Deciding to take a break between our Shackled City failure and certain death at the hands of Age of Worms, I decided to run the Eberron adventure, Shadows of the Last War, module one in a series of three adventures. Please do not discuss things that have not occurred yet, as some of my players so frequent these boards.
INTRODUCTION OF CHARACTERS
Velbur Deathseeker - Human Necromancer from Breland
Tianna Lon - Human Fighter from Cyre
Khatari - Kalashtar Monk from Adar
Jelpuir Stubblebink - Gnome Artificer from Zilargo
Gredark d'Kundarak - Dwarf Cleric of the Host from the Mror Holds
Zyx, a.k.a. Dillane - Changeling Rogue from Breland
The group was hired by Elan d'Cannith to retreive items and reseach from a Cannith facility whose location was lost when the heads of the House died in the Day of Mourning. Elan has come across information that there was a map located at a Cannith facility in Rose Quarry in what was formerly part of Cyre, and is now part of Darguun. The map needs keys to unlock its secrets. The keys are locked inside a Kundarak vault in the facility and the original key was lost in The Mourning. House Kundarak always has a spare key located at their chapterhouse in the Mror Holds. Cannith has arranged for a representative of the house, Greddark d'Kundarak to bring a key on the expedition, so that the vault may be opened.
Elan has asked his boyhood friend, Velbur Deathseeker along on the expedition, along with three others who have been working in his office as of late. The first, an artificer from Zilargo, Jelpuir Stubblebink, has been working with Cannith to exhange information on artifice issues. The second, Khatari, Elan selected as he thought she may find something along the way to help her in her Secret War. The third was a changeling, by the name of Zyx, who normally goes by the persona of an elven antiquities dealer named Dillane, who has acted as an outlet for some smaller Cannith items in the past. Elan is fully aware of his true occupation and believes his skills would be needed on the expedition.
Lastly, Elan noticed that the expedition may be in need of some martial prowess and hired a mercenery with knowledge of Cyre and of Darguun, Tianna Lon.
The party met in the Broken Anvil to discuss terms and were immediately attacked by a warforged and 6 kobold merceneries. The warforged did not seem to have any marks of affiliation other than its forging mark in the center of its forehead, which it seemed to be in the process of scraping off. After dispaching the warforged and chasing off the mercenery kobolds, the party made a quick exit out the back door.
On their way to the docks to catch their ship, they noticed a man following them. Dillane slipped into an alley to waylay the tailer while the others went on ahead. Dillane grabbed the man and pulled him into the alley, noticing he was sweatting profusely, even more than the tropical heat should bring on. The man held up his closed fist and dropped something. The next thing Dillane knew he was coming to, laying on the alley cobblestones, with Greddark leaning over him. The dropped item was an egg shaped talisman of a strange metal.
Khatari and Velbur darted after the man as he ran out of the alley and caught him shortly. Khatari, who got to him first, knocked him to the ground. The man turned over and stared at her with completely black eyes and a voice came out of his dead mouth stating, "They will find you." Shortly after Velbur, and then the rest of the group arrived.
The party caught a Lyrandar wind galleon to Korranberg, where they had a brief layover. Greddark and Dillane made their way to the Library to get information on Darguun, Rose Quarry and, if possible, Whiteheart. They hired four docents to get the data they required.
Khatari decided to go for a walk around the city. She found a beautiful, peaceful city, completely devoid of a police force. As she was making her way back to the ship, a traveller passed her and glanced at her with the completely black eyes. When she turned to take a double-take, the man was gone.
After the group got back on the ship and the ship setr sail, the group set back down to their jourbey. Greddark spent time gambling with the offduty sailors, Tianna practicing her darts and Jelpuir set a cauldron to boiling.
One night, Dillane was talking to an off duty old tar named One-Eyed Jack. Jack was describing a creature he had seen in his travels, a sea monster that seemed to be made of metal. Kat was sitting on the rail of the fo'c'sle. She glanced over and saw a skeletal hand gripping the deck just as it tried to pull her over into the inky water.
Soon the deck was swarming with skeletons. The crew had their hands full guiding the ship through the fog. Without the quick thinking of the characters, the captain would have surely perished and the crew would have joined the undead creatures.
The ship docked in Rhukaan Draal without other incidents. The party made their way to the Bloody Market with many a strange look from the goblinoid population. They soon found an inn off of the Bloody Market, called the Bloody Head. The goblin inkeeper, named Gak, prepared two rooms for them and brought out some dogmeat to eat. Soon the party was going off in different directions to take care of things.
Jelpuir and Greddark went off to explore the bazaar to see what was available. Jelpuir found a Dreamlily den, which he rapidly moved away from it. He soon found a leatherworker who spoke common and agreed to make a sling and bullets in his size.
Velbur and Khatari moved off to find a sorcerer named Ghakaz Bonecrusher who lived on the Street of Iron Daggers. On their way they saw a flash of red hair, which they assumed to be Tianna, but when they turned to look they saw a human male walking into a tavern. Their memory sparked, it occurred to them that Failin, their contact, was described as having a mane of curly red hair. They followed the man into the Pitted Dagger, where a fight ring was set up with a goblin and a dire rat fighting for sport. Failin was sitting in the back drinking wine. They approached him and told him of their need for his transportation services. After a short time he agreed to take them on a experimental vehicle he had obtained from House Orien before he was kindly asked to leave. He asked that no money he transferred in this establishment. He agreed to meet them later that night.
Continuing their search for the Sorcerer and soon found an iron tower with a door made of bones. Velpur raised the skull knocker and soon the door was answered by a goblin who didn't see to speak their language. He indicated they should wait and closed the door. Soon a bugbear in dark robes with bone and teeth jewelry came to the door. He was somewhat polite and invited them in. Velber indicated he was looking for a couple new spells for his spellbook, specifically sleep and command undead. Ghakaz indicated he would be able to scribe a control undead the next day and that he would be able to obtain the scroll of sleep that evening in the bazaar. Velbur agreed to return the next evening to get the scrolls.
Tianna was pulled aside by Dillane, who explained he was not who he appeared to be, changing his form to reveal his nature as a changeling. He indicated his desire to appear as a hobgoblin and wanted to look into buying hobboblin clothing and armor, as well as selling the magical longsword that the wardorged in the inn had attacked them with in the Broken Anvil Inn.
She shrugged and took him out in his new guise as Gudrut the hobgoblin. The quickly found appropriate clothing and after about an hour of haggling with an armormaker, they walked away with a extremely nice suit of (masterwork) spiked leather armor, and had sold the sword for the price of the armor and 200gp.
When the various pairs returned to the Bloody Head to find Failin sitting in the common room waiting for them. After payments had been arranged he agreed to meet them 2 mornings hence.
In the meantime, Velbur got his scrolls and scribed sleep into his spellbook, Tianna and "Gudrut" spent time carousing with the hobgoblkins. Velbur and Greddark asked Tianna where Dillane had gone and if he would be coming with them. She mentioned he would be catching up.
Failin was waiting for them in the inn that morning, 2 hours before dawn. He lead them out of town to a rock outcropping. Pulling back his sleeve he pressed a dragonmark of passage against the rock and spoke some words. The rock melted into the ground to reveal a cart. Just then, they heard a gruff voice behind them speak in goblin. Tianna understood it as "Failin, where you going? You cheats us!"
The party whipped around and quickly took care of the group, but not without Velbur getting seriously injured. Falin tossed some coins down at the foot of the surviving bugbear, paying off his debt.
Party gets on earth sled and head up towards Rose Quarry. The trip is uneventful. They arrive at dusk and immediately notice a camp with several men around a fire. They also noticed an odd sheen over the ruins. Dillane heads down to scout out. He approached Slowly 'avoiding the locations which sounded like there was activity. He approaches Just outside of sixty feet away. He sees 8 men and 4 skeletons along with 16 horses and 2 wagons. He also takes note that everything is covered in glass. Returning to the group, he reports the location Of the camp as well as the mining sounds. They decide to come in from the west side, behind the Church. When they are about 120' away, they notice a man with fangs directing several zombies to dig. The zombies have the same, glass covering as everything else. As they sit discussing their plans, Fangs notices them, crying out, "Come, my brethren and take them So I may feast on their souls."
The two zombies digging for the vampire start lurching towards the group, and are soon followed by two small groups coming out of the ruins. The vampire disappears in a cloud of mist.
The zombies prove little fight for the party and they do not seem to rouse more attention. When the mist clears, there is no sigh of Fangs.
Moving around the church, they are soon standing in front of the burned out doors do a mostly-whole building bearing the Sign of House Cannith on the keystone. Sounds of more excavation come from within.
As they enter the shadowed entry way, another of the glass- covered zombies enters the hall from deeper in the building. As the group moves to defend against the attack of the undead, two soldiers bearing the sign of the Emerald Claw, the same group camped to the south, come to investigate the noise in the hall.
After killing the zombie and what looks to be an officer of the Claw, the group moves deeper into the building, manacles the remaining unconscious soldier, the group finds themselves in a large chamber open to the sky, save for four beams that meet in the center. Three fireplaces stand in the north, west and south walls, and the entire floor is a relief map of the continent. Dillane takes time to strip the officer of her gear, thinking it may be useful for him to infiltrate the camp.
Quietly, the group spread out to look for the vault where the map legend could be found. Dillane noticed the stones of one wall seemed to form a ladder and a ledge ran around the chamber at about 10' above the chamber floor and 5' below the cross beams. Jelpuir noticed a gap in some Stones of one of the chimneys that lookted like Keyhole. Velbur noticed on the back of the six statues were written what looked like the names of Cannith facilities.
Reg Dragon: Whitehearth, White Seal, NE 9
Red Lion: Tallis, Black Seal, E4
White Wolf: Cabblen Hall, Red Seal, SW 15
White Falcon: Blackhearth, Black Seal, SE 12
Black Knight: Kronu Hall, White Seal, N 6
Black Griffon: Redhearth, Red Seal, SE 7
Gredark moved to the keyhole, inserting the House Kundarak key. A panel opened up under his feet containing a hexagonal piece of glass adorned with three gems and a metal rod about two and a half hands in length. Dillane had crawled out on the crossbeams and found a hexagonal window where they met. Passing the glass plate up, Dillane fit the panel into the window and held a hooded lantern above it, pointing down. The gems adorning the pane of glass sent colored spots on the floor map.
Starting at the white spot and using the rod to measure distance, they discovered the Whitehearth facility lay approximately one days journey due east, through the dead grey mist and into the Mournlands.
As the group sat plotting their next move, Dillane heard the sound of boots on stone approaching. Moving to the door, they were greeted by two more skeletons and three Emerald Claw agents. Velbur discovered the power of alchemists fire, sending one of the soldiers fleeing aflame and screaming while the rest of the party took down the rest of the soldiers and undead.
Very soon, the sound of glass-on-stone of the glass Zombies approaching was heard. They had been noticed and they could hear the sound of approaching soldiers. Gredark moved towards the front door and raised the symbol of the Host to ward off the creatures. As the zombies approached the door, Gredark vehemently forced the power of his faith through the blue and gold cross, sending the creatures fleeing past the church of the Host.
Standing in the shadows of the door frame, Gredark and the rest of the group heard the sound of Shouts, "They are behind the church!" the Soldiers moved off to the east.
Quickly taking advantage of ths situation, Dillane changed into the officer's armor and changed his features to look more like the woman whose armor and magical shield he had taken up. The rest of the group moved to the north of the soldier's camp, just south of the Cannith facility. Dillane, posing as the officer, returned to the came by the road.
The group attacked, seeking to take down the mage that had appeared out of one of the tents, weakening Tianna with a ray of sickeningly green magical energy. Two of the soldiers stayed back and shot at the party, while one of the soldiers and the Blood of Vol cleric closed with the party. Dillane approached the mage who did not appear to see through the deception until he ran his dagger into the mags’s side. Gredark's crossbow bolt pinned the enemy necromancer's wrist to the tent post.
The Vol cleric moved closer touching Velbur with a hand crackling with black magical energy, sending the necromancer to the ground ln pain, gasping breifly before passing out.
The two crossbowmen, seeing the enemy necromancer go down, moved to attack the one who looked like their captain. The mage downed a potion and her wounds closed, the blood flow slowing.
Soon the group had taken down the cleric and the other soldiers and Dillane was standing over the enemy mage. The woman looked up at him and stated "I yield."
Dillane sneered grimly and said "You should have thought of that earlier, " as he thrust his sword into the mages heart.
As the dust settled from the battle in the Emerald Claw camp, the party quickly grabbed what they could before the other soldiers who were out looking for them, returned. Jelpuir quickly jumped into the closest wagon, almost being beheaded by a dead-smelling vulture as it swooped out of the covered back, stuffing a small pouch into his jerkin, just before Dillane and Tianna poked their heads in. The group grabbed some crossbow bolts to restock what they had used, and grabbed the two chests in the back of the wagon, two people per chest, and made for where Failin waited for them.
When they returned to Failin's earthcart, they quickly loaded the cart and headed south to put some distance between them and the remaining Emerald Claw soldiers. Spending the entire day and night camped gave everyone time to recouperate and Velbur time to scribe Command Undead.
After the group had rested, they convinved Failin to drive them into the Mournlands, for a nominal fee. They returned back the way they came, skirting the dead grey mist, until they had reached Rose Quarry. A quick surveillance showed that the Emerald Claw had left and the vultures had moved back in.
Turning east, the earthcart disappeared into the dead grey mist, deadening sound, and carrying a dry, electrical bite to it. After what could have been minutes or hours, the group started to see shapes off in the distance. The shapes resolved into what looked like trees, stripped of their bark, and bleached by wind. As the mist parted, the party found themselves in a grove of trees, on a hill, overlooking a massive battlefield. A river of dead bodies lay, clogging the valley from side to side. Uniforms of every nation and faction, lay scattered among the undecaying dead.
Quickly, they party noticed what they had taken for trees were actually made of bone, and the dry leaves that lay on the ground amidst the tree roots, were large flakes of dried skin.
Making their way down into the valley, the group urged Failin to find another way around. Maneuvering the cart to the souteast, they found a pass through a rocky region. Soon the pass opened up, depositing them in the ruins of a town.
Their road lay down the main road of town. As they approached the center of town, they noticed a plaza littered with bodies, Valenar elf merceneries and Talenta halflings, some killed by the other's blades and others without a mark on their bodies. The bodies lay across the road.
Velbur, Kat, Greddark and Tianna disembarked to clear the way, while Dillane stayed near Failin, keeping a watch out, with an arrow nocked and ready. Jelpuir stayed toward the back of the wagon, engrossed in some magical research of his own.
Suddenly, the heap of bodies heaved upwards. Dillane called out a warning, loosing an arrow. Two large, razor sharp claws flew out of the concealment of the corpses, one barely missing Kat and the other catching Greddark across the upper arm, biting deep into the dwarven muscle and sinew.
The spiny crustacean was covered with spikes and projections, on which it had impaled corpses of it's prey to act as armor, in addition to its thick carapace. Kat immediately found the soft tissue surrounding the beast's eyes. Velbur was the first to find out the tail arching over the body, tipped in a sharp spike, was not just decoration, as the chitinous tail wipped in his direction, loosing a foot long spike into his shoulder. A slight tingle and burn in his shoulder told Velbur the spike was venomous.
Greddark dodged the creature's flailing claws while he prayed for a blessing on his friends and also for Tianna's strength to hold out. Tianna drove her sword down, through the carcassas on it's body, carving out a good chunk of flesh and chitin, as Dillane ran up on the side, heaving flask after flask of alchemist's fire at the beast. Finally, with a mighty blw from Khatari's fist, the beast collapsed to the ground, inmoving.
While Khatari, Greddark, Velbur and Dillane finished clearing the road of bodies, and the carcass of the crab, Tianna went to investigate a nearby building. As she entered the large double entry door, she found herself in a elegant entry way, untouched by the raging battle that had occurred outside. An array of fine delicacies and drink lay on a table, as if to offer the road weary traveller something to easye their thirst and hunger. A strain of music echoed dimly through the hall. She moved further into the villa.
Passing through a grand ballroom decorated with silver mirrors and Cyran crystal chandeliers, Trianna followed the music deeper into the building. Past a feast table loaded with an array of sumptuous foods, and down a hall to a rool with the door ajar. Light spilled out of the partially open door.
Peering through the crack in the door, the Cyran soldier saw a young girl in a faded yellow dress, a dirty, yellow, silk ribbon tying back her long, filthy blonde hair , and wide terrified eyes peered out of a face that looked like it hadn't slept in weeks. The girl sat in an elegant brocaded armchair next to a beautifully carved wooden table. On the table sat a victrola with a gold enameled horn. The music came from the victrola.
Trianna slowly opened the door and stepped in. The little girl whirled to face her. "Who are you?" The girl cried, terrified. Tianna tried to calm the girl down, to tell her everything was all right. Behind their conversation, the music of the victrola slowly started to wind down.
Terrified the little girl jumped from the chair. "They'll come! Please, don't let them get me!" The little girl furiously cranked up the victrola. As the music started again, her terror subsided slightly.
"Who will come? Who are you scared of?" asked Tianna. It took several minutes for Tianna to calm the girl down enough to get any answer out of them. Just as she showed some sign of answering, the music started to run down again.
The girl's eyes widened in terror once again. She flew out of the chair and pointed towards the ceiling, "THEM!" she cried as she cranked up the victrola once more.
Tianna turned her gaze toward the ceiling. Twenty feet above them, in the shadows of the vaulted ceiling, circled several blood-soaked sheets. As the music wound down and died out, the sheets began to descend towards the two. When the girl had rewound the victrola and started the music again, the sheets floated back up toward the ceiling.
Running from the room, Tianna made her way back out of the villa. "GREDDARK!!!" she cried, thinking of his power over the undead creatures they had fought before, "Inside!!!"
Greddark and Velbur rushed over to her as she turned to re-enter the building. Crossing the threshold, they were greeted by an entirely different scene. The ceiling of the hall was collapsed and in ruins. Bodies of soldiers and civilians lay sprawled throughout the ruin, some impaled on other soldiers blades, some crushed under the rubble of the collapsed roof.
"What was it, Tianna?" Greddark asked.
"It wasn't like this before!" Tianna cried out.
Moving deeper into the building, they passed through the grand ballroom. Silvered glass and crystal lay shattered in billions of pieces on the parquet floor. More bodies littered the floor. A young man in a Cyran officer's uniform lay sprawled on the organ at the far end of the room, impaled to the keyboard with a wickedly curved scimitar.
"IT WASN'T LIKE THIS" Tianna cried out, her face controted in rage and fear.
Moving to the hall behind the ballroom, they found a doorway at the end of a long hall. The room that lay beyond was no more. Blasted from the face of Khorvaire by some unimaginable power, nothing remained but rubble, and a dirty, yellow silk ribbon fluttering by in the wind.
Velbur turned to Tianna. "Are you feeling OK?"
"It wasn't like this..." Tianna muttered under her breath as she turned to follow her friends out of the decimated villa. As they passed through the ballroom, she stopped, yanking the scimitar from the Cyran officer's chest and tossing it away. She laid the body out in state and covered it with it's tattered green and gold cape, saying a quick prayer to Dol Arrah, praying that his sacrifice was not in vain.
Outside, Khatari and Dillane had finished clearing the road. Solemnly they clombed back on the landcart and directed Failin on. Tianna sat in the back of the cart, staring back at the crubled remains of a nameless city, destroyed for some unknown reason, wathing the vultures gather.
Several hours later, Failin called a halt. It had grown too dark for him to navigate successfully. Making a camp, the spellcasters bedded down for the night as Dillane took the first watch.
Night passed and the grey light of dawn, or mid-morning, it was hard to tell, seemed into the camp. As the group roused itself, making a meal of jerky, hard bread and watered wine, they noticed a cave in a nearby outcropping of rock, the ceiling of the cave supported by wooden beams. A symbol was burned into the center of the support beam. The symbol of House Cannith. Could this be Whitehearth?
As the group approached the cave, Jelpuir noticed a lone vulture a short way above them. Something wasn't right about it. What was it? Perhaps it was because it was dive-bombing Khatari or perhaps it was because bones jutted out from it's rotting flesh.
The stench of the grave washed over Kat as the bird reached it's talons for her eyes. Quickly she ducked out of the way and readied her quarterstaff to strike at the thing should it come at her again. Dillane loosed an arrow at it and Velbur looked to Greddark. "Hey, that was the vulture that was in the wagon back at Rose Quarry," observed Jelpuir.
"What? Why didn't you tell us about it???" cried Tianna and Velbur, almost together.
As the undead bird swooped in for a second attack, Greddark raised the bright argent holy symbol found amidst the dead surrounding the carcass crab, and called upon the Sovereign Host to drive the forces of darkness away. Bright light flashed in the overcast light of the Mournlands, and the vulture zombie turned and flew off into the distance.
Turning to Failin, they asked if he would feel safer inside the mine with them. Failin gave them a flat look, "You don't have enough money." The red-head turned and climbed into the landcart, speaking a word in a language that sounded like rock grating on rock. Earth and stone flowed up from the ground around the cart and Failin. The Orien pariah looked out a small hole in the rock outcropping, "I'll be waiting for you. Don't be long."
Turning, the group made their way into the mine. At each fork in the path, they made a mark on the ground in chalk to signify their path. After a couple forks, they found an adamantium hatch in the floor, with a blue gem beside a hole to one side.
Dillane first checked the hatch for traps. Finding none, the group backed up, and Velbur, using the mummified hand talisman the Blood of Vol cleric had been wearing, inserted the blue-gem tipped key into the hole. A soft click echoed through the cave. Commanding the hand once again, Velbur had it lift the lid on the hatch.
A haze of bluish-white sparks, accombanied by a "ZAP" and the smell of ozone, obscured the hatch momentarily. After the sparks had cleared, the group approached the hatch and looked in. Beneaththe hatch lay nothing. Stone matching the stone of the cave floor lay beneath the hatch. It had been a decoy.
Backtracking to the last fork, they turned and found another hatch. Following the same procedure as before, utilizing the hand of the mage, they opened the adamantium hatch and peered inside.
A shaft descended into the dephts, a metal ladder on one side. Ten feet down, a wall of blackness stopped all vision. Dropping a sunrod, the group watched it pass through the blackness and disappear. Very shortly afterward they heard it hit ground.
Tying a rope around Tianna, they lowered the Cyran warrior down the shaft. She passed through the darkness and found herself in a shaft descending an additional twenty feet and opening into a twenty foot spherical metal room. Looking up, she could see the others looking down the shaft. Trusting that they would not let her fall, she let go of the last run and descended to halfway above the floor. After having them tie n an additional length of rope, they lowered her down.
The spherical walls of the room were metal and engraved with grooved at regular intervals that provided good traction, allowing even the least dextrous of the party to climb to the horizontal meridian of the room. In the center of the floor was a metal pedestal with an octagonal metal plate imbedded in the top. Nine gems decorated the plate, 5 blue, 2 brown and 2 green.
After calling up for "smarter help", the rest of the party, save Jelpuir, who was off examining the stone of the cave had descended into the oubliette and gathered around the pedestal.
Before deciding to look into the pedestal more thoroughly, the party decided to explore the rest of the cavern system they had entered. Within an hour, they found out the one true way is the one way they found down. Using blue key, they started to explore the rest of the compound explore what they can of the complex. They find:
Hallway sloping up, filled with the smell of charred wood and flesh. Melted door frame at the end of the hall revealed a room lit by a big fire. They decided to bypass this one until later.
Room that looked like a linen closet complete with a wash basin that cleaned everything in the room constantly.
An office with a corpse sprawled across a desk. Office contains many books and ledgers detailing orders for food and, what looks like, spell and ritual components. The corpse was sprawled across a recently finished scroll of energy resistance.
A barracks with a bath and a room locked with a brown coded lock. Barracks was inhabited by Rorsa, a talking dire wolf, and two normal wolves. They struck a bargain with Rorsa. She didn't know where they would find what they are looking for, but if they freed her packmates from the cages they are trapped in, she will give them a green key charm and a pearl. They agree.
Party takes the green key and goes to where Rorsa tells them where the pack is imprisoned, through another rotator room.
Following the green socket they got to a room that looks like a kennel. A large wolf that has been partially turned to stone attacked them as soon as they enter the space. Jelpuir set to opening the cages while the rest of the party distracteed the stone wolf. The half-stone golem proved resistant to spells as well as all but the strongest of hits. Finally, the party took it down and freed the remaining wolves.
In one of the cages was the body of one of the trainers, presumably, with an orange key charm, a egg-shaped yellow gem(magic of an unknown aura), and some other things.
In a nearby room, they found an elderly woman who said she is a kalashtar, one of those who are rebelling against the Inspired leaders of Riedra. She claimed to have been here for over 4 years, imprisoned by the wolf. She claimed to have the spirits of five quori spirits imprisoned in her thoughts, taking all her energy, which is why she could not fight her way out. Her name was Eyatari and she looked like a much older version of Khatari.
The party took Eyatari and the wolf pack back to Rorsa, where they rested, and tended to Elyse/Dillane's wounds.
With the orange and green key in hand, the party set out once again to explore. Returning to the first rotator room, they used the green key to go the other green way, to the southeast, where they find yet again another rotator with the following plate on top.
Seeing the green socket, Velbur used the green key, and the room was plunged into darkness, the room quickly slid down towards the center of the room and down the hole that now was pointing down into a water filled shaft. Both went under the water. After a short time, Jelpuir resurfaced, but Tianna was still sinking like a stone. Velbur tossed down a rope, which Khatari tied off to the pedestal, and dove in. Jelpuir got a hold of the rope and started to climb, but fell before he got to the top. Velbur got a hold of Tianna and pulled her to the surface. Khatari, Greddark and Elyse set to knotting another rope and tied it to the other rope, to make it easier for the others to climb.
Eventually Tianna and Jelpuir climbed out and Velbur was hauled up on the rope.
Deciding to leave this room for now, they returned back to the second rotator room, and use the orange key, opening a hallway sloping down to a closed door. Opening the door, Tianna is dazzled by the colors and light in this mirrored room. Suddenly she noticed a portion of the light and color moving towards her. She steps back just in time as the thing attempts to engulf her. The rest of the party started to take action, and quickly noticed that this thing, which Velbur believed may have been a living color spray, granted sentience by the arcane catastrophe which caused the Day of Mourning, was harder to damage with normal weapons than the stone wolf. Jelpuir let off a couple of volleys of magic missiles from the wand, having trouble getting it to work, and took the thing down.
Moving forward through the hall of mirrors, they entered a room that looked like the chamber they were looking for. The large room stretched out for quite a way. Lit by two large bonfires in the room, as well as a cauldron of molten glass mounted on a severely mangled contraption that looked like it could roll, the room is strangely quiet and cool. In front of the cauldron was a crystalline chest with several things, the most important is the diamond shaped schema they have been looking for. Also inside were a circular adamantium plate with shapes carved out of it, and two potions, which Velbur and Jelpuir identify as potions of energy resistance. When Velbur went to get the chest his hands passed right through it. He got the thought that this room may very well be projecting the image of another location.
On their way out, they noticed a red key charm hanging by the door.
Excitedly, they returned to the rotator room with the red socket in the middle. After securing themselves to the pedestal with rope, they inserted the red keycharm, and nothing happened. After a quick check of the rest of the complex, they resolved that the red key charm didn't do anything.
Dejected, they returned to the first rotator room and decided to see what was in the room with the melted door. As they progressed up the slope, the smell of burned wood and melted metal got stronger. As they got almost to the door, they realized there is a second door to the left, and an open bath to the right.
Soon they were in battle with a sphere of fire which tried desperately to engulf Tiannam whi had been protected by Velbur reading the scroll of enery resistance. Elyse moves into the bath proper thinking that the think may not go after her in the water, all the while searching for secret doors.
When the fire sphere beast was killed, they discovered a corpse further back in the bath, bearing a brown keycharm.
Will our heroes find the schema next time? What is that cauldron of molten glass with tubes sticking out of the top? What was it used for? Could it possibly be alive and guarding the schema?
Tune in in 2 weeks for the conclusion of Shadows of the Last War.
|Steve Greer Contributor|
|Steve Greer Contributor|
Continuing, the group checked out the remaining couple of rooms they could open with the brown key they had just found. The discovered a mess hall, a kitchen and an officer's quarters, complete with masterwork weapons and armor, another red key, and some magical potions.
Resigned to check out the trapped rotator room once again, they made their way in, roped themselves off to the pedestal, inserted first the red key and then the orange key. The room rotated to the northeast revealing a descending ramp. A hot breath of sulphurous air wafted out of the shaft.
As the group descended the shaft, the air got hotter and hotter, until they came to a pair of adamantine doors with waves of heat radiating off of them.
Taking some time to protect Tianna and Elise, who had taken the form of Krudrut, but with breasts, and had been affectionately named "Ugly Thieving B1tch", Krudrut-ette quickly checked the door for traps. Wwhen she gave the all clear, Velbur pushed the door open with the Hand of the Mage.
The room on the other side of the doors was lit by two 8 foot bonfires. A cauldron of molten glass set on some form of aparatus, with the dragon-headed brass tubes emerging from the bubbling, red-hot glass stood guard over the crystal chest containing the schemae and the other items they had seen from the Viewing Room. A domed ceiling arched over the top of the chamber, and a console stood on the west wall, studded with levers.
** Comments were made about the prevalence of shapes and colors in this module. The assumption was made that Keith was eating Lucky Charms when he wrote it. Keith, Please confirm.*
Immediately, the bonfires started to move towards the group.
The group sprang into action. Jelpuir moved to the door and failed to activate the wand, yet again. UTB moved in, keeping against the south wall. Both were rewarded by the bonfires slamming into them. Fortunately for Jelpuir, he darted out of the way of the creature, as a fiery arm formed and swung at his head. UTB took the full impact of the blow, and started on fire, but the fire did not burn, thanks to the energy resistance granted by Jelpur's infusion.
Tianna charged in to help Jelpuir as UTB moved over to the chest and console. Seeing the chest was locked, she wrapped her ugly fist around a lever labeled "EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN" and pulled.
A couple more seconds and the fire creatures had flashed out into piles of ash on the floor. Opening the chest, the group found two copis of the schema they were sent to find, a round disk with cutouts for different shapes, several potions and a basket hilt of a rapier covered in frost.
Returning to Rorsa, they offered to help her and the wolves leave their captivity, and the wolves accepted. After hauling the wolves up out of the shaft, using the oil of slipperiness to slide Rorsa's bulk up the narrow tube, they set out to exit the caverns.
They were greeted by six Emerald Claw soliders, some skeletons and were told, by the unseen voice of the Fangs, to give up the schema or die. After a quick consultation, the group decided to fight. With Rorsa's help, they took care of the Elerald Claw and the skeletons, but the vampire had got away. The two EC agents they captured, were interrogated and they got the information that the vampire's name was Garrow. The group left the enemy soldiers, paralyzed and stripped of their gear, in the middle of the Mournlands, and boarded Failin's earthsled.
Back in Rhukaan Draal they were contacted by Elan too meet at the Iron Phoenix Inn, the next day. After taking care of selling what needed to be sold and dividing up the treasure, they met with Elan. Elan was concerned about the appearance of the Emerald Claw. He paid the party 2500gp for the schema, and agreed to act as a liason between the group and House Cannith for the second schema and the creation pattern, if they would accompany him back to Sharn.
The journey by sea to Sharn was uneventful and the party was rewarded by an extra 1500gp for the second schema and the pattern.
Velbur and Greddark planned on heading to the Valanar embassy to return the double scimitar and the zaelshin-tu.
Tianna headed to Highwall to spread around some of her wealth to the Cyran refugees there and see if she could catch wind of her former company commander gone AWOL, Captain Lucan Stellos.