Abciximab's Shackled City

Session 37
Strike on Shatterhorn

Session 37.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (15th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (18th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (18th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (18th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (18th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (17th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (Spreading the Faith)
  • NPC – Smirnov the Goblin Cohort Cleric/Rogue
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul

Their exploration continues…

Following Bondar’s Locate Creature spell, they head East. There they encounter two Half-Orc/Half-Golem Monstrosities. While they fight, 2 Demonic creatures appear to add to the confusion. Just as these 4 are defeated a mage appears and casts several ineffectual spells before he is also killed. Just before he is killed he reflects on the fact that there can be such a thing as too much buffing…

They continue to explore. Finally they find a room where an Elf and a Drow stand guard. The Locate spell points at a huge black egg. Whisper Regroups Zartan and the completed party kicks butt.

After the elves are defeated Zartan finds a secret door with a ladder going up. At the top he finds a tall six-armed creature standing over the body of a woman. Whatever evil plans these two have are quickly squashed as the party swarms them. The enemy is quickly vanquished.

End of Session 37.

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Session 36.
Strike on Shatterhorn

Session 36.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (15th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (18th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (18th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (18th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (18th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (17th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (Spreading the Faith)
  • NPC – Smirnov the Goblin Cohort Cleric/Rogue
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul

Having defeated the Yuan-Ti and his undead minion the party decides to mess with the altar. In a flash Zartan disappears, perhaps never to be seen again. The group tries to figure out what happened but find no answers in their immediate surroundings. They move on.

Zartan finds himself in a small, dark, oval shaped, enclosed space filled with acid. He tries various methods to escape but realizes his prison is very hard, if not impossible, to break out of. As his life flashes before his eyes, a scene plays out where he becomes the proud owner of a portable hole. In a moment of imminent death inspired brilliance, he lays out the hole along the lower wall of his prison and much of the acid drains into the hole, leaving him with a bubble of air at the top. Bracing himself against the interior walls with the aid of his slippers of spider climbing he resigns himself to banging away at the walls in hopes of either finding a weakness or at least attracting someone who might help him from the outside.

The others come across a stone arm on the floor, perhaps from a broken statue. On one of the fingers is an iron ring. As they touch the arm four Medusas burst from columns within the room and attack. Much magic is thrown about and a goblin gets sliced, diced and then stoned, but the party eventually prevails.

Continuing their search they find a hall filled with urns. The loud wail that erupts when the urns are disturbed kills Token and severely injures a few others. Mere death is not enough to dissuade a looting frenzy and the party manages to loot every single urn. Token is revived with magic.

Continuing down the hall they encounter a crazed man and his Fiendish Badger. Also with him is a certain female vampire they had encountered within house Rhivaldi but had managed to escape their wrath.

The man and his badger are killed in the battle, though the vampire goes gaseous and disappears.

Using Miracle to cast Locate Creature, Bondar determines a direction to Zartan. “That-away”, he says while pointing in the direction of a stone wall. The party looks ahead for any turns that may take them in the appropriate direction.

End of Session 36.

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Session 35.
Strike on Shatterhorn

Session 35.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (15th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (18th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (18th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (18th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (18th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (17th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (Spreading the Faith)
  • NPC – Smirnov the Goblin Cohort Cleric/Rogue
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul

Having had a wonderful time at the Mall of Sasserine the party returns to Cauldron where Jenya is organizing the repairs that must take place before the population returns to the city. After a brief visit the group is off to Shatterhorn, the place where the remaining Cagewright cultists can be found. The party has decided it best to eradicate the remaining members before the cultists come up with a plan to take their revenge.

It’s 50 miles to Shatterhorn, a simple and relatively safe trip for a powerful party. Whisper fills them in on what she knows of Shatterhorn along the way. It was once a stronghold of Yuan-Ti that fell to ruin about 400 years ago. A tall stone spire that rose out of a fortress was split asunder by a mighty bolt cracking it into 3 columns from peak to base. It was soon abandoned by the Yuan-Ti as they came to believe their gods cursed the place.

When the party arrives they pass through a mountain pass to a narrow valley where, atop a low rise, they see the ruins of the fortress and the cleft spire that stands at the center of it. Through patchy fog they also spot 2 Hill Giants behind some of the ruined walls of the keep and four Half-Orcs mounted on flying bugs above them. Whisper identifies the bugs as Spider Eaters.

As combat ensues three Dire Wolves join the fray. Shortly thereafter 2 invisible balls arrive and start shocking the party (literally). Various protective spells and buffs are thrown about and though the battle is tough, the party prevails.

Entering the keep they make their way to the cleft spire where the discover an illusory wall hiding a passageway down.

Down below they encounter a spell-slinging Yuan-Ti and his undead pet. The two manage to get off just enough spells and attacks to piss off the party, which of course leads to their rapid demise. After some quick looting the party moves on.

End of Session 35.

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Session 34.
Thirteen Cages

Session 34.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (14th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (17th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (17th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (17th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (17th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (16th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (Deceased)
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul (11th)

After a brief encounter with a crazed artist in a room of odd statues and a man with a jewel stuck in his forehead that tries, unsuccessfully, to talk them into joining the dark side, the party finally finds the room with the Tree of Shackled Souls.

Also within the room is a huge Demon and a smaller fat demon named Dyr’Ryd with a conjoined twin growing out of his neck. The fat demon and his twin, speaking slightly out of synch, try to convince the party it is too late and they cannot succeed without destroying themselves, Cauldron and much of the surrounding area. Little do the demons know the party has the Collar and a plan.

While the others attempt to distract the huge demon, Token flies across the room with a portable hole full of Dwarves. When they reach the tree, Bondar and Kazmuk climb out of the hole with the collar in hand. Though Dyr’Ryd tries to stop them, they are successful in collaring the tree. The energy stored within the tree that is powering the ritual starts to get siphoned off and the two demons (and ones conjoined twin) are defeated.

The party makes camp to rest and ensure the collar is not removed prematurely. They also remove desiccated bodies from the thirteen cages hung from the tree. A few of the bodies they recognize, the young boy Terrem from the orphanage, Zenith Splintershield and worst of all, Flava the Kobold. Most are laid to rest within the lava after a short religious ceremony. The rest of the night is uneventful.

Having saved Cauldron and perhaps even the prime material plane from an invasion by demons from Carceri, the party reports to Jenya, then heads to the capitol city of Sasserin to buy and sell as much loot as possible.

End of Session 34.

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Session 33.
Thirteen Cages

Session 33.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (14th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (17th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (17th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (17th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (17th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (16th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (Deceased)
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul (11th)

The party continues down the rough-hewn hall to the double doors they believe the mage and her pet Vrock came through. Beyond they find a bedroom lined with shelves and a magical circle inscribed in the floor. Zartan walks over to a desk and a quick search reveals a lot of paperwork talking about the Tree of Shackled Souls, an artifact the Cagewrights will use to open a gate to Carceri.

In the desk he finds a locked drawer. Within, he finds more documents written in Abyssal. Whisper (being fluent in Abyssal) reviews them and realizes they explain how to disperse the energy safely from the tree in the event of an emergency. It would seem destroying the tree or otherwise releasing the energy prematurely would lead to cataclysmic consequences for all with in a few miles of ground zero (the Tree).

In order to shut it down (should the need arise) the Cagewrights built something called a Dispersal Collar to slowly draw the energy off the tree. The documents note that the device is in kept safe with “the Dark Wyrm of Gehenna”. The group has the uneasy feeling they have already made the acquaintance of this particular Dark Wyrm.

They buff, buff and buff some more and then return to the large lava filled chamber and enter combat with the Dragon in earnest. Things look grim at first as Whisper is dropped once again and the party realizes they are fighting a creature with reach as it is wading in lava. Utilizing magic, skill, the Paladin’s ability to Smite and every possible benefit associated with being Hasted, the party manages to overcome the Dragon and loot it’s horded wealth. Within it’s treasure chamber they find a large metallic collar. All goes into the Portable Hole.

Realizing they know of no other paths to follow, they return to search the hall where they fought the mage and her Vrock and find a secret door. They make their way down a few passages and eventually come to another set of double doors. Beyond they find an angry Fire Giant and his minions. After a brief struggle, during which the Paladin sees the down side to Shield Other (of which Zartan had been reaping the benefits), the horde is defeated and Zartan finds a secret door exiting the chamber.

End of Session 33.

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Session 32.
Thirteen Cages

Session 32.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (13th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (16th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (16th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (16th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (16th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (15th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (13th)
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul (11th)

Continuing their infiltration, the party heads down a side corridor to a large chamber filled with lava. Small islands of stone dot the huge pool of molten rock. A voice fills the chamber, “Who disturbs my slumber!”

The party spots a draconic looking head peeking out of the lava. Token is of the opinion that the creature may be immune to fire.

The creature says it knows they are not Cagewrights and asks what their business is here. The party tries to bluff the Dragon, telling it they have been sent by the Cagewrights. The Dragon laughs it off saying the Cagewrights would have contacted him were that the case.

They come clean and tell the Dragon their mission, he laughs once more and tells them it’s his understanding that they are too late, the ritual cannot be undone at this point. The party asks which way they should go. The Dragon answers “Back the way you came”.

Noting two other possible exits from the room and remaining somewhat skeptical of the Dragon, Zartan heads toward the back of the cave where a huge tapestry hangs next to one of the possible exits. At this point negotiations break down.

The Dragon rises from the lava, shaking the magma from his form like a dog shakes off water. In the melee that follows Yakov and Whisper are hit by a disintegration beam from the creature’s mouth. Though Whisper is saved by magic, Yakov is left a pile of ash. Adamo and Zartan head out to confront the Dragon to allow the rest of the team to fall back as they are currently ill prepared to face the Dragon. A restored Whisper calls out that the creature is a Pyroclastic Dragon of extraplanar origins.

As has been demonstrated many times in the past, the group knows when to fight and when to fall back and the party succeeds in a strategic withdrawal. The Dragon does not follow.

Unsure of where to go, they retreat to the room with the pipe organ. After a thorough search they find runes etched on the side of the organ that represent a complex chord. With no formal musical training, Token manages to perform an amazing feat of dexterity and strikes just the right chord. A passageway opens behind the organ revealing a shrine to Adimarchus. While the Paladin feels a strong sense of evil and sorrow, Zartan of the Smoking Eye realizes he will be granted a great boon within this chamber if he wishes it. He chooses to add to the power of one of his already magical greatswords.

Left with no other avenues the party starts to retrace their steps searching for hidden doors they may have missed. They find one in the hall just outside the organ room.

Moving on, the party encounters more of the acid demons in a torture chamber and a mage and her pet Vrock in a long hall. These creatures are all defeated.

The party estimates they have about 2 hours left to stop the opening of the gateway to the Abyss.

End of Session 32.

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Serssion 31.
Thirteen Cages

Session 31.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (13th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (16th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (16th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (16th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (16th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (15th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (13th)
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul (11th)

Following the Path they eventually come upon a black metallic gate. A Few traps are set off, but Zartan eventually opens the gate assisted by Token’s Dispel Magic. Beyond the gate they find a rough-hewn tunnel where they encounter a horde of slimy demons and an enraged Minotaur. The creatures are all defeated. They find a strange ring bearing the symbol of the Cagewrights on the Minotaur.

Continuing on, they encounter more nauseating demons and a man with a huge black pipe organ in his room. They are also overcome by the skills of the group.

End of session 31

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Session 30
Thirteen Cages

Session 30.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (13th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (16th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (16th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (16th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (16th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (15th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant (13th)
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul (11th)

As the group is leaving Cauldron after a successful evacuation, they encounter a Huge Red Dragon named Hookface. He is attacking the town and harassing the townsfolk as they leave. He is loudly demanding to know what the pitiful Humans have done to awaken the mountains wrath and create such chaos. The party intervenes. The combat is challenging and things look dire as Token is snatched up, chewed up and enflameanated. Token calls out, “I’ve got him now!” and laughs like a mad man as a flash of magic appears as he touches the dragon. He then decides falling unconscious is the best course of action.

Token is saved from death by a timely Regroup from Whisper and healed by the Paladin. Zartan climbs to the top of a nearby building, which Hookface sees as an opportunity to attack a human one on one. It is the last mistake the dragon will ever make. The rest of the group Dimension Doors up and the Dragon suffers massive amounts of damage due to flanking and the Paladin’s Auras. Hookface almost escapes but is brought down by Whisper with a Cold Channeled Pyroburst (Cryoburst?). Alas, poor Hookface is no more.

Well away from town they find Jenya has set up a Tent City for the refugees from Cauldron. The party rests as the dark clouds spin over the ravaged City. In the morning they see the darkness at the center has grown. Whisper realizes someone is trying to open a permanent portal to the Prime Material Plane (Probably from Carceri). The energy source powering this process appears to be coming from somewhere below the center of town. Using Valathru’s notes they determine a region underground to begin their search.

Using Find the Path, they head off to find the portal’s source of power. They calculate at the current rate the portal will open about Midnight. As they travel through the tunnels below the mountain they encounter and defeat two smoke-like creatures and two elder earth elementals. They continue on.

End of Session 30.

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Session 29.
Foundation of Flame.

Session 29.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (12th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (15th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (15th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger/Rogue/Fighter (15th)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (15th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (15th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul (11th)

The party returns to their home to rest. During the night, Zartan is awakened by slight tremors. Though minor quakes are not uncommon in this region, the frequency seems to imply something unusual is occurring.

In the morning as they step outside, they note unusual cloud formations. Then all hell breaks loose. A major quake rocks the town. It causes buildings to collapse and the ground to crack open around the city expelling hot gasses and lava. The heroes receive a sending from Jenya. “Please come to me at once, I believe the city is in great danger.”

The group runs to the temple where they find acolytes running about, packing things up. Jenya approaches and tells the party, “I believe unnatural energies have awakened the fires beneath the town. We must evacuate the town. Please help me spread the word and help citizens get out of Cauldron as quickly as possible.

The group takes to the streets as tremors continue to shake the town. Moving around yawning fissures and volcanic vents the group comes to a building where a man is trying to convince his brother to evacuate the building. His panic stricken brother clutches a baby in his arms as he leans out a second floor window. Whisper and Token fly up and convince the man to leave the premises as the Paladin yells encouragement from below. The family is rescued.

The party spends the next few hours directing town folk and rescuing them from collapsed buildings, crushing fissures, lava pools and fires. They also come across and defeat an enraged fire elemental. At one point fat demons oozing a tar like substance appear in the sky and fall to the ground. Many are killed on impact, but some survive and start to terrorize the citizens. The heroes rush in and dispatch the creatures.

The group deals with a stampede of animals by calming them and herding them out of town. Then an angry mob approaches led by Keygan Ghelve, the gnome locksmith that had been sent to jail for his crimes against the city almost one year ago.

“There they are, they’re the source of all these problems! Let’s get ‘em!”

Through diplomacy and intimidation the mob backs down. They keep any insults and taunts quiet enough so that the heroes won’t hear them as the mob slinks away.

A nearby explosion kills a number of citizens and an avalanche of rubble blocks one whole side of town. Bondar sets the Splintershield clan on clean up detail to clear the way and aid in the evacuation of Cauldron.

At this point the Monster of the Lake decides to put in an appearance. The large fiendish fish-like creature slithers up to land accompanied by a Vrock. Half of the party is paralyzed as the creature utters a Blasphemous word. It is a tough fight, but the creature is defeated.

Finally, as the day nears its end, the group makes its way to an exit. They hear cheers for the Splintershield clan from the townsfolk as the Dwarves have finally cleared a way to safety.

As they approach the gates, they see more trouble ahead.

End of Session 29.

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Session 28.
Lords of Oblivion

Session 28.

  • Adam B. – Adamo Preda the Catfolk Swashbuckler (11th)/ Rogue (3rd)
  • Adam J. – Token the Catfolk Warlock (14th)
  • Ben – Bondar Ironskull (Splintershield) the Dwarven Cleric (14th)
  • Pete – Zartan of the Smoking Eye the Human Ranger (7th)/Rogue (6th)/Fighter (1st)
  • Seth – Whisper the Human Duskblade (14th)
  • Gretchen – Human Paladin (13th)
  • NPCYakov Smirnoff the Goblin manservant
  • NPCKazmuk Splintershield the Dwarven Cohort, Favored Soul (11th)

After resting they continue to explore the region beneath Valathru’s estate. They descend another level and find a treasury guarded by 2 stone golems that are quickly defeated. There is much looting.

Entering another area they come across 2 large Hellhounds, 2 unknown firey Humanoids and Lady Rhiavadi. They are all defeated and looting resumes.

Having cleaned out the house, they proceed to a meeting between Jenya and the other Noble Houses of Cauldron to determine who should take over leadership of the town. The meeting is unproductive as Token notes an invisible sensor over one of the noble’s head and when it is dispelled, a crazed Derro Mage and his 4 Crazed Henchmen appear and attack. The party kills them while Jenya moves to protect the nobles.

Taking all the loot they have found in two noble houses of Cauldron, the entire party goes on a shopping spree.

End of Session 28

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