The Hidden Hand

Session 4
Party Time

This session saw the heroes partaking in a masquerade banquets, held for them in honor of clearing out the barrow. Aradon’s Journal tell us the story;

’After giving up our weapons and armour, we changed into our formal clothes and entered the main hallway. It was impressively garnished with party dressings and fine cutlery, and almost seemed too large for the town of Loudwater. Nobles were gathered around eating and chatting, until we strolled in and their attention changed. After a brief smattering of applause, the Nobels formed an orderly queue as they were quite keen to meet the adventurers that had cleared the near by goblin barrow.

I thought it quite rude of Athon and Belgarath to sit down and tuck into the nearest selection of snacks, as the rest of us were more concerned with embarrassing our selves in front of the towns folk. Fortunately Delamor was the perfect gentlemen, even covering up the moment that Gregg managed to trip and spill his drink over one of the ladies dresses! Needless to say we finished our greetings quickly, and accompanied by Lady Moonfire proceeded to sit down to eat.

The sheer array of implements placed infront of us were the main reason some of us just forgot how to eat completely. Luckily Delamor was able to keep it together and calmly ate whilst chatting with the Lady, whilst some of us resorted to using our hands. After the main course, the other members around the table suggested we told them the story of how we cleared out the Barrow. Step up Delamor to the plate ones more who regaled the crowd with an impressive and gripping recollection of out journey. Sound effect and the lot, ensured that the both ourselves and the nobles enjoyed the tale.

During the after dinner chatter, we were asked by Lady Moonfire if she would be able to accompany us on a trip, to investigate a tower to the north she had always wanted to see. When we replied with interest, she suggested that we join her on a hunt the next day, so that we may spend some more time getting acquainted. In agreement Delamor suggested to the Lady Moonfire of his and our interest of the extorion racket rumor that had been going around town. She suggested that if we were to deal with any issue, we wouldn’t be held accountable for any inconvenience this may cause.

Before we could decide on the next course of action, the tables were being moved to the side of the room, as it was time for the traditional after dinner dance. Giving his excuses to Zyanne, Delamor proceeded to take the Lady towards the dance floor so i decided to cut in and made her a similar offer. Only the Wizard didn’t partake in the merriment, but i feel that was more out of caution than stubbornness. After the food and the wine, much of our party were relaxed enough to dance, and dance well, bar the odd trodden on toe.

We quickly decided to take our leave and say i goodbye to the kind hosts, we even had to pry Gregg away from some fair maiden that he had been talking to. The reason being we wanted to investigate the mysterious house that Delamor and Gregg had found the day before. Gathering up our things we hastily made our way to the other side of town and entered the building after a nice lock pick job by Zyanne. As we pressed further, we were about to enter into the next room when Gregg disappeared into the floor. It appeared as though someone didn’t want us to snoop around as he found himself in a pit trap filled with corrosive liquid.

After a short amount of time, i was able to jump to the other side, barley missing the trap myself. Zyanne was able to disable the trap after a few of us shimmied across on a rope, which allowed the remaining members to come across two. We heard faint voices on the other side of the door and decided to burst in. Zyanne thought she saw a portrait of someone in a mirror on the wall opposite, but it disappeared as we startled the occupants of the room and were quickly set upon. As the other group tried to go toe to toe with a strong Tiefling and a nimble woman, i decided to chase down the archer at the rear of the room. As Athon and Belgarath had recognised the woman as the leader and were thinking of a suitable way to dispatch her, Gregg flew into a furious rage and landed a fatal blow.

The earth seemed to shake as suddenly the others we plunged into blackness as the woman literally exploded into a cloud of black particles. We soon realise we had defeated the Lady of Shadows, and had to struggle on to finish off the others.

Once they were all dead, we had a look around and found evidence that the protection racket was part of a grander scheme. Unfortunately we were not able to ascertain how the man had appeared in the mirror on the wall, and in our annoyance and extortion missed a vital piece of information on the note we had found. The Lady of Shadow’s had been instructed to send ‘creature’ to ‘take care’ of Lady Moonfire if she started to become a problem. But after a mixture of extortion and pride in our victory we all decided to lay our heads down in the now cleared out den and get some much needed rest.

In the morning, we gathered our things and headed out to visit the Lady for our hunt, only to be greeted by the alarm ringing from her house. We broke into a sprint and tried to gain access to the building unfortunately Gregg was pretty tired and couldn’t break down the door. After the town guards did the job, we ploughed in. Everything happened so fast but the short version is that the Lady and her family were attacked by something that i saw fly off into the sky. Luckily through a combination of myself and Delamor we were able to stabilise the injured, but there was something else.

Each of those that had been attacked were stricken with some kind of vexxing poison that no one was able to ascertain it’s origin. We had to wait for the wizard we had spoken to the night before to have a look at their wounds. After showing him the note we found he was able to tell us that there might be some regents we can gather to aid the inflicted. But that they only grew far too the north. With that and the guilty knowledge that we should have warned the house about the threat last night. We quickly asked the captain of the guard for some horses and made haste in our task to find these regents.

I hope we won’t be too late.’

Aradon Thrall

Memorable moments this session:

B*Witched (don’t ask!)
Glenn breaking out the 20’s during the dinner party.
All the characters in the party can body pop!
Everyone at the table talking about how best to deal with the Lady of the Shadows, while Travi’s character pretty much cuts her in half.

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Session 3
Triumphant Return

Overzealous companions will be the death of me yet. Trying to negotiate with the Goblin Shaman may not have been one of my best ideas but, they could have at least waited until I was a bit closer to attack him. As it was he caught us bunched up in the corridor and unleashed a huge ball of flame against us. Thankfully, we had all seen enough of similar casters in our travels and managed to surround him forcing him into melee combat. He did attempt to cast while we were adjacent to him but, thanks to speedy reflexes and quick thinking on all our parts we managed to avoid the worst of him. Gregg, may the gods bless him whether he likes it or not, was the true hero of the encounter though as he nearly single-handedly turned the Shaman into a smear upon the floor.
After the enemy was finished off we caught our breath and made a thorough search of the room recovering the “famed” Skull Totem.

We then set off back to Loudwater to clear our names and claim the promised rewards. Upon the way we decided to take the Portal Stones we had found previously back with us. In aide of this task Belgarath conjured up a floating disk which he trailed behind us.

Upon arrival in Loudwater we were treated as heroes by some and with derision by others.

We received an invite to Lady Moonfire’s masquerade ball and cleared our name with the Captain of the Guard.

We visited with Cala at the general store and picked out outfits that would do for such a gathering in this part of the world. I spent sometime wishing for more modern styles and trying to hold in laughter at what a few of the others had chosen to wear. I can’t help it; I suppose even with my willingness to help those in need I’ll always be a bit of a snob. Perhaps I get that from my mother’s side of the family. Maybe one day I will find out.
After our shopping we went our separate ways. With Zyanne and I engaged in business of our own the others went about trying to settle our account with the Wizard over the retrieval of the Skull Totem and spoke to him about the Portal Stones.

We met up in the tavern and discussed recent events amongst ourselves over a few drinks. There is something entirely uncouth occurring in this little town between the shopkeepers and someone known as “The Lady of the Shadows”. Although there are a couple of suspects the overall investigation I fear will be infuriatingly slow. To use such a fancy moniker and waste it on a protection racket seems so mundane. I tried without success to come up with a brilliant plan to engage in to settle the matter and even opened up the planning to the others. I can’t work out whether we were all too distracted by trying to wrap up lose ends from the Goblin Barrow or whether we just had too much to drink but, it seems when it comes to planning ahead we just aren’t very good yet.

Whether the rest of us had imbibed too much or not Gregg certainly had as he became lost while travelling about town and may have gotten quite seriously hurt when he stumbled upon some stairs in the dark and accidentally broke down the door to some abandoned and derelict building. If it had been occupied I may have seen my way to offering recompense but, as it was falling down anyway I simply felt no need.

In his drunkenness Gregg was determined to break all the doors he found in the cellar down. If I had not managed to tackle him and explain that this was not the appropriate time for such action he may very well have done it.

Eventually, we all went to Lady Moonfire’s. After checking our weapons and Gregg’s armour at the door we entered the ball.

- Delamor Campion

‘Note to self: The wizard we spoke to was able to tell me that the Shaman we fought below the barrow was foolish enough to think he was awakening his old master. When in fact he was making a futile attempt at awakening a dead demon that had been after some kind of power to the north. I wonder where this leaves the Skull totem, and its broken horned piece carried by our Rogue? I must remind myself to discuss this with the others, or maybe I will see the old Wizard later on at the party.’

Aradon Thrall

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Session 2
Deeper into the Barrow

‘We came across a strange stone plate, with glyphs in a language that we don’t understand. Although it was very intriguing we decided it would be best left alone for now, and continued to seek out more goblins deeper inside the barrow.

Inside the next room we unfortunately made enough noise to rouse interest from a small group of goblins as well as some zombies. The encounter was close quarters and it was difficult to move freely in the tight corridor. Belgarath used brash tactics to get up front, but luckily we were about to beat down the opposition before any serious damage was done.

We found a small amount of gold and a potion in the room the goblins came out of, and then proceeded to walk down some stairs to the next set of doors. Delamor and I opened the door and were immediately set upon by two goblin sword wielders. The room we had entered into was covered with a vexing gas that seemed to be emanating from a Hexxer at the back of the room.

After a brief skirmish, and some dodging of arrows Gregg was able to push one of the goblins into the large hole that sank into the depths below. It seemed like a very long time until the deadly cruch was heard. We also managed to push one of the goblins onto the another of the strange metal plates, at which point he disappeared into thin air only to re-appear some time later angrier than before.

Finally the goblin Hexxer was felled and we searched a nearby room, after Gregg flattened himself through it! Zyanne had found some magical chainmail which I used to replace my worn out armour with. I thought she might have found something else amongst all the goblin paraphernalia but she assured me there was nothing else.

Meanwhile, Belgarath and Athon had been investigating the other magical plate that was in this room. Well by investigate I mean the were busy transporting them self to a silvery abyss, only to return drained of strength. Looking upon their now tired eyes I was more than aware that I too felt very tired. Although the smell was pretty bad, we decided to sleep a while in the goblin quarters we searched earlier. Taking turns keeping watch, we managed to get some sleep and felt better for it. Once we had gathered out things we descended the stairs to find out what else awaited us deeper below the barrow.

After a long decent and a short walk down a corridor we saw what seemed to be a goblin Shaman changing rituals up ahead. He heard our approach and questioned our presence in the Barrow, we stated that we were here to stop his raids on Loudwater. Learning that he was attempting to raise his old master, an Ogre king, Delamour turned preacher intending to show him the ways of Sehanine. Eager to get back into the light where my god dwells, I became increasingly anxious and impatient with the Shaman. Diplomacy went out the window when Gregg decided he’d had enough, and I loosed a Javelin to aid his charge.’

Aradon Thrall

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Session 1

Loudwater

The party arrive at the town of Loudwater;

‘It was a dark and stormy night. Well, no actually it wasn’t but, most of the stories I read as a child started that way so I thought I’d give it a try. Actually, it was just approaching sunset and we were approaching the town gates of Loudwater. The guards doing their jobs asked us of our reason for visiting and our intent. They did not seem best pleased that we were transporting a trunk we did not know the contents of and they really did not like Aradon’s attitude (though on the inside I agreed with him I was a little surprised to see him take this attitude having been a town guard once himself).After they recorded Aradon’s name for the record, we were allowed access to the town. While Aradon, Athon, Belgarath, and Gregg attempted to deliver the crate to Zark, Zyanne and I decided to get the lay of the land and make enquiries of the locals. It all seemed rather mundane and boring really and despite the lovely spring evening not many couples were out together. I suspect that most of the womenfolk are kept at home while the Men attend the tavern. The others joined us with the crate still in tow for Zark had not been in attendance at the shop and they did not feel confident in leaving it with his uncle. Just then things became interesting as the southern wall was blown in by something called Alchemist’s Fire and the town was invaded by goblins.

Dire luck ensued for the majority of the party but, Athon managed to kill 5 of them all on his own. I on the other hand ended up with flashbacks to my very early years as I was unable to hit nary a one of the foul beasts. Zyanne took a considerable amount of damage as the lay of the land and the tactics employed by us and the enemy did not play to her strengths. Thankfully, I was able to reach her with my healing hands before she fell. Apparently, the goblin shamans have an ability which turns their foes blind as it happened to both Gregg and Aradon during the battle. Thankfully, through their resolve and encouragement from the Goddess they were able to revive in time to take significant action against the enemy.

Obviously as I am capable of writing this account of the encounter we managed to survive the day and even won the battle. Unfortunately, during the battle the contents of the trunk were revealed to be an illegal type of leaf and we had to try to explain ourselves to the guards. I was always more intuitive with other people’s motives than I have been diplomatic and I was unable to convince them of our innocence. Next time it happens that we need someone to be diplomatic I think I will simply cooperate with Aradon and allow him to take the lead. It is afterall essential that a leader of people knows the strengths and weaknesses of the members of his party. Aradon and I were hauled in and after a brief furor instructed to report back to them first thing in the morning to further explain ourselves to the Mayor and receive our “punishment”.

We then went to the Green Tankard to settle in for the evening only to discover that Belgarath and Athon were speaking to some wizard type about a goblin den and about retrieving something called the “Skull Totem”. I thought this an excellent idea as it combined the possibility of making some money, exploring a never before seen place, and revenge for attacking innocent people so was all for it. After it was decided that we would take on the task the others retired for the evening and I stayed up mingling with the locals. My aims were twofold; administer to anyone seeking the attentions of the Goddess and gather information about the town and its people for future use (you never know when a little bit of blackmail will help save the day after all). Anyway during this time the Mayor herself came in and I was able to make an exceptionally good impression on her and some of her companions. I believe this was quite good for us the next day. Afterwards, I retired for the evening. I fell asleep cuddled up next to my beloved Zyanne trying to figure out how I was going to get us out of this mess in the morning.

The next morning we met with the guard and the Mayor. Eventually, it transpired that our “punishment” was going to be to go after the goblins that had invaded the previous evening. Through wits, guile, and a little bit of charm Aradon and I were able to convince the guard and the Mayor that the others in the group may require a bit more of a monetary award and so we were offered 100gp each, anything that we freed from the possession of the goblins, and the Mayor promised to put in a good word with the various merchants. We then took immediate advantage of this good word and purchased a suite of scale mail for Gregg as his simple leather armour just wasn’t living up to the job of keeping him alive very well. After a failed attempt to get free horses or even a mule we set off for the goblin’s hideaway.

I will leave it for another to pick up the story from here otherwise you will become bored of my praise for Zyanne. She was quite spectacular and Athon had a reversal of fortune like I’d never seen (obviously he had upset Tymora somewhere along the road).’

- Delamor Campion

Journey to the Barrow

Entry in Aradon’s Journal, No Date;

‘We travelled for some hours, although I was grateful for not having to carry a cumbersome and heavy chest around with us this time. The trip was uneventful, and everyone seemed to be in high spirits. Gregg was harping on about finding something to, and I quote, ‘Bash and stuff.’. Belgarath was deep into his spell book, and we were making good pace. After a while we came to an area that fitted the description we were given from the Loudwater Town Guard, a small ruin off the track.

After a brief search of the surrounding area, which was devoid of anything of interest we headed through the archway that allowed access into the ruins. Zyanne spotted what looked like a tunnel toward the back of the ruins, and headstrong Gregg set off towards it muttering something about getting ‘it’ over and done with. He was quickly reprimanded by Zyanne who has also spotted something else. In inner part of the ruins grounds didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of it, and Zyanne was concerned of how stable the area may be.

Avoiding the centre of the ruins we were able to skirt around the outside and peak into the tunnel, which descended a dozen or so feet below the ruins. Deeming it relatively safe, I suggested our Paladin Delamor descend, as his vision may aid us in determining what might be down there. Upon reaching the bottom Delamor explained that it seemed empty apart and that the light from the tunnel hole was ample for clear sight.

When i reached the bottom, Zyanne was already pressed against the far wall of what seemed like an empty corridor with no exit. As the Wizard and Swordmage Athon were discussing relevant weak points of the structure that a small magical explosion might reap some benefits, we heard a click and a grinding sound as Zyanne had found something. “Shhh!” she mimed, as she slipped through the hidden door, that she had just discovered, and went out of sight.

We all moved slowly towards the door, taking care not to disturb any rubble that lined the floor of the damp corridor. Zyanne poked her head round the door and informed us that the room the door lead to was not empty and has it’s fair share of goblin adversary, and no sooner had she come into view again she was gone, uttering the words “I have an idea.”. Just as we were about to ask ourselves what the hell she was doing, we heard a gut wrenching cry. She had made the goblins aware that we are here, with a sneakily placed dagger. The rest of us ploughed into the room after her.

We entered a room with three pillars where the ground sloped up from the lower level we were on. After a short glance towards the ceiling it was clear from the beams of light that slipped through that we were right to avoid the centre of the ruins above, for we would have fallen quite a feet into this room. The battle was short, yet difficult as the terrain was uneven. Gregg’s usual bravado almost got him into trouble, as we later realised that his death dealing charges had brought him on the verge of falling into a pit. One which seemed to house some rather nasty dogs, as was suggested by the barking and growls we could here echoing around the chamber.

We gathered our things and proceeded to search the room we had just cleared.’

- Aradon Thrall

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Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

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