Princes of the Apocalypse Wed Night

Red Larch on the way to YarTar

Malice requested we deliver a longsword of some quality to YarTar. The path to the North will take us through Red Larch, where Daryll believes his mentor has left a message at the Bath House. I am so tired from the travel, and so I stick my face in a bowl of soup and slip off to rest.

Kayla Irckle says there is a Fire Witch haggling some Halflings to the North just east of Westbridge. That sounds like a side-quest. We take note, knowing that side-quests remain in stasis until the party decides to activate it.

Daryll’s letter indicates his mentor has continued into the High Forest far to the East. However, he was waylaid by orcs raiding the eastern Desserin Valley.

The Druids: They are awaiting the Right of the Wicker Giant. The Great Druid in the tower has called followers from the surrounding the area to serve the druids and nature in Dessarin Valley in the Circle of the Sacred Moon. We meet Varigo, Mahoone, Iniri and Fariya, draped in robes and awaiting the ritual this evening.

Storol and Wiglaf are in the next camp north. They are warriors, gruff in character and short on words.

We continue on to the central black tower where the Wicker Giant stands ready to be burned. Two druids pray nearby, and one of them is clearly marked with the Fire Cult tattoos. Elezar is in charge (High Druid) and Baern casts a spell upon the druids to make them more friendly to us. They like us. But they don’t like us, like us. That frustrates Baern a bit and so he decides to just lightning bolt them. Sergor is in the middle of negotiating an opportunity for us to work as armed guards for the Sacred Moon, only to be interrupted by the smell of ozone.

Turns out the Fire Cult can cast fireballs. That is a little bit of trouble for us, as we tend to run into battle grouped up. Rawrly takes an initial wacking, but the tide of battle recovers quickly. The Wicker Giant is called to fiery life by the nearest priest, and presents an all new challenge. Rawrly has to go toe-to-toe, which would not be a problem except for the incidental damage caused by its burning exterior.

Baern shatters the thing’s leg and places it off balance long enough that Rawrly is able to quench its flame. It is not long after that the guards and the priest fall to our onslaught.

In the midst of battle I called down to the camps, saying that we were deceived by the Druids of the Sacred Moon. My hope is for help from the good campers surrounding the Black Tower.

That does not work. They toss off their robes and reveal themselves to be more Fire Cultists of the Eternal Flame! Maybe it’s not all of the campers, but it is enough. Now they charge the top of the hill to trade their lives for the protection of their tower.

When the dust settles across the camps (or the smokey haze of several pounds of roasting vegetation) the campers who believed they were supporting the local lands have found themselves duped. We send them on their way, with the Black Tower still uninvestigated. Now that the locals are safe (not that it seems that important an action to me), we turn our attention to the Tower!

View
Malice of the Bargewright Inn

We travel to the Bargewright Inn via river to speak with Malice, one of the Zhentarim and a friend of Targrem’s. He has some tasks for us to accomplish in exchange for information about the cults (and money). in exchange for taking a longsword to Yartar, he will arrange a 1/2 price employment of the masons working on Riverguard Keep.

Deal.

We pick up a few supplies and start out via road to Red Larch with the intent to communicate with Darryl;s mentor there. Following that, we will travel the Larch Path to investigate the druids at Sacred Moon Hall. Then we will meet our boat captain at The Stone Bridge.

Out in the wilderness we encounter some Sky Weavers! Looks like we did not kill all of them. More XP for us!

View
Baern is a Wereboar!

Overnight, Baern turns into a Wereboar. It turns out that he was scratched by Riverguard Keep’s old owner (who was a wereboar). Darryl spends a great deal of time attempting to convince us that we should not kill Baern and that we can cure him of the lycanthropy. Rawrly is not entirely convinced, and so decides to only kill him somewhat.

Darryl was right though. He can be cured. I am disappointed in the decision to give up a perfectly good wereboar ally.

View
Bedding Down at Riverguard

It is time to return to Riverguard with the rescued Silverguards taken captive by the Feathergale Knights. The long road home allows us plenty of time to converse and discuss what we will do next. Unfortunately, we do none of that and just quietly return to Riverguard with our loot.

Targrem is pleased, and offers us a free month of the Silverguard’s service. What a bargain! Then Deryll offers to give them 400gp for free to make them happy. I thought they were already happy. Very confusing.

Another night of rest will give Rawrly her full recovery from all of that raging, so we decide to sleep in our own Keep. Taking several posts throughout the Keep, the night takes us to sweet dreams.

Unfortunately, and unknown to us, Baern was infected by the wereboar a full moon ago. Guess how full the moon is tonight? It’s so full that Baern turns into a wereboar himself and decides to attack the Keep. Rawrly does not think that is cool, so starts to stab Baern over and over (but in a nice way). Baern gives up in the face of Rawrly’s commitment to battering him into unconsciousness.

A few days later we have cured all of the wounded potential wearboars and we are ready to get underway with our next adventure. What will that be?

View
Return to Feathergale

Can you believe the Feathergale Knights now need to ALSO be crushed? Well they do. Those “false faced” pigeon-lovers have been fronting for the Air Cultists. Obviously, the smart way to travel to the spire is through the underground tunnels and arrive with the element of surprise…unless the underground passage comes above ground right where we would have traveled via the overland route.

Yep, that happened.

We approach the lowest level of the spire where the stables holding hippogriffs are. The sneak approach seldom is successful, and this use does not disappoint. We are immediately discovered and engage in combat. From the lowest level to the pinnacle we climb, slaying all those before us. It is not until the highest level that we encounter serious opponents mounted upon the horrible vultures, circling the tower and pelting us with arrows.

Though they outnumber us and are mounted upon powerful creatures, they succumb to our greater will. Not without some heroic moments, however. Rawrly and I have to leap from the tower to kill the last Knights…a rather exciting six seconds culminating in ground impact. Not enough to kill us, but I will consider alternate means of descent in the future.

Through the spire we travel gathering gold and equipment. We discover a note indicating that our new compatriot’s search for a Waterdeep noble may be in vain.

“Merosska, We are pleased to hear about the outcome of your altercation with the Black Earth cult, and we praise you for the capture of one of their prisoners. This noblewoman from Waterdeep has an interesting tale to tell, and we shall enjoy interrogating her further. Keep a close watch on the Sacred Stone Monastery. I want to know what our enemy is planning next. Your beloved queen, Aerisi Kalinoth”

It looks like it is time to enter the underground passages forming the central elemental node yet again.

View
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…

View
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).

View
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.

View
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.

View
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.

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.