Session 31: The Webbed Path
Cast- The King’s Recruits: Edran Laraneth, Fargrim Stoneborn, Horiam and Kriv
Rings of NPCness: Averlon Blackwood, Hemingway, Gareth 2.0 Mia and Nimaketh
Guest Starring: Gonski
Date: 25th – 27th Reapdon, 1028
Deep within the dwarven tunnels of the Underdark, the Platinum Knights begin to clear the corpses of chitines and dislodge the remaining spider webs in order to allow safe passage across the chasm.
The party stop to consider the body of the dwarven King’s Recruit that was nestled within the chitine webs. Horiam asks Fargrim about the appropriate death rites regarding the dwarves of Tor’s Reach. Fargrim responds that it would be appropriate for the body to be interred in the catacombs at the Temple of Moradin.
Before leaving, the party consider the chitine webbing that encompasses the entire ceiling of the chasm, from which the creatures had travelled through.
Fargrim shouts out to the darkness, to any remaining chitins hidden within the webbing, announcing that they have beaten the chitine’s mighty warriors and demanding that they send an envoy to parley their surrender.
There is no reply or movement up above.
Fargrim takes out his warhorn and bellows and long, challenging cry. The horn echoes and reverberates around the chasm. Fargrim is pleased with the sound made, but Horiam arches an eyebrow, insinuating his disapproval—There are more than simple chitins that dwell within the Underdark.
Kriv calls out to the darkness, demanding that the chitins come down and negotiate but his voice echoes and is left unanswered. Edran argues that the chitines, former
Slaves of the drow and worshippers of Lolth, are not to be trusted or parleyed with. He insists that the party have completed their mission, to clear the stone bridge chasm, and that now their immediate priority is to return to Tor’s Reach and make haste for Ravenholm. The party discuss their options and ultimately decide against delving deeper to rid the tunnels of the infestation.
To further deter any surviving chitines from returning, Edran and Gareth 2.0 begin hurling fireball attacks up into the ceiling, destroying the spider web constructions. Fargrim aids by hurling his magic javelin Valkyrie. Soon the party have to make a hasty retreat from the stone bridge, as burning and melting spider webs begin to rain down on them. Edran and Horiam have huge globs of melting web fall on them, burning and singeing their clothes.
After Kriv requisitions the dead dwarf’s Plate Armour or Exploits, Fargrim hoists the corpse onto his back, ready for the return journey to Tor’s Reach. In order to use both hands, Fargrim plats his glowing sunrod into his beard. Happy with the result, he announces that he is ready to return home.
Return to Tor’s Reach
After an hour of travel through the Underdark, the party see the familiar city gates. Fargrim take out his warhorn and sounds out a victorious greeting. The gates are opened and the party make their way back to the King’s Recruits office.
Fargrim speaks with Aveline about the dead dwarf. She thanks Fargrim for returning the recruit back to his home and will make the appropriate arrangements for his burial. Fargrim laments that the dwarf was only a mere 50-years young. Aveline tries to offer the party a 50gp reward for returning the lost recruit, but Fargrim hands it back, suggesting that it should go to the boy’s family.
Aveline informs the party that she had a visitor earlier who had been asking questions about the party. Apparently a gnome resident of Tor’s Reach called Gonski was interested in travelling with the party back to Ravenholm, in order to study the undead residing within the Midnight Marshes. She gives the party the address of the gnome and wishes them a safe return.
Afterwards, the party return to the Guard Barracks to report their success. Fargrim feels weary of having to deal with Selvek Ironblood twice in one day, but is relieved to see a young dwarf on the front desk instead.
”Greetings brother,” he said cheerfully. ”It’s good to see that the city watch has finally got someone competent manning the front desk.”
”Eh?” the dwarf replies, perplexed.
”I was referring to the Ironblood trash who was here this morning.”
”Ah…er, yes. He can be a bit of a prat…”
The party are granted an audience with Eberk, the tall dwarf captain of the guard. He offers them a reward of 500gp for clearing the stone bridge of the chitine infestation.
Following this, the party quickly stop in at a dwarven tannery where they sell the yeti pelts for extra disposable income. Edran takes the time to speak to the smithy about the Valley of Many Names, the location that he saw in his vision.
I Give A Gonski
With the city’s giant sun sphere started to dim in a pale imitation of late afternoon, the party make their way down Copper Street to the address of Gonski, the gnome would wishes to travel with the party.
They almost miss the correct house—an old, forgetful and ramshackled hut. They spot a dim flickering light behind the blotchy, mouldy curtain.
Edran knocks on the door, which slowly creaks open at his touch. ”Gonski?” Fargrim calls out to the darkened empty room.
”And who be you, banging on my door at this time?”
A small flickering light comes bobbing over the dirty carpet, hovering infront of the group, who are still standing in the doorway.
Fargrim says slowly and loudly to the light, ”Are you Gonski?”
Edran recognises the fairy light as a moon wisp, a familial creature of the feywild. ”This is not Gonski, but I believe that we are speaking through it, to him.” he suggests.
The party try to make their way inside the house. As they door, suddenly a small darkened shaped leaps from the shadows and tries to slam the door shut. Kriv places a large draconic foot in the doorway, halting the door’s progress. Fargrim says slowly and loudly again, ”I want to speak to Gonski”.
The darkened shape is eventually revealed to be Gonski the gnome. His suspicion evaporates when he learns that they are the party that he wishes to travel his. The crazed gnome potters about his ramshackled hut, speaking to Kriv and frustrating Fargrim. Even Horiam arches an eyebrow at the eccentric behaviour of the gnome. Gonski scrapes some chitine residue off of Fargrim’s war hammer and agrees to meet the party by the city gates at first light the next morning.
The party, with Gonski the gnome, their handy haversack from the dwarven guilds, now filled with 2 months of supplies desperately needed for Ravenholm. They then make a quick stop at the city stables and purchase some steeds for the return trip. For a price of 300gp they leave instructions for four horses and a camel to be packed and readied for departure at first light tomorrow. Fargrim and Gonski argue over who gets to ride the camel, while Edran tries to dissuade the dwarf from buying a camel, which would be unsuitable for life in the swamps of the Midnight Marshes.
With their business concluded Gonski returns to his house and the party find an inn to rest for the night.
Journey Back Down the Mountains
At 6am on the morning of the 26th of Reapdon, the giant gates of Tor’s Reach open and the party make a quick departure on their new steeds. The descent down the mountain is uneventful and much quicker.
Not wishing to push their new mounts, the party only travel 25 miles the first day and make camp. During the night watches, Horiam hears cracking noises echoing from far away. The party stop and listen to the strange noises. On a hunch, Edran takes out his map case and compare their location and the direction of the sounds to the location of the strange magical eddy that they passed on the way up the Yorgnole Mountains. The two appear to align. The party quickly discuss and agree that their immediate priority is the population at Ravenholm and make plans to investigate later.
On the morning of the 27th of Reapdon, Edran receives a signalling message:
”*Harbourd* here on King’s Business. I will be arriving with another at Ravenholm in two days. Just letting you know. Representative is a hobgoblin.”
The party discuss and agree that the hobgoblin must be an envoy from the Hobgoblin clans, with whom the Knights had, one month earlier, established an alliance against Meepo in exchange for access to some dwarven ruins in the Stalkwood Forest.
After sharing the information Edran replies ”Understood,” and the party break camp.
By midmorning the party have left the foot of the Yorgnole Mountains and plunged back in to the rotting swamps of the Midnight Marshes. Eventually they begin to travel close to the large lake where the magical eddy had formed. Horiam dismounts and offers to scout ahead, weary of the strange sounds they had heard the previous night.
Horiam creeps through the stagnant swamp and begins to hear the sounds of fighting, the gurgled moans of zombies mixing with an unknown animalistic screeching.
When Horiam peers over, he spots a collection of zombie fighting strange blue creatures with mouths that opened in 3-pronged jaws. He recognises the creature as being aberrant in nature. Between the two fighting parties, a magical column of light erupts from a book, firing up into the sky.
Horiam swiftly returns to the party and they discuss the appearance of the aberrant creatures. They agree that the incursion from the Far Realm is the last thing they need in the war against Meepo. Fargrim hands the handy haversack over to Gareth 2.0 and they order Gareth, Hemingway and Averlon Blackwood to make haste back to Ravenholm with the supplies.
The remaining party turn towards the battle and make their way through the swamp.
The Battle for the Book
By the time the Knights arrive at the battle scene, the aberrant creatures appear to be loosing against the zombies. The book, the creatures and the zombies are all fighting on a small patch of mud and dirt in the centre of the swamp lake, while the party approach from the north. When the party appear over the rise, the blue aberrant shriek and disappear with a crack of magic.
The 5 zombies –three lizard folk and 2 humans wreathed in shadowy aura— turn and notice the movement of the party ”Others approach,” one gurgles.
The zombies begin to trudge forward.
The zombies slowly advance towards the party, three of the zombies sinking below the waterline and disappearing. Kriv, Horiam and Fargrim hold a defensive frontline, waiting for the zombies to reach the shore. Edran and Gonski wait behind in supportive roles, preparing their artillery attacks.
As the first zombie begins to limp out of the lake, Fargrim strides forward. He pulls out the vial of volatile explosive liquid that was given to him by Arclem in Rovnol. He pulls back his arm and says ”Reanimate This.”
He hurls the vial into the lake.
An eruption of flame and steam erupts from the lake, accompanied by a shockwave of air that spans 20 feet. The explosion rips through the lake, catching three of the zombies, and Fargrim as well. Horiam rolls out of the way and braces against the shockwave.
Kriv runs forward and deals the first strike of the battle, attacking the shadow aura zombie. Gonski begins unleashing his necromantic magic on the lizard thralls as they breach the shoreline. Horiam begins to slash at his Oath of Enmity. The zombies reach the party and begin to grab Kriv and Horiam, hack and slashing at the immobile party members.
As the shadow aura zombie latches onto him, Horiam reacts by Shadow Jaunting 15ft into the air and drives his sword, Twice Blessed through the zombie’s head, decapitating it instantly.
Edran fires an ice shard, in the shape of an eagle, at a lizard-zombie. When it hits, the ice explodes outwards in a rain of ice daggers, catching two more.
Three of the shadow aura zombies, directly engaged with Horiam, Kriv and Fargrim, create a shadowy aura that blind the three, and also conceals them from light of sight. Just as an attack is about to hit a blinded Fargrim, Kriv intuitively swaps places with his dwarven friend, taking the brunt of the strike.
Fargrim stumbles forward, unknowingly into the centre of the zombies, but he resolves himself and begins swingingly about himself madly in a rain of steel hammer blows.
With the shadow aura zombies still concealed by the magical aura, Gonski sends out his Moon Wisp in an attempt to illuminate the darkness. Seeing an opportunity, he launches a massive fireball of rotting doom. The 15ft wide explosion catches the zombies and Fargrim (still flanked) who, in his blinded state, wildly thinks that the zombies have mastered the ability to conjure fire.
Kriv rallies forth and heals Fargrim and shift closer to the zombies, removing their attention from the dwarf.
Edran begins to fire radiant colour orbs at the shadow aura zombies, which momentarily disrupts their magical aura.
Suddenly, the zombies that had fallen (including the one decapitated by Horiam) rise to their feet and begin attacking once more. 2 Zombies simultaneously grab Horiam and begin ravaging him. The avenger falls to the ground unconscious, but the Zombies continue to hold his prone body and claw him further.
Fargrim regains his sight and smashes one zombie with his war hammer, before being mauled by a zombie-lizard. He too falls to the ground unconscious.
In an effort to free the unconscious Horiam from the clutches of the zombies, Gonski unleashes a magical barrage that cause the zombies to fall prone, dropping the Shadar-Kai, and Fargrim as well.
Edran, his eyes blazing with the fury of the feywild at seeing Horiam fall, steps forward and unleashes a wave of beguiling strands that push the three remaining zombies back. He follows up with a spray of colour radiant energy that kills the last shadow aura zombie.
Kriv kills a lizard-zombie and uses the attack to channel his divine might to revive Horiam and Fargrim simultaneously. Once the eyes of his companions flutter open, he turns and unleashes a breath of fire on the nearby corpses to ensure that they do not rise again.
Horiam and Fargrim get to their feet and rejoin the last of the battle. Fargrim stands, and screams ”Fargrim STONEBORN!” As he smashes a lizard-thrall to pieces and immediately charges into the last zombie that was attacking Horiam, sending it flying into the air in a wave of broken bones and rotted flesh.
With the last of the zombies dispatched, the party momentarily stop to take their breath and tend to their serious injuries. After catching their breath the party turn and regard the magical book that lies in the middle of the island, the arcane column of light still brightly cascading up into the air…
GAME NOTES THIS SESSION
Party members each have 1 day personal ration remaining.
+250gp to kitty as reward for clearing Underdark tunnels
+75gp to kitty for Yeti pelts
-300gp kitty for Mounts
+100gp each for personal wealth.