Whispers of a Dead God

Shadows Beneath Mistvale
The peaceful town hides a terrible secret

A Disturbed Rest
The Valiant Crowned had failed to stop Eric Leam’s dark resurrection ritual, but they had survived the battle against his minions. After taking a few moments to investigate the strange features of the room they had just battled a monstrous mindwitness in, they settled down for a few hours rest to regain their strength, sharpen their swords, and prepare spells to replace the ones they had expended.
Eight Thundercloud stood watch as the others settled down. After a while, she heard the sound of stone scraping against stone as a red-walled chamber from somewhere further down the corridor rotated, followed by the low moans and shuffling sounds of zombies approaching. Eight poked Glen awake, and the two of them peered down the hallway. At the edge of their darkvision, they could make out a red-robed figure leering at them in the darkness. They heard her whisper “We have intuders, my servants. They may be trying to interfere with the ritual. We must stop them!” Following this command, several zombies came shuffling down the hall toward the resting group. Thinking quick, Glen hummed the sequence of notes that caused their room to rotate, just barely managing to block out the zombies. With danger avoided for the time being, they group was able to finish their rest in peace.

Secret Passages and Dead Ends
Once fully rested, Eight Thundercloud led the group down the new passageway that had been revealed once the room had rotated. Although she crept along cautiously, she still fell prey to an exceptionally well concealed pit trap. Tumbling down into a dark cavern, the tabaxian used her climbing ability to scramble right back up without taking any damage. However, it appeared that the small cavern below had a tunnel of it’s own leading off to an unexplored part of Alunnor. Continuing down the original passageway, they finally came to a dead end with a set of stone stairs leading up to a heavy steel plate. Glen climbed the steps and attempted with all his might to push the steel plate open, but failed hilariously.

Bugbear Breathing
Wondering if there could be someone standing on top to weight it down, Eight Thundercloud reached a paw up and cast a shocking grasp spell on the steel plate. From the other side she heard shouts and screams, and a moment later, the plate was lifted from above just enough to let a hand toss in a bag of choking powder. Glen, Eight Thundercloud, and Ki’Chetal were quick enough to cover their mouths and noses, running off down the corridor out of the cloud of powder. Quincy, however, caught a big gulp of it in one breath. He lay on the ground incapacitated and suffocating, choking and gasping for air. Eventually he was able to crawl out of the area of effect and get a breath of clean air.

Connections Uncovered
Once the dust had settled, Glen used a divine spell of thaumaturgy to open the heavy steel plate. Quincy cast a sleep spell in the space above to knock out any assailants who might be laying in wait. As the adventurers emerged, they found themselves in the prison cell within the Crimson Watchmen barracks in Mistvale. Several dirty and beaten villagers lay asleep on the ground, including Old Gran and Timothy Burton. There were no guards present, so the adventurers woke up Old Gran and Mr. Burton to find out what was going on. The two villagers were incredibly surprised to see the heroes standing there in their prison cell. They learned that Old Gran had been arrested for asking some rude Watchmen to leave her tavern, and that she had been responsible for throwing the choking powder, claiming to have smuggled out a pouch of hot spices from her kitchen “in the usual place.” They also learned that the prisoners were afraid of the hatch and the tunnel beyond. “They come from below and take us. Those they take away are never seen again,” said Mr. Burton.

A Shattering Escape
The Valiant Crowned debated for a while on how best to help the prisoners escape. Should they set the place ablaze? Break down the wall? Eventually they decided that they would escape back into the tunnel and then destroy the mechanism that operated the heavy trap door so that their pursuers could not follow after them. The remaining villagers were woken up or rolled down the stairs, and Eight Thundercloud sent the heavy steel plate crashing down with a well-placed shatter spell, essentially sealing the way behind them.

A Battle of Intellect
Eight Thundercloud remembered that there was a tunnel branching off from the cavern at the bottom of the pit she had stumbled into earlier. She dropped back down to explore and see if it might lead to a safe way out. At the bottom, she came face to face with an intellect devourer. The beast attempted to overwhelm the tabaxian with psychic power, but Eight Thundercloud’s intellect was able to deflect the mental attack. A well-placed magic missile spell sent the creature scampering off down the tunnel. Ki’Chetel joined Eight Thundercloud in hunting down the beast. They followed it’s tracks through the tunnel until it emerged into a room filled with corpses. A single shaft of light from above indicated that this room was directly beneath the well in the garden of the Leam Estate. Ki’Chetel, using her refined hunter’s instinct, loosed two arrows at her prey, bringing it down to join the rest of the corpses strewn about the chamber, then she and Eight Thundercloud quickly made their way back to join the rest of the group before anything else could surprise them.

Combat Among the Corpses
The Valiant Crowned now faced two prospects for escape: one included fighting their way through zombies, the other included risking a path through the chamber filled with corpses and the unknown dangers beyond. The adventurers decided to bring the villagers down into the pit to hide in relative safety as they explored the corpse chamber. It turned out that the intellect devourer wasn’t the only inhabitant feasting off the remains left over from Eric Leam’s twisted necromancy experiments. The group was forced into battle with a giant worm-like creature known as a carrion crawler. During the fight, Ki’Chetel was stabbed with a poisoned tentacle and became temporarily paralyzed. With coordinated strikes from the remaining adventurers and powerful spells, the creature was vanquished. Once the tiefling recovered from her paralysis, they continued on their way.

Musical Chambers
In the next chamber, the group encountered the red-robed figure they had seen before. Summoning a small horde of zombies, she attacked the adventurers. Quickly sensing that she was outnumbered, she sang a tune and rotated the chamber to a different exit, making a hasty escape. Quincy used a prestidigitation spell to play the notes of the song inside the chamber and rotated it back around, only to find the zombies waiting and ready. Glen raised his holy symbol – a gold piece – and turned undead, causing most of the zombies to burst into dust. The remaining undead fiend was quickly dispatched by the heroes.

Death and Escape
Ki’Chetal suddenly heard the scream of an old woman coming from the passage where they had left the villagers. Fearing the worst, Eight Thundercloud cast a haste spell on herself and ran as fast as she could to find them. Old Gran lay against the cavern wall, battered and bruised, holding Timothy Burton’s body. The bodies of the other three villagers lay crumpled and lifeless against the walls. She explained that a woman in a red robe had run by the passage overhead, stopping only to slash at Mr. Burton with a scimitar and crush the others against the wall with a magical gust of wind. The red-robed woman had then run off in the direction of the Crimson Watchmen barracks. When Glen arrived on the scene, he cast a revivify spell and brought Timothy Burton back from the brink of death. As the others escorted Old Gran and Mr. Burton out of the ruins of Alunnor to safety, Glen stayed behind. He cast a spell of animate dead on one of the villagers who had been murdered, a halfling who looked like he had been a farmer in life. Pleased with his new servant, Glen disguised him in a cloak and ordered him to follow.
The people of Mistvale, including the Crimson Watchmen, were still busy trying to save what grain they could from the granary explosion, hoping that there would still be enough left for them to survive the quickly approaching winter. Taking advantage of the distraction, the Valiant Crowned left Mistvale behind and headed back to Castle Großschawnz.

Assault on the Leam Estate
Explosions, Stealth, Treasure, and a Climactic Battle

Explosions in the Sky
The granary exploded in a violent flash of light that illuminated the midnight sky. In the days following the event, townsfolk would whisper to each other that in the afterglow of the lightning-like flash of fire, they saw dragons winging overhead in the sky. This explosion was exactly what the Valiant Crowned had been waiting for. As the household guards of the nearby Leam estate looked at each other in horror and took off running to help put out the fire, the mis-matched crew of adventurers and fortune seekers moved in. The feline storm sorceress Eight Thundercloud leapt from her pet griffon after casting a shatter spell to break apart the grain silo and ran through the dark night toward the manor house. Quincy Darcy Maxwell Trump the Fourth blew smoke from his great bugbear fingers after casting the fire spell that ignited the grain and turned toward the manor to meet the rest of the Valiant Crowned.

You Take the High Road, I’ll Take the Low Road
The adventuring group knew that their old ally Eric Leam had to be somewhere in the house. They were sure that he was up to no good and wanted to put an end to it. Glen Wienstien, Ki-Chetal, and Quincy decided to enter through the front door, while Eight Thundercloud,Crying Storm, and Aryn Limlugeth infiltrated through a second-story balcony. The group upstairs came in through a bedroom, noticing that the sheets on the bed had recently been disturbed, but no one was currently occupying it. They had little time to investigate the upper floor, however, as a loud alarm siren sounded almost immediately, originating from downstairs.
On the first floor, Glen Wienstien immediately set off an alarm ward as he opened the front door. This alerted the guards stationed within the house and brought the two forces immediately into battle.
Hearing the sounds of their allies in trouble, the group upstairs rushed down to their aid. Before they could reach them, however, a magically enchanted rug leapt up from under their feet and tried to crush them in a smothering embrace. Luckily, the rug was no match for the tabaxi members of the group, who clawed it to shreds. Once the forces were combined, they made short work of the guards.

As the guards lay dead on the floor of the parlor, the Valiant Crowned began searching the house for clues to the whereabouts of Eric Leam. Their suspicion was that he might using the dark art of necromancy to re-animate his fathers dead body. While searching the house, they came across a letter to Eric from Lord Haldor, the frightful Lord of Bloodfang Vale who had already tried to have the Valiant Crowned killed once before. The letter indicated that Lord Haldor was pleased with Eric Leam for accepting the gifts of what he called “The Dead God.”

Yo Momma So Dead
The group’s non-stop looting of the Leam family’s valuables came to a pause as they discovered Eric’s mother Elanna Leam dead in one of the upstairs bedrooms. This blow came particularly hard as the adventurers had gone on a near suicide mission weeks earlier to save her from orcs and yuan-ti slavers. Ki-Chetal did some snopping around and discovered a drinking glass in the bathroom that contained a residue of a poison known as Midnight Tears. A search of the manor library yielded a spell scroll that allowed the group to commune with a dead person. Each of the five members of the group asked a question of Elanna Leam. Through this questioning, it seemed that she was poisoned by her son Eric for witnessing the horrific things he was doing in the Undercroft. Something terrible seemed to be happening, and the Valiant Crowned knew that it was up to them to put a stop to it.

Sampling Some Fine Wine
As the rest of the group went off to explore the manor’s garden, Ki-Chetal and Glen decided to see what could be found in the cellar. As it turned out, there was quite a lot of fine wine and ale to be found in the cellar. However, as the two of them went from keg to keg sampling each brew, they discovered that one of the kegs was completely empty. In fact, upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a false door leading into a circular room with walls of red marble.

Plants Vs. Zombies
In the garden, Aryn, Quincy, and Eight Thundercloud discovered a zombie that had been chained to a well. With a well-placed arrow, Aryn dispatched the undead creature. They dropped a torch into the well and were surprised to discover a chamber far below instead of a pool of water. However, as they examined the well , the adventurers were hit with a powerful stench of rotting flesh from below. They decided to meet up with their allies in the wine cellar to find an alternate way to go below.

Alunnor , Elven Temple of Shadow
The room hidden beyond the empty keg proved to be the secret Leam family vault. The adventurers found three chests inside, containing valuable gemstones, silver and gold bars, and of course a large amount of money. After much discussion of how to divide up the treasures, they realized that this was not the first circular room with red marble walls they had been in. Eight Thundercloud found a message describing the Chant of Alunnor – A bright, high note followed by a note one octave lower. As she sang, the room itself began to rotate, revealing a new opening which revealed a descending staircase.

Necromancer’s Lair
Descending the stairs, the heroes came upon what seemed to be an operating chamber of some sort. Although they were not sure what the purpose of such strange blood-covered tables and medical implements could be, it seemed clear that if ever they had stumbled into a necromancer’s lair, this was it. They followed a hallway into another small red-walled room, hummed another chant, and found themselves facing another long, curving hallway.
Aryn snuck on ahead to see what might lay around the bend and was surprised at what she found. In the far room was Eric Leam, crouched over a dark altar with his father’s corpse placed atop. What was more, she noticed three large glass spheres in the room that seemed to contain some sort of shadowy objects suspended within. At Eric’s side was a hideous monster – a floating eyeball with multiple tentacle-like eyestalks branching off. Aryn hurried back to her group with a full report.

The Final Confrontation
Hearing this his former slave Cupcake was in the room ahead, Glen strode confidently through the passageway, followed by Quincy. Aryn and Eight Thundercloud hung back a bit, preferring to attack from the shadows if necessary. The creature with too many eyeballs – a mindwitness – turned to deliver them a psychic message as Eric continued to concentrate on a ritual bent on resurrecting his dead father. The message: flee and be spared death. The Valiant Crowned defied this ultimatum and quickly found themselves in the fight of their lives. As the mindwitness blasted the heroes with overwhelming rays of psychic power again and again, zombies given life from Eric’s previous necromantic experiments began to rise and attack the heroes.

Smashing Brains
The heroes soon realized that the glass spheres in the room were full of disembodied brains. These spheres were feeding Eric Leam psionic energy, empowering him and his dark ritual. Turning their attention toward breaking these spheres to disrupt the ritual proved difficult due to the mindwitness bombarding them with powerful eye-rays. The abomination affected the group with magical fright, slowness, and bombaded them witch pure psychic damage, but they held fast. The Valiant Crowned were able to divide their attacks between the mindwitness and the brain spheres. Eventually, they destroyed the monster and shattered the spheres, but it was moments too late to stop Eric’s ritual. He had gathered enough psionic energy to invigorate his necromantic resurrection ritual.

Into the Astral Plane
Anders Leam sat up, looking changed somehow from the pleasant, naive fellow he once was. His son took him by the arm and led him to the portal. “Father, our enemies close in around us. We must retreat and devise a new plan to destroy them,” he said. He produced a dark crystal infused with a swirling smoke essence and placed it into a slot on the portal. Chanting a low note for the space of ten heartbeats, he summoned a portal to the Astral Plane. On the other side of the portal was an eternal abyss of blackness specked by pinpricks of starlight. Eric and Anders stepped forward onto the deck of a ship which had been anchored there awaiting their arrival. The captain of that ship, a tall humanoid figure with purple skin and tentacles for a mouth, turned the ship’s wheel and pulled away into the sea of stars before the portal closed. The remaining zombies crumpled lifeless to the ground, and the Valiant Crowned looked to each other in astonishment.

Many Meetings at Castle Großschwanz
The Valiant Crowned Regroup in Grimwarden Forest

Glen’s Home is His Castle
With a hefty investment of time and money, Glen had finally managed to rebuild his castle and turn it into a sort of home base. After the disastrous failed uprising in Mistvale, the comforts of his castle were a welcome sight to the Valiant Crowned to return to. The orc Grog-Grog and the goblin Poot had done their best to keep the castle and grounds maintained during the adventurers’ absence. Glen had also recruited the services of half a dozen additional servants and hirelings from Mistvale to serve in his castle. One of whom was given the unenviable job of potty training Grog-Grog.

Scouting Mission
The halfling thieves Cherrik and Maple had also accompanied the Valiant Crowned to Castle Großschwanz, seeing as how they would be wanted criminals if they stayed in Mistvale. After resting up for a few days, Eight Thundercloud sent them back to Mistvale on a scouting mission. He also asked them to deliver a letter to Gaspard Dukaniel apologizing for the violent death of Anders Leam during the uprising and asking if he would be willing to share knowledge about the locations of any elemental gems. When the halflings returned from their mission, they brought back a friendly correspondence from Gaspard, but their news of Mistvale was grim. In the wake of the revolt, the Crimson Watchmen had tightened their iron grip on the town. Military law was in full effect, and people were being apprehended for even the most minor offences. In addition to all this, it seemed that Eric Leam had been acting oddly lately. Word had it that he blamed the Valiant Crowned for the death of his father, and named them as his betrayers and enemies. He appeared to have withdrawn into his manor, and reports of strange noises and people going missing near his home were whispered throughout town.
Eight Thundercloud decided to do a bit of her own reconnaissance after receiving these reports. She flew Goldbeak to Mistvale and used a potion of gaseous form to stealthily scout out manor grounds.

Trying to Keep the Spark of Resistance Alive
Aryn Limlugeth had not joined the others in their retreat to Castle Großschwanz. She had used her magical abilities to disguise herself and attempted to rekindle the spark of resistance among the people in Mistvale. However, due to the crushing defeat at the hands of the Crimson Watchmen and the cruel martial law imposed on the town as a result, it seemed that hope had finally abandoned the small farming community. Seeing that her efforts would be fruitless, she eventually rejoined her comrades at the castle.

Many Meetings
Aryn arrived at the castle on the same day that Eight Thundercloud returned from her scouting mission. On that same day, a new face arrived at the castle seeking adventure – a tiefling woman named Ki-Chetal. She kept quiet about her past, preferring not to speak of herself. But her fierce determination led the other members of the Valiant Crowned to believe that she would be a valuable ally, and they welcomed her into their ranks.

A Plan
That night, the group gathered together in the castle’s main hall to discuss their plans moving forward. Together with Eight Thundercloud’s reconnaissance information and reports from Aryn, Cherrik, and Maple, they began to form a plan to infiltrate the Leam Estate and confront Eric once and for all. They determined that the best course of action would be to arrive at night and create a distraction to lure the household guards away by causing an explosion at a nearby grain silo. Then, they would be free to sneak into the manor and find out just exactly what Eric was up to.

The people of Mistvale seize an opportunity to retake their village

Blood in the Streets
After saving Elanna Leam and Gaspard Dukaniel from the orc raiders and Yuan-ti slavers, the Valiant Crowned were given the nicest suite at Old Gran’s Tavern for as long as they wanted as thanks. The tavern had proved a welcome respite in between adventures, always offering the promise of a hot meal, fine company, and clean beds. It was during a rest at Old Gran’s that the Valiant Crowned noticed the stirring of a riot in the streets below.

The tavern was situated directly across the street from the Crimson Watchmen barracks. Peering out the window that evening, they saw a crowd of peasants gather. A pair of guards had struck a peasant, and the gathering crowd was growing more and more agitated. They even began throwing stones at the guardsmen, who quickly called for reinforcements from their barracks.

The Heroes Take a Stand
The Valiant Crowned couldn’t stand by while others were causing mayhem without them. Aryn Limlugeth, Eight Thundercloud, Glen Weinstein, and trial member Senior Goat made their way into the street to join the demonstration. Things quickly turned violent. One rock pelting off a Crimson Watchman’s helm was retaliated with a spear to the gut. With the Valiant Crowned backing them, the peasants are emboldened to take a stand. Even the local wizard Gaspard Dukaniel comes out of his private library to take a look at what’s going on. One he is noticed by the adventurers, they ask him to help out. Gaspard reluctantly agrees. He has forsaken violence, and so, casts a spell that halts time itself. While time stands still for everyone else, he rushes to collect all the guards’ weapons, tossing them in a pile down a nearby alleyway. As time resumes it’s normal course, the guards whiff and stumble in the throws of their attacks.

As the battle in the street grew more desperate, reinforcements emerged from the Crimson Watch barracks, surrounding and executing the remaining peasants. Three powerful figures emerged from the barracks to survey the situation: Commander Renly Davarros, Anders Leam… and Lord Haldor. Aryn defied all odds and managed to stab Anders to death before fleeing on her wyvern mount under the cover of a storm. The rest of the adventuring party decided to retreat to Castle GroSchwanz in order to formulate their next plan of attack.

Blue Dragon Blues
Eight Thundercloud's Research Leads Down a Dangerous Path...

Magical Enhancements
Eight Thundercloud had always been an inquisitive Tabaxi. After spending some time researching in Gaspard Dukaniel’s library, she had finalized the designs for a new enhancement to a magical item she possessed. This magical enhancement required an ingredient that would would not easily be obtained, however – the scales of a blue dragon.

Tracking Down a Blue Dragon
Since their comrade Aryn Limlugeth had gone off on her own for a while, Eight Thundercloud, Glen Weinstein, and Quincy Darcy Maxwell Trump IV decided to employ the help of their recent allies, a pair of halfling thieves named Cherrik and Maple. Acting on recent reports of a blue dragon sighting in the Sea of Trees near Bloodfang Vale, Eight Thundercloud convinced the halfling twins to act as scouts, using their abilities with stealth to see what they could find out about this supposed blue dragon.

A Meeting on the Road
Cherrik and Maple soon returned bearing reports that confirmed there was a blue dragon in the area. It seemed to be a relatively young dragon, seeking to establish a new lair and grow it’s power over the region. Eight’s Entourage decided that they would strike out and see if they could either convince the dragon to lend them some of its’ scales… or else slaughter it and take its’ scales as a trophy.

Along the road to their destination, the adventurers came across a merchant caravan. A trader known as Galbreth Lightfoot was on his way to trade his stock of jewelry in Bloodfang Vale. Quincy purchased some fine adornments from the kindly trader, who invited them to stay the night in the company of his caravan as guests.

Kor’Avathanax The Dreadstorm
The adventurers eventually made their way to the place Cherrik and Maple had described as the dragon’s lair. The land here was dry and dusty. Trees had withered, and lightining storms flickered in the cloudy sky ahead without end. The dragon had chosen an abandoned church as it;s lair, taking residence in the cracked bell tower. Eight Thundercloud, Glen, and Quincy noticed an adjacent graveyard with a mausoleum and decided to see of there was a tomb they could raid for treasure, which they could then give as a peace offering to the dragon.

Unfortunately, they did not have that chance. The blue dragon descended upon them as they attempted to pry the door to the mausoleum open. Even as a young dragon, it was still impressively massive in size. He introduced himself as Kor’Avathanax, the Dreadstorm, and offered a bargain. He would let them live and give them a few of his dragon scales in exchange for living sacrifices. This did not seem at all strange to the adventurers because they didn’t know too much about dragons and didn’t feel the need to attempt any insight checks. Lacking any morals, they agreed straight away to deliver a whole merchant caravan’s worth of sacrifices.

The Death of Galbreth Lightfoot
Eight Thundercloud, Glen, and Quincy returned to the road and met up once again with Galbreth Lightfoot’s trading caravan. Through some shrewd persuasion attempts and bargaining efforts, they managed to convince the merchant caravan to follow them to what they promised would be the opportunity of a lifetime. The adventurers waited outside the doors of the church as they heard horrible sounds from inside where they had urged the caravan merchants to wait for their deal. After the doors opened back up, there were not even any bodies to be seen.

Just Rewards
Pleased with the sacrifices they had delivered, Kor’Avathanax rewarded them as promised. Eight Thundercloud left happiest of all, with a satchel full of blue dragon scales that she could use to build her magical contraption.

Return to Mistvale
When the adventurers returned to Mistvale, they found that all was not well. The populace of the town had been angry for some time over what they perceived to be skewed election results. The town was at a boiling point and they only needed a small shove to push them over the edge into open rebellion. They also discovered that Eric “”/characters/eric-cupcake-leam" class=“wiki-content-link”>Cupcake" Leam was not pleased with them since they had been active in turning the town against his family.

A Respite from Adventure
The heroes take advantage of some well-deserved down time

Cherrik and Maple

The day of celebration that marked Mistvale’s Festival of Election had ended, and as night fell, the citizens of the small farming town headed home in various states of inebriation. Just as with any other night, the Crimson Watchmen held a strict curfew, and any caught out and about without good reason past midnight would be taken into custody. Regardless of any curfew, the two halfling thieves Cherrik and Maple stole through the streets like a pair of shadows to meet the Valiant Crowned at Old Gran’s. Glen was eager to discuss how their services might benefit their adventuring party, especially when it came to ensuring that the Crimson Watchmen did not gain a stronger foothold in Mistvale by tampering with the election results. Although the hlaflings had been into the Crimson Watchmen barracks before, they were not willing to risk going directly against such a powerful and relentless foe. They referenced a traveling alchemist who had been caught selling fake healing potions and had lost a hand to the justice of the Watchmen. Without the support of a larger organization to rely on, Cherrick and Maple were not prepared to infiltrate the barracks where the election ballots were being held overnight. They did agree to sell Glen a map of the barracks from the last time the scouted the place out.

Despite the urgency of ensuring that Anders Leam did not get elected, and ensuring that the Crimson Watchmen did not alter the election results, Glen, Quincy, and Eight Thundercloud went to sleep – tired from a long day of festival competitions, feasting, and merry-making.

Election Results

The townsfolk gathered in the public square the next morning, eager to hear the results of the election. Popular favor had seemed to favor Timothy Burton the night before. Gaspard Dukaniel, the mage who had recently been rescued from the orcs by the Valiant Crowned, counted the ballots in full view of the public. The winner, by an astoundingly large margin, was Anders Leam.

The Valiant Crowned immediately suspected election fraud. How convenient that the candidate the Crimson Watchmen had so strongly supported was the winner, after they had held the ballot box in their barracks overnight for “safe keeping.” Commander Renly Davarros approached the group to gloat. They accused him of fraud, but lacked sufficient evidence to support their claims. Renly urged them to be cautious if they were to stay in Mistvale, for the eyes of the Crimson Watchmen were unblinking. He reiterated his commitment to honesty and justice, and left with a smirk.

Magical Modifications

The adventurers found themselves with some time to themselves for a change. There was no urgent need to embark on a rescue mission. With no pressing matters to attend to, Eight Thundercloud took up Gaspard’s offer to use his personal library. She had learned a great deal from the Covenant storm sorcerer Masughu about imbuing an object with lightning magic, and hoped to modify the magical dagger-producing gauntlet she had so that it would imbue the daggers with lightning energy. Using Gaspard’s library to research this porperty, she determined that her project would ultimately require blue dragon scales. Luckily, she was also able to determine from recent reports that a young blue dragon had been sighted in the Sea of Trees some miles north of Bloodfang Vale.

Eight Thundercloud needed to know more about this dragon before making attempt to collect it’s scales. To this end, she employed the stealthy halflings Cherrik and Maple to scout the dragon’s lair. They demanded a rather high price for such a task, but Eight Thundercloud was generous. After about a week, the pair of halflings returned, looking a bit worse for wear. They described everything they had seen. The reports of a blue dragon were true.

Sideshow Attractions

Quincy Maxwell Darcy Trump the Third was not one to sit around idly and let his charm and influence go to waste. He promptly decided to put his resources toward setting up a grassroots election fraud commision. For over a week, he met with local farmers and craftsmen, organizing them into the beginnings of a political resistance movement. The town had overwhelmingly supported Timothy Burton for leadership, not Anders Leam. So then how had Anders been elected. Fraud was the only answer.

In addition to his commitment to social justice, Quincy also set up a sideshow attraction – a magic act he titled “The Apprentice, Featuring Tim Burton.” He had convinced their ally, local shopkeeper and member of the Elder’s Council Timothy Burton, to be his apprentice in a magic show filled with illusions, such as Elder Burton getting sawed in half. This entertainment was a delight to the citizens of Mistvale, and brought in a wealth of gold for Quincy.

A Grand Erection

While Eight Thundercloud and Quincy were busy in Mistvale, Glen Weinstien had to see to his newly acquired castle. He invested a great sum of gold into hiring local workers from Mistvale and the surrounding areas to work on constructing a road to his castle and repairing the main parts of the castle itself. While not supervising the construction efforts, Glen returned to Mistvale to occasionally provide healing or other medical assistance, which garnered a small income.


Aryn had not been idle while the rest of her group pursued their interests throughout Mistvale and the surrounding environments. Unable to find any sign of Rose in Tevemanthaur, she decided to narrow her focus on countering the threat presented by the Crimson Watchmen’s newly increased influence over Mistvale. First, Aryn traveled to the Lonely Goat Inn, where the proprietor Goren Balenon was very pleased to see her doing well. She did some business with him, selling some her loot and purchasing a few of his magical curiosities. She also invested in a disguise kit, with which she died her hair and masked her appearance.

Slipping into Mistvale, past the eyes of the Crimson Watchmen, was easy enough. The true test of her disguise came when she spent the evening at Old Gran’s, only a few tables away from her recent adventuring companions. They never even glanced her way twice. It was perfect. Working in secret, she made contacts with some of the shadier folk of Mistvale and set up a headquarters for her underworld organization in a small, abandoned barn at the outskirts of town. She described her goal – to incite a public uprising against the current leader of Mistvale, Anders Leam, as well as the Crimson Watchmen. She went as far as to found an organization known as the “People for Mistvale’s Freedom and Independence Movement,” or PMFIM for short.

Return to Mistvale
Captives are rescued, a festival champion crowned

Secrets in the Sun

After defeating the Yuan-ti and rescuing Elanna Leam and Gaspard from their clutches, the adventurers retreated to the audience chamber to rest and recover. Once they had regained their strength, they set about exploring the temple ruins once more. Investigating the room where the prisoners had been held, Glen discovered a trap door carefully hidden at the center of a mosaic of the sun. He and Eight Thundercloud descended, hoping to find some long-forgotten elvish treasures. They were only met with dusty shelves holding rotten and rusted detritus. Behind one of the crumbling shelves, they discovered a narrow crevice that led out to the refuse pit where Rose had been last seen. There was still no sign of Rose, but at the first sight of a rust monster, Glen and Eight Thundercloud quickly retreated.

Song and Treasure

Singing the song of the elements once again in the audience chamber, the adventurers gained access to the orc warchief’s treasure hoard… or at least what was left of it. The largest room in the temple had four arches on raised platforms surrounding a central pedestal with slots to hold four elemental crystals. Gaspard, barely conscious from the beating and starvation inflicted upon him by his orc captors, indicated that this was a chamber where the Elves would have been able to use elemental crystals and some sort of song to open planar gates to the planes of earth, air, fire, or water.

Of interest to Glen and Eight Thundercloud were three wooden chests left behind by the orcs. Glen hastily ransacked two of them, but required some muscle from Captain Mattias and his warhammer to open the third, which was locked. Captain Mattias received nothing but a prick from a poisoned needle trap for his troubles, while Glen and Eight Thundercloud both received powerful magic items. Eight had finally found the Elven Chain armor she had been searching for, while Glen helped himself to a Robe of Useful Items, along with several spell scrolls and a hefty amount of coin.

Friendships Made

Their business in Tevemanthaur was finished, so the adventurers joined Captain Mattias and his crew aboard the Covenant airship Stormshadow once again. Eight Thundercloud spent the remainder of the evening getting to know the ship’s storm sorcerer Masughu better. They traded tips on constructing magical items, and before they parted the next day, each shared a piece of string from their ball of yarn with the other in a symbol of friendship. Captain Mattias was impressed with the way the adventurers had handled themselves, and invited them to join their crew. Unfortunately, they declined the invitation, but agreed to meet up again at Westwatch, where the ship would put into port for a time to resupply. The crew of the Stormshadow dropped the Valiant Crowned off on the outskirts of Mistvale with a fond farewell, and continued on their way.

Reunions in Mistvale

Two Crimson Watchmen immediately rode out to meet the Valiant Crowned after they had descended from the airship. They quickly took Elanna and Gaspard into town on their horses for medical treatment, and urged the adventurers to meet Commander Davarros at the barracks as soon as they could. On their way into town, Glen was stopped by the village leatherworker who had completed his custom order – a saddle for his mount, the wolf Grayfang.

At the barracks, they met with Commander Davarros and Anders Leam, who rewarded them handsomely for rescuing his wife. At last, Eric was reuinited with his mother and father together. Gaspard Dukaniel still had to rest and recover his strength, but invited Eight Thundercloud to come visit his library any time.

The Gang Meddles in an Election

The town was in high spirits that night – not just because two of their own had been rescued from the orcs, but because the next day was the Festival of Election. It was a day of celebration leading up to a vote to elect the new leader of the town from among the members of the Council of Elders. There were only three candidates at the time: Anders Leam, Old Gran, and Timothy Burton. After getting a feel for where the candidates stood on the Crimson Watchmen, they decided to try their best to get Anders Leam drunk and make a fool of him in order to harm his chances of winning the election. Glen and Senior Goat filled Anders up with plenty of liquor, then tied him to a statue in the public square before retiring for the night.

Festival Day

The next morning, the Festival of Election was in full swing. The adventurers decided to participate in the competitions held throughout the day, hoping to win glory and prizes. Glen wanted to enter the horse race, but only had Grayfang for a mount. He attempted to make up for the wolf’s short legs by casting a scroll of Expeditious Retreat on the animal. It amounted to little in the end, however, with Glen and Grayfang coming in second to last in a course that made a circuit around Mistvale.

After the horse race, Glen met Senior Goat at the Boulder Toss competition. They were matched up against some strong local lads and lasses, but Senior goat managed to throw a heavy stone over twice as far as anyone else, earning himself a crown of flowers, which he promptly devoured.

That afternoon, Senior Goat, Glen, and Eight Thundercloud all tried their hand at the archery competition. Firing three arrows from twenty-five paces, Senior Goat again came out the victor. Channeling his inner Ki, he was able to strike the bullseye, which earned him just one point more than Glen. But it was the only point he needed. He was awarded another crown of flowers, which again, he devoured.

The three adventurers also entered the performance competition that afternoon. Glen told a horrible story about a heroic dragon that fought off a band of adventurers that had come to steal his gold. Senior Goat performed a dance which he had perfected that night before on the tabletops in Old Gran’s. Eight Thundercloud sung a heroic ballad about their adventures in Tevemanthaur. Although their entries were good (except for Glen’s poorly told tale) they were beaten in the performance competition by a local bard jamming out on the lute.

The evening started off with a glorious feast. Roast boar, pig, and ox with stew, pies, and all manner of ales and wines flowing freely. During the feast, however, Glen felt a bump and noticed that one of his valuable potions had gone missing. He was unable to spot the pickpocket in the crowd and had to resign himself to his loss. As the people of the town ate, the Elders gave speeches. Old Gran’s speech was met with a smattering of polite applause, while Anders’ popularity had clearly suffered since the drunken events of the previous night. He received less than stellar applause. Then came time for Timothy Burton’s speech. The three members of the Valiant Crowned had decided that Elder Burton, a strong businessman would make the best leader for the town and threw in their support for him, leading the large round of applause after his speech promising to make Mistvale great again.

Following the speeches, Glen and Senior Goat entered a drinking contest. Here, Glen was finally able to score his first victory of the festival as Senior Goat passed out before even finishing his first drink. Glen eagerly accepted his crown of flowers. Meanwhile, Eight Thundercloud noticed that a few of her silver pieces had gone missing from her coinpurse, which had been slit with a small incision. She spotted a suspicious figure – either a young child or a halfling, but was unable to follow them through the crowds of merry makers.

The final event of the evening was a dance. Many young lads and lasses came to strut their stuff. Just after finishing his turn tearing up the dance floor, Senior Goat noticed that some of his gold had been lifted by a pickpocket. He managed to chase the culprit down and catch up to them behind the stage where the folk band was playing. It was a pair of halflings, Cherrick and Maple, who were stealing from festivalgoers in hopes of raising enough money to travel to Westwatch where they could join the thieves’ guild. Senior Goat agreed not to turn them in in exchange for half their ill-gotten goods. They reluctantly agreed. He also offered them a job if they would meet him and his associates at their room in Old Gran’s later that evening.

The Votes are Cast

At last, it had come time for the citizens of Mistvale to cast their votes for the town’s new leader. Four guards from the Crimson Watchmen stood vigilant as people came up to the ballot box to deposit their votes. Glen made a poor attempt to disguise himself with a fake mustache so he could cast a vote, but he was promptly stopped by the guard and escorted back to the Inn. Once all the votes had been entered, the Crimson Watchmen took the ballot box off to their barracks, where it would sit overnight for safe keeping before the votes were tallied and announced in the morning.

Exploring ancient Elven temple ruins

Secrets and Hidden Dangers

The ruins of Tevemanthaur held many secrets that proved to be quite dangerous. Exploring the dark corridors and hallways, Aryn Limlugeth came across a dead end. The smoothly carved white marble passageway ended abruptly at a black stone wall. She ran her hands along it, seeking some secret latch or mechanism betraying a hidden door, and was surprised when the stone wall itself moved back at her touch. The large room beyond was filled with similar square stone pillars. Interested in this strange room, Senior Goat walked right into the middle of it and was promptly ambushed by a squadron of orcs.

Using the moving stone blocks to their advantage, both the orcs and the adventuring party moved the battlefield, creating cover for themselves, opening up passageways to flank, and even crushing a hapless orc in between two of the blocks. After the dust settled, the adventurers searched the room and discovered another passageway hidden behind one of the stone blocks.

Grog Grog

Inside the hidden passageway was a sleeping orc who was shirking his duties. Captain Mattias noticed that his elemental crystal detector was going crazy around the orc, and they soon found out that this orc had somehow managed to eat the elemental crystal of air that the crew of the Stormshadow had been searching for. It was decided that due to this fact, they would have to bring the orc along and wait for the crystal to… pass. Thus, Grog Grog became a member of the group.


While searching what appeared to be a sleeping chamber, the adventurers found a small statuette carved in the likeness of Ilsensine. An odd thing to find in the ancient Elven ruins. They also encountered a goblin who had fled the fighting when the camp was first attacked and barricaded himself in a small room. Grog Grog was able to convince him to come along by stuffing the goblin, apparently named Poot, into his backpack.

Song of the Elements

It quickly became clear to the explorers that there was something more to this Temple than met the eye. Many hallways and chambers came to dead ends when logic dictated the presence of another room. A clue was discovered when the explorers entered an audience chamber. On the stage, was a message written in elvish that explained the necessary song that would cause the rooms themselves to rotate and open up to different passages when sung correctly. Singing the song caused the audience chamber to rotate, revealing an opening to a new passageway that was previously inaccessible.


The new passageway led to a room where Elanna and Gaspard were held captive by a coupe of Yuan-ti slave traders. The adventurers briefly attempted to negotiate for their release, but the situation quickly turned to violence. After a short but brutal confrontation, the Yuan-ti lay dead and the prisoners were freed.

Ascent & Descent
The heroes find new allies & begin a rescue mission

Everyone Almost Dies

Glen Weinstein, Aryn Limlugeth, Eight Thundercloud, Eric “Cupcake” Leam, and Senior Goat were resting and tending to their wounds in a small clearing within the Sea of Trees when they noticed the airship approaching. It descended to a low altitude, and two figures floated down toward the party. Apparently startled by this occurrence, Senior Goat hurled a stone at one of the figures as soon as they came within throwing distance. His stone hit its mark, provoking a violent response that nearly cost the adventurers their lives. One of the descending figures conjured a blazing fireball, engulfing the entire clearing in flame and rendering most of the party members unconscious or severely wounded. Eight Thundercloud and Aryn managed to fly up to the figures on Goldbeak‘s back as they retreated back up toward their airship. After a few tense moments of negotiation, they managed to convince the strangers that they were not hostile, despite Senior Goat’s rude actions. The strangers invited the adventurers aboard their airship so that they could discuss further.

The Covenant Stormshadow

The adventurers were soon introduced to the crew of the Covenant airship Stormshadow, including Captain Mattias Undvik, First Mate Kass Springpaw, and Storm Sorcerer Masughu. It was the first interaction they had had so far with the Covenant – an alliance of Dwarves and Tabaxians far to the north in Glacier Peak. The crew of the Stormshadow was searching for an elemental crystal that was needed to restore full power to their magical airship, and they believed they would find one in the Elven ruins below the destroyed Orc encampment. Captain Mattias proposed a mutually beneficial partnership with the adventurers. Since both groups were headed toward the same destination, they agreed to join forces against whatever unknown threats lay waiting in the Elven ruins.

Rust and Bones

The Stormshadow proved to be a comfortable, safe place to rest. Four powerful focus lenses, capable of blasting out bolts of lightning, helped defend the ship from the threats of the Sea of Trees, allowing the adventurers some respite while they rested, healed, and got to know the crew a bit more. The next day, the ship flew back toward the Orc camp, which was little more than a smoldering, smashed ruin. From the air, the camp appeared to have been abandoned except for two sentries guarding what the adventurers assumed was the entrance to the underground ruins. A blast of lightning from one of the focus lenses made short work of them, allowing Aryn, Eight Thundercloud, and Glen to float down safely, accompanied by Captain Mattias. Aryn urged them to first check out the pit that Rose Goodlight had fallen into, hoping that the halfling girl would still be alive. There was no sign of her at first, and upon descending into the pit, Aryn only discovered a skeleton. They were able to determine that the bones belonged to a humanoid of short stature, but were unable to learn anything more. As the group continued their observations, several rust monsters rushed out from crevices within the walls of the pit. Rather than risk having their metallic weapons and armor damaged by the creatures, the adventurers retreated, climbing back out of the refuse pit.


A quick search of the rest of the camp proved fruitless. The Fist of Baghtru tribe had left, but it was unclear where they had gone or if they planned to return. It was time to begin their descent into the Elven ruins. Eight Thundercloud shared some knowledge of the place that she had gleaned from studying books on the topic. These ruins were once known as “Tevemanthaur,” an Elven temple to the elements. Her books had also mentioned a relic within the temple that Eight Thundercloud was eager to recover. Proceeding with caution, the adventurers made their way through ancient rooms and hallways carved of fine marble and decorated with once-vibrant frescoes and paintings. The first large, circular room they came across was partially barricaded. Two orc sentries watched the entrance, but the adventurers made short work of them.

With the main entrance to the ruins clear, they were ready to begin their exploration, hoping to find an elemental crystal, an Elven relic, and some sign of their captive friends…

Fire in the Sea of Trees
A disastrous assault leaves the Valiant Crowned broken and wounded

Leaving Mistvale

The Valiant Crowned had successfully reunited Cupcake with his family in Mistvale, but now they had been tasked with finding other survivors from the same orc raid. They rested for the night and gathered supplies for the journey in the morning. They hoped that they could convince Cupcake to accompany them on this quest to free his mother and his tutor, so Eight Thundercloud purchased a fancy leather-bound tome and engraved his name on it as a gift. It would serve as a proper spellbook, rather than the pile of loose notes he had previously compiled. Cupcake was eager to join them and greatly appreciated Eight Thundercloud’s gift. Glen had contracted with a local leatherworker to create a better saddle and reins for his wolf mount, Grayfang. Their last stop before leaving was to speak to Commander Davarros. They figured that if anyone knew where to begin their search for the orcs that had raided Mistvale, it would be him. Their interaction was less than friendly, but helping the Valiant Crowned in this matter also advanced his own political interests in Mistvale, so the Commander gave them the information they needed. The orcs belonged to a cunning tribe of warriors known as the Fist of Baghtru. Crimson Watchmen scouts had spotted signs of orc activity to the southeast, well into the dense and foreboding Sea of Trees.

The Hunter Becomes the Prey

After their first day of traveling, the group came upon a small clearing and decided to bed down for the night. As the sun set, and they were just about to drift off to sleep, a giant boar made its way into the clearing. It became clear that this was the boar’s territory when it charged at the intruders. The adventurers were further surprised when an orc hunter and his goblin servant, who apparently had been hiding in the trees above their heads the entire time, sprang into action, trying to drive off the intruders who had startled their prey. Narrowly avoiding the well-hidden traps that had been placed around the clearing, the Valiant Crowned managed to defeat the boar, kill the goblin, and capture the orc. After a short interrogation, they learned that the orc was a member of the Fist of Baghtru, the tribe they sought. It was all they needed to confirm that they were on the right course. They ended his life and dumped the orc’s corpse in a hole. The roasted boar was delicious.

Orc Encampment

The next day, Aryn scouted ahead along the coast and discovered the orcs’ encampment. It was much more than they were expecting. The large camp was ringed by a tall wooden palisade wall, and there was a large wooden tower with a ballista overlooking everything. She reported her findings to the rest of the group, and they spent some time deliberating the best way to approach the situation. Should they try an attack? Could they sneak in through a side entrance or via Lake Shimmerscale? Would it be possible to strike up a parley with the orcs? In the end, they decided to create a diversion at the front gate and try to sneak in through a side entrance. They busied themselves for a few days carving rough wooden mannequins in the forest, while Eight Thundercloud flew over the camp on Goldbeak for a bird’s eye view of the place. She could see many tents and much activity below, indicating a sizable force of orcs.

Senior Goat

While preparing for their attack, the group encountered a very strange goat man in the forest. He was praying over the corpse of their old ally, Ponyhater Skinny. this goat introduced himself as none other than Senior Goat, a skilled martial artist who wanted to join their cause in order to preach his holy word to the savage orc tribe. The Valiant Crowned were not really impressed with this stranger at first, but eventually they reluctantly agreed to let him join them for a trial membership.

Fire and Smoke

The time had come to put their plan into action. Casting a spell of fog cloud to obscure her approach, Aryn splashed oil on the wooden walls near the front gate and set them ablaze while the others set their wooden mannequins into the ground to create the illusion of an attacking force at the gate. Once the fire was set and the mannequins put into place, the group took off sprinting towards the side entrance. Unfortunately, the watchman atop the ballista tower was quick to spot them. He called out their position and successfully organized the confused orc troops below.

The (Almost) Great Goblin Rebellion

At the side gate, the adventurers found themselves face to face with a large assembly of goblin servants. With the orcs quickly closing in on them, the Valiant Crowned did their best to convince the goblins to aid them in overthrowing their orcish oppressors. The goblins were not one-hundred percent convinced, but managed to hold off the majority of the orcish forces for a few moments. This extra time was key to helping Aryn, Glen and Senior Goat defeat an ogre that was bearing down on them.

The Pit

With the orcish army closing in from all sides and little help from the goblins, Aryn and Rose knew that their best hope for the success of the mission would be to quickly find the captives and escape before they could be overwhelmed. In the goblin servants’ part of the camp was a large pit with a metal grate covering the top. It looked like the most obvious place to keep prisoners. Aryn and Rose rushed to examine the pit, but saw nothing but scraps of waste below. At that moment, a squadron of orcs had scattered the goblins holding one flank of the camp, and and orc was able to rush Rose and throw her down into the pit. It was all Aryn could do to toss down a rope to her before she was forced to flee, leaving the halfling girl behind to face whatever fate might befall her.

The Tower

Eight Thundercloud had entered battle mounted atop Goldbeak, which gave her an advantage over most of the orcs, but also made her a tempting target for the ballista tower. Fortunately, with some quick maneuvering and a few well-timed uses of the shatter spell, Eight was able to send the ballista tower crashing down, crushing part of what appeared to be the Warchief’s tent in the process. Eight was also concerned with finding the prisoners, and decided to land Goldbeak in order to check the tents on the high plateau in the middle of camp. She noticed a few snake-like yuan-ti emerge from once tent and disappear into the ruined remains of the Warchief’s tent. She checked the yuan-ti’s tent and found it empty. The warchief, however, was not about to let the destruction of the ballista tower go unanswered. He leapt through the rubble and cut down Goldbeak. He was about to bring down his axe to finish off the tabaxi as well, but she quickly revived Goldbeak with a potion of healing, and together they were able to fly upwards, out of reach of the Warchief.

Fly, You Fools!

The attack had quickly turned to disaster. The prisoners were nowhere to be found. The party was wounded, separated, and surrounded by squads of orcs. Half the camp was in flames, blocking the potential exit of the main door. Aryn had lost her squire, Rose, and saw escape as her only option. Taking the first opportunity to climb over the wooden wall, she made a beeline for the forest edge and hid there, leaving the rest of her companions to their fate as well. Glen, riding atop Grayfang, has managed to help take down the ogre, but was now surrounded by orcs. Barely surviving an encounter with an orc squad commander, Glen had no choice but to flee. He was almost in the clear when the orc Warchief caught up to him and Grayfang in a ridiculous burst of rage-fueled speed. The Warchief nearly cut the wolf in two, but Glen and Grayfang barely managed to get away, heading for the canoes on the shore of Lake Shimmerscale. Senior Goat and Cupcake had also gotten trapped against the wall, surrounded by orcs. One particularly brutish commander cut Cupcake down with a stroke of his axe and wounded Senior Goat. He was about to finish them both off, but Eight Thundercloud swooped down from the sky and blasted the commander’s head to bits with a well placed spell. This allowed Senior Goat to carry Cupcake’s unconscious form over the wall, where Eight Thundercloud revived him using her last healing potion.

The Battle Continues…

Aryn waits hidden on the north side of camp in the woods. Eight Thundercloud and Cupcake fly high over the southern side of the camp atop a wounded Goldbeak. Senior Goat is on his own at the south side of camp as well. Glen and Grayfang race desperately toward the shore, hoping to make a getaway on a boat before the bloodthirsty Warchief catches up to them.

And down below the action, wounded at the bottom of a filthy pit, Rose sees the glint of moonlight and firelight off of cold eyes watching her; hears the scuttle of chitinous feet; and screams. She is not alone.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.