Chornalth Adventures - Liga (Current: Emerald & Diamond)

Arc 2, Episode 17, Sizzle in the Swamp
Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 21st of Sunsebb, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon.

Having taken up residency in the local millinery, the group waited for eight days for the merrow to re-appear, only to learn from Marshall McFly on the last day of their wait that a runner from Brumblefork (the next village south), had arrived telling how “the army” had shown up and slain the merrow when they came calling at their village. Upon hearing this news, the party departed to Brumblefork, hoping to be able to interrogate the merrow’s corpses at least for a lead as to the dragon’s lair.

On arriving in South Brumble on the 3rd of Needfest, they learned that “the army” was actually a band of mercenaries they were familiar with, namely the Black Rook Company, who had been hired by the local lord to “deal with” the ogre problem. They had taken the bodies of the ogres with them when they left, so the party was stalled yet again.

They asked the local tavern-keeper (whose business had been booming with the mercenaries in town, so much so that he’d bought a cartload of lumber to renovate his tavern). if anyone knew the swamp well enough to help them find a dragon’s lair, he recommended a local trapper by the name of Maurice. When Maurice finally arrived in town 2 days later, they learned he was a halfling. While he knew nothing about any dragons, he did mention that he’d heard that someone had moved into the burnt out tower on the eastern edge of the swamp, so maybe the facts were related. For a nominal fee, he agreed to ferry the group out to the tower’s location.

After two grueling days crossing the swamp in pole barges, Maurice finally pointed out the squat tower in the distance. The group thanked him for his service, then set out on foot through the cold mud and snow flurries towards the tower. Wilfred overflew the region, spotting the skeletons of a large host of lizard-folk decaying in the fields around the tower, with a few hobgoblin skeletons mixed in as well. A nearby grove of somewhat freshly cut stumps lay in the distance, and the tower itself boasted a relatively new quilt of canvas covering the hole in the tower’s roof.

Investigating the tower, they found obvious signs of eight merrow living inside, though none were present. Also inside they found a framework for building a ship, which seemed odd as there was no way for a ship that size to have been removed from the tower (unless it went straight up). Also present was a large cauldron containing a rank stew, left over coals to keep it cooking. Examining the two logs supporting the canvas ceiling, it was obvious that the merrow could not have placed them, but that a large dragon might have done so. A more thorough search of the underworks located a broken dragon claw that had been used to scratch the likeness of a black dragon into one of the walls, as well.

Eventually the group decided to retreat from the tower and setup a watch from the stump-field nearby. As dusk fell, they could hear a pair of merrow singing s they approached the tower, bearing with them a sling of booty and a dire boar for dinner. Elerra, capitalizing on her heritage, attempted to convince the merrow that she and her companions were also servants of the dragon, but as the merrow prepared the boar and put the stew on a full boil, Meroln detected that they were stalling for time, and elected to attack them.

Quickly dispatched, the party then erased the signs of their entry to the tower, and hid in the shattered upper works to await whatever the merrow had been waiting for. Near midnight their vigil was rewarded as another four merrow could be seem running for the safety of the tower, pursued by unknown foes. As they neared the tower, however, one of them must have spotted something, as he cried out to his fellows and all four began attempting to run around the tower to escape. Two were quickly put down by the arty, while the other pair made their escape.

Soon thereafter, the merrow’s pursuers revealed themselves as a group of 24 soldiers of the Black Rook Company. Their leader, a lieutenant who gave his name as Arlen Gris, spoke with the group, and seemed quite shocked and dismayed to find Alexis among their number. When questioned, he made every effort not to be the bearer of bad news, but Alexis eventually managed to pull out of him that her fiance, Colman Stryker, unbeknownst to her, had broken off their engagement and was currently courting another woman, namely Jaliseem Tandor, who happened to be the twin sister to Janos Tandor, the leader of the Black Rook Company. He also attempted to lie about the merrow being in the service of a dragon, but try as she might, she could not get him to reveal what he knew.

Eventually the Black Rooks set off in the direction the merrow had fled in, and the group bedded down outside the tower to await the dawn. The next morning Alexis prayed for and cast a Divination, which revealed a route to the dragon’s lair some 30 miles distant. As the group made their way there, they came upon the remains of the bulk of the Black Rook Company, most of whom had fallen victim to the dragon’s breath weapon from the signs they could find.

When they finally reached the site of the lair, Alexis sent one of her clockwork scouts inside the hill to find the dragon, which it eventually did. Inside the caves where it laired, she found yet another member of the Black Rooks, one of their clerics, who was missing both arms below the elbow and whose legs looked unable to support his weight anymore. By repeating the words being spoken to Squizzles, they figured that the cleric was trying to assure the dragon that the situation was still recoverable (whatever that meant) while the dragon seemed genuinely pissed about yet another group of mortals intruding on his solitude. Said mortals (the party) were clearly visible (except for Elerra, who was guarded from scrying) in the crystal ball it was consulting at the time.

Realizing that the gig was up, Wilfred spent a hero point to cast Communal Nondetection, but as soon as the party “went dark” in the dragon’s crystal ball, Alexis’s scout alerted her that the dragon was on the move. Sam, who had stealthed earlier and had Spider Climbed to the top of the cavern’s exit at about the same time Alexis’ scout was entering the complex knew nothing of all this, so was surprised when the dragon blew past his position in flight and craned his neck back to breathe on him.

Wilfred, Mekkatorque and Elerra Dimension Doored to close the quarter mile of distance between themselves and the dragon, and as we broke for the evening, the group was preparing to meet the dragon in the skies outside it’s lair…

It is the 7th of Needfest, 600 CY.

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Arc 2, Episode 16, Howl in the North
Do you have any idea what that cost? I'll chase it forever!

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 14th of Sunsebb, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner & Mekkatorque, his eidolon.

Sam and Wilfred quickly pursued the lead werewolf, taking different paths as the underwater path branched. Meroln turned and began “taking out the trash”, carving his way through the lesser werewolves. Wilfred’s path eventually led him outside, emerging from one of the hot spring pools on the eastern side of the river, while Sam eventually caught up to the head of the pack in a watery chamber where he’d paused to drink a potion.

Deducing that the pool the lead werewolf had leapt into probably connected to the pools outside, Elerra, Squizzles and Alexia made their way outside as well, pursued closely by a trio of the lesser wolves. Meanwhile, Sam briefly had a chance to stab the lead werewolf, injuring him, but the werewolf them did something to cloud the water, temporarily blinding Sam and allowing him to flee.

Meroln, seeing the werewolves fleeing down the corridor gave chase, leaving one wolf behind, who, in the absence of everyone else, decided to try and steal Sam’s mithril rapier, still stuck in the door. Back to him later.

Outside, seeing no enemies to deal with, Wilfred and Mekkatorque elected to dive back underwater to look for the head werewolf. Alexia, Squizzles and Elerra, who were waiting for something to happen, unloaded on the werewolves who came pouring out of the waterfall. When the greater werewolf came bursting out of one of the pools on the west side of the river, their readied actions were already spent, allowing the wolf to breathe frost on them before Elerra finally neutralized him with one of her poisoned crossbow bolts. As she and her fellows finished off the leader, those subordinates who were present attempted to surrender, but were slain regardless.

Eventually both Meroln and Wilfred, (who had re-emerged from the pool inside the complex and flown past the werewolf inside who was still trying to free Sam’s rapier from the door) informed Sam of this event, and Sam wasted no time going after his weapon, only to find it and the werewolf already missing. Seeing that one of the rotating walls had already been reset, he used the other one to enter the secret areas, then reset it again so that others might join him.

The passage Sam found himself in led upwards, then opened into a large cavern where the dilapidated remains of a small gnomish town. The sounds of rushing paws could be heard from the far side of the chamber, and Sam gave chase. He lost yet more time trying to divine which of the several gnome-sized tunnels his quarry had taken, but eventually resumed his pursuit on hands and knees.

About the time Meroln entered the town, there werewolf in question could be heard taunting Sam, thanking him for the lovely sword and saying that he could see daylight and that Sam would never catch him. While this was going on, Elerra took the time to cut into the lead werewolf’s chest and to bathe her amulet in his heart’s blood, activating it’s legendary abilities.

Sam finally emerged from the tunnels, pushing his way into the light and noting the trail of disturbed pine needles leading north. His cry of rage alerted the others, who gave chase as well, finally locating the fleeing wolf and killing him, revealing that despite his boasts, he did not have the rapier on his person.

Eventually, everyone returned to the gnomish town, and a search of the ruined buildings was conducted, and Detect Magic soon located Sam’s rapier, as well as the werewolf’s breastplate, sword, and shield. The party elected to camp out in the ruins for the next two days, awaiting the full moon on the 18th, when they used their invocation to return to Greyhawk.

Arriving in the city, they spent another two days further researching rumors of the dragon they suspected was lairing in the Mistmarsh. Deciding to investigate in person, they rode out to the village of Vrag’s Crossing.

At the edges of the village they were met by Temal McFly, the village’s marshal. Though clearly suspicious of the party (especially Squizzles and Meroln, whose armor looked quite threatening), he eventually warmed to them enough to discuss the villages troubles. He explained that the merrow came to collect their tribute every 7-12 days, and that they had killed the mayor’s daughter when the village had initially refused to pay, and that while they demanded gold, they were willing to accept ’alternate" forms of payment (since gold was in such short supply).

He led the party out to the docks where the merrow generally approached the town, and pointed to the lump of earth 50 yards away that they generally appeared from. The party elected to remain in town until the next return of the merrow, and Sam gave the marshal a donation of 50 gold in case they failed to deal with the merrow.

As we broke for the evening, the party was negotiating with the local miller for space in his millinery, and plotting the ambush they hoped to launch against the merrow the next time they appeared….

It is the 21st of Sunsebb, 599 CY.
3166 xp.

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Arc 2, Episode 15, Howl in the North
Now THAT'S a fire!

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 14th of Sunsebb, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

As Wilfred and Elerra pressed their attack on the riders, Alexia flew to join them as the rest of the party made their way into the keep from the roof. As Elerra used her Wand of Fireballs to rain fire down on the fleeing werewolves, Wilfred (by way of Mekkatorque) and Alexis also did some damage, but eventually they tired of this sport and rejoined the others, initially heedless of the fires they’d set in the process.

On their way back to the tower, however, they encountered the first guard who had fled, now in full wolf form, running to join his pack. They trapped and killed him for his trouble.

Their search of the tower revealed that all of the werewolves had fled, leaving behind their treasure and a caged feline (black and silver tabby) that fled as soon as Meroln released it. By the time the group was finished looting the tower, the forest fire had spread to both sides of the road, and Meroln, the only one who either lacked the ability to Fly or was too heavy to be carried along by those who did, was forced to run the 1/8th of a mile gauntlet through the fire wrapped in wet rags.

Once through the worst of it, the group returned to the village of Maddle’s Run to warn them of the fire (deftly not mentioning how or who started it, though the villagers all clearly had their suspicions). They then spent most of the night helping to dig fire breaks and otherwise help defend the town and fields from the fire. Then they slept until nightfall of the following day, noticed that the cat they’d “rescued” had made it’s way to town, tried befriending it, then retired for the evening.

The following morning over breakfast, the group witnessed an older villager rounding up several cronies to go grab some “freebies”. Following the villagers, the group re-encountered three of the werewolves’ mounts, which they then eventually tracked back to a cave behind a waterfall near a hot spring. Working their way inside the cave (while avoiding the treacherous ground around the springs), Wilfred thought that the craftsmanship of the tunnel might be gnomish.

The first chamber they encountered had a “wet” floor (something that the tunnel leading to it seemed well designed to prevent). Sam spider climbed his way to the door leading our of the room. He noted two semi-circular grooves cut into the floor of the room, along the side walls, and while checking the door for traps spotted one that seemed designed to dump the everburning torch by the door (or, rather, the ember concealed beneath it) into the oil covering the floor of the room. Having disabled that trap (more by accident than design), he then heard the sound of a hand drill against the far side of the door, and when it finally burst through, he quickly skewered the metal tube that emerged from the hole with his scimitar, but his vigorous thrust also succeeded in wedging his rapier in the hole, as well. Meroln, who had been biding his time, also chose to charge the door at this time, slamming it open (without breaking the blade of Sam’s rapier) and attacking the werewolf on the far side. The werewolf in question breathed fire like a dragon, singeing Meroln and setting the oil in the chamber aflame.

In the same moment, the two side walls of the chamber pivoted, unleashing a small horde of werewolves who began attacking everyone within reach. Wilfred Dimension Doored in behind the werewolf Meroln was attacking, but it managed to tumble past him and fled down the hall, eventually leaping into a pool located at the end of the hall.

As we broke for the evening, the fight in the chamber was still going, while bubbles were all that was left of the lead werewolf’s trail…

It is the 16th of Sunsebb, 599 CY.

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Arc 2, Episode 14, Howl in the North
Why are they running away?

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 4th of Brewfest, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

As dawn came on the morning of the 4th, the party and their entourage of a dozen former slaves made their way through the gates and into the City of Greyhawk. Not knowing what else to do with their charges, they brought them to the Temple of Tritherion so they could remain free and acclimate. When the group arrived at the Green Dragon Inn, however, Galen was not yet in attendance and Jenny did not know when he would be back. She led them upstairs to their rooms and promised them that she’d let them know when he returned.

The group spent the next three days trying to move the massive amount of loot they’d brought home from Fansteris, and knew they’d probably put a huge dent in the economy, as they got far less than the usual prices for so much magic. Elerra also spent many hours at the Shrine of Ellistrae, praying over her amulet, trying to divine it’s purpose. Her prayers were awarded by a series of visions that saw the amulet begin to glow with a inner light as Elerra stood over the body of a powerful lycanthrope as it breathed it’s last.

Wilfred also sought knowledge in his off hours, learning that since the dust-up in the Mistmarsh several weeks past, local villages had reported that a band of swamp-merrow had been seen in the region, extorting protection money for their master, whom they claimed was a powerful dragon.

And finally, Alexis, who sought guidance in bringing her staff to it’s full potential, saw herself standing over the body of Thrall, the orc war-chief who had long plagued her family and the city of Narwell.

After three days, jenny finally sent for the group, as Galen had returned.

Meeting once more in the back room he favored, Galen listened stoically as the group told the tale of the fight in House Lalander, though he was interested in how Alda had swallowed (and presumably destroyed) the Diamond Frog (as well as Justinian). The party further offered him Alda’s corpse, which he took, claiming that Tenser would no doubt want to examine it. He paid them for the delivery of the Jade Frog, and finished the meeting by saying that he regretfully would have no further jobs that would match their talents until late spring (Wealsun) of 601 CY. If they were interested, they would be able to find him there. He then departed.

Soon after this meeting, Sam realized that the lump under his tongue felt itchy; when he opened his mouth to let his companions examine it, a long, barbed tongue-whip burst forth, stinging Meroln on the forehead and paralyzing him briefly. Nobody knew quite what to make of this development. All agreed it bore more study, but nobody volunteered as a guinea pig.

The group then spent most of Patchwall in the City, crafting various items (or having them crafted) and generally burning through the bulk of the funds they’d just made. Having previously agreed to remain together as a group, and judging that the lycanthrope was the easiest of the tasks they’d chosen, they made plans to travel north. On the last day of the month they finally rode out of the city, bound for the Clatspur Mountains, by way of Furyondy and Ket.

Once in the foothills of the Clatspurs, the group began searching for rumors of the lycanthrope they sought.

Many villagers told them tales of how another adventuring band had passed through the region several weeks past, and massacred an army of hobgoblins in the service or Maerdan and the Temple of Wounds to the north. Into this power vacuum had stepped a mysterious werewolf who had infected a group of bandits and claimed them as his pack. It was said that this werewolf could breath fire, ice, and thunder, and that all who stood against him were slain or made member of his pack.

Most knew of the keep he’d claimed for his followers, and the group took their time making their way to the gates. At the first sight of the adventurers, one of the guards fled, screaming his head off about invaders. The second door guard was quickly slain by Meroln. Sam climbed the walls, and as the rest of the group made their way to the top of the keep, the two guards there were also quickly slain.

Meanwhile, the door they’d abandoned on ground level burst open, and nearly a dozen hybrid-form werewolves rode their warhorses back along the road towards town, presumably fleeing for their lives much as the first guard had done. Wilfred and Mekkatorque began towing the Levitating Elerra in pursuit, and that is where we broke for the evening.

It is the 14th of Sunsebb, 599 CY.

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Arc 1, Episode 13, the Jade Frog
I can't believe she ate the whole thing!

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is still the 3rd of Brewfest, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

Following the directions of their locator crystal, they finally found it after kicking in the last door in the right. Inside, they easily saw the Jade Frog, sitting on a pedestal at the back of the room, protected by a fusion of a spherical Wall of Force and an electrical Flaming Sphere. Also in the room was Klusk, Arquen’s servant from Episode 5. Meroln informed him that he would not be leaving this time, and battle was (briefly) joined. As the party was finishing off Klusk, shouts and running feet could be heard coming from the lower floors.

However, before they left the room, a short saloon-style bar manifested at the rear of the room. A faceless servant poured seven mugs of beer (one very small) and a saucer of milk, and Alexia felt certain that this was a boon from her god, Murlynd, and assured her companions that it was safe to drink. Thus refreshed and revitalized, the party moved to establish a choke point at the stairs leading up to the floor they were on.

The foes they faced were a mix of the Blessed Children they’d been pursuing since Hepmonaland, and the matriarch of House Lalander and her heir. Many of these worthies were still injured from their battle at House Nashamal, but it still took quite a long time to defeat them. In the end, only Alda, the matriarch of Lalander stood against the party, and as Wilfred and Mekkatorque brought her near death, she pulled the Diamond Frog from the bag at her belt and monologued “I am not Muldar, a mere penitent to the Path, I am a full initiate!” She then distended her jaw and swallowed the Diamond Frog, healing all her wounds.

As more of the party joined in against Alda, she used a Curse Ability spell on Sam to sever his ability to Backstab, then later, as she neared death again, she stretched out her hand towards Justinian, who had just rounded the corner, used Telekinesis to draw him into her hand, then again distended her jaw, and swallowed HIM whole, once more healing all her wounds. As more of the party became free to help deal with the matriarch, she soon found herself slain. She was immediately cut open, but no trace of either the Diamond Frog nor of Justinian could be found. The party then used Dispel Magic to remove the electrical sphere from around the Jade Frog, and rounded up the house slaves who had hidden themselves all over the manor. Tokram excused himself from the manor after the group explained to him that they would effect their own escape. Those slaves who desired freedom were invited to accompany the party back to Greyhawk, those who did not wish were free to remain there. As midnight approached, the group began to cast their incantation, and arrived on the outskirts of the city an hour before dawn.

It is the 4th of Brewfest, 599 CY.
4750 xp
1st Mythic Tier

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Arc 1, Episode 12, the Jade Frog
Homewreckers 101

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is the 27th of Harvester, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

The following morning the group started for Tenser’s castle early, and arrived by mid-afternoon the following day. There they were introduced to a gnome wizard by the name of Vodoth Steamwhistle, one of the Grand Mages of the Duchy of Baercan. After a brief round of introductions and chatter regarding their destination, Vodoth sent them on their way to the City of Baerdan, the capital of Baercan.

At the terminus of the Teleport Circle Vodoth had opened for them, the group was met by a gnome who gave his name as Waldo, who escorted the party from the Plaza of Wizardry to the Transport Hub. Along the way the group gawked at the horde of steam-powered bikes much of the populace used for transport, as well as the pall of smoke that clocked the city and nearly hid the zeppelins that were flying above.

After allowing the party to stock up on anti-toxins for the Vishkanyan’s natural poisons, they were taken to the top of the Transport Hub and firmly strapped into their pod and then hurled by massive springs at nearly 400 mph to arrive at the Wall in the province of Nulmar. In Nulmar they were met by a group of gnomes who were obviously using code-names, such as Mr. Black, Mr. White, and Mr. Orange. Mr. Orange led the party from the Transport Hub to the Underground Railroad, which was revealed to be a series of metal coaches pulled along tracks by a huge hexapodal beast of some sort, like a bullette built for speed.

The group was given paperwork that identified them as factors for one of the pirate companies operating our of Flurosor, as well as given disguises to better look the part. Squizzles seemed especially thrilled to be playing the parts of pirates. Their “escort”, while in the city, was identified as a native vishkanyan by the name of Tokram, who was being well paid to squire them wherever in the city they wished to go, though they were warned that under no circumstances should they expect him to help them fight or engage in acts of sabotage.

While the gnomes did not know the current disposition of the rival group, the Diamond Frog was known to be in the possession of the Matriarch of House Nashamal, one of the noble families of Fansteris Fansteris.

The journey by rail took a little over three hours, and the terminus of the line was beneath a large warehouse staffed by human slaves of Touv descent. They group was collected by Tokram and led out into the streets.

The city of Unjulru boasted tall buildings of brick and wood, some as high as eight or nine stories tall. Everyone seemed to be in a uniform of some sort, and there were clearly groups circulating through the crowds watching everyone and checking the identification papers everyone seemed to have at random. Since it was getting late, Tokram brought the group to a hotel that catered to foreigners, and before leaving for the night, he allowed the group to bribe him to “ask some questions” to help find the rival group.

The following morning he told the group that their rivals were currently the honored guests of House Lalander, another noble house noted for it’s mastery of the arcane. Through a combination of sending Justinian out to scout invisibly, and further questioning/bribing Tokram (and everyone in the group spending a Hero Point) it was revealed that House Lalander was hosting their rivals because the rivals had used the Jade Frog as a bargaining tool. Intrigued by the powers of the Jade Frog, House Lalander now desired the Diamond Frog for their own, and were likely planning to assault their manor to take it in the next few days. As a further complication, Klusk (from Episode 5 is also a guest of House Lalander.

Furthermore, it was learned that House Lalander was planning to assault House Nashamal in two days, to take the Diamond Frog for their own. So the party began planning their own assault, planning to raid House Lalander while they were off raiding the other House. On the morning of the 3rd of Brewfest (a holiday neither celebrated nor recognized by the locals), minutes after Lalander’s best and brightest sallied forth to do battle, the party picked the lock on their front door and entered the premises. Tokram promptly went and sat in their parlor, ordering a house slave to bring him tea.

Scattering house slaves in their wake, the party followed their detection crystal to the fourth floor of the manor, and soon made contact with the guards left behind. Several rounds later, those guards lay defeated, and after healing themselves, the search for the Jade Frog’s location began in earnest…

It is the 3rd of Brewfest, 599 CY.
2285 xp

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Arc 1, Episode 11, the Jade Frog
Eggs, bacon, and a side of ambush.

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
It is currently the 26th of Harvester, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

The previous evening saw Elerra, Wilfred, Squizzles and Alexia going out on the town, for the expressed purpose of “removing the stick wedged up Alexia’s ass”. By all accounts the event was a success, causing Alexia to be hung over for the morning’s exertions. Sam, who slept the night away, had a dream that he believed was an actual memory from his youth, but a very perplexing dream it was…

Coming downstairs the morning of the 26th, Elerra once again spotted the ugly guy sitting at his usual table in the inn, but his table guest caused her to retreat back up the stairs trailing her companions. Though he resembled a surface elf, said companion was the spitting image of a former suitor of hers in the Vault, namely Razaharren of House Xaniqos.

After a brief discussion with her allies, Elerra decided to go straight to the heart of the matter, and joined the two at their table, her companions taking seats nearby. Razaharren greeted her warmly, saying how much she was missed by her family and the Priestess-hood, and intimating that the drow who brought her home could write their own ticket (his ticket, apparently, being given her hand in marriage). He then banged both of his hands on the table, and several things happened at once.

A dozen men who had been seated at tables near the back room where the group had traditionally met with Galen all rose as one and stormed the back room, and several more armored men threw off their cloaks and attacked the party. Elerra headed for the top of the stairs, and as the rest of the party coped with her former beau, Grot (Razaharren had used his name at the table) and their retinue of mercenaries, fought her urge to flee. Finally, when Grot took to the stairs in pursuit of her did she begin to act. She eventually caved in his skull with her mace, and soon thereafter Razaharren also fell, though he had tried to escape through use of his Deeper Darkness ability.

In the end, only the three of the six mercenaries survived, and only the dwarven warlock they’d brought for fire support escaped. Galen emerged from the back room drenched in gore (none of it his own) and corralled the innkeeper to help deal with the responding city watch (who also claimed the captured mercenaries from the party).

An hour or two afterwards, the group met with Galen who explained that he, through Tenser, had arranged their travel to the Duchy of Baercanon Kanos, which would put them within striking distance of both their adversaries from Ikelan as well as the final Frog, which was being held by the Nashamal family in the city of Unjulru in Fansteris, which lay to the north of Baercan.

He explained that Fansteris was a land ruled by the Vishkanyas, a serpent-folk who had once ruled a vast slave-empire in the region, but which was currently much reduced in size. Naturally poisonous, they were said to rule their current lands as a matriarchy with an iron fist. “Extra” males were cast out and left to fend for themselves, most joining “fighting academies” who then hired out their services as mercenaries. Most were also devil-worshipers, who practiced the arts of witchcraft or followed the path of the sha’ir.

Should they successfully navigate the treacherous natives and their former adversaries (who had already arrived in Unjulru and were doubtless making their own plans to acquire the final Frog), he agreed to pay them the sum of 10,000 gp (half, as usual, in advance) each. As he was providing them the means of reaching Kanos, and they had their own means of easily returning, no travel fees seemed necessary.

As we broke for the evening, the group was leveling themselves and shopping, in preparation to travel to Tenser’s Castle on the shores of the Nyr Dyv, and hence to Baercan…

It is still the 26th of Harvester, 599 CY.
1714 xp

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Arc 1, Episode 10, the Jade Frog
The Pursuit

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 11th of Harvester, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

Mbebwe, the dakon arcanist-lich, spent several rounds harrying the party, drawing them in close to himself, then casting an electricity-based Fireball at ground zero and using his Dimensional Slide ability to escape. Eventually Alexia and Meroln caught up to him and slew him, but not before many of the group were nearly dead. A search of his lair revealed an extensive wizard’s lab, and a small fortune in artwork and assorted crafts. They also recovered the Staff of Vogon they’d been sent to recover, even though it was now completely non-magical.

A small shaft was found under one of the chests in his sanctum, and the party used a potion of fly they’d recovered from Mbebwe to send Justinian down to look for his phylactery. After a brief fight with a couple of dire-rats, Justinian returned triumphant, clutching an ancient ring that a dakon might have worn. Squizzle’s Legend Lore revealed that the most certain way of destroying the phylactery was to convince a good dragon to eat it; but as dragons of any alignment in short supply, they decided to put it in a Bag of Holding and take it back to the Temple of Vogon.

After making their way back out of Mbebwe’s tower, the group elected to cut south-west through the jungle, as they still needed to capture a girallon for their third task. After four days of bushwhacking their way through the undergrowth, Meroln finally found some tracks. Early the following day, the quartet of girallon’s they’d been trailing ambushed the party, and in short order nearly killed Alexia, Elerra, and Sam. Elerra did manage to put one of the apes asleep with her poison, and Meroln, Squizzles and Wilfred (Mekkatorque) managed to deal with the other three.

Realizing that nearly 10 of their 14 days had passed, the group pushed to make it back to Ikelan before their spelljammer was due to leave. Arriving the morning of the 17th, Wilfred flew on ahead to reassure Captain Hofketter that they had returned. The group did note, however, that the area around the city gates looked to have been involved in a battle recently, and more signs of destruction were seen along the path to the Temple of Vogon.

The guards at the temple doors greeted the party, and summoned the young acolyte, Wallah, to guide them to see Dar’bon, the new High Priest of the temple. Wallah, whose left arm was missing below the elbow, explained that the day after they had departed to complete their tasks, the rival group had returned and assaulted the temple, killing (and decapitating) Asada, as well as several other guards and acolytes.

Dar’bon proved to be a much younger man than Asada had been, and he regretfully informed the party that while he appreciated that they had successfully completed their tasks, that he could no longer fulfill his end of Asada’s bargain, as the rival group had stolen the Jade Frog and escaped the city with it. Beyond stating that they had fled south, there was not much more information he could offer them.

After a brief debate, Wilfred (who had since rejoined the group) was sent back to the ship, asking that the Captain bear a message to Galen nforming him that their quest had hit a snag and that they would make their own way back to Greyhawk. The party then rode their mounts south, crossing the Kabrevo Plain and then cutting south-west through the Adaro Forest as their tracking crystal told them that their quarry was heading in that direction.

Eventually they came to a small fishing village called Glusdo, where they traded three girallon pelts for the largest fishing boat in town (which was just large enough for the group, sans mounts). Crossing the Hambu Channel, they climbed the cliffs of the Isle of Singing Stones and traversed it as well, encountering nothing but a massive, silver tower with a rotating top that vanished when they finally got within 200’ of it. When they finally ran out of island, the crystal was still pointing south by south-west; an ocean journey seemed immanent. As Luna would be full in only 2 more days, the party elected to return to Greyhawk and lay their troubles at Galen’s feet, to see if he could help.

On returning to Greyhawk and the Green Dragon Inn, the group quickly spotted the ‘Ugly dude’ from their first mission waiting and watching from a table near the back, though they ignored him for the moment. Galen heard their story, gave it some thought, and told them that he would arrange for their rooms for the evening, and that in the morning he hoped to have a solution to their dilemma…

It is now the 25th of Harvester, 599 CY.
2742 xp

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Arc 1, Episode 9, the Jade Frog
A gorilla LICH?!?!?

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 7th of Harvester, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

The two groups fought (briefly) under the moons, most eventually falling leaving only two prisoners. A closer examination revealed their opponents to have been yuan-ti. The debate raged on what to do with these prisoners. Sam tried to poison the prisoners, sparking the ire of Justinian and Alexia, Elerra asked Alexia to pray on the matter overnight. [Spent a Hero Point]

Overnight, she received a vision from Murlynd depicting the Fall of Ichamamna. She witnessed how some of the citizens of Ichamamna turned from the worship of the city’s gods and embraced Camazotz, the Olman bat-god. Under his tutelage they learned the Ritual of the Profane Feast, and turned the majority of the citizens into yuan-ti in a single night at the Festival of Flowers. The vision ended with the sight of two nooses hanging from the branches of a nearby tree.

The following morning, Alexia related her dream to the others, and their prisoners were executed.

The group spent the next several days slowly working their way along the slowly deteriorating road towards Ichamamna, avoiding further tangles with the patrols of yuan-ti. Eventually the jungle opened up around them, revealing the city and what they were reasonably sure was the tower of Mbebwe.

Entering through a hole in the southern wall of the ruined tower, Justinian failed his save against the symbol that guarded the entrance, causing all of the laces and buckles supporting his gear to let loose and drop his sword, boots, and pants to fall to the floor. As they worked their way through the chambers on the first level, Sam repeatedly took it on the chin, unleashing a pair of Black Skeletons, various magical traps, and a few physical ones, before the party decided enough was enough and had Wilfred summon an auroch to smash down one of the walls.

Taking the central spiral staircase down into the dungeons beneath the tower, they found themselves at the lowest level of a three-tiered killing field. When Sam (again) came under fire from something on the other side of the first wall (which was perforated with hundreds of tiny holes about 3-4 feet off the floor). Justinian tried flying over the first wall, only to impact on the Wall of Force that protected against exactly such a maneuver.

Wilfred, wanting to take the fight to their unseen attacker, spent a Hero Point to gain access to a Dimension Door, which he used to transport himself and Mekkatorque to the far side of the wall, where he found himself face to face with Mbebwe, the dakon m’chawi lich. Mekkatorque promptly failed his save against the lich’s fear aura.

Elerra spent one of her Hero Points to find an exit in the Wall of Force, which she then illuminated with Faerie Fire, allowing the rest of the party access to the lich’s sanctum beyond the wall. As we broke for the evening, the party was climbing the walls and preparing to come face to face with a creature millennia old…

It is now the 11th of Harvester, 599 CY.

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Arc 1, Episode 8, the Jade Frog
Three Trials for the Foreigners

Our journey began: 11th of Coldeven, 599 C.Y.
it is currently the 3rd of Harvester, 599 C.Y.

Our companions:

Alexia Aerogenesis, Human Cleric of Murlynd
Elerra Vae, Drow Cleric (Ellistrae)/Sorcerer
Flotsam “Sam” Stormsurge, Animan (octopus aspect) Rogue/Alchemist
Justinian, Atomie Swashbuckler
Meroln Sands, Half-elf Fighter
Squizzles, Kobold Bard
Wilfred Fizzlebang, Gnome Summoner

As the ship sailed into the harbor, the party took in the sights in the harbor. Hundreds of fishing boats, and the only other foreign vessel in port was flying the colors of the Lordship of the Isles. The city itself was constructed mainly of white (or whitewashed) stone, and was surprisingly clean and modern-looking. The group recognized immediately that they were in a foreign land, as there was almost none of the racial diversity they were familiar with in the north; every human face they saw was of Touv descent, with a few wemics present. They also took note of the heat; nearly 95 degrees in the early morning, and likely due to grow warmer as the day progressed. The group girded themselves with spells and potions to protect themselves, then set off into the city. Hofketter, the captain of the ‘Thunder of Iron’, told the group that he would wait for their return until the 18th, at which time his ship would lift, with or without them.

Following their guidance crystal, they soon come to the steps of the main Temple of Vogan in the city. The guards at the top asked them their business before passing them to a young female acolyte named Wallah, who in turn bade them wait in an audience chamber for Asada, the High Priest.

Squizzles detailed the nature of their quest, and Asada seemed somewhat bemused, explaining that they were the second group in as many days to come seeking the “Most Holy Relic” of his temple. He described this group as best he could, saying that there was an elf, a dwarf, a winged horror, a pair of individuals wearing armor similar to Meroln’s, one of whom had translucent symbols circling his head, a brutish priest with small tusks, a tall drow in robes, and finally, a weird, largish dog with spikes growing out of it’s fur.

He then stated that he had offered the Frog to them, on the condition that they complete three quests; he went on to offer Squizzles and his companions the same deal, naming three different quests, namely the clearing out of a nest of kamadans that had been plaguing traffic on the road to Ichamamna, the recovery of a powerful sacred staff from a vile mchawi (wizard) named Mbebwe, who was said to live in a ruined tower on the outskirts of Ichamamna, and finally the recovery of a live, adult gorillion, which he said his temple planned to train for combat in the arena. Gorillions, it was said, lived in the Zolteo, through which they would have to travel to reach Ichamamna.

hepmonaland_map.png

Two days out of Ikelan, as the group entered the Zolteo, they encountered a group of dead Touv, their bodies showing signs of snakebite, teeth, and claws. They found tracks leading into the jungle, and sent Justinian up into the canopy where the tracks ended. Soon enough, a pack of kamadans leapt down from the trees and attacked. Though hard pressed, Meroln finally demonstrated that gravity could indeed be a powerful ally; and that when he could manage to score a critical hit, it really, really meant something. Five of the six kamadans were slain, the sixth having been set aflame by Elerra and having fled into the jungle.

A further survey of the trees after the battle revealed a nest in the crook of some branches about 90’ up, and five kittens were found. After a brief discussion Elerra incinerated the kittens in their nest, and the party moved on.

The following day, another dead group of Touv were found along the road, but these had clearly been slain by humanoid foes, as their bodies were stripped and they’d been nailed to trees beside the road. Later in the day Elerra spotted a man with reddish-brown skin trailing the party from the opposite side of the river. Wilfred overflew the man’s location on Mekkatorque’s back, revealing several more of his companions, and discovering that they were armed with longbows, which they promptly unleashed in his direction. One of the others also fired an arrow with Deeper Darkness on it along Wilfred’s flight path, temporarily blinding him. But the width of the river mostly prevented any reasonable exchange of combat, so the two groups settled (for awhile) into the followers and the followed.

Finally, Elerra had had enough. Walking to the edge of the river, she shouted at the men trailing the party, and one of the arrows they unleashed in her direction found it’s mark in her thigh. She argued strongly after that point that the group should ambush the others before they ambushed them, and as night fell, both groups retreated into the jungle on opposite sides of the river to make their plans.

Ultimately, the party went south, the natives went north, and both sides began crossing the river to ambush the other. The party spotted the natives crossing, however, and turned back to meet them at their own abandoned campsite. As we broke for the evening, the two groups were primed to meet under the twin crescent moons, to shed one another’s blood in the dark…

It is now the 7th of Harvester, 599 CY.
XP: 1571
(does my failure to have to repeat typing this 3 times show?)

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