Tension at the Gates
- The party makes its may back to Sumberton to warn as many groups as they can. When they reach the southeast gate they are stopped by the Sumberton Militia. Haps appearance creates a little bit of stir. He decides to try to gain entrance by other means and heads down to the river. Grigori and Justinian continue to clash with the militia and finally get an escort to Sumberton Keep. Down at the river Hap catches the eye of boatman. This ends up being Vintra. Vintra remembered Hap’s brother Hef and the two seem to get along despite Hap’s demonic looks.
A Temple of Revelations
- One last sweep through the the Slaughtergarde Temple reveals a library. Hap sits in a large demonic chair and with his newly aquired “curse” he is able to call forth information from the scattered pages and scrolls throughout the room.
- Hap found a piece of paper that referred to orders given to destroy a hero named Parathane. Parathane was the owner of a sword named Silversteel and he had used this sword to strike down several demons. The orders are noted as incomplete by a group known as the Darkhorn Sentinels. They claim that Parathane was killed deep under Castle Syrgref but the sword Silversteel was not destroyed and was not recovered.
- The Regalia of the Screaming Sorcerer are discovered to have been split apart. The scepter is in the Vaathwood and the emeralds were set into a crown and given to an elven paladin of the Ethnari.
- Kuthrakka was a demon whose orders were to infiltrate and deceive. He was to weaken the unity of the valley before Xu-tahn Laa transported his mountain from the abyss to this plane. A success is noted in that some of the humans from the Surrinak family had joined Xu-tahn Laa’s cause.
- When the Tomb of Forbidden Stars is asked for Hap receives some information that states the tome helps determine when the stars are in proper alignment for abyssal energies.
- The Sigils that are used on the gates are discovered to be a focus for the abyssal energies and allows them to open briefly at times to bridge the planes.
- When Goramnus name is called out Hap finds that he was the arbiter, executioner and harvester of souls. He was a demon revered for his emotionless devotion to demonic judgment.
- Returning to the room where they found the statue of Goramnus the party breaks open the sarcophugus and they retrieve the sword.
- Instead of turning the sword of Goramnus over to the imp the group decides to sacrifice it to the oracle. With this act they gain more insight from the oracle and then they destroy it:
- Within Sumberton, a tenebrous evil grows among the nobility. Seek allies there.
- Kill the knowledge seekers and their blind eyes will not be able to predict our paths.
- The Tombwood is alive again, the red morning mists have come and the barrow king will rise.
- When the party exits the temple they set fire to the lodge.
- Discussions ensue between the members. Should they set off to the south to warn the elves that the drow are going to raid in the next couple of days or should they head back to Sumberton were they can warn a larger group of people.
- Eventually it is decided to return to Sumberton and then try to send word to the elves as quickly as possible.
Another piece of Slaughtergarde
- Similar demonic structures are found as the party descends. Violet Energy Arches and Fiery Demon Arches. At first the group ignores them because they cannot read the demonic writing.
- The first fight in this dungeon is against a blazing skeleton. In a strange scene a blazing skeleton comes to life on an altar as the skulls in the cubby holes that surround the room begin to form up with skeletal bodies that lie on the floor. After the skeletons were defeated a search revealed a demonic holy symbol on the blazing skeleton.
- The Imp – The next encounter was with an Imp. It did not attack the group and seemed to be protected by a barrier that also protected a statue of great demon that it sat upon. In talking to the imp you found out that it no longer wanted to be here and wish a release. It requested that you get a magical sword for it,
“Powerful and evil, she does not know about it, I will take its magic and leave this place. A being of fire guards the room but do not disturb the treasure.” The imp also tells you that a female drow has dominion over this place, her name is Lanthurrae.
- The party finds a room with a half-drow warlock and some hobgoblins. The room is a storage/staging area. With the defeat of these creatures a side room with a battle map of the Forest of Althaea is discovered. Also a tunnel leading deeper into the underdark is found.
- After successfully navigating a puzzle room that is used to test loyalty and the ability to recognize the hierarchy of demons, Hap is rewarded by being turned a reddish color, gaining small horns, a demonic tattoo and given a magical staff. Hap also finds he can read, write and speak Abyssal.
- Kuthrakka – In a room full of statues the party finds that only a statue of a demon named Kuthrakka remains undefiled. This statue looks the same as a demon they saw in a group of magical mirrors from the Slaughtergarde Laboratory. The mirrors in the laboratory replayed an image of this beast murdering another demon.
- A combat with gnolls takes place in another room still further into what feels like the temple of Slaughtergarde. Justinian recognizes that these gnolls are the same ones who attacked Kel’s Rise nearly six months ago. They are expecting their leader, who is meeting with Lanthurrae, to return. The group decides to wait it out and set up an ambush in the room they are in. The ambush is successful and the leader of this group of gnolls is killed. On the bodies the party finds amulets that allow them to pass through the demon arches that guard so many of the doorways of this place.
- Continuing on the party moves through the room that has a statue of Goramnus and a magma beast. They quickly move through the room, dispatching the magma beast with the thought of coming back to it later. Hap touches the coins that the imp told them not to touch. A great flash of light and a bang stun him momentarily and then another magma beast is seen beginning to rise from a pool of lava in the southeast corner of the room. The group moves on not wishing to recreate the cycle.
- Lanthurrae and Mallik – Moving away from the Memorial Room the group encounters another Fiery Demon Arch. Grigori successfully figures out the runes on the floor in front of the archway and disables the dangerous flames. However, this gives them away. They enter a room with a statue of crone in the four corners of the room and they interrupt Lanthurrae. Just as they do so, Mallik Surrinak enters the room from a hallway to the east. Quickly they engage in combat, Mallik is directed by Lanthurrae to leave and get the sigil. Grigori and Justinian attempt to stop him but he is slippery and manages to flee to the east. Lanthurrae, a Lolthbound goblin and 4 spider minions are quickly overwhelmed. Lanthurrae flees and Hap tries to keep up with her but his short Halfling legs are no match for her long elven strides. Lanthurrae berated her attackers:
“You fools! Whatever cause you fight for is lost! The drow raiders of Karkan-Amon will be here within the next day. You have no hope of stopping us. For the glory of Lloth, the Emerald Crown will return to the rightful heirs of Illsha’s Throne, and allied with Kuthrakka we will cover this valley in darkness!”
- Mallik’s Farewell – After losing out on stopping Lanthurrae the party makes its way east into a large room hoping to catch Mallik. Unfortunately, Mallik had enough time to do what he wanted to. A massive fiendish spider loomed in the south part of the room. Mallik waiting for his dramatic farewell scene leaves the room through an exit to the east. You catch the sight of Mallik over to the east entering a passageway. He is carrying something heavy, probably the sigil from the stone gate to the west. Turning to look at you, Mallik speaks:
“I apologize for not being a better host. I am afraid I have other urgent matters to attend to. I would have liked watching you become a snack to this wonderful creature. If you somehow manage to survive … and I have been impressed by your resourcefulness so far … have no doubt that I will make sure you are the ones who will be hunted down and dealt with first when Kuthrakka is returned to his rightful form.” At this point you see Mallik clutch something that hangs around his neck and tuck it inside his shirt.
“Till then, Justinian and friends, know only that a worse fate awaits you if you defeat this fiend.” A strange smile creeps across his face and then he turns to the massive spider and speaks something in an abyssal voice that is not his own. As soon as he is done he disappears down the east passageway.
- The battle with the fiendish spider was tough at the beginning. The floor was covered with webs and every time a someone got caught in one a smaller spider dropped from the ceiling hoping to that they would have an easy snack. Justinian felt a divine presence push him into battle. Melora called on him to strike down the fiendish spider. Grigori did his best to gain the spiders attention and he did so. Hap continually tried to burn the webs and keep the smaller spiders off of Justinian and Grigori. The fiendish spider tried to keep the party at bay but they were too much for it. Justinian made the killing blow and Melora was pleased with his actions.
- At the southern end of the room was some sort of demonic oracle. The altar set before the statue has gold, weapons, armor and jade inlaid bracers on it. Grigori touches one of the weapons and it turns to dust. The statue speaks:
“My sight transcends time, but my advice comes only with sacrifice.” Hap decides to test out the oracle by placing some treasure on the altar. The oracle responds with three cryptic messages:
“The Regalia of the Screaming Sorcerer will one day be reunited, but only after his scepter is retrieved from the depths of the Vaathwood and his Emerald Crown is taken back from the Ethnari.”
“Make sure that the Demonbane sword stays entombed. If it sees a new dawn the champion who carries it will be the piercing light that shatters the coming darkness.”
“Only one more obelisk must fall and then the doorway to our home beneath the mark left by the dread mountain will be free to regain its power.”
Through the Wyrmwood Grove
- You try to carefully make your way through the Wyrmwood Grove on Surrinak lands. Unfortunately trackers catch up with the party. Grigori decides the best course of action is to confront the trackers. The trackers are lead by a Surrinak noble who is unyielding and declares your lives forfeit for trespassing. During the battle it is discovered that a half-drow is among the trackers and his cloak is made up of a spider swarm. The group struggles to defeat the trackers but under difficult odds it does so. Only a few archers manage to escape.
- After the battle the group makes its way to the hunting lodge. They take a brief rest but realize that they must move quickly because it is possible that the reinforcements may arrive.
- Behind the large stone hearth in the Surrinak lodge they find an entrance to something that leads into the depths of the Tanglethorn Mountains.
A Cryptic Message
- Naryalla revealed to you that the piece of mirror you brought was a communication device. It was probably used by the inhabitants of Slaughtergarde to communicate quickly with each other.
- When Fenigan, a Sage of the Azure Eye, touched the mirror, his eyes turned an azure blue color and he revealed a cryptic message:
“Stolen are the pages used to foretell the stars; a force for good is toppled, a piece bound and reversed; the missing sigil is reforged and restored to its rightful place; the traitor is now the master.”
- Fenigan also explains there was a rumor that a demon went to the angelic host and revealed great secrets to them about the mountain. It is not known what he received for betraying his own kind.
- You learn that the obelisks, which are scattered about the valley, were used during the battle of Slaughtergarde to siphon away the demonic magic that was used to bring a mountain from another plane to the valley.
- There are several major obelisks. They seem to have been targeted over the past year. The ones that have been destroyed were located at: Castle Andrushel (dragon attack), Kel’s Rise (gnoll marauders), and the Ruins of Castle Syrgref (hill giants). The major obelisk in Sumberton was attacked but the group, with some luck, prevented its complete destruction.
Murder in Sumberton
- There were two Sages of the Azure Eye within Sumberton until recently. One was murdered not long ago. Not many people know of the sages’ existence.
- The Sages of the Azure Eye are the foremost authority on the Battle of Slaughtergarde. It was the blind dwarf sage Thermeskor who had the first visions. With his warnings and the joint efforts of the various other races in the valley they were able to prepare in time.
Stolen, the Tome of Forbidden Stars
- When you went to go see Chendra and the Sage of the Azure Eye at the guildhouse of the Scholars of Arken, you found that the guildhouse had been raided. Two of the assailants were killed. One was a member of the Shadowhand Crew (a band of rogues within Sumberton) and the other was a half-drow female. Stolen from the guildhouse were several books, most importantly the Tome of Forbidden Stars.
A change in lordship
- Lord Irken Surrinak has just died. His son Ellistan Surrinak is the new lord. Ellistan and his cousin Mallik have left Sumberton and are now on their way back to Castle Surrinak.
- Another major obelisk is known to reside within Surrinak Castle.
More proof is needed
- Dragonlord Harrak of the Luminous Order has asked you to infiltrate the Wyrmbane Grove and find out why a dark creeper in the goblin lair had a map leading to a Surrinak hunting lodge. Harrak is not willing to do anything directly against the Surrinak’s or on their land without more proof that something is there.
Kruthiks? In the City?
- While wandering back from the release of Justinian the group passes the obelisk in the center of Sumberton. It is night and several militiamen were attacked by something and dragged into the sewers. There is a brief interruption as Hef is startled by his relative Hap who has followed him and tells him that he must leave and go home. After the interruption the group investigates and finds that Kruthiks are in the sewers. Further in the group sees the kruthiks eating away at the base of the obelisk. The group defeats the kruthiks and their dark creeper keeper.
Returning to Sumberton/Justinian’s Divine Rage/The Surrinaks
- Upon their return to Sumberton, Justinian gets into a spat with a noble. It turns out the noble is the next in line to the Surrinak throne, Ellistan Surrinak. Justinian gets jailed for attacking Ellistan after Ellistan strikes his own cousin Mallik.
- The group returns most of the crates to Vintra, the heirloom sword to Hala and they tell Naryalla of fate of the Ebon Cabalist. (The hobgoblin was attempting to raise him as a zombie).
- Justinian is visited by Ellistan’s cousin, Mallik while he is in jail. Mallik tells Justinian that he may be able to repay him in the near future. Justinian gets a bad feeling from Mallik and his cloaked female friend.
- The goblin warren that you explored is now confirmed to be a piece of an ancient demonic stronghold called Slaughtergarde.
Into the goblin den
- The goblin marauders seem to inhabit a previously constructed place. You find a laboratory, demonic structures and what might have been a gate. You discover a goblin with ties to Lolth and a Hobgoblin necromancer. You also come away with a map that leads to a Surrinak Hunting Lodge in Wyrmbane Grove and a note that states,
“Ruined, No salvageable sigils”. For the first time you encounter the demonic bugs called Kruthik.
Old wounds and A Quest for … spices?
- The Council of Seven (a druidic council who is based in the Andrall Forest), has concerns about a growing sense of evil in the valley. They have been worried recently that
“old wounds have re-opened, a vile growth once thought purged is reemerging.” What exactly it is they cannot say because a dark veil weakens their communication with the land. Both Hef Whitefoot and Justinian are privy to these concerns.
- The Council of Seven recently received a request from Vintra Tunsel to help with a goblin problem. The problem is that a group of goblins attacked a Riverstone caravan, traveling between Tulvercross and Sumberton, several days ago. There are some items that guild needs recovered. With so many other problems going on at the edges of the valley no one wants to deal with a small band of goblins right away. It sends Hef to meet with his friend Justinian in Sumberton and from there they can investigate Vintra’s problem and whether or not this has a greater connection with the Council’s other concerns.
- Grigori, coming to Sumberton to learn about the Luminous Order, is sent to Vintra by Sir Falston Tordell to prove his worth. There he meets with Hef and Justinian.
- The group is hired by Vintral Tunsel, a Riverstone merchant guild member, to regain some spice crates from a group of goblin marauders. They have been tracked back to the Stonemantle Ridge just south of Sumberton.
- The group also was met by a woman named Hala who hoped that they could find her husband’s sword. He was part of the caravan guard. The sword is a family heirloom passed down from her father.
- A woman named Naryalla, who is a part of the mysterious Ebon Cabal, also approached the group. A member of the order was travelling with the caravan and disappeared in the attack. She would like to have him rescued or at least find out what happened to him.