Forgotten Realms and Beyond

04: A Light Piercing the Darkness
Wraiths, Specters and an ancient hilt
A New Dawn

The Goblins near the end of the rest, decide to hop over to where the group can see. Yuk Yuk pulls out a scroll made out of animal hide and as he unrolls it, the scroll’s borders begin to glow a dull amberish color. He begins to to whisper in Goblin and Spiderbait grabs the other end of the scroll. They lay it out about 3 feet long and Spiderbait steps on the end while Yuk Yuk finishes his incantation. A 3 dimensional image begins to fold out of the scroll and it is a diagram of an ancient structure. Once Yuk Yuk finishes his incantation, he looks to Dali and says ," See, Behold the ruins… A great tomb it is. A treasure awaits! But many baddies await! Spiderbait and Yuk Yuk not strong enough but you’s are!" He then points to the entrance and explains that the layout can be seen from this scroll. However, he cannot see what lurks within. “We will take you to tomb and split finds with us, we will show you the way. Just follow us, and pack now. We should go. Rested long enough.”

All of the group stares at the image upon the scroll and make notes of the layout then Yuk Yuk rolls it back up and places it within his little bag on his back. He and Spiderbait march to the end of the maze-like cavern and stop near a ledge that leads to a bridge. Spiderbait can hear something and yelps and runs back towards Vicar, but Yuk Yuk holds his ground. Galenar and Ferohn step up and ready there weapons. Foot steps are heard and then from the northern side of the ledge steps forth a hulking Half-Orc. At first he keeps slowly pacing by the entrance way until he spots Yuk Yuk! “Huh!” he gasps and grabs a hulking sword from off his back. “Friend or Foe!”, he grunts. The Galenar and Ferohn step out form the shadows. “We should ask the same of you ORC!” and the half-orc sees that there is a group here and notices he is outnumbered. The half -orc sheathes his sword and says, " I mean you no harm. I am lost and have been wandering alone for quite some time. I mean only to get to Gracklstugh. I have business to attend there in that city." Galenar, still pointing his blade, says to the half-orc," We are headed to Gracklstugh as well and if you are indeed friendly you may join us on our venture there, but don’t slow us down or betray our trust or we will put you down, orc…" The half-Orc laughs and scratches his head," You won’t be disappointed and my name is Hjalmer of the north."

Now the group finishes packing their things and they all fall into a line with Vicar in the middle guarding her mushroom men and the quaggoth following up on the rear. Ferohn inspects the bridge over and notices that it indeed it is not going to hold their weight. He decides that he will use a spell to repair the bridge as he crosses and he safely manages to accomplish just that. Once the group makes it past the bridge they begin to wind around the last bend to where the goblins are sure they last seen the entrance to this lost tomb…

Just before the bend comes to a narrow passage, Hjalmer who was scouting ahead with nyx the sprite notices a hole in the ground. The group investigate it and find out it opens up into another set of tunnels. Perhaps these tunnels were created? The group decide it is better to press on vs. venturing into an unknown section of tunnels. After all, the goblins have a map of the lost tomb and had guaranteed them loot inside. Yuk Yuk takes the lead and walks to watery opening. The group stop for a moment to gather their composure and Yuk Yuk shows them through the last stretch of the tunnel and they come to an cavern with a height far exceeding their vision. As they approach a soft feminine voice calls out to them telepathically,“Hello? Is someone there… ? Oh please, I need your help! I have been trapped in the dark for so long… so very long. Please, won’t you help to free me?”

The group decides it to be more wise & trim the group to a more quieter size sending in only a few. Prince Derendil and the quaggoth decide to stay behind in order to guard Buppido, Gully and the mushroom men. Yuk Yuk and Spiderbait lead the group to a door in the cavern wall, that looks similar to a bronze vault door. Dali pushes the door on one side and it spins allowing him entrance. Inside he see’s a stone diorama stands to the right of the entrance, engraved below it is draconic that reads Brysis of Khaem. It depicts the sorcerer Brysis Khaem as a Netherese noble in her prime, surrounded by attendants, slaves, and other trappings of wealth and power. A vista of fantastic floating cities covers the wall to the left of the entrance.

He ushers in the remaining group and they all carefully assemble near the entrance way. They make their way up a set of stairs and constantly searching every crack and nook along the way. A few of the group members dare not disturb the remains as they fear desecrating the dead. They come to a large chamber with a door to the south and a door directly in front of the stairs. They head south first and open another large 10 foot wide bronze laid stone door and come to a small Foyer with another door. It too is movable and they each go inside what appears to be an antechamber. In it is a large stone sarcophagus along with some clay pots lining a few shelves on the wall. The pull back the lid unleashing a loud screeching sound… Dali recognizes this as some sort of magical trap and fights the noise inside and outside his head. Once the noise is over he can see the little Goblin Yuk Yuk screaming in absolute terror and his familiar Nyx doing the same. The rest of the group all managed to fight off whatever the noise was in and outside their head by resisting its fear spell. Spiderbait grabs his brother and rushes him out of the tomb and Nyx is sent away by her master as she is too afraid to continue. Obviously they are suffering from some sort of curse. They decide they will address it once the tomb has been searched.

Inside the Sarcophagus was a large silver statue of Brysis. The group try everything but couldn’t budge the statue. After much inspecting and finding nothing but removed organs and a life size silver statue they place the lid back on the Sarcophagus and head to the next room. Inside this room they find another mural with floating cities and 4 sarcophagi inside. The group inspect them carefully, afraid of setting off more traps. But before they could finish searching a ghostly specter rises out of each sarcophagus. The group made short work of the spirits. It helps to have magic and blades to scare the dead… However, the group made a discovery. Faerzress is loaded within the tomb, its been infused with it. Now they must be careful as to not set off any unnecessary wild magic surges.

They continue their search of the room when Galenar notices a sarcophagus with rollers under it. He pulls it back revealing a 4 foot in diameter hole. The group crawls through except for their monk who is annoyed at their intent to rob the dead. The rest of the group crawl for about 15 feet before they come to a pitch black room with a large sarcophagus within. This room is different. It has steps leading to the Sarcophagus and a mural of Brysis behind the stone coffin. They gather their courage realizing how easy their last fight was and begin to lift the lid. A dark mist and a moan bellows forth from the stone coffin and a large shadowy figure arises. This figure was much more fearsome in appearance than the other figures. It cries out to the group," You can not have her you foolish mortals who dare to plunder my tomb! I will use your life force to come back in full power!"

A battle ensues between the creature and group. They decide to throw caution to the wind and to throw all they got at the creature. Dali casts spells, Ferohn too as well as Galenar. All of them have the gods on their side for their magic was increased in power when they casted it and inflicted massive damage upon the creature. The monk hears fighting from the other room and rushes in to help with the problem.. After a few seconds the group end the wraith but almost losing their lives. a few of them have wounds that are nearly incurable but Ferohn works his magic as well as Dali’s potions to help those in need. Galenar and Hjalmer look inside the sarcophagus and see a hilt of a sword. Everyone just stares at the ancient incomplete sword. Galenar, being brave as he always is when it comes to treasure, reaches in and takes hold of the hilt. He begins to try and communicate with it. Perhaps it was the thing talking or was that Brysis luring them in for a trap? As Galenar holds the old hilt an overwhelming desire for him to give the hilt away hits him and he gives it to Ferohn. As Ferohn grips the hilt he feels no connection with the hilt. He whirls it around and even tries to speak to it but he begins to sense dread from the hilt. He looks to the monk and the half orc and neither one desires to touch it. Then Dali realizes something! He rushes to Ferohn. “Let me see this! This is divine in nature! Give it to Vicar, perhaps it will work for her. I know this to be some sort of weapon.” He hands the hilt to Vicar and immediately Vicar can feel divine radiance entering her being. Shortly after grasping the hilt, a soft feminine voice enters her head. “I was forged in the light and I was meant to bring light to the darkness. Wield me warrior! And let us bring a new Dawn to the night!” “Who/ what are you?” asks Vicar. “I am Dawnbringer. I am the sword you possess in your hands. Please allow me time to teach you how to use my power. Let us do what I was meant to do. Lets blaze a light into the darkness and put evil back into the depths and lay it there where it belongs.”

Vicar explains to the group everything she was hearing and introduces them to the sword. She explains that the sword can speak telepathically to anyone but can only hear a response when being wielded. The group decide to pitch camp again and regain energy outside the tomb. And Vicar walks off with Dawnbringer learning the methods it takes to bring the swords power forth. The others spend their time drawing power and curing their wounds. Healing the cursed and discussing what was seen inside the tomb.

How many days have gone by? No one can say, but for now the group decide enough time has passed for them to take quite a long rest. Prayer is in need for some of the members and more research about the history of the tomb for others. In any case, it would seem… At least from what they know, that maybe another day has passed and its another day they have survived in the darkness. Perhaps their new found weapon will help light their way in the underdark. We will soon see how bright the day can be in a world of darkness.

Dawnbringer.JPG

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03: Little Dead Things Should Stay Dead
Undead Minotaurs, Hook Horrors and Gnolls
Hooked on You

After a much needed rest the group pack up their belongings and muster the strength to tackle the long windy corridors ahead of them. Thankfully their Goblin companions have proved their worth to the group by leading them through the maze like tunnels. Of course, they are treasure blind and fail to notice some rather large bones in 3 separate piles. Before they could finish their day dream of swimming in endless treasure the piles began to rise and and take form of monstrous Minotaurs. Three of them standing nearly 9 ft tall with great-axes the size of human. The group’s warlock quickly casts the slow spell stunting their movement and reactions to the groups relentless assault. Surprisingly they were able to take the three down in a matter of seconds. Galenar searches their remains discovering what appears to be a ritual scroll located within the bone piles. The group deduce that some sort of ritual was used to bring these creatures to life, but for what purpose? Not much further the little sprite takes the lead and scouts for the group. She hears clicking and rhythmic thumps. The group cautiously approach to the next area in the tunnels. Fearing the Faerzress they rely on skill and stealth to take down whatever is ahead of them. Feron the groups half Drow realizes, those sounds being made are Hook Horrors and they negotiate the tunnels to spy on the enemy. As suspected, the hook horrors were talking with their hooked arms and clicks upon the walls. Andraste changes form to a Dire wolf and rushes in to take one down. Everyone begins to aid their druid in whatever way they can, except Vicar who fears for the Myconid’s safety. Prince Derendil nods Vicar’s way and she rushes in to aid the group, knowing the prince would watch her little friends… or are they ingredients? Oh well, matters not. She is protective of the lot of them and trusts the prince with their care. The hook horrors are dispatched and the druid wanders alone to a room where the hooks were nesting and lights a few bone piles on fire.. a few seconds later an explosion takes place and the bones as well as anything in the nest went up into flames. The group was extremely frustrated with their druid who nearly killed them with his foolishness. A fight takes place between him and a few of them and Andraste succumbs to his wounds. They loot his body and take his staff….

Soon the tunnels come to an end and so does the Faerzress infused area. The group feel more free to cast their spells and upon reaching new terrain features they encounters what appears to be smooth tunneled caves. The light has faded behind them and ahead lies only darkness. Feron and Galenar are in the lead navigating through the tunnels when out of a small passage burst forth 2 hook horrors who at first pause and take notice of the group but continue to run into another passage that seemed too small for their kind. The group decide to investigate the area the hooks came from and find that the hooks were being chased by a group a gnolls whipped into a frenzy by their god, Yeenoghu. Easily and quickly the group dispatch the hideous dog creatures. When they return they notice Buppido has split from the party and pursued the Hooks and Rumblefoot followed him. Trying to decide if they should follow Buppido or continue following the goblins to the exit from the tunnels they are spotted by another roaming Gnoll band who has a packmaster keeping the 3 gnolls with him frenzied. They rush toward Dali who thinks quickly and begins to climb the walls after he casts spider climb. He sits on the ceiling assailing the band of gnolls while the group attack them from below. Eventually they liberate the area of the dog menace and decide to send their sprite friend after Buppido. When Nyx arrives to the area where Rumblefoot and Buppido are, she sees Buppido going barbarian crazy on the hooks and Fargas Rumblefoot sticking and moving. However, it wasn’t good enough and the female Hook stabs the little halfing in the gut. He falls unconscious and without wasting a second Buppido yells in some strange language and lunges over Fargas’ body and severs his head. He then spends a few seconds dodging attacks from the hooks and drinking the halfling’s blood. Once finished with his drink he finishes the hooks off 1 by 1… and does they same to each of them. Nyx nearly screams but instantly flies back to tell her master what she had just seen.

Dali, who was quite concerned, told the others about strange and dreadful news. Feron had already left to check on Bupiddo and did not get the news. He met Buppido and noticed Buppido severing the Hooks heads drinking their blood. Feron unfazed searches the room and discovers a hole in the lower part of the ceiling. He hops through and finds a clutch of eggs. Just as he pulls his dagger out to dispose of the eggs one hatches, and locks eyes upon its new MOMMY! it instantly begins to clutch at Feron’s feet and Feron takes mercy on it and feeds it something. A few seconds later Galenar arrives and decides to kill the clutch too, but Feron strikes a deal with him. They keep the eggs and head back to the group with Buppido close behind them. The group decides Buppido is not to be trusted and they knock him out sparing him as they don’t Know how to get to Gracklstug. They tie Buppido up and strap him onto the back of a Quaggoth who reluctantly takes the mad derro upon his back. The group continue through the tunnels and search it thoroughly and find nothing but when they get to the exit there they see a few gnolls camping out awaiting their search party friends and leader’s to return. The gnolls notice the group and decide to run, but the group catch them before they get far and end their existence. Deciding the camp was a perfect place to rest they take advantage of the setup. Thus ending their strange day within the tunnels, saying goodbye to Andraste and Fargas whom they may have just met. Isn’t it interesting to know that things not from the underdark don’t stay long in this place. In the DARK.

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02: Betrayer To The Betrayers
Missing Scouts

After a much needed rest the party began to gather their belongings when their perceptive monk took notice to members missing, particularly of the gray skin nature. Tharnak rubbed his hands together and readied his weapons for what he believed to be a preemptive attack by the gray Dwarves upon his group. After a brief debate the party had come to the decision that the gray Dwarves were more than just gone, they concluded somehow that they must’ve disappeared… Magically.. Galenar began to cast spells to help reveal hidden objects as well as our hooded warlock and to no avail. Tharnak gripped his axe tightly and widened his gaze and listened with his ears. Eventually Dali was able to pick up slight scuffles in the southern area of the groups room and cast his spell revealing the hidden creature and as suspected it was an outlying glowing figure similar to a gray Dwarf. Andraste immediately rushes the figure and tackles it. Soon a grapple match would ensue and the monk moves in to help. Without questioning the figure the group 1 by 1 began to aid in the struggle while Tharnak and Vicar remained still, bracing for a possible ambush. The myconids at Vicar’s side tightly squeezing her legs not wanting to be separated by their protector push the small gnome within their tightly nestled group. The gnome begins to exclaim for his life and pleas with Buppiddo to enter into the fray who agrees and readies his great axe. Tharnak hears something slithering by him and Galenar and him begin to swing wildly at the air. THUD Tharnak hits something and Galenar follows his lead landing a few hits on the unseen thing. While the fight ensues south of the group more scuffling is heard and soon 2 gray Dwarves appear and begin to enlarge themselves. The one closest to the entrance enlarges himself and lodges himself between the archway of the stone enclave, essentially trapping the group within the chamber. Vicar charges forward and helps Galenar dispatch the large Duergar before them and once that is done both of them run in to aid Tharnak who is casting spells and swinging his glistening axe at the enlarged being in the doorway.

The group continues their struggle and through patience and sheer luck they find all the missing Duergars. Buppiddo was more than just a spectator actively chopping off the head of one of the younger Duergars and drinking its blood, calling his victim," a worthy sacrifice!" None of the group see a point in sparing these traitors who they just rescued. So they coupe de grace their leader as he laid unconscious on the ground… They dust themselves off and before they leave they hear a moderate medium sized group heading their way from the direction they originally came in on. Ahead of them in the opposite direction is a series of tunnels. In an attempt to not be caught by the stampede of footsteps heading their way they rush toward the tunnels.

Further within the tunnels but maybe a minute or two the group stumble upon a large web with two cocooned humanoids within the web. They decide its too curious to pass up and investigate. Galenar moves in to cut the cocooned humanoids and finds within a Halfling and Drow who appears very human… Being in a hurry Galenar begins to pull a potion out of his bag when he is assailed upon by a large spider 2 times his size. The group quickly dispatch the creature and Tharnak heals the 2 inebriated persons. He yells at them explaining that there is no time to explain and to run if they want to live.

After running a few hundred feet further into the tunnel it suddenly ends with a large chasm before the group. The gorge is 2000 ft across and 500 feet deep with another 500 feet above them. Laid throughout the chasm is a series of large webbing that could be used to traverse the cavern. Which way should they go? Back to where their pursuers are or onward into a maze of webs. It was agreed upon by all that the best way to go is away from their pursuers and into the maze. While struggling to navigate through the chasm and its web laid paths ahead of the party are 2 small goblins who seem to be surfing on the web and at times even looking as if they are ice skating across the large laid patches of web. They jump in front of the group and immediately begin to speak in common, which tells the group these aren’t normal goblins and they are right. In their hands is a jar of grease that they use to grease the bottoms of their boots to help them glide effortlessly across the webbing

The goblins explain that they are treasure hunters and are looking to make a quick buck. One is tall and slightly chubby while the other is small and skinny. The skinny one introduces himself and his brother as Yuk Yuk and Spiderbait. They immediately begin to try and strike a deal with the adventurers adding that if the group wanted they could get them across the gorge faster and to a safe exit but not only that; they would even take them to a place with treasure as long as they could have a share. Feeling pressed for time the group immediately agrees and hires the two without further explanation from the goblins.

Strange things were found in the web maze, treasure chests that were laiden with magical items while some had valuable potions and gems. The group being true to their word shared their treasure and gifted the goblins who were grateful. The web maze continues on for hours and the group had strange but not too difficult encounters eventually taking care of their would be ambushers within the maze. The goblins showed them a ledge that was covered in webs made into walls and Andraste morphed into a large spider and placed Dali upon his back as Dali had many slip ups on the webbing and nearly fell. Andraste began to clear the webbing when he noticed figures approaching from the other side of the obstacles. He began to sneak around the obstacles by lowering himself in spiderform with Dali on his back down the ledge and walked around the obstacles. There before him were 4 Drow scouts with 4 enslaved quaggoth. Andraste fired his webbing in hopes to catching the scouting group off guard. The party behind their web wall began to hack slash through the webbing and once they cut far enough noticed the scouts and Andraste spitting his web at them. Then Dali used a spell and transformed himself into a Drow Highpriestess. He yelled and cursed the scouts for straying so far and made them turn around. The Drow groveled and repented of their wrong and began to march back to a tunnel at the end of the ledge when all of a sudden a Large skeletal beast appeared before them and began to swing its giant axe at them wildly.

Andraste and Dali began to fire at the scouting group aiding the beast they were engaged with. The party hacked through the remaining web and rushed forth into the fray. Rushing up on the remaining quaggoth and the large skeletal beast. Since the scouting party was confused and more afraid of the priestess than the beast they each continued to fight the beast until their last dying breath. The party and the remaining 2 quaggoth focused the beast until its bones were shattered. Dali stepped off of the spider pointed to the quaggoth and explained to them they were no longer slaves. Prince Derendil stepped forward and decided that he would lead them and that if they escorted him to his kingdom, that he would be back to free the remaining quaggoth. The quaggoth submitted and while scratching their heads saw no reason to not aid another quaggoth. Prince Derendil and the 2 quaggoth followed by the goblins began to walk into the tunnel entrance and within they found yet another series of maze like tunnels. Worried the group was hungry, tired and injured the goblins suggested a nice alcove within the tunnels to rest in and quickly rushed the group there.

The group began to settle in when the goblins let them in on a something important regarding the tunnels. They explained that the Faerzress within the tunnels makes magic go boom and that is how they wound up free from their Shaman who treated them like slaves. After giving the group this important piece of knowledge they decide to take watch while the group rest and they ran off to hide near the entrance way. The 2 quaggoth decide to aid the tiny creatures in their watch and also leave to guard the entrance and the other tunnels. Thus the group survived another day in the underdark….

Prince Derendil
Yuk Yuk and Spiderbait

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01: Escape from Velkynvelve
Attack of Demons, Befriending Derro and Duergars
An Epic Escape

The adventurers were all taken from their journeys and homes while up on the upper world to somewhere in the depths of the earth for a sinister purpose by the drow. However, while enslaved fortune somewhat favored the adventurers and a roving band of Vrock demons were attacking one another at the fort of Velkynvelve’s courtyard grounds. A wounded drow eager to get back at the high priestess released the adventurers and helped them escape but not until the high priestess caught him and made him pay. The adventurers sought to find their possessions before leaving and while doing so dispatched more than half the forces of Velkynvelve with mere make shift weapons. Eventually finding their possessions, they take their quaggoth ally, Derendil, with them who eagerly helps them in their plight for he desires to return to his kingdom within the High Forest. As the adventurers were escaping one of their companions, Eldeth met with a disastrous fate. Eldeth a friend to Tharnak was caught in an unsuspecting fireball spell launched from the high priestess. She was instantly disintegrated leaving only her armor and weapon lying on the ground. Tharnak retrieved her hammer and ran with the group offering all the healing a cleric could give under the circumstances. They eventually make their way out through the south tunnel in Velkynvelve where they meet with a crazy Derro named Buppido who instantly helps them with info and options to getting back to their homes.

The group traveled for some undetermined time making several long rest before the windy caverns littered with eerily glowing Faerzress orbs began to fade and usher in a glow from the interesting mushroom flora and fauna. The caverns were still windy and damp but were littered with rare mushrooms that were found to be quite useful to a few of the party members. They were instantly snatched up by the strange looking construct adventurer named Vicar.

Shortly after entering the mushroom caverns Dali’s little companion Nyx took notice to some Gnolls cooking up a few gnomes. The adventurers pounced and managed to save and heal one but the other was lost. The gnolls were noticeably stranger than normal and even the adventurers who could not speak gnoll heard a familiar word being shrieked by the gnolls’ dying breath, the word Yeenoghu, which is known by most as a demon lord the gnolls worship. They took the gnome in and offered him protection as he too was needing to get back to Gracklstugh.

As they progressed the group cleverly kept a scout in front alerting them to every strange shape and inhabitant the mushroom cavern presented. They came across a loathsome looking stone giant who was accosted with yellowish rashy polyps all over his body and he was fixated on drawing or carving some strange motif on the ground. The group slipped by unnoticed and continued to move silently. Going around various sharp and winding turns and avoiding what looked like a slime pit with potential reward the group continued. After a few hours of moving silently and etching around each corner they come across a few myconids off a side tunnel and choose to ignore the mushroom people and take Buppido’s advice to continue down the main tunnel. Nearing the exit they come across some Gray dwarf slavers who happen to have just made them a fine catch in myconids. Rather than confront the group they decide to try and parley and perhaps could offer assistance…

And just like any other time when something starts to go good they begin to hear fighting from within the cavern behind them. The tunnels they had just traversed now sounded packed with metal clinging, clanging and roars with grunts. Something in large mass was pursuing them. They quickly decided to make a run and exit the cavern but the ground began to shake and Gray dwarfs were assailed from beneath the ground by an Ankheg. The Duergars and the party quickly dispatched it and the scout gray dwarves blew up the tunnel the ankheg made in order to prevent more from sprouting out or at least to discourage another attack as explosions tend to send ankhegs the other direction. The group forced the Duergars to leave their prized possessions they amassed on their wagon and run. For an entire day the group traveled at a fast pace eventually making camp in what seems to be a wet, windy cavern. They settled in within a crevice in the cavern wall that opened into a room and made camp to rest, and mend their wounds. The slavers break out medical kits and begin to force their slaves to tend to their wounds.

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