Apocalyptica

Devastation in Red Larch
Templeton Deals with the Lich

Having cleared out the ancient seat of the Bessilmir Dwarves at Tyar-Besil, the party began to make their way back to the town of Red Larch. Along the way they experimented with their new magic items. Quintus discovered that his Ring of Jumping had a taste for blood that needed to be satiated before it would function. A little bit of blood has to be put on the ring each day in order for it to work. Templeton discovered that his Gloves of Missile Snaring made a loud noise like a gong whenever they were used. Along the journey Puck used his new spell Leomund’s Tiny Hut as a ritual to create a safe space for the party to camp in the wilderness. It created a 10 foot radius dome of force around the party keeping everything out and formed an excellent protective barrier. Using the spell the journey back to Red Larch went without any trouble.

The arrival in Red Larch was sad indeed. Debris was strewn all over town, trees were down, town buildings were completely flattened, Red Larch was devastated. Everyone in the party quickly laid their aid to help in the search for survivors in the debris and to clean up the mess that was the town. Templeton was able to find out that early that morning some pilgrims had come to town bearing a large box with symbols on it. They opened the box and ran off releasing a huge wind storm that raged through the town for 1 hour.

Gaelkur’s, The Helm at High Sun, Drouth Fine Poultry, Waelvur’s Wagon Works, Mhandyvver’s Poultry, and Valivoe’s Sundries were all completely destroyed. Endrith Vallivoe himself along with 3 of his children were dead. One little child of Endrith’s was saved and gotten to surviving kin.

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The party worked with Constable Harbruck to help as best they could mostly by casting healing magic and performing first aid on town survivors. After an exhausting 48 hours of work, everything that could be done had been done and the party finally laid their heads down to rest. During the work, Templeton had gotten a first hand account of the pilgrims. They all seemed to be human and wore the symbols of the air cult on their robes. The box they carried also had symbols of the air cult. They removed an orb of glass from the box that was about the size of a cannonball. It hung in the air for 1 minute as the pilgrims literally ran as fast as they could away from it. It then erupted into a n explosion of air that began the hour long and 1 mile radius wind storm that savaged the town.

Templeton shared this information with Constable Harbruck and learned from him that his investigations of the town elders had confirmed our suspicions and most of them were now imprisoned for their complicity with the earth cult.

Puck spent four 8 hour days working on copying spell’s from Aerisi Kalinoth’s spellbook into his own. He spent 800 GP worth of materials including special inks and paper to do so. Kareep spent 5 days working with Haeleeya in order to learn the art of herbalism. He spent 10 GP to purchase an herbalism kit from her. Kareep then used his herbalism skill to make 2 potions of antitoxin and 2 potions of healing taking 2 days total and costing 115 GP in total. Templeton purchased a huge crowbar from Feng Ironhead for Quintus for 2 GP in order to hopefully bend the bars of the gate under the Monastery of the Sacred Stone, where the party was going next. The Master Party Treasure List was updated. Templeton also spent some quality time at The Dripping Candelstick which was thankfully undamaged by the windstorm.

The party then journeyed overland to the Monastery of the Sacred Stone. They found it just as they had left it. Templeton warned the party that he very much wanted to speak to the Gentleman of Presence, who he suspected of not only being a Lich but also being Renwick Caradoon. His past two interactions with the lich had not gone well. The first time, Templeton tried to charm him and was forcibly removed via telekinesis and the second time he was hit by a cloudkill spell. Templeton straightened his shirt and fixed his hair and said, ‘wish me luck gentleman.’

Templeton approached the door to the Lich’s lair. But instead of knocking or opening the door, he cast a message spell to the lich himself and said, ‘Renwick Caradoon if you are still loyal to the Knights of Samular, I ask that you parlay with me peacefully.’ The door silently opened. Templeton entered the room finding the lich working at his desk. Without looking up he said, ‘I will speak to you. You have five minutes.’

Templeton explained that they were working for The Knights of Samular to return a fallen knight’s body to Summit Hall and that the elemental cults were responsible. The Lich provided some information but nothing Templeton did not already know. Templeton did manage to convince the Lich to trade magic items with the party. In exchange for Kareep’s Figurine of Wonderous Power and Enchanted Boomerang, the Lich gave him an Amulet of Health. Templeton traded his Gloves of Missile Snaring for a Cloak of Elvenkind. The Master Party Treasure List was updated. The Lich had the following items for trade which we did not get: Potion of Greater Healing, Potion of Hill Giant Strength, Scroll of Invisibility, and Scroll of Snylloch’s Snowball Storm.

The Lich granted us passage through the ancient keep in order to reach the area beneath that was as yet unexplored. Quintus used his huge crowbar to try and bend the bars but could not bend them even a little with his ogre strength. Little Puck, however, stepped up and tapped the lock on the gate with his knock spell and it clicked open immediately.

The stairs beyond spiraled down and down. Puck used his detect magic spell to find a hidden ward half way down that hid a glyph of warding. Puck was able to remove it using his arcana skill. Templeton snuck ahead when the stairs leveled out to a corridor. He found the passageway led through to a large hole and an area beyond.

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There was an area ahead that had a door blasted in. Kareep and Puck tried to fly through the room with the large pit surrounding the passage only to be attacked by 3 gargoyles that were lurking in the shadows of the ceiling. Kareep set down Puck and began fighting the gargoyles who immediately swarmed to fight the hated aurakokra.

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Puck ran off to get away from the nasty edge of the passageway. In the process he nailed one of the gargoyles with a firebolt for a critical hit. Puck went through into the next room to hide around the corner but saw some hobgoblins down to the south. Unfortunately they saw him as well and made their up to get closer, sound an alarm, and fire their longbows at him. The wee gnome used his shield spell to protect himself from the missiles.

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Kareep hit one of the gargoyles with his enchanted javelin and Templeton nailed it with Sky Piercer to shatter the creature into tiny bits of rubble. But then Puck began to worry because in addition to the hobgoblins a huge creature rambled up from the southern passage. A human by the name of Nartham Burrowshark, riding a Bullete, rambled right up to Puck and attacked him with his spear.

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Get that Ghost!
I aint 'fraid 'o no Ghost!

With Quintus still possessed by the ghost of the dwarven crypt and Templeton down, Kareep flew over to Templeton and healed him with a spell in order to get him back into the fight. Kareep, Puck, and Templeton ganged up on their friend and finally knocked him unconscious forcing the ghost to emerge from Quintus. Kareep was able to make it over to Quintus and heal him to get him back into the fight as well.

dwarf_ghost.png The ghost looked like an old dwarf. He gazed malevolently at the party and then his face turned into a hideous thing of terror as he unleashed his horrific visage upon the group. Templeton was out of site and was unaffected. Puck felt his life ebb away as he lost hit points but also 10 years of his age. Kareep was terrified and fled the room completely.

Templeton then snuck up and nailed the ghost with a critical hit from Sky Piercer. The ghost shimmered with a gaping wound in its incorporeal flesh where Templeton’s enchanted bolt had torn through it. The ghost then went ethereal. Multiple attacks both magical and non-magical went right through it. It could also not be seen until Puck and Templeton cast see invisibility and were able to gaze into the ethereal plane and spot the creature. The ghost floated right inside one of the stone blocks of the crypts. Puck tried to open the door to the small tomb and boom was engulfed in a glyph of warding of acid. Templeton luckily used his evasion to completely avoid the trap. But the acid ate away at the poor gnome’s flesh and burned him badly.

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The ghost was nowhere to be found. But inside the crypt Puck saw the remains of a dwarf wearing a funerary mask and a golden ring upon his bony finger. Templeton came over to help when the ghost suddenly came out of the stone and went right into Puck to possess him. Puck began shooting firebolts at Quintus until Puck took a bead on the little gnome and let him have it. As Puck fell to the ground the ghost was forced to emerge. Quickly Quintus used a powerful 4th level guided bolt to tear apart the ghost and at last it was no more.

Quintus healed Puck and Kareep finally overcame his fear and returned to the crypt. Free now to search the area, they found 5 crypts each warded by a glyph of warding. Templeton used his mage hand to open them and set off the magical traps from afar, just out of range of their acidic blasts. Two of them could have turned Puck and Templeton to stone. But luckily both made good saves against the effect.

Inside each crypt were dwarven remains covered in a funerary mask. There were figurines, a pair of leather gloves, and a ring. Puck used detect magic to discover that the ring and leather gloves were magical. Templeton took them and later they were identified by Puck. The Ring was a Ring of Jumping with a minor temperate enchantment upon it which allows the wearer to be comfortable in temps between -20 and 120 F which Quintus took. The Leather Gloves were a pair of Gloves of Missile Snaring that had a minor enchantment of illusion upon them allowing the wearer to alter their appearance to whatever type gloves they wish. Templeton took these gloves. The Master Party Treasure List was updated.

With the entire complex now explored, it seems the party must now decide where to go next.

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Dwarven Spirits

Continuing the sweep of the area, the party went methodically from room to room making sure they hadn’t missed anything. Most of the rooms were empty shops and storefronts from the old dwarven city. However, in the southwest ruins where Templeton first encountered the Umber Hulk, he found a tunnel leading down to a nest of sorts. Inside the Umber Hulk nest he found 92 GP of scattered coinage, a miniature electrum anvil worth 150 GP, and a solid steel rod that was identified by Puck as an Immovable Rod. Templeton claimed the Immovable Rod and the Master Party Treasure List was updated.

The only area unexplored was the huge double stone doors sealed with many spikes. Kareep used his primevil awareness to determine that undead were beyond the doors. Quintus also confirmed that the sealed doors were of dwarven make and included iconography of the dwarven god Dumathoin, the keeper of the secrets, and Moradin, chief of the pantheon. Before getting into trouble in this room, the party decided to go back to Aerisi’s throne room.

Inside Templeton and Kareep studied the huge map that lay beneath the throne. Kareep used his Cartography skills to determine that the tunnels here were linked to other larger and deeper underdark passages, but it was not clear which tunnel would take us any closer to other areas.

The party further investigated the hole in the floor of the pyramid from which a howling wind blew. Puck sensed through his identify spell that it was highly magical with a great deal of power but was unable to learn more than that. Thinking that perhaps Ahtayir had left the gust of wind bottles for each of us in order to combat the wind and go down the tunnel after Aerisi Kalinoth. It was surmised that perhaps a gust of wind in the opposite direction could negate or lessen the howling wind coming up out of the hole. So Puck cast gust of wind and held aloft in his wee harness by Kareep went above the hole and directed his gust of wind downward. Puck’s magic negated the wind enough to allow Kareep to begin to fly down into the vertical shaft.

Templeton and Quintus affixed ropes to pillars and began to rappel down after them. However, it soon became evident that the vertical shaft was much deeper than anticipated. After 60 feet, Quintus ran out of rope. After 100 feet Templeton also ran out of the rope. The two climbed back up and out realizing they would have to wait for Kareep and Puck to find the bottom. Puck maintained his concentration, but the 1 minute duration was about to expire, so he cast gust of wind again. He and Kareep went deeper and deeper. After 1000 feet, Puck could still not see the bottom with his 60 foot darkvision. They were so far down the shaft that the light of Kareep’s continual light gem was put a speck to Templeton and Quintus at the top. The tough as nails gnome had pushed it as far as he could, so Kareep readied his wings and Puck angled his gust of wind away to the side allowing the howling wind to come up beneath them. The current was incredibly swift catching Kareep’s wings and propelling the two up the shaft at an alarming rate. In seconds they shout out of the top of the shaft into the temple.

There was but one choice left, the double doors leading into the dwarven halls of the dead. With grim determination, the party moved to the doors. Quintus cast a silence spell and then proceeded to pry loose the iron spikes that held the door shut. The spell worked perfectly keeping the noisy work from making any sound at all. Quintus then opened the door and boldly strode into the room. With his greatsword at the ready he hoped to spread the blessing of Tempus upon any undead that he could find.

Unfortunately one of them found him first. As the party spread out through the room filled with ancient sarcophagi and dusty dwarven stoneworks, something dark and malevolent moved out of the floor and into Quintus. Before he could do anything his eyes went white for a moment and then returned to normal. But some unseen evil had taken root in his body. Something terrible and dark which had been shut down in this place for a very very long. time. Without saying a word, Quintus moved next to Kareep and then swung his great sword at him – attacking his friend.

Then out of the shadows came 4 specters and 1 wraith. The incorporeal forms slid right through the physical objects of the room and reached out cold dead hands to touch the living. Templeton hid from view and Puck was close the entrance, so the undead swarmed around Kareep. He was touched repeatedly and felt the cold dark fingers draw his very life force out of his body. The necrotic damage coursed through him and his strength began to fade. But he fought on jabbing his enchanted javelin like a spear into the nearest Specter.

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Puck let loose a fireball and Kareep attacked with his enchanted javelin once more destroying a specter. Templeton fired Sky Piercer destroying another specter and hiding. Quintus continued to attack his friends, clearly overcome by some dark malevolence. His boisterous back woods proselytizing replaced by the silent and grim enmity towards the living. The battle rages on with all of the specters going being destroyed, but the wraith following Templeton closely and keeping his attacks on the human. Eventually the small man could elude the pursuit no further. The icy touch of the wraith chilled him to the very bone and he dropped to the floor bleeding from his nose.

Puck managed to use Templeton’s Healing kit to stabilize Templeton. And together with Kareep managed to destroy the wraith. But the two now face Quintus who is clearly possessed. With no way to force the ghost out of their friend they try to knock him out.

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From the Frying Pan into the Fire

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Templeton had been enveloped by the Lurker and was slowly being digested. The last of the Lurker’s illusory doubles were hit and destroyed by Quintus. Having a nice meal in hand and wanting to be finished with the rest of the pesky party, the lurker flew off with Templeton still enveloped. Puck was too scared by the Lurker’s fearful moans to give chase. But Kareep squawked in anger and flew after the lurker with Quintus running behind him. Kareep flew right past some Kenku so intent he was on his prey but Quintus saw them. Apparently the lurker was leading them right past some additional air cultists.

The Lurker was fast and Kareep needed all his speed to keep up. All the while Templeton was fading fast. He had failed two death saves. Fearing the lurker would escape with his friend, Kareep hurled a javelin in desperation. The sharp spear found its mark and at last the creature collapsed and Templeton’s bloody and wrecked body tumbled out of the deep folds of the lurker’s body.

Puck had finally shaken off the fear effects and began to run after the others trying to keep up with his wee gnome legs. Templeton was mostly dead and the party was split up and spread out over a large area. 7 Kenku, 3 cult initiates, a hurricane monk, and a skyweaver had the party surrounded. Puck had no spells left except cantrips. It was a very desperate situation.

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Kareep cast a healing spell on Templeton and brought him back into the fight. Templeton promptly cloaked himself in invisibility and moved into the corner of the room filled with Kenku. He used his silent image spell to put up an illusory wall of ice sealing himself in the corner. The ice was opaque so that Templeton could not be seen. From hiding he fired crossbow bolts out to kill initiates and Kenku.

Kareep flew around using his lance to skewer Kenku. Quintus was toe to toe with the Hurricane monk. Quintus’s greatsword got the better of the monk’s unarmed strikes. Puck came face to face with the Skyweaver. She hit him with a lightning bolt but Puck managed to dodge most of it and only got singed a little around the edges. Puck frowned and said, “My dear… You will have to do better than that. Perhaps I could teach you a little something about evocation magics.” Puck then proceeded to use his poison spray spell to great effect. The skyweaver choked and coughed and did not like it one bit.

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Kareep valiantly fought the kenku but they eventually brought him down. Templeton finished clearing the room and then came out of hiding behind his illusory ice wall to tend to his fallen comrade. After a long melee of back and forth, Quintus finally cut down the hurricane monk with huge sweep of his greatsword. The Skyweaver tried to flee but Templeton managed to cut off her escape route. Puck finished her off with more poison spray.

In the end the party prevailed but it was very touch and go there for a while. A quick search of the bodies yielded 42 GP in odd coinage. Kareep also found an enchanted boomerang which he claimed because it worked much like a javelin. The Master Party Treasure List was updated. Severely depleted, the party made their way back to the hidden blind Kareep and Templeton had made. There they hid for a long rest to recover. They made it through unmolested and achieved 8th level.

The party began a final sweep of the area. In the room where the cloaker was found, they unearthed its lair. Inside was 150 GP worth of coins and gems. In another room with a skeletal purple worm skeleton protruding from the ground, Templeton sifted through the bones to find a Bag of Holding and Potion of Greater Healing which he kept. The Master Party Treasure List was updated.

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Templeton Eaten!
That's What She Said

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After failing to charm the skyweaver with his spell, Templeton nailed her with a bolt from Sky Piercer. He then dashed off to hide among the rubble to the southwest. As he hid quietly he heard an unnerving scratching sound creeping up behind him.

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The rest of the party heard the Skyweaver call out for aid and raise the alert of intruders. They ran and flew forward to the stature of Moradin. The two hurricane monks from the east heard the alarm and ran over to meet the party at the statue. Also a group of 1 hurricane monk, 2 initiates, and two kenku came down from the north to attack the party converging on the statue of Moradin.

Kareep hurled his javelin of lightning, killing a kenku and frying the northern Skyweaver and initiate pretty badly. Quintus summoned his spiritual hammer and traded blows with the 3 hurricane monks that had closed to surround the party.

Templeton’s unease grew as the scratching noises grew louder until the very earth beneath him erupted and an Umber Hulk burst forth to attack. The huge claws grasped at Templeton trying to squish the small man. Each time they hit, he managed to twist free from being crushed. And he ducked just the huge mandibles sliced where his head just was. Looking into the myriad eyes of the Umber Hulk caused Templeton to pause for a moment as he contemplated the depths of the deep dark stare directed at him. But before it was too late, he shook off the confusing gaze of the creature. He brought up his crossbow but then stole a glance over at the Skyweavers and monks. He looked back at the huge creature in front of him and smiled. Disengaging from the Umber Hulk he ran towards the party right past his enemies with the intention of leading the Umber Hulk right through his foes.

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Both Skyweaver’s now had Templeton in their sites. Both hit him with a Witchbolt. The crackling energy burned through him reminding him of his previous deadly encounter with the spell. The Skyweavers’ plans were to fry Templeton by maintaining the empowered witchbolt and electrifying him. But Templeton’s plan of leading the Umber Hulk through his enemies and the Skyweaver’s plans of frying Templeton were all cut quite short as Puck unleashed a powerful fireball that killed both skyweavers and all three monks while sculpting it around his friends. Templeton glanced over his shoulder and saw that the path for the Umber Hulk was clear to the statue where the party was. He fired his crossbow and killed the remaining Kenku and ran North yelling, “the Umber Hulk is coming! Watch out!”

Quintus squinted and looked around saying, “Huh?” as the Umber Hulk erupted from the cave floor beneath him. Quintus bravely managed to fend off the creature but its attacks were pressing him terribly. The two remaining initiates simply looked at each other and ran east. They did not get far as Kareep dropped one with his javelin and Templeton picked off another with his crossbow.

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It did not take long for Quintus to be cut down by the enormous claws and viscous mandibles. But his enchanted periapt of wound closure sealed his wounds and stabilized him to prevent him from bleeding to death. Kareep had picked up Puck and flown over to nail the Umber Hulk with his lance but he fell prey to the creature’s confusion gaze attack. So Kareep was staring into the eyes of the Umber Hulk while little Puck was dangling in front of it like a punching bag. But luckily, Puck still had his blur spell going giving the Umber Hulk disadvantage on his attacks. The claws and mandibles came close but Puck managed to evade them long enough for Kareep to shake off the effects of the confusion gaze.

Between Templeton’s keen shots with his crossbows, Kareep’s lance, and Puck’s firebolts, the Umber Hulk had had enough. It burrowed straight down into the earth disappearing from view. Puck let loose one of darts of homing as a parting shot, but the creature escaped. Everyone prepared for the Umber Hulk to return but it did not.

Kareep used healing magic on Quintus to bring him back up. Thinking it might have taken refuge in an adjacent room, Templeton opened a southern door and stepped into a room which long ago must have been a dwarven shop of some kind but now as filled with broken stone and debris. Suddenly something large and billowing fell down on top of Templeton and enveloped him. He tried to wriggle away but did not have the strength to pull free. He did manage to fire his crossbow point blank into the creature and hear it howl in agony.

Quintus stepped up and grabbed hold of Templeton’s feet and yanked him out of the maw of the creature. But now there were 4 Cloakers. They emitted a horrible moan that frightened Puck and made him flee the area. Kareep attacked the cloakers twice and two mirror images disappeared. Templeton and Puck both realized that the cloaker had protected itself with a mirror image spell. Two of the mirror images were gone and one remained.

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Retaking the Pyramid
Templeton's Promise

The battle with the golem and the Skyweaver continued. Kareep and Quintus were flanking the golem on the walkway outside the pyramid with Puck looking on from around the corner. Templeton was inside the pyramid trying to find the skyweaver as she had turned invisible.

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Quintus and Kareep soon discovered that the golem emanated some sort of aura that slowed enemies adjacent to it. Quintus amanaged to shrug off the effect due to his devotion to Tempus but Kareep was not so lucky. He fell under the weight of the golem’s slow effect. Puck responded by casting haste on Kareep. The bird man’s mind was torn one way and then the other at the same time as both magical effects continued to effect him. The speed effects mitigated and effectively left him with his regular speed. But the extra actions offered by the haste were negated by the slow effect.

Quintus hewed at the Stone Golem with his mighty enchanted greatsword, calling on the power of Tempus for extra attacks. Some chunks of stone were cut away as the golem was damaged. Kareep was limited to one attack by the slow effect but hit the golem with his enchanted lance. But Kareep at least was able to shake off the slow effect. The golem then turned his two mighty fists upon Quintus. The first blow hit him square in the chest, staggering the mighty cleric. The second blow smashed him into the ground, leaving him down and bleeding out.

Templeton was scanning the pillared first level of the pyramid for any signs of the skyweaver. He soon found her as she unleashed a witchbolt that hit him and surrounded him with a crackling electrical field.Templeton responded by closing to point blank adjacent range thinking he would get an advantage but it turned out to be a big mistake. His crossbow bolts missed as they bounced off her shield spell. The skyweaver who Templeton identified as the third of The 3 Sisters the party had faced before, cackled with glee as she repeatedly unleashed automatic damage from the witchbolt tether in the form of electrical energy that burned painfully through Templeton.

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Templeton fired bolt after bolt at the skyweaver a few of them found their mark but without an enemy standing nearby they to distract her enough for him to hit vital areas, the damage was minimal and she was able to maintain her concentration over the witchbolt spell continually pumping him full of electrical damage until Templeton collapsed in a smoking ruin. As he fell he gasped, “you will pay dearly for this…” To which the skyweaver only laughed and stepped over his charred and ruined body.

With Quintus down and Kareep having flown out of range, the golem turned his attention to little Puck. The huge stone golem moved up to him and pounded him with his fists. It hurt so badly that Puck responded by casting blur to help protect himself. Kareep flew up behind the golem and used Puck’s brave stand to gain advantage for his three lance attacks. Taking a terrible beating and confused by Puck’s wavering blurred form, the golem proceeded to attack Kareep and land some punishing blows.

Puck could no longer hear anything from inside the room, he yelled for Templeton to see how the battle inside was going. Silence was his only answer. Puck teleported to the doorway and tossed a fireball over his shoulder to engulf the stone golem. The magical flames burned the creature badly. From his new vantage Puck saw the fallen Templeton and began running over to his side. Puck yelled for Kareep’s help.

Kareep responded by casting healing magic on Quintus to get him back in the fight. Both men ran into the room after Puck pursued by the golem. Puck pulled out his wand of magic missiles and pointed it at the golem and then at the skyweaver and then back at the golem. He wavered for a moment not knowing which target was the better to attack. Many chunks of stone had been smashed out of the stone golem by party attacks and the skyweaver had a number of crossbow bolts stuck in her. In the end Puck pointed it at the golem and emptied the entire array of magic missiles into the construct. The 5 magic bolts of force smashed in the stone golem and it collapsed into a pile of rubble.

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The skyweaver laughed and thanked Puck as she stepped to his side and unleashed a lightning bolt that ripped through him and Kareep. The ranger used his magic to absorb some of the elemental energy of the attack but Puck took the full force of the attack. The little gnome collapsed on the floor – crisp and blackened.

Quintus cast a healing word spell on Templeton from afar. The crafty rogue stood up right behind the skyweaver and whispered, “The Daltrey’s Always Pay their Debts.” As she turned around to respond, Templeton unleashed a heavy crossbow bolt from Sky Piercer that caught her right in the throat. The skyweaver slowly sank to the ground clutching at the bolt through her neck and trying to speak, but words failed her as only blood gurgled out of her mouth.

As the life ebbed away and the darkness came, the last thing she heard was Templeton whispering in her ear to remember their first encounter on the surface. He repeated the words he had spoken then as the party had fled the three sisters on their aerial mounts, “A day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid… That time has come.”

Quintus cast a spell of healing on Puck and everyone took stock. The party was badly wounded. Templeton quickly searched the dead skyweaver and found 20 gold coins. The Master Party Treasure List was updated. The party made their way safely back to their blind and took a 1 hour long short rest to bind their wounds and for Puck to regain some spells. They then moved back to the pyramid to investigate the howling hole in the floor. Holding onto Widget for support, the owl peered down into the hole and could see it extended beyond his 120 feet of darkvision. Convinced that their was nothing down there, the party quickly examined the upper level of the pyramid and found it empty.

They decided to move further into the unexplored section of the complex. In order to scout ahead, Templeton cast disguise self and made himself appear in the form of the skyweaver they had just slain. He walked across the bridge into an open square dominated by a huge statue of Moradin, head of the dwarven pantheon. The dwarf statue held a huge lantern aloft. Down the corridor to the right were two hurricane monks, clearly on guard. They saw him but were fooled by the disguise and just nodded at him. He nodded back and walked away from them to the left where he saw another skyweaver on guard. She did not seem alarmed as he walked towards her, fooled by the disguise. When the huge stature of Moradin was between Templeton and the monks and he was within 60 feet of the skyweaver, he cast a charm person spell on her.

The Skyweaver made her save and was not effected by the spell. But she knew magic was being cast at her. “What are you doing?” She demanded of Templeton. He shrugged and replied by pulling out his heavy crossbow and firing.

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Falling Golems

The extended rest behind the camo blind created by Templeton and Kareep went without incident. The blind worked perfectly. A few times some initiates walked by looking around and going through some doors of the living quarters area, but they never came down the hall with the cave in and did not see the resting party thanks to the cover provided.

With everyone back to full strength, the decision was made to explore the other side of the complex. As the party prepared to leave the blind, Templeton noticed 4 bottles lined up neatly along the floor. Puck detected magic in them. He cast identify and learned that all 4 were magic potions – Flasks of Bottled Breath. When drunk, the imbiber has a choice to either exhale a gust of wind as per the spell or hold their breath for up to 1 hour or until they speak. Templeton posited that the flasks were a gift from Ahtayir for his freedom. The Master Party Treasure List was updated.

Templeton crept forward and made it to the area with the moat surrounding the pyramid. There he found that the moat had been lowered. As the rest of the party tried to sneak up to his location, some clanking of Quintus’ armor alerted some initiates who had returned to the area during the rest. Five of them came out of different doors and attacked. The party made short work of them but decided it was best to make sure the south side of the complex that had already been explored was clear. So room by room, the party worked their way through. Templeton kicked in the door with his crossbow at the ready but found everything clear the way we had left it.

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Puck sent Widget to scout around the pyramid paying attention to look down in the dry moat and on top of the pyramid where Kaz Hanar and her Wyvern had lurked before. Widget reported back that the top was still clear but the moat was filled with chunks of metal – suits of armor and gear from previous enemies that had perished in the moat. Also in the moat were two very large stone statues. The realization that there were two stone golems was quite disturbing. But the party pressed on determined to get inside the pyramid and sneak past the golems.

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As they approached the west entrance to the pyramind, one of the golems started moving towards the party. Templeton called out for everyone to go into the pyramid to escape the golem when the door opened and two hurricane monks came out to attack. A battle erupted on the edge of the dry moat. The monks holding the doors until the golem arrived. The huge stone golem put both hands on the edge of the walkway and began to haul himself up, when Puck let loose a thunderwave spell knocking it back towards the edge of the now dry waterfall. Kareep took the opportunity to fly as hard as he could and slam into the stone golem trying to shove him off the precipice. Phil used an inspiration point he had earned earlier for bending Aerisi’s words to get the djinn on our side. That allowed him to have advantage on the check. Kareep was successful and knocked the stone golem off the edge. The huge construct tumbled down and down crashing into the side of the cliff as it went.

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A skyweaver then appeared from within the room. She was clearly the last of the surviving three sisters that the party had met before. She wasted no time unleashing a lightning bolt to rip through everyone standing on the bridge but cursed as her spell faded away to nothing with Puck’s perfect use of counterspell. Templeton’s bolts did little against the hurricane monks as they simply plucked them out of the air and tossed them casually aside. But Quintus laid the blessings of Tempus upon them by cutting one of them in half with a mighty swing of his greatsword. Templeton took the opportunity to sneak inside the room in pursuit of the retreating skyweaver. But she turned invisible and vanished.

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Eventually everyone pushed into the room but the second stone golem climbed up out of the moat in pursuit of the party. Puck unleashed a vitriolic sphere. The acid melted the remaining hurricane monk into a pile of goo, but the stone golem’s magic resistance kept it in the fight.

So one stone golem and an invisible skyweaver remain to deal with.

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Aerisi Kalinoth Showdown
Mono a Gnomo

The battle with Aerisi Kalinoth continued. Kareep suddenly flew at Aerisi and grabbed hold of her with his talons and fists. While the two pushed back and forth grappling, Kareep noticed something. His hands passed right through her Aerisi’s wings. It seems her wings were some form of illusion. Kareep wondered if she was really an elf. Kareep and Aerisi twisted around each other until Aerisi managed to cast a spell. A huge maelstrom of wind erupted around her. Lightning Bolts smashed into Kareep. But despite the gale force winds and blasts of lightning, Kareep’s iron grip on Aerisi held firm. Aerisi also called Ahtayir to her side. The Djinn came as bidden by his mistress completely unaffected by the raging maelstrom of wind. She commanded him to remove Kareep and kill him. With a look of sadness, Ahtayir complied blasting Kareep with a thunderwave. But the brave Aaurakokra still clung to Aerisi despite taking damage from the blast.

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On the other side of the room, Templeton was surrounded by air cult initiates and still being hounded by what turned out to be an invisible stalker. He was hurt badly by the stalker and had to get back to Quintus. He disengaged the enemy, dove under the curtain, and came up sprinting towards the cleric. Quintus obliged by casting a healing spell on Templeton. The initiates gave chase and surrounded both Templeton and Quintus who were fighting side by side. Templeton raised his crossbow and then wham! He was hit twice by the invisible stalker. Both were critical hits striking him in the head. Templeton went down instantly and blood started pouring out of his ears.

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Puck made his way invisibly towards the enchanted horn that summoned Ahtayir. But the raging maelstrom of wind prevented him from getting close enough to blow it. Kareep still grappling desperately with Aerisi, raked the elf queen with his talons. She cried out in pain and her concentration on her spell wavered. The gale force winds ceased as Ahtayir blasted Kareep once more with a thunderwave. The exhausted Aarokokra could hold on no longer. He tumbled 15 feet away from Aerisi.

But Kareep had managed to break Aerisi’s concentration on her spell and that was just the chance little Puck was waiting for. With the maelstrom of wind gone, he invisibly moved next to the horn and blew it. Ahtayir vanished and reappeared next to the now visible Puck and asked what command his new master would give. Puck’s brow furrowed as he struggled to think of a command that would help in the best way. Ahtayir looked at Puck and then looked at Aerisi and said, “Please, I beg of you… Let us be done with this once and for all… Destroy the horn and set me free.”

Puck hesitated for a moment more and then with the smile of grim determination, he blasted the horn with a firebolt spell – turning it to dust. Aerisi screamed in fury and turned invisible. She then unleashed a chain lightning spell that ripped into Kareep, Quintus, and Ahtayir. The mighty Djinn only grunted as the pain tore through him but Kareep and Quintus screamed as the lightning left smoking holes in their chests. They both collapsed, bleeding to death.

With Templeton, Quintus, and Kareep down it was last gnome standing. Little Puck stood his ground against the winged elf Queen. It was mono a gnomo. The two slung some spells back and forth and Puck used the enchanted seeking darts to hit Aerisi even though she was invisible. But with all his higher level spells depleted, Puck was outmatched and his friends were bleeding to death. But then by some miracle, Templeton stirred. Rolling a 20 on his death save, Templeton regained consciousness at 1 hit point. He drank a potion of healing himself and used his mage hand legerdemain to pour a healing potion down the throat of Quintus. He then rolled up on to his feet and made his way around the corner to try and get some cover. Templeton yelled for Ahtayir to come over and destroy the invisible stalker. The creature had not been hurt at all and was still hounding Templeton.

The Djinn obliged, moving closer. He watched carefully as Templeton was attacked once again by the invisible stalker. Ahtayir’s high intelligence enabled him to figure out which space the invisible creature was occupying. He then waved his hands to summon a powerful whirlwind. The swirling cyclone engulfed the invisible stalker and swept him up into the air, holding him in the vortex unable to escape.

Aerisi then struck again coating a large area with the an ice storm. The freezing ice badly hurt Quintus, Templeton, and even Kareep who was already bleeding to death. Kareep came very close to going from mostly dead to all dead until Quintus came over and used a healing potion to bring him back to the from death’s door.

Ahtayir thanked Puck once more for freeing him and said as his final gift that he would take the invisible stalker away with him back to the elemental plane of air. Nodding to each party member in turn he flew over to the swirling vortex, placed a hand on the stalker and used plane shift to leave the prime material, bringing the invisible stalker with him.

Aerisi Kalinoth then fled the battle using some sort of teleportation magic most likely. Templeton was the first to give chase, but somehow lost her. Puck was quite keen to not let her escape but there was no helping it. The party chased her all the way out of the pyramid but she had gotten away. Working their way back up to the throne room, Templeton searched the throne itself and found a hidden compartment in the back. Inside was a chest.

The chest was lined with silk and contained some items of elven make carefully packed into it. There was a platinum Torc worth 1600 GP, 4 golden rings adorned with sapphires worth 1000 GP each, and a diadem worth 6400 GP. A beautiful book written in a flowing elvish script was the spell book of Aerisi Kalinoth.

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Aerisi’s Spells
Cantrips – Mage Hand, Shocking Grasp, Ray of Frost, Message, Prestidigitation, Gust
1st – Charm Person, Mage Armor, Feather Fall, Thunderwave
2nd – Invisibility, Gust of Wind, Dust Devil
3rd – Fly, Gaseous Form, Lightning Bolt
4th – Ice Storm, Storm Sphere
5th – Cloudkill, Seeming
6th – Chain Lightning

Templeton also found a secret compartment in the chest that was hiding an enchanted elven ring. It was a Ring of Free Action, which he put upon his finger. The Master Party Treasure List was updated.

The Four then made their way down to one of the empty initiate rooms to hide and take a short rest. The hour passed uneventfully. Needing to take along rest, Kareep led the party back to the caved in, dead-end tunnel. There he and Templeton built a blind and everyone hid behind it to try and make it through an extended rest without being found.

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Tug -o- Gnome

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After speaking with Ahtayir it was clear the next step was to launch an attack on the Wyvern riding Kaz Hanar who lurked on top of the pyramid. Kareep flew up with Puck in tow to try and get the jump on the skyweaver. Unfortunately she had heard some of the battle with Ahtayir and was prepared for battle. She tried to fry the approaching bird man and wee gnome with a blast of lightning. but the spell fizzled as Puck countered it. Puck could not stop the wyvern, however, as it sunk its poison stinger deep into his chest and pumped him full of poison. He then grabbed the gnome with his talons and squeezed him hard, trying to pull him free of Kareep’s grasp. Kareep refused to let go of his friend. What resulted was a huge game of Tug o Gnome between wyvern and aurokokra. Puck’s little body could not take it and the tearing and ripping knocked him unconscious. He hung in the air grabbed by both and bleeding to death.

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Templeton fired him hiding below focusing his attack son the wyvern with Kareep and Quintus managed to heal Puck. As Puck came too, he instantly let loose a fireball. The wyvern and Kaz Hanar were burned terribly but the wyvern once again crushed Puck in its talons choking the life out of him once more. Kareep held fast to Puck’s body and continued to attack the wyvern. Finally the beast breathed its last breath and fell far below to smash into the floor. Kaz remained in the air flying, however. Everyone cringed hoping that she would fall with her mount. Everyone that looked at Kaz could tell the resemblance. She was one of the The 3 Sisters the party had battled before.

Puck was revived once more but was hit by a witchbolt from a flying Kaz. After a round or two of Templeton’s bolts and Kareep’s lance Kaz finally fell. Searching Kaz and the wyvern yielded only 2 gems worth 20 GP each. The Master Party Treasure List was updated.

With Kaz and her Wyvern out of the picture, the party crossed the moat and opened the door to the inside of the pyramid. Inside they found 5 initiates chanting along with a hurricane monk and skyweaver. As the battle was joined the party realized that the skyweaver was again one of The 3 Sisters that they had fought before. It was a hard won battle but the four were victorious once more. Puck lovingly shot off some fireballs during the battle. Searching the skyweaver they found 2 gems worth 10 GP each. The initiates were carrying 5 magical darts called seeker darts. These one use items have a 120 foot range and automatically hit any creature that the thrower has seen. They even go around corners. The target must make a DC 16 DEX save or take 1d4 piercing damage and 3d4 lightning damage. The Master Party Treasure List was updated. They then decided to move on up the stairs of the pyramid.

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Templeton used his disguise self spell to take on the guise of the skyweaver. As one of the sisters he entered the final room in which he found 10 initiates and Aerisi Kalinoth herself. She was sitting on a throne before a map craved into the floor of the Besilmir Dwarf Empire. Aerisi asked why the skyweaver had disturbed her. Templeton put up his finger urging her to wait as he motioned for everyone else to come up the stairs. He took a step towards her still saying nothing so as to not foil his disguise. But suddenly an invisible force slammed into him knocking him back against the wall.

Thinking the jig was up with the disguise, Templeton let a hand crossbow bolt fly. Luckily he did still have the jump on Aerisi as she did not expect her servant to attack her. His bolt sank deep into her chest. A critical hit! Aerisi staggered backward in surprise as another bolt caught her in the shoulder. The rest of the party ran into the room. Kareep hurled his javelin of lightning taking out 5 of the initiates behind the curtain on one side of the room.

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Gathering herself Aerisi unleashed a cloudkill spell in the area of Templeton. She caught some of her initiates in the area, but did not care. Templeton gagged and coughed and came close to dying but managed to get out of the area of effect quickly. Aerisi also floated down on her wings and and blew a huge horn mounted to her wall. An instant later, Ahtayir appeared asking what command his mistress had for her. “Kill the intruders!” Aerisi yelled to Ahtayir."

The mighty djinn bowed his head and flew over to the far side of the room where Templeton was surrounded by initiates. As he moved Kareep yelled out, “She said Intruders, Ahtayir! All of the cultists are intruders here as are all who are not the original Bessilmir dwarves.” The Djinn looked at Kareep and then back to Templeton. He hesitated for a moment and then waved his hands. A whirlwind picked up one of the air cult initiates and hurled him into the cloudkill area. A hanging curtain blocked Aerisi’s view and Templeton smiled at his good fortune and Kareep’s quick thinking.

Puck turned himself invisible and made his way towards the horn. He wanted to blow the horn and try to free Ahtayir from Aerisi Kalinoth’s control. And perhaps turn him against his former mistress.

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Of Flutes and Genies

The 4 had been exploring the temple of elemental air, trying to find the Kenku who were scaring the prisoners, when they came to a large room with some cultists trying to play the flute.

A stone fountain stands in the middle of a grand plaza, its sides sculpted in to the shapes of dwarves bearing drums and horns. On the far side of the fountain, several figures in feathered attire play a shrill, discordant tune on flutes made of white bone.

A semi-circle of the figures seems to be gathered facing a more vibrantly dressed, beautiful woman. She stops them with an exasperated exclamation of disgust, “Stop! Stop! No, you are playing with too much wind, slow your breathing. And you are off tempo from the rest of the group! You are supposed to be trained…”

Many in the group apologized to the woman calling her Windharrow.

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Windharrow then realizes the door has opened and sees Templeton leading the group.

“You, small man, can any of you play? These cretins clearly cannot! They are awful!”

Kareep sings a line Aarakokra folk tune that sounds haunting and forlorn but more like a bird than a flute. “Sorry…but I cannot play that instrument”

Kareep sings his melody, surprising his comrades with its odd, melancholic nature.

Windharrow pauses for a moment, listening to the echoes of the song fade. “Beautiful… in a dreary sort of way. Be that as it may, we have a performance due soon – can any of you play the flute?”

She then turns to her entourage, “Be prepared to practice once again.”

Templeton steps forward and says, “Why of course. The Daltreys are a well cultured family. I was instructed in harpsichord, lyre, flute, and percussion by some of the finest musicians in Waterdeep. To be honest I was never as good as my sister. She had a gift I could never match, but I more than likely remember a tune or two. “

He takes the flute and plays a few bars of a Sembian Drinking Song that he is fond of.

Templeton walks in to the large plaza and approaches the group with confident strides. With a look to the woman at the center, one of the feather-robed initiates hands over his flute with a poorly disguised frown.

Templeton is surprised at the lightness of the flute. The flutes he has played in the past were made with silver and dense, dark woods. He puts it to his lips to test the timbre, and though the spacing of the holes is a bit different, with a somewhat rusty flare, Templeton trills through the Sembian drinking tune.

Though he has performed well by his own measure, the woman seems somewhat disappointed. “Ok, so you can at least hold a tune and a rhythm. But the choice of song was a poor one indeed – that song is for brothels and bar rooms. We do not entertain such here.”

Windharrow then turns to the rest of the party, “Please tell me some of you can play as well?”

Quintus strides in and says, ‘Your shit out of luck lady, Tempus don’t play no stinking flute.’

Templeton frowns at the woman, "you sound like my mother. She always wanted me to practice more. But unfortunately I spent far too little time practicing and far too much time whoring and drinking… That reminds me of another tune. "

This time he plays a slow and beautiful tune. It actually almost sounds elven with a strange and mysterious grace. But then it fades away in a very sad minor key. Templeton sighs and says, “that piece is called ‘The Tears of Amlaruil’ written by a human bard long ago by the name of Danillo Than. The elven queen of the lost Isle of Evermeet was said to be the most beautiful woman in all Faerun. But she lost her king and was known as the sad queen ever since. Its a terrible tale of love, intrigue, assassination, and tragic sadness. The elves are an ancient people full of mystery and magic. I have never met an elf but have always wanted to. Tell me are there any elves dwelling here?”

Windharrow narrowed her gaze at Templeton and said, “You should stick to music of your own kind, Daltrey. Kill them!” And with that she laughed as she cast a greater invisibility spell. But all traces of laughter faded quickly as Puck reacted with a counterspell that unraveled her magic leaving an expression of great concern upon Windharrow’s face.

Templeton was now the one to smile as he tossed the bone flute up in the air towards Windharrow. As she watched the instrument arc towards her she did not see Templeton draw his hand crossbows and fire at point blank range. The bolts struck deep. One in her chest and the other in her throat.

Windharrow incredulously brought her hands up to feel the blood coursing down her neck just as an intense ball of flame exploded around her and the initiates. Puck’s fireball stopped just short of Templeton who shot the little gnome a withering glance. Two of the 5 initiates caught the full force of the blast – their charred remains breaking into dust as they hit the ground. The other 3 initiates and WIndharrow managed to avoid the full force of the flames but still were burned badly.

Kareep was next flying over the throng of initiates to land next to Windharrow and run her through with his lance. The bard staggered, blood coming out her mouth, but she still managed to command her initiates to form up and get between her and Quintus. But the wily cleric lowered his greatsword and cast a guided bolt spell. His aim was true, guided by Tempus right into the chest of the bewildered Windharrow. She slumped to the ground dead.

The initiates fell quickly but not before using a wind blast to almost knock Templeton and Kareep off the edge of the room which loomed out over the huge chasm. A quick search of the fallen cultists yielded Windharrow’s flute worth 100 GP, a pouch with 3 gems worth 50 GP each , and a platinum ring inlaid with stones worth 100 GP. The Master Party Treasure List was updated.

The next room held the 2 remaining Kenku which were quickly dispatched. With their passing the spooky sounds of their voice mimicry ceased and the party was able to guide the human prisoners out beyond the gatehouse. Templeton gave them a light stone to guide them to the surface and their freedom. Before leaving the prisoners warned the party to watch out for Kaz Hanar – she sits atop the pyramid on a flying lizard.

With the prisoners gone, the 4 tried to move the large wheels to lower the moat. It took a lot of effort far too much for Templeton – but the moat was lowered a bit. They were unsuccessful in lowering it completely, however. The group was too exhausted to continue the effort required, so they moved n to further exploring the keep. They wound their way through many simple quarters – beds, rooms, desks, tables, chairs. All very non-nondescript and with nothing of interest or value.

Finally they came to a large room which was hideous. There were 3 Kenku in the room torturing 5 more prisoners in varied an horrible ways. What made it even more horrifying was that the evil bird men were using their voice mimicry to copy the screams of pain of the poor people being tortured. The party was so angered and their vengeance was so swift against he hapless Kenku that all three were killed within 1 round of combat. These other prisoners were shown the way out and Kareep gave them his continual light stone to light their travel home.

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Further exploration brought the party to an area with a different floor. Blue marble marked this section of the complex with a human looking man with large muscles and simple tattered pants and vest digging around in some rubble. Templeton had snuck up on him and after the encouragement of everyone, he attacked with surprise to get the jump on who the party thought was yet another cultist.

Templeton took careful aim and fired a deadly bolt from Sky Piercer. It struck the man in the back staggering him forward. But with a swift response, the man spun around and looked at Templeton with an angry gaze that actually seemed to look like disappointment. With a wave of his hand, Templeton was surrounded in a swirling maelstrom of air which carried him aloft through the high ceilinged room and into the water of the moat some 80 feet away.

Templeton struggled against the water. With the moat lowered partially, it was too far up to the edge of the floor for him to get out. And a large swirling of water indicated something big was moving through the water towards him at a high velocity. Thinking quickly, Templeton used his mage hand to remove his grappling hook and rope from his pack and clamp it around a nearby stone pillar. He then grabbed a hold of the rope, pulled himself to the edge and climbed out of the water to move soaking wet back to where the group had gathered around the humanoid.

There he found Kareep with his hands up apologizing to the humanoid. Puck and Quintus had done the same. Kareep explained that he had recognized that this creature was not in fact human but was in fact a good hearted Djinn. Realizing his mistake, Templeton apologized and with some quick diplomacy smoothed the relations over enough to calm things down and speak.

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The Djinn’s name was Ahtayir and he was bound to a magical horn that had been recently blown to call him back to service. He was summoned long ago by Torhild Flametongue, king of the Besilmer dwarves. Torhild used Ahtayir to build much of the dwarven stronghold. The Dwarven King was kind to Ahtayir and never asked too much of him. He was happy to help the Besilmer dwarves. But that was long ago. Now the enchanted horn has a new owner – Aerisi Kalinoth, the elven woman who now rules the air cult temple and rules as Queen.

Aerisi has commanded Ahtayir to rebuild the entire Besilmer empire to its former glory, a task he thinks will take thousands of years. The djinn is not fond of his new mistress and hopes to be free of her. Templeton explained that the party was aiming to defeat his new mistress and would look for the horn in order to free him from her service.

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