The Spell Forge

Report for Narder Dyley
Session 11- The Gembound Strike Back

Bahamut’s light be upon you, Narder Dyley.

I write this as we sit here at camp and are recovering from the trials of the day. As we had been tasked we investigated the situation and I believe this merits intervention from Ral’Kor.
But lets start from the beginning.

Some miles from the foot of the ascent, our camp was ambushed by a group of foolhardy kobolds- They took issue with me due to my heritage, and attacked me immediately, causing my group to have to intervene. As a result, we had no opportunity to gain information from them, beyond the fact that metallic dragonborn are clearly not a welcome race.

At the foot of the plateau we could see several figures, namely a black dragonborn ranger- I will refer to him as the Ranger- and several Kobold minions. I hung back while Thorn ventured forth to gain some information- sadly this soon turned violent as Thorn quickly proved himself more suited to sword and bow rather than tongue. It seemed as though he was intrigued by these gems we were bound with- Gembound is a phrase of much significance here, I must confess I am still unaware of the trials thes Gembound have to go through. When the Ranger’s kobolds jumped Thorn, we immediately intervened. The Ranger proved qutie the opponent, and after an impressive Fireball from Nyvane he was soon beating a hasty retreat, though not without some casualties on our side. Thankfully, our earlier trial in the Diamond mines equipped me with the components necessary to revive our fallen companion. The Ranger had set some magical trap to cut off our chase, so we elected to pursue later.

Several hours later we began the ascent up to the Nexus. Nearing the top, passing the expired traps of our adversary, we came upon a bulwark filled with kobolds. Thorn and Delecarn charged in ahead, and we made short werk of the bulwaaaark.

At the top of the plateau things seemed relatively unchanged, none of the ruins had been restored. Near the mouth of the cave, we could see some lizard folk seemingly loading a wagon- Nearby was another black dragonborn, this one I will name Shield. He was imposing, decked in full plate and holding an impressive shield and sword. He was, I assume, supervising the work of the lizardmen, who aren’t renowned for their manual labour (unless it is hunting). As Thorn and I tried to get a closer look from a higher vantage point, Nyvane and Delecarn struck out at Shield, staggering him impressively. I know not why they started the fight. I am no student of war, and I assume they had just been spotted as nobody could err so much as to start a battle outnumbered and with little knowledge of the enemy.

Several more dragonborn entered the fray, Ranger from earlier, a mage who seemed to be a sorcerer much like Nyvane, an impressive Gembound who seemed to be their leader, and notably from my standpoint, a cleric of Tiamat. This Wrymkeeper, and the gembound, managed to dispel and counter much of our magics, and seeing we were outnumbered, we decided discretion was the better part of valour and retreated, taking out a few lizardmen on the way. The dragonborn five seemed intent on capturing Thorn, but thankfully the group held together and we all managed to escape. They did not chase us down the road, so they cannot directly follow us to town.

Of the griffin soldiers we saw no sign, but we can assume this hostile force is behind their disappearance. We were unable to determine the nature of their occupation, whether they seek to restore the portal for their own use or retrieve some forgotten artefact, I know not. However, given the nature of these occupiers, I feel it is best to rally some forces to oust these dragonborn five. Clerics of Tiamat, also known as Wyrmkeepers, are not neighbours a growing town can tolerate. Obvious clerical differences aside, the fact remains that a cleric of Tiamat’s primary goal is the acquisition of treasure to sacrifice to the dark queen, and sowing chaos among the good people of this land.

Given the nature of our findeings, I must ask that we secure a small cache of diamonds in town should we need them for any potential victims. Also, we need to find a healer or alchemist to brew potions and other healing supplies. I myself have acquired some herbs along my travels, but I do not yet have the skills required to safely create anything beyond a foul concotion.

It is my suggestion that we inform Ralkor as soon as possible, and burn out this infection before it spreads across the land.

Through the fire and the flames, we carry on.

Shandarr Brightflame

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Nyvane's Journal
Reflections, post Session 10

Another day has now passed in Miners’ Reach.

Turns out Thorn made some new friends; I’ll call them Useless and Smarmy, since I didn’t pay attention when they were introduced at the Deep Shaft Inn. Too busy vomiting in my mouth at the sight of Smarmy’s moustache.

These ‘friends’ led the way, out of town to see some tower they’d scouted out. No real inkling of what to expect, just that they needed help. So when I saw an animated skeleton wandering suspiciously about near the tower, I thought ‘GET IT!’ and hurled a fire bolt at the damned thing. The others didn’t seem to agree that there was a strong chance Thorn’s ‘friends’ might be walking everyone into an ambush to rob me of my precious money. Somebody had to take action.

A skirmish unfolded against hidden enemies. I was on the money when I set a bush on fire and exposed them. Everyone else did some stuff, but it was really obvious that Useless was living up to his name, firing arrows right in between the ribs of the skeletons, further adding to my suspicions that these ‘friends’ of Thorn’s were up to something. Nobody is that dim; I’m sure he was aiming perfectly to fail intentionally and determine how much impact and damage the party could do. Probably going to cut everyone up in our sleep. I will sleep with one eye open, or have Meeses keep watch when I finish this journal entry.

Smarmy was acting like a lecherous pig, and even though he did help in the skirmish, I am convinced his ‘attentions’ are a front for his and Useless’s intentions to catch everyone off guard. I will not allow him to get near me with a ten-foot pole. Tieflings have it hard enough being stared at all the time; his slimy looks and asinine moustache-preening don’t help.

Adding to my suspicions yet again, Useless and Smarmy stayed outside the tower under the guise of ‘guarding’ the entrance, while everyone else went into the tower that they had originally wanted to investigate themselves. So much for ‘helping’ them; more like ‘doing all the work for them’. Speaking of, bloody Erin seems to have ditched the cause. She should have been back in town by now. Must have decided to avoid actually doing anything. I’ll wager she’s sitting around on her piles of noble coin at the inn, flashing that fancy staff around like she owns the place.

Anyway, inside the tower there was a door, covered in runes I knew were to keep a space’s contents preserved in time. Delekhan snuck around and scouted ahead as usual. On that note, he tends to volunteer for that a great deal. Given what I noticed in town last week, I’m not sure he’s entirely trustworthy… I’ll bet he’s going first to loot whatever he can. He is a rogue, after all. Although, it’s a difficult topic – he has helped me out on many occasions and so far as I know, he could just be acting valiant and going first to spare the group from potential danger. I will keep an eye on him before I completely make up my mind.

Through the door, Delekhan walked, tied to Shandarr’s hempen rope, right into some kind of forcefield trap. By the time all were ready to approach the chamber he was in, he’d already become trapped and couldn’t escape the flames that came from two statues in the chamber. Shandarr, being the self-sacrificing one, stuck his arm into the chamber to try and pull Delekhan back to safety, but only got himself burned. That’s what you get for being so blindly trusting, as Shandarr is. Back in my home town, now on a (thankfully) different plane of existence, there was a saying to that effect. I could have gone into that chamber and avoided the damage Delekhan exposed himself to, but how was I to know that it wasn’t some trap Thorn’s ‘friends’ had set to snare everyone. Just because he spent a week hunting and ranging with them doesn’t mean they aren’t time- and plane-travelling thieves with arcane abilities that they’re cleverly hiding behind false bravado and feigned uselessness. You can never truly trust anyone but yourself.

In the end, I had to save them by setting the brazier in the centre of the room alight. I deduced that the brazier was the key here, as quite a few features of the tower, doors and statues erred on the draconic side of things. I was right, and the magical barrier went down and Shandarr and Delekhan were safe. Until, of course, the party went on.

The next chamber’s floor featured a large pentagram, from which skeletons appeared and began to attack. The group defended and I noticed there were four small braziers near the rune-covered door at the end of the chamber. Somehow, after the skeletons were defeated, they rose again. Action needed to be taken again. I cast a firebolt at one of the braziers and it stayed alight. I thought “of course, it must be another puzzle to solve,” and hurled firebolts at the other braziers to discern the order they needed to be lit.

Eternally unlucky (although not as unlucky as the time I lost all my hard-earned and precious money and loot when sucked through that portal), none of the fire bolts worked after the first. While the others continued holding the skeletons back, I took a closer look at the runes on the door and braziers and noticed triangular symbols, which I vaguely recognised from my hasty arcane studies in Lord Uthar’s keep in Neverwinter. Thorn came to help and after trial and error, unlocked one brazier with a breath of air. Delekhan relieved himself on another (I am certain he is drinking something potent, or not drinking enough clean water. The colour and stench was so similar to that of the street urchins I avoided back home. You can’t trust those street urchins when you’ve barely got more than the clothes on your back; they’ll steal those clothes and leave you naked and defenceless in an alleyway and hawk their spoils at any vendor they can, just for a speck of bread or a sip of mead). As there seemed to be no dirt or dust on the immaculately preserved floor, I scraped some dirt from my boot into the final brazier, unlocking the door. A thud from behind proved that the skeletons were tied to that spell – Shandarr had fallen on his face.

The break from fighting skeletons left Delekhan to explore a room on the left of the chamber. The room apparently held cages and a bag containing herbs and multiple items, probably all as useless as Useless pretended to be in that earlier skirmish.

I investigated the room to the right of the chamber myself, just to be careful. If anyone else had, they could have pocketed any precious loot themselves. Again unlucky, there were only barrels of food. Nothing shiny, nothing precious, nothing truly valuable.

Continuing down a hall, down some stairs and into a large octagonal chamber was the only path after that. An imposing and impressive door seemed to lead somewhere, but was closed and protected by yet more tricks and runes. This was certainly an elaborate plot set up by those ‘friends’. I mentally prepared myself to foray into the Underdark; Useless and Smarmy had to have been dark elves disguising themselves as humans.

A zombie, skeleton and ghoul appeared and each started attacking. They re-spawned until they were defeated in order. The lighted runes above the massive doorway changed colour and the door gave way to a hallway onto a chamber containing drums of creatures and large eggs that appeared to be experiments, and another chamber where it seemed a lich had attempted, and failed, to store its soul in an item.

Thorn had been acting incredibly strange and suspicious throughout the day, claiming odd dreams and blacking out at times during our exploration of the tower. He was acting especially strange at this point. It seemed that this chamber did not lead to the Underdark, but his behaviour and this whole incident still could have been some result of mental control and nefarious plans set up by those other two, who were presumably standing around outside doing nothing, or long gone, leaving the party to suffer and die. He called for attention in the chamber the group had left, and then presented Orcbiter.

Apparently, he’d kept it secret that Orcbiter’s soul had been stored in his onyx gem when everyone travelled through the portal, and one of the large eggs in the drums had been calling to him this whole time. The egg hatched and Orbiter appeared – in pseudodragon form.

Now, I’m certainly pleased for Thorn, having his trusty companion about again, but is it really his companion in a new form? Is it really Orcbiter? How will I ever know? So many questions to be answered.

The best part of the story is that that lich’s room held FIVE HUNDRED GOLD. I could do so much with so many, shiny, pretty coins… I could even do so much with one hundred and twenty shiny, beautiful gold pieces. But one hundred? My share of the precious gold was reduced because Shandarr wants to give Erin a share of the gold that she wasn’t even there to earn. That extra gorgeous, lustrous gold, lost. To religious ethics. Religion never helped me on the streets, but GOLD could have.

In a huff, I exited the tower with the others, and my lessened spoils, to find Useless and Smarmy standing outside near a scene of collapsed bones. They had plenty of time to arrange the bones on the ground to seem like they’d actually been doing something helpful. I see through the facade. I. See. Through. It.

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Session 9 - The Diamond Mine

The heroes spent a week in Miners reach waiting for Narder Dyley to come back to them with information from Ral’Kor.
When she finally did it was with a propersition to send one of the adventurers to the nearby town of Leonia to meet another gem-bound who Ral’Kor had requested come to Miners Reach to act as a guide for the new gembound.
Erin left with a caravan to meet their new companion.

As they were eating breakfast at the Depp Shaft the heroes heard a commotion outside near the townhall. When they went to investigate they discovered two miners. One o them severely injured, who had come from the encampment at the diamond mine 20 miles to the north.

Shandaar healed the injured mans wounds but the man failed to regain consciousness.Even Shandar’s mighty healing abilities were unable to regrow the unfortunate mans right arm). The other miner, A’a’ron, explained that his brother B’la’keh had been scouting the mine with a small group when they were attacked. B’la’keh was the only survivor and somehow managed to crawl out of the mine before passing out.

The heroes took up the challenge and travelled to the mine with A’a’ron. The first sections of the mine were very well crafted and chiseled. They had already been cleared out and started to be stocked with supplies by the would-be miners. At the end of the living/stock section there was a large set of very solid looking bronze door, which were partially open with a blood trail coming out.

When Delecarn peeked through the doors he noted that there were 20-odd strange creatures mining the diamonds. The heroes readied themselves and attacked with ranged spells and arrows throgh the now open doors. The creatures (now identified as trodlodytes) made no moves against the heroes. In fact apart from the ones who died the troglodytes showed no signs of changing behaviour at all. They contined mining as if nothing had happened.

Feeling soomething suspicious was going on, Shandar advised against a continued assault.
Thorn proceeded out into the main cave and was immediately attacked by two minotaurs who had been waiting in hiding since the start of the fight (read: slaughter). In the ensueing battle Thorn was knocked out but promptly healed by Shandar, before the mintaurs were dispatched.

Delecarn decided to take a mintaur horn as a trophy. Nyvane took offence to this act of horn desecration (due to her herself having horns) and refused to take a horn. Thorn and Shandar both took minotaur horns as trophies as well.

The Troglodytes, still showning no signs of independant thoughy, continued mining like nothing had happened.
While exploring the mines thet heroes discovered and killed one more minotaur, though not without casualties (Shandar was knocked out by the minotaur) and came across a Mind Flayer. Rather than fight the creature while low on both health and resources the heroes returned to the outside encampment, bringing the bodies of the other slain miners.

After a nights rest the heroes returned to the mine with the purpose of removing the Mind Flayers foul presence from the mine. While sneaking up on the abberation, Nyvane kicked a stone and altered it, thus losing the element of suprise. However, both Delecarn and Shandar were prepared for the Tieflings blunders and unleashed an assault of fire and arrows that heavly wounded the vile illithid in the opening salvo. The Mind Flayer returned with a mind blast that rendered Nyvane stunned but Shandar Managed to shake off.
The heroes managed to dispatch the Mind Flayer with only Nyvane going down. As the last blow fell the Mind Flayers control over the troglodytes vanished and the previously enslaved creatures fled down a long tunnel into Underdark.

The heroes searched the room where the troglodytes had been taking the diamonds and discovered a stash of 17 diamonds.
They heroes returned to the surface with news that the mine had been cleared, Shandar did some more prosetylising and then thr troupe headed back to town.

For the next week while waiting for Erins return with their mysterious new companion the heroes will perform the following:

Thorn – will work with the foresters and scouts, training himself to find and track in the forests and learning about the creatures of this world
Delecarn – Will return to the mines to help in any way he can (and also to aquire as many diamonds as he can)
Nyvane – after failing to convince the smith that she could help at the forge, has decided to make herself useful with the contruction effort, ingratiating herself with the colonists.
Shandar- will also help out around town, providing healing ser clerical services while at the same time preaching the word of Bahamet. B’la’keh has agreed to help Shandar as thanks for saving his life and seems genuinly interested in hearing about how Bahamet can improve his life.

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Session 7 - Wave Echo Cave

The Heroes found wave echo cave with the help of Gundren and Reidoth. The Managed to find The Black Spider but he escaped during the ensuing fight.

While exploring the caves looking for the spell forge the Heroes fought a Flame Skull. Though they overcame the undead creature and its cohorts Thorn’s faithful companion Orcbiter was slain by a fireball. He will be missed.

The Heroes discovered the Spell Forge and when they attuned their gems the spell forge reacted and they were sucked into a different plane of existence. In the process they saw Sildar and Gundren killed by the arcane energies released by the portal. Reidoth escaped by shapeshifting into a squirrel and running as the mine started collapsing around him. His fate is unknown.

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Session 6 - Cragmaw Castle

Heroes attacked Cragmaw castle and rescued Gundren, happy times were had by all

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Session 5- Mages, Orcs and Thundertree

What happened?
Overview * NEEDS REPAIR*
Start at inn, head for Wyvern Tor
ganked by gnome, he spoke to Nyvane commandingly
Nyvane succumbs to his magical geas, divulges her back-story to party
Big bad lord in Neverwinter wants revenge
Party head back to town to seek a way to free their friend while Nyvane is compelled to find transport to make her way to Neverwinter
Party check at shrine, explain plight to sister Garaele who reveals she has heard of this lord, she is part of an organisation- the Harpers- who oppose evil like him
Party bags discount remove curse spells, cleric narrowly manages to remove the curse
Unfortunately does it in frint of the Gnome
Party gets ice blasted
Nyvane free of curse rebukes the hell out of him, and Shandarr lays on the death touch- Gnome is Gno-More
They find his journal with references to Iarno fill in deets and the stones some of them have found- named Ashym Diamonds
Party Pray at shrine, get healed and head off to check out some orcs
fight weedy vampire bat things
Near wyvern Tor their camp attracts an Owlbear, party manages to keep it at bay and Erin finishes it off with an epic blast of ice- She finds an Ashym Diamond ( or does it find her?)

Party now head to orc cave, delekahn scounts ahead, takes out a sentry
Party tries to sneak down, thorn faceplants and orcs rush out to the fight
Epic battle ensues, an ogre emerges and is blasted with the fury of Bahamut
Thorn meets his sworn enemy Axebiter, beats him near to death before he is finished by the cleric – finds diamond???

Wothing the cave there is treasure and a caged wolf- Thorn befriends the wolf, becomes his beast partner, names him Orcbiter
heading back, fight weedy vampire bat things
Party return to phandelver, attacked by hobgoblins at crossroads
Magic users Smash the goblinoid ranks, find they were send by Iarno (?)
Bury chainmail for later (wolf)(wrap in stuff so it dont rust too hard)

Head to town, appraise loot and thensmash out to Thundertree

meet ogre on the way, kill him hard- gets wolf tackled

Arrive thundertree, find druid- he advises of dragon come to roost and what sounds like cultists and possibly undead
some plant peeps too
party stealthily approach cultist area, fight some saprolings who were annoying
find place with ultists possibly inside, try to lure out with wolf howl, cultists heard within but stay inside
after a little deliberation Cleric just knocks, is introduced to favric(sic?)
they say they are off to appease dragon, party carefully head witn them

Shandarr front and centre as cultists offer him as sacrifice to the dragon (green) due to his handsome mettalic Brass features
Dragon unimpressed, uses breath weapon killing all cultists and knocking shandarr unconcious, as shandarr had somewhat expected
to his relief not instantly dead, delekajn heroically administers some health potion as the group pepper the dragon with damage
Shandarr manages to channel a spehere of Bahamuts glory onto dragon, helping do enough damage that dragon chooses to leave for safer roost

Party fins some loot including some scrolls and Hew, a dwarven axe of ancient appearance

Head back to druid, gonna tell him how great they are and find out about wave echo cave and then will head to cragmaw castle

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Session 4 - Redbrand Hideout

The Party invaded the Redbrand Hideout, which was hidden in the cellars and caves underneath Tresendar Manor.

They discovered the Tresendar Family Crypt and looted the house of their platinum signet rings.

Moving on they discovered some prisoners who were to be sold into slavery, Mirna Dendrar and her two teenage children. They released the prisoners who made their way back to town.

While exploring the caves they came across an odd creature what spoke gibberish directly into the minds. Shandar offered it gold but when he refused more if ran off, alerting the nearby guards who attacked.

The Party fought off the guards and captured the goblin Droop who had fainted when the fighting began. Droop has sworn his loyalty (whatever that’s worth) to Thorn.

They managed to fight their way through to the leader of the Redbrands but failed to capture him. They did find a missive from “Black Spider” to “Iarno” requesting that the party be taken alive if possible or killed if not. He also demanded that any dwarven maps be sent to him but did not say where.

Droop told the adventures that he, along with the bugbears, had been sent from Cragmaw Castle to help the Redbrands take over the town.

redbrand.jpg

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Session 3 - Welcome to Phandalin

The Party met up at the Stonehill Inn.
They spent the day exploring the town. They went with Sildar to the Townmaster, Harbin Wester, and received payment for delivering the wagon and for rescuing Sildar.
Harbin told them about a group of orcs that have been attacking caravans along the road near Wyvern Tor and offered a reward of 100 gold if they would get rid of them.

After the Townmaster’s Hall they Party visited the local shrine and met Sister Garaele.
While exploring the town they were accosted but a group of men in dirty red cloaks who called themself the Redbrands.

The Redbrands attacked but were quickly dispatched. In retaliation the Party went to the Sleeping Giant Inn, a known Redbrand hangout, and proceeded to kill everyone there and trash the place to spite the rude dwarf proprieter.

Then they went shopping at the Lionshield Coster where Nyvane tried to buy poison and was thrown out. Shandarr and Delicarn went to the shrine for potions and got info that a nearby druid may have more supplies.

Phandalin.jpg

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Session 2b - The Cult of Fire

After parting ways from the others Shandar, Erin and Sildar continued on to Phandalin.
Along the road they smelled smoke and became curious.

Leaving the path the heading into the hills. They followed the smoke to a small valley where they discovered a group of cultists in the middle of a summoning ritual.

They attempted to sneak to a bluff just above the ceremony but Shandar tripped and tumbled down the hill. His bumbling quickly turned into heroics and the smaller group of heroes killed the cultists and the fire demons that they were summoning.

They looted the encampment and headed on to Phandalin.

Death_Cult_Ritual.jpg

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Session 2a - The Bandit Camp

Following the Triboar Trail towards Phandalin the Party came across what they though might be where their wagon left the road.
Sildar was still injured from his captivity so he Shandar and Erin continued on to Phandalin.

Thorn, Delecarn and Nyvane followed the trail to recover their missing wagon.
They came across the goblin, who was dead beside the road. Now with certainty they followed the trail deeper into the forest.

They came across an injured sprite. While Nyvane urged that they kill the sprite and continue on their way Thorn and Delecarn overruled her and healed the poor creature. The sprite revealed itself to be a Planetar and blessed the group with a magic shield for their act of kindness

Eventually the group found the bandit camp and managed to recover the wagon, over the dead bodies of the bandits.

The rested for the night then headed back to the Triboar Trail and on to Phandalin.

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