Dalelands

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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Dalelands, Session 29

After resting the group enters another cell in the dungeon area. Here the more important captives are being kept, namely Rondra Morn and Ariton. The disciple of Tymora looks badly bruised since he has been tortured by the chain devil and succubus, not to mention Kodan, the hobgoblin chief torturer.

Since Kerrick is still disguised as a hobgoblin Kodan recognizes him as his ally, Kobis the shaman! And he has brought new "recruits" as well (the rest of the group). Kodan invites them to join him in his office where he offers them a thousand gold each if they can point him to the location of the rebel hideout.

In the office the group turns on Kodan while he only has his succubus companion to guard him since Kerrick couldn't trick him into sending her away.

The succubus uses her charms to prevent Shiel from attacking her and also manages to dominate Kerrick to force him to attack Thana. Kerrick quickly hurts Kodan severely who has to resort to drinking a healing potion.

Meanwhile Ariton's screams echo through the dungeon. Apparently the chain devil has resumed torturing him!

The succubus is killed by Shiel who moves up to Kodan as he is just impaling Nimue. He shares her pain however as psionic energies course through him. Kerrick quickly puts and end to him.

Next the group rushes into the holding cell to save the rest of the rebels from the chain devil following Nimue. The devil uses its flaming chains to entangle Nimue who manages to escape the bindings however.

After the group is in the other room fighting the chain devil, a familiar figure steps through a portal in Kodan's room (which the group can see since all doors have remained open): Ilthond, the red mage which had been hired by Rondra. After telling them that he basically abandoned Rondra to her fate he also reproaches them for leaving him behind. He seems to have his own plans however: According to him, it would be in Thay's interest to get a new Mantle King being crowned in the dales. He offers to help them with his portal to get to the other Zhentish leaders in Daggerdale to kill them in one fell swoop.

Meanwhile the group frees Rondra and Ariton from their captivity. Shiel and Rondra discuss the situation and the group decide to take Ilthond up on his offer. It's time to take out the leaders of the Zhentarim in Daggerdale: Goldhammer and his family and a hobgoblin priest of Bane.

Ilthond emphasizes that it is vital not to leave any witnesses behind. Nimue sends off several freed rebels with the dryad to notify the resistance so they'll cause a distraction.

 

 

 

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Dalelands, Session 28

The dryad reveal that the potion they had been making was to boost divine power. Sadly her sister had drunk too much to turn into a rat beast to fight the otyughs, and the power overwhelmed her so she perished in the fight. Lyra is not that distraught however since this is the way of nature after all.

Also Thana now wears a chainmail of drow make according to Lyra though its stone links sounds more like the work of a dwarf. Lyra offers her a potion bottle filled with the same brew warning her not to take too much.

Lyra also agrees to teach Thana some rituals…..with a rather hands-on approach which she describes as offerings to Malar…

Thana remembers one of her previous incarnations whose relationship with a woman (that incarnation used to male) ended badly. She rejects some of the dryad's advances which comes a shock to Lyra.

Lyra knows that the garrison consists of several major houses: a prison which houses the most important prisoners in an officer's building, a mess hall to which one of the sewer tunnels leads from below and the barracks which house the main grunts.

Kerrick uses his illusionary abilities to pose as a hobgoblin guard. He gets drawn into an impromptu card game with some "fellow" guards and uses the opportunity to relieve one of them of his wallet and also cheats quite a bit. After he excuses himself an explores another room.

There a brutal torturer of the Red Hand is whipping some chained prisoners viciously, one of them Horrick. Kerrick distracts the lone hobgoblin guard and leads him into the gambling den, then leaves to "get more beer".

Meanwhile Nimue knifes the torturer and the group starts freeing the prisoners which have been chained to the wall. After freeing the prisoners a brawl breaks out in the guard room. The torturer who Kerrick has led there seems to suspect something and attacks him. The others burst through the other door into the room to join the attack!

The hobgoblins are a bit drunk and only the torturer seems to pose a real threat. He grabs Kerrick by the throat and begins choking him. Thana teleports him out of the Red Hand's soldier. The hobgoblin guards are slain quickly and the adventurers move to take out the torturer.

The torturer puts up a valiant fight but eventually falls to several cuts and an overdose of electricity.

 

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Dalelands, Session 27

Upstairs, several hobgoblins have stormed the tavern and are fighting with Horrick apparently. The group are not able to aid him however since they've had to evacuate to the sewers to escape from the blood.

They happen on a grisly and weird scene. In the middle of the sewers, a little spot of nature where even a few trees grow. There seem to be an abundance of rats around. Two dryad like women seem to be living there with a group of almost humanoid beasts.

The group greet them. The women tell them that they have disposed of hobgoblins before and are angry at the devastation those cause. The adventurers tell them that they share a common enemy. Sadly, their sister Eragyn which went to the spider woods, went missing. No wonder, since the group slew her themselves.

The adventurers weasel around a bit with words. Finally, Lyra, one of the two transforms into a wood dryad form and offers to show them the way into the garrison. Both she and her sister appear to be worshippers of Malar.

The discussion is cut short however as several otyughs, slimy monsters with several tentacles, are slithering towards the camp. At the edge the party await the incoming monsters.

The first slithers up to Thana and grabs her with its tentacles. The otyughs also emit a horrid stench which threatens to turn the adventurers' stomachs. The otyughs also emit an unholy power. Apparently they're influenced by the Devourer.

After the adventurers draw the first blood, a black pudding slithers through the drains and engulfs Kerrick! The kenku bursts out however and Shiel and him keep wailing on the otyugh in front of them. Thana's holy burst knocks the trash monster back into the black pudding and the two are briefly entangled with each other.

Finally the otyugh dies. Shortly after that, the pudding engulfs Thana and begins melting her armor. Attracted by the otyugh's death scream, a much larger version appears who slams Shiel around. The Sword of the Dales allows him to send out a psychic shock which forces the beast to relinquish its hold. It also cuts open the side of the pudding which regurgitates Thana, armorless. She has found a magical leather armor inside the beast which even its acid couldn't destroy.

With the huge otyugh charging at them the party turn to flee. A potion the dryads have been brewing turns on the rats into a giant monster which starts fighting the otyugh. With the dryads, the group leave the monsters behind.

 

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Dalelands, Session 26
Meat & Mayhem

Below the tavern the innkeeper soon reveals his true colors. He's turning into a purplish pale humanoid demon with sharp claws. In his infernal kitchen which is full of repulsive ingredients like humanoid body parts, he tells the group about his previous gastronomic ventures. He also confesses to having enjoyed Ariton's aide's meat.

The group, repulsed, decides to attack. He has two quasits hovering around. Each of those spew out larger reddish demons with wings (called Neldrazns) which teleport Thana and Nimue away from the group.

After one of the quasits falls to the attacks of the rest of the adventures they hurry to assist Thana against the other quasit and neldrazn. The neldrazns prove quite resilient and try to teleport the party apart to the demonic blood fountains in hopes of dunking them into the gushing blood.

A group consisting of the harper agent, Mourim and Shiel try to bring down on of the neldrazns but only manage to trade blows with the demon.

The other quasit has long since been slain while the harper lodges an arrow in the second neldrazn's brain, fatally wounding it.

Only the purplish demon remains. Suddenly his gaping maw engulfs Thana and wolfs her down! Shortly thereafter Shiel finishes him off, but that doesn't bring back Thana!! Even carving into the soft belly of the demons and performing a discectomy on the demon's corpse doesn't reveal her. Meanwhile the fountains behind start gushing blood wildly which starts covering the dungeon floor.

Thana calls on Chauntea's help with a holy aura. Suddenly she's ejected from a portal behind the archway. The blood meanwhile is filling the room up to meter high. Luckily Kerrick discovers a secret door which leads to the sewers.

 

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Dalelands, Session 25

The party decide to throw the corpses of the lizardfolk outside into the river. With the forces of the dragon and the Zhentish forces waging war on each other, it should be possible that those guards simply happened on a hobgoblin patrol…

The party leaves the sewers to visit a tavern close to the forest. Ariton, the previous guard caption of Daggerfall is now working for the resistance and is supposed to have informations about Daggerfall and Rondra's whereabouts.

The patrons in the tavern are mostly well-known faces from the resistance in Shadowdale. They do not know where Rondra is kept for certain but suspect she's being held in the garrison.

Suddenly a group of hobgoblins, attracted by the noise inside come in to check on the curfew. They are wearing armor with the red hand, the symbol of Bane. Shiel greets them and invites "his friends from Zhentil Keep" to a few mugs of ale in hopes of coaxing information out of them. The hobgoblins tell him of the impending execution of Rondra Morn but don't seem to know that much.

When one of them stumbles outside for some fresh air, Kerrick sneaks out to blindside him. The surprised hobgoblin manages to alert his companions however. The hobgoblins pull their weapons and try to arrest Thana and Nimue and a brawl breaks out.

One of the hobgoblins knocks Thana's mace out of her hand and grabs her. The others are also quite adept in administering pain. The hobgoblin outside with Kerrick casts hex spells against Kerrick trying to obscure the terrain with a cloud of black smoke. Kerrick severely damages him with his trusty crossbow however and kills their spellcaster.

Nimue turns into a living lightning and electrocutes several of the hobgoblins. The rest are eventually overwhelmed by Mourim, Shiel and Thana. The barkeeper isn't that happy about that impromptu battle and plans to flee into the forest before retaliation arrives. One of the bar patrons reveals himself to be an agent of the Harpers to Thana. He introduces himself as Koril Benshy.

The first attempt to free Rondra has been unsuccessful according to him. Not only was Ariton captured, but also a second in command in the resistance, Mistin Domag. Koril hasn't been in town for long, but he suspects there may have been a traitor in the resistance. The barkeeper meanwhile has escaped down through a trapdoor like he had announced when the hobgoblins were killed in his establishment.

When the group thinks about going after him to keep him here, they are greeted by a stench of decay. The tunnel below seems to be made from flesh. The barkeeper may be even more than just a traitor…

 

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Dalelands, Session 24
She will be executed at dawn.....next week

The hastily formed council of Ashaba tries to come to terms with how to deal with the captives. While there is mostly agreement about keeping the High Councilor in prison, especially not to alienate his son who is away trying to warn the Order of the Sword it looks grim for Shashesh, the priestess of Bane. According to Lhaeo three representatives from churches would be needed for a tribunal while the more common folk demand an execution.

Suddenly a guard bursts in! Nearly out of breath, he rasps that Rondra Morn is scheduled to be executed in Daggerfall in one week! This has been decreed by Count Goldhammer, the local Zhentish representative in Daggerdale! Daggerdale is full of hobgoblins working for the Zhentarim. The green dragon still occupies the Daggerfall fortress.

The only way into Daggerfall is through the sewers below the city and only a small unit of attackers has any chance of getting in undetected. So the adventurers set out to save Rondra Morn from her grisly fate especially since they owe her a debt of honor and also Shadowdale needs an alliance of the dales against the Zhentarim.

They quickly find the entrance to the sewers. Horrick and Mourim force open the grates from the outside. Entering the sewers, the group sees light coming from afar. After displaying a not that amazing amount of stealth, Kerrick tries to imitate a swarm of rats fighting. This sadly riles up the approaching lizardmen who are rushing in to exterminate the rat plague. They are wearing symbols of the Dragon Cult and are probably henchmen of the dragon, Venomina.

The party jumps the brute who runs in front and Kerrick severely injures him with several sneaky attacks. A few smaller lizardmen run in and stab Shiel who tries to get around the brutish lizardman.

The lizardman group tosses Shiel to the floor and the lizardmen beat on him until Kerrick and Nimue get them off so he can get a few hits himself. Thana heals the badly battered battlemind.

Eventually they prove to be no match for the party and are slain. The group advances through the sewers to prevent Rondra's execution in time!

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Dalelands, Session 23
The Battle of Ashaba's Deep...err Tower

The group, aided by the mercenaries and Jhaele and her allies quickly moves into the Tower of Ashaba. The fortress is well protected against attacks from all other directions since it has been build on the slope of a mountain. Apparently it is well stocked with provisions and weapons for the defenders to take over. The upper floors of the main castle have been sealed by the chancellor. Nobody really knows what he's trapped there. The castle once belonged to the Mourngrym family. The dungeons are mostly empty except for a few cutthroats and thieves who Kerrick tries to reason with. They must have hidden some valuables SOMEWHERE!

The citizens of Shadowdale are worried about the impending battle, but Shiel calls on them to take up arms against the chancellor and his wife who are obviously agents of Bane. Lhaeo objects until Shiel displays the Sword of the Dales. The sky above the castle clears up and a ray of light from above hits the sword! Some of the dalelanders call Shiel the Mantled King who has returned and are rushing off to mobilize the other dales.

This convinces the remaining villagers who hurry into the castle, especially since they can see small farms and villages in the distance burning. Apparently an army is advancing. A ritual from Nimue turns the winds against the attackers. Their flames are fanned towards them enabling some of the villagers to escape.

Shortly after closing the gates the advance guard of the chancellor's army arrives. Diplomacy is cut short however since the defenders feel that allying with Bane has voided any claims the chancellor has to Shadowdale. Also he's not inclined to believe any of the 'slander' that his wife is an evil cleric and orders the place to be burnt down. He also shows his disregard toward Shadowdale which he just considers a stepping stone on his way to retake Ashabenfurt.

The siege engines which the attacking army has built are moved closer to the castle and start raining rocks on the wall. The attackers are covered in a green flame which seems to confer some protection on them. This is echoed by Thana's holy powers on the battlements which will bolster the archers.

Nimue's sorcery rains havoc on the soldiers, many are slain by the torrent of magical energies. A small troupe carries a ram towards the gate. Judging by the green runes which cover it seems to have been enchanted for greater potency. The archers on the wall manage to pick off one of the carriers, but the cleric simply raises him as a zombie to keep the attack going.

Hedistrin manifests and asks Shiel to focus his concentration on one of the siege engines from afar. It will take a while and a lot of concentration to charge that power however.

Thana incinerates the zombie with a holy terrain in front of the gate. Shiel obliterates part of a catapult with a beam from his sword and challenges the attackers to watch the actions of their cleric who obviously animated several of their fallen brethren, not something a good cleric is known to do. A few of the soldiers abandon the fight.

Sashesh reanimates more soldiers which pick up the battering ram and keep carrying it closer to the gate. Thana sics Glimmer on the zombies who manages to burn three of them to ashes. One of the towers is hit by a boulder, a part of it collapses down. Using grappling hooks, a few of the attackers manage to scale the towers, some are cut down however.

Meanwhile Sashesh dispels Thana's holy zone below. On the tower, Kerrick throws down one of the attackers. When the front gate is breached and the defenders are prepared to withdraw into the inner castle, reinforcements arrive for the wounded heroes!

It is Scott Harikon of the purple dragons of Cormyr and his mercenaries. They quickly overwhelm the High Counciller and Shashesh and take them as prisoners.

 

 

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Dalelands, Session 22
Revelations & Revolutions

When the group returns to Shadowdale, the temple of Tymora is closed off however. A guard tells the adventurers that that is due to the orders of the high chancellor.

"Luckily" Captain Icehyll happens along. Remembering the disapproval of Haresk Mallorn, the son of the arch chancellor, about his previous reluctance to help out the group, he is quickly convinced to let the group into the temple, under supervision of course.

The key does not fit into the gate since the lock seems to have been recently replaced, but this is no challenge for Kerrick. The inside has also been remodeled apparently. A statue of Chauntea sits on the pedestal at the wall, no traces of Tymora remain. Also a lot of riches have been stored all over the temple, probably the riches the arch chancellor squirreled away before he lost Ashabenfurt to the Dons.

Thana prays at the statue of Chauntea and light shines on her and the statue from above. The horn of plenty Chauntea's statue carries dissolves and reveals a piece of Chauntea's Horn of Plenty, one of the holiest items of the faith.

Thana also has a vision with hints on where the other pieces are to be found:

  • a destroyed elven city, possibly Myth Drannor
  • a shabby rundown human city
  • Ashabenfurt
  • and room with tapestries with a flaming sword, a female cleric received the largest piece for safekeeping.

Thana also notices a few books with religious scriptures which are glorifying Bane.

Suddenly the guards outside are quickly dispatched. A woman clad in black with a shield which displays the unholy symbol of bane commands a squad of soldiers and archers to leave noone alive! Everyone feels the presence of an evil god!

For starters Thana and her evil counterpart start with imbuing their allies with (un)holy powers before the soldiers charge into the temple and push Shiel aside.

Two soldiers of Bane block the entrance of the temple while the archers kill some of the town guards. The priestess however conjures up a ghostly green glowing dwarf who joins the fray. His weapons seem to be all too real however!

The soldiers take a lot of beating and block many attacks in concert. The numerical advantages eventually proves too much for them and they're overwhelmed. The cleric of Bane retreats, vowing that "the high chancellor will hear of this!". So he seems to be involved, not that surprising if the Bane scriptures in the temple really belong to him.

Captain Icehyll confirms the cleric as Sashesh, the current wife of the high chancellor. She'll be sure to draw the high chancellor's wrath down on the group, and he will be sure to bring his mercenaries over to Shadowdale eventually.

Perhaps it's high time for the resistance to grab the gold and kick the high chancellor out. Icehyll himself doesn't seem to be adverse to this idea either.

Since Lhaeo isn't at home, Shiel starts by alerting Jhaele. Jhaele suggests that to mount a defense a commander of some sort would be needed. Shiel suggests Lhaeo for the job as he respects his intelligence.

 

 

 

 

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