After making their way through the crypts beneath the forgotten Temple of Grumbar in the Helmcliff Hills, the adventurers fought past a few skeletons and made their way to a stone antechamber. Aryn snooped around and discovered that many of the stone tiles set in the floor were dangerous traps that would give way to deep pits filled with wooden spikes. She convinced Glen to lend her a few potatoes and used them to mark the trapped floor tiles.
A Trap of Their Own
Once they had found a clear path through the antechamber, they discovered a large stone door barred with a heavy wooden crossbeam. Believing that there must be danger on the other side of the door, the adventurers took some time to set up a trap of their own before venturing onward.
Eight Thundercloud and Glen’s slave, Cupcake, worked together to fashion a spiked barricade which they set up facing the door. They then pulled off the heavy wooden beam, knocked loudly, and waited. There was no response, so Glen used the spell Thaumaturgy to force the stone door open.
Battle for the Crown
Beyond the stone door they saw a human male clad all in plate armor with a greatsword across his back. He was kneeling before a broken altar, and to Eight Thundercloud’s delight, she could see that the man was wearing the Crown of Tarrakas, the magical item that had consumed her thoughts and dreams for months on end. She taunted the man, saying “You look like death!” and lured him into battle.
The knight rose to face the adventurers with a consuming green flame in his eyes. Wavering between consciousness and unrelenting rage, he warned them to stay away before rushing forward to attack. In one swift motion of his greatsword, he laid Eight Thundercloud low and set his sights on Glen. He continued to focus on the Tabaxi who had taunted him and was easily baited into traps.
Between dodging the mad knight’s blows and sidestepping the potato tiles, the adventurers managed to revive their fallen companions. Aryn swiftly moved from shadow to shadow, launching several volleys of arrows at the knight, while Eight worked her magical spells upon him, and Glen did his best to take on the towering foe and heal his compatriots’ wounds. Cupcake sat in the corner of the room, hiding from danger in a puddle of his own cowardice.
Eight Thundercloud eventually led the knight onto a trapped floor tile, sending him tumbling into a pit of spikes. The adventurers were able to make short work of him then, and their foe did not last long. He finally fell to a punishing stab from Aryn’s rapier, and she quickly snatched the crown off his head.
Greed and Haunting
Battered and weary, the friends regrouped upstairs in the temple to take a rest and recover from the intense battle. While Aryn attempted to attune herself to the magics inherent in the Crown of Tarrakas, Glen lingered in the crypts, intrigued by a sarcophagus. He soon found himself overwhelmed by a powerful poltergeist who attacked him in revenge for disturbing his resting place. Luckily, the rest of the group arrived just in time to save the kobold’s life. In the end, some valuable treasure was obtained.
Out of the Frying Pan (?)
The next morning, the group set off Southward toward Bloodfang Vale. As they traveled, Aryn continued to try attuning herself to the crown. Each attempt was a battle of will as dark, evil thoughts of bloodlust seeped into her mind and corrupted her thoughts. She was unsuccessful in her first attempts.
Upon the road, the adventurers met with a hobgoblin ambush. Sent by the nafarious Lord Haldor, the hobgoblins had come to take the adventurers back to him at Bloodfang Vale… dead or alive. After a fierce battle, the hobgoblins were slain, and Eight Thundercloud had claimed their hippogriff mount as her own.
And Into the Fire (?)
Perceiving that their return to Bloodfang Vale might not be met with welcome, the adventurers decided to make their way to The Lonely Goat Inn, where they would take some time to rest and recuperate before deciding their next plan of action.
In the meantime, Aryn had succeded in becoming attuned to the Crown of Tarrakas and had finally resisted it’s invasive dark urgings…. for now…