Mysteries of Mastoria

Session 15 - A Hero's Rest Well Earned
Developments Galore!

We joined our heroes back in Crestguard. Zoshia visited Arken’s Smithy and sold some longbows and a greatsword. Barty headed straight for the Crestguard University Library, which was much more impressive than the public library. Heading inside, he was greeted by a bubbly gnome receptionist. Barty informed her he was there for some research. The library was meant for the University but she allowed Barty access for research if he donated some knowledge of his own. He donated “Dragons : A History”, and found out the receptionist was disorganizing the books due to her disbelief in many things, including dragons. She believed the book belonged in the fiction section and went to place it. As she did, an old man with a long white beard hobbled by Barty and tapped him on the shoulder. Following the man, Barty met Elizar the Sage, a major funder of the library, who has his own private section of the library. He listens that Barty is looking for a book on Gehenna. Knowing it would be found in the “fiction” section, Elizar took him there and got the book for him (entitled simply, “Hell”), telling him if he ran into trouble in the library to let him know. He played a little prank on Larima the receptionist by magically changing the bookcase label from “fiction” to “non-fiction”.

Vanion ventured to Alista the Warlock’s Apothecary, The Bubbling Cauldron to consult her about his poisonous wine problem. For a small fee, she performed some tests on the wine and found the Dragonblood Vineyard’s Finest to be poisoned with a poison that will kill a common man. He then went to catch up with Bepin Stoatplump of the King’s Tannery. Afterwards he went to City Hall to meet up with the others. Levinia, Zoshia, and Barty progressed to the City Hall along with Sly. Torvak made one final stop at Bepin’s establishment looking for an armor upgrade. When pressed, Bepin brought out his masterwork studded leather armor, and parted with it for a good price. Torvak feeling more protected, proceeded to city hall as well.

The party greeted Valerie, who was relieved to see them all in one piece. She told them to go ahead right in to see Ellion. A long conversation ensued with Ellion. They caught Ellion up on what transpired and the events in Shadowfel. Ellion had the Crestguard Knights give a retelling of what occurred on their journey, finding nothing of interest in the portal they found. They did however feel watched as they were in this other plane. They found no perpetrators and returned to Crestguard at once. The party decided not to tell Ellion about the key they received from Lord Bastion, at least not what it was for. Ellion asked a favor of the party, pertaining to a Gala he was hosting in one month’s time. Ellion asked the party to be security for this event as many important politicians and higher-ups of Dystomos and Volkarsis will be there. This Gala is meant to be a party to promote good relations between the continents as Dystomos and Volkarsis have had troubles in the past, mostly due to Volkarsis’ love for war. The party eventually agreed with several stipulations including some requested magical items, and Vanion was given the job of entertainment for the Volkarsis ambassadors. Ellion specifically asked them to keep an eye out for any funny business from Volkarsis, in case this is a ruse of friendship.

Before they picked up their payment, he let the group know that Professor Raster had been found missing from his cell, and they suspect someone else broke him out somehow. He has his rookie CSIs investigating. Valerie gave them each 400 gold pieces, and Sly thanked his friends for the amazing adventure but mentions he wants to spend some time back in Crestguard with his father for awhile after all that excitement. He leaves Otyp’s Book of Spells in Barty’s safe keeping, and has some heartfelt temporary goodbyes with the party, mentioned he lives upstairs in city hall and will be there if they need him, they are welcome anytime.

The party head out to the Dire Bear Retreat to celebrate a job well done and get in some relaxation. Greeting Roglak, Vanion pays for rooms for everyone and Torvak buys some drinks. Vanion drinks some Dragon’s Fire, a powerful tonic, getting him drunk. Zoshia challenges Levinia and Vanion to have a drinking contest with each other, they get a keg and go at it. Vanion gets quite sloshed and goes outside to urinate, then heading to Valerie’s, making it there successfully despite his state of mind, only knocking on two wrong doors first. She is worried about him but invites him in, and they share some wine and spend the evening/night together. Back in the inn, Levinia is declared the winner of the challenge, and Barty turns the remaining ale into a silver trophy for her. Many drunk shenanigans are had, and the party turns in for the night. During the night however, Barty has an incredibly vivid dream.

In this dream, he is standing in what appears to be the ruins of Crestguard, now a burning blaze. Colorful dragons filled the skies, breathing down fire every now and then and charring the land. Looking down, he had on some kind of arch mage robes he’d never seen before. Surrounding him was Marbo, Vanion, Obsidias Thorne, a woman with a cloak, horns and spear, and a tall lanky man in tattered clothes. An enormous green dragon swooped down at the party. Marbo cast a massive lightning bolt, the horned woman threw her spear, Vanion held firm with a halberd, the lanky man concentrated hard on something, and Obsidias was throwing daggers. Right before the dragon was to collide with them, he awoke, screaming out “DRAGONS”. Rushing after hearing the noise, Zoshia and Torvak come to see what was the matter. Barty tells them about the dream, and they ease his mind with logic. He goes back to sleep with no further dreams.

Come morning, he feels a mighty need to go downstairs. Tiptoeing down with the others behind him, he finds nothing special but Roglak with a prepared breakfast for everyone. Assuring them there was no metal dust in the eggs, they ate happily when a tall lanky man in tattered clothing came in and sat at a table far from them in the corner. Torvak recognized the man as his mentor, Vestidio Garand. Zoshia also recognized him, and asked for her glasses back, which he forked over. The rest of the party came over, including Vanion who had just arrived in the inn. Barty recognized this man as the mysterious man from his dream the previous night. They engaged in conversation with him about him being in prison previously, and He seemed to be checking in on them. Barty noticed he called Levinia by name of Caiaphas and he told Barty rogues need to know things. The party told him about their key. Vestidio told them he had something he wanted from the place he thinks they’re going. They strike a deal that they’d get it for him if he gave them the information of how to get to the portal. He mentions that to the south of Crestguard, there’s a large mountain range, part of which is called the Bleak Peaks. In the peaks, is an enormous cave. Through the cave are smaller caves that lead to the portal. Zoshia successfully bluffed to him that they had a key to a water related plane. He seems confused, and tells them he’ll meet up with them later, he’ll see them around, and leaves. They discuss what to do next… and it is to be continued…

Session 14 - Bastion's Lament
Mask : Origins

Our party resumed their adventure in the chambers of Lord Bastion, with the Hooded Figure and Drack disappearing to outside the tower. Lord Bastion asked if there was a wizard or sorcerer amongst the party. Barty spoke up, and Bastion further inquired if he knew Feather Fall. Saying yes, he led the party down to the observatory where they broke out a window and plummeted at a safe speed down the tower base below.

Rounding the corner to the front of the tower, the party found scorched earth all around. Drack was left but a pile of burning bandages and ashes, and the book was found a pile of ash as well. The Hooded Figure remained ensnared by Zoshia‘s spell. With a crossbow bolt from Torvak, an arrow from Zoshia, and an attack by Levinia, the hooded figures’ cloak fell to the ground. The heroes observed an eight foot tall lanky creature with gray skin, and no facial features except his two large opalescent eyes. With an exclamation from Levinia, the beast was impaled and slain. All that was left behind was his cloak, longsword, and a pool of ichor.

Vanion approached and used a stick to move the ichor around. It smelled putrid. Bastion lamented the loss of Drack, and told the party about what is going on (thanking them for helping to save his life). This creature goes by the pseudonym “Mask”, but that is not his true name. He is fiend from the plane of Gehenna. When the party killed him, he merely returned there, but he doesn’t don’t know for how long. Bastion knows this as he used to work for Mask, and his organization “The Order of the Mask”. It’s a cult following that Mask has run for years, which funds his pursuits to find all the Books of Keeping. These books contain the true name of every fiend in existence (almost). If a fiend’s true name is known, it can be controlled. Mask fears this and wishes the books all destroyed. Lord Bastion isn’t sure how many have been destroyed already. He laments that Drack is not around to tell them more, as in addition to being his servant, he was Lord Bastion’s historian, with a wealth of knowledge.

He has an idea, and runs inside the tower urging everyone to follow him. Barty scoops up a vial of ichor and they all follow, finding the entrance room to be right-side up this time. Running through the door into the room with the circular table, he runs to the chest by the stairs. He opens it realizing that the Seance Ball is missing. Barty slyly informs him it was on the floor nearby, and hands it to him. Levinia and others move the circular table and set up chairs. Bastion places the ball in the center of the table, and urges everyone to sit around it. Using a piece of bandage that belonged to Drack, they summoned his spirit to the table, Drack appearing as if he was back to his old mummy self.

Drack told the party many stories about this Mask character. It is told in tales that there was a once an ancient called who called themselves “The Lariat”. They were some of the first in Mastoria to discover the existence of other planes and as such wished to summon a being from another plane. They summoned Mask from Gehenna, and he lived among them in their underground lair, learning all he could about the planet and its people. One day, he slaughtered them all. One of the members however, managed to shackle him down in the cult vault, dooming his existence. However, it seems at some point someone or something released him from his prison. Drack mentioned that if the Lariat member was still alive, that person would be unbelievably old, as it was ages ago. Drack reminds Lord Bastion that he has a key on his belt that can possibly open a portal. He gives it to the party, and leaves them the Seance ball and instructions on how to use it.

Drack went back to his eternal rest, and the party inquired about staying and resting before heading back. Vanion went to fetch a bandage remnant from Drack in case the party ever wishes to perform a seance with him again. Bastion is happy to house the guests as they helped save his life. Vanion suggest a celebration, and Bastion mentions his wine room upstairs. Wanting to stop Bastion from finding out he stole all the wine, he offers his Elvish Springwine from Volkarsis, pretending it is his own. Bastion heads up the tower to get some wine glasses from the dining area.

Fifteen minutes later or so, he comes back down with the glasses and hands them out. He tells the party that he suspects two people broke into his tower, drank all his wine, and in their drunken stupors got into a fight. One of them killed the other in the lounge, and the other escaped to die slowly of the poison Bastion placed in one of his wines. The skull also seems to have escaped in the Gallery, and something must have shook the glass shroud of silence off the pedestal. The party now realizes that one of the wine bottles Vanion took is poisoned, but they don’t know which one. They wait for Bastion to enjoy some wine, seeing nothing bad happened before joining in doing so. They bid farewell to Bastion and head back through the portal.

Coming out on the other side, they emerge to the drill site and find it’s night time in Astryer. Using rope and pitons, Levinia climbs up sixty feet and anchors in the rope. Slowly, one by one everyone climbs up, with Vanion slipping once but making a recovery, and Barty climbing the rope as if everyone else were muscle babies.
They walked the crack to the outskirts of town and headed back towards Crestguard, which was slightly over two days worth of travel. Both nights Vanion and Levinia kept guard and nothing interesting transpired. They made it back to Crestguard at about noon on the final day. Barty headed straight to the library. Torvak visited the Bowyer/Fletcher and purchased a heavy crossbow. He and Levinia traveled to the smithy and sold the damaged longswords for scrap. Having Mask’s longsword studied at the smithy and at Marbo’s magic shop led to nothing special about it being discovered. “Marbo” agrees to a trade with Torvak to study the dragon hilted dagger for a day to find its magical properties. Vanion puts on his fancy shirt and goes to visit Valerie at city hall. She is busy at her desk and is ecstatic to see Vanion, thanking him for the wine he had left. She vents about a goblin asking for a small business loan, and tells Vanion that the Crestguard Knights have returned but she doesn’t know what they found yet. She urges him to go get his companions before Ellion sees him here and yanks him into his office. He leaves and heads to the apothecary, having gotten directions from Valerie.

Session 13 - Drack, Dragons, and Domination
"What Do Want With Master?"

We rejoin our heroes as Barty had noticed a painting with eyes that followed his movements. As Zoshia and Torvak looted the rest of the displays, Vanion discovered the painting could move, and took it down off the wall. Close inspection revealed that the eyes looked different from the rest of the painting and that it was an enchantment of some kind. Torvak stabbed his daggers through the eyes, and the enchantment faded. Barty put the poor painting out of its misery with a firebolt.

The party continued into the observatory. They marveled at the large telescopic machine, which was pointed out of one of the three enormous windows. Focusing and moving the telescope about, the party saw a large black dragon and some smaller black dragons off in the distance circling above a storm. This sparked quite the discussion about dragons within the group. In the end, they decided to press on upward.

Arriving in the dining room, the party found a humanoid creature sitting at a large wooden dining table polishing wine glasses. Drawing his attention, the party met Drack, mummy servant of Lord Bastion. The party determined that this Lord Bastion was not the Hooded Figure they’d seen before. They also discovered there used to be a kitchen, but it was remodeled when it was no longer “needed”. Pressing further, Drack revealed his master asked him not to talk about it, but informed them that Lord Bastion was upstairs and Zoshia convinced him it was best for him to escort the party up. He finished cleaning and led the party upward.

Upon arriving in Lord Bastion’s chambers, the party found Lord Bastion (who they believed to be him anyway) locked in combat with the Hooded Figure, fighting over a book. Zoshia saw a hatch up on the ceiling, meanwhile everyone all joined the fray. Drack hurried to his master’s side, and many glares and spells were cast in attempts to charm each other. All failing, the party hammered damage with blow after spell upon the Hooded Figure. Lord Bastion was frantically flipping through the book when he could and call out what seemed like nonsense words. The Hooded Figure made an enormous wall of flame that downed Mezer, and caused Bastion to let go of the book and flinch back in immense pain. Drack’s bandages also caught fire severely wounding him. Mezer was brought back to health by Vanion, and the Hooded Figure attempted to get the party to all leave while he pocketed the book. Some of the party fell to his charms and began to leave. The remaining party members gravely wounded the Hooded Figure and ensnared him. Drack (before leaving) managed to curse him with mummy rot. The Hooded Figure teleported (taking Drack with him) ending the combat. The wall of fire disappeared, however the party heard Drack scream out from somewhere below…. to be continued….

Session 12 - Get Thee To A Winery
What Not To Touch

We rejoined our heroes as they stealthily ascended from the zoo.
They came out in a large mostly unfurnished room. On the ceiling twenty feet above them were many stalagtites. They found a locked door with a plaque next to it that read : “Create that which is so fragile, to utter its very name would break it.” The party quickly realized it meant silence, but they weren’t sure what they needed to do. Barty wrote silence on paper and ripped it in half. Vanion and others made lots of noise and then got quiet to see if it was noise then lack of sound that opened the door. After moments of uncertainty, the door clicked. Going to open the door however, they found it was still locked. Torvak and Barty cleaned off the dusty plaque and discovered that it now read “Knowledge is Power”. Eventually Barty was able to open the door by holding a book in his hand (several actually).

Within was a bit of a safe haven, a warm and welcoming fireplace and some seating arrangements. A locked chest picked by the party was full of some gold, gems, and healing potions. Vanion played with the fireplace, and Barty head out of the room. To his surprise, a stalagtite above him fell, though he was able to dodge it. It turned out to be a creature in disguise, and it tried to suffocate Torvak to death, but it was defeated. The party pressed upward.

The party emerged into what looked like a lounge. The furniture itself however looked as if it had been through the dragon wars. There was smashed bits of glass all over the floor, and a dead body in the corner with a ball of light floating above it. Zoshia went to investigate the body, discovering it to be human. She reached out and touched the ball of light, which became agitated and attacked. After it dealt some decent lightning damage, the party vanquished it. Inspecting the body, the cause of death seemed to be large glass shards to the back. The party pressed on to the next room.

This room seemed to be a large wine storage room. There wasn’t much wine left, but Vanion gathered what was there. It seemed to be wine from all ages, even some from Volkarsis. The party was able to put it together that the broken glass in the lounge and the glass in the dead human was from wine bottles. From there the party went into the Study. A large bookshelf drew most everyone’s eyes, but Torvak investigated a seemingly empty section of the room. Zoshia detected a trip wire that would have caused a fake ceiling to crush anyone below. Zoshia disarmed the trap, and took the wire for her pack. Back to the bookshelf, the party found a silver-bound book with a copper colored tree on the cover. They felt like reading it made them a bit smarter, but they weren’t certain of its effects. Barty found part three of his Unrequited Love book series, and Torvak pulled a book that ended up turning a mechanism that caused stairs upward to emerge from the far wall. The party climbed ever upward!

A gallery awaited our heroes. Torvak and Zoshia picked and smashed glass cases to collect a few longbows, damaged longswords, and a dragon hilted dagger. A glass shroud over a large skull was on a display, Barty removed the shroud, causing the skull to flame to life and attack! It hurt out party with a powerful fireball, but they were able to make it fall prone and defeat it with minor structural damages. The last occurrence, Barty noticed a paintings’ eyes following him…
To be continued…

Session 11 - The Underground Portal
"Giga Drill Breaker!"

We joined our heroes as they kicked their clever plan into motion. To their dismay, the area around the central hole in the crevice was completely abandoned. Turning up the drama to include shouting, a drunken guard came out of a nearby tavern to check in on the commotion. Barty and Vanion who were disguised as guards, told him that “he was a rookie and should stay back”, “they would handle this”. Finding out that the woman he saw was Levinia of the Gotthard family, he rushed back to the pub to get more of his fellow guardsmen.

No more than 30 seconds later, four guardsmen emerged. Two of them were holding concerned citizen onlookers back as the drunken guard and another sober guard approached the crevice. The sober guard began rushing at Levinia, but before he reached any of them they all fell into the pit screaming on the way down (Zoshia as an assassin present to kill Levinia, and Torvak and Sly as townsfolk caught in the crossfire and taken hostage). On the way down, Barty was able to succesfully cast Feather Fall, allowing them to sail down at a safe rate and land softly on a metallic surface far below.

It was very dark being as far down as they were, and they realized they were standing on an enormous drilling machine. Torvak picked his way inside a hatch he found on the top. It was dark inside, but those with darkvision had no trouble finding some kind of control panel in the empty compartment. After attempts to fit daggers, arrows, and lockpicking tools into a key slot, Barty cast shatter upon the console, blasting a hole in it with sparks flying everywhere. Zoshia reached inside with a dagger and cut all the wires, killing all the blinking lights within.

From there the party opted to head into the cavernous opening that led to an enormous antechamber with stone flooring. Enormous tapestries hung from the walls with shadowy creatures depicted upon them. A dark doorway presented itself at the far end of the chamber. Even magical light seemed unable to light it, so the party pressed through, finding another light source thirty feet through the magical darkness. They came out in a chamber built around a stone portal with swirling purple light within, and stone bowls filled with fire lighting the room. A plaque on the wall warned to everyone of the dangers inside. First one hand was sent through the portal, then Torvak with a rope around his waist. He came back and told the party of what he saw, and they pressed on bravely, deciding to investigate why someone had drilled down here.

The party found themselves on a ragged chilly mountaintop next to a large stone tower. The skies were constantly storming and there was naught but fog below. Surrounded by trees reaching towards them, Barty found out the hard way that there was danger here. Opening the door outward the party entered the tower. The lobby room before them was entirely upside-down, with furniture hanging from the ceiling! Sly summoned a chill couch and with the help of strong-armed Levinia they got it over to one of the fifteen foot climbs to a doorway and made their way up one by one. Hopping down into the room they heard hissing and primal screams coming from below them. There was a hatch on the floor Zoshia had noticed, but try as they might to open it it seemed to be locked by some kind of powerful magic. Sly and Barty were unable to discern what was needed, but they knew it was magical indeed.

Making their way into the next room they found checkered tile, a large round table surrounded by eight chairs, and stairs leading upward. They took the table over to the fifteen foot climb to the doorway to confirm it was the first room they had come in through. Levinia found a chest underneath the stairwell, that was locked. Picked open by Torvak, they found within it a crystal ball, that Barty determined had magical properties. The crystal ball did not seem to effect the floor hatch, so the party pressed on upwards.

The heroes found themselves in a torture room filled with all kinds of horrible equipment. As they stepped out, twenty crawling severed hands came out from underneath the equipment to fight them! The party quickly dispatched of the claws with needles, fire, and some firm slashes. Moving to the next room, they discovered this was quite the odd place it was an observation room for the torture going on, and there were one way windows into the previous room, as well as seating arrangements. A locked chest was found that was picked and contained 100 gold pieces, and 20 silver pieces. The party pressed on ever upward.

Coming out into another observation type room, a window was found that looks into what might have once been a zoo, filled with terrariums, now mostly destroyed. Two tall stone statues of snakelike creatures stood next to the doorway to the zoo area. There was also a plaque on the wall that read “Poison can take you in, and poison can take you out”. Barty investigated the statues and found bowl-like receptables in their tongues. Zoshia filled them with drops of poison, and the door clicked open quietly. Zoshia cast “Pass Without Trace”, and the group managed to sneak through the zoo room while keeping an eye on the ceiling, as they had heard a hissing noise. They climbed up the staircase to the next floor quietly… To Be Continued…

Session 10 - Welcome to Astryer
"I Love It When A Plan Comes Together"

We joined our heroes as they looted the fallen bodies of the Obsidias Thorne gang. Levinia obtained a note to Obsidias from a mysterious L. R. telling that Levinia would be heading North of Crestguard. After some deliberation, Zoshia held onto the note. Picking up where they left off, the heroes resumed their almost full night of sleep, with Torvak now keeping watch (thanks to his sleeping through the battle).

Come morning, they began their trek Northward towards Astryer. Bartholomew cast a spell on Zoshia to reduce her weight by half, and she rode on Levinia’s back, getting more rest as she had been the first of the nights’ watch. Sly mentioned the apparent recent lack of earthquakes. After about five hours of traveling, the party emerged from forested areas and over a hill to get a clear view of the city in the distance.

Vanion had been here before, though he was very blacked out drunk. Levinia being from here immediately noticed the enormous crack through the ground, carving through the center of the city as buildings slowly crumbled inward. They rushed towards town to find guards scrambling about evacuating citizens. The party asked Levinia about locations in the city, while as they were walking by a house they heard trapped citizens inside. They decided to aid the guardsmen is rescuing a couple trapped in their nearly completely collapsed home. Barty shrank Zoshia to half her size, and she slipped inside to give spears to the couple, and they began moving some rocks out of the way. Barty enlarged Levinia, who held up the roof as the guardsmen and Sly moved the boulders on the other side. Eventually a pathway was cleared, and everyone made it out okay. Levinia allowed the house to collapse after it was safe. As the party discussed a place to feed these hungry people, some guards escorted them away. A very helpful and friendly guard informed them that he’d never heard of “The Glory Hole” but that “The Bronze Rabbit” was down the street as far as pub/inns go. He also inquired about Levinia, and if her last name was Gotthard. It was revealed that the guards believe the Gotthard family was caught embezzling government money, and were therefore under arrest, but during the raid/capture their daughter had escaped. He told them they could find wanted posters for her at the prison. The party also informed him of the murderous Obsidias Thorne and gang and he went to go make some new wanted posters.

The party split, with Zoshia and Torvak heading to the prison where apparently the Gotthard family was being held. The remaining party members went to the Bronze Rabbit, finding it filled to the brim with folks who most likely lost their homes and need a drink or a place to stay. Sly summoned a couch, Vanion bought some drinks, and they sat to discuss. Meanwhile at the prison, Zoshia and Torvak meet with the guard down at the sub-entrance who asks for their weapons before they can meet with prisoners. He also handed over some Levinia wanted posters complete with nice portrait. They now see that this portrait is of their Levinia after all. As Torvak introduced himself to the guard, he heard a familiar voice say “Torvak, no shit!” from down the hall. As they went down to where the Gotthards were being held, Torvak recognized Vestidio Garand, his rogue mentor, in a prison cell. He was a lanky, pale, gray-haired human with black raggy clothing. Torvak merely passed him by, getting a smug “heh” from Vestidio as he was “ignored”. They went to see the Gotthards, running into an older couple (the mother and father), and their son, a young man.

An in depth conversation was had where the young man revealed to Zoshia and Torvak that the Bravarti family was in fact the one they had caught embezzling money, though they didn’t know what they were doing with it. The Bravarti family somehow found out and preemptively informed the guards that it was the Gotthards. Levinia had escaped during their capture. Zoshia and Torvak also discovered that Levinia was never really a capable fighter according to her brother, and they’ve been in jail here for weeks. The young man was very worried that Levinia was back in town, he had hoped she could prove their innocence somehow. Zoshia left unhappy with this new information. On the way out, Torvak stopped to chat with Vestidio. Vestidio refused to reveal why he was there, telling a confusing tale that he both wanted to be there and planned to escape. Torvak asked him about his issue with losing hours at a time, and Vestidio did not have an answer for him. Zoshia offered the sleazy man some eyeglasses, which he gracefully accepted and put on. Torvak (who was being called Jorvyn this whole conversation by Vestidio, which Zoshia did not notice) knew that that would probably be enough for him to escape, so he left the prison after.

The prison group came back to the Bronze Rabbit and met up with the others. Torvak tried to get a private room to talk but they were all booked up thanks to the evacuation. They relocated to a nearby alley to discuss the new information they’d learned. Zoshia confronted Levinia, feeling offended with lies, and Levinia (filled with many emotions) revealed that she was in fact Caiaphus, reincarnated into a young woman’s body. Barty had heard tales of Caiaphus before, and Vanion knew a song of “Caiaphus and the Labyrinth”. He was a mighty man capable of mighty deeds, and he was known far and wide. Eventually in his old age, he asked the gods for another shot at fame and glory. They cursed his arrogance, sending him into Levinia’s body at the moment of the raid on the Gotthard home. Levinia slaughtered ten guards and made an escape.

So many problems laid before the party; The Gotthard’s innocence, Sly’s Great Uncle, Keeping Levinia from capture, Vestidio’s encroaching escape, and the crevice caused by the drill!
Barty formulated a plan with help from the rest of the party. They would disguise two of them as guards (Barty and Vanion) who would be arresting Levinia near the center of the town at the crevices’ deepest point. Zoshia would pick up Mezer, Levinia would take a hostage (Torvak), and they would all fall into the pit in a struggle (appearing to kill them all). This would hopefully cause the guards to believe Levinia is dead. Meanwhile however, Barty will cast feather fall in order for them to make it safely to the bottom.

Session 9 - On The Sly
The Curtain Slowly Opens

Our heroes entered city hall, meeting Valerie at the front desk. She informed them that Ellion is meeting with some folks but he told her to send the heroes in as soon as they returned. She gestured to his office, and upon entering they were met with four large armor-clad figures talking to Ellion at his desk, oblivious to their entrance. Vanion played a song that snapped them out of their conversation. Ellion welcomed the party back and inquired about the goblin hideout. Happy to hear there won’t be any more bank heists, his happiness was quickly wiped away after hearing about a powerful hooded sorcerer that was stealing money to fund a large drill.

He told the party of the reason he needed them back so quickly : There were multiple reports of earthquakes and subsequent damages. Ellion thinks their might be more than one drill, and he wants his Crestguard Knights (whom he introduced) to check out the location the heroes do not go to. The Capital City of Astryer to the north has suffered massive damages, he believes one drill is there. The other drill is believed to be deep in the Marshwood Forest, Zoshia’s previous home. A lake there has apparently been drained of water somehow, and Ellion thinks the drill is to blame. He introduces his son, Sylvester to the group. Ellion boasts of Sly’s magical ability, and the magical unique spellbook that he got from his great uncle. He’s actually looking for him to thank him for this Opyt’s Book of Spells. He’s also keep his eyes open as he and Ellion are worried that his mother went missing for real this time. Ellion asks for Sly to accompany the group.

The party stops at a few shops around town before heading out (being sure to collect their gold from Valerie for the goblin job). Zoshia gets her golden sword and golden tipped arrows, Vanion asked Bepin to look after his golden dragon scale, and Barty summoned a crab familiar. Vanion put some wine in Valerie’s bedroom, and the heroes left north to check out Astryer, leaving the Crestguard Knights to investigate the Marshwood Lake.

Heading north a few days, the party experiments with some of Vanion’s herbs, and Sly amazes with his very unique brand of spellcasting. On the second night, the group is attacked by Obsidias Thorn and his gang. He had been trailing Levinia for quite some time now, hired to ensure she is killed/taken care of. Whilst fighting, Obsidias recognizes Vanion as the Oathbreaker General he believes responsible for his brother Crassus’ death at the Battle of Rannorton. An epic fight ensues, and Obsidias warns Vanion that not only does the Poison Branch extend far beyond Volkarsis, but they have made powerful allies, whispering “You will never defeat the Ancient One” as he drew his last breath. Through some trickery, arrows, growth, swords, fire, and constitution, the party prevailed, defeating the gang.

Session 8 - Enter the Hooded Figure
"Hey it's me, your Graxx!"

As Graxx fell to the ground, the party turned their attention to the goblin they had knocked unconscious. While waking him up, the party looted Graxx’s workshop for some explosives and whatever else they could find. Zoshia retrieved "Lemmy"s feet from the edge, as Vanion and others, peered over the ledge, attempting to see the depths of the canyon below. Thanks to darkvision and a fireball, the party made out the figures of some dead goblins.

Bringing the previously unconscious goblin back to lucidity, the heroes questioned him about what Graxx was doing with the gold. This goblin told the party of Graxx’s storage room where he would place the collected treasure, telling the heroes that there’s no way this room could contain all the wealth they’ve stolen/harvested. The party made this goblin lead the way in case of traps, and Gragg stayed behind in Graxx’s workshop. The goblin made his way safely into the storage room, which was of decent size. Vanion checked for traps himself, not trusting that the goblin didn’t step over some, finding none. In the corner of the room was one enormous golden dragon scale, and ten iron ingots.

As Zoshia eyes up the scale and begins lifting it, Barty noticed a magical disturbance in the other far corner. Some sort of door appears, and through it quickly steps a hooded figure with average build. As soon as it came the door closed, vanishing. The figure asked where Graxx was, and Barty excused himself from the room to disguise himself as Graxx. Coming back in the room, he announced himself and walked over to the figure. The heroes found out that this figure appears in this room to collect the goods Graxx has collected every so often, and they appear to be working together. The figure asks about the goblin in restraints, and Barty/Graxx tells him that he was leading a revolt against Graxx. The party killed the goblin. Barty tried to cunningly get the plan from the figure, and the figure told Graxx what he had “told him before” that he needs the gold to build a drill to drill deep into Mastoria’s crust to find a treasure trove he would share with Graxx. Meanwhile, Vanion has placed a Zone of Truth around this figure.

The figure attempts to get the golden scale back from Zoshia. Graxx (Barty) tells the figure that these adventurers have joined his crew, but Zoshia is trouble. Barty/Graxx gets Zoshia to drop what she’s holding, including the scale and her bow and arrow. She picks her bow and arrow back up and Barty/Graxx takes the scale. Barty turns the scale into Bronze for one hour, and tells the figure that it looks like this particular scale might not be worth much. The figure informs him that he will sell it anyway. Zoshia throws a javelin at the figure but due to Barty/Graxx’s proximity, hits him in the shoulder instead. Seeing this, the figure looks into Zoshia’s eyes and charms and stuns her. Taking the iron bars and golden scale, he turns to leave, opening a new doorway and ordering Barty/Graxx to have these new adventurers thrown out of the dragon’s mouth. He steps through the doorway, and the door closes and disappears.

Zoshia comes back to her senses, and was enraged/upset that this figure made off with the golden scale. Barty removed his disguise, and the heroes went back out to the dragon’s skull to find Gragg missing. Heading back up the massive staircase, they heard commotion coming from the makeshift smithy. Gragg was arguing with two goblins about being the new ruler of Gearfang Canyon. The party convinced these goblins that Gragg had slain Graxx and was the rightful ruler. They ran off in different directions to tell the others. The party discovered excavation rooms dug out around Gearfang’s wings, which Barty identified thanks to looking up this canyon’s backstory in his Dragons : A History book. They found three rats leashed in a corner, and they slayed them. The other wing was surrounded by four goblins and some kind of goblin chieftain/taskmaster, arguing with one of the goblins from the smithy. The party convinced them that Gragg was the new ruler, but his silver frying pan had since returned to a regular one. The goblins grabbed one of the golden scales and ran it to the smithy to melt it down and make Gragg a new golden frying pan. The party looted some golden scales, said farewell to Gragg, and headed out to return to Crestguard.

The party arrived back in Crestguard in the early evening. Vanion went to pick up his golden-embroidered vest, some flowers and wine. While picking up flowers, he learned of Jax Jameson’s vocal curse he got from a forest outside town, where he picked these rare purple roses. The party went about selling goods at Arken’s Smithy, where Zoshia reunited with Torque, Alista Lockhaven’s apothecary to drop off goblin feet, and Marbo’s Majestic Emporium, where Marbo himself was present. The party met back up outside the doors to city hall, where our heroes eagerly await their reward…

Session 7 - Enter the Dragon
Cooking Mama Eat Your Heart Out

We returned after our hiatus with our heroes finishing up their short rest in the guards room. Vanion had played a quiet song of rest that thanks to the numerous twists and turns of the cave hallways, did not alert any sleeping goblins nearby. Torvak informed the party of the number of goblins in the barracks, and they formulated a stealthy plan.

Levinia and Vanion stayed behind while Zoshia, Torvak, and soon-after Barty entered the room in hiding, and one by one began slitting the throats of the sleeping/snoring goblins. Once those four were dispatched, they turned their attention to the two goblins at the wooden table arguing in Goblin over what appeared to be a rudimentary game. Mezer got behind one of the Goblins in a surprise attack, biting his neck and piercing his jugular, killing him. On the other side of the table (now covered in blood, and on fire thanks to a whiffed Firebolt from Barty), Torvak shot a crossbow bolt into the remaining goblin’s back, piercing his heart, bringing his head down upon the table. Barty with some quick thinking turned the wooden table into stone, stopping the blaze. They went around looting through the trunks in the barracks, Barty taking four sets of plain goblin clothes, Zoshia taking twelve gold pieces and two crude iron daggers, and Torvak taking eight more gold pieces.

Torvak had in the darkness found a set of stairs leading downward. The party went down and found what seemed to be a washroom for the goblin miners. Thorough inspection of the room revealed the goblins didn’t much like to clean themselves, though the floor was damp and there was poisonous fungus growing in the corners of the room. Heading further downward, the heroes found the source of the goblin’s drinking water, a large underground spring. Standing in front of the spring, trying desperately to fetch a bucket of water was a smaller goblin. Zoshia hearing no opposition (for the most part) loosed an arrow, striking right through the little fellow, with his body falling into the spring. Zoshia fished his body out, and found him to be dead. NOTE : The heroes have been collecting as many goblin feet as they can, this goblin’s included!

The heroes navigated down a separate path, leading them out in the vast canyon. Heading up a staircase to what sounded like a quiet elevated platform, the party noticed an enormous rib cage jutting out from the canyon, with dusty cloths spread out like tarps between the ribs to shade the canyon partially from the hot desert sun. The platform turns out to be a cleaning/prospecting station for the mined ores of this canyon. Zoshia was sure to loot everything she found, including magnifying glasses, a pair of glasses, shovels, and gold pans.

Scouting out many pathways around them, the party headed down one in particular after some deliberation. Moving down the long hallway, the heroes heard the clanging of metal on metal. Believing there to potentially be slaves here, the party rushed into the goblin’s kitchen to find a goblin chef working on a “dish”. Taken aback by the intruders, this goblin spies Barty (who had previously disguised himself as a goblin), and tries to get him to get help. Barty tries to deceive him but the chef catches on, instead handing him a frying pan and asking for his assistance in defending their only kitchen. A lengthy discussion took place, ending in Barty handing over a now-silver frying pan to the newly nicknamed “Gragg” (Zoshia calls him “Little Friend”), and a promise that once Graxx is defeated, Gragg can rule the canyon himself. He let the party know of the Goblin King Mobash (which he kept mispronouncing as Moblash and Moglash, mostly because he’s never met him and isn’t sure he actually exists), who rules over the greater Billbog clan. He reluctantly agrees to lead them to Graxx, but looks forward to better and shinier cooking gear. After the deliberations wrapped up, a groggy goblin who was sleeping in another part of the mess hall entered the room. The party intimidated the goblin into being submissive, and tied him up instead of killing him (Gragg requested he have at least one follower when he gets to rule the canyon).

Gragg led the party to the long descending staircase into the head of the dragon.
Once the heroes got the bottom, he stayed up on the staircase in fear. Graxx turned around in his workshop, and told the party he didn’t expect them to find his hideout so easily. Combat began with Graxx and three goblins, including Zoshia’s “Lemmy” from the bank heist in Crestguard. In the ensuing “firefight”, Zoshia was able to get sweet vengeance on “Lemmy”, piercing his heart with an arrow that stumbled him backwards and out the dragon’s mouth into the great abyss below. The heroes defeated Graxx, with Torvak piercing his heart with an arrow as well. As he was dying, Graxx told them that they were making a mistake messing with them, and that they would regret it. To Be Continued…

Session 6 - Enter Gearfang Canyon

Zoshia, Levinia, and Barty awoke in the morning at the Dire Bear Retreat. Heading down to get some breakfast (prepaid by Vanion), the party was surprised to find Torvak sitting downstairs, also enjoying a fine meal. Zoshia accused him of being Marbo the Magnificent from the Magic Shop, as Barty sprinkled some automaton dust on his eggs, asking if Levinia wanted to try some. Barty realized it hurt himself to eat it, and Levinia spit her bite out. A bit of a scuffle occurred between Roglak and Zoshia when Zoshia accused Roglak of poisoning their eggs, but it was quickly sorted out. Meanwhile, Zoshia sent Mezer on a tracking mission to find Vanion.

Mezer tracked him down to the River District. Awoken by barking outside the window, Vanion grabbed a silver knife, only to be relieved when he saw it was Mezer in the alley and not another werewolf creature. Valerie awoke and got dressed, and they both shared a glass of wine together before heading out to see Mezer. Vanion decided to walk Valerie to work since it seemed like Mezer was heading back to the Inn which was near City Hall. Vanion shared a kiss with Valerie as she went into work, and entered the Dire Bear Retreat to reunite with his friends and tell them about the werewolf and his other “conquests”.

The party finished up their meals, catching Torvak up on what he had missed (he himself seemed confused as to what he was up to the previous day/night). Heading out of the Inn, Levinia picked up her silver coated sword from Arken’s Smithy while Torvak picked up some equipment for himself, including a hand crossbow and some bolts. Vanion decided his shirt could wait, and Barty retrieved the Goblin job posting from the job board, finding their estimated location to be Gearfang Canyon, nearly a day’s travel outside the city limits to the west. They gathered up and headed out west, with Mezer and Zoshia attempting to track the Goblin’s path.

As the dirt road became more desertlike, the trail veered off the north into the deeper desert, as nightfall came upon swiftly. Finding some dim glowing emanating from an enormous canyon, the party believes they have found Gearfang Canyon. A dark staircase leading down into the multi-part canyon led the heroes across several bridges. Noticing two goblin watch towers, Zoshia and Torvak were able to take out the goblin guards silently and efficiently without them alerting others.
Continuing on, Zoshia saw a room filled with dark figures, with some torchlight and tables and benches. She used Thaumaturgy to dim the lights, and rushed in for a surprise attack! However in her haste she set off the bone charms hanging from the ceiling, alerting the two magically enhanced goblins and their wolf to notice her entering the room, and combat began.

With swift strikes, fireballs from both sides, bites, sickness and sneaking, the party dispatched the threats. A voice called from the opposite hallway asking if everything was alright. Torvak and Vanion put on Goblin impressions and told the voice not to worry, and that the wolf had defecated and made a mess. They heard the voice seem satisfied, and go back to snoring loudly. Torvak went down the hallways, finding the barracks, where there were four sleeping goblins, and two more speaking quietly in goblin at the far end of the room. Sneaking back to the party, they decided to take a short rest, with Vanion singing them a song to help them heal, and the party taking turns being on guard.


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