Tyranny of Dragons

Return of the dragon
Session 18

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian

== The Story ==
I arrived in the swamp at the house of an old hag. By that I mean a literal hag, one of the fey. The journey there was long since I had been on the other side of the world tending to Cult business and the rest of the party had traveled by flying castle. I do so wish I had been there for that. I imagine it was extraordinary as I long to fly.

After arriving the others filled me in on the events that had transpired in my absence, including the fact that Rezmir had been killed but was apparently still alive, the fact they had a tenuous alliance with a cloud giant and had struck an arrangement with a vampire. That arrangement being she would spy on the cult from within (thereby gathering more information than I could) and in exchange we helped her acquire ‘food’. An arrangement that I am oddly comfortable with. True, it will involving sacrificing live to the vampire, but considering what I learned, and apparently the vampire confirmed things are going to get much, much worse. Sacrificing a few to same possibly millions is a fair trade in my book.

As part of the deal we had to eliminate Rezmir (again). To do so we had to infiltrate her ‘lair’ and destroy the thing that kept her bound to this world. Then we could take the dragon mask she carried. Otherwise it would just return to here as it is bound to her. Turned out her lair is in the mountain that houses the twin black dragons. Not exactly a walk in the park, especially since the entrance to the mountain is warded.

Warded by the very hag in whos living room I sit writing this. She had a deal with Rezmir that she would protect the mountain in exchange for Rezmir eliminating the Oni and Formians that crossed over from the feywild. It seems that the swamp she choose to make her home is a place in the world where the veil between planes is weak enough for some to simple walk through. The party agreed to help her be rid of the pests in exchange for entrance into the mountain. Since Rezmir has been lax in her duties (because she has been distracted by an adventuring party disrupting her plans) the hag is willing to renegotiate the deal.

After a hearty breakfast of carrion stew (I don’t recommend it to everyone) we set off to fulfill out end of the bargain. Little did I know the area was invested with carrion crawlers, though thinking back I should have. We deal with the young ones then had to face off with their mother. A nasty, acid spitting creature who was in a foul mood. We survived, though barely, and rested before heading off again. This time trying to be careful as I suspected a hyrda lived in the lake called Hydra lake. Sadly I was correct. We managed to mostly avoid it by using Silence and Darkness but when it came up to see what had caused the sudden darkness (a fact I need to rethink on later) it notices Edward just as he dashed behind some bushes. When we realized it had discovered us we made preparations to attack it. Edward suggested it might be better off to take it down now rather than have it sneak up behind us later. We agreed and when it got closer Elyria unleashed on it.

The fight was shorter than we expected. Thanks to Tairen’s knowledge of hydras we were able to take it down fairly quickly.

We then made our way into the feywild where we saw several creatures having a discussion. Turns out these were the ones we needed to eliminate for the hag and they were in the process of crossing over into our world to harass her further.

Edward and I dashed out and began the attack with Tairen and Elyria staying at range for the most part. Tarien has created some new undead minions (a fact I’m still not use to, and something that I will come back to in a moment) and used them as fodder. They didn’t last very long but were able to delay the creatures, which turned out to be an Oni, A Formian and an Ogre, giving Edward and I a change to inflict some heavy melee damage. As always Elyria did her fair share and more damage wise as well.

Afterward we noticed that there was a duplicate house on this side of the veil to the one the hag lived in, only this one had an ettin and a cyclops in it. The ettin was another creature we had to kill. Tairen had created his new minions from the remains of those that the hag herself had buried in the swamp. In exchange for letting him do this she demanded two sets of ettin heads. Meaning we had to kill and behead the ettin. Fortunately he himself was carrying a couple heads, though I don’t know why.

The formian had managed to infect Edward with it’s Evil Eye so he wasn’t quite a formidable as he usually was but we still managed to take down the ettin and cyclops without much trouble. I came through with barely a scratch myself. Afterward we return to the hag home in our world and gave her the heads as well as the formians eye and the Onis head. She was able to brew us up a nice potion that me may very well use against the dragons.

And now that we have fulfilled our end of the deal she has taken down the wards. After a night of rest we will venture in the mountain to met our fates.

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Session 17
At the end of the line?

Edward Gursk
Elyria Wolfsbane
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Sven Evenhand

If you are reading this, then it should be apparent that Kelemvor did not see fit to take us into his realm. We have been successful in our quest, though the cost was high. Only through Tymora’s luck and no small amount of magic did we prevail. As Sven is wont of saying, tavern wenches favor scars.

After our brief rest in the quarters of Rezmir, we readied ourselves to leave. From Rezmir’s ashes a strange glint caught my eye. Upon closer inspection, I discovered a sinisterly beautiful greatsword. Along its blade was etched a name in draconic scripting, Hazirawn. I could sense a sort of malevolence emanating from the black blade. There is something evil in this sword, but it’s nothing I can place a specific thought on.

Perhaps I should have left it behind, at the very least. But, it sang to me. It’s the only word that comes to mind. Something from the blade resonated with the taint on my soul. I could not leave it. I’m not sure if Tyr, Torm and Ilmater approve of this decision, but I feel as though it’s a destiny of mine to use this blade, forged of evil, as a test for my own. For now, I will wield this blade and use evil’s own weapon against them.

We next elected to confront the two wizards. As we approached, we were able to make out a loud discussion between the wizards. They appeared to be arguing the best qualities of newt eyes and the best method to extract them from the frog. Elyria nocked an arrow and drew the string to her ear. She gave a curt nod, indicating she was ready and I threw open the door. The arrow sped past my ear and buried itself in the eye socket of a skull on the other wall. The room took a dog-leg to the left and the walls were adorned with skulls of every variety, from gnome, to human to orc. The two red wizards turned sharply, obviously shocked that somebody had disturbed the peace we had violated.

Immediately, Edward and I charged into the room, hoping to capitalize on the surprise. Edward had gained a few steps on me, since I had thrown open the door. As he passed gargoyles, one reached and engaged him. While we hadn’t expected it, we had encountered gargoyles before and they weren’t particularly surprising. Edward landed a few solid hits, sending chips of stone flying with each swing. I moved to engage the wizards directly before they had an opportunity to gather their arcane forces. Another gargoyle sprang to life before me, but a quick parry from my sword fended off its attack. I was standing before Rath Modar himself.

As an adventurer, you come to know your weapon. You know when your attack will strike true or fail to connect. An adventurer who doesn’t come to know his weapon earns a quick trip to the halls of Kelemvor. This was a mighty strike, I knew that it was going to be devastating, I just knew it. I prepared to summon forth the divine energy within me to smite Rath Modar.

Something strange happened. My sword flickered. That was the only way to describe the way that it disappeared and then reappeared as the strike connected with the wizard. Rath Modar also flickered. The other wizard, Azbara Jos, disappeared entirely. The flicker was startling. Startling enough that my concentration wavered enough that the full force of my divine smite waned.

My second strike was stranger still. I still felt the fullness of the strike that guided me prior, but as I struck, the sword surged and leaves and butterflies began fluttering around me. I blinked my eyes, unable to clear the dancing illusions. I felt myself at a disadvantage as they swirled around me and I had to concentrate more fully in order to attack effectively.
Azbara Jos popped back into view as a drop of fire clew from his hand. The fireball erupted behind me and I felt that he searing heat of the flames behind me, but I had other prey to occupy my attention, and butterflies and leaves.

Rath Modar disappeared and a rush of wind roared as the wall of ice disappeared. The gargoyles froze in mid strike. We easily dispatched Azbara Jos. However, the alarm was raised and dragonwings began to rush up the hall. One screamed to the back to fetch the ogre, surely this meant more trouble than we could easily afford. The fight with Rath Modar and Azbara Jos had taken its toll on our body and our resources. Thankfully, however, the butterflies and leaves had disappeared and I was able to concentrate once more on the task at hand.

Luckily, the dragonwings were unable to surround us. Edward and I were able to plug the doorway as Sven and Elyria rained arrows and quarrels into them. We were able to defeat the dragonwings and dispatch the ogre with little difficulty, though quite a few wounds.
We gathered ourselves to push forward. After a few minutes of discussion, we elected to move to the room with the runes engraved upon pedestals. Inside, we found four ogres standing guard. We offered a general excuse about dragon cult members on an inspection mission of the castle and that we needed to speak to Blagothkus, the storm giant that we had learned was in charge of the castle itself.

We walked to stand on the outside of the office door to ready ourselves. Our first inclination was to rush the office, as we had with the wizards and use the ensuing surprise to our advantage. However, greater wisdom asserted that might not be the best of ideas, especially considering the four ogres we knew were in the control room and the storm giant waiting in the office. Bowing to this wiser counsel, we opened the door to the office and walked in.

Blagothkus was huge. I don’t remember encountering giants before, so I had no sense of size relative to his giant kin, but compared to us, he lived up to the giant moniker. Blagothkus raised a wary eyebrow at our entrance. We were unexpected and I waited while Sven began to answer the questions. He became stuck when Blagothkus inquired to our alligence to the dragon cult. I began to get weary of the vague answers, and worse yet, I could sense that Blagothkus was growing frustrated without solid, simple answers. I finally stepped forward and cut through the ambiguity, no we were not cultists.
This seemed to confuse Blagothkus. How did we gain access to his flying castle, and why were we here? To this, we related the truth. The fact that he hadn’t sounded an alarm immediately or attacked us gave us hope that we may be talking to somebody who was not excited about allying themselves with the cult. We related the story of the attack on Greenest and our pursuit of the treasure taken from there. We told him of the promise we had made to the citizens of Greenest to return their treasure.

Blagothkus listened in quiet contemplation. We asked him why he would be serving the cult. Elyria, as our dragon scholar, recalled that the relationship between dragons and giants was not a particularly amiable one. Wars had been fought between the two races for dominance of this world. The wars had been devastating.

Blagothkus answered that he was attempting to rouse his giant kin against the dragons. Only with the rise of Tiamat did he believe that the giants would see the dragons as once again a threat to their livelihood. It was odd, really and not one that I was convinced was good one. We relayed those concerns to Blagothkus, who asked us if we had a better plan.
And that is how we found ourselves promised to help Blagothkus rouse the giants against the dragons. In retrospect, it may have not been the worst idea that we’ve ever had. Any fool can see that the ultimate battle in this quest will be that against dragons. If we’re able to gather the giants as allies in this, we would have mighty allies indeed. We’ll have to work out the whole giant domination of the world at a later time. For now, we needed the allies desperately.

Having secured a tenuous alliance, we were still left in a sticky position. While Blagothkus was willing to assist us, the white dragon to whom Sven had pledged his soul would look rather unkindly on a change in the castle’s course. To secure our victory, the white dragon must be destroyed.

We rested for the night in Blagothkus’ office as he spread the word, gathering up his supporters and dealing with the remaining dragon cult supporters in the castle. Once we had rested, we followed Blagothkus to the lair. Here, we split into two groups, one to the north and one to the south. Edward and I accompanied Blagothkus to the south, Elyria and Sven to the north with the other allies.

The battle was fierce. I was mostly unable to participate, being a melee fighter. My one ranged weapon, the Rod of Winter, would have been of no use against a white dragon. Sven and Elyria fell victim to the overpowering fear that all dragons evoke. Elyria was able to shake her fear, but Sven took a little longer.

With a cry of anguish, the dragon bolted to his escape tunnel. However, the tunnel was cramped and he was unable to move as quickly. This allowed us to press our attack and slay the dragon. From the carcass we were able to extract a single tooth.

The remainder of the story is somewhat anti-climactic. After killing the dragon, Blagothkus was kind enough to steer the castle to Greenest to return the treasure. We then returned as much as we could, but much of it was anonymous and was unable to be returned.
But, now, we find ourselves traveling to Waterdeep to attend a council of nations and factions. More trouble is ahead and I fear the perils we have faced are but a mere appetizer before the feast of carnage about to be unleashed upon us. May the gods have mercy on us.

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Session 16
Grind and rewind

Elyria Wolfsbane
Edward Gursk
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Sven Evenhand
Tairen Lairoth

While this may not be the best time, or location for a journal entry, I feel it best to chronicle the deeds of the party while the events are still fresh in my mind and we have a chance. Should we survive this encounter, we will have stories to tell. In the words of the prophet Mal, “We have done the impossible, that makes us mighty”

If we should not make this encounter, those who find this journal will know of our deeds and either honor us or curse us, either way, I will enter the halls of Kelemvor proud in the knowledge that I have done my best. Perhaps my sacrifice will convince Tyr, Torm and Ilmater to grant my fondest desire, removing the taint of devil’s blood from my veins and let me be a half-elf in the afterlife.

Azujhan would have been writing this, but he’s asked me to take over in his absence. He said he has infiltration duties to perform to maintain his cover. I nodded and refrained from asking further. What I don’t know can’t be betrayed.

After we defeated the patrol in Parnast, it was time to do some accounting of ourselves and our prizes we had earned. Whatever magic that had granted us incredible strength was failing and the coins in our packs were beginning to weigh upon our shoulders. With the last of that strength, we were able to change the coins in for some gems and some of the items that we didn’t need for other items we would need. While examining our packs, we discovered a strange artifact that none of us could remember how it got there.
The device was a small, oblong crystal sphere. It appeared as though an egg had been elongated and thinned. Inside of the device were a series of gears and an hourglass. A button on the side, meant to activate, released the sands and the gearing took the sand from the bottom of the glass and returned it to the top, grain by grain. At least a week would have had to pass to completely refill the top of the glass.

The mage we traded with called it a Granger Clock, according to him, a fancy but otherwise insignificant timepiece. It was a novelty to him. However, the price he offered for the “novelty” and the naked avarice in his eyes belied the actual value of the piece. Between Edwards impressive growling and Sven’s silver tongue, we were able to get the full story.

The clock was a time device. Once a week, the bearer could press the button and rewind time. The length of the rewind depended on the size of the hourglass within. For this one, the time was anywhere up to 10 minutes, depending on how much sand was released. However, these objects were dangerous and many wizards took precautions against those who would use the clock against them. He turned the glass over to reveal a mark and a name, Talis. The mage asked if we had made a pact with this Talis, we told him we had. His face grew serious. We must never break that pact. To do such would visit harm and destruction upon us. Without further knowledge of that pact, he was unable to tell us more.
He refused to hear more of the pact for fear of the possibility of his becoming involved.
After we had traded a few items, we took our leave and progressed towards the castle. We each decided to weave purple into our outfits. I purchased a rather magnificent purple cloak, Elyria wove purple ribbon through her hair and the rest incorporated it in some fashion. We unfurled the flag and attached it to a mithril spear we had found in the hunting lodge.

The trip to the castle was shrouded in fog. However, the trail was obvious and we had no problem following it. Before long, a magnificent castle rose above us, floating on a haze of clouds. For such a den of evil, the sight itself was worthy of the journey.
As we approached, twin giant statues guarded the door. While they seemed simply statues, we decided that this was an obvious place to say the passphrase on the off chance they would come to life and keep us from entering the castle. We passed through the gate and under the portcullis with no issues.

The grounds of the castle were abuzz with activity. I approached a guard, which was, in retrospect an unwise move. I inquired to where we should unload the “loot” we had “collected”. A look of suspicion sprang to his eyes and he questioned me as to why I didn’t already know. I shrugged and pointed at Sven, indicating he was the leader of our raiding party. I was able to persuade the guard that we were new and that we were unfamiliar with the layout. Then Sven began to ask about food and where we could get it. The suspicion returned to the guard’s eyes and he began to back away.

We thought we had assuaged the guard’s suspicions as we moved deeper into the castle. We stepped onto the top level to watch the ogre guards practice throwing the javelin. One noticed us, a rather intelligent one, and questioned our purpose here. While we were trying to talk our way out of this encounter, the alarm bell began ringing.

The smart (ish) ogre drew his weapon, only to go down in a flurry of blows and arrows. Ahead of us was a tower and a place of refuse. Tairen conjured a fog cloud as we darted to the tower. Above us, ogre archers began firing blindly, hoping to hit one of us by chance. We took surprisingly little damage as we approached and were able to open the door.

At this point, there was a lot of cowering as we discovered that we were essentially trapped.
Outside the guards of the castle gathered, including Resmir to demand our surrender. We decided that this was probably the best place to not be in and, by quiet unanimous agreement, Elyria pulled the Clock from her belt and smashed the button to release all 10 minutes of sand.

As an aside, I have to mention that I’ve eaten some bad mushrooms before. The effects of the Clock were similar. Time became meaningless and a confusing mélange of colors, smells and sounds assaulted us as time rewound itself. We found ourselves at the gate, the hopeless predicament a memory and a warning.

We entered the same way, speaking the same phrase. This time, we spoke to no one and proceeded into the castle. We happened upon a cave that was ice cold and eerie. Sven volunteered to sneak in and scout before we entered.

I’m not quite sure what happened in there. We heard a booming voice, but it reverberated off the ice cavern to the point that each echo overrode the one prior to it and it became one loud roar. A few minutes passed before Sven returned and, basically, had promised his soul to a white dragon. He had 10 minutes to get us back to the dragon to make the same vow. This presented a quandary for me. A vow to this dragon, the evil dragon, was anathema to all I believe in. Any such attempt, even feigned would be quickly unmasked and a violation to Torm, Tyr and Ilmater.

We agreed that the best course of action was to have me use the oil of etheralness and avoid notice. I would accompany the party in and Sven could honestly say that all members were present. They gave the oath while I remained silent.

The cavern was huge, gold, gems and weapons were everywhere, frozen in time by coats of ice. The dragon was boastful and eagerly accepted their oaths. Once I was sure I was no longer needed, I decided that the best use of my time was to use the one hour on the potion to scout the remainder of the castle.

Room after room, I explored. Each room got a cursorary glance, though I did return to a couple of rooms to get further information. In one room, two red robed wizards of Thay argued about arcane matter. One tower held a coffin and two emaciated elves. I took a peek into the coffin to confirm my suspicions, it was home of a vampire and the elves were her consorts.

In one room, I hit the proverbial jackpot. Resmir, our quarry, sat at a desk, apparently working on paperwork, or plans for world domination, I didn’t get a close enough look to determine which.

As the oil began to wear off, I returned to the party and outlined my discoveries. We agreed that the best way to move forward was to take Resmir by surprise and remove her first. We could then consider other courses of action.

I guided the group to her room. The door was closed and a quick attempt at the handle revealed it to be locked. Elyria quickly cast silence on a rock and Sven picked the lock. We rushed the door into the room.

Resmir was standing before her desk. If she was surprised, he hid it well and recovered far more quickly than I had thought possible. Our best guess is that the testing of the lock is what drew her attention, though she wasn’t sure it was an threat.

I charged though the door, not looking, or particularly caring where any further dangers lie. My attention was solely focused on the black half-dragon before me. A rug attempted to trip me up, but I was able to avoid it. Edward wasn’t so lucky as he advanced behind me.
I swung my greatsword, praying to Torm, Tyr and Ilmater to empower my blows with their might. The Triad answered in generous proportion and my strikes were potent. Resmir attempted to raise the alarm, however, the enspelled stone blanketed the room in silence. With no help forthcoming, Resmir let forth a stream of acid that hit me and Tairen. The acid burned, but I was able to twist just enough, imposing my armored arm before I could receive the brunt of the assault.

That was the last great act of Resmir the black half-dragon. She didn’t have a chance to cause further damage before we struck her down. With the last strike, she vanished in a puff and ash rained into a small pile before us. A chest on her desk vanished with her death. We were able to defeat her pet drakes with little trouble.

The party is almost ready to go again. It is our hope that Azujhan will join us, we could use his help. However, I am also confident that we have the resources and willpower to win. In the words of the poet Jayne, “Let’s be bad guys”.

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Session 15

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian

== The Story ==
So I’m not sure what happened but somehow I got separated from the others. I almost stumbled into the middle of a patrol of trolls and drakes but managed to get under cover before they saw me. After finding them and hearing the story of what they had been up to I realized that it had been a separation in time as well as space. My guess is that the teleport was somehow malfunctioning or that Rezmir had trapped it somehow. Either way, Sven is still missing.

After sharing our tales we decided to head back into the lodge. We went back to the room with the tapestry and this time began exploring the rooms to the other side. Where we discovered a most unusual site. Kobolds doing laundry.

They were just as shocked as we were and we exchanged a few awkward pleasantries and closed the door. We waited a few moments and once it became clear no one was coming through the doors after us we headed off to the next set of rooms. And discovered the kitchen.

Something about these workers was different from the last time we stumbled into a room filled with cooks. These were less timid and tolerated no foolishness. We were quickly sent on our way and we left without pushing our luck.

The rest of the downstairs wasn’t that eventful and we decided to head up to the second floor. Bosun tripped on the stairs and made enough noise to wake the dead for miles around. No point in sneaking at this point, the entire lodge knew we were hear and where we were.

So Bosun kicked in the first door we came to. Inside was what looked like and armory in a bad state. The weapons didn’t look that great and there was a hole in the roof with which we could see the afternoon sky.

After examining the room we headed back into the hall and were confronted by several guards who demanded to know just what we thought we were doing. We explained that Bosun was upset about the hole and that it gave him nightmares. They laughed and told us to keep it down and that before we go kicking in anymore doors we should talk to the Quartermaster.

We agreed and thanks our lucky stars we had tricked them into leaving us be. At least we thought we had. Turns out they had orders not to interfere with us. Information we learned in the next room we entered, where Talis the White sat awaiting our arrival.

Turns out shes a little annoyed that Rezmir left her behind and ran away after telling her that she (being Rezmir) was being chased by some adventurers. Basically Talis believes that Rezmir left her here as fodder, hoping that we we eliminate her in our ‘mad pursuit’ of the black half-dragon.

That and she’s peeved that she was passed over as a Wyrmspeaker, her ‘rightful place’ being taken by Varrum. So she offered to help us, of a sort. She would give us information, and allow us to ‘purchase’ more in exchange for letting us go and killing Rezmir. As much as I hate the idea of working with someone like Talis, even if in an obtuse manner, I am willing to for the greater good so long as her goals align with ours. At least for the short term.

She told us Rezmir was heading for a floating castle called SkyReach and that she was taking the collected treasure to the Sunset Mountains, right back where we started all this. We got other various bits of information including the names of the ranking members of the Cult and headed to the dungeon to see if any of the prisoners there might know where Edwards mother happened to be. Turned out she was there herself and had been tortured, mentally and physically. We managed to prevent Edward from exacting revenge thought I’m not sure I would have tried that hard to stop him had tried. I do know that when it comes time for retribution I will not stand in his way.

We got his mother up and moving along with another prisoner, a priest that Talis had taken in an effort to find us ironically. When we got upstairs we discovered Talis waiting for us, the kitchen having been cleared of the other staff. She told us that outside the doors were several members of the cult waiting for us. She said that they were there to keep up the appearance that she wasn’t helping us and that they had no idea od the deal we had struck. That any injuries the inflicted on us were real and not accidental. With that we left the room by the door at the other end, quickly went back to the laundry and grabbed the banner we needed to get to our next destination and headed out through the tapestry. Completely avoiding any battle.

Shortly after arriving in Parnast where the castle had been hidden we made a few inquiries about getting Edwards mother and the priest to a safe location. Elyria made an offering at the only temple we saw and we headed into the tavern for a quick rest and bite to eat. Once again we were expected and a trap had been set. And once again we were able to quickly subdue the attackers, including one Captain Othelsan. He informed us that Rezmir had laerted him to some adventurers that had been tracking her and asked that he take care of us.

After getting basically nothing more out of the good captain we decided to head off for the castle itself.

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Session 14

Party
Elyria Wolfsbane
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Tairen Lairoth
Edward Gursk

I write this on a spare scrap of paper during a short, very short break. We need to have a record of what has happened should we fail. Others must know what they face in the fight against the Dragon Queen. To those future readers, I can only offer my apologies to the brevity and lack of detail in this entry.

A flash of light and a sense of disorientation followed the last sound of the pass word to the teleportation circle. Pain flared in my ears as the sudden change in air pressure catches me unawares. The chill air felt odd after the stifling thickness of the Mere. I don’t know exactly where we are, but it’s in a ridge of mountains. Before us stands a majestic hunting two story building with thatched roofing.

I do a quick look around, we’re missing two people, Sven and Azhujan. We don’t have much time, we risk having someone notice our arrival. But, we wait a few minutes in case they hadn’t uttered the phrase yet. We finally end up concluding that they aren’t going to arrive and make plans with their absence in mind. I know they are out there somewhere, but we have little clue where they are and less time.

As we stop to gather our wits and plan our next move, Elyria holds a hand up to silence us all. She turns her head like she had heard something. What she heard becomes evident a moment later as two trolls and three ambush drakes dart from under their cover. Most of us were surprised by the sudden attack; however, Elyria was able to send a few shafts in the direction of the trolls before we became engaged.

We were able to finish off the ambush drakes off without much problem. However, the trolls were another matter entirely. As I swung my greatsword into one of them, leaving a long gash, I looked in stunned horror as the wound began knitting together before my eyes. I finally felled one of the beasts, but it opened its eyes and leapt up to rejoin the fight. How do you kill something that simply rises from the dead?

Anger welled from my chest and I could feel the demon fire that infused my soul. With great difficulty, I kept my cool and fought on. However, one hit was too much for my control. The fire leapt forth from me, against my will to strike the troll in the chest. A gaping, singed hole appeared as the troll dropped to the ground. I waited for the inevitable return, but the creature stayed down.

“Fire! Kill it with Fire!” I yelled to the group and the second troll was quickly put down.

We then decided that this had to have been a random patrol. A force meant to intercept us would have been much larger and we would have seen them coming from the house. We elected to proceed to the house, partly to avoid any other wandering patrols.
I pushed the door open, with Edward at my heels and Tairen close behind. Elyria kept watch of the forest for any signs of pursuit. The antechamber was empty, only a door to the next room. As I began to open the next door, Tairen took a hold of my arm and pointed to his undead minion, a zombie affectionately known as “Mr. Stinky”. I nodded my agreement and Mr. Stinky moved past us into the next room. We let go of the breaths we were holding, party from Mr. Stinky and partly from anticipation of what the zombie would encounter.

Edward followed the zombie then Elyria. Suddenly, the room erupted in motion as two statues, gargoyles, came to life and charged at Elyria. Tairen and I both rushed to get into the fray. Edward fell into a rage and I was able to use the enemy’s flailing dodge to my advantage and we quickly killed the gargoyles. That isn’t to say we were without price. As we finished off the last of the gargoyles, blue glyphs on the two standing suits of armor flared, freezing two of us.

There were a few doors leading off from the hall. We decided to take a methodical search and moved to the room on our right, making a counter-clockwise sweep of the house.
The door opened into a small walkway, and into a sumptuously furnished room. We examined the room in great detail, a stout, if dull suit of armor stood on a stand by a desk and a large tapestry hung on the far wall. I’m still unsure what triggered it, but the suit of armor came to life and began attacking me. Black tentacles writhed in the doorway, holding Tairen and Mr. Stinky in their grasp. Edward came to assist me and I was able to use his rage again to my benefit and dispatch the monster.

Tairen decided to examine the tapestry and discovered magic emanated from it. Cautiously, he reached to touch it. His hand flowed through the tapestry and he quickly withdrew it. For some reason, Elyria decided to step through and disappeared. For some, even more mysterious reason, I charged in after her.

I don’t know what happened to Elyria. I found myself in the woods again, with no clue as to how I had gotten there. I took a few minutes to reorient myself, but the woods were simply too thick. I stripped my armor and climbed the tallest tree that I could find. Looking above the canopy, I spotted smoke from a chimney about five miles or so. I threw a coin down to indicate which direction the house lay and climbed down again.

I had taken one of the suits of armor from the hall for my own use, replacing my somewhat acid eaten splint. However, I was already out of my armor so, I decided to don the new.
It took the better part of two hours until I arrived back to the lodge and the waiting party. We walked to the door again and stopped as a large troll with four arms confronted us with six drakes at his side.

Let’s admit something to our future readers, we were not a charismatic party. Without Sven, our “face” rested on a human cleric or a tiefling knight, neither of which were able to talk themselves out of combat.

I won’t lie, it was a brutal, brutal fight. One of the toughest that I have known in a while. We were able to kill the drakes off without much trouble, but the four armed troll was a serious threat. Each of his four arms wielded a weapon and his teeth were sharp. But, in the end, we were able to overcome it.

We plan on moving into the lodge further to find Resmir or some idea as to the plot the Cult of the Dragon is hatching.

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Session 13

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin
Sven Evenhand – Half-Elf Rogue

== The Story ==
When Elyria and I awoke we started to plan. All we knew was that Bosun had been captured and needed to be rescued. We avoided discussing the fate of Sven and Tarien but rather went on the assumption that they were still alive. After throwing out ideas for a few moments we decided to make our way back to the room where the others had been poisoned and gather any remaining pots to use as grenades. We weren’t entirely sure what would happen but since they had rendered our friends to the point of uselessness we were hoping it would do the same with the guards upstairs. The other idea we had was to find a way to use the centipedes to our advantage.

We made our way carefully back to the top of the stairs that lead into the cavern, expecting the castle to be on alert now that they knew adventurers were here.

We cast silence on a pebble and I opened the door to the centipede feeding room slowly to get a look. I barely made it a fraction of an inch and sensed that even that little bit of motion could have alerted the hyper alert creatures inside.

Closing the door we crept around the corner to get a look into the great hall. Inside were several black guards similar to the ones we had encountered earlier. We backed out and I began breaking off bits of my rations and laying them out, creating a trail from the great hall opening back to the door to the centipedes. I rigged a rope to the door and crept up the stairs leading to the second floor of the tower, closed the door most of the way and pulled, slamming the door shut quickly.

The effect was what I had hoped. I don’t know if the trail of food lead them to the great hall or if they just went that way be default but we heard screams and fighting and crunching. It last for several moments during which I eased open my door, carefully pulled the rope in and began inspecting this room and the one above.

When everything quieted down we slowly and carefully made our way back to the door. Opening it slightly we peered out, down the stairs. Seeing nothing but viscera and blood stains we crept down the stairs. At the bottom, there were two black guards cleaning up. We closed with them quickly and were able to take them down quietly. Two down.

We peered into the great hall and saw four other black guards. Two were fairly close so we opts to toss a pot at their feet. Both became infected with the poison and starting behaving… oddly. After a few seconds they started making their way towards the caverns, presumably toward the water just as Bosun and Sven had. The other two who were at the other end of the hall made their way over, curious about what had happened. As they came through the door way Elyria and I attacked them.

Six out of the way.

We scurried into the kitchen and checked around. We arranged things so that we could set it on fire later if we needed to. We scanned the courtyard and watched for a moment. Occasionally we would see a single figure in purple walking around but nothing else. We snuck into the chapel and took a moment to catch our breath. After we crept back into the kitchen and set it on fire, going back into the chapel as it grew.

After a few moments a groups of black guards came storming past the doorway and towards the kitchen. We snuck back out and looked in to see 6 more black guards trying to put out the flames. Elyria threw a pot at their feet, and fire were immediately affected and began heading towards the door to the cavern below.

The remaining guard stood and watched. His attention torn between the growing flames and his oddly acting companions that were now hopping away from him. We were able to quickly dispatch him thanks to his distraction.

Twelve.

Just then Sven appeared from the top of the causeway wall. He was dirty and scuffed, I assume from climbing the wall. I have to admit, it was slightly amusing to see his finery dirtied.

Immediately after the man in purple came out from around the central tower with two more black guards and Bosun and Tarien in chains. He said something but since we had the silence spell still up no one heard it. I started to signal to Elyria to drop our weapons and approach, hoping to get close enough to throw the final pot but before I had the chance Bosun disappeared and re-appeared a little closer.

When that happened one of the guards stabbed Tarien.

The other dashed forward and attacked Bosun. Both went down very quickly.

The guard that had stabbed Tarien came forward and attacked Bosun. The man in purple came forward as well. I grabbed the remaining pot from Elyria, ran forward a bit and threw it at their feet. One was able to react in time and managed to avoid becoming infected with the madness. The others weren’t so lucky.

We managed to tie up the guards and the man… sorry, elf, in purple. Then we went to check on our friends. Both of whom were dead. Elyria had a blessing of the gods with her and used it to revive Bosun, thinking it would be easier to carry Tarien back to Waterdeep or somewhere else that might have someone that could help raise him. We made preparations I remembered the two remaining Diamonds of Life and crushed them over Tarien’s body, hoping it would help but not knowing.

Thankfully he finally took a breath and woke up. Afterwards I learned that while I did this Sven went around and slit the throats of every black guard that was still alive. We then tracked down Bosun’s armor using the spell Elyria had cast earlier in an attempt to locate them. That was long before we learned they both had been stripped of their armor and that Tarien was naked underneath. Turned out that the spell lead us up the tower which contained the chapel. On the second floor was a library and several other guards. All of which we easily took down.

The third floor contained a chamber that was much more well-appointed than any other room in the castle. A room that we all kind of assumed belonged to the half-dragon Rezmir. We found their armor and began searching the room for the trigger word for the teleport we had discovered below. Shortly after I discovered a slip of paper with the word and what looked like an insignia of some sort an explosion went off in the bed chamber. Bosun had triggered a trap laced with acid in a wardrobe.

The acid destroyed most everything in the room, fortunately Bosun had managed to dive behind the bed and sideboard so he was only slightly singed. Still, acid hurts like hell no matter how little actually hits you. We gathered our things quickly and headed back downstairs. Elyria and I anxious to be away from the castle as fast as possible. After seeing that the man in purple had recovered from the madness but was still securely bound and gagged, Sven insisted on exploring the rest of the castle and after some hesitation I agreed and Sven and Tarien went up the central tower where they discovered a far seeing device of some sort along with several gargoyles.

Sighing deeply Elyria and I went up to help the others since she too wanted to look thought the device. We took down the gargoyles but it wasn’t as easy. We were all tired and they didn’t seem to take as much damage from anything that didn’t bear magic. I have to admit, it was a good thing we did this because upon learning how the device worked we learned that what we had learned about the black dragon Voaraghamanthar hadn’t been the entire truth. We have no idea who knows the truth if anyone, but there isn’t just one black dragon in the swamp but two.

Though we don’t know who the other is he, or she, looks identical to Voaraghamanthar. I’ve never heard of dragons having twins but I suspect it’s possible. The notes on the desk nearby suggest that the twin might be Waervaerendor. If that’s true then these too have been fooling people for centuries. Either way it just increases our need to get out of here.

Suddenly we realized that in our meanderings we had forgotten to speak with the man in purple so we heading back down to speak with him. Before doing that however we went outside to talk with the Lizardfolk to see how Snapjaw was doing and to let him know we were leaving soon. Turned out the Lizardfolk were preparing to break camp and leave the area. We told them about what had happened in the castle and that the Bullywugs were all dead as were the black guards. We also told them about the twin dragons. A fact they didn’t seem to know about themselves.

When they learned of the change in power in the castle they decided to stay and help Borngray (the man in purple). We went back to speak with Borngrey and attempt to gather as much information as we could about where Rezmir went and what awaited us on the other side of the portal. Turns out the portal dumps out near a lodge in the Graypeak mountains over five hundred miles away. We learned that he supported the cult and their desire to help Tiamet rise because he thinks the human race should be wiped from the face of Faerun.

As much as I wanted to punch the smirk off his face I refrained and simply left the courtyard. As exhaustion began creeping up on all of us we decided to head to the cavern and rest, allowing everyone to regain their strength and Tarien and Bosun to meditate and replenish their spells. Borngray promised not to harm us or attack in any way, a promise I wasn’t entirely sure about but he stayed true to his word.

When we came up the next morning many of the Lizardfolk had moved into the castle and were cleaning up the mess we had made. They all seemed happy and Borngrey was there as well, helping and being kind to them. We made our goodbyes and prepared to head out through the portal. I couldn’t resist telling Borngrey to take care of the folk or I would return for him. He simply bowed and gave his word that he would. And for once I believed him.

We gathered in the room with the teleport and said nothing as we prepared to go though. For once we had an idea of what we were heading into and what was waiting. Not in detail granted but it was more than we had ever known up to this point. Though everything we had grown closer and what had once started out as a bunch of strangers thrown together by happenstance had started to become a family.

I closed my eyes and whispered the command word for the teleport.

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Session 12

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin
Sven Evenhand – Half-Elf Rogue

== The Story ==
We now know what the cloud release by the pots did. It drove Edward, Bosun, Sven, and Tarian insane. What we didn’t know at the time was that they were seeing huge frog monsters everywhere. Hallucinating things that weren’t really there. A couple of them managed to get out of the room we were in and made it back to the underground pond. In the confusion I’m not sure who made it first but I do know Bosun and Sven went last. I know that because when I tried to tackle Bosun to try to tie him up he punched me and ran out of the room sticking his tongue out like he was a frog.

It was a disturbing image.

I still am not sure what the hell Sven was doing.

In an attempt to prevent Tarien and Edward from drowning Elyria went into the water to pull them out. Doing so upset the giant frogs who decided to go on the warpath and began attacking. Between dealing with them and trying to keep the others from going into the water we had our hands full. Over 20 frogs were attacking myself and Elyria, with the occasion aid from one of the others when they had a moment of lucidity. Tarien would come to his sense and heal someone of the poison and they would fight off a couple frogs.

Only took a few minutes but it felt like hours. In the end we finally managed to get Bosun and Sven securely tied up and we sat and waited for the effects to wear off. After that we made our way back to the castle upstairs and sought rest.

Snapjaw had arrived and had apparently been voted (do lizardfolk vote?) to become the new leader. He was concerned because he had to magics as he said, and he asked us if we could give him magic. Sven attempted to trick our friend into taking a ‘magic knife’ that turned out to not be the least bit magic. Not sure what the play was there but Snapjaw didn’t go for it. Edward and I realized we had never searched the other room where Farblax was and we ran down to grab the robe the he had been wearing thinking that might be enough to get him by. Tarien followed and was able to tell us that the robe itself was magical. So we brought it back to Snapjaw who said it looked like the robe Suncaller had worn. He slipped it on and was immediately able to start casting small spells.

Doing this gave him the boost he needed to take over the clans now that the Bullywugs had been eliminated. After we rested we began searching the rest of the castle. We found a stable where a couple of large lizards we being kept along with tens of thousands of copper pieces and jewerly. A few tried to take what they could but since most of area already carrying quite a bit we decided to leave most of it behind. We also explored the reliquary were Snapjaw pointed us toward a hidden panel secreted inside a carving of Tiamet. Hidden within was a dagger that, when you pressed a button on the hilt, would cause a black poison to coat the blade.

Finally we went into the central tower and began to make our way to the second floor. As we entered one of the rooms upstairs a raven began squawking rather loudly. Elyria was able to calm it but we heard what sounded like footsteps downstairs shortly after. I can only assume that Bosun thought something was happening to Snapjaw as he charged down the stairs. We quickly followed, even though I knew we were not going to like what happened next, and were immedately embroiled in a battle. There weren’t that many and we made quick work of them.

The second group however wasn’t so easy. I was quickly knocked out and later revived by Tarien. I’m not entirely sure what happened next as things are a tad groggy but Edward, Elyria and myself were able to escape into the Great Hall and downstairs. We saw Bosun being captured but aren’t sure what happened to Tarien and Sven. We can only hope they got away as well, though how we will be able to communicate with them I do not know.

I do know that we have to rescue Bosun. However at the moment, there are only three of us and we do not know the fate of our other friends.

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Storming the Castle
Session 11

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin

== The Story ==
After cleaning up the battlements so that our actions at least wouldn’t be noticed from below we quickly made our way across the causeway. As we approached the castle proper Elyria peered into through the door, seeing only five Bullywugs and no other we decided to charge forward and eliminate them as quickly as possible. After a few minutes of battle th Bullywugs were down save one who attempted to escape. Elyria felled that one just before it made it’s was around a tower. When no others had arrived Edwardstarted exploring, opening a door to a room filled with Lizardfolk.

Turned out to have been perfect choice. These Lizardfolk had gotten word of our intention to aid them in getting out from under the thumb of the Bullywugs. The leader, who I’m calling Dave, insisted on us taking time to rest saying that we looked terrible (I felt it) and that it would give them time to spread the word to the rest of those in the castle. The mobile hearth they had, attempting to learn metallurgy made the room warm and inviting. Dave assured us that they would take care of the Bullywugs lying dead in the courtyard outside, hiding the fact we were here. But he did point out that there was only so much they could do.

We decided to trust Dave and rest overnight. We talked for a couple hours, asking him about various aspects of the castle. He himself (I assume Dave is male) had not been to the basement but knew some that had. We asked about having a guide and he agreed, though is convinced that any that help us will likely die.

The next morning we took a bit of a tour around the tower the Lizardfolk lived in. Apparently Borngray ‘gave’ them these rooms in hopes of helping them overcome the depression that has settled on the folk since the death of Suncaller. In each successive room the folk therein are larger and a darker green than the room before. Thanksfully there are only a couple more rooms. These are apparently backup guards chosen bt Borngray himself. The purpose as of yet unknown.

Finally done with the tour we set down to further discuss the castle layout again, trying to find out if there was a way from the tower we were in to the one that lead to the basement without crossing the courtyard. There wasn’t so it was decide I would cast a Silence spell on what looked like was supposed to be a spear point and we stole across the courtyard to the other side. Elyria pressed against the door, listening for sound. Hearing nothing she edged it open just slightly and peered in, seeing three people inside.

Bosun charged in, smashing the door on his way. As made my way in I realized it was merely the cook, dropped the Silence spell and shouted “STOP!”

The cook was obviously shaken. And fearful for his life. With Bosun standing over me bearing a sword poised to strike me down, I would be as well. It was obvious the cook was no threat. I talked Bosun down but barely. Elyria lowered her bow and Edward his spear.

Once everyone settled we began talking with the cook and his helpers. We convinced him that Bosun was merely upset over the level of spice in the food. Perhaps not our strongest argument, but being the cook it worked. We were able to see into the Great Hall, see the 16 cultists, Dragonclaws and others sitting at the table feeding. We decided to attempt to find another way.

Someone suggested we go around the inner tower, try to find a back way into the cellar tower. Elyria scouted ahead, which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse as three Guard Drakes attacked. Thankfully we were able to dispatch them fairly quickly. We expored the area around the tower, the guide folk, who I’ve taken to calling Charlie in my head, informed us that there was no way around the castle into the basement other than going through the Great Hall.

Something we were trying to avoid.

No matter how we asked, or how we phrased the question Charlie told us there was no other way. So rather than delay any longer, rather than dwell on the hows and whys we decided to stirde in bold as can be and hope we could get through. Save that, we fight our way through.

Seems the latter option was our only one.

The fight wasn’t swift and it wasn’t clean, but in the end we did prevail. There were four Dragonclaws in the mix. We managed to take them out quickly, well, fairly quickly any way.

Afterward the cook came out and gave us food, allowing us to rest from the conflict. He assured us repeatedly it wasn’t spicy, hoping not to incure Bosuns wrath again.

After the rest we headed below. I could give you a step by step guide of what we did and where we went, but instead I’ll focus on the things that did happen.

First, Bosun crept into a cavern just off to the right of where we came into the caves. Once in he apparently woke a Grey Ooze, causing his armor and sword to begin to decay. Something will we have to replace later.

Afterward we discovered an underground lake with a single frog. Edward made his way out onto a islet and the guard disappeared, leaving only the sounds of croaking.

Another cavern had the sound of thousands of tiny feet, like wave upon wave of centipede lying in wait.

We went another way.

Deeper into the caves we heard voices. We weren’t able to decern what they were saying as none of us spoke Bullywug. Within a shrine of frogs we found Farblax and his guard. This fight was fierce. Farblax threw up a field of thorns, attempting to seperate the party but Bosun was able to make it through. Edward ws able to leap his way over the thorns leaving Elyria and myself to pick at them with arrows. Not the most glorious way of helping but we were able to keep the guards busy while others were able to take out Farblax.

Once again someone open a chest that triggered a trap. This time dropping several pots from the ceiling. The effects of which, we don’t yet know.

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Mere of Dead Men
Session 10

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Sven Evenhand – Half-Elf Rogue
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)

== The Story ==
I’ve come to the conclusion that Bosun will never recover the memories of his time before we started this adventure. Not because of some injury or magic interference but rather because they no longer exist. It’s strange, I know Bosun but at the same time, it feels like it’s not the same Bosun I served with on the Pearl.

I suspect that further pursuit of that line of thinking will lead to only madness.

we spoke more with Snapjaw as we approached his home. He gave us more information about the layout of the area and ranted a bit more regarding the Bullywugs, whom he seems to completely despise.

After several hours of conversation we learned that Bullywug named Farblex rules the bullywugs and that it was he that killed the Lizardfolk shaman Suncaller. We also learned that since Suncallers death the Lizardfolk had become complacent, accepting this as their fate. In spite of this Snapjaw has managed to convince a couple that a revolution is needed to free themselves. Others are interested but there aren’t nearly enough to overthrow the Bullywugs and secure their freedom. We also learned that Rezmir was in the castle.

We managed to eventually convince Snapjaw that we would help him help his people. After some discussion we decided to pay a visit to the Bullywugs, telling Snapjaw that we were gathering information.

It was decided that we would go with a story that someone had stolen the most recent shipment of treasure and we were sent to investigate. Farblex wasn’t there but after Tarien started throwing out accusations the Bullywugs said they would have him met with us to discuss things.

A few hours later we did headed into the Bullywug camp to met Farblex. A meeting that didn’t go well at all. Not only did Tarien’s accusations of theft upset the shaman but Bosun managed to get himself thrown out of the tent. Something told me that we would later pay the price for how things ended.

Finally we decided that since we had no other recourse we would attempt to infiltrate the castle. As we made preparations Elyria reminded us that we had mentioned getting the Lizardfolk on our side. Something we hadn’t yet even attempted.

So, after explaining things to Snapjaw Sven opted to give a speech to the other Lizardfolk to inspire them to rise up along with us. It wasn’t the most inspiring of speeches thought to his credit he did manage to eventually inspire them somewhat.

Using that new found enthusiasm we decided to scope out the castle. With Snapjaw and a few of the other Lizardfolk with us we walked pass the guards, the Bullywugs assuming we were just another group of cultists returning for the evening. Or so we thought.

As we reached the center of the room they moved to attack, we had been set up. It seems word of our accusation and treatment of Farblex has made the rounds already.

Thankfully the fight didn’t take that long and we didn’t have that much trouble. After the fight I decided to head up the stairs in the corner quietly to see if there were reinforcements above.

There were.

Fortunately a few were sleeping so we were able to mostly make out way up and take a few down before they managed to assemble some sort of defense. Apparently they were set up to pling arrows at us as we crossed the open causeway into the castle proper.

Now that our way is clear we have taken a moment to re-evaluate our decisions now that we know the Bullywugs are on alert. We haven’t seen any human guards or cultists attacking or heading for us so it’s doubtful Rezmir knows the situation. But we must decide and act quickly before she is alerted to our presence.

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Journey to Castle Naerytar

Elyria Wolfsbane
Edward Gursk
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Leosin Erlanthar

Despite my best efforts, my memories stubbornly refuse to resurface. I am becoming discouraged of them ever returning. Ahzujan has entered his meditations, so I’ve decided to give recording the events since my last entry one more attempt.

Having reached the end of the tunnel and looking along the path that led deep into the Mere, we faced a difficult decision. We still had the job we had agreed to take on with the HRCC, but we had the greater obligation of discovering what the cult was doing in the Mere and what roll the lizardfolk played in their schemes. Ideas were bandied around; however, the popular consensus seemed to be finding a campsite a ways off the trail and wait until dawn and the convoy had moved along to the north.

The Mere is a nasty place. The trail was poorly marked and water seeps into everything. Every step squishes as you walk. Often the water reaches to the knees, making walking difficult. Even then, we were able to keep to the trail, following the stamped down vegetation and tracks left by the lizardfolk on any “dry” land that appeared.

Our first encounter was with a group of Bullywugs. Without hesitation, they attacked, but were soon dispatched. Our next was with the crocodiles that live in this area. Crocs are dangerous under any circumstance, but this one provided a certain level of hazard. One clamped on my leg and attempted to roll, trying to knock me off balance and drown me in the brackish water. However, I killed it with a quick jab into the creature’s eye, killing it and releasing my leg. I moved to help the others.

Later in the day, we spotted what appeared to be torches in the distance. They bobbed along and we decided they warranted a closer look. Leaving our items on the trail so we could locate it again, we readied our weapons and spells and stepped off the trail. However, these weren’t torches, but Will-o’-wisps, nasty malevolent things that feed on fear and panic. Unfortunately, while they held our attention, we stepped into a pit of quicksand and three of us began sinking, including me. The others in the group threw out a rope to help us out, but were hindered by the attacking Will-o’-wisps. Eventually we were able to extricate ourselves and killed one of them. At this point it was decided to move back to our gear and make a stand there against the other two. One quickly fell as we began moving, but the third vanished from sight. I opened up my senses and the foul odor of undead filled my nose. There, it was just there. I pointed it out to the rest, but none of us were able to hit the creature. Finally, it left its invisibility to attack Elyria. From there, we completed the kill.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully. Later in the afternoon, we approached an abandoned campsite. Lean-tos provided cover and a comfortable stack of dried fish was set inside one of these. However, the camp was unpopulated and we were easily able to approach. As the sun was sinking, we decided that this was the best place we were going to see in a while to rest and recover from the ardors of the day.

As the sun sank, a motion in the distance caught our eyes. Three canoes appeared from the ever present mists. Silently, I thanked Torm for the wisdom he had given us by not lighting a fire in the firepit. We easily gathered our gear and found spots behind the lean-tos to hide, letting the situation develop.
Nine lizardfolk came out of the canoes and appeared to be disgruntled. Later I learned that they had been annoyed by the absence of the group set to meet them here. Apparently those were the ones which we had discovered at the roadhouse and attacked. Needless to say, my sympathy to their plight was somewhat lacking.

We used the quiet and their complacency to good effect. We attacked and quickly killed most of them. We did keep a few of them alive to question. One of these, named Snapjaw, professed that he hated the cult and the alliance that his tribe had entered into with them. He wished to provide assistance to us to regain his people’s independence. We were naturally suspicious, but none of us could find any falsehood in Snapjaw. We agreed to his offer and he began questioning his companions in their draconic tongue. He asked the first one a question, to which the creature shook his head and answered angrily. Swiftly, Snapjaw sliced the creature across the throat, killing it. He moved to the next and asked the same question. Along the short line, he moved. Each question was answered in the same no. Each no was quickly dispatched. In truth, one could only admire the bravery and strength of conviction of these creatures. Each knew what was in store for them when it was his turn to be asked. Yet, each stood defiantly, refusing to budge from their refusal.

We loaded up the canoes and followed Snapjaw’s guidance. Our destination was to be an ancient and overgrown castle deep in the Mere. We had barely moved along the way when we were attacked by a shambling mound, basically an animated mass of leaves, branches and swamp mud. It was truly terrifying and only my faith kept me from giving into that fear. With difficulty, we overcame the monster, which sank slowly back into the water, air bubbling back to the surface.
An hour or so later, we were attacked, yet again, by giant lizards. They threatened to swamp our boats, but we overcame them with little trouble. It got a little hairy when the owners of the giant lizards appeared, clutching their crude weapons and generally looking discontent. Snapjaw was able to talk to them and let them know that the giant lizards had attacked us. However, it appears as though we are still responsible for those lizards and, somehow, have to recoup the lizardfolk for them.

The rest of the journey was uneventful, the lizardfolk guided us and soon the castle stood before us, rising from the mud and muck on the only piece of truly dry land in the Mere. We are about to assault the castle, though nobody knows how as of yet. I can only pray to the Triad for success.

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