Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Game Recap: Princes of the Apocalypse Session 1–The Road to Red Larch

 They do look a bit like flying squirrels

Dramatis Personae

Glidion: High Elf Wizard (Enchanter) who exaggerates stories of his past triumphs. Unwitting pawn of the Zhentarim.

Gracealyn “Darkeyes” Droverson: Tethyarian Human Noble Fighter (Champion) who seeks to restore her lost family fortunes.  Member of the Lords Alliance.

Milo Miller: Lightfoot Halfling Cleric of Pelor (Life Domain). Seeks to spread worship of his god to Faerun.  Watcher of the Harpers.

Salazar Tomoki: Shou Human Monk (Way of the Open Hand).  Hermit who walks Faerun seeking enlightenment like Caine from Kung Fu.

Wrenna: Forest Gnome Rogue (Thief).  Little is known of Wrenna’s past other then that she has been on the wrong side of the law from a young age.


The group was enjoying some well deserved rest after successfully locating the Lost Mine of Phandelver.  Well everyone was resting except for Salazar.  During meditation, he was troubled by reoccurring visions of a large unblinking eye.

The party was approached by their friend and occasional employer Gundren Rockseeker.  Since reopening the Wave Echo Mine, he had one major problem: Phandalin was simply not large enough to provide a suitable market place for the raw platinum ore him and his two (remaining) brothers were extracting.  Gundren asked it the group would be willing to escort a shipment of ore to Bethendur’s Storage in Red Larch, where it will be picked up by a caravan bound for Secomber.  The market for platinum ingots is quite good in more easterly lands and Gundren anticipates he will make a tidy profit.

Before they leave, Milo is approached by Sister Garaele.  She has been having visions of her own, and has decided that they are directing her to become an intendant at the Allfaiths Shrine in Red Larch.  She wishes to travel with the group to Red Larch for mutual protection.  She also implores the group to make a stop along the way at the ruined village of Conyberry in hopes of questioning the reputedly prophetic but twisted groaning spirit Agatha.

Heading west down the Triboar Trail, the group reaches the ruins of Conyberry.  The group follows the northwest trail to a strange hut made from the warped branches of nearby trees.  The party could hear sobbing emanating from the hut and cautiously approached.

The sobbing was coming from a ghostly child, sitting among the ruined remains of a bed inside. Sister Garaele, Milo, and Salazar approached while Wrenna, Glidion, and Darkeyes remained outside the hut.  The sobbing girl was incoherent, babbling “you shouldn’t be here” and “she won’t like it that you are here”.  The party tried to comfort her, but the spirit became angry before screaming “she’s here!” and transforming into the banshee Agatha.

Agatha admonished the party for bothering the child and told them that they would pay for their insolence.  She called forth the child’s “brothers and sisters”, four will-o’-wisps which rose from the swamp. Initially, the party was loathe to engage the spirit, still hoping to calm it down and reason with it.  The creature then let out a horrifying wail which scarred their very souls and left Sister Garaele and Milo hovering on death’s door.

Salazar focused on the banshee, although his blows were somewhat less effective against the incorporeal creature.  The rest of the party engaged the fast moving will-o’-wisps.  Things were looking grim as both healers were down and the undead inflicted grievous injuries on their living foes.  The tide turned when Glidion managed to make his way to the Milo, and forced a potion of healing down the throat of the fallen cleric.  With Milo’s divine magic to revitalize them, the party was quickly able to turn the tide and dispatch the unclean spirits.

After Agatha and the wisps were vanquished, the ghost child reappeared.  The child claimed to have been born with the gift of prophesy and that Agatha had been charged with keeping her safe.  However, the elf eventually grew obsessive and her extreme methods led to the child’s death.  Unhinged, Agatha began finding other “special children” to protect, who’s spirits became the will-o’-wisps when the tragic cycle inevitably repeated.  Because of her evil deeds, when Agatha was killed by the same Elk Tribe barbarians that destroyed Conyberry, she rose as a banshee.  Over the years Agatha’s grip on sanity became even more tenuous and eventually she became convinced she was the same child she had killed all those years ago.

The ghost child, or maybe the innocence left in Agatha, thanked the party for allowing her to “move on”.  She offered to answer any one question posed to her utilizing her second sight.  The party decided to allow Garaele to speak.  The young acolyte asked about her dreams and how she could stop the rise of the unblinking eye.  The spirit somewhat sadly said that the only slim hope was in the hands of her current companions—either they would stop the rise of the eye or no one would.

Uncertain what to make of this, the party searched the hut.  They eventually found the skeletal remains of Agatha and of several small children which they buried.  They also found a small chest which contained a diamond ring and a philter of love.

The party continued down the Triboar trail, eventually reaching Triboar itself.  Sister Garaele and Milo’s Harper contacts allowed them to stay at the Home of the Boars, a lodge slightly outside of Triboar proper.  There they met Darathara Shendrel and her companions ‘the Twelve’.  Darathara takes Milo and Garaele aside to tell them her concerns that people have gone missing.  A half-elf adventurer named Grevor and his companions are over a tenday overdue.  Additionally, two important merchants from Waterdeep, Kharloss and Jarlee, have been missing even longer.

After a well deserved night of rest, the party turned off the Triboar trail and headed south down the Long Road.  While traveling through a ravine, the party was set ambushed by a group of strangely garbed monks.  Their outfits had leathery flaps which stretched between their arms, waist, and legs that allowed them to glide from the top of the ravine to surround the party.  The outfits caused Glidion to derisively refer them as “squirrel monks” due to their resemblance to flying squirrels.

The leader, a cold-eyed woman wielding a strange looking spear that Salazar identified as a yari, demanded that the group throw down their weapons and surrender.  Unfortunately for the monks they had underestimated their opponents. Despite the fact that they were escorting a pair of oxen pulling a cart, these were not paid caravan guards but battle-hardened adventurers.  The battle was brief and violent, and the party ultimately captured one of the monks alive.

The monk was not very forthcoming, but did answer some questions.  When asked about Grevor, Kharloss, and Jarlee he stated he did not know the names but that perhaps “they now serve”.  He called the adventures fools who had no idea what was going on and that they would end up dying or serving the new order.  Eventually he would speak no more and simply said the group should either kill him and be done with it or let him go.  Darkeyes meted out grim justice to the monk with her enchanted axe.

Salazar claimed the yari by right of battle.  It was enchanted and had “Zephyr” engraved on the blade in the Shou language.  Wrenna had ‘liberated’ a scroll case from the leader in battle.  It seemed to contain many of the teachings of this monastic order.  They learned to pattern their movements after the cycling motion of the hurricane, which is how they refer to themselves.  Although he found many of their teachings perverse, Salazar did gain inspiration from some of their techniques.  Glidion gathered the strange leather outfits from the deceased “squirrel monks” and took note of the symbol on them, an inverted triangle with three branching lines above it.

The party continued south down the Long Road, eventually reaching Westbridge, staying at the Harvest Inn.  While there, the group was disturbed to hear of more recent disappearances.  The whole town was abuzz about the Oric and Lathna, siblings who were abducted by raiders from a homestead a short distance outside town.  The proprietor of the Harvest Inn, an affable halfling named Herivin Dardragon, also expressed concern about one of his regulars, a shield dwarf prospector named Wulgreda.  While he could not prove she was missing, she had not stopped by in a very long time.

After leaving Westbridge, the group encountered a group of mounted knights on the road led by a knight named Sir Gerald.  Darkeyes identified them by their heraldry as the Knights of Samular, an order dedicated to Tyr, god of justice.  After establishing their good intentions, the two groups spoke about the rash of missing people.  Glidion told them to watch out for anyone wearing the strange leather suits they found the monks in.  Sir Gerald identified the outfits as wingwear, which he was only familiar with because the Knights of the Feathergale Society used similar outfits.  As far as Sir Gerald knows, the Feathergale group is an honorable one, if somewhat pampered and rich.  Sir Gerald could not identify the symbol on the wingwear, but he had seen it before at the sites of some of the kidnappings.  Sir Gerald also took the opportunity to sketch out three other symbols he had encountered during his investigations.

Sir Gerald and his men bid the party adieu.  He did invite them to come to Summit Hall in the future and recommended they speak to the Feathergale Society about the wingwear.  The party continued down the Long Road, knowing that Red Larch was less then a day away.