The Apples of Nerull

The Gnoll Hunters

The party decides to leave for Morrow. Garrus asks around and finds a cheap horse renting place. They rent several horses for the trip. They prepare for the week and a half trip, and leave Oakhurst.

Several days into the trip, the party hears a war horn several miles ahead. They disregard it until they are attacked during the night by a group of gnolls. One is a particularly tough gnoll, with pure white fur and nature spells at hand. They defeat the aggressors, but the white fur gnoll escapes.

The next day, they are waylaid by the gnolls again. The white fur gnoll announces himself as Kelf, and tells them that they will die or live as slaves. He has several gnolls, wargs, and ogres with him. As an attempt to avoid the encounter, the party splits up into two groups. However, the gnolls and wargs catch up with them, and they are engaged in battle. The party defeats Kelf and his gnolls before the ogres arrive and flee on their horses. They then arrive at Morrow.

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Courtroom Drama

The free party wakes and goes about their day, asking questions and preparing for the battle at sunset. Garrus, Grog, and Onyx watch as a prison escape is enacted, and the guard is slaughtered. They stay in their cells, noting the appearance of the escapees.

Quarion, Vaden, and Rolena discover that Ulga has been killed during the night. Vaden and Rolena search for Anna, while Quarion goes to make sure that Tom is alright. Vaden and Rolena find Anna’s boyfriend and search his thoughts for news of her. They find that she found him secretly early that morning and told him that she had to hide for a while, fearfully. Quarion goes to the wall where Tom is posted, only to see him pushed off by a fellow guard, to his death.

Near sunset, the free party is headed toward the appointed place when they happen across Anna. She joins them in the assault. They are spotted when they near the house, and they engage the thieves. They subdue the group, and when Quarion starts to hide in a well, he finds Ravenwood coming up from below. He knocks him out. The party investigates the house briefly, and they find papers implicating many people of involvement with the thieves guild, including the prosecuting investigator (and guard that arrested Grog and Onyx), Saren. They then go back to the prison. They put the prisoner under guard and await the judgement of the morning.

In the morning, everyone is brought into court. There is a great debate in front of the Mayor and his executioner, Chelwyven. Eventually, Ravenwood is brought up to testify. He has no tongue, so Chelwyven detects his thoughts and asks him questions. She turns around and tells the court that this is not Ravenwood, but Andreev. However, the evidence stacks up against Saren’s case. He realizes this and attempts to take the Mayor hostage. He nearly makes it out of the door when Chelwyven frees the Mayor, and battle breaks out. Anna is nearly killed, but the party and Chelwyven manage to defeat Saren and his cronies. The Mayor thanks the group and rewards them for their services.

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Investigation

Grog and Onyx wake up in one of the prison’s small cells. They try to talk to the prison guard, to little effect. They call for one of the prisoners in the prison’s large cell, and one of the halflings responds. He calls himself Jaxx. The policy of Oakhurst is not to imprison halflings permanently except for very serious crimes, so he leaves his cell to go over and talk to them. He gives them some information on who would be representing them and what the justice system is like. He then slips them a coin and a note, and he leaves.

The coin has a halfling’s smiling face on it. The note explains how it works. Placing it on the floor and spinning a finger around it produces an image of a golden halfling who laughs insanely, goes through the cell bars and then out the door. The guard is surprised at this, but soon figures out that it was simply illusion.

Quarion, Rolena, and Vaden find out that Grog and Onyx have been imprisoned. They get information on what they are accused of and the court system, and they head over to the prison. Meanwhile, a man is brought into the prison and is placed in the cell beside the party prisoners. He talks to them about why he was imprisoned and finds out why they were, and gives them information on the representation, specifically their investigator, Garrus, and the alternative, Norris. After the rest of the party arrives and they all catch up, the man is released from the cell and introduces himself as Garrus.

The free party joins Garrus in an investigation. They delve into the sewers under Andreev’s house. They soon encounter a sea hag. Quarion is scared off and runs off further into the sewers. The others defeat the hag, though Garrus and Rolena took strength damage. Vaden takes a party of guards and continues into the sewers.

Quarion comes to his senses in the tunnels. He hears some people talking and stealthily investigates. He hears mention of Ravenwood and some other things, and then leaves to find his way back to Andreev’s. He successfully makes it there, by which time a cleric has arrived to heal Garrus and Rolena.

Vaden and guards Anna, Tom, and Ulga are going through the tunnels when they happen upon a party of rogues with loot. After a brief battle, they capture the wererat of the group and kill or rout the rest. They return to Andreev’s, only to find Garrus, Rolena, and Quarion coming back down.

Vaden goes with them to return to where Quarion heard the voices. They find a Theives Guild complex, abandoned except for a man sitting at the table in the central room. He introduces himself as Andreev and tells them he’s willing to give information about Ravenwwod if they let him leave the city. They agree, and he tells them where to find Ravenwood at sunset the next day. The party then attempts to capture him, but he quaffs a potion of invisibility and escapes.

The party loots and returns to the surface through an alternate exit. They return to the government district to turn over some evidence. A guard sees them and quickly warns Garrus that there is a warrant for his arrest. Garrus turns himself in and the rest of the party goes to an inn for the night.

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Asking Questions

The party decides that it is time for a little intel. Quarion is interested in getting a new bow, specifically in making a new bow. He searches around town for information about bowmakers. The rest of the party look for information about Keller and Ravenwood. They split into two groups: Rolena and Vaden searching around the merchant and government districts, and Grog and Onyx searching in the slums.

Quarion finds that there is an esteemed bowmaker in another city, by the name of INSERT NAME. Vaden and Rolena find that Keller was involved with a cult, the Mythic Dawn, and that Ravenwood is a man who is heavily involved with the Theives Guild in the town and surrounding area, perhaps a high ranking member. They get some of this information by reading the mind of a “purveyor of fine goods” trying to sell them stolen items. Grog and Quarion get assaulted by a halfling theif and some friends of his. They capture him and tell him to take them to someone who knows about Ravenwood. After some cajoling, he agrees.

Quarion meets back up with Rolena and Vaden, and they try to camp in a city park. After a guard rouses them and tells them to leave, they go to a nearby bar and continue acquiring information.

Grog and Onyx are led to the house of Andreev. It is a small house with one door. The halfling tells them that he will go inside to prepare Andreev for them. He does not return and after a few minutes, the two bust down the door. They find the halfling dead with a quarrel in his stomach, and the house empty otherwise. They begin searching around for escape routes, but are interrupted when the guards come in and accuse them of murder. After a scuffle, the guards take them to the town’s prison.

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The Great Alleyway Chase

Our heroes return to Oakhurst battered and bruised, but still alive. Their first order of business is to tend to the critically wounded Sharwyn. They find Madam Hucrele in her shop and relate to her the events that transpired in the Citadel. Though heartbroken to hear that her son did not survive, she thanks the party for their help in bringing her daughter back alive and immediately summons help to tend to Sharwyn. She invites the party to meet her at her mansion later to claim the reward she had promised but suggests that instead of gold she could buy them a house in town. The party decides to consider her offer and later in the day. In the meantime they leave Madam Hucrele alone with her daughter and depart to tend to their own wounded.

Calderius suggests that the group visit the temple of Pelor across town. There they meet Scar, a cleric with a troubled past and the eponymous laceration across his face. Scar is able to heal Grog of his tree-paladin-induced deafness for a nominal fee. He then tries unsuccessfully to cure Tsannis of the poison she sustained from foolishly attempting to eat one of the apples of Nerull. Before leaving, the party talks to Scar about his upbringing, the origin of his name (which apparently wasn’t obvious to some), and the nature of the dark apples. Scar recommends a cleric in Morrow, the town directly north of Oakhurst, who may be able to heal Tsannis, and the party leaves one of the apples with him for further examination. They then depart minus Calderius, who decides to remain at the temple for some hardcore praying, and Onyx, who wanders off to mope about his god abandoning him.

Deciding to stock up on supplies, the group heads toward Oakhurst’s market district. On the way they notice two shadowy figures in brown jerkins that appear to be following them. Once they realize they’ve been spotted the two mysterious individuals duck into the crowd in opposite directions. The party decides to split up and follow them with Rolena and Tsannis following one and Quarion and Grog following the other.

The men track their quarry through winding side streets and alleys until he eventually disappears into a building. Listening at the door, Grog hears a conversation between what seems to be the man they were following and another unknown individual. One of the men explains that he was unable to obtain some jewels he was sent for because he was spotted and forced to flee. The other tells him to go see Ravenwood. Neither Quairon nor Grog is familiar with the name, and they decide to ask around later to figure it out.

Meanwhile, Rolena and Tsannis follow the other pursuer into a crowd and separate from each other when they lose sight of him. Rolena searches several nearby alleys but finds nothing. Tsannis also fails to track the person but is then surprised by a hand on her shoulder. She turns around to see none other than her brother Vaden, a scout fighter, wearing the familiar brown jerkin. Vaden explains that he came to Oakhurst to help Tsannis after hearing of her injury and offers to stay with her party and represent her interests so she can leave for Morrow to be healed. After Tsannis’s departure, the party reconvenes at the Hucrele mansion to rest, relate the day’s events to each other, and collect their reward.

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The Fall of the Great Mother

The party is divided. While Grog distracts Belak, the others are split between letting the impending suicide play out or taking matters into their own hands. Even among those who wish to do something, some wish to kill the grotesque follower of the Great Mother while others think that merely capturing him will cease the spread of the malicious apples to the greater world. With division, an unwillingness to act settles upon the party and as Belak loses interest in Grog’s apple-handling blasphemy, he moves to the front of the tree and buries his head in the trunk, attempting to merge with his deity.

Unbeknownst to any others, the ranger, Grog, has been holding back his growing disgust with the blights upon nature around him. His mission from Keller is now a blasphemy to the nature he calls his home, and his friends are afflicted by the unnatural tree and it’s guardian. Taking the obscenity no more, he strikes at Balak’s body and with one fell blow, he cuts the torso from the tree to prevent the filthy ritual from completion.

The Great Mother is no longer dormant. Her servants awaken in the branches above. With the paladin-turned-servant raging forward in service, Her tree-blights fall from the canopy to defend Her and attack those who would defile the sacred planting grounds of Nerull. A monstrosity rises from the silvery water: a group of blights joined together in a raging mass of limbs. The party has enraged the Great Mother, and they must pay!

First a Tree-blight falls near Grog and Tsannis, but Grog dispatches it with little difficulty before another drops nearby and Tsannis must attend to it. Others drop near to Quarion and Rolena while the mass of limbs ambles slowly toward Quarion’s position along the far wall. The battles with the blights end well for the party, but there are others to deal with. Phaerus is far gone now, attacking his former ally Grog from behind. Grog attacks, but cannot seem to damage him, turning his attention to another blight. But Phaerus screams an unworldy scream, destroying the ranger’s hearing. Tsannis and Rolena finish him off, but Phaerus’ soulless figure has dealt a difficult hand; there is now no way to communicate with an already unreasonable half-orc. Tsannis is hurt badly from the encounter; nearly dead, she moves slowly toward the figure of Sharwyn to render help before she is pulled into the trunk entirely.

On the other side, Quarion has finished off his share of the blights, but now sees the ambling mass of blights and branches nearly upon him. Rolena’s well placed fire magic sets the mass alight and Quarion does battle with the foe until it has collapsed from both the flames and the fighter’s hacking. The day is nearly won!

But the battle is far from over. The Great Mother has opened her eyes; she must take this into her own hands. Tsannis, though barely able to move, is so close to the giant red eyes that she heroically stabs the mother to blind it and protect her comrades. But the Mother has power over Tsannis from the temptation of the apple. The dark ooze spills from the eye and Tsannis becomes violently ill. Her body is weakened to a frail state and the pain is too great to continue on. While the others launch into a full assault of steel and magic on the face of the mother, Calderius can only deal with the immediate damage. A healed Tsannis is but a shadow of her former self, barely able to fight but well enough to walk. Despite this, she leads Calderius to Sharwyn’s body, screaming in pain from the assault on what is now her limb.

The Mother’s branches fall all around as she attacks, but soon she is blinded. Grog sees Calderius and Tsannis struggling to free Sharwyn, but sees that the damage is too great to be reversed. As the Great Mother blindly swings her trunk like a dying animal and rises up on her roots, Grog knows that something must be done. With the second surgical swing of the day, he amputates the leg of his former comrade, and Calderius begins to carry her out of the cavern.

Meanwhile Quarion has attempted to pave the way out of the dangerous room. Dealing with an orc who shut the door, he opens the passage out, and heads over to ensure that the deaf Grog leaves the fracas. The ranger has begun to chop at the nearest root with his axe so that the Mother can no longer sustain herself. With Calderius nearby, Quarion motions to Grog, but Grog will have none of it. Reminded of the law-abiding and “good” father of his youth, he scolds Quarion for failing to follow through on the cleansing of the abomination. With a last swing of his axe, he severs the root. The Great Mother collapses, briefly trapping Calderius before Grog and Quarion release him. If not for Calderius’ quick thinking, Sharwyn would have been crushed under the weight, but she is tossed aside. The walls and roof, now ripped by the roots running through them, begin to fall apart. Quarion convinces Grog to leave as it seems the Great mother is defeated, and it is time to leave.

In the Hall, the cart is gone, and a few straggling orcs remain. The struggle is brief, as the falling ceiling aids the adventurers in killing the enemies. Though the cart is seen ahead, as the first few climb out of the well, escape is the priority, and the orcs carrying it escape.

The party makes its way to the surface as fast as it can, while Tsannis decides to run for the Dragon Key still lodged in the door. Safe above the destruction, and weary from the events and terrible costs exacted upon them, they are greeted not by rest but by the curious image of a man on the cliff face.

A Priest of Kord! A welcome sight after the evil of the ruins. Calderius asks for help and help is offered, though still some work will need to be done. The climb up the cliff is dangerous, though the elevator can be used. Edric, the priest, will gladly help… but there is a commotion. Edric shouts of an incoming enemy and leaves without lowering the elevator.

With no other options, Quarion leads up the ropes to the cliff face, and Grog, though oblivious to the situation without hearing the priest, follows him to assist. The rope falls, but both manage to climb out only to see the remnants of a battle. The Orcs about the cliff are dead, but so are the men who seem to have slain them. Two wizards, a gnome and a half-elf finish off the remaining men, shout something, which Grog cannot make out, and vanish with the cart of apples.

Having assisted the party in their long climb to the top of the cliff, the remains are surveyed. Edric is conscious, but beaten. His men have died, and his mission from Kord has failed, leaving him depressed and morose. Only Calderius can bring life back into the man’s spirit by convincing him that Kord’s will may still be done. Edric warily agrees to follow on in hopes of redemption, and the party makes its way back to Oakhurst.

Through two days of travel, the bruised and beaten travelers arrive at Oakhurst with a heirloom ring, a traumatized and amputated Sharwyn, and a listless priest. They are back.

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Session 4: Stone, Fruit, and Crazy Druids

The party loots the goblins they killed and distributes the wealth. Grog and Tsannis investigate the bottom of the pit. Grog recognizes the dead human as Talgen Hucrele. They also find among the vegetation numerous older dead bodies with crushing wounds and self inflicted scratches. They loot the bodies (aside from Talgen’s, from which Tsannis only takes a ring to return to Madame Hucrele) and climb back up.

Grog is more forthcoming about the previous party now that he has fought with the group. He speaks of how they were trying to find out why the goblins were not sending their shipments out that their contact was trading with them for cheap weaponry. Most of the rest of the story is the same. But now that the goblins are out of the way, he greatly desires to find his two lost companions, Phaerus and Sharwyn.

Meepo is insistent on going back to his tribe. After convincing Grog to wait a bit because going back and helping the kobolds may help them free Phaerus and Sharwyn, they start back for the kobold throne room. They get there and flourish Meepo and Kalcrix for the kobolds. Ygdrissil is pleased at the return and shows the party three “pretties” that they can claim as prize. There is an idol, a magical mace, and the key retrieved from above the throne. After some pleasing words and a promise to help each other if either is in need, she says that they may take two of the pretties. The PCs take the key and the mace.

The party then goes back to the dragon door. The key fits into the lock in the dragon’s mouth and the door opens wide. Behind the door they find a room with an altar and another door, this one surrounded by five dragons with one eye missing each. In the altar, the party finds five stones. Above the altar, there is a Draconic scrawl. Rolena translates it to mean they should say the word “open”. After attempting to place the gems in the different dragon eyes and having one of the dragons shoot fire at the group, Rolena says “open” in Draconic, and the dragons move and speak a riddle. The PCs solve the riddle, place the stones in the appropriate eyes (Rolena uses prestidigitation to place the eyes, just in case there is an incorrect placement), and the door opens wide.

There is another room behind the door which has dust on the floor, as well as eight smooth white rods. At the other side of the room is a carving of a man emerging from a stone wall, and the carving is covered in ice. The party pick up the rods and Rolena melts the ice with Burning Hands. The carving then moves and speaks. After explaining who they are, the party hears the stone man’s story.

The man, Kureich was a priest for a dragon god, placed in the stone in front of the dragon’s greatest treasures. The citadel was originally raised as Munhei, for the dragon Ashardalon. He guarded the treasures for years, comforted by his love in life, Suuna. She began to tell him of a priest rising quickly in the temple, Sithis. After some weeks, she related rumors of priests in the temple were acting very strange and irreverent. Then one day she brought tidings of evil. The man Sithis was truly a vampire in the service of the death god Nerull, and there was open battle in the temple between the two faiths. As she spoke, a group of Ashardalon clerics came into the room and urged Kursich to open the door and give them weapons they could arm themselves with, including the high cleric of the faith. He did so, and then the high priest took the dragon egg lying within and slaughtered the rest of the clerics with tooth and nail. He bit Suuna on the neck and left her to become a vampire. She closed the doors outside and begged Kursich to kill her. He did so. There was a great shock that ran through the temple and some rumblings everywhere, and then silence for some indeterminable amount of time, though it was enough for the bodies of his friends to rot to the dust and leg bones (the white rods – never officially stated, only partially implied) that were left when the party arrived.

After relating his story, Kursich would not be soothed. Nor would he allow talk of freeing him from the stone. He simply opened at the party’s request. Inside, the party finds numerous magic items, including a red potion, five blue potions, scrolls and armor, and they distribute them, then leave to return back to the pit, taking the key with them. Grog wants to go on then, but the party decides to rest first to recover strength. Then they descend into the pit and into a tunnel downward from which they hear rushing water.

Deciding stealth would be beneficial, Grog and Tsannis sneak ahead. They happen upon a room with a cart in it. Hanging on the ceiling are several tree blights. The blights hear them and drop down to attack. The rest of the party rushes in and they defeat the blights handily. Further down the tunnel the party hears sounds of pain. They look into the cart and find many dozens of the apples they encountered before. Quarrion and Grog pick up several to put in their bags.

Tsannis takes one and bites out of it. Tendrils then spring out of the apple and into her mouth, pulling her close. Quarrion grabs the apple and rips it out of her mouth, scarring the insides of her cheeks. The apple lands and then turns onto the tendrils, using them as legs to attempt to flee. Grog smashes it to pieces with his battleaxe. Black goo flies everywhere. Grog dives out of the way, but Tsannis is struck on the neck. She screams as it burns into her. Grog makes a cut at the neck to suck out the poison and Calderious does what he can to heal her, but a black ring remains even after the magical healing.

After they recover, the party continues down the tunnel and comes to a large opening. In the room they find a large tree with black leaves from which hangs the apples they saw before though not so ripe. Around the tree is a circle of rushing liquid, somewhat silvery in look. Three large roots of the tree implant by the stream. In front of the tree is a tall bald man and another humanoid covered in what looks to be bark. There is a woman with her leg stuck up to her thigh in the side of the tree, and it is from her that the sounds of pain are coming. Grog recognizes the bark covered man as Phaerus and the stuck woman as Sharwyn.

Upon sight of the party, the bald man greets them happily, saying how glad he is that they’ve finally arrived to replace him. He later identifies himself as Belak. Between his obvious delusion and Tsannis’ skill with lying, a.k.a. wonderful charisma and magnetism (seems a bit biased; who was writing this log?), they are able to wring his story out of him and convince him that in fact Keller did send them to replace him. He is confused why Keller didn’t give them more information, but believes them.

He apparently had been growing “the Great Mother” in service of Nerull for years, down in the grove. He tells the party that there was a vampire that staked himself to this spot with dragon blood thousands of years ago. His blood and the blood of the dragon infused in the soil and allowed the miracle of the Great Mother to bud. Belak heard the calling a few decades ago and came to comfort her and make her bloom. He speaks of a deal with Keller and repeatedly mentions his desire to “spread her seed”. His intentions were to wait for Keller to send his replacement and then “embrace the Mother” and go on to spread her seed.

During the conversation he takes Tsannis for the leader of the party and her companions to be her slaves and minions. Upon sight of the mark on her neck he praises her faith and asks why she didn’t “fully imbibe the seed”. She replies about how others (the goblins) wouldn’t let her fully reach out to the Great Mother, and pulled her back before she could embrace her. Tsannis and Grog leap across the stream to join Belak (feeling a great evil over them as they pass the stream) while the other PCs circle the tree investigating. Belak goes to make food for them before he embraces the Mother. While he is occupied, Tsannis looks at Sharwyn. She is unresponsive and looks to be in great pain, and her leg where it touches the tree is covered in bark and is extremely stiff to the touch. Grog looks at Phaerus and finds him completely unresponsive, not even breathing.

Belak brings back his candied mice and Grog keeps him occupied while Tsannis, Rolena, and Quarrion discuss what they should do in Elven.

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Session 3: Goblin Brawl

During the night’s watch, Rolena sees a half orc trying to sneak around from the room further in. She wakes the party as the half orc makes his way towards the group. He introduces himself as Grog. He tells them that he was from a previous adventuring party delving into these ruins. After some discussion, the party realizes that this previous party was the Hurcreles’ party, the one that they are searching for.

Grog tells them that his party was sent by a man in the town of Oakhurst to investigate what was going on with the goblins. He says that he, a paladin by the name of Phaerus, the fighter Talgen, and the wizardess Sharwyn had gone into the ruins and approached the goblins in a room with a large pit to see what was going on with the deal. They immediately attacked, screaming in Goblin. Talgen was badly hurt, the other three subdued. Then some kind of tree thing came up from the pit and took Sharwyn down screaming. Phaerus and Grog broke free from the goblins, and Grog managed to escape. He couldn’t find a way out of the ruins without running into goblins, so he hid in the room past the hallway of alcoves.

The rest of the PCs decide that the tree creatures sound like the ones they ran into on the road earlier. They decide that they had best warn Oakhurst that many of these creatures may be around and dangerous, and warn them of Keller’s treachery. Potar, being fastest, elects to go, and Grog reluctantly agrees to fill his place, despite being more interested in escaping.

The party continues through the ruins. Grog is capable of directing them back to the pit room, but it’s pretty straightforward and none is needed. They encounter no goblins on the way, despite Tsannis and Potar having run into them before. Even the bodies have been removed. Along the way, the party pick up many valuables, hidden and unhidden.

Soon, they find their way to the circular room. There is a long hallway that ends in an opening to a room covered with vines everywhere and an enormous circular pit in the center. A decked out goblin is across the pit from them, behind a short wall. As soon as he sees them, he starts screaming and gesturing. Beside this goblin cheif, Gnaarl, the PCs see a very small dragon on a tether. In addition to the goblin cheif and the dragon, there are four more goblins around the pit. The goblins attack and the party responds in kind.

Quarrion advances farther than the rest of the party, and then a goblin swings into him on a vine from an alcove. These alcoves the PCs see are all around the room. Quarrion is knocked into the pit, causing damage enough almost to knock him unconscious. At the bottom of the pit, he finds that everything is covered in vegetation, and he sees a dead humanoid on the ground beside him. Knowing he has to get back to the fight, he climbs back up one of the vines. The party continues to fight, being more wary about going too far into the room. The doors then close behind them and out from behind where the doors were comes two goblins and a leashed krenshar.

Meanwhile, Meepo has been sneaking over to where the goblin cheif and the dragon are. Gnaarl sees him at the last second and tries to swipe at him, but Meepo dodges out of the way and frees Kalcrix. The dragon then flies up to the alcoves and attacks the goblins waiting there. The krenshar, after being attacked by Grog and Calderious, goes beserk and starts attacking everyone. The PCs quickly kill off the krenshar, and its goblin masters panic and run. Gnaarl starts to make his way over to the party.

Tsannis knocks a goblin off of one of the vines and then swings herself across the pit, slashing goblins from the vine and beheading one on another vine. Rolena burns one of the goblins to death, and Quarrion and Grog take out the others while Calderious heals. The party then concentrates their attacks on Gnaarl, who is very difficult to hit. He is slain, and the party is left alone with Meepo and Kalcrix.

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Session 2: Kickin' with the Kobolds

PCs wake up in strange rooms. They find eachother and start looking through the rooms. Behind a locked door they find a strange man. After some commotion, Madam Hucrele comes into the room. The man is her husband, Herbert Hucrele. She catches the party up to speed.

The city guards had arrived while the PCs were unconscious. They took them away, but Madame Hucrele intervened and took them to her own house. Keller fled and no one knows where to.

The party restocks and sets out on the Old Road. It is a two day trip. They camp for the night just past the mines. During the night they are set upon by several twisted tree creatures. The battle is finished with minimal trouble.

They arrive at a large ravine near nightfall. They find a rope and pulley system attached to a set of columns. They cannot see the bottom, but decide to descend anyway. The party lowers Potar into the canyon using the rope. At the bottom, he finds that the other end of the rope is attached to an elevator. The party manages to get the elevator to the top and descend down using it.

At the bottom, they decide to rest for the night. During Quarrion’s watch, he hears some chatter away from camp. He investigates and finds that between the PCs and the chatter there are ramps that go down from the side of the ravine. He stumbles down them, sees a faint light that quickly goes away, and goes back to the resting party. The party completes their sleep.

The PCs wake and descend the ramps to find themselves in a courtyard in front of a broken tower. After some struggles with dire rats and traps, they move into the tower. After some wandering, including finding a room of recent battle, a room covered in rubble that has a locked iron door in the shape of a dragon, and a room with a sturdy vat connected to tubes in the walls, they find a kobold huddling under a blanket.

After much comforting and convincing, they find that the kobold is named Meepo and that he was dragon keeper for the tribe ensconced in the ruins. The dragon that he took care of was stolen by the tribe of goblins set up further in the ruins. Meepo begins to assert that the party can help him get the dragon and gets very excited. He begins urging the PCs to follow him to the tribe’s leader, Ygdrissil.

The party agrees and Meepo leads them through several areas until they get to a room with more kobolds in it. After a brief show of hostility calmed down by Meepo and Rolena speaking quick Draconic, Meepo and the PCs get through to the kobolds and they are escorted to a large hall. At one end of the wall, a female kobold steps out from behind a curtained off room. Some of the PCs note that there is a throne behind the curtains and atop the throne a key that might work to fit the dragon door they found earlier. The party is surrounded by the little creatures as Ygdrissil addresses them in better Common than the rest of the kobolds speak.

She’s none too impressed with the outsiders, but sees their uses for recovering their dragon and giving the goblins some trouble (perhaps going out in a blaze of glory). She tells them that in exchange for helping Meepo recover their dragon, she will give them “a pretty”. After some debate in Elvish, they agree to her terms.

Ygdrissil leads them to Goblin territory, and along the way speaks to them about the history of the goblin-kobold conflict in the ruins. Gleaned from the information she gave them, the kobolds came to the ruins after some wandering and found it to their liking, with its large empty rooms and dragon decorations. They set themselves up near the throne room in which the party met Ygdrissil. Soon however, the tribe ran into the goblins who had already taken residence in the ruins. She continues to tell of the enmity between the two races, and mentions something about a grove. The party cannot obtain any time scales for the events. At this point, Ygdrissil has lead them to the first goblins and leaves them there with Meepo.

The PCs fight through room after room of goblins, finally approaching a hallway with alcoves on the sides. While the party is engaged with some dire rats there, Tsannis wanders into an adjacent room, only to run into a pair of goblins throwing javelins from behind a wall. She gets a bit injured and retreats back to the party, who at this point have taken care of the dire rats. Potar goes into the rooms that Tsannis has left and kills a couple of goblins, but decides that he is outmatched and also retreats. Calderius and Quarrion investigate the room beyond the hallway but find nothing more than old traps, unclear footprints, and empty rooms of rubble.

At this point, the PCs are tired and have expended their energies, and they decide to rest for a while. A watch is set up.

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Sesson 1: Where are the Hucreles?

Player Characters (PCs) meet at an inn, the Copious Coin Inn, in Oakhurst, all called for a job from Madam Hucrele.

Madam Hucrele shows up and tells about how her adventurous children are missing, Talgen Hucrele and Sharwyn Hucrele. She doesn’t know much except that Adrian Keller may be involved.

PCs gather information about Keller and find that he has three warehouses in the Warehouse district of Oakhurst. They head off to the nearest one.

PCs knock at the door to talk briefly with a guard. The guard is not forthcoming about the whereabouts of Keller and ends the conversation.

Tsannis and Potar search around the warehouse for alternate entrances. Tsannis gets on Potar’s shoulders, unlocks a window, and crawls inside onto a large crate. Rolena sees the interaction and decides to do the same. Potar throws her through the warehouse window.

In the meantime, Quarion decides to investigate one of the other warehouses. He tells Potar, and Potar leaves to follow. Meanwhile, Calderius waits at the back entrance to the warehouse in case anything happens to Tsannis and Rolena.

Tsannis and Rolena jump off of the crate and are heard by one of the guards. They go to the backdoor and get it open for Calderius. Battle ensues, resulting in the death of three guards. Tsannis, Rolena, and Calderius loot the place, finding some cheap weaponry and a strangely enticing apple.

Meanwhile, Quarion and Potar approach the second warehouse and talk to a guard. He tells them where Keller lives.

They go to Keller’s manor in the Merchant’s District. The porter does not allow them to enter, so they bust the door down. They rampage through the house, though not killing anyone, and run into Adrian Keller. He calms them down and tells them that he knows where the siblings are, since he sent them.

Keller makes a deal with them, telling them that he is concerned for the siblings’ lives too. He agrees that if Quarion and Potar can find a couple more people to go with them, he will pay them to go investigate the Ruined Citadel where Talgen and Sharwyn are. They need to sleep at the manor first. In the morning, Keller holds Quarion in his manor while Potar leaves to find the rest of the group.

Tsannis, Rolena, and Calderius went back to the inn after the battle and rested / waited for Potar and Quarion. When they don’t arrive by morning, the three go to the warehouse that Potar and Quarion went to. They don’t find any information about the two missing PCs, but they do learn where Keller’s manor is. They approach the manor, and mention looking for a half orc. Keller hears and is intrigued.

The three go with him and start talking about the siblings. He gets suspicious. He orders his men to take Quarion into the room. He brings in more guards and demands they give up their possessions. Potar comes in and he demands the same. Potar refuses and a fight ensues. Keller turns invisible. The party slays all of the guards, but all but Tsannis are knocked unconscious. Tsannis is also knocked unconscious, and Potar is mysteriously healed before he can die.

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