Pothak: A barbarian with a case of amnesia on a search for answers and vengeance.
Thaddius: A gruff and unkempt dwarven bounty hunter. Partner to Vranash.
Vranash: A dark, mysterious tiefling bounty hunter.
Shu Mei and Shu Lin: Beautiful, mysterious twin assassins from Kara-tur.
18, Claw of Storms, Year of the Obsidian Shard (1380)
After long wait, the adventure has begun. On a comfortable spring afternoon, the adventurers received a letter from a man known as Seran Ironhand. Beckoning the players to come to Suzail, the seat of power of the nation of Cormyr, it offered them employment with the promise of great pay and adventure.
21, Claw of Storms, Year of the Obsidian Shard (1380)
After a short and uneventful journey, the first of the characters arrived at the walls of the great city.
The adventurers Donovan and Pothak, close friends and travelling companions were the first to arrive. After a brief welcome and orientation from the gate guards, they ventured into the city and toward Ironhand Manor where they met Seran Ironhand, a plump, cheerful, and very wealthy ivory importer. The two were briefed on the situation, but decided to wait to accept his offer until the others had arrived. Instead, they scouted the city to procure an adventuring charter, a required license to adventure within the realm of Cormyr.
At the adventurer’s guild, the two purchased a membership and rights to quest and accepted a job while awaiting the other adventurers hired by Lord Ironhand. The farms to the east of the city had recently come under attack by strange beings. They were vaguely elven, but had disturbingly demonic visages and bat-like wings. Pothak and Donovan accepted the job to stop the assaults and headed to the east.
Upon arrival, they met with a farmer and his family, taking cover in a ruined farmhouse. They reported that the creatures attacked every evening at dusk, striking at a different stead each night, burning crops and stealing livestock. They also mentioned that they had the ability to alter their appearance at will. The two adventures waited until dusk, but the only activity they detected was a wagon heading slowly across the plains.
They hailed and greeted the wagon’s owners, which proclaimed to be farmers fleeing from their destroyed estates, but the heroes detected a ruse and called the bluff, forcing the “refugees” to reveal themselves. Knowing their disguises had failed the fey’ri attacked in great fury with superior numbers but were dispatched quickly by the expert swordsmanship of Donovan and the mindless rage of Pothak. When the battle appeared over, another fey’ri of great power appeared. Enraged by the deaths of her companions she attacked the heroes in full force, unleashing magic of great power and delivering crushing blows, but she eventually fell to the heroes’ onslaught. With the head of the cursed creature, Donovan and Pothak returned to collect their reward and await the arrival of the other adventurers.
22, Claw of Storms, Year of the Obsidian Shard (1380)
Slightly before noon, four more adventurers arrived at the walls of Suzail, bearing the letter and seal of Ironhand. Travelling together, a pair of beautiful Kara-turan twins, Shu Mei and Shu Lin, beheld the dark tiefling Vranash and the gruff dwarf Thaddius, also travelling together, with some degree of condescending amusement. The guard welcomed them and oriented them to the city and they were soon their way to Ironhand Manor.
Upon arriving, they were escorted to Ironhand’s chamber where they met up with their employer and Pothak. Unfortunately, Donovan had fallen ill. Seran introduced himself again and, over a hearty meal of mutton, quail, potatoes and vegetables, briefed them on his offer.
“You may have guessed that I need something or someone returned to me. Well in this case, I will accept either. You see, a former servant of mine became disgruntled with me over his salary, which was more than fair, I assure you, and absconded with an item of great importance to me. I sent several trackers to locate him and it appears he has taken refuge in the ruins of Castle Kilgrave.”
After asking a few questions and receiving a bit of information, the heroes accepted his offer, but did not leave immediately. Thaddius and Vranash headed for the less reputable part of town in search of information of their new employer. Upon entering the tavern there, Vranash was assaulted by a drunken gnome. Vranash told him to wait outside, while Thaddius fought with himself to contain his unfounded phobia of gnomes. After receiving no unsettling news about Ironhand, Vranash and Thaddius headed outside, where the drunken (foolish) gnome continued his taunts and drew his dagger. Vranash and Thaddius, having little patience for the reveler, slew him with a single blow and disposed of his body in the trash heap behind the tavern.
Meanwhile, Shu Lin and Shu Mei adopted Pothak as their personal baggage handler and set about looking for an upscale establishment at which to perform. Finding the most reputable inn in the city, The Paladin’s Seat, one performed a beautiful Kara-turan dance while the other played the harp, much to the appreciation of the patrons and the proprietor. After this, they sat down to dine and attempted, in vain, to teach Pothak how to use chop-sticks. He resorted to using the sticks as skewers.
Both parties headed back to the estate where they had a bountiful dinner and were offered nice beds and warm baths, before turning in for the night.
23 Claw of Storms, Year of the Obsidian Shard(1830)
The next morning came and the group prepared to leave. After procuring the last few amenities they required, they were told that mounts would not be necessary, as Donovan and Pothak had purchased a dirigible along their own personal journeys. Although Donovan was still ill, Pothak and the others boarded the craft, and the crew set off for Castle Kilgrave.
Along the way, they were boarded by a squad of Purple Dragon Knights (given flight by their accompanying War Wizards) who requested to see their crests showing that they were licensed by charter to adventure in Cormyr. All showed valid credentials and the patrol went its way. After a few days of travelling to the north and a storm that cause a bit of turbulence but no damage, they set anchor at Castle Kilgrave, where things were already out of place.
The scouts that were supposed to great and brief them were nowhere to be found. A quick scan of the area revealed tracks that Vranash identified as troll. After a few moments of debate on their course of action, they entered the walls of the gutted keep. The only structures still standing were the wall sections, each 1000 feet long with a single large gate in the southern wall. The structures inside all were in ruins, except 2 walls of what appeared to have once been a keep.
A search of the area revealed a stairwell leading down from the keep section into what appeared to be a prison. The guard room at the bottom of the stairs welcomed them to a gruesome sight, a pool of fresh blood and marks indicating something had been dragged into an adjoining room. Furthermore, sounds of horrific rending issued from the room. Not one for subtlety, Thaddius barged into the room, interrupting a troll in the middle of a gory meal. The troll, in this case a seasoned hunter, being crazed from hunger, attacked immediately with a frightfully large cleaver, carving deep wounds into Pothak when he joined the battle. Yet, the combined efforts of the group brought the creature down, where it was set ablaze.
Upon investigating the disemboweled corpse, they identified the seal of Ironhand around its neck, signifying that it was one of the two scouts. They took the seal to return to Seran. The heroes explored the prison further, the twins doing so while invisible, eventually coming across a mysterious figure, chanting a prayer in an unknown language. Sensing an entity behind him, the figure turned and was able to see through the Kara-turan’s invisibility.
“I cannot abide these cursed interruptions!” He yelled.
Shu Mei sensed that he could see her and incanted an eldritch blast, hitting the figure square in the chest and causing him to recoil.
“Curse you, interloper!” He yelled, then cast a spell and disappeared with a loud crack.
After searching the makeshift shrine, Shu Mei discovered a curious book written in a script unlike anything she had ever seen. She collected it and met with her companions to continue their exploration.
After a short time, they came to a wall that appeared, based on Thaddius’ reckoning, to be much newer than the surrounding structures. Foregoing all subtlety, Shu Lin invoked a power incantation, causing the wall to explode inward. When the dust settled, they beheld a hidden chamber. Within the chamber were an overturned table (clearly caused by the explosion) and a lifeless body. Thaddius made haste in removing the man’s head (without checking first to see if he was still alive!) He then searched the room and found the stolen chalice.
As the heroes cautiously made their ways out of the prison, they came to a suspicious wall. A further search revealed a secret door, but no way to open it. A few more minutes searching yielded a recess on the wall near the door with magical runes. Shu Mei identified this as some sort of keyhole, yet no key was to be found. The heroes tried several more times, in vain, to open the door, then finally conceded defeat and headed back to town to collect their rewards.
What secrets lie within the book? Who was the mysterious figure and what was he doing in an abandoned prison? And what will the next adventure yield for the party of adventurers?
Session End: 29, Claw of Storms, 1380