Haven

Assualt on Stonehollow

Our heroes continue towards Stonehollow, after making a brief pit-stop in Haven. Here, they pick up a half-elf named Meinfinger, who is going to go assist Stonehollow with mining. Additionally, Lanyk completes his construct “Robotnyk,” and decides to take him out for a dry run. Lanyk will control Robotnyk from back at Haven via remote control. When making their way through the caves, dragging Boran along, they are lead into an ambush by a second group of three dragonborn, trained suspiciously similarly to one ones at the quarry. Our heroes have a little bit of trouble, but they make it through.
The arrive at Stonehollow a week later to find it under attack but none other than Dolovar Grey and a horde of demonic imps! Maladrok, Myradon, and Dorum are guarding the entrance to Goodshore, but our heroes rush to defeat Dolovar. Corpses of Dwarves and Dragonborn litter the town, and black fire burns stone even in the blizzard. Although the sight is intimidating, Estar comes into her own, dominating the powerful demonic wizard. She making him lie down and crawl around, incurring opportunity attacks from Vestas and Robtnyk, while Meinfinger and Varus pepper him with opportunity attacks. He only gets one attack off before being dominated.
Shamed and furious, Dolovar teleports away, and his imps fall dead.
Dorum informs the heroes of Haven that Eva was killed in the attack. He partially blames the heroes for causing the attack, as bringing Boran here forced the enemy’s hand, but he is willing to ally anyway. The group proceeds into the war room, where Adrianne extracts war information from Boran’s mind and determines that Haven, Stonehollow, and Koboldville and under immediate threat of attack. They also say that there are three groups out there which could potentially be swayed to the hero’s side: The Dragons, the Gnomes, and the Goblins/Hobgoblins. Each group comes with its advantages and disadvantages, but the group only has time for one more “swaying” before the dragonborn mass in earnest.
Dorum also explains the military might that the heroes have. Dorum+Maladrok+Myradon=Heroes of Haven=Haven Army=Kobold Village=?? Those are the “military squads” that our heroes have to work with, each group being approximately equal in strength to the other groups. The constructs are an, as of yet, untested factor that Dorum has no idea the strength of.

It is 12/2, level 13.

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Bringing Back Boran

Our heroes decide to bring Boran Tharr back to Haven, and then Stonehollow. The tie him to the outside of their water barrel, then begin the long journey back. Almost at the Kobold Village, our heroes encounter and then destroy a nest of 30 ants who burrow out of the ground to attack them. They then take a nice, well deserved extended rest at Koboldville, and are pleased to hear that Ketch-Zin with eagerly join their cause as an ally.

The take the path to Haven. As they pass the now abandoned quarry, they are stopped by three dragonborn who demand that the Knights of the Coconut turn over Boran Tharr. These seem to be an elite task force, fused with demonic blood. However, Lanyk gets the drop on them and just racks out the dailies, knocking them prone, surrounding them by difficult terrain, and basically rendering them useless. And who could forget Vestas’s part in the battle. Without those taunts, who knows what would have happened? The three dragonborn are dispatched without any problem, but Boran warns that more task forces could be on their way.

Our heroes finally make it back to Haven. The trip back took about a month and a half. Lanyk hands Charley 9 some secret blueprints, and then our heroes head on thier way. Besides the recent population boom (due in part to the recent discovery of gems), things in Haven seem to be going pretty well.

It is 11/25, and our Heroes have just turned level 13.

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Vignette: Ritual Shopping

Lanyk is sound asleep in his quarters when Vestas bursts into the room.

“Wake up! We’ve got a long day ahead of us!”

A quick glance out the window confirms that the sun has just barely peeked over the horizon. But before Lanyk can really register that fact, he’s being dragged through town. “Where are we going?”

“To Jupus!”

The ritual vendor is on the cusp of a major revelation. For years now, he’s been harnessing the unfettered power of his dreaming mind to explore the deeper nature of existence. It has been a painstaking process. Each night he makes infinitesimal progress as he plunges his mind into the depths of chaos, expending tremendous mental effort to extract the barest wisps of truth. But tonight, all the bits start to come together. There is clarity where previously there was only confusion. Connections form between seemingly unrelated parts. A vision of something grand and unifying, something that gives meaning and beauty to all things. Something about coconuts…

“Jupus!”

Jupus awakes to Vestas shaking him and yelling, and immediately punches the ardent in the face. He looks over at the gnome and tries to decide whether another punch is warranted.

Vestas doesn’t miss a beat. “Ah, Jupus, I’m glad you’re awake. We need to see your ritual books right away.”

Jupus stares for a second. Another punch is indeed warranted, and hits Vestas again, this time knocking him off his feet. “They’re in there. Go away now.”

Vestas becomes almost giddy as he approaches the shelves. He pulls down one of the tomes, sits down at the small table, and starts flipping through the pages excitedly. “Ohh..” He intently scans a page. “That’s interesting… I wonder if…” He grabs another book and searches through it, occasionally referring back to the first book. Soon he starts taking notes.

After about 15 minutes, he seems to have reached a conclusion. “Yes, I’m quite sure now.” He stands up. “I don’t understand one bit of this.” He moves aside and offers Lanyk his seat. “Your turn!”

And so Lanyk begins reading through the rituals, describing them briefly to Vestas, who stands nearby staring at him and waiting patiently. For each one, they discuss how useful it might be and whether it’s worth the effort to acquire them. They are in agreement most of the time, although Vestas is more inclined to include somewhat frivolous ones than Lanyk, who has to do all the actual work of copying them.

“But in what circumstance is that useful?”

“We might suddenly find ourselves in need of a bunch of flowers or something.”

“What? How?”

“I don’t know. Maybe we meet an angry, misunderstood stone giant who would stop terrorizing the local villagers if only his garden would flourish.”

A few hours pass, and their progress slows as Lanyk visibly begins to tire. Vestas walks out and returns promptly lugging a giant soup pot in his arms.

“Here, this will help keep your strength up.”

“I don’t even like soup.”

“Soup? This is Hog Spit Ale from The Pig and Whistle. They just didn’t have any big enough mugs.”

Night approaches and they’ve finally exhausted Jupus’ supply of rituals. As Lanyk finishes making copies of the last few rituals, Vestas has an idea.

“Wait, so you can use this one to summon a small spirit person?”

“Yes…”

“And then you can give that spirit person a simple command to convey to someone you can name and picture in your mind?”

“Well, yes. The spirit still has to travel to the person, and it only sticks around for about a week… But they’re pretty quick.”

“Call one.”

“Now?”

“Yeah.”

Lanyk makes the required incantations and arcane gestures, and a spirit fetch appears before them.

“Who do you wish to command?”

Vestas steps forward. “Dolovar Gray.”

“And what command do you wish to send him?”

“Tell him, ’We’re coming for you. In the meantime, go fuck yourself.’”

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Boran Tharr and the Chamber of Constructs

Our heroes continue through the desert for another two weeks, slowly approaching a gigantic great purple orb in the sky.

Our heroes come across a dead dragonborn. He is only a day or two old. Magic determines that he was part of a group of four, and that he will killed by constructs. And that his armor was made by a blacksmith.

They continue.

When the get nearer to the orb, they stumble across a large lake. In the middle of the lake, there is an island with a large ziggurat. The purple orb is directly above the ziggurat. On the shore of the lake, there is a ring of copper poles that mark some sort of barrier, surrounding the lake. There is a large structure in the sand by the lake, and there are plenty of constructs milling about.

Our heroes make a dash for the structure. When they breach the fence, the constructs attack, but our heroes are able to evade them and get inside. They continue through the structure, which seems to be some kind of workshop with gears and metal everywhere. They come across two more dead dragonborn, and a bunch of destroyed constructs.

Eventually they make their way to a large forge, where they encounter a huge construct being controlled by a dragonborn. This dragonborn is has purple armor, and is using some sort of uber-complex rubiks cube to control the construct.

They defeat the dragonborn, but don’t kill him. Instead, they question him. The dragonborn is obstinate, and has a bad mouth, but after a high intimidate check and a bit of torture, he starts talking.

His name is Boran Tharr, and he was sent here to take over the constructs. He says that the dragonborn are on the same side as the demons. Long ago, when the humans came to this plane, they came from Eberron. They broke through to this plane in with the huge portal. When they tried to get rid of the demons, they reworked the portal to send them to another portal. They forced the demons through the portal, then reinforced it in that direction.

However, they did not reinforce it in the direction of Eberron. So, Lanyk’s airship was able to break through the portal, and when he did, the portal opened for about 10 seconds. A couple dozen demons came through, and they have been trying to convert the land. Their ultimate objective is to reopen the portal.

The constructs are here to guard the portal, and prevent the demons from breaking through. They hate Lanyk because they assume he is a demon.

Boran also mentions that they have Thevra captured.

The heroes want to kill Boran now, but Vestas realizes that there is another way. Boran is their proof to Stonehollow that the dragonborn is a threat. They are going to take Boran all the way back to Stonehollow with them.

And Boran doesn’t like that one bit.

It is 10/12. Level 12.

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Charley 9 and on the Road Again

Continuing on through the path, our heroes come across a gem mine and defeat a crystal golem. They then return to Haven.

Back in Haven, our heroes meet Charley 9, a warforged who was Lanyk’s friend back on the airship. He says that he woke up after the crash in the forced employ of a clan of goblins. These goblins mentioned that Charley fell out of the sky the same day that the sky turned purple.

Recently, the clan fell to a group of hobgoblins, and Charley escaped in the chaos of the fighting.

Charley has started to work on the airship!

Our heroes head west into the desert. After about a week and a half of traveling in the desert, they are attacked by a handful of constructs, whom they dispatch.

It is 9/30, level 12.

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Stonehollow and Goodshore (2/2)

Our heroes enter Goodshore, and explored around. After much detective work, they determine that Brian Pa;ltry was attempting to connect Goodshore to a number of important cities across the world. However, when she attempted to activate the portals, Goodshore’s defense mechanisms activated, and the plane crushed her.

Our heroes go back the Stonehollow to tell Eva, but Adrianne asks them to come to him first. He explains that Finnegan could have stopped it, but didn’t. He also explains that everybody on the council knows, except for Eva. The council does not want to implicate Finnegan, because without Finnegan nobody is sure what would happen to Goodshore.

Our heroes decide to blackmail Finnegan, and not tell Eva the truth. Finnegan agrees to vote for them.

Next, our heroes visit Myradon Greymoor. He agrees to think favorably of them if they initiate trade with Stonehollow, and if they give 10% of the proceeds to the Greymoor clan. He is also glad to hear that a relative of his is living in Haven.

At last, Dorum calls another meeting. Our heroes each make arguments, and the council is largely convinced. Furious, Dorum takes the heroes aside. He says that Stonehollow will only ally if the heroes can meet four conditions.
1: Find evidence that the Dragonkin empire is a threat.
2: Make more allies!
3: Figure out what is wrong with Lanyk’s chest.
4: Clear out the tunnels connecting Stonehollow and Haven.

Our heroes start on the path between Stonehollow and Haven. AFter a few days of traveling, they come across a large nest of Spider Trolls (???) and clear them out.

It is now 8/27.

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Stonehollow and Goodshore (1/2)

There was lots of plot and exposition here, and I’m going to skim most of it. Feel free to add in details that you might remember if you feel like it.

Our heroes were worked in the night by a strange Orc named Maladrok. Maladrok is a Druid on the council who is charged with keeping Stonehollow safe.

In the morning, Marcus took our heroes to the council. They had just finished arguing, and Adrianne was annoyed.

Evidently, nobody wanted Stonehollow and Haven to enter in a military alliance. Adrianne wanted the heroes to go and try to convince the council members.

Maladrok, the Orc Druid, needed to know that Haven would be a valuable ally. When the heroes defeated his animal companion, an albino jaguar, he said he would listen to their argument.

Alabaster Brave, a Lich Necromancer, wanted to help make up for past wrongdoings. When the heroes explained that he would be protecting people, Alabaster agreed.

Eva Paltry, an Elf wizard, was surprised that the heroes came to her at all. After learning more about Eva and her mother’s death, they promised to return. Eva is so far unconvinced.

Finnegan, a Gnome Sorcerer, remained distant and aloof. He requested that the heros stop worshiping Kord, and the heros politely refused. When they offered him Caelo Ignus, he seemed interested – but still lukewarm. Finnegan gave a partial yes.

At this point, our heros determined that they should investigate Eva’s mother’s death. Briar Paltry was crushed to death in Goodshore, but nobody quite knows what happened. This is odd, given that Finnegan has a good deal of awareness over Goodshore, and Adrianne can read minds.

Adrianne reluctantly suggested that they visit “the scene of the crime,” but seemed to regret that suggestion instantly. “Somethings are best left undiscovered.”

It is 8/23.

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Back into the Frozen North

Our heroes return from their side quest to learn that a Dragonkin ambassador has visited Haven, demanding tribute. Patrick sent him away angrily, but is now worried. He tells our heroes that they shouldn’t worry about Haven for now, and continue to search for things that may help the colony.

He also introduces our heroes of Leevon, explaining that the seeker may prove useful in the times ahead.

Our heroes decide to head back into the frozen northlands. The approach the barrier to find that it is still down, but there are the signs of battle – however, no corpses, just armor and weapons. They continue north, following the trail of debris, as it leads them through a labyrinth of gigantic stones and glaciers that appear to have been uplifted violently from the earth.

Eventually, they come across two dragonborn, a man and a woman, who are holding down a bottleneck. In broken common, the woman implores the heroes to finish off the undead that wait just beyond the corridor. Our heroes as suspicious, especially after a good sense motive check reveals that the dragonborn are not on the hero’s side, but they take out the undead anyway.

Our heros cautiously return the the dragonborn, who they realize are poised to attack them as soon as they enter the bottleneck. Vestas throws a skeleton down the corridor, and the male makes his intentions known by striking it down.

There is an awkward pause as the two parties stare at each other. After some brief and confusing negotiations, it is revealed that all dragonborn “teams” have an order to kill the heros on sight. However, the female tells the male that she will not do it, and recommends that the heroes leave for a few minutes such that the dragonborn can return home.

Our heroes wait patiently, then return to find that the male has been killed. They then make camp for the night.

Just before sunrise, they are approached by a man in grey cloaks and a squad of undead. The man, who introduces himself as Marcus Dawn, calls to them by name and welcomes them to these lands. He invites them to journey with him to Stonehollow. our heroes cautiously accept.

Stonehollow, it seems, is a town on the top of a mountain (Frosttop Spire) that is run by seven spellcasters. The town has been functioning for about six hundred years, and it gets it’s food and supplies from a lush and fertile demi-plane that the spellcasters have created. The demi-plane is known as Goodshore. The undead, barrier, and labyrinth are all designed to keep the dragonborn out.

Marcus explains more: Marcus’s mentor, Adrianne Deel, has been waiting for the heroes. He hope that they can help convince the other spellcasters that the dragonborn are a real threat.

After a week’s walk, our heroes climb to the top of Frosttop Spire. They arrive at night, and are quietly shuttled into a tavern room. Nobody but Adrianne, Marucs, and the Tavern owner knows they are here.

It is 8/22

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Vignette: Vestas Goes Shopping
Vestas is a discerning shopper

Vestas looks into his bag and sees the same five vials of Bloodstinger poison that have been rolling around in there for months now.

No one seems interested in using these things. Maybe I can exchange them for something more interesting.

Luckily Etzal, the alchemical wares trader, is in town and doing business nearby.

“Etzal! I need your assistance. These poison vials are just not getting used. What else do you have available?”

Etzal scans his stock and pulls out a glass sphere filled with swirling green gas.

“What about this? The gas inside will make everyone in the area break out into convulsive laughter. Good for distracting your enemies.”

Vestas considers the recreational uses of such product for several moments.

“Maybe later. What else?”

Etzal pulls out a small flask containing a thick, gray paste.

“Sovereign Glue. This will stick two things together real good. All kinds of uses for that.”

Vestas briefly imagines Balthazar the stupid paladin with his hands glued to his face.

“Intriguing, but I’m thinking something a little more combat-oriented. For example, I often find myself in battle thinking, ‘You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.’† What do you have for that?”

Etzal’s eyes light up, “Ah! I see.” He reaches over and pulls out a heavy wooden box. He unfastens the latch, and carefully opens the lid. Inside are a dozen vials, one of which he tenderly lifts from the box and hands to Vestas.

Vestas raises it, letting the sun shine through to better examine the contents. It churns with deep reds and yellows, and is warm to the touch. It looks like nothing less than liquid flame.

“Alchemist’s Fire. Pure bottled inferno. Brewed with the finest essence of— HEY WHA—”

Vestas hurls the vial to the ground nearby. A fireball engulfs him, and knocks Etzal off his feet.

Etzal recovers slightly and looks over to see Vestas, still standing, on fire. He looks pensive, like he’s considering the quality of the burning he’s experiencing. After a few moments, the flames die down.

“Excellent! I’ll take four.”



RIP George Carlin

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Pirates!

Lanyk, Varus, and Vestas are sitting in the newly established Pig and Whistle Tavern, enjoying a performance by Haven’s first bard, when a commotion outside grabs their attention. A mage approaches, carrying a scroll. He addresses the adventurers directly.

“We have taken twenty of your fellow citizens captive, and they will all die unless you do as we ask. We seek the Caelo Ignus, an artifact of great power.” He hands Lanyk the scroll. “This will tell you what you need to know. Our ship is anchored just off the coast. You will retrieve Caelo Ignus and bring it to us there. If you approach without it, the prisoners die first.”

They take the map back to the tavern to study it over another drink. It is very old, but they are familiar with the area to which it points: the same tiefling cemetery where Dolovar had been hiding out. Somewhat to their surprise, the bard approaches offering her aid.

“I am Estar, and I would see mages such as that one put down like rabid dogs.” She spits. “Let me accompany you on this task, and then let me help you crush those who would use the innocent for their own gain.”

Impressed by her passion, the party readily agrees to take her along, and they head off.

Despite the map’s age, it is readily apparent to which tomb it points. Inside however, the room seems no different than any other: a simple stone room with a sarcophagus in the center. After they take a quick glance around, Vestas slides the large stone slab to look inside. Two things happen then which take them by surprise. First, poison arrows shoot from the walls, which no one enjoys. Second, the sarcophagus turns out not to be that at all, but rather a deep, dark pit.

Ominously, any light they throw down the hole is quickly extinguished. And as they climb their way down, they discover the cause. Spiders. Thousands of them. Lanyk convinces Vestas to carry him on his shoulders, but it does little to prevent the spiders from crawling all over him. As Varus and Lanyk soon discover, these spiders hate the light and become extremely aggressive when it is present. And so they make their way blindly down the stone tunnel.

They soon reach a dead end which they realize is a magically sealed stone door with some kind of Abyssal script engraved in to it. Careful to keep their light sources away from their bodies, they wait patiently while Lanyk performs a ritual to translate the text.

“It says, ‘Arnak the Despised’.”

The door slides open, and the spiders recede.

They light the chamber before them, step inside, and meet Arnak and his undead minions. Or rather, Arnak meets Lanyk, who does not like to be touched. And so the once mighty Arnak spends a few minutes flailing around on the ground, covered in ice, before meeting his fate.

They also discover in the chamber a marble statue of a man wielding a bolt of lightning, and soon determine that this is the artifact they are seeking. They unleash the unseen servants and haul it back to town.

Once back in Haven, the party discusses possible ways to deceive the kidnappers and rescue the hostages without bringing Caelo Ignus along. But in the end, they decide the safest way is to play along. They load into a small boat, Caelo Ignus in tow on a floating disk.

Almost immediately after delivering the prize, the wizard unsurprisingly betrays the party, and they are attacked by the ship’s crew. The evil mage barely has time to realize what a mistake this is. Seconds later an enraged Varus fires a series of flaming arrows directly into his heart. Several pirates are killed, and as soon as their captain is defeated, the rest surrender.

The missing Havenites are safe down in the ship’s hold. The party decides that Caelo Ignus would make a nice adornment to their newly constructed temple to Kord. And the pirate ship, that will be useful too.

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