E-101 - "Things to do in Phlan"
Campaign date: 03 Elient, 1480
The heroes made arrangements in Phlan, promoting their goals and preparing for a dinner with the High Lord at Fort Hood.
- Rasha instructed Voluuk to open trade routes to Hillsfar, Myth-Drannor and Thar, assigning a Half-Orc named Brysra to lead the northern route.
- Rasha is trying to buy the underwater inn (the Sea Orchid), and the Mind-flyer who owns it told him that he will sleep on it.
- Moondrake received the Mongrel's ship as a reward for his services, with Vilemaul as first mate.
- Budd started an effort to reunite all monasteries and form a single order that will protect all sacred items they hold.
- Kreel discovered the reason for his amnesia - it looks like a Paladin of Bahamut banished Kognar's soul back into the Shadowfell, leaving Kreel as an 'empty vessel'.
- Darin offered Moondrake help in finding and extracting revenge on Darrab Bruteblade, an old enemy of Moondrake.
- Darin followed up the Elven Scout he sent to Shar's temple (the elf with the missing hand).
At the fort, the heroes were told that the old mansion is their's to use as they see fit. The fort will be used by Hillsfarian / Phlanesse companies to reclaim the old city. Right know, the Soulreavers company is stationed there (followers of Kelemvore - god of Death).
The First Lord told the heroes he appreciates their efforts, and therefore the fort is their to command. He urges them to keep promoting his ultimate goal - a crown to unite the Moonsea. He tells them that he is open for advancements in all directions. Diplomacy, trade, rebuilding the cities and strengthening the army and the fleet - he wants all of the Moonsea to unite under his rule, and promises great rewards to those who promote this goal.
- Budd recruited the two numb-minded gardeners to grow herbs in a special garden Budd claimed for himself.
- Budd was told by two of his Yellow Rose monks followers that they are searching for a Lens of True Seeing in order to decipher the Trilogy of Dragons (the red, white and black books).
- Rasha wants to have a permanent squad of Kelemvore priests present at the fort, in return for a small shrine he will allow them to build there.
- Darin wants to travel east to Melvaunt to go looking for a special book - he claims this is worth a lot of money and might help them glean some information from Aramil.
- Darin wants his followers to recruit two of the fort's staff and make them into informers.
The heroes decided to head east using Moondrake's ship. At the ship's lower deck they found a magical opening that led into a trap room, where the Mongrel's Magic Jar (a pulsing crystal holding his life-force) was found. The heroes managed to take the crystal and used Spellcraft to learn that the crystal poses a risk of possession for any who hold it, unless a Protection against Evil magic is laid on it.
The ship's continues its cruise east, and the heroes are standing on the verge of new adventures and new beginnings...
E-102 - "Knights in Shining Armor"
Campaign date: 05 Elient, 1480
Moondrake's vessel was attacked by the Troglodyte pirate lord Knash and his sorcerous brother. Rope ladders on Moondrake's ship were lowered prior to the attack, and a magical fog surrounded the heroes ship, easing the pirates way onboard.
After defeating the pirates in a bloody fight, the heroes took over their ship, finding 30 slaves bound in the lower deck of the Trogs ship. The slaves told the heroes that they came from Damara, waking up in the ship after going to sleep in their beds at home. One of the slaves (a young girl), told Moondrake that her parents are missing. Moondrake examined the pirate ship's logs, noting the name "the Silly Queen".
Arriving at Melvaunt docks, Moondrake hears that some shady folks are asking about him at the alleys from the docks tax collector - Anton Goldenheart. In addition, the heroes learn that the city's High Mage - Shadowglint - is taking a great interest in slaves arriving, ordering the tax collectors to search the ships for them. Since Moondrake released the slaves the heroes saved from Knash, the tax collector allows the heroes in without further issues.
At Melvaunt, the heroes each turn to their own business, noting how the locals always walk the filthy streets in pairs, wearing long, black leather coats to protect them from the oily fog that constantly covers the city:
- Darin, Kreel and Rasha head to the Temple of Malar in order to query about the whereabouts of the Book of Vile Darkness. On their way, the trio witnessed three Torm paladins beating up peasants for stealing food from the market. Darin interjected, telling the paladins its a mistake, as he asked the peasants to buy the food, and handed some coins to the paladins who left with a smirk. Darin then told the peasants to head to the nearest Shar temple for some healing. At the Temple of Malar, wagons loaded with beasts of all kinds awaits there, and the priests traded shouts with the wagon's owner. The cages looked fragile, and so the heroes told so to the priests, who drove the merchant away. At Septon's quarters (Darin's contact in the city), the heroes tried to get her to talk about the book, but she looked terrified, as if someone is listening. After noting her discomfort, the heroes suggested to meet her later at the Silly Queen - which turned out to be a local bustling inn. Rasha - always seeking new contacts, was pointed to a legendary artificer named Theoderus, a dwarven smith who operates magic on the items he creates. Rasha is warned that Theoderus is not an easy man, with a bad attitude toward uninvited guests.
- Budd and Moodrake went to the temple of Torm to secure a deal to sell their newly acquired. ship. On their way they saw the local militia (aided by a Priest of Torm wearing a monocle on his right eye) apprehending what seems to be thugs. One of the thugs turned out to be a Half-Giant disguised by a spell once the priest dispelled it after watching the thugs with his monocle. Arriving to the temple, Moondrake took the time to secure the sale contract, while Budd talked to the priests about healing herbs. One of the priests asked Budd to have a look at one of their guests, a man inflicted with some strange disease. Budd was startled to see a man resembling Rasha on the bed. After a quick inspection, Budd told the priest that the infliction is a serious disease called Mind-Fire, which cannot be undone by regular means, and which originates at Drow mushrooms. The priest then told Budd about two people with knowledge about the matter in Melvaunt - one a mad mage named Loktar, the other a fallen paladin named Tavor. In addition, Moondrake went to the city's hall to talk to the high mage, but encountered a solid wall of clerks and low ranking officials. They asked him if the slaves were tattooed, and insisted on him giving them all the details, but Moondrake refused, saying he wants a meeting with the mage, but the officials just smiled and thanked him for the heads up.
Later on, the heroes meet at the Silly Queen waiting for the Priest of Malar to appear. The door opens, and several militia guards accompanied by paladins of Torm and the monocle wearing priest enter the inn, scanning the crowd with their eyes...
E-103 - "Waste'm"
Campaign date: 05-08 Elient, 1480
The priest pin-pointed Rasha in the crowed and shouted at his men to seize the "Dark Elf". A fight erupted, with the heroes scattering. In the midst of the chaos, giant spiders broke the inn's windows and joined the fray.
Moondrake - sensing that the spiders are being remotely controlled - left the inn and spotted two dark elves using magic to control the spiders. Using magic of his own, Moondrake managed to 'look through the spiders eyes' and learnt that the beasts were instructed to search for someone, but he couldn't learn their target identity.
Rasha and Kreel fled through the inn's back door, following the innkeeper. They discovered a staircase leading below the inn and into a secret cave, and found the inn's owner "secret stash" - several tattooed slaves. Slipping out - Rasha and Kreel encountered Vallerio and his Bugbear thugs, who seem to deal in slave-trading. Blows where traded, but the heroes prevailed (barely).
Darin was taken outside the inn by one of the nobles. Stirring politics, Darin attempted to ally with the noble - but it seems the nobles and the priests are on the same side.
As a result of their association with the Drow, the heroes were outlawed in the city. Returning to the ship, they've learnt that Vilemaul was possessed by the spirit of The Mongrel, and a mutiny broke on Moondrake's ship. Restoring order, Moondrake seemingly managed to free his friend from the clutches of The Mongrel, but the fate of that evil spirit is still unknown.
Searching for allies (with Darin pressing hard for the retrieval of the Book of Vile Darkness), the heroes learnt that The nobles approve of the priests because of the funds the priest hold, with the Thieves' guild - unhappy with the priests actions - pressed hard due to Vallerio's gang actions.
The heroes managed to contact Shadowglint - an enigma of its own - who told them he can help if they aid him get rid of the priests. The heroes accepted, and decided to use the Thieve's Guild as a way to gain leverage against the priests, in the form of the tattooed slaves (which the priests seek).
The heroes find themselves knee-deep in a political cesspool. Surrounded by powerful, cold-blooded enemies and in the company of dubious allies, the heroes taste the bitter taste of the smoke covered dish that is Melvaunt...
E-104 - “Deliverance”
Campaign Date: 10-12 Eleint, 1480
Sannis kept to his word and gathered all the tattooed slaves the heroes freed at the Dancing Keg inn. In addition, he managed to give a better description of the people seeking Moondrake: six dwarves dressed up as pilgrims seeking a ship to Damara. They seem to hold strange rods covered with Draconic runes.
The heroes decided to seek out Vallerio and confront him, ambushing two of his minions at the Silly Queen inn. The heroes learn that Valleio’s hideout is Fort Raak, up north near Thar’s border. The heroes learnt that a bearded, red-head soldier is his contact there, and they should approach that man to gain an audience with the crime-lord.
Later on, the heroes pressed on with their plans to diminish the priests reputation in town, using their allies in the thieve’s guild to organize a ‘religious’ riot against one of the noble’s pregnant daughter. That, in addition to their newly established banking operation (funded partially by Rasha, the thieve’s guild and Shadowglint), swayed some movers and shakers in the city from dealing with the priests (the priests of Malar as a good example).
The heroes were surprised that the Erskur - the giant they befriended near Jassor's fort several weeks ago - showed up at the gates of Melvaunt with his brother. The giant told the heroes that he met the 'sad princess', who told him to hurry up and head to Melvaunt to 'protect the heroes', which he immediately did.
Seeking a final, decisive blow to the priests, the heroes decided to look into the hanging that was about to be celebrated at the city’s square - the priests claim to have captured the Drow causing all the problems at the Silly Queen inn. The heroes managed to get the blue-prints of the underground compound the priests are building, learning that a special ritual is about to be performed there - a ritual that might include sacrificing a dragon. Moondrake met one of the dwarves, who warned him that ‘they are going to try and kill you inside (the compound)’ before vanishing. The rune-covered rod turned out to be a repellant of some sort, causing Moondrake’s ‘companion’ to get very anxious.
The heroes decided to try and free the Drow prisoner before the hanging as a way to make the priests lose face. The adventures ambushed the guards escorting the prisoner to the gallows and managed to free him by using a well-coordinated use of magic and steel.
The prisoner - Kiaz - told the heroes that Xversass (now an undead, after being executed by her own mother and resurrected by a Drow priest) also seeks the spirit of the dragon that is about to be sacrificed by the priests - a black dragon with golden eyes. Kiaz told Rasha that Xversass might be very generous if the dragon orb is returned to her (in this case the Drow won’t need the Dragon’s spirit), but Rasha decided to keep the orb, and help the Drow get the dragon spirit during the priests’ ritual.
The heroes - learning that Bently Mirrorshade (Torm’s High Priest in Melvaunt) managed to subdue a Dragon - tried to figure out a way to remove the powerful cleric from the equation. Kiaz told them that the cleric is considered a zealot even among his followers, and that his mild second-in command - Matheas - might be an easier route to the priests. That said, Matheas is still a priest of Torm, and the heroes do show a tendency to walk in the shadows…
E-105 - “Swordfish”
Campaign Date: 11-13 Eleint, 1480
The heroes debate how to proceed with their plans to undermine the priests' position in Melvaunt. Suggestions from recruiting the Orcs of Thar to assassination of nobles are heard, and the heroes had a hard time to decide what is the best course of action.
During that time, the heroes used their resources to try and find out more about the dragon that is about to be smuggled into the city. They contacted Shadowglint, but something happened during the conversation - it seems that Bently managed to locate the wizard and cast a powerful spell on him. Echos of that spell hit the heroes through the wizard's projected image, causing them to pass out for nearly a day.
Upon waking up, the heroes realize that the wizard might have fallen. Budd went out to the city's square to see if there is some new movement there, and found out that strange people covered from head to toe are going into the deeper levels of the construction site (encountering a magical defense along the way).
Darin met with Lord Dirfoon, planning to assassinate him, learning that the priests are now present in Phlan and Hillsfar as well, spreading Torm's dogma and establishing themselves in the Moonsea. Cross validating it with Aramil, the heroes learn that Budd's temple in Phlan was attacked by the priests, as well as Rasha's caravan. Aramil 'took care of business' in Phlan, but he fears he didn't see the last of the priests.
The heroes decided to attack the source of the priests power - their gold shipments. Using information gained through Melvaunt's thieves guild, the heroes learn that armed carriages bearing the mark of Torm are traveling the region, possibly containing gold and important people.
The heroes ambushed one of the carriages (one traveling north), encountering tough resistance in the form of two celestial hound-like paladins. The heroes (barely) managed to eliminate the guards and the celestial beings, only to find a lone Elturgardian politician hiding inside the carriage.
The heroes learn that the politician is on route to Fort Dusk, with payments for one Lord Bregen, a powerful warlord living in Thar. Rasha recalled the history of the Bregen family - an ancient house of power and descendants of the royal family that once ruled Hillsfar. At the height of its power, this family literally ruled Hillsfar. But something happened, and the family's power diminished greatly. Now the last descendants are spread over all the Moonsea, one up north, one is now a High Priest of Torm in Elturgard, and the other went to Myth-Drannor as was never seen since.
During the interrogation, the heroes noticed that the politician acts funny (easily gets out of his bonds to scratch his nose, quickly writing a scroll of explosive runes when asked to write down all the information he gave them etc). The heroes managed to discover that he was some sort on an illusion, but the discovery left them pondering: why would anyone give them such valuable information, and to what end?
With the clerics of Torm suddenly spreading their influence over the Moonsea, and Fort Dusk's name rising again (Lylar's renegade brother, Delasko, allegedly hid there a long time ago), it seems the Moonsea still holds promise for great adventure and ever greater rewards...
E-106 - “Dark Moon Rising”
Campaign Date: 13-15 Eleint, 1480
Deciding to use the successful raid on the priests' caravan, the heroes manipulated the scene and disguised their attack as an Orc attack. Darin left the goblin dice the heroes collected several weeks back near Hillsfar. Budd hid the carriage in the hills, spotting something that looked like a Dragon speeding up above.
The heroes backed up to Melvaunt, seeing lots of traffic in and out of the city. It turns out that the priests have sent forth an urgent call for builders, engineers, merchants and adventurers - all in the purpose of speeding up the construction of the auditorium in the city's square.
The heroes gave some of the Elturgardian gold to Rasha's Orcs, sending one Orc to notify Thar of the (false) planned raid against the Orcs. In Melvaunt, the heroes plant the same (false) rumor - saying that the Orcs plan to raid the area very soon.
Approaching the city, the heroes learnt that Sannis (the thieve's guild master) was captured by the priest and was executed.
The heroes camped just outside Melvaunt to avoid the warrant on their name. Budd sent a message to the clerics, signed as the head of the Black Raven monastery to initiate peace talks, while Darin continued his relentless attempts to undermine the priests (this time by talking some youngsters into an assassination attempt of one of the rich priests). Moondrake learned that some of the adventurers coming into the city were contacted by Vallerio and his men, to imprint a defiling rune (very similar to the runes on the slaves) on the machinery needed for the ritual planned by the priests.
Moondrake visited Vilemaul on his ship, learning that two ships are approaching Melvaunt from the south, signaling using a cipher. The heroes decided to investigate. They soon learned that the two ships are carrying equipment needed in the city, and that one ship have issues with 'noises' in the cargo area.
Using some clever tactics, the heroes boarded the 'noisy' ship, and confronted an imp and his overpowered aberration minion in the cargo area. More clever tactics were used to get rid of the more powerful beast, leaving the imp in a more talkative mood. The heroes learned that a Red Wizard is behind Vallerio's efforts - a wizard hiding in Fort Raak. The imp gave the heroes information in return for them killing the wizard (and freeing him): the wizard is planning to use the runes (both on the slaves and on the machinery) to sabotage the priests ritual and turn it up side down...
With Moondrake now holding two ships, the heroes debated how to proceed with their plan, now that they know who is the real mind behind Vallerio's organization, and what is his true purpose.
E-106 - “Dreams of the Red Wizards”
Campaign Date: 17 Eleint, 1480
The heroes infiltrated the cleric's temple beneath the city's square, only to find out that by doing that they fulfilled an ancient prophecy.
Bently tried to bind the Astral Dragon's spirit - residing in shattered pieces within Moondrake, Rasha and Shadowglint - creating the sacred sun known as the Eye of Torm. But both the High Priest and the heroes underestimated the power behind Vallerio's organization - a powerful Red Wizard with goals unknown.
The Red Wizard tore Fort Raak from its rocky foundation, making the castle into a flying fortress. Fending off the paladins sent to investigate his doings, the wizard used great magics and managed to defile the Eye of Torm, turning it into a Dark Moon in the skies of Melvaunt.
The city has fallen, and so have Moondrake and Rasha - their bodies were never recovered from the ruins of the priests underground temple.
It is a time of great turmoil. The city is in chaos - but not for long. The Red Wizards are known for their lawful ways. The heroes gather at Moondrake's vessel, debating their course of action given the recent events...
E-107 - “Stardust”
Campaign Date: 17-21 Eleint, 1480
The heroes were still debating the best course of action when Althea materialized on the deck, using a foul portal that seemed to be created from the essence of Evil. She pointed up and helped the heroes locate a comet that was rushing down.
The comet turned out to be non-other than Rasha, who seemed to have abandoned his Drow heritage. Named Rasha the Servant, he is now a follower of Io, transformed into a High-Elf with angelic features.
While the heroes interrogated the elf, Vilemaul appeared and told them that Moondrake's cabin seems to be occupied. The heroes descend and find Moondrake, now transformed into a half-dragon humanoid, who seems to have been awoken from a long slumber.
With both of the presumed dead back on the ship, the heroes decide to head to Phlan, with Althea warning them of her father's recent magical discoveries. 'He seems...different...' she says, and falls into a deep silence.
The heroes reach Phlan and find the city bustling with renewed trade, but the people seem anxious, fearful of a new war. Rasha summons the council as word of Aramil's absence comes to the heroes ears. The council seems divided, some fearing Hillsfar is pushing for dominance again. Rasha gave each member of the council permission to speak, and dismissed the council promising to look into matters personally.
The heroes decided to search for Aramil in his current whereabouts - an abandoned library in the ruined part of Phlan. The heroes encountered several shadow-beings on their way, sipping strength as if it was blood. After dealing with the creatures, the heroes found Aramil's hideout, and descended into the darkness.
The vampire-lord was indeed there, 8 feet tall and disfigured. He babbled about some 'new source of power' he tapped into, and demanded the book Darin worked hard to get his hands on at Melvaunt.
Sensing the book might give Aramil too much power, the heroes tried to prevent the vampire from taking it, but the old vampire unleashed a most powerful magic, toppling the entire structure on the adventurers' heads and vanishing into the night with the book, leaving Rasha dead, with the rest of the heroes badly wounded and buried under tons of rock.
E-108 - “Questions in the Dark”
Campaign Date: 22-24 Eleint, 1480
The heroes cleared the rubble and searched the collapsed structure hoping to find some leads that will shed light on Aramil plans. Two handwritten notes (one containing the word 'Gauntlgrym' and the other containing the sentence 'Karundax's Temple') were found, leaving the heroes some clues to pursue.
The death of Rasha seemed to have rippled through the weave, as an elven warrior named Dirnogothrond Drake-Protector arrived at the scene, helping the heroes out of the ruin, and resurrecting their fallen companion. The elven warrior proclaimed Rasha as 'the prophet', declaring his oath to guard him and follow him in his quest.
At this point, Darin, who seemed to have reconsidered his path, decided to leave the heroes to their own fate, saying that they will meet again - and he hopes that they will choose their 'side' correctly.
At dust, the heroes decided to to go Phlan, learning that Aramil have told Fort Hood's men to eliminate the heroes if they ever get there (because they have been infected with some disease). The heroes managed to leave Phlan undetected.
Proceeding to Harrowdale, the heroes learned that an old monk with a gift of prophecy lives there. Consulting with him, he offered them a vision if they met him near the villages sacred stone-hedge.
While waiting for the old man, the heroes were visited by a spirit of some sort, warning them of the old's man evil. The heroes where therefore ready when the old man (and his minions) came for the them, transforming into demons and proclaiming their alliance with the Cult of the Dragon.
After the battle, the heroes discover that the village is actually empty of life, and the real monk lying dead on a staircase leading down from his cabin...
E-109 - “Fire and Ice”
Campaign Date: 25 Eleint, 1480
The heroes found a portal under the dead monk's cabin, its magical aura bustling with the essence of the four elements. The view seen from the portal was that of an icy tundra, black mountains covered with ice, and a lone road leading on to a far away town. On the road was a caravan with the mark of Dragonflight Services merchant company on it.
On a wall near the portal were several heavy capes and a number of green blades - a closer inspection revealed that the equipment is magical, with the capes providing protection for cold.
The heroes, realizing the demons they fought before probably sneaked through the portal, hurried through it and rushed forward to meet the caravan. The frozen wind tore at their clothes, and the heroes realized that without the capes they would have been in great trouble due to the freezing temperatures.
Joining the caravan, the heroes met Helda Silverstream, kin to the great Stokley Silverstream, King of of the Dwarven Valley of Kelvin's Cairn. She is on her way to Bryn Shander to visit her kin and trade with the town's people. A great shield made of Black Ice is strapped to her hand, and she told the heroes that Stokely discovered a mine of this stuff in Kelvin's Cairn. Rasha took a closer look at the black material and realized that its littered with particles that stink of foul magic.
Kreel was shown by one of the soldiers a shipment of silvered weapons destined to one named Auron, probably mistaking Kreel for someone he wasn't.
Arriving to Bryn Shander, the heroes were surprised as the weather suddenly worsened into a deep slit storm. From the fog, several strange looking monsters emerged, attacking the caravan and trying to sneak into the town. The heroes helped the guards eliminate the monsters - hearing them blaming "the barbarians" for sending the beasts. Indeed - Budd saw a strange looking figure appearing to be commanding the beasts: a pale, tall woman wearing a magnificent horned crown.
At the town, the heroes heard the locals speaking of the "barbarian who will pay for this attack", referring to supposedly thief who was caught and sentenced to die by exposure. Dirnogothrond stopped by to hear the complaints of a local trader whose shop was destroyed by one of the monsters. He claimed to have paid a large sum of gold to one "Slim" for protection, with the shady man disappearing when trouble began.
Dirnogothrond went to the Northlook inn in which Slim was supposed to reside, only to find the man standing over the body of a dead harper with a hobgoblin next to him. A short combat erupted, with Slim exposing himself as a Wererat, and the hobgoblin decapitated by the elf's blade.
Realizing Bryn Shander is a cesspit of crime and brutality, the heroes decided to investigate the sentenced barbarian story before dealing with the lycanthropes. During their investigation of the witness who got the barbarian under arrest (a small woman who owns a cloth shop), they realized Slim charged her for protection too.
Going back to the Northlook inn, the innkeeper (remembering Drinogorthrod threats during his last visit), decided to settle the score, this time with a dozen or more rough looking men at his side...