Adventures of the Fellowship of the University of Adventuring School of Technology College

Follow the Psionic they said, it'll be easy they said.
Or, 'You keep using that FireHawk. I'm not sure it works the way you think it does.'

Recovering from the battle with the dragon, the heroes start gleefully looting the body as Blandington watches in disappointment. They start stuffing the Bag of Holding with scales and dragon bones. Kiera spots and Acid Sack and carefully reaches in and tries to remove it, but punctures it on a rib on the way out.

Preparing to move out, the party follows Aelar deeper into the labyrinth. After running into some dead ends that kind of dissipate the faith the PCs had in Aelar’s role as guide, they suddenly come upon a group of Wraiths.

Thun-Thun charges at the first one, swiping with his axes. Blandington follows suit, and they are both caught in the creature’s aura. Dazed, they warn the others to keep their distance. Kiera fires a necrotic arrow at the second Wraith down the hall, hoping to keep it out of the fray, then backs off down the tunnel they used to enter the cavern. Dire hits the first Wraith with his baleful Eyes of Vestige, but the 2nd Wraith sneaks up on him and tries to swipe at him with his ghostly arm. Thankfully, Dire has mastered his mind to perform powerful incantations and the touch of the Wraith on his soul doesn’t overpower him.

A third wraith appears out of the northwest, standing near Aelar and dazing him. Meriele summons a giant toad, which attacks the third one and pulls it to itself with its long tongue. It’s not enough to get Aelar away from the dangerous aura, but it will help. The first Wraith, being close to death’s gate at this point, attacks Blandington. Thun-Thun strikes back, but the Wraith turns incorporeal and his blades fly right through. Thun-Thun waits a beat, and as the Wraith turns back into a physical target, he uses his offhand and pulls the blade backs, right through the chest cavity of the Wraith. It hisses and dissolves into mist.

Kiera takes aim and shoots the third Wraith with a necrotic arrow, careful not to hit Aelar or Meriele. Blandington turns and runs at the third Wraith, valorously smiting it. His brave leadership gives everyone nearby a boost of vitality. The 2nd Wraith is still behind Dire, so he moves away from it. It swipes at him as he goes, but is still unable to boggle the powerful mind of the warlock. He turns around and smites the 2nd Wraith with a thunderous spell, and it crumbles to dust.

The third Wraith tries to hit Aelar, ignoring the Holy Sanction placed upon it by the mighty Sir Blandington. Simply the act of letting its guard down to attack Aelar gives Blandington to stab it in the midsection. Aelar grunts and gets hit, unable to fend off the attack.

Aelar focuses his psionic power and drags the wraith telekinetically into a force shard, which explodes in its face. Meriele stabs it with her spear, and the toad tries to attack it with its tongue again, but misses.

As the fight was raging, a Gelatinous Ooze crept into the fray unnoticed. Kiera hits it with some powerful shafts, and shouts to warn the others just as Blandington swings at the Wraith. The Wraith returns to the underworld shrieking as the adventurers turn to face their worst nightmare. Blandington starts shaking and muttering to himself ‘Not again!’

Meriele has never faced one of these creatures, and before Thun-Thun has a chance to warn her, she uses her Firehawk attack on it. The Ooze moves closer, and swallows her giant toad. Kiera uses her training in Thundertusk Boar Strike to deal a huge amount of damage to it and would have pushed it back 25 feet but it was simply too large to move. Dire’s spell fizzles. So does Aelar’s. The toad’s rough hide starts sizzling in the midst of all the acid. Meriele, in a foolish attempt to rescue her toad, stabs at the ooze with her spear. Instead of hurting it, it just swallows the shaft up to her forearm, and pulls her all the way in. While they stand there shocked, the ooze rears up and swallows both Blandington and Thun-Thun. The only party members free to escape are Kiera, Aelar, and Dire. Kiera scores a critical hit with Evasive strike, and then uses Nimble strike to keep piling on the damage. The ooze must be nearly dead by now. Dire hits it with Eyes of Vestige, and it bursts asunder.

Gasping and gagging, Meriele staggers out of the puddle that is all that’s left of the enemy while Kiera comforts Blandington. The poor guy has PTSD when it comes to slimes. As she kneels to help the big Paladin to his feet, she notices that there were three skeletons in the ooze this whole time. One of them is clutching a tattered parchment. She tugs it out of the skeleton’s cold, dead, fingers and sees it’s written in some demonic language. She passes it to Dire, who announces that it’s a map with something scrawled in the margins. He translates: “The way is shut, and the dead keep it. Only the blood of an immortal, placed in the holy vessels, with unlock what lies within the chamber.”

Scratching their heads about how they’re gonna find an immortal to donate Ichor, the party heads back to town to get some sleep and ask around.

Will the group discover the meaning of this strange tome? Will Aelar actually be able to lead them to the Chamber of Eyes and the Bloodreaver headquarters? Will Blandington need to speak to a shaman to get over his encounter with an ooze? Find out next week, on DragonCast! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!!

My Alignment is Phat Lewt
Or, 'Does anybody speak Jive?'

The group wakes up in the Halfmoon inn. Dire, crawling out of the bag of Holding, uses his streetwise training to get his bearings and catch up on what he missed. He notices a huge tower to the northeast. He learns it is called the Tower of Saruun. As he watches, mages teleport in and out of the tower, there seems to be no door. He also learns that there is a custom house the mages use to hire mercenaries. Waking up the rest of the group, he urges them to go to the custom house to get a feel for the mage’s purpose.

They enter the custom house and see a man behind the counter. He introduces himself as Orentar, and asks how he can help this fine group of adventurers. As they start explaining that they need to reach the Bloodreaver headquarters, Orentar starts shaking his head sadly. He says “We sent one of our best mages out to find their hideout weeks ago. I fear he has not returned, and that we will never see poor Paldamar again.”

Aelar volunteers that he knows the way, and says if they find Paldamar they will be sure to aid him. Orentar says that the Mages of Saruun would be happy to pay for the safe return of the mage.

The group sets out into the labyrinth, Aelar in the lead. As they march, they come upon four undead warriors. Kiera warns the group to stay back, they look like Wights. Using stealth, she sneaks up on them. One of the four is obviously the leader, and she sees a key with a skull on it around his neck. Using her thievery training, she shoots an arrow across the thing’s chest, yanking the key off its neck and pinning it to the wall of the tunnel. Completely unaware, the wight keeps shuffling slowly forward. Kiera grabs the key and rushes back the to group.

“Hey guys, I got this key. Help me find where it goes before they come back.” Meriele scans the ground and sees that the ground leading off down a small tunnel is unscuffed. The wights seem to never go down this way. Davnan happily squeezes through the gap and reports that the crevice seems to go a long ways. Joining him, the group creeps through the tight passage. It begins to widen out as the air gets hotter and hotter. Soon the walls are too hot to touch. Dire isn’t bothered by the heat at all, so he leads the way. Kiera says “It’s cause he sold his soul to Satan.” “No, my GRANDPARENTS did.”

They come to a stop at a huge door with an embossed skull on it. Kiera unlocks it with the key and shoves it open with her shoulder. Zanvard moves up to flank her, there’s no way to know what could be waiting.

The door swings on its hinges and reveals a large, dilapidated hall. Light is leaking in from a hole in the roof, shining on an altar with the corpse of a sheep. As they enter the room, a screech is heard and a quickly moving shadow flies over their heads. Another sheep falls from the sky and lands near the altar. The shadow swoops around again and lands in front of the party. A young black dragon hisses at them as its scales absorb the light, making it hard to spot.

Zanvard says “Hello dragon, are you bad?” It roars back. Kiera says “Does anyone speak Draconic? (beat.) Gosh darn it Thun-Thun!” Davnan says “It’s a black dragon right? Maybe we’re not speaking in its dialect. Does anybody speak Jive?”

The dragon moves, raising its wings and screaming. This Frightful Presence stuns the entire party, they just stand there, staggered. The dragon uses this chance to breath Acid Breath on everyone but Meriele and Aelar. Their armor is greatly damaged and they start getting wounded by the acid. Then it summons a Cloud of Darkness, blinding Zanvard and Kiera and hiding in the cloud.

Zanvard tries to rely on his senses, swinging his morningstar in the blinding cloud. He narrowly avoids hitting Kiera, but the dragon is hiding well. Kiera runs out of the darkness and ducks behind a pillar. Then she shoots into the center of the cloud, but doesn’t hit anything. Davnan feels a pang of sadness over his fallen friend Galstaff. He says “Hey guys, this time we literally can attack the darkness.” as he rushes in and swings his hammer in a different part of the cloud. He misses.

Aelar tries to smash it with his Force Hammer, but can’t focus well enough through the cloud. Meriele uses Grasping Tide on a portion of the cloud, but the dragon isn’t trapped inside. Meriele uses Fire Hawk to slash at the dragon. Davnan zeroes in on the youngling and hits him with his hammer. Zanvard hears a scuffling noise and charges at it, smashing into the dragon. He gets up and conks it on the nose with Solenoid Hammer. It hisses and tries to fly away. As it does, Davnan and the Fire Hawk slash at it. It screams and lands outside the cloud of darkness. It breathes out more acid, but misses and then puts up another cloud of darkness. Aelar hits it with Force Hammer, knocking it prone. Kiera closes her eyes, relying on her keen eleven hearing to guide her aim. She turns, pulls, releases. The lightning arrow streaks through the air into the roiling cloud. As scream echoes around the chamber as the cloud dissipates and the writhing body of the young dragon is revealed. Kiera walks forward and slides her short sword into its heart, putting it out of its misery.

Flush with the adrenaline of victory, but somehow not proud of killing such a proud beast, the heroes collapse where they stand, catching their breath and tending their wounds.

Will there be repercussions for killing his dragonling? What is an altar doing in this abandoned chamber? Why did the Wights have a key to it? Does this have anything to do with the Bloodreavers? Find out next week, on DragonCast! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!

Malaria the Plague Chicken
Or, 'Let's go shank a mage'

After the grueling random encounter with the slavers, the group heads back to Winterhaven and takes another well deserved rest. As they prepare to head out again in the morning, they see a half-elf waiting for them in the town square.

Introducing himself as Aelar the Psion, he offers to guide the party to the Bloodreaver headquarters. After consulting with each other, the PCs decide to trust Aelar and start their journey. They march on the kingsroad all day, but don’t run into any more slavers. They band they destroyed yesterday must have served as a good warning.

As they approach Thunderspire, Aelar explains that the community inside the caverns of the mountain range is run by a group of mages. The group finally reaches the base of the mountain and follows a wide tunnel into a cavernous opening. They have arrived at the 7 Pillared Hall. There are all sorts of tunnels leading off it, and Kiera hears the sound of a halfling being accosted down one of them. She sneaks up to the door and hears some Bloodreaver slavers. “Look at the muscle on this one, he should fetch at least 10 gold!” “Well if that’s all you’re looking for, I’d be happy to buy myself off you.”

While the slavers are distracted, the party bursts into the room, firing arrows and loosing magic everywhere. Meriele traps some goblins in the corner using Grasping Tide. Kiera hits their caster in the calf with a slap shot. Aelar steps into the fray and brings the hammer down. Using his force hammer, he crushes two goblins, leaving them twitching and moaning on the floor. Blandington and Zanvard charge in, keeping all the minions occupied.

While the enemies are pinned down, Meriele sneaks behind the combatants and unties the halfling. He’s about to say thank you when Meriele turns into his beast form, a chicken, and breathes out a swarm of locusts. The words of gratitude fading on his tongue, he screams and ducks under a table.

Aelar places a Force Shard in the midst of the goblin forces and bursts it, releasing a blast of psionic energy into the midst of their ranks. Kiera concentrates carefully and looses an arrow that splits into two mid flight, killing the war caster and a minion. Two goblins gang up on Zanvard and try to hit him with their flails, but one of them misses and hits his buddy. Zanvard takes advantage of the situation and smashes him with Solenoid Hammer. Aelar hits the remaining goblins with his Force Hammer and Blandington finishes them off.

Zanvard walks over to the halfling while Meriele changes back to human form. After recovering from his fright, he thanks the party for rescuing him and introduces himself as Rendil Halfmoon. He invites the adventurers to his aunt’s inn, the Halfmoon. Pleased to have sleeping arrangements taken care of after such a long march, the PCs find themselves enjoying a nice pint in the dining room of the inn.

Suddenly the door bangs open and conversations stop. A huge ogre marches up to the heroes and says “I hear you all think you’re hot stuff around here. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can do whatever you want. The mages of Saruun run things around here. Make trouble, and you won’t like what we do to you.” He snorts and glares, then turns and leaves, dragging his huge club behind him.

“Who was that?” says Meriele. Aelar says “That was Bruug, the enforcer for the mage society of Thunderspire. They generally leave people alone, as long as we don’t make trouble it should be fine.” Kiera, thinking back on the groups’ track record with ‘not making trouble’, shudders slightly as the adventurers head to their rooms.

Will our heroes be able to find the Chamber of the Eyes, the headquarters of the Bloodreavers? Will Aelar the Psion know the way through the treacherous labyrinth? Will Blandington be able to stand aside and let the mage-run government continue to oppress the people of Thunderspire? Find out next week, on DragonCast. THUN-THUN-THUN!!!

Big Damn Heroes
Or, 'In this universe, every NPC is a pimp'


Our adventurers feel a strange sensation come over them as the rift closes, and it is as though they are more powerful and capable heroes. The knowledge gained from this battle has honed their senses and reflexes to a degree previously unattainable. Davan climbs up the grisly chains and throws a rope down. After climbing out of the pit, the party discovers a Eladrin Druid chained up behind the altar. Smashing her manacles with his warhammer, Davan frees her. The group discover her name is Meriele. Since she’s wearing a slave leia metal bikini, Dire passes her some hide armor from one of the slain berserkers. After conversing with her, she reveals that she was captured by a band of hobgoblins known as the ‘Blood Reavers’, slavers. They sold her to Kalarel. Blandington seems pretty confident that these Blood Reavers fail the bad test, so he wants to go destroy them. Meriele decides to join the group. Unfortunately, the PCs have no idea where their headquarters is. They decide to head back to Winterhaven to ask around and to check on the townspeople. The last time they were away this long the place was besieged by undead after all.

As they enter the small village, there is an excitement in the air. The townspeople seem to be preparing a festival of some kind, and the villagers have never been this happy. The oppressive presence of Shadowfell Keep has lifted and everyone can feel it. As they enter, a goblin carrying several chunks of scrap metal trots up to them. It’s Splug, the goblin they freed from prison in Shadowfell Keep. He thanks the adventurers and lets them know that the Blood Reaver caravans always seem to come from the East. He has had to endure some prejudice, but now the town accepts him and he works for the blacksmith. The party marches towards town hall, and Lord Padraig walks out to meet them. He offers them the key to the city and some gp. Then he walks up to the lectern and starts the festival with a grand speech about our brave heroes. Davan and Zanvard immediately start drinking.
Valthrun the Prescient finds the group and thanks them for giving him the inspiration for a new kind of glue made from the failed transmutation of their spears. (See: Alchemy is overrated) He asks for details about Shadowfell Keep and questions the party’s intentions going forward. Blandington explains his burning desire to smite the evil Blood Reavers and his need to get revenge for the injustice visited upon the lovely Meriele, but that the headquarters of the slavers is a mystery. Valthrun nods and says that he knows they are based in the Thunderspire mountain range to the east. It is known that the places known as the Labyrinth and the 7 Pillared Hall are located in the Thunderspires. Davan pays for a round of drinks for everyone, and Kiera, Sylvanna, and Meriele develop some strange tensions. Meriele asks for her own room in the Wrafton inn and bars the door. The PCs settle down for a well deserved night in an actual bed.

In the morning, the party sets out on the Kingsroad for Thunderspire. As Winterhaven fades from sight, Kiera spots a band of hobgoblins attempting to ambush the group. The lead goblin, seeing that he’d been spotted, calls “Surrender now to the Blood Reavers, and you shall be sold as slaves. Believe me, the alternatives are not preferable.”

Blandington gets all excited at the chance to kill some Blood Reavers, and Dire tries to intimidate them into becoming slaves for the party. One of the soldiers loses his resolve, but the leader keeps his troops in line.

Kiera moves into the over of a copse of trees and looses a bolt at the frightened hobgoblin soldier. The ranged troop beside him pierces her armor with a lance, and Blandington races across the open ground to smash them with Aecris. (You call your sword ‘Aching Tits’? says the disembodied voice of the fallen rogue Moon-Moon)

Meriele unleashes a burst of thunder magic, trapping two soldiers in a lightning fence. Zanvard is excited to try out a new move he thought up, and marches up to a hobgoblin and attacks with Solenor’s Hammer. Davan joins him, and the Hobgoblin Warcaster hits Zanvard with a lightning spear. Dire 1v1’s a soldier. Kiera moves back onto the road and uses Thundertusk Boar Strike to push one of the soldiers out of the magical barrier, causing thunder damage.

Blandington continues to take on two soldiers at once, like the awesome tank he is. Zanvard is feeling a little pressure from being extremely flanked, but refuses to stand down. Davan performs some amazing hammerblows and kills a soldier, crashing into the warcaster. Kiera snipes the two soldiers Blandington is facing with Twin Strike, and Dire backs off from the soldier in front of him. Meriele unleashes Grasping Tide on the warcaster and a soldier. Kiera Twin Strikes the warcaster and it goes down. (Wilhelm Scream) Dire finishes off his target while Davan and Zanvard charge the last soldier. They both get in a few hits and Kiera finishes it off.

Wiping blood from his blade, Blandington looks at Meriele and says “Welcome to the party.”

What will our heroes find in the Thunderspire mountain range? Will they be able to eliminate the stain of slavery on this land? Will Meriele be able to visit revenge upon her former captors? Find out next week, on DragonCast! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!

The Fall of Kalarel
Or, 'Suplexed from the Grave'

Our heroes, having collapsed after defeating the Chimera, are roused from their slumber by Zanvard Goldbludgeon walking into the chamber. As he is explaining that his holy prayer reception had been poor and that he had stepped outside to take a confession, the corpse of the Chimera starts to glow. Ethereal orbs of the individual elements rise and levitate above the heads of the beast. Dire examines the phenomenon and says that placing a weapon in the orb would imbue it with an enchantment. Whooping with joy, the party starts bathing their equipment in the magical forge.

Kiera happily coats her blades in poison and enchants several new types of arrows. She also let the flames of the lion lick across her armor, and dons her new Scorched Sylvan Leather Armor.
Thun-Thun spread some poison on his off-handed axe and scorched his armor as well. Dire dropped his armor into the sphere of frost and gained frost resistance. The entire party saturates their inventory in elemental power.

After deliberating carefully, Blandington places Abattoir in the poison sphere. Immediately, all the extra-dimensional skulls melt away and disintegrate. Crying softly, he places the shield back on his arm and gains poison resist.

Yanking the boss key off the lion’s neck, Kiera slides it into the giant lock and twists. The chains clank as the mechanism springs apart and the door groans open. A dark and twisted vista appears before our heroes. They enter a large room filled with dark, humanoid shapes and the sound of chanting. Rivers of blood pour into a grate on the floor, bubbling and churning from an altar. In front of the altar, a hooded figure holding a knife turns and points at the heroes and lets out a scream of fury. A dark blot appears in the room, moving towards the group.

Davan rushes forward, eager to throw any enemies he can get his hands on into the pit of blood. He batters away at a Dark Berserker, but is quickly pressed onto the defense by a flank from its twin. They both strike and break through his armor, wounding him grievously.

Kiera shoots the Under Priest in the face, and he screeches and covers it. She moves around through the heavy terrain, trying to get a clear shot at the malevolent shadow.
Blandington rushes to Davan’s aid, hitting a Dark Berserker from behind. The Under Priest casts Shadow Curse at Blandington, but misses and hits the Berserker as well. Dire attacks the shadow, and it is revealed to be a Dark Creeper. Unfortunately, the Under Priest heals it immediately. 5 vampires swarm around Blandington and Davan, but Thun-Thun attacks one and triggers Chain Lightning. They burst into dust in one of the 10 ways available to their kind. (They have more death animations than skill points.) A skeleton warrior approaches Blandington while his twin moves up on Davan. The Dark Creeper uses Dark Step, and appears between Zanvard & Blandington, then jams a shiv under Blandington’s armor. Davan kills a Berserker and Blandington destroys the other with Kiera’s help. The Under Priest moves closer, and Davan shifts around behind him and pushes him into the pit. He falls, cursing the whole time, but manages to survive. All combat stops as everyone wonders how he could possibly survive. Then, a few seconds later, that first poisoned arrow Kiera hit him with releases enough toxins into his bloodstream to drive the last breath from his lungs.

Kiera shoots a skeletal warrior, and the fight starts back up again. Thun-Thun runs at the Dark Creeper and swings his blades into the vorpal nightmare that is its body. With a screech and a mind-numbing twist in the fabric of reality, it pops back into the nether realm from which it came. As the hole in reality heals itself, a dark power blasts through the rift and blinds everyone nearby.

As the only PC far enough away not to be blinded by the power, Kiera warns Davan not to move or he’ll fall into the pit. Zanvard desperately wants to heal Davan, but is unable to find him in the darkness even with Kiera’s help. Blandington resorts to using Lay on Hands on himself, relying on his armor to protect him from the skeleton warriors. (They are unhindered, as they target enemies through their intense hatred of followers of Bahamut, rather than any feeble light gathering organs.) Kiera shoots down one of the warriors using a lightning arrow. Dire manages to shake off the blindness and destroy the last skeleton.

The dark energy lifts as the last remnant of evil is demolished, though the room will to undergo some serious Tide of Iron to cleanse it of the wrongs of human sacrifice and demon worship. Taking a moment to recover, Davan notices that there aren’t any real exits to the room. Looking into the pit of blood, he sees some slippery blood covered chains leading down into a chamber under the Dark Cathedral.

The adventurers jump onto the chains and start to climb down. Darkness and dripping blood surround the heroes as they slowly lower themselves hand over hand down the slippery chains into the demon pit in the Keep on the Shadowfell. It had been nearly two months since they set forth to find their teacher Douven Stahl. After fighting the Bloodreaver hobgoblins, Irontooth, and Balgron the Fat, Ninaran the traitor, and various threats to aid the town of Winterhaven, it was all about to come to a head. Crimson streams of blood spilled over them as they descended into a twisting nightmare and pooled into the center of the chamber. They landed in its middle, ankle deep in coagulated blood, surrounded by the smell of copper and decay.

Echoing whispers of a hundred grim voices filled the chamber, beckoning them into the yawning black portal dominating the northern wall of the chamber. Straining from within the darkness, wisps of shadows forming hands and faces reached outwards from the portal, trying to force their ways into the land of the living. It was here, a human clad in heavy armor and carrying a skull-capped rod, Kalarel, stood chanting.

“O Prince of the Undead, Master of Decay, Bane of Life, we thrive in your shadow. Deliver unto us eternal life, and fill the world with blood and shadows, O thou Lord of Misery!”

Feeling sorta ignore, Blandington shouted out “Hey, Kalarel! You failed the bad test! We’re here to destroy you.”

He responds in a sibilant whisper “Unfortunately, you’re just in time to try and stop me. And by that, I mean you’re in time to die by my hand!”

A Deathlock Wight is standing near a pit to the east and two Skeleton Warriors guard the steps leading to the altar where Kalarel stands. The party quickly scatters, with Davan running to the Wight to try to push it into the pit. It stands firm against his power gloves and retaliates by blasting him with Horrific Visage and pushing him 10 feet.

Kiera shoots at Kalarel, but his armor is incredible. Kalarel targets Dire with Decaying Ray, but misses. Blandington and Zanvard double team a Skeleton Warrior. Zanvard loves fighting undead. Thun-Thun attacks the Wight with Thundertusk Boar Strike, pushing it a few feet but not quite all the way into the pit. Recovering from the Wight’s attack, Davan rushes back into the fray and sweeps the Deathlock Wight into the pit with a Tide of Iron. It perishes.

Kiera shoots Kalarel with a Lightning arrow, and it manages to penetrate. Irritated, he targets her with his rod of ruin. She is weakened, but the partial cover of a pillar kept her from getting hit too hard. She attacks a skeleton warrior, but doesn’t do much damage in her weakened state. She recovers quickly though. Thun-Thun runs back towards the skeletons and the rest of the party. He gives everyone nearby some health with Inspiring Fortitude and finishes off the last skellington with his axe. Kalarel hits Thun-Thun with Decaying Ray. Kalarel is all that’s left, and Blandington wastes no time keeping him occupied. Kiera, having recovered from the weakening attack, fires two arrows one right after another right through his breastplate. Kalarel teleports into a circle of mystical runes in front of the portal, and summons three spirit warriors. A Dwarf Shaman, an Elf Rogue, and an Eladrin Mage. Laughing, he says “Now, attack your friends!”

These ghostly warriors are the departed souls of the fallen party members, Totes, Moon Moon, and Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light! Apparently, he perished without anyone noticing. All that attack the darkness finally caught up with him, and it looks like it attacked back.

Blandington rushes to Totes and deals a critical strike at the diminutive Shaman. “Your head is mine!” (He’s still feeling the loss of his collection pretty strongly.) Davan runs forward to face off with Kalarel, smashing into his chestplate with his warhammer. As he recovers his stance, a huge Deathclaw reaches out from the portal behind Kalarel, swiping at him. Moon-Moon sneak attacks Davan, and flanks him. Dire deals a critical strike on Totes. Kiera shoots Moon Moon, poisoning him. Galstaff uses Magic Missle on Thun-Thun.

Kalarel hits Zanvard with his Rod of Ruin. Davan uses Sweeping Blow, hitting both Kalarel and Moon Moon. Totes summons Cuddles and grabs Blandington. He performs a super-suplex, slamming Blandington to the ground. Blandington says “I am so going to stab you in the shin.” But it turns out, that attack took everything Totes had, and he fades back into the spirit world.

Kalarel attacks Dire with his Rod of Ruin. Blandington charges the ghetto-fabulous Moon Moon who dodges and taunts. Galstaff uses Burning Hand to blast most of the party, Moon Moon included. Davan turns his back on Kalarel to shatter Moon Moon’s weak defense while he’s distracted by the flame magic. The hammer falls, hitting him right in his unprotected wolfy face, and he crumples to the blood soaked floor. As his spirit begins to fade, he manages to murmur, one last time, “Goddamit Moon Moon.”

Thun-Thun is furious at having to hurt his friends like this, and releases his rage on Kalarel, dealing tons of damage. Galstaff uses his Acid Arrow on Thun-Thun, but some of it splashes onto Kalarel too. Actually, he crit missed him. But since he’s his ally, that counts as a crit hit. (Dungeon-Master fiat.) Thun-Thun swings at Galstaff, shattering that dependable glass cannon and sending him back to his eternal slumber. Davan and Thun-Thun are majorly wounded. Davan, in fact, is weakened, immobilized, and taking ongoing necrotic damage. Healing is only half as effective as usual as well. He’s standing way too close to the Shadowfell portal to avoid the Deathclaw, but he can’t move.

He manages to recover from his weakened state, but it’s still a dangerous position. Zanvard uses Beacon of Hope, healing everyone somewhat.

Blandington gets mad and starts whaling on Kalarel. As he does, his sword begins to give off a soft golden glow, and he starts to take on the visage of Sir Keegan. With one last strike, Kalarel collapses. The ground begins to shake as dust falls from the ceiling. Beaten and bloodied Kalarel screams “Forgive me lord Orcus!” when a large claw bursts through the shadows seizing him. His cries of delight and terror fill the room as he is pulled into the portal and the rift seals once more. His screams are cut off abruptly, and silence falls.

Quadruple the heads, quadruple teh phat lewt
Or, 'Huh, these dragon statues are actually coming in handy'

The party enters the door guarded by the cherub statues, and are instantly swarmed by undead. The scent of fleshmeat assaults the senses and partially gnawed human corpses are strewn about. A clay golem reaches out and uses a psychic probe on Thun-Thun, dazing him. Kiera reacts swiftly and looses a snapshot at a ghoul and a clay golem. (“Are we seriously fighting the Thing?”) Dire blasts away a skeletal archer and backs into a corner to give the tanks some room to maneuver. The skeletal spearmen swarm around Blandington, who sanctions them and uses his holy sword to reduce the bad anatomy lesson in front of him into bone dust. Thun-Thun avoids a grapple from a zombie as the golem uses a psychic thrust on Dire. Thun-Thun retaliates, swiping at the zombie and maneuvering behind it.

Davan takes out a skeleton as the ghoul moves up and hits Blandington hard. Kiera takes another couple shots at the ghoul and backs away. Dire gets hit with the golem’s psychic probe and is dazed. He retaliates with eyes of vestige. The skeleton too far away from Blandington dies due to sanction. The zombie swipes and Thun-Thun again but is too slow. Thun-Thun raises his mighty axe and cracks the skull of a swordsman, lightning arcing all about him and eliminating three other skeletons into ash floating on the wind.

Another zombie approaches and zombie grapples Blandington. He tries to escape by smiling winningly at the rotting corpse. It’s not very effective. Davan moves to flank and try to help Blandington out, but as he’s leaving the reach of the ghoul it immobilizes him. Kiera shoots down the zombie that has been bothering Thun-Thun and moves around to get a better shot at the ghoul. Dire releases an eldritch blast into the melee, hitting the zombie that has Blandington by the pauldrons. It lets go and Blandington pierces it with valorous smite, a beam of holy light blazing from his sword as the zombie returns to the underworld.

Thun-Thun breaks through the ghouls defenses, but there’s not much power behind his swing. Davan whirls his warhammer at the clay golem, smushing his torso. He shudders and begins to reform as Dire unleashes a burst of thunderous power at his face. Kiera snipes at the ghoul, taking it down. Blandington, Thun-Thun, and Davan all swarm the golem, and all that’s left is a puddle of tan goop.

Blandington happily takes the heads of the ghoul and golem for his shield. Davan squeezes through a tiny crack in the wall and discovers the remnants of previous adventurers. He loots the bodies and emerges with a FREAKING BAG OF HOLDING!

Kiera heads down the steps and opens the door at the end, revealing a gigantic arena with a door at the far end. A large lock keeps it sealed and there is a circular engraving in the exact center of the room. in each corner, an unlit brazier awaits. As Kiera starts trying to pick the lock and fails, there is a ‘whump’ noise and all four of the torches in the corners ignite and a rumbling comes from the pedestal in the middle. It raises up and a chimera rises from the depression. Kiera, with her intimate knowledge of all the beasts in the natural realms, warns the others that the beast has four heads. A lion body that can breath fire, and dragon head arcing with lightning, a ram head with power over frost, and a poisonous snake tail.

Blandington takes the lead, standing directly in front of the lion head and challenging it. The king of beasts looses a roiling gout of flame, setting the mighty paladin aflame. Davan smashes at the goat head as a cloud of frosty air begins to collect around its mouth. Thun-Thun steps in behind the beast to flank it, chopping at the snake head and attempting to avoid its sharp fangs. Kiera backs away into the corner and fires at the goat head, hoping to break its concentration. Dire also blasts at the goat and steps back into the western end of the arena. The air around the goat coalesces into a blast of frigid air that surrounds the beast, slowing Davan, Thun-Thun, and Blandington. The snake spits poison at Thun-Thun and Davan. Blandington attacks the lion again and manages to put out his flames. Davan moves over next to Thun-Thun and they both go for the snake tail. The goat looks at Kiera and spits out an orb of frost that starts floating toward her rapidly. The dragon head starts to stare up at the sky and hum, sparks arcing up and down its neck as unnatural storm clouds start brewing in the room everywhere but directly under the chimera.

Taking the hint, Kiera runs around the incoming orb and gets in melee range with the goat. Dire also moves in close to the dragon head. The dragon roars as a huge bolt of lightning arcs down, blasting the entirety of the arena. The orb from the goat loops back around and hits Kiera, immobilizing her and leaving a patch on the ground that slows anyone inside it.

Blandington laughs as the lions claws glance off his armor plating, then thrusts powerfully into its vulnerable mouth. Kiera fires her bow at the dragon, and the ram stabs her with his horns. She is unable to shake off the immobilization as the snake poisons Davan and Thun-Thun again. Thun-Thun strikes back at the snake and Dire backs off to shoot at the goat again. It goes limp, falling to the floor as the frost circle fades. Kiera shoots at the dragon again and shakes off the immobilization. Davan cleaves the snake head into the lion, and lets Kiera shift out of the range of the lions’ claws.

The three remaining heads lift up and scream at the sky, yellow light flooding from their mouths, and the goat head shudders and rises up with glowing golden eyes. Frost starts accumulating around its mouth again. Blandington, Thun-Thun, and Davan step back while Kiera and Dire focus on the dragon head. The goat releases another burst of cold, but it doesn’t hit anyone. Thun-Thun uses his second wind and Blandington touches himself. Davan uses his cast-iron stomach to save against his poisoning and cleaves the snake into the lion again. Dire and Kiera ignore the goat and focus on the dargon. It finally succumbs and drops to the ground. Before it can be revived, the party debates whether attacking the downed dragon head would still wound the chimera as a whole. Thun-Thun says “It’s like stabbing a sleeping hobo” and starts hacking away at the head on the ground while Davan keeps the snake busy.

Kiera switches focus to the lion, since Blandington and Thun-Thun are running low on HP. Blandington touches himself again and Thun-Thun chops away at the dragon head once more. As he does, the whole chimera starts writhing and all four heads roar at the ceiling with golden light shining from their eyes and mouths. Then it shudders, staggers a little, and drops to the ground, ded. Blandington starts dancing happily as he starts sawing away at the lion head to put it on his shield. Exhausted, the party decides to take a nap.

Will our party remember where they left their healer next week? Will the extra-dimensional properties of Blandington’s shield ever reach capacity? Will our party ever reach the boss fight against Kalerel? Find out next week, on DragonCast!!! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!!

Or, "The Wall of Doom"

When last we left our heroes, they had just slain an iridescent slime. After looting the family heirlooms of the Keegan family, they move out to find Kalarel. Spotting a door to the east, they move through it. They enter an antechamber. Mumbling something about Half-life load screens, Kiera opens the door on the far side. The party gazes out into a long hall with 30 foot pits on either side. There’s an inscription on the wall at the far end. Davan goes to investigate. As he approaches, the door behind everyone slams sealed and Davan reads the engraving. “This is a trap.” As he does, the wall at the far end starts sliding towards the heroes and the base starts glowing purple. And ancient face appears in the stone and its glowing yellow eyes fire a blast at Davan. He picks himself off the floor, smoke rising from his armor as a purple beam blasts past him towards the rest of the party. It hits Thun-Thun, but Kiera, Blandington, and Dire dodge.

Davan runs at the wall and swings at it with his warhammer. Kiera moves to the side, away from the beam and fires arrows at the face in the stone. Blandington, Thun-Thun, and Dire all swarm towards the wall. Davan misses. Davan misses a wall, with a warhammer.

Dire hits it with Eyes of Vestige, and Kiera shoots it again. It inches closer, and a purple beam shoots across the edges of the room, not down the center. The wall pushes Davan back and shoots a bolt of magic energy at Thun-Thun. Davan rises from the floor and misses again. Blandington bashes it with his magic sword, and Dire hits it with Eyes of Vestige. Thun-Thun uses his daily and misses, but does some damage anyway. The floor starts to shimmer as the stone under Kiera is covered with a viscous foam, gripping her feet and hurting her. The wall starts glowing pink all along the base.

Kiera runs out of the poop and shoots the wall, then prepares her rope and grappling hook. Davan smashes the wall again and Dire crits it with Eldritch blast. Suddenly pink light bursts from the base and pushes everyone back, into the viscous floor. The wall and the floor coating both creep closer to the center. Kiera tries to throw her grappling hook into a crack in the wall, but misses. She Splits the Tree and slams the wall hard, dealing a ton of damage.

The wall starts glowing pink again, and shoots a blast at Blandington. He goes down and has to touch himself. Davan takes over tanking for a bit. Two skeletons fall from the ceiling and attack. Kiera shoots one and dodges past, then Davan pushes the other one into the pit. Blandington demolishes the other skeleton, lamenting that he already has a “skeleton head.”

Thun-Thun points out that they’re called skulls. The wall is now only five feet from the start of the ooze. There isn’t much time left. Blandington prays to Bahamut, the Platinum Dragon and attacks the wall with the last of his strength. It shudders to a halt, the magical light fading. “Praise the Plat Drag!”

The group rests and recovers as the ooze drains into the ravines. Kiera passes her rope to Davan and climbs down both, finding gold and some power gloves for Davan. Now he can push twice as hard.

The door at the entrance slides open, and the adventurers stumble out blinking in the torchlight. Only one path remains. Kiera slips between the double doors and sees a courtyard full of statues and a door leading to what must surely be Kalarel’s throne. As she waves the rest of the group into the room, the large statue of a Titan in the center begins to creak and shudder. Davan quickly jumps onto its back and smashes it in the face with his hammer. Kiera looks east and sees statues of dragons. Thinking of the silver dragon statue in her pack, she runs to it and looks for a place to fit the smaller dragon into, some mechanism or slot. Deciding that it must be activated by prayer, and being agnostic, she yells to Blandington to come pray to the Plat Drag while holding the statues. Thun-Thun performs a majestic leap onto the Titan, winking at Kiera as he does. She rolls her eyes. Blandington runs over and starts praying. As he does, the large dragon statue does a breath attack, pushing him back and into the ground. Kiera nopes out of there, shooting the dragon as she goes. Davan bludgeons the Titan as Dire hits it with Eldritch Blast.
Kiera shoots the Titan and it crumbles to bits as Davan and Thun-Thun are thrown off. Thun-Thun runs over to the dragon statue and attacks, but then its breath pushes him into the range of the other dragon statue. He gets pushed back again, landing on his rump next to Dire. Blandington tries to 1v1 the first dragon statue again, while Thun-Thun decides to attack one of the little cherub statues guarding the entrance to the throne room. As soon as his axe hits the little baby in the head, a magical forcefield flickers into life, trapping him in the alcove. A fountain starts spraying out of the vases of the four cherubim, and the alcove begins to fill with water. Blandington gets double teamed by the dragons again, and Dire says he should help Thun-Thun, leave the dragon statues to the party members with ranged attacks. Nodding, Blandington pushes his way through the forcefield and starts bashing one of the cherubs. The water continues to rise.

Dire shoots an Eldritch Blast at one of the cherubs from just outside the forcefield. Kiera keeps firing at the dragon statue. The water rises and starts to swirl around and around, smashing Blandington and Thun-Thun against the walls. Thun-Thun is smart enough not to activate his lightning axe or lightning breath, and instead just swings at a cherub. Blandington destroys the northwestern cherub, but he’s down to 5 health. Davan dives into the trap and thinks about holding Blandington, fighting the swirling water. Deciding it’s more effective to disable the trap, he smashes at the corner cherub before getting swept into the flow of the torrent. Thun-Thun charges with the water, smashing into the southwest cherub. Dire shoots another roiling burst of thunder.

Kiera, seeing the situation is looking grim, destroys the first dragon statue then shifts her focus and starts firing at the cherubim as well. Blandington swings back around and slams into the northeast statue. With a mighty kick, he knocks its head from its shoulders. The water stops flowing and the force shield flickers out. The heroes are washed out into the courtyard, coughing and retching. Kiera shoots the last dragon statue to bits as Thun-Thun gets his revenge on the remaining two cherubim (which are now harmless)

In the rubble of the Titan, the group discovers a +1 Rod of Corruption, which Dire takes happily. The party sets up camp and prepares for a nice, long rest before facing the horror of Kalarel.

What will our heroes face beyond the door? What dark, twisted beasts serve the corrupted soul of Kalarel the dark? Can the party stand firm in the bonds of friendship and trust, or will the whispering voices of souls long departed sow dissent and suspicion? Can our heroes rid the land of the dark taint of the Cult of Orkus? Find out next week, on DragonCast!!! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!

Anathema to Storyboarding
Or, "Hello slime, are you bad?"

After vanquishing their foes and taking a quick nap, the PCs continue scouring the dungeon for Kalerel. They move south, and Kiera fails to notice a portcullis dropping from the ceiling, blocking the way forward. Thun-Thun, Blandington, and Davan pull the bars apart. Kiera slips through the gap and enters a large room with two doors, some crates in the corner, and a table in the center. Suddenly, hobgoblins burst through the doorways and surround her, crowding the hallway.
Kiera Nightlock slides through the crowd, moving to the back of the party and scores a crit on a soldier taking out more than half his health and giving him a bad case of creeping necrosis.
Blandington tries to strike at a foe, but the hallway is so cramped that he hits Zanvard. A hobgoblin hits Davan, and Thun-Thun Indian Skips to get into melee range. He hits a minion and activates the special charge on his axe. Chain lightning arcs out, destroying all the remaining minions. Kiera ignites her bow and fires at the Hobgoblin Warchief. He is lit on fire and poisoned while dealing with a grievous wound.

Blandington touches Zanvard, and then tries to attack the soldier but he dodges. Zanvard summons the power of Healing Word and eases Davan’s burden. Davan, freshly rejuvenated, employs his Sweeping Blow, hitting the weakest soldier and killing it. It was about to die of necrotic poisoning in a second, but whatevs.

Thun-Thun hits one of the remaining soldiers, Kiera bloodies him, and Zanvard finishes him off. He was about to die of Kiera’s poison as well. Davan smashes into the warchief, but he’s still standing. Thun-Thun hits him too, and the Warchief manages to put out the flames. Kiera sights down her bow, and releases a shaft into his eye. He collapses, and Blandington whines that he already has a hobgoblin head on his shield. Kiera sighs heavily and shoots the last soldier.
The adventurers find some gold, but this hallway is a dead end. They go back to the room with a pit and head south down the larger hallway, then take a right and go west. They come upon some doors that say “Closed” and then beneath that in French the same thing only no one knows French. Kiera tries to ‘speak friend and enter’ in elvish, and Zanvard tries in Dwarvish. Kiera tries to pick the lock. Thun-Thun tries to push it open. Nothing seems to work. They knock, and the sound echoes down the hallway but there’s no response. Finally Blandington tries to kick it down. Being a pretty boy, it doesn’t work. Thun-Thun yells “I don’t want to use my head!” as Davan and Blandington use him as a battering ram and smash the door off its hinges. The door opens to reveal a hallway with passages leading left and right. The floor is suspiciously clean. Davan throws a throwing hammer at the far wall, but it doesn’t trigger any traps. He goes to pick it up, and the group follows. Kiera spots a translucent slime in an alcove on the left. Blandington walks up to it and tries to initiate conversation. He says “Hello slime, are you bad?” It swallows him, coating him in acid and dazing him. Thun-Thun gets around to the side and cuts it. The slime moves and swallows Davan, then slams them both into the ground. Their armor keeps them safe. Kiera quickly backs down the hallway, shooting as she goes. Thun-Thun slices it again, and it’s bloodied. Zombie corpses burst from sarcophagi down the other hall and start running at Kiera. Zanvard really hates undead, so he moves to attack the zombies, hitting them with his radiant powers. Davan uses his second wind, trying to handle the huge amount of acid. The slime moves and swallows Thun-Thun, then slams him and Blandington into the ground. Kiera shoots a zombie and backs off, she doesn’t like them getting so close. They flank Zanvard, and throw necrotic waste at him. He’s weakened. He moves backward trying to get away from the zombies, and the slime swallows him too. Kiera hits the slime hard and fades away. Davan dailies and crits, for tons of damage, killing the slime. Wiping off the slime, he kills one of the zombies and Thun-Thun takes out the last one. The PCs examine the room down the hall and discover money in the zombie sarcophagi and the clothing of Tristan and Ceinwein Keegan. They take a Safewing amulet, which reduces falling damage and increases defenses. Thun-Thun loops it around his neck, while Kiera takes a golden medallion and Davan takes a silver bangle.

Will the group suffer an ill fate from touching the Keegan family mementos? Where could Kalerel be hiding? Will Blandington ever get the slime out of his hair? Find out next week, on DragonCast! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!!

Spider Jockey Rampage
Or, a pretty face only gets you so far.

Our heroes venture down the steps to the second level of Shadowfell Keep. They encounter a glowing wall. Dire walks forward, holding the amulet of Orcus in his hand and speaks the passphrase “And life fails in the dark.” The light fades away and the party continues down the stairs, which open into a large cavern. To the left is a small barracks, to the right is a hallway, and directly in front are two goblin soldiers standing in front of a pit. Behind them, there’s another guarded alcove through which a caged Deathjump spider can be seen.

The two guards come to attention and challenge the party by shouting “Shadow seeks Shadow!” The group freezes and looks a little guilty, unsure how to respond. Dire steps in and claims that the group has news from Ninaran, and that they seek an audience with Kalerel. The goblin says “What… is your name?” Dire replies “Dire.” “What…is your favorite colour?” “Green”

“No but seriously, if you need an audience go ahead.” “Thanks! Um, could you tell us the way?” “Haha, you’re joking right?” “Uh yeah…haha”

Kiera wants to release the spider from its cage, but the guard clears his throat and says “Kalerel isn’t that way. Just joking around some more?” The adventurers start to go down the hall to the right when the guard yells “HALT! Why are you wearing symbols of Bahamut?” Dire bluffs that they picked them up from some fallen heroes as trophies.
The guard seems convinced and the crew keeps walking. They come upon a corridor to the south and a door to the north. They open the north door and a trigger happy goblin archer screams “Intruders!” and ducks out of sight. Two goblin soldiers emerge from a door and one of them scores a critical hit on Dire. Dire strikes back, and Sir Blandington challenges the one next to him. They effectively block the north corridor, so Thun- Thun runs DENNIS and hits a goblin soldier, killing a goblin grunt minion with his off-handed weapon.
Davan Ogrescrush runs to help Thun-Thun and trips. Kiera takes a shot at the soldier in front of Blandington, but the arrow goes wide.

Zanvard heals Dire and uses sacred flame on the goblin soldier in front of Dire. Blandington takes a hit from both soldiers. Davan parries a blow while prone, knocking the soldier’s blade into his ally. Blandington uses a daily to sanction the soldiers. The goblin archer that sounded the alarm tries to shoot Blandington but hits a goblin soldier instead.

One of the guards opens the cage and releases the spider, using some sort of glowing rod to keep it under control. Kiera gets a shot off at the goblin archer and does some necrotic + fire damage. Davan crits on a goblin soldier. He ded. Zanvard uses Astral Seal on the soldier in front of Blandington and gives the party an accuracy bonus. Dire gets his soldier with a spell and Blandington kills it. The archer saves against the necrotic damage but hits the WarCaster in the back of the head with a shaft.

Thun-Thun crushes a soldier but he staggers back up. The Deathjump spider jumps closer. Kiera pirouettes through the melee, shooting a soldier in the head, then spinning and releasing a flaming arrow at the spider. It hisses in pain and rage, and the handler looks furious. Davan hits his soldier with his hammer, and Zanvard uses Sacred Flame against the one remaining near Blandington. One of the soldiers knocks Davan prone again. Dire crit fails and hits the wall, revealing some crispy wall meat. Blandington gets bloodied by the archer. Thun-Thun hits a goblin soldier and then uses an action point to get another swipe, killing it and cleaving into his buddy.

Kiera uses her daily to deal 19 fire damage and ongoing necrotic to the Deathjump spider and its handler. Davan stands up and tries to cleave, but misses. He uses his action point to bloody his target. Zanvard uses Hymn of Resurgence, giving temporary HP and also does damage to some gobos. He uses his action point to attack with sacred flame, doing even more DPS.

The spider handler points his glowing stick at Kiera, and the spider leaps into the air and tries to bite her. She twists like a wisp in the wind and it misses. The handler marches forward and jabs her, trying to knock her to the floor. She gets cut, but keeps her feet and dances nimbly back behind Thun-Thun and Davan. Dire kills the soldier that has been threatening Blandington, leaving just the goblin archer and the war mage in the north room. Thun-Thun unleashes his Dragon’s Breath, killing an minion and hitting a goblin soldier. Then he tries to hit the soldier with his axes, but misses twice. The spider jumps and bites at Thun-Thun, but his armor is too thick. A minion hits Thun-Thun and another hits Davan. Kiera twin strikes the handler, making him drop the controlling implement into the well. The handler gets a terrified look on his face and starts to run away.

Zanvard tries to use Bane on the spider. (“You will be Baned, and then there will be cake.”) But it misses. Thun-Thun uses his daily on the spider, killing it. Blandington asks him to save the head so he can add it to his shield.
Kiera kills one of the remaining soldiers with some poison arrows. The last soldier tries to bullrush Davan, but being a dwarf it doesn’t work on him. Blandington uses Virtuous Strike on the War Mage, killing him. Kiera kills the goblin handler who tried to run, shooting him full of arrows in the small of his back. Zanvard destroys a minion. Dire hits the archer for a ton of damage, but it’s still standing. Blandington charges at it, killing it. The room is clear, so he goes to retrieve the spider head. Thun-Thun hits the last soldier, but he doesn’t quite die. Blandington tries to charge around the corner, jabbing his shield into the wall to help him change trajectory. He makes the turn and gets behind the soldier, but then falls prone as he skids to a stop. Thun-Thun kills the soldier and Davan picks up a Vicious Warhammer.

Will our heroes be able to get past the rest of the garrison force? Where could Kalerel be lurking? Does he know of the PCs presence? Find out next week, on DragonCast! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!

A Sorceress Scorned
Or, Rumble in the Graveyard

When last we left our heroes, they had just cleared the goblin prison and discovered the goblin Splug in a cell. Dire walks up to the bars and intimidates Splug into revealing that knowing the passphrase is only part of the requirements to get down to the second level. The heroes all will need an amulet of Orkus. Which they sold. In Winterhaven. Splug also reveals that Kalarel’s liason for Winterhaven is Ninaran and she was supposed to stop the heroes from getting to the cult.
Sir Blandington the generic pushes that the party kills Splug saying that “It’s not cold blood, it’s premeditated self-defense!” However, after much debate and a strong insight check from Zanvard Goldbludgeon, Splug is released from the cell and goes to hide out in the cave system where the party first encountered Irontooth.

The PCs decide to go back to Winterhaven to try to buy back the amulet of Orkus, but when they arrive they discover that the gate is barred and the village looks ravaged. Lord Padraig informs the adventurers that Winterhaven is on lockdown due a great peril. Villagers have been disappearing, and undead have been sighted south of town. The PCs agree to help in exchange for some gold and the amulets they sold to the merchant.

The group approaches the graveyard where the undead originated, softly creeping between the mausoleums. The group spots a dim blue-green glow coming from a strange circle on the ground. Dire thinks back on all his arcane studies, but can’t identify the magic. Davan Ogrescrush displays gonads of osmium by walking straight into the circle of doom. Nothing happens, so the rest of the group approaches. Suddenly, 4 Graveyard Hounds and ~ 8 Skeletal Archers burst from the ground throughout the graveyard as an elf appears from behind a tree. It’s Ninaran and she taunts Kiera, saying she expected better from royalty. It turns out that Ninaran was the one who arranged for Kiera’s sister Arielle to be kidnapped a few days ago. Then Ninaran fires an arrow and hits Kiera in the leg. The fight is on!

THUN-THUN takes some necrotic damage from a Zombdog bite, but manages to strike it on the muzzle and make it let go. Zanvard uses Sacred Flame on the beast and heals Kiera Nightlock. Kiera shoots one of the hounds, then hides in the large mausoleum to keep Ninaran’s focus. Sir Blandington, Baron of Grayscale charges the group of Skeletons to the south, and crits one and then sanctions about half of them. They fire back, raining down a hailstorm of arrows. Most bounce off his armor, but he takes one hit. Davan attacks a Zombdog, but misses. He does manage to mark two of them though.
Dire does 12 damage to the 2nd dog. It tries to bite Thun-Thun again, and he gets some more necrotic damage. Thun-Thun is down to 5 HP. Another Graveyard Hound misses and bites his buddy. Graveyard Hounds 1 and 2 are bloodied now. Zanvard gives some major heals to Thun-Thun. Then he attacks Zomdog 3 with Sacred Flame and does 23 damage. Not a typo.
Kiera does 9 damage on hound 1. Blandington destroys a minion, then the 6 surrounding him attack. Two of them hit, dealing 8 damage total. 4 skelton archers attack Davan and miss. Dire pulls his daily on Graveyard Hound #1 and kills it dead. Dead again? Extra dead? He returned it to its eternal sleep.

Ninaran is a racist prick. She taunts Kiera and shoots at Davan. She barely misses.
Thun-Thun reacts to an attack and cuts a hound trying to get around him. Kiera crawls through a hole in the mausoleum and tries to hit a hound. She misses completely.
Blandington takes out another minions, the rest completely miss. Davan uses Covering Attack of Zomdog 3, and gets Zanvard shifted away from a dangerous flank.
Ninarin has a major bone to pick with Kiera, hits her for another 14 damage. Thun-Thun kills dog 2 and a skeletal archer. Zanvard kills a minion and stops the spread of the necrosis across Davan’s face. Blandington swipes at Ninaran, but she dodges.
Davan hits the last Graveyard Hound. It staggers a bit but is k. Ninaran uses her daily on Blandington, her flaming bow deals 23 damage. Zanvard uses Beacon of Hope, weakening Ninaran and a couple minions and the last hound. Kiera tries to shoot Ninaran, but misses again. Blandington does an impression of a pincushion as the minions all attack and miss. Another minion hits Thun-Thun. Dire kills the last Graveyard Hound. Ninaran deals another 11 damage to Blandington. Thun-Thun uses his encounter to kill 3 minions. Kiera misses. Again. Blandington hits Ninaran for 8 damage. Then he touches himself.

The skeletons surround Thun-Thun and deal another 8. He’s down to 5 again. Davan uses his daily on Ninaran. Dire misses trying to hit Ninaran. Thun-Thun uses Dragon’s Breath, then uses and AP to give a +12 temp HP to everyone except Kiera. Zanvard blesses the party, +1 to attack rolls and then tries Astral Seal. Kiera FINALLY hits Ninaran, bringing her down by 11. She’s finally bloodied. Thun-Thun attacks the minion Zanvard Astral Sealed, gaining the HP and killing it. Kiera deals the killing blow to Ninaran.

Blandington takes a strong stand against grave robbing. Go figure. Kiera runs around a straps the Graveyard Hound teeth to some basic arrows, making (100) necrotic arrows that deal 3 ongoing necrotic damage. She also takes Ninaran’s Longbow of Fire.

The magic circle fades, and Davan realizes he’s been dancing in the blood of innocents. The remains of the enemies start to sink back into the earth as the adventurers hit level 3.
Ninaran is also wearing an elven cloak that belonged to Arielle, Kiera’s sister. Kiera takes it.
They also find a page of vellum on her body with instructions on how to summon the undead. It also includes the passcode to the 2nd floor of Shadowfell Keep and is signed Kalerel. The group goes back to the village, and is paid some cash and collects the amulet of Orkus.

Will the party be able to pass themselves off as goblins and gain access to the second floor? What strange new terrors await our adventurers as they venture further into the depths of the keep on the Shadowfell? Will there be repercussions for annihilating a general of Kalerel? Find out next week, on DragonCast! THUN-THUN-THUN!!!


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