Campaign of the Month: March 2009

Denizens of the Nentir Vale

Escape from the Horned Hold - Out of the Frying Pan...

Erik shoots arrow (evasive strike) into the red duergar.

Rift icy terrain’s, kills duergar and 1 orc, other orc falls prone.

Two prospectors with hammers, run up, both miss hitting the orc.

Two prisoners run up, try to kick the orc. Both miss.

Duergar attacks Heath, knocks him unconscious.

Barrick runs!

Z’alden fires crossbow at the duergar and hits!

Erik tries twin strike and misses!

The orc surrenders.

The duergar runs off.

We all run off back to the Seven-Pillared Hall.

A nervous kobold hands Felsmon a note.

We make it back to the inn. Rest at last!

Z’alden sets up his potion factory, and starts cranking them out.

We buy arcana components. All of them.

Time to go down the Deep Stairs to meet whomever wrote the mysterious note. Is this a good idea?

There’s a giant bronze magma guy, behind a suspiciously round boulder.

Two tieflings – “Now you die!” Oops.

Barrick and Felsmon both have snakes on the brain.

Z’alden delivers up some crushing damage with his daunting light.

Erik delivers up some serious arrow action. The female tiefling is dead.

The bronze guy tries to block the door – Barrick blocks him instead.

Felsmon is on fire again?

The male tiefling is down for the count.

Bronzy knocks Felsmon down. Then he knocks Barrick and Erik down.

Erik uses his super-secret “Hit-and-Crawl”(TM) power to both attack and flee at the same time.

Rift (useless in this battle), cheers Barrick on. “Go, dwarf!”

What are the two weird clear daggers?

Erik is still crawling.

We all attack! Bronzy falls with a huge crash. Splig stands on top of his body.

Why does the Ordinator try to kick us out of the Seven-Pillared Hall?

Boy, are they surprised when they find out that Paldemar the Ordinator is in league with the gnolls. Oopsy.

We take the two tiefling bodies to the Well of Demons. Sounds like a pleasant enough place.

“Mask, bell, blade, & tome.” What does it mean?

We fight two spidery things, a ghoul, and a long tentacle creature.

Erik, stunned, grabs ahold of himself and fires arrow after arrow.

Z’alden (did we mention he’s saved the party like 10 times?) blasts apart the ghoul!

Felsmon, Z’alden, Barrick, and Erik gang up on the remaining critters. More daunting light!

All dead.


Z’alden stows his mace, but leaves out his dagger in case of attack. He says, “Dragon’s Breath! My friends, do you think that these tentacled beasts are part of the challenge of which the pillared-face spoke? Or just denizens that we happened upon? I am thinking that we may have come down here too hastily. Perhaps we should return to the Hall and gather more information about the gnolls before returning. What say you?”


DM: Experience: (you are not going to believe this) adding up everything, including last Friday’s tentacled beasties, puts each character at 7487, 13 xp shy of 6th level.

Current state of affairs:
You have entered the Well of Demons. The barrier between the world and the Abyss is thin in the Well of Demons; you feel uneasy here, like some evil is always near, ready to enter our world whenever possible.

The statement from the leering, fanged minotaur columns:
Greetings, seekers of Baphomet’s boundless glory.
Those who prove unworthy of his attention
Shall be claimed forever as his slaves.
Those who prove worthy
Shall be granted power beyond mortal reckoning.
Mask, bell, blade, and tome

Current location:


Z’alden looks for a swarm of Dire Ticks in Felsmon’s sweaty platemail and Barricks’ sweaty scalemail. As they stand adjacent to each other, he blasts all 65 (41 on Felsmon and 24 on Barrick) of them with Divine Glow. At 1 xp for each Tick, maybe the party reached 6th level :-) ?


Experience points for tiny swarming creatures, e.g., Dire Ticks, are for the swarm, not for each individual. Two swarms (one on Felsmon, one on Barrick); 2 xp; divided by 5 = 0.4 xp per character; the rules say to round down; 0 xp added per character. But at least Z’alden got rid of those pesky ticks. :)


“Foul insects! Not only are they a menace but they are useless!” Z’alden mutters something else not fit to be heard from a cleric.

OOC: DM, are the characters in the North passageway?


DM: Yes, the characters are in, or near, the north entrance to the room.

I know technically no one can see the doors to the East, but it was easier to leave them in and save a little time during exploration.


Erik carefully, quietly moves to the pillar in the northwest corner of the room. He inspects it. If there’s nothing interrupting him, he’ll move on and do the same with the two central pillars and then the southwest pillar. Moving toward the pit, he’ll look down the corridors. Finally, he’ll move like a panther on the hunt to the pit, stopping first to listen, feel, smell and only then take a quick peek. One the return to the north corridor, he’ll swing by the northeast pillar and check it out too.

Erik softly states to his friends, “Cover me…”

OOC: Maybe the next stealthiest would like to shadow Erik as backup?


Barrick’s mind is wandering. Instead of his usual paradisiacal dungeons, he is envisioning – beaches! His head has not been right since the Horned Hold, or maybe before. He sits while his companions investigate their surroundings.


Z’alden, with no stealth to speak of, but with good perception, will start searching the room for secret doors and traps, going around the room clockwise (in the same direction as Erik) from the present position.


Felsmon stinks at stealth and waits for someone to come back telling him where to go next although he does thinf we should go back to the seven pillard hall and ask questions about the overseer and maybe even return to the horned hold.


Erik examines each of the fanged minotaur pillars, but finds nothing but stone. Nothing more do they speak. Peering down into the pit, Erik sees nothing, his feeble human eyes are unable to discern anything with the only light source in the room coming from a companion on the other side of the room.

As Z’alden circles the room, he carries the light with him. Z’alden stops briefly to provide illumination for his friend; Erik peers again, and sees a deep shaft that appears to widen about 75’ down. There might be something down there, near the limit of the light, but Erik cannot be sure. No sounds or smells emanate from the pit, although there is a dankness that is somehow different from the overall dankness of the dark room in which the party currently resides.

Looking down the southern passage Z’alden sees it extend about 50’ then take a sharp right. Also, a passageway extends off to the left about 10’ before the right turn. No other doors or traps does Z’alden perceive.

On the Western wall Z’alden notices that two bricks in the wall have faint remnants of paint or colouring on them. The upper of the two appears to have been coloured red at some point in time, whilst the lower of the two has flecks of blue on it. No other blocks in the room appear to have been similarly marked.

Barrick scratches himself silently, wondering if perhaps a tick survived Z’alden’s blast.


Z’alden tries to detect magic at the pit.


Z’alden does not detect any magic. But with the bottom of the pit so far away this is not surprising.


Rift casts light on a small rock (or a limb from a dead creature if there are no rocks) and drops it into the pit.

What do we see?

After this she examines the painted bricks closely. Is there any writing on/around them? Are they recessed or protruding at all?

OOC: Does this remind anyone of a certain scene in a certain book/movie?


If anyone sees any writing, Z’alden will pull out the spectacles of comprehend languages and try to read it. In fact, he puts them on anyway, in case there is writing on the pillars that doesn’t even look like writing. He studies each pillar, again going around in the same order that Erik looked at them previously.


Erik joins Z’alden and Rift at the two bricks and does an active investigation of them. [Does he notice anything?] Afterwards he returns to the north corridor and switches to his bow, standing guard over his friends as they move about the room.


OOC: Have you taken a 5 minute rest yet?

The lit rock falls down into the pit. At 75’ down the walls of the pit move out and away to places unable to be seen from above. About 100’ down the lit rocks lands on something. Piled at the bottom of the pit are many long rotted bodies of adventures not so lucky enough to survive the phalagar’s tentacles. Bones, armour, weapons and other various items lie strewn without design, covered in years of dust, dirt and corrosion. No movement is visible from the light way below.

Z’alden does not see anything resembling written language, either with or without the spectacles.

Examination of the painted bricks reveals nothing that Z’alden’s examination of the painted bricks did not already reveal. Bricks like the other bricks in the walls, save for the ancient colouring.


OOC: Yes, we rest for 5 minutes.

Z’alden pushes on each brick in turn, red, red, blue, blue, through all of the single combinations (red,blue,red, blue; blue, red, blue, red; etc).

If nothing happens, he turns towards his comrades, saying, “Are we ready to return to the Hall to get gather more information, or does someone have a burning desire to explore one or more of these passages to the east and south?”

“Erik, do you want to listen at the east door? I will aid you.”


Pushing on the bricks does just what one expects when pushing on bricks in a solid wall:


“Aye, Z’alden, good thinking”, says Erik, “I could use the help of your perception skills”. He stows his bow and draws his trusty blades. On his way he stops by the entrance to the south corridor and gives a look, listen and smell. [Does he detect anything to the south or east?]


At both the east door and the entrance to the south corridor Erik can smell something that smells like the cages from the traveling animal shows that he used to enjoy as a child. He can also faintly hear something like barking, howling and laughing, all mixed together.


Rift gathers everyone around the pit. She asks Erik for the bag of holding. We empty everything out of the bag of holding, and stuff it into various backpacks. She also empties her backpack, and then stuffs the bag of holding into it. She then has Felsmon tie two parallel ropes to her, each 125’ long (assuming everyone has 50’ of rope). She will cast light on something she’s carrying so she can see.

Then Felsmon and Barrick will carefully lower Rift into the pit. She has Feather Fall at the ready, in case disaster strikes. If there is any sign of monsters below, she will have them pull her quickly up to safety.

Once Rift reaches the bottom, she will closely examine the pile of dead bodies and treasure, looking for valuable loot. After she has gathered all the good stuff and stowed it into the bag of holding, she’ll have the gang pull her up to safety.

DM, what does she see/find?


As Rift asks Erik for the Bag of Holding, Z’alden pulls the magic sack from beneath his chainmail. He then puts a crossbow bolt into his crossbow to Twin Strike anything that might harm the brash wizard, while the dragonborn and dwarf lower the valued eladrin.


Rift, obviously a little more nervous than she let on, turns to Z’alden. “Thank you my friend for your protection, and for the use of your overly large sack. I will return it, intact, and bloated with much magic and treasure.”

She then asks Erik to also cover her with his excellent bow.


Erik positions himself to cover Rift, readying his twin strike with the bow – he will immediately let lose two arrows into any creature that threatens Rift.


Rift slowly descends the pit, all senses alert for any trouble from below. The small light traveling with her has yet to illuminate the darkness below. The previous light went out when Rift lit the second light. Seventy-five feet below her companions the walls of the pit flare outward and down, beyond the range of her small light. Below her she can clearly see the piles of dead adventurers extending to the limits of her lights. “Did the tentacled beast kill all these poor souls,” Rift wonders, “Or is there something more deadly awaiting in the darkness?”

More important that what Rift can see is what Rift can sense; Magic! Moments later Rift reaches the top of the pile and hurriedly tries to locate the source of her magical detection. It is hard as there she detects more than one source. There! A pair of gloves still attached to a huge hand. Over there, on the upper half of a headless skeleton, a pair of bracers is hanging limply on the dusty bony arms. Rift quickly stuffs them into her backpack, time enough for examination later.

A sound! Coming from the darkness in front of her. Rift looks up and realizes that she has moved away from the pit and is no longer visible from above. She backs up slowly; her attempts to remain silent destroyed by the crunching of bones beneath her feet. Just as she reaches her landing location the sound of bones breaking erupts from the darkness. With horror Rift sees a pair of red eyes lunge forward, sharp teeth visible inside a hairy snout.

DM: In order to keep the online play going I have played out this encounter, making all rolls as needed.

The large rat-like animal bites into Rift’s arm. Rift takes 8 hp of damage Before Rift can react two arrows and a bolt suddenly appear in the creatures back, testament to Erik’s and Z’alden’s prowess in archery. The beast howls in pain, releasing Rift, and scurries back into the darkness. Rift can hear the sounds of the beast retreating into an unknown distance.

Rift pulls thrice on the rope, the signal for her friends to pull her up quickly. As the rope begins to wind upward Rift notices that the corpse on which she is standing seems to contain more magic. Rift barely manages to throw a loop of rope around the long dead body of a dwarf before the ropes pull taut and Rift begins a rapid ascent toward relative safety, the armour clad body banging noisily upward just below.

Lying on the cold stone above Rift examines her arm. The damage itself is not bad, but it is evident that more than simple flesh rending has occurred; already red lines are shooting up her forearm. Rift has contracted a disease from the foul saliva during the single bite.

DM: The initial effect of the disease is that Rift immediately loses one healing surge. Unless a Cure Disease is achieved, after every extended rest Rift must make an Endurance check to determine the course of the disease. The disease might worsen, remain the same, or get better to the point where Rift is cured, depending on the check.

A quick check of the dead dwarf’s equipment reveal that its crossbow, whilst appearing to be damaged, and the scale armour are both magical.

DM: Due to her hasty exit Rift is unsure if any other magical items still remain down in the pit. It will take a little time to study the newly acquired items. Rift retrieved a pair of gloves, a pair of bracers, scale armour and a crossbow that all have some magical properties. Do you want to do this now?


“Nice shot Z’alden!”, rejoices Erik as the rat-creature gets a super-sized session acupuncture.

Once Rift is back up, the group takes a look at Rift’s wound and decides to immediately head back to the Seven Pillared Hall where they will try to find a cure for Rift’s diseased bite and then further examine the magical items she bravely recovered from the morbid pit in which they lay.


OCC: Assuming the safe return to the Seven Pillared Hall.

Z’alden, growing ever more nervous about the brash eladrin’s arm, hurries Rift to the Temple and looks for the cleric that the Halfling had described to them.


OCC: Once healing options for Rift are fully explored, the group would like to examine the magical items found in the pit. DM, what do they discover (assuming the usual rounds of arcana checks, aiding others, etc.)? Once that is done, they’ll be off to visit with various inhabitants of the Seven Pillared Hall.


Felsmon would aid Z’alden in trying to cure Rift of this disease. Could Felsmon have the bracers?


DM: The party makes it safely and quickly back to the Seven Pillared Hall.

Hurrying to the Temple of Hidden Light, the group is pleased to find the doors open and Phaledra present inside. Seeing Rift’s arm Phaledra immediately knows what must be done. Rift has contracted Filth Fever. She herself does not know the Cure Disease ritual, but she has one scroll on hand, kept along with the required components. She explains that scrolls and components are not that easy to find here in the Hall. She offers the set to you for a price of 1,020 gp.

DM: The Cure Disease ritual is listed at PHB303. The disease is a level 3 disease. All four companions, including Rift, can try to aid Z’alden in performing the ritual if you opt to go this route. I can do all the rolling and let you know the results. Odds are that Rift will take some damage from the ritual if you try this, but could be healed without further damage. If you do this before an extended rest then the damage may not matter (so long as Rift is not killed outright).

Or: Rift can let the disease run its course, performing an Endurance check after the next extended rest. For this disease, a DC 11 is needed to maintain, and a DC 16 is needed to improve. Rift, I believe, has a +4 on Endurance.
If Z’alden opts to skip the extended rest and concentrate on Rift for those hours, Z’alden can make a Heal check at the end of the rest, with the same DC numbers as above. With Z’alden’s Healing ability (+10?) this guarantees the disease will not worsen and will most likely improve.

_DM: With Rift’s current level of Filth Fever, only one improvement is needed to fully cure her. The next worsening will give Rift a –2 penalty to AC, Fortitude defense, and Reflex defense until the disease improves._


“Phaledra, thank you for your kind offer to share with us the scroll and components. We are poor adventurers attempting to rescue hapless villagers stolen from their homes by the BloodReavers. While we have defeated those scum, and rescued many from the Grimmerzhul to whom they had been enslaved, some still reside with the gnolls who bought them for some evil purpose. We will look into acquiring the needed gold.”

“In the meantime, as we have heard that these gnolls holding the good villagers are trying to bring their evil god into the world, would you have any knowledge of the gnolls, their habits, strengths, and weaknesses, or their location that you could share with us? I would, of course, like to make a donation to this temple in praise and thanksgiving for the gaining of such knowledge.”

OOC: I think that more than a 1000 gp is pretty steep if Rift isn’t going to die today. We obtained Raise Dead for just over 500. If Z’alden skips an extended rest, that means no daily curing prayers, which could be bad for adventuring the next day. So, let’s find out lots about the gnolls, the new magic, the daggers, and the minotaur scepter, and see where we are.


Leaving the Temple of Hidden Light, the party stops in a semi-secluded alcove to examine the new items. As each person examines each item the knowledge of the magic inside reveals itself.

What you learn the party posseses is:

Gauntlets of Ogre Power (level 5) (PHB 247)
Gain a +1 item bonus to Athletics checks and Strength ability checks

Razor Bracers (level 7)

Black Iron Scale Armour +2 (level 9) (PHB 227)
+2 to AC and resist 5 fire and resist 5 necrotic

Damaged Magic Crossbow (+1) (level 5)
The crossbow was apparently meant to magically fire 2 bolts from each bolt loaded. However, because the crossbow is damaged the ability to produce 2 bolts has also been damaged. When firing this crossbow a 1d6 must be rolled, with the following results:
1 – misfire; the bolt disappears; automatic miss
2-4 – one shot (+1 to hit and to damage) is fired
5-6 – the bolt magically becomes two bolts (hits the same target): double the normal damage (no doubling of pluses, still only +1 to hit and +1 to damage; plus any other standard modifiers)


Erik’s eyes light up as he examines the crossbow. “Fascinating”, he quietly mutters as he draws it half way back, intensely focused on how the thing might be fixed. “Z’alden, this is a most excellent weapon for you… when it works”, he says, matter-of-factly. He glances over at his long bow and then continues to fiddle with the crossbow.

After some time Erik asks how the group would like the items divided. He feels wealthy with the items he already has, but after the episode with the nasty tentacles, he wouldn’t mind the razor bracers or the gauntlets.


“Indeed, Erik, with the Twin Strike I learned from my father and have improved from watching you, perhaps bolts from this crossbow can help the gnolls to learn the error of their evil ways.” Z’alden puts his old crossbow in the bag of holding and straps the new one on. His eyes twinkle with a glimmer of hope that, like Bawb the Reformed, the goodness of this crossbow can be brought out and put to the service of Bahamut.

“This armor seems to be of the type that Barrick is wearing. I think that he should don it. Indeed, his own armor looks worn where the wight tore into him. Felsmon and Erik, perhaps you should rock, parchment, dagger to divide up the gauntlets and the bracers. Felsmon, does one of these items call to you more? There doesn’t seem to be much here for, you, Rift. There is some injustice to this, as you risked life and limb to secure these items, and now have a disease for your trouble. We will have to find a way to make this even at our next opportunity.”

“While we are inquiring, let us go to the drow trader Gendar and see what knowledge we can shed on these strange, clear daggers or the minotaur sceptre.”

OOC: Did Phaledra tell the adventurers anything about the gnolls?


Barrick has been famously shy of magic and magical items his entire life, even refusing a magical suit of armor in a recent campaign. But, after his experience in the Horned Hold, to which his friends wish to return, his hatred for magic is overcome by his queasing fear of helplessness and death, and he nods to accept the offer of the magic scale armor.


Phaledra’s only comment about the gnolls is that, based on the wounded she has helped in the past, gnolls love to attack in packs and always fight to the death, but they do not seem to have any damage types other than basic breaking of flesh and bone.

The party then moves onward, stopping at Gendar’s before returning to the Inn and checking on the Harkenwoldians.

Gendar glances at the party with only a slight attempt to hide rolling his eyes. “Yes?” he asks as the group files in.

Rift pulls out a clear dagger and shows it to Gendar. Gendar eyes it, asks to hold it, examines it for a minute or so, then slowly returns it, passing it back very gently. “I know this type. They are hard to create, so they are not seen often. They can only be made from a certain type of sand found inside a volcano many days ride North of here. Blades such as this break upon first attack, but the damage they do is much greater than normal. Being only a dagger I would expect this is not lethal, but could be quite helpful in certain situations. I’ll give you 350 gp for it.”

DM: Regardless of your answer I will assume you next show Gendar the sceptre

As Z’alden pulls the minotaur sceptre from the bag Gendar’s eyes widen excitedly, “Ah, you’ve found it! Thank you!” He holds out his hand, obviously expecting Z’alden to had it to him.


Could Felsmon please have the gloves so Erik gets the bracers. Felsmon asks gendar “What would you trade for the sceptre?”


Gendar looks shocked at Felsmon’s question. “Trade?” he asks, “But the sceptre is mine. I lost it when agents of mine were ambushed by the Duergar. It is non-magical but worth sentimental value to me; I recovered it long ago after a fierce battle. I knew it was hanging in the Horned Hold and everyone knows I had a qwest out for the recovery of my sceptre.” He pauses for a second, his dark visage unreadable, “If you give it back to me I know you will become better beings. And, I suppose in addition, I can offer you 300 gp for your efforts.”


Erik replies, “Gendar, putting aside this scepter for moment, you spoke before of a Court of Bones, a Scepter of Bones and a magic key. Is there anything else you can tell us about these things? We have just returned from the edge of the Well of Demons, where reality itself seems bent. We would be very grateful for any help you could give. Maybe it would be mutually beneficial.”

Erik (and I’m sure all the others) watch Gendar’s reaction very carefully. DM: What do they detect in his response, beyond the text of his words?

OOC: Erik thinks it’s good for Felsmon to take the Gauntlets of Ogre Power. Erik would like the Razor Bracers if no one objects. I think they should go to someone in the front-line,


Gender squints. “The Court of Bones, the crystal inside and the lost key to the court, as far as I know, have no relation to the Well of Demons, unless Az’Al’Bani has hidden the key there, which would not be unlike him. As to any hunted sceptre, the only one I know of is the one is the hands of the man standing next to you. The key to the Court of Bones is wrought to resemble a bone, perchance that is what you are thinking?” Erik, and the others, detect no falsehoods in Gendar’s statements. Gendar continues, “But seeing as you will not return my property to me, I fail to see why I should help you.” At this Erik, and all the others, detect underlying anger.


Rift shakes her head, as if awakening from a dream.

“My friends, I feel as if I have been gone for several days. What has happened? Ow, my arm! I remember now, it was a tremendous rat, two staff lengths long if it was a foot, was it not?”

Rift walks unsteadily over to Z’alden, and reaches out for the sceptre.

“Gendar, as you can see, we have been through great perils to recover your sceptre. Nevertheless, we honor our promises. Here is your sceptre.” Rift solemnly hands the minotaur sceptre to Gendar.

She then looks him directly in the eye. “Now, seeing as how we are distant elf-kin…” (She winks at Gendar as if at an inside joke) ”...perhaps you can help us. We have these two crystal daggers which we would like to dispose of, and which you indicated you would be interested in. Also, is there any further information you could supply about the Well of Demons, or the gnolls and their evil plans to raise some demon? Finally, just who is Az’Al’Bani?”


Gendar accepts the sceptre from Rift, “Thank you, although as to your ‘kin’ comment, your kind and mine have never been, how should I say, close. Regardless, as payment for finishing the sceptre quest I give you this.” Gendar hands Rift 3 platinum pieces.

DM: For finishing this minor quest the party gains 150 xp; 30 xp per character, bringing everyone to 7517 xp. Welcome to 6th level!! Updated stats are active now, new/retrained powers, feats or skills will be available after an extended rest.

“As to the assasin’s dagger’s, I already said I would give you 350gp for each. Are you selling them?”

“Az’Al’Bani is an annoying wight that wanders the labyrinth. I believe he has, or had, the key to the Court of Bones, and that he is seeking for the Court as I am. He is not that powerful, but he seems to only prey on the weak. Should you find and return the crystal inside the Court I will reward you again.”

Gendar eyes the group, “The Well of Demons is not a place anyone should visit. The Well of Demons was once a monastery dedicated to Baphomet, demon lord of berserkers, destruction, and mindless fury. The minotaurs of the Labyrinth worshiped Baphomet above all other gods, devils, and demons. The Well of Demons was an isolated complex used by Baphomet’s priests to test those who wished to gain the demon lord’s greatest blessings. Once, the place consisted of a series of chambers designed to challenge a petitioner’s abilities. Those who survived the tests were inducted into Baphomet’s inner mysteries. When the Labyrinth fell into ruin, the Well of Demons remained an active center of Baphomet worship for many decades. In the end, a band of Demogorgon worshipers raided the place and drove out Baphomet’s faithful. Now Maldrick Scarmaker, a gnoll follower of Yeenoghu, and his Blackfang gnolls occupy the Well of Demons. I know not if any of the tests or challenges remain active.”


Rift accepts the 3 platinum pieces, and gives them to Z’alden for safekeeping in the bag of holding.

“Yes, we would like to sell the daggers.”

“Do you know why Maldrick Scarmaker would want to sacrifice humans? Perhaps some foul ceremony to bring back some demon? On a dragon scale of 1 to 10, would a demon loose in the labyrinth be good or bad?”


Gendar takes the two clear daggers and sets 7 more platinum pieces on the counter top in exchange.

“If Scarmaker is sacrificing anything, it would be to bring Yeenoghu back into the mortal world. Yeenoghu is powerful, as are all demonlords, but not as much as some. If he stays clear of this hall, I care not whether anything, demon or not, is loose, save for Orcus himself. It might hurt my business at first, if a demon is killing adventurers, but then again, it might draw a more experienced crowd.” Gendar shrugs, no insult intended against the party.


After stowing the 10 platinum pieces in the bag of holding, Z’alden says to Gendar, “I am glad that we were able to return your sceptre. Now, while your business is not hurt, in the course of your trade, have you acquired any components for healing potions or for rituals that open doors? Since we last talked, have you acquired any small magic items that you might now like to sell?”


Gendar replies, “I do not deal in components. I do have a few small magic items now. It is hard to come by magic items, either I go retrieve them myself, or wait to buy them, but the only beings that sell magic items are either low on gold or low on intelligence.” He pauses and closes his eyes for a few seconds. “I can offer you the following,
A Potion of Resist Poison for 60gp (spend healing surge, no HP gained, instead gain resist 5 poison until the end of the encounter),
An Augmenting Whetstone for 100gp (+2 to a weapon until the end of the encounter, single use),
A Whetstone of Venom for 200gp (next successful hit with sharpened weapon delivers ongoing 5 poison damage, single use) and
An Endless Quiver for 5,000gp (one arrow/bolt can be drawn per round without diminishing the number of arrows/bolts therein; arrow/bolt must be used or it disappears after one round)
Oh yeah, and,” Gendar smirks, “Two Assassin’s Daggers, 1,500gp each.”


Z’alden says,”I’ll buy the potion of resist poison.” As he pulls out 60 gold pieces, he mutters,”Beard quills…beard quills”, and then hands over the coins.


Barrick comments that the Augmenting Whetstone would have come in handy during our last fight, when we made fools of ourselves trying to distract the creature just so we could get a blow in.


Erik’s eyes light up with the mention of the endless quiver, but then he quietly sighs when the price is mentioned.

“Gendar”, asks Erik, “Do you have two augmenting whetsones? If so, I’ll take two, otherwise just the one. I’d also like a single whetsone of venom.”

DM: Erik would already know this, but I don’t. Can’t an augmenting whetsone be used on arrows? If so, how many arrows could be augmented with one whetstone?


“Gendar, don’t you think that 100 gp for an augmenting whetstone and 200 for the venomous one are a bit steep? I understand from our previous conversation with you that magic is a bit hard to come by here in the Hall. But, that was only yesterday, and now you have these items. So, it cannot be that hard. Perhaps 75 gp and 150 gp to our ranger are a bit more appropriate?” Z’alden uses his best diplomacy in this little haggle.


DM: The augmenting whetstone works on a weapon, not the ammunition, thus Erik could use it on his bow and get the +2 until the end of the encounter

Rolling for diplomancy, adding Z’alden’s +7
Gendar wrinkles his nose, then replies, “Just because I happened to have a few needy propectors come in earlier today does not mean it is not hard. However, seeing as you just sold some magic items you might be low on gold, and you did return my sceptre. 75gp for the augmenting whetstone, of which I have only one, but 160gp for my only whetstone of venom, that is about as low as I can comfortably go.”


Erik agrees to the prices and then pays Gendar for the augmenting whetstone and whetstone of venom. Though he keeps the two whetstones in his own pouch, he’s willing to give either one to one of his friends should the situation call for it.

DM: How long does it take to prepare a weapon with a whetstone?


_DM: Using a whetston is a minor action and destroys the whetstone. Using a magic whetstone counts as a use of a daily magic item power. Using a second whetstone on the same weapon removes any previous whetstone effect on that weapon._


Z’alden bows slightly, “Gendar, you have acted most fairly throughout our commerce. May your gods and my Beloved Bahamut bless all for which you care.” Z’alden prepares to leave whenever his comrades are ready to go.


Off we go! We would like to go off to the Inn of Dubious Humanoids (can’t remember what it’s called), and ask the proprietor about the Well of Demons, Az’Al’Bani, and the gnolls. Also, if we see that gnoll-hating dragonborn, we will tell her that we have located the gnolls, and invite her to come with us to help eradicate them.

We also keep an eye out for one of those robed Ordinators, and see if they have anything that will help us fight the gnolls.

Then, we go back to our own Inn, to check on the prisoners. We tell Sosario that we have located the gnolls hideout, and are just on the verge of attacking them and rescuing his wife. We reassure the prisoners that we will be back soon, within a couple of days, and will then escort them back to their happy homes. We also stress how dangerous it is outside of the Seven Pillared Hall, and how there is no possible way they would survive the journey home by themselves!

DM, anything come of all this?


Felsmon says to Erik “I would like the whetstone of venom, I would give you the 160 gold you just spent for it.


Erik hands the whetstone of venom to Felsmon and says, “My friend, you do not need to repay me, but if you feel you must, then save the venom for our mightiest foe. We must also determine which foes are resistant to poison and not use it on them.”


The party wanders to Rothar’s taproom and enters. The half-orc proprietor Rothar is obviously not in a good mood, as the party finds him mopping up goblin vomit, the mop splashing back and forth over the body of the passed out goblin. Rift barely begins asking one question about gnolls when he snaps, “Are you buying drinks or not?!” The other goblin, still sitting at the table watching Rothar mop up his companion lets out a loud laugh at that, spilling his mug into his lap. Rothar’s glare quickly quiets the goblin. “Gnolls? All I know about gnolls is that they never tip and cause more fights than any other type of client I got.” Rift orders a round for the party, then asks again about the Well and Az’Al’Bani. “I don’t know nothing about any Azbani, but the few things I heard about the Well of Demons say to not go there, there be demons there I hear.” Sensing that Rothar is not the best source of information, the party moves on.

Asking a few inhabitants in the Hall, the party learns that Surina has not been seen in the past 24 hours, the last rumour anyone had was that she had been told where the gnolls were and headed off to find and kill them herself.

Back at the Halfmoon Inn, Sosario rushes up to the group as soon as they enter the door, “Have you found my Nadia? Please tell me she is safe!” Sosario looks past you, hope flaming in his eyes. Upon hearing that the gnolls lair has been located, but that his wife is not yet safe, Sosario trembles slightly, then sits shakily on the nearest bench. The other ex-prisoners quickly fill the room asking question after question. Most important to them is when you are returning to the Well of Demons to try to rescue their friends.


Z’alden lifts his hands in a benevolent, understanding gesture. “My good folk, I understand your concern. Fear not, we are returning to the Well shortly. Our journey to the Well has already told us much of the danger to be faced as we rescue your loved ones. The way from here is fraught with peril, and we are preparing ourselves for the road ahead. Stay here at the Inn, lest all of you end up victim to the foul and hideous beasts that inhabit the labyrinth. If the Dragon is willing, soon we will guide you, your family and friends, back to safety.” He uses his best Diplomacy to try to calm the worried former captives.


After a round of ale (to fortify ourselves) in the Halfmoon Inn, Rift stands up. “Well, let us be off to rescue the poor prisoners.”

So saying, the party carefully head back towards the Well of Demons. Assuming we arrive at that large cracked chamber successfully, we will very carefully scout out the room before heading back in.

Then, both Rift and Barrick would like to go down into the pit once more! This time we will take turns carefully guarding one another. If there is any sign of rats, Rift will blast them with a Burning Hands, while Barrick will chop their scrawny heads off with his trusty axe.

We will do a careful search of the bodies, looking for interesting items – hats, rings, cloaks, armor, weapons, wands, scrolls, and huge gems. Rift will use her Arcana – Detect Magic skill – PHB 181 – “takes 1 minute, sense the presence of magic within 10 squares, ignore all barriers, pinpoint the location.” Rift mutters to herself “By Corellon, why haven’t I been using this skill all along?!”


Sosario turns and raises his hands, eventually quieting the other Harkenwoldians. “We will stay a little longer, if you are indeed heading back to attempt a rescue.” As the crowd begins to murmor again Sosario repeats a little louder, “We will stay a little longer,” and he gives you a look indicating that he is putting his trust in you.


On the way down to the Well, Z’alden keeps his eyes open for a place that might be secure for an extended rest in the near future, and makes sure that Rift chalk marks often enough so that they can find their way back to the Hall.

With Felsmon holding the rope that will pull up both Barrick and Rift, Z’alden and Erik provide cover and have readied actions to Twin Strike by crossbow and bow if anything untoward appears to threaten their friends.

DM: Is Felsmon strong enough to pull both back up or will he need help?


Off the party goes, back into the labyrinth. Moving carefully the party easily retracks the route to the Well. As before, when approaching the well a sense of uneasiness spreads throughout the party, bordering on fear. Sticking together for support, the party reaches the cracked room. Carefully entering, Erik in the lead, the sunrod shuttered as much as possible, the party finds the room just as they left it, dead ghoul near the entrance, large tentacles beginning to produce a foul stench, and two dead whatever those things on the ceiling were.

A rope is prepared, long enough for both ends to reach the dead bodies down in the pit. Felsmon is more than strong enough to support the weight of both Rift and Barrick. With Z’alden and Erik providing cover, the pair begin the descent back into the pit.

DM: I will add more to this later, I need a little more time to go through things before I can post.


Felsmon says “Thank you for this whetstone I will use it in a time of great need.”


Assumption: Rift has cast Light on some small item.

Rift and Barrick slowly descend warily into the pit. Signaling upward they stop, hanging 10 ft above the surface of the collection of items. Barrick’s eyes scan the surroundings whilst Rift begins her Detect Magic skill. Barrick hears a slight rustling noise, out of reach of the small magical light, but does not break Rift’s concentration. A minute later Rift opens her eyes and reports, I can detect a few more items in the area, but none of which are close enough to still have cover from above. Barrick grunts, “I fear no rat. You stay up here, wand at the ready; I will gather the items you can guide me to.” Barrick lowers himself the final 10 feet and looks around, battleaxe held high. “Over there, 6 paces to your right, two small somethings, close together.” Barrick moves slowly, guided by Rift’s words. Reaching the indicated spot, Barrick begins searching.

Suddenly, from the shadows, a rat pounces forward, snarling, saliva dripping from its teeth. Without standing fully upright, Barrick swings his axe, almost casually and slices into the head of the rat. Before he can get in another blow the rat, the squealing creature scurries back into the shadows, the sounds of its wailing disappearing into the darkness.

Barrick waits a second then continues his search, finding a pouch attached to a belt wrapped about some old bones. Stuffing the pouch inside his armour, Barrick continues his search, all the while ready for another attack. But another attack did not come. Four items did Barrick retrieve. Returning to the rope, the proper signal was given and Felsmon pulled his friends back to relative safety.

Examining the newly found treasures, the party finds:
A Shield of Protection (Daily, level 3, PHB 245)
You and an adjacent ally gain resist 10 to all damage until the end of your next turn.

A ruby scabbard

A jewel of power

And a solitaire gem (Cinnabar) infused with a small amount of left over magic


Felsmon says “I would like either the shield or scabbard.”


“My friends, how fortunate are we to have found these items, again at great risk to Rift and now to Barrick. Surely they are meant to aid us in our quest to free the captives. Rift, I think that this jewel is meant for you. How often have we wished that your Icy Terrain could be used more than once? Erik, you attack so frequently, you are the most likely to have critical blows upon the enemy and activate the wonderous Cinnabar solitaire. The enchanted scabbard seems just the right size for Felsmon’s sword, and the shield looks to be a good replacement for Barrick’s dinged-one. I myself am still learning to use, and hopefully guide, this magical crossbow that has such great power if only it were not damaged.” Z’alden hefts the crossbow, thinking about how much more powerful it would be if were not damaged.


OOC: DM, how much longer until the party can take an extended rest?


Erik is happy to see the safe return of Rift and Barrick. Releasing the tension on his bow, he turns to discuss the new items with the group…

“Is it better for Z’alden or Rift to have the power jewel? Do we prefer a second chance at healing or attack? What magic would we be able to recast? We can also decide later, depending on the situation.”

“The scabbard does not slow the blade as it is drawn. It seems that the blade is ready for use immediately after one’s hand grasps the hilt. Who here is likeliest in need of such speed?” [OOC: Erik does not need this as he has chosen the Quick Draw feat. Who has done the (second) most switching of weapons in the past? Z’alden?]

After the ensuing discussion, Erik starts to collect the remains of the tentacle creatures and goul. As he tosses them down into pit he sarcastically states, “Here rats, these tasty victuals are the thanks you get for protecting our treasure!” He looks a bit guilty, for he has nothing against rodents, even if they are viscous, man-eating and diseased. It’s just what hungry rats do. Gnolls on the other hand…


“Erik, the powers that I could access with jewel would be only for attacks. Unfortunately, it would not restore any of my healing powers, as they return through quiet evening prayers. Perhaps some other magic might connect me better with Bahamut, but this stone will not work in this way.” Z’alden eyes the stone, “But I would very much enjoy getting to pound an enemy with the Daunting Light a second time, so there may be a time when I could borrow the jewel from Rift. As to the scabbard, unfortunately, my mace will not fit in this device intended for a blade. Only Felsmon often uses a sword, like you. I have dreamed of a blade in my hand, but as yet, I have no skill in such weapons.”


DM: I think I forgot to mention this above, the new Shield of Protection is a Heavy Shield (+2 to AC, -2 to certain skill checks).


Erik accepts the cinnabar solitaire. “Barrick”, asks Erik, “are you going to take the heavy shield?”


Barrick pauses, his lifelong aversion to magic battling his nascent fear of personal destruction. He still remembers his zombie-like shuffling through the Horned Hall, unable to defend himself, let alone help those around him, as he had done his entire life. What harm had his magic axe and brooch done him? Hard to say, maybe they were the cause of his near-undoing. Yet several of his companions rely on magic in every encounter… Weary of the uncertainty, Barrick accepts the replacement shield. In for copper, in for gold.


Erik invites Barrick to join him on the west wall where the oddly colored bricks are. Barrick’s dungeoneering skills might be especially helpful. They actively re-check the wall for signs of construction or repair. They look for any hints of a secret door.

(If nothing was found…) After searching, Erik goes back to the group and asks them if they’d like to continue down the east or south hallway. He recalls how they heard barking, howling and laughing at the end of each corridor. There was also the smell of caged animals. Erik states that he prefers the east doors first.

[OOC: The group has a little over six hours before they’re able to do an extended rest. It might be possible to explore a room or two in the mean time. There is a risk of a better guarded dungeon upon return, but that would probably be true anyway after the inevitable rest they’ll have to take before rescuing anyone. If we proceed now, we can have some fun with dailies. Thoughts?]


Re-checking the walls reveals nothing new.


Z’alden wanders over to the crack in the east wall. He studies it, using his best Perception and junior Ranger training. If the light is too low, he’ll get out a sunrod. If he can, he’ll squeeze into the crack to see what is in the next square, too. He is hoping to find a hidden or secret entrance or some else that might shed light on the obscure clues.

DM: does he see or find anything? If he finds nothing, he’ll go the crack in the North wall and do the same thing.

OOC: I think we should be keep exploring and not worry about the extended rest. DM, we do get all of our new feats, hp, defense and attack bonuses, just not new daily powers, correct?


DM: The party currently has all the new HP, defense, attack and skill bonuses, but not the new actions, e.g., not the new daily powers/feats, nor any re-trained feats or skills.

Z’alden peers into the crack. It is wide enough for a thin or small creature to squeeze into (i.e., Z’alden, Rift or Erik) and extends a few feet into the wall before curving out of sight. Exhaling Z’alden pushes himself into the crack, the sunrod held before him. Moving forward Z’alden peers around the bend in the crack to see that it continues, moving upward and to the right. Recent scrapes and lines in the dust indicate that something has recently moved through this crack, between Z’alden’s current position and a location farther inward.


OOC: Oh, really wanted those new/retrained feats for everyone. And, cure serious wounds would be so nice. Big, long rest/prayer session coming soon to a cleric near you.

OOC: Would Erik be able to use a bow or sword in the narrow confines? Can Rift and Z’alden still get off spells?


DM: Whilst squeezed into the crack, a character has a -5 penalty to attack, moves at half speed, and always grants combat advantage.


“Rift, Erik, do you think we should explore this crackway a bit?” the Cleric gleams at the thought of the unknown passageway perhaps leading to a secret entrance to surprise the gnolls.


Erik stares at the ground, contemplatingly shaking his head side to side, finally concluding… “It’s not our terrain. The tentacle creatures rule the crevices. I think we should keep our battles on ground that we know. However, there are two possible good outcomes that I see – we may help make certain that our exit from this unholy place is clear and we may find treasure that the tentacle creatures may have pulled with them. If we do go in, we’ll want a rope or tied around those that cannot teleport, with Felsmon and Barrick both on the other end. If it is you, Z’alden, or Rift and not me, I can lend my razor bracers. Of course, there are possible bad outcomes as well. Oh how I long for the forests and fresh mountain air.”


Erik tries to remember anything he can about gnolls, pulling back any memories he has of listening to the elders talk around the campfire.

Rolling his Nature(+10) check Erik recalls the following:

Gnolls are nomadic and rarely stay in one place for long. When gnolls attack and pillage a settlement, they leave nothing behind except razed buildings and gnawed corpses. Gnolls often decorate their armor and encampments with the bones of their victims. Impatient and unskilled artisans, they wear patchwork armor and wield weapons stolen from their victims. Gnolls don’t bargain or parley, and they can’t be bribed or reasoned with. Gnolls are often encountered with animals, which they keep as pets or hunting animals. They also work with demons.

On an unrelated note: listening at the crack in the wall, a faint sound reaches the most perceptive ears of the party, something that sounds like a gasping cry, maybe a trapped creature, or a dying one. The cry sounds more like it might come from an intelligent being, rather than like a cry from a Harkenwoldian cow in labour.


Is there any chance the hearer can distinguish between a human cry and a gnoll or some other humanoid cry?


Perhaps it is Surina? She would probably make a strong ally.


The cry does not sound human, it has a rough quality to it.

rplayer SirEdward

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.