Mark of Vengeance

Session 11 - Taking Down Briar
In which tactics and planning pay off... except there's a Daelkyr

Thornkeep. Lharvion 21, YK 1006.

Two days after their return to Thornkeep, the team’s morning is interrupted by the arrival of a carriage bearing the heraldry of House Kundarak. Two Dwarves, Baron Morrikan d’Kundarak and his son Rhok arrive. Morrikan demands to see Thonnak – his bastard sone – who is shortly produced, and proceeds to demand that Thonnak return to Sharn to continue his studies. It is made clear that that Thonnak’s refusal will be met with force. Rhok is clearly more sympathetic to his half-brother’s plight, but is powerless to countermand his father, the Patriarch of his House. In the course of the argument it is revealed that Rhok use to adventure with Iozef, who he knows as Fezzik. Grok also seeks news from Rhok of his adoptive father Rauthur. He learns that Rauthur is a professor at the University of Korth. Eventually, Thonnak is forced to enter the carriage, leaving behind everything, and is carted off.

Barton arrives shortly thereafter and points out that – mad as everyone may be at the moment – they still have a job to do, and their cover was just seriously weakened, so they need to move the timetable up. They need to go after Briar now.

The party briefly discusses how best to do this, and decides to see if Krenar Half-Face will reveal anything about the ‘projects’ he was working on for Briar. They find the Echo Cleft once again, and Krenar is convinced to tell them that Briar plans to deactivate the guidestones of the new Orien Lightning Rail just before its inaugural train arrives. Requisitioning magebred steeds, the party races to the rail and arrives a few hours ahead of Briar’s timetable, finding a large crowd of bandits in the dusk light.

Kalyassa disguises herself and sneaks into the camp to find Briar on his hands and knees apparently siphoning energy from the lightning rail’s guidestones. After she returns, the party plans their attack. Grok and Sayid will attack the camp head on, hoping to draw the greater part of the enemy toward them. Meanwhile Beren will drop an obscuring mist over the camp and Deyna, Kalyassa, and Iozef will sneak in, incapacitate Briar, and drag him away.

At first, all goes well. The Mist falls, Grok and Sayid attack and are soon surrounded, and Kalyassa, Iozef, and Deyna sneak invisibly into the camp. Beren is soon attacked as well, but uses mage armor to defend himself. Grok and Sayid carve through enemies and draw more, and Iozef and Kalyassa manage to stealthily silence a few as well. As enemies begin dropping, the party notices that some of them appear to be glamored to look like bandits but are actually men in robes with strange masks in the shape of eyes. Others seem to be entirely illusory.

Once she’s in range, Deyna attempts to cast sleep on Briar, who resists. She then switches to spells that will stun him. However, as all is going relatively well, a new enemy emerges, a strange man in a hooded cloak embroidered with eyes. He is soon probing into the minds of the party, but makes no attempt to stop their fighting. One by one, he draws each member’s most painful memory to the forefront for his amusement.

After a few moments of this, he appears to grow bored, and with a snap of his fingers, causes the enemies to vanish and the terrain around changes to an amphitheater. In the middle of the arena stands Briar looking perplexed with a greataxe while the strange man, who calls himself Algier, watches from the crowd. Briar attacks and the party fights back. As Sayid moves in, Briar turns and addresses him in Rierdran, referencing Sayid’s father. Confused and alarmed, Sayid asks the man “What path do you walk?” to which Briar responds “The only right one, il-Lashvatar.” In a fit of fear and panic, Sayid turns his mindblades lethal and stabs Briar through the head, killing him. Sayid immediately throws his other mind blade at Algier, who catches it and crushes it in his hand before drawing Sayid’s thinly veiled memory of his father’s death to the front of his mind. The memory and the psychic backlash of having his mindblade crushed puts Sayid on his knees.

Algier appears amused and nonthreatening for a moment and takes the time to thank the party for the show and reveal that he is a Daelkyr who escaped through the gateway in the Enigma Vaults. He then disappears, leaving the party in the arena he created. The party gathers the body of Briar and makes its way back to Thornkeep.

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Session 10 - Enigmas Abound
as do aberrations...

The Enigma Vaults. Lharvion 19, YK 1006

In the middle of the night, a ring appears in the party’s subterranean camp. After a few moment’s examination, Deyna puts on the ring to discover it is a ring of sending sent by Barton to allow communication. Deyna explains their position to Barton and then signs off.

When morning comes, the team return to the gallery, only to find the bodies of the rogues they killed gone. In their place come three shambling creatures of vaguely humanoid shape, but with strange changes. One has a tentacle sprouting from its shoulder, another has a strange eye stalk growing from its head, and the third appears covered in scarabs. The party moves to engage and soon dispatches the trio. Thonnak retrieves the writhing tentacle and one of the scarabs, planning to do further research on them as they appear to be alive. Grok objects as the creatures are aberrations.

The team then follows the blood trail from the bodies being dragged off and soon finds itself in some kind of lab. Inside they find the remaining two bodies, as well as a series of strange cage-like structures marked with planar sigils, including the one Briar showed them. Behind one of them, the wall looks like a liquid mirror. The sigil above indicates it to be connected to Xoriat.

In an alcove, Thonnak discovers an item labeled ‘Planar Lantern and Essences.’ The essences are on a small tray, but only a few of the slots are filled. Each slot bears the sigil of a different plane. The one Briar sent them to seek is empty. Thonnak takes the lantern and the tray.

Meanwhile, Grok and Kalyassa climb up to a hole at the top of the wall. Looking in, it looks like a nest, and Grok presses on. The tunnel soon turns upward, and Kalyassa climbs up on Grok’s shoulders to look, only to be confronted by a Swordwing. Kalyassa flees back down the tunnel, but Grok chases the Swordwing as it flees down its tunnel. Beren and Deyna assume the creature is heading for the front gate and race to intercept, while Thonnak, Iozef, and Kalyassa follow shortly.

Grok soon finds the end of the tunnel issues out high above the gallery. He reaches the opening in time to see the Swordwing dive at Deyna and Beren, wounding them both with his armblade. Grok leaps from the opening and drops onto the Swordwing, bearing it to the ground with him on top. A battle ensues on the ground as the Swordwing tries to get away while being bombarded with spells by Deyna and Beren and attacked by Grok and Kalyassa. Iozef heals Beren and Deyna and Thonnak attempts to subdue the Swordwing with a potion. To his surprise, Grok finds he can understand the creature, which names itself Orud and claims that its master will return soon. Despite Thonnak’s urging that the party wait for the potion to take effect, Grok and Kalyassa slay the Swordwing before it can flee.

Bloodied but feeling they have thoroughly investigated the Vaults, the party its way back to Briar, where they tell all, but conceal that they took the planar lantern. Returning to Thornkeep, they find Barton waiting, who inspects what they found and decides to take it back to base for research. At Thonnak’s request, he finally agrees to leave behind a few items for his research, then departs with the rest.

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Session 9: Briar
In which enigmas abound!

Outside Thornkeep. Lharvion 17-18, YK 1006.

With most of the party gone, Deyna and Grok pass a boring few days in the shop. On the night of the 16th, Deyna is awakened in the night and hears a thudding in the men’s dorm. Going to investigate, she just spots a dark figure leaping out the window. Rushing to the window, she catches a glimpse of red hair disappearing into an alley. Deciding the pursuit is unwise and unfeasible, Deyna returns to bed instead rummages through the men’s footlockers (not for the first time) and discovers that Thonnak’s journal is missing.

The next day, the others return with the stolen residium. Kalyassa and Thonnak return to the shop and hear the report of the mysterious visitor. They mention their own mysterious redhead met in the Thirsty Ogre, and while they decide the two are likely one and the same, they have no way to confirm it, nor are they any closer to understanding her motives.

Unwilling to leave the shop unguarded, the party decides to hire temporary security from the Blue Basilisks, promising 2gp/day on their return. That done, they reunite and set out for Echo Cleft. Once in the cleft, they are attacked by a Moon Spider, which drags Thonnak up into a tree. Kalyassa, Grok, and Iozef clamber up after it while Beren and Deyna shot or cast at it from the ground. Shooting from the unstable wagon, Deyna trips and shoots Beren in the side. Grok grapples the spider and pulls it from the tree. Once on the ground, Kalyassa dispatches the spider with Hakuur’s katana. Thonnak pauses to remove the spider’s poison gland, but is unsuccessful in his attempt to remove the web gland and gets a face full of webbing. This done, they investigate what appears to be a concealed doorway. Upon knocking they are greeted by a goblin who demands their business, but he is soon replaced with the face of an older, terribly scarred man, who opens the door.

Thonnak recognizes their host as Krenar, a former professor at Morgrave University. The two seem to have some tension between them, but the exact nature of it is unclear. Krenar sends his goblins (many of them appear to be subjects of strange mutagenic experiments) to unload the cart. The creatures not only unload the cart, but dismantle and carry off most of the cart itself. Meanwhile Krenar invites the party to sit for tea and discusses various topics, though he remains vague about his use for 300 pounds of residium, simply saying that it is for ‘projects…’ A few minutes into the conversation, the party blacks out.

They wake up four hours later with their faces covered and their hands bound. A few moments later they are unblinded and find themselves facing a wild-looking man who matches the description of Briar given to them at the start of their mission. Deyna – a longtime Aundairian – finds herself surprised and disappointed at the change wrought in the folk hero of the Reaches. Where the Briar of story was a talented bard and a man of charm and merriment, this Briar is distant and easily distracted, often seeming to lose the trail of his thoughts and lapsing into long, strange silences. The change evidently worries his comrade as well – the man from the bar. Eventually, the party are given to know that he has brought them here because he is pleased with their work so far and has decided to employ them on a potentially lucrative – albeit dangerous – mission. Briar is sending them to explore the recently discovered Enigma Vault of Nhur Athemon, a legendary wizard credited with discovering most of what is known about planar magic. In particular the party are asked to look for anything bearing a particular sigil. Anything else, Briar says, they may take as they wish, but they are not to touch anything with the sigil, returning only with a detailed description.

Seeing as their mission is to get close to Briar, the party accepts the job and are guided blindfolded to the excavated entry to the Enigma Vault. Descending the stairs, they find themselves in a hallway with a long shelf of books, which crumble upon being touched due to age and exposure to fresh air after so long in the dark. Pressing on they find a map of the planes that surround Eberron and then a stone bridge guarded by a ghostly demonic image. The image demands to know who they are sent by, and lets them pass upon hearing the name of Nhur Athemon, though he warns them to touch nothing ‘let ye be purged.’ This warning, the party cheerfully ignores.

They next come to a cave with a chasm in the middle. Crossing it,they are confronted with a pair of skeletal two-headed clawfoots. Grok manages to dispatch both, while Iozef falls into the shallow chasm and finds an Eberron dragonshard.

Following the path around, the party comes back to the circular pit crossed by the bridge. They are able to lower and rotate the bridge with a lever and press on. They come to a massive, cathedral-like space with columns marching down it and lit displays in alcoves along the side. Rushing to examine the mysteries, the party is ambushed by a group of rogues. The rogues seem not themselves, terribly scarred and dead-eyed. They fight mindlessly to the death. Once the room is clear, the party examines the items along the walls. Many of the discoveries are strange and interesting, but not useful, but several they decide to take with them, risking the guardian spirit’s wrath.
- A strange weapon labeled as being from Darguun in 1230, 200 years in the future
- A set of bloodstones which add magical properties to potions into which they are dissolved
- A strange, three-fingered spiked gauntlet, useless to the party-members, but interesting and potentially valuable
- An empty case is labeled as containing ‘alien fungoid equipment.’ The party infers that the rogues took this item and it caused their transformation.

At the end of the hall, they find a case containing a spear which Thonnak identifies as cursed, as well as what appears to be a bag of holding and a tan bag of tricks. However, when Beren searches the bag of holding, it bites down on his arm and attempts to swallow him. Only the timely intervention of his allies frees his arm. This crisis past, the party retreats to the cavern with the chasm to camp for the night.

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Session 8: Audition
No plan survives contact with the enemy.

The Eldeen Reaches. Lharvion 11 – 14. YK 1006

After a few weeks of quiet, the party returns to Thonnak’s Tonics one night to find a job posting nailed to the door offering work to those who are flexible on the idea of ‘legality’ and are willing to ‘risk the wrath of the Houses.’ They are instructed to inquire at The Thirsty Ogre.

Meanwhile, Kalyassa has finally worked up the courage to sort through Hakuur’s things. In doing so, she comes across a small package addressed to her. Inside she finds a hilt designed to fit Hakuur’s katana made of a Khyber dragonshard with a tiny bound air elemental, making the katana light enough to be used in her finesse-based fighting style.

After some discussion, the party heads to The Thirsty Ogre, leaving Grok and Deyna to watch the shop. They inquire from the proprietor, Toomdar, who points them to a rough-looking man in the back. After expressing their interest in the job, they are given the details:

The job is to hijack a shipment of residium being shipped from the Vadalis HQ at Varna to their primary magebreeding facility at Havenglen. Once obtained, the goods are to be brought to Echo Cleft not far from Thornkeep. In return, the party will be likely to receive additional jobs from their mysterious employer, who they guess to be Briar.

While Beren, Kalyassa, and Thonnak discuss the job, Iozef has been watching the other patrons. He spies a red-headed female elf watching the party’s conversation and decides to distract her. Heading over he engages her in conversation. She claims her name is Tiryal and that she arrived with a merchant caravan two days ago. Iozef has his doubts and presses the subject. Suddenly, he detects an attempt to use a sleep spell on him. When this fails, Tiryal excuses herself and departs from the bar.

With the job accepted, the rest of the party prepares to go. Thonnak, however is having words with some drunkards. When things look like turning violent, Thonnak injects the man with a sleeping potion, knocking him out cold. This draws the ire of the rest of the drunks. Beren uses his magic to intimidate them while Kalyassa picks up Thonnak and drag him out of the bar.

A late-night planning session ensues. In the end, the party decides to leave Grok and Deyna behind to guard the shop as their ‘monstrous’ appearance will make them more memorable. Those going plan to catch the shipment when it stops for the night between Varna and Havenglen. They plan to drug the horses and the guards and steal the shipment in the night. When they find the rest stop where the wagon has halted for the night, though, the plan quickly falls apart. Kalyassa and Iozef fail to drug the horses and Iozef is spotted by a guard. Beren and Thonnak rush over from hiding and a fight ensues in which the Vadalis guards display strange elemental powers. After hard fighting, the guards are subdued – and three of them killed. One of the fire-wielding guards has set fire to the rest stop. The part quickly packs up the residium and hitch their own horses to the wagon before bolting into the night.

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Session 7 "Where the Heart Is"

After leaving the Accursed Halls yet another time, the group heads back to the shop where they find a note on the door addressed to Thonnak’s Tonics:
B.C. Co. 672:
I have been hearing tales of your good work in my travels. Good work.
My deepest condolences on the loss of Hakuur and Vidaar. They were
good soldiers and will be sorely missed. I cannot repay the debt of life,
lost, but Vidaar’s clan and Hakuur’s family have both been sent
payment and supplies as a sign of gratitude. Keep up your work.
Rumblings of your deeds are beginning to echo through the Eldeen
Reaches. It should no be long now before a representative of Briar
reaches out to you. I will be in touch soon.
Captain Barton
P.S. Your new companions may be hired into the B.C. if they so
desire. Have Theodoro draw up the contracts if they wish.

After addressing the note, the party then takes the body parts that were found in the Halls to Thonnak and asks him if all of the parts seem to be there. After looking for a moment, he asks, “Umm, where is the heart?” Heads drop in frustration as the group knows that they recovered all that was left. Someone has the heart, and they know that they must recover it in order to complete whatever they must to place the graveyard back in order.

Thonnak then tells them that the scope of the spirit problem has widened. People are actually seeing spirits (like, actual ghosts) around the graveyard. This does not bode well. They know that they have a time limit to get things back in place. So Deyna, Iozef, Sayid and Kalyassa go to the Shrine of Battle to inform Eldrast and Terenal about the goings on from the travel back into the Halls.

Eldrast leaves as soon as the party enters, apparently having some issues with Terenal. He announces that he will be getting a drink at the Inn. Terenal retells the account of the graveyard and Murphen, who was sleeping in a chair to the side, awakes for a moment and says that if the heart is missing, there’s a good chance that Blackshield might have it.

The 4 then head to the Inn to talk with Brother Eldrast about what they have done and seen, and also ask him about restoring Kalyassa, who was still showing signs of fatigue from the battle. As they enter the Inn, they notice that members of the Iron Jaw are there, and all of their heads turn as they notice Sayid. But they do nothing. After talking with Eldrast, they agree to find the 1000gp to have him restore Kalyassa.

They then sell their Robe of Bones (side note from Cambria: I couldn’t remember if this was actually the title of the bone outfit… so if it is wrong, I apologize!) to acquire the gold to perform the restoration. Once Kalyassa is revived, they head back to the shop. Murphen warns them before they leave to “Beware the Town Square”. Deyna, too tired for another fight, and Sayid, always bewaring the Town Square, head back to Thonnak’s Tonics taking the back way, while Kalyassa and Iozef check the Town Square to see what the warning was about. Members of the Iron Jaw are waiting in the alley’s obviously on the look out for Sayid. After a quick hello, Iosef goes back to his shops and Kalyassa heads inside with no signs of trouble from the gang. Groc is in the process of trying to get Sayid to come with him to the Saddlers (Saladers, according to Groc) to get a weapons harness. Kalyassa warns Sayid (more or less) “They’re out there waiting for you” then goes upstairs to her room. He’s confused: “What? Who?” Kalyassa: “Who do you think?! Who was watching you at the Inn tonight?!” Then slams her door. Unable to sleep, she walks around the room, restless. She toys with the idea of going back into the night to run around and practice some of her new skills she’s recently learned, but decides that they’ve had enough adventure for one day and stays in her room.

Groc heads out to the Saddlers and Sayid, heeding Kalyassa’s warnings, leaves as well, but goes to the roof and runs across the rooftops, meeting Groc there. They notice spirits in the graveyard and one even hanging around close to the Saddler’s shop, as they enter they notice that the worker is obviously nervous, possibly about the orc that walked into the shop, or the ghosts hanging around outside. After negotiating a price and getting “measured”, Groc and Sayid leave and will be back in a few hours to pick up the harness.

On their way back, Groc walking the streets and Sayid the rooftops, Groc gets stopped in the town square by a voice: “Where’s your friend?”
Groc: What?
Another voice: Where’s your friend?
Groc: What?
Another voice: WHERE IS YOUR FRIEND?
Groc: What friend?
Voice: The small one, your friend.
Groc: Thonnak?
Voice: No, Sayid.
Groc: I don’t know Sayid
Voice: You’re lying!
Groc: I’m standing!
Frustrations abound. Some of the members of the Iron Jaw come into the light, some standing back in the alleys still. Sayid ends up on the roof of Thonnak’s Tonics and starts lightly tapping on the window in hopes of getting the attention of another group member. Beren, still awake and having his evening glass of scotch, hears the tapping, goes to the window and sees Sayid jump off the roof top. Back in the square, Groc refuses to give up info on Sayid and the Iron Jaw are tired of waiting. Sayid eventually jumps off a roof top and lands behind an Iron Jaw, knocking him out before being seen. The fight begins.
Beren, once noticing what is going on outside, starts to awake the rest of the party, and they run outside to help Groc and Sayid.
After successfully knocking out the 4 members of the Iron Jaw, Sayid ties them up in uncomfortable and embarrassing positions (as they had previously done to him). But thankfully, they didn’t kill any of the members.

After an actual full night’s rest, the group wakes up and shares breakfast and Kave and heads out to the Saddlers, which is conveniently right next to the graveyard. The young man has the harness ready, and Deyna notices that the owner is missing. She asks the young man (who is the owner’s younger brother), where she is and he informs the group that she disappeared 2 days ago, saying she was going to investigate the graveyard. After promising to look for her, they head out to the graveyard.

They notice greenish hues over some of the graves and a green hue coming from the crypt. Beren detects that these are the auras of spirits that are there. At the foot of the door, there was a note:
Friend,
I thank you for your gifts. It has been stored in with that dreadful
goblin oracle. She assured me it would be safe with her until the time
comes that you shall need it to finish the ritual. She told me that beast
Graalsk has her searching The Accursed Halls. Please hurry. We must
act quickly. The graveyard grows restless.
Signed: B——- (couldn’t make out signature)

The group then walks into the tomb, and sees Lyssa in spirit form. She says she wants to come back, it’s not as they told them. There is no Silver Flame. There is no Sovereign Host, no Dark Six. Nothing like they were told. She doesn’t want to be there anymore. She wants to be brought back and begs for them to hurry before the graveyard consumes everything. “If you bring me back it will stop”.

They head back to the Shrine of Battle, to talk with Terenal and Murphen about what had just transpired. They then decide they must find the Goblin Oracle, she has the heart, and to do so, they must travel back into the Accursed Halls.

Back in the Halls, they travel the opposite way from the times before and go down some stairs. There is a long hallway and they notice a goblin that has been crushed by some falling rocks from the ceiling. They move carefully down the hallway, with Iozef and Beren having some smaller rocks fall on them, and doing a little damage. Once at the end of a hallway, they come onto a room that has rocks and a deep chasm that goes down at least 30ft. There are columns around the room that are level with the ground the team is on, and water at the bottom of the columns. Not knowing how deep the water goes, or if there is anything lurking in the water, they decide to just jump across the column tops. Although there were a few moments of the possibility of slipping off the sides of the columns, the group successfully makes it across the room and continues on.

They come upon a large chamber. A pool of greenish water is to the right. Stairs lead down between columns to a recently excavated tunnel to the north. There are 4 goblins, one seems to be the oracle. No one in the party has yet to be seen by the goblins, so Kalyassa becomes invisible and sneaks across the room to the oracle. She begins to pickpocket the oracle by looking into larger pouches. She finds 2 vials of acid, a cure light wounds potion and then she finds the heart. She slowly and quietly makes it back into the hallway before being seen. The group decides to head out of the Halls for now, because they want to stop the graveyard issue before it gets worse. They know that they can come back into the Halls later to continue the quest to open the Door of Seven Stars.
They head back to get the body and have Thonnak reassemble the body with the heart included. Afterwards they head back to the Shrine of Battle, seeking help from Murphen and Terenal.
Murphen tells them that Terenal is in her chambers. Then gives them the following advice: bringing a body back is always dangerous business. But Lyssa was well liked, bringing her back would bring much happiness back to the town and the group’s time there would be easier. Iosef goes to Terenal and she tells him that she is leaving. After hearing what Lyssa said about no silver flame, and that all she had known to believe was wrong, she wants to get away.

The group, after much discussion, decides that they will lay Lyssa to rest. They don’t know what will come from raising Lyssa back from the dead: would she become undead, like the wights they had fought in the halls and the creatures of the necromancer? It was not to be risked. They head to the graveyard. The group walks the body back to the crypt. There are spirits that are floating around. Iosef stops and talks to an older gentlemen’s ghost.
The ghost asks: What are you doing with Lyssa’s body?
Iozef: What do you think we should do with the body?
Ghost: Bring her back!
Iozef: Why?
Ghost: Because if she can come back, then maybe we can all come back.

Having a clearer picture of what could happen if they raise Lyssa back to life, they are even more convinced that they must lay her to rest. They walk Lyssa’s body back to the crypt. Her ghost is there waiting, “What did you all decide to do?” she asks. And Groc responds, “Night night.”
Lyssa begins to plead her case and Beren tries to keep her occupied as Groc and Deyna lay the body back into the sarcophagus. As the green light begins to fade, Lyssa says, “If I ever get the chance to come back, I will remember who did this.”

The group leaves the graveyard and Beren says he wants to find the Saddler, since they had promised her younger brother that they would look for her.
The group then begins to track her into the woods around Thornkeep, where they come to a clearing…

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Session 6: Return to the Halls
In which necromancy abounds

Thornkeep. Nymm 17, 1006.

Stumbling back from the graveyard, the party send word to Brother Eldrast that they are in need of healing. The cleric obliges and brings with him the Shrine of Battle’s aged historian, Murfin, and his assistant Taronnel.

While the party is healed, they report what hey discovered in the Graveyard. They learn that the Crypt belongs to Thornkeep’s former ruler and his wife. The body missing appears to be that of the wife, and it is known that one of the new Baron’s cronies was enamored with her and was seen dragging a load toward the entrance of the Accursed Halls. Taronnel also reveals that, if her reading of the situation is correct, the undead problem will grow steadily worse until whatever is causing it is removed. She suggests that in four days, the skeletons and wraiths will reform, and that after a week, new and worse undead with rise. If left unchecked, the undead may begin to build a necropolis and may overwhelm Thornkeep and the surrounding area. With such threats present, the party reluctantly decides they must return to the Accursed Halls.

Returning to the halls, the party finds a troop of goblins in the main room off which the many hallways branch. The goblins are in the midst of some religious service reverences Zog. Through a combination of Ghost Sound and Sayid’s glowing mind blades, the goblins are led to follow the directions of ‘Zog’ down the hallway toward the room where Vidaar and Hakuur met their end. As it turns out, the pit trap Vidarr had triggered had reset and the Goblins fall into it, most of them are killed by the fall. Sayid knocks the last one unconscious with a thrown mind blade.

The party is able to pass the rest of the way unopposed until they reach the Silent Room beyond which is the crypt in which their companions were killed. Scouting ahead reveals Vidaar and Hakuur’s animated corpses shambling about the room. After some final preparation, the party enters the room and attacks, managing to kill the animated corpses, though some members of the party are inflicted with energy drain by the creatures. After the battle, Grok and Kalyassa bid farewell to their old friends; Grok by stripping Vidaar’s corpse and taking a memento of one of Vidarr’s hands, Kalyassa in more socially acceptable ways.

Iozef examines the sarcophagus in the room. Seeing a wealth of useful undead-slaying items, he tries to remove them, only to have a magical trap trigger and inflict him with energy drain. When Beren comes over to look, he sees none of the items Iozef sees, but instead sees the deed to an airship. At this point the party realizes that the sarcophagus has some sort of illusion magic on it. Unable to work past the magic, the party decides to move on.

Sayid, meanwhile is studying the empty wall of darkness at the end of the room’s exit. After being unable to dispel, the party press through into a room of glowing black stone. Only when most of the party has exited the room and Beren is left alone, does a shadowy warrior appear and attack. Hearing Beren’s cries for help, the party returns and attacks the ghostly figure, dispatching it. When slain, the ghost turns into a small gem, yet another key to the Door of Seven Stars.

Pressing on, the party follow a hall around until it deposits them on the upper landing of the main crossroads room. Following the trail of the graverobber, they enter another hallway, following it down into a large room which seems to have been turned into a laboratory of sorts. On a table rests a dissected corpse and over it stands a man. No words need to be exchanged and the party attacks immediately. The necromancer raises goblin corpses to protect him, but Iozef easily dispatches them. A long battle of magic and weapons ensues before the necromancer is finally slain. Injured and exhausted, the party strip the necromancer of his gear while Iozef carefully gathers the pieces of the corpse on the table, and they prepare to return the way they came.

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Session 5: Fun in the Graveyard

((Since Cambria had to duck out sick last time, I figured I’d get us caught up).

Thornkeep. Nymm 8-16, 1006.

The day after the meeting with Graalsk, the party decides to take some time to recover. Grok is still suffering the effects of centipede poison and everyone is still shaken from the loss of companions. Beren uses a week to train at the Goldenfire Tower, learning to control the aspects of magic he can do that have nothing to do with his Mark. He returns at the end of the week a newly christened Sorcerer.

Meanwhile, to further establish his place in the group, Sayid commissions the addition of a proper kitchen to Thonnak’s Tonics and Iozef becomes a regular fixture around the shop when he’s not working in his armory.

After a week, they meet Brother Eldrast and two other priests of the Silver Flame again, who reveal that the minor undead problem he mentioned before has worsened so that skeletons and wraiths have been seen in the graveyard. The party heads to the graveyard to investigate and dispatches a number of skeletons and a wraith, only to see the scattered bones of their enemies coalesce into a huge Bone Golem. A lengthy battle ensues in which Iozef is nearly killed and Beren is knocked unconscious after Sayid is thrown head-first into his face, leaving Sayid with a concussion. Finally, Grok manages to cut the leg out from under the Bone Golem, sending it crashing to the ground in a heap. Sayid and Deyna take a few moments to investigate the graveyard’s crypt, in which they find that one of the two sarcophagi has been opened and the body removed.

With the party once again battered and bruised, the group limps back to Thornkeep to rest and report to Brother Eldrast.

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Session 4 - Mourning and Planning

After the terrible events that transpired in the Accursed Halls (the deaths of Hakuur and Vidaar) Beren and Kalyassa return to Thonnak’s Tonics. Kalyassa runs straight to the bedroom, not saying a word to anyone and slams the door.

Groc: (still slightly woozy from his previous ailments) Where is Vidaar?
Beren: They didn’t make it
Groc: Didn’t make what?
Kalyassa: (opening the bedroom door and screaming) They both died! (slams door again)
Deyna: What happened?
Beren begins to share the story from the Accursed Halls.
Groc stands and walks over to the furnace. He begins a loud, orc-ish yell and begins covering his head in ashes from the furnace. Then he turns and walks outside, following an orc ritual of mourning. He slams his great axe into the ground, bows his head and stands in silence (and will continue to do so for 1 full day per the practice of said ritual).

Brother Eldrast comes by and notices the orc, and starts asking him what has happened, what is he doing? But Groc does not acknowledge his presence. Deyna comes out and explains what has happened and Eldrast invites the party to the Green Forest Inn for a drink. Deyna agrees and Kalyassa decides to follow (though she refuses to talk about it). Beren follows shortly after cleaning himself up a bit.

Within minutes the group has wine in front of them. Kalyassa downs the first glass before any words can be said and is quickly handed another. Eldrast starts asking questions and Beren begins to retell the story. He starts describing the beings that killed their former party members and asks if they sound recognizable. After a time, Eldrast says he thinks they are “wights” and the group hears a voice that says, “That’s what I think too”.

They look around the crowded room and notice a man sitting at the table next to them. They hadn’t noticed him before. It’s the same man they helped out of the stocks when they first arrived in the town. It is quite obvious that he is hiding from someone (or something) and is using the group to shield himself. When asked, he explains that he is hiding from a “misunderstanding” during a game of cards. “I didn’t cheat!” he testifies, “but apparently I was supposed to lose, and I didn’t…” He then changes the subject, turning to Beren and asking him questions of a somewhat personal nature (about his family, his past, if he has anyone special in his life) making Beren unusually uncomfortable and obviously frustrated.

While Beren is playing 20 questions, another man walks up to the table and states that he knows a few things about these “wights”. After some discussion of the creatures, the men are finally introduced to the group: Sayed (the man from the stocks) and Iosef. Both men decide that they want to join the group when they again travel to the Accursed Halls. They want to see the wights and help fight them. The group cannot deny that they will need more help in the adventures to come, and welcome the new men into the party (although are somewhat hesitant to include Sayed as an actual member, being that he is a known “troublemaker” in the town and is not well liked by many of the gangs. And he is also a bit odd, seeming to have multiple personalities, which is somewhat annoying and confusing…)

Brother Eldrast reminds the group that there is still a problem with the ghouls in the graveyard and, perhaps the party wouldn’t mind helping rid the town of that problem before traveling again to the Accursed Halls? Kalyassa (who has remained somewhat quiet throughout the evening) loudly announces that she “just wants to kill something!”

While all of this is happening inside the Green Forest Inn, outside Groc remains unmoving and silent, despite the 3-4 goblins that have begun climbing up his person. They started by poking around at him and, once realizing that he wasn’t moving, started calling him “Tree Man” and decided that he was perfect pickings for goblins such as they. Deyna walks out as they are taking his money pouch and yells at them to leave him alone. The goblins, for some reason, aren’t too put off by Deyna’s threatening appearance and a fight begins. The remainder of the party still inside the Inn, hear the fight and rush outside to see Deyna fighting the group of goblins, while Groc continues to stand unmoving. After some time, some of the goblins run away, while others lay dead in the streets.

About this time, Tarden, a “high ranking” member of society, and some of his goons come out to confront the party. It is quite obvious of Tarden’s disliking of the group. And it is also quite obvious that Kalyassa is having a hard time not slicing him with her Wakizachi. He tells the group that The Great Graalsk is the leader of the Bramble Claw tribe, and he is a goblin. It will not do to have goblins slain in the street and have no one to pay Graalsk a visit and ask if there is some way to repay what they have done. No amount of discussion can be had on the subject. While Deyna tries to explain that the goblins first attacked Groc and then her, Tarden explains that “this is what goblins do” and says that if they want no more further trouble, they had better go to Graalsk and see in what way they can repay him and their tribe for the deaths that have occured.

Deyna and Iosef agree to go to Graalsk, while Kalyassa and Sayed head back to the shop. Kalyassa goes straight to bed. Sayed stops to talk with Thonnak and an interesting exchange is had between the two. Thonnak, not having any idea who this man is, tries to stop him from continuing into the shop. Sayed talks to Thonnak’s rabbit for a moment, before continuing on to a bedroom, despite Thonnak’s confusion and protests.

Meanwhile, Deyna and Iosef head off to meet the Great Chief Graalsk. After getting some items (along with some interesting stories from Zarglazen at his shop), they are led to the chief. After a long discussion he agrees that all debt will be paid if they can bring him the “Cup of Zogg” a relic from the Zogg empire that is technically his, afterall. The cup is in the Golden Fire Tower and they must go there and retrieve it. There is, also, a “Sword of Zogg” and if they can get that too, well, that would be nice. After all: “They took it from him…from his people…from Graalsk!!!”

Deyna and Iosef, probably exhausted from the time spent with Graalsk, agree to the terms and head back to camp.

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Session 3 - Travel to the Accursed Halls

While Deyna takes Groc back to Thonnak’s Tonics to heal, Vidaar, Beren, Hakuur, and Kalyassa travel back to the Accursed Halls in search of the lost adventurer (and Vidaar plans to open the Door of 7 Stars). When they arrive they notice that the bodies that the team had killed when down here previously, have been dragged off in various areas.

- Found the Door of 7 Stars
- Vidaar tries to push it open…it doesn’t work…
- Copied the writing on the wall
- 7 empty places around the door – looks like we need to fit 7 items in said slots in
order to open the door…

The teams starts looking for the missing guy and decide to head down the right side stair case. Empty room – piles of sand and rubble. Vidaar falls 20ft, most of the floor in the room has fallen in. Vidaar finds a skeleton. (gold and silver pieces). Finds a scroll, Beren reads: scroll of invisibility.

Continue – Grand Chamber
-luminous pool of water
-winged beast is projected
-notice skeletons on stairs
-fight skeletons, kill skeletons – their red energy flies out of the room as
go down. Notice on the helmets: holes above eyes (horns?)
- notice that the tiles are the right size for the holes and take some with them

Continue – Room with demon statue. Eyes are red glowing stones, the team takes the eyes, figuring that they will fit into the door as well. While in the room, they can’t talk, and feel weaker. Once they pull the eyes out of the statue that same red energy leaves and flies out of the room, the same way as the other ones had previously.

Continue – once they leave room they are back to normal strengths and can talk.

Continue – on to the next room. There are 4 dead bodies that stand once the team enters, and a battle begins. They find a sarcophagus in the middle of the room, cracked slightly open. As the fighting goes on, Beren goes down (but is luckily just unconscious). One of the dead beings (the adventurers do not recognize what kind of monsters, men, beings that they could be) drains the energy of Hakuur, and he falls, dead. Kalyassa, shocked at the death of her only friend, screams and runs across the room to attack the being, but to no avail. After some continued fighting, Hakuur stands back up, no longer Hakuur, but now as one of the beings he had previously been fighting and starts to attack Kalyassa and Vidaar. Vidaar yells at Kalyassa to leave. She runs to Beren and gives him a healing potion, and tells him to run, Vidaar is right behind them. Vidaar continues to fight, and as he starts to run away, the corpse of Hakuur continues to attack. Beren and Kalyassa turn back once realizing that Vidaar isn’t behind them, and as they get back to the room, they see that Vidaar has fallen, killed by what was once Hakuur…

Beren and Kalyassa run for their life, out of the Accursed Halls, and back to the remainder of their party.

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Session 2 - Arrival in Thornkeep
"Have you seen my bone structure?"

5-7 Nymm, 1006. Thornkeep, Eldeen Reaches.

Arriving in town, Vidarr and Grok sold the wolf and dire goat pelts at the local leatherworker’s shop. As the party moved farther into town, they found a man bound and gagged in the town square. Investigation revealed he was left by the Iron Jaws, one of the local gangs. Deyna slipped the man a knife to free himself.

While the others were busy with the man in the square, Vidarr and Grok set out on their own adventures. First, they moved 3,000lbs of rocks for a dwarf – the local armorsmith, taking them over to a local mason that he happened to have a crush on. In this way they earned a permanent discount for themselves at his store. They also earned a discount at the mason’s by unloading and moving the rocks inside. Grok and Vidarr hope to use this discount to add a kitchen to the party’s base.

The party reunited at their base, a small alchemy shop to be run by Thonnak. After a brief discussion, Vidaar, Grok, and Hakuur set off for the Thirsty Ogre, a local pub, while Deyna and Beren went to Thornkeep Provisions to look for some new furniture. Deyna was able to upgrade her bed and Beren set the proprietor on the trail of some fine spirits. At the Thirsty Ogre, the trio learned of a number of possible jobs:
- Supposedly a ghost is haunting the Echo Stream
- Gorhall Silvercrown was lost in the Accursed Halls and a reward is offered for his return or proof of his dead. He went searching for the Door of Seven Stars, which has not been opened in thousands of years. Vidarr boasted that he would find Gorhall and open the Door of Seven Stars.
- Brother Eldrast of the Shrine of Battle (Silver Flame) is having trouble handling local undead. Ghouls are rising in the graveyard.

Once again reuniting at the shop, the party were confronted by the members of the Iron Jaws, angry at the party for freeing their prisoner. Vidaar, Hakuur, and Grok ran out of patience and killed three of them. They were then confronted by the leader, but the situation ended without further bloodshed, though the Iron Jaws are likely an enemy now.

Deyna and Beren took Grok to get dinner while Vidaar and Hakuur stayed to guard the shop and to feast on campfire roasted dire goat. While they ate, Deyna and Beren met with Brother Eldrast and learned more about the Ghoul problem, and Vidarr and Hakuur met Nessa Greenfoot, a halfling who runs Greenfoot Provisions, a small mom&pop style business which she runs with Vosk, her huge but simple guardian. Nessa thinks Thonnak is handsome, Thonnak does not understand the relevance of that statement. Nessa traded some eggs for a dire goat haunch.

Once everyone returned to the shop, the party turned in for the night after deciding that in the morning they would head to the Accursed Halls in search of Gorhall and perhaps the Door of Seven Stars. The next morning, they breakfasted on eggs and goat and Beren received a gift of fine liquor from Thornkeep Provisions.

Arriving at the Accursed Halls, the party made their way carefully down, killing a pair of giant centipedes which poisoned Grok and then killing seven goblins who were camped out in a large room. The Goblins revealed they had been sent by Great Chief Graalshk to recover an ancient goblin sword from the days of their empire.

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