|05/19/2004||06/02/1374 DR - 06/04/1374 DR|
On 2 Kythorn, the party left the gnomes to find the bugbears.
On 4 Kythorn, Setara's familiar, Aasan, spotted a group of humanoids entering a cave a few miles away. Not having ever seen bugbears, he couldn't positively identify them.
The party proceeded to that cave, and Yassel scouted out the cave. He descended to the cave, and peered in. Seeing little inside, he waited about 5 minutes before returning to the rest of the group.
A few minutes later, he returned with Daria as backup. After drinking a potion of darkvision, he entered the cave. Daria stopped at the entrance in case Yassel needed help. Thistle crossed over to the over side of the cave to provide cover for them.
Inside, Yassel saw that the cave extended into the mountain. In the rear of the cave, he saw a set of double doors. In front of the doors, he noticed a 20 ft.-deep pit with spikes. Not wanted to cross the pit on his own, he returned (with Daria) to the rest of the party.
The party descended the slope down to the cave entrance using the rope that Yassel had secured. Kartoffl and Romae both had problems climbing down, and treated the party to spectacular falls, but were fortunately uninjured.
The party entered the cave, this time with continual flame items out. Yassel attached a rope to the right hand door so that he could get a closer look at it. He found that it was not trapped nor was it locked. Afterwards, Eltairin walked across using his slippers to assist Yassel.
Daria now noticed old chalk drawings on the wall. Upon examination, she saw a figure wielding a green longsword with a golden hilt. She recalled an old story about a man named Dorl Travyani, who tried to present himself as a deity. Legend had it that a god learned of his deceit and slew him. His seat of power was supposedly in the Nether Mountains.
Yassel and Eltairin slowly opened the left hand door. Inside, they saw a group of around a half a dozen bugbears sitting around a table. They spotted a long ladder to one side of the room, left unattended.
Yassel attached another rope, and freed his rope of climbing. He then sent his magical rope over to the ladder. Thistle pulled the ladder so that it spanned the pit.
The bugbears noticed the ladder leaving the room. A few moved to attack while others toppled the table in an effort to provide themselves cover. A battle ensued. The party knocked 2 bugbears out. A third surrendered after he sounded an alarm. The rest were killed in combat.
Daria used a tongues spell to question
the bugbear who surrendered. She
learned the general layout of the hide-out. She also learned that the
bugbears were led by a hill giant who answered to someone by the name of Skullcreeper. She
also learned that the hill giant particularly hated humans.
|05/26/2004||06/04/1374 DR - 06/04/1374 DR|
Just as Daria finished questioning the captive bugbear, the second set of double doors, from the chamber that they were in, burst open. A band of 4 bugbears attacked the party. Behind them was a large hill giant.
The party defeated the bugbears, but then had to combat the hill giant. Daria engaged the giant only to be struck by its huge greatclub. It seemed to her as if the skull-headed club "bit" her when it struck. The giant eventually teleported into the room where the rest of the party was, and the remaining 5 bugbears behind the giant joined the fight. Finally,the group defeated the bugbears. The giant teleported away after being severely wounded.
The party then set about searching the rest of the hide-out. Daria checked the large rock in the center of the bugbear's living quarters, but could not find anything remarkable about it. Yassel went into the barracks, but found little of interest. Romae discovered that the one remaining door from the living quarters was elegantly carved, but she waited for the rest of the party before investigating it further. Eltairin entered the giant's quarters, and made a peripheral search of it.
The party returned with Eltairin to search the giant's quarters. A large bed of used linens and ugly hides was in one corner of the room. A heavy wardrobe filled an alcove on the opposite side of the room. Based on the quality of the paint job on the walls, this room must have once been quite nicely appointed. The 30-ft-high ceiling was finely arched, with 2 granite trusses holding the entire room together.
Many painted frescos adorn the walls, all depicting a tall, golden-haired human wielding a long sword. Once there might have been other details, but they have been obscured by thick finger marks the size of tree limbs, and crushing blows the size of a bull's head.
A peripheral search of the room turned up nothing of value. The clothes found in the room may have once been of fine quality, but that was many years ago. Kartoffl was able to identify fragments of items as once being important in religious ceremonies of some sort.
Kartoffl, Romae, and Thistle tried to move the wardrobe to see what was underneath it. Failing miserably to budge it, Eltairin replaced Thistle, and they managed to move it. Underneath, they found two potions and a magical shield. Setara was able identify them as a potion of cure serious wounds and a gaseous form potion. She found that the shield had 2 auras, one of which was strong abjuration.
The party went back to the main chamber where the large boulder was located. Yassel inspected the ornate door, and found it locked but not trapped. He unlocked the door, and the party found a young, elven woman tied up in a 10 ft by 20 ft space. They untied her, and questioned her.
The elven woman identified herself as Ferrella Treestretch from Otostin's Hold on the northwestern corner of the High Forest. Her father is a fur merchant from that village. (Setara and Daria confirmed that her dress was of the type that would be worn by someone from the lower merchant class.) She was accompanying a shipment of her father's furs in Silverymoon Pass when they were attacked by the bugbears. While others had been killed, she was captured to be ransomed back to her father -- a ransom that he had very little chancee of paying.
While they were questioning Ferrella, Eltairin spotted a secret door on the opposite end of the passage where she had been kept. It looked to all in the party that the bugbears had never found this door!
Beyond the secret door, the party found a white marble and alabaster room that was surprisingly dust-free. The ceiling was vaulted and approximately 15 ft high. A pair of great bronze and gold doors, some 15 ft. across, were centered in the opposite wall from which the party entered.
The walls were covered with 7 beautifully-painted frescos of a tall, handsome human male, wielding a green-bladed longsword with a golden hilt and dressed in clothes of silver and blue. In each of the frescos, the man was depicted in various poses of martial activity, his sword at the ready. Each figure depicted builded upon one before it, so that as each figure was viewed it created an impression of fluid movement from one position to the next.
In the center of the room was a tall, extremely life-like statue of the man depicted on the walls. Made of exotic woods, the statue seemed to have withstood the test of time. A plaque rested at the base of the statue that read "Dorl Tavyani, Sword Saint."
Setara detected magic in the room, and found that the room radiated magic. There were two auras: universal and conjuration. Yassel then tossed dirt into the chamber, and discovered that it was immediately cleaned up. From this, Setara concluded that the chamber must have a permanent, unseen servant maintaining it.
The party opened up the double doors, and found an enormous chamber that glowed with its own pale, silvery light. The walls were lined with marble and ebony, interspersed with great ceiling to floor tapestries.
The 60-ft. by 35-ft. chamber seemed to be a massive monument to the man named Dorl Tavyani. Four marble statues lined each of the east and west walls, each depicted the man in various triumphal forms of activity, from vanquishing his foes to showing mercy to the poor. In between each statue was a tall tapestry, further extolling Dorl Tavyani's virtues.
Two particularly large and magnificent tapestries depicting great battle scenes, with Dorl Tavyani prominently featured in each, were displayed in the middle of the chamber on the right and left walls. To the left, he was vanquishing all manners of orcs and goblins, and to the right all sorts of dragons and reptilian beasts.
At the far end of the chamber was the only feature of the room that did not bear Dorl Tavyani's face. A beautiful silver and blue fountain trickled water slowly down out of a lion's mouth into a waiting pool below. A fresco above it showed Dorl Tavyani dipping his weapon into the fountain, then turning to vanquish several devils and demons.
They began to search behind the tapestries, starting with the ones on the left. Behind the large one in the center of that wall, they found a rough-hewn chamber. Inside, a three-headed chimera waited them. One head was of a lion, the second was a white dragon, and the third was a weird, unidentifiable beast.
A battle with the chimera ensued. The party, being low on spells, fought a slow retreat back through the double doors and out the secret passage. Romae stood firm, exchanging blows and then retreating to cover the rest's withdrawal. Romae, Thistle, and the rest were able to deliver several sharp blows to the beast. The chimera dealt several blows in return, primarily to Romae. Once everyone was safely away, the secret door was shut, and the party rested.
|06/04/2004||06/04/1374 DR - 06/05/1374 DR|
The party rested in the main chamber beyond the secret door. In the morning, Kartoffl and Eltairin cast healing magic upon all that were injured on the previous day.
When the party had healed up, Yassel scouted into the chambers on the other side of the secret door. Not seeing the chimera from the marble and alabaster room, he crossed through the double doors into the huge chamber beyond. Still, he did not see the beast. Not wishing to endanger himself further while alone, he returned to the party.
The party then ventured into the enormous chamber to find the chimera. The beast was back behind the large tapestry on the left-hand wall. The party, this time expecting battle, made short work of the creature.
The party searched the enormous chamber, finding nothing of value except for the tapestries. Yassel climbed upon the fountain, but also found nothing of worth. The party was about to give up when Eltairin noticed a secret door high above the fountain.
Eltairin and Yassel climbed up to the door on the wall. Finding it neither trapped nor locked, Yassel opened the door. Beyond, he saw a small, undecorated chamber. A passage on the far wall extended into the darkness.
Eltairin descended the wall, and he and Daria filled their waterskins with water from the fountain. Daria then dipped her silver short sword into the water. She found that it was magical while it was wet, but was no longer magical when it dried. The party climbed up to the secret doorway, and then walked down the passage into the darkness. They continued downward until they were far below the level of the fountain.
The shaft finally emptied out into a 25-ft. by 25-ft. sumptuously appointed bedchamber and office. The room was bathed in shadows cast by a flickering fire in a fireplace set in the right-hand wall. To its right, they saw a well-crafted portrait of Dorl Tavyani. The ceiling was dark and arched.
The party also saw a beautiful crystal statuette of Dorl Tavyani, poised for battle. A heavy, wing-backed chair, upholstered in thick blue velvet, sat adjacent to the fireplace. A small writing desk stood next to the upholstered chair, with a set of glass-covered book shelves mounted on the wall above the desk. The space between the desk and the red-brocaded, quilt-covered bed was covered with a shaggy blue carpet, woven with the design of a longsword with a golden hilt and green blade.
Behind the bed was a large mirror that covered almost all of the left-hand wall. To one side of the bed was a heavy captain's trunk, its iron bands gleaming dully in the dim light. On the bed sat a small pile of dust.
After Yassel made a cursory inspection for traps, the party moved into the room to investigate. They quickly noticed that the fire in the fireplace was illusionary. Yassel then moved over to open the chest. Daria walked over to examine the contents of the bookshelves.
Suddenly, a transparent figure of a tall, handsome, middle-aged blonde man, wearing a blue and silver tunic and hose appeared. He wore a scabbard, but carried in his left hand the shattered remains of a longsword with a golden hilt. The figure called out to the party, calling them "his faithful" and telling them that "he knew they would return to whom they rightfully followed."
Daria was not hearing any of this, however. She calmly explained to the ghost that he was DEAD and that they were NOT his followers. He lived many years ago, and his followers were not coming back.
This angered the spirit, who then attacked the party. A battle ensued. Yassel, for his part, did not bother to fight the spirit, but turned his attention to opening the locker. After a little while, the party defeated the spirit, and it dissipated into nothingness.
The party searched the room and particularly the trunk in which Yassel had taken so much interest. Inside the chest, Yassel found a magical cape and strand of prayer beads. The party collected all there was of value, and left the room.
Returning to the large chamber, the party encountered a band of bugbears who had just returned from a raid. Another battle was fought with the party being triumphant once again.
They healed their wounds, and rested for the night.
© Copyright Maryrita Steinhour, 2002, 2004.