War Ruins Aeris

The Setup

(This is only a brief summary, but let’s you know where things have been in the recent past, leading up to the present)

Kel, Battle-Toad, and “the ranger,” had been wandering, when Cullen and “the paladin” encountered them. Cullen invited them to join him on the question through old ruins in search of wealth and power.

It has been about a year and a half, and despite early success, in recent days, you have fallen on hard times. The few sites you’ve discovered have been picked over.

Cullen had an idea:

In the days before he met the others, he worked on an archaeological site with a man by the name of Aughirris who had worked at the original Zinnaeris Ancient site. This information slipped out, along with the man’s notion that there must be far more locations and ruins than have been discovered, they must have missed something. Cullen knows Aughirris lives in Brelon’s Crest, the capital city.

The group has traveled to Brelon’s Crest in hopes of convincing, coercing, or tricking the man into giving away the location of the site.

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Session I
Archaeological Revelry

Important Notes:

Correction: I have a correction to the group of six encountered on the road, see the bottom of the session log

These will be chronologically ordered by events rather than game play.

Cast:

Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)

Brelon’s Crest, Zinnaeris

The group arrived in Brelon’s Crest, the capitol city of Zinnaeris (Human territory) and began its search for the archaeologist, Aughirris. The group split into two. The first group made their way to the tavern owned by Wil’s father, the Murdered Dog. The other group went down to the docks, looking for a place where a lonely archaeologist could find cheap women, and were pointed to the Two Cresting Waves inn and tavern.

At the Murdered Dog, Cullen, Muy, Wil and ____, learned that Wil’s father had no knowledge of Aughirris, but did have a notion where men like him would go to drink. Four tavern’s stood out, all in the government district:

  • The Yellow Page – a stuffy tavern for the scholarly type
  • The Flint and Page – similar to The Yellow Page, but with a bitter or sarcastic tone
  • The Cerulean Crystal Call – a tavern built around private rooms with communication crystals
  • The Faded Banner – a place with a sardonic tone toward the government

Meanwhile, Ignavus, Landen, and Kel (in the form of a dog), went to the Two Cresting Waves. The prior two pretended to be drunk, one much more believable than the other, and bought many drinks, but made no real progress, except for the dog receiving feminine attention.

Rejoined, the group split again, the first group going to The Cerulean Crystal Call, and latter to The Flint and Page. At the Cerulean Crystal Call, the group learned from the owner that Aughirris helped build that establishment, but normally drinks at the Flint and Page.

At the Flint and Page, they found many people who met Aughirris’s description, and asking the tavern owner, were directed to him. They bought themselves drinks and approached him. Ignavus called him a drunken quitter and Landen suggested he wanted to know about ancient ruins, discreetly. The dog ran off on his own to find the others. The two continued on their ill-advised line of questions and comments.

Kel found the others and brought them to Aughirris. After some difficultly, Cullen suggested that he, Aughirris get a private room and talk about old times. Cullen got a bottle of wine and Ignavus spiked it with hard liquor. Wil accompanied them to a private room. Cullen, with Wil’s aid, convinced Aughirris to give them information on how to find the original ancient city ruins. He used these claims:

  • There is glory for Aughirris in discovering new ruins
  • Your name will be known
  • He can stay on the sidelines and deny involvement if they are caught
  • The discoveries will benefit everyone

He told them that to get to the ancient ruins, they must travel to Orinthal (#6) and cross the lake to Almedha territory, cross through the woods to the mountain, follow the mountain pass to the valley where the ancient city is.

Parallelism

On the road to Orinthal, some within the group noticed that they and one other group traveling the same direction kept passing one and other, and this other group was armed and carried digging materials. The group’s analysis of them:

  • Two male laborers
  • One female, unarmed, unarmored, two unidentified magical glows
  • One male, Longsword, Heavy Shield, Scale Armor, one unidentified magical glow
  • One female, Morningstar, Scale Armor, one unidentified magical glow
  • One male, Magical Greatbow, Hide Armor, one unidentified magical glow
  • One pack horse

Confronting them, they asked to camp together, and the other group agreed.

Next Session: Thievery or Requisition

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Session II
Murder of the Orinthal Pass

Cast:
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve) (NPC’d)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)

*Five Deaths and Flee"

The group organized watches, with the archaeological group keeping their own. Deciding that the cleric needed to be the first to go, so they waited until the second watch. The bowman disappeared into the dark, leaving the heavily armed warrior behind.

Wil performed a coup de gras on the cleric, and muy did the same to the unarmed woman before she could wake. The warrior tried to stand his ground but severely wounded, he quaffed a potion and vanished from sight. Cullen managed to track him down, some distance away and finish him. Landen killed the two laborers. The bowman, however, sniped the group from the darkness and vanished without a trace. Attempts to track him met with difficulty. Finally the group took its spoils and after a night’s rest, made for Orinthal.

Spoils:

  • 50 gp, 11 sp
  • 4 Adventurers Kits
  • Archaeology Tools
  • 2 Lesser Elixirs of Invisibility
  • Cloaked Dagger +2
  • Horse

At Orinthal, Kel kept watch while Muy hid the horse in a corral outside of town with many horses. In town, Wil arranged to charter a boat in the morning, small enough to not draw attention.

On the ship, they covered Muy and tried to distract the crew from noticing him, yet one of them was overheard commenting to the others that there was something strange about him. The boatmen were allowed to live.

Across the inland sea, the group came to the Almedha town of Enash. Landen and Ignavus stayed in a boarding house as the town had no inns.

They left traveling NE on the main road out of town, then turned south into the forest and made their way to the mountain pass. They arrived at the opening to the pass in the late afternoon.

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Session III
  • This may be worth a read through when considering the next action.

Cast:
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)

Rock Lobster

The group descended upon the mountain pass, about one day’s journey into the pass, they were attacked by large boulders, which unfolded into tentacled creatures. The group managed to kill 3 of them, and 2 of the smaller companions before the rest fled. There were no spoils to be gained, but Cullen identified a magical glow from the larger creatures, suggesting that these creatures consume the whole of their prey. If their bodies were to be mined from materials, one would likely find precious metals and residium.

The decision was made not to bother with the creatures. Wil wondered if these creatures were deliberately placed here to impede others from pursing the ruins, but there was no way to be certain. The rocky terrain seemed to be their natural habitat.

A River Runs Through It

Beyond the pass they found a river which ran toward the pass from the South East, and pooled in a small lake. Kel determined that the lake must then drain underground. They followed the river South East until to came to a man-made ford and crossed it.

They continued to follow the river until they reached the city ruins. Kel and Erithys made an extensive search of the ruins over the course of 3 days, searching for signs of life and recent excavation.

On the Western edge of the city, they found the remnants of a dismantled camp which seemed to have been home to roughly 150 people at some point in the past. Dirt and dust had piled up on everything, and after further exploration, they discerned that there wasn’t sufficient wind in the valley to have done that in a short time.

Along the southern edge was the river which cut through the city.

On the Eastern edge of the city, they found a clan of bugbears making a nest of the city’s buildings. They numbered about 30, including men, women, and children. Ignavus put together a crate of food and took it to them unarmed with the “dog” – Kel – with him. The Bugbears accepted the food before Ignavus even finished drawing in the dirt to suggest that they each keep to themselves.

Building A

Day 4 at the site, day 11 since leaving Brelon’s Crest, Cullen identified the most interesting Archaeological sites in the area.

  • Building A – Located in the city, at the center of the largest torus of earth. A large cylindrical building.
  • Building B – Located on the next largest torus, located in the water. This building is stone but crystalline shape.
  • Building C – Located further out in the water, this square tower remains intact, but is partial submerged.
  • Site D – A large open area of stone flooring without outer walls, surrounded by smaller buildings.
  • Site E – A large area of heavily compacted ground, surrounded by a low wall, but not likely a building.

At building A, extensive searching was done, and Erithys found a large stone blocking an entrance to the area below the building. Kel examined it and determined it had been moved and returned to its place in the relatively recent past. As this was something already discovered by previous archaeology teams, and difficult to move, they decided to leave it alone for now.

A quick survey of the structures around the area revealed nothing interesting until Erithys dove into the water to look at the side of a dome and learned that the dome was atop a cylinder of earth which was resisting the erosion of the river, forming a perfect curve. When Ignavus and Landen looked at the land mass, they noticed a magical aura which they had never seen before and could not identify its type.

Building B

Day 5 (12): Returning to the river’s edge, they found some of the men and women from the the bugbear clan waiting for them. Ignavus tried to communicate the need for a boat, to no avail. He did, however, learn that they seemed to mimic his actions. When he picked up a stone and threw it into the river, many of them did the same. When he walked away they remained, but when the group moved, they followed.

Choosing to set out across the river, Kel, Wil, and Ignavus decided to give it a go. Ignavus quickly turned back, pulled in on a rope provided by Landen.

Kel and Wil explored the land mass around Building B then moved on to the two islands further out. The next one out had nothing at all. The furthest possessed what seemed to be docks which stretched out into the original river. The docks, however, were vast and expansive, and seemed capable of and designed to support vessels much larger than the river itself could support.

They returned to Building B and discovered pillars all knocked over in the same direction outside the building. Through the first giant, double doors of the crystalline shaped building was a short, wide hallway, with another double doors which were open and inside a large floating crystal. They decided to return to the mainland and collect the others before returning.

Back at the mainland, Erithys had been digging with the aid of the bugbears, all the way down to the bedrock.

Return to Building B

Day 6 (13): The group dumped out much of their water supply to make floatation devices from the wineskins and pulled the rest of the group across with the aid of Muy and Wil.

At the Island, Erithys could tell that the pillars outside the Building had all fallen the same direction because of an earthquake; they fall toward the epicenter. Ignavus tried to determine where that would be, but because they are cylindrical and could have rolled, the best he could discern is that it was somewhere in the direction of Building A, or further along that line.

Ignavus and Landen were not able to detect a magical aura from the floating crystal. Adjacent rooms seemed to be rooms that once held smaller crystals, as there were some broken shards found in some of them. The main crystal was cracked, with shards lying on the ground, mixed in with stone from the ceiling above.

Some of the group searched one of the small rooms, the hallway, and the exterior for secret doors, because the structure is much larger than rooms discovered inside.

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Session IV

(Reconstructed, so some details may be less than accurate, etc. – Feel Free to post comments about errors)

Cast:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)

Enemy at the Ford

The group pursued Erythis through the morning until her doe walked across the surface of the river and wonders off into the distance. Looking into the distance the group sees the sign of approaching from the mountain pass.

They divide the group again with Cullen and Kel still in the tower, Erythis, Landen and Ignavus return to town to pick up supplies while Muy and Wil cross the ford to warn the others. The three then make it back to the ford and cross in barely enough time to go unnoticed by day light.

The approaching group sets up seven large, multiple person tents (at least 2 wagons and at least 8 horses, reflections of metal) on the southern side of the ford and the group decides it is safer to leave at night and make a long arch away from and around their encampment. They escape a conflict easily, but never learn who arrived or why.

Wanted Men

Returning to civilization, they learn that they are wanted to for Murder and the theft of an Horse bearing imperial markings. (the perception check Muy failed when he unsaddled the horse)

The wanted poster had decent drawings of Wil and Ignavus and a near perfect representation of Muy, noting that they were traveling with two elves, an arghet (Kalashtar), and a dog.

Brelon Slim

Cullen spent the night distracting the locals and entertaining them with pro-fisherman, anti-city-folk stories and songs, and buy many drinks. In doing so, he told people his name was Brelon Slim, and convincingly so.

In Dolpindar they found another wanted poster. The price on their heads was 1000 gp each and 10,000 gp for the whole group.

From Dolpindar the group hired a ship to cross the bay to Celesthem and then set out on foot to Quisaadi. In Cnoc Muir Landen wandered off on his own and returned later. The group picked up rumors:

  • Avoided woods, people vanish
  • Dangerous path, filled death
  • Woods are an unsafe place for non-elves

Calling on the Servant of Vice, two one-foot tall frozen trees appeared and these questions were asked:

  • Is the ancient ruins in the area where people vanish? Yes.
  • What are the dangers in that area? Imprisonment.
  • What are the rewards we could gain from going there? It depends on your skill, and your willingness to kill.
  • How can we defeat this imprisonment? Find the three crystals that open the transmitter.

The group finds an area of the forest devoid of animals and at its center a pyramid, eight feet tall.

Landen touched the pyramid and vanished.

Calling on the Servant of Vice, two 50-foot tall treants appeared.

  • Do the crystals lie within the pyramid? Yes

Cullen touched the pyramid and vanished

*Where will the pyramid transport us? Failed

Gradually everyone touched the pyramid and vanished.

Room 1

The group appeared in doors, falling into a pit of bones and fought a two-headed giant, two carrion crawlers, and zombies in a room with a pit at the center, ten feet down to bones, 25 feet down to the bottom. Aside from the mundane, the group found nothing save for the giant’s bag of heads, containing humans, lizards, and plant creatures.

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Session V & VI

(Reconstructed, so some details may be less than accurate, etc. – Feel Free to post comments about errors)

Cast:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
?

Storage Rooms
The group explored the storage rooms off the entrance room and found a hidden compartment with a small box with what look like oblong beads or tiny tubes with rounded ends. In another room they found a shelf with five small, evenly spaced holes, around one of which were shattered crystal shards, matching the communication crystals.

A room with a color-coded door lock was eventually allowed to be entered by Landen and inside a Red Crystal, 1 Inch long was found.

Exploring

The group made a systematic analysis of their surroundings. Finding a room with plant hedges, stairs up and down, and other rooms.

Room 2

The group cleared a room of rats and suffered under a room the burst open with bones.

Room 3

The group dealt with a room with a complex flipping trap which contained an Otyugh. The opposite end leading to a room with plant hedges.

Room 4

Prison cells controlled by humans and a lizard-humanoid wearing magical armor. The group parleys and later trades with them for their crystals.

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Session VII

(Reconstructed, so some details may be less than accurate, etc. – Feel Free to post comments about errors)

Cast:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
?

Room 5

The group went to one of the hedge rooms and tried to negotiate, but they lied about not having crystals.

Room 6

The group took the stairs down and fought in the water systems against lizard creatures. They found a room with floating crystals like those that control the prison cells. They found a room with drag marks that lead to a secret room with a statue of what seems to be one of the ancient humanoids. The statue wore an amulet and was trapped. When Kel tried to disarm it, he triggered the trap and became infected. He then succeeded and recovered the amulet.

The group traded the bodies for water rights and the crystals the humans had.

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Session VIII

(Reconstructed, so some details may be less than accurate, etc. – Feel Free to post comments about errors)

Cast:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)

Fortified

The group returned to the humans and found them barricaded in, claiming that the group had disrupted the system in the prison.

Room 7

The group tackled the southern hedge room, fighting plant creatures and quicklings, becoming divided by the vines that slow. One quickling escaped and have 15 minutes of rest, they decided to pursue.

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Session IX

(Reconstructed, so some details may be less than accurate, etc. – Feel Free to post comments about errors)

Cast:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)

Storage Rooms

The group followed the quickling into the next room and were confronted with the Large plant creature, a bear, and a plant creature with magic, in addition to the quickling. The room contained four monoliths and many trees.

The group was forced to retreat and in the process managed to kill the quickling.

In the process, the group learned the following about the defenses:

The Trees attack (at start of your turn) any space within 2 of the trunks.
The Plant Caster can cast Close Burst 5 effects, center on himself or any of the monoliths.
The Plant Caster has an Aura 5, 5 Poison damage.
The Plant Caster one attack causes poison damage and daze.
The Large Plant has threatening reach and can slide.
The Large Plant seems to heal when he shifts.
The Large Plant has aura 1, difficult terrain.

The group is hold up in the color-lock door room.

No session this Sunday (thus why I posted the combat info).

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Session X

Cast:
Cullen – Kalashtar Bard – (Steve)
Erithys – Elven Ranger – (Gretchen)
Ignavus – Human Cleric – (Chris)
Kel’saris – Elven Ranger – (Ryan)
Landen – Elven Sorcerer – (Scott)
Muy Serio – Bullywug Monk – (Jason)
Wil – Half-Elven Blackguard – (Dustin)

Otherwise Occupied:
None

Circumventing

After nearly dying at the hands of the Shaman and his plant terror, the group escaped and rested in order to be completely healed. But them chose to circle around and attack from the room’s other entrance.

Entering into the other hedge room, they found more of the scythe and short sword wielding plant creatures, but also a large dire bore and a hag, disguising itself as a hostage. Though they presented a small challenge, the group defeated them, save for the sword-wielder, who escaped invisible into the next room.

With the options of going through doors to the north or following the invisible swordsman west, they made their pursuit after about 15 minutes. In the next room, they found a deep bit, the source of the plant’s dirt for growing. Here they fought with a Satyr, 3 Shambling Mounds, and 2 plant creatures.

Checking the adjoining room, Wil found 500 gp in with the bones of bodies that have nourished the soil, among other mundane equipment.

Left with a choice of north or south, the group took an extended rest and moved south to take on the Shaman again. Kel, after preparations, went around to the previous entrance.

Combating the Shaman

With sufficient preparation, the group faced little challenge taking on the Shaman, his bear, and the plant terror.

Searching the area and the two adjoining rooms, the group found the following:

  • A 1-inch long yellow gem on the body of the shaman
  • A book written in a plant language from the alter
  • 400 gp, 1 500 gp gem, and a 10th level neck item in one room
  • 400 gp and a 8th level armor in the other room.
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