Second Darkness

Elven Housing and War machines

After dealing with the shambling mounds, the group continues on finally arriving at their destination. The Ruined Tower was once a community of elven homes. A massive tower now lies in ruins, only the first floor still standing.

Approaching the tower cautiously, the group finds a massive statue resembling an elven warrior carved from stone. Before Artan can warn the others about the statue actually being a golem, Ead makes enough noise to alert the monstrosity.

The ensuing fight ends fairly quickly, with the creature being restricted due to some well aimed bomb from Artan, but as the group is searching the area for anything of use they come across drow styled equipment and soon hear the returning soldiers.

Spotting the downed guardians, the drow are cautious but unready for Ead to come bursting out from over the golem, screaming insults at the drow before diving behind other cover. The drow focus on her until one of their ranks falls over dead, his head missing due to a perfect shot from Feran’s musket.

Another quick and bloody fight ensues, the drow’s gunslinger the only one able to do much against the group as she unloads a pistol into Malek. But even she goes down eventually and the group is able to gather up supplies and continue on to the Emerald Bough, another elven academy.


:Rewards:

XP: 2275 (33735)

Gear: 3 sets [+1 longsword, Masterwork Heavy Repeating Crossbow, Masterwork Breastplate, Cloak of Resistance +1, +1 Crossbow Bolt (5), Alchemic Silver Bolt (5)]
1 Chain Shirt, Cloak of Resistance +1 (2), Ring of Protection +1 (2), Masterwork Dragonfire Pistol, Masterwork Dagger, Heavy Wooden Shield +1

Potions/Oil: Cure Moderate Wounds (5), Magic Weapon (3), Bull’s Stength

Scrolls: Haste

Gems/Jewelry: Pink pearl 55gp, Amber 79gp, Brown-green garnet 71gp, White pearl 68gp

Misc: Psionic Shard +4 (Perception), Psionic Shard +4 (Diplomacy)

Gold: 400 gp

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City Exploration

The morning after the group returned with the injured Kaerishiel they notice the camp to be still be in higher spirits. rumors abound that the Elves are still pushing the Drow further and further into the city during the day, and during the night the Drow are regaining less of the lost ground.

Even Eviana seems to be more positive as she explains that Kaerishiel is currently recuperating after the previous fight. She mentions that with the way things are going, she has decided to push for the Drow stronghold, but wishes to wait until Kaerishiel is ready for the fight. In the mean time, she asks the group to eitehr stay around camp or to go check into some rumors that Drow have been spotted in the south-eastern section of the city.

Not wanting to wait around the camp, the group heads out into the city and soon passes by the Crystal Conservatory. A crystal dome that appears to have a healthy tree growing out the top of the dome. Exploring inside, the group finds dozens of tropical plants and exotic flowers growing. All being tended by a pair of wooden golems.

Eventually the group finds another resident of the dome, a Dryad named Ysila. At first Ysila doesn’t enjoy the idea of anyone within her garden, but soon the group wins her over and she offers to help by providing some herbs that hopefully with help the group.

Leaving the conservatory, the group soon finds themselves in a section of the city that is littered with piles of vegetation, most of it in various stages of decay. Getting closer to the piles, the group discovers that some of them are actually shambling mounds. Fending off the hungry piles of mulch leave Venora unconscious, but the group is victorious finding a few treasures within the creatures.


:Rewards:

XP: 933 (31460)

Gear: Breastplate +1

Potions/Oil: Shrink Item, Gaseous Form, Spider Climb

Scrolls: Daylight, Inflict Light Wounds

Gems/Jewelry:

Misc: Pearl of Power (2nd Level)

Gold: 100 gp

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Rescue

Finishing up in the wine house, the group manages to salvage a few items of worth, including a couple of bottles of very old Elven wine. Taking their spoils the group heads out, but soon are found by a pair of Elven scouts and a very familiar looking fire pelt. The fire pelt is the companion animal of Kaerishiel.

The scouts explain that Ashka, the fire pelt, arrived in the main camp and after a casting of Speak with Animal Eviana found out that Kaerishiel, along with several scouts, have been ambushed by Drow and now are in need of help. The Drow managed to catch Kaerishiel and his scouts within a crumbling tower and are in a position to kill them all.

Moving quickly the group finds the tower and see the Drow setup on top of the tower, aiming a ballista at another crumbling tower. Moving quickly and quietly the group approaches the tower, and while a few that can climb begin to scale the wall, the rest move in through the hole in the wall.

Moving through the wall, Venora is surprised by another Drow stationed on the stairs. Alerted the Drow ready for an attack coming from the stairs, but aren’t ready for those in the group that have climbed up the tower wall. This became apparent when one Drow is pulled from the tower and thrown to the ground.

A savage fight erupts atop the tower, with Feran being thrown from the roof while the Drow gunslinger begins to fire at the group. The gunslinger does severely injure Ead with a strange type of bullet, seemingly almost like a spell. But even with the special bullet, the gunslinger goes down hard.

Cleaning up the Drow, the group does find some useful equipment before heading down to check with the Elvin scouts.


:Rewards:

XP: 963 (30527)

Gear: 3 sets [+1 longsword, Masterwork Heavy Repeating Crossbow, Masterwork Breastplate, Cloak of Resistance +1, +1 Crossbow Bolt (5), Alchemic Silver Bolt (5)]
3 sets [Masterwork Shortsword, Masterwork Shortbow +1 Str, +1 Chain Shirt]
Bracers of Armor +1, Masterwork Mithril Buckler, +1 Chain Shirt, Cloak of Resistance +1, Ring of Protection +1, Masterwork Musket, Masterwork Dragonfire Pistol (Shaped to look like a demon)

Potions/Oil: Cure Moderate Wounds (5), Magic Weapon (3), Bless Weapon

Scrolls:

Gems/Jewelry:

Misc: Starwind Pouch (Endless Bandolier)

Gold: 200 gp

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Wine Tasting

Gathering up the equipment from the fallen Drow, the group continues on toward the Fluted Goblet, a tavern that held the reputation of the fullest wine cellar in Celwynvian’s hey-day.

Arriving at the Goblet, the party finds all of the windows and one of the three door have been boarded up. The group sets themselves up around the two free doors and gets ready to enter, spotting something that looked akin to fire under the closed doorway.

Throwing open the doors, the group is confronted with a trio of Blast Shadows, these ones cloaked in fire. After a short, brutal fight, the shadows are destroyed exploding into balls of fire when they are destroyed.

Heading down into the wine cellar, Feran and Venora spot not only a strange looking Wood golem, but a pair of ghouls wearing armor, wielding weapons, and trying to hide in the shadows.

Returning the group, the group heads down and surprises the enemies, dropping the golem before it has a chance to move. One ghoul is almost dropped, while the other manages to paralyze a couple of the party. Once again from invisibility, a Drow wizard appears sending a bolt of lightning into the group. Soon after, him and the other ghoul are killed allowing the group to search the cellar.


:Rewards:

XP: 933 (29564)

Gear: Masterwork Quarterstaff, Cloak of Resistance +1, Ring of Protection +1, Masterwork Light Crossbow x 2, Leather Armor x 2

Potions/Oil: Cure Light Wounds, Lesser Restoration, Greater Magic Fang x 2, Inflict Moderate Wounds

Scrolls: Invisibility, Black Tentacles, Lightning Bolt (2), Protection from Energy

Gems/Jewelry: White pearl 78gp, Deep green spinel 89gp

Misc: Spellbook [TBA], Pearl of Power (1st Lvl), Rope of Climbing

Gold: 300 gp

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A new day

The rest of the day goes by, the energy of the camp has shifted for the better. With the addition of the Drow’s alchemical weapons, the Elves are beginning to push back harder against their enemy.

Even with the lifted spirits of the camp, Eviana has some disturbing news. A few scouts have reported sightings of increased Drow presence within the city. The Drow also seem to be better equipped and trained. With this news the group makes their way into the city, heading toward a few areas of interest, keeping their eyes peeled for these new Drow.

Making their way into the town, the group begins to hear what sounds to be a cry for help within the ruins. Suspecting a trap, Ead, Feran, and Venora creep closer and soon spot a Drow sniper hidden within the rubble of a building making the calls. Trying to sneak closer, the Drow is alerted and soon more Drow emerge from the ruins.

The city battle is brutal as the Drow attack and retreat into the ruins, but soon all the Drow are dead. Within one of the building the group finds a small group of Elven corpses, evidently those lured to death by the Drow’s calls.


:Rewards:

XP: 875 (28631)

Gear:
3 sets [Masterwork Studded Leather, Masterwork Shortbow, Shortsword]
6 sets [Masterwork Chain Shirt, Masterwork Longsword, Repeating Heavy Crossbow]
Masterwork Full Plate, Heavy Steel Shield, Masterwork Flail, +1 Frost Bolt (6), Drow Poison (9)

Potions/Oils:
Cure Light Wounds (9), Invisibility, Owl’s Wisdom, Cure Moderate Wounds (1), Endure Elements

Scrolls:
Inflict Serious Wounds, Dimension Door, Cure Serious Wounds, Magic Weapon

Gems/Jewelry:
Moonstone (39gp), Sardonxy (34gp), Charlcedony (22gp)

Gold: 160 gp

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Lab Time

Rested and prepared the group sets off toward what use to be called Yuelral’s Rain. A set of towers that once housed a number of herbalists devoted to Yuelral, the Elven god of magic. Subtle magics, potions, and infusions meant to encourage the growth of natural things and coax plants into wondrous shapes were devised there.

Now much of the towers have fallen and the Drow have turned the once serene tower into a wasteland. Much of the towers now lay in ruin, the ancient laboratory has been reclaimed by Drow and used to create their alchemical weapons. To add insult to injury, the Drow have used the area in front of the tower as a dumping ground for alchemical wastes creating a acidic wasteland in front of the tower.

The group approaches the ruins and soon is confronted by some monsterous creatures. Driders, a combination of Drow and spiders, make their way out of the ruins but it quickly apparent that these driders are undead. Soon another drider, this one a live one, appears and begins to assault the group, but soon all the enemies are killed.

Once the enemies are defeated, the group begins to decide how to cross the acidic wasteland. Soon it is decided that half the group will climb across the walls while the others use the body of one of the zombie driders as a stepping stone and gain access to the tower.

Inside the tower the group is greeted by a small group of troglodytes and zombie troglodytes. Quickly the group begins to decimate the troglodytes, but soon a new opponent appears as a female Drow appears from under a veil of invisibility as she throws a small exploding vial.

A short and deadly fight follows, but the group brings the alchemist down and is left with the problem of figuring out what to do with the massive amounts of alchemical components that are left. Looking over everything supplied, Artan soon figures out what can be done and with the help of a Elven alchemist back in the camp is able to secure the alchemical components and transport them back to the camp where the Elven army quickly begins to make use of them.


:Rewards:

XP: 1269 (27756)

Gear: Masterwork Elven Curved Blade, Adamantine Dagger, Hand Crossbow +1, Longcoat of Yagmoth

Scrolls: Vampiric touch, Delay Poison

Potions/Oils: Cure Light Wounds, Keen Edge, Invisibility, Shillelagh

Misc: Brooch of Shielding, Elixir of Vision, Ilverae’s Formula Book [Alter Self, Bear’s Endurance, Beast Shape 1, Bomber’s Eye, Cure Light Wounds, Cure Moderate Wounds, Cure Serious Wounds, Elemental Touch, False Life, Fire Breath, Fly, Heroism, Invisibility Lightning Lash, Reduce Person, Lesser Restoration, See Invisibility, Shield, True Strike, Vomit Swarm], Alchemist Fire (10), Vial of Acid (10), Liquid Ice (10), Drow Poison (10)

Coins: 400 gp

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There's always time for religion

After resting up, the group departed for their next mission, taking down an alchemy lab that is rumored to be supplying the Drow with all their strange alchemical weapons. Along the way the group decides to stop off at the Temple of Watchers. A temple dedicated to the four deities worshiped by the elves of Celwynvian: Calistria, Findeladlara, Ketephys, and Yuelral.

Arriving at the temple, the group finds a half-collapsed tower slowly being taken over by vines and creepers, but under the invading vegetation some of the former majesty remains. Tall windows all around the tower allow in natural sunlight, and now with the stain glass broken out of the even more.

Scouting the temple interior out some, Feran spots a group of strange undead wandering the sanctuary. The undead seem to be cloaked in dark clouds of energy. Relaying the description, Artan and Kage remember creatures like that being called Blast Shadows, undead created from bodies killed by area effect magic, but normally they are cloaked in fire, acid, or ice not negative energy like these were.

A battle ensues and soon the group puts the creatures to rest again and begin to look around the temple. Three shrines are seen with a fourth presumably hidden under the rubble. The three visible shrines depict iconography of Calistria, Findeladlara, and Yuelral. Inspecting the altar within each shrine, the group finds a small section of the altar that can be removed and inside several objects within. The most noticeable are finely crafted replicas of the deity’s favored weapon, each unique to the deity.

Sneaking down the stairs, the group finds an open area of the temple that looks to be a meditation room, the disintegrating remains of reed mats can be seen on the floor. Two large piles of old weapons, bits of metal, and discarded chunks of lumber also lie on the floor. Peering at the piles, Feran notices a small flick of red light moving about the piles. Conversing with the group, no one is exactly sure what the piles are, but as Artan moves to try throwing one of his bombs he remembers a type of creature called a Cutlass Spider that can appear as piles of debris.

A quick flurry of attacks by the groups, reduce the creatures to the piles of debris that they resemble before they have a chance to react. Within each of the creatures several finely crafted weapons are found.


:Rewards:

XP: 1022 (26487)

Gear:
+1 Spell Storing Spear (Inflict Moderate Wounds – CL 3), +1 Mithral Conducting Scimitar, Masterwork Dagger x 4

Scrolls:
Comprehend Languages, Ray of Exhaustion

Potions/Oil:
Darkvision, Levitate, Heroism, Cat’s Grace, Shield of Faith, Animate Rope, Protection from Energy (Acid)

Misc:
Elemental Gem (Water), Salve of Slipperiness, Whip (Made of interwoven strands of dragon hide of all colors), Quarterstaff (Made of white oak shod with mithril), Dagger (Carved from a solid crystal)

Gems/Jewelry:
Golden Pearl (68), Jade (81), Coral (62), Jade (88), Chrysoberyl (66), Moonstone (49), Earrings (107), Silver Pearl (70),

Coins:
250 gp

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A walk to the park

After cleaning out the library and making sure the site was secured, the group decided to scout the surrounding area some. Scanning over the map they find Verithes park, an area they have heard use to be an area of carefully cultivated wilderness within the city. Exotic plants, tropical flowers, fruit trees, berry bushes, and more grew within this lovingly tended area.

But after Earthfall left a crater in Celwynvian’s side, the destruction impacted the park as well. Skeletal trees, their limbs still blackened and shriveled even after thousands of years, now line the borders to the west and south. Farther into the park, the trees and plants survived but grew twisted.

As the group pushed deeper toward the park, they happened upon a scouting party of Drow. Both groups seemed surprised to find the other, but the group easily took the Drow down.

Continuing on closer to the center of the park, the group finds a small pond surrounded by areas of decaying vegetation. Approaching closer to the pond, the group realizes that two of the piles of decay are actually shambling mounds that move to attack.

As the group begins to attack the mounds, a trio of centipede swarms emerge from cracks in the ground hunting for something to eat.

After a tough fight, the group manages to finish off the shambling mounds and drive off the swarms giving them a chance to search through the area for anything that might be worthwhile.


:Rewards:

XP: 1167 (25465)

6 sets [Masterwork Studded Leather armor, Masterwork Hand Crossbow, Short Sword]

+1 Composite Shortbow, Drow Poison Bolts x 7

Potion/Scroll: Potion of Bear’s Endurance, Scroll of Purify Food/Water (Carved into a piece of cured bark)

Gems/Jewelry: Onyx 46gp, Bloodstone 19gp, Brown-green garnet 56gp, Amethyst 83gp

Gold: 275 gp

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A day at the library

After chatting with Venora and finding out what information that she and her late recon crew had about the library the group sets out toward the library.

Using a distraction, the group manages to take down the initial guards on the outside and quickly press into the library only to find the main lobby to be infested with large spiders, but a quick fire sees to them quickly.

A side room contained several short pillars containing strange crystal spheres. Many of the sphere were currently being held by lesser demons known as Dretch. During the fight many spheres were destroyed as the Dretch used them as weapons, but once the battle was over a few remained. One of the remaining spheres turned out to be an unusual type of magic item, an image of an Elf appeared within the sphere identifying himself as Eloquan, Chief Lorekeeper of Celwynvian. Eloquan was able to convey information about Elven history, but on the history that had happened up 10,000 years ago. The other intact spheres didn’t seem to have any type of function.

After proceeding through another room filled with spider webs, but only regular sized spiders, the group confronted the final guardians of the library. A group of Drow had sealed themselves within the main library and guarded it with their lives. Another full plate wearing captain, commanded a trio of Drow trained as Psionic Dreads and also a massive Shadow Mastiff, but after a hard fight the group was successful and managed to hold the library until a group of Elven scouts were in place to guard it.


:Rewards:

XP: 1263 (24298)

6 sets [Masterwork Studded Leather armor, Masterwork Hand Crossbow, Short Sword, Drow Poison Bolt x 2]

2 sets [Masterwork Rapier, Mithril Chain Shirt, Darkwood Buckler, Masterwork Hand Crossbow, Fire Bolt x 3, Acid Bolt x3, Bolts +1 x5]

1 set [Masterwork Double Barreled Musket, Mithril Chain Shirt, Paper Cartridge x 10, Cold Iron Paper Cartridge x 5, Adamantium Paper Cartridge x 5]

1 set [Whip +1, Masterwork Flail, Masterwork Hand Crossbow, Full Plate, Heavy Steel Shield, acid bolt x 10, holy symbol (silver)]

Potions/Scrolls: Potion of Cure Light Wounds x 7, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds x 2, Scroll of Cure Moderate Wounds x 3, Scroll of Web, Scroll of Clarvoyance, Oil of Stone Shape

Misc: Blessed Book

:Already spoken for:
Artan: Drow Poison Bolts x 6, Fire Bolts x 6, Acid Bolts x 6, Bolts +1 x 10
Malek: Potion of Cure Light Wounds
Feran: Masterwork Double Barrel Musket, Paper Cartridge x 10, Cold Iron Paper Cartridge x 5, Adamantium Paper Cartridge x 5
Elyon: Potion of Cure Light Wounds x 3
Venora: Potion of Cure Light Wound

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War Begins

Returning back tot he camp, the group finds the camp settled in for the night and preparing for the battle to come. Stopping in to talk with Eviana, the group retells their adventures within the Mask and Lyre. She is saddened by the fact that the spirit had gone insane, and promises to send some clerics to see if they can’t lay the spirit to rest. Eviana then goes to explain what part the party will have in the coming fight.

One of the main avenues into Celwynvian is watched over by an ancient library. The library is currently in the hands of Drow and the party is tasked to take it back. Eviana stresses the importance of taking the library since it will allow the Elvin army to push into Celwynvian easier. Other units have been tasked with taking out other points around the city, but the library must be one of the first.

Heading out the library, the group comes across a fresh drow corpse and the sounds of combat coming from some of the ruins. Moving forward the group soon finds elf corpses, more live drow, and a strange human-looking female fighting back against the drow.

Once the fight is over, the party looks over the dead drow, finding some equipment that could be used and find out the strange woman is called Venora and is another volunteer for the Elvin army.


:Rewards:

XP: 625 (23035)

3 sets [Masterwork Studded Leather armor, Masterwork Hand Crossbow, Short Sword, Drow Poison Bolt x 2]

3 sets [Masterwork Rapier, Mithril Chain Shirt, Darkwood Buckler, Masterwork Hand Crossbow, Fire Bolt x 3, Acid Bolt x3, Bolts +1 x5]

Masterwork Dagger, Ring of Protection +1, Cloak of Resistance +1, Wand of False Life (35 charges, CL 3), Whip +1, Full Plate (female cut), Heavy Steel Shield, Silver Unholy Symbol, Masterwork Flail, Masterwork Hand Crossbow, Acid Bolt x 5

Potions/Scroll: Potion Cure Light Wounds x 2, Potion Cure Moderate Wounds x 4, Scroll of Haste, Scroll of Cure Moderate Wounds x 3, Scroll of Web

Gold: 50 gold

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