The Hidden Hand

Session 25
Another Dragon

Chronicales of Gregg

After tackling that rather nimble half-ling which for me was no trouble at all had it been anyone else he would of got away with him crimes.

We went in search for Balthzar but his quarters were empty and a quick search of the room gave us a few clue to what had gone on. The real Balthzar had been strangled and stuff into a wardrobe this was a surprise to the monks since he had been so helpful but this was all a plan.
Athon sensed some form of arcane power had been used not to long ago and deducted that a teleportation ritual had been used one he was sure only allowed to move no more then 10ft but that was enough to elude us.

Pretty much soon after we had been summoned to the eatery to see to brother odgood who was acting strange in the middle of a arcane carving on the floor, he then collapsed and 6 daemons appeared and they intended on killing us.

They could only be described by the lashing tongues of a creature called a canoloth which tried to strangle their prey. There were also pain daemons which caused damage whenever you entered their proximity and finally a bladling firing sharp spikes and attacking with his longsword. They were no match for the company of the purple eclipse. I picked up some spiked bracers from the bladling i’m sure theses will come in useful.

With the Key puzzle still unsolved we decided to use the books of candlekeep to our advantage,
firstly by looking up information on Netherall and also the swords which we shall use to kill Diker thane they were described as 2 swords and one implement which is shaped in the form of a sword.
Belgrath found the blueprints of candlekeep none of which showed any secret tunnels which someone could use to their advantage, on closer inspection the attic looked the place to hide so off we headed.

With the investigation still ongoing we got all the monks and Pilgrims to assemble in one room so we could search the keep with the intent to kill anyone who got in our way. Our search lead to the a trap door in the roof and in quick pursuit we caught up with the cloaked figure.
Garad rushed out to grab him because he noticed the book with his keen eye and as he grappled onto the figure it turned into what can all be a black ooze which then split into 4 and the book skidded to the side of the roof.

A golden dragon landed upon the roof and belgrath countered his landing with a rays of pure sunlight illuminating the roof destroying the ooze where it well oozed. Seeing my opportunity charging with my axe held above my head to which it delivered a heavy blow to the dragon causing it to retaliate with a firey breath and within it frightful presence knocking myslef and athon off balance but delamor pure devotion to sehianeene she protected him. Garad with tumbles and rolls allowed him to grasp the book from beneath the dragons claw and then with a flurry and stabbing and high and low slashes blood poured from the dragon. It clawed out at Athon raking across his chest being him close to death but Delamor inspiration spurred him on.
I came back with a thundering blow toppling the dragon and with its final attack scraping athon once again with his claws but Garad plunged his dagger deep In the heart of the fiery beast.

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Session 24
Candlekeep

Cat, here’s the next of the updates you asked for. Hopefully one of the runners picked it up from whatever drop site I end up using. If you remember, this group decided to head out to that haunted mansion on Baker street, in search of a rare book they needed to gain entry to Candlekeep, where a book they needed was.

First thing the group decided to to after leaving the house was to split up and visit the merchants districts. The Paladin and the wildman headed off to the Waterdeep embassy, and I followed after the two mages. Aparently, they’d been bandying quite the collection of rare scales around previously, and one of the rare item factors (not one of ours) had managed to secure the services of the local artificiers in making a suit of armour outta them. They wanted to speak to the smith himself though, who turned out to be one of the more influential members of the Dwarven smithing guild. Somehow Athon, the mage with the swords, managed to rankle the dwarf so much he all but threw her our of his shop. I wasn’t gonna get involved in anything like this, so I waited outside with her while the other mage, Belgarath had a go at bargining with the smith. I’d guess he did well though, as he looked fairly pleased when he came out a few minutes later.

From what I can gather, the other two managed to get a meeting with that old sot of an ambasador in the Waterdeep embassy, where he spun his usual tales of conspiracies. Not sure where that lead, but Delamor seemed impressed at least. I know they managed to shift a quite conciderably valuble magic item though, and used it to barter their way to a different one and some extra coin.

While this was happening, I was checking in with the local guildhouse, where I picked up some more healing potions (following this gorup around seems to be hazardous) and updated instructions. After that, the group saddled up and headed out to candlekeep.

The journey was uneventful and, once there, they used the book they’d aquired with my help from that haunted mansion on Baker street to parlay an entry. We’d barely entered the courtyard when a group of what I’m told were troglodytes burst from the ground and attacked us (hazzard, you see? I better be being compensated for all this). All I know is they were ugly as all hells, and their stench was even worse.

We made short work of them, but I’d guess they were just a diversion, as it turns out that someone was murdered while it was happening, and the book that had brought us here had been stolen. Obviously, the fact we were up to our eyeballs in foul smelling tunnel lurkers ruled us out of the assasination of the monk, so Delamor, the groups leader, offered to investigate for the abbot.

A quick glance at the body made me think this wasn’t a professional job, at least I hope it wasn’t one of ours, very messy work. Interviewing the monks revealed that someone in a dark hooded robe was seen leaving the room but nothing much else. Aeron decided to make use of one of Candlekeep’s rituals to actually talk to the dead body. Freaked me out, but we didn’t learn much past the fact that the dead monk didn’t see his attacker. We then decided to bring the three other visitors to the keep, a traveling halfling, a priest of Amauntor and an old scholar to the sight of the murder and interview them one at a time.The priest seemed on the level to me, but Delamor didn’t seem to believe him, and was suspicious of the fact the priest was all interested in Kord and the other less socially acceptable gods. Some kinda religious third eye I guess. None of us could pin anything substantial though, so we sent him back to his room.

I’d been meaning to scope out their rooms anyway, so I acompinaied him back and had a quick look round. Didn’t see anything noteworthy, but it was a different story in the Hhalfling’s room. He was still absent, so I could have a more thorough look round. Where I actually found 2 expensive looking books hidden in a leather bacg under the mattrass. He hadn’t made any of the normal guild signs when I met him, so I didn’t have any real problems turnting the two books over to the monk with me, who ran off with them looking ofr the abbot. That was fine by me as it left me alone to make a more thorough search of the room, where I turned up a couple of nice items.

I missed the next bit, but aparently the halfling was in the room with Denethor and Belgarath when the monk arived at the Abbot. By all accounts thte thief took off like a jackrabbit and was only stopped when Gregg ran after him, through any monks and tables in the way, and bodyslammed the poor sod into the door to the courtyard.

More updates later, assuming this damnfool mission you’ve got me on doesn’t get me strung up, gutted or eaten, Garad.

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Session 23
A Well Oiled Machine

Presto Mcspark: And welcome back to Dungeon Tonight, I’m your regular host, Presto McSpark and with me as always, noted Dwarven Fighter, Slab Bulkhead. Joining us tonight as guest host is head of the Thieves Guild from the city of thieves, so give him a big hand whilst keeping your gold close, it’s Silk Darkheart. So then the Company of the Purple Eclipse, we left them after mopping up the first floor of Mandorcai’s mansion, supposedly haunted and from where few people had recently come back from. Having been sent there by Gilthan to retrieve said Mordorcai’s Journal plus some other books. We joined the action as they opened the door to the first floor and i think it’s safe to say somebody was happy when they saw their opponents.

Slab Bulkhead: Absolutely Presto, Delamor is a typical Paladin, they think it’s their god given right to kill undead, and of course they’re right but I’ve seen Paladin’s get tunnel vision in this kind of scenario, they focus on the biggest baddest undead in the room, charge with a yell to their god and fail to notice the sly character in the darkness with the blowdart, hey, no offence Silk.

Silk Darkheart: None taken, but of course Delamor wasn’t the first one into action, that honour fell to Athon.

PM: Yes indeed, and a surprising maneuver, almost tactically unsound you might say.

SB: I don’t know what the bl**dy fool was thinking, he charges into battle, and then does his appear in two places thing and ends up with the three biggest nasties, two of which were on fire I might add, between him and the rest of the party, what happened, did Gregg and Athon switch bodies or something?

SD: Definitely tactically unsound, but then I have never really understood Swordmages, are they fighters or are they mages, they just seem confused wannabe’s to me.

PM: Belgarath then moves in and starts to dish out the pain.

SB: Certainly coming into his own more as a Sorceror, but still I am concerned by his lack of health, he has tendency to rush in get smacked around and then wonder where his health has gone.

SD: Indeed, he enters the room, attacks some Witherlings and then wonders why they then surround him and start to strike him down.

PM: At this point the Boneshard crosses the room and promptly blocks the door preventing the rest of the party entering effectively leaving the two of them to fend for themselves.

SB: How Athon survived that corner encounter I just don’t know, he was damned lucky to get out of that with all of his fingers intact, between the wraith and two burning skeletons and all. I’m also curious to know how Aradon has lasted so long with his reflexes being so slow, I’ve seen statues react faster than him and they don’t move. Well not typically anyway. I acctually thought Athon made a good use of tactics and he’s finally starting to learn how to use his abilities as a swordmage and not as a, what was it, wannabe..

SD: I didn’t really mean anything by that, I’ve always had a lot of respect for Swordmages…

PM: The Boneshard is dispatched, thus covering everyone in bone fragments and finally the party moves into the room and the battle really begins, although it’s not looking good for Belgarath at this stage. Having backed himself into a corner, it’s really Gregg that comes to his rescue. The Wraith then moves for Belgarath, Gregg moves in and starts to attack the burning skeletons with Athon with the others taking down the rest of the Witherlings and the Wraith.

SD: I have to say, I was impressed by the speed the rest were dispatched, for once, this was a well oiled machine that I don’t think was ever in any danger.

PM: After the fighting is over, the room is examined, there’s some bookshelves, a table and a chest, Delamor moves to the bookshelves and in a surprising move Athon takes to the chest.

SB: Surprising to you maybe but I’ve seen this coming for a while. We’ve seen Athon not be happy at the apparent lack of distribution of items before, it has seemed he only got an item when either he disturbed someone else looting (how he got his armour) or he was the only person who could ideally use it, such as his longswords.

SD: He did what he thought he should do and he got a reward, how long has Delamor been crowing over his orb? What he found will undoubtedly benefit him and all the power to him I say.

PM: Do you think Delamor’s comment about not being “one of the founders” is still affecting him?

SB: Possibly, don’t forget Athon or someone else would be taking his sword out of a beast and Zyanne would already be picking his pockets.

SD: She was a thief, it’s what we do..

SB: Yeah, hang on pal, there is such a thing as honour for some people and Athon’s one of them, he’s principled, maybe too principled for this game I think this could be the start of a change in him.

PM: Trying to move on, the glance that Delamor threw at Athon.

SD: Delamor thinks he saw something but can’t be sure, what’s he going to do accuse Athon of stealing?

SB: Yeah, I’m potentially seeing problems in the future for those two.

PM: The next floor was more of a challenge but even so they still came through it with relative ease.

SB: Agreed, even with the massive dog, and that was one hell of a beastie, it still didn’t pose much of a problem. This is the best I think we’ve seen the Purple Eclipse working for a long time, playing to their strengths and covering their weaknesses.

SD: I would be tempted to agree, they divided but they still covered each other, eliminating the archers early on was definitely the right move and Aradon’s power on the Wraith took it out of the battle for so long that when it came back it had virtually no chance even with the darkness it threw up.

PM: Glad you mentioned, bit of a risk from Greg wasn’t it, diving into the darkness and attacking the first thing he came to?

SD: Sometimes you have take risks to get the treasure.

PM: So all enemies dispatche, books found, clock in pieces on the floor and the mysterious key.

SD: Ah the clock, it took them so long to realise what it probably was then the key, if they’d had a rogue with them, they would have put that together in seconds.

SB: Doesn’t look much like a key to me…

PM: Meeting with Gilthan, they resolve to head to Candlekeep as at least they know they can get there whilst they try and figure the key out. On that note, I’d like to thank my hosts, Slab Bulkhead and Silk Darkheart and stay with us for our next item, Lich’s, are they just misunderstood?

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Session 22
Circus Circus

Dear Father,

Here we are in Balder’s Gate. I really don’t know what I can say. It has undergone so many changes over the years that it is hardly recognisable from when we visited when I was a child. The four dukes have been replaced by a single ruler after some sort of werewolf attack 10 years gone. The once courteous town guard have been replaced by a mercenary company called the Flaming Fist many of whom appear more bent than a halfpenny nail.

I had a bit of a layover in the cells thanks to that and visited an Inn known as the Silverstar which seems quite nicely laid out. Delivered some messages for Zyanne, you remember the lady I wrote to you about previously and discovered that the Waterdeep Embassy isn’t really having any decent luck these days. I’m reasonably certain much of it boils down to a murderous little traitor called Devlin who appears to have gotten himself recognised as some kind of hero around here. No one seems at all suspicious that of the many adventuring parties he has been a part of he is almost always the only survivor of his expeditions.

Anyway there I was just resting in the Inn and entertaining the crowd with a truer version of the “Ballad of Devlin” than the one I have encountered so far among my travels when I heard one of my companions yell about monsters on the loose. I went out of the Inn and saw that a Circus had set up outside the Inn and true enough a bunch of monsters had been let loose from their cages.

Being the heroes that we are we of course stepped in to subdue them. A menagerie like one could not imagine had been assembled and we found ourselves battling not only an Ogre but, also two different types of Kruthik, a hellhound and a drake. Truth be told though our new “addition” Garad makes a reasonable replacement for Zyanne in battle we missed the swordmage Athon, whom we had sent back to Marsember to assist Zyanne in setting up the headquarters for the Company.

Thankfully, we managed to best the beasts just as some of the Flaming Fists showed up. I left Aradon and his newfound respect for Amaunator to play the diplomat this time and went back to the Inn where I played my heart out and poured as much of the Goddess into my performance as possible to try and help these poor people see the truth of this Devlin.

We all had a good nights rest and in the morning after summoning Athon through the portal stones visited the Cormyr and Waterdeep Embassies.

On the way back through town we engaged in a little shopping trading out things that were of little real value for items of interest or which were likely to assist us in our travels. I believe next time we engage in such a shopping trip I will insist that we visit appropriate places to by Healing Potions and Poultices though as healing is not really my forte and Aradon is only slowly growing into his abilities.

After this we decided that it was time to get on with the business of locating the Nazelkin and headed to see a gentle sage known as Gilthan in the Old District.

The man and his house were both deceptively dilapidated but, exquisitely outfitted inside. He holds more knowledge in his brain than I have in my entire body. I can only pray to Sehanine that I grow to his age and his understanding.

Anyway, he spoke at length to us of Diker Thane and informed us of possible starting points for finding the Nazelkin. I think we are off to find the 3rd one first in something called the Wizard’s Tower.

He was also very forthcoming with information about Devlin’s known exploits and the fact that it is believed that he is currently working for Count Brass (a being which Gregg insists is going to be more than he appears). I swear ever since we encountered a Brain in a Jar all those months ago that Gregg has a fear of losing his Will to another (though considering how hard he hit me that day I’m quite surprised I don’t have that same fear.

Information was also given to us about Menhir and his lost gnome, Irsel; about Bogental, the Waterdeep Ambassador who has had dealings with Devlin and whom I will need to arrange a meeting with and a little bit about Needles and “The Cat”.

Anyway, I must be off to help investigate the home of someone named Mandorka who is said to have been researching the Wizard’s Tower when he disappeared.

Until then may the Lady watch over you and keep you safe, warm, and well fed.

Give mother my love if she returns.

Delamor

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Session 21
Dishonesty at Baldur's Gate

Entry in Aradon’s Journal;

‘Well one could not say that a trip to Baldur’s Gate be a boring one, as ours has been packed with antics from the moment we stepped foot in this huge city. Minus two of our usual order i might add, seem that our two loyal wizards are having trouble setting up base back in Cormyr. Athon and Zyanne decided to use the teleport stone to make sure the wizards are doing right by Delamor’s orders. They left this morning.

Which lead us to continue our trek towards Baldur’s Gate, and soon arrived at its outskirts. Eager to find a temple of Amunator i decided to make haste and lead the party assertively through the shanty towns and into the more bustling parts of the city. After a brief discussion with a member of the Flaming Fists, Baldur’s Gate’’ law-keepers, we headed towards old town. During our travels we came upon a small Necropolis which we had to travel through, and that was about the time i started to realise we seem able to get into trouble easily!

After hearing some shouting we found a group of half-orcs and humans attacking someone amongst the tombs. They were not keen to halt their actions and so a fight ensued, where we were encouraged by the victim to be on his side. We obliged and this is where we first met Garad Ellerton who told us he was working with the Flaming Fist to oust some thieves guilds in the city. Unfortunately he name was about where his honesty ended, and we were quickly escorted towards a guard station when we discovered he was lying! Delamor seemed to take particular offence at our new companion, however i was more concerned with Gregg’s new trophy that hung from his belt. One of the hands of the humans we had just fought. I must remember to speak to him about being tactful in a new place.

The guards seemed suspicions about our intentions and i tried my best to ensure they understood we had good intentions. Delamor became extremely frustrated at the guard on a power trip and earned a stay in the cells, i explained to him that it would all be sorted out shortly and he begrudgingly agreed to be led away clutching his precious orb. The guards seemed to be a little be more lenient after Delamours departure and myself and the remaining members of the party were lead to a suitable inn, the Silver Star.

Once the guards had left, i make it perfectly clear to our new ‘friend’ that he had caused a lot of trouble for our party and that he was not to leave until i felt his debt had been repaid. He said he was part of a guild (he was vague on purpose) and could help with Delamor’s predicament provided her could speak with some if its members, i let him go but took Garad’s dagger for insurance. At that point Belgarath indicated he had some things to do around the merchant district, so i took the opportunity to go to the temple of Amunator with Gregg in tow.

Although I’m not yet certain what has happened to me recently the monks in the temple were able to give me a great deal of information about Amunator. I will write more about my experiences later as right now i feel i just don’t understand enough about my new god. I plucked Gregg from the temple of Kord, apparently some of the younger worshippers were getting disturbed by his new trinket, which has started to smell a little by now. I suggested we tried to find his contact Menhir to see about what he wanted. The trip was pretty short and after speaking to Menhir we were soon on our way back to the Silver Star. Gregg was told to wait upon some possible bodyguard work that might come his way.

Upon returning to the Silver Star, we caught up with Belgarath who had been trying to find components of something or other. He has started collecting a mass of objects that he is intending to play, and Amunator only knows what he wants to end up with. To my surprise Garad returned and Delamor was not far behind him. Seem’s Garad is keen to gain our trust s what ever he sorted out for Delamor must have worked. Delamor informed us he had time to take a trip to the Water Deep Embassy and deliver the letter’s he had from Zyanne.

By that time i was too emotionally tired to be listening to anyone, so right now i’m sat in the Silver Star with a small jug of ale. There is word of a travelling circus setting up outside, i might go and have a look around to take my mind of things.’

- Aradon Thrall

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Session 20
The Dragon in the Gorge

Still on our way to Balder’s Gate we came upon yet another village in trouble and plagued apparently by kobolds. It seems that the company of dwarven warriors that they had been paying to protect them had been decimated in the night. I negotiated with the “mayor” to take over the contract that had been the dwarves and we went out to investigate things more thoroughly.
We shortly came upon a gorge which Zyanne and Belgarath infiltrated by stealthy means. We discovered many different holes and possible entrances into the kobold base.
Having chosen an entrance Zyanne, Belgarath, and myself made our way to the top of the cliff and decimated the enemies within just in time for Athon, Aradon, and Gregg to eventually make their way up the cliff and join us for the last couple of moments.
We captured two of the Kobolds and used our combined diplomatic skills to ensure that they would show us the quickest route to the boss lady, or what ever it was they actually called it. I don’t remember really. Just that the kobolds had pissed her off so she usurped leadership of them all and was using them as shock troops.

These Kobolds led us to the main chamber where we made relatively short work of the second evil dragon in our careers.
We have gathered up the items that will prove to be of use to us in the future and have begun debating what to do with the Kobolds. Where to next? Try to divert the group to Cormyr to sort the things happening there? Straight to Waterdeep to help Zyanne’s father or still to Balder’s Gate as originally planned. We will just have to wait and see which way fate points us.

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Session 19
Cleansing the Temple

To Mutt and Geoff (wizards of Sehanine and recruiting squad for the Company of the Purple Eclipse)

I hope that you are having a more boring adventure than us on your trip back to Cormyr. Please ensure that you speak to a member of the court in the Capital before setting up the chapter house as it is very important that the Company does everything completely above board. Remember to be frugal with the spending but, generous enough to accomplish our goals. I will of course be sending back regular payment but, some work will need to be put in by yourselves and any new recruits in order to make sure that both our coffers and our reputations swell appropriately.
It is very important that you spend the enclosed crowns on securing able bodied and trustworthy guards as Diker Thane has gone so far as to take a bounty out on company members (I hope that the bounty only applies to the founding members but, you should be aware and alert just in case). Thus far he has only sent a few bumbling Zhentarim agents after us but, they are a desperate organisation and may continue to tempt Sehanine’s wrath by attacking her chosen worshippers whenever they can. It is important for both the Company and the Goddess that you are successful and you can trust me when I say your efforts will be well rewarded.
Also, if possible could you send by way of animal messenger any news you can find out about Everwood and Daggerfall. It seems the village of Everwood has been plagued by false clerics of Sehanine for the last 10 years and I want to be prepared thoroughly for any similar endeavours which take Our Lady’s name in vain.
It is no secret among the faithful that Sehanine has suffered greatly at the hands of Cyric’s followers but, too many are worshipping only her darker half and not paying proper worship to the whole. We must do what we can to change this.
With that in mind The Company of the Purple Eclipse have rescued a child from the clutches of Shar worshippers and are this moment planning on burning the offending temple to the ground. I will then oversee the construction of a suitable Shrine to Sehanine and will do what I can to educate the locals in the proper rights and rituals. It is time for the Goddess to be made whole again and this is but, the first step on that road.
Also, if you have a moment try to find out if there is someone called Devlin in the history of this town and whether or not it is the same blasphemer we encountered at Spellguard.
He seems to be worshipped as some sort of hero around here and me thinks that is not a good thing if they be the same.

Memorable moments:

A shitload of natural 20’s – including three in a row for “save end” effects (Gregg, Athon, and Delamor)
Rob’s attempt to confiscate one specific dice

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Session 18
Homecoming

To be filled in by Sarah, I believe. — was actually in the process of writing a new page “Session 18 – Diker sends his regards” when you made this Rob sorry! Maybe it can be
Zyanne’s viewpoint and inner monologue:

After the most costly battle we have fought yet we made our way back to the monastery, with the body of our dead leader in tow.

The monks at the monastery were extremely shocked to see us unveil poor dead Aradon and immediately set about finding appropriate ingredients for a resurrection ritual.

After long hours of chanting finally Aradon stirred, at first he was upset that we had dragged him away from his beloved God then with renewed strength and what seemed like even more rigorous faith he understood that his time on this earth was not finished and that his God required still more service of him, he vowed to bring the word and light of his God to still more people.
However it had been an extremely tiring few days for all of us so we all retired to get some rest.

The next day we set out for Loudwater via the small hamlet of Lorkh, where Athon and I hoped to be cured of the mummy rot we had contracted from those fowl creatures in our last battle.
It was a fairly eventless journey about a half a days ride so we arrived and sort out the priest that it was said would cures us. True to what we were told we were shortly told we were free of the disease and we both breathed a sigh of relief!
The townsfolk were a little weary of strangers around so we sort rooms in the local Inn to rest further, Aradon was still not at his full strength yet but the monks had told us he would be healthy again in 2 days so we settled in to await the return of his health and Athon decided to celebrate his newfound health with a drink at the local tavern. I would say that these couple of days were rather boring but wouldn’t want to tempt the fates into putting us through further death and disease!

When our party was rested and at full health we set out for Loudwater, Delamor was in high spirits anticipating another big party and a chance to show off his charms to his full advantage.
We rode hard and were but a few miles from Loudwater when we came upon a rather disturbing sight, a wagon which looked to contain all the provisions a small family would need to survive, all of it set alight! Upon further inspection the unfortunate man and his wife along with what was to be assumed a bodyguard of some sort were discovered nearby murdered.
The roads between towns are not always the safest but these people had been murdered in cold blood and their possessions clearly burned, this seemed very odd to all our party and so we searched the wagon further
and discovered children’s clothes and a few toys but we had not found any bodies of children.
Belgarath and I searched around the sight and found tracks of what seemed to be several men and smaller footprints, they must have taken the children but Goddess knows why!?
Delamor and Aradon lost no time in assuming bandit kidnappers and followed the tracks we had found; they went South into the forest a few hundred yards and then we lost them so I was asked to creep around a bit and see what I could find.
As fast and as silent as the wind I looked about for where the tracks picked up, creeping ahead I came across a clearing in the woods with the ruins of an old farmhouse and some outbuildings, I could see a couple of bandits busy over in the ruins of an old outhouse which seemed to contain a couple of empty cages.
I crept back to report this to the others and then it was decided Belgarath and I, being the lightest of step, should creep ahead and confront these bunglers and the others should ride in as a surprise attack.
We got up as far as the edge of the clearing completely unheard, and could see another bandit pulling two children out of one of the buildings towards the empty cages, then my unfortunate friend stepped on a branch or old rotten floor board and made an almighty CRACK! I immediately ducked behind the walls but it was too late for Belgarath, the bandits had seen him and charged forward to attack. The child holding bandit gave the children a hard shove into the caged and then joined the fight and he was followed by further shouts from the main building.
They threw knives and Belgarath cast a spell at them, but a nasty looking Lizard man with a wizard like staff appeared and cast a spell that turned the ground under Belgarath’s feet to marshy swamp. I got in a couple of good sling shots from behind my cover and damaged the lizard man well enough for him to retreat somewhat, then more bandits piled out of the outbuildings followed by a man who appeared to be their leader, but I could still hear orders being barked from the main building, until finally a disgusting looking creature hovered into view!
A giant floating head like thing with eyes on tentacles and a great gaping mouth with razor sharp teeth… it was a beholder! (Out of character, pauses for the eye of the beholder jokes!)
Belgarath and I continued to attack the bandits and their misguided leader and got in a few good blows at them, the leader especially started to look rather bloody and then the rest of our party arrived charging in on horseback.

The bandits looked rather horrified, especially as Delamor, cloak flying out behind him, charged right into the fray, up to the beholder and gave him an almighty smack with his large songblade!
Right behind him Athon charged in with his glowing sword and stabbed a couple more bandits and then Gregg, charged over and skewered several of the bandits like swamprats of a roasting spit, the remaining bandits started to fall back as Aradon rode up and also attacked the beholder and one of the bandits.

Belgarath who was still trying to deal with the marshy ground the lizard man had cast then let out an almighty blast and struck the beholder an amazing blow that seemed to knock the wind out of him for a while and then rounded on the lizard man giving him so much trouble, leaving me the perfect time to sneak in and land the fatal blow on the beholder.
With him out of the way Aradon rounded on the lizard man too and took his head clean off his shoulders. Athon caught another one of the bandits and I got a killing blow at the leader. The last remaining bandit looked like he’d wet himself and started to run to the tree line for cover Aradon leapt his horse over the wall separating them and cut the bandit down where he stood then immediately rode over to the cages where the children were with Gregg right behind him.
While they broke the children out and tried to calm them, I and the others raided the bodies for clues as to what they might have wanted them for. In the pocket of one of the bandits Athon came across a note which appeared to be from Zark, that blasted dwarf that skipped Loudwater as we arrived with a package for him all those months ago. It was to his unamed master, detailing plans of smuggling and slave trading jobs that they were in the process of doing. Aradon and Delamor calmed the children and managed to ascertain that they and their unfortunate parents had set out from Loudwater to go to Spellguard to try their luck at the mining works there, evidently their luck had all but run out and they were attacked and the children taken, the children said they had an Aunt in Loudwater so we put them up on the cart and rode in that direction, hitching their wagon up to our horses as we past it.

Arriving at the gates of Loudwater, it was obvious the walls had been fortified since we’d left and there were lots of guards on watch, but none of them seemed to recognise us so we enquired after the Captain, the guard seemed surprised that we knew the Captain personally and sent for him asking us to wait at the gate, within a few moments the Captain jogged up. “Good grief its you..”he said “Its ok let them past” he said to his men. we were ushered through the gates he asked about the children and we told him the story he sent the children with one of his guards to their family and then lead the way to Lady Moonfire’s house, where she, her sister and Curruvar were.

Lady Moonfire was very pleased to see us and seemed to think it appriopriate to show her happiness and gratitude in every kind of pie you can imagine. So between mouthfuls we told all the story of what had happened to us since we left Loudwater, about the journey to Spellguard, the monastery, the wererats, the journey through the catacombs, the battles in the tower, of the dragon, of speaking with Lady Saharel and of Aradon’s untimely death! All the while they were gasping and asking questions and so then we told of how Lady Saharel had said that for the moment Loudwater was safe but that Diker Thaine was in fact working for an even more evil presence than himself and that in order to stop him we must travel to Baldur’s gate to find one of the swords that has the power to kill him. “But first..” Said the lady “We will have a celebration in honour of your saving the town and all the surrounding lands.”
Aradon then took Curravar to one side and informed him we had the books he had been looking for and so he offered a large purse with 5oo gold for them and a bargain was struck.
All the townsfolk gathered in the town square and a party was arranged, we all dressed in our finest and speeches were given, we were presented with silver stars which granted us the “freedom of the town and the favour of the Lady Moonfire” with all the towns hearty thanks. I was just beginning to think this was boring and wonder if any of these townsfolk were rich enough to pickpocket when the well in the center of the square began to make a loud crackling sound like fire and lightning and the townspeople gasped and fell back as a large crackling serpentine creature slithered forth from the well and hissed “Diker sends his regards!” and with that it spat lightning at the crowd who all scattered immediately! It was a Behir.
We all leaped from the stage we had been stood upon and the battle began, with everyone hitting the creature and being hit in there turn. Gregg managed to catch it full on with his great axe and know it prone and Aradon hit it with a blow so mighty it kept on hurting, Belgarath also landed a great blast of his best spell Chromatical and did it vast damage the Athon hit it with his flaming sword but was hit back and knocked out, Gregg attacked again ad did more damage and then I somersaulted across and landed a great blow with advantage to my combat. Delamor hit the beast with his righteous smite and as Aradon was healing Athon the beast was finally felled.

If anybody has anything to add feel free…

Funny moments in play :
Aradon getting outed!
Discussion about the Hulks favourite quality street.

DM’s tally of naturals
20’s rolled:3
1’s rolled 4

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Session 17
Warlord's Lament

From the Chronicles of Athon Bewick
-——————————————————————————————————————-
One of the more unusual occurrences that can happen is to observe your own body through someone else’s eyes. Nothing can prepare you for the bewilderment and initial confusion that can befall you when such a thing happens. So it was, I was looking through the eyes of Gregg, and he was looking at his own body through my own eyes. Stranger of all was the axe, when I had tried to wield it before I felt it was a cumbersome weapon, not the sort of thing I had been trained to wield but now it felt strangely comforting. As ever there was little time for thought as we were still in the middle of pitched battle, thankfully Gregg’s body was back under independent control and we as a group returned to the task at hand, fraught that it was. The remaining creatures were finished off in short order and our minds returned to our own bodies. As dangerous as the encounter had been it had rewarded us with some new armour and weapons that the group busily equipped themselves with. There was now only one room left to search, and little did we know what awaited us.

Entering a new room there is always trepidation and care if you were Zyanne, or seeing if you could rip the door from the hinges if you were Gregg (of course Aradon and Delamor might have tried to talk the door open but that is another story). As soon as we entered we saw stumbling shapes wrapped in bandages approaching us, a scuttle of some kind of beetle scarab and a hovering skull all aflame bearing down. We got down to the task at hand, we had fought dragons and demons and had come through with all limbs intact, what could these creatures offer us?

The shock felt when Aradon expired was palpable, a momentary pause as if the world had drawn breath and held it, but it did not and soon myself and Delamor were on the way to joining him in the afterlife, only to be dragged back in the scant nick of time. The combat dragged on, far too long that it should have or that we expected it to but soon all of our enemies were vanquished. There was a lot of treasure in that room, Delamor could barely hide his glee at an orb, Gregg tried to look sophisticated by wearing a monocle but it wasn’t really fooling anyone at that stage.

Nought could be done for Aradon at that stage so we picked him up and we carried our fallen comrade back to the Monastery. On the way, both myself and Zyanne started to fall ill, could it be that we had been infected by something from the Mummies?

The Monastery was over the next hill, our worries would have to wait until then.

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Session 16
A Lady and a Keep

From the thoughts, letters, and musings of Delamor Campion, Chosen of Sehanine

Lady Saharel stood before us proof that not all undead creatures were evil and needed to be feared. As we had provided a service to her she chose to answer a question posed by each of us in turn.

The first to ask his question was Athon who simply wanted to know what hope we really had against a being like Diker Thane. Lady Saharel revealed to us in her answer that Diker is but, a pawn in a wider plan. He serves Ssazz Tam, the Lich Lord of Thay and in order to defeat him someone will need to gather up the Narselkin. Three swords made by Diker’s mortal father and strewn throughout Faerun by time. Clues to the locations were revealed to be at Candlekeep and Stormkeep (which we had already planned to travel to) will help us find the others. I can not help but, think that if we do not embark upon this quest than no others will and that much pain and misery will be brought upon the world. Something we have all experienced too much of in the centuries since Cyric through his lies and deceit convinced the Goddess to help him slay Mystra. I hope that somehow I will be able to aid in healing her mind through the betterment of things on this mortal plane. With that goal in mind I ask my question of Lady Saharel and that simply is “Is there anyway for the Darano clan to be cleansed of their lycanthropy without putting them to the sword?” It is something I am compelled to ask by the Goddess’s divine will and knowing that her empowerment over the lycanthropes has not been the same since that fateful day. It is also something I promised the Daranos I would ask on their behalf. The answer is simple though the solution is not. They must travel to Wealdath Woods and pray for forgiveness to absolve themselves of their ancestors’ sins.

Aradon asks the next question. I do not remember the exact words only that it had to do with whether or not the Company of the Purple Eclipse had a greater destiny. Much was said by the Lady Saharel in response to this and the order of things is mixed up in my head but, I have no doubt we do have a destiny and that it involves many adventures and campaigns. She says we will go to Baldur’s Gate, across the sea, into the Underdark, and that we will indeed return to Cormyr and Wheloon someday. Also that we will travel to an earthmote and to other planes.

Then Belgarath asks something about becoming more powerful both individually and as a group. The Lady chooses simply to point us in the direction of Baldur’s Gate and a mage named Gilthan.

Next is a question from Gregg and one I must say I found rather insightful. Knowing that we needed to go to Stormkeep to learn more about the Narselkin and that the tower had no visible doorways he enquired as to how we would get into the place. The answer was to follow the black dove upon the plane of stone a riddle which later became more a statement of fact and much straighter forward than many of us had thought.

Lastly, Zyanne was looked upon for her question. It was obvious to me and somewhat evident to the others that she was struggling for a question to ask. Did she ask something that was going to propel the Company forward into more adventures? Perhaps something of a flippant nature? In the end her true heart and love shone through when she quite simply asked the Lady “How can I ensure success and happiness for my family?” Lady Saharel then spoke of how Zyanne should let her father know of the Korinn Isles and explain that the waters off the North-western side would provide enough money to secure success and a limited form of happiness for all of them.

Upon answering Zyanne’s question the Lady Saharel faded away and we set about the business of packing for our journey back to Loudwater via Stormkeep.

Aradon and I sent the wizards (Laurel & Hardy) off with Thurr Gargengrim back to Cormyr to set-up the first Chapter House for the Company of the Purple Eclipse and have begun discussing the ideal layout and provisions for the Chapter Houses. I took a few moments to impart to the Daranos the information I had gleaned from Lady Saharel and to offer them the Goddess’s blessing upon their travels.

After an extended rest we set out for Stormkeep.

About a day later we came upon the stone plain that Lady Saharel had spoken of and eventually spotted a flock of white birds with one of black among them. I slowly approached the bird and the rest of the flock scattered to the four winds. This one did not move until I reached for the green stone at its feet. I used the knowledge of the Art that Athon has thus far imparted upon me to discern that this stone was in fact the key to Stormkeep and we made our way inside.

We were quickly faced with the need to make a decision about direction of travel and decided to descend down some spiral staircases before getting too far into the keep itself. We found at the bottom of these stairs a flooded room with water up to our knees with broken skeleton and festering mounds of flesh. Stepping into the room to inspect the corpses and ensure the souls were lain to rest I set off some sort of blade trap and the undead revealed themselves for what they were. Two Corruption Corpses, a Mad Wraith, and a Zombie Hulk with the assistance of some skeletons attempted to add us to their ranks. I called upon the Goddess and inscribed a hallowed circle about us in order to bolster our defences. Aradon was damaged by the trap and Zyanne… well Zyanne amazed us all yet again by running down the stairs, leaping over our heads, and nearly killing one of the Corruption Corpses in one hit. She then busied herself disarming the trap so that it would not be able to harm us again.

Belgarath used some kind of Sun power and Athon used a flaming cyclone to wondrous effect. Neither of previous actions did much to impress Gregg as he was caught in the blasts from both effects (although, his revenge was coming thanks to our later encounter with a Brain in a Jar).

Eventually, we whittled the enemy down to the last corpse and Zyanne flings the Horn Totem at it only to miss critically and have the dagger return to her hand just in time to see Gregg decapitate it with his axe and for many of us to be caught in the resulting explosion.

After investigating the room I give the Jade Behemoth statue found within to Zyanne and consecrate the room against future undead outbreaks (and taking copious notes of the traps design) we vacated back up the spiral staircase where the choice was again which direction to go in. Our strategy for this particular building has been decided as left first, the rest later and so we ascend the stairs on the left only to encounter a ten foot gap in the stairs with a seemingly bottomless pit between the edges. Gregg makes a fantastic leap only to come up feet short. He barely manages to grab hold of the opposite side and haul himself up. We then use our rope and combined strengths to rig up a failsafe device for the others. Something that seems totally unnecessary by how easily everyone makes it across until Belgarath fails and uses the rope to finish his way across. Zyanne is next and decides to show off by tightrope walking across, ever a show woman sometimes that one. I get Athon who is much stronger and athletic than me to carry the armour across and follow behind. Ensuring to don the rainment again upon reaching the other side.

Once we get to the top of the stairs we come to a wide and open room and are assaulted by undead and the previously mentioned Brain in a Jar. Some sort of trap goes off and a body swap or mind swap or whatever occurs. I find myself somehow in Aradon’s body or Aradon in my body (none of us are really sure). The Brain dominated “Gregg” and sets about smashing the party to tiny pieces a little bit at a time. We all slowly get used to our new surroundings and make some progress against this new threat with Zyanne’s pet and “Athon” managing to destroy the Brain. We discover though that the zombies in this room are only permanently put down by radiant damage so I set about trying to put the final nail in the coffins of those undead still fighting.

The battle is ongoing…

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