Kypton's Quest

Surrounding Lands
Surrounding Lands

Emerald Empire of Krothos, lies to the west and has vast forests and many lakes and rivers. Humans and Half Elves reside here and King Krothos has passed on the request for aid to the adventurer who comes from this land. The Emerald Empire is very well respected and is a close ally to the Realm of Haldamir, sending many troops to aid in the battles.
Kingdom of Gimgur Hammerfell lies in the eastern mountains. They are ruled by King Gimgur a mighty Dwarf Lord. Besides dwarves, a few humans also reside here. It is by their help that King Haldamir escaped to Belfanoc and Lord Kypton is forever in their debt. This kingdom is actively aiding the war effort.
The Blue Isles of Solbana the Divine are ruled by a Powerful Paladin and are located in the southern sea. They are neutral as of now, but diplomatic efforts are underway to receive aid. Humans, Sea Elves and Gray Elves (Eladrin) reside here. If your character comes from this land they will have been asked by the Eladrin who hate the enemy that now assaults the Realm of Haldamir. The Eladrin knows the danger that has surfaced and is secretly working to thwart the enemy.
Glades of Valnaras lies in the Brightwood forest in the center of “Couergard” (the collection of kingdoms and all known lands) The Glades are strictly Elvin and they are indeed actively aiding the war effort. Valnaras has come to the death bed of Haldamir.

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Prelude
Prelude

The War – back-story:

King Haldamir lies dying from an assassin’s poisoned bolt. You come from noble families, from lands also under threat of the great darkness from the North. You have been asked in turn to attend a secret council in the city of Belfanoc on the shores of the Mighty Garnon River. Lord Kypton rules over the Realm of his father Haldamir. The realm has been attacked by Drow and Orc as well as other evil kind from the Wastes of Torgotha to the Northwest and are backed by mysterious forces as of yet unknown.

Your council needs to remain secret because the enemies spies are very effective. Your summons is vague, but the need is clear for the war goes badly. You have been asked individually to venture in haste to meet under the first full moon in Summer at a storehouse called “Hydra’s Horde” in Belfanoc. There you will ask the merchant for a barrel of Red Rum. He will direct you from there.

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Characters
Characters

After completing his studies at the Academy, Gnargle returned to his homeland in the Wilds of Kootenai and assumed a position as Advisor of the Arcane to the Gnomish High Council. When the request came for aid from their cousins in Haladamir, the Gnomish council were forbidden from providing official help, and so took it upon themselves to send Gnargle on a “fact finding mission” – if he were to help in any capacity, it could not be construed as official, but would be looked upon favourably by the Gnomish community. He has travelled overland to Belfanoc City and arrived 2 days before the full moon, and is currently billeted in the home of a Gnomish family who only know that he is on some sort of diplomatic mission.

The assassination of King Haldamir may be tied to the Assassins Guild in Belfanoc, so their aid could not be considered reliable. The Thieves Guild, on the other hand, has always had ties of respect with the crown: the government recognized the need for an underground economy, and so treated the Thieves fairly and without prejudice. In return, the Thieves policed their own and maintained a balance in the city. Lord Kypton called on the Guild master to provide assistance, and they in turn sent Cavendish “Magpie” Marek, a promising Cat Burglar, to use his stealth and illicit skills to aid in any way he can to maintain the stability of the realm – and hopefully turn a bit of a profit. Marek’s private apartment is located over the Rutting Mermaid Inn near the docks.

Aelodir Reiniel, recently released from the Cloisters of Pelor, entered the services of Valnaras, and accompanied him to Haladamir’s deathbed. There, Valnaras released her into Kypton’s service to aid in any way that she can. She has arrived in Belfanoc City the day before the new moon and has been billeted in the local Temple of Pelor.

King Krothos of the Emerald Empire has dispatched one of his most trusted Rangers, Bangalor Maine to the service of Lord Kypton. Maine immediately left his border patrol to hurry to Belfanoc City and has arrived on the afternoon of the full moon. He has no intention of staying within the city’s confines if he can help it.

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Meeting at the Hydra's Horde
Hydra's Horde

Gnargle: Met new companions at Hydra’s Horde. Just as we were about to descend to find out why we were here, our host was attacked by a Were-Rat. I chased her off with a magic missile and immediately pursued so she could not reveal anything about our secret passage to the meeting place. Managed to get another Magic Missile into her as she fled down a drain in the tannery next door, where we followed into the sewers. After frying a swarm of rats and several giant rats, we managed to defeat 8 humans and 2 were-rats to free a woman imprisoned by the Assassin’s guild. Received 27 GP and a pearl as my share of items found – I’ll need them to purchase more reagents. Also, to buy new boots – can’t get the sewer stains out of these. Journal post, day 1.

Aelodir Reiniel: Illuminated One, as instructed I met my new companions at the Hydra’s Horde. Our host was beset by a were-rat, who Gnargle singed with a magic burst, chasing it away. We pursued as our host managed to tell me that it’s knowledge of our secret meeting place must not be shared. We followed it into the sewers through a drain in the tannery next door. We defeated many rats, and a group of 10 enemies, including the were-rat, and freed a female prisoner. We learned that the Assassin’s Guild is involved, and that they are targeting merchants to gain knowledge of secret meetings. I’ve received a Flail of Resounding and a pearl as my share of the recovered items – please instruct me on how I should use these for Pelor. Yours in Pelor’s Service, Aelodir

Cavendish Marek (encoded, private cipher): Joined new companions to serve Lord Kypton – a Gnome Wizard (a Gnome!?), female Elven Cleric and Half-Elf Ranger. Met at the Hydra’s Horde supply shop near the docks – gave the password “barrel of red rum” and was led into the back room. I arrived early to scope out the room and detected the passage below the desk, and also a weak panel at the back of the room. As we were descending the stairs through the secret passage a were-rat attacked the proprietor, slipping through the weak panel from the Tannery next door. The Gnome reacted quickly, stopping the creature with a magical burst of energy, sending her through the opening in the wall back to the Tannery, where we chased it down a drain into the sewers. We followed it through several tunnels, at one point through a secret opening (standard two-hand-holds cavern wall slide) beyond which there was a keyhole in the tunnel wall to the left – we did not have time to explore. (I suggest we look further into what’s hidden down there and if it ties to what the Assassin’s are up to.) Just past this entrance there were 3 pressure-plate triggered spear traps. We managed to track it into a cavern where a woman was held in a cage by the were-rat woman, another were-rat and 8 henchmen (standard bully-boys). (I suggest we keep a closer eye on any of our members with rat-like tendencies.) We managed to kill them all, though I received the brunt of their damage, and freed the woman, who had been kidnapped by the Assassin’s guild to try to flush her husband out of hiding. He works at the Orange Eye Spice merchant across the street. The Assassins seem to think he has some knowledge of a resistance group, but they appear to be misinformed. We returned to the Hydra’s Horde. Will leave a copy of these notes in the usual hiding spot to keep the guild aware of events. Haul, split with group: 27GP, 4 pearls, gold elven brooch, silk robe and a Flail of Resounding – my share was the robe & a pearl. Guild tax exempt for this mission, per your orders. – Magpie

Bangalor Maine: Met with new companions at the Hydra’s Horde. Host attacked by Were-Rat. Pursued her into the sewers, defeated mixed group of humans & were-rats aligned with local Assassin’s guild. Freed female prisoner, wife of employee at Orange Eye Spice merchant. Received a pearl and an elven brooch. Returned to Hydra’s Horde to resume meeting. Event Log, Day 1.

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Back to the Hydra's Horde

DM: You have reentered the Hydra’s Horde with the female captive (wife of an employee of the Orange Eye’s spice Shop across the lane). Your contact has given you a blue box containing the Flail of Resounding as a thank you gift for saving him from the Assassins Guild cell. The building shakes with a sudden thunder crash while sheets of rain batter the cobble stone street outside. The small lady with the broom bolts the front door and continues tending the claw marks on the contacts neck. The contact turns to you and grumbles,“you must hurry!”

Aelodir touches the claw marks, closes her eyes and says a prayer to Pelor. A glow suffusses her hands and the wounds fade from his neck.

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Meeting Below

Gnargle:
Journal post, Moonday, 1st of Sunwarm, continued.

At the Hydra’s Horde we could hear that the storm outside had intensified. Our host was being administered to by his assistant, but was clearly in pain and at risk of infection. Aelodir lay her hands on him, was suffused by a gentle glow, and his wounds faded to faint scars. He then led us down into the catacombs beneath the city. At the end of the passage 2 uniformed guards were stationed at a portcullis, which they opened to allow us to pass. Beyond the corridor widened. Another guarded portcullis blocked a passage to the right, and a guarded door to the left shimmered faintly with wardings. Further on the corridor ended at a pair of massive black doors, also warded and guarded. We could hear sounds beyond, as if these were the doors to a tavern. One of the guards was uniformed, the other was shrouded in a dark cloak, and dispelled the warding to allow us entry – here we parted company with our host.

The room we entered was large, pillared and lit by torches. 5 large oak tables are surrounded by a few dozen beings of all races and classes, though no other gnomes were in evidence. The atmosphere was festive and ale flowed freely. One table held mostly scale-mailed dwarves, at another a female warrior with glowing green armour held court surrounded by sycophants – the renowned paladin Seneca, I believe. I saw elves with bows & swords holding close counsel at one table, while at another were… perhaps elves. It was difficult to focus on them, as if they were under a glamour. I saw no dragonborn or eladrin. A few of those gathered wore the symbol of Krothos. Near a central altar 3 small drakes scurried about – 2 reds and a blue. In the far corner the torch had gone out,but in the shadows we could see a lone tiefling, with an orange flying drake sitting on his shoulder. As he strode to the altar he called out for all to find seats, which we did at a nearby table. Marek told us that this was Molith, an aged, scarred tiefling that had been employed by the realm to perform those activities that were better left unknown to the public, and would allow the crown to keep their hands clean. Seneca immediately stood and challenged him, but he rebuffed her indignation as though she were merely an impertinent child. He called on us to gather into groups of 4 and to exit in turns through the gray door if we wished to honour the names of our families (which tells me that those gathered here are not merely mercenaries or adventurers, but members of families with ties of honour to the crown). All others could exit by the red door. As we formed our groups Seneca and 3 of her cohorts immediately exited by the gray door. A few minutes later the door opened and it was our turn.

Beyond the door was an ascending spiral staircase, which ended at door. Beyond this was a rough-hewn chamber containing a table and 2 seated, hooded humanoids. The room smelled of charred flesh, there were remnants of charred clothing smouldering on the floor and a dageer was embedded in the door on the far wall. We were asked if we would serve Lord Kypton unswervingly and without question. When we all agreed we were given our assignment; 2 day hence at sunrise at the Green Gate (91 on the map) we are to escort a caravan along Eveningfall road, from Belfanoc city headed east along the Garnon River to the dwarven realm. The owner of the caravan is a fine dwarf name Lotrin. His cargo must reach its destination. We will receive payment at its arrival. We all agree and are ushered to the exit. As we were leaving Marek stopped and turned to the hooded figures, asking “what happened to the last group?” – they only replied “that is all.”

Beyond the exit door we passed through a guarded portcullis and followed a set of large, shallow steps up, ending at a ceiling. We doused our lights and edged the trapdoor above us open. We were in a dark alley between some homes. The storm had not abated, and we made sure there were no watchers as we exited. A tavern nearby promised refuge from the storm and a chance to sit and make plans. Marek’s familiarity with the city told us that we were still near the waterfront, and the tavern was called the SinkHole Tavern (28 on the map).

We sat at a corner booth and ordered meals and ale, and a large room for 2 nights – Marek would stay with the group instead of returning to his own apartment elsewhere in the city. We idly watched as drunk humans placed wagers on their fellows attempting to cross over a pit on a plank. The pit contained a gelatinous cube, and the evidence that foolish drunkards should not play games of skill.

At this point a Ranger approached our table. Bangalor and she had noticed each other during the meeting, kind calling to kind, though they had not previously met. We invited Tespan to sit, and I noted that, although we had left before her, she had arrived here before us. Apparently she has an alternate egress, which speaks to her having been there before, and is no doubt a long-time agent of Kypton. She warned us of the Eveningfall road, that dark forces have been landing along the shore from the river. The Great Garnon is obviously too vast to be effectively patrolled. She has been tasked with tracking and killing a giant that raids the forest near the Eveningfall Road. The giant Kindall is not alone however, as orcs and other dark creatures have infested the area all along the road. There are keeps for safety along the road, but they are 2 days travel apart (poor planning, of you ask me).

I asked her more about the conditions around the cities in other directions, not wanting our own mission to be too obvious, and shortly after sharing her reports on area activities she left.

Soon after this we adjourned to our room. Bangalor and Marek took the bunks on the right side of the room, Aelodir and I the ones on the left. There were no windows to the room and we shoved the footlockers against the door to help warn us of intruders, all of us being somewhat wary of this tavern.

Around the 3rd hour past midnight there was a loud thump at the door. Marek and Maine immediately shoved the chests aside and rushed after the intruder but they had fled by the time they reached the common room. Spiked to our door by a dagger was a dead cat. I disposed of these using the gelatinous cube in the common room pit, a message to any enemy agents who might be watching.

Aelodir Reiniel:
Illuminated One, On our return to the Hydras Horde, the clerk was tending the merchant’s wounds. They appeared painful though not immediately life threatening, though I feared for infection. Pelor allowed me to illuminate the wounds and heal him, after which we descended to the meeting place.

It was deep underground, and there were many adventurers gathered around several tables. Cavendish pointed out a large, aged & scarred tiefling, Molith, who was hired to serve Lord Kypton with those tasks that require secrecy. The many and various adventurers formed groups of 4 and we went off to receive our assignment. We are to escort a caravan to the dwarven realm, leaving at sunrise 2 mornings from now.

We exited up a spiral staircase leading into an alley, and from there to a nearby tavern. A female Ranger who had been at the meeting joined us and warned us of dangers along our route, most notably a giant named Kindell.

Several hours after we adjourned to our room a cat was spiked to our door by an unknown assailant. It was already dead so I was unable to heal it.

Yours in Pelor’s Service, Aelodir

Bangalor Maine:

Escorted through catacombs below city to meeting place – many other adventurers, including a fellow Brightwood ranger, who I have not previously met. Groups were formed to receive assignments. We’re to escort dwarvish caraven of supplies along Eveningside road to dwarf settlements in 2 days. Returned to street level – storm covered us as we came up in the alley and entered the Sinkhole Tavern.

Event Log, 1st of Sunwarm, cont’d

Cavendish Marek:(encoded, private cipher): 1st of Sunwarm, cont’d
Returned to Hydra’s Horde – Aelodir healed the proprietor, who then escorted us down to catacombs. Rumours about Kypton’s underground network seem to be true. Molith has gathered a few dozen adventurers from a wide variety of locales & backgrounds (humans, dwarves, elves – some with symbol of Krothos). A trio of trained drakes scampered about the room. He had us form groups of 4 (I kept to the group I arrived with – they’ve all proven their skills, even though I somehow ended up the punching bag). Each group took their turn passing through a red door and up a stairwell – we were second, after Seneca the paladin and her toadies (she was NOT impressed with Molith, a tiefling, in charge). It looks like she might not be getting all righteous with the unsavoury elements of Belfanoc again… there was a strong smell of burned flesh, charred cloth and a dagger in the exit door when we entered. I suspect she mouthed off about her feelings toward Molith and got her come-uppance. We were asked to pledge our loyalty, which we did, and received our assignment. I asked what happened with the last group, but they didn’t share any more info.
We climbed up and out into an alley near the Sinkhole – it’s relatively safe so I brought the group in where we got a booth and had food while we discussed our plans. A half–elf ranger (Tespan) from the meeting was there and joined us – she and Bangalor seemed to know of each other, and she seemed trustworthy. She gave us some intel on what to expect along the Eveningside road. She’s obviously been working for Kypton for a while – she was able to get here before us, though we went into the interview room first, and she has intel that would have to be provided by Kypton’s owl riders. Looks like we’re heading into an orc infestation complete with giant. She’ll be out hunting the giant, Kindel – we may end up seeing her on the road.
Aelodir arranged a room for us. No windows, and I scouted for hidden panels. The door was the only way in or out, so we barricaded it (no sense taking risks). 3 hours past midnight there was a thunk at the door. Someone spiked a cat to it with a dagger. Maine and I raced down to the common room, but they’d already fled into the night – it didn’t make sense to pursue out there –the rain would hide any tracks and we’d risk an ambush with a divided group. It seems to be a message from the assassin’s guild – which makes me think they must have had a spy in the meeting room. We sent our own message – the cat and dagger were dropped into Big Jelly in the common room.– Magpie

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A day off

Gnargle:
Journal post, Tavesday, 2nd of Sunwarm, day 2.
Spent the day preparing for the journey. Stocked up on reagents and consumables. Studied maps. Cleaned and polished. A quiet and uneventful day.

Aelodir Reiniel:
Returned to the temple of Pelor, prayed, prepared for the mission. I noticed that I was being observed… though I’m unsure by whom or what their purpose is.

Cavendish Marek (encoded, private cipher): 2nd of Sunwarm.
Returned to my apartment to lock it tight for an extended journey. I sold the silk robe – 2 Platinum squirrelled away, 50 gold in my purse and rent paid for the next 6 months. Packed everything I thought I might need and reported to the guild office to let them know I’ll be out of the city for a while. Also passed on warnings about the Assassins guild. Noticed that I was being watched – I suspect by Molith’s men. Ditched them most of the time – don’t think they were able to figure out where my apartments are, or the location of the guild entrance I used.
–_Magpie_

Bangalor Maine:
Stocked up on supplies, spent day looking into rumours of activity along the road. Was watched around town – possibly Assassin’s guild, possibly Kypton’s men.
Event Log, 2nd of Sunwarm.

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Assasin At the Gate

Gnargle:
Journal post, Wotansday, 3rd of Sunwarm, day 3.
We arrived at the Green gate shortly before dawn, as 40 or 50 wounded militia were entering the city. We met with caravan master Loatrin and were trying to get some information about what to expect on the road when Lord Kypton arrived. Aelodir had met him previously, and we made our way to speak with him when she saw the wounded soldier he was speaking to draw a poisoned dagger. Her warning allowed me to fire a magic missile, ending the threat.

The wounded men had lost another 100 in a battle with the giant and a group of Blood Drinker orcs a day and a half from the city. Lord Kypton had sent out another band of militia a week ago, so we may find support along the road if we run into trouble.

Loatrin’s caravan consists of 2 wagons. The first is pulled by 2 horses and contains cloth, fur, skins and barrels. Aelodir and I will ride this one – with her keen perception and my firepower we’ll be ready for anything ahead. The seconds wagon is pulled by four horses, and contains boxes, foodstuffs, barrels and Cavendish Marek & Bangalor Maine. Loatrin also has 3 dwarvish guards riding behind on mining ponies.

Aelodir Reiniel:

We left for the Green Gate well before sunrise. An execution was about to be held in the city square, a red-haired man named Orin who had murdered a priest. We arrived at the Gate just before sunrise. A number of wounded soldiers, 3 or 4 dozen, were entering the city. We discovered that another hundred had been killed by a giant and a group of orcs about a day and ahlf ride from the city. They were under the banner of a red skull on sable –the Bone Drinkers.

I watched riders on giant owls fly out on patrol over the city walls as the sun rose, and we met the caravan master, Loatrin. As we were asking the local milita leaders what they have planned, we noticed Lord Kypton arrive to speak to the arriving forces. I went to speak with him, knowing that he would remember me from our meeting with Valnaras the previous week, but the guards would not let us approach. He was bending down to speak to one of the wounded soldiers when I saw the soldier slip a dagger from his sleeve – he squeezed the hilt and a drop of poison dripped from the tip. I yelled out a warning, but feared it would not be in time. Gnargle immediately saw what was happening and sent a burst of magical energy at the assassin, killing him. Lord Kypton thanked us for saving him, and told us that another milita group had gone out a week before.

Yours in Pelor’s Service, Aelodir

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Camp by the Stream

Gnargle:
Journal post, Wotansday, 3rd of Sunwarm, day 3 continued.
The road on our first day was well travelled. We passed a number of border patrols returning to the city with their wounded, and several bands of refugees fleeing the orcish incursions. Several nearby farms seem unaffected, though. The traffic became more sparse as the day progressed, until we were alone on the road at the end of the day.

Near dusk we approached a bridge, and decided to camp well short of it. We’d be able to hear any large groups approaching across the creaky bridge. As we prepare to make camp, we notice smoke from the direction of the bridge. The 4 of us approached on foot, quietly, and were able to see amongst the brush on the other side of the stream a prison wagon surrounded by 5 orcs. A banner nearby with 3 green slashes marked them as Gut Ripper clan. Further into the brush was a campfire with more orcs around it.

Cavendish started to pick off the orcs with his blowgun of darts. Once they notice something was wrong, we all staredt taking them out – me with my Magic Missiles, Aelodir with her crossbow and Bangalor with his bow & arrows. The other orcs approached and we made short work of them as well. 11 orcs and a leader with Bone Drinker clan emblem on his shield and a purse of 20 gold. The prisoner turned out to be a land owner form a nearby farm.

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Valacrist

Aelodir Reiniel:
After rescuing the farmer, Valacrist, I tended to his wounds while Bangalor and Cavendish dragged the orc bodies to the stream and set them to floating back towards the river. They found a small raft moored under the bridge.

Cavendish didn’t believe Valacrist’s story about being a simple farmer, and Valacrist kept glancing nervously behind himself as we returned to camp. Glancing back, we noticed a fog rising quickly from the river – too quickly to be natural. We left Valacrist on the road as we snuck back to the bridge to see what was happening. We could faintly see a figure poling the raft downstream. Cavendish caught a quick glimpse of the girl on the raft before she leapt off the raft and disappeared into the fog. Valacrist had mentioned a girl named Berith in the area – this must have been her. Returning to where we left Valacrist, we found only his shoe on the road. He fled to our camp in such haste that he left it behind.

On returning to camp we saw him deep in conversation with Loatrin. It turned out that Valacrist and Loatrin knew each other. Valacrist was from Grimhold Keep, our stop for the next night. Loatrin’s brother Baregar was in charge of the Keep’s defense and has a company of heavy axemen. Valacrist was out scouting for Kendall and found many orcs. He also knew of a secret entrance to the keep. Loatrin entrusted him with the knowledge that we are agents of Lord Kypton’s. We learned that an attack was planned against the Keep the next night.

We each took shifts guarding the camp along with a dwarf guard. The night was stormy, turning to fog. Somehow, Pelor forgive me, during my shift Valacrist was spirited away from the camp without our knowledge. Bare footprints led from the camp back to the raft, which was now gone.

We hurriedly broke camp and ate a cold meal as we rushed to Grimhold Keep to warn of the attack.

Yours in Pelor’s Service, Aelodir

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