Session 11 Recap
- Adam B. – Thedruid the Human Druid (5th/Deceased)
- Adam B. – Catfolk Swashbuckler (5th)
- Adam J. – Shade the Gnome Sword Sage (5th/Deceased)
- Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (5th)
- Ben – Bondar Ironskull the Dwarven Cleric (5th)
- Pete – Zartan the Human Ranger (3rd)/Rogue (3rd)
- Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (6th)
- NPC – Yakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant, Warrior (1st)/Scout (3rd)
Joined by two Catfolk sent by Jenya to help with the recovery of the wands, the group rests on the stony beach. Once they have rested, Token, after using his powers to imbue himself with the ability to see invisible creatures, notices a strange tattoo-like mark on the faces of Bondar, Whisper and Zartan. The mark seems to be a circle around each of their left eyes with an arrow pointing up. Their reaction demonstrates that they were unaware of this fact. Many questions arise with very few answers.
Returning to the ruins, the party hacks their way through two ogre zombies and sets off a trap that injures Token.
Searching a stalagmite in the middle of a dead end room they find it is covered with some type of tacky substance. Zartan also notes the top of it appears to lift open. Washing it down to remove some of the suspected poison, Zartan uses a gauntleted hand to open the top, revealing a huge cache of coins.
Heading back the other way, the group encounters two worm covered undead. Overcome with magical fear, the Swashbuckler runs away, while the others destroy the undead abominations. Once the party is reunited, they move on.
In the next room, a hoard of zombies is waiting. The party attacks. As the number of foes dwindles a new foe enters the room. An undead Gnoll orders the zombies about and attacks the group. Confronted with the most hated “Intelligent Undead”, Whisper utilizes her new favorite spell, Ray of Enfeeblement and the rest of the party converges on him. As the creature is struck down it cries out, “The Smoking Eye will consume you all!”
These ominous words seem to hang in the air as the hands of three of the party members subconsciously moves toward the mark on their faces.
With his enhanced vision, Token notices an invisible creature skulking in the shadows. After a brief scuffle the creature is captured. They note it holds two of the wands. The creature exchanges the wands for its life and it flies away.
Returning to cauldron with all but one of the wands, the party finds Jenya eagerly awaiting their return. The three wands they had already returned were being put to good use and the addition of these four would make things considerably easier. She enlists Bondar’s aid in helping control the flooding with the wands. Cauldron is saved once again.
In exchange for all their help, Jenya rewards them with a piece of church property. An old house by the lake that was donated to the church but has remained largely unused. She also agrees to research the strange mark on their faces.
Once the city has the flooding situation well in hand, the Demonskar Ball is finally held. Though Lord and Lady Aslaxin, parents to one of the Stormblades, host it, the group is received graciously and treated well. At the ball they meet a beautiful woman and well-know philanthropist named Celeste and Lord Vhalantru, a well-known noble and personal friend of the Lord Mayor. Both are friendly and express their thanks for the group’s service to the city. Both comment that it is good to have a group of true heroes in the region.
As winter passes and spring approaches, Jenya meets with the group to go over the results of her research. The strange mark is known as a Carcerian Sign, Carcerian refers to the prison plane of Carceri. It would seem every few generations a few individuals are born with this mark. It is suspected that somewhere in their ancestry there is some demonic taint that surfaces from time to time in the form of an invisible birthmark. These individuals are sometimes referred to as The Shackleborn and it is believed by some that a Shackleborn’s soul possess’ a unique link between the material plane and Carceri.
To see so many Shackleborn in one place, in one group of individuals that seem drawn together is very unusual. Jenya wonders aloud whether there may be some greater power at work here, something that draws the companions to this place and to each other at this time. She adds that she will continue to look into it for them and share any other information she comes across.
More time passes and in early spring, amid grumbles around town about the recent increases in taxes, the group learns that their good friend and ally, Flava the Kobold Monk, has gone missing. The group sets out to gather information about his disappearance. While passing by a warehouse Zartan hears a low rumble just a moment before the wall of the warehouse collapses and a fiendish umberhulk breaks through the wall collapsing much of the building on that side. Some of the group succumbs to the creatures confusing gaze, but in their confused state they decide to attack the umberhulk anyway. The others join in and the creature is quickly defeated.
A brief investigation reveals a destroyed circle of runes on the floor. Asking around the party find out the building belongs to a well know merchant named Maavu Arlintal. In the aftermath there are rumors that Mavuu was seen fleeing the city on a flying horse, with clouds where its hooves should be.
Later that day, the party once again meets Celeste who invites them to a meeting at the Cusp of Sunrise, a popular club for the elite of Cauldron. There they are introduced to Davked Splintershield, a decrepit old Dwarf who explains that he was cursed by his wife on her deathbed for driving away their three sons. He has reconciled with two of them but now he needs the group to enter the underdark and find his third son, Zenith.
He explains that Zenith left on a crusade against the evil of the underdark ten years ago, but has been captured and held prisoner in a Kuo-Toan shrine called Bhal-Hamatugn. The party accepts the mission and they are told to seek out a hermit named Crazy Jared to the north, he knows of a way into the underdark, since all local access to the underdark has been eliminated.
The party buys horses and heads out. Two days later as they near Crazy Jared’s hut, they see rising smoke from what must be a big fire. Coming over the rise they see the hut aflame and a man, who matches the description of Crazy Jared, being threatened by a large Red Dragon. After being Enfeebled, Sickened and pierced with a few arrows, the Dragon is driven off.
Crazy Jared is grateful and keeps referring to the party as Knights of Anduria. They ask if he would like help extinguishing his hut, but C.J. waves his staff and his burning hut appears to transform into a small but beautiful castle. Of course, the party can still see the rising smoke and feel the heat of the flames through the “stone” of the castle walls. The castle is clearly an illusion, though C.J. seems oblivious to these details.
Shaking their heads the party asks C.J. about where they might gain access to the underdark. C.J. mentions that the Dragon was also looking for this place, though he’s not sure why. He gladly draws the party a map and comments that he had recently sent fifty of his best knight’s to that location, which he names as The Pit of Seven Jaws. Zartan accepts the map and comments that it should be easy to find, what with the feet of an army of knights beating a path to the entrance.
At this point, the group notices the Dragon has returned.
End of Session 11.