A Relic of the Past

Session 43
Descent

Peaceday, 1844 Wind 18

  • After healing Elias, the party returns to town to see if Zora and Pan are feeling better. This also gives Vayol a chance to rest and recover his spell slots. Elias tags along.
  • They return to the cave later that evening and meet Ona and Erathar. Vayol asks Ona a few more questions about what lies beneath. Then he performs the marriage ceremony, and the two lovers fade away.
  • The party descends the staircase. It is a few hundred feet long.
  • At the bottom of the stairs, they find themselves in a large hallway. The floor and walls are made of the same bluish stone. The floor is perfectly smooth, but the walls are worked stone. Vayol estimates this place is from the pre-Burning era, older even than the Empire itself.
  • Further down the hallway, they enter a much larger chamber. The walls here are perfectly smooth, like the floor. Flanking the entrance to this room are two large stone statues. Ahead is a large stone, nearly translucent green like a gemstone, standing upright.
  • Vayol and Elias read the engraving on the stone, but they come to different conclusions about what it says. Vayol reads, “Axiom is the beginning of all things.” Elias reads, “Ixuum is the end of all things.” He’s pretty adamant that Vayol is misreading it. Taking a closer look, Vayol realizes it somehow says both at once.
  • Elias is greatly disturbed by this place, especially the talk of Ixuum, so soon after his most recent ordeal. He decides to turn back.
  • The party begins exploring the room more closely. Vayol casts Find Traps which reveals that something in the room will animate a statue and lock them inside. D’Jango makes some Investigation checks but doesn’t find anything.
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Session 42
Goo-be-gone

Peaceday, 1844 Wind 18

Potterstead

  • In the morning, Vayol, D’Jango, and Salazar leave the inn fetch Elias from the stable. Pan and Zora are sleeping in, possibly after a long night of revelry.
  • When they arrive at the stable, it’s clear that Elias consumed and absorbed some of the smaller farm animals. He’s also not even remotely human anymore. He seems docile enough, so they transport him in a wheelbarrow out of town and up the trail.

Bandit Cave

  • Salazar downs a potion of giant’s strength and carries Elias-blob in a sack to the hilltop above the cave. Their rope is still there, leading down into the entrance they made in the roof. Salazar is able to navigate the rope carrying Elias-blob easily.
  • They place Elias-blob on the pedestal. Vayol uses Command to compel him to cast a spell, exposing his soul to the lawfully-aligned magic of the area in a bid to reverse the transformation.
  • When Elias-blob speaks, it comes out as gibberish, and the party has to make Wisdom saves against the madness-inducing language. At one point, D’Jango fails his save and slashes Vayol with his sword.
  • When the spellcasting succeeds, Vayol tried to quickly follow up with a restorative spell. Lesser Restoration doesn’t seem to work, so he dials it up to Remove Curse. However, casting these higher-level spells risks overexposing himself to the axiomatic aura of the place.
  • While he regains a few human physical traits, Elias seems to not be enjoying the process. At one point, when a casting of Augury fails, he screams “Woe!” in anguish, flinging the divining stones against a wall. Later, when he’s able to speak, and when Vayol’s spells are nearly spent, he begs to be killed if the process can’t be completed immediately.
  • Vayol manages to completely restore Elias to his human form, but he’s taken on the opposite metaphysical imbalance himself, and they’re not sure they have a way to reverse it.
  • Elias is relieved nearly to the point of tears at being restored. However, his gratitude is interrupted. The pedestal cracks and crumbles, revealing a spiral staircase that leads down into the earth.
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Session 41
No Body to Love

Zealday, 1844 Wind 17

Bandit Cave

  • Vayol and D’Jango ask the wight where the wraith is, but he doesn’t answer.
  • Pan casts Detect Thoughts on the wight. Despite the wight not answering, she is able to see that it’s thinking about the wraith sinking into the ground. She shares this with the party, but nobody is sure what that means.
  • Pan probes deeper into the wight’s thoughts. Its primary motivation manifests as a memory, oddly not from its past life. Dr. Suterre raised Erathar as a corporeal wight and Ona as an incorporeal wraith. This difference kept the two former lovers from being together. Suterre told them he’d join their souls in the afterlife after they were finished serving him.
  • Vayol realizes that Suterre is using this longing in their souls for his own ends, both as a means to sustain them in their undead forms and to let him exert influence over them. Vayol offers to marry them using Ceremony. The wight Erathar agrees.
  • As a wraith, Ona’s able to move through solid material, and she’s been exploring something beneath the bandit cave. They wait around for Ona to reappear, which she does around sunset.
  • Ona is delighted with this marriage plan. She reveals that, at Suterre’s direction, she’s been exploring a vast underground complex, looking from the inside for a way in. She’s been unsuccessful, but she also has only explored a little of it. There is a spiral staircase that terminates beneath the magical stone pedestal in the main room.
  • Vayol explains that he’ll need to rest before he can perform the Ceremony. He tells them to stay hidden and that he’ll return tomorrow.
  • The party gathers the treasure stolen from Potterstead and head home.
  • Ian Cooper (the party’s torchbearer, who waited outside the cave) asks if the monsters who killed his daughter have been slain. Vayol lies by omission and assures Ian that they won’t be a problem anymore.

Potterstead: Rolling Leaf Inn

  • The people of Potterstead are grateful that the undead are vanquished and that their valuables are returned. Since the mayor was killed, Vayol appoints Tess to distribute the treasure fairly to the families. She is trusted and well-liked. She reluctantly agrees.
  • The whole town celebrates. The ale flows freely. D’Jango brings down the house with a jaw-dropping performance on his magical mandolin.
  • Ian Cooper confides that the entire ordeal has inspired him to become an adventurer himself. With his daughter dead, he feels the calling to avenge her and others by taking the oath of a paladin.

Potterstead: Docks

  • When they go to fetch Elias, they hear shouting and crashing dishes. Vayol enters the boat’s cabin and sees Elias, barely human at this stage, backed into a corner while the shipmaster wields a cargo net, halfway as a shield. The room is a disaster.
  • The shipmaster is furious. He demands to have his contract settled immediately. After some tense negotiations, Pan offers him a share of the treasure they’re sure to find. He eagerly agrees at the opportunity to enrich himself, but he still insists that the Elias-creature is not welcome on his boat.
  • Elias seems to understand simple words, but his replies are gibberish. They cover him and move him through town.

Potterstead: Rolling Leaf Inn

  • The party is ready to crash for the night. Tess is happy to provide lodgings for free, but she’s less sure what to do about Elias. They find an empty stable and leave him there.
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Session 40
Pottersdead, Part 6

Zealday, 1844 Wind 17

  • The party struggles against the remaining specters.
  • A tiefling shows up and uses Lightning Lure to draw one of the specters off of Zora.
  • Eventually, all of the specters are defeated.
  • The tiefling introduces herself as Pan and insists she knows Zora from the streets of Dabokva. Zora has no memory of this person, but Pan seems to know a lot about Zora.
  • Vayol is quietly suspicious of this demon-spawn showing up conveniently. Pan offers to heal the party as a sign of good faith, through which Vayol notices that Pan carries a spark of the divine.
  • As she heals the party, Pan tells the story of Zora’s sacrifice. The two urchins had been forced to steal a magical artifact. On their way out with the item in-hand, the guards were closing in on the pair. Zora created a distraction so Pan could escape with some money. After that, Zora disappeared with the item. For years, Pan wasn’t sure if Zora had been caught or not, until she started seeing wanted posters recently. She determined then to track down her friend.
  • The party carefully progresses through the rest of the cave, vigilant for traps. They make their way to the jail.
  • D’Jango scouts ahead and finds the wight, alone and inert in one of the cells.
  • Pan uses Mage Hand to silently lock the wight in its cell. It gets up and begins screaming to be released.
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Session 39
Pottersdead, Part 5

Zealday, 1844 Wind 17

  • After the zombies are defeated, the remaining specters retreat into the darkness and fade through the walls. There is a long, uncomfortable silence.
  • The party decides to take a short rest in the shaft of sunlight to recover. D’Jango’s 8 freaking owls expire.
  • After resting, the party decides to explore. They get some light sources going and begin searching the barracks. It’s empty, but they discover a false wall leading to a narrow passage.
  • After the party enters the passage, specters emerge from the walls to attack and then retreat back into the wall. The party can’t counterattack through the stone walls. They’re forced to retreat from the passage, but they learn that it leads back around to the atrium.
  • Fearing further specter ambushes, the party resolves to rush through the next narrow passage that leads from the main hall to the back room. Unfortunately, this rushing causes them to trigger the Circle of Death trap. Everyone takes full damage from it.
  • However, their heedless rush pays off. D’Jango is able to Counterspell a robed figure’s attempt to Disguise Self as Veluar Vawaryn. It is, in fact, Erit Suterre.
  • They immediately lay into the guy, but he casts Dimension Door and disappears. (D’Jango’s attempt to counter it fails.)
  • A gloom of specters emerges from the walls, laying waste to the party. More life drain. Zora, D’Jango, and Salazar are on death’s door.
  • Vayol casts Aid and gets everyone back on their feet. However, a number of specters remain.
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Session 38
Pottersdead, Part 4

Zealday, 1844 Wind 17

  • Vayol uses Locate Object to pinpoint the platform, then uses Knowledge of the Ages (1 use of Channel Divinity out of 2) to place the refined whale oil charges.
  • Salazar secures a rope to a tree, ready to be descended.
  • The blast is well-placed and creates a 10-foot-wide hole into the platform chamber. The dust cloud prevents the party from seeing down into the hole.
  • D’Jango summons 8 freaking owls, who begin flapping their wings to clear the cloud. Zora also fans with Vayol’s shield. As the dust cloud begins to disperse, a number of specters begin hit-and-run attacks, retreating back into the darkness below.
  • Zora slides down the rope to wade into battle. Vayol also. D’Jango stays topside but orders his 8 freaking owls to fly down and attack. Salazar keeps his distance and fires his crossbow from above but soon decides to descend also.
  • Vayol drops a Turn Undead, sending a number of zombies and specters fleeing. The other party members stay within the shaft of sunlight and begin mopping the floor with the low-level undead.
  • At one point, a number of zombies swarm Zora and drag her into the darkness where two specters drain away some of her life. Salazar too suffers from significant life drain.
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Session 37
Pottersdead, Part 3

Truesday, 1844 Wind 16

  • One of the civilians saved, Ian Cooper, agrees to carry a torch while the party tracks where the zombie horde came from.
  • They follow the main trail to the east, keeping an eye out for where zombies may have split off. D’Jango flies above, scouting with his goggles of darkvision.
  • Along the way, they find a lone zombie. It’s dispatched with ease, but Ian is not at ease. He claims it’s his daughter and insists that they stop to bury her. Salazar furtively searches the body for valuables, and Vayol performs last rites. D’Jango’s fly spell wears off.
  • The trail leads them to a familiar cave, one once occupied by bandits. The main entrance is still sealed from before.
  • The trail goes into a clear pool of water just outside the cave’s old entrance. D’Jango suits up with invisibility, goggles of darkvision, and a potion of waterbreathing. He enters the pool and finds a few shiny bits of silver and copper dot the bottom. Further back, he finds a second underwater entrance to the cave.
  • He enters the cave through the kitchen and finds the same layout as before. A cloud of specters and a group of zombies surround the stone dais in the main room, endlessly and mindlessly circling it.
  • D’Jango doesn’t venture any further and returns to the party with news. They discuss what to do next.
  • The party decides to camp on the hilltop above the cave system that night, and at noon the next day, they’ll blast through the ceiling using the bottles of concentrated whale oil. The sunlight from overhead should neutralize their enemies’ advantage.
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Session 36
Pottersdead, Part 2

Truesday, 1844 Wind 16

Night at the Potterstead east gate

  • The party waits in the abandoned guard tower to observe the exchange.
  • A number of civilians quietly emerge from the city and gather in an old campsite right outside the east gate. Each has a bundle in his/her arms.
  • Shortly, a shuffling horde of dozens of zombies appear from up the trail. The wight, who was once an elf, pushes his way through the horde to speak with the civilians.
  • Each civilian presents a treasure to the wight. The treasure from the first is accepted, and he flees back into the town. The second’s is rejected, and the wight draws out his life with a touch, killing him instantly.
  • At this point, the party ambushes the zombies. Vayol fires his wand of lightning into the horde of zombies, catching about half of them. The light from that spell is just enough to illuminate the battlefield during the coordinated attack. Salazar fires at the wight, wounding it but angering it. D’Jango casts a protection spell on Zora, who leaps down from the tower, crushing a zombie as she lands.
  • The wight instructs his zombies to scatter, and he retreats, treasure in hand. The party begins to wipe out the zombies (many of whom get back up and continue fighting) and lights both gas lamps to eliminate the zombies’ advantage.
  • During the fight, both halflings leap from the guard tower and crater into the ground.
  • One of the zombies is Tess’s half-brother Gus. Zora puts him down without a second thought, as she never met him.
  • D’Jango casts Fly on himself and pursues the wight, but the former ranger disappears into the undergrowth.
  • Two civilians fall during the battle, but the other three are safe. They are grateful but fearful of the wraith’s retribution.
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Session 35
Pottersdead, Part 1

Truesday, 1844 Wind 16

  • D’Jango quickly shuts down the bar brawl with a hypnotic pattern.
  • A grateful Tess answers Vayol‘s and D’Jango’s questions while Zora and Salazar keep wary eyes on the bar patrons.
    • The town has been overrun by undead: zombies and specters, plus a wight and a wraith.
    • The wraith and wight are working together, extorting the town for all its valuables.
    • The wight, who may or may not be Erathar, creates zombies. Many of the people killed by the wight dig themselves out of their own graves and join his growing horde. Tess’s half-brother Gus was among the casualties.
    • The wraith creates specters and also takes sick pleasure from turning the townspeople against one another by offering rewards to whoever can bring her the most treasure.
    • The zombies collect the treasure at the east gate after dark and carry it out of town up the trail. This is the same trail that leads to the old bandit cave (now sealed) and the hermitage where Durnoth resides.
  • Vayol fills the party in on the strengths and weaknesses of zombies, specters, wights, and wraiths, based on his vast knowledge of undead.
  • The party resolves to end this siege on the city. It’s late evening, so they head toward the east gate to meet the zombies when they arrive to collect the treasure.
  • Salazar considers silvering up his crossbow bolts in preparation of the coming battle, but D’Jango gives him a bunch of +1 bolts instead.
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Session 34
A New Deal

Almsday, 1844 Wind 7

Peaceday, 1844 Wind 11

  • The party arrives at the cove. All is quiet.
  • The party solicits Salazar to bankroll the dragon’s payments in exchange for a share of the dragon’s horde. Zora insists that he must fight alongside them to earn a share. Vayol lobbies for a well-reasoned agreement. Salazar offers to cover the payments for a year and join the fight, in exchange for 40% of the horde. The party reluctantly agrees.
  • The payment to Undazudrir is left at Potter’s Cove. Salazar has the platinum for it on-hand! D’Jango attunes the Rod of Dowsing to one of the platinum pieces so they can find it later.
  • The party sails on toward Potterstead to hopefully get Elias some magical treatment. They see a few winged kobolds descend on the place where they left the treasure.

Almsday, 1844 Wind 14

  • Elias begins waking people in the middle of the night and gibbering at them. He seems earnest and almost panicked, as if whatever he’s saying is vitally important. However, no one can understand a word of his ramblings.

Truesday, 1844 Wind 16

  • The party arrives in Potterstead. The shipmaster is headed back to Baleton but agrees to stay docked for up to a week in exchange for 50gp if they intend to return with him. They pay him.
  • It is late in the evening, but even so, the mood of the town has changed. A pack of wild dogs runs through the street. Shutters are closed tight. Lights are doused.
  • The Vawaryn summer home has been vandalized. Broken windows, missing valuables, and the staff is nowhere to be found. Other buildings around town share this fate.
  • They decide to head to the Rolling Leaf Inn.
  • The ban on weapons is no longer enforced, as evidenced by the defaced sign: “NO WEAPONS ALLOWED.” They hear a brawl going on inside. A fight has broken out over a game of chance. No money is on the table, though—only a pile of (likely stolen) items: silverware, brass buttons, a crushed pewter goblet.
  • Tess is standing up on the bar, prepared to defend it from collateral damage. The party decides to enter the fight and end it.
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