Chapter 19
The Butcher's Sanctum

10-11 Nightal

As combat continued, Sharpe found himself face to face with the ghostly specter of Jandice Barov. He managed to shrug off her attempts to influence his mind, and as the rest of the party arrived in the room, combat began. Though it was a difficult fight, the party managed to defeat Jandice, successfully clearing the entire first level of the crypts.

After resting in the great hall, they woke up ready to face the second level. Heading downwards, they found themselves on the edge of a room containing towering constructs of flesh. Splitting up, the party positioned themselves at the two grates leading into the room, and proceeded to hit the towering forms with their ranged attacks. They did as much damage as they could before having to enter the room, continuing the fight in close quarters. As the last of the giants fell, the door in the middle of the room sprang open, and Dr. Theolen Krastinov, also known as “The Butcher” charged into the fray.

Though the party fought him with all their might, their attacks only seemed to drive the Butcher into an even greater frenzy. He continued to carve mercilessly through the party, ensuring his target was killed before moving to the next. Wombert, Adama, and Sharpe were all slain in the battle, with Creed and Mystogan managing to hang on, and finally take down their enemy. Thanks to Mystogan’s skills, the fallen members of the party were revived, and the group took a few moments to recuperate from the harrowing battle, as well as burn another of the evil tomes.

Continuing on through the second floor, the party came to a room which contained a large skeletal construct, sat on the floor. He wouldn’t allow the party to pass without seeing the medallions the necromancers wore- fortunately he was not very intelligent, and the party had picked up enough amulets during their battles (plus Gobby, their reanimated goblin friend, still had his on), so they were allowed to pass unharmed.

They found themselves in a room which contained two sets of descending stairs, and a few doors. Checking the one, they found it to be the room of Professor Slate, the potion and alchemy master, though he wasn’t present. Heading out, they paused outside the next door, wanting to ensure they were prepared to face whatever might be inside…



Chapter 18
Into the Crypts

10 Nightal

After some deliberation, the party entered the crypts beneath the ruined Barov Estate. Inside, they were met by the skeletal remains of the former head of the Estate, Alexi Barov himself. He charged the party to destroy not only the practitioners of the dark necromantic arts within, but also four tomes containing forbidden and evil knowledge. In return, he would open the family vault for them, and assist them in passing the Gatekeeper. The party accepted his offer, and headed forwards.

The party easily defeated the two boneguards at the gate, and entered into the Gatekeeper’s chamber, where Ha’Kariss, a giant snake with a humanoid face, awaited them. Creed vaguely recognized her species, having seen them depicted in carvings in Reshe. She informed them that she had been taken from the desert by Gandling at a young age, and was kept as his pet. She would allow the party to pass her, if they agreed to let her roam free once they had defeated Gandling.

Again, the party accepted, and headed on to the library (after looting the cellars and meeting William, the boggle lurking in the bathroom). There they encountered their first instructor, Chillheart, who was channeling into her phylactery with a group of students. Thanks to some tactical positioning, long range attacks, and a well chosen spell from Creed, the party decimated the group of necromancers. They also found the first tome, which Creed kept rather than burning, much to the annoyance of Alexi Barov.

Continuing further, the party investigated the student quarters, where they brutally murdered a sleeping goblin. They entered Chillheart’s room, looking over her research and finding a small luck dragon, which Adama healed. They left the creature there, promising to return for it.

They passed through the Great Hall without incident, and entered the hall of illusions- it was lit by an eerie glow from two huge green candles, being channeled into by pairs of mages. A few ghouls shambled mindlessly through the room. Combat began, and the party battled their way through the mages. As the final mage attempted to flee, the party pursued them, leaving behind Sharpe, who was investigating the candles. As the final mage was slain, the candle light was suddenly snuffed out, and a spectral figure appeared beside Sharpe…



Chapter 17
A Game of Cards

5-9 Nightal

The party’s attempt to escape without drawing Granny’s notice failed, and a difficult battle ensued. During the fight, Granny’s true form was revealed- that of an ancient hag. The party managed to defeat her, and her house, which went rampaging through the battlefield.

As Creed secretly gained control over the house, the party checked inside, and learned the sad fate of Beathan’s siblings. They had been consumed by Granny in an attempt to restore her waning power, another side effect of the corruption in the forest. Beathan gave the party his sibling’s former toys as thanks, and promised to guide them to their destination.

Setting off, the party continued their travel through the forest, until they reached an area that was noticeably greener- the sound of small birds and animals could be heard. Beathan began to get excited, telling the party that his friend lived here. When questioned, he said that his friend, Arthion, loved to play games, and often moved his home through the forest.

After following the party in the shape of a fox, Arthion was noticed by Mystogan, and introduced himself in a more human form. The party wanted to ask him questions, to which he proposed they play a game of chance- he had a deck of cards. For every card pulled, he would give a truthful answer. Simply pulling a card was a game in itself, as they contained wild and potent magic.

Things seemed to be going generally well for the party, until Adama and Mystogan pulled two cursed cards. Instantly, their souls were torn from their bodies and imprisoned- trapped in two gems that Arthion held. Eager to continue the game, he allowed them to place more wagers, betting themselves against the cards. He agreed to allow them to play for the two cards that might be able to help their friends.

Sharpe gained the first card, The Fates, after a risky 50/50 draw. For the second, Arthion posed a riddle to the group. The rules were as follows: he would give each person who agreed to participate a line of the riddle. Each person was required to submit their own, independent guess. If they all got it right, Creed would get the card. If one of them guessed wrong, Arthion would possess all of their souls. Wombert, his knight buddy Grobert, Sharpe, and Creed all agreed to participate. Arthion gave them this riddle:

Always old, sometimes new.
Never sad, sometimes blue.
Never empty, sometimes full.
Never pushes, always pulls.

Creed quickly solved it, telepathically telling his friends to answer “moon.” They obliged, and Creed was handed the Moon card- quickly freeing Mystogan and Adama with a well worded wish. With that, the party decided they’d had enough playing games, and headed on to their destination.

Upon reaching the city, they bid farewell to Beathan, who stayed on the outskirts with Grobert and Granny’s old house. They spoke briefly with the ghostly residents of Scholomance, and learned a few key things about the dungeon they were about to face.

Under the ruins of the Barov family estate, in the dark catacombs, lay a forbidden school of necromancy. Run by Darkmaster Gandling, the school dabbled in the darkest realms of magic. In addition to the Darkmaster, 5 teachers assisted in the running of the school. Few entered the place, and even less went out. Debating what to do next, the party stopped to prepare themselves for what lay ahead…

Cards Drawn
Creed: Vizier, Moon
Sharpe: Sun, The Fates
Mystogan: Gem, Donjon
Adama: Balance, Flames, Throne, Void
Wombert: Comet, Euryale, Knight, Ruin, Skull

A summary of effects can be found here.


Chapter 16
Friends and Foes

31 Uktar- 4 Nightal

The party followed Ceirnon to his camp, and were taken to meet with Amarok, the leader of the werewolves that resided there. Amarok listened to their story, and sent them to talk with the village herbalist, Orla, who he believed might be able to help them find a guide through the forest. Orla told them of a small being that lived in the forest, Beathan. She showed Adama and Sharpe which herbs to gather in order to draw Beathan to them, while Mystogan lost a game of chess to Creed and Wombert.

After burning the herbs, the party waited for some time, until they noticed a small, child-like figure watching them- Beathan had arrived. Although he seemed confused by their terms of measurement and references to time, he agreed to help the party, but warned them to watch out for his Granny, who he was hiding from. The party agreed, and Beathan led them off into the forest.

All seemed to be going well, until they woke one morning to see a cozy looking cottage with a pair of what looked like chicken legs standing at the edge of their camp, and Beathan nowhere to be found. A kindly old woman exited the cottage, telling the party they could call her Granny. She explained that she was searching for Beathan, who was a dangerous troublemaker and trickster. It was her job to keep him in line, and ensure he didn’t harm anyone.

The party remained wary of Granny, though Wombert, Mystogan, and Sharpe eventually checked out her cottage. After two days of aimless travel ( in which Mystogan proceeded to lose more games of chess), they were woken in the night by a terrified Beathan, who motioned for them to follow him. The party decided to attempt to escape the camp, without Granny noticing…


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…



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