Knights of Goldenhawk Tower

Treasures of The Emerald Tower

The following magic items are found in the Sehanine Temple of the Emerald Tower after the battle with The Sharn. They are all of ancient elven make and identified after a short rest to reveal the following properties.

15th level Prismatic Orb +3
Implement: Orb
Enhancement Bonus: Attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d8 damage per plus
Attack Power (Teleportation) Daily (No Action)
Trigger: You hit a target with an attack using this orb.
Effect: You teleport the target up to a number of squares equal to the orb’s enhancement bonus.
Attack Power Daily (No Action)
Trigger: You hit a target with an at-will or encounter attack power using this orb.
Effect: The target is dazed or immobilized (save ends). You choose the effect.
Utility Power Encounter (No Action)
Trigger: You hit a target with an attack using this orb.
Effect: Choose acid, fire, lightning, or poison. Until the target saves against this effect, attacks that deal damage of the chosen type to the target gain an item bonus to their damage rolls against the target. The bonus equals the orb’s enhancement bonus.

14th level Manual of Expansive Learning +3
Manual of Expansive LearningLevel 14+ Rare
Implement: Tome
Enhancement Bonus: Attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d8 damage per plus
Utility Power Daily (Minor Action)
Effect: You regain the use of one wizard encounter or daily utility power that you have already used. The power must be in your spellbook, and its level must be lower than the tome’s level.
Utility Power Daily (Minor Action)
Requirement: You must be taking a short rest, have a spellbook, have at least one healing surge, and have expended all your wizard daily attack powers.
Effect: You lose a healing surge, but you gain the use of one wizard daily attack power from your spellbook that you did not prepare after your last extended rest. The power’s level must be lower than the tome’s level.

15th level Blade of the Eldritch Knight+3
Blade of the Eldritch Knight Level 15+ Uncommon
Weapon: Heavy blade
Enhancement Bonus: attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d6 damage per plus
Property
When you use a standard action to make a melee attack with this blade, your melee reach increases to 5 for that attack.

12th level Rhythmic War Drums
Level 12 Uncommon
Reindeer hide stretches across the ornate drum of horn and wood. Those listening to its beat gain steadiness of body and fleetness of feet.
Property
Bards can use this item as an implement for bard powers and bard paragon path powers. As an implement, it grants a +3 enhancement bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls, and it deals 3d6 extra damage on a critical hit.
Power Daily (Standard Action)
Use this power during a rest. At the end of the rest, you and each ally who remained within 20 squares of you during the rest are affected by this power. Until the end of each affected character’s next short rest or extended rest, he or she gains a +1 power bonus to speed and can increase or decrease any forced movement by 1 square.
Song of Rest: The bonus to speed is +2.

15th level Rod of Sylvan Trickery +3
Level 15+ Uncommon
You can use this rod to distort space, disorienting your enemy as you relocate the creature on the battlefield.
Implement: Rod
Enhancement Bonus: attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d6 damage per plus
Power (Teleportation) Daily (Free Action)
Use this power when you place your Warlock’s Curse on a creature. While that creature is under your curse, teleport the target 3 squares when you hit it with a power that has the arcane keyword and uses this implement. The effect lasts until the end of the encounter. If you are in the Feywild, you can teleport the target 6 squares instead of 3 squares.

15th level Ring of Aquatic Ability
While you wear this aquamarine jeweled band, breathing and moving underwater comes as naturally to you as breathing air and walking on land.
Property
Gain a swim speed equal to your speed. You can breathe underwater.
If you’ve reached at least one milestone today, gain a swim speed equal to twice your speed.

Covering the horse statue is:
level 11 Impenetrable Light Barding

Through this barding, your heroism imparts a protective aura upon your mount that protects it.
Mount
Property
While ridden, the mount gains resist 5 to all damage.
Level 11: Resist 10 to all damage.
Level 21: Resist 15 to all damage.

Light Barding
Description: Barding is armor for your mount. It adds to a mount’s Armor Class just as armor does to a character’s. Barding also has similar check penalties and speed penalties. The barding’s armor bonus is added to a creature’s existing AC. Unlike heavy armor, heavy barding does not negate a mount’s Dexterity or Intelligence bonus to AC. Creatures that fill the soldier role already have additional armor (natural or otherwise) factored into their AC. As such, barding is less effective for them.
Magic barding can be crafted with its own unique properties. However, magic barding cannot be enchanted with an enhancement bonus like normal armor. Most creatures already benefit from natural defenses that exceed those of a typical PC.
AC Bonus: +1
Weight: 40 lb.
Cost: 75 gp.

As Praxis is examining the magic barding, he finds an odd handle protruding from the front of the saddle. When he pulls on it, a lance slides out. So the saddle includes an extra-dimensional pocket that allows one to sheath and draw the lance with a minor action while mounted. The lance is also magical.

12th Level Unbroken Lance+3
This weapon glows with the power of your righteousness when you charge.
Weapon: Spear
Enhancement Bonus: attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d6 damage per plus
Property
When you hit an enemy with a charge attack while you’re mounted, that enemy is knocked prone.
Power Daily (Standard Action)
Your mount shifts 3 squares and you make a charge attack.

-DM

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The Cleansing of the Emerald Tower
Finishing the Battle with The Sharn

The battle with The Sharn raged on. It snaked its clawed hand through the shimmering hex portal in front of it and out of the hex portal in front of Dorian and Quill. To their horror, The Sharn plucked the Shalay Marel out of the floor and pulled it back through the portals clutching it tightly against its body and moving away into the corner of the room. With The Shalay Marel gone, the bright blue light bathing the cauldron promptly disappeared and Plaguefire burst back out of the vase held by the Sehanine Statue and covered Dorian and Quill in painful motes of fire and force.The_Sharn.jpg

After taking a lot of damage, Dorian and Quill managed to get out of the Plaguefire cauldron and attack The Sharn with their fellow Knights of Goldenhawk Tower. The epic battle continued. The Sharn was able to redirect a few ranged attacks to others creating friendly fire until everyone managed to either avoid ranged attacks or time them appropriately to avoid the effect. The Sharn was also able to dispel effects on it that even did not have a save associated with it. Shan Val used some good illusory magics to cloak the party in invisibility, Quagmire used a lot of invisibility to avoid detection as well. The Sharn’s most viscous attack was its leaping Plaguefire power which would smash into one character with fire and force damage and then bounce to everyone else one at a time. The Sharn would also reach through his hex portals to make opportunity attacks with reach 2. Its shimmering blue adaptive bolts cut into party members causing daze effects.

Quagmire was able to dispel the shimmering blue hex portals of the Sharn to prevent its opportunity attacks and ranged spell redirection by using his Staff of the Magi to great effect. Its power dispelled the conjurations. Dorian tried valiantly to grab the Shalay Marel with the idea of wresting it from The Sharn’s grasp. Despite a significant boost to his strength from a magic item, he was unable to get the Shalay Marel away from the creature.

Enduring the mighty Sharn attacks, the party wore the creature down. Quill used a magic powder to prevent the Sharn from healing any damage. This stopped the Sharn’s regeneration powers for a time until it dispelled the effect. After the Sharn was bloodied, however, it managed heal itself with a potent second wind. The battle raged on and Dorian was dealt a brutal blow from the Plaguefire and went down. He failed 1 death save and made another before someone could come to his aid and heal him.

Then with a final triumphant blast attack, Shan Val delivered the death blow to the Sharn. The creature exploded into hundreds of rivulets of what looked like shiny molten metal. The Shalay Marel clanked to the ground surrounded by the slimy remains of The Sharn. Quagmire was nearest to the Shalay Marel. He moved closer and picked up the magical disc. As he did so he noticed the tiny rivulets of The Sharn were flowing back together and reforming. Quagmire yelled, “The Sharn is healing stop it while I try to replace the Shalay Marel!”

Quagmire leaped into the cauldron of blazing Plaguefire and tried to put the moondisc into the center depression as it had been previously placed. He failed his endurance check as the pain from the plaguefire proved to much for the wizard to bear. Praxis gallantly flew over the cauldron on Tyberious and pulled Quagmire out of the fiery maelstrom. Safely on Tyberious, Quagmire used his telekinetic grasp power to place the Shalay Marel into the cauldron without having to expose himself to the fiery wrath of the Plaguefire.

Instantly the column of blue light returned bathing the entire room and calming the Plagurefire. But Quagmire could tell that the ancient artifact needed help and had to be bolstered against the tide of the Spellplague. What followed was an epic skill challenge using the arcana and religion skills to bolster and aid the Shalay Marel in cleansing the Spellplague. Three successful checks had to be made against each skill with each failure resulting in a surge of Plaguefire that burned all participants. All the while the Sharn was regenerating and trying to reform. So each round a character had to choose whether to lend their aid in the skill challenge or fight to keep the sharn down by blasting it again and keeping it from reforming.

Using arcana skill and religion skill the party members tried to push the ebb and flow of the power struggle in favor of the Shalay Marel over the Spellplague. There were a number of failures before the party figured out how to best allocate their resources. Both Praxis and Dorian were burned and battered to unconsciousness by the Plaguefire as a result. Dorian had failed two death saves before getting aid. But in the end The Knights of Goldenhawk Tower were finally victorious.

A wave of magical energy burst forth from The Shalay Marel and snuffed out every remaining wisp of Plaguefire in the room. The swirling motes of Plaguefire dancing around the shattered body of the The Sharn slowly faded away and the rivulets of molten metal moving together to reform the Sharn finally ceased their movement and simply pooled on the floor.

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Into the Emerald Tower
The Oath whites are defeated and The Sharn is Revealed

The battle over the writhing snake pit continued. One oath white had been destroyed a second time and seemed to be gone for good. The second oath white was proving just as difficult, however, dominating party members, forcing them to fight amongst themselves, and pushing them ever closer towards falling into the pit. Shan Val was able to unleash a great deal of damage upon the creature and managed to finally destroy it, but Quill knew it was reforming and would emerge again to attack.

Quill sprung into action examining the stone sarcophagi that the wight emerged from originally. The stone lid was very heavy and would not be easily lifted. He quickly scanned for traps and wards finding none. Then Praxis flew over on Tyberious and urged the mighty pegasus to kick open the sarcophagi. With a mighty kick of his rear legs, Tyberious sprung the stone lid off and down into the pit. Quill then saw a human skeleton wearing blue robes and the dark shadowy shape of the wight reforming inside. With a wave of his sword and a vocalization of arcane verbal components, Quill cast a spell that filled the sarcophagi with ice tearing apart the robe and shattering the bones and then flinging all the pieces out into the pit of snakes.

The reforming wight faded away without the focus of his ancient bones and was destroyed for good. Everyone congratulated Quill on his quick thinking and then turned to searching the sarcophagi after a short rest. Inside one they found 150,000 gold coins. After a treasure bath or two, the coins were shoveled into the portable hole. In another was found the remains of Arian Dane. His purple robes looked like new and were magical. They turned out to be Stoneskin Armor +3.

Using Tyberious and Shan Val’s mortar and Pestle to ferry everyone across the huge snake pit, the party continued to delve deeper into the ancient ruins of the Emerald Tower. Finally they came to a door which opened into a room that looked to be an ancient temple to the Elven Moon Goddess, Sehanine Moonbow. There were finely crafted elven statues, beautiful stained glass illuminations, crystal set into the floor, and a large domed emerald ceiling. In the center of the room was a huge statue of Sehanine with what looked like an urn from which water used to pour into a large tub below. Now, however, green and blue Plaguefire poured out of the urn and filled the tub with a writhing cauldron of Spellplague.

Sulee flew into the room and scouted it out sniffing out the magical signatures of multiple magic items. It was also clear there were some recent additions to the room such as two huge snake statues of Yuan Ti make. There was an empty bed, a magical workshop, and many books and tomes, but no creatures seemed to be in the room.

Sir Praxis boldly went into the room and mounted his trusty steed Tyberious. Upon doing so, he saw a mix of what looked like black and silver molten metal come together in the central conflagration of Plaguefire. It took shape into what was unmistakeably The Sharn. The creature rose out of the vat of Plaguefire pulling it all into itself, revealing a small depression in the bottom of the vat the size of Shalay Marel. As the Sharn surveyed Praxis and his mount, everyone in the party heard strange whisperings in their minds. It was clearly in elvish but extremely confusing – layers upon layers of elvish words and phrases in a seemingly incomprehensible jumble of Spellplague ridden madness until the very end when it coalesced into a very clear message.

Quagmire wanted to approach The Sharn and try to communicate with it. But he never got the chance as the Plaguetouched creature unleashed plaguefire and adaptive blue bolts of energy severely injuring party members. A huge fight broke out as the heroes surged into the room. It was difficult to hide from The Sharn as it was able to create small hexagons of blue light from which it could see and launch attacks. Praxis was able to get off a Prayer to Torm that gave everyone a +5 bonus to damage. Shan Val found out The Sharn was able to redirect ranged attacks onto others, reflecting his magic onto Praxis and Dorian. The Sharn was incredibly fast able to launch multiple attacks on its initiative and actually had two times in the initiative order that it acted.

Quill launched into action, hitting The Sharn with an attack that stunned the creature. That attack was crucial leaving The Sharn unable to act for a whole round (2 turns and at least 4 attacks) as well as unable to reflect spells back. All The Knights of Goldenhawk Tower took advantage by unleashing everything they had on the The Sharn. Shan Val cursed it and blasted it warlock magic, Quagmire hit it with magic missiles and minute meteors, Praxis hit it with fly-by attacks, and Dorian assaulted it with the Song of the New Dawn. They discovered it was regenerating but they were able to do over two hundred points of damage to it. It was unfortunately not even bloodied, however. When the Sharn finally shook off the Stun effect it unleashed a host of dizzying attacks against Quill. But Quill’s defenses proved stronger.

Dorian leaped into the vessel trying to put the Shalay Marel in place. Unfortunately he was bathed in Plaguefire and did not have the endurance to put the holy relic in place. Quill leaped in to aid him, taking the holy disc and pushing through the pain to put it in place. With a huge explosion the plaguefire was cut away by a blue light illuminating the entire emerald domed ceiling.

The Sharn was about to respond…

emerald_tower_screenshot.jpg

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Into the depths of the Temple

The battle was hard fought and hard won, but The Knights of Goldenhawk Tower defeated the hordes of Yuan Ti and secured the main temple area. After securing the room, Quagmire and Shan Val went about bringing down the spherical green lightning field surrounding the shaft leading straight down into the darkness below the temple. During the difficult skill challenge to bring down the lightning field, Shan Val used his arcana skill with aid from Dorian while Quagmire used his skill with religion aided by Quill, Praxis, and Dorian’s bardsong. Shan Val and Dorian did quite well while Quagmire struggled a bit. With every failed check green lightning and fire ripped through Quagmire, Praxis, and Quill. With two failed checks they took some nasty damage before finally bringing it down.

With the way down now clear, the party turned their attention to the prisoners. Brynholft, the leader of the The Order of the Blue Fire was locked in a cage on one side of the room and Dalila, the spellscarred human female wizard who taught the party the secrets of casting arcane magics safely inside in the Plauguetouched lands, was in a cage on the other side of the room. Quill and Praxis each interrogated the prisoners separately.

Quill found that Brynholft’s zeal for the Spellplague had been severely dampened and the recent events of his imprisonment and almost being sacrificed by the Yuan Ti made him question his faith. In fact he even apologized to Quill and told him that he should have listened to him when he tried to convert Quill and the rest of the party to a follower of the Order.

Likewise Sir Praxis found Dalila’s story corroborated with Brynholft’s story. They were both committed to helping the party should they choose to accept their help. On the other hand they understood that it might be difficult for the party to accept them considering they led an ambush attack against them in the swamps.

The party agreed that leaving them imprisoned only to be killed if more Yuan Ti returned to the temple was not right. But they argued a bit on whether to let them join them or just let them go. Quill was still very suspicious of their true intentions and thought it would be best to just let them go. He was wary of some sort of betrayal.

Using the key found on the head Yuan Ti priests body, Quill unlocked the cages and set the two free. Using Tyberious to ferry them across the sea of poison covering the lower floor to the main entrance, Brynholft and Dalila took their leave of the party, returning to swamps. Right before he left, Brynholft thanked Quill one last time. He thanked him not only for his freedom but for opening his eyes to the mistakes he had made in choosing to embrace his Zealotry.

Having dealt with the prisoners, the party turned their attention the inky blackness of the vertical shaft before them. Quill took a sunrod and wrapped it tightly with some fabric to create a less intense dim light source. Sulee then took the sunrod in her talons and flew down the shaft carefully examining and searching as she went. She found it to go down 100 feet and then turn into a horizontal passageway 10 feet wide and 10 feet tall. She also found an alarm ward across the vertical shaft right before the horizontal tunnel was reached. Shan Val floated down in his mortar and pestle and managed to remove the alarm ward without setting it off. The everyone went down the shaft. Quagmire and Quill simply leaped down the shaft using their magic to soften their landings. Dorian rode with Shan Val on his Mortar and Pestle. Sir Praxis flew down the shaft on Tyberious.

Exploring down below they found the tunnel had been caved in but that rubble had been cleared away. The passageway also transitioned into a clearly elven architecture. Suddenly an image of a man in bright purple robes appeared before the party. He had two letters “A” and “D” monogrammed on the sleeves of his robes. He raised his hand with his palm outstretched and said, ‘Stop. Please stop immediately. If you are seeing this image it means that I have failed and the fate of Orpetarr is sealed. By my order as Arian Dane, Chief Wizard of Ormpetarr, you must leave this place and seek out help. We should not have opened the Elven Moon Goddesses temple. We have awoken something terrible that was imprisoned there. I cannot feel my Lady Mystra. She does not answer my prayers. Something is terribly wrong. The Sharn has been released. God help us all.’ With that the image of the mage faded away.

The party kept moving forward cautiously. Eventually the tunnel opened up into a circular room with four stone sarcophagi. Most of the room was a pit filled with writhing snakes. The passageway continued on the far side of the room across the pit. Sir Praxis led the way flying across the pit on Tyberious. As he flew over the pit, a shadowy creature emerged from the ceiling. A gaunt human undead creature in tattered purple robes with the distinct monogram of AD on the sleeve flew out of the ceiling and touched his skeletal hand to Praxis. The necrotic energy surged through Praxis’ shoulder and rotted his flesh away doing significant damage and making it impossible for him to be healed.

snake_pit_screenshot.jpg

The party swept into action battling this undead creature. They found it to be quite formidable, however, using its power to not only rot away flesh, but also to cloud the minds of party members making them attack each other and become dominated. At one point a dazed Shan Val was in between Quill and Praxis. Each of them teed off on the poor warlock doing significant damage to him. Quill managed to score at least two critical hits unfortunately they were both against party members. The creature also used its horrible visage to push and slide party members towards the pit and being at risk of falling in. The worst part was that the creature was not alone, a second in tattered blue robes emerged from one of the sarcophagi to battle alongside its foul brother.

Sir Praxis used a powerful radiant attack to destroy one of the creatures only to find it return again, emerging from one of the sarcophagi whole once more. Dorian used his power to whisk one of them off to Mithrendain in order to only have to battle one at a time. Quill used his four corners attack to great effect in destroying the Purple robed creature a second time.

The party is badly hurt and the creature banished to Mithrendain has returned…

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Battle Unfolds in the Yuan-Ti Temple

After surveying the room, the party moved into position on the northern side of the outside of the complex.

BEFORE ENTERING
1. cast ‘shrink’ on mortar and pestle to 50% reduction (10 min casting time) to allow Shan Val to fly it through the passwall
1a. (simultaneous) cast ’traveler’s camouflage’ on party so we get a +10 bonus to stealth as we enter (primarily to help us move quietly).
2. send tyberious in last after fight breaks out
3. drink 4 ‘antivenom’ potions (+2 saves vs poison until encounter ends)
4. quill will switch swords to his new ‘spellsoul blade’
5. ‘passwall’ ritual to breach the outer wall of the complex and gain entry

ENTERING
1. quill entered first followed by Quagmire (to maintain invisibility). Quill searches (perception and arcana) as he is about to enter the room to be sure no traps or wards will be set off).
2. the rest of us enter quietly.

Successfully entering with stealth and moving around the statues into position, Quill examined the magical field. The crackling green energy seemed to be some sort of barrier to a stone shaft set into the floor leading below the temple.

The party got into position to launch sneak attacks on the head priests and wailed on them pretty good killing one and blinding the other. When Praxis charged between the two glowing orbs, he was struck by an electrical blast from the pulsing green orb. He was also his from all sides by poisoned arrows and fell before the onslaught of the Yuan Ti Fanatics.

It was discovered that when the minion fanatics were killed they burst into flame serpents to attack. When killed again in this fire serpent form they went down for good. Another major unexpected attack came from the mini sarlac creatures in the corners of the room. At the beginning of each player’s turn a tentacle would lash out and attack them – grabbing and weakening them on a hit. Dorian was the first to be hit but managed to escape via teleportation. Shan Val was hit also but blasted the tentacle forcing it to let go. Quill was hit and reeled in all the way across the room into the gaping maw of the demonic creature. Quill managed to use his 4 corners attack to destroy the creature, however.

Quill noticed that the two humans in the iron cages were Brynholft and the female wizard that were encountered in the swamps of Ormpetar previously. They had ambushed you in the swamps but then taught you the secrets of spellcasting here in exchange for their lives. Brynholft pleaded with Quill to set him free and that he would help battle the yuan ti here, but Quill ignored him.

battle-unfolds.jpg

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Return to Ormpetarr

After a nice reunion with the crew of The Goldenhawk Skyship and the mage Quagmire, the party plotted their next move now that they were finally free of Baba Yaga’s Hut. A disturbing communique from the Archbishop of Torm in Tantras had warned of trouble brewing in the Sea of Fallen Stars. Despite the alarming news, the party decided it best to fulfill their pledge to Elaith and Jarath and finish what they had started. They had recovered Shalay Marel from Baba Yaga’s Vaults and now needed to use it in some sort of process to cleanse an ancient elven temple and perhaps vanquish the Spellplague. So Shan Val manned the steering wheel and began piloting the ship at a high elevation towards the Plaguewrought Lands and The Ruins of Ormpitarr.

Along the way Quagmire cast a few rituals. One was a spell called Enhance Vessel to make The Goldenhawk Skyship’s hull stronger and more resistant to damage and to make it faster. The other spell was called Steed Summons that enables Praxis to summon Tyberious quickly to his current location.

With Sulee flying down and using her keen eyes and guiding Quill and Shan Val, the party arrived over The Ruined Tower where they had left the Spell Journal of Arian Dane. With Praxis on Tyberious and everyone else in Shan Val’s Mortar and Pestle, they flew down into murky swamp to find the tower just as they had left it. Quagmire could feel the Plague all around him and it was quite unsettling. Dorian tried to teach him the means of casting arcane spells in the swamp so as to avoid those spells going awry and being influenced by the thick plague mists. It took some time and Quagmire began to glow with a bright light at one point as he learned the technique but learn he did.

Retrieving the book from the invisible chest and flying back up to the Skyship, they began to use the book to find the location of the ancient elven temple. Finding the building did not take long. The old stone architecture had been freshened up by the application of human skulls completing covering the exterior of the building. They were painted in strange serpentine designs. Shan Val thought that the vile fashion choice and snake themes correlated with the Yuan TI who had battled Elaith and Jarath as they went after the book long ago.

Again Praxis rode his Pegasus steed, Tyberious, and the rest of the party rode down in Shan Val’s Mortar and Pestle. Quagmire used a very cool spell called Guillaume’s Veil to create a globe of invisibility surrounding him to cloak the party. Flying down unseen, Quill got a good look at the Hideous Temple with stone gargoyles apparently original to the building and the new look of the colored skulls covering everything on the outside. There appeared to be only 1 main door to get in and Quill spotted to creatures lurking in 2 pools of filth by those doors. They were well hidden but not well hidden enough to escape Quill’s keen gaze.

Quill’s eyes also spotted something interesting. The stone connecting some of the gargoyles on the roof some 80 feet off the ground was very weak. It didn’t look like it would take much to make them fall. So the party flew up to roof next to the gargoyles. Dorian slid out of the Mortar onto the roof and hid behind the gargoyle statue while Shan Val flew the mortar over to another gargoyle above the other pool on the ground.

Dorian used his thievery to rig up the gargoyle to fall down on the guardian. Likewise Shan Val used dungeoneering to find the weakest point and arcana to steer the mortar just right to knock it off. Quagmire used his telepathy to communicate to both of them so that when they were ready they would simultaneously make the gargoyles fall down onto the unsuspecting guards below. There was a tense moment where due to a poor roll Dorian knock a bit of skull off the roof and it landed in near the puddle causing the guardian inside to stir. But Dorian was well hidden with this stealth and the others were still cloaked in Quagmire’s invisibility. The guardian’s pool went silent again.

On Quagmire’s signal the huge stone gargoyle’s were released and fell 80 feet onto the unsuspecting guards below. With a loud thud and crunching sound they smashed into the slimy pools. Bubbles of blood and gore were the only thing to surface.

With the guardians eliminated the party flew down and Quill examined the Door. He found it was magically and mechanically trapped with an acid ward and a spear trap. Shan Val removed the acid ward and Dorian dealt with the spear trap. Then Quagmire unlocked the door. It was also magically held shut so Shan Val also brought that down that with his arcana skill. Quagmire used his thievery to open the door just a smidge and Quill used his far sight to gaze about the room.

Quill saw a huge room filled with yuan ti serpent people. They were performing some sort of ceremony including severing the head from some sort of human sacrifice which looked like it was too late to do anything about. The 60 foot ceiling in the room had three different levels of floor. The first and closest to the door was covered in 3 feet or so of slimy viscous foul liquid. Then a level of brick covered floor that rose up 10 feet higher and then a green marble floor 10 feet higher still.

Skulls line the walls of the inside of the building as well. The Yuan Ti were all involved in some sort of ceremony leaning back and forth and rhythmically chanting. The yuan ti included 13 minion guards wielding scimitars, 3 huge bastard sword wielding abominations, 4 chameleon skinned archers, and 2 priests at the altar.

In order to better deal with the yuan to on their own terms and to avoid the slimy floor, the group decided it might be best to enter near the back of the room via a passwall spell. They are planning their assault as they seem to have surprise on their enemies for now.

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Exploring Babba Yagga's Hut

Passing through the purple portal, the party found themselves in an underground tunnel. They cautiously began to travel down the hallway to a door, opened the door, passed through it, went up a flight of stairs came to another door and continued to navigate the tunnels and stairs. (see attached image “5 caverns visual aid.jpg”).

As the traveling continued, everyone began feeling tired. And after an insight check, Praxis got the feeling that the group was somehow going through the same places again and again. Shan Val used his arcana to detect a powerful glamor on the tunnels that magically misdirected, transported you to random places, and tried to put you to sleep. Thus began a very difficult skill challenge where each round everyone had to make an endurance check to keep from falling asleep as they attempted to escape the warded caverns. Invariably someone would succumb and collapse into sleep. Dorian’s heal checks and Redbeard “slap ’em silly” technique would be employed to wake them up while the others who did not succumb to the sleep attempted to navigate the passageways. Arcana was used to suppress the glamor. Insight was used to escape the mind clouding magic. Dungeoneering was used to keep track of where the party had been and how the construction of the tunnels interacted with the dweomers upon them. Some lesser skills were used to provide bonuses on the very difficult high DC primary checks. Diplomacy was used to focus everyone’s efforts. History was used to recall information about similar traps and how they were avoided. Thievery was used as a mundane means of marking doors and passageways to help identify them and see where things were recurring.

Complete success to escape the warded caverns was 12 successes before 3 failures. Also if everyone failed their endurance checks and fell asleep, it was effectively a loss of the challenge as well. Although the arcana checks were pretty easy, they were limited to 4 successes along with dungeoneering and insight. So the challenge was hard. A good balance had to be reached and in some cases if too many failed their endurance checks and fell asleep, the party would take a round just getting everyone awake and not moving forward. At one point all but 1 character had fallen asleep and there were 2 accumulated failures before the final success was won. It certainly came down to the wire. But eventually the party finally made it though and reached the next purple portal and passed through it.

On the other side of the purple portal they found themselves in a maze of stone tunnels with the unnerving presence of many inanimate but life like statues scattered throughout. (see attached image “6 – The Maze Map.jpg”). As the party warily moved through the maze, they were suddenly attacked by 2 medusa archers up on a wooden platform 15 feet off the ground with a ladder running up to it. Quill felt the bite of two arrows and could feel their poison coursing through his body. But he shook it off and sprinted towards the medusa. A pit opened up beneath him and he tumbled down towards the spikes 20 feet below.

Any other man would have been doomed, but Quill made good use of his new grandmaster training that he received from the elves that were freed from the Crown of Shadows. Quill used Davros Elden’s Aerial Step to float gently down to the bottom of the pit, take no damage from the fall, and always land on his feet. He then used a combination of moves to fly and teleport up to the top of the platform and pound the medusas and knock them off the platform and into the pit. In an awesome turn of advantageous terrain for the enemies into disadvantageous terrain, Quill turned the tables on them knocking them into their own pit. It was pretty awesome. One of them tumbled in but the other managed to grab the edge of the platform and hold on. The next round it was able to try to use its gaze attack to turn him to stone, but Quill made his saving throw and knocked it down into the pit for good measure.

Everyone’s high fives and joy about Quill’s awesome maneuver was short lived, however, as three oblivion wraiths phased out of the walls and floors to surround Dorian and attack. Praxis saved Dorian by using his power that let them switch places. Dorian was safely out of harm’s way but Praxis was in trouble. The oblivion wraith’s Nihil Strike attacks ignored his armor and instead attacked reflex and devastated him with necrotic damage. Praxis fought back but the wraiths were regenerating and insubstantial. The other really tough thing about them was their Nihil aura which prevented those within 2 squares of them to take necrotic damage and be unable to spend any healing surges unit the state of their next turn. Sir Praxis was able to use radiant attacks on the Oblivion Wraiths to prevent them from regenerating but their insubstantial natures allowed for half damage from all attacks. It might be hard to see in the picture but Praxis went down and is currently in big trouble bleeding to death at the feet of the Oblivion wraiths.

That is where we stopped. Although the medusa were effectively neutralized by Quill’s awesome maneuvering, the Oblivion Wraiths remain a big obstacle and Praxis is in very serious danger.

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Babba Yagga's Dancing Hut

But Wait… There’s more… Finding the Dancing Hut, the party approached cautiously with stealth. This is what they saw:
Before you stands the fabled dancing hut. The structure
is a small log cabin, roughly fifteen feet across and fifteen feet tall. It is hexagonal in shape, with no windows and one door, and it sports a peaked roof made of wooden shakes. A small stone chimney juts from one edge of the roof. The hut is perched on two giant chicken legs, each fifteen feet tall and two feet thick at their slimmest.

The hut is in the center of a hundred-foot-diameter circle formed by a fence. The fence is four feet tall and con- structed from intertwining wooden posts that seem to have grown out of the ground. Spaced evenly along the tops of the posts are twelve skulls of various humanoid races. A five-foot-wide gate made of bleached bones stands between two of the posts. Bones in the gate are oriented vertically, but a few of them form a toothy mouth.

A few trees are interspersed around and within the fence’s circle.

3 dancing hut map

From a hidden position behind some trees outside of the fence, Shan Val used the “Wizard Sight” ritual to place a sensor inside the hut and look around. This is what Shan Val saw:

The interior of the hut looks like the hovel of an old peasant. It contains a small wooden table with a wash basin on it and 2 chairs next to it. The floor is packed earth, and the walls and ceiling are of simple wooden construction.

A stove stands along one wall, its pipe leading to the chimney above. A tattered quilt lies against one wall. The floor and the shelves on the walls are littered with tattered clothing, utensils, and sewing supplies. Several candles glow in various places.

They could not see around the one other door that was in the room but there were no immediate threats so they decided to approach the Gate together as a group. Dorian stepped up to examine The Gate of bleached bones for some sort of enchantment when a magic mouth sprung to life in the middle of the gate. The mouth said, “Welcome to BabaYaga’s domain. Kindly state your business or be on your way.” Dorian turned on the charm and tried to bluff his way in saying that they had important business with Baba Yaga. His Silver Tongue proved a valuable asset as he convinced the gate to open and allow entry. So everyone made their way through the gate and approached the hut. Shan Val wanted to examine the door but it was 15 feet up in the air. The hut was standing up on the 15 foot long giant chicken legs. In order to get up there and try to open the door, Quill and Shan Val began to try and climb the chicken legs to reach the door. As soon as they touched the chicken legs, however, the legs burst into motion. They delivered a flurry of kicks in all directions injuring many of the party members. The hut began to spin around furiously and run around inside the fence.

After some consideration using their arcana skill, Shan Val and Dorian agreed that it was their thinking that as a magical construct of some sort, if the party could do enough damage to the hut, it would stop its wild dance and settle down enough to allow entry. And so a wild battle broke out between the Dancing Hut and the adventurers. (During the beginning of the battle, I played the attached music which is actually written to describe Baba Yaga’s hut from Russian folklore – “The Dancing Hut.m4a”)

The battle began with the hut bending over and unleashing a sheet of flames from its chimney to burn the party. This minor action caused considerable fire damage and left those hit by it on fire with ongoing damage. The Hut’s favorite tactic was to move and dance through party member squares and kick them forcibly with its strong chicken legs. These kicks not only did lots of damage but also sent the unfortunate person hit flying 6 squares to land in a heap. In order to escape the rampaging hut and get some distance between himself and those terrible chicken legs, Sunshine had Shan Val teleport closer to the fence and away from the Hut which was in the middle of the fenced in area. Unfortunately Shan Val soon discovered that the skulls on top of the fence were traps that blasted those who got too close with fire. He tried teleporting further away but just got in range of some more of the skulls that were evenly spaced around the permitter of the fence. So in a frustration of fey teleport movement, Shan Val got cooked by many of the skulls and found out how the trap worked the hard way.

During the course of the battle, Dorian was able to disable a skull or two. Redbeard and Shan Val did lots of damage to the Hut. Quill had some cool maneuvers where he saved party members from attack by the interrupting the attack, teleporting the hut to the edge of the fence and having it attack the skulls instead thereby destroying them. Redbeard was on fire for much of the battle, but he laughed it off as he made good use of his resist 10 fire spellscar. Others did not fare as well. Almost all healing magic was used during the tough battle with Praxis going down for a bit as I recall. Another fun thing that happened was that Redbeard was punted outside the fence. Since it was only 4 feet high, he got up and tried to make an athletics check to jump over it and return to the fray. Unfortunately he found out that the fence could grow up to 15 feet to keep out intruders. He leaped up, smashed into the fence, and slid down to the ground, flustered and bewildered.

The Hut had 592 hit points so it took a long while to bring it down. But Sir Praxis who is now known by his monicker “The Closer” which Sam relished and referred to all day reminding everyone that he had the killing blow. A mighty strike of holy furor brought the Hut low. Its legs finally stopped moving and it slowly sat down, the floor of the Hut finally touching the earth. It was an epic battle to be sure and everyone agreed that Paragon level is no joke.

Unsure of how much time they had before the Hut might regain its restlessness, the party decided against a short rest. Even tough they really needed the rest, they instead rushed to the door. There was no door handle nor key hole nor any way to seemingly open it. Quill looked closely finding no traps but that it was wizard locked. Shan Val stepped up and using his arcana sprung open the the wizard lock and the door opened. The room on the inside looked just like it did when using the “Wizard Sight” ritual. Quill, however, heard something stirring in the next room beyond where they could see. Still, wanting to ensure everyone made it inside, the party rushed forward and everyone went inside, closing the door behind them. A quick search of the adjacent room revealed a peasant bedroom of sorts. Quill was surprised by a pair of reflective eyes when he peered into the darkness but found they belonged to a house cat who warily eyed him suspiciously but otherwise seemed harmless.

The rooms seemed secure except for the cat who seemed harmless enough. Dorian gave the cat some food and the cat settled down on the bed content to eat and look around. However, Quill decided to look at him closely and discovered that the cat was a familiar about the same time as it spoke in elvish asking for some more food. The party gave some more food and began a conversation with the cat whose name was Vladimir. He said that he was supposed to be guarding the Hut but that he was bored with the job after so many years and that you were welcome to try and enter if you like. Dorian got Vladimir to reveal that he was Baba Yaga’s familiar and that he hadn’t seen the old hag in a long time – months at least. He wasn’t sure if she was in or out but that she did spend a lot of time away from the hut these days. Quill found a hidden trap door covered by an illusion under the table. Shan Val was able to dispel the illusion and knock open the wizard locked door. However, he luckily avoided the trap that was laid on the trapdoor in the form of a powerful Baba Yaga curse – curse of the Morphing Flesh which over time will turn you into a slime devil. Below the trapdoor was a purple light which looked to be a portal of some kind. Vladimir confirmed that it was a portal that would whisk you away to the next room in Baba Yaga’s hut. There are hundreds of such portals that connect the rooms of the hut together.

The party took a short rest to heal up, thanked Vladimir, and jumped down through the portal to be whisked away deeper into the Hut.

-DM

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Unearthing the Spell Journal of Arian Dane

Confident that Elaith and Jarath (Quill’s father) were the one’s in the vision and present in this location, the party kept the dagger and climbed down into the ruined tower. Curious about the book, Quill searched very carefully and managed to find a hidden chest that was cloaked in a “Conceal” ritual. After a few attempts Shan Val was able to use his arcana to open the chest which was wizard locked. Once opened, the chest appeared and revealed its contents – a brown leather bound book. A quick examination of the book revealed that it was “The Spell Journal of Arian Dane”. Dorian’s history skill revealed that Arian Dane was a powerful human wizard who was the head of the college of wizardry in Ormpetarr before the fall and Spellplague unleashed its ravages upon Ormpetarr.

It was decided that Quill would perch on top of the ruined wall on guard duty while everyone took an extended rest. During the extended rest Quill experimented with his magic and was able to harness his arcana skill to tamp down the effects of the spell plague. He in effect learned how to avoid the dangerous unpredictability of the spellplague effects and taught this method to Dorian and Shan Val. Now the three no longer need to roll percentile dice when using arcane powers… unless they want to risk a bad effect in hopes of a good one.

Shan Val read the Spell Journal of Arian Dane during the extended rest and tried to gain as much information as possible from the book. It was a nonmagical book and was a kind of diary written by Arian Dane. No one got much rest finding the Spellplague draining each individual’s fortitude defense and limiting the number of healing surges regained from resting. But Shan Val found the end of the book the most interesting. It describes how the human wizards of Ormpetarr unearthed a building buried under the city called “the emerald tower”. It was of an architecture foreign and unknown to them, but they suspected was built by the elves long ago. Inside the tower was a shrine to Sehanine Moonbow, the elven goddess of the moon and wife of Corellon Larethian. Also in the Emerald Tower was a creature in stasis – interred in the tower like a prisoner. This creature was known as “The Sharn” – a terribly powerful ancient creature of magic said to be the deadly enemy of the Phaerim in the long ago days of the Netherese and Cormanthyr empires. Arian Dane and his human wizards in Ormpetarr were wise enough to be very extremely cautious around the creature imprisoned in the Emerald Tower. They studied the wards that held it in stasis within and studied the shrine of Sehanine. This worked well for quite some time until the day that Mystra, the goddess of magic died. The resulting rift in magic at Mystra’s death either broke the spells imprisoning the Sharn or weekend them enough for him to escape. Either way The Sharn was freed from his prison, but this was unknown to the wizards of Ormpetarr until it was too late. One by one, The Sharn captured the wizards and used his fell magic to twist and corrupt them into hideous deformed snake creatures. Arian Dane discovered this after many were turned, so he gathered up what wizards remained and they launched an assault on the emerald tower. That was the last entry almost exactly correlating to the start of the Spellplague.

After mulling over what he had read, Shan Val suspects that The Sharn somehow profaned the shrine of Sehanine Moonbow and perhaps unleashed the Spellplague. Quill thinks that perhaps Elaith and his father, Jarath, had obtained Shalay Marel (The Silver Disk artifact of Sehanine) to try and cleanse the altar. Based on the maps and the notes in the spell journal, Shan Val has a pretty good idea where the emerald tower was located within the Ruins of Ormpetarr. It is no more than an hour or so journey from their present location in the ruined tower. However, using the magic map ritual with Elaith’s dagger, the party discovered Elaith’s position to be 45 miles to the northeast in the Chondalwood. Since Quill was very keen to find his father and it seemed to the group that the silver disc was key to whatever needed to happen in the Emerald Tower, they decided to venture out of the swamps of The Plaguewrought Land and into the Chondalwood in search of Baba Yaga, the witch of Chondalwood. And since Elaith seemed so adamant that the book not fall into the hands of the witch, the party decided to return it to the concealed chest and bury the chest in its original hiding spot at the bottom of the ruined tower.

Using a message ritual, the party sent word to The Goldenhawk crew of Tormtar Knights to fly the sky ship to a rendezvous point for extraction outside the plaguewrought lands. Dorian still was wary about bringing the ship anywhere close to the unpredictability of the spellplague. The group was picked up and got a proper rest en route to the location of Elaith using the magic map, deep in the Chondalwood. On the way, the party wanted to learn as much as possible about the powerful old hag they suspected they would face going after Elaith and Jarath. Shan Val used the “Consult Mystic Sages” ritual to find out that Baba Yaga was an ancient and powerful hag and powerful wizard. She used to be a peasant farmer that was fond of chickens. She now lives in a hut that walks on magical chicken legs. It can travel from place to place. The hut is much bigger on the inside than out and is said to span different planes of existence. Baba Yaga is said to have traveled all across Faerun, the outer planes, the Astral sea, even to other worlds. She has powerful magic and curses at her disposal and uses an enchanted mortar and pestle as a mount. She gets inside the mortar and pushes it along the ground with the pestle, sweeping her tracks away with a broom. Some say that the mortar can even be made to fly through the air. Baba Yaga has many slaves that defend her hut. Demons, devils, undead giants, hags, constructs, even half chicken half men creatures called Diaka that Baba Yaga made from the chickens from her original farm – all defend her home. Baba Yaga also has two foster human daughters – Elena and Natasha – that she took into her home long ago. Elena is known as “Elena the Fair” and is renowned for her beauty. Natasha now goes by the name “Iggwilv” and has left the hut to become one of the most powerful summoners in Faerun. She has bound many demons and devils to her will and tales say she is consort to the Demon Prince Graz’zt. Iggwilv’s infamous book Demonomicon is a tome of great legend.

Arriving as close as possible to the location using the magic map but unable to search the thick forest from the air, the party launched an away team that flew down to the forest floor to search for signs of Baba Yaga’s hut. Not long into the search, they came upon what must be it – Baba Yaga’s Dancing Hut (see – 2 Dancing Hut Visual Aid.jpg).

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Plaguewrought Land and Ormpetarr

The game began in the middle of a battle between The Goldenhawk Knights and a host of Gnome Plaguetouched-Ghouls that had surfaced from the swamps of The Plaguewought Lands. The undead host lead by a ghoul king rose from the deep swamps to attack with surprise. The ghoul king himself used his incredible strength to push a tree over on top of the group as the fight began. The battle was hard won with the ghouls and ghasts immobilizing party members and then unleashing their gut tongue (tongues that emerged from a toothy maw in their stomach) to lather the unfortunate victims in acid. Sir Praxis discovered that the evil creatures were vulnerable to light so he and Shan Val used Radiant powers to great effect against them. The terrain was difficult for Shan Val because the party was surrounded and he was having a tough time staying out of melee. At one point he teleported up into a tree thinking himself safe. Unfortunately, the ghoul king pushed the tree over on top of Quill severely injuring them both. Luckily neither was trapped under the tree but the resulting chaos on the battlefield was significant.

The Spellplague also influenced events both positively and negatively. A few times spells were weakened or nullified but other times they were boosted and changed. One notable plaguechanged attack by Shan Val turned a gnome ghoul into a statue of solid iron. I think he was rather fond of that one. The undead must have been voracious because they fought to the last ghoul trying to eat the party members but alas it was not to be. Despite being severely hurt and low on resources, the Goldenhawks decided to press on through the swamps of the plaguewrought land because they were very close to The Ruins of Ormpetarr.

Arriving in Ormpetarr (see attached image 1 ormeptarr map.jpg), the party found a large body of deep swamp water blocking their path. An old broken bridge partially spanned it but the middle 30 feet had fallen away blocking the path. Shan Val and Dorian used the Shadow Bridge ritual to weave the shadows of the swamp into a solid bridge across. Everyone easily crossed using the Shadow Bridge and found a number of bodies at the base of the a ruined tower. Dorian used his nature skill and heal skill to determine that the bodies belonged to the race of the Yuan Ti (half snake half men). The Yuan Ti had been dead for many months possibly a year. Redbeard athletically climbed up the 30 foot wall of the ruined tower to gaze down into the basement. He found another Yuan Ti body on top of the wall with a jeweled dagger buried in its skull. He also saw a shovel, a pick, and a pile of dirt as if something had been dug up in the bottom of the tower.

Redbeard returned to the group and brought the Yuan Ti body with him. Dorian inspected the dagger and found it to be non-magical but of elvish make. Shan Val took out his ritual book once again and cast “last sight vision” to reveal the last 10 rounds before the death of the creature. What Shan Val saw through the eyes of the dead Yuan Ti is described in this audio clip:

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1 ormpetarr map

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