Sterling Adventure Company

3Paldemar down! Session 33

The SSAC brought a long chapter to a close with the defeat of Paldemar. They cut off his head and hands and brought the remains back to the Mages of Saruun in the 7PH along with a Bronze Warder. They kept one Bronze Warder back at Paldemar’s hideout which has now become their lair, pending a better name. They learned that an amulte controls a BW and allows the wearer to give commands which are followed out regardless of the fate of the wearer until new orders are given. The gauntlets allow one to take control of a warder and give him direct orders, but as soon as another warder is controlled by the gauntlet, the previous wardris uncontrolled and remains stationary and inert.

They held a meeting at Wrafton’s Inn with all concerned parties at the 7PH and the mages formally handed over control of the hall and its security to the SSAC. Their true goal is to be left in peace and to continue their studies, as long as they were permitted to do that they were quite happy to step away from the day to day administration of the 7PH. They recieve the excises which are levied on trade, because they are low, and this allows them to continue about their business. Brugg, the ogre enforcer, was obviously not happy, but was obsequious when the mages were firm, and agreed to handle security to thee south of the river while the dwarves were responsible for the north.

The various members took the next few months to sildify their positions in the 7PH and in Cormyr.

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The Tower of Mystere session 32

The party sent the imp through the portal and had him scout out the next level of the tower and then they went through. There was a Bronze Warder which would have madwe the whole encounter very challenging, but since Nemanock had the glove og control it was actually a forgone conclusion, though the party did use up a fair amount of resources, so the elected to take a short rest since they assumed they’d be ancountering Paldemar next. While resting they searched the area thoroughly and there were two critical resources. The first was the very advanced library of Paldemar’s. Though it appeared to have many texts that were indeed quite evil, it also contained a veritable treasure trove of arcana. It will take some time to search it in its entirety. The socend are was his alchemical lab, neamanock was very excited to find a complete lab to rival the one he has access to in Deep Hold. They decided that if they lived and cleared out this hold that it would be an ideal base for the party. Rousting Vecna may prove interesting, but then again, with his adherents gone, maybe he won’t remain.

The party girded their loins and decided to press on through the teleport symbol after the short rest. They teleported to the next level and were crowded into a small room, made more so since Nemanock was able to bring the Bronze Warder, who they named Ward, along with them. The door to their left would not open as i9t was wiz locked. The door in front opened to a temple of Vecna which Bearn charged fearlessly into, getting ambushed by a Norker Berserker and drawing fire from two Norker slingers and an enigma of Vecna. Darius opened the door to the right and was faced with another Bronze Warder! He went full defenses and Nemanock surrendered control of Ward and seized control of Ernie (the new warder’s name). Ernie was sent across the room and smashed the wiz locked door to get to the chewey center of the stronghold. Bearn backed his way out of the temple and closed the door. Curiously, he was not followed.

Meanwhile Paldemar had unleashed an ball of energy into the little room they were in and had done some damage, quick thinking by Aponym had him smahed into a wall and cornered into his room by Ernie and Darius, who had him marked with a Divine sanction. The bedroom contained a Palantiri looking orb an a tripod which will be something to investigate if they live.

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The Tower of Mystere session31

The party began by securing a few ends at Deep Hold. Thunefir was very thankful for the dwarve’s gift to him and asked them to expand Deep Hold to allow for the influx of dwarves until they could be moved to Thunderholme.

As they were peparing to leave for the seven pillared hall a Dwarf, dressed as a monk, appeared and said his name was Skyler. He explained, and as he did so Thunefir remembered the oputfit, that he was one of the fabled Moradeen, the guardians of Dwarven Kings. He asked if it was true that Thunefir’s intention was to reinvest Thunderholme. Upon confirmation he asked if it was true they had an hier to the Dwarven throne, a descendant of Himmel Hur. Thunefir introduced Bearn with all the reverence he could muster. Skyler looked at Bearn and said he had a family resemblance, at this Bearn showed him his ring and he was visibly shaken as he dropped to one knee and whispered, “My Lord.” He stammered that he would notify the head of thier order Mor’gren,and when they once again reoccupied Thunderholme, the Moradeen would return to guard him.

They returned to the Seven Pillared Hall and of the business there I will now recall. First they commisioned a convoy back to Arabel with many packages and chests that they had recovered and which were filled with booty from their forays. Notes were sent to family and friends back in Arabel. Aponym made sure that Lord Sterling was well informed of the goings on and the successes they had won, this message was carried by the halfling they had rescued from the Gnolls. Thunefir sent missives requesting dwarves to come and inhabit Deep Hold.

They went and paid a visit on Gendar and recieved another gift (a magic sword)and his recognition that they were a force to be reckoned with in the 7PH. Emboldened by their alliance they went back a couple days later and asked his advice on how to proceed on the next part of their mission which was to confront Paldemar. After much discussion it was decided that they should twell the mages of Saruun that they intended to eliminate Paldemar.

They went to the customs house and met with Orontar. They were able to negotiate an informal agreement with him and the mages would allow the dwares free travel with the promise of greatly increased tradee and stability. Thunefir touched on the key point that they were thankful for the mages prescence and that they sought only peace and stability, that they had no desire to usurp the authority of the mages. Talk then Turned to Paldemar. They showed the mage the papers taken from Maldrick that showed Paldemar’s true intentions and he was livid. They did not tell him how they intended to find Paldemar, only that they would try. Orontar said that Paldemar had taken one Bronze Warder and claimed it was lost in a cave-in and then he took another with him the last time they saw him. This means he has two and the pendants to control them. Since he didn’t know that we had one, that meant that Paldemar had one only. If we ran into it we could use the gauntlet of control to take control from Paldemar. So Nemanock wanted to go back and get the gauntlet from the dwraves at Deep Hold and use it to control the other should we encounter it.

They went back to deep hold for the gauntlet and then ventured north out of the 7PH following the gentle tock of the key they had taken from Maldrick’s dead body. It led them to a stone passageway that had no doors, suddenly the key pulled to the wall and a door appeared and the key went into the lock and turned and the door opened revealing a passageway. They followed the passageway to a nondescript room with a circle inscribed on the floor, Aponym recognized it as a teleportation circle. After a brief discussion, and feeling they hade no other choice, they walked as one to the circle. As they reached its edge a figure, looking like Vecna, appeared and welcomed them, but told them that he suffered none to pass unless they parted with secret knowledge, lore, or their souls. They ofered what they could and finally he grew tired of them, and said that they could pass through, but as they did they lost a healing surge )meta-game note: the surge is lost for the duration of their stay at the tower). They entered the circle and were teleported to a room with two doors. As they exited the western door they discovered that two mind numbing attacks came from the pillars in the hall each round and that if they got adjacent to the pillars they took necrotic damage. Whilst this confronted them they were attacked by a pair of Norkers, powerful demonic goblinoids with battle axes. They forced them back and the battle was joined by three more and then eight more norkers with flails. They had their hands ful and just as they were almost done with them two figures came rushing out of a side room and began launching the same necrotic attacks they had been suffering from the pillars. As they ground these two enigmas of Vecna down they transformed into berserkers and wildly attacked with huge claws. Eventually they too were defeated and the party took a short rest and healed up. the next teleportation grid was on the floor before them. They checked the room out that the enigmas were in and found a stash of gems and curios.

They steeled their resolve and made ready to pass through the next teleportation runes…

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Upon your return from the Well of Demons

 The party returns to Deepgem Hold and is given a most hearty welcome tales are recounted and Ale is drunk. Talk is ivariably drawn to what your next step is. Nemanock mentions that he is looking to study alchemy and the dwarves give him a hearty assent and introduce him to Feldspar Deepgem, their alchemist.

Later on, with a misty look of gratitude, obviously enhanced by the ale, Ulthand Deepgem says that he and the others have been talking and they want Thunefir to carry their prized Symbol of Battle with him, to always remember their gratitude.

Symbol of Battle

This holy symbol is favored by battle clerics and warpriests.

Level: 10
Price: 5,000 gp
Implement (Holy Symbol)
Enhancement: +2 attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +2d8 damage

Power (Daily): Free Action. Use this power when you hit with an attack using this holy symbol. Deal an extra 1d10 damage.

First published in Player's Handbook.

The next morning Feldspar invites Nemanock to his workshop. In his workshop are sets of tools, a work bench, vials, beakers, distillery and other alchemical apparati, obviously enchanted to aid in the creation of powerful magical items. After Nemanock spends the day with him it is obvious that he has found the pupil he is looking for and he grants Nemanock access to his workshop whenever Nemanock desires and will offer his guidance also. This means Nemanock can create alchemical items up to two levels higher than his level whenever he is working in Feldspar's workshop.

At some point in time the party decides they need to get back to the 
Seven Pillared Hall. 

 Within moments after they arrive it is obvious that the word is out about the deeds they have wrought. They get sullen and obviously disdainful looks from "that" crowd as you pass by Ruthar's Taproom and a dismissive sniff from Brugg the ogre enforcer. Their welcome at the Halfmoon inn is much different as they are treated to a hero's welcome and Tipper the halfling is filled with nothing but the most flattering account of his rescue, obviously embellished as he was quite out of it at the time, and Bennik the halfling bard is already singing songs of their praise. Charrak the kobold is there to pat them on their back and telling everyone how he always knew they were destined for greatness and how he always helped out to the utmost of his ability (which is largely true considering how little his ability is). 

Gendar, upon hearing of their success in the well of demons, summons Aponym to see him. As many as would like to accompany Aponym may join him. When they arrive he welcomes them with some extraordinary wine and talks in his most soothing and calculating manner. He does not insult anyone who is there, which is remarkable, he intead aims his barbs at others. He is obviously ingratiating himself to them and he even tells them that he can see who the real persons of account are in the Seven Pillared Hall.

To cement himself in their good graces, he has obtained an item which he hopes will suit Aponym. With great ceremony he reveals a <u>+2 mithrendain steel sword</u>. It is a mighty gift and takes Aponym's breath away.

Aponym stammers a thanks out and Gendar takes his hand gently and asks, "Then I am in your good graces?"

How do you react? Gendar is a Drow and should be accorded great caution, on the other hand, lord Sterling wanted you to cultivate a relationship with him.

Mithrendain Steel Weapon

This weapon is infused with the Feywild's inherent arcane energy.

Level: 8
Price: 3,400 gp
Weapon: Heavy blade, light blade
Enhancement: +2 attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +2d6 damage
Property: Add 1 square to the distance of any teleport you make.

Power (Daily * Teleportation): Free. Use this power when you hit with the weapon. You teleport the target 2 squares.

First published in Dragon Magazine Annual 2009.

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Maldrick's demise Session 31

The attack was on and the party raced to save the halflings. The two large assailants were standing in front of the entryway and Aponym teleported past them to assist the halflings. over the next few rounds one of the halflings was consumed in a flash and the other hung in the balance. In the knick of time Bearn manged to push him out of the circle and attampt to tackle the demons that had robbed Aponym of his life. Thunefir raced to save Aponym and keep up pressure on the demons. As the demons fell and the ritual was runed, Maldrick decided to flee. Fortunately, Nemanock was able to prevent him from escaping long enough for Aponym to slam shut the door and seal his doom. The party pounced on him and killed him and then proceeded to finish off the rest of the demonic allies. It was a tough battle and the party was quite drained near their end when the last demon, the Balgura fell dead, felled by Thunefir.

There was not much to be found beyond a +2 elven cloak and a silver key. They found some letters from Paldemar that proved his fell intentions. The silver key led its possessor to the Tower of Mysteries, where Paldemar was holed up and working feverishly on his desperate plan.

The party had a picnic, mostly at the request of the halfling, and talked about what to do next. They reviewed their options:

Talk to the mages and warn them about Paldemar while offering to finish him off.

Bring the Halfling "Tipper" Back to the Halfmoon inn and reacquaint him with Windy.

Check with Ulthand Deepgem and decide on the next step for the Dwarves.

Aponym wants to get make a magic sword. Perhaps Gendar would have had time to locate a sword more to his liking.

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Weel of Demons2 Session 30

The party spread out in the well of demons and placed the four items in the four separate ritual circles. Suddenly, it was if all heck had done broke loose. In each of the four chambers traps were sprung that began attacking any who ventured near. A big magical sphere of doom began rolling around its track and a green dragon emerged from the pit in the center. When the dust cleared eleven tense rounds later, the dragon lay dead in the doorway that they had caused to open and a tired party stared down a mist choked hallway towards the chamber that Maldick was performing the dark ritual in.

Pressed for time they took only a short rest and moved ahead. They opened the door to find a large chamber with a demonic minotaur statue and a cauldron to their left and to their right they saw maldrick on a raised end of the chamber as he chanted an incantation and seemed not to notice the party. Arrayed around him were three carnage demons, which gave Aponym definite pause as he instantly recalled his near demise in the bloody pool earlier in the day. To Maldrick’s left was a runic circle and inside this circle were the other two halflings of Windy’s crew,they were dazed and in a trance and Thunefir knew immediately that their life force was being drained to fuel the ritual, and they were almost gone…

As if all that weren’t enough, standing next to the halflings was a Balgura which caused a knot in Darius’ stomach as he recalled being almost killed by that specie of Demon not long ago, but the real concern was the huge minotaur skeleton that was weilding an axe and coming towards them as Maldrick suddenly interupted his incantation and screamed for them to attack as he took up his rod.

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Well of demons Session 29

After the room of blood the party took a short rest and pressed on. They explored the area and found all four ritual circles and guessed that at some point (possibly if the ritual was done incorrectly or if it was done, who knows?) all heck might break loose and a rock my start rolling down the passageway smushing all in its path as well as something nasty coming out of a big pit in the center…

They went and explored one last Hall that they assumed would contain the bell which was the last itwm they needed for the ritual circles. The hall had six horrid pillars in it that required careful movement to navigate around and nevertheless attackeed the party with random attack types. When Aponym neared the bell, which was sitting on a ritual table, A huge Balgura appeared next to it and five evistro demons erupted from the pillars. Wisely they all dashed out followed by Aponym who used mage hand to grab the bell and run. He took a lot of damage from the pillars, but fortunately they didn’t try to grab him as that would have spelled doom. The party backed into the entrance passage and used the constricted space to hamper the demons and they were able to defeat them in detail. The Balgura was last seen being ripped to shreds by the pillars!

The party decided to take an extended rest before completing the ritual and racing in to stop Maldrick Scarmaker from finishing his rededication ritual.

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In the Well of Demons Session 28

The party elected to repair to the lair of the gnoll huntress from the previous encounter and take an extended rest. They questioned the gnol they had captured, and though cowed, he had nothing to reveal. They stuck him in the hyena cage and bound and gagged him.

Six hours later they set out exploring more of the Well of Demons and finding the rest of the items they needed to complete the ritual of door opening and get to the gnoll that is performing the ritual to consecrate the temple to Yeeonugh. This led them west of where they last were and they entered a chamber that had several statues of minotaurs, several of which were broken, and a magical circle, which Thunefir identified as one of the circles they were required to set an item in to open the door. They then entered a chamber to the west of where they were and found a large room divide by a walk way and filled with blood. The blood was acidic and the ceremonial dagger they needed was sitting in two pieces on two different daises toward the back of the room. There were two large statues on opposites ends of the room (Minotaurs wielding spiked whips)and they noticed something moving beneathe the surface of the blood. As soon as they touched the blood the statues animated at the waist and arms and started swinging their whips. Their range was such that only a narrow space along the wall was out of reach and there was no way to move along it and stay out of the blood. Realizing this they jumped to the platform of the first statue and began attacking it trying to shut it down. Whilst they were doing this, Aponym reached the center walk-way and moved to the side to get out of the reach of the whips. When he got to the side two Carnage demons rose out of the blood and attacked him. He was holding them off admirably, they were actually joined by a third demon, but was finding his new role as defender suited him poorly. The rest of the party aided him with whatever ranged attacks they could while weathering the attacks from the statue on the platfrom. Just in time the last demon was killed and they were able to focus on the statue and end its assault.

Now at liesure, they destroyed the other statue with ranged attacks and then they were left with the unenviable task of retreaving the knife parts. Bearn made a series of running leaps and was able with moderate success to jump most of the distances and recover the knife, whose two parts magically reattached themselves when placed together. Upon his triumphant return Aponym pointed out that he had a tewnsers disk which would have made the whole effort much easier.

The party now possesses three of the four items, they need only recover a bell…

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In the Well of Demons session 27

Our intrepid heroes took a short rest and pressed on. They were confonted by three ghostly apparitions that promised great wealth but warned of peril and doom. After some tense moments of negotiation the party convinced them to tell of what they knew concerning the Well of Demons. They told all and to sum it up they said there were four items scattered through out the WoD and they must be found and simultaneously placed in four receptacles to open the door to the final room where Maldrick Scarmaker is completing a ritual to redevote the temple from Baphomet to Yeenoghu the Gnoll god. Once that is done the gnolls will assemble and take over Thunderspire.

Pressing ahead to the first location, they found it to be a hall of mirrors and the first mirror claimed them all and swallowed them to an alternate plane where one gnoll had been trapped for quite some time. They overcame him and killed him. Some time later another gnoll teleported in and he told them that a party of gnolls was waiting to take them for questioning by Maldrick and demanded their weapons, or they could kill him and die here. They put all their weapons into his large sack and teleported out. So there they were surrounded by gnolls and being marched out. Thinking quickly, Bearn said “Hey look!” and pointed at the mirror. The gnolls all looked into the mirror and poof they were gone, except for one. The remaining gnoll was quickly overcome and tied up for later questioning. The bag with their weapons was teleported back with the other gnolls so they sent Nemanock back for weapons from the area there were just in. He came back with weapons for all and they went ahead and flipped the switch that brought the gnolls back and after a bloody combat they were able to kill all the gnolls and recover their weapons.

Pressing on they found the Mask they were looking for on an altar table behind some curtains. This was guarded by two bonethrower skeltons that they had to overcome. This done, they were left with trying to decide what to do next. They were certain they needed to take an extended rest.

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Into the Well of Demons session 26

The first wave of gnoll reinforcements came boiling out of the door way that the lone gnoll huntsman had been barking into before he ran down to the next door, it was five hyenas and five more huntsment! The hyenas went charging down the hall and to the left passage after the party which had arrayed itself to meet the threat. The huntsmen ran down the right passage and turned to fire their longbows into the melee and take advantage of their pack attack bonuses. The following rounds they finished off the hyenas and made for the huntsmen.

As they engaged the huntsmen Darius moved down the hall way to face whatever else the gnolls had coming and hold them until the party could finish off the huntsmen and relieve him. Out of the door way came a Barlgura, demon from hell that had been summoned by the gnoll that was in the room in question. First the gnoll came out and stepped down the hall in the opposite direction and then out came two Tieflings who tried to follow her but she made them run towards Darius, which they did very reluctantly. behind them was the Barlgura which seemed intent on killing anything, Tiefling or paladin. As the tieflings reached Darius he smote one and then it yelled out that they were trying to escape from the gnolls at which point they shrugged their capes and disappeared. Darius had his hands full fighting the demon and the gnoll and he ultimately succomed to the onslaught as the party got there to help out. They finished off the adversaries and Thunefir healed Darius.

After the combat the Tieflings showed up and wanted to join the party, but Thunefir made a high insight rolled and figured they were bluffing, and at any rate Aponym and the rest of the party didn’t trust them. They showed them to the gnoll’s main room and they found a chest. It was locked but Bearn had found a key on the gnoll so they unlocked it and discovered some valuables and a pair of gloves of the shadowfell which Nemanock was awarded. They could have been used by Aponym or Nemanock, but Aponym felt they would be of much greater utility in the Tiefling’s hands. They proceeded to explore the rest of the gnoll lair and found a summoning room and in that room was a book which seemed to be the book that was mentioned earlier as necessary to opening the final gateway.

Before they left, in an effort to ingratiate themselves to the party they had explained that the whole complex was a testing ground for the faithful and that the party would need to collect four items to proceed.

At this point the party had to decide if they were going to take a short rest and press on, take an extended rest where they were, or leave and come back. They decided they should at least take a short rest, check out the area a little more and then decide from there.

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