Apocalypse from the Sky

The Dark Beacon

The Tower Arcanis arrives upon the island of Minos just yards away from the lighthouse. Nemoc is told by his ancestor’s spirit within his blade that he must master his arcane art if he is to gain mastery over the tower. The heroes leave the tower and find the island is in a state of chaos. The lighthouse is emitting a beam into the heavens that has ripped a hole in the very sky above the island and within that hole, monstrous beings from the deepest void of the Astral Sea seek entrance into Creation. The void has also warped space on the island making it difficult for the heroes to move, and causing psychic turbulence that attacks the hero’s very minds. Of all the heroes, only Nemoc, Lucan, Thorend and Fedmahn stand, the others fallen victim to the mental barrage of the island. The three move quickly as they can until they reached the lighthouse. The entrance was guarded by strange, aberrant creatures, but Fedmahn, now seemingly possessed by an alien intelligence, occupies them while the others enter the tower.

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They find the first level empty, so they go to the stairwell and descend into caves below the lighthouse. Within the caves they find Lucius, the Ioun Priest they rescued in their first adventure on these islands, trapped within a glass prison. The caves are infested with ghouls, led by a monstrously obese ghoul. The heroes do battle with the grotesque undead. At one point, Lucan gets eaten, then regurgitated by the lead ghoul, but eventually they manage to defeat the undead and save Lucius, who, as usual, is clueless as to why he is here. He says that he and the Brine Witch were attacked in her cave and they trapped him in the glass cage. The Brine Witch was eaten by the ghouls.

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The heroes leave the caves and go back up the stairs to find Fedmahn, covered in blood, waiting for them. He seems to faint as Lucius appears and then Lucius’ eyes go black as the alien intelligence possesses him, turning him once again into The Traveler, who then tells them, “I go to where the Dark Beacon carries out its summons and I will begin a ritual that will destroy it. You should exit the tower before the ritual is completed.”

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The four climb up to the pinnacle of the turbulent lighthouse, fearing that it may come tumbling down from the forces being unleashed. At the top, they enter a chamber and find N’Tal performing the Ritual of Calling, which had apparently taken much of his life energies to fuel. Though emaciated, N’Tal laughed at the Traveler, stating that he was too late to stop The Calling and prepared to meet the heroes in the final battle.

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The fight was fierce. N’Tal unleashed his Star Spawned powers against the heroes, who retaliated with martial, arcane and divine might. Finally, as the Traveler neared completion of the ritual to destroy the Dark Beacon, the heroes kill N’Tal. But as the warlock falls, a spawn from the stars rises from his corpse and begins to pull everything within the chamber to the void that is it’s form. The heroes gather as Nemoc uses his ancestral sword to whisk them away along the ley lines beneath the island to the city of Freeport across the bay. From there, they see the top of the lighthouse explode in a shower of fire and stone. The lighthouse known as Milton’s Folly, crumbles into the sea, the threat of N’Tal and the Dark Beacon ended.

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Later, the heroes gather back at their favorite pub, the Glory Hole to determine what is to happen next.

  • Lucan still calls into question the Sea Lord’s legitimacy and feels he must address this.
  • Haltock must decipher the dragonborn tablets and determine whether he will lead his people to their homeland to rebuild the Empire of Arkhosia.
  • Nemoc wishes to seek out the Magi Towers to learn more of his craft and begin to rebuild the Conclave of Magi.
  • Thorend has been tasked with the repair of the damaged GodWall. And though he bears the Gauntlet of Moradin and a piece of the GodWall itself, he knows not how to accomplish this.
  • Fedmahn, having served his master Necreus, now believes he is free to seek his own destiny.
  • Grekk still senses a wrongness in the world and believes the threat of the Star Spawn is not yet ended.
  • And, finally, Jaoved believes that hooking up with this group was the worst idea ever, but it was pretty fun and will keep hanging out with them until his destiny reveals itself.

And so the heroes, who never quite gave a name to themselves, raise a toast to themselves and a future full of adventure!


Epilogue: Deep within the Astral Abyss, the being known as Atropus stares out of the void to a pinpoint of light. His spawn, the aberrant beings that followed him into the void to escape the wrath of the gods at the dawn of time, gather around him raging at the closure of the Dark Beacon’s portal. Frustrated that the mortal N’Tal failed them despite being given the mighty Blackrazor and the Dark Beacon, the star spawn await their master’s direction. Atropus, having been inert for millennia, has been awakened by the Dark Beacon and shown the way to Creation. “Come, my spawn, do not despair. The Dark Beacon has laid forth the path. The Gods believed their precious world hidden from us, but it now lies revealed. We go now down that path and claim our prize at the end…CREATION SHALL BE DESTROYED!!!”

The void of the Astral Abyss begins its slow but steady trajectory towards the pinpoint of light in the distance.

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The Tower Arcanis

SESSION DATE: 01/21/2011

IN ATTENDANCE: Damn-well everyone. Robb, Jason, Aaron, Josh, Chad, Mark & Drew

SESSION SUMMARY: Upon breaking the surface of the waters from their dive to the Deep Ones’ lair, the heroes see their ship under attack by a ghostly reflection: the Death Star! Skeletal pirates attacking the Deep Star’s crew, directed under the vengeful command of Captain Locke. Captain Barrons barks orders at his crew as the ghostly figurehead bears down upon him. The heroes break up, some going after the undead Captain Locke, while other board the Deep Star to help the crew and Barrons. After a bloody battle, Captain Locke is destroyed and the Death Star and her crew disappear into the mists.

Afterward, Nemoc receives a vision from his sword of a Silver Lady stating that he has gained enough experience as a wizard to see her and to unlock a power of the ancestral blade he carries, which is called the Starblade. The Silver Lady tells Nemoc that he may travel the Ley Lines of the world, but doing so costs him vitality. He may use the sword to transport himself and his companions through the permanent hurricane to where the Tower Arcanis lay in stasis between worlds. The Silver Lady says that she was the one who constructed both the Tower Arcanis and created the Starblade and that she is Nemoc’s ancestor. She says that only he may bring back the Tower and restore the Conclave of Magi to the world.

After resting, the heroes join with Nemoc and are transported through the hurrican and land upon an island at the eye. On the center of the isle, the Tower Arcanis stands upon a plateau, flickering in and out of existence. All about the island, thousands of monolithic figures, identical to those found on the Serpent’s Teeth islands, stand inert. The heroes also find wreckage upon the beach with pieces of the constructs that made up the cult of the Zoretha, which they had fought before and recovered the two Zoretha scrolls, which legends say are needed to reactivate the monolithic hulks. The third scroll is possibly held within the Tower Arcanis.

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The heroes make it to the plateau and, after successfully scaling it, reach the Tower Arcanis. Hiding invisibly among the monoliths surrounding it however, are two of the Zoretha cultists and a hulking construct, all of whom attack the heroes. The battle is fierce, but the heroes manage to destroy the constructs. They then pull their skills to find the portal to the tower and Nemoc uses his sword to gain them entry.

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Once inside, they find a chamber filled with undead. They fight their way past a wall of fire and two walls of ice, through a barrage of unearthly necrotic energy bolts from the undead, to gain entrance to a portal chamber. There they teleport themselves to the Ley Line Power Core chamber, where they find more undead.

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They battle these poor remains of the magi that were trapped within the tower and destroy them all. Nemoc then gains entrance to the chamber containing the Eternity Clock and resets it to the proper alignment, thus restoring the Tower Arcanis to the plane of Creation. The tower asks him where he wishes it to be located and Nemoc has it set down upon the island of Minos, where the Dark Beacon stands.

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Next: The final confrontation with the Eclipse and their master, N’Tal!

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Lair of the Deep Ones

In Attendance: Josh, Jason, Robbb, Chad, Drew

Goal: Dive down to Deep Ones’ lair and destroy the Resonator.
Goal Accomplished? Yes.

Session Highlights

  • Nemoc casts Dive ritual, allowing the five heroes to breathe and act underwater normally. They swim down to the ocean floor and see that it is covered with a colossal living mass that is the Leviathan.
  • The group swims to a mountain and find the lair of the Deep Ones is an ancient Arkhosian (dragonborn) Temple dedicated to Bahamut and Tiamat both. They also find the temple is guarded by 3 giant jellyfish.

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  • The group sneak past the jellyfish and enter the temple. They fight past sahaugin guards and enter the throne room of the Sahaugin Baron.

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  • Rather than fight in the throneroom, they draw the sahaugin and the baron out into the hall. There, they whittle them down more efficiently.

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  • The baron, realizing the group is formitable, orders his priest to use the Resonator to summon the Leviathan to destroy the temple.

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  • The baron tries to escape, but is webbed up by Nemoc.

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  • The group break into the chamber where the Resonator is located, kill the sahaugin priest, and work together to destroy the Resonator using the Gauntlet of Moradin.

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  • The heroes cave in the roof of the temple to cover the hole leading to the ley line beneath that fed Resonator. They then surface and find the Deep Star under attack by…the DEATH STAR!
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The Voyage

SESSION DATE: 11.20.10

ATTENDEES: Jason, Drew, Chad, Robbbb

  • Before the voyage begins, Captain Barrons says a visit to the dragonborn village of Arkhor is needed to gain protection from the sea beast that has been terrorizing ships in the deep sea.
  • The elder of the dragonborn, Zanendithas Flamesbreath, told Barrons that they had used up the last of the substance called Orgrit that have been used by the dragonborn to protect their ships from the Leviathan and Deep Ones. The elder gives Barrons directions to the small island where the Orgrit is found, but warns that the spirit of the island requires a virgin sacrifice. He offers one of the dragonborn maidens.
  • Zanendithas Flamesbreath pulls Haltock aside informing him that he believes Haltock to be the reincarnation of Garador Infernusbane, the legendary hero of the ancient dragonborn empire of Arkhosia, who is destined to return and lead the dragonborn back to the promised land and rebuild the empire from its ashes. He gives Haltock the Standard of Arkhosia to aid in his quest.
  • The Deep Star travels to the small island where the Orgrit is found, but the island is currently being searched by the crew of the Widowmaker.
  • The group sneak onto the island and confront the first mate of the Widowmaker, Mr. Fines, who they rescued from the lair of the Unchained. He tells them Captain Byrne (who was last seen eating his own hand in Kraken’s Cove) was recovered by Captain Baumann, a ruthless pirate in league with the Sea Lord. The crew of the Widowmaker is digging up the island searching for something that Mr Fines refused to divulge.
  • Captain Byrne, who was searching a small shack on the island, shouts that he “found it” and, as he left the shack, was attacked by Lucan and Thorend.
  • Captain Byrne, apparently a wereshark, morphed into a hybrid form and after a short fight, ran into the ocean holding a wooden chest and swimming out to the Widowmaker. His departure triggered the wrath of the island’s spirit and a monstrous crab emerges from the waters and attacks.

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  • The crew of the Widowmaker and the Deep Star attack the crab and, thanks to Nemoc’s magic, manage to slow it down enough for the survivors to get back to the Deep Star. Mr. Fines, unhappy with Captain Byrne’s betrayal, goes with them. He is thrown in chains in the ship’s brig.
  • Barrons loads up the Orgrit in the ship’s figurehead and then sets sail for the Maw ( the permanent hurricane in the Twisting Deep).
  • Mr Fines reveals that the Widowmaker is under the control of Captain Baumann. Sarla, Barrons’ personal ship whore, informs the group that Baumann was Barron’ first mate and companion until she got in good with the Sea Lord and acquired her own ship. Barrons, angered with her leaving him, tried to sink her ship. The two have been at odds ever since.
  • The ship encounters a mysterious fog on a few nights, causing the crew to be fearful. Barrons seems to become more and more withdrawn. First mate Neckbone seems to be feeding feelings of dissention among the crew.
  • The heroes confront Sarla, believing her to be poisoning Barrons, when Neckbone and a large portion of the crew start up a mutiny. The heroes kill Neckbone and wound many of his followers and squash the mutiny attempt.
  • The heroes take Mr. Fines out of the brig and set him up as acting first mate while Barrons remains incapacitated, to keep the ship runnning.

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  • The following day, Captain Baumann’s ship, the Lacrymosa, catches the Deep Star and attacks with her powerful cannon weapons. But as her ship was unprotected by Orgrit, the cannonfire drew the attentions of the Leviathan, which attacked the Lacrymosa. The Deep Star used this distraction to escape.

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  • Later that night, the group is awakened by sounds. The investigate and find that they have been boarded by Captain Baumann and a small raiding crew, who snuck up to Captain Barrons’ cabin, apparently intent on killing him. The heroes attack, find that Baumann’s first mate is a large wereshark, and do battle with he and the raiders.

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  • Captain Baumann is captured after her raiders are killed.

11.20.10 wereshark falls

  • The Deep Star continues its voyage to the Maw, which looms on the horizon.
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Milton's Folly: Part 2

Session Date: 10/22/10

In Attendance: Robbbbb, Chad, Jason, Aaron, Josh

DM’s Note: I’m going to do something different with my notes going forward. Rather than type them in a narrative format, which takes me FOREVER, I’m going to bullet point the highlights instead. Should make it easier for the reader to pick up on the important parts of the session without having to read a book to get the info.

  • After defeating the aberrant creatures in the dining hall, the heroes find two more of their friends in the lighthouse, Jaoved and Lucan and a catatonic Fedmahn and Haltock.
  • The group goes to the chamber full of zombies, find that killing a zombie results in a new zombie being created by two sarcophagi at the rear of the room.
  • Zombies ignore the heroes as they enter. The heroes go up the stairs to a door. Lucan picks thelock and finds the room beyond full of treasure.
  • Jaoved enters and is attacked by a construct that looks like a large, animated bear trap. Trap is destroyed, treasure is looted. Dsc05709
  • Within one chest is a swarm of Rot Grub, heroes are attacked and eventually destroy the swarm. At the bottom of the chest is the key they sought. Dsc05710
  • Finding the key results in the zombies suddenly becoming interested in the heroes’ presence and they attack. Nemoc destroys the zombies with a spell. Nemoc vs zombies
  • Heroes use the two keys to turn off the wall of force protecting the door. They open the door and find a room that has the Dark Beacon, N’Tal and the members of the Eclipse within. Dark beacon encounter
  • N’Tal tells them that they are too late to stop him from sending a summons to the Star Spawn because he found a breach in the GodWall that allowed the Dark Beacon to start transmitting.
  • N’Tal tells the heroes that he needs Lucius the Traveler to be bought to him so that he can complete a ritual to penetrate the Astral Abyss and call a powerful being within. He says the stars will be in alignment in 25 days for the ritual and needs Lucan by then. If they don’t agree to bring him, they will die.
  • Jaoved tries to bluff N’Tal, but he didn’t buy it. N’Tal sends his Eclipse away and attacks the heroes.
  • The fight begins, but both Nemoc and Grekk touch the Dark Beacon, are shown a vision of the thing in the Astral Abyss, a sentient planet called Atropus. The experience throws them both from the orb and inflicts madness on them both. 111153
  • The battle is fought hard by the heroes, but N’Tal cuts them down one by one, rendering them unconscious instead of killing them, surely for some dark purpose. N tal triumphant
  • Before Lucan and Nemoc are cut down, Nemoc’s sword, which acted strangely the night before in the Brine Witch’s cave, speaks to Nemoc in a feminine voice saying that they are not yet ready for this fight and the sword leaps from his scabbard and somehow teleports Nemoc and his allies out of the lighthouse and back to the Brine Witch’s cave.
  • After explaining what happened to the witch, she agrees to summon Captain Barrons to her cave so they can begin the voyage to restore the Tower Arcanis, which will (hopefully), weaken the Dark Beacon and buy them time to defeat N’Tal and his Eclipse. But they have 25 days to make a trip that may take too long to stop N’Tal from perfoming the ritual to summon Atropus. The Brine Witch assures them that she will hide Lucius from N’Tal until they return.
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Milton's Folly: Part 1

Session Date: 10/01/10

In Attendance: Drew, Chad, Jason, Josh

[DM’s note: I realized after waking up with a hangover that I had a few more beers that I should have. As a result, some of the information I provided may not have been as clear as it should have been, had my mind been clearer. So, I will post the information here as it should have been presented, not as it may have been presented. I apolozize and will keep my alcohol consumption much lower in future session.]

Upon returning from the isle of Zyr and the acquition of 2 of the 3 Zoretha scrolls from the Zoretha cult, the first order of business was to rush the remains of Haltock and Jaoved to the Temple of Ioun, where Brother Egil and his assistants were able to restore them before the Raven Queen could claim their souls for eternity.

The group then returns to their room at the Scholar’s Quill Inn and discuss their options. Thorend rejoins the group and says that he learned of a person known as the Brine Witch, who may be able to provide them information on the golden idol they acquired from the Unchained lair, insight on the cults and possibly know what happened to Fedmahn. Lucan says he has to meet with his sister to finalize plans to attend the affair at the lighthouse, scheduled in two days. Jaoved, still shaken from his near-death experience also decides to bow out of the trip.

So Thorend, Haltock and Nemoc start to leave for the Brine Witch’s lair on the other side of the island. They are joined by Grekk the druid, returned from the isle of Jor. The four take the path around the perimeter of the island and find the area described to Thorend by the (overly) friendly bartender of the Glory Hole, Rhae. The area is a clearing along a sheer cliff that has one of the monolithic figures standing over it. Along the face of the cliff, a ladder is set into the side, which leads down to an opening to a cave where the Brine Witch lairs. Before climbing down, however, the group must shake Grekk back to his senses after staring at the monolithic figure a little too long.

They are lowered down to the opening by Nemoc’s floating disk and they entered the passage leading to the witch’s lair. They reached a large cavern containing a hole in the floor that reaches down to the ocean below, a ledge and ramp leading up to a higher level, from which they hear the voice of an elderly woman call down that she’d been expecting them and to come on up. The follow the ramp up to the upper level and find a living area containing furniture fashioned from coral and shells. They see the elderly woman sitting in a shell chair stirring a pot with a long pole. They are also surprised to see Lucius, the man they saved from the Unspeakable Ones a couple of weeks ago. The witch looks up and the group sees that she is not human, but a creature of the sea, with large black orbs for eyes, seaweed for hair and scaley green skin. She stops her stirring and asks the four what they want from her. The group asks about the idol, the cults, the lighthouse, and Fedmahn. Before answering the witch warns the group that the knowledge she will convey to they is dangerous and may put them into great danger. Willing to accept the risk, she tells them what she knows of these topics.

The Idol: She calls it the Elder Eye of Entropy and she says that it is very important relic to the Unchained cult and a splinter group called the Cult of Elemental Evil. She does not know the purpose of the idol, but she knows the cult will likely stop at nothing to get it back.

The cults: She says the cults have been drawn to the Serpent’s Teeth by the lighthouse being constructed by Sea Lord Drac. The lighthouse is made from a material known as “mnemrock”, a psychic amplifier that is calling these like-minded groups to this area by a being called N’Tal.

N’Tal: The cults, the lighthouse and the dark purpose behind them are all the machinations of this man. His story begins long ago, at a time when the universe was invaded by beings from the Far Realm. These beings were sent here to assimilate this universe with the Far Realm. The gods defeated most of them and sealed off the world of Creation with the GodWall to protect it from them. But some of the entropic beings survived the war and fled into the depths of the Astral Sea, infusing their essences into stars, planetoids, comets, and other celestial objects, awaiting a time when they could once again fulfill their mission to destroy Creation. Other of these beings were on Creation when the GodWall was completed and cut them off from their source of power, causing them to become inert. One of these beings was called Necreus, and he would later rise to begin the War of Darkness. Necreus was opposed by the fallen goddess Sola and trapped within a citadel of obsidian, where he slumbered for 1000 years. During that time, Necreus lost his allegiance to the Far Realm and decided that he would rather remain as an individual conquerer of the world than to be reassimilated into the collective of the Far Realm. Over the millenia, Necreus called to him those who shared his vision of bringing stability to the world under his rule. He has used these mortals as his agents, sending them into the world to seek out objects and places of power that he could exploit upon his release from his Obsidian Citadel. One of these agents was a man called N’Tal.

N’Tal led a group on a voyage into the Broken Straits in search of power for his master. For years, he traveled the seas, visiting the thousands of islands among the straits, until one fateful day, his ship entered a terrible storm and destroyed. N’Tal survived and drifted for days until he arrived upon a small island, almost as though he were drawn there. The island had a crater in the center and within this crater was a broken meteor. N’Tal was compelled to enter the crater and he found that within the meteor was a perfect orb and the orb spoke to him, saying that it was sent here by the beings of entropy that were now scattered among the stars. The beings called themselves “Star Spawn” and they needed an emissary upon Creation to light a beacon that would draw them back to Creation. The orb was that beacon, but it needed powre to send it’s calling into the heavens beyond the GodWall. N’Tal was seduced by the Star Spawn and he made a pact with them. They accepted N’Tal and forged a mighty weapon from the remains of the meteor that bore the Dark Beacon to Creation. The sword they called “Blackrazor” and upon gripping it, N’Tal severed his connection from Necreus and from this point on, his path was lost from the Dark Lord.

Knowing the danger that N’Tal and the Star Spawn posed to his plans and to Creation, Necreus sent agent into the Broken Straits to find N’Tal and to stop his plans for the Dark Beacon. One of those agents was the Brine Witch, and she has tracked N’Tal to the Serpent’s Teeth, where he somehow managed to gain influence over the Sea Lord and had him begin construction upon the lighthouse, which would draw power from the ley lines below the islands and amplify its power enough to penetrate the GodWall and reach his masters in the Astral Sea. The lighthouse and the beacon have called the various cults to the Serpent’s Teeth and have been used by N’Tal to gain extend his influence into the underworld of Freeport.

Fedmahn: The Brine Witch has set up her own agents within Freeport, and when Fedmahn came inquiring about the cults, she offered him a chance to work against them. She was able to get Fedmahn to infiltrate the security of the island where the lighthouse is being constructed. Another of her agents, the tiefing prostitute called Avarice, Lucan met and the bartender of the Glory Hole named Rhae is another.

The group asked why Lucius was with her and she said that he was brought here to keep him safe from N’Tal’s cults. She explained that he has a destiny to fulfill and that he cannot fall back into their hands, so she is hiding him here. He seems happy to be here, facinated by her lair.

The group asked what they could do to stop N’Tal’s plans. She said that there were several things that could be done.

1. If the Dark Beacon could be taken from the lighthouse, it would prevent the summons from being sent to the Star Spawn. To do this, they would need to find a way to get past the security of the lighthouse, which is formitable. There are dozens of ships armed with cannons to stop unauthorized ships from approaching. The tower itself has ogre guards on the outside and is certain to have powerful wards within.
2. If the Tower Arcanis, the ancient tower of the Conclave of Magi that was banished at the time of the Magi Heresy, could be restored, it would divert much of the power that the lighthouse draws from the ley lines, significantly weakening it. Finding the tower may also aid Nemoc achieve his destiny. Reaching the tower would be difficult, due to the Deep Ones – a cult of sahaugin that worship the Elder Evil known as the Leviathan. Their lair lies at the bottom of the Twisting Deep where they use an arcane engine known as the Resonator to control aspects of the Leviathan, which they use to attack ships.
3. Destroy the Resonator, which currently blocks Necreus from being able to perceive events in the Broken Straits. Once the Resonator is gone, Necreus would be able to take a more direct approach against N’Tal.
4. Kill N’Tal and destroy the lighthouse, which would end his plans forever. This is difficult for no one has ever seen N’Tal or remembered the experience enough to recall what he looks like. The Brine Witch presumes that he and his Eclipse cult are hiding out within the lighthouse. The Eclipse cult’s minions are the tattooed ones hat the group have already encountered, but the core members are N’Tal and seven others of significant ability.

As the Brine Witch finishes outlining the group’s quests, Nemoc’s sword suddenly flies out of his scabbard on its own and hovers above the group, glowing brightly. Then begins to spin and emit beams of radiance throughout the cavern, momentarily blinding everyone within. Then, just as suddenly as it began, the sword’s light dims and it falls to the ground inert. Nemoc warily reclaims his blade, uncertain of what just occurred, and the Brine Witch explains that there may be more to the blade and the young mage than he knows and that his late master’s mission may have something to do with the blade’s behavior.

The group leaves the Brine Witch’s lair to ponder the information she provided them. They decide the opportunity to get into the lighthouse that the Sea Lord’s dinner provides them will give them a chance to find the Dark Beacon. Once they have that, they would need to escape N’Tal and his Eclipse, so they decide to pre-arrange passage with the Deep Star and her captain, Barrons. They head to the docks and meet with Barrons, who is reluctant to take them. They learn that he had once been 1st Mate on the Deep Star when it was under the command of Captain Locke. Locke had taken the Deep Star and her crew into the hurricane at the center of the Twisting Deep in search of treasure and the voyage nearly destroyed the ship. Barrons led a mutiny against Locke, cast the captain overboard, and turned the ship around, saving her and her crew. But Captain Locke’s spirit was vengeful and he returned as captain of a ghostly replica of the Deep Star and is haunting the water of the Twisting Deep, waiting for Barrons to sail out far enough for him to get his vengeance.

The group convice Barrons that their quest will stop N’Tal, who Barrons has no love for, and they promise that should they encounter Captain Locke, they will help Barrons defeat him. Barrons agrees to pick them up at the lighthouse after the dinner and take them out to find the Deep One’s lair.

The group then spend the next few hours preparing for the event, buying appropriate dinner attire, supplies for Nemoc’s Leomund’s Secret Chest ritual, which they will use to summon their equipment should they need it. They then met up with Lucan, his sister and the six members of the Captain’s Council and their spouses at the Sea Lord’s private ship and were taken over to the island of Minos. At the docks they were met by more security, and noticed Fedmahn among the guards. With a knowing nod he acknowledged them and the group was escorted off the ship, up to the planks that led up the side of the cliff to the surface of the island. There they were met by ogre guards and taken directly to the entrance of the lighthouse. At the door they were met by the Sea Lord’s secretary and given a quick tour of part of the first level and then taken to he dining hall where the Sea Lord awaited. The hall was lavishly decorated, the table full of food, a group of musicians were playing in the corner and a lovely fountain carved in the form of a mermaid, poured water into its large basin.

The Sea Lord was very charismatic, with salt and pepper hair, in his 50’s and in good shape. He thanked everyone for attending, acknowledge his Captain’s Council and his daughter’s guests, thanking them for their brave rescue of her from the dread pirates that kidnapped her (apparently she didn’t relate the full and actual events of the rescue). The members of the Captain’s Council immediately began criticising the Sea Lord for his waste of Freeport’s funds to build this lighthouse and demanded to know what his plans were to replenish the empty coffers. The Sea Lord skillfully deflected the questioning and stated that he had a plan that would bring great prosperity to Freeport, which would be announced during the opening ceremony of the lighthouse in a few weeks. The next hour or so was passed with more discussion from the Captain’s Council on pressing issues in Freeport. Karina flirted with Nemoc some, Lucan studied the Sea Lord intently and the evening passed pleasantly. Then, as the meal began to wind down, something strange began to happen. Several of the Captain’s Council appeared to suddenly fall unconscious. The Sea Lord himself began to look dazed and then fell forward into his food in mid-sentence. Before the group could react, they too began feeling as though their minds were being assaulted. One by one, they fell unconscious, but before the last one did, they noticed small four-armed blue creatures enter the room and begin to move people out. Then darkness fell upon the last hero.

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Sometime later, the group awoke, each finding themselves within a small room with a locked door. A note was left with each, which read “Your meddling in my affairs has cost me valuable resources. However, you have demonstrated that you and your associates are not without skill. I give you this challenge, then. If you can make your way to me, I shall allow you to leave the lighthouse alive. You will need two keys to reach me, which are hidden on this level of the lighthouse. You will find that a few of my servants stand between us, however. We shall see just how skilled you truly are. N’Tal.” Each of the heroes escaped the chamber (or sarcophagus in Haltock’s case) to find undead outside their doors. Nemoc faced a large number of zombies. Thorend faced dwarven skeletons. Grekk faced a giant minotaur skeleton and Haltock a human skeleton.

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Each hero fought to find the others, battling the undead in their way. Eventually, they met up with each other and defeated the undead.

Thorend vs dwarf skeletons edited 1

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The group then decided to go back to the dining hall. They found the room to be a wreck and the blue, four-armed creatures within along with a strange humanoid with fleshy tentacles growing from his shoulders. The creatures attack and the battle was viscious, but the heroes prevailed and found one of the keys N’Tal’s note mentioned within the basin of the mermaid fountain. The group rests a bit and plans its next move…

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To be continued in Milto’s Folly: Part 2

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The Zoretha

Date: 09/10/10 In Attendance: Robbbb, Drew, Jason, and new guy Aaron

Interlude:

Haltock: Accompanied the freed dragonborn slaves from the lair of the Unchained cult to their home village of Arkhor on the island of Zyr. There he was welcomed with open arms by the dragonborn and honored as a hero for bringing home dozens of sons, brothers, fathers, and husbands. The elder of the village, Zanedithas Flamesbreath, told Haltock of the danger that he believed the village faced, a danger that could also threaten Freeport and possibly the world. A man named N’Tal came to the island in search of the power of the ley lines and he used some kind of trickery to steal the dragonborn’s knowledge of ley lines from them. Shortly after, the Drac lighthouse began construction and cults began swarming to the Serpent’s Teeth. One cult has been congregating on the dragonborn’s isle, a cult of constructs that seem to worship the strange megalithic structures that number in the thousands on the island and are also known to be on the other islands of the Serpent’s Teeth. He believed the cult was seeking to use the power of the ley lines to awaken the megaliths. The elder asked Haltock to investigate.

Nemoc: The Eladrin wizard spent time studying the book obtained from the celestial mage’s chamber and learned about the threats from the Astral Sea that the Apocalypse from the Sky tome warned about. He finally got to meet with High Priest Thuron at the Ioun Temple, finally honoring his master’s original appointment. Though seemingly willing to help, the High Priest acted strangely and Nemoc sensed some form of glamour upon him. The priest seemed to know nothing of what Nemoc’s master wished to meet about. Afterward, Nemoc met with Brother Egil, who agreed that Thuron was acting strangely and agreed to keep an eye on him.

Lucan: Lucan agreed to have dinner with his sister Karina. There he learned that she had no recollection of her childhood or of the man he knew to be her father. He questioned her about the Sea Lord and she said he was constantly working on the lighthouse and rarely around, so she may do things to try and gain his attentions, like dating pirates that turn out to be cult leaders. She asked Lucan about his amulet, which bore the Drac family crest and was identical to hers. He was unsure of where he got it, but he’s always had it. She thought that hers was unique, but when they brought their amulets together, they noticed that they began to magically glow. Karina asked Lucan to come to the formal dinner, where her father was planning on unveiling the lighthouse to the Captain’s Council, and have him meet the Sea Lord. Lucan asked if he could bring guests and she said he could. After dinner, Karina departed with her bodyguard and Lucan left to return to the Scholar’s Quill, but on the streets, he was confronted by off-duty city guard who seemed to have something against elves. But before violence could break out, a tiefling woman emerged from the shadows and threaten to reveal the guard’s extramarital activities with their spouses. The three reluctantly left and the woman introduced herself as Avarice. She made advances to Lucan and the two shared some time in a room. Later, she said that those guards were known to sell themselves out to some shady organizations around town and were probably sent to accost him. She believed it may have something to do with the fact that he holds a Drac Family Crest, meaning that he may be a rival to the Sea Lord’s station. Avarice told Lucan to be more careful around town and that if he ever wanted to get in touch with her, to ask for her at the Glory Hole.

Thorend: Went out to research the Moradin Gauntlet and the Idol of the Elder Eye that they found in the Unchained lair.

Fedmahn: Has not been seen in a few weeks.

Grekk: Has not been heard from since departing from the group on the isle of Zor.

Jaoved: A minotaur that was used as slave labor in the Unchained cult’s ley line tunnels. He was freed by Haltock and the others and he asked to tag along with them.

Most of the group eventually met up and were convinced to go to the island of Zor to look into the Zoretha cult that the dragonborn elder had asked Haltock help with. They chartered passage to Zyr and were met with excitement and adoration. The group were called Haltock’s Storm Furies and were treated to a celebration. The following morning, they provided guides to the volcano where they believe the Zoretha are gathering. Along the way, the see for themselves that the island does indeed have thousands of the megaliths scattered throughout.

At the volcano, the group finds an archway with Celestial glyphs engraved upon it, which Nemoc translates to the history of the Zoretha Hulks. Apparently, during the entropic incursion called the GodWar, the beings known as the Zoretha Hulks dropped to Creation to find a way to destroy the world. These towering beings sought out Ley Line Nodes; convergences of multiple ley lines, to unravel them and destabilize the structure of Creation, eventually hoping to cause the world to lose cohesion and break apart. The hulks gathered here because a powerful node lies below these islands, but before they could destroy the node, the GodWall was completed and the hulks went inert.

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The group enters the archway and finds a room with a teleporation circle within. They step upon it and enter another chamber that contained empty alcoves. As they studied the alcoves, metal and wooden construct warriors appeared and attacked. The group defeated them and they moved past a locked portcullis to another teleporation circle, which took them to a room with three platforms. From these platforms, metal dogs emerged and attacked, while an animated ballista attacked them from atop the tallest platform. The group managed to destroy all of these constructs and found some treasure and another teleporation circle.

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The next room they appeared in was a multi-level chamber with two warrior constructs and two bronze minotaur constructs. They fought and defeated the constructs and found a door with a magic mouth upon it, similar to the one they found in the Unchained lair belonging to the celestial mage. This magic mouth was less pleasant than the last, warning the “brother magi” away, stating that he was not welcome here. Lucan manages to unlock the door and the group finds another mage’s study, and the image of the dead tiefling magi, Qathur, appeared to them. It was belligerent and demanded that Nemoc leave. Nemoc, instead, searched the room and found a ley line map that seemed to point out where the lost Tower Arcanis may be hidden – somewhere out in the Twisting Deep, near the permanent hurricane. Qathur warned that it was too late, that the constructs found the map first and are already seeking out the tower. Nemoc and the others ignored the Qathur image, looted his hidden treasure, and departed to the next room via the teleporation circle.

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This circle led to a lava tube that had a platform set within it. Upon the plaform, four of the warrior constructs, including the cult’s leader, “The Zor”, were chanting to two golden scrolls that were suspended within the lava tube, apparently feeding energy off of the ley line node below. The heroes attack, but find themselves greatly challenged by the Zor and his champions. Both Haltock and Jaoved die at the hands of the constructs, but Nemoc and Lucan managed to finish off the cultists and to claim the two golden Zoretha Scrolls.

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Lucan and Nemoc take the bodies of Haltock and Jaoved back to the Ioun temple and, using some of the treasure found in the Zoretha’s lair, paid for their souls to be restored to their bodies before the Raven Queen could claim them for eternity.

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Lair of the Cult of the Chained God

Play Date: 08/07/10:

In Attendance: Robbb, Drew, Chad, Jason

As we began this session, the heroes had just defeated the bullywug, but not before one escaped and began calling for backup. Grekk offers to lead the bullywug away from the heroes and leaves the group.

The heroes stand poised to enter the lair of the Unchained, but before they do so, they notice two towering megaliths in the jungle near the ruins. After examining them, they determine that they may be two of the mythic Zoretha. Legends hold that the Zoretha were sent to Creation to destroy the world. There were thousands of these massive stone warriors and everything that stood before them was destroyed. Somehow, the Zoretha became inert and became rooted in the spot they stopped. Legends say that the Zoretha can be reawakened with three scrolls known as the Zoretha Scrolls, and the crazy cult that venerates these megalithic engines of destruction have been seeking the scrolls.

As they studied the two stone figures, Lucan became transfixed by one, snapping out of it only after his companions. A little disoriented, Lucan follows the rest of the group down into the dungeon. Deep in the dungeon, the heroes find a room with a stylized eye painted upon the floor. Lucan and Nemoc get a bad feeling from the mark and so Nemoc creates a floating disc to ferry them across the room without touching the mark.

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In the next chamber, they find two Unchained cultist guards. They get a jump on the two, kill one but the other tries to escape. They chase him down a dark hall and kill him before he can alert other cultists. In the process, they locate another hall, at the end of which is a door. When Nemoc approached it, a magic mouth appeared and welcomed a “brother magi”. The door opened and revealed a wizard’s study, complete with a bookshelf, desk, and various tools, charts and maps used in studying celestial phenomenon. As the group studies the room, a magical image of a kind of dragonborn in wizards robes who says that this was his lair before being killed and offered to answer any questions. The group learns that the magi had been a member of the extinct order of magic users called the Conclave of Magi. He and a companion were present in the Tower Arcanis during the Magi Heresy and managed to escape the attack of the Soladrin Confessors by coming to this island. He says that they Tower Arcanis was moved along the magical ley lines that traverse Creation and that his companion, a wizard called Qathur, went to the island of Zyr determined to find a way to restore it and the Conclave. Finally, he gives Nemoc a book called the “Apocalypse from the Sky” which documents the mage’s studies of malevolent stellar beings that he believes will some day threaten Creation.

The group leave the room and follow another passage, tripping a fire jet trap and another trap that opens toothy maws in the floor. They bypass these and find a room with a 30’ deep pit containing treasure at the bottom. Against Thorend’s better judgement, Lucan climbs down to get the treasure, but is greeted by a rust monster and also discovers a gelatinous cube. Lucan manages to jump away from the cube and rust monster, grabbing his rope and, with assist from Haltock, he climbs out (without any treasure).

The heroes then go to another chamber that contains a large pool full of a reddish liquid resembling blood and four piles of skulls. The group determines that the pool is linked to the only other exit from the room; a large set of double doors. They also determine that the skulls are used to open the door by throwing a certain combination of skulls into the pool. They reason out the combination by noting the size difference of the skull piles and, upon throwing the skulls into the pool, the doors open to reveal a large chamber full of cultists.

The cult leader, Dorin Karathus, orders his cultists to attack and, as they do, he begins summoning the Fell Taint that attacked the group in Kraken’s Cove. The battle is brutal and Thorend falls during his attempt to get at Dorin, but eventually the group manages to kill the cultists, dispearse he taint and keep one survivor. Upon the altar, they find a golden idol bearing the Elder Eye symbol and they find a Moradin artifact known as Moradin’s Gauntlet, which legends say was worn by the god when building the GodWall and the prison of the Chained God.

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Using some intimidation, they get the cultist to lead them to the slaves brought here by the cult to unearth the ley line that traverses under the island, which the cult was hoping to use to somehow free their Chained God. They also find Karina and give her the amulet that Dorin had stolen from her. Lucan shockingly reveals that he is her brother. When asked why Dorin had been interested in her amulet, she replied that there have been rumors circulating in Freeport for years that the Drac family has a secret vault with untold treasures and that her amulet was one of three needed to open the vault. Karina doubted this rumor, as her father had not given her any indication of a family vault, hidden or otherwise.

They discover the Moradin priests among the slaves and they learn that the Moradin Temple had been built in Freeport to find Moradin’s Gauntlet. When they succeeded, the Unchained cult had used alchemy to destroy their temple. The cultists took the dwarves as slaves and took Moradin’s Gauntlet, presumably to use in freeing their god.

They also found a number of dragonborn, who were taken from their settlement on the island of Zyr. Finally, they met the true first mate of the Widowmaker, Mr. Fines, who agreed to sail the ship out of Kraken’s Cove and return the slaves to their homes. Mr. Fines said that Captain Byrne had lost the Widowmaker in a bet with another pirate named Captain Baumann, and fled Freeport in hopes of hiding the Widowmaker in Kraken’s Cove. Mr. Fines was afraid that Captain Baumann, a ruthless pirate herself, would stop at nothing to get the ship, sohe planned to return it to her after returning the slaves.

The group lead the freed slaves out of the dungeon, back through the jungle to Kraken’s Cove and that is where the session ends.

Pictures are forthcoming.

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Kraken's Cove

Play Date: 07/23/10

After dropping off Lucius at the Ioun Temple, the group returns to the Scholar’s Quill Inn for some much needed rest. The innkeeper gives Thorend a message that was dropped off for him earlier that evening. The dwarf shares the information with the rest of the group in their room that the cult known as the Unchained are rumored to be hiding out on the neighboring island of Jor. That is also where the pirate Captain Byrne is said to lair. The island is infested with frog men called bullywugs.

While the others rested, Nemoc decided to spend some time looking through the Book of the Unspeakable One. At first the tome appeared to be full of gibberish and nonsensical markings. After a time studying, however, Nemoc began to notice patters in the markings. Once that realization hit him, Nemoc became aware of an assault upon his psyche. He managed to slam the book closed, but screamed out in horror for over a minute from the brief glimpse of the realm of madness the book offered to him. After this incident, Fedmahn said he couldn’t sleep and decided to go out and take care of some personal business.

When morning came, Fedmahn had not yet returned, but a knock at the door revealed a druid called Grekk, who was sent by Egil to convince the group to try and prevent Karina Drac from pursuing her estranged pirate boyfriend. The group agrees to this and head down to the Docks to determine if Karina had found a way over to the island of Jor. At the Glory Hole, the daytime barkeep – a dwarf named Xavier – told them that Captain Byrne’s ship, the Widowmaker, had left port yesterday morning for destinations unknown. Karina had been poking around the Docks yesterday, seeking passage to the island of Jor. She secured a ride with Captain Scarbelly on the Bloody Vengeance and departed yesterday afternoon.

The group headed down to the pier in hopes of finding the Deep Star for a ride to the island. Captain Barrons had apparently left port after dropping them off a couple of days ago, but had returned and was in preparation for another departure. The first mate, Neckbone, allows the group to board and discuss their request with Captain Barrons, who agrees to ferry them over to the island of Jor, but warns them of Captain Byrne’s madness – he is known for speaking with dead people. He also warns against getting involved with the Drac family, as the Sealord is a ruthless, power-hungry man and dealing with him can only lead to trouble.

The Deep Star sails up the eastern coast of Jor and Lucan’s sharp eyes find the hidden entrance to Kraken’s Cove behind a large waterfall. The group purchases a dingy from Barrons and sail to the entrance, which leads to a vast cavern. They sail in darkness until they find the wreckage of a boat, which appears to be the Bloody Vengeance. Bodies and detritus float around the dingy and one body is examined and found to be a sailor who’s neck had been slit. The group continues to float deeper into the island until they find a large cavern with a shore containing a small building. They bring the dingy ashore when an uneasiness comes over them all; a feeling of something unnatural, unseen within the cave. The cave seems to have been a hideout, evident by boxes of provisions and signs of traffic, yet it seems to have been abandoned. They enter the building and find signs of a fight within. A large chest also lay within, and upon opening it, they find a man within, cutting himself repeatedly with a dagger and, apparently sustaining himself on his left hand and arm. The crazed man wore the tattered remains of a captain’s uniform and spoke nonsense about “the people” having taken his crew. The man confirmed that the crew of the Widowmaker had brought dwarves here “a while back”, suggesting that this was probably Captain Byrne. He pointed towards a way out of the cavern and began getting agitated, saying that “they were coming” and insisting his chest lid be shut.

Those remaining outside the building began seeing flickers of light throughout the cavern, which materialized into floating balls of writhing tentacles. The aberrations attacked and, though their physical forms were not very threatening, their slimy touch assaulted the minds of the heroes. After a short battle, the group manages to dispatch the creatures and decide to leave Kraken’s Cove for the island above.

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Upon exiting the cove, they find many tracks that seemed to hastily depart in many directions into the jungle. A single established path is found and some of the tracks seem to head down this, so the group decides to follow. A short while later, they find ruins that are guarded by the bullywug. Haltock approaches them in an attempt to communicate peacefully, but the display of magic (“ju-ju”) alarms their leader, who orders an attack. The fight is fierce, with Nemoc being swallowed by a giant frog and the others struggling with the hopping frog men, but they eventually defeat the leader and most of the guards. Two of the escape into the jungles, however, and are heard croaking warnings or summons. The group pulls themselves together and search the ruins, finding some treasure and a passage leading down into dungeons.

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The Unspeakable Ones

Play Date: Friday 06/11/10 In Attendance: Mark, Jason, Robbbb, Chad, Drew

Session Summary: Our heroes begin this session in an abandoned building in Freeport, having arrived here after following the secretary of the Ioun Temple, Milos. Shortly after entering, they hear the approach of another and find that their friend Fedmahn has caught back up with them.

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The group enters the cellar and find a hidden door behind some barrels. They open the door and descend into a stairwell leading down to a hall that has a single robed human apparently guarding a door. Lucan quietly knocks the guard unconscious and find that the door he was guarding is enchanted with a Magic Mouth ritual. The group drags the guard up to the cellar above, find that he has the same eclipse tattoo as the ones who attacked them in front of their inn the previous night. They question him about the door and he gives them a passphrase after some prompting from Haltock. The password turned out to be false and the Magic Mouth alerted the skeletons in the room beyond the door, who immediately attacked the heroes as they entered. Despite the power of the skeletons, one of which burned with necrotic energies, the group destroyed them and found a hidden door leading to another hall containing two single doors and one set of double doors…and another guard. He is taken out quickly and they open one of the single doors to find a hall leading to a room containing a pit and a ledge with a chest upon it. They open the other door and find a room containing a table, a bookshelf and various papers and scrolls scattered upon the table and floor. Another guard within is dispatched quickly and the group searches the room, collecting a book and some paper of interest that give status reports of the construction of the Lighthouse of Drac from a few years ago and a recent one from about a month ago. Another paper of interest seems to give instructions to several named cults to perform certain tasks (see the Wiki for the full note). The note is signed by someone named N’Tal.

Unable to contain his curiosity, Lucan goes back to the room with the chest and, after passing through a trapped hall, manages to swing his way over to the ledge using chains that dangle from the ceiling over the pit separating the trapped hall from the chest. He finds the chest trapped with a magical glyph of warding and, with Nemoc’s aid, is able to deactivate it and retrieve the treasure within.

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The group then proceeds to the next room, where they finally find Milos dressed in cultist robes and standing over the body of Lucius; apparently torturing him. The group engages Milos and the cultists within the chamber in battle, but when one of them rings a gong, reinforcements arrive, including a creature Milos called “the gauth.” This creature was a floating orb with one giant eye and mouth on the orb and four eyestalks upon the top, each of which emitted dangerous rays. The battle was brutal and both Nemoc and Fedmahn nearly died before the last cultist was killed and the gong was rung, which apparently convinced the gauth to return to it’s lair in the pit. The group recovers from the fight, collect Lucius and leave the dungeon.

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Lucius appears to have been tortured, but has no permanent damage done to him. They take him to the Temple of Ioun and to his friend, Brother Egil, who pays the heroes the balance of what he promised them. They tell Egil of Milos’ extra curricular activities with the cult and he says he’ll report this to Thuron as soon as the high priest returns to the temple. Egil also mentions that his other friend, Karina Drac (the Sea Lord’s daughter) did something foolish and has gone off after her estranged boyfriend who stole her valuable amulet. Egil asks the heroes to consider going after her, for she is brash and likely to get herself hurt, or worse.

The session ended here.

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