Nights at the Round Table

Friends, old and new

31cfa4d6f6ed29fc5ef5f33c753ec73c_full.jpgTevik, the Halfling, offers to take you to a safe spot and get you some food. His partner is obviously resistant to the idea, but the halfling’s nature won’t allow you to leave without a bite at least.

They lead you through the twisting sewers to a spot you figure is well below the Bridge, near the bay. They open a prison cell type door made of iron straps. The rivets binding the straps glint with the orange color of orichalcum. An oak door stands open just behind the metal door allowing you to view a well-lit chamber filled with food stores and sleeping pallets.

Entering into the chamber you can see there are two occupants. A gnome, uncommon in this area, and a dwarf stand up at the sound of the gate opening. Hands warily rest on the pommels of the daggers at their waist.

Tevik throws them a series of hand-signs, easily read by Inigo and Reamya, as a passcode of safety. Both of them immediately remove their hands from the weapons and visibly relax. Tevik hustles you through the gate and closes it quickly behind you. “Sorry, don’t want any unwanted guests do we?” With a wink he waddles into the room and begins rummaging through the food stores.

“Nok and Jin, meet our new mates.” Handshakes and introductions go around. The 4 rogues discuss how the last food shipment hadn’t arrived yet, but is expected any time. You wonder why more food because the room is chock full of barrels filled with dried apples, salted fish and rum casks. Enough to feed a small army for months.

Tevik brings over a large plate covered in various items from the stores. The deeply marbled blue cheese is pungent, but also does a good job, somehow, of working with the stink of the sewers.

“So, how did you end up in Garradon, the cursed city?”

Tevik and the rest sit enthralled by your now 100-year-old tale. A flood of questions fills the small chamber, but it’s cut short by the sound of grinding stone. The party immediately draws weapons, BJ strums an opening chord…

The 4th wall in the room, that did not have an exit, seems to be moving. The bricks are getting pulled away from the room, into an ever-widening hole. A massive figure stands in the dark in the freshly created entrance. You can make out a snuffling.

“Magnus?” A deep voice questions from the dark. The sound of hooves on stone echoes through the chamber. Before you can fully process what’s going on the form bolts out of the darkness and grabs Magnus, pinning his arms to his sides. “It is you!”

Reamya and Billie relax while the rogues start to laugh. Inigo and Goodwyn sit confused as a Minotaur charges into the room, dropping an enormous sack and bear hugs Magnus.

“I looked for you in Nod for a long time. I knew you would come, but I seemed to be there early somehow.” He sets Magnus down, allowing him to catch his breath. He looks around the room eyes resting on Billie. “Billie!” The charge and bear hug repeats.

Minotaur.jpg

“You were supposed to be there too. I waited a long time, but had to come back and maintain my labyrinth. The one you gifted me. Thank you again.” He drops Billie and looks at Reamya.

“Hello not so nice lady.” Apparently Reamya wasn’t getting a hug today. He looks toward Inigo and Goodwyn. “I don’t know them.” He looks at Magnus questioningly.

“They’re ok Ulgrim.” Magnus states matter of factly.

Another loud snuffle as Ulgrim ponders the new comers. “When I get home the dead one had laid siege to the city. Tevik and I make friends, he knows the tunnels well for a hairy foot.”

Tevik smiles at that. “Yes, Ulgrim helped get many out of the city safely. Ya see, he found a route that goes all the way to Snow Raven Keep.”

“Yeh, I was just behind you when you cleared the keep so long ago. I like the forest room. It’s very warm on the cold days.”

Tevik continues; “Honestly, without his help our ‘resistance’ wouldn’t amount to much. We were able to help Leadler out, along with many in the Bard’s college as well. They’ll be very excited to hear Lord Snow Raven has returned. I think you’ll find your little keep has grown up some.”

More niceties are exchanged and Ulgrim even manages to allow you to get some rest, but he is clearly excited to show you back to Snow Raven pass.

“What of Amber Dahlia?” Inigo asks.

“The village is gone. Andragar raided the area for the plants and razed everything to make sure he controlled the small forest. We were able to save many. They are now in a city North of Snow Raven, on the other side of the mountains. You might find your family there.” Says Ulgrim.

After your rest Ulgrim takes a small satchel of messages from Tevik to bring back. “Hmph, I almost forgot. Andragar made another push a few days ago, but the walls held. The dwarves bring new reinforcements from the south to help. The guardsman itch to fight back instead of defending all of the time.” The large beast winks at Magnus knowingly. “Yes, they will be excited to see you.”

Ulgrim re-opens the hole in the wall as you wish the other well. “Stay close, many lose their way and the path I lead is quick.” You spend the next 4 days you spend underground. The minotaur clearly in his element. He is oddly focused and while talkative back in Garradon is quiet now. Only making the odd comment.

“Under Garradon’s wall now, you can feel I breathing.”

“Fairweather was a pretty village. It’s a burnt husk now and blighted by wights.”

“Amber Dahlia is down that way, don’t go that way.”

Once he stopped as if unsure what to do. “We wait, something blocks the way ahead.” No amount of asking could get from him what it might be. He would just give a look of concern and sit as if listening.

“We’re here” he says, suddenly and somewhat perfunctory.

In front of him you realize is a different type of stone work than any you’d seen before. Large stone blocks laid with no mortar and clearly not moved without magic. Placing his hand on the stone it pulls away, creating a doorway.

Bright light spills into the tunnel blinding you momentarily. That’s followed by a deafening cheer.

“LORD SNOW RAVEN HAS RETURNED!!” The small storage chamber, you only vaguely recognize from your previous visit, is packed with people. The only one of which you recognize is Talend, the house carl. Time ravaged, but you can see it’s him.

“Welcome home Magnus! Tevik broke form and sent a raven after you left with Ulgrim. We’ve been waiting rather impatiently for your return. Eat, drink and rest, but quickly. There is much to do.”

Burg_Hohenwerfen_2__Beautiful_Castles_With_Breathtaking_Scenery.JPG

A brief tour shows you that the small keep has indeed grown up. Apparently, the dwarves came down out of the mountains, honoring their old oaths, and began to build once it was clear Andragar had the city. The walls were thickened and raised. A baily was created along with a sally gate. The old Keep still exists, but it goes deeper into the rock and farther up as well.

Behind the walls was now a fair-sized village. Of prominence is a large tower that must be tall enough to see either side of the pass. Someone refers to it as Leadler’s Magistrum.

Proth sits on the bay North of Snow Raven. Many of those outside of the city were moved there and setup farms, providing food.

You find that the city is awed by your mere presence. You’ve become legend while you were gone. Excitement crackles in the air as you ready yourselves for the next chapter of your adventure.

View
Decisions, Decisions

250px-Nalfeshnee.jpg

The party sits, weary, in this strange prison. Rummaging through the storage closets you find mead, dried meats and fruits to fill your grumbling stomachs.

Lady Yethana eats hungrily next to you. Her fine cheek bones hollow with weariness. She is most certainly the woman who stood next to Lord Celodhin, King of Garradon, but it’s difficult to see at times. A raw anger sits in her eyes only held back by the current situation.

Billie-Jean holds the rash questioning of Reamya in check as she insists on letting her recover some strength. After a time she begins to gingerly question the oft-times fragile looking elf.

Lady Yethana manages to explain that this location is a safe-house for the King and Queen of Garradon. How Malaketh managed to find his way here is lost to her as the portal will only allow those of royal blood to pass through. He must have been using it for some time as evidenced by others living with him.

The Nefeshnee had been entombed by a previous Lord of Garradon and stored here as punishment for attempting to destroy the city. She smiles slightly and a tinkling laugh momentarily lights up her features ‘Celodhin will be furious. He truly enjoyed taunting the creature.’

She has no idea how the Drow or Medusa wandered in. The locks in place should have prevented their entrance. She mumbles for a moment about Malaketh… ‘It has to be something about his soul-binding to the demon. He acquired a large number of strange abilities along with the curses.’

Malaketh, it turns out, was the court mage at one point and the main reason for the mage college being moved outside of Garradon. His teachings and research had grown increasingly dangerous. He burnt down a section of Fat Side near the Bridge at one point. Celodhin had ordered his arrest that day. Malaketh never entered the dungeon, but burnt down another section of the city as punishment.

Yethana’s memory of how she arrived here and in the power draining cell is blurry at best. She remembers meeting most of you. Reamya particularly stands out for her brazen behavior. The Gloaming Ward had pulled back and sun had again shown down on the city as you went off to find the rest of imprisoned queens. She remembers going to sleep after eating a fine meal and helping Celodhin finish a wonderful bottle of Lorinthian wine.

Then she woke up to you…

She recognizes the now royal blood flowing through Reamya and Magnus. With the quick precision of a master she teaches both the method of using the portal. Enabling you to travel between here and Garradon at will.

Moon_Pool.jpg

She has no help to offer when it comes to the Sleeping God.

Yethana takes in the group for moment and stops on Reamya. “Soon that beast growing in you will begin to take your strength. As it grows you dies. I do not have the strength or skill to cure this ailment. Seek out a Temple of Min. The cost is high and may kill you, but it’s better than dieing to that creature.”

d2528e774205d4db42c0aa92590a29a7.jpg

Standing near the pool Magnus and Goodwin can feel the cold depths of the astral plane that powers its existence. Tendrils of energy disappear beyond their sight, splitting into a thousand apparent pathways. Goodwin quickly realizes that without Yethana’s teachings and the lack of a noble ‘key’ staring into this pool would likely drive you mad. Billie Jean conveys the story of having that very experience while staring into the other side.

A small shrine to the god of portals, Koleros, is carved into the wall near the pool. A small bowl sits before him with several coins left as offering. Magnus swears the small statue winks at him as he leaves the chamber.

You sit at a cross-roads:
– Stay and fight the Sleeping God. Free Callebain and Nod from its growing power that grows against a weakened Nod. Its power to defend itself greatly depleted with the powering of the Gloaming Ward in Garradon.
- Go through the portal. Back to Garradon and return the Queen to her throne. Who knows what change has occurred since you stepped through the Sphinx’ pyramid.
– Find a Temple of Min. Yethana does not believe such a temple exists in Nod, but should be found on the Material Plane.

View
Workin' the 'ol Dwarven mine to survive
The boss is a slave driver, to bad it's you

Callebain is a difficult place to earn a living. You either have a fair skill, or you work the menial for your fungus. You lot are of the latter. You all met at one of Callebain’s grittier taverns and drank what little money you had away. Together you’ve gone into the mines to keep food on your plates.

The South district is too cluttered and fought over. The West a warren of dangerous atrocities. The North is well traveled and safe, but too competitive as well. The East has been supposedly mined out, haunted and heavily patrolled by Modron looking to keep the fringes in-tact. You know there’s still riches to be had. Haunted? Pffff! Modron, you’d rather wrestle one of them than the trolls that wander the West.

So, you spend your remaining coin on a set of mining picks, shovels, wheelbarrows and head into the mines. You go deep into the far reaches, hoping to find anything at all of value. Settling on a mine after days of searching, you just decide to dig and see what happens.

Within a day you find a vein of quartz! A sure sign that silver or gold is in the vicinity. Renewed you continue to dig the hard rock,.

Your efforts are soon rewarded with a thin vein of silver. Suddenly this is viable work and you all throw your backs into it. A profit is in sight!

At first you barely notice the sound. The pick slams into the silver bearing granite and a ringing thump echos back. Soon it’s hard to miss.

Ping… pong…

Ping… pong…

It’s intriguing, but doesn’t seem dangerous.

Then one night you’re all awoken from the midst of sleep. You sit in the remaining light of dying embers of your campfire suddenly not the least bit sleepy. You realize that you’ve all awoken, but no one knows why…at first.

Then you hear it…

pong… ping…

Moments go by, each of you holding your breath.

Pong… Ping…

Something, or someone, is at your silver! You’re sure of it!

POng… PIng…

Who ever is digging is hitting the stone harder and harder with each stroke. Concern, greed, fear, pride and excitement kaleidoscope through your thoughts as you quietly pickup your gear.

PONg… PINg…

Collectively, and quietly, you vote. Whomever it is you won’t allow them to steal your silver…

PONG

Deathwood_Portal.jpg

View
In the news: Dwarven Partiers found dead
Bartender upset over unpaid tab.

A group of Dwarves that had been drinking hard at Tallybend’s Tale have been found dead. The mutilated corpses were identified by loved ones who recognized the various healed bones.

They’re bodies were found under the rarely used East End Arch, just outside of the guard station. The guards had been on routine patrol when they were overcome by the smell of fried chicken, leading them to the bodies.

The family is distraught as the group had left behind a large tab at Tallybend’s and are having to sell a daughter to pay.

Those wishing to help can buy a beer in their name at Tallybend’s.

blog_002.png

View
Callebain - Cavern city of Nöd/Throne of the Sleeping God

Dark_Tavern.jpg

After unknowingly entering through a portal of Kolerös the party finds themselves in the Harpy’s Hallow. Borg, the rather boisterous, but ever friendly barkeep, quickly gets you rooms and brings you hot bowls of mushroom stew. “I pulls some choicest bits of the carrion crawler out for yeh.”, he says with a wink as he leaves you to yourselves.

The stew is good. Even if the carrion crawler flesh is a bit rubbery. You quickly find yourselves feeling better and then fast asleep.

Magnus startles awake some time later. The sounds of Billie Jean’s loud snoring filling the comfortably warm chamber. Music, coming from downstairs, draws his attention. Laughing, the clinking of glasses and the smell of food puts the thought of safety aside for a minute.

Downstairs you find the Harpy is hopping. The central hearth is hissing and popping with large dried pieces of wood like mushroom stems. The pretty waitress you encountered before collapsing into sleep is busily going table-to-table. Her deep red hair falling over her stark white shoulders. You catch her eye and she heads over to you as you gape momentarily at the scene.

“Esmerelda?”, Magnus just barely recalls as she approaches.

“You and your friends were knackered. Came in pale as ghosts you did. Unusual for top siders like yerself. Borg figured you needed to rest so he put you in our best room for sleepin’. That room was blessed by the Sleeping God herself it’s said.”, with a wink she eyes Magnus up and down.

“Two days of sleep seems to have done you well.” She reaches out, tracing a small circle in the hair of his chest. Magnus blushes as he realizes he’s just wearing his undershirt and breeches. His gambeson and armor left in the room. The ‘V’ of chest continues to draw her attention for another moment and then it’s her turn to blush.

“Can I get you something?”

Magnus manages to sputter “…food?”

“Luckily we got somes of that. Have a seat, I’ll bring it right out.” She looks around the room pointing to a booth in the corner. A rather large dwarf takes up one whole side of table. A haunch of meat in one hand, a large mug in the other. He alternates, almost metronome like, between the two. Putting one, and then the other, into his mouth. His dark beard covered in grease and what not.

“Kelvus, you’re getting a guest.” The dwarf looks over to you and raises the haunch as a manner of welcome.

Sitting down the dwarf adds a third step to his eating and drinking. As gobbets of food and spittle eject from his mouth and he raises an eye over his mug. “Well come to you. Ezzie doesn’t like empty seats when she’s busy. I don’t minds. Down here in the dark you need friends.” A few words at a time are all he can get out at a time as he continuously takes a bite and then drinks.

“I’ve been out in the dark for nearin’ a month. This is the first thing I ate that isn’t mushroom in that whole time. Mutton is spendy down here, but damn it’s worth it.” He’s picked off all of the meat on the bone at this point and begins to suck noisily at the marrow. Taking a moment he cracks the thigh bone to get to all of it.

“What brings you down here? Them damnable moons? Them damnable Slaad? A Modron decide you’s in the wrong place and drug ya here?”

Esmerelda has brought a plate of the same mutton, and a rather bitter tasting, but hearty, beer. She lingers for a moment after placing the plate and mug in front of him, blushing slightly again. A sigh carries her off to her next customer.

“We were in Nöd…and then got her, somehow.” Magnus manages to say as he suddenly realizes he’s starving.

A rumble of a laugh comes out of the dwarf. “Yer in Callebain. If Nöd is the opposite to Garradon then Callebain is the opposite of Nöd. Sorts of. I don’t tinker with the magicks much so I don’t fully understand. But the orichalcum curtain protects the city from the moons effects. That’s what I been doin’, finding me some orichalcum materials to sell to the meister. Found a solid vein and just couldn’t stop until I’d gotten all I could.”

Kelvus continues on to describe the city somewhat and making a second reference to the sleeping god. That piques Magnus’ curiosity, but just as he is about to ask motion on the stairs down catches his attention. The rest of the party has awoken and made their way downstairs. Yawning and stretching they also take in the scene before them. Esmerelda has already diverted herself to catch them at the base of the stairs and points out your table.

Kelvus notices Esmerelda sending over the rest of the group. “Well, I guess I’d better let you have yer table.” He manages to squeeze his impressive girth out of the seat and gives Magnus a nod as he heads toward the stairs himself. Likely headed to his own room to take a much needed rest.

LuigiCastellani_MYTHKELI2.jpg

View
Reamya's Eulogy/Birth Announcement

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of the mighty Reamya in the dungeons beneath Nod. She died bravely while fighting a demon from the 9 levels of hell. Unfortunately it was not the demon that killed her.

On the upside we are proud to announce the birth of a beautiful bouncing Blue Slaad. They’re saying it has its mother’s eyes. No, literally, they’re in a pouch at its waist.

For the time being the party is resting in a tavern in the underground city of Callebain. The city seems safe and comfortable, but please make sure to wash well as fungus spores grow quickly down here.

View
Dark room/Darker secrets

You’d gone through the basement of the Blade Runer’s shop and found his own room of horrors. A Death Slaad had followed you with a group of unwary city guards in an attempt to stop you. After working your way through the sewers, avoiding a heavily trapped set of stairs you opted to go down the, comparatively, non-descript set of spiral stairs in the storage room.

Once down the stairs you found yourself in a small 20′×20′ room with a single doorway leading out. The room is unlit and only a small amount of light leaks out from the doorway. A ‘crunching’ sound draws your attention to the floor. It’s littered with bones. Some with bite marks. The marrow sucked from all of them.

A loud ‘THUNK’ comes from above as you redouble your efforts to work out the door. A heavy stone slab has closed down over the top of the stairwell you just used. A push against it shows that it would be nigh impossible to open.

Your remaining exit, the door, seems to be barred from the outside as there is no signs of of a lock, or even hinges, on this side.

The smell of charcoal wafts through the small amount of air moving under the door. Feint whispering can be heard on the other side as well.

As you talk among yourselves trying to decide what to do you hear a feint voice. At first it’s mistaken for someone talking outside the room. Then it gets louder.

“What? The light, it’s real?

Well, no, it can’t be.

One hasn’t seen but the crack of light for so long.

Well, then, who pray tell is that? If the light isn’t real certainly they are?

I ’spose. The room is remarkably smellier than it was a bit ago.

Then I ’spose we should talk to them? Yes, yes, it would be rude to do otherwise."

The voices seem to be coming from just at the point where the stairwell meets the ground, on the backside against the wall. You realize there’s a pile of fur, no hair, a wig? Laying on the ground, shoved as tight into that hole as possible.

The hair moves toward you in a shuffle. Suddenly a spindly pale arm shoots from the pile of hair, its palms covered in leather wraps. Three fingers and thumb, coming to sharpened points, shoots toward you with remarkable speed, stopping just in front of you. Hand upright as if waiting.

“Well, I ‘spose they’re more rude than we are? Hand held out for shaking and they gawk. Like they’d never seen a Korred before.

Hrm, this is no behavior to have if we’re going to be sharing the oubliette"

View
In Terminus you trust?

Terminus paces the floor mumbling to himself. His brow furrowed and chin in hand. Finally after several minutes he looks at the group a decision made.

“We need to find Wala. I’m sure she has heard something already and may have some guidance.” Peeking out the soft leather curtains that cover the hole that serves as a window he says, “We’ll wait for night. Be wary with Tiln and Doowin having set, your magic will be even more dangerous I’m afraid.”

As you sit and talk among yourselves, that child’s fairy tale comes back to you. Seemingly more relevant than a simple tale.

By a tick of the clock that stretches long
By Epoch’s hand she’ll take the wrong

The nightmares bring the phaeton’s creak
To search for those that she does seek

So hide thee children by thatch or sod
Or she’ll take you to the land of Nod

To protect the light, she guards the dawn
Or the night will grow too long

So heed good children, stay to the light
Or Mistress will with you take flight

Are you chasing the Fae Dust Queen, or did Reamya bring you here intentionally? Or is this all coincidence?

Outside the blue glow from the moons, Tiln and Doowin, lessen as Tiln drops over the horizon. The world is fading into a darkness unknown even in the grand caves you’ve entered. You realize you’d entered Nöd at mid-day and suddenly miss the blistering yellow sun of the desert…

View
Epoch's Sphinx

The sphinx sits upon the top of the pyramid, where the point would be. She watches calmly as you approach, completely nonplussed by your appearance.

You notice that the once sunny sky is now a flat gray, no clouds, stars , sun or moon mar its dome, but the heat still prevails. It’s stifling and almost threatening in its presence.

As you size her up she lays down upon her paws, crossing them, to better support her resting head.

Just underneath those great paws you note an entrance into the topmost portion of the pyramid. You can just see inside. Torches appear to light an empty room.

“Welcome fair travelers. Epoch welcomes you to his domain. Those wishing entrance to the grand city of Nöd must show a modicum of respect and intelligence before entering. Those you met on your travel had failed.”

With a yawn, she shifts in position, mildly agitated by having guests.

“I must warn you, once asked, you must answer. And once answered you must enter Epoch’s Temple.”

A hasty “Get on with it!” from the swashbuckler Inigo answers for the party.

Staring at you intently she says:

“I am all that I am and all that you see,
Yet I’m nothing at all and from you I flee.
Formed of distortion, perceptions awry,
I play the horizon where always I lie.”

With that, her eyes close, asleep, and completely at her ease.

Your food supplies low and days now spent in this eternal desert that should have only been a half-days walk. A depression hangs over you with the realization of the task before you.

There is but one way out…choose your answer wisely.

View
Fairweather, fairly disturbed

After your encounter in the wilds outside of FairWeather you catch sight of a small hillock with an additional Drow apparently standing watch. You attempt to speak to him, but he draws a wicked looking sword of black steel in reply. A quick fight ensues ending with the Drow’s final scream stopped suddenly by Magnus’ massive maul.

A quick inspection shows that he was guarding the entrance to a small cave. It only travels back 15’ into the hillock before dead-ending. A thorough search finds no secret doors or other apparent exits.

In the back you find a small fire pit and the sleeping pallets apparently used by the hunting party. You also find a small chest that contains an amount of loose coins as well as 5 bags of 100 gold that are marked “Queen’s Inn”…the missing payment to Inigo’s village.

In addition to Inigo’s money there is:
250gp
530sp
Very large sapphire valued at 1,000gp.
The black sword isn’t noteworthy, other than it’s designed to hold and dispense poison when a target is slashed.

Upon return to the village you find that most of the villagers are headed back to their homes after cleaning up and dealing with the night’s terrors. Even though dawn is just lighting up the sky your exhausted frames eagerly except the inn keeper’s offer for free lodging.

The inn keeper himself apologizes profusely to Inigo, and the party in general, for his behavior. He knew that something was wrong, but didn’t seem to have the ability to tell anyone. He described it as being inside a room with broad windows. He could see what he was doing, but he couldn’t interact with the outside. He’s clearly traumatized.

After a long rest, you’re awakened, once again to the sounds of the villagers in panic outside the windows and a pounding at your door…

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.