Fallen

The Sinking City
All Will Be Consumed

Finally the adventurers came to find the remains of a dwelling, and then another, and another. Until they were surrounded by a sinking shanty town slowly subsiding into the black sea, inhabited by shuffling shadowborn eking out an existence on the fringes of the great city of Cheelast. Across the dusty causeway lay several walled islands, dim lights pushing against the gloom beckoning the adventurers to enter. As they pondered if they should enter, Argos and Rynn finally caught up, directed to Cheelast by Nitru.

Crossing the causeway they entered what appeared to be a market quarter, seeking supplies and advice before taking on the vampire nest. The Market Quarter, like all the islands, was all right angles and low walls. The lowest part of the island was packed stone, with the buildings generally stone but more recent and higher constructions were timber. Every building was different, with almost every architectural style from Faerun having a presence here. And new, every building was new. Over the centuries Cheelast was slowly sinking into the Sea of Tears, rather than move the people simply allowing it and then building more stories onto their homes and businesses. 

The adventurers could see this due to each building being a different level, some higher and some lower, and some on strange angles. Below ground level long-forgotten stair cases descended into flooded realms long forgotten, but still accessable to the brave. Seeking information the adventurers entered Meeson's Tavern, and questioned the Shadar-kai owner as to the nature of the city. She was happy to direct them to the market square, and to take more than enough money for their drinks.

Moving through the Market Quarter the adventurers were recommended to find Jack's Alchemy Shack, purveyor of all things alchemical. One of the only Dwarfs in Cheelast, Jack was pleased to see Saggy, and was happy to supply potions and identification services. Just off the market square they found Lance's Money Exchange, Pay Day Loans, and Porn Shop. Here Lance, a paunch middle aged elf, took the time to explain more of Cheelast.

Cheelast uses it's own currency, a locally minted Platinum, instead of any other coin. It is almost a one-for-one exchange for Faerun gold, but most merchants will only take local coin or gems. The city is divided into six wards; the Sunken Ward, the shanty town on the sinking coast; the Market Quarter; the Docks, to the north of the Market; the Factorium, opposite the market and home to the city's entire industrial base; West Port, a rarely used port district that acts as a barrier to the Tower; and Castle Rock, a seemingly fully sunken castle at the city's northeern most point.

Seeking even more answers, and possibly some divine guidance, the adventurers struck out towards the Tower. Crossing the Dusty Causeway they encountered an almost endless stream of wagons carrying goods from the Docks to the Factorium and back. Whatever it was the city manufactured was in high demand somewhere. Entering West Port was easy enough, except for failing to notice the spear trap on the main gate.

Inside seemed abandoned. The noise from the causeway outside could not be heard and no sound emanated from within. Occasionally a glimpse of a robed figure was seen in the distance, and finally one was close enough that Sandrina sneaked down an alley to follow one. She followed it around a corner, and found herself back on the main road behind her companions. Memories of trees came flooding back. Deeper in they found an open square, and spread out to investigate. Looking back they saw the path they had come up was no longer there, looking forward they saw the webs left by something in the dark.

Throwing firebolts indiscriminately around attracted the giant spiders that lived in the square, and they closed in to attack. A combination of webs, swarms, and venom almost felled the party; but instead they only took down Argos and Rynn, cocooning them and taking them away. With their next meal secured the surviving spiders retreated. The remaining adventurers took stock and pondered their next move, to retreat or push on and attempt a rescue?

The silence returned.

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Shadows Revealed
Shadowfell Day 3...ish

As the party stood pondering the Dead Man on the Cross, a pair of recently deceased spirits calmly floated down from the north. Arriving at the Cross they paused, with one asking the Man for directions to Letherna. He promptly pointed a boney digit towards the South marking the path. Without any further sound the spirits continued on their way.

Still wondering what the spirits were doing almost stopped them noticing several javelins landing amongst the group. Out of the eternal twilight came a small Orc raiding party, determined to destroy the interlopers. Although missing two of their number the adventurers were able to overcome and defeat the Orcs; just in time to see another forty figures walking calmly towards them.

The newcomers were unlike anything the adventurers had seen. Almost human but grey skinned, covered in tattoos and a myriad of vicious looking piercings. The leader introduced himself as Madran, a Shadar-kai warrior leading the raiding party, who wanted to take them to meet his chief – the Death Lord Nitru. Although apprehensive about going with Madran they saw no other choice.

Not far to the East they finally came upon the foothills of the mountains they had seen over the last few days, inside caves that ran deep into the mountain they found the village of Nitru. Nitru was a gracious host, providing food and Fungale as well as offering to answer any questions the primes may have. He confirmed they were indeed in the Shadowfell, and his tribe of Shadar-kai was charged with guarding the Domain that contained the Tomb of Sarus. That was why he had sent his scouts to investigate and eliminate any intruders. Over the centuries many had come through the Tomb seeking nothing but destruction.

Nitru finally offered the adventurers a deal of sorts, in return for the information and hospitality he required a task be completed. As a Death Lord he could sense when any of his people were destined to die, and as none were marked for death he knew that outsiders were needed to complete his mission. He instructed them to destroy a Vampire den to the north, they had been intruding on his territory and made it difficult to maintain vigil over the Tomb.

Begrudgingly they accepted, but informed Nitru they needed supplies to survive in this new realm. He told them of Chelaast, a city a few days hike to the north, were they could re-supply and re-equip. Nitru had no concern about the delay, so long as the vampires were dealt with soon enough. 

Now with a purpose the adventurers marched north towards Chelaast, their new found knowledge of the Shadowfell filling them with enthusiasm and courage. On the second 'day' they encountered another swamp, the dusty road cutting a straight path through both above and below the water. It was not long until Saggy heard a scream for help, a young woman attacked by crocodiles, and he leapt into action to save her.

Deep in the swamp they saw her, a ravishing dwarven beauty with red hair, a flowing mustache, and minimal clothing. She was frantically trying to get to the safety of her cabin away from the crocodiles attacking her, when Saggy leapt into action and heroically killed the crocodiles and saved the damsel. To show her thanks she offered a kiss, before revealing her true form as a Hag and attacking her rescuers. Some would say she had lay a trap, but in reality she was dismayed at her rescuer refusing her advances… 

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Please Tyr, Wake Me.
What Argos Saw

When Argos and Rynn awakening they find themselves alone, so they decide to investigate the temple complex. This investigation will bring them up to next session…

The Altar Room
Not an altar, actually a sarcophagus. This is the tomb of Sarus, a mortal knight of Tyr that fought in the Procession Of Justice almost 1600 years ago to free the remains of Jhaamdath from demonic rule. The texts on the walls tell his story in 6 broad sections:

  1. Sarus’ early life, a native if Jhaamdath trying to survive in the wild ruins of the empire.
  2. His finding religion and joining the priesthood of Tyr, in an attempt to escape the tough life in the wilds.
  3. Revival of the Knights of Holy Judgement, a militaristic order that followed the dogma of Tyr.
  4. Sarus joining the Holy Judgement, and his subsequent rapid rise through the ranks.
  5. The largest section, detailing Sarus fighting in the Procession Of Justice. It follows the campaign from the initial landings at the mouth of the Vilhorn Reach through to the final destruction of Naarkolyth. The great city had survived the Elvish flood but the fury of Tyr caused it to succumb.
  6. The death of Sarus. He was laid to rest here, in a converted temple of Tyr, which was turned to a tomb in honour of one of Tyr’s greatest mortal warriors.

The Ante Chamber

The walls in here are covered in the detailed history of Tyr, or as much as his mortal followers would know. There is certainly much more here than is currently known by scholars of Faerun, especially around his early days as head of the Jhaamdathian pantheon. The section nearest the tomb door is the most interesting, it appears to be a prophecy:

“Arrtyr lost his greatest warriors in The Year of the Striking Lance. In his glory he reclaimed their souls and gave birth to a new generation of his greatest warriors. Long centuries will they proclaim his domain. Their campaigns will be long and victorious. The Year of Deaths Unmourned will see the fall of Arrtyr. Slain by the hand of treachery. Another shall take his mantle. His warriors will scatter and fall to ruin.

The Year of Awakened Sleepers will see Tyr retake his mantle. Justice and War will return to his blind judgement. The Year of Star Walkers Return shall see Arrtyr’s warriors return behind him. They shall bring his fury and righteousness back to the world. But one shall bring more. He shall bring a blind rage to avenge the slaying of his master. He shall bring an end to all evil.”

The Astronomical Room

The unknown constellation is called “Grunsiadtrios”. This roughly translates to ‘Triad Triumphant’. As to why it is the only constellation visible in the night sky there is no clue.

The Second Pyramid

The only chamber in this pyramid contains what is obviously a portal carved into the wall. Around the portal the following is carved in ancient, but readable, Thorassian.

"Open unto me the way across angled time and curved space let the passage be free unto the crawling chaos. Speak the words of power to find your passage."

 

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Darkness. Imprisoning me. All that I see. Absolute Horror.
Somewhen?

Bruce took in his surroundings. At first glance they were still in the Pyramid, but instead of  desecrated walls he can see them covered in writings. Carefully he woke Saggy and Sandrina, but was unable to wake the Elf and Halfling. Deeming them safe the trio decided to explore the pyramid again, but in reverse. The Antechamber to the temple was similarly now covered in writings, which on a cursory exam seemed to depict a history of the life of Tyr, his Avatars and his followers for the previous several thousand years.

The most disturbing aspect was the darkness. Darkvision was not as effective as it should have been, even 'Light' was dimmer than normal – if it worked at all. So hindered the trio descended into the main chamber not knowing what to find. Inspecting the side chambers they found all the puzzles reset, and the main door open with the six stones in place. As despair began to set in it was an attack by a wraith that returned them to reality. 

In the astronomical room they found an intact version of the planetarium and mirror, but instead of a full night sky above them there was only a single constellation of seven stars. Outside in the chill night they could see the real sky reflected the artificial one. The pitch black of the world was only broken by the seven lonely stars in the sky.

Leaving the temple the adventurers were surprised to find they were above ground, and a second temple was waiting in front of them. This second building was obviously a temple to Tyr, containing nothing but a giant statue of the god in a victorious pose. Behind the temple they found a second pyramid, its stone walls no match for the Claws of the Umberhulk. Inside was precious little, only what appeared to be an inactive portal. From the top of the pyramid they could see an endless forest, the swamp seemed to be gone, and mountains far to the south. Only what looked like two rivers, defined by breaks in the trees, were the only landmarks they could see.

Unable to solve the mystery at the temple complex they began to travel through the surrounding forest along the only path they could find. Almost as quickly they turned back, disturbed by the apparent movement of the trees. Building courage they entered the forest again. Finally it seemed as if the sun was rising, but there was only a dim twilight to light the way. Feeling lost Sandrina volunteered to climb a tree to attempt to get some bearings. All around they could only see forest, the pyramids were gone and mountains lay to the east. It was as if the terrain had changed around them. This time however they saw some light ahead of them, and they set off to find what it was.

Soon enough they found what the lights were, unknown humanoids riding NIghtmares charged into them without warning. The fight was desperate, but before the adventurers were victorious one of the assailants vanished completely, and the other teleported away before running into the forest. Hours later they came upon a river, with the remains of what could only be their attackers camp under a tree. Here they found strange coins, and a note instructing the unknown raiders to investigate, and eliminate, the disturbance at the 'complex'.

After crossing the river they climbed another tree to see where they were. Sandrina spied the edge of the forest to the east a good half a day hike away with the mountains still looming beyond. Descending the tree she found that here companions were not there, they were under another tree some 30 feet away. Suitably disturbed they almost ran to the edge of the forest, but still paused frequently to mark their passage in the ground. The edge should have been half a day away, but they reached it in under an hour.

Beyond the forest was a great rocky desert, broken only by a dusty road leading further east towards the mountains. The trio continued on, only pausing to mark the dusty path with a cross as they had done in the forest. This time however it was futile, as the path seemed to fill in the cross as soon as they could make one. Again suitably paranoid, they chose to continue walking to the side of the path.

Finally they arrived at a crossroads with five paths converging. At the center of the convergence was a crucified corpse, seemingly ancient and mummified beyond identification and completely immune to all damage. Confused and unsure which way to go Sandrina asked out loud where they needed to go. The corpse responded by uncurling a boney finger and pointing to the north. Further questions provided a similar service, with the corpse indicating a direction for each location queried. 

The day dragged on, but the sun still had not risen.

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Interlude the Second
From "The Rise and Fall of Jhaamdath"

By -276DR the former Psiocracy of Jhaamdath had fallen beyond all hope. A coup d'etat had displaced the psychics that had ruled for millennia and saw them replaced with a brutal military empire. For decades the new Jhaamdathian Empire projected its power across the Sea of Fallen Stars, conquering and slaughtering all before them.

The Elves of Nikerymath were the only ones to hold their own, but still struggled to prevent the wholesale destruction of their forest homes. In desperation they turned to ancient Elven High Magic, and called forth a tidal wave to sink the entire area around Jhaamdath Bay. Overnight the empire was shattered, her armies ceased and her power extinguished.

All was not well in the former empire. Agents of evil, Demons and their ilk, moved into the remaining Jhaamdathian cities. Seeing what his former followers had been reduced to Tyr took pity on them. He called upon his greatest mortal servants to bolster the ranks of his celestial army and marched on the former lands of Jhaamdath. The Procession of Justice took place in -247DR and saw the complete cleansing of Jhaamdath which paved the way for the founding of Chondath a few centuries later.

Following the procession Tyr is said to have elevated his surviving mortal warriors to angelhood, before sending them into the world to find and re-consecrate the temples lost during the years of the Jhaamdath Empire. 

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Raiders of the Lost Pyramid
1st Day of Uktar

Following the gentle slope down into the campsite Sandrina and Rynn moved ahead silently to conduct a standard recon. As is true of any standard recon Sandrina failed to check a tree for traps and proceeded to alert the camps inhabitants. Throwing caution to the wind the party charged in, finding several Lizardfolk guarding the camp and an adjacent excavation. The fight was short and full of fire, and ended with the Lizardfolk all deceased.

The camp was an interesting mix of standard tents and bedrolls, seemingly occupied by humans, and more traditional Lizardfolk lean-toos. It was almost as if the Lizardfolk were working together with whichever humans were in the camp. Exploring further revealed what had been excavated, the capstone of an ancient pyramid buried in the swamp. The strangest find however was that the ground around the pyramid was dry, no water from the swamp seemed able to leach into the diggings.

Further west they found another excavation, this one descending over one hundred feet underground to an ancient entrance. The entrance had been reinforced and seemed to have been well used over the last few weeks, but had all its traps reset to delay anyone coming behind. Through the entrance chamber the adventurers encountered the source of the Lizardfolk attacks, a corrupted Lizard King. The fight was over so quickly that Saggy didn'y even get onto range.

The King was carrying the journal and also the combined works of the archaeologists, whom he had slain in frustration over the last few days. Armed with this information they were able to begin deciphering the puzzle of the Pyramid. The six side chambers each had a smaller puzzle that required solving to reveal the stones needed to open the main door. Through some trial and error, some genius and some blind luck they found all six stones. With the correct order deciphered from the translations of the door text the main door slid silently into the floor

Quickly dispatching a few stray Hellhounds, thankfully before Bruce could attempt to tame one, the party moved up to the next level of the Pyramid. Here they found the guardians of the temple, a Bone Devil and its minions. The fight was long and tough but the adventurers finally prevailed, finding themselves in front of the altar of the Pyramid. Recovering quickly Saggy pulled out the consecration scroll provided by Brastan and read it aloud. 

Their world turned black…

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Journal of Jendir Ivrendy – Archeologist
Found amongst the bodies in the Pyramid

Journal of Jendir Ivrendy – Archeologist

14th Eleint

We have finally arrived in Calaunt, just short of two ten-days out of Alaghon. Tomorrow we meet our guide who will take us north into the Flooded Forest. Hopefully we can find the evidence we are seeking, that our ancestors in Jhaamdath did indeed spread north across the Sea of Fallen Stars! Tovec and Stum have joined me from the Museum, both eager to find any artifacts. Crast has travelled all the way from Impultur, being an expert on ancient Thorass texts she will be vital in helping translate any texts we are able to find.

15th Eleint

Today we met our guide, Evan, a ranger from Ylraphon that knows these lands as well as anyone. He has suggested we return to a boat and sail up the Dragon Reach to north of Ylraphon, and then land and trek towards the dig site.

17th Eleint

We are in the swamp! Although it is uncomfortable, wet, and full of biting insects, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Evan has said we are only a day or two away from the first site, and the second is not much further from that. None of us can wait to get into the dig!

18th Eleint

The first site, our first dig, this will be hard work. The land looks promising, Stum is confident he can make out some indications of foundations under the surface, and Tovec has already uncovered several pottery shards.

21st Eleint

That was a waste of time. Three days digging and nothing but flooded holes and sinking mud. The foundation Stum was sure of was nothing but a natural sediment bank, and Tovec’s artefacts appear to be nothing but recent remnants of a local tribe.

22nd Eleint

Evan has led us to a second site, this one shows much more promise. Tovec was the first to notice that even though the area we are in is in a slight hollow, the ground is surprisingly dry. Evan has known of this place his whole life, but local belief is that there is a natural underground drain in the area. Stum is not so sure, and has begun digging in the very centre of the dry patch.

26th Eleint

Success!!! Stum has found a buried structure! We spent the day clearing what we could, and it appears to be the cap of a pyramid. Could this be it? Could this be a Jhammdathian ruin? I know the first Jhaamdathans built tombs and temples as pyramids out of ease and convenience, but such grand structures were only ever found in and around the capital. Even then they only built them for a few hundred years. There is something very special about this place.

27th Eleint

There is too much to dig! Evan has suggested we bring in some help, and even has some people in mind to come and help. He wants to leave to organise them, which we have all agreed to, we shall remain here and continue digging. Perhaps we will find an entrance to the pyramid!

29th Eleint

Tovec has had a breakthrough! He has identified a series of inscriptions on the capstone, indicating the direction of the complex entrance. He has deduced it is to the west, but without knowing the size of the pyramid we will be guessing. We have set out an area to begin digging in.

30th Eleint

Evan has returned with his diggers. Lizardfolk!!! I never thought I would live to work side-by-side with Lizardfolk! Evan assures us these are from a friendly tribe, one known to him and his family for almost a century. They certainly seem friendly enough, and more than willing to help. Some of them can even speak a little common! It is going to make the work much easier.

2nd Marpenoth

The Lizardfolk are digging well, they continue to excavate the capstone and have started on the possible entrance. It’s interesting, but their foreman – Jokizu – has indicated the ground they are digging in is, unusual. Now that he has mentioned it, the ground here is very dry.

3rd Marpenoth

Jokizu has finally briefed us on his findings, this pyramid has been accessed before! There is an old tunnel that was dug down and since filled in. We shall continue to excavate, who knows what other surprises await us!

6th Marpenoth

Jokizu has brought in more of his tribesmen to assist in the digging. They hope to be at the entrance in another day or two. Crast continues to take rubbings of the capstone, she is perplexed that there are so little writings on the stonework.

8th Marpenoth

We have found the entrance!

9th Marpenoth

Jokizu and his crew have cleared the entrance, a grand stone archway that seems to lead to the pyramid proper. They are going to reinforce the old tunnel so we can get into the Pyramid. Crast has been working on translating the writing on the archway, but as it is not in any form of Thorassian she has ever seen it may take some time.

 

10th Marpenoth

We are at the door! Evan has found a trap that still functions at the entrance, but he has shown us how to avoid it. Crast and Stum has concluded that this pyramid is not of Jhaamdathian origin, but something much older. They think the writing on the entrance is a hybrid of infernal and celestial, only much older. Even Tovec agreed, saying that the stone seemed to indicate something older than Jhaamdath, perhaps into the Elven Age of the Crown Wars.

14th Marpenoth

This has been too exciting! We have spent days inside the pyramid, and still seem no closer to understanding its origins. The central chamber houses a sealed door that leads deeper inside, Stum has found the lock mechanism but is unable to breach it. There is a large inscription on the door, one that appears much more recent than the age of the pyramid would suggest. So far none of us have had any luck translating it. There are six side chambers, each seeming to hold some sort of puzzle. Perhaps this is the key to opening the sealed door?

17th Marpenoth

Tovec has found something! With Crast’s help they have translated an inscription in the 3rd chamber.  It seems that this pyramid was discovered by a Jhaamdathian expedition some 6000 years ago! Whatever it was originally has been lost, but the Jhaamdathians consecrated it as a temple to the Arrtyr. It is strange the that we cannot find any other references or symbols to Arrtyr, almost as if something has removed them.

19th Marpenoth

I have made some progress around solving the mystery of this pyramid. It was indeed a temple to Arrtyr for seemingly thousands of years, before it sunk into the Flooded Forest as it formed almost 3000 years ago. Sometime in the last two centuries someone dug down and accessed the pyramid. This is when we feel the sealed granite door was modified with the new inscription, and the references to Arrtyr removed. It remains a complete mystery as to who or why, as none of us can translate the door writtings.

23rd Marpenoth

This is frustrating! We cannot for the life of us solve this puzzle! Evan has sent for someone else that he says can help, hopefully he is right!

24th Marpenoth

Another Lizardfolk has joined us, but he is…different. The others are more than happy to help, but this one is somehow darker. He has already sent the majority of the diggers away, and armed the ones that remain. That said he does work fast! He brought several scrolls and was able to access one of the puzzle rooms! The room had a series of stones with unknown runes on them, he stepped out a word causing a pedestal to raise with a small stone on it. He placed the stone in a hole above the sealed door and it locked in place!

It seems there are six stones, one from each room, and they must be placed in a particular order above the door to unlock it. The text on the door reveals the order! Now we just have to solve the other five puzzles!

28th Marpenoth

This is madness! The dark lizard has killed them all! Crast and Tovec died in the second chamber when their arms were lost, Evan and Stum have been executed and dragged into the 4th chamber. I know I am next. The dark lizard could not solve the other puzzles, and in frustration smashed a model of the temple, finding another stone. If only it had given us the scrolls it had, we could have translated everything and solved the puzzles. Instead it refused to and has resorted to brute force…

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Dungeons and ... wait for it ... DRAGONS!
28th Day of Marpenoth

After fighting the mushrooms the consensus was to head south, deeper into the swamp. After some time the party found an old path, partly laid out with boards, as well as a feeling that they were being watched. The watchers were revealed as a group of Kobolds, desperately defending the lair of their master. Although the small creatures fought bravely they were no match for the seasoned adventurers.

E'vonal had set her lair in the Flooded Forest away from other Black Dragons. She was young, brash, and had barely enough time to amass a modest horde. She felt that the sunken dwarven outpost, concealed as it was by the moist mound, would protect her from probing adventurers. Of course she had not counted on probing adventurers with artifacts of the Earth Cult that could dig through anything. Caught off guard and without her minions her short life was mercilessly cut short, and her treasures divided amongst her killers.

In a way she had some revenge, causing Saggy and Bruce some minor bowel discomfort as they sampled the delicacy that is Dragon meat. And so they became sentient eaters, on the same level as the goblinoids and underdark dwellers.

Resting overnight the party considered their next move. It was decided to head towards a soft light they could see in the distance, it appeared to be a campsite of some description. Clever use of walk on water saw them cover the distance to the camp in record time.

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A Prickly Interlude (or Treating Your Players Like Mushrooms)
23rd to 27th Marpenoth

An uneventful journey brought the adventurers back to the Hog and Thistle on South Rd. Here they met up with Gavin again, who was quite happy to see them and even more happy to impart some friendly information. Including that Braston was here and would love to see them. And love to see them he did. 

The party had found an almost complete map in the Temple of the Crashing Wave, which marked the location of the Temple of Tyr in relation to the Dwarven fortress and the local landscape. Braston was so eager for the party to find it and clear it for him he offered a small fortune as payment up front, with more to come after completion. Some assurances about the remains of the Elemental Cults were made, and the party agreed to find the Temple. Braston gave them a scroll that when cast would consecrate the temple long enough for Braston to return with a team of priests to perform the appropriate rituals.

Newly wealthy and in no particular rush, the adventures then proceeded to take a three day bender. Somehow remembering on the third day to rise and go do what they had been paid to do. The Temple of Tyr was located a few days march south, in an area now known as the Flooded Forest. When the map was made the Temple was somewhere between the Rivers Lis and Dalfon, an area that is now a vast swamp known as the Flooded Forest.

Finally away they trekked south along South Rd, a journey that took them past the easternmost reaches of the Cormanthor forest. By noon on the second day they found a small path leading west, and proceeded to change direction. Along the path they found the many and varied ecosystems that compose a living swamp, including a lovely patch of fungi that they all enjoyed very much. The shrieks that awoke them from a pleasant rest revealed a screaming tenticular party, which the party-pooping murder hobos quickly shut down.

 

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Crashing the Wave
22nd Day of Marpenoth

The adventurers well earned rest was suddenly interrupted by the final troll returning, along with some Lizardfolk that also inhabited the temple. Fighting groggily they were able to defeat the troll and its minions quite quickly.

Moving cautiously the party returned to the marketplace, intent on finding any loot they may have missed. Argos, rather than looting, found himself drawn to the giant brass gong at the water's edge. Giving in to curiosity he picked up the large mallet and struck the gong. As the sound reverberated around the entire complex the lake began to bubble, and the giant head of a Turtle Dragon rose curiously from the water. Not knowing it was in the service of the Cult, the adventurers foolishly offered their services to help free the Dragon. It showed its refusal with a stream of superheated steam breath.

Choosing discretion over valour, they quickly rushed across the marketplace and headlong into wherever the next corridor took them. Finding another bridge over the canal that ended at perhaps the most ornate door yet, Sandrina chose to finally not check for traps. Of course, there was a trap. Inside was the heart of the temple, an area that was most likely the chambers of the cult's leader and high-priests. Instead they find only a few Lizardfolk and a summoned Hezrou Demon left to guard the chamber. 

To the west they find another portal chamber, this one guarded by a Mezzoloth. It is strikingly similar to the previous one they found, differing only in the main rune in the centre. Doubling back they stumble upon the Cult leader's private stash, seemingly left behind in the rush to evacuate. Further south an ancient distillery had been converted into a storage area for some form of minor water elemental, with Saggy managing to take one in its storage container. 

Just off the underground lakes shore a small party of Lizardfolk had set up camp, seemingly preparing to move in to the now re-abandoned complex. The adventurers were able to defeat them, but at the cost of loosing the fighter, Corbi. The copious amounts of treasure found did make up for some of the loss. After a small escapade across the lake to see off some water-ghouls, which took far too long to plan, the decision had to made as to push on or leave. After much discussion they decided to leave, regroup, and plan their next move.

 

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