The Defenders of Fallcrest

A Little Help From Our Friends

Yru’nitzlin, an ancient white dragon, lands in the center of the city. He approaches Dreadbeard and says that he was sent to assist him in whatever he needs.

The party talked to Nirva and found out that the swords carry two souls, one to own it, one to power it. If either person dies, the sword becomes unstable, exploding.

The party asks Nimozaran to research a soul link domination spell.

The party went with Yru’nitzlin to the Tower of Vecna and found it empty. They then went to the Gardmore Abbey to look into the undead that were seen there. They dispatched a large number of zombies and skeletons, and found an eldritch machine, different, but similar to the one that is missing from the Tower of Vecna. They sensed that it was focusing a strong arcane flow that went out southwest and northeast.

They destroyed the apparatus, and took the core to Nirva for safe keeping. The Scions of Light and Dark found that the arcane flow was channeling through Winterhaven and through a barbarian burial ground in the northern woods. They sent the Scions of Light and Dark to Winterhaven to guard against drow attacks, and gave them free reign to search for another eldritch apparatus there. The party went to the burial ground, and destroyed the apparatus they found there.

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Soul Work

The party began dragging the drow death squad back to Harken Keep, and noticed a note dropoff of one of the bodies. It said, “Attack on 5th and 12th, then primary attack on 13th”. When they returned to the keep, Trident prepared an animal messenger to go to Armos Kamroth, saying, “Harkenwold need reinforcements. Send your best dragon. For the safety of the Nentir Vale. Dreadbeard”

Gin and Aegis worked with a Speak with Dead ritual, converting it to speak to a trapped soul. They used it to talk to one of the souls in one of the swords they recovered from the Drow.

Gin: Who are you?
Soul: I’m Cuhaed of the Harkenwold

Gin: Where are you?
Cuhaed: I’m in a ten foot wide cylindrical room. Me and nineteen others are chained to the wall.

The party searched the town to see if they could learn anything more about Cuhaed. They found his wife, Arli, who reported that he was kidnapped two weeks before.

Gin decided to see how Cuhaed was doing.
Gin: How are you doing?
Cuhaed: I feel a hole, a missingness, ever since the drow chanted near me.

Trident and Gin remembered that in Karkoth they found a ritual that could force a living soul into a magic item. They decided to try forcing out the drow’s soul with Trident’s. They were successful, and Trident found that he could wield the sword afterwards.

Dreadbeard decided he would do the same, but pushed out the living soul. The sword was powerless with Dreadbeard’s soul and the dead drow’s.

The party then got a message from Armos Kamroth. “If you need a dragon, come speak with me.”

They returned to Fallcrest and went to Nirva to ask about the swords. Nirva was taken aback by the sword. They asked if she could remove Dreadbeard’s soul from the sword without harming him. She said she would need to study it.

Dreadbeard then went to speak with Armos, in private, while Aegis, Trident and Gin trained the up and coming heroes of Armos’ hero academy. Armos suggested that if Dreadbeard needs the aid of a dragon, he should sign over his soul to Tiamat, who can provide much support. Dreadbeard agreed, and Tiamat’s symbol burned into his forearm.

The party visited Nimozaran who happily proclaimed that he found the designs for a massive lance, as they had requested. They then returned to Nirva, who removed Dreadbeard’s soul from his sword. She was able to successfully separate the two. Then Trident had his sword refashioned into a glaive.

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What Does A Memory Taste Like?

The party stepped out into the Far Realm, and saw three creatures approaching that they were able to identify as a beholder, a mind flayer, and a gibbering abomination. The three approached the party, with Trident claiming to be an aberration that had captured the orderly beings and was going to convert them. When the beholder was within striking distance, Gin and Dreadbeard attacked.

The party attacked hard, but found that the land itself was working with the monsters. Seeing Dreadbeard and Trident unconcsious, and Gardain’s mind controlled by the mind flayer, Gin told the beholder that they wished to leave the Far Realm, and take other intruders with them. The beholder stopped his companions to hear Gin out. Gin convinced him that they were only interested in finding the pyramid packed with others from the material plane, and returning with all of them to it.

The beholder demanded to accompany them to make sure they left. They walked through the realm, and found it changing to remove them, but they were able to press on and find the pyramid.

Inside, they found the first floor had been overrun by the natural sanctuary that Reithann had been tending to. On the second and third floors they found a resurgence of the pulsating purple flesh covering everything. At the helm of the pyramid, they found Vadriar. When they approached him, he appeared completely vacant, until he slowly turned to look at Gin. “You’re a Thwipwick. I’d like to taste your memories.”

Dreadbeard did not wait for him to say anything else, but charged him, slicing him in half at the waist. As he lay dying, he looked to Gin again, saying, “Seamus’ memories are delicious. I’m sure yours are good, too.”

Gin gathered his wits, and teleported the pyramid to Fallcrest, hovering over the keep.

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Home Sweet Home

The party seeks out information about Karkoth, and DreadBeard almost starts a fight with a merchant trying to get it. They find the mage’s tower where they are able to borrow a book from the mages, under the condition that Dreadbeard bear their mark while he has it. Gin offered the mage some prune juice in celebration of finding the information they needed. After one sip, the mage died. The party grabbed him, and brought him to the inn they were staying in and propped him up for their meeting with Irina.

Irina removed Dreadbeard’s shadow and sent it away. Gin told Irina that they have a ritual to unchain the chained god, but it’s on their pyramid, which he expected to have arrived. As it wasn’t there they wanted to go back to Fallcrest to check on it. Irina offered a teleportation circle to return to Fallcrest.

The party teleported to the Tower of Vecna, and then to Fallcrest. They worked with Nirva to locate where Brugg’s body was using the bead that trapped his soul. The discovered that his body, which they had left in the pyramid, was in the Far Realm. Nirva refused to go with them to the Far Realm, and wished them luck.

They visited Nimozaran, who gave them some chalk that could be used to quickly create a teleportation circle, then opened a portal to the Far Realm for them.

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So Sayeth the Prophet

the guys were in the middle of assassinating nobles
that were for the most part push overs
where we didn’t even go into combat
they had the king and queen who had left town and 15 additional
that they had told about unchaining the chained god
so, they streetwise the addresses and start going to one after the other
husband and wife here
husband alone there
err man alone
they came up with fascinating ways to kill them
Kevin mixed some alchemists fire into his prune juice for one guy
mostly they just skewered
anyways
they come to a place where there are 6 of the dinner guests
in attendance
and they’re all wearing the military uniforms
so they just start fighting them
well, turns out these guys are not push overs
so Sham goes unconscious in like the 2nd round
we get through like 3-4 rounds
they’ve used a lot of healing surges
and a couple dailies
an action point here and there
and they’ve put down like 2 of the 6
and we had to stop because it was getting late
so
that’s where we started, but I gave them an option
we could dive right back into the combat
OR
we could start up with them walking out the front door, covered in blood, with no surges, no dailies, and no action points
they opted for that
went on, found the last few from their list, killed them
purposefully left a few Drow-ish clues around
then went back to the main keep to sleep
when they woke up, they were like, “Where’s the pyramid, it should have been here by now”
so they ask Nirva
she’s like, I haven’t seen it since it teleported
but then she asks that they’re sure they can trust Vadriar since he was acting really weird
so, I reminded them of some bizarreness from him
they’re like, “crap”
then I think that was also the “night” that the yuan-ti let out the medusas to attack
so Nirva
killed them
but a bunch of people got turned into statues
so they got up in the morning
pretended that Gin is a prophet of the chained god
and told them that the chained god let the drow (his mortal enemies) attack the city because the nobles were mispronouncing his name
it should be pronounced TharizKoon
but that to re win his favor, they should attack the drow in the underdark
they were able to get the city worked up enough that the cavalry went off to attack
then they rushed to the other city where the king and queen went
and tried to see her
they were told by guard after guard that they were on the list to see her in the morning
and that they could stay in the inn
but they kept trying to get in, and finally saw a name on the list to be seen immediately
said that that is Gin
and he went in
the queen met with him, asked how he got in, and he said a guard let him in
so then she said they would talk in the morning and that the guard should have let him know that there was a room for them in the inn
then he left, but before he got out, we cut to the others
who saw a shadow leap from the keep walls, dive into the guard’s mouth and nose
and then the guy exploded and the shadow returned into the keep
then they started wondering if attacking the queen might be a bad idea if she could, as Kevin put it, “Shadow frag” people
and then we stopped
with them getting to the inn
and being offended that the second best room was being held for them

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Let No One Live

so, last Tuesday
the party was trying to gather their wits
they had just watched two rulers of Karkoth flee the city
one in dire medical condition
they had been ordered by Nirva to kill anyone that had over heard that they should chant the Chained God’s name to unchain him
Seth was there by skype
so they recapped the situation and started figuring out some plans
first
reach out to one of the other Karkothi rulers to help destroy the whole city
second, try to convert the populace to some other faith
third, assassinate the dinner guests that heard it
fourth, (tossed in by me) a forgetting ritual
fifth, bide time until the pyramid shows up, make it huge and squash the city
Seth was having a hard time being convinced that any of these were good ideas
until they pointed out that Nirva ordered them to do it, and she seems relatively good
they decided that they should have the fifth plan as a back up at least
so they checked on Nirva talking to Vadriar to get the pyramid to them
she asked if Gin taught Vadriar to pilot it, or left a spare ritual book (no, no)
Vadriar requested the plane jumping ritual
Nirva said she could try to gather it if Gin read it very intently
he did spectacularly well on his roll
so she got the ritual to Vadriar
while they were mind talking, Gin asked if either Nirva or Vadriar knew a memory erasing ritual
Nirva said no, and that when she asked Vadriar he started giggling
and expressed that he seems bizarre
then the party put primary plan into action, assassinate any dinner guests
they use streetwise to find where they all live
went to house 1
asked to be speak to the owners
and when they had the servant out of the room
hacked them up with their weapons
then left
and locked up behind themselves
they went to a second place
where they attacked the guy on the door step
third place, where Gin mixed strong alchemists fire into prune juice which consumed the person from the inside
then they found 6 of the dinner guests (military men) discussing what had happened at the meal
the party attacked them, and discovered that they were tougher than random noble citizens
we had to leave off in the middle of the fight

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Where Are We?

The party stepped through the portal and found themselves in a prune orchard in the middle of the night. In the distance they saw a man picking prunes. As they approached they realized that the man was a zombie, and Dreadbeard cut him down. They saw that all the workers in the orchard were zombies and methodically went around destroying them all.

In the distance, they saw a walled city. After dealing with as many zombies as they could find, they approached it. They meet a group of guards, 1 human, 9 skeletons who ask them where they are from. The group says Nentir Vale and admit to killing the zombies. The guards ask them to come peacefully to meet with the king. They agreed and were escorted into the city, finding people being guarded by skeletons.

The king explains their history briefly as he knows how far away Nentir Vale is. “What? The zombies labor for you? Can we learn to do that???” “Guys, this place is awesome”.

Sarkomov says he likes them, would like to work with them, but he needs a task done to forget them killing a bunch of his prune gatherers. So sends them to discover if Haldrist and Irina are in love. The party heads to their city and is greeted by 100 cavalry that rush out of the city (turns out that’s their primary defense), who then lance some skulking drow in the fields before returning to the town escorting the party (who have karkothi cloaks, thus allowed to pass). *Note, when they lanced the drow, they did not kill them, just skewered them and carried them into town on their lances.

The party meets Irina and Haldrist, say that Dreadbeard is the king of Nentir Vale and they have come to present a wedding present… prune juice. They like it, so decide to have a banquet, Gin says he needs more prunes and a still to make enough for a banquet, so they provide local prunes and a still. He makes a pitcher of it. While they’re at dinner they start hearing about the chained god, so Gin remembers that he can communicate telepathically with Nirva. “Hey Nirva, who is this chained god?”

“His name must never be spoken. Let me try to send it to you in another form.”

And he sees “Tharizdun” flash before his eyes. So then he immediately leans to the noble on his left and says, “So why don’t you say the chained god’s name?”

“Because our tradition is that his name must not be spoken until he is unchained.”

“But it’s not saying his name that is keeping him chained,” says Gin.

So they convince the 15 nobles and Irina and Haldrist that if they really want to free the chained god, they need to start using his name. Banquet ends, Gin updates Nirva and she says, “What??? Do you know what it took to create the belief that his name must not be spoken? You must kill anyone who heard you say otherwise.”

Gin follows Irina and Haldrist to the study, plants explosive runes in the book they are reading, and they set them off. Gin and Irina dodge the blast, but Haldrist is knocked unconscious, and the explosion starts a fire in the study. Irina gathers Haldrist and a few books, gets into a carriage and sets off for Tyarmur.

Dreadbeard and Trident go to the dungeons to question the drow. The drow they meet tries to blind them and escape. Trident catches him and another heading out a secret passage in the burning study. He kills them both and finds a magic ring and a scroll on their bodies. The party follows the secret passage out beyond the town, cast a ritual of silence to avoid eavsdroppers, and then discuss what their next move should be. Gin then contacts Nirva, asking to her to get Minda or Vadriar to bring the pyramid to them.

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For The Greater Good?

The party was discussing whether to look further into Paldemar, who had broken into Valthrun’s tower, or create a public service announcement about the joy of moat digging, while sitting on the sun deck of the pyramid. They were interrupted by the sound of prunes smashing against the side. A small mob had formed and were shouting at the party. A spokesman came forward and called for and end to city protection for the corrupt prune empire. Dreadbeard tried to calm the people down, but was unsuccessful. Gin decided to face the allocations of the mob. The spokesman claimed a witness had sen them burn the Nentir Inn down, leaving the bartender to die inside. Gin began to talk around the issue, pointing at the cult and demanding to know who the witness was. Alexandra Thwipwick, stepped forward. Gin asked if they can talk privately and she consented. He took her inside to the second floor of the pyramid where the beginnings of a prune bar were forming. There they talked over prune juice:

Alexandra: “What were you doing there?”
Gin: “We had evidence that a cult of Zehir was operating out of that inn. When we went there we found a yuan-ti had been mind controlling others into working for him.”
Alexandra: “Who started the fire?”
Gin: “How do you feel about dad?”
Alexandra: “Terrible, he tried to further your prune business with criminal activities… you’re becoming him!”
Gin: “… Come with us, help me find the right path!”
Alexandra: “Really? You want help changing?”
Gin: “For you, sis, anything.”

Alexandra told the crowd that Gin had seen the error of his ways and asked her to help him find his way back to his moral compass. The crowd slowly dispersed.

The assistant to the Seneschal approached to let Dreadbeard know that a magical message awaited him in the keep. When they got there, Orontor explained that the eldritch machine they had found in the tower of Vecna had been taken. The party decided that they needed to address this immediately.

Meanwhile, Trident had gone to the bounty hunters’ guild to describe how dangerous the cult of Zehir is. He told them to watch out for any signs of additional cells of the cult, and to be suspicious of anyone who talked negatively about either Dreadbeard or prune juice as the cult’s primary goal had been to undermine Dreadbeard and the party. He further ordered them to not act on anyone until the townsguard had arrested them, but then to take over the investigation.

The party gathered at Nimozaran’s tower, hoping to use his teleportation circle to get to the Tower of Vecna quickly. Before teleporting though, they told Nimozaran that they would need him to learn more about deep crows, capturing creatures for the moats, Cryonax, Bartimaeus, dragons and giant lances. To help him have the energy, Gin gave him two double shots of prune juice.

When the party arrived in the base floor of the tower of Vecna, they immediately noticed that the arcane energy was diminished from their prior visit. The walls were not screaming at them. As they headed up to the second floor, they found the experimentation rooms unused in months. They also found a room with an arcane summoning circle on the floor. As Aegis investigated it, it syphoned some of his arcane energy, and summoned a large, horned, winged beast. Standing twelve feet tall, brandishing a sword crackling with lightning and a whip made of fire, the beast looked at the party. Dreadbeard attempted to make a deal with the demon, asking it to be their jailor in the pyramid. Gin further offered that it would have full run of the jail, and have no oversight in the treatment of prisoners. The demon offered to shake on it, but when Gin crossed the plane of the arcane circle, the bonds holding the demon in were broken. He immediately lashed out at Gin, but not before Dreadbeard knocked him down and back. The party realized they were out matched, and began making a strategic retreat. Trident stepped through to the Feywild, then Aegis, followed by Dreadbeard and Gin fled up to the next higher level. When Trident returned, believing the party would try to head back out through the teleportation circle, fled away from the balor down to the lower level.

On the top level, Gin found a ritual book, with a ritual for teleportation that did not require a teleportation circle, only material components that were sitting next to the book. He began to cast the ritual, trying to fix the prune fields outside of his home in his mind. Aegis began using his practiced barrier, trying to seal up the room, despite lacking Trident. Dreadbeard worked to activate the columns that contained arcane energy to strengthen Aegis’ barrier. A skeletal man, similar in build to Paldemar, tried to enter the chamber through the side door, but blocked by Aegis’ barrier walked into the foyer, saw the party, and scowled before leaving down the stairs.

Trident heard the approach of the balor. Waiting for the perfect moment, he slipped past, but was pulled back by its fiery whip. Using all of his speed and cunning, he slipped away again, running past the skeletal figure as he rushed up the stairs.

Over the next few minutes, Trident could hear the sounds of fighting, but did not risk going back down far enough to see it. Dreadbeard convinced Aegis to open a hole in the barrier to allow Trident access, which he did as soon as Trident was ready.

Just before Gin finished opening the portal, an explosion rocked the entire tower. As soon as the portal finished opening, ignorant of what had happened in the lower levels, the party quickly jumped through.

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The Serpent and the Dragon

Seneschal in Winterhaven dead “He was waiting until everyone entered the pyramid before entering himself” → Ex-lord Padraig and Sjelvim approach to be the new seneschal. Due to superior leadership skills, Sjelvim is chosen and ex-lord Padraig is thrown back in prison.

Minda Conture and Regrizzt offer to be new sage. Vadriar vouches heavily for Minda! She gets chosen to join the pyramid to organize library and research Bartimaeus, Regrizzt gets chosen as new sage of Winterhaven.

Armos is pissed about the rumors! Also demands some engineers/architects and some workers to expand the Cairn of the Winterking. DB asks about Barimaeus, Armos says he’ll consider giving information after work is done on the Cairn.

Word from Valthrun (from before his death) in Winterhaven that he caught someone breaking into his tower. Missing books on necromantic rituals. Group investigates, finds the arcane symbol of Paldemar.

Cult of Zehir – rumor is going strong, the cult is interested in finding the four to bring in deeper. Introduce to Scar Vrythal and a yuan ti. The party killed the Yuan-ti and captured Scar Vrythal, and used the two (with a projection from the pyramid) to clear the rumor they had spread. (also, somebody lit the Nentir Inn on fire. Experts say the fire was started in the cellar, where purportedly illegitimate prune juice was being kept. Whether this was mob related or not is unknown)

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A Widow's Revenge

Travel to Winterhaven.

Start gathering town into pyramid

Gin and Aegis notice the arcane energy flowing north of town

The party races the dragon wagon north

the horses die as they charge into a giant formation of goblins that are casting ritual

The party attacks, the goblins return fire with magic missile

The party forces surrender on the final goblin of the group, who points out the other two casting goblin formations and Allande Markelhay

The ritual is completed and destroys part of Winterhaven, killing 13 families

Gin and Trident race to town to get the pyramid as the goblins flee north east towards the winterbole forest. Rejoined in the pyramid, they begin squashing the goblins, and when Allande is the only one left, DreadBeard tries to talk her into surrendering. When she begins lobbing magic missiles at him, he gets inside and orders her to be crushed as well.

Gin captured her soul into a bead, which Dreadbeard wove into his beard.

The party returned to Winterhaven, letting the citizens return. They discovered that Valthrun is missing, probably dead.

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