Date: 7/24/1479 DR
|Shockweave Armor||Vylify||Rethild Swamp||Dragon’s hoard|
|Restorative Gauntlets||Searynox||Rethild Swamp||Dragon’s hoard|
|Inescapable Crossbow||Crossbow||Beneath Oak Tree||Skull Lord hoard|
After conferring with Sage Falrinth and Megan, the Outsiders took a chance and used the Shadar-Kai Witch’s portal. In the fiery ruins of the Rethild Swamp, they battled a mated pair of green dragons, and then head further down the hole as they chase Sarshan into some of his undead guardians.
After taking care of the Githyanki and Shadar-kai below the Mottled Tower, the Outsiders took the time to study the portal that had been drawn on the floor in chalk and gemstone dust. Working together, Damaia and Vylify were quickly able to determine that this was a portal to the Rethild Swamp, north of Overlook. Before entering the portal, Searynox wanted some answers so they weren’t stepping into a trap. He cast the Speak with Dead ritual on the Witch and asked her three questions:
- Where does this portal go? To the Rethild Swamp and the next portal
- Are there guardians on the other side of the portal? Yes there are.
- Are they green dragons? Yes, two of them.
WTF? The group was wondering where Searynox’s pointed questions came from!
Not realizing that the Dragonborn had been warned by the Dragon Council to watch for mated green dragons in the area, most of the group was totally floored by his line of questioning, but now they knew what they were walking in to. While the group was cleaning up and making preparations, Elarinya returned to the rope back up to the tower and found that it was rising. Vylify quickly added another 50 foot length of rope to it with a special Artificer knot, and the Ranger was quickly up it. The Elf found Serten cleaning and reorganizing the kitchen. He told her that Master Falrinth and Megan could be found in his study. Hurrying up the stairs, Rinya found the sage with his hands on a stone block covered in runes, sitting on a blue silk cloth. Megan stood behind him, leaning against the wall, looking sulky. After another moment of concentration, Rinya felt the tower shudder into place and she could see daylight outside the windows, instead of the earth it had sunken into. Falrinth stated that the tower was back where it belonged, and then folded up the stone in the silk cloth that protected it. The Ranger then told him what they had found below the tower. The sage admitted that portals to the Elemental Chaos made sense, since he’d always felt that his predecessor had built the tower where he had due to magical influxes. When asked to come and check out the portal, he started tying pouches onto his belt and motioned for Megan to come with them. Back down in the kitchen, the older human pulled out a simple looking device, and used it to shimmy down the rope with no problems. Lyris was waiting at the bottom of the rope to help the sage down, and commented that Damaia needed a device like that. Vylify was sure that he could replicate it, but when the old man got to the bottom, he handed a duplicate of it to the Tiefling with his thanks for helping him out. Megan and Rinya were hot on his heels, the first using only her hands to descend, while the elf managed it while hanging upside down.
Entirely focused, the sage approached the portal, sprinkled some residuum on it, and then seemed to study it closely. Damaia and Vylify both studied it with him. Falrinth proclaimed that this portal was not trapped and that it led to the Rethild Swamp, given it’s sigil sequence. Since neither mage had worked with portals much, they asked him to explain the nature of portals better. The sage explained that the Linked Portal ritual could create a portal, but that they would need the sigil sequence to actually use the portal to go anywhere. Vylify quickly jotted down the sequence for the Rethild Swamp, making a mental note to make a copy of the sequence to Fortress Graystone in case they ever needed it. The sage further explained that there had to be a portal on the other side for them to appear and it would have a sigil sequence as well to this portal. Not all portals were permanent, like this one was done in chalk and gemstone dust, if any part of the ritual drawing were brushed away, this portal would therefore be unusable. As they spoke, suddenly the portable permanent portal that Amyria had created to their fortress rocked them back. The amount of power and knowledge to be able to create something like that was almost at a deific level! While the two mages were trying to digest all of that, Falrinth wandered over to study the bodies of the Githyanki, the Shadar-kai, and the troglodytes.
During this time, Searynox was deeply disturbed by his inability to heal the scar on Megan’s face when he’d healed her leg earlier. He approached her and reached toward her, saying a quick prayer to Kelemvor on her behalf. Quick as a viper, she caught his hand before it got too close, eyeing him with a steely glare. The cleric told her that he wanted to try healing her face, but she told him that her scar was a reminder of things she’d rather not forget. He felt the healing power flow into her, but realized that until she psychologically allowed herself to heal, her face never would. Searynox told her that no matter what her facade was, she needed to forgive and forget the past so that she could embrace her future and heal. The leader of the Freeriders gave him an odd look, almost wondering what he knew, but the moment passed as the Elven sisters approached and asked what she knew that had placed her in such a precarious situation? Relaxing, the warrior explained that after General Zithiruun’s attack on Overlook, the Freeriders had hunted down a group of mercenaries who had been part of the attack force. With some persuasion, they had spilled their guts that a Shadar-Kai arms dealer named Sarshan was providing mercenaries, intelligence, support, and even arms and armor to the githyanki assault. They also shared that Sarshan’s current plots revolved around something called blood chaos, with which he meant to take retribution against Overlook and the Rethild Vale. After taking care of the mercenaries, and returning to Overlook, they then barely survived three assassination attempts. The group had scattered so they couldn’t all be killed with the knowledge they had obtained, in the hopes that someone would get it to the Council of Elders. Searynox remarked that they might have been safer together, but Megan gave him a look to shut him up.
The others had drifted closer to hear more, but Falrinth seemed impatient to return to the tower and told the Outsiders that if they could send him new specimens to study, dead or alive, he would gladly pay them 50 gold for each one – Maybe more, if the cleric could keep the bodies fresh for him. The sage then told Megan to guard the portal on this side, and pulling out another device, started to ascend the rope, mumbling that he’d have to have Serten bring these bodies up for him to study. As a last thought, Vylify, who had been discussing the ecology of dragons with Searynox and Damaia, asked Sage Falrinth if he had any breathing apparatuses they could use while fighting green dragons. The sage suggested a wet kerchief around their faces, and then disappeared into the tower. As the Eladrin and Dragonborn set about activating the linked portal, Megan leaned back against the wall, grumbling about guard duty.
A bright blue glow enveloped the group and as it faded they found themselves on a wooden platform set upon the skeletal branch of an immense oak tree standing in the middle of a dismal, fog-shrouded swamp, the tree surrounded by a lake of blood chaos. Its huge roots snake through the boiling ooze like great vipers, while above them, a thick canopy of leaves cut the light to a perpetual gloom. Vylify was reaching for his notebook, when suddenly a loud roar split the silence of the swamp and two green dragons flew by, attacking the group with their breath weapons.
Gasping for fresh air, the group scattered across the top of the large oak stump, pulling out weapons The male dragon, Antharosk kept to the air, doing fly-by attacks with his claws or tail, while his mate, Calaunxin, was more impetuous, landing and taking the fight to the intruders. As soon as she landed, Searynox Dominated her and made her lay down, not attacking his friends. Seeing this, Antharosk lashed out at the Cleric, picking him up in his jaws and dropping him 40 feet to the hard ground below. The domination was broken and the female dragon used her dragon-fear to stun everyone around her and to lash out in anger. The Outsiders quickly regained their senses and laid down the heat on the female dragon, pummeling her with all of their attacks until she fell below their onslaught. Seeing his mate crumple, Calaunxin went berserk and brought the fight to the puny beings who had dared to attack them. Though he thrashed around, deeply damaging the Outsiders, they kept pouring on the pain, and finally the male dragon joined Antharosk in death, using his last effort to lay his wing protectively over his mate. The group’s enthusiasm was dampened by this show of affection, but nonetheless they all began calculating the value of two dead dragons. Vylify sent Obi off to scout the rest of the island while the group cleaned up themselves and began picking up scales, talons, and teeth that had fallen from the great beasts. While they did, unobtrusively, Searynox poured the powdered dragon’s bone in a circle around the bodies and then encanted the ritual given to him by the Dragon Council. Before anyone knew what was going on, the draconic corpses were teleported to the Dragon Graveyard high up in the Great Glacier. Having forgotten the Dragonborn’s primary objective, they complained that their cash cows had just gone away, none louder than Damaia, but what was done was done and they couldn’t bring them back. The group had to be contented with the treasures that the Dragons had left behind. Since this hadn’t been their primary hoard, it wasn’t as big as they would have liked, but it was better than nothing.
While obi had been scouting around the island, on the south side he had located a stairway that led down under the great Ever-Tree, into the fetid darkness below. As the blood chaos was slowly enveloping the island, they realized that they had nowhere else to go, so they entered the dark hole. The tunnels were packed mud, shored up with wooden slats. Roots and slippery mud made the path treacherous to travel, but working together, the group found their way through the maze of tunnels where they open into a large room. A pool of Blood Chaos and two teleportation circles
dominated this chamber. As they entered, they noticed a robed figure fleeing across a slender catwalk. As his hood fell back the group realized that it was Sarshan, just as he disappeared into a misty haze that obscured the rear of the chamber. Rinya screamed Devir’s name, but her brother already seemed to be gone. The group stepped into the chamber and Searynox stopped them as a three-headed skeleton Skull Lord, some wights, and a Troglodyte stepped out of the shadows. The sisters wanted to dash after their brother, they were so close, but danger was upon them and they had to team up to battle their enemies. The Skeleton’s three heads had different powers, the most annoying kept resurrecting the other fallen undead and itself. At the same time, the Wights began sucking strength from the group, so the Cleric dominated them and walked them into the harmful Blood Chaos while everyone focused on finishing the Skeleton first. the Trogolodyte was the last one left standing and it fled for it’s life.
Damaia couldn’t seem to avoid the mud under the Ever-Tree… and she feared her boots were ruined!
As the group began searching the chamber, they realized that the Blood Chaos was being pumped into this room and that the teleportation circles were placed there to allow the Chaos to flow into other parts of the Rethild Vale. Luckily, neither had been activated, and the group was able to shut the valves, cutting off the flow of Blood Chaos into the Rethild Swamp above them as well. In the northwest corner, Vylify found the Skull Lord’s cache, where documents identified it as an envoy of Irfelujhar, a powerful lich dwelling in the Shadowfell. These documents also suggested that Sarshan and the lich had been collaborating on some plot, though no details were provided. Damaia remembered having heard of this lich, that he was famed for his specialization in ritual magic. While they were studying that, Searynox discovered that the other two teleportation circles led to Brindol and Overlook.
In the back of the chamber, where Sarshan had fled, the sisters found that the entire northern portion of the cavern was undercut by a buried permanent teleportation circle that acted as a portal to the Elemental Chaos. The skull lord’s ritual book contained the location of Sarshan’s lair. Cleaning up their wounds, the group readied to jaunt to the Elemental Chaos.