Tribute - D&D 4E Campaign

Session 9: The Great Belly Pork Caper

The party spend some time pursing their own interests in the city. Fourteen returns to his study of the fighting pits, growing ever more familiar with the gladiators and the surrounding staff and pageantry.

Kharis spends several days sequestered in the libraries of the Obsidian Tower. Amongst the piles of mouldering tomes, she finds a history of ancient Bael Turath, the Tiefling empire. In it, she finds a reference to Tellka Sinsinger, the head of the Sinsinger family at the time the Bael Turath nobility struck their deal with Asmodeus, and the devil prince Sevarin, with whom she bargained for power. Several pages have been torn from the book, but some intriguing notes have been left wedged between the pages. They seem to describe some sort of ritual…

The Obsidian Tower offer more information to Thia on her affliction. Although the wizards could open a portal to the Feywyld, they would have little control over where it emerged, and striking out blind into the land of the Fey is not a course to be recommended. In the wilderness, however, there are stable rifts between the real world and the Feywyld, often maintained by orders of druids. Making contact with such an order might offer the best hope of success.

Garrett seeks out a reliable source of poisons, eventually being directed towards a shady basement shop in Tribute’s poor quarter, where the retired thief and poisoner Maglo makes his living as a purveyor of all things nefarious. Garrett purchases several poisons to help him in combat, as well as a does of Linger Rot, a poison which will induce a feverish sickness and, in the worst cases, death.

Taliesin, seized by melancholy, spends his time walking the streets of Tribute’s Foundry District, the poverty and industrial decay feeding his dark mood. He learns its streets and by-ways well however, which may come in handy in the future (when fleeing an angry mod of Guild guardsmen, for example).

Their individual tasks completed, the party return to the Obsidian Tower, where the wizards had promised work for them. They are greeted by an immensely fat wizard who introduces himself as Shale – over an impressive feast, Shale relates the task.

An agent of the Obsidian Tower, Roderick, who posed as a scribe at the Exchange (the economic hub of the city) has died, but the Tower has no information as to how. They only discovered the death by chance, when another agent of theirs placed in the guard (Saren) was summoned to remove the corpse.

The Obsidian Tower want the party to investigate the death, to find the cause, if possible,and most important whether the Guild had discovered their agent’s true employer. It is important the investigation not be linked back to the Obsidian Tower itself, although if things take a turn for the worse finding a way to pin the blame on another party would be acceptable.

The party are initially hesitant, subtlety being somewhat outside of their skill-set, but after some deliberation agree to proceed. They extract some aid from Shale in forging a cover they can use to enter the exchange – documents that identify them as representing the notable merchant Macharius Hax, and some funds they can use to purchase goods or otherwise strengthen their cover identities.

After agreeing, Garrett and Thia visit the Exchange to scope the location out. In the main hall they find a busy hustle of merchants and scribes engaged in all manner of business dealings sit. Arrayed on benches around the side of the room, they are confronted by ranks of the Guild Actuaries, wasted figures with their eyes sewn shut, who constantly mutter updates on the prices of goods and the state of trade throughout the guild domains. Several robbed Guildsmen move between the Actuaries, apparently tending to them.

Behind the main trading floor is a collection of additional rooms and buildings around an open central courtyard. Access for supplies and other deliveries is through a door around the back of the Exchange.

Taliesin meets with Saren, the Tower’s contact in the guard. Saren relates some details of the state in which Roderick was discovered: their were no obvious wounds on his body, but his eyes were red with burst blood vessels. He also agrees to stations himself at the rear entrance of the Exchange in case the party need to make a swift getaway.

The party put together the plan they will use to gain greater access to the Exchange. They plan to pose as belly pork merchants, selling the finest belly pork in this circle of the world (salted in sea brine to lock in the flavour!). Taliesin will pose as the Merchant Finidiri, seeking backing from the Guild for his lucrative belly pork import operation. Garrett and Thia will pose as his scribe and bodyguard, respectively. Meanwhile, Kharis and Fourteen, posing as cooks, will approach the rear entrance with a cart laden with belly pork, with the intent of setting up in the Exchange’s kitchen and producing world-beating bacon sandwiches as proof of the quality of their product.

They procure the necessary items for their plan, namely appropriate outfits, a cart, and cart-load of belly pork packed into barrels. Fourteen secures his armour and weapons inside a spare barrel, and Kharis secures a ritual that will allow the party to communicate silently and over distance for the duration of the operation. Finally, Kharis use her illusory powers on the belly pork itself, to give it an especially appetising aroma.

Preparations complete, the party approach the Exchange. Team Belly (Taliesin, Thia and Garrett) enter first, with team Pork (Kharis and Fourteen) hanging back.

Inside the Exchange, Taliesin (posing as Finidiri) begins to mingle with the merchants. Quantus, a spice merchant, points out some of the notable figures: Henrick, the head of the scribes, and the woman who seems in change of the Guildsmen (who’s name Quantus does not know). He also relates an incident in the Exchange some days ago, when all of the Actuaries threw their heads back in unison and screamed aloud.

Team Belly also observe some merchants being ushered through to the back rooms to conduct particularly notable deals. They resolve to speak with Henrick, with the aim of gaining admittance to his private offices.

Meanwhile, team Pork approach the deliveries entrance. The guard is somewhat reluctant to let them in, but some persuasion from Kharis and a promise of a spectacularly delicious bacon sandwich from Fourteen convince him to allow them to set up in the kitchens. They immediately get to work producing the promised sandwiches in epic quantities, first making sure to ply the kitchen staff and guards with them to get them on side.

Team Belly have made their way to Henrick, and Taliesin begins to regal him with tales of the spectacular qualities of his product (the fine flavour! The magnificent preservative properties!). Henrick initially seems somewhat skeptical, but his doubts are allayed when Kharis enters from the kitchens, bearing what is undoubtedly the finest bacon sandwich he has ever tasted. Team pork are ushered through to Henrick’s private office to hammer out the terms of a deal.

Henrick leads them through out to the back, past a number of small booths at which scribes and merchants are discussing their dealings, and to his private office. Opposite the door to the office, a flight of spiral stairs lead down into the building’s basement.

Thia, in her role as bodyguard, posts herself outside the door to office. Once the others are safely inside, she slips down the stairs. Moving with customary stealth, she reaches the bottom undetected. The stairs emerge in a small basement room. At the far end stands a Guildsman, hunched over a workbench crowded with bubbling alchemical implements. Emerging from stealth, she hails the Guildsman, but he dismisses her, unwilling to be distracted from his work.

Meanwhile, in Henrick’s office, Taliesin presses the scrib for information on any security breaches the Exchange might have suffered, relating the troubling story about the screaming actuaries he heard earlier. Henrick is evasive, but admits that there was an incident with a member of staff prying into Guild affairs. He assures Taliesin that such incidents are almost unheard of, and certainly will not be allowed to recur.

Fourteen and Kharis press the kitchen staff for more information on any recent strange events. They also hear about the screaming actuaries, and the gate guard also tells of a strange incident a few nights back, when he was walking a late patrol of the building after it closed to the public, and entered the main trading hall to find an Actuary sitting, silent and unattended, in the middle of the floor. The Guild were quickly summoned and ushered it away – normally the movements of the Actuaries are tightly monitored and controlled.

In an attempt to extract more information form the Guildsman in the basement, Kharis heads downstairs under the pretence of bringing him a bacon sandwich of his very own. He is reluctant to be distracted, but opens up a little under the weight of Kharis’ charming manner (and bacon). He reveals that he is stationed there to control the flow of magical forces in the area (Kharis has already sensed the arcane power flowing through the silver lines) and that the potions he is maintaining can be used to cut the flow of power in the event of an emergency. He his very definite that such an emergency absolutely has not taken place in the past few days, and even if it had, which it definitely hasn’t, he would be willing to speak about it.

The party decide that to penetrate further into the basement they are going to require Garrett’s particular skills. In order to extract him from meeting with Henrick, Kharis enter with a new tray of bacon sandwiches. When Taliesin bites into his, he feigns outrage, loudly declaring the sandwich to be full of bones and inedible, and sends his assistant (Garrett) to remonstrate with the chefs.

Now out of the office, Garrett loads his ring (which can be used to deliver doses of poison) with Linger Rot and heads downstairs. He attracts the attention of the Guildsman and jabs him with the ring. The warlock seems to have a weakness to the poison. It would normally take some time to take affect, but he collapses almost immediately, unconscious.

Kharis joins Garrett down in the basement while Fourteen, sensing that things might take a turn for the worse, heads for a secluded store room with his barrel of armour, preparing to ready himself for battle if necessary.

Kharis and Garret beging to move through the basement, between them diffusing the mundane and magical locks and traps. A door at the southern end of the first chamber leads to a room lined with large cages, three to a side, each containing a Actuary. The wretches lie inert on the floor, only the slight rise and fall of their chests indicating they still live. Twin silver lines run through the floor of the room, passing underneath the recumbent Actuaries.

At the far end of the room, a short corridor leads to another locked door. Cautious, Garrett presses his eye to the keyhole.

At first, all he sees is a great swirling dark mass, scattered with what might be stars. Slowly, however, the dark forms twist and change, until Garrett finds himself staring into a great dark eye, and feels a malign and alien intelligence probing his mind. He tries to pull his gaze away. For a moment he is transfixed, until with a great mental effort he wrenches himself free. The exertion leave him shaken, his eyes bloodshot and blood running from him nose.

The party take this as their cue to leave.

On their way out of the basement, Kharis and Garrett smash on of the potions the Guildsman had been working on over the silver lines. As soon as they do so, a deafening shriek erupts from the Exchange – all of the Actuaries screaming in unison.

The Exchange erupts into pandemonium, merchants and staff fleeing, the Guild warlocks racing towards the basement. Before they go, Kharis and Garrett position the unconscious warlock with his hand outstretch, as if he had passed out and dropped the potion.

Most of the party leave via the back door, blending in with the servants. Taliesin, still posing as Finidiri, takes his leave with Henrick, who offers a place in his carriage to continue their conversation at his private club once the uproar has subsided.

Once they have made good their escapes, and, in the case of Taliesin, finished their brandy, the party reunite and return to the Obsidian Tower. They are greeted by a slight young man named Sand, who thanks them for their service, pays their agreed fee, and suggests he may have further work for them in future. In particular, he seems interested in their report of the silent Actuary encountered alone in the Exchange.

Another day closes in Tribute, and for the second time in the space of a week the adventurers have left the city in uproar.

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Session 8: Dances with Worms

The now flaming Guild guardsman charges towards Thia, Taliesin and the Warforged mooks still loading crates into the carts in the sewers. The construct follows it, smashing aside the towering walls of crates to forge a path directly towards the thieves.

Fourteen braces himself and charges directly at the surviving guardsmen still clustered around the breech in the wall. After a moment of hesitation, Garrett and Kharis set down one glass box each and run to help him.

Meanwhile, the construct and the burning mutant have closed in on the other party members. The construct manages to grab Taliesin and hurls him several feet across the warehouse to crash into Thia. As they pick themselves up, the burning man is on them. Looking for help, they call the mooks away from their thievery to help in the fight.

The construct lumbers back towards the north end of the warehouse, where the concerted efforts of Garrett, Thia and Kharis have all but finished off the remaining guards. They surround the creature and begin laying into it with gusto.

The burning mutant kills one of the Warforged, but Taliesin and Thia manage to bring it down. A great circle of flame erupts from it as it falls, but no more lives are lost.

The construct also falls after a protracted battle. It also explodes into a hail of rocky shards as it dies, inflicting some damage. As the party gather their breath Garrett hears the sound of approaching reinforcements, and they take this as a cue to make an exit with their loot.

As the party flees back to the sewers, they catch sight of a second wave of guards pouring in through the breach in the warehouse wall, with a pair on black-robbed warlocks striding confidently forward in their midst.

The party race through the sewers pushing their carts laden with loot, Thia and Fourteen staging a running rearguard action against the pursuing guards. Eventually they lose their pursuers in the noisome darkness, and emerge back into the sunlight. Some distance away, the dull glow of a fire can be seen rising over the warehouse district.

After taking some time to recover, the party make their way back to Brick’s scrapyard with their haul. The crime-boss is slightly perturbed by the ruckus they have caused, but large amounts of stolen Guild goods allay his concerns. he reveals that the worms they discovered were Guild Bond Worms – they can confer magical properties on an individual they are bonded to, although using more than one at once can be dangerous, as the party have seen. He offers them their pick of the worms, which they politely decline, instead offering to sell their cut of the haul to him. He agrees, adding to their already considerable haul from fencing the stolen goods.

The heist behind them, Kharis is keen to make contact with any Wizards to be found in the city. Some research by Garrett and Taliesin leads them to a group called the Obsidian Tower, who make their base in the abandoned waterworks building of ancient Nehi Sehir. The party resolve to pay them a visit.

They gain admittance to the Waterworks, and are greeted by a rumpled looking mage. In exchange for some of the books the party obtained in the keep of the Wyld Hunt, the mage agrees to an alliance of sorts – Kharis will be given access to their libraries and other facilities, and he examines Garrett and Thia for afflictions gained during their time in the fey. In Garrett’s case, it has become clear that the master of the Wyld Hunt has obtained a sample of his blood, which could be use to track him. The mage crafts a quicksilver amulet, which he says will block any magical scrying – for a time at least. Thia, meanwhile, has been afflicted with strange and troubling dreams since her encounter with the Huntmaster. The mage suggests that the fey lord may have left some implanted suggestion with the ranger, to be triggered at some future time. He says it is beyond his art to cure it, but that a powerful summer fey might be able to assist.

The heroes, in need of a well-earned break, each take some time to pursue their individual interests in the city. But more on that next time.

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Session 7: Oceans 5

Now back in the city of Tribute, the party discuss their next move. Thia is keen to return to the island of Winter, to put a stop to the slave-trading pirates based there once and for all. Taliesen has business with Egan Forgebellow in Hammerfast. Fourteen has plans to raise a rebellion from the city’s slaves. And then of course there is the heist the leader of the Warforged proposed to the them…

Eventually, the party agree on a general course of action: they will perform the heist, head to Hammerfast, return to Tribute to raise a rebellion and then set out for Winter to end Kylma Myrsky’s days of piracy.

Before beginning the robbery, some of the party have tasks to take care of. Fourteen heads to the fighting pits to keep an eye on the most prominent slave-fighters there (in particular, the grizzled veteran Wraith and young tournament champion Cederic catch his eye). Kharis, meanwhile, begins to research some of the books recovered during their journeys in the Feywyld.

Their tasks completed, the party head back to the Foundry district to meet with Brick. The scarred gang boss lays out the particulars of the job. There is a guild controlled compound in the warehouses near the docks, where the Warforged’s contacts have observed some form of magical goods being moved in (he doesn’t know exactly what, only that his contact noted heavy security and the presence of guild warlocks, who seem only to concern themselves with magical goods). He also expects other valuable goods to be inside, and would like to see a good haul from the job. He sends six of his gang members, led by a young man named Bastian, to assist the party. He also warns them that the guild often use magical constructs to guard their property, and that the adventurers would be wise to find some way to evade or disable any that might be present.

The party spend some time observing the compound, with Thia observing from a nearby clocktower and taking the unenviable task of mapping the surrounding sewers, while Kharis searches for concentrations of arcane energy. She locates two, one within the main warehouse building, and another within a smaller structure to the north of the compound.

Eventually, the group decide that Bastian and two of his goons will set a fire nearby to serve as a distraction, while the party and the remaining goons will break in from the sewers through the floor of the main warehouse building. They plan to time their entrance so that it coincides with the start of the fire (the fire will be aided by the attention of several bottles of alchemist’s fire to ensure a suitably loud boom).

Their timings work perfectly, but their entrance into the warehouse is less subtle than hoped: a great sweep of floor collapses into the sewers, burying one of Brick’s men who was helping with the digging. The party scramble up and into the warehouse. The two remaining thugs, assisted by Taliesin and Tenser’s Floating Disk, begin loading crates into the hand carts the party have bought along.

Garrett sneaks through the main body of the warehouse. He finds one terrified guard who he swiftly silences, then makes his way towards the area where Kharis sensed the concentration of magical power.

He find fie small glass boxes, each containing half a dozen of so writhing and unpleasant looking worms. This was not what the party were expecting, but there’s clearly something magical about them, so Garrett, Kharis and Fourteen grab the glass boxes.

At this point, a towering stone construct, accompanied by a force of Guild guardsmen, smashes through the north wall of the warehouse.

After a brief exchange of blows and spells with the guards, Kharis and Garrett retreat with the glass boxes, as the construct begins to lumber towards Thia and Taliesen. Fourteen, on the other hand, pulls back his arm and hurls the glass box towards the construct.

It smashes, freeing the worms, which ignore the construct entirely and make for the two nearest guardsmen. When they reach them, they begin to burrow under the surface of their skin. One guard begins to swell, his skin shifting and taking on the appearance of stone, then bark, before he noisily and messily explodes. The other guard also grows larger, rippling with new and unnatural muscle. He roars, and the sword in his hand bursts into to flame. He shows no signs of imminent explosion.

This could turn out to be a problem…

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Session 6: Back in Kansas

As session six begins, the adventurers find themselves standing in a room full of gnoll corpses. Fourteen, angry at having been knocked to the floor in the last fight, begins hacking at the bodies while the rest of the group search the room.

Meanwhile, in another room a short distance away, the Seneschal is listening to the sounds of battle, and frowning. He summons his attendants to bring him his armour, and begins to prepare for battle. One of those attendants is Vulck, a fire elemental captured by the wild hunt some weeks ago. Vulck complies, but wonders if whatever is happening outside might offer the chance to regain his freedom.

The party finish looting the trolls, and prepare themselves to face the seneschal, proceeding along the next walkway an unceremoniously kicking open the door of his office. As they burst in, Taliesin declares “Master, we’ve come to save yoU!”, but given the circumstances the Seneschal is unconvinced.

The party find themselves faced with the Seneschal himself, two guards in full armour and several large, snarling wolves. The room itself is dominated by a large pool of water at the centre, with the Seneschal’s desk and a bookcase at the far end. Vases, holding what appear to be dead shrubs, are arrayed along each wall.

The party quickly move to attack, whilst Vulck pretends to be moving to protect his master, but swiftly turns on him and begins hurling fireballs with abandon.

As Thia presses into the room, one of the dead apparent shrubs begins to shift and move, erupting into a horde of tiny stick-men that claw and scratch at the heroes.

Disengaging from Vulck, the Seneschal strides out onto the water in the centre pool, platforms of ice forming under his feet, and begins to hurl freezing shards at the party. This impressive feat is quickly undermined as Kharis casts light on the tip of his nose, causing it to glow brightly.

The party, now with Vulck’s aid, manage to overwhelm to forces against them, until only the Seneschal and one of his guards remain. The Seneschal attempts to surrender, but Vulck, angry at his imprisonment, incinerates him with a fireball, while Fourteen buries his sword in the back of the last guards head. On the Sensechal’s body, they find the acorn they require to return home, although they still require a ritual scroll.

The party divid, Kharis, Garrett and Thia staying to search the room, while Fourteen, Taliesin and Vulck head back to the book graveyard to free Isa, who is relieved to seem them return.

Back in the Seneschal’s office, Kharis finds a copy of the ritual scroll in the bookcase, and Garrett finds a button hidden under the rim of the desk. Thia, listening intently, hears the sound of armoured feet approaching, apparently from the far side of the bookcase. There is a thumping knock from the far side of the bookcase, which begins to roll aside. Garrett quickly presses the button on the desk, causing it to go the other way, and the three take off running. Half way across the room they turn and see the full might of the wild hunt closing in from the hidden doorway, they blue-eyed, black-armoured leader at their head. Thia, the slowest fleeing the room, is caught before she can escape.

Garrett and Kharis meet Vulck, Fourteen, Taliesen and Isa coming the other way. The bulk of the group prepare a Tenser’s Floating Disk Ritual to escape over the banister down into the courtyard, while Vulck goes back for Thia.

When he enter the room, he find the Wyld Hunt arrayed in a wide semi-circle around her, while the leader stares into her eyes and touches her forehead with an outstretched finger.

Vulck attempts a bluff, claiming that she has been claimed “by his master.” The leader laughs, declaring that “Quoron is no master to me.”, but lifts Thia by her throat and throws her towards Vulck. Vulck catches her, and takes off running.

He meets the rest of the party as they are preparing to depart, and they pile on to the disk and descend into the courtyard. The Wyld Hunt pile out onto the walkway, starring angrily down at them. Garrett feels a sensation of heat prickling under his skin as the huntmaster gazes down at him. When they reach the ground, Vulck thrusts his hand into the great bonefire that blazes at the courtyard’s centre, attempting to channel it’s power back up towards their pursuers. He does so, although the effort drains him considerably, and a wave of fire washes over the balcony, sending steam rising and bodies tumbling. The party flees out of the front gate, and re-enter the tunnel system through the opening they observed earlier.

They retreat through the tunnels, gathering the slaves as they go, and return to the spot where they first entered the Feywyld, as hunting horns sound in the background. Kharis prepares to cast the ritual, but the arcane forces slip out of her control. She will be able to hold the portal only for a brief moment – certainly not long enough to get both the party and the slaves through.

However, Isa steps forward to lend her support, and everyone piles in to the portal. Fourteen, the last through, looks up for a moment as dimensions twist around him. He see’s Isa’s face, looking down, before the portal snaps shut behind him.

The party find themselves back in the temple of Corellon in Tribute, swiftly greeted by a group of somewhat surprised priests. The priests promise to offer some support to the former slaves, and the party head off for a well earned rest.

The next day, eager to discover more about the sword they recovered in the ice fortress, the party go to visit Penitence at the Monastery of the Second Breath. She tells them that it is a Githyanki bonded blade, and suggests that attempting to claim it would likely attract to unwelcome attention of the powerful inter-planer species. However, if they are intent on the course, she suggests that her old adventuring companion, Egan Forgebellow, now the Runemaster at Hammerfast, may be able to help Taliesen to bond with the weapon.

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Session 5: Gnoll Soup

Session notes only at the moment:

-the battle in the tunnel, 3 troll like things under the stalactites, Kharis drops stalig on one, Thia drops stalig on another.

- The figures around the bone fire are identified as Hobbs – a tribe of goblins trapped in the Wyld, or children kidnapped by the fey, depending on who you believe. They seem focused on their tasks unless interacted with directly.

- They explore the dark passage first. Ten minutes walk, then see daylight at the end. Garrett pokes his head out, 1 on stealth check! The stone gates open, Wyld Hunt sally forth. The huntmaster “We ride to reclaim our brother”, looks directly at Garrett and nods. The party decide to turn back.

- bring slaves up into the troll cave, set them up around the fire. Leave one at bottom of shaft to watch the portal – Jaesa insists it be her. Two more keeping watch at top of shaft – Fourteen gives one, ‘Simmon’, sling and magic sling stones.

- Head down the passage with the tracks. Bone chutes. Bone cart. The way is lit with subtly glowing ice-moss. Garrett (not having a good day), steps on a line of runes in the floor (Thia, who spots them, not able to stop him in time). There is a flash and a shock, Garrett takes damage, runes turn crimson. Slowly, the surrounding ice moss begins to turn red as well.

- Party press on rapidly, bursts through door at far end of tunnel. Find Hobb ‘kitchen’, piles of bodies (one unidentifiable green-skinned humanoid, from which they recover a bonded blade), another hobb dragging a fresh corpse down the stairs. Bodies = two dead of stiletto blade, one of poison

- Tal convinces one Hobb to give up its robe, Garrett wears it to head up the stairs. Upstairs find arena arming chamber, sprites maintaining weapons which mock hi (circling round his head, chanting, throwing stuff) (3), but do not seem to see through his disguise. Heads back down stairs, spites leave him alone after the first few steps.

- They investigate the Hobb kitchen further, find a narrow gap in the wall, edging along it reveals low-ceilinged hobb warren. At the back they find a dumbwaiter, thing, about the right size for a human to fit in.

-First up is Garrett, with Tal riding shotgun in hare form

- Gnoll chef at top, smells Tal. Tal transforms into hum form in full view, tries to convince the Gnoll he is replacement chef. Gnoll circles, sniffing (“The only thing that come up that shaft is food”). Tal insults his culinary abilities when his back is to Garrett: the halfling backstabs and takes him down in one shot. Rest of the party come on up. Chef wears silver collar that unsnaps when it dies: Kharis recognises that it is a magical slave collar – it allows the owner to inflict pain, and causes the wearer to waist away when they leave the Feywild.

- Gnoll barracks: the next room contains a Gnoll barrack room: room for thirty or forty, but five sleeping there currently. The party manages to take them all down in their sleep like badasses (skill challenge).

- two doors out: one at far end, one metal door off to side. Fourteen knocks metal door out of frame (weakened by Kharis’ flame blast), catches it before it clangs to the ground.

- Inside in Gnoll armoury. More runes, like those in the tunnel, spotted on floor: analysis suggests that as well as lightning attack, they may be magically extracting a sample of the blood of the victim. In armoury – some high end gnoll gear, + staff of elemental mastery, three ritual scrolls (2x tensers floating disk, 1x hand of fate), poison dispenser ring, 2x ring of ice skin). This is a staggering magical haul, especially to find in possession of the bog standard guards.

- The rail + the court of madness: out of the far door, they find a walkway around the inner wall of a great tower. Several floors below, the pillar of fire rises up through the floor, the fey of the winter court cavorting around it. Other rooms set against the inner wall visible.

- Book graveyard: next room, piles of books in various states. Isa, Thia’s companion, wearing silver manacles, has been set to sorting them for interesting volumes. Tells the party about the seneschal, also: that she has been here for ‘months’, and that Erik and some others were taken to the arena. The party elect not to free Isa yet, for fear of alerting sen., but promise to come back for her later.
Additional; Sen has been having Isa secrete some volumes for his private collection.

- The ice forge: The party hear hammering from the next room. Garrett goes in wearing the Hobb outfit,see the ice forge, plus 5 gnolls working on armour/weapons using hammers that strike their own sparks when they impact. Gnolls look up "Hobbs shouldn’t be in hear!‘, but Garrett tricks them with the Lassie act (great bluff roll) – Gnolls head towards the walkway. Way blocked by Fourteen – three gnolls attack him in a pack, one gets hurled over the edge into the court below. However, the gnolls succeed in bringing him down (a first!). Meanwhile Garrett, still in Hobb form, backstabs the gnolls’ leader. It is SUPER EFFECTIVE! Tal resurects F., with supporting fire for Thia and Kharis they drive the gnolls back (Kharis’ flaming orb stacks significant damage). Garret ties up the leader and the remaining gnoll, who both prove utterly unable to hit him. Tough fight, but all gnolls eventually immolated/stabbed/bashed/
arrow-shot into submission. Side note: daily power from Kharis staff negates ongoing fire damage gnolls weapons would have done.

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Session 4: Cold Snap

Entering the beached ship, the party take note of what appear to be the shadows of the crew members, still visible on the walls despite the crew themselves being long since vanished. Kharis, in particular, hears a faint whispering of “Free us…help us”. Steeling themselves, they press on. Apart from the whispers in Kharis’ mind, the ship is silent, save only for the sound of water dripping from the defrosted timbers.

They pass through several empty chambers, eventually finding themselves at the hatch leading down to the ship’s bilges. Descending, they find a striking scene: two more shadows cast upon the far wall, the only two that seem frozen in postures of defence or defiance, and standing between them an elven woman, apparently trapped within a block of solid ice. One outstretched arm protrudes from her freezing prison, an acorn decorated with some form of flowing golden script clutched in her hand.

When they remove the acorn from the elf’s hand, the ice rapidly thaws. The elf herself seems unharmed, although somewhat disoriented.

Once she recovers herself, she is able to to tell the party what she remembers. She is a ranger named Thia, who escaped the clutches of a pirate known as Kylma Myrsky, who operates from an island named Winter. Thia, along with two companions, Isa and Erik, and several freed slaves of the pirates, managed to steal one of Kylma’s ships and escape Winter. Aboard the ship, they found a rosewood box containing a sword, its blade edged with frost.

Several days out at sea, there was a commotion on the ship, screams and sounds of battle. Thia and her companions gathered below to make a stand against their aggressors. She remembers the hatch bursting open, a bright light and a freezing wind, and then nothing more. The box, and the blade it contained, are gone.

On closer inspection of the acorn, the party determine it to be an item used the travel between the physical plane and the Feywyld, probably anchored to a specific location in the Wyld. None of them know the proper ritual to activate it, although they suspect that Aeron, the priest of Corellon, may be able to help them. Thia, keen to discover the fate of her friends, agrees to join the group in their continuing investigations.

The party make a final search of the ship before they leave. In the captain’s cabin they find a map of the waters between Tribute and Winter, marking both shipping routes and what appear to be ley lines. The map has been pinned to the captain’s table by a dagger, which Garrett quickly secrets about his person. They also find a few notes from the Captain’s log (now several weeks old, from before the ship was captured by Kylma Myrsky), and a knocked-over chest containing around 150 gold pieces.

Leaving, the party are concerned about letting the scavengers working on the ship continue with their business, worried that their activities might have consequences for the former crew who’s shadows still seemed trapped there. Taliesen and Kharis negotiate with the leader of the scavengers, and although it almost seems the two groups will come to blows, they eventually negotiate a deal: the party pay the scavengers some gold to wait for two days. In that time, they will keep others away from the ship. When the two days are up, unless the party have returned with news, they will resume their work.

Back in the city, the party visit Aeron, who does indeed know the ritual to activate the acorn, and is happy to perform it, although it will require some preparation. Whilst the priest gathers his fellows to perform the ritual, the party make their own final preparations, before returning to the temple of Corellon.

Aeron has gathered several priests around the sacred tree at the heart of the temple. After much chanting and incense-waving, a portal opens around the base of the tree, and a great blast of cold air washes through into the temple. Aeron looks panicked, shouting that something is resisting him from the other side, and he may not be able to keep the portal open for long.

Taliesin leaps through without hesitation. With perhaps a little more reluctance, the remainder of the party leap into the portal after him.

On the far side, the party find themselves standing in a small stone building on a rocky outcrop. On one side, down several steep cliffs, a plain of ice stretches away as far as the eye can see. On the other, a great fortress of stone and ice rises behind them, built into and around a looming mountain. They do not have much time to take in the view, however, as the more prominent features of their immediate surroundings are a mad-eyed Wilden pointing at them and shouting about intruders, and spiders. Lots of spiders. Little scuttling swarms of spiders. Dog-sized, quick-moving bone spiders. And a very large (although still young) phase spider. Even the Wilden seems to have spiders swarming all over its body.

Waisting no time, Fourteen charges the Wilden and bashes it over the side of one of the cliffs with his shield, dealing significant damage to it. The rest of the party move to engage, with Thia and Garret concentrating on the phase spider and the spider swarm, Fourteen and Taliesin going after the Wilden and the majority of the bone spiders, and Kharis blasting into both groups. Working well as a team, the party brings down their foes, despite the Wilden’s last ditch attempt to smite them with lightning from the heavens.

As the dust (snow?) settles, the party explore their immediate surroundings further. They find a tunnel leading away from the portal and into the mountain below, as well as tracks leading down the cliffs and away. The tracks themselves seem to be from a great mixture of creatures: some horses, some large cats, some stranger things (but they appear to have claws…). The group believe these may be the mounts of the Wyld Hunt, fey of the winter court who hunt sentient creatures across all of the plains of existence. They decide to follow the path into the mountain.

The path leads them to a cave, filled with eight spiderweb cocoons. Breaking open the first reveals Jaessa, the leader of the slaves freed from Kylma’s clutches, battered and terrified but alive. The rest are similarly occupied, account for roughly half of Thia’s companions from the ship.

Jaessa has little more recollection of the raid on the ship than Thia, but she does remember arriving in the Feywyld, and half of the group of slaves being rounded up and ushered away by thin figures armoured in black iron, while she and the others were given to the spiders. The party also spot a thin shaft leading upwards through the roof of the cave.

Garrett ascends the shaft, scouting ahead. He find a tunnel leading to a circular chamber. In the centre is a small fire, with three large, gangly figures with green-grey skin gathered around it muttering in a language Garrett does not understand. Three more passages lead from the chamber. One has a orange glow radiating from it, another seems to have a set of tracks, like those for a mine cart, laid along it, while the third simply stretches away into darkness.

The rest of the party climb the shaft, and Taliesen (in hare form) and Garrett attempt to sneak past the large creatures towards the glowing tunnel. Taliesen makes it past them unobserved, revealing a large chamber with great shaft of fire rising up through it’s centre. Small, robbed humanoids are shoveling bones into the flames from heaping piles to either side of the chamber.

Unfortunately, the large creatures catch sight of Garrett, who stages a tactical withdrawal back down the tunnel towards the rest of the party, three large lumbering forms in hot pursuit…and there we leave our heroes.

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Session 3: New Friends

The stone-skinned dragon raises it’s head to look at the party and hisses “Is it someone new?”

The group, Taliesin in particular, attempt to converse with the dragon, attempting to convince it that they all serve the same master. The dragon seems skeptical, but in the conversation lets slip that it has been trapped in the chamber for an unknown length of time, but that it’s ‘father’, which it called Balcoth, was once imprisoned there but has escaped. It then insists that something magical be touched to the large chains in the room, suggesting that this will free it.

Taliesin and Garret advance through the room, suggesting to the dragon they could use the staff held by the statue to free it, while Fourteen and Kharis maintain a watch from the entrance.

Taliesin picks up the staff, which he recognises as an enchanted Staff of the Warmage, and touches it to one of the chains. The staff burns to nothing, and the chains crumble to dust. The dragon, exultant, offers Taliesin a reward for freeing it – it touches a claw to his chest, leaving behind a seared brand showing the symbol of a mountain with a split peak. It says it will be touch, if the party survive ‘its guardians’, before rising up and vanishing through the solid rock of the ceiling.

As it leaves, the maw deamons leap to attack, and a pair of shadow-creatures detach themselves from the murk around the pillars. The maw deamons move to hold up Kharis and Fourteen, whilst the shadow engage the thief and the bard.

It is a bitter fight. The maw deamon’s snapping jaws make them difficult to approach, and the shadow creatures merge with Garret and Taliesin’s own shadow’s to attack them from relative safety. Taliesin is bought to the brink of unconsciousness, but is restored to his feet, hearing the whispered voice of the dragon in his head: “I have greater plans for you…” Eventually, however, the party succeed in turning the tide, as Fourteen and Kharis break through to help their companions finish off their attackers. In the aftermarth, they find that the eyes of the dragonborn statue are rubies, which they pluck out to sell later.

Battered, but victorious, the party return to the city of Tribute. They have two goals in mind: to research Taliesin’s strange new body art, and to exact revenge on Xeron, one of Ceren’s thugs, for his slight against Fourteen. Kharis returns to the library and, with the help of the librarian Devon Nerrels, sets about the research. The rest of the group go to stake out Xeron’s off-duty haunt, the tavern called the Black Fish.

They observe his routine and follow his route home from the tavern to his home in the tent city. The next night, when Xeron’s route home takes him through a largely abandoned part of the warehouse district, the party are waiting for him.

The dragonborn’s eyes widen when he see Fourteen step out of the shadows with murder in his eyes, and he takes off at a run, barging through the door of a empty warehouse. The party give chase and run him down in short order, with Fourteen bursting through the warehouse doors, knocking Xeron to the ground and beheading him with a single sword stroke.

Headin out to Xeron’s tent outside the city, a search of his belonging’s reveals a small iron ring carved with a dragon’s head – a symbol expressing sympathy with the dragonborn underground in the city.

They party re-unites with Kharis, who relates the fruits of her research. The symbol on Taliesin’s chest is the mark of Balcoth, the Groaning King, a primordial who fought against the gods at the dawn of time in a conflict known as the Dawn War. Many primordials were slain in the Dawn War, but Balcoth was amongst those who escaped into the Elemental Chaos, a plane of churning elemental power. Nothing has been recorded of his since that time.

Now looking for work, the party get in touch with Lirel Sorrel, the elven owner of the sunken city tavern, and something of a ‘fixer’ for the local underworld. They barter the location of the dragonborn statue from the vault to her in exchange for her aid in seeking employment, and she agrees to seek out some likely job opportunities for them.

Taliesin heads to the temple of Corellon to commune with his god, but is aghast to find that he can no longer hear to voice of The Lord of Spring when he prays, only the faint hissing sound of draconic laughter. The priest of the temple also tells him of a pilgrim ship which was found, frozen solid, along the coast not far from Tribute. Suspecting the involvement of the Winter Fey, Taliesin agrees to investigate.

Before heading out, though, the party pay a call on an old contact of Garrett’s: a human known as Brick, who leads a gang called The Wareforged. The Warforged, based in the Foundry district, are responsible for much of Tribute’s underground arms trade. Brick, a huge, scarred man with a gleam of intelligence in his eye, is planning a heist on a Guild warehouse he believes will contain items of a magical nature, and suggests that the party could find a place in his plans. They agree to take part, once they return from the shipwreck.

After a brief stop to buy provisions, the party head out to the shipwreck. They find a vessel which they recognise as being of eladrin origin, rarely seen outside of the Feywyld. A band on scavengers are already hard at work stripping the vessel, but after some negotiation agree to let the party explore it.

As the party prepares to enter the hulk, the session draws to a close.

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Session 2: The Stone King

We return to the party standing outside of the cave the bandits had been using as a hideout, with the chest they had been dispatched to obtain, and the leader of the bandits, Sarrisa, still their captive.

With some trepidation, they open the rosewood chest. Inside they find a circulate, carved with symbols most of the group are unable to read. Kharis, however, recognises the ancient dialect of draconic from her arcane studies, and is able to decipher the words: ilk şehir taç, crown of the first city.

The team attempt to intimidate Sarrisa into revealing more about her employers. They get little coherent information out of her; she takes on a haunted expression, and begins to rave about ‘Thousands of eyes, always watching.’

There is some more debate about whether to kill her or turn her in to Ceren for an additional reward. In the end, however, they decide to let her ago, planning to tail her back to her masters.

When they release Sarrisa, she turns to them and says “You should be running too.” before taking off into the woods. Fourteen, already shaken by what they have witnessed in the cave, takes off immediately, easily outpacing Sarrisa. The rest of the group share a glance, then follow him.

Some time later they come to a halt to the north. They have seen no signs of pursuit, but they have lost Sarrisa somewhere in the forest. Exhausted and slightly disgruntled, the party begins the long trek back to Tribute.

When they arrive in the city, the party head for Ceren Dorok’s pavilion to announce the success of their mission. Unwilling to walk into a meeting with their employer unprepared, Garret goes ahead to scout the pavilion, but runs afoul of a group of Ceren’s goons, who take a grim view of his loitering with intent.

Garret brings the thugs back to his group, and there is a somewhat tense standoff between the two parties. Fourteen in particular exchanges harsh words with Xeron, a particularly large and brutish dragonborn. Eventually, however, the guards agree to bring the adventurer’s to meet Ceren.

Ceren is pleased with the success of their mission, and pays them for a job well done. They relate the nature of the creature they found in the cave, and press Ceren on the identity of her enemies. She is reluctant to talk, but eventually reveals that the Guild, the cabal of warlocks who control Tribute, often employ such creatures.

As they leave Ceren’s presence, Fourteen barters his share of the treasure to Kharis in exchange for her teaching him to read and write. He wants to start keeping a list of people he plans to kill. Xeron’s name is the first on this list. Some judicious questioning also reveals Xeron tends to spend his off time at a dockfront bar called The Black Fish.

Their task complete, the adventurers prepare to head off to explore the ruined keep they passed on the way to the bandit hideout. Before leaving, they visit Tribute’s library, where Devon Nerrels, the librarian, is able to reveal some additional information about the keep. Most importantly, that some weapon the Arkhosian empire planned to use in their war against Bael Turath was housed there, although no one has ever found a trace of the weapon in the ruins. He also mentions that the Arkhosian’s often sealed used magical seals operated by keywords to protect their most valuable secrets.

The party’s final stop before visiting the keep is the Monastery of the Second Breath, an enclave of Raven Queen worshipers based outside of the city. Taliesin manages to gain the group an audience with the monastery’s leader, a tiefling paladin named Penitence.

Penitence reveals that her followers regularly clean out the undead and other creatures from the keep, and she would support the party if they wish to engage in similar endeavours. She is not willing to provide a monetary reward, but does provide several vials of holy water, and blessings for the group’s weapons.

Arriving at the keep, Garret sneaks close, and discover a group of Kobolds squatting in the ruins. He overhears them bickering with their leader about going to see ‘the stone king’, and trying to guess a word that will open the way to it.

The party encircles the kobolds, but unfortunately Garret trips over a rock as he attempts to sneak up on their leader, and a fight erupts in earnest. After a hard battle, during which Taliesin is briefly knocked down, the party prevail. Exploring the keep more fully, they find a stone door in the basement, with a rather nasty trap in front of it that causes blades to spring from the walls. They all manage to avoid to trap’s pressure plate, and open they door by speaking the keyword: ‘Tas’, draconic for ‘Stone’.

The door rumbles open, revealing a great underground chamber. Four pillars stand in the corners of the chamber, with massive chains trailing from them that seem to suck magical energy from the air. At the far end the wall is crumbled, as if some massive creature once burrowed its way out, and a statue of a dragonborn stands with a staff laid across its outstretched hands.

Closer at hand, a human sized dragon-like creature with stone skin sits on a raised dias, flanked by two snapping maw deamons. The dragon-creature raises its head, and begins to advance toward the party.

Annnnnd cut!

Rules clarifications from the session:

Shooting into combat: Shooting into melee came up during the fight with the kobolds. I can’t remember what we ruled during the session, but 4E doesn’t have negatives for shooting into combat. However, if an opposing creature is blocking line of sight to your target, the target counts as being in cover (friendly creatures never block your line of sight).

Cover in melee: During the game I ruled that cover did not apply in melee combat. This was incorrect – cover applies in melee (the exact rules for what counts as cover are fairly simple, but easier to describe with a map in front of you, so I’ll run through them quickly at the start of the next game.

Dagger range: The range of Garret’s thrown dagger came up during the first session. At the time we ran it as the same range as the bandit’s archers, to save looking it up. The actual range is 5 short/10 long.

Firepots: Garret also picked up some firepots in Tribute. Again, to save looking up, I charged them at 50 gold (the same price as a healing potion). The standard alchemist’s fire cost 20 gp and does 1d6 fire damage. We’ll rule that Garret has scored an especially virulent batch – they will do 1d8 fire damage + 5 ongoing (save ends).

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Session 1: Disposable Assets

The Heroes:

Fourteen: The scarred human fighter.
Garret: The crafty hafling rogue.
Kharis Sinsinger: The clever tiefling wizard.
Taliesin Pen Beirdd: The persuasive hengeyokai bard.

Our heroes have gathered in the tent city that lies outside of Tribute’s Ox Gate, where the Iron Road leads into the city from the north. Their group is approached by Ceren Dorok, the resident dragonborn trademistress, and her minders. Ceren offers the group a job. One of Ceren’s caravans vanished around two days out from the city: they never reached the Last Stand Inn, the last stop on the Iron Road before Tribute. The caravan was carrying a small rosewood box – she want’s the box recovered, unopened, and will pay 100gp a head for this service.

Taliesin and Garret use their street smarts to ask around for clues about the responsible party. Garret has no luck, but Taliesin overhears some seedy folk in a tavern muttering about a recently established bandit leader named Sarissa, who was apparently once in the employ of Ceren, as well as some clues as to the location of their hideout. Meanwhile, Kharis procures a map (the cartographer gives her a discount for a promise of a future favour). The map shows the likely route to the bandit hideout, as well as a keep on the approach to the inn that catches Kharis’ attention.

The party set off for the Last Stand Inn. On the way, they pass the keep marked on Kharis’ map: from their historical studies, Taliesin and Kharis remember that it once belonged to the dragonborn empire of Arkoshia, and that it is rumoured that the final stand against the tiefling empire of Bael Turath took place here, with the Arkoshians unleashed some bound Primordial power to the eventual ruin of both sides.

At the inn, Kahris and Taliesin enter. Fourteen looms outside, whilst Garret, with a professional aversion to front doors, opts to head in through the kitchen. He encounters the cook, and manages to persuade them he is here with their latest beer delivery. He has to spend the rest of the evening hiding from her. In the front room, Kharis spots some patrons gambling with rather more gold than would be expected: clearly someone has been spreading money around here. Taliesin approaches the gamblers, and persuades one of them to introduce him to ‘Kell’, one of Sarissa’s men who regularly visits the inn to fence goods and buy supplies for the bandits.

Early in the morning, Kell arrives for his scheduled meeting with his contact at the inn. Garret watches from the window while Taliesin goes to speak to him. Kell is distrustful of Taliesin declaration that he wants to join their group, but suggests that he might have some work in a couple of days, and Taliesin should wait at the inn for word.

When Kell leaves, Garret slips out on the inn’s window and tails him back to the bandit’s encampment, a cave situated next to a stream. He spots eight or so figures lurking around the cave, and he hears some muffled shouts or cries coming from within.

After Garret returns, the party head off to engage the bandits, finding six of them gathered around a campfire eating breakfast. Moving stealthily, they encircle the group before attacking. Kharis opens the fight by casting a Sleep spell into the largest concentration of bandits, knocking two unconscious and slowing the rest.

Between the spell and their flanking, they take the group out relatively easily. Garret engages the bandit’s archers, Fourteen draws the attacks of the majority of the foes, Taliesin draws off Sarissa and keeps the group healed, and Kharis clears out the minions with AoE attacks. Eventually, only Sarissa and one archer are left. The archer flees towards the cave while Sarissa surrenders.

The sound of clanking chains and bellowing comes from the cave. Sensing something amiss, Kharis uses Ghost Sounds to mimic Sarissa’s voice while Fourteen restrains Sarissa herself, luring out the archer then plugging him with a magic missile.

The group questions Sarissa. She makes it clear she robbed the caravan under orders from someone, but refuses to speak of her employer, even on pain of death (“There are worse things than death.”). She also reveals that there is some creature chained up in the cave itself. After debating whether to kill her, the group tie her up, and bring her with them into the cave.

Inside the cave, the group find the general supplies and equipment of the bandits. In the back chamber are two chests: a large travelling chest and a small, silver-inlaid rosewood box. The is also a colossal figure chained to the wall. It might once have been a man, but it has been transformed into something else. Glowing runes mark its skin, and the air around it is filled with unearthly cold. When it speaks, it is in a language none of the group recognise, and the syllables are almost painful to hear. A strange symbol has been branded into its forehead.

Garret spots a magical trap on the rosewood box that will free the creature if the box is moved or opened. It looks tricky, but he disarms it with a thievery check. The group also remove the larger chest (which is not trapped): after picking the lock, the group find a suit of magical armour (Razor Scale +1), and a gold bar worth 100gp.

Rules clarifications from the session:

1) Due to some sort of brain fart, I forgot, after totaling up the XP, to then divide it among the party members rather than giving everyone that amount. I’ll let the 1400 each from the first session stand, as level two gives you some totally sweet utility powers, but in the future, assuming a similar rate of XP gain, it should shake out at roughly a level up every three sessions.
2) As it came up in the game, I’ve double checked, and can confirm that rising from prone does not provoke attacks of opportunity. In 4e, opportunity attacks only come from A) voluntary movement away from a melee opponent or B) using a range power without the ‘Close’ keyword when in melee with an opponent (or if a specific power specifies otherwise). This does however bring me to…
3) Forced movement (such as the push from Thunderwave) does not provoke opportunity attacks – I got this wrong during the session. James’ Blunder power is an explicit exception to this rule.

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Session 0: Flight From Winter

Our three heroes, the Dava Invoker Isa, the human fighter Erik, and the eleven ranger Thia, are travelling the Restless Sea on a ship named The Morningstar. Their ship is attacked by the feared pirate captain Kylma Myrsky; the rest of the crew are killed, and the heroes are subdued, knocked unconscious, and drugged.

They awaken to find themselves imprisoned on Kylma’s island fastness Winter, an island locked in eternal cold. Their prison itself is empty aside from fellow captive Nathaniel, who was himself once a member of Kylma’s crew imprisoned for mutiny.

The party free themselves, thanks largely to a display of impressive dexterity from Thia, and Nathaniel pleads for them to free him as well, promising that he has knowledge that could aid in their escape. After some debate, Erik frees Nathaniel, who tells the party that the majority of Kylma’s fleet have returned to the seas, leaving only a handful of guards under the command of his Goblin advisor, Skulk. However, Nathaniel believes that at least one treasure ship is still docked at Winter.

In the corridor outside the prison, Erik knocks out the guard with a single punch and the party regain their gear. At the end of the corridor is a small feast hall where the handful of remaining crew seem to be drinking extensively.

Thia climbs to a skylight to peak into the feast hall. The hall is filled with pirates in various states of drunkenness. At the far end of the hall, Skulk sits with his feet resting on two wooden cages containing giant spiders. Several disgruntled looking servants (slaves?) circulate the hall.

After some debate, the party agree to try to make contact with the servants to enlist their aide. They identify a matronly looking woman named Jaesa as the likely head of the group. When Jaesa passes near the door, Isa tries to catch her attention, but nearly startles her into revealing their prescence. Only a quick invocation of Bahumat prevents Jaesa from calling out. However, the party eventually manages to gain her trust. Jaesa promises to help them escape, as long as the party can provide a suitable distraction, and that all of Jaesa’s people leave with them.

Isa, disguised as a servant, encourages scarred, one eyed human Bodak (friend of Skulk), to suggest to the goblin that Kylma’s beautiful daughter could be his if only he defeated one of the dragonborn pirates in a duel. Skulk doesn’t do duels, but he does set on of his spiders on the unfortuante dragonborn, and the ensuing slaughter provides sufficient distraction for the party and their followers to escape.

Leaving the hall, the party spot the greater stronghold of Kylma looming behind them, but quickly make their way to the shore and the boat. They swiftly overwhelm the small group of guards, and manage to board the docked treasure ship and pull out of the harbour with Skulk and his lackey’s hot on their heels. They narrowly avoid the rocks and ice of the harbour, as Skulk screams insults from the shore.

Now at sea with the 12 servants, Jaesa and Nathniel, the party investigate the single treasure chest in the ship’s hold. It contains 400gp and a frost-rimed sword inscribed with anchient draconic runes reading ilk şehir bıçak – blade of the first city.

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