Episode Guide for

Sins of the Past

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Episode Guide

Each weekend, the players assembled to play what has been designated as an episode. Each week, a recap of the most recent episode’s happenings was posted to allow those who have been missing for many or few episodes to get a feel for what they have missed.

Episode 1

Date: May 21, 2016

Attendance: Adam, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Tommy

Summary: The year is 704 C.Y. and forty-one years have passed since the Silverblades defeated Damlegan Gault in the “Cursed Earth” campaign. As with the past two campaigns, the party started out in Hightower being banded together to accompany two wagons of supplies to the south to reinforce the troops protecting an area infested with goblin activity. Since it was the 17th of Harvester, finding able-bodied humans to travel to help protect the empire was difficult to come by; many were pulling in the last crops or reinforcing the militias which protect the cities. Regardless, the Men of Masterson resorted to hiring anyone they could find, and a motley crew of non-humans was found to help accompany the wagons. The pay was good, and each of the characters had a solid reason to move on from Hightower. Masmar Lendred was the elder mercenary who assembled the group; coincidentally, the only humans were NPCs. The first leg of the trip went smoothly, traveling to Aspenbrook, but soon after issues began to appear: factions amongst the travelers began to form with the humans (except Masmar) grouping together, members were accused of thievery by Shad, and personality issues appeared between two of member in leadership roles, Kor and Geridas. Travel complications ensued when bad weather and the need to send members ahead to relay the message of being late confounded issues. On the bright side, Little Sweet was able to keep everyone’s attitudes upbeat with his bardic skills, the elves brought back some game, and non-humans were able to travel to a duchy they had never explored. By the time of the party reached Eshelvadon, they were grumpy, behind schedule, and more than eager to deal with the goblin ambushed just south of the town (in a very familiar ambush site from the past two campaigns). Then to Saltmarsh, Alendar, and finally to Jutesgrove, where the party was disappointed that Masmar was not waiting for them as expected, that he instead went on ahead to the keep in the Fanderword Forest, as per the story told by a drunken Dario.

Combat: None.

Episode 2

Date: June 4, 2016

Attendance: Adam, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Dario was in no state to help the party as it took him the rest of the evening to sober up, and the late arrival to Jutesgrove left the party with less of a proclivity to leave immediately so to travel through the thick Fanderword Forest to Barthen Keep in order to meet up with Masmar. Deciding to spend the night and rest inside the confines of the town, the PCs had their first good night’s sleep in days although many of them planned to sleep in the barn for the evening. Regardless, questions came up with how Dario ended up in town with more gold than the party thought he should have and suspicions were his increased funds might have something to do with an absent Masmar. Kor put him in check for the evening, while the rest of the party enjoyed the bardic sounds of the Little Sweet at the Willing Wench tavern. Not all PCs were apt to wile the night away: the rouge tiefling decided some breaking and entering was needed at a local merchant shop, the dragonborn sorcerer sought out help of the town sage (cursed with a permanent fog cloud) for information about maps in the area, and the dwarf cleric was able to secure another dwarven ranger to assist in tracking through the Fanderwood Forest. Morning came with the party ready to go, but conflict ensued when several of the NPCs arrived late (the tiefling jammed the door to their tavern room) and questions about how Dario was dealt with the previous evening led to some derision. Regardless, the wagon train was able to move through the snowy forest slow, but steadily. Midway through the journey, the party was set upon by a mixture of goblins and hobgoblins, attempting to single out the front cart hoping to force the party to leave half of their supplies behind. Effective spellcasting from the party forced the raiders to retreat as the monsters did not have a solution to overcome the magics cast upon them. After another day, the PCs were finally able to arrive at Barthen Keep and be greeted by Masmar (who wondered why it took so long). With their contract finished, the commander of the keep, Natali Bersk, offered winter’s pay to the party if they were able to help clear the goblinoids and ravagers in the area, until warmer months would allow for the garrison to be refreshed. Masmar had more personal business to take care of, as he desired to find the grave of his uncle Fezim Lendred, which had been vandalized. To do so, the party must first find a local druid to help direct their search.

Combat: The PCs kill a group of six hobgoblins and eight goblins.

Episode 3

Date: June 11, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Haden spent the last three days trekking through the Fanderword Forest, trying to catch up with the rest of the party as he was left behind. The journey was not without any benefits as he was able to catch three rabbits; a much tastier meal than hard trail rations. As Haden walked into the keep, the hired dwarf ranger was leaving to return to Jutesgrove, since his contract was fulfilled and ale was waiting for him back in town. In general, most of the PCs sought to help reinforce the defenses of the area, waiting for Lia to return with news from the local druid. Allowing a deer to lead her, Lia arrived at Aelara’s home with little trouble, seeing several instances of how monsterfolk have ravaged the land. Aelara was indifferent about working with the humans in the keep, but agreed to assist Lia with a safe return and information about where the mausoleums might be located. As a caveat, she also encouraged Lia to take on the responsibility of introducing a crazed wood elf named Leroy back into society. The trio of elves journeyed back to the keep with the information needed to help Masmar. Being appreciative of the party’s help, Commander Bersk gave the PCs a choice of assignments: find Masmar’s ancestral mausoleum or clear the area of monsterfolk. Choosing the mausoleums first, the party used Aelara’s information to track down the first of three sets of burial sites, finding them vandalized as reported with no evidence or clues. Ukko and Leroy noticed the party was being tracked by kobolds, who retreated when confronted. The PCs counter-tracked the kobold scout back to a ravine they had learned about earlier. Heavy snow and uncertainty hindered the group, but eventually the kobold’s lair was discovered under a copse of trees via a hidden cave entrance. After much discussion, the party moved forward, forcing the kobold guards to flee into the cave. Pursuing, Haden noticed the disguised pit trap near the cave mouth. With alarms sounded, the kobolds flooded into the area, causing clogged conditions in the hewn hallways. Although the kobolds were quick kills, attrition began to set in with party members who cycled out of the front line for healing. Desperation on the part of the kobolds heartened the creatures to lose a pack of giant rats on the adventurers, forcing the party to cast thunderwave, destroying many of the vermin, but alerting the rest of the cave denizens to the party’s arrival.

Combat: The party is able to use pinch points to stave off ten kobolds, even when an additional giant rats attack.

Episode 4

Date: June 18, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Korie

Summary: The dragonborn sorcerer realized the party had left without him, as soon as his work on updating Commander Bersk’s area map had been completed. Regardless, enough snow had fallen for him to see the wide berth wrought by the party trekking to the ancient burial sites they were tasked to investigate. It would not take a ranger’s intuition to realize the group had backtracked and headed off in another direction, and the sounds of battle and the distinct pitch of a thunderwave spell, which echoed through the nearby ravine made it apparent this group of diverse personalities had found trouble. Unaware of watching eyes, the dragonborn made his way to the entrance of the kobold den to find the rest of the party reading themselves for round two of invading the scaly humanoids lair. A brief discourse was had about the abstract concept of who was in the right of meeting out the deadly results to the kobolds. These smaller folk used the hewn tunnel system to their advantage by stacking forces in such a way as to not allow free movement and eliminating tactics of any sort. After investigating the secured areas, the party search the rooms for anything of use, finding spoiled food stores and other mundane items. Several particulars that were found included a chest of coins belonging to a previous excursion into this new territory, along with a letter from Lord Masterson himself. Ukko found a small cache of gold coins hidden in a blanket, keeping it for himself. The final battle with the kobold chief and his forces netted more goods, and this tunnel area was considered clear. With only a kobold female and her brood left to fend for themselves, the party rambled back to Barthen Keep. Geridas was disconcerted to see the party returning with goods and treasure, while his group stayed behind to setup defensive trenches, earning only a trifling. Kor and Geridas discussed this and settled on a bargain that pleased both parties. The rest of the party was able to spend the night eating a hot meal and getting a good night’s sleep. Masmar shared with Kor that he was looking for a specific item from his family’s crypt, and surmised this article is now long gone. The night was uneventful for most of the PCs. Those on evening watch did notice a pyre near the kobold camp. In the morning, scouts found evidence the Dogeater orc tribe burned the kobold bodies in the ritualistic symbol of the eye of Gruumsh.

Combat: The small group of PCs overwhelm the kobold chiefs and his eight warriors, but leave the females and younglings alone.

Episode 5

Date: June 25, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Some backtracking was done to get everyone in the same spot at the same time to start the episode out. The elven ranger returned to Barthen Keep, after hunting game for several days. The dragonborn sorcerer had some oddness with sleepwalking through the camp. The rest of the party was at odds with what to make of the funeral pyre seen throughout the previous evening. Since things were rushed at the end of Episode 4, the retcon of the morning had the party split into various areas: some PCs stayed behind at the keep to train since a heavy snow precluded true adventuring, some PCs went off to acquire cordwood for the keep, and another group sought out the remnants of the pyre. Training went without a hitch, even with Geridas adding his underhand tactical know-how to the mix. Finding wood also went smoothly except the group was spooked at the sounds of horses. The remains of the kobolds were just as found, but with additional clarity on who was responsible and what happened to the kobolds which were left behind. However, several unexpected encounters happened as well. Ukko found a trio of lost adventurers (dragonborn fighter, half-elf bard, human trader) huddled for warmth in one of the burned out homesteads, and invited the group to join him at the keep. Later the PCs decided to track down the horse noises, only to find more horses and a ramshackle building called the Inn of the Kneeling Man. Inside, a father-son group indicated they had found the Inn abandoned and claimed it for themselves. There was no evidence of foul play, but it seemed there used to be a larger family who lived in the domicile some time ago. Returning to Barthen Keep, the PCs discussed traveling with Rhogar and his friends to Jutesgrove or dealing directly with the Dogeater clan of orcs which lived in the ravine. Traveling down the same trails used to find the kobolds, the party came upon a wall of mounted heads, seemingly the trophies of those slain by the orcs. Upon entering the initial areas of the orc lair and engaging in combat, the PCs soon realized the depth of the orc presence, facing more combatants than that of the kobold lair. With Leroy getting in trouble quickly, the party decided to make a tactical retreat back to the keep, hoping to lure the orcs out and use the defensive works of the keep to protect them. As they fled, they noticed the Skullclaw tribe in pursuit as well.

Combat: The party dispatches the first eleven orcs, but overwhelming numbers force them to retreat.

Episode 6

Date: July 2, 2016

Attendance: Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Tommy

Summary: With two agitated orc tribes chasing after the PCs, the safest bet was to return to Barthen Keep for protection. If the walls could hold, this would allow the orcs to quell their rage and eventually leave to return to their holdings in the ravine. In order to thin the orc ranks, a handful of PCs decided to stay hidden, allowing the orcs to pass, in order to use hit-and-run tactics to help the keep. Most of the Dogeater orcs and the Skullclaw orcs marched on when the party decided on picking off the last group of stragglers. Taking down the first group of three was easy as the party baited them to charge, out in an open field. Using the same tactics again with a second small group worked well, but not as quickly. Looking to reel in more substantial gains, the PCs mounted the orc heads on stakes, then burned the bodies while taunting those Skullclaw clansmen who could hear. The result was a more substantial group of orcs which led to a greater conflict in which the PCs did not succeed unscathed. This battle caught the eye of the orog leader of the Skullclaw, who ordered the remainder of his clan to pull away from the keep and focus on the PCs. Questioning their ability to deal with an orc boss and a large group of orcs, the paladin advised to move the party back to the cave system of the Dogeater clan to use the choke points the PCs struggled with at the end of Episode 5. Arriving at the cave, the party heard the distant voices of orc women and younglings, as well as noticing a small team of goblins tracking their movement. The Skullclaw being unfamiliar with this cave system, the PCs were able to fight a pitched battle with a very narrow margin of victory. Choosing to investigate the tunnel system, the party took a short rest to recover lost health, and revive unconscious party members. The Dogeater lair was simple and the unexplored areas did not have many surprises with the exception of locating the women and younglings heard from earlier. Much like the kobolds, a supply depot of human goods was found, but a cache of human weapons was also uncovered with another lock box which did not get opened (good job, Joe). Unbeknownst to the orc tribes, both leaders had been meeting via a shared secret room. Having gained more arms and armor to help defend the keep, the party packed up what they could take and headed back to help with the siege.

Combat: A fantastic use of hit-and-run tactics, plus terrain awareness, lead to netting thirty orcs in the combat filled episode.

Episode 7

Date: July 9, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Korie, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: While a portion of the party was dealing with the Skullclaw orcs, the main force of the Dogeaters continued to lay siege to Barthen Keep. Allowing the orcs to lather themselves into a rage, the defenders of the keep, led by Kor and Rhogar, allowed the orcs to breech the front gates, but controlled the flow of combat, inflicting heavy losses. Quick thinking, solid tactics, and cooperative NPCs led a win for the keep, as the orcs fled back toward their caves, but not directly. Coincidentally, Jillian and the rest of the group that raided the Skullclaws, returned to the keep with weapons and supplies. Ukko had a great view of the battle as he was mounted in a tree, and reported goblin and hobgoblin movement in the area. The party decided to catch their breath, and take stock of the situation over the evening. The next day, the PCs journeyed back to the ravine, to confront the Dogeater orcs again. Having a better understanding of the tunnel system and feeling more confident about orc numbers, the PCs were able to make quick work of the orcs, sparing the females and younglings. The orc remains were burned outside of their lair, and the PCs continued investigating what they fought for. More supplies were found, as well as the connecting cave system between both orc tribes. Traps were overcome and even more loot was found, as well as leftovers from the Brotherhood of the Vorpal Tusk. Fearful the surviving orcs would be butchered by the other monster races of the ravine, the females and younglings were taken back to Barthen Keep. Commander Bersk took umbrage to the suggestion of the enemy being given shelter inside the keep walls, even though Kor made a strong case to spare them. Ideas of how to deal with the additional mouths to feed were discussed, and it was finally decided the best place to house the survivors would be in the vacated kobold caves. The next day, the group was marched out to the caves and told to stay until supplies could be brought back to take care of them. Still keen on investigating the family crypts in the area to see if they were also vandalized, the group tracked down the remaining burial sites finding one defaced while the other was left unharmed. Finding a need to gather more supplies, the episode ended with the party making plans on taking some of the captured loot and returning to Jutesgrove to resupply the keep.

Combat: The PCs are responsible for ten orc deaths, while the rest were handled by NPCs, during the keep assault. Another ten orcs are killed in the tunnels.

Episode 8

Date: July 16, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe

Summary: The party was ready to travel to Jutesgrove right away, but heavy snows prevented the reassembly of one of the original wagons used to travel to Barthen Keep at the outset of the campaign. To complicate matters, although there was a plethora of cordwood to draw upon for stoking fires, part of the uneducated and/or inconsiderate militia conscripts had inadvertently tossed wagon parts into the fire. Luckily, nothing that was irreplaceable was burned and after a day, the party was able to begin their trek. With only one wagon travelling back, the party also journeyed with the Rhogar the dragonborn, Meriele the bard, and Karil the merchant who had long requested passage back to civilization in order to continue their journey to Celesthem. Haden’s tracking skills and Kor’s natural understanding of topography gave the party confidence they would be able to make the journey in two days versus the previous three-day trek to the keep with two wagons through monster infested woods. However, blizzard-like conditions slowed the party and the journey took longer than anticipated. Arriving in Jutesgrove, the PCs departed from their traveling companions and scattered to acquire supplies and information. Townsfolk related to the party how murders and bugbear raids had plagued the town since the party left. Disturbed by inconsistencies of Shad and Dario over the past month, Kor investigated the murders of two young women whose deaths happened during the time frame the party was in town. Evidence pointed toward Dario, but nothing conclusive was found. Having spent enough time investigating, the party returned to the keep with supplies and a burning desire for justice. Kor confronted Geridas about the murders and missing jewelry, implicating Dario. The next morning, Ukko followed Geridas, Shad and Dario to a secluded area, finding Dario spiked to a tree and left by his two companions. Ukko left Dario behind after knocking him out and stealing his healing potion. Later, Geridas and Kor returned to the area, where Kor slew Dario after he confessed to killing one of the girls. While this transpired, the rest of the party sought out the bugbear raiders. Finding their camp and signs of welcome, Haden and Kal-Ra entered the lair only to be confronted by hungry bugbears looking for another meal, and were summarily captured after falling in battle.

Combat: Kor executes Dario, while Haden and Kal-Ra take out two bugbears before being captured.

Episode 9

Date: July 23, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Fearing for Haden and Kal-Ra, Lia ran back to Barthen Keep to alert the rest of the party about the situation: the elf and the dragonborn entered a den of bugbears, and did not come back out. Back at the keep, a few folks knew of the death of Dario in the forest, and Shad wanted to ensure his body was cared for, giving Ukko a chance to torment Shad in the process. Kor was able to mount up a rescue mission with the PCs at hand, and trekked back out to the ravine. Returning to the keep, Ukko learned of Kor leaving for the ravine and chose to follow via flight. On his way, he encountered a bewildered stranger walking through the forest. Receiving a negative reaction from the human, Ukko continued on toward the ravine. The party was able to use Kor’s featherfall ability to drop down in front of a gregarious bugbear entrance guard. Following the tradition of Cartu, Donovan declared “stormpeace” and immediately killed the bugbear guard. Retracing the steps taken by the elf and the dragonborn, the PCs quickly found a squad of bugbears looking through the belongings of the duo, giving more credence that both had fallen; no bodies to find led the PCs to believe they were taken captive. An alarm was sounded for the entirety of the complex, and quick thinking by Lia allowed a spike growth spell to prevent the party from being overcome by more bugbear guards. Flummoxed their inability to get to the party, the bugbears began to chanting incoherently. A cagey fighter, the bugbear chieftain chose to avoid jumping directly into combat with the party, instead allowing the PCs to come to him. After enough baiting, Derr Brokenears lured the party close enough to release a black-haired minotaur (whom the bugbears nicknamed “Chocolate Thunder”) While the party was dealing with the minotaur, Brokenears escaped through the cavern, leaving his female companion to cover his getaway. The minotaur went head-to-head with Kor and Jillian, dropping the paladin at death’s door. Ukko arrived on the scene to help with the combat and made the difference in defeating the Chocolate Thunder. Realizing the bugbear chief could be anywhere, the spike growth spell would eventually end, and how the overall health of the party was low, the group decided to flee from the cavern areas without their two lost companions, and return to fight after having a chance to rest.

Combat: The party slays a minotaur plus nine bugbears, forcing Derr Brokenears to flee the battlefield.

Episode 10

Date: July 30, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Kristen, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Not ready to take on the full force of bugbears at once, the party moved out of their area and up the walls of the ravine to find a safer vantage point to recover hit points and prep for returning to the lair to save their companions and to defeat the monsters within. Scouting the area for any onlookers, Lia came upon the body of Leroy who seemed to have met an unfortunate demise after fleeing the bugbear cave with much of the loot he had scooped up in the middle of combat. Lia also encountered another dragonborn named Baratath, who was traveling east from Felspar but had apparently gotten lost in the Fanderword Forest. Deciding to join up with Lia to help direct him to civilization, Baratath returned to the campsite to meet the rest of the party. After a lengthy discussion on how to deal with the bugbears, Ukko distracted the squad of guards at the front entrance while the group was able to locate and investigate an outcropping which might be the entrance to the minotaur’s lair. Noticing several ravens, Lia spoke with a particularly feisty bird who warned the party of possible stirges and perhaps another minotaur inside. Moving quickly into the cave, the party was able to avoid the stirges and navigate to the back door area the bugbear chieftain escaped through during the previous episode. About to breech the door, the PCs heard a gruff warning from a small hobgoblin force, no doubt brought in by the Brokenears. Ignoring the warning, the party moved into the combat zone, using magic to control the flow of adversaries and give the group the best advantage possible, even though the hobgoblins targeted their spellcasters. Using previous knowledge of the party, the bugbears fought in the same cagey style from earlier encounters, trying to mitigate the damage done by magic. The hobgoblins tried to outflank the party through the caves, using a token goblin to stir up the stirges with raw meat, leading the angry birds to attack the party from the rear. Quick thinking of an illusionary wall prevented the trick, and the goblin perished from the stirges. Eventually, spell magic wore out and the party agreed to allow the bugbears to attack them through a choke-point, eventually wearing down their numbers, although Jillian was felled. The party holed up in one of the bugbear storage rooms for the short-term, allowing for Donovan to provide ritual healing, then plotted their next move.

Combat: The PCs murder eight bugbears, plus ten hobgoblins.

Episode 11

Date: August 6, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Korie, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Having finished Donovan’s ritual healing, the party looked to loot the bodies of the fallen bugbears before continuing on to find their two lost companions, along with removing any additional threats which might be lurking around this area of the ravine. The bugbears had a smattering of coins on them, but the room of the chieftain’s room revealed a chest of silver pieces and other loot. Content with what they had found, the party moved east to the unexplored zones of the cave system, still looking for the missing party members, but cautious for any residual bugbear forces. While the search continued, Haden awoke from his unconscious state, finding himself basting in some sort of bugbear stew while his friend Kal-Ra oozed of bugbear relish. Hearing the voices of his comrades, he alerted them to one of the two jail areas. After freeing their teammates, the PCs dealt with several humanoids who were also captured by the bugbears. The humans, dwarf, and elves would return with the party to Barthen Keep, and the orcs, kobolds, and lone goblin were each dealt with differently. In the second jail area, the party found hobgoblins, gnolls, a bugbear rival to Derr Brokenears, and the crazed human, who was the source of the “chocolate thunder” chant from the previous minotaur encounter. Krell the bugbear was released only after an impassioned plea to the party about how his desire for revenge trumped his hate for the PCs that destroyed his tribe. Enrich the human looked to be released so he could also avoid being a bugbear meal, and find his favorite axe. The gnolls were slaughtered, and the hobgoblins were left behind to ensure they did not report any information about the PCs to their commander. When morning came, an altercation broke out between Enrich and Geridas over the former attacking a trainee. Things escalated quickly with Enrich, forcing a brief combat with the PCs. Enrich was removed from the keep and executed under the graces of Commander Bersk. A daytrip by Lia to Aelara’s tree proved fruitless, although evidence of undead in the area did catch her attention. Determined that the hobgoblin scouts which had been observing the movement of the PCs were the next big threat, the party bided their time and was able to eliminate three out of four pairs of scouts.

Combat: Enrich (a beserker) is incapacitated, then executed. There hobgoblin scouts try to evade the party, but fail.

Episode 12

Date: August 13, 2016

Attendance: James B., James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Satisfied with their dealings with the hobgoblins in the area for the moment, the PCs were able to hunker down and take a breather as weather conditions turned sour and blizzard-like conditions (perhaps remnants of the bale tempests of long ago) blanketed the area in heavy snows. Construction and reinforcement of the keep’s battlements was the plan for the short-term, and other party members traveled around the area to hunt for game, while Lia looked to see if Aelera had returned to her tree. Although Aelara was not found, the druid did find signs of worgs in the area and tracks of possible undead in the snow, as well as a human body which seemed out of place in the wintery conditions. Determined to fulfill their pact with Commander Bersk, the party set out the next day when conditions seemed best and journeyed to the ravine to investigate what might be left over from the minotaur cave. Inexplicitly, during their quiet and humble journey, the group of set upon by a flight of four white dragon wyrmlings. Even with their advantage of flight, the PCs were able to make short work of them, taking the carcasses back to Barthen Keep to use for skins and to eat dragon steaks. The next day, back at the ravine, the minotaur cave merited more extensive exploration. The stirges suspected of guarding the entrance were dealt with, and the home of “Chocolate Thunder” was further investigated. The main find was the gestation masses forming two more minotaurs, which the party quickly burst and dealt with the unformed creatures; Kal-Ra also found a fire beetle which he chose to keep as a pet. Loot was found, as well as evidence of activity in the bugbear zone. Further snooping uncovered the chained hobgoblin which were intentionally left behind, dead from a flurry of stirges, and an additional human corpse which was not originally there. The whole site seemed to have been picketed with bodies stacked and anything useful, that the party did not snag earlier, to be missing. Satisfied their dealings with this area of the cave, the PCs moved back into the ravine to locate the hobgoblins, but instead found the entrance to a hewn temple for the followers of Iuz, identified from the carved symbol found at the mouth of the cave. Entering into the complex, the group was met with a shambling group of zombies, which were dealt with by turning or through violence.

Combat: A flight of white dragon wyrmlings are downed, six stirges are slain, an unknown undead glob of processed minotaur is overcome, and ten zombies is dealt with.

Episode 13

Date: August 20, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Having finished off the zombies in the entrance way to the secretive temple of Iuz, the PCs continued the standard procedure of searching the bodies for anything useful before heading further into the underground complex. No loot to speak of, but two of the bodies displayed the symbol of a grinning skull on the bottom of their right foot, indicating that perhaps not all of the undead happened to be created under the same circumstances. Continuing on, the party investigated several areas choosing to go in the direction of which a more pungent odor wafted through the air. Using their unique set of skills, the PCs were able to deal with a group of four cultists upon bursting into their chamber. Additional chambers were marked by large pieces of wall art dedicated to Iuz, which Ukko was able to pry the emerald eyes out. A torture chamber was found and the warrior within was dealt with; most like the person responsible for torture. Farther down into the complex, the PCs came upon a double door, and upon breaching it, found the skeleton horse with its wight master inside, allied with more zombies. A clogged battle in the hallway allowed the PCs to deal the horseman, as well as finally determine where the undead horse was staying as hoof prints had been found in the snow during previous episodes. Clearing the area, the undead remains were stacked and the group returned to a previous turn-off in the dungeon. Coming upon a sealed iron door, the party allowed for Ukko to take his time removing the bolts fastening the door shut, while the remainder of the party continued to check various rooms for additional undead as well as for general clearance. Without their primary trapfinder, Kor inadvertently triggered a pressure plate while entering a storeroom, allowing a gelatinous cube to slide out from an open wall and push the party back into the corridor. The PCs were able to lure the creature farther back into the hallway, taking advantage of its slower speed in order to destroy the monster through attrition. Back at the iron door, the room was discovered to be the resting place for revered followers of Iuz, containing several tombs. One held another wight, which was quickly dispatched, but the rest only contained bones and scraps of cloth. The party decided to end the session by resting in the cultists’ chamber before continuing on.

Combat: A commander and four cultists of Iuz are slaughtered, a skeleton horse with an advanced wight and six zombies are dispatched, an additional wight is crushed, and a gelatinous cube is pulverized.

Episode 14

Date: August 27, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Renewed after their short rest, the party continued throughout the areas of the underground complex which had not yet been explored, hoping to find the source of the undead as well as the master of cult of Iuz. Heading into new territory, the PCs found themselves at the end of a long hallway, leading to a pair of stout wooden doors, engraved with religious scripts. Divine-centered party members felt at ease as they approached the doorway, having an adverse feeling to what might be inside. Kor and Ukko had to qualms and entered the room to find a worship area, with a leering, giant grinning skull above an altar area. Ukko used spells to manipulate a bell which sat upon the altar, without any results. Most of the party investigated the room, eventually setting off the traps meant for those who don’t belong: the head being a magical fire-breathing statue trap. Some of the party members did not react well to being set ablaze while the remainder of the party stayed out of the range of the fire attack. Kor and Ukko were able to disable the trigger mechanism and the trap was permanently disabled through a rigorous amount of smashing. After some time, members of the party’s rear-guard noticed noises coming down the long hallway, and prepped for an ambush. Several of the temple acolytes had incited the main skeleton and zombie defenses to attack the party, marching behind them to drive the undead force down the hallway. A 10+ round pitched battle occurred with the party member exhausting most of their spell capabilities, but eventually being able to defeat the evil force without any deaths; although some party members did get dropped to 0 hit points. The PC decided it would be best to rest for one hour, to recover from their wounds, and holed up in one of the rooms in which Ukko investigated near the end of the combat; it was the quarters of the priests. During their rest time, the party heard a goblin trek down past their room into another unexplored area, returning after 10 minutes. Eager to find out what was happening, the party followed the same path to the high priest’s room, discovering his room had the appearance of someone quickly gathering his belongings in order to flee quickly. The episode ended with the party looking at their options of further exploring the temple area by backtracking to the entrance and turning left, instead of right.

Combat: A massive battle of twenty skeletons and ten zombies nearly defeats the party.

Episode 15

Date: September 3, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Having rested for a while and pondered what exactly the goblin was doing in the head priest’s quarters, the group decided to return to the main entrance to continue exploring down the second of two hallways they initially encountered when entering the underground complex. Kal-Ra had awoken from the necrolepsy (Curse, the dark gods!), finding various items around his….person which led him to suspect that the group he has associated himself for the past months might include individuals of a deviant nature. Following their past formula for success, Ukko continued to scout ahead, looking for traps and ambush points, staying confident in his safety from zombies due to the amulet he retained around his neck. Making his way down the second hallway, the first thing noticed was the hew of the stone and how it differed from the remainder of the complex, as well as the increased amount of detritus found on the floor and walls. Rounding the corner, more undead were found lining the walls next to a mural depicting the glories of the Iuz over smaller folk and rival deities. Ignoring the undead, Ukko moved to find a rubble strewn hallway and a throne room, decorated with suits of armor centered around a throne of human bones. He also noted a female humanoid sleeping on the floor at the far end, near the throne, but chose to avoid disturbing her and returned to the party to report his findings. Choosing the way of the bear, Donovan presented the holy power of Moradin, turning half of the zombies, and the PCs boldly moved forward to engage the zombies in the mural room, while leaving a significant rear guard to protect their flank. Awoken by the sounds of combat, the female humanoid (found out later to be a night hag), attacked the party from behind, casting ineffective sleep spells and peppering the group with magic missile spells. Wheeling to face the fiend, Kor and Ukko engaged her while the rest of the party continued to destroy the zombies. Retreating, the night hag roused more zombie (clad in heavy armor) from the alcoves in the throne room. Combat was fierce with Kal-Ra being struck down from the ceiling while using a spider climb spell. In the end, the party proved to be too much for the undead warriors and the night hag, defeating their enemies and gaining some unique treasure: the night hag’s heartstone and soul bag.

Combat: An agitated night hag with her twelve armored zombie protectors are exterminated.

Episode 16

Date: September 10, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Watching the body of the night hag dissipate into nothingness, the party wondered about the two items retrieved form the fiend (the heartstone and the soul bag) and how their applications could be used to benefit the party, as well as dwelling upon their next course of action since the day was nearly over and a cold winter night was upon them. Realizing that trekking back to Barthen Keep in the night was a risky proposition, Ukko explored the rubble strewn tunnel to determine if it was a point of escape, quickly realizing it was a passage which led to the surface, but to the far south side of the ravine. As the sun lowered the horizon, several of the divine based PCs felt an impending sense of dread, insisting upon not staying in the facility overnight, but with scouts and rangers insisting a return to the keep would be problematic, particularly with neither moon showing face for the evening. Having the dwarven cleric explore the tunnel for clues to its workmanship, a hidden vault of Moradin was discovered and the party was able to appease the stone guardian to allow the PCs to stay inside the burial crypt as to avoid the large group of shadows which had accumulated in the temple area, and were bent upon revenge to the enemies of Iuz. Donovan disappeared from the sealed area, but later reappeared in the morning after paying homage to the burial site of the founder of Karak Dumond. After a bit of cajoling for some, the party begrudgingly returned through the temple complex to the primary entrance, finding a lone goblin who wished the send a message of parlay to the “mankillers” from the hobgoblin leader. Two days later, with Bersk’s good graces, the party met with a hobgoblin entourage looking for terms of detente between the Hungry Wolves and the keep. Things fell apart quickly as aspersions were tossed about and demands were made, along with a clear breakdown in who was really in charge. Accomplishing nothing, both groups left the area, with the party returning to the keep. That evening, the party was witness to the hobgoblins setting a fire some distance from their base. The PC soon realized the goblinoids were actually burning a human at the stake. Fearful this might be a trap, the group stayed with the keep until morning, later venturing out to find the remains of a human merchant, whose body was brought back to the keep for burial.

Combat: Although things got heated, there was no combat.

Episode 17

Date: September 17, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Having buried the body of the merchant and interacted with several of the NPCs of the keep, the PCs decided the actions of the hobgoblins would not go unchecked and the group looked to make a move on the goblinoid camp in order to send a message, or to just deal with monsters and be done with it. Kor awoke from his necrolepsy (curse the dark gods) to the tantalizing smells of the new cook at the camp, but immediately suspected this might be some way to leave the keep vulnerable to poisoning in the future. The party left the keep after replenishing their supplies and headed toward the ravine even though weather conditions could be described as peculiar. During their journey, the skies morphed into some akin to the storms of legend and the party became concerned for their safety. Flying ahead, Ukko found the rain turning into mucus and even the topography of the forest had changed into something not akin to the area. Unable to fly, he returned to the party hoping to find shelter in the general direction of burned out holdfasts he had explored before. With the group back together, the party sought shelter, only to find a structure of unknown origin. Determined to avoid the weather, the group dashed inside, while noticing an odd coalescence of lightning terminating at a void in the sky. Once inside, the group split for some time while looking to establish the origin of the structure. The party members that made it to the second floor encountered a large squad of hobgoblins, while the rest of the party was able to move through a series of clues to gain access to a secret portal; Ukko was able to make a blood sacrifice to activate the passage based on the information gained from a halfling body. Past the portal, the PCs made their way through a series of traps and challenges on the basement level. Many of the conundrums involved a relief centering around a coiled white dragon, as well as instances of a hooded man, a solider, a peasant, and a villain. While party members were being electrocuted by a hallway tile system, Ukko continued on into additional parts of the complex, but unwittingly activated several traps. Combat ensued with ghouls, and later a bone naga and two mummies. The episode ended early because the DM was falling ill, but will be continued straight ahead at the beginning of Episode 18.

Combat: Five hobgoblins on high ground are dealt with. Four ghouls are wiped out. Combat with the bone naga and mummies will continue next episode.

Episode 18

Date: September 24, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Continuing the combat from Episode 19, several of the party members awoke from their necrolepsy (curse the dark gods) to find themselves in the middle of a combat involving a bone naga and two mummies. Taking a few moments to collect themselves after dealing with the first rounds of combat and the after effects of some of the traps, the group took a second swipe at the creatures which had appeared from the chests during the previous episode. Haden was able to provide a ranged advantage using his bow and spell combinations. Baratath tried his best to remain incognito as he found himself bound up in mummy dressings as the two creatures tried to make him a comrade of sorts. Unfortunately for the undead, the dragonborn was able to roast them with a breath attack bringing the combat to an end. Searching the room with the three statues, the PCs did not find anything of value, choosing not to place any further items into the chests, and continued through a secret door leading to a trapped hallway, which Ukko disabled after finding a curious seam in the floor. Another large room was found with the three statues again, but with four sarcophagi; one behind the villain, one behind the peasant, but one in front and behind the paragon. Focusing on the paragon’s sarcophagus that sat in front of the statue, the party was able to open the crypt and find a book titled The Eye of the Storm which Donovan found to be a great tome of magic and knowledge. Wondering if the other crypts had the same kind of treasure, more sarcophagi were opened, but instead of loot, a booming voice declared “Defilers of the restful!”, and several monsters leapt out to attack the party. The PCs made quick work of the creatures using sound tactics and smart spell usage, taking minimal damage. Worrying that opening further sarcophagi would cause additional issues, the remainder of the room was searched, but another secret door being discovered. Carefully entering the last room, the party found several chests of loot, as well as a magic greatsword with the inscription “By Heaven’s Degree, Know Thy Doom”. Realizing this was the final room of the complex, the PCs decided to camp for an eight-hour period to regain lost hit points and recover spells. Loot was distributed and Ukko re-activated the traps he had previously foiled to add an additional layer of security.

Combat: The bone naga and two mummies from last episode are finished. Eight wights ambush the party, but are terminated.

Episode 19

Date: October 1, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Kelli, Korie, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: After taking all the precautions to prevent any disturbances, the party awoke in the treasure room, refreshed after spending the night in the underground complex, and immediately set to prepare themselves to leave the area and deal with the remaining hobgoblins in the upper floors of the tower. Set to walk out of the room, several PCs felt a tinge of uneasiness, with Kor and Baratath going so far as to allow the party to depart without them. After the PCs moved forward, minor differences in appearances of the statues previously spotted began to be noticed by various party members. Moving all the way to the where the portal originally opened, the party noticed it was closed with additional signs that something had changed. Ukko returned to Kor and Baratath, who convinced the group that the treasure in the vault should not be taken, and after several tests of uneasiness, the party removed only the greatsword and the Eye of the Storm tome from the burial area, leaving the gems and coins behind. Again, returning the way they came, more of the changes returned to normal except for the panorama of the white dragon near the entrance of the portal. Attempting the blood ritual originally used to open the portal, the party could return to the first floor of the tower, albeit with changes to the arrangement of the floor plan: they exited to a different room and the halfling body found earlier was now a dwarf. As the group pressed forward, the sneakier PCs moved around the area below the hobgoblins who remained on the floor above. Finding a body of a slain knight inside and a charred human on the outside, the PCs took the fight to the hobgoblins, this time using all the party’s resources rather than splitting forces. After making short work of the goblinoids, the outside areas of the tower were explored, further indicating (three moons) the party was in another world. Choosing to heal up and fully prepare to leave the tower, some of the party buried the slain knight in the previously discovered sarcophagi, before trekking out the next day. As the party moved on, magical storm like conditions returned, leaving the PCs will little shelter to draw upon. Their salvation came from the torch carrying, body of the slain knight, who led the group back through whatever space-time rift to their home plane before disintegrating before their eyes.

Combat: Eight hobgoblins are dispatched.

Episode 20

Date: October 8, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Korie, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Having returned to their home plane, the party quickly realized that time had passed, but was not in sync with the events of the tower with daytime having turned into the dead of night. Feeling healthy enough to travel through the night, the PCs trekked back to Barthen Keep arriving in the early morning hours, and gaining access after Kor intimidated the night watch. Feeling there was a reason for the skeletal knight’s choice of direction, Ukko broke with the party early, travelling in a different direction as the entire party found themselves west of the ravine. Ukko’s flight for some time eventually led him to the smells of cooking fires of a small settlement. Investigating the area, the hamlet of Mandalay seemed lightly guarded, and inhabited by humans. Not wanting to get too engrossed, he returned to the keep to report his findings and help move along the investigation of cultists perhaps in the keep. Donovan was taken back when he found that Rurik was missing from the keep, but later investigations found that the dwarven smith often disappeared from the area, wanting to find solace elsewhere. Working with Geridas, Kor and Donovan inspected the men of the keep under the pretense of checking for good foot health, resulting in one cultist being found and confusion about whether Shad might be one as well, due to Ukko’s shenanigans. Tempers flared and accusations were made by Geridas, nearly coming to blows with Donovan until Kor stepped in. A second round of inspections cleared things up, and the cultist was interrogated for information about how he operated at the keep; he and a fellow cultist were swept up in the conscription efforts to man the keep and his ally was killed by the orc attack. Summarily, the cultist was executed with little fanfare, and peace settled upon the keep. However, in the early hours of the next morning, Kor was roused from his sleep as a burned Geridas attacked him, accusing the half-orc of setting fire to his tent. Combat ensued with Ukko and Donovan joining in to help their friend through spell-casting and sneak attacks. Enraged by the calamity, Commander Bersk interrogated the party members attempting to find a resolution. Bersk’s harsh response to the situation, soured the party to their position at the keep. With Masmar knighting Kor, the PCs decided to leave Barthen Keep for good, only wishing to deal with the hobgoblin menace first before moving on for good.

Combat: The party outnumbered a lone Geridas, killing him.

Episode 21

Date: October 15, 2016

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Tommy

Summary: Leaving someplace that you’ve considered home for even a short term is never easy, but to many of the PCs the (perceived) uneven treatment and being so far away from civilization for so long made their departure from Barthen Keep a little more palatable for the non-humans of the party. Although the hobgoblins were their primary target, the party decided to trek back through the Fanderword Forest to resupply at Jutesgrove using one of the remaining wagons that was not disassembled for firewood. Initially the party was harassed by worg-riding hobgoblin outriders and later an owlbear, but the party persevered the cold conditions and took minimal damage in the combats. Along the way, conditions reminiscent of their recent planar travel began to accrue and the party attempted to take shelter among the trees. Being adventuresome, Ukko decided to fly ahead toward some of the strange lights and meteorological phenomenon which the PCs encountered previously. However, rather than a magical experience, the half-fiend encountered several odd humanoids appearing in and out of some sort of cloaked gateway. Wishing to learn more, his proximity spooked the humanoids and combat ensured with the humanoids lobbing explosives at Ukko, alerting party to issues in the forest. As the entire group arrived, the creatures attempted to teleport away, but not before the leader seemed to fumble one of the explosives into the portal. Upon their leaving, the area calmed and the party continued to travel toward Jutesgrove the next day. Being resupplied and having gathered information about the cultists in the area, the group made their way back to the keep, so that Masmar was set for some time. The group also learned the hobgoblins had continued to burn kidnapped victims at the stake, including some bugbears. Choosing to take a shortcut through Karak Dumond, the party could make solid progress through the area to avoid the hobgoblin patrols, ever though several party members protested being in an area of such evil. While trying to avoid any leftover remnants of evil, the party did attract the attention of several shadows; a parting gift from Zur. Being higher level than the last time the group fled from the shadows, the party made quick work of their amorphous enemies, causing the last half dozen undead to flee. With the combat over and the group low on spells, the party decided to spend the night in the hidden vault of Moradin.

Combat: Four hobgoblin riders are slain, an angry owlbear is exterminated, and six shadows are destroyed. Who knows what damage came from the explosion.

Episode 22

Date: November 26, 2016

Attendance: Chris, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: To the adventurers, the vault of Moradin felt like the eye of the hurricane surround by the evil which still tainted Karak Dumond, left behind by the minions of Iuz. Again, Donovan found himself in the presence of Moradin, winking out from the party as the rest of the group rested. With his communion, the dwarven cleric would again spirit walk the crypt of the founder of the area. In the presence of Moradin, Donovan was allowed to ask one question of his heart’s desire. Choosing to determine the outcome of a friend, he would find that Rurik was well, but not his location. Realizing his ally was most like connecting with his deity, Ukko searched after him, but instead found evidence of the continued activity of the cultists with fresh undead in key areas of the underground complex: a single “fresh” zombie and several remaining shadows in the undead creation area. Destroying the undead was easy enough and evidence lent to the theory the cultists believed it was safe to resume operations since the party might have left the area of the ravine. Someone also cleared out the remnants of the high priest’s quarters, pointing to a possible connection with Mandalay. Wanting to deal with the hobgoblins, the PCs trekked through the ravine to the zone which indicated the goblin and hobgoblin tribes, also determining the presence of “snogres” as well. Choosing to investigate the snogre cave first, the party found they were open to bribery and promptly paid them off, freeing the group up to deal with the goblins and not having to worry about being outflanked by a powerful foe. The party also found an insidious alarm system using a buried human captive to alert the goblins of any arriving enemies. Changing into various evil races, the party would parlay with the goblins, convening them to bring forth their leader. As soon as their adversaries were lined up, the combat began with a quick death to the command unit, followed by his warriors. Trekking through the rest of the underground complex was simple as the party simply outclassed their foes with superior hit dice and spells. As they moved, the group felt confident of dealing with the goblins, but did not encounter any hobgoblins. Holding up for the moment, the group debated the merits of returning to deal with the snogres just in case the creatures decided to have a change of heart and attack the PCs. The evening ended with that decision on the table, to be resolved in two weeks’ time.

Combat: One zombie and eight shadows are annihilated, with twelve goblins killed later.

Episode 23

Date: December 10, 2016

Attendance: Chris, James D., Tommy

Summary: After a brief rest, the party awoke to find most of the group stricken with necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), with only a couple members rising from their slumber, realizing that the mission of dealing with the hobgoblins must still be meted out with regardless of their numbers. Aside from the gravity of their situation, Ukko and Donovan did what they could to make their afflicted party members comfortable (no one appeared to be violated), and chose to move farther into the goblin/hobgoblin/ogre complex. Searching through a variety of chambers, the duo came upon a storage room and set to quickly search the area for anything useful to help with the numerous foe. Upon examining an extremely large sack, the contents spilled open to find Thorog, a half-orc fighter bound up inside; thoughts lent to the fact he was being held for a future meal. Quickly exchanging information about each other, the party was able to find Thorog’s equipment (conveniently) nearby and the group set out again with stronger numbers to engage the hobgoblins. Paranoid of the snogres in the area, the trio returned to the secret door of Kreozig’s lair only to find a lone snogre named Thud who was seemingly left behind from his comrades, left to pulling apart spider legs. A quick charm spell turned him more talkative and friendly, allowing the PCs to realize the rest of his snogre companions were out working with the hobgoblins to deal with the invading party members. Asking their charmed “friend” to help them through the area, Thud led the party to several new areas of the complex, and was later killed by being stabbed in the back by the PCs, who wanted to take no chance of the charm spell expiring. As the party moved further into hobgoblin territory, the group realized their enemy knew of their presence and began to take steps to outflank the trio. Not wanting to bite off more than they could handle, the three chose to flee the complex, running into a gobley squad just outside. Outwitting one snogre, the PCs almost made it away unscathed, until one of the hobgoblins tossed a fireball at the retreating group. The damage was enough for the group to head back to the Vault of Moradin to seek shelter. Making it back before nightfall, the party was able to pay homage to Moradin again for a safe place to stay while planning their next move. The evening ended with the players talking about not wanting to start something that would last until after the Christmas break, and that this was enough for 2016.

Combat: A charmed ogre is led to slaughter, but a squad of advanced hobgoblin shock troops forces the party to flee with only three hobgoblin deaths.

Episode 24

Date: January 14, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: After spending the night sleeping in the Vault of Moradin, the tiefling sorcerer and dwarven priest awoke early to find more of their allies awake from the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods), with Thorog finally succumbing. With the hobgoblin threat still looming, the party quickly discussed their battle plans of how to dislodge their enemy from the entrenched positions. After going over several scenarios, the PC decided the best chain of events would be to deal with the contingent of ogres, whose entrance was easy to access and whom were the more easily outmaneuvered. Ukko was able to stealth his way into the ogre cave, eliminate the hobgoblin guard meant to prevent the ogres from acting stupidly, and quickly cast a charm spell on Kreozig before his allies could react. Convincing the ogre leader that his treasure was nearby as well as the thieves who stole it, Ukko led the witless group back to a waiting ambush in the entrance to the Temple of Iuz. Making quick work of the ogres, the party returned to the hobgoblin caves with the bodies, using them to blockade the goblin entrance. After covering the bodies with oil, they were set ablaze to prevent the entrance from being used to outflank the party when the final onslaught was to happen. Feeling satisfied about entering the hobgoblin complex, the party loudly breached the front door and entered the underground bunker only to find little resistance. Deciding to use the potion of invisibility found in Kreozig’s loot, Ukko could navigate throughout the hallways, finding squads of hobgoblins waiting throughout three central passage ways. Using spells to control the field of play, the party would push forward into the eastern goblin tunnels, encountering some unorthodox enemy tactics: using a cockatrice filled cart to push onto the party. The PCs also realized the hobgoblins were using a series of whistles to communicate throughout the facility, but were unable to stop the messages. Additional spells and brute force were applied to the eastern tunnels as the hobgoblins attempted to draw the party further away, which worked for the short-term until the force was eliminated; burning ogre could also be smelled. The southern passage was dealt with just as easily, but no cockatrice cart was used. The western tunnel held their ground as best as they could, but also fell. With the last area of the dungeon unexplored, the players decided to table the combat for the evening to deal with the boss creatures until next week.

Combat: Ukko solo kills four hobgoblins. Later, the party terminates four ogres, a cockatrice, and nine hobgoblins.

Episode 25

Date: January 21, 2017

Attendance: Chris, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Korie, Tommy

Summary: Not stopping to take a break, the party moved forward into the final area controlled by Jaggadash and his hobgoblin tribe, looking to finally end the threat which stood as the last piece of the adventure started way back at the outset of the campaign. After breaching several doors, the PCs came face-to-face with the hobgoblin overlord and his devastator cohort, along with 12 more hobgoblin soldiers. Moving forward into combat, the situation quickly worsened when Donovan was decapitated by Jaggadash, wielding the vorpal blade emblazoned with the markings of House Lendren. It was a pitched battle with the adventurers needing to retreat at various parts of the skirmish to obtain healing, but in the end, the hobgoblin menace was dealt with and the ravine is now clear of monsters. Returning to the Vault of Moradin, Donovan was buried next to his dwarven brethren and the party returned to Barthen Keep again to touch base with Masmar. Upon their arrival, Commander Bersk explained Masmar has left days earlier with knights sporting the signet of the Baron of Aloraghen. The note left behind indicated for the party to meet Masmar in Celesthem, by contacting Emmitt Ironhall; a strange emblem was also embossed on the letter. Choosing to reunite Masmar with his family’s sword and other reasons, the group traveled to Jutesgrove to pay for passage down the Fanderword River by keelboat. After a week’s worth of travel, the PCs arrived eager to explore the largest city in the duchy, looking to sell off their goods and touch base the local government. Kor contacted Baron Whitsun, who, after the half-orc fighter properly identified himself, promptly called for his arrest, charging Kor with killing a royal ambassador named Maxis Ghent, who was also known as Geridas Vallate. Respecting the rule of law, Kor surrendered as the rest of the party was later rounded up and sent to detention. Being stripped of their weapons, armor and magic, each PC was fitted with neck shackles, enchanted with a geas spell. Marched out to a teleportation circle (Kor did fight back, killing a guard), the party was individually teleported to the Isle of Bellorux, being split apart into pairs or individual cells. Several party members were stunned at their situation, while other quickly made due with a poor condition, making allies (Lia and the feminist half-orc) as well as jumping right into the prison black market (Gargamel setting up a wheat-smoking operation). More to come in Episode 26.

Combat: A hobgoblin warlord and his group of twelves soldiers are eliminated, while Kor killing a royal guard while the party struggles against going to prison.

Episode 26

Date: January 28, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: There seemed no better answers after living three months at Isle of Bellorux, having realized that each day in prison eliminated another sliver of hope of gaining their freedom legitimately. Most of the party found themselves in the general prison population of Emergence while 24601 was relegated to an individual cell on the cell level called Bedlam. Most of the PCs tried to make the best of their time, while getting introduced to Egg-gar (Koribayed?) the lizardman trustee who helped the party make their stay more hospitable. 8675309 quickly ingratiated himself into the black market of the prison, while 24601 made some limited connections with the monks of St. Cuthbert who ran the facility. 3.14 and 8675309 connected with their jailers and were able to become trustees as well after several months had passed, while Sweet Meat (later 911) passed the time by reading from the prison library. 24601 surreptitiously used his innate abilities to carve writings on his cell wall, continually asking for justice to be served for the entire party. 8675309 and 5886300 drew the short sticks and were assigned to help feed the most dangerous prisoners on the lowest level: Hell. Many of the NPCs in the lowest level had unique interactions with the PCs, especially Barin Rivenshield, an anti-paladin of Erythnul. The most notable inmate was Dante Koribayed (an adversary from past campaigns), who embodied why Bellorux was needed to keep certain members of the realm away from the general populace. Years went by with the party doing their time with little issues within the prison environment. The semblance of quiet began to fray when 24601 found his morning meal poisoned, but he was able to recover because of his high Constitution. 911 decided to cause a stir in the Court of St. Cuthbert by attempting to provoke a guard, but instead instigated a prison riot when a critical failure (involving poop) was rolled. It seemed the right time for several NPCs to settle some old scores, and violence ensued. 911 was nearly overcome by the Bond of Butchers, while 3.14 jumped right into the mix and 8675309 took to the air to attempt to disperse the most violent aggressors. While the chaos ran rampant, 24601’s assumed poisoner returned to his cell to finish off the half-orc fighter. Using his bonded weapons, 24601 killed his attacker then ditch the body outside of his cell. Questions arose about what might be happening elsewhere, which would prompt the assassination attempt.

Combat: Several prisoners are injured, but Kor kills the assassin in his room.

Episode 27

Date: February 11, 2017

Attendance: James B., James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: Years have passed since the incarceration of the party, as their hopes for a quick opportunity for freedom trickled away. Various PCs found thoughts of escape, suicide or wanton violence to be the means to pass the time, while others bided their time wisely waiting for the right opportunity to gain their freedom. 8675309 continued to climb in the ranks of the trustees, gaining favor with both the Everwatchers and the prisoners. 5886300 enjoy the comforts of the hand that was dealt him, while ensuring that new prisoners 90210 and 1-01 were integrated into the prison populace. 6492568 made strides to improve the prison gardens by encouraging various birds to bring back seeds from the mainland. 12354 (rather than 01189998519991197253) chose to engage in time of study to learn new languages. Overall, each of the characters was able to acquire a new feat (for free) during their time of at the Isle of Bellorux. During their stay, other issues began to accrue. 12345 overcame an attempted assault (after dropping the soap) by three low-level members of the Band of Butchers, using a most unlikely weapon (see 911). Looking to ingratiate himself in the prison gang, 1-01 beat-up the same group of three, looking to up his status with the ring leader of the crew, Moxic Jara. Missing prisoners continued to be an issue, with several inmates disappearing. 5886300 scouted around the isle to determine if there was anything amiss, but found that sahuagin patrols had ramped up in the area, possibly anticipating an upcoming supply run. He did find an underwater cave and several Everwatcher bodies, dumped from years gone past. Later, one of the monks disappeared as well, causing even more of a frenzy with the warden and even more party members were conscripted to locate him. 5886300 and 6492568 returned to the underwater cave to search further, unearthing a wight. The combat was loud enough to be heard from a surface crevice, directly under where 90210 and 12345 were patrolling. As more PCs got involved, the wight was defeated and most of the treasure was turned over to the guards. Inside, 24601 tracked down the missing monk to the refuse zone, learning the Everwatcher’s demise was from a pair of carrion crawlers which had crawled up from deep below. Even without armor, the monstrosities were slain, as Marrick offered little help. The game ended with prison life returning to normal, and the party bidding their time.

Combat: A wight and two carrion crawlers are dispatched.

Episode 28

Date: February 18, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Prisoner #8450 awoke from the deep sleep of necrolepsy (curse the dark gods), realizing that she was now in prison, and finding out that most of her equipment and possessions were no longer on her person except for a single Goodberry which she had surreptitiously hidden on her person. Looking to create more Goodberrys, 8450 set forth to find the rest of the party to obtain the needed mistletoe to create the magical fruit. 24601 received extra lamprey pie and a flagon of wine for his work against the carrion crawlers which he freely gave away to his friends, except for his strange neighbor, Burson. 8675309 continued to grow in power using his ravens to cement his spy network within the prison, and realizing that Moxic and the Band of Butchers answered to a retired carpenter named Walloch Durleb. Sharing this information with 24601, a sit-down was organized between the two and information was parlayed about why the incarceration of the PCs might have happened. Walloch gave 24601 some additional advice, leading 8675309 to believe that the old carpenter might have ties to an assassin’s guild called the Pale Grin. Marrick also arranged a meeting between 24601 and Broderick Balda, the head monk, where the leader of the Everwatchers was informed about how agents of Erythnul had infiltrated their ranks, possibly to help spring Barin Rivenshield from Hell. 6492568 was tasked to collapse the entrance to the underwater cave, and searched it one more time just to make sure anything of use was found. With word of an incoming ship, 5886300 patrolled the outer banks of Bellorux to find increased sahuagin activity, leading him to believe an attack was imminent on the next supply run. Recognizing the PCs were heavy hitters, Balda conscripted them into helping guard the incoming ship as supplies were removed, providing them minimal armor and weapons. When looking for their own gear in lock-up, the party found their personal effects were missing, with only items from the past months being available. As expected, the sahuagin attacked the docks with a large force including a baron and two spell casters. Several monks were pulled into the water to die from the large sharks which surrounded the area. At one point, Balda was attacked by a sahuagin assassin, but he was driven off by the party. The game ended with the PCs returned their items, and resuming their incarceration.

Combat: Seven sahuagin and two sahuagin barons are killed, along with one large shark.

Episode 29

Date: February 25, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Korie, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Yet again, the PCs came through to save the citizens of the Isle of Bellorux during the sahuagin attack during the shipping supply run, and Warden Tarlarn gave each of the participants a boon to thank them for the meritorious actions. Some PCs were granted greater privileges and freedoms, while another requested that their spawning pool be made deeper. Burson continued to find ways to “deposit” the rock he had been digging out underneath his cell. Barin Rivenshield continued his correspondence with 8675309, claiming that his freedom would be coming soon. 24601 was summoned to the warden’s chambers to find Samuel Porter, a boy assigned Tarnlar’s position at his father’s behest. Looking for a counselor who had some sort of knightly prowess, 24601 was elevated to a new advisory position, against the recommendation of Balda. Using his new-found sway, 24601 worked with 8675309 to learn more about the Band of Butcher’s, realizing that Moxic answered to the old carpenter, Walloch. A sit-down was organized with Walloch, who admitted to be something greater than he appeared, hinting he was associated with an assassin’s guild called the Pale Grin. 5886300 worked with Halbert Zuny in creating a pair of clay golems to better assist in the guarding of Rivenshield, Koribayed, and the other denizens of Hell, which recently became fully occupied. Another issue arose when the PCs found the mainland stopped shipping supplies due to a lack of funding. 8006492568 was called upon to help the prison garden’s grow even more so while other party members helped pitch in to keep things running smoothly. Conflict arose when the PCs found that the Band of Butchers made plans to take out Claudio Fallbrook, a merchant’s son, as reprisal against his father not working with a mainland thieves’ guild. His life was saved by 8450, when she intercepted some shenanigans during morning breakfast, later inadvertently poisoning one of his assailants. The party struggled with different ways save the merchant’s son and to rid Bellorux of some of the followers of Erythnul, which seemed to also have a growing hand in strife happening in the prison. The game session ended with the PCs dealing with a dead body, resulting from the poison. In the end, Walloch was sent to Hell giving Claudio a reprise from death. Next weekend, we will see if Claudio (and others) will continue survive their imprisonment.

Combat: One member of the Band of Butchers is poisoned by an ally's poison.

Episode 30

Date: March 18, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: With Claudio feeling stronger and more revitalized than ever, the party was surprised to see one of the mainstays during their time at the Isle of Bellorux was planning on departing. Broderick Balda, the head monk, was being moved back to the mainland to take over as headmaster of a teaching center, and his replacement would be arriving within the week. Construction on the golems lingered slowly as things continued to become misplaced, especially the manual that 8675309 had snagged. With 24601 finding the instruction manual, he also learned that Burson had made significant gains on his tunneling project, breaching the area below the waste pit and finding a deep shaft which he was intent upon exploring. Interested in what else might be down there, the PCs organized a way for 8675309 and 8450 to get a better look. When in the cavern, a herd of carrion crawlers was seen wandering the sides of the shaft. Burson got in the way when he chose to follow the duo down, inciting the carrion crawlers. 8450 saved him from harm, while 8675309 found the bottom of the shaft, finding evidence of a grimlock settlement nearby. During this exploration, 24601 and 5886300 made strides with young Warden Porter and Halbert the wizard, anticipating the arrival of Verix, the new head monk. Later the party learned that Porter would be returning to the mainland, with his father and brother being killed by a lycanthrope during a hunting expedition. Upon a week’s time, Lord Comar Covington arrived just in time for the PCs to attempt a staged prison break. 24601 was ordered to stand down by Porter before things got messy and the prisoners were remanded to their cells, with all prison privileges revoked. Soon after, each of the PCs were awoken to prisoners being removed from their cells and brought into the court of St. Cuthbert, while some specific prisoners stayed behind; splitting the party into several zones of the prison. Eventually, 24601 and 8006492568 found servants of Erythnul had infiltrated the prison slaughtering the prisoners individually or in groups. Most of the PCs ultimately freed themselves, while other NPC prisoners ran rampant in Hell during the failed escape by Rivenshield. Koribayed was freed, but most of member of Hell were killed. The party was able to reunite, kill off several followers of Erythnul, as well as Warden Covington, before reuniting in the hidden underwater cove, to plan their next move.

Combat: The party is involved in an amount of various NPC deaths, including Lord Comar Covington who was working with the Erythnul invading force.

Episode 31

Date: March 25, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Tommy

Summary: The party stayed safe and secure in the underwater hidden cove on the far side of the Isle of Bellorux, listening to the dragon turtle continue to crush the remnants of the administrative building and hearing the screams of the survivors below eventually fade away. Once morning arrived, the PCs went forth to survey the damage, looking to salvage what they could to create a life raft to leave the island and head back to the mainland. Mostly, there was an agreed notion to avoid certain encounters with the dragon turtle and Dante Koribayed, who was loose in the facility. Ukko sent his two birds to search the lower levels for survivors, particularly in Hell, but found none. Kor sought to retrieve NPC specific bodies for burial or for display, and worked with other characters to clear out Emergence and Bedlam. Lia tried to save the ruined crops in the vegetable gardens. Kal-Ra awoke from his long rest, wishing he hadn’t. Egg-gar stripped bodies and re-utilized their parts. Haden patrolled the area, finding sahuagin tracks near the coastline, surmising scouting parties were sent to investigate what transpired. Creating the life raft and stocking it enough supplies for the several month journey home took quite some time. In order to stay uninterrupted with their plans, Haden setup an ambush for the sahuagin to drive them off. As the party took to the ocean, finally they were free of Bellorux. Sailing to the west was significantly easier when you have a pirate on board, and Egg-gar allowed the trip to go smoothly for several weeks into the journey. Along the way, the PCs encountered a water gensai named Vadum Tristis who warned the castaways of a kraken in the area. Knowing a special route, Vadum was able to help navigate the Ocean Sea on a particular route leading the S.S. Gravestone into an area mired with seaweed, overcast skies, and intelligent sharks. Escaping into the waves, Vadum left the party wondering if he had led them into an aspect of the Elemental Plane of Water. Almost immediately, the PCs were setup by the crew of a derelict flotilla. The attack was repulsed and the party found the sharks eager to attack the longboat as it returned to base. Speaking with the seaweed, Lia found that most of the creatures of the area were beholden to Saffat. Upon speaking with the flotilla captain, Saffat was identified as a crazed marid who has tormented the ships trapped in the area. The PCs negotiated a truce, and planned their next move.

Combat: Twelve attacking pirates are slaughtered when they try to board the S.S. Gravestone.

Episode 32

Date: April 8, 2017

Attendance: Daniel, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Jessi, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Broseph the monk awoke from an intoxicated stupor to realize that three of his shipmates were gone, and another boatful of people had come aboard the Enterprise during the past days. The party began to adapt to life in Avyosos aboard the flotilla while trying to get a better understanding on who Saffat was and how he needed to be dealt with. Having subconsciously given away her longbow, Aeleth took to using a crossbow for the short term. Kor also traded away his bound sword as barter, and took to mapping the area with Captain Livingstone. While training the crew, Kor learned unsettling details about Saffat. The Enterprise’s crew seemed frayed at the constant torment Saffat seemed to inflict upon them, moving them to shift their morality needle to accommodate the need for survival in the marid’s domain. Egg-gar preferred to stay on the Gravestone rather than fraternize with the humans aboard the Enterprise. Haden acquired a bardic flute and took to playing several tunes while in the crow’s nest; also, spotting merfolk peeking at the party from the ocean crest. As the PCs were preparing the Gravestone for departure, several huge sharks with sea spawn riders began to circle the flotilla. Saffat bombastically arrived on the deck of the Enterprise looking to take his complimentary two prisoners, especially with an eye for wizards. The party tried their best to distract the marid, who inevitably made up his mind he would leave with what he came for. Magic items were parlayed, but were not enough until Kor stepped forward to volunteer himself. Most of the party objected as a discussion about the merits of his departure were discussed, but to no avail as Saffat quickly surrounded Kor in a sphere of water dissipating himself into nothing. Finding themselves leaderless, the party still chose to sail onto to either the Shyhack the potion maker or the fearful ”upside-down boat” for more information and resources. Kor was transported to the ocean bottom, learning about a locathah temple containing a large black pearl which Saffat desired. Revenge upon Vadum and his crew was also discussed as payment to return to home. Being returned to the Gravestone, Kor arrived in time to brief the party, before being attacked by a ship of smaller minotaurs. The party repelled the invaders and took the larger ship (The Hibernia) as their own, deciding to figure out what to do with Gravestone later.

Combat: Eight minotaurs are sunk as they attempt to capture the S.S. Gravestone.

Episode 33

Date: April 15, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Tommy

Summary: The party was excited as the group of under-supplied, rag-tag PCs was able to repel a sizable boarding party of mini-minotaurs from a larger galley, successfully defending their smaller, make-shift sea-going vessel. Quickly removing the bodies (or storing them for later…..use?), the sea-going adventurers changed the minotaur ship’s name from the Hibernia to the Crypt, and set about looking for items to make their travels more expedient. Evidence was found of an escape attempt of some kind, but their owner of the manacles was not to be found. The debate focused on whether to keep the Gravestone in tow, or to find some other place to put it. For the short term, the smaller boat was pulled from behind and the party continued to sail toward Shyhack the potion maker. As the Crypt traveled, the PCs experienced unusual atmospheric phenomena, including green streaked clouds to offset daylight and nighttime hours, while Haden played his flute to entertain the party and sea creatures in the area; a pod of dolphins (good luck) and a frenzy of sharks which later ate the dolphins (bad luck). The party eventually came upon the Chast (subsequently found to be in a 21st-century catamaran house boat) with an eccentric devotee to Saffat. Unable to create a potion which lasts longer than one hour, the PCs convinced Shyhack to travel with them to the undersea temple to retrieve the black pearl sought after by their marid lord. Ukko also did his own investigating, finding useful and not-so useful items, and information. Using Kor’s sense of direction, the party was able to come upon the underwater site, diving in after a water breathing spell was ritually cast. Upon reaching the bottom, the group found themselves in the middle of a pitched battle between sea spawn and underwater elves, resulting in the minions of Saffat driving off their foes. After picketing the battlefield for weapons, the party moved toward the main area closer to the temple, finding the calcified remains of prostrate Locathah bodies in various areas of the grounds. Haden noticed a translucent symbology of a jellyfish in the water above, causing more trepidation. The party decided to stay upon the path toward the temple, but was attacked by tentacles which burst from the shelled pathway and water elementals patrolling above the ground zone. The party was able to deal with their losses and make it to the temple entrance, hoping to rest some before continuing on their trek inside.

Combat: Fourteen sea spawn are deep-sixed, and four water elementals and six water tentacles are dispersed.

Episode 34

Date: April 29, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kristen

Summary: Having survived the trek through the defenses of the undersea temple, the PCs rested for a short-time in the doorway of the oceanic sanctuary, not only to catch their collective breaths but also to figure out a way to breech the temple doors. With no apparent locking mechanism and being made of solid coral, Ukko used mage hand to reach underneath the doors to trigger the lock, allowing access. Once inside, the party was able to connect more with the visages of jellyfish, spiral symbolism, and calcified locathah bodies determining this to be a temple to Eadro, a demi-human god of aquatic folk. Moving forward through the narthex of the temple, translucent eels attacked the party, but were quickly defeated, as they disintegrated much like the aggressive tentacles outside. Farther into the temple, the PCs easily found the black pearl they sought sitting upon an altar of coral and gold, surrounded by several prostrate locathah remains. The room was well-lit by glowing fragments of sea creature, which seemed to react to the party’s presence, fleeing into the cracks of the statue like worshipers. Approaching the altar area, a countenance of an elder locathah priest named Aupkallah questioned the party as to why they would invade a sanctum of Eadro, offering little to answer the questions the PCs countered with. Not being deterred, Kor, Lia and Haden moved on the altar seizing the black pearl, while Ukko and Aeleth retreated from the temple, not wanting to raise of the ire of a deity. With the pearl in their possession, the calcified locathah animated, quickly surrounding the party and subduing those who desecrated the altar. Fortunately, the adventurers could move themselves from area, after the melee was done, and again attempted to engage in conversation with Aupkallah. Using a different tone line of dialogue, the party determined Saffat was not as all-powerful as his claims and he was just as much of a prisoner to Avyosos as the PCs were. The countenance encouraged to seek out “where the sahuagin go to die” and directed the group to another section of the temple, only to find another shadowy countenance of an ally to Saffat, seemingly trapped in an infinite torment after raiding a crypt. Further investigation led to finding, a young merfolk named Keone, who retreated from the sea spawn attack in Episode 34. While he did not know of a sahuagin graveyard, he did advise to speak with the “Sisters” who might have an idea about it.

Combat: Eight magic eels are defeated, but the party is overwhelmed by locathah remains.

Episode 35

Date: May 6, 2017

Attendance: James D., Joe, Kelli, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Returning from the underwater temple of Eadro, the party found themselves back to debating how to free themselves from the endless oceans of Avyosos. Debating the merits of where to travel to next, Saffat appeared and inquiring the whereabouts of Kor and demanding the party show fealty. The former was answered with tales of necrolepsy (curse, the dark gods), while the latter was not well received by Egg-gar, who made forceful advances to remove Saffat from the ship. This did not go well, as the marid displayed his power within his domain, accosting the lizardman and causing the Crypt to begin to sink into the briny deep. Cooler heads prevailed with Aeleth and Jillian speaking soothing words to stroke Saffat’s ego, allowing the PCs to go forth, but with more urgency to find a solution. Sailing toward the home of the merfolk, Keone introduced the party to King Hallmar and Queen Rana, giving the PCs more background about the subjugated society which they lived in and the mysterious Chlerin Island. Getting directions and the blessings of the royalty, the PCs returned to their ship, looking to solve one or two more issues before journeying off to speak with the weird sisters. Kal-Ra placated Shyhack and exchanged information about magic, but this was a short-term solution at best. Ensuring Keone and Shyhack were unaware of each other, the two NPCs were still separated, but the decision was made to unload the potion maker back at the Chast to avoid complications. Curious about the upside-down boat, the party sailed toward what was later determined to be a Russian submarine (see the Justicar campaign), piloted by a Beach Boy loving captain named Victor. Warily greeted by a woman named Fattina, the party was encouraged to either parlay goods (maybe even Jillian) or leave. While there was not a conversation with the captain, the PCs got a solid idea Victor was not of this reality nor he a friend of Saffat. Without anything to trade, the party continued toward the realm of the weird sisters. Upon arrival, the PCs again delved into the deep, encountering merrow and huge sharks. At first, proclaiming the group did the bidding of Saffat shuffled off any sort of encounter, but a second meeting led to the PCs being attacked by a large force of adversaries. Despite the odds, the party did defeat their enemies through various quick-thinking and unorthodox means; death by taint stank being the most sinister.

Combat: Six merrow and twelve large sharks are carved up.

Episode 36

Date: May 13, 2017

Attendance: Adam, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Tommy

Summary: Awakening from his rigid state of necrolespy (curse, the dark gods) on the Crypt, Kor could smell the blood and ichor (lizardman taint?) in the water, following the massive shark-laden battle with the merrow guardians of the Weird Sisters’ territory. Diving into the deep and using Ukko’s semi-conscious body as a guide, the fighter would reunite with the other PCs. Looking through the remains of the creatures, a couple magic items were found in the bellies of the sharks, along with a wood elf who was a victim of a magical apple-bobbing contest gone sour. The new elf was unnerved to be in the underwater predicament the party was in, but her monk-like understanding of the universe allowed her to integrate into the troupe. After a quick rest, the party continued further into the territory of the Weird Sisters, at Keone’s direction. Again, the party was set upon by giant sharks even after Lia attempted to communicate with them in a peaceful manner. Little tactics were needed to defeat the beasts, and shelter was made using Leomund’s Tiny Hut, only to see a massive amounts of shark circle for several hours, then leave the area quickly. Ukko sent his raven to investigate the mysterious lighthouse which appeared at different times, finding it trashed and then later restored to a state of inhabitance. After a long rest, Keone and the party ventured further until an underwater grotto was found. Showing boldness, parts of the group moved forward as merrow guards allowed them to pass. A simulacrum of Kor engaged the party in conversation, acting as a mouthpiece for the Sisters. As the party surmised, the dark coven sought to manipulate the party into some sort of deal to help them either deal with Saffat or return to the Prime Material Plane. As the exchange continued, Egg-gar and Kor noticed the caged sahuagin and merfolk languishing from their failed bargains with the sea hags. Realizing the captives had faced a similar situation to the party (being imprisoned by a tainted deal), the party sudden changed its stance, destroying the Kor-copy and attacking the grotto. Lia and the elven monk decide to enter a secondary portal, only to be attacked by a lightning bolt, while Egg-gar stormed by merrow guards to engage one of the hags. The rest of the party charged in while Ukko became invisible to skulk around the area. The combat halted after the second-round due to the lateness of the game, but will continue this coming Saturday.

Combat: Five large sharks, eight merrow, and a helmed horror are destroyed.

Episode 37

Date: May 27, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Jessi, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Continuing the combat from last week, it was a surreal sight to have the wood elf monk swim off and the drunken monk arise from his necroleptic slumber as the hordes of merrow continued to engage the party under the command of their hag masters. Kor provided the main center of support as he took the brunt of the attack, not only from the merrow but from a couple of the sea hags as well. Egg-gar finished off one weird sister before moving onto another, a more powerful hag, but yielding the same results. As the battle was completed in the main hall, a secondary battle raged on near the secret entrance, with the drunken monk supporting Lia and Aeleth as they were boxed in by another flank of merrow. Ukko wandered away in search of other knick-knacks to purloin while facing some push-back from the environment about him. When completed with the initial combat, several of the characters moved back to support their fellow party members and finish off the remaining guards. As the combat ended, the party took a quick look around the grotto, and finding nothing else of note, removed themselves back towards the way they came to take shelter in the Leomund’s Tiny Hut being summoned by Kal-Ra. Ukko continued to search the area for valuables, finding some items but nothing of great note, leaving the grotto as well just to arrive as Kal-Ra’s magic was finally cultivated. After discussing the matter further, it was acknowledged one of the hags was still alive, and that the party had not found any tangible information about how to locate the site of “where the sahuagin go to die”. After a short rest, the group returned to the grotto to search more thoroughly. As Haden was moving containers around in a storage room, he noticed how the floor pattern differed, leading the PCs to believe the area below might be hollow. With Kor’s strong arm, the floor area was breached, opening into a tunnel system below the grotto. As the party moved below, several helmed horrors directed the group to interact with a hag’s eye, which communicated with heroes. Wanting only for the PCs to leave her domain, the party gained treasure and information about where to head off toward, warning the last weird sister if the information proved folly, they would return to exact revenge. The remaining merfolk prisoners were released and allowed to return home, and the party started speaking about moving on their next step in their journey.

Combat: Seven merrow, one large shark, a sea hag, and an advanced sea hag are slain.

Episode 38

Date: June 3, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Single-mindedly, the party reassembled to move out of the grotto and onto their next challenge to leave the realm of Avyosos and return to their realm as both survival and revenge were fueling their actions. There was no debate about going back for seconds with Granny Nighthand, and, aside from freeing the remaining merfolk while leaving others denizens behind, the only discussion to be had involved whether to take the Crypt along or to traverse the seafloor over mountain and valley to the place where the sahuagin go to die. Above, a rowboat was detected listing toward the Crypt, and upon further inspection, a half-dead dragonborn bounty hunter was rescued, joining the group on their journey to return home. Deciding to travel by boat, the PCs used Keone as their means to watch the ocean floor and persisted on, watching for Keone to break the surface occasionally as a marker for traveling in the right direction. Things went awry when Keone did not surface, leading Kor to investigate below. As he dipped below the surface, Kor noticed the merman incapacitated by an animated bloodstream which stalked through the water. Warped sahuagin bones were found littered along the floor, as was evidence of a lane through the blood. Interviewing Keone, he claimed he lost consciousness just as he spotted a procession of sahuagin traveling nearby, along the same lane noted by Kor. Unable to fit the Crypt through the lane of spirited blood, the party abandoned ship and continued in the Gravestone. The lane eventually ended, and the party left the Crypt to find a limestone altar area next to a “colossal” sized crab shell. Investigating the shell revealed a portion of a deceased armor-clad dimensional being and little else. Realizing the party was probably ahead of the sahuagin procession, the group hid inside of the shell watching and waiting. The convoy arrived with a young sahuagin female, fit for sacrifice. As the ceremony began, many of the sahuagin waited for some sort of phenomenon to occur, but didn’t, causing the high priestess to repeat the ritual several times. Eventually, Saffat appeared and a heated altercation between the marid and sahuagin leader ensued. The sacrifice eventually happened but it seemed askew: a minor kraken and kraken priest stepped through a portal engaging the party. Saffat attacked the party as well, dealing heavy damage as the PCs would kill the kraken off, but just after, another kraken stepped through the gateway.

Combat: A minor kraken and kraken priest are put to death.

Episode 39

Date: June 10, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: As with the previous episodes, the combat continued from the earlier weekend with the party still dealing with Saffat as well as a second minor kraken and kraken priest. Ukko dissuaded the kraken from continuing forward after dropping a shadowy darkness to damage and blind the creature, while the rest of the party focused on the angry marid, whom the party was eventually able to overcome, even as he was aided by sea spawn. As Kal-Ra started to cast ritual protection magic, the party was attacked again by huge sharks created from within the blood wall, then a grouping of water elementals joined the fray. Exhaustedly, the party defeated the onslaught of monsters and took shelter at the end of what they perceived was the barrier denoting Saffat’s prison, and rest was found soon after. Saffat returned during this time and tested the limitations of Leomund’s Tiny Hut, later bringing more water elementals and even an additional sahuagin sacrifice to test the situation. The party showed patience with their (almost) long rest, which was shattered when the Hut spontaneously fell and the group was attacked by another fresh batch of water elementals. The PCs quickly noticed they were someplace else, as the depth and texture of the sea floor had changed. As the elementals uncharacteristically fled, Ukko and Egg-gar swam to the surface to investigate if their suspicions were true and confirmed this when orange sky and yellow clouds were seen, along with an atoll in the distance. Some of the party insisted upon taking shelter in a nearby crevasse, but further investigation indicated it was infested with chuul. As the group made it to the surface, they were intent upon swimming to land, although Egg-gar did see a burning ship in the distance. The main party took to the sandy beach quickly, and finally received the long rest they had sought for so long. As Ukko took to the air, he obtained a better vantage point of the area, confirming this to be a coral atoll of some kind. Returning to the party, he rested while his familiar tracked on Egg-gar. The Fairfax was taking on water quickly as the burning galleon sank slowly into the waves. The lizardman found a couple useful items, before the ship sank, then headed back to land. Instead of returning to the party, Egg-gar made landfall in a different area, finding a small encampment surrounded by humanoid skulls strung together with wire, and in the center, a dwarf preparing food.

Combat: Another kraken priest, twelve sea spawn, seven large sharks, and four water elementals are sent to the afterlife with a minor kraken and Saffat being driven off.

Episode 40

Date: June 17, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: Egg-gar was the first to realize the PCs had not made their way back to the mainland when he saw an energy field coalesce 10 miles from shore, confirming he was no longer in Avyosos, but that his situation might not be that much better. Debating whether to investigate the encampment he spied earlier, he found instead a half-elf sorceress clinging to a freshwater dock. Deciding it would be best to reunite with the party, the lizardman and Cae Lynn trekked toward the campfire smoke trail he suspected the other party members had created. Not wanting to wait around for the barbarian, the party left the beach area, traveling inland following several sets of tracks; both barefoot and hard-soled. Along the way, Lia noticed a couple of entities following the party; a feline and a gaunt-looking woman. Wanting to investigate further, Kor had Ukko stay behind to flank these entities, but rather than a feline, the tiefling found a human rogue instead, who later led him away from the party, walking around the island. The main group of the party found the end of the hard-soled tracks, arriving at Fort Boar, a military encampment run by a rag-tag group of veterans, named after the copious amounts of feral hogs in the area. Captain Baleson offered the party shelter and a place in the structure of the camp. He informed the party they were shipwrecked on Waytoll, a coral atoll in the middle of nowhere. Several other settlements populated the island, but he wanted the party to avoid the center where Mowgwar the kraken lives. The party spent several hours waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, and when everyone did, Kor encouraged the castaways to speak with Mowgwar. Water walking across the middle of the atoll, water breathing spells were cast to allow the group to sink into the deep. While journeying down, the party was set upon by chuuls as well as an investigating aboleth. The group made short work of the chuul, but the aboleth fled rather than taking further damage. Choosing to return to the surface, the party realized Mowgwar was agitated, as regional weather conditions began to change drastically; a swarm of water elementals also lent a clue. Deciding to move onto another settlement, the PCs made landfall near Merridew. Encountering the city gates, Kor slew the guards when the party was asked to pay an entrance fee (or show their brand). The party strode inside the limestone walls, as citizens watched aghast.

Combat: Fourteen chuuls and two orcs are killed and an aboleth is forced to flee.

Episode 41

Date: June 24, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: As the bodies of the orc guards feel lifelessly to the ground, three party members soon found themselves in the grips of necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) and too succumbed to the unyielding power, leaving the rest of the group in the conundrum of the fallout of brazen murdering in broad daylight, or whatever one would call daylight on the island of Waytoll. With flameskull enforcers arriving on the scene in a short manner, Kal-Ra assumed responsibility of the situation while many of the other party members went their separate ways to investigate the town of Merridew, something which the party had not seen in many game time years. Kor and Lia were taken into custody by the local enforcers while Kal-Ra petitioned for their safety, being instructed to speak to Magistrate Athanix about the repercussions of the crimes committed. Ukko went off to speak with Titus the Brandmaster, negotiating a masterful tattoo to allow for free entrance and exit from Merridew and gaining information about the town. Cae Lynn and Jillian sought out lodging and real food, before looking to meet with the leader/queen/princess/mayor/etc. of Merridew personally, while Haden became friends with the local weaponsmith. Kal-Ra and Egg-gar met with Athanix (purported a lamia but found in human form) to learn Kor and Lia were safe until they had awoken, but then they would be judged properly. The magistrate questioned Kal-Ra about his control over magic, going so far to give him a token for benefits around the town. Cae Lynn and Jillian attempted to gain audience with Prisania, but were redirected to Athanix, claiming the leader was engaged in other affairs. Both PCs were comped rooms at the local inns, as Athanix also paid close attention to Cae Lynn. As the party researched the rest of the town, several reoccurring names prompted the PCs to seek out Violet Longstreet in the tiny settlement of Jamesport. Several party members connected various instances to realize the tracker who Ukko followed and the hutted area Egg-gar found, both connected to the elf, encouraging the party to move to visit this group of outsiders. Using guile and patience, the PCs arrived at Jamesport and could peacefully parlay information between the groups, learning of a storm giant in the area as well as another unknown settlement led by Collette Adolphe (referring to her as Mrs. Adolphe). Violet indicated if anyone had the ability to get the party off the island, it would be her.

Combat: None.

Episode 42

Date: July 1, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Kelli, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: Upon leaving Jamesport, the party had much to discuss on what direction the group should go in, to best return them to Valderin so their lives could resume some semblance of normality. As Mighty waved goodbye, the PCs decided the best bet would be to travel to Fort Boar to validate some of the stories they were told, particularly about Mrs. Adolphe, the mysterious entity which possessed the power to get the party home from Waytoll. While this was happening, Kor awoke in a solitary cell, manacled to the wall, and bereft of his gear. Using his brute strength, he freed himself from his chains, then used ray of frost to overcome the door lock. Wandering through the keep, he eventually captured a peaceable orc, who lead him to his gear, during which time, Kor came to realize the orc community seems to have been domesticated in some way. Looking to find Lia as well, Kor searched the holding areas with his orc hostage, and after finding her, chose to flee the area when flameskull enforcers arrived to question his suspicious activity. Failing to convince the flameskulls, Kor defeated several of them as he fled from Merridew, with his orc hostage stopping short of the gate. Eventually, Kor reunited with the party as the search for a portal to Mrs. Adolphe’s lair began on the western part of the island, but which was to no avail. The party decided to split apart to investigate the remaining settlements on Waytoll: Ukko to Crescent Bay, Kor and Eraquin to Rockhaven, with the rest of the party to Merridew. Ukko found a lawless pirate town, where Captain Drovenge encouraged raiding parties on unsuspecting ships that made it through the dome around the island. Kor & Eraquin found hard-working folks, led by Mayor Gavel mining hard limestone, which seemed to regenerate by itself over a short time. Kal-Ra visited Ludovicius in Merridew to see if any more information was available. In the end, the PCs returned to Fort Boar and renewed their search for Monkton Farms, again finding nothing. Changing tactics, the group allowed themselves to be found by the pale woman who followed the group at times, learning her name was Ursula and that she knew where the entrance to Mrs. Adolphe’s home was. Leading the group to a large puddle, she encouraged those who could make their saving throw to dive into a pocket dimension. Most of the party did so, arriving at the bottom of a lake, while the remaining two were looked upon as a meal for their famished Ursula.

Combat: Four flameskulls are smashed.

Episode 43

Date: July 8, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: Ursula looked at the party members who did not make it through the portal to Monkton Farms, with a ravenous gaze, indicating that she was so hungry and not all the party was needed to speak with Mrs. Adolphe. Combat ensued as a different mix of PCs from the previous episode (as well as Phineas of Jamesport) who engaged a morphing Ursula, eventually driving her away in a cloud of acidic mist. Phineas encouraged the party to join their friends in Monkton, after he failed to pass through the portal, reminding them he had assisted in combat. On the other side of the looking glass, Kal-Ra, Kor, Egg-gar and Eraquin could answer several questions after connection with a group mindset in the portal which dropped them in the middle of a lake. Seeing orchards and pasture, the party split up to wait for other members and to explore the way to Mrs. Adolphe. Kal-Ra and Egg-gar encountered empty farmhouses and several cats as they reconnoitered the area, eventually coming upon the remains of a human who had seemingly crashed to the Earth. Looting the body of some nice items, the duo was dissuaded telepathically by the cats from removing the body for proper burial, referring to the corpse as the Defiler. Back at Waytoll, Ukko would fit in nicely with the pirates of Crescent Bay as his abilities were instrumental in capturing a modern-day yacht manned by wights. Looting followed, and the tiefling made away with a sizable amount of supplies from the yacht which he used to ply his fellow pirates. With the remaining party members successfully arriving in the pond, the group traveled up the road to Monkton Farms, seeing more cats and eventually encountering young Margaret as she did her morning chores. Further up the road, the main family house found Mrs. Adolphe meeting with a trans-dimensional stranger, but, soon after, she welcomed the party with wary suspicion about why the group was on her lands. Inviting Kal-Ra to speak with her privately, the dragonborn learned about the conflict between Mrs. Adolphe and associates of Violet Longstreet, also finding out Ursula’s real name is Marpock and she too has also been cast out. Although indifferent to the party’s pleas to be sent back to their home dimension, Mrs. Adolphe was altruistic in a sense, providing a formula and mundane items to enable the process for the party to return home. Leaving the pocket dimension, the PCs reunited with Ukko outside the portal near the shores of Waytoll.

Combat: Ursula attacks the party, but is forced to flee.

Episode 44

Date: July 15, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Kelli, Kevin, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: Outside the portal to Monkton Farms, the party took stock of their situation, assessing their needs, getting all available members up to speed on current affairs, along with dealing with a couple of onlookers; namely Ursula and Phineas. Eraquin spoke with the latter who indicated he was eager to hear about the good news from the party, while the former was shooed away by Kal-Ra who went so far as to tell the entity not to come back without needed information. The party decided the best bet was to travel to Jamesport to connect with Violet Longstreet about the information gained from Mrs. Adolphe. Instead of Violet, the group encountered Mighty who felt the best way to help the party was to travel to Merridew to meet with the leadership of the Bone Hearts. Arriving at Merridew, the party decided to use their gravitas to investigate the town, finding the Bockpece event taking place in the town square, with goods and slaves being sold. Upon the announcing of themselves, Kor was taken into custody for his previous predilections, and Athanix made certain the party had a special place to watch the upcoming judgments of Prisania. Eventually, the lady of Merridew arrived with her retinue, allowing for legal matters to proceed, leaving Kor for last. Being found guilty, Kor was allowed for trial by combat, facing the city’s newest champion (Varth Dader). The combat was quick with Kor victorious (Dader’s lightsaber lost below Waytoll), but not furthering the party’s desire to speak with Prisania. Lady Jillian made friends with a monk, named Chinwe. Ukko did sneak into Prisania’s quarters, but he was brusquely told to leave. Eventually, the party was able to gain audience with Prisania who listened intently, but seemed to have no real desire to help the party leave Waytoll. Deciding to force the matter with her, the party traveled to Crescent Bay, allowing Ukko to gain information about Groniron, before the party put the pirate town leader, Captain Bitune, to the sword, with the goal upsetting the balance of order between settlements of the island, forcing Prisania to send the party home. A return to Jamesport gained audience with Violet who gave the party information about where to find many of the items Mrs. Adolphe listed as needed to return to Valderin. Violet indicated she also wanted to leave Waytoll, noting she held the final piece to the list of needed items, but also wanting guarantees that she and her crew would be transported as well.

Combat: A dimensional outsider named Varth Dader is killed by Kor. Ukko murders Captain Bitune, causing many in Crescent Bay to riot.

Episode 45

Date: July 22, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Korie, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: As the smoke continued to rise from the fires created during the chaos in Crescent Bay, Violet was more than helpful with the information she was providing, giving additional insight to the party (now known as the Dark Tide) as to locations and depth of understanding on various personalities and topics which dominated the island. Kor even went farther to interview Phineas, praising him for his help, as well as grilling him for details about different relationships. Kor learned the Bone Hearts were a company before they arrived on Waytoll and that many members were loyal to Violet to a fault. The conversations dwindled quickly when it appeared a message from Merridew arrived, and the Bone Heart and Dark Tide parted company to deal with their respective challenges. Ukko continued to stir things up in Crescent Bay as the town was even more chaotic with the death of Captain Bitune. Making a power move, the tiefling assumed command of the town, organizing the pirates into a strike force to attack Merridew from three sides. Through persuasion, intimidation and superstition, the ramshackle group immediately went by sea, land and air to raze the neighboring town killing, maiming, looting and taking captives. Ukko pressed the militia on personally, engaging orc guards and flameskulls, also helping to protect the temple of Harlingen as it was beset upon against his orders to keep the sanctuary safe during the raid. Back at Jamesport, Hamross and Mighty helped lead the Dark Tide to an underground alcove, opening to a subterranean zone beneath the island, to locate a body of the former Bone Heart caster, hoping to also retrieve his missing spellbook with a teleportation circle spell inscribed. Survival rolls allowed the party to track several humanoids through the underground jungle, eventually finding separate tracks leading to a pool of water oddly placed in the foliage. Noticing footprints up to the shoreline with another set moving away, Kor and Egg-gar swam to the bottom of the pond, finding a rogue’s body. As the corpse was returned to the surface, the PCs aroused a large water weird, who had come into possession of Egg-gar’s questionable loincloth. Topside, the remaining four party members were attacked by Ruby Red (a T-Rex), then later another T-Rex (nicknamed Bobby Blue). After the water weird was displaced (and loincloth retrieved), the fighters surfaced to help finish off the two dinosaurs and aid the party.

Combat: More deaths are caused by the rioting and later attacks prompted by Ukko. The Dark Tide destroys a water weird, then two dinosaurs.

Episode 46

Date: July 29, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jerry, Joe, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: Haden wasn’t at all confused when Hamross and Mighty told him the party had left, abandoning him to travel into a subterranean level of Waytoll, looking for the remains of a spellcasting Bone Hearts member who might have a ticket to get the party home. Coming upon the remains of two T-Rexs, Haden continued to scout the area with the party members looking for tracks of the wizard with a potential teleportation circle in his spellbook. The wizard’s remains were found along with a partially intact grimoire and a ring of spell storing, holding the spell in question, just not in the spellbook. Backtracking toward the larger set of tracks, the party did find the possible movement of slavers, but found a dead end against a limestone wall. Returning to the surface, the Dark Tide met Phineas who beckoned the party for a meeting with Violet. Word from Prisania requested Violet hunt down certain members of the Dark Tide and deal with them for stirring up attacks on Merridew. After some negotiating, Violet agreed to ignore the party (for now) and encouraged them to collect the ingredients needed; additional commentary consisted of not fouling up the deal. Phineas agreed to take the PCs to Entos to investigate the storm giant lair. Meeting up with Ukko, the party feigned disagreement with the tiefling who fled away from a staged falling out and returned to Crescent Bay. Continuing toward the northwestern part of the island, Ursula was seen creeping around, and certain members persuaded her to give up information about recent happening. The creature indicated Mealith knew how to gain access to the limestone wall, and he transported slaves through the area to visit the mad wizard. Hoping to gain party favor, Ursula led the party a fissure in the jungle, turning into gaseous form and seeping below. Ukko’s imp followed as well and did find an underground room after passing by a layer of basalt. Not want to waste time, the imp reported back to the party, and with no way of descending below, the group decided to dive down into Groniron’s lair. Finding the depth to be more than 75 feet as reported, the Dark Tide discovered a cavern about 500 feet down, covered with large chunks of seaweed and bizarre looking tuna. Moving into the cavern, the party was attacked by kelpies who boxed the party in the narrow passage. After a close battle, the kelpies were forced to flee the area, giving the time to help fallen party members.

Combat: Sixteen kelpies are eradicated while invading Entos.

Episode 47

Date: August 5, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Kristen, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: The party stared at each other in wide eyed disbelief. For once, not one of them was stricken by the dark powers of necrolepsy. May all that is good and right in the world be praised!!! The powers of the evil have fled! The world is right again! However, rather than sharing the good news with the rest of Waytoll, the party returned borrowed items from those previously in a comatose state, and continued down the long passageway, strewn with the remains of the kelpies who had previously attempted to thwart the party from gaining access to Entos. Invited into a larger chamber by a green dragon, the Dark Tide parlayed with the Verdigraxis to gain audience with Groniron the storm giant. Jewelry and magic wands were handed over, and the dragon ensured a couple of the PCs had a chance to converse with his master. Meeting Groniron went better than expected, with Kal-Ra smooth-talking the giant, convincing him to sell the party a small amount of hornblende, and allowing the PCs to leave. As the group left the undersea lair, Impo (Ukko’s imp) stayed behind and raided the treasure trove of the dragon, picking out several baubles to be shared with the party later. The Dark Tide connected with Hamross, who was interested in what transpired, and later Ursula, who was eager to help the PCs to gain their favor. As the party was travelling to Ullegeval, Ukko did some of his own exploring of the underground lair, moving through the crevasse into the underground basalt area, where he encountered several nothics. After a quick battle, he returned to the surface to report to the party about what he had found, while the remainder of the group sought out spells which could help them gain access to the area below. Lia used a couple of days of spellcasting to help breech the sandstone barrier over time, but not before Egg-gar and Ursula noticed Verdigraxis flying over the island, searching for the party. Alerting the green dragon to their presence, the enraged creature accused the lizardman of stealing from his treasure trove, and angrily attacked him. Taking refuge in the cave, several of the party did assist in driving the dragon off, before moving farther into the basalt area; Egg-gar stayed behind. Walking out into the opening, the Dark Tide found an aging keep inset into a basalt bluff. When the portcullis was raised, the keep’s defenders (animated swords, gargoyles, galeb duhr) sprang to life to attack the party. Combat will be continued next week.

Combat: Four nothics are slayed, then later four gargoyles are smashed.

Episode 48

Date: August 12, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Kelli, Kristen, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: Shock. Dismay. Incredulity. These emotions passed upon the faces of the Dark Tide as necrolepsy (curse the dark gods) struck down several party members during the incursion into the domicile of Tattersort, the mad wizard. Even being short a druid, sorcerer and ranger, the group was not dissuaded and the attempting to breach the walls of the keep continued. Eventually, smart tactics and solid spellcasting allowed for the party to move up and past the portcullis to crack the main gates, while defeating the animated swords, gargoyles and the galeb duhr which were guarding the stronghold. Ukko used a thunderwave spell to scare off the nothics looking down from the murder holes above the party. After taking a quick breath to assess the situation, Kor knocked open two great stone doors to find suits of greater animated armor, which roused and attempted to repel the intruders. The combat seemed to be moving along roughly, with party member engaging and firmly dealing with the animated armor. However, before long, Tattersort appeared on the second floor of the courtyard (looking much like a lich), while casting cloudkill on the main body of the party. Fear seized the group as several members bolted when they could, while others were trapped between the animated suits and the poisonous fog cloud. The lich continued to pepper the main bulk of the party with fire bolt spells, using his legendary actions. Several members fell near death, while the remainder fled the area. With Eraquin, Jillian, and Aeleth all captured, the remaining group tried to take sanctuary in other areas of the facility, only to be tracked down by Slarkugess, an alhoon ally of Tattersort. The undead illithid condescended to Kal-Ra through telepathy and the dragonborn was given the chance to leave or capitulate, initially resisting the idea of leaving his friends behind, but the group later realized the necessity of making a tactical retreat. The remaining PCs reunited and fled back to the sandstone tunnel area. While imprisoned, the three captured party members awoke bound, gagged, and blindfolded. Through muffled talking, the three were quizzed by another occupant of the cell block, who indicated he was also captured and experimented upon. Not trusting the new voice, all three clammed up, refusing to provide any information. The rest of the party decided to take a long rest to recoup on spells and health, planning for a rescue mission.

Combat: Fourteen animated swords, six gargoyles, four suits of animated armor, and four nothics are destroyed, but Tattersort and Slarkugess forces the Dark Tide to flee, leaving allies behind.

Episode 49

Date: November 4, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Tommy

Summary: The outlook looked bleak for those who survived the attack on Nentokesore as the necrolespy (curse the dark gods….again) reduced the number of the party to three, leaving the trio with the task of dealing with an agitated lich and his armored minions, as well as needing to free the captured PCs which were lost in the previous episode. Kor, Egg-gar and Ukko used the lingering spell from Kal-Ra to prevent the mouth of the cave from slowly covering over and took a long rest to gather their forces to return to the lich’s lair. During this time, a galeb duhr probed the outside of the Leomund’s tiny hut, alerting the party to enemies on the prowl. When the spell subsided, the group moved back into the keep area, moving along the outer wall avoiding detection. The galeb duhr was quickly dealt with when it attempted to ambush the PCs, and the group could work around to the far side of the keep, finding handholds in the rockface to better assist them in getting atop the keep. Spells and potions allowed the adventurers to enter the second-floor chamber where the Dark Tide members used extreme caution to investigate the area. Nothics were found patrolling at different locations and Impo ascertained the location of the lich. Using Ukko’s minions, the nothics were lured into an ambush and were quickly defeated. Alerted by the noise, Tattersort also fell prey to the ambush zone, even as he moved more cautiously. Having been struck low, he popped away using dimension door, while the PCs noticed the remaining suits of armor animating and moving to the rear of the keep. Assuming they were moving to help their master, the Dark Tide pursued the already damaged squad to another area of the facility, finding Tattersort and Slarkugess behind a wall of force. Egg-gar and Kor quickly engaged the animated armor while Ukko peppered his enemies from long range. Dropping the wall of force to allow for spell casting, the PCs were able to sneak in one last attack, before Tattersort was able to reel off a spell. However, Egg-gar became dominated by Slarkugess, turning the lizardman against Kor for a brief amount of time. Realizing sacrifices needed to be made, Kor dashed through the combat zone, receiving several attacks of opportunity along the way from friend and foe, meeting Slarkugess at the end of the hallway and striking him down, freeing Egg-gar from the alhoon’s domination. The armors were dealt with and the players were victorious.

Combat: Tattersort and Slarkugess, along with their cadre of one galeb duhr, four nothics, and six suits of animate armor, are eradicated.

Episode 50

Date: November 11, 2017

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Awakened by the rustling of her own chains, Aeleth struggled to see past her blindfold into the darkened room of her jail cell, quickly realizing she was bound and could not move. Her fellow Dark Tide compatriot, Lia Moonbeam, had less issues of removing her restraints as she shape-changed into a spider to loosen her shackles. Both PCs quickly escaped from their confinement, bringing a necrolepsed Eraquin and a crippled dragonborn named Aryax along with them. Looking for their possessions, the group moved through the dungeon level of the complex moving cautiously, finding some doors soundly locked while others were wide open. The dragonborn agreed to pull his own weight and joined the group to find their way out. Finding several sets of keys, the PCs moved from room to room, finally finding their gear along with other common items of value. Hearing the sounds of battle nearby, the trio (with their coma balloon) made their way to the stairs heading up to the ground floor. Meanwhile, Ukko, Kor and Egg-gar continued to search through the keep for Tattersort’s phylactery hoping to ensure he did not reform at an improper time. Discovering a cistern leading to a source of drinking water, Egg-gar decided to investigate, finding the shaft led to an underwater cavernous area. Suspicious this would lead to the kraken, he turned back. During the search, the lich slayers ran into a squad of armored wights looking for their master. A quick combat ended with the recently freed group to arrive near the end of the fighting, and most of the party was reunited. Although the search also uncovered a bodak hidden behind closed doors, the party was able to recover Tattersort’s phylactery and summoned Saffat from Avyosos, who was increasingly helpful due to his exuberance of being released from his prison. The marid was useful in investigating areas and mentioned that Kor would soon be free of his title as champion. Handing the phylactery over to Saffat, the marid left the party as the group returned to the surface of Waytoll, seeking out the final ingredient from the Bone Hearts needed by Mrs. Adolphe, to return to their own plane. Arriving in Jamesport, the Dark Tide was disappointed to find Violet and Phineas were not there, but were attending to business in Merridew. Suspecting the elf was playing both sides, the PCs announced to Hamros their plans to travel to Fort Boar to find shelter, waiting for Violet to hand over the emerald, if she truly has it.

Combat: Six advanced wights and a hidden bodak are slayed.

Episode 51

Date: November 18, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: As the party trekked toward Fort Boar, more and more PCs reawakened from their necrolepsy and were briefed on the status quo for getting off of Waytoll. The group was taken back when Verdigraxis dropped another not-quite-formed dragonborn into their midst, to go along with longtime member Kal-Ra and recently freed Aryax. Since the former held the same goals as the latter, the Dark Tide decided to bring the new PC along with them in their efforts to return home. Arriving at Fort Boar, the party stayed outside of the stronghold while Kor sought out Commander Baleson to discuss recent changes on the island. Both warriors were able to connect more dots on the strangeness of the pocket dimension, and plans were laid out for the possibility of all of the members of the fort to be freed from the island. Baleson had some hesitation, as the island had been his home for so long, but Kor was able to convince him he needed to lead his men back to the Prime Material Plane. As Kor returned to the Dark Tide to talk logistics with the party, screams from the Fort Boar militia clued the PCs in on the frontal attack by Verdigraxis and her master, Groniron. Immediately reacting, the Dark Tide jumped into the combat while taking heavy damage from the two deadly creatures. The storm giant was able to take out some of the party members, leaving the heavy hitters without support. Kor checked off a bucket-list items by using magic to “ride” the green dragon before decapitating the monster. Soon after, Groniron fell as well. In order to aid the wounded members of the fort, the Dark Tide used their healing magic to assist those remaining soldiers in surviving their wounds. After a brief discussion about next steps, the party trekked to Jamesport to confront the Bone Hearts about the last remaining component needed by Mrs. Adolphe to get the Dark Tide off of Waytoll and back to their home. Violet was skeptical about keeping the bargain with the party, hinting she was putting her faith that one group of adventurers would not backstab another group of adventurers. The whole party and most of the Bone Hearts gathered their remaining goods and marched to the portal site to be met by several other Bone Hearts, who seemed to be waiting patiently. The components were entrusted to the party and each moved forward transporting themselves into the pocket dimension of Monkton Farms.

Combat: Verdigraxis (young green dragon) and Groniron (storm giant) are killed, but several PCs almost die as well.

Episode 52

Date: December 9, 2017

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Tabitha, Tommy

Summary: The members of the Dark Tide knew something was different when traveling through the portal to Monkton Farms when none of them were required to make a saving throw nor was any damage levied upon their characters. Arriving at the outskirts as they had done before, the party moved toward the main domicile area of the pocket dimension looking to speak with Mrs. Adolphe, to complete the item quest to return home. Met by Margaret & Silky, the PCs found Mrs. Adolphe speaking with a woman named Stefany, who was also trying to make her way back home too. While Kal-Ra spoke with their benefactor, other party members found trouble abound. Even as he passed through the portal, Aryax seemed to suffer from some sort of insanity and needed to be restrained when he became agitated and attempted to attack the party. Party members quickly surmised the alhoon had transplanted his phylactery into the unsuspecting dragonborn and PCs petitioned Mrs. Adolphe to use her skills to remove it. Once in hand, Slarkugess’ soul container was cast into the fireplace, ending the undead creature. Finalizing the ingredients to go home, a dagger was created by the Patua to be used to open a gateway home; each member also received a magic item boost from the magic fountain near the farmhouse. Returning to Waytoll, the Dark Tide and the Bone Hearts decided to remain in a state of détente and access the portal together along with most of the soldiers from Fort Boar. Entering the gateway, the group moved through an undetermined cavernous area unsure of which way to go. Along the way, they encounter two humans (male and female) dressed in strange garb who knew of Valderin and seemed to be waiting for someone to point them the way to Mrs. Adolphe. Not looking to get distracted, the group quickly moved on down the tunnel prescribed to them by the human male. Eventually the difference in rock became more noticeable after ascending from an underground pool. Moving forward the party ran into two stone golems who rang bells to alert a large group of drow warriors to attack the party. During the battle, the humans from Fort Boar stayed back, as they were mostly outclassed by the dark elves, while the Bone Hearts seemed to find a way to skirt around the conflict. During the melee, Egg-gar was struck down from the heavy amounts of damage taken and the episode ended with the party figuring out what steps they should take next.

Combat: Aryax attacks the party and is quickly subdued. Two golems and ten elite drow warriors are finished off.

Episode 53

Date: January 13, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Surveying the battlefield, Kor had seen desolation before as was his lot in life, but never before was he so moved to see his valiant ally, Egg-gar, laying lifelessly on the granite floor of the cavernous area, causing tears to well up in his eyes…..but that passed quickly and Egg-gar sat up feeling changed and different, bearing a new sensation inside of him that was not there before. The party took note, also seeing the oncoming drow elite warriors and decided retreating was the better part of valor, moving back into the cave system, following the trail of the Bone Hearts. Realizing moving the large number of humans through darkened areas without a light source was problematic, the PCs did their best to evacuate, but several members of Fort Boar were lost during transport; Marpock was also MIA. As she scouted ahead, Aeleth discovered several bodies of humans and ettins, stacked in the cavern passage, but moved forward to outrun the drow pursuers. Moving further into the caverns, Kor, Egg-gar and Eraquin remained behind as a stop-gap measure, using Kor’s shattering of stones and the bodies of the large creatures to block the passage to gain a tactical advantage. A skirmish ensued between a small squad of pursuing drow and rear-guard of the Dark Tide, allowing the bodies to be questioned using speak with dead spells. Realizing running was not solving the issue, the PCs returned to the drow, with Kor and Kal-Ra offering parlay to speak with the drow commander. Aeleth became concerned when Fort Boar soldiers continued to come up missing, and evidence of a group of cloakers preying on the humans was found out. Egg-gar and Impo were able to move past the dark elf defenses, finding themselves in the Underdark city of Ousszynge, and, after ascending an earthen stairwell to the surface, Egg-gar was set loose alone in the city of Melekure. Trading in his silver dagger for a cloak, the lizardman learned about how both cities were run. His attempts to acquire a boat fell upon deaf ears from the pirates of the Ruthless Navy. Negotiating with Commander Keteeryrr, the two PCs were able to find Aryax and negotiate safe passage for the party and Fort Boar NPCs, in exchange for destroying a beholder named Ronyraks, who, with his entourage, razed a deep gnome city and attempted to assault Ousszynge. Trapping the beholder down one of the tunnel areas, the Drow allowed the PCs to move into the area to deal with the threat.

Combat: Four elite drow warriors are killed.

Episode 54

Date: January 20, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Korie, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Moving up and into the tunneled area, the Dark Tide was relieved that most of the members of their party had awoken from their necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) and the group would be nearly at full strength to deal with the upcoming beholder threat. Things were made even better when the group was also joined by a half-orc fighter who was also looking to gain his freedom from the drow after infringing on their territory. Inching ahead, the PCs noticed a pinch point with several side alcoves in the rocky area, along with an unnatural glow of some sort of phosphorescence. Thinking outside of the box regarding strategy, Lia summoned a squad of pixies who polymorphed most of the party into giant apes, essentially giving the front-line combatants an extra boost in hit points and creating a unique kind of shock trooper to soften up the front lines of their foes. As combat proceeded, the characters could use their punk-ass killer monkey abilities (something feared in any campaign) to move past physical obstacles by using the ceiling and throwing large chunks of rocks at their opponents throughout the cavern. During the close quarters battle, the Dark Tide had no problem moving into the cavern area and defeating the ettins and human minions of Ronyraks. After the battle, investigation of the area showed the same phosphorescence of the eyes of the combatant was the same of the fungi in the back of the cavern. Egg-gar was curious to take a taste-test of the bodies but decided otherwise at the last minute. Moving on, the party was temporarily stymied by a trap that constantly repeated the caverns in front of them. Retrieving one of them bodies from the previous battle, Kal-Ra cast speak with dead to question the corpse to find the proper protocol for moving through the area. As the party moved farther into the cavern, an open area was found, along with the remains of several drow warriors, except for a lone living combatant huddled in a corner. Finding a cloaker nested in the top of the cavern, the party made quick work of the creature finding a small amount of treasure. Question the lone humanoid, the Dark Tide learned of the missing drow brigade which had been sent in several days ago but had not been heard from since. Ardulus told stories of how his companions were ambushed by a beholder with 20 eye stalks, which seemed to appear out of the walls. The session ended with questions about how many further threats lay ahead.

Combat: Six ettins and fourteen mutated bandits, later a cloaker, meet their end,

Episode 55

Date: February 3, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Tommy

Summary: The members of the Dark Tide continued to move ahead down the Underdark tunnels toward the inevitable conflict in having to deal with the threat of the beholder known as Ronyraks. Traveling was easy through the passageways with the glowing remnants of the weird fungus adding a bizarre glow for much of the journey. As the party searched out the area, Kor and others noticed a dead-end and a side tunnel toward the left, both indicating movement of some kind with shadows moving about the ambient light in the area. The PCs closed on the figures finding more ettins and humans, tainted with the same sickly glow. Using the width of the tunnels to their advantage, the party was able to prevent the full enemy force from overwhelming them, forcing the ettins to stay in the back and preventing the archers from keeping their cover. Focusing on the main force at the end of the burrow, party members who moved down the side tunnel found an additional adversary in the form of a blood kiss beholder, whose tentacle attacks lashed out at the frontline warriors that happened to be in the area. Dealing with enemy humanoids first, the Dark Tide turned their focus on the aberration while Kal-Ra used necromantic spells to raise zombies to help clean up the rear of the battlefield. The blood kiss beholder was eliminated in short time, and eager to engage the beholder, Egg-gar charged down the remaining hall to see if he could get the drop on Ronyraks. Instead of a single beholder, the lizardman found a legitimate beholder along with three zombie beholder thralls and more mercenaries. Behind them all was the source of the odd smell in the air: a glowing green canister, emanating a similar hue as seen with the eyes of enemies and fungi growing in the area. Realizing he was outmatched, Egg-gar swiftly retreated enough to wait for the remainder of the party to arrive. With a handful of zombies to reinforce them, the Dark Tide moved to engage Ronyraks in his mutated form; additional eye stalks and even loosely hanging arms. As the full force of the party engaged Ronyraks forces, quick thinking allowed Lia to summon a flight of pixies who in turn used their polymorph abilities to change the beholder into a brown bear. Unable to use his beholder abilities, Lia quickly cast animal friendship, placating Ronyraks, allowing the party to tie him up. The remaining zombie beholders were then dispatched quickly, and the party mulled over what to do with the weird metal canister.

Combat: Ronyraks is subdued, but his bloodkiss beholder, three zombie beholders, ten ettins and eighteen mutated bandits teammates are destroyed.

Episode 56

Date: February 10, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Tommy

Summary: As quickly as the zombie beholders dropped to the ground did a wave of necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) sweep over the party, felling some members of the Dark Tide while making others seem like their voice could be heard, but their body was not really there. Still under the effect of the animal friendship spell, Kor and Lia bound the polymorphed Ronyraks and quickly left the cavern area with their captive, intent upon returning to the drow commander to finalize the deal allowing all the survivors from Waytoll to have access to the city above. Egg-gar and Kal-Ra stayed behind to investigate the weird metal canister which Ronyraks seemed to pay homage to. Deciding the pod was not inherently magical, Egg-gar did his best to “open the treasure chest” by striking the canister multiple times with his sword. As he did, the lizardman noticed the increasing build-up in energy, as flickering electrical arcs leaped from the object onto his sword. With Kal-Ra retreating to a safe distance, eventually Egg-gar cracked open the item, releasing a wave of energy and significantly damaging the barbarian. Even as he fled the area, the damage continued, but eventually abated. Upon their return, the device no longer pulsed energy and seemed inert. Not wanting to deal with any other effects, the duo left to catch up with the rest of the party. Kor turned over Ronyraks to Gulmorlin and took the Waytoll NPCs with himself outside of the city, finding a farmer who bartered work for food and shelter. Ukko made it topside and quickly ingratiated himself into Melekure, selling a powerful scroll for cash and booking passage on a ship from the Ruthless Navy, who would eventually take the entire contingent of PCs and NPCs back to the mainland. Kor, Egg-gar, and Kal-Ra found out firsthand about openly carrying weapons in public and overcame several thugs who accosted them. Egg-gar went off to find magic item upgrades but found himself short on gold. A merchant did indicate there was another way to pay the fees. Kor went back into town to investigate opportunities in obtaining a candidate to be his squire. Finding the local orphanage, Kor was dismayed at news that Aryax had already “adopted” children from this area and that the remaining youths were kept in poor condition. Angry, he slew the proprietor while Ukko falsified papers of a legal adoption. Both left the orphanage, leaving the children to fend for themselves.

Combat: Kor slew Gemves Ulbatru of the Melekure Orphanage, but eventually some of the leftover orphans will become victims themselves.

Episode 57

Date: February 17, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Kristen, Mia, Tommy

Summary: As Aeleth & Eraquin awoke in the Ferrara farmhouse, both could tell there was distinct familiarity with their senses: both were finally back in their home dimension and above ground. The rest of the party was in town, finalizing their dealings and learning more details of the various factions vying for control of the city. Realizing their day was done and the afternoon was creeping into the evening, most of the party decided to return to the homestead outside of the city. While doing so, a tabaxi named Coda trailed the group until Aeleth & Eraquin confronted her, inviting the rogue to ally with the party for the short-term. Meanwhile, Ukko stayed in town, scoping out the Collective’s headquarters for some B&E action. Flummoxed by the high levels of security, the tiefling chose to steal from another lesser magic shop connected the Collective, successfully evading the guards and making off with several magic items using Impo as his assistant and changing into gaseous form; a locked chest was left behind. While most of the items were well received by the party, Egg-gar chose not to accept his offering. Farmer Ferrara noted the children Kor had recently “adopted” and countered to give his daughter, Utica, as trade for her to learn the ways of the squire. Returning to the city the next day, Egg-gar dealt with Bedward Estolis, bargaining for ways to obtain a belt of frost giant strength. The main task would be to return a platinum pendant, along with its wearer, also while ensuring other items would be recovered. Egg-gar agreed to the deal and began to collect the items back from the party. The PCs investigated more of the relations between the various factions of the city, even scrutinizing Coda who was caught in several falsehoods leaving the party to question her motives. Ukko sought out alliances elsewhere to ensure he had a plan in case things went south. Further investigation by the Dark Tide found that many of the factions in Melekure wanted to rid themselves of a secret society called the Four Shields. Kor surmised that in a city of evil, the Four Shields might be the good guys, as word on the street was they were a pain in most sides and several bounties were placed on the group’s head. After searching the city for more useful items to help the party, Eraquin engaged in a one-on-one combat with an agitated elf who claimed the dragonborn had offended him with Eraquin winning out; “monkey stomping” was involved.

Combat: Eraquin murders an uppity elf warrior who was spoiling for a fight, gaining a birthday treasure.

Episode 58

Date: February 24, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Kristen, Mia, Tommy

Summary: Even as Eraquin continued to stomp the loot out of elvish’s body, chance happened to draw Aeleth down a nearby alleyway while the rest of her companions decided to return to the bar to finish their beverages. Alone, she found herself locked in mortal combat with Woody the elf ranger, who had accused her of spying on his personal “dealings”. A battle of bows commenced with Aeleth winning, finding some nice spoils for herself. Inside the tavern, Eraquin gleaned information from the barkeep about the Four Shields and the reasons behind their moniker. Connections were made as the Dark Tide recognized the name drop of a former acquaintance named Tangy. Investigating the half-orc’s emporium, the proprietor was unavailable, but goods and services were exchanged at a reasonable rate compared to prices listed. Kal-Ra and Egg-gar met with the leader of the Broker’s Collective, returning the stolen goods and looking to gain more information on Larisa and the missing platinum pendant. Negotiations stalled as Bedward gave enough information, but the PCs felt more was to be had. Complications arose when connections were made with the party and the murdered manager of the city orphanage. Even more complications arose as the party questioned whether they should hunt down the “good guys” of the city just to meet their own personal goals. While heading through the city, an impaled rogue at the Court of Dangling Loss indicated he had information to share with the party if he would be freed. The party reconnected at the city arena, meeting with a yuan-ti blackguard named Bloodsucker about a previous safehouse of the Four Shields. Unable to control his need to kill something, Egg-gar jumped into the arena and defeated a flind in 1v1 combat. The party split again with some returning to Ferrara Farm, while others spied upon Tangy’s Emporium. Aeleth wanted to scope out the merchant for the owner’s possible return but was harried by four Reaping Recruiters and retreated to the confines of the Maidenhead Inn. Ukko left his hideout, making additional contacts in the city and seeking out information on the Four Shields. The tiefling also learned of those who knew of connections, and Tangy’s name came up again. Following up on the information learned from his contacts, Ukko was able to piece together enough details to lead him to the half-orc as she stayed at the Tarnished Bypass.

Combat: Aeleth solo battles an elf ranger, gaining a birthday treasure. Egg-ard destroys a flind in the arena.

Episode 59

Date: March 3, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Mia, Tommy

Summary: It seemed to be something more than just not getting a good night’s sleep in a familiar mudhole, as Egg-gar spent most of the day suffering from not receiving an accustomed long rest, having to settle for a short rest instead. He tried to distract himself with other fleeting pleasures (attempting to woo a young squire, planting Kor head down), but his funk continued. He resolved to deal with the issue and went with the party into Melekure to find more information on the Four Shields and perhaps a cure. Watching Tangy’s Emporium found that the owner was not around, leading the PCs to have Coda dig up any information using her contacts within Mordai’s Brotherhood, about both Tangy and Ukko. Coincidentally, a new winged tiefling had connected with a rogue named Bonnafit, who ran a prostitution ring in the southern part of the city. Initially, rebuffing Coda’s overture for free information, Kor and Eraquin were called in and brutally muscled the pimp, threatening to kill his girls if he was not effusive with information. One of the hookers took umbrage, getting into Kor’s face before the members of the Dark Tide moved into an alley to get what they wanted. Egg-gar and Kal-Ra matriculated to a temple of Erythnul, looking for assistance in dealing with Egg-gar’s health issues, but chose otherwise when blood was requested. Ukko appeared with the understanding the party needed to work together to return to the mainland, and information about his time missing was shared with the PCs. Reuniting at the Tarnished Bypass, the PCs became belligerent with the owner of the tavern when they could not get the feedback they wanted, relying on Coda to connect with the owner and later finding something bad might have happened to Tangy. Disillusioned, Egg-gar returned to the Underdark to be ambushed by two yuan-ti, which he dealt without much issue. Wanting more opportunities to slaughter, he spent the night in the arena, defeating the previous day’s champion. After another night at the Ferrara Farm, the party picked up Egg-gar and moved to the docks to force their way home by capturing a ship. They found all the Ruthless Navy vessels missing except for one in pristine condition, the Caraway Wind. A deckhand indicated the captain, Lady Canal, was on shore with most of the crew. Sensing something was wrong, the PCs passed up the chance to take the ship for themselves and remained frustrated with their situation.

Combat: Egg-gar kills two yuan-ti malisons, then slays an arena champion to sate his blood lust.

Episode 60

Date: March 10, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Tommy

Summary: Having been struck down by the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) for some time and then waking in a new environment could have easily stunned most other adventures, but for Jillian and Lia, they were made of sterner stuff and brushed off the fact they were unconscious for quite some time in the presences of depraved male PCs as no big deal. Having been briefed, the ladies of the light journeyed into Melekure to visit the ladies of the night at the Crystalline Cup to investigate any information on the whereabouts of Tangy Bodangy, whom the party believed was kidnapped. Getting to the brothel was the easy part, but the prostitutes shared less information and gave more warnings about the dangers of navigating Melekure as a druid and a paladin of Trithereon, with their forecast coming to light when Jillian was attacked outside the bordello, saved only by Lia providing spell support from the second floor. Meanwhile, the male PCs also sought information, but in a less pleasurable way. A quick stop at the arena enlightened Kor and Egg-gar to the fact that most of the combatants were not there by their own volition, lessening their desire to fight for coin. Seeking out the local sage, Cathal was open to talking only after Kor quickly bested him in unarmed combat. Information was shared about Tangy’s location as she was a prisoner of the Vestals of Weeping (a cult of harpies) at the Aviary, who were trying to make stronger ties with the Ruthless Navy, but intelligence about the Four Shields could not be nailed down. Bloodsucker also inquired on a regular basis. Impo relayed to his master the storage contents of the Caraway Wind, finding a special coffin with the symbol of the Blarehorn family; possibly connected to the halfling owner of the Androxus Academy. Connecting with the rest of the party, the Dark Tide moved forward to investigate the Aviary, using Bonnafit as means to gain access. The party was quick to notice Tangy was indeed captured and left caged at the top of the building, as well as a patch of the structure devoted to Bloodsucker. The combat lasted through all three stories of the building, as the fighting involved means to not fall off ledges while trying to reach the top. Quick thinking by Ukko led to Tangy’s freedom via a gaseous form spell, allowing her to make it to the ground floor unharmed. As the combat ended, the party fled the area with the orange-haired half-orc, looking to regroup and find a way off the island.

Combat: Seven pirates are killed when trying to ambush the party, then later ten harpies are massacred.

Episode 61

Date: March 17, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Tommy

Summary: The battle inside the Aviary was over and the bodies of dead harpies lay strewn across the ground floor, having been defeated in a multi-level combat which left their fingerhold of influence with the various factions of Melekure in a state of unrepair. Realizing there were other harpies in the city, Kor sought to set the crooked spire ablaze, if not for the slaves which remained inside. Threatening to torch the slaves as well did nothing to assuage their desire to stay and eventually cooler heads prevailed, and the party left the area. Back at Tangy’s Emporium, the half-orc bounty hunter updated the Dark Tide members to her adventures since she was last seen (supposedly) dead on the island prison of Bellorux. Allegedly, seventeen years had passed since the PCs escaped the island, although it appears barely a year had gone by as per the character’s understanding of time; meaning twenty-four years had passed since the advent of the campaign. Tangy filled in the party on the status of the Four Shields and about the internal strife happening within the Ruthless Navy, leading to more questions about how to get off the island. Apparently, the Caraway Wind (aka the Brazen Wolf) was a double-agent ship & crew who flew the Ruthless Navy flag but worked with the Four Shields. The Four Shields were also running out of safehouses to store needy citizens, no thanks to the yuan-ti operatives within the city. Questions arose if Lady Canal’s operations were compromised leading the party to try to hunt her down, with no success as she was not at the Maidenhead Inn. They did find a wannabe Fellowship operative named Sid who indicated Bloodsucker kept a patch at the Cherry Spume Whaling warehouse; formerly a Four Shields base. Egg-gar chose to visit the sage, questioning his current state of affliction but left without any answers, only later to be ambushed by a squad of barlgura demons which he was able to avoid. The party reunited outside the Cherry Spume Whaling facility, with Ukko and Impo investigating the interior, happening upon a woman matching Lady Canal’s description. An effort to rescue her led to Bloodsucker springing a trap on the Dark Tide with combat ensuing outside of the facility, which was set ablaze by the party. The battle did not go easily with Egg-gar taking significant damage and Utica the squire getting her first taste battle by backing up Kor, but the party was able to meet out a hard-fought win and Bloodsucker was slain.

Combat: Egg-gar fights off eight barlgura demons to escape, and later, the Dark Tide defeats Bloodsucker and a mix of seven yuan-ti abominations and malisons.

Episode 62

Date: March 24, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Tommy

Summary: With the yuan-ti slain, Egg-gar took it upon himself to start processing Bloodsucker’s body for future various uses, even offering to the party some snake-man flesh for general consumption. Eraquin awoke from his necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) to the overripe smell of Egg-gar, curious as to what had transpired before he was laid to sleep. Vacillating on what to do next was quickly quelled when the party ascertained Lia had garnered enough druidic energy to cast a spell to send the party away to the mainland. Deciding to leave the Four Shields to their own devices and retrieve the survivors of Waytoll, the Dark Tide returned to the Ferrara farm one last time to find the right components for a transport via plants spell to be cast to leave Baeldictum. Utica was not as eager to leave as the others, entreating Kor to allow her to complete a weighty task. Not wanting to have his squire disappear, the two (plus Egg-gar tailing them) trekked east to a craggy area, so Utica could dispatch several undead in a collapsed underground base former used by followers of Cuthbert. The half-orc and lizardman realized Utica might have bitten off more than she could chew and stepped in to finish off a wight. The bodies were properly burned, any remaining Cuthert symbology was laid to rest, and the trio marched back to the farmstead as Lia found an unoccupied tree to send the party back to the mainland, depositing the entire party and the Waytoll survivors outside of Barthen Keep. The survivors left the PCs with gold in hand. Investigating Felspar, the PCs learned of the Hallowed Hundred, the heroes who had saved the realm while the party was in exile. Names were learned as the party attempted to better understand the vibe of the duchy after being gone for such a long time. Mention of the Knight Who Laughs and his Storm Jesters was also investigated, but aside from gathering wagon transportation, the party seemed intent on returning to Celesthem to confront those who sent them away. The journey was uneventful, and the Dark Tide was able to find that many of the personalities who were responsible for the imprisonment of the PCs were sent away, dead, or both. Searching out his adoptive father, Kor found an aged man who claimed to be Masmar, but it was quickly realized this was false. Recalling former prognostications, Kor was embittered someone wanted to falsify his father’s life.

Combat: The PCs help Utica strike down four wights.

Episode 63

Date: April 14, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Tommy

Summary: The interrogation of the fake Masmar had nearly finished with the Dark Tide flummoxed by the seeming dead end of an individual setup to portray a close family member, but who was a witting/unwitting pawn in a greater scheme which had yet to be unfolded. Information continued to trickle in, and suppositions widely accepted came under fire as much of the information previously given to the party started to fray in the details. Everything started to come together when Andalor Marnix (fake Masmar) professed he had “all the coppers.” Investigation followed up with nine stamped copper pieces denoting the membership of the Nine Penny Kings: the founders of the Hallowed Hundred. After arguing with the local sage about what was considered rock-solid history, the party tracked down the innkeeper of Salt Merchant who mentioned a local member of the Grey Men thieves’ guild named Hanfree Hotar provided a weekly payment for Andalor’s room and board. Wanting to follow up with Emmitt Ironhall, the party found his mausoleum, but the body inside was missing the necessary jawbone to converse with the dead. Tracking down Hanfree at a local merchant shop as a worker, he was quick to fess up any information after being surrounded by the party, directing them to Elres Arard, a bookkeeper at the Medicamentum wizard’s guide. Seeking out Elres and petitioning him to join the party as an adventurer (aka standard bearer), the PCs found the money came from an account set up by Konrad Hardstone and Adrian Cobb. Evening passed and, in the morning, Kor & Utica, Impo, Lia, and Egg-gar set out to areas outside of Celesthem to investigate Cobb at his manor, while Ukko and Kal-Ra remained in town shopping and creating a standard for Elres to carry. Upon arrival at Cobb manor, the party found the place to be abandoned with the bodies of the family (not Adrian) and the servants dead in the wine cellar, with throats torn out decades ago. A hidden shrine to Nerull was also discovered, as the PCs kept four of the heads for future investigation. Upon returning to town, Kal-Ra cast speak with dead and questioned the four spirits leading to believe Cobb and Hardstone (along with another woman) had a hand in their deaths. Upon leaving for the next day, the Dark Tide began to trek out to the Hardstone manor. Along the way, Egg-gar’s…growth… burst forth into a death slaad, which the party defeated ending the lizardman’s chance at parenting.

Combat: Egg-gar's....child (death slaad) is terminated by the party.

Episode 64

Date: April 21, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jessi, Joe, Kelli, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: We all know the life of a mom is one of the toughest jobs out there, but Egg-gar seemed to be able to take it in stride balancing his work and personal life, while wallowing in the remains of the death salad he “birthed”. On the…bright…side of things, his smell seemed to change to a more pungent aroma and this is most likely the reason several PCs awoke from their necrolepsy (or climbed out of his mudhole), but his odor still needed some distancing if folks wanted to not punish their sinuses. Taking a short rest, the party continued onto Hardstone manor to find it in a similar status as was found at Cobb manor: a rusty gate closed to abandoned house. Not being stopped by trivial things such as locked doors, the party entered the residence to find it ransacked. Again, a sense of a similar crime scene paralleled the findings at Cobb manor with some notable exceptions. Aeleth reported a couple different ways for individuals to access the manor over the large stone walls. Eraquin found a home that appeared picked clean from the looks of missing valuables. Lia found a long-dead corpse in the icebox of a rogue who was using the area as a flophouse for various persons. Ukko discovered the trigger in the library to access the underground areas. As he explored, it became quickly apparent as the complex below the main house was an unholy site to Nerull. While exploring, he quickly became outflanked by a spirit naga, and used his Horn of Valhalla to summon berserkers and alert the PCs inside the house. Outside Aeleth’s ring of x-ray vision noticed the remains of construction planking underneath the outside grounds and set Lia’s summoned earth elemental to excavate the area, leading to the top of the underground dungeon. With the inside party called to save Ukko, the Dark Tide encountered the naga, along with a shield guardian and an unholy countenance of Nerull. Inevitably, the topside group was able to breach the dungeon ceiling, joining the rest of the PCs in defeating the adversaries beneath. After investigating the area and questioning the dead through skill and spells, the party learned the countenance was the remains of a high priestess to Nerull, also Mara, wife of Konard Hardstone. Bodies were found to have been sacrificed by Mara included past children, but the other bodies were victims of Konrad, in party with Adrian Cobb and an unknown blonde woman. Other evidence lent to the theory that all three murderers might have vampiric roots.

Combat: A spirit naga, a shield guardian, and an aspect of Nerull are dispatched.

Episode 65

Date: April 28, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Deciding to move on the main clue provided from the papers of Cobb and Hardstone, the party trekked over to the Black Bear Theater to investigate the possible hideout for the two men who had been missing for some time. Ukko quickly found the makeshift shrine to Nerull in the back of the theater after rearranging the brick façade to show its true form. Locals showed the party where long ago 20 paladins descended into a sinkhole in the street to never return. Both entrances were locked and barred, but that did not stop the muscle of the party bursting the chained doors and finding a way onto the stage of the theater. A precursory look of the area indicated that someone had been inside, but as to how long ago, it was unknown. The trapdoor led down into the walled off room, and Aeleth’s ring of x-ray vision helped the party to find the hidden locking mechanism to open the secret door, among other items on the party’s persons. Descending even further, the Dark Tide made their way down rough-hewn hallways, finding an occasional spattering of blood, into an open area where a small chapel of Nerull was found to be built in a cavity in the granite. A search around the chapel netted a pile of bones in the corner, which were later interviewed by Kal-Ra to reveal a slow-witted prostitute. Choosing to directly enter the building, Eraquin sought to move directly to it. The chapel's main doors were cracked and warped from the elements. They stood slightly ajar, allowing easy access into the gloom beyond, but as the dragonborn touched the entrance, images of slain followers of Nerull appeared, showing their last visages of death. As more party members approached the door, more phantom figures appeared, following by additional imagery when the PCs investigated the inside sanctuary. Aeleth was able to find some magic arrows, and Eraquin retrieved suits of usable chainmail. Moving further into the chapel, the party was set upon by shadowy images of Nerull who flanked the party on both sides, offering them little opportunity to move freely and use tactics. Although the party was more than enough to handle the shades, attrition began to set in and when the battle was won, the PCs were still deciding whether to stay for a short rest, stay for a long rest, or just leave for a chance to catch their breathes elsewhere. The players and the DM were mostly tired, and the game ended early enough for folks to travel home without fear of fatigued driving.

Combat: Thirteen advanced shadows are dissipated.

Episode 66

Date: May 5, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Joe, Kristen, Mia, Serene, Tommy

Summary: Koda awoke in her room with the enslaved wood elf bard, having spent another night at the Yellow Flower Inn, waiting for word from their dragonborn benefactor, who had saved them from the vile city of Melekure and deposited them in the city of Celesthem. Her patience paid off when a page arrived with instructions to go forth and seek out the Dark Tide at the Black Bear theater, to support them and further along the designs of Aryax. The duo found their way to the theater with no problem, even running head long down the narrow passageway into the area of the abandoned chapel of Nerull. Unfortunately for them, the bard’s epic lute rendition came to a stop upon colliding with the Leomund’s tiny hut spell which Kal-Ra erected in front of the stairs as the party decided to take a short rest outside of the unholy sanctuary after finding several of the party members were struck down by the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), and the PCs wanted to reevaluate their status tactically. Realizing the party had two more combatants to assuage the loss of Kor and Lia (and Utica), the group reentered the temple area going over their past steps and investigating new areas. Past the worship area, the party found another private area for sacrafit activities and activated a temple guardian in the form of a stone golem. Defeating the construct, the PCs discovered a sacrificial kris dagger and magic vestments. The dagger was kept, but vestments were befouled by Egg-gar when it was found to be connected to Nerull. A library was next up, but brittle or molding books were all that could be found. Across the way, a warm door gave the party pause, but not so much as a fire elemental was found inside waiting for the party, signing to the party in the common tongue to “Leave Now”. Primordially fluent members of the party found the elemental to be just a messenger, prompting the party to discard pleasantries and attack it with Egg-gar’s decanter of endless water. Complications arose when an efreeti appeared amid the party with two vampire spawn (Cobb and Hardstone) outflanking from the rear. To complicate matters, Egg-gar was charmed by a master vampire, ordering him to secure the area, leaving Eraquin to tangle with the genie as the rest of the party fled out of the way. Eventually, Kal-Ra was able to place the master vampire in check, allowing for Egg-gar to be freed of her spell, after nearly killing Eraquin. Treasure was found, as well as Lewellan’s wall.

Combat: A stone golem, a fire elemental, an efreeti, and two vampire spawn are destroyed, forcing a master vampire to retreat.

Episode 67

Date: May 12, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Although she had heard stories of being struck down by the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), Utica had never truly experienced the malady and she was quite shocked when she awoke finding the party battered and bloodied by the battle with the master vampire in the chapel of Nerull. Only taking a quick breather, Eraquin and Aeleth were back on their feet probing the remainder of the underground sanctuary, ensuring the party did not have any additional wandering monsters prowling throughout the area and that Lewellan was truly gone. After some perfunctory looting, the conscious members of the Dark Tide hashed out the details of who received which piece of loot, destroyed any remaining coffins, and moved on and out of the complex. There was some talk about burning everything, including the theater, but the party decided to let the authorities of St. Cuthbert know of the vampiric presence, so others might tie up loose ends. One thing that was not burned was the “murder wall” created by Lewellan, who appeared to work along the same lines as the PCs in trying to figure out all the power moves made by NPCs which pulled the PCs into the web of intrigue. After speaking with the local sage, representatives of the thieves’ guild, the Grim Slicers, and a penniless merchant, the party was able to put together several facts previously unknown. A great conspiracy involving Emmitt Ironhall might have taken place in which many people thought to be dead clearly are not. The plan revolved around several NPCs being set up to take the blame in a transition of power, both overtly and covertly. Names listed on the wall thought to be dead, are living elsewhere, most likely under a different alias, and evidence points to the much of this transition moving toward the west. NPCs who can also implicate the grandmasters behind the smoke-and-mirrors are also in the west but finding them will need the party to leave Celesthem and travel towards the mountains. The location of Crystal Pine, a mountain in near the edge of the map in the barony of Shiramet, came up multiple times during the investigation, leading the PCs to believe that Inkrot (an individual of interest from various parties) might also have taken stay in this area as well. The Nine Penny Kings and the Hallowed Hundred also seem to be implicated in some way, but the details were still fuzzy. After burning their brains for most of the evening, a shopping spree finished the episode, gearing up for next week.

Combat: None.

Episode 68

Date: May 19, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Tommy

Summary: Haden rubbed the dust from his eyes caused by his affliction of necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) as he gazed out onto the marketplace of Celesthem, realizing freedom had finally been achieved with the Dark Tide returning to the mainland, after being gone so long. While most of the party continued shopping, the wood elf wandered out into the street hearing noises of distress only to be met in a dark alleyway by an unhinged, sex-doll totting ranger named Awk-heye (and his dog Brown Panther). Defeating the creep, Haden returned inside as more shopping transpired, and additional questions were asked about critical persons mentioned on Lewellan’s wall. Magic items were swapped, and characters were upgraded with the thought that the party would not be returning to Celesthem any time soon. After trading out the mules for draft horses, the PCs set upon their way west. With Eraquin not being satisfied with his assortment of magic items, the party took a detour back toward Saltmarsh and arrived after encountering several blizzards which cause the Dark Tide to lose significant time on the frozen roads. While in Saltmarsh, the party recollected past stories of the Silver Blades, a powerful group of heroes from the past who left their…..mark on the city. Loading back up, the party retraced their travels on the Royal Road and headed toward the mountains, still plagued by the poor weather conditions. After moving past Alendar, the party had one more stop at a wayhaven on the way to Steelgate, hearing stories of dragons, giants, and heroes, in the form of the Hallowed Hundred and the Destiny Striders, but not much else. As the Dark Tide started to feel their luck turn around with the weather clearing up, the party was set upon by three rocs who attacked the wagon area to carry off a meal in the form of the player characters. Jillian was singled out as she was mounted atop her warhorse and needed an assist as the gargantuan creature nearly killed her and attempted to carry her off. Eraquin held his own, stymieing a second roc with his polearm mastery, although the beast was nearly successful in carrying off Eldres, the newly vetted standard bearer wizard. Both Kor and Egg-gar attempted to mount the back the winged creatures using spells or climbing. In the end, all three beasts were slain, and the party would find they had plenty of food to sate Egg-gar’s appetite. The episode stopped as the party debated whether to rest or to move on.

Combat: Haden squelches a crazed human ranger, gaining a birthday treasure. Later, three rocs have their wings clipped.

Episode 69

Date: May 26, 2018

Attendance: James B., James D., Jason, Kelli, Leigh, Tommy

Summary: Trekking through the wilderness is never easy, as it was when Peter the goliath and Satsuma the dragonborn came upon a bizarre scene, as the party had just finished off the three rocs which attacked the group while traveling in a covered wagon to Steelgate. Taking up the Dark Tide’s offer for shelter, the two were thankful to find a place with safety in numbers from the elements realizing they would not be able to make to civilization before nightfall. However, the night did not pass uneventfully, as the party was alerted to two human creeping up closely to their campsite. Engaging an aggressive stance, the party moved out in force to confront the two, seeming to scare them off. Even more aggressively, Kor and Egg-gar left the party behind in the night, in the snow, with two heavily armed strangers in the camp, to pursue the two figures for multiple hours across the frozen countryside. Eventually, their zeal waned and the two decided to break off pursuit when another campsite was spotted. Impo did later find the humans in a cave staring at other fellow humans. Hailing the new camp, the warriors were welcomed by the Destiny Striders, a larger company of adventurers, who allowed the two to take shelter for the rest of the evening. Speaking to their leader, Ezeganalavel (or EZ), stories were exchanged about the hunt for dragon eggs and the desire to catch up with Inkrot. The Destiny Strider accompanied the PCs back to the wagon and continued with them through the next day until the parties parted ways in Steelgate. Rumor around town was of a white dragon attacking foresters and other area warriors, lending some credence to the Destiny Striders' mission in the area. After some gambling and temple visits (with stories of dark portent in the days to come) the Dark Tide continued toward Enstol. Traveling through the narrow mountain pass, the heroes were accosted by several large, white furred humanoids, which nearly left some party members on Death’s door. Inspecting the bodies, the PCs determined these creatures were mutated hill giants instead, as their entrails were bleached and milky. Parking the wagon, the party tracked the giants path up into the foothills, finding a decimated forester camp with felled wood having a strange pink strain. Further up, a copse of trees also displayed extraordinary flora sprouting from the bark. The party experimented with the pink tendrils and decided to take some samples, before ending up in Enstol.

Combat: Seven mutated hill giants are slaughtered.

Episode 70

Date: June 2, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: An awakening from her necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) made it quite apparent to Aeleth that the party had significantly moved overland since the last time she was conscious enough to track on things. Enstol seemed to be a place to recover and refocus for the continuance of travel, with this being the last largest city before reaching the western massifs. Kor was inspired to help Utica on with the next stage in her life seeking out a temple to St. Cuthbert to officially knight her, giving her the choice to continue with the Dark Tide or to branch out on her own. Aeleth connected with a prifit at a local church of Ehlonna and furthered her relationship with the faith as she had taken several levels in cleric while adventuring. The prifit bestowed a raiment of clergy upon her, encouraging her to go forth and embrace the dogma of the goddess of the woodlands, going so far as to help two star-crossed lovers elope at a local ruin outside of town. Ukko also heard of this but focused on the reward offered by the two families for their members returned. Much to Aeleth’s chagrin, Ukko was successful, but before the episode ended, Aeleth was able to perform the service for the two young lovers. Egg-gar stayed in his room most of the time with weather and a lack of combat opportunities available. Kal-Ra connected with a young boy, who claimed the warlock to be a “chosen one”, leading him to meet with up with Aryax, the black dragonborn left behind under Melekure. Aryax had seemingly grown in power, after “farming” some of the lesser warriors in the evil city, then following the party, finally meeting them in Enstol. Kal-ra found out quickly that his short time with Aryax connected them both to the same otherworldly being, calling itself Diamidiath. A book of pact magic was gifted to prove to both that neither was insane, and that the will of Diamidiath was to go forth and destroy those who had wronged the Dark Tide, which would lead to fulfilling Diamidiath’s will. Egg-gar overhead much of this conversation, and was intent upon slaughtering Aryax and his minions, but Kal-Ra was able persuade him not to. Lady Jillian found spiritual refreshment at the Temple of the True Strike, celebrating the Days of Remembrance for the followers of Trithereon. During this time of contemplation, the paladin gained favor with her deity and several questions were answered to help the group along with understanding some of the finer aspects of the campaign.

Combat: None.

Episode 71

Date: June 9, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Tommy

Summary: The stay in Enstol was refreshing to the members of the Dark Tide, but for their mission to continue, the party needed to journey onto Altguard to find more information about Inkrot. The trip was swift with no interruption (except for finding bodies of the kingsmen, dead on the Royal Road) and the characters were entreated to another magical town. Upon arriving, the PCs split into several groups to explore the settlement, speaking to local law-enforcement and religious establishments. Eraquin made connections with a local dwarf who praised the Thundergut Brewery in the mountains nearby Crystal Pine, but spoke a legendary dwarven curse “LewisofJerry”, about declaring “Stormpeace” then punching folks. Eraquin also experienced a touch of the seedy side of the city, when a thief attempted to break into his room during the evening hours but was scared off. Clear skies encouraged the party to leave promptly, making their way to Crystal Pine, leaving the wagon behind for fear of the jagged roads ahead. As the party neared outskirts of the off-limits areas of the mountain, a conscious attempt was made to discard the warning signs and to continue to get closer to Crystal Pine. As the Dark Tide did, elven rangers wearing tabards of the overlord descended upon the group, peacefully questioning their motives, and convinced the party to return with them to a bivouac area back down at the base of the mountain. While camping that evening, more soldiers arrived (another elf plus a human barbarian), and plotting was made for the next day inside a magical shelter. During the evening, several PCs noticed multiple instances of monsters watching the party, but Kor was not dissuaded going so far as to befriend Sarcha the barbarian into helping the party around the area. Sarcha related to the party about great places to drink in the region (Thundergut Brewery), and how he had found a special trinket on the far side of the mountain. Upon further investigation, the trinket seemed to be something more than gold, and examination confirmed it was not natural. Convincing Sarcha to show the Dark Tide where he found this, the party traveled farther around the mountain to unearth some sort of futuristic escape pod, connecting the party to a combat long ago where the PCs thought aliens had come to kidnap them. Rather than explore the area more, the party chose to end the session breaking into Fairwind Keep, which they believed held information on Inkrot.

Combat: There was plenty of almost combat, but nothing panned out.

Episode 72

Date: June 16, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: With the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) passing from her body, Lia assessed that the party had been a least somewhat successful in making progress past Steelgate and onto the massif on the western part of the duchy. The weather was cold, but that did not deter the Dark Tide from investigating Fairwind Keep, slightly backtracking from the last part of Episode 71. Lia found what the party had said was true: mutations of the local flora made the plants seem more alive than before. Eraquin was the first to investigate the tower in the southwest corner of the keep, supported by Impo (who whispered sweet ideas in his ear), but found it locked via physical and magical means. Unknown to the party, a lone bard named A.P. watched them from the interior walls, having separated herself from the Anokick’s caravan, as they traveled deep into the wilderness looking to improve peace among the peoples. Party members noticed her as she tried to observe the group, and an overture to accompany the Dark Tide in a dangerous area was offered. Spellcasting and proper rouge-skills allowed for the party to access the building, making their way through additional secured passageways, encountering a lone half-elf on the 3rd floor. Realizing he was overmatched, the hermit identified himself as an eldritch knight named Daven Tumbleweed; a name the party quickly connected with the information on Lewellan’s Wall. Indicating he wanted to be left alone, Daven answered the PCs questions, connecting him to the demise of Masmar, the Hallowed Hundred, even the Laughing Knight with the desire to get away from everything connected to the Ironhall Gambit. Mention that Inkrot was under the keep and in the form of a demilich was revealed, and discussion of how to get information was had. Honesty did not get Daven very far, as though Kor offered him a trial by combat, Egg-gar later returned invisibly, with the support of Ukko and Eldres, and dispatched him. Continuing onto the main house, the Dark Tide found that doors were mostly unlocked, and areas was undisturbed except for the remains of the staff, having perished many years ago. While the party discussed the matters of how to handle things, Eraquin continued his exploration, finding access to the lower levels. Later another lower access portal was discovered, but upon opening it, a wave of energy summoned two paladins-turned-devils to deal with the party, but the Dark Tide prevailed instead.

Combat: A Hallowed Hundred eldritch knight, then later, two narzugon are exterminated.

Episode 73

Date: June 30, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jerry, Kelli, Kristen, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: Haden wiped the sleepiness from his eyes realizing he had awoken from another bout of necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), and sought to gain a better understanding of where he was as his last conscious glimpse was at a tavern in the city of Enstol. Realizing the Dark Tide were about to enter an underground complex of Fairwind Keep, he felt like fortune would smile upon him regardless that some of the other constants of the party were in a coma-like state. AP played soothing music as the PCs decided between two different means to enter under the keep: a stone stairway from down a long hall or an iron ladder from underneath a hidden trap door. The stairway was traversed first, with Impo finding what he believed to be a prison area. The party breaches the first door, but became hesitant with the two prison doors, having an ominous feeling about what might be inside. Burning wood and Egg-gar’s bacon (?) were tossed inside to see if there was a triggering effect, and with none seeming, the PCs left the area alone. Returning to the ladder, the group descended into the darkness, finding a long hallway with an access panel to outside of the keep as an escape option, across to the crag yonder. Finding nothing of note, the PCs backtracked and, through perception and magic, a secret door to the rest of the facility was discovered. The hallways presented three choices and the party started with the middle, finding a stone guardian blocking the way. The construct was easily defeated, and alchemist supplies were discovered, no doubt owned by Inkrot. The second hallway (to the right) offered another stone guardian, which was not easily defeated. Highlights included Haden being run over (fortune?), along with Aeleth critically fumbling, then critically shooting Lady Jillian in the back, but the construct was defeated and Inkrot’s treasure vault was found. The last hall encountered yet another stone guardian, which was dispatched with the help of traps. The final door revealed a gigantic room with a large scroll hanging from a metal chain, connected to the ceiling; a metal chest was at the far end. Impo and mage hand could not release the scroll, so Egg-gar mounted the chain (see Miley Cyrus) while Aeleth and the others investigated the chest. Upon opening the container, the demilich form of Inkrot arose and attacked the party, as a balor appeared to support. A tremendous battle ensued with the party narrowly winning.

Combat: Inkrot the demilich, a balor, and three stone guardian are destroyed.

Episode 74

Date: July 14, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: Haden’s soulless body slumped on the floor (the day started out so good…) as the party looked upon him and each other, assessing the results of drawing from the deck of many things, as there was much weal and much woe for several members of the Dark Tide. Other party members woke from their necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) and were quickly briefed on the situation and the discovery of being in the presence of such a powerful magic item. Several PCs drew from the deck; some for the first time, others wanting to continue their good luck or recoup from bad luck with various results. The worst was Kal-Ra being whisked away because of a bad card, leaving the party to wonder where we went off to, also debating about when to give Haden’s body a sendoff since his soul was not available. Kor clued the party into the fact that though Inkrot was destroyed, the demilich would return unless his phylactery was destroyed. Divination by Lia (after finding the proper components from a reformed Ukko) led the party out of the escape hatch and down the side of the cliff face to a safe embedded into the granite. Ukko and Impo retrieved the jar-looking phylactery, but the party was at a loss about how they should go about finally destroying it. Wanting to do some good from the bounty of wishes she received from drawing multiple Moon cards, AP spoke an elegantly worded wish to bring Kal-Ra back to the party, but instead dropped him into the tent area of Aryax, who was several leagues from Fairwind Keep. Finding clothes and summoning his warlock book, Kal-Ra learned more from Aryax about the bidding of Diamidiath and how their patron desired for them to move forward. Trekking back on a phantom steed, the party was wholly surprised as the dragonborn strode into the camp, not worse for wear. When he did, he noticed the conversation being had with a familiar ranger from the Hallowed Hundred, sent to check up on the party, warning them of the dangers surrounding Crystal Pine. Some internal discussion about what to do about the ranger varied, but eventually the party let him go as he seemed intent upon leaving quickly. Deciding the PCs had enough resources and were high enough level, the party decided to take flight, ignoring any terrain issues, making a direct line to Crystal Pine. When in route, the Dark Tide encountered a flight of four adult white dragons. With help from Utica and Eldres, the party was able to win the day.

Combat: Four adult white dragons are skinned.

Episode 75

Date: July 21, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Joe, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: The Dark Tide viewed the combat sight where they had recently felled the flight of four adult white dragons, with the bodies strewn across the snow in a mass of scales and blood. Several of the PCs were intent upon harvesting body parts for spell components to be later exchanged for gold or items. Some others wanted to have dragon steaks or adorn their armor with skulls as trophies, while Kal-Ra chose to speak with the dead. Talking to one of the dragons brought about no great information as this creature was not the lead of the flight, and his sibling would not be forthright with facts. While carving into the creatures, mutation was found again in the organs, and the bodies were quickly discarded. The ranger retinue representing the Hallowed Hundred arrived, offering aid but were quickly rebuffed as the party was suspicious of their motives. Kor took it upon himself to make veiled threats toward their leadership, believing to connect through the group hivemind that the Dark Tide was supposed to be in effect. After reassessing the situation, the PCs did take up the rangers offer to help and asked for Haden’s soulless body be transported to Altguard, removing the rangers from the area, and allowing for Haden’s body to find rest. As the Dark Tide moved toward Crystal Pine, Ukko’s raven scouted to reveal the rest of the Hallowed Hundred contingent moving to block the path the party. That evening, the PCs used Eraquin’s carpet of flying to make it to the top of the peak, retrieving several rocks to be used as a focus for AP’s teleport spell. Returning to the base of the mountain, the party was able to teleport to the peak, which had the smoothed appearance not atypical of the top of a mountain. As the PCs looked around the area, two purple worms burst forth from the mountain-face attempting to engulf several party members. The Dark Tide made quick work of the creatures, and returned to searching the area, delving into the breached zones left by the monsters. After some time, the PCs found a tunnel leading to an unbreakable metal surface, resistant to the party’s attempt to penetrate. After more time, another tunnel was found coated with tentacle-like protrusions. At first, the tentacles appeared benign, as Ukko sent his raven past them toward a metal surface seeing a possible access door. As the party moved down the hallway, the protrusions changed color and attacked the group, who eventually prevailed but not without some taking significant damage.

Combat: Two purple worms and eight alien tentacles are cut down to size.

Episode 76

Date: July 28, 2018

Attendance: James D., Joe, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: With the hallway cleared of danger, the members of the Dark Tide that did not succumb to the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) consolidated the group realizing there was a shortage of forces with so many party members laid low. Ukko passed the time drawing from the deck of many things, pulling the Knight card. On cue, a tiefling fighter named Akta Sorrow appeared bearing a gift from the Raven Queen: a crossbow named Hailstorm. Believing the teleportation from a shrine in Celesthem to the western mountains was a sign, Akta chose to stay and support Ukko in his adventures inside “the ship”. Determining the metal doorway was not magical, the party took some time to realize how to open both doors, with Kal-Ra interpreting the strange markings as a label denoting “Life Hull 07 – Avenger”. Once inside the PCs found stacked chainmail with peculiar holes, boxes of unknown goods, and entrances to secondary storage areas; some items were pocketed for future reference, especially those self-sustaining-stembolts. AP was wholly amazed at finding some sort of inactive “warforged”. More investigation found corpses who answered to Clement Steelsong and died of starvation, fearing some sort of “radiation elemental”. Finding additional passageways, the PCs discovered a portal hole (later found to be accessible with anti-gravity handholds). Deciding to skip floor they were on, the party used spells to lower themselves to the bottom level; any sort of teleportation was ineffective for some reason. More storage was found throughout the entire floor. With Ukko having determined how to access the containers, the PCs attempted to search for more goods. This included interacting with more robots who tried to clean up any mess the party made. Eventually, the PCs went as far as to alert security robots, leading to Egg-gar being placed in the garbage chute, followed by AP. The garage chute did not play out like in certain movies, as the disintegrator web caused Egg-gar to reevaluate his actions. A consensus to move toward an upper level, prompted some of the security robots to follow the party onto level 4: a large swampy bio-sphere which Egg-gar took a liking to. After dealing with a trailing security robot, the party settled down on the swampy level to rest for a bit to gain back spells…..and draw from the deck of many things, again by Ukko, then twice by Egg-gar and AP. All went well except that Ukko might have some devil problems.

Combat: Two security robots are deactivated.

Episode 77

Date: August 4, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Tommy

Summary: “Princess” Jillian awoke from her necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) and quickly figured out the party was able to reach the top of Crystal Pine and learned more of the extra-terrestrial ship. When she was last conscious, Jillian remembered drawing poorly from the deck of many things before the necrolepsy and drew once more yielding a positive result. Lia also awoke from her necrolepsy but chose to pass on drawing while Egg-gar drew a favorable result too. After this burst of excitement passed, the Dark Tide members chose to reassess the situation at hand while on Level 4 of the alien ship. Walking around the metal-floored outside of the swamp area, Lia was filled with revulsion sensing this zone to be unnatural and antithetical to both her elf and druid perceptions. Although void of any robots, the PCs did find a wandering human fighter named Drax whom Egg-gar immediately took as a threat. Drax was violently ill, spewing cold bile, prompting the party to aid him. After a long rest and some interrogation, the warrior indicated he worked for Clement Steelsong, but had no recollection of any group named the Hallowed Hundred. Utica pointed out that it might be a good idea for the party to form a base camp on Level 1 near the entrance doors, as the group could use a fallback position and such a large group might illicit large problems. Kal-Ra assigned Utica to lead Akta, Eldres and Impo back to the entrance to wait, while the remainder of the party searched the below areas. As the NPCs ascended the shaft via a fly spell, the PCs noticed Level 3 ringed the ceiling area of Level 4. Deciding to forego the swamp, the PC used magic to ascend to Level 3, finding their way blocked by sentient vines which had overgrown through the transparent wall. Lia communicated with the vines but found negotiation tough as their asking for passage was more than the party wished to part with. Kal-Ra took the more direct approach, hurling fire at the vegetation causing it to recoil and burn. So effective was his herbicidal tendencies, the fire alarm went off, deploying a security robot with an extinguisher and a drone robot with a broom to clean up the mess. Searching the level found more locked storage units, with the PCs unable to access, even with the door trick learned on Level 1. Further searching uncovered a lounge with empty bottles behind the bar, along with a compartment holding a possible weapon. The evening rounded out with more draws from the deck of many things.

Combat: Huge alien vines are scotched.

Episode 78

Date: August 11, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jennifer, Jerry, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: AP awoke from her necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) to a similar scene much like to when she succumbed to the darkness: members of the Dark Tide tempting fate by drawing from a deck of many things. At first, Egg-gar had some successful draws, leading Ukko to try his hand, though his single draw pulled the Donjon card. Realizing this was somewhat like the experience the party had witnessed with Kal-Ra, AP quickly investigated her (upcoming) book of “How to Ask Wishes” for a similar solution which was successful with the dragonborn warlock. Again, there was some accomplishment with her wording, but as Ukko returned to the Material Plane, eight barbed devils returned with him. Combat ensued, and the party was able to best their extra-planar foes, with the high point of the combat being where devils were tossed through a hole to a 100-foot drop. Back to exploration, Egg-gar continued to test out his new “staff” to see if it was the weapon he thought it might be with the rest of the party finalizing their look through Level III, with the new access keys (brown and violet) opening previously locked doors. Findings indicated weapons were stored on this level, but cases were empty. Also found were smashed robots and an acid-eaten hole leading to Level II. The PCs returned to Level I to meet with the V Team, and a long rest recouped spells and hit points. Descending to Level II, the PCs found a labyrinthine area made of pipes, panels and conduit. Moving further in, Egg-gar and AP fell into a catatonic state, which Lia surmised might be an attack from a group of intellect devourers. Not wanting to take a chance of being overwhelmed, Ukko and Lia returned to Level I with their fallen comrades for restoration spells to be cast. Returning to the action and ready to return to the lower levels, the party was beset upon by the reincorporated form of Inkrot, who strangely appeared from Egg-gar’s loincloth although Ukko had kept his phylactery. Combat ensued with the party striking quickly and destroying the demilich, even with AP again being felled for the second time this episode. Frustrated about the fact this demilich would reappear every 1-10 days, Ukko used his Vizier card to determine the best ways to destroy the phylactery, combined with AP’s second use of her Moon card to wish the phylactery into nothingness. The remainder of the episode showed the party’s lucky streak as many more cards from the deck of many things were drawn.

Combat: Eight barbed devils and a re-constituted Inkrot are killed, but ten intellect devourers give the Dark Tide trouble.

Episode 79

Date: August 18, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Tommy

Summary: His had been the longest to suffer from the effects of the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), but Kor had finally awoken from his deep slumber, realizing the Dark Tide had finally breached the mysterious metal doors at the top of Crystal Pine mountain. Kor and the other party members to awake were briefed on the recent happenings involving the exploration of the spaceship and the destruction of Inkrot. Discussion erupted about how to deal with what the PCs thought to be intellect devourer attacks, which struck down many party members on Level II. Contrast to when the other party member awoke, Drax continued to hear strange voices in him head, telling him that he was not where he needed to be and should return to his tub. He also noticed a lack of scars on his body from his previous adventures. While the party prepped for taking Level II, a robot with a single intellect devourer arrived with a container of gold coins. Hearing voices overhead, a mind flayer named Zellix spoke with the party about their intentions, not wanting to be interrupted in his work. Through a parlay of information, the PCs were able to learn Crystal Pine was formerly an illithid enclave, before the spaceship crashed into the mountain. Arriving later from the Astral Plane in an illithid conch, Zellix played a hand in getting the previous exploration group to flee the ship, so he could work on rebuilding his damaged ship as well as experiment on the alien technology hidden from the various levels. It was also mentioned that Drax was a replica of a former warrior who worked for the original expeditionary group. The mind flayer struck a peace with the party to explore as they wished, but to leave Levels II and V alone, as those were his workshop areas. However, the Dark Tide (flexible in matters of détente) decided to take it upon themselves to force matter, moving down toward Level II. Ukko was sent out to see what activity might be transpiring on Level V. He found vats of Drax clones being suited up with armor and weapons, possibly intent upon attacking the party. As the Dark Tide began its move against Zellix, the power was cut, leaving the levels with a red, inky hue. Moving forward, the party was engaged by a large mass of intellect devourers, all masked with a wispy, shadowlike essence. As the PCs moved forward in combat, Zellix appeared on the outskirts of the combat, wearing some sort of power armor. The combat will continue at the beginning of Episode 80.

Combat: Two shadow intellect devourers were killed and several more damaged.

Episode 80

Date: August 25, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Kor & Utica found themselves in the most of unfortunate circumstances, as the last surviving third of the attack group meant to move on Zellix. The main issue stemmed from the way of necrolepsy and how the shadow intellect devourers had felled the team within the first round of combat, leading to Kor calling for a full retreat from the power-armor wearing illithid. Back on Level I, several other party members had awoken from their necrolepsy and decided to congregate with other PCs to help the initial attack party by flanking Zellix, via another elevator at the other end of the ship. Kor returned to Level I with unconscious party members in tow, leaving Drax behind as it seemed as if the intellect devourers paid no attention to him. Upon his arrival, Kor learned from the V-Team of how the remainder of the party had set off for the Elevator 3, and quickly tracked them down using as he blazed through the interior of the spaceship. Along the way, Zellix verbally accosted the PCs through the ship’s intercom system, berating any efforts to overcome him or to flee the ship. Having had a positive experience with the deck of many things, particularly the Throne card, Egg-gar used his powers of persuasion to try to draw Zellix out for a single combat. Impressed by the lizardman’s gall in an unwinnable circumstance, the illithid allowed Egg-gar the opportunity to parlay another deal with the party to leave the spaceship. Again, utilizing the Vizier card from the deck of many things, Egg-gar was illuminated on the specific “box” Kal-Ra was to open. Using Eraquin’s carpet of flying, Egg-gar moved quickly through the ship to Level VI, finding a large container with power couplers, pulsing energy through conduit up to Level V. With the knowledge gained from the Vizier card, the lizardman was able to shut down the energy matrix, which soon after began to emit dark shadowy energy through the seams of the container. Turning off any security which might hinder them, the Dark Tide was able to navigate through the remainder of the ship, leaving out the main doors they initially entered in. The hallway was empty with no sight of the Hallowed Hundred which had tried to breach the door. As the PCs moved further away from the crest of Crystal Pine, they were set upon by several large mutates, which coordinated their attacks against the party. Although several members of the Dark Tide took significant damage, the party was able to prevail as the episode ended.

Combat: Four shadow intellect devourers and eight mutated hill giants are slaughtered.

Episode 81

Date: September 1, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Aeleth and Kal-Ra took stock of their frigid surroundings on the highest reaches of Crystal Pine, with many of their party members groggily fighting off an oncoming wave of necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) and wondering what exactly needed to be done next to get the party down from the top of the mountain. Climbing down the side seemed precipitous and as more of the party became cognizant, the PCs discussed where the group wanted to relocate to with Kal-Ra pushing for a return to Fairwind Keep. Almost as on cue, a man-sized lifepod bearing Drax appeared. Although Eldres had the ability to cast teleport spells, the Dark Tide chose a more certain transportation means with Lia using tree stride to move the party from the peak of Crystal Pine to an area nearby the former abode of Inkrot. A sudden blizzard (akin to a bale tempest of yore) struck the party with such unexpectedness that magic shelter was quickly erected, and the party rode out the storm safely. When morning broke and the snow was scrapped away, the PCs found the body of a lizardman frozen in the ice wall, uncovered by the wind and lightning strikes from the previous evening. Interested in the body, fire spells were used to exact the lizardman and resuscitate him, whereas regaining consciousness, he attempted to attack Egg-gar in some sort of tribal attempt to show dominance. The party was able to subdue him, and Egg-gar’s dominance led Orn (“silver” in draconic) to become a follower; fitting how the deck of many things predicted this. Ukko scouted via flight and found that a caravan bearing Aryax’s flags, which approached the keep later after the party arrived. The sleek-looking dragonborn (regardless if blue or black) was quite hospitable to the party as the group made certain he knew what his role was to be: caretaker of the keep which the party had already cleared out. Aryax was very compliant to the party’s demands to fly the flags of the Dark Tide as well. As the party was about to leave, Sarcha (the human barbarian who was a newly minted member of the Hallowed Hundred) approached the keep wishing to learn more information from the party. Many members of the Dark Tide immediately recognized the difference with his demeanor, feeling he had been infected with the virus seen in other creatures. Keeping him away, the PCs gave him enough to leave. Later, a retinue of devils attacked the party; a result of Ukko drawing from the Flames card.

Combat: Orn is beaten down by his master, Egg-gar, and eight ice devils are destroyed.

Episode 82

Date: September 15, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: Everything seemed to be going according to plan as the Dark Tide used a transport via plants spell, allowing the team to travel effortlessly to the huge secret oak overlooking the large ravine south of Barthen Keep; the site of where much of this campaign started. However, the call of the deck of many things was strong for Ukko and Egg-gar, and the pair drew two cards. While the latter came out fine, the former did not with Ukko’s eyes rolling back as his soul was stolen from his body. Visibly upset, Akta demanded to know what would happen with her master’s body while Orn investigated meal options. After some discussion, it was decided the V-Team would use a teleport spell via Eldres to transport to Celesthem for resupplying, obtaining magic items, and locating a place for Ukko’s body to be cared for in case his soul was to return; much like what was done with Haden when similar events happened after drawing the Void card. Traveling through the hidden door in the secret oak, the party returned to the former underground dwarven stronghold to pay respect to Donovan’s fallen body. As some of the PCs entered the vault of Moradin, Eraquin and Drax encountered a humble goblin named Jota, who claimed to be the caretaker of the ravine and was one of the last surviving members of the Redbasher Clan, previously destroyed by the party under orders from Barthen Keep. After pleasantries were exchanged, Jota felt moved to accompany the party as he bore Pelor directed him to. Still waiting on the V-Team, the party investigated the off-the-grid town Ukko has discovered early in the campaign, but found it deserted. Evidence indicated the supposed followers of Fharlanghn did have an Iuz presence in their midst, but it appeared someone else had come through and cleanse this existence. As the party returned to the secret oak, the PCs were set upon by a malevolent force as an avatar of filth accosted the party, attempting to make off with Egg-gar’s loincloth. Combat ensued with the party flexing its muscles, destroying the avatar and, with a jagged white streak, bringing the garment into artifact status: The Loincloth of Depravity. Reuniting with the V-Team, the party traveled to Felspar hunting for the Laughing Knight. While in town, their comportment as outlaws became a topic with the locals, with the constable trying to keep the peace as the lord mayor sought to elicit good will. After staying the night, the party moved on in the morning heading west.

Combat: The Avatar of Filter (an empyrean) is forcefully sent back to his home plane.

Episode 83

Date: September 22, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: Jota was worried. He had heard instances of the one or two individuals succumbing to the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), but never had the goblin seen so many effected at one time, nor the careless response by the fellow members of the Dark Tide, as if this event was a constant one. Regardless, Egg-gar (now in command) assessed the situation and deemed the most tactical approach would be to draw from the deck of many things pulling the Donjon card and promptly disappearing. AP moved quickly, using one of her remaining wishes to pull Egg-gar back from his prison (along with a lizardfolk female named Yacuir), as more of the party member began to awaken from their slumber. With Felspar just miles behind them, the party continued onto Esterpond through treacherous weather, which seemed to stymie their travel. Several times, Eldres was forced to summon magic shelter for the PCs as blizzard conditions struck several times. During one snowy instance, frost giant footprints were found the following day, in and around the area the magic portal resided. Choosing to encounter the giantfolk to determine their purpose, Kor and Egg-gar verbally challenged a small squad with Egg-gar winning a duel with one of the more disgruntled giants. The giants claimed the Hallowed Hundred had implicated the Dark Tide as the reason for the blight striking their crops and livestock, as the giants in the area has struck an accord with the duchy of Fanderword. A parlay was struck with the PCs traveling with the giants to Esterpond, then to later help them find where the Storm Jesters were currently hiding out. Controlling the weather to prevent further stops, the Dark Tide arrived in Esterpond, finding the town to be financially opposite to Felspar, but identical in reception: the PCs are wanted criminals, the local constabulary aren’t powerful enough to arrest them, but knights of the barony will arrive soon to deal with them. Several party members were fraternized with by representatives of the local power players in town, who sought to curry favor. Jota looked to clean up the shrine to Pelor and started to make plans for an even bigger holy site while working in conjunction with representatives of the temple of Heironeous. Seeking out the local sage, Jota noticed an odd demeanor, particularly when the sage was asked about Geridas (aka the Laughing Knight). Returning later with Lia, the sage took upon the countenance of Geridas, threatening the lives of the party.

Combat: Egg-gar defeats a frost giant in solo combat,

Episode 84

Date: September 29, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Kelli, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: Kal-Ra was lonely for just a short time as the rest of the party seemed to have succumbed to the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), and he was relieved as the PCs awoke from their slumber and eventually their number grew to a large size he had not seen in quite some time. Continuing northward to Marsic with the frost giant entourage, the Dark Tide used the teleportation circle of Eldres to transport to the Redinhave wizard’s guild in the center of Enstol. Upon arrival, a teleporter scribe inquired about the PC, but relayed to the group their presence would not be found until certain records would be turned in. With direct plans of leaving town immediately, only some of the party did so, leaving Impo behind to muddle the process of reporting the party. Few of the members left town directly, while other stopped at temples to pay their respects and marketplaces to purchase goods. Eventually the whole group rejoined outside of town, except Impo, and began their journey to the south to lose any others who might be tracking the party. The PCs took a southern route, skirting the forest outside of Marsic, looking to gain an advantage on the Storm Jesters. Tracking indicated a contingent of wagons and horses moving ahead of them, and it was surmised this might be some of the kingsguard that was sent south to arrest the supposed criminals in the form of the Dark Tide. As the party traveled at night, the group slept during the day in the Mordenkainen's magnificent mansion spell provided by Eldres. During travel on the third evening, sounds of battle came from ahead, fleeing hobgoblins quickly detoured away from the party, heading north. Desiring to see what pushed the goblins back, the Dark Tide moved forward, finding a camp of 8 kingsguard knights with 20 soldiers picketing the area, after repelling the gobley folk. All parties announced themselves with the knights immediately ordering the surrender of the Dark Tide, in which the PCs did not back down. The Knight Commander made overtures for justice for the party, but those were rebuffed. Push came to shove with the party engaging the knights, slaughtering all but one in 2-3 rounds. With one soldier retreating to the main camp to a priest of Heironeous and a late knight, the party finished off the last three after the cleric became enraged by the actions of PC followers of Cuthbert and Trithereon. As the combat ended, the PCs looked up to see several mounted nightmares flying towards them.

Combat: The Dark Tide annihilates a force of 30 knights, soldiers, and one cleric representing Duke Benton Stonda.

Episode 85

Date: October 6, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Korie, Tommy

Summary: There was an unsettled feeling from part of the Dark Tide as the final body of the kingsguard fell. Some of the both PCs and NPCs had looks of distress about what had just happened, questioning why the team had chosen this path, but the time for the discussion was not at hand with four mounted nightmares barring down upon the party. Several folks took cover while others openly waited for their enemies to come within range. While Lia and Jota did use spells to soften up their opponents, the party was razed by hellfire orbs lobbed by the death knights, as well as Kor being shunted off to a pocket demiplane with Impo, preventing both from jumping into the fray. Side note, during transport, Kor saw of the vision of a six fingered hand, with the ring finger missing. The aerial bombardment continued until the party began to target the flying nightmares forcing the death knights to land. The battle persisted with most of the V-Team falling quickly, leaving Utica to hold the line. Eventually, Kor was freed from his banishment and the party was able to turn the tide toward victory. Would that the aftermath have been as easy, with the party splintering on the view of killing the kingsguard after the remainder of the party was healed and/or resurrected. A small portion of the Dark Tide chaffed at the reasoning behind killing agents of the crown, and a discussion of alignment and perspective ran through the party with folks taking sides. After bodies were buried and Jota (with Aeck) leaving the party, the Dark Tide continued to Marsic finding neither the Hallowed Hundred nor the Storm Jesters had bothered this community. Still looking to track down the Laughing Knight, the party moved north of Marsic into the deep forest. Several party members encountered additional mutation in the flora and the fauna (unicorn bunny?) the farther in and some PCs began to indicate feeling not well. The party saw strange markings etched into trees and surmised this was akin to the vision Kor saw during plane shifting. As the party continued to explore, a mounted figure bearing the countenance of the Storm Jesters approached the party emoting a mixture of Geridas and madness. Veiled threats were tossed about, with the figure indicated Geridas was not the root of the problem, but that the Hallowed Hundred were the true enemy to the party. Sensing the druid might be up to no good via spell casting, the figure rode off deeper into the forest, daring the party to follow him.

Combat: Four death knights and four nightmares are sent back to the Abyss, but several Dark Tide members are resurrected.

Episode 86

Date: October 13, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Joe, Kelli, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: The lone Storm Jester rider rode merrily into the thick forest, briefly looking behind to see if the Dark Tide was choosing to follow. The PCs felt good as most of the members of the group had recovered from their necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) and the party was nearly at full strength. A brief debate was held about how to get after the Laughing Knight and his cohorts, and a direct encounter seemed the best approach. Going further into the forest, the party came upon a tethered goat with a sign inquiring about talking or fighting. Choosing the former option, the goat led the party to another sign instructing them to send three representatives forward to speak, and having done so, a trio of PCs engaged in parlay with three members of the Storm Jesters. Again, the countenance of Geridas swelled within one of the Storm Jesters and he attempted to persuade the party he was not the true threat, laying blame at Hyle Battleborn and Clement Steelsong (aka Emmitt Ironhall and Shad Redcase). When asked about the mutation seen in area flora and fauna, Geridas informed the party about his union with alien technology found on the spaceship atop Crystal Pine, particularly with an item called a “coronentum”. Leading members of Ironhall’s group had mastered this technology, using it to connect (and control) many aspects of nature in the barony of Fanderword. Kor approached, demanding his father’s sword, which Geridas declined, going to far as there were no hard feelings when Kor killed him and that he was disappointed Masmar had to die. Challenges to single combat were declined on part of Geridas, as he felt someone would cheat somewhere. Neither side could come to an agreement, and both groups departed to prepare for battle. As the Dark Tide moved forward into the ambush area, AP used her final wish from the deck of many things to bid all coronentum’s from this reality be cast into the void. As combat started, this caused Kal-Ra, AP, and all the Storm Jesters to be struck by fits of madness, leaving the former catatonic and the latter group blindly attacking or fleeing the area. The PC used their significant advantage as the Storm Jesters lost all sense of tactics, with enemy casters even running into melee. Fortunately for the party, their enemies regained their wits too late and the party was able to move upon the situation quickly and strike down the Laughing Knight, along with an ancient white dragon. The combat was nearly over, as the episode ended.

Combat: Thirteen combatants ranging between levels 12-20, plus an ancient white dragon named Frostfang, are killed.

Episode 87

Date: October 20, 2018

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: There is nothing more satisfying than slaughtering one’s mortal enemies: someone or something that has been the source of your pain and suffering. Even better, it’s refreshing to crack open a bottle of…deck of many things to see want goodness fate has for you. Unfortunately for Egg-gar and AP, all their good luck was used during the combat with the Storm Jesters, with the former pulling the Void card and the latter pulling the Donjon card. As Kor and Lia awoke from their necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) to find that calamity had struck the group, a less intelligent Egg-gar sat trapped in an impenetrable perfect sphere in Arcadia, looking for a corner to soil. Although without body, his soul realized he still had access to previous wishes and Vizier questions for earlier draws from the deck of many things. Using most of his resources his soul had at his disposal, Egg-gar was able to return to his body with the help of Kor and Lia. Unfortunately, it was deemed AP was lost for good, and the party moved on. Reviewing the Storm Jester battle, the PCs were able to make away with a good amount of quality magical loot. Eldres has not returned and sending spells to him initiated a reply that he would come back later. Without Eldres to teleport them, the party moved south out of the forest, slowed by treacherous weather, returning to Marsic. Word of their slaughter of the kingsguard had traveled quickly and the Dark Tide met with a cool reception from the village, regardless of the Storm Jester heads brought with the Dark Tide to prove their success in eliminating the Terror of Fanderword. The lord mayor (a veteran wizard) confronted the party at the local tavern, asking them to leave and was promised by Kor he would do so in the morning. The half-orc went so far as to search out the lord mayor later relaying his troubled story of injustice, which the lord mayor countered he would be willing to back them, if the PCs would just turn themselves in. Questions about Iuz brought responses about Hextor, and more information came about bounty hunters looking to cash in on the reward for the heads of the Dark Tide, so Kor returned to the party. Additional sending spells to Eldres met with no response, so the party departed from the town early in the morning. Picking up a firbolg adventurer while traveling west, the party ran into a raiding party of ice spire ogres and winter wolves. Although low in numbers, the PCs were able to defeat the creatures and the combat ended the evening.

Combat: Six ice spire ogres and ten winter wolves are slaughtered.

Episode 88

Date: November 3, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kristen

Summary: Aeleth and Eraquin picketed the battlefield, as was their lot since both adventurers had been in coma armor for the last combat. The elven ranger checked for any notable loot, and aside from larger gobley arms and armor, an unusable suit of magic scale mail was the only item of interest and was summarily left behind. The dragonborn fighter took a different tack, inspecting the bodies of the winter wolves, finding the more preserved corpses, then skinning them in his instant fortress. Evening came with the party piling into the fortress, resting securely during the night. As morning came, highly perceptive party members noticed huge watchfires coming from the mountains to the west, with a thin trail of smoke coming from the eastern direction of Esterpond. Making a snap decision to get to the village, Lia used transport via plants to jump the Dark Tide to a familiar tree outside of town. As the party surveyed the scene, hundreds of the villagers lay dead in the snow, with frost giants, ice spire ogres and winter wolves, wantonly murdering townsfolk. Lobbing a fireball to attract attention, the PCs were able to provoke the creatures to turn their concentration toward them, allowing some of the citizens a chance to survive. The battle was one-sided with the last frost giant leading the remaining raiders back north into the forest. The PCs surveyed the damage, finding only 65 citizens out of 700-800 had survived the attack. Fires were doused, resources were redistributed, but eventual discussion lead to the realization the ravagers would return to continue pillaging when the party moved on from the town. Wanting to help the civilians, it was decided to evacuate the town and transport via plants spells gated the refugees to the city of Enstol with only Utu’Sh’ar being able to make the initial trip. The next day, Utu’Sh’ar accosted the local sage, to determine if he was infected like the past sage in Esterpond. The rest of the Dark Tide arrived in Enstol looking for the paladin but finding their reputation would not allow for a quiet time in the city. Several PCs met with the questionable sage; a Dark Tide fan. Party members began to separate as the PCs learned many of the city guards and bounty hunter groups heard of Kor’s location and tried to box him in. In the end, Kor surrendered himself (as Eraquin later did as well, but not before causing a commotion) to the local magistrate demanding a trial by combat. The rest of the party made their own ways outside of the city via different methods.

Combat: Four frost giants, eight ice spire ogres and fourteen winter wolves are dispatched.

Episode 89

Date: November 10, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Joe, Talisa, Tommy

Summary: Egg-gar, Kal-Ra, and Eek awoke to something very different than to when party members have usually recovered from a bout of necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!): finding themselves deserted. Left alone in a local tavern, the trio quickly stepped outside to realize their transition from wilderness-mode to being in the central part of the city of Enstol. Utica and Akta were able to fill the PCs in on how Kor and Eraquin were incarcerated, Aeleth had not be seen, and Lia quickly departed the tavern via flight, with Utu’Sh’ar nowhere to be found. The snap decision was to head to Fairwind Keep for a variety of reasons and the remnants to the Dark Tide did so until Utica received a sending message from Kor. Egg-gar and Eek continued west with the rest of the Dark Tide returning to the city to either turn themselves in or deal with other issues. This included Lia, but not Utu’Sh’ar. Kal-Ra was jailed next to Eraquin, who was visited by Hamros and Mighty from the Bone Hearts. An overture of helping the Dark Tide with a jail break was received by the latter dragonborn, while Kal-Ra politely refused the offer. Across town, Kor was visited by several personalities: Lord Kelvin Tymes, Phineas of the Bone Hearts, and Utica with a high priest of St. Cuthbert in tow. As a representative of the overlord, Tymes indicated he had been searching for the Dark Tide for some time using L’Uber to travel throughout the duchy. He offered Kor the knightly choice of trial by combat (unavailable to the rest of the jailed PCs) or banishment for the party, as the Crown had determined the Dark Tide would cause more harm than good (enacting vengeance on the Hallowed Hundred) with the increasing calamity in the barony of Fanderword. Phineas made a similar offer that Hamros put to Eraquin, being evasive when asked about Violet Longstreet. Utica and the prifit from the Temple of the Sanctified Mind listened but provided only advice. Out west, Egg-gar and Eek ran across a squad of frost giants and winter wolves (all named Lyle?). Although jocular attempts of sport and bribery were passed around, violence soon came upon the two, with Eek perishing and Egg-gar taking a winter wolf captive with plans to make it a future mount. Communication between the captive Dark Tide members was enabled and a discourse over what deal to take was had, but nothing was firmly decided with requests for further discussion via the Gamer group to take place sometime this week.

Combat: Egg-gar and Eek dispatch four frost giants and four winter wolves, but Eek dies.

Episode 90

Date: November 17, 2018

Attendance: Jason, Jennifer, Kelli

Summary: Mass necrolepsy: curse the dark gods!!! The Dark Tide had never seen a stretch as the one which waylaid the party leaving only Kor and Grace awake, with Lia wavering in and out of consciousness; so savage, so senseless. Sitting in his cell awaiting the decision on how to move forward, Kor was accosted by a drunk guardsman, accusing him of murdering the family of his daughter’s husband. The attempts to antagonize Kor did not work and in the morning, the half-orc fighter learned that more than one family had been slaughtered with evidence putting the focus on the Dark Tide. Grace sought out the local gambling parlors, finding only a couple games, but running into members of the thieves’ guild. She was able to parlay these encounters into an opportunity to help elements of the Dark Tide stage a prison escape. Members of the Bone Hearts visited Kor in prison, offering the same deal to help the Dark Tide escape from capture, which was agreed upon. Communication with other NPCs found disorder still in Fanderword, and V-Team members Utica and Akta were no longer affiliating themselves with the party. That evening, Grace and Ukko drove a cart around the city waiting for Kor to escape in gaseous form (via a provided potion) and later took the warrior and the rest of the unconscious party members to a hideout near the outskirts of town. An embittered Phineas questioned whether Kor was double-dealing particularly with the chaos happening north of the city, but party equipment was handed over and the Dark Tide was able to leave town unmolested. With the druid partially conscious, tree stride was used to transport to the island of Baeldictum, to the Ferrara farmhouse outside of Melekure. Utica’s father was uncertain about the party’s arrival, inquiring about Utica and whether Kor was looking for another squire. The night was spent in the farmhouse before the party was warned to leave and never to return. The party traveled to Melekure, but did not wander too much, with Kor and Grace making direct contact with the temple of Erythnul, slaying two anti-paladins who foolishly questioned them. The sacrafit deemed the Dark Tide might not have the aligning goals of the god of slaughter, replying he would pray about it. Not deciding to wait, the next stop at the temple of Hextor gained a more welcome audience, and plans were set about to conscript lawful evil warriors to return to the mainland and “bring order” to the southern baronies.

Combat: Two anti-paladins question the wrong PCs and meet their doom.

Episode 91

Date: December 1, 2018

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: The party awoke from the mass necrolepsy (ctdg!) in three very distinct locations: Kor, Lia and Eraquin in Melekure, Utu’Sh’ar in Enstol, and Egg-gar and Drax on a hillside just a half-day travel from Fairwind Keep. The Melekure party recently left the Temple of Hell’s Herald, with Kor agreeing to return for the sacrafit’s answer to how many unholy warriors of Hextor could be had to assist the party with returning order to Fanderword. The trio swiftly walked to the Cherry Spume, slew the two yuan-ti guards, evicted the yuan-ti pleasurers, and claimed the whaling house as their own. Upon victory, Kor used a sending spell to message Egg-gar to his whereabouts. Approaching Fairwind Keep, Egg-gar and Drax noticed the banners of the Dark Tide had been replaced with a distinctly different design, and the denizens of the keep did not seem to mind the pair as they strode through the front gates. Questions arose when Orn could not be found, and upon Aryax’s arrival, it was learned the warrior was banished for trying to eat civilians; Yacuir chose to stay with him. When the three lizardfolk were reunited, the trio and Drax were teleported to Melekure to join up with the rest of the party. Utu’Sh’ar found Utica praying in the Temple of the Sanctified Mind. Questioning her values, the paladin harassed Utica about what her goals were. She indicated that she was heartbroken Kor had choose the path he is on, that representatives of the crown were asking for her to help hunt him down, and that she believed the law would prevail. Not satisfied with their encounter, Utu’Sh’ar prayed for guidance and set off on a quest to aid the Dark Tide from afar. Back in Melekure, the group traveled through the city, learning that their return was not unexpected. Lia had awful dreams, which made sleep a dreadful experience. Interacting with various citizens informed the party that when they left three months ago, those who assisted the PCs were punished multiple times by the factions in the city. However, these factions had agreed to a state of détente if the party returned and were currently working together to track and observe their whereabouts. Potential chances for conflict and open challenges by the PCs were brushed aside by the NPCs as groups of demons, yuan-ti, and brigands hounded the party from a distance, as if waiting for a signal to attack. Unfortunately, the temple of Hextor replied that troops would not be available for up to three days, but conflict will brew before time is up.

Combat: Two yuan-ti abominations are slain.

Episode 92

Date: January 12, 2019

Attendance: Carol, David, James D., Jason, Kristen, Tommy

Summary: Members of the Dark Tide were on edge, as they watched the three groups of Melekure factions wait patiently on the outskirts of the Cherry Spume whaling house. With yuan-ti, demons, and mercenaries seemingly united, the party shared a premonition that tonight would be the evening where the citizens of Melekure would revolt against the PCs. Kor and Eraquin continued to receive maddening whispers of what evil to succumb to. Nadia prayed to Wee Jas for guidance, only to be told to embrace the experience and be wary of death. Being vigilant to their opponents, the party was visited by Lord Adair, a representative of the temple of Hextor. The holy warrior of the Scourge of Battle brought good tidings: overcome this situation with the various factions and show a commitment to Hextor, and the warriors you requested would be Kor’s to command. Until then, Hextor would not commit to helping the Dark Tide, as there might be repercussions. With Adair leaving, Egg-gar decided to push the matter with faction forces, openly challenging any member of the rabble to come and attack him. During his diatribe, a foxlike humanoid (an arcanaloth) named Zorgralar approached the party questioning why the Dark Tide remained on the island. After observing the reaction to the crowd and hoping to provoke more, Egg-gar slew Zorgralar in front the crowd. Calamity struck soon after with the entire island of Baeldictum heaving and shaking, scaring off the yuan-ti and brigands, leaving the barlgura demons to set upon the party. With Kor, Egg-gar and Eraquin making quick work of the demons and Nadia providing support, the battle appeared one-sided until a huge monstrous humanoid appeared and engage the party, using earthquakes, firestorms, and eldritch energies to assault the Dark Tide. Orn and Yacuir were casualties when a second monstrosity appeared, destroying the Cherry Spume building and bringing the fight to focus on Eraquin. The dragonborn warrior fought valiantly, but was waylaid several times by the monstrosities, with Nadia using her healing abilities to bring him back from the brink each time. Eraquin was key in felling the first monstrosity, but a third appeared to engage the party; perhaps this was the Triad mentioned in passing. The battle continued with the PCs spying more barlgura demons on their way to engage in the combat. The episode ended in the middle of the combat which will be resolved first during Episode 93.

Combat: Eight barlgura demons and one entity of the Triad are destroyed.

Episode 93

Date: January 19, 2019

Attendance: Carol, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Tommy

Summary: Lia woke up within an inferno with flames surrounding her as the Cherry Spume Whaling House continued to burn from the fire storm attack by the second member of the monstrous “Triad”. Finding a burlap bag of rope and an usk tree nut left behind, she absconded outside the building as the fire consumed the structure. Combat continued with Eraquin barely holding on by a thread, double-manning the carpet of flying with Kor as the duo of fighters fought the second monstrosity with Egg-gar engaging the third. A wandering ranger named Dee saw the melee and felt compelled to assist the party as Lia shapeshifted into an ancient brass dragon and piled on in the fight against the second monstrosity. Again, Eraquin was felled, but the combined might of the other three combatants was able to destroy the second monstrosity, forcing the third to flee the battlefield. As night, preparations were made to use true resurrection on Eraquin, to keep him with the group, but the evening did not go peacefully. Egg-gar recovered Orn’s body, and found a journal laying out plans to crudely assassinate his master when the right time arrived. Lia slept more soundly, but still struggled to get a solid 8 hours of rest. Kor was visited in a dream by his father, Masmar, who implored his son not to fall in league with the forces of Hextor. In the morning, Eraquin was resurrected, but the PCs found several pertinent magic items missing from their possessions. Looking to learn more of the Triad, the PCs visited both the sage and head of the Broker’s Collective. The sage indicated little was known of the Triad, but he believed their power lay beneath the drow Underdark city of Ousszynge. The head of the Broker’s Collective was accused of being one of the three factions to move upon the party and was bullied to repair the burnt down Cherry Spume. Deciding to return to the mainland, Lord Adair became agitated to learn Kor was not going to take the offer to lead unholy warriors of Hextor back to Fanderword. Being vague about their return, the Dark Tide used transport via plants to teleport outside of Jutesgrove, just across the river from a small force of kingsguard soldiers set up to defend the town. The party moved west as far as they could before night fell. As watches were being set, Ukko moved into the firelight professing that he had returned from his captivity, being freed by a mysterious noble paladin. Reunited with the party, the PCs made plans to move farther west.

Combat: A second entity of the Triad is destroyed, with a third entity choosing to retreat.

Episode 94

Date: January 26, 2019

Attendance: James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli

Summary: It was Lia’s extraordinary sense of perception that allowed for the elven druid to catch a whiff of the frost giants and ice spire ogres even before the war party came into view. With most of the party suffering from necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!), the remaining members of the Dark Tide sought to avoid conflict on the open plains just west of Jutesgrove. Splitting the adventurers, both Lia and Lyle tracked the war party as it moved to the southwest, eventually crossed the Robree River, moving toward the dense woods of the Fanderwood forest. The giants paused briefly, as did the following PCs, to heed the wooden clannish warnings of the Filthy Rotter goblin tribe to avoid the forest. Ukko tracked ahead to find the goblins warily massing but avoiding the giants as their numbers were small and wintry conditions discouraged their zeal for combat. The Dark Tide moved into the forest, then backed out feeling it better to camp outside the woodland. After the PCs had learning the war party had joined up with an even larger war band, the PCs found Erx (a goblin hovel), and bargained with their leader, Voddrid, to make a war pact against the giants. Using the goblins to lure in a part of the larger war band, the Dark Tide was able to make quick work of the giants and ice spire ogres. Further attempts to bait additional conflict was unsuccessful, and Ukko was sent ahead to Felspar to determine the state of the town. The destitute village was found to have been sacked multiple times, with less than a dozen citizens left and part of the of the buildings left as a smoldering ruin. Using transport via plants, the PCs moved to Felspar, collected the refugees, then made the risky move to transport to Jutesgrove to hand them over to the kingsguard detachment. Disguising themselves as the Longstriders mercenary company, the PCs were welcomed by Lord Pallas Trauner and made plans to find out why contact was lost with Griffinhollow; later the PCs found that Trauner’s younger brother was one of the knights slain by the PCs outside of the Marsic forest. Transporting with a squad of scouts, Griffinhollow was also found to be sacked, but seemed to have refused to surrender. The remaining detachment of kingsguard soldiers were found to be protecting the persisting populace. Going against orders and Kor’s advice, most of the scouts stayed behind to hold the town from being a total loss, while the rest of the party returned to Jutesgrove, receiving accolades for their heroism.

Combat: Seven frost giants and five ice spire ogres are executed.

Episode 95

Date: February 2, 2019

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jessi, Kristen, Mike, Tommy

Summary: It was a snowy morning that greeted Eraquin and Nadia as the duo inhaled the winter briskness of Fanderword, compared to the aroma of Melekure. Kor brought them up to speed quickly: the Dark Tide were to operate in Valderin under the guise of the Longstriders. The PCs continued to push this narrative with the request of additional troops to help retake some of the of fallen villages, overrun by the frost giant hordes. Sir Pallas refused to give up the troops he had but was willing to commit to a troop request from Celesthem, if the PCs could transport them. Lia and her meditative sister used transport via plants with Sir Greer to touch down in an outer area of Celesthem, with the rest of the PCs helping in Jutesgrove; some trying to avoid suspicion by Pallas. Travel to Celesthem was effortless, but their brief appearance did not go unnoticed before Lia realized she might have been identified as a Dark Tide member. Relocating outside of town, Lia & Leilani were sought out by representatives of Lorcan Evander (leader of the Grey Men thieves’ guild), who offered all sorts of limited time opportunities to curry favor from her. Declining everything, the sisters return to town, looking to meet up with the 120 kingsguard troops when the two encountered Lorcan himself, who again made overtures of assistance to the Dark Tide. Tensions rose when another gentleman (perhaps from the assassins’ guild) arrived unannounced seeming to hold both Lia and Lorcan with contempt. Again, Lia was able to deftly talk herself out of the predicament, received Sir Greer and his new group of soldiers, then quickly returned to Jutesgrove. Back in Fanderword, Nadia reported to the party she had felt a great movement of Wee Jas to the west, and it was suspected a possible slaughter of civilians. Using transport via plant to Felspar, the party sent Ukko ahead to learn the war band of frost giants, ogres and winter wolves had killed the captives of Felspar with some sacrificial trolls, hoping to illicit favor from Vaprak the Destroyer. Two men were found in Felspar; one a farmer named Ar and a scoundrel named Rhesun. The former was sent to retrieve his family while the latter was imprisoned when his story lacked consistency. The PCs transported into the forest and allied with the Filthy Rotter goblins, then turned to eliminate a smaller frost giant and ogre war party. The Longstriders returned to Felspar, reinforcing the town, then later using the party blasters to harry the war band away.

Combat: Six frost giants and twelve ice spire ogres are exterminated.

Episode 96

Date: February 9, 2019

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Jerry, Kelli, Kristen, Mike, Tommy

Summary: Egg-gar was awoken from his necrolepsy, as if being woken from a bad dream: the party had relayed to him he had fitful dreams about his tail and Orn. Quickly forgetting that, the lizardfolk barbarian was dismayed to find the standard of the Dark Tide was missing, and the mudhole he slept in was surrounded by dozens of kingsguard soldiers bivouacking on outskirts of Jutesgrove. Learning of the Longstrider ruse, the PCs were able to placate him until the party used transport via plants to arrive in Griffinhollow. The scouts there were still holed up and excitement brimmed with news that more troops were on the way. Lia helped Ukko transport to Felspar while the rest of the party headed north to Tundon overland. The PCs found plenty of evidence of frost giant activity, but no aggressive moves were made toward the enemy. Arriving in Tundon, the party found the town mostly destroyed, but a good size of the populace thriving under the organization of a local wizard. Suspicions were raised when the Dark Tide (no longer under the Longstrider guise) walked through the town unmolested, finding the centers of religion to be bare of any iconography. More weirdness came in the evening when Kor found followers of Vecna praying outside of the inn; he later killed one of them. The next day, the PCs continued their trek west, using having Lia transport them to Esterpond. As the party stepped from the tree, the group was set upon by a creature akin to a tarrasque, outfitted with similar accoutrements seen in the crashed alien ship. Four other cloaked figures remained behind the beast and moved into the combat area with the intent of getting involved. Combat was brief with Nadia praying to Wee Jas for a miracle, and the death god granting her boon, shrinking the gargantuan beast to tiny size, giving Egg-gar a new pet; later named Hannah. As the tarrasque threat was removed, the four figures teleported away leaving no evidence of who they were. Investigating the alien technology, the party assumed the shadow spheres were somehow connected to the workings of the fallen starship as well as the machinations of Aryax at Fairwind Keep. Esterpond was found destroyed, and any survivors eliminated through magical attacks. The PCs moved on to Tamwick, finding the area even more decimated than Esterpond. The long-sought baron was nowhere to be found and the PCs felt flummoxed about how their revenge could be finalized.

Combat: An acolyte to Vecna is killed, and a tarrasque is miniaturized forcing his four wizard wranglers to flee.

Episode 97

Date: March 2, 2019

Attendance: Carol, David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kristen, Mike, Tommy

Summary: Determined to find a likeness of Emmitt Ironhall, the PCs sifted through the rubble of Tamwick, hunting for paintings or statues for the party to use to scry upon their long sought-after foe. Snowy conditions hampered their efforts, and, after three days, the party considered their work as a loss and decided to move on. Before leaving Tamwick, the PCs spied a large group of frost giants moving north along the western mountain chain, but scouting was unable to determine where their destination would be. Kor dispatched Egg-gar to trail and thin down their ranks through hit-and-run tactics. Using a sending stone, the lizardfolk reported the group passed into the barony of Shiramet (something very new to their usual tribal patterns), with Marsic being a likely target to attack. Nadia and Ukko discussed the best use of calling down the divinity of Wee Jas, and how often it could happen. Having a good relationship with the leadership of Marsic, the Dark Tide used transport via plant arriving outside of the village, and immediately connected with the proprietor of the Craven Judge Tavern and Lord Mayor Arcanescape. The tavern owner was happy(?) the Dark Tide had returned and sought to go above and beyond to curry their favor. The Lord Mayor was less enthused, believing Kor should have stuck with the path he charted out for him to become freed to the threat of imprisonment. Arcanescape thanked the party for the information about the upcoming frost giant attack and was also quick to take advantage of the resources they offered in order to help the town. Later in the evening, representatives of Hextor (an outlawed religion the lord mayor was flummoxed about not being able to root out) contacted Kor and Eraquin with opportunities to align themselves with evil deity, but both rebuffed their overtures. Instead, the warriors decided to help manipulate their forces in which the faction of Hextor would be easy to identify on the battlefield. The only disagreement was Arcanescape wanted to ensure a fair trial for the cultists, verses how Kor wanted to quickly put them to the sword. Just as predicted, frost giants, ice spire ogres, and winter wolves descended upon the town. Dark Tide preparations had a significant effect on the battle as pit traps and snares slowed enemy forces. However, after the first wave of enemies moved into the area, another wave of more powerful foes backed them up, leading to the combat ending as the midnight hour approached.

Combat: Four frost giants, thirteen ice spire ogres, and twelve winter wolves are terminated.

Episode 98

Date: March 16, 2019

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Mike, Tommy

Summary: The battle with the frost giant expeditionary force raged on just west of Marsic with the Dark Tide holding their own ground against the remaining ice spire ogres, giants, and their aberration minions, even while some of their allies were maligned by the necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!). Surprisingly, it was Egg-gar that arrived on the scene, bursting from a frost giant chest with the battle cry “White Christmas”, and quickly joined the fray on the field. He later recounted a story of an old man who convinced him to enter a strange cave, which led to his “entrance”. The battle continued with the inevitable end of the PCs overcoming the invading force, pushing back the plans for the giantfolk to overcome Marsic and met at Steelgate and Enstol for a final assault. After the battle, Kor and Eraquin were quick to single out the suspected minions of Hextor from their placement on the battlefield. A meeting with Lord Mayor Arcanescape allowed him to decide to bring the cultists to justice after the giant threat was dealt with, but Kor also disappointed the lord mayor when he mentioned the Dark Tide was leaving to deal with the frost giant leadership. Egg-gar was intent upon returning to Melekure for personal reasons, but the PCs were able to convince him to say the course. Eager to move on, but also to not allow the town to be left defenseless, Kor contacted the Bone Hearts and met with Phineas in town the next day. A brief negotiation led to a deal where the Bone Hearts would stay to defend Marsic, while the Dark Tide headed to the western massif from where the frost giants originated from. Ukko went ahead to scout while the rest of the party cast transport via plant arrive at Fairwind Keep getting a jump on their mountain travel. Meeting with Aryax, a few PCs realized the shadowy meteorological phenomena when entering the keep but could not put their fingers on it. Several of the Dark Tide members also felt Aryax was not being totally forthright with them as answers given did not seem to contain the whole truth. Realizing that time was not on their side, the party’s stay was brief and the caravan trail of frost giants returning to the mountains was easy to pick up when the entire Dark Tide was able to take flight. The PCs were aghast to find most of the returning caravan was made up of women, with few men. Even more grisly, it appeared some females were picked out, slaughtered, then evidence of cannibalism ensued.

Combat: Six frost giants, six mutated hill giants, seven ice spire ogres, and eighteen winter wolves are eradicated.

Episode 99

Date: March 23, 2019

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Mike, Tommy

Summary: From their mountaintop perch, the party had a superior view of the frost giant enclave below, confident patrols would not be looking for them as they had made their way to the area via flight, rather than the traditional means of traveling over land. The biggest discussion point was how to deal with the frost giants as mostly women were observed, with a handful of warrior men, ice spire ogres and winter wolves; surprisingly several bugbears milled around as well. Ukko sent his imp to invisibly scout out the area, finding an entrance to a frost giant sepulcher, repurposed as a command center. The tomb of Turokomin appeared to have been broken open and the frost giant warriors used the vault as a place to store treasures looted from the baronies of Fanderword and Shiramet. Further investigation led the Dark Tide to realize that a full-frontal assault might be costly as several areas had been repurposed to house warriors, traps had been enabled to deter invaders, and the risen Turokomin stayed in a lower level surrounded by troops. More imp information relayed indicated a dozen humans held captive, a trapped white pudding, and fire giants creating weapons and armor. An enemy from long ago, bugbear chieftain Derr Brokenears, also advised Turokomin, explaining the bugbear presence in the camp. Statues of Thrym (pronounced Theorem for those who don’t understand the unique frost giant dialect) had been torn down with new sculptures praising Kostchtchie nearly completed. Looking to split forces, Kor contacted Brokenears via sending to met at a distant location. With the half-orc gone, the party used amazing stealth to steal into the frost giant camp. Unfortunately, the frost giant women became alert to presence of some PCs, lobbing boulders at a pair while the rest of the party entered the tomb and made their ways to the lower levels. Once in the final resting place/royal chambers of Turokomin, Egg-gar initiated combat with a prepared contingent of giant folk, supported by Ukko, Grace and Lia. Focused on eliminating Turokomin, the PCs made do in a pitched battle against a tough opponent, harassing Turokomin to death, while ignoring most of his minions. As the frost giant fell, so did his disguise and the party realized Undulatun, the cloud giant accomplice to the Laughing Knight, to be the source of the frost giant uprising. Meanwhile, Kor revealed to Brokenears not to return, as the frost giants were defeated.

Combat: Eight frost giants and one cloud giant (Undulatun) are dispatched.

Episode 100

Date: March 30, 2019

Attendance: David, James D., Jason, Jennifer, Kelli, Kristen, Mike, Tommy

Summary: Nadia awoke from her necrolepsy (curse the dark gods!) and found herself flying on a magic carpet with Eraquin at the helm. The meeting arranged by Kor with Der Brokenears had just finished, and the half-orc warrior was retrieved to go back over the mountains to meet at the tomb of Turokomin. Having stayed behind with Grace, Egg-gar took up residence in the great hall making certain that any treasure was not absconded with by the remaining frost giants, while outside word was quickly spreading about Undulatun’s ruse, causing the snogres to flee and the frost giants to become more agitated about who should be leading next. As other party members returned and revived, Egg-gar displayed leadership by tasking Dark Tide members to help with reorganization of the frost giants, brokering a deal with the fire giants, and sending forces farther west to rescue the fire giants’ family members. Wanting to be quickly done with frost giant politics, trial by combat was had to determine Vladom to be the new leader, whereas treasure was distributed among the party and giantfolk with a significant portion left for the citizens of Fanderword, and the tomb was sealed. Lord Trauner in Jutesgrove was contacted via sending spell to relate the frost giant uprising had been dealt with by the Longstriders and the captives were sent east by a casting of transport via plants. Nadia called down the power of Wee Jas who used deific might to transport the PCs and the fire giants to the Cherry Spume in Melekure. Kor and Eraquin strong-armed various factions to do their bidding, while the fire giants were settled east of the city near the lava vents of Baeldictum. Kor received a dream from Masmar about Emmitt Ironhall’s location just south of Freygate, motivating the Dark Tide to sail from the island to the mainland. In Freygate, Egg-gar murdered a sage who insisted he was fiction, later joining the party on their trek south to Hartington Keep. More like ruins, the party was skeptical of what lie ahead with Raijin calling down the power of Kord to aid them. Kord warned death was inside the keep and it was the Dark Tide’s fate if they entered in. Not deterred, Kor strode ahead looking to confront Ironhall, but found a fully armored Utica instead, backed by several angels. Once again, Kor put the safety of the party above his own needs and surrendered, with only Lia staying behind for arrest. The remaining party members escaped and fled back to Melekure unharmed.

Combat: Someone did kill an innocent sage.