Dalelands

Dalelands, Session 39

Apparently the lower levels of the mines have been flooded so going any deeper seems impossible at the moment. So the group focuses their attention back on the high priest of the Devourer. Museo offers the group to take them to the audience chamber. When asked about the high priest's victims she tells them that none of the sea elves are really prisoners. Only traitors are supposed to be sacrificed. Mord Morden usually takes care of that.

Museo offers the group a potion to breathe underwater. Sadly it's of Sahaguin making it taste horrible. Also it affects Nimue like poison for some reason so the group has to drag her along while swimming below the surface. Museo guesses that's because it took the Devourer's help to make it.

Finally, the adventurers reach a hall underwater which is filled with an air bubble. Sadly the high priest isn't there, but Mord Morden certainly is. A greenish portal towers over a throne on which he awaits the arrival of the adventurers. Two assassins flank the door and some sea elves stand guard on the sides. A ritual circle glows ominously in the middle of the room.

Mord is curious about the high priest's reason for wanting Nimue dead. Also he admits having been paid by Aumersair, the fake mantle king, and mocks the heroes to fall into his trap that easily. Aumersair, as Thana knows, was the name of a famous noble family which had governed Scardale long ago.

Nimue drinks from a potion of divinity after entering a ritual circle which Mord may have wanted to use against the group.  Her body shifts into a dark fey version which takes Mord aback. Kerrick displays the bone dagger which he has pilfered. He tries to arouse Mord's suspicions against Aumersair that he obviously harbors. Meanwhile, Nimue sabotages the portal destroying it and one of the blood wells at the side.

Kerrick offers Mord the bone dagger in exchange for Mord introducing Aumersair to it. Mord accepts and teleports away, after listening to Kerrick suggesting Kesla betraying him.

Lesser demons appear from the blood. In the place of the portal a shadowy image of the high priest  appears threatening Nimue. Apparently he's a bit miffed about the loss the portal. Sadly he proves to be more than a ghost who can also attack people with his spectral harpoon. He also summons a demon in the summoning circle which Shiel engages.

He viciously mauls Shiel assisted by his lesser demons. Kerrick tries to convince/coerce the watching sea elves into switching allegiance to the group. The one which he convinces is summarily backstabbed by one of the assassins however.

Shiel uses his psionic powers to warp time around him in an effort to keep the demons close to him as attacking allies will be painful. Nimue hits the shadowy high priest with one of her mighties thunder spells and drives him into the remaining blood fountain destroying it.

The demon and assassins prove no match for the rest of the group which relies on Thana's powerful wards to stave off most of the dangerous wounds. Nimue reverts to her "normal" state, the wings have disappeared and left horrible wounds. 

Will even Thana's healing powers be able to restore a semblance of (un)life to her? The potion of divinity certainly has wrought some weird changes on her.

 

 

 

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Dalelands, Season 38

The chool leads the adventurers deeper into the mine. When they reach a bigger cavern, one of the dwarves starts babbling about hearing voices. A familiar stretch of rotten flesh crosses the otherwise rocky floor. At the other end of the cavern lies a broken down mining cart next to a large human head which might be the remnant of a statue. In the mining cart lies a greenish glowing gem. Suddenly a mass of putrid flesh detaches from the floor. It is a horrible abomination with lots of eyes and mouths which babble incoherently and long tongues protuding from them – a gibbering mouther!

Also it seems to be accompagnied by several mishappen dwarves! Baim's fighters which are with the group recognize them as hated enemies – derro!

The gibbering mouther entangles Thana with his appendages and tongues and lets out some screeches which people hear as cries of a baby for her mother. The derro try to pepper the adventurers with crossbow bolts but don't really cause much harm while Kerrick decimates their ranks.

The gibbering mouther emits a warping zone of chaos which causes the terrain to blur and shift making getting close to it difficult. Museo helps out the group with weird but inspiring songs.

The greenish stone psionically assaults the attackers' minds trying to get them to move onto the floor of flesh. A few of Baim's dwarves stumble in this dangerous area but don't sink in. Nimue and Kerrick manage to assault the mouther which shrieks angrily. The warping effect intensifies encompassing the whole cavern!

The derros are enraged about the adventurers attack "the baby" and intensify their attacks.

During the fight, green dwarven shaped ghosts materialize from the green gem, their spectral voices begging the heroes for help! One of the derros keeps trying to push Shiel into the rotting flesh but he stubbornly keeps on solid ground and a bizarre struggle ensues.

Finally the derro fighter and the gibbering mouther are slain. The remaining derros scream bloody murder and keep fighting. Apparently it's hopeless to try to calm them down so the battle continues.

After the remaining derros have perished, the group turns towards the pleading dwarves. Shiel summons Hedistrin and asks her advice about how to free the dwarves. Hedistrin tells them that the stone is indestructable to weapon and magic and that it has been touched by the far realms. Apparently the dwarves were influenced by it into killing each other in a fit of madness. For now,  Kerrick puts the stone into a bag of holding and the group decides to find a sage for advice how to remove its curse.

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Dalelands, Session 37
Manic Miners

Kerrick tries to get in contact with Kesla, the master forger from the Treskeden merchant coster. Information is spare and the "middlemen" demand quite a sum of money. Thana knows of a rival company which deals mostly in natural products which may yet be of help.

The plans to decorate the temple of Chauntea with the goddesses representing all four seasons seems to take form. Rondra seems to be attracted to posing for the goddess of justice position, just the amount of armor is a point of discussion.

The little dragon hatchling is meanwhile running around in the church playing with the local kids.

Kerrick meanwhile visits the Treskeden merchants trying to get some information about the sea elf hearts sent to Nimue. He finds the corpse of a henchmen which he sent, and several of his thieves guild which had accompagnied him seem to have been slain as well. The proprietor reveals that she is a servant of Bhaal by showing him an obsidian amulet adorned with a golden skull.

She offers Kerrick a bone dagger and asks him to kill Mord Morden, the assassin which had tried to kill Nimue in the Tower of Dreams in exchange for the information.

Apparently the treacherous halfling has been holing up close to the Dwarvish mines.

Meanwhile Lyra, Thana, Rondra and Nimue are  conducting a ritual in the temple. The dragon gets another helping of Thana's magic juice and even starts learning a few words in common.

Now it's back to freeing the mines. Shiel wants to draw on Baim's knowledge of the layout since his family has ruled the caverns before. Most of the tunnels have been sealed off however by the fleeing dwarves.

Baim is also desperate to secure his rule for which he needs the acknowledgement of other dwarven clans. Working together with the Mantle King in freeing the mines could boost his chances of reclaiming his father's legacy.

The dwarves seem to be more of a cowardly bunch. They are proficient in clearing the mine entrance of rubble however. An odor of rot and decay assaults the adventurers' nostrils.

One of the dwarves is suddenly gone. Nimue spots the lantern of the dwarf down the tunnel and follows the light. When the group tries to follow her, they happen on a dead end. No trace of Nimue however. After hitting the wall it gives way into well-known tunnels of rotting flesh. Yuck!

Nimue is meanwhile stuck in a room with Museo, Mourim's previous girlfriend who reproaches her that it is her fault that many of the sea elves have had to die. Nimue tells her that it is sometimes time to force a change instead of accepting the Devourer as their master. 

Museo is decently impressed by Nimue's vigor. She seems to be interested to see if Nimue can really defy the high priest and eventually the Devourer himself. She also tells the group that the shifting tunnels may not be the work of the abyssal forces at all but some maniacal corrupted dwarves which had been mentioned by Baim himself. She summons a Chool with her magic seashell, a lobster like creature. It should be immune to the chaotic forces since it is a creature of chaos itself.

Fight chaos with chaos to bring about a happy ending…..seems plausable. The adventurers carry on.

 

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Dalelands, Session 36

Thana names her dragon hatchling 'Ariketh' (my gemstone in draconic). Kerrick is still disguised in his red mage illusion. The room is full of red lizardmen which have cornered their green brethren. Kerrick quickly stabs one of the unsuspecting monsters from behind and fires his crossbow at a red abishai, their leader.

The abishai also fires rays of flames from his trident to severely burn Kerrick as revenge. Some fire snakes are also snapping at the adventurers which are just entering the hall.

He also stands close to a portal which is filled with flames through which reinforcements keep arriving.

Some of the weaker lizardfolk are easily dispatched by the melee fighters and Nimue hurts the abishai and a salamander which has come through the portal with a burst of lightning which also leaves her vulnerable to several counter attacks.

The lizardfolk use their resistance to fire freely blanketting the room with flame attacks. Thana's holy shield catches a of lot of the backblast however keeping the fight going.

Kerrick assassinates the abishi which explodes in a last burst of flame, but the creature's death also makes the portal collapse.

More of the lizardmen and snakes die and the salamander finally is finally killed by the cleric.

Only Vortrax, a doubleheaded green lizardman remains. He would like to leave the castle with as many treasures as possible which he feels entitled to since Venomina promised them to him.

Sadly his former mistress is in no position to honor that bargain. So Shiel tries to convince him to aid the group in coming battles in exchange for free passage and the heap of treasure which the green lizardmen had amassed. Vortrax agrees and enchants the ring so it'll call him if worn.

He reminds Shiel that he'll only provide help one time only and leaves with his folks which he had called previously with a flute. He'll be a powerful ally since Nimue has detected a strong magical power in Vortrax and judged him as very dangerous.

When everyone turns to celebrating, Mourim bursts in and collapses to the floor. Apparently he's been gravely injured. Museo, his girlfriend, came to him sent by the highpriest. The message of the high priest is a bag of sea elf hearts. Apparently he needs Nimue to conduct a sinister ritual, the alternative would be the lives of the rest of Nimue's tribe.

Thana examines the hearts and decides that they must have been carved from their hosts while still beating, and all within the last ten days. The bag has the logo of a trading company which is also a covert Thayan spy group as Ilthond interjects. Apparently they are also doing trade with the Underdark.

Ilthond when asked offers to give the adventurers a name of a contact person in Daggerdale which works for Thayans, a bard named Kesla. Kerrick knows she has done trade with the Zhentarim and is also smuggling goods for other thief guilds. He sends out henchmen from his thieves guild to track her down.

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Dalelands, Session 35

More dwarven allies pour through the portal. They seem to be more distracted by the remaining treasures in Rondra's castle than being any real help. Through the kobold hole Kerrick hears screams of pain and a crude laughter of some sadistic torturer.

After squeezing through the hole into a cave, the group notices some fire newts and a kobold torturing a green dragon hatchling. A red mage yells at them to finish slaughtering the newborn.

The group charge into the cave with Kerrick badly injuring the mage with his crossbow. The kobold ignites his magical whip and throws a fireball into the advancing group.

The newts have razor sharp teeth and also spit embers at the adventurers who are soon covered in flames! The mage quickly dies after the rogue vaults past the defending newts. The kobold and the fire lizards pose more of a threat however.

Thana not only has to keep the group alive but also finds time to heal up the bruised dragon hatchling a bit which is cowering in a corner. 

The remaining newts and the kobold finally collapse to the melee fighters and Nimue's lightning spells.

Thana tries to communicate with the dragon wyrmling who tells her in draconic that he/she(?) is named "Shame" by her mother(?). The cleric tries to get her to try to fly and notices that the dragon seems to be a bit retarded. She let's the dragon drink from her potion of divinity. Whatever can go wrong. At least the adventurers now know the dragon is male.

He also hungrily devours the corpses of the fallen monsters. He's also able to vomit a cloud of chlorine. Apparently the big green dragon has treated him badly, only the green kobolds have been taking care of him. That doesn't stop him from devouring their corpses however.

The group sneaks through a kitchen. A corridor to the left leads towards fighting noise. Troglodytes are facing down red lizardmen fighting over the treasures of the castle.  Behind the throne in the throne room the troglodytes have amassed a heap of treasure which the red lizards are trying to take from them.

Kerrick, posing as the red mage with his illusion ability, tells "his" red henchmen to leave just one alive for questioning. A red winged lizardman looks angrily at him, he's probably not used at taking orders from the mage. The red lizardmen don't seem to be entirely natural as magma seems to flow from their eyes. Kerrick as the mage excuses himself that he has to go back to take care of Venomina's spawn. The lizardmen resume quarreling.

In the other direction a fire seems to have broken out. But the group seems to be more focussed on the treasure…..

 

 

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Dalelands, Session 34

The group use the magical portal to get into Daggerfall castle. There, they happen on a group of greedy cultists led by a salamander. The salamander, an evil elemental being, has some sort of fire belching dragon dog and a few cultists accompanying him.

The fire belcher blows bubbling magma into the back lines of the group causing a lot of damage. Meanwhile the berserkers of the Dragon Cult charge into the melee fighters to prevent them from getting at their Salamander boss. 

The salamander summons a lot of minor fire creatures to slow down the party's advance, but they are quickly dispatched by Nimue's lightning spells. The salamander encases Kerrick in a fiery cage to keep him at bay and further sear him.

The cage does not prevent Kerrick from shooting it with his trusty crossbow however. The cage vanishes and the forces of the Dragon Cult are falling back.

After their defeat the group sees from above that a group of green lizardmen are preparing a ship below to flee with some of their loot and families. Above, red lizardmen are killing off some of their green brethren. Also the red lizardmen seem to be ready to torch Rondra Morn's castle. 

Finally, they discover a kobold hole leading downwards into a labyrinth of dark tunnels. What to go for?

 

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Dalelands, Session 33

Kerrick visits the city alone and meets Tara who seems to be a bit annoyed that Kerrick is aiming to be the newest favorite of Pazuzu. She asks him whether he is truly committed and asks him to confirm his devotion by sealing a formal deal with the demon.

Kerrick has to pierce his hand on a thorn and write the contract himself detailing what he wants from Pazuzu. He wants to be leader of the Cult of Pazuzu in the city. The bloodied parchment details on the reverse page that his soul will be devoured if he ever betrays Pazuzu. He orders the cult to infiltrate the city watch so it can create a criminal underground for him to use. He reserves the other two wishes Pazuzu will grant him for a later date. Kerrick also hides the contract on his body where it'll stay, invisible. 

Thana creates huge trees in the city center, she has to rely on the dryad's potion again. Other than that she uses her newly increased powers of healing to aid the sick and injured people.

Shiel is visited by Rondra who asks about his upcoming plans. Shiel intends to return the City Watch to Ariton's leadership. She also warns him about another Mantle King who has vowed to unite the dales from his seat of power in Scardale. He is probably an agent of the Zhentarim or maybe Thay or Sembia. Rondra also warns Shiel that most people do not like the dwarves and thus helping Baim retake the mines probably should not take priority.

Ilthond talks to Nimue about the plight of their people. "The Devourer" seems to be a name behind which the demon conceals his true identity. According to Nimue's description of the cult Ilthond suggests that his real identity might be Dagon, the elder being of the lightless depths. He suggests that Nimue should visit a legendary water wizard near Ashdale to ask for guidance.

Thana talks to Lyra about which forms nature should take. Lyra seems to be an advocate of uncontrolled growth and competition in nature. She would like to create a temple to the four seasons which are embodied by four archfeys.

Nimue tells Shiel about the wise man of Ashdale. Kerrick's guild has taken over a lot of the city watch and even funnels a part of the money back to the Mantle King to help build up the city so he can pluck it when it's ripe. He refuses the involvement of the Zhentarim's black network however and orders his guild to expand slowly and carefully.

After calling a big meeting with Rondra, "Ariton" and the group, Ilthond tells Shiel about Lashan Aumersair II., the Mantle King from Scardale. Apparently he's forcing his people to serve him by threatening to starve them. Since the surrounding dales do not trade with Scardale, it has left his people to be very dependent on him for their survival. Also he's rumored to be allied with a red dragon. Also Sashesh, the wife of the ex-archchancellor of Ashabenfurt hails from there. So the cult of Bane is also involved.

Shiel tries to purchase Ilthond's loyalty by promising him the Burned Tower, a mage tower which had once been burned down but miraculously reconstructed itself.

The group decide to retake the castle of Daggerfall which is still occupied by Dragon Cult servants. They intend to take the magical portal in Venomina's room while a part of the city watch attacks the castle to distract the lizardmen. Tara, as Ariton, sends some of the more loyal city watchmen to get most of them killed in the attack.

 

 

 

 

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Dalelands, Session 32

Shiel consoles the grieving Baim, the son of the slain Goldhammer with the help of his friends. He tells him that Goldhammer has been an honorable chieftain which has been corrupted by the unholy influence of Bane, same with his sister. Baim agrees and Shiel swears to him that he'll help him drive the demons out of the dwarvish mines once the opportunity arises. Baim offers Shiel aid against Venomina and tells him that four ballistas are still on top of the fortress tower which might be used against the dragon. He also hands four magical jewels to the group once they promise to unite the dales and drive out the oppressors.

So the group prepare an ambush on the top of the tower. The ballistas are hidden behind barricades of crates and barrels. Ilthond accompagnies Venomina to the roof top. Shiel, waiting, takes him aside and whispers to him that it's time for "Plan B" which Ilthond had mentioned as an alternative to a shotgun marriage without detailing what he meant. Shiel just hopes he won't aid Venomina.

Sadly Venomina seems to be prepared and catches a ballista bolt out of the air before transforming into a huge dragon!  She wastes no time and dives at a ballista destroying it and killing the dwarves manning it. 

Shiel yanks her back with psionic force and forces her to the ground. Thana drinks from a potion of divinity provided by the dryad who's also warned her not to overdo that.

Overcharged by the power of the feywild, Thana's force hits Venomina and breaks off a few of her scales leaving her vulnerable! Kerrick once again calls on Pazuzu's aid taking a mental note to forge a formal agreement with the demon later….

Pazuzu grants unerring accuracy to Kerrick's ballista bolt which tears another gaping hole into the wings of the dragon. The dwarves are doing their part as well and hitting the dragon twice more with their ballistas, damaging her wings further with the chains.

Venomina drives a few of the dwarves away with a tail whip and breathes a billowing cloud of poison into the main body of the group. The resistance fighters and dwarves continue their assault however and soon she is bleeding from many wounds.

A ground slam throws the attackers around and she quickly injures Kerrick, Thana and Shiel with a flurry of attacks, throwing him around like a rag doll.

She also kills several of the valiant dwarves with her poison breath and covers herself in a cloud of chlorine gas. Finally, a well aimed ballista and Kerrick's rapier bring an end to the dragon.

While Ilthond is supporting with special effects, Shiel announces to the hobgoblins, citizens and Dragon Cult supporters that today Daggerdale has been freed and that the dales shall be reunited to provide freedom for their inhabitants. He also threatens the remnants of the occupying forces to leave at once or be annihilated.

The remaining hobgoblins and lizardfolk turn to flee. For now, Daggerdale has been freed. It is doubtful the Zhentarim will be able to devote enough resources to retake the city in the immediate future.

 

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Dalelands, Session 31

On the next floor, the party group arrive at Goldhammer's dining hall. They're mostly posing as Venomina's henchmen, that's what Goldhammer is treating them as anyway.

Venomina suggests putting their quarrels behind them to join forces an rule Daggerfall together. Goldhammer agrees. He hopes eradicating the rebels in the woods who tie up enough of his resources to retake the mines of Tethyamar which have been taken by demonic forces. Goldhammer intends to use the emperor's help to free the mines with the help of Bane's clerics.

His son(?) who wears a full plate and mask objects that Goldhammer should take care of their own problems first instead of toadying up to the emperor. Goldhammer insists however that proving their worth the emperor will insure the legacy of their clan.

Even though Goldhammer suggests several measures to Venomina to divide Daggerfall, Thana has the feeling that none of the several groups really intends to settle this peacefully. They do intend to settle it right here, right now.

Four dwarves in the corners of the room are readying ballistas aiming at the dragon. At that moment, Ilthond enters the room and after a mocking greeting blows up two of the ballistas closest to the exit. A melee breaks out close to the table. Goldhammer creates a greenish globe of force around his throne and sends blasts of green flame from a portal to his right side. He also conjures a demon from a blood well, much like the ones below Shadowdale to engage Ilthond. Several of his dwarf henchmen retreat into a corner with a surviving ballista.

Goldhammer also uses his hammer to reanimate some of his fallen henchmen. More are streaming from the green portal, but Thana closes off their advance by casting a blade barrier on it!

The green rays which shot out at Venomina seem to prevent her from transforming into her true form.

One of the barmaids turns out to be more than she appeared as however since she stabs Thana from behind cutting her throat! Glimmer expends its energy to revive her however!

Even after calling on Pazuzu to help him destroy the shield around Goldhammer, Kerrick gets thrown into the blood fountain and is dragged under in a maelstrom of blood. He does get out by grabbing a rope which Shiel has thrown into the fountain. The demon falls under their blade attacks and Kerrick manages to enter Goldhammer's shield with the help of Pazuzu.

Ilthond meanwhile tries to remove the green chains which are binding Venomina which is mostly unsuccessful, about as unsuccessful as Shiel's attempts of breaking his shield.

Nimue manages to destroy the green portal with the help of several of the dwarves who are huddled in the corner, it seems to disrupt Goldhammer's shield as well. Thana and the dryad make short work of Goldhammer's daughter, the cleric of Bane.

Goldhammer's son is wailing loudly about the misfortune which is (still) befalling his family. Kerrick, the dryad, Thana and Shiel are working on Goldhammer until Kerrick brings his reign of evil to an end! Meanwhile, Ilthond has used his magic not to free Venomina but send her into a deep sleep.

Baim, his son, doesn't have much time to cry about his father's death. While the party are discussing the plans to throw out the Dragon Cult out of the castle of Daggerfall, Venomina conveniently "wakes". Apparently Ilthond's spell didn't fully control her after all.

She walks over to the "Mantle King" and asks him to announce their engagement to the townspeople of Daggerfall. She reveals that she has been able to track the party's progress via the Dragon Cult ring the group has found in the forest.

Venomina doesn't seem to want to leave anything up to chance and forces the entire group into accompagnying her…

 

 

 

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Dalelands, Session 30

Before going through the portal to get to the Zhentish leaders, the group decide to send Rondra and Ariton to organize the resistance in the city. They're supposed to organize an assault which will distract some of the hobgoblin guards.

Ilthond explains the layout of Goldhammer's tower. There's a temple of Bane above, followed by a floor housing servants and finally Goldhammer's quarters. Apparently Goldhammer has had some talks with Venomina the green dragon who sometimes even visits his tower for negotiations in the guise of a green haired human female even though their armies are clashing over the control of the town. They have been in a deadlock for some time however so both parties seem to have been opening to negotiations. But he even offered her a room in the tower for her to rest in.

Kerrick checks Venomina's quarter but it is guarded by a two-headed lizardman. Kerrick quietly sneaks back out, and the lizardman doesn't notice him.

Going up the stairs the party arrives at the temple of Bane. Apparently a service is currently under way. The group quickly dispatch of one of the two guards which is yanked around the corner. The other guard and the recruits in attendance do get a chance to fight back.

A blade barrier and lightning storm take care of some of the minions. A dwarf woman with green hair is guarded by a hobgoblin and is protected by a greenish wall of flame. The remaining hobgoblin guard's eyes glow green and he attacks with religious fervor!

The hobgoblin priest of Bane, "the Hand" calls on Bane's unholy might to dispel Thana's blade barrier which has cut apart several of his minions. He raises two of them with his dark powers to keep fighting as undeads!

He also bashes Shiel with his mace of tyranny, stunning him. By now, the party has advanced deep into the hall of worship brawling with the last hobgoblin guards.

Finally The Hand of Bane falls. The statue of Bane is dismantled shortly thereafter. Venomina transforms into a human female and asks what the party's goals are. She does recognize the Sword of the Dales and asks if the party want to accompagny her to a dinner invitation at Goldhammer's place. Shiel agrees that for know, their goals align. Goldhammer has to die!

 

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