The Twilight Realms

Villagers--February 23, 2016

Long ago, there was a dwarf named Bloodbeard, who wanted to unite all the dwarven realms, Genghis Khan style. There are legends of him consorting with a mountain demon/spirit/god to acquire his power. Morgan defied him, and his clan was wiped out. Morgan’s descendants survived, however. While Flint fled to the surface, and roamed the earth, his brother, named Fargrim, fled underground to a citadel.

The Villagers, along with Fargrim, his half Dwarf half Gnome son Vondel, and 6 (?) Gnome guards make it to the Mines.
While most of the company rests at night fall near the Mining village, Fallon has fun eavesdropping on a group of humans at a distance. They discuss what to do with a peculiar gem, a life gem, with roots sprouting from within it that they found in an abandoned place. Fallon waits for them to fall asleep and steals loot from them all. Before leaving, he stages it as if one of them stole from others. He informs the group of his findings and advises to avoid unnecessary confrontation with them. Far grim agrees so keep moving to find camp for the night farther ahead in the trail.
Sometime after day break… As they approach the Mining village, the company is surprised by 4 scrawny looking guards suited in ill fitting guards uniforms. The rangers are immediately suspicious of them, especially after the first one naturally leans in to sniff Fallon. They demand that we give them all our food. Fallon negotiates in agreeing to only give them enough for them all and no more. The guards ravage at the food as if they have not eaten in weeks. Their movements freak out the villagers and their Gnome and Dwarf companions.
Fallon nudges at the front gate in an attempt to open it. It falls on the ground causing loud enough noise to alert the entire village. The group realizes that its inhabitants are all giant rats… Khell brings out his ocarina and starts to play as the group keeps pressing forward up the main road leading into the mines. The rats follow.
At the mine entrance, the group is stopped by a few humans and demand we stop. Khell speaks up stating our business without holding back any information and persuades them to let us go through. One of the guards calls out to another saying to inform their “father" that we’ve arrived. This father’s name is unfamiliar to the villagers.
Having been there already, the two rangers lead the way through the mines into Morgran’s chamber. The giant room where they met Ricardo and his siren was now filled with working skeletons. Fallon attempted to get close enough to see them. Unlike the previous phantoms the villagers encountered here, these skeletons appeared conscious of Fallon. He went back to the group and everyone kept moving onward avoiding confrontation successfully.
They make it safely but notice that there is no throne anymore in this room, and the wall behind it is now a deep corridor. This corridor is littered with erratic Dwarfish writing. Fallon reads some of it, but it’s mostly incoherent, except for one word—Blood Mountain (?).
Far grim becomes suspicious and asks if this is a trap he’s been led to. Villagers assure him this is not the case and follow the corridor straight through until they reach Morgran.
Khell presents Morgran his last heirs. Villagers stay put observing a family moment between Morgran and Fargrim. Morgran is disgusted by Fargrim at what he’s done to their family line and declares that Vondel is not an acceptable heir to their throne. At this point, it’s clear that Morgran wishes to destroy Vondel. Dread wolf attempts to warn Vondel of this so he can make a run for it.

[/cliffhanger]

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Villagers--February 16, 2016

(Continued from cliffhanger last session…)

Villagers avoid an ambush attempt by a small group of Gnomes and their Captain (?) thanks for Fallon’s language skills in Dwarven. The group learns that this is captain is actually one of Fargrim’s sons!
Vondel (sp?) leads the villagers to Fargrim himself (still alive!) deeper in this tunnel. On the way, Villagers hear faint groans coming from another tunnel, a creature of some sort. They did not seem to come out of pain or fear, so the group stayed on track to meet Fargrim.
The company soon reach what appears to be a ceremonial chamber, but has been decked out like a bedroom. On this bed is an unconscious female Gnome chained to the bed which is surrounded by Dwarves runes. Villagers are warned not to try to go beyond this magical barrier. Horrified, they continue to the next room and meet Fargrim.
Villagers explain their business to Fargrim persuading him to leave his current dwelling and go claim the Mines. Fargrim agrees.
Before they take off though, Khellendros enquires about Fargrim’s sons. The groans heard earlier were that of Fargrim’s first son, an abomination that he’s not proud of. Having put these pieces together, the group learns that Fargrim had succeeded in mating with the chained up female Gnome in the enchanted bed chamber.
Khell being Khell, goes back into the bed chamber to try and rescue the Gnome prisoner. But Vondel is there guarding his mother. He hits him in the head and persuades him to accompany the group on their journey to the Mines. By now Fargrim has taken the rest of the group, except for Khell and Vondel, back up to the surface using a secret passageway. On their way out of the tunnels, Aloiene notices an etching of a familiar symbol on a small pillar. This symbol is the same she noticed on the bottles of wine inside the citadel…
Instead of going through the Citadel, villagers persuade Fargrim to follow them through another alternate passageway to avoid unwanted attention from Thieves running the city.
The group makes it out alive out of Shadwospire and make their way to the Mines with the two rangers leading the way.

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Villagers--January 27, 2016

Summary of events as recalled by Sam(wise)

-We used the mold from the Mining Town to forge the Hammer-key to the Dwarven citadel underneath Shadowspire.

-While waiting for it to be made by the blacksmith, we went to the spire and found the last remaining Elf in the city loyal to Vedanta.

-No new info where she went.

-We then got the hammer, and few supplies, and went to the Monestary where Jermaine crashed the wedding.

-Went into the catacombs — killed the giant worm.

-Entered Dwarven Citadel. Shawn got hit by booby-trap. After that, we navigated thru them.

-Found a mausoleum filled with dead Gnome Women in Citadel.

-Heard something preparing to ambush us. (Cliffhanger). We’re debated how I can use illusion to turn the tide on them.

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Villagers--January 18, 2016

Summary of events:

-(Jimmy) Fallon, Dreadwolf, and Aloiene fight the 2 worm creatures spotted by the tower with dead bodies we last spotted. Battle is successful.

-The group returns to Shadow Spire to learn that Vadania and most of its previous inhabitants have abandoned the city, which has now been overrun by a guild of thieves.

-Fallon befriends the thief Lord and learns that Lord Ivar also disappeared.

-Group finds the elf enclave right outside the city in search of Vadania with no luck. However, we learn that she became depressed shortly after our leave and likely fled North West of Shadow Spire. We leave Revas in care of an elf dude in the enclave.

-There’s reason to believe that Morgan’s curse had reached the city. So the team decides to return to their mission to find Flint’s heir. But first return to Shadow Spire and hire a blacksmith to make a dwarven hammer out of Khell’s mold.

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Villagers 12 - 4 - 2015
Meetings and Greetings

Picking up from last session

The group reaches the top of the stairs that lead to Tristessa’s lair. Aloiene and The Dread Wolf take a cursory look around the areas that the group has explored before — nothing new has happened, and the corpses of the various defeated creatures are still there, undisturbed. The Dread Wolf activates his new Eldritch Sight invocation, which allows him to detect sources of magic and their origin, and scans the area. There are two door that have yet to be opened. Khellandros approaches one and quietly opens it. From inside, he hears a single male grunting and making noises of physical effort, and The Dread Wolf can detect objects with transmutation magic on them inside. Khell bursts through the door and yells “Show yourself!”

The room is a long armory, hewn out of the stone. A long carpet stretches down the center of the room, and the walls are lined with racks of weapons. In the middle of the carpet, the ghostly satyr that the group encountered before, named Rutternettle, yelps in surprise due to the outburst. Rutternettle is even more surprised that the group is still alive, noting that Tristessa must be in a good mood if she was content enough to just leave the group for dead, rather than kill them outright. Khell asks where they can find Grigor, but the satyr warns them that doing so would be suicide. The satyr also points out that Tristessa is the happiest he has ever seen her, and that he doesn’t really have a job now that he has been replaced. The satyr is apparently Tristessa’s historian and musical performer, but he’s not needed anymore now that Tristessa is happily occupied by Brynn, Grigor, and the ghost of Revas (whom Rutternettle describes as “her new favorite”). The Dread Wolf asks for Revas’s job and location, and the satyr tells the group that Revas’s ghost oversees “[Tristessa’s] tears”, down in the caverns below. The Dread Wolf is annoyed that the group had explored the entirety of the caverns except one area, which would seem to be the tears.

The Dread Wolf also points out that while the weapons in the armory are old, rusted, and mundane, the racks they’re on are magically enchanted. Khell asks Rutternettle what the enchantment is, as the group is immediately suspicious of traps or mimics. The Dread Wolf’s comments must have given the satyr enough info to figure it out, but he seems triumphant as he stands on the carpet and holds an outstretched hand towards a rack, and a scimitar flies into his hand, Jedi-style. Khell does the same. Apparently, Rutternettle had been trying to activate the weapons/racks in his newfound boredom, but didn’t know how. Khell then asks where he can find Tristessa and Grigor, to which Rutternettle warns them not to look for them. Khell insists, and the ethereal satyr says the group would definitely get Tristessa’s attention if they messed with her temple at the end of the main hallway.

The group then proceeds to the temple, which is a large open circle, with thick ropes pulled taut crossing everywhere in a web motif. In the center of the Temple is a circular dais. The Dread Wolf cannot detect any magic in the temple within his detection range. The group climbs through the rope-webbing, with Aloiene, Grenshaw, and The Dread Wolf staying near the perimeter of the room, while Khell approaches the dais. Once Khell is about 10ft away from the dais, Tristessia flies through the ceiling, screaming “Why have you defiled my temple?!?!”

Khellandros and Grenshaw are frightened by her shrieks. In an attempt to calm himself, Khell pulls out his ocarina and plays it, but it does not work. Grenshaw starts pleading to Tristessa, explaining Grigor’s crimes and that the group only want revenge against him; he also says that they won’t take Revas from her thrall, nor will they take Brynn the elven baby. Tristessa mulls this over, and says that Grigor served his purpose, but she has little use for him now. The group has her permission to do what they will with him, should they find him; she will not give him up to the group, but she also won’t interfere if they attack him. Grenshaw then asks that Tristessa take away the spider-demon powers that Grigor has achieved, but The Dread Wolf telepathically tells him to stop trying The Queen of Black Tear’s patience. Tristessa also warns Grenshaw that she is being both reasonable and merciful, and it’s not her authority to take away the blessings of the Spider Queen. Tristessa then flies back into the ceiling.

The group tries to climb the rope-web up to follow Tristessa, and they see a round, closed, metal iris/portcullis in the ceiling. None of the Villagers can reach it, so they decide to return to Rutternettle. He is again shocked to see that Tristessa let them go, commenting that she must be in a really good mood to be so generous. They ask him how to ascend to the higher levels of the lair, since they cannot reach the entryway in the temple. Rutternettle says just the dumbwaiter that Aloiene and Revas used earlier. Khell asks Rutternettle to come with them, as he can witness history firsthand and turn it into songs. Rutternettle accepts, both eager and anxious, and everyone proceeds to the kitchen. Upon reaching the kitchen and dumbwaiter, Rutternettle suggests that he use the crank to lift them up one-by-one, then he will fly up to meet them. Khell and Grenshaw go first, and after a while, they exit the dumbwaiter into the dining room with the Mortis Amorea corpse. Grenshaw throws an illusion on the door, so if anyone enters the room, they see an illusion of the room as empty. Aloiene is reluctant to go back to the upper lair, so the Dread Wolf goes next, finally followed by Aloiene and Rutternettle.

The Dread Wolf uses his Eldritch Sight, detecting an unknown evocation magic in Tristessa’s bathroom, and enchantment magic in the concert area where Aloiene and Revas encountered Grigor before. The group also senses motion in the bed’s canopy, realizing it’s Brynn the spider-baby sleeping. The group enter the concert hall quietly, and closes the door behind them hoping that the baby Drider can’t open doors. Aloiene also bars the door with one of the chairs in the concert hall. No one is in the hall other than the group, and the enchantment magic is coming from the harp on stage, which is apparently magical. Rutternettle is anxious, as he’s not sure he’s supposed to be in this part of the lair.

There is only one other door out of the concert hall, and The Dread Wolf can’t detect magic on the other side. They quietly open the door, and inside is a mixture of hewn sculpture and natural cave formations. A waterfall out of the ceiling is towards the back of the room, falling into an artificial stream that bisects the room. The cavern’s surfaces are covered in moss, fungi, plants, glowing phosphorous, and bioluminescent flora. Rutternettle has never been here before, but suspects it’s Tristessa’s garden. The Dread Wolf starts to walk around the garden to inspect it, when a purple mushroom lashes out at him with it’s roots

— End of Session —

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Villagers 11 - 24 - 2015
The Session with the Terrible Rolls

Picking up from last session

With Grenshaw, Voxyl, and Revas’ body under Caitlynn and Jerbek’s care, Aloiene, Khellandros, and The Dread Wolf return to the caves. The Dread Wolf insists on exploring areas that the group had not seen before. The first area they explore is a very old campsite populated by skeletal bodies and three sleeping bears. There is no other way out of that particular cavern, so the group quietly backs out, not wanting to wake the beasts.

The group continues does the path that they’ve traversed before, leading them to the area with the Spider Shrine, and an alcove covered in webbing. The Dread Wolf and Khell inspect the shrine itself; Dread Wolf cannot determine anything about it’s magic or it’s religious tethering to Tristessa, but the insightful Khellandros feels unnerved and a sense of evil emanating from the shrine. Khell tries to kick the shrine’s spider-demon statue, but it doesn’t do any damage. After failing to find anything concrete, The Dread Wolf approaches the webbing, stopping about 10ft away from it. On the other side of the webbing wall, he sees a cocoon of sorts — a body wrapped in spider silk. Curious, The Dread Wolf uses Prestidigitation on the webbing wall to ignite it. The web catches fire, and as the flames start to spread through the wall, a giant, 10-ft wide spider drops from the ceiling to where the webbing was. Combat engages.

Khell rushes to fight the spider, and attacks with his dual swords. The Dread Wolf runs to put distance between himself and the spider before throwing an Eldritch Blast at the spider, which misses. The Spider sprays Khell with webbing, restraining him. Aloiene shoots at the spider, but misses. Khell casts Hunter’s Mark on the spider, and then breaths his Fire Breath — freeing himself from the webbing and engulfing the spider in flames. The new flames start to melt the webbing of the cocoon, exposing a desiccated corpse within and dropping a small glass jar that was within the cocoon. The jar is intact, but something inside it is moving. The Dread Wolf, intrigued, uses Prestidigitation again to stop the spreading of the flames, ensuring the corpse and jar’s survival. The spider then lashes out at Khell, sinking it’s pincers deep. Khell takes a lot of damage, but is spared most of the poison damage. Aloiene shoots again, but misses. Khell strikes the spider with one of his swords, and the group agrees the the Dread Wolf needs to bring out more powerful magic. The Dread Wolf agrees, and unleashes a continuous stream of Witch Bolt lightning on the spider. The Spider tries to web Khell again, but fails. Aloiene finally hits the Spider, followed by another Khell sword blow, followed immediately by the continued stream of lighting from the warlock. The spider tries to bite Khell again but fails. Aloiene and Khell make two more consecutive hits, killing the spider.

While Aloiene moves to heal Khell, The Dread Wolf inspects the alcove that was previously encased in webbing. Inside the cocoon, the corpse is revealed to be a Mortis Amorea cultist. The Dread Wolf takes what money he finds on the corpse, and then takes the jar. Inside is a small spider, that has two elven baby legs and two elven baby arms instead of palps. It’s eight eyes are all elven baby eyes. The Dread Wolf determines that this spider hybrid is tethered to the cursed Brynn — the inverse parts of what the baby had become. The warlock puts the jar in his pack, unsure if killing the spider will end the curse, kill Brynn as well, or simply kill the spider and ruin any chance of lifting the curse.

Khell is in bad shape, so he asks that the group makes rest for a short while in the shrine area. The others agree, but as the Dread Wolf and Aloiene are setting up, they are grabbed from the shadows, and some Dark Elves emerge with weapons drawn. The Dread Wolf tries to hide his face, hoping that the Drow will not recognize him from the ruins where they woke him from hibernation. Khell makes an impassioned plea to the Dark Elf leader that they are only here in order to retrieve Brynn and kill Grigor. The leader agrees, but warns them that Tristessa is Loht’s enemy, and any action against her will be seen as robbing Loht of his vengeance for the curse she placed on all the Dark Elves. Khell agrees, the others are released, and the Dark Elf Assassins withdraw into the darkness. The group rests for an hour, and The Dread Wolf uses the time to apply his disguise kit, making himself appear more human than half-elf in case the Dark Elves return.

After healing and getting their spell slots back, the group follows the path up to the junction to where the Yeti’s body pit was. Khell turns left on a whim, so the other follow. They enter a 30ft long corridor, but as they move forward, two stalactites fall from the ceiling. Khell dodges one, but Aloiene is impaled in the shoulder by the other. The missed stalactite then start to slowly moves as if they are snails or slugs. The Dread Wolf recognizes them as Piercers. Aloiene tries to attack the one in her shoulder, but it’s rock-like carapace is too hard to be damaged by her short sword. She removes the embedded piercer, and the rangers successfully navigate the group through the cavern, now that they know what to look out for. The Dread Wolf informs them that it would be easy to kill the piercers, but Aloiene and Khell think it’s not worth it — the piercers are too slow to attack any way other than ambush, and it’s easy to simply walk around them.

The path at the end of the piercer area is identified as the illusion-filled labyrinth cavern that the group discovered in their first traversal. Now that Aloiene and Khell know the deception, they guide the group effortlessly to the Y-junction where they fought the Winter Wolf. The group progresses down the path where the wolf came from and find it’s now-abandoned den. Inside are a bunch of frozen elves, and their discarded gear. Khell loots the gear and find the orders that the elves where following. The Dread Wolf also identifies the elves as culturally the same as Loht’s Dark Elves. The group discovers that these elves were frozen before Tristessa’s death, and the curse that warped Loht’s kingdom into the Drow.

As the den is a dead-end, the Villagers double back to the Y-junction, and continue to the chasm that they crossed before. Khell jumps across and helps the two half-elves cross with a rope. The group then continues on, and reaches the base of the 500ft staircase that leads to Tristessa’s lair.

— End of Session —

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Villagers 11 - 18 - 2015
The Dread Wolf Prowls

Picking up from last session

Out in the wilderness, a group of Loht’s Dark Elf assassins — the same ones hunting the Villagers — make camp in an ancient set of ruins while en route to Mt Lament. While camping there, two scouts investigating the ruins come across a hidden chamber that contains several mosaics, non-perishable supplies, and a Half-Elf who is deep in a magical sleep. Not wanting to leave witnesses, the scouts attempt to kill the sleeping warlock in his sleep. But it backfires — magical wards protecting the Warlock instantly wake him and kill the assassins when they try to attack. The other Dark Elves hear the commotion, and try to pursue the warlock, but he escapes unscathed with his gear. Once safely away, the warlock — known in Elven/Druidic legend as “The Dread Wolf” — pulls out a mosaic from his pack, and watches as the tiles and paint magically shift to depict Mt. Lament, and his mind floods with the history of Loht and Tristessa. Now with a destination in mind, The Dread Wolf travels to Mt Lament.

Aloiene and Khellandros wake up from their unconsciousness, finding themselves (along with Grenshaw and Voxyl’s unconscious bodies, and Revas’s corpse) in a pile of bones and carcasses; Tristessa had their bodies thrown down a body pit. Aloiene whispers to Khell that she had a dream of Tristessa talking to the smokey ghost of Revas. Severely wounded, the two decide to bury themselves in bones, and hide from the large Yeti eating parts of a dead Mortis Amorea cultist, which is about 60ft away from them.

Meanwhile, The Dread Wolf arrives at Mt Lament. He observes Jerbek, Caitlynn, and the ravens at the Villager’s camp, but doesn’t introduce himself. He makes his way to the cavern entrance, and before long he sees some remains of a mauled Mortis Amorea cultist that the Villagers passed before. He silently follows a dragged trail of the cultist’s blood, passing by a Spider Shrine and a broken metal grate. After a winding path, The Dread Wolf comes to see the Yeti gnawing on the cultist’s severed arm. The Dread Wolf is trying to get past it, so he casts Prestidigitation further down the tunnel, making an echoing noise of large spiders — based on the shrine he passed. Aloiene and Khell hear the noise but can’t see the source; they silently start to panic.

The Yeti hears the noise, and moves to investigate. It passes The Dread Wolf, who is keeping himself hidden, but it pauses after passing him and starts to turn and try to smell him out. The Dread Wolf casts Prestidigitation again — this time making the aroma of fresh meat further down the tunnel. The new smell overpowers The Dread Wolf’s scent, and the Yeti turns to find the nonexistent source of the smell. The Dread Wolf then backs away from the Yeti, and unknowingly approaches the Villagers. He sees the deceased Revas, checks her vitals, and says a small druidic prayer for her. He then starts to investigate the bone pile; he collects a lot of money that has been left here over the decades, and also accidentally exposes Khellandros’ face. The Dread Wolf deadpans “This seems like a very bad hiding place”.

Aloiene then asks the warlock who he is and why he’s here. He answers with “I’ve had hundreds of names, but I’m here because some idiot Dark Elves drove me here”. He then prepares Revas’s body to be moved and asks if the other Villagers are coming too. When asked why he cares about Revas’ body, he replies that Druids of The Wilds Circle wouldn’t want their bodies to lie to rest in underground caves. Aloiene debates leaving with Khell, who is adamant about staying hidden until they recover to full health. Aloiene casts a minor healing spell on the two of them, and The Dread Wolf goes through Revas’s things to see if anything could be of help. He finds three potions (which he gives to Aloiene), some weapons and personal items (which he leaves in Revas’s pack), but he notices Revas’s trinket — a brass ring with Druidic symbols — and pockets it, knowingly. Aloiene tastes the potions, determining them to be two climbing potions, and one healing potion.

The Dread Wolf urges that they leave now while the yeti is distracted. He can use magic to confuse it further, but thinks that it’s unlikely that just hiding in it’s feeding area is a wise plan, nor is fighting it while only half the group is awake and wounded is viable. But Khell again adamantly refuses, and covers himself in more bones before going to sleep. Aloiene resigns to doing the same, and The Dread Wolf warily watches over them while hiding behind cave formations. Eight tense hours later, Aloiene is ready and healed, and it’s another suspenseful four hours before Khell is ready to go. Each hour of the cumulative twelve hours had a chance that the Yeti would finds them as it comes and goes. Once the half-group is ready, they grab the bodies of the others, and follow The Dread Wolf the way he came in. Along the way they encounter the Yeti again, but now, the half-group is ready.

As one, Aloiene, Khellandros and The Dread Wolf ambush attack the Yeti. Despite not being able to see in the dark, Khell sprays the Yeti with fire breath, causing it to go into a panic. Aloiene takes a shot with her bow, but misses. The Dread Wolf fires a ranged Eldritch Blast, and deals maximum damage. Khell casts Hunter’s Mark to highlight the Yeti in the dark, then attacks with his swords, but misses. Aloiene shoots and hits. The Dread Wolf fires another Eldritch Blast, which gets the Yeti’s attention. Angry for being blasted with fire, the Yeti slashes at Khell, hitting once and missing once. But it then casts a Chilling Gaze blast on The Dread Wolf. The warlock is hit, but before he’s downed he quickly uses his reaction to cast Hellish Rebuke on the Yeti, engulfing it in flames and causing it to panic again. Khell then slays the Yeti with his swords. Rather than waiting again, Aloiene pours the healing potion down The Dread Wolf’s throat, healing him and waking him up. Aloiene also suggests that Khell skin the yeti, so they’d both have cold-resistant pelts. But Khell thinks that the frost pelt would cancel out his fire resistance, and leaves the Yeti’s corpse alone.

The group then successfully backtracks out of the cavern and to their camp, with their unconscious/dead companions in tow. One of the ravens is still gone, even though it should have returned from the update already. Aloiene suggests leaving the Mountain and returning to Shadowspire, as they technically fulfilled Vadania’s request to find out what happened to Brynn. She also points out that Vadania controls the city, and could then help (or force Shadowspire citizens to help) with restoring Revas back to life. Khellandros thinks it’s a good plan, except that he really wants to kill Grigor. The Dread Wolf interjects, informing the group that according to his patron, any fey (elves, satyrs, dryads, pixies, etc) that dies within Tristessa’s lair has their ghost bound to Tristessa, and become her servitor. If they want to restore Revas, they must defeat Tristessa, or bind Revas’s spirit to specific Druidic artifacts. He then shows them Revas’s brass ring Trinket, which is one such artifact. The group resolves to re-enter the mountain, to either kill Tristessa, or bind Revas’ spirit to the druidic ring.

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Villagers 11 - 12 - 2015
The Last Stand of Asha'Revas

Picking up from last session

The Villagers have separated while exploring the mountain lair.

In the lower levels, as Grenshaw starts to stabilize Khell and Voxyl’s unconscious bodies, he blacks out as he is put under magical sleep.

In the upper living quarters, Aloiene and Revas are exploring the empty bedroom. Revas inspects the small locked box for magical or historical properties, but is certain that the box has none; it’s ornate carvings are purely aesthetic. She then opens a door to an adjacent room. The room is pitch black, but with Darkvision, the pair is able to make out an ornate bathing chamber with a hewn stone tub and copper piping. The bath is magically filled and steaming, with it’s water endlessly swirling. They also notice a small flask on the other side of the room, but Aloiene is wary and decides against approaching the tub to inspect it. Revas agrees, having remembered the Siren in the tank from the mining village.

They return to the bedroom and proceed into another adjacent door, this one leading into a spacious room. There is a small stage at one end with a harp and hooded figure, and the rest of the room is filled with chairs facing the stage. As Aloiene and Revas enter the room, the hooded figure calls out “Welcome to my home”.

Revas stares awkwardly for a while, and Aloiene calls out “Who are you?”. The hooded figure replies “You are the intruders in my home. Who are you? What are you doing here?”

Revas responds with “I am Asha’Revas of the Circle of the Wilds, and this is Aloiene of the Forest. We come looking for a child who was taken from her family in order to be brought here.” The figure smiles. “A child, you say? Come closer”. Aloiene and Revas glance at each other before slowly walking towards the figure on the stage. Revas pulls out her staff under the premise of using it as a walking stick. When the duo is about 15ft away from the figure, it calls out “Stop.” The pair stops walking. The figure calls out: “Look up”. Revas does, Aloiene doesn’t.

On the ceiling above them is the body of a large spider, with the torso and head of a baby girl elf; it’s Brynn, the elven matriarch’s daughter. It starts making baby noises, as well as guttural spider hissing noises. At this moment, the figure on stage lowers his hood to reveal a Mortis Amorea cultist, Grigor, who proclaims he has received godly powers. He then tries to vomit spiderwebs at Revas, but she dodges the ambush attempt.

Revas immediately then casts Hold Person on Grigor to magically paralyze him, much to his horror. Aloiene then shoots at the frozen Grigor and strikes true. Then, the Spider Baby pounces off the ceiling and tries to tackle Revas, but she again dodges out of the way. Revas then tries to subdue the Spider Baby with her staff, but misses. Revas calls to Aloiene in elven, telling her to kill Grigor while Revas defends herself. Aloiene rolls out of the Spider Baby’s area of engagement and shoots Grigor again for high damage. Grigor fails to free himself from Revas’s spell while the Spider Baby lashes at Revas, but again she dodges the attack.

At this point, everyone hears high pitched screaming, and a spectral elven figure flies through the walls, her face is covered in black tears. Tristessa, the Queen of Black Tears. The howling doesn’t affect Aloiene, but it does leave Revas frightened. Revas goes on the defensive, trying to block the incoming attacks. Aloiene shoots Grigor again, bringing him down to critical health. The Spider Baby gets past Revas’s defenses and bites her. The bite itself isn’t bad, but she feels intense poison spreading through her system. Revas calls out to Tristessa in elven, claiming that Grigor did to Brynn’s mother what Loht, the Dark Elf King, did to Tristessa, and that the villagers are not her enemy, only Grigor’s.

Gregor finally frees himself, but before he can do anything, Tristessa replies to Revas that Grigor was the one to reunite her family. She creates waves of spiders that swarm over Aloiene and Revas, downing both of them. Aloiene barely survives, but Revas is killed.

Aloiene hazily notices Tristessa talking to something, before disposing of the bodies through a pit in the ground in a different room. Aloiene comes too, and notices Revas’s lifeless body, as well as the unconscious Grenshaw, Khellandros, and Voxyl. All of them are back in the cavern beneath Tristessa’s lair, lying in a pile of bones, underneath an ashy hole in the ceiling. Aloiene turns, and notices a large, bipedal bear-like monster standing over a torn-apart Mortis Amorea corpse, gnawing on its human arm

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Villagers 11 - 4 - 2015
In the Hall of the Mountain Queen

Picking up from last session:

The Villagers make their way into the large hallway, and start to examine their surroundings.

Revas starts investigating the tapestries on the walls. One depicts the war of Tristessa’s (The Queen of Black Tears) elves against Loht’s (Dark Elf King) elven forces before he was a Drow, with a Spider Queen God looming over Tristessa’s forces. Another tapestry depicts Tristessa lovingly holding a swaddled baby, with spider-leg protrusions bursting out of the cloth.

Voxel starts inspecting the side rooms. The first appears to be a barracks or servant’s quarters: rows and rows of triple-decked bunk beds, and trunks full of personal possessions. Grenshaw starts looting the room, while Voxel and the others continue to scout the area.

The next room is a dining hall, with lit candelabras, and soft music emitting from somewhere in the room. Khellandros, enters the room, pulls out his ocarina, and plays along; the duet continues for the duration of the song. After the song ends, a spectral, smokey Satyr comes out and applauds Khell for his skill, remarking that it’s been such a long time since he’s performed music with anyone. Khell and the Satyr start talking in the dining hall, with everyone else (except Grenshaw, who is still looting the barracks) listening in from the hall. Khell mentions that the group is looking for an elven child, but the Satyr just looks bored, and remarks that it’s another group looking for another child. He also complements the group on surviving this long.

After being prompted by Revas, the ethereal Satyr tells the group the story of The Queen of Black Tears in a bored tone. There is no real information that the group had not heard before, other than Tristessa forgets daily that her child was killed, and the Satyr must remind her daily. He also points out that Tristessa must be in a good mood to let them live so long. Khell asks what the group can do to appease Tristessa in order to save Bryn (Valdania’s daughter), and the Satyr suggests killing Loht, King of the Dark Elves. [Note: Voxel has sworn vengeance against Loht, and Loht has dispatched assassins against The Villagers]. Khell then suggests killing Tristessa in order to free the bound spirits of her servants, but the Satyr disagrees, saying that if Tristessa is killed, then they would cease to exist. Khell then asks to see Tristessa and Grigor. The ethereal Satyr laughs, declaring “Follow me”, before floating through the ceiling.

The group proceeds through a side door in the dining hall, which leads to a small kitchen. There is nothing of import in the kitchen, but there is a dumbwaiter embedded in the wall. It’s large enough that one elf, half-elf, or gnome could fit in it, but no one else. Khell adamantly wants to send someone up. Revas, still wounded from the fight with the spiders, volunteers on the condition that someone else would accompany her. When asked about how they would fit in the dumbwaiter, Revas offers to shape shift into a spider, and ride along almost weightlessly. Aloiene agrees, and joins Revas in the dumbwaiter.

Khell uses the hand crank to raise the dumbwaiter to the top of the chute, but it takes him 40 minutes, leaving him drained. Grenshaw rejoins the group in the kitchen after plundering money from the barracks. Aloiene and Revas (now back in elf form) exit the dumbwaiter into a small, private dinner room, which has a corpse wrapped in a robe placed on the table. Aloiene investigates it, and sees that it is a Mortis Amorea cultist (identified by the amulet), but that the corpse has been desiccated, much like a spider kill. At this point, Aloiene and Revas realize that they don’t actually know what Grigor looks like, and therefore can’t identify him from any other random Mortis Amorea cultist.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, smokey tendrils rise from the ground and try to grab Grenshaw, Khell, and Voxel. Khell gets away, but Grenshaw and Voxel are snared, and Grenshaw falls asleep (As an elf subspecies, Voxel is immune to magical sleep). Ethereal, smokey brownies and pixies jump out of the corners of the kitchen (both on the ceiling and floor), and strike Khell with necrotic attacks. Startled, Khell uses fire breath to torch the room, killing one of the Brownies. The brownies and pixies jump to attack him, showing their own spectral flesh melting away as they charge. Voxel uses a shield spell, but he is still swarmed as well and the shield isn’t enough to stop the assault. They both start feeling woozy and foggy, clearly drugged by the attacks. Khell tries to lash out with his swords, but in his disoriented state he can’t hit anything. The fey counterattack and down Khell. Voxel, clearly overpowered, rushes to wake up Grenshaw. Grenshaw is back in the fight, but Voxel is then immediately downed by the fey swarm.

Grenshaw throws an Ice Knife and uses his sorcerer powers to duplicate it, but only one hits. It pierces a brownie and shatters, but the ice shards do not affect the ethereal fey. Again, they swarm attack. Grenshaw, barely standing, uses Thunderwave as a last resort. It’s successful, blasting and killing all of the spectral fey in the kitchen. He then stabilizes Khell and Voxel.

Back in the upper quarters, Aloiene and Revas start investigating their surroundings. Adjacent to the small dinner room is a bedroom, with a canopied bed (adorned with web patterns), a wardrobe, small trinkets, a small and valuable-looking locked box, and a giant hole in the ground that looks like it’s been scooped out. There are dust patterns in the room that suggest someone slept in the bed fairly recently, and that a small object was carefully placed in the canopy as well, before being removed. Revas approaches the hole in the ground, but even with Darkvision, she cannot see the bottom.

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Villagers 10 - 28 - 2015
A Prelude of Many

Picking up from last session

While the Villagers are contemplating how to cross the 10ft chasm, a figure emerges from the surrounding darkness. The new Dark Elf, clad only in noble’s vestments, approaches the group with relief and claims that he had been looking for them. The Villagers interrogate the Dark Elf, who is currently named Voxel [Skippy hasn’t chosen a permanent name yet]. Voxel informs the group that Loht, king of the Dark Elves, had agents on the surface who noticed Revas’ earlier skywriting about Mt. Lament. Loht (who according to legend, was the King who defeated Tristessa, the Queen of Black Tears) dispatched a group of assassins to kill the Villagers for unknown reasons. Voxel seeks vengeance against Loht for unspecified reasons, so Vox sought out the group to warn them. The assassins are approximately one day behind the group

Voxel joins the group, and the Villagers cross the chasm by having Aloiene, Grenshaw, [and Khellandros] jump across, and set up a quick tightrope bridge that Revas and Voxel use to cross. The group also extinguishes the Drift Globe, as everyone’s Dark Vision gives them better eyesight in the dark. The continuing passage narrows after a while, but then opens into a hewn, shear wall that has stairs carved into it, but the linear staircase turns sharply at 50ft up, so the group can’t see beyond it. The group starts up the stairs, and continue up the path. Every 50ft, the stairs U-Turn and ascend for another 50ft. The group ascends the full staircase, which ends after climbing up 500ft.

Winded, the group finds itself in a hewn, ornate chamber with large double doors bearing web patterns, and two motionless Spiders. The group looks for signs of Grigor and the cultists to no avail. Revas also tries to Detect Magic, but that doesn’t turn up anything either. Fed up with unsuccessful searching, Grenshaw goes to open the door, but as he does one of the giant spiders bites him, and the other spits webbing at Revas, restraining her in place.

Grenshaw runs away from the Spiders, but suffers another bite in the process, and Aloiene is also ensnared by webbing after missing a shot on the second spider. Revas tries to Shillelagh herself out of the webbing, but it fails to free her. Voxel casts Witch Bolt to start a continuous stream of lighting pouring into the Spider that bit Grenshaw. Now that Grenshaw had ran away, the spiders close in on the trapped Aloiene and Revas and deal bites to both of them. Revas casts Entangle successfully, so now both spiders are snared by vines within close proximity to the webbed Aloiene and Revas. Aloiene breaks free and repositions herself for ranged attacks, while Vox continues to pour lightning into the same spider (which is targeting and biting Revas). Grenshaw casts Cloud of Daggers on the two trapped spiders, dealing continuous damage to them.

Now wounded and trapped in a whirlwind of magical blades, the spiders attempt to free themselves to no avail. Revas, while still trapped, lashes out with her Shillelagh-ed staff and strikes true. Aloiene shoots and hits, and Voxel continues his streamed attack, and the spiders continue to suffer under Grenshaw’s Cloud of Daggers, as well as a direct hit by an overcharged Ice Knife. One spider is finally killed by the Voxel’s Witch Bolt, but the other eventually breaks free and falls back, away from the daggers. Now having been disengaged, Revas breaks free of the webbing and drops her spare short sword on the ground at Grenshaw’s request. Aloiene and Voxel take ranged pot-shots at the spider, while it spits more webbing at Revas, which she dodges. Grenshaw uses Catapult to fling the sword into the spider at high speed for high damage. Finally, an angry Revas charges the spider, jumps in the air, and brings down her supercharged staff through the spider’s back, killing it.

The group contemplates taking a short rest, but Aloiene just casts Cure Wounds on both Grenshaw and Revas to heal them marginally. The group moves forward to open the double doors, revealing a long, spacious hallway with another double door at the end, as well as 3 sets of side doors. At the edge of their vision, the Villagers also detect flickers of movement among the darkness.

— End of Session —

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