The Sorceror's Sunken Dungeon

1/28 Azaera's family heirloom is recovered

Emlin and Alec, after unfortunately losing track of their two companions, stumbled upon three people apparently falling through the floor of the Dwarven city/ ceiling of part of the sewers. The noise the group is creating draws the attention of a large gruesome undead creature. The half-drow and human ranger scramble down a rope to help the three in the sewer defeat the creature.

After killing the undead, Julias, Drachir, and Garath decide to follow Alec and Emlin, if not just to find a way out of the sewers. They explain that they were exploring the dwarven city to try to find out where the dwarves have disappeared to.

Coming to the part of the sewers below the city block where the necklace was lost, the group discovers a large circular pit with spiral stone stairs around the side leading down. The pit is unnaturally black and no one can see farther than a few feet in front of them while in the pit. Emlin also notes a faint, heavy sound coming from far down in the pit. Traveling downward, the party crosses two doors and finally comes to a third door with a ledge, where luckily the necklace has fallen onto. After recovering the valuable piece of jewelry, the group heads out of the sewers.

Upon reaching Azaera’s estate, the three newcomers are asked by the city guards to turn over any weapons they have on their person. They are introduced to the elven lady, who quickly hires Garath as a personal musician. Azaera is quite relieved to have her necklace back and the group is amply rewarded.

After some discussion, the group decides to stick together, on the premise that the reasons Emlin and Alec are in the city could possibly coincide with the missing dwarves. The group then promptly splits up to do some investigating.

Emlin learns that a certain wealthy debutante is hiring local thieves to steal elven heirlooms from local elves, usually wealthy elves with high social standing.

Julias speaks with Galadrian Stormstrider, who tells him some details about the elven jewelry that has been stolen, or attempted to be stolen.

Drachir and Garath speak with some local dwarves to see if they know why the Charnath dwarf clan seems to have disappeared. They are connected with Flint “The Cat” Gemcutter, a shifty looking dwarf who seems nervous but tells them the dwarves may have gone deeper into the mountains, and are involved with some unnamed evil.

Alec attempts to speak with the local guards and gets no helpful information. He talks with some locals he knew growing up who tell him where they know of strange animal deaths and mutilations in the area, as well outside the city walls.

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In which the party actually goes to a party, finally

After spending far too much time in the market district, our heroes finally head to the Elven Autumn Celebration, attending Lady Azaera, along the way, however Emlin Deg manages to wander off along the way.

While en route to the festivities, Alec notices an elf eying Azaera suspiciously. Figuring someone of her prominence has likely made several enemies, he keeps an eye on him, but little else. It then comes as a surprise when he bursts through the crowd and snatches the necklace from around Azaera’s neck. A brief scuffle ensues, ultimately culminating in Gremond “The Grump” Arbor getting frustrated, shifting into a fairly angry looking bear, and pinning the would-be thief beneath him. The result of this, much to the heros’ chagrin, is that the necklace bounces in the most unlikely of manners and falls into the sewers below the city.

With the crowd now in a full panic after seeing a bear appear in the middle of the city, Azaera suggests that now is not the time to attempt to retrieve the necklace, and she would prefer to not be around when the city guard inevitably appears. One well-placed mist cloud later, and the party escorts her and the captured thief down some side streets in a round-about path to the celebration.

Along the way, the villain is interrogated, and reveals that he was hired to steal the necklace and deliver it to a contact outside the city in two days time. Unfortunately, the villain was unable to positively identify his contact, noting only that he had shifting features, and was unable to identify the face. In a quick side-trip Alec and Ellawick “Beep” Nackal take the villain to a guard post for safe keeping.

Questioning Azaera about the true value of the necklace reveals that it is an elven heirloom, with deep symbolism & ceremony, and may contain significant magical properties.

Finally arriving at the midsummer festivities, hosted by Galadrian Stormstrider, the party mingles with the party goers. Most of the attendees are elven, and from Charn.

Inquiring after Torin Fastralli, an elf noble the party had met with briefly a few days prior, Alec learns that his reclusive nature is something of a curiosity among the elves here, but little more. It seems something of a social faux pas to pry deeply into the business of a social equal.

What little he is able to learn, however, is that prior to becoming a recluse, he had made money by holding contests and other events, as well as investing in the business & industry in Charn. His previous mistress, a somewhat oddly shy elf, notes that he had changed significantly, growing much more distant. She also indicated that she may be willing to discuss the matter further, but somewhere less public.

Meanwhile, Ellawick “Beep” Nackal continues to attempt to gain favor with the nobility and works her way into the group showing off their magical talents. While her own abilities are less showy, an application of cleverness, daring, and illusion manage to impress some observers.

Working the crowd as only an elf could, Emlin Deg schmoozes a number of guests to learn some valuable pieces of information. He learns that several elves have noticed their family heirlooms have been misplaced, or possibly stolen. This may be connected with the (attempted) theft of Azaera’s necklace. Additionally, it appears that a pattern of animal deaths & mutilation has arisen, possibly caused by some large, carnivorous, creature.

Following the festivities, our heroes rest for the evening, and resolve to retrieve Azaere’s necklace in the morning. This, however, proves slightly difficult. The sewers, as they learn, are not merely off limits, but also sealed off. Inquiries too the guards, and the church of Pelor to gain entrance to the sewer are fruitless, however Emlin does have some success convincing a palace servant let the party into the sewers.

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In which our party beats the crap out of some cheap thugs

Our lovable rogue went in search of some much needed equipment upgrades. The Druid and Cleric tagged along while Ellawick was back at Azaera’s mastur- er, practicing her magic, or shopping, or something.

After using his excellent charismatic street skills, Emlin got word of a certain part of town where he could find magic items, otherwise difficult to obtain in the city of Charn.

At one point Gremond wonders aloud where the sorceress might be.

In a quiet street our three adventurers are attacked by two generic sentry thugs, whom they promptly beat the tar out of, bind and gag, rob blind, strip naked, and turn over to the local authorities.

At this point Gremond asks why they are at a party where they are being attacked, to which the cleric cuts him off. Or maybe I did. :D

Alec turns some of the money over to Pelor, and Emlin turns some of it over to some thief temple. Not sure who.

Fin.

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In which our Party tries to dick over a bunch of presumably dangerous pirates

After some debate in the now dead hag’s lair, our heroes collect everything remotely valuable they can carry and venture forth, passing kuatoas eager to reclaim the cave for their own.

They head back to town and deliver mageweed and notes about mageweed to various parties. Leaving their hard won loot with their wealthy elf patron, they head over to speak with Kassendra and proceed to lie through their teeth about how much treasure they found. She sees right through this and threatens them if they do not return with the promised treasure. The heroes rethink this whole making enemies of pirates and come back after a time with some treasure, and give the woman the location of the pirate ship.

They receive a message from Oliander about his discoveries deciphering the hag’s notes about mageweed. From what he can make out, there is a disturbing link to blood causing the mageweed to grow at a greatly increased rate, and to watch out for this if they discover other people/creatures involved with mageweed.

The party discusses heading towards Charn to investigate the place marked on the map they found in the sunken castle’s library.

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What's Cookin', Horrid-lookin'?
A Hundred Ways to Serve Pirate

And thus the brave party did re-enter the Sunken Keep, now armed to defend themselves against the vile Hag’s most vicious aspect. While delving down, we found the Mageweed had started to re-grow in the first sunken cave. However, considering our duty to free this region of the Hag, it was decided that we would dispatch her before claiming our prize. Proceeding down, we returned to the magically sealed doorway hidden behind a statue upon a raise dais. Further searching revealed a small keyhole, with which the door was opened.

Beyond it, four undead minions, shambling zombies guarding the inner sanctum of the Hag. Again, Alec’s holy might sent the shambling menaces cowering, allowing Tenzin of the Wolfhammer Tribe to cleave through their rotting carcasses. Past the zombies, we came upon rough hewn cavern walls once more.

Tenzin and I set ahead to scout the immediate area. (To be fair, I was scouting. Tenzin was just… being Tenzin.) Some sort of clear, gelatinous monstrosity proved a short distraction. A living trap, perhaps, or a creature that stumbled upon a handy nest. Then, finally, we found ourselves in the largest of the underground caverns, though it was hard to tell as a stalagmite blocked our view ahead.

I snuck forward, hoping to gain a view around the rock obstruction. Unfortunately, my footwork wasn’t nearly as stealthy as it needed to be. The hag heard me, and immediately I found myself caught in her gaze. My body froze, I couldn’t think, couldn’t move. It was like my mind recoiled in immediate and absolute terror to go hiding in the depths of my consciousness. When I came to, the Hag was nearly down. And then she was dead.

Now, with her hateful presence no more, we set about exploring the chamber. It was connected to the ocean somehow. This being apparent due to the large quantity of water off to one side and the recently abandoned pirate ship floating there. When I first saw the beast, she was working over a cauldron set against the back wall. In it we found human remains, and a medallion featuring the crest of Jack Covington. On a table nearby was a book of Necromancy spells, and scattered about her person were a copious amount of gemstones. In the ship, the treasure of Jack Covington and a map.

Now we have to decide what to do with all of Covington’s junk, let the fishheads know about the death of hte Hag, get a living sample of Mageweed back to town, and not get ourselves killed by the local pirates.

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What Next?
There's No Place Like Halfling

Upon rising the next morning, after an uneventful night of rest, the party set course for Syria. The plan being to return to the city, resupply, sell the loot from their previous venture, and then to set off for the keep once more. Shortly after finding the road to Syria, we encountered a traveling halfling also bound for the city. A few polite words later, and we found some impromptu work as his guards for the trip (with the chance to ride on his cart). Most fortuitously, this pleasant fellow, Gurdy by name, turned out to be supplying costumes and make-ups to the actor’s guild in Syria (where his cousin works). Specifically, he was bringing in a shipment for the new production to be put on.

At some point during the trip, Alac noted that his new old cloak had a little secret; in the form of an opal pendant hidden in a pocket.

The road to Syria was entirely uneventful. After parting ways with Gurdy (and receiving a nice bonus of twenty gold a head), we headed first to Alistair’s shop. Here we had the old git identify the opal pendant, along with the mysterious black gem pulled from the eye socket of the undead ogre, and the statue of the warrior. That otherwise innocuous little gemstone turned out to be the focus for some kind of scrying spell, through which a caster could observe a short radius visually but without sound. (Here, Emlin carefully wrapped the gem in black cloth and stuck it back in his pack.) Having a few pieces of more mundane, and violent, equipment to sell, we next went off in search of a blacksmith. We found Hargrim, a dwarf blacksmith in the docks’ market district.

At last, the party undertook the most important of our endeavors in the city: to find out more information on how to face and survive a Hag. Our inquiries eventually led as to the bartender back at the Rusty Squid. A little magic worked by the sorceress and we had all the bartender knew about them, which amounted to “get potions or scrolls of Death Ward.” Oh, and they apparently use little black gems to observe and guard their territory with scrying powers.

At Alac’s suggestion, we went to the local church of Pelor, and managed to bargain for three scrolls of Death Ward in exchange for a to-be-determined favor. Now, finally, the party is ready to re-enter the Sorcerer’s Sunken Keep. Or so they hope.

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Exit, Stage Teleportation-Circle
What a scream!

A quick recap so far… The party ventured forth into the Sunken Keep in search for the Hag. Along the way, we encountered a cleric and wizardess. Continuing on, the party eventually found itself in a circular room, presumably a study. Centered in the room was a case containing a map of the region to the north with the wording “Here Be Dragons” written in Draconic (of all languages!). This study is a large circular room with eight doors and book cases built into the walls between each door. Emlin Deg perused the shelves for a few interesting tomes. In an otherwise unremarkable broom closet, the cleric, Alec, discovered a cloak, which he quickly donned.

In the course of systematically exploring each doorway, we found one which led off into rough-hewn rock, presumably a tunnel leading to the lair of the Hag. Another doorway led off into a room with a mystic circle inscribed in the floor. For some reason known only to her, the sorceress decided to just step into the circle. This had the benefit of informing the party that this was, in fact, a ring of teleportation. Unfortunately, it meant we all had to go through if we wanted to reclaim our ‘amputated’ party member.

Upon stepping into the ring, we each found ourselves in a cavern completely unattached the keep, but instead being several miles away along the coast in an otherwise unremarkable cavern. One can only assume this was the Sorcerer’s escape route. Setting off for the beach, the party made camp for the night. Whilst the party set camp, the rogue decided it most wise to scout the area. Nearby, atop a dune, Emlin found a pair of Kuatoa stealthily observing the party from amid the tall grasses.

(Perhaps misguidedly) Assuming they meant the party ill, he quickly drew from his pack the cursed chest, and flung it out in front of the hidden pair. As the chest landed, its top flew open, and the chest let forth its hideous wail. Luckily for Emlin, his plan worked as he’d hoped. The sudden noise distracted the kuotoa and attracted the attention of his party. In a flurry of action, the slimy duo was dispatched to the realms of their dark goddess. For the rest of the night, nothing of note happened.

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Welcome to your Adventure Log!
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In the city of Syria a group of adventurers met through their mutual employer, Saevan silverleaf. He hired them to gather a specimen of the rare mageweed plant. The plant was rumored to grow in or around the ruins of a gigantic, partially sunken castle.

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