Council of Stars

The Sunken Temple

The Sunken Temple

Desmond Lunacrest, Kalec Lunacrest, Luca Hagen, and Radess all made their way south out of Thrivlen towards the Temple Ruins. Fully geared and ready for anything.  Ulric Masterson had paid the boys to go to the temple entrance and clear out any Tainted that might be hanging about.

They trudged and swam through a thick swamp for almost an hour before reaching the temple ruins. It was there that they saw a camp fire burning and small figures milling about the entrance. The four adventureres decided to make a direct assault, going up the front steps to the temple and attack them head on. As they made their way up the steps they realized they'd be tangling with Kobolds.

These Kobolds were obviously different than the others they've engaged before, these ones were covered in black scales and had large protruding horns. They'll still bleed right? Desmond thought so… After a flurry of dagger throws a couple of Kobolds fell dead to the floor. Luca rushed up the steps and engaged another, dropping him quickly. Radess hung back with Kalec as they peppered Kobolds with arrows and eldritch blasts.

The Kobolds reacted quickly and released two large scorpions from cages that immediatly started to rush the heroes. A Kobold priest took cover behind his two bodyguards and did not hesitate to begin pounding Luca and Desmond with powerful blasts of force magic. Radess drew the attention of one of the Priest's bodyguards and also one of the scorpions. Quick on his feet, he kept them chasing him while he knocked arrow after arrow into his pursuers.

Kalec, determined to show the Kobold priest what real power was, focused a great deal of power into one devastating attack. The priest was annihiliated. The priest's utter destruction shook the morale of the rest of the Kobolds. And after Luca and Desmond dispatched the other bodyguard and scorpion, the rest of the Kobolds dropped their weapons and fled. However, a disgusted Radess wouldn't let that happen. Taking his time, he knocked an arrow into the back of each of the fleeing kobolds. Leaving nothing alive.

The job was done. The entrance was clear. Curiousity quickly overcame everyone and they began investigating the temple entrance. As Radess and Luca kept a careful watch over the area, Desmond began to look at the large sealed door and Kalec tried to make sense of the Draconic symbology that seemed to be carved into every facet of the temple entrance.

Desmond figured the door out. It's completely sealed from the inside. There would be no way for them to physically unlock the door from the outside. That is until Kalec suggested that he use one of his magical rituals to open the door. They discussed the repurcussions of such an idea. Ulric only wanted them to clear out the Kobolds milling around the entrance. He said nothing about breaking into the temple. They decided that they just couldn't chance it if there were more Kobolds in the temple. It would be too big of a threat the the people of Orchard Valley. They had to break in and make sure for themselves.

The whole process took Kalec fifteen minutes or so, but his magic worked perfectly. The large stone doors opened with a loud 'HISS' as the heroes were washed over with stagnant air and the smell of decay. In the small room beyond the doors was a wide stone staircase heading downward. What made the staircase more interesting was the fact that it was completely flooded, the water level came all the way up to the stone floor of the temple entrance. In one of the corners of the room lay the decayed remains of an unknown adventurer.

The deceased seems to have been stripped of most of his belongings with the exception of a journal. Together, they read the journal of Kaz Fallman. What they deciphered was that Kaz and his friend Wyatt were treasure hunters from Three Rivers, they got into the temple but Kaz was mortally wounded in the process. Kaz stayed behind to bleed out and his partner Wyatt would continue on. Kaz makes reference in his journal that if Wyatt should make it out of the Temple alive, he should find Kaz's Son and give him his family heirloom, an armlet.

With no sign of Wyatt's body, the four conclude that he must have continued down the watery stair case. Kalec, once again prepares for another ritual he happens to have: Water Breathing. (how convenient that Ulric would give them two very vital ritual scrolls..) Within ten minutes Kalec's magic took effect. All four boys could breathe comfortable underwater. Off down the stairs they go!

200 feet later they reach another room. Still completely submerged in water, they begin to investigate. They find a couple of doors, a few switches, and some partially preserved dead bodies floating about the room. The few kobold bodies they found they ignored, the human body got a little more attention. Wyatt's body was found carrying tools and gear taken off of Kaz's body. They also found the Fallman family armlet. After inspecting the switches, Desmond activated the one that drained all the water out of the room. After a couple of minutes all the water was gone, flowed through a drainage door. 

After dismantling the drainage door and gathering some more secret loot, they continued through the other door. They entered some kind of air lock for a few moments and then into a larger room… full of kobolds. This large room was filled with several large braziers that were being fueled by kobolds shoveling insence into them. The pungent stench of insence emmanated off of the wet temple walls. In the center of this large room was a wide bladed fan that seemed to circulate the scented air about the room and push it into a system of ventilation shafts.

What the kobolds were doing by burning insence 24 hours a day, they did not know. But they did know that kobold are Tainted and tainted get destroyed. The four heroes stayed close to eachother and let the twenty-some kobolds wash over them. Spears jabbed, javelins launched, slings shot, and swords stabbed. The heroes stoically held their footing. Every few seconds at least a few kobolds fell dead. The heroes were hurting, but the kobolds were dying.

After a minute of weapons clashing and blood spilling, all the kobolds were dead, except for one. Luca spared the life of one helpless kobold for a few moments to drill him for answers. The kobold explained that if they stop burning insence, then it'll awaken Ssylacrid. The boys swallowed hard. They could only imagine who or what Ssylacrid was. They off'd the last kobold and continued investigating the temple.

They discovered a few small chambers used for resting kobolds that were mostly empty. Another room, refered to as the "Founder's Room" had six statues of the original Masterson founders of the temple. Each of the statues held either an orb, sword, or shield. This room happened to be filthy, a kobold cook was using it to make food for all the working kobolds. He was annihiliated by the party.

The heroes pressed forward. Another air lock was found that seemed to lead even deeper into the temple…

Somewhere nearby, Ssylacrid stirs in his sleep.

 

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Remembrance Day
Remembrance Day
 
 Desmond Lunacrest, his brother Kalec Lunacrest, Luca Hagen, and Radess joined the town at the Shrine for the Fallen. There, Nils Omillow said some kind words for the victims of The Wall of Man and also a short sermon on the meaning of true sacrifice.
 
After the ceremony at the shrine, the somber townspeople took the short walk back to Thrivlen. Spirits shifted quickly when they arrived in town and marched to the Great Hall where Milly Kaplon and her daughters had arranged a very special gathering place for the party that was about to ensue. Outside of the Great Hall, tents had been erected to house the overflow of townspeople. 
 
The four boys plus Penny Omillow joined the town in drinking and eating. A "Norse" like celebration, drinking to the honorable dead. The festivities lasted late into the night. Late enough where there were plenty liquored-up townspeople stumbling around trying to find their way around.
 
It was late into the night where they encountered a few drunk town-folk "talking down"  Rovilliard. Desmond and Luca gave them a mouthful. They successfully corrected the inebriated party goers and they went on their way. Soon after a certain "Mr. Garson" approached the boys about clearing out the Froglodyte village in the south, near the waterfall. Mr. Garson is a contractor from Three Rivers and needs a place  to put his lumber camp, and the Froglodytes live in the perfect spot. The boys were hesitant to take the man's money and do the deed. They said they'd get back to him about the job.
 
Luca, Desmond, Radess, and Kalec decided to call it a night. They had a big day ahead of them. Ulric Masterson is still waiting on the boys to investigate and clear out the Temple entrance. Penny was sad that she couldn't be apart of the action.
 
Everyone made their way home.
 
NEXT: The Sunken Temple
 
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Cow Tipping Bandits

The aftermath of Tainted Hill was not a positive one. The young heroes knew that their adventurous dungeon delving would not go over well with most of the people of Thrivlen. If they hadn't cleaned out the infestation from the Hill, who would have?

Desmond Lunacrest and Luca Hagen spent the following week doing manual labor. Upstream from where they were working, lumberers were dumping harvested trees into the river. It was Desmond and Luca's job to pull the logs out of the river and stack them approprietly near the wood mill to be processed. Helping them during that week was another budding young adventurer by the name of Radess.

Through the week of hard work, the three had become close friends and eventually invited Radess to join them on their next exploit. Meanwhile Kalec Lunacrest was busy throughout the week pouring over the notes and sketches he took while in Tainted Hill.  Solomon, his seasoned mentor, helped him investigate the mystery behind the large portal that still lies deep within Tainted Hill. Towards the end of the week Kalec returned home, exhausted and frustrated from the lack of success, to find his brother Desmond packing up his adventuring gear. The older brother explained to Kalec that they, including Luca and Radess, were going to set out before dawn the next day to find  Penny Omillow. She apparently had spent the week with Rovilliard tracking gnolls.

The boys have not had a chance to speak with Penny or Rover since the Tainted Hill incident. They were concerned about the lack of attention the hill had been getting. What is going to stop more tainted from returning to the hill? They had to find Rover and see what he thinks.

So the next day, just before dawn, the four boys set out east to find Penny and Rovilliard. They did their best to stay off of the main paths/roads to avoid townspeople to see them completely geared up. After a couple of hours walking through orchard and grassy field, they came upon a small farm and immediatley knew something was terribly wrong.They boys knew the family that lived here: Lara is a dairy farmer in her mid 50s, her daughter Kylie in her mid 30s, and Kylie's son Matthew. Matthew wasn't even born when his father and grandfather died at the wall 6 years ago.

What alarmed them was that in the corner of the field was a collection of dead cows. From a distance they could tell that they had been killed by arrows. After moving closer it became clear that the farm was under attack by bandits. Grubby looking men were pounding on the front door of the farmhouse, others were searching the barn, one was standing atop a large wagon firing arrows carelessly towards the animals in the field, and one large ugly man was leaning on his enormous greataxe. This muscled bandit looked as if he was simply waiting for his friends to finish the looting.

Disgusted, the heroes sprang into action. The two nearest bandits were just on the other side of the fence. Only twenty feet away. Desmond Lunacrest easily vaulted over the tall fence and continued to dispatch the two men within seconds. The large axe wielding man roared to his men and they all began to rush the heroes. There were twelve bandits in all and they were all barrelling down at the boys. Without hesitation the heroes followed Desmond's lead, climbed the fence, and began to close in on the bandits. The heroes were quickly surrounded. it was 12 vs 4.

The large axe wielding bandit began to beat down hard on Luca Hagen. The young paladin did everything he could to fend off the berzerker's mighty blows.  The heroes realized quickly that if they don't take out the berzerker soon, this fight will end as quick as it started. Kalec was immediately overrun by one of the bandits, he fought him off the best he could but couldn't shake him off long enough to drop him with his arcane powers. Desmond and Luca were surrounded and flanked in multiple ways. They just couldn't seem to deflect, dodge, and block fast enough to keep up with all the attacks. 

Radess, positioned a careful distance from the engagement, began to unload volley after volley of arrows onto the attackers. The bandits were peppered with arrows and within a few seconds Radess had managed to drop a quarter of the bandits. Luca and Desmond, no longer surrounded, were able to go on the offensive. Desmond immediately tore into the berzerker with the best he had and inflicted heavy damage. The berzerker roared in pain and with a devastating counterattack he dropped Desmond to the ground… Unconcious.

Kalec, seeing his brother in peril, unleashed a blast of pure dark energy onto the berzerker. The berzerker took the full blast onto the side of his head and toppled over in a bloody and charred mess.

The berzerker was gone, but Luca was still surrounded. He focused his divine power and healed Desmond's wounds, healed him just enough to be able to get up and get back into the fight. The battle looked bleak for a few short moments, but they had forward momentum now. Radess continued assaulting the bandits with arrows, Kalec rained down his dark arcane fury, Desmond was whirling shuriken, and Luca struck down with all his might.

The tide turned quickly, the bandits continued to fall and with their leader in a bloody heap, they had lost all hope. They each turned tail and ran. Three of the bandits ended up getting away in the end. Radess gritted his teeth, disapointed in letting them get away. He was determined to track them down and finish the fight.

Desmond and Kalec searched the bodies. Kalec gathered a small amount of gold pieces. Desmond found a note on the berzerker's body. The note was a letter addressed to a man named Bruko (the berzerker) and it instructed him to go to Orchard Valley to kill Ulric Masterson. It said to bring back his ring finger along with his family crest ring as proof. The letter was signed by "Mr. A." Desmond searched the backpack that Bruko was wearing and he found a severed human head inside. Apparently Bruko didn't get the memo about the ring finger…

The heroes ran over to the farm house to see if the family was ok. It was then that they ran into Penny and Rover. Apparently they had seen the commotion from one of their watch posts. Rover advised the heroes to take the head and the note to the Masterson Estate and talk with somebody there about the bandits. Penny said she'd take care of the family and she'd catch up with them later. Rover proceded to track down the surviving bandits that had gotten away.

It took a several hours, but the heroes made their way to the Masterson Estate. It was there that they met the real Ulric Masterson. The man that the bandits had killed turned out to be Morlo, Ulric's trusted servant. It was standard practice for Morlo to pose as Ulric whenever greeting strangers or conducting business. This time the business cut off his head. 

The heroes were set on pursuing "Mr. A" but Ulric dismissed it. He had other plans for the heroes. He proposed a mission for the boys to do for him. Ulric told the boys about an ancient temple that stands in the center of the marsh just west of here. The temple was built by his ancestors hundreds of years ago and would like to reclaim it. Ulric seemed only to be concerned for the outside of the temple. The entrance to the temple should be sealed shut. However, tainted had taken up residence all around the entrance and he can't get anywhere near it.

The heroes accepted the mission without hesitation. Ulric paid them a sum of money ahead of time and along with that, a couple of magical scrolls and a pile of potions.

The four boys left the estate. It's going to be really late when they get home. Desmond and Kalec cringed… hoping  Bridget Lunacrest won't notice they were out of town all day.

Tomorrow will be an important day. The Day of Remembrance.

 

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Neck deep in Goblins

Our teen heroes of Thrivlen left off in a long corridor deep in Tainted Hill.

 They continued down the corridor to find a large supply room and a finely engineered elevator system to transport goods to a lower level. Guarding this room were a handful of goblins that fell quickly to the surprise attack our heroes had landed. The group was surprised to see that the goblins were transporting bushels of apples… Orchard Valley apples. They must have stolen them in the night. Also amongst the supplies were a variety of low end magical components.

The elevator could support a lot of weight but needed somebody to operate the crank to raise or lower the platform. Luca Hagen went to work on the crank and began to lower the party down… But not before Kalec Lunacrest had a chance to nab a +1 cloak of resistance after a successful search of the room. So they all slowly were being lowered down by Luca, not knowing where this elevator would lead. After a good 100'... the walls around the elevator opened up into a similar room to where the started. They were still 20' off the ground and were still being lowered, and they broke into action as soon as they saw the unsuspecting goblin workers waiting impatiently for the next supply of goods to be loaded off of the elevator.

Instead of supplies they got pain. Kalec Lunacrest rained down dark energy, Penny Omillow peppered goblins with arrows, and Desmond Lunacrest executed a few headshots with his crossbow. By the time the elevator finished its last 20' descent, most of the goblins had been slain. Meanwhile Luca was working the elevator controls knowing nothing of the fight. Once he was done lowering the platform, he jumped onto the chain and began to climb down the 100' shaft to meet up with his allies.

After the fight, they dusted themselves off and decided to continue. From this new supply/elevator room there were 2 doors and a corridor. They picked a door, Desmond Lunacrest impressed Penny Omillow with his mad thievery skills when he picked the locked door. Kalec and Desmond decided to scout ahead 30' or so while Luca and Penny held back to make sure there wasn't a trap. Well… There was. Once Kalec and Desmond got  about 20' from the other two a solid stone door shot up from the ground, seperating the party, and trapping Kalec and Desmond in a large room that began to flood with goblins.

Panic set in as 16 goblins and 2 goblin crossbowmen began to charge Kalec and Desmond. Desmond Lunacrest desperately tried to find the trigger switch for the trap so he could reverse the trap and escape. Goblins flooded around Kalec Lunacrest fast and he had no choice but to unleash his dark power upon them, but there were just too many! Desmond yelled for help after a second failed attempt at opening the door to safety. Meanwhile Luca Hagen was pacing back and forth on the other side of the door wondering what was happening. After hearing the desperate plea for help he sprang into action. Propping up his shield, he used it like a plow as he charged and crashed into the solid stone door with everything he had. (Using up a hero point) He got a critical success and blasted open a shield sized hole through the door.

Kalec Lunacrest ignored all the piercing goblin strikes as he dove through the newly created escape hole. Desmond Lunacrest followed after, but not before executing a pursuing goblin. Luca  plugged the hole with his shield so the goblins wouldn't scurry through. ::sigh:: We're safe! SHHH-KUNG! The door shot back down into the ground where it hid, the goblins knew how to activate their own trap. Now the hallway was absolutely flooded with goblins. They were assaulting with piercing short swords and flying crossbow bolts all over the place. Luca Hagen stood his ground and let almost nothing through his defense. Cut down any goblin in front of him and crushed any with his shield that tried to sneak past.

After a long and bloody battle, 16 goblin corpses lay dead in a heap. The adventurers literally had to climb over the bodies that filled the hallway to continue on. They came into a large room (that was trapped with springing spear traps, Luca learned the hard way) and they found a large stone door that was operated by a hidden switch. The door had a dangerous and ominous look to it… The heroes decided to come back to this fun door later.

Back to the elevator room. Desmond began preparations to pick the next locked door. Luca wouldn't have it. SMASH, he kicks the double doors inwards breaking the hinges. Inside was a small circular room with some kind of ritual circle drawn into the floor. 4 Goblins and a Hobgoblin caster were inside working on the room and were surprised by this human interruption. The goblins were slain within seconds, but the Hobgoblin proved to be more of a challenge. After firing off an explosive arsenal of force spells, the caster was killed. Kalec Lunacrest inspected the room and the ritual circle. It appeared that they were creating a more permanant version of the summoning circle that was found out in the woods from the last adventure (A not so silent hill). The circle was not complete, and will never be completed. The teens from Thrivlen saw to that.

 Battered, bruised, cut, and tired, the heroes trudged on. They returned to the elevator/supply room and followed the corridor out of it. The corridor lead them to a long bridge that loomed over an underground lake 50' some feet below. At the end of the bridge was an opening to another room. As they reached the halfway point on the bridge, a hiding goblin activated a nasty, last resort style trap. The ceiling began to cave in on the heroes, rocks and stalactites fell from above. They all were battered down by the falling stones, but made it to cover quickly. After executing the pesky goblin, they continued into the next room. It appeared to be just a sleeping quarters and armory for all the goblinoid warriors. They did a quick search and decided that the ominous door was all that was left.

Back to the door! Desmond flipped the activation switch for the large stone door. Behind it was small circular room with a giant magical (inactive) portal and it's guardians. Kobolds! Nasty dirty little kobolds! They must have been the ones to set all these traps and were probably the ones that brought goblins back to Tainted Hill. A barrage of javelins, spears, and sling bullets assaulted the heroes, bludgeoning and piercing their defenses. They were tired and hurt, but pressed hard and made bloody messes out of each of these draconian bastards. Then all was silent. But the portal remained. Kalec sat down, determined to figure out the portal, and began to take notes and sketches of the magical structure. Desmond remembered that the 3 mysterious strangers they encountered before were here to retrieve some special object. "We must have missed it" he thought, so Desmond set out to back track their steps searching for an item or a clue. Luca and Penny decided to guard the elevator, if anything was gonna get the jump on them, it'd be from the elevator.

Speak of the devil! The elevator began to raise back to where the heroes came down from. Somebody was trying to come down. Luca and Penny warned the others that they'd soon have company. Kalec, with not enough time to finish his notes, ran back to the elevator to join Penny and Luca. They were ready for a scrap. Meanwhile Desmond was searching crazily for that special object, he was determined to find it before the strangers did.

The elevator descended and came to a stop in front of the 3. It was Baroness Akta Flarehaven and Commander Ashmore Drakeesiss. The third member, Keeper Brik Hammeroath was above a floor, operating the elevator. Akta and Ashmore peacefully approached the teens and explained that they were here for something. Meanwhile, Desmond found a false floor piece in the barracks room they were in before. Underneath he found a very expensive looking gem and an odd looking golden rod. It was 18" long, surprisingly heavy at 25lbs, and inscribed with strange markings. He excitedly hid it in his backpack and ran back to the elevator to find the Tiefling and Dragonborn confronting his friends about the golden rod. Desmond played it cool and went along with it.

Ashmore instructed the teens to take turns being searched before they get on the elevator, if they did as he said, they could return home, unharmed. Knowing that the strangers really didn't want to harm the teens, they did as he said and took turns getting on the elevator after the quick search. Ashmore inevitably found the heavy golden rod in Desmond's backpack. Akta and Ashmore seemed very pleased to find what they came for. Luca told them "You got what you came for, now leave us alone." The strangers were pleased to oblige. They climbed onto the elevator and yelled up to Brik to hoist them up. Away they went, leaving the heroes alone again, amongst the quiet chambers of Tainted Hill.

Kalec returned to his sketches and studies of the portal. He concluded there was a special ritual required to open the portal. He'd need to go back to town and speak with his mentor Solomon and see if he could help him out. Back to town… they all thought. They were covered in bruises and gashes, not to mention their clothes were soaked in goblin guts. They were all afraid to go back to town, they are just kids! The townspeople are going to be outraged! The reality is that they did what none of the townsfolk could have done, deep down, they knew they were heroes.

They made their way back up the elevator and left the cave through the same way they had entered. The rain had stopped, and the sun had now peaked on the horizon. They could see Thrivlen off down the hill.

"I think its far past your curfew, kids." Came a familiar voice from behind them. Standing on the hill, above the entrance to the cave, was Rovilliard and he was beaming with pride. His young friends did a great thing today! The teens smirked and thought "Great timing Rover, where were you when we were neck deep in goblins?"

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A not so silent hill

Penny Omillow found a strange runic circle in a clearing just outside of Tainted Hill. She knew Kalec Lunacrest would know more about it, so she sought him out and found him, his twin brother Desmond, and Luca Hagen outside of town fooling around with their kendo training swords.

 Penny brought the boys over to the circle and Kalec determined it to be some sort of goblin-made summoning circle! This can't be good. Not only did they find this tainted circle, but they also found footprints in the dirt, a trail leading away from town, deeper into  the dark woods.

 It began to rain. No time to find Rovilliard, they had to investigate before the rain washed the tracks away. The tracks brought them to Tainted Hill and to a hobgoblin that was keeping watch over the area. They got a jump on the hobgoblin and dispatched him before he was even able to grab his weapon. Their first kill. All four of them have spilled blood now. Killed a humanoid. A tainted humanoid but the shock was just as great. A sense of duty washed over them as they realized that there must be more tainted in the area, and they must be killed. 

They decended into Tainted Hill. After avoiding a trap, they engaged in battle with a small group of goblins that were defending a locked door. After defeating the goblins, and picking the locked door they continued into a corridor filled with more goblins and a cage of fire beetles.

After defeating everything in the corridor they came upon another locked door, but it was barred from the inside. Bloody footsteps lead into this locked room. The party followed the footsteps around the corner to find four goblins already slain by others and another entrance to the dungeon. They investigated the locked room once more to find that there were three people inside, speaking draconic. Kalec Lunacrest translated the conversation for the rest of the party.

It turns out these three are here at tainted hill for some item they need to retrieve. It's unclear on what they need to find, but they know of the Thrivlen teenager's presence and they plan on leaving them to explore the rest of the dungeon (let them do the dirty work, so all they need to do is come in after and grab what they need). The heroes were unsettled by these mysterious draconic speaking beings. But they chose to continue on just the same. Onward deeper into Tainted Hill.

Shortly after, a small natural cave formation was found, it lead the party off the main path about 50ft or so. The cave was filled with stirge and the remains of their last meal. On the far end of the stirge cave the heroes noticed an unlocked chest. Desmond bravely snuck across the cave, careful not to disturb the stirge that rested on the cave's ceiling. He retrieved the chest safely and after they left the small cave they celebrated in finding a small fortune of gold (well, for these country boys it was) and a couple magical potions.

They split the money and continued further down the path. What will they find? Till next time…

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They're Hatin'.....We're Rollin'

Rolled up characters and established backstory.

 Also had a little mock battle against 15 goblin minions and a goblin hexxer.

 The party hath been goblin served.

 

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