As Above - So Below

The Tomb of Tamiach: Part 2
17th Day of Kythorn, 1489 DR

 

The Tomb of Tamiach proved to be much more frustrating at times than expected.

The stone work, the illusions, the undead.

 

The restless spirit of Tamiach stirs.

 

Finding the actual resting place of the Syn-Negan Overlord proved more tiresome than anticipated, but upon doing so proved revealing.

 

Not just a mere creature of bloodlust and hate, the Syn-Negan appear to have been… or be a people with a culture.

A skill with magic as well as weapons. Elaborate deterrents were placed to keep would be tomb robbers away.

 

But it did not stop the Shield of Villane.

 

Moving through the tomb, the Shield encounters several illusionary deterrents, so much so when they finally encountered the wives of Tamiach, Feng ignored them and proceeded further into the complex.

 

In doing so, the wives burst through their sarcophagi and attacked!

 

Feng continued, and it was then, when Tamiach the destroyer. The Elfeater. Bane of the lands of the Autumn people rose from his "resting" place and attacked and ultimately slew Feng.

 

The wives of Tamiach proved a horrifying match for the party, an ill-placed fireball to destroy them dropped the bard and nearly turning him into ash in the process.

 

Tamiach took Feng's now lifeless body and used it as a weapon against the heroes.

He charged the druid, Skorri who's wind magic held little affect on the destroyer. To fend off the foul wraith, the dwarf changed into a giant snake. And while in Feng's body, Tamiach was held in place, but the wraith isn't limited to a physical form.

Shifting to the ethereal plane, he leaves Fengs body and attempts to possess Skorri and is rejected!

 

Sensing a shift in battle, the wraith attempts another victim. He moves away, but not before Gaspar's summoned Spiritual Weapon and a large bite from Skorri the snake overload the undead creature causing it to explode in a black wave of energy particles.

 

The party regroups and looks to their wounded and the dead.

 

But time stops for Vrinne. She finds herself back in the throne room of her dream. And the being known as Tchazzar speaks with her. He tells her he can help bring Feng back to the world of the living, but only if she accepts him as part of her.

 

Not sure what he means, she asks and he shows her. Take the diadem, the Eye of Tchazzar into yourself. A mirror appears showing her reflection with the red gem replacing one of her eyes.

 

"Do this and I can help you grow stronger, control your abilities and we shall not diminish. I can even help bring your friend… back. I can purge the weakness from him. He can serve us. He can champion us."

 

With the prospect of bringing her friend back to life, what harm could come from this if I am to be stronger and this T'chazzar wants to help me.

 

She burns her left eye out, and lays the Eye of T'chazzar against the now empty socket. The pain was great but she kept it subdued. The Eye adjusted to her. fitting as comfortable as it could within the displaced socket. 

She then felt compelled to lay her hands on Feng. Bright orange flames began to grow from her arms, and spread down to her hands, then to Feng's body. The light drew the attention of the others, and it look as if she would burn him to ash.

 

But in a few moments, she lifter her hands away and the smoke soon fell. There lay Feng, forever changed. No longer a half-orc. No. Now he was a fey orc, a Tsayrian. A childe of the Wilde, horned and toothed for battle.

 

The party shaken by this and Vrinne's sudden change in appearance.

Concern and weariness sink in.

 

Brother Gaspar goes deeper into the tomb while the others talk with Vrinne and the "new" Feng, within he finds a treasure chest with items, but no horn. He searches in the piles of pillage goods from times past and wrapped in a burlap cloth, he finds the Horn of Iriandel.

 

It's power. So pure and unbridled, just bristles within his fingers.

The thought of keeping for himself and the good he could do with ever so briefly flashes across his mind.

 

He returns to the others as they are setting up camp. The conversation returns to what to do with the horn. Kedwyn states they need to return it Iriandel and reinstate the unicorn into power, while Wan'whivarn argues that he has pledge a duty to destroy the Ashbringer with the horn.

 

Not making ground either way the party rests and the next morning heads back to Treestream.

As the cross the great barren plains before the forested gnome village, they see it.

 

Thick smoke billowing from the trees.

Treestream!

They turn to one another certain of the cause.

Yventhu and his slavers!

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17th Day of Kythorn, 1489 DR
The Tomb of Tamaich

Reunited!

 

The far flung Wan'whivarn arrives moments after the party is led to the old burial site of Tamaich the Invincible, Tsariyn warlord-conqueror.

 

He has made a binding pact with a feywild inhabitant.  A priestess named Elesone Tel'Morah wishes to recover the Spear of Iriandel to slay a demon known as the Ashbringer and stop its perversion of the Autumn Lands.  

 

But the Shield of Villane is trying to recover the same item to restore the unicorn known as Iriandel to his former self as the custodian of the Feywild portals.

 

Discussion ensued about conflicting issues. Immediate mistrust of this "priestess" and her intents to use the unicorn horn. 

 

More to discuss and decide. Much more.

 

The party spends the better part of a day and a half digging the opening to the barrow. 

After much work, they finally enter the sealed tomb, a hallway that runs the circumference of it is followed along the left path. Leading to a trapped dead end. 

 

After a harrowing encounter, they party decided to go the other way, cautiously.

Skorri leads the way along another wooden ramped corridor.

But it is not trapped and leads to a smaller interior hallway, jutting left and right.

To his right, he finds a circular room with 5 stacks of animal skulls or all kinds, boars, bears, hedgehogs, deer and even a few mountain lion. Curious, he searches. He finds what looks to be an amber gem.

Reaching for it, the ceiling changes, a reaction to the hidden trap he just sprung. It morphs from solid earth to heavy mud -swallowing him whole.

After a few moments of breathless attempts, they free him.

And almost as soon as he is freed, the secondary aspect of the trap is set free. 4 earth elementals bound to this trap. Killing Wan'whivarn outright, but thanks to the blessings of Ilmater, Gaspar is able to revive his fallen comrade.

 

After dispatching the nearly impossible elementals, Kedwyn leads the way down this small corridor.

There he encounters a oddly lit room with a magical statue of an Ogre looking warrior. Seeing shadows move on the walls, and fearing an attack he thunderwaves the area, destroying the statue and canceling the illusionary shadows.

But releases a horrible sight.

 

A gibbering mouther spewing it's cacophonous sounds of evil.

Forcing Kedywn to flee, Wan'whivarn and Cricket stepped up. Wan'whivarn forced it back with a blast, and Cricket blasted it with fire. Then Skorri using a gust of wind, forced it back and quieted the dissonant sounds for a short moment. Finally, Feng focused his pent up anger at the abberant creature, hacking it to bits.

 

The party tired of traps and strange creatures, decide to take a moment and catch their breath.

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16th Day of Kythorn - 1489 DR
Living on Feywild time...

The party awakes healed, cleaned and supported by the village of TreestreamMayor Brynford Broadtree tells them that their presence is fortuitous and shows them a gray horse named Treetrot, he found during a violent hail storm in the woods.

 

OK….

 

Then he introduces them to Ruallin, a bard and fellow planar traveler, who is trapped here also. 

She tells a tale of forbidden love, a unicorn and a horde of Orcish Ogres. The tale ends sorrowfully with the unicorn cursed and separated from it's horn. She believes the horse is the unicorn returned, only without it's horn.

 

She proposes to seek out the tomb of the Sya-Negran(the Orc/Ogre invaders) leader - Tamaich. She believes if the party will find the horn, and reunite it with Treetrot he will transform into the unicorn. Who … is also known as Iriandel, Guardian of Portals in the part of the Feywild.

 

The party agrees, and digs around. Finding a group of horned Sylvan Elves to the south. Qelnef, their leader tells them "Go north for four days." 

 

So party heads north.

After the third day of traveling they meet a band of Ogres who try and communicate with them. Not attack or eat, but talk. No one speaks Giant.

After awhile they decide to follow the Ogres to where ever they want to take the group. 

An old quarry just to the east of the Knuckles area of the place they wish to go.

There they meet Yventhu, a slaver(?) who wishes to trade the Horn, because he knows where it is, for half of the gnomes in the village and 1,000 gp.

 

The party decides to pay him the gold, and they would find it themselves if he would provide a guide.

He gives them the feral looking orc, a tsryani as he calls himself, horned and brutish named Wuhlap.

Clearly not what he expected, he agrees to the terms and gives them the slave as a guide.

Leaving, Wuhlap agrees to lead them and destroy anything that gets in their way.

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15th Day of Kythorn , 1489 DR How much for that Gnome in the window
Of gnomes and portents of darkness.

The party awakes healed, cleaned and supported by the village of TreestreamMayor Brynford Broadtree tells them that their presence is fortuitous and shows them a gray horse named Treetrot, he found during a violent hail storm in the woods.

 

OK….

 

Then he introduces them to Ruallin, a bard and fellow planar traveler, who is trapped here also. 

She tells a tale of forbidden love, a unicorn and a horde of Orcish Ogres. The tale ends sorrowfully with the unicorn cursed and separated from it's horn. She believes the horse is the unicorn returned, only without it's horn.

 

She proposes to seek out the tomb of the Sya-Negran(the Orc/Ogre invaders) leader - Tamiach. She believes if the party will find the horn, and reunite it with Treetrot he will transform into the unicorn. Who … is also known as Iriandel, Guardian of Portals in the part of the Feywild.

The party agrees, and digs around. Finding a group of horned Sylvan Elves to the south. Qelnef, their leader tells them "Go north for four days." 

So party heads north.

After the third day of traveling they meet a band of Ogres who try and communicate with them. Not attack or eat, but talk. No one speaks Giant.

After awhile they decide to follow the Ogres to where ever they want to take the group. 

An old quarry just to the east of the Knuckles area of the place they wish to go.

There they meet Yventhu, a slaver(?) who wishes to trade the Horn, because he knows where it is, for half of the gnomes in the village and 1,000 gp.

 

The party decides to pay him the gold, and they would find it themselves if he would provide a guide.

He gives them the feral looking orc, a tsryani as he calls himself, horned and brutish named Wuhlap.

Clearly not what he expected, he agrees to the terms and gives them the slave as a guide.

 

Leaving, Wuhlap agrees to lead them and destroy anything that gets in their way.

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15th Day of Kythorn , 1489 DR Through a portal darkly
Down, down the rabbit hole...

Your body spills out onto damp earth. The smell of ozone, smoke and acrid arcane energies pervade your senses.

You’re through. 

Streams of misty energy swirl off of you.

The portal took you to apparent safety. It looks as if it placed you right back where you started.

The ancient giant archway looms behind you, crackling with eldritch energy. A snapping, grinding sound accompanies the pop-hiss-buzz sounds of that energy escaping the massive structure.

 

And so we began Season 2.

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15th Day of Kythorn, 1489 DR
The coils of the serpent cult draw in.

Recovering from the party split last week, we explored several of the dig site caves. Most were empty, but in on we found a trio of teenage troglodytes who attempted to keep a dead slave for themselves while hiding in a back room behind a barred door.

Not knowing what it was, Feng grabbed the flesh that was being cooked on a spit and helped himself to what he thought was chicken or something…not the forearm of a deceased slave.

 

Confronted the trogs cowered, all but one. That is until Skorri blasted him in the chest with a bit of fire magic.

 

Tying them up instead of outright murdering of the trio, the party explored the rest of the room and found this symbol etched into the wall.

 

 

 

Not knowing it's meaning, Kedwyn made a sketch of it.

 

The group decides to go incognito and take the fight to the slavers. Portraying themselves as the remaining group of Hobgoblin/Drow/Duergar/<wbr />Mindflayer, they made good use of implied looks and Kedwyn's disguise skills.

 

 

As they were preparing to leave, they were greeted by a girl, no more than 8, at the entrance to the cave.

 

She told them "they were expecting" them and that "they should come" with her. Taking Kedwyn in his drow hand and lead him and the others to the top of the site.

 

As they went they saw children at the mouths of the other cave entrances as well. Vrinne, hidden from sight, watched this unfold and saw that the other children moved to the top along the same speed as the party and finally paralleled themselves with the party, 3 kids on each side of the group. Each one taking the hand, or clothing of one of the party members.

 

The estate they were led to was overrun with weeds, and roots. Folliage form the jungle all but swallowed the faltering walls. Entering the large wooden gates they are greeted by a walled throng of people. On each side of the walkway that led to the main house, at least 4 people deep, slaves of various races lined up. Each blank faced and still. 

 

Once at the steps to the main house, again this symbol marked the doors, and the group is greeted not by adults or slavers – but by children.

A winding hallway was interspersed with children on either side every 5 feet along their way, and murder hole hidden in the walls also caught the attention of a few in the party.

 

Finally at the end of the snaking hallway, they are greeted by Misha  and her shield of children. She welcomes the group and offers them food and drink while they discuss terms.

 

The ruse is paying off, she appears not to doubt whom they are.

 

Entering a  snake statue guarded room, a large banquet table sits in the middle of the room being filled and prepared, again not by adults but by children slaves.

At the back of the room a dias with a two headed coiled serpent looms over much of the room.

Chandeliers of holding many candles each illuminate the large room, but even their light does not show everything.

Several of the members notice that in the corners of the room hidden mostly in shadow are 4 lizard like men.

 

Questions are asked of the party, Misha defers to the "interpreter" as she explains per the agreement, no telepathy or mental invasion.

All seems to go well until she begins to contradict the parties answers – she knows.

 

Skorri hastily throws a faeirie fire at her, she dodges it. "Interlopers! Your deception has failed!" She screams and combat ensues.

 

The battle goes back and forth, at one point she shapechanges from that of a lovely woman to a hybrid Yuan ti. Half-woman, half-snake(much like a lamia) and attacks Skorri. She wraps her coils around him, but not for long as shapeshifts into a large Black Bear and claws his way out of her clutches.

 

They children that were in the room are stopped in place as if in a hold person spell. Unable to move, speak or do anything to protect themselves, they are forced to watch and experience the violence around them.

 

Terse rounds go by and finally Feng cleaves the head away from Misha's body and instead of blood flowing – a hot stream of acidic blood bursts forth spraying everyone in range. The spray spares no one and several of the children die from the aberrant blood.

 

The pace picks up in the parties favor as Kedwyn blinds his attacker with his cloak and tosses the head of the Yuan Ti Lieutenant out in to the open bellowing "All who surrender will be spared!"

 

This panics two of the attackers and they flee.

The remaining attempt to hold out until their reinforcements arrive. But that is for naught as the reinforcements are all but destroyed upon bursting through a side door by Vrinne's magic and Feng's axe.

 

The party routes the yuan ti. They search Misha's remains and cover up the dead children. They other children as still frozen, unable to move but seeing everything.

Vrinne finds a holy symbol and one of the jade snake statues.

Kedwyn convinces Wanwhi'varn to try and use it again. Unsure if it is a wise decision, he tries.

They presence of Dendar the Night Mother is overpowering this time – "I command you. Do to your companions what you did to my servant Misha!"

 

Wanwhi'varn returns and attacks the party nearly killing Feng but not before the others subdue him.

 

Agast at what has happened, the party hastily attempts to destroy the small artifact.

It breaks easily enough, but then a horrid thing occurs.

 

Screams erupt as the heads of slave children begin exploding. A vile fail safe has been activated.

 

Covered in the blood and brain matter of the innocent, the party stands in shock. Quickly they comfort and free the survivors of their collars as best they can.

 

Kedwyn further pushed to his limits, makes his way outside to where the other slaves were fearing the worst. 

 

He is not wrong. The wails of familes and friends assault his ears as he sees a multitude of headless corpses and people cradleing the remains People flock to him asking for help, the heat of battle erasing much of his disguise. Stunned at first, he reacts pulling, twisting, straining at the collars until his reserve strength gushes forth and he release many. People continue to hover around him as the slaves now free their fellows from the nightmare.

 

He goes back inside.

 

Vrinne gathers as many children together as she can, and calms them. She explores the west wing of the estate and finds only dust and rubble. But behind a closed door she finds the rest of the kitchen staff. More children. Frightened beyond belief. She and Feng remove their collars.

 

Skorri begins to move the bodies of the dead, yuan ti and child into the east rooms away from sight.

He tosses a few yuan ti bodies up on the dias, when enough weight has been added – it shifts and begins to drop.

An elevator to somewhere beneath the estate.

Casting a produce flame he lets it drop down the shaft. 60 feet of carved stone with what appears to be a watery surface on the bottom. He then pushes the corpse of Misha down the shaft, with a soft splash his confident that the water is not deep.

 

Still agast at the outcome of attempting to safe people our heroes are shaken. 

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27 Day of Mirtul, 1489 DR
Green goo and you know who.
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26 Day of Mirtul, 1489 DR continued
Where we attempt to rest but only fight more
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26 Day of Mirtul, 1489 DR
To grell with you!

zb_orb.jpg The Orb seemed not to truly see the group.

Aemon turned to Ser Harkuren and whispered, "No. Not now. Run!"

Harkuren encouraged the former squire of Lady Saryiel to try his “newfound” abilities and confront the creature. Unsure of that, he agrees and moves forward to stop it. Bold as any knight, he call to the creature and it speaks.

A sultry woman’s voice says, “Ah there you. Stop running.”

Not sure if the voice was speaking to Aemon or the party, the group takes no chances and begins leaving, Wan’whivarn and Kedwyn forcing a door open, Dorn behind them, and Feng grabbing and carrying Vrinne.
Harkuren remained to provide support if needed.

“You are so naughty, you cannot keep running away. Come back.” The rotted beholder says.
“You cannot… " Aemon begins to break up, his voice hollow and distant. His form wavering and flickering in and out. “No” he cries, “not again. I will not serv…” and in a flash of light is gone.

Harkuren moves up to block the path. The voice speaks to him, offering him to serve “her”.
He refuses but speaks with the voice. Asking who she is and who she serves.
It replies, “Lareth, and I am servant to no man. I ‘work with’ Kalarel, that is all.”
She tells Harkuren that Aemon and his family are wicked and should be destroyed.
He asks her to explain but it cryptic in her response.

He flees as the orb flares out a beacon searching for the group.

Moving down a long disused corridor, the party has a choice right to another corridor or straight ahead to a set of stairs going down. Looking for fresh air, Kedwyn encourages the group to go to the stairs.

The stairs descend deeper into the complex, a cold breeze rushes over the party, and their breath is now visible. The stairs end in a corridor that turns into a large chamber. The chamber appears to be some sort of excavation site.

This place is very cold, and even the most insensitive can tell that the unnatural chill is a corruption in the air. A wide pit in the center dominates the room, its sides slick with moisture. A pulley has been affixed to the ceiling, and a rope descends from it, connected to four more ropes. These in turn are tied to the edge of a 10-foot-wide wooden platform, circular in shape, in four different places to provide stability. A lantern sitting atop a stool in the southwestern corner illuminates the chamber. Scattered about the pit edge are picks and shovels, and a strange statue rests in the corner farthest from the entrance. Against the north wall stands a large, round, flat stone about the diameter of the pit.

After some dancing lights investigations they decide to take the platform down.

Roughly 15 feet from the top of the shaft, indications exist that a stone plug was once placed here, then carefully mortared and sealed. Just above that point, a 4- foot-wide tunnel carrying an underground stream empties into the shaft, the water spilling down into the darkness below. A 2-foot-wide opening is visible just below the top of the shaft.

The water pouring down beside the descending platform creates a mist below, deepening the chill that you feel as you go deeper. Through that mist, you can see that the floor below is just over 60 feet from the top of the shaft. It appears very smooth and black, with veins of deep violet. The shaft walls spread out into the darkness, opening onto a vast cavern.

As they moved down, there was movement in the shadows. Using his wand of light to explore the cavern, Ser Harkuren scans the cavern and see a creature of nightmare float down towards the group, it’s barbed tentacles reaching out and grabbing Wan’Whivarn!

grell.jpg

The creature lashes out grabbing the Warlock and pulling him away from the platform. The party attacks as it it is floating away with their now limp warlock in tow, Vrinne blasts it with magic missile. The creature’s brain-like head erupts in places of impact and the grell drops like a rock – falling to the platform below with Wan’whivarn’s limp form making a sickening hollow sound as he lands on the black surface below.

Hastily, the party move the platform down. Harkuren jumps down before the platform lands, and rushes to his comrade.
Wan’whivarn’s breath is shallow and faint. Calling upon Bahamut, he lets the power of his diety flow into the elf.

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