Treasure Hunting for Profit & Glory!

Session 10 - Stopping the Clockwork
The FINAL session of this campaign

When we last left our valorous PCs, they were speeding across the sky in a House Lyrandar airship, hastening to intercept the Lighting Rail presumably carrying Clockwork and his army of mechanized men toward Sharn.

As they approached the Lightning Rail, they devised a cunning plan. The plan was to overtake the train, and use the power of the airship to lift away some of the conductor stones. The captain of the airship was amenable to the plan and put it into motion. Night fell and the train reached the gap in the conductor stones, running off the rails and crashing, sending dirt, trees, and shrubberies flying (poor Roger). While they had hoped removing the conductor stones would cause the Lightning Rail to stop, they didn’t take into account that the conductors running the train wouldn’t be able to see the gap in the night. Still, with the train stopped, they rappelled down from the airship to deal with the warforged. At this point, they didn’t actually know if there were any innocents on the train, but proceeded anyway because the needs of the many, etc. etc.

A large number of warforged were picking themselves up off the ground. There were more on top of the train, presumably guards. The lighting elemental that was bound to the train broke free and started going on a rampage. The captain of the airship dropped our heroes off while they went to deal with the elemental. With the element of surprise, the heroes took out several of the warforged as they recovered from the crash. Master Yorel rushed inside the Lightning Rail in an attempt to deal with Clockwork himself.

The battle raged on the ground around the crash Lightning Rail and on top of it. The House Lyrandar airship kept the lightning elemental occupied whilst our heroes dealt with the warforged. Occasionally, they’d hear explosions and breaking glass from inside the coaches. Wave after wave of warforged poured out, and finally Master Yorel, thrown from a window. Clockwork and his lieutenants followed on his heels. Though Master Yorel was set on fire at one point, our heroes eventually proved triumphant, defeating Clockwork and his army of mechanized men.

Master Yorel commented that while they stopped Clockwork from reaching the old Creation Forge, they used up all their hard-earned Xendrik Expedition money to do so. After some much-needed healing, rest, and relaxation, it would be back to the grindstone: chasing down rumors of lost artifacts to sell; more treasure hunting for profit and glory….

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Session 9 - Skeletal Guardians of the Everflame

After resting and refreshing themselves in the room with the silver fountain, the party was ready to move on. Seraphina had gone off to scout ahead while the rest prepared themselves. When they were ready, they followed after her. They moved through the catacomb in which they found the plague zombies into a room with a long muck-covered reflecting pool. When they cleared the muck away, they saw their reflections in the pool rotting away before their eyes.

Putting the disturbing images behind them, they moved into another catacomb. Fortunately, none of the dead assaulted them this time and they were able to move through unhindered. The next corridor backtracked a bit, and led them to a large room with a massive bridge spanning a chasm. Two statues with spears and shields guarded a pair of brass doors. Moving forward cautiously, Vistra sprang a trap on the bridge, causing one of the statues to charge him! It’s momentum was no match for his dwarven steadiness and it ground to a halt. Mercutio blasted the statue with lighting until it fell into the chasm and did the same to its twin on the far side of the bridge. The statues dealt with, they moved forward and opened the double doors.

At the far side of the massive chamber was a dais shrouded in shadow. Statues lined the hall and they spied the body of a woman at the base of an opened sarcophagus. When they entered, they saw it was Seraphina. Dry, mocking laughter echoed through the hall and an armored marched forth from the darkness, welcoming them for facing him again. More skeletons crawled out of other sarcophagi in the room. The battle was joined.

Though it was a hard-fought victory, the party was victorious nonetheless. The skeleton’s lightning-fast blows and explodey minions were no match for the combine might of the treasure hunters. When the last enemy fell, Seraphina regained consciousness and the shadows burned away. There, at the back of the crypt, the Everflame burned bright. Once the artifact was in their possession, the party decided no further exploration was warranted and left the crypt behind.

Upon reaching the surface, they discovered their warforged companion, Wycliffe did not survive after all (Ya rush a miracle sonny, ya get rotten miracles). They decided they did not trust Clockwork, so returned directly to the Lightning Rail station and returned to Sharn. The return trip was thankfully uneventful. Master Yorel was dismayed to hear that Clockwork destroyed his package without even looking at it, but was even more disturbed that he had sent the party out to retrieve the Everflame. He rushed out of his office, grabbing a strongbox, urging the group to follow him. Master Yorel led them to a House Lyrandar airship dock where he purchased a charter voyage for all of them.

Once they were underway, he explained himself: “Clockwork has toiled ever since the end of the Last War to improve his kind. According to the Treaty of Thronehold, the creation of new warforged is forbidden. He thought he could find some way to bring true life to his people: the ability to reproduce as any man and woman could. He developed this theory that if he could somehow link a Creation Forge to Xoriat, the raw chaos might infuse a subject with that ability. It was madness! But, he did not listen to me and so we had a falling out. We served together during the war and we found something near Vathirond about which he swore me to secrecy. I have never spoken of it until now: an abandoned Creation Forge in working order. I helped him seal the chamber in which it lay and we hid the entrance. He must be heading there. The Everflame would have provided him with a power source sufficient enough to power the Forge and link it to Xoriat during the upcoming conjunction. Time is of the essence: the conjunction is near. The item I had you deliver to him was a schema to modify warforged in a way that would appear to be in line with his plan, but would have destroyed the Forge if he had tried to use it. Unfortunately, his suspicion of me was too great, I fear. By now, he has is no doubt tracking you to determined why you have not yet returned. We must intercept him and stop him at all costs.”

Over the next few days, Master Yorel concentrated on his divinations, coming out of his cabin only when the airship was approaching an oncoming Lightning Rail. “Clockwork is on that train. He comes for the Everflame, and you.” The airship dove to intercept the Lighting Rail….

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Session 8 - Crypt of the Everflame
Bloody Skeletons!

After defeating the shadows, our four heroes headed back to the crypt entrance so they could rest a bit and check on Seraphina and Wycliffe. Wycliffe was recovered enough that he encouraged Seraphina to return to the crypt with the rest of the group while he watched the horses and cart. After refreshing themselves, they went underground once more.

From the entrance, they went the other way this time, traversing a large room filled with columns and pit traps only to discover a one-way stone door through which they could not pass and an alternate route to the room in which they killed the beetles. They returned to the room with the fountain and pool and proceeded to search their keys for the one that would take them through the second locked door. It turned out the key they found with the shadows was the correct one for that door.

The door lead to a large, circular room with an arrow-studded pillar rising out of a pit. Just as the trap was sprung, they retreated back through the door and shut it. They waited until the sound of arrows hitting the door abated then went back in. The pillar was set up to rotate and fire arrows in every direction at once. Hundreds of them now littered the floor. Proceeded with caution, they followed a door out of the room into another large chamber with stairs leading down at the far end.

Skeletons attacked when they entered the room. Most were easily dealt with, but one was much stronger than the others. It too, fell to their might. The heroes went down, deeper into the crypt. Much to their surprise, the first room they encountered contained a fountain with healing properties. They moved on, refreshed, into a catacomb. Plague-ridden zombies crawled out of the nooks and attacked!

Expecting an easy fight, our heroes were dismayed to see the zombies hurling filth at them. A foul stench filled the air, hindering their attacks. Though they outnumbered the zombies, the close quarters made the fight difficult until, at last, they prevailed. On one of the non-animated bodies, they found a suit of magical hide armor and wasted no time taking it for themselves.

They prepared to move on, wondering if they would ever find the Everflame…

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Session 7 - Crypt of the Everflame
Skeletons, and Beetles, and Shadows, Oh my!

When we last left our heroes, they were marshaling their resolve outside of a set of doors set into a hillside in a valley to which they were led by a map they received from a warforged they didn’t trust.

The doors were not locked, but seemed to be stuck, whether by age or design, no one knew. The strength of our heroes prevailed and they pulled the doors open to reveal a two-tiered entry hall. Skeletons covered the floor, along with a couple of fresher bodies. In the distance, a wailing could be heard echoing in the halls. A faded painting of a man was hung on the far wall.

As they entered the hall, the skeletons came to life and swarmed them! Making short work of the bony abominations, they searched the two bodies. They found only supplies and pressed onward, choosing the nearest of the two doors leading deeper into the crypt.

The next room was dominated by a large pool of water fed by a fountain. The fountain was in the shape of a maiden holding the headless body of an armored man. A voice boomed from the darkness “Magic is the key.” Upon closer inspection, they saw the statue was not headless, rather the head had been broken off. Our heroes explored the room thoroughly, discovering hundreds of keys at the bottom of the pool. Mercutio determined that one of these keys was magical, and Rurin retrieved that key from the water. Two doors led out from the chamber, leading deeper into the dungeon. Both doors were locked and the magic key opened neither. They began to test all the others keys they found so far and found one that fit the rightmost of the two doors.

The hallway beyond the fountain room were lined with statues of the man depicted in the painting in the entry hall. Each statue was holding a longsword aloft, and the heroes quickly determined they were actual swords and not part of the statuary. After searching the first pair of statues and removing one of the swords, they could find no obvious mechanism, despite being convinced there was a trap they were missing. Vistra proceeded down the corridor ahead of the rest of the party and when he reached the third pair, the swords swung down. No one was seriously injured and they picked their way through the swords now blocking the corridor to the door at the far end of the hallway. It was unlocked.

Another two-tiered room lay before them, albeit different in layout from the entry hall. Another statue stood at the far end of the lower level of this room. The statue was that of the same man, but he held two wooden tower shields. The statue was near a door and stairs led up and out of the room to their left. When Vistra reached the lower level of the room, the statue came to life and attacked! In addition to bashing with its shields, it was able to use some sort of psychic attack to daze our heroes. Rurin noticed a keyhole on its back and they maneuvered to attempt to insert the magic key. Ultimately, it was not needed as they destroyed the statue before being able to insert the key.

Our heroes, being the thorough-minded people they are, inserted the key anyway.

Nothing happened.

The key did fit the door, however, and revealed a small storage room with a table. Upon the table were four magical items. None of them appeared to be an Everflame, so they stashed the items for future study and moved on.

Mercutio, Vistra, Rurin, and Theirastra followed the stairs which seemed to lead up and over an undiscovered area of the crypt before going back down into a squarish room where several fire beetles were swarming over a corpse. Mercutio made short work of the beetles with his magic and finding nothing of interest in the room, they followed a corridor south out of the room. That corridor led to another room with pillars surrounding a small fire pit. Noxious black smoke created a haze in the small, double-diamond-shaped room which they carefully explored.

Shadows came alive and attacked as they searched the room. The shadows assault them with dazing and weakening attacks. Our heroes faced their greatest challenge yet, but were not to be deterred and beat back the undead, destroying them. In the fire, they found a couple of charred bodies, one of which had a dagger untouched by the flames, a magic dagger. They also found another key.

What did the key open? And what secrets were yet to be revealed?

This update, like always, can also be found at the DoctorStrangeroll Blog, and there, includes my snarky comments on the gameplay.
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Session 6 - Arriving at Starilaskur

After having narrowly defeated the owlbear and its gnoll keepers, Vistra Kodiak and Theirastra searched the fort. Cries for help came from the prisoner pits near the back of the fort. In one of the pits, was a bedraggled-looking human. They broke open the spiked cage door holding him in and helped him out of the pit. He introduced himself as Mongrel Bo, Minstrel Extraordinare.

While Mongrel Bo helped them load their dead & the recovered Conductor Stones onto the cart, they questioned him as to how he came to be captured by the gnolls. He told them he had been wandering outside Starilaskur, looking for a valley in which the folk who lived there were experiencing disturbed, dreamless, restless sleep. He hoped if he could not solve their problem, he could at least sing them a lullabye.

After hooking up the gnolls’ horses to the cart and opening the gate, the three headed back to the Lightning Rail. When they arrived several hours later, Seraphina and Mercutio introduced them to a dwarven runepriest from the Mror Holds, Rurin, who’d been on the train with them and helped them guard the train against further attack while the others tracked the gnolls and the stolen Conductor Stones.

The Lightning Rail personnel repaired the track as our heroes buried Zarna. They believed Wycliffe could be repaired once they arrived in Starilaskur. By the time the solemn ceremonies were over, the Lighting Rail was ready to depart!

The next day, they arrived in Starilaskur and set about trying to find The Broken Forge. When they found the place, they found a warforged stoking the fires. He acknowledged that he was Clockwork and accepted the strongbox they delivered. He asked the party if they knew what was contained within. When they told him they did not, he said “That daft old man will not fool me again,” and threw the strongbox into the fire.

Clockwork indicated that he could repair Wycliffe and that he had a use for our heroes after all, to follow a map he had and retrieve an item called the Everflame. When questioned about why he seemed to be antagonistic towards Master Yorel, Clockwork became agitated, denied knowing what they were talking about and dismissed them. They decided to decline Clockwork’s help with Wycliffe and took their warforged companion to a temple for a resurrection ritual, concerned about the implications that Clockwork had access to a Creation Forge.

Our intrepid band of adventurers discussed what to do as Wycliffe recovered from his ordeal. They did not notice that Mongrel Bo seemed to have wandered off on his own after arriving in the city. They decided they would seek out this Everflame but return it instead to Master Yorel and warn him of Clockwork’s hostility.

The map indicated the Everflame lay some days’ journey to the east, so they set off in that direction, following a trail through the forest. During their journey, they were waylaid by a group of orc bandits, but handily defeated them. Shortly after the battle, they came across a pond, and the corpse of another bandit who’d been bitten multiple times by a large serpent and apparently died of those wounds. They returned to the trail as it began to rain.

Thoroughly drenched, they found a small valley indicated on Clockwork’s map. At the bottom, set into the side of a small hill, they found the entrance to a crypt marked with a rune Rurin identified as “Everflame.” Night crept in as they prepared to seek shelter from the rain and explore the crypt, searching for the Everflame.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Session 5 - Tracking the Bandits
De-railed

After a anarchic jaunt into the post-apocalyptia of Alpha Complex, we return to Eberron. Leaving Serafina and Mercutio behind to guard Master Yorel’s lockbox and stay with the Lighting Rail, Wycliffe, Zarna, Vistra, and Thierastra headed off into the hills to follow the tracks left by the bandits who presumably stole the Lightning Rail’s Conductor Stones.

The trail was easy to follow, but eventually split. One branch of the trail led further into the hills; the other towards a nearby ravine. Investigating the ravine, they found a rickety rope & wood bridge. They tested the strength of the bridge and determined it was unlikely that the gnolls rode horses and took the heavy Conductor Stones across it. Following the other branch of the trail, they eventually came to a hill that looked across a valley at a fort.

When they scouted the fort, our heroes only saw one gnoll wandering around initially. After some more reconnaissance, they noticed two more working on a cooking fire. Scaling the walls, Zarna, Vistra, and Thierastra made their plans to ambush the two gnolls, while Wycliffe checked out a nearby barn. As three of them attacked the gnolls, Wycliffe discovered an owlbear in the barn. It charged him, bursting through the door, though he shut it in his bid to make a hasty retreat. As the battle joined, another gnoll, the one they saw moving from building to building, appeared out of thin air and began summoning swarms of ravens and vermin to hinder the heroes.

The battle was long and bloody. Zarna and Wycliffe fell to the owlbear before the beast was finally defeated. Vistra and Thierastra were both nearly dead by the time the rest of the gnolls fell. Vistra found the purloined Conductor Stones inside one of the building, and they stripped a magical suit of armor off the gnoll beastcaller. As they gathered their dead, they heard a cry for help from one of the caged pits nearby….

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Session 4 - On the Rails
It's a train ride, honest!

When last we left our intrepid…heroes…they were on their way to Sharn, having cured a town of a magical plague despite their best efforts at leaving the townsfolk to their uncertain fates. Master Yorel greeted them with sacks of gold after receiving the Coat of Eyes and bade his Acquisition Experts to standby for another assignment. A few days later, he presented them with round-trip Lighting Rail passes to Starilaskur. Their new mission was to transport a strongbox from Sharn to a colleague of his at The Broken Forge, Clockwork. In addition to the money he gave them upon bringing him the coat of eyes, he gave them each an additional 250 GP for expenses and sent them on their way.

The first leg of the trip, from Sharn to Wroat, passed uneventfully. What apparently transpired in some of the cabins is best left for certain texts of a more…blue…nature. They stretched their legs at Wroat, and were surprised that no one accosted them or tried to rob them or tried to hire them and boarded the train again. The next day, while on the long leg of the trip between Wroat and Starilaskur, the…debaucheries…were interrupted by armed men demanding money from the passengers. Our intrepid heroes would have none of it and slaughtered them in hallway of their coach. The screams of the passengers in the other cars caught their interest, but they decided to climb to the top of their coach to survey situation. Mounted Gnolls ran alongside the train and more bandits, humans and gnolls advanced upon them. As they fought back the ones on top of the Lightning Rail, the conveyance came to a halt. Once the gnolls on top of the train were dealt with and the mounted ones fled, our heroes questioned the Lighting Rail driver about why they stopped. Someone had stolen enough of the conductor stones guiding the Lighting Rail, that the coaches could not continue without derailing.

Track led away from the route, tracks which suggested someone stole the conductor stones deliberately to halt the Lightning Rail. Our heroes followed the trail into the hills, making sure their strongbox was secure and well-guarded….

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Session 3 - Another Condensation

On the way back to Sharn, the group passed through the village of Cedar Ridge. Everyone they encountered there seemed to be ill. The villagers were coughing and many were disfigured by lumps and growths under their skin. Seraphina wanted to leave immediately and leave them to their fate, while others were slightly more interested in finding out what the cause was. They stopped at the inn and questioned the barkeep, the bard and a warforged there. The warforged, Wycliffe, indicated other travelers had come and gone with no ill effects, but Seraphina was adamant that they leave. The barkeep indicated that most of the villagers, including the mayor had barricaded themselves in their homes and the town’s protector, a warforged named Bulwark had not been seen in a couple of weeks, about the time the afflictions began. When two villagers and the village healer brought in a screaming man, Seraphina left the tavern. The screaming man transformed before their eyes into a hulking brute who proceeded to beat the hell out of anyone near him, knocking Vistra across the room. They were eventually able to defeat the hulk-out villager and decided to confront the mayor.

The mayor’s house was locked up, as the barkeep indicated. They broke into the house and proceeded to browbeat and intimidate the mayor into doing something. The man was just as misshapen and ill as the rest of the village, barely able to walk. He screamed back at them, angry, frustrated, and frightened of this group of adventurers who broke into his home and demanded that he leave his home and lead by example. Eventually, they gave up on threatening the mayor and decided to check out the ruined castle where the barkeep said Bulwark made his home, at least, until they stopped hearing from the warforged.

Flickering lights appeared in one room of the abandon castle from the vantage point of the road leading up to it. In the dining room, the PCs found a large warforged lying on the ground near the table. An overturned jug on the table oozed a purple liquid (unrelated to the purple liquid they’d found last session…I guess I just like purple) and near the warforged’s head was a shadow that was NOT being cast by anything in the room. After a brief investigation, they discovered something that should not be: the warforged was passed out. They were able to converse with the shadow and it indicated that it had challenged the warforged to a drinking contest. When they investigated the upturned jug, the shadow demanded they hand it over. It wouldn’t say why, but just repeated its demand for the jug. Combat ensued and the shadow proved to be a superior opponent**. They fled with the jug, hoping to lure the shadow away and after some more beatings, the heroes decided to give the shadow what it wanted and handed over the jug. It headed for the river. They then returned to the castle and attempted to wake the warforged. Once awakened, the warforged (who turned out to be a Warforged Juggernaut Wizard) pursued the shadow and delivered an epic beatdown the DM was too tired to describe in all its epicness.

For their help, Bulwark gave the PCs a chest it found in the castle when he moved in. Bulwark said he would take care of the villagers and was confident he could reverse their affliction. They proceeded onward towards Sharn.

*And for the first time in my 30+ years of playing D&D, someone could attack the darkness and I didn’t have to smack them for being an idiot.

**In retrospect, I should have telegraphed the shadow’s weakness to the liquid by explicitly stating that it was avoiding touching any of the spilled liquid, but by this point I was already frustrated and a little angry that my table broke. Throwing the liquid on the shadow would’ve defeated it, but since they didn’t know that, they tried to beat it in combat, for which the creature was FAR overpowered for their level. I only pulled one punch during the combat though, so I’m at least pleased there wasn’t a TPK since the shadow’s opening salvo took EVERYONE in the area of effect to bloodied.

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Session 2 - The Condensed Version

When we last left our heroes, they were preparing to descend into Khyber to following the trail of clues left by the cultists who’d been terrorizing Blackroot. During their preparations, two people from the village caught up with them in the caves, a tiefling wizard named Seraphina and a half-elf sorcerer named Mercutio. They asked to be allowed to accompany the group into the depths. Since Wizar the Wizarian and The Hand of Wisdom seemed to have disappeared altogether, the group readily agreed. Fortunately, the pack in which Wizar was keeping the weird tentacle things they pried off the dead cultists was left behind.

Descending into Khyber, the first cavern they discovered contained four dolgrims along with a strange pool of a viscous purple liquid. They defeated the horrid-looking fused goblin things and upon discovered the restorative power of the purple liquid, dumped some of their water for the liquid. They proceeded into the depths and discovered another cavern with a large area of impenetrable darkness. When they approached, the darkness lashed out at them*. Beyond the cavern containing the Living Darkness, they were forced to cross a cavern floor consisting of hundreds of chomping mouths, though they were small enough to cause no damage; they just looked creepy. Finally (after the DM—me, skipped a few encounters due to time constraints), they encountered a purpose-built room containing many large crystal shells inside which they could see various villagers including Doria Veledaar. A machine of some sort appeared to be draining and devouring the soul energy from the prisoners within the crystal shells.

Putting their heads together, the PCs deduced a variety of ways to break open the shells and defeat the machine to free the villagers. They recovered the Coat of Eyes and the grateful villagers gave them a pair of magical boots; heirlooms of one of the families who were not lucky enough to survive the cultists. Mercutio and Seraphina elected to remain with the group and they all resumed their trek toward Sharn to return the Coat of Eyes to Master Yorel.

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