The Long Night

Session 15 Recap

It’s been a while; hopefully my summary actually reflects the goings-on from last session.

Session Recap

The group continues on to the Tiefling wing of the dungeon. The general shape of the chamber mirrors the first Dragonborn room, with an L-shaped channel through the center of the room. There are murals on the walls depicting the glories of Bael Turath, the ancient Tiefling empire; and the room is filled with rows of statues of what looks like adventurers dressed in clothing of various past ages.

Zvahl appears to present the challenge, but in a new twist, she frees a female human warlock from her stone prison. Xeslana recovers quite quickly from the shock, and throws her lot in with the group. The next trial is only for five supplicants, and Ryaltar sits this one out. The warlock quickly proves her worth in combat as the party handily defeats four Spined Devils. Thordrus is burned badly by their flaming, poisonous barbs, but Feiyin and Ezreal are able to keep the hardy dwarf on his feet.

The new warlock has certainly shown her effectiveness in martial pursuits; the question remains: can she be trusted?

Treasure Taken

· None.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 200 XP per person.

· 4 Spined Devils shot down.

Rules Stuff

· Running XP Total (without haikus): 5072 XP. Level 5: 5500 XP.

· 10 word recaps = 44 XP. Haikus = 45 XP.

· I’m looking for a volunteer to make sure people are ready to play on time and to keep the session moving ahead speedily. Please talk to me if you’re interested.

Session 13 Recap

Session Recap

Our heroes advance to the next trial, where they meet the dragonborn spirit, Dimisa, Paladin of the Platinum Dragon. He sarcastically claps as they enter, “congratulating” them on passing the first trial. He says his trial will be much tougher, and he would give the players information, but he doesn’t want to waste his breath, since most challengers are rebuked by his scenario. Feiyin trades some jabs with him; in the end the party decides to fight first and ask questions later.

The fight involves two dragonborn soldiers, a rage drake, and two tiefling wizards ensconced at the far end on balconies. The well-armored party members pin down the footsoldiers while Ryltar works his way around the edge and Thoreth snipes at long range. Thordrus locks the fight down in the center of the room while he absorbs huge amounts of damage from swords, teeth, and flaming balefire. He stands strong, though, but towards the end of the fight, they bloody the rage drake, which goes beserk and takes huge chunk out of the dwarf. Ezreal encourages a tactical retreat, but the dwarf has other plans, and beheads the raging beast with two quick, but devastating axe blows.

Feiyin and a tiefling wizard trade energy bolts on one side, unable to land a solid hit, while Ryaltar scrambles up the other side and picks his target slowly apart with a steady stream of short-range dagger hits. Ezreal peppers the Priestess of Moradin’s target with stunning javelin hits, while Ryltar diverts his attacks to the last enemy on the balcony across from him. The wizard races down his side, retreating from Thordrus, while Ryltar runs in parallel peppering him with dagger hits. Thordrus finally catches up and lands a hit, but the tiefling teleports away and ducks below the opposite balcony, hiding from the Halfling and the eladrin. In a John Woo-style finish, the two heroes dive off the balcony; Ryaltar hits the evil wizard in the chest, and Thoreth evaporates the wizard’s head with a magic missile.

After the dust clears – the enemies disappear in motes of darkness as they are defeated – they are able to inspect the room, which chronicles the Great War between Bael Turath and Arkhosia as they escalate their weapons of mass destruction. The tieflings summon stronger and stronger devils, while the dragonborn conscript their youth and retirees and mutate their trained drakes into more and more lethal weapons.

Treasure Taken

· None!

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 220 XP per person.

· 1 Rage Drake pacified.

· 2 Dragonborn Soldiers defeated.

· 2 Tiefling Wizards killed.

Rules Stuff

· Running XP Total (without haikus): 4447 XP.

· 10 word recaps = 44 XP. Haikus = 45 XP.

· I’ve noticed that we often have trouble mustering the full group. I think something fun might be to create short 2 – 3 encounter side quests that are tailored to expanding the story of a single character. If you could, send me a quick email about what a personal quest might be about, and I can work on a bunch of little adventures that we can run if we’re missing a few too many people.

Session 12 Recap

Session Recap

The party makes its way back to Fallcrest uneventfully, where they return to the House of the Sun, a temple to Pelor, the Sun God, to gather their reward. They are greeted by the high priest, Grundelmar. The Dwarf doesn’t appear to know what the adventurers are talking about, but when they mention Sister Marla, he turns them over to her to take care of the details. The Elven cleric of Pelor debriefs the heroes, and seems especially interested in the ritual books that they retrieved from Kalarel and the Abbey. The party agrees to loan her the texts for her to translate.

Marla then attempts to recruit the adventurers to a mysterious cause to “restore civilization”. She flatters their abilities and entices them with knowledge and power. The heroes warily accept, and Sister Marla gives them an amulet and a note to Irina Swiftwater, the Halfling in charge of the Lower Quays. She tells them that they will engage in some “trials” to prove their worth to her secret organization. Several party members decide to store their excess wealth at the temple in case the trials take a turn for the worse.

The heroes then split up to visit various eating and drinking establishments in the town to prepare themselves for the adventure ahead. Several hours later, they reassemble at the Lower Quays, and obtain a rowboat with directions to row to the island in the center of the river. After landing, they make their way up to the statue of Vendar, an ancient human hero. His statue has several amulet-sized indentations, one of which is a match for the amulet granted by Sister Marla. Its use reveals a magically hidden doorway that leads into a domed vault with a teleportation circle in the center. Using the amulet again whisks the party far away to a similar chamber.

The new teleportation circle room leads into a larger circular hall whose walls and ceiling are covered with murals of the war between the great ancient empires of Bael Turath and Arkhosia. At the far end is a dais flanked by statues of a Dragonborn warrior whose armor is in the style of Arkhosia and a Tiefling priestess whose robes are in the style of Bael Turath. Advancing cautiously into the larger area, the room magically brightens, and an illusory figure resembling the Tiefling priestess appears on the dais. She introduces herself as Zvahl and welcomes the party to “The Halls of Remembrance”. She gives them a brief history lesson on the rise and fall of the mighty civilizations and tells them that great knowledge and power await those who can complete the trials ahead. Once begun, the adventurers may not leave and have twenty-four hours to complete their tasks. Not ones to shy away, the heroes agree, and assemble in the center of the room on six glowing rune circles.

The battle that follows include a pair of Dragonborn warriors, a squad of Legion Devils, and a stealthy Tiefling assassin, all intent on killing Zvahl. All the combatants, including their Tiefling patron, seem solid enough, despite appearing out of nowhere. The battle is relatively simple, and party comes out relatively unscathed, with Zvahl taking the brunt of many of the attacks. A door magically appears behind the dais to the next room, while the previous entrance remains sealed. Senzou’s Strikers have no choice put to push forward.

Treasure Taken

· 250 gp.

· Senzou and Thordrus gain “Glyphs of Defense”.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 159 XP per person.

· Tiefling assassin assassinated.

· 2 Dragonborn fighters fought.

· 4 Legion Devils decommissioned.

Rules Stuff

· Running XP Total (without haikus): 4227 XP.

· 10 word recaps = 44 XP. Haikus = 45 XP.

Session 11 Recap

Session Recap

The party escorts the captured villagers back to Winterhaven where they are met with a heroes’ welcome. Lord Padraig and the town hold a banquet in honor of the adventurers for rescuing their relatives and neighbors, and ending Kalarel’s mad designs. Ryltar challenges the local drinking champion, Hutvig, to a battle of spirits. The epic conflict results in a draw with the charismatic Halfling passing out simultaneously with a human three times his body mass.

A dwarven warrior from Feiyin’s hometown happens to be in town as a caravan guard, and decides to lend his axe to the party. Not ones to turn away a skilled warrior, they accept the hardy fellow, Thordrus, who is vouched for by the party’s Servant of Moradin. The half-dozen leave for Fallcrest the next morning, jubilant, but a little hung-over. Thoreth recalls a note in the evil ritual book that Kalarel was using to unseal the portal that mentions Gardmore Abbey; the priest of Orcus had sent some of his men to find a book called “The Hand and the Eye” in the long-abandoned structure.

Unable to resist their curiosity, the heroes make a side-trek to the old abbey on their way back to civilization. The upper structure has not stood up well to the ravages of time, but the library below has preserved its written material well. The team is able to track some footprints into the basement, and their cautious advance pays off when they are prepared for an ambush by a group of wights. They defeat the undead handily and find a pair of Orcus cultists drained of life by the wights. A thorough search of the basement turns up the ritual book Kalarel had mentioned, and some gold off the cultists, which Ryltar politely “gathers” for the party.

Treasure Taken

· A ritual book titled, “The Hand and the Eye”.

· 50 gp.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 163 XP per person.

· A deathlock wight slaughtered.

· 4 wights put to rest.

Rules Stuff

· Running XP Total (without haikus):

· 10 word recaps = 44 XP. Haikus = 45 XP.

Session 9 Recap

Session Recap

Our heroes take a quick breather and put together a plan to disrupt Kalarel’s dark ritual. Splug and Thoreth stay above to snipe until the cultists are engaged, while the sturdier adventurers streak down the bloody chains into the portal room below.

Everyone makes it down, safely, although Feiyin does so a little more quickly than the rest. Senzou moves towards the altar to pin down Kalarel and his skeleton guards, while the rest of the group try to knock out the deathlock wight, which eventually falls in a pitched battle. Senzou is able to pull the fight into the center of the room, but Kalarel and his bodyguards take advantage of the corrupted binding circle, gaining defenses and healing. Meanwhile, a blazing skeleton climbs out of a pit to assault the party at range.

Kalarel turns out to be a heavy melee hitter, and the party has trouble flanking him, as he gains support from the portal into the Shadowfell, which reaches out for nearby enemies with hungry tentacles. Thoreth carefully makes his way down to the circle with the binding mirror, and works quickly to undo Kalarel’s ritual. Senzou takes heavy hits from Kalarel and the blazing skeleton, but his armor protects him even while he is on fire and crackling with necrotic energy. The brave paladin and the wily rogue are knocked unconscious several times by Kalarel’s astounding weapon skills, but Ezreal and Feiyin are able to keep the party on its feet.

After several tense rounds, Thoreth, with Ezreal’s assistance, is able to uncorrupt the magic circle, destroying the rest of the undead, and turning its healing and defensive powers to the heroes’ advantage. Kalarel fights on in frustration, but the flaming sphere finally makes its appearance onstage and it is only a matter of time before the combined might of the party brings the insane cleric to his knees. His fury turns to fear as the tentacles pull him into the Shadowfell, and his pleas to his Lord Orcus are cut short as he disappears into the portal. The room falls silent, and the portal gives one last ripple before it becomes still. The party gives a collective sigh of relief.

Next time: escort the captured villagers back to Winterhaven, bask in adoration, and decide what to do next.

Treasure Taken

· Fireburst robes +1. 680 gp. PHB 230.

· Lightning longsword +1. 1000gp. PHB 235.

· 981 gp.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 460 XP per person.

· Major quest completed: investigate and halt death cult activity near Winterhaven. Return to Sister Marla in Fallcrest to get your 250 gp reward.

· Kalarel assassinated.

· 2 skeleton warriors crushed.

· 1 blazing skeleton shut down.

· 1 deathlock wight terminated.

Rules Stuff

· Running XP Total (without haikus): 3663 XP. 4th level is 3750 XP.

· 10 word recaps = 44 XP. Haikus = 45 XP.

Session 8 Recap

Session Recap

Exhausted from their battles, the party treks back to Winterhaven, only to find the town under siege. Lord Padraig informs the team that villagers are missing from the outlying farms, and undead have been spotted in the graveyard near town. Weary, but heroes to the end, the party makes the short trip to the cemetery, where they discover a glowing green rune circle, and many disturbed graves. They approach cautiously, and are prepared for the inevitable ambush, this time by a dozen skeletons, a pair of gravehounds, and an old “friend”, Ninaran. The elven archer calls Thoreth out and puts a well-placed arrow into his lung. Ryltar, however, steps up and drops her almost immediately in a flurry of dagger blows. The heroes handily clear out the rest of the undead and deactivate the circle, but not before Ryltar has the chance to kill Ninaran a second time – when she returns to unlife.

Winterhaven gives the party a heroes’ welcome. They have a well-deserved rest which is marred by a shared nightmare involving, yet again, a dark portal. Feeling that their time is running out, they hurry back to the Keep. Their first stop is at what turns out to be Sir Keegan’s crypt. He is a skeleton now, bound to the Keep by duty. The team convinces him that they are here to close the portal and have the skill to do so. Convinced, Sir Keegan trades his heirloom magical longsword, Aecris, for his children’s jewelry. If the party can defeat Kalarel and rebind the portal, he will be redeemed and can finally rest.

Fortified with this knowledge, the group pushes ahead to a dark cathedral, where they find a priest of Orcus bleeding out a villager onto a floor awash in blood. The blood drains into a hole in the center of the room, cascading into a deeper room where they catch glimpses of a large rune circle and the dark portal from their dreams. The heroes rush to engage the enemies in the cathedral, with Thoreth moving in an uncharacteristically aggressive fashion. He is quickly swarmed by vampire spawn and a berserker nearly hammers him to the ground with a heavy axe blow. The party rallies and turns the tide on the cultists, but not before a second berserker turns his wrath on the Eladrin wizard, knocking him out for the first time.

Having won the day, the party takes a short rest, hoping that the loud droning of the ritual below has disguised the sounds of battle above.

Treasure Taken

· +1 sylvan leather armor. 680 gp. PHB 231.

· +1 lifedrinker longsword. 1000 gp. PHB 235. “Aecris”, Sir Keegan’s heirloom blade. Inlaid with platinum, it has a line of three black diamonds set into the flat of its blade and a pommel carved to resemble the head of a platinum dragon.

· 39 gp.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 525 XP per person.

· Ninaran executed. Twice.

· 12 decrepit skeletons crushed.

· 2 gravehounds put down.

· The spirit of Sir Keegan redeemed.

· 5 vampire spawn staked.

· 2 berserkers axed.

· Dark Halfling cut in half.

· Orcus Underpriest sent to Orcus.

Rules Stuff

· Running XP Total (without haikus): 3203 XP.

· 10 word recaps = 40 XP. Haikus = 41 XP.

Session 7 Recap

Session Recap

Gelatinous cube.

Splorch! You have been engulfed, too.

It tastes like burning.

Our heroes take a breather after the big hobgoblin battle, and head south into the warchief’s chambers; Kayne falls ill with the Goblin Flu and returns to Winterhaven. They find some gold and a viciously sharp magic dagger, which Ryaltar gleefully claims. On the table, the party finds sketches of plans to assault Winterhaven with a force of twenty hobgoblins and hundreds of undead. Thoreth stuffs the plans in his bag, and the group pushes forward.

Deeper in the keep, the party comes upon a room full of deathtraps: a giant mechanical statue, dragon statues that shoot force orbs, and cherub statues that create some sort of water trap. Feiyin, Thoreth, and Ryaltar are able to disarm the cherus, and the team skirts the rest of the traps. The trap room leads into an abattoir; humanoid corpses litter the room, and assorted zombies, gravehounds, a ghoul, and a clay homunculus rush the party, but our brave heroes hold the line. The clay scout attempts to escape to the next room, but Ezreal sprints ahead and grabs him, holding him long enough for Feiyin to splatter the magical construct with her warhammer. Splug steps up to earn his keep by tossing a javelin and dropping a zombie.

Not wanting to press their luck, the party backtracks to a boarded-up door marked “Closed” in Goblin. Within they find suspiciously clean-swept hallways, and soon discover the cause: a gelatinous cube. The clear, quivering cube sweeps into the passageway, blocking all escape and engulfing the party one member at a time. Pounding on the giant beast from within and without, they slowly wear it down. Thoreth opens some distance with his expeditious retreat, but it triggers sarcophagi further in and the party finds itself trapped between oozing corruption corpses and the cube. Feiyin calls on Moradin with a clutch mass heal, and Ryaltar pops the jelly, dumping his companions onto the dungeon floor. With the battle reduced to one front, the heroes of Winterhaven turn the tide and mop up the rest of their foes.

Treasure Taken

· +1vVicious dagger. 520 gp. PHB 236.

· Bag of holding. 1000 gp. PHB 253.

· Safewing Amulet +1. 680 gp. 680 gp. PHB 251.

· Gold medallion with the name “Drystan Keegan” etched into it. 250 gp.

· Thin platinum bracelet with the name “Ceinwein Keegan” etched into it. 200 gp.

· Hairbrush with mother-of-pearl handle. 5 gp.

· 556 gp.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 546 XP. Everyone should be 3rd level now.

· One room of deathtraps circumvented.

· One gelatinous cube squished.

· 2 corruption corpses exploded.

· One ghoul silenced.

· 2 zombies defeated.

· 12 zombie rotters put to rest.

· 2 gravehounds euthanized.

· One clay scout flattened.

Rules Stuff

· Running XP Total (without haikus): 2678 XP.

· 10 word recaps = 40 XP. Haikus = 41 XP.

Session 6 Recap

Session Recap

The party returns to the keep where Splug has been faithfully keeping watch. Upon entering the dungeon, they have a flashback where troops are fighting Sir Keegan, forcing him down the crypt stairs. Unaffected by the ghostly vision, they move on and search the “dig” first, where Kalarel had convinced the goblins that the room had buried treasure. A thorough search turns nothing up, and, not being in the business of digging, the party decides to return to the zombie area. Ryaltar scouts ahead, nimbly leaping over the fear wards. The rest of the party proceeds to follow, but Feiyin triggers one of the runes. Moradin protects her from the fear effect(s), but other party members are not as Dwarven, and flee in fear, triggering other wards. Fortunately, there are no undead to take advantage.

Kayne discovers a secret side armory further concealed by an illusory wall. Our heroes handily defeat the zombie guardians, and answer a simple riddle (“Honor!”) to claim a magical suit of platemail, which Senzou immediately dons. They continue deeper in, down a steep set of stairs, into an area guarded by hobgoblins. With the advantage of surprise, they quickly slaughter the first set of guards, but more rush in from the sounds of combat. One soldier is able to reach a cage with a giant spider, which he frees with his dying breath. The spider leaps in a blur towards Thoreth, attempting to knock the Eladrin into a deep well in the center of the room, but it fails, and soon falls to Ryaltar’s blades.

Further in, the party triggers a portcullis, which reroutes them towards a hobgoblin barracks. They spring another surprise attack, catching more enemies unaware, but are soon caught on two fronts by the hobgoblin chief and his troops coming from the area behind the portcullis. He orders his troops to try and take the intruders alive to sell as slaves, but his cockiness soon turns to fear as Thoreth rolls his flaming sphere into the ambushers. It is a tough, hard-won battle, but in the end, the hobgoblins are naught but smoking corpses. What further dangers await in the depths of the keep?

Treasure Taken

· +1 Blackiron Plate Armor. 840 gp. PHB 227.

· Ironskin belt. 1000 gp. PHB 252.

· 30 gp.

· 61 sp.

· Mundane hobgoblin armor and weapons.

· Includes a search of the current area, but not the area past the portcullis.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 605 XP. Having not been closely tracking bonus XP from recaps, there is a small possibility that some of you diligent haiku writers could be 3rd level.

· Deathjump Spider squished.

· Hobgoblin Warchief assassinated.

· Hobgoblin Warcaster defeated in a wizard duel.

· 2 Hobgoblin Archers bested in an archer duel.

· 11 Hobgoblin Soldiers killed.

· 14 Hobgoblin Grunts terminated.

· 5 zombies put to rest.

Rules Stuff

· 10 word recaps = 30 XP. Haikus = 31 XP.

· How do people feel about players enforcing the 5-word-rule on fellow players? That is, you call each other out instead of the DM being the 5-word warden?

Session 5 Recap

Session Recap

A disciplined search of the three cells adjoining the torture room uncovers a goblin named Splug. Thoreth, Ryaltar, and Ezreal strike a deal with him: Splug will provide information and guidance about the keep and not betray the party, and, in return, the party will let him free at the end of five days. The party continues through the iron banded doors to the east, setting up a stealthy ambush which they ruin by opening the doors and arguing at length about their clever plan. Despite the loss of surprise, they annihilate Balgron the Fat, the goblin chief, and his bodyguards. Splug bravely covers the party’s back from behind a table that the Mighty Sly Flourish (aka Ryaltar) flipped over. Balgron, like many of the party’s enemies, realizes he is overmatched and runs, only to be caught and executed mercilessly.

The heroes thoroughly ransack Balgron’s quarters, discovering a pile of gold and a magic staff. On Splug’s expert guidance, they decide to brave the zombie guardians that defend the passage deeper into the keep. The zombie area is pitch dark, but Splug provides critical lighting with one of the team’s sunrods. The walking dead swarm the party from two sides, but are defeated, except for a corruption corpse that backs off deeper into the crypt, into a hall with ten sarcophagi. The regenerating zombie triggers some ancient trap, and skeletons come pouring out of the sarcophagi, attacking both the zombie and the party with impunity. The heroes deal with both groups of undead, but the skeletons appear to endlessly emerge from the stone coffins. Senzou presses ahead to what appears to be a shrine to the Platinum Dragon. He reads Draconic text that suggests supplicants kneel and praise Bahamut. Unwilling to make an obeisance to any but his patron, Kord, he relays the information to Kayne, who follows the instructions. The silvery light from the ceiling mosaic brightens and the remaining skeleton returns to its sarcophagus, and the tomb falls blissfully silent – perhaps for the first time in decades.

Treasure Taken

· +1 magic staff. 360 gp.

· Six small dragon statues of silver and platinum. 60 gp each. Glow with a faint, silvery light; glow brighter when near each other or near the altars to Bahamut in the keep.

· 560 gp

· Mundane goblin weapons and armor. Ancient Nerath weapons and armor from skeletons; of no particular historical value.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 496 XP!

· Balgron the Fat executed.

· 5 goblin warriors frozen.

· 10 goblin cutters flamed.

· 1 goblin hexer blinded and stabbed in the eye.

· 1 corruption corpse detonated.

· 10 zombie rotters put to rest.

· 4 zombies brained.

· 17 decrepit skeletons decimated.

· 3 skeleton warriors shattered.

Rules Stuff

· 10 word recaps = 30 XP. Haikus = 31 XP.

· We seem to have trouble getting started on time; part of that was my fault for volunteering to get food instead of setting up. New rule: DM does not go pick up food any more. How do people feel about starting half an hour earlier at 7:30?

Session Recap 4

Session Recap

The party gets some useful information about the keep during a midnight meeting with Valthrun the Prescient and the elven flower-seller, Delphina Moongem. They learn the keep is infested with goblins and, recently, hobgoblin troopers. Valthrun tells the party that the ancient purpose of the keep was to guard a rift to the Shadowfell – a rift that spewed vile undead into this world until wizards of the Nerath Empire were able to seal it.

Forewarned, and fore-armed with shiny new magical armor, the heroes venture out to the keep on the Shadowfell, and have their first meeting with its goblin defenders. They defeat the first set of guards and retreat back into the daylight for a short rest to bandage their wounds, only to face reinforcements minutes later in the same rat-infested entryway. Further exploration reveals a prison/torture room deeper in the dungeon, where they slaughter a hobgoblin and his goblin accomplices. A bit battered and bruised from their busy hour in the keep, the party considers retreating back to Winterfell for an extended rest.

Treasure Taken

· +1 bloodcut hide armor. PHB 227. 840 gp.

· +1 symbol of battle (Moradin). PHB 237. 1000 gp.

· 120 gp.

· 101 sp.

· Mundane goblin weapons and armor. Crossbows and scores of crossbow bolts. Rations, both rotten and not-rotten. Some small kegs of low-quality ale.

· 50 gp advance from Lord Padraig to deal with the Keep situation; promise of 200 more when the quest is complete.

Creatures Killed & XP Earned

· 387 XP per character. Welcome to level 2.

· 1 goblin skullcleaver cleaved.

· 8 goblin sharpshooters sniped.

· 3 goblin warriors killed.

· 1 hobgoblin torturer murdered.

· 4 guard drakes euthanized.

· 1 rat swarm barbequed.

Rules Stuff

· 10 word recaps = 25 XP. Haikus = 26 XP.

· Leveling up: Players’ Handbook p. 27. Also, don’t forget to update your healing surge amounts; when you gain HP for your level, it also increases your bloodied threshold and the amount you heal from spending a healing surge.

· All magical item details can be found in the Players’ Handbook equipment section; no unique magic items (yet).


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