Campaign of the Month: March 2009

Denizens of the Nentir Vale

Party for a Pretty Girl

Fallcrest was such a simple town. It was a good place to stoke the fires of commerce and nurture a growing family. The pretty, young girl laughed and giggled with her girlfriends as they teased the shopkeeper. His fine porcelain figurines dangerously danced on their finger tips and he could not figure out which of the three pranksters to go after as they separated to different corners of his shop.

Shopkeep: Elena, if your father was here I’d, I’d…

His red face and stammering was made only worse by Elena mocking him as she scrunched up her face to mimic his frustration. With that she burst out in full laughter, looked the shopkeep in the eyes and dropped the carefully crafted dragon miniature to the ground. Her eyes studied him intently as he looked down in sadness at the dragon’s broken wings. Then, with a whirl, she ran out of the shop. Her friends followed quickly and continued to laugh.

The three adventurers continued their pranks down the street and open market, never missing a chance to pull on the loose end of a maiden’s apron strings or snatch a tasty fruit from an open cart, with the other two distracting. Such was Fallcrest. Kids will be kids and the the townsfolk were used to such shenanigans. It was a dangerous world outside of the town and so a little prank here and there was paid no heed.

As the sun set the girls cruised for more fun, but it was not to be. Finnegan, one of the stablehands at Elena’s estate caught up with the three. Elena was to report immediately to her uncle. With that news, the other two girls departed and Elena scurried back to the house. It was one of the older properties, but had undergone much work over recent years as her father’s business grew more and more successful. Now it had high walls around its perimeter and a lavish courtyard between the gate and the main entrance. Still, despite its extravagant nature, it felt somewhat dark and lonely as an enclave cut off from the vibrancy of the city center.

Elena slowly opened one of the giant double doors and slipped through. Before her was the long great room with high ceilings. Items of warrior antiquity lined the walls at appropriate intervals: suits of various kinds of armor, spears and swords. None of it ever wielded by her father but greatly admired by him and used to inflate his status among other businessmen and high society. It was a proper feast chamber. So, naturally, out before Elena stretched a long table, able to seat perhaps twenty on a side. At its far end was the master’s high-backed chair, and behind that a couple of steps up to a raised area that could be used as a sort of stage to speak to the seated guests.

Upon this stage now sat a white haired man, elbow on the armrest, long fingers stroking his chin. His thin body did not fit the chair too well, but he thought it suited him as it had been finely crafted specially for a man of importance – Elena’s father.

Elena: Uncle, you have sent for me?

Uncle: Come.

With that, the thin man moved from the chair and left the room through one of its back doors. Elena scurried to catch up. It was hard to follow him through the dimly lit corridors and he made so little sound that Elena had to guess where he was going. To his small chamber she went. His bed cloth still lay on the cold stone and that is where he sat. His spindly fingers held it – the orb.

Uncle: Sit. You are intrigued, no? Watch.

Elena dutifully sat facing the man. The dark chamber lit up with a long shadow of her uncle cast upon the stone wall. It frightened her, for though the man was smallish of stature, weathered and wiry, this shadow upon the wall was huge and menacing as the light caused it to flicker and shift.

Soon the orb grabbed all of Elena’s attention and she relaxed. Swirling clouds within the orb disolved and a sandy beach came into view. So too did the form of a dragon, some raggedy troglodytes and the five adventurers. Plus there was another, a young lady clearly out of her element and looking terrified. Elena’s heart grew excited when she saw the red-head – the sorceress to whom she could only imagine a persona. An idol. The wizard too. Strong women, like Elena wanted to be.

The orb’s images flickered and its master’s hand moved skillfully to clear the view. A nasty fog lay over the scene, making things difficult to see. For the adventurers it was a much more serious thing. The caustic fog burnt their lungs and eyes. They could just make out the shape of the great dragon Aurumendor, chained to an obelisk. Since last seeing the dragon held captive in the lake, the obelisk had grown so much that it was now pulling the dragon out of the water, by its chain. The chain glowed with a green hew that seemed to perhaps be the very life force of the great beast.

Quickly, the wizard cast a magical hand that carried a silver key to the dragon. With a bit of luck, the wizard was able to unlock the dragon’s collar. Yet the task was not complete, so the sorceress teleported to the obelisk and in a feat of great acrobatics, hung upside down, legs wrapped around the chain, hands dangling down to remove the collar and free the dragon. With freedom came a splash, as its nearly lifeless body fell into the dangerous waters. The orb showed that this was not at all pleasing to the Paladin Felsmon, a dragonborn whose kinship to the beast needed no explaining.

Elena and the master watched the battle unfold…

The adventurers rushed in to attack the troglodytes, but they were not ordinary creatures. Their flesh hung loosely off of their bodies as it is with the undead. If only the cleric Z’alden was there to dispel them. No. With blade and bow did the melee rage. The leader taunted the adventurers with how he, General Guano, would complete the transfer of the dragon’s energies to the great army that lay within the obelisk. Kengistan, home of the dragonborn, would soon be overrun and destroyed by means of the very life force of a dragon. Guano reveled in the irony.

Yet the forces of good were strong too. The stout dwarf, Barrick, raised up the Key of Bonderstrong and axes rained down upon his enemies. Acid and necrotic attacks were withstood as the Rift used her wizardly staff of elemental energy to protect the dwarf and other comrades. The dragonborn warrior’s might breath felled many an undead troglodyte as the evil general sought to release more evil warriors from obelisk.

Yet the crafty wizard had done more to thwart his plans. After ranger Erik had knocked Guano prone, the general’s skull tipped club lay on the beach and the clever wizard had grabbed it with her magical hand. Now the general was quite displeased and began showing signs of severe distress as he specifically targeted the wizard. Rift’s friends protected her, stopping the general’s advance as best they could.

All the while, the red-headed sorceress, Tira, was attacking the obelisk. To some effect, she could better discern the nature of the construction. Alas, its attacks on her were too much to endure, so she levitated away from it.

At that point Elena let out a suppressed cheer and soft hand clap, briefly breaking the uncle’s concentration.

The battle continued, now with the wizard blinded by attacks and on the deck, seeking a respite from the fray. General Guano sought his club, which gave him some powerful connection to the obelisk and the army that lay within. He moved toward the prone wizard.

Now, the key, the Key of Bonderstrong! Its powers stirred within the dwarf’s heart and he knew what he must do. Now was the time. The battle with Guano and the remaining troglodytes must be left to the others. Now was the time to fulfill the destiny of the key!

Pivoting in the sand, Barrick’s feet dug in securely to start his sprint and his fist reached toward the sky with key in its grasp. Off he went and with an acrobatic leap he bounded onto the dragon’s back and toward the obelisk. The key knew its part too and in concert it transformed into a great pick axe. Filled with the sense that he could destroy all of the evil in this wretched place, Barrick swung his mightiest stroke with the pick. Deeply into the obelisk it did sink.

A sphere of fiery energy began to emanate from the Pick of Bonderstrong and as it expanded its incredible energy affected all within its radius. Consumed within the sphere, the obelisk disintegrated in place and the screams of the warriors within were inflicted no more. General Guano turned to look and as the growing sphere engulfed him his outstretched arms could do nothing to hold back the sphere. He mouthed a silent cry as the sphere quickly moved up past his arms, turning them to fine dust before his very eyes. Then he was no more.

Elena: Cool!

The adventurers felt something quite different. Within the sphere they felt warmth and goodness. Their wounds quickly healed and they marveled at the transformations around them. The water turned pure again and so did the surrounding forest. The earth trembled as off in the distance the temple of evil imploded. Destroyed.

Now attention turned to the dragon. The Paladin organized his friends into a team that pulled the dragon from the waters. With the recovered golden claws and tail laid out around the dragon Aurumendor, the dragonborn warrior performed his ritual of healing. To their amazement, the dismembered parts slid back to their proper positions and rejoined the dragon, now fully whole again.

After a moment of studying his surrounding, the dragon regained his bearings and raised his head up above the adventurers. Gazing down upon them, he spoke:

Aurumendor: I am in the presence of more than heros. Thank you.

With that his lungs filled full with the now fresh air and he breathed. The humans, elves and dwarf amongst them squinted and braced, but the dragonborn knew that this breath was of a different sort. It was sweet to the smell and warm to the soul. All of the adventurers felt renewed and enhanced in strength. They were now more. Stronger. Smarter. More skilled. Their quest burned strong in their hearts and so did their resolve.

The dragon spoke again.

Aurumendor: Time is fleeting. I must soon bless the unborn dragonborn, lest they hatch into dracomen and unleash a terrible force upon not only Kengistan, but all good lands. You are the friends of Aurumendor, so to you I must repay.

Rift: How about a ride on your back?

Aurumendor: (With a sense of annoyance and regret.) Hmmm. Yes. Okay. This once.

With that, the five adventurers and the young farmer’s daughter, Xeriope, climbed upon the dragon’s back and took flight.

Panning quickly, the master struggled to keep up with the dragon’s quick movements across the sky. Its prowess was an amazing sight to behold and Elena’s jaw dropped. So how she wished to have such adventures. The man and Elena relaxed beside the orb as the dragon ferried the adventures over hill and field. With a stop at the Xeriope’s home, there was much rejoicing. Her father’s tears showed the appreciation he had for the adventurers and their rescue of his beloved Xeriope. A small drink of his finest was given out in celebration. Empty of wine but full of joy, the adventurers left him.

Soon the dragon swooped over Mount Hol’dna. Tira’s amulet had been drawing her to this rocky and foreboding stone. After spiraling in (Aurumendor’s signature move) the dragon landed outside a cave entrance. A quick dragon breath down its throat to clear out any immediate nasties and the adventurers were off. Excited and with renewed energy, the Paladin dragonborn lead the way. It was more of a charge. Oddly, the ranger was in the rear.

As he looked into the orb, the master could not believe what he was seeing. He shook his head and grinned.

Into a large chamber the adventurers stumbled whereupon they were greeted by a fireball from a pair of skulls. The skulls’ mocking of the adventurers was short lived for their fire was muted by the wizard’s quick use of her staff of elemental power, which blunted the attack. The owlbear that appeared next was in no mood for joking, as it charged the paladin who was in the lead. A mighty blow it was and the dragonborn reeled at the force of this strange creature. Yet the wizard, Rift, once again answered the attack with a powerful blow of her own – a tornado of sorts that would spell the beginning of a furious end to the owlbear. First the ranger would pierce it with two arrows and then the sorceress would set the beast on fire, its fur smoking as it connected once again with the paladin, who would soon be blinded by one of the skulls. Ah, to be on the sharp end. So too was the owlbear, pummeled by Rift’s spectral ram, teleported up high only to fall and sustain more damage. Lying prone on the ground, the owlbear took another arrow from the ranger and never did breathe again.


The battle with the two skulls continued with a game of cat and mouse as the five adventurers hunted them and pushed them back further and further into their chamber.

Elena: (Thinking to herself.) Skulls are cool and all that, but just kill them already.

Soon the battle was over. The skulls had tried to escape their fate by flying high above the adventurers but with ranged attacks they had been felled. No more mocking, though the adventurers could have easily been ridiculed as they attempted to disarm flame traps by using the smoldering carcass of the owlbear as a shield. All for a lousy 600 gold pieces.

Elena: Master, how long will this go on? I want to see someone die or something.

The man cast a stern eye toward the young lady. Elena had forgotten her place for just a moment. She knew that this man was very serious indeed and that her little act was a great annoyance to him. With eyes cast back down on the orb, she continued to watch quietly.

Soon the adventurers had healed and steeled themselves for the next battle. This time they carefully crept forward with the ranger in the lead. Foot traffic had passed this way, some human, some with large claws. As the path sloped upward it grew unnaturally cold. In the distance, a human could be seen midway through a large chamber. But this was surely no friend, for he wore a symbol of Dis and behind him the ranger could spy several spiny devils with long wicked claws and, of course, spines. These types had been encountered before in the Horned Hold and the adventurers knew them all too well, with their poison dripping quills that could be shot out a great distance.

A horrible moaning could occasionally be heard as if many men and women were suffering through captivity in a pit.

Erik the ranger paused at the entrance to the cavern but the sorceress entered further, readying her chaos bolt to respond to any aggression. Through the dim light she could see another human. Then Erik let loose an arrow. It flew true and struck the human follower of Dis in the chest, dropping him to the floor. The battle was underway.

Rushing to the fore, Barrick engaged the enemy but was soon surrounded by more humans – and a squadron of spiny devils. Then another squadron of devils appeared and the adventurers were feeling completely overwhelmed. Spines flew and struck their marks, leaving a trail of poison coursing through the valiant adventurers. Further still, a very large devil came into view, flapping his leather wings, twitching his tail and menacingly lofting his deadly trident.

At this point the orb began to flicker and its light fluctuated.

Elena: What’s wrong?!

The man waved his hands over the orb, attempting to regain focus. Elena knew that the orb would soon no longer be able to see the battle. “Just a little longer”, she silently pleaded.

The wizard’s ice storm froze the spiny devils in their tracks, giving her compatriots time to do more damage to them. The sorceress’ tempest surge. The fighter’s sweeping blows. Perhaps the adventurers could stand against so many. Perhaps they would get continued luck for as the large devil struck at them he would miss. Moreover, the dwarf had found his calling and to be a giant slayer it was. Such a stout creature could deal so much damage to a large one and that’s exactly what Barrick did to daze the giant devil.

Not to be outdone, the ranger stowed his bow and joined the fray up close and personal. The devil must fall! Four strikes from the ranger left the devil bleeding for many more exchanges to come. This must have greatly angered the devil for he cast a ring of fire around Erik and set his spiny devils upon the ranger, stinging him with their horrible poison. To make matters worse, all of the spiny devils were on the move again, so Rift cast forth silver energy from her staff, bringing many of them out of the air and onto the ground. Black ichor spilled out from within, but they kept coming.

The orb flickered some more and the view became a bit fuzzy.


What could be seen, though, was one of the greatest attacks yet witnessed by the young Elena. The dragonborn paladin revealed his true potential and amazed even his comrades, for in just one quick series of attacks he both froze and electrified no fewer than eight spiny devils, killing one outright and leaving the rest to seriously consider their mortality. The dragonborn’s breath was truly a sight to behold. Now it was easier for the paladin’s comrades to finish off the spiny devils and so that is what they did.

No valiant deed need go unpunished, and so the large devil retrained his focus on the paladin, pushing him back and knocking him prone. Yet the dragonborn still smiled for his last attack had turned the tide. Surely the large devil knew it too and his punishing deed went not unpunished by Erik who stood by his paladin and struck the large devil severely. All the while, more spiny devils fell.

Just as the orb finally lost its connection, Elena and the man could see the brave paladin rise and strike the great devil with what looked to be a final blow.

Elena: Wait! What’s happening?

Uncle: The orb has it’s limits. Elena, go find Finnegan. It is time to plan. We shall throw a great party with the finest of Fallcrest and the neighboring lands.

Elena: Yay! Party!

Comments

Like the stars on the movie set that they are, with Elena and Uncle watching, the Valers rescued the dragon and the girl, plus cleared the darkness of the cult of Zehir in the Dawnforge mountains. A day worthy of the Paragon Tier! Well deserved. And, a good start to finding Ichyrot and stomping some devils.

Prepare for XP: General Guano 1200, Undead Troglodyte Spearbearers 900, Undead Troglodyte Acid Throwers 1050, Lake of Slumber Trap 500 = 3650. But wait there’s more. Completing the skill challenge to Destroy the Obelisk 2400. Completing the quest to rescue Aurumendor the Gold Dragon 2500. The noble sacrifice of a beloved magic artifact by Barrick = 200. Completing the minor quest to rescue Xeriope and return her safely home 600 = 9350 XP by the time everyone was sipping wine with the grateful father of Xeriope. And then, Owl Bear 1000, Flameskulls 1000, Hellfire Traps 350 = 2350 XP. And we cannot forget the welcoming Human Cultists 500, the touching Spine Devil Ravagers 2400, and the warmth of the Trident wielding Lieutenant of Ichyrot 1000 = 2900 XP. This makes the total 14600 XP or 2920 XP per player. Each player previously had 25,146 XP, so now everyone has 28,066 and is well into 11th level (32,000 needed for 12th level). Plus, everyone now has an additional action point.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

With everyone catching their breath and having a short rest, the moans of the people trapped in the 4 staff length deep pit grow louder, if more raspy. “Help us! Save us!”

Looking over the side of the pit, you see 15 males and 2 females. All look human with ragged clothing. On one, Erik can see the symbol of the Nerrakin army, just as Captain Revince and Lieutenant Stymers wore.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

The den of the Lieutenant of Ichyrot, Ochyrine
Map_Lieutentant_Ichyrot

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

The end marked “To Enc. 6” is unexplored by the party. The moaning is from the pit on the lower side of the map.
DM: What do you do?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Tira looks down at the people in the pit, she smiles warmly at them, but at the same time, puts one finger to her red lips, indicating silence. “Shh, we are friends, here to get rid of the evil devils. We will help you; how did you end up here? Are there others like you around here?”

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

One larger prisoner steps forward, his eyes show a leader whose spirit has not yet been broken, even as body looks emaciated. He is in no position to pick up a sword. He wears rags that you vaguely recognize as being the cloth tabard of a soldier of Nerrakis. Most of the soldiers at Fort Dolor wore such coverings over fine chainmail.

His voice is hoarse with dryness. “I am Shantar Swiftblade, Sergeant of the Fort Dolor Falcons commanded by Captain Revince. My patrol was captured by the devils. Some other Dolor soldiers are here, too. The rest are miners, lumberman, farmers, and trappers. All captured in small groups.”

His throat locks up, “Please, I beg you, get us out of here, and I can tell you more.”

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Shantar turns to the group, whose moaning and pleading have not stopped. He gestures weakly. “Fools. Our hope has called for quiet.” The group is silenced.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Rift uses her insight to determine if she detects anything unnatural about the prisoners. Are they telling the truth? If so, then she whispers to the group, “friends, we should let these prisoners out before going any further. We are close enough to the entrance that we can escort them out, and then continue with our quest.”

If no one objects, we will toss a rope down into the pit. Rift and Erik will go down and help the prisoners out of the pit. If any of them resist or get unruly, Rift will club them over the head with her staff. As they come out of the pit, we will give them water and a small amount of rations each. Then we will guide them towards the entrance. Finally, Rift writes out a short note to Captain Revince, telling him where we found the prisoners, and also that we have rescued Xeriope and she is safe at her father’s farm.

Does all go according to plan?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

The prisoners seem to be just as they appear at the surface. They are complacent and obedient. They seem very grateful. After the last prisoner is out, Erik spies a blue ring in the filth.

DM: What does Erik do?

After hasty eating and drinking, the group listens to Rift’s plan. Shantar says, “Much thanks to you and your comrades my Lady. May we know the names of our rescuers? And, if you don’t mind your ladyship, I see some armor and weapons that corpses won’t be needing. While I don’t want much truck with devils, those humans’ goods will work fine. It is a dangerous road with the Brotherhood goblins about and Kruthiks round every corner. My three men and I could put that stuff to good use while carrying out your plan and getting these folks back to the Fort. By your leave?”

DM: Do you let them take the time to put on the human cultist armor?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

“Shantar, we are well known in these parts. Look for Torben Eastlander in the local tavern, and tell him that Erik Stormgrund, Barrick, Felmon of Dragest Igetnem, Rift, and Tira Duskmeadow have set you free.”

“Please, take all the armor and weapons you wish. But wait until you are well outside of this room before putting it on. We don’t want to attract any more of those spiny devils…”

Once they’re safely on their way, Erik (who’s mind seems to be in a daze) will grab the blue ring. Rift will use her best arcana skills to examine the ring.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Shantar says, “My Lords, My Ladies, thank you for this. And, your Ladyship, this advice is sound. We will take the weapons and armor and don them far from these devils. After gathering what we can use, Grimdold, you take the back, Barstock, left flank, Dolbin, right flank. I will lead. Keep the civilians between yous.”

After issuing the orders, the weathered sergeant kneels and bows, as does the entire group. “Thank you. Thank you all. If you ever have need, seek me at Fort Dolor. We are in your debt.”

With that he and the group of 12 rise and depart. As their footsteps fade, Rift examines the ring.

She finds it is

Cherished Ring
You and your words are more alluring when you wear this simple loop of blue iron.
Price: 21,000 gp
Item Slot: Ring
Property: Gain a +2 item bonus to Diplomacy checks.
Power (Daily • Charm): Standard Action. Make an attack: Ranged 10; Charisma vs. Will; on a hit, the target moves its speed toward you.
If you’ve reached at least one milestone today, the target must spend one move action on each of its turns to move closer to you (save ends).

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

DM: Does the group proceed out or does the party search the room further?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

We will search around some more before leaving. Any more half-buried rings on the floor, or up on top of that ledge where the big guy was? Any secret doors anywhere, especially in the alcoves?

If not, then we will stealthily proceed down the corridor to the west.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

On Ochryine’s ledge, nothing is found. There are no secret doors that you can detect.

To be thorough, Erik returns to the pit. Buried deeper in the filth, he finds a walking stick of white yew wood and another ring. The ring is a silvery mithral with light filigrees of runes.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Whilst Erik was searching, Tira closed her eyes, put a hand on her amulet and listened.

Is Tira’s amulet telling her anything new, or giving her any hints as to what might be westward?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Tira concentrates on the amulet. As she listens, she feels a rush of power like she felt when her dagger first opened to her the realm of sorcery. She feels elated. A rush of wind and heat. And then, she vanishes.

It is like when one of her spells has gone out of control. She had intended to listen, instead she leaped. In the time it takes for lightning to flash, Tira finds herself in a nearly silent realm of silvery mist. She is in a wood of trees that gleam with a faint glow of moonlight. Behind her, from her back well to the horizon, stretches a thick silver cord. In front of her, a male elf stands. He is the most beautiful elf she has ever seen. He is finely dressed in leather with a longsword at his side. He holds a silvery orb. He looks as though he is bathed in moonlight. At first he is looking down, into a large pool at his feet. Tira can see a scene of some sort in the pool, but the images are misty.

She realizes that his flaming red hair and fantastic eyes are not unlike her own, but so much more beautiful. She did not make a sound, and yet, he turns to her. He is clearly surprised but pleased. As he turns, Tira is somehow keenly aware that no thick silver cord emanates from his back as it does hers.

At first, when he opens his mouth, she hears nothing but melodious sounds. Then, she realizes, he is speaking. The words are the sound of love. “My dearest child. I did not expect this but cannot say that I am disappointed. So much wild power you must have! Too long have I touched you only with feelings, and here, in your hour of testing, you come to me. Yet, I see your cord grows thin already. We have not much time.”

“You are nearing the end of a quest for which I was able, for a brief time, to borrow the Amulet of Passage for your own. Use its many powers well until the last.”

Then he frowns. On such a radiant face, it is the saddest look Tira has ever seen. “Yet, I owe you an explanation. Oh, how to explain the foolishness of youth? In a moment of hubris centuries ago, I thought I could turn the devils against the Tiefling empress and hasten the fall of Bael Turath. I constructed a great portal to Dis through which each devil passing through would be loyal to me. I did not plan for the strength of one: Ichyrot. Ichyrot and his clever minions tricked me and stole the portal. He mounted it in the great delta of the planes that meet in the Dawnforge Mountains.He twisted it to admit legions to the Material under his command. I gathered my friends, and we banished him back to Hell for a time. But I could not bring myself to destroy my beautiful creation. I closed it and put in the keep of a white dragon in my debt. I charged him with guarding the portal. Fool that I am, I left it in the Dawnforge! Now, that dragon is dead, and a vestige of Ichyrot has found the portal again while he thinks he is well out of my reach.”

“You, my daughter, must do what I could not. By all that you hold dear, find the vestige of Ichyrot and destroy the portal, lest Ichyrot himself and his legions truly come to your world. My pool tells me you are close, but more I cannot see.”

He looks with some concern. “I have spoken too long. Your cord grows even thinner. If it vanishes, you will be trapped here between the planes with no hope of leaving. Return quickly the way you came.”

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Erik glances around in the pit. Not being greedy, just thorough. He looks through another pile of filth and finds a simple mithral circlet for the head engraved with Dwarven runes. After a few more minutes, he is convinced that nothing else is to be found in the pit.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

DM: The party has been in Ochyrine’s lair for 25 minutes.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Rift examines the walking stick, ring, and the mithral circlet, using her arcane skills. Does she glean any information?

She feels a sense of urgency. Either she has feels the call of nature, or the party has been in O’s lair for too long. Does Rift know why she feels this urgency?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

After handing the stick, ring and mithral circlet to Rift, Erik draws his bow and quietly moves through the chamber to its far end only stopping where the cavern narrows to something like a corridor. Away from the distractions of the group, Erik stops to sense what lies ahead – footprints, sounds, smells, light, subtle tremors in the ground and general mood. He is also wary of traps.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Rift examines the ring. She finds it is

Ring of Feather Fall

Level 14
With this airy mithral filigree band, you and sometimes your allies need not fear a fall even from the highest cliff.
Price: 21,000 gp
Item Slot: Ring
Property: You take no damage from a fall and always land on your feet.
Power (Daily): Minor Action. Allies within 5 squares of you also benefit from this ring’s property until the end of the encounter.
If you’ve reached at least one milestone today, allies within 10 squares of you also benefit.

Rift considers the yew stick. Concentrating, it changes into a powerful pearl-colored bow. With a thought, it transforms back to a walking stick. She realizes it is a

Moonbow

Level 13
At first glance, this stick of white yew appears little more than a cane for walking. Upon a thought, it transforms into a slender dwarven-made bow of white wood so polished it looks like pearl with a mithral string that is almost invisible. As you draw the string, a gleaming arrow of light appears, nocked and ready.
Weapon: Bow
Enhancement: +3 attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +3d10 radiant damage
Property: Sehanine and Moradin worshipers can use this weapon as an implement for divine and arcane powers.
Property: Weapon and implement attacks made with this weapon count as silvered.
Property: This weapon creates its own ammunition when drawn. It can still be used with ammunition, if desired.

Power (At-Will): Minor Action. This weapon sheds bright light or dim light in a 5-square radius, or ceases to shed light.

Power (At will, Polymorph): Minor action. The bow transforms to a piece of white yew the size of a walking stick, or the walking stick transforms from to the moonbow.

Finally, she turns her attention to the circlet. She realizes it is a ancient piece of dwarven lore, the

Crownring of Ironfell

Level 15
A simple mithral circlet engraved with Dwarven runes reads: “Through stone ascended, by fire hardened, a dwarflord is made”.
Item Slot: Head
Property: You gain a +3 item bonus to saving throws against effects that include daze, stun, or dominate.

Power (Daily): Standard Action. You conjure a vestige of a red dragon, which lasts until the end of the encounter. The vestige allows you to fly with a speed of 8, and it also allows you to use the following at-will power.

Power(At-Will): Immediate Interrupt. Trigger: An adjacent enemy shifts. Effect: Targets triggering creature; Constitution vs. Reflex; 2d10 + Constitution modifier fire damage, and you shift 1 square.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Erik considers the hallway. Cloven hoof prints are discernable both coming to this lair and away. Booted feet of some sort, larger than human but similar to dragonborn also come and go. Erik realizes that the air has the scent of cold in winter, when all is dead.

His keen senses feel the ground shake slightly. He is aware of small earthquakes that the others would not notice. He feels a slight breeze of very cold air.

He senses no traps.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

DM: If you go forward, indicate your marching order for corridors one staff length, two staff lengths, or 3 staff lengths wide.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Tira stares at her father, a single tear slightly clouding her vision. She cannot believe he is here, or she is there. “Father,” she stammers, the words she had rehearsed for this reunion lost in the recesses of her mind. “Father,” she repeats, “I have been searching for you for a very long time. I do not know if I can simply smile and leave. I do not care if this cord breaks, I will not leave without at least another few minutes with you. There are so many questions I want to ask you, the first being: will I see you again? If that possibility exists, then I will have to be content in that knowledge for now and will return. But before I go, what can you tell me about this Ichyrot that may help us defeat him and destroy the portal?”

Tira steps forward, hand outstretched, she is not sure if she can touch him, but she must try, regardless of the consequence. “Father,” she says a third time, “I …” but the words are choked in her throat.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

As Tira moves towards him to grasp his hand, he does not move to her. Yet, he extends his hands with a melancholy smile. In the instance that they should have touched, she finds her hands pass through his. His face grows even sadder. “My beloved daughter, here in my prison between the planes, you are only a passing spirit. I did not want to pain you further by trying to hold you. You have little time left. If your cord fades, you would not be a prisoner like myself but beyond all life. Keep hope. We will be together again. For now, content yourself that you do what I cannot, righting a wrong that is in your blood. You possess the power to destroy the portal – the Amulet! It is for this that you have it. Stay far from Ichyrot, even this vestige has much of his power. His dancing chains will mesmerize you and make you serve him. Now go!” He looks stern, yet loving. The melodious voice has notes of the great composer Bachengloom of the organ.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Tira clasps the amulet tightly. “I do this for you father. I will not fail you!” With her resolve set, she smiles once again at the elf she always knew but has never known. Turning quickly she follows the cord, not looking back, willing herself back to her regular plane.

Back in the cave, she looks around quickly, trying to deterine the extent of the passage of time in this reality.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Erik heart jumps as he noticies that Tira is gone. Is it just for the moment?

He quietly walks back to the group and examines the pearl white stick. Never before has he encountered such a weapon and he marvels at it. This bow is truly wondrous. With a nod, he gratefully accepts the weapon.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

As Tira turns to the cord, she sees a translucent female elven figure in front of her. The elven woman is not attractive, but neither is she ugly. She reminds Tira of a road well-traveled, though the look in the woman’s eyes suggest less-traveled pathways that lead to adventure. “Tira”, the woman calls. “Worry not. I am Geldiniza Corellongift”. Tira instantly recognizes the name as that of the elven spirit of passage. She almost misses what is said next. “I have been with you and your comrades. As you grasp the remainder of your astral line, focus your powers that bend time and space, and pull.” Drawing on her sorcerer powers of teleportation, Tira turns to grasp the cord. She feels as though her own guts are wrenched out of her. She senses the heat and rushing wind, then stillness. In a heartbeat, she is back in Ochyrine’s lair. She is prone on the floor, unconscious, six staff lengths closer to the exit.

After several seconds, she comes to. The group has not even had time to realize that she was gone. She simply vanished and reappeared at a distance away. She realizes that she cannot feel the powers within the amulet that she can recharge after a short rest. Perhaps it is as though they have been spent by her foray to the world between the planes.

Before any can even reach her to inquire, Tira also realizes that she can feel a new sense of the world and its place in the planes. She feels that she can teleport further and that she might be able to take advantage of brief openings to that moonlight wood.

Wild Plane Step

With a chance opening of the planes, you vanish from one place to another just when needed.

Divine Boon
Property: Gain a +1 to any teleport distance.

Arcane Teleportation Personal
Trigger: A roll of yours is a multiple of 3.
Power (Encounter) Free Action. Until the start of your next turn, you can teleport up to your speed, ignoring the line of sight limitation. You must have seen the destination location at some point in your life. At the end of the teleport, you are dazed until the start of your next turn.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Oblivious to Tira’s experiences and the powerful changes she has undergone, Barrick walks over to the small pile of items, grunts, and scratches his cheek. His magic key was gone now, but it left him curious about other magic items. Maybe he wasn’t quite the useless old dwarf he had once thought. Maybe with the right set of magic items – none too complicated, just pieces of equipment that did their job extremely well – he could become the Giant Slayer he had always dreamt of being.
He reached for a superb circlet – of mithral, no less! – that was said to allow one to fly sometimes, and toughened the mind, as well. It was beautifully crafted, the rings made with the excruciatingly slow round-pour process that left no seams. He wanted it.
But, there was something he wanted more. Many a valiant warrior he had known had met their untimely end falling into a pit, over a cliff, off a tower, or out the window of a pub that was too high off the ground. Also of mithral, the skinny band he saw would keep his body in one piece, and his feet on the ground, or so it was claimed. He chose the Ring of Featherfall, slipped it on, and looked around for a way to test it out.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Tira stands up and glances around. She looks down at her amulet wistfully, remembering what just happened, or what she thinks just happened. Either way, the amulet no longer holds the power it once had, and she will miss that.

Tira quickly looks at the new treasures Erik and Barrick are examining; and then at the two remaining items not yet claimed. The ring is blue, Tira does not like blue as it does not go with any of her attire, nor her skin tone; she does not reach for the ring. The circlet is very pretty, much more attractive than the plain thing she currently has on her head. She looks at Felsmon and Rift questioningly. If no one else should have it, Tira would happily wear the circlet, but as she knows she wants it as much for the appearance as for the magic within, she waits.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Even as the group discusses who will receive the items, Erik feels a slight tremor in the ground. Just a few seconds later, the entire party feels a rush of extremely cold air and a stinging of icy particles from the hallway that they have not yet explored. While no damage is done, if they had been closer to whatever caused the cold blast, it might have caused injury or worse.

DM: Who has which items? What do you do now?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

The bow feels good in Erik’s hand but the blast of icy particles is unnerving. Erik quickly hands his old bow over to Barrick and then engages the others. “Tira, you mentioned those protective cloaks we received early on, soon after leaving Kengistan. We must find a way to wrap ourselves in them to help protect ourselves from these icy blasts. Rift, do you have any rituals that can prepare us for ice or lay flame upon enemies who thrive on such cold? Finally, should we now rest before our next battle?”

Erik’s old long bow (Barrick gets first refusal since he has Erik’s old, old long bow)…

Point Blank Weapon (+2, level 8, 3400 gp, long bow)
The wielder of this weapon need not fear wading into melee.
Enhancement: Attack and damage rolls.
Critical: +1d6 per plus
Property: Gain a +2 item bonus to AC against opportunity attacks provoked by making a ranged attack with this weapon.
Power (Encounter): Free Action. Use this power when you make a ranged attack with this weapon; the attack does not provoke opportunity attacks.

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

The blast of cold jolts Tira to life. Seeing Barrick with the Ring of Featherfall and Erik with a new bowstick, Tira picks up the Cherished Ring and places it into her bag of holding. She also picks up the Crownring and places it on her head, dropping the unremarkable utilitarian Casque of Tactics into the bag. She will readily give the ring or either head piece to any of the party that requests it.

“That cold blast reminds me of the tales of the icy winds that come from the lair of that witch, way up high on that stormy mountain, and folk said she was impossible to kill, what with her frozen heart. I hope this rime does not foretell the same thing here. But what concerns me more than the wind itself is what caused it to blow just now? Is it random? Did something trigger it? Is it us, is our presence known?” Tira thinks of the scale cloak in her bag, wondering if she should don it. “Whether it knows of us or not, my dagger and I are ready for more of these devils, let us move forward. Erik, do you want to take your stealthy lead?”

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

DM: Clarification; Tira can no longer feel the powers within her amulet, does she think that this is temporary, e.g., for the next encounter, or are all the teleportation powers gone for good?

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

_DM: Tira just needs a short rest to restore her amulet encounter powers. _

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

“Erik, I like your suggestion of a rest. My amulet teleportation powers are currently drained, and if that cold blast was a warning, then whomever already knows we are here anyway.”

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

Rift shakes her head in confusion, as if many days had passed instead of just a few moments. “Friends, let’s rest for a few minutes.”

While we rest, we will dig out the protective cloaks. Can Rift tell anything about their protective powers?

She also ponders her own limited powers against cold. “I can cause terrible ice storms, or crush a hill giant with a fist of ice, but as far as protection against cold, I have none I’m afraid.” She grins sheepishly. “Well, there’s always room for improving oneself.”

Party for a Pretty Girl
 

“Yes, Rift, where has the time gone?”, laments Erik. With energies recouped from the short rest, Erik starts to feel energized. He continues, “Let’s don the fine capes to resist cold. Perhaps one of us should become invisible and sneak ahead? Since my stealth is good, I volunteer.”

Note: Erik is referring to Rifts or Tira’s spells to make someone invisible, should they still have the power within them.

Party for a Pretty Girl
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