Mysteries of the Moonsea

The Sleeping Serpent Part II
Mulmaster 29th Marpenoth 1373

Prologue

Handout   sleeping serpent cellar

Having found that all is not as it seems at the Sleeping Serpent tavern in the Mulmaster docks district the company makes plans to investigate the cellar.

There is some thing not right down there … Cales divinations indicate a path to Strydar maybe there

Investigation and Preparation

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Evening in the Sleeping Serpent
28th Marpenoth, 1373 DR, Mulmaster

Sleeping serpent

Prologue

Having returned to Mulmaster after the retreat to Elventree to consult with ‘Father’ and drop of the Tattoo’d Slave Lyetta the company heads for the run down ‘Sleeping Serpent’ in the docks district, where Lyetta belives she was held before her escape.

This could be the first brush with the slavers since the devils fire tavern in Melvaunt

An evening in the serpent

The Evening in the Sleeping Serpent

The Serpant is quiet as the winter never brings as much trade. The landlady Seskaya has rooms sorted out and the company settle in for the evening around the fire. Brahms performs well and the evening goes well. Two other guests are of note, a reclusive traveller who keeps his own company and spends little time in the tap room. The other is a smooth an gregarious ships officer who seems to know the landlady and many of the patrons well.
Late in the evening it becomes clear that there are people in the seller as food is seen being ordered and collected, nothing more is seen… clearly all is not as it seems. Maybe the slavers are beneath the inn.

Davus uses his sorcerous powers to pass through walls and floors from the guest room, appears over the stairs; loosing his balance he tumbles down the stairs.,. A tense moment until it is clear that nobody has heard. The win cellar seems normal, but where did the man who came for the food go?
Davus searches quickly and finding nothing leaves before his magical concelment fades.

The company lead by Cale consult the divine servants of Tempus hoping for guidance…. there is something more than wine in the celler… and there is a possibility that a path to Strydar could be found.

The company considers the next course of action…

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Grimnoth
25th Marpenoth, 1373 DR, Mulmaster, Undercity Sewer

Mulmaster undercity sewerRiki peers down the sewer tunnel at a wall of darkness flowing towards him extinguishing the little light from the streets above. A guttural roar rumbled from with in. Being on point for a change was a bad call ….. Davus should be here not me…. the terror swept ahead of the dark it took all of Riki’s massive ego to shrug of the urge to run he heft his axe to the ready.

It cant be a dragon … this is a bloody city sewer not some lonely mountain or stinking swamp.

“Fuck it is a dragon” Grimnoth sewer

Grimnoth appears from the dark and foul fluid jets from his mouth, all it touches sizzles and fizzes,acrid gas rises as the life in the tunnel is bleached away. The stream gurgles to an end and the splutter becomes an echoing roar.

“This magic better be the right type” …. the acid splatters and splashes onto riki. Leather, wood and metal hiss on contact and skin blanches under the lash of a thousand nettles, eyes weep and hair dissolves but the liquid just drops away and the pain passes swiftly. There is a muttering of arcane words from several sources so Riki presses tight to the wall as the tunnel flashes white and burns bright with flame mixed with 1000 magical blades whirling and cutting the dragon, Grimnoth disappears into the darkness in howls of pain. The company follow the scent of victory …. sewer smelly but victory non the less

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Slave Hunt
24th Marpenoth, 1373 DR, Mulmaster, Undercity Sewer

Sewer

On arriving in Mulmaster to start looking for Strydar a friend and comrade snatched by devil women in the woods of Cormanthor in the Fall, the company finds itself in hire of some Mulmastrian businessmen… to chase down an escaped slave in the sewers. Though against the sentiments of the company the opportunity of a way into the darker side of the Mulmaster slave trade and possible aid in locating Harper agents and Strydar cannot be ignored.

So on narrow paths a foot or so above cold but rancid and slow running slurry the party edges its way into the sewer. The paths prove slippery and before long all the party look and smell just like the floaters passing by.

Hours of search finally find an old hidden temple behind a concealed tunnel, beyond is a displacer beast …. of vast size … the melee is short and brutal leaving the giant creature in ruin and most of the heroes in poor shape. Hidden in the old alter is a scared …. mostly intact Slave Girl who names herself as Lyetta the Escaped Slave she is in shock and cant Lyettasay much …. the debate wether to hand her over or not starts but is inturupted when some evil poison mold is disturbed in an old store room. The mold is disposed of and thoughts continnue to next steps….

Players reminder mapThe Girls gittery and teriffied state does not reasure all that the worst of things are over.

The company assembles in ragged order to decide what comes next …. more exploration …. and what to do about the guards and slavers at the tunnel exit.

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Hey Bozz ... this Truce Fing ... anyone told them Trolls ...snig !
4th Marpenoth, 1373 DR, Northern Cormanthor, Guard Post in Cult Caves

Troll fight

With the deal done the Heroes retire to the now empty guard post in the cliff … remove the worse of the gore and death …. and slump into various states of of slumber and dazed rest.

The religious plead for healing from their deities and roll out the last of their powers before rest.

Riki and Cale unpack their iron wool and armour repair kits and contemplate sorting out armour and weapons … surely all will be well ash black is always in fashion is n’t it … its this years red. Maybe new armour is in order.

Rufus, Brahms and Riki draw watch by virtue of being the only ones still awake … there are two tunnels to watch one is protected by the druidic spike stones …no critters can cross that can they!

In the darkness of the tunnel the trolls grimace and pull bits of rock out their feet and mutter what they are gonna do to those “£$%^in #stards” once they are sleepin…. they edge forward.

Rufus growls in warning …. Riki readies his weapons …. Brahms …. well Brahms prepares his charm, luck, personality and rapier in order of utility … The trolls leap out of the tunnel with no surprise …. miss Brahms and get hit by a charm monster and all gets a bit confussing for them.. Before Brahms can say “Don’t hit them … they are our friends…” Riki and Rufus wade into the two trolls. “Rufus Heel …. Heel” One word from Brahms and Rufus does as he likes … Riki does the same …. the trolls die in short order.

Davus and Cale look up from their rest to see Xylia and Rufus and Riki starting to burn trolls …. they drag their bed rolls into the next room and flop on the floor.

Rufus is not happy at not being able to eat some troll …. whats wrong with the Bitch ….its quite clearly MY troll…

Brahms has to accept it was a friendship that was never meant to be.

The Rest … ZZZZZzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzz

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Negotiations, Deals and Concience
4th Marpenoth 1373 DR, North Cormanthor, Cult of Vorbyx Caves

Unknown shaman of vorbyx
Our heroes gather at the cave entrance to wait for the emissary to arrive, bringing the hammer and further terms. This gives time to take stock, spells are low, damage moderate and equipment dented, nicked and above all charred ….. the consensus is that all need rest before venturing far into the woods on the account of these creatures or a purely private enterprise affair.

The Emmisary crackles into view, appearing literally fron nowhere ! all face him nervously until he drops the promised hammer at his feet. Brahms steps forward to lead the negotiation with his silvered tounge and courtly ways ….. Riki leans against the cave wall and attempts to follow what transpires …. Xylia is to Brahms left to do a little back seat driving …. cale and Davus loiter to the rear out of the immediate area but close enogh to assist if needed.

The cultist … or more likely their unseen master the so called “Companion of Vorbyx” propose a principle of my enimies friend id my friend …. and as the blessed of Vorbyx ….. agents of his return.. a loose alliance is proposed to further the aims of Hillsfar and the cultists by thining drow rather than Goblin ranks … we have a drow prisoner in the dungeon of the North Cage … kill any you find there as payment for their ineptitude in killing You earlier!

Further this the cult offers a cut of the trade profits from the cult exploits on the Northern shore of the Moonsea Gold, Gems, Slaves.. girls …boys … livestock we will trade it with Malithar and you can take your cut …. we will deal with Hillsfar not the Zhents…

Will you negotiate with the people of Hillsfar.. Malithar and Red Cloaks on our behalf…

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The Emissaries
4th Marpenoth 1373 DR Cult of Vorbyx Caves, Northern Woods of Cormanthor

Cult of vorbyx emissary
The battle at the entrance ramp continues …..

The giant looms up in front of Xylia wounded and enraged ready to deal death. Xylia can think of nothing more than to blast the brute at point blank range, at the last second realising her aim is of but to late. A column of divine fire engulfs the courtyard… bathing friend and foe alike, the giant roars in pain …. Davus ducks back launching a few magic missiles as he goes adding to the giants woe… Riki leaps forward into the goblin commander trading blows as the fire roars down inches from his back.
Cale is seared as he looks back to see the situation … in time to see Xylia’s elation fade to concern as Brahms staggers back from the fire minus eye brows, lute strings and clothing from collar to boot laces smoking ….. for once looking for prose ….. “Who needs enemies with friends like this..”

Cale dispatches the giant with a single stroke …. shrugs and continues the advance up the ramp. Riki beats down the goblin commander who finally ceasesto resist…. a decent opponent…but a dead one.

Riki and Cale charge up the ramp into the massed goblin ranks… hacking the formation to bits the goblin sarg falls quickly and the goblins break … scattering in all directions. The last few leap the balcony and make a dash for the exit out and Davus and Brahms, however not one makes it…. the last is brought down by an awsome two handed hammer hurl from Riki.

The heroes hold the field and take stock…. xylia and Brahms start to loot

Ahead are two more large Iron doors … Riki and Cale guard one each

The one door opens and out step two Ogres holding a branch of peace …. a Truce and a chance to negotiate … the heroes in hope of a chance to rest and reorganise agree.

The emissary is some sort of ogre priest and the other some sort of elite warrior….. both servants of someone called “Twanishmon Companion of Vorbyx” initial terms are discussed … surender the hammer and we will clear off and leave you alone. After a pause to consult back inside the cult lair the emissary returns and the deal struck …. there is more haggling

The Heroes want the temple glade in the ravine abandoned … the ogres reluctantly agree after retiring to consult for half an hour.

The Ogres want aid against the drow who are pressing them hard at the momment … the heroes are considering…

The Ogres want help establishing trade with the city of Hillsfar … the Heroes are considering.

The episode concludes with the Heroes waiting at the entrance guard post for the hammer to be delivered and contemplating their next actions.

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Beyond the Iron Door
4th Marpenoth 1373 DR Halls of the Cult of Vorbyx

Hobgoblins

The pillared hall is a charnel house, Riki and Cale take a short breather as Davus examines the huge rusted iron gateway. The only sound is the low moans as goblins and wolves fade from this life. Brahms has stopped singing and moves from body to body looting coins.

The iron door is huge and scorched… this gives all concern particularly Davus. The sudden sound of the openning cords of … “Have an extra plus two and a change of underware” from Brahms is the signal for Davus to get out the blaggin kit and try and jemmy the door.

Several minute later after much swearing and at least 3 encores from Brahms, Davus admits defeat…. Riki and Cale debate the merits of the “Warriors lockpick” but decide that it would take to long and might involve a dousing in burning oil if those nozles above the door are armed.

In a few minutes a plan is hatched….to attempt to trick the goblins into oppening the door to help their comrades pursue the defeated adventurers….
The low thrum and bark of goblin mob chanting can be heard beyond the door in a room which our heroes recall is surrounded by a fortified gallery with a ramp to access the dungeon complex proper within.

Riki and Cale hide to the sides of the door with weapons ready and visors down… Zylia, Davus hide down the hall behind pillars … rufus sits next to xylia hoping for a scobbie snack.
The ruse works well… Brahms delivers a convincing goblin impression, helped by some quite good dying human sound effects from Davus (He has had plenty of practical experience and knows how it goes).
The goblins open the gate and peer out, they do not rush out as planned and rufus is spotted straight away, however some adlib and impromtu additions to the plan by Xylia who proceeds to run away like right girl shouting “it the wolf… its the wolf” was sufficient distraction and confussion for Davus to step from cover and hurl the long awaited fireball into the door area as Riki and Cale rush the door…

Cale has just enough time to duck back as flame flashes back into the hall, Riki’s head is bathed in flame but he presses on with much swearing and wisps of smoke escaping from his helm and armour joints.

The whole company surges forward to the doors behind the armoured point… all to the sound track of Brahms and his lute but his voice is masked by the taunts and jeers of whatever mans the galleries beyond.

Cale and Riki rush into the courtyard like Butch Casidy and the Sundance Kid …. every goblin is poised with javalin and greek fire pot …. these goblin mexicans have also got a couple giants in support (which is a major deviation from the original screen play) who proceed to hurl full barrels of oil at the two amigos …. Cale says “Tempus sheild me from the fires of my Foes” … Riki saye “Eh…?”

The rest of the party slide to a stop as ahead of them is a forest of javalins and a roaring pool of fire… the amigos are not hit head on but are on fire as they rush on leaving a smoke trail behind them. Riki rushes the ramp flailing at the goblins defending it but slips and slides back down the slope still roaring in pain as the fire licks around his armour. Cale stops to call down devine A&E for his commrade …. as he looks up a rock hurled by a giant takes him full in the chest, crushing armour, flesh and punching his armour through his ribs (He considers that Tempus may have an each way bet on this one ….but what a way to go), he crawls to the relative safety of the far side of the ramp.

In a desperate rage Riki staggers up the ramp throwing his great hammer at the enemy as he smolders at them in defiance ….. the javalins and rocks in response fly wide.

This buys the re-enforcements time to negotiate the burning oil and start to retaliate …. the galleries are blasted with fire, lightning and sonic distuption as the companies casters lay down everything they have got. Its another masacre with goblins falling by the score leaving many dazed … and although more come forward to replace the fallen at the command of their leader the numbers and pressure lessens. Rikii and Cale use the few seconds respite to recover composure, weapons and health to renew the fight…

The goblin commander yels at his troops to X@%*^ them casters and rushes the ramp held by Riki half way down. The giants leap down… one is floored by Cale with an axe blow to the neck as he rises from the jump …. the other buldozes past Riki with minor wounds to attack Xylia, Davus and Brahms.. Rufus licks his Bolox and prepares to do his thing.

To Be continued….

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The Pack in the Porch
4th Marpenoth 1373 DR and the skirmish becomes battle!

Handout   dire wolf 1

The initial clash ends with the goblin and wolf front ranks dead the adventurers hold the passage and watch on as the goblin host hacks the summoned crocodiles to handbags …. and surge forward from left and right with savage dire wolves in the lead once released to the kill by their handlers. In the centre a goblin leader holds his ranks steady and advances in good order.

The wolves fall on Rikmaru who holds the front one crashes into him angred by the recent death of her packmate and half rips off riki’s arm … claret sprays everywhere as Riki’s life blood spills out and he slumps to the ground (Making a note to try and buy critical proof armour or just get more luck).

A morbid tug of ware develops as cale steps forward to hold of Wolf and goblin while Xylia and Rufus enter a morbid tug of war to try and part the victorious wolf from his meal…. Riki is the rope they contest.

After the goblins initial success from the shock of impact the heroes turn the tables and cut wolf and goblin down… ahead the mass of goblin spears is a few yards away and in tight formation. There is some rapid prayer and divine intercession to heal the heroes…. All the time there is the steel guitar and vocal tones of Brahms reminding the front rank as they leave the divine A&E department that real heroes do not cry over such minor wounds and all will better if they enter the breach once more … (And to remember the +2 bonus he is kindly offering them)

Davus and Brahms concur and agree they were correct not to interfere as the situation was quiet clearly never in doubt …Was it!

Javalins bounce of Cales plate and Sheild as the team move out to deal with the goblin infantry, considering crocodiles … well just to reptile our champions of the gods return to mammal …. in a flash the goblin commander is flanked by Wolf and Bear turning his moment of glory into a very bad and also his last day ….. the order turns to Chaos as the gobos are attacked by the zoo in the rear and a vengfull Riki to the front … vengfull and frustrated as his commrades kill almost everyone before he can get to grips with them…

The pillared entrance hall is a charnel house and ahead is the large iron door, barred shut…. beyond is the entrance proper.

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Advance into the Cult Tunnels
Hammer Raid Part IV

4th Marpenoth 1373DR Northern Cormanthor in the Caves of the Cult of Vorbyx

The team moved cautiously further into the southern caves, the tunnel decended in twists an turns for hundreds of metres until it opened out into small worked stone cavern. Exercising more caution than normal Rikimaru paused to allow Davus to scout out the room which was fortunate as Davus identified a larrge pit trap filling the whole room and promptly disabled it …well he thought he had.

Davus ante’d up and crossed the room first without injury. Cautiously the rest of the group moved accross one at a time. Once beyond the trap chamber the winding passage carried on for a few mor hundred metres before oppening into a large pillared hall. Davus thought this was the entrance hall from memory and left the warriors out of sight and crept forward… all was quite in front …behind he could hear the clanking and poetic background music as his comrades concerned for his safety disregarded the advice and moved after Davus as quiet as people in plate armour can …just to take a gander at what was going to happen to Davus.

Davus suspected all was not well in the long silent hall ahead, but figured his comrades had concealled his approach with all their din. A decoy Ventriloquism spell was cast into the room after some feint noise was heard…. the goblins spang their trap to soon …. Davus sprinted for safety as Dire wolves an goblins came out of the shadows from the sides of the hall. Rikimaru using split the skull of the first wolf and the rest became confused as the Gods sent a flock of crocodiles at the behest of Cale … in front the melee is joined and the adventurers ready to charge as a solid line of goblin warriors comes into view ahead….

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