Mysteries of the Moonsea

The Drow Camp trap

Teleporting ala druid style from plant to plant to head back to find the mighty hammer some of the party had handed over to the the ogres some months ago. It was time to get our bearings.

Xylia transformed into a bird bird from her normal human bird. Did her flitting around from above and then went higher still. She came down to report a camp fire which Davus and the bard Brahms had already spotted through the trees.

Davus was sent to scout it out. He soon realised that the others had decided to provide backup which was to prove to be critical.

Eventually Davus worked out it was a Drow camp. Futher back Brahms and Xylia knew this as Brahms could understand the evil conversation.

Something was odd about the camp. The conversation was being repeated. Davus grew suspsicious of the lack of movement and an edgyness in the camp.

Unbeknown to Davus Xylia and Brahms were being stalked by other drow.

Xylia removed a stalking drow with a lightning bolt from the sky.

Davus ready for action immediate fireballed the camp fire group and four drow dropped. A drow Mage responded with a but Davus was too quick. Davus went invisible and head towards the party to regroup.

Drow warriors closed in on the main party.

Spiders appeared around the Brahms and Shrimrond who had just caught up. Rufus bounded to the resuce

The trap was sprung.

A drow cleric stepped up only to be……

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Drow Attack Defeated. Onwards ...

…. spotted by Xylia, Brahms and Shimrond. To the south of the combat a Drow Warlock, the caster of the earlier fireball, made his appearance as Cale and Kenwood re-joined the party to provide additional support.

The regrouped party soon dispatched the remaining Drow admittedly with it be a bit touch and go with the Drow Captain resorting to Slay Living in a desperate attempt to take Xylia out of the equation. Having seen the Captain finally fall the Drow Priestess turned tale and ran only to be tracked and sent to her gods by an aerially launched Lightning Bolt from Xylia in Bird Form.

With the combat completed the party searched the bodies and the camp only to find six poor tortured and now dead (a potential result of the earlier fireball) woodsman previously held captive by the Drow and from the look of the manacles be prepared for slavery. A decision was made to move camp carrying the dead woodsman so that they could be brought back to life and released to continue with their lives.

Having camped for two days, the party and the woodsman healed, a route was identified leading to the portal caverns and the target of regaining the Skeletal Hammer previously owned by Kenwood.

Along this route a grove and alter dedicated to the death of innocents was found but left to be revisited once the primary goal was achieved.

Without further upset the caverns were reached and Davus set out to make an initial investigation into strength and defence …………….

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First Return Sight of the Portal Caverns

Having assessed both entrances to the Portal Cavern, hopefully containing the lost/bartered (and battered) hammer, Davus reported back to the waiting party. With a report of multiple arrow slits in the cliff faces approaching both entrances it was decided that the party would retreat to a safe camp and prepare suitable spells for a stealthy approach.

On retracing the route towards the head of the valley the sounds of elven mourning were heard and, as already in bird form, Xylia flitted off to take a look.

The sight of three smoky, shadowy forms with purple malevolent eyes spotted by Xylia were spotted simultaneously by Cale and Davus. Without hesitation Davus surrounded the creatures with a ball of fire, two of which then charged directly at him. Having recognised the taint of undead Cale called upon his faith in Tempus to turn the advancing pair and reek further damage. Before they could turn and flee Xylia returned them to dust with Mielikki’s Divine Fire with Davus trusting to his own ability in avoiding the flames in preference to risking longer contact with the Spectres. Having been targeted by the first two, the third Spectre followed suit and charged towards Davus accepting the damage of a self targetted Fire Ball, Davus again relying on his ability to get out of the way, but the Spectre falling the Searing Light of Cale.

Three Spectres dealt with before half the party were even aware of their presence, but before reminders could be passed to Kenwood about remembering to but his helmet on the right way round in future, a vision materialised ……………

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The Vision

Handout   spirit elf messenger of the wolf………………… from swirling mist, framed by the glow of sunlight a howling wolf and his Elven companion. The Elf proclaimed himself as the spirit of The Lone Wolf (Fenmarel Mestarine diety of outcasts)and that the party having removed the Spectres set to guard his fallen comrades would now find trinkets to aid in the fight against the Cult of Vorbyx.

On the mere mention of loot, and true to form, the majority of the party virtually ignored the rest of the visions pronouncement to scrabble about in the nearby pond to unearth the promised items. With the use of Detect Magic, Mage Hand, Unseen Servant and Otter Form the pond was thoroughly searched and the bodies/skeletons of the 3 fallen Elves found along with two rings later to be identified as a Ring of Swimming and a Ring of Counter Spell.

With the party dried off and a suitable campsite for the night found, preparation for an assault on the Portal Caverns was begun……………….

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Operation 'Let's Get That Hammer Back'

………………….. with Invisibility, Silence and Pass Without Trace cast on the entire party and plans for the approach to the southern entrance to the Portal Cavern entrance in place, a stealthy approach was commenced. Led by Davus the party reached the entrance without error and on spotting the guard contingent didn’t hesitate in launching into assault mode:

Hobgolins and Trolls being the order of the day an early Fireball threw light on the numbers of combatants and dispatched a quantity of them at the same time. With the caverns guard now aware of an attack a concerted effort to defend the entrance was made but with Flame Strike and Ice Storm launched, combined with the judicious application of hammer, axe and sword the entrance was soon cleared and operation ‘Let’s Get That Hammer Back’ underway.

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Hammer Raid Part III
"Hammer Raid"

The Assault continues….
Handout   myth k thellom entrance

1373 DR 4th Marpenoth in the Northern woods of Cormanthor near the Moonsea. Winter starts to grip the land the woods are blanketed with snow and ice.

Our heroes continued to press into the caves that the goblin cultists are cowering in. Having cleared the entrance cave they take a side passage winding up into the cliff expecting to find the guard post overlooking the entrance.

Cale leads the charge into the guard room after Davus points out the way with Kenwood moving up into support. The goblins are formed and ready and rush Cale as he enters with goblins closing in from all sides and charging down the sloped passage to catch Kenwood of guard. There is a brutal fight with cale of tempus cutting down a half dozen goblin cultists in seconds and pressing on into the room…. Kenwood is badly wounded to head and leg by several well placed blows, only the tunnel wall holds him up. Davus looks to blast the room clean but cannot get a clear shot with a fireball and holds off in case he kills his comrades.

Brahms and Kenwood mehodically fight their way up into the guard room to assist cale of tempus mopping up the resistance. The fight is over in a couple of minutes despite the goblins try to escape down another tunnel to the north.

Xylia Asima, Shimrond and Rufus cease their watch on the lower end of the tunnel and move up into the guard room. From here another pasage slopped down, probably to the northern caves. The clerics patched up kenwood who was some what ashamed to have taken such a beating from the gobos…. Cale commented that “I have broken a finger nail”

A lot of noise could be heard from the north as the goblins prepared their defences….into these Kenwood charged…. The goblins detonated their fire trap bathing th passage in flame. Brahms and Davus looked on as capable and Kenwood burned. A large force of goblinds and ogres looked on fro the far side of the cavern waiting for the flames to subside. Sylvia reduced the goblins ranks to chaos and death with a well placed spike stone spell….the survivors fled further back into the northern caves.

With the northern path blocked with their own enchantments the heroes returned to the southern passage and advanced inward and downward into the unknown.

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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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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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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 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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