The Keep on the Edge of Chaos

Constricted in all the wrong places
"Where's my cat?"

After the Elemental Dragon portal failed to open to the Shadowfell, Grynn and Daar make the decision to post a guard (Pil), and recruit a local band of scrubs to keep the portal warm, thinking that the dissipation of the blizzard ties into the closing of the portal. Perhaps if there was a way to further chill the portal, it would reopen?

As they rounded up the last of their guards, they found a band of fleeing Halflings. The celebration of Avandra’s most sacred holiday has been defiled! Snakes and Yuan-ti have infiltrated the Keep! A mass of snake creatures stood ready to challenge the party at the front gate, but the halflings knew of a secret passage they had discovered opened when they were looking for water for their horse. The party is lead to a secluded bit of forest, and is promptly attacked by a group of pouncing spiders. After Grynn scares off a nasty swarm of spiders by lighting a nearby tree on fire, they find the secret entrance to the Keep. It’s magical wards have been blown off, and Grynn finds evidence that the Yuan-ti are responsible for it.

They enter the keep’s interrogation room to find the Warforged guardians of the keep being corrupted by a ritual from the Yuan-ti. Something had been grafted onto the Warforged that turned them into raging berserker fighters. A tainted crystal perhaps? No one stopped to investigate, but it seems likely. Tiers drops the Snake into a pit with her spectral hand, then the battle starts anew. The dim witted allied Warforge tell you that there was a ritual that corrupted the Golem of the keep, and that it likely happened at the factory, away from the Keep.

The factory being their next destination, the group sneaked past the Golem to reach the top of the Saruun Wizard’s Guild. Kara deftly defeated the warding traps on the vents to allow the party to sneak inside. While there they discern that the portals are used to reach different locations. The mobile portal will be used to return to this Guild House, while the other two lead to places unknown. The familiar cat bravely walks into the portal, disappearing. It seems the portal they found leads to the factory! Success!

The group reaches the factory to see Benwick standing with three guards and lots of crystals. He trips a mechanism and disappears into a portal. The traps slow down the party at first, but they quickly dispatch the guards. Tiers pushes one into the lava with her Rod of Avernus after slaying her cursed foe. The last creature puts up pitiful resistance, and they group then disables the traps. It’s not after Daar gets hit by an inadvertent trap and decides to investigate what lies below. Grynn and Tiers vow revenge against Benwick and hop into the nearby activated portal. The party split, we continued on with the adventure of Daar and Kara.

After descending a twisting staircase, the Dragonborn was constricted in a battle with a large Crushgrip Constrictor in the defiled temple of Erathis. Daar and Kara smack it around, but Daar falls for the first time in battle. He fails to regain consciousness twice before Kara can revive him. Kara falls into a state of walking death, but with her last effort raises Daar once again. He selflessly heals his partner before rejoining the battle. He wounds the large snake once again, but when the two of them fail to put the last hit in quickly enough, Daar falls a second time and can not recover from his wounds. Kara’s duty to protect Daar has failed. He has been slain. Kara puts in one last hit, slaying the snake, but the battle has been lost. She hauls Daar back to the teleportation circle. She will follow after Grynn and Tiers…who we will join next time.

DM Boons.
Kara – You only die twice, again. “After you make a death saving throw, +7 to damage”
Tiers – Lost kitten poster. “The next time your kitten remains within 3 squares an entire battle and survives, +2 to stealth checks for an entire encounter.”
Grynn – Acrobatic Mastery. “The next time you jump acrobatically, +2 on the check.”

LEVEL UP! Everyone is at level 5.
Daar will be replaced. Character yet to be determined. You were on friendly terms with both Drysdale / the Wizard’s Guild. Warforged rebirth is open to Daar, but it might come with a consequence with the Raven Queen, if he wants to continue being the same character. TRQ doesn’t look kindly on cheating death. That is how “raising” works in the setting baring some elaborate quest, Kara the Revenant being the unusual exception.

BIG CHANGES
To keep everyone on an even playing field, let’s change how we’ve been doing magical items. You guys seem happier in a high magic setting anyway. Standardize everyone’s items level please! The scarcity issue is a lot less significant if the entire keep is going to be under attack, and if I’m going to be killing characters in battles now.

I don’t want anyone to end up being screwed in battle because they didn’t have an item they wanted that would have saved their ass. We’ll say you raided the keep’s armory before you headed to the Interrogation Chamber. This is a one time deal, okay? I’m willing to give you a little more in the way of items since you’ve let me raise the stakes in battle. Sound fair?

Everyone can change items.
That’s right, you finally get to go magic item shopping. Go nuts.
You have 4640 GP to spend! That’s enough to afford items of the following level: (4, 5, 5, 6). This is the same as the “Create a higher level character” rules in the PHB. If you want entirely new items, throw away your old weapons. You’ll be able to pick the same things, but these are replacing the items you have now, and are NOT in addition to what you have now. I want equal footing for all characters items from this point on.

If you want to put a lot of gold/wealth into one large expensive item, it can’t be over level 8, and nothing you purchase can be below level 2. (Like, a level 8 + Level 2 item would be okay, and you could afford it, a level 9 item alone, or a level 9 + a level 1 wouldn’t be okay, even if you can afford it. You can’t just buy tons of level 1 item consumable healing potions or something. No duplicates.)

Keep in mind you can only use ONE daily power from ONE item slot per day. (No good switching between a dozen weapons/armors in battle for different dailies. No one has done anything remotely like this yet, but don’t start please.)

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The Fallen's Quest
"Where were you traveling, stranger?"

Daar, acting as the face of compassion for the group, heals the frozen stranger found outside the portal where the rest of the group has made camp. “Tell me of your quest. Why do you seek this portal? Where does it lead? Who were these other fallen that the blizzard dragon so cruelly kept from passing on to the next world?”

“You…follow…the one that calls the Winter Domain home?” he asks, weakly. His voice is weak, but he looks interested in knowing the answer."

“Aye, we follow the Raven Queen,” Grynn answers, “She is the patron of Winter, and Daar and I call her our God. One more of our party does too. Is that why you walked into this blizzard to meet this fate? Were you being given dreams?”

“Very interesting. We’ve been dreaming…all of us,” the man coughs as he points to the others. “We traveled together when we first got the dreams…it was a week ago. We left our camps deep in the Scar to answer the call of The Raven Queen. We were shown where to go, and we failed to reach the portal. Had we only come a few days earlier… Your vision was of our death? We must not have been as fortunate as you… Avandra must have been at your side throughout the storm, for we had no luck in reaching this destination. Every blast of wind, every flake of snow hampered our travel.”

The man begins to cough violently again…“I’m Pil, and my companions and I have been in the Scar for a long time, but have never seen a dragon of this type that can enslave a person’s soul. This creature does not come from this region, but must have been called up from the depths of the Elemental Chaos to serve some destructive purpose. Had I know that this creature was to blame I don’t know if I would have made the call to travel so unprepared. Not all of us were born dragon slayers.”

Pil turns to Daar and Grynn. “You and your party must continue the quest we began. This portal leads to the Shadowfell. I know that much. I fear the crystals are weakening the hold The Raven Queen has over her domain of Winter. Creatures such as these do not arrive in the mortal plane without meddling. Someone serving a dark god called upon these creatures and made a pact of unfathomable evil. Seek the city of Gloomwrought. Her followers call that place home. Befriend the Shadar-Kai, the most loyal of The Raven Queen’s followers. They will aid you…”

Weakened by the battle against the weather, the final bit of strength passes Pil, and he collapses.

META: You can attempt to keep him stable throughout the storm, but it will cost the party a series of checks and potentially healing surges that would otherwise be regained through the extended rest. (He would be a good guide though…might be worth it. Traveling in the Shadowfell without a guide would be exceedingly risky. Don’t delay, while you might have made your endurance checks against forestalling against your quest for the night, Pil is going to be taking huge chance whenever he delays the quest he was given.)

Actions for the mean time? Reactions? Is everyone going to be going on this quest? The surviving Warforged at the Keep should provide enough safety that you can go off and explore without, you know, worrying about the Keeping being razed to the ground or something.

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More on Warforged.
So, like, the Terminator? Not exactly.

Warforged are bulky humanoids fashioned of plates of metal and stone. supported by a skeleton of similar material and a muscular system of leathery, woody fiber bundles, warforged possess an internal system of tubes filled with bloodlike fluid that nourishes and lubricates their systems. their powerful arms end in two-fingered, thumbed hands, and their feet each have two broad toes.

Warforged heads have simple humanlike features, and they have heavy brows and hinged jaws

with no teeth. None have noses. their eyes sometimes glow when they experience certain intense
emotions, and their foreheads and pates bear runic whorls. each warforged has a unique rune on its forehead, much like humans have unique fingerprints. This rune is known as a “ghulra,” a word that means “truth” in Primordial.

Warforged have an obviously artificial and sex-less shape. they can’t reproduce themselves like

other humanoids. However, their sense of pain seems limited to actual injury, allowing them to
modify their own bodies more easily. such physical modifications allow warforged to be as varied in appearance as other races.

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10/17 Geared up: Found in ice
"Can we loot that corpse before the guy wakes up?"

From the two encounters, the party discovered:

Dragon scales worth 1075 GP (215 GP each!)
Broken Blue Crystal shards of the Spirit of Winter (Magical, story item)
5 frozen corpses of various origins. None of them have identifying marks you can recognize.

The person you think is stabilized will share information after your extended rest.
(I want to set up the story more firmly in my mind. I need a few days, please.) I’ll have more time to write starting this week. I won’t leave anyone hanging too long.

Roland:
The remains (corpse) of a Frozen, destroyed Warforged Scout.
The body of the Warforged is not fully robotic. It has a soft interior, and a hard metal like carapace. It was animated by a master Alchemist, that’s for certain. You don’t know anyone able to achieve this fine fusion of both magic, mechanics, and spirit. It’s truly remarkable.

I’m sure you are all bummed about not receiving any new magical toys this adventure. Besides Roland and Kara, did any of you USED magical items last game?

You’ll get magical items, and the chance to buy more stuff back at the keep when you hit level 5. Just track your gold for now. You’ll be due for magical items, and a lot more gold when everything is adjusted at the end of the adventure. Sticking it through an extended trip in the elements will be more profitable than a one session adventure.

DM Boon:
Kara – I was dead, but I got better. – The next time you deal damage after rolling a death saving throw the previous round, you get a +5 DM boon bonus to damage.

Roland – I think this is what pain feels like. – The next encounter you avoid taking damage for an entire encounter, you will receive a one time +5 DM boon bonus to Initiative in the following encounter.

Daar – Pain don’t hurt, get up you pansy. – The next time you heal more than 100 hit points in an entire series of encounters, you can receive a +5 bonus to healing checks on dying team mates during that encounter.

Tiers – Ouch. – The next time you teleport after being surrounded by more than four adjacent enemies, the teleport deals 2 damage in a burst 1 when you leave the space.

Grynn – Second guessing. – The next an ally fails a diplomacy roll, you can allow them to reroll the check with a +2 DM Boon bonus, only if they agree to let you decide the diplomacy outcome.

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Frozen stiff - The importance of proper solo encounters.
"Oops, maybe I should have let that guy thaw out."

While preparations are being made for the celebration of Avandra by a group of traveling halflings outside the keep proper, there has been a strange storm on the horizon. Literally. The followers of the Raven Queen, (Kara, Daar, and Grynn) are all haunted by strange dreams that feature strangers all trying, and failing, to reach a portal or destination of great importance to them. These people are all falling still in a blizzard that is parked over a particular location from the keep, around a day’s travel.The storm is so cold that their very souls are frozen and forced to serve a force of nature.

The dream forces the group into action, slowly building to the point where they could no longer focus on their new tasks at the keep. After approaching the halflings, which through Avandra’s grace were given safe passage, there comes a consensus that a bit of tactical reconnaissance is needed.

The party contacts the commanders of the keep to set in motion a plan to send a Warforged Scout to seek information about what could be causing the storm. Not long after, the “snitch” returns carrying the last words of the Warforged, “Spirits, Crystal, Cold. Death.”

The party gears up and prepares to battle both the blizzard and the creatures contained therein. They easily survive the storm’s winds, and quickly reach the crystal that the Warforged mentioned. There is not sign of the Warforged, but scatted remnants of it’s bodies remain strewn around a battlefield in the middle of a blizzard with whipping winds.

Roland and Tiers approach, the representatives of the party not affiliated with the Raven Queen, and attempt some unsuccessful diplomacy in Primordial. The Spirit of Winter isn’t interested in negotiation. It’s more interested in pounding the snot out of the party.

After a touch and go battle, the party emerges victories, but bruised. Roland took damage and managed to stay on his feet from the side of blood. Daar nearly fell, and the party’s teamwork was crucial to avoiding a loss of a party member. Roland collected parts from the Warforged, interesting in trying to decipher the secrets of it’s creation. Others gathered the fragments of the winter crystals to either return them to the Keep, or for curiosity’s sake.

The battle won, The winds opened up a tunnel in what had once been an unpassable storm. The group walked through the tunnel to see a large icy patch guarded by a dragon with corpses laying around it. Behind the dragon was a large portal, something resembling the light that was drawing people in the Raven Queen’s follower’s dreams.

The Blizzard Dragon seems amused with the party’s requests to move, but when Daar brings up their service to the Raven Queen, things escalate, fast. The Dragon’s influence in the region seemed the likely cause for the souls of the fallen being trapped. Something, or someone, called this Blizzard Dragon up from the Elemental Chaos to stop these people from attaining their goal.

The battle with the Blizzard Dragon tested the ability of the party to keep from falling apart when they nearly lose a member. Several times players were one or two hits away from death, only to find their last bit of reserves of energy to push on. Kara was struck a fatal blow and managed to survive by staying on her feet and teleporting away. Tiers fell unconscious casting the spell that finally slew the dragon, but then was healed by Daar before her life was any serious danger.

The party is stuck in the middle of frozen wasteland with a portal sitting in front of them to an unknown destination, and a single survivor from the battle about to give them information about the task he was desperately trying to accomplish before being stopped by the dragon and frozen to the core.

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Frozen stiff
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Primal Themed Campaign
By Crom! Someone roll a barbarian!

As discussed at the end of the encounter on 6/26, there will be a second story line running parallel to the first story told from another perspective. This will be a primal/martial only themed campaign. You will roll a character that belongs to a band of creatures that exist outside the keep, deep in the Chaos Scar territories.

This is your chance to roll a monstrous race! These are still not “evil” creatures, just beings trapped between powers that don’t have their best interests in mind. They have a special connection to the crystals that has yet to be explored in the Restwell Keep campaign story line.

A band of Bullywugs? A tribe of Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Kobolds eking out survival! Remember the “Slow Killer” who sent the goblins that wanted a better fortune from the Millen Silvereye adventure at the gibbet? Now it’s your chance to play him! What monstrous clan you guys decide on?

*Primal Party Creation Rules: *
I want the majority of the party to be Primal characters composed of monstrous characters. Look at Monster Manual 1 & 2 for ideas.

Suggestions to party construction:
A Shaman, while the most advanced Primal class to play, (Leader, uses pets to heal, spirit talker, basically like controlling 2 characters at once) would be indispensable for the story I’d like to write. This is a difficult character to play and we’ll need to run through the shaman summoning rules with the group.

Druids are more advanced wizards, with the ability to turn into creatures and cast spells. They are controllers. (Predator form SUCKkkkkkkks. Build either a swarm or protecting druid if you want to survive any encounter while actually contributing damage.)

Seekers are Primal Rangers, more or less. Create zones, have a chance to hit even when they miss their primary target.

Wardens are Primal Defenders that turn into obstacles from nature to lock down opponents. Ever want to turn into a tree and grab someone a few squares away to stop them from hitting an ally?

Barbarians are strikers that hit for obscene damage, but have tissue for armor and defense. (Hint hint, your DM loves Conan the Barbarian 1970’s classic comics.)

Other martial class archetypes that are acceptable:
Ruthless Ruffian style Rogue (any allowed monster race not banned below).
Elven Rangers.
Bravura Warlords (any allowed monster race not banned below).

The big list of NO.
NO Arcane classes. No Divine Classes. They do not work in this part of the story thematically or mechanically, and you’ll be told why later.
No Warforged, Shardmind, Humans, Dwarf, Eladrins, Shadar-Kai, Githzerai, Kalashtar, Tieflings, Halflings, Genasi, or Dragonborn.
Basically, No Civilized or Extra-planar beings. Good back story exceptions can be granted.

Half-Elf, Elf, and Half-Orcs, and Drow are a-ok, as are the monster races in MM1 & MM2! These will be savage refugees. (Although a group of Drow are more likely to murder each other than ever face an adventure as a cohesive team.)

No All Changeling parties please. They are loners, and they tend to keep their identity secret.

Cristy said something about being a lost Deva. Unique snowflake exception granted, but that means the rest of you should be extra set on being monster races. Why has an angel been reborn with the savages?

When creating the character, START AT LEVEL 5!
Everyone begins as a hero of the Chaos Scar Territory, with a level 4, 5, and 6 magic item and REAL GOLD of the suitable level for a 5th level character.

This story will be explored for a few levels, and we will pick up the story of the keep with those characters already leveled in the mean time.
(So, once the primal campaign starts, the other characters will level in parallel, and we will resume the story of the keep at level 7-8?)

Character parties will interact with one another. I will give more ideas about a story uniting the clan together later. Just know that Primal characters want to protect the crystals as a way to keep a line open to the spirits they revere. They view the keep’s adventures into the keep as a bad thing for this reason.

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Treasure Parcels and DM duties 6/26
"What is a crystal worth to a man in debt?"

Great job everyone!
You found several treasure parcels:

Actual Gold totaling 900 GP (Divided 5 ways – Kairon’s cut is non-negotiable.) = 200 GP per person. (Roland gets no actual gold from this adventure.)
A Fifth Level Magical item

Achievement:
Roland successfully kept the Secret of Fool’s Gold for an entire level.
He gets a reward of a fifth level magic item, as previously promised.

DM Boon:
Gryyn – “What number am I thinking of?” “69! (Cue: Air Guitar)” – “Reroll any Diplomacy Roll under 5 for an entire encounter.”
Daar – “Vermin Slayer” – Minions cower. Non-sentient creatures fear your approach. “+2 to Intimidate against soldiers and brute role monsters for an entire session.”
Tiers – Dangerous when Grabbed – “The next time you teleport from a grab, perform a melee basic attack.”

Everyone reaches level 4!
Please decide in this tread the purchases you will make, who gets the fifth level item. If you need to buy any items, or exchange items for whatever reason, let me know. Your network for finding new magical items has grown considerably.

Be aware that Drysdale’s services require REAL GOLD ONLY. Consider all your previous gold “contaminated”, and only worthy of purchasing common items inside the keep, or magical items through Millen at a 10% mark up. Consider that the price of silence about the source of your wealth.

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Adventure Recap: Way down in a hole
"69 Damage."

After clearing out the temple full of Snake Men statues and draining off the magical liquids, the party finds a hole leading to an extensive sewer system. Roland heads back to the Keep to alert the Wizard’s Guild that Benwick has been up to no good. The creatures in the statues would come from a marshy, swampy like area. Grynn guesses that Benwick had been planning to use his Staff of Earthen Might to create ideal conditions for them.

As the party drops down into the sewer system, they run across a starving Tiefling named Kairon who has been locked inside the sewer system for a few weeks. He had been responsible for the end of the bandits that occupied the temple, but fled the Gnoll beasts that later invaded the temple. Having been trapped and hunted by a mysterious snake like creature in the depths of the sewers, he aids the party in attacking the creature when it appears.

The creature heads towards some grates, and the party peppers it with attacks as it flees into one particular drain. Once cornered, the party discovers a huge creature, an Otyugh, sitting over a bed of Chaos Scar crystals. The battle rages for a time, with Tiers escaping capture with a well timed teleportation, and Grynn scoring a devastating hit on the beast.Also, Tiers reveals she

After dispatching the beast and its minions, the party discovers a weakly functioning teleportation circle. As they approach the teleportation circle with broken crystals from the surrounding area, the circle becomes active and teleports the group to a new location.

The new location is the interior of the Saruun Wizard’s Guild. Roland is standing beside Citirian, who removes the mask to reveal who has been posing as one of the wizards the entire time: Perrin Drysdale. The mask let him pass through the outer keep freely without suspicion. The inner keep aslo had teleportation circles to other locations in a network of linked Guilds.

Drysdale tells the party that he is broke from fighting wars on many fronts, and needs to capture and use the crystals to power an army of Golem and Warforged soldiers. With his mechanical army he will be able to push out the influence of the other groups in the region. He feels the crystals the party has on their possession will help further those goals.

He has been able to finance the party’s wizard only by using fool’s gold. Anyone that accepts the currency as payment for the encounter is bound by a secret to keep others from finding out is actually worthless. (It’s a high level, difficult enchantment that involves an illusion). Lord Drysdale has been laundering his gold to pay his debts for quite some time. It’s unlikely the majority of the gold in his vault that Benwick knows about is worth anything at all. Roland has accepted, and paid for, several items that are known to below to or be used by the party with this currency in the past. If the secret of the keep’s gold liquidity is revealed, it will have serious consequences for the entire party’s financial and social standing. It’s best if everyone keeps this lie afloat according to Drysdale.

If Drysdale is found out to be a fraud, the entire market and the commoners will be calling for his head as their investments become worthless. None of the party accepts the gold, and use the crystals to leverage their power within the keep.

Daar asks to be appointed a judge, with Kara serving as a protector and executioner. They will need to consult with the captain of the guard, Fallek and explain how they came to this position. Fallek is unaware of Drysdale’s disguise.

Grynn asks to be appointed to a council position as an adviser to the military. He will be reporting to Elessan, who is head of the military. He will be staying in the barracks with the other troops in the inner keep.

Tiers ask for protection from Fey merchants that the guild has contact with in her home region in the Feywild, and asks that she could be hidden in case of emergency. She also wants to be present when Benwick is brought down, personally. She also is given an abutting apartment to Roland in the outer keep.

Kiaron asks for transportation out of the city, and enough supplies to get to the next city. He refused the gold, and tries to hang onto a crystal. He will not make it out of the keep alive past the Golem if he doesn’t relinquish his crystal.

Meta game questions:

Huge Story implications: The party accepts the terms of handing over the crystals in exchange for their positions in the keep’s infrastructure. You are now linked, officially, with Drysdale’s power and rule. However, you know his secret about how he gets around the keep, and his membership in the Saruun Wizard Guild. How will you represent this change in knowledge?

Will you aid Drysdale in his goal of creating Warforge soldiers?
How to you feel about using Crystals to form an army that fights on your side?
The keep’s financial situation? What does it mean to your character’s plan to rise to power?

Drydale’s connection to a Wizard’s guild means he was deceptive from the start. He wanted crystals, magic items, and anything else the party found during their adventures. Does he know how to use this magic himself, or is there someone else doing the rituals required to create teleportation portals, fool’s gold, and giant mechanical golems? Who? What is their purpose in aiding Drysdale?

Where is this army hidden? Who built it? How? Does anyone else know of it?
How will you aid the Keep’s regional power?
Who in the region do you have personal reasons to either aid, or bring down?

Erathis, the god of Civilization, isn’t always aligned with the interests of the Raven Queen. Does this new service call into question any religious belief, or does it cause tension with others in the power structure of the keep?

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Adventure Recap: Benwick's Temple
WWBD?

The group is approached by a beat up and defeated Benwick. He tells them that because they disenchanted the Rod of Earthen Might, he was unable to retake his temple. He claims that Ferdinand Rornick is responsible for the sacking of his temple. He said that thieves and brigands have over run his temple, and requests the party’s help.

He says that he has a map, and with some evidence they can tie the keep’s banker to thieves. Hoping to use a potential power play to gain get more support in the keep, the group agrees to Benwick’s request. He promises payment in a map of the keep’s gold vault. He said that with the treasure in the vault, there would be evidence enough to prove Drysdale collusion in the plot to launder gold to pay for his quests into the Chaos Scar region.

The party takes a trip to the Stumbling Giant (actual), and stumbles upon a large pack of hyenas and a trainer. Caught off guard, the hyenas fall after a battle with combatants hiding in the trees sniping them from safety.

After a short descent into a secret passage, the group discovers a new sort of crystal that shoots beams of psychic energy. They also find several corpses of bandits. Is this what happened to the previous owners of the temple? While attempting to figure out how to deactivate the crystal, Tiers discovers that there had been a Gelatinous Cube waiting for them to approach in the sewer tunnel.

The party defeated the ooze, slowly, staying back and attacking from range. They then crawled through the exposed alchemical sewer tunnel into a chamber to see a Gnoll Battle ceremony in effect. A Gnoll, covered in blood, was being given some sort of magical power. Weary of the giant blood pit in the middle of the temple, a battle commenced with the party choking off the approach of the blood stained beast. The Blood Stained Gnoll, at one point, ripped apart another Gnoll that offered itself up in sacrifice and regained strength to continue to fight on harder.

A tactical use of Grease prevented the crazed Mockery Priest from getting close to some of the members of the party, and a suicidal Tiers ran towards the spell caster without heed to her safety. Her poison slowly whittled away the spell caster’s life, while the burning, blood crazy Gnoll was slowly consumed by Roland’s fire.

After the Gnolls were defeated, Roland discovered a switch to drain the giant pool of blood in the center of the temple, revealing an entrance to a dark, bloodstained structure. Whatever this temple was, it wasn’t a temple of Sehanine. The structures near the altar are reptilian, and there was no sign they were recent additions either.

Benwick was lying about something, or maybe he never knew that his old temple was on top of the entrance to some underground hellscape. With Benwick’s penchant for leaving out important details, who knows what might be true?

Meta Talk
The party has the following decisions to make:

What is Benwick, what were the Gnolls, or the Bandits, trying doing with this temple?
LIZARD STATUES? WTF?

Who is going to know about Benwick’s lies?
Was Benwick telling the truth about ANYTHING? What are the Bandits doing there?
Does Ferdinand Rornick need to be brought down to further the group’s political ambition?
Does Perrin Drysdale need to be connected to this scandal?

How will they attempt to collect the map Benwick promised them, and will they use it?
Does anything in the temple expose Benwick as a liar to anyone in the Keep?
If so, how will they use it to catch him in a lie?

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