Tilestra

Session 12

The acrid smell of blood arises from the now silent chamber of the Elven King Awewarin. Kriv and Carlin emerge from the hallway to survey the carnage and find Ahtar, Lyle, Mac and Gem’s lifeless bodies. Having mercilessly pummeled the heroes and returned the jeweled sword to the sarcophagus, the stone golems stare blankly ahead, reverted back to their statue form. As the two round the corner they discover a horde of treasure gathered by the slain dragon and a cloth draped over the Pulchritudo Lacus Mirror. To their surprise, a green spirit rises out of Mac’s body. He tells them this one will return to the grotto and send help to free them from the tomb.

Meanwhile Sako, fully recovered from his torture and imprisonment by Baron Storrick, sits half-naked at the foot of the bed next to the sleeping Tiefling Farideh in the town of Toldyr. The land has been plagued by the mysterious black liquid which seems to bring back the dead in the form of terrible monsters, and the people of the town are starting to fear. A vision suddenly hits Sako of a tomb deep in the Zildyr forest. Inside Geminick Neel stands at the base of an altar, lute in hand, as two large stone figures approach, raise their arms, and crush him. Sako stands, dons his armor, mask, and blades, and leaves without a word.

At the grotto, Mac’s spirit returns to the now massive Tree of Life. As his spirit joins the tree a bud forms on a branch, transforms into a Firbolg body, and falls to the ground. Mac stands tall, reborn. A voice tells him the world is in dire need, the plague cannot continue, and a branch falls at his feet, the Staff of the Woodlands.

Having traveled to Varbeck, Sako heads to the Temple of Ester to recruit help on his journey. He meets with Sir Walter, a paladin he helped in a fight defending the honor of a bar maiden, and tells him of his friend’s fate. Walter agrees to help investigate and continue Gem’s quest to defeat the dark fey. A fellow servant of Ester and life cleric, Angela, join the two for the journey.

The party rejoins inside the tomb, navigating through a back entrance burrowed by the dragon. Angela recognizes Ahtar as her former fiancĂ©, but displays little emotion. When Gem’s death is confirmed Sako reads from the “good scroll” that Gem had prepared in the event of his demise.

An ode to remember a hero we lost, tragedy we cannot bear
The ladies loved him, the people adored him, his songs had no compare
But for all that was done, battles that were won, what good is it to share?
That friends who remain fondly remember his name, that is all he cares

The treasure is divided and the heroes unveil the mirror and step through. They emerge underwater and manage to make their way to the shore only to be greeted at spear point by ten centaur warriors. The party gives up their weapons and are by led by captain Jakaroo to a centaur village to meet his grandfather and chieftain Mageegi. The party travels through a lush green land with yellow and red flowers in the fields, 500 ft trees, and a sky with two suns. When they arrive at the village they meet the elder, who has long braided hair adorned with flowers and tattoos on his chest. He greets the party warmly and offers them information for their quest.

Mageegi explains that the Queen of the Night, Queen Sassastra is fighting with her husband the Moonlit King. The centaurs can provide an escort to their nearest border, but no further. After enjoying a tea that laced with an unknown hallucinogen, capped by Kriv’s insistence that “that horse is eating a human!”, the heroes finally settle down for the night.

In the morning Angela readies herself ahead of the party and brings a bag of magic beans she acquired in the Elven tomb to an old centaur healer. The centaur does not know what the beans are but leads her to fertile ground about a mile outside the village should she wish to plant it. Sako notices Angela leaving and alerts the party to her actions.

In the clearing, Angela’s curiosity is peaked and she plants a bean in the ground. Immediately a large pyramid rises from the ground with a single entrance in front. The party catches up to Angela as she enters the chamber.

Inside the pyramid lies a sarcophagus that immediately bursts open revealing a hideous Mummy Lord. The lord fells several party members with an intense insect swarm. Mac and Sir Walter engage the mummy and the mummy hits Mac with a powerful evil strike. Carlin attempts to heal Andrea in vain while Kriv and Sako escape to safety outside. Kriv severely hurts the mummy with a powerful flame strike. Enraged, the mummy moves toward Kriv to cast a spell when Sir Walter seizes his opportunity and attacks with his magic longsword radiating with smite evil. Miraculously his blow fells the powerful creature and the party senses they’ve narrowly averted a crisis that could have befallen the land.

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Session 11
Everyone Dies

So much dying.

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Session 10

After arriving at Awewarin’s Tomb, two giant Elven warrior statues made of Sandstone are seen in a clearing through the thick forest. Resting at the feet of one of the statues is a White Dragonborn named Bharash. This very old Dragonborn asks for a few spare coins which Kriv provides. A bright light and loud bang occurs distracting the party as Bharash disappears. A backpack is left behind with a Ring of Acid Resistance, a spell scroll “Leomund’s Tiny Hut”, and four Potions of Healing. The party solves the riddle to enter the tomb.

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Session 9

After completing the long journey across the Ascentia sea to the coast of the Zildyr Forest, our adventurers set out in a row boat to the shoreline as the lone survivor of the crew, the captain Lorenz de Graaf, waits with the Golden Hind.

Sailing sailing
across the choppy seas,
everyone died except for us guys,
that’s more money for me

Sailing sailing
my merry band and me,
Don’t you know if the captain would go
the boat would be ours for free

As Gem regales the rowing Mac and Kriv with a song a Kraken suddenly lifts out of the sea and crushes the larger vessel. The three quickly breach land and a large rock moves to reveal a cave with a band of 5 adventurers beckoning them to safety.

Inside the cave they make introductions with a human named Ahtar and a gnome named Carlin, along with Ahtar’s entourage: Casandra the librarian, Morgan the bannerman, and a halfling cook. The three explains their intentions in the Zildyr forest: to plant the acorn for the Tree of Life and to locate a wizard named Triscaeraa, who may provide knowledge of the mysterious black ooze. Carlin agrees to help lead the party to her former mentor on a trek through the forest.

The party encounters a giant spider while leaving the cave, and although the trio fail to impress their new friends with their fighting skills the creature falls easily. Soon after they face a tougher test: a wandering hill giant. He also proves no match for the party and ultimately falls to Carlin and Kriv’s dual acid and fire chromatic orbs.

Considering their lack of battle prowess, Gem questions Ahtar about his companions and their purpose on the journey. Gem gathers that the three seem to be indentured servants, with Casandra indebted to service for stealing from Ahtar’s family. The conversation is derailed soon after when Gem can’t admit his ignorance of the term “bannerman”.

The party then comes to a ransacked caravan stopped on a road with halfling, troll, kobold, and a female barbarian lying seemingly dead on the ground. On inspection the halfling oozes with a black fluid and lunges to attack while a red and black flower erupts from the chest of the troll and spews forth a shade. Mac goes into his bear form and the party goes all out destroying the terrifying foes. When Gem feels slightly useless from his spells’ ineffectiveness on the undead creatures Ahtar loans him his viol to play, a gesture he comes to regret.

At last the party arrives at the wizard Triscaeraa’s grove and Mac is enthralled by the natural beauty of the scene. Inside his hollowed tree home Triscaeraa tells the party the black ooze is related to the dark Fey and the Queen of Night and Magic most likely has a hand in this. She rules over the Winter Court. He recommends talking with King of the summer court in the Feywild. An ancient artifact known as the Pulchritudo Lacus Mirror can allow safe transport to the Feywild. This mirror was known to be last seen in the Tomb of an Elven King Aewarin who was last known to own this artifact.

Before leaving, Mac requests to plant his acorn in a great stump within the grove and Triscaeraa obliges. The great Tree of Life seems to settle into its new home when a female figure emerges from the nearby pool of water and bestows a great blessing on the party. Mac receives the highest reward, which includes a pouch filled with dust of mass invisibility, while Ahtar and Gem seem to come up short in gaining the lady’s favor.

After a peaceful rest in the grove, the party begins their journey to the tomb of the Elven King. Their luck runs thin as they encounter an Oni on their way who casts a powerful Cone of Cold on the party killing all of Ahtar’s retainers. Ahtar somberly continues the journey and the party arrives at the footsteps of the ancient tomb.

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Kobold Kapers

Our story starts in a Kobold cave where Glek, a green-skinned Captain, dons his studded leather armor and dual swords preparing for his nightly duty. He is tasked with disposing of a couple goblin scouts who have started to camp in the area, and decides to take on new warrior recruit Drerki. He finds the eager red Kobold polishing his prized “shield”, a pot lid stolen from a human camp in a daring raid. The two mount a pair of gray weasels and head out.

After discovering their prey around a campfire, the two take them by surprise and quickly bury their swords into the unsuspecting goblins. Thrilled by his first battle, Drerki burns the remnants of the Goblin bodies in the fire as a sacrifice to his dragon master.

Upon returning to the caves the queen is impressed by the duos work, and sends them out again on a bigger task: capture the goods of an traveling caravan on the nearby road.

Riding their weasels, Glek and Drerki head back out into the night. The two fell a tree across the road and wait in a treetop to ambush the caravan. As a wagon approaches, driven by two halflings, the kobolds jump on the large woman bodyguard wielding a great sword. After a fierce battle the two are again victorious and the bodyguard falls to the ground. The frightened halflings attempt to flee but are quickly slaughtered.

Glek inspects the wagon and finds a trove of gold and weapons, including a strange sword with a green glow. He packs the loot to take the wagon back home.

Meanwhile Drerki fervently attempts to light a fire from the fallen tree to burn his kills in another sacrifice. Angered by his weak fire Drerki begins to cut down another tree for more fuel while a frustrated Glek tries to get him back on task. As Drerki lifts his sword to foolishly cut the wooden wagon wheel for kindling, Glek has no choice but to strike his comrade to his senses.

Distracted by the outburst neither notice the large troll approaching from the south. The two attempt to flee to their weasels but the troll catches Glek and renders him unconscious with powerful blows. In a rare act of bravery, Drerki dismounts and heads into danger to protect his companion. With a critical animal handling skill, Drerki ties his captain to the weasel and sends him running, heading off on his own weasel in the opposite direction. But the troll is too fast, and catches Drerki before he can escape, killing him in three deadly strikes.

An unconscious Glek, tied to his weasel, escapes into the forest, a faint green glow emanating from the sword tucked into his belt.

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Session 8

The session opens at Bufford the blacksmith’s shop in the East Ward of Varbeck. Mac, Kriv, and Gem finalize the transaction for a secure safe, commissioning a 4 X 5 velvet-padded secret compartment with 5 keys to be fastened to the undercarriage. The transaction will cost 80 gold and be completed in 3 days. Mac holds onto the party gold in the meantime.

At Gem’s insistence, the party heads to the safe house to check on Sako and the Tiefling Verde who were freed from Baron Storrick’s prison. Gem had learned Sherriff Ekbert had been on their trail but the team discovers the house empty, with a hidden message saying the two escaped safely.

The party next travels to the affluent West Ward to check in on Bolnast the wizard’s examination of the black liquid from Session 3. Bolnast welcomes them and explains to Mac that the black liquid is of a natural magic of the Dark Fey, of which he knows little. He suggests bringing the sample to the hermit Wizard Triscaeraa, who lives across the Ascentia Sea in the Zildyr forest. If the party continues to investigate and report back to him he offers to reveal more about Kriv’s past.

The vial is returned half empty and when Gem suggests paying the party for the lost sample, Bolnast threatens him with a lightning rod. Gem deftly plucks the rod from his hand but is shocked into unconsciousness at the touch. The party leaves without further incident, carrying Gem out to the street.

At this time Mac reveals that he knows of the Zildyr forest previously known as Karedelast when his people roamed the land. An acorn he carries is the last remnant of a great Tree of Life and he believes he could replant in the sacred wood. The party agrees to commission Lorenz de Graaf of the Golden Hind to sail with on the five day trek across the sea.

Despite the captain’s hatred off bards, Gem is able to sneak in a tune as they sail off…

Off we go in a boat
to sail across the sea
Off we go to Karedelast
So Mac can plant his seed

Off we go sailing
So he can grow a tree
Off on the Golden Hind
My Rapier and me!

The group is attacked by a Water Elemental which kills most of the crew except the Captain. The group narrowly defeats the foe. They finally arrive on the shores of the Sandstone Mountains which butt up against the Zildyr Forest. The Captain asks that they come back and help him man the boat when they are finished. The group gets in a row boat and starts rowing to shore.

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Session 7

The party collects their well deserved bounty for the bandits and Gem is able to haggle for additional gold successfully. The party then heads to a master blacksmith and negotiate building them a hidden chest in their wagon. After this Odo and Tesselle exit stage right.

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Session 6

The session starts with the party getting a letter from the Sheriff indicating he was impressed with the previous bounty. He says the bounty for the bandits has been increased to 1000GP because a noble traveler was attacked. The party hires a mercenary named Kryll? to assist. They head out to the last known attack point and challenge the bandits. The party wipes the floor with them. They also take back a good amount of booty.

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Session 5

The session begins with Gem putting the two guards in the prison to sleep. The guards are locked in a cell. All of the prisoners are freed to provide a distraction while they escape. A Tiefling prisoner by the name of Farideh offers to keep them hidden until things blow over. She offers to patch up Sako Lume.

The party realizes they are dead broke and decides to take on a bounty. They head the Bergerstein Farmstead to try and collect the bounty on the Orcs who have been attacking. They prepare to ambush the Orcs. The Orcs arrive with some dire wolves and are dispatched handily by the party.

The party collects to the bounty on the Orcs. They visit the local Temple of Ester and meet with Grandmother Petunia. She is unable to assist with the black ichor collected previously. She recommends visiting Bolnast the Seer in the West Ward.

The party meets with Bolnast. Bolnast notices Kriv is a magic user and as he rests his hands on his shoulders he goes into a trance state. His eyes roll back in his head and he speaks in Nim’s voice asking “Kriv are you there?”. At this point Kriv gets a jumble of memories of Nim and his previous friends.

Bolnast offers to help Kriv retrieve his memories further if he helps him retrieve some artifacts. He also offers to study the black ichor which will take two days to see what it is. He will determine if it has value and keep it if it does otherwise the party will need to pay to determine what he has found.

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Session 4

The session opens with Gem sitting in The Ship’s Wheel Inn & Tavern. He is awaiting a visitor. A hooded man approaches Gem’s table and sits down. The man’s name is Kajori and he is a member of the local thieve’s guild. Kajori provides Gem with a map of the prison where his mentor Sako Lume is located. Gem also purchases a set of Thieve’s Tools off of him. He indicated Gem will owe him a favor in the future when he is called upon or he will face death. A man is poisoned in the tavern to prove this point.

At this point we switch over to the rest of the party approaching Varbeck’s city gates in their carriage. They have difficulty convincing the guards to let them in. Odo presents the writ of passage from Mother Alice and the guard being a worshipper of Ester lets them in. The party convinces an old man to bring them to a nice inn. They discuss that they still need to stop at the local larger Temple of Ester and speak with a local Wizard to get further info on the black ooze they found on the “zombie” man. The party stops at the Knight and Dove Inn, they review the bounty board and find a number of notices:

1. A group of bandits have been attacking caravans at the entrance to the city. Capture the bandits alive. 400GP Bring the bandits heads in. 250GP
2. A tribe of Orcs has been attacking some local farmsteads. Kill all the Orcs and bring their heads in. 250GP

The party meets up with Gem and have a heated discussion about them helping him break his mentor out. In that time Gem uses his silver tongue to successfully garner their help.

The party sneaks in through the sewers as a way to gain access to the prison. They dispatch a number of enemies along the way including a Grick. Mac finds a Grick egg and takes it with him. The party finds the entrance to the prison.

Mac changes into a Rat, slips through the sewer grate and out a hole in the stone wall. He runs along the hallway to find a guard on duty. He attempts to get the guard’s attention by drinking from his ale. The guard swipes at the Rat changing Mac back into his true self. The guard is so shocked that Mac gets a surprise round turning into a Black Bear and ripping the head off of the guard killing him.

Odo argues with Gem about when they should proceed. Odo gets frustrated throwing Gem to the ground and ripping the sewer gate out of the stone opening. The party proceeds into the prison. At this time the outside guards come inside hearing the noise from within. One of the guards asks the other to run for help…

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