The Hidden Hand

Session 45/46

Dear Father,

It appears I’ve been a bit remiss in my recent reports to yourself and his majesty. Most likely one of the several blows to the head I took in our adventures caused me to leave some items out.

We had managed to save the Waterdeep embassy from some demons and prevented the deaths of Bowgentle and Yisselda. We then managed to provide them a place of safety which I can’t really go into for security reasons.

Afterwards we made sure that we had our invitations to the upcoming party secured. Made some arrangements to sneak weapons in and set about to investigate Danzig Crowfellow.

Unfortunately, along the way we were ambushed in the streets by some undead, the origin of which we did not now at the time, but, would discover later.

We showed up at Danzig’s house with a partial plan in mind and were putting one together when the guano hit the fan. Needless to say the best laid plans and all that. We did eventually get in altogether and discover a secret lab/altar where it was evident to us Danzig had been conducting some fairly atrocious experiments into death, decay, and the reanimating of corpses.

We left the house via a secret passage which ended at an apparently abandoned home and had a rest in the attic keeping careful watch on the streets around the house. Unfortunately, as appears the norm on our current endeavours our rest was interrupted by a large undead creature.

We managed to destroy it with our usual aplomb and spent the remainder of days resting and preparing for the ball.

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Session 49

From the chronicles of Athon Bewick

Like a summer breeze in the autumn, the adulation and praise we enjoyed in those few days after the “battle of the ball” soon began to fade. We were bought fewer rounds of drinks and the best taverns suddenly weren’t as able to find us a table as they once were. We were getting restless ourselves and soon found the need to begin the chase once again, Devlin had got away and there was still some scores that required settling. We had been granted the use of. He skyshp that had crashed into the roof of the ballroom, there was a lot of damage but it was mostly superficial that a few days in a dock could easily fix. The group decided that we would use this vessel to continue the pursuit but firstly we needed a captain and crew. Remembering our first venture in a sky vessel, I approached the first officer of that ship, her name Oladahn. She saw through my initial ploy of saying we wanted to become merchants and that we were really after higher priorities. She agreed to captain the vessel in exchange for what I thought was a higher than normal fee. I left the task of finding some cargo to Garrard and wished I hadn’t. After systematically angering every major merchant in the area we found ourselves with no cargo to carry, using his contacts, we soon had some cargo but I think there was some question as to it’s legality. Everything assembled and all aboard, we revealed the name of the new ship, in a nod of the hat to my Swordmage tutor, I had christened the vessel “Stormherald”.

The trip to Cormyr was initially uneventful for the first few days but a plume of smoke and strange flashes of magic on the horizon vaguely in the direction we think Devlin may have gone (thanks for Gregg’s scrying device), I asked the captain to steer the ship vaguely in the direction, she wasn’t happy about it but she agreed. Upon metering the area we saw the wreckage of another skyship below us, we lowered down and the company disembarked to examine the area. After a few minutes it became clear that this was indeed Devlin’s skyship and that it had been downed by a dragon. I waved the Stormherald away and the captain promised to deliver her cargo and then return to look for us.

Moving on we came across a body, it’s throat slashed and the remains of a makeshift camp, the tracks led further into the mountains where the weather would only make it harder for any ill-equipped party. We came into a box canyon and saw another body but something about the area concerned us, Garrard led the way but soon found himself surrounded by strange creatures, I was able to take his place and took the fight to the enemy. Some of the stones in the area came to life and if not careful you could find yourself being dragged towards them. At one stage, a copy of myself emerged from the ground and actually attacked me, It was soon dispatched but that was definitely one of the stranger experiences on that trip. Garrard was not having a good time as he had been injured quite badly but we pressed on and came across what seemed to be another of Devlin’s men being attacked by small vicious goblin like creatures. In the distance we saw our quarry, Devlin climbing a cliff face, he got to the top, looked at us and grinned. His man who had been under attack looked at us and shouted he could handle himself and that we should handle what was coming. As he said that, I heard the beat of the wings and felt the wind get up as we turned and looked as a golden dragon landed and roared at us.

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Session 50

“I still don’t understand what one of these [i]boxing canyons[/i] is” a nasally voice complained. The voice belonged to an equally nasally looking individual, and it would be hard to imagine someone more epitomising the term guttersnipe. He definitely looked out of place in the grand drinking hall the group found themselves in.

“It’s a BOX canyon you halfwit, and it’s like one of your dead end alleys, only made of stone not brick and mortar.” This form a heavyset dwarf further down the bar, nursing a truly massive stein of beer

“That’s about the size of it” Garrad said placatingly, nodding to the Dwarf before turning back to his lifelong friend Skitch, the aforementioned guttersnipe, and continuing. “You don’t wanna get caught down the end of a box canyon when you’re on the run, just like a dead end alley”

“But you did, didntchya? Skitch interupted

“Well, yes, but we were chasing someone at the time, so we didn;t really have a chioce”

“Devlin” the Dwarf growled menacingly before finishing his stein and gesturing for another

“Devlin, right” garrad confirmed “We’d found his airship crashed outside of Cormyr and were tracking him through the mountains when we got to this box canyon and found one of his men being attacked by gobbos….”

Everyone in the party paused and turned expectantly to the Dwarf at the mention of goblins. After a moment he looks up

“whaaat” Just because I’m a Dwarf I’m supposed to hate goblins? Gots nothing against ‘em. They make fine trackers ‘nd wilderness guides”

With a small shrug, Garrad continued. “So, yah. One of Devlin’s men, surrounded by gobboes. Simple enough, right? Only he shouts that a dragon’s coming as well. Now, we don’t want this guy dead till we cn have words with him, so we start laying into the gobboes. Some of ‘em have these spears with something nasty on the end, and others have bows, but we’re making good work of ‘em when, right on cue, a goddsdamned dragon lands right next to Gregg and takes a bit outta his arse. Course, Gregg ain’t happy about this and turns right round and lays into him in return

“This is gonna be another of these “you killin’ it with a thousand daggers” stories, ain’t it?” Snitch interupted

“aaactually” garrad said, looking slightly embarrassed “There were still a couple of the gobboes left when the dragon landed, and everyone else kinda got distracted by it….and you know you don’t want anyone with a poisoned spear sneaking up on you when you’re facing a dragon, so I took care of ‘em. By the time I’d finished them off though…..the dragon was kinda dead…”

“so, you didn’t hactually fight a dragon, hactually at all?”

“Shut up Skitch. So anyway, Dragon and gobboes dead, we turn and ask the Pixie where the hells it’d come from”

“Thought you said he was a man, not a Pixie”

“Ohh, right, yah, forgot to mention. This Pixie jumped outta Delmore’s backpack mid fight and started helping us. Musta been the godawful stink of them that woke her up. Anyway, turns out, she’d been on the airship from before we took ownership, kinda aprisoner or mascot, and had hid during the fight. Figured anyone who’d kill her captors was good enough in her book and decided to tag along with us”

“So, we talk to the man, and I don’t even need to break a single finger before he tells us where his boss had hightailed to, which turned out to be into a cave mouth in the canyon wall. We follow, me sneaking ahead, and I spot a large group of minotaurs, going at each other like the planes were ending. They’re frothing at the mouths, and their eyes are [i]wide[/i] open and bloodshot, and there’s this strange red mist in the room. It’s pretty obvious that the red mist is making them fight each other, and I’ll give you one guess who probably set it off in there, so I sneak back to tell the group what’s what.”

“Delamore gets the wrong end of the stick though, and marches in intending to ally us with one faction or the other against Devlin. Problem is that they’re all drug crazed and one side’s just finished wiping out all the others. These’re minotaurs, so Delamore gets flattened by 3 of ‘em at once and we’re in another fight. It’s not too hard in the end; those minotaurs are already beat up from just before, and they’re kinda siwngin’ crazy from the gas, so we finish them off quickly. We’re all beaten up pretty badly by that point, and it was getting to evening time, so we decided to bed down for the night there.”

Garrad was about to continue when there was a loud crack of splintering barstool an incoherant yell, and a streak of dirty brown as another of his party, a halfling this time, launched himself into a group of adventurers next table over, flailing about madly with his broken off bar stool leg.

“Looks like the midget’s started another barfight” The dwarf said, draining his stain again. “we should probably move on, the proprietors don’t look kindly to damaging the fixtures”. He cracked his nuckles and shifted his shoulders “Course, we’ve a group of people to educate in the proper ways of addressing our little friend first though…”

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Session 51

During Athon’s watch he heard a noise coming from the main cavern where the bodies of the minotaurs were piled up.
Trying to be stealthy he approach the doorway from where the party was resting, to see a smaller Minotaur he must of been the runt.
After waking Gregg for his turn of the watch he was interesting in what this Minotaur saw if he knew what Devlin was up to, so he left some of his rations in the middle of the room but heard nothing for the rest of his watch.

The group was ready to continue searching the rest of the halls starting with the right corridor where they found 2 dead minotaurs which Garrad determined they died from the poison from a trap up ahead.
Which he managed to lift up a flag stone and disarmed the trap so we could pass safely through to the next room which had a small chest left in the centre of the square room.

Sensing Devlin could have been here before us Garrad took more caution this time disabling another trap which would of cause some nasty burns had he failed.

The other passage lead down to a set of stair and after a short while Athon had lead us to a T junction with a hole blown through the wall. The disc map point ahead this must have been the way Devlin had gone through.

The passage was more structured and look to be Dwarfen made.

We found an underground lake with a boat and a pulley rope.
Ivy flew across to see if the rope was secure for us to travel over.
Delamor and Garrad set off in the boat first making it across with no problems.

Athon and Gregg pulled the boat back across but something in the water was different a darker shade then the surrounding water.
Gregg lifted up the boat to find a severed Minotaur head lashed to the bottom.
Un tieing the rope and getting a firm grip on the head Gregg heaved it into the middle of the lake assuming something lived here.
The head splashed down and nothing happened.

Athon and Gregg got in the boat and pulling themselves across, Athon noticed air bubbles racing towards us.

4 Kuatuar leaped up out the water and onto the other side of the lake next to Garrad, Ivy and Delamor.
Garrad quick reaction took one out with a slash to the throat while another throws and net laced with spikes.

Gregg gets pulled in by one in the water but as Gregg fell in he hit the Kuatuar.
2 Kuatuar climbed up into the boat and Athon unleashed a fiery blast killing two in the back of the boat before he is stuck with a trident and caught in a net.

Garrad meanwhile kills another and bloodies a 2nd.

Kuatuar channels a fork lightening spell towards Athon and Gregg but also catching his friend in the water. Athon and Gregg Team up to take the last one down on the boat.

As the last one on the boat falls Trapspringer can be seen on the edge of the lake he must of gotta lost when we came through the hole in the wall.
Trapspringer jumps into the water not knowing what was lying in wait for us.

After Athon kills another it the rest submerge back into the water.

Athon helps Gregg and Trapspringer back into the boat and they cross to the other side.

After a short rest Trapspringer found a small hole in the wall which he decided to investigate crawling in a few feet only to find himself plummet down a trap hole with spikes at the bottom.
Ivy flew down and sprinkled some dust over Trapspringer before the spike floor fell apart revealing a much large hole. Trapspringer flew out of the hole just before the dust ran out, gripping the edge of the hole delayer pulled him up and helped him cross the hole.
At the bottom of the corridor we saw some light pouring in, as we reached the end of the corridor, We looked out to see a large ancient city with several large obelisks and lots of statues of Kuatuar and in the centre and temple which looked like a large Kraken.

Gregg’s map point forward towards the main temple

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Session XX

From the chronicles of Athon Bewick

We had defeated the two dragons who would have taken the Narselkin from us and as we stood there, weary from the battle we actually began to think we might have done it. The third Narselkin was ours! Garrard had found it and took hold as it was already in the form of a dagger and as that was his weapon of choice..

The room yielded a few other treasures and as we were dusting ourselves down, the bloodied soldier we had encountered came back into the room and was immediately drawn to Garrard or rather to what he was now holding. Immediately suspicious I moved around the room with the soldiers back to me, ready to summon my sword to my hand. Before I could do so, we found surrounded my ghostly beings looking like miniature Beholders, silent and seemingly ghostlike we had all missed the obvious. This reality was only confirmed when the seeming injured soldier suddenly shed his “armour” and trandformed into some nether demon who had been paid to retrieve the Narselkin from our corpses. As tired as we were, suddenly we found ourselves in another pitched fight. Gerrard and Delamor engaged the demon whilst Ivy caused havoc with the ghostly Beholders surrounding us. I became massivley frustrated as time and again my blows failed to land. The ghosts were dealt with quickly, falling into mists that would circle the room.

The Demon, so eager in his task was dispatched with Gerrard daggers moving so quickly that at one stage I thought they were beginning to blur before my eyes. Once again, another enemy defeated, only then did we notice the mists coalescing in the centre of the room, as we watched, half in bemusement, half in fear, we suddenly had a full sized Beholder to deal with, albeit still of a ghostly nature as the others had been.

This Beholder also tried to influence members of our party as we surrounded and engaged it but seemingly to little effect. The Beholder also had a profound effect on me, I had not had much influence in the previous battle but against this for I rained down mighty blow after mighty blow, striking the creature one way and then the other. Eventually the Beholder tried to flea and due to it’s spiritual nature it passed through a wall eluding our final blow. This battle was at last over..

Myself, Ivy and Gerrard all came together with our respective Narselkin artifacts, my sword, Ivy’s staff and Gerrard’s new dagger. Bringing them together they glowed with power and seemed to take on a new shine all by themselves. We had accomplished what some had thought impossible and we were all the mightier for it. Suddenly, that first visit to Loudwater, Captain Harrowleaf and Lady Moonfire all seemed a very long time ago.

The trail leading back out of the mountains was uneventful, I was keen to return to Cormyr and check on the Stormherald but as we descended from the mountains we saw a troop of Cormyrian soldiers moving to greet us. They had been sent to find us, the king had been murdered and our friend, Aradon Thrall was being held for it.

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