Chaos Abounds

Game Night 96
Out of the house of despair, into the fire.

After a bit of exploring (and setting off a few traps), the heroes managed to find their way out of the House of Despair.

They traveled through the Underdark shallows for a while, and saw some strange stuff, but nothing terribly threatening.

Then they started getting a bit deeper into the Underdark.

They stumbled across one of the “King’s Highways” (tunnels carved out of the Underdark by Torog, the crawling god)

Later, they came to a fork in the path. The map wasn’t any help.

One way sloped down, and was slightly warmer. The other way sloped upwards.

The heroes chose down.

After another hour or 2, they came to the source of the heat: A room full of lava and boiling mud.

In the lava, were Magma Brutes (large, fiery, elemental type creatures), which attacked as soon as the heroes entered their area.

Joining them shortly afterwards was a Beholder! A Beholder Eye of Flame to be exact (one of the lesser varieties of Beholder…less eyes and less deadly powers).

After being submerged in the lava by Nef, the Beholder flew above the combat, firing random eye beams at people. He kept tossing Hogar into lava, but Hogar has a lot of movement abilities and managed to keep jumping/flying/teleporting out of the lava and back to solid ground (fortunately).

The beholder also kept making people vulnerable to fire, and lighting people on fire, and making people run away in fear.

The Magma Brutes weren’t tricky at all. They just pummeled on anyone close to them.

After the heroes took down the Beholder, the 2 remaining brutes ran away (or melted into the lava?).

After searching the beholder’s den, they found a portable hole, with some treasure in it. They also decided that a beholder’s den in the middle of a lava pool was probably about as safe a spot as they were going to find in the Underdark, so they decided to rest there.

Game Night 95
Undead Slime? Seriously?

The heroes decided they needed a rest, and decided to sleep in the haunted temple (inside the House of Despair).

The rest did not go well.

Less than an hour into the first watch, large floating cloud monsters flew silently out of a pit and tried to eat everyone.

As the fight continued, it became apparent that the clouds were ghostly slimes or oozes of some kind. Apparently, undead slimes are an actual thing.

They were also insubstantial, phasing, flying and really hard to hit.

And they caused weakness when they hit.

Oh, and they split into two clouds when they were bloodied (apparently that’s how undead slime reproduces?).

Nef cursed one to prevent it from attacking until they’d killed the first one (two?). He also used his stream of life to keep everyone healed up to a decent level (apparently by spraying blood all over them).

Once the heroes switched to attacks that targeted Fortitude (those that could at least), they started hitting a lot more.

Also, at some point Ven noticed that the door they entered the room through was no longer there.

Game Night 94
Return to Thunderspire

After thinking it over a bit, our heroes decided to use a Linked Portal ritual to teleport to Thunderspire instead of trying to wander 40 or 50 miles (as the Umber Hulk burrows) through the Underdark without a guide or a map.

Once there, they visited the custom’s house and managed to gather a little bit of info.

  • Orontor, the Mage of Saruun that they had interacted with previously, was on a diplomatic mission to Phaervorul.
  • The guard on duty had no idea of any of the troubles at Phaervorul that the heroes were going to investigate.

After that, they visited a few shops, did a little buying and selling, and then had a peaceful night’s rest at the Halfmoon Inn.

Then, it was off to the House of Silence, where their map began. Nothing of interest happened until they got to the House of Despair (as indicated on their map). They explored a bit, and managed to find their way into an old temple (probably to Moradin, judging from the altar and remains of a Dwarven priest they found later). But, it was haunted (guarded?) by 4 Watchful Minotaur Ghosts.

The ghosts were insubstantial, and caused a lot of psychic damage, but once Ven marked them (and started refelecting damage to anyone else back to the ghost), they concentrated most of their attacks on him, which left the rest of the group free to wail on them.

And now, time for a nice relaxing nap in the haunted temple.

Game Night 93
Underdark is dark, umberhulks are hulky

After a bit more exploring in the abandoned Temple of Tiamat, our heroes decided to clear the caved in tunnel (at least enough to squeeze through it), and start exploring the Underdark.

They found a vast natural cave. A very dark cave.

After a while of wandering vaguely north, Loodra got bored and started calling out to the darkness.

Something large heard her, and started making loud footsteps in their direction.

When it finally came into view, it was quite a sight to behold: and Umber Hulk!

And apparently, it was making a lot of noise to distract the party while another hulk snuck up from a different direction (but Nef noticed that one anyways).

Umber Hulks are very confusing to look at, and most of the party was dazed for at least half of the combat. Ven was so confused, he just wandered off back towards the entrance tunnel.

After some initial pummeling of Hogar (86 points of damage from 1 umber hulk in 1 round!), the fight started for real. Hogar went down pretty quickly, but Nef woke him back up the instant he hit the ground. He stayed prone for quite a while after that, making mostly ineffectual attacks from the ground.

And then a mind flayer showed up, and mind blasted every one. He was a particularly sneaky mind flayer, and actually vanished from sight entirely to anyone that was dazed or stunned.

Loodra tried to ignore the Mind Flayer at first, but it latched on to her as she charged away from it, and wouldn’t let go until it was dead (which, fortunately for Loodra, was before it got to start burrowing its tentacles into her brain).

After the Mind Flayer went down, the combat became a bit of a slug fest. The hulks were able to dish out a lot of damage, but Nef was more than capable of keeping everyone conscious (although Hogar did spend a lot of time on the floor).

Eventually, Loodra managed to finish one off with the follow through of an attack, even while being grabbed by the other Hulk. It then dragged her away for a bit (the Umber Hulk wanted to eat it’s food in private), but everyone followed, so he gave up on that and just stood toe to toe with Hogar and Loodra.

Eventually, Hogar got off the floor and started dishing out a lot of damage to the remaining Hulk. That combined with Wynne’s constant barrage of arrows, and Loodra’s axe cleaving took it down.

Game Night 92
Portals, zombies and a lich, oh my

After another rest, the heroes started exploring the temple of Tiamat again.

But before they got far, Valthrun the Prescient sent a mental message to Nef, asking him to open a portal to Winterhaven.

After a bit of discussion, Nef opened a portal to the temple in Winterhaven, Valthrun performed some kind of odd portal magic to reverse the direction of the portal, yelled something about Harrik Orenna and then a stranger jumped through the portal from Winterhaven.

The stranger gave the heroes a note, and a scroll tube.

The scroll tube was another ‘pre-paid’ Linked Portal spell tied directly to Winterhaven (apparently Valthrun expected the party to use the one he had given them previously).

One note was from Lord Harrik, introducing the new adventurer to them as Elodin, and indicating that he should be very useful in the upcoming task, if Valthrun’s predictions were correct.

Having no other information about this task, the heroes continued exploring. They found a Drow spellcaster, poring over maps. He didn’t seem surprised, and actually seemed more interested in finding a way out of the temple than in any kind of conflict. He also seemed a bit unsure about how he came to be there, or exactly where he was, muttering something about being killed by a demon, and then waking up in this place a few days ago.

Unfortunately, the heroes were a bit too inquisitive: after he warned them not to open the closet door (because of the zombies he had summoned that were hiding in the closet), and then Elodin pointed out that he was an undead, Loodra had heard enough.

Loodra Smash!

The zombies in the closet turned out to be very tough Moilian Zombies, and very adept at locking people down via slowing and immobilizing attacks. The Drow turned out to be a Necromancer, and had some nasty tricks up his sleeves. Fortunately for the Heroes, Elodin seemed to be quite capable of dealing with undead, and snagged him with a garrote that kept him immobile and somewhat disabled for most of the combat (or at least long enough for the rest of the heroes to deal with the zombies).

Once everyone could turn their attention to the Necromancer, he didn’t last long.

After the combat, Elodin blurted out something about an undead army rising from the depths, and remembered the other note that Valthrun had given him. This note explained that a comet had appeared in the sky, which made Valthrun nervous, so he performed a divination ritual, and the results were dire. An army of undead is rising in the Shadowfell, from the Rotting Throne (a place of power for Orcus). The only known crossing point from the Rotting Throne to our world is a planar cyst, guarded by Phaervorul, a drow settlement built solely to keep the portal from ever opening again.

The note concludes with Valthrun urging the heroes to investigate, and stop the undead army from crossing over to our world.

Game Night 91
Bone dragon likes bones

After an extended rest, the party forged onwards into the dusty temple.

They picked a door and opened it, and found a big pile of bones. Mostly Dragonborn bones from the look of them.

Then the bones started talking to them.

After a bit of odd conversation, a Dracolich revealed itself (it was resting under the pile of bones).

After a bit more conversation, a fight broke out. Soon afterwards, about half the pile of bones formed into another shape: a Bone Golem.

The Dracolich had the annoying power to dominate people, and used this to keep Loodra beating up on her friends for a fair portion of the combat.

The Bone Golem was spiky, and occasionally caused a fair amount of damage (but hit the Dracolich with his “Bone Volley” almost as often as the heroes).

After a very long fight, the Dracolich finally fell.

Game Night 90
Traps, Dust and Dragonborn

After dealing with the animated statues, the heroes took another extended rest. Nef and Wynne helped each other to recover from the Mummy Rot disease they were suffering from. Nef was completely cured, and Wynne got better (but was still not fully recovered).

Next, they started investigating the odd fountains, and locked double doors they walked past on the way to the statue room. After some investigation, they figured out that there was some kind of gas trap built in to the lock of the door. It was a tricky trap, but Wynne eventually figured it out, and managed to disarm it and unlock the door.

The hall behind the door appeared to be an guard room, long abandoned. Tables, chair, barrels, weapon racks and weapons had all rotted and decayed to the point of becoming dust. Metal bits, and outlines of the rotted wood were still visible, but nothing was really solid anymore.

After walking in to the room, 6 Dragonborn warriors appeared and asked, in Draconic, “What news from the war?”

Loodra hesitated for about 2 seconds, then walked up to the closest warrior and attacked him. A battle ensued, but the outcome was never really in question. As each of the warriors fell, it vanished in a puff of smoke (similar to the way they appeared). Someone trained in Arcana could probably explain that (but the Wizard and Swordmage were still hanging out in the statue room, doing something… arcana-y …).

The heroes retreated to the previous wide hallway, and rested again (giving Nef a chance to completely heal Wynne of her Mummy Rot).

Game Night 89
Grabby statue is grabby

Another night sleeping in a crypt…this seems to be a recurring theme…

Unfortunately for the heroes, some of them were unable to shake off the effects of the Mummy Rot they caught in their last battle (and even getting a bit worse). Hopefully their next extended rest will work out better.

After a bit of monkeying with the black sphere, Loodra managed to find Alissa and let her in (I’m sure she meant to do that). Then she eventually got another path to open.

The new hallway had a locked door on the left side, some odd fountains on the right, and a pretty statue at the end of the hallway. After a bit of investigation, the heroes ignored the door and fountains, and continued down the hall to the statue.

It turned out the statue wasn’t quite as friendly as it looked from a distant. When Loodra came closer, it animated, then reached out and grabbed her. Then more statues started waking up and moving into range to attack.

It was a very tight battle, with almost all the fighting taking place in a 10×30 foot area (with Wynne, Alissa, and Nef staying back a ways, as usual). Loodra called down a napalm strike on herself (courtesy of Hogar), and, as usual, several people were bloody by the end of the fight, but everything turned out ok in the end.

Game Night 88
Obvious trap is obvious

The first thing of interest in the Temple of Tiamat was a large sphere made of some kind of smooth black rock (obsidian?).

It was halfway embedded into the floor, with odd runes inscribed around it on the floor.

Since there was no exit from the room other than the way they came in, the heroes started investigating the sphere.

Loodra managed to get it spinning, and after a lot of grinding and clanking from below, the left wall dropped, and a wall sprung up behind them, blocking the path to the entrance.

The heroes started exploring up the hallway, climbing stairs periodically, and noting the odd floor in the side passages (metal floors with divots). Eventually, they came to a large door. They were a bit suspicious, but after a bit of fruitless investigation, they opened the door anyways (outward, as they discovered the hard way by trying to kick it in).

Behind the door was a giant black sphere, very similar to the one in the floor back in the first room. After a fraction of a second, it started rolling down the hall. A few people attempted to stop it from rolling (squish), others just dived into the side halls. As the ball started rolling for real, it caught fire, and as it rolled by the side halls, the floors dropped out from under the heroes.

After the 20 foot drop, the reason for the odd divots was revealed: That’s where the spikes poked through when the floor hit the bottom. Then the spikes withdrew to let the acid flow in (obviously to clean up the mess left by the spikes).

With a bit of team work, everyone got out of the acid filled pits fairly quickly. And the large black flaming sphere rolled down to the entry room and appeared to disappear into the spot where the other black sphere was located.

Back into the sphere room, some more spinning, and the door directly across from the trap room opened.

Down the dark hall the heroes find sarcophagi. And what do you find in sarcophagi? Mummies, of course. Scary Tomb Guardian mummies. And a Mummy Lord. Yay. But everyone knows that mummies don’t like fire. Flame on!

Game Night 87
Icky goblins and a stubborn door

Another rest with the Kobolds, then across the Black Lake of Death.

Fortunately, there were 2 new(ish) boats on the shore. They probably belonged to the human minions of the Grells. They seem sound enough for our heroes, so away they rowed.

Some time later they reached the other side of the lake.

The colossal door was still there, and still closed.

Alissa performed a Knock ritual, and it seemed to work. Something on the other side of the door made a sound (like a heavy metal bar dropping onto a stone floor).

But, the door still didn’t budge.

Alissa attempted another Knock, but this one didn’t seem to have any affect.

And then the corrupted goblins showed up and attacked the party, mostly by surprise (goblins are small and sneaky).

Most of the goblins didn’t provide much of a challenge, but Glork (as he called himself) was a bit tougher, and the Goblin Mass was disturbing, and tough.

The mass appeared to be just that: a huge mass of goblin bodies, with arms, legs, and heads sticking out in all directions. It (they?) kept grabbing people, and it even managed to pull Loodra inside of it for a bit (yuck!).

Glork seemed to be able to command the mass sometimes. He also had a psychic scream that caused a lot of pain and discomfort, and vicious long sword for stabbing people when he got up close.

After a short battle (and a disgusting explosion of goblin parts when the mass finally died), the party spent some time cleaning up, and searching the goblin caves. They turned out to be mostly empty, other than some beds and refuse.

Then they turned their attention back to the impervious stone doors. What was it that Valthrum had translated the inscription to say?

“I bring treasure for the hoard of Tiamat”

After a bit of trial and error, the party finally tried saying the phrase in Draconic, and the magic seal on the door dissipated.

After a bit of pushing (and then pulling), the door was open!


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