Rising Dawn

Session Twenty-two
In which the party does...stuff

Due to the extended period of time between our last session and this log, we will be hitting it up with a series of bullet points and flashbacks.

Desmond purchases a purple and green Pseudodragon for 100 gold pieces.

“A Hydra against the Serpent of the Sea? Preposterous really, I mean, can you imagine a hydra trying to survive in the ocean? Laughable!”

“Well if I were to fight one or the other, I’d much rather go after a Hydra. Yeah, sure, they got a couple heads, and can eat you in one gulp, and don’t die easy, but at least you can get at them! I’d hate to try and fight the Serpent of the Sea…I did once, you know. One of the scariest things I’ve ever done!”

“Cloud Giant? Heh! It’d smash a hydra flat, if one of them actually existed!”
“I can’t say I ever found a hydra scale myself. Nasty things still, even if there’s only a few left.”

If a cloud giant actually lived in this land, and if it ever deigned to step out of its mighty castle in the sky, and if it would ever find its way to the Serpent of the Sea? I’d put my money on the Serpent.”

“First off, last hydra I’ve heard of, well there’s the Great Hydra up in the swamp a few days north of here.”
“But that one’s a nasty beast. They say it’s got at least twice the number of heads as a normal hydra, can breathe fire like a dragon, and turns people to stone with just one glance!” He grins slyly, “That is, if you believe in all those sorts of rumors.”

“Intelligent? Hard to say. Not dumb, not at all. Eyes and head like a snake, body of a reptile, brain of a predator, I’d say.”

“I can’t say I know much of a Coutl’s strength in combat…but it’s a magical beast of mystic proportions. They say once every thousand years, a Coutl descends from the Gods as a messenger, to guide and show those it deems worthy enough in the tasks of the Divines. I haven’t heard of one in at least three hundred years or so, though. Could be awhile before you saw another in this land. And Unicorns? Well, they’re just myths!”

“Elves? Well, you know how it goes. Not many people like us these days, hmm? But the HRG, they’re…a decent enough bunch. Usually. They don’t hate us, they don’t adore us, just…treat us like anyone else. But I’ll say this, at least they aren’t prone to trying to kill us if we make the slightest mistake, eh?”

“The kraken, what a name! I wouldn’t want to tangle with that thing ever, even if it truly were dead! By far, you’d have the most trouble trying to fight it. One of the Giant Flytraps, like you’d find in the jungle? Dangerous. Might sound harmless, no? But don’t turn your back around one, it’s got an appetite!”

“Greater water elemen…are you speaking of the one in Palming Lake?”
“Special? Who knows. It’s just been keeping the fishermen out of the waters for years, that’s all! Still, a nasty bit of arcana if I’ve ever met one. Not that I’ve met it, no.”

“A cyclops? A couple of them help the Dryads in the Everpine, I’ve heard. At least, that’s what the latest gossip says. Not too tough, though they’re tall brutes.”

“Protest? Well there’s hardly enough Elves around to form a caravan, much less to protest anything! They’re all holed up inside of Wellfall, living their lives in safety, and frustrating the Empire to no end!”
“Go with them? Like any of us had a choice! With the Vorn beating down a path to Wellfall, it was cut themselves off or die trying! They didn’t give any warning, really couldn’t.”

“Well, you’ve got The Collection in Newmark. That’s likely to have any number of things on display, if you can gain the social standing to get into it. Believe me, I tried for several months a few years ago, but he wouldn’t have it. “No, no Elves will set foot in my museum, not while I live, I tell you!” That’s what he said, I kid you not! The blighter!"
“Master Rissdil, of course. Only the most well-known of the Emperor’s advisers! If you’re not a strong proponent of the Emperor, good luck getting in.”

“It’s impossible if they know you’re an Elf, really. No Imperial really likes Elves, I’m sure you’ve noticed. But getting an invite? You’d have to be one of Master Rissdil’s friends, or else come with the recommendation of one of his acquaintances.”
“Who are some of his known acquaintances?”
“Most of the Imperial court, the Emperor, those in the upper echelons of proper society…the posh and rich, really.”

“Halfling with a tall hat…hmm…oh, yes! Indeed, there was one staying here a few days ago! Wore this large black hat, quite silly if you ask me. Haven’t seen him in two days though. Probably left town. Most do, they don’t stay here much longer than a day to rest, maybe two.”

“Diamond mine, near here? No, though I imagine even if there were, it couldn’t increase the traffic here any more than there is now! No, the closest you could get to one of those is likely up north, in the Imperial Mines, in the desert.”

“Well, if you want to stay safe, keep wary of Orcs on the road. They say they’ve been attacking small bands of people sometimes, but it’s infrequent. Vorn hasn’t done anything about it, of course. Too busy sending their soldiers into the Everpine to get slaughtered over a bunch of trees”

from Enna: “The Black Pudding and the Water Elemental would probably be our easiest living targets, to answer your initial question. Still I want to try for the museum first.”

Talon is able to copy down into his Formulae book the recipe for ‘Vocal Alteration’

Desmond gains five gold from the stable boy, five gold three silver and nine copper pieces from kids.

It’s about mid-afternoon, by now most of the traffic having died down from the road, when you come across an overturned wagon and two dead passengers on the side of the road, blood pooled all around, the ground trampled underneath a multitude of feet, and a small trail of sticky red fluid headed through the grass off the road.

XP Breakdown:

Quest:
Clarified danger posed by needed creatures: 150XP

Roleplaying:
300XP

Miscellaneous:
Communing with Desna about the wisdom of talking to the HRG Recruiter: 100XP
Completing facial piercings: 75XP
Talon put on a show: 75XP
Desmond steals from the stable boy and a group of children: 75XP
Knowledge of deadly cows: 50XP

Total: 825XP

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Session Twenty-one
In which the party looks for tophats

Beginning with a quick stop at the stables outside The Three Broomsticks, the party continued into the local alchemist’s shop. Talon shopped here for a bit, before the group moved on to the Market. Here, Enna spoke with a Half-Orc selling books, finding several but only trading for one; an old book in a script undecipherable by anyone who had seen it, or at least the seller claimed.

The party spent time at a curiosity shop where they met the oddly-shaped being, Houle. Houle talked to Enna for a time, while Adoness moved on to Lira’s trophy stall, where she gave the half-elf information on several items, the most important of which was that there is a Great Hydra said to live in the Poisoned Marsh, and that her last Hydra scale was sold two or three days previous to a Halfling in a black top-hat.

Taking a bit of time to stop over at a bakery, everyone then headed over to The Three Broomsticks, looking for their Halfling with the top-hat. Inside, they found a large amount of people, of many different races. Adoness took a quick look around the room, noticing several things; a group of people gathered around a woman near the stage, a bard traveling around the floor with his lute, a man with a hook for a hand at a table with a line of men and boys, I lone hooded figure sitting at a table for four which everyone seems to be avoiding, and two men in gleaming armor sitting at the bar.

The Bard, being an Elf and receiving many dirty looks and derogatory terms from the patrons, was invited for lunch, and was then convinced to regale the room with a Ballad.

XP Breakdown:

Quest:
Got a lead on a Hydra scale: 150XP

Roleplaying: 250XP

Miscellaneous:
Looking for books which might be relevant to your quest: 25XP
Making me laugh by asking for black pudding: 25XP
Being hospitable to the Bard, whose ballad brought me great joy: 25XP

Total: 475XP

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Session Twenty
In which the party travels outside Polidin's Gap

The fight with the two remaining trolls continued, Adoness, Talon, the Eidolon, and even Desmond contributing towards their deaths. Talon was able to use an extract to cause flames of heat to leap from his jaws, and roasted one of the Trolls, while Adoness, recovering from being nearly killed by the final troll, rose up with help from the healing magic of Desna, and stepped forward to deliver the killing blow upon the green creature.

With that completed, the Half-Elf went through her ritual of taking the teeth and tusks from the trolls she killed, as well as eating a bit of the Elf-Eater, in a bit of poetic justice. After searching the rest of the cave and coming up empty, the party made camp in the entrance of the cave. Enna took this time to examine the magical items they had found on the skeletons of two humanoids earlier.

Setting off, the group traveled through the forest and camped the next night at the riverbank, just before the gap. In the morning they left the forest and mountains behind, emerging onto the gently rolling plains of grass. Checking their map, it was decided to head south towards Tulduroc, the capital of Hallfree. Enna and Talon decided on a compromise by heading south-west to make it to The Long Road, where their horses had an easier time of travel.

Their days march finished, the next one dawned early, and found them surrounded by farmland and farm houses. They started finding people on the road as well, mostly humans but some Halflings. It was not long until they found a sign, giving the name ‘Kelech-Mor’, and pointing ahead; further travel revealed that though this was not marked on their map, it seemed to be a town located at a crossroads.

Carts began passing them back and forth, and when they stopped briefly to examine a roadsign just outside of the town, a large cart flanked by armored guards on horseback passed them heading into town. They continued on their way, looking for an inn or place to stay and put up the horses, so that the animals could get some rest.

In the center of Kelech-Mor, they found themselves surrounded by four large feats of architecture. To the south they had a wide, expansive building labeled as the Kelech-Mor Trade Market; to the north was The Three Broomsticks Tavern and Inn; to the east was The Bank of Brigh; and in the center of town was a large, twenty-foot-high statue of a Kobold, colored emerald green, with two amethyst gemstones for eyes and holding a tablet, gear, and holy symbol in its clawed hands.

Adoness drank one of her healing potions
Enna used a potion of Reduce Person on a troll
Loot:

Bracers of Follow-Through: (5,000)
Muted-brown metal plates connect over your wrists and slide back up your arms to stop just short of your elbows, allowing for slightly more protected forearms. Magically enchanted, the bracers grant you the feat Cleave while worn, allowing you to make a second attack on an adjacent foe if you hit on your first attack. These bracers can qualify you for any feats that use Cleave as a prerequisite. If you remove the bracers, you retain any feats which you have accrued that use Cleave as a prerequisite, however you are not able to make use of them until you have once again learned Cleave either by putting back on the bracers, or by taking the feat.

Gloves of Steady Aim: (4,500)
These soft leather gloves give your arms a feeling of strength when placed over your hands, and you find that items you throw move further and faster than normal. Equipping this item grants you an extra ten feet to any thrown item’s range increment. Additionally, you gain a +1 attack bonus to thrown weapons.

Mask of Stoney Demeanor: (500)
When worn, this mask transforms the wearer’s face into a stone statue and its voice into an emotionless monotone. Though it allows the wearer to speak, its facial expressions and voice betray little emotion, granting a +10 competence bonus on Bluff checks made to lie and a +5 competence bonus on Bluff checks made to feint, but also imposing a –5 penalty on Bluff checks made to pass a hidden message, and a -5 penalty to Intimidate checks.

- Flask of Alchemist’s Fire

XP Breakdown:

Combat:
Two CR5 Trolls: 800XP

Quest:
Cleared the Troll Cave: 400XP
Entering the Outside World: 200XP

Roleplaying:
150XP

Miscellaneous:
Gathering trophies from trolls: 25XP
Attempting to throw a potion into the mouth of a troll: 50XP

Total: 1,475XP

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Session Nineteen
In which the party tussles with trolls

Making some preparations outside the cave mouth, and tossing back and forth a few battle plans, the party was finally ready. They snuck into the cave, Adoness with her low-light vision leading the way. A bit of the way in, the tunnel opened up into a wider cave. In here, the group could hear faintly the sounds of something moving, and possibly…eating.

Enna cast a spell granted to her by Desna which allowed her to view the chaotic aura around the troll, and helped her spot the creature. Desmond, having decided to summon his tentacled companion before entering, crept forward silently, and the group had a plan: Adoness and Desmond would surprise it, the half-elf slashing at it with her curved blade, and Desmond pinning it with a dart on which he cast Light. This went off without a hitch, lighting up the troll and causing it severe damage, Adoness’ blade burning into the beast from magical flames which Enna provided.

The battle was quick and fierce, and the party nearly brought down the troll before it moved, panting and heaving, to the entrance of a side tunnel. Lifting a massive rock, it slammed it down in front of the tunnel, blocking the way after it.

Adoness and Talon, who downed a mutagen enhanced with Spriggan Sap, worked a bit on moving the rock that was blocking the tunnel, managing to move it enough to possibly allow someone to slip through. Desmond tried twice, getting stuck the first time. Enna spent some time investigating a side passage, after having found some items on dead bodies in the cave. Coming back to the others, she informed them of a possible alternative route, and they followed after her.

Passing by two other caverns, the group found themselves headed down into a narrow tunnel, nearly tight against their shoulders. Soon, Enna came to find that the passage emptied out into a cavern which held a troll, waiting for them. Trying to maneuver, Adoness was able to get ahead of the Cleric by climbing the walls over her. It was then that she noted there was not one, but three trolls in this new area.

Fortunately, with her large hammer, Adoness was able to remove the threat of the Ityak’ortheel, smashing it into the wall further into the cave. That left only two more. Adoness sidestepped out into the cavern, allowing passage of the others. Talon rushed past her, taking a claw for his trouble, and knocked back one of the beasts a few feet. Desmond moved next, attempting the same maneuver. His was not as successful, unfortunately. Finally, before the session ended the trolls attacked themselves, one defeated by Talon’s defenses, while the other tore through Adoness’ and the Alchemist’s guards.

Loot:

Weapons and Armor:
- Rusted shortsword (5gp)
- Heavy mace (12gp)
- Studded Leather Armor (25gp)
- Hide Armor (15gp)

Magical items:
- Flask of acid

Unidentified:
- Flask of reddish liquid
- Metal bracers
- Strange mask
- Pair of gloves

XP Breakdown:

Combat:
Troll, CR5: 400XP

Quest:
Killed the Ityak’ortheel: 200XP

Roleplaying:
225XP

Miscellaneous:
Lighting up the troll to see it: 50XP
Setting a tripwire up outside the cave: 25XP

Total: 900XP

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Session Eighteen
In which the party finds a pretty map

Returning to the glade where they had previously med the Dryad, the party finds Lauri waiting for them. Reverently taking the body of the Druid, she does something that starts a process of his body being absorbed back into the earth.

From there, the group had many questions for Lauri, but she first granted each of them their boons. Desmond, asking for a second boon, was given the Dryad’s Reed, a magical hollow river reed that allows one to breathe while underwater.
Adoness had many requests of Lauri, most of which she was unfortunately unable to fulfill. She did offer as much information on the list of items as she could, but could only point to two things: the Giant Flytrap is a plant that can be found deep in the Cairnwood Jungle, where only the brave or foolhardy journey; and that though she has not heard of a Cloud Giant walking the land in her time, the other giants of the lands inhabit the Southern Mountains south of the Everpine.
In addition, Lauri told Adoness where she might find the elf-eater, the monster of her childhood, which had passed through that way only recently. Finally, she was given two wooden rings, which would allow the fighter to guard her friends by sacrificing part of her own life for them.

Enna received the Whistle of the Wilds, which will call help to her in times of need. Talon was given three vials of Spriggan Sap, which was promised to bolster any potions, extracts, or bombs which Talon mixed them with.

Stormaggedon was last, and unfortunately the most tragic. It was from Lauri that the group learned the Halfling was fading from the world, drawn forcibly into another plane of existence. The Dryad informed them of the dangers of interacting with a Wild Magic pool if ever one was found again, for they are as likely to grant you grace as to cause pain.

Lauri promised that she would try to help Stormy as best she could, holding her in a state similar to suspended animation until it was possible for her or her sisters to stop what was happening to her.
From here, the Dryad finished answering any questions that the group had about the world or what was happening.

“I have suspected that something like this existed before…I am sad to hear that it does indeed exist in my forest, at least for now. What you found…was Wild Magic. Tales abound of these mystical pools, but to most they are just legend. They appear and disappear, almost never remaining for longer than a few days. It’s incredibly rare to witness such an event, but not always a good thing. The magic in those pools are untammed, wild….dangerous. As likely to harm you as it is to do you well.”

“The Everpine is one of the three great forests of the land. It is full of coniferous trees, and many of my younger sisters make their homes there, in the cooler temperatures and weather. The land there is rich in minerals and magic, and it is this which the war is fought over.”

“For the last two years, the Vorn have been attempting to subdue the peoples of the Everpine and southern mountains. The Emperor claims it’s for the people’s protection, but it isn’t. We have been a peaceful people for centuries, but the Emperor wants our lands and resources. And so we have gone to war, to save our trees and our people. Dryads and Nymphs, Druids of the Everpine, even some of the Giants of the mountains have realized the threat the Vorn pose us. I am old, and my tree is ancient; I cannot leave my bonded place for long anymore; the fight is for the young, those able to stay apart from their trees for a time.”

“From this valley, you exit to the north-west. There, you head out onto the planes due west, until you reach The Long Road. Following this directly south will take you to Tulduroc, the capital city of Hallfree. This is the closest large city, though I would advise you to beware of the Imperial realms. There are several villages along the way, though their exact locations I could not tell you, for I have not walked the land. Tarnwood Forest lies due west, or north-west, from the plains outside the mountains. A small town lies at a crossroads miles south of where you would find The Long Road.”

“I can do so. But first, words of warning. You are Elven. These are not seen kindly by most peoples of this land. You would do well not to cause any trouble, lest you find yourself held accountable for many deeds which you did not have any part in, yet others would blame on you. The Elves have sealed themselves off from the world, shuttered behind magical walls thirteen years ago, when they found disagreements with the formation of the Vorn Empire. Those left outside of their city wreaked havoc on the people of the land, causing many bad memories. Those few that are still roaming the world are persecuted harshly.”

“The Vorn Empire was created thirteen years ago. The Emperor was a noble in the High King’s court, when he uncovered a plot to assassinate the ruler. Unable to stop the tragedy in time, the soon-to-be Emperor was able to rally together the Keeps, and established an Empire under his own rule. The people of Hallfree have accepted this change, and if it were not for the fight over the Everpine, I would say that the Emperor’s rule has been kind and just."

“Only again, to beware Sorcerers. They draw their power from the same Wild Magic which is harming your friend. Unlearned and untrained, they tap into its power, and shape it according to their will; only it does not always go as planned. Unpredictable results can happen. Sorcerers are a danger to everyone, and the Vorn are under orders to put do death any practicing Sorcerers they find. Desmond, you should be careful with your abilities; though you are not a Sorcerer, you seem to have a minor talent for magic, and you too draw from this Wild Magic. Be careful who you show these talents, and always remain focused on what you are doing.”

The group camped in the glade, with Lauri taking Stormy into the tree with her, away to a safe place for healing. In the morning, Adoness discussed their course of action, and it was decided to put an end to the troll who was using Halefix as a hunting ground. It took them most of the day to get there, and when they arrived outside the cleft in the rock face where the Dryad told them the troll’s cave was, they decided to proceed. Adoness spotted a small pile of bones with a backpack near the cave’s entrance, and ordered Desmond to check it out. He came back with the pack, and emptied the contents. A flask of Alchemist’s Fire, three letters written to ‘Thelma,’ and a folded map of Hallfree with a circled location indicating the troll’s cave were what was found.

The session ended with the group flanking the entrance, and preparing to head inside.

Loot:

- Flask of Alchemist’s Fire

- Dryad’s Reed:
This magically infused river reed is hollow in the middle, allowing for one to breathe air through it. When placed underwater, the top of the reed magically extends up to ten feet to stay above the surface of the water, therefore allowing the user to breathe while underwater.

- Whistle of the Wilds:
A leafy green embossment is found all around this wooden whistle, which emits a shrill cry that seems to mimic many woodland creatures at once when sounded. This whistle can be used once per day to summon a creature to the aid of the whistler, as Summon Nature’s Ally III, for five rounds. The creatures take 1d3 rounds to appear. The creature summoned is randomly determined by the GM.

- Spriggan Sap:
These three vials of sap are gifts from the Dryad Lauri. The sickly green substance within them is Spriggan Sap, and move in their containers with a consistency of thick mud. When mixed in with any Alchemical Extract, bomb, or potion they maximize any variables that depend on a die roll. There is a small chance of other beneficial effects as well.

- Rings of Sacrifice:
These two wooden rings, crafted by the Dryad Lauri, allow a brave protector to sacrifice a part of her life for her allies. The secondary ring will give the wearer a +1 Dodge bonus to AC, and while active the wearer of the primary ring will take half of the damage that the wearer of the secondary ring takes, as per the spell Shield Other. The wearers of the rings must be within 30 feet of each other for the rings to take effect. The rings can be activated up to three times a day, lasting up to two minutes each time it is activated. They can be deactivated as a swift action.

XP Breakdown:

Quest:
To the Troll Cave: 200XP

Roleplaying:
150XP

Miscellaneous:
Returning the Druid so it can be returned to the earth: 50XP
Finding the map of Hallfree: 25XP

Total: 425XP

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Session Seventeen
In which the party fights a Druid and plays with magic

The fight is on! Enna cast some protective magics on the party quickly before the fighting began, and Desmond got in an attack on the identified Fire Elemental before things started in earnest. The Dwarf started to chant, and Enna reacted to this by casting a spell of Silence. Adoness crossed the river, Talon began chucking bombs, and stormy advanced.

The battle raged on for some time, with the Druid summoning a shark to hinder those attempting to cross the waters, before getting beaned on the head, losing some teeth. The fire elemental swiped at the half-elf and Desmond a few times, unlucky in its attacks while Talon continued to rain freezing fire down upon it.

Eventually, Adoness cut off the arm of the Dwarf, which proved to be too much for him to handle, as he passed into the beyond. The fire elemental was next, weakened by Talon’s bombs enough for the lady to smash out its core, flailing it into the water and ending the elemental’s threat.

With the danger through, the party decided to investigate the strange purple and blue and red pool laying in the charred earth. Desmond, Talon, and Enna all felt a pull from the pool, as though they wanted to touch it and experience it. Enna was able to determine that the pool was magical, overwhelmingly so, more magic than she had ever experienced in a single area before. She could also tell that it wasn’t a kind of magic that she had before encountered. Similarly, Talon was able to puzzle out that the magic here wasn’t Arcane, nor Divine, nor like his own alchemical concoctions. Additionally, Enna does not believe the magical pool to be extraplanar in origin.

Eventually, the curious Cleric gave in to the yearning to touch the pool, and dipped a hand in, despite others trying to stop her. When she did, she was given a vision from Desna, and when this was over found that she had a slightly deeper connection to her Goddess. Desmond was next to give in, slipping down onto the burnt ground and a hand, which was holding his throwing dagger, slipping into the pool. When it came out, the dagger had a slight magical shimmering about it, and he too could feel a strengthening of his natural magic.

Before the group left to travel back to the Dryad, Stormaggedon dipped a hand into the pool as well. She seemed unaffected, other than looking perhaps a little bit paler than normal.

Loot:

Coins:
- 4pp
- 81gp

Weapons and armor:
- Masterwork Sling (150gp)
- Quarterstaff (2gp)

Gear:
- Healer’s Kit (50gp)
- Alchemist’s Fire x3 (20gp each)
- Spell Component Pouch (5gp)

Magical Items:
- Cloak of Resistance +1 (1,000gp)
A simple brown cloak, yet magically enchanted, these garments offer magic protection in the form of a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will).

- Wand of Cure Light Wounds (750gp)
12 charges left

- Headband of Inspired Wisdom (4,000gp)
This simple bronze headband is decorated with an intricate pattern of small green gemstones. The headband grants the wearer an enhancement bonus to Wisdom of +2, +4, or +6. Treat this as a temporary ability bonus for the first 24 hours the headband is worn.

- Amulet of Nature’s Friend (3,000gp)
A finely carved wooden animal rests at the end of a long cord to be worn around the wearer’s neck. Whenever the wearer makes a Knowledge(Nature) check, the wooden animal gives off a faint green glow, the wearer receives a +4 bonus to their check, and is able to make Knowledge(Nature) checks untrained. Additionally, the wearer is constantly granted a +1 Natural Armor bonus.

- Ring of Obscuring Mist (5,400gp)
This blue ring has multiple white whispy strands of color laced throughout it, giving it a misty appearance. Once per day, you can activate the ring and create a cloud of misty vapor, spreading out from you in a twenty-foot radius. This cloud acts as the spell Obscuring Mist, and lasts for three minutes in a stationary position. Moderate to high winds will be able to disperse it before this time is up.

Upgrades:
This session, some of the PC’s decided to interact with the decidedly magical and mysterious pool. Fortunately, this had very nice benefits for them! As such, Desmond and Enna have both received ‘upgrades’.

Enna, you have gained the ability to cast the Cleric spell Augury once per day as a Spell-like ability. This means that you do not have to provide materials for the spell, nor does the spell use verbal or somatic components. This has strengthened your connection to Desna.

Desmond, your Throwing Dagger was dipped into the pool, as well as your hand. The throwing dagger is now a +1 Throwing Dagger, making it magical, giving it +1 to hit and +1 damage. Additionally, it may now be enchanted by a magic-user with special properties.
You also gained a new first-level spell slot, allowing you to cast an additional first-level spell per day.

XP Breakdown:

Combat:
CR4 Druid: 300XP
CR5 Large Fire Elemental: 400XP
CR1 Unfavorable Terrain: 100XP

Quest:
Stopping the mad Druid: 300XP

Roleplaying:
200XP

Miscellaneous:
Playing with the magic pool: 25XP
Finding the Essence of a Fire Elemental: 25XP

Total: 1,350XP

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Session Sixteen
In which the party finds a Dryad

Morning dawned, and the party gathered their supplies, said their goodbyes, and rode out of Halefix amid cheers and well-wishes. It took three full days and a bit more of the fourth for the group to find themselves in a valley between mountains, a plain and forest opening up beneath them.

Deciding the best way to venture forth from that point towards the gap in the mountains that was to be their way out, the adventurers traveled along the forest edge until they hit the foothills, then walked that path for a time. Just after noon, the group began hearing the howl of an injured wolf, and Desmond begged to rush to its aid. Following the sound into the forest, the group came to a clearing with a large oak tree in the center, and a wounded wolf laying against the tree.

Desmond and Enna aided the wolf, and as soon as he was healed the Dryad Lauri made an appearance from out of the tree, greeting the group as guardians of nature and requesting their aid.

Lauri told a tale of a Druid who was sent from the Everpine, but who upon arriving began burning and pillaging and killing, proclaiming to cleanse the land that was now his. Lauri begged the group to find him and stop him, for she was too old and weak now to do so herself. In return, she would grant each person a boon, and as a sign of goodwill, granted Desmond a boon. She touched his mind, and from there changed something, giving Desmond control over the Eidolon that had haunted him for years.

Desmond proceeded to summon his eidolon, stab it, then chop off its head. It desummoned, but he could feel its power still there, waiting to be called again.

The group decided to help the Dryad, and set off towards the spot where the rivers met. When they arrived, they were able to spy across the banks two figures, a short and bearded man with a staff in one hand, and a large, firey elemental that Enna identified. Desmond was elected to sneak around behind them, while the others waited for him; unfortunately when he got close, he happened onto spiky ground that practically stabbed up at him, hurting him every time he took a step. This also seemed to clue off the Druid, who spoke up and proclaimed that he had foreseen your arrival.

XP Breakdown:

Quest:
Will kill, for boons: 150XP

Roleplaying:
250XP

Miscellaneous:
Searching for information in the Library: 25XP

Total: 425XP

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DING! LEVEL FOUR!
In which the party levels to 4

Congratulations on surviving to level 4, and I hope it’s been a fun campaign so far! With level four comes some changes.

We will no longer be taking max HP. You will instead roll your hit die twice, take the better roll, and add your constitution modifier to it. This will be added to your new total HP.

You can now decide to take levels in whichever class you please. Multi-classing is pretty simple, and I’m almost always available to help walk you through it if you need help at some point.

This is level four, so everybody gets an Ability Score increase! You may choose one of your ability scores, and increase it by one. This may increase your modifier for that stat, which means it could increase skills, attack bonuses, HP, spells available/per day, skill ranks, or even AC. Make sure you double-check and have everything updated!

Four is an even numbered level, so you gain no feat this level unless it’s a bonus feat through your class. Update your Base Attack Bonuses, Saves, and add new Skill Points. Look for new Class Abilities, and update old ones that may have become more powerful. Add your Favored Class Bonus, if applicable. Add any newly learned spells or extracts!

And now a brief note on the direction the campaign has taken:
You have all been given a quest to go out into the world outside Halefix and retrieve spell components for the new ritual. The campaign is now a much more ‘open-world’ environment, which means you get to choose where to go and what to go after next. A word of warning, not all of the places you can go or creatures you will encounter are going to be appropriate for your level. Keep this in mind as you explore the world and travel, and don’t be afraid to issue a tactical retreat if things are going terribly.
From here on out, you now have a mission, but the way you go about it is completely up to you as a party. While it is important, it is not so time-critical that you must rush through everything to complete it, so there is plenty of time for exploration and other fun times if you want.

Lastly, remember: feedback to the GM will help me continue to make this a fun and exciting story and game, so keep it coming, and we’ll see if we can’t make this one memorable!

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Session Fifteen
In which the party stops a ritual, brings down the barrier, and saves the world

The fight was on, and the party rose to the battle! A tough series of clashes between Adoness, the Skeletal Champion, the Gargoyle, and Stormaggedon ensued, with Desmond and Talon providing support, while Enna toyed with the Kobold.
Eventually Adoness succeeded in smashing the gargoyle to smithereens and dumping the skeletal champion into the pit of lava, and Desmond was able to knock out the Kobold and tie him up.

With the threats out of the way, but the floor still shaking from the Ritual going on, the party quickly moved about to disrupt the magic. The dragon statues were placed upon the plinths and aligned, and the remaining berries were thrown into the fires. Upon this happening, a great roar, shaking, and then quietness as the lava below cooled.

Desmond led the group into the remaining room, which featured a crystal ball. Enna, upon staring into it, received a vision from on high, of the barrier dissolving and a great scaly dragon raining fire down onto the city. This caused concern, and the group looted the area and left to talk to Guardian.

Guardian, now freed of his commitment to protect the temple, decided that he would indeed leave, at the party’s suggestion, but would stick around in the area. With that, the group departed the temple, collecting Miles and Oliver, and sealing the doors, Enna locking them and then applying her oil of Hold Portal.

When they made it out into the sunlight, the heroes could notice the difference. The barrier was gone. Their trek back to the city was short, and when they made it they found Ondar helping to fight some fires. Reporting to him, he ushered them to the Council of Elders, who heard their report, and dismissed them until later.

The party was all gathered late at night to reassemble before the Council, and were then given a lengthy explanation of events.

In the end, the result was that the barrier was down, but the Elders had a way to reinstate the more beneficial barrier, if they could only gain the right components for the spells. Thus, the party was tasked with traveling outside of Halefix and the surrounding area, to gather these items:

Scale of a Hydra
Spine of a Sea Serpent
A ruby kissed by a ruler
Feather of a Couatl
A vine from a Giant Flytrap
Horn of a Unicorn
Essence of a Greater Water Elemental
Eye of a Cyclops
Tears of a Prince, wept in sorrow
Toe of a Cloud Giant
Gel from a Black Pudding
Two tentacles from a Kraken
Five pages from the oldest book in the land
A stone, blessed directly by a God
Four large diamonds
The heart of an Elder Dragon

Everybody was issued an amount of gold to be provided them in the morning, and were told to rest for the night, then make their preparations tomorrow— they were to depart as soon as possible to quest for these items.

Loot:

Coins:
- 33 pp
- 377 gp
- 140 sp
- 1100 cp

Gems:
- Black Pearl (500 gp)
- Carnelian (45 gp)
- Coral (130 gp)
- Sardonyx (50 gp)
- Zircon x2 (55 gp)
- Freshwater Pearl (9 gp)
- Freshwater Pearl (13 gp)
- Rhodochrosite (9 gp)
- Rhodochrosite (13 gp)
- Rose Quartz (50 gp)

Total: 929 gp

Weapons and Armor:
- Masterwork Greatsword (350 gp)
- Longsword x5 (15 gp each)
- Shortsword x5 (10 gp each)
- Hide armor x2 (15 gp each)
- Breastplate x2 (200 gp)
- Leather armor (10 gp)
- Small leather armor (10 gp)
- Small scimitar (15 gp)

Total: 940 gp

Consumables:
- Potion of Stabilize (25 gp)
- Scroll of Sleep (CL2, 25 gp)
- Potion of Levitate (CL3, 300 gp)
- Potion of Bear’s Endurance (CL3, 300 gp)
- Potion of Reduce Person (CL1, 50 gp)

Total: 350 gp

Magical Items:
- Masterwork Seeking Blowgun and 10 darts (2,308 gp)
Swirling carved runes decorate this carved ivory blowgun. When used, the runes glow a soft blue color, and the darts that are fired from this weapon seem to be extraordinarily precise. This weapon negates any miss chance from partial cover or concealment, zooming around cover or through darkness to hit its target. Must be aiming at the right square, will not seek invisible characters unless in the correct targeted square.

- Illusionist’s Cloak of the Hedge Wizard (2,500 gp)
This dark blue cloak has swirling red patterns dotting its velvety length. Placing it on your shoulders, you can feel an almost electrical thrill shoot through you, and can feel a bit of arcane power now brimming at your fingertips.
While wearing this cloak, you may cast the spells Prestidigitation and Ghost Sound at will, as well as the spells Color Spray and Silent Image once per day.

- Pen of Calligraphy (4,000 gp)
Slightly longer than a normal pen, and jet black, this calligraphy device improves the user’s handwriting immensely. The script that is written with this pen requires the use of the magical ink in its jar, and it always creates fanciful and flowing letters. When used for scribing scrolls, the time required to scribe the scroll is reduced by a day. If the scroll would only take a day or less to craft, the time is reduced by half. Additionally, this pen gives a +2 bonus to checks made to scribe scrolls. There is enough ink in the well for ten scrolls to be scribed. Refilling the ink costs 200 gp worth of high-quality ink.

- Preserving Flask (1,000 gp)
A crystalline bottle with a cork stopper and arcane sigil on the top, this flask will allow an Alchemist to store a prepared first-level Extract for an indefinite period of time. The day the extract is created, it will count against the Alchemist’s extracts per day; all subsequent days it spends in the Preserving Flask do not count against the extracts per day.

- Ugly Stick (price not able to be determined, previously gathered but only now identified)
This magical rod is gnarled and twisted, and when a creature is whacked with the business end of this item, they sprout disgusting pustules, boils, warts, and other skin lesions all across their body. This effect lasts for a number of hours equal to the wielder’s Charisma modifier, plus one. Those hit with this rod take a -2 to all Charisma-based checks until the effects wear off. Each hit with the rod costs one charge. The rod has ten charges.

Desmond gathered a bunch of miscellaneous golden dinnerware, which is estimated to be worth approximately three thousand gold pieces in total.

(A quick note for those looking to sell: The general rule of thumb when selling items, is that you are able to get half the listed price for items. Some people or shops may pay more or less for certain items or kinds of items, but in general you are not going to get the full listed value for each item; therefore the totals of items given is just a guide and not a list of how much you will get exactly for selling each item.)

XP Breakdown:

Combat:
Gargoyle, CR4: 300XP
Skeletal Champion, CR2: 150XP
Kobold Priest: 150XP

Quest:
Stopping the Ritual: 400XP
New quest started, Gathering the Pieces: 200XP

Roleplaying: 300XP

Miscellaneous:
Freeing Guardian: 50XP
Sealing the Lost Temple of Dahak: 50XP

Total: 1,600XP

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Session Fourteen
In which the party further explores the Lost Temple and discovers the existence of a Ritual

Desmond successfully disarms a trap blocking a door, and allowed the party to enter a small bedroom. Inside, several things were found, most important of which was a journal belonging to the high priest of Dahak. In this, Enna found several entries which talked about a Ritual, one which might give ultimate power to the ones who completed it.

“I was informed today that our temple was selected to perform the Ritual, because of our location and the power source we can harness for it. Praise Dahak, we shall show the world the power of our God!”

“The spell tomes have been delivered today, and I started my priests delving through their pages. We will perform perfectly.”

“Rangvir has taken it upon himself to inform the others of the price the Ritual will demand for completion. Thus, myself and a few of the higher order priests have secreted away the information to a passage hidden within the temple. To enter, you must place the sacrifice of life where the gaze of the dead lingers.”
“It is almost time! We will show the world how Dahak grants his servants ultimate power through the Ritual, and all will bow before our might! When this magic is mastered, none will be able to withstand us!”

“It is done. The world will tremble with our might.”

“TRAITORS! Rangvir has betrayed us all, and now he is dead. He diluted the Ritual, perverted it, and now it is nigh useless! The sacrifice wasted, the…<this> …yet not a complete loss. Our food stores were cursed, and the exit to the temple has now been blocked, perhaps forever. No one answers our calls for help, though if this is a result of their negligence of due to the effects of the Ritual, is unknown. We cannot know now what effects the Ritual truly has had on us, or if it will be forever lasting. There is none left to sacrifice, and nothing we have tried has been able to complete the Ritual again. I can only hope…”

The handwriting for the last entry is scrawled close together, and the lines are angular and rushed, sometimes words blending together. _ “There is no more hope. We will die here, of starvation or worse. The Ritual did not work, but there is hope for others. One day we will be found by our brothers, and they will be able to finish our work here, without traitorous infidels spoiling their god-given rights. Everything has been set. Yarmen has summoned a Guardian, and given him instructions. The process is detailed in a tome left in the secret chamber, and this is all that can be done. Dahak preserve us all, that we may one day be with you to reign down eternal fire on our enemies. I leave it now to those who come after, that they might show your wrath to the infidels.”_

From here, they decided to attempt to find the secret chamber which was mentioned in the diary. The party figured out the riddle and placed drops of their blood into the chalice held by the vampire statue in the room with skeletons and checkered floor, which opened up a secret passage. This led them into the secret chamber which held a sacrificed humanoid, as well as a tome that talked about the Ritual.

The book covers details about the ritual that was performed in the room, the sacrifice of an innocent which was needed for something detailed as “The completion of the Ritual.” It goes on to describe how the spell and Ritual is completed by the addition of the hemlock berries which are soaked for a day in the blood of the properly prepared innocent, and then incinerated in the Area of Focus after aligning the Gems of Power. It also shows how to break the ritual, by similarly incinerating unsoaked hemlock berries in the Area of Focus, after disrupting the Gems of Power and placing instead Dahak’s visage on the two plinths so that they redirect the magical energies.

Searching the room, Desmond found a strongbox which held three sprigs of berries inside it. Taking these, the party continued on, exploring the remaining bits of the temple. This led them into a chamber with divine summoning runes, one of which was active. Next came a room of illusion, which nearly brought the group to tears as they began to disappear one by one, only to find that they were party to a group illusion. Once Talon kicked himself and Adoness, the last two in the illusion, out of the mind-effect with a bomb, the group moved on to a storeroom.

Inside the storeroom they found the cursed food mentioned in the journal, as well as some other mundane items. Fortunately for them, they also found a key, one which vibrated with magic. Having their way in to the secret and locked door, the group made their way back to the room and unlocked the door.

Inside, they found the half-mad Kobold from earlier, leaning over a deep pit glowing red and emanating great heat. His minions, a moving statue-like gargoyle, and a skeletal champion, reacted quickly to the party’s presence, and prepared for battle. The Kobold squeaked out some angry words before the battle began in earnest!

Loot:
Potion of Ant Haul
Potion of Hide from Undead x2
Scroll of Alter Self
Potion of Cure Light Wounds x2

Desmond grabs:
+1 Light Wooden Shield
Ten Foot Pole x3
grappling hook x2
50’ of rope
Old tattered Bag of Holding I

Adoness grabs:
Ax of Dahak’s Fire
Ax of Dahak’s Fire: The wooden haft of this war ax is inscribed with Elven runes, detailing the weapon’s name and its powers. Its curved red metal blade is still sharp despite having seen years and years of disuse and neglect. Twice per day upon command, when this axe strikes a foe, it can burst into flames to deal an additional 1d6 points of fire damage to the target. Command phrase: “Dahak’s Fire Smites Thee!”
Normal: 1d6 damage, 19-20/x2, Slashing damage.
50’ of rope

Enna grabs:
Holy Symbol of Dahak x9
Waterskin full of holy water x3
50’ of rope
journal of high priest of Dahak
Book containing information on the Ritual
Old gnarled stick that is magical and possibly dangerous

Talon grabs:
50’ of rope

XP Breakdown:

Quest:
Entered the Ritual Chamber: 150XP

Roleplaying: 250XP

Traps:
Disarming scythe trap: 300XP
Falling into the pit trap: 50XP
Breaking through the illusion room: 100XP

Miscellaneous:
Puzzling your way into the secret chamber: 75XP

Total: 925XP

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