The Devourer Awakens

At a campsite
The Characters are meeting for the first time: what will become of them?

The halfling reaches the campsite at the base of the mountain pass leading over the GEM mountains. He starts to hunt around the campsite for twigs and sticks to build a fire. While he is tired from the long journey that has gotten him this far, he is still cheerful and happy-go-lucky.

Meanwhile, two more weary travelers reach the site. They choose a more secluded camp spot and begin to set up. The young half-elven female begins unpacking, while the youthful elven male begins setting up snares further out from the camp to catch a rabbit. It is the start of spring, so game is scarce but available if you know what to look for. The rabbit is caught and prepped in a short time then as the young woman begins to prepare dinner, the male begins to set up the tents.

A teenage human male comes along the path. Seeing the elven male struggling alone with the tents, he offers to help. The elf is initially going to refuse, but his traveling companion overrides him. Proclaiming that she has food to offer in exchange for his help, the half elven female begins to organize the camp.

Hearing the ruckus over at the other camp and overhearing mention of the food, the halfling gives up his struggles with his own camp and bounds over to the other. Proclaiming he has ale to go with meal, he joins the other travelers for a simple meal.

Introductions are made all around. Kaeth Neltanas is the youthful male elf. He has a somewhat serious personality and glowers balefully at the human male. Saori is the young female half-elf. She is pragmatic and quite a beauty. Zeekali Coinspinner is the halfling male. With an ever cheerful, not to mention, mildly annoying personality, he is constantly enjoying the fun and games of travel. Tahir Dawnbringer is the human teenager. He is extremely tall and lanky.

As they sit an eat, another traveler appears down the road. She is a tall human female of about 35 years with a thick scar that cuts from the inside of her right brow down to her jawline. The group invites her to share their meal with them. She gratefully accepts and sits and listens to Zeekali tell stories. She introduces herself as Rinai. She has one visibly magical item: her cloak which she laid on the ground as a blanket, melts the nearby snow and dries the ground under and around it, so it is more comfortable for her to sleep. The group finally sleeps, getting a good rest for the journey the next day.

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Arrival at Inn at the Top of the Mountain
The Characters find a common goal. Where will it lead them?

Rinai wakes early and sets out before any of them. As the group packs up, they all realize they are heading in the same direction. They start the long walk up the mountain pass following Rinai’s visible footsteps. About an hour into the journey, her footsteps simply vanish. There are no other tracks, no signs of a struggle. Baffled, the group spends a bit of time hunting around trying to find out what happened to Rinai. Finding no additional tracks anywhere along the path or further out, the group finally has to continue on and allow the mystery of Rinai to remain unsolved.

The group continues up the mountain for 6 days. The slope is steep and the air gets thinner as they travel up. On the 6th day about mid-afternoon, the group crests the mountain and follows a winding trail for about a mile. This part of the road is flat and surrounded by large boulders. Around a sharp bend in the road, the area opens into a courtyard surrounded by a couple of massive buildings. Overhead is a stone shelf that acts as an overhang for the buildings. Built of heavy stone, the entire courtyard is big enough to fit 2-3 caravans of animals and wagons. Outside of the building along the eastern side under the shelf are a series of heavy stone troughs. Also along the southern wall under the overhang is another series of troughs. In the center are 4 wells which all have stone covers on them. The building along the northern wall is a two story sturdy stone structure. It has a single person sized door. The eastern building is a single story and has a set of double doors that go almost to the roof. On the southern wall is a small single story building about 15’X25’.

The weary group heads towards the large two story building along the northern wall. As they enter, two massive fireplaces that are large enough to cook oxen in have roaring fires going. One of them has a large stew cauldron hanging over it. A large table is sitting in front of it with 10 chairs. The other fireplace has a seating arrangement situated in front of it with two large loungers and multiple upholstered chairs covered in a dark burgundy cloth. There are four huge massive bear-skin rugs laid out in front the fireplace itself. There are other tables and seating scattered around the room. Along the southeastern area of the room is a gleaming wooden bar. A dwarf with a big bushy brown beard and deep inset eyes peers at them from behind the bar.

Introductions are made. The innkeeper, Duroth, welcomes the group and gets them set up with rooms. The rooms have a magical security system involving large coin like objects that they insert into a circular indention in the door to open it. Duroth calls out for Grol to get the bathtubs for the guests and to get bath water. Grol is an half-orge with an almost childlike mentality.

Before settling into his room for a bath, Kaeth heads into the barn to ask the stablehands if they remember anything about a traveler that might have passed through here recently. In the stable he finds a young dwarf and a teenage human. Narin and Saul are playing a game of dice. They scramble up as Kaeth enters and answer his questions about a elf that might have passed by this way. Saul remembers him well. He left his horse here because it was lame. He indicates the horse then watches as Kaeth check it out. Satisfied that there are not any clues to be found on the horse, Kaeth heads back into the inn and gets a bath.

Everyone eventually makes their way downstairs for the evening meal. There is a table sitting near the cauldron with bread and cheese. The dwarves are sitting around their table. Saul and Grol are sitting a small table not far from the dwarves eating in a companionable silence. The group gets food and gathers around another table to enjoy a simple but filling meal of meat stew with crusty bread and cheese.

The dwarves chatter amongst themselves. Sitting at the table are Duroth, Olga Duroth’s wife, Narin the youngest son, Garret the oldest son, and Opal Duroth’s only daughter. About twenty minutes into the meal a heated argument begins between Garret and Duroth. It escalates into a yelling fight between the two men before Olga steps in and cuts them off. She angrily sends Garret to his room and once he is gone, she berates Duroth for getting into the argument. They both end up stalking away, Olga to the kitchen and Duroth to the other end of the room. Narin and Opal engage the group in conversation, explaining that it was an ongoing argument between their father their oldest brother. As everyone is finishing their food, there is a scream from the kitchen.

Everyone gets up to rush towards the kitchen. Kaeth grabs a barstool as he rushes in first. He sees three goblins standing in front of a door with a fourth one closing it. The goblin in front spots Kaeth and brandishes his small shield and waves his sword menacingly. Behind Kaeth from across the dining room he can hear the anguished yell from Duroth. “Olga!!! I am coming.” Duroth is rushing towards the kitchen brandishing a sword like someone who has never held one. Tahir is right behind Kaeth as is Saul, Grol and Saori. Zeekalir heads towards the front door of the inn, easing it open to check outside.

The goblin closing the door turns and sees Kaeth standing there and panics. He squeals in terror. Saul got a sleep spell off, affecting the two goblins in the back. Saori blasts one with a bolt of eldritch energy. Kaeth closes with the final one and smacks it with the chair. The battle is over quickly. Duroth rushes into room and panics since he cannot find Olga. As the group stands around talking about the next course of action, Opal shouts from the dining room. “I got some of your stuff…” Meanwhile, Zeekali has seen that the courtyard is swarming with goblins and he closes the door and brings the heavy metal bar down.

Opal brings in Kaeth’s armor and spear. Zeekali decides to go scout a bit and Narin offers to lead him through the secret tunnels underneath to the various areas. Zeekali first checks the stables and finds there are goblins moving down the aisle towards the blacksmith area furthest away from the inn. He goes back down into the tunnels and Narin takes him to the blacksmith secret door. There Zeekali and Narin hear Garret’s voice communicating to the goblins.

Meanwhile, the others step outside the door and engage the goblins there. Several goblins are in process of trying to set fire to the woodpiles outside. Others are watching the door. Grol knocks a goblin into the well. Saori deals with the fire wielding goblins. Saul works on the archers while Kaeth closes with a couple of goblins and Tahir follows him and uses some of his divine magic to devastating effect. Kaeth gets minorly injured during the fight causing Tahir to call upon his deity for healing. After the fight ends and everyone regroups, Zeekali returns and gives everyone the grim news.

The group attempts to go through the stables, but they find the way blocked by fire. They release the horses, then step out into the courtyard. They approach the smithy from the front and when they go in, no one is there. The goblins have vanished and so has Garret. The group finally notices that the well on this side is open and it is dry. There is a tunnel at the bottom of the well, leading south.

They decide to check the small store next to the smithy to make sure there are not any more goblins lurking around. They do not find any more goblins but the store has been ransacked, so while the group searches for useful items there, Saori goes and gathers their items from their rooms. Saul opens a secret room and they find various minor magicked items in there.

They decide Grol will stay and guard Duroth, Narin and Opal. Saul decides to go with the group and help out. Saul goes and collects his items.

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Into the well

The journey into the well and down the tunnel is slow due to the low ceiling height. After a time, the hallway gets higher so the group can actually stand upright. About this time, they come across a trap and some goblin archers. They deal with the trap and fight off the goblins.

The group follows the winding passages to an extremely large cavern. The floor evened out and is now dirt covered stones. Crumbled pillars lay in a row leads to a raised dais with an archway to nowhere that stands 40 feet high and is 20 feet wide. Garret along with a male Eladrin, a female tiefling, a male human, a female dark elf and a male elf. The male elf both Saori and Keath recognize as their father, Gilthanis Neltanas. Garret has opened some kind of portal and the group sees them carry Olga through the portal. Watching carefully, a couple of the group notices a sign barely visible through the portal: Welcome to Port Liston!

The group starts forward to try to stop the others but Garret shouts a word that seems to activate some kind of defense. Ice covers the floor and 6 skeletons rise up and confront the group. While the group deals the with skeletons and tries to cross the ice covered floor, the other group escapes through and closes the portal.

Once they have dealt with the ice skeletons, the group goes to investigate the portal. Saori and Saul get into a deep discussion about how to work the portal. They conclude there is some kind of key necessary to get through it, but they cannot say what it is.

The group now has the sad task of returning to tell Duroth that Olga has been taken. Once they have done so, they decide that Grol will stay at the Inn with Duroth, Opal and Narin, and Saul will go with them down the mountain to Port Liston to look for Olga.

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Of Festivals and Horrors

Zeekali picks up Olga’s Holy Symbol and one of Garret’s socks. Night falls and the party spends time resting and relaxing. Supplied and rested, the party heads down the mountain for Port Liston. After nine days of uneventful travel down a winding path, the party runs into a forest. After some discussion they decide to go through the dense forest, also to avoid the Ruins where the ghosts of the people who once lived there seem to come alive at night.

Cutting through the forest however became more of a challenge then anyone knew. The party first was forced to circumvent a large apparent nest of spiders. They didn’t see any spiders but between the draped spiderwebs that covered the tree tops, and the halfling that was nearly caught in one, everyone got the idea to avoid that area.

Later that day, as the party started to make their trek eastward again, they were attacked by squirrels, porcupines and deer. The animals had blackened and bloody eyes, with a taint that couldn’t be explained. As the adventurers fend off the local wild life, the dead began to rise out of the ground. As Tahir rushes ahead to turn them, Saori and Zeekali clamors up a tree only to discover that they were being surrounded by the spiders that the others had hoped to avoid. Saori sends out an eldritch blast in panic as everyone retreats.

Running blindly, the party enters a clearing that leads to a town. They are immediately greeted by Elias and he explains that there is a festive event in the town of Arbolville. Realizing that this was the place that was described as the ‘Ghost Town’, they discover through various means that this was 203 years in the past. The party splits up to investigate:

Zeekali goes to the bar where he joins in a Bardic Competition.

Tahir and Kaeth talks Elias and investigates a path heading out of the town to a shrine.

Saori and Saul goes to the Main Hall to mingle with dancers.

In various ways Everyone hears about the origin of the festival. During the festival a sickly cloud appears with shadowy properties. Choosing to head out of town by the pathway that was discovered by Kaeth and Tahir they make their way to a shrine. The shrine is a pool of water in perpetual autumn, and is the sacred ground of Sehanine. The halfling scrambles up a tree to watch while the others just listen to the destruction of Arbolville. The cloud envelops the town as the sickly shadows droop down, raining destruction upon the inhabitants. Shorlty afterward three children appear in the shrine, with a fourth flickering in and out of existence. After walking up to the lake the four disappear. One of them, who was carrying a doll, left it a moonrock, and the doll remained after the children disappeared. With nothing more to do, the party rests in peace.

In the light of day, the party walks back to the town. It is in ruins and the forest had long since reclaimed it. Searching through, the party finds a string of wooden birds that represented the gypsy magics, except for one. Closer examination showed that the rope was purposefully cut, and if the Falcon piece was on there, then it would create a circle. After searching through the ruins they could not find the missing piece.

Going back to the shrine, Kaeth figures that this was going to be the last night of the new moon, which is when the ceremony was for the festival, which was used to protect the townsfolk from the shadows. The plan for the next night was as follows:

Find the Children, because there were none in the town when the group first came. Find either the complete group of figurines or the missing piece if the circle was already broken. Find out about the shrine’s origin and find out if the gypsy order still exists.

Standing upon the tree, where he rested the night before, Zeekali helps to discover that the 16 moonrocks that bordered the lake actually are in the pattern of the cardinal directions (N,S,E,W and the variations). The doll that is on the rock is facing east away from the city.

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A Close-up of a Time Knot

The group discusses their options before leaving the safety of the shrine. Zeekali opts to go scouting for the children, since the group needs to find out who those kids are and what bearing they have on the mystery. The others decide to go into town to learn what they can and maybe try to find a way to save the town.

Zeekali heads off in the direction of the town. The group had discovered there seems to be a bubble that covers the town and it protects anyone inside it from the predatory animals and the spiders and the undead. Zeek gets inside the bubble and beginning on the eastern side of town, heads south to circle around the town looking for any farms or buildings nearby that might have children. It is a rather dull trip, but finally when Zeek reaches the northern end of town (it takes him a bit to get up there), Zeek notices a distinctively used-looking wide trail heading into the woods. He hesitates a moment, eyeballing the bubble’s edge and trying to decide if it is a smart move. Finally with a shrug, Zeek sets off along the path figuring he would rather report back that he found children than report back that he found a path that MIGHT lead to somewhere. He travels along the road for sometime before realizing he might have wanted to let someone know where he was going…

Meanwhile…

The others go into town. Tahir and Kaeth go again to the town square and approach th elders. Saori and Saul head off to speak with a few people about who might have carved those beautiful figures. After speaking with several people, they learn that a man named Lerrik has a son who is the one who does the best carving in town. They are told Lerrik is in the main hall helping with the set up. They go in and speak with Lerrik only to learn that Lerrik’s son and his daughter both carve, but his daughter is very young still. Saul quietly eyes the bag containing the figures hoping for a glimpse of magic. He does not see any.

The town quickly finishes setting up the final touches of the festival and as things just start to get underway, a group of 6 adventurers comes into town. All human and obviously well traveled, they are greeted by the same elder in the same spot as the main group had been the night before. The other group is made up of 5 men and a woman. One of the men is stunningly beautiful. His facial features are delicately formed and his hair is a long black silk curtain that is held back with silver clips. His warm brown eyes seem to always have a smile in them. His mannerisms are graceful, his hands slender and delicate. His clothing, a white loose shirt and tight black leather pants, is designed to set up his perfect physique, wide shoulders with a narrow waist and hips. His name is Mikhael, the group soon discovers. Dantal: a large burly man in heavy armor with short blunt-cut graying brown hair who is quiet with cautious grey eyes that survey everything closely; Silas: a tall rangy fellow with overgrown brown hair wearing very worn leather armor and a brown and green patterned cloak and carrying a bow; Victoria: the lone female of the group who is short with honey blonde hair and ice-cold hazel eyes. She is voluptuously formed and wears a light travel skirt and a very light weight cotton blouse. Lawrence: a medium sized man with a shaggy brown hair and startlingly silver eyes. He wears a robe over chainmail armor with a brilliantly gleaming holy symbol of Sehanine prominently displayed at the collar. Rico: a short thin fidgety man with spiked black hair and brown eyes. He wears light leather armor and a dark mottled green cloak. He carries a variety of bags and pouches on his belt as well and a multitude of daggers. Our group soon learns that this other group is from about 150 years in the past… which would be 50 years after the fall of this town.

The groups decide to work together and they soon learn thru various means several things:

1. The children do not come to the final night of the festival because there was a prophecy about something bad happening during the last night of the festival. So it has become tradition to leave the children at home.

2. If something bad were to happen, everyone in the village, even the children, knows to go to the dwarven town in the mountains to the east. While it is a bit of a journey, it would be safer than staying.

3. Silas knows of a place that used to be a site of evil worship to the southeast. It is a bit out of the way if you are heading to the dwarven town, but he thinks it might be the best place to investigate as a source of the evil cloud.

Meanwhile….

Zeekali, after some time of walking, comes upon an old farmstead. The barn is in noticeable disrepair, but the thing that stands out about the farmstead is that it is in excellent condition especially since it supposedly hasn’t been used in 200 years. The fields have very few weeds growing in them and the fenced in yard in front of the house is in order. The house itself is made of wood. The roof is still in excellent condition and the windows to the house have not been broken. Zeekali fails to notice a minor trap set, but does manage to evade the small arrow that shot out at him. Once he gets inside, he sees that the furniture, though dusty is is excellent condition as well… none of the fabric is disturbed by time. Zeek spends a good deal of time exploring the house. Zeek takes notice of several interesting facts about the house other than its obvious lack of decay.

1. The dining room table has a heavy wooden table and 6 chairs, each of which has a bird prominently displayed on the back.

2. Each of the bedrooms has carvings of various nature items vine work, ivy, grapes, trees, streams and such around the outside of the door jamb.

After much searching, prodding and pushing, Zeek finally discovers a secret tunnel that opens if you tip the very heavy wooden dining room table along the southern edge. Zeeks goes down there and slowly becomes aware that time has passed and he begins to feel a sense of urgency. He finds a secret room with 2 backpacks in it. He takes some of the more useful items from the backpacks.

He heads down a tunnel that is in the eastern wall. He begins to run hoping to make it back before the green cloud descends…

Meanwhile…

The others have joined forces with the new group; they have decided to try saving at least one person. The green cloud is getting closer now and so they have one shot at it. They decide to save the tavernkeeper, the one who is holding the story telling contest. They concoct a story about a tree that looked like it was going to fall on her roof and lured her out with stories of an impending storm. The tavernkeeper steps outside to keep people inside from panicking. As soon as she gets outside alongside the building, Kaeth and Tahir throw a bag over her head and and Kaeth picks her up and they all start running for the path. The cloud is almost upon them.

They get outside of the bubble and the tavernkeeper vanishes. So does the other group. Kaeth acts like he is gently setting the tavernkeeper on the ground (since he is unsure if she is still on his shoulder or if she somehow was never there to begin with?) then they all take off running to the shrine. Zeekali pops out from a tree along the path to the shrine just as everyone runs by. One of the people tries to grab him, but he ducks back into his hole before realizing it is his friends. Zeek follows everyone to the shrine.

At the shrine once again, the noise is not heard from the village this night. In the morning, after the ghostly children visit the shrine and leave, the characters search the pool area for anything that might have been left behind by the other group. They find a note signed by Rico.

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The Farmstead and a halfling

Ander Longfoots has been wandering in the woods the last few days. He figured out quickly that being close to the ruins in the middle of the forest at night was not a good thing. For one thing, the animals are not friendly, even to one used to dealing with woodland creatures. For another, the undead are apparently kinda hungry around there. And finally, the spiders in the trees are about twice the size of his head.

On the second day he is in the woods, he runs across the ruins of the town during daylight. He pokes around the ruins a bit, checking out the various rubble piles. He runs into a pretty little wooden bird dangling from a tree branch on what looked to be fishing wire. He cuts it down and puts it in his pocket; it is pretty and might be useful for trading later or something.

On his third day out and about, he finds a farmstead. It is a curious little farmstead especially since it looks like it is still inhabited… except for the dust inside when he looks through the windows. The barn is obviously infested with those spiders from the woods, so he avoids that. As he is exploring, Ander hears voices coming from the road heading south towards the town ruins. He goes and hides just inside the treeline not far from the house so he has a clear view of the front of the house and the road.

Coming up the road, whistling a bawdy tune is another halfling. Dressed in leathers without a cloak, the halfling moves towards the house. Behind the halfling, chatting and discussing amongst themselves are 4 other people. A very tall human with long black hair wearing leather armor and a brown woolen cloak is followed by an elf wearing scale type armor with a long billowing cloak stalking along with a spear and shield casually held in his hands. Behind them are a woman walking with her cloak hood down casually spinning thread while talking with a lanky human teenager about various magical theories.

The others follow the halfling towards the front gate of the yard and they watch as the halfling checks around for a minute before declaring it safe. They go to the door of the house where they repeat the procedure before opening the door of the house. Anders sneaks quietly up behind the group and stands just outside the doorway looking in curiously as the others spread out a bit and check out the house.

Someone in the group finally notices Anders and they all begin talking. Anders recognizes the lanky human teenager from the Inn at the Top of the Mountain as Saul. Anders had spent some time with Olga and Duroth a few years back while he was learning various trades. He learns from the group that Olga has been taken and Garret Stormrider is somehow behind it all. He decides to go with them to help save Olga because she had helped him out during a tough time in his life. Also the group learns that Ander has the missing bird for the circle. When they put the little falcon close to the severed rope it naturally knits itself back together forming a perfect circle of birds.

Zeek points out the tunnel leading from the house to the path to the shrine. As the group investigates the table, Saori notices a few faint notches along the top of the table that form a circle. She gets the circle of birds and sets them facing each other on the table. The table drops along the short edge and slowly raises on its own along the long western edge of the table. There is a shimmering portal underneath. The group stands around discussing what could be down there, so Zeek steps through. After a few minutes, the group follows.

A set of gradual steps wide enough for two people to walk comfortably side by side goes down into a well lit corridor. Along the walls are carved a continuous nature scene showing trees and woodland creatures frolicky in the underbrush. The corridor is not too long and ends in a circular room with 6 archways carved into the walls. Above each archway in a small indention.

The group stands around discussing what to do. They decide to go back and get the little bird figures off the table. Tahir heads back to do that and Ander follows him to see if they can find the trigger to let him back in. After examining the wall designs near the entrance, they find a series of birds that if pressed in the right order will open the entrance. Tahir goes up and grabs the birds which causes the table to drop and Ander opens the entrance back up again to let Tahir back down.

When they get back to the room, they present one of the little bird figures to an indentation. one of the little figures slides off the rope and snaps into the indentation. The archway below the indentation shimmers and clears showing a deserted cobblestone street apparently at night lit by lanterns. The street looks to be clean and in good repair. There are no people.

They begin discussing what to do. They toss a rock through the portal and it vanishes. They also dont want to lose the figurine by going thru and not taking it with them, but it has to be up there to activate the portal. So they decide to tie a string around the bird figure and yank it through once they decide to go through the portal. Tahir decides to try to see what is on the other side. He sticks his head thru the portal and dwarves materialize outside walking by. Several stop and look at him oddly. He looks back and sees he is half out of a boarded up door to an abandoned building. He sees the rock on the ground further out and pulls back through the portal. The group decides to tie a rope around Zeek and send him through the portal with the rope on. Zeek goes through and the dwarves materialize around him. Many stop and stare at him. He sees the rope going back into the boarded up door. The group can see Zeek outside the door but cannot see anything else around him other than the street. Zeek slides the rope off and the group loses the connection; Zeek vanishes from their sight.

Zeek asks one of the dwarves what the date is and what town he is in. The dwarf answers that is it the 25th year of the rule of Haldur Graniteshard and this is Brodger’s Ferry. Zeek then asks where he can get a place to stay for the night. The dwarf directs him to The Lace and Sword. Zeek grabs the rock, ties a bit of rope to it, scribbles down on a piece of parchment where he is going, and ties the other end of the rope to it. He climbs up and sets the rock so it dangles the paper over the doorway so it will hit the next one in the face when they come out. He heads off to the inn.

The group finally decides to go through the portal. Tahir is the last one through and he pulls the string fast and hard to get the bird out before the portal snaps closed. The little bird flies out and they replace it on the string with the other birds.

Saul has the note from Zeek since he ran into it first. The group then heads off to the inn where Zeek is waiting for them. Zeek has purchased rooms and is drinking some good dwarven ale in the common room. There are 2 dragonborn sitting at a table together, a female tiefling off at a table alone, 2 elves sitting together, an eladrin at a table in the corner, and various dwarves.

Kaeth goes to the bar and buys a couple of drinks for the elves. He heads to their table and chats with them for a bit. He finds out the shorter one in robes is a cleric of Corellon named Droseth Halas. With him is a tall well built elf lounging in his chair. Eliri Purnue is a guardian for Droseth. Zeek chooses this moment to try to challenge everyone in the room to a drinking contest. The group manages to keep him from challenging everyone, but not Eliri. Eliri accepts the challenge and in the name of honor tell Zeek they will meet the next night to drink to give the halfling time to let the current alcohol wear off. The group finds out through all this that the tavern owner is a former pirate. They also learn that there are difficulties at the docks.

The group decides to retire for the evening.

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Checking Around Town

The group heads out the next morning with Zeek having a hangover. They first go to the docks where they find a Highborn dwarf by the name of Delban Graniteshard arguing with the ferrymaster. Apparently Delban does not like being kept here when he needs to return home. The ferrymaster explains that there are some difficulties with the ferries and they are not reaching their destination. The ferrymaster also hints at other problems that keeps the dwarves from immediately investigating the cause of these incidents. The group steps up and smooths the ruffled feathers of the nobleman and they send him on his way before offering their services to help the ferrymaster. The ferrymaster turns out to be Dolon Stormrider, Duroth’s little brother. They hand over the letter from Duroth and after reading it, Dolon decides to accept their offer of assistence. He tells them it will take him a bit of time to get the boat together to take them downriver.

The group decides to split up and go check out the temples in town for a note from their friends from the past. Saori, Kaeth and Tahir head to the temple of Moradin, while Saul and the two halflings head to the temple to Avandra.

The temple of Moradin is quite impressive. Set into the far western wall of the underground complex, the outside of it is a massive bas relief. Moradin stands in the forefront with anvil sitting beside him and his hammer raised high. Sitting on the anvil is a sphere taking shape. In the background of the picture are various molds cut that look like dwarves. Walking into the temple, the doors are between Moradin’s feet.

The back of the temple is composed of dark stonework which gradually gets lighter as you approach the altar. The altar itself is a white marble with rose marble surrounding its base. There are baskets to either side of the altar. On the left is where offerings are made by actual worshippers of Moradin. On the right is a basket for offerings from those just coming to a place of worship. They learn that those offerings are inset into the walls of the side room of the temple that serves as a place for worshippers of other good/unaligned gods who do not have a temple in town. They go into the room and after some searching they find a scroll case partially sticking out of the wall. They open it and find the note from Rico.

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Princess in a Box

The group meets back up at the docks. Dolon has been able to get a boat that seats 10 people and has oars and rudder for steering. There are also potions to help if the boat flips that give water breathing abilities.

The group sets off down the river. As they pass into the tunnels they realize they do not have lights and the tunnels are not lit. They decide to tie a sunrod to the end of Zeek’s sling-staff to help light the way. Saul sits at the front of the boat holding the staff to light the way.

After 10 hours of steering and rowing, the river begins to flow a bit faster as the tunnels narrow and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. They break thru to an open area where the sun is shining overhead and shows that it is mid morning. Ahead, splitting the river around it, is a “C” shaped island with a mist covered area in the center of “C”. To the right (south), is a swampy area covered in fairly dense trees and vines. To the north is a wooded area.

Near the southern shore not far from where they come into the open, the group can see the ferries have been sunk in the water. They decide to head over there to see what they can discover about the sunken ferry boats.

They eventually decide after much discussion that Kaeth and Zeek will dive down using the potions in their little boat to see if they can find anything or figure out what happened. The first thing they realize is there are not any bodies around. The second thing they find out is there are holes in the front parts of the boats as if they were struck underwater by a concentrated force such as a ballista. After much searching the only thing they find is a large box about 5 feet long by 3 feet wide by 2.5 feet high. They manage to get the box up and out of the room it was in.

They all huddle around the box while Zeek works on the locking mechanism. After a while the lock gives and the box pops open. Laying inside is a pretty dwarven girl of about 14. She appears to be asleep at first. Then she suddenly jumps up and pulls a dagger and looking around wildly. The intricacy of her braids lets them know she is a member of the noblity at least. Saul, after speaking with her, figures out she is the dwarven Princess, youngest daughter of Haldur Graniteshard, the dwarven King. The group convinces her that they will not harm her and that they will in fact help her get home.

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