Apocalyptica

Arrival in Red Larch
A Coming Together

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Templeton Daltrey arrived in the small town of Red Larch (9 miles north of Waterdeep) in order to check up on the investments his family has made in Thelorn’s supply company. He discovered that there has been some local trouble with The Bandits of Dessarim Valley. In order to get a good sense of a place, Templeton always visits the brothel first. So he spent some time at The Dripping Candelstick. He heard more rumors from Tess Smith of the bandits but no firm information. So he met with the town constable, Constable Harbruck who is also the town’s butcher. There he convinced the constable to sanction his investigation into the bandits describing two possible locations of where the ruffians were based. Not wanting to dirty his hands by going after the bandits alone, he spent some time drinking at the inn and the tavern looking for some hired help but finding none.

Visiting The Allfaiths Shrine he finally found some possible assistance. He met with the fair Lymurra Auldarhk, priestess of Sune and the indomitable Imdarr Relvaunder, cleric of Tempus. The lovely Lymurra was not swayed by Templeton’s advances but Imdarr introduced Templeton to Quintus Andronicus, his disciple of Tempus whom he had just tasked with the destruction of the bandits. Templeton convinced Imdarr that he and Quintus should team up to investigate the bandits.

The two returned to The Swinging Sword Inn to have some dinner when they ran into two unlikely fellows sitting in the back of the establishment drinking tea. Kareep of Goldenfields was a tall bird-man creature and his companion Puck was a tiny forest gnome. The two had come into town and first met Haeleeya in her Bathouse but finally finding their way to the constable. They were both also concerned about the local Bandits of Dessarim Valley. Constable Harbruck told them about Templeton Daltrey and marked the two location he thoughts the bandits were hiding out on Kareep’s map. Templeton wound up entering into a contract with all three companions – Kareep, Puck, and Quintus Andronicus – hiring them to help him take down the The Bandits of Dessarim Valley. He advanced each of the three 30 gold and promised 70 more gold each upon completion of the work.

After much drinking – mostly by Templeton – Kareep retired from the inn and flew up into a tree to roost for the evening. Quintus returned to his small room in The Allfaiths Shrine and Puck stayed at the inn. Templeton brought Tess Smith, the serving wench, with him to The Dripping Candelstick and entertained the fine young lady all through the night.

Templeton arrived late to the meeting the next morning at Vallivoe’s Sundries but Puck had already borrowed some coin from each party member to purchase a 100 GP pearl which would fuel his identify spell should the group unearth any items of a magical nature. Kareep managed to frighten Vallivoe and his children by removing his hood and displaying his eagle head. The party made a quick exit.

Then they went to visit the weaponshop of Feng Ironhead. This time Kareep waited outside and Templeton did the talking. He asked if the weapon merchant could fashion a clay pot on the end of Kareep’s arrows to hold acid or alchemists fire. He said he knew some good crafters who could probably do it and to return in a week for a dozen arrows.

Leaving Feng’s, Templeton led the group back to the The Allfaiths Shrine for a quick parting meeting with Lymurra Auldarhk. She was busy performing a ceremony in the temple, so Templeton wrote a letter. It read:

Lymurra, I just had to see you one more time before I left town. But you were performing a ceremony and I did not want to interrupt. You were all I could think about last night. Please accept this flower as a token of my affection. Its beauty pales before your own. May Sune continue to bless you with such flawless skin and good fashion sense. I would love to take you to Waterdeep and have my personal tailor stitch a fine gown for you but I am afraid business pulls me away and onto the dangerous roads to the east. As you know, I seek the bandits that have been troubling town. I expect the ruffians will not go down lightly and violence is certainly to follow. I will seek you out on my return. Sune be with you.

Templeton paid a young boy on the street 1 silver coin to patiently wait until the ceremony was over and deliver the sealed letter and a flower Templeton had picked to Lymurra. He will get another silver coin when Templeton returns assuming the message is properly delivered.

The party head off into the wilderness in search of the bandits along The Cairn Road to the east.

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The Bandit Camps

With his help assembled and hired, Templeton Daltrey set forth with Quintus Andronicus, Puck, and Kareep of Goldenfields to track down and deal with the The Bandits of Dessarim Valley. Templeton and Puck shared Templeton’s horse while Quintus walked alongside. Kareep flew on high making himself look like a buzzard. The group moved along the Cairn road towards the two locations Constable Harbruck had indicated on our map of where The Bandits of Dessarim Valley were hiding out.

It wasn’t long before Kareep warned them that they were getting close. Templeton tied his horse to a tree and held the others back as he snuck up to have a look. He found a an empty camp with a fire still burning. There was a large wagon with a cage on it. Inside the cage was a black bear who looked as though he had been beaten and mistreated by the bandits. Templeton also caught site of at least one human hiding and laying in wait. Assuming they must have heard the clang of Quintus’ plate mail armor, he snuck back down the trail to the group.

Quintus made no attempt to sneak he just hiked right up to the camp while everyone else sneaked up around him. Coming into the camp, Quintus yelled out, “Hail camp, I am a traveller looking for a warm fire to rest and share some game.” In response a flurry of crossbow bolts file at Quintus. Most of them ricocheted off of his plate mail armor. But one found its mark, biting into his flesh.

Quintus moved forward, drawing his huge two handed sword and cast two spells. One enhanced his armor. Another healed his wounds. From his hiding spot, Templeton had a shot at one of the bandits. He drew both his hand crossbows and moved into position he aimed left catching a bandit in the eye with a sneak attack. He went down hard blood pouring from his head. He fired the right hand at another bandit and the bolt found its mark in his side causing him to curse and yank out the bolt.

Kareep swooped out of the sky and hit a bandit with his lance, killing him. Puck unleashed a scorching Ray to severely burn a bandit. Another flurry of bolts struck at Quintus but all could not penetrate his tough armor. A couple bolts flew at Templeton who was now exposed, but he managed to dodge out of the way.

With all the noise of battle, the black bear in the cage was really riled up and smashed into the door of his cage. The bolt finally gave way and the bear leaped free off the wagon. He ran in a random direction which brought him right towards Templeton. It looked like the bear was going to run him down when suddenly the huge sword of Quintus sliced down to cleave the bear in two. The bloody mess landed at the feet of Templeton and the Waterdavian noble quickly thanked the huge man knowing he had spent his coin wisely in hiring him as help.

Just then the bandit captain broke from behind cover and charged in to go toe to toe with Quintus. The captain was able to unleash three attacks per round and viscously cut deep into Quintus. The party responded with a fly by lance attack by Kareep, a heavy crossbow bolt sneak attack by Templeton, and a magic missile by Puck. Despite that onslaught and a nice hit from Quintus, the bandit chief fought on.

He took three swings at Quintus again and this time managed to cut down the cleric of Tempus. With the brave cleric bleeding to death, Puck blasted the bandit chief with a fire bolt, Templeton hit him with two hand crossbow shots – one from each hand as he dove behind cover from the other bandits crossbows. Kareep finally swooped in to deal the death blow with his lance. The captain had been very tough but he finally went down. The remaining bandit turned tail and ran. But Puck managed to blast him with a fire bolt and burn his very head from his shoulders. Dead men tell no tales.

Kareep flew over to Quintus and bound his wounds. He dragged the huge unconscious man over to fire to rest. His wounds were deep but he would heal with some rest. Templeton did a search of the area and found a small cave which had some trash and a treasure stash. Not wanting to get his hands dirty and honestly not knowing how to dress a bear, Templeton asked Puck and Kareep if they could do the honors. Neither of them knew how either so they left the bear carcass where it lay. But they did round up all the stolen goods and bandit gear and filled up the cage wagon.

After an hour of rest, Quintus came too. He groggily rubbed his face as Templeton explained what had happened. Hungry, Quintus went over and dressed out the bear. He also tossed the bandit bodies into the cave. Quintus cooked the bear meat much to the delight of Templeton. His investment in Quintus was paying big dividends.

Puck’s owl familiar used his dark vision to stand guard while everyone else slept by the fire. The evening passed without incident. In the morning, everyone was healed and refreshed. They hitched Templeton’s horse to the wagon and set off for the other bandit camp along the cairn road. They found the hideout but it was deserted. A careful search by Remoleton found a small chest hidden away under a huge rock. Quintus easily moved the rock and Templeton plucked out the chest. He examined it for traps and found a poison needle trap. After disabling the trap, he picked the lock and opened th chest. Inside were 2 black pearls worth 50 go each and a potion.

Puck cast detect magic over all the gear gathered so far. It turned out only the potion was magical. Puck cast identify and discovered it was a potion of healing. The potion was given to Kareep with th understanding that he would most easily be able to get to a fallen comrades side should they need the healing.

The party then returned back to Red Larch and Kareep and Puck got their reward from Constable Harbruck for defeating the bandits. The wagon and all the stolen gear and goods were sold off yielding 50 gold coins for the lot.

Master Party Treasure List

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Treasure Update
Treasure Totals

A Master List of All Treasure is kept here:
Master Party Treasure List

Party Treasure Update
Game Date: 6/4/2015

Plunder from the Bandit raid along the Cairn Road.

GP:63

SP:74

CP:99

2-50 gp black pearls

Potion of Healing

Master Party Treasure List

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The Ghost in the Ruins
Templeton Cursed

Following up on the rumors of a ghost haunting some old ruins on the Red Larch trail heading northeast out of town, the party set forth in the morning. It didn’t take long for them to reach a point on the trail that Kareep knew was the place to head off. As they snuck up they saw a large cave with a partially open door in it.

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Templeton Daltrey snuck up to the door to check it out. Puck sent his owl familiar to scout some trees and bushes on the far side of the area. There the owl found a male goblin and a female half ogre hiding in the brush. Quintus Andronicus moved forward and asked to parlay. The goblin and half ogre began arguing and eventually both ran off.

Templeton found a crude noise making trap on the door to the ruins. He easily disabled it and slipped in. The crypt was dark so he lit his hooded lantern and began exploring. Everyone else came in to explore as well. It was mostly a old crypt of falling apart stone walls and ceilings built into the side of the mountain. There were only a few empty rooms but near the end was an old rusted metal door. A ghostly apparition appeared in front of Templeton and said, “Turn back. Do not disturb the master!” Templeton tried to start a conversation with him but the specter would have none of it simply repeating himself over and over again.

The specter suddenly moved and passed directly through Templeton causing him to shudder in pain and feeling a deep evil within him. Templeton felt the life drain right out of him and collapsed to the cold stone floor, blood pouring from his ears. Quintus Andronicus, surprised by the sudden attack on his friend reacted by casting a healing spell on Templeton and taking a huge swing with his sword. The blade passed through the incorporeal nature of the ghost but still seemed to do some damage. Templeton’s withered body regained some color as the healing magic bathed over him. Kareep of Goldenfields hurled a javelin but missed and Puck cast a spell but it had no effect.

The specter moved again passing directly through Quintus and he too dropped like a lead weight to lie on the floor bleeding to death. Templeton rolled out of the way just barely being missed by the huge man in plate mail falling on top of him. Templeton rolled into a crouching position bringing up two hand crossbows each loaded with a silvered bolt. He fired both weapons and just like the regular steel weapons, the two bolts passed through the creature not at their full effect. Cursing the failure of his silvered bolts to do anything special against the supernatural creature, Templeton yelled to Puck to do something big and magical against the specter.

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Puck finally complied unleashing a magic missile that slammed into the creature doing full damage to its incorporeal nature. The wispy creature dissipated into nothingness. Kareep moved quickly to Quintus’ side and administered the potion of healing to him. Color returned to Quintus ashen face and he struggled to get up, glad he was alive.

Templeton examined the rusty door and found it in needing of being forced open. Quintus obliged and bent it open. Templeton slipped into the room beyond and bathed it in light from his hooded lantern. Inside he found an open stone coffin with a skeleton inside wearing an old rusty breastplate and sword. There was also an old rusty metal chest. Templeton forced the chest open with his crowbar finding only a rotten decaying book and a tattered robe.

Unnerved by being underground, Kareep decided to leave for a breath of fresh air and to guard the entrance. He wasn’t gone long before we heard him cry out. He had been shot by an arrow. The goblin and half ogre had returned hoping that the party would be easy pickings after the specter. Kareep was badly hurt in the surprise attacks. He turned around and ran back into the crypt. Quintus ran past him, casting a healing spell as he went, and stood on one side of the door behind its cover while the half ogre did the same. Both were waiting for the other to make a move with a readied attack.

Templeton took cover behind a pile of rubble and pulled out his heavy crossbow. He viciously taunted the half ogre woman but could not convince her to expose herself. He could not get a shot at the half ogre but took a bead on the doorway looking to shoot something with a readied action. Puck excellently used his minor illusion to make it look like he was running into the doorway. The half ogres axe came down in a wild arc, dispelling the illusion but also ruining her readied attack.

Just then Templeton saw the goblin run past the door frame as he moved into position. He let a bolt fly from his heavy crossbow. His sneak attack found its mark in the neck of the goblin, spinning him around and down for the count.

Kareep then flew through the doorway and got into a position to hurl a javelin. It found its mark but it was clear that the half ogre woman was strong. Quickly assessing that her only friend was down and that she was outnumbered, the half ogre turned and ran.

Kareep used his talons to grab a hold of Puck’s shoulders and launched them both into the air with his mighty wings. From on high Kareep hurled javelins and Puck hurled spells. It was quite effective but not quite effective enough. The half ogress kept running. Quintus caught up to her and hit her with his greatsword. She grit her teeth a bit but then returned the favor with her axe. Quintus went down hard, blood pouring from his hip.

The half ogress suddenly had a glimmer of hope in her eye. But it was short lived. Templeton moved into position where he had a shot. Despite the tricky nature of the shot being through the trees, he fired through a small window and dropped the half ogress.

Kareep landed next to Quintus and used his healer’s kit to stabilize the dying cleric. After an hour of rest and patching up wounds, Quintus was back on his feet. With the situation now well in hand, Templeton searched the goblin and the half ogress. They found a ring of braided silver on the half ogress worth 25 GP and crude weapons but nothing of any real note. Puck used his detect magic spell to thoroughly sweep the cave and possessions but found no magic.

Still needing rest, Kareep suggested the party make camp close to the mouth of the cave intending to rest until dawn. Templeton Daltrey would have none of it, however. He would much prefer the soft pillowy delights of The Dripping Candelstick to sleeping out in some makeshift camp on the cold ground. So the party headed back to Red Larch.

The next day, the party stopped in at the leatherworkers. Templeton persuaded the proprietress, Phaendra Chanceril, to make a leather harness for Puck to wear that Kareep could easily grab onto and fly around. After some haggling a price was arrived at consisting of 25 gold now and 25 gold in 3 days when the harness was complete.

The group then set off back up into the mountains to find the black arrow in the skull that was rumored to be around. After some searching they found it. A black arrow piercing a white human skull and pinning it to a tree. There was black parchment wrapped around the arrow as if it were some sort of message. Templeton grabbed the paper and as soon as he touched it was beset upon by a a horrible curse. He felt as if undead were attracted to him and felt overcome by a terrible malaise.

The parchment read:
The Last Laugh
You’ll be next!
-Valklondar

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None of the party had ever heard of Valklondar. The skull had fallen away to nothing but the black arrow and parchment were still whole, so Templeton stowed them in his pack. Templeton felt horrible. He wanted to get back to Red Larch as soon as possible to try and have the curse removed from him at the temple.

Too late to head back to town, the party made camp for the evening, set watch and it passed fairly uneventfully. The only thing of note was that Templeton had nightmares all night. He can’t sleep well and keeps lurching awake periodically. None of the details of the dreams linger in Templeton’s mind, though.

The next morning everyone is ready to head back to town after Kareep scouts the area and finds nothing of interest. Templeton is exhausted however. He did get an extended rest. In game terms, Templeton has Level 1 Exhaustion. This means he has disadvantage on all ability checks.

It’s a good thing Puck is riding with Templeton. He half falls asleep multiple times on your journey home. He likely would have fallen once or twice were it not for Puck.

The party gets back to town in the late evening. The Allfaiths Temple is closed at this time of night. So they head to The Swinging Sword where Templeton is residing. No Dripping Candlestick endeavors this night. Quintus gets Templeton up to his room to see if he can sleep any better this night. Templeton falls asleep almost instantly.

Everyone else but Templeton comes back down to the larger room, tired and hungry. They sit at a large open table and order up a large dinner, charged to Templeton’s room of course. And spend some time eating and recuperating.

Thirty minutes into the meal, the proprietor of inn,Kaylessa Irkell, walks over to the table and pulls up a chair. She is a 40-ish sturdy woman with a firm demeanor, clearly a matriarch of sorts. She waits a moment while everyone finishes their bites or drinks of food and then speaks.

“Well, gentle… folk. I saw that Mr. Templeton was in a bit of a sorry state when you brought him in. I hope the road wasn’t too much for him…” And she sidles a bit closer with a smile and whispers, “You know how those gentry folk are. Not used to the hardships of exploring and rough roads, eh?”

She then leans back and continues, ‘So it has come to my attention that you folk have been asking some questions of late. And more than that, you’ve been taking action. I appreciate folk who can take action. With all due respect to our Constable, the townsfolk have forgotten the roots of this valley – they’re fraught with an ill history amongst the good.’

“I hear all the stories from the travelers moving through this here town. There’s some fell magic afoot, me thinks. I’ve heard the stories of gusts of hot wind sweeping from the hills to the east – where the breezes have always been cold. I’ve heard tell of bolts of lightning stabbing into the hills from a clear sky.

“Though I admit I ain’t seen none of it myself, I have a good ear for a tall tale or a real one. There’s something happening over these last months… and I think I know where it’s all coming from.”

She looks around to be sure no one else is listening and leans in closer, "… Lance Rock! I think there is some fell magic, some evil influence took residence there, I think… and I’m willing to bet my gold on it. Somebody needs to do something. You are sturdy, curious folk willing to take action… I’ll give you 50gp if you go to Lance Rock and rid us of that evil. What do you say?"

Puck raises his little hand over the table and asks, “pardon me, ma’am, but what is Lance Rock? Is it a fort or a tower? What had it been used for historically? If you don’t know the answer, do you think you could direct us to someone in town who might know?”

Kaylessa Irkell looks down and smiles at puck, "well, master gnome, lance rock is a big chunk of rock sticking out of the ground that, well, looks like a lance. though i’ve never been there, it’s common knowledge that there’s a small cave at the base. as far as i know, it’s never been used for more than shenanigans by some teenage boys… uh, human boys… not sure what gnome little ones do.

“the funny thing about the rock is that it ain’t like anything around it. the rock is made of one kind of stone, or so i’ve heard, and the bare stone around is something completely different.

“the old folks say it was dropped by a dragon flying up high battlin’ some enemy or other. it just dropped this chunk of stone to kill the critter it was fightin’. seems ridiculous to me. i don’t care how big a dragon gets, it can’t fly with a 30-foot chunk of solid rock.”

Kareep confirmed the Menhir’s location on his map and the party agreed to the terms of the investigation.

In the morning, Templeton awoke feeling no better, so he hired some porters to take him over to the The Allfaiths Shrine. The porters carried through the early morning mists covering the town with a few early risers looking quizzically as if there was some sort of funeral procession. Imdarr Relvaunder saw to Templeton immediately taking charge of the situation. Templeton proceeded to communicate the encounter with the specter in a weak and raspy voice.

Imdarr listened intently and then looked Templeton over, mentioning that the temple would expect due compensation, and prepared to cast the ritual ‘remove curse’. 15 minutes later, Templeton feels worlds better. Remove curse is a 3rd level spell. Templeton was lucky that Imdarr was capable of such a casting. This reflects the limit of his powers. He suggested a 100gp donation to the temple for the services.

Templeton slow stood up from his litter and stretched, shaking the evil out of his body. He thanked his porters and Imdarr. He put 100 GP in the donation box (50 GP of his own funds and 50 GP obtained from selling the bandits goods) and said, “You have my thanks Imdarr.” Templeton showed him the black arrow and the black parchment and explained everything that happened leading up to getting the curse. “Imdarr, can you shed any light on this mystery? Why would someone go to the trouble of cursing a simple arrow and leave it in the middle of nowhere? Have you ever heard of Valklondar? What does it mean? I am honestly quite perplexed. This Valklondar must be taught a lesson but I don’t even no where to begin.”

Imdarr look the evidence over. “None of this looks familiar to me, unfortunately. The curse was odd for sure, necromantic in nature. I’m not sure what any of this means either. Nor have I heard the name before… I wish you luck discovering it’s meaning.”

Templeton said, ‘Thank you Imdarr. I fear there may be more trouble ahead for us. Could I purchase some potions of healing from you? Or if you do not have any, do you know where I might procure some in town? I am looking for 2 of them. Also have you ever been to Lance Rock? The owner of the Inn thinks it may be involved in the troubles the Dessarim Valley has been experiencing of late. Do you know anything about it? Its history perhaps?’

Imdar frowned and said, “I am afraid I am manning this shrine on roation and are not from these parts I know little of the surrounding geography of local history. But I can offer you these…” And with that he procured two potions of healing from behind the altar of the shrine and offered them to Templeton. “Thank you Imdarr,” Templeton said as he handed Imdar two black pearls worth 250 GP each. “Praise be to Tempus for my health. May I use it to further his glory.”

Templeton took the two potions of healing and returned to find his friends. He gave one of the potions to Kareep and he kept the other for himself. Templeton assembled everyone in his room to prevent any sort of eavesdropping.

“Gentleman. Thank you for taking care of me during my extreme state of infirmity. When it comes to necromantic curses, I would encourage you to avoid them. They are not pleasant… at all… Praise be to Tempus for Imdarr used his power to remove the curse and I am thankful.”

Everyone noticed Templeton’s face turned grim and quite a bit more serious than they had ever seen it before, “I also am thankful for the opportunity to pay back this Valklondar for his curse with one of my own.” Templeton rubbed his hand where he first touched the black arrow. He worked the fingers slowly as if they were not fully healed. “Valklondar, I will hurt you for this. A day will come when you think you are safe and happy, and your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth…”

Templeton shook his hands and cleared his throat. “Well lads, what next? I think we are in agreement that we need to pay a visit to this Lance Rock. If it truly is some sort of nexus for the trouble in the region, perhaps it is there we will find this Valklondar. We have one more day before the leather harness is ready. I would like to spend that day finding out any more information I can about this Valklondar. Do what you will in town, get your provisions, on the morrow we pick up Puck’s leather flying harness and set off for Lance Rock.”

Templeton spent the day following a few leads to gain more information about Valklondar learning only that he came to Red Larch as a traveling pedlar and was spreading rumors about an ill omen.

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Exploring Lance Rock

After picking up Kareep’s harness from Phaendra Chanceril, the party set forth to investigate Lance Rock. Everyone went on foot with Kareep leading the way. As they grew near to Lance Rock they saw a sign reading:

Come no closer lest you catch the disfiguring plague afflicting me.
-The Lord of Lance Rock

Quintus shrugged and said, ‘Sounds like somethin we should friggin check out, right?’

Templeton nodded grimly, ‘Indeed, an intriguing calling card. Let us be cautious but approach nonetheless.’

At the base of Lance Rock, the party found a large cave opening leading to a series of tunnels. Quintus cast his light spell and Templeton lit his hooded lantern. Puck was the only one with darkvision. Not far into the tunnels, there was a human body – clearly dead – laying on the ground producing a terrible smell. Templeton approached cautiously searching it for any identifying documents or treasure.

Suddenly the zombie reached up and grabbed Templeton around the throat surprising him. Templeton reacted with lightning reflexes. He dropped his hooded lantern but before it hit the ground he drew forth two hand crossbows – one in each hand. Two crossbow bolts simultaneously buried themselves into the eye sockets of the zombie snuffing it out like a light. The creature’s head hit the ground just as the hooded lantern came to rest.

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Quintus cast a healing spell on Templeton and the bloody marks on his neck faded away. At a junction in the tunnel a box of rocks was pushed over and made to rain down upon Templeton and Quintus but both managed to dodge out of the way. Two more zombies leaped down to attack. But these were quickly dispatched with well placed crossbow bolts from Templeton and huge swings of Quintus’s two handed sword. Quintus called upon the power of Tempus allowing him to strike twice as often.

Further on a trio of 3 macabre human female zombies attacked with ghastly mini skirts and ridiculously overdone makeup. Templeton got hit hard by two of them dropping him down to 1 HP, but Quintus quickly grabbed him and threw Templeton behind him in the narrow tunnel out of harms way. Quintus then backed up into the narrow tunnel only allowing one zombie to attack at a time. The bottleneck worked well in that only one zombie could attack the best armored party member but the only one other than Quintus that had room to attack was Puck who was able to cast freezing cantrips that did not require an attack roll.
Kareep and Templeton waited patiently in the tunnel in case Quintus should fall, but he did a great job of cutting down the vile abominations.

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A side tunnel with some light led to a room with 2 iron chests. Everyone when in to check them out and a raspy voice yelled at us to get out of Lance Rock and a large number of boulders rained down on us from on high again. The empty chests were crushed but they luckily avoided harming anyone in the party. A figure from behind a peak hole quickly ran off.

Further on the tunnel opened up into a huge cavern. A robed figure was working on a pile of dead bodies on a table. Templeton dove into the room and brought up his heavy crossbow taking a bead on the robed figure yelling for Quintus to advance. When Quintus got up close to the robed figure he was distracted enough for Templeton to let off a deadly sneak attack with his heavy crossbow.

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The robed figure turned out to be a pretty tough zombie but he went down with Templeton’s crossbow bolts and the Two Handed Blade of Quintus. Kareep flew in and took cover behind the table when 5 crawling claws leaped down onto him to attack. The Lord of Lance Rock finally showed himself yelling curses at the group, but he quickly ran off leaving us to battle his deadly retinue of undead creations.

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The robed zombie went down, but the crawling claws were giving Quintus and Kareep fits. Templeton moved forward to help when the 4 skeletons in the back of the cave moved forward and revealed their shortbows. Four arrows were fired at Templeton and 3 struck the small man. Templeton looked confused as he saw the blood streaming down his chest and collapsed on the floor, bleeding to death from the nasty wounds.

What followed was a very difficult time of fighting off the crawling claws while being constantly barraged by arrows. First Quintus went down under heavy fire by the skeletal archers and attacks by the crawling claws. Kareep managed to use his potion of healing to heal Quintus and get him back on his feet. Bu tno tlong after doing so, Kareep went down as well, joining Templeton in bleeding to death. It was down to just Quintus and Puck when a near miss almost took out Quintus again narrowly avoiding last gnome standing. Quintus made it over to Kareep and used his potion of healing on him. Later Quintus was able to cast a spell on Templeton to stop him from dying.

Puck stepped forward and unleashed a barrage of magic missiles on the skeletons. He had hoped each of the three missiles would take out a skeleton. Unfortunately the skeletons were much more powerful than that. They all kept moving normally. Frustrated, the little gnome used his freezing cantrips and scorching ray to freeze and burn the crawling claws. Kareep took flight and commenced some fly by attacks using his lance on the skeletons. His lance attacks proved most effective slaying at least 2 of the skeletons.

Eventually after a long slog, all of the undead lay still. Puck directed everyone to tear apart the undead bodies and scatter them about so they could not easily be remade by the necromancer. There was some debate about whether to take a short rest in the iron chest trap room or a long rest outside the caves. In the end they made their way outside and camped within site of the cave entrance.

They spent the night binding their own wounds and nursing Templeton back to health. Upon reflecting on all they had done so far, their collective experiences took the form of 2nd level for each character.

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Ending The Lord of Lance Rock

Fully recovered from an evening of resting, binding wounds, and sharpening blades, the party woke up the following morning and made their way out of the forest back to the Lance Rock cave entrance. Quintus bravely led the way using his light spell and everyone else snuck along at the periphery of the light. At the point at which the party was ambushed by zombies last time where they dropped the rocks from on high, Puck used his minor illusion to create an image of Quintus walking through the area. Sure enough rocks tumbled down on top of the illusion and 2 zombies jumped down to attack.

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With the trap sprung, everyone surged forward and quickly dispatched the 2 zombies. Following the previous path to the large open cave, the party found some bodies of previously slain zombies on the tables in the process of being sewn back together and repaired. A dark voice called out from the far side of the room, ‘So you have returned eh? Kill them!’ A cloaked figure on the far side of the room unfurled his cloak revealing himself as the Lord of Lance Rock and pointed towards the exposed Quintus. Four skeleton archers moved forward and fired at Quintus. But between the disadvantage of long range and Quintus’ plate armor, none of the arrows found their mark. Templeton responded instantly by taking a very long shot with disadvantage and cover against The Lord of Lance Rock himself. The keen eyed crossbow expert found his mark. The Lord of Lance Rock cursed and grabbed at the bolt piercing his thigh, as Templeton hid behind the cover of the stone tables.

The Lord of Lance Rock drew forth a wand and pointed it at Quintus. He spoke a spidery word of magic and released a volley of magic missiles that pounded into Quintus. The skeletons advanced within better range and everyone took cover behind the stone tables. The skeletons had their bows readied to fire upon anyone that moved, so Puck used his minor illusion of Templeton to peak up out from behind cover. The skeletons were fooled and fired their bows at the illusion. But The Lord of Lance Rock himself was not as easily tricked. He again blasted Quintus with magic missiles and the huge cleric collapsed in a pool of blood.

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Templeton managed to get to his side and use his healer’s kit to stop the bleeding and stabilize Quintus. Kareep was pleased that Quintus had been taken care of. He took the opportunity to make a bold move, flying out into the room and getting close enough to the Lord to cast a spell upon him. The Hunter’s Mark spell allowed Kareep to deal extra damage and created a mystical connection to his quarry that gave him a bonus to track the evil necromancer. Kareep then flew back to a spot that gave him cover against the arrows of the skeletons and the magic missiles of the Lord.

Templeton and Puck worked as an effective team with Puck tricking the skeletons into firing at phantom illusions and Templeton using his sneak attack from hiding to destroy the skeletons. Kareep managed to fly over and cast a healing spell on Quintus. Back in the fight, Quintus called upon the power of Tempus and cast a Guided Bolt spell which smashed into the Lord of Lance Rock forcing him to flee.

Kareep led a careful recon of the next several caverns. The ranger used his still active hunter’s mark spell to track The Lord of Lance Rock through the tunnels following signs that only bare rock could tell. The recon eventually revealed a final cave with a huge purple tapestry in which the evil necromancer had gone to ground. Two skeletons and 2 zombies guarded him here. Templeton hid artfully in the shadows and launched devastating crossbow fire at the skeletons and zombies. While busy fighting through the zombies, the necromancer cast a crown of madness spell on Quintus. Luckily, the brave cleric shook off the mind controlling effects and charged forward to engage The Lord of Lance Rock. But the necromancer was ready for him, hitting him with a vampiric touch spell. The life was drained out of Quintus and into the necromancer.

Quintus fell to the floor his mighty sword clattering to the ground as the Lord of Lance Rock cackled with glee. Panicking, Kareep flew up and used the party’s last potion of healing on Quintus to get him back in the fight. The cleric did not disappoint. The huge man grabbed his greatsword, stood up, and brought it down hard on the shoulder of the The Lord of Lance Rock. The mighty blow nearly split the necromancer in twain.

The evil necromancer fell to his knees and looked to the center of the room where a glowing crystal sphere with a slit that made it look like an eye hung in the air above a pedestal made of severed human limbs. As blood pooled around him, The Lord of Lance Rock looked at the hovering crystal and eerily said, ‘No… The Eye!… Oh Yes… The Eye…’ and with that his body slumped forward, withered away, and disappeared in a puff of black flame. The evil necromancer’s wand clattered to the stone floor.

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Templeton cautiously approached the glowing crystal sphere trying to discern its nature but at his approach the crystal faded away leaving only the pedestal of severed arms. ‘Damn!’ exclaimed Templeton. I really wanted some answers as to what the hell is going on here. To have The Lord of Lance Rock and that crystal thing vanish before our eyes in that fashion is greatly disturbing indeed.’ Templeton looked closer at the remaining pedestal of severed arms. ‘Hmm… There is something in here. Puck take a look at this. Its a bit too messy to put my hands in there.’

Puck approached carefully and used his mage hand spell to telekinetically extricate a leather bound book from the pedestal. The strange tome had what looked like an eye sewn into the leather of the book.

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Templeton searched behind the purple tapestries and found a sack of 165 silver coins and another sack of 78 gold coins. He also found a pouch containing 4 highly polished jet black gems worth 50 gp each and a small glass globe. Puck used his detect magic ritual to determine that the book, glass globe, and wand were all magical. Puck then cast his identify spell to determine that the wand was a wand of magic missiles, the glass globe was a driftglobe, and the leather bound book was the Lord of Lance Rock’s spellbook.

The Spellbook contained the following spells:
1st Level:
Mage Armor, Magic Missile, False Life, Ray of Scorching

2nd Level:
Crown of Madness, Misty Step

3rd Level:
Animate Dead, Vampiric Touch

Templeton frowned and asked aloud, ’What’s next gentleman?’

Quintus spoke up, ‘Actually the err whatchmacallem plan is ta head back to town, have a good stiff drink in honor of our um fallen foes and the battle they fought then go talk to whatshername… Kaylessa.’

Puck looked up from his new rather engrossing reading material and said, “I think we should have a quick look at the area we didn’t explore. Perhaps we might find some more answers about who the necromancer was and what that orb was.”

Kareep chimed in, ‘I agree with Puck about the other part of the cave. Perhaps Templeton could give these tapestries and cabinets a good look over as there might be a clue as to their manufacture. See if you can we judge by wear and mildew if the curtains and cabinets have been here a long time or are they new to the cave.’

Templeton looks up at Quintus and pats him on the hip (he can’t reach his back). “A stiff drink? What an excellent notion Quintus! But why wait until we get back to town? Its always a good time for a drink.” From out of nowhere Templeton produces 4 silver goblets and a bottle of wine. He deftly fills each vessel and hands it to each character. “Drink up lads. Here’s a toast to our first major victory. This Lord of Lance Rock was clearly a major villain with plans to do something evil with all of his undead minions. Often these lone necromancers stew in their own insanity and read too many books about the dark magics. It consumes them. However, this one was different. This crystal orb that vanished is troubling indeed. It could mean some greater involvement beyond his own diabolical machinations. I wish we knew more about it. I am a man who likes answers. And they seem to be sorely lacking here. I agree with Puck. Let’s explore the rest of the complex and then head back to Red Larch and speak with Kaylessa. Perhaps she might be able to answer some of our questions.”

When the wine is produced, Puck says with raised eyebrows,“here?! Why don’t we wait until we’ve completed our tasks here.” Puck looks at his goblet filled at wine. “Well, maybe just a sip….”

Kareep stops Templeton before he pours and a cup for him and says, “No thanks. I am not in the mood while we remain in this foul place.”

Templeton takes a long stiff draught, wipes the back of his hand across his lips. He smiles and looks around, “Trust me Kareep. This place looks a lot less foul now. Its amazing how a little wine can really brighten your day. Be damned all the necromancers and evil! You shall not keep me from my wine!” Templeton looks around at each of you and then frowns and says, “You gentleman are extraordinary comrades in arms. However, what I need now is some attention from the young ladies of the Dripping Candlestick. All of this evil slaying has left me hungry for hot cockles and some serious Mollicking if you catch my meaning! The warm beds of Red Larch await. We mustn’t tarry too long…" Templeton suddenly turns his head and looks at the tapestries, “Hang on a minute lads, look at this…”

Templeton investigates the tapestries, attempting to gain some clue as to their worth. At first, upon closer inspection, Templeton realizes they are actually in fairly poor condition. Patches are threadbare, loose threads hang about and splashes of dried blood are scattered about. Perhaps someday in the past, they had some monetary value. But, by Templeton’s estimation, they are essentially worthless now – probably only good for keeping somebody warm if they were to awkwardly roll themselves up in one.

Templeton is about to walk away shaking his head at the shame of the waste when something catches his eye. Some hint of a pattern. He steps back, tilts his head, moves up close again, taking a closer look. He has a hunch.

He quickly walks over to one of the zombies and finds an arm that has seemingly been stitched onto the corpse by the necromancer. Perhaps the corpse had originally been missing an arm? In any case, with a cloth over his mouth, Templeton pulls at the stitching, releasing a long thread… with a strangely purple hue.

Once loose, Templeton walks back to the tapestry and compares the thread to the tapestry material and nods his head. “Yes, the necromancer has been removing threads from the tapestries for his macabre creations. And there is something else…”

What had initially seemed like random pulls of thread becomes clear to Templeton that they have been pulled to create a negative pattern on the tapestries. In fact, Templeton can now clearly see that the same sigil floating above the orb is clumsily, but effectively etched into the tapestry. Templeton then moves about the room looking for other patterns and identifies four other rough patterns repeated throughout.

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Templeton smiles, “Ah ha… See what a little wine can do Kareep? It clears your senses and let’s you take a closer look. Most excellent.”

Templeton takes out his quill, pen, and inks and will sketch the patterns to document them for later. He also likes the idea of having Puck study them so that he can recreate them in illusionary form later suggesting it to the little gnome. The symbols do not seem to represent any religious or arcane meaning that any of the party had seen before. But perhaps someone else back in Red Larch might be able to help.

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The Great Sinkhole of Red Larch
What the Hell is Going On? Look at that huge hole!

After a short rest of 1 hour, the party worked their way to the front of the caves under Lance Rock and explored the last bit of the tunnels that they had yet to visit. Templeton led the way sneaking forward until he came to a grizzly site. Many fresh bodies and bones and terrible things lay strewn about in a cave. Nothing moved and all was quiet. Holding back his nauseau from the foul stench, Templeton Daltrey trained his crossbow on the corpse on the top. He did not want to be fooled again by a zombie lying in wait. He fired his crossbow and it thwacked into the body with a nasty squishing noise. The dead body did not move. However, a few moments later some bones beneath the pile began to move. Three skeletons arose from the pile of putrescence as if to attack. Templeton yelled a warning about the coming skeletons and made a hasty retreat back down the tunnel to a more defensible position and hid behind an outcropping of rock.

The other party members moved into position as well. Quintus Andronicus stood ready with sword drawn blocking the passageway waiting for the skeletons to come to him. Puck also moved into position readying a spell. Kareep of Goldenfields readied a javelin and flew back. The first skeleton to emerge from the darkness was met with a sneak attack from Templeton’s heavy crossbow. Scoring a critical hit, the bolt went clean through the skull, pinning it to the cave wall bringing up eerie memories of the skull and arrow found with the note from Valklondar.

Puck cast a spell but the remaining skeletons resisted. Kareep hurled a javelin and hit his target but it was not enough to bring the skeleton down. Both skeletons drew back their bows and fired at Quintus. The cleric’s plate mail armor proved too much for the bony archers and the arrows missed their mark. Templeton then jumped into the passageway drawing forth both hand crossbows and firing. The point blank bolts smashed the skeleton into pieces that fell away to the ground. The last skeleton was then dispatched by another javelin of Kareep and the freezing cold magic of Puck.

With the cave system now clear, Quintus and Kareep under the direction of Templeton and Puck carried all of the zombie and skeleton bodies and various body parts from all over the cave system into this final cave and heaped them upon the grotesque pile. Kareep flew outside and gathered up some dry wood and stacked it in the room. Quintus tore down the tapestries and hauled them to the room to add them to the pile. Templeton used a vial of oil to coat the huge pyre.

It was a lot of work taking many hours to complete, but everyone agreed it was the right thing to do. Lance Rock must be cleansed. Quintus said some prayers to Tempus to send the spirits of the dead on their way and Templeton tossed a torch onto the pile of bodies, wood, and oil to set it ablaze. It caught quickly and the tunnels filled with acrid smoke. Everyone left and marched a good distance away before night fell and camp was made.

The evening passed without incident and everyone got a good night’s sleep. In the morning, the group set off for Red Larch and returned as the sun was beginning to set. Kareep of Goldenfields found a nice roost outside of town and watched the roads going in and out of Red larch. Everyone else made their way to the The Swinging Sword Inn. There they found Kaylessa Irkell eager to hear news of their deeds. Templeton Daltrey told the story of The Lord of Lance Rock and what was found in his caves. As proof of the Lord’s demise, Puck showed his new spellbook and wand to Kaylessa. She shuddered at the grim items and thanked everyone for their work. As agreed she gave the party 50 GP and a huge feast to celebrate their victory.

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Templeton showed Kaylessa the symbols they had found that were made by the Lord of Lance Rock but she could make no sense of them. Everyone ate well and turned in that night for some proper sleep in a nice bed. The next morning Templeton checked in on Kareep’s exploding javelin progress at the shop of Feng Ironhead. The weapons were not yet ready. But progress was being made. Templeton checked in with Endrith Vallivoe at his shop to see if there was anything new for sale (which there wasn’t) and asked him about the symbols found with The Lord of Lance Rock. Vallivoe knew nothing about them or where to find out anything more. Templeton, Puck, and Quintus collected Kareep from his roost and went to talk to Imdarr Relvaunder at the Allfaiths Temple. Templeton showed him the disturbing iconography of The Lord of Lance Rock. He was unable to identify anything about them but counseled further investigation. Templeton purchased 3 Potions of Healing from Imdarr and gave one to Kareep and one to Puck, keeping the third for himself. (The Master Party Treasure List was updated.)

On their way to speak with Constable Harbruck something very unexpected indeed happened. The ground shook and a huge sinkhole opened up in the middle of Red Larch. A number of young children fell into the hole as it opened up beneath them. A woman cried out and ran over to try and help. The edge of the sinkhole gave way and she disappeared down into the darkness below.

Templeton was the first to act. He ran up and tied his rope around a sturdy beam of a nearby porch and ran towards the hole. Puck and Quintus followed and Kareep flew down right into the hole to see what was going on. He found the hole went straight down some 30 feet and then opened up into a larger cave. He used his new driftglobe to shed bright light and push back the darkness. Kareep found the children in a mound of soft dirt. They were shaken up but not harmed by their fall. The woman, however, had not been so lucky. She had landed badly on a less forgiving surface. She was seriously hurt and had fallen unconscious from the bad fall.

Templeton ran to the hole and leaped down swinging in on the rope to break his fall. At the completion of his acrobatic move, he safely reached the ground and immediately assessed the situation. Templeton securely tied one of the children to the rope and yelled up to Quintus to haul the boy up. Kareep took the woman gently in his arms and flew up up and out to safety. Quintus then hauled up the young lad on Templeton’s rope. Puck went into a trance and began seeing through the eyes of his owl familiar. The owl flew down into the sinkhole and began to explore the large cave beyond Kareep’s light using his darkvision. Puck saw a door and a passageway leading out of the much larger than expected cave.

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Between Templeton’s rope and Kareep’s wings, they managed to get everyone to safety. But then another very unexpected thing happened. Out from the crowd of townsfolk that had assembled to view the spectacle and lend their aid, three of the town elders seemed to be trying to take control of the situation. Albaeri Mellikho of Mellikho Stoneworks, Ulhro Luruth of Luruth’s Tannery, and Ilmeth Waelvur of Waelvur’s Wagonmakers were shooing people away from the sinkhole and directing Albaeir’s stoneworkers to start filling the hole with stone. When confronted by Templeton as to why they would do this, the town elders were all very evasive. The elders seemed like they knew something and were trying to cover something up literally and figuratively. Finally Constable Harbruck arrived and Templeton used his silver tongue to talk some sense into the constable. Due to the party’s successful previous ventures, Harbruck seemed to have faith in us. He ordered the the elders to stand down and stop filling in the sinkhole. He also allowed the party to investigate the Great Sinkhole of Red Larch to see what was down there. If there were no further threats posed by the caves beneath, the sinkhole would be filled in. Using the ropes already in place, the party quickly descended into the sinkhole to begin their investigation.

The main cave held something of interest right away. There were two cloaks hanging on pegs and lots of human tracks showing that the area was recently used. Folk had been down here not long ago. There was also a stone door set into the eastern wall and a passageway leading off to the north. The party followed the passageway first finding it gradually sloping up towards the surface. It ended with an area of wet sand with torches stuck into the sand below a trap door in the ceiling.

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Deciding to deal with the trapdoor later, the party turned back and made their way back to the stone door in the main cave. It opened rather easily revealing a tunnel leading into the darkness. The tunnel came to a three way intersection with 2 stone dwarven statues at the intersection. No traps or secret compartments were found on them but the carvings were clearly quite ancient and had been here a long time. Following the passageway to the left at the intersection going north, the party followed a winding tunnel which went through an area with the remains of some humans that had been eaten down to sinew and bone by some giant rats. The rats looked up from their dinner but Quintus clanged his shield against his plate mail and scared them away.

The room beyond held a black stone hovering 3 feet off the ground. The Black Stone was 1 foot diameter and 1 foot tall. The party eyed the stone warily but decided to contiue on their way.

The tunnel continued down to a larger room in which was a larger dwarven statue stood in the center of the room. Two doors were also in this room one on the east wall and the other on the west wall.

The dwarven statue was broken and held together with some wooden braces. It also had a small wooden plaque that read:

Petrified Ironstar (?) dwarf, found 1459 DR in Red Larch West Quarry in broken condition.

The date was only 2 years ago. The statue was newer looking and clearly brought here from somewhere else. The statue was surrounded by a ring of gravel. Inside the ring of gravel were copper, silver, and gold coins, 8 gems, and a dagger.

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Exploring The Great Sinkhole of Red Larch
Delvers and Believers

Templeton listened at both doors in the room (eastern and western wall). Templeton heard some voices beyond the western door, the opposite was silent. The dwarven statue was examined. The treasure included copper, silver, and gold coins and 8 gems. A well crafted dagger was also found. The ring of gravel carefully laid down around the treasure was purposefully kicked by Templeton. As he did so crossbow bolts fired out of the darkness from the northern passageway to strike him in the chest. He heard a voice from the darkness call out, ‘We are the bringer’s of woe’. Templeton went down on one knee gripping his chest and calling for help. Quintus moved forward and cast a healing spell on his friend. With strength renewed, Templeton ran forward and shut the door.

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Everyone gathered around the door until it was opened again. This time bolts flew at Quintus but his armor protected him. Four bandits were chased through the tunnels in a game of cat and mouse. Three were slain and one was captured and tied up. Before he could be interrogated, Puck’s owl who had been left to guard the western door (the one with the voices) warned of the door opening. The party made its way quickly back through the long tunnel to the room with the dwarven statue but it was too late. Puck’s owl had been slain.

Kareep flew up and grasped Puck’s leather harness with his talons. He then flew down the passageway at high speed. This brought Puck to the battle much faster than his little legs could have carried him. There they found a huge half orc and three more bandits. The battle was viscous with Kareep taking a beating at one point and using his healing magic on himself. The half orc swung a huge mace very hard. But Puck’s magic made the difference. First he chilled him to the bone making the half orc attack with disadvantage. Then he shredded him with a Thunderwave spell.

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Wanting another prisoner to interrogate and get answers, Templeton affixed a blunted bolt to his crossbow and used it to knock out the second to last bandit. The battle came down to one of the bandits remaining who chose to flee. But before he ran off he shot and killed his own unconscious ally. Quintus ran after the fleeing bandit with Templeton yelling ‘Take him alive!’ Quintus ran into the next room and came face to face with the bandit who had a scimitar to the throat of a small boy who was pinned under some rocks. The bandit threatened to kill the boy unless Quintus backed off.

Quintus lowered his sword and then yelled a command spell at the bandit to compel him to flee. The weak minded bandit fell prey to the spell. He dropped his scimitar and turned to flee. As he ran off a sharp thwack of Templeton’s crossbow sent a blunt bolt smashing into the back of the bandit’s head rendering him unconscious.

With the last of the enemies down and out, Kareep went back to collect the first prisoner that was left tied up. Templeton and Quintus removed the rocks pinning the young boy and freed him. He was scared of Quintus and was clearly beaten, hungry, and thirsty. Templeton Daltrey has a soft spot in his heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things so he took the young boy under his wing. Templeton gave the boy food, water, and a warm blanket to ward off the chill of the cold damp rock. Templeton’s silver tongue reassured the boy and got him to talk quite a bit about his predicament. The boy’s name was Braelen and he lived in Red Larch. He had failed to deliver a message for his father, Rother. As punishment Braelen was brought down here. The half orcs name was Grund. Grunf worked for Rother. Braelen described his father as a Believer.

It is unclear exactly what The Believers are but when pressed it seemed Braelen was loyal to them and wanted to aspire to be one and follow in his father’s footsteps despite his terrible treatment at his father’s hands. Braelen also identified the leader of the bandits as LaRock. The bandits all were wearing a symbol on their shirts under their armor which looked like a triangle with a line in it.

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Braelen identified the symbol as belonging to LaRock. There was also an inscription on one of the stones that read:
Displease not the Delvers.

Meanwhile Kareep found the other captured bandit covered in rats. The poor man had been devoured by the foul vermin. His eyes were gouged out, his throat was torn open, and blood was everywhere. One of the rats even had his tongue in its mouth and was chewing on it.
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In disgust, Kareep let fly one of his javelins and killed the rat. Protecting their own, the rats swarmed and attacked tearing out feathers and injuring Kareep greatly. The bird man cried out and flew away at top speed. Hearing his call for help, Quintus and Templeton left the boy under the watchful eye of Puck and went to go help Kareep. They found him a tangle of blood and feathers but he was whole. The rats had given up the chase and gone back to their easy meal of the bandit. Kareep used the last of his magic to heal his wounds and everyone returned to speak with the boy some more.

A short rest was taken where wounds were bound and Puck used his identify ritual to determine the properties of the enchanted dagger. Its name was Reszur. It was a +1 dagger that can shed dim light 10 feet on command. It also had the curious property of making no sound when struck against any object. Tapping it against the stone floor yielded no noise.

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Temple of the Floating Stones

The party completed their exploration of the large area beneath the town of Red Larch. The bandit prisoner of the “bringers of woe” bit his own tongue off in order to avoid interrogation. He was also fanatical enough to kill himself to avoid further capture. Kareep of Goldenfields flew young Braelen up to safety and left him in the care of Constable Harbruck. The constable was quite confused by the goings on and demanded answers. Kareep obliged with middling success and then promptly flew back down into the sinkhole to join his friends. The party encountered an old man by the name of Baragustus. He claimed to to be one of the town elders and was very evasive with our questioning. He was clearly one of The Believers. He was quite upset calling the underground area the “temple of the floating stones” and wanted us to leave. He explained that the stones are interpreted and provide guidance to the elders and to the town in general. He explained that the bandits were LaRock’s men. It was unclear how tightly aligned they were with The Believers. LaRock himself was encountered in the temple of floating stones. He turned out to be a powerful wizard who used slow and shatter spells to great effect against the party. However, the party proved too much for him to handle, and after becoming greatly wounded, LaRock retreated down a secret passage. He promptly caused a cave in which sealed off any possible pursuit.

Disappointed he got away, the party went up the trap door near the surface and discovered some blood on it. All the bodies of LaRock’s men had been taken away. Templeton suspected that they were brought up and out through the trap door. Quintus popped u pout of the trap door and found himself in a small shed on the edge of town. Templeton found tracks leading off our of town. Kareep tracked the traces of blood and found that they led to a quarry. The trail ended at some huge pieces of rock. Templeton suspected that the bodies were crushed and effectively hidden under the rock.

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The Manticore Hunt
Holy *&$%# he just threw her off the tower!

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The party spent 175 gold coins to purchase two potions of healing and 1 riding horse. The Master Party Treasure List was updated. One potion went to Kareep and the other to Puck. Quintus told everyone about needing to get the body of a fallen hero to Summit Hall. Templeton was seeking Bruldenthar and her books. Puck and Kareep were looking for an elven girl who had some magic beans. All of them were missing from the Mirabar Trade Delegation. Guratra Darkeyes had told Templeton that the Mirabar caravan was last seen in Beliard and had gone south. Bruldenthar’s book turned up in Womford. So Templeton thought there should be some sort of trail between the two locations to investigate. But reports by a local shepherd of bodies hastily buried nearby needed to be investigated as they could be related.

The party left Red Larch being guided by Larmon Greenboot, the shepherd who had seen some fresh graves outside of town. Templeton’s suspicions of the graves being related to the Mirabar caravan disappearance proved true. There were 4 graves. The first grave belonged to a male dwarf who looked like he was an artisan. The second was that of a human female who was clearly a warrior. She wore a red coat with a black axe embroidered on it – the code of arms belonging to Mirabar. The third body was human male with a black cloak and stony armor. The symbol associated with LaRock was on his shirt.

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The fourth body was a human male with white robes and black feathers. In the distance the party could see Feathergale Spire rising up out of the mountains. Templeton Daltrey had heard of the place. It was the stronghold of the Feathergale Society, a group of rich Waterdhavian knights who enjoyed flying mounts. The party decided to travel to the spire to see if the Feathergale Society knew anything of the Mirabar caravan’s disappearance.

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Savra Belegata met the party at the gate and Templeton convinced her to let them in and speak with her captain. Thurl Merosska did not recognize any of the dead folk nor had any info regarding the missing caravan. But he did seem to be hiding something. He invited everyone to dine with them at a feast that evening. There Templeton bragged about the party’s exploits and Thurl was impressed. He invited the party to join the knights in a Manticore Hunt. The creature had been sighted flying nearby Feathergale Spire.

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In one hunting party Templeton and Quintus mounted Hippogriffs and Puck was carried by Kareep. In the second hunting party 4 Feathergale Knights rode giant vultures. Flying through the mists that filled the canyon, Templeton’s hunting party spotted the Manticore first. Templeton fired his heavy crossbow and scored a hit on the large creature and then guided his hippogriff into a flanking maneuver. Quintus blew his horn to alert the other hunting party and then cast a guided bolt spell and really hurt the manticore with a critical hit. He then moved to the opposite flank. Not wanting to get surrounded the Manticore tried to fly away but not before unleashing a barrage of spikes from its tail at Quintus. Templeton flew up and drew both his hand crossbows and unleashed them at the same time. One sank deep and the other missed. Three manticore spikes came his way. A quick shield spell thwarted two of the spikes but the third managed to hit its mark. The Manticore continued to fly away but the hippogriffs were faster. Bu the manticore’s spikes were deadly and it was hard to hit. Kareep and Quintus both had to use healing magic to keep us in the party in the hunt. Puck acast a frost bite spell to finally slay the manticore as it dropped out of the sky in an icy heap.

Quintus cut the head from the beast and brought it back to Thurl as proof of the deed. There was much feasting and celebrating after the hunt including including Thurl Merosska gifting a golden ring worth 250 GP to Puck who delivered the killing blow. The Master Party Treasure List was updated. Everyone went to bed and had a great restful sleep. The next morning Savra Belegata visited the party’s room and was clearly impressed with Templeton’s tales of the party’s brave exploits and success on the hunt. She wanted to invite us to join her order. Templeton managed to get her to talk a little more and she let slip that the Feathergale Society was working with some Hurricaine Monks who were teaching them mastery over the elemental air.

After breakfast Kareep mentioned the invitation to Thurl and made a vague but rather accusatory reference to the hurricane monks. Thurl Merosska was obviously angry with Savra Belegata. He said that only one of the group could possibly join the order and that was Quintus but he doubted whether or not any of the group had the heart for it. There was a tense moment where Thurl clearly slighted Templeton and Puck for their small stature and Kareep for being a weird bird man. After Kareep again made reference to something else going on in the tower, Thurl was even more incensed claiming that he had only shown grace and hospitality to the party. Templeton smoothed out the ruffled feathers and calmed everyone down. The party said their good byes and made to leave. But Templeton noticed that Thurl grabbed Savra and brought her upstairs.

Hoping to learn more, Templeton cast Disguise Self on himself to look like one of the Feathergale Knights and snuck up the stairs to follow the pair. He found them arguing on the balcony. At first he could not hear exactly what they were saying, so Templeton used his illusion magic to create a higher railing on the staircase to hide behind. Thurl made reference to the Hurricaine Monks and it was clear that Savra should not have spoken to the party about them. Templeton watched as the argument turned violent and looked in in disbelief as Thurl actually picked Savra up and hurled her off the tower to plummet to her death on the rocks below.

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