Kusanagi's Log: Session 23
Dragon Patrol

On our fourth day out from Rivelda we’ve finally been caught by an Avergene patrol. We avoided them as much as we could, but were ambushed in a shallow creek bed. A couple of poison-spewing drake-type creatures, a warlock who may have conjured a dragon apparition, and my “cousin” Kaliyat, a redoubtable warrior. These are accompanied by squads of human archers and mixed skirmishers.

Knell quickly finds himself in the thick of the fight again. He’s forced to hold off a squad himself, which he does to great effect. Vorn and Crythis make the most of the enemy’s tight formations with blasts of radiance, fire and ice. Tirrigeth confronts the warlock and Kaliyat, and I try to position myself centrally so as to aid them all.

Kaliyat recognized me, and as his allies fell one-by-one around him, I did my best to persuade him to surrender. The Dragonborn have been exploited before, and it is my feeling now that the propaganda of the crusade is another instrument of exploitation being used against them. This suspicion is difficult to convey in the heat of battle, however, and true to his heritage, Kaliyat refuses to yield. Immeral unleashes a furious attack the like of which I have never seen. That one attack alone would have brought me nearly to my knees had it been directed at me. Thank Bahamut it was not. I say the service of Gentle Repose over Kaliyat’s corpse so that it may not be used by necromancers or other manipulators of the dead.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 22
Carnage at the Crossing

We have resolved to travel north, seeking Jahn and whatever plan he has for us. Our suspicions are that he is not the bumbling minion he represents himself to be, but rather, the dark spirit we released from beneath the mountain.

Less than two days of travel brings us to a ford. A battle between an Avergene scout party and a party of gnolls and goblins has been fought here. A pair of massive, slavering hyena-beasts are gnawing on the remains of the fight. Our stealthy approach is greeted by an equally stealthy ambush (although Immeral avoids the initial enemy contact and places himself in ideal position to harass the leader of the enemy.)

A group of gnolls joins forces with the beasts and we are divided and set upon. Despite enemies at close quarters Vorn and Crythis acquit themselves well. Knell is quickly surrounded, but his remarkable stamina keeps him on his feet despite the flurry of blows raining down on him. It would have gone very badly for him had Immeral not revealed himself and struck against the leader of the gnoll band.

I strike enemies and heal allies as the opportunities present themselves and despite our initially being surprised, we overcome the foe.

We know a party of Avergene soldiers is behind us. What they will be able to read from the carnage here, I do not know. We detect traces that indicate gnolls and goblins fled north from the scene of the earlier fight. The dead here have been so for at least eight hours, so any pursuit will likely be a long one. Enemies before us, as well as behind, and we have little knowledge of what Jahn may have in store for us. I resolve to hold my most potent prayers in reserve for that encounter, and pray that I will be able to do so.

Immeral's Log: 'Lo I walk through the valley of death...

The echo of water flowing pricks my ears as the party migrates deeper into the bowels of the earth. The party of adventurers, brave souls all, line up a short distance behind me as I slide silently through the darkness, wary for the inevitable surprise that awaits us. The trickling sounds grow louder into a rushing noise as I come to the end of the tunnel, spilling into a large open room. An underground river nearly five times as long as I rushes through the damp under dark. The broken remains of a dock stand in solitary greeting as the group filters in behind me. Quickly we mobilize and I’m lead climbing along the eastern wall above the river inlet, a rope tied around my waist. Struggling at first on the moldy rock wall, I quickly compose myself and make effortless work of the climb. Deposited on the far shore, I tie off a rope to allow the others to cross. It goes well enough at first until Crythis slips, quickly being washed downstream. If it weren’t for Tirrigeth, he’d have been lost. Her strength and courage was all there was to save him. I appreciate that about her – her willingness to sacrifice for her comrades. Am I so different? I find it peculiar that I hesitate in similar situations… then again, who have I ever been able to trust? What real friends have I had that were worthy? If only they’d followed my lead and scaled the wall, I doubt the dunking would’ve occurred.

Our partly failed test of athletics completed, we continued onward through another dark tunnel. Taking the lead I was the first to approach the cavern mouth. Widening out like a great dragons maw, I stood with mouth agape at the sight of a lonely keep in the rocky floor below. The party catching up to me, we quickly strategized and I was off, scouting ahead. Darting from rock to rock, silently and swiftly approaching I notice an ogre has taken residence. Something about it is odd though, as though his movements aren’t quite natural or human. The simple sway and organic balance that is expected was lacking. As I slid closer it became apparent: he was undead. A small bridge crossed what appeared to be an empty moat, leading to a pair of decimated wooden doors that were bashed open and forgotten, unhinged on the ground. As the ogre shuffled back inside I crept closer, quickly examining the bridge and a strange, ominous lever that resided on the near side – misplaced and suspect. My bump of trouble tingled as I looked at it, and down into the darkness of the pit. What appeared to be refuse and death existed there in a most unholy peace. In double quick time I retraced my steps, careful as ever, to share this new information with the group. Another quick, tactical discussion passed and three of us were down at an ambush site I’d spotted on my initial journey to the black keep. The ogre stumbling back out to the fore caused us to hide rapidly. Slinking forward I let loose my shuriken, striking deep into the creature’s chest. The ensuing battle was not worthy of poetry, for it was horrific. From the pit rose swarms of bugs and carrion crawlers, intent to feast on us. The ogre engaged us and brought forth his comrades, all undead and festering. The battle was slow won, and my wounds were great. I could hardly stand as we rushed the keep, chasing down the remaining ogre – a boulder wielding fiend, intent to hurl rock at us from a distance. Knell and Tirrigeth closed in on the last and in a burst of fervent anger I chased it down striking deep into the creature with a fury I scarce knew I contained. My blow was the first tolling of a death bell for this creature as we surrounded and dispatched it. In my dreams I still am reviled by the corpse and spit on it.

Nursing our wounds, Kusanagi called on the power of Bahamut to still our weeping wounds and knit our flesh. Thoroughly worn, barely standing, we pushed on. This was no place for us to remain. A quick search of the keep uncovered its purpose: a place of offering to a dark God. Bane’s followers built a place of power, a place of evil. At the insistence of a few of our tribe, we ventured into the temple and found a pathway downward, deeper into the bowels of the beast. The heat and acrid tang of sulfur brought tears to our eyes as we moved from the stairs to a place out of nightmare. A fierce demon beckoned to us, welcoming to our doom. He dared us to enter his realm and feel the wrath of his blade, usurpers that we were, power hungry and naïve. His challenges forced my hand, for before I knew it I charged to him, bringing the fight in full measure to him – I am never one to wait idly for my destruction. Courting apocalypse, I lashed out at him. He was stronger than I anticipated as my blade missed, his alacrity sending a warning alarm through my nervous system. This would be no simple battle. Following my lead the party charged forward and engaged. Had we known the intensity of this creatures ire I wager we would have spent the time to recuperate beforehand, but as I am told, dwelling on hind sight is for the feckless. We were men and women of action this day and only through our prowess and pure dumb luck did we prevail. The creature, having nigh turned the battle by hamstringing Knell, was overcome. Praise to Avandra, and may she bless all my feral dealings with such vigor. The Fang of Kutrog was ours. Much of the treasure found by searching the demon’s lair was curiously well suited to our individual martial prowess, though I am not one to triple count a lucky die. I take what offerings are made and revel in furthering efficacy in my art – the art of the elusive.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 21
The Keep of Smite

In the center of a truly vast chamber we came across a fortress surrounded by a moat of undead insects, and guarded by equally undead ogres. We attempted some tactical maneuvering, with the intent of avoiding being thrown into the moat, an idea we all loathed. However, our plan resulted in us facing the ogres on the bridge over the moat. It was hardly the most advantageous position for us, and we paid for our mistake in pain.

Eventually we defeated the ogres and the insect swarms from the moat and, despite our exhaustion, resolved to investigate the temple of Bane within the walls of the Keep.

The fiery chamber below the temple was lair to one “Smite”, a demon of evil countenance whose whip cracked and ensnared us, drawing us into range of the great sword he wielded. Our resources were low at the initiation of this duel, and Smite quickly drained what little we had left. Perhaps we learned a lesson in the fight above, for we were able to surround the demon and bring down sufficient damage to finally slay him, though he nearly returned the favor for several of us.

Smite was the designated guardian of the Fang of Kutrog, as well as numerous other treasures that were curiously attuned to us, or became so as we investigated them. Whether this was by some design of the gracious gods, some plot of the infernal ones, or some coincidence, I cannot tell. The rewards were mighty, and they may allow us to hold the Fang until we can determine what should rightfully be done with such a powerful relic.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 20
The Harvester Awakens

The cold was what I noticed first. It was more than winter’s cold. There was an eerie finality to it, as if everything had stopped, except for the slow spread of ice. It seemed to be coming from Knell, or rather beneath him. I have often wondered about Knell. He is the only one of his kind I have ever met. His visage would be terrifying had I not spent much of my youth amidst the equally terrifying dragonborn. There was a certain infernal taint to him, like the taste of water in a tin cup. Subtle, yet potentially dangerous. There is a reason to avoid pools that animals avoid. They are death.

I said the Invocation of Protection that is written in the Platinum Book. I noticed that my breath was visible in the air. I imagined that the faint puffs of vapor contained the Invocation itself, and hoped that as they dissipated, they would cloak my companions in the invoked aura of the dragonborn paladin Kuyutha, exarch of Bahamut.

Then I knew the source of the cold. As if the Invocation had been a hammer struck against a great bell of ice cold iron. The Raven Queen claimed her own. I understood the sense of finality. Of fate. The bladeling had received a calling, much as I had, but from a very different source. I do not know the wonders he may have experienced in that eternal moment, but I remember my own.

Kuyutha it was that spoke to me. It seems both long ago, and yet immediate. His light-filled presence illuminated a dark place in my life. I felt lost among the dragonborn. Maybe as Knell must feel among us, separated from his people. Kuyutha explained to me that even as the world we know collapses around us, we can be as mountains in our faith, enduring. A mountain is sometimes a singular presence, or it may be allied in a range. Either way it endures.

I hope that, if Knell is willing, I may share this vision with him. Perhaps the Raven Queen will grant him a similar vision to ease the pain of his separation. He is made of stern stuff, that much I know. The Raven Queen has chosen well, if she has selected him as one of her agents of fate.

Awakened by the sending of the Raven Queen, we sought beyond our place of rest and found a curious tunnel that would later become far more hideous than curious. Suffice to say that we were “birthed” into a loathsome chamber inhabited by slavering grubs and the hags who kept watch over their gestation. A truly vile encounter ensued.

The wraith-like hags howled at us, the grub swarms gnawed at any exposed flesh they could find. We fought with sword and spell and fire, retching all the while. Finally we defeated the things. Crythis torched the chamber in a fury.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 19
The Ghosts in the Machine

There is some confusion in my recollection, perhaps caused by the dark forces at work in the Underdark caverns beneath the house of Spren’Ahame. It may be that the battles and marches we made in that place are lost to my mind. Perhaps if others recall more clearly, they may add to what little I recall here.

We are confronted by a pair of creatures who appear to be goblins, but are clearly not so. They guard a pair of passages and a machine of unknown but sinister purpose. In the confusion that followed, I know the machine was activated in some manner. The goblins were revealed to be some sort of constructs, and we were assaulted by specters.

At one point Vorn critically blasted one of the constructs with his Lightning Breath. Crythis punished the things with his own lightning, provided by Melora’s grace.

It was a difficult fight, and given the toll of the previous encounter combined with this one, we were forced to rest overnight in one of the side chambers off this cavern. A narrow hole was revealed behind the disabled machine. After resting, we vowed to push on, knowing that the Fang of Korog, or Kutrog (my studies in the library above indicated there was some confusion about the name of the thing) was somewhere in these depths.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 18
Under Spren'Ahame

Beneath the house is a chamber littered with bodies and a tapestry of disturbingly evil design. Behind it is a mechanical marvel of a door, a massive portal of steel and magic. Immeral and Vorn assault the thing in their own ways, deft fingers and subtle intellect applied together.

Some kind of trap or ward is triggered and a flash of light, a thunderous vibration and a mighty arcane wind issue forth from the portal. An angel confronts us and seals the house saying, “For here there is no passage.” A construct of bronze materializes and we arte forced into a fight. The angel raises the skeletal remains in the room to harass us, but Crythis succeeds in dismissing the threat. Their weird chanting drone temporarily dazes Immeral and Tirrigeth however.

Vorn hits the angel with a critical blast of Ice Dragon’s Teeth and Immeral shakes off his dazed state to deliver the killing blow to the guardian being. Beyond the door we find the entrance to a portion of the Underdark, that portion of the world dug by a god of hate and pain as it escaped some ancient bondage.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 17
Assault from the Air

Outside the house of Spren’Ahame the Avergenes have arrived. We exit the library with what information we were able to gather, and confront a mixed force of some kind of dragonling swarms, and their handlers.

There is something aberrant about these creatures and this reinforces my belief that there is something rotten at the core of the crusade.

The small dragon that joins the assault covers distance so quickly that we are taken by surprise. Immeral nearly falls at the creature’s assault, and is swarmed by the dragonlings. One of the handlers, a dwarf, crushes my will with some fell psychic magic, and I am of little help in this fight, reduced to the role of spectator.

Eventually, by the bravery of my fellow adventurers and a critical bow shot from one of our party (I’m afraid I was too dazed to discern who made the shot) we drive the crusaders off and prepare to descend into the secret depths below the ancient house.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 16
Into the ruin...

The ruined mansion seems haunted in more ways than one. The locals use it as a refuse site. We carefully scout it for a hidden entrance in hopes of surprising the guardian of the place but we have no luck. We must enter directly, through the few refuse-clogged windows that are not heavily boarded.

Throughout the next hour Knell is haunted by an apparition. A tentacled form with many eyes appears out of the weird mists that trail about the interior. In his panic, the bladeling attacks it whenever he sees it. Unfortunately, it means that he hits his companions with these wild outbursts. As none of us can see the thing, it is naturally disquieting to all. As well as painful.

We finally confront the source of the mist, and presumably, the apparition. A coalesced fog that spawns cloudlings and deals damage through the foul airs and auras it creates, scraping our psyches with its attacks. Crythis launches his own attack, making knives of his own soul to attack the thing. Vorn freezes it with an icy cloud. Immeral shifts about the cloudling, raking it with his blades. We are overcome by bouts of nausea. The fumes from the creature are toxic. Our valiant leader Tirrigeth falls at one point, but between Crythis and I we keep the party fighting. Bahamut is my shield, and my sword is his talon against evil. The dragon is in my heart, and I dare not fail him.

Knell alternates between attacking our foe, and rashly hacking at one of us. Crythis, Vorn and Immeral deal with the cloudlings spawned by the greater cloud. Tirrigeth, Knell and I focus on the greater one. It is clear our weapons are having limited effect. In our search for the thing’s vulnerability it seems that only Crythis’s lightning has full effect.

Finally we triumph. Beyond the door we find the rumored library and begin our search anew.

Kusanagi's Log: Session 15
The Fortuneteller's Betrayal

Our search for Korog’s Fang begins in an unlikely place: a fortuneteller’s shop. The woman has a couple of halfling bodyguards, armed and armored to the teeth. A sycophantic gnome named Friplin is hovering about as well. There is a curtain that she seems eager for us to avoid. She also has a curious arrangement to her furniture. It is bolted to the floor. That is suspicious enough that only Knell, who was clearly excited by the idea of discerning his fortune, and Vorn (who should know better) were tricked into the pit when the floor dropped away. Crythis triggered the trap. He was pacing about, covertly examining the furnishings, when he suddenly pounced at the woman’s desk and activated a hidden switch.

The rest of us battled this motley assortment. All was not what it seemed however. The woman was a shifter, a werewolf perhaps? She fought with great strength and cunning. The armored halflings were a nuisance, simply because the armor was of high quality. The gnome had a few tricks up his sleeve (as they all seem to) but I was able to finish him myself.

The true nature of the situation grew apparent when the illithid, Remen, who was controlling this cast of puppets revealed himself. We were hard-pressed to win through his minions and to kill him. Tentacles and mind-tricks are devious, but not much defense against steel.

Remen’s notebooks gave us some valuable information about the nearby mansion. The ancient structure is one of the ones we are seeking, a likely repository for ancient evils like the Fang. There is a library there that may hold what we seek. But it has a guardian that Remen was not willing to face.


I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.