The Haunted Highlands

Basil's Demise...
Campaign Time: Rire 26th, 1352 - 9am

Following their battle in the temple, our little group retreats back to the Four Helms to heal up and replenish spells. After a night’s rest and no sign of Cyrus, our group returns to the sewers. This time entering through the secret door in the abandonded shop. Advancing further down the hallway they discover a robing room. Along the eastern wall hang numerous ceremonial robes. Esaleth recognizes the black robes as those of Nartarus’ Clergy and Naela quickly stows one of the robes in her pack. The party pushes deeper into the complex, until they discover a locked chamber. Bashing down the door, the adventurers find a preparation chamber for entombing the dead. In the center of the room, a mysterious green fog bellows from a large cauldron and vents through a grate in the ceiling. The group is immediately attacked by orcish bowmen, while two dark robed clerics of Nartarus begin casting spells. The group has their hands full with their opponents and the cleric’s spells prove to be quite effective. However, the heroes wear down their evil opponents and eventually prevail. As the group investigates the room, they find a dead body chained to the wall. The dagger tattoo on the left forearm confirms their fears…it is indeed Basil.

After a lengthy discussion, the adventures decide to stow the body in the entry shaft of the original entrance to the sewers while Xena makes contact with Cyrus and brings him back to confirm the body. Upon his arrival Cyrus immediately identifies the corpse as Basil. He checks the body and quickly packs an unidentified item into his pouch. Cyrus then thanks the party for their service and pays the reward as promised. Dismissing the adventurers, Cyrus disappears into the dark streets of the Western Docks.

So ends this month’s adventure…

The Adventurers Head North...
Campaign Time: Kiboc 1st, 1352 - 6pm

Following their adventures in the sewers, our little troupe decides to spend a few days resting at The Four Helms. During this time, Naela receives a message from Maksim requesting a private meeting with her. When she returns, Naela meets with the party members. Maksim’s two adventuring sons (Borvya and Corpus) have been missing for some time following their last adventure excursion into the Crater of Umeshti (which is a few days travel northwest of Dirty Bowbie’s). Maksim has requested the adventurer’s help in finding his sons and is offering a 1,000gp reward to the party for proof they still live or the return of their remains in the event they are dead. After much discussion, the group decides to accept Maksim’s offer and plan to set out with his caravan for the Roadhouse the following morning.

Unexpectantly, the group is awakened in the wee hours of the morning by one of the stable boys. He tells them the City Watch is here for the half-orc and that Asalia is stalling the guards downstairs. The group immediately exits out the backdoor into the dark alleys of Dro Mandrus. They make their way to the Northwestern gate and after a few perilous moments with the guards exit the city. The next morning, Naela catches up with the group at the crossroads near the village of Shackleford after notifying Maksim of their situation. After a lenghty debate, the group decides to travel directly to the Roadhouse in hopes of meeting Maksim’s caravan there. Despite trailing guardsmen and a passing encounter with Karboskian Miliamen the group makes the trek to Dirty Bowbie’s with minor delays as they avoid both encounters.

The characters enter the main gate of Dirty’s, as this month’s session ends…

Fruit Pie
Campaign Time: Kiboc 7th, 1352 - 7pm

Our group of adventurers spends the next few days at the Roadhouse recovering from their time on the road and preparing for their journey north. It is during this rest that our troupe discovers Holly’s delicious fruit pie, with its mixture of peaches from the south and local berries.

One evening in the beer garden, Bull approaches the group regarding their plans to visit the Crater of Umeshti. During the conversation he warns them not to take the perils of the crater too lightly, as kobalds, necromancers and other unmentionable things call the sinkhole home. He also tells them that the site of the crater was once a great city, but it was destroyed nearly a millennia ago during a war between the gods. Finally, he tells them to speak with Brother Frosk before they leave, as he is searching for a strange egg found only in the crater. Naela offers to reward Bull with a piece of Holly’s famous fruit pie for his trouble…which Bull gladly accepts. The next day our little group meets Brother Frosk in the common room, who as fate would have it, also has a sweet tooth for Holly’s fruit pie. The strange and brightly dressed cleric offers the character’s a quest. It seems he has been searching for a large egg with a bloodstone shell. He offers the characters a reward of 200gp for each surviving member of the expedition that returns with the egg. Our little group eagerly accepts his offer.

The next morning the adventurers set out to the northwest for the Crater of Umeshti. The group quickly covers the 80 mile journey on horseback in two days time (much faster than the slow moving caravan to Dro Mandras). The journey passes quickly and is uneventful and the group spends the evening at the foot of the mountain. The next morning they scale the slope and reach the rim of the crater, some 3500 feet above the forest below. As our group is moving down into the bowl of the crater to reach the sinkhole in the middle, they are attached by a group of kobalds. They quickly dispatch the foul creatures and take one prisoner. Reaching the sinkhole in the center of the crater they find a mechanical lift with a cage large enough to lower 6 medium sized creatures down into the blackness below.

Our group descends into the black pit and within a hundred feet the cage comes to rest on a lift dock. As the characters exit the lift cage, they are attacked by a group of kobalds. Their prisoner escapes during the struggle with one of the surviving attackers. The characters attempt to follow, but the small creatures disappear into a tiny tunnel system. When the group takes bowshots from these same tunnels, they quickly vacate the area, choosing to explore a heavy oaken door leading to another section of the complex.

Fubar's Den
Campaign Time: Kiboc 12th, 1352 - 1pm

Our little group stands before the heavy oaken door leading east into the complex. Up to this point the rooms and hallways encountered have been fashioned from cut stone. The door and lock are of no lesser quality and Bree fails to pick the lock. Before the group can discuss other options, they are startled by heavy pounding on the other side of the door. Within minutes the door flies from the threshold and a massive ogre stands before them. Fubar attacks with his large club and proves to be a challenging opponent. However our adventurers eventually wear him down and the ogre crashes to the stone floor. Fubar’s lair is not far away and our group finds a small treasure hoard (including various coins, a broken helmet, a jug of sour wine, a silver dagger and two healing potions).

Moving on, our group investigates a small room north of the ogre’s lair, which contains living quarters for two creatures and a locked chest. Bree fails a second lockpick roll and Grugosh impatiently smashes the wooden chest. Coins and 3 agates spill onto the floor, along with two more healing potions. Although currently unoccupied, the room is connected to the mysterious tunnel system encountered in the first room. The group decides to send the halfling into the dark tunnels. Bree moves through the small tunnels easily and stumbles across a cavern-like room occupied by 2 adult cavern raptors, 4 young cavern raptors and their kobald keeper. The halfling quickly retreats and warns the group. Although the adventurers prepare for an ambush, the raptors do not follow them into the room.

Convinced the raptors will not follow, the group decides to explore deeper into the eastern hallways. Almost immediately they are ambushed by kobald archers from the small tunnel system also present in this area. The characters quickly dispatch them, but as our session ends…they hear strange yips and clicks coming from within the dark tunnel entrances.

A Sticky Wicket
Campaign Time: Kiboc 12th, 1352 - 3pm

Fearing the worst, the group prepares for an ambush and they are not disappointed. Kobald archers attack from the small tunnels and kobald warriors attack from the old storehouse. Although the kobald are many, our heroes eventually wear them down.

The group braves the small tunnels leading easterly…from where the attacks seemed to originate. The adventurers find a large natural cavern filled with kobald females and young. Most notable however are three small clutches of eggs. The group immediately thinks of the giant egg that Brother Frosk is searching for…but none of these appear to match the description. The group leaves the seemingly harmless females to guard their young and press further into the tunnels.

The characters advance down a tunnel on the far side of the old storeroom. They open a sturdy door at the end of the hallway that opens into a finshed chamber. The group is surprised as a sticky web-like trap falls from the ceiling, trapping Grugash and holding him fast. Kroll runs into the room to assist, but ends up held in the trap as well. As the rest of the group debates a course of action, the Kobalds take advantage with another ambush. The group battles long and hard and eventually defeats the attackers…but not before Grugash falls from the arrow wounds he received.

I said, "Hang On"!
Campaign Time: Kiboc 12th, 1352 - 6pm

The group quickly springs into action, freeing the Grugosh and healing him. Although badly beaten the barbarian is on his feet and able to proceed. Spying a door at the far end of the chamber, the group investigates and find the portal locked. After some difficulty, the warriors eventually break down the door only to be greeted by another locked door at the end of the short hallway.

The characters quickly bash the door down, surprising the kobald guards in the small chamber. The group quickly takes down the kobald warriors and finds a lift platform accessing the sinkhole. A metal basket descends deeper into the pit. Our little troupe decides to descend deeper into complex. Naela and Kroll stay on the platform and lower the rest of the group.

As the basket rests upon the landing of what can only be level 2, a dozen or more kobalds respond to the intruders. The group has difficulty exiting the basket as they take missile fire from the kobald archers. Meanwhile, Kroll sees the ambush unfold below and decides to climb down the chain to the basket. Untrained in such skills, the half-orc makes it a few feet before his hands slip and he finds himself falling. From the platform above, Naela sees the horror unfolding below and springs into action. She casts an Entangle spell and the roots deep below the surface spring forth, catching Kroll and holding him fast.

All the while, Tristan and Jebedia are holding off the kobald horde, as the remaining characters free themselves from the basket. Not long before the last kobald falls, Grugosh pulls Kroll to safety on the platform. Battered and demoralized, the group decides to fortify the lift room above and rest.

Our little group spends the remainder of the day and the day following recovering their strength and healing their wounded. Although weary of ambush, they are not disturbed…

Deja Vu All Over Again
Campaign Time: Kiboc 15th, 1352 - 10am

Following their extended rest, our brave heroes survey their surroundings. Finding no sign of activity near their room they decide to descend back to the second level. After hearing kobald voices below, the group decides to send Bree down to the platform below to scout out the enemy and provide a distraction, allowing the other members of the group to exit the elevator.

Silently the party lowers the halfling rogue to the second level landing, where she climbs onto the rocky wall. With Bree in place the rest of the group is lowered down in the iron basket. As the the iron cage rests upon the landing, Bree calls forth the ghost jackel from her dagger and sends the beast into the cavern. Sensing battle from the platform above, Kroll begins descending the rope and promptly loses his grip…again. This time however the half-orc has secured himself with a rope attached to the cage. The rope holds and Kroll comes to an abrupt stop near the platform. As the rest of the group quickly exits the elevator, the half-orc pulls himself onto the platform.

Our little troupe charges into battle against more than a dozen kobalds, one of which is a spellcaster. The horde of little creatures turn out to be a serious challenge for the characters. Two characters, Elanor and Jebadia fall in combat, while Kroll is incapacitated by the kobald shaman. However, our heroes continue to battle and eventually force the few remaining kobalds to retreat. Following the battle Kroll quickly regains his composure and Jebadia receives healing from Esaleth and recovers. Elanor however is seriously injured and will take some time to heal. Our group decides to hold up in the current room in hopes of recovering spells and providing additional healing to the injured characters. In preparation for the extended rest, the halfling rogue sets an alarm trap at each of the entrances into the chamber…

Meat Cork
Kiboc 17th, 1352 - 12pm

Our group of adventurers spends a couple of days resting in the large cavern near the second level platform. The time passes relatively peacefully with one exception, an ambush early on by a group of Cavern Raptors led by a small contingent of kobalds. After an extented combat the adventurers manage to defeat the attack. The attackers defeated, our group spends the next two days healing and recovering spells. Initially the adventurers decide to investigate the ledge along the chasm. They find it leads about 1/4 way around the pit then ends. However, near the end of the ledge they find a small hole leading to a cavern beyond. They decide to stuff a raptor corpse in the hole, effectively blocking it.

The group doubles back and takes the other exit out of the platform cavern. They follow it around through a series of smaller caverns, encountering kobalds and raptors along the way. The group also encounters a strange gnome, Ynger Froog who had been captured by the kobalds. He claims to be from Lamplight Station, which is deeper in the caverns and offers to accompany the group as their scout. The adventurers reluctantly agree, though many amoung the group are suspicious of the gnome.

Our little troupe, led by Ynger continues deep into the complex and finally stumble upon another nest cavern. The group quickly defeats the kobald guards, including a spell-caster and is confronted by a group of angry females protecting their eggs. Grugosh, still under the effects of the kobald spell-caster unknowingly attacks the females with his magical mace. Tasting blood the barbarian’s frenzy continues until he has murdered the 6 females. Following the blood bath, the adventuers regroup, searching the bodies and investigating the eggs. They find this to be a large nest with over 100 eggs, about 10 of which are coal black. None of the eggs however appear to be the strange bloodstone egg sought by Brother Frosk…

Gimme Some Water...
Kiboc 18th, 1352 - 11am

Having defeated the kobalds in the nest cavern, our little troupe takes a moment to investigate the chamber and examine the eggs. Although none of the eggs appear to match the description of the giant egg that Brother Frosk seeks, Xena considers taking a few, but in the end reconsiders. During the break our group takes an inventory of their supplies and finds that, after over a week in the complex their food and water is running low. The group decides to fall back to the room in which they rescued Ynger Froog and send out a small raiding party back to the natural pool in the nest cavern on the first level. Meanshile, Ynger Froog assists the group by smoking the raptor meat.

Meanwhile, Tristan and Esaleth take the lift to the first level. They head back to the nest cavern to fill their skins at the natural pool. As they enter the room they are attacked by a group of giant rats that have been feasting on the eggs in the nest. Tristan makes quick work of the creatures while Esaleth fills the skins. They consider going back to the ogre’s chamber and recovering the wine and ale casks, but reconsider and head back to the group instead.

The party rests throught the night. Froog has managed to preserve about a weeks worth of rations for each character in the party, which they gladly stow in their packs. Rested and partially healed the group heads deeper into the complex. They pass through an abandoned raptor cavern on their way back to the nest cave. Reaching the nest, they decide to head deeper into the complex. They follow a narrow hallway into a foul smelling cavern filled with strange mushroom-like fungas. As they advance across the room, the fungus begin the screech. Nearly deafened by the noise the party pushes through to the far end of the cavern to investigates the two exits. The first is a dead end cavern, which appears to be a training room for young raptors and the group quickly takes down the three immature beasts in the room. Finding little of interest in the cavern they move on to the next exit and find that it connects up with the ledge around the chasm (as evidenced by the raptor body stuffed in the small exit).

The group moves back into the room to investigate the final exit on the north wall. As they carefully make their way around the strange fungus, the plants begin screeching. The characters hurry out of the room to get away from the sound and find themselves in a short hallway ending with a solid oaken door. A number of strange agitated voices can be heard on the other side of the door. The group decides to rush into the room, but finds the door locked. Bree investigates the lock, but is unable to attampt to pick it. She is sure the portal is barred from the other side…

WOW that armor is tough!
Kiboc 19th, 1352 - 1pm

Our little troupe struggles with the barred door…until Elanor casts a mage hand and successfully lifts the bar and opens the door. Our characters charge in and find a large group of heavily armored kobalds defending the room.

Our brave adventurers soon find the kobald’s armor more than a match for their party. However, they keep pressing and manage to take down enough the creatures to secure an route escape. Seizing their opportunity the characters flee. The remaining kobalds slam the door behind them and thankfully, choose not to pursue. Bloody and beaten your little group falls back to the room in which they located Froog, which has become their campsite on this level. The characters set a watch and rest the night.