Tomb Raiders!

Tomb of Tourism - ToH

Can true evil ever be truly eradicated?

Mira, Kallisto, Nyssor and Ishka are curtly summoned to The Old Woman’s mansion, where they are surprised to encounter two newer recruits, Maugh the Hobgoblin and Ren’Tek the Kobold. After initial pleasantries (and confirming that Ren’Tek is not part of the West Dragon Kobold Cult), Tejhan is nowhere to be seen, causing the adventurers to search the mansion and follow an odd creaking sound. In an adjacent room, they encounter The Old Woman for the first time.

The Old Woman is crass and short with the party. She quickly convinces Maugh and Ren’Tek to sign contracts despite their lack of knowledge regarding anything about it. The party inquires about Tejhan, but The Old Woman curtly informs the group that he is feeling under the weather and they’ll have to deal with her. Indeed, this latest adventure involves her directly.

The party is told that The Old Woman was once part of a mercenary group that discovered the fabled Tomb of Horrors. One of them was successful in receiving the greatest treasure of the Tomb, but he disappeared immediately after acquiring it, leaving the rest of the group to explore the Tomb on their own. The Old Woman is not clear on what happened after that, but mentions that her boss sought to revive a dark God, and that it did not take long for things to become very messy with the other mercenaries.

The survivors swore to never return to the Tomb, or reveal it’s location to outsides. Unfortunately, they did tell their children. The Old Woman claims that every few years this means she has to clean up the mess cause by these adventurer’s children, and that’s exactly what’s happened today. The son of a famed dwarf runepriest has returned to the Tomb, and is attempting to turn it into a tourist destination. There is dark magic still remaining in the Tomb, but one item in particular must be removed, for it is no longer safe: a wishing gem.

The Old Woman describes the destructive power of the wishing gem. She believes the destruction of Cyre to be caused by someone using a wishing gem, perhaps because they asked for world peace and the gem twisted their desire, or because someone wished for something else, and the gem destroyed that country to help power the wish. In either event, the wishing gem must be removed for safekeeping.

The party agrees to the task after the promise of increased pay, and are led to a secret dock for The Old Woman’s airship. The party journeys to the Kaparian Island and lands in a desolate, swampy area. They quickly find a trail that the dwarf’s son has created, and The Old Woman sends them on their way, staying behind to prepare for resurrections that might inevitably occur.

The party quickly encounters the dwarf’s son, Silverton, who is eager to give the new arrivals a preview of the tour. After collecting a gold coin from each, Silverton helps them avoid the fake tunnels and brings them into the Tomb of Horrors. Silverton is a poor tour guide, but he is enthusiastic about the subject matter. After explaining how one of the portals works to enter areas deeper in the tomb safely, it fails to work properly. Rather then wait for Silverton to fix the gate, the party enters it while the mist is still functioning, causing them to be transported to a small room with three levers. The party begins to attempt to use the levers, but before things get too far, Nyssor encourages the party to prepare for the possibility of a sudden fall. The adventurers restrain themselves to the wall, which comes in handy when all levers are pulled forward, and the floor falls out underneath them.

After climbing back up near the top, the adventurers restore the floor. Cautiously, all levers are now pushed forward, and the party is elevated to a room with three chests, although two have been destroyed. Rather then risk further punishment, the party passes the remaining chest, and follows a tunnel leading deeper into the Tomb.

The party emerges into a narrow hallway filled of statutes of various creatures. They meet back up with Silverton, who has finally gotten the gate working properly. He points out that each statute used to have an orb, but when the party confronts him about what he’s done with the orbs, he is forced to admit that he’s been selling them for money. Without much thought, he hits one of the statutes, which suddenly comes alive and tosses him into a trap. Immediately after, each statue begins to come alive, and the party is forced to defend themselves.

The battle is brutal, but the party emerges victorious, with no statutes remaining. Silverton is helped out of the pit, and after a short break, the journey into the Tomb continues. The party passes a chapel perverted by evil, before encountering a hidden door that Silverton does not know how to open. The party notices immediately that the artifact box provided by The Old Woman is glowing. Within it are two remove affliction rituals, which the party uses to open the door.

Immediately they encounter a minotaur, who quickly identifies himself as Ward. He is very enthusiastic about the traps in the Tomb of Horrors, and is obviously very proud and happy to be the Minotaur of the Tomb of Horrors. Silverton is not amused, and demands that the party kill the Minotaur immediately. Despite being enthusiastic about traps, the party finds Ward to be endearing, and refuses. Silverton makes an ultimatum, threatening to attack the party if they do not destroy the Minotaur. Maugh, Kallisto and Mira both taken turns intimidating Silverton, and he loses his will to attach the party, quickly leaving the Tomb, but threatening to take his revenge one day. Ward, meanwhile, is very enthusiastic to show off his traps.

Ward laments that many of the traps on this side have suffered serious damage. A spike pit no longer has many spikes, besides the make-shift ones Ward has made, and the spike cannon no longer works. He attempts to ask the party to help fix it, but despite Ren’Tek’s desire to assist, the party insists that finding the wishing gem must be the first priority at this time. Ward leads them to another room, surrounded by tapestries depicting underwater life. Suddenly, Ward begins to laugh, as the door behind him locks. He has designed a trap of his own in this room, and in his own words, “it is totally wizard.”

Water begins to pour out from behind the tapestries. The adventurers try to rip off the tapestries to get behind them, while water continues to engulf them. Each plays a part in helping remove the tapestries, but it is primarily the thievery skills of Ren’Tek that disable the trap and allow the party to continue forward, albeit much more damp then before.

Ward leads the party onward, and despite his attempts to get them to check out a “elephant roller giant”, the party heads toward a door, guarded by a riddle. After attempts to pay the door off which cost Maugh 10 gold, and Nyssor 60 gold and a portion of his middle finger, Kallisto solves the puzzle by paying nothing, and the door opens to reveal a devastated chamber. Ward laments that this room one elevated poor misguided adventurers up and towards a mouth of death, but now mostly lay in ruins, and barely works properly.

What does still seem to be in working property is the wishing gem, which can be seen as clear as day from across the large room. But before the party can make a move, the earth falls upon them as the ceiling collapses. Emerging from the rubble, the adventurers behold the sight of an ancient red dragon, with The Old Woman in his talons. He tosses her from where he came, and the party loses sight of her, assuming that she is dead. The Ancient Red Dragon declares that the party, if left unchecked, will unwrite the Draconic Prophecy, and that the tale of Acererack’s rise, fall, and return must be kept pure. He attacks with an amazing strength, quickly killing Ishka and Kallisto, and knocking Maugh unconscious. A strong blow from Ren’Tek bounces off harmlessly, and he retaliates, killing him. Nyssor and Mira head towards the wishing gem. Nyssor attempts to return the gem to the box, but is also killed by the dragon.

Mira, the only surviving party member, takes the wishing gem and uses it. She wishes that the red dragon be teleported to the moon, and that her friends be returned to the clearing where The Old Woman’s airship resides.

The party is returned, alive, to this clearing, with no airship in sight. A red dot in the night’s sky appears to be growing darker, and larger, before the party can clearly mark it as the Dragon, who has paid a heavy toll for his trip to the moon, and is barely surviving. With a collection of strong blows, Nyssor ultimately delivers the killing shot, destroying the dragon for good.

Before the party can even celebrate their victory, an unnatural blue dragonborn appears. He absorbs the Red Dragon, and congratulates the party. He believes that the adventuring group may find the key to prevent Acererack’s return, although he can not say who for certain will be necessary. Nevertheless, he informs the party that he will be watching them, and before he can be questioned, turns into a blue dragon, and flies away.

The party returns to the site of the Tomb of Horrors, and it has been seemingly obliterated, with much of the surrounding area caved-in. Suddenly, the Old Woman’s airship appears, with The Old Woman in tow. Furious that the wishing gem was used, she lays down a plethora of profanities, before discovering that the artifact box now contains a gold and silver scepter. None of the party members put this item in the box, and The Old Woman does not ask much about it. Seemingly satisfied, if only a little bit, The Old Woman still pays the adventurers a small fee, albeit heavily docked for failing to recover the wishing gem, and incurring a huge risk by using it.

The airship sets course back for Eastown. The ramifications of this day may not be known for quite some time…

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Horrors of the Tower - Eberon

What treasure lies hidden beneath House Thuranni’s remains?

After spending a few days in Eastown, Mira, Kallisto, Nyssor and Ishka were again summoned by Tejhan to The Old Woman’s mansion, with word that a new assignment was imminent. He questioned them regarding an accusation from an Eastown councilman that one of them had kept his daughter out abhorrently late, but each denied having had any part in her activities. Tejhan promised that he would reprimand the councilman for such baseless accusations, but informed the party that such incidents proved that Eastown still didn’t trust the adventurers fully, and that The Old Woman would prefer that they develop better relations.

Therefore, The Old Woman volunteered their services to The Mayor, who gave Tejhan a list of assignments that needed to be done. Mira volunteered to handle a few children who were had taken to adventuring outside, pressing upon them the need to train with rocks to better improve their strength before taking out on such fool-hardy quests. Nyssor pressed upon a grief-stricken halfling drunk that his recently-deceased cow never was able to love him the same way the halfling loved the cow, and that perhaps he should seriously consider horses for future…. pursuits. Ishka took charge of the miserable regiment of Eastown soldiers, pressing upon them the need to designate someone as the all-the-time leader and stop changing it out every week, throw out Thursday Night Card Games, and start maintaining regular patrols and spending time practicing their fighting when not on patrol. Finally, Kallisto rallied the coal miners, who were considering abandoning their miserable coal-mining job in favor of prospecting for dragonshards, by highlighting the dangers of such work, and convincing the coal miners that prospecting for dragon shards would only lead to death, fire, and being roasted on a stick.

After completing their assignments, Tejhan paid each 50 gold, and informed them that his scouts had found that something suspicious was occurring at the ruins of one of the dead House Thuranni towers. With no questions to ask, Tejhan gave the party the artifact box, and they were quickly on their way. Upon arriving at the tower, they managed to masterfully sneak into place and secure superior strategic positioning, as well as an excellent spot to observe what was occurring at this tower. The adventurers witnessed three dolgrims and their kruthik hatchling minions torture a half-elf regarding how to open a prophecy mark, shimmering blue in the ground of the tower. The half-elf refused to give them any information, causing the Dolgrims to slice off his left arm. While the dolgrims began to devour the half-elf’s arm, the adventurers quickly struck, catching the force off-guard and destroying them with little issue.

Mira stabilized the half-elf, who revealed himself to be Elar ir’Gadden, who initially denied any knowledge of anything that was going on. The party forcibly removed a bandage from ir’Gadden, revealing a Mark of Shadow. He then claimed to be a member of House Phiarlan, but Ishka searched his belongings and discovered a sword with the emblem of a dark-displacer beast, the mark of House Thuranni.

ir’Gadden refused to help the party open the propechy mark, but Ishka sensed the sword was the key, and placed it within the prophecy mark. A reaction was immediate, as the mark turned red and suddenly displayed four, large, bright red words. FOUR POWERS ECHO DESTRUCTION.

Nyssor quickly discerned the meaning, and opened the prophecy mark. ir’Gadden protested, but before the party could enter the tomb beneath the tower, the approach of horses was heard in the distance. Ishka knocked ir’Gadden unconscious, and the party greeted the arrivals of three men, whose armor instantly identified them as members of House Phiarlan. Their leader, a gaunt human female named Mallora, demanded that the adventurers turn over ir’Gadden and any treasure they might have, and to leave the area. The party refused to give up the treasure they had worked for, causing Mallora to summon fallen warriors beneath the grounds of the tower. A battle ensued, but despite Mallora’s efforts, her forces were destroyed, and in the process, her right arm was sliced off. The party briefly questioned her, before Nyssor allowed her to leave. Mallora threatened that the adventurers would one day suffer the wrath of House Phiarlan, but she left, right arm missing, despite Ishka’s protests that she was being let off too easily. A piece of armor and a scimitar were recovered by Nyssor and Mira respectively off the dead bodies of her allies.

Grateful for their assistance, ir’Gadden informed the party that he would relent and allow them access to what little treasure remained. He informed them that the treasure was a locket that once housed significant magical powers, but did so no more. He and and ally split the locket, taking one half with them, until she betrayed him, causing him to return to recover the other half. He spoke little of the betrayal, only to say that his ally was a Shadar-kai, and that revenge would one day be his. Though he was not happy about acquiring the locket for mere wealth, he admitted that in its current state it was useless, and that he owed the party a debt of gratitude. While the adventurers may have made an enemy today in House Phiarlan, they had made a friend in the survivors of House Thuranni.

Just as he was about to leave however, he informed the party that the text of the lock is unique to the user, and that the words spoken by the mark were not merely a puzzle, but a truth of the draconic prophecy; what it meant, and whether it had to do with the adventurers, he couldn’t say.

With ir’Gadden gone, the party then entered the tomb, and quickly discovered the locket hanging mid-air above a harsh pit of magical fire. Sensing such fire to be especially deadly, Ishka opened the artifact box, and pulled out a magical glove, which he used to recover the locket and place back into the box. But before the party could leave the tomb, a dozen kobolds emerged from seemingly nowhere. A Kobold Wyrmpriest quickly stepped forward and identified the party as their “ForeverEnemy”, and declared that they would die for the crime of killing their Mistress, the White Dragon Wyrmling that the adventurers had recently killed, and that these kobolds worshipped. The party refused the Kobold’s offer to return back with them for a “honorable death”, and a battle ragged on upon the tomb. Despite heavy damage, the adventurers prevailed, and the dying Kobold Wyrmpriest declared that the party members would one day pay for their crimes against their fallen Mistress.

After recovering a bastard sword and a potion of healing, the party quickly left the tomb. With nothing standing in their way, they had no issues returning back to Eastown, where they presented Tejhan with this latest artifact. Tejhan was supremely excited to see it, so much so that he quickly gave into the parties demand for additional compensation and paid all the adventurers an additional 50 gold for their trouble. Ishka and Kallisto attempted to inquire further about what Tejhan was so excited about, but he refused to divuldge that information, until Kallisto went off on a rage-fueled rant demanding answers. Tejhan then revealed that one of The Old Woman’s aims was to be able to create dragonmarks on those who did not have them, and that Tejhan would be the first to receive such a mark. He said his goodbyes to the party, eager to receive his reward, while the party was left wondering what state Tejhan might be in when the next see him, if they were ever to see him again at all…

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Coppernight Hold - Delve

What have these Dwarven Miners wrought?

In the city of Eastown, four adventures meet for the seemingly first time, all summoned for their adventuring abilities, at a large mansion significantly removed from the rest of the town. They are all introduced to Tehjan, who states that he is the representative of The Old Woman, a benefactor who wishes to provide these adventurers with promising assignments, in exchange for various artifacts she needs for some unknown purpose. Tehjan makes his case for accepting The Old Woman’s offer, and one by one each adventurer signs their name to The Old Woman’s employment contract.

Mira
Kallisto
Nyssor
Ishka

These are the newest hires of the The Old Woman. Mira and Ishka recognize that the contracts they have signed are in the ancient Dragonborn tongue, but neither can decipher their meaning. Tejhan instructs them to pursue their first assignment, involving the mayor and a independent dwarven mine outside of Eastown. Tejhan provided the party with a box, and instructed them that it was only to be opened in the presence of the artifact, and they would know what that was when they found it. The party heads out to meet with the mayor, all feeling slightly ill for some unknown reason…

The Mayor of Eastown informs the group that a dwarf by the name of Kavalar Coppernight has been prospecting in an independent mine separate from Eastown for some time. With word that Coppernight has recently discovered something of value, the Mayor sent two soldiers to ensure that Coppernight come under the Eastown sphere of influence and protection. The soldiers have not been heard from for some time, so the Mayor asks the adventuring party to investigate the situation.

Upon arrival to the mine, the party quickly discovers that the mine has been overrun by Kobolds. After dispatching a patrol outside, the party enters the mine with little regard for the creatures, tossing in light rods to get a better view of the mind. A heated battle ensues, during which time Kallisto discovers the body of one of the soldiers. Meanwhile, Kobold forces resorted to dastardly tricks, tipping over a statue made by Coppernight onto Nyssor, and cutting tapestries loose to blind and immobilize Nyssor and Kallisto. Neither strategy prevented the adventures from obliterating the Kobold defenses. As the last remaining Kobold Dragonshield attempted to flee, Kallisto stopped him in his tracks before he ever got a hand on the door.

After a short rest, Mira and Nyssor discovered a small communication device within the remains of the broken statue, allowing the party to communicate with Coppernight. The dwarf prospector informed the party that these kobolds were lead by a deadly white dragon, and that the remaining solider was being tortured while the dwarves hid within a tunnel hidden beneath the main room.

Nyssor attempted to sneak in undetected, but the kobold forces, led by a white dragon wyrmling, were quickly upon them. Mira could hear the words of the wyrmling calling for the party’s death, but failed to be intimidated. Nyssor quickly dispatched 5 of the kobolds with two swift back-to-back attacks, spilling first blood against the wrymling in the process. Both Mira and Ishka would be knocked unconscious at different points within the battle, but Ishka got the last word in when he delivered the killing blow upon the wyrmling, changing the tide of the battle. With only a lone Kobold Skirmisher left, Coppernight and his band of dwarves finally emerged, ending the battle once and for all.

Coppernight was grateful for the rescue, but scolded his men for clearly overestimating their opposition. He seemed unconcerned about the dying soldier, but Mira took pity on the man and did her best to provide some first aid. The party collected what treasures they could from the area, before Coppernight revealed to them the tunnel he had recently uncovered that beheld so much riches. As the party descended, what they took notice of was not the abundance of rich ore in the area, but of a shimmering pool of water, where a green-haired Shadar-Kai seemed to be collecting samples.

The Green-haired Shadar-Kai immediately recognized the party as employees of The Old Woman, and admitted that the wyrmlings and the kobolds were her own distractions. However, with the insistence of Nyssor, the party chose not to challenge her, and allowed her to leave without starting an altercation. Suddenly, the party noticed that the artifact box was glowing, and Ishka opened it to reveal a vial, seemingly for collecting a sample of the water. The party did so, and placed the sample back in the box, while Ishka filled up his canteen with some of the water, taking it for himself. Suddenly, the tunnel began to collapse, and the party was forced to retreat as the area fell apart upon them. Mira was initially caught before the party made it to the stairs, but with some assistance the group soon met with the dwarves above them.

It quickly became clear, however, that the entire mine was about to collapse. Coppernight and his dwarves wasted no time in their retreat, and suggested the party do the same and leave the town soldier for dead. Ishka and Nyssor followed his advice, but Mira and Kallisto were determined to help the solider survive. In the process, Kallisto almost found herself trapped in the mine forever, but she persevered as her party helped dig her out as rocks continued to pile upon her.

Coppernight said his thanks for saving his life, though he didn’t agree with the decision of some party members to risk their lives for the soldier. The group returned to Eastown, where the Mayor was estatic to see them. He thanked the party deeply for saving the solider, and believed them responsible for the destruction of Coppernight’s mine, much to his own delight. A reward was given, and the party was then free to meet with Tejhan, who gleefully took the artifact from the party and congratulated them on a job well done.

After being pressed on the subject by Nyssor, Kallisto convinced Tejhan to give them some insight on the Green-Haired Shadar-Kai. All Tejhan could say for sure was that she too once worked for The Old Woman, but no more. He thanked the party again for a job well done, and encouraged each member to enjoy Eastown’s hospitality and appreciation for all they had done. He instructed them to stay close, however, as he believed it would not be long until The Old Woman had an assignment for them yet again…

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