Fighting the Dark

Ambushing a Red Wizard

We decide call Parn. When we tell him about our plan to create an ambush and cause an avalanche using the explosive gems. Parn then informs us that there are crystals in the undead that act as an amplification for Till’s control. If the crystal on the Red Wizard is destroyed, then the link to the Master will be weakened and severed. It will definitely knock out his control of the Army.

As we travel toward the valley, a tornado heading our way, we figured it was likely Handy. As we get closer, the tornado slows up and it is surprisingly comfortable to walk. Inside there is a floating table with a bag. Thoril takes the bag. Inside are the gems along with a wand of magic missile. Handy explains that 1 shot to explode a gem and as long as the gems are within 30 feet the reaction will chain.

We set up at the ridge in the mountain. As the Red Wizard and his entourage enter the valley, the wizard spots that there is a ridge and begins to move more cautiously through the valley floor. Thoril moves back in the cave and lets the sneakier Raden watch at the edge of the to let him know when to start the chain reaction. Unfortunately the party forgot about the invisible potions and are spotted by Till and Thoril runs in to immediately set off the reaction killing half of the Wizard’s entourage. The party then holds up at the top of the cliff, and begins a slow battle of attrition with the Wizards troops. Till becomes very annoyed with us and floats up and using one of his spells blows them back from the entrance, at which point his icy giants begin to push their way into the cave. Thoril throws caution to the wind and charges the Red Wizard hovering outside the cave front, swallowing his elixir of levitation as he runs. Unfortunately the Red Wizard is able to shake him off and he falls all the way to the ground. Raden seeing this as an opportunity with his better physique does the same without a potion and also is unable to hold on, falling to the ground. Borthomir is left at the cave surrounded all by himself but some quick thinking is able to teleport outside the cave and float down to the group. But once on the ground, the tide begins to turn.

First an aerial combat takes place between Thoril and the Red Wizard, while Raden and Borthomir then surrounded by the undead ice giants. Unfortunately, the party is slowly bleeding away. At that point Thoril is lost and down, but we keep on fighting. Soon we are overcome by the onslaught and we are down.

Gemming the Catapults

We help the village doing some work around the town and earn some additional funds. The party decides that the best approach is to sneak through the mountain valley to go gem the catapults. We are able to move through the valley with some minor difficulties. We really just aren’t cut out for this sneaking stuff, but when we were detected, we were able to bash our way through. When we tried to set off the explosives, it turns out that 2 of the gems were not correctly configured. Raden works his way to the nearest one and gets it prepped to fire. Xalara works his way at a dead sprint to one of the further ones out to set the last bomb ready to go. In his bid to escape, he climbs the ice hill and leaps over the giant to launch himself from the catapult as he sets the last bomb to trigger. The rest of us head down into the caverns at the end of the valley just prior to the valley coming down on our heads.

Inside the cavern, we find what looks to be the workshop used to assemble the catapults. The first room we encounter looks to be a forge, still manned by a few undead frost giants, which we are able to dispatch. As we work our way through this labyrinth, we encounter more of these undead and continue to clear them out as quickly as possible, but we are running low on healing supplies. We also find some sort of flying creature as well that kept on grabbing Raden to take him away but we were able to stop them from escaping. As we continued to explore, we encountered a long hallway. As we move along it Raden is able to spot a trap, but we set it off. Suddenly the hallway is filled with poisonous gasses and while Borthomir and myself are able to get back, Raden is knocked out. I go back in for him and am able to get him most of the way out. Along with poison gas, there is an alarm that is sounded and we are soon surrounded by more undead frost giants who take us prisoner.

We are taken to a larger room where we are held by four undead giants before what looks to be a red wizard of Thay and his two apprentices. The three wizards are bound head to toe in a red robe and red piecemeal leather armor with knee high boots. The lead wizard’s head is shaved and has tattoos and his hands are adorned with rings. We have heard that these tattoos tend to be magical in nature. The apprentices don’t have tattoos but each have 2 rings that have gold bands and an emerald setting. With that the lead wizard begins to speak.

Two years ago, I was sent with the task by my master to do some reconnaissance on Sperth for an upcoming attack. I found that the people were nice but naive. I felt a little bad for the upcoming doom, so I warned the leader of town to get his people out. He cast me out and I was banished from the town and stoned. My master punished me for being traitorous. And while these are my apprentices, they are enthralled by the Master.

We find out that he cannot utter the name of the Master. His name is Till VanDinah. He appears to be afraid. He is also very disappointed that we have destroyed all his catapults. He gives us two options: leave under a spell or fight for our lives. When asked why his master is doing this, we are told that revenge and retribution are the Master’s reasons for attacks.

Naturally, we turn him down. When we do, all the wizards go rigid and open mouth to a horrific voice filled with hatred. The apprentices then melt and die as the Red Wizard’s tattoo light up and he runs out of the room quickly as if driven by a whip.

Luckily we are able to defeat his guards. At this point the caverns have been very quiet so we finish searching this play for any clues that we can use. We find his study with catapult books as well as orders to bombard the city till an army would arrive soon. Also we find a small locked black box which contains trinkets and gold worth about 4000gp.

We head out of the caverns only to find there is no indication of which way the Red Wizard has fled. The way we came up the mountain is now covered in rubble and now we have a day and half of travel to get back. We decide that we need a rest before we head back into the city.

We notice that something was following us down for a while but then lose sight of the thing. We make it back to town where we notice that the town defenses are improved and people recognize us and give us pats on the back and cheers.

Coaster wants to talk to us. After congratulating us, Coaster gets serious and orders everyone out leaving only Brink, Coaster, and one guard remaining. He has received new information in the small time we were gone. One of the members of the scouting party is back and in dire shape. Before he went unconscious, he told us that a grave danger is heading our way from the Northeast. A danger larger than the town.

An army at least 2 leagues wide. Mostly undead with giants and ghouls and some mighty wizards. It looks like there is no way to trap whole army to the Northeast as there are 6 or 7 paths through the mountains and we can’t block them all. The scout was captured by the enemy and while trapped noticed that all the wizards were enthralled. The leader travels within the camp with body guards. He can be easily discovered because he wears his red robes. While the scout was captured, he traveled with them for 2 days, only travelling sun up to sun down, covering 6 miles per day. 4 days to get to the far side of the mountain range… 9 days out.

The scout knows the location where the master wizard is coming through based on the fact that the guards are scouting it heavily. There is a cave and mountain face that would be hard to spot. Coaster would suggest rigging up an avalanche to go when the master comes in.

Mines filled with undead

The party arrives near Sperth due to some magical horses shortening the trip from many weeks to just 10 days. When they arrive they find that the city is in great need of supplies and heroes. Located North and West of city are farms, but they are all destroyed. It is cold and mountainous.

The party works its way towards the center of town to meet with the leader, Coaster Chandler. Many sources of old lore are located here as remnants of the last great wars that occurred. As the party works its way to the center of town, they see that the city is spread out west, east, and south for quite some distance. As the look north all they can see is rubble. Adding to the depression in the city around supplies, Xalara discovers that in Sperth there is no beer, which leads Xalara to be very concerned for the brewmaster, Skiv.

Coaster is not what the party expected. Standing at 6’9” and build like a shit brickhouse with a treetrunk for a chest. Atop his head is a thick crop of dark hair and is dressed in half-plate. As he speaks in a deep baritone, he tells them of the situation in the city. He makes it clear to the party that he does not trust them yet as they have not earned that right, but that he does have a young man, named Borthimir, looking for aid in hunting out a nest of undead. Coaster makes it very clear along with his right hand man, Brink Thundarr, that the city is in desperate need of supplies. The party decides to donate some of the meals that their magic bag contains to help the city. They know that it is not much and that the bag will take some time to regenerate, but it is a little something that they can do. In addition, they use the calling stones to contact Parn, and the King and Queen to see if they can get aid sent to the city. They discover that very little can be sent, but that they will send smiths and engineers to help fortify things.

With that the party sets off east by northeast towards the mines to root out these undead. After making it through the treacherous mountain passes which luck and skill, they find the entrance to the mines. As they work their way through the mines, they find many undead along with many chambers that were used for foul rituals, stained with old and new blood. Along they way they find many traps that occasionally they can avoid. Finally as they make their way into the depths of the mine, they encounter chanting where they find three priests chanting as well as a wizard in red robes. When the party charges in, the red wizard escapes leaving his priests to handle the party, which they fail to do. Once they are finished, they explore the rest of the caverns to find 8000 gold worth of gems and some magical equipment.

Arriving back at Sperth, more hunting has gone on, so meat is a tad more prevalent. Find they are going to have a big party. We tell Coaster all about the adventure. He mentions he will try to cleanse the tunnels, but that if nothing else they will use the tunnels for refuge.

By successful killing the priests, they have stopped more dead from being raised, in addition to stopping whatever nasty ritual they were engaged in. Outer farms should be safer, but not 100% safe. Now we know there is a Red Wizard of Thay, like the one in the volcano and the one in the southern mines. Northern farms are being attacked by ranks of armed troops, creatures from the north (wights, ghouls, werebears, werewolf, trolls). The west of Sperth is being attacked by large volleys of ice balls. The east is still pretty nice. Caves in northwest rumbling like a volcano. We also learn that Borthomir’s family, which was slaughtered, lived in the Northwest.

The party asks about the best approach to head toward the caverns to the northwest and are told that the path west then north is the preferable route. It is filled with pine forests but sparse amongst the mountainous terrain. The party settles in to wait for a scouting party that is due to come in, but Thoril is restless and want to start heading out.

Scouts arrive from the west about 3 hours later. They tell of the undead that haunted their every movement. The mountain peaks have frost giants and catapults. They also concur that going west is also the best approach to the caves to the Northwest.

Thundarr talks about putting explosive gems in the valleys underneath catapults and bring them down. “Gemming the catapults.” He has 3 Gems from the Great wars that were handed down to him, but he doesn’t know how to use them. Says they should visit an old retired warmage by the name of Thist Hammersdorn. Thist wasn’t a very good war mage in practice, but was fantastic at the theoretical stuff. Thist goes by the name Handy. Handy lives a half days ride to the east. When asked on how we could get on his good side, Thundarr mentions the only way to get on his good side is the head of a beast or two. One hand has been mangled by beast and Thundarr hints at a troll.

Thundarr hands us the note, and is very explicit: When you approach the gates of fire, simply yell out, “Handy, you old hagglesworn, get out here or Thundarr will kick your ass from here to next moonshine.” Then give Handy the letter.

The party arrives at the gates of fire about late to mid day. Raden says the phrase. The group is suddenly surrounded by a blaze of green fire and out comes Handy, an odd looking 6’2” dwarf with arcane robes and a black fist. The party offers the note to Handy and suddenly he softens and is sad. The party offers to send him to town, but refuses. The party tells Handy why that have sought him out. He invites them in as the work will take him some bit to figure out.

Handy is a bit unhinged. Fist is made of obsidian. When the party goes through the gates, they appear to be sitting in an ordinary mages tower and study room. On the back wall, however, they can see the astral plane.

Astral plane is in some ways where a lot of magic is learned from. Astral plane is highly chaotic plane but navigable. In the history of the world, when the material plane and astral plane meet in not good ways, the material plane gets abused, like a gnome with a limp. Creatures of the astral plane are some of the fiercest you can encounter.

Handy asks the party to find book by the author, Durtt. At that time, he starts tapping until a part of the gem falls off. He drops it in a box and a rune on the box starts to count down. Box explodes when the counter reaches zero. Handy tells us that he knows how to set them off but that they are unstable. They are made from the blood of trolls and elves. He then tells the party that he can make more but is limited by elf’s blood to make only ten of them.

Xalara bargains a price of 3250gp for the 10 bombs. Floating astral servant says dinner is served and we eat. About midnight we receive the 10 small boxes and are asked to not open them. They are about 3 inches cube in size with a twist lock. Handy leads us to his back porch where he has a modified slingshot out there. Each box can be both a primer and an explosive in a chain. To use a box as part of a chain, we turn the top left at which point the rune will be blue. To use the box as a primer, we turn the lid to the right where the run will turn yellow. When you want to make it explode, put a key in the box, and run.

Blue waiting for primer
Yellow is a primer
Red is about to burn

After this, we tell him our tale of blowing up a mountain. Handy enjoys the story so much he gives us back 500gp and gets the party a ride on the backs of eagles back to the town of Sperth. He tells us that when we use the explosives to make sure you tell the giants that it is some good handywork when you blow up them up.

Southwest to the Dwarves!

War, huh, good gawd yaw, what is it good for?

The War Council:

As the council sits down around a table that contains a map of the realm, Gerds join. Silence permeates the room. Gerds introduces himself. While the members have heard of Gerds, none here have really met him except for Parn and us.

Gerds tells of two of his mines in the west being over run. He then turns to Parn tells him that he wishes to put aside their old problems and work to a safer realm. He then presents a large gem as a sign of faith. Gerds holds his hand out to Parn, but Parn gives him a big hug instead. Thoril is happy to see Parn so happy.

King and Queen thank Gerds. “Your wisdom is renowned and we can’t be more happy to see you working with us in this fight.”

A Tourney! And a Spanking.

In the downtime after the council, Raden and Xalara heads down to the training yard to work out. Thoril begins quizzing the councilors to understand the situation with the Dwarves. There is some smack talk between Xalara, Raden, and Davnan. The King thinks that Xalara and Raden will fight and the winner will take on Davnan. Davnan suggests a tournament to help raise spirits in the capital city.

The tournament of arms takes all day. Xalara is defeated by Raden who is taken down by Davnan after a hard fought battle.
Off to see the Dwarves

Thoril, Parn, and Magnus were very very excited about something. The party receives Balls of Communication.

Arrive at the dwarves!

Looking for portal, Staff of Athalantar, and any help you need.

They have a library and have found a city from the old days. Found lots tieflings in the mines. Kobolds from the mines. Gone for a few days and then come out in force. We can overcome them, but it slows us down. Where they come from, well, we don’t know. Problems in all the areas of the mines. Drifted towards the city.
Attacked by Tieflings with Bands
Attacked by Tieflings that disintegrate once defeated. Was able to see they had bands on, but did not have sufficient time to determine the origin of the bands.

Don’t know where they are coming from. No dwarf power. Lower tunnels collapsed about 10 years ago.

  • South deep mines: collapsed, about 10 years ago, lost lots of good dwarves.
  • West: ruins
  • East: unexplored, just haven’t been digging there since the other locations are so rich.

Ruins were a fluke. Been digging west for 3 years. Producing good ores, but 2 tunnels collapsed into the upper areas of the ruins. Connected 2 more shafts into the ruins. Build platforms into rockwall and steps down into the ruins (~250 ft in the air). After the ruins stairs finished, then had problems with the tieflings. Probably a den. Fortifications at the stairs and patrols. Can only protect one shaft at a time. The ruins extend south.

Find a map of the mines and catalog system for the western mines and where the southern mines should be. Lots of Tieflings for quite a while, but not to the extent they are now. If west and south were connected, possibly not now. Was a working mine, but tieflings and giants drove them out. No idea on who’s ruins it was.

Taking shaft 3.

Attacked by Tieflings. We win.

Drailgoth is the demon…

Furthest North almost to where the dwarves busted through.

Defeated a blood demon
2500gp in coin and gems
Holy Symbol to Moradin

600gp in another room
900gp in 2nd chest
Lock box

Dwarves will begin excavating immediately. Will be cleared out in about a month. (2 weeks defenses, 2 weeks digging) We have a big party. Contact Parn the next morning concerning the lock box. 1000 years, elves had major influence and this box were part of a mutual agreement to keep mining and help prosper in the area. Key opens box to a purple gemstone. History of stones are lost. Words on the stone translated to phrase, should we ever need to connect, may the stones show the way.

After Demon Battle

Go back to Haledorn.

Gerds and Parn determine demonic magic at work at the wizards tower thinks you guys should go north to Sperth. When Parn and Gerds asked about the demon you guys battled, Thoril tells them

The demon was summoned to stop the dwarves from exploring much, and when it was “killed” it was banished more back to the demon plane versus killed and they still are not sure about the “master” of the demon.

It was also noted that when Parn and Gurds contacted the king and queen they found that more refugees from the north were coming into the kingdom from the north speaking of more and more attacks by the undead and some small farming communities have been wiped out in the process.

Gerds’ contacts in the north also have sent word to the king and queen that they have found some caves that appear to be very old and the undead have been making their way into the caves, but the caves seem old and there are writings in the caves talking about the great gate and how this was at one point the last stand for the 3rd tribe wars and it is protected by the souls of the tribesman until the cave is needed again to save the north. It is approximately 10 miles east of the main city of Sperth in the mountains. Gurds’ men found the caves when seeking a
place to expand operations of gems, but could not explore much because of the constant threat of undead in the caves.

The group asked about enchanted horseshoes and was told that an enchantment could be quickly setup that would cut the 8 week trip down by 2 weeks but had the potential to kill the horses if they were not careful and rode the horses too hard.They were also given a magical relic from Haledorn ( the sack) that his ancestors carried in their travels, and each given an assorted item to help them in their travels.

Item: handy haversack – modified

Anything but clothes (not armor) and food put into the haversack will rust/come out non-useable and magic will not protect items. even being in the bag for a split second causes the effects.

The bag however does hold 100 meals for 5 consisting of

  • 50 lb meats
  • 20 lb cheese
  • 20 lb bread
  • 80 drinks mead
  • 40 drinks water
  • 20 lb assorted berries

All items of the group were repaired for cracks in armor, rips, tears, etc. The group was also given a full set of clothes for the cold weather ( boots for cold weather, cloak, gloves) for the travel up north to protect them against the elements however when the items are worn the wearer is encumbered by -1 speed.

Restore the Staff of Athalantas

Quest of the Missing Stone

We have the Staff of Athalantas but we are missing the main gem stone.

  1. Need a Ruby for the Staff.
  2. See King and Queen for blessing to execute

Parn has provided us with a green teleportation stone with “pursue” as magic word. Must visualize wizards house. This will take us back to Parn’s house. We are also given a magic box that we will need to give to Gerds. We don’t know what the magic box does, but Parn says that it may help us convince Gerds to help us. Gerds’ main mines are located in the Volcanoes of Thuun.

When we arrive at the Volcanoes of Thuun, we find a signpost and are also approached by large giants. We tell the giants that we were sent to seek Gerd by the wizard Parn and that we are seeking Gems and have a magic box from Parn to trade for it.

We are welcomed in and offered beer. We tell our tale and what we truly are looking for. Gerds quickly identifies when Raden is trying to blow smoke up his ass. Luckily for us, a member of the Scythe and Pickaxe clan is there to verify our story. We all head to room to talk to a northerner (barbarian shaman, Matrox) to verify our news from Parn that there is problems with the barbarians to the north. Matrox is able to confirm that they have not heard from two tribes, but given the nomadic habits of their people that is not all that unusual. Our story is now mostly verified.

Gerds basically tells he does not have a ruby of a sufficient size or quality. He says that he might be able to synthesize one though and gets 2 gold coins from Raden that he combines into a single very dense gold coin. He says that he has developed a technique that can take 2 gems and make them into a large fine gem. By using a lot of little gems, he can make a larger one, but not as good of quality. At this point we need to get working on both acquiring the rubies needed as well as prepare the spell.

Raden heads to the mines and is able to get 5 good rubies. Marin and Erdan work with Gerds and are able to pass a test to see if they can aid in the spell. They are successful but injures slightly by the last set of magical blasts.

As the party is chanting, it becomes more and more difficult. First a mage is turned into pulp. Next another mage is flung off into another area. Marin takes a beating but Erdan pays the ultimate cost and is left a shell in the care of Gerd with blackened hands and a smoking vacant body. Ultimately the party is able to create a ruby of sufficient size and quality.

Marin and Raden begin preparations to travel the 3 days to the main city, but Gerds says he will join you there in about a week, as he is currently too drained to travel. He also asks Marin and Raden to not get involved with any sort of disagreement with Parn. While Marin and Gerds sleep that night, Raden builds a ruby necklace to remember Erdan. That morning, the necklace is enchanted by Gerd to turn black when Erdan passes on.

While the the party heads on to see the King and Queen, Raden is curious about the magical experience Marin had, but Marin is not ready to talk about it. They are met at the gate by Petros who is leading the guards. He is the adviser to the king and queen. They were waiting for you at Parn’s command. Parn takes the loss of Erdan badly.

The Staff assembled

Marin and Raden meet Thoril. Thoril and his party has been sent to find a tome of Knowledge concerning the Fae and Underdark. Thoril tells the party about how to use the Staff of Athalantar as a divining crystal. He tells them that as soon as Gerds arrives with the stone, we can set the ruby in the Staff.

Gerds arrives suddenly and storms past Raden and Marin and punches Parn square in the face. Gerds is clearly upset with Parn about the loss of 4 lives, especially the three who have spent the last 12 years working Gerd. Parn just sort of takes it. “Leave, then close the door,” says Gerd. Thoril leaves, but Raden and Marin choose to stay although they close the door. “Just watch your heads,” says Gerd. Magic energy and the tongues of magic fill the room. The party gets shielded by Parn. Parn decides he has enough and whomps on Gerd. As Marin and Raden list, they learn that at one time in the past Parn saved Gerds from his parents and brother. While Gerds is glad to be alive, he feels that Parn did not have to use overwhelming force and kill his family. Gerds screams in frustration and sets the ruby on the table and magicks himself out of the room. Parn inspects the ruby and declares it perfect. Parn then tells the two to go find Thoril’s lab and he will join them in about an hour.

When Raden and Marin find the lab all Thoril says is, “Trust in Parn for he shall be the light in the darkness.” The learn from Parn and Thoril that the Staff of Athalantar is an ancient artifact used by mages who advised kings. It can look across leagues to see battles and legions. But if you use it too much or too harshly, you hear the voices of the enemy and it can drive you crazy. Zantilan Chorster was the Sage that last used it in advising King Henry the IV. The king demanded that the mage look into the heart of the army. The mage went mad and killed King Henry. Once he realized what he had done, he removed gem from staff. He then took it to his family crypt. It was recovered but no one knew about the book to help with the staff’s usage.

Parn introduces us to the king and queen and the party is very surprised when the royal couple bows to them. Wooh! The King and Queen ask what the faith level is for Parn’s plan to save the realm. When the party admits that they are behind Parn, the King and Queen have chairs brought down for everyone to join is a conference to plan the next steps.

The council speaks of emissaries from the city of Sperth, which is located to the North, being in town. They also learn that people have had difficulties in visiting the Wizards Guild. Those that travel the road to tower, get turned into “powdered human”. Parn has had no contact with the other wizards. With that the party decides to turn in, but the guards show up and they say that there are intruders. The party is able to track them, but lose sight of them. They arrive in Thoril’s lab to find 3 guards standing there. Thoril walks over and grabs the staff and book, but they are suddenly attacked by these doppelganger guards.

3,200xp from the assassin trying to steal my damn book.

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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