New World Order - Jungle Edition

Atrei FaintWalker (character sheet)
to conjure a character

Atrei FaintWalker
Aeryn (High Elf of the Air) Wizard (5th Level)
(XP 9590 as of 2017Jun20)

Strength Dexterity Constitution Intelligence Wisdom Charisma
+0 (10) +3 (16) +0 (10) +3 (16) +1 (13) +0 (10)
save +0 save +3 save +0 save +6* save +4* save +0
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Athletics +3* Acrobatics +3 Arcana +6* Animal Handling +1 Deception +0
Sleight of Hand +3 History +3 Insight +1 Intimidation +0
Stealth +3 Investigation +6* Medicine +1 Performance +0
Nature +3 Perception +4* Persuasion +0
Religion +3 Survival +4*
“*” indicates skill/save proficiencies

Combat Details
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Speed 40ft/round
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 22
Hit Dice 5d6 RANGE ATTACK DAMAGE INFO
Short sword 6 d63 piercing, light
Short sword#2 6 d6 (second hand attack as bonus action)
Short bow 80/320 +6 d6
3 piercing, ammo(40)
quarterstaff 1 +4 d61 (one hand) bludgeoning
4 d81 (two hand)
7 d84 (shillelagh mode, one hand)
Alter Self 4 d64 bludgeoning or piercing or slashing
unarmed 3 1
Firebolt 120 +6 2d10 fire
Chill Touch 120 +6 2d8 necrotic, no HP regain,
undead at disadvantage to attack me
Chromatic Orb 90 +6 3d8 acid/cold/fire/lightning/poison/thunder, HSS (
d8)
Thunderwave 15 ft cube CON save vs 2d8 thunder and shove 10 ft
save for half damage, HSS (d8)
Fog Cloud 120 20 ft radius, heavy obscured, HSS (
20 radius)
Misty Step bonus action teleport 30 ft
Lightning Bolt 100 ft line 8d6 lightning, 5 ft wide, DEX save for half damage,
ignites objects, HSS (+d6)
HSS (bonus when using a higher spell slot)

Chaotic Good
Darkvision (60 ft)
Keen Senses (Perception*)
Fey Ancestry (save advantage vs charm, cannot magically sleep)
Sleep Trance (4 hours per night)
Speak Common, Elvish, Draconic, Sylvan (Fey)
Extra Cantrip
Proficient in shortsword, longsword, short bow, long bow, dagger, dart, sling, quarterstaff, light crossbow, flute.
Outlander background (as a Guide/Pathfinder)(excellent memory with maps and geography, can find fresh food and water for six people each day)

Spellcasting
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5 cantrips
4 – 1st level spell slots
3 – 2nd level spell slots
2 – 3rd level spell slots
8 prepared spells
6 spell attack
14 spell save DC
Arcane Recovery (once per day after short rest, regain 3 spell slot levels)
Arcane Tradition – School of Conjuration
Minor Conjuration
Copy a conjuration spell scroll at half cost and half time
Mobile feat (
10 speed, can Dash over difficult terrain with no reduction in speed, melee attack hit-or-miss will prevent an opponent from making an opportunity attack against me)

Spell List
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cantrips
Minor Conjuration (create inanimate object within 3ft cube and <=>s Guide to Historical Fact
book: Fey and Fury: An Uncommon Almanac
emerald crystal (spell focus)
Bracers of Defense (+2 AC) from Gondales the wizard
2 diamonds (100 GP each)
Aeryn Box (for sending and receiving messages to the Aeryn)

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Gifts from BigTree for you and for me
Magical toys for girls and for boys

The Elven community of BigTree has graciously gifted our team of adventurers with 2500 gold worth of magic items to continue our fight against Sid and the blue dragon Tibault. They have also decided to provide each of us a Cloak of Elvenkind. The city’s resources are formidable and they have asked us what kinds of items are most useful to our effort. I feel that this is also a test of character, to see what kind of people we are, by seeing what we value most.

I welcome your views on this. I have described in more detail why I believe each of these items might benefit us most, strategies and concepts we might leverage. If you see alternatives that better suit our needs, I would like to learn more about why.

My recommendation for the items we shall request:
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The four Cloaks of Elvenkind
Broom of Flying
Bracers of Archery
Slippers of Spider Climbing or Wand of Magic Missile
Spell scrolls:
- Haste
- Sleet Storm
- Water Breathing
- Longstrider
- Feather Fall
- Magic Missile
- Mage Armor
- Message

Walker has some gold he could use to also purchase more spell scrolls:
- Spider Climb
- Phantom Steed
- A few miscellaneous ingredients for crafting magic items

And now, a more detailed explanation:

Magic item typical costs [Dungeon Master’s Guide, page 128 and 135]
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Common item costs 100 GP
Uncommon item costs 500 GP
Rare item costs 5,000 GP
Very rare item costs 50,000 GP
Legendary item costs 500,000 GP
Consumable items (spell scrolls and potions) are half-cost:
Common consumable item costs 50 GP (cantrips and 1st level spells
Uncommon consumable item costs 250 GP (2nd and 3rd level spells)

Our team preferences:
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Items that provide an increase in speed and maneuverability, especially for our less-swift members.
Sneaky items, to travel into harm’s way quietly and unnoticed.
Walker prefers to gain new spells (which could be gained by transcribing spell scrolls) and to increase a stockpile of magic components and reagents (for constructing new magic items).
Items that can enhance each team member’s strengths while also boosting their personal enjoyment.

The four Cloaks of Elvenkind (at no cost to us)
Camouflage excellent for hiding in any terrain. These cloaks also show people we meet that Big Tree supports our team’s efforts, that we stand for high ideals and right living.

Broom of Flying (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Flying speed at 50 feet/round for up to 200 pounds, or 30 feet/round for up to 400 pounds. It may be sent out with a command word to a known location within one mile, and another command word may summon it to return. We have been seeking a means to communicate at a distance, and here it is. At top speed (50 ft/sec), the broom could cover a one mile distance in just over five minutes. Everyone could use it, to travel or to send a written message. In particular, Frodo could enjoy enhanced speed and maneuver, and his slight stature would allow him to transport cargo and still maintain the highest speeds. A maneuverable reconnaissance scout while we travel. A fast flying pack mule for cargo. Effortless travel movement. I could even picture an attempt at jousting to surprise an adversary.

Bracers of Archery (uncommon item – 500 GP)
To amplify Thamior’s already formidable archery skills (+2 damage). Another example of how people we meet can recognize BigTree’s support or our team when they notice the bracers’ craftsmanship and design.

Slippers of Spider Climbing
or
Wand of Magic Missile (either is an uncommon item – 500 GP)
Kragg could use the Slippers to walk up walls and across ceilings, a most useful ability for a Dwarven specialist in mining and underground caverns while keeping his hands free for a weapon. Walking over pits and around traps in tunnels. Hiding overhead while an adversary walks past, maybe delivering a hammer to the head. Faster climbing of mountain surfaces.
Instead of the Slippers, Kragg may prefer the Wand of Magic Missiles. He often runs out of limited spell slots, and the Wand would provide up to seven shots per day to strike opponents at a distance (7 charges, recharges 1d6+1 charges at dawn each day, use one charge to fire three magic missiles at one or more targets up to 120 feet away which automatically hit for 1d4+1 damage each). No skill needed to accurately deliver the missiles.

Spell scrolls can be studied and carefully transcribed into Walker’s spellbook. Instead of a single-use spell, Walker can learn the spell itself and use it whenever we require it. Wizards are skilled in this, but I have not yet discovered a means for other kinds of adventurers to add new spells into their repertoire. Perhaps creation of magic items might be a means for other team members to access these abilities.

Haste (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
One person within 30 feet gains blistering speed (double movement speed, +2 Armor Class, Dexterity save advantage, and an additional action each round). Can maintain up to one minute (by caster’s concentration), but the recipient afterward spends a round in lethargy to regain his breath. Combat boosting. Quick run around an opponent or rapid escape while dodging incoming spells.

Sleet Storm (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
For up to one minute (by caster’s concentration), a 40-foot radius area up to 150 feet distant is subjected to a storm of freezing rain and ice (heavily obscured causing temporary blindness on everyone within, difficult terrain for movement, every round causing a Dexterity save to avoid falling prone, and those concentrating on a spell must make a Constitution save each round to maintain it). A powerful conjuration spell which can shatter an incoming army’s advance while we take them apart piecemeal.

Water Breathing (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
10 willing creatures gain the ability to breathe underwater for the next 24 hours. A ritual spell that Walker could cast without burning a spell slot. Our team could hide within a river to flee a powerful opponent, walk along a river bottom to surprise a patrol, explore the homes of water inhabitants and aquatic treasures, and improve a village’s fishing environment.

Longstrider (common consumable 1st-level spell scroll – 50 GP)
One touched person gains a speed enhancement (movement rate +10/round) for an hour. Casting this spell using higher spell slots would allow an additional person to be affected. Useful for missions of fast reconnaissance and sneaky stealth.

Feather Fall (common consumable 1st-level spell scroll – 50 GP)
The caster can use a reaction to slow the descent of five creatures within 60 feet. For the next minute, no one will receive damage from falling and will land on their feet. Saving someone falling into a deep pit. Jumping off of a building or tower or mountainside.

Magic Missile (common consumable 1st-level spell scroll – 50 GP)
Strike one or more targets with three magic missiles up to 120 feet away which automatically hit for 1d4+1 damage each. No skill needed to accurately deliver the missiles. Consistently score damage against tough-to-hit opponents. Hit extremely difficult targets like trap levers and ropes.

Mage Armor (common consumable 1st-level spell scroll – 50 GP)
Touch a person without armor to give them arcane protection (Armor Class 13 + Dexterity) for the next 8 hours. Protect casters and nimble scouts trying to sneak without hindering their abilities.

Message (common consumable cantrip spell scroll – 50 GP)
Quietly whisper to someone within 120 feet and hear them whisper back. The whispers can travel around corners and through solid objects. A means for us to communicate over distances quietly without spending spell slots.

Spider Climb (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Walk up walls and across ceilings and underground caverns while keeping hands free for a weapon. Walking over pits and around traps in tunnels. Hiding overhead while an adversary walks past, maybe delivering a hammer to the head. Faster climbing of mountain surfaces. Standing on the side of a building raining down fire on a horde of zombies. Gaining access to defended locations. Fasten ropes to high places to enable everyone to climb.

Phantom Steed (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Creates a wickedly-fast large rideable beast, with an appearance of your choosing, complete with saddle and reins. Travel at a speed of 10 mile per hour (100 feet/round) or a fast pace of 13 miles per hour. After one hour the rider and cargo drifts to the ground slowly. Cast this as a ritual without burning a spell slot. Increase our team’s travel speed for times we don’t mind going ahead separately one at a time. Impress the locals by riding a powerful mystic mount.

Alternative magic items and spells:
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Eversmoking Bottle (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Smoke fills a 60 foot radius and grows over time, heavily obscuring those within like a temporary blindness. Hides an entire group. If someone within had a non-visual means of seeing (like a familiar with blindsight), they could navigate without hindrance while remaining unbothered by adversaries.

Pearl of Power (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Recharge one spell slot (up to a 3rd level slot) once per day.

Immovable Rod (uncommon item – 500 GP)
A push-button forcefully locks the rod into position. Hang from a height in any environment or weather.

Wand of Secrets (uncommon item – 500 GP)
3 charges that recharge 1d3 every dawn. Find the nearest secret door or trap within 30 feet.

Pipes of Haunting (uncommon item – 500 GP)
30 foot range. Targets make a Wisdom save each round to avoid being frightened for up to one minute.

Bag of Holding (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Carry 500 pounds of items in 64 cubic feet of dimensional space, while the bag only weight 15 pounds.
Our team already has one of these, but as a tactic against an extremely tough opponent, we could put one bag within another (destroys both bags and causes a interdimensional rift to pull everyone within 10 feet on a one-way trip into the Astral plane). A nice way to dispose of an unwanted dragon.

Boots of Elvenkind (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Silent walking and Stealth advantage.

Gauntlets of Ogre Power (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Strength increases to 19 (+4 ability bonus).

Ring of Jumping (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Bonus action to triple your jump distance.
Normal long jump distance is (STR score) in feet with a ten-feet run-up, or half distance without.
Normal high jump distance is (STR bonus + 3) in feet with a ten-feet run-up, or half distance without.

Eyes of the Eagle (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Perception advantage.

Rope of Climbing (uncommon item – 500 GP)

Ring of Water Walking (uncommon item – 500 GP)

Wind Fan (uncommon item – 500 GP)
One Gust of Wind per day.

Winged Boots (uncommon item – 500 GP)
Fly speed equal to your walking speed, for four hours duration. Recharges 2 hours per 12 hours of un-use.

Counterspell (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Cancel a spell within 60 feet while it is being cast by an opponent (higher than 3rd level spells need a roll to succeed).

Dispell Magic (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Similar to Counterspell but against existing magic effects within 120 feet.

Fear (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
30 foot cone, causing Wisdom saves to avoid being frightened for up to one minute.

Fly (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Willing creature can fly at 60 feet/round for up to 10 minutes (by caster concentration) but will fall hard to the ground when the spell ends.

Hypnotic Pattern (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Range 120 feet. 30 foot cube. Wisdom save to avoid charmed incapacitation for up to one minute.

Major Image (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Range 120 feet. 20 foot cube. Powerful illusion that includes realistic sounds and smells, moving images. Investigation/INT save to see through the illusion. Lasts by caster concentration for up to 10 minutes.

Remove Curse (uncommon consumable 3rd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)

Darkness (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Stops seeing and darkvision in 15 foot radius up to 60 feet away for up to 10 minutes (by caster’s concentration).

Gust of Wind (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Wind in 60 foot line on 10 feet wide, for up to 1 minute by caster’s concentration. STR save vs being pushed 15 feet away. Moving upwind is like difficult terrain.

Invisibility (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
One creature touched is invisible for up to one hour (by caster’s concentration).

Knock (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Loudly open one lock up to 60 feet away.

Magic Weapon (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Cast as a bonus action to make it a +1 weapon for up to one hour (by caster’s concentration).

Mirror Image (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Three illusion duplicates may be attacked by opponents instead of you over the next minute.

Web (uncommon consumable 2nd-level spell scroll – 250 GP)
Range 60 feet. For up to 1 hour (by caster’s concentration). 20 foot cube is difficult terrain, lightly obscured, and every turn causes a Dexterity save to avoid being restrained, with a Strength save to break free. Burning webs causes 2d4 fire damage.

Jump (common consumable 1st-level spell scroll – 50 GP)
Touch one person to triple their jump distance for one minute.

Shield (common consumable 1st-level spell scroll – 50 GP)
Cast as a reaction for +5 Armor Class until start of your next round. Affects the current attack you are receiving and completely stops a Magic Missile.

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Dragon lair? Really? Where?
A lovely stroll through a cave

Tibault the blue dragon has been a vicious adversary, and discovering the location of its lair has given us a unique opportunity. But did we really find its lair?

I have not yet visited the lair, but many of you have during the recent recon mission. Lots of caverns within the mountainside, but no signs of guards or defenses which we should expect for any lair. No hints of a treasure horde. No traps. Not one stray coin. Nothing. If it wasn’t for the arrival of the dragon disguised as an orc, the whole mission would have a delightful stroll through the caverns. And the main cave entrance was at ground level and you were able to just walk right in.

I cannot believe this is a dragon’s lair. Dragons are extremely full of ego and greedy. They show-off their treasure to everyone and see us as beneath their contempt. A dragon would be embarrassed to claim this empty cave as their lair. Legends talk of severe weather disturbances around a dragon lair, but this cavern was dry and peaceful.

We are subject to a vast deception. This cannot be a real dragon lair. Why would a dragon pretend to claim this as their lair? Is Sid involved in this grand scheme, and why would a dragon stoop to cooperate with a mere humanoid? Why try to convince the local orcs and stone giants that this is a dragon lair? We do know that the blue dragon is very real. The Elves at BigTree and the local Orcs and Stone Giants believe the dragon is encamped in that lair.

We must discover the plot. The entire region’s future may depend upon us.

Atrei FaintWalker, conjurer and loremaster

Side note: Perhaps we can find some cast-off dragon scales?
A few dragon scales may have been pried loose from its rampage and tunneling through the rocky cavern walls during our recent recon mission. Imagine creating some armor from these dragon scales, or fashioning a dragon-scale charm which resists a draogn’s frightful presence or detects a nearby dragon?
[refer to Dungeon Master’s Guide page 165 for ideas]

Side note: I did find Embrey the alchemist at BigTree during my visit, and I asked him if he had any other items worthy of “testing”. He quickly offered a knit cap and just as quickly avoided any description of history about this item. We so enjoyed thoroughly our testing of the Gondales Mystic Spectacles that the knit cap should decorate one of our foreheads with style and spellcraft. Any volunteers? Any suggestions?

Side note: I also got Embrey the alchemist to return our water weird vial (that we found in the underground fort of Strade’s Gallows), and he provided some detailed notes and historical findings for the vial’s inhabitant. Thamior, we now have a name for our “pet” and you will be interested in trying it out.

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Ghetto Goggles of Gazing are now created
New goggles to see in the dark, but the dark sees back

We’ve done it! We have created an item of magic! We have added something permanent to this world.

Being an infant-de-arcane in the ways of wizardcraft, I had been studying ways of enchanting items for some time, but only recently have I felt confident enough to try my hand at it. Maybe it was our long journeys through the jungles, without being able to read for hours as I am accustomed to. Maybe it was the newfound fervor that each member of our team has been pouring into their own researches, like Mara’s jewelry crafting and Juju’s experiments in combining two cantrips at once.

Where should I begin? What item might be helpful to our team? Starting with a lower-powered item made sense, and after consulting everyone, the idea of granting some form of night vision to our non-Elven members could be beneficial. Considering our recent encounters with the Gondales Mystic Goggles, the cat-person amulets, and our explorations in dark places, it was a miasma of ideas to experiment without any guide or recipe.

Juju helped to put together some basic goggles out of spare parts we’ve scavenged along the way and somehow to managed to incorporate the essence of several orc eyes. After the eyes started staring back, Thamior offered a name of “Ghetto Goggles of Gazing”, and I clumsily added some energy transference between the components. Mara and Kragg almost moulded the goggles into a work of art and reduced some of the cost, but the primitive ingredients limited how far they could go.

Since I do not have a darkvision-enhancing spell, I needed to attack this from an unusual direction. Of course my studies into the Pepplefen fog still held sway. My theory was to summon an ethereal vision-reducing fog within the goggles and conjure a lens to invert the fog, increasing the wearer’s ethereal vision instead of reducing it. The lens began to mutate into something involving a low-pitched humming sound, but Thamior helped me to detect it and I was able to draw it back into focus. Juju and I saw that the item gained more than expected, that the contained fog could in some special situation condense to dissolve a lock into a fog of its own, but neither of us could decipher what sort of lock it might work upon or how we might detect this lock when we near it.

To complete the item, I had no difficulties in congealing eyes and fog-filled ice and further reducing the item’s cost. Overall, the goggles cost around 325 gold in various components and only a day of effort. The orcish eyes slightly glow and seem to rove and rave in random directions, but what they look at is not known to any but the wearer. Frodo has been testing them in darkened places and seems quite comfortable having a second pair of eyes.

Juju has pointed out a disturbing observation. She seems to think that the cat amulets are somehow affected by the goggles. I can almost see a cat-like glint in those orcish goggle-eyes. Could the proximity of those feline fetishes have affected our creation of the goggles? Juju seems more attuned to cats than I, and both of us shall be watching carefully.

Eyes in the dark. A successful team effort, bringing magic into the air and light. My mind fills with new possibilities for our next creation.

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Miles of worthlessness
The slavers were too easy, and the dragon is too hard

We found ourselves one mile from the slaver’s encampment, and we paused to discuss our tactics for attacking them and rescuing their captives. We questioned the slaver we had captured alive, but the brute was a simpleton and could provide little of help to us. Observing his crude mannerisms gave me an idea. While Thamior and Cheetara stealthed into the camp and took out the archers in the treetops overhead, the rest would assault the camp… except for me. I volunteered to be the distraction (or the scapegoat?). I arcaned myself into the form of the slaver, put on his clothes, practiced speaking a few of his loud complaints and refusals, and left for the camp.

I ran into camp blubbering and shouting about the attackers! Close to a dozen slavers stood near a large campfire, with a loud braggart leading the thugs in a rally of curses and catcalls towards “Miles you idiot”, “dumbheart Miles”, and “Miles of worthlessness”. To play my role as Miles, I needed to reduce my intelligence to a mere shadow of myself, but combined with my physical form and voice I carried the day with an actor’s proud skill. I howled about the dozen attackers that ambushed me and my two companions, the trickery and flame they hurled at us, and I attracted their attention away from the stealthy approaching the camp. Several slavers were standing over the bound forms of the captives, ready to execute them quickly as the campfire danced cruel flames in their darkened eyes. As the archers were silently and skillfully removed, I stumbled into a position directly in line with the executors, intending to hurl a lightning bolt through them all when the time was right.

The leader shouted insults and invitations into the jungle, and all of the slavers were growing restless waiting for those he hoped would behave as “civilized men” which were obviously upon them. My team emerged from the trees into the edge of the camp shadow, and the bargaining began. There might be a way to rescue the captives without the risk of battle, and the leader threw offers of selling the captives and threats to kill them and other things, and it seemed clear that they did not have a taste for battle this night. Their price of 20 gold per head was trivial, but I could see that even that paltry sum was more than my team really wanted to part with. Finally, they agreed to keep one captive with them until they were able to depart in safety. I joined with the rest of the slavers departing camp and my team advanced to see to the health of the captives. After a mile or so, I howled of exhaustion and received another assault of curses, but as I predicted, they were not willing to wait and they left me behind and dumped the captive so they could proceed at top speed.

After they ran out of sight, I approached the bound captive, but he shouted and squirmed even after I morphed back into my original Elven form and voice. I awaited my team to approach up the trail, and they reported the rest of the now free captives have bolted for their village. We pursued the slavers and I sent Aethyr overhead to view them with the sharpened sight that the fey-owl depended upon. Thamior’s baby bronze dragon Kriv returned down the trail – apparently he had been hiding among the slaver’s items – and Kriv (speaking Draconic) described some sort of shantytown the slavers entered. Evening smothered the jungle. Aethyr and I observed the town from a distance, and it appeared to be a ramshackle pirate hovel with a hundred or so degenerates living among the filth. We quickly decided to avoid the shantytown and aimed to cross overland through the jungle, over the large nearby river, and towards the nearing mountains where our goal of the Ibecx ruined city was rumored to lie.

After three weeks of so of eventless travel through the thinning jungle, we refound the big river’s southern end and followed it for a few more days into the foothills of the mountain range. Several of us spied a stonework dam over a nearby river tributary, and perhaps our lack of recent encounters gave us all a thirst for meeting someone, even someone with a hostile intent. Kragg quickly found Dwarvish runes which he knew were carved by one of his compatriots we had rescued from the sewers of Port Garmsby. Perhaps some of these Dwarves are accompanying the vile halfling sorceror Sid while he searches for the Ibecx ruins? The dam structures were uninteresting except for a 15 foot circular pit, perhaps a cistern for water storage. Juju, eager to help, offered to light a rock and drop it into the pit, and she was rather nervous while drawing the arcane energies as she was still very new to using the magic which I have been instructing her. The pit had an opening hidden within shadow.

Kriv jumped impulsively into the pit, disappeared for a moment, and shouted about a “small wet city place”. After finally emerging from weeks of jungle into the dusty sunlight, we now descend into the dry pit. Plenty of stonework was mined out of the rock and abandoned. A few housing rooms, a refuse pile, a dozen buildings, no remnants of magic, and nothing of interest other than a few Dwarven runes hastily written (within the past few weeks Kragg says) about Sid not being able to find what he is seeking. We depart for a few more hours of southward travel before the sunlight runs out over the mountainous horizon.

A night of quiet on the hillside was deceiving. Perhaps we should have thought deeper about hiding our presence, especially as we were nearing Sid’s horde. As dawn approached, Cheetara woke me and whispered about another flying lizard. A large blue dragon lumbered through the pre-dawn sky, heaving its wings and hoary breathing across the rocks. I have been in the habit of preparing our nightly campsites with what an ancient wizard Leomund had called his Tiny Hut, a protective dome of force, and all were thankful for the dome as the beast clawed at the dome as it flew by, breathed lightning upon it, landed upon it, and made itself a nuisance of the highest order. The blue dragon was angry with us for some reason, and his rage would likely last much longer than the hour remaining before our Hut would evaporate into the dawn.

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Growing concerns about the alchemist?
Can we really trust this fellow?

I hold growing concerns about our recently-discovered alchemist. I find it incredulous that he had in his possession those accursed goggles, just happened to offer them to us for “testing”, and knew depthful knowledge about their history and extreme dangers. He seems to hold no grudge against us, but I feel we shall be hearing of an ulterior motive, especially since he claims to know of only one method to rescue friend Thamior. And could those topaz socks be somehow linked to this plot?

“Oh, by the way, since you’ll be traveling to the infernal reaches, could you kindly retrieve some mystic ingredients for me? It’s such a small price to pay for saving your ranger’s life, after all. I would love to travel with you but my frail body could only hinder your band of seasoned adventurers…”

I am glad that the dark enemies we encountered have not found us so tastefully seasoned.

Atrei, discerning and doubtful

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The Squire chimes in

What in Fury’s name was that? I hear many tales of combat and danger of your group, but this recent religious jaunt was nothing more than a fairy tale. Wandering around in someone’s childhood memories, throwing banana peels and climbing trees? A squire is ready for a fight, not watching little elf school. Trusting your lives to a bunch of giddy cleric pretenders is the height of stupidity. Maybe you have all dreamed all of your adventures?

Who’s in charge here? When danger arises, everyone goes off and does whatever they want. No command structure. No sense of order. No formation. Everyone falling down and dropping weapons. The pale magic elf doesn’t even try to fight, preferring to hide at a distance and light things on fire. It’s amazing to me that any of you are still alive, flailing about like that. Every battle is nothing more than a bar brawl. It’s embarrassing.

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The Dragon Whisperer
This is getting unbearable

Dearest Ava,

Boy has it been an eventful several weeks. Things have been on the up and up for old Thamior. Firstly we finally escape the Land of the Gray! This has been a long time coming, but is a huge relief. Our trip back to town was rather uneventful, and we apparently have become rather well known among the humans. Among the Wood Elves is another matter, my only contact is you and Embray so its rather hard to judge.

Of course this fame isn’t without its drawbacks. The governor wants the Trouble Shooters (I know its lame, but that’s what we are calling ourselves now) to clear their stone quarry of overly clever Kobalds. Apparently they are led by some human named Horath. From what I understand he is annoyed that the Roman’s have small boats and thinks that they need bigger boats.

We also now have a tag-along named Nass I think? He and Mara (the Fighter) have some sort of history. He is a pretty poor fighter from what I have seen but he can carry the dirt out of equipment. This was especially helpful recently when we set out to observe the quarry to determine how much of a pain it will be to clear. Due to my expert woodsman skills we traversed the path largely unimpeded.

By largely unimpeded I mean we were found by an imp named Isosceles who trades in information. We had actually acquired some goggles on a recent trip to Embray’s that are just the best. Isosceles was so kind as to give us the name and bit of history of the goggles. Apparently they are called Gondales Mystic Specticles and were forged nigh 100 years after The Great Ghost Dance. In any case now Mara won’t let me touch the goggles anymore for some reason. She is rather mean about it too! I just want to see the pretty lights again!

The next day we found a good little hidey hole to discuss plans from and information gathered by Aether. I almost forgot! Atrei has an Owl now named Aether. He has some sort of Arcane bond with it and is able to communicate and use it for recon. This was immensely helpful as the last time we engaged these Kobald directly it was a bit of a nail biter. This largely simplified the whole initial recon business. This encampment is far more organized than one might initially guess. It was only in times before The Dance that we heard tale of Kobald who did anything other than fight over scraps.

To do some more in depth surveillance I fashioned us up some snow shoes to better cover our tracks so we wouldn’t be so easily spotted by the patrols. As many of our Trouble Shooters hadn’t used snow shoes before we took an excursion to get our bearings. During this we encountered a Polar Bearformer named Grimlock. I say bearformer because he was clearly not a real bear as he had none of the telltale signs of one. Luckily we had our good old friend Frodo to commune with him. Of course the Bearformer decided to be difficult and not just turn into a human to converse with us, so Frodo had to relay reply’s to us.

According to the Bearformer the Norse aren’t the ones who started the war necessarily, and for that matter they didn’t start it over the size of their boats! This is obviously nonsense. He asserted if they did start the war it was justified, though that is something I’m sure many on both sides would say. According to him the Taun-ti are apparently behind this whole human conflict and they supposedly have proof in the form of multiple captured Taun-ti agents. He told us how to approach the camps and not be fired upon and he took his leave.

In any case with our dreams of ambushing the patrols dashed we promptly began our return to Port Garmsby. Though this apparently wasn’t for the feint of heart. Overhead I spotted a white dragon approaching. We promptly took cover but to our dismay the dragon landed. Wise as we are we promptly began our retreat, but suddenly everyone but myself and Aether were stunned in fear. It was a real case of brown trousers. In that moment I knew what I had to do. I had two choices to save the Trouble Shooters from certain death; convince Whitey that we were far too strong to be trifled with, or go down in a blaze of glory. Luckily the latter didn’t come to pass. Through quickness of wit and deftness of negotiation I convinced Whitey to take a few Black Dragon Eggs we were had been carrying for a while and a paltry sum of gold. I’d like to add that Frodo time and time again insisted that the eggs were dead, but lo and behold they turned out to be quite a valuable asset.

With disaster averted thanks to yours truly we successfully returned home even greater legends than before! But the job of a trouble shooter never ends! We had to figure out if the Taun-ti were indeed behind the going’s on in the Roman’s Ranks. Myself and Atrei set off to speak with our wise friend Embray.

Once there we discovered not very much more than what we had already heard from the Bearformer, but he did corroberate his story. Of course no good deed goes unpunished, Embray tricked me into putting on cursed Azure Socks that made me dance for as long as I wore them. Embray will not here the end of this! In addition, Embray insisted that those goggles were dangerous. I assured him that they definitely were not; providing only good things and wonderful gifts to all those who used them. He then got all uppity when I told him how we learned the name of the goggles, saying he was “planning on moving soon” because “the demon’s must not learn of the existence of the goggles or it will be the end of days” nonsense I say! Embray is so prone to hyperbole that one cannot tell his yarns from his wheel.

Once we returned I promptly went to the Temple to get the cursed socks removed. I then returned to the Tavern and Mara finally let me get some quality time with the goggles. Apparently I am in some sort of coma now? How can I be writing this if I was in a coma?

Truely yours,
Thamior

P.S. I have some questions for you, like why didn’t you tell me that Port Garmsby was under siege? When did the human’s start warring over the size of their boats? Are the Taun-ti real? Did you receive instructions not to tell me anything? I worry sometimes that you don’t want me to know when you need help. We need to talk soon about this and other business.

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The alchemist, the eyewear, and the imp
Snowfall cannot cover the dangers we dabble with

On our third morning in Port Garmsby, just hours after our warfare against the kobold invader squads, our injured group members took the time for an opportunity for rest and recovery. Thamior was willing to walk with me to an alchemist’s shop north of the city run by a man named Hombre. To protect his location, I won’t describe which hollow tree holds the entrance to his underground shop and some of the sophisticated furnishings we saw there. The alchemist was quite enraptured with his research and was taken off guard when he noticed us observing him experimenting with a star-shaped aquatic creature. We had the start of a number of fascinating conversations about the causes of the recent warfare, styles of Elven ships (and the shortcomings of other cultures’ sailing vessels), and a wealth of history about kobolds of the past and their ancient Ibex masters that could aid us in our interactions with them. Our ranger Thamior was quite skillful in arranging our purchase of healing potions from him, and he even enticed the alchemist into studying our group’s water-weird-in-a-bottle we discovered from the hag’s villainy in Fort Strade.

While discussing some of the finer points of arcane with him (and obtaining his willingness to teach me some skills in crafting magical items), he made good offer to us for testing some unusual emerald green metallic goggles he had found. It is unwise to dabble in unknown magics, I am well aware, but I felt this was a test of trust, to see if we were truly willing to commit ourselves to trusting him. I was confident the alchemist was not trying to harm us on purpose. I cautiously volunteered myself, placing the scaly leather goggles on and seeing the smoke-filled thick lenses clearing away and acting similar to my Detect Magic spell, bringing certain items in the shop into crystal clarity while all others were foggy and confused. Thamior also tried himself on the goggles, but his descriptions focused on specks of bright light in the creatures around him instead of the items I had seen. Perhaps these goggles enhance some of our innate abilities? More experimenting is needed.

Thamior and I returned to the city and our merry band, and using the goggles he had detected a person stalking us while we walked (which appeared as an ordinary squirrel to the naked eye). While updating them on our wonderment in the alchemist’s dwelling, we found it easy to encourage the group to try the goggles, and each one was most eager to try them but I insisted (for their safety) that I examine the items in more depth first. The goggles did not exhibit the nature of a typical magical item when examined, but some extra study was able to detect threads of Divination, Enchantment and Illusion schools of magic which seems like an unhealthy combination to me, an ill omen to come.

Each person tried the goggles. Mara mentioned seeing colored auras around each person, differing in color in what I believe is related to the person’s career path. Kragg saw jewels and precious metals in the clear bright manner that I would see magical items. Frodo had an overpowering vision of his unseen benefactor from where he draws his arcane power, Frodo calls him simply ‘the outsider’. This Outsider is apparently an imposing human male of indeterminable age with deep blue, almost black robes with silver glyhs running across them that appear to be mirrored on the Outsiders body in silver tattoos the villainous halfling Sid who taunted him and seemed aware of the vision, snapping his fingers to end Frodo’s vision. Our Cheetara was jumping around, batting cat-claws at unseen objects and overly enjoying herself so much that Kragg had to entangle her to end it. I took more detailed notes so I could discuss further our findings with the alchemist, but one thing is quite disturbing to me: these goggles somehow read the nature of the wearer and amplify that nature to unusual proportions. The danger of addiction and over confidence must be guarded against, and if the Outsider Sid can interact with the wearer’s vision, I question if we should be carrying this thing among us at all.

We were oblivious to the horrific mess that Cheetara’s antics had caused, and the innkeeper demanded to be paid for the damages. A courier arrived to speak with Mara, saying that Praetor Peneton had commanded her presence, and she hastily paid the innkeeper so all of us could depart.

As we awaited Mara’s return, we had a rare moment to appreciate the snowfall. The city is encompassed with war and woe, burned buildings and slain soldiers. The snowfall was already near knee height, but the new snowfall gently covered and caressed the broken city and hid the ugliness for a brief moment. It has been only days since ending our week in Pepplefen’s fateful fog, but several months had passed in the real world and this was my first chance to really notice the snow. Mara returned quite annoyed, sharing the Praetor’s protective instructions for her new squire Mahir Nassar while this new squire strode beside her with an almost imperial attitude. Nass had been closely carousing with the Praetor’s daughter Metella, a vicious fact we all understood all too clearly. We decide to quickly depart the embattled city for the stone quarry so that the Praetor does not summon us into some further troubles.

Our first hours on the journey began in a simple march, and then the many tracks in the snow ceased and we settled into our walking rhythm and kept alert. We departed the trail and went overland, stopping for the eve with a shelter campfire and a chance to help our new members learn how to keep our two-person watches. I was awoken by Frodo and Kragg who had been talking to an odd talking raven who came into our camp, asking for secrets to share. An imp, a foul shriveled creature. Frodo seemed quite eager to decide what secrets we could safely share with the thing, and we discussed quietly among ourselves. Our dwarven Kragg was quite uncomfortable with this creature, probably bristling with divine reminders about his noble purpose and his commitment to fighting evil wherever it is found. We decide to share our discoveries about the history of Fort Strade (by talking to my long-winded Gerald-staff) and our experiences with defeating the hag, and in return the raven-imp said its name was Isoceles, gave us better direction and nearby landmarks for the Ibex ruined city we were planning to visit, and described the Gondales Mystic Spectacles we were dabbling with, a 500 year old item which sometimes sapped the wearer’s soul. The thing departed only after describing how we can request its presence in the future for further secrets. No more sleep for this eve.

By midday we approached the quarry, and we carefully scouted for hostiles. My new fey-owl Aether was dancing in the stiff winds above the hills, informing us of two small six-men-and-kobold encampments and sentry patrols roaming south of the quarry entrance trail. Thamior has been well too often with those accursed goggles, and his eyes were bleeding from his recent use of them. We all felt something wrong, why the goggles came to us just prior to the raven-imp appearance, why the northern approaches seemed unguarded, why the kobolds were guarding a stone quarry which they had ruined and with no valuables for them. We endeavored to encamp for the eve while observing for ways to ambush the patrols and find our way into the quarry safely during the morrow. We readied ourselves for a killing-day.

Atrei FaintWalker, Conjurer Errant

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Logbook Entries 209-217
I never want to see the Shadow Plan again...

It’s impossible to tell time in this town. They sky is a near constant grey. In the grand scheme of things, exact times may not be very important. I will do my best to guess at the times.
7th Day in Shadow Plane
0800 – People slowly waking up. The Smith, Cole, may be of use in furthering my blacksmithing knowledge. Thamior finds letter. Letter included below:

“Dear Annoying group of interlopers.

How fun it has been, this game of ours. I was a disappointed your scarred friend wasn’t able to join us, I was so looking forward to adding a real dagger to his body, but I suspect my hired thugs got to have all the fun!
I must move on though, my time here is at an end, I have wards to start and ancient artifacts of power to uncover. Your time here, though, has just begun! You think your so clever, gathering supplies and planning an escape, but my associated and I have other plans for you and your peasant friends. They like you, they want you to stay and they reap the spoils of your misery…
To that end I have set my minions to the task of destroying the temple, can you not hear them working even now? Oh, and to ensure you will be too busy to interrupt them I have taken some of your friends and relocated them throughout the town, they probably won’t last the day, but by then your future will be sealed. I may return in a few years, and if any of you still live, I will put you out of your misery then, so don’t despair…too much!
Good riddance to rubbish,
Sid”

This letters confirms my theory that this Halfling is the same one we encountered in Port Garmsby.

0830 – Noise of stone on metal can be heard. The group heads to the temple.
0845 – Arrive at temple. Steep path up to the temple approx. incline 50%. Two ogre zombies and two zombies seen. Zombies hitting temple repeatedly. Atrei: Kite zombies with noise. Effective until chanting begins. Zombies return to hitting temple.
0900 – Fog rolls in. Blocks view of all enemies. Start ascent to temple. Movement is slow. Fireball hits us. Enemy still unseen. Run into two ogre zombies. Zombies attempt to roll down path. Zombies fall down off path.
0930 – Halfling is seen. Mara attempts a tackle and fails. Halfling disappears. Brie uses Gust of Wind. Fog disappears. 3 ogre zombies, 9 regular zombies, Halfling sighted. Gust of Wind pushes zombies back.
0945 – Battle begins. Halfling disappears using magic circle. Shadow creature appears. Effectiveness of melee attacks is low.
1000 – Shadow disappears. Enemy is known for disappearing and reappearing elsewhere in battle.
1015 – Mara knocked unconscious. Brie heals.
1030 – Atrei knocked unconscious. Shadow and remaining zombies killed. Brie heals.
1045 – Basement scouted for enemies. None found. Temple is secure.
1100- Return to town hall. Missing children have been found/returned.
1200 – Group eats and rests.
1600 – Acquire daises from north-west fields.
1700 – Return to temple. Group rests for the night.

8th day in Shadow Plane
1st group of villagers escorted to teleportation circle. One daisy in hands of each villager. Brie uses teleportation scroll. Teleportation successful.

9th Day in Shadow Plane
Repeat of day 7. 2nd group teleported.

10th Day in Shadow Plane
Repeat of day 7. 3rd group teleported.

11th Day in Shadow Plane
Repeat of day 7. Last group teleported.
Return to the original Pepplefin Village. Time midday. Currently is snowing. 1 day in shadow plane equivalent to two weeks in regular world. Approximately in shadow plane for about 6 months. Damages sustained in shadow plane not present in original Pepplefin. Morale is high.
While away war has started. Norsemen and Asians against Romans. Arabs neutral. Trade from Romans to new world has stopped. Blockade put up by Noresmen.

January 20th
0800 – Leave Pepplefin.
January 23th
1500 – Arrive in Port Garmsby. Journey uneventful.

January 24th
0900 – Receive summons from Governor.
1100 – Arrive at governor’s office. Receive writ as compensation for our weapons that were requisitioned. Zombie infestation at mines. Governor wants group to neutralize threat. Ore needed for fortifications. Halfling (potentially same as before) stirred up undead in sewers. Left town to the south to pursue “city of power”. Follow up with scholars for additional info.
1500 – Bumped into Mahir near The Green Thumb Apothecary and Herbalist. He didn’t seem to recognize me.
1700- Talk to Phillip, guard friend known to get information and be discrete for the right price. Ask Phillip to do some recon on Mahir. How long has he been in town? How did he get here with the blockade? Who is he with? Why is he here? Waiting on Phillip’s response.

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