AD&D Greyhawk Homebrew

Session #21
Inside the Serpent Mount, Part 2

Party: Alena, Gorm, Samson, Parsa, Zebak de-Sumarr, Vash Argith, Earl, Jayda
NPCs: Petrie the Gnome, Stupid Bird, Nithithil, Percy the Sage

Game date: 4th day of Wealsun in the year 576 (Oct 18, 2013)

4th day of Wealsun

With the carnage in the Serpent Mound’s cathedral fresh, the party searches the great hall and inspects everything they can find. Discovering the secret door that the other enemy forces fled through ([[Session #20 | see Session #20]]) when they first arrived in the hall, the group blocks the door and hunkers down to rest and recover spell points. Other items of note in the great hall, were a great throne of evil, covered in skulls and terrible entities that was clearly not part of the elven burial ground and an alchemy workshop table next to it. The party deduced that the enemy had not yet completed the evil artifact and was unable to determine it’s purpose even after Zebak dumped a dead ogre body on it.

Once fully rested, the party opened the secret door in the back of the hall, passed through it and began exploring the tunnel and circular room beyond. The circular room had eight stone doorways blocked by solid stone slabs that were too heavy to be lifted or moved out of the way. Once they found the latch for one slab, it was relatively easy to inspect the area behind each. The first door revealed three people. A human male ranger named Earl, a human female magic-user named Jayda and an elderly human male sage named Percy.

The three people had been trapped in the vault by the enemy a few days earlier. Earl had been carving arrows out of the bones of the dead in the vault they’d been trapped in with only a handful of rations between the three of them. Earl and Zebak became fast friends and Zebak assumed Jayda was Earl’s mate. Percy was very quiet and nerve racked and said nothing. Little time was afforded the two groups to become acquainted before Gorm opened the next tomb only to reveal a powerful mummy. The mummy’s aura caused a portion of the group to flee in terror into the cathedral. The party defeated the powerful undead creature with some effort and continued to explore the rest of the tombs in the circular room. Some were empty, but the next two revealed a beautiful elven vampire in each that looked identical. Both escaped, but one was able to drain Zebak of two levels before the party realized they were facing a vampire. The last tomb they opened did not have a sarcophagus. Only a large ceramic jar. Gorm lifted the lid off with his ten foot spear and smoke began filling the vault and the circular room. The party was about to leave as a precaution and the smoke coalesced into a ten foot tall efreet who asked, “Who has freed me?”, to which Zebak took responsibility fearing for the safety of the rest of the party. The efreet asked, “What is it you wish master?” Zebak answered, “Transport all of my friends back to Tarkhog.” Which resulted in all the party and the new members being transported back to Tarkhog with the exception of Percy the Sage, who Zebak did not consider a friend.

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Pre-Session #21
Thargus's Band of Buddies

Party: Earl, Jayda
NPCs: Percy the Sage, Caleb the Cleric, Winston the Cut-throat

On the 5th day of Patchall in the year 567, Earl the Ranger, Jayden the Magic-User, Percy the Sage, Caleb the Cleric of Heironeous and Winston the Cut-throat were gathered and commissioned by the Arch-Mage Thargus to seek out and investigate the goings on at the Serpent Mound and the corruption ensuing in the surrounding Vesve forest by the dark mage, Castamir. Each of you were chosen for your special abilities and in some cases your personal life goals that coincided with the need to take on the quest.

Thargus is a great and powerful magic-user who refers to his benefactor as “The Blue Wizard”. An enigmatic individual that no one has ever met or seen, but has a vested interest in the well-being of the Vesve Forest as Thargus says. The dark mage, Castamir has been plaguing the Vesve for months now and his enhanced ogre armies are posing a formidable threat to the balance of power in the forest.

During your briefing, you were informed of another party in the area that may have conflicting interests to your mission. They are reportedly under the employ of the church of Lothar. Should you encounter them, your instructions are to work alongside them for as long as necessary, and to gain whatever intel you can from them about their own mission, loyalties and motivations. Most importantly, is the new faith to Lothar to be trusted and are their motivations pure?

While your party was formed by an employer, you all gained a form of camaraderie over the last few weeks and had become friends who depended on one another. Your journey to the Serpent Mound was not without danger and you battled ogres, goblins and a few lesser wandering demons along the way.

Of rather serious and terrifying note was your encounter with a specifically nasty Hezrou demon, who’s seemingly unlimited darkness generation made nearly impossible to fight. You managed to flee from it after it gated in two more like itself and they began in-fighting.

Your arrival at the Serpent Mound was fortuitous in that the ogre army was not present and only one of Castamir’s small scouting parties were present outside which you were able to dispatch with relative ease and minor injuries. Inside however, you met Castamir’s dark mages and clerics of Tauralathan who were performing their dark rituals on the artifact throne in the altar room. Caleb and Winston were killed during the battle and the rest of you were forced into a tomb chamber while you attempted to retreat, only to be locked inside.

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Session #20
Inside the Serpent Mound, Part 1

Party: Alena, Gorm, Samson, Parsa, Zebak de-Sumarr, Vash Argith
NPCs: Petrie the Gnome, Stupid Bird, Nithithil

Game date: 3rd – 4th days of Wealsun in the year 576

3rd day of Wealsun

With the party exhausted, depleted and desperate, Zebak had no choice but to collapse the tunnel entrance to the Serpent Mound. While he began smashing one of two support pillars, Samson followed his lead and began pounding on the other. Zebak took his out first and laid the final blow on the pillar Samson had been working on, bringing the tunnel opening down. Zebak and Samson barely escaped the falling ceiling unscathed. Having bought some time, the party moved down into the tunnel a ways and stopped to rest for a few hours.

4th day of Wealsun

The tunnel spiraled down following the same arc as it did the way up on the outside. Inside the tunnel walls were lined with burial insets, hundreds of them stacked two high along both sides of the walls. With consideration to the longevity of the elves, this mound accounts for more than just one millennia of sylvan elven ancestry. This close to the entrance however, the insets were empty as the elves started from the bottom and worked their way up with burying their revered family members.

Once rested and restored, the party began down the Serpent Mound tunnel witnessing first hand the desecration the ogres wrought upon the ancient sylvan elf burial ground. Remains strewn about and dismantled to exhume the treasures they possessed. Nithithil, seriously distraught and upset, began furiously picking up the remains. Piecing them back together and placing them back into their burial insets. Gorm antagonized Nithithil over his emotional state around the desecration and after a warning continued only to be on the receiving end of a devastating lightning bolt for his insults and disrespect for the sylvan elven dead. The altercation was ended by Parsa’s intervention and shaming of Nithithil for his actions against Gorm, at which point the party left Nithithil to grieve.

Parsa took it upon himself to lead the party down the tunnel. At the very bottom of the rounding serpent tunnel, the party caught sight of an opening. Moving forward, Parsa tripped a trap and was crushed by a two ton square block of stone. Finding the trap release switch, the group discovers Parsa somehow still alive.

With the tunnel cleared, the party avoided setting off the crushing trap again and entered the Serpent Mound’s cathedral cautiously and discovered four ogres, two dark mages, three dark clerics, two heavily armed and armored fighters and a giant toad that was at least twelve feet tall. Stealthily entering the cathedral and taking positions behind giant pillars on either side of the great hall for as assault. The battle started prematurely and the party was forced to charge, startling the bulk of the enemy’s forces. The giant toad jumped into one of the underground rivers and was not seen again, one of the dark mages, two of the dark clerics and the fighters fled to the back of the cathedral and were obscured. The two closest ogres advanced and engaged the closest members of the party while the dark mage threw a fireball that damaged several members of the party and slew Parsa who had not healed after the giant stone block trap had nearly killed him earlier.

The adventurer’s suffered heavy casualties and were facing defeat, when Nithithil showed up fireballing and lightning bolting the enemy, turning the tide of the battle and saving the group. In the aftermath of the battle, the stunned party was even more surprised when Nithithil used a resurrection scroll to resurrect the fallen Parsa, whom he deeply revered a one of the grey elf elder race.

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Session #19

Episode 19

We find our heros regrouping in the forest. The Minotaur proposes a plan to draw out a few ogres into the woods and ambush them using simple traps to slow and hinder them. The party sets several trip lines and prepares to set their plan into motion the following morning. Well during the night a roving band of ogres came close to the camp and a battle was had. Most of the fighting involved Gorm and Parsa casting entangle, web and some sort of fire spells. Sampson fired a few arrows at the ogres before he decided it would be advantageous to climb the back of the minotaur. Sampson found himself flying through the air coming back to the ground about 30 feet from the camp. Again the party made quick work of the ogres, but not before one managed to loose a mighty bellow.

With the horde coming down the mound, Zyback lead the party safely around the mound to the opposite side close to the path up it. About 16 ogres were seen at the forests edge where the party had been and was now ablaze with fire. Zyback seized the opportunity to lead the party up the mound. The charged across the clearing and began up the path. All members began to glow, but they did not stop. Upon reaching the sumit, a guard lookout tower was discovered with an ogre still in it. He called down for the group to stop, but Zyback continued to move and took out two of the four legs holding the tower up. It came crashing down, ogre and all. The party tried to move past the wreckage, but the ever sure footed Parsa managed to slip and fall onto the ogre that had just been brought down.

The entrance to the Serpent Mound was the mouth of a giant serpent. The party continued to run and came to rest just inside the mouth. Before anything could be done, another ogre and another three headed winged thingy came out of a tent. The ogre called for the party to halt. At the same time a blinding flash of light and heat erupted in the middle of the party. Zyback noticed a wizard casting from behind another building. Rage welled up in him and he charged. His charge was met by a streak of lightning, but he would not be stopped. The party on the other hand was badly injured by the fireball and lightning bolt that just hit them. Zyback did not stop, he tore through the mage like he was there. A mighty and very frightening roar exploded out of Zyback. He turned and trashed the mage, rendering him and spot on the ground. Meanwhile the party is set upon by two ogres and a chimera. The creature breathed fire on the group just before the lightning bolt from the mage fried the creature. The breath of fire was the final blow that brought Parsa to the ground. Was he dead, almost….Almost. The party managed to kill off one ogre before Zyback came charging back. All enemies were dead yet there was something wrong with Zyback. His face was contorted into the pure image of anger and rage. Spittle dripped from his gaping maw. Gorm had decided to cast a glitter dust spell on the ogre that Zyback came to kill. The spell left Zyback blinded as well. Zyback knew there were more ogres to be slain and swung out with his axe. A solid hit brought Sampson to his knees while Gorm cast a web spell on the minotaur. Zyback raised his axe to deliver a killing blow to the enemy spell caster (Gorm) when he simply stopped. His face snapped to one of pure exhaustion. Weakness had set in on the mighty warrior.

The party is left at the mouth of the Serpent Mound. Most are very badly injured while the others are near death. 16 ogres are charging back to the mound. The group is left with very little options. What will they do……

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Session #18

Our heroes are on route to the Elvin Burial Mound called the Serpent Mound. There was little action

in this episode, but was filled with role playing and Gorm getting into trouble. During the trek to the

mound, a winged creature was seen flying over head but there was no interaction.

Once the mound was reached and Gorm was allowed to wander off, the action started. The mound

was scouted and it was found that there was a single path leading to the top of the mound where there

seemed to be a few structures. A winged flying creature was seen in the sky once more; however this

time there were two of these creatures. Gorm attempted to scout the wall alone and was spotted by a

flying creature. He was able to avoid conflict and did not drag the creature back to the camp.

The party did notice that a patrol left the mound and they decided to attempt an ambush! During the

adventure, Gorm had befriended a skunk. He thought it would be a good idea to send it out to spray the

patrol. OOPS! Ogres will eat anything. They all pulled large steal balls out and one hurdle the sphere

at the skunk. SPLAT The skunk was no more than a smear on the ground. Gorm, who just witnessed

his friend being killed, lost control and charged the ogres. And thus the battle began and was quickly

joined by one of the flying creatures. This creature had the body of a lion with wings and three heads.

All enemies were dispatched quickly and the party returned to the woods to hide and plan a new assault

on the mound.

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Session #17
a.k.a. Gorm get's caught alone and a new lead to Castamir is given.

Party: Alena, Gorm, Samson, Parsa, Zebak de-Sumarr, Vash Argith
NPCs: Petrie the Gnome, Stupid Bird, Mayor Gorel, Sheriff Colilias, Gareth Ironhand, Nithithil, Gwevaille

Game date: 2nd day of Wealsun in the year 576

With the party preparing to depart for the Serpent Mound the following day, some of the party decides to rest, equip and meditate while the other members assist with the town rebuilding.

After a few hours and just before sunset, two individuals are introduced. The elven fighter/magic-user Nithithil of the Northern sylvan elves and Vash Argith, a drow priest to Lothar. Nithithil was sent by Amarie to guide the party to the Serpent Mound in the most expedient manner and Vash sought out the party after Lothar instructed him too. Vash had information about the individual party that he could only have through some sort of divination or divine knowledge and the party was convinced that he was not there to slit their throats in their sleep.

The party bedded down for the night at the Dashing Dryad Inn, with the exception of Gorm, who continued to meditate outside of town, in the middle of a field underneath a great old tree he’d been communing with.

Around 2am, Gorm was roused from his sleep by a low guttural growl, and a fair amount of snarling coming not too far behind him. Taking action, he leapt into action and saw a wolf-thing weighing easily 500 lbs, without fur and demonic horns jutting out of it’s head.

As the wolf-beast tore into Gorm and pinned him down, Gorm’s womanly screams roused the nearby sentries of Tarkhog who came running. The beast misstepped and lost his hold on Gorm, so Gorm wasted no time in running towards the town. Yelling to the sentries to run away. One did not make it, but it did afford Gorm the chance to live. For some strange reason, Gorm turned and began swinging a Flame Blade at the wolf-thing only to take additional damage that nearly killed him. Fortunately for Gorm, the poison from the wolf-thing’s maw caused paralysis and the wolf-thing moved on to another target.

During the altercation, the wolf-thing roared a deafening roar that split the ear drums of all those present and awoke the rest of the town. By now Zebak and Samson had arrived on the scene, Zebak charged the wolf-thing and just as he was about the strike, the wolf-thing disappeared and reappeared a few yards away. After a brief battle, Parsa showed up and Magic Missled the beast to death much to the disappointment of Zebak.

The party decided to get Gizban to see if he knew anything about the creature. Unfortunately, during the inspection of the beast, Gizban nicked his finger on one of the razor sharp teeth and was accidentally poisoned/paralyzed. The party had to seek out Gwevaille, the elder priestess of Elonah in Tarkhog to hopefully cure both Gorm and Gizban. After a brief inspection, she determined that only Keoghtom’s Ointment would remove the poison and they would likely find some in Gizban’s house.

After eight hours of searching, Parsa found the ointment and returned to cure Gorm and Parsa.

By 2pm on the 3rd day of Wealsun, the party departed for the Serpent Mound while guided by Nithithil. Their journey was uneventful for many hours along the unpatrolled road North of Tarkhog and around 7pm, they decided to set up a camp for the night. A glade not too far off the road would have made an excellent place to camp for the night were it not for the dead adventurer they found riddled with goblin arrows. They looted and buried the body and gained magic armor, a magic longsword named Hell Beater, magic boots and a magic helm.

The party set off again around 6am with the sunrise and around 7am found a campsite with a smouldering campfire. There were about six to seven individuals at the camp, and their tracks led in the same direction the party was headed.

Hours of uneventful travel later, Nithithil led the party from the road and began following a path leading Southeast towards the Serpent Mound. Minutes later a shadow fell across the party briefly as a giant goat-lizard-kitty flew towards the direction they were heading.

Once the party reached the Serpent Mound, Gorm shimmied up a great oak to use his spyglass and scout the area.

The story continues in Session #18.

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Session 11-16 recap
a.k.a. Oops, the town was sacked and the villain got away

Party: Alena, Gorm, Samson, Parsa, Zebak de-Sumarr
NPCs: Brayne, Fosco Crumbuckle, Kael, Petrie the Gnome, Stupid Bird, Castamir, Mayor Gorel, Sheriff Colilias, Gizban

After defeating the ogres posted within the tiny ruined Keep of Silveraeon’s walls, the party set out for the second ogre encampment where they rescued an additional two human prisoners from the ogres soup pots.

The party finally took time to rest before venturing back to the keep to begin exploring it. Their exploring found a skinny dipping ogre in the hot spring, a fountain that bestowed enhancements to abilities, or the detraction of abilities in the case of Alena and a set of stairs leading beneath the keep.

It did not take long after descending for the party to come across a locked door with loud snoring taking place behind it. Gorm knocked loudly and was informed to go elsewhere and pleasure himself by what sounded like gruff ogre voices on the other side. Gorm opted for the antagonistic approach to cause the ogres to open the door and attack, but not before shooting flames through the crack under the door. During the battle, the bard Kael found himself hit the sleep spell that Parsa had intended for the ogres who were not affected. Once down, Parsa accidentally witnessed Fosco Crumbuckle slit the throat of the annoying bard. The party was not certain how Kael had been killed and Parsa did not say anything at that time so they looted the bard’s corpse and moved on.

While exploring deeper into the depths they encountered a cavern that was the home of a few carrion crawlers who surprised the party and gave them bit of trouble. Once taking a different route through the keeps underbelly the moral imperative of Lothar was revealed to Alena. “Go forth, smite evil, taketh their stuff.”

After some additional exploring, the party found the forge where the ogre weaponry was being created. They slew the ogres and goblins working it and were joined by the dwarven blacksmith that had been enslaved to create masterwork weapons and armor for the ogres. His name was Gareth Ironhand and he was grateful for being freed from his slavery and wished only to leave as quickly as possibly. It wasn’t until Gareth had left and the party opened the door to the next room, finding a tied up and gagged Gareth that they realized they’d been tricked and Castamir had slipped right past them.

With Gareth alongside them wearing leather armor and a hammer he’d made for himself, the party came across four ogres led by a magic-user in black, who was not Castamir. They slew the ogres, but the mage got away through a secret door. Following him briefly resulted in the party becoming very spread out. Tired and in need of rest, the party headed back to Tarkhog with the plan to visit the adventurer’s guild and resupply before returning.

But before returning, Parsa spoke to the party about Fosco’s murdering of Kael and asked if this was something typical amongst the world he is a stranger too. Once revealed, the party expelled Fosco by asking him to leave. Zebak thanked Fosco for killing Kael and ending the charm Kael had placed upon him.

Their return to Tarkhog was not a time of rejoicing, but of horror. The vision, Alena and Parsa had previously had come true and the town had been sacked. The bulk of the townsfolk had been carted off by the ogre army. Speaking briefly with Sherrif Collillias, Gizban and Lt. Garfunkle the Brave the party pieced together what had happened. They located the tracks and direction that the ogre army took back to the Keep of Silveraeon and helped get all of the remaining townsfolk to the safety of Gizban’s cellar, which had been cleaned out of the magic items and artifacts he’d collected for years during the ogre attack. The party made the fair assumption that it was Gizban’s cellar that had been Castamir’s actual target during the attack.

The next day, those that could leveled up at the [[Adventurer’s Guild]]. By 7am the next morning they had slept, meditated and prepared to head back out. Tracking the ogre army back to their lair did not take a tracker. Their route took them towards the Keep of Silveraeon, but about a half-mile South of it to a cave opening. There were approximately thirty-five ogres camped in front of the cave mouth. Which were far too many for the group to take themselves. They decided to circle around and return to the keep and explore to further.

After eliminating the ogres camped within the keep walls themselves, the party retreated North well beyond any ogre camps to rest and recuperate. Brayne still had not returned from his scouting mission and the party feared for his safety.

Once rejuvenated, the party circled around to the Southern cave entrance to check on the status of the ogre army to find that they were still there and seemed to be feasting on villagers they’d kidnapped from Tarkhog. With haste they returned once again to the keep only to find three new ogres guarding it and inspecting the contents of their soup kettle.

After slaying the ogres, it was determined that Brayne had been captured and added to the soup pot. Parsa mourned the loss of his friend and protector, but the group had to press on into the recesses of the ruined keep.

Reaching what they believed to be the end of their explorations, they squared off against dark clad priest, many ogres and a few zombie ogres. On their way out, a trap door was sprung by some unknown mechanical device and they fell/slid 300 feet to a lower level beneath the keep. Battered and bruised, they rested in the cave they were deposited after dispatching three zombies.

Moving out of their hiding place, they began to explore this lower level and found a chasm with three paths across. As they advanced they noticed on the other side a number of zombies and a giant snail. Gorm, oblivious to any danger, got the attention of the zombies and the snail, only to discover the snail had the ability to use its snot as a projectile weapon. The resulting volleys were acid based and cost the party weapons and armor. Zebak charged and engaged the giant snail in melee. It did not take long for him to enter into a barbarian rage.

Thankfully eliminating the surprisingly difficult snail and zombies, the party continued on with their exploration. Eliminating a few more zombies along the way. They came upon a large cavern with a great and terrible beast in it. The beast turned out to be a young male red dragon named Malforix and he was chained to the wall and bound. The room itself was enchanted against all forms of fire, preventing the dragon from using his terrible breath weapon.

Once freed, the party healed him and followed him out to the cave exit where the ogre army was encamped. Between the dragon’s fiery breath weapon and the party, they all made short work of the ogres. Castamir fled and his henchmen that he abandoned were slain as well.

Malforix did not wait around for thanks and lumbered off into the forest.

The party rescued 24 villagers in all and returned to the dungeon beneath the keep with night falling with the hopes of resting safely. Once settled, the party split up and left Samson to guard the villagers while the rest explored the last remaining area to be explored. Seeing only stalactites and stalagmites in the room, they closed the door and turned to go when a rust monster came around the corner. No one had ever encountered such a beast before, so they hit it with their weapons only to see them disintegrate in their hands. At the same time the door to the room they’d just left opened and Zebak was engulfed in tentacles and drawn inside. His strength was being sapped by the roper he was ensnared by until it reached such a level that he could not even hold himself up. Other members of the party faced a similar situation, until they were finally able to slay the creature.

Returning to the villagers and Samson, the party found numerous dead rust monsters strewn about and a half naked Samson grief stricken over the loss of his weapons and armor.

Loading up the villagers after they’d recovered, the party began the trek back to Tarkhog with three wagons of goods. Along the way, Gorm gained the eternal friendship of a skunk he named Jeff, after his great grandfather. Horses from the South approached and it was Lt. Garfunkle the Brave with two other mounted Knights of the High Forest on patrol. They helped escort the party back to Tarkhog where they found work well commenced on the rebuilding and fortification of the town.

Gorm and Zebak went to the Adventurer’s Guild to level and Gorm had an altercation with the guild that resulted in him being forced to leave after webbing the place.

With the immediate threat ended, the group starts lending a hand with the rebuilding. Later that day a sylvan elf named Amarie and a small entourage rode past the party with haste to the sheriff’s office. The party investigated only to find that the fiery Lady Amarie was seeking their specific aid. While travelling to their ancient burial ground called the Serpent Mound to lay to rest her dear great uncle, Galathil they discovered it had been defiled and occupied by armored ogres, undead elves and a human wielding dark magics. The forest speaks to the sylvan elves and word had spread rather quickly that the party had defeated the ogre army at Silveraeon, defeated a giant demon in Mineville and driven off Castamir. They believe the human wielding dark magics to be Castamir, a man who has plagued their people for years and now has gone too far with the defilement of their holy ground. Lady Amarie informs them that she will travel back to her home, muster all the forces she can and will meet the party at the Serpent Mound to secure it once more. But they will be some time in arriving but the further defilement of sylvan elven ancestors must be prevented at all costs.

Lady Amarie and her small entourage depart and the party begins preparations to depart for the Serpent Mound.

The story continues in Session #17.

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Session 1-9 Recap
a.k.a. The Reader’s Digest condensed version of, “Demons, ogres and plot thickening, oh my!”

Party: Alena, Gorm, Samson, Parsa, Zebak de-Sumarr
NPCs: Brayne, Fosco Crumbuckle, Kael, Petrie the Gnome, Stupid Bird, Flomodin, Pazaal, Hegrein, Castamir, Gibraal, Sir Lionas, Mayor Gorel, Sheriff Colilias

The story so far…

Flanaess Years 567-575

Picking up five years after the end of the last campaign, the newly founded faith to Lothar, the god of Light, has taken the Flanaess by storm. It has become the fastest growing religion in recorded history and risen as a major faith alongside the other greater deities. The war of darkness was brought to an end through the combined efforts of the party and the armies of all the realms of the Flanaess South of the Shield Lands as well as the Al Karak Elam, newly emerged from their self inflicted isolation. The arch-lich Tauralathan slew the demi-god Iuz and took over his lands and power base adding it to his own. The death knight, Lord Mordan was re-imprisoned by Modianteous, the high priest of Lothar and his followers and Demogorgon was defeated with the Demongate closed thanks to the party. The Great Kingdom’s reunification of the East was foiled when its Prince Argot was found to be a vampire lord bent on bringing the world under his rule and he was slain by the party’s resident archer-ranger, Gazanfer.

When the war ended, all eyes turned towards the North. Towards the lands of Tauralathan. With Iuz gone, what were Tauralathan’s plans? When would he strike? The armies of the South lay in ruins with the efforts of defeating Lord Mordan’s undead and demon hordes. But nothing stirred in the North. Nothing. Scoutings returned no word of armies massing and no sign of an impending attack. In fact, all attacks had ceased from the North with Tauralathan seizing power there. With no threat pending, no doom about to befall the realms of good and just and victory in everyone’s hearts, a tranquility befell the lands as people returned to their homes and began rebuilding civilization. Demons and undead are not an uncommon sight. Not all were slain in the wars, and a surprising number of demons both great and small fled across the continent once through the Demongate. They did not rally to their demon lord’s need, and since they passed through the gate and were not summoned, they were free to do as they pleased. It is not uncommon to find armed groups of men and women dedicated to hunting down demons and undead. Often sponsored by local lords and in some major cities are organized through guilds. It is also not uncommon to receive word that demons have amassed under a single powerful greater demon. It is now taken with a grain of salt that both the demons or undead and the groups assembled to destroy them are needed and a part of life itself.

Flanaess Year 576 the month of Flocktime

Newly raised to a full fledged priest of Lothar god of Light, Alena was summoned by her elder, Flomodin and given the task of assembling a group to travel from Highfolk to Mineville deep in the Southern Vesve Forest to investigate rumors of people’s loved ones returning from the dead and happily cohabitating amongst the living.

For this endeavor, Alena encountered and recruited completely by chance a grey elf magic-user named Parsa who was visiting Highfolk from his secluded elven stronghold in the Yatil mountains, and a halfling-for-hire named Fosco Crumbuckle from the Southern dales. Each was hired with the promise of 25 gold upon their return and given a stipend to acquire the supplies and equipment they would need along the way. Alena also gained a tiny gnome follower named Petrie the Gnome before leaving the city on the church funded expedition, but he followed behind undetected for many weeks. The group departed on the 9th day of Flocktime from the Eastern gates of Highfolk.

Reference the map of the Southern Vesve for locations.

Travelling through the Vesve forest, the group arrived at Flameflower, a thriving high elven forest town, by the 14th day of Flocktime to restock supplies and some rest out of camp. While there, they uncovered additional rumors and wary details about their destination. The grey elf, Parsa was of particular interest to the high elves of the village who recognized him for who he was on sight. Once hearing where he was headed, they insisted that he allow the accompaniment of a mute ranger named Brayne to protect him. Brayne’s hometown was Mineville and he reportedly still had family there. He would act as guide and personal guard for Parsa until their return to Flameflower.

Departing Flameflower, the group travelled for about a day until they came across an odd scene. A man on his knees at a crossroads speaking with what was must have been a devil simply by it fitting the classic description. After seeing what was clearly a deal being struck, the group attacked unsuccessfully and was forced into a dialog with the devil whose name was Pazaal. Alena made it clear her disdain for the creature, but he offered his assistance in the future nonetheless should she call his name three times.

By the 19th day of Flocktime, the group arrived at Mineville and had encountered the community leader Hegrein, a wise woman. Strange things were afoot and all was eerily unnatural. Everything. No birds or insects could be heard for miles approaching the village and everyone encountered behaved in a peculiar manner.

The local temple to [[St. Cuthbert]] was boarded up and looked abandoned for years. Upon entering, the party found two priests frozen in chant yet still alive. In a hidden basement they found what must have been all the children of the village in a similar frozen state. Investigation and reading of the priest’s journals revealed that a great evil had befallen the village. By the time the threat was recognized to be as serious as it was, there was no way for two priests to stop it. So they performed the Chant of Warding Against Infernal Damnation. This chant wards an area against any chaotic evil, non-Prime Material plane creature from entering and suspends those within in a frozen state to preserve them. It is considered a last ditch effort when all else fails and the innocent must be protected.

With the journals indicating that the mines were the source of the infernal damnation, the party decided it was time to investigate. Soon after entering, the party encountered Brayne’s grandmother and grandfather who had both died twenty years previously. Both seemingly alive and well. One thing led to another and the party killed Brayne’s grandmother only to see her transform into an acid vomit spewing and terrifying demonic hag. The party killed her after a struggle and escorted Brayne’s grandfather along with 4 other survivors back to the temple where they would be safe.

The party returned to the mines a couple of more times, encountered more villagers brought back from beyond that turned into terrifying demon hags once slain.

Exploring some of the more finely hewn sections of the mines, the party found a deep pit and a horrible stench. This was clearly the defecation room, where the workers would go rather than heading back up to the surface so they could keep working. Peering down the pit, the party realized there was something down there. A brief conversation revealed that a minotaur named Zebak de-Sumarr had been tricked into coming into the mines by Hegrein. She told him, Castamir, the man he sought for slaughtering his tribe and mate and taking his unborn calf from the womb was inside. Alena parlayed with Zebak and gained his oath of fealty in return for helping him out.

Deeper in the mines the party found a room with hundreds of human bodies hanging from the ceiling. All of them had blood sigils of Nerull to preserve them from rotting. They also discovered a man named Gregory who was working in a room filled with barrel upon barrel of a black powder that he said was to be used in the great ritual of awakening. And incident occurred with some hag women and the party discovered that he black powder exploded when set aflame.

Further exploration revealed that the great ritual of awakening would set free the giant demon, Gibraal, who laid buried deep in the mine. Soon after this, the party witnessed a fleshy orifice in the wall partially uncovered emitting a human, dazed and incoherent. Without further investigation, the party charged and slew the Gibraal cultists and demon hags, released the prisoners being held in the room and set the place ablaze. Ensuring that the blaze would not reach the room with the explosive powder before they made it out of the mine. The resulting explosion collapsed the mine and ended the threat of Gibraal.

The party took the freed prisoners back to the temple and soon dealt with the infested village. Moments after defeating the cultists, three Knights of the High Forest arrived led by a high elf named Sir Lionas. The knights accompanied the village survivors back to their garrison before they would see them to the temple of Lothar in Highfolk to be cleansed of their demon taint while the party set fire to the village and left the area with haste.

Breathing some relief, the party makes their way to a nearby town called Tarkhog to visit the adventurer’s booths and some local merchants. Long the way, they encountered the remnants of a battle site where bodies of goblins, two priests of Nerull and two Knights of the High Forest are found. Further down the road they find an unconscious woman tied to a tree. They untied her and carried her to Tarkhog with them, leaving her at the temple of Elona to be cared for. After visiting the adventurer’s booths and getting settled in the Dashing Dryad Inn, the group reported to Tarkhog’s Mayor Gorel (also the owner of the Dashing Dryad) and Sheriff Colilias the battle remnants that they’d come across not too far outside of town.

That night Alena and Parsa had nearly identical visions of a terrible ogre attack on Tarkhog that wiped out most of the inhabitants, and set the town ablaze. The next morning, Alena sent word to Elder Flomodin back in Highfolk about all that had transpired in Mineville and about her vision and intention to aid these good people. As the group was reporting their fears to Sheriff Colilias, Lt. Garfunkle the Brave stumbled into town, battered, weaponless and wearing smashed armor. He reported his patrol being attacked by many ogres at a nearby farm. They were responding to a survivor they encountered along the road and had little doubt that a patrol of heavily armed and armored knights would be more than a match for a group of ogres. What they encountered were heavily armed and armored ogres who worked in coordinated unison and with purpose. They were slaughtered.

As the party gathered supplies to go investigate, they encountered and recruit three new members of the party. Gorm, a human druid/elemental magic-user, Samson, a human fighter and Kael, a human bard. Gorm was hunting down Castamir, one of Iuz’s old henchmen who now has fealty to Tauralathan and is responsible for the slaughtering of his entire tribe. Samson was out to make a name for himself and Kael was fleeing justice in from the free city of Greyhawk (but that’s not what he told anyone).

Kael got off to a rocky start with everyone, slinging insults and attempting to kill Gorm’s Stupid Bird. He even managed to be backhanded by Zebak before any hellos were exchanged.

Having gathered their supplies and new party members they set off to investigate the farm attack.

Continued in Session #10 entry.

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Session #10 or "How many ogres does it take to wipe out a small town?"
How many ogres does it take to wipe out a small town?

Party: Alena, Gorm, Samson, Parsa, Zebak
NPCs: Brayne, Fosco, Kael, Petrie, Sir Aldred, Stupid Bird

At the end of session 9, the party had ventured away from the small town of Tarkhog to investigate the scene of an ogre attack on a farm not far to the Northeast and was poised to attack the Keep of Silveraeon where numerous ogres were reported to be gathering.

Brayne scouted the area and returned with information on three groups of ogres in and about the keep. Two campgrounds with four ogres each and approximately four ogres inside the keep walls themselves. The keep had long been abandoned and the gates had since rotted away.

Before they could venture forth, a Knight of the High Forest named Sir Aldred stumbled upon them after escaping from one of the ogre encampments. He’d no sooner told his brief tale when an ogre pursuing him crashed onto the scene. Dispatching him quickly with a combination of entangle, wall of fog and sleep spells, the party felt confident they could take down the other three who must still be at the first encampment.

Employing the same tactics they used against the single ogre, the party kept the ogres busy with their spells while Zebak and Samson took point and entered melee with the ogres as they emerged from the entangled area. There were three people tied to posts in the ground that were sent back to Tarkhog with Sir Aldred accompanying them with the intention of warning the town of the nearby threat should the party fail.

Feeling incredibly confident, the party snuck close to the keep to peer over the walls to see three ogres and three more people tied to posts near a large soup pot on a cooking fire. While making their plans for attack however, they were discovered by the forth ogre while he was making his rounds around the outside of the keep. The scout of course bellowed and alerted anyone in the area to the situation.

What ensued was a quick effort to take down the scout before the his reinforcements arrived. Gorm was hefted to the top of the keep walls so he could alert the party as to the enemy’s whereabouts. Unfortunately, Gorm fell off the wall inside the keep at the same time the three ogres from inside the keep rounded the corner and advanced on the party. What followed was a high pitched and frantic battle where sleep spells saved the day. Even after the four additional ogres from the nearby encampment showed up, the sleep spells and constant melee by Zebak, Samson and Brayne won the day outside the walls of the keep.

Gorm managed to evade one of the ogres inside the keep through the use of his entangle spell coupled with running around in circles to keep the ogre in the center most of the time.

Some noted observations:

  • The ogres were armored wearing chainmail and partial plate.
  • The leader of the ogres spoke common.
  • The ogre weapons were forged.
  • The ogres were organized.

The story continues in Session 11-16 recap.

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