Princes of the Apocalypse Wed Night

Return to Riverguard

Rawrly is a bit worried about Riverguard. We return to the keep to find Targrim just cleaning up from a battle with the Feathergale Knights. Five of the Silver Guards were slain or taken away as prisoners. It appears as though it is time to waste those fake knights.

After some rest, we travel back through the underground passages to the Air Cult’s temple, only to find that it opens on to the Valley leading up to Feathergale Spire. We could have enjoyed the sunshine.

Stealthily, we open one of the lower Griffon stalls to find it inhabited with what? A griffon. Having to kill such a magnificent best is a shame, but we take some consolation that we will soon be the masters of 11 other griffons. Right after we kill the Feathergale Knight watching the barn…

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Fane of the Eye

On the lower level we discover the Fane of the Eye. This central cavern joins all of the elemental cults and holds their greater elemental powers below. The cult leaders have been preparing rituals to raise their elemental powers and inflict them upon the surface dwellers.

The fire cult has several Minotaurs we confront in their chambers, as well as their leader. In a heroic battle where we near the end of lives, we lay low the Fire Minotaur leader. Daryll ran to get the nearby protecting Air Myrmadon to come and help us, giving us a compatriot for an hour.

With the Myrmadon in tow for one hour, we continue on into an abandoned rail yard inhabited by Spectres. They offer little resistance.

In the adjoining room we find two Giants, Maul and Karg. They are playing tic-tac-toe and we play several games to gain their trust. Once secured, and at the loss of several gold, we continue past them unharmed.

In the next room there is a sarcophagus of a dwarven hero named Hendrel Foebreaker. His room is near the vertical climb to the Earth cult temple. Having expended our strengths and Rawrly being at her most exhausted, we rest for the night.

We learn the names of the Elemental Powers. Imix (fire), Ogremoch the mountain that walks (earth), Ol-Hydra the dark tide (water). Yan-c-bin (air).

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Down, Down to Air Cultists Town

After a night’s rest we continue into the howling Temple’s lower level by passing through the skeletal mouth of a great wyrm. A quick search of the lower level reveals some charming harpies that invite us to dinner. We accept.

They die quickly. Not before charming us numerous times and making us jump from high places.

We come upon an altar where the leader of the Earth Temple is performing a ritual designed to strengthen his weapon. Taking them to a node on the next lower level is their design. The leaders all worship the Elemental Eye and come down here to make sacrifices. We help sacrifice the Earth Cult leader.

In an adjoining room there is a beautiful Drow sarcophagus. I bet it has some wonderful stuff in it! I con Rawrly into opening it with me, and as expected, there is a wicked trap that nearly does us in until someone realizes the trap is magical and can be dispelled. Just like that, it is dispelled. Let’s see what wonderful things are inside the coffin!

Nothing. Fuck.

Into the next connected chamber we find some of those fire minotaurs. Luring them into a narrow passage, we whittle the four of the creatures down…but at great expense. Then their leader arrives, Zagdar, and we whack him quickly. Inside his chamber there is a coffer with his riches. We liberate him of those goods.

Vannifer is the leader of the Fire Temple. Gar Shatterkeel is the leader of the Water Temple.

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Inside the Howling Temple!

Oh those silly Air Cultists!

Who starves their cult members and then expects them to stand in front of the PC train? Arrise, that’s who! The leader of the Howling Temple did not think this through…

inside there are some Kenku that have been lulled into believing that being part of the Air Cult. Rawrly demonstrates their poor life choices quickly. She cuts through them like they are made of wind. Catch that?

After clearing the bird creatures guarding the outer sanctum, the party comes upon an interior pyramid with a Wyvern guard watching the approaches to the structure. Look! The Wyvern has a mounted knight. I want to wave him down, but everyone else is interested in a Djinni digging a tunnel nearby. I’m not going near that thing because they eat your eyebrows…or so I am told.

Deryll steps forward to talk to the air-master and discovers that he has been bound to service by the howling Temple’s leader Arrise using a mystical horn. I suddenly REALLY want that horn. Imagine how useful a Djinni would be!

The ancient elemental is a little miffed at being bound to the Howling Temple as its personal escavator, so he tells us that we might get past the Wyvern guard if we simply pretend to be groveling air cultists. Acting is my speciality.

The stupid knight must have been sitting on his brains too long because he lets us pass after only a little groveling. I was prepared to really lay it on thick. What a waste.

Once inside, we find Arrise almost immediately, with that wonderful horn hanging behind her. I am definitely getting that horn unless someone in the party casts shatter on it before I get there. Oh yes. That happened.

All that is left is to kill her. For some reason that is very easy to do. Air cultists are wussies.

It is not long before we clear the rest of the Howling Temple of air cultists. They really fall apart without their leader. In a matter of several rounds, we confront the remaining cultists and slaughter them. Now it is time for the loot!

Looting turns out to be the hard part. There is an Umber Hulk that all but gets me in its belly. Then a bunch pf paralyzing ghouls. Also, the dice bot only goes up to 7 for the remainder of this adventure! Against all odds, and specifically the dice bot, we kill all of the creatures and start to loot the bodies.

There’s a little bit of stuff. Enough to pay the Riverguard Keep mercenaries for a week. This adventuring is clearly not a “for profit” activity.

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On the road to the Air Cultists!

Following a VERY brief rest, we return to the underground river and the locked gate leading to the (Feathergale Society) Temple of the Howling Hatred. It might have been a good idea to enter from the surface, where we befriended the Feathergale Knights and might enter as compatriots. But we don’t. We like a challenge. So we enter from the lower dungeon level.

The Temple is of the ancient dwarven construction, similar to the other underground cultist areas. The hallways are large here, likely to allow for some winged creatures to roam. In the first room there are some gaunt humanoids resting. We help them rest longer.

Nearby we hear loud grinding coming from a room with great spindles set into the floor. Commoners turn the spindle by leaning upon its spokes and circling the center pedestal. Two Wind Priests watch from nearby. Rawrly determines they must die, and charges to attack. It is not long before they agree to comply.

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Theluna Ma

After killing the last of the Crushing wave cult we come face to face with the Sea Hag Theluna Ma. We are weakened, but intent upon slaying her. As we hack our way through her lizard men, she recognizes that we are carrying Gar Shattlekeel’s trident. She wants it, and will negotiate a truce and passage for the weapon.

Having the back door guarded for Riverguard Keep seems like a pretty good deal, so we take it! during the negotiation we also learn that one of the passages we explored leads to the Air Cult. What a great bit of free information. AND, it turns out the Air Cult uses a false face known as the Featherguard. Dirty air cultists!

A safe return to Riverguard is followed by some much-needed rest and the reminder that we are in hock to the hired men-at-arms for 400gp in 10 days’ time. No rest for the weary.

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The Further We Go!

Beneath the Keep we continue to make our way through the Crushing Wave cultists. In an old room, clearly part of the ancient Dwarves construction, there is a guardian who asks us if we can answer his question before being allowed to the lower level. I try to fake an answer about water, but the guardian does not buy it.

We move on, hoping to discover the answer to the cryptic question from some of the cultists. Fortunately, we find some of those nearby. Let’s see if they want to talk.

They die too quickly to be of use. Into the next room. Oooh, it’s Gar Shatterkeel the barnacled sailor. He is protected by an army of lizard men who charge as we break into his altar room. One fireball later, the lizard folk become our frog-leg dinner. yum.

Gar tries to put up a fight, but he does not do a good job. He too, dies too quickly. He also does not tell us any good information about how to get into the underground passage guarded by the guardian.

Thee is a secret tunnel under the water nearby that we save for a later swim. We just ate the lizard folk and Gar’s abnormal claw hand (delicious). So we ave to wait a half hour.

Luckily there are more cultists. lizard men and ogres to kill in the big room. We lay down a spike strip and they just keep walking over it, giving themselves flat tires. On guy tries to call the great dragon turtle using the nearby gong, but I steal his gong-basher away and that just makes him mad…then dead.

With the room mostly cleared the ogres start to waddle in. Looks like it is about to get messy.

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Under Riverguard

There are troubles below the Keep. The Crushing Wave cult retreated below the keep and up a long river. We return to Riverguard and descend to clear the place. Most of the cultists go down easily, but of course there are bridge trolls and lizard men in plentiful numbers. We are forced to retreat.

Back at the Keep we find that the Keep is being protected well and there is a cost being set for repairs. About $10,000 gp to fix the place up. Targrem has 10 men watching the Keep and reports that activities have risen and some trade is underway.

The mason (Vontheth) lets us know that he has experienced some challenges with the Vulture Men in the area. They took his men captive. He is open to some trade for rescuing his people.

The Crushing Wave cultists require handling first, and so we descend back below the Keep to deal with them. Knowing the Lizard Men await us, we try to skirt them. There are ghouls in the way, but they burst into flame when fireballed. We continue through the complex and come upon an insectoid creature that speaks to us, asking what we “serve”. Clearly it is protecting the room for the cultists, but answering water does not convince the creature we are to be obeyed. Baern unloads rays of flame and the fight begins.

The insect vomits forth some gaseous poison that blinds, stings, and sickens. It is nearly deadly to everyone, so we run for the nearest exit.

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Return To Red LArch

We travel south out of Rivergard to meet up with our Dwarven benefactor Bruthendar at the Swinging Sword Inn. We arrive at night and meet Kay Lessa the innkeeper.
We recovered some books from the Sacred Stone Monestary and Rivergard. There are 12 books at 25gp each to pass to him. That night, we gather our money and thoughts.

Bruthendar tells us about some of what is going on in the area. About 600 years ago, the Knights of the Silver Horn built a series of forts around the valley (Rivergard, Feather Keep, Sacred Stone Monestary). They were built upon older structures, possibly upon the Dwarven Kingdom of Besseldur.

Bruthendar does not know where the Fire Cultists reside. But he thinks there might be someone around town who knows. The plan, then, is to squeeze the town for info before we send Rawrly into combat at the Sacred Stone Monestary!

A quick visit this evening to the Helm at Highsun. Garland, the proprietor, is pleased to see us alive. We are told to ask at Thelorn’s Safe Journey’s tomorrow. The locals are most concerned with the strange weather and the local barbarian tribes (the Ghost Tribe) from the far eastern side of the valley in the High Forest. Mostly human barbarians, who are known by Halea at the Bath House in town.

The brewmaster Justrin gives us a free round. I pass mine to Rawrly to test it, and sure enough, it be poisoned. Justrin is probably going to not like the results. We check the cellar, but he is not there.

Justrin has a home in town, and we also search the streets to find him. He is at his home in travel gear, getting ready to escape into the night. Foolishly, he chooses to confront and not to retreat. In a matter of 6 seconds we render him unconscious so that Rawrly can interrogate him.

Justrin has some letters that match the writing found in Rivergard Keep, that describe the comings and goings of townsfolk and our party. He is the snitch sending info to Gar Shatterkeel through Joliver Grimjaw at Rivergard. From goods in his house, it appears that Justrin was a mercenary living in Red Larch and became involved in the Cult of the Crushing Wave (water cultists).

Deryll finds the poison recipe that was written by another and given to Justrin. Justrin wakes and we begin letting him know we killed Joliver and took Rivergard. We trick him into divulging that Gar Shatterkeel is below Rivergard in the Temple of the Crocheted Wave.

We sleep the night, a restful sleep now that we know our spy in Red Larch is revealed. The next day, we gather goods and head back to Rivergard to see if Gar has surfaced. We get horses at Thelorn’s and learn that an Omnion merchant came through with an object that had a strange bowl shaped symbol (bottom right of Red Larch map is fire). This merchant was going to a gathering of Scarlet Moon Druids in the Sumber Hills. It is a regular event and they may be found at any time.

Willowsmasher heads to contact Haeleeyas at The Bath House to learn what he can of the Ghost Tribe Barbarians. The sign is peculiar as the two central "e"s are in green.
Rumor: Alifar, Deryll’s mentor, has been disappeared on the way to the High Forest! He was headed to Shadowtop Cathedral, a base for the Emerald Enclave.
Be good to the Tree Ghost Tribe, They are friendly with the Emerald Enclave.

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Rivergard Runs Dry

We arrive at the Rivergard Keep, where those wet bastards live protected behind their gates and iron bars. Sneaking in a window, I create havok and allow the rest of the party the opportunity to bluff the guards into opening the gates and iron bars. So much for protection.
“What’s the first rule of owning a Keep?”

That’s right. Never open the door.

Sweeping through the compound, we slay everyone in a matter of minutes. Unknown to us, some of the watery slime hide themselves and others escape out of the harbor in the large ship.

That seems of little concern to the new owners of Rivergard.

It’s not long before the Crushing Wave Reavers feel their oats rising and they attempt to kill us as we are cleaning he Keep of vermin. It turns out we cannot tell them from vermin, and they are exterminated.

Now it is time to sleep and enjoy the spoils of our war!

Tollard visits from the river. He trades food with us, then departs.

We sent the old cooks to Womford to gather a force of guards to man the Rivergard while we are on our travels. We negotiate a price with them and they depart, but not after we have to kill one of them that has been eyeing the bag of gold with a twisted demeanor.

In the evening, something swims under the chains and into the Keep’s Harbor. A squirrel from the surrounding woodlands comes to me and tells me there is something in the water. How strange. I want to kill and eat the squirrel, but maybe it has a point.

The initiative tracker starts, so there must be something to this squirrel’s warning! “Into battle!”

Merrow, obviously the stooges of the old water cultists, try to attack by sneaking ashore. I raise the alarm and the fighting lasts a short time as the Merrow discover they are not ready for a land battle (in central Asia). They die.

The Silver-greaves, led by Targen, return and take control of the Keep for us. We prepare to depart for Red Larch to return the tomes to our Dwarven compatriot.

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