The Troupe

Toward the Silmerhelves

After Sir Venbjorn departed with the rescued prisoners, the Troupe (and Orna) discussed how to proceed. Sauria Identified the strange wooden box and found that it was a folding boat, which could be commanded to unfold into a vessels of two different sizes. With this information, the Troupe decided to travel to the shore of the Dessarin that evening and proceed upriver the following day.

Finding a relatively sheltered spot they made camp. Around the campfire they gained some information from Orna about the cults and the layout of the underground complex. During the night several of them dreamed. Felwin dreamed of a filthy city, the streets packed with criminals. As he stood in a torrential rain, a wave washed through the streets. The greedy waters rose to swallow the entire city, pulling people and buildings below.

Gabe dreamed of walking through a warm, sunlight field. The wild grasses were dotted with flowers, as a warm breeze blew by. As he walked through the field his foot struck something. Reaching down, he picked up a small lizard skull. Turning it in his hand, he cut himself and blood dripped from his hand onto the ground. From the point where the blood struck darkness spread, the sky turned dark and starless and the wind turned cold. Looking at his hand the object had turned from a skull to a black diamond.

Sauria found herself looking at a dark, stone cell. Outside a barred window was only darkness. Inside the cell stood a shadowy figure. It appeared to be wearing a headdress with thin wires of some sort coming out of it. The figure was looking out a larger window into a mist. There, Sauria saw the members of the Troupe. Around the window Sauria noticed a wood frame that looked exactly like the frame of the mirror.

Waking from their dreams, everyone was a bit unnerved. Felwin, in particular as he had grown barnacles on his right arm, shoulder, and face. Sauria cast Remove Curse on him which had the dual effect of removing his curse of lycanthropy and removing the barnacles. Gabe found a spot near an outcropping of bushes and sat to reconnect with Titania. Sauria and Felwin distracted themselves setting up camp and experimenting with the foldingboat. The group then boarded the boat and headed North on the Dessarin. The spent the day travelling up the river, reaching the Stone Bridge by evening and camping near the Stone Trail.

The next day they woke to find that Felwin’s barnacles had returned. Sauria told him that she wasn’t going to remove them every day unless he asked. They then took the trail to Westbridge and the Harvest Inn where they had previously stayed on the way to Triboar. Aurelio entertained at the inn, again, while the others spoke with Harvirin Dardragon and learned that Helvenblade house (the country estate of the Silmerhelve family) is six or eight miles northwest of Westbridge, on the edge of the Kryptgarden forest. He also warned them (again) that Kryptgarden is dangerous and also that Helvenblade House is rumored to be protected by the Family Ghost.

After a night of drinking and revelry the group happily retired to more comfortable beds than the stone and bare ground that they’d been sleeping on over the last few nights.

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Sweeping the Earth Temple

The Troupe decided they needed to take some time to rest and recover from their fights with the Earth guards and the ogres. They chose to lock themselves into the statue chamber outside Marlos’s room. During the first portion of their rest Sauria used her Arcane eye to conduct some recon down the ancient steps that they had learned would lead them to the Fane and the Black Geode.

Proceeding a couple of hundred feet downward into the dark pit Sauria found a chamber at the bottom with 2 doors. One was closed, preventing the eye from proceeding, but the other was open and a soft white light emanated from that room. Inside she found a raised platform with a sarcophagus resting on top of it. Carved around the platform were weathered carvings of some sort of battle, and emblazoned on the sarcophagus was the name Hendrel Foebreaker.

From this room there was one other door. As Sauria examined the door hoping to find a way through, two figures entered the room from the direction of the stairs. One was an earth genasi in robes with shining skin that seemed similar to polished stone. The other was a 15 foot tall walking statue carrying a sack containing rectangular objects. The genasi attempted to open the door, which did not move. He then instructed the statue to open the door. Which it did.

The two proceeded into a room lit by a purple glow and inhabited by two hill giants. The genasi seemed annoyed with the giants. He then walked toward a smaller cave/tunnel in the wall of the room. When the eye tried to follow him into this cavern the connection to the eye was lost.

With some new information on what lay at the bottom of the stairs the Troupe spent the rest of their rest discussing how they should proceed. Sauria decided she wanted more information, and sought it in the Mirror of the Truthweaver. The mirror asked her if she wanted a “reading” to determine facts that may yet be. She accepted and her reflection conjured a deck of cards and began shuffling.

Philanthropist There are many who might aid you in your quest… Some of whom you have met, and some of whom you have not. One lives among the rich in a country estate.

Dictator This place is Marlos’s seat of power, over which he rules with an iron fist, surrounded by those most fanatically loyal to him.

Healer Above you waits a healer, his hands covered in blood as he mourns the loss of his friends.

Bishop Even now there is a holy figure who gathers followers as he claims goodness but he wreaths himself in unrighteous fire.

Torturer Your enemy delights in the pain of the innocent. Even now there are those suffering under the torture of the Earth Cult, nearby, in need of rescue.

Missonary You have set yourself a great task, and a noble one, but not necessarily one that can be accomplished in a single stride.

Throughout the reading the visage in the mirror became more androgynous and smoky. After the last card, though, it returned to a reflection of Sauria, sweeping the cards away and saying “you have one question.” Sauria asked “Who is the Bishop wreathed in fire?” and the reflection responded “Elizar Dryflagon, who masquerades as a druid, but works to strengthen the eternal flame.”

After the reading the Troupe determined that they may not be ready to face hill giants and whatever other horrors might await them in the Fane. They wanted to know who the Healer might be and also wanted to find the tortured prisoners. Upon completion of their short rest they headed toward the pillar chamber.

On the way, they heard voices behind a closed door. Charging through, they found several earth guards in the process of preparing to armor up. Gabe and Felwin knocked three of them to the ground while a fourth yelled "intruders and escaped. Aurelio tried to follow, but quickly found there were too many possible routes of escape. Sauria strode into the room and told the guards they were simply interested in finding the prisoners. The guards, clearly intimidated, were quick to point out that prisoners would be held by Heldorm.

One of the guards guided them to Heldorm’s chamber, where Gabe and Felwin repeated their assault tactics. Felwin killed two cultist lackeys with his initial charge, while gabe carved into a stone-skinned man in robes. The robed man pulled a black stone rod and struck Gabe back, hard, whispering madly about the power of stone. Gabe responded with a Hellish Rebuke and a retort about the heat of Summer. The robed man was blown across the room, dead.

Inside small cages they found four prisoners in various states of torture:

Orna A female human and former Black Earth guard who had offended the cult somehow and was now happy to provide information to the cult’s enemies.

Droth A male human with an air cult scar who remained essentially catatonic despite the best efforts of Gabe and Aurelio

Wulgreda A female dwarven prospector

Gervor A male half elf who quickly claimed a cultist’s dagger and explained that the had been part of an adventuring party ambushed by the earth cult in the Sumber Hills.

Gabe grabbed the black rod that the torturer had been using as a weapon, while Aurelio and the prisoners searched a pile of belongings that were clearly left over from a series of prisoners to have come through the torture chamber. They found some armor that was of a size for Droth as well as a small, empty wooden box (12 inches x 4 inches x 4 inches) carved in a nautical theme and marked with the Water Cult symbol.

They then gathered up their three earth cult prisoners and the four former prisoners of the earth cult and headed back toward the surface and the Sacred Stone Monastery. They found the monastery much as they had left it… Filled with dead monks.

Outside the monastery they found a grimmer sight. Standing before a pyre of brush was Sir Venbjorn watching over the last rights of the two paladins who had been accompanying him. He told the Troupe that they had been set upon by the shadow demon and a creature of stone and armor (which Orna identified as a Myrmidon) and that either one would have been no challenge. The two together killed both paladins, though they were destroyed as well.

Sir Venbjorn offered to take the prisoners (both cultist and rescued) back to Summit Hall where the tortured could receive healing and the cultists could face trial. Orna did not want to go, and Gabe privately negotiated with Sir Venbjorn that she should stay with the Troupe to provide assistance against the cults and would then be taken to Summit Hall where she would face trial but with her deeds since leaving the cult taken into account. Before he left Gabe passed the black stone rod to Sir Venbjorn in hopes that the Knights of Samular might find some use for it.

The Troupe parted with Sir Venbjorn and were left standing outside the doors of Sacred Stone Monastery, considering their next step as night fell.

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Flight of the Earth Prophet

It would seem the charm worked. As Aurelio reported to Marlos that there were intruders just outside the statue chamber Marlos commanded Aurelio and the Black Earth guard to to and fight the intruders, stating that he would be right behind them. He disappeared into a corner of his room.

Meanwhile, outside the statue chamber another door opened and more guards emerged to fight the Troupe. Behind the guards was a woman wearing robes whose skin seemed to be made of stone and who was carrying some sort of dark stone rod. She cast an eruption of earth causing bludgeoning damage and creating difficult terrain.

The Troupe did not have much trouble with these guards as Aurelio rejoined them outside the chamber. After defeating them, Sauria entered the chamber and created an arcane eye to look into Marlos’s room. She found that the Prophet was no longer in the room, though she immediately noticed a black-framed mirror hanging on the wall. The frame had a small plaque on the bottom that said “speak your truth.” Sauria did so by introducing herself in her usual manner, and her reflection smiled. She then began the process of wrapping the mirror in a tapestry.

After defeating the guards, Gabe noticed an ogre coming toward them from the South and called Aurelio and Felwin’s attention to it. Felwin charged down the hall toward it only to find that there were two ogres who began swinging at him with their great clubs. There was much gnome clubbing before the three of them dispatched the ogres, at which point they saw a light come on through a door further south. Aurelio disguised himself as a corpse while the others set up on either side of the hall to attempt an ambush. As nobody emerged from the door, Felwin grew impatient running into the room and starting a fight with another stone-armored guard. Gabe assisted with this fight, then motivated Felwin to not lay down and go to sleep immediately.

Aurelio, meanwhile, making use of his Charm and Sending spells contacted Marlos stating “I am your loyal follower. What are your orders.” Marlos responded “These intruders are dangerous. They have already killed the Water Prophet. Warn Miraj. I have retreated to the Black Geode.”

Three cultists emerged from the open door the robed woman had come from. They let all but one of them go, and questioned the remaining one. He said that he simply wanted to escape. He explained that the Black Geode is below the Fane, which is at the bottom of the great stone stairs that Aurelio had seen earlier. He had not personally been to the Fane and could not provide any more direction than that. The Troupe let him go.

Having seemingly killed all of the guards for the moment, the group had a conversation with the mirror. They discovered that it held both divination and transmutation magic and that it could answer questions and provide information. When asked what it gained from doing this it simply said “I have this power. Why not use it.” An Identify spell revealed that it is called the “Mirror of the Truthweaver.”

We left the session with the Troupe discussing whether to pursue Marlos into the depths.

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Into the Temple of Black Earth

The Troupe woke in Rivergard keep having all taken a restful sleep under the guard of the Knights of Samular. Aurelio woke first, helping himself to the books Gabe had found. After some reading, he found an entry on Dragon Turtles, which seemed to fit the description of the creature they saw in the Water Temple.

Upon waking Gabe went to check on his Elk while Sauria went for some alone time on the wall of the keep. Aurelio and Felwin, smelling food, found their way to the kitchen where Sir Venbjorn was cooking breakfast.

Meanwhile, Gabe engaged in conversation with the small lizard skull that had been given to them by a Water Cultist. The voice speaking through the skull identified itself as Thuluna Maah, who told Gabe that she could help the Troupe achieve their goals of stopping the Elemental Cults by showing them faster routes to the Earth or Air temples. She claimed she had no interest in serving the Princess of Water.

Taking the skull to the dining chamber where Aurelio and Felwin were eating with Sir Venbjorn, Gabe revealed the conversation with Thuluna through the skull, at which point Sir Venbjorn casually covered the skull with a pot while Aurelio stuffed a towel around the edges of the pot to further block sound. Using a message spell, Aurelio called Sauria back where they all discussed their options.

During the conversation, Thuluna identified herself as a sea witch who simply wanted to gain control of the Water Temple cavern in the name of the non-human members of the cult. She vowed that she was not interested in bringing on the elemental destruction the followers of Olhydra were interested in pursuing. She promised the Troupe could pass through her domain whenever they asked to do so, and that she would leave the surrounding towns and cities alone if they left her alone.

To seal the agreement Thuluna demanded that each member of the Troupe place a drop of blood on the skull. Everyone except Sauria did so.

At Thuluna’s instruction the Troupe went back up the underground river, meeting an ogre on the landing. The Ogre lead them through the Water Temple to a locked door leading to the Southern end of the Earth Temple. The room they entered was split by a crevasse on the other side of which were several Bulettes.

Down a short hall they found a set of double doors on which was scrawled “NORBS RUM. KEEP OWT BROOG.” and “BROOGS RUM. NORB IZ STOOPID.” Felwin, convinced there was rum to be found through these doors, attempted to open them quietly. The doors, however, being huge and made of stone, refused to move silently. Inside the room there was a loud argument about whether or not there was a sound. Felwin closed the door and ran.

Sauria then walked a ledge along the crevasse, leading the group past a forge being worked by an efreeti and two Duergar. The efreeti saw the group crossing the crevasse but said that as long as they did not interfere with her work she didn’t care what they were doing. They proceeded.

Sauria then spotted the statue they had seen before of some sort of large rock and crystal monster. She lead them to that room and the saw light through the hall to the North. Aurelio, in his Earth Cultist robe and mask, made his way toward the light, where he addressed one of the guards, stating that the “creatures were making noise again” and he needed the guard’s help. The guard responded that he was on duty and that Aurelio should go to Miraj for help.

Aurelio then walked “around the block” so as not to seem suspicious and made it back to the Troupe. He cast invisibility on himself and proceeded to the door to Marlos’s statue chamber. When he opened the door the guards hesitated, wondering what was going on. One guard then commanded the other to go check on Marlos. Aurelio tried to sneak away, but the guard heard him and took a swing. Combat was joined.

Aurelio followed the guard into the statue chamber, while Felwin, Gabe and Sauria charged the others. Spirit Guardians prevented one of the guards from helping while Felwin and Gabe carved up the others. meanwhile, Aurelio took cover behind a statue and fired at the guard with his crossbow. He missed. Several times… and the guard passed through a door at the back of the chamber. Following, Aurelio found himself face-to-face with the prophet of Earth. Pulling out his Yarting he cast Charm Person, shouting that the guards were under attack.

… We shall have to wait to find out if the charm was successful.

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The Water Temple
The Fall of Gar Shatterkeel

Most of the Troupe woke the following morning to a clear and pleasant dawn. Felwin, having not slept, was vaguely aware of the sun rising outside the arrow slits of the great hall, while Sauria woke to perform her morning writing. Gabe, meanwhile, woke in the forest covered in blood which he soon discovered belonged to a slaughtered deer laying several feet away. He called for his Elk and began working his way back to Riverguard.

The group determined to let Gabe back into the fortress, but Felwin locked them out of the keep. Some negotiation followed as Felwin feared that Gabe might return to wereboar form, but Sauria assured him that she had removed the curse and could do the same for him “before it becomes a problem.”

Determining to proceed, the Troupe found the latches holding the secret passage to the underground River. They chose to take both boats and began rowing a mile or two through the darkened cavern. During the trip, Aurelio presented Felwin with a black feather, explaining that if used properly it would grant him the ability to fly.

It took some time to row the length of the river as the strongest characters (Gabe and Felwin) were also exhausted from their interrupted rest. Eventually, though, they came to a sort of underground lake. Near the tunnel from which they emerged was a landing that they discovered was guarded by several members of the water cult.

The apparent leader, a lightly-armored woman with a shortsword and no shield, hailed them and asked their intentions. Sauria explained that the were there on the orders of Shaolar to report to Gar Shatterkeel about the attack on Riverguard. As they were getting off the boats and onto the landing Aurelio attempted to create an illusion on the papers he’d taken from the great hall to make them appear to be a report. He failed to do so stealthily, however, and one of the cards shouted “He’s casting a spell” and attempted to shoulder check him into the water. Aurelio dodged, shouting “no I’m not!”

A tense exchange occurred where one of the guards suggested that they should be taken to Thuluuna. The leader immediately shut down this suggestion and said they should instead be held until Gar could determine what should be done with them. In this moment, Sauria used her Channel Divinity to read the leader’s mind, than “suggested” that they be taken to Ushnora. The leader noted that this was a good idea, and prodded them down the hall.

The group was lead past a door with bars in the window, and another with a large steel plate at eye level. They were taken over a bridge and past an alcove filled with discarded refuse. Passing a room with a finely carved by heavily damaged dry fountain depicting mermaids they arrived in an open area with several tables and stacks of crates where a group of cultists seemed to be sorting loot.

They were approached by a hooded woman whom Sauria immediately recognized as Ushnora and it was clear that Ushnora was not pleased with the guard who had brought them to her. Sauria requested that they speak privately and Ushnora suggested they be taken to the jail to speak. The group found this suggestion unacceptable, and as Sauria mentioned “exposing her secret” combat began.

Aurelio created the illusion of a wall of fire blocking off the hallway through which they had come and separating the guards who had brought them here from the rest of the room. Sauria then called her Spirit Guardians while Felwin charged into battle. Gabe, using his flame sword and his tiefling bearing, unintentionally reinforced the illusion of the fire. The guards did not last long and when all but one of them had died Usnora transformed into a serpent made of water and disappeared into the open water behind her.

Sauria wasted no time in Suggesting to the remaining cultist that Ushnora had betrayed the Prophet and that they should be taken to Gar immediately to report this transgression. The cultist agreed. He lead them north, over a high bridge to a large set of doors. 15 feet to either side of the doors were large carvings of dwarven heads with waterfalls coming out of their mouths, fueling the canals that run through the temple area. On the doors was painted the symbol they’d come to associate with the Cult of the Crushing Wave.

Beyond the doors was an open area guarded by several feral-looking lizardfolk with spiked clubs. Beyond that was a short bridge, then another open area. This one held a large black stone altar behind which stood a stern-looking man holding a finely crafted trident. His other arm ended in a large, mechanical looking crab claw and half his face and chest were covered in barnacles. This, it soon became clear, was Gar Shatterkeel, the Prophet of Water.

The cultist immediately abased himself on the bridge, while the Troupe proceeded to the altar. There, they reported Ushnora’s treachery, holding up the encoded letters as proof. Seeming sullen, suspicious and bitter throughout the exchange, Gar made it clear that he expects treachery from everyone and is unsurprised when it appears. He spread the letters out on his altar, shifting them about with his claw, but it was clear that he couldn’t read them.

The Troupe pressed him about his purpose and intent and learned that he intended to “drown this wretched plane” in the name of “The Princess.” When asked for more information he asked the Troupe to prove their loyalty by bringing him the head of one of the other prophets. They seemed ready to leave at this request, but when the approached the altar to gather the letters he halted them stating “those are mine. They’re on my altar.” Aurelio, quick to see a solution to the impasse, cast levitate on the documents, lifting them off of the altar. Combat was thus begun.

Sauria’s Spirit Guardians spell made quick work of the lizardman guards (and the cultist who had lead them in) while Gar conjured a storm at the ceiling of the room and calling down lightning upon the Troupe. Gar then retreated across the surface of the water, which he walked on as if it were solid ground. In response, Sauria cast Water Walking on the group, once again levelling the field. Felwin and Gar traded blows, with Felwin getting caught in Gar’s claw. Gabe provided an armor spell for Felwin, while Aurelio provided inspiration. Sauria struck Gar with Inflict Wounds before falling to a strike from his trident. Aurelio, casting Fly on himself, swooped in to rescue Sauria, braving several attacks as he brought her to Gabe who quickly resurrected her with Lay on Hands. Gabe then brought the full force of his Flametongue Longsword and Divine Smite to bear on Gar, felling the prophet.

Upon his death, Gar dissolved into water, leaving behind his mechanical claw which quickly sank to the bottom of the canal, and his steel and bronze trident, which did not. The Troupe quickly gathered the trident and the letters while Felwin tried the door on the West side of the room. Finding a group of water cultists, he slammed the door and used a javelin to jam it shut. The Troupe retreated.

making use of Aurelio’s flight and the walk on water spell they made their way along the canal to the West. There, the found an open lake area and spotted the head of an ENORMOUS turtle-like creature. Deciding they weren’t interested in that path they checked a door leading west. They found a large, dark set of stairs leading downward. This seemed the opposite of their goal, so they headed East, then back through the room where they’d fought Ushnora. Tracing their path back, they heard the sounds of fighting. Gabe went to check the jail (which turned out to be empty) while the others went to check on the sounds.

Peeking into one door they saw a gore-spattered room where a group of lizardfolk were being torn apart by some sort of aquatic troll. They retreated VERY QUIETLY and retrieved their boats. On the landing near their boats they found two dead guards and one living guard. The living guard threw something to the ground at their feet saying “Thuluna Maah sends her thanks” and retreated down the hall. Gabe picked up the object, finding a small lizard skull wrapped in seaweed and stuffed with some sort of dried organic matter.

The troupe paddled back to the Riverguard Keep landing.

At the top of the stairs, near the secret door, they heard voices discussing the mess at the keep and speculating about what had happened. Opening the door they found three members of the Knights of Samular in the great hall. One of them, Sir Venbjorn, wore a strip of transparent cloth over his eyes.

The Troupe explained to the knights what exists up the underground stream. Sir Venbjorn asked one of the other nights to “call back the paladins” and set a guard on the keep and the river while the Troupe stumbled off to sleep in the servants’ quarters. Before falling asleep Sauria conducted an Identify ritual on the trident and the lizard skull. She learned the name and properties of the trident, Drown, and that the lizard skull bore traces of Divination and Transmutation magic.

The troupe then passed into an exhausted sleep, leaving the Knights of Samular to watch their backs and guard the keep.

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Full Moon Over Riverguard
Wereboar Round 2

After the fight with Shaolar and learning of the underground river to the water temple the Troupe chose to rest for the night and begin the next phase of their assault in the morning. They then set about making sure the keep was clear and searching for information or treasure.

In the kitchens they found a group of servants (and/or slaves) huddled in the back corner. They allowed most of them to leave immediately, but stopped three young men (Gorm, Herek and Shadnil) who seemed especially nervous and shifty. Herek did most of the talking while Gorm and Shadnil deferred to his leadership. Herek at first offered to show the Troupe the way to the water temple, claiming they were being held against their will. Sauria saw through their lies and the room began to shake subtly with her anger.

In the shaking, a finely-bound “arcane” tome loosed itself from a shelf and fell on Felwin’s head. Meanwhile, the three youths looked to Sauria in fear and Gorm whispered to Herek something about “The Black Earth.” Their demeanor changed, immediately, and it was clear they simply wanted to leave as quickly as possible. Under further questioning they explained that they had joined the Crushing Wave seeking power and wealth. They had so far only been allowed to serve in the kitchens and seemed dissatisfied, and they promised they would return to their home village of Womford and would not cause trouble for the Troupe. On their way out, Shadnil (large, blond and muscular) asked Sauria whether she thought there was room for someone like him in the Black Earth. She replied that the Black Earth wasn’t likely to be around long, either, and he left looking confused.

Little treasure was to be had in the rest of the keep, aside from a few mixed coins carried by the bandit guards. In the library Gabe found a book titled Undersea Monstrosities and a book with some sort of octopus on the cover. He took both before moving on. Later, Sauria found a hidden compartment on one of the shelves containing several letters written in some sort of cypher.

Felwin, meanwhile, showed his “spellbook” around between party members. None could identify the strange “arcane” script. Eventually the book was brought to Sauria, who claimed it was a cookbook, written in Elvish. Felwin was satisfied to learn that it was, in face, a spellbook destined for his hands.

After exploring to everyone’s satisfaction the group ate a meal of rations (and some salted fish) and settled down for the night. A storm was raging outside and they settled into various rooms in the Keep. Sauria made a bed in the the servants’ quarters, Gabe slept on the large table in the main hall, and Felwin took the “Lord’s Quarters” which smelled faintly musky. Aurelio took the first watch while there was still some daylight outside. His watch passed uneventfully.

Following Aurelio’s shift came Gabe’s. The sun had mostly set by this point and the rain was still falling hard as Gabe began his patrol. After about an hour, Felwin was woken by the sound of his door being broken down. Before him stood the large, raging form of an armored wereboar, armed with a longsword.

Felwin jumped from his bed and grabbed his war pick as the wereboar charged. He quickly realized that any wounds made by his pick immediately healed, leaving the boar unaffected. Meanwhile the boar gored him with its tusks and slashed at him with the longsword. The fight went on for several rounds, and just as Aurelio arrived to assist, Felwin saw a sort of realization come over the boar and it retreated from the room, jumping over the wall of the keep. In that moment, both Aurelio and Felwin realized that the wereboar was Gabe.

Felwin, Sauria, and Aurelio then gathered in the great hall to discuss the situation. Sauria assured the others that she could take care of Gabe’s lycanthropy in the morning and that even if Felwin was infected after the fight he “has some time.” She and Aurelio went back to sleep, while Felwin spent the night pacing the great hall in worry.

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Vengeance at Riverguard Keep

After a brief discussion on the Silver Eel, and feeling frustrated at their inability to gain any real information, the Troupe determined to return to Riveerguard, remove the threat that devastated Womford, and “beat some answers” out of the pirates who have been living there.

Using Aurelio’s invisibility spell and Sauria’s Cape of the Mountebank, Sauria and Felwin made quick work of the two guards on the West wall. Ropes and levitate spells got everyone on the wall, with only one guard in sight, looking the other way.

Sauria sneaked down the stairs to listen at the arrow slit, keeping an eye on the guard on the South wall. Through the slit she heard voices listing some sort of encoded inventory report. The guard turned, and she tried to strike him with a guiding bolt, but the spell missed and he was able to raise an alarm and fire his crossbow at Aurelio. This did not go over well with the bard, who let loose with two knives (one of them sailing over the wall and the other embedding itself in the guard) and a crossbow bolt (which also struck true). The guard fell from the wall with a Wilhelm scream, and battle was joined.

Guards came running from both levels of the Southwest Tower. Felwin leaped from the wall to attack the men on the ground, while Gabe charged into the second story, flaming sword in hand. It did not go well for the guards.

Meanwhile, Aurelio and Sauria stood at the arrow slit. Aurelio tried to peak through, but was immediately noticed by Shoalar. Aurelio opened the conversation with a knife and a bolt, both of which missed their target. From then on, it was a blood bath for the pirates of Riverguard.

Near the end of the fight, Aurelio was able to charm Shaolar and convince him not to participate. Once the last of the reavers and bugbears were dispatched the troupe learned from their new Genasi friend that an underground stream, guarded by ghouls, lead to “the water temple” where Gar Shatterkeel spends his time. Having no further use for the Genasi, and holding him responsible for the piracy and destruction wrought by the cult, Sauria and Aurelio executed him.

The Troupe were left standing next to the underground river, choosing their next action.

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Yartar and Everlund and Yartar
Wherein I finally catch up on the Adventure Logs

Having chased the giants from Triboar (ish) the Troupe set about healing the wounded and putting out fire. Gabe revived the most of the fallen members of the Triboar Travellers guards around whom he had been fighting and gained the thanks of Urlam Stockspool, the owner of the company. Gabe then checked Six Windows, meeting the seemingly deranged elderly proprietor, and confirmed that Silvarren Loomshank (the priest of Hlem) had left for Red Larch earlier that day. Sauria and Felwin treated those who had fallen outside Northshield House.

After ensuring that Ghelryn Foehammer and Othovir were well, Aurelio headed to Boar’s Rest to see about the fires. Encountering Hyuth Kolstaag for the first time he quickly realized that the mage had little interest in altruism or the welfare of others. Choosing the shrewder path, Aurelio bribed Kolstaag with his scroll of Earth Bind to put out the first. Taking the scroll, Kolstaag dimension doored himself around town, casting some sort of sleet storm to quench the flames.

Eventually the group re-convened at Northshield House to discuss plans. Deciding first to visit Everwyvern House, where they met the condescending owner, Draven Millovyr. Draven confirmed that Aerisi Kalinoth and Windharrow had visited just before midwinter looking for nobles interested in joining her court. There was an altercation with visiting members of the Silmerhelve family. Draven also mentioned that Aerisi’s wings were illusory and that she took great offense at having them dispelled. Draven suggested that more information on Aerisi might be found at the Silberhelve estate, Helvenblade House, near Westbridge.

The Troupe spend that night at Northshield House, waking the next morning to head for Yartar. On the way out of town, as requested, they stopped at Foehammer Forge, where Ghelryn Foehammer wrote them a letter of recommendation in his capacity as the royal armorer of Citadel Felbar.

Travel along the road to Yartar was uneventful. They passed various merchants and travelers as well as a group of wood elves running Eastward to investigate the fire giants. Arriving in Yartar they found a fortress on the west bank of the Dessarin and a bustling merchant city on the east bank. Following the directions provided by Darathra they quickly found the walled garden and its keeper, Kolbaz. The cantankerous old mage poured them each a small glass of wine, which Felwin drank immediately… Disappearing as he did. Kolbaz then explained that he had been teleported and that the others would need to drink to follow.

Arriving in a large round room with a complex pattern engraved in the floor and a Harper banner on the wall, they were greeted by a young wizard who seemed prepared for their arrival. Once all of them had teleported (including the Elk) they were lead to a small sitting room on the outer perimeter of the tower, of which they now realized they were near the top. While they waited Felwin befriended a Tressym named Stealth.

After a short wait Krowen Valharrow arrived and some exposition ensued. Krowen gave the Troupe access to the Harper network of Teleportation circles.

After the meeting with Krowen the group visited the Oaken Barrel tavern where Aurelio put on a legendary show with a pair of dwarven drummers

The next morning they met with Jerish Masmarrin who suggested they meet with the Emerald Enclave at Goldenfields, as they would likely be looking into the elemental disturbances in the Dessarin Valley. Felwin bought Tressym Mash, while Aurelio found a black feather. The Troupe then returned to Moongleam Tower where they were teleported back to Yartar. Felwin bought a fishing pole and Gabe found transport in the form of Kamal and his ship the Silver Eel. Boarding the ship, they headed south on the Dessarin.

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Oksort and Ildmane

As the giants and orogs thundered southward toward town, the magmins fanned out from the road, lighting nearby buildings on fire while the orcish axebeak riders fanned even further outward to flank the town and distract any defenders.

Gabe, seeing the nature of the threat, Thaumaturgically commanded the fleeing townspeople to either run southward or take shelter inside the tower. At the same time, Sauria and Darathra headed for the top of the tower by stairs while Aurelio headed up by levitation. Felwin ran eastward, seeing an Axebeak running between buildings. Aurelio and Darathra began taking crossbow shots at the orcs to the East while Gabe and Darz ran to join the fighting to the West.

Sauria, wanting to learn more, chose used her Cape of the Montebank to teleport herself and Aurelio toward the Giants. She then stepped into the open and asked that the Giants explain what was happening, that she might document this day. The male giant responded in Common, saying “Today is the day that Oksort and Ildmane retrieve a fragment of the Vonindod for Duke Zalto.”

Aurelio joined Othovir and Ghelryn in fighting the Orogs, and Othovir was felled during the fighting, later to be healed by Aurelio.

While the battle was fought in all directions, the giants reached the north campground and used their swords as shovels, hacking at the ground. After nearly a minute of digging, they pulled something large and metallic out of the hole and headed back northward with their orog bodyguards. The magmins, orcs and axebeaks had been killed off by this point, and the Troupe chose to let the giants go.

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Arrival in Triboar

The troupe made their way north along the Long Road, toward Triboar. Stopping to camp several miles south of Black Maw Bog, they spent the evening listening to Sauria relate the tale of finding and liberating the Lost Mine of Phandelver.

In the morning they finished the journey to Triboar, finding a bustling ranch town at the intersection of two major roads. They inquired at the Tower of the Lord Protector and learned that Darathra Shendrel was busy in a meeting at Boar’s Rest.

The party then split to see the town.
- Gabe and Sauria visited the Triboar Arms. They met Merchants with a contract to run “Othovir’s finest saddles” to Everlund. Gabe met a drunken priest of Helm and convinced him to tend to his assigned duties in Red Larch.
- Aurelio and Felwin visited the Lion’s Share, the local outpost of the Lionshield Coster. They met the proprietors, Aurelio was disappointed to learn that a fine tailor was not available, and Felwin bought javelins to replace those he’d taken from Gabe.
- Felwin explored the Market Square and purchased a meat pie.
- Sauria and Felwin visited the apothecary, learned of “sweet water” and procured rooms at the Northshield House.
- Aurelio met the Enward, the tailor at Everwyvern House and began to establish his Noble persona. He also enjoyed a fine meal at the Pleasing Platter and paid for fancy new clothing in a recent Waterdhavian fashion.
- The group enjoyed an evening in the common room of Northshield House, and Gabe finished the evening at Triboar Arms.
- In the morning they found that they had an appointment with Darathra at 11 am. At that meeting they learned that Aerisi and Windharrow had caused some trouble at Everwyvern House a bit before Midwinter, fighting with the Silmerhelves. A ranch north of the city was burned down just after some seeming fire cultists headed North. They learned that the power of the prophets likely comes from some sort of physical foci that they would keep near them. They also learned that Shaolar was a notorious pirate on the Sword Coast prior to reappearing on the Dessarin between Womford and Yartar.

Finishing their meeting, they parted ways with Darathra and were headed toward Everwyvern House and Six Windows when the sounds of panic began to issue from the North. Boulders fell from the sky and the shout of “GIANTS, RUN!” was raised.

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