Mysteries of Mastoria

Session 56 - Harold and Kumar Leave Wintercastle
"Enjoy some Bar Tea, Barty!"

We joined our heroes awakening in the Swindly Rogue, a nice enough pub/inn in Wintercastle Ward 14. Oddly enough it turned out the drunkard they had met before cleaned up rather well! There were some pillow fights, gold discovery, and mouse stealing before the heroes headed downstairs for some breakfast and tea. Benjamin promised to meet Levinia down at the docks whenever she was ready, and after some discussions with the Bartender, our heroes decided to make the long trek down almost one thousand stairs to where the docks were located beneath the cliffs. They even spent a moment to marvel at the pulley mechanism used to lift the injured and elderly up the cliff side to the main city.

The party checked our the four ships in the harbor and Levinia found the Hidden Harpoon right away! Torsten spent some time possibly confusing some guards of the largest ship in the dock, owned by L. Vishette, a noblewoman of some kind. Meeting Benjamin aboard the ship, our heroes quickly got themselves acquainted with the ship and crew alike.

While at sea, Levinia spent time learning as much as she could about being a sailor. She met Clash, a Tabaxi who spends most of his time up in the crow’s nest whittling wooden figurines. A few days into their journey, Benjamin enlists Levinia’s help in setting up for a little fiesta they have to ward off the evil and ill-tempered gods/goddesses of the sea. In the middle of the night, under the full moon, the heroes joined in the revelry.

Jorvyn made sure to stay sober to help watch over the safety of the crew and the ship as it sailed in the night. Heading up the crow’s nest, he met Clash. Drinking a bit himself, Clash took a liking to Jorvyn and asked him to invite his companions up to the nest. After doing so, he challenged them to a game he used to play back in his homeland (Myth). Losing only barely, he decides to confide in the heroes that he was planning on a mutiny. They took some time convincing him otherwise, and they all agree not to speak of it any further. Before they head back down the revelry, he regales them with a folk legend of the Tabaxi people about the stars and moon.

To be continued…

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Session 55 - Extra Extra Read All About It!
"Meet Benjamin!"

We joined our heroes as they were face to face with a Golden dragon.
The party was astonished to find out that this Golden dragon is none other than Elizar the Sage. Lucky and Elizar exchanged much information with the party (too much to flesh out in this summary!), revealing that Lucky himself is a Silver dragon, and this is his lair. The party barters with Lucky, handing over some of their possessions in trade for a Scroll of Anti-magic Field. Levinia also fetches some trinkets to give the other adventurers for their trouble.

Elizar promised the heroes he would join them before they reached the Lost Dragon Isles, but he needed more time to heal so he was going to stay put. Lucky and Elizar put two of their adventuring friends to sleep, and the third was knocked out by an Invisible Levinia Choke-hold. Our heroes carried them back to the entrance where Lucky used his breath to create them a platform of ice, which he blew up and out to the entrance of the dungeon.

Once outside, they were aghast to see Lucky already sitting by a ring of campfires with Edison Stone, Vadellic, and some others enjoying meals. Immediately, a man by the name of Tyrion Breakwater, reporter for the Swallow’s Perch, asked for information from the party since they were the first and only to emerge from the dungeon. Surely this given information will have no consequences. He ran off to write up his paper, and Edison told them he runs the only local paper in his ward. Edison told the heroes that if they ever needed anything, just to ask. The other adventurers meanwhile got some medical attention.

Vadellic caught up with the heroes as well, excited to head out soon for the Lost Dragon Isles but unsure of what to do about a lack of a boat. A messenger found Levinia/Edison and gave her a letter ensuring the King had found a boat for them, The Hidden Harpoon, which was docked down at the Wintercastle Docks. Edison told them to head to the Swindly Rogue for a good night’s rest.

At the Swindly Rogue, our heroes conversed with the dwarven bartender, who once hearing they were friends of Edison, offered them a room for free. A cloaked man and a drunkard at the bar were in their own worlds it seemed. Heading up since everyone was exhausted, the party went to bed with Barty’s crab keeping watch. A good thing too, as in the middle of the night it seemed an intruder had entered their room. Barty was awoken by his crab, and cast a focused dancing lights spell right in the intruder’s face! This awoke the rest of the party, and they searched this dwarven man. Finding only flasks of various fullness (including one Torsten decided to keep for himself half-full of a blackberry alcohol), they were more at ease. It turns out this man had stumbled in thinking it was his own room at the inn. Barty gets the man’s autograph only to find out through conversation that this man, Benjamin the Fashionably Late, is the Captain of the Hidden Harpoon. He offers to talk with the heroes some more in the morning, and everyone heads back to bed for a nice long rest.

To be continued…

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Session 54 - Dragons: A History
"We Call Them Bartyguards!"

We joined our heroes as they peered into the confines of a long dark room, in which three other adventurers seemed to be sneaking around. Jorvyn snuck up to the ranger elf and pulled a knife on him, intimidating him into freezing and having a little chat. While boasting about the greatness of Ward Leader Barty, the other adventurers seemed to accept our heroes presence down here and aided them in solving the dungeon room. The players met Kojin, Alexander and Eloqar. Torsten stabbed one of the six statues that lay in the walls around the room, and they all came to life!

With the aide of the other adventurers (and Barty’s animated friends!), our heroes bested the statues, and Levinia tricked one of them into striking the door with it’s dragon club, which caused it to open! Kojin had previously revealed that the door was engraved with “Only A Dragon May Enter”. As the statues crumbled to dust, our heroes scouted the next room, where they saw a tall elven man at the far end of the room waiting patiently. Making their way slowly inside, the door was closed behind them by the man, cutting them off from their new allies.

The man reintroduced himself as Lucky, adviser to Ward leader Edison Stone. He congratulated our heroes on making it this far, and told them that Elizar warned him they may come looking for him (Elizar). Lucky explained he wanted to test the party’s mettle, and he was impressed, and found them worthy of what he was about to show them. He told them he wanted to give them a history of dragons and explain the paintings in the room, which the party accepted.

“Long ago, at The Great Formation, Metallic dragons of bronze, copper, platinum, silver, and gold emerged from the planet itself and ruled over Mastoria. They were benevolent and good. The planet flourished. The metallic dragons gave the gift of arcane magic to the species that shared Mastoria with them. The Humans, Elves, Gnomes, Dwarves, and Halflings. The Good and Neutral deities looked over the world with happiness and blessed their followers. But the Evil deities, they could not stand the state of the world. The Gods are not one to come down onto the planet themselves on their own accord, so they let it be. Luckily for those evil deities however, things were about to go their way.

This knowledge of magic had gotten into the wrong hands. Bands of adventuring parties had begun gathering to hunt down these massive dragons, to take more of their power and the wealth that had been donated to them over the years. Some of the dragons even had worshipers, and this didn’t sit well with these adventurers. Four adventurers in particular made their way to the lair of a great silver dragon, Soulmaw the Glimmering. Approaching him in his sleep, they convinced him that they were great worshipers of his. However, they used powerful poison to subdue the dragon while they made away with his possessions. This poison, made from the foulest most evil creatures Mastoria had to offer, warped Soulmaw. His once glimmering silver sheen gave way to a sickly, darkened green hide. He transformed into the world’s first Chromatic dragon, taking the new name of Soulmaw the Mad. Soulmaw hunted down the adventurers that poisoned him, and captured them within his lair, torturing them for months. Slowly driving these adventurers mad, he imbued them with powerful dark magic. These adventurers had no choice but to watch as Soulmaw ritualistically transformed them into dragons, one by one. Soulmaw gave them new names. The Black dragon, Rendclaw the Terrifying. The White dragon, Frostbite the Unmoving. The Blue dragon, Dunestorm the Swift. And the Red dragon, Scaldwing the Bold.

Now under Soulmaw’s control, he began tearing through the realm slaying unsuspecting metallic dragons, destroying cities, and corrupting the very landscape. The metallic dragons organized and this period of time was then known as the Dragon Wars. They went on for ages. Just when it seemed the Metallic dragons were winning the war, a great blue dragon known as Skyfax the Piercer (descended from Dunestorm), pled with Gearfang the Maker, the Golden dragon King of the Metallic dragons, to meet for a treaty of peace, claiming enough dragons had perished already. Believing him, Gearfang went with a small group of metallic dragons, but they were ambushed by Skyfax and many other Chromatics. The Chromatic dragons slayed Gearfang, and as his body fell to Dystomos it carved what is now known as Gearfang Canyon. This is noted as the true turning point in the war, and soon after the remaining metallic dragons went into hiding. The Chromatic dragons were not satisfied with this victory, and spent many of their days hunting down the hiding metallics, thinning their numbers as well. To aid in their quest, the chromatic dragons used their dark magic to bring about the orcs, goblins, gnolls, and drow. The magic they imbued in the land itself gave forth to even more species. It is said that the dragons now used these underlings to hunt the metallics. Since then, many years have past without sightings of dragons. Every now and then you may hear a story of someone who saw one out of the corner of their eye, in a deep cave or in a murky swamp, but no one ever seems to believe them."

After Lucky regaled with what he referred to as the true history of dragons, he gestured to the door behind him and said “Heroes, I think it’s time you see this for yourself.” He opened the door, and within the chamber beyond… our heroes were met with the view of a large wounded but sleeping Golden Dragon.

To be continued…

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Session 53 - Steamed Hams But It's Still The Dragon Dungeon
"I hope you're ready for an unforgettable dungeon!"

Our heroes continued in the monolith room, with Jorvyn discovering the monolith reacts to elements quite violently. He lit an arrow on fire and tested the sides of the monolith until one lit up and burst out a seemingly never-ending wall of flame. Immediately after the wall ignited, Levinia caught wind of another adventuring party (the ones who glared at them in Ward 16) catching up to them.

A glorious combat ensued which ended in our heroes slaying the other ill-willed party. Jorvyn looted the bodies, and Levinia took a moment to calm down after the battle. The heroes were able to utilize some spells to activate the other sides of the monolith, and Barty slyly used some Stone Shape to create a tunnel under a wall of cold to get past safely. Torsten took an acid bath. In the next room, the heroes discovered a pit at the far end, and three slow moving Bronze Dragon statues. Torsten ran forward and misty stepped across to the door and set up camp to short rest. The heroes figured out that the statues try to squash/bludgeon people to death, so Levinia was able (with Barty, Jorvyn and Vanion’s help) to push each statue down into the pit where they were destroyed. The heroes then with the use of rope, the Immovable Rod, and Torsten’s arm strength, were able to cross over to join their friend for a short rest. The Immovable Rod was left in place for later reclamation.

The heroes scouted ahead, finding the path leading downward and downward deeper into the underground. Eventually it led to a long hall of a room, where some of the heroes caught wind of three people sneaking around; a man clad in plate armor, someone wearing the same type of robes Barty saw on his adviser Thomax, and a ranger of some kind. Not only that, they saw a door at the other end of the room, and six slots along the walls in which it seemed little sculptures were resting, unmoving.

To be continued…

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Session 52 - Enter the Dragon (Dungeon)
"Some Kind of Dragon Worshippers?"

We joined our heroes in the first room of the Dragon Dungeon. Observing a mural of two dragons fighting on the door, our heroes inspected the eleven etched portraits on the floor.
Finding two that matched the dragons on the door, Levinia and Barty stood upon them, opening the door to the next room. The door closed when they stepped off however, so they utilized some of the bodies for weight to keep the door open.

In the next room, an enormous copper bust of a dragon glared fiendishly at our heroes. Four black and copper sculptures of strange draconic lizard creatures surrounded the room, and as Levinia touched one, it sparked to life. A combat ensued as the copper bust slowed our heroes and quickened their foes! Many metal teeth pierced the party as they bludgeoned, pierced, slashed and forced the sculptures into pieces. Barty used a well placed shatter to destroy the bust, and the door onward opened up.

The next room met the heroes with the head of a dragon at the far end of a long hall, a few bodies strewn about as well as symmetrical stone barriers about five feet tall. With glowing eyes, the dragon head tried to exhaust our heroes, but they resisted! Jorvyn and Vanion took out the creature’s eyes, and the party (led by an eager Torsten) fled through to the next hallway.

The next room contained a strange monolith, 5′ × 5′ × 15′ tall. On each side were draconic etchings, but unfortunately no one spoke/understood draconic! Barty cleverly used paper and charcoal to etch one of the runes onto a piece of paper, and carried it around to check the draconic etchings that were underneath four portraits that surrounded the room, eventually finding a matching rune. Jorvyn discovered some Thieve’s Cant on the monolith that read: “Touch not the runes with the elements, if you value your eyebrows. At the least, distance is key.”

The heroes spent some time puzzling out what do while rotating the monolith as to line up the draconic runes.

To be continued!

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Session 51 - Ward 24
"Welcome Back Torsten!"

We joined our heroes after a night of rest, as they headed out to see this Ward 24 for their own eyes. The heroes were put to the question in Zones of Truth upon arriving at the gate to the ward, speaking of their names, professions, business here, and whether or not they’d been to Spellhaven in the past year. Barty was spared this as his name in the Zone of Truth was proof enough he had returned to his ward. The party read a sign reading that charms and mind-altering magic was expressly forbidden in Ward 24. Vadellic suspiciously ran off to meet the group later in Ward 14 at the dungeon.

Covered in two protective magical barriers, and the sky above illuminated by an enormous clock, Ward 24 was overwhelming in the use of magic in the streets. Mothers booming their voices to call children in for dinner, elderly wizards chasing young kids around with dragon illusions, conjured tools and patrolling wizard guards were only a brief glimpse into life here. Upon reaching Barty’s HQ, the party encountered someone being chased by two guards. Jorvyn utilized his grappling crossbow to catch the criminal. The guards informed him he was arrested for murder, he confessed, and the guards spoke to him his punishment, which was magical imprisonment. They pulled out a scroll, and POOF, away he disappeared.

To the parties surprise and joy, none other than Torsten was waiting for them outside Barty’s HQ, trying his hardest to gain access to the building to find Barty. As the party reunited, Barty had the guards let everyone inside. This ornate intricately carved stone tower featured stairs going up in a spiral, a Necromancy Ward, Divination Ward, and Teleportation Circle. While Torsten checked out the Divination Ward, Barty and company snuck up the stairs to find out what this “B.A.C.” is, and what it’s doing “in session”, as the guards out front informed him. They heard discussions between three voices going on, and they entered the room.

Sitting in four out of five chairs were the soon-to-be-introduced Barty Advisory Council. Thomax the Talkative, male human wizard, retired Tenser’s Tower professor, and Barty’s appointed Scryer. Sifora the Steadfast, female tiefling sorceress and Barty’s appointed Enchantress. Krabeus the Kind Hearted, male triton wizard, and Barty’s appointed Travel Agent. And finally, Daxas the Dashing, male elf warlock, Barty’s appointed Bodyguard and Public Relations Head. They caught Barty up on what had happened since he left after Barty told them of his memory loss. Thomax peered into Barty’s brain and he was informed that his memories were indeed tampered with. Barty also learned of his mysterious friend who whisked him away from town long ago, who seems to bear a great resemblance to that of Vestidio Garand.

Heading down to the Divination Ward, Barty received some reports from the scryers under Thomax’s tutelage. Without much further ado, the heroes headed through a few other districts including a Minotaur district to get to District 14. Upon getting to the dungeon area, they were reunited with Vadellic, and Barty re-met Edison Stone and his advisor, Lucky. The party decided to head in, and thanks to Barty’s dancing lights and feather fall, as well as Torsten’s feather fall, all the heroes arrived safely after falling down a 180 foot drop into this “dungeon”. Levinia brought up a great point, how will our heroes get out?

To be continued…

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Session 50 - Intro to Wintercastle
"Life of the Barty"

Our heroes began their trek from Astryer, north into the bitter cold to Wintercastle. On the way our adventurers purchased a magical wooden ring off a young girl and her father hauling a cart south towards Astryer. Continuing on their long journey, they arrive in a fierce and windy blizzard.

A guard greets them at a portcullis and inquires about their business in the city. Vanion claims to be from Ward 3, returning home after a journey. They find out some more information about the city (including the dungeon location and the name Edison Stone), and Vadellic leads them through Ward 6 (the ward they entered) towards Ward 7 which is more suited for non-halfling folk. Once inside Vanion recognized a smaller replica of Evertree from Volkarsis. The heroes spent some time with a wand-maker, and Vanion purchased himself an Immovable Rod. The Dwarf shopowner also informs Vanion of the nature of the wooden ring he purchased.

Vadellic, Barty and Vanion meet back up with Levinia down the road at the nearby inn, where our heroes spend the evening resting, drinking and eating. Vanion performs some songs about Barty, and as it turns out, some locals inform Barty of his status as Ward Leader of Ward 24. They mention he has been gone for quite some time, and share memories of his “firework” incident. Barty also has an encounter with Ward 7 leader, Lady Remaelde, who seems to be catching up with an old friend or fling. Barty and the rest of the heroes head off to rest, minds set on seeing for their own eyes… this… Ward 24.

To be continued…

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Session 49 - Estate of Affairs
"The Roof Is On Fire!"

We joined our heroes as they were led by Alexander the Astryer guard to the Bravarti Estate. Barty found a cheap butter vendor that distracted him for a few minutes.
The heroes were shown the dead bodies of several guards, and Tyrion the guard met up with them as well. They did some investigating, eventually leading to checking out the estate building which seemed to be on fire.

With a sneaky crossbow bolt from Jorvyn, the party began a combat with three hardened criminals who had escaped prison, and had members of the Bravarti family held hostage as they racked, sacked, looted and burned the estate. The guards and Vadellic helped to get the hostages out of the estate while Vanion, Levinia and Jorvyn fought with Gallows the Serial Killer, Bugsy the Thief, and Lasky the Arsonist. Gallows and Bugsy met their end with crossbow bolts in their backs, and Levinia knocked Lasky unconscious, tying him up reaaaal good.

The guards called backup and took the Bravarti’s for watch and healing, as well as taking Lasky back into stricter custody. Barty rejoined the heroes with several buckets of butter and was regaled with what occurred in the now collapsed estate building.

The heroes met with the King in a further audience, explaining what occurred. The King asked if they needed anything as a favor for what they did for Astryer today taking care of those criminals, and the party requested a small sea-worthy vessel for travel across the ocean. The King said he would do what he could to get a ship to Wintercastle’s small port. The heroes headed out for Wintercastle after a night’s rest.

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Session 48 - Astryer Revisited
"Trolling the Trolls"

We joined our intrepid heroes as they locked into combat with two fearsome trolls and their Ogre handler. Vanion was able to polymorph and use animal friendship to turn one of the trolls to their side, as Jorvyn and Levinia hacked limbs off the other, which sprang up with life of their own! Dried brambles were set ablaze to turn the troll and it’s arms to ashes, and the ogre and remaining troll turned upon each other, the troll dealing the finishing blow to the ogre. Barty’s magical fire and Levinia’s torch ensured the last troll met his demise. The party took a short rest by the fire of the brambles and ensured it died down before continuing their journey.

Levinia was taken aback at the state of affairs (I.E. the giant crevice) of Astryer. The party began to fill her in on what transpired before and during their previous visit, and guards at the gate recognized the Lady Levinia. They escorted her and the party to the chamber of King Nysos. Once inside, a dialogue ensued between the King and Levinia of warnings of future danger, the truth behind the embezzlement, and the encroaching arrival of Theodore and Allison to the city once more. The King ensured Levinia he would try to be lenient on the Bravarti’s, and had some of his guards head to arrest the Bravarti’s at their estate, and some accompany Levinia to see her family in the prison, mentioning that though some hardened criminals escaped, they are still there.

A heartfelt and powerful family reunion took place as Gerald, Anita and Richard reunited with their daughter and sister. The rest of the party was introduced to the Gotthards, with a small reunion on the side as Jorvyn reappeared to the family as Torvak.
Levinia caught them up with what has gone on in her life, and told them she plans to have them released as soon as possible, that she will try her damnedest.

The reunion cut only barely short, Alexander, one of the King’s guards, runs to the heroes out of breath, and informs them that something has gone wrong during the attempted arrest of the Bravarti’s, and they need to come quick and see for themselves!

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Session 47 - Vadellic Found, Northward Bound
"Duke Harold and Lord Kumar Traverse to Wintercastle!"

We joined our heroes in the early morning in the Dire Bear Retreat. Vanion played some lovely tunes on his new Ancient Doss Lute, while Levinia enjoyed a nice breakfast and Astryer Peach Tea. A halfling man bursts into the inn, approaches the bar counter and begins downing ale after ale. Vanion worked a line about Vadellic the great treasure-hunter into his song, and it seemed to grab the halfling’s attention.

After the song ended, the halfling approached Vanion and asked many questions about the performance, and where he got the name “Vadellic” from. Playing coy (or so he thought), he promised he knew Vadellic and would go get him to clear his name (thanks to Levinia’s story). However, on his way out, Levinia having finished her breakfast, swept Vadellic off his feet into a waltz (with Vanion’s playing) and convinced him to out himself as Vadellic, and to aide their cause.

He agreed to hear the heroes out, and Barty surrounded them in a Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum in the middle of the pub so they could discuss what to do privately. Vadellic told them what he knew of the Dragon Isles, and that if they needed to get past magical disturbances, they’d need an Antimagic field!

An Antimagic field is a high level arcane spell, too high for Barty. Vadellic gave the party options… if they have any powerful mage allies to cast it, that could work, or… the party could venture to Wintercastle where a supposedly dragon-related new dungeon has been discovered in town. The heroes decided first to investigate what happened to their friend Elizar! After finding out Elizar bribed a bunch of the guards at the Northern stables, it was revealed that Elizar had traveled to Wintercastle to visit a friend.

Deciding on future travel to Wintercastle, the gang stuck around Crestguard to get a few things in order. Vanion visited Alista Lockhaven to acquire some bloodhound fur for his Locate Creature spells, and paid a visit to Ellion to warn him about Sly being missing. Levinia awaited the arrival of the mages from Tenser’s Tower, who helped secure and transport Mask to Spellhaven for safekeeping, after Levinia exchanged a few words with him.

Once the heroes were ready to go, they set out the North Gate, Vadellic picking up his own pony to travel on, and upon reaching night, they came upon a hilly section of the road. Levinia led the group, and asked them to halt upon noticing many yellow eyes in the darkness above the hilltops. The party determined that these were not eyes of animals, and Barty realized the creatures spoke Giant and wanted to eat them. Jorvyn began to sneak around to get a surprise upon them, and Vanion polymorphed one into a sheep to begin the encounter!

To be continued…

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