The Clutch of Verthandi

The Road South
The Journey to Ardyn

After their exhaustive research, the heroes purchase horses to take them down the North Road en route to Ardyn, their first suspected region of draconic activity. Along the road, however, they chance upon a gnoll slaving band, of which they quickly dispatch. To their surprise, Raleria and some of the slaves recognize each other: one introduces herself as Jocelyn, a childhood friend of Raleria’s from her hometown of Hillcross, and the others are Hillcross residents as well! Apparently the town has been subject to a number of hostile raids by the gnolls, and the most recent attack had seen most of the population taken captive. The heroes escort the civilians back to the ruinous remains of Hillcross, where the townsfolk are in disarray as the constable tries to evacuate them to the nearest city and petition for aid from House Harlow. Raleria, a past friend of the constable, convinces him to fortify the town’s defenses instead while she and her companions pursue the main gnoll raiding party to recover the rest of the slaves.

Niamh tracks the gnolls north to a makeshift campsite in a small valley, fortified by a palisade wall and three gnoll soldiers, one mounted upon a massive dire hyena. Surveying the site, Niamh determines a strategic vantage point for the party to strike from, and the heroes descend upon the hyena-folk in force. Raleria suffers an unexpected assault from her adoptive father, Royce, whom she finds among the captives: Royce, in his state of despair, accuses Raleria for causing his enslavement, and attempts to grab her mid-battle despite her efforts to rescue him. In the confusion Royce is brought close to death by a gnoll spear, but Raleria stabilizes him with one of her own healing potions, suppressing her bitter memories of the man’s horrid treatment of her for the greater good. Ultimately, through a combination of Niamh’s tactical manipulation of the battlefield (tricking the gnolls onto the receiving end of their palisade), Rognar‘s notable battle prowess (single-handedly fending off the dire hyena with his axe), Raleria’s impressive magical aptitude, and a rather extravagant display of pyrotechnics on Eoleo‘s part (two alchemist-fire attacks to engulf the palisade in flames plus a potent use of the burning hands spell), the heroes utterly defeat the gnoll raiding party and return the slaves to the newly-fortified Hillcross. The adventurers are lauded by the townsfolk, and put up for the night in the very inn once owned by Raleria’s late mother. A final head count reveals that three Hillcross citizens are still missing, and discussion with the constable addresses that the increased gnoll activity implies a local buyer of slaves, possibly the current lord-general of Ardyn (who would need slaves to augment his dwindling workforce due to the supposed “curse” on the town’s disappearing laborers). On that bleak note, the heroes depart for Ardyn, wondering what kinds of atrocities would await them in the commandeered city.

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Boyne: The Hall of Heroes

In Boyne, the travelers devote their days to researching red dragons in the Hall of Heroes. Locating the necessary texts, however, proves to be a challenge, for several of the books the travelers need are in the hands of others. Niamh rides out to track down a book that has been sent north, and after negotiating with its carrier (rather clumsily due to her distrust of humans), manages to look up the necessary information. Raleria successfully tricks her way into a section of the Hall that has been reserved for a Wizarding Conference by explaining (lying) that she has been requested by the wizards to demonstrate her bloodline abilities. Eoleo meets up with Lucian again and trades a potion and a scroll for a book that proves to be illegible. He also manages to convince a rather racist and pompous elf to sell a useful text to the Hall of Heroes for half its originally unfair price. The heroes spend a little over a week in Boyne, and during their stay Niamh successfully teaches Owen to “come” on her command.

The travelers learn through their research that the red dragons’ element is fire, basic weaponry does little to harm them, and they cause paralyzing fear in their enemies. Magic weapons and cold will be needed to defeat them. The heroes also learn that as dragons grow older they also grow wiser and more powerful. To give a red dragon full range of motion, or to stop moving while one is fighting a dragon, is a death sentence. Armed with this new knowledge, the travelers ready to make the trip to Ardyn where mysterious disappearances of the city’s elves, rumors of slavery, and reports of volcanic activity in the nearby mountains have led the heroes to believe that a red dragon may be nearby.

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The Witch's Bro
Side quest: Raleria & Eoleo

About a day into researching red dragons in the renowned library/performance space known as the Hall of Heroes, Eoleo and Raleria find themselves confronted by a bigoted lumen named Lorr, who attempts to expel them from the Hall on the grounds that Raleria (a half-elf) would steal from the library just as the elven priest from his hometown had stolen all of his church’s funds. A short way into the argument, however, a swarm of bats flies down the chimney into the reading room, threatening Lorr and his two companions. Springing into action, Raleria stuns the bats with a color spray spell, quickly followed by a storm of elemental energy as Raleria engulfs the bats with lightning while Eoleo couples the attack with a blast of fire. With the bats successfully incinerated, the heroes expect an apology from their accuser; instead, Lorr tries to bar the exits, screaming that they are both witches intent on destroying the library. A fast-thinking Raleria covers for them by claiming that they are both sorcerers, while Eoleo discovers a piece of red cloth among the charred remains of the bats, a component of the summon swarm spell and indicator that the attack was not random. Lorr dictates that the two casters help him find the true culprit lest he charge them both with witchcraft, and departs shortly before Eoleo spots a hawk sitting atop the banister, which caws and flies out the window into the street.

Eoleo and Raleria follow the hawk to a run-down hostel. Inside, they discover a wiry human capable of speaking with the bird. The casters prepare for battle, but the man proves more interested in talking than fighting. He introduces himself as Lucian, a former villager from Lorr’s hometown before he was driven into exile. He recites the tale of he and his brother, Julian, who both had a gift for mystical magic tolerated only because of their gifts for animal handling and hunting, respectively. When Julian got into a fatal spat with a logger, however, the two were accused of being witches by the town’s new priest, a handsome, charming elf with long black hair. He swept the town into a frenzy and drove the brothers out; Lucian reached one of his horses and took the road south, while Julian fled into the depths of the Feywood. The two have been separated ever since. Afterwards, however, Lucian came to learn that the priest who had driven them out accumulated substantial funds from the church to lead a witch hunt, only to disappear north with all the money (thus the reason for Lorr’s presence in Boyne). With the hope of clearing his name and righting the wrong that had befallen him and Julian, Lucian travelled north after the stories of the elf, hiding in plain sight among the new faces.

Eoleo, Raleria, and Lucian then develop a certain kinship with each other: each had been subjected to prejudice in his or her past and unrightfully exiled for it. Raleria, concerned that the unscrupulous elf priest Lucian seeks might in fact be her estranged biological father Thordast, remains reticent and keeps the stranger at arm’s reach, bringing up Thordast’s name and the fact that she is looking for him but little else. Eoleo, a fellow witch, responds more keenly, and has Quallo exchange a number of spells with Lucian’s hawk, Feywing. The three casters form a loose pact: if Raleria and Eoleo help Lucian to ultimately find his elf, then Lucian will aid in their research about dragons and provide valuable information about the Feywood, which grows very near to Ardyn (Niamh‘s hometown and the first place the party plans to look for clues about the Clutch). Lucian tells them that the mysterious denizens of the forest may provide help to the heroes if they prove dignified and non-threatening. That said, Lucian also warns them that Julian still haunts the area. Julian had a bit of a cruel streak as a youth, and although Lucian has not actually met his brother since the day they fled town, he has heard disturbing stories from some of the forest natives; apparently Julian’s violent expulsion from the town and years of living as a hermit have only increased his depravity, for now he ambushes travelers without hesitation or mercy. Lucian suggests that if the heroes are attacked, knocking Julian down a few pegs may serve to win his cooperation (or at least drive him off), since he is most dangerous when he is overconfident. Lucian does implore the heroes, however, not to kill Julian, for he is still family despite having become a murderous madman.

Lucian promises to take care of Lorr and his accusations against them, although he fails to mention how. With that, the three arcanists depart on friendly terms. Eoleo and Raleria then return to the Hall to continue their research.

EXP gained: 600 each (1,200 total)

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Finding the True Clutch

After a week of resting, crafting, buying, and horse training in Ogjorn, our heroes set out with the lumen, Owen, and his party on the pilgrimage to Mount Georgia with the sacred Electrum Lance in hand. Along the way, the party encounters a pair of giant ants that are quickly vanquished. Without much more excitement, the heroes arrive outside the shrine at the foot of Mount Georgia when they are attacked by a pack of Hell Hounds. One of the Hell Hounds snatches the Electrum Lance and dashes into the shrine. On Owen’s orders, the heroes enter the shrine in an effort to slay the Hell Hounds and retrieve the lance. The party eventually manages to kill the Hell Hounds, but mere seconds after this is accomplished a group of Ogres (more specifically, fire-giants) storm in upon the members of the pilgrimage, crushing them beneath their feet. A red-haired giantess takes hold of Owen and snaps his neck, killing him before she knocked down the pillars of the shrine with her club, leaving our heroes trapped and bewildered.

After trying to piece together the most recent events without much success, the heroes decide to grab some of the shrine’s offerings before proceeding. After remembering the story of Saint Georgia, they discover there is a phosphorescent light on the ceiling that guides our heroes deeper into the mountain. They follow this trail through the many, winding paths of mountain’s interior, sometimes needing to climb over high ledges (much to the chagrin of Raleria, who seemed to be having a bad day). Midway through their journey they stumbled upon an area with two humanoid statues. Upon inspection of the statues, they realize that they had once been alive and are then faced against a cockatrice. They take the creature down without too much trouble and continue to venture deeper into the mountain, still following the path of Saint Georgia.

Eventually, they come to find a door. The walls surrounding the door are covered in runes that instruct the usage of the Electrum Lance. After a few failed attempts by Rognar, Raleria takes the lance and charges it with electricity, which opens the door to the dragon’s lair, which looks disheveled and wrecked with scarred floors. The heroes identify some of the scars as tracks, tracks too fresh to have been from the dragon killed by Saint Georgia. Following the scars on the floor, the heroes discover a secret passage leading to a lava-filled room. Inside the room they come upon four hatched dragon eggs— the real clutch of Verthandi.

Weighed down by this knowledge, the party makes their way back down the outside of the mountain and take care to track Niamh’s horse, who managed to flee the ogre’s attack. After securing her horse, Niamh decides to name the creature. She christens it Owen, in honor of her father as well as the perished lumen. The party makes the journey to Aurora’s End. They decide to visit the local church to pass along the story of their most recent venture. They meet another lumen named Hoden and retell the past few days’ events. The lumen is at first skeptical of the existence of giants and dragons still plaguing the lands, but he is thoroughly convinced when Niamh hands him her dragon-scale necklace for inspection. Undertaking the task of tracking and eliminating the dragons, the party takes Hoden’s advice to travel south to Boyne to collect information on the subject.

EXP gained: 2,150 each
Loot acquired: 70 sp each, 200 sp worth of diamond dust

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Mission Accomplished
Slave Haven, Pt. 3

The heroes return to the throne room and use the password from the journal to successfully disarm the enchantment that animated the throne. They then complete their original objective by returning to the pantry and slaying the bugbear Grooth, leaving the haven proper unoccupied. Intrigued by the goblin bard’s talk of treasure, however, the heroes investigate the throne room further and discover a fifty-foot well descending into an underground cavern. The heroes find themselves up against the hazardous occupants of the well’s depths, namely a cave fisher and an unusually klutzy choker. They navigate their way to a well-maintained chamber protected by a riddle, a locked passageway unlocked by Horth’s key, and an iron cobra, which leads them into the halfling crypt that houses a secret treasure trove. Now substantially wealthy, the heroes return to the surface to report their success, but not before Niamh uses a new composite ash bow she finds in the treasure room to single-handedly fell a deadly violet fungus.

Upon returning to Ogjorn, the heroes meet Owen, a lumen recruiting sword hands for a pilgrimage to the sacred shrine at Mount Georgia, who hires them upon hearing of their exploits in the slave haven. He tells them that they have about a week to prepare for the journey, given accommodations for poor weather and gathering supplies. In this time, the adventurers assist the stabler Caleb with three sick foals, earning them a reduced price for the use of his horses (excepting Niamh, who was so integral to the foals’ recovery that Caleb bequeathed her with a horse of her very own). The characters now have roughly a week to shop or craft in Ogjorn before the pilgrimage departs.

EXP gained: 12,800 (3,200 each)
Treasure distribution:
Niamh – 628 sp, 25 gp, 2 tiger eye gems (20 sp each), 3 white pearls (100 sp each), 4 rose quartz gems (50 sp each), 2 sunrods (1 lb each; can be given to a different party member)
Rognar – 627 sp, 25 gp, 1 tiger eye gem (20 sp), 3 white pearls (100 sp each), 4 rose quartz gems (50 sp each), bottle of fine elvish wine (20 sp, 1.5 lbs)
Raleria – 627 sp, 25 gp, 2 tiger eye gems (20 sp each), 3 white pearls (100 sp each), 4 rose quartz gems (50 sp each)
Eoleo – 427 sp, 11 gp, 2 tiger eye gems (20 sp each), 2 white pearls (100 sp each), 6 rose quartz gems (50 sp each), platinum chain with white opal amulet carved to look like two doves (15 gp), halfling noble outfit (75 sp, 5 lbs), 3 tindertwigs (can be given to another party member)

NOTE: Rognar still needs to choose skill ranks, feat(s), and armor training for leveling up to level 3!!!

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"Leave No Stone Unturned"
Slave Haven, Pt. 2

Upon waking up, our heroes decide to pay a visit to Grooth’s cousin. They figure that Grooth’s hesitance to meet his kin could bode well for their mission, should they be able to charm him as they did his counterpart. The band depart the slave haven’s suites and battle their way through goblins armed with Alchemist’s Fire, after which they find themselves in a throne room with an unseemly method to its wreckage. Fearful of what the room’s jeweled throne might hold in store for trespassers, they backtrack through several other unvisited chambers, including a smithy’s forge, where they defeaat a Fire Elemental, and an arbiter’s training ground, where they defeat a ghoul who tests their every move.

These trials overcome, the party reach a door behind which they can hear two voices in heated argument, one high-pitched and pleading, the other deep and forceful. The members of the group agree that the latter is likely Grooth’s kin and, kicking down the door, attempt to charm him…

…But to no avail. Grooth’s cousin, Horth, shakes clear of the spell and proceeds to attack the group, alongside a goblin bard who begins to beat upon a small tom at his side. The rhythm is short-lived as the group deals blow after deft blow to the pair of baddies, killing Horth and making a hostage of the goblin. With a little convincing he reveals that the throne room, which heretofore has instilled fear in our typically fearless, fearsome heroes, is rigged to destroy anyone who means ill to halflings. Upon examining a journal they found in what previously served as the master’s quarters, the adventurers also discover a phrase they believe to be the password that quells the enchanted throne. Armed with this new knowledge, the band releases the goblin and turns its interest back to the seat of royalty.

Will our heroes outwit the mighty chair of the halflings? Will their supposed benevolence prove enough for the chair to let them pass in honesty? Or will they end up stone dead? TUNE IN: This Friday, 7:00PM EST to discover their fate!

EXP gained: 5,100 (1,275 each)
TREASURE TO BE DIVIDED: 1,147 sp, 5 gp, 3 potions of cure light wounds, 1 scroll of ray of enfeeblement (taken by Eoleo), 2 doses of greenblood oil (taken by Niamh), 2 antitoxins, 3 tindertwigs, 9 rose quartz gems (50 sp each), 7 tiger eye gems (20 sp each), 10 pieces of matching fine silverware (20 sp each), 2 halfling noble outfits (75 sp each), silver necklace (4 gp). To spare them some dead weight, the party is currently storing its accumulated treasure that isn’t immediately useful in the apartment complex, to be divided evenly upon clearing the slave haven.

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Exterminator Duty
Slave Haven, Pt. 1

The merchant Maina recruits three passing adventurers to accompany her supplier, Rognar, into an abandoned halfling slave haven, which has been occupied by hostile goblinoids. The party slays a number of goblins throughout the first few rooms of the facility, as well as a pair of goblin dogs. They then dismantle a trap blocking access to a complex of apartments, providing access to a safe resting space avoided by the goblins (who are unaware of the trap’s dismantled state). While exploring the kitchen and dining areas, the party comes upon Grooth, a bugbear who has made the ramshackle pantry his home. Eoleo, a gnome magician in the group, charms Grooth and tricks him into trading his worldly possessions (except for a stash of valuable spices he has stored somewhere else in the pantry) for a single copper piece, which Eoleo glamours to appear golden. The bewitched bugbear also informs the party that his cousin (likely another bugbear) is the effective “boss” of the goblinoid squatters, and that the room across from the far door from the apartment complex houses hostiles who love fire and will likely attack with it. Eoleo, a skilled alchemist, believes that the hostiles are likely pyromaniacal goblins who have found a stash of alchemist’s fire, an adhesive, highly volatile substance that combusts upon exposure to oxygen. The group then leaves Grooth unharmed in the pantry and returns to the apartments to rest. The party has just rested for 8 hours in the apartments, providing ample time to recover all spells and hit points (Eoleo uses long-term care to restore everyone to full fighting capacity).

EXP gained: 3,140 (785 each).
Treasure to be distributed: 5 rose quartz gems (50 sp each, held by Eoleo), 10 pieces of matching fine silverware (20 sp each, held by Eoleo).

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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