Tyranny of Dragons

The Chronicle: Session 32

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

Early Dawn, 18 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

After our feather fall down with the aid of my arcane energies, the party ran into the central tower once the drakes guarding it were distracted by Dancer. With no time to waste, since we did not know when the guards would come, the group quickly sized up the situation. The room we were in was empty, with an adjoining room and a stairwell upstairs. I made some of the party invisible while I hid myself and they traveled upstairs to scout out the situation.

In the upstairs room there was an elf and several lizardmen. Dancer gave Snapjaw the signal to begin his attack on the bullywugs and soon enough we heard war drums signaling the beginning of battle. At that point, Bloom ran upstairs disguised as SnapJaw and tried to convince the lizardmen that the Cult was killing them all. A battle ensued in which several lizardmen joined us but those loyal to the elf did not.

While the battle raged upstairs, I noticed a man in red robes with tattoos on his head come out of the adjoining room and make his way out of the tower. I was unsure if this was important or not but I did end up reporting it to my comrades later. Gabriel confirmed my thoughts that this was a Red Wizard of Thay.

After the battle had been won, Bloom (as Snapjaw) sent the surviving lizardfolk out to fight.

We recovered the elf’s magical shield that did not require hands to use and although as a wizard I was fascinated and eager to wield it, I was ultimately overruled on the usefulness of using it. Instead, Ruisar now has two shields. If nothing else, it should at least cause confusion in any combatants he would face in the future. That being said I will have to study the enchantments in greater detail when I have a chance.

I was surprised however to learn that the elf was a member of Eldreth Veluuthra, a group of elves dedicated to the removal of all humans from Faerûn. I suppose the Cult has ammased not only treasure, but allies, too.

When we explored the rest of the tower, we discovered the Farseer of Illusk, but were set upon by gargoyles defending it. We were broken and bloody but not defeated as we finally used the Farseer to discover that Voaraghamanthar was actually two dragons! A wondrous discovery that needs to be propagated before the knowledge can be quelled. This made it clear to me why he had not killed us outright. With the Cult in the castle, he couldn’t attack and destroy the contraption himself and thus appear to betray the Cult of the Dragon if Tiamat were to return, but instead used us for his dirty work. I wonder if he’ll claim ignorance about the lizardfolk’s plans to overturn the bullywugs. Snapjaw informed us later that he sent a few lizardfolk to tell him of the bullywugs’ demise and of the cult’s retreat from the castle.

But I get ahead of myself. We also discovered a cave of unknown import that the Farseer was also looking at. Perhaps another one of the passages the cult uses to bring their treasures here. At that point Bloom obliterated the Farseer!!! Then Ruisar helped him! A destruction that left my heart aquiver. Such a powerful artifact for gaining knowledge destroyed in front of me… in an instant…. I almost couldn’t handle it.

Until I remembered the bookshelves downstairs.

I quickly descended to go back and scan the bookshelves and discover the secrets of the Tower. The books weren’t particularly useful – none that I haven’t read already. But there was a chest that drew my attention. Unfortunately, the conniving red mage had trapped his items and I triggered them… twice.

Once I was brought back to consciousness by Robbie (or perhaps Gabriel, I cannot remember), the group was truly in dire straits. Our spells for the day were gone, and we all looked one foot in the grave. Ruisar had set the bookshelves on fire, but I was too exhausted and confused to admonish him for it!

Somehow we managed to escape the tower and the battle that was raging all around us in the castle. Bullywugs were being slaughtered by the angry lizardfolk in every direction. Arrows were flying at us, weapons were seconds away from impact with our heads before we ducked… It is all a blur, really and not at all dissimilar to the fight in the Wide where I first met Ruisar and Bloom.

Before I could truly collapse from exhaustion and my wounds, we reached the safety of the Lizardfolk huts. It is in one of them that we rested while I identified the treasures we had discovered. Eight hours later, we were mended, healed, rested and ready to continue.

Afternoon, 18 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

The Red Wizard’s journal held a lot of important information which put the cult’s plans into perspective, and now that Snapjaw told us the castle is secured, we must find more information about Rezmir, Agrivaine and of course, we need to kill Pharblex Splattergoo, the leader of the Bullywugs!

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The Chronicle: Session 31

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

17 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

Upon seeing that both Bloom and Ruisar were now blind, Gabriel asked for divine inspiration from Lathander and decided to cast a spell which removed their condition. Both men are now able to see again! When we have a moment of respite, I must ask Gabriel to transcribe this spell for me, though I fear it’s mostly a generous gift from his deity moreso than actual arcane magic. Perhaps Oghma can enlighten me in a similar fashion. We’ll see.

Snapjaw eventually led us to an outpost, where lizardfolk guards were stationed. We looked threatening enough that he convinced them we were sent by his deity, Semuanya, to help them defeat their enemy, the bullywugs. I immediately saw a crack in this belief, for why would a lizardfolk deity send humans and elves to help, but I decided it was wise to let them believe what they wish. Moments later, a group of rowdy bullywugs showed up. They definitely put the bully in bullywugs, because they treated the lizardfolk horribly, yelling insults and even harrased us for a password which we learned didn’t exist (we were introduced by Snapjaw as new cultists).

I can definitely see why the lizardfolk are chafing under the rule of these creatures, though I’m not yet sure how their rebellion will fare.

Early Dawn, 18 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

Soon enough we reached Castle Naerytar, which was somewhat quiet, and we could even make out the contraption on top, which must be the Farseer of Illusk. Snapjaw took us to one of the lizardfolk huts where we discussed our battle-plan. He was to spread the word of the rebellion but wait for word from Bloom’s familiar before attacking.

I then made Ruisar and Gabriel invisible and since Robbie was transformed into a spider crawling on Gabriel, he went invisible too. Bloom magically disguised himself as a cultist dressed in purple (a rather unattractive specimen I might add) and I donned the cult’s amulet, hoping it would prove enough to keep suspicion at bay despite my blue robes. We then proceeded to walk inside the castle.

My heart was pounding out of my chest as soon as we set foot inside that first muddy room but I played the part of an obedient new recruit and kept my head down and followed Bloom.

He led us into a courtyard, where three lizardfolk were training giant lizards while three bullywugs kept watch. Then he had to make a quick decision and turned right and went inside the first doorway.

We ran into another lizardfolk, who was attempting to create a weapon at the forge in the middle of the room but was failing miserably. Bloom asked for some information, pretending he was still new to the castle, then we left and crossed the courtyard.

The door we picked this time took us inside a large hall, where we could see tables, chairs and leftover food on one end and crates, barrels and chests full of treasure at the other end. Doors out of the room were at both of these ends, but before we could decide what to do, we were attacked by guard drakes! I ran, per Bloom’s instructions to the nearest door and hid. I did not want my concentration to falter and the invisibility to be dispelled.

My heart leapt out of my chest, however, when the doors we came in through opened and closed! I would later learn Ruisar had rushed back out. He must have attracted the attention of the guards in the courtyard for moments later they opened again and there stood a bullywug staring at Bloom being attacked by the drakes. Luckily, they didn’t seem to discriminate who they would turn on, so one of them attacked the frog man! He leapt back an impressive distance and started shouting orders in his language.

We managed to make a run for it and left the lizardfolk and bullywugs to deal with the drakes. We made our way to the northern door and went inside then up a flight of stairs. We ended up in the sleeping quarters of the cultists, so with the help of Dancer and a long rope we made our way to the rooftop through the windows, bypassing the sleeping quarters. Gabriel fell but my feather fall spell was able to prevent him from any significant damage, and he eventually made it to the rooftop too.

We asked Robbie to descend to the door of the tower we needed to go into (the one on top of which the Farseer could be seen) but he began spelling letters with webbing. We placed him on top of Dancer and off he went.

Eventually we made our way into the tower (the door was unlocked!) and up a flight of stairs. Before we could reach the landing, we saw an elf seated at a desk surrounded by five lizardfolk guards. We began whispering about killing them, and all I can hope is that Oghma guides my thoughts to the best course of action…

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The Chronicle: Session 30

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

17 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

The ancient hag from the Shadow Realm surprised attacked us in the swamp. She summoned animated suits of armor to attack us as well, it was truly a ferocious battle and we lost Caval at the very beginning of it, along with Bloom’s sight (again). Hopefully Oghma will guide him to the light of enlightenment. Despite the challenges of the battle, we persevered and Snapjaw decided to make a gruesome shield out of the body of the Night Hag.

We continued towards our destination after giving a few farewells to Caval and we discovered a dead body floating in the water. After a few problems getting the corpse into the boat, we discovered that the Order of the Gauntlet had been looking into the pillaging in the area. The body was that of a female wizard who had lost her life here in the swamp, but she had several companions who may still be out there.

We pushed on, despite the dark omen the body of the lady had presented to us, and came upon more lizardfolk loading up treasure into a boat. In a keen flash of guile, Bloom convinced the lizardfolk not to make their delivery, and the lizardfolk agreed. In order to maintain plausibility, the lizardfolk destroyed their boat and left the treasure on the island. Hopefully we will be able to return for it later.

We pushed forward, not wanting to endanger the story of the lizardfolk, and arrived at the shore we were aiming for. As we pushed into the darkness, we were ambushed by what looked like snakepeople, more commonly known as Yuan-Ti. Their weapons did large amounts of poison damage and they blinded Ruisar in the battle. Luckily, we were still able to defend our lives in this horrid swamp. The time to enter the castle is nigh, but is our party ready? I pray Oghma will grant us the needed knowledge for victory.

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The Chronicle: Session 29

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

15 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

We followed the woman dressed in black down into the chasm we had crossed to reach her. She stayed silent the whole way we went down the small dangerous steps, but her pets, the shadow mastiffs, were less so. I’m now convinced they want to eat us and will most likely do so before I have the chance to encounter the dragon!

When we reached a large cave at the bottom of the chasm, we noticed a lot of footprints coming in and out of it. Well, not as many as the Trade Way on which we had been recently, but definitely more than expected for such a remote desolate location. The cave was pitch black, but most of us can see in darkness anyway so it didn’t occur to me to cast Light, and instead Gabriel did it on his shield, alighting the nearby surroundings.

I couldn’t even see the top of the cave, despite my darkvision, but I did see the mound of corpses very clearly. It was more like a pile actually, and I surmised they were all in various states of decomposition which explained the awful stench we had been smelling since entering the cave.

Then the dark lady started walking towards the exit. Ruisar asked her where the gate towards the dragon was and she changed shape – from a beautiful woman to the most disgusting hag I’ve ever seen. Granted, she was the first hag I ever saw live, most hags I had seen prior were in sketches, but none of them had properly conveyed the horrid nature of her features. She had a noose around her neck and a pair of extra legs that were just dangling from her rags!

Ruisar recognized her as a hag too, for he called her a “night hag”. She told us that only by killing one of our own would we open the Crossing that would take us back to our plane. I had read about Shadow Crossings before and it would explain the pile of corpses as sacrifices needed to activate it.

After a lengthy discussion which seemed to amuse the hag greatly, Caval volunteered to be the sacrificial lamb, as it were, and Bloom did not hesitate to kill him with eldritch blasts. The Shadow Crossing then appeared, and we made our way through, not before carrying Caval with us. The hag might be gleeful, but she did not know of our wand.

16 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

As soon as we emerged back on Faerun, in a cave not dissimilar to the one we were in back in the Shadowfell, Gabriel used the wand to revive Caval, but perhaps as punishment from Lathander for allowing the death in the first place, the wand exploded in a burst of white light.

We then moved out of the cave into a swamp, where we eventually found a bit of dry land and a camp. A prolonged battle with a quicksand ensued after Robbie got stuck in it, but I preferred to study the camp seeing that the others were already helping Robbie out of the offending sands.

We eventually camped out inside my magical hut, needing the respite after the dreadful passage through the Shadowfell. I felt my spirits lifting again, perhaps the impending doom was just an illusion of that plane?

My hut was dispelled in the middle of our rest and we encountered the black dragon the hag told us about. A confusion about her instructions made Bloom lie to him, pretending to offer the music box as a form of respect of his immense power but the dragon was suspicious. Once Bloom claimed that it was a family heirloom, the dragon attacked us, covering four of us in acid! He clearly did not intend to kill us for he didn’t continue the attack. Though perhaps it was Ruisar who saved us by coming clean to him and telling him of the hag and her trickery.

The dragon then changed into human form, or rather human-like, for he was covered head to toe by dirty black rags, and claimed the music box which turned into a phylactery in his hands! I wish I had studied it more carefully while I had the chance, because he promptly smashed it against a tree, without giving it further thought.

He then asked for all our treasure as a payment for being allowed to live. I happily gave him my gold, but Ruisar was sad to part with the magical shield from Baldur’s Gate.

The dragon then told us we are to destroy the farseer of Illusk at Castle Naerytar and that we would receive help that would get us there. He then vanished as swiftly as he appeared. We resumed our rest, and upon awakening we met our helper – a lizard man named Snapjaw.

We were confused by his speech but eventually realized his own mission is to reclaim the swamp for his lizardfolk clan and destroy the bullywugs which apparently the cult had set in power. I think he mentioned his tribe’s leader was murdered by the bullywugs, but he’s somewhat difficult to understand at times. I must make sure to discuss it further with Ruisar.

We left via the canoes, with myself, Ruisar and Snapjaw in one boat, Gabriel and Robbie in another and Caval and Bloom in the third one. Under Snapjaw’s directions we paddled straight into a giant spiderweb and were attacked by its monstrous residents!

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The Chronicle: Session 28

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

Midday, 14 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

Ironcloak and the trolls have been defeated. A quick search turned up some gold, an arcane focus, reagents, and, most importantly, a spell book.
But even though it should have been only midday, the sky was dark and cloudy in this land, so we we were surely not out of danger yet.

While I copied the sigils for the circle of teleportation, Gabriel, Bloom, and Caval were attacked by their own shadows. These undead creatures almost drained all the life out of Caval before they were destroyed, and they did leave a fascinating mottling of disease across his skin.
Also noteworthy, Ruisar thought that he might help our comrades in the battle, but never managed to actually climb the cliff between us, he did consistently cause himself harm trying though. I kept copying the sigil.

After accomplishing my task, all of us regrouped and rested in the woods. I used this time to identify the strange black marks on Caval’s skin. It appeared he was cursed. Gabriel was luckily able to rectify that.

After dispelling Leomand’s Tiny Hut, I realized that the trees had moved much closer around us. Additionally, I began to fear for my life. There is no way we are getting out of this shadow plane alive. Despite this feeling of dread, Ruisar, Bloom and myself had a hard time getting Gabriel, Robbie, and Caval to get moving. They simply didn’t care about our impending doom, but I have so much left to learn!

As we pushed further into the forest we were beset upon by blights! Luckily, these were not the creatures that would inevitably kill us within the Shadowfell, and we were left to wait for death for another day.

In the distance we eventually saw a house, and as we drew nearer we discovered that an old wood and rope bridge needed to be crossed to gain access. While I focused on ensuring that the bridge would not fail us, Gabriel wistfully looked at his dead lover who had appeared out of nowhere. Bloom angrily shot eldritch blasts into his dead father who pointed at him from across the chasm and he did the same to what I assumed to be Robbie’s dead druidic clan who surrounded him while in wolf form. It made him sad and it was fascinating to see that wolves can indeed shed tears. Also a strange man that no one recognized, but who I assume would have been known by Caval (had he cared enough to look) was shot by Ruisar’s arrows. All of them vanished into thin air.

I should have been more interested in this, but for some reason that house was calling to me and I kept mending the wooden slats of the bridge as I crossed. At one point, I fell off the bridge but caught myself with a feather fall spell. Later, Robbie had a small mishap when crossing (he insisted on remaining a gigantic wolf despite the flimsy nature of the bridge), but otherwise everyone made it across without incident.

We approached the house and tried to decide how to enter it. Caval walked up and knocked and we waited for a short while. Since no one answered Bloom tried to supplicate to the owner of the home, while I opened the unlocked front door. We all saw a lady stretched out on the floor in the middle of the room.
Unfortunately, curiosity can kill the cat. Ruisar and I walked into the home and we fell into a pit trap that caught us in a net over a burning magical fire. I cut myself out of the net and swung on the rope to safety. Yet, the lady we had seen earlier appeared and pointed at me. With some sort of magic, she transported me to a land of corpses and moving shadows where I quickly turned myself invisible.
I was informed later that Ruisar was transported shortly after me and then the rest of the party bargained with the Lady for our return. Bloom and Gabriel offered to replace us in the land of the dead and we were brought back to answer a riddle.

“When we meet, you see nothing
But apart, you can see it all”

After some contemplation, it randomly came to me! “Eyelids!” I said excitedly, saving the party from a terrible fate. We will die in the Shadowfell but it doesn’t have to be right now. She also restored Bloom’s vision, which was very nice of her. Still, I have a feeling she’s not at all doing it out of the kindness of her heart. If she even has one.

Having the party back together was slightly reassuring, but having the Lady of Shadows command us to take her music box to a black dragon named Voaraghamanthar was less reassuring.

Caval opened some strange jar which he had stolen from her home and convulsed twice after hearing the news. I have come to realize why I have felt such dread since the day began, it is because Oghma has shared with me the unflinching truth – we really are going to die. But at least I will have met a dragon before perishing.

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The Chronicle: Session 27

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

Morning, 4 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

In the morning, Gabriel was able to remove the curse from Asarrian, the elf who was the golden stag. Ruisar graciously supplied his fine clothes to the man so that he would not have to travel naked. A kind thing for him to do. Since Asarrian was unconscious we left him with Green Imsa who asked that we not share Gabriel’s ability to break curses for…. obvious reasons.

As luck would have it, Asarrian woke up later the same day and thanked our group and quickly befriended Imsa. It seems they bonded over being cursed. Discussing Asarrian’s plans for the future caused the day to pass quickly and, before we knew it, we came upon a small tavern…. if it could be called that. At first sight the stable for the animals seemed worn down, dirty, and in ill repair. At second glance, I realized that his was the tavern itself, and the stable was much the same. After fiddling with my wobbly chair for a short while, I decided to cast mending on it, this naturally led me to a progression of mending spells that repaired much of the tavern.

This was how I drew the attention of Rowan, one of three stunningly perfect triplets. His curiosity about the arcane drew him to me, and as an acolyte of Oghma I could not help but share my knowledge with him. He and his companions ended up joining our group at the tavern where we discussed aventuring stories and we learned the other two brothers’ names; Kieran and Kalen. They were all fascinated by my use of magic to protect us at night, but were generally just beautiful, curious, and friendly. Gabriel seemed especially entranced by Kieran, though it may have been a mutual discussion of Lethander. In retrospect a coupling between the two would have made a fascinating study.

Evening, 12 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

Tolday is our 22nd day on the road. The days have been passing in peace, lately. I have been discussing magic with Rowan and it has kept me busy while Gabriel has become close with Kieran. Ruisar has been training blades with Caval, Asarrian, and Bryson. Kalen has jumped in a few times. As a side note, I really must study the art of swordmanship someday, perhaps even learn to wear plate armor?

Morning, 13 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

We have entered the Trollclaws area today. The winding river travels from east to west as we head past the ruins of forts long gone. Caval chimed in that we should scout ahead to the Trollclaw Ford ord and the group quickly agreed that this place would make a likely ambush. We started to scout ahead.

We came upon a group of about 200 worshippers who were practicing self-flagellation, a bloody practice. Most likely followers of Loviatar. While there is much to be learned with pain, I do not subscribe to the beliefs of this particular goddess. After Gabriel came up with the idea, Bloom used their religion to aid our cause by suggesting they walk through the brambles and thorns rather than the road. They quickly took to his suggestion, clearing the road for the caravan.

We camped for the night shortly after crossing the river, and the followers of Loviatar passed us in the night. We will have to find a new way to pass them if we want to stay on schedule.

During the night Ruisar heard a cry that caused him to awaken the party. He quickly shouted that we needed to help the crying voice and ran into the woods. Everyone followed, despite my misgivings in leaving behind the protection of my spells. I was curious to see what had enraptured Ruisar in such a manner.

I was surprised. I never expected Ruisar to have been enamored with an elven maiden, but even more fascinating was an arcane circle that seemed to be holding her in place. She said she had been summoned from the beyond which meant she had died previously… I had never seen the like and quickly bent to study it while Ruisar passed a lump of coal to the elf. He then, despite the obvious pain that it put her in, tried to force her from the circle.
I surmised that Ruisar has a weird way of showing affection.

While I wasn’t there, Caval, Gabriel, and Robbie had a similar encounter a little ways away with a lost love of Gabriel’s, a young man named Everyn.

The arcane circle eluded my grasp, I couldn’t understand how it worked or what it did and, to my dismay, Tyjit came running looking for our aid. Apparently the caravan was on fire. I knew I could help there while I was uncertain I could do anything to this arcane ward. Then Bloom asked Cylanestriel, the maiden, if Ironcloak had brought her there, by casting a spell that made him appear as the wizard. She confirmed his theory and we all knew that we would need to return to the caravan to confront him.

As we tried to return to the caravan, Tyjit attacked me! He quickly dissolved from the form of the tabaxi and took the form of one of the three triplets. It later became apparent that all three were doppelgangers, the horror. The group was able to bring down all three of the monsters, who must have read our thoughts and probed our memories. We were shaken, especially Gabriel and Ruisar, but no worse for the wear.

Morning, 14 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

We are to see Dragonspear Castle in the distance today. It is a truly marvelous place that I simply must visit sometime. There is even said to be a portal to the underworld! I would love to study it. Unfortunately, and despite my and Caval’s enthusiasm, the task of stopping the Cult of the Dragon takes precedence. I suppose it would be difficult to study the castle if the world were destroyed….

But I sidetrack myself. The morning started in an unusual way. Tyjit, the real Tyjit, came to us surreptitiously and informed us that Ironcloak had headed into the forest and asked that no one follow him. That he needed to send a warning to the castle about the “Heroes of the Wide” (which, by the way, is no longer an appropriate name, though a more suitable one still eludes me….. the Heroes of the Golden Stag?). Tyjit also passed a scroll to me, which he claimed to have stolen from the wizard.

We quickly decided to pursue Ironcloak into the woods as he is our best connection to the Cult. We found a still open circle of teleportation that made my eyes grow three times their size. However, since we needed to run into the portal, I did not have the time to learn the sigils of the circle.

This is doubly unfortunate since it seems that we have entered another realm of existence, and a none-too-friendly one.

Our entrance to this realm was heralded by Ironcloak and three trolls and… utter and complete silence. However, despite the magical trap, Ironcloak underestimated the party (especially Bloom’s handy hypnotic spell) and was defeated along with his foul minions, but not before Bloom was grievously injured – his eyes completely destroyed!

But with Ironcloak’s death, our path back to the caravan is gone. The circle is broken and the portal has vanished. Color is drained out of this realm, a darkness and shades of grey bleed into everything and everyone… I have a strong suspicion we are in the Plane of Shadow. If this is correct, then we are in far more dangerous waters than any castle in Faerun.

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The Chronicle: Session 26

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

Evening, 2 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

We defeated the harpies and discovered that they were carrying a few scrolls from a wizard that had the misfortune of meeting them earlier. Unfortunately, in defending the caravan our party was seen by Ironcloak, so we are no longer hidden. We discovered this with the help of the cat man who is in our debt.

That night during my reverie Ruisar charged out of the tent at a hidden figure. The rest of the party followed; except Bloom. For some reason I was not privy to, the group began attacking the gargoyle after identifying Ironcloak as the person spying on us. I have no idea why the party left the safety of my spell, but I certainly was not going to do the same.

Morning, 3 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

In the morning, Gabriel cast Augury to consult his god Lathander on whether we should disenchant Lasfelro. His god gave no useful information, simply a “woe”. Obviously, we will need to find a different spell that works for disenchanting the poor man.

As the caravan started moving, screaming surrounded us. Small fungi had sprouted out of the ground and were making large wailing noises as they were trampled on. They were growing at a rapid rate, we could actually watch them grow. Unfortunately, in my fascination, I threw caution to the wind and ended up inhaling the small black spores that were released from the shrooms.

This ended up with me and Ruisar being overcome by the poison of the blooms and insisting that they not be destroyed. Luckily, Gabriel had a spell that rendered the poison ineffective and we ended up clearing a path for the wagon to travel through. We did, however, leave the forest of poisonous fungi on the path behind us. I can only hope that it does not remain for the next set of travelers.

Evening, 3 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

Later that day, we broke camp just in time to see a golden stag with a flock of deer. Ruisar and Bbloom gave chase while, despite my curiosity, I remained behind with the Oathbreaker. However, when I learned that the creature was not killed and that Ruisar was going to track down the obviously magical creature, I had to learn more about it. Gabriel and Robbie were nowhere to be seen, so the four of us traveled into the woods and tracked the magnificent creature to an old ruin. It was obvious that the stag had come here but was now a naked elf with a pair of antlers strapped to his head. He told us the story of his curse, and how he needed powerful magic to release him from it.

Knowing other hunters were on their way, I cast an invisibility spell on the elf and the party convinced the other hunters that I was a bumbling fool that belonged in a library and had managed to wipe the tracks away.

The wood elf hunter was not pleased and tried to continue on the hunt while we managed to hide the stag in the caravan. Perhaps Gabriel can remove the curse tomorrow…

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The Chronicle: Session 25

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

Evening, 2 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

We vanquished the hobgoblins and rescued Newall Rutherford. Then, mere hours later, we came upon a man buried in the dirt up to his neck with “OATHBREAKER” written on his forehead in blood. He is not a follower of Oghma and is a liar to boot and I trust him as far as I can throw my horse without arcane aid. However, all things are the will of Oghma and I have decided to teach him of Oghma and cure his heathenish ways.

His name is Caval of Westgate.

His story is odd and full of falsehoods. He loved a woman and wronged her, or she left him? Or perhaps he was a spy? It seems as though he is somehow connected to the Harpers, as are Bloom and Ruisar, but I am dubious. There seems to be something amiss here. However, despite my misgivings, I am sure that Oghma will lead us towards the light of understanding soon.

I went to the tavern in search of Gabriel in order to discuss removing the enchantment from the man driving the wagon with the gargoyle. I spotted Caval there as well and I used the opportunity to engage him in a lengthy discussion about Oghma, thinking that perhaps this was an situation divinely sent to teach him the error of his ways. However, as is the way with all good things, we were interrupted; Harpies attacked the caravan.

Our young druid almost died, and our caravan leader fully died, but eventually we were able to defeat them. One tried to fly away when she saw her sisters dead on the ground, but Blood made sure she would not get away.

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The Chronicle: Session 24

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

Morning, 2 Marpenoth1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

Blast it! I was awoken this morning and quickly surmised that both Longnose the halfling and Tyjit the cat-man were gone, along with Ruisar’s shield! He quickly took up pursuit of the halfling, as he was the only one in sight. After pausing a moment I went to follow, but, despite upsetting Longnose, nothing was discovered at his wagon. Luckily, Robbie and Gabriel were able to detect the tracks from camp that pointed to the tabaxi heading out into the grave mounds. At the same time Bloom was warning Ruisar not to go to the last caravan because while invisible (with my magical aid), he had realized that a disguised Skoond was indeed Ironcloak, the newcomer to the caravan and that Ruisar needed to keep from being seen. Ruisar charged into the wilderness after the tabaxi, alongside a half-orc woman guard who joined him in his pursuit.

Luckily, Robbie and Gabriel found Tyjit first, and Bloom and myself were second on the scene. We quickly devised a way for the cat man to avoid meeting a swift death, as he expressed his regret at having stolen from us, and I did not doubt his sincerity upon reading his thoughts. And so, we enacted a plan. This ended up with some confusion later on as Ruisar was not necessarily pleased with the plan which painted the tabaxi as the one having “found” the shield after it had been stolen by Dancer, Bloom’s familiar, and the half-orc only halfway bought our story. Regardless, we had the shield back and we could be on our way.

Since he was acting quite oddly I decided to check and see if Lesfelro the Silent was under some sort of spell, and I believe he is! But upon discovering this, our caravan came upon an overturned wagon with its mounts dead and its owners under siege by hobgoblins!

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The Chronicle: Session 23

Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:

Evening, 28 Eleint 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

The Chosen of Bhaal lay dead at our feet. His followers strewn about the room. I poked at the dead body wondering what I could have learned with the infusion of power from a dead god. Perhaps someone could bring him back so I could question him? Perhaps that would be a dangerous undertaking. The party decided to remove their disguises. I no longer call them the Heroes of the Wide, they are simply heroes now. I will continue to chronicle our adventure, I am sure there is a more appropriate name for this chronicle later. I suppose the name will depend upon the outcome – “The foolish attempt to stop the inevitable rise of Tiamat” or “The brave adventurers that ended the cult of Tiamat”.

I digress.

Lenta Moore, The Vigilar, showed up to take charge of the scene. Ruisar decided to question the poor woman, despite the fact that she was trying to maintain order in a newly chaotic city. However, we did learn that none of Parliament survived the attack beside the two dukes who were not in attendance. The entire party was escorted to the Citadel of the Watch where we gave our statements regarding the incident. We then decided to retire to the Fat Potter Inn where we had rented out the barn.

Morning, 29 Eleint 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

We had a great stroke of luck! Ruisar identified a tall man who was part of the Cult of the Dragon. Bloom quickly disguised Ruisar so that he would not be recognized (his hair is now a blazing red) and sought out a way to continue with the caravan.

Bloom used his connection to Laraelra – now going by the name Green Isma – to get himself and Ruisar hired on as bodyguards. We then went around town purchasing supplies for the journey, including mounts for everyone but Robbie. He has his own methods of travel. We also discovered Coran’s body amongst the rubble. Sadly, this ally would aid us no longer. We took his Harper pin and returned the remnants of his body to his estate. Hopefully they will be able to find someone to resurrect him. He was missing a limb or two, so my studies think that a resurrection is possible, and possibly a reincarnation – though I am unsure how Coran would feel about such a thing.

After some haggling and trading of horses the party ended up with serviceable horses. Mine is a black mare that will hopefully give me an easy ride. I am hopeful that I can study my book of lore and spells along the journey. Ruisar ended up with a white and brown horse, Bloom a pure white steed, and Gabriel went with a greyish mare, after realizing his first choice had been a large pony.

I do hope that the mares are not scheduled to be in heat during our journey.

The caravans lined up for the journey. The first wagon had a dwarf and two halflings, one of which is Losvious Longnose, an incorrigible gossip. The second wagon is Peyton Torohar and Bryson Fiske, a lovely couple. This is also the wagon Green Isma is staying in. The third wagon is the Tavern that I was supposed to work in initially. A half-elf drives the wagon while a young lad caters to the customers inside under the watchful gaze of a half-orc woman. The fourth wagon has the tall man, Samarag the Hoper, that Ruisar remembered from the cult. A half-orc named Big Bertha keeps everyone away from this wagon. The fifth wagon has a depressed looking man, Lasfelro, with a gargoyle on a magical chain. Every now and then he breaks out into song, but allows no one to come near his wagon. The 6th wagon is mostly dwarves, with one human. The female dwarf is Gimardora and she looks as evil as she is dangerous. The 7th wagon is full of exotic birds and is owned by Oyn Evenmoor- a very argumentative man who enjoys a good hardy banter. I attempted to correct him on the length of our journey and was unable to get a word in edgewise. The 8th wagon is full of elves with elven carved treasures, Anna, the maiden we saved earlier from the Balt noble, travels with them. She was surprised to see us and has greeted us with a smile, though it seemed to be more for Gabriel than anyone else. I’ve also seen her in the tavern, chatting away with the half-orc woman. The 9th wagon is where a cat-like man named Tyjit was hired by the Greyhearths (owner of the wagon) as a guard/manservant.

Evening, 1 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)

While travelling, I realized that befriending Mr. Longnose would probably provide us with an invaluable source of information. My patience was soon rewarded as he told me that a new addition to our caravan, in the 9th wagon, goes by the name Ironcloak. Unfortunately, Longnose and Tyjit insisted on joining us in my magical shelter. I am simply awaiting the appropriate time to inform Ruisar of my discovery.

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