The Saga of Blood and Gold

A Question of Damnation

Following directly from the events of last time, the group had emerged from the temple of “doom” to find that they could not rest. Seeking the advice of the orc leader of the religious sanctuary (still can’t remember his name) he said curses are a common occurrence in the trials of the rift and that he could cure us for a price. 50g each was asked for and paid, and although the ritual worked for Belalurion, Kharamash and Melody, something in Honor’s tiefling blood prevented the cure from holding.

Now in a race against time before exhaustion caught up with Honor, they left the sanctuary and headed back to Eastbridge seeking a cure. Their haste and Honor’s refusal to stop for anything led them to encounter harpies and bandits on their journey, but both foes were swiftly dealt with and as night fell they staggered into Eastbridge, exhausted but alive. Three of the group collapsed into their beds in the Dragon and Flagon, but Honor still could not rest. She went to the temple to speak to Sister Grace, a fellow tiefling that she had dealt with before to see if she had ever come across something like this. Luckily she had, but the only cure she knew included a very rare potion called Angel’s Tears that she didn’t know how to find. Disregarding the late hour, Honor went to The Cauldron to try and find out more about Angel’s Tears and where she could get it, and discovered that the owner was in possession of a single vial, but would not sell it for less than 500g. With the rest of the village asleep, Honor returned to the tavern and tried (unsuccessfully) to rest.

In the morning Honor rummaged through the bag of holding, and discovering the mechanical man went straight to Professor Namfoodle. The wonder of the mechanical man was not lost on the professor who thought it might be the missing link in allowing him to create a sentient robot and he agreed to pay (750g?) for it.

With money in hand Honor returned to the cauldron, finding it’s owner on his guard with a crossbow pointing at the door. After realising Honor had come with money rather than to steal it he relaxed his stance but warned of the terrible things that could be done with the potion. He did however agree to sell it to Honor. Not knowing the details of Honor’s conversation with Sister Grace, Belalurion tried to question her on what the potion was needed for. Honor insisted on handling everything herself and refused to co-operate, leading to Belalurion becoming frustrated and leaving for the forest to seek the counsel of Valios.

Honor, the key ingredient in hand returned to Sister Grace and the cure was performed. Feeling suddenly very tired, Honor returned to the Dragon and Flagon for some well earned rest. Meanwhile Belalurion found Valios in the forest, learned that the grave of Winter now lay empty and warned him that Honor may be messing with powers beyond her comprehension and to keep an eye of the border with Eastbridge. Valios gave Belalurion a special arrow which will summon him if fired into the sky. With that, Belalurion returned to Eastbridge, and after a brief conversation with Kharamash went to sleep.

The night, however, was not as restful as was hoped.

The party was awoken by a scream from outside the inn, and then the sounds of frantic knocking on the inn door. Going downstairs, the Reeve’s men were trying to get Tallstag to allow them up to get at Honor, who had apparently murdered someone during the night. The group knocked on Honor’s door to see if she was alright, but receiving no response Melody flew around to look in her window, and found that Honor was no longer a tiefling but had become Human!

It was quickly deduced that Honor’s demon half and human half had somehow been separated by the ritual to cure the curse, and that the demon had then killed an innocent before dragging his corpse off into the forest. The party was unable to persuade Honor to come out of her room to investigate, but with the aid of Sister Grace talking via Whispering Shell Honor calmed down slightly. She allowed Melody inside to make adjustments to her clothing and the group set off into the forest to follow the demon, following the scent of blood that Belalurion could now track thanks to the effects of an earlier potion.

First they encountered the mutilated body of the villager hanging from a tree, and the a field scattered with animal carcasses, in the centre of which was Indesda the Unbound, the demon from within Honor. The separation was causing Honor pain, but rather than give in to the demon Honor chose to fight. Healed by both Belalurion and Kharamash she charged into combat, but it quickly became evident that this foe was beyond the abilities of the party to defeat.

All seemed lost when suddenly Honor the Virtuous, a divine counterpart to the demon Indesda appeared at the back of the clearing and tackled Indesda away from the wounded Honor. The fight was still close but finally Indesda was banished back to the nether realm where she belonged. Honor the Virtuous was wounded, and could not survive without merging with Honor the Bonded, and although the joining was perilous it was attempted. Nearing death in the process, Honor was reborn as an aasimar, the demonic blood replaced with divine.

As the merging completed pieces of the knowledge of the divine entity passed into Honor. Most of it was too jumbled to make out but one thing was clear: Varodrax is within Eastrbridge…

Kharamash and the Temple of Doom

After being given horses by Valios as payment for their services replacing Winter, the group decided to follow up on Kharamash’s spiritual quest to go to the mountain of the white flame (possibly actually called something else) so that he could commune with his deity.

The trip through the mountains north of Eastbridge lasted a couple of days. The bandit road passed without incident, however on investigating a nearby cave a small broken mechanical man was discovered, and with it the bears that had broken it (and presumably it’s master). Once the bears were dealt with the mechanical man was put inside the bag of holding.

On arriving at the base of the mountain a nearby shallow cave was found to shelter the horses and the ascent up the stairs to the main entrance was successfully accomplished by all. Inside the mountain they were met by an unexpected scene, with people of all races and faiths gathered together inside, seemingly living together in harmony and mutual sanctuary as a place of spiritual guidance.

The “leader” of the group, an orc named (can’t remember) recognised the purpose of Kharamash and told him of the complex beneath the main chamber, where the rooms and their contents shift to match the explorer and a rift in the fabric of the planes can allow communication with the gods. After Kharamash utterly failed to persuade the rest of the group to stay behind because it might be too dangerous, we descended into the complex.

The rooms encountered included (will almost certainly forget some and can’t remember the order so won’t try):

Young blue dragon we had to fight
Riddle from childhood we had to remember (giving a small figurine to Kharamash)
Coin on a golden hand (which was left there?)
Room where we got the whispering shells
Gravity the wrong way (later leading to Belalurion hitting himself in the face with his own dart)
Vacuum room
The invincible goat
Room with Dragonborn poison that Melody drank as she is immune
Varodrax as he was before the party encountered him, in possession of a tiny icon of a raven, identical to one that Belalurion holds. When pressed Belalurion revealed that he had found his when he discovered the truth about his parents and so Varodrex is linked to them in some way.
Catching the ball test
Mirrored numbers
and many more…

After completing the tasks in various rooms keys were found, a total of 6 to fit the door we had found near the entrance. This then led to the rift where Kharamash communed with Bahamut and became a full Paladin of the Platinum Dragon.

After, Honor went back to one of the rooms where a strange chest had been found saying “Don’t open it,don’t open it,don’t open it….” We all followed and she opened it, and afterwards found we were unable to rest…

The Four Seasons

As morning broke after the encounter with the straw men, the group assembled in The Dragon and Flagon to discuss whether there was any future in their association. They decided that the group still served a purpose in the short term, and that they would continue to investigate the strange happenings in Eastbridge and re-evaluate the situation in the future. During these conversations it emerged that both Belalurion and Kharamash of Clan Petrangrandion have associations with the Goddess Mielikki. Belalurion’s leg was mending nicely.

Melody was very quiet during this chapter, perhaps still recovering from the previous night’s exertions.

The group set off to Shautha’s Steel. Honor the Bonded collected the armour she had ordered on the previous day, while Belalurion and Kharamash each purchased daggers.

Having re-equipped at the Blacksmith, Belalurion agreed to help Kharamash find a shrine in the forest, in order that he might spend some time in prayer and contemplation. The whole group decided to make this journey. Soon after leaving Eastbridge, however, the group encountered Valios, who was rather less than pleased with the group. He demanded to know both the events which surrounded the death of Urbano Almas and the reasons for Honor killing a stag in the forest Valios protects. Honor assured Valios that the stag had been killed in a respectful manner, and that the entire animal had been used. The whole group pointed out the affinity they have for nature, and Valios grudgingly accepted their version of events.

To further allay Valios’ fears, he asked the group to find and speak to a man known as “Mr. Summer”, and to report back to him what they made of the mysterious individual. Valios further promised to direct the group to a place, individual or group who could help with Kharamash’s religious quest if they complied with his wishes.

On returning to Eastbridge our motley band of adventurers soon started hearing of an “End of Summer Festival”, and the association with Mr. Summer. They started formulating some theories as to his involvement, some relatively accurate and some wildly inaccurate.

To try to find out some more information Kharamash and Belalurion headed to The End of the Road, a rather rougher tavern than The Dragon and Flagon. Although they failed to uncover any information they did find an innkeeper in good spirits who spent some time trying to convince “Dragon” (Kharamash) to enter the fighting ring.

The group also went to the Temple of Waukeen.

Having exhausted their lines of enquiry, the group headed to the Festival, where their first port of call was the archery contest. Belalurion entered the contest and got a very good score, narrowly missing out on first place. Kharamash entered the contest and shot himself in the foot. Belalurion then shot Kharamash. Again.

The group then headed (Kharamash with a distinct limp) to the fortune teller’s tent. Belalurion was overcome by the smell of incense, but the others had their fortunes told by Mystic Margery (?). I can’t remember the details….

  • Stall of random crap.
  • Mr. Summer went on stage pissed, said a little speech and disappeared.
  • We went back to Vallios + explained what happened. He made a trail for us to follow.
  • Autumn was a big, fuck-off birdman.
  • Explanation of what had happened and how people could be replaced.
  • The whole thing was because of the spell which froze people in time.
  • Needed to find a replacement. Honor suggested Sebastian.
  • Went to find Sebastian (also checked barrels) – S was willing to help.
  • Went back to the clearing, talked to each season in turn.
  • Woke up winter, convinced him to kill himself.
  • All got horses.
Loose Ends and Straw Men

Continuing directly from the events of High Midnight, the group were approached by members of the Reeve’s personal guard as soon as they appeared back in Eastbridge. Prevented from resting or healing up after their fights in the tower, they were taken straight to the Reeve’s compound. On the journey Belalurion healed Melody’s wounds, the first appearance of his magical abilities.

On arrival at the compound they were briefly brought before the Reeve, but before they could explain anything or have a civilised discussion they were taken down to the cells beneath the main chamber. They were ordered to remove their weapons, and after a tense exchange with the captain, in which the captain revealed his fear of Miss Sinclair, they complied. Belalurion tried (but failed miserably) to conceal his daggers and darts.

Each member of the group was then taken for questioning by Miss Sinclair and an unknown(?) man. They knew aspects of our pasts, for most of the group things that wouldn’t be too hard to find out, but Honor implied that they knew things they should not, and might have magical/telepathic methods of finding information.

While the individual interrogations were taking place, the group befriended a guard named Gurvin who has a daughter that would love to meet a pixie princess. He sees the Reeve as a hard but fair master.

Having determined that the group told the truth by seeing that our stories matched, the guards handed back the equipment that had been taken, and the group were released back into Eastbridge.

After being released, the first priority for most was to get some rest and recover our strength. Kharamash and Melody went straight to the Dragon and Flagon where they overheard a farmer talking about problems in the fields. Honor went into the forest to try and hunt a stag, but failed on this attempt. Belalurion did a sweep of the village perimeter, and thought something was amiss to the west but could not determine the source. They then all met at the Dragon and Flagon to rest.

The group was awoken in the middle of the night by a scream outside the window. Looking out, they could not see anything immediately, Melody flew down and Belalurion attempted to jump out, and damaged his leg by falling rather badly. All they saw was a fallen torch that had gone out. The group pursued (a noise?) to the western edge of the village, but couldn’t find the girl who had screamed.

They decided that they needed a full rest to be able to deal with anything they found, and dawn was approaching, so Kharamash, Melody and Honor returned to the inn for a full rest. Belalurion, as an elf, had already rested enough, and so set out into the fields to try and find anything that might lead them to the cause of the disturbance, and after 8 hours of searching had only discovered that the scarecrows were all in circles rather than being spread out through the fields.

The four met back at the inn when a full rest had been completed and planned their investigations. Honor went back into the forest and successfully hunted a stag, commissioning Shautha to make her some armour from the hide. Belalurion contacted Joe Penn, a member of the shadier side of Eastbridge that he has dealt with before, and discovered that the greyscript we had discovered beneath the dragon and flagon said “cache this way”.

During her hunt for the stag, Honor drank one of the potions we had found, and increased her speed permanently. Seeing this, the group went back into the tunnels below the inn to try and get more of the potions, but Sebastian told the group that everything had been taken away, and the forest was dying. He was advised to go into the Forest of Liadon and find Valios, who may be able to protect him.

Kharamash and Melody talked to the leader of the farmer’s union, and discovered that the scarecrows move on their own and no-one goes out after dark, so the group waited until dusk and went out into the fields.

Carrying only 1 torch, with Kharamash drinking a potion granting him permanent darkvision but turning his eyes red, the group were attacked by some crows. Melody threw fire at some, which brought more, but they were defeated without too much damage being taken. Then they were set upon by three scarecrows. After throwing one of his swords away, Belalurion took down one. Kharamash saw his example and threw away his axe while doing a good job blocking with his shield. Melody burnt one to a crisp while Honor and Belalurion finished the third. The two that hadn’t been burnt then combined into a bigger scarecrow, which was eventually defeated by Belalurion shooting an arrow into its face, knocking it backwards into a torch that Honor held, and burning it to ash. A green ball of some sort of magical energy that had been animating the scarecrows then vanished and the danger to the fields is assumed to have ended.

The group returned to the inn for the night, had the final two potions identified and drank them. The effects are as follows:

Heightened sense of smell
Can control hair growth, grow by up to 1 inch per day.

+1 Wisdom
Immune to Poison

Speed Increase
Ability to hold breath tripled

+1 Intelligence

High Midnight

Resuming the morning after the adventure into the caves beneath the Dragon and Flagon, the adventurers meet to divide the loot. They decide to go their separate ways for the day, before meeting in the evening to discuss their future direction.

Honor headed to the alchemist (The Cauldron) in the hope of identifying the potions picked up below. After refusing to pay the asking price, she bartered an identify spell in exchange for the herbs she had gathered. After finishing at The Cauldron she headed to the Temple of Waukeen to enquire about Sister Grace.

Kharamash, meanwhile, went to Mr Lyle’s Emporium with a dual purpose – to buy back his pawned lute, and to identify symbols found on a wall in the caves. He was successful in both, with the ‘writing’ identified as GreyScript. He returned to the tavern, and generously bought drinks for the entire establishment. He then spoke with Tallstag at the tavern, discussing what the group found when exploring underneath his establishment.

Belalurion first obtained some armor from Shautha (a half-orc blacksmith). Although he sought something a bit flashier than what she could provide, he settled for some studded armor. He proceeded to visit Beautiful Death and, after some banter with Laurian Naïlo bought x x x x x x x.

Melody took the silver necklace found by the group during their initial adventure to the Temple of Waukeen. As there was no holy energy associated with the item, she was directed toward Mr. Lyle. After some bartering, she managed to get him to pay 50g for the necklace.

As they continued their errands, all four adventurers crossed paths in the centre of the Market Square, when the sun was engulfed by black tendrils, the sky turning pitch black. The townsfolk began to panic, as a bright purple light shot into the sky from the forest. The citizens shouted blames toward ‘the tiefling in the temple’ and ‘the wizard.’ Honor attempted to get more information from the hysterical crowd, but they would not provide any specific details. Within moments, the Reeve, Mathis Dahn, flanked by a half-orc and a human female, entered the market square. Without hesitation, he recruited the group to handle the disturbance by bringing in the sorcerer (or his head). Harm was implied if they did not comply. Kharamash, wanting to keep the citizens safe, pushed for the group to investigate.

The troop travelled to the east side of Eastbridge, heading towards its namesake. At the bridge, they encountered a helpful young man, member of the town guard, who was willing to share as much information as possible (although this didn’t amount to much). The group followed the road and entered the forest. They could not follow the path for long, as it was obvious that the ominous purple light came from deep in the forest. Heading off the path, the group walked, encountering a clearing.

In the centre of the clearing were two armoured skeletons, locked in combat, seemingly frozen. The two stood in a circle of dirt, where nothing seemed to grow. Belalurion did a quick check around the edge of the clearing, checking for anything which would be informative or troublesome. He returned, but had not found anything more. Kharamash cast detect evil and good on the skeletons, and they did not register as either. Honor entered the clearing, and had a feeling that one of the skeletons was looking at her. After walking around the two, she did not see anything that led her to believe they could see her. She grabbed a plant from the ground (including some dirt) and threw it into the circle, and it immediately wilted. She took her staff to try and return the plant to outside the circle, but her staff burned and disintegrated, leaving it at about 2/3 length. The group decided to leave the circle and continue.

The group heard a fast pounding in the distance, assuming it to be a horse. From the forest emerged a centaur who identified himself as Valios. He had been watching the group, and approached them regarding the sorcerer, Urbano Almas. He explained that the sorcerer had been good to the forest, and warned the group that unprovoked violence would not be tolerated. Without another word, he left the adventurers where they stood.

Belalurion used his tracking ability to lead the group to a large tower. It spiralled into the sky, surrounded by a wrought iron gate with a, seemingly, locked door. The group met with a vision of the sorcerer, taunting the group. He quickly disappeared. Thaumatergy had no effect on the door, as it seems to have been enchanted against magic use. The door was pushed open by Belalurion (?). Walking either side of a large tree, the group met a pair of gargoyles. Reluctant to help, they were eventually sweet talked by Belalurion to consider entry for the group. The gargoyles posed 3 riddles to the group, which, if solved correctly, would allow them entry. Kharamash answered each riddle correctly. allowing entry. Inside was only a seemingly never-ending staircase. The group searched the stairway and walls for secret doors, with no luck. They began to walk up the stairs, separating so that each individual could still see at least one other. Still, they made no progress. Belalurion went back out to speak with the gargoyles to see if it would be possible to get a bit more information about the stairs. After some prodding the gargoyles relented, giving the hint that “perception is the key.” After some experimenting, the group realised if they closed their eyes, and moved, they would reach the door.

Another unlocked door was opened, and the group found themselves in what seemed like a library. In the middle of the room was a large table covered with books, a giant suit of armour underneath a raised landing. Two sets of stairs on either side of the room lead to a landing, and a big door.

Honor approached the table to inspect the books, when the armour came to life due to an arcane enchantment. The two swords it held rose into the air and began to spin. The group took down the armour, followed by the two swords. The group didn’t take any major damage, excluding an arrow to the shoulder sustained by Honor from Belalurion. In turn, each member of the group tried to pry the arrow from her shoulder, resulting in a little more damage for the tiefling. The battle was the first appearance of Melody’s animal form. The group immediately climbed the stairs, approaching the large door. As suspected, Thaumatergy had no effect. Kharamash took the lead to try and open the door. Unlike before, the door reacted, the group was blasted away from the door. Kharamash fell from the landing to the lower floor, the other three pushed sideways. The sorcerer appeared, taunting the group. From atop the door, a cracking sounds caught everyone’s attention, as the gargoyle came to life. The manticore dropped down onto the floor, with another round of combat beginning immediately. After another tough round of combat, the manticore was taken down, with final blow by Honor.

The sorcerer appeared to the group, and it was determined that the familiar figure they saw at the bottom of the tower was an illusion or an imposter. The sorcerer was ready to discuss the occurrence with the team, but the sorcerer was stabbed from behind by Varadrex. Without warning, the group was transported back to the Market Square, still covered in blood and gore.

What Did You Expect?

The main points for someone to flesh out from your point of view:

  • Tallstag recruited the adventurers
  • Encountered Sebastian in the basement who they negotiated with
  • Explored the tunnel and encountered the illusionary cave-in
  • Went into the Spider’s Lair where they fought spiders and Belalurion nearly died from venom
  • Reached the underground stream. Broke the bridge immediately and would have been swept away were it not for the rope.
  • Did some crazy arrows with rope onto lanterns stuff
  • Encountered a mysterious voice in the alcove then buggered off
  • Refurned to the voice and opened the treasure chest. No treasure but searched and found the Smuggler’s Bag of Holding
  • Found a door on the right which they couldn’t pick the lock off. Then Kharamash smashed the living shit out of the door.
  • Belalurion found the trip wire and disarmed it. The party then spent ages he King everything for more traps, not realising that the pressure plates weren’t armed because the trip wire wasn’t triggered.
  • Didn’t go into the barrel room.
  • Almost went into the underground forest, then doubled back to the barrel room.
  • Lots of craziness trying to pour potions into various receptacles. Eventually used the enchanted vials.
  • Went back to the forest and encountered a warg and a wolf.
  • Went further in and encounter Varodrex on a stone dias. He taunted them and Belalurion fired an arrow across his cheek.
  • Varodrex summoned some zombies with some evil vials of crap. The zombies were useless but just didn’t want to die.
  • Afterwards they raided his laboratory and found the scroll that burst into flames.
  • Backtracked, relocated Sebastian into the forest area then got a reward from Tallstag.

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