The Edge of Empire

The Death of Angiledhel
The Company parlays with the Cult Priestess, who is revealed to be more than she seems.

The Company entered the Sunken Temple at the invitation of Naargash, the Cult Priestess, where they found Eutocius imprisoned and under the controlling influence of the Jade Eye. They persuaded the Priestess’s human guards to run as fighting broke out between Naargash and the Company. Naargash revealed herself to be a green dragon, but the Company managed to get the Jade Eye, rescue Eutocius, and defeat her.

She attempted to bargain for her life, offering to release Angiledhel from his curse in exchange for her freedom. Una agreed to the conditions, but reneged on the bargain, stabbing Naargash in the back as she tried to leave. Doomed, and spiteful in the extreme, Naargash swore that Angiledhel, the cursed one, would pay the price for the Company’s treachery.

Disgusted with the Company’s dishonesty, She viciously tore into Angiledhel until he fell unconscious and then lost his life. That was her last act before the Company killed her.

Updated DM entries for:

View
The Sunken Temple
In which the Company seeks out the source of Angiledhel's curse.

(Players, please post your journals regarding this session below the wiki entries presented here.)

New DM Entries for…

Jace

Leopold

Naargash

The Sunken Temple

Updated Entries for…

Eutocius

Skoulos

The Otherworlder

View
The Flood
on that day, all of the springs of the great deep burst forth...and everything that had breath in its nostrils died. - Genesis

(Players, please post your journals regarding this session below the wiki entries presented here.)

New Entries for…

(None.)

Updated Entries for…

Llorkh

Mama Nettles

Cher Nettles

Eutocius

Festival of Lanterns

View
Enter Finn
In which the candles are found, a mentor is lost, and the Festival begins

(Players, please post your journals regarding this session below the wiki entries presented here.)

New Entries for…

Finn

Updated Entries for…

Nelson Greaves

View
Stormcrow Tor

Chewey stopped in a muddy clearing marked by charred trees. Overlooking the clearing was a mound of stones creating the appearance of a wide tower or a very rough pyramid, clearly built, but rudimentary, and rising 50 feet into the air.

Nearby, a stiff hand protruded from a mound of mud. Chewey whined and sniffed at the hand. The three adventurers dug at the mud, unearthing the corpse of Nelson Greaves. A quick search of the area revealed that there had been a battle, and that Greaves’ other dog had died in the fray.

A ruined shield bearing Torm’s symbol lay half buried in the mud, indicating that Eutocius may have been present for the fight, but his body was not found.

Angiledhel turned up a tiny, ruby-eyed skull, and placed it Corvyr’s things for safekeeping.

Chewey began to growl and snap at Angiledhel, then ran away.

Hosvir joined the others at the Tor, concerned, he said, that they were about to change the mission from a simple tracking expedition to a delve into the large structure, which he called Stormcrow Tor.

Hosvir had learned from Constable Menos that Stormcrow Tor was once the hideout of a team of mercenaries, before internecine rivalry and fear of betrayal caused them to turn on one another. Hosvir believed that many of their accumulated treasures-and many of the perils put in place to protect those treasures-still sat within the Tor, and was loathe to see them proceed below without their wizard.

The others were quick to show Hosvir the small bejeweled skull that Angiledhel had found. Hosvir recognized dark magic and explained to Angiledhel that the elf was now cursed. Removing the curse would probably involve finding whomever had dropped the item.

So it was that four adventurers climbed the strange stone-upon-stone structure that jutted from the swamp, reached its peak, and took the winding stairs that led them inside.

Una descended the stairs ahead of the others, scouting for trouble. No sooner did he reach the bottom of the stair did he hear a male human voice, shouting in common: “By Torm, I will not yield!”

He signaled the others, and they proceeded into the large room, only to find themselves surrounded by strange humanoids resembling black birds. Again, they heard the voice, in exactly the same intonation: “By Torm, I will not yield.”

Eager to escape the way they had come, the adventurers attacked the crow-men who had closed in behind them.

Once joined, the battle was brief and the outcome never in doubt. Feathers flew. Crow-men lay dead. One was captured.

Using items from his bag, Hosvir hurriedly created a magic cirle and performed a ritual allowing Corvyr and the Crow-Man to comprehend tongues that were foreign to them. Using translation and intimidation, they interrogated the Crow-Man.

The creature said that Eutocius had never entered the Tor, but that he had been seen fighting on the grounds below, and had been killed and dragged away. Infuriated, Una and Corvyr demanded that the creature accompany them to find Eutocius’s body. The creature protested that he had no idea where the body might be, that it could be anywhere, but the adventurers insisted.

Desperately bargaining for his life and freedom, the creature said he had other secrets, and that he would tell them all if they’d let him go. He explained that there were other humans in the Tor. Captured humans, further down into the structure.

The group decided to see for themselves, but kept the prisoner as a guide and hostage.

They descended a staircase into the lower level that smelled of forest rot and mildew. There, they saw mushrooms of every shape and size. The prisoner warned them to be quiet as they traversed this room, passing by a large pool of water to a door at the far end, where another staircase led down.

They kept going, moving this time into a dark room where fully a dozen crow-men sat, eating and sleeping. Two human prisoners sat in shackles along a far wall. A chest sat near them, half open. A few candles, half-eaten, lay haphazardly around the chest.

Complex negotiations ensued, in which it was learned that the two human prisoners were to be sold as slaves. With help from their own prisoner, still bargaining furiously for his life, the adventurers posed as those slavers, “purchasing” the human prisoners using a very small amount of gold and a very large amount of physical intimidation.

Hurriedly, the prisoners were were released, and their items returned. They were dressed in clerics’ robes. One was young, the other much older. The older one did the talking, explaining that, yes, the candles were for Llorkh, and it was their duty to deliver them. Both men looked dazed, dizzy, and a bit befuddled from the darkness and the poor conditions.

The young man readied his sword and the old man lit his lantern, and they joined the adventurers on the stairs and into the fungus-plagued room, stepping quietly as previously warned.

But the old man slipped in the dark and the wet and fell, his lantern clattering loudly to the floor. Shocked by the noise, everyone stood still for a moment. Then the pool began to bubble.

A set of giant tentacles burst from below the pools surface and violently pinned the old man to the slippery stone floor. Another set faced the rest of the adventurers.

View
The Disappeared

(From the journal of Constable Menos)

Received report today of a dead body. Investigation revealed it to be Hiatha, the half-ogre who ran away from Llorkh years ago.

The halfling who brought him in from the swamp swears Hiatha was killed by some kind of cult priestess. It’s possible he heard the story of the cult and is using it to cover his own crimes.

But I’ve heard good reports about their work at Spellguard, and the wild elf sure helped me with that dog, Chewey. A wary eye is all that’s needed for now.

And I’ll keep my other eye on Martik. He’s a good kid, I know it, but he’s mixed up in this somehow. It’ll fall on me to watch him, since the out-of-towners are headed into the swamp.

They’re the only ones willing to go, since we’ve lost so many already—that paladin, the clerics from Waterdeep, so many children, even Hiatha.

They plan on using Chewey to track his missing master, Nelson Greaves. They’d left their wizard at the Watch Tree, but I sent him off behind them with some information about what they might expect to find.

So I’ll watch the tree and Martik as best I can, and pray this somehow works itself out before the Festival.

And that these newest ones don’t disappear too.

View
To Llorkh

The Order of the Scepter Tower said goodbyes and made preparations.

Lo’kag moved into the Scepter Tower along with Sister Cherra, their budding romance provoking skeptical amusement from Angiledhel, who laughed in their faces.

They promised to ready the Scepter Tower and make it livable, and vowed also to watch over the magically preserved body of Dositheus, now ensconced in an upper chamber.

A two more magical keys to the tower were found, and given to Hosvir and Angiledhel for safekeeping.

Corvyr and Hosvir sealed the door to the Tomb of the Scepter Tower as best they could, in case Barthus got ideas.

Then, on horses gifted to them by Allendi, the Order bid farewell to Spellguard and rode south toward the Greyflow River.

At the river, they met a wiry, sunken-eyed ferryman, who sold them passage downriver to Llorkh on his raft. Weak magic kept the raft steady for the horses and allowed the ferryman to pilot upriver and downriver with equal ease.

Along the way, he told the Order about the Festival of Lanterns, which has been held in Llorkh this time every year for as long as anyone can remember. As they arrived, they saw merchants and performers from up and down the river congregating in boats at Llorkh’s pier, unloading their wares and preparing for the coming festival.

They disembarked and explored the town—a collection of ramshackle clapboard buildings set on stilts and connected by a series of muddy levees, mildewed boardwalks, and half-sunken stepping stones.

The town is canopied by large oak and cypress trees festooned with hanging mosses. Lightning bugs, mosquitoes, and other insects have domain over the town at night, and people take shelter in their homes or in Mame Nettles’ cookhouse.

Mama Nettles Cookhouse is the town’s only restaurant, tavern, and inn, and is owned and operated by the eponymous Mama Nettles, a cheerful woman with a strange accent. Her rooms were all booked, due to the Festival, but she offered the Order a room above the stables, which Hosvir grudgingly accepted.

The group enjoyed a hearty dinner and watched the patrons of the Cookhouse dance to the lively local music. Mama Nettles remembered a Eutocius, who was abandoned by his guide and who sought a new one, but knew nothing more.

Una, depressed and frustrated from the loss of his dear friend Dositheus, sought to get away from the group for awhile, but found an unwanted companion in Angiledhel, who determined that Una would not spend this time alone. The two of them wandered into the night, surrounded by the sounds of crickets and frogs.

Corvyr went to bed, leaving Hosvir to his own devices. After a few attempts with the ladies, Hosvir found himself in conversation with Cher Nettles, Mama Nettles ancient matriarch. Addleheaded and half blind, Cher Nettles nonetheless seemed to know things that others didn’t.

She shared with Hosvir her version of the history of the Festival of Lanterns.

Una and Angiledhel sat under a boardwalk, remembering Dositheus and trying to come to terms with his death, when they heard a conversation above.

Two men were discussing the coming festival. The candles for the lanterns were due days ago, but had not yet arrived from Waterdeep. The paladin and his guide, sent to find the bearers of the candles, had not yet returned. Different candles would not do. Tradition was at stake.

Una and Angiledhel followed one of the men, who turned out to be Constable Menos, the town’s volunteer law enforcement officer. Menos happily explained to the two of them the events of the past few days:

  • The Paladin Eutocius, abandoned by his guide, desperately sought someone to lead him into the swamps in search of cultists.
  • Nelson Greaves, the most experienced and crafty swamp guide around, agreed to assist Eutocius, but only if Eutocius would first help the town with its problem.
  • It seems the candles for the Festival of Lanterns, specially prepared by priests in Waterdeep, were due in Llorkh a tenday ago, but have not yet arrived. It is believed that the candle bearers may have taken the swamp route, since the river has been closed at times due to bandits.
  • Eutocius agreed to accompany Nelson Greaves into the swamp to search for the priests bearing the candles to Llorkh. But now it’s been several days and they, too, are missing.

Constable Menos then brought the pair to his own house to “introduce” them to his only clue: a giant, ferocious mastiff named Chewey, whom Menos could not even approach, much less calm. Chewey and another dog, both belonging to Nelson Greaves, had accompanied Greaves and Eutocius into the swamp. The dog returned in an inconsolable state.

Angiledhel, gifted with a special affinity for animals, was able to calm the dog and win its affections. Chewey took the elf to Greaves’s tin shack, then attempted to lead him into the swamp to find Greaves. But it was still nighttime. Angiledhel and Una retired to the stables for the night.

The next morning, the Order met Finroy, owner of the town’s only Mercantile Exchange and the man Constable Menos had been conversing with the previous night. Finroy corroborated Menos’s story and also mentioned the cult activity of recent months, blaming the cult for the disappearance of several of the town’s children.

They asked Finroy if he still had the box that last year’s candles came in. Finroy brought them to his shop and demanded of his stockboy, Martik, that he find the box.

Presently, after bumbling around in the back, Martik arrived with a wooden chest with a gold-leaf inscription enlaid on its top edge. The inscription was a prayer in archaic common to a country folk-god called Lathander, apparently a sun deity. The prayer was a simple request for protection. The Order borrowed the box from Finroy.

Hosvir noticed a strange tattoo on Martik and persuaded him to show it to the group. Una recognized the symbol as an ancient Netherese hieroglyph for “resurrection.”

The group left the store, but decided that Una should follow Martik.

When Martik left work, he went up the town’s only hill to a large oak tree planted at its top. He climbed the tree.

From hiding, Una watched Martik meet a girl on one of the trees branches, watched them kiss hello, and watched them speak animatedly, Martik pointing to his tattoo.

Then, later, when the two young lovers separated, Una followed the girl into the swamp.

View
The Imp
while Hosvir sleeps, his familiar whispers in his ear

Fool. Do you think it is only my eyes that corrupt you? You pursue power, “master,” And what corrupts more than that?

Why do you toss and cry out in your sleep? Do you dream of the dead harem girl, floating in the muck? The price of Thoran’s bargain with the vampire Balthus. Grotesque. Tragic, perhaps. But no concern of yours.

No, it’s not the girl that haunts your rest. It’s the paladin.

It will be easy for you to blame it on the halfling. He’d rather think himself clever than go on living. But his provocations were not the sum of it.

Perhaps you will blame the paladin for his damned refusal to abandon the foolish hin.

Or perhaps you will blame the barbarian for fighting, or the others for failing.

But you know the blame is truly yours. In your lust for power, you pushed them further and further into the caverns. You insisted that they find the secret entrance. You pushed them too far, and now the paladin is dead.

At least you recovered the body before the vampire could corrupt him. Didn’t you?

Or is that him I hear now, skulking down the hall?

View
The Consort
in his sanctuary, Barthus woos his newest

My dear. I can see by the fear in your eyes that you have not yet come to accept your new nature. It is understandable. I was once the same.

But surely you are beginning by now to appreciate what has been done for you. When Thoran’s servants brought you here, they saved you from becoming the property of that sheikh—merely one in his retinue of slaves until you are discarded for being pregnant or sick or old. That is no life for one such as you.

Here, with me, you will treasured. My only queen.

I will lavish my attentions upon you, adorn you with rare treasures entombed by an ancient age. Through my bargain with Thoran, I can offer you to drink from among the wealthiest, heartiest blood on Toril for as long as a guard for him the secret way into the tower.

You will be protected. Ever safe. Ever young. Accept this, and the fear will subside.

Deny it, and your terror may kill you. It is your choice.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.