The Hidden Hand

Session 15
A Dragon on the Wind

Ascending the seemingly never-ending tower, the party was less than pleased to spy large and suspicious spider-webs on the next floor. Sure enough, soon a group of deathjump spiders and an ettercap attempted to ambush them. Making short work of these creepy-crawlies the party investigated the two storerooms present on this floor. Using the painstakingly pieced-together alabaster key to gain entrance they rooted around and came up with some valuable loot, including a magical spear quickly seized by Aradon. The spear proved it could grow or shrink on command, becoming a greatspear faster than the eye could follow.

The party proceeded upwards, noticing ever more powerful ominous rumbles throughout the tower, confident that they were almost at the top. Several members of the party began to hurry on ahead, eager to breath fresh air again after so long within the confines of the tower. Reaching the roof with bounding steps, Gregg and Belgarath noticed the familiar figures of two gnomes, surely the same ones who had escaped their wrath earlier, standing on the tower roof manipulating some kind of device that glowed with magical light. Hearing the loudest rumble yet, the pair turned and saw an earthmote bearing down on the tower like an immense galley of rock. Gregg also noticed a thick red line wrapped around the base of the earthmote that quickly moved and resolved itself into the shape of a dragon curling its serpentine body around the mote. The earthmote was plainly on a collision course with the now-fragile seeming tower.

Fleeing as fast as their legs could carry them, the pair passed the bemused remainder of their party at a fast pace, yelling warnings of the imminent collision. Being no fools, the party followed their example and legged it. The upper reaches of the tower were hit by the earthmote first and began to collapse around the party as they hurled themselves desperately down stairwells and across stone floors. Aradon and Delamor fell behind, and were hit by falling stone, but eventually the party made it to safety just as the roof of the floor they were on was ripped away by the lowest tip of the earthmote.

The sigh of relief they breathed was brief, as the dragon uncurled itself and leapt to attack them. The battle was long and vicious, as the dragon’s firey breath and swiping claws wreaked havoc among the party, but eventually the dragon was slain, and the six adventurers set about taking scales, teeth, flammable liquid and the head as souvenirs and proof of their exploits.

Now eager to investigate the one room in the tower that had previously denied them egress, the party entered the storeroom on the third floor. A vision of a mind-flayer gave them pause, and the image of him being destroyed by an unseen force made them hesitate even more. A preliminary attempt to open the chest led to one of their number being badly burned, and a cunning plan was hatched. Alas, like so many cunning plans, it didn’t quite work, and several members of the party found themselves blinded and burned while the loot from the chest was hurried out of the room.

The party decided not to linger any longer in the obviously unstable tower, and scarpered, leaving via the front door just as the tower came crashing down behind them. An audience of scavengers, pilgrims and monks from the monastery had gathered around the tower and welcomed the party, tending their wounds with solicitous care. Spurning sleep for the moment, the party set about hiding the alabastar pillars in the ruins of Spellgard as Saharel commanded, and when the last had been well hidden, her ghost appeared behind them.

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Session 14
Demon Trouble

From the Chronicles of Athon Bewick
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The fight with the demon that had started so well was rapidly going less so. The party were taking too much damage, myself especially but we were not inflicting enough. Time and time again our attacks would fail to hit home and the demon would mock our seeming incompetance. However, our salvation would come in the unlikely shape of the two wizards Delamor had convinced to join our cause, again and again their attacks hit where ours failed to and it was indeed one of them that landed the killing blow.

Obviously we were worn out by such a lengthy battle but gratful nonetheless for it to be over. As the demon fell, the illusion protecting his seeming study fell and we could see bookshelves and a desk. As we rested, Zyanne searched for the other books that Curuvar had requested for what seemed so long ago. We had completed part of our quest. I heard a commotion next to the ritual circle, during the battle Delamor had placed the last alabaster pillar in what was assumed to be it’s place and now Aradon had entered the circle. I couldn’t see clearly but a ghostly shape of a lady appeared and seemed to talk to Aradon before fading away. Aradon then explained that this indeed had been part of a ritual to bind her and that if we hid the pillars around the ruins of Spellgard then we would each be granted one question of the Lady.

After resting a short while we decided to continue to the top of the tower. On the next floor Zyanne and Belgarath scouted ahead and found a room full of guards, bolstered (perhaps foolishly) we attacked!

Shortly after we did, another band of guards entered but they fell quickly to our blades and our magic and we pushed on into the next room, what we thought was a Dark Creeper had fled (maybe in terror as we massacred his colleagues). We noticed that there were two doors on either side of the room (as there had been in the previous room but I fear the red mist had descended slightly by this point). At this point the doors were flung open and more Dark Creepers and Jumping Spiders entered, the previous Dark Creeper had not run away, he had gone to get help.

If anything this was a more pitched battle than the one with the Demon, as once again our weapons failed to hit home. I myself felt the claws of death encroach upon me not once but twice. The battle was long and bloody but ultimately we prevailed once more but how much longer could our seeming luck hold out?

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Session 13
Thorvan's Demise

Zyanne’s internal monologue part two….

In our room we rested and chatted for a while and at what we surpposed was about midnight Belgarath, Athon and I set out to the secret “meeting” with Devlins company. Belgarath going on ahead with Athon and myself trailing as silently as we could for his protection. All went reasonabley well untill we got to the room where the meeting was sposed to take place and at that point Athon tripped over his own foot and made quite a racket, The room seemed to be empty saved a piece of paper that fluttered as if from nowhere to the ground, I watched as Belgarath read the page and then continued out of my sight and down the next flight of stairs… Athon and myself made haste and got to the note which read “I said to come alone”. Wether it was Athon who gave us away or not I wasnt sure but I knew I didnt trust this Devlin so we hurried after Belgarath. As we descended the stairs he had just gone down I heard a noise… errie laughter, as we rounded the corner we saw Belgarath get hit with a dart of some kind and fall to the floor… Athon charged forward to catch Belgarath and I followed cautiously, straining my eyes against the dark to try to percieve the danger. Athon grabed at Belgarath as another dart flew past his head and the eerie laughter grew to a high cackle… we ran!

I kept checking behind us but if we were being pursued I could not tell, with Athon virtually carrying Belgarath we made it across the foor we had just come and back up the stairs to what I hoped was safety.
As we reached the quarters where our party were resting it seemed that we had not been followed and Belgarath seemed to recover somewhat so we returned to our room and rested till dawn.
When we all awoke we shared with the party what had happend, Aradon flew into a rage he said because we had gone off and endangered ourselves and the party without first consulting him. but I thought it was because he had not been more suspicious of this Devlin in the first place. Anyhow the order was to kill on sight him or any member of his party we came across.

Still in a child like tantrum Aradon stomped off ahead of the party, and up the stairs to the next level, The wizards we had hired had advised that the next level was a kitchen which at this time of the morning wouldnt be manned and we could pass quite easily up to the dinning area above and there on up to Thorovans quarters.

As they had said the Kitchens were dark and quiet, Gregg and I both grabbing small morsles of food on the way past, the dinning area however we wernt so lucky and Aradon stomping up into the rrom quickly alerted the few surprised gnomes to our arrival, Delamor tried to blend in and pretend like we were also minions of Thorovan and started to give orders to the gnomes but the gnomes quickly saw through this and a short but bloody battle commensed.

All but two gnomes where distroyed but unfortunaly the two that seemed to simple dissapear into thin air escaped up to the next level and warned whoever or whatever was up their of our impending arrival.

On up the stairs we went, Aradon had calmed down enough to give the order that Thorovan was to be taking alive for interogation. The minions were reasonabley quickly disposed of and Thorovan was captured as per orders… unfortunatly he gave us very little information other than criptic reffereces to a higher evil before he activated a small explosive divice within his own head and was quickly reduced to just a ribcage.

All very gory with very little shiny to show for it but since its what the company of the purple eclipse party will’s I will just have to endure and hope for shinier things ahead.

Further on up the tower we climbed, on the next level there seemed to be an old man tired up as prisoner to Thorovan, he begged us to free him said he had been kept there for days, Delamor questioned him but gained very little information, he seemed as though he didnt trust this seemingly helpless prisoner and called his bluff to reveal him to be a very large and very scary looking oni deamon who from what he said seemed to be master to Thorovan himself!!

The battle with the Oni begain….

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Session 12
Ascending the Tower

Zyanne’s internal monologue while ascending the tower:

Really releived to be out of those catacombs, fowl smell and even fowler creatures! Note to self really hate spiders, must try to invent some sort of spray type thing that repells them.

Now the leader has asked me to go on ahead up the next set of stairs and scout out what enermies might be there, stealth is fun, enjoy the feeling I can see them they cant see me. Report back a room with gnomes and some other fowlness that looks rather too spider-like for my comfort, ettercaps I think! Ordered to go in on a surprise attack and take out what I can before they notice.

Have been itching to try a new move I’ve been working on so cartwheel my way to first enermy and hand spring assault him, haha that worked brilliantly the gnome looks severly confused and damaged! The others then rush in and battle commenses, very pleased with myself I’ll take on another one of those gnomes!

With those nastys well taken care off and that tactic working so well its descided I should try it again on the next level up, sneak ahead and try my best to see whats up ahead and relay it back to the party without being heard, unfortunatly am spotted, element of surprise is lost! Curses!!
Battle commenses again this time all gnomes but with some skill and some magic to their attacks, we fight valiantly and are at last successful, but not before Aradon tried to throw a bottle of brimstone at one of the enermies and was very unfortunate in his timing as just at that moment he sneezed and nearly singed off his own eyebrows!!

We raid the stores and loot the bodies but nothing much of any significance if you ask me, Aradon finds a keg of beer and desides to leave it with a note for that very shady character Devlin and his party that we had met a few battles ago, foolish if you ask me I didnt like or trust him one bit too shadowy and mysterious by half… wish I could be like that!

Its desided to take a short rest and then continue up to the next level so we do but then Belgarath discovers a note in his pocket… I knew that Devlin and his company were sneaky but thats genius even by rogue standards!! The note says to meet them in one of the rooms we’d been in previously at midnight and to come alone… yeah like we’re going to let that happen!! “Dear Belgarath, this is a trap please be stupid enough to come alone and be killed! Love Devlin” HA!!

We continue up to the next level and are greeted by an empty corridor with several rooms within it and a shining curtain up ahead, Delamor and I go first listening at the doors of the two rooms I cant hear anything from my room but Delamor whispers that their is somthing behind his door Gregg stomps over to that room so loud that the occupants open the door and atempt to attack, a little foolish on their part since there was only to of them again Delamor and Gregg!! They are swiftly made to see reason and surrender.

The men obviously have this covered so I discide to have a little poke around the other room and discover an intersting chest, locked but this isnt a problem for me getting out my little friends I swiftly unlock the chest and discover quite a few shiny items within it… unfortunaly Gregg has come up behind me and the Athon behind him, I conseal what I can but theres no hiding a set of leather armour so I have to hand it over to Athon to placate him, didnt realise it was actualy magic armor and worth more than the small amount of shiny I managed to stash! Darn!! Note to self apraise things better before handing them over!!

While all this was going on Aradon and Belgarath decide to “Examine” the shining curtain and somehow end up as naked and the day they came screaming into the world!! Not quite sure how that happened but the wizards that were occupying the room Delamor and Gregg just emptied explane (Between bursts of laughter) that it is just an illussion and will wear off soon.

Its dicided then that we should spend the night resting in these rooms as they are the most comfortable we are likly to come across for a while and then move on up the tower after resting. Delamor and and Aradon staying the in room with the wizards to be sure they dont escape and warn Thoravan of our plan, and Gregg, Athon, Belgarath and myself in the other room. So we all settle to rest and regain our strength.

While guarding the wizards aparantly Delamor was so diplomatic and convincing they not only gave us as much information as they had but, also managed to hire them to work for us…. for a fair fee of course!

To be continued on the next page….

(Ive just written things as I remmber things so if you think Ive remmebered something wrong please feel free to change it)

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Session 11
Entering the Scepter Tower

The Chronicales of Gregg the Barberian.

As seen thtough the Eyes of Gregg all events are Gregg saw them anyone who says Differently will have their door kicked in.

Upon entering the coridoor Delamor sneaked off down and to the right with Aradon in purcuit trying his hardest to be stealthy
but all the armor makes for a amazing clanking of metal. Gregg just laughs to himself wondering why the rogue wasnt the one to go first but our “leader” knows best….
With foot steps get louder towards the door Delamor shouts back Gregg, Belgarath cover the rear as he ran past to assist at the front with Aradon biting off more then he could handle with the skitering bug. Gregg hates spider because he is jealous they have more arms then he does.
Now the battle starts.

With blood pumping waiting for that side door to slide open ready to pounce on his prey Gregg stands ready with Belgarath providing the range support.
The click of the door lock the handle turns and Gregg’s move into motion pounding the first square in the face, with a huge grin this had been what hes been waiting for.
with swift movement ducking a weaving managing to dodge attacks to get closer to his enemy now surrounded Gregg laughs but they are unphazed by this hulking monster all four swing but only one lands a decieve blow knock Gregg of balence before over his shoulder a Ball of lightening energy roars through the air blasting one across the room into the wall and shocking another close by gregg just hopes like came from Belgarath because he wouldnt of want to be on the end of recieving end of that.
A great cleave dealing out damage to all the oppose him one of the enemies took the brunt of the damage he looks seriously wound. Gregg wonders why they still stand who are these warriors.
Gregg letting out a mighty roar seems more invigorated and runs to join the rest of his party Belgarath can finish the rest off.

running into the room is appears that all was not going well spider were everywhere jump from the walls and ceiling one unleashed a mighty web trap all the were inside restricting the movement of Delamor and Athon while Zyanne and Aradon were fighting across the room with more spiders.

Gregg heroicly moves through the web and sticky terrain to only be biten in the neck and poison slowly seeps through his veins
draining the life out of him sliping into the darkness.
[Unknown to Gregg]

[Gregg Healed]

Aradon whispers a prayer which brings gregg around gaining a second wind so to say.
jumps forward in a rage destroying his foe blow after blow he lands but still it stand a final hit and it runs but entangling gregg to the floor watching it run away nothing gregg can do but wait Delamor sees gregg rooted and trys to purcuit the fleeing enemy but is cut down by a passing attack will it call for more allies no he slayen just intime by Aradon.
riping apart the web at his feet gregg leaps towards the finial enemy landing an Avalanche of stikes leaving it on its last legs before someone lands the last blow.

[Gregg Sleeps]

[Gregg woken up]

a shimmering figure is talking to Aradon with more behind seeing this gregg wonders why they are here.
later finding out that they are the company of the freecrestant in search of treasure and lady serharl.
[enquire about alabaster piller]
[Gregg shows it them]
[Gregg puts it away]
[We carry on through the door leaving them behind]

If ive missed anything please feel free to Add Sorry for lateness ive been really busy not had chance to update to 4th level will be doing this at work during lunch or at the game tonight. Travi

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Session 10
Vampire....ah...ah....aaah

This week saw the majority of the session taken up by an epic fight with a high vampire, Aradon details it more in his journal;

‘The room we entered would be described as decrepit luxury, with age and undead infection tainting what once would have been a great hall. Decorative urns lined the walls around a fine carpet that had had a noticeable layer of dust on it. In the centre, an decorative throne carved from stop and sat atop was who we now know to be Barthus, a vampire lord.

Keen to stifle any undead threat, Delamor was the first to enter the room and engage the vampire in one of our longer battles to date. The vampire lord fought hard and cast a sickening cloud of blood red mist that seemed to aid him in regeneration. As I realised more about this foe, it occurred to me that he needed some place to rest in order to regenerate his body, and Delamor made it his mission to find such a place.

As he was tuning the room inside out and myself and the others were trying to keep the lord busy, and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Gregg turn on our wizard and strike at him with his axe. One look into his eye confirmed that he was being manipulated by the vampire, and fortunately he was able to shake it off. Athon fell under a similar affliction later on in the battle and needed my help to break free of the bond.

Belgarath informed us that we would have some company when he heard voices coming from down the corridor. He was able to stem the supply of re-enforcements with some well placed fire bursts down the corridor. Still the lord stood as we threw everything we could at him.

Eventually he fell after a nasty blow, and his body depleted into ash. By this time Delamor had found the evil beings resting place and saw to it that it would be unusable in future. With that we decided to rest up in the grand chamber, with our wizard able to lock the door under some kind of spell. It was comforting knowing that we would be safe to get some sleep.

Unsure as to whether it is day or night, we awoke to continue our journey through the catacombs. Exiting the room we carried on to what seemed like a church dedicated to Bane, something which Delamor was non to pleased about. I took a general look around as he proceeded to deface and generally break any holy symbol dedicated to bane he could find. Once he had gotten it out of his system we moved on to the next room.

I was about to step into the room myself, until Zyanne pointed out the hidden grates in the floor. She was able to open them and determine there was some kind of water based trap I this room and it appeared to be littered with pressure plates. We were doing well until I was unfortunate enough to trigger the mechanism. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I hear about that as gallons of water started to pour into the room and piles of bones started to animate in the corners of the room!

Fresh from a rest we were able to dispatch the animated skeletons quite quickly and turn off the water jets. Allowing us to wade to the door leading out and up. We are now sat in what seems to be the bottom of the Sceptre Tower and I’m growing uneasy thinking about what we might find here.’

Aradon Thrall

Memorable moments this session:

The EPIC 3 hour long battle against the vampire lord Barthus.

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Session 8
Catacombs of the Sceptre Tower

SESSION 8: “CATACOMBS OF THE SCEPTRE TOWER
By Belgarath the Mage

After our last encounter and capturing Calmo the Halfling we preceded to lead down and through what looked like a storage room/guard room with 5 yapping Hungry Grey wolves awaiting our movements, the halfling led us through the room to a door where we waited for permission to continue. Eventually we were beckoned forward and entered another room where we were greeted by a not very happy Black robed person of much magical prowess as Belgarath had detected, (Rob described as the “Man in Black”, where Gregg said Will Smith!! LOL..)he was not happy at our party decimating half of his clan, nevertheless he gave us information about catacombs under the Sceptre tower and that one of his guides would lead us to the entrance, but not go in due to all the undead activity.

Delamor suggested and we all agreed to return to the monastery near spellguard and rest up and seek more information regarding the Lady Saharel and the Sceptre Tower, the party learnt that the tower was basically set-up as expected with a tower and pretty much what we knew of the Lady Saharel and that a ritual could hold her which would need the Pillars of Alabaster,after resting overnight we made our way back to the ramparts and the sight of a new door to replace the one that Gregg the Barbarian had kicked in the day before.
The guide led the party of “The Unorthodox Adventurers” to the edge of the catacombs, we were now alone!!

We entered a corridor in the catacombs leading to a chamber where we were attacked by 3 Shadow Hunter Bats and a Bone Charge Skeleton, immediately we went to battle, this first encounter however did not start well with most of the group missing their attacks except for Zyanne and Athon who both got stuck into battle and also received very heavy wounds, Belgaraths spells were going anywhere but at the targets, Gregg and Aradon were also not striking the enemy, at one point Aradon went to grab a bat missed and ended doing a spazzy grasp at nothing, finally the party starting get successful. Belgarath killed a bat with a magic Missile, after repeated hits on the Bone Charge skeleton, Delamor and Zyanne both hit criticals and destroyed the skeleton, Athon killed another of the bats, so that the chamber was now free of enemy.
The chamber had a bridge which we crossed except for Aradon who decided to run and jump the sewer and promptly ended in the sewer covered with well use your imagination…. (but not very pleasant for us!!)

At this point most of the party were able to level up and we continued through the dark, dank catacombs onward towards the tower, as we entered the next chamber worse was to come….
This chamber had several coffins of which skeletons with shortbows were hiding behind and we could see a corridor at the back of the chamber with a large pile of bones, Belgarath despatched 4 of the skeletons into flames with a scorching burst, Zyanne starting shooting with her sling from on top of the coffins and killed one of the skeletons, Athon went into battle killing two skeletons with his Flaming Blade and magic, mid battle Gregg and Aradon spent a round arguing tactics. Delamor and Gregg were confronted by two spectres who became a very big annoyance to the party, after much battle here Delamor killed one of the spectres, with Zyanne killing the other with her sling, Greg and Aradon also killed a skeleton each with Belgarath hitting the last with a magic missile, to clear out the skeletons.

The party proceeded into the next chamber where a large pile of bones were stacked up, Gregg hit a great critical while seraching the bones to find 1 Pillar of Alabaster (needed for the ritual to control Lady Saharel), two Amulets of Health and some gold pieces.
The party briefly rested to catch wind, and ready for what may lay ahead through the catacombs of undead, then onwards except that we discovered that the south corridror was impassable due to all the lying rubble and so we had to trace our way back to the first catacomb and head towards the west door in the chamber.
To Delamor’s shock and surprise the door was a trap and had spikes on which pinned him against the wall, he needed Gregg’s strength to help Delamor free from the trap, we were lucky that Zyanne was able to disarm the trap so we all passed through safely into more darkness, and dank, eerie conditions!!
We proceeded down a short corridor into a chamber which had sewers running through, and gratings, and a door on the western wall, Gregg and Aradon proceeded to open the gratings, after Aradon discovered they open and there was a rung ladder going down and they climbed down into the sewers while the rest of the party stayed above in the chamber then we were surprised by 6 rat swarms who went into attack, Belgarath killed 1 swarm with his scorching burst, Aradon using his Viper strike killed another swarm, followed by Zyanne also killing off a swarm. Gregg also hit a critical on a swarm and turned this swarm of rats into diced rat meat!!! Athon also killed a swarm with much Flame burst and green flame blade, Belgarath finished off the last swarm with a magic missile blast.
There our party awaits the next step towards reaching the Sceptre Tower……

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Session 7
'Helping' the Halflings

From the Chronicles of Athon Bewick
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During my training, Cadarin had always told me that it was a fine line between being a hero and being a villain, between the light and the dark, between being good and being evil. I never thought much about it until that time we entered that tower near Spellgard. After Gregg had (for all purposes) destroyed the door and then proceeded to launch into an attack into (from my perspective) the first person he saw had caused me to pause before following. At this stage, we had been looking for the Halflings that had been rebuilding the wall and then what Gregg had been attacking suddenly changed into something completely different and at that stage I had felt honour bound to join in.

That battle was now over, and we had a door to our East and a spiral staircase. We had heard voices from the door and that was the way I wanted to go but everybody else seemed to know best so we put a table against it and then ventured up the spiral staircase. On the first floor we encountered fire beetles, seemingly innocuous, they quickly came to attack and bathed some of us fire before they could all be killed. Delamor harvested some fluid from them into a bottle he thought might come in handy later on. The next floor up was empty save for some bare evidence that something had been living here.

Moving all the way down the staircase we found what appeared to be a cellar, with another door in the same orientation as the one on the ground floor, thinking this might be another way round to whomever was waiting we cautiously opened the door and found the corridor blocked. After careful examination several of us declared the obstacle to be rubble.

Returning to the ground floor, we then proceeded through the doors, Zyanne and Delamor led whilst the rest of us followed a short distance behind. We eventually came to another set of doors, he were discussing what to do when a voice from the other side challenged us. Delamor, quick thinking responded and seemed to almost earning some trust when we were asked a question we could not answer and at that stage Gregg started to kick the door in. This one was obviously sturdier than he thought as it took a couple of attempts before it splintered and gave way.

What waited for us in that room would prove to be our toughest battle as yet.

Spitting drakes, monster bats, men with crossbows and halberds, another of the Halflings we had encountered before already changing.

Before any battle there is a pause as the two opposing forces size each other up, that time it seemed to feel an eternity until both forces rushed to meet each other on that small field of battle.

What a battle it was, certainly the fiercest any of us had fought at that time. From the clash of sword to the flash of magic, we were in the fight of our lives and we knew it. At one point, seeing Delamor was possibly in trouble taking on three, I summoned my powers and was able to take his place and tried to take on all of his attackers at once. Although striking them I was unable to bring them down before their combined might brought me down. I was not the only casualty, Gregg and Aradon also suffered similar blows, it took the combined magics of both Aradon and Delamor to save the party (and some potions from Delamor, the existence of which was questioned by glance). Just as we thought we were gaining the upper hand we heard a noise from above, we then saw what looked like undead dogs descending from a spiral staircase in the corner of the room. Delamor hurled his bottle of liquid that he had harvested from the Fire Beetles and Belgarath did his best to ignite it, which he did. However, four of themn entered followed by another Halfling, this nearly destroyed us but due to the perseverance of all of us we prevailed and the Halfling fled nursing his wounds.

We tended to our wounds for a short while and then went after the Halfling, he was not far away and he was quickly subdued and then we started to question him and then the truth began to emerge. They were the Halflings that we had been looking for, they had been cursed a long time ago and the whole clan had come here in order to seek an audience with Lady Saharel. Delamor seemed to take this to heart and offered to help, the Halfling offered to take us to the Clan Leader. We went back to the room of the battle, and descended down the staircase…

Cadarin’s words were ringing in my ears even more loudly now.

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Session 6
Into the East

This session the group set out east towards Spellguard in search of Lady Saharal, to answer why there is trouble brewing in Loudwater and the surrounding areas. Aradon details it in his Jornal;

‘Our last stop before the long trek to Spellguard was a small tavern in Llorkh, and after travelling for a long time i was looking forward to a warm meal and a cosy bed. Upon entering the tavern i thought to myself that it wasn’t very welcoming but it was the best that we had. Everyone bought a drink and settled down for a night cap, when we were approached by the barkeep. It appeared as though a band of dwarves sat in the corner wanted to buy us a drink, so my self and Athon decided to go over and show our appreciation.

The dwarves explained they were trades who were heading east to trade whiskey with the monks at the monastery in Spellguard. They said that the trip had become more and more difficult due to goblin attacks, and that they could use some extra manpower in case of an ambush. We thought that it might be a good idea to join forces as we were heading in that direction anyway, but i asked that we confer with the others before deciding. We agreed to meet in the morning and bid them fair well. Their leader Thurr, didn’t seem to take well to me, i think he found some of my comments rude. I must remember to be more dignified in front of strangers.

The nights sleep was a good one, although the rooms were pretty basic. In the morning we decided over breakfast to take up the dwarves offer, as travelling with more people meant greater protection, plus we could use the money! So we set off east towards spell guard, which would take us a couple of weeks travel. The initial part of the journey was uneventful, and we chatted with the group of dwarves at great lengths. They were able to tell us a lot about the surrounding area and Spellguard, and gave us a better insight into the place we were headed. As we lay down for our last camp before Spellguard, our luck ran out.

On mine and Athon’s watch we heard something approaching from the east, and we arose the rest of the party. As we got towards the eastern edge of the camp we saw that it was 3 large drake accompanied by swarms of some kind of creatures. Aided by our dwarven companions armed with crossbows, we were able fell the reptilian foes. Gregg went straight back to his sleeping pouch like a zombie, not even sure he was awake for most of the fight. However no sooner had we caught our breath when another attack came from two ends of the camp, flighting insect like creatures and a hooded man. As i sprinted for the horses, our party split up to face the two pronged attack. The creatures were nasty little fellows that would bite and cling on to suck blood. A more of the Stirges fell, we were able get a good look at the masked man, it was Broshan the apothecarist from Loudwater. So it was true that he was in on the plot, perhaps this runs deeper than we think.

Delamor made it his personal mission to take down the man who he believes was responsible for Lady Moonfires attack, and fought like a pro. Eventually he was taken down, and Delamor found an incriminating note on his person, which confirmed our suspicions about his involvement in all of this. The last few Stirges were cut down with ease, and we all returned to the camp to sit down for a drink with our dwarven companions before returning to bed. Thurr indicated that he realised we knew our assailant, and I stated that were the wrong people to get on the bad side of. I fully intended the comment to be a complement to the rest of my companions for their fighting ability, however yet again the dwarven leader of the camp misread the tone in my voice. Perhaps I would be best to keep my mouth shut sometimes.

The morning came all to swiftly, yet we knew there was only one days worth of travel left to Spellguard so we pressed on. The final part of the trip passed without incident and once we reached the monastery the Dwaves paid us for our services as agreed. As we parted they mentioned that they would be staying for a couple of days and that perhaps we might accompany them back later on.

As per a letter we receive from Curuvar, we sought out Brother Allendi the head of the monastery and an old friend of the wizard. He was very welcoming and had already prepare rooms for us to stay, as well as food for the period of the trip. We thanked him, and asked him about the current state of Spellguard. It’s a place that many travellers go to on a pilgrimage to speak to the Lady Saharal and ask her a question that she will answer with the prophetic abilities. He also told us about a small halfling group who were re-building the northern wall, and a tiefling that is in the area but keeps his business secret. The monastery hadn’t heard anything from the halfling camp and the brother was getting worried about them.

After a nights sleep we decided that inspecting the halflings to the north might be a good idea, perhaps we could aid them in rebuilding the wall and earn some recognition from the Lady Saharal. On our way to the north wall, we noticed an empty camp, that looked like is had been left in a hurry. Unable to ascertain what happened we continued on to the wall. The halflings had done a good job on one half of the rampart, but it was obvious they had a lot to do as second half was still in ruin.

With no one in sight we approached the door and knocked, with no reply. We tried once more and a voice piped up asking who we were, and we stated our business. The voice behind the door suggested that there was no trouble here and our assistance wasn’t needed. Myself and Delamour were quietly discussing whether or not we felt the voice was genuine, and perhaps we should move on to our other matters. Gregg however had other ideas, and before we had chance to react he had slammed with great force into the wooden door!

The door all but exploded, and a plume of wooden splinters erupted from the entryway. Peering into the door with mouths agape, we could see that the door had obviously been barricaded from the inside as there were all manner of items stewn across the floor from Gregg’s thunderous shoulder barge. Amid pleas of objection from myself and the rest of the party, Gregg had drawn his axe and was ready to strike the startled halfling. As Delamor and Zyanne were about to grab him, something started to happen to the halfling. He was coughing and contorting, and started sprouting grows of hair from under its clothes. Whether from a hunch or sheer luck Gregg had been right to be so bold, the creature was a wererat!

The discusting creature and his allies were felled pretty quickly thanks to the quick thinking of Zyanne and Delamor pinning them on the stairs. We have taken a short rest, but I think I hear more footsteps getting closer to the door. Let us hope that some of the halflings are unharmed.’

Aradon Thrall

Memorable moments this session;

Travi ‘critting’ the door.

Jimmy: Aradon, jumps on the wagon.
Rob: Oookay…you are on a wagon.

Aradon insulting the dwarves party twice.

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Session 5
Finding A Cure

Dear Father,

Things are progressing out here in the wilds. We recently managed to put a local extortion ring out of business (at least for now). Why is it that so many that call themselves rogue lack the finesse you have in abundance? Perhaps that finesse and Mother’s influence is what kept me from slipping down the same path as many of the others. Anyway, to catch you up on what we have been up to as of late. After smashing the extortion ring we discovered that one of their number had sent beasts to attack Lady Moonfire and her sister. We were told of a druid to the north that would be able to provide an antidote for the poison they were suffering with so agreed to set out to find him. We were lent horses by the local stablemaster and set off for the grove.

We made it to the Druid’s grove without incident only to discover that someone had poisoned his water source and beat him nearly to death. Aradon, Belgarath, and I did what we could to stabilise him and it was decided we would try again in the morning. Watches were set out with Aradon and I watching over the druid while another member of our group kept a general watch.

Someone or something returned in the night to dose the pond with even more poisons and succeeded in doing so before Aradon spotted them retreating and went out after them. Unfortunately, he chose to use the window instead of the door and therefore did not enjoy much success. We seemed to have scared whoever it was off (or simply didn’t seem threatening enough to deal with at the time).

Belgarath decided that it would be best to try and keep watch in the form of an animal and quickly wild shaped into a Black Panther. Although, I was impressed with the transformation I held in the urge to explain that to the best of my knowledge the panther was more a jungle animal than one of the forest. Either way, he was able to enjoy using a new found ability and we were able to rest the remaining hours without interruption.

The next morning we took the druid and as many of his herbs, reagents, and equipment as possible back to Loudwater.

Eventually, we managed to work with the local priests, the druid, and the wizard to ensure the Ladies survived their ordeal. It was then onto the matter of what to do next. I thought it would be good to help ensure that the area around the sacred grove did not become anymore corrupted but, was outvoted by the others who thought we’d have more success in the long run if we tracked down Loudwater’s missing apothecary. I suggested that the wizard may have some kind of divination ability but, he made it quite clear that he did not and the only place to attempt gaining that sort of knowledge was in western Netheril in a place called Spellguard. We decided in this case to take the path less well travelled in the hopes of either an easier or more interesting path (depending on how you choose to look at it).

After some haggling we managed to get the local stables to sell us some horses and a cart. How quickly their gratitude for saving their business seemed to fade as even getting the little bit of a discount we did was as painful as when you removed that rotten tooth when I was 5.

Again our travels were proving quite uneventful until we were accosted by foul undead creatures. Decrepit skeletons with longbows and others that looked a cross between skeleton and zombie appeared led by a wight.

It was not an easy battle. Belgarath became so dazed for a few moments that he insisted that he was dieing and would fall off his horse in short order. Thankfully, Gregg was able to convince him that it was but a flesh wound and not only was he not going to die but, that he should fight on like the valiant warrior he is. Zyanne was not so lucky though and did fall to the creatures. I managed to get to her, avoiding the opportunistic attacks of the enemy along the way and with the power of prayer helped her to her feet to continue the battle.

After the group finished off the enemy Gregg and I set about reburying the corpses. Doing our best to make sure the correct body parts went into the appropriately marked grave. We travelled on for a bit and made camp just off the road making sure we had line of sight to the road but, that passers by would not have line of sight on us. Belgarath than used something called Explorer’s Fire to make a campfire which will provide us with all the heat we need without giving away our position.

Sincerely and Faithfully,

Delamor

Mermorable Moments:

- The great horse throwing debate
- The Bar fight @ Trip
- Gregg epic killing ability of natural 20’s
- Aradon hitting with a Daily and doing something useful (hammer and anvil and that other one)

Edited by Travi

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