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Aftermath of the fight
The fight is over. Everyone is alive but Bad Wolf and the sailors Oscar brought with. We notice two giant chests, and some white dragon eggs frozen in ice near the Ice Queen's throne.

Theron casts a Teleportation circle to take us back to his home in the Valley of the Mage. We manage to gather up the eggs and the contents of the chests before we leave (the eggs are melted out of the ice block, but later re-frozen and put into a cold room).

We retire to Theron’s reception room and inventory the loot:
  • Coins: 1000 sp,1200 gp, 110 pp - out of this we give 100gp to Theron, 600gp to Varis, and 300gp to Corin for spell components (teleport, revivify). The rest is divided up, and everyone gets 187gp
  • Carved Wooden Staff (25 gp), Feathered Talisman (25 gp), Rabbit Fur Ribbon (25 gp), Ceramic Orb (25 gp)
  • +1 Rod of the Pact Keeper (uncommon, dmg 197) (+1 to warlock attack spells and save DC’s; can regain one warlock spell slot as an action while holding the rod - usable once per long rest)
  • Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location (uncommon, dmg 150) (wearer is hidden from divination magic; can’t be targeted by divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors)
  • Gauntlets of Ogre Power (uncommon, dmg 171) (Strength of 19 while wearing - no effect on PC with Strength 19 or higher)
  • Scroll written in magical code
  • Orb of Dragonkind

The Orb was apparently created during a series of giant vs. dragon wars. Some wizards trapped evil dragon essences into the orbs during their creation. We discuss whether to destroy it, but decide to rest for the night first. In the morning, Theron casts Legend Lore finding out the following:

The orb contains a black dragon essence (Boivontenth). It requires attunement to use it - it will test your worthiness. It was custom created by a particular mage - each orb has individual properties the bearer can use.

Miri tries to attune with the orb (24 Cha Save) - finds out the properties:
  • The orb has 7 charges and regains 1d4 + 3 expended charges daily at dawn.

  • Spells - If you control the orb, you can use an action and expend 1 or more charges to cast one of the following spells (save DC 18) from it:

  • Cure Wounds (5th-level version, 3 charges)
  • Daylight (1 charge)
  • Death Ward (2 charges)
  • Scrying (3 charges).
  • Detect Magic (0 charges)

  • Call Dragons:

  • While you control the orb, you can use an action to cause the artifact to issue a telepathic call that extends in all directions for 40 miles.

    Evil dragons in range feel compelled to come to the orb as soon as possible by the most direct route. Dragon deities such as Tiamat are unaffected by this call.

    Dragons drawn to the orb might be hostile toward you for compelling them against their will. Once you have used this property, it can't be used again for 1 hour.

  • Destroying an Orb:

  • An Orb of Dragonkind appears fragile but is impervious to most damage, including the attacks and breath weapons of dragons. A disintegrate spell or one good hit from a +3 magic weapon is sufficient to destroy an orb, however.

  • Random properties - some were re-rolled, so still confirming that these are all correct

  • Sentinel - when within 120’ of dragon, the orb will glow

  • Can activate the orb as a beacon - it creates bright light within 10’, and dim light for another 10’ (unlimited duration)

  • While attuned to the orb, pc can use an action to cast a 5th level spell (from his\her spell list?) and then roll 1d6 - on 1-5, can’t cast it again until next dawn

  • While attuned to the artifact, non-magical flames are extinguished within 30’ of pc

  • The orb imprisions a death slaad - each time pc uses one of the orb’s properties as an action, it has a 10% chance of escaping, appearing within 15’ of pc, and attacking them

After we have rested and taken stock of our situation, we discuss what our goal is now. Peck seems to be the best one to use the Gauntlets of Ogre Power, and we decide to give Aramil the "Amulet of Proof Against Detection and Location". This will hopefully prevent him from being tracked down again by the Frost Giants' magic, in their search for the Ring of Winter.

Ultimately, our goal is to find the Storm Giant King (Hekaton); Someone disrupted the Giant court, and he is now missing (causing the rift which led to each side running wild, trying to gain an advantage over the others. Some leads we have to look into include the mage Mordenkainen (assuming he has regained his sanity) and the Cloud Giant Zephyros (assuming he's willing to reconsider our worthiness after recent events). It may also be worthwhile to make a stop at Greyhawk City to do some further research in the library, or to pick up any needed supplies.
Session: Circle in Time? - Tuesday, Jan 23 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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Pointer-left Chance_thumb
DM Jon
Posted by the GM
The Stalwarts
Episode 011: The Forge of Spells
Campaign Date: 2 Kythorn - 3 Kythorn, 1489 DR
Adventure Date: 2018 01-27


Session Notes:
  • (2 Kythorn) The adventurers continued their search of the furnace cavern while Eynas prepared a ritual Detect Magic spell. Before the dragonborn uttered the first words of his spell, he sensed a faint aura of magic nearby. The necromancer completed his spell but it revealed nothing in the immediate area.
  • The heroes exited the furnace chamber through a passage to the east. They came upon another cavern in which stood a constructed pair of stone buildings. The northern building was badly damaged; large impact craters and scorch marks covered the masonry. The stone doors were proportioned for humans, not dwarves as they’d been throughout the complex thus far. Eynas contemplated the damage and then pronounced “A spell battle was fought here.”
  • Jael and Belgium approached the double doorway that lead into the building. They noted the iron hinges had been melted and the heavy doors rested precariously within the doorframe. The paladin and ranger each lifted a stone door and leaned the slabs against the outside of the building.
  • Inside, the companions saw the remains of a workshop; wooden workbenches lined the walls, remnants of whatever the former occupants were working on still rested atop them. Near the center of the room stood a stone pedestal that held a small brazier in which an eerie green flame danced and crackled. The brazier and its pedestal appeared to have been untouched by the forces that destroyed this area. Eynas's eyes grew wide as his Detect Magic spell indicated the flame possessed tramsmutative magic!
  • Eynas approached the pedestal while his companions moved into positions around the room, all eyes firmly affixed on the flickering green flame. The dragonborn waved his hand gently over the brazier and noted “no heat”. Eynas then placed the bottom of his staff in the flame; it didn’t burn the wood. Instead, the flame gently wrapped around the staff and when he took it away, the staff glowed faintly where the flame had touched it.
  • The transfixed adventurers’ attention suddenly shifted as a thick, burbling voice inside their heads said “Hello.” Floating behind Jael was a spherical creature measuring roughly four feet in diameter. Four eyestalks protruded from its central mass, two on each side and in the center of its body was a large eye that stared intently at Jael!
  • Instinctively, the paladin raised her shield and drew her longsword. Eynas greeted the creature and asked it its name. The creature replied “I am the guardian of the Forge of Spells. What is your business here?” The dragonborn and floating creature began a conversation during which it became apparent it wasn’t seeing things as did the heroes. The creature believed everything was as before the fall of Wave Echo Cave; the dwarves still mined ore and forged items while the wizards enchanted them through the power of the Forge of Spells. It didn’t see the destruction and death all around.
  • When the heroes tried to convince the creature that the entire complex had been destroyed and the wizards, dwarves and gnomes were all dead, it called them deceivers and demanded they leave! Reluctantly, the companions exited and turned their attention to the second building located in the southern portion of the cavern.
  • Skeletal remains littered the southernmost section of the cavern and the building had been battered in the same way as did the one to the north. The heroes gained entrance by removing sections of a cracked and scarred stone door. The interior was charred and the furniture was badly damaged but an intact chest near the foot of a shattered bed was spotted. As the adventures approached the chest, a shadowy figure rose up through the floor. The figure spoke in grave whispers and stated “I am Mormesk and your presence is offensive! My treasures are mine alone, not yours to plunder!"
  • Instinctively, the adventurers sprang into action and forced the shadowy figure to retreat! However, Jael and Riven fell victim the life draining effects that only a wraith’s touch could inflict and were in dire condition. The companions agreed they needed to rest so they finished a search of the building before settling in.
  • Varis opened a door that lead to a small library and inside was Mormesk! The angered wraith proclaimed “We will meet again!” before disappearing into the stone floor!
  • While his companions rested, Eynas poured through the library. The dragonborn took special interest in a book that contained information concerning the summoning of a creature called a Spectator. The creature’s description in the book aligned perfectly with the spherical creature encountered in the building to the north. Eynas tucked the book carefully into his backpack and rejoined his friends.
  • The adventurer’s contemplated their options and decided to head back to Phandalin given Jael and Riven’s condition.
  • The companions arrived in Phandalin near sunset. Belgium visited the Phandalin Exchange to convert a few gemstones into coins while the others met with Sildar to discuss their discoveries. As the meeting with Sildar concluded, he requested a moment alone with Jael and Varis.
  • The adventurers returned to Stonehill Inn where Jael explained to the others that they needed to join the Lords' Alliance if they were going to continue their exploration of Wave Echo Cave. This didn’t sit well with Belgium, Eynas or Riven but they didn’t pursue it with the paladin any further. Instead, everyone retired to their rooms for some much-needed rest.
  • (3 Kythorn) Before heading back to Wave Echo Cave, Belgium stopped by the Lionshield Coster and paid Linene another 60 gp toward the breast plate he had ordered. The ranger rejoined the others at Townmaster’s Hall where the heroes intended to clear up a few matters with Sildar concerning the Lords' Alliance.
  • Belgium asked Sildar if what Jael said was true. Sildar replied by saying that things weren’t exactly as Jael explained. He confirmed it was true that a person needed to be a member of the Lords' Alliance to be given a mission sanctioned by the organization. However, the exploration of Wave Echo Cave wasn’t mandated by the Lords' Alliance and Sildar encouraged the heroes to continue their efforts. He went on to say he’d very much like to learn more, specifically regarding the Forge of Spells and the Black Spider.
  • Sildar explained that members of the Lords' Alliance exemplify a desire for the security of civilization through action.
  • Sildar then extended an invitation to Belgium, Eynas and Riven to join Jael and Varis as members of the Lords' Alliance. He stated that based on their efforts in and around Phandalin they were perfect for the organization. Riven joined on the spot but Belgium and Eynas needed time to think about it.
  • The companions returned to Wave Echo Cave and finished exploring the mining tunnels near the entrance. One of these tunnels led to a cavern dominated by a large pool of water from which flowed a lazy stream. The stream disappeared through the northern wall. To the east, a worked stairway led to a three-way intersection; a sturdy stone door blocked their way east while hallways led to the north and south.
  • Varis opened the door which revealed another dwarven barracks lined with stone bunk beds. An opened doorway was on the opposite side of the room and the hallway beyond led to the furnace cavern. Near the end of this hallway, a pair of bugbears cautiously surveyed the cavern beyond. As the companions moved into the barracks, they saw other bugbears, apparently investigating the furnace cavern.
  • The adventurers took up ambush positions within the barracks and when they were ready, Belgium loosed two arrows at the unsuspecting bugbears. Unfortunately, neither projectile found their mark but they served their purpose; two bugbears stormed angrily toward the dwarf!
  • The furry humanoids dashed into the barracks where they were met with a flurry of orchestrated attacks! Two additional bugbears heard the ruckus and charged down the hallway from the furnace cavern. As they approached, Riven slammed the door and Varis barred it! The sickening sound of bugbear crashing into stone echoed through the room! The two unfortunate creatures in the barracks didn’t stand a chance and were quickly dispatched. A second crash was heard from the other side of the barred door, but then all went quiet. The heroes waited patiently for the bugbears’ attack; either through the barred door or through the door which the adventurers arrived. The attack never came.

Character Notes:
  • Belgium, Eynas, Jael, Riven and Varis earned 1,055 XP

DM Notes:
  • None
Session: Episode 011 - Saturday, Jan 27 2018 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
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Epic!
Back into the Necropolis
A few hours after the ”qualifying contest” with the psychopomps, we returned to Seti’s office, to meet with her, Ptemenib, and Nakht. The Serpent Hunters were tasked to re-enter the Necropolis and seek out more information on the origin of the recent undead rising. We learned a lot more about the Necropolis and its residents unknown to us.

We were given a map of some Elegiac Compasses, devices that indicated the direction of necromantic energy. The Grand Mausoleum had secretly emplaced a dozen on rooftops around the old city of Wati when it was sealed. As of 30 years ago, there were 5 still in operation.
Nakht suspected that the source of the necromantic energies might be a cult of atheist lamias, called the Amushet. They might have been agitated by the recent wave of exploration and exploitation of the Necropolis. They live in or around the Cenotaph of the Cynic, and have lived in an uneasy truce with the city for years. Sometimes they abduct male citizens, who return to the city only years later, blinded and insane.

There is also the Xotl, a clan of dark-folk that live under Vizier’s Hill. Unwrapped Harmony is the name of their leader, she lives in the former Asetiti family villa. They are tolerated by the inquisitors, as they trade in information about the various residents of the Necropolis.

Ptemenib reminded us of the derelict brickworks in the Veins. Since the Silver Chain smuggling ring was centered there, he suspected there was at least one tunnel under the walls into the Necropolis. Khismia pointed out at least two more tunnels he didn’t know about. He made her promise to meet with him later to map those.

Finally, Seti offered us a metamagic rod that would allow spells to work fully upon the incorporeal dead, and put us in touch with the Mausoleum’s potion and scroll makers, so that we would be better-equipped for our journey. The meeting was adjourned, with us agreeing to make our first foray in the morning.

That evening, Amestri went to see the elderly widow Seh-hosep. She had moved into the Hall of Blessed Rebirth, seeking the cloistered life and giving up her home in the wake of the loss of her husband. She donated to us some magical scrolls and money. I spent the evening in the Casino and broke even.

[Day 20] Khismia led us into the tunnels under the brickworks, and we found the way under the walls fairly quickly. Right about where we thought the nearest Elegiac Compass should be, we found the remains of a house which had collapsed into an ossuary chamber. Amestri started to examine ossuary, and I took a look at the house. It turned out to have had the Compass on its roof, now shattered into uselessness. A large swarm of very small snakes had been sunning in the ruins, and attacked us, to little effect.

With the first of 5 Compasses destroyed, we moved onto the surface streets, to search for the next nearest one, about 3 blocks in the direction of the main gate. A shamble of 4 zombies lurched out at us, but they were quickly dispatched. A glass-blower’s shop—the Shiny Bauble—seemed to be in the right place, and there was a Compass housing on its roof. The copper-wire-wrapped crystal at its core was missing, though. Dragon-like tracks on the roof pointed to a sinkhole nearby.

Amestri sought to open contact with the sinkhole's resident, who turned out to be a crystal dragon. She was unable to obtain a loan of the crystal. I directed us to search the shop, which uncovered a crystal chandelier. I then went into the sinkhole, trying for a trade. With sufficient flattery, I was able to open the talks. Shartizad was willing to deal, but wanted more. While I stayed to examine and praise her prized hoard of shiny objects, everyone else searched the glassblower’s place more thoroughly. That brought us another “shiny”, which sealed the deal.

With the Compass repaired, we worked out the hieroglyphic directions and activated it. A beam of light shot out, directly across the Necropolis, more or less in the direction of the sealed north gate. Amestri carefully noted this on her one of her charts. While we were there, we took a detour onto the top of the wall, in order to see what was going on near the main gate. The gate still held, with a mob of approximately 20 zombies or other undead milling about on the inside.

Plan for the immediate future:
With that, we set out for the central Compass, taking the crystal core with us. We plotted a route that would avoid the open space around the gate and its mob. After checking out that Compass and the one near it, we figured on making contact with the Xotl around Vizier’s Hill.
Session: Game Session 10 - Friday, Feb 09 2018 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
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Pointer-left Chance_thumb
DM Jon
Posted by the GM
The Stalwarts
Episode 010: Wave Echo Cave
Campaign Date: 1 Kythorn - 2 Kythorn, 1489 DR
Adventure Date: 2017 12-30


Session Notes:
  • (1 Kythorn) After defeating the ghouls, the heroes decided to secure the barrack’s doors and rest. Shortly after making camp, another group of scavenging ghouls broke through one of the doors and attacked. The undead were defeated but the interruption caused the adventurers to rethink their decision.
  • Determined to rest, the companions returned to the entrance cave and tried again. This time however, a trio of stirges foiled their efforts. The creatures were nothing more than an annoyance but they prevented the heroes from gaining any meaningful rest. Undeterred, the adventurers moved back towards the crevasse through which they entered Wave Echo Cave and set up camp for a third time. 8 hours later, the refreshed adventurers were ready to resume their exploration!
  • (2 Kythorn) The heroes found a large cave that appeared to have served as a central gathering area for the workers and miners of Wave Echo Cave.
  • The companions discovered a cavern dominated by a large blast furnace and a mechanical bellows powered by a waterwheel. The waterwheel sat in a worked stone channel cut into the floor that entered and exited the cavern through the east and west walls. However, the channel no longer contained water.
  • The sound of crashing waves had grown louder as the adventurers delved further into the complex and was very intense within the furnace cavern.
  • While the adventurers investigated the furnace, bellows and waterwheel, Varis followed the channel to the west. The rogue made his way through the low channel which eventually opened into another cavern where a large portion of the floor had collapsed. A stream poured out of the far wall and tumbled into the rift, diverting the water from the channel leading to the waterwheel.
  • In the bottom of the rift, Varis observed a pair of bugbears, supervised by a male drow elf, clearing rocks from the floor. A third bugbear was stationed on the opposite side of the rift as if standing guard. Varis watched the activity for a few minutes before returning to the furnace cavern and reporting his findings to his companions.

Character Notes:
  • Belgium, Eynas, Jael, Riven and Varis earned 765 XP


Session: Episode 010 - Saturday, Dec 30 2017 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
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Epic!
How many giants does it take to defeat us? More than this, apparently.
I had a bad feeling about taking the invitation to the Ice Queen's lair. That said, the time for stealth had clearly passed - may as well confront her before spending any more of our strength. The bad feeling grew as we discovered how many of her followers were close to hand in her throne room.

It didn't appear that we had anything to negotiate about, so I led the fight off with a roar - two roars, specifically, as I turned Peck and Aramil into Tyrant Lizards. The Ice Queen didn't seem to appreciate the evening of the odds, because she followed up with a word of death. As I slipped from consciousness, I could feel the Polymorph spell dropping.

I found out later that the party had responded to that first with a Fire Wall by Varis, to begin softening up and hindering our foes. The rest of the group then targeted the Queen with a focused assault, followed by a Sleep spell by Miri - only just powerful enough to take hold after the beating she had taken. This gave Peck the opportunity to administer the Coup de Gras, finishing her off.

Rather than surrender, the remaining giants continued the attack. To keep it out of their hands, the Queen's Orb was picked up first by Oscar, who narrowly avoided domination by the device. Miri then took it off his hands, and was able to firmly resist it. Unfortunately, there seemed to be no time to Attune with the device and make use of it now (too bad - my impression is that the giants were only barely keeping their dragon 'pets' under control even with the Orb).

The rest of the party engaged the remaining giants, with mixed results. Anton and Theron each caught a group of them with Lightning spells, but the giants ganged up on Anton and Oscar... managing to bring both of them down. With the giants clear of his Fire Wall, Varis switched to a Blade Barrier just above our heads - weakening our foes further and giving us cover.

It was at this point that my journey on to the afterlife was interrupted by Varis' Revivify spell. Noticing that he had also saved Oscar with a Healing Word, I responded with another T-Rex Polymorph for both of us. We rejoined the fight with renewed vigor, and Oscar was able to take down one of the giants after a brief scrape with the Blade Barrier. Peck was able to save Anton with a healing spell.

Theron put up a Sphere of Force around himself - knocking the giants away and killing one by knocking it into the Blade Barrier. The giants retaliated, taking Anton out again, but Varis incinerated one with a Flame Strike and revived Anton with a Healing Word. Peck and Miri's wounds forced them to hide, while Oscar continued his prehistoric rampage - killing two giants.

Anton served up another helping of Lightning, and Theron traded his Force Sphere for an Air Elemental to distract one of the giants. Aramil protected himself with a Blink spell, and slew a giant which was harassing Anton. The remaining giants rallied again - knocking down Anton and nearly doing the same to me (I changed forms at the last moment, and protected myself with a Shield spell). Miri healed Anton, and the Air Elemental engulfed a giant.

Varis wounded several giants with a Radiant Dawn, and I bolstered the party with a Mass Cure Wounds - followed by a Spiritual Weapon to pressure one of the giants. Peck sniped giants from hiding, killing one, and Oscar continued his fight with two of them before being knocked down and out of Dino form. Anton was finally able to disengage and hide, and Theron tossed more Lightning.

At this point, the tide of the battle turned entirely in our favor. Miri continued healing the party, saving Oscar... while the Air Elemental finished off a giant. Varis used his last Radiant Dawn to blast the life out of another, while I cast another Mass Cure Wounds. The last three giants were slain by Oscar, Anton, and Theron. I think I missed a giant or two in all of that, but what a fight!

We all stopped to catch our breath - our thoughts turning immediately to escape. Theron informed us that he had kept back one teleportation circle - he just needs a minute uninterrupted to cast it. I suggested we quickly loot the bodies, and then pile them up in the doorways to buy us time. I'm temped to see what treasure we could find here, but I think we have little time to spare for it.
Session: Frost hall of death! - Tuesday, Jan 09 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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