It is the beginning of the tenday and Loudwater’s gates have just opened for the regular farm citizens and travelers to enter the town and conduct their affairs. The guards covering the east and west entrances act disinterested in their duties and show this by either yawning as the residents pass the entrances or talking among themselves on the outer side of the gates. Amongst the common denizens are 6 particular travelers, who at the moment may not all know one another, but will eventually embark on perilous journeys that will ensure they do.
The first of the group are the 2 odd battle brothers hailing from Mithril Hall. One is the typical war priest cleric with a background to make an average dwarf in Loudwater jealous. Having lived through the perilous times of being an outcast from Mithril Hall to retaking their beloved home. He weathered the Spell Plague in the safety of his home’s Mithril coated walls, with ancient protective runes that have withstood many magical onslaughts. The other is a strange being called an Earth Genasi. His kind has not been seen in Loudwater for ages. Full of humor and ale, he makes the perfect teammate for his shrewd Dwarven battle brother, complimenting and balancing their personalities. The 2 move on the battle field identically and fluid like as if they are one. And are nearly inseparable like flesh and blood brothers. Both are weary from travels and are looking for rest and a place to stable their riding horses. Following shortly behind these 2 is what appears to be a common merchant lugging his own wares with a mule and a cart. He clumsily peddles into town, wearing the stress from the road on his face, but beware, their is a mystery to this one. He too seeks lodging and a place to stall his mule so that he can negotiate more trading routes that may help line his pockets with gold. Behind him looms a savage creature, a Tiefling to be precise, but far more savage than just any normal Tiefling. She bears proudly her first set of armor and always near her grasp an axe she named “Hate.” Her journey has been long, finding adventures from as far as Icewindale and to escorting caravans needing guards. All of this done not for money, but out of improving her skills and a desire to find a place she can call home. She too, like the others, seek a place of warmth from the morning cold and some fresh water. Every few steps a person might notice that she will pull from a leather pouch a small bit of venison jerky that she likes to chew on as if it’s chewing tobacco . And the last adventurer to pass Loudwater’s eastern gate is a certain half elf, bearing in one hand a staff of a not common design and wearing an expression equally not common, is our other adventurer. His skin periodically glistening in the rising sun’s rays and at first glance it would appear he has translucent bronze colored scales, and yet outside of the light he looks to be normal. Most who see him might say to themselves,“Surely this isn’t a Dragonborn? Aren’t those creatures supposed to be dragons, but in the form of a man?” Of course, then, most haven’t seen a sorcerer, nor a Dragonborn in their town, at least not the youngsters. He too seeks lodging, as he had just disembarked from an adventure along the sword coast near the town of Neverwinter. Perhaps, the people here will find his abilities a great use to them.
These 5 adventures had come through the eastern gate of Loudwater, but there is one other adventurer traveling the road to Loudwater. He comes under the power of Torm and the edicts of his mentor. Hailing from a decimated village off the Swordcoast, he enters the town from the west. He is clothed in a black cloak and is a hulking figure compared to most of the humans traveling to and fro the town. His nature, although being a large and cumbersome one in size, is meek when seen in the way he handles himself around commoners that pass by him on the crowded streets. He has a careful nature, But anyone who were to stare long enough into his eyes would see righteous wrath for any evil and those that do it’s bidding. He travels place to place, Purging the world of its cancer, one town, one dungeon, one evil monarch at a time. This adventurer seeks justice for his town’s decimation and the simplest way to help distribute that warranted righteousness is to take his mentor’s giant blade to the root, in effect, cleansing the world of its disease.
As the dreary town wakes up and bursts into life, all of a sudden, the streets are filled with numb looking characters just going with the flow of the day. There is an eerie silence in the air as the dwarf and his companion, who have been guiding their horses, finally spot the town stables up ahead and to their right off to the side of the road they see a small shop with a window display. In this display sits its main attraction. It is a black horn saddled with leather at its base. The sign above this curious bizarre reads, " Garwan’s Curiosities." Then, suddenly as the adventurers are about to converge on to Loudwaters only surviving inn, there is a loud explosion from the town’s southern most wall across from the inn, not even a city block away. Wood, stone and mortar are sent hurling into the air and upon the unexpected denizens of Loudwater.
Not even seconds after the explosion emerges 2 Humanoid figures and several smaller ones following behind. The Captain leading these creatures points to the shop next to our adventurers who are dazed and surprised by the explosion. The creature roars in Goblinish! Soon our adventurers and the town people are set upon by a small mixed Goblin raiding party, with a Bugbear leading and a Hobgoblin as his guard. The Goblins themselves chase and kill a few of the citizens on their way to Garwan’s shop, but upon reaching the shop they are stopped and killed by our odd battle brothers.The adventurers trailing behind the Dwarf and his companion also spring into action. Prior to all these events the cloaked adventurer, who was but feet away from entering the inn, receives an eerie glow from his sword prompting him to spot the exploding wall, as well as the intruders pouring fourth. Before the dust can settle he has already rushed the field to meet his enemies, drawing his holy weapon and putting it to use before the others within the town can even react. Not even our other adventurers were this quick to responding to the Bugbear and his cohort’s entrance. Soon most of the common town folk caught in the fray are murdered by the savage Goblinoids leaving just our motley crew left to handle the threat. They soon over power the threat and prevent any of the Goblins or their whip masters through to Garwan’s shop. And as the leader left to retreat, he is frozen in his tracks by an unknown force and shortly after is relieved of his head by the hulking earth creature from Mithril Hall.
Our heroes have just let their light shine in a matter of seconds onto the town of Loudwater, and are hailed by some on the spot as their town’s new champions. That is, until the guards arrive. After some persuasion the guard take the heroes for their word and Loudwater’s morning watch’s Lieutenant decides to arrange for the group rewards to be had at the inn. The adventurers decide to retire and take a rest at the inn’s tavern where they decide to cash in on their reward of a free night’s stay and some warm home cooked food. Our Tiefling savage presses on in the investigation at the explosion site. She perceives the effect to have been of a magical kind and as she turns to head towards the inn. She is met by our sorcerer, who introduces himself to her as Rye and offers his aid. She informs him of her knowledge about the explosion, introduces herself as Bree from the Black Raven tribe and carries on to the inn, leaving Rye to investigate the wall further. While inside the group press the lieutenant of Loudwater’s morning watch about information. As the group is digging into the ailments of Loudwater from the lieutenant, the earth genasi leaves and finds the head of the Bugbear. Shortly he returns to the table miming and puppeting it’s head around the table. This prompts the Lieutenant to return to his investigation and to make a report about the events on the southern wall to Loudwater’s leaders. Soon Rye also returns from the wall having the same conclusions as Bree. At first there is bickering here and there and a little bit of arrogance mixed with pride soon begins to bubble up from those who have already taken ale at 7:30 am. No matter, this doesn’t deter the group from wanting to continue together and press for more answers about what had just took place. Then a fair Half-Elf enters the room. Modestly dressed, but with regal etiquette in her poise, she shows up with a writ for the tavern keeper. Which allows the heroes a free night at her expense. She introduces herself to the newly formed party, as Lady Moonfire, Loudwater’s ruler and invites herself to sit down at the group’s table in order to hammer back a few drinks of her own with the Dwarf and the others. She thanks the heroes and informs them that she has covered their expenses for the week if they choose to stay in Loudwater that long. She invites the group to her manor if they are interested in knowing more of what exactly this crazy ambush was all about. As she walks out the door our Dwarven hero, Known as Lokrun, asks her what she intends to do about the hole in her wall? She smiles and says that she kind of likes that hole there at the south wall and will probably make it the new entrance to Loudwater and then leaves the inn with a smile. Soon the group decides to introduce themselves. The dwarf introduces himself first and then his traveling companion who is called Galron as the adventurers who hail from Mithril Hall. Our Merchant introduces himself as Conley Emmor, a traveling merchant who is eager to set trade up with Loudwater. Of course, that perhaps is what he desires the group to perceive him as. Our cloaked hulk lowers his cowl, revealing a large Half-Orc trained in all the righteousness of Torm. He introduces himself as Mattieu and does not take a seat, deciding that pressing the Lady for answers as being more important than boozing it up. Rye, the sorcerer, decides it his turn to introduce himself and does so. Bree, our Tiefling barbarian, keeps her distance from the group. Voting only to drink water, as she too prefers sobriety and rudely slaps a mug of ale away from her face being given to her by Conley. The group finish with introductions and decide to press the town ruler for more information.
After meeting with Curavar and Lady Moonfire the group learn about an orgre king that the goblins fanatically worship and head to the shop that the raiders had their sights set too earlier during their epic fail of an attack. After a brief run-in with a well known miscreant of Loudwater called Zark, they pile inside Garwan’s shop to gather information from Garwan on his special item in the display. Eventually they persuade the greedy store owner it was in his best interest to give the paladin the mysterious black horn. The group then decide that it is also in their best interest to win Curavar and Lady Moonfire’s trust and to exterminate Loudwater’s Goblin infestation to the south.
They follow the massive swath in the mud, left behind by the raiding goblins, to the forest lying south of the town. Once inside the forest they find a rutted trail that leads to ancient Dwarven ruins, but almost as the group arrive and begin to look for answers within the ruins a false floor trap is sprung and 3 of our adventurers fall 20 feet on to a hard stone surface that is littered with half eaten bone, dung and a snarling Large wolf-like creature that has begun to lick its lips. Situated a few feet south of the large monstrosity sits a few eager goblins ready to lay the heat down onto our heroes. In a matter of a seconds the group all synergize their actions towards one goal and that goal was met once the creatures were vanquished. Having just fallen upon the entrance to the burrow, the group decides to take the time to rest , search and perhaps play with a few magical gadgets discovered within the ruins. Ahead of the group lies one rotted door lined with steel reinforcements that beckons the group to press deeper within the orgre king’s barrow.
After the group spends a few minutes getting to know one another through resting that involved feasting and ale. The party ready’s themselves for action and lines up at the door that seems to be rotting away with newly reinforced metal on it. The craftsmanship is clearly not Dwarven. Bree takes a few steps back while Galron and the others attempt to listen to what is on the other side of the door. Moments later, Bree begins a powerful dash to charge the door off its hinges. In this process of her mad charging, she slips and falls, sliding headlong into the door. “CRACK” . The group all shake their heads and Galron knocks the door in. It was too late to surprise whatever was on the other side of this door.
Once on the other side the group is met with a long corridor that has descending stairs at the end of the corridor with a sharp turn to the east. In the middle of the corridor are 2 rooms. One is to the west with a portcullis made of rotted wooded and decaying iron and the other is directly across from it with a dwarven made stone door shut tight. From the west comes awful looking dwarf zombies and Dwarven skeletons. The Paladin acts decisively and charges the small wave of undead. The group all center in on the undead creatures, hacking and slashing their way through rotting flesh. Lokrun begins to pray and shouts in Dwarven, which in turn makes the creatures begin to run with fear, retreating slowly back into their rotting home. Mattieu gives chase followed by Bree. While this is going on Rye turns to face the stone door that is now creaking open and he ready’s a spell for whatever is coming out. The door quickly opens and a small goblin comes rushing forward. Lokrun and Galron see this as well and help the sorcerer with his small problem. Galron dispatches it quickly and rushes the room the Goblin came from and finds 2 more in wait. Not far behind is Lokrun who engages the Goblin closest to him. Magic is whirling in the air from the shaman and Rye followed by swords and war-hammers crushing green-skin flesh and bones. The group soon dispatches all its foes. In the room where Lokrun is, he spots a statue with offerings presented before it. The statue appears to be shaped out of mud and clay like a large humanoid creature. He smashes the statue out of disgust but finds the clay and dirt fall off in clumps revealing the statue’s true form. Its an ancient Dwarven king that only Lokrun only would have the ability to identify (http://forgottenrealms.wikia.com/wiki/Taark_Shanat). Lokrun being enraged silently and filled with malcontent towards the Goblins who have taken up residence in a proud dwarven stronghold, decides to move on to the next part of this ancient stronghold. The group all take turns looting and searching and end up finding some goodies.
Once everyone is gathered together Bree takes a bit more subtle approach and allows Lokrun and Galron to lead the group down the steps and around the corner to a set of double doors. Galron looks to his right to see his shield brother, Lokrun, shrugs and kicks his door in. As the door slams open it hits something behind it and he hears a moan. The group soon rushes in and find a new threat of Goblins awaiting them. Before the group the rooms layout is a stairwell in the north-eastern corner that is situated to traverse down a great pit with a depth of 100’. Beside the pit is another magical stepping disk. To their south is another make shift wooden door. Once the group dispatches all its foes, they begin to hack and slash the rotted door to the south and find within a typical Goblin den. Loaded with dung, hay beds and piles upon piles of trash. They find stashed in the trash some interesting looking ale and spirits along with a pouch of gold, but more importantly a set of armor covered in Goblin feces. The armor appears to be covered in ancient Dwarven runes but is too filthy to see what it says. Since it’s dwarven made only Lokrun could donn the armor. He forgoes donning it and asks it be left until they clear their goblin infestation. The group follows closely behind Lokrun and Galron as they traverse down the long narrow set of stairs at least 6 levels. On each new level is a dwarven chiseled hole and inside these holes appears to be old dwarven sarcophagus’ that have been pilfered and looted long before the goblins arrived.
Once at the bottom they see a long corridor that is somewhat lit with small sconces located on the walls. At the end they see an opening into a room and sitting before a giant sarcophagus is a strange small Goblin with a crown made of feathers and leaves. He is silently chanting something to himself and all over the room are ritual candles. The goblin’s eyes widen as he sees the group approaching and he demands in Common,“How did you get here? What do you want? This is sacred ground and you must leave now!" The group poses similar questions to this strange creature. He answers them in a calm raspy voice," We must resurrect our lord, the Ogre King!" Soon the group grow tired with his attempts to talk them down from slaying him and engage him quickly. He tries to run to escape, but stops halfway down the room believing he can explain his Goblin brother’s actions through pleading and begging. Only one of the party believes him and it is Bree. She sets her axe down and attempts to calm the others down. It failed and now finally the Goblin infestation of a once and bright Dwarven stronghold has come to an end. The group find within the Sarcophagus the remains of something over 9 ft tall. Inside there was a skull with horns and one of the horns were missing. The skull has been fashioned into a weapon of sort, very similar to a great club. Apparently, this is the skull totem Curavar requested of the group to bring to him. The group loot their surrounding and snatched the totem. While Galron relieves himself on the remains of the supposed ogre king. On the way out of the ruins the group is approached by a handicapped man with a scarred face and a shriveled leg. He is overwhelmingly pleased by the group and is awe struck at their presence. He reveals himself as Sunstheen and is their biggest fan. He offers to carry around some of the heavy stuff and Lokrun gives him a chore to accomplish. He tells the man to clean the armor he found within the ruins and to return it to him once that was finished. So the man hobbles off as they approach the hole in Loudwater’s walls. Outside of the hole in Loudwater’s walls is a group of militia men helping a halfling to his feet. He has been injured by something and they walk him to the Inn. The group follows the halfling where they soon find out that the injured man is Marsh Laval, the proud owner of the Green Tankard. The group listens to his story and they learn of a sinister criminal organization within Loudwater that is supposedly lead by a shade. The group decides to settle in for the day as it is approaching evening. But just as they thought things were settling down the Innkeeper’s wife along with Lady Moonfire decide to throw a feast in the honor of Loudwater’s heroes. And soon the tavern is bustling with, feasting, singing, cheers and dancing.
During the feast that was held in their honor at the Green Tankard, Curavar presents the group with a story regarding the Ogre King. He informs the group that the Ogre King was in fact not an Ogre at all. And that the totem was unimportant to him. If anything the creature simply shared the size of an ogre. The creature within the crypt of the barrow was nothing more than an Oni or an Ogre mage. This creature is innately magical and has a lust for eating children almost as much as his lust for power. Curavar explained how the Oni’s lust for power made him spend his entire life seeking the mysteries that rests to the north of Loudwater within the Dire wood. He explained how an old warlock some 50 years ago was interested in the power that lies within the Dire wood just as the oni was and actually built a tower nearby in order to study the site on location. This warlock was interested in the power and spent a decade studying its mysteries. Soon the tower seemed to produce a power of its own either by combining its power from the warlock or the Dire wood had simply began to influence it. He knows not which, but for the past 40 yrs the tower has sat with no trace of life within. There is no doubt that something magical takes place around the tower. Sometimes strange lights and flashes of fire and lightning can be seen lighting the tower up in a distance. Other times it remains shrouded in a fog. The oni was interested in the power of those woods as was the warlock. For the past few years both sites have grown cold. There was no activity from the oni to the south and very little of the tower to the north. Being curious as ever he ventured into the barrow to learn of the oni’s fate. He had not seen or heard of the creature for a few years. He knew that in the past the oni pretended to be a king and united a few rogue goblin and Hobgoblin tribes within the forest in order to his bidding. He created fanatics out the those creatures, but even he wasn’t free of the bonds death.
When Curavar arrived and magically concealed himself with a spell, he found the bones of the oni within the deepest parts of the barrow. Since the oni was dead he presumably no longer saw these feeble creatures as a threat. However, he noticed these small minded beings attempting a strange ritual. Being well versed in the arts of magic, he knew the ritual posed no threat and would fail. So, as a token to his visit and to his former foe. He broke the horn off of the skull of the oni, that now lied upon a pile of its own dust and bone. When he arrived in town earlier that week he saw in a vision the arrival of a group of adventurers. He also saw the attack of the fanatical goblins. It was in his mind that the vision was a sign from Mystra and in his interpretation that this group would save Loudwater. He wasn’t convinced and so he decided a test was in order and decided that the small threat to the south would be a good test. Curavar believes the Warlock’s tower to be the real threat and that it would pale in comparison to the Goblin threat to the south. The group had mixed feelings towards Curavar’s story. Some berated him and held him in contempt while others contemplated his words. The group was clearly divided on the idea of Curavar being a good element for Loudwater.
The feast continued and a few of the other guests found confidence in Loudwater’s new heroes. A group of Dwarves approached Lokrun and Galron needing aid to establish a safe route to a copper mine near the Ogre’s Barrow. They also discovered that Lady Moonfire and Garwin are the proprietors of this venture. Once the old stronghold to the south (the ogre’s barrow) is setup for use they can get to work on finding the lost copper mine within the Southwood. Lady Moonfire had to leave the feast early but not before inviting the entire group to her ball 2 days from now. This meant dancing and formal wear and to some of the group this was not acceptable. After the feast was nearly over, the group’s sorcerer revealed his knowledge of a hidden element that seemed to be plaguing Loudwater’s underground market. Apparently a treacherous lady has spread fear across the entire town’s citizens , minus the upper class. Indoctrinating the less fortunate’s husbands into her service. She was using any means necessary to gather the criminals together. She even was able to task together non criminals within her claws. She was accomplishing all this through fear and death threats to her servant’s loved ones. He said she was running a protection racket at first. Forcing those with shops and vending stalls to pay a portion to her, but soon she found a better form of trade. She had been stealing children and women and selling them to a mysterious group. Her group is the darkest element of evil within Loudwater’s criminal element. In fact, there is another criminal element that is eager to see her go. And opted to help the group get rid of her.
Once hearing what Rye had discovered the group decided it best to wait for morning and to tackle Loudwater’s evil smuggling problem first. Once the group awoke and had breakfast they headed out to Fisher’s pub to meet Rye’s contact. They recruited the help of a few local ruffians to help them figure out who the Lady of Shadows enforcer was. But just as the group was about to leave they recognized a rough looking Dwarf within the Pub. The group had witnesses indicating Zark was also apart of this scheme, perhaps he knew who a man named Narrows was to be found. This prompted Lokrun and Galron to question him. But before Lokrun could speak Bree had punched Zark in the face. Zark was ready for a fight and stood up. Then Lokrun slapped him when he didn’t expect it. Soon the entire group decided it best to over take these men by any non lethal means necessary. After the struggle had ended they began to question Zark’s accomplices who confessed to working for the Lady of Shadows. And within Zark’s accomplices was the enforcer himself, Narrows. Narrows and his group eagerly gave up her whereabouts, but only in exchange for their safety and to be spared of the group’s version of justice. They rather be judged by their opposing criminal element. The group agreed. After getting their information from Zark and his buddy Narrows they headed towards the Lady of Shadows’ alleged base of operations. They left Zark and his companions in the hand’s of Rye’s contacts, who agreed to watch them until their return. If the group discovered the men lied to them, they would exact justice from their flesh.
After arriving at the alleged lair the group masterfully perceived and disarmed the trap that lied in wait for them just after the entrance. Once inside they stealthilly open the door only to find a group of ruffians and bandits awaiting them. Mattieu charges first, followed by the others. During the struggle a small humanoid that seemed to be shrouded in shadows disappeared and reappeared before the paladin. The group attacked but noticed none of their hits had an effect upon this small being. Rye decides to give his magic a go and blasts the woman with a burst of magic missiles which were extremely destructive on the shadowy humanoid. She then changes form and appears to be some sort of were-creature. she strikes at the paladin who returns the favor by slashing back his radiant might. The creature was nearly sliced in two and once she fell two of the bandits immediately surrendered. They thought their leader invincible, but reassessed that presumption as she lied on the floor with steam flowing out of her entrails. Bree won’t have the surrender from the bandits and hacks one’s head off. In a fit of anger she pursues the other but Galron and Lokrun stand in the way. Mattieu attempts to calm her and eventually succeeds.
The group scours the hideout and discovers some coin and old books regarding the high moors located in the southern most room and Bree searches to the north. Galron stays in the main room and investigates the glowing tile with strange markings. He decides to chisel them up and carry them in a make shift bag created from his rope that he used yesterday for transporting the strange stepping stones from the Ogre King’s barrow. After chiseling the tiles up he slings them around his back, where later he will stash them in his room at the inn. As Bree enters the north room she finds cages and cots. Upon discovering the cage she walks inside and takes notice to some blood spots on the floor. She also notices on the lower part of the wall within the cage that something has been scrawled on the stone wall’s surface. She read it aloud to the group which said “Save us, please. We are being sold as slaves to snake men! They say they are bringing us to the Zelbross Bandits.”
Upon hearing what Bree read Rye decides to inform the group that his contact has a part or some dealings with the Zelbross bandits. And that they may be using the trade route on the boat to ship the children to Zelbross. Feeling duped by the ruffians at the pub Bree races over to the body of the Jackalwere and cuts her head off. She then heads straight to the port. The group escort the last bandits to Captain Harrowleaf who calls for his elite guard to follow him to the port and to shut down the area pending an investigation. When the group arrives they find Bree aboard one of the vessels harassing the first mate with a flurry of blows from the Jackalwere’s head. The ship’s crew being both confused and intimidated just try to avoid her and run from her flurries of head bludgeoning attacks. Once captain Harrowleaf arrives he orders the vessel to cease and desist operations pending an investigation and for the sailors to disembark and are to immediately report to the magistrate’s office until formal charges are either brought or dropped. Bree doesn’t stop with her onslought and Harrowleaf is forced to issue an order for her to stop or face charges upon impeding an investigation. Bree reluctantly acquiesces, but instead races to the cargo hold of the ship to find the children. Galron and Matteiu follow her as well and ignore Harrowleaf. All three race to the cargo hold and begin to open its goods. Most were truly shipping supplies legitimately until Galron and Mattieu find the last 6 remaining barrrels of goods. Finally, they had found what they sought and freed 6 children. 2 of 6 were in a strange slumber while the other 4 were bound and gagged. Galron gently scoops the children up from the cargo crates and proceeds to track his way back to topside where he finds a baffled Harrowleaf whose jaw was now slightly open. Offering his apologies he places the crew and its captain under arrest and calls forth the magistrate. Harrowleaf expresses his gratitude and relays his guilt for not having the knowledge of how deep Loudwater’s criminal element was embedded within his city’s daily activities.
The group suggest to him to allow them to finish their investigation. At which Captain Harrowleaf agrees and offers all the help he can muster. They inform the captain of their plan to use the ship that is currently in moor and to go to the Zelbross ruins posing as the smugglers. They request that he allow them to have a full crew and not just any crew, they want a trustworthy crew. Harrowleaf agrees to the plan and pledges his most loyal to their cause, but only as the ship’s crew. he can’t afford to lose any more men. He also informs the group that he will stay behind in order to find out how deep this unsettling black market of slaves went within Loudwater’s own militia and to bring those involved to justice. Rye venture’s back to the tavern to acquire Zark and his accomplice Narrows, but only to discover that the men being held captive had escaped and killed some of the ruffians that were in charge of watching over them. He also learns that Narrows also could change his shape like the Lady of Shadows. It seems Rye has some more bad new’s for his companions…
The group met in the inn, where it was decided that we would save up 3k gold and buy it from the halfling. Primarily led by Mattieu. Everyone present agreed. After that, it was decided that everyone get some rest.
Bree at this point and time took a short nap and decided to leave the inn (after a brief confusion regarding sneaking out), and attempted a break in at the magistrate’s office and barracks in order to exact barbarian justice on the slave traders. Unfortunately, after sweet talking the guard, and appealing to his sense of family (which was rebuffed since he had no family), Bree resorted to pure intimidation and scared the guard off. Bree found out that the door is locked and only Harrowleaf (the guard captain) has the key. Bree tried to kick in the door, but after a solid failure, took off running back to the inn to prevent herself from being arrested.
The next morning, everyone met at the inn’s bar, where wild boar was consumed, as was a ton of ale by Galron. (Galron by the way, passed out at the bar the previous night). It was agreed that the entire group would go to the square and watch town justice. Bree and Mattieu being of the mind that exile from the town is not a reliable form of punishment as being exiled just pushes the problem out of the city, and onto hapless travelers and farmers.
Upon entering the town square, Mattieu and Bree saw a gallows being erected, but refused to assist, in fact, insisting that they be the executioners.
In an out of context form, Mattieu reminded Bree that she had the Thaumaturgy ability, of which one can raise their voice to a very high level and accompany it with lightning and thunder. Bree realized this and called out the magistrate. However, Instead of the magistrate coming out, the entire town came out, along with Lady Moonfire and the captain of the guard Harrowleaf followed by the ones being sentenced and leading the criminals, the magistrate. At this point and time, Bree and Mattieu argued with the magistrate that their supposed justice was flawed and offered to be executioners. The magistrate, refusing to allow the group to kill the men, refused, even though Moonfire was ok with it. Rye, realizing that we had just told the magistrate that their political and justice system was crap, and had undermined the way of justice in this town for many many years, offered a calming solution where the group took the prisoners and used them to sail the ship on the way to the slavers camp located in the old town ruins once called Zelbross. Mattieu and Bree not understanding the implications of what they had done, and refusing to see reason argued that his plan was crap. At this point, Mattieu claimed divine justice, saying that as an Agent of Torn, his authority ran higher than the town of Loudwater’s and demanded trial by combat for all 12 of the prisoners. The magistrate, along with most of the town nobles had no choice but to concede to Mattieu’s demands (with Moonfires assistance of course). The magistrate walked off, very much angry and muttering, while Rye kept trying to get Bree and Mattieu to see reason. Finally, Bree caught on to the plan (which was to load the prisoners on the ship, get out of Loadwater jurisdiction, and execute them and throw them in the river) and helped convince Mattieu. But the damage had been done, the group of adventurers already upset the political and social balance of Loudwater, as well as mocking their way of life and justice to the end of embarrassing the local magistrate.
Mattieu relented finally, and the prisoners were loaded aboard the ship, the Pale Minnow, and set sail for Zelbross. After leaving Loudwater’s jurisdiction, Bree got tired of waiting and wanted to coat the deck in the prisoner’s filthy blood, but Rye was of the mind to take everyone in the hold and fight it out there, arena style, with guards preventing their escape. Bree, however, impatient as always; grabbed Hate, and swung her axe at the nearest prisoner; missing completely but setting off a chain reaction. Mattieu slung a sword to one of the prisoners and before comprehension even dawned on him, killed him with a deep slash across the midsection. At this point, 2 prisoners jumped overboard. The rest were slaughtered weaponless on the deck of the ship. The prisoner captain attempted to overpower a guard and throw him overboard and both nearly went over the edge. Bree managed to grab hold of the guard and save him from falling in the freezing glacial water. Meanwhile, the two prisoners that bounced earlier were having a hard time keeping afloat, due to the freezing waters. Mattieu fired around 4 shots with his crossbow, missing every time. Rye managed to magic missile one to death and watch him sink. Galron pulled out his bow, laughed at Mattieu, and looking Mattieu right in the eye, fired a shot that killed the other overboard prisoner. (360 no scoped bitches).
The former captain had meanwhile fallen in the water and Bree decided to jump in after him, easily catching up to him and shaking off the effects of the glacial water. She managed to grapple the former captain and drag him down under the water for about 6 seconds, before drawing her short sword and attempting to cut him apart. The captain was harder to kill than thought and Bree spent a lot of time in the water, stabbing at the pale minnows captain while Rye ordered the anchor dropped on the ship to prevent it from leaving Bree behind. Afterwards Rye ran to the side of the ship and began to assail the Berserked captain with magic missiles. Galron took aim once again, and shot the Captain of the pale minnow and Bree finished him off with a critical stab right in the stink hole, sinking him to the depths of the frigid waters.
While all this fight was going on, Galron had noticed far far ahead, another ship had ran aground and what looked like humanoid figures were either saving the cargo or looting it. Upon closer inspection, it appeared the boat had run aground, and was heavily damaged. Hobgoblins were pillaging the cargo, so Mattieu, Bree and Galron jumped over board into the freezing water to engage.
No plan was formed, everyone acted singly and the group closed with the hobgoblins, fighting on the shore and the shallows. These hobgoblins were incredibly well armed and armored, and showed a proficiency in tactics and battlefield communication (hand signals) that rivaled even the most experienced adventurers.
Mattieu and Bree were nearly cut-down and Galron took a few serious hits at the beginning of the fight. Mattieu broke away from the group and charged the hobs on the shore. Mattieu was quickly surrounded by the hobgoblins Rye took notice and read from a magic scroll which caused fiery rays of heat energy to blast from his hands nailing the 3 Hobgobs attacking Mattieu, critically injuring one and destroying the other two. Galron finished the injured Hob off with a grin on his face. Bree followed Mattieu’s lead too. And rushed in only to get surrounded by 3 hobgobs. Mattieu, now freed up from his 3 assailants, rushed toward Bree to offer assistance. The fight wasn’t going well for the group until Baedric and the Lokrun came out and offered some healing and aid that turned the tide of the battle. Bree managed to rage and frenzy, giving her the added power to finish the few off around her. One hobgoblin attempted to run and hide, but was killed by massive damage that shot forth in fiery form from Rye.
Once the party has finished their rest aboard the boat, the group gather their wits together in a plan. Realizing the bandits knew the drop location to Zelbross, they weren’t quite sure how to get there from the landing point. The guards only knew a rough estimate as to where Zelbross’s location is compared to the river shore. The guards mostly make their travels on land and even protect the river and the land with their forts and the ballistic weapons loaded onto the fort walls. Realizing they could potentially not find the ruins in the dead of night, an offer to wait until morning was thrown out there, but it was quickly dismissed as Lokrun mysteriously knew the way. After a few interjections Lokrun decides he is venturing forth and scolds the group for wanting to wait as he knew the way and to trust his knowledge. The group acquiesce to Lokrun’s demands and move behind him as he leads the way. Nearly an hour passes before the group come across what appears to be large rutted trail leading to the river shore and Lokrun leads the group upon the rutted road to the ruins of an old town. The hillside around the town is largely mud and dirt and has remnants of farmland outside of the ruins. Inside the town are abandoned structures with torn down walls and the only thing even remotely standing is an old temple sitting in the middle of the town. The group cautiously approaches when Lokrun and Baedric notice a figure inside the temple remains. They give the group a heads up and they prepare for a battle. They know there is a group of nasty bandits hiding out here and making exchanges with snake like beings. So they take up arms. Bree rushes off to find the villains and is ambushed by 3 bandits laying in wait as sentries on the old temple towers. None manage to hit her as she charges past. The group soon follow her lead, but before they could take actions against the bandits they hear a roar off in the distance and a scream come from behind the walls of the crumbling southern tower. Soon afterwards a lion appears and jumps on another bandit. Astounded at what they just seen the group continue to engage and dispatch the outer perimeter of bandits. Once the outer group of foes have been dispatched a large muscle bound barbarian appears out from the center of the temple and rushes Bree. The 2 engage in an epic battle of Barbarianism. The Lion has finished its meal and heads to the inner perimeter of bandits firing at the group and engages the bandit. It begins to play with it in swipes as if a house cat toys with a mouse and then it takes notice to the damage Bree is sustaining in battle and suddenly changes shape to a wild looking elf. The Elf disengages its opponent and begins to assist Bree with healing. Galron and Baedric finish off their outside foes with ferocity. Baedric performing feats of acrobatics to the likes of which the group had never seen and gaining his advantage in sight through his new height with his night goggles, he fires from his hand crossbow to aid his party mates. The Earth genesai handles his foes with a fury of thrown hand axes to the chest and skull and hacks and slashes his way to the inner perimeter to meet up with Bree. Rye slowly follows behind when he notices a snake like humanoid skulking out from the back of the temple and she notices him as well. She fires shots at him and misses and hisses at her misfortune while Rye prepares his spell to a higher form of damage and unleashes a flurry of magic missiles at the snake woman. He decimates her with the power of his missiles and she slinks away to cover. After he fires his shots he takes cover in the northern tower when a slime lunges on him from above and begins to inflict acidic damage on his neck and cloak. He scrapes the slime off with his cloak and disrobes the cloak. Struggling to comprehend what just taken place he instinctively blasts the slime with his fire-bolt cantrip and destroys the foul thing. The group seizing the advantage over the bandits best them pound for pound and manage to take out the Barbarian male and his female snake companion. They begin to search the temple and it ruins and manage to open a locked vault with stolen caravan goods. They also find children locked away in a cell and Zark that was missing before is bound in chains, beaten to a pulp by the Zelbross ruins for his betrayal. The Druid, Sorcerer and the Bard tend to Zark but not before questioning him. The Sorcerer has had enough and blasts him with his missiles, knocking him unconscious.They find a cart in the back and repair the cart. They then Place Zark on the cart along with the caravan loot, children and treasure. Baedric gives his new friendly druid bear strength and Bree, Galron and him begin to pull the cart to where the boat was moored. They make a hasty retreat as the scent of blood from Zark and the group’s injuries have attracted wolves among other creatures. Once successfully making it to the boat they board and begin to recuperate from their arduous task. The ship shoves off and Lokrun begins to help the children below. The children are quite taken by him and won’t leave his side. Following his every move as if little goslings or chicks do when they are with their mother. Our group begin to rest as it is early AM and the trip ahead is roughly a day and a half away for they are traveling against the current to Loudwater.
After a grueling battle with the Zelbross bandit’s and their snake people entourage, the group began to slowly sail against the current eastward. Moving a slow 2 knots the guards take turns rowing to increase speed of their over capacitance ship. The ship is moving at a quarter of the speed and is expected to not disembark the port of Loudwater until the next morning. Eventually, the ship makes it’s way back around where the group earlier had noticed a ship that had run aground. Some of the group felt the urge to scout the tracks they had found and to find the whereabouts of the wandering Hobgoblins that were looting the crashed ship. The others stayed back to guard the children and the ship. Among the volunteers to shuttle off the ship are Rye, Bree and Andraste. Once they land ashore it is a cloudy and dark night. However, about 60 ft inland where the dead hobgoblins lay are humanoids crouched over the dead remains. As the group approach for a better look at what is taking place they realize that these pale leathery skinned humanoids are armed with razor sharp claws and teeth to match. With large tongues and bloody faces as they engorge on the corpses laid out in buffet style for them to savor. While these creatures were engrossed in their feeding frenzy Bree charges the group. After an intense battle and a paralyzing moment for Bree the group successfully dispatch the horrors that laid in wait before them.
The group now have before them 2 sets of tracks. And one set has been made by our ghoulish creatures while the other are the old Hobgoblin tracks. The group chooses to stay with the plan and they follow the tracks along the bushy inlay before coming to a small brook where the tracks end abruptly. Using their best tool available to them the group surmise through common sense that since the brook comes out of the forest then their goblinoid foes must’ve traveled into the forest by following the small brook. Once inside the group spot a huge winged animal flying over head. The sounds of its flapping wings alert Andraste and he quickly sprouts his staff into a large 60 foot tree, whilst holding onto the top of his staff he is flung up by the growth of the tree to the very top of it. Standing slightly below the rest of the other tree canopy he catches a glimpse of the huge winged beast. In the beasts talons is half of a hippogriff. It seems to be flying to the star mounts. Realizing the creature is no threat, Andraste decides to take a gander at his surroundings. After a few seconds of combing the local area he notices a small smoke cloud roughly 5 miles west to their location. Andraste speaks his command word and shrinks the tree back to his staff as he rides it on its way down. He informs the group of a potential hideout and they make their way east. After an hour of traveling they come upon a small but high watch tower and a gorge that had been filled in with water flowing southwardly. In the tower are 4 hobgoblins keeping watch and an ogre at the base playing in the mud by the flowing waters. The group put together a plan and intend to dispatch their targets by means of stealth. After a few minutes of stealthy moves Andraste gathers the attention of a hobgoblin in the tower and he begins to give commands and shoot his arrows. Andraste dashes to cover and uses his spell to pass without a trace and hides. He begins to slowly make his way closer to the river and intends to swim across to take out the tower. Meanwhile the Ogre begins to hear a trembling in the small flowing river and heads for the distraction Bree so cleverly devised.
Andraste continues to make his way across the river while the other 2 grab their enemy’s attention. Bree jumps in front of Rye to offer protects and Rye casts a spell at the approaching ogre. After he casts his spell he slaps Bree and sends her into a frenzy, exclaiming to her," Take care of our problem!" Bree bravely rushes the ogre and Rye begins to assail him with magic spells. Shortly after the arrows went flying and the magic was loosed, a dire wolf rushes from a den 100 feet behind the watch tower along with 2 other armored Worgs. One of the Worgs is heard speaking Goblin and sometimes common in a weird mixed language, he also bears an emblem on his armor that seems to indicate rank. Soon Bree is caught fighting an ogre a dire wolf and a worg, while the other worg is making its way around to take Rye out.
Finally Andraste makes it to the tower and easily dispatches the Hobgoblins in the tower and makes his way down. He begins to assist Bree and Rye in fending off the pack and ogre. Rye has managed to destructively pummel the ogre with spell and magic scrolls until finally his morale cracks and he makes a run for it. But not before Rye blasts a whole in his skull after he jumped in the river. Rye chases the body of the ogre down in order to search it and he is able to swim out to the body and find a peculiar letter where the ink has begun to run from the water. (The letter will be disclosed below.)
Bree is able to kill the Dire wolf and the Worg, but the other Worg with the insignia on its armor begins to make a run for it, but Andraste and Bree are able to give chase. A strange event takes place during this. As Bree manages to capture and begin grappling the Worg, Andraste uses his spell of entangle on both of them, this didn’t just happen once, but twice…. Eventually the Worg was able to break free and Bree no longer enrages is too exhausted to chase or pay Andraste back for her bruised ego suffered by his entanglement spell. They search the bodies and find nothing of interest just crude weapons and armor that will only slow their progress back to the boat and they also search the worg’s den. Inside they find caravan loot worth about 50 silver, but the boat is too overloaded to handle anymore cargo. They also find a small crate and inside is an ornate box with 2 potions and a scroll. Lying a small satchel is some food and 3 garnets worth 100 gp a piece. They also find a half eaten wood elf carcus, a centaur that had also been partially consumed and a busted up cage with nothing inside it. The group slowly make their way back to the boat and are a few hours shy from dawn. Once aboard the ship they cast off for Loudwater harbor and should be there by dusk. The waters are dangerous for the next 5 miles but they make it to the first fort that is run by the Loudwater patrol and from there on out there is no sign of bandits and no sign of monsters that are brave enough to attack the waters with in those tower’s range. The ship finally makes it back to the harbor safely, arriving just after dusk.
The group finally landed at Loudwater. It was early morning and 1 day before the grand ball is being held by Lady Moonfire. The group as it stands has an invitation. Lokrun made sure that the children found their homes and some were as far north as the Elven port near the eastern edge of the High Forest. He decided to see these children all the way home and to make his way back to Mithril Hall to accompany his companion Galron and aid him in his endeavors in keeping Mithral Hall secure. Galron and Lokrun both left the group a few belongings, the Totem dagger and the totem club. Along with the magical stepping stones and tiles found within the old dwarven stronghold and the Lady of shadow’s lair.
Bree, Matteiu, Baedric, Rye and Andraste say their farewells to their 2 comrade in arms as they depart, perhaps they will meet again.
Singing can be heard as you pass the town center. A celebration with dancing and feasting is taking place. Not only is there a ball at Moonfire manor, but there is a festival the whole town is participating in. It’s a festival dedicated to the “All Father” Sylvannus, a festival thanking him for the seeds planted. Moonfire manor is an aged wooden structure, made of stone and various local trees. The craftsmanship of the outside is reminiscent of Dwarven made structures, the details are intricate but with a druid’s touch. The air is warm and all the plants are in full bloom, summer is born on this day. You notice that everything in town seems to beat to a rhythm and even the birds and butterflies flow around the manor in a rhythmic measure. In front of the entrance are three men. One is the valet who takes various riding mounts for the travelers who have been invited to the stables the other two are guards. They ask for an invitation and if presented they open the manor’s double doors. Once inside the foyer there is a female half-elf servant waiting to escort visitors to the back of the manor. On your way through the house you will notice the inside is lit up leaving no trace of a shadow. The inside walls seem to have viney material in full bloom with various flowers and master crafted dwarf made stone lying beneath these beautiful blooms. There are small gems that hide beneath the growth located in the stone with various runic symbols. The walls seem to be infused with magic and the air inside is reminiscent of flowers and honeysuckle. The ceilings are high, higher than what could be expected from outside and the foyer leads into a narrow walk way that leads to the common room. Once again the dimensions of the inside of the house are in no way the same as the outside rather much larger than can be conceived from the outer appearance. The magic responsible for lighting the house seems to be not from a single source but rather from multiple sources, perhaps the gems, as floating in the air can be seen small balls of light. Once in the common room the ceiling vaults upwards nearly 30 feet high. Their is a fireplace to the left and beside it another corridor where you can hear clattering of dishes and various voices shouting. There are sitting areas and places to lounge and in the corner a tall shelf with books and scrolls make up a small reading area for the guests, and on the wall facing the entrance from the foyer in the common room is a large painting of a human man, clad in bright shining armor and a long gray beard and hair. He wears a battle worn face and has a fierce look, while leaning on a bastard sword. His facial features look similar to Lady Moonfire’s. The portrait is around 8 feet high and 4 feet wide and sits 8 feet off the air. At the bottom of the portrait is a gold placard with a name engraved Nanathlor Greysword. To the right is another corridor that narrows out in a round arch similar to the one you just went through and the servant woman leads you through this corridor. Another fourier opens up at the end and another set of double doors can be seen. She opens the doors which leads to the back patio. The patio deck is an arched structure made of wood, flowers and various budding vines. There is a small vine structure that is meant to give partial shelter from the patio to the large dance area. There is a wooden walk way underneath this structure that snakes its way to the area where the actual ball is being held. There is 3 large elongated tables underneath a partly covered larger structure where all the festivities are being held and beneath it is a large host of guests. Surrounding the structures are 3 large trees that seem to light up with fairie light and in the center of those trees a small tree sprout. A small effigy can be found at the base of each tree in honor of Sylvanus. The strangest thing about this ball is it is not what one would expect. There are children here and in a small grassy area there is Curavar with his small guests watching him intently as he sets off various light shows and small miracles. Behind him is a may pole where some kids are running around chasing the colorful streamers attached to it.
Some of the guests are seated while others are leaning against the table where the food and drink are located. All seem to be chatting and most of these faces are unfamiliar to you. Lady Moonfire is seen sitting at the table with Garwan and his 3 sons. occasionally she will rise and greet various unknown guests. While normally she bears a continual smile, today she shows an extreme amount of poise and posture. She is wearing a long flowing emerald colored gown that has small flowers adorning the shoulders and a small wreathe upon her head. As always she bears a necklace and even walks with a certain regal step in her stride. Joining her at her table is the captain and a few unfamiliar wood elf men. One of these elves is definitely a druid and hails from the High forest. At the other table is Brother Gryphon among him at his table are more unknown guests. These guests bare a resemblance to Brother Gryphon in their attire, slightly barbaric but with decorated clothing made from budding plants and flowers. To his right is a skinny looking fellow who is unable to smile. His hair is braided according to his tribe’s fashion and his wrists wear metallic spikey bands. To Gryphon’s left sits a beautiful female, adorned with vibrant red hair. She is human and has large stature but is extremely fit. She is clad in a bright leather jerkin fashioned around her waist are regal cloths and silk that form a small skirt. Her hair is neatly tied up into a bun and her arms and legs are colored in various tattoos. Her left wrist has a gold armlet in the shape of a dragon and her right hand bears a small signet ring, indicating some form of nobility or royalty. Opposite of Gryphon are more barbarian guests, properly dressed for the occasion but more focused on eating and enjoying their food with occasional compliments and praises to the chef.
The third and furthest table features a man in scarlet colored leather clothing and smoke colored leather straps with black boots to match. His attire would suggest a frontier look versus the look of a guest at a ball. He has medium length black hair and a black goatee, he has worn and tethered skin laced with a few scars on his face and hands. Beside him is a young lady in a vibrant peridot colored dress made of silk. He is casually talking to the magistrate who is sitting in front of him and occasionally reprimanding the young lady for not involving herself with the other children. She doesn’t appear to be enjoying herself but is talkative nonetheless to the magistrate’s wife who is seated beside the magistrate. There are a few more guests at the magistrate’s table whom the party does recognize. There is a woman who runs the knife and weapon store, named Starra. There is the town apothecary, Tanara Cothwick, and the woman who owns the general store, Miss Angelai, who was responsible for posting the information on the missing children.
There about 50 guests in all and most are seated at tables, aside from clan Fang Forge (who seem to be hoarding the table where the food is located) and the children (who are under the watchful eye of Curavar). Curavar seems to delight in watching the children’s state of awe as he performs for them. This might be the only time you or anyone can see this old wizard crack a smile or two. There is a large area for dancing but none seem to be taking the chance and their is music in the air, reminiscent to a piccolo and few other wood wind instruments. However, there is no band, so this music is magic based, or so it would seem that way.
During the Ball, our Heroes enter one by one, all with an agenda. Rye walks in dressed resplendently in fine silks and shiny cloth and makes his way towards Lady Moonfire. Andraste enters and immediately makes his way to where the Barbarian tribesmen and fellow druid sit. Bree enters a little later, still dressed in her bload soaked clothing, and seething with rage.
Meanwhile, Rye has begun dancing with Lady Moonfire, who appears charmed by the draconic elf and blushing slightly. Andraste has greeted the fellow Druids along with Brother Griffon and is currently trying to seduce the beautiful Barbarian Queen. She stares at him with obvious disdain which turns to shock as Bree buries her great ax into the table in front of Andraste and attempts to punch him through a red haze. Andraste, knowing that Bree would eventually come after him, deflected all her attacks, backing up and trying to defuse the situation. Lady Moonfire and Rye, hearing the commotion, stop their seduction and immediately move to intercede between Bree and Andraste. Lady Moonfire, at this point, has no choice but to kick the party out of the Ball, seriously angering Rye. At his point, Bree recognizes that she has made a mistake and once again acted without thinking first. Rye apologizes to Lady Moonfire and the emissaries, bowing profusely. It seemed as is Rye had become the official spokesperson of the party to the town of Loudwater. Bree, patches things up with Andraste, and both walk outside while Rye attempts to smooth things over.
At this point, what was a warm night turns frigidly cold, and snow begins to fall slowly. At once, Curavar and Lad Moonfire realize that something wrong is happening, and her self sponsored adventuring party needs to get to Draigdurroch Tower to investigate this early winter. If winter hits early, the last remaining crops would die, and the river, which freezes in the winter would ice over, slowing the already meager trade.
Outside, Bree and Andraste are greeted by another Tiefling, who is an obvious spell caster by his flowing robes. Introducing himself as Nazim the Hated, emphasis on the Hated, he offers to join the party to find out what is causing this magical winter.
Rye, after a few questions, suspiciously agrees and Nazim joins the party. Gathering fur cloaks before heading out of Loudwater, the party make their way to Draigdurroch Tower. Shortly before reaching the Tower, the party is hit by a blizzard that completely engulfs them and blinds them. After a few attempts to climb trees and use magic, the party hunkers down to wait the storm out. As soon as the storm ends, two other travelers come stumbling up, one freezing and the other supporting him. Introducing themselves as Dakkon and Koral, they agree to join forces and investigate the Tower. After a short ambush by a yeti and a snow wolf, the party reaches the Tower. Upon getting closer, it looks as if the walkway leading to the Tower doors are lined with little stone or metal figures. Once the door of the Tower is breached, numerous Homunculous awaken, and attack the group. Successfully defending themselves against the assault, the party makes its way into the Tower. Along the first floor the party sees that everything is frozen solid, to include the tables, chairs and tapestries. Even the books on the bookshelves and the food in the storeroom is frozen. Along a few of the walls are fireplaces that aren’t lit with conventional fire, but with frozen blue flame. Nazim heads to the back of the main hall, while Dakkon and Rye enter the room on the immediate left. Meanwhile, Bree and Andraste investigate the room on the right. Andraste immediately realizes the blue flame has something to do with the Fey and attempts to warn Bree. But Bree, impulsive and curious as ever, immediately swings her great ax through the flames, intending to break a piece of frozen flame off and putting it in her backpack. Instead, the ax whistles through, and numerous Ice Mephits come flying out from the fire places. Andraste immediately shifts into a Dire Wolf form and starts snarling and slashing at the nearest Mephits. Bree swings her ax in growing frustration at the seeming never ending wave as Rye and Dakkon engage the Mephits in their room. Initially oblivious, Nazim hears the commotion and joins in. A short while later, the Mephits lay dead, and the group learns that Rye’s talent for fire has once again come in handy. Proceeding to the second level, the group is once again assailed by Mephits coming from the fireplace, prompting Bree to jump down the stairs and engage with a loud roar. Bree holds the stairs secure against the Mephits while the group deals with the Mephits upstairs. After a short, bloody fight, the Mephits once again lay defeated. At this point, a member of the party learns that the fireplaces are portals to a icy fey realm of chaos and must be closed. The group surrounds the party member as they begin a ritual to close the portals for each fireplace, keeping him safe while he is casting. Eventually, the portals are closed and the team moves back to the second floor. After a detailed search, the party has found a summoning circle and a small fortune in alchemical supplies. Along the back wall, a small pad that Nazim steadfastly swears up and down will crush the member standing on it against the ceiling. Bree, having finished throwing random things across the summoning circle, jumps on the pad, and Dakkon, whispering a few words, cause the pad to rise to the 3rd floor. Not worried at all, Bree strikes a heroic pose as she rises through the ceiling and onto the 3rd floor. The party, seeing that the ceiling is an illusion all watch as Bree puts her tail through the illusion and waves it at the party. The rest of the team enter the Pad one by one, and start investigating the 3rd floor. The floor is lined with frozen bookshelves, all detailing a passion for the Demons of the Abyss. Asmodeus in particular, is a recurring theme. The group finds a few journal pages detailing that the dwarf mage was looking into something horrible. Moving to the next room, they find the wizards main study. In here, they learn that the wizard was attempting to gather shards of Karsus and angered the Fey of the Dire-wood, who sent a small strike team to destroy him. Dakkon, seeing the wizards journal, immediately goes looking for runes on his desk but misses one. As he touches the desk, a massive blast rocks the room. Bree takes a major hit, burning her cotton top off and burning through the bindings that hold her wings back. Her secret revealed, Bree attempts to act nonchalant at the fact that she is now singed and topless. Nazim, however, is entranced by Bree and cannot stop staring and drooling. In the corner of the room is another levitating pad that will lead to the top of the Tower. Piling on the pad, Dakkon whispers the words and it levitates to the top of the Tower. At the top, the party is greeted with a sapphire gem, glowing with power and runes encased in ice, floating ten feet above the roof of the tower. The entire ground is covered in ice and as the party get closer, a giant frozen elemental rises from the ice and and attacks the group. Bree takes the brunt of the first attack, taking two smashing hits that nearly down her. Dakkon is the next target, and is nearly reduced to being unconscious as he is hit extremely hard by the elemental. Rye and Nazim immediately realize the gem is powering the elemental, and the longer the gem is there, the more it will heal the elemental. As the party hangs on in this brutal and bloody fight, they target the gem with everything they have. Finally destroying the gem, the elemental dissipates, and the magical winter that has held the land immediately begins to thaw and revert back to its normal warm temperature. The group, wounded, exhausted and bloodied wearily trudges their way out of the Tower and makes their way back to Loudwater with backpacks full of loot that may be of interest to Curavar and Lady Moonfire.