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Confessions of Ishketh Gloryheart - Dusk is Upon Us!
Kelemvor watch over us. I fear we may not see the light of day again!

We are deep within Acererak’s mad dungeon – I feel that we draw close to the bottom, but does the end of the dungeons also mean the end of our lives?

Poor Delphinius – it seems the monkey brain disease that afflicted him back in the jungle hasn’t quite left his system. He took ill again, and we had to leave him to convalesce in one of the god’s chambers while we pushed ever deeper. Fortunately, we came upon the hapless cleric who helped us defeat Ras Ni – Lt. Steve. He had stumbled into the Tomb, and was trying to find his way out. Thankful for his assistance, we traversed the stairs leading deeper into the dungeon.

We descended in our usual manner – going down the central chamber to find Acererak’s next warning. Filled as usual with cryptic imagery, we hoped it would serve us well. In the large central room, there were four pillars each with a different mineral associated with it: copper, silver, gold, and platinum. Atop each pillar was a four-armed gargoyle. Unsure as to what to do, we discussed for a while before Pogwe put a single coin into a slot at the base of one of the pillars. Not knowing what to do, we decided to go down a nearby hall – that’s when the gargoyles attacked!

Calling us ‘cheapskates’, they flew at us with claws and fangs. As we scrambled to hold them off, we realized that we had to deposit a coin into each of the pillars – one coin for each of us. What ensued was a mad scramble of coins and blood. As usual, I absorbed the brunt of their vicious assault. Lt. Steve did well to keep me standing, mostly. After a pitched battle and many injuries, the gargoyles were placated. We rested in the chamber, licking our wounds.

Sufficiently rested, we began navigating the halls and corridors. We came upon a massive, strange room with a double flight of sweeping stairs leading up to a balcony area. In the center rested a sarcophagus, which we realized contained the remains of Unkh, the flail snail god. The sarcophagus was slowly changing colors – blue, gold, purple, and so forth. The wall of the balcony was covered in a bizarre carving of an ever-shifting maze. While investigating it, Revek was magically pulled within the maze, and ten skeletal minotaurs emerged from passages on the main floor.

What commenced happened quickly, but was no less pitched. Pogwe joined Revek in the magical maze, searching for a key to Unkh’s tomb. Lt. Steve and I used our divine powers to turn away the undead monstrosities, buying us precious seconds. Pogwe emerged from the maze, triumphantly holding a black key. He attempted to use it to open the sarcophagus, but it was colored gold at that moment, so the key vanished to no effect. Soon, I too joined them in the maze searching for a key. I came upon a purple one, and prepared to open it when it turned a matching color. Unsure as to how long that would be, I threw the key to Lt. Steve, who was walking along the ceiling with the help of his magical boots, so he can be ready to open it when the time is right. I returned to the maze to look for further keys.

Moments later, the casket turned purple and Lt. Steve dropped from the ceiling dramatically, opening the lid. The snail god entered Steve after he looked through the sarcophagus’ contents, casting doubt on his decisions but fortifying his body. Inside was a robe of scintillating colors, which we likely had no use for.

Next, we made our way to a bizarre door with a macabre riddle. Fortunately, my history with blood sacrifice and dark rituals gave me insights into its solution (it was blood!), and we entered an even more macabre and strange chamber. Inside were zombie-like artists painting crude murals of our exploits, successes, and failures while in the tomb. We also found a disgusting throne made of bone and manflesh, atop which sat an iron scepter. Finding a secret door nearby, we investigated.

Inside the secret chamber was a strange coffin with odd imagery about it – a bejeweled cockroach, a swinging and smiling sun, and so forth. Eku realized this was the tomb of the last queen of Omu. Looking inside, we found another such scepter. Not realizing our folley, we disturbed the contents and set of a hideous trap – necrotic fumes and burning radiance issued forth, laying Pogwe low. Lt. Steve and I scrambled out and resuscitated Pogwe. It was overall a painful experience.

The next room we investigated had dire warnings about a sinister star emitting beams of disintegrating light. After gaining entrance by raising my hand in a manner similar to the rendition on the stone slab door, we looked around to find an ancient and immensely valuable crown, but also a terrifying demon maw affixed to a wall.

Lt. Steve sent his familiar, a small cat named Little Mort, to investigate. Its paw brushed the darkness emanating from the maw, and was instantly severed, killing the cat! Despite the dangers, we decided to try to take the crown. While we all waited outside, Revek snatched the crown and teleported free, just before seeing the maw issue forth two horrific undead monstrosities – bodaks!

We thought ourselves lucky by escaping that chamber with not even a scratch, but we had no idea what agonies awaited us moments later.

We came upon a small room with a red flamed candle on the far end that appeared to produce an anti-magic field. Lt. Steve and I moved into the chamber to investigate, and were instantly teleported away after a stone slab locked us in. We were transported into slimy, damp cages in a small room whose walls were covered with snails and oysters while warm water pumped into the room at an alarming rate. Recalling part of Acererak’s warning, “Dine or drown”, we both grabbed a handful of snails and gobbled them. This caused us to be teleported to yet another room, this time with depictions of deserts and a medusa with a medallion around her neck.

As soon as we appeared, sand started issuing forth from holes in the ceiling, rapidly filling the room. Frantically looking for a way out, I discovered that the floor was a pit trap. Thinking quickly, I fastened a rope to a nearby fixture and tied to myself and St. Steve. When the sand had accumulated enough, the trap floor gave out and revealed a terrible, mulching blender of machinery beneath. I held fast, but Lt. Steve slipped and his foot was caught in the trap, tearing it brutally from his leg. I immediately pressed the button on the gorgon carving, and we were transported a final time to a massive room.

This new room had a sarcophagus in the center, surrounded by a legion of terracotta warriors. Remembering Acererak’s warning, “The army sleeps in silence”, we kept absolutely quiet. Steve, to his credit, did not cry out, despite being so viciously maimed.

I crept toward the center, avoiding the shattered pieces of broken ceramics and pottery everywhere, clearly designed to cause noise and alert the slumbering warriors. Once I reached the center, Pogwe and an unconscious Revek were transported into the room. I could see that Revek’s foot had also been severed, and he was bleeding to death. The two of them must have followed after us, encountering the same brutal traps. Gesturing to keep them quiet, I removed the lid of the tomb and found quite a surprise – a [redacted]! If only Delphinius were there, I’m sure he would have struggled to keep himself quiet!

Touching the [redacted], the god Shagambi entered my soul, removing Papazotl. I was filled with righteous fire, rekindling my zeal and improving my battle prowess. With the 9th and final god freed, we stepped onto one of the teleportation circles in the room, causing us to be randomly shunted to a different part of this dungeon floor and polymorphed into harmless critters temporarily.

We have all nine gods now, and I know that this labyrinth will be even more deadly as we get closer to our prey. I hope that Delphinius’ convidence is restored when I bring him this [redacted]. We’ll need every advantage to survive, let alone win the day!

May the gods of civilization, and the gods of this cursed land, watch over us in our final trials!
Session: The Last of the Shrines - Friday, Sep 14 2018 from 9:30 PM to 2:00 AM
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Session 16: Champions
Dear Tanya,
I’m sorry to leave you in suspense for so long, but I ran out of parchment in my last letter. I know you’re just dying to hear about the rest of the tournament. So here it is.
The gates opened and we were greeted by a crowd that had already learned to love us and 8 death dogs. (evil, human-eating, two-headed dogs). At first I was like, “cool, gonna beat up some evil dogs”. And then the officials THREW A PERSON INTO THE RING.
Remember how last time we only saved a dummy? Well apparently Round II means live people. And judging by the chains he was wearing, I doubt he had a choice in the matter. I must say, I’m getting tired of this slave nonsense.
Anyway, there were more than just hell-hounds and humans in the challenge, several bear-traps were laid about the field, disguised in the sand. Lucky Bez got super into hunting that one year or I might not have been able to recognize them and point them out to my friends. So the hounds came at us, and we fought hard. Constantly healing and inspiring this young slave boy. I swear he better be freed after all this. I feel like being bait for rabid death dogs is more than enough service paid to be freed.
I’m getting off-track again, so there we were, aware of the traps and how we had to move to avoid them, and going all out. Thane managed to kill two at once with a spell and Zari, Zari was able to use this powerful, terrifying, amazing power that DISSOLVED one of the dogs. Just erased him!! Wykeera managed to hold her own keeping multiple dogs at bay. Hagar fought as much well as we have ever known him to, which is to say that these dogs were no match.
Unfortunately, glory was not all we had in this fight. I used my lightning breath to get a couple of the dogs and it ripped the lower part of my mask. It’s not the worst thing to happen, since all anyone really got to see was the jaw of yellow dragonborne. But Hagar… you know how we disguised Hagar as a woman named Lisa because apparently the gangs here know him and think he’s dead? Well, his shirt ripped in the fight, and one of his breasts (a melon) fell out. No one in the audience saw when it happened, and thanks to Thane’s quick thinking, the audience thought they saw Lisa’s actual titty. But we have got to be more careful with that. I can’t imagine what will happen if the Jade Dragons ever found out Hagar was here. Oh, we also got poisoned by the death dogs’ bites.

After winning the round, we went back to the waiting area and got some potions to heal our wounds and cure the poison. We met some abolitionists, which was nice, but they didn’t make it through round two, so that wasn’t so nice. In fact, only two teams were left after round two. Fazil’s fighters and the Blank Faces.

All the teams that had made it to round two were brought into the ring for a half time show. Local children were brought out in teams of 5 to “fight” us. It was surprisingly sweet from an otherwise brutal tournament. And call me a sucker, but it was my favorite part. We all played our part, becoming wicked villains for these kids to “defeat”. Except Wykeera. She just turned into a pony and gave the kids rides. They loved it and all left with smiles on their faces. I would’ve been ok with that part lasting a bit longer.

But back to the bloodbath we went.

The final round saw both Fazil’s Fighters and us in a three way match with a DRAGON (wyvern). The wyvern had a trophy on its back, and the first team to claim it also claimed victory. We all quickly began forming plans, trying to determine the best way to sneak up there. I, myself brought out my unseen servant to steal the trophy when no one could see. He was not used.
Hagar had the best plan, in the end. He threw the lightning javelin that Thane bought him right threw the whole of Fazil’s Fighters. This sufficiently weakened them and allowed us the upper hand. Sekhmet, our competitors wizard, cast a spell that allowed Rashad to fly. And then it became a race between Thane’s misty step and Rashad’s flight. Who would reach the dragon first? Thane managed to get on it first, but Rashad was right next to him. They were going to have to fight in the air on a dragon. But Thane, ever a clever bastard, pulled a bead off of his abacus. A 10 foot iron door.

The wyvern slammed into the ground, unable to handle the new weight on it’s back. Thane misty stepped away to protect himself from the damages of gravity. The iron door kept the dragon pinned to the ground for the rest of the fight, allowing the rest of us to run up and fight Rashad on even territory.
However, in our haste and panic over the dragon we forgot about our opponents. Fazil stunned Hagar, leaving him helpless as Sekhmet cast Fireball. Hagar, ever sturdy and every standing, survived the fireball with vitality to spare. He defeated Fazil single-handedly. Wykeera, officially done with letting us get attacked by the opposing team, summoned a wall of water in front of Fazil’s fighters, rendering the rest of their team effectively useless.
At this time I had run up to the dragon and slammed the ground with my hammer, causing a small earthquake that rattled my enemies. Rashad and I then engaged in one on one combat until Zari came over and took out Rashad herself. This allowed Thane and I to grab the trophy and pry it free, effectively winning the Tournament of Champions.

Your Friend and Champion,
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Wishing I was someone else, someone better
I can still hear Master Duerith scolding me for my lack of attention, “You must visualize the mathematics and use the details of the energy to create the desired effect” --- claiming I was too distracted to master the complex components of my spells. “You are always day-dreaming about picking up a sword and joining the Lance Battalion--- riding off to conquer some terrible evil. Pretending you are Kilkennard won’t help you find your familiar or learn to cast read magic.”

Today my new family needed Kilkennard and all they had was a fool who selected the wrong spell. Who was I going to charm? My failure cost us a potential friend and an ally. While I liked his haughty attitude very little, I mourn his loss.
Session: Episode 10 - Wednesday, Sep 12 2018 from 9:00 PM to 1:00 AM
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Recap - The Lucky Copper
The first encounter began at the Lucky Copper. The six adventurers found themselves around the same table and began connecting their disparate paths which brought them there.

Leela, a buxom courtesan and friend of Sob Riquet, approached the table and exchanged pleasantries with us all. Genet, in particular, connected professionally.

Conversation turned to rumors.

  1. Are the grain merchants withholding their stock, inflating the prices and starting a trade war?
  2. Do the grain merchants employ a band of ghouls as enforcers?
  3. Children are disappearing from the streets of Lankmar. A noble child recently vanished as well. Is black magic involved?
  4. Is something happening at the docks?
  5. Is there a grimoire beneath the city?

After one last round, the six agree to investigate the grain rumors in the morning, travelling to meet Genet's farmer contact. While in the street, Leela is surrounded by a gang of thieves. She drops a pouch and calls out for help.

Magora moves in and attacks the assailants and chaos ensues. Rafe channels a spell and mist envelops the bandits, confusing them. Blows are exchanged and Flossin is first to fell any of them, striking down their leader. Sob maybe picked up Leela's dropped pouch? No one is sure. A shot from the rooftop archer narrowly misses Tyla and he convinces the attackers to flee.

Leela thanks the group for their help and Genet returns her offered money. She mentions knowing her assailants from before, when they asked her to serve as lookout for a heist. She then says she lost a black silk mask, meant for a private party she declined to attend. Magora and Flossin loot, then heal the fallen leader, named Pelp, and he slinks off. The group retires to their respective homes.

In the morning, Flossin is drawn to a commotion in an nearby alley. Leela is dead, her throat slit. Around her, various bodies are positioned, their faces burnt off. From what is evident, Pelp is not among the otherwise anonymous bodies.
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Tags: NPC death , Recap
Epic × 2!
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Posted by the GM
Shattered Star
Battlefield Notes 20180831
Battlefield Notes 20180831
Akai Nonamme, Cinderland Cmyth, Luddite, Nicodemus, Pythia, Zubin

We went after the nighthag and her accomplice with focus and determination. We quickly dealt a death blow to the accomplice, but the hag escaped to the ethereal plane again!!!

With Tsukyio's blessing, the hag became overconfident and shifted back in to engage us. We cornered her and in a viscous engagement we finally defeated her.
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