So, after the couple of big gaps in the game, I got lazy about updating the adventure log. Thus, for the benefit of having something for the group to reference, here’s the summary of what you’ve done since the last post.
We left off with the group having entered Broken Spire Keep and failed to convince the guard captain that they were a group of mercenaries returning with prisoners. A vicious battle ensued, with the party managing to defeat the majority of the keep’s guards. An alarm was raised by one of the guards, however, and the party was forced to continue fighting their way in. Upon reaching the basement of the keep, the group encountered some of its undead guardians, with Thaelen falling in the battle. Upon losing their comrade and faced with dwindling resources, the party fell back to the forest to regroup and attempt a second assault on the keep. The renewed attack on the bandit stronghold proved to be more successful than the first, resulting in the defeat of the evil cleric Ranchefus. In some ways, the victory raised as many questions as answers, with the party confirming the cleric’s worship of the banished and powerless god Cyric and the discovery of a second set of locked double doors.
The party then undertook the somber journey back to Milborne with the fallen Thaelen. Upon arriving, they were greeted by the bard Rayf, one of the sponsors of their expedition. Upon hearing the reports of the party’s activities and investigations, Rayf commissioned the group to abandon their assignment of exploration and diplomacy and instead find the source of the slavers. He also shared the troubling news that similar reports had been received from around Osteth and that rumors indicated the same on Faerun.
In addition, Rayf arranged for Thaelen’s resurrection. While the party waited for Rayf’s contacts to provide the necessary supplies, they decided to investigate reports of supply wagons being attacked to the west of Milborne. The group heard a haunting melody that captivated Kell, deciding to follow him to its source before rousing him from his stupor just outside a ruined watch tower. Inside, the party found a troop of ettins and goblinoids on the lower two floors, with a four-armed gargoyle guarding what initially appeared to be a beautiful elven woman on the top floor. The captive, Lindelea, turned out to be a creature of elven legend, an eoshee, at least at first. Some careful searching found an old journal written by an elven bard who had found a harpy egg and decided to raise the creature inside to see if he could defeat its base instincts. With the aid of some powerful transmutation magic, the bard changed her appearance and presented her as an eoshee, but the two were waylaid by the ettins and goblinoids shortly after beginning their journey. Rayf volunteered to take Lindelea back to Tol Kien to allow her to adjust to society and keep an eye on her.
With Thaelen rejoining the party, the decision was made to delve into the caverns behind the double doors in the abandoned mine. Behind the doors turned out to be the lair of the orcs which had been troubling the countryside. After an extended struggle, the orcs were defeated, revealing one final set of double doors, behind which the party found… Svirfneblin.
The deep gnomes surrounded the party, and after a brief standoff, the gnome leader, an ancient woman named Carmeneren engaged the group in parley, telling them the threat below was far greater than they realized and that they should go back to the surface and return in one week’s time if they truly wished to go any further. When the party did so, they found themselves enlisted to perform a favor to the gnomes, eliminating a troll warren near the svirfneblin city. When the group had completed that task, Carmeneren filled them in on some of the dangers they would face, most notably the City of the Glass Pool, where the party would have to confront the dangerous Kuo-Toa and the lingering threat of the terror of the underdark, the mind flayers. The group sensed the old gnome was holding something back, but decided not to press the issue, as the deep gnomes held all the cards, being their only allies in the underdark.
Departing along the path the gnomes said would lead to the City of the Glass Pool, the party began their encounters with a host of underdark threats, from the alien grell to the horror of a deepspawn. Eventually, the group ventured down a tunnel which opened into a huge spherical cavern, where the path divided into three branches which spiraled around one another, with one eventually leading up, one down, and one more or less straight ahead. The downward path was chosen, and the party eventually found themselves running out of “natural” lighting as the luminescent fungus found in many parts of the underdark began to disappear, seeming as if it had been purposely removed from the walls. The group then found themselves surprised by a group of Dark Creepers, underdark scavengers who occasionally venture up to the surface to do anything from causing simple mischief to stealing provisions and treasure to, in some cases, kidnapping women or killing children. Gnarl’s quick thinking (and handy new fascinate ability) allowed the party to parley with the creatures, gaining an audience with the creeper leader, obviously a more dangerous being than his fellows. Just as the leader was about to pass judgement on the intruders, cries of alarm rang out. The creepers were under attack, and a truce was hastily reached. The creeper leader agreed that if the party helped defeat the hook horrors which had threatened the dark creepers for months, he would grant the party safe passage through their territory (this time, at least). The creeper leader took his best soldiers around the horrors’ left flank, while the party went around the right flank. After fighting their way through a few groups of hook horrors, the party entered a large cavern containing a rock formation in the shape of a hook, which the creatures seemed to worship. The creatures put up their strongest fight yet in this room, but were ultimately defeated. One final cavern remained, containing the largest and strongest hook horrors to date, led by what turned out to be a rakshasa in disguise. The combination of the horrors’ strength and the rakshasa’s spells and unnatural toughness proved to be a nearly unbeatable combination, but the heroes prevailed in the end, finding a strange journal entry and an unusual magical sword, capable of speech and possessing intelligence. After resting, the party set out again…