Homeland Brigade

Gnolls Duergar and Drow- Oh My!
Suddenly NPCs, Thousands of them.

Everyone split up and visited the main cities of both the Duergar (the city of Silversgleam) and the Gnolls (the city of Glory) and convinced the leaders of the two bands (Amenshan and Ebsaxton respectively) to attend a meeting in order to discuss land claims and such. The Owl Society agreed to host the meeting.

Stevie, Yam, and Caleb went to Silversgleam

Eric, Julia, and Don went to Glory

In the cities:

Stevie saved Nightengale from certain death with some help from Zavia the duergar cleric after she contacted some sort of a rotting disease by unknown means.

Trian rescued Pheonix from a scheduled execution.

Niavara won the friendship of Rehecraw the gnoll by helping him give his friend Tirra a proper burial.

Yam was ejected headfirst from Traben’s stalactite mansion after failing to please him at dinner.

Caleb successfully defended Traben’s property from statue defilers at the request of Marendithas.

Scrag saved Roc’s sassy ass from a barfight with someone to whom he owed money or something.

After returning to the Owl Society, the adventurers decorated the place and obtained the food and supplies they would need for negotiations.

When the date came for the negotiations, something very strange went down… It’s safe to say things did not go as planned…

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Back into the Underdark.
Now the plot begins to show...

When morning came, it was found that Roc had not returned from his venture into the Underdark where the adventurers had emerged. Because of the great debt owed to the Owl Society where they spent the night, the party agreed to search for him. Nightengale and Pheonix elected to come too. Scrag was advised against going by Owl, but he neglected this warning and went anyway.

Immediately upon reentering the cave, Yam tripped severely and tumbled himself and more importantly his war-hammer into the cavern wall, which caved in. Newly trapped, the adventurers had no choice but to descend into the cold tomb.

The party split up and searched the place from top to bottom, finding a few hints that Roc had been there previously. The catacombs were thoroughly searched, but the trail eventually lead to an entirely new area, a cavern corridor leading all but straight down.

After fighting of many “boogeymen”, the party found themselves in another area similar to the caves they had encountered the Yuul in earlier. They fought some wisp-men and Yam collapsed another room after an explosion flung him into the only pillar holding up the ceiling. He also broke his nose for the first time of the day. The party then moved on and soon found themselves face to face with a small band of Gnolls. These gnolls decidedly did not want to pick a fight, however, and tried to convince the PCs that they were a kinder sort of gnoll. This was hard to believe due to the fact that they were holding Roc captive.

The gnolls, or Timon’s War Band (consisting ofTimon, Hamantha, Rehecraw, the deceased Tirra and two others) told their story about how Roc had mistaken them for an enemy and attacked them without provocation. After tying him up, the gnolls were attacked again, this time by a party of Dark dwarves, or Duergar. The fight was bloody and the gnoll named Tirra was slain. The two gnolls with unknown names were beaten up severely as well. The gnolls managed to capture one of the Duergar as they made their retreat, a gruff fellow named Izarv.

The adventurers spent a good deal of time questioning each of these people and ultimately discovered a chain of events that sparked this underground war. The Yuul had been pushing the Duergar out of the dwarves’ territory and into the Gnolls‘. The Duergar claim that the underground area there should be theirs now, seeing as the Duergar are an underground race, and the gnolls should find somewhere else to go. But all of the digging and skirmishes at the fault of the dwarves are causing the gnolls to lose farmland and territory they consider sacred to their ancestors. Some of the gnolls, with a shortage of food, have attacked the towns and cities in northwest Skyshoal, an area collectively known as ’the Valley’, in order to acquire food and goods.

Both the gnolls and the Duergar asked the party for their help in eliminating their foe, with respective promises of “honor” and “jewels”. Meanwhile Roc wanted to get back to the surface ASAP. The party was in disarray and had long arguments about the correct course of action. A passing turnip salesman offered his opinion, and Scrag picked up a jar of turnips that fell off of the cart. Eventually it appeared that Trian and Yam favored the gnolls, Caleb the dwarves, and everyone else split in the middle somewhere (with Stevie slightly favoring the Duergar and Kaili, Scrag, and Niavara remaining about neutral). Izarv was freed, and Stevie escorted him back towards his territory whilst most everyone else was still debating. Before any decision could be finalized, however, another patrol of “boogeymen” attacked, forcing the entire group down the cave path that Stevie had followed.

Along the way, two Drow named Marendithas and Tlehar were found escorting an elder duergar named Traben and his pet spider called Fruice. Discovering the dangerous creatures approaching, Traben refused to run until he was cracked over the head by a bottle. Simultaneously, Marendithas was hit by a sharpened starfish in the leg, Tlehar threw Traben over Scrag‘s shoulder, Yam took hold of Fruice’s leash, and the entire party of gnolls, drow, adventurers, and Roc rushed to where Stevie and the dwarf were, with Caleb almost getting overtaken by the “boogeymen”. Unfortunately, there was a slightly insane spellcaster sitting in the middle of the path leading onwards, forcing everyone to stop behind him as he completed his ritual of some source. Izarv introduced the spellcaster as ‘insane’ and demonstrated by stepping upon one of his chalk lines, whereafter a dagger immediately was thrown past his ear with menace by the spellcaster.

Everyone was forced to turn around and fight, but at this point the enemy had run out of ammunition and were easy enough to best in combat. As the dust settled from the battle, everyone wondered where this was all going… and realized Pheonix and Nightengale had gone missing!

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Cannon Beetles fought; The Owl Society Met
And you only wanted to find some treasure...

The party now entered the largest room they had encountered so far. There was a 10ft. wide and 60ft. long bridge leading to the opposite side of the room where a large ornate casket was resting with inlaid jewels clearly visible. Standing stubbornly on the other end of this bridge were four man-sized black bombardier beetles. On either side of the bridge was a pit, dropping roughly 30 ft. to the dark cave floor below. Patrolling this floor on either side were some skeletal dogs. In the center of each pit was a large, square, flat pillar slightly higher than the entrance bridge. On each of these pillars were stone ladders leading upwards to a second bridge perpendicular to the first and 15 ft. overhead. Standing on this upper bridge was a decorated skeleton mage and three lesser skeleton axemen.

Upon entering the room, the skeleton mage fired a green bolt of acid at Donovan and shouted to the adventurers that they would be ‘punished for their trespassing!’ No sooner had the words left his mouth then the Avenger launched a perfectly timed attack, pulling the mage off of the bridge and down into the pit where his body shattered on impact.

After this anticlimactic defeat of the apparent leader of the opposition, the adventurers went through a dangerous grind against the skeletons and the beetles. Julia summoned a fire warrior that soon exploded. The beetles then revealed their true nature and began firing clay balls at high speeds towards the party! After being blown off of their feet more than a few times (notably Yam), the adventurers heard the alarmingly familiar sound of a hundred knives scraping the walls from the hallway where they entered the room from. The knife elemental glided into the room and began to fiendishly attack everyone in sight. The wizard began using her mage hand cantrip to disable some of the knife elemental’s knives whilst the halfling (what halfling?) took personal revenge upon Donovan for previously setting his tent on fire.

The enemies were slowly falling, but not before the revenge succeeded as the revenger sent the revengee toppling off of the upper bridge and into the pit, hurting him badly enough to where he should have been killed. The revenger then disappeared mysteriously (if he had ever been there at all). Whilst Yam and Eric held of the opposition for a few more moments, Julia lost her cool and ran to Donovan to try and help him. Miraculously, the green acid from the enemy’s attack was distilled from adrenaline, keeping him conscious. While this acid was trying to kill him, it was also keeping him alive! The skeletal dog in the pit made off with his arm which had been torn off completely.

With a great deal of aid from Stevie, the party managed to stabilize him long enough to finally escape from the caverns, but not before it was discovered that the casket on the other end of the room was empty (and the encrusted stones were pried loose of course).

The tunnel they escaped from (beside the casket) appeared to have been dug over a long period of time by scratching the stone away. They followed this tunnel to the bright light of the outdoors.

With Don fading fast, it was only a stroke of luck they found a small wandering party made up of Pigeon the dwarf bard, Roc the human warlock and Nightengale the drow ranger. These three introduced themselves as members of the Owl Society and quickly hustled the adventurers back to their institution, save for Roc who elected to search the cave the adventurers had just emerged from.

As Don was patched up using powerful magic, the party met the remaining members of the Owl Society: Owl the half-elf cleric and headmaster, Raven the elf shaman, Ostrich the halfling avenger, and Pheonix the fire genasi fighter. The adventurers had a well deserved meal and then went to bed. Raven invited Julia to rest in his guest room which had a luxury bed, and she did so.

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The Beginning of the Beginning
Call it what you like, a blog, a recap...

The adventurers spent much too long underground looking for treasure and excitement and it dawned upon them after about a week that they had no idea how to get back to the surface. Obviously they could try to go back the way they came, but there were so many twists and turns in the cavern that this might well have been an impossible task. And besides, they only had enough provisions for another day or two.

The decision to carry onwards brought them through many more mazes of tunnels, some of which were nearly vertical in slope. They successfully navigated ledges and pits (with minor difficulty involving the weight of Donovan) and carefully crept by a gathering of ferocious animalistic critters hereby dubbed “Boogeymen” (with only a minor starfish injury at the expense of Yam). The tunnels came to become more carved in nature, and the adventurers soon found themselves in an ancient dungeon. It wasn’t long before a group of zombies pushed themselves up from underground, attacking on sight. The battle was over quickly as the party overwhelmed these undead.

A split in the path led to another decision. The halfling (What halfling?) decoded some etchings written in an ancient form of undercommon. He deduced that one path lead to the servant’s quarters whilst the other went towards the royal crypts. The party, stomachs growling and greedy eyes sparkling, decided to check out the royal crypts.

This decision led them down many hallways, upwards of one of which had summoning runes etched in the wall effectively functioning as arrow traps. Fortunately, Eric had quick reflexes and only got shot a little bit. Julia Wizard used her knowledge of Arcana to dispell the runes, and the party continued. They arrived at a bit of a crossroads occupied by what appeared to be a pool of mist. From the mist rose many skeletal dogs, who lept forward as a gate slammed shut behind the adventurers. With no place to go but forward, they fought the dogs, finding it especially difficult to hurt them due to their shifting bones. At one point, Stevie and the halfling (What halfling?) both fell into the mist, but felt no ill effect.

Dogs defeated, three new passages were available to the adventurers. Each had it’s own feel. One was emanating evil vibes, one was pretty much ‘meh’, and the other was broadcasting a positive feeling.

Prancing down the ‘evil’ hallway, the adventurers didn’t have to wait long for the passage to start collapsing. Running for their lives, and stopping briefly only to pick up a Mysterious vase found hanging from a chain in a small alcove, the characters emerged, dusty and bruised into a hallway forming a circle. In the middle of the circle, on opposite ends, were two doors. The adventurers split up into two groups and entered the central room at the same time. They were greeted by many skeletons, most of which rushed into battle. These undead hadn’t weathered the years well, and they didn’t last long. A few minor bits of treasure and eight ceremonial daggers were found in the coffins of the room. After the last skeleton fell, a grating sound was heard.

A hidden door had been revealed, and it had many of the old undercommon words carved into it. One decoding later, and a number puzzle was revealed. The solution was not hard to find thanks to the expert translation of the clues by the halfling(What halfling?). Behind the door was a chest containing an odd sickle-like weapon with the bladed edge on the outside. There were also another set of words, translated on this page.

The party soon found their way down another tunnel and ended up back in the first room where they fought the Zombies, emerging from the servant corridor. They made their way back to the skeleton dog crossroads where they took the ‘meh’ path.

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