Chapter 15
The Shadowlands

26-30 Uktar

Having proved themselves to the dwarves by slaying the deadly Behir, the party was escorted to the Shaperate, the hall in which dwarven memories are stored. Velka was there, searching for the source of the corruption afflicting the chalice.

After some discussion, Velka agreed to the party’s offer of assistance. She believed the chalice was bound to a dark creature, a remnant of the Slain God’s power. This was far in the Shadowlands, over the Silverdeep mountains, about a month’s journey away. The party would venture into the woods, to clear out the source of the corruption, while Velka returned the chalice to the temple of Omos, located on an island past Modan.

Without further ado, the party headed off through Silverdeep, entering the town of Waydale on the other side. They quickly discovered that Waydale was under the protection of The Silver Hand, thanks to Adama’s poorly timed transformation into a large bear. After spending the night in a cell, Adama rejoined the party, and they continued on to Shadowlands, hitching a ride part of the way.

Upon entering the forest, the party found it difficult to judge distance and time- it seemed to be stuck at dusk, and tracking their progress through the twisted and dying forest was a challenge. They stumbled upon a clearing containing a scene of frozen battle- three members of the Silver Hand, fighting a werewolf.

Curious as to what was causing this, Adama approached the still figures, finding herself frozen as well when she touched them. Two wraith-like creatures appeared, attempting to ambush the party. After a long battle, the creatures fled, dropping their trap- leaving the corpses of the Silver Hand and freeing the injured werewolf.

The werewolf spoke to the party, thanking them for their assistance, and introducing himself as Ceirnon. He explained that there had been more of them frozen, but the creatures had been slowly returning to claim new meals as time wore on. He wasn’t sure how long he had been there. In return for their assistance, he agreed to take them to meet the rest of his tribe, and the party followed him deeper into the forest…


Chapter 14
Castle in the Sky

23-25 Uktar

Having informed Kelvin of their success (and received various hand knitted items as thanks) the party continued on to Caerlin, where they delivered the 3 giant eagle chicks to the Griffon Master. After taking care of some business in town, they headed for home. They were just branching off down the path to their estate when suddenly a shadow passed overhead- a massive floating island with a castle perched atop it, moving through the sky. As they stared upwards, a few pages of lilac coloured parchment fluttered down, all saying the same thing- “Here for a limited time only- The Cloudtop Casino! Come for gambling, good food, and great views!” Each included a small map with an X near the city of Silverdeep.

Always up for some gambling, Creed was eager to head over- but first they had to get the baby owlbear off their hands. Returning to the manor, they met with their staff. Wesley presented a rather crestfallen Norris with his new charge, and the party headed out, with the owlbear now safely stashed in the stables (at least for the time being).

Hitching a ride on the cart that delivered their supplies, the party made the journey in record time (though not in comfort). The castle loomed up ahead, and scores of excited (and rich) looking people waited down below. While they waited for their turn on the platform, Creed impressed them all with his somewhat questionable knowledge of sky castles. Soon they made their way up, and found themselves in a large courtyard. While the rest of the party quickly got to gambling, Sharpe wandered about and offended the castle guards, insisting the master of the castle wanted to see them. After being threatened, he rejoined the group, which now contained a flaming, musical, fish lord (Adama), a sentient flubber belonging to Wombert, and a newly divorced Mystogan.

They went to grab a bite to eat, and were approached by the same guard who had turned Sharpe away earlier. Rather chagrined, he informed them that the masters wished to speak with them. The party were led into the central tower, where they met the two cloud giant twins, Mithos and Rathos. The giants had heard that the famed “Heroes of Caerlin” had come to their castle, and had a proposition for them. A dwarven woman had stolen their most valuable gambling item- a chalice that allowed the gambler to wager years of their life for a chance at immortality. They followed her here, to the outskirts of Silverdeep, and were hoping the party would follow her and retrieve the chalice for them. They promised a rich reward- items from their treasury, or perhaps one of their exotic flying creatures. The party agreed, and signed the contract the giant’s provided.

On the way out, however, they noticed a previously obscured area of the castle was open to them- a tunnel leading down into a cavern lined with crystalline quartz. This was the home of the ancient air serpentess, Aura. She informed the party that the dwarven woman, Velka, had indeed stolen the chalice- but that she did so due to her believe that it was corrupt and evil. Aura told the party they had a choice; to assist Velka in her task, or carry out their original agreement. Regardless of what they chose, the giants would be watching, due to the party’s signing of the magical contract. With much to think about, the party headed for Silverdeep, in search of Velka.

Entering the dwarven city, they quickly learned that they would need to prove themselves if they wished to gain any information, or access to Velka herself- due to the fact that Velka was a distinguished paragon in the eyes of the dwarves. After hearing of trouble in the mines, the party convinced Folgrim, the head of the mining caste, to let them deal with the problem as a way of proving themselves to the dwarves. Folgrim warned them that the creature that had emerged was extremely dangerous, and had slain many dwarves already.

With that dire warning in their minds, the party headed deep into the dark mine shaft ahead. After wandering for quite some time, they set up camp, keeping an uneasy watch for the inevitable attack. Thanks to Creed’s warning, they had time to prepare themselves as a massive behir came rushing down the tunnel towards them. A deadly battle ensued, with Sharpe being swallowed by the creature. Wombert and Adama also fell to it’s vicious strikes, but it was felled in the nick of time by the combined efforts of Mystogan and Creed, who kept their distance. Mystogan quickly attended to the fallen Sharpe, and soon had the rest of the party up as well. They cut trophies from the beast as proof of their efforts, and settled back down to finish a much needed rest.


Chapter 13
Bird's the Word

17-24 Uktar

Having prepared their plan during the day, the party had the children of Strathmore gather to sleep in a large barn on the edge of town. With the parents waiting down the street, the party kept watch outside- except for Creed, who told them to wake him up if anything happened. After a while, something did happen- the darkness became darker, signifying that something had entered the barn.

After some tedious attempted combat in the dark against an invisible teleporting creature, it was finally revealed that they were fighting a grossly obese Nycaloth, who had been feeding off the fear of the city’s children. Ignoring its offers of power, the party managed to slay it, keeping the children safe. They accepted a small but heartfelt reward from the townsfolk, and decided to head back to their home.

On the way, Adama decided it was time to teach the elderly farmer she’d chastised a serious lesson. With the party following, they made their way to the ramshackle house where the old man lived with his two sons. After yelling at the man, Adama set his fence on fire. As the old man cried about contacting the guards, Creed, Wombert, and Sharpe helped him put out the fire. Creed gave him a generous handful of gold to apologize, and the party headed back to the road.

After a few days, they were close to home, but decided to take up their final quest- aiding Kelvin the farmer with the “derned big burds” that were causing him trouble. Kelvin turned out to be a stooped, elderly man who lived in a cozy cottage not too far from their own home. He invited them all in for tea, and explained that his sheep were being carried off. He used to have 6-now only 3 remained.

After hatching a brilliant plan (and locking the baby owlbear in the woodshed), the party headed into the forest. The following morning, Adama turned into a sheep and bleated loudly, which succeeded in attracting the giant eagle on its way to steal another of Kelvin’s sheep. It had barely got its talons around her, when it was promptly destroyed by Creed. The party celebrated by cutting off various bits of the eagle, with Sharpe beginning to cook some tasty eagle meat breakfast.

Suddenly, a second eagle flew overhead. The party began to panic, rushing back towards Kelvin’s house- Sharpe stayed put, continuing to cook breakfast. Just as they arrived, the eagle was taking off, with a sheep in its grasp. They chased it back through the forest, with Sharpe giving up on breakfast and joining them.

They came out into a clearing, where a hill with a giant, dead tree rose out of the ground. A huge nest with 3 baby giant eagles (who were devouring the sheep) loomed before them. After a long and confusing encounter, in which Wombert was thrown out of the nest for pretending to be a featherless hatchling, Creed murdered another giant eagle, Adama spent a lot of time bleating, and the party learned the importance of rope, they headed back to Kelvin’s cottage, with three baby eagles in tow…


Chapter 12
But What of the Children?!

12-16 Uktar

Having successfully escorted the dyes to Hartfield Estate, the party (minus Wylem, who retreated to the forest) spent two days being fitted and prepared for the upcoming masquerade, where they were to act as Lady Davoness’ models. The grand reveal of her new colour, ETERNAL EBONY, was a great success, and the party returned home with some sweet new outfits.

Going over the letters they had received, the party decided to head to Strathmore, where a woman in town had written them, saying the children had been reporting sightings of a green monster. Wylem had been having a bit of an existential crisis while everyone else was out modelling, and as the party prepared to leave, he slipped off, leaving a letter (which was heavily retconned by Mystogan) as his only farewell.

Continuing on, the party started the journey to Strathmore. A few uneventful days passed as they traveled on the Kingsroad, but as they woke on the third day, a strange encounter took place. A small, elderly gnome came shambling out of the bushes. He introduced himself with many different names, but said that they could call him Sharpe. He had been sent to find the Heroes of Caerlin, although he wasn’t specific on who sent him or why. All he knew was that it felt right. The party tried to leave him behind, but had no luck. So Sharpe joined the party for the time being.

The rest of the journey included a fight with two ettins, where Sharpe found himself used as a club against the unfortunate Creed, and Creed retaliated by slaying both ettins almost single-handedly. They came across some farmers who were on the lookout for an owlbear, but they were pretty sure they’d managed to shoot it. After chastising them, Adama ran off into the woods while everyone else kept walking, and found a baby owlbear. Taking the little creature with her (and chastising the farmers again) she caught up, and the group arrived at Strathmore.

They concocted a plan, with the help of the parents- the children would have a big sleepover in one of the barns, while the party and parents would keep watch from nearby, ready to jump in should the creature appear…


Chapter 11
Fashion is Danger

9 Marpenoth-11 Uktar

Having successfully hired on their staff, the party took some time for a much needed rest. A month passed as they followed their own pursuits, until Wesley presented them with a handful of letters at breakfast one morning. It seemed that several people had written requesting the party’s help for various different jobs.

After reading over the letters, the party decided to take on the request of one Lady Fiona Davoness, who requested their presence at Hartfield Estate as soon as possible- she believed an incoming shipment of hers was about to be waylaid. The party headed off for Hartfield Estate, and arrived after an uneventful trip.

Upon their arrival they were greeted by an immaculately, rather than practically, dressed servant. As he led them to Lady Davoness, the party noticed several other servants struggling to go about their days in similarly impractical attire. The party were ushered in to a large, black room, where Lady Davoness sat at a round table, cutting fabrics. After some brief introductions, Lady Davoness filled the party in on the dire situation. As the party should know, her name is widely recognized as one of the finest when it comes to fashion. Her looks are all the rage. It would be the UTMOST tragedy if her new colour, ETERNAL EBONY ™ was stolen and released to the world by her rival, Quincy Archer. She’s heard that Quincy plans on hitting her shipment arriving the following night, and will reward the party if they accompany her caravan and ensure that doesn’t happen.

Somewhat annoyed at the seeming triviality of the quest, the party accepted and were even more annoyed when they met the guards they were to travel with. Chad, Brad, Chett, Brett, and JD were nearly identical, with differing hairstyles being the only way to tell them apart. After some hacky sack filled travel, the party met up with the other caravan, and completed the trade seemingly without indecent. That night, however, the party was rudely awakened by a band of villains, intent on stealing the dye shipment.

A masked man with two rapiers seemed to be leading them, however once combat started he immediately tried to flee the scene. A hectic battle ensued, in which Adama mauled multiple bandits in her sabertooth form, Wylem was killed trying to climb on top of the wagon (and promptly resurrected thanks to Mystogan), and Brad, Chad, Brett, and JD were slain having accomplished nothing. While Chett mourned the loss of his comrades, the party interrogated the masked man, who turned out to be Quincy Archer himself.

After some terrible negotiating, the party decided it would be best to just tie Quincy up and bring him back with them. Quincy, not keen on this plan, tried to bargain his way out during the night. Creed turned down his deal, but Mystogan accepted, thinking he could easily recapture Quincy. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, and after freeing him Mystogan could only watch helplessly as Quincy dimension doored into the night.

Now initiated into the cutthroat world of fashion, the party head back to deliver the dyes to Lady Davoness…


Chapter 10
Heroes and Hiring

7-8 Marpenoth

As the Amadan Duhr fell to Wombert’s rapier, a blinding light burst forth from the sword Wylem carried. With the death of their foe, the curse on Runa had been broken. After healing the party, she told them she would take care of Yamara, her ancient enemy- it was, after all, what she had been created to do.

The party, with Syldrin still travelling in their midst, began their escape from Laath Themar. Keeping to the shadows, they managed to avoid any further conflict on their way out of the city, though they passed through scenes of chaos. With Wylem leading the way, they headed towards Ardenstone, where Seven and members of The Reach had opened a portal back to the surface. As they caught up to the rushing mob of former prisoners and slaves, the party did their best to aid anyone they could, expending what limited resources they had left.

Once they made their way through the portal, they found themselves in the wide fields on the outskirts of Caerlin. In the general chaos of the scene, as Mystogan had his first encounter with the surface world and its sun, the party lost track of Syldrin, who slipped away. However, there was no time for a search, as they were summoned to the castle to give their report to the King. After they told the King what had happened, he thanked them, and requested their presence at a royal address the following morning. As the party headed to their chambers, Musof stayed behind and confessed a secret to the King- his true name was not Musof Lythalion Cebee, but Creed Blightwood…

The following morning, the party (minus Wylem, who watched from the crowd) stood in front of the assembled citizens of Caerlin, who cheered on the heroes who had ended the drow threat. The King bestowed titles on each of them, as well as deeding Darrowmere Manor to them. The party decided to head to their new home for some much needed rest.

However, running a home is a big job. They needed to hire some staff, which took some considerable thinking. After some observation and interviews, the party hired:
• Captain of the Guard- Galreth
• Head Chef- Russek Evermead
• Steward- Wesley Cauldwell
• Guards- Lana Axehand, Tura Kreel, Draka, Brani
• Groundskeeper and assistant- Sajax, Tuck
• General staff for cooking/cleaning- Cella & Tilly
• Stable hand – Norris Aldren

The other downside to being a hero is that people start to come to you with their problems, something the party is beginning to learn…


Chapter 9
Face to Face

5-6 Marpenoth

Having succeeded in their attempt to free the prisoners, the party stopped for a moment to catch their breath before heading on to the Slave Pens. Strapped for resources, and having exhausted much of their spells, they were still determined to liberate the slaves before the day way done.

While they were heading to the Slave Pens, Mystogan mentioned the interesting story behind the Slave Master. Once a respected member of the Gloaming Court, he took an inappropriate interest in one of his slaves, a human female. She escaped, leaving him disgraced and ruined, sent to live among the slaves he oversaw. When the party reached the gate to the slave pens, they were met by Kynan and Seven, who explained the situation. While the prisoners had taken the guards by surprise, the Slave Master, Syldrin, was holding a respected gnomish elder, Cella, hostage in an attempt to protect himself. The party agreed to assist in resolving the situation.

As they confronted Syldrin, who demanded assurances of his own safety before he would relinquish his hold on Cella, tensions escalated as Wylem revealed the truth behind the situation- Arya, the human woman who had escaped from Syldrin all those years ago, was his mother. Once Syldrin had sheathed his weapons and been restrained by Mystogan, Wylem attacked in a rage. His companions attempted to come between the two, and eventually succeeded in preventing Wylem from killing his father. Leaving Syldrin in his house, the party settled down for some much needed rest.

The following morning, the party continued to finalize their plans, intending to head to the heart of the city to meet its leader in battle. Kynan continued to lead strike teams through the city to draw off attention, while the great crystal dragon, Saphiron, created havoc from above. Heading out, they discovered that Syldrin had vanished in the night. With no time to lose, they made their way through the city. Just before they reached their target, they encountered a group of drow guards, including Syldrin. Thanks to Musof’s magical abilities, they were able to slip past unnoticed.

There, before them, they saw the White Tomb, with a figure standing before it. A steady stream of blood pooled over the top of the tomb, and to the floor below. After a brief exchange, the party threw themselves into a long and arduous battle with their greatest foe, the Amadan Duhr himself. Though she was still bound to her sword, Runa supported the group with healing and divine magic, enabling them to fight beyond their means. Yamara lent her powers to the Amadan Duhr, the White Tomb radiating dark and sinister effects. The battle was joined by the drow Musof had incapacitated earlier, though Syldrin turned against his own kind and fought on the party’s side. Throughout it all, the party managed to stay strong, and Wombert, who had suffered the most throughout the fight, finally striking the killing blow. They had defeated the Amadan Duhr, but the White Tomb loomed above them, the city was in chaos, and they were still deep in the Underdark…


Chapter 8

3-4 Marpenoth

After spending the night in Mystogan’s safehouse, the party was introduced to Commander Elvina Arkenth, the granddaughter of Velen, and a resurrected military leader in the city. She outlined the plans to see her grandfather assume control of the Gloaming Court, and pointed out targets of interest in the city. She would divert some of the forces in the Laath Themar to another area, ensuring that the party wouldn’t have to deal with the full military might of the city.

First on the party’s list of targets was the tower of the First Arcanist, Thalryssa. As she was the one upholding the anti-magic wards on the prison and slave pens, it was crucial to find where her loyalties were. With Mystogan pretending to be bringing interesting subjects to Thalryssa to study, they were granted an audience, and quickly escorted up the tower by the slave, Belwin. After a tense conversation, Thalryssa declared she was quite busy, and needed to be about her errands. She invited the party to stay and see if they could find anything useful. While not an explicit offer of support, the party caught on to her meaning, and searched through the tower after the First Arcanist had departed. Reaching the top floor, they found a large crystal being used as a focusing lens of sorts. After some terrible sneaking by Musef, and a poorly placed fireball (courtesy of Adama) that knocked an unfortunate Wylem unconcious, the party managed to destroy the crystal. Sensing that the magic had been dispelled, they made haste to the prison.

Once again posing as prisoners, the group made their way through the outer defenses, escorted by a somewhat bemused guard. Bringing them to the locked doorway leading to the cells, the guard went to get Vandros, the Warden. Upon seeing the group, and confirming they were the ones sent by Elvina, Vandros slew the guard- and handed his keys to the party. Telling them to “make it look convincing,” he got a bit more than he bargained for when he was promptly mauled by Adama in her bear form. Heading in to the prison, the party fought their way through the guards, and began busting the prisoners out of their cells. Descending to the lowest level of the prison, the party discovered the chained form of Saphiron the Brightweaver, a large, crystalline dragon. Stating his hatred for the race that had imprisoned him with cowardly magics, the dragon agreed to fight alongside them, Together, they helped free him from his bonds. After a rousing speech from Mystogan, the prisoners began to surge out in a more organized fashion, knowing that this was their only chance at survival. Arming themselves with what they could find in the storage rooms, they spilled out of the prison, heading towards the slave pens as directed. The great form of Saphiron bursting through the roof of the prison behind them.

Exhausted and injured, the party stopped for a brief moment of rest before they too headed on, towards the slave pens. It had been a long and trying day, but there was still much to come…



Chapter 7
What Lies Beneath

31 Eleint- 2 Marpenoth

After an uneasy night’s rest, the party continued on, heading ever deeper into the Underdark. Making their way around the black lake, careful not to disturb any more of its residents, the party came to a tunnel that split in two directions- holding true to their “right is right” strategy, it was an easy choice which one to follow.

The tunnel lead on for quite some time, before opening out into a chamber of sorts, containing two statues and a large bronze door. Seven and Elyos were amazed at this find, suggesting it could be the long lost city of Ardenstone, which had fallen many years ago. The city was somewhat of a legend on the surface world, said to have great technology seen nowhere else. Seven informed the party that a remnant of the race that had built the great city still lived in Laath Themar as slaves.

Wandering through the city, the party found several feats of craftsmanship, from the floating lights that still lit the empty city, to an ethereal star map and a workshop full of unique creations- though they spent most of their time in the city admiring the underground Conservatory, a grove which contained a number of unique animals and plants, much to the delight of Elyos and Adama.

However, not everything in the city was as pristine and calm as the grove. One wing of the city seemed to be enveloped in a vast spider web, where the lights that floated through much of the city had been shattered and extinguished. Making their way through the webbed tunnels, the party found themselves in a difficult battle with a number of large spiders, an ettercap, and finally a drider- a dark and twisted creation of Yamara’s, combining drow and spider into one being.

The battle was fierce, with many party members brought low, struggling to stay up during the vicious onslaught. After felling the spiders and the ettercap, only the drider remained. In a frenzy, it struck at the unconscious form of Elyos- and though he managed to hold on for a few more moments, in the heat of battle his allies were unable to save him. Musof tried in vain to bring some sign of life back to his friend, while the rest of the party finished off the drider, a well placed arrow from Wylem finally bringing it down.

The party were at a loss of what to do next. Their friend and travelling companion lay lifeless before them. Was it better to continue on, or divert the journey to attempt a resurrection? Through Seven they had a way to Caerlin and back without much time being lost, however those precious hours could be the difference between their mission succeeding or failing. Finally, they decided it would be best to lay Elyos to rest in the grove he had so enjoyed; finding a spot under a large tree, close to the stream, they lowered Elyos into the ground. During the burial, many of the creatures gathered around, thanks to the urging of Adama. Two large fey creatures, half wolf, half plant, emerged from the trees, coming to sit by the grave. They promised to watch over the resting place of Elyos Vakata, just as they had watched over the grove.

After some time, the party pressed onwards, determined to succeed in their goal so that the death of Elyos would not have been in vain. Exiting the city and entering the mines, the party discovered the remnants of a brutal battle. Ancient corpses, large and small, were strewn across the wide walkway connecting the various mining shafts. Remains of constructs and strange creatures could be seen amidst the wreckage- evidence of the fall of Ardenstone all those years ago.

Eventually the party came to a small, ramshackle cabin tucked away in the shadows. Standing at the door was a hooded figure, who Seven identified as her contact, Mystogan. The figure soon turned out to be an illusion, with the real Mystogan stepping out from behind the party. He had been shadowing them for a while, stating one can never be too careful. In order to lead the party safely into Laath Themar, they would have to pose as prisoners, trusting Mystogan not to lead them astray. Though tensions were high, they agreed- Seven and Mystogan disguised Wylem so that he would pass as a full drow, the party were tied in a slave line, and they headed off into the city, leaving Seven behind.

Taking them through back streets, Mystogan managed to avoid arousing any suspicions, despite the mounting anxiety gripping Wylem. Arriving at the safehouse, he released them from their bonds, and the party prepared to spend their first night inside the city of Laath Themar…



Chapter 6
Into the Underdark

26-30 Eleint

Having spent a few days resting in the castle, the party was called to attend the council. Upon arriving, they saw a few familiar faces- King Eldin, Knight-Captain Alvard, and Wynnifred Reed. The King introduced them to the remaining council members- Brom Battlefist, the ambassador from Silverdeep; Rhovull Vrakryn, the ambassador from Rimefell; Darron Thurlo, High Priest of the Four; and Mara Vollan, Master of Secrets.

Musef related their findings to the council, and Mara presented the recent information she had gathered- her contacts in the Caerlin chapter of The Reach had a way into the city. They had a contact in place who knew the city, and who had worked closely with drow before. They reported that there was dissent beginning to grow within Laath Themar, some who didn’t wish to see Yamara returned to power.

After a lengthy discussion, the party decided to act as Caerlin’s eyes on the ground, and head to Laath Themar to assess the situation. The Reach transported them to their access tunnel, and the party ventured into the Underdark. Walking through the dark, ever downwards, the party encountered a “village” of plant creatures. Unsure when they would encounter opposition, they decided to pose as Wylem’s prisoners until they were in the clear. They continued single file, tied to a rope, with Wylem leading them down the path ahead. After what felt like hours of wandering through the darkness, they spotted a fire ahead with a hooded figure seated nearby. Awkwardly stating that he had prisoners to deliver, Wylem was surprised when the figure laughed, removing her hood and introducing herself as Seven Sixclaw, their contact.

With Seven joining them, the party continued ever downwards, encountering the strange creatures and sights that lurked far underground, hoping to find their way through the many twisting tunnels of the Underdark…



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