Lostvale

Previously, on Lostvale - Session 12
We're on a descalator to Hell, goin down!

Travelling deep into the bowels of the Silken Dream, which seemed to be on an entire complex of tunnels and corridors, the party was lead to a large cavernous chamber, one that had obviously once been natural but which had seen a lot of work over many years. In the middle was a mechanism designed to lower a large, round wooden platform deep into the Earth. Joining Kintus, Madame Arachne's envoy, and his band of porters, the party rode the platform into the depths, eventually arriving in a chamber full of pale giant white mushrooms, each the size of a large table, all hanging from the ceiling. After taking a sample, the party was lead into the caves, where they were told to follow a small glowing thread that showed the way among the various twists and turns. Eventually, they came to a place where a cave in (possibly caused by the Earthquake) covered the thread, but with good intuition and careful guidance from their Ranger the party was able to find a path through the caves and out the the other end. The winding parts of the passages ended in a large, open cavern. Inside the cavern more giant mushrooms, this time growing from the ground and glowing brightly, could be seen stretching in a forest across the cavern to the edge of an underground lake. A path lead to the edge of the forest and onto a bridge, which lead to the top of a tower. On the other side of the tower another bridge continued to a far ledge. Kintos indicated that this was the path, so the party advanced along the road, stopping only collect samples from the glowing mushrooms.

Once on the bridge, the party noticed that some of the shadows on the top of the tower didn't seem to be being cast by anything, and realized just in time that they were facing unliving Shadows. With a combination of martial might and magic the party was able to dispatch the fiends, but only after several were weakened by their touch, requiring a short rest.

On the far side of the cavern were more tunnels, these leading to an ancient underground highway called "The Underway." Often used by incredibly dangerous creatures and patrolled by hostile bands of dark elves, the party attempted to hurry, but along the way they came across an unusual Minotaur leading two giant lizards packed with some kind of goods.

While hostile at first, the Minotaur was quickly baffled and confused by the chaos that errupted from the party. The druid began speaking with his pack animals, having a full conversation. The halfling poured a bowl of oatmeal and mimed eating from it. The tall human began shouting at his companions, and the other human with the strange arm started singing a disturbingly strange children's song.

Not having seen anything quite so bizzarely hilarious in all his days in the Underdark, the Minotaur spent a few moments enjoying a hearty belly laugh at the poor insane surfacers, imagining the terrible fates that awaited them in the Underdark, which only made the whole thing more funny, and grabbed his lizards and moved on, giving them a wide berth in case whatever was wrong with them was contagious.

Moving on, the party found themselves at Darkmeet, a small trading post maintained by the Drow. Governed by an elaborate series of ritual greetings and communications, Kintus warned the party that the men were absolutely not to speak at all, and that the women should only speak if absolutely necessary. He then donned the ritual trading robes, had them extinguish their lights, and lead them past an iron portcullis.

The trade negotiations seemed to go well, with Kintos performing the elaborate ritual greetings and negotiations with ease. Until Randall, unable to control himself, found himself asking a question. This breach of protocol cost Kintos 1/6 of the shipment bound for the surface and Randall his share of the treasure.

As the negotiation was concluding and the party was turning to leave, a massive Earthquake shook the chamber. The Drow, seemingly on the verge of panic, abandoned all ritual and left, instructing the surfacers to leave immediately.

The party attempted to, but the path out had been collapsed by the Earthquake. Between Rowan, Kintos, and Ike the party was able to find a likely path back to the Underway, but its meandering route lead them into a strange and giant hallway tiled in a style not of Dark Elven make. Kintos was able to identify the craftsmanship: Aboleth.

The giant hallway had a huge stone arch on one end, glowing brightly, and guarding it two Chuuls, lobster-like guardians. As the party tried to sneak across one at a time, something in Sam's arm seemed to trigger the defense mode of the Chuuls and they engaged the party, knocking Randall unconscious before being defeated.

After this fight, the party was able to retrace their steps to the surface without further incident. When they came back up the Descalator, however, Madame Arcachne was waiting, and with few words she lead them out of the Silken Dream onto the streets, where people were standing around staring in awe at the northeasten horizon.

The glow of the Prismatic Storm, steady every night for over two and a half centuries, was gone.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 11
The Takers in the Dark

After escorting Fimble back to town and collecting their pay, the party decided to return to Craighe's Keep and finish exploring it. Before setting out the party attended to personal business, which included Thea visiting with Reginald Tosspot, an eccentric "mushroom farmer" who she spotted out immediately as a fellow druid, living in shallow caverns under the city and tending the bizzare ecosystem of mushrooms, fungus, and cave species which thrived on the city's wastes. From him, she learned the very basics of poisons, being taught how to collect samples and handle basic poisons safely, hopefully the first of many lessons. Once they returned they found a lower level, which previously served as a wine cellar and secure storage area. The security door had been ripped away and the back wall and floor of the room washed into a natural cavern during the earthquake, and in the cavern they found rats. Hundreds, maybe even thousands of rats. Using Speak with Animals Thea was able to communicate with them and discover that they were all terrified of something they called "The Takers in the Dark," which would snatch them out of nowhere and consume them. Thea was able to negotiate a deal with the rats, having them show the party where the takers lived in exchange for some "shiny things" the rats located in the rubble below the collapsed room.

The rats revealed a stalagmite near the center of the cavern as the home of the "Takers," and the party quickly discovered that this was, in fact, a Roper. After a short but brutal combat the Roper was dispatched, and the party was lead to a partially broken chest filled with coins and the Craighe family war gear: adamantine chainmail, a +1 shield, and a +1 shortsword, all with the Craighe family crest prominently featured on them.

With that, the party asked the rats to leave the caverns, which they seemed to do, and then decided to return to Mordhataigh.

Once they were back in town, finding work and lodging was back on their mind, as the city was expensive to live in. They followed up on a lead and met with Madame Arachne, owner of the Silken Dream, the cities most highly regarded house of ill repute. She hired the group to escort her envoy along with some trade goods down to her contacts among the drow elves at Darkmeet, a trading post maintained near their closest city for interaction with surface dwellers.

While preparing for the mission, Ike negotiated a deal with Fimble, who (it turns out) worked as a fixer for the Magisters Guild, a group of scholars and spellcasters who specialize in ritual magic, along with other obscure and specialized forms of knowledge. In exchange for intelligence on the northern invasion, including sworn affidavits, the party would be provided with two months lodging at the secure guest quarters of the Magister's Guild.

With lodging secured and a job at hand, the party returned to the Silken Dream, ready to descend into the depths.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 10
Seeing beyond the storm

Lord Craighe's short lived assault on the characters was to no avail, they proved much too powerful for him and his zombies and he fell quickly. After decapitating his body and saving the head in a bag of holding (thanks Randall), the party continued on and found a single door marked with sigils of warding, apparently designed to keep something in instead of something out. Using Craighe's head and mage hand, Randall breaks the wards and immediately the strange whiffs of bad smells the characters had been smelling became much more intense. Upon opening the door, the characters saw that the library was filled with a strange golden light, and inside, in the center of the room in a large open space, was a pillar of golden light. The light had a strange, entrancing effect on the characters, causing them to stop and become fascinated, and in some cases causing them to walk forward toward it, entranced by it's seeming structure. It's nature seemed to violate the laws of nature, containing boundless depths of distance inside of it and strange visions of golden towers and domes thousands of times bigger than could have ever fit into the room.

The room itself was a considerably well stocked library with hundreds, perhaps thousands of books. The party decided to try and retrieve the books one at a time for Fimble and hope they found the ones he wanted and contrived a complex plan involving sheets and ropes to try this, but ultimately as they entered the room they found themselves under attack from a large floating eye-like creature with a huge mouth and four tentacles, each of which had its own eye at the tip. Spitting beams of necrotic energy and seemingly able to reflect spells and redirect their energy, the creature attacked, using it's dark magic to turn the party against each other. After a harrowing battle with the creature, they broke its control of the pillar's energy and it became entranced in the same way they had been, eventually falling to the party's attacks right before finally touching it. In a bolt of intuition, the group realized they could seal the rift by returning the creature though it, and pushed the corpse in, causing the pillar, a rift into an outer plane, to seal.

Now free to investigate the library, Fimble selected his prizes, loading up each porter with a selection of tomes and books of all descriptions, and announced that the party was free to claim anything else they wished.

After looting the keep (but leaving part of it unexplored), they rested and then escorted Fimble and his porters back to town, where he paid them and thanked them for their service.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 9
A tale of greed and woe

The characters, after a brutal fight with the Griffons, dispatch one and watch as the other takes the eggs and retreats into the mountains, heavily wounded. Continuing on the path to the keep, they find a place where a magic circle of containment had been laid down around the keep long ago. The recent earthquake seemed to disrupt the circle, breaking the enchantment by cracking the rock it was carved into. Near the border of the circle Thea recognized a message in the secret language of Druids, warning of extreme danger within and that none should break the circle and enter.

The party immediately entered the grounds of the keep after reading this message, Fimble and his porters in tow, and searched the courtyard and grounds, now largely overgrown. From the outside it was apparent that most of the keep was suffering, with the roof partially collapsed in places. Eventually, the party broke open the front door, and within found a horrible gibbering mouther, a pulsating, animated pile of flesh covered in a horrific array of mouths, each endlessly babbling gibberish that seemed barely comprehensible. Dispatching the horror, the party searched the reception chamber, finding the remains of a journal. Most of it was unreadable, but the final entries were legible. They are reproduced at the end of this entry.

As they finished reading the entry, in which they discovered that this was the family keep of House Craighe, a minor noble line, Lord Craighe himself burst into the room, his face dried and rotted and his eyes glowing with hate, having risen after his death as a Wight, his servants (a small group of zombies) behind him, and "welcomed the party" to his home by attacking them…

 

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Midwinter +9

 

Siebellus came again today. This man insists he can penetrate the storm that destroyed my family fortunes and restore the name of Craighe to its rightful place. I am skeptical but his proof is compelling. There is little left in the coffers but if he can deliver it will have been well worth it. Our fortunes are lost anyway, there is nothing left to lose on his mad scheme.

 

Midwinter + 13

 

Siebellus has the gold and he spends it like salt at a feast. The first deliveries came today. If he is mad or playing me for a fool he will pay with his life.

 

Midwinter +20

 

Does magic always smell this foul? The experiment began today. The lights and colors were fascinating to watch. Mina was especially amused by the way they seemed to dance. Sometimes I fear my bride is a bit simple. I’m glad that the Craighe blood flows so strongly in young Colin. It’s a shame Meri takes so much after her mother. When the time comes I’ll be lucky to break even unless I can convince the blasted tiefling that a union is in both our best interests, even though his boy is a boor and a lout. Though if this mad scheme bears fruit he’ll be lucky to lick my boots, much less touch the hand of my daughter.

 

Midwinter +29

 

Another servant gone missing. I suppose it’s the smell. Disloyal, lazy wretches. I pay them as well as they could expect, considering no other house would tolerate them. Siebellus had another breakthrough today, we heard voices coming through the opening, though I couldn’t make them out. He seemed very excited. To think, after 200 years we may finally be reunited with the Capitol and real civilization! If only the smell would clear out, it never seems to clear away now. The sooner this scheme is complete the happier I’ll be. The coffers are almost dry, and this smell like damp ass and ogres begins to offend even the self control of a Lord Craighe.

 

Midwinter +38

 

I don’t understand what that useless slip of a woman was thinking! To let a girl of such dim lights and spoiled disposition near so delicate an experiment! Well now she’s learned the price of her petty indulgence, which I made doubly sure of. It’s a travesty that in this age a man should still have to pull the cane off the wall and educate his wife, especially when she struggles to bear even one child who is worth a damn and lets the other one stumble to her doom. She’ll not soon forget this lesson, and the nurse says the marks should never be visible in public. A good reminder I sketched into her poisoned belly. Perhaps it is time for a new Lady Craighe, once this business is concluded.

 

 

Midwinter +41

 

Success, and none too soon! I saw it with my own eyes! My dark mood, brought on by the events of the last few days, finally lifts! How could it not when seeing the golden domes of the Capitol with my own eyes? And I swear I heard the laughter of Lords and Ladies coming through the mists of the opening! My legacy is secure, I will stand out among all the Lords Craighe as the one who finally brought our family the wealth and finery it was always destined for.

 

 

 

Let it be known that on Midwinter +42 once again the noble line of Craighe is betrayed by those it holds closest. I, Allis Lord Craighe, stand betrayed by the hand of my own family. My own wife and that filthy forest witch sank the blade deep, my boy stolen from my arms. Siebellus suceeeded, but not at what was agreed, and whatever dark door he opened may never close. I welcome death on my own terms, this fire in my blood will not take me. With all my hate I curse you all to know my suffering, may all the dark Gods who scratch at the walls of reality mark this and inflict only misery and suffering on you all, if the unnatural things which came through don’t tear your souls from your bodies first. If you are reading this, you are already doomed, and I spit from beyond the grave in your face. Run, if you can, so that you may die tired.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 8
A hive of scum and villainy...

The party, fresh from the battle with in the Jerry cave, set out for Mordhataigh. Shortly after their journey begins, however, they find themselves shaken by a large earthquake. The mountains themselves shake and several small avalanches can be seen in the distance. When the dust settles, they continue on their way, but soon find their journey slowed by a fallen bridge. The bridge is already being worked on by strange, silent men and women in white clothing, mostly robes. Several members of the party recognize them as members of a pacifist religion where all members take an oath of silence and dedicate their lives to service, both of each other and of their communities. Little is known about these people, except that they are pacificsts and tend to live in communities away from major population centers.

The party attempts to divert around this obstruction, wandering north away from their objective for hours and finding only barren mountains, populated largely by goats and small rodents and not much else. Eventually abandoning their detour, the party returns to the fallen bridge and camps, waiting for the repairs to be finished.

That night, Sam is visited with a dream from his dead Aunt, the first of many, and begins to manifest magical powers. Randall, carefully studying the book provided to him by [[Criminius the Mad]], also begins to learn the basics of magic, which he finds intuitive and easy to understand, in part because of how clear the book he was given is.

The next morning the party sets out again, and by late morning they arrive in town. Within minutes of entering town, the party comes close to picking a fight with a mercenary company in the local market, ignoring their refusal of help and trying to assist with a tantruming Ogre. Luckily, the party decided that fighting people who were refusing your help wasn't a good way to start their day and beat a hasty retreat.

Randall and Ike took the rest of the party and went to find and meet with Finnlaiyn, who goes by "Finn," at his "Emporium of Wonders." This turned out to be a junk shop, pawn shop, and wedding chapel. After meeting with Finn and getting a basic guide to the who and where of the town, the party attended to the business of selling gems and treasures and restocking on goods. Eventually meeting back up, they found lodging and then the whole party (except Brenna) went to a whorehouse and bar, where most of the party (except Randall) spent the whole time drinking overpriced drinks from the bartender, Thomas the Bartender. Ike, taking a liking to Thomas, also made some side business arrangements with him of some sort.

The next day, Ike and Randall met with Krixos, a highly trusted Captain in the organization of Harbin John. There, they sold information on the Imperial invasion, and made arrangements to meet with him again on separate business.

Low on money and looking for work, the group followed up on a lead and went to the market, where they met Fimble Blizzcast, who hired them to escort him to an old keep in the mountains that was made accessible by the recent earthquake. His agreement with the characters allowed them to keep any treasure and items found, with the exception of books and information, which he had first claim on. He seemed particularly interested in the library and specific books contained within it, and had hired four porters to help carry the haul. The party's job was to protect the porters and Fimble and facilitate his entry and retrieval of the books.

Accepting the job, the party set out that very afternoon, and after several hours walk Fimble led them up an obscure path, only recently cleared by an avalanche, up into the mountains. After traveling well into the afternoon the party encountered and dispatched a group of Harpies and, crossing over the top of the ridge, found themselves face to face with a seemingly unguarded nest of Griffon eggs…

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 7
They're all named Jerry

Pushing into the mines, the party eschews the one pumpcart that seems to be in working order and decides to walk along the slippery and dangerous minecart rails to navigate the mines. After several damaging slips and falls they find another old maintenance/storage depot, and while most of it is collapsed they find evidence that alchemical experiments were performed here. They also find references to something called "Prismite" and something about setting up an operation in Galesforge. The notes seem very old. Continuing through the mines, they eventually find a place where the mines give way to natural cave. Near this they discover an old storage area, which seems to have been converted for use as a barracks and planning post. They discover a locked and trapped chest that contains many ore samples, among them three labeled "prismite." Seeming to flicker gently to most of the party, for some reason Brenna finds them to be overwhelmingly bright. When he touches one, Sam is temporarily blinded.

Pressing on, the party comes across and dispatches a gelatinous cube, several giant spiders, and eventually finds an exit to the caves. Unfortunately the exit is blocked by two ogres. Ike, impatient to be out of the mines, attacks full on and, in the resulting conflict, decapitates one of the Ogres in a single stroke of his maul. Having defeated the Ogres (and, in the process, discovered that all Ogres are named Jerry), the party exits the cave, where Randall, Ike, and Rowan all (due to their background) recognize the mountain the distance: The Crimson Fist. Mordhataigh awaits.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 6
What's Mine is Literally a Mine

The group quickly discovers that Goblin soldiers have encircled the Warmbelly Tavern and shot Jilly. A round of arrows flies into the door jamb and wall outside and they hear a hissing voice demand, "Surrender thieves, you're under arrest, in the name of the Emperor!"

The party refuses and barricades the door. Rowan attempts to help Jilly while Randall finds that Cappadous Took has a secret exit in the store room that leads into a small tunnel. The party shouts back and forth with the goblins for a short time, until the door explodes inward, ending the covnversation. In the blast, Jilly is wounded even worse and as the party evacuates they leave her for dead. Ike and Sam kill several goblins on the back porch and eventually the whole party escapes, with Randall covering their retreat by setting the Warmbelly Tavern on fire (burning Cappadous' entire collection of rare herbs, wines, and other fine goods in the process).

The tunnel exits at the base of a waterfall under the town in an area mostly used as a wedding venue. Upon exiting the party encounters Jagoe Barton, an inexperienced and mildly douchy Ranger and Jilly's older brother. He is running from the fight with the goblins happening up above, his escape aided by a fog that has overtaken the town. He insists that he is going to escape though a tunnel he found behind the waterfall if he can figure out how to bypass the Guardians. While most of the party decides to investigate this possible escape, Ike and Randall decide to head up to the town. At the top of the cliffside trail that leads back into the trail, they find Cappadous in shackles, captured by the Goblins. Randall and Ike decide to attack the six Goblins, one of whom seems to be in charge and who keeps demanding they surrender. They don't, but the Goblins they see are party of a larger force, and Ike takes a lot of arrows in the process of defeating the Goblin Lt. Modbag, something he is only able to accomplish with the help of a mysterious spellcaster in the fog who is picking off Goblins with purple beams of energy. While this fight is going on Randall and Ike see the Dragonborn in gleaming armor riding a Griffon and leading an assault on Crimenius' tower. As they defeat the small group of goblins they see more coming out of the mist, along with larger shapes: Orcs. They quickly retreat back down the path. Cappadous, who managed to free himself from the shackles during the fighting, runs off to an unknown fate. Randall and Ike overhear what they assume is an Orc giving orders to not persue and just wait out the party for now. After exchanging a few choice words, Ike and Randall slip under the waterfall, where they find the rest of the party engaged in a fight with two suits of animated armor, a fight picked by Thea when she cast entangle on them.

The party defeats the animated Guardians, but Rowan is knocked unconscious in the fight. Wounded and on the run, the party heads into the tunnels guarded by the Guardians, tunnels marked in theives cant as "Sparrows/Safe." Inside, they find that the tunnels are part of an old mine system, and that the waterfall entrance is part of a service depot of some sort. They decide to press through the mines and hope to find another exit.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 5
Spawn City

Strahd, his ever charming self, comes into the cabin and begins preparing a meal. He informs the party that the Orcs are on their trail, but that he's done what he can to throw them off for now. He tells them that the best thing to do with the Necrostones is to take them to Crimenius the Mad, a wizard who lives in Neversummer Springs, an old resort town west of there in the mountains. He informs them that the Necrostones have a unique magic that makes them easy to track, and that they seek to be united and must not be touched or be allowed to touch each other. After urging the party to take the stones to Crimenius again, he promises to do what he can to slow down the Orcs and to try and meet up with them later.

The party decides that they don't have a lot of options, and begin on the road to Neversummer Springs. Along the way they are attacked by a wounded displacer beast, seemingly enraged and half mad. After dispatching it they find a camp site full of dead orcs, along with a dead displacer beast, all fresh from the last few days. They find a pouch with some orders, though the blood and dirt makes them unreadable. The Orc Captain is identified as Krocheck.

They then continue to Neversummer Springs, where they find that Crimenius is expecting them. After a brief rest at the Warmbelly Tavern and a visit with master herbalist Cappadous Took, half of the party heads into the Wizard's tower and trades the Necrostones for several magic items. In addition, Brenna is shown a vision, which she later describes as "floating above the mountains looking into the Prismatic Storm and seeing that at the heart of it are what appear to be the shapes of Dragons, except stretched to infinity and run along the ley lines, flowing constantly between them." This vision also seems to unlock something in her, some inner awareness of her magic and its source.

After this, Crimenius takes the Necrostones and invites the party to kindly leave. Shortly after the return to the Warmbelly Tavern, their conversation is interupted when Jilly Barton bursts into the room, an arrow in her shoulder, and collapses.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 4
The Man in Black did not flee through the desert...

On the road back to Interstone, the party came across the Man in Black sitting on a stone near the path, exhausted. In his leg an arrow, fired by Rowan during their last encounter, still sat, but showing no signs of bleeding. In his hand, which looked shriveled and grey, was an artifact similar to the Necrostone, but a dull grey color instead of black. Upon seeing the party he simply laughed, stood, and said "Go ahead, kill me! Do it!"

The party obliged.

After looting him and retrieving his Necrostone, Randall, in a fit of Halfling mischief, threw the Necrostone from the tomb to Sam, who reflexively caught it, and found himself fascinated and unable to drop it. Seeing the look in his eyes, Thea quickly moved and severed his arm with a single stroke of her scimitar. After treating the wound and securing the Necrostone more carefully, the party continued north.

Long before seeing the town, they knew something was wrong. A pillar of black smoke was rising from where Interstone was, and when they came over the rise and saw the town it was in flames, with several major fires in the poorer part of town. Moving closer to investigate, they found the townspeople desperate to put out the fires. Unsatisfied with the answers the peasants were providing, which largely consisted of "Orcs and Goblins have taken the town, they're killing everyone," and "my house is on fire," Thea knocks out one of the peasants, hoping the others will fall into line. Attempting to be more constructive, Randall decided to climb the town's central spire and see if he could get a view of the land. On top of the spire he found and assassinated two Goblins, and witnessed Hale Gunnarson on his knees before a Dragonborn in gleaming full plate armor, all before an audience of townspepople and a waiting group of more than a dozen Orcs and a larger group of Goblins. Among the Orcs, one stood out as both larger and more heavily armed and seemed to be defering to the Dragonborn.

When he reported this back to the party, they decided it would be good to run, and so they headed into the hills, west and away from both the other towns and from Galesforge. With the help of a goat they found a safe cabin to rest and lick their wounds. Just as morning was breaking the next day, the party was awakened by a knock, and when they opened the door standing there was none other than Strahd.

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Previously, on Lostvale - Session 3
Tombs and Treasures

Around the time that Ez was sending Thea and Rowan to investigate Interstone, the life of Sammael Grisk is being thrown into chaos. The son of Chet Grisk, a noble and close friend of the King of Galesforge, Sammael grew up being taught martial traditions, and joined the King's Guard to help fight against the menace of bandits and the lawlessness of the frontiers. He served with distinction, and often stopped to visit with his aunt, Kallista, one of the most highly regarded wizards in the magic community of Lostvale. Kallista, unbeknownst to most, was in the midst of a long term love affair with a Tiefling Mercnhant, something highly frowned upon for many reasons, not the least of which was the King's well known hatred for Tieflings.

On this day, while out for a walk near the family's property, Sam stumbled across a scene of horror: his father and the King were standing over a hooded figure tied to a chair. While Sam watched, the King himself and his father both took out long bladed daggers and began stabbing the man. Then the King removed the hood, over the objections of Chet, and looked into the eyes of the Kallista's lover as his life fled his body.

Disgusted but uncertain, Sammael went to speak with Kallista. Upon hearing the news, her manner seemed to become wooden, unemotional, almost hollow. She muttered about not expecting things to get this bad this quickly, and then gave Sam a ring and a cloak, and told him to wear the ring. Then she kissed him on the forehead, went to her bedchamber, and drank a vial of black, ichorous poison. She died almost instantly.

Bereft of family and betrayed by everything he believed in, Sam simply began walking. Eventually, after several hours, he realized he was following a strange tugging sensation eminating from the ring his aunt had given him. He followed it to an isolated cabin in the woods, and there he found Brenna, a young student of his Aunt's that he had met once or twice before, but never been formally introduced to. They spoke for a while, Sam explaining the circumstances that lead to him being there, leaving Brenna in disbelief and shock. It was then that Strahd Von Kallis arrived, claiming to be an agent of Sam's aunt and some larger body, and insisting that  Sam and Brenna seek an item called a "Necrostone" before other forces could get their hands on it, describing Galesforge as quickly devolving into a series of retribution killings set off by the apparent disappearance and presumed murder of the son of one of the King's men. With that, the two set off to gather this item, while Strahd promised to work his own angles and then meet up with them later in Interstone once he had a better idea of what was happening.

And so Sam and Brenna came to be standing on the southern edge of the washout, face to face with Ike, Randall, Thea, and Rowan. Forming an uneasy alliance, the group decided to investigate the tomb together. Inside, they found a series of doors that could only be opened by Brenna's magic, and an area covered in symbols and writings from the Old Empire. The Tomb was filled with sarcophagi, each containing a body and many of them containing symbols or coinage of various sorts from the Old Empire. While investigating this seeming warehouse room, the man in black arrived again and animated more skeletons to attack the group. They chased him, but he was once again able to escape. Continuing into the tomb, the group found what seemed to be a series of shrines to various Gods, where they dispatched a zombie Ogre, and beyond that a huge silo-like room stretching up and down as far as they could see and containing countless sconces, each with a sarcophagus in it. All of these were exuding a strange misty smoke, and the columns of smoke were all spiraling down a huge iron rod into a central cage. Inside the cage was a black metal orb with a black metal skull embedded into it, the smoke constantly pouring into the nose slits. They had found the Necrostone.

Randall carefully removed the stone and stored it in a bag and the party left to head back to Interstone.

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