The Minaria Campaign

Skelt to Khundrakar

ALTERNATIVE ADVENTURING GROUP (4E D&D)

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News from home.

Darryl received a letter from his family in Soren urging him to return south from Saltmarsh with all due haste.

He sent word to Captain Redbeard to prepare the ship for immediate departure. After a brief stop at Meerport and journeying for six days they reached Soren. He was glad to be home but also concerned at the tone of the letter he had received. Although the relationship with his family was strained, he hoped they were all ok.

Unfortunately the news was not good. His father had appeared to be poisoned and was on death’s door at the family home. The cleric attending him feared for the worse if a cure could not be found in the next few days, it appeared he had arrived just in time. Darryl had a few leads to go on, an old friend Tarak had uncovered a plot to assassinate the crown prince and had contacted his father for advice. It seems his father had been poisoned in response to him reporting the plot to the authorities.

Darryl set off to find Tarak. He had a new companion with him, the new family mastiff Argo. At first he was wary about bringing the mutt on his adventures but soon warmed to having him around, he looked like he could be useful in a fight. He soon found Tarak in a local tavern. Looking concerned Tarak explained that he had overheard some gang members plotting their assassination. He had reported his findings immediately to Darryl’s father. Tarak knew that the gang had a hide out in the dock area of Soren so they agreed to meet up in the evening and investigate. The gang was known as “The Thessalar”.

Later that evening the two friends met at the docklands. Tarak agreed to stand lookout whilst Darryl and Argo snuck into the warehouse. Stealthing past a sentry Darryl entered the warehouse and observed two gang members. Posing as a customs official he conned the gang members into giving away the name of the mage that created the poison. The mage was called “Murdarel” and he owned a wizards tower in the artisan’s district.

After some rest the next day Darryl set off to Soren’s artisans district in search of Murdarel. On the way he was jumped by some strange bird creatures known as Kenku. After defeating them and interrogating their leader, he discovered they were mercenaries hired by Murdarel for his protection. He discovered that the wizard was currently away but Darryl assumed the tower would still be ladened with arcane traps and devices and would present a challenge to infiltrate. He was not disappointed….

As he entered the tower (after picking the lock of course) he was confronted by a marble statue of a lion. Suspecting the worse Darryl slowly edged his way around the circular room. Low and behold the statue sprang into life and Darryl found himself fighting the construct as he backed off into a circular staircase. Argo did his best to distract the creature whilst the rogue chipped away at it. It finally stumbled and damaged itself on stairs as it came crashing back down.

The next level of the tower contained a cryptic logic puzzle that Darryl struggled to comprehend. After about 30minutes of looking at four identical doors with strange writing written above he thought he had worked the puzzle out and selected a door. Carefully opening it he was greeted with another set of stairs and no traps!

Level two contained yet another puzzle room. This time he had to walk on a raised platforms step by step all the time being pursued by an invisible vortex. This seemed to be shadowing his movement across the room but he managed to outsmart the entity and proceed upwards.

Level three seemed like a normal enough chamber which made Darryl very suspicious this being a wizards tower after all! However as he entered the room the entire floor moved as if levered in the middle. Dashing as fast he could he lept to the middle of the room to counter balance the effect. He now had the problem of getting Argo across! Calmly commanding the dog he ushered Argo to the middle of the room. Smart a mutt as he was it was hard to coordinate and in the end Darryl simply ended up ordering Argo to run and jumped to safety himself.

On the landing of level was another ominous door. Upon opening it Darryl was presented with three more doors! To make matters worse the door behind him was now locked shut! Quickly growing tired of these illusions and mage puzzles Darryl spent the next ten minutes opening various combinations of doors until finally he arrived at another landing with a set of stairs leading ever upwards.

Level 5 was more like it. It seemed to contain offices and living quarters for the mages apprentices. He sneaked slowly listening carefully at each door. One door was ajar and he could see an apprentice working at a desk. Darryl decided to rush the mage and subdue him before he could get a spell off but unfortunately his plan failed and the wizard was prepared for him. The apprentice unleashed bolts of ice at him and Argo as they rushed into the room, slowing there advance. Darryl managed to out manoeuvr the mage and wound him with his rapier before another spell afflicted his mind and sent him running in terror from the room. After a few moments he came to his senses and returned to the room only to see poor Argo had been mortally wounded by the apprentice who had drawn a long dagger. Determined to finish the mage off Darryl sprinted back into the room however the wizard was proving tough and more ice and cold slowed ever swing. It was time for Darryl to retreat. He turned and fled with the apprentice rushing after him yelling curses and firing off more spells. He managed to make it to the door puzzle landing and stepped inside, planning to ambush Murdarel’s laky if he followed. His plan worked and as he listened he could many doors opening as he lay in wait. He managed to surprise the mage and forced him to surrender. After interogating the apprentice Darryl discovered the location of the potion antidote hidden in Murdarels chambers.

All he needed to do now was to get the antidote to the clerics and his father was saved!

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Kassen's Tomb Finale

ALTERNATIVE ADVENTURING GROUP (4E D&D)

Retrieved the Everflame and put the undead to rest.

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Kassen's Tomb - Lower Level

ALTERNATIVE ADVENTURING GROUP (4E D&D)

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The Final Enemy Level 3

The adventurers got onto the lowest level of the sahuagin level without raising the general alarm and without having to face a tough adversary in the form of the sahuagin baron. Now it was time to undertake the final part of the quest.

The first room they explored contained a shark and Bryngar dispatched it in double quick time. This store room contained numerous supplies and weapons. They then moved onto the prison cell block and released a locathah and a triton from their imprisonment (and torture) and they joined the characters in their quest. The adventurers also discovered a secret passage that gave them access to the outside (albeit underwater) world. They continued their scouting and took out another guard room although a couple of sahuagin almost escaped to raise the general alarm.

Using the knowledge gained from the triton and locathah the heroes gained some insight into the rest of the level without having to explore it. They now know there is a chamber containing a large contingent of sea devils and there are two further guard rooms and an arena. Before escaping the lair Bryngar had a hunch that the store room they visited earlier had a secret room off it. Racks lined all its walls apart from one and he suspected that a secret door was in this remaining wall. They eventually found it and Bryngar explored the secret chamber beyond along with the rogue Nathaniel Garro. They discovered a treasure horde in a large chest, although Nathaniel set the trap off in the process, which trapped them in the room. The rest of the party, who had been busying themselves with destroying the items in the store room (under the protection of a Silence spell) eventually got the secret door open again and freed the trapped dwarf and rogue.

The adventurers got out of the sahuagin lair via the secret passage in the prison cell block, sealing up the passage in hope the sahuagin do not discover it. Once on land they sought to rest but were ambushed by a group of merrow (aquatic ogres), two scrags and two human magic users. It looked certain that the weakened adventurers would be overpowered but suddenly an unexpected cavalry arrived. To their surprise Mastos Nesrillan, a nemesis of the adventurers from the town of Saltmarsh, helped them survive the encounter. Mastos brought with him a group armed with bows that peppered the merrow and scrags with arrows until they were defeated. Unfortunately Bryngar, Nathaniel and Yanev were badly wounded and ended up face down in the mud by the end of the encounter. Bryngar’s wounds were particularly grievous and he may bear scars for some time to come (even with magical healing).

Mastos approached the adventurers once the enemy was defeated and is preparing to parley…

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The Final Enemy Level 2

The adventurers descended to the lower level equipped with water breathing and several other magic items to help in underwater combat. They began exploring using Bryngar as a scout with his superior dark vision with the rest of the group trailing behind. Unfortunately Bryngar is not the most stealthy of characters and he was spotted while spying on a guard room and a large fight ensued. Some of the lizard men accompanying the adventurers were killed and Bryngar found himself surrounded by sahuagin. The adventurers eventually prevailed and after searching the room they found a sahuagin hiding among one of the seaweed beds who had been sleeping and remaining hidden until he could get away and alert his brethren. He was quickly dispatched.

Further investigation of the lair led to the main temple area. The adventurers tried to remain undetected but a shark lurking in the main chamber thought supper had arrived when a shape changed druid swam into the room. Ferula Niadelle fled and the shark gave chase leading to a fight, with the sahuagin priestesses joining the fray. Some well placed magic dispatched the priestesses and the giant shark, although the fighting brought the unwanted attention of some guards from a nearby guardroom. By this stage Ferula Niadelle had been polymorphed into a shark by our dependable wizard Tobyn and she communicated with the guards while the rest of the group hid in the temple where they had dumped the bodies of the dead priestesses. Ferula Niadelle informed the guards that some intruders had broken into the lair but had been dealt with. She said that the priestesses were ok and had returned to their duties in the temple. Nevertheless the guards decided to organise some patrols to mop up any other intruders that could be lurking. Believing Ferula’s ruse they did not investigate the temple area, concentrating their patrols elsewhere.

Once the adventurers thought it was safe to proceed they snuck out of the temple and continued exploring, finding the chamber of the sahuagin baron and his advisers. Not wishing to be embroiled in another difficult fight the wise heroes decided to descend to the lowest and final level so as to complete their mission.

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The Final Enemy

The reconnaissance on the sahuagin lair was agreed and the adventurers set off by ship to old lizard man lair now conquered by the sea devils. Set on the edges of the Tayn Marsh, the adventurers crept around a promontory to a causeway linking the lair to the mainland. The group were accompanied by 13 lizard men and 6 human marines.

They breached the lair by using a Silence spell to mask the noise of breaking down the main entrance. The arrogant guards were quickly dealt with and the adventurers began exploring the upper level. It was immediately obvious that the much of the lair had been altered although this level remained largely unoccupied. A poor old wizard named Elmo was discovered in a slave pen and he told the characters that he was part of an adventuring group sent from Armania to track down some missing ships and their cargo. This led them to the sahuagin. These adventurers were all killed apart from Elmo who promptly dies after imparting his information.

The marines that are with the adventurers are ambushed while guarding a passage as the characters explore. They are all injured in the fight and they are forced to rest up in a room while the rest of the group continue their search. The adventurers eventually find the room with the stairs down to the lower level and fight another group of sahuagin who are overseeing the work of some slaves. The slaves help the characters in the combat and as a reward are set free. The slaves are grateful, even the orcs and hobgoblin. Slave labour is being used to completely overhaul the lair for use by the sahuagin with smart tiled rooms everywhere.

It appears that the lower levels have been flooded, or more accurately the whole island has sunk so that the normally dry levels have become flooded. It means the characters cannot continue without finding some way of breathing underwater. Elmo the wizard had mentioned before he died about his group having some gear appropriate for underwater exploration and the adventurers set out to try and find the treasure stash. If it isn’t on this level then they will be forced to abandon their quest.

After much searching they find a well hidden secret chamber, locked and trapped. Inside is a plethora of loot including a cloak of the manta ray and several draughts of water breathing potion. Watch out sahuagin here they come…

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In the sewers again!

We had a meeting with the Town Council in the Saltmarsh Town Hall where our new members, Keth and Bryngar, were introduced to the council, the issue of trust came up as Yanev typically let slip that he did not trust Keth, I countered this by asking who, around this table, can honestly say they trust the man sat next to them? They tasked us with following up the investigation of the Thieves Guild and the smuggling operation that we disrupted. The smugglers were arming the Lizard Men and there were rumours of an attack on Saltmarsh. A mercenary force was sent out and although half the Lizard Men were slaughtered only one mercenary survived, but it seems it was never the Lizard Men’s intention to attack Saltmarsh, so what is going on? Obviously the Lizard men are now extremely aggravated so not really approachable.

We have had little success in the past at investigating the Thieves Guild and we suspect somebody within the council as being involved, we tried drawing them out by making out that we already had clues to follow up, but we didn’t get followed when we left the meeting although we are pretty sure the Thieves Guild know who we are and that we are a threat…after all, we captured their ship and it sits in the docks for all to see.

The Town Council gave us authority to question a prisoner they were holding that was a suspected Thieves Guild member, we decided to wait until the following morning when Keth had the correct interrogation spells learnt.

I was very annoyed when Darryl, supported by everyone else, refused to give me the money to buy Elkwin a horse for his Winter’s Rest gift. It was frustrating having to wait until after our next adventure. Meanwhile most of the little personal gold I had left went to pay for materials to make supplies for the market stall. I delivered these to Elkwin at the Silver Sickle and spent the night there. By the morning Elkwin was smiling again, he will get his horse eventually. I asked him if he had suffered personally from the increase in crime I’d been hearing about. He said than he’d not had a break-in since we got our room ransacked before (we suspected Ned may be involved in this), but he had heard that a couple of merchant houses in the docks area had been hit.

Darryl and Keth went to question the gypsy woman that had been caught as a suspected member of the Thieves Guild and was being held by the town guard. Her name was Triestra and although she claimed it was just trinkets she had stolen, Keth was able to determine that she had robbed a merchant house with an accomplice called Kenrick, he had been wounded on their escape through the sewers and had been left lying on a sandbank (she claimed he was hidden at the back of the gypsy camp but her thoughts revealed the truth), she feared for his survival. Keth felt he would know the street where the sewer entrance was if he saw it. Triestra wanted us to bale her out with 150gp but we thought that would be counter-productive at this stage.

Darryl had also been off seeing one of his informants and had a job to do as a favour to one. He had to see if some guy’s ex-girlfriend was being followed from the Cat & Fiddle, so he and Bryngar went off to do this, seems they didn’t have a lot of joy, I’m sure Darryl can expand on this, but when he met his informant again he got a tip-off that a ship was coming in at mid-day that was going to be hit by the thieves guild that evening.

We went down to the docks and to our ship. The harbour master confirmed that there was indeed a ship due in called the Sea Maiden and it would heave-to a couple of moorings along the quayside from ours (The Sea Ghost). We thought we would wait on our ship, keeping watch to see what happened.

The Sea Maiden duly arrived around mid-day as expected and pulled in at the quayside. She was a spendid ship of a smilar size to our own and a kind popular with merchants.

Early on Bryngar thought he saw a pale skinny bloke watching the ship. It may have just been a dock worker but they were acting suspiciously. Later a small boy brought us a message that Oswald Nesrillan wanted to buy us all lunch at the Dolphin, Keth remained keeping an eye out here while we went to see what he wanted, it seems he was just warning us to keep our investigations quiet as he felt we were in danger from the Thieves Guild. We enjoyed the expensive food and drink and returned to the Sea Ghost.

We had a visit from Captain Dellan Redbeard, the dodgy old sea-dog who had supposedly been looking after our ship while we were away, he informed us that he had taken out ship out around the islands and reefs while we were away and cheerfully told us it hadn’t been damaged. Thats just as well for his sake, he is a useless old drunk, we need to find somebody else more capable. We did, however, learn that the Sea Maiden brought goods from Soren among other places.

While our attention was diverted Darryl thought he saw somebody watching our ship and took off after them. He came back a little later saying he had to meet a “gorgeous” woman called Keleena at the Cat & Fiddle who had handed this guy over to the town guard. The description of this Keleena matched perfectly the female mage from the wanted posters at the Town Hall who we had been warned of as dangerous. This hinted of her link to the thieves guild and suggested to us that Darryl had been enchanted.

Darryl knew we had an important job to do here and although he is one for the ladies he was even acting a bit wierd for him, I cast detect magic on him and we questioned him about things known only to us and he seemed himself. The others decided to go with him to meet this woman but first they wanted to see the man who had supposedly been spying on us but he wasn’t at the town hall where Kaleena had taken him. We went along and I called Lupin and left him guarding the Sea Ghost. I was not confident about Darryl’s story and suspected a trap or diversion.

It turned out that nobody had heard of anybody called Keleena, neither did they have any prisoners brought in today. Darryl had obviously been enchanted by this stage, and we were very wary on arriving at the Cat & Fiddle. Keth went and spoke to a town guard patrol to elicit some assistance if there was trouble. By this time I was becoming very nervous about leaving the Sea Ghost and decided to go back there as quickly as i could, and its a good job that I did as my suspicions were well founded.

Lupin was very pleased to see me and licked my face excitedly. I looked over toward the Sea Maiden to see a small craft, heavily laden with either contraband or stolen goods, frantically paddling away.

I cast spider climb on myself and scampered after them along the sides of the quay, keeping in the shadows and I sent Lupin to the Cat & Fiddle and told him to howl when he was outside, hoping the others would recognise him and follow, he had to try and keep out of sight as much as possible so as not to raise too much alarm in the town.

I followed the small boat to the entrance to the town sewers that we had entered once before whilst in pursuit of some thieves from the market. At that time we had given up the chase after a dreadful sense of foreboding have overtaken us in the tunnels. Darryl had been particularly affected by this. I waited at the entrance 15 minutes or so until Lupin returned with the rest of the party. It seemed it was likely that this Keleena meeting had indeed just been a distraction.

I got out our folding boat and we clambered in and set of in pursuit of the villains, Bryngar all the while keeping careful track of our progress. At the first T junction Keth sent Latrine, his rat familiar, along the tunnel to the left, while we investigated to the right. Latrine soon encountered undead and returned very afraid, while we continued, following the paths of easy boat access. I used the remaining spider climb spell to scout ahead a little upon reaching a chamber with two exit passeages, along the tunnel I chose I could hear or see nothing ahead so when the others arrived we chose the other path. Eventually we came to a chamber that had a locked grille on one of the exits, the lock had recently been turned. We were on the right trail.

Darryl picked the lock easily and we entered the passage, it led to another chamber with a sandbank and an empty boat moored on the sand. Footprints showed evidence of a passage hidden in the wall here and after 20 mins or so we gained access. We could see a heavy iron clad doorway leading from this chamber but in our path stood a 9ft tall creature with rubbery skin and sharp claws. Bits of rotting flesh fell from it and by the stench we could tell it was undead.

Darryl quickly side footed the monster and pushed Bryngar into its path who then started being slammed by the foul thing, but he gave as good as he got, while Darryl tumbled round behind the creature and attacked from its rear. I meanwhile fired magic arrows into it, and Yanev attempted to turn it (to no avail). Keth tried some spells without much luck but mostly kept out of the way, he was ill prepared for this adventure as he just expected to be asking questions today.

After a while we eventually overcame the beast but Bryngar was fairly badly hit being in the front line. We had to do some healing and wound curing on him to get him back to a state of reasonable health, but at least we are now ready to go on! I will try to salvage as many arrows as I can, I think we will need them.

Ferula

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Return to Saltmarsh

After collecting a reward in the city of Soren for returning the stolen plans (we all got a minor magic item each – I received a new magical heavy mace to replace the one confiscated in Dessarin) we arranged with our ship captain to take us up the east coast of the Principality of Lyris back to Saltmarsh.

On the way we docked at the town of Restenford where we heard rumours of giant orcs and undead stalking a nearby hill known as Bone Hill. We decided we may return one day to investiage the rumours. We partaked in a game of darts with a local dwarf named Gap at Falco’s Tavern and next morn we set off once again.

Several days later we arrived in Saltmarsh and it was good to be back. We arrived during the festival of Winter’s Rest, much to the annoyance of the sailors who wished we had returned a couple of days earlier. We had many drinks at the Drunkard Dwarf and Brynngar stole a hat off an idiotic fop who threw insults our way and he decided to wear it. Shortly later Darryl got ill from Filth Fever from a festering wound he had received off a rat a couple of weeks earlier. The Patriarch of Omara cured the disease and he soon recovered.

A couple of priestesses of Elodra (or people posing as priestesses) came around the town and demanded donations to receive the Blessings of Elodra. I hate giving coin to these wicked women but it is best not to annoy the evil goddess of winter.

We eventually met with the town council and they informed us that during our absence a group of mercenaries had attacked a nearby lizard man lair as they believed that the smuggling ring we had smashed was providing arms to the creatures to attack Saltmarsh. The mercenaries were killed, all but one, who escaped and reported that the lizard men seemed surprised by the attack and one had said in common We were no threat to you why do you attack us? A scout had warned that the lizard men were preparing to attack prior to the mercenary band being sent. What happened to that scout no one knows.

The town council asked us to investigate what was happening in the Tayn Marsh but they also asked us to find out who or what is responsible for the armament of these lizard men. Someone was behind the smugglers…possibly the thieves’ guild?

Yanev

Ferula receieved some magic arrows as a reward for the recovery of the plans, and she purchased a light hand-and-a-half sword while in the town which she needs to gain skill with. While the others were happy to linger in Soren she was desparate to return to Saltmarsh to enquire after her missing father Harcannath. She forgot to purchase gifts for the Winter’s Rest festival, her mind was elsewhere. Immediately upon her return she rushed to the Sign of the Silver Sickle to ask Elkwin if there had been any news. Elkwin was a little annoyed as she herself had been away too long, had not brought him a gift and seemed little concerned about his difficulties with the market while she was away. There had been no news and Elkwin told her she should go to the forest and enquire there. She bought a drink and sat at the bar until the others arrived and she was greeted by the Dwarf wearing a totally stupid hat! Feeling a little sorry for herself she made herself busy in her alchemy lab over the festival, preparing large quantities of stock of creams, balms, oils and tinctures for the market stall, she resolved to buy Elkwin a horse to make amends for her harshness towards his feelings but she will have to persuade Darryl to give her a little more gold from the kitty as her personal funds are running low. She also hopes she can persuade her fellow adventurers to help find her father but at this moment she feels very alone.

Ferula

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Escape From Dessarin

This was a difficult adventure for Ferula, breaking into a notorious impregnable underground prison that seemed the size of a small city, hopelessly outnumbered, and stinking of unimaginable filth (especially after she fell in a pool of poo while descending the entry shaft and was seriously incapacitated). She had to leave her bow and her beloved wolf behind and felt really vulnerable, she hates these confined spaces, but at least she got to test two new spells, spider climb and summon swarm, both to great advantage. She cast spider climb on Darryl who scouted the prison giving us a good idea of what we were up against, unfortunately Darryl got bitten by one of the rats when she summoned a swarm of them to keep the guards busy. All this was to rescue our crazy cleric who got himself mixed up in other folks affairs as usual, we could have easily all ended up stuck in this place forever. It was very sad having to say goodbye to our old friend Torek during our escape, he was a complete dumb-ass but rather cute, I wish him well in the battle that faces him.

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