The Lost Relics

4/30/11 - "The Defiled Temple"

4/30/11 – “The Defiled Temple”

Upon defeating the undead in the room underneath the library, the party began to leave and head back up to the town of Mardeth. Berowyn and Levandius first looked around and saw that their companion, Rockwell, was no where to be found. The party was interrupted by the faint sound of voices seemingly coming through the walls. Levandius searched around the pedestal where the old musty tome had been lying, and found a hidden lever that once triggered, revealed a secret trap door leading down. As the sun began to set, the two heroes descended down into a room where a sacrificial ritual was being conducted. The faint voices overheard were actually that of 5 members from the Order of the Twisted Hand cult. They were chanting in a strange tongue, all while facing the center of the room where a large minotaur creature stood chained to a pedestal in the middle of a strange bubbling liquid. The party elected to attempt to save the beast from his bonds and attacked the cultists. Taking out 4 of the cultists resulted in the chains of the beast being broken, but the victory was short lived. The final cultist, later revealed to be Mauru the Mind Taker, finalized the enchantment and proceeded to bring forth from the bubbling liquid a large ochre jelly monster. Once the monster was raised, Mauru gave a familiar sinister look to the beast and fled through the rear door. The heroes eventually defeated the ochre jelly and then began with the introductions, although the beast was somewhat reluctant to divulge his true name.

The party began to look around the room, but as they were a loud clicking sound was heard followed by evil laughter…the way back into the library of Mardeth was cut off. Gathering their courage, the campanions decided to give chase to Mauru through the rear door. The beast was especially motivated as it appeared that Mauru had stolen the minotaur’s ritual book. Going through the door towards the back of the room, the party found a long hallway that branched off at the end into 2 separate hallways. The hallways were dimly lit by the near setting sun. Painted all over the hallway walls were murals. Looking at the murals carefully, Levandius was able to determine that depictions of evil deeds, sacrifices, and other unsavory acts were painted over the top of much older murals. At the back of the hallway was a large statue of the demon lord Orcus, but something odd stood out about this statue. Berowyn noticed that the statue of Orcus appeared to have been placed over the top of another statue, possibly that of the god Erathis. It was clear at this point that the party had stumbled upon a defiled temple, dedicated to the worship of Orcus. It was at this time that the minotaur heard a strange hissing sound coming from one branch at the end of the hallway. Unsure of what was truly making the strange hissing noise, Levandius elected to scout out the other room at the end of the branch of the hallway. Peering into the room, Levandius discovered a small library with several bookshelves lined with ancient books. Upon seeing the joy on Levandius’ face after the discovery, Berowyn remarked with “whoa! Your fave!”. Levandius searched the bookshelves for anything of value, but found nothing except various documents spread over the floor with some bearing the mark of the Order of the Twisted Hand. These documents also were all written in a strange language, but the beast was able to decipher a few words…all relating to that of enchantmens, and necrotic energy in particular. The beast continued to search and found the Journal of Mauru. Looking at the book, the beast was again able to only decipher a few words: “Orcus…necroshard…undead army”. Levandius then discovered a small wooden chest underneath a table in the corner which contained the magical Boots of Quickness, and a strange black rock that is embedded into a backing of gold and bound to a leather neck strap.

The party deduced that this rock was possibly the “necroshard” that Mauru spoke of in his journal. A test of the shards’ power was attempted by waving the rock close to a dead rat. The rats’ skin split as the shard began to glow with a green aura, followed by some bones beginning to emerge from the corpse. Levandius put the necroshard around his neck, and the party trudged on into the other branch of the hallway where the hissing sound began to grow louder. Entering the room, the party saw large metal pipes lining the ceiling as strange necrotic gas flowed through openings at the end of the pipes and down into 4 piles of skulls in each corner. A large tomb guardian skeletal being was in the center of the room standing over an arcane symbol, and began to attack the party immediately by summoning skeletal warriors that rose from the necrotic enhanced skull piles. The necroshard hanging from Levandius’s neck began to glow the green aura it had before, so Levandius began to wave the necroshard in front of the skeletal warriors violently in the air. This act enraged them and the monsters flocked to Levandius…drawn by the power of the necroshard. The minotaur beast discovered during the battle that there was a large mechanical structure that seemed to be controlling the necrotic gas flow. Levandius and Berowyn battled the skeletal warriors while the minotaur disabled the mechanical structure by solving a runed puzzle. With the skeletal warriors ceasing to become reanimated via the skull piles, the party dispatched of them and began to take on the tomb guardian. This fight though would prove near fatal for both Levandius and the beast. Before being knocked unconscious, Levandius desperatley heaved the necroshard to Berowyn, while the minotaur lay helpless on the floor. Berowyn also acting in desperation, threw the necroshard into the middle of the room on top of the arcane symbol. The necroshard began to glow even brighter than before and then appeared to consume all of the remaining necrotic gas in the room into it’s core before pulsing out a necrotic wave that would spell doom for the tomb guardian.

With their enemies defeated, Levandius and the minotaur managed to regain consciousness…but the rest would be short lived. The sun faded completely and the room was suddenly covered in darkness. The familiar voice of Mauru the Mind Taker was overheard telling the party that “this shall be your final resting place!”. This theat was followed by a horrific sound that the party determined to be that of several undead beings making their way to their vicinity.

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Welcome to Mardeth

2/19/11 – “Welcome to Mardeth…”

After creating a vine horror from chemicals given to the adventurers by a member of the Shadow Thieves guild, the party was reduced by one as Berowyn was whisked away by the ankles from one of the vine horrors’ long writhing tentacles. The monster carried both Berowyn and Captain Thorley of the Mardeth Guard through the forest in a rage, as Rockwell and Levandius chased after it. After several attempts to catch up to the monster, Rockwell decided to take some of the plant attraction chemical that he had obtained from the Shadow Thieves guild member, and pour it on the ground in front of a tree. Rockwell and Levandius then scampered up a nearby tree in hopes of luring the monster into their trap. The plan worked as the vine horror caught wind of the chemical and turned from it’s path and headed back towards Rockwell and Levandius. The party was able to surprise the monster and Berowyn escaped its’ grasp. Captain Thorley cried for help and was somewhat assisted, but mostly ignored for the duration of the battle as the party wasn’t necessarily on speaking terms with the Captain. Eventually, after a streak of successful blows to the vine horror, it went into a maddening rage and attempted to dislodge the earth from underneath the feet of the party. It was during this time that Captain Thorley was taken, or better yet “consumed” by the vine horror as the party looked on. The vine horror’s attempt at a final assault on the party, would ultimately spell the creatures’ doom as it consequently opened up a large sink hole underneath it and fell into the blackness. Upon searching the remains of the dead vines on the ground, Levandius uncovered Captain Thorley’s shield which was covered by what appeared to be the living remains of the vine horror. These vines created a writhing but protective barrier to the shield giving it unique magical properties. Levandius gave the shield to Rockwell for future use. Levandius also uncovered a small key that was dropped by Captain Thorley during the battle. The symbol on the key was familiar to Levandius for he had seen it above the library in Mardeth.

The party decided to return to Mardeth at Levandius’ request so that he could continue his searching for information regarding the location of the kobold encampment. However, before returning to Mardeth, the party decided to disguise themselves as guards of Mardeth using the clothing from the slain guards they encountered on the Trade Road within the Woods of Alaren. Donning their new uniform, the adventurers rode into Mardeth and witnessed many women and children running at the sight of them dressed as the feared town guards. Berowyn managed to extract some directions from one of the local townspeople and found a tavern in town called The Staggering Peasant. Upon inspection of the tavern, they discovered it was deserted save for a slumped over barkeep. Levandius and Rockwell tried many methods of waking the barkeep from his loud snoring slumber but all methods proved to be in vain. Rockwell was able to deduce from the odor of one of the wine bottles that the barkeep had been drugged. Berowyn searched around the tavern for any traces of someone that could’ve drugged the barkeep, and found traces of dust/pebbles that didn’t look to be native to the tavern itself. The party decided to leave the tavern and head towards the library of Mardeth.

Upon arriving at the library, Levandius recognized the symbol above the door as the same symbol that was seen on the key he found in the Woods of Alaren amongst the remains of the vine horror. The adventurers entered the library and eventually found that by moving the two bookcases, a secret passage was uncovered opening up a door with a spiral staircase leading downward. Levandius had never been to this part of the library before, and was hopeful that he might uncover some ancient tomes giving him information as to the whereabouts of the kobold encampment. Berowyn, Rockwell, and Levandius descended down the spiral staircase and into a musty room that had a large arcane symbol on the floor, along with two bookcases, and a pedestal at the rear of the room that held an ancient book that had not been used in some time from it’s dusty appearance. The party also noticed that in the middle of the arcane symbol, was a painted red hand that was curved in a mangled position. Also on the ground were two skeletal corpses lying next to the arcane symbol. Levandius approached cautiously and elected to walk around the arcane symbol, but as he did, the corpses re-animated…seeming to draw power from the symbol itself. The corpses were not the only evil in the room though as two additional corpse lords entered from behind the bookcases. After Berowyn and Levandius made quick work of the re-animated corpses, Levandius decided to attempt to light the two bookcases on fire with the idea of sandwiching one of the corpse lords in between them. Although the fight ended in favor of the party, the flames consumed the bookcases and consequently burned all books as well. Taking this disappointment in stride, Levandius went straight to the pedestal at the back of the room and grabbed the ancient tome that rested upon it. Upon inspection of the tome, Levandius noticed the same red mangled hand on the front of the book, but was unable to decipher any of the strange arcane symbols on the old pages.

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The Escape

1/15/11 – “The Escape”

Berowyn, Levandius, and Rockwell found themselves bound and riding the back of a prison wagon down a dusty dirt road on the way to the city of Andurus. Each individual had their own unique run in with Captain Thorley, head of the Guard of Mardeth, who arrested them and put them into this predicament. In the prison wagon the players agreed to a business relationship of sorts with the small halfling, Kepli Longhollow, who wanted the aid of the adventurers in his plight to rescue his brother. The group agreed that if Kepli helped them escape, they would help him rescue his brother who was suspected to be in a separate prison caravan head of them.

After the party freed themselves from their shackles, Rockwell disposed of the wagon driver by punching a hole through the wagon wall and then pulling the driver back through. This however caused the cart to begin to split open, resulting in Rockwell having to hold the cart together while Levandius Fey Stepped onto the top of the wagon and took control of the horse from the drivers’ seat. Eventually the party caught up to wagon in front of them that contained their equipment as well as a locked chest. Inside the chest was a small stone statue measuring 1’ in height and depicting that of an elvish warrior. After the party was unable to discover any useful information about the statue, they gave it to Kepli for safe keeping.

Once the two wagons were in the control of the party, they set off in the direction of the Woods of Alaren, to seek out Kepli’s brother. The party found another wagon that showed signs of an ambush, with the trail leading into the western part of the forest. Although Kepli ran on ahead in his haste to find his brother, the party approached cautiously and found a campsite where Kepli’s brother was caged. Berowyn stealthily climbed the tree and was able to attack of the bandits sitting by the campfire, although this attack alerted two hidden bandits hiding the treetops. The group dispatched of the bandits by pushing them out of their hiding places, with one of them meeting their death by a coup de grace strike from Rockwell’s warhammer. One of the bandits begged for mercy and proposed a moneymaking venture, much to the displeasure of Kepli who ran off into the forest with his brother at his side cursing the party.

After some questioning, the bandit informed the players that was part of the Shadow Thieves guild. He showed the players two strange chemical filled viles that acted as both a plant attraction and plant growth enhancement. The Shadow Thieves bandit told the players of the elvish Ancient City of Alaren, and that he needed an item contained within, although was hindered by a large stone wall protecting the city. Per the bandits’ suggestion, the players agreed to use the plant chemicals to create an extremely powerful vine horror that would destroy the stone wall around the city. The party was interrupted in their journey to the elvish city by Captain Thorley and 4 soldiers from the Guards of Mardeth. Berowyn quickly shot a plant-attraction-dipped arrow onto the shield of Captain Thorley, and the group poured the plant growth chemical onto some nearby vines.

The newly created vine horror went into a wild rage, and killed all 4 of the guards and grabbed the legs of both Captain Thorley and Berowyn. The vine horror quickly turned and slithered into the forest, pulling both the captain and the elf ranger with it…

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