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Campaign Notes from November 8, 2017 - Sarvoda Edit
After leaving the fallen angel, Tunrida, to wait for their return, the group continued their northwesterly journey toward the entrance to the Underdark.
Remains of a Town Edit
A few hours after their encounter with Tunrida, the adventurers came across the blasted and barely-recognizable foundations of a village that was destroyed in whatever cataclysm had wiped out everything else in Sarvoda. The sharper-eyed explorers noticed the glint of armor hidden amid a tangle of briars. Riding a bit closer to inspect, Maggey noticed seven suits of untarnished plate armor not too far from their path.
Gleaming armor in the midst of several thousand years of decay was suspicious enough for the group to give the armor a wide berth. They made a two-mile detour around the bones of the town, with a note in Maggey's Book to check it out later.
The Orthostat Path Edit
A few hours after detouring away from the suspicious armor, the group found a curious pathway marked by a short series of standing stones. The setting sun cast long, suspicious shadows across their path from the miniature menhirs and the jagged trees nearby. Each standing stone was carved of roughly polished granite, and was only about 42 inches tall, 14 inches in diameter near the top, but at least 30 inches in diameter at the bottom.
The stones had seven sides, and came to a low point at the top. Each side was covered in strange sigils that Darius, Paul, Maggey and Dave immediately recognized the script from the vault of the Underfort of Greb-Bithan where they fought an otherworldly monster and recovered the Orb of Palantha-Kawon. It was Aklo, a script used in the Naga Dominion and seemingly tied to the practice of summoning magic. They knew that mammalian spell casters who attempted to decipher the language were in danger of serious psychic damage or madness.
The chest-high orthostat markers led the way over a curved, 200 foot long path. The path terminated at what on first inspection looked like a hill, but on more focused examination resembled a seven-sided structure about thirty feet high and about eighty feet in diameter, with a very flat top, covered in thousands of years of dirt, weeds and vines. It didn't take a lot of imagination to picture that whatever was under all of the sod and scrub might be the tomb of something important.
Creeperton, Population: 8 Edit
The group took one long last look at the strange formation and the even weirder standing stones nearby and then continued on their original route. After they passed, Mirja's keen senses picked up a sort of whispering back and forth, and she looked back at the black markers. There was no doubt in her mind that two of the stones had been conversing. Darius and Maggey looked back quickly, following Mirja's movement, and along with the ranger, saw two of the stones rotate ever so slightly, as if going back to looking at nothing important, while trying to be inconspicuous about it.
Fully creeped out, the group rode at nearly a gallop until the sun set entirely.
Tolik and Golush Edit
The group rode on, slowing a bit to eat in the saddle. A few hours after nightfall, they were heading into the first foothills before the path that led into the mountains and to their goal. Rounding a bend, and beginning to head uphill, the group saw the glow of campfire light from behind a large boulder, and helmeted dwarf popped over the rock to challenge them.
"Vänta! Tala och bli igenkänd!" the dwarf shouted, which even through the group didn't speak the language, translated to "Halt! Who goes there?"
They introduced themselves in a couple languages, settling on the trade tongue, Lexi, which the dwarf appeared to understand. They found themselves conversing with Tolik and Golush, a pair of heavily kitted-out dwarven adventurers who had made their way to Sarvoda in search of a rare ore that could be found in the dormant volcanoes nearby. The dwarves invited the group over to share their fire and some stories, and - exhausted from their grueling journey - the group agreed.
Tricky Dwarves Edit
Too late, they realized the dwarves were treacherous! The dwarves both cast spells at the adventurers. Dave snuffed out an emerging fireball with a counterspell, but couldn't stop the spell of fear that affected Maggey and Darius and their horses. The archivist and the bard turned around at a gallop, with Darius dropping his enchanted bow and Maggey very nearly dropping her precious book.
Low on spells and down two party members, the rest of the party wheeled their horses around to try to regroup. As they turned, one of the dwarves slashed at Mirja with its great sword and tried to bite her, with a bizarre - frog like mouth. Luckily, Mirja's agility kept her out of harms way, but as the party rode away, the dwarves began to bombard them with fireballs.
The battle went badly at first. Mirja and Dave traded volleys with the two dwarves, but even through the adventurers were able to withstand the dwarves' fireballs, the party's horses were faring poorly. Finally, Maggey and Darius shook off the fear spell. Darius conjured up an illusion of the fallen angel, Tunrida, after Maggey's True Seeing spell revealed the dwarves to be some sort of frog-monster that Dave suspected to be Gray Slaadi.
Death to Frog Monsters! Edit
Finally, Mirja managed to land a series of telling shots that killed one of the frog monsters. That turned the tide, and the remaining slaad appeared to be out of spells. Darius charged and hit the thing with powerful strike that temporarily took the creature out of their plane of existence. A minute later, the creature returned, and by then the party was ready. The second slaad was swiftly slain!
Native Slaads of Sarvoda and Their Stuff Edit
Dave, something of a scholar of slaadi, found it interesting that the two gray slaads didn't disincorporate when they died, similar to the devils and demons they had fought recently. This suggested to the transmuter that Tolik and Golush were either native to Daera, or had physically come to the prime material plane from their home of Limbo through a planar gateway of some sort, rather than magically projecting their essence in the way most extraplanar beings are conjured up.
While Dave was pondering all that, the rest of the group noticed the slaads' stuff. Each had carried a finely made greatsword of dwarven design. Both wore cold-weather traveling clothes that stank of bogs and decay. The slaad that had called itself Tolik carried a scroll written in dwarven, and wore a highly ornamented spangenhelm that Darius quickly realized was enchanted.
The other slaad, Golush, carried a green and purple lacquered box with a set of 3 paints (blue, red, yellow) and a fine brush. Each clay jar of paint was about the size of an elf's fist. At the bottom of Golush's sack of gemstones and dwarven coins was a wax-covered clay flask that looked like it contained about four ounces of some sort of liquid. When held, the bottle would warm quickly, but drop down to icy cold immediately after being let go.
Picking through salvageable equipment, food, and beer, the group found a few pounds of jersey, wonderfully smelly cheese, a bottle of skunky beer, and a small amphora of wine that smelled like a pretty good Gewürztraminer. They also found 6 pieces of bizarre jewelry made of a red-orange metal set with green a white precious stones, and 5 pieces of dwarven jewelry made of silver, gold, and mithril. There was also about 40 small gemstones and about 15 pounds of dwarven coins, mostly golden marks, but about 10% each of copper, brass and silver.
Tentacle Beasts Edit
Not comfortable sticking around the scene of the battle much longer, the group expended what magical healing they dared, and pressed onward toward their goal. With exhaustion hanging around the party like a soggy blanket, they were ambushed while ascending a rocky path. Six tentacle monsters with squid-like beaks sprang from the moss a the group and were quickly cut down for their trouble. The rubbery creatures seemed slightly smarter than dogs and had tough hides, but didn't count on enemies wielding magic bows and dangerous cantrips. Three of the monsters fled, but the other half were slain. Darius and Dave were both slightly injured in the encounter, as was Maggey's horse, but the scrapes and lash-marks were quickly salved.
Skeleton Roadblock Edit
The group continued up the path as the dormant volcano loomed above them. After three days of restless travel, they finally found the narrow cave that Dave had magically mapped more than two months earlier. Unfortunately, as they approached, there was a pop of necrotic magic, and the bones littered around the area assembled themselves in a whirlwind of magical energy. Ten seconds later, the adventurers were looking at a strange group of animated skeletons - two dire wolves, three skeletons that probably were orcs, a puma, two kobolds and three naga. None of the eleven skeletons were armed, but they moved to block the adventurers' way.
Annoyed at the delay, Paul called up a magical thunderclap to shake several of the skeletons apart, while Maggey hurled holy fire at the path-bocking assembly. Mirja and Darius launched arrows at the creatures, Domingo slung rocks, and Dave blasted away with fire. The skeletons charged, and the were smashed apart with almost comical efficiency.
The Way In Edit
Finally, the group found themselves at the terminal point of an old lava vent, the entrance to the Underdark that they had suffered so much to find. They dismounted and dismissed their fairie horses, and sent Zach in to take a quick look. He deemed the place clean, quiet, and most importantly, defensible. They entered.
About two hundred feet in, they found an area that looked like there had once been either a large lava bubble, or a violent explosion. It was wide enough and tall enough to set up the Stink Hut. Dave did so, quickly filling the cavern with their magical residence. The spell casters did what they could to disguise their presence and set up wards, while Mirja and Domingo obscured any trace of their passage on the outside, and used rocks to hide the entrance to the cave.
An hour later, everyone was fast asleep except the intensely devoted (and a magical creature that didn't require sleep), Zach de la Crowcha.
Throughout the grueling ride across Sarvoda, the group fought a wide variety of creatures. Disappointingly, only the two slaads carried anything of value to them. They recovered (and identified) the following:
- Dwarven greatswords with really nice scabbards (x2)
- 6 pieces of slaadic jewelry (a ring, 2 bracelets, a belt, an anklet and a thigh band) made of an extraplanar metal called fennic brass
- 5 pieces of dwarven jewelry (a necklace, 3 rings and an arm band) made of silver, mithril and gold.
- 40 small gems of assorted value (worth about 2,500 gp)
- 15 pounds of modern dwarven coins, (worth 537 dwarven gp)
- Scroll of Mass Suggestion written in dwarvish by a bard
- Set of 3 Marvelous Pigments
- What you suspect to be a Potion of Longevity
- Helm of Telepathy
Continue to the Next Session!