Belhaven

Game # 1
She Blinded Me with Lightning Scorpions

Since this was the first game and not exactly fresh in my memory, Im’a summarize as fast as I can.

The party met with Echo, and learned that two Stormclaw Scorpions had been stolen from House Lorain. The party was hired to steal these items from the bandits in the name of House Ithronost. Upon investigating the site of robbery, the party was attacked by goblins. One of these goblins informed that party that the mated pair of arachnids had been taken by a Halfling and some other bandits.

At the bandit hideout, the party found the items in question, and hastily mopped up the bandits. The White Crescent, a mercenary party (including Thrask, one of Luke’s rivals) sent by House Lorain intercepted them. The party was forced to fast talk out of the situation while the two Stormclaw Scorpions were carried to safety.

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Session #2

The party investigated the public assassination of a scion of House Ithronost, uncovering an Asmodean cult which odd connections to the Pelorite church. Echo‘s methods and behaviors began to make the party uneasy. He later suggested that the party would need to lie low, and they decided to go to Caernaeth to attempt to seek fortune while the attention from the first session’s events dies down.

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Orcs and Mazes

The party headed west from Belhaven on their trek to Caernaeth Along the way, Derreth had a brief vision of something nasty crawling across the face of the sun. The next day, they encountered a band of Hearteater Orcs, far away from their standard territory, engaged in discussion with a gnoll. The gnoll fled as the party engaged the orcs. Afterward, they learned that the gnoll was attempting to negotiate an alliance of some kind between the orcs and the forces of the demon lord Morthak, though the orcs clearly didn’t trust the gnoll.

Later that day, the party encountered Mirunai Emethen and the Gilded Wall, who escorted them to the border of the ruins and provided hospitality and advice regarding delving in the wreckage.

The following morning, they entered the ruins of Caernaeth and headed through a hedge maze. Inside, they found a number of magical oddities and narrowly escaped a trapped section of the maze.

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Ruins of Caernaeth

The PCs further explored the ruins of Caernaeth, experiencing odd spacetime fluctuations. Eventually they discovered that the laboratory area in question had been used in attempts to link world with different chronal procession for communication purposes.

Upon arriving back at Belhaven, they found themselves summoned before the Duke, who charged them with the task of investigating the devil cult in exchange for gold, land, and military backing. He also punished Echo for misrepresenting the House and would have killed the tiefling had Lyrabel not spoken up for him.

When all was said and done, Derreth invited everyone back to his family estate for dinner.

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My Dinner with Demons

Dinner was had with the Ithronost family alongside Valdara, the great-great-grandmother of Derreth and Lyrabel. During conversation, the elven matriarch revealed that her father was an adventuring companion of Boresas and that the dwarf’s death may not have been what Kresh believes it to be. She also intimated to Renard later that she was dying of old age (despite her twentysomething appearance) and that this was her last visit to her family before passing.

In the morning, the adventurers attended a meeting of the Duke’s Mastery, the council which advises him. The Mastery worked out a deal with the adventurers to root out the devil cult, though the Duke’s agreement to march on Harlode came as a surprise to Korinn Vathra, the Mistress of Swords. Chamberlain Felan Dostar advised the party to perhaps follow up on Echo‘s suggestion of rooting out Ethelgrad to learn the details of his group’s rival.

The PCs fanned out and began investigations, which led them to a secret area deep within the territory along the river which belongs to House Delrenn. After an altercation with a halfling criminal group, the PCs entered the secret door. Inside, they found a dungeon adapted to the use of the cult of Yeenoghu and fought with some demons and cultists.

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Is Golfang Tribe

Continuing their dungeon exploits, the party confronted a work crew of demons and their master expanding their underground holding. After a quick scuffle, they learned that Ethelgrad left that evening for Sarubel and that there were very few of Yeenoghu’s cult actually left in Belhaven. The party opted to head straight for Sarubel.

Along the way, they got sidetracked by Golfang, who defused a pitiful goblin ambush and asked for their help with mysterious night raids on their village. The goblins sent ahead riders to find Ethelgrad’s trail while After some investigation, the PCs determined that bullywugs from the local swamp had carried away the tribe’s supplies, children, and warriors.

Once in the swamp, the PCs easily defeated the bulk of the bullywug forces, pressing on to chase the stragglers. What they found within the larger swamp area was a young black dragon which had tricked the bullywugs into worshiping him. A brutal fight ensued, leading to the dragon’s frantic escape and promises of retribution.

The dragon’s would-be hoard was looted, supplies returned (goblins having served as fodder for the wyrm), and the tribe was encouraged to stop raiding and become productive in some fashion under the leadership of Golfang. Derreth suggested that the goblins could become brewers, for example. As the party began to leave, Golfang showed them a shortcut that would make up for some of their lost time.

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Bandit Hunting

The party arrived in Sarubel at last. Outside of town, they were greeted by Bulwark, who was chasing down one of the goblin scouts sent last time. After a brief discussion, they learned that Ethelgrad was with the bandits that plagued the town, and Bulwark asked the party to investigate owing to a lack of manpower on the part of his order.

Within town, the party quickly found a trail leading to an incoming shipment which was likely to be robbed. They arrived on the scene of a brutal goblin attack and saved the sinking barge and the merchant family that owned it. The goblins had tried to steal a particular crate destined for Aric Lyonne, the guildmaster of the Merchants’ Guild, which contained blueprints for some manner of arcane device connected to the Nine Hells. The blueprints were stamped with the seal of the Church of Pelor.

The party headed to the guildhouse and met with a small amount of opposition before discovering Lyonne in his office along with Ethelgrad and the goblin chieftain.

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Full Circles

The forces of Ethelgrad, Aric Lyonne, and the goblin chieftain were narrowly defeated. During interrogation, Lyonne confessed to directing the bandit strikes under the orders of an unknown individual in Belhaven’s Church of Pelor. Ethelgrad divulged that the situation with the cult of Asmodeus may be wider-ranging than previously suspected, extending at least into the Elsir and Nentir Vales to the north. Kresh then brutally killed Ethelgrad, and both he and Theadora kept tokens for themselves.

Given the choice between death, exile, or service, Aric Lyonne chose to join with the Knights of the Turning Wheel in an attempt to atone for his misdeeds. The party headed back to Belhaven, whereupon they were confronted by the City Watch. At first the guards merely had questions about Golfang‘s goblin tribe, which had come to the area to settle and ended up in Hobb’s Pit. After a minute or two, however, it became apparent that the City Watch wanted more from them.

House Delrenn had made allegations against the party relating to their actions on the waterfront. Thankfully, the Inspector in charge of the investigation was Renard’s brother Weyland, who agreed to cover for the group but asked them to produce a plausible alibi, which was easily done.

The infernal device was brought to Master Drake, who inferred that it was a component of a vast summoning circle meant to bridge the world and the Nine Hells. Its purpose might have been to bring through an army or to bring through a powerful devil at least on the order of an Archdevil if not Asmodeus himself. He sent the party to an abandoned lair of a steel dragon to find the Rod of Seven Parts, which he felt would at the very least help in confronting the threat if not figuring out where the rest of the device might be.

On the way to the lair, the party was waylaid by orcs during a thunderstorm on top of a waterfall, which was awesome.

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Dragon's Lair

The party navigated its way through the lair of Echilacastryx the steel dragon, beset on all side by oozes, automata, and the undead. After a long and arduous journey, the party laid the dragon’s wraith to rest and claimed its treasures, including the Rod of Seven Parts. Outside, orcs gathered to await the party’s exit.

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Homecoming

The orcs outside, under the command of the Blackhammer, offered to escort the party home. Suspicions were of course raised. Gruzer, an orog of the Hearteaters, took exception and demanded that the Blackhammer kill the party. Blackhammer informed Gruzer that if he wanted it done, he could do it himself; Blackhammer then informed the party that it would be best to take care of the situation immediately since a confrontation with Gruzer was inevitable. the party of course bested Gruzer and cowed the rest of the warband.

The warband escorted the party to the edges of the forest, claiming that beyond that point lay the land of elves. Within the forest, the party confronted some bandit drow who turned out to be cut off from access to their homeland. After brief negotiations, the party gave the drow some of their supplies and went on their way.

In town, the following things happened:

  • Theadora got noticed by some ghosts, and learned that the dead fear her.
  • Kresh pumped up his legend, got drunk, and got some from an impressionable foreigner.
  • Luke discovered that his father had taken his advice and sent some of the clowder off to join the Order of the Turning Wheel.
  • Lyrabel and Derreth learned a number of things, including that Thrask had been looking for Luke, and that Luke was not exactly as squeaky clean as he seemed.
  • Renard left some money for his parents, inflated his parents’ standing with the Temple of Kord, and learned that he fathered a child with Mirunai Emethen.

Later, the party gathered at the Duke’s Mastery at the request of the Chamberlain. There, they met with Dominic (inquisitor within the Church of Pelor) and Caladir Emethen (a Bishop within the Church). Word of the diabolical cult within the Church had gotten out somehow and the Pelorites wished to work with the party in investigating the issue, although Dominic seemed more interested in pinning blame on Derreth than anything else and so got himself ejected from the meeting.

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