Thursday, February 25, 2016

02/17/16 Tragidore Session 15: A Familiar Stranger

Our session began with combat; when after investigating Lyssic's crypt’s antechamber the guardian statues moved to intercept the hero’s trespassing- in the same manner in which these stone sculptures bludgeoned the Blackrock Company to death. Each successive combat round brought out increasing dangerous cultists starting with a quintet of fast zombies, many of which fell almost immediately after Alaric channeled positive energy.
 
Yontryl Amatar 
Next a familiar group of masked cultists follows on the heels of the zombies; familiar because they wore the usual molded leather masks, masterwork dragon-claw bracers, minor magical cloaks, and amulets. After that Nevessam and Zilvereen enter the fray with a failed death attack and magical necromantic rays. Soon it was down to only one guardian statue, an unseen caster (Nevessam) and two masked cultists who would fight to the death, but when Wendel rounded the corner to find the unseen Nevessam, Wendel saw Yontryl delivering the killing blow to the cult spellcaster.

Soon, after combat and the water settled, the heroes of Tragidore gathered treasure, recovered the Divine (Spark) Scarab, and identified the bodies in the water. The remains, obviously overwhelmed by the dangers in Lyssic’s crypt, were bloated from a week decomposing in the shallow antechamber water; these were Sanford Stubblemane, Elad Edals, Delia Navamir, and Themian Ailduin. These last two brought a hereto unseen rage out of the beautiful woman. It was then Yontryl finally explained the truth of who she really was.

She is not a Knight of Myth Drannor, but a ‘Stranger’ – individuals in Bordane’s Iron Clergy who infiltrate organizations and churches in advance of the priesthood of Lilith who prey on weakened organized institutions in the aftermath of the time of troubles. Yontryl’s main objective was to keep the tome: The Key of Irithlium out of the hands of the Church of Lilith (Shar). She attempted to keep the tome at Trinity Church, but after attempting to find a suitable ‘bearer’ she conceded to carry the book herself; in that, she would eventually fail.

The Blackrock Company too served the Iron Lord Bordane but waged their conflict against the cult of the dragon directly; they died in service to the Iron Hand. Yontryl asks the heroes to fight with her against the Lilith Priesthood and retrieve the Key of Irithlium, and she would then show the heroes a secret passage under Castle Cormanthor (where the cultists organize their plans).
 
House of Song
Not an hour after the heroes first stepped foot into Lyssic’s Crypt the heroes left for the House of Song, an old temple to Oghma in Myth Drannor. When talk wandered to the kids, Yontryl explained she witnessed them freeing the last pen of slaves before they headed to the shrine to Mystra and the portal back to the Tragidore region.

Venturing closer to Myth Drannor the heroes could feel the power of the city’s Mythal similar an electrical static charge, but when they saw the tangle and maze-like features of Myth Drannor they were thankful for the possibility of a secret way to the Cult of the Dragon. Yontryl explains that Lilith Clerics, to keep dragon cultists away, lied that there was a magic dead area surrounding the ancient temple. The former temple of Oghma was round and domed with scores of skeletons ringing the structure where gargoyles once stood sentinel; flying about were two Erinyes, handmaidens of Lilith, who spotted the heroes once they closed the distance between the safety of cover and the ruined temple.


We pick up next week with the heroes entering the House of Song. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Message from the First Cleric

Nevessam
Nevessam-

With all respect nobleman, you must break the seal on the Crypt of Rothilion as soon as possible. The Dragonservants grow anxious; furthermore, I have been told by Luersa that the contingent phylactery has arrived for the ceremony should all else fail; her obsession with Midnight grows with each passing day. We shall soon have our hands on the items within the Irithlium so we may include them in the Immersion ritual. Take care that you acquire the Divine Scarab soon or Dagaronzie will be displeased - I doubt she would suffer well a second major setback in such short of time- not after Waterdeep; not to mention you will earn the enmity of the High Dragonservant. Oh, and I'm planning on putting a disease on that animal that Ryngoth treasures so much, I personally will not watch an ANIMAL benefit after a year of work and research.

First Cleric,

-Shamoor Emeny


Thursday, February 18, 2016

02/17/16 Tragidore Session 14: Kesefehon and Lyssic’s Crypt

It is two in the morning when we rejoin the Heroes of Tragidore after their hostile sweep through the Crypt of Orbakh; having gathered treasure and propping the guard out front complete with props to make it seem nothing was amiss where the ‘Beautiful Flower’ spawned untold copies of the same man (Naergoth) from before the fall of Myth Drannor.

From this crypt, adjacent to the Tower of Bones, the heroes plotted out three possible ways to the Crypt of Kesefehon where they learned (from multiple sources) that the Everflame wards were assigned.

One possible route passed close to a tomb of noblewoman where an alert sentry kept a watchful eye over the cult’s slaves. The second path that appeared clear would take the heroes close to a clearly haunted memorium that stands to honor the brave elves, humans, and dwarves who fell in the defense of Myth Drannor. The last route and most northern brought the heroes close to the tomb of a once popular performer and orchestrator that is also being used as a slave pen; nevertheless the way appeared clear.

What the heroes didn’t know was this route was also close to Lyssic’s Crypt (where the Blackrock Company disappeared). While attempting to sneak idly by using the cultist’s favored garb the heroes were hailed by Daniel a masked cultist accompanied by two zombies. After a brief exchange Daniel ordered the heroes to follow his two zombies into Lyssic’s Crypt and kill the trespassers.

After watching the zombies disappear into Lyssic’s Crypt and Daniel back to his post, the heroes continue toward their goal of finding the Everflame lads and ladies.

The Crypt of Kesefehon was typical for an elven hero, wolf stylized motifs and artistry adorned every detail. After defeating several glyphs of warding, spear traps, and poisonous gas, the heroes finally find the seven young men and ladies unconscious and in a measure of old stale water. As Zadrian commenced the rescue effort, Cadthronn and Arne hear a death scream from back up the ruins.

Knowing it was not the glyphs going off again Cadthronn and Arne decide to investigate, while one by one the kids are being brought up from the poisonous gas and then healed with positive energy by Wendel and Alaric.

Back at the statue room Cadthronn and Arne discovered a previously undiscovered secret door was now open and from it issued horrible transformative wails from Daniel who was now a mummy under the control of Kesefehon- a mythic mummy. The battle composed of five burning mythic skeletons and Kesefehon who killed and turned Daniel into a mummy, summoned a sandman who in-turn brought forth five sand-formed skeletons.
Kesefehon

After the battle and after the Everflame wards were rescued, the heroes recovered the Staff of Visions, Resonating Breastplate +2, and a Keen Longsword +1 Mythic Bane.

Garret Kordova
Gracia Kordova
Helmo Gundwynd
Mura Gundwynd
Jinter Elmaran
Kaarle Van Richten
Rainey Solerer

The following information was also obtained from the young adventurers… One of the cultist’s main plan is to taint the mythal somehow- they are very near the completion of their plans. Some of the cultists started to demonstrate draconic traits ‘scale-touched’. Many of the cultists fear the undead presence felt in Rothilion’s Crypt. And finally the center of cult of the dragon activity is in and around Castle Cormanthor in the ruins of Myth Drannor.

Helmo and Mura assure the PC heroes they are, with the benefit of the aids, confident they can follow the back trail to the Tower of Bones and the shrine portal home beyond. The heroes utilize a scroll of rope trick outside Lyssic’s Crypt to rest and recover before looking for the Blackrock Company.

Eight hours later, during which Alan only sees the back of two zombies walking then disappearing into the darkness of the crypt, the heroes emerge and forage into Lyssic’s Crypt.

Lyssic's Antechamber
Following a path of destruction, presumably left behind by the Blackrock Company, the heroes come across a secret alcove where First Light is discovered. After completely searching the area the heroes hear the scratchy snarls of zombies on the approach and a feted smell coming from down a set of stone steps directly across from the secret alcove.

Hidden from undead the hero’s traverse the stairs to an antechamber filled with about two feet of water. Under a fifteen foot ceiling the three other walls have doors- two wooden doors on the flanking walls and a stone door directly across the stairs; at each side are two large statues of soldiers, one human and the other elf. Floating in the water are the remains of the four pulverized individuals: two human and two half elves- one of which is female. But just as all this was being discovered the two soldier-statues begin to move menacingly toward the party.


We pick up in Lyssic’s antechamber and combat. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

02/10/16 Tragidore Session 13: The Crypt of Orbakh

Cult Warrior
We catch up with the heroes after their sweep through the Cult of the Dragon’s Tower of Bones that led them to Carson and Celadae, Ryngoth’s journal, and freeing of Guinemar from her torturous week at the heel of Ryngoth.

It was roughly 1 am, there was no snowfall in the Polyandrium unlike Tragidore and while there was no activity during the night, the entire burial grounds had a worked, picked-over appearance.

Conversing with Carson Raiserik and Celadae Vistani the heroes learn that the two overheard information on the cult of the dragon’s activity as well as their unusual treatment. There were not spoke to much in the couple of days following their capture while trying to find their friends.

Atta-Kann’s information is verified after Carson explains he and Celadae left Tragidore a few days behind the Blackrock Company who went in search of the Everflame questers. In their brief captivity under Ryngoth they were locked in private quarters, well fed but under guard. They were to be held until Faerlaur Onthim retrieved them. They were moved to a cell when the tower came under the hero’s attack. The rest of what they learned was also found in Ryngoth’s journal.
 
Guinemar, Knight of Myth Drannor
A general overview of the journal revealed a forgetful cleric who is not above slavery, with an obsession with magical staffs and a woman named Luersa Verurni as well as details on his/Ryngoth responsibilities toward the Endeavor. The Endeavor was started by Supreme High Dragonservant Faerlaurn Onthim at Midsummer last year- the beginning of the Time of Troubles. Over the following year the cleric Ryngoth has supervised the raiding of dozens of crypts looking for magical key-like relics to access greater, even higher value crypts and their treasures. These findings would fund the Endeavor while potent magic recovered was taken immediately to the cultists Myth Drannor nearby.

Notes on deliveries of masterwork cloaks, masks, and bracers from Darnarest’s tower to the crypt of Orbakh, as well as anything else that has come through the portal at Mystra’s shrine, including a recent tome (Key of Irithlium) that was retrieved and taken personally, by Indrith Shalla, into the ruins of Myth Drannor.

After over a year it has come down to four crypts of interest for the cult of the dragon:

·         Crypt of Kesefehon. Overseer ‘Zilvereen’ – active dig for Kesefehon’s Mythic Regalia (Arcana Staff?) *note- using seven young slaves to reveal traps or pits (some reset**)
·         Lyssic’s Crypt. Overseer ‘Ryngoth (himself)’ – suspended dig for the Divine Scarab (Firstlight- Staff?) *note- many cultists assigned recently in pursuit of adventurers. Divine Scarab needed to open the Crypt of Rothilion.
·         Orbakh’s Crypt. Overseer ‘Indrith Shalla’ – crafting and *development (20 currently stationed) *note- Indrith assigned with delivering the recovered Key of Irithlium to Castle Cormanthor.
·         Crypt of Rothilion. (Rothilion’s Staff?) *note- high value unopened crypt.
Cult Mage

Finally the heroes speak with Guinemar a Halfling Knight of Myth Drannor. She explains how she was captured after escorting Brother Zaganos and Lady Lorraine to a portal that led to their Centaur City home. Guinemar was drugged and kept a secret to everyone except for Rathwill and was used as a luck-slave; she claims this servitude aged her greatly. She also indicated Kesefehon as the Crypt the Everflame group was sent to. Guinemar was beyond grateful and offered to take Carson and Celadae back to Tragidore (Carson taking a masterwork quarterstaff, +1 chainmail, and bracers of armor +1 back to town). Before Guinemar leaves she is asked about other members of the Knighthood- Yontryl, Delia, and Themian, three ‘Knight’s of Myth Drannor’ Guinemar was not at all familiar with.

Cult Priest
With several options in front of the heroes they elect to strike at Orbakh’s crypt-turned barracks. There they find a nightmarish production facility that take the grey-hued leather, cloth and blades from Aurora’s; crafted into masterwork cloaks, masks and bracers at Darnarest’s tower; then enchanted here by spawned copies of a sorcerer named Naergoth.  The spawn, horrifically birthed by a hideous rubbery aberration spherical in shape with three tentacles ending in thorny flippers and four writhing tentacles covered with suckers for movement and combat. The alpha-Naergoth called it affectionately ‘Beautiful Flower’. All in all there were twenty spawn-copies of Naergoth (swordsmen, clerics and mages) that fell to the heroes as well as a secret shrine to Shar (secreted from the cult!).

Recovered were the Hammer of the Weaponsmith, Knife of the Boyer, and Tong’s of the Armorer as well as twenty potions of darkvision, amulets of natural armor +1, cloaks of resistance +1 and dragon-claw bracers +1.

We begin next week’s session after the smoke of battle has cleared; it is 2 am with the Crypt of Kesefehon where the Everflame kids were assigned.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

02/03/16 Tragidore Session 12: The Tower of Bones

Atta-Kann Raiserik
The story continues this week after emerging from the portal and into an underground shrine to Mystra. The chamber proved fifty-feet in diameter and featured a statue of the goddess of magic in the center, a pool of water containing the (two-way) portal, and naturally growing crystal formations that radiate healing magic.

It is here the heroes encounter Atta-Kann, house Raiserik’s albino pseudo-dragon, who has been nesting here hoping chance would see allies come through the portal or the young wards somehow evade notice and find their way to the shrine and the portal home. As the Raiserik brothers speak with the lithe pseudo-dragon Zadrian, Alaric and Alan pray to Mystra.

The prayers were selfless and the sacrifices large; in return Alaric was able to supply the names of the fallen warriors that would eventually end a haunt along the path and Zadrian learns of a priestess of Shar has tread upon this shrine to Mystra in the past. Zadrian, taking an oath to forevermore walk without boots, knows that his oath will be fulfilled with the destruction of the priestess.

Arne Kordova
Meanwhile Cadthronn and Wendel conversed with Atta-Kann and confirms the timeline of when Carson and Celadae left, however the heroes learn for the first time that Carson and Celadae were a few days behind a small adventuring from the Blackrock Company who went in search of the Everflame Wardens.

Carson and Celadae were discovered and taken to the Tower of Bones almost a week ago; Atta-Kann expressed trepidation on getting too close to the tower because of a hostile dire badger, the animal companion to one of the cultists.

In the time the pseudo-dragon has been hiding in Mystra’s shrine two groups of cultists have come through the portal from Darnarest’s Tower: the first group of men took assembled master work claw bracers, sculptured leather masks, and black half-cloaks to one of the larger crypts adjacent to the Tower of Bones. The other recent group of three, lead by Rathwill, went to the Tower of Bones. The small albino creature does not know where the original Everflame wardens are or if they are alive but does warn of the haunt along the path to the Polyandrium.
Alan Kordova

After cautiously exiting the shrine, defeating the haunt along the path, the heroes are surrounded by a dozen mythic skeletons. After destroying the skeletons (completing their first mythic trial) the heroes cross the shallow stream and come to the Tower of Bones to discover necromancers animating dead on the rooftop under the night sky.


Without the element of surprise the heroes entered through the front door of the tower and defeated Ryngoth, Rathwill, several apprentices, necromancers, soldiers and guards. A five-minute search finds a Shrine to Velsharoon;  rescues Guinemar, a female luck-slave; while the rest of the tower and reveals Carson and Celadae in one of the lower chambers fed and seemingly well tended to. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Journal of Marcus Wands: The Polyandrium

Marcus Wands
From the Journal of Marcus Thorne Wands and his time in Ruins of Myth Drannor:

The Polyandrium, meaning ‘gathering place of fallen warriors,’ is the site of an old battle between the allied forces of Myth Drannor and the orcish dark horde who pushed the defenders off the nearby hill and surrounded them, slaughtering scores before finally being routed by Captain Fflar and his new Shields of Myth Drannor.

A mass grave was made for the fallen who could not be identified and a monument was erected to celebrate the bravery of the defenders. Over the years others were entombed on the site, as it eventually became a second cemetery for the city.

This region is an area of less dense foliage contains several large tombs, some capable of holding an entire family and their extended in-laws. Some of these crypts include…

Crypt of Kesefehon is the resting place of the valiant and respected commander who led the city’s defenders to many victories against many hostile invaders. In the middle part of his life he somehow acquired a strange incurable disease that eventually left him scabrous, violent and half-mad. After lingering in this mad state for years, Kesefehon finally died and was buried a hero at the insistence of those who still idolized him a hero. The tomb constructed for him is said to be guarded with traps in case those he offended tried to desecrate his body as they sullied his good name. 
Ployandrium Crypts

Lyssic was a human commander in Myth Drannor’s military forces who fought along side Captain Fflar. Many of his company were buried in his mausoleum, and when he was eventually buried here the place became known as Lyssic’s Crypt. I would note that it is said that he would rise to defend Myth drannor again, although the circumstances of his return were much in debate after his death. It is also rumored that his weapon was also entombed somewhere in the crypt. 

Built into the side of the Polyandrium's north ridge is the Crypt of Rothilion- the interment site of a great human scholar and inquisitor who dedicated his life to knowledge and virtue. Known to most as Rothilion the Honorable, this worshiper of Lathander, Tyr, and Oghma took an oath to abandon the Common tongue in favor of Elven so that he might study the elven lore of the city's builders. He used that knowledge to create and enforce laws that greatly helped the people of Myth Drannor, to become a patron of the arts and to write a number of books. He was given a hero's burial when he finally succumbed to the rigors of age. His crypt was sealed with the magic legacy of the Divine Spark.

During their occupation of the Tower of Bones, some of the the necromancers in the Polyandrium began experimenting with strange and perverted sorts of magic. One of these was the sorcerer Naergoth, a dark and brooding man with a fondness for taming monsters as well as collecting undead. His fellows discovered some of his more perverse hobbies, and he was locked up while they decided what to do with him. According to history, the wizard Orbakh, one of their necromancer brethren, died while attempting the transformation to a lich and was about to be interred. The necromancers decided to throw Naergoth into the tomb along with the dead necromancer and seal him inside using Orbakh's Ivory Scepter.
Tower of Bones

When Myth Drannor was a haven for learning, people from all over the realms came here to practice magic and create works of art. Among these were several dark wizards, who wished to take advantage of the city's proclamations of peace to study with other wizards whose allegiances might have otherwise been judged hastily. Most of these mages studied necromancy, and some wished to examine how their Art interacted with the Mythal. For this purpose these individuals built the Tower of Bones in the Polyandrium, which allowed them the isolation that many necromancers crave and yet afforded them the proximity to incredible magical resources. According to historical documents when the city fell, the necromancers fled as the overwhelming forces stacked against them grew closer.