Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Campaign

DnD Session Update 10-12-16
Finding new friends in the Klauthen Vale

Hanrik and Yolanda make their way down the final 600 foot section of pulleys and ropes taking them down to the valley floor. Welcome to Klauthen Vale. Several hundred feet out from the valley wall from them are 3 carts pulled by oxen. They also see a dozen Bullywugs, armed and patrolling the carts. There seems to be 10 to 12 figures tied to the sides of the carts dwarves, gnomes, elves, orcs and humans. The carts are covered with tarps but you can see pole arms protruding from the back of the rear cart. As you approach stealthily, they ready themselves as the carts turn around and begin to move out just as you attack.

Taking out the rear most bullywugs is Hanriks plan as Yolanda seek out to free any of the captives to find out if they want to fight for their freedom. A half orc named Lum, a dwarf named Bouldergut and a rogue named Viktur join in the melee after they are freed and find their weapons upon the carts. As bullywugs fall you gain control of the rear wagon as Hanrik tries to use his animal control skills to steer the cart towards the remaining carts. Leaps, tumbles and bow shots are a common sight as carts ram and bullywugs continue to fall. Gaining the rest of their gear from the carts after the battle ends, the 3 join the group seeking treasure and adventure here in the vale.

Lum had learned a bit of info from one of the other captives. The bullywugs are connected to the evil that has befallen this vale and taken position on and in the island further up river. The captives have been forced to search out an ancient dwarven stronghold seeking weapons, armor, goods and items the priests want. Possible magic items have also been found and gathered. The carts were heading to this stronghold to add these to the work force. He also learned that a great “Giant” stronghold lies in the same valley wall some distance before the dwarven hold. The evil figures had gathered there but the purpose was not known. Someof the party decides to rest before heading out but pleasantly find that a 1 hour rest brings you to be fully rested as if you had rested for 8 hours.

Heading out along the far valley wall to the north/northwest where Bouldergut had found a trail, you make your way along the rocky terrain closer to the valley side but having the rangers in your group brings easier movement in this difficult terrain so you make good time. Over an hour later you come to the top of a rise and find a clearing before you leading to massive pillars bordering two 40 foot tall doors within an overhang with stairs leading up to a landing and the doors. The doors are both open with darkness beyond.

Moving in and searching you have come into a huge room with stairs and columns. Even with your dark vision you cannot see the ceiling. Half way down the massive hall you find what looks to be an old fountain but standing within it is a detailed statue of a female storm giant wreathed by magical streaking energy. You cannot touch this as a magical barrier surrounds the half wall around the fountain. A name is crudely carved near the rear of the fountain, Iymrith. History checks find this name to be that of a ancient female storm giant queen who ruled and united the giants long ago to battle the dragons for supremacy. Bouldergut realizes that this entire space was made by the dwarves of long ago probably as slaves to the giants. The ornate carvings and stone work are dwarven masterpieces. Stairs lead up both sides of the hall some 40 feet to open halls leading to 2 pair of huge doors. Viktur attempts to pick the lock he found on one of these doors but even with an exceptional attempt, he fails to open the door. Past the storm giant figure are two rows of huge columns and enormous tapestries running the length of this hall/room. The tapestries and columns have images in/upon them showing great battles and powerful magics being wielded by fire, frost, cloud and storm. Images of battle against good dragons with evil dragons shown to be fighting alongside the giants. Near the end of the hall is a great thrown and seated upon it is a fire giant. Again very detailed in viewing but you cannot touch as a magical barrier separates you and it. On the tall wall behind the thrown are four 40 foot tall archways identical to one another except for the second from the left is dark while the other three are flush stone within the archway. Yolanda fires an arrow into the dark arch and it disappears into the darkness. He tries to pass his hand into the darkness only to find it feels like a flat stone surface. Climbing the archways you find a “Giant” rune carved at each peek. From left to right they are the Cloud rune, Death rune, Fire rune and Frost rune. You all take a full rest here before moving on.

Heading out back along the valley wall towards the known dwarven stronghold, you travel another couple hours until you come upon another clearing. This time you find another huge double door in the side of the valley wall with open double doors leading out across a stone bridge that strattles a long deep ravine paralleling the valley wall. At the end of this bridge rest two more carts and oxen along with more Bullywugs and an Ogre. Watching you see captive again coming in and out of the double doors hauling material to the carts. As you move in closer you see one cart piled with shiny items. A full frontal attack is you plan as you sneak up and fire ranged weapons. Melee attacks follow as a bloody fight befalls the bullywugs and ogre but only after a horn was sounded by one of the guards at the bridge. The captives all fled back into the double doors in the valley wall. You stand victorious before the bridge.

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DnD Session Update 9-21-16
Through the fog into the valley of snow.

Looking off to the south gives you a glimpse of the path you have taken to now be standing upon the massive rock where the barbarian tribes have created a sacred shrine, Raven Mound. To the north rise the foothills and further, the Spine of the World which calls you to one of its sacred places. Searching this devastation and defaced, you find 4 dead barbarian corpses and a ransacked secret nook. At the base of the 40 foot tall wooden carved raven statue is where this nook was hidden. You have no way to tell if there had been anything within it. 4 great axes, warm clothes and footprints are what you do discover.

Heading northeastward, following the footprints you march. Tracking the path of the barbarian destroyers leads you deeper into the hills before the mountain range. Hours of travel have lead to rocky canyons that twist and turn but still keep a northward path. Your senses are awakened by the sounds of yelling and battle echoing from ahead. The canyon walls here are 30’tall as Olican and Fritz climb the top of the canyon for a better view. A battle further ahead between fully armored men is seen. After a few moments their enemy is also seen as a giant spider suddenly appears and attacks one of them but then disappears. Spells are seen being cast from others out of view. All rush towards the battle both in the canyon and up on its bluff. Warriors and bowmen armored are engaged with 2 Phase Spiders as a spell caster is positioned in a grotto in the canyon wall fighting from there. You all enter combat to try to take out the spiders.

The spiders end up not being the only enemy as the armored warriors battle with you once the spiders had fallen. You find the grotto where the spell caster was standing to be a dark wall of shadow where he stepped and disappeared after you notice him using something in his hand. Two warriors run off but keeping one warrior alive, you try to get some answers to their being here. Tatoos of the Giant’s wyrm rune is upon each of the warriors forearms. You learn they are members of the Cult of the Dragon who are traveling to the aid of cult leader (Zanthor) who is summoning a demonic shadow dragon to the Klauthen Vale. Five priests accompany him known as Crimson, Shade, Azure, Illum and Emerald. They are reported to be in a pyramid within the vale itself. The cultists are here to plunder ancient dwarven and giant strongholds. They are to seek out powerful magic items and magic weapons, elemental armors, giant rune magic, potions or formulas and treasures all to aid the cause. There is some lesser knowledge he knows that mentions Formorians. After searching you find a giant wyrm rune carved in the back of the grotto the spell caster had vanished from. You decide to rest and try attuning with items you found.

Before you get rest time in, your watch discovers ogre like creatures heading your direction from the canyons. Not wanting to die, you find that Alaric has cut off the arm of one of the warriors that contains the giant wrym rune. Into the grotto, Alaric finds the tattoo activates the rune and a dark wall appears again. He passes through this wall and vanishes from you sight. He tries to follow the spellcaster’s path. You all pass through this dark wall in time and now stand in a foggy, shadowy realm. Walking upon fog and only able to see 60’ around you, you follow a rope and a few torches that lay in a possible path left by Alaric. In time you come upon Alaric who watched the spellcaster use the item he had to make the floor display a pathway of illumination. Alaric finds that the rune upon the severed arm when lowered to the foggy floor, also brings forth an illuminated path that can be followed. Deciding to rest and attune, you do so here in the fog clouds.

Once rested, Karda finds his great axe to be a mighty magical weapon. He holds it close. Using the severed arm, you follow a lighted path for an hour it seems until you come to a spot of bright light ahead of you. Making you way to this light, you find a portal looking out onto a snow covered mountaintop with a view that reaches for miles. Foot prints can be seen leading away from you in the snow to a lead some 30’ away. All step through this portal and into the snowy scene to find you now stand 2000’ above a huge valley floor before you. At that moment, Alaric reached into the pickle jar and brings forth the demonic idol he claimed had been stolen. He proclaims the idol to be his as you watch on. Fritz jumps Alaric trying to the idol from him and as they struggle, the idol flies over the cliff’s edge. Fritz tries to leap after the idol to get a grasp but fails to connect as he attempts to grab a rope there on the cliffs face to save himself but instead plummets to his death below.

You look around to find an elevator system made of 3 stages that can be lowered down the cliff face to ledges. You make out about half the 1800 feet down, the valley appears to be green and moist and warm looking with a double river system and green trees. You start your way down this pulley system from the first to the second stage. Searching at each level for the fallen idol in the snow. You do come upon Fritz’s body and take his items. At the top of the final stage, now in warmth some 600 feet above the valley floor, you can see several wagons pulled by beasts accompanied by numerous humanoid creatures below you in the valley. You decend…

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DnD Session Update 9-7-16
Heading North

Back in Mirabar you rest, supply up and gather information around town. After finding out that Alaric’s home was broken into and items were stolen, Fritz seeks out the thieves guild to try and find out who had done this and if they were tied to the guild. No connection to the guild is found and you have no lead to the stolen items.

After looking over the map you found in the kobold lair, you ask around and think you discover the location of the mines on the map. Grimly, the owner of Moradin’s Refuge says they look like a map of the abandoned Porphax mines to the northeast. These mines are rumored to be haunted and cursed. Live were lost there some time ago and darkness dwells there now.

Both Alaric and Fritz suggest heading for Klauthen Vale to the northwest. They have heard of riches and treasures that are there to be discovered and gained. You seek knowledge and find that the vale is set far into the Spine of the World where powerful magics keep the valley warm, even though it is surrounded by the high mountains. You also learn of rumors of a large and powerful dragon who claims the vale his. With the promise of great treasure, a plan is set to head to the vale. Between here and there you learn of barbarian tribes and a location known as the Raven Rock. This is supposed to be a spiritual place of the Black Raven and Gray Wolf tribes. Also a location known as Frost Keep lies in that area to the north. You choose to gain hire by a boatman traveling from Mirabar to Blackford with goods. So the next day you head west down the river.

During the second night on the water, you encounter an attacking force of kobolds who have strung a line across the river while attacking your boats from shore. Flaming arrows and winged kobolds bring a complex battle to you. You are victorious and make it to Blackford. Once you head out from Blackford into the wilderness, your decision to use canoes and travel up the waterways seems to pay off as you easily make you way north. The windy weather turns out to hinder your movement slightly as you approach one of the larger open bodies of water in this system. Hugging the shoreline you still make you way north although slower and taking more time, but you reach the north end of the first large lake. Camping on shore one night you encounter a winged serpent creature which you try to shoot. Magic abilities of the creature allow it to become invisible and also to create copies of itself that keep you confused but also given the chance to communicate with it. A faerie dragon it is, and you learn of treasure or reward it is offering as well as rumors of cultists gathering and heading north along the waterways. Cultists belonging to the Cult of the Dragon, this creature as encountered them and it seems they are being called to the Kauthen Vale. The next morning you head out across the waterways once again. Making good time in the windy conditions, you come across trodden grass along the shore that leads to an encampment. You also find 2 canoes hidden in the brush. A trail leads off into the open lands to the north of here. You rest but as bight falls you can see a small fire off to the north of you nearer the hills before the mountains. You head off seeking these lights in the night. During your trek across the grass plains as you reach more roughed lands, the fire you see turns into flashes and bursts. Natural or possible magic fires and even lightning explode out in the hills before you in the distance.

The next morning after resting you head further north towards the area you had seen the great lights. Traveling a good few hours you come to a rocky outcropping with a pathway circling around making its way up to the top of a great stone some 100’ across and 50’ up. A tall slender column stands in the center on this stone but appears damaged. As you make you way up the stone to the top, you find several dead bodies looking to be dressed in barbarian clothing and this 40’ tall column that was once a carved statue of some mighty bird, broken and damaged and also looking burnt.

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DnD Session Update 8-31-16
Triumphant Return to Mirabar

During your rest overnight outside the underground complex, you are awoken by the sounds of thuds, crashing trees and brush as well as howls off in the distance. As you did not get a full rest in, you are still down on spells and hit points. As the rain still falls, perception in distance and direction are confusing for the sounds you hear. Half the party moves for the ravine as the other half waits to discover what is making these sounds. Deer run towards the watching group coming from the direction of the noise. Through the rain figures can be made out, ogre sized beings, one with a deer thrown over its shoulder make their way toward you. Hanrik fires off a few bow shots trying to attract their attention in a different direction, this seems to partly work. Back at the ravine, figures can be seen and heard in the ravine itself. After moments, figures can be seen on the far side of the ravine up at the top of the ledge as a deer runs out of the ravine below you. The members near the ravine make for the sloped entrance and hide in the grotto where you had encountered kobolds, waiting for the ogre like beings to pass. The remaining party moves towards the ravine but stops and hides as they notice ogre like creatures approaching. Finally after time, all make their way down into the ravine and them climb into the opening you had widened leading back into the dark corridors of the complex below.

Setting alarms and traps, finding your way through the water and mud to one of the center rooms with intact doors, you make camp and attempt to rest a full rest. When you arise, fully rested, you discover the rain has stopped and no foes can be found. Checking out the containers of water you had found, Hanrik tastes one and take damage from the liquid. Also the pouch of dark coins causes a Wisdon saving throw to be made as Hanrik touches one. You decide to explore the complex further.

Unlocking the first set of double doors you encountered, you make your way back into the main alter chamber with the raised dais and alter. Finding nothing different from whence you had last been here, Hanrik flips one of the dark coins into the dark hole but make another Wisdom saving through again. The coin disappears into the black space. Alaric then sticks his hand into the hole and feels the coin, he then has to make a Wisdom saving throw. As he pulls his hand out, he bumps something in the darkness that seems to fall over. He reaches around and pulls and grabs a fist sized object and tries to remove it from the dark hole. When he does, all have to make a Wisdom saving throw that Alaric and Fritz fail. The both seem to want the figurine Alaric has removed from the alter. The figurine/idol radiates evil, Durim discovers. Alaric puts it away on his person.

Exploring further into the complex, you unlock the second set of double doors and make your way down that set of stairs to another hall. Before you is another set of stairs leading down, to the right a collapsed tunnel and to the left, a hallway leading away some 100 feet. Magic auras are seen by Alaric covering the collapsed hall and at the bottom of the new stairwell, also collapsed. Alaric cannot move into either of these places and a force keeps him at bay. However, Hanrik and Fritz do move into these places and search the areas to find nothing of interest, just collapsed debris. To the left up the hall there are 2 openings. The first contains numerous ghouls that attack. As the battle is in full, ghasts make their way down from the second hallway opening and join in the fight making 2 fronts. Alaric falls to damage during battle. Durim moves in and takes Alarics sack seeking to possess the evil idol thought to be contained there. When Alaric is revived and Durim discovers the idol is not within the sack, a discussion over the idols whereabouts and needed distruction takes place. Alaric argues the fact that no evil has taken place other than the stealing of his sack by Durim. So Durim retuns his sack and bot agree that this needs to be addressed at some point. Victorious over the undead, you search the rooms. The first room has 7 small semi-circular shelves on the wall 4’ off the floor with a brass container resting on the floor beneath each shelf. Above each shelf is a symbol Alaric identifies as an ancient symbol of the giant races known as a dragon rune, each is slightly different but all of the “wyrm”. The containers are empty but do have a hinged stopper in each, they radiate no magic. Alaric takes the containers. The final room is an ancient kitchen and eating area that has deteriorated images upon the walls. Stone, Fire and Frost giants are depicted in the images along with robed figures. There are several robed figures holding small containers, similar to the ones you found, aloft with streams of liquid filling them from above. You decide to try pouring the liquid from the containers you found into one of the small brass vessels/urns you found. When you do, the liquid turns red within the urn.

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On your way out you search the main temple area and alcoves finding nothing. The massive collapsed and buried doors also have a magic aura similar to that on the collapsed passages below. Abjuration and enchantment auras are present. You climb your way out of the underground passages and into the light of day. Torches and magic light are extinguished as you set off for Mirabar to the south.

Alaric heads for his rented hovel in the north city as Durim, Fritz and Hanrik head for Moradin’s Refuge for some well deserved drinks. Hanrik spouts out to all that can here in the busy bar about the groups exploits into the dark passages and the finding of a dark idol. He also tells of the return of the half-elven child to the Fitgerald family out in the quarries. (You did receive your reward from Victoria-Victoria and many thanks for the safe return of her daughter.) Hanrik does not describe the location where you found this idol but he does describe the encounters with the kobolds, ogres and description of the interior of the complex you had explored. Fritz makes contact with the local thieves guild to pay his guild fee while Durim seeks out a temple of his alignment. The rest of the party has time in the city.

All find rooms somewhere in the city to sleep. Time is spent here in town for a week, so any supplies needed or information being sought can be attempted. Fritz returns back to the dwarven bar where Hanrik has been staying. He encourages him to find Alaric and the party and return to the bar. Upon their return, Fritz reveals that there are non descriptive rumors of loot and great adventures north into the mountains of the Klauthen Vale.

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DnD Session Update 8-24-16
Hanrik's Tall Tales

This tale begins outside of Mirabar. Beside me was Jeleneth, the brave animal shifting druid, Durim, the protective shield-bearing paladin, and Fritz, a cunning gnome who can disappear at will. I stood among them with my greataxe in hand. Together we walked along a dried up river bed.

Twas in this valley that we happened upon a narrow crevasse along the edge. Fritz approached the hole first and noticed fine stonework within. After a few moments of prodding, touching, and sniffing, he declared it safe, if only the hole was larger. I, with my strong and mighty arms, and a shovel, moved earth and rock to make the hole into a cavernous entrance that would have pleased even the most displeased gods. It began to rain as we descended into the darkness.

We came upon a long dark passage. In front of us was an open door, the passage extended in both directions before vanishing around corners. We paused for a moment for the disturbed dust to settle. At this moment, we hear a dry and rhythmic rapping of approaching danger.

Dim torch light falls upon a pack of wolves as they round the corner. It becomes obvious, these are undead dire wolves. Each more ferocious than the last. The fight is on! Durim and I charge ahead. But even with my axe and Durim’s shield we are nearly overcome by teeth and claws of six savage hell beasts. And so Jeleneth the druid transforms into a mighty white wolf. She, knowing the ways of beasts, strikes one down and turns the attack in our favor. Durim deals a fatal blow with his shield, this gives me the opening to swing my greataxe. In a hefty full arc, I render the remaining four wolves into a pile of bones and dust.

We find Fritz in the center room. He had cleared the area of all traps making it safe for the rest of us to enter. Fritz found a brass key. With the room properly ransacked, we turned to face the stone hallway. As Fritz re-enters the passage, an arrow flies through the air, missing him by a nose.

Jeleneth grips Fritz’s satchel in her teeth and yanks him back into the room as a hail of arrows whiz by. Durim bravely heads into the hallway as a second wave of arrows arrives, some fly past him, others strike his shield. With Durim blocking most of the arrows. Jeleneth in wolf form and I in human form run towards certain danger – a legion of undead skeleton archers. Fritz valiantly guards the rear from afar. Durim, Jeleneth, and I struggle against a baker’s dozen of them. We take arrow shots at close range. I realize that I can swing my two-handed greataxe much better if I lose my torch. But as I toss it back, a skeletal brute knocks me off balance tipping the torch towards Jeleneth, setting a tuft of her fur afire. It was brief, but enough to cause her pain, for which I deeply regret. An arrow to my chest brings my focus back into the fray. With my strength, Durim’s protection, and Jeleneth’s fury, we battle undaunted. Ultimately, we stand victorious among the rubble of snapped arrows, fallen bones, and broken skulls.

The ever watchful Fritz takes lead once more as we explore the twisting labyrinth of terror. We soon discover a great iron and wood door, fit for a castle and as tall as a standing grizzly. Fritz makes a valiant attempt to pick the lock. It is perhaps, a lock of such complexity that it could’ve only been made by a champion lock maker. It turns out to be for naught. I could tell the deep gnome is discouraged, so I offer a rousing speech which ends in me telling him with sincere heart “I Hanrik, believe in you clever Fritz. Try one more time… for me.” It is then that a fire must have been lit in Fritz’s resolve. For not only does he pick the lock, he stands tall and pushes the massive doors wide open. No small feat for a gnome as he. And in this moment reveals to us a vast room filled wall to wall with vials of a peculiar liquid. There are perhaps enough vials in here for us to take and never want of vials again. But not being a greedy bunch we take only twelve vials – about four each. Also, I took a small pouch of gems, as thanks for my great deeds.

As we explore the maze like hallway of nightmares farther, I am overcome with a thirst. I sip from one of the vials. Egads! The liquid tastes like water but my stomach is now knotted in sharp pains. I find the strength to continue, for the others would surely meet their doom without me.

We stumble upon a stairway heading ever closer to the bowels of hell, and a set of locked doors greater in size than those before. Fritz keenly recognizes this lock matches the key he discovered earlier. We enter a large and dark room. As we make way through the echoing chamber, we notice gigantic columns and rows of pews, it is then that we realize that this was once a great temple. The main doors had long ago been barricaded with boulders and trees. As we explore the ruins, a horde of ugly, smelly zombies creep in.

I run into action, meeting the foul mob in the center of the temple. Durim and Jeleneth are in the midst of the battle as well. One of the zombies is about to strike me unguarded, but falls, an arrow embedded in it’s back. Ah, good ol’ Fritz is firing arrows from afar. I fight on, but they revive even after death. I am hit and I fall. I remember Jeleneth and Durim taking on the putrid zombie folk as my hearing fades and I slip into darkness.

I feel a resurgence of power from deep within my heart. Durim has kindly healed me with holy magic and Jeleneth has nudged me awake. I see they have made progress since I fell. It is at that moment that I rise up. Together our combined forces are quite enough to lay waste to the putrid zombie swarm.

The four of us, in unity, approach the altar on which rests a long stone box. We inspect the stone work but are unable to make sense of it. There is a hole on one side. I pass a torch through, but the light does not penetrate the repulsive darkness that lies within. As we examine the box we hear a deafening roar. It’s coming from door from which we entered.

Water rushes into the temple. The gentle rain must have worsened into a maddening downpour, channeled into this pit of grave despair. We head back through the water which moves around us like rapids. We find holds along to stone walls to pull ourselves through the current. Finally we see the lightning flashes at the exit to the outside world. Fritz nimbly makes his way out, as only a gnome can. As I am about to exit I look back and see that the rising water is too much for Jeleneth and Durim. Without hesitation, I purposely lay myself down in front of them, blocking the force of the water that they may step over me and climb from the abysmal waste. I find my footing and reach out. The three of them, Jeleneth, Durim, and Fritz pull me out of the flooding dungeon.

We make our way to higher ground. Safe for now from the undead demon creatures that lurk below, and whatever other dangers wait within that most unholy of holes.

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DnD Session Update 8-10-16
Out in Search of Reward

Mirabar, a prospering city of the north. Made of humans and dwarves working and surviving together. Bordering the Spine of the World and producing metal goods from the ores it produces from it numerous quarries while it trades routes to the Sword Coast are always running. Mines that bring precious metals to the city also find their way to Luskan and Waterdeep. Rivers as barriers or borders cross the land keeping some monsters at bay. Giants, orcs and kobolds to the north with trolls, goblins and fey creatures to the south. Rumors of uncountable treasures of dragons of all colors are said to be all throughout the mountain range. Vast areas of wild hills and mountains hold rumored riches within long lost ancient dwarven underground complexes while the High Forest to the south hides elven treasures and strange magics from eons past guarded by the forest itself. These are the lands you have all come to in search of riches, fortune and fame.

By chance meeting, you all find yourselves in the north city watching the posting point and those around it on this late spring day. Several posting catch your attention, one for a caravan guard to Luskan, another for city patrols outside the walls but one seems to have brought about discussion amongst others around the post. You hear talk about a posting for a missing girl from a quarry family with a reward. Opinions rise that the family owns the quarry and that their wealth is much and that nobody would want to risk their life for a poor rich girl. You all get the idea at the same moment to make for the quarry and assist in finding this little girl. You find it strange that a group of the seven of you who do not know one another are walking down the road northeast out of Mirabar for the same purpose. The suggestion is made that you all work together on this adventure but also the suggestion for a name to be created for your group is made. Onward you go.

Once to the quarry about a half hour outside Mirabar, you are approached by one of the guards you see positioned around the quarry. When you inform him you are here for the missing girl, he directs you to the large house on the far side of the quarry where he tells you the elven family lives that owns this place. Once there you approach the front door and are greeted by a seemingly servant who instructs you to go round to the rear entrance. There you are met by another servant who invites in only the leader of you group. Once the argument is in full steam about who is leader, Alaric enters the house with the door closing behind him.

Alaric is instructed to wait in the parlor next to the kitchen. He is offered pickled fish to eat while waiting. An elvish maiden enters the room with a burly looking servant behind. She is introduced as Victoria Victoria Fitzgerald, madam of this home. An agreement is come to of 20gp per party member for the safe return of her 10 year old daughter. She shares the knowledge of their findings of the mystery. The girl was stolen from the property right under their noses. Tracks were found near the quarry made by kobolds who they have had encounters with before but never had issues with like this. With this deal, you set off to check out the tracks and start to search for the girl.

You find the kobold tracks along with tracks made by three wolves. You follow the tracks for more than an hour where you come to a split in the tracks. The wolves turned more east as the kobold tracks keep heading northeast. Making checks, you decide the wolves are the better path to follow. The terrain here is generally flat with shrubs and tall brush but no tall trees in any great number. Some distance further you come to a ravine that drops some 30’ down before you with a sloped path to take with shear drops to either side. Keen eyes notice a kobold positioned on the top edge of the ravine off to your right. As you sneak up on this creature you also notice two more kobolds sitting in a grotto on the opposite side of the ravine towards the bottom. Fritz the Deep Gnome grapples the kobold on the ridge as some party members make their way down into the ravine towards the grotto. After struggling with the kobold and handling him well, his life is ended just before the ledge gives way and Fritz falls to the ravine floor along with collapsing stone and soil. Movement is noticed behind you, the way you came, as more kobolds approach. As the grotto is approached, some trigger collapses stone from above onto the party members there. A horn is sounded by the approaching kobolds, two of which are mounted on wolves. Another ridge collapse brings the Humans Warlock Hothar down to the ravine floor as well.

Battle ensues on two fronts as more kobolds appear from further into the ravine. All party members are in the ravine except for the Olican the Tiefling Warlock who makes his way around the perimeter where he finds three kobolds firing slings down on the group below. Kobolds fall as does Fritz but the group prevails over the enemy as one kobold escapes further down the ravine and one is captured. You take time to heal and search the fallen enemy where you find weapons and coins. The grotto had a trap that collapsed the ravine wall triggered from within the grotto. The captured kobold is magically affected to help guide you to his leader within the caves, found in the side of the ravine. He discourages you from entering the first opening you find as it is trapped, so into the second opening leads you down a dark passage past a cavern and into a larger cavern containing the kobold leader and the elf child.

Bargaining with the kolbold leader and an offer from him to join in on the ransom leaves a bad taste in your mouths so you enter combat. Magical darkness engulfs you making movement tricky. The leader drops something as he is attacked, he reaches for it as he pulls toward the back of the cavern. With your skill and wits you defeat the leader and take the elf child into your possession. Upon closer examination, you discover the child is a half elf. There are boxes and barrels here in this cavern with bedrolls and some found coinage in the first cavern. Searching the dead leaders cavern you find a fine polished stone, food goods, 75 gp, cases of wine and an old map.

As you regroup outside the cavern, you pass the first fallen ravine wall and notice the stone that has been exposed from the collapse is different than the surrounding stone. There is also a small hole or missing stone in this exposed stone.

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The Hidden One.

I followed the trail of bodies to Mirabar. The demon knows I am hunting it but it is hidden better than I could have imagined. The group of sell swords thinks they found themselves together of common cause but I know the truth, the demon hides best in a group of varied individuals. Which one though? The fish eater is an obvious favorite yet, is it too obvious? The dwarf had a wild gleam in her eyes when she was holding that Boulder over her head. The paladin is not the most zealous I have seen, could it be holding him back? The gnome has survived certain death twice in one day, perhaps he is helped by it. The Druid has showed no hint of it yet could that be the best disguise? The quiet warlock, likely not, too easy. I shall bide my time, the demon will show itself eventually and when it does I will correct my shameful error…Olican

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DnD Session Update 8-3-16
The Fall of Despayr, The Despair of Shar

Now that Despayr the Black Rune Dragon has emerged from the dark portal, Pick, Furthak and Bruenor stand at the side of their new deity looking down from the damaged roof of the dark citadel of Shar. Draven being hidden out in the dark woods makes for his hidden treasure, a shadow shard. Meanwhile Pholstus and Starbreaker plan to deal with the situation as Sariel tries to find Draven after she declares her deity has provided her the knowledge that escape from this demi plane is possible through the dark mass. And if a shadow shard is sacrificed, the portal and demi plane itself will be destroyed along with all who remain on the demi plane.

Pholstus moves up to the stone bridge as Starbreaker finds his way beyond the ruined citadel walls into the rubble of the structure. Furthak disappears as Pick, with Bruenor on his shoulder, move with Despayr beyond sight over the citadel’s back walls. Starbreaker makes his way back to the rear wall of the collapsed walls and ceiling trying to find access to the dark portal floating some 40’ up in mid air.

Despayr speaks to her giant minions as well as Pick and Bruenor. The dragon’s voice is different and Pick finds that his hunch is true, Shar or at least the essence of Shar has possessed the Rune Dragon. Shar commands her followers to guard the citadel and to seek out the Shadow Shards that have been brought to the plane. Pick knowing that Draven possessed a shard, flies off in search of him as Breunor stays behind to help protect the citadel. From an opening in the roof, giants flood forth as the dragon Shar slips into the citadel. Pick and Bruenor noticed a necklace of black stones hanging around the dragon’s neck. Four Shadow Shards.

From down in his hidden position, Starbreaker hears movement out on the rubble. Pholstus can confirm movement as he sees numerous giants climb from another dark hole and spill out onto the rubble. Some take position at the base of the bridge as others move out onto the bridge. Starbreaker recedes back into the dark hole he is in and stumbles and falls as his human vision fails him. Pholstus using his magic, commands two giants to fall asleep.

Sariel runs after Draven into the dark woods surrounding the citadel, as Draven is running to the spot he had hidden his Shadow Shard. Pick flies off in the direction Draven and Sariel are running accompanied by a flock of bruenor’s bat friends giving Pick advantage on spotting Draven. Draven finally reaches his shard just short of Sariel catching up to him. Sariel notices Pick flying above the trees seeking out Draven. Dravenand Sariel make for the citadel.

Starbreaker stumbled across a spilled bag of the magic items you turned over to Shar’s minions. He scoops up what he can in the dark and starts to climb back out towards the rubble pile. As the giants move further out onto the bridge, Bruenor joins them to battle the party. Pholstus commands two huge giants to strike the bridge and as they do the bridge cracks. As it startsto drop, Bruenor turns into a giant spider to try to climb off. He fails his attempt and follows the two giants down the deep ravine as the bridge collapses. Starbreaker now climbs up the exposed citadel wall to the roof while the giants on the rubble are distracted. To his surprise, he finds no enemy on the roof as there once had been.

Bruenor survived the fall but is again a dwarf. He reaches out to Shar with a load prayer as the dragon climbs from the rubble below Starbreaker and takes to the sky. Swooping down the chasm and grabbing Breunor and taking him back up to the far side of the now collapsed bridge. Pholstus took off after the bridge collapse to hide himself in the woods beyond the citadel’s open space. Draven and Sariel approach the clearing around the citadel as Pholstus meets up with them. Pick is following behind in the sky as the dragon and Bruenor approach.

As Starbreaker contemplates jumping from the top of this broken wall out to the dark mass, Draven, Sariel and Pholstus prepare to teleport to the dark mass to escape. With the dragon approaching from the citadel and Pick and the bats approaching from the woods, Draven teleports the three into the mass and vanish from this plane. Starbreaker jumps from his ledge out into the dark mass and also disappears. They all appear at the edge of a body of water in a serine locale surrounded by green woods. Draven whips out the shard and sacrifices it by casting it into the portal just as after Starbreaker appeared and causes the mass to vaporize closing the portal and breaking connection of the demi plane and thus destroying it and all who were trapped in it.

Aftermath: Draven, Sariel, Pholstus and Starbreaker found themselves on the shores of a small lake south of the Moonsea. They traveled north back to Mulmaster where they rested, healed and gained levels with their vast experience they had gained. Deciding to part ways, Draven leaves his colleagues behind as the remaining make for Elmwood where they are welcome and treated as heroes. They create small monuments to honor each of their fallen party members, that birds poop on daily.

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DnD Session Update 7-27-16
A Force of Despair

Captured and surrounded by giants, you are moved towards the citadel. Beyond the stone arch, across the stone bridge that spans the chasm before the great spired structure and up to the 25 foot tall double metal reinforced doors of the fortress. The huge carts and giants you had encountered are here outside the doors unloading their goods. As you pass the carts you notice that these dark pumas like items, some 10’ to 15’ long, have resemblances to bones in their shape. The carts are still half full as they unload and bring more into the citadel.

As you pass through the huge doors and into the 60’ radius arc of a room, you see more of these pumas stone items along with numerous giants of several types. There is a darkness here that feels thicker and bleaker than you have experienced before. As you move further into the structure you feel a vibration or rhythm all around you. As you notice more you feel this beat to be running through the floor and at pace of a heart beat but one of massive size or strength.

You are taken down a large ramp some 30’-40’ below that main room’s level. Here in a darker chamber you are faced with two shadow demons perched 10’ up on two stone pillars. One converses with you in common as the also communicate to one another. Pick offers his aligence to Shar and hands over the shadow shard he stole from Draven. Draven speaks up asking for freedom and a chance to study and assist in exchange for another shadow shard for which he has hidden someplace secret. The second shadow demon takes Picks shard as the conversation drops off and all are commanded to be taken to the pits. The shadow demon does admit he “cannot explain how the presence of the group came to be on this demi plane”. If another shadow shard is near why was this Draven able to cross over to this plane, if he does possess a shard, can it be used to return.

You are grabbed and forced back towards the carts. Pholstus breaks the bonds of the giant who grabbed him and proudly walks out of the citadel. You all get into the large carts along with giant escort and make for the pits. Starbreaker understanding giant picks up on a few comments between giants and learns that the pumas stone are supposed fragments of a long dead deity. They are being collected and gathered together for Shar in her citadel. The fragments are being found below the remains of a long lost structure on the other side of the mountains. You also learn that Shar is not free here. She is not in a physical form but is trapped here. They also learn the death giants rule this place for Shar. Along with a variety of the giant race represented. The carts make their way through the dark woods towards the mountain side. Pick and Bruenor rest during the trip as Starbreaker, Pholstus and Draven listen and plot.

Upon reaching the mountainside you find a tunnel dug through the stone itself. Your carts with escorts enter the tunnel and travel under the mountain. Once to the far side you find a deeper, denser forest you are now traveling through towards the pits. More than an hour’s travel on each side of the mountain has brought you to an encampment of giants in the middle of the darkened woods. Pholstus plays a little magic trick on the giants and sets off tremors in the area. The reaction he gets is more than he planned as giant leap from the carts to aid those near two huge rifts in the group ahead. Lifting platforms and ropes abound for traversing into the depths below. The giants hurriedly hall up the platforms as they seem worried about the rifts. Draven takes advantage of the distraction and slips away into the woods as Pick, Bruenor, Pholstus and Starbreaker await their orders.

Over the next many hours giants and the group are lowered into the pits and sent off searching for the black pumas pieces. Pick and Bruenor do very poorly in their searches but Pholstus and Starbreaker discover more than any other and are treated as equals to the giant once all are back on the surface. A changing of guards brings talk about the grat loads found today as Pick and Bruenor are left to serve food and drink with no rest for them and Starbreaker and Pholstus are fed and treated well.

Starbreaker uses this advantage with the giants to raise their spirits and offer them freedom from this labor and lost dark plane but offering and inspiring them to rise up against the forces of Shar and gain their freedom. The idea grows and a swing in attitude with Starbreakers speeches brings the entire group to arms and ready to set off for the citadel and a fight. All but Draven board the carts and make off for the citadel. Draven keeps up hidden in the woods nearby. Pick flies off in the direction of the mountains as the carts reach the tunnel. As the carts approach the arch and stone bridge, the giants react to seeing the great doors closed. As you near, the carts make their way up to the doors where you find two shadow demons perched on top of either side of the doors. Standing on top in the middle of the doors is Pick with his wings fully outstretched. Few words are spoken as battle begins. Giants for the doors, Bruenor turns into a chipmonk and climbs the citadel walls, Starbreaker charging and inspiring the giants, Draven watchingat a distance from the woods and Pholstus using magic to command the shadow demons to approach. Pick makes his saves versus the command magic but each shadow demon falls to the spell and is summoned to Pholstus which brings them into the giants reach where they get annihilated. As Starbreaker reaches the top of the doors and tries to bring down Pick, the doors below are breached as giants enter the citadel. Pick and Bruenor move up 15’ to the top of the wall where Starbreaker follows. They all see more giants moving across the roof with quantities of stone to be used for ammo on the forces at the gate. Pholstus moves up and Starbreaker drops down and enter the citadel to find giants fighting giants. Stone, Hill and Mountain giants are seen along with more Fomorians.

At this moment, Pick uses a wish spell to wish Shar to appear before him. His wish is manipulated or corrupted and a black mass appear before him as the citadel starts to shake and vibrate. Stones and walls shake and start to fall apart, Pholstus leaves the area as Starbreaker makes for the double doors to exit the citadel. A wing starts to protrude from the black mass next to Pick up on the roof. The structure isbeing rocked apart as the ceilingadn roof begin to topple. Walls and the doors start to collapse inward. The two wings now coming from the mass are full extended as more of a creatures body starts to emerge. Pholstus and Starbreaker are fleeing down the stone bridge approaching the arch as Despayr the black rune dragon fully emerges from what was the black mass as he turns his head to look towards Pick and Bruenor…

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DnD Session Update 7-13-16
Fallen by the Gallows Tree

You have run into a group of giants that appear to be escorting two giant sized carts pulled by large pack creatures. Sariel hides when you are approached by a huge sized giant and a half dozen large sized ones. Communication is attempted as the giants speak to you in at least two different languages, but none that you are fluent in. This caravan seems to be heading towards the fortress of Shar so Furthak and Pick make gesture that they mean to go there as well. Pick shows the shadow shard he possesses but it does not bring a reaction. As communication breaks down (never became established) the huge sized giant barks out orders as the smaller giants move towards you and combat breaks out.

As amounts of damage are dealt to you by these giants, you notice the caravan heading off towards the fortress once again. You deal out your own damage on your enemy as the battle goes on. Both sides take their toll on the other until the caravan is long gone from view in this darkened land. The battle goes until damage taken drives each side away as the giants disappear out into the darkness.

A little healing and you decided to make for the fortress through this dark forest. You move closer and find the tree line where the forest thins. You can make out far off in the shadowy light a clearing fully around this fortress with a large arch of stone that this path the giants were on leads. Beyond the arch some distance across this clearing, the path falls off into what appears to be a drop off of sorts but a stone bridge carries the giants caravan across as you make out their position. You move closer wanting to provide Shar the shadow shards you possess.

As you approach the arch, you can make out two large trees off to you right a few hundred away out in this clearing. You can see several hanging creatures from their branches, one is moving. Brave Sariel decides to take a closer look as Furthak, Pick and Bruenor remain at the arch. Sariel sees clearly a dwarf trying to break free of its bonds as he hangs from a tree branch. This trees seem to be just like the Gallows Tree you encountered before. Sariel gets out her bow and takes a shot at the tree, the tree lashes out with its great reach attacks and damages Sariel. The other party members are now moving here to enter the combat that Sariel has found. The damage dealt is great as you had found when you encountered these creatures before. Bruenor finds himself low on HP’s as he summons a rino. Furthak decides to end the fight for the dwarf as he uses his magic and kills the dwarf outright. Several round later the dwarf body is animated by the trees and attacks the group. Same goes for the rino who takes massive damage as falls, only to be brought back in undead form and attack the party. Sariel has fallen and is making death saving throws. Furthak then sees two flying shadow creatures coming towards the fight. Shadow Demons come and demand your surrender. They tell you to drop all your magic items and surrender to Shar. Furthak drops all except for his staff as Pick drops his magic and reveals his shadow shard to the demons. At that moment, Sariel makes her last death save and stabilizes. You are all taken captive and move towards the fortress as two move Shadow Demons join and take up all your magic items. You enter the main gate…

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