Diernemaen

Session 5

Garret, Groo, Ohn, and Ras Hamal found themselves in a stable. They searched the room, particularly interested in finding what had seemed to be a  maiden in distress calling repeatedly for help. All they found, though, was none other than Vlad Tattersail hiding in the hayloft.

As they listened incredulously to Vlad’s story of following close behind on a second boat at the bidding of Chamberlain Maedra, there came a pounding at the door and the gruff voices of gnolls making all sorts of vile threats. Ras Hamal tried to keep them at bay, but he was bested and the party’s brief respite gave way to another wave of dire combat.

With the help of Vlad’s magic, Drat’s keen eye and sure hand, and Leandro’s braun, the party was able to make short (and bloody) work of the half dozen gnolls that had answered the alarm. As they sat cleaning their weapons and collecting themselves, they were rejoined by Groein who reappeared just as suddenly as he had disappeared when all this business with the gnolls had started.

The party debated what to do next while keeping their eyes nervously on the door. Should they return to the inner courtyard to try to help Anderos and Isosceles? Or should they forge ahead? Finally, they agreed to forge ahead and take the long corridor that  trailed off into the gloom past where Anderos, Drat, Isosceles, and Leandro had turned right earlier.

Garret led the way. The corridor eventually turned to the left. Towards its end were two sets of double doors to the left and right. Garret listened at the set to the right. He didn’t hear much and decided to check for traps before opening but instead dropped his tools with a loud clang.

Out burst several ghouls, biting and clawing at the party as they came. Vlad coated them in grease amd set them on fire. The rest of the party then put them (hopefully) to their final rest. 

The room from which they had burst was odd. It contained slabs of granite and stone cutting tools — presumably for headstones. It also contained dozens of religious symbols of both the Kintu and Belatu as well as several other minor deities. An air of dread hung over the room.

The party decided to try their luck across the corridor where they found an open, overgrown courtyard that appeared to have been a cemetery at some point, perhaps when the temple was primarily used to worship Ojlo. A decrepit crypt, its iron doors flung wide, sat in the middle.

Groein, Ohn, and Ras Hamal wall over to inspect the crypt. It contained a new wood stairway leading down into darkness. As they turned to tell the rest of the party what they saw, there was suddenly a dry clicking sound from all around as mandibles and pincers emerged from the brush and trees  at the edges of the cemetery.

To be continued…

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Session 4

After Garret quite fruitfully searched the second story of the room in which the ghouls were vanquished, the party continued to make their way through this wing of the Temple of Ojlek. Garret, Groo, Groein, Ohn The Marked, and Ras Hamal formed the vanguard while Anderos, Drat, Isosceles, and Leandro took up the rear. 

With much difficulty, the party crossed a room with a collapsed floor. In the next room, the hail adventurers fought and slew a giant carnivorous plant.

As the vanguard tended to their wounds, Anderos, Drat, Isosceles, and Leandro decided to scout ahead. They followed a corridor to the right, then turned right again to descend a flight of stairs leading to an inner courtyard.

As they reached the center of the courtyard, a ghastly wight rose from a pile of debris. The foul creature was slain, but the battle was hard won. As the wight endeavored to drain the life from Leandro, he struck back, delivering the killing blow.

Drawn to the ruins of a building filled with lifelike statues, Anderos, Drat, Isosceles, and Leandro ventured deeper into the courtyard. Suddenly, from a corner of the courtyard, both Anderos and Isosceles gasped. Their companions watched in horror as they slowly turned to stone.

Knowing there was nothing they could do, Drat and Leandro made their way hastily back to where they left Garret, Groo, Groein, Ohn The Marked, and Ras Hamal resting. As they approached, they saw several gnolls rushing past. Down the hall to the left, they could hear the clash of steel and howls of battle.

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Session 1

After hiding the bodies of the guards and catching their breath, the party returned their attention to the ventilation shaft. It was then that they realized that Leandro was nowhere to be found.

Groein was once again lowered into the shaft. When he reached the bottom this time, however, the iron grate was no longer in place.

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Session 0

The party met late in the day on the docks of Darkshelf. Ras Hamal, Leandros, and Garret Greenbottle came ashore from a merchant ship headed south for Imradd. The Dwarven Cleric Groein, in town to pick up provisions to bring back to his hermitage in the Erud Ghor mountains, caught sight of Ras Hamal and, fascinated by seeing a man of Far Tarroon on the other side of Diernemaen, struck up a conversation. Anderos, Drat, and Groo, who had been traveling together for some time, caught site of the well armed and somewhat out of place strangers and decided to hang around to see what might happen.

The adventurers were approached by Maedra, Chamberlain of Neistor, Lord of Darkshelf. He explained that there had been some trouble of late and that Lord Neistor was looking for a group of hale individuals to look into the matter. Maedra arranged for meals, drink, and lodgings for the adventurers at the nearby the Sailor and Siren Inn and for them to meet with Lord Neistor early the next day.

The next morning the party met with Lord Neistor. He expressed his concerns about Bazili Erak, proprietor of Darkshelf Quarry, the recent activity of pirates and slavers in the region, and the  string of half-eaten bodies found on the banks of the Pelyra river and the Darkshelf waterfront.

“The results from the quarry seem too good to be true,” he said. “And the raid on the slavers’ camp was a little too quick and clean, if you ask me. 

“And then there’s the dwarves that work in the quarry at night but that nobody ever sees. And, of course, the terrible attacks we’ve had around Darkshelf.”

“Something’s not right at that quarry. Will you look into it for us?”

After answering a few questions, Lord Neistor went on to explain that he had already sent someone to look into things.

"It wasn’t so much the quarry as it was the attacks.", he said. "I sent a man named Kwon out to find what’s been killing our people and leaving the bodies looking half chewed-up. He brought me a few reports, but I haven’t seen or heard from him in a while now.”

“Frankly, I’m worried. I’m hoping that by looking into the quarry, you’ll maybe find Kwon—alive, I mean.”

After fielding a few more questions, Lord Neistor offers the adventurers 500 gold pieces if they can find out what’s really going on, put a stop to any trouble, and find Kwon.

They set out for the quarry right away and, using a map Kwon provided to Lord Neistor in one of his reports, they were able to locate a ventilation shaft hidden by a copse of trees on a bluff overlooking the quarry.

The party lowered Groein into the shaft. At the bottom, he found an iron grate that he could not lift. The dwarf was pulled back up to the surface just as the party heard voices on the bluff beyond the copse of trees. As he removed the rope from his waist, Groein stumbled from the trees to find four armed, human guards. "Bring him to ground, boys!" one of them yelled, and the four loosed their swords from their scabbards.

A brief fight to the death ensued. The adventurers made short work of the guards, and all but Groo. who suffered a few cracked ribs, emerged with nothing more than a couple of bumps and bruises.

The party then returned their attention to the ventilation shaft — hiding the bodies of the guards and stowing unnecessary traveling gear as they prepared to descend and find a way to lift the grate at the bottom of the shaft.

It was then that they noticed that Leandro was nowhere to be found…

 

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