Forgotten Realms Artifact Hunters: Reassembling The Avatar of Torm

14. Target Acquired
Our long journey has finally come to an end

After an extended rest, we left the tent haded north east away from the nervous, prying eyes of the uncomfortable black Dragonborn tribe. Eventually we returned to the fork marked by the acid creek.

We headed eastward. The caverns were dark and dead silent. The air was no longer cloudy, but slightly hazy. Fumes seemed to flow off the surface of the rock. All we heard was the cacophonic silence. After about an hour of walking, the sound of flowing water started to fill the air. As we drew nearer, the dripping, running water grew louder, sounding like a small waterfall.

The path opened up to a tall, wide cavern. Ahead of us, the river of green acid continued, dividing the room. To the east, a small waterfall flowed from a crack in the wall about 20 feet up, near the ceiling, and fells into a deep recession in the stone floor. To the south west, we noticed a portion of the cave was completely flat and a lighter shade of stone. But dead ahead of us, lying atop a raised portion of the floor and strewn across the surrounding stone was a massive plethora of spider webbing. Sitting in the middle of it was a large black cloud of shadow. Dripping from this breathing miasma of darkness was the source of the acid. The caustic fumes began to sting our eyes and hurt our lungs.

1 Blackspawn Gloomweb (1,000xp, MM1)

After quickly putting down the wretched beast, Ana Bella recognized the illusion of the wall for what it is. Stepping through, she entered a smaller antechamber. Piled in the middle of the room was thousands of coins, the majority of which were copper with some others sprinkled in.

Meanwhile, the rest of us investigated the pool. Ten feet below ground level was the surface of the water, though we could not see how deep it was or what was down there. Morigan cracked a sunrod and tossed it down. It sank slowly, eventually hitting the bottom, revealing s flat stone floor that headed off northward.

Once again, Ana Bella stepped up, taking in deep breathes and stretching fro her descent. Many dives later, she was able to pull up many large chests filled with delicious items for the team. Other than lots of gold, we received a Skull Mask, a Headband of Perception (Tal), Luckbender Gloves (Ana Bella), a +1 Sunblade Longsword (Gavail), and a +2 Dwarven Thrower Hammer (Marek).

Done with this path, we returned to the beginning of the cart tracks, where we first entered this mine/cave system. It was a long trek, but we made it back to the beginning and eyed the path that headed off to the south east.

The track winded downwards at a slight descent wile precariously perched on the wall of the gorge. The metal was twisted and rotting, preventing the effective use of a cart. Though shaky, it seemed to support our weight, albeit with a groan underfoot. After about an hour of traveling through the dark, the track made a sharp turn upwards. The ascent was steep and required more climbing than walking.

Eventually, the path leveled out and we were once again descending at a steady rate. The wooden slats were more sporadic in their placement now, and the rot was more saturated. With a loud snap, a large portion broke underfoot. Most of use caught ourselves, but Morigan was not as lucky.

She landed with a sickening THUNK. The channel into which she had fallen was about 10 feet wide and the slippery, rough cavern walls rose into the darkness. As she began to make her way up the wall, she noticed a strange crack running up the wall. About 10 feet above the ground, it widened dramatically to about 10 feet apart, creating an orifice leading deep into the earth. From below, she pointed it out to us and told us to head down, for it must be the location of which the old Dragonborn had spoken about.

After reaching the hole in the wall of the ravine, we stood up and struggled to gain a sure footing. We could tell this path would be very uncomfortable to traverse for it was not mined nor weathered. Continuing on, after thirty minutes of winding, climbing, and crawling, in the stillness of the air, we began to hear slight cracking and chirping sounds, which Tal had identified as Kruthiks. Another 10 minutes further down the cleft; we felt slight electricity in the air tickling the hairs on our arms and neck. The air started to smell of clay and feces- both sweet and repulsive at the same time. Finally, we reached a turn where the strange sounds and smells were so close that we could feel them to be on the other end of the bend. We all had the feeling that something powerful laid within spitting distance.

As we turned the bend, the room opened up into a gigantic geode- purple and green crystals lined the wall. The floor was flattened: stone so smooth it was nearly reflective. Sharp crystalline stalactites hung precariously above a 10-foot wide teardrop-shaped green stone in the middle of the room. “By the Primordials, it’s an Earth Node,” whispered Manganese. Looking closer, we saw the glint of thick veins of gold running along the surface of the stone and many small metallic items firmly stuck to it. It seemed to pulsate with a faint golden glow. As if entranced by it, we saw seven large Kruthiks standing around it in a semicircle touching it with their mandibles.

1 Kruthik Hive Lord (L)(500xp, MM1)
6 Kruthik Adults (175xp, MM1)
Magnetic Earth Node (400xp, Hazard)

Embedded waist deep into the egg-shaped mystical stone was a glorious suit of plate armor. It was made of the same ore whose veins snaked through the stone in which it resided. It was covered with beautifully detailed repoussé of the symbols of the Tormish church and the Triad. The books spoke the truth- the armor of Feril Bilikin had indeed returned to the strange ore from which it had come. Its power was undeniable- just by being near it our nerves tingled and our muscles twitched. Also attached to the stone were many coins and magical trinkets.

As we drew nearer, it seems to glow as a reaction to our presence. Over a month later and nearly 200 miles away from home; our search for Torm’s Armor had ended.

“I can mine this, I think,” said Manganese after the final Kruthik fell down dead. “It’ll take a while, but I have the tools here. Give me a few hours; I should have it free by tomorrow night. Just keep the area clear and I’ll see what we can salvage from this earth node without destroying the sanctity of the site. Besides, once we get back to Airspur, if you stick around, I’ll give you some money from the ore sales.”

Alas, your epic journey across the wastes of lands that were ravaged by the merging of the two worlds. You have fought long and hard to find this artifact, often brushing closely with death. But your battles with band are still just beginning.

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13. The Inhabitants of the Caves
I don't think we're alone in here...

As the final bugs scurried off back into the cracks int he wall from which they had come, we turned our attention to the south entrance of the room. Although it had experience a cave in, through the rubble we heard low growling and the sounds of chewing. Some beasts seemed to be fighting playfully and unaware that their noises were echoing towards our party. Quietly and carefully, we began remove some stone, enough to peer through to the other side.

With Morigan’s torch casting dim light through the entrance, we saw cliff about ten feet from the threshold running along the wall to the west. There, it turn a corner south and continued to slope down southward into the darkness. A faint green glow was emanating from the west. With little of our curiosity satisfied, we continue to remove more stones until a path was large enough for us to enter.

As more light began to enter the room, the shuffling and growling of the creatures ceased. Impatiently, Morigan McBane lit a sunrod and tossed into the room and over the cliff. Instantly the room filled with warm light, revealing a large pit from atop a ramp that led down into it, descending 30ft. Through the mist, we could make out the forms of 4 large black reptiles who had until recently been wrestling over some large dead rats. To the north of this room, the mouth of a natural cave leads on.

Stepping forward with confidence, Marek the Silver approached the cliff. Then, suddenly, a smaller, more agile greature flew towards the paladin and glared at him, blinking Marek off the cliff and into the middle of the room, now surrounded by horse-sized drakes.

1 Portal Drake (500xp, DNM)
4 Rage Drakes (200xp, MM1)

Eventually, the beasts were neutralized and the final had been subdued, awed by the frightening power of Marek the Silver. After catching our breather, we turned north into the cave. The walls were rough and unworked- this passage was natural. The floor was no longer soft and dust-covered, instead it was solid and cracks chased each other like veins. Ahead, we saw more of the glowing liquid, as if this pool of acid had seeped beneath the floor of the preceding room, creating an underlying spring. The sting of it tickled our noses, like a carbonated ale. The smell of sulfur in the air and and slight crackling sounds of the acid eating at the particulate that still circulates in the air was unnerving.

The cavern split at this pool, one path lead east and another lead south. From the southern exit, we heard guttural voices speaking, but we couldn’t easily make it out. Between Morigan’s knowledge of history and Marek’s fluency in Draconic, we determined it to be an ancient form of the language. the only words that were interpreted were fear, intruder, skin, and holy.

And to the East, the path was dead silent.

As we made our way southward, the voices become more clear. We heard shuffling and exasperation. Most seem scared, but a few speak with stern indignation. Eventually, the weaker voices died out, leaving the stronger voices alone. Then silence.

As we enter the next cavern room, we saw a pair of black dragonborn soldiers standing guard on the ledge of a wider cave entrance that sat 10 feet off of the ground. Hand and foot holds had been carved into the stone. Standing shoulder to shoulder, they formed a wall blocking the only exit. With their weapons readied, they crouched low and give us a dirty look. One stepped forward and sternly and deeply growled an order at us. “Dak auf find nacht! Feird tum! Geeett Owrrrt!”. The Dragonborn pulled a symbol of Tiamat out of his cloak and kissed it. He then readied his bastard sword as the one beside him readied to katars and jumped off the ledge, heading towards us.

1 Dragonborn Raider (800xp, MM1)
1 Dragonborn Gladiator (500xp, MM1)

As the second dragonborn corpse fell lifelessly to the floor, we began to climb the ledge into the next room. This cavern must have been a lair for the creatures. Bedrolls laid on the floor while some bunks had been carved into the walls. Dirty leathers and furs littered the floors near the walls while the remnants of snuffed out hearths also spewed trails of smoke into the atmosphere. Another line of Dragonborn stood at the ready, prohibiting passage to these living quarters. As we drew our weapons, another black reptile appeared, this one seemingly a priest of Tiamat. He called upon the power of his god and drew a line in the ground, creating a massive wall of acid burning most of us. As we continued to press our power upon him, he kept drawing new walls, hurting both us and the two fighters who died trying to keep us away.

1 Dragonborn Fire Adept (1,200xp, DNM)
2 Dragonborn Soldier (200xp, MM1)

Eventually we slew the worshiper and moved further to the west. In the southwest corner of this cavern, a hut had been built into the cave wall. We noticed the only existence of nice things in here- we smelled incense and saw clean, soft animal furs that must have come from the surface. Fine silks laid atop some beautifully embroidered pillows within the hut. A black scaly hand feebly pulled back the curtain and an old dragonborn emerged and approached us with his head hanging low. In very broken common, he proceeded to explain to us that he recognizes their power and that we have killed all of his tribe’s finest warriors. Morigan McBane then shot him in the face. Inside the tent we found a magical amulet and a magical cloak.

To the north, the cavern descended into a longer cave. Within, the other Dragonborn were huddled: women, wyrmlings, and the sick. They were surrounded by fungus and sat wading in waist deep water. We determined this doubled as their safe house and their farm. One older, female Dragonborn stood up and angrily addressed Marek in Common, though heavily accented. “What brings you to my home? Our Home? Tiamat does not preach patience. Answer now!”

Angrily, Talindra Seryth raises the back of her paw to the female, but regains her composure and lowers it. Marek the Silver, again incensed at the mention of Tiamat, describes the beauty, brilliance and power of Bahamut.

“We only believe in the destructive power of Acid, and Tiamat teaches us how best to use it,” repeats the dragonborn woman. But as she looks at the blades int he hands of our party and the tribesmen in the cave behind her, she continues: “But we could be wrong…”

Morigan steps towards the woman and asks about the surrounding cave system. The female lizard explains:

“We were freed from our red dragon slavers when the planes shifted. We had been traveling through your Underdark and were trapped here a tenday ago when the earth moved again. Many of us did not survive the cave-in, but Tiamat saved some of us to spread his hatred of the metallics. As a result of this abruptness, we haven’t had much chance to explore this area, but did find the tunnel to the surface far north of here. No doubt that is how you arrived.”

Tal enters the conversation, asking about the armor.

“Moriguru, the priest you killed, he says Tiamat called us here, he said he felt the earth pulling him, pulling us. We search the immediate area, but have found no source to the power that pulls us. Last night, though, Moriguru had a vision. He said he was walking along the bottom of a deep chasm, much like the one beneath the mine cart track, when the power he felt seemed stronger than ever before. He stopped and looked up, following a large crack in the cavern wall. He approached the wall, and peered through. From within he saw the interior of a giant geode, and standing in the middle was a set of armor, golden like the scales of a dragon. We have searched all over the chasm right outside these caves and found nothing, though another lies past it that we have yet to check.”

“And what lies in the cave to the east of this one, at the fork to the north near the acid pool?” asks Morigan.

“There lies the spawn of Tiamat, and he will gladly digest you with his acid before swallowing you whole. And he’s not the kind of creature to take kindly to reason or intimidation. As I beg you to let us live, I beg you to stay clear, lest you be killed."

We stepped out of the room and discussed our options. They seemed to pose no threat to us, yet Tal and Marek loathed the idea of allowing more worshippers of Tiamat to live. Morigan just like to kill, and Ana Bella wasn’t paying attention. Eventually, we decided to let them live, in exchange for the information they gave and rested in the tent while taking turns at watch.

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12. Descending into the Earth
Now that the source of the odd Ore has been identified, will we be able to find it?

As we were fixing to leave the mining authority, map in hand,Tal hears some low speaking from the other side of the door. She alerted us to the presence and Marek the Silver decided to step forward and assert himself.

“”/campaign/artifact-hunters-the-avatar-of-torm/wikis/cimbar" class=“wiki-page-link”> Cimbar is is our graveyard." A large Hill Giant sdtood up straight, grasping a boulder in one hand and a club in the other. “Whatever you found in there belongs to us, now hand it over, or we’ll have to take it.”

“We?” questioned Tal.

“Dammit! So much for the surprise,” came a voice from behind a tall stone to the giant’s right. A blue-skinned genasi stood up, revealing himself. “youy better give it up, it’s no use, we have you surrounded. Stand up guys.” At which point two other light-skinned genasi revealed themselves to us.

Morigan McBane, ever cunning, urged the raised corpse of Feril Bilikin out of the building and into the rubble-strewn street. “This sickly corpse is all we came across, honest.”

The Hill Giant eyed the tattered remains up and down and sighed. “I guess we’ll have to take what you have on you, something that shiny-” and Morigan released a bolt into the flesh of the giant before he could finish his thought.

Most of us concetrated our hits on the giant, who was quickly and severely wounded. Marek the Silver roared a deathly bscream at him , causing the giant and one of the genasi to run for their lives. Angered at their abandonment, the two like-colored water- genasi fought on harder, throwing us around the battlefield and pummeling us with waves of blue energy. Eventually, we soaked up the mess and collected their purses, acquiring a hefty pile of gold.

Marauder Attack 1800xp
1 Hill Giant (800xp, MM1)
2 Genasi Hydromancer (350xp, MM2)
1 Genasi Skyspy (300xp, MM2)

After the battle had come to a close, Manganese climbed to the top of tall column leaning against a low building and sat down to take a breath. He pulled out his water skin and raised it to his lips. With his eyes pointing skyward, his face grew cold as he dropped the water skin to the floor beneath him. Following his gaze, we saw him staring at a small floating earthmote as is drifted through the sky slower than the clouds above it.

“That’s it!” he yelled. “That’s why they move!” Manganese jumped off of the column and stumbled to the floor. He headed toward us while his eyes jumped from mote to mote. “Clockwise, you see, they all go clockwise.” What does that remind you of? Gavail, Marek, and Morigan all mention a clock, while Ana Bella, after thinking for a moment, mentions a drain.

“Exactly! It’s like water in a drain, and what do you think has the ability to draw in the motes, what do you think has the density and force to attract them?” We all looked at each other with blank stares. “An earth node has that power. And I bet, the source of your armor is somewhere near that node.”

Morigan stepped forward, describing what he knew of nodes, "Streams of invisible power run beneath the earth, occasionally crossing and collecting in a single spot like river flowing into a lake. Such rare collection points are called earth nodes. An earth node’s power isn’t visible to the naked eye, but such points are often eerily beautiful or bizarre.

Gavail submitted his own Arcane knowledge of nodes A node can be used as if it were a permanent teleportation circle. An arcane caster in the node’s power field can tap into its magic, increasing their ability to cast spells.

As we looked to the horizon and compared our map to the motes meandering through the sky, you realize that they are likely circling the mine that Feril Bilkin’s note spoke of. “I’ve always wanted to study a node, would you mind me tagging along once again?” asks Manganese.

Soon after we gathered our things and head out to the source. Heading east from Cimbar, we walked gingerly over rough terrain and torn plains for about 10 hours before seeing the remnants of what was once a very small and very old town. The only recognizable bits of civilization were chipped fallen stones that seemed to have once been a guard tower. A quick comparison to the map led us to believe the mine to be little more than an hour’s trek south. The sun was kissing the horizon, throwing streams of purple and red light overhead. The floating motes dropped enormous eerie shadows that acted as small snippets of night.

We could all taste the excitement in the air, the air was electrified as if a storm had just passed. Some time later, we came across a small hill protruding from the otherwise flat plains. In the north face of the hill a wooden gate covered in dirt and vines lay, angled like a cellar door. Lavender shoots up from between the slats, filling the air with a sweet aroma. A rusted metal lock holds it in place. Dropping to his haunches and drawing a hammer, Marek broke the lock with a thick snapping sound, kicking up flecks of rust and dirt into the air.

The gate slid open with a loud creak and slammed down against the side of the hill, breaking off of its hinges and sliding down the hill. The sweet lavender smell gave way to a dusty earth smell of stale air. Ahead of us was a dark tunnel, heading straight down into the depths of the earth. No sound came from within, no drafts wafted up to greet us. Along the side was a very soggy rotten ladder. It didn’t look to be at all usable. Morigan chipped at the wooden beams framing the door, noting their soft, rotted core. She didn’t recall seeing any heavy boulders or trees nearby, and a quick scan of the horizon didn’t help either.

As she began to anchor pitons into the ground and secure rope to them, Tal tied a sunrod to the other end of the rope and let it go. As it fell down the shaft, we noted that it the rope ended bbefore the ground, so we pulled it up to affix another rope. Meanwhile, Marek remembered his magical bracers and began to descend on his own. George soon followed, with Gavail Pontiff hanging onto his pet for dear life. The rest of us continued after them slowly via the rope.

We descended into a large squared room with a rocky, dusty floor. The ceiling to this old mine was precariously held above by rotting, warped support beams. The air was stale and heavy and it was utterly dark. We felt particles floating around us, impossible not to breathe in. An old mining cart track ran along the walls and disappeared off into two holes in the walls, one on either side of the south wall. The thresholds of the exits dropped off into darkness, but a crudely built, rotting wooden rail had been erected for protection. There were about 10 mining carts in this room, six of which seem to still be usable. Three storage crates were also resting along the south wall; between the exits. Inspection revealed 6 torches and some old hammers.
Both sets of tracks descended into the darkness, although the rails on the west track were in much better shape, it lacked most cross beams. The track heading off on the east had rails that were twisted and rusted, but the crossbeams seem strong enough to hold our collective weight.

Excited by the thrill of riding a mine cart into what would very likely be her undoing, Morigan McBane affixed one torch to each corner of her cart and bobbed down the track. As she slid forward, she bid her teammates goodbye, and yelled out load as the track began to descend into the earth. The rest of us wanted to go along, but Marek was shaking in his plate armor, afraid that he would not be able to hold on. We kicked the rails and knocked on them as a sign of their integrity, and eventually convinced the dragonborn to suit up and hang on.

We stepped into the carts, Marek in front, then Tal and Ana Bella, followed by Gavail in the caboose ( George was ordered to continue on “foot”) and bobbed our way to the threshold. Our speed started off slow and steady, but started to adamantly pick up. Sparks emanated from the track as it vibrated beneath us. The hissing of metal on metal was almost unbearable, resulting in Tal and Ana Bella to be thrown from their carts. Unexpectedly, the carts quickly shifted to the right, but Marek and Gavail held on, as had Morigane moments before.

The turns started coming more frequently. Next, we felt the cart rising and descending at an unnatural rate. Eventually, we were all thrust upwards enough for the cart to lose contact with the rails, slamming us back down into the cart. The shaking that our carts had received seemed like too much for the rotting wood and warped metal to take. A piece broke from the bottom of Morigan’s cart and lodged itself in the track, but we were all able to shift our weight away in time. Finally, the speed started to reduce and the track begans to level out. Unfortunately, a portion of the track up ahead had been dented by a falling rock, and it took all of our weight and effort to steady the cart, which it seems only Gavail was able to do.

As Gavail saw the floor return beneath the tracks, she knew that her ride in Space Mountain had come to an end. Emerging from the darkness and dust before her, glints of steel appeared. Through the dusty air, she realized an array of spears had been embedded into the wall and that she was heading straight for them. Luckily, she managed to fey step out of the cart in time, and tumble to the soft dusty floor as the cart turned to the left, underneath the spears, and safely rode the track along the wall and coast to a stop.

As Gavail gets to her feet, she surveys the room. She notices the five other carts ahead of hers on the track all empty. Additionally, there are two more mining carts on the tracks and one buried at the end of the track in the southwest corner of the room. A hallway leads off from this room to the south east, but it is mostly covered in fallen earth. Pulling up some crates and barrels along the east wall, Gavail decided to make some tea and meditate as she waited for her friends to arrive.

Meanwhile, Tal and Ana Bella, after having tumbled from their cart and falling into the darkness, landed with a heavy thud on soggy ground. They heard their friends speeding off into the distance, the echoes singing off the cavern walls. The channel into which they had fallen was about 10 feet wide and the slippery, rough walls rose into the darkness. After 30 minutes of walking forward, they stopped when they noticed what seemed to be a floating, glowing mace in the air up ahead. Ana Bella, attracted by the glow reached for it, instantly becoming engulfed with a gelatinous cube.

1x Gelatinous Cube (400xp, mm1)

Further ahead, Marek lands with a loud clang onto the soft ground as Morigan calls up to Gavail Pontiff as she rode by overhead. Morigan headed towards where Marek lay on the ground and helped him to his feet. “a Hell of a bump there, huh. Looks like teh wizard didn’t have any difficulty.” They discussed climbing up to the track again and possibly traversing to the end of the line, but decided the floor was a safe enough passage.

The forged ahead for a while, wading through the sick air. Soon, a putrid acidic filled the air. Through the darkness, a shiny yellow shadow began to writhe towards them. While [[:morigan | Morigan] began plotting a way past the ooze, Marek and the beast met each other in pitched battle, which ended quickly and with little damage to our heroes.

Eventually we trickled into the room where [[:gavail-pontiff | Gavail] lay, nodding off and enjoying tea. We rested for a bit, commenting on the ride in the carts. As we searched the room, we saw some of the rubble begin to shift. We thought it may have just be the settling of the room, but then again…

2 Rot Scarab Swarms (350xp, MM1)
2 Tangler Beetles (200xp, MM1)
2 Fire Beetles (100xp, MM1)

After Gavail burned off the last of the swarms, we turned our attention to the stoney hallway to the south. Down the hall, through the rubble, we heard low growling and sounds of chewing. Some beasts seemed to be fighting playfully and unaware that their noises were echoing towards us. We estimate that it’ll take roughly 30 minutes to clear a path through the stone.

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11. Searching Through the Ruins of a Once Great City
This dead city holds the location of the birth of Torm's armor.

Our eyes swayed over a network of extensive ruins. The air was thick with the sounds of howling wind and scurrying rats. Moss and shrubbery had taken over much of the city that was here. The floor was cracked and chaotic, with peaks rising as high as 50 feet in some places and pits and chasms reaching a dozen or more feet across. It’s obvious to see how nobody could have survived the torment that this city received during the shift with Abeir.

Manganese stepped forward and motioned towards the city. “Somewhere in this mess lies the shop of of your armorer. In it may lie the armor you seek, or more likely clues to where the strange ore was mined. Likewise, we should also seek out the Mining Authority, for it will contain records of mines in the region, their foreman, and their contents. I say we get cracking. Where to first?”

With Manganese leading the way, we tried the armorer’s shop first. It took a couple hours to find it amongst the rubble, and we arrived pretty deep into the night. We came upon an austere storefront nestled between the remains of another smith and a bakery. The air was still and very dusty. A large crack spread along the floor just feet from the doorway. Manganese tried to tiptoe around it, but lost his footing when a loose stone gave way, sending him falling into the floor beneath. Through his bumbling idiocy, Manganese alerted the lurking Sword Wraith to our presence.

1x Sword Wraith (deleveled) (1300xp, MM1)

Once the ghost of Feril Bilikin has been relieved of his tormented existence, we explored the shop’s remains. From within a close downstairs, we found to beautifully crafter steel plate armor sets, and one menacing looking set made of large red scales. We also discovered a small opened lockbox filled with gold and a pair of magical gloves. Lastly, we discovered the decayed skeleton of Feril Bilikin himself. In the pocket of his rotted and tattered britches we found a letter:

“Feril my boy, When will you come back home? We all miss you here in Landovar Ridge. Your brother’s leg is much better; he managed to get you another few pounds of that strange ore you requested.

“I’m thinking we should move to Cimbar with everyone else; the mine seems to have dried up; but you know how stubborn your father is. I hope all is well for you there. Please visit us soon.

Your dear mother, Lucia.”

With the news that Bilikin’s mysterious ore had come from an area near the village of Landovar Ridge, we knew we were that much closer to finding the artifact. Unfortunately, none of had heard of the town, so onwards to the Mining Authority we went, but not before Gavail raised the corpse of Feril Bilikin with his scroll of Undead Servitor and Morigan set fire to the place while we were still within.

Now that we had a somehwat stronger lay of the land, we continued on another search throiugh the ruins of Cimbar. Which, a couple hours later, as the moon grows more full and the night colder, we stumble upon.

With some effort, we pushed open the the door. The room was dusty and dry, the smell of coal hung in the air. Ahead of was a large hole in the floor. Through it, we could see down into the basement. Cracks crept up the walls. With a moment of zealous impatience, Morigan leaped over the gash in the floor and into the darkness, leaving his companions at the doorway. Through the cloudy darkness, he saw a faint glow around a short, squat, armored figure. Before he could react, the creature dissapeared and the glow surrounded Morigan. With a smile on his face, he turned towards his allies and shot a bolt from his crossbow.

2x Ghost Legionnaires (800xp, MM2)

Eventually the creature was shunted out of our friend, and a direct battle began between us, the Artifact Hunters, and a pair of confused, undead dwarves dead set on defending their mine. Once the threat had ended, we took to the bookshelves, searchign for for details on Feril Bilikin’s mines. After a moment of flipping through rotting books and folders, tTal found Bilikin’s Mining License Application, which revealed the location of his shop in town and his mine’s license number. Now all we needed was a map of the mines with which to cross reference and we’ll know where to head next.

And while nothing more than gold was to be discovered at this level, we descended downstairs to find our last bit of information. At the bottom, we found a large room, more personal than the business in the front. Again, an attack came upon us. Two wailing ghosts floated towards us from different directions, again hindering our advance.

2x Wailing Ghost (700xp)

Once their screams subsided, we searched through storeroom and more documents with care, save for another rockslide or crashing floor. Eventually, we discovered a Map of Mines, deatiling the locations of each, labeled by license number. Manganese confirmed that he can take us there, so we gathered the rest of our loot and headed upstairs with the taste of impending victory on our lips.

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10. The Banish Threat Inside the Earth Mote (Part 2)
We encounter the queen of this cult

The following morning, we awoke from the hobgoblins quarters on the second level of the dungeon. Making our way back to the descending spiral staircase, we could only imagine what more terrors Bane had in store, and what pain had been wrought upon the poor genasi.

We were dozens of feet below the surface when we had reached the end of the staircase. The final landing lead to a mossy floor covered in slippery fungus. The large iron doors before us were locked tight. It took the teamwork and focus on Morigan’s thieve’s tools to unlock the bitch, and the combined strength of Sleepy and George to slide the massive doors open. As we peered through the crack, we spotted a small array of open coffins, and four harbingers of death standing at alert attention. The smell of rot filled the air.

1x Battlewight Commander (700xp, MM1)
2x Wight (200xp, MM1);
1x Deathlock Wight (175xp, MM1)
4x Vampire Spawn Fleshripper. (50xp, MM1).

As thine final beast lay dead in final silence, we began to search this lair. Inside the coffins we found 22 PP, 216 GP, and a Shroud of Revival. The various tables and bookshelves in the room seemed to offer nothing of value, for all the pages were damp, torn, or rotting away. The far end of the chamber split in two directions, one hallway heading north and one leading to the south. Peering through to the north, we saw an end in rubble, and a small golden idol tucked in the corner. Talindra Seryth, ensnared by the golden glint of ancient treasure, lurched towards it, unable to notice the weaknesses in the structure above. The sexpartite vaulting descended down upon her, but she was able to survive the the falling debris by retreating safely out of the corridor. When the stones fell their last, Morigan carefully headed down to retrieve what was, upon closer inspection, a worthless copper statue of a scarab plated in gold.

Morigan angrily tossed the statue at us and sauntered off towards the south hallway. Luckily, her wits were with her as she noticed a Spear Gauntlet trap before it was too late. We slowly made our way down the hallway, testing and inspecting each individual floor panel before finally being able to deactivate the trap proper. finally, we were once again faced with another, albeit smaller, descending spiral staircase. From below, we hear the echoing voice of a woman humming a south-eastern tune.

At the bottom of the stairs, we were once again presented with a door. This time, the door was slightly ajar, as if inviting us to enter. When we passed through the threshold, we entered a long hallway that made way to small flight of stairs which lead to a large open room. Marek the Silver continued onwards first. In the distance he reported seeing a large pile of dry bones, and past that, a large, plush throne upon which sat a beautiful red-headed human, humming to herself. On either side of her were a pair of braziers, the fires in which blazed with rage.

“You may approach, heathens,” she said slyly in Elven. “Tell me, what has brought you here?” She urged us to approach, offering complaints of her interrupted meal and the disgusting sound of common and dwarven. It seemed, though, that once she noticed the Scathebeast sliding into her chamber, she began to salivate. “I haven’t had ”/campaign/artifact-hunters-the-avatar-of-torm/wikis/scathebeast" class=“wiki-page-link”> Scathebeast in so long," she said. “Would you care to join me for dinner?” Gavail, with bluff, stealth, and speed was able to launch an attack at the woman in defense of his pet, but it failed to land.

I looked like a battle would ensue, as this beautiful woman, whom before writhed with class, now writhed with beetles, dissolving before our eyes. The fight was diffucult, and strained much of our health and abilities, but finally she was put down as Morigan charged into one of the flaming braziers and burnt the last of her scurrying mass into ashes.

1x Lamia (1400xp, MM1)

We caught our breath and looked around. Once again, a large set of iron doors placed behind the throne stopped our advance. A large symbol of Bane, at least 7 feet wide, had been painted onto the surface. From what we could tell, no lock held these doors shut, but there were large swaths of blood and palm prints all over it. Consulting his knowledge of evil cults, Gavail recalled stories of divinely placed locks that required personal sacrifice to open. In order to open the door, you need to cut yourself and press your blood against it. Gavail Pontiff obliged, and summarily contracted Cackle Fever, but not before opening the door.

Behind the large doors we found a dank area where the walls were lined with cells and devices of torture. Many corpses populated these cells. Hiding under a pile of rotting corpses and entangled in there entrails, Marek saw something shifting. A little brown genasi hand twitched. Asking for his identity and coaxing him out, the creature hidden beneath death sprang to life, throwing the corpses off of him.

“You’ve come to rescue me!” exclaimed Manganese. “Pull the elver on the far wall, over there, to unlock the cell. It was terrible, every time those beasts would touch me, my skin would crawl. The evil woman told me that she needed my skeleton- that no one else would do. She kept saying ‘Soon, my prey, soon I will be whole, and soon you will be as I.’ By the primordials’ will, you have saved me!” We accepted the genasi’s gratitude and explained our mission, introducing his place in it. “Please, take me home- I sure can use a stiff drink.”

We had no trouble returning to the surface, deciding to momentarily investigate the small trapped door that we had previously bypassed. Within it, we discovered a very lengthy ladder cut into the walls of a deep descending well, leading to a landing nearly at the bottom tip of the mote. At the end, a small pair of bracers hung from a hook on the wall. Using these new magical implements, our climb back to the cliff was rendered much simpler.

Soon we made your way back to Airspur, proud of the destruction we had visited upon Bane’s temple. As we entered Gaia’s Bosom, Shale and Manganese rushed into each other’s arms and exchanged a big hug. Gregorio, who was sitting at the bar when we entered, slammed his drink on the bar and said “Praise the gods, our friends once again come to the rescue.” He wrapped his wide dwarven arms around the brothers, smothering them both.

As the night continued, stories were told of the horrors wrought on the poor genasi and we told him that we are headed to Cimbar. Manganese explained that he is familiar with the area, and that he would love to be our guide. He also wanted to research the motes that fly over the ruins, for he always wondered why those don’t stay put while others do. And finally, as a valiant
thank you, he offered us some gifts for saving his life (Bracers of Defense and a Sustaining Cloak).

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9. The Banish threat Inside the Earth Mote
We entered to save Manganese, but will we be the ones who need saving?

Once we had all arrived safely atop the earth mote, we surveyed the area. The ground was mostly reddish dirt and patches of green grass. The sun was beginning to set behind the old, small stone building that sat in the middle of the mote with two gigantic stone doors that faced east. In front of the doors a large pile of humanoid bones, picked clean and smooth, left an ominous presence. The claw of Bane was painted hastily on the doors, as if to greet the darkness. Standing as sentries on either side sit large iron, unlit braziers.

Closer to the edge, north east of the building, a small hatch sits open, leading to a hole in the earth.

We circled the small building and notice the ceiling descended abruptly to the west, leading us to believe the entrance dropped beneath the surface and deeper into the body of the mote. Marek the Silver approached the door first, and tried to shoulder it open. it moved only slightly under his weight. A couple more pushed and the doors seemed to hardly notice the effort. Finally, a great push was made by Morigan McBane with the assistance of Sleepy, Marek the Silver, and George, pushing the great stone slabs inward enough to grant access to the stairs that sank past the threshold.

The air was cold, releasing a gust of wind that made the candles lining the walls flicker wildly. The stairs went down for 20 feet before revealing a long corridor ending with a set of doors and two more corridors, one heading off to the north and one to the south. As Tal stepped onto the landing, she heard a slight clicking sound and turned to see a dart flying towards her. She dodged the dart, but the rest of her team wasn’t as lucky.

With the screams that ensued, a violent trio of Quicklings burst into action trying desperately to stave off the attack on their home. Alas, they weren’t quick enough to survive our onslaught.

3x Quickling Runner (400xp, MM1)

After the final beast’s knife slashes became no mroe than twitches, Marek the Silver collected a new Sacrificial Longsword and Morigan scored a pair of Alchemy Gloves. We slowly descended the stairs and soon came across another level below the previous. While the stairs continued deeper into the mote, we decided to search for Manganese on this level. As before, Talindra Seryth snuck ahead, searching for traps and enemies. In a wave of impatience, Morigan blasted down the hallway and into another waiting trap, again announcing to the beasts beyond that prey had entered their home.

1x Hobgoblin Hand of Bane (700xp, MM1)
2x Hobgoblin Warcaster (150xp, MM1);
3x Hobgoblin Warrior (88xp, MM1)

A small troop of Hobgoblins fought valiantly to their deaths while Tal continued to explore to the south. She spotted a set of keys nailed to the wall, but more aptly spotted the trapped floor before it. Morigan, who was also alerted to the trapped floor, decided it would be the best way to rid himself of the nuisance that is George.

As Morigan urged the Scathebeast onto the platform, Tal screeched in warning to Gavail, but was also heard by the band of barghests and ogres who came running down the hall with the promise of blood.

1x Hobgoblin Fleshcarver (500xp, MM2)
2x Ogre Thug (150xp, MM1)
3x Barghest Savager (175, MM2)

After the final battle ended, the keys were retrieved and the final door was opened, revealing a a magic circle used to heal and create wights. With anger in their hearts, Talindra Seryth and Gavail took to it’s destructions, but the necrotic retaliation of the area nearly killed Gavail while it only momentarily singed Tal. From the far table we collected some magical scrolls: Comrades’ Succor, Bolster Object, Thunderstone, Corpselike Visage, Smokestick, and Undead Servitor.

Finally, our energy spent, we decided to barricade ourselves in the hobgoblin’s room and sleep for the night.

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8. Onward towards Cimbar (Part 3)
With renewed vigor, the PCs find a shortcut- by sea.

After the death of the final bandit, we licked our wounds, caught our breath, and rested for the night. We were also pleased to come across Aramat, an elf rogue who had escaped her shackles and helped us to fight the Genasi and his band of brigands. A new female is always welcome in the party, we thought as we looted the corpses around us.

All together, we collected 618gp, a Circlet of Second Chances, Bracers of Archery, a Vicious Fullblade, and Leather Shockweave Armor.

Bandits Encounter 1525xp
1 Human Mage (175xp, MM)
4 Human Bandits (500xp, MM)
2 Fey Panthers (350xp, MM)
1 Genasi Stoneshield (500xp, MM2)

●Days 1: We arrived at Alaghon, the capital of Turmish. While at the market, we overheard a conversation between two traders that a ship was leaving from Sapra for Airspur in two days. Everyone in town was railing against the captain for being foolhearted- the trip would be too dangerous. After consulting your map, we realized that if we were to make it to Sapra in time, we must hurry and there would be no time for rest.

Mounting our horses and Scathebeast, we rushed eastward. Some of scouted ahead, looking for the best route, while others massaged our beasts, pushing them beyond their natural limits. Trying as a hard as we could, we couldn’t arrive in time for the ships departure, but luck was on our side- the same bad weather that slowed our progress had moored the ship at dock for another day.

●Days 2: We arrived in Sapra. When we arrived at the docks, we saw a crowd gathered around the only manned ship, aptly named Umberlee’s Vagina. The captain, desperately trying to ignore the sneers and jests of onlookers attempted to make sure his goods were safely on board. He was a taller than normal dwarf with blond hair and an impatient but stern demeanor. We introduced ourselves and asked for passage to Airspur.

“So you want passage” said the dwarf while not taking his attention away from the dockworkers. “60 gold each. I might be able to make some room, but I’d have to drop some cargo. Therefore, 60 gold each. And that’s a good deal considering I’m the only one who has the balls to sail the Sea of Fallen Stars anymore, what with the Sahuagin and the Aboleth’s running about.” The dwarf cursed at a small blue-haired gnome who had dropped a barrel of limes.

Morigan McBane approached the captain and offered our defensive services in exchange for a lower rate. Offended by the insinuation that he and his crew couldn’t handle their own, he raised the price to 65 gold. Rather than risk raising the stakes once again, we accepted the fee.

Meet me here in a couple hours and we’ll be off. My name is Gregorio by the way. Welcome aboard Umberlee’s Vagina, said the captain, his demeanor noticably warmer after gold had exchanged hands. Before we set sail, some of us ventured intot he city to restock on supplies while Morigan McBane made a point to rid himself of his steed. The horse was said to have let loose a tear as the artificer walked away proudly.

●Days 2: After the first day of sailing, the waters seemed safe enough. But to be cautious, we staked out safe spots on board to bed for the night. Ana Bella snuck up the crow’s nest and offered a handjob to the young sailor stationed there in exchange for his secrecy of her position. Morigan McBane, always looking for an easy escape, bedded down in a scooner on deck, tightly clutching a pair of oars like a security blanket. Marek the Silver cuddled up between some barrels next to Aramat on the top deck while ther est of us slept in the cargo hold with our horses.

As dawn broke, we were startled awake by a scream from the crow’s nest; “Sea Demon’s, off the bow! To Arms!” The sailors spurt colorful curses on deck as they rushed around the ship. We heard the sound of claws gripping the hull of the ship outside our cabin as they climbed to the deck. A small school of Sahuagin were soon upon us, the baron claiming ownership of the waters and all that sailed through it.

14) Attack on Umberlee’s Vagina 1552xp
1 Sahuagin Baron (1000xp, MM)
4 Sahuagin Guards (252xp, MM)
1 Sahuagin Priest (350xp, MM)

After the battles ends, the Captain thanked us for our heroism, and offered our money back in exchange for the Sahuagin leader’s Headdress. “I am thankful to have had you in Umberlee’s Vagina,” he says. thankfully, he didn’t notice the save of pearls we found tied to the waist of the Sahuagin Priest (5 white, 2 black; 1500gp).

●Days 2: A couple more nights at sea, and we arrived in Airspur. As Umberlee’s Vagina reached port, we spotted the shock of most of the multi-colored dock workers. Laid out before us was a glorious city littered with flashy colors and strange feats of engineering. Hugging the banks and mouth of a wide river, Airspur was a knot of confusion. We all felt like the odd men out in this city of the elemental-touched genasi.

“It’s a beautiful place, Airspur,” said captain Gregorio. “It’ll take some getting used to all the drakes. Tell you what- I’m going to unload this cargo and have myself a nice stiff drink. Meet me in a couple hours at Gaia’s Bosom, and I’ll buy; it’s in the Plaza of Leaping Fountains.” Gregorio pointed out a large earth mote floating a couple hundred feet above the river. “Tell the ‘tender that Gregorio sent you, and he’ll put you on my tab.”

As we headed to the bar, we passed through the cities markets, noticing that all elemental items were at a 20% discount compared to their usual prices. As we made our way through the bridges that led up to the floating neighborhood, we were in constant awe of the beautiful, magical city of colorful stones, dancing flames, flowing water, and tingling breezes.

Gaia’s Bosom was dramatic building, tall purple walls covered in orange vines that ended in glowing, pale blue flowers. The wide door was covered in a soft red fur. Inside, the air smelled like cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie. In the corner, an air genasi sang a song that sounded like wind whistling through trees. Two fire genasi’s were playing a dice game on the counter while smoking pipes filled with mouth watering herbs. Serving them was a greenish-brown genasi with deep set gray eyes, a pointy nose, and broad shoulders. He smiled and speaks to us in Primordial. After recognizing our lack of understanding, he repeated himself in common.

“Welcome to Gaia’s Bosom, the name is Shale. what can I get you?” It was hard for him to fake the smile, he seemed really sad and his mind is elsewhere.

We explained that Gregorio sent us, and that he is buying. “Okay, but that Gregorio owes me a lot of money, soon he’ll be in Astral Diamond territory” he says with a forced chuckle that sounded like crumbling rocks. “What can I get you? We are currently serving a fresh cask of Limestone Lager, Coal-boiled Brandy, and I has a 5 year old bottle of White Lightning."

After a few heavy shots of our drink, to which Shale also partook, he began to open up to the strangers with which he shared his spirits.

“I really shouldn’t say this, but if Gregorio trusts you with his tab, I think I can do the same. It’s my younger brother, Manganese. You see, he is not all that… wise. He is obsessed with the earth motes, always wondering what makes them fly, why some move, and others do not. I keep telling him it’s the Primordial’s will, and we do not have the ability to understand it. You see, he’s a geologist, and he can’t let anything go unobserved.

“Anyhow, a few nights ago, maybe 10, he goes out to study the earth motes between here and Brassune, near the northern cliffs of the Akanapeaks. He never returned. I have since sent word to the Firestorm Cabal in the Brassune Safehold, but haven’t seen him. They told me I should buy a scroll of Sending, but I’m not too sure how to use it. By any chance, do you think you guys could help me out?”

While Morigan’s knowledge of the spell was limited, Gavail told us about the spell: “You convey a mental message of up to 25 words to a person you know. If the target is within range, he or she receives the message mentally and can respond likewise.”

Gavail Pontiff, particularly interested in this ritual, agreed to help witht he rest of us also following suit.

“Thank you so much!” said the barkeep. He waved to the air genasi singer and said something to her in primordial. “Here,” he turned back to us, “come with me to the back.” Shale led us to a smaller, more austere room. The dark wooden walls smelled of cedar and the air was warm.

Shale explained that he had two scrolls, in case the first fails. Morigan McBane attempted first, laying out the sigils and reciting the words on the paper. Unfortunately, his message didn’t make it much farther than the front door of the bar. Gavail Pontiff, confident in his own knowledge of ritual casting, tried casting teh second scroll.

After completing the ritual, Shale communicated through space-time to his missing brother:

Manganese, where are you? Do you need help? Are you being held? Who has you? How can I find you? Respond in 25 words.” The air gre stale and warmer. Suddenly, Shale spoke again, this time in primordial, and this time in a voice other than his own. Moments later, he opened his eyes and translated.

Earthmote. Ruins. Banish Cult. Chimney peak is south, Titan falls is east. Halfway up Mount Akanus, mote attached by vine. Don’t trust her. Help, please.”

We all looked at each other and then back to Shale. “Thank the stone, he is still alive. As for where he is describing, I think I can point it out on your map, but if he is describing the mote that I am thinking about, you have one hell of a climb ahead of you. I mean, that is you are to save him. I can offer you all that I have, which isn’t much outside the deed to this tavern. I’d give you that, but it’s not exactly legal for non genasi to own property, especially for a Dragonborn. Just, please, bring him home safe. Oh, and here, this might help; it was my father’s, and these belong to Manganese. Might come in handy.” Shale retreated to an armoire by his bed, and pulled out a red silken cape and a pair of furry black gloves.

After consulting with each other and considering the need for a good geologist, we decided to help Shale and rescue his brother. As we stepped out of the backroom, we spotted a familiar face at the bar. Gregorio slammed his fat hand on the counter, scaring the female air genasi barkeep. “Shale, my friend, how’s it been! I see you met my friends: impressive lots, they. Tell me you still have that 5 year-old bottle of Lightning. By the way, where is Manganese, I have some underdark crystal for him.” Shale shuffles up to Gregorio and fills him in.

“Oh, I see,” moans Gregorio. “That little bastard was, IS always causing trouble. Well I tell you what; you never would have found a better batch of adventurers. Good luck, guys, and bring him back home, I’m sure he could use a drink.”

We headed to the spot marked on our map by Shale, arriving about an hour before sunset.
It had been a strenuous hike to a cliff that juts out of the side of Mount Akanus. To the south, we saw a tall narrow stone structure, Chimney Peak, looming over us. To the east, we could still hear the rushing water of Titan Falls. We were in the shadow of a massive earthmote, its lowest point floating about 60 feet above us, the surface being maybe 125.

Growing from the bottom of it was a thick mass of roots and vines, averaging 5 feet across, falling towards the cliff and anchoring it in place at the edge. Donning the Cat Paws, Morigan McBane was the first one up, climbing with grace and at a steady, quick pace. As he peaked his head over the ledge, he saw the sun setting behind a small stone building. It looked very old and ruined in many parts. Cracks spiderwebbed along its walls, as do blackened vines. Facing him was the entrance: two large stone doors 5 feet wide each and 10 feet tall. On either side sat an unlit brazier, and out front laid a pile of corpses of various creatures. Painted on the doors was the unmistakable symbol of Bane.

After anchoring the rope to a nearby root, Morigan dropped the other end of the line along with the climber’s kit and the Cat Paws. Eventuall the we all made it to the top safely, while George, Gavail’s mount, just slimed his way up on his own.

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7. Onward towards Cimbar (Part 2)
The road is long, but the journey is fruitful.

Following our investigations around town as to what type of fighters are employed under house Guldar, Malavhan, and Urdo, we assigned our team members to their enemies while ther est placed out bets and awaited the coming victory in the stands.

First up was Marek the Silver battling against the Half-Orc Hunter (MM2) of house Guldar. As the gates opened, the Half-Orc drew his battle axe and blasted at Marek with blood in his eyes. Though an arduos and bloody struggle, Marek finally bested his enemy and much profit was made by all. Lyndon praised the dragonborn for his good work in the name of House Thorsar, offered him his reward and prepared Ana Bella for her own fight.

Squaring off against a Dark One, the Hex Knight (MM3)) had no chance. A small a package of fists and elbows danced around him leaving his swortshord swiping through air for most of the battle. With another enemy down, Lyndon Thorsar once again shelled out some gp to the winner and Talindra Seryth prepared for her fight.

Full of confidence, the small gnome stepped out of the gates with a smirk and into the threat of Talindra. Quicker to the draw, Talindra ran at the little furry creature with a roar and bloodied it in two swipes of her sword. Moments later, the gnome was on the floor unconscious, his smirk gone.

Three fights later and with a grand total of 2265 gp from bets and rewards, Lyndon Thorsar approached our group. “That was glorious, maybe now they’ll respect me! Thank you so much for your help," he exclaimed. “Here is the gold I promised you, and I hope you did well on your wagers. Please, come over for a celebratory feast!”
The night was warm and breezy; we dined on aged lamb with truffles, drank sweet mead imported from the dale lands, and sang songs all night. ”/campaign/artifact-hunters-the-avatar-of-torm/wikis/lyndon-thorsar" class=“wiki-page-link”> Lyndon offered us all fitted tunics with his house’s symbol and begged us to visit him again. “You are always welcome in house Thorsar,” he told us before we left in the morning with our rations restocked. “And please, take these robes; wear my family’s crest proudly." One of the robes shined more brilliantly than the others.

●Days: 5
It was night, and we had set up camp within view of the Ruins of Starmantle. Consulting his memory, Marek the Silver recalled that Starmantle was destroyed in 1385 DR by the Spellplague. By 1396 DR the city was little more than ruins. Large man sized, gemstone hard, emerald colored outcrops that hum with a single flute like note cover the ruins and the surrounding land. A flickering blue glow passes between the outcrops. Obsidian masses slowly drift across the open ground. The only inhabitants now are plaguechanged Ghouls. As we were deciding on whether or not to stop for the night, we hear sad, painful moans coming from all sides.

It was a tough battle, nearly wiping out the lot of us, but as the final ghoul dropped dead, we realized how much loot (1800gp in gems and Astral Finemail) the oozes had collected in their gooey bodies.

Ghoul Encounter 1500xp
1 Plaguechanged Ghoul (400xp, FRCG)
2 Ghoul Flesh Seekers (350xp, MM3)
2 Ghasts (500xp, MM3)
2 Gray Oozes (250xp, MM2)

●Days: 2
Another hot night near the coast was upon us. The wind was blowing through the branches. We heard an owl calling to the night somewhere in the trees above. Talindra Seryth heard the rustling of leaves again, but this time, she didn’t feel a breeze. Through the foliage, a giant feathered bear was seen skulking. The rest of the team was alerted and yet another battle was underway.

Owlbear Encounter 1700xp
1 Owlbear (700xp, pg 212)
2 Cave Bears (1200xp, pg 29)

●Days: 2
After Entering the nation of Turmish we noticed a trader on the road up ahead. He was riding a large slimy cow-like creature and carrying sacks of goods, which Gavail Pontiff identified as a Scathebeast.

Upon noticing us, the trader turned to us and spoke. “Oh. Wow. Adventurers. Interested in trading?” The trader tried to dismount the creature, but got his ankle caught in a strap and fell onto the dirt. “Oh hell,” he said as he got up and cleaned off the dirt. He went through his items trying to jsutify their prices, but Marek the Silver was having none of it. Finally, Tal noticed him attempting to pickpocket the coinpurse of the dragonborn and alert Marek to the threat. Marek grabbed the trader by the lapels at which point he promptly dissapeared to all members of the group save for Tal.

Being far from sneaky, he tried to ride off on his mount but was stopped short by Sleepy and Morigan McBane. A small battle began before Marek the Silver demanded his surrender, and the trader, aknowledging his lack of options, began to plead for his life.

A debate began amongst us as to how to deal with the little cretin, who identified himself as a Doppelganger in an effort to gain some clout with his honesty, but Gavail Pontiff, who really wanted to test the abilities of his new Scathebeast mount, crushed the trader beneath it and dissolved it in the creatures acid slime. Now the trader’s goods were up for grabs.

Trader Encounter 350xp
1 Doppelganger Assassin (350xp, MM)

Treasure
3 Potions of Healing, handaxe, Climber’s Kit, Couters of Second Chances, Silk Rope, Scathebeast Mount, Cloth Darkweave Armor, 915gp

●Days: 4
It was another sticky evening as the sun sank lower in the sky. We had finally reached the outskirts of the ruins that are known as Morningstar Hollows. Today, the ruins were home to a gang of bandits who preyed on scar pilgrims. Unfortunately, that gang of bandits saw us coming. We cannot trade with them, but we can take their stuff once they have been killed. But first, we need to find the source of the arrows and bolts being shot at us.

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6. Onward towards Cimbar (Part 1)
Along the Sea of Fallen Stars, many interesting things lay

Our heroes left Elturel soon after their target was learned to be in Cimbar. They each purchased a riding horse (except the halfling) and were on their way.

Days: 1.5 We arrived at Scornubel.

Days: 3 After arriving back at Berdusk, we visited Tilius and told him about the quest. He offered us 2 healing potions, free room and board, and twelve days worth of rations for each of us He also had let us know that another sparrow had arrived, this time it was from Ganthet, and it was for us. He gave us a copy of the message which he had transcribed onto a parchment in addition to a scroll that was attached:

“I Apologize for forgetting. Use this scroll if you find anything. Return to Elturel at …misc arcane sigils…”.


Days: 1 We arrived in Iriaebor. All seemed well, but upon leaving town, we were approached by eight scruffy looking town guards, four of which held large axes. They started surrounding us while one stepped up and said “Oy! You forgot to pay the leaving town tax. That’ll be 10 gold each”.

Morigan McBane was not able to recall any news of a leaving-town tax, infact for Iriaebor, a town so dependant on it’s exports, taxing those exiting the city would be a terrible idea. Meanwhile, Marek the Silver could tell the scruffy guard was lying and Talindra Seryth noticed the shoddy craftsmanship on their guard regalia. It was was obvious these were merely brigands.

Wile the party members tried to talk their way out of a confrontation, Ana Bella slipped off her saddle and snuck up behind the leader and drew her blade.

Soon after, a scuffle erupted and the “guards” were dealt with violently, but they were safely neutralized. We licked our wounds, collected their gold, Marek grabbed a halberd, and we brought the counterfeit armbands to the true guard and received a reward for their capture.

Crooked Iriaeboran guards(1300xp)
4 Human Guards (600xp, MM1)
4 Human Berserkers (700xp, MM1)

Days: 3 We arrived in Proskur. We discovered a good dose of merriment coming from some shadier individuals at the tavern. It seems that there was an ongoing wager as to who can steal the undertunic of Leonara Obarstal’s handmaiden, Aliena. The winner wins the pot, which, over the past tenday, had grown to 300gp. To participate it cost 25gp. We decided this nonsense was beneath us and we continued on our way.

Days: 2 We arrived in Elversult. A handful of children were running through the streets toward the town square. One small Shou Lung child bumped into Marek the Silver and stopped. He looked up at him, sidestepped and continued to chase his friends. Ahead, we heard him call out "I hear he has horns as big as a tree!”

When we reached the center of town, half a dozen townsfolk and about a dozen children were surrounding a tiefling in Shou Lung dress as he performed some minor feats of prestidigitation. In common, though lathered with a strong eastern accent, he addressed the crowd, “For my next feat, I will need a volunteer.” The Tiefling reached into the crowd and pulled the same child whom had bumped into Marek onto the small wooden stage. “Now behold, as I make this child disappear.” The tiefling unhinged his jaw and slipped the boy’s head into his mouth, removing it with a single bite.

Soon after, we jumped into action and saw the creature for what he truly was. The illusion now dispelled, the tiefling grew to a 12-foot tall Blue Oni with long horns and an insatiable mouth lined with sharp fangs. His eyes raged bright red as he tried to swallow the few children still at the foot of the stage. But with our protection, most were saved that day, although two poor souls were lost.

That night, the townsfolk held a celebration to celebrate our efforts, and took up a collection of 200gp for us. That reward, coupled with the 15gp and the two emeralds found on the Oni’s body made this stop quite lucrative.

Oni Devourer (700xp, MM1) +50 xp per escaped child (900xp total)

●Days: 2 The rolling, green fields of grasses and grains were no more. It had been two days since we left Elversult, and the land had become saturated with the water: the seeping shoals of the Sea of Fallen Stars, the runoff from the Giant’s run Mountains, and the creeks and rivers spider webbing between Long Arm Lake and other waterways of the Dragon Coast. The earth beneath our feet was moist and rotting. The flora, unable to grab hold with roots, featured more shrubs, vines, and cypress trees. The road was more of a suggestion than a path.

As the sun peaked in the sky, the heat became almost unbearable. Our bodies were coated in sweat, leaving all of our clothes damp. Finally, a slight breeze blew on our faces from the East, but unfortunately it brought with it a putrid compost stink. Up ahead, we recognized some shimmering figures in the distance wading waist deep in the swamp. It seemed we were downwind of three scaled humanoids. As Tal squinted to recognize the creatures, she also noticed the backs of two large crocodiles wading in the water and some vines that seemed to be doing more than just blowing in the wind.

We dismounted and readied ourselves for a trying battle. Gavail Pontiff eyed the seen with a concerned look, and with a wink, the battle was won. Many of the Lizardmen dropped to the floor, unconscious, while the crocodiles were slowed and mired in the mud. Morigan McBane summoned a magical and mechanical eye to help find the hiding creatures, and to add an extra sting to our attacks. The only trying moment was when the two Vine horrors called on the roots beneath our feet to hold us in place and squeeze the life from us, but escape we did and destroy their ranks soon after.

As the battle came to a close, a single lizardman was left, a greenscale hunter who had slept throughout most of the battle. He smartly surrendered to Marek the Silver and begged for his life. His wish was granted by the dragonborn paladin, and he gained employ as a squire and shield bearer to the champion of Bahamut. Marek the Silver spent the evening teaching Sleepy about the ways of the Lord of the North Wind while the rest of us gutted the crocodiles and collected the 2 garnets and the Boots of Stealth that were found within.

Lizardman Encounter 1275xp
3 Greenscale Hunters (525xp, MM1)
2 Visejaw Crocodiles (350xp, MM1)
2 Vine Horror (400xp, MM1)

Days: 1 We arrived in Teziir.

Days: 2.5 We arrived in Westgate. While walking through the market, we saw a well dressed high elf angrily kicking a large unconscious goliath in the ribs. The elf was about 5’ 10” with long black hair topped with a sharp widows peak. He wore a white tunic with a symbol of a blue hand holding corn, which Morigan recognized as the Noble House of Thorsar: a family of famers who have just recently struck their fortune and are still trying to put on airs as a Noble house.

“You drunk bastard, I hope you die of mummy rot!” said the nobleman as he spat on the sleeping goliath. He sighed and sauntered over to a nearby stoop where her forlornly sat down and dropped his chin into his hands. “Now who will fight for me,” he mumbled to himself. That’s when he looked up and noticed us.

“How can we help?” we asked the elf.

“Yes, yes, you will do fine,” said the Elf, extending his hand. “My name is Lyndon Thorsar. I see that you, as do I worship the True," he motioned to a symbol on Marek’s tunic. "Thus, we know we can trust each other” he revealed a holy symbol on a necklace tucked under his shirt. “And with that in mind, I could use your help. You see this drunkard here, he was supposed to fight for me at tonight’s arena. He won some great matches last night, but unfortunately doesn’t know the proper way to celebrate. Obviously he is in no shape to continue. So here is my proposition, you will fight for me. There are only three matches left, the fighters of house Guldar, Malavhan, and house Urdo. For each bout you win, I will pay you $300 gold. Win all three, and I’ll throw in another $100. All I require is that you wear the symbol of my house,” he motions towards the crest on his tunic. "The fights are one on one, and the rest of you can bet on your friends. What say you?”

Before accepting the job, we decided to ask around to see what we could learn about the other fighters. Lyndon was not much help: “I know nothing of fighting or battle, so all I can tell you is what I’ve seen. House Guldar employs a big, scarred half-orc who carries a very large axe and a bow. House Malavhan has a Dark One fighting for them, he has so far employed many weapons in his battles, and as for House Urdo, I haven’t the slightest idea; I haven’t watched any of the fights, but I’ve heard it’s a spell caster.” Questioning the fans at the nearby arena revealed more, enough to determine who is up to fight which enemy, and to accept Lyndon’s offer.

Half-Orc Hunter (MM2, 200xp); level 5 Skirmisher vs Marek the Silver
Hex Knight (MM3, 175xp); level 4 Soldier vs Ana Bella
Gnome Arcanist (MM1, 150xp); level 3 Controller vs Talindra Seryth

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5. The Library at Elturel (Part 5: Access Granted)
Our Heroes learn about the Armor of Feril Bilikin

You returned to the monastery with you new trinkets. The same guard was back on duty at the door. “By the triad, Torm truly has blessed you! All the demonscurge you must have destroyed to win these- Ganthet will be impressed. Please, come in. Sit here, and please give these gifts to Ganthet. He doesn’t like to be disturbed except for the most important of guests.” He called to another guard within the library and waved you to a foyer while the other disappeared down a hallway.

The room you are in was small with no windows larger than arrow slits. There was a torch on the wall that had left soot marks on the stone above it, describing its age. The air was stale, but smelled of sage and cinnamon. A beautiful rug beneath your feet depicted a crimson dragon and a violet dragon with their necks entwined. Sometime later, the interior guard returned with a short, thin monk. “I present Ganthet, chief historian to the church of Torm.”
Ganthet stood before you in a long red velvet hooded robe with golden filigree. His face was leathery and wrinkled, like an old wool blanket. Hie was completely bald, but his beard was long and peppered with grey and white hair. He adjusted his crystal goggles and addressed you in a wavering old voice. “My guards tell me that you require my attention. Let’s have it, what is so dire that I be drawn from my studies?” The heroes offered their gifts to Ganthet and told him their story.

“By the Brave’s Blessing, what glorious, and sticky, work you have done.” He put the symbols in his pockets. “I must remember to clean those later. So, you are interested in the armor of the avatar of Torm? Please, follow me to my study.” You followed him through tunnels and passageways. Fifteen minutes later, he opened a door and waved you in, closing it behind you. The room was a dimly lit corridor, ten feet wide that spiraled downward with wide steps wrapping around a 20 foot wide rectangular pillar. Every corner of the pillar was marked with a flickering torch, and the walls held framed maps, scrolls, and tapestries. The outer wall was lined with bookshelves fully stocked. Somewhere down the hall, you heard books toppling onto the floor. “Oh dear,” he whispered.

“So, what do you know of Torm and the time of Troubles?” Gavail Pontiff stepped forward and recounted a marvelously detailed account of the battle at Tantras.

“My, that is impressive!” said Ganthet. “Our church has been searching for over a century, and so far all we have found are the Gauntlets, and that’s only because they were found upon the altar of Torm’s church in ”/campaign/artifact-hunters-the-avatar-of-torm/wikis/tantras" class=“wiki-page-link”>Tantras, the city where he and Bane fell. But the armor, boots, bracers and helm are still missing; although I do remember reading something about his armor in a book somewhere around here. Maybe you could help me search?”

The players split into two groups to peruse the shelves, some used the knowledge of religion or history to help in the search, but after a few hours of fruitless work, it became too late to continue. Ganthet thanked you for your help and asked you to return in the morning.

The following day you slept in a bit, allowing Ganthet time to his research. You had a hearty breakfast and took your time in returning to the monastery. Once you did make back to the library, Ganthet was pleased to offer you three books that would help in the search.

  • Book 1) Excerpts from The Time of Troubles and the Death of Our Lord
    “…at which point he was tended to by a master armorsmith, from the kingdom of Akanul, by the name of Feril Bilikin. Bilikin’s work with plate and scale mail of rare metals was highly sought after by paladins of the west.
    “…and with his earthly body no longer necessary, it dissolved into ash and was taken away by the wind. Likewise, his possessions, a collection of materials from around the realms, rose into the sky and shot off to the night. Some say that the artifacts, now washed in the blood of a god, contain great power that will be further released when reunited again. Where they now reside is a mystery, but this historian believes them to have returned to the places of their birth to retire after their divine duty had been done.
  • Book 2) Excerpt from The Akanul Market: A Trader’s Guide to Earning Large Wealth Along the Sea of Fallen Stars
    “…and if one finds themselves on the road to Cimbar- do not fret. Cimbar just happens to be host to one of the greatest plate armor smiths of our generation. Feril Bilikin’s shop is a bit hard to find, but worth the time spent in the search. He is originally not from Cimbar, but brought his extensive, deep knowledge of ores from his upbringing in a small mining village further to the east, closer to the bay of Chessenta.”
  • Book 3) Excerpt from The Elements of the Outer Planes
    “…one report claimed the exceptional adamantine-like strength of Torm’s avatar’s golden plate armor was a product of mining from the Elemental Earth Plane. Thus, it had a regal green sheen to an otherwise golden metal. But whether the ore was imported from another plane or somehow merged with ours is unknown, at least until the product is inspected.”

After reading the excerpts to you, Ganthet looked up from the volumes, removed his goggles, and began to chew nervously on the legs. “Oh dear, that whole area was mutated by the Spellplague. Cimbar is not more than ruins and scavengers and the bay of Chessenta is gone. If it helps at all, I have a map that may prove to be some help.”

Ganthet shuffled downstairs and returned a couple minutes later bearing a large scroll. “Here you go,” he unfurls it onto the table in front of you. “This map is of Cimbar, before the Spellplague. Be careful with it, it’s very old. Look here- this was the armorer’s section of the market. Oh and here was the mining authority- that may prove to be a useful place to visit. And if you get lost, large quantities of earth genasi now inhabit the area, poured in from Abeir. You might want to ask around at Airspur. If you find a geologist or miner, he may be able to help. Also, although longer, the path by land is much safer then trying to find passage through the Sea of Fallen Stars. Wars are still raging between the sahuagin and the kingdoms on the coast, not to mention the Abolethic Sovereignty threat that also came with the merging of the worlds.

Well, I believe that’s all the help I can offer. Thank you for the gifts. In return, I offer you this map. I would give you the books, but I really must organize these shelves. And if you do find anything of Torm’s legacy, the church will no doubt pay you handsomely for your discoveries. Good luck.”

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