Princes of the Apocolypse

A fork, a cave, and a dream.
What's an eye like you doing in a place like this?

The group leaves Summit Hall to continue across country and find the fastest way across the river. Soon enough they come upon a fork. To the right are human footsteps, and to the left those of bugbears. The group takes the right fork, following it down the pathway to the mouth of a dark cavern. Vist discovers a cleverly hidden pit-trap near the entrance, raising the suspicions of everyone present. Casting his mind into the cave he finds the surface thoughts of a dozing, full, content beast of some sort, napping after a meal.

Trying to creep by the monster, the party awakens it, and disgruntled, it puts up a tough fight (laying vist out cold) before Wil unceremoniously exploded its head with witchbolt. Cutting through the stomach they find an elven princess clad in armor of acid resistance, annoyed but otherwise unharmed. Aloof and not particularly helpful, she heads out of the cavern and back to her people after a short conversation.

Doubting that the cavern holds their lost delegation, Torrin and Alistar leave to set up camp by the fork in preparation for the rest of the party after a quick looting. To their surprise, what looks to be a simple bare room with an altar holds a passage down into the cavern. Jon, Vist, and Wil move through the tunnel as the stench of rotting meets them. Peeking over the 3/4 wall that separates the room, they see a Chuul feasting on corpses. With a light touch, they drive the wall around, trapping the chull in with the illusion of a closed-off wall, and find two more tunnels down into the depths of the cave.

Down the first they find a mound of flesh and tumors, rolling and glistening, and a single large eyeball. Fleeing back upstairs they follow the second tunnel to find much the same, but where there was flesh there is now blood. Gathering their courage (and desire for loot), the group smites the eyeballs and flees back upstairs, finding a third chamber has now appeared behind what they thought was a statue in the wall. In this room are three tablets in primordial which hurt to read. Exhausted, the group collapses into sleep, but not before Vist sends a message in a dream to Torrin.

Torrin dreams a dream of his companion requiring his help, and wakes alistar. They return to the mouth of the cave, and entering, find there the Chuul which the rest of the party thoughtlessly left behind. With quick thinking and nimble strikes they dispatch it, and move down the tunnels to find their companions.

When the group reunites, Torrin discovers the central primordial tablet is nothing but gibberish, and presses it down, revealing another chamber behind the wall full of treasures…..and another tunnel.

Grund, a horse, and a hall.

Frustrated by their lack of success chasing their previous lead, the party deliberated on what to do next. Unfortunately, they realized that their escapades had taken too long, and they were now too late to make it back to Breven for the Mayor’s trial. Putting that out of their minds, the group headed back to Beliard to see if they could glean any additional information, and if not, follow their secondary lead. Upon arriving, the group realizes they had been gone far longer than Grund’s single day off, and he had taken it upon himself to begin the construction of a rather lovely addition to the main inn. He happily agreed to join them the next morning as they left to follow their next lead. That night, Torrin went out to gather information on the delegation, unwilling to wait until morning. A series of misunderstandings with townsfolk meant he spent the night happily in jail. The next morning the group came to bail him out, but also thought to ask additional questions of the guard, who let them know the delegation had been through Beliard successfully but had never reached Summit Hall, and that huge, oversized birds had been seen down the trail. The party decided to follow the delegation’s footsteps and see if they could find a sign of their disappearance. The rest of that day was uneventful, and the group camped quietly and were not disturbed. Halfway through the second day of travel they found evidence of a struggle on the side of the road. Tramping through the bush to where the birds circled, they found the remains of a caravan and a number of bodies all wearing the same design on their tunics. Vist recognised the designs as those of the guard sent with the delegation from Mirabel. A more thorough search showed a large cairn of stone standing above the caravan area; detect magic showed only that the area was full of magic. Along with the caravan were some additional books, the body of a woman in a golden-leaf gargoyle mask, and a mirror. The books turned out to be part of the same set that have been found around the valley telling of a dwarven civilisation that existed in the region hundreds of years ago.

Following the path of footsteps further into the forest, Jon realized they must belong to at least 20 bugbears and 10 humans. The footsteps went deeper and deeper in until they reached the riverbanks, where impressions could be seen where boats used to lie. Wil became mist/fog and floated upwards, just barely able to spot the boats hidden on the other side of the river, and off in the distance the top of a stone spire.

Returning to Grund and the horse/cart, the group, exhausted, went to bed for the night, but not without a last unlucky twist of fate. Vist, looking in the mirror, was overtaken with his handsomeness and shapely form; he found he could not look away. Torrin and Wil too were caught up in the mirror, wrenched away only when the group woke the next morning to find their camp unguarded.

They continued on to Summit hall, home of the order of the gauntlet. Torrin, finding himself much at home, pledged himself to uphold the righteousness of the gauntlet’s mission. The rest of the group spoke to the head officer, who despite not being a paladin herself, was happy to welcome another into the hall. She knew little more about the delegation than they did, and was only able to confirm the group had never reached the hall, as well as the fastest way to the spire.

Shrines, priestesses, and ships.

The party travels to the vale of dancing waters as per Wil’s recommendation. After purifying themselves, they are allowed to enter, and encounter a strange wedding that quickly goes south. The party determines that the Vale has been overtaken by a sinister group, and must fight their way through the cult to rescue the priestesses who rightfully live here. They find some dead but many alive, and the priestesses are grateful for their help.

Wil struck up a rapport with Gemma Gleamsilver who, though shaken from her ordeal, displayed her thorough knowledge of the area’s history and told him of legends of flying ships. On their way back to Beliard to try a different lead, the party was attacked by men in sky-blue tunics on giant vultures, who dropped a map before fleeing.

A sinkhole, a shadow, and an arrest.

After much deliberation, the group decide the best course of action is to head towards Beliard in pursuit of the lost delegation. They turn to Kaylessa (proprietor of the Singing Sword) for advice on which route to take – the more-travelled and better-appointed road up and around the hills or the less-travelled but more direct route through the slumber hills. Kaylessa suggests the longer road if they’re interested in more creature comforts, and introduces them to Grund, a half-orc who is familiar with the area. Grund tells them all of his travel tales and the group ultimately decides to travel the shorter route with Grund as their guide. They prepare to leave, but just as they are about to step outside they hear a loud crack followed by the screams of the townsfolk. They rush out to find a huge sinkhole has been torn in the street, exposing what looks like an underground cavern system. After rescuing the townsfolk unfortunate enough to have fallen in (and snapping a hitching post by subjecting it to like 2000lbs of weight), the group turns to see if anyone nearby knows what is going on. The mayor along with a red-haired man the group does not recognize thank them for their help but assure the group that the town can handle the problem from here.

Torinn detects evil deeper in the ground, and so the group, of course, ignores the mayor, and hops down into the hole, bringing their rope with them. They find a closed door with a magical lock obviously dwarven-made. After much searching they find the word to open the door and head deeper into the cavern system. They come across the bodies of murdered civilians, a strange symbol carved into their foreheads. Vist reaches out for any nearby consciousness and finds the thought of a scared, unsure man nearby who is part of the “Bringers of Woe”. He knows the travelling group is in the next room and assumes they pose a threat. The group is ready as the bandits come through the door, swords raised, and fight them off until they try to flee. Torinn captures one man but the rest escape, four back the way they came and a fifth heading the opposite direction out of the cavern. The group tries to question the captured man, who has the same symbol carved into his forehead as the bodies did, but he is killed by an unseen force before he can answer. Torinn smashes a floating rock into a billion tiny pieces and Wil discovers he can float in the place where the rock once stood. (edited)

The group travels into a huge, open cavern. In front of them stands a sallow man in a deep purple velvet robe. He is hooded, but his black hair sticks out of the hood in some places, and his robe has on it the same triangular symbol. He speaks words of power and the stones around the group rise to float crazily in the air. The mage and his cohort climb, upside-down on the ceiling in the darkness. Vist, who has disguised himself as a bandit and is pretending to be bound, is taken by the mage and floats on the ceiling with the rest of the group. The man in the purple robe tries to parlay, telling the group to leave and they will not be harmed, but with a yell the fight commences. The battle is full of flying spells and swords from both sides. Vist shakes off his disguise and attacks from the back while the rest of the group battles at the front. The bandits are killed, and the mage with one last spell flees out a secret entrance pushed forward by Wil’s gust of wind. The group looks around the cavern and finds even more bodies with symbols carved into them laid out ceremonially on stone slabs.

Returning to the surface, the group finds the Constable arresting the Mayor and the red-headded man, taking them into custody until trial. Alistar and Torinn pursue the constable, insisting an error has been made, but he refuses to listen and tells them to return in a tenday when the trial will commence.

The group decides to rest up until morning. When they awaken, Grund is waiting with their packed supplies. They ensure everything is prepared and then head out to the Slumber hills for a two to three day journey to Beliard. On their way they pass the quarry with the odd figures, but they see little of interest other than shadows fleeing to the trees.

A meeting, a sign, and a task-list

Wil, Vist, and Jon land in Breven on an early spring morning. Vist goes off on his own while Jon and Wil find the Helm at Highsun and order food and drink to refresh them after their long journey. They are soon joined by Vist, Alistair, who has returned from the north, and encounter Torinn, who is insistent that the signs have led him here. The group is soon surrounded by the lunch-time crowd and Wil signs them all up for a drinking contest, which Torinn dominates. After gaining the respect of those around them through booze, they learn that not all is well in Breven, and odd things have been afoot. As the crowd disperses, they wander out to find a place to stay, and settle on the Singing Sword, Breven’s only true inn.

The group disperses to go out on the town and interact with the locals and take care of personal tasks. Vist and Wil head to the bathhouse so Vist can flex his political muscles, Torinn promises to return at the next dawn and heads to the Allfaith’s Shrine, and Jon and Alistair hung out at the Singing Sword after Jon’s unsuccessful run-in with Mother Yagatha.

When they re-group that night they share what they’ve learned. Also Vist brings Wil a crumpet.

The next morning Torinn shows up at dawn at the Singing Sword, as promised, and inserts himself into the group as the crowd around them grows, full of locals who have come to gawk and request help with their various issues and ills. After speaking with the crowd, they again disperse, with Alistair heading to Morlando Gauekl’s to gamble and pick up on local gossip while the rest of the group planned their next move. Vist calls in Constable Harbuck, thoroughly confuses him, and extracts information and belongings of the missing delegation before attempting a Scrying spell which is quickly shut down.

Overall, they learn of:
• Reports of ghosts outside of town
• Bandits on the southern road
• A plague affecting the wildlife around Lance Rock
• New graves dug and filled out in the Slumber Hills
• Strange masked figures watching the quarry in the evenings
• A ring of thieves settling in upriver
• A delegation of ambassadors that went missing almost 6 months ago have been recently sighted around Beliard
o They are alive, but imprisoned somewhere windowless
o Sighted by two people heading towards Beliard
• Rancid butter at the Lockley Farm

The group settles in to decide on their next move as evening falls.


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