The Absent Ones

Session 2 - 6/27

The Den

For an extended writeup of this session, click here.

The party followed the kobold tracks leading from the burned out inn into the Cloakwood. There they found a small kobold den beneath the ruins of an old keep. All three went in and made their way through the kobolds and bypassed a particularly bothersome dart trap. On an altar in the second room Adrie identified the markings of Orcus, the prince of undeath, scrawled over marks of Tiamat (the goddess of greed and typical patron of kobolds). Torvald identified this as a peculiar link to the Shadowfell. After continuing through the keep and defeating the chieftain, the party learned of a greater threat leading the kobolds. A young shadow dragon – Szarthilaxx – lurked in the caverns beneath the keep. The party engaged and defeated Szarthilaxx, recovering some minor treasures. Further, a note indicated a link to a man named “Kalarel” who was directing her operations.

After returning to town to report their findings, a dying scout warned the Lord Warden of Fallcrest that demon raiders had been sighted in the surrounding flatlands. The party chose to investigate these demons rather than pursue the link between Szarthilaxx and Kalarel.

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Session 4 - 9/27

The Wooded Way

See a full writeup of this session here.

The party ventured forth on the Wooded Way, headed first for the village of Guildenberg, a small hamlet with a well used inn directly on the route between Fallcrest and Southglen. Before they could reach the village, however, they were beset by more demons, this time led by a demonic orc sergeant with spellcasting support. The odds were against them, but they were aided by a wild forest dwelling dryad named Morgaine, who they convinced to accompany them along the road. Morgaine had been cleansing the forest of these demons for a few weeks now, and had information regarding their origins. They are part of the Legion of Avernus, a mercenary company native to Nine Hells. What they were doing on this plane or how they arrived was still unclear.

As the party reached Guildenberg, now four strong, they realized they were too late to save the village. It was already a burning husk and the bodies of villagers were strewn about as demonic scavengers known as dretches feasted upon them. Small demonic archers armed with bows stood atop the balconies of the burning buildings, picking off any surviving villagers attempting to escape. The party began to fight its way through, taking out the dretches and archers, and made its way into the center of the tiny settlement.

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Session 5 - 10/19

The Burned Village

See the full writeup of this session here.

The party entered the village square and were met by another red-skinned orc, this one wielding two flails. As it charged, archers stepped out from the burning buildings surrounding the square, and more demons attacked from behind. The party was attacked from all sides, and an epic battle ensued. Torvald and Morgaine engaged the berzerking demon/orc, while Adrie and McNeil attempted to navigate the shaky wooden planks connecting the balconies above them and hold down the archers. The berzerker was slain, but McNeil fell from archer fire. He was thankfully saved by Torvald’s dragonling familiar doing some bandaging as Torvald and Morgaine held off the remaining demons while Adrie picked them off.

After the battle, the group investigated the village, and found that many of the riches and treasures were left there. There were no survivors. From the way the buildings were torn apart, it appeared that the demons were looking for something, or someone. They decided to follow their tracks into the depths of the Songwood to attempt to find their camp.

Before setting out they lay down for a rest out of sight of the village and were haunted by strange dreams. The dreams were of different locations – a mountaintop monestary, an ivory pillar in the desert, the town of Fallcrest, and a white tower in a forest. The dreams all involved being chased by demons and presented a sense of urgency. The pillar in particular was inscribed with the word “Glandomein” – perhaps a clue as to the origin or reason for the demonic invasion.

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Session 6 - 11/2

Enter the Songwood

For a full writeup of this session click here

As soon as the party entered the Songwood, a wave of nausea hit them. Even the dryad Morgaine became disoriented, but the group pressed on attempting to follow the tracks. Soon, though, the psychological effects of whatever was plaguing the wood took their toll, and they lost their way. They seemed to travel in a straight line, but after a day’s travel they found themselves back where they started. After a rest, they began again.

This time the wood seemed to reject their presence, and attacked. Trees grew tall and close together into walls, and plants reached out to try and ensnare anyone who came too close. The party ran, jumping and climbing, to escape the attacks. After a time, it seemed to die down, and everyone was generally unscathed as they came upon a graveyard. The gravestones were old, but the dirt was fresh. McNeil and Adrie were too curious to pass it by, and began to dig through the unsettled dirt. Undead soldiers emerged from the grave, but they were no match for the four warriors, and were dispatched, the riches of their graves taken as punishment.

The wood continued to bear down on the psyche of the party, but they grew to resist the effects. They came upon a grove filled with dancing fey elves – Eladrin – but these were ghostly and ethereal. The party attempted to fit in and join the revelry, and to gain information from these spirits. One acknowledged the existence of Glandomein as an old wizard who knew his parents, and directed them to a tower somewhere in the woods, though he did not know the way. After some inappropriate comments from McNeil to a particularly comely Eladrin spirit, the ghosts disappeared.

The group then encountered a wall that appeared to be the last remaining piece of a once great castle. The rusted gate lay partly open, and as the party stepped through they were transported to another part of the forest. They heard voices coming from ahead, and Adrie recognized the leader as Verick Kalin, the thug who attacked them at the festival, though this time his lackeys were a group of tiefling demon soldiers, accompanied by a demonic orc sergeant and spellcaster. They hid and prepared and ambush.

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Session 7 - 11/30

A Cult and an Eladrin Camp

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Session 8 - 12/14

Ascent of Mount Seraglio

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Session 9 - 1/4

Detour to Wyvernborough

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Session 10 - 1/18

The Battle of Wyvernborough – Part 1

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Session 11 - 2/1

The Battle of Wyvernborough – Part 2

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Session 12 - 2/15

Family Ties

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