Tales of the Twilight City

Into the Hills

Starting date: Tarsakh 15, 1367
Session Dates: September 2 and September 16, 2012

The party emerges from the sewers and returns to their hovel to lick their wounds. During this time, Sierra identifies a number of the items found in the slave pits while the clerics heal the party with cure spells. The party tortures their orc prisoner but he proves resilient to their attempts to pry information from him.

On Tarsakh 16, Grimner charms the orc with a spell. The party learns that the orc came over as a captive to the city and, from there, was brought to the gladiator pits in Steelmeet. A tattoo on his arm indentifies him as a member of the Broken Wheel fighting school. After surviving several fights, the orc was “rescued” and offered the chance to enslave humans. While charmed by Grimner, the orc is frequently aggressive to the other PCs. Grimner does little to dissuade the orc from attacking his fellow PCs and soon the orc is dead. The party spends the rest of the day healing and selling their loot.

The night, a quartet of gargoyles sets upon the hut. The creatures explain they are there for Garreth and plan to take the necromancer to their master. The PCs resist and slay the gargoyles.

On Tarsakh 17, the PCs buy an apartment in Scabberton through Lye Hazzlebottom. The apartment is a small four-room affair in a three-story building several blocks south of the Night Spire. Before leaving their hovel, however, the party sends off the surviving Bashers with instructions that they should investigate the hideout of the Low Lizards, the street gang that last attacked the PCs.

Sierra takes Darren Gendessen back to his father, Stenton Gendessen. The PCs wait back in an alley as Sierra casts ESP before accompanying Darren inside. Coming upon Stenton in the library, Sierra realizes quickly that the sight of Darren rouses thoughts of frustration and disappointment in Stenton’s mind.

Darren explains that he plans to marry Sierra, a plan which Stenton regards with great suspicion. When asked about Darren’s whereabouts, Sierra explains that the Temple of Tempus attacked Darren and that she was keeping him underground for his own safety. Stenton is still suspicious but nevertheless invites Sierra to a feast to be held on Mirtul 8. Sierra leaves as the ESP spell winds down and the PCs head back to their house.

On Tarsakh 18, the party decides to go to the location marked on the map found in the Slave Pits. The party is attacked en route by goblins who manage to kill More Gorey’s pony. After the goblins are driven off, Garreth raises the pony from the dead and More Gorey proceeds on a skeletal mount.

The party begins heading into the foothills on the end of Tarsakh 19. While keeping watch, Celestia hears noises coming from outside the campsite. Sneaking out, Celestia comes upon a young woman with torn clothes hiding behind a tree. Celestia takes the woman back to the campsite.

The woman identifies herself as Morwin Ellisar and explains she is a noble of Tantras who was visiting friends in Calaunt when she was kidnapped, a claim that seems dubious. Morwin says she escaped from a fort several hours distant and begs the PCs to take her back to the Calaunt. Morwin says the camp is led by a hideous woman named Markessa who experiments on the prisoners and who is served by a huge blind warrior named Icar. Morwin also heard that the hobgoblins refuse to guard the second story of the fort’s curtain wall because it is supposedly haunted. The party agrees to let her spend the night in their camp.

Several hours later, Grimner is alerted to some noises while on watch and wakes his companions as three hairy, stooped men step into the firelight. They demand the woman who they seem to regard as their prey. When the PCs refuse, the newcomers change into boar/man creatures and attack. The PCs slay the wereboars with their magical and silvered weapons.

The next morning the PCs refuse to take Morwin back to town and so she heads back by herself. The PCs continue towards the fort. Celestia takes out the spyglass when they are within viewing distance and note that the place is crawling with hobgoblins. Rather than take their chances with a small army, the PCs decide to ambush Alascartha whom they expect to be heading to the fort on Tarsakh 24.

The party finds a point on the road that serves as a natural bottleneck. After killing some of the local fauna (3 large bears and 4 bear cubs), the party begins preparing an ambush. Sierra keeps watch with the spyglass as they do so. At one point, a patrol of gnolls comes down the road. The PCs ambush and kill the gnolls.

On Tarsakh 24, a caravan approaches. It consists of ten mounted knights with lances and a carriage drawn by two draft horses. Garreth and Grimner incapacitate a number of horsemen with spells before the others engage in melee. A wizard jumps up from the caravan and casts a fireball before he is pin-cushioned by Celestia’s arrows. Grimner and More Gorey engage the main body of horsemen and More Gorey is grievously wounded by a lance. Gimble draws one of the horsemen to him and jumps alongside the knight, stabbing at him with his longtooth dagger. An archer emerges from the carriage but is driven back by Garreth’s spell. Eventually the horsemen are all killed, including those who served as advance scouts.

Heading into the carriage the PCs find the elven archer. The dwarves each charge in while Gimble drops from the ceiling, delivering the killing below. The carriage holds a chest to which the mage held the keys. Gimble and Celestia search the chest for traps and finding none, Gimble attempts to open the chest. A tiny needle springs out, pricking Gimble’s finger. In an instant, he falls dead.

Garreth opens the chest and finds a cobra inside. He puts the cobra to sleep before killing it. The only other thing in the chest is a note from Alascartha to Markessa explaining that the “gift” is in return for all the threats which Markessa made to Alascartha, should the latter fail to fulfill the deal.

The party travels back to Calaunt with loot loaded in the wagon as well as the dead body of their friend. Gimble is taken by the Shadowcloaks who agree to raise him. While he survives the process, the priests require that, in return for their aid, that Gimble free one of their number from “the Wheel,” a great dwarven prison built into the side of a mountain.

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The Slave Pits

Starting Date: Tarsakh 12, 1367 DR
Game Date: July 29 and August 12, 2012

The PCs wake to find a half-elf bard named Sierra waiting downstairs for them. Sierra explains that she has heard of the party’s exploits and would like to join their band. With little discussion, the PCs recruit her into their ranks. Lye Hazzlebottom then informs the PCs that someone is calling for them outside. Peering out a window, the party spots a dozen Tempus Temple Soldiers, a priestess of Tempus, and a nobleman. The nobleman introduces himself as Darrin Gendessen and explains that he is seeking revenge for the death of his brother, Chat Gendessen. It becomes clear Chat Gendessen was the noble who perished in “the Bear Incident.”

Some party members make for the roof while others charge through the front door. Grimner is frozen by a spell trap placed over the door by the priestess while More Gorey takes on the brunt of the Temple Guards. Celestia, Sierra, and Gimble fire from the roof before descending to aid the beleaguered dwarves. Temple soldiers burst into the inn to attack Gareth but he drops them with a sleep spell. Most of the soldiers are also dropped by a well placed sleep spell. The priestess proves difficult to hit but is put down as she is surrounded by the PCs. Darrin makes a break for it through back alleys though he is quickly apprehended by Celestia.

Lye asks the PCs to get out of the inn before more trouble arrives. The PCs pay someone to clear up the corpses of the Temple Guards while they take the remaining Bashers and a bound Darrin to their hut out in Lower Brackton.

On Tarsakh 13, Sierra manages to charm Darrin and explains to him the attack was the result of a betrayal by the house of Tempus. She also explains that he must stay in the hut for his own safety. He is at first skeptical but is eventually won over by the charming half-elf.
During the next couple days, the PCs heal their wounds and plot their next course of action. Gimble goes to the church of Mask and asks what information is known about the rival faction. The priests indicate that Seril the Blade is believed to be leading the rival faction, accompanied by Clod Lightfoot and Smiling Jerel. Meanwhile, More Gorey swings by Redfires Inn and notices that it is watched by Tempus Temple Soldiers. He then goes to Ravensborough before he is stopped and turned around by guards.

Celestia and Sierra head to the Mocking Maiden, the other major inn in New Robilar and tell stories of the cowardly attack by the Tempus worshippers. Though the city folk are reluctant at first to speak ill of the Temple of Tempus, Celestia and Sierra began to persuade their listeners that the worshippers of Tempus are a cowardly and untrustworthy lot.

On Tarsakh 12, having recovered from their wounds, the PCs head to the location mentioned by the severed head (see “Newcomers to Calaunt”). There, they find a derelict house that is guarded by several thieves. The PCs kill the first couple thieves that block their passage while two others disappear down a trap door in a fireplace. One of the thieves is taken alive and he says that he is loyal to the Shadowcloaks. Worried that he may have betrayed his former allies, Gimble slits the thief’s throat.

Gimble and More Gorey stay behind as the other PCs descend the trap door to track the thieves down. As Celestia makes her way down, she is pelted by rocks and arrows. Below a group of orcs led by an ogre guard the entrance into the underground lair. Sierra and Grimner descend and enter the fray. Sierra casts sleep on the group, knocking many the orcs out of commission as Celestia and Grimner cut the others down. One orc is taken captive and is passed up to Gimble and More Gorey for safe keeping. After discovering the group’s treasure, the PCs move on.

Finding one passage blocked by a load-bearing column, the PCs make their way into the sewer. Avoiding a trapped section of the sewer walkway, the group goes north in the direction of the sound of steady drumming. The drumming is revealed to be water dripping on a drum head stretched over an empty barrel. The PCs investigate the drum, careful not to stop the drumming, and find nothing of value.

Not finding any other passages, the PCs follow a narrow tunnel cut into the rock behind the “drum.” They come out into a larger chamber and surprise a group of orcs led by another orc covered in piercings and other religious fetishes. The religious leader is paralyzed by Grimner’s spells and the other orcs are slaughtered by the party. More orcs pore across from another lair and these are similarly killed.

The PCs advance through the room formerly blocked by the load bearing column and find a door stuffed with rags and emitting a foul smell. Garreth opens the door cautiously and is slightly burned as his lantern lights some of the escaping gas. The PCs quickly move through this room before the gas refills.

Traveling through a narrow tunnel, the PCs come to a large room with two columns and an obvious grid made of large beams. The party travels cautiously over the grid when Clod Lightfoot and Smiling Jerel spring from behind the columns. Smiling Jerel is incapacitated by Garreth’s spell as Clod Lightfoot knocks Sierra off balance. Sierra tumbles out of the grid, Clod yells “12” and a trapdoor drops Sierra into the slave pit. Celestia runs over and throws a rope, hauling Sierra out before the trap door shuts. Clod is then swarmed by the party and cut down. The party kills Smiling Jerel before passing into the passage on the other side of the room. As they do so, a young man runs up from a staircase abutting the passage. He is questioned briefly before he is killed.

The party finds a control room below the passage and uses the controls to open the pits and free the slaves therein. The slaves include a number of commoners and merchants. There is also a grizzled ex-member of the town guard named Lando and a curious scribe named Tormil. The slaves report seeing a woman, two men in robes and a smallish man cross into the back hallway some time ago. Most of the slaves are freed though Lando and Tormil lag behind.

Lando explains he is a veteran of the guard, though he has been kicked out for drinking. Lando agrees to fight by the party’s side as long as they equip him with arms and armor. Tormil explains he was a scribe with the church of Selune, though he explains he only worked there for the coin. He offers to pen the party’s story for a small fee and promises them their exploits will be retold for ages. Tormil then flees to the surface as the PCs push on.

The party comes across a stairway that Grimner discerns as trapped. The PCs yell down and the door opens. A voice from below challenges the party to come down. Garreth casts rain of blood into the lower area and Celestia’s keen senses pick up the presence of an invisible figure injured by the spell. She fires her bow and drops the invisible figure.

The foes below make for a back stairway but turn to attack as the PCs come bounding down. Seril the Blade waits below with a ferocious female warrior wielding a battle axe. The warrior proves resilient and Lando is nearly killed when backstabbed by Seril, but the party is victorious.

Looting one of the male robed figures, the PCs find a map leading to a spot in the Earthspur Mountains. The map is marked with the date Tarsakh 24, matching the date Alascartha is meant to close a big deal with the Iron Throne. The party recovers the rest of the treasure and finds a secret passage way that takes them back to the surface.

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Return to Calaunt

Starting Date: Tarsakh 10, 1367 DR
Session Date: May 19, 2012

The party continues searching the Keep. In a pantry, they find a paralyzed dwarf stowed in a barrel with giant centipedes laying eggs in his skin. The centipedes attack and, though they are defeated, Gimble is bitten and is paralyzed. Throwing the gnome and the dwarf over their shoulders, the PCs head out of the Keep. Traveling south, Celestia notices the tasloi following them through the trees and at a closer distance than before.

The party camps in a meadow south of the forest. Using his skill in anatomy, Garretth successfully removes the eggs from the dwarf. The effects of the centipede poison wear off and Gimble and the dwarf are able to move again. The dwarf introduces himself as More Gorey and explains that he and his fellow dwarves were tracking a group of hobgoblins when spindly humanoids came upon them from the trees, some of whom were riding giant wasps. Running from his attackers, More Gorey was attacked by the hobgoblins and was knocked unconscious.

On Tarsakh 11, after an uneventful night, the party heads back to Barrick’s Keep. While passing through the trees, they are ambushed by the tasloi who perch on the canopy above the road. The tasloi throw their javelins, wounding Gimble severely. Celestia fires arrows into the tasloi as More Gorey and Grimner haul Gimble into the wagon for healing. Garreth unleashes the skeletal bear and then casts rain of blood into the nearby trees, causing the tasloi to scamper down and killing a number of small animals that nested therein. Several wasp riders arrive and take on the giant bear, while another clambers over the wagon. The party manages to kill the wasps and a number of tasloi, with the survivors running into the woods. After sacrificing a pair of tasloi to Mask and Talos, the PCs impale the dead tasloi in the ground and at various heights along the trees. When the party reaches Barrick’s Keep, they find the remains of the hobgoblins similarly strung on the trees.

Within the Keep, the party comes across a ruined ballroom. Grimner, using a 10’ pole, discovers a gelatinous cube that blocks the passage leading into the room. Celestia fires several arrows into it and kills it before it does any damage. Gimble sneaks further ahead, spotting a back room with a frozen figure seated upon a throne. The party arranges themselves to enter the room when a voice calls out and tells the party to come forward. In the throne room, the PCs find a laboratory attended to by a rat-like creature. Unlike the other rat creatures, this rat thing is bigger and can speak.

The rat thing introduces itself as Keshute. It explains that it is not a servant to any master in Calaunt. Instead, it tries to recruit the PCs to its cause. It explains that the Shadowcloaks are the only thieves guild in town. Because the PCs have already made alliances with certain groups, Keshute believes they are in an excellent position to betray their current masters. Keshute further explains that the group could use the dragonsalt as seed money. The PCs play along for a bit before attacking Keshute and catching him unawares.

Grimner freezes Keshute in place with a spell. Gimble stabs him with a short sword, but the wound closes immediately. Ratlings pour forth from a nearby room and are caught by Garreth’s sleep spell. The party then lights a vial of greek fire, doing damage both to the sleeping ratlings and to the ice statute. The statute begins moving and More Gorey attacks it while the other party members dispatch Keshute using silvered weapons. The ratlings and statute are also destroyed.

In the back room, the party finds More Gorey’s equipment as well as 10 lbs of dragonsalt. Further exploration of the keep reveals a lockbox in a ruined bedroom. The party opens the lock box using a magical key found in the library and discovers treasure within. Loading their goods into a wagon, the party returns to Calaunt.

At the gates of Calaunt, the party is detained by the city guard. The PCs display their writ of passage and the soldiers promise the party’s cargo will not be touched. Regardless, the soldiers insist that the PCs follow them to visit someone. Traveling along the city wall, the party comes to tower. Most of the party heads within, leaving their weapons with Grimner who waits outside.

Halabankh Ormsarr waits for the PCs within. He explains that he is aware of the game being played between Pirithin and Alascartha. Halabankh says he has no intention to interfere with the PCs’ plans but says that the two Merchant Dukes have lost sight of the bigger threat—Iritar the Dark. Iritar has grown distant and no longer attends Council meetings. Halabank says he has suspicions about Iritar, but is unwilling to divulge them until he learns more.

Halabankh explains that Iritar is known for targeting powerful necromancers who come into town. Often, he recruits them as apprentices, though most apprentices are assumed to die horrible deaths. One notable exception is a mage known as Madreus. Madreus fled into the Earthspur Mountains, driven mad by Iritar’s experiments. More Gorey remembers stories his clan told of this mage, stories which placed Madreus’s final destination at a mountain known as Firestorm Peak.

Halabankh asks the PCs to head to Elzir’s Isle in order to recover the Good Tyrant, a book which Halabankh feels will shed some light on Iritar’s plans. Halabankh says he has sent another group to recover this book but, like many others, the group never returned. Iritar is also looking for the book and Halabankh says he will target the PCs should they decide to turn the book over to Iritar.

After this meeting, the party heads to Redfires Inn. There, they are told by the owner, Lye Hazelbottom, that agents of a certain noble family, the Gendessens, have been asking about the PCs. The family’s scion, Chat Gendessen, died in a circus act in which Garreth was involved. Lye asks the PCs to consider moving and offers to connect them with persons selling real estate in Calaunt. Celestia bargains for a moving fee and, tripping over his words, Lye unintentionally agrees to pay 1000 gp to have the PCs relocate.
Deltur Hoss interrupts this discussion and explains the PCs must join him for an important meeting. After washing off the dust of the road and enjoying the attention of Lye’s serving girls, the party meets Deltur at the appointed place. The group is blindfolded before boarding a carriage. After the carriage comes to stop, Grimner waits outside with the PCs’ weapons while the rest of the party goes inside a building

Inside, a feast is spread for the PCs. Pirithin Alagost sits at the head of the table and Deltur Hoss sits at the other end. After the group finishes eating, Pirithin agrees to sign a deed passing ownership of Barrick’s Keep to the PCs, but suggests that they should also consider buying a place within the city.

Further Pirithin tells the PCs to visit Vontin Cask at the Silver Scales merchant house in Reachport. Vontin can help the PCs dispose of unwanted items at ¼ the cost as well as provide employment opportunities. Pirithin then calls Jezerin, a Red Wizard of Thay, to the table. Jezerin is able and willing to sell magical items to the party. Finally, Pirithin asks the PCs to discover what they can about the meeting Alascartha is arranging with the Iron Throne.

The party then returns to the Redfires Inn for the night

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Barrick's Keep

Starting Date: Tarsakh 9, 1367 DR
Session Date: April 29, 2012

The door to Barrick’s Keep opens and several rat-like humanoids step out to unload the wagon. As they approached, Garreth casts sleep and knocks them all unconscious. Grimner and the Shields pull the bodies on board, but the hobgoblins below note that something is amiss. The leader order an attack and the hobgoblins advance.

Garreth puts a number of the hobgoblins out of commission with a sleep spell while Celestia and Gimble pull a group towards them in the woods. Another contingent of hobgoblins comes up the road towards the keep, led by their chieftain and trailed by a shaman. Garreth uses a scroll to drive the leader into driving into shrieking fits and Grimner establishes a frontline with the Shields to hold the hobgoblins back. Celestia and Gimble fare poorly in the woods and come back towards the wagon to heal, with a skeletal bear covering their backs.

Grimner casts several commands on the hobgoblin shaman causing him first to “die” and then to “masturbate.” After the shaman recovers, he paralyzes Grimner with a spell. The Shields fight on and, backed by Gimble and Garreth, they cut down a number of the hobgoblins. Having killed most of the hobgoblins, the Shields attack hobgoblin archers below who had been peppering the PCs with arrows. In the woods and to the side, the skeletal bear mauls the foes it faces.

By the time the chieftain recovers, most of his allies are dead. The party surrounds him and Celestia cuts his head off. With the hobgoblins dead or driven off, the party searches the camp and finds the hobgoblins’ war chest as well as magical items carried by the leader and the shaman. The party then rests at a spot several miles down the road and the night passes uneventfully.

On Tarsakh 10, the PCs return to Barrick’s Keep. Within, they find an old skull. One of the Shields lights a candle in the skull and the ghost of Barrick appears. His gaze turns on Garreth and flames shoot from the skull, piercing the necromancer with magical energies. Garreth falls unconscious and, when he awakes, he realizes his mind has expanded.

Exploring further, the party encounters more foul ratlings in a dining area. During the fight, a giant spider climbs down from a tower and attacks Celestia, nearly freezing her with its bite. Though Gimble is mobbed by ratlings and is severely injured, the spider and ratlings are all killed.

After the fight, Garreth examines a book in an adjoining library, only to trigger a ward involving an armor golem. The animated creature is destroyed by the bear, Grimner, and Celestia. Grimner examines the armor remains and finds they have been marked with magical runes. The party decides to take the pieces of armor back to the city for repairs. Further examination of this room reveals a book safe. Gimble picks the lock on the safe and discovers a blue crystal key.

The PCs then turn their attention to a tomb. As one of the Shields enters, undead creatures burst forth from shattered coffins. Garreth rebukes them with unholy power and the creatures are cut apart. The Shields are then sent to dig through the coffins. The first coffin unleashes a gas which reanimates the undead. Gimble rebukes the undead which are again cut down. Exploring the second coffin reveals a poison needle and one of the Shields dies after being poisoned. The Shields refuse to search any more coffins.

Gimble finds a contraption on the third coffin that would mix two mixtures once a secret compartment is opened. Bypassing the mechanism, he uncovers the treasure within. Gimble fails to find any traps on the last and final coffin. Garreth asks his charmed hobgoblin to investigate. As Oono opens a secret compartment, he is attacked by green slime which begins melting his flesh. As the Shields struggle to light their torches, Oono collapses having been completely dissolved.

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