onyx gem, the darkness vanished. Templeton then moved to the side of the group and opened his fist. The globe of darkness returned. Templeton then used his mage hand to position the darkness exactly where he wanted it so that only he was covered and everyone else could see. Kareep cast a spell that summoned 2 giant spiders. He then mounted one of them and urged Brenn to do the same. Riding the giant spiders enabled them to traverse the webs with ease and grace.


Davra Jassur and The Crow moved cautiously into Templeton’s darkness to hide once again. Everyone also saw something else scrambling through the webs. It was a dryder. The half drow half spider creature unleashed a spell, but Puck saw it coming and was quick to counterspell it. The dryder had a confused look on its face as its spell unraveled before it. Perhaps it had underestimated the capabilities of its prey. Quintus called on the mighty power of Tempus to protect him. A host of ghostly angelic figures began to swirl around him to ward off his foes.


Quintus summoned a spiritual weapon of Tempus. It was in the form of a large greatsword which appeared next to the Dryder and took a big swing at him. The blade missed its mark but worried the dryder even more as to how easy these creatures would be to prey upon.


The King Under The Mountain Comes Calling


Much time had passed and Templeton Daltrey’s renovations of Feathergale Spire were complete. The tower was really feeling like home now. It was just in time for some visitors. A company of dwarves came calling and the guards admitted them to the keep. The dwarves were fed and many stories were told. They finally revealed that they were sent by King Bruenor Battlehammer to bring the party before him.

In order to travel the great distance, Kareep of Goldenfields flew North carrying Puck in his leather harness. The journey took many days but was much faster than walking or riding horses. Along the way the two were attacked by demons and barely arrived at a location not far from the great gates of the dwarven kingdom. Once there, Puck created a teleportation circle in a small copse of trees. Puck then teleported Kareep and himself back to Feathergale Spire. The party and all of the dwarves then gathered up and teleported from The Spire to the newly established teleportation circle in the copse of trees just outside of the entrance to Gauntlgrym.

From there the party and the dwarves entered the huge fortress of King Bruenor Battlehammer – Gauntlgrym. It was a massive city totally underground and behind strong gates. The party met with not only Bruenor but also with some other dignitaries from other nearby realms. Templeton Daltrey told the story of their adventures and of the rise and fall of the elemental cults. Bruenor in turn explained how some trouble was brewing in the Underdark. He wanted to enlist the party to help him get to the bottom of what was going on and help deal with the problem.

King Bruenor Battlehammer told this tale:

I now have a tale to share as well. A few weeks ago, a young dwarf scout from Gauntlgrym, Eldeth Feldrun, returned home after having been thought lost, perhaps forever, by her family. Her tale is harrowing… and disturbing. During a routine exploration of the outer reaches of Gauntlgrym’s realm, she was attacked and captured by a drow raiding party. Eldeth was a prisoner for weeks in the Underdark, part of a long march to the drow outpost, Velkynvelve.

It was there that she and some of the other prisoners were able to mount an escape. Escaping from drow capture is no small feat. It was only made possible when a rare and strange event occurred. With no seeming warning, a battle between factions of demons erupted upon the outpost. At first, as Eldeth tells it, the demons did not seem to notice the guards and prisoners, they simply fought a terrible battle between themselves. However, the drow guards, fearing incursion, engaged the battle. Whether they were the target or not, a few drow and not a few prisoners were killed during the demons’ struggle. It was this battle and the ensuing chaos that provided cover for the escape.

Velkynvelve is hundreds of miles through the Underdark from Gauntlgrym. The journey that Eldeth details after her escape is a web of luck, fortitude, and… growing madness. Eldeth did return in body, but our healers have had to work with her unceasingly to mend her mind. Even in the best of times, the Underdark can be bizarre, alien and inhospitable, but Eldeth seems to have experienced… something else. She has difficulty separating dreams from memories, nightmares from dark reality. The beginning of her tale, the one of her initial escape is the clearest for her. After that, well, we still don’t have the complete picture. The one common thread is demons.

Her tales, with some seeming born of paranoia and delirium more than truth, are laced with demented, corrupted creatures, sightings of half-demon half-giant hybrids, Kuo-toa priests offering sacrifices to Demogorgon instead of their own gods, enormous demon-tainted fungi…

Perhaps I would normally discount such tales as simple madness of a weak-souled dwarf under drow capture. Yet there are whisperings from others who have been to the Underdark in recent months… and the tales are similarly disturbing, if inconsistent.

Demons were apparently running wild and battling with drow and others threatening to unbalance the Underdark and cause the fighting to spill out into Bruenor’s realm and possibly beyond. Bruenor believes the answers to the unrest can be found in the ancient underdark library of Gravenhollow. A map to the library can be acquired from Ghazrim DuLoc, a Zhentarim agent living in the Underdark City of Mantol-Derith. The party agreed to travel to Mantol-Deirth, get the map from Ghazrim and travel to Gravenhollow.

Templeton made some interesting contacts during the dinners and meetings in Gauntlgrym. In particular he met a Zhentarim agent named Davra Jassur who was familiar with the journey to the Underdark city of Mantol-Derith. She had made the journey many times. Templeton convinced Davra to join their party and act as an Underdark Guide. She had one condition, however. She was transporting a Zhentarim prisoner – The Crow. The party is not to speak or interact with the prisoner in any way. Templeton also found out through other contacts that The Crow is actually a harper agent who has been placed to gain intel on unrelated Zhent operations.


Puck teleported everyone from Gauntlgrym back to Feathergale Spire where Templeton ordered his servants to throw them a feast and help prepare for the journey. Templeton’s hospitality to Davra Jassur seemed to extend well beyond the feast. As it seemed Davra wound up spending the night in his room. The pair engaged in some very energetic and loud lovemaking that left no secret as to their activity.

The next morning after a hearty breakfast the party set out. They journeyed North of Feathergale Spire to a cave entrance where they began to descend into the Underdark. It quickly got too dark to see without darkvision. As a gnome, Puck inherently could see with darkvision. Templeton donned his enchanted goggles of night which allowed him to see in the dark. Puck then cast darkvision on Brenn and Quintus, while Kareep cast darkvision on himself. Now able to see quite well up to 60 feet, the party continued to descend down and down into the Underdark

At one point in the journey the main cavern had a large cave in blocking the preferred path of Davra Jassur. Quintus tried to use his Claws of the Umberhulk to burrow through the cave in but found the debris too sandy – it was caving in around him. So Davra led the group around through a side passage. She said that there are always other routes to take when one is impassable.

Eventually the party came to a huge cavern filled with sticky webs. The webs went as far as the eye could see up, down, and across. While evaluating how to proceed, Templeton Daltrey noticed a pair of humanoid figures up in the webs. Templeton called out to them in the Undercommon language and convinced them to come down and parlay. It turned out that the two were goblins and their names were Yuk Yuk and Spiderbait. Templeton learned that the vast web filled cavern before them was known as The Silken Paths. Templeton persuaded Yuk Yuk and Spiderbait to guide the party through the webs to the tunnels far away on the other side. Templeton haggled the goblins price down to 10 GP. They then shared their pots of stinky grease that were used to keep one’s hands and feet from sticking to the webs. It took a while for the party to get the hang of traveling along the strands of silky webbing, but they eventually caught on and followed their guides.


At one point Kareep of Goldenfields stepped on a sack of spider eggs causing thousands of little spiders to boil out and envelop his body. Kareep struggled to keep his calm and smush them without hurting himself. Puck lent his aid unleashing a thunderwave spell and artfully carving it around Kareep. All of the spiders were turned into a nasty goo. Templeton shook his head and used his prestidigitation spell to clean up the unsightly mess.



The Rebuilding of Red Larch
And the Renovation of Feathergale Spire

Upon returning to the surface and confronting the destruction through the country side, you each decide your path forward, some of which intertwine.

Templeton rallies the resources of his family to begin re-constructing and investing in the town of Red Larch. Within a couple of weeks of beginning to work, Kareep returns to town with a phalanx of Aaracokra. The townsfolk are initially skittish and hesitant to accept the strange bird-men, but the Aaracokra’s dedication to repairing the town and their kindly, if strange, nature begins to warm the hearts of even the most reticent of citizens.

Over the next two months, the Daltrey’s become the predominant investor and benefactor in town. With this role, comes adulation… and the inevitable criticism as well. Nonetheless, Templeton weathers the tribulations with a silver tongue and everflowing pockets of gold.

Through this time, Kareep and his bird-men become viewed as town heroes of a sort. Many of youngster is seen trying to craft home-made wings – with a few minor accidents from the more adventurous ones, leaping from rooftops certain their wings would hold.

It will take years to really re-build Red Larch, but the work is well underway and the spirits of the townsfolk are strong.

During this same period, Quintus has taken it upon himself to develop and train a volunteer garrison for the town. A bevy of men and women who wish to be prepared for the next town incursion dedicate themselves to focused practice and training. Quintus is surprised at the fervor of the dedication.

After a month of solid training, Quintus begins to take them on forays into the countryside to find and rout any remaining vestiges of the cultists. They find a few that hadn’t gotten word of the fate of their leaders. Quintus relayed the story with swipes of his sword and the many blessings of Tempus.

Throughout this period, Templeton and Brenn also took it upon themselves to assess the status of the Feathergale Spire. The Spire remained largely empty except as the home of two hippogriffs who had returned to their eyrie. After some conspiring, they decided to take ownership of the Spire and make it home in the north.

Everyone in the party contributes some effort to the process. Templeton fuels the effort with funds. Brenn spends most of his time building, repairing and establishing a hired garrison. Kareep and his phalanx periodically ferry supplies, but also make the upper most portion of the tower their abode. They deeply enjoy the distant views and feeling of home. Puck casts a Teleportation Circle so that he may return in the future. Quintus offers to scour the valley below, ridding it of gnolls and other ill folk.

In the end, Puck plays only a minor role in the re-building of Red Larch. He assists for the first week or two, providing what benefit his magic might convey, but everyone can see his heart and mind seem elsewhere. After casting the Teleportation Circle in the Spire, he takes his leave and walks off to the east towards the High Forest.

Kareep explains to Brenn that these two Hippogriffs are trained from birth and he will assist in training Brenn and anyone else on how to ride them in combat. Templeton has had some experience and can continue training if he likes.

Getting more trained Hippogriffs will take at least a season and they would need to be trained from birth. You cannot get wild ones to perform in battled, but the hatchlings mature quickly.

Are the two Hippogriffs that returned both male or do we have a mixed pair? If they are both Male, Kareep and his Phalanx will search for a fertile female and bring her back to the Spire and start the mating process. With his high nature and survival skill he should be able to pull this off. He is a Ranger after all…and it would be good to have a few more trained Hippogroffs defending Feathergale Spire.

Kareep and his 8 Aarokokra soldiers do prefer the top of the spire and will construct their own nests. I am sure you can find something cool for them to live in up top John. The Aarokokra stats are the same as the MM entry. For the next month or so the Aarokokra will ferry supplies to all of the surrounding towns and Kareep will focus on the training of Breen and his soldiers in the ways of riding and fighting on a Hippogriff Mount.

As needed, Kareep and the Aarokokra Phalanx will give air support to Quintus and his men as they scour the countryside looking for cultists.

The Last Battle
The End of the 3 Year Campaign

Vizeran Devir was slain but Yan-C-Bin still floated ominously above the party. Badding held Wind Vein and knew he had to plunge it into the air gate. But as he gazed upward at the location of the gate some 70 feet overhead, he knew that in his exhausted condition, he would struggle mightily to fly up to that height. So Badding sent out a telepathic call to his faithful giant eagle steed, Earendil. The giant eagle heeded Badding’s call and flew over to his master. Badding vaulted into the saddle and urged his mount to fly up to the very top of the chamber trying to put the opening of the portal between himself and Yan-C-Bin.


Meanwhile, the rest of the party continued to attack Yan-C-Bin in the hope of weakening him and his ability to stay on this plane. Templeton fired his heavy crossbow but could not get his sneak attack due to Yan-C-Bin’s blindsight. Puck maintained concentration on his wall of force that provided some cover from Yan-C-Bin while occasionally poking out from behind it’s safety to launch firebolt cantrips at the Yan-C-Bin. Brenn cursed his inability to fly. There was no way for him to get within range of Yan-C-Bin. He pulled out his rope of climbing and considered trying to use it to get closer.

Yan-C-Bin cast a chain lightning spell that would have ripped through the entire party. Puck could not counter it because he was behind the wall of force. But Templeton was off to the side. He used his magic to counter the lightning and the spell fizzled away from Yan-C-Bin. Everyone was grateful as the lightning most likely would have killed most of the party.


Quintus yelled up at Yan-C-Bin to come down and fight like a real warrior while he cast a spiritual weapon to fly up and hack away at the elemental prince of evil. Puck cast a spell which gave the next attack upon Yan-C-bin advantage. Templeton used it to great effect to hit Yan-C-Bin with a sneak attack and injured him greatly.

Yan-C-Bin unleashed a blast of thunder. Puck and Brenn were protected by the wall of force but everyone else was hit hard. Templeton failed his save and fell down dead, blood flowing from his ears. Quintus staggered backwards but managed to keep his feet. Badding absorbed the damage but Earendil wasn’t so lucky. The mighty steed died and vanished leaving Badding to unfurl his own wings and hold himself aloft.

It was now or never. Badding swooped down towards the yawning elemental air gate and plunged Wind Vein into the portal. At first there was a sleight resistance, but then the ancient artifact was yanked from Badding’s grasp as the portal sucked the spear in. Badding then flew down out of the way as Yan-C-Bin began to be pulled inexorably towards the gate.

Yan-C-Bin fought against it with all his might but he could not stop the pull. Especially since the party continued their attacks against him to further weaken his ability to resist the portal’s pull. Badding flew down to the dying little body of Templeton. With his last spell he cast a cure wounds to put life back into the dying man’s body.

Templeton looked up a little confused as he saw the bloodied and weakened form of Yan-C-Bin pushing against the portal in an attempt to stay on this plane. Templeton slowly breathed out a sigh of relief thinking it was all over. His relief was cut short, however, as a giant stone hand suddenly burst out of the portal and destroyed Yan-C-Bin atomizing its body into non sentient air. Two stone fists grabbed either side of the portal and began pulling at it, trying to force the gate even larger to accommodate a massive form lurking on the other side.

It was none other than Ogremach, the last of the elemental princes of evil. The prince of earth and stone had not been faced at the earth node because the party had slain Marlos Urnrayle before he could finish summoning Ogremoch. The giant hands were widening the opening and the party had to stop him before he could force his way onto the plane.


Templeton used his spell scroll of fire arrow to emblazen his bolts with magical fire. He then proceeded to fire them at the enormous hands to try and get Ogremoch to loose his grip. Puck followed with spells of firebolt. Quintus used his launch bolt spell. Brenn cursed his inability to fly or use an effective ranged attack. With repeated damage, finally one of the stony hands let go and the other don followed as the gate closed and the air node grew silent.

Everyone sighed in relief as it seemed the battle was finally over. But Brenn refused to believe the threat was over. Ironfang was still missing and Vizeran Devir’s body was gone as well. All that remained was the wizard’s staff which Puck picked up and began to examine. Brenn was convinced that the crafty wizard would try again at the earth node. So the party healed as best they could with an hour of short rest and made their way to the earth node. There they set up an ambush and took a long rest. But Vizerion never came, either he was was dead or unable to continue his plans. Puck found the wizard’s staff was a Staff of Power, which he took ownership of.

So the heroes finally emerged from the depths of the earth to see the outside once again. Badding breathed in the air deeply and reveled in the feeling of the sun on his feathers. He thanked his compatriots for their valor and flew off to return to his people in the mountains. The rest o fthe party made their way back to Red Larch. They were horrified to learn that while they had been away, the town had been completely ravaged by the continuing attacks of the cults. Apparently there were pockets of cult members that had remained after the above ground temples had been destroyed. Many of the townsfolk were dead and many of the buildings destroyed. As Templeton stood before the burned out ruin of The Dripping Candelstick, a tear ran down his cheek. He held his small hand up towards the heavens and declared, as all the gods are my witness I will rebuild this brothel and this town to be even better than it was before.


Vizerion Slain!
But What About Yan-C-Bin?


The battle with the drow and his efreet minion raged on. Templeton used his summoned water elemental to pound mercilessly on the efreet. Between that and the assault by Brenn Buckman, the efreet was soon destroyed. Vizeran Devir unleashed a terrible horrid wilting spell that sucked the life out of most of the party members. But with the chaotic winds slowing down movement and the protection of his globe of invulnerability , it was very difficult to bring the fight to Vizeran Devir himself. By the time the party got in position, he teleported away and surrounded himself with a wall of force. As the party regrouped, Templeton used his dust of disappearance to turn both himself and Puck invisible.

The winds were dying down, however, as the portal took full shape and a most horrible creature began to emerge. The enormous form of Yan-C-Bin, the elemental prince of evil air was coming through. It seemed as though his ritual was complete because the drow wizard noticeably relaxed and seemed to be somewhat content in his accomplishment.

Quintus managed to get adjacent to the wall of force and use his Claws of the Umberhulk to tunnel under the wall of force through the rock floor of the cavern. The opening was only 1 foot diameter – not enough for most of the party to get in, but big enough for an invisible Puck to wriggle his way inside. Puck blasted the drow with magic that he could not counter because of the invisibility, all the while shouting, ‘This is for Scandarian!’. Then Quintus stuck his hands through the opening he had clawed open and yelled, ‘Tempus blesses you right up the ass, you big motherscratcher!’. He then unleashed a harm spell on the drow. The deadly necrotic magic was so severe it staggered Vizeran Devir and broke his concentration on the wall of force he was maintaining. When the wall of force went down, Templeton let loose a crossbow bolt from Sky Piercer that sunk deep into the drow wizard’s heart. As he sunk to his knees in utter disbelief of his own passing, he whispered to Puck with his dying breath, ‘You know not what you have done!’ As his bloody body hit the floor it was whisked away by some last bit of magic. His wizard’s staff and the spear Wind Vein clattered to the stone floor.


Yan-C-Bin with his full power triumphantly raised it arms. Lightning crackled and wind howled around the evil creature. Templeton used his mage hand spell to pick Wind Vein up off the floor and deliver it to the waiting hands of Badding. The portal was about 50 feet off the ground. Badding was the only one who could fly up and use the legendary spear to seal the portal and suck Yan-C-Bin back to his home plane.

But as if sensing the party’s plan, Yan-C-Bin unleashed a swirling maelstrom of lightning and wind. The lightning coursed through everyone’s bodies doing a great deal of damage to all party members. Templeton was hurt so badly that he lost concentration of his summoned water elemental. The water elemental went berserk and tried to envelope Badding and drown him. Quintus cast a banishment spell and the water elemental was whisked away to it’s home plane. But Yan-C-Bin still towered ominously over the group waiting to snuff out the lives of the pesky mortals who dared oppose him.

Vizerion Found!
And now his ritual must be stopped.

With the Balgura demons slain, Templeton turned invisible and continued to scout the area searching for the drow wizard Vizeran Devir. He wound his way through the caverns and eventually found a tunnel with a powerful and chaotic wind blowing through it. Templeton fought his way through and got knocked back on occasion but managed to navigate the tunnel until he came upon a group of four air cult priests. They were standing at attention with the wind swirling around them. Their hair and robes moved, but the buffeting winds seemed to have no effect on their actual bodies as if the air moved around them. Thinking they too may be illusory, Templeton used his Helm of Telepathy to detect their thoughts. Sure enough they were thinking beings with thoughts of vigilance and patience. The priests were unable to detect the crafty rogue. He snuck right past them and continued on not wanting to dally and take his eyes off his quarry.


Templeton continued to fight against the winds and work his way down the long tunnel which snaked around. Finally he saw that it opened up ahead into a larger chamber and what he saw looked promising. A swirling maelstrom of air raged atop a raised stone dais that was about 15 feet high. Templeton thought that it had to be the air node. He could also see an air elemental myrmidon standing at attention clearly guarding the room. Using his Rary’s Telepathic Bond, he communicated his position and circumstance to the rest of the party.


Everyone urged Templeton to continue his scouting as Quintus had a great idea to tunnel through the rock using his Claws of the Umberhulk. They had discovered that the large chamber was quite close to another tunnel that they had already explored. Creating a connecting tunnel would allow the rest of the paty to avoid the 4 air cult priests that Templeton had avoided . It would also enable them to avoid all of the wind that would have severely hampered their progress to getting through. As the rest of the party moved to that location, Templeton moved up a little more and then saw a dark figure on the other side of the air node. It was clearly Vizeran Devir. The drow had been found and he was using Wind Vein to perform some intricate ritual.


Quintus cut through the stone with his Claws of the Umberhulk. Templeton reported that he could only hear the howling of the winds. When Quintus finally punched through into the windy maelstrom cavern, the wind blasted right into him and knocked him backwards. Puck saw the Air Elemental Myrmidon and cast a banishment spell upon it. But the creature saved and kept its footing on this plane. Puck also saw another familiar face. Ahtayir was also in the room at the air node and seemed to be under the power of Vizeran Devir. Templeton took careful aim at the drow and let loose a bolt, however, the powerful winds threw off his shot and made the bolt miss it’s mark. Badding was at half speed from his exhaustion and half again to quarter speed from the powerful winds, so he was effectively unable to enter the room. But he cast a moonbeam spell at range to encircle the drow and burn his flesh in radiant moonlight.


Brenn moved powerfully through the breach and into the room. He was trying to get to Vizeran Devir, but the crafty drow wizard moved to the other side of the room escaping the moonbeam spell and putting the large dais and air node between himself and the party. He also cast a globe of invulnerability to create a shimmering field around himself to thwart further spells sent in his direction. The air elemental myrmidon and Ahtayir flanked Brenn and launched multiple attacks against him. The stout warrior defended himself and then struck back delivering one blow to each foe on either side of him and then spinning away to move past towards Vizerion. He was determined to close to the drow despite the buffeting winds and the minions blocking his path. Quintus tried to run into the room but was pushed back by the chaotic winds. He did manage to summon a spiritual weapon and attack the air elemental myrmidon. The air elemental myrmidon flew up and over Brenn to attack him again and again get in his way towards his master.


But Brenn was undeterred he unleashed a nasty volley of attacks against the air elemental myrmidon including a commander’s strike which got Templeton to nail him for sneak attack damage with Sky Piercer. At last the elemental was destroyed and Brenn moved swiftly to close the distance to the drow. Brenn grinned as he was within 30 feet. He was almost there. The damn winds had cut his speed in half but he had almost made it. Badding still struggling to even enter the room cast a banishment spell on Ahtayir. The Djinn smiled as he faded away to his home plane, free of the drow’s control. Vizeran Devir glanced over at the dead body of his air elemental myrmidon and the fading form of Ahtayir. He frowned as he saw the powerful form of Brenn Buckman bearing down on him. He reached into his robes and hurled something towards Brenn. A huge efreet suddenly appeared to block Brenn’s path to his quarry.

Puck and Quintus both cast banishment spells on the efreet but the powerful creature made his saves and resisted the push back to his home plane – The City of Brass. Brenn cut into the large Efreet and maneuvered around the creature to continue his efforts towards getting to the drow but Vizeran Devir casually tossed a small bead in his direction. Brenn howled in frustration as a globe of force encapsulated his body. He tried cutting through it with his sword but found he could not damage it. The efreet then picked up the sphere carried it back towards the rest of the party (and away from the drow) and hurled it at his companions. Brenn was safe inside the bubble of force but did some small damage to some of the others. Badding then used dispel magic to negate the globe of force surrounding Brenn and free him. Templeton moved past trying to go the other way around the dais to get to the drow and avoid the fire elemental. He also hurled a gem of water elemental summoning towards the efreet to keep him at bay and keep him away from the party. Puck used his Cape of the Monteback to teleport through the room to get closer to the drow. He called out to Vizeran Devir, saying ‘Scandarian will be avenged. You will pay for what you did to him!’


Brenn moved over to Badding and was healed by the paladin. He then pushed against the winds and tried to move closer to the drow. Vizeran Devir struggled to maintain his concentration on the ritual and his globe on invulnerability. He had many spells to choose from but most would require concentration and he did not want to give up on his globe. So he settled on a nasty fireball that exploded into Puck, Quintus, and Templeton. Puck would have liked to counter it, but could not cast counterspell through the drow’s globe of invulnerability. Luckily Templeton managed to avoid any damage from the fireball using his evasion ability. So he didn’t need to make a concentration check to maintain control of his water elemental.

The water elemental summoned by Templeton smashed into the efreet with his two slam attacks. Each blow created billowing torrents of steam as the watery fists smashed into the efreet’s fiery body. But the efreet leaped up on to the dais and away from the water elemental and paid for it with an opportunity attack that turned out to be a critical hit. But the efreet then regained his composure and cast a wall of fire spell cutting off the party from Vizeran Devir. But Quintus was quick to counter. He cast a dispel magic and the wall of fire winked out of existence. Quintus then moved up next to Puck. Templeton moved up next to Puck as well and aimed carefully at Vizerion hoping for a chance to fire and do a sneak attack. Puck then cast his own Globe of Invulnerability, protecting himself, Quintus, and Templeton.


Deeper into the Howling Caverns
Huge Place. Where is that drow?


The battle with the Nycaloth continued in it’s frustration as the demon would rush in to attack and then teleport away. It was difficult to get many attacks off on him. It also led Badding, Puck and Earendil into a battle with 4 of the deep gnome spectres that had been previously avoided. But between Badding’s holy strikes, Templeton’s sneak attacks, and Puck’s magic 3 of the 4 specters were destroyed and the last one sunk into the floor and ran off.


But meanwhile Brenn and Quintus were trying to free the prisoners from the horrific chains and hooks running through their bodies. Brenn had pried loose one of the humans but the fall from the ceiling had killed him. Quintus used his revivify spell to bring him back to life. Brenn then pried loose the second human but this time Quintus was there to catch the human as he fell and shield him from the heavy chain with his armored back. Using the same method, Brenn and Quintus freed the aarokokra and the drow. But once they were all down on the ground, they each still had nasty chains and hooks running through their bodies and were wracked with terrible pain.


Quintus tried using his field medic skills to carefully remove the chains from the aarokokra. It proved very difficult and damaging a process, however. The aarokokra died. But Quintus used another revivify spell to bring it back to life. Then he used a mass heal spell to heal all the prisoners and increase his chances of success in freeing them from the chains. Templeton spoke with the prisoners as they were all conscious now. It turned out the aarokokra was a female. Her name was Kasra. She warned Templeton that she had been captured by the Feathergale Knights of Feathergale Spire. The Feathergale Knights had brought her down here as an offering to the Air Cult. In fact the two human prisoners were actually Feathergale Knights. Templeton found the aarokokra difficult to read but his gut told him she was telling the truth. This was reinforced by his closer examination of the two humans. Their garb although obscured by being torn and bloodied was in keeping with what the Feathergale Knights wore. Being so deep underground really unnerved Kasra even more than the Nycaloth’s chains. Badding understood. He gave her one of his silvered javelins and wished her well on her attempt to get back to the open air. Templeton showed her his makeshift map he had made of the complex and tried to explain the best way for her get up and out. And with that she took her leave and flew off.


The drow’s name was Balix. He was an explorer who came into the howling caverns from the Underdark. He found more than he had bargained for as the howling hatred priests captured him and gave him over to the Nycaloth and his hellish torture. He just wanted to be set free. Quintus said, ‘Praise Tempus I am going to set you free, Balix.’ as he slowly removed the chain from the drow’s thigh. Balix was silent when encouraged by Quintus to praise the name of Tempus. Templeton gave Balix a piece of leather to bite down on as the pain was excruciating. Quintus was successful but he had one more chain to go that was run through the drow’s bicep. Quintus began to pull gently but then said, ‘oops…’ Templeton looked over at the cleric with wide eyes, ‘what do you mean oops?’ But the drow’s arm popped off and his blood poured out of the empty socket as he expired. ‘Dag gum, I thought I had it. Guess not. Oh well, who’s next?’ said Quintus.

The two Feathergale Knights looked away from the dead drow in horror and then looked at each in terror. Quintus approached the knights and said, ‘Now that here drow didn’t praise the name of Tempus and I think it cost him. But I know that if you two give yourselves over to Tempus and his glory he will see you through this.’ Both knights started to scream the praises of Tempus as Quintus tried a faster approach thinking it might be better to just yank out the chains instead of going slowly. The first knight was already hurt from Brenn having tried to cut his chains earlier and pulling out the chain did just enough damage to put him over the edge into death. The last feathergale knight yelled so loud that Quintus thought he was indeed truly a believer in Tempus. And in fact the knight did convert to Tempus right then and there. Just before Quintus accidentally ripped out his spine along with the chains and he died instantly.

Templeton shook his head as he surveyed all three remaining prisoners dead before him. ‘Quintus, you are definitely much better at taking people apart than putting them back together.’ But Quintus just smiled, he had converted his first believer in Tempus (and earned an inspiration point).

The party decided to leave the Nycaloth. It had not showed itself for some time and was probably content to watch Quintus’ pain inflicting attempts to remove the chains and hooks. The party needed to find Vizeran Devir. Time was running out. Templeton turned invisible and began to scout ahead using his darkvision. A large area of the Howling Caverns was explored it turned out to be a vast and expansive complex.


Far to the northwest, Templeton found a huge air elemental with blood and body parts strewn about the caves. He wisely avoided the creature and snuck around. He also found a connection to the very cold and frigid caves previously encountered. There was once section that could not be seen. Badding wanted to fly in and out quickly to see if anything important was beyond the frigid caves. Puck thought it was a bad idea and counciled against it. But Badding went for it anyway. He flew in only to find naught but ice and cold. As hew flew out he was forced to make a constitution save. He failed and got pushed to level 2 exhaustion from the cold. That means his speed is halved – a major penalty. Phil apologized to Sam but Sam said nothing giving Phil the silent treatment for some time. But everyone laughed when it turned out Sam had just gone to the bathroom and wasn’t really ignoring Phil.

To the east Templeton found a group of 4 Howling Hatred Priests guarding a tunnel. He tried to sneak past them only to discover that the priests were illusory as 2 Barlgura Demons leaped to attack him. The demons had been hiding invisibly and were able to see through Templeton’s invisibility. They got the drop on him, but Templeton sprinted away and got back behind Brenn who moved forward to engage them.


The two Barlgura Demons moved swiftly up the passage. The first tried to flip over Brenn but his readied attack stopped the creature in its tracks. The second, however, was able to flip over Brenn and reach a flanking position. Both demons tore into Brenn pretty good with their claws and teeth but the brave warrior held his ground. Brenn and everyone else focused their attacks on the northern demon and destroyed it. But the southern one fought on. Nineteen of the 24 hours that The Dark Lady said we had to stop Vizeran Devir had passed. Time was running out.


Descent into the Howling Caverns
Nycaloth's Chains

Using his Commune spell, Quintus asked Tempus for guidance. The first of three questions he asked was if Vizeran Devir was done in the Howling Caverns. The response was unclear. Next he asked if he was down in the earth cult area. Again the response was unclear. Puck and Templeton surmised that Vizeran Devir was cloaked in some sort of magic which was thwarting divination attempts. So for the third question, Quintus laid it out there and asked Tempus if going down into the Howling Caverns was the correct move if the party was to stop Vizeran Devir’s ritual before the 24 hours had run out. The answer was yes.

So the party began their descent down the vertical shaft filled with buffeting wind blasts. Badding used his summon mount spell to call upon his old friend Earendil. Badding saddled the giant eagle with his Saddle of the Cavalier which made it nearly impossible for a rider to be separated from his mount. Templeton and Quintus mounted Earendil. Puck was carried by Badding in his special leather flying harness. And Brenn used the magical balloon pack that Templeton had found in the air cult lair which enabled him to feather fall down the shaft.


Safely reaching the bottom, Templeton cast invisibility and darkvision upon himself. He then proceeded to explore the caverns using stealth while the rest of the party waited and kept in communication via a Rary’s Telepathic Bond spell. The tunnels to the north led to a cold and frozen area that Templeton avoided. He also crossed a large chasm with the help of Badding and found the ruins of a deep gnome settlement to the northeast.


Moving through the ruins, he found the Snirvifneblin homes had been reduced to rubble and there were some undead lurking among the ruins. Templeton found 4 deep gnome specters haunting the area. He turned around and explored south east. There he found a large mushroom cavern which he also avoided. To the north he heard moans and metallic sounds.


There Templeton snuck up on an cavern holding a demon guarding some prisoners. Two humans, an aarokokra, and a drow were hung from the ceiling by chains and hooks in a horrifically painful manner. The winds through the cavern pushed their bodies causing them to spin in different directions. The chains would rattle and the poor creatures would moan in delirious pain. Standing in front of the prisoners seemingly admiring his handiwork and reveling in the pain it was causing was a Nycaloth.



Templeton snuck up close and saw to his horror that the chains were threaded through the humanoid’s biceps and calf muscles. He used his Helm of Telepathy to figure out that the prisoners were still alive but barely. Immediately the party launched an attack on the Nycaloth to try and destroy it and free the prisoners. The creature proved elusive and difficult to battle. It cloaked itself in an area of darkness. When Badding dispelled the magical darkness, he found the Nycaloth was gone. Puck cast detect invisibility but it was nowhere in sight. Templeton suggested it might be teleporting. Suddenly the demon would rush out to attack. Readied spells and attacks would hit it, but it was difficult to keep a bead on as it would constantly be teleporting away. These hit and run tactics proved troublesome indeed.


Brenn managed to use his rope of climbing to get to the ceiling where the chains were attached. Using Templeton’s crowbar, Brenn managed to pry loose the chains from the ceiling. Unfortunately, the human he freed suddenly fell to the ground with the heavy chain landing on top of him, killing him.

Artifact Theft
Drow Chasing

With Tinder Strike hurled through the fire node, Imix was slowly being pulled towards the fire node. Imix was using all of his power to try and break free but continued to be pulled inexorably towards the gate leading to his home plane. Meanwhile Halinaxus and The Dark Lady were fiercely tearing each other to shreds high above in the massive cavern. The two dragons were breathing on each other, tearing with their claws, biting fiercely with their teeth. It was a titanic battle.

Leaving the dragons to kill each other, the party focused its attention on Vizeran Devir. The drow mage had approached from the south. Templeton tried to parlay by asking him simply, ‘What do you want?’. But the drow was not very talkative, instead he surrounded himself with a glove on invulnerability. Puck matched him and did the same.

In a bit of a stalemate, the two sides sized each other up until Imix was finally sucked through the portal back to his home plane. The fire node then exploded spitting out the largest fire elemental anyone in the party had ever seen. Templeton reached into his bag of holding and produced his earth elemental gem. He hurled the gem towards the approaching fire elemental on the ground releasing an earth elemental. The two creatures smashed into one another and started pounding each other. Puck unleashed ice storms and cone of cold to quell the fire that burned inside the fire elemental. Templeton fired Sky Piercer, Brenn and Quintus attacked with their blades, and Badding attacked with his spear.

Vizeran Devir raised his hands and suddenly the two artifacts inside Templeton’s bag of holding – Ironfang and Wind Vein were no held in each of his hands. The drow mage then vanished. Templeton cast see invisibility but the drow was gone, most likely having teleported away with his two prizes.

Imix was gone, the drow was gone with two stolen artifacts, the two dragons battled furiously high above, and the party had all they could handle with the huge fire elemental still raging against them. The party finally destroyed the fire elemental and shortly thereafter Halinaxus fell out of the sky to splash down into the lava pool, dead. The Dark Lady flew down to land next to the group. She was clearly very wounded and near death. Quintus offered her healing but she scoffed at such a notion. Templeton thanked her for her aid. She said that she was too gravely wounded to help in any further capacity but explained how urgent it was that Vizeran Devir be stopped. He was going to use the two artifacts to summon the Elder Eye. And he would complete the ritual in less than 24 hours.


Templeton assured her that the weapons would be retrieved and the drow dealt with. With that, The Dark Lady teleported away and the party holed up to rest. They awoke refreshed and ready to pursue the drow wizard.

Closing the Fire Gate
Imix Showdown... Wait this gets worse? Come on!


Templeton quickly communicated the layout of the room beyond the bronze plate tapestry. Especially the part about Vanifer waving Tinder Strike in front of an altar and the huge form of Imix emerging from the pulsing sphere of the fire node. Badding grabbed hold of Puck and flew into the huge room, past the invisible Templeton and right adjacent to Vanifer. Puck then cast a wall of force spell creating a 30 foot long 10 foot wide tunnel of force with a roof encapsulating and trapping both them and Vanifer inside. There was one 5 foot opening facing opposite the location of Imix. Vanifer suddenly came out of her exultation at the completion of her ritual and looked quite surprised by the Aarokokra and gnome that were right next to her. As she decided what to do about the intruders, Templeton slipped invisibly inside the wall of force via the opening and took careful aim. A heavy crossbow bolt slammed into Vanifer’s thigh severing a major artery as Templeton faded into view. Vanifer cried out in pain as blood poured down her leg. Quintus ran up and jumped with his magic ring enabling him to close the distance and get inside the wall of force. Brenn ran up as well to get just outside of the wall of force entrance. Imix’s gigantic form was alive with burning flame yet he made no noise whatsoever. He eerily pointed his hand at Puck and Badding. Two huge bolts of fire blasted into the wall of force doing no harm to them. Imix seemed to gather himself as if he were taking a huge breath and then released it outward in a storm of fire that filled the entire room and flowed into the area inside the wall of force via the opening. The heat and fire did damage to some but even worse added a level of exhaustion to most including disadvantage to saving throws for Puck and Quintus while Brenn and Badding experienced the next level of exhaustion – cutting their speed in half.


Vanifer sensed she was in trouble so she tried to misty step out of the trap to get herself beyond the wall of force. But Puck had something to say about that. And that something was … counterspell! With her escape spell ruined, Vanifer bit her lip and shrugged. She followed it up with a fireball that filled the entire inside of the tunnel of force with fire. Badding’s aura of magic resistance helped lower the burning pain by half for all party members and Templeton was able to avoid it completely with this evasion ability. Quintus cast protection from fire on himself. Templeton used his mage hand to gently rub Vanifer by the breast to distract her. This allowed him to fire Sky Piercer with advantage. Another heavy bolt tore into Vanifer, this time in her shoulder quite close to her neck. Brenn then swiftly closed the gap and lit into her with his longsword reserving the final attack for a commander’s strike, encouraging Templeton to fire again. Templeton needed little prompting. Another deadly heavy crossbow bolt hit Vanifer this time squarely in the throat. She gasped and fell to the floor, her entire form turning to ash. The only thing that remained was Tinder Strike lying in the ashes.

Imix floated closer and unleashed a wall of fire that closed off the entrance and exit to the wall of force. There was now no way for party members to get out of the assembled walls of force without getting burned by the wall of fire. The wall of force had served its purpose – to cut off Vanifer from Imix and let the party focus all of its attacks on her. Now that Vanifer was destroyed, Puck let go of his concentration on the wall of force spell in order to better allow the party to attack Imix and possibly close the gate. Puck went for it and cast banishment on Imix. The fire elemental prince of evil failed his save but used his legendary resistance to make the save instead. Later Puck cast the banishment spell again. This time Imix made his save, but Puck used his Lucky feat to force Imix to try and save again. The second time he failed his save and was forced to use his legendary resistance again to avoid being hurtled back to the elemental plane of fire by Puck’s magic.

There was a great deal of lava between the altar and the fire node. It was floating about 20 feet above the top of the weeping colossus which was about 100 feet off the ground. Badding was slow from exhaustion but he still could make it as it seemed flying would be the only way to get to the fire node. Badding reached down and grabbed Tinder Strike. He paused for a moment gazing into its obsidian blade. He then shrugged and tossed Tinder Strike into the lava next to himself. Imix floated down towards the party from on high to close into melee. As soon as the dagger left his hands he realized what a terrible mistake his clouded mind had made. Badding seemed ill equipped to deal with the powerful artifact and the power it had over him. But the paladin tried again. He desperately reached down into the lava and pulled the dagger out. But the red hot lava burned away parts of his hand and he pulled away unable to withstand the pain. But Badding looked up at the behemoth form of Imix floating down towards him and then looked back at his ruined hand as Tinder Strike began to sink beneath the lava. With a powerful squawk! he plunged his hand into the lava to firmly grasp the hilt of the dagger. The acrid smell of burnt feathers and his own burning flesh wafted over his nose holes. With his beak clenched in pain he pulled it out and held the dagger just long enough to toss it onto the ground at Puck’s feet. Puck snatched the dagger off the ground and touched Badding who was doubled over in pain gently on the shoulder and said, ‘Come my friend its time to end this!’ Puck swirled his Cape of the Monteback and teleported both himself and Badding adjacent to the fire node. Badding’s flapping wings held them both aloft as Puck gathered himself to plunge Tinder Strike into the fire node.

But before Puck could strike another huge form burst out of the lava below them. Halinaxus flew up and with a mighty pulse of his huge wings hurt Puck and Badding and forced them back from the fire node. The huge red dragon then interposed its scaly body between them and the node. Halinaxus looked down at Imix as if seeking the Fire Elemental Prince of Evil’s approval. Templeton yelled out across the huge cavern, ‘Halinaxus, you two timing double crosser! We had a deal! We have at least 4 hours left in our arrangement.’ Halinaxsus let out a loud scoffing noise, ‘Why would I honor an agreement with you petty fools when I can impress Imix with my loyalty and prove my worth to him.’ Templeton frowned, ‘I will remember this Halinaxus. Your casual tossing aside of our deal will have consequences… dire consequences… A Daltrey always pays his debts…’


Meanwhile Quintus, Brenn, and Templeton played pound the Imix. Templeton used his mage hand to distract Imix allowing him to fire with advantage and sneak attack. The deadly enchanted bolts hurt the creature but it was hard to tell by how much. Clearly it had an enormous wealth of hit points. Brenn launched strike after strike trying to his goading attack to force Imix to attack only him. But Imix made all of his saves and resisted the urge. Even worse, every blow that Brenn landed on Imix caused nasty burns and fire damage on Brenn’s body. Quintus hit Imix with another banishment spell but Imix saved.

The mighty head of Halinaxus drew in a long breath. Badding and Puck who were both terribly wounded grimaced. They knew what terrible fire was about to be unleashed upon them. But suddenly before Halinaxus could use his breath weapon, something large and fast moving detached itself from the shadows. Another huge Dragon but this one formed of shadow came hurtling out of the darkness to smash into Halinaxus with her fierce claws. It was none other than The Dark Lady.


As Templeton and Brenn continued to fight Imix down below. Brenn exclaimed at the sight of the Shadow Dragon. ‘Ah ha!’ said Templeton, ’That’s right you missed the part earlier on when we met The Dark Lady in her lair. Of course at that time she was in the form of a beautiful drow woman. I convinced her to help us after a bit of parlay with her and a bit of a game of wits. Clearly my powers of seduction and eminent charm had an effect on her.’ Brenn burst out with a huge guffaw, ‘You seduced that thing?’ pointing at the huge shadow dragon. Templeton frowned, ‘yes… well… you should have seen her in her drow form… Much more appealing indeed.’ Quintus winced, ‘Are you two done blabbin’ yet? Come on, there’s more ass kickin’ to do. Let’s get to it!’


Although Brenn, Templeton, and Quintus were doing tons of damage to him and should have been occupying all of his attention, Imix seemed suddenly drawn to the aerial dragon battle above. He seemed to look right past it, however, and focused on Badding flying closer to the fire node and what wee Puck was holding in his little hand. Faster than a blink of an eye, Imix disappeared and reappeared directly adjacent to Badding and Puck.


Imix unleashed a torrent of fire that burned through Puck and Badding’s body. A holy nimbus of power, however, surrounding Badding, protected both him and Puck. If it weren’t for this paladin’s aura, Puck would have died and Tinder Strike would have fallen into the lava below. Barely clinging to life, Puck steeled himself against the searing pain of the heat and fire. He yelled, ‘This is for you Scandarian!’ and thrust Tinder Strike into the fire node. With a horrible sucking sound the obsidian dagger was consumed by the fire node and disappeared within it.

Imix’s form suddenly shuddered and seemed to be drawn closer to the fire node. The two dragons continued to attack each other ferociously. And Badding carried Puck away down towards the ground where Templeton, Quintus, and Brenn watched down below. As they descended, through the lick of the flames, the party all saw a humanoid form stride into the room from the south. It was a drow male. Templeton and Puck exclaimed in unison. They both thought instantly that it was Vizeran Devir. But how could that be? That was the drow wizard who had actually forged the The Fane of The Eye and crafted the legendary weapons of the various cults.



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