Earthday, Planting 6, CY 593
The group woke the next day, and found that Betty was gone. He left without a word or so much of what was bothering him, maybe it might have been because they killed the Brass Dragon when he tried to redeem it. He did express extreme animosity over it in a few choice wise words. We continued with the morning with preparing spells eating and talking where to go next. We decided to move on without Betty and go to the portal in the cave on the outskirts of the village to go back to Pedestal to get more supplies from the market. When we went through the portal with the Sertrous key the emerald eye cracked and then broke when we came back through to head towards castle Sertrous. With the help of Laurana and her knowledge of arcana that the key would need another emerald gem for it to work with the portal again.
Waterday, Planting 5, CY 593 (Evening)continued
The time is at hand to move the prisoners out of here. Betty and Thulsa continued to attack the archers on the above balcony slowly taking them down, while Laurana, casts Flame arrow onto Obelyn to help with doing more damge with his shots, but ended up getting stuck behind his wolf Kiba, that was stuck in the entangle, trying to get out there to shoot at the yuan-ti archers. After opening the front gates Shintra headed up the ramp to help out with the archers. They took many hits and moved in close to them to lessen the amount of arrows coming at them, but still suffered much damage from the arrows. Laurana Continued to shoot her crossbow from below, and Zef started to get the prisoners out the front gate while the archers were occupied.
After the archers were finally taken down and the prisoners were all out of the castle, they gathered in the surrounding field village area to meet up with Clora. Here they made arrangements with her to be able to sleep one more night within the barn to get some needed rest, healing and spells for such a task of infiltrating castle Serastis to stop a major ritual from happening. Clora warned them that resting here has a risk of them getting caught by the Yuan-ti for they have been known to survey the village from time to time and it has increased of late because of the increased activity in and out of the castle. But they still seem pre-occupied with something else as they do not go out of their way to make a thorough search. The group decided that this night they might need to have a watch to make sure they get uninteruppted sleep. During the night their was a Yuan-ti scout party out checking the village, but were not discovered because of covering themselves with cow dung before settling in for the night.
Waterday, Planting 5, CY 593 (Evening)
The group checked to make sure everyone was okay and if anyone needed some healing. Betty came out from the small shrine area of to the side of the meeting hall. As they started to go back through the torture room to make their way to the ramp stairwell that went down to the dungeon of the castle, Shintra heard a wimper coming from one of the cells of to the side of the room and quickly went over to find that it was a wolf and what appears to be his master in the cell next to him.
The human within the next cell was woken up to find out what they were doing here. He stated was a ranger named Obelyn Tendael and the wolf, Kiba, was his companion. He did not remember where he was from or how he got there and was interested in going along with the group to help since he had no sense of direction or where to go at the moment. Shintra agreed, along with the rest of the party, while Zef was being impatient for the group to get a move on to the dungeon below.
When they reached the bottom of the spiral ramp at the entrance to the dungeon they heard a sobbing cry of a female coming from one of the cells of to their left. Further investigation showed that the cell had an elven female named Selirra crying because she was locked up and soon to be tortured by those snake-like creatures. They had told her she would be set free after looking around to make sure it was safe and if there were any others they could set free. The rest of the 20’ wide dungeon was shaped as an H and had 10’ cube cells lining all the walls except for the center that went to an open archway that had a putrid smell coming from it. While exploring, Zef cast Omen of Peril to get a sense of what was too come and Thulsa used his detect evil on the rest of the cells where they had found 12 more prisoners, besides Selirra, there was a loud mouth, cocky dwarf named Daverov and a female yuan-ti named Ossuru. They had some trust issues with Ossuru, since she was detected as evil, but worked out a compromise to help her out since it looked like she was brutally tortured and starved while being a prisoner.
The group was all over the dungeon trying to conserve time with Zef going around with the jailor’s keys and opening the cell doors. It was at this time when the group was attacked by a yuan-ti ghost. Zef did some attempts to turn but to no avail and it seemed hell bent on not letting the prisoners escape. The yuan-ti ghost with its surprise and strike tactics drained the life out of 3 prisoners, along with Thulsa feeling weak and Zef not as wise in his thoughts, and looking like we needed to step up on getting everyone out of this dungeon prison. While moving out of the dungeon they discovered that the ghost seems to not go after anyone that is within any of the cells, and moaning “No one escapes their prison cells” as it attacked the prisoners. Thulsa seemed to have been favored from the ghost attacks, as he had hurt it with the most damage from his ghost-touch weapon “Merthuvial”. They finally all reached the the stair ramp to go back up to the main level of the castle, but not without losing 3 prisoners to the yuan-ti ghost.
When they reached the top of the ramp stairs, they regrouped in the torture chamber room with all the 8 prisoners left to get out of the castle. When they opened the door to the main chamber they were greeted by Yuan-ti archers. A plan was needed to prevent anymore deaths to the prisoners as they helped them to freedom. They started to move them of to the right into the Kitchen and dining area off the main hall while Thulsa, Betty and Zef went along the wall under the Balcony of the upper level to get to the front main gates to open them. An Entangle spell was cast to slow them down while getting hit from arrows by 8 archers. Thulsa had reached the first large winch and waited for Betty to get the other winch, but instead went up the ramp stairs to go after the archers. Shintra was at the dining room doors close to the castle gate, and Obelyn Tendael with Laurana were at the torture room door. Zef along the wall at the first set of doors to the dining room cast dispel magic to get rid of the Entangle spell, to only have it cast again in the main hall area the next round. Obelyn Tendael and Laurana started using their range weapons to try and hit the archers. Betty knocked over one of the archers over the balcony when he got to the top and then came back down after he was shot at with 13 arrows. Thulsa seen this and both him and Betty went back up the ramp to take out more of the archers. Shintra then moved over to the winch and had successfully opened one of the two Iron Portcullis leading to the outside and did the same with the other winch. Zef did some healing while getting shot at and started to move over to the dining area to start moving the prisoners to the outside. Here lies the fate of these prisoners and hopefully do not end up dead like the others that did so far.
Waterday, Planting 5, CY 593
Zef appeared in the main hall and advancing towards the group to offer his assistance once again, with Bariard still missing in action. Betty continued back into the temple area as if he had a compulsion to snakes. No time to worry about that, as we are currently facing yuan-ti with an intent to take care of us for the intrusion we have committed.
With Darkness in place by the abomination, Laurana commanded the Megaraptor skeleton to move over to attack the abomination and keep it busy. Shintra and the wolf helped alongside the skeletal creature. Thulsa was stuck at the other doorway taking care of the humans trying to get into the room with Zef moving up fast to help the group. Zef moved in to help with the Snake Abomination as Thulsa took care of the 2 human fighter cultists, but not after getting hit with arrows by the 4 Yuan-ti archers in the background. The yuan-ti sorcerer cast more spells on herself since Thulsa was Suggested to protect her from anyone wanting to damage her. The Abomination was damaged severely by the skeletal Megaraptor, but ended up destroying the skeleton. Zef and Shintra had taken care of the abomination with a few more hits and moved over to help the others.
Laurana and Thulsa in the meantime had moved into the room to take care of the archers, which they have already drew their swords and starting advancing. Thulsa was locked in combat with these archers and the others turned their attention towards the sorcerer. But when Shintra hit the yuan-ti sorcerer with her sword, Thulsa turned his attention towards her and when he got close to the both of them ended up triggering a pit trap that he was able to avoid falling into.
Zef and Laurana finished off the remaining archers, with Shintra trying to kill the yuan-ti sorcerer just when Thulsa had come over to try and protect her, the yuan-ti corcerer polymorphed into a tiny viper snake and went down into the pit.
The Group was victorious this day, but the bones of the dead king still have not been found, with Bariard having been gone for so long and Betty hiding out somewhere in the small chapel room. There is still more to be done and rest seems a luxury we don’t have here like we did in the Sinister Spire.
Waterday, Planting 5, CY 593
The group woke up the next morning feeling rested. They studied spells, ate some and noticed that no one else was there but themselves. Chavakuth and the rest were gone along with Bariard and Zef. Now was not a good time for them to go wandering, but at least Betty was better and there with them when they awoke. They decided to press on and not wait, time was of an importance.
They headed out into the main hall with Laurana checking in on her skeleton controlled Megaraptor. They went to explore a room next to what looked like the dining room and it turned out to be the kitchen. Group then moved to the back of the main hall and to the left door to head toward the basement to go after the the other group of Poison-dusk lizardfolk. When they opened the door they saw a sight that took them back for a moment. It was a true chamber of horrors with all kinds of devices used in a torture chamber, with blood not only covered the room but also lied in pools around the room. The room was actually being used with a yuan-ti pureblood torturing a frail prisoner on a stretching rack. There was also a yuan-ti abomination and 2 half-bloods standing by within the room.
The attack started swiftly with the half-bloods drawing bows and shooting at the group. That is where Shintra cast a Wind Wall spell and then the Abomination moved forward to the doorway. Betty at the same time decided to try and go around to get into the torture room through the side door he saw when the front double doors were opened. As he opened the double doors on the right he ran into another set of Yuan-ti in what looked like a prayer room with a yuan-ti preaching to others and a couple of humans. The preacher looked like some kind of yuan-ti sorcerer and they were quick to act to the disturbance. It was right at that time the 2 half-bloods from the torture room came in through the side doors and they attacked the new threat at the alter room doors with the help of the rest in the room; 2 humans, 2 half-bloods and a pure-blood sorcerer.
The abomination cast a darkness spell that dampened Thulsa’s light from his sword, which at this point was glowing red. There were other spells cast by the pure-bloods with a lot of them not succeeding nor were they identified. But there was a spell that had affected Thulsa charming him into protecting the yuan-ti sorcerer that was behind the podium. Next round the Yuan-ti abomination had did some sort of mind effect on Betty and was ready to dart from the room to go outside.
The odds are currently against the group, but maybe Zef and Bariard will return to help out. The fight is just beginning and soon the fate of the group will unfold.
Godsday, Planting 4, CY 593 – Evening
Outside the castle walls, in the slave village of Sertrous, among the fields of the Cettrux hill. A foreign being by the name of Zef came here, from the nightmare realm, looking to free the slaves of the village. It was at this time he ran into Bariard, going to get the rest of his things that he needed, and started to interact with one another. Zef, a Diabolian, told Bariard why he was here and he agreed with Zef. Bariard told him of a group inside the castle on the same type of mission, but doing a little more than just freeing the slaves.
Zef was inspired and wanted to meet the group. Bariard and Zef started towards the castle to run into a Yuan-ti patrol coming out. The patrol had 3 warrior men and 2 yuan-ti half-blood archers. Bariard rushed in towards the humans and felt right at home being in the middle of the attackers, gaining extra defense to take them on. Zef followed up moving in towards the archers and using his trident to eventually take one out as Bariard took out the three humans. The last of them took off in the meantime back into the castle, realizing he was out matched. They left him go, while Zef healed some of their wounds.
When they arrived into the castle Bariard took Zef to the lesser shrine where the group had talked with Chavakuth. He told the group where to go and help him out and in return give them a place to rest without interruption. Zef communicate dwith Chavakuth and found they went upstairs to go into the Central Tower, known as the Tower of the Way, to go and kill some Poisondusk Lizardfolk for him. They both went up to meet with the group. As Zef and Bariard reached the foyer, at the top of the steps in the tower, they noticed the pair of doors wide open. As they walked in, asking if there was anyone there, were attacked by the Bronze Dragon. As the Battle took place the rest of the group heard the fighting going on outside of the map room they were held up in. They moved on out of the room to help them out and found Bariard with some other demon like creature fighting the bronze dragon. They came out just when the dragon breather his breath weapon taking down the demon looking creature and Bariard slamming a solid hit on the dragon. The dragon flew up and the group followed. The dragon flew down on them to breath while coming up the steps and landed at the top of it. Quickly Bariard went up next to it and after the dragon attacked he attacked it when it tried flying off, again getting another solid hit. At this point the rest of the group made it to the landing where the portals were and they saw the dragon on the landing across the way. Bariard went to administer a potion to the demon like creature where the dragon came down to attack the rest of the group with another breath weapon and they moved in to surround the dragon. As the dragon attacked and tried to fly off, they took there attacks on it to finally kill the bronze dragon. Zef took this time to heal himself and others. Zef introduced himself to the party and that he was a Diablo Cleric of Trithereon. He was here to free the slaves from the Yuan-ti and was informed by Bariard that there was more. The party informed Zef of what they were here for and that the Yuan-ti were performing some sort of ritual to bring back Sertrous and needed certain items to complete the ritual. They had two of the items; Merthuvial
, but came looking for the other items that were all stolen from the forgotten kings tomb in Kingsholm
. Zef has agreed to help the party as long as it means to help free the villagers from the Yuan-ti. The party felt relieved when finding this out and was a warm welcome to the party, especially since Nathanial had died to the bronze dragon. As the party gathered their thoughts, Zef went to investigate the top of the tower and see if the dragon master had anything of use on her. As he approached the top, he heard growling sounds come from the rafters above. Down came a black non-corporal creature that looked like a cross between a dog and lynx with redish eyes. This creature swooped down and attacked Zef at the top of the steps. The rest of the group heard this and started to come up the steps to help Zef out. But as they started the climb they were attacked by 4 flying snakes that dove down with one of them spitting in Zef’s face to cause him to go blind. The other snakes landed on the ground after the attack and then climbed back up into the rafters. The snakes continued their attack to try and blind others but failed. The black hound continued it’s attack and kept floating over to ther spots in the tower to avoid the groups attacks and every time someone hit the creature it seemed to heal it self instantly. It was not until Shintra hit it with her silver longsword that they realized they needed silver to hurt it and she was the only one with a silver weapon. Thulsa was able to damage it somewhat with Mertuvial, but not as easy as Shintra was able to. The flying snakes were killed quickly and with just a single hit for most, but it took awhile for the black hound to suffer his demise. Shintra dealt the final blow as the creature disappeared as smoke getting blown away. Zef came to being able to see again and went up to finally search the dragon master of the bronze dragon. FOund some magical bracers that Laurana decided to keep. The group felt it was time to turn in for the night and get some needed spells back, along with some extensive healing. They helped to guide Betty down to the small shrine on the first floor where Chavakuth was. When they got there the group showed him the heads of the poisondusk Lizardfolk and he smiled from ear to ear. He told them they can spend the night and if they brought him any more he would help them out some more with minor healing and to spend the night again if needed. The group nestled up on the floor and proceeded to get a good nights rest.
Godsday, Planting 4, CY 593 – Midday
After looking over the bodies of the poisondusk lizardfolk and gathering their trophies. The group decided to see what was beyond those doors at the top of the steps. Nathaniel checked the door for traps, passed the test and pulled the doors open. They were viewing an oddly shaped chamber that appeared to take up half the octagonal space of the tower. Stairs and landings spiral upward around them, with a pair of doors that seemed to beckon them from the far wall.
As they entered the room, from the balcony 20 feet above, a human-sized draconic form plummeted downward, ridged wings outstretched. Its scales were a dull bronze, covered in old scars. As it dropped, it called out in Common: “Help me! Don’t let them catch me again!” The group of course was taken by surprise and was noticed by Betty that there was someone else up on the balcony casting a spell. As he moved to go up the stairs and Thulsa stepped aside, that was when the Bronze dragon breathed his lightning breath weapon onto the party and ended up killing Nathaniel and severely injuring Laurana. Betty continued to go up the stairs after the spell caster, the rest of the group tried to take on the Bronze dragon. It was then it flew up out of range from any close attacks. It was these kind of attacks the dragon was doing to get at the group, dive in for an attack and then back out.
The spellcaster dragon master, looked like a Yuan-Ti Enchanter, had managed to get a Shield and Touch of Idiocy spell off. Touch of Idiocy was applied to Betty proving to be very effective, but the enchanter was taken down in a few short rounds afterward to only anger the Bronze dragon more. He attempted to try and pick up Betty and Thulsa to drop them from a higher height to only fail and get clobbered in return. Betty was a non-lethal strike by choice and Thulsa’s strike was a full blown deadly strike which made the dragon think twice about ever trying that again. The dragon continued to fly around and breath his breath weapon 3 more times that knocked Laurana unconscious and wounding others. Betty tried to take to the dragon to find out why he was doing such evil when he was a good dragon, which Shintra figured out what the dragon was, but seemed to get him nowhere and continued his attack with some natural attacks he had and casting Ray of Enfeeblement spells that weakened Thulsa a little bit, but still kept strong in his attack.
Betty after taking down the enchanter tried to continue talks with the bronze dragon with no success and proceeded down the stairs to try and find keys to open the far wall doors. The rest of the group continued to fend off the dragon and soon Betty was successful at getting the doors open and found the two rooms were a Map Room and a Sleeping Quarter. He had hoped to find something useful to use against the dragon, but nothing.
The map room had a bunch of papers on a square table right underneath a mirror on the wall and an urn filled with water. The sleeping quarters had an elegant bed and a straw bed close to that one. looked as if the enchanter and dragon slept there. The landing above had a set of 5 portals that had letters engraved in stone, under emeralds and amber gems, surrounding the perimeter of the portals. There was no time to get a better look because the Bronze dragon continued his attacks and only stopped for one moment to take his master to the top of the tower ledge. The group decided to re-group and go inside the Map room to figure out what to do next. The dragon seems to have stopped his attacks for the moment while they are hiding out in the map room and wondering what they will do to get out of the room and tower alive.
Godsday, Planting 4, CY 593 – Early afternoon
Before they went through the door Bariard noticed that he was missing some of his equipment he needed to continue on. He went back to get it from the dark naga’s building. The rest of the group went forward to see what they can find out in the next room.
Nathanial went through the door and inside was what looked to be a small shrine with a lizardfolk, 2 humans and a snake behind the altar. Nathanial tried to do some diplomacy with them. The Lizardfolk did the talking and said he was Chavakuth. He was a shaman of the Dark Talon Tribe and serves Sertrous, master of all. He pointed out that all of Vangaurd get ready for Sertrous to awaken and that no mortal can defeat them, but maybe help the group to survive within and able to flee. There was a tiny Poison Dusk Tribe that was in the castle and believes they dirty the Vangaurd with their presence here. He would help us with a place to spent the night and some healing if they returned with proof of their deaths. There was two places that they resided, a roaming group in the basement of the castle and a group guarding the Tower of the Way. The group accepted the challenge and figured they would need a place to rest soon.
As soon as they had left the shrine, they were ambushed from above in the Main Hall by a Yuan-ti patrol with a couple archers and a sorcerer. As they rained down arrows and spells. The group took a defense stance while Thulsa & Betty ran to up after them. Lauran’s Bat had took flight towards them to attack with a summoned wolf joining in. As betty reached them taking out one archer and the other creatures taking out the other, he went up to the sorcerer and he changed into a tiny viper. The viper went of the edge to fall below and slithered under a door right there of the main hall. Laurana & Shintra followed the snake into the next room and found out they needed some light. With the help of Nathanial and his dancing lights they were able to see the viper head to another hole on the far wall in what appeared to be the dining hall. Their was blood fresh and old down the center of two long tables. Shintra had chnaged into a badger to try and catch the viper quicker, but had failed in the attempt.
The group gathered together in the main hall and went upstairs by the ramp to the doors that lead up into the Tower of the Way. Laurana had the Megaraptor skeleton stay at the bottom of the ramp to deal with any further snake people that come by.
When they reached the doors Nathanial went through and at the top of broken stairs about 40 feet up were 3 poison dusk lizard. It was at that point a wall came up in front of them creating a barricade for them. Nathaniel was shot at 6 times and fell unconscious. The rest of the group tried to figure out an easier way to take them out and suffer little damage. Shintra summoned an elemental close to them and Laurana had the bat distract them. Betty & Thulsa charged up the steps, with Shintra & Laurana casting spells. They took out the poison dusk and took trophies of their kills to show to Chavakuth.
Moonday, Planting 4, CY 593
After resting, the group went into the Sinister Spire to travel through the gate at the top of the tower. They emerged within a cave that lead to the outside atop the small hill. That is when the Sertrous Key, used to open the portal, had one of its green eyed gems smash from the travel. As they traveled down the hill they came across a small farm village settled next to a mountain side with massive cave opening. When they reached the bottom of the hill and crossed the ford in the river they were spotted by a Huge Snake.
It was at this point the group spotted a Dark Naga Scolding the village people for not working harder. Combat started shortly thereafter, and lasted for a good 12 rounds. The Huge Dire snake proved to be a challenging foe and anyone that got to close ended up getting grappled by its tail and strangled to unconsciousness. The Dark Naga kept a distance, while casting spells and having a human patrol group of 4 fighters and a Rogue leader attack alongside.