Second Darkness

Secrects Revealed

Following the messenger, the group is lead to the tower within the Vonnarc compound. Second Daughter, Faidaeva meets the group and leads them up the tower, giving them time to see various mages working in rooms within the several levels. The top level of the tower lets out to a opulent library, walls lined with book shelves, lizard-skin rugs all across the floors and finally a large stone archway near the far end. Faidaeva directs the group to walk through the portal so they can speak with the Matron.

Through the portal, the group finds themselves somewhere else. Gone are the stone walls of the tower, instead the walls appear more organic almost like the inside of a giant beetle. Pleasant perfume wafts through the air. Alcoves divide the chamber into three smaller chambers. One of the chambers has a table with fruits and water that upon closer inspection are all fruits from the surface world.

Matron Alicavniss wastes little time accusing the group of being imposters, somehow infiltrating the Drow for some purpose. A few tense moments pass as Alicavniss waits for the group to refute the claim, but soon she waves the accusation off claiming that it doesn’t matter since the group does have uses to her. She then begins a back and forth with the group, asking questions and answering others as she reveals she does know where the Azrinaes have gone and what they plan to do. That information though will cost the group.

Alicavniss tells the group that she would trade her information and any other that she is able to come across if the group will go to the Venom Kiss and deal with it’s owner, Orvignato. Alicavniss wishes for both revenge for an apprentice that was lured tot he Venom Kiss and was plied for information, but also for any maps and ledgers that Orvignato might have within his headquarters.

Eagerly heading out to the Venom Kiss, the group makes it there and inside without any problems. Moving through the haze filled room, the group makes their way up to Orvignato’s office. Outside the office, a pair of Drow guards bared the groups way even after Ead tried to sell them a strange liquid.

When words failed, the group moved to actions. As Ead quickly grappled with one of the guards, Artan did the same with the other guard. Subduing the guards quickly, the group moved into the office to confront Orvignato.

Inside the office, a trio of Drow sat around a table as a drider squatted in the corner. Orvignato didn’t take kindly to being interrupted and began to attack. The fight was vicious, Artan almost going down between the Drider’s spells and Orvignato’s attack, but finally the group prevailed and downed the Drow.

Searching the room the group finds not only a chest that contained the items that Alicavniss wanted, but also an escape tunnel leading out of Orvignato’s bedroom. Gathering up the various items the group began to leave as Ead removed Orvignato’s head and brought it down to the main room of Venom’s Kiss, proclaiming herself as owner. There was a bit of dissent, but a few terse words brought the people back inline.

Finishing up, the group heads back to report to the Matron. An apprentice led them back through the tower back to the Matron’s chamber. Inside Alicavniss sits behind her desk reading something. She waits for a while before addressing the group, taking the ledgers and depositing them within her desk. Once the ledgers are secured, Alicavniss tells the group that the new matron of the Azrinaes, Allevrah, took the Drow in her charge further to the east into a cavern known as the Land of Black Blood. That is where the Azrinaes plan to use their ancient magic to call down a star to crash into the elf city of Kyonin.

Alicavniss believes that a blow that is strong enough to scour the land of Kyonin would cause problems into the underground. Alicavniss is too comfortable in her position to have someone do something to ruin that, and that is why she is willing to give this information. Another bit of information that is given is a way to the surface for the group. A still functioning Elf gate rests a two day journey from the city. That gate links the another near Kyonin.

With the information traded and the deal done, Alicavniss dismisses the group and goes back to her papers. As the group leaves, the Matron stops them at the door wanting to give them one last “gift” to help speed them along. Alicavniss casts the spell wish, removing the effects of their disguises, and returning them to their true forms. With a final wicked smile, Alicavniss Vonnarc nods toward the gate.


:Rewards:

XP: 5500xp (71000)

Gear: + 2 Chain Shirt, + 2 Buckler, + 1 Flail, + 1 Hand Crossbow, + 2 Ring of Protection

Potions/Oil: 3 Cure Moderate Wounds, Barkskin (+ 5), Invisibility

Gems/Jewelry: Large Emerald (6,000 radiates magic), 8 rubies (80 gp each)

Misc: Hat of Disguise, Amulet of Health + 6, Belt of Might Constitution + 6

Gold: 42 pp, 1700 gp

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Favors Owed

Returning to their quarters the group runs into Carvein Loaxorin, the vampire Drow that runs the bar. Carvein calls in his favor that the group owes him, wishing them to find an old acquaintance of his that has recently surfaced, Cathran. He wishes the group to acquire a journal of his that Cathran stole from him years ago. Carvein tells the group a little of the Cathran, first is that she is also a vampire. Second she does have some form of magical ability, but Carvein is not completely sure what she is. He does also mention that a strange quirk of hers is her affection toward plants.

Supplying the group with a map that points them in the direction of Cathran, Carvein tells them if they bring back the journal their debt to him is paid. When asked if he wants Cathran dead, Carvein doesn’t seem to care leaving the group to decide what way they want to proceed.

The group proceeds through the caverns, following the map Carvein provided, and soon find the cavern walls showing more and more signs of moss and fungus covering then. One particular cavern shows massive amounts of fungus growth covering the walls and floor. As the group heads toward the exit of the fungus covered tunnel, they notice several mounds of fungus are actual creatures hidden within, a Halsora.

The group dealt with the Halsoras, a type of fleshwarp creature, and continued on their way finally finding a series of tunnels covered in moss and fungus. Following through the tunnels the group pass several small fungus creatures, Fungus Leshys. The small creatures were cultivating more fungus growing on old human shaped corpses. The group bypassed the leshys to find themselves in a large cavern with several leshys, halsoras, a massive tree like creature called a Tendriculos, and kneeling beside the tendriculos was a young lady.

The group stayed hidden for a long time, watching the plants mill about and the woman tending to the tendriculos. Finally the group decided to talk to the woman and revealed themselves. The conversation became a bit touchy when the woman, Cathran found out the group had killed her halsora guards, but with some quick words from Kage Cathran was pacified and decided to give the journal to the group without a battle.

Traveling back to the city, the group pages through the journal finding mostly the contents revolved around recipes and brews, but hidden within the pages a code was buried. Deciphering the code, the group found many details of the Drow households. These details the group quickly copied for their own purposes before returning to the city and turning over the journal to Carvein.

As the group was finishing up with Carvein, a messenger from the Vonnarc house finds them and tells them they are to come to the house to have a meeting with the Matron.


:Rewards:

XP: 2000xp (65500)

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Missing Slaves

Returning from the Blood Pools, the group returns to their usual duties within the Vonnarc household. During the next few days they hear a few quiet rumors of slaves going missing, and even are present when several slaves are brought into the Vonnarc compound to be questioned by Faidaeva, the second daughter and house cleric and demonic initiate.

One of the group’s patrol routes takes then to a neighboring tunnel. There they come across another group of Drow leaving the city with several kobold slaves, including a particular slave that they recognize, Athraz the slave that had showed them around when they first came to the city. Something about the group seemed wrong to the group, causing them to question the Drow who couldn’t give them answers to why they were removing slaves from the city, and soon the other group attacked.

It didn’t take long before the rogue Drow were defeated. The slaves looked to the group fearing that they would be beaten and then returned to the city, but were surprised when Kage and Malek began to free them. The slaves milled around, figuring it was some form of trick or test, only truly leaving when Kage displayed her shield and the symbol on it was recognized by Athraz as a deity that a normal Drow would not follow.

Once the slaves were gone, the group returned to Tiryin to explain what had happened and let him know about a nearby temple ruins that the Drow were taking the slaves, a bit of information that Athraz had overhead. Hearing this new Tiryin ordered the group to route out any Drow in this temple and bring back any slaves found.

Moving quickly the group found the temple ruins. It was a place that had been forgotten, but some work had been done recently. Some of the walls and floors had been cleaned and even a few placed new tunnels were trying to be dug out. Pushing in further past a few groups of Drow guards, the group found another group of slaves from the city. Once again they quietly let the slaves flee before continuing further into the complex.

Finally the group made their way through a pair of large doors set into the surrounding stone and stepped into a place that was almost a proper temple. The ceiling rose up and the walls seemed cleaned if not still noticeably natural cave walls. At the far end of the room a shrine could be seen, but standing before the shrine was an armor-clad Drow woman, a pair of Drow soldiers, and even a couple of dretches. Drawing a wicked looking scimitar and calling out a challenge the woman attacked.

As the fight progressed, it became evident that there were invisible Drow aiding the anti-paladin with spells, but even their aid was not enough and after a bitter fight the group finally tracked down the final invisible foe and slew them. Searching the main room and the adjoining rooms turned up a few details. The shrine itself and all the unholy symbols the clerics and anti-paladin wore were dedicated to the demon lord Shax, the lord of envy, lies, and murder. Also a small leather bound journal was found. Inside several letters detailed the purpose of the these Drow and also their long goals, gaining a foothold of power here in the temple and eventually pushing the Vonnarc house out of Spider Haven.

Bringing the letters and journal back to Tiryin, along with the head of the anti-paladin proved to Tiryin what he needed to know about the missing slaves. Though the reaction to the head wasn’t quite what Ead had hoped for. For now though, the group seems to have gained a bit of a reputation within the household, for good or bad.


:Rewards:

XP: 4000xp (63500)

Gear: 15 sets [+ 1 Rapier, Mithril Chainmail, Masterwork Buckler, Masterwork Hand Crossbow]
1 sets [+ 1 Composite Shortbow (+ 2 Str), Masterwork Shortsword, + 1 Chainshirt]
2 sets [mwk full plate, heavy steel shield, mwk flail
+ 1 Full Plate, +1 heavy steel shield, +1 scimitar, heavy crossbow with 10 mwk bolts
+ 1 Sap

Potions/Oil: 10 Cure Moderate Wounds, 2 Cure Serious Wounds, 2 Owl’s Wisdom

Scrolls: Invisibility, Cure Serious Wounds, Haste

Gems/Jewelry: Misc Gems (200), Aquamarine (450), Chrysoberyl (110)

Misc: Belt of Giant Strength + 2, Dorje of Hammer (2d8)

Gold: 10 Platinum, 300 gp

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Journey to the Blood Pools

Agreeing to the mission, the group sets off to get some supplies and information on the caravans and the Blood Pools. The caravans were rumored to be mainly military supplies to help fortify the city against any Elf incursions, though some rarer items and also comfort items for the Vonnarc nobles were also said to be transported. The Blood Pools were given the name due to it’s crimsion-tinged waters, with tales ranging from spilled god blood to unholy curses being the cause of the water’s color.

The trip to the pools was uneventful, passing the site of the latest assault, but as they closed on the location of the pools the caves themselves began to change. Natural rock began to give way to rock that looks more like living tissue, the air itself is musty and warm.

Entering the pools, the group gets their first sight of why the place is called the Blood Pools. Below a natural bridge of slick stone slowly laps a lake of what appears to be semi-coagulated blood. Before the group is able to examine anything further, a group of morlock guards appear from under the bridge and begin a fight.

Defeating the guards, the group begins to explore a bit. While Ead and Artan head to wear a small crack in the wall appears to open into another tunnel Malek and Kage head through the only pathway that they can reach safetly. Both group end up running into more monsters, Ead and Artan find more morlocks while Malek and Kage find a pair of amorphous blobs who’s touch burns with acid.

Continuing their explorations both group reunite in a large cave with multiple smaller ones branching off. While Artan heads back to check another small tunnel that was spotted the rest begin to search more caves, meeting more morlocks and finally happening upon a group of much larger morlocks and their matron.

Inside the side passageway, Artan finds a strange altar and sacrifice site. Rotting corpses, destroyed equipment, and broken bones lies all around the small cave, but resting at the foot of the altar is a small creature that as Artan looks to examine it begins to wail and hiss. Easily killing the creature, Artan begins to search around the room for anything of use.

The matron and her bodyguards throw themselves at Ead, Malek, and Kage who manage to drop 2 of the three body guards as Artan joins the battle making mention of the altar room. This draws the vengeance of the matron who pursues Artan and manages to kill him as the remaining bodyguard viciously brings down Ead and injures Kage, only to be dropped by Malek.

Seeing themselves at a disadvantage, Malek drags Kage out, and once recovered some make their way back to Spider Haven.

With some fast talking the two manage to enlist the help of a group of mercenaries paid for by house Vonnarc. The next day, with the aid of this band of mercenaries the two returned to the Blood Pools and soon found that the morlock matron was waiting for them. A new battle ensued, but the matron and her bodyguards were unable to stand. Searching the caves, bodies were found. Artan had been brutally slaughted within the altar room, a sacrifice to the matron’s dark god.

Returning to the city, the group managed to gain access to the magics required to bring their friends back to life, but in doing so have agreed to do some form of service for Carvein Loaxorin, the local Drow vampire barkeep.


:Rewards:

XP: 5000xp (59500)

Gear: + 1 Flaming Scimitar, + 1 Ring of Protection, + 3 Mithral Heavy Shield, + 2 Cold Iron Longsword, Masterwork Kukri

Potions/Oil:

Scrolls:

Gems/Jewelry: Silver Bracelet (50 gp)

Misc: Hand of the Mage, Wand of Invisibility (40 charges)

Gold: 20 Platinum, 400 gp

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Becoming Family

The Falls are an impressive sight. A 120f diameter hole diving deeper into the caverns, it’s edges smooth and nigh unclimbable expect to expert climbers. The massive lava tube descends further down into the darkness than anyone’s darksight can see, but situated around the circumference are 3 complex setups of pulleys and levers that serve as lifts to descend further. After a close inspection, the lifts are determined to be in good condition and the group begins their descent. After descending into the darkness for a while, the group passes by a metal brace fixed into the wall of the tube. The brace looks to be made of mithral with ancient runes carved into them, but whatever power that was once contained in those runes has long since vanished.

Finally the lift comes to a stop at crenelated wall carved out of the stone of the tube. Behind the wall stretches a courtyard leading up to a set of doors to a sort of guard post. Looking around the tube, two more structures of similar design can be seen.

Heading into the courtyard the group is confronted by a pair of dragon like statues that prove to be some form of ancient trap that is still functioning. Artan is easily able to circumvent the trap and the next trap that is hidden just behind the set of doors. But before the group is able to proceed further into the guard post, dark shapes from the ceiling drop down to attack. The Darkmantles put up a fight, but are quickly overcome unfortunately the combat brings the attention of other denizens of the post. Strange crow-like humanoids begin to attack the group, throwing spears or using their claws when the opportunity rises. The group overcome the Corbies and another trap as they begin to explore the rooms of the guard post, finding some treasure, but mostly rotten food and unusable equipment. Secret stairs lead down revealing two more layers that seem to be duplicates of the first, including more rotten food, spoiled ale, useless equipment, and more Corbies including a much larger and better trained one named Azol.

All fall before the group and after a secure rest in the guard post the group find a new lift that takes them further down the lava tube, passing another of the mithral braces before descending into a massive cavern circling the Falls. Another crenelated wall separates the lift from runes of what was once a proud underground city, the ruins that the group has been tasked to explore. Searching the runes for anything that might prove that they arrived, the group is greeted with the ever present smell of decaying flesh and an almost palpable silence, but after some time items are found along with another group of explores.

The group comes upon a group of Drow that seem to be hunting something or someone. Patches on the Drow identify them as part of the Razor Crown, mercenaries who the group have seen at the city, particularly at the Venom’s Kiss. As the group waits, the quarry of the Drow reveals itself, a pair of Ogres. The Drow waited in silence, attacking when the Ogres were close and bringing both down quickly. As the Ogres fell, the group fell upon the Drow, dropping all but 1 of them. From the survivor, the group learned that the Razor Crown were hired to search for a group of Ogres that had been subjects of Drow Fleshwarping experiments. The mercenaries were to find the Ogres and subdue them before using an item to call in more Drow to bring the Ogres in. Forcing their way into contract with the remaining Drow, a warrior named Korvo, the group begins to track down the remaining Ogres.

Before long, the group finds a cave, Ogre footprints lead to and from the cave along with the footprints of some other creature. Inside the cave the group confronts a pair of Basilisks that manage to turn the group to stone before Korvo is able to kill the last one and uses the Basilisks’ own blood to return the group back to flesh. Further in the cave the group finds more Ogres, these one show obvious signs of experimentation, scorpion tails, strange claws, chitinous plates aid the Ogres as they fight back. One particular Ogre, Jeowige, calls out to the group asking why they continue to hunt them all the time healing the other wounded Ogres.

Pieces fall into place for the group as they realize that the Ogres are simply trying to escape from the Drown. Turning on Korvo the group manage to create a temporary truce with the Ogres, giving them the item that will call more Drow to them for them to leave. Jeowige also gives the group a roll of parchment that was found in the ruins. The parchment is an account of some sort from when the city was in it’s prime, a find that will prove the group arrived at the ruins.

Leaving quickly the group ascends the lava tube via the lifts unaccosted, and returns to the city to find rest the next day seeking out Zhallandra and Xanderdross. After a quick conversation with the siblings the group finds themselves once again before Second Son Tiryin as Zhallandra consents that their talents would serve house Vonnarc. Just as Tiryin is about to make his decision, a guard bursts into the room to report on another caravan being attacked. The news enrages Tiryin and after hurling a dagger at the guard demands the group to investigate. Their reward will be entrance into the noble house of Vonnarc.


:Rewards:

XP: 2500 xp (54500)

Gear: + 1 Dagger, Masterwork warhammer, + 1 Chainshirt, 15 + 1 Bolts, 2 + 1 Flame Arrow, 2 + 1 Shock Arrow
2 sets [+ 1 Rapier, Mithril Chainmail, Masterwork Buckler, Masterwork Hand Crossbow]
2 sets [+ 1 Composite Shortbow (+ 2 Str), Masterwork Shortsword, + 1 Chainshirt]

Potions/Oil: 4 Cure Mod Wounds, Invisibility

Scrolls: Summon Swarm (CL3), Detect Secret Doors (CL1)

Gems/Jewelry:

Misc: 8 vials Drow Poison, Ring of Sustenance

Gold: 1000 gp

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Into the heart of darkness

Once the celebration has died down, Eviana meets with the group to discuss a new proposal for them, a new mission. The Drow have been pushed back through their corrupted portal or out into the surrounding forest (to be hunted down by the Elves), but Eviana believes that there is a prime chance for a small group to travel through the portal and investigate the other side. Using special disguises developed by an Elven wizard, Giseil Voslil, Eviana asks the group to infiltrate the Drow city that is on the other side of the corrupted portal, and find out what the Drow plans are for their research into the Armageddon magic.

Four dead Drow serve as the material components for the special magic the Giseil uses to change the group’s appearance to that of Drow. Usual magic will not reveal the truth of the deception, but a strange side effect will make the group detect as undead. The magical disguises do more than just change the groups appearance, several of the Drow’s natural abilities are also bestowed, dark vision, language, sleep immunity, weapon proficiencies, and even spell resistance.

A final briefing is given and a plan is worked out that when the Elves activate the corrupted portal, the group will rush through it with a battalion of Elves ‘pursuing’ them. Once on the other side, the group is to slip into the Drow society and find out what they can, stopping the Drow if they can and it won’t reveal who they really are.

The infiltration goes smoothly, even with the surprise appearance of a pair of driders helping to defend the gate. The group is brought into the Drow city and brought before one of the leader of the Vonnarc house (one of the noble houses of Drow). Second Son Tiryin Vonnac meets with the group long enough to learn that they have come from the surface after the failed attempts to take the Elven city. Learning what info the group gives him, Tiryin sets them loose to find room and board, but tells them that they will be put into the city defense (patrolling the nearby caves, guarding slaves, etc).

Using some of the time they have, the group begins to get accustomed to the city. Very soon they notice that while many of the buildings are of Drow design, most of the older ones are of varying other designs that are slowly being restructured to suit the Drow. Within the city the group finds all the usual creature comforts, weapon and armor shops, alchemical and magical regents, and other things that could be more difficult to find on the surface. Two places of note that the group finds are The Diamond Coffer and Venom Kiss. The former being a bar/tavern run by a Drow Vampire Carvein Loaxorin which the group has taken up as a base for the time being, while the later is a combination tavern/drug den/brothel/torture hall permeated by a smoke that seems to lower the inhibitions of any within it.

Not long after getting settled in, the group is assigned to their first watch of one of the fungal farms around the cave. Relieving the previous watch, the group spreads out through the cave, watching the Kobold slaves slowly picking the mushrooms that serve as a staple food for the Drow. A quiet scratching from a pair of holes in the cavern floor and more coming from a strange tunnel-like hole near the cave’s back wall preclude an attempted surprise attack by strange underground creatures, Morlocks.

The creatures crawl up the sheer walls of the holes and burst through the hole to attack the group and any slaves nearby. Unfortunately for the Morlocks, Artan and Ead heard the attack coming and were ready. In a short fight, the Morlocks are killed or driven off, leaving the group and the slaves to return to their duties.

The next day the group begins to check around town for any information that might pertain to their mission. They manage to find out that while the attack on the surface has been seen as a failure, no new attacks are being planned, at least not in the near future. This was mainly due since the Drow house that had rallied the attack, the Azrinae, have left the city for somewhere unknown. Rumors say that they have gone deeper into the Underdark. Though there may be one Drow within the city that knows where the Azrinae have moved to, the head of house Vonnarc, Matron Pravora Vonnarc. But the only way to have any chance of talking to her is to work with the Vonnarc house and rise within their ranks.

The group learns of pair of Drow that work with the Vonnarc to find deserving unaligned Drow to be brought into the house and work for the Vonnarcs. The group finds Zhallandra and Xanderdross within another tavern in the city and manage to get them to vouch to the Vonnarcs if the group can complete a test. The group must travel to The Falls, a lava vent that goes deep into the Underdark. Zhallandra asks the group to decend into the lava vent to where a vast ruins lays. While there they are to collect someone from the ruins and bring it back. Asking around about The Falls, the group finds out that not much is know about it except that is ancient and many who go there to explore do not come back.

Making the proper preparations, the group sets out. The trek to their destination is fairly straight forward for the twisting caves, but at one point another group of Morlocks has setup an ambush. An overturned cart with a visible treasure chest and several gemstones littered about was supposed to entice people into the ambush, but the group saw through the ploy and quickly dispatched the Morlocks before arriving at The Falls.


:Rewards:

XP: 2000 (52000)

Gold: 100 gold worth of gems

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Armageddon's Echo

Getting ready to bed down, the group sets up in a defensible room, except for Ead who feels the room is too crowded and ops for another one. As the group settles in and later in the night, the sounds of an approaching Drow patrol wakes them. Fighting off the patrol plus another Drow that is far better equipped and trained than normal, the group decides to stick together and try a hidden room that didn’t seem to have been found by the Drow.

Resting for the night, the group hears the movement of a Drow patrol, but are not disturbed. The next morning they emerge from their hiding spot to find a new patrol waiting in the main hall of the observatory. The surprised Drow are quickly taken down, but not before one is able to shout a warning. Further into the observatory, the group runs into another defensive force, but once again quickly takes them out before ascending the stairs toward the tower and the supposed leader.

The top of the tower is the center point for the churing clouds above. Watching the group accend, stands a regal looking Drow, who glares at the group before throwing out threats. Nolveniss Azrinaedoes drop the hint that there are more plans by his mistress, who has already moved on, but before the Drow mage can act he is cut down. Unfortunately, Ead detects another presence nearby as a ball of fire erupts to encompass the tower. A new fight begins with another Drow. This one invisible and flying just outside of the tower top, hurling magic and insults toward the party.

The battle is fierce, the attacks’ origin continues to change, but Ead is able to keep some sense of a general location, and soon Artan joins the aerial fight as Kage and Malek deal with summoned minions. The fight seems to be going in the groups favor, as they seem to be corralling the wizard until Artan seems to freeze up and then with an agonizing and fear filled scream falls to the ground below. Remembering an item the was found, Kage helps the others to see the invisible Drow and bring him to the ground as well.

Gathering up what they can from the Drow and Artan, the group quickly race back toward the portal, hoping they can find a way to reactivate it before it’s too late. Meteors rain down from the sky, destroying buildings all around the city as the group approaches the portal a strange stone that had been stuffed in Nolveniss’s pouch begins to glow and the portal flares to life. Rushing through the portal the group can see more and more meteors fall toward the city and in the sky a massive ball of rock slowly falls toward the ground before the portal winks shut again.

The group is welcomed back at Crying Leaf as heroes. The clerics of the camp quickly raising Artan and begin the process of healing as Eviana asks for a full telling of the events that transpired. Later the next day the group is treated to a feast in their honor as Eviana presents them with gifts that she hopes will show her, and the Elves’ gratitude for the group’s service.


:Rewards:

XP: 9th level (50000)

Gear:
7 sets Soldier Equipment, 5 sets Skirmisher Equipment, 3 sets Sorcerer Equipment
+1 Cold Iron Scimitar, +1 Ring of Protection, +1 Cloak of Resistance, +2 Glamoured Studded Leather Armor
+2 Headband of Vast Intelligence (K. Planes), +4 Bracers of Armor, +1 Ring of Protection, +2 Cloak of Resistance, Staff of Dark Flame

Potions/Oil:
Potion Cure Light Wounds x 12, Potion Cure Moderate Wounds x 2, Potion Cure Serious Wounds x 2

Scrolls:

Gems/Jewelry:

Misc:
Diamond Dust (1000g), Heward’s Handy Haversack, Spell Book

Gold: 2000 gp

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Observatory Exploration

Regrouping after the fight with the strange creatures, the group pushes into the next room. Ready for their arrival, the “Great Green One” roars out a challenge as the green dragon sends a burst of acid toward the group. Fighting from the door, hoping for some protection the group slowly but surely brings the dragon down earning the small horde of treasure it was guarding.

Taking a short amount of time to examine some of the treasure, the group then begins to explore some of the adjoining rooms. Blood stains and manacles chained to the walls show that the rooms were modified to be used as a dungeon. The massive troglodyte standing guard within one room also brings the point across.

Finishing the trog off, the group explores one more room finding stairs leading up to another floor, but seeing that they were pushing their limits decide to fall back and rest for the night hoping that rigging the doors would buy them some warning of anyone approaching.


:Rewards:

XP: 3933 (40410)

Gear: 4 sets Drow Soldier Gear, 1 set Drow Captain Gear
1 Mithril Shirt, Gloves of Dexterity +2, +1 Keen Longbow (2 Strength), +1 Tetsubo, Belt of Strength +2, Cloak of Resistance +1

Potions/Oil:
Cure Moderate Wounds (4), Aid

Scrolls:
Air Walk, Cure Moderate Wounds,

Misc:
Wand of See Invisible

Gold/Gems: 2000 gp

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Shifting Shadows

Heading back to camp, the group describes what they saw with the portal to Eviana. Her suggestion lead the group to a sage within the camp who believes that it is possible, with the right spells, to create a pocket world that the portal would be linked to but without either a key to open the gateway or someone who can trick the gate into opening the group is stuck. Though the sage does recall a pair of scouts that seem to have a talent with magic even though they aren’t mages themselves.

Heading out the group soon tracks them down near the Garden of Eternal Ease, a resting spot for fallen elves within Celwynvian. The pair of scout were found having a conversation with a young woman, though something didn’t seem right. As the group approached and asked for the scouts to help them activate the portal, the woman pressed the group for more time with her new friends, and inquired if they would like to become friends as well.

A fight ensued and soon the group was about the finish off the woman, but as Ead’s axe was about to take her head, the woman melted into a cloud of smoke and drifted away. The two guards she had remained and after an examination were found to have small puncture wounds in their neck, vampire servants.

The two scouts were thankful for the rescue, one less so since he was shot during the battle, but the other agreed to help the group open the gate and soon they were looking at the shadowed town once again. This time the group stepped through and after a few moments of distortion they got their bearing and began to descend the staircase they found themselves on, casting eyes up toward the rolling clouds and the strangely ominous and familiar blot in the sky.

Near the bottom of the stair, the group comes across one of the shadow-elves staring up at the clouds. Introducing themselves, the elf pulls his eyes away and introduces himself as Ilamin Silverwind. When asked about the sky, Ilamin says he believes it to be nothing more than a celestial event that will pass in a few days or years. Though others in the city believe it to be some kind of cataclysm that will destroy the world and have begun to evacuate. He finally tells the group, if they’d like to know more, Eloquan at the Library of Reenai is an excellent source of information.

Moving about the city the group finds that there is not only the shadow-elves and drow within this world, but other creatures as well. Blast shadows, ghouls, and shadow mastiff prowl the shadows, attacking the party at different times, but all are beaten back by the group as they continue their search.

The Library appears similar to the one the group explored earlier, except it is well kept and orderly. Eloquan is the only elf still in the library, claiming that he will not leave it even though seers have predicted that and event called Earthfall was brought down as “punishment for humanity’s hubris before the gods.” checking around in some of the books finds them to have information in them about the mutability of the shadow realm and also information about the stars, planets, and meteors. Even some describing powerful magic that could be used to manipulate them.

Leaving the library, the group heads to the Academy of Arts to find it also well kept and this time occupied by several elven wizards. The wizards work to help fleeing elves through a portal to another elven city. Ead manages to convince the wizards to allow her to go through the portal, but she finds that the portal is only a stone wall. As the group speaks to the wizards and listens to conversations, they hear mention of “foreign” elves that have been asking questions about the coming event and have been somewhat rude. These dark skinned cousins have set up camp at the observatory.

Heading to the observatory, the group comes across a pair of elven-shadow guards barring entrance to the observatory. A bit of fast talking gets the guards to allow them inside, only to find a group of drow on the other side of the doors. During the ensuing fight a side door opens and a pair of gaunt figures can be seen. Both appear to be human skeletons, flesh pulled tight against their bones and a strange horn pushes up from their head. These creatures speak among themselves and throw insults at the drow in abyssal.

Finishing the fight with the drow, the group approaches the other two figures, who tell them that they were called and bound to protect the room and the master. Another fight ensues and after the grueling and bloody fight, both creatures are dead, but not before one says that “the great green one will eat you all.”


:Rewards:

TBD (sorry guys)

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Full Frontal Assault

Rested and prepared and knowing the final push against the Drow is coming, the group heads out. Shalelu and Kaerishiel lead their own teams of Elven rangers and agree to wait for the signal from the group to know that the Drow’s attention is on them.

Walking up tot he Academy of Arts, the group quickly spots a group of Drow on guard and engage. During the battle another one of the Drow’s terrible creatures joins in, a massive creature sewn together from what looks like fallen Elves moves to meet the party. But this creature doesn’t stand long, allowing access to the academy.

Pushing in quickly and following the sounds of combat, the group barges into a room where combat is in full swing. Kaerishiel and the few remaining rangers are locked in combat with a pair of Drow skirishers and a strange vulture-human creature. The group is unable to identify the monstrosity, but figure it is some form of demon. Putting up a fight for a bit the vulture looks to try and escape once it becomes too injured, but is put down by a pair of strong blows from Ead and Venora.

Following more sounds of combat, the group finds another room where Shalelu’s group is in combat with more Drow and large creatures made of water, some form of elemental. Defeating all enemies within the room, the group regroups with Shalelu and Kaerishiel who both agree to hold the lines from any other Drow while the group pushes on into the last few rooms of the academy.

Moving past a room where the Drow have put up a shrine to one of their demon lords, the group enters a chamber that looks to be in pristine condition and sitting on a leaf in a pond is an Elven maiden. The maiden warns them of a trap that was placed on the door, giving the group time to avoid the fireball. A short conversation begins and soon the group finds out that the maiden is actual an aboleth, and before the creature can attack cuts it down.

As the group begins to push into the adjacent room, most realize that the pristine nature of the aboleth’s room is actually some type of illusion and can see the decay underneath.

Entering the next room, the group finds a massive portal-like structure, a strange shadow-city flickers within the portal. But guarding the portal is a scarred and battle hardened Drow, Kardrogas along with a few other Drow. A short fight follows and ends with the Drow dead and the group examining the portal.

Within the portal the group makes out what looks like several buildings from Celwynvian, as if the portal is some sort of shadow-version of the city that they stand. Within the city they can see figures moving about the city, but they appear to be dull and without color. Elsewhere they do see what appears to be Drow pushing through the city. But in the sky is the an eye catching and disturbing site, a vortex of gray clouds swirl around a very familiar looking, but much larger dark blot in the sky.

But as the group discusses what to do, the portal begins to flicker even closing for a few seconds before springing back to life. The group figures that the portal must be preparing to close soon, but without a better understanding of the city beyond the group remains as the portal closes down hoping that someone back in Crying Leaf is able to give them some more information.


:Rewards:

XP: 2334 (36477)

Gear:
4 sets [1 longsword, Masterwork Heavy Repeating Crossbow, Masterwork Breastplate, Cloak of Resistance +1, +1 Crossbow Bolt (5), Alchemic Silver Bolt (5)]
6 sets [Masterwork Shortsword, Masterwork Shortbow +1 Str, +1 Chain Shirt]
Masterwork Full Plate, Heavy Steel Shield, Masterwork Flail, +1 Whip, +1 Frost Bolt (6), Drow Poison (9)
Masterwork Dagger, Ring of Protection +1, Cloak of Resistance +1, Wand of False Life (35 charges, CL 3)
Greatsword +1 (shock); Mithral shirt +2; Drow poison bolt (x2); bolts, crossbow (10); Masterwork Crossbow (Hand)
Adamantine dagger, Cognizance Crystal 3, Crystal Shard +5 (Use Magic Device), Mind Stone (Crystal Shard)

Potions/Oil:
Shield of Faith, Bear’s Endurance, Bless Weapon, Cure Serious Wounds x 2, Cure Moderate Wounds x 4

Scrolls:
Haste, Gaseous Form

Gems/Jewelry:

Misc:
Feather Token (Anchor), Elixir of Tumbling

Gold: 150 gp

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