Ancient Draconic Secrets

A Little Gnoll-edge is Dangerous
Area effect spells are awesome

Date: Patchwall 9

Travelling across Mahlert to the Elven lands, the party was ambushed by over 50 gnolls. Too bad for the gnolls. Even spread out the gnolls had trouble with the area effect spells our adventurers can bring. The Elemental Champion got to use Call Lightning and saved the day with a healing spell. Sleet Storm by Kebin kept a good number on ice and turned into a polar bear to bash some gnolls down. Pasqual brought fireball and shatter to the fight. Valanthe did long range sniping. Leonardo focused on range attacks except when get got too close to a leader knoll who wasn’t completely down for the count. Kriller did his best to get close in and do some hand to hand gnoll killing.

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Temple of Elemental Neutrality
You have a sister?

Date: Patchwall 7

So after solving the romance of the town’s leading nobles, the adventurers got down to finding the location of the Champion of Elemental Evil. And when they did, conversation started rather than fighting. The Champion revealed that the Evil Elemental Princes were a fraud and powered by Outsiders attempting to use the Elemental Princes to open gates between the Far Realms and their elemental planes thus making it easier to get around the defenses of the world.

Having recognized that he would be killed by the current temple hierarchy, the Champion holed up in a small temple complex guarded by elementals and a Spirit Guardian. Being stuck and unable to figure out how to take the fight to the fraudulent temple, the Champion thought he was just biding time until temple forces came to kill him.

Enter the party, who came to find him because, they didn’t know what else to do. And because the traitor in the volcano temple told them to. The party conversed with the Champion trying to figure out a way to make things better.

Except that Valanthe’s twin sister showed up, took control of the elementals in the temple and proceeded to lay down some smack. Except that Valanthe dispelled the Hunger of Hadar before it could deal serious hurt the party and Pasqual got free to fireball with impunity. It was a bit close for a time but once Quillathe saw things were going poorly she ran off with the earth elemental.

With the hidden shrine now not so hidden, the Fey members of the party revealed that the Elves would help defend and hide the Champion. This is because the Elves have been keeping the defenses against the Outsiders up, after the dragons were defeated. So the party sets off across Mahlert to take the Champion to the Elves.

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Waiting around for the Champion to Show up
And giving love a little help

Date: Patchwall 5-6

So the party is at Rondell following clues laid down by a crazy bard and end up looking around town and finding nothing. Rurik feels there’s something evil about the Mayor’s illness but finds nothing evil a foot.

Innana and Risika get roped into helping a noble of the house Folbre play matchmaker. Fortunately Innana’s invisibilty spell gave her a way to go talk to the bride in question instead of letting some crazy kidnap scheme play out. (Because those never go wrong.)

Except that Aldron Folbre had decided the best way to deal with the other 2 rival houses was to eliminate Elissa Hobin and Richard Savelle (the two lovers in question). They are actually in love, and the party got them safely together after defeating the forces of Aldron Folbre. Apparently he bit off more than he could chew.

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The Death of Blackrazor
It went like clockwork

Date: Patchwall 2-3

Well after arguing with the bounty hunters and making a strong case that the party was framed, the baron sent the bounty hunters on their way. The party decided to head to the capital city to find a cleric that could get them to the plane of Mechanos to jam Blackrazer in the gears and make it dead.

The trip was eventful with having to defeat a group of Formians (ant centaur creatures) who put every living thing into their own ordering system. Unfortunately Azog was dominated by the Formian leaders which made things more dangerous then the party would have liked. But with judicious use of Kebin‘s Sleet Storm, Pasqual’s Fireballs, Caitlyn‘s ability to hold off Formian Warriors, and everyone’s damage dealing abilities, the battle went very smoothly.

Eventually Valanthe fulfilled the mission to crush Blackrazor in the right gear.

The only casualties were Azog and Valanthe being turned Lawful Neutral. This didn’t go well with Azog at all. He is now spending some time looking for someone to take him to the plane of Limbo (and get back).

The party was also able to cash in a bunch of jewelry which increased the party’s funds to about 15,000 gold pieces. Some people want to build a guild hall with that. Others are kind of poor and would prefer not to.

The search continues for anyone who might have seen the Evil Elemental Champion. It’s a big city but it’s easier to hide in a big city some times.

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Sword, Sword, Who's Got the Sword
There are consequences for caring around evil artifacts

Well the party was heading back to Lankhamshire when hooded figures demanded the sword Blackrazor. Azog was all for handing it over, but the rest of the party disagreed. So it was a fun game of the vampire spawn trying to run off with the sword and Azog helping. Apparently the sword has been corrupting Azog for some time now so it can fulfill its destiny. Well the wolves the vampire spawn summoned were taken care of by another well placed Spike Growth—well played Leonardo. (When all your problems are creatures running at you, Spike Growth is the go to solution.)

The party took a fireball which dropped Kebin and Althea. Atheos used some spy trick to avoid a good chunk of damage and was able to help get Kebin and Althea back on their feet.

With one Vampire Spawn having Misty Step, Rurik and Valanthe used their Fey powers to keep up. Althea being outdoors had fun using Call Lightning to push Vampire Spawn around.to keep them from running off with Blackrazor. Leonardo’s Ensnaring Strikes were great in keeping one Vampire Spawn held but they just passed it off to a different one and he had to start again.

The Vampire Spawn eventually were either brought to zero (into mist form) or they gave up. Fortunately Leonardo was able to track coming from their resting place to the ambush and the Vampire Spawn were efficiently destroyed.

Mystery is why did these Vampire Spawn want the sword Blackrazor. Are they they spawn of the Dwarven Vampire serving Keraptis from White Plume Moutain as they claimed or are they lying or has that Dwarven Vampre set off on his own?

After a round of healing, the party returned to Lankhamshire only to be asked into an audience with the Barons. Oh look it’s the Bounty Hunters that used the party back in Banki to find the thief of a valuable diamond. The party took a beating and Azog wants revenge. They are claiming the party failed to uphold their bounty to recover Blackrazor from Keraptis and return it to its previous owner. The party charges there was no contract (mostly because they are not a licenced adventuring company to the shock of the Barons) and if there was it was for Wave, the trident. The sword Blackrazor has been given over to the church of St. Culthbert for safe keeping until justice can be administrated.

And after being forced to create an adventuring company, the Donber’s Burden Company has been formed. With all but Atheos signing on.

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Don't touch that it's Evil!
Insanity is worshipping strange alters lying around in caves

We started with two new party members today, and after a lot of puzzling how to get down to a highly evil upside down obelisk and deal with even more evil stuff below. Including wisely not to enter the dark portal to someplace probably even darker. But the party figured out that something was removed.

Exploring the rest of the place led the party to something even stranger and probably at least as evil. A rectangular block of stone with 4 figures (the stereotypical adventuring party) and 4 items hidden in secret compartments. After some experimentation (all bad) the party wisely decided to destroy some of the less valuable items (who needs a drum made from human skin anyway)..The DM strongly hinted that whatever was removed from the Evil Obelisk of Evil was a smaller version of this Evil Block of Stereotypical Adventuring Party.

Anyway off to Nulb which was the only other hint from talking to the dead. The inn was still burned down (Good job Althea and Content Not Found: Valanthe. Some initial investigation led to a beached river boat, which turned out to have wraiths and black pudding lurking about. Thanks to the bead of force the wraiths were put into a time out so the party could focus on the Black Pudding. Inana almost got killed by the Black Pudding when it had a very good strike, but Risika was there with some healing help. Cleverly the Black Pudding was cut in 2 so that area effect spells could do more damage. Flaming Sphere(Kebin), Burning Hands (Inana), and Hellish Rebuke (Inana), brought serious fire to cook the Pudding. Also good play by Searing Smite (Risika).

Unfortunately the wraiths were smart enough to run like heck and even a couple of fireballs {Pasqual} and magic like monk fists (Caitlyn) didn’t hurt them enough. But Leonardo‘s magic bow didn’t let them get away.

Further exploration of the town got them to find a hastily cleared out hidey-hole where based on some scraps of paper, we find the former Champion of Elemental Evil is actually running from the cult. What does this mean? Where might he be going? Stay tuned.

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Brewfest!!!
Don't drink the entire keg...

Party wisely decided to leave the mess they created in the volcano temple and go looking for the missing elemental champion. They got back to Lankhamshire and got there just in time for BREWFEST. A week of party and contests and drinking.
Azog was robbed of the arm-wrestling contest but won a keg of ale in a private wager with the winner.
In a close contest between Dylan and Leonardo, the ranger finally beat Dylan at Archery
Pascal and a few others won the Trollbridge game avoiding being hit by potatoes. Azog was too drunk from drinking his entire keg of ale
Azog won the main dueling event but Julianna beat Azog in the grapple dueling contest.
Valanthe edged out Pascal and Spugnoir (local NPC) mage in magic demonstration

No luck finding anyone who was secretly the elemental champion. The miller’s assistant and a gnome illusionist both seemed to be paying attention to the party a bit more than they’d like.

A few clues from the local priestess and Spugnoir set the party off to find the last resting place of the previous elemental champion. They found a body but it wasn’t him which was confirmed by a speak with dead spell. The guy was from Nulb which is the town near the Temple of Elemental Evil and where the cleric and the warlock burned down an inn to help free some ghosts.

After finding a wall that was clearly added by a wall of stone spell, the party dug threw the wall and started exploring a pretty empty dungeon. However Pascal found something interesting under the well and after lifting up a stone cap, found a black obelisk pretty much radiating dark magic. Further explorations next time.

Azog on his trip to town had a nice talk with someone he didn’t really want to share with the rest of the party. Hilarity is sure to ensue.

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Brewfest-Cooking Contest
Sooooo Close...

The minute Rurik and company entered Lankhamshire, he saw a poster advertising a cooking contest and made himself scarce from the company and went to investigate. He arrived just before sign ups closed and, well, he signed up. Looking at the sign-ups he saw many names, he was new so he didn’t know which ones were good and which ones weren’t. About an hour later he showed up where he was suppose to along with all the other contestants, and grabbed a station. A human male showed up and warmed up the crowd then he got down to business. “If you look over there you will find a set of ingredients, your first challenge will be relatively simple, you will cook a dish of your choice using any of the ingredients you find over there. You will have one hour and the top 6 will have a place in the final rounds. 3… 2… 1… GOOO!!!!!” At the go Rurik raced off to the table on his short little legs. As most of the contestants were human him and the two other halflings had to push through to get to the table. Rurik planned on making maple ale glazed lamb chops with some mountain vegetables as a side, just like he learned in the mountains. However, he couldn’t find any mountain vegetables, so he settled on the hill variety, he wagered it shouldn’t be too different. With all his ingredients in his hands Rurik rushed back to his table to get to work. He set the lamb chops to broil in a sauce made out of maple ale, oregano, and dill. At the same time he started preparing a glaze made out of heated honey, maple ale, and ginger. It worked in the past and seeing how the judges were a human, a halfling, and another human, it should be okay. For his side he tossed up some broccoli, and carrots, and butternut squash. Then he set them to steam in a mixture savory spices, to contrast to the sweet lamb chops. Rurik was able to finish and plate before time was up. The judges came around to his dish. They tasted it talked amongst each other and then moved on. Rurik had no idea what they were thinking, he had faced dragons and he was nervous, he wanted to at least move on to round 2. After they had made their rounds the judges announced that they would need some time to think so in two hours everyone will meet back here and the top 6 will move on to round two. Rurik didn’t know what to do, until he realized it was lunch time and he was hungry. He headed over to the inn and then realised that so was one of his competitors, a female human he hadn’t paid much attention to at first. He didn’t really talk till he got to the inn. He ordered a meal and was surprised by how well it was cooked. “You cooked this didn’t you, its pretty good.”
“Yep, saw you in that competition too, good luck, but, no offense, I’ve been cooking here for many years and every year Rhella, a halfling wins and I don’t think this year will be an exception.”
“Well she hasn’t met me then.” Rurik finished his meal and then wondered around town for a bit. He watched some other competitions and saw Azog walking away with a barrel of drink, but then a bell sounded so he’d have to investigate later. He made it back to the competition just in time and the judges read off the results, "The top six competitors are as follows, “Rhella, Rurik, Vest, Telna, and Otho. Will those competitors please make their way to a station.” Rurik did, and so did the innkeeper, a halfling, and the others. “The judges examined your dish and for the final challenge you will be provided with ingredients and a dish to make that is the opposite of what you cooked for the first challenge.” They came around and Rurik was so nervous he didn’t know how to cook much other then mountain stuff and they sure weren’t going to give him that. Rurik examined his plate and it told him to make something called shepherds pie, but the ingredients they gave him weren’t for pie, potatoes, beef, cheese, and savory spices, that wasn’t a pie that was the ingredients for dwarf’s delight, an uncommon dish but the dwarves loved it, and as a result something Rurik was taught how to make very early. He grabbed a circle dish, put some oil and spices in and then the beef, which he mixed with the oil to spread the spices around. Then he mashed up the potatoes and put them on the beef and then put cheese slices over the whole thing. He then put the dish straight into the fire and let it cook until the cheese had melted into the mashed potatoes. While this was happening he dropped peas into a pot of ale and added the same spices they gave him for the delight/pie. When the delight was done he cut it, put it on a plate, strained the peas and then added them to the plate as well. The bell dinged signaling the end of the challenge, and Rurik stepped back to admire his work.
the judges came around to him first. They tasted his dish, but showed no signs of wether they liked it or not. They moved on to the other contestants and after that they went back up to the judges table. After talking amongst themselves one of the judges stood up. “The winners of this years Brewfest Cooking Competition are as follows, in third place, we have Vesta, in second place our new comer, Rurik, and in first place, for the 10th year in a row, Rhella.” Rurik was excited he got second place, yeah i wasn’t first but he got a medal. He headed to where his party was storing their stuff and stuck the medal in his chest, then he went to find out what the party had gotten themselves into while he was away.

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Help my Earth Temple has fallen and it can't get up
If you give a Xorn a heart….

Well the party caught a break as they have a friend in the inner temple of the Dark God. A kindly looking old man shows up with 4 earth elementals and spits out an unconscious duergar. After explaining how the party has nicely created open war between elemental factions and the water temple taking advantage of the chaos to smack the fire temple badly, the turncoat asks the party to go find the elemental champion.

Except other than a ritual to identify the elemental champion no one has any idea on who it might be or how to find him/her/it. And now that the elemental temples are in a major war their agents may be recalled to attempt to rebuild. Oh and you don’t want the champion to die because then you have to go find the new champion as the mantle will be passed on. So the party has to figure out what to do with the champion when they find him. If only they knew of a place to imprison him/her/it in.

So, the party goes and decides that killing a bunch of dire apes would be a great idea. Well that was a lot ape to chew on (and the giant ally they have did have a feast on some ape flesh when it was all done).

Combat started off with the barbarian failing a sneak roll and 3 dire apes throwing rocks at him and a fourth ape charging forward. Apes apparently do not go down easily and even with the paladin, the barbarian, the ranger, the wizard, and warlock pounding on it, the barbarian fell first. But the ape doing hand to hand fell fairly quickly after that. The giant like ally ran up and went toe to toe with the alpha ape and fists, clubs, and fur started flying. The druid was able to get and keep a flaming sphere on the apes but 2d6 damage wasn’t doing enough to make them move as they really wanted to drop the giant like ally. Eventually, all the ranged support dropped the alpha ape and the other 2 ran off. It didn’t work out well for the running apes, as the monk was as fast or faster and the ranger was putting some good arrow smack down. The druid brought the barbarian up but the barbarian didn’t want to melee with the ape again. The paladin was slow enough that he went to riffle through the dead ape’s pockets before the giant like ally starting eating all the dead apes. The ally did offer the party some ape flesh. He is a mostly polite giant.

After all the apes were dead, the party explored the cave found a small polluted pool and purified it with magic. The monk poked around in the pool and came up with a magic long sword giving it to the fighter. Closer examination and it appeared to be the sword of water. So the fighter is now using longsword and war hammer and more smacking will be enabled.

Despite the stench of ape, ape poop, and dead ape the party takes a long rest figuring knowing how hard these things were to kill no one in their right mind would come in the caves. Monk levels after all this excitement and thanks to 2 odd stats has a lot more fun. Also now using the fighters short sword.

Party continues down toward the earth temple and after getting past the check point guards. After all are 4 troglodyte warriors really going to stop people in earth temple tabards after they’ve come down from the area where the dire apes were? [Note: These guys ran away after hearing the party start smacking down in the earth temple proper. They are dedicated to the temple but not stupid.]

So the party nicely arrives as a priest is offering a human heart to an Xorn. The wizard quickly magic missiles the heart and the Xorn and the priest are heart broken. Paladin and Barbarian make their way to the top of the temple and the cleric is facing serious death.

Everyone else starts on the troglodytes and rolls through them pretty quickly. The evil priest goes down and it’s Xorn versus party. It’s a bit closer but the Xorn just can’t seem to connect with it’s 3 arms and bite attack so they get to find out what’s inside a Xorn. Unfortunately, it’s isn’t filled with precious metals or gems just Xorn guts.

With the wizard using shatter and the paladin using thunderous smite, eventually the leader of the temple shows up with some earth mephitis and an attempt to do some damage but jumping barbarian and misty step paladin get into close combat much earlier than he thought they could and the temple head priest puts up a fog cloud and runs. However the cleric dispels the fog cloud and gets trapped between the monk, paladin, and barbarian. With the ranger and warlock providing ranged fire.

After that goes down the paladin attunes to the earth sword and gets some handle on its powers. Party has to decide if they want to go find the water temple and try to get the water sword attuned as well.

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What Do You Mean You Don't See the Spike Growth?
Call Lightning always reverses the charges

The attack on the bridge defenses was accomplished without any party casualties. Once the first guards starting running, the party followed quickly behind. The guards quickly built the standard wooden table cover which proved to be little or no hinderance.

Barbarian charged in, Ranger shot long range, Warlock cast Sleep (got the humans but most of the guards were elves), Fighter ran in, Druid changed to Dire Wolf and got right in there, Cleric sniped with Sacred Flame, Wizard shot magic missiles all around, and.Monk ran forward with Flurry of Blows.. Enemy guards didn’t do much.

But then warriors let the dogs out which was even less effective since the guards didn’t last long enough before the dogs got to battle. Last dog ran away to it’s kennel.

But someone let the Chimera loose and it charged the Druid, Fighter, and Monk with a cone of cold. But it missed a lot so between everyone pounding on it. The Chimera did land in Spike Growth which made it much harder for melee characters to get at it but it made it harder for the Chimera to want to run away. Especially since it wanted to eat the druid (in wolf form).

Barbarian jumped down the corridor to face 7 more enemy guards which would have ended badly for the guards except that the commander and his second in command were invisible in front of the guards. But the Barbarian’s dodge prevented enough damage for the barbarian to leap away.

But the Cleric’s Call Lightning shifted to the commander and the lieutenant and the lieutenant was quickly dropped with magic missile, archery, and a maximized Call Lighting failed save.

The Commander jumped after the Barbarian and did a good set of damage. The Barbarian returned the favor by pushing the Commander into the Spike Growth. Then the Cleric pushed him using Lighting damage (Tempest Clerics love to push people around with lighting) and the Druid stopped being a wolf and used Thunderwave to push the Commander through the Spike Growth again. This dropped the Commander but no one seemed to go make sure he was dead and he used Second Wind (after making his death saves) and turned invisible and ran off.

Party let the surviving guards go after taking their weapons and sent them out of the temple complex. Not before a talkative guard revealed that they need a key to use the bridge safely.

Wizard used levitate to avoid the arrow trap that the Spy said absolutely wasn’t there. Druid who was more trusting took 4 arrows from said trap. Wizard found letter where the commander was complaining about all the problems guarding the bridge that no one seems to use any way. Party got a map of the immediate area and also found a book talking about what the cult is actually trying to do.

Party negotiated with a hill giant like creature by promising it more gems. To bad this new hireling can’t see the review the party’s previous giant like hireling would have left.

[Party hired me as guide and gave me a lot of gems. Party didn’t heal me after I helped them fight troll. Also gems were fake. 0 Stars. ]

Some party members want a long rest. I’m more than happy to have the invisible Large Dwarf come and kill them in their sleep.

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