West Marches

Vampire Invasion, Part II (3500 xp)
Into the Underdark?

Quill explained the situation with the Demon Champion Quickening.

We gather our things to head into the Underdark after the vampire lord that caused the town problems. We’re given all the healing potions in town and loaned the Baron’s Rope of Mending.

We go to the “dwarven” town. Lagran bargains for riding lizards and fancy mushrooms. Kirk gets his pocket picked, but catches the gnome who did it. Said gnome claimed to work for House Elviers. A local guard recommends we get a drink at the Emerald Nugget.

The actual champion, stuck in the cage, tells us a few things:

  1. Orcus has split his mark between a vampire and a lich.
  2. Orcus has taken the drow city to the south. Demogorgon will probably take care of that eventually, but it will probably take years.
  3. Demogorgon has been switching his mark from one baddie to another.
  4. The Rakshasa we fought serves the champion of Orcus. Its base was in a fungi cavern.
  5. Grazzt has a court set up.

Treasure

  • Silver container of tobacco
  • Bottle of fortified wine
  • Fancy “bird” cage demon prison
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Vampire Invasion, Part I (5000 xp)

We can’t figure out who should take the Hand of Vecna, but that’s ok, because cultists steal it. Oops.

We’re celebrating our official charter at the Copper Ram when Tranquility doubles over in pain as her mark goes visible and starts to smoke. Then swarms of rats and bats attack patrons in the common room. Then a couple of vampires show up. The feral one is ganked, but the master vampire (originally a half elf with a great sword), turns to mist and flies off in the direction of the ruined keep.

We head to the keep to find and kill it, learning that the squatters in that area are being attacked in the process. At the keep, we find a handful of vampire spawn in front of the gate to the Underdark that the baron has been renovating. We’re attacking them when a drow vampire drops fire on us. We end up taking out four spawn, but two spawn by the gate and the drow half-elf escape. Kirk opens the door that the baron put in to barricade the tunnel into the underdark, and we find the contingent of the baron’s men that was guarding the tunnel has been slaughtered.

We send words to the town so that the clerics can keep the slaughtered soldiers from becoming vampires themselves.

Quill gets a message from the demon that marked her that Orcus is trying to kill him. He apologizes for the inconvenience.

The town will provision us for an expedition into the Underdark. The Spider Druid of Mt. Rusk gives us the teleportation sigil for a dwarven town in the Underdark.

Player Characters

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Ulster Conclave, Part II (4800 xp)

We open on Anne’s goodwill trip to the hospital. Riverthorn, Lark, and Kirk are with her; Ehlonna and Jasper are heading that way.

Lagran stays with Girard’s party, but they also head towards the burned ward. Lagran notices that Kestrel is nervous, so she chats the girl up to find out why. Kestrel tries to pass it off as a mere dislike for politics… badly. Girard tells his party to hurry up and takes them on an intercept course for Anne’s route. Lagran drops the pretense and asks Girard what’s up; he admits that he has reason to believe that Anne will be attacked and wants to be the one to save the day.

Ehlonna catches up with Anne’s group just in time to see a bunch of thugs attempt an ambush. There were two groups of thugs, and a wizard somewhere. The first group of thugs was dispatched within seconds. Lagran hit the second group (and Ehlonna) with a confuse spell.

We murder three groups of bandits, take down the fanatical spell-slinger that led them, and Girard’s group teleports the princess out of there without either Lagran or his half-orc buddy. The half-orc admits that Girard’s intention was to abduct the princess back to his own lands to “convince” her to marry him. Before the Vecna symbol incinerates the caster, she lets slip that her intention was not to kill the princess. Girard must be working with the Vecnoids.

(Previously, Girard had gone into hell for some paladin mission or another; he came back changed.)

While we rest and find a mage to take us to Girard’s lands, the half-orc says that he blames Girard’s confessor for the plan; apparently after the priest healed his missing hand, Girard’s personality changed. The priest and squire are definitely baddies. Kestrel and the other one probably aren’t. Girard is probably a baddy, but might be okay after we kill the priest. The carcosan ambassador loans us her indentured mage, because they had given Girard documents which produce a Ceremony ritual that can be cast on an unwilling person.

We teleport, and unfortunately Girard’s company has active brain cells; there’s a cage around the circle and a bunch of guys hidden in the unhallowed Netherese temple nearby. The guards open fire. Kirk blows the cage out with his Ring of the Ram.

The Hand of Vecna turned Girard evil. He tried to kill Anne after Ehlonna killed the priest, but hit Kestrel instead. This drove him nuts, and he felled Jasper. He was killed shortly after.

Anne was crowned queen. The half-orc and Kestrel got leniency (though the half-orc has to turn himself in to get it). The rest of Girard’s former retinue has been declared outlaw.

Treasure

  • Hand of Vecna
  • 1200 gp
  • Sunblade (Ehlonna)
  • Javelin of lightning (Kirk)
  • Goggles of the Night (Kaimi, via Lagran)
  • Amulet of Nondetection (Lark)
  • Adamant Breastplate (Ehlonna)
  • Staff of Withering, intelligent, devoted to Vecna (destroyed)
  • Great Axe of Giant Killing (Kirk)
  • Royal Charter making our adventuring company a guild (also maybe land)
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Ulster Conclave, Part I
Long live the future queen.

We recieve a letter from someone who wants us to keep a woman from getting beheaded. This might be the princess (and potential future queen), but I can’t be sure because someone was rattling dice while Dave was talking. I also don’t know who sent the letter. If someone else could modify this section to clarify, I would appreciate it. Also, please stop rattling dice while the GM’s talking, especially if the GM is Dave. His voice is too damned quiet as it is. I really cannot make out what anyone’s saying if there’s a lot of extraneous noise.

Ok, it turns out Dave was good and put the letter on the forums. I was right. Thank you for that, Dave.

Lord Astrella purchased a boat passage for us to get to Ulster in a reasonable amount of time. One night, the barge runs aground due to bandits (they summoned a water elemental to push the barge). They bandits ask us to give them our stuff. The bandits are not very smart. Most of them, however, are smarter than their leaders, because they ran away. We murdered their caster (whose master destroyed his body), but left their captain alive to face justice.

Lagran heals a bunch of the crew, so we only lose a couple of people, but the barge needs repairs before we can go underway. The warlock was carrying, among other things, a sending stone. The captain, once he wakes up, says that the caster had hired his group. The caster followed the Silent Chorus, a cult devoted to Vecna.

After the repairs, we make our way to Cyr Durant, the capital of Ulster, which is in a staggering amount of disarray given that the War was 30 years ago. The castle, however, still has its defenses against teleportation and flying magic intact.

We have a large ball where the group tries to raise Anne and demote Percival in the eyes of the nobles.

The next day, Ehlonna makes contact with the underworld to get their support for Anne. There’s a gnomish clockmaker in Cyr Durant who is highly regarded by the local underworld. Jasper talks to the Carcosan delegation to see who they’re for. He fails in that, but finds out that the ambassador is looking for Vecna cultists/artifacts; she’s part of an order that destroys Vecna’s organs when they pop up. Lagran hooks up with Girard’s group to find out where they stand, and maybe influence Girard towards being one of Anne’s advisors.

We stop with Anne about to make a goodwill gesture at a hospital for the poor in the burned ward.

Treasure

  • 100 gp each
  • 500 gp
  • Dagger +1
  • Sending Stone
  • 25 gp
  • 100 gp
  • 200 gp (reward for the bandit captain)

Players

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City of Brass (3500 xp)

The group decides to table the fey invitations until later.

In the meantime, Ibn Ammar, a Marid, asks to hire us to collect a debt in the City of Brass. He is not allowed to commit violence within the City; we are under no such restrictions. He is offering 250 gp up front, 250 upon completion, 50 gp a day, and transportation to and from the City.

It turns out that this is more a case of stealing back items that were previously stolen. The thief is a former adventurer by the name of Arioch. He wants us to loot Arioch’s place, give him the items in question, and take the rest for ourselves.

Regarding the City: The only legal punishment is slavery. The efreet are in charge of the City. Ibn Ammar offers rings that marks the wearer as property of his house. The terms of the contract specify that the slavery lasts for three days or until the wearer returns to the Prime Material and is non-transferable. Kirk accepts a ring. Jasper, Lagran, and Riverthorn do not. Riverthorn finds a potion of fire resistance, and Jasper and Quill get her a protection from energy spell in her book.

While we’re preparing, an invisible stalker attacks Jasper in his apartment. Jasper decides that Arioch sent the invisible stalker, so now wants to kill him. (N.B. It was actually sent by the wizard whose tower we crashed.)

Ibn Ammar brings us to the City of Brass and sets us up in the Hanged Man, an inn catering to mortal visitors. While he tracks Arioch down, Jasper and Quill head to the Academy of Magic, while Lagran, Riverthorn, and Kirk go shopping. Jasper looks up information on Minas Solas. Quill scribes a spell into her book and looks up information on creating a mage blade for Jasper.

The next day, we head to a slaad bar to ask a grey slaad for Arioch’s location. Lagran negotiates a contract to replace Arioch with her House as Gray’s employer. Gray tells us that Arioch is holed up in his ship, Her Great Ass, in the docks.

While we’ve been doing that, githyanki and illithid armadas have been massing around the docks. The efreet military is out in force to respond if needed.

We find Arioch’s ship and Kirk and Jasper head straight into the fray with his forces. We take down the blue slaad, although the efreet is trouble. Jasper heads into a cabin, where he thinks Ariock is an efreet dead drunk on the bed. Unfortunately, Arioch turns out to be the invisible death slaad hanging out in the room.

It’s difficult, but we defeat Arioch. Jasper and Ibn Ammar find what we were seeking: the fates of ten exceptional mortals. Jasper meets an intelligent great sword that wants to hunt illithid.

Treasure

  • 1300 gp worth of treasure
  • Magic lamps, 8
  • Magic stone, periapt vs. poison
  • Silver greatsword +1, intelligent, goes by “Savage,” adds 1d6 psychic damage & provides resistance to psychic, detect thoughts 3/day.

Dramatis Personae

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Astobar's Manor House, Part 2 (1050 xp)

We open back in the kitchen with perception rolls. Merric notices something shiny at Cade’s feet. It’s a ring. We decide to hold off on detecting magic until we’ve finished clearing out the manor house. Fox finds some stairs going up. We decide to rest up a little bit. During the rest, we hear a clock chiming twelve times. Merric opens the door and sees that it’s pitch black out.

We go up the front stairs. Merric blows paintings off the wall with a gust, which seems to amuse the poltergeists in the house; they giggle.

The turning blue effect doesn’t affect the skull Mercy’s carrying around. We find the wizard’s mistress’s bedroom, which has a mind-reading bed. In another bedroom, Merric and Keevah touch a chest and shrink to around six inches high, after which they are attacked by a centipede. In the meantime, Mercy tries to get a date by writhing on the bed. It fails.

We all end up shrinking in the shrink room and grow back to our normal size in the hallway. We manage to finagle the chest out of there with a rope and find a box and another skull. Cade picks the lock on the box and finds gold. We keep the skull, because we’re collecting them.

Selka opens the library and starts looking around. Merric finds a dagger in a desk, while Mercy steals some plate armor. Keevah starts wandering back to the butterfly room. She is joined by Merric and Cade. One of the living butterflies lands on Keevah’s finger. It gets bigger, and the butterflies on the wall start flapping their wings and fly around. Keevah heads back to the hallway, but one of the butterflies grows to four feet in wingspan before she leaves.

Cade picks the locks on the drawers and finds the pouch, magnifier, and another skull. Mercy asks the candelabra to light, and it does. Mercy heads into a closet, finds nothing of interest, and turns invisible.

We find a bathroom where it is raining inside and a couple of large frogs attack Merric. Mercy (still invisible) opens a door and finds another bedroom. Keevah talks the frogs into handing over a soggy pouch and another skull.

There’s a trap door in the master bedroom’s ceiling. We head up to find a perfectly preserved dead woman in leather armor clutching the last skull. There was another room up there full of random stuff, with another door (with a crescent moon on it) at the end. We decide to do the skull thing. On the way back, someone notices a secret door in the master bedroom, which leads to a pile of little gems.

We head back to the skull room and put the skulls on the skeletons. It turns a painting of the new moon into a portal leading into an area of darkness. This does not open the door, but the key in the darkness does. The darkness also makes Mercy visible again.

Before we open the crescent moon door, an imp yells “no, don’t let the master out!” and attacks. We kill it.

We open the door and head into a study. Merric goes further into the room and disappears, becoming invisible and incorporeal, where he sees a zombie wizard. Keevah heads into the same area and joins them in the invisible/incorporeal club, where she smacks the zombie in the nose before it bites Merric. Then Mercy ends up there and blows the wizard up.

Character Roster

Treasure

  • Ring of protection +1 (Mercy)
  • A shimmery blue bottle – potion of mage armor (Keevah)
  • A steel bottle – potion of magic weapon (Merric)
  • Silver hand mirror (50 gp), comb (25 gp), and scissors (30 gp)
  • Metal box
  • 100 gp
  • Silver dagger (Merric)
  • Silver long sword
  • Plate mail (Mercy)
  • Pouch with 50 gp
  • Magnifying Glass, comprehend languages 1/day, written text only
  • Spellbook, all level 1-3 transmutation spells (Foxfire)
  • Soggy pouch (28 sp, 12 gp)
  • Glowy hot sphere, softball size
  • Key (found in master bedroom)
  • 30 gems worth 1 gp each (Mercy)
  • 500 sp, 250 gp
  • 4 potions (2 potions of healing, lesser restoration, dark vision – Merric)
  • 4 scrolls (Protection from good & evil, feather fall, scorching ray, burning hands)
  • Silver key (75 gp)
  • 200 gp
  • +1 dagger
  • Unicorn horn wand
  • Wand of wonder, depleted, can be used as arcane focus (Merric)
  • 180 gp (pay – Adventurer’s Guild cut)
  • Magic candelabra
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Astobar's Manor House, Part I (300 XP)

We’re hanging out in the Zheimbai Adventurer’s Guild socializing and having fun. “Cade” is flirting with Fox. A job is brought to our attention; something is occupying a recently-purchased manor house and the nouveau-riche hotshot who bought it wants it cleared out before their family moves in. Cade knows it as a local haunted house that scares all the neighborhood kids out by the Avenue of the Brazen Whores. Mary heard it was a mage’s house around 20 years ago, but the mage disappeared.

We gathered our stuff and make our ways to the realtor’s office. The clerk brings in Kenneth, a greybeard dwarf. He says the last group going in didn’t come back, but that was over two months ago. This thing has changed hands around 50 times in the last decade, because rich people don’t do their homework. Mercy asks for an inventory so we know what belongs to the manor house.

The place looks abandoned. The grass is as tall as the wall around the property. There are runes burned into the front door. A large black rhinoceros comes out of the tall grass. Foxfire notices a baby rhino in the grass as well. We avoid the fight by heading into the house. There’s a knocking sound from one of the doors. We open it (with some difficulty) and find a skull with the symbol for the waxing crescent moon carved on its forehead.

The sitting room has fancy furniture and a decanter of glowing violet liquid. A drop of it makes Merric glow for around a minute, so he drinks a glass of it. We wander through the house, finding another skull. When we find the dining room, we find the skeletons that the skulls belonged to. We keep exploring to find the rest of the skulls. We find a room with some statues of rats. They turn Keevah into a statue when they animate. It turns out that that room wants to turn people to and from stone every 12 seconds.

The next room has a clear bell jar with a shiny rock and some butterflies in the middle and lots of butterflies on the walls. Then we find a pantry with apples that make people change color,equipment and all. Merric and Mercy are now blue. Cade ends up in a fight with a doppleganger in a pantry. We end up with two Cades. Fortunately, only the real one can cast spells. The fake asks to just leave. Cade’s ok with letting him go, so he runs for it.

Character Roster

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Wizard's Tower and Elven City (6000 xp)

We’re in a tower. There are magic circles moving around the floor and some doors. There are some drow. Jasper tries to open the door to the drow, but it’s locked. Kirk knocks on the door. Somehow we end up in a fight against the drow. There were invisible priestesses and oni running around causing trouble.

Jasper teleports us to a room with an acid pit and a bunch of elementals. We kill them, but they chew through us. We end up leaving the tower.

After that, we rest up and head to an ancient elven ruin covered in a faint magical barrier. Kirk refrains from licking it. The night we’re camping, a chariot bathed in moonlight comes riding from the direction of the elven city. The fey from the chariot says that Jasper’s blood is connected to the place, but it’s barred for a reason. She gives Jasper a bush that produces goodberries.

When we’re heading back to camp, we’re attacked by drow and a demon.

On the way back, the dryad asks Kirk for another night. He goes for it. So does Cullen.

Our non-dragonborn friends are waiting for us in Mund. They pay us.

Treasure

  • 14000 gp
  • 1890 pp
  • (3) 250 gp art pieces
  • Tentacle Rod
  • Rod of Lordly Might
  • Ring of the Ram
  • Ring of Spell Storing
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Dragon Hunt turns to wizard hunting. (2000xp)

Near the hobgoblin encampment, Lark goes to investigate an approaching party that is stumbling its way towards the hill. She finds a gnome wizard (Moonstar Spiderblink) and a human cleric (Evalyn). Lark confronts the duo and Moonstar asks for Jasper. Lark lowers her weapon and agrees to escort the two to Jasper. As she puts her bow away, a human male (Cullen) makes his presences known as the third member of the party, startling Lark.

Lark guides the group to the others and people make introductions. Cullen asks after Aela having traveled with her before. Moonstar knows Kirk, Greyson and Jasper. He introduces Evalyn who stutteringly asks if anyone has seen her son, a tiefling in the area. Evalyn seems very out of her element tramping about the woods, but then offers everyone the best biscuits ever tasted as Jasper calls for Mot to make tea.

Jasper asks Lark to fire off a note into the hobgoblin camp asking for parley. A note is returned saying yes. Jasper meets with the envoy by himself and asks questions regarding the dragon. The hobgoblin had no more information than what the party had already known. Jasper asks to meet with the wizard. The envoy says he will return with an answer tomorrow. During the night we feel like we are being magically observed.

The next day the encampment is eerily quiet and the guards are missing. We approach the palisade and Kirk climbs the wall. Kirk, Greyson and Jasper trigger a trap (fireball) while trying to open the gate. Inside everyone is missing. There is an obelisk in the center of the encampment. Moonstar indicates that the obelisk and an area in one of the building radiates magic. We find a chest, dispell the magic and unlock it. There is a note from the wizard sealed with a stylized head of a mindflayer with 2 extra tentacles and a bag of platinum. Jasper reads the note. The wizard says the platinum is for us and to have a nice day.

Jasper is annoyed and demands the wizard pay for dry cleaning, not realizing that there was a bag of platinum left for the party. The obelisk has a mark on each side of the faces including the top in an unknown language. Moonstar casts comprehend language and touches the obelisk then disappears. The party quickly follows in touching that same side of the obelisk and finds themselves drowning on the elemental plane of water. A jinn happens to be waiting and casts water breathing on the party. Turns out the wizard stiffed him and now Jasper is under a geis to return a sapphire if he finds it. The party touches the obelisk on the top and is transported to another obelisk in a black watery area. We follow some glowing arrows on the floor and are attacked by a giant tentacle snake. We kill it and the wizard talks to us in our heads annoyed by our efforts. We continue on our way and arrive in an opulent reception area with equipment for drying off. We continue up the stairs and find ourselves in a large round tower area. There are 4 doors in the area and a Cambion standing near one of them. We talk with him and convince him that his dealings with the wizard will not reap benefits. They decide to leave. He does tell us that to get to the wizard you have to pass through the 4 elemental planes and there are githrazi prisoners. He also tells us about an inn in carcosa that is fantastic. (Jade Dragon Inn) We contact the creatures behind the other doors, they disregard our warnings. (Marilith – abyss & Markoth – ) As we approach the 4th door, we are confronted by a pair of helmed horrors. We defeat them.

2000xp per

Jasper
Lark
Kirk
Greyson
Cullen
Spiderblink
Evalyn

Chip DM

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Dragon Hunt in the Dark Wood (2700 xp)

There’s someone at the gate asking for us. They are “dragonlike but not dragonborn.” They are a group of half dragons led by Bluetooth. Their master prefers to remain nameless. They want to bribe us to investigate a dragon in the Darkwood. He wants us to disrupt negotiations between the dragon and a wizard.

We head into the Darkwood. The first person we meet is a dryad. She invites us to tea. Then she asks the gents in the party if they’ll help her with her seed. Kirk agrees. The dryad’s tree is near an ancient elven house, which interests Jasper.

The next day, we find a Fomorian (evil giant). During the fight, a young green dragon tried to sneak up on us. Badly. However, her breath weapon was entirely too effective, dropping Aela and Jasper immediately. Fortunately, the rest of the group was able to drive her off.

After some healing potions and a rest to help Aela and Jasper, we go into dragon-hunting mode. The dragon has made her lair inside a giant living tree. The dragon apparently stopped by to grab her gold and most valuable items, but still left a bunch of stuff.

We try to find information on the wizard she was supposedly meeting with. Jasper finds her guest room, which includes information on an elven ruin, including the note “we can’t pierce the barrier.”

We decide to track the dragon. This takes more than the rest of the day. During the night, Grayson and Kirk notice a half-score of hobgoblins attempting to sneak towards our camp. They’re wearing badges with stylized mindflayers. One of them is a fireball-casting spellcaster. We take most of them out, but three got away.

In the morning, Lark tracks the two little guys back to a treeless hill with a palisade at the top. This is the hobgoblin “camp” and the wizard’s fortress

Dramatis Personae

Treasure

  • Short Sword – Dragonslayer
  • Fomorian Eyes
  • 7000 sp
  • 700 cp
  • Rod of the Pact Keeper +2

Potential crafting items:
Fomorian Eye (CR 8)

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