Princes of the Apocalypse (TN 5e)

Elephants and Ankhegs

Finally some civilization…where combat is merely hostile haggling. As if the costs of Ahmish silk had tripled overnight! The prices there merchants think they can charge for a decent suit of clothes is deplorable. If I wanted to wear a sack, I could, but a tailored suit that moves with the body and breathes is so much more enjoyable. I’ve even bought some court appropriate garments for my brother (and he’s perfectly comfortable wearing nothing at all!) Some proper traveling clothes and a nice cloak will should put him back in the proper state of mind of his youth, when he was apprenticing the Guard Commander of our father’s closest bodyguards. Perhaps memory can be coaxed by association with familiar things.
Mounted upon regal animals, we make our way towards the next haunted keep on our newly acquired lands. En route we are ambushed by a trio of burrowing ankhegs, which we promptly destroy. We will have to root out all infestations in this valley, both natural and metaphysical.

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Tharkun's Memoirs...7

No rest for the weary is our Imperious leaders credo. We searched the bodies and as usual did not find much equipment. I did however find the water cult mark on the three main leaders and we found a couple of keys. Then still barely standing the company decides to split up and search the place. We found out that the new Ranger had been patrolling out in the courtyard and had killed a couple more enemy but the rest took to their boats and fled.

Thoughtchaser and the Ranger ran off to the main gate and harbor gate while Rolfo investigated the chapel and destroyed the heretical shrine to the water deity. Sir Warm Hands and I went upstairs up the secret staircase to find rooms and another secret door or maybe concealed and found several chests and much coinage. It was then that we heard the sounds of battle and ran to investigate. We of course were in no shape to battle anyone and I hoped we found no one. We ran along the upper wall until we came to a tower door and opened it. Inside was some male and he immediately attacked Sir Warm Hands and dropped him in one blow. I was barely upright and felt I could not take on this enemy and so I did the only thing I felt I could do and I bluffed him and deceived him and offered him his freedom or die by my magic. Thank the Gods he fell for it and ran hard away from us. I yelled for help as I tried the little medical knowledge I knew and I felt I was making progress on him when Rolfo showed up and finished what I started and saved the clan Leader.

We had one more skirmish in the tower room near the chapel and finished off some bugbears. Our leader gave the slave made staff silver and sent them off to their homes. I hope they make it. Then we rested and looked down the secret stairs going down into the under croft boat docks. This is where we decide to go west into the darkness where I and the Ranger felt a strong threat or maybe regroup and re-supply in Waterdeep.

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Bugbears and Slaves

Ah, the disgust of slavery pains me to the core. Locals, corralled and pressed into service in the kitchen were helpful in unraveling some of the secrets of this keep. Specifically, a concealed passage and staircase that leads to a concealed dock on a hidden river.

The remaining rabble were hunted down by the party and our ranger who re-joined us from his scouting mission. We were surprised to find three bugbears holed up in the north east tower for no apparent reason. They fought fiercely, but ultimately fruitlessly.

All of the watercraft we missing from their slips, I can only assume that any escaping dregs took the serviceable forms of transport.

After freeing the slaves we initially found, I provided alms for each of them to return to their homes. I am hopeful that our good works here continue to bring honor to our clan. I secretly am beginning to dream of the day when we might restore our ancestors to their rightful place of glory.

Now we find ourselves at a crossroads of sorts. Both Tharkun and Itsari feel a darkness and evil upstream of the keep on the hidden river. I am concerned that with our ability to sustain this pace without shoring up our supply lines. We may fortify ourselves or make passage to a proper city for expedition supplies.

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Tharkun's Memoirs...6

We gazed at the wereboar leader (Grimjaw) as he and his many followers surrounded us in a semi circle and so began another purge of evil. My original intent was to levitate up out of danger and begin hitting the enemy with my ranged spells of fire, ice, and acid. However after seeing how the enemy was arranged, I thought it might be more prudent to try out the rod and so I used it for the first time much to the enemies chagrin with moderate success. I created a windwall and made a very large thick wall of wind that stopped normal missile weapons from reaching us. As they all had javelins and the fact they would take damage coming through to us it turned out to be a wise decision. Most importantly of all it bought us time to deal with them in smaller numbers as we were able to deal with the ones inside the wall first as the others held back. The battle began with me in the middle with my back to a door and the Gnome rider just to my right. In front of me up and off to my right was the Monk brother, Snowsitter fighting a guard and the female who appeared to be the right hand of the leader (Grimjaw).

On his left was the pious and good Dwarf Rolfo facing more guards and to his left was the simple but deadly Thoughtchaser who squared off against the leader. In front of me was our imperious leader who still thinks of and uses me as a scout {sigh}. We were outnumbered almost 3-1 and so I supposed it was almost a fair fight. My plan was working as we started to wear down our opposition so much that it caused our female enemy to turn into some kind of water elemental which of course made me think that we were probably near the second rod or at least facing off against the water cult. Things were going decent even though our monk (Snowsitter) and I were almost killed but with the intervention of the Gnome supporting where he was needed {and the fact there was nothing to loot} and the healing arts of Rolfo we managed to stay upright. The other guards thought it would be best to join the fight despite taking damage to themselves passing through the wall and our leader (Warm-Hands) and his simple brother (thought Chaser) were starting to wear down. That’s when we almost lost it as the door behind me suddenly opened as some female what I believed to be a war priest and several lackeys attacked from behind. I was already very wounded as I knew most of us probably were and knowing the effectiveness of the wall was near its end I did the only thing I thought I could do and used the Rod again to blow a Gust of wind at them and it actually worked. It blew them back against a wall and aside from a few swipes at me kept me alive long enough for the others to finish off the enemy inside the room and come to my aid.

I and others were struck repeatedly by magic missiles from the Priest but my shield spell helped me immensely and finally we were able to finish off the bitch and her guards. That was close and I still believe there are a few others here but I am proud that we acted like a well oiled machine to stave off a very nasty crew.

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Walls of Wind and Whoop-ass
Rivergard Encounter Part 2

After mercenary lord’s dramatic and grotesque display, Tharkun divides the feast hall with a wall of living wind, rendering the scoundrels on higher ground no clear ranged shot.

Thought Chaser falls into blood lust fueled rage and cleaves a man-at-arms in twain. Lord Stoneweaver delivers the killing blow to the porcine monster, and Zook slays the shape shifted water weird. From there it is a blood soaked brawl of sweat, brawn, urine and feces as we try to fight our way to a clear space.

Tharkun slays a cultist warrior with magicks, I disembowel one (adding to the already fluid and viscera slicked floor), and Thought Chaser ends three more before the doors open and more cultists ambush us.

Zooks deprives three more of life as the fight moves out to the courtyard and Tharkun brings the elemental wind to bear again on our enemies. Thought Chaser and Stoneweaver slay kill another three before Snowsitter drills the new company’s commander with a death missile from his wand.

We are weary, wounded and tired but not yet secure. We regroup and set about to clear and secure the towers, keep and walls.

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Tharkun's Memoirs... 5

After the betrayal we headed out to check in on a group of mercenaries who were supposedly rebuilding fortifications to protect the surrounding area. We met and spoke with some interesting birdlike humonoids. I showed them my piece of the Rod and my book because their shaman sensed them anyway and they approved and warned us of danger ahead which only excited the brothers. We found and approached the keep and were brought before the commander. When our Lord asked him to show proof of his claim he told us to leave and when we refused the commander showed his true self and in his pig like form he attacked

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Diplomacy and Deceit
Rivergard Encounter

We set off to explore our new lands. We are stalked, if that’s the right word, by a tribe of arakkoas. Their chieftain and I engage in diplomatic talks and resolve to become strategic allies. I extend sanctuary to their kind at the Feathergale Spire , Tower of Vai-mei Laga, and they direct us to a blight on the land.

We arrive at a dilapidated keep undergoing repairs. A mercenary company is squatting in residence and we are directed to meet with the lord a beast of a man named, Grimjaw. As with so many recent encounters of power in this region, this fraud was not of noble birth and preened at the notion that he was entitled to this land by rule of force.

When pressed for proofs of proper land ownership, he became enraged and revealed his true nature, a disgusting abomination of therianthropy. A swine skin walker in full revelry….clearly, it was time for some bacon!

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Rest and Recovery

After clearing the Feathergale Spire and looting its contents, several members of the part decide to blow off some steam.

Thought Chaser and Zook find a giant vulture to play with and end up with a talon that will be crafted into a fine maul one day.

Some monks had taken up refuge in a crevasse we uncovered and though they didn’t seem to have taken a vow of silence they set upon us like a pack of vermin.

They were quickly and handily dispatched. There is some dwarven structure that we’ll have Clan Stoneweaver investigate and secure for us.

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Violence and Vanquishment
Feathergale Spire Encounter Part II

We are betrayed! Hospitality is violated by our host. The company’s thanks to Zook. His warning of the impending attack save us all. With just moments to spare, we are all awakened and armed before the knights and initiates of the dishonorable Lord Commander are upon our sleeping chambers.

I take the heads of two of the false knights and Thought Chaser slays a third before dealing the killing blow to the Lord Commander. We carefully explore the rest of the Spire, leery of subsequent ambushes to find that the rogues have fled on their winged mounts towards the south.

Our victory is richly rewarded and Clan Vai-mei-Laga has new lands to rebuild.

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Rebuilding and Rulers
Feathergale Spire Encounter

Three to four ten days have passed during which the rot of Red Larch is fully exposed. I spend a great deal of time with my brother and Lord Stoneweaver’s clansmen repairing the damage.

Elemental_eye.pngTharkun has revealed that he has been studying rumors associated with these cults and has a reference book that he discovered in a dusty old bookstore. An object or talisman called the Elemental Eye controls the various sub-elements and is attempting to forward some concerted agenda that we will have to uncover. This symbol has plagued Thought Chaser since the fall of our clan. We believe we have encountered the Earth leg of this conspiracy and continue to look for signs of others.
We investigate rumors and suspicious activities. It is in the course of one of these investigations that we find ourselves out on the steppes. The groups stands in the midst of the remnants of large battle. Several improvised cairns are undone and their occupants sent back to Red Larch for a proper burial with last rights. Evidence of the Earth cult is found within the cairns, forcing us to consider that their influence is greater than just the village.

Snowsitter makes note of large raptors circling a spire on a ravine. Our Shepard guide informs us that it is an old haunted keep. So we decide to check it out. As it turns out, it is currently occupied by a regiment of aerial cavalry, an off-shoot of the Waterhavean Silverhorn Knights, this contingent is the Feathergale Knights. Lord Stoneweaver and I are introduced to Thurl Merosska the Lord Commander of the Spire. He invites us to partake in the “Knight’s Quest” and mounted hunt of a manticore. Snowsitter ultimately slays the beast at range with a magical missile. He is rewarded with a gold ring and a feast in honor of the slaying.

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