Session 18: Into the Woods


Over the next few days after dealing with Termus, the party doesn’t see or hear from Ohno. The group takes care of individual business while Billy continue to work on the portal in the crypt.


Quinn enters and wins an archery contest, earning money, a medal, and admiration.

Rallius encounters a former servant from his father’s household, an old man who know works in Victory Tower for the Nolan family, who oversee most weapon and armor smithing in Thomag.

Beertank overhears a word in passing on the street and gets more information about the mysterious deed he’s been carrying for years.

Thia helps a criminal contact, Tretchto, pick the lock on a small chest. In exchange she is rewarded with gold and information: word on the street is that the Vulture knows where at least one of the people who attacked his secret weapon caches lives, and is plotting his revenge.

Debts come due

Thia sees a figure waiting for her outside her secret Clock Tower home, and finds it to be Godi, Paladin of Erathis. Godi tells her and the rest of the group that it’s time to pay their healing debts, and soon the party is on a ship leaving Thomag, tasked with investigating the nearby Fogwood and finding out why logging crews and wagons have recently been disappearing.

The group gathers information as they head into the woods, hearing stories of trees attacking people and undergrowth sprouting up more rapidly than it should. They find trees with strange smooth “bruises” on them, and eventually come to an overturned logging wagon on the road into the woods, surrounded by thick vines, flowers, and fallen trees.

While investigating the wagon, the group disturbs something…and the vines and plants around them start writing and entangling the party. At the same moment, a collection of stirges, horrible little half-bat, half-mosquito creatures, burst from the wagon and begin to latch on and suck blood.

After an intense battle, the group is victorious but injured. They take a short rest and consider their next moves…

It’s about 9 AM after the short rest.

For next time

1. What direction is the group heading? (you came from the West, the forest extends North, South, and East)

Session 17: Roll for drugs


While Termus heads off to work, the party spends the day debating their next moves. Thia reaches out through criminal contacts and gets in touch with Helm, a gnome criminal with ties to slavers and similar humanoid trafficking organizations. The rest of the party heads to the docks, getting information about some ships that will be leaving the city over the next few days.

That evening, everyone gathers together at the Dwarven Crypts, just in time for Ohno to discover and reveal that the ring he borrowed from Termus’ house is linked to a pendant that they left behind, and which could allow Termus to track the ring as long as it is within five miles. The group scrambles to get the ring back where it should be, with Rallius creating a distraction by discussing his patron with Termus until Thia can place the ring near the front stoop of Termus’ house.

The next morning, Termus emerges on schedule…but quickly reveals himself to be very, very high. He’s starving and confused, and doesn’t always seem to recognize people or places. Thia, dressed as Billy, gets him to remove his guard uniform, then Rallius turns Termus invisible and Beertank carries him to the docks to meet with Helm.

After some negotiation, Helm agrees to take Termus and make him disappear without any payment either way. There is some talk about Thia owning Helm a favor, but eventually he drops that demand. Termus starts to get really paranoid, but Beertank casts Suggestion on him, telling him that this whole boat trip is all part of a plan they’ve already agreed to. This calms Termus down, and the party leaves him there with a bunch of food.

…And when they turn around they realize Ohno has disappeared.

Session 16: Rasta Dwarf


The party meets with Billy Norton, daughter of Sergeant Norton, and Thomag’s foremost expert on portal magic (according to her). She goes with them to inspect the portal, and is both fascinated and horrified by what she describes as the “obscene and fucked-up” magic on display.

The kind of work Billy does isn’t cheap, and she’ll charge somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 gold pieces for her expertise and expenses….but because she likes the party and is interested in studying the portal for her own curiosity, she’s willing to make a deal. She’ll start working right away, for free, if the party agrees to take care of a problem she’s been having with an ex-boyfriend.

His name is Termus. He’s a wizard, a Tiefling, a corrupt member of the city guard, and an asshole. They dated years ago, while both were studying magic, but his bad temper brought things to an end. Unfortunately, he’s never been able to let go. He spies on her every day while on “patrol” as a guard, flying in the sky with his Watcher. He sends her gifts and letters, which have recently become more and more threatening. He shows up at her home sometimes, but she doesn’t let him in.

Billy wants Termus dealt with…but she doesn’t want him killed. And she doesn’t want him to know she was involved at all. She’s afraid of any backlash against her and her father, since the bad element in the city guard would back him up if they had a chance. She doesn’t care about the specifics, and in fact would prefer not to know…she just wants him gone, or to leave her alone forever.


After some deliberation, the party seeks out an herbalist recommended by Gralmek. They meet Ggwari, the owner of Green Axe Herbs. Ggwari (that’s the correct spelling) makes a custom-order drug for what he believes to be Rallius’ bachelor party. He claims it will keep someone high for most of a week, will leave the person starving during that time, and will produce alternate highs and lows. He also claims it can make someone forget the past five years of their life, but it’s unclear how literally that is intended to be taken.

Drug in hand, the party locates Termus’ home, and after he leaves for work on Wednesday morning they break in and drug his teapot and the tea leaves they believe he uses every morning. Ohno grabs a pair of small magical trinkets, a ring and a charm, which have the Dini family symbol on them marking them as legal magic items.

On their way out they discover a box full of paintings and drawings of Billy, along with a small carved doll representing her. They take the doll, believing it might be dangerous, and soon discover that it’s a magic item as well (though it doesn’t have the Dini mark) which projects a full-size illusion of Billy when her name is spoken while holding it.

For next time…

1. What, if anything, does the party do with the doll?
2. What’s the plan for getting to Termus after he takes the drug (presuming that happens)?
3. What will the group do with Termus once he’s drugged? There was talk of putting him on a cruise ship…

Session 15: The totally predictable spider


The party messes around with the portal runes from last time, and Ohno manages to replicate enough of the pattern to actually open the portal for a moment, but it doesn’t seem to be working quite right (and collapses and closes when Thia tries to walk through it).

After some debate, the group continues to explore the other “wing” of the minotaur tunnels. They find a thick patch of spiderwebs blocking a tunnel, and burn their way through it (and Ohno finds a mirror). They continue forward through tunnels that slope downward, and eventually find a room with more spiderwebs. They burn those up from range, then Rallius goes into the room to investigate…and gets hit by webs from a giant spider perched on the ceiling.

The spider bites and nearly kills Rallius before the rest of the party can kill it (helped by some big damage from Ohno knocking a chunk of masonry loose from the ceiling and Quinn overcoming his fear of spiders long enough to shoot the beast through its eyes). They search the room and find some coins and healing potions, and Beertank goes back up to the temple while the rest of the party plays with the portal a bit more (it now seems to be inactive).

Ohno messages Malone, telling him they need a mage and asking him to send one through the book. Malone explains that isn’t how the book works, but provides a name of a member of the guard that can be trusted, who has a daughter that is a trained wizard.

Back in the temple, the dwarves are mourning their dead, starting to repair the crypts, and arming themselves to go down into the depths and secure the tunnels that have been discovered.

Father Pike talks to the group, thanking them for their assistance and letting them know he will be requesting more warforged to defend the crypts. He agrees that they need a wizard to learn more about the portal, and he either wants the missing brains returned or he wants to punish whoever took them. He allows the party to refill some supplies, warns them that “the soul of Thomag is black and sick,” and places an Armor of Moradin blessing on the group, which heals them all to full and will save the next one of them who drops to 0 HP.

The group met up with Sergeant Norton, the city guard Malone had worked with before, and found it to be one of the guards who helped them kill the giant snake in the Laughing Ice Inn just a few days earlier. The Sergeant gives them the address of his daughter, Billy, who is a trained wizard.

Session 14: Saving Brains by Burning Them


The party climbed over the invisible wall and then came to a stretch of hallway with spiked walls and small pillars emerging from the floor. After some investigation they discovered that the pillars reacted to any movement close to them, firing out waves of force that would toss people into the spiked walls.

Ohno made it through the hall by jumping in the air and letting the waves of force carry him forward, and only got hit by spikes a little bit. Quinn climbed on top of one of the pillars, and was then kind of stuck there as the pillar fired out force again and again. The other members of the group rushed past all three pillars, attempting to time their movements in between waves of force. Eventually the entire group was on the far side of the pillars with minimal damage.

The group inspected a locked door in the wall, and Thia unlocked it. Inside there was some trash, a grate on the ceiling, and a skeleton laying on a straw mattress. Beertank took two potions from the skeleton’s hands (a healing potion and something else) and then lit the mattress on fire and shut the door.

Around a corner, the party confronted five of the black wooden figures , three of which seemed to be less-powerful versions without any orange energy. The two “enhanced” figures seemed to be activating a portal on a wall and passing brains through it one by one. They looked to have been at the process for a while, and there were only a few brains remaining in a big bowl on the floor.

During the ensuing fight, the figures used the power of fear to paralyze Beertank and Rallius temporarily, though their powers failed against Ohno. Beertank burned the brains up with holy fire, preventing any more from being passed through the portal.

Thia killed one of the lesser figures with a single sword strike, and Quinn brought down another with his final flask of oil. Rallius used Hellish Rebuke and a shillelagh to beat down the enhanced figures, and Beertank dealt the final blow with a torch to the creature’s face.

After the battle, the group searched the room, but found nothing of interest. The portal is no longer active, but glowing purple runes remain on the wall. An expert in the arcane might be able to tell them more…

For next time…

1. What does the group do right now?
2. If the group wants to find a wizard to find out more about the portal runes, how would they do that?

Session 13: Frightful Figures and Tempting Rubies


The party dispatched a few dwarven zombies, and Beertank and Ohno went to inform Father Pike of what they had discovered while the others descended into a freshly dug tunnel. Pike gave Beertank a Crystal of Blessing, but could offer no other assistance as he tended to his traumatized church.

The tunnel emerged into a more established corridor deep underground, clearly of minotaur construction. Thia discovered orange goo leading one way down the hall, and the group soon discovered a large intersection with a pair of strange figures standing still in the center. The figures appeared to be made of black wood tied together with twine and wire, and had strange bags for heads that erupted with orange light and screams after Thia shot one with her bow.

The black figures charged, and Quinn nearly found himself overwhelmed with fear. Regular weapons were less effective against the creatures than expected, but Quinn’s alchemical fire brought them down quickly (then they all had fun putting out the fire).

The group pressed on, finding one hallway blocked by an invisible wall they couldn’t get past. Beertank and Ohno stayed by the wall while the cleric prayed for guidance, and Thia, Quinn, and Rallius explored a hall and found a collection of minotaur bones. Quinn found a skull with a ruby in its eye and immediately began attempting to pry out the ruby…and a giant minotaur skeleton picked up an axe and attacked. Rallius “accidentally” destroyed the ruby in the fight, and Quinn took a massive strike from the axe before they blasted the skeleton apart.

The five regrouped once more, and Beertank was told by his god Moradin that he would get good results by calling on Moradin’s aid in this quest, when it is needed. Moradin also filled him with a sense of urgency, telling him to move quickly.

Thia explored the invisible wall again, and found that it was only about eight feet high, with what seems to be seven feet of clear open space above it.

Session 12: Team-Building Exercise


The PCs tell the guards the truth about what happened with the snake woman, earning the thanks of the half-elf Sergeant Norton. Quinn gives Norton the address of the inn where he is staying if the guards have future questions.

The group then reports events to Malone, who responds telling them all to make sure they always have a page of the book he uses to communicate with them in their personal possession, in case of emergency.

Two days pass. During the interlude…

Rallius has terrible nightmares of the chanting woman as she turned into the snake, and learns that his patron LOATHES something about that scene.

Ohno accompanies Halfred, the halfling priest of Pelor, as he feeds and heals the poor of the Uptown Commons.

Thia gets the name of one Finguard who was involved in the mission that took her brother from Malone. The name is Sentia.

Quinn is visited by the elf alchemist Amasi, and they have a nice time.

Two days after the events of Morrison’s Birthday, Malone writes to all the PCs, telling them of a cache of supplies he wants them to retrieve, to help them on their efforts. The group comes together (including Beertank) and locates a ruined tower in the Orc Hall District. Inside, they find a sleeping Finguard, who they tie to a chair, blindfold, gag, and try repeatedly to knock unconscious before finally succeeding. In the process Ohno basically rolled a 30 on an attempt to tie the guy’s boot laces together, which was amazing but didn’t end up mattering.

The group spots the chest Malone has directed them to higher up in the tower, on the ruined remains of a second floor they’d have to climb to reach. The tower seems like it might be cursed or something because everyone fails REALLY REALLY BADLY at this relatively simple task, and eventually it leads to Rallius hitting Ohno with his Eldritch Blast, propelling the kender up to the chest but also hurting him pretty badly.

Ohno is understandably upset, and goes out the window and leaves.

The rest of the group manages to get the chest down, but it’s locked with a combination lock, and Malone has given each of them a part of the solution. They can’t open it without Ohno, so rent a cart to carry the chest through the city as they track down their companion, who they eventually find sulking in a tavern.

Ohno doesn’t want to talk to anyone but Beertank, but the group finally comes together and solves the combination lock puzzle using some teamwork and logical deduction. Inside the chest the group finds gold, gems, and a few different magic trinkets including a single-use Power Glove which can stun someone, three smoke bombs, and a sharpened metal M that can be thrown for some kind of damaging ice effect.

After taking much, MUCH longer to get the cache of supplies than anyone expected, Beertank is contacted magically by the head of the temple of Moradin, Father Pike. Pike sounds terrified, and reports that monsters attacked the crypts where Beertank lives and works, and some terrible creatures were defiling the bodies!

The group hurries to the crypts, where they find all the dwarven clerics and church-workers completely terrified and traumatized. They report monsters with “big heads and skinny bodies” and “strange movements” and “sickening orange fog.”

The PCs descend into the crypts, finding dozens of dwarven bodies pulled from their graves and tombs, all of them with their heads cut or broken open and their brains removed. There are remnants of orange fog hanging in the air and some splashes of thick, orange-black goo on the ground and on some of the bodies.

After exploring two rooms of the crypt, the group finds four dwarven bodies covered in more of the orange goo, laying in front of a hole in the crypt wall that shouldn’t be there. As they enter the room, the brainless bodies stir and get to their feet…

Session 11: SNAAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!!!!!


Acting quickly, the PCs bribed the very spooked and skeptical into letting them use his cellar to interrogate their prisoner. While she was unconscious they tied her up, and Thia read the scrap of paper the woman had in her pouch, which contained the name, description, and most common hangouts of Halfred, the halfling priest of Pelor.

Downstairs in the cellar, Halfred agreed to bring the elf woman back to consciousness, but told the group he wouldn’t be party to any torture. They agreed, more or less, and he cast a spell that healed the group and woke “Bracelets” up.

Bracelets struggled against the ropes and responded with no emotion to questions and threats. She told the group that she was supposed to kill Halfred, and then asked Ohno if he would untie her. He said no, at which point she began muttering a magic spell. Ohno knocked her out again and Quinn tried to hold her mouth shut, but it was too late.

Bracelets transformed into a giant, angry snake! Most of the group ran upstairs, while Thia was bitten and entangled in the snake’s coils. Rallius blasted the snake and freed Thia and Quinn threw a flask of oil over the whole thing, but the snake kept coming. It moved up the stairs, where a pair of city guards investigating the disturbance joined the PCs in attempting to bring it down.

With a few more blows the group killed the snake, which burned up in green arcane fire, leaving foul-smelling smoke and a greasy black mark on the floor of The Laughing Ice Inn. The guards locked the door and started asking the group for all the information they had about the incident, but thanks to Halfred (who is known to many in the city as someone who works to feed and heal the poor of East Side, and was recognized by one of the guards) vouching for the group, they aren’t under any serious suspicion or in trouble.

The group reached level 3!

For next time…

1. What information do the PCs share with the guards, and what do they keep quiet?
2. What do the PCs tell Malone?

Session 10: Trouble at the Laughing Ice Inn


A week has passed since the PCs successfully intercepted the illegal enchanted weapons from the Vulture’s crew. During the intervening days, Thia has heard rumors through her criminal contacts that the Vulture has a vague description of the group and is furious, hunting down leads as to their identities. Several in the group spent a few gold pieces to buy themselves cloaks, makeup, or other disguises (or a monocle and a wizard hat, in the case of Ohno).

Also during the past week, the enchanted weapons have become brittle and riddled with holes as the cheap enchantment fries through the metal, and are no longer usable.

Malone has advised the group to keep their heads down, but tells them they should take the opportunity of the Morrison’s Birthday holiday to try to relax a bit, while still keeping their eyes on the state of the city. Morrison’s Birthday is a day of city-wide celebration, with food and drink half-price at every tavern and inn within Thomag.

The group is gathered at The Laughing Ice Inn in the Coins district (except for Beertank, who was needed for his grave digging duties at the dwarven crypts). During the celebration, Rallius overhears something about an industrial accident having to do with healing potions on Smoke Island, while Quinn befriends an elf alchemist named Amasi. Ohno “borrows” a big feather and some colorful chalk, while Thia pickpockets a few coins…and a folded up black mask, along with a scrap of paper.


The black mask came from a pouch carried by an elven woman wearing a ragged black dress and bracelets up and down her arms. Moments later, Ohno was approached by Halfred, a halfling cleric of Pelor, who told him that that very same elf woman had been eyeing him all night, and making him uneasy.

The group got into position, and then revealed their suspicions to Bracelets by waving. Bracelets moved towards the door, but Thia made a grab for her…and a fight broke out.

Bracelets sprayed green fire in the crowded inn, causing a panic. The PCs tried to knock her unconscious, but she proved to have some kind of magical shield. She displayed warlock abilities as she fought fiercely to escape, knocking Thia unconscious, but was delayed when Rallius tied her boots together with magic.

After a fierce battle the PCs managed to hobble Bracelets’ legs and bring her down. She’s fallen unconscious, bleeding from several wounds. The inn is rapidly emptying out. Guards are on their way.

For next time…

1. Where does the group go?
2. What do they do with Bracelets?

Session 9 Recap: Smashing Clockwork


The PCs left the goblin sewer layer behind and headed through the rainy night towards the Coins. Since Thia and Rallius were both injured, the group decided to stop by a temple to seek healing. They entered a temple dedicated to Erathis, goddess of civilization and law, on the edge of the Coins district.

Inside the temple the group approached a human paladin of Erathis named Godi. After some quick talking from Quinn and some religious bonding from Beertank, the paladin agreed to heal Thia and Rallius…provided they would sign a contract in the sight of Erathis and agree to provide unspecified services to the church when called upon.


The contract was a dense legal document that neither could really understand, but both signed it regardless. Godi the paladin healed both of them, though his blue glowing hand turned yellow when touching Thia and red when touching Rallius.

The group proceeded to the final stash location, which was revealed to be a small shop called The Clockwork Phoenix. Across the street in front of a greenhouse a dwarf named Gralmek was drinking coffee and watching the PCs, and they had a nice chat with him and got some information about The Clockwork Phoenix before he had to go back to work.

Thia attempted to pick the lock on the clockwork shop but failed miserably, but managed to bluff her way inside regardless. Bremmin, the dwarven woman who ran the shop revealed herself as an agent of the Vulture and demanded answers from Thia, consulting with someone the the back storeroom. Thia was unable to provide a password, and combat broke out.

The PCs killed Bremmin and smashed a lot of very valuable clockwork creations in the process (Ohno grabbed a couple and put them into his bag). The voice from the back room warned them that “Nobody crosses the Vulture and lives,” and that “Even if you kill me, I feel sorry for what’s coming to you.” Beertank broke down the door, revealing a storeroom and an armored knight guarding a case of weapons. The knight blasted the group with spells and nearly killed both Beertank and Quinn with his sword before making a break for it…only to be killed by Rallius, sent down with a hole in his chest.

The groups looted the weapon case and threw the extras into the ocean, then retreated to the safety of Beertank’s home in the dwarven crypts to rest. Malone respond to reports of their success with congratulations, telling the group that the city owes them a huge debt, but warns them to lay low, because the Vulture will be furious and seeking revenge.

For next time…

1. What does each character do with a few days of downtime?
2. Where is everyone staying in the city, and how do they stay in touch with one another?


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