Mont Under

A Bouquet of Quests
Once, on this Island....

Some notes from an adventurer…

When we last finished, we had just agreed to meet with some priests and warriors from the Temple of Heironeous that evening in the town of Fairingtown Branch to begin a search for the missing sword in the mountains to the east.    We left after lunch on the north road out of Mont Under (so as to confuse any pursuers or informants).  Once out of the city, we turned west then south across the road to Imperial City and then east again to the southern road.  We reached Fairingtown Branch around 3pm.  There we waited at the Fair Lady Inn where at nightfall we met a servant girl named Benia who, for the princely sum of 6sp, arranged for us 3 row boats at dock #4.  Before parting, we paid Benia to stable Pip (Kara’s donkey) with the captain’s warhorse that we already have stabled here (the one we exchanged for Vas’s {peace be with him} sword).  It was lightly snowing be this time.   We then rowed out onto the lake toward the NE where we were to meet the Heironeous party at the largest of a cluster of islands in the NE corner of the lake.  The party we were to meet consists of the following: Derrius, a level 7 cleric Dear, dear Tyk Hamil, a level 5 cleric and 4 lvl 4 fighters named Arin, Faest, Tran, and Viel.   While crossing the lake, we were taking care to avoid the other boaters that remained on the lake.  During transit, Rauther heard and saw “something” in the water behind us.  Once we were close to the island, a vaguely humanoid crab creature rose beneath one of the boats.  We were able to defeat the crab while landing the boats without any casualties.    Upon landing on the island we sent out the familiars and wolves to reconnoiter island (wolves along the beaches and the birds directly inland).  The birds found a clearing on the central hill, one wolf found other boats to the left, and the other wolf was grievously attacked by something to the right.  We decided to try to seek out the Heironeous party (supposedly at the boats) before trying to engage the wolf’s mystery assailant.   When we reached the other boats, we only found 2 and one of the them had been smashed.  No bodies or equipment were found nearby.  However, we did find a creepy- looking and smelly (according to the Caaden’s toad) tree nearby.  Against the protestations of both Rauther and Raedegunde, Kale and Yiqinne fired arrows at this creepy tree. 

At this point, the tree began emitting this strange keening sound.  Those that failed their Will saves (all familiars and wolves, Aegon, Caaden, Cruven) began walking directly toward the tree as if enchanted.  Once within range of the tree, this provoked attacks of opportunity.  Scerra was killed with one blow.  This creature’s attacks were regularly very strong and it was nearly impossible to hit it AND it seemed to exhibit some form of damage resistance.  Although, the party received mighty blows from this creature, no one else fell (in combat anyway).  At the end of the combat, the tree cast a magical darkness, grabbed the enchanted wolves, escaped into the swamp.   Once, we blundered out of the darkness, retrieved all of our party members (Cruven and Aegon fled in terror toward the end of combat) we began tracking the tree into the swamp. While coursing through the swamp we noticed two things: the air was appreciably warmer in the swamp than in either the shore or Fairingtown Branch and there were no noticeable animal sounds in the swamp (or on the island?).    We encountered a clearing after emerging from the swamp and climbing through several hundred feet of forest, at which we realized that we had lost the trail of the tree.  While investigating the clearing, Kale and Cruven encountered a treant (not the same as the tree that attacked us).  The had the following conversation with the creature in sylvan:   Treant-  YOUR FRIENDSDO NOT APPROACH.   Kale- My friends behind us you asked us not to approach or Do you speak of the wolves?   I KNOW NO WOLVES. DO NOT APPROACH.   Are there other trees on the island that are corrupted somehow?  It is by such a one that we were attacked.   THE COVEN IS OUR ENEMYTHE ISLAND HAS MANY INHABITANTSBUT NONE LIKE YOU.  (thinks for a moment)    ONLY  ONE.   You seem like a noble being, and we could aid you against this coven perhaps as they may have our wolf friends.  Who and where is this one like us?  Is he of the coven?   WAIT HERE. DO NOT FOLLOW.     While this was happening, Kara and Bobo spotted a human-looking female in amongst the trees.  While scouting overhead during our wait, Bobo saw this female again and she walked into a tree and vanished.   A little while later, a gigantic treant arrived and escorted us up the hill to the clearing at the center of the island.  There, coming out of a strange, onion-like plant building, was the female.  We learned that she was called Miss Precious and she lived here with many more of the treants and “others.”  When we described the tree that attacked us, she called it the Twist.

While not one of her “friends” she kept it around for amusement. During our conversation with her, we learned that she was enemies with the group called the coven.  However, we did not learn much about the nature of this coven.  Also, she mentioned that another group had arrived before us, but she could not confidently say as to their location or condition.  Caaden developed a massive boner for Miss Precious and she was very flirtatious with both him and Kale (who she kept calling handsome??). She mentioned that we (as a party) were not boring.   We struck a bargain with her in an effort to retrieve the wolves.  She said that she would try to talk to the Twist and see is she could secure the wolves’ release.  In the meantime, we were to try to investigate the reason behind the sudden chilling that has occurred on this island recently.  Evidently, it has snowed on this island for the first time in a great many years.  Supposedly there is something magical that keeps the island warmer than it should be.  We are to try to determine what has happened and fix it if possible.  We were pointed in the direction of a hill where we should start looking.    While en route to this hill we needed to cross a stream.  In the process of investigating this stream (you know, for zombies and stuff), three weedy, plant creatures shuffled out of the water to attack us.  While this was happening, animated (?) vines behind us attacked Aegon and Rauther.  We had begun battle when the session ended.  No foes or friends had fallen thus far.  

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May 21, 2010

Some points to ponder from last time…

1. The PCs rented three rowboats from a girl named Benia a the the Fair Lady Inn.

2. The PCs were instructed to meet the Heironeous party of seven on the largest island in the northeast corner of Sapphire Lake.

3. The PCs fought some big crab-like monster on the shores of a big island.

4. The largest island in the chain is comprised of three large hills.

5. The PCs did not find the other group. They found a pair of rowboats, one smashed.

6. A large, gloomy tree did something to some of the PCs, who then walked right up to it.

7. The tree killed Skera and possibly the two wolves- it is unknown since it escaped into darkness.

8. The PCs met a fabulous new personality called Miz Precious, who occupies a strange “hut” at the top of the center hill of the island.

9. There is a faint aura of evoker magic in the very air of the island.

10. The PCs are headed east to fix something for Miz Precious and find Tyk and the others if possible.

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May 7, 2010: Notable Events
The party are about to embark on an expedition.

Some points to ponder from last time…

1. Vaob was not at the meeting at the Church of St. Cuthbert. The PCs met Garyss instead.

2. The PCs returned to the “Dirt Mine” and saw a “magic mouth”.

3. The PCs are now frequenting The Ancient Wizard Inn.

4. An elf named Gliss was to impart information to Kale but was mysteriously killed before he could speak.

5. Rauther spoke with the dead and asked the deceased Gliss three questions.

6. Garyss could not make it to the second meeting with Lord Vaob, according to some soldiers.

7. The meetings with Lord Vaob are suspended for now, according to the same soldiers.

8. A high priest named Fasor told the PCs about a secret expedition by the Temple of Heironeous to recover the sword that fits the golden scabbard.

9. Kale and Cruven got new wolves.

10. Aegon is from the mountains to the east.

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The "Lay of Raedegunde":

Shields shatter Splinter from Spear-thrust Enemies scatter Reddened and raging. The hooded brotherhood Their arms ever-reaching Our heroes know no respite No rest or reckoning. Like eyes in the darkness the Shadow grows from mountains in the east writhing and reaching. Spreading long talons Towards tavern and town Evil spreads to Elvenholm Forest eaves know no peace. An elf searches for family Long lost and left barren. A shieldmaiden seeks family Of kith and of kin. Many quests, questions countless upon Mont Under where evil lies waiting.

From the “Lay of Raedegunde”

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Loss of a friend
The sewers claim my longtime friend

After laying waste in surprising fashion to the group blocking the party’s exit from the sewers, we picked up those items not blown apart in the explosion and returned to the surface. First order of things was to get some immediate attention for Kara and I, who’s state continued to transform as a result from contact with the creatures in the sewers.

The temple of Yollonda was helpful in resolving this for Kara and me, and although our form returned to normal, the hair we lost did not grow back. The party was in need of rest after taking a bit of punishment in the sewers, and headed back to our usual haunt to rest for the night.

As I attempted to enter their room, I found my body went weak when I grabbed the door knob. Further inspection showed that the door handle had been contaminated with a contact activated poison. We then opted to rest at another inn, and I would need time to recover from the poisoning.

As part of a plan to try to find out who was at the center of the plot against the party in the city, I recommended taking advantage of my bald state to try to start the process of repairing their reputation and perhaps drawing out those plotting against us.

Dressing up as one of the priests of The Goddess of the Cousinhood, I painted my face accordingly with the paints found at the temple some time ago that she had been hauling around.

The party set up around the main square of the city to provide cover and observe who may come out to observe the note, and I posted it, then left the center. After some time a human male (of course), with some disgust, read the note and tore it down. He headed out of the center, and Scerra flew overhead to observe where he was heading. It turns out he went down into another section of the sewers.

We then removed the lid to the sewer and moved it to another area, so we would not be sealed under the city again without some form of egress. We proceeded to follow the individual down into the sewer.

After winding our way through, we came to a point in the sewers where there was a large pool with a giant snapping turtle that attacked the party. Kale, who had entered the water, was quickly attacked and sustained substantial damage. Despite an attempt to heal him, a second strike by the creature resulted in his death.

The party proceeded to attack the creature, and was finally able to subdue it. But it was at a high cost, as the party was now down two members, one who was newer, but of much more impact, one who had been part of the core of the group from the start of our journeys.

Investigating the immediate area, the party found a secret panel in the wall on the far side of the watery room, and found a small room with several paths off of it on the other side. Despite this discovery, the party felt that heading back above ground, healing, and finding a way to bring back Kale was the most prudent plan. While I would like to find a way to bring Kale back to us, I don’t know if we have the funds to accomplish this.

Kale has always been a good friend, and I have not known anyone I trust longer. I will take stock of Kale’s goods and see if selling this can raise the funds we need…they are no good to him dead. However, Kara seems to have an alternate plan…

Yiqinne Nailo

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A Tense Past and Future
Where am I and what am I doing?

“My experiences with Kale’s cohorts has been consistently terrifying since that very first chance meeting with the bard, Jinx, led me to the path I now tread. Whether it be below ground, fighting monsters spawned from the depths of some unknown Hell, or being threatened by men up above, my skills as a priest and warrior are constantly being put to the test, even as, all the while, my faith too is tested. Now, I am face to face with death, in the bowels of the City’s sewers, wondering whether I will get out alive, or end up like too many of my companions, as so much dust.”

“I live in fear of the shadow that seems cast over us, and over Kale’s family and friends. My duty pulls me in several directions at once. At the same time I feel an obligation to my friend and his missing family, I also feel an obligation to our leader, and her missing family. And further, the demands of my church force me to choose a path somewhere in between.”

“Rules were made both to be followed and to be broken; choice is my most constant companion.”

- Tyk, Priest of Heironeous, Nov. 20, 1312

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Resolution and Diplomacy
In which our heroes clean up old messes and at the same time, try not to create new ones.

Kara examines Z’s gold and chestnut staff inside the cage.

Given time, Yiqinne picks the lock to the doors at the bottom of the cage’s base at last!

About three dozen commoners are discovered in the pen behind the barred doors to the north. Their most senior member appears to be a warrior called Dino.

Kara experiments with the levers inside the cage and works the doors, metal flooring, etc… and in the process, also freeing the commoners.

Kara descend through the trap door in the floor of the cage and finds a circular room packed with machinery. There are pipes everywhere, leading into and out of the floor, flowing with green liquid and gas, and a huge 10’ glass sphere containing a horned, scaly, gray-skinned, winged humanoid creature with claws and a tail suspended in the liquid.

Caaden determines the staff to be a Staff of Divination.

Kale combs the crowd looking for and asking about his family but gets no answers.

Caaden and Vas repeatedly attack the sphere. Vas makes a crack in the sphere and a jet of green liquid starts shooting out.

The rest of the party start evacuating the room with the townspeople.

The sphere cracks open and empties of the green fluid, and the creature’s body spills out onto the floor. Kara puts a sling bullet into the thing and the creature’s body dissolves.

Immediately afterward, the machinery stops working. Caaden detects a fading aura of magic on the goo.

The PCs lead the villagers through the complex, stopping in the room with the acid filled canals, where Kara retrieves the gem with Mage Hand.

They exit the complex just after midnight. No booming sound is heard and no green light seen.

Raedegunde speaks to a young boy named Raen who is afraid to go home to the village.

Tyk, Raedegunde and Vas take the villagers home with the two wolves as guards as the others stay to explore one more room.

Kara, Caaden, Cruven, Tyk and Yiqinne explore the room with the gas and the wall of keys, carefully avoiding the room of statues. Kara solves the puzzle and opens a secret door behind which are thousands of coins, a gold ring, more keys and a fancy Armband of Elusive Action.

Finally, all the members of the party rendezvous at the Inn in Lovedell. The villagers spend four nights unmolested at the inn before trying to establish some order in the town.

Raedegunde seeks wisdom from Odin, and Kara, who has been afflicted with strange weaknesses, travels to the Crossroads and seeks Lisp’s aid to remove a curse.

On the fourth day the party all head to Fairingtown Branch for the meeting with the Mayor. On the way, they see roads full of people taking boats and fishing equipment out to Sapphire Lake.

Once in town, they make a plan to head for the Inn and the meeting. Kara decides to go into the Inn before the others, wearing a in disguise, as Cruven keeps watch on a neighboring rooftop.

The rest of the PCs see Capt. Leod and other soldiers just outside the inn. Inside, Kara meets a barkeep called Laren. Leod and the PCs arrange to hold the Meeting asap and the barkeep clears the Inn while Leod fetches the City Official. Kara hides behind the bar as the room is emptied of other patrons.

Leod returns with a carriage soon following, but it is not the Mayor who enters with her guards but rather, the Lord Vaob, who sits on the Mont-Under City Council of Twelve, who comes in her place. His guards are three unique warriors called Garyss, Krass and Qilop.

The meeting lasts for an hour, during which Vaob asks many questions about the party, and the Church and tell the group about how the Baron Gwaup has been agitating over Kale’s presence on his land and in the Council about Kale and his friends trespassing at the Church.

Vaob also shows the party, in confidence, an odd but very valuable scabbard marked with a curious silver letter “A” inside an oval and tells the tale of how it was discovered by fisherman on Sapphire Lake.

The town is now in a frenzy over finding the sword which fits the scabbard, assuming it is also somewhere in the Lake. Lord Vaob also relates how the Mayor’s children have been lost while joining the search for the sword. His investigation into this matter is the real reason for his presence in Fairingtown Branch and why he was available for this meeting.

Vaob asks the group’s assistance to help find the children and promises to keep in touch.

We left the game with the meeting is about to adjourn.

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Pushing Good Fortune to the Limit
In which our heroes bargain with forces both high and low, hoping for success.

A Poem of Reflection

The adventurers eight, on a quest to save,
A family threatened, by perils most grave,

By the city Mayor stand accused of a crime, they do learn,
And strike a bargain with soldiers in two days to return.

To Lovedell the team heads, after sealing the deal,
Some still battling a sickness none among them can heal.

From their flying scout, Skera, they await a word of warning,
Fearing the soldiers’ reinforcements will return by morning.

In a tower they camp, for two days and two nights,
Still haunted by faraway sounds and green lights.

A new companion the young elf, Cruven, boldly does seek.
As all the while, half the party grows more steadily weak,

Finally, return to the Crossroads they agree that they must,
And in Lisp, a Cleric of Glittergold, place their trust.

And just in time! Amid a day of cold mist and rain,
They meet the pompous Duclan, and Captain Leod again.

From his Captain the arrogant Quaestor did order a bargain made.
A horse for Vas’s gauntlet and sword – a fair trade?

And yet another meeting, at Fairingtown Branch, with the Mayor!
The party’s grace extended one week more seemed most fair.

Yiqinne quickly stables the new steed with glee,
Then they all watch for a green light and boom, where there is no more Tree.

Midnight strikes and back into the Pit our heroes descend,
Ghoulish fiends circling an altar are the first to meet their foul end.

Next door, finger bone lights reveal a crawling horror most strange,
Then a giant’s corpse gives two gifts, seeking lives in exchange.

Moon keys in hand, to new sanctums the adventurers go,
Kale discovers his stolen family at last – but no!

Tricksters are they, who curse and spell!
‘Til our party of heroes return them to Hell.

Exhausted, the weary band makes a foul tunnel their bed,
‘Til they open yet one more doorway to dread.

Another wave of corpse monsters from an endless sea,
And silence, then our heroes guess where the Adversary must be.

Down, down, down a dark stair to a forgotten door,
That requires more strange keys than any before.

Within, a vast hall, sick with death and gloom,
And a sea of dry bones which fills the whole room.

Beneath their boots, the skeletons pile, three feet deep,
And at the chamber’s edges and corners, even more steep.

The party clears a path and Yiqinne looks for a draft, but finds none,
When four giant skeletons rise – and the next fun’s begun!

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Mysteries, Maladies and Meetings
In which the PCs escape the dungeon after feeling ill, only to fall afoul of the law.

The PCs continue to fight the undead creatures coming out of the floor. Soon, the mysterious voice starts to harass them again, and they discover that exiting the room is not as easy as they once thought.

The PCs eventually buy the time to escape the room thanks to quick work with a Wall of Fire scroll and the appearance of a strange invisible wall.

Mapping out the latest corridor beyond the eastern door leaves the PCs with no more passageways, only key-operated doors left to explore.

Also, after enough time has passed since the end of combat to recover, several party members realize that it is not battle fatigue but rather some other malady that currently weakens them. The decision is made to return to the Crossroads.

Yiqinne’s familiar, Skera, indicates that soldiers are still present in the town, so the PCs decide to use the bird to send notes and arrange a meeting at a neutral location.

Shortly thereafter, in a secluded dale, the party meets with one Captain Leod and three of his soldiers, who informs the PCs that they are wanted by the Mayor Clio and the authorities of Mont-Under for the desecration of the Abandoned Church of the Cousinhood of Sorrows.

The Party agrees to meet with the Captain’s superior, the Quaestor Duclan, in two days time.

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Of Soldiers and Spirit Walks, Combats and Crossroads
In which the party listens to gossip, decides to flee soldiers, resolves to put an end to the evil under the ground and shops like it's the day after Thanksgiving.

Beside the undead prisoner’s room is a small room with a rotten pool full of corpses. Kale searches it and finds a sword and shield that match Raedegunde’s new armor.

They fight thru more ghouls to discover more doors along the twisting corridor before it abruptly ends. Having determined what their remaining options are, the PCs return to the Crossroads and prepare to suit up for battle.

The PCs shop, rest and bury Brillum. At one of the busy inns, they meet Diddles, a dark-haired female halfling who claims that soldiers from Mont-Under have been inquiring as to the PCs’ whereabouts.

Raedegunde goes on a spirit walk and detects a terrible presence in the trees by the town at night when the PCs are all sleeping.

Yiqinne see the green light to the south again while on a stroll at midnight.

In the morning, Yiqinne’s hawk spots a larger contingent of soldiers headed south toward the Crossroads. The PCs decide to head back to the underground place and finish what they started before the troops can arrive.

They make their way to one of the unopened doors and see a room with a gridded floor. They enter, removing the keys, and the door closing behind them. Once inside, all of the keyholes in all the doors light up at once.

Increasing numbers of undead monsters rise out of the floor to challenge them. At the same time, between each attack, the keyholes on all three doors flash off and then back on again.

The PCs fight on…

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