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errant42
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/13/04 1:12 pm)
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Campaign Log: A Heavily Modified RttToEE (FR)
This, my second attempt at running RttToEE from the beginning, takes place along the Sword Coast of Faerun. I've made some significant modifications, including heavy use of the BoVD and a planned side-trek into the Banewarrens. We play fairly infrequently (1-2x per month), but tend to play long sessions (8-12 hours). The PCs started at 1st level:

Gideon, M Aasimar Clr (Lathander) 0, NG (we used Apprentive level rules to let him play an ECL 1 race at 1st level)
Mahri, M Wild Elf Ftr 1, TN
Hagbard, M Human Monk 1, LN
Somer, F Human Rog 1, TN
Ogma, F Half-Orc Bbn 1, TN


EDIT: We've already played 3 sessions, so I'll post all 3 to bring the log up to date. We plan to play again next weekend, but after that the schedule is still up in the air.

Edited by: errant42 at: 1/13/04 1:19 pm
errant42
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/13/04 1:13 pm)
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Session 1: The Sunless Citadel
*(WARNING: SUNLESS CITADEL SPOILERS)*
I ran the Sunless Citadel (also heavily modified) to get them ready. The Citadel was once a stronghold of the Cult of Orcus (who is still dead at this point, murdered by the Drow goddess of Vengeance), and reached its current state when the forces of good stormed it, staked the vampire who was the high priest (Gulthias), and cast a powerful spell that caused the Citadel to be swallowed by the earth. This was 500 years ago, so none of the locals (of Oakhurst) really know anything about it except that there are some ruins nearby, and goblins that live there come out to sell magical healing apples once or twice a year-- and this often corresponds with a disappearance in town.

Once in the dungeons, after parlaying with the newly resident kobolds and fighting through some goblins, they encountered a woman named Vitria, claiming to be a Cleric of Kelemvor (LN god of death, staunch enemy of the undead). She told them that she was there to ensure the destruction of the Gulthias Tree, which she feared could be used to return Gulthias to unlife. This, of course, turned out to be a big fat lie. She was a follower of Orcus, and tricked them into helping her retrieve the Tree (using a Shrink Object spell), then lit the Twilight Grove on fire and used a scroll of Dimension Door to escape-- leaving the party (and her own servants, a big dumb fighter and a bardic expert on Abyssal lore) to die. The party escaped, and managed to save the bard.

Searching the belongings that Vitria left behind and questioning the bard, they discovered that her cult was working with another cult, though for what reasons no one knew. The bard (terrified of the consequences of betraying his masters) chewed his own tongue off in the night and bled to death rather than tell them anything more. They found a letter from Durant to Vitria, however, suggesting that something was going on in a nearby township called Daggerford (i.e. Hommlet).

Edited by: errant42 at: 1/21/04 2:13 pm
errant42
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/13/04 1:15 pm)
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Session 2: End of the Sunless Citadel, begin RttToEE
On the way out of the Citadel, they find that the kobolds have slaughtered the remaining goblins (mostly women and children) and retrieved their wyrmling. Unsure of their ability to take on the whole kobold tribe, the PCs head back to Oakhurst-- but not before purchasing the freedom of a prisoner that the kobolds took from the goblin stockade (which the party didn't pass through on the way down): a man named Xerrick, also claiming to Cleric of Kelemvor, who is hunting Vitria. He was ambushed and captured by the goblins, and the kobolds were going to eat him in their victory celebrations. He joins the party in order to repay them for his freedom and his sword, a magical heirloom that the goblin chieftian had been weilding since his capture.

They return to Oakhurst to gather their reward, and meet another PC there. At this point, the party consists of:

Gideon, M Aasimar Clr 2
Mahri, M Wild Elf Ftr 3
Hagbard, M Human Mnk 3
Somer, F Human Brd 2/ Rog 1
Ogma, F Half-Orc Bbn 3
Svyrdmngr, M Gnome Illusionist 2, CN
(NPC) Xerrick, M Human Clr 3, LN

They are commissioned by the local merchant house to find a lost shipment of goods to nearby Daggerford (Hommlet), as the winter is close and the roads will be too snowy for caravan travel soon. They discover a group of bandits that include a troglodyte and an evil cleric, and retrieve the shipment along with a letter from Durant instructing the cleric to gather supplies for the Moathouse.

Arriving in Daggerford (Hommlet) with a handful of clues, they talk to the locals, and find a gnome (Neirethi) who is writing "the definitive dissertation on the history of the Temple of Elemental Evil." He asks them to accompany him to the Moathouse for research, and fills them in on some of the background of the Temple. He claims to be completely unaware of any recent activity. They also speak to Spugnoir, who assures them that there is nothing going on in the Moathouse.

Edited by: errant42 at: 1/21/04 2:14 pm
errant42
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/13/04 1:16 pm)
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Session 3: The Moathouse
The party sets out for the Moathouse. The journey through the swamp is uneventful, but they notice that the area around the Moathouse is devoid of animal life. Once inside, Gideon spots the (black) dragon, who greets him warmly. The dragon freely offers information, telling them that a bunch of puny humans and gnolls in ridiculous costumes are below, and asks that the party goes and kills them for him-- promising them safe passage and a reward from his horde (which consists of the belongings of Thaque and the other dead cultists). Unsettled by this, the party goes outside to discuss it. They decide that even thought they don't trust the dragon, they'd rather go below peacefully (which the dragon is encouraging them to do) than fight him. Some are concerned that the dragon will trap them inside, but they decide to go in anyway, especailly after the dragon threatens them if they don't.

Once inside, they fight some ghouls, and find evidence of violence everywhere, but nothing alive. Finally, they find Gren, who hosts a "tea party" with a pair of dead gnolls (posthumously dressed in women's clothing), and invites them to join her. One of the gnolls stirs with undeath, and she clubs it into motionlessness again, screaming for it to "lay back down!" She convinces them to go play "the hiding game" in the dungeon below, and they figure out that she is very scared of something down there, but she won't tell them what it is. Without warning, she attacks them (screaming for them to "lay back down!"), then flees back up the stairs, breaking her leg in the process. Xerrick goes after her and puts her out of her misery.

They continue their exploration, and find the clerics' quarters-- but it has been ransacked, the beds hacked apart with a big axe (one bed was occupied at the time, if the large amounts of blood are any indication). They find Geynor Ton's journal, which chronicles the cult forces' descent into madness after the discovery of the Obelisk (IMC, the Black Obelisk doesn't emit cold, but madness. Thus, the entire Moathouse has gone crazy). It also hints that there is a mad troglodyte stalking the dungeon, as well as a cleric of Orcus who accompanied the cultists but has since taken up with the ghouls. Nothing stays dead, always returning as ghouls or worse.

The party holes up in a room for the night, and a few of them have terrible nightmares (similar to those described in Geynor's journal) and suffer Wis damage from the Obelisk's emanations. This convinces them that they have to get out ASAP, but they want to find and destroy the Obelisk first. They find and defeat the Troglodyte, and the Orcusite revenant, but then notice that Neirethi has gone missing. Fearing that he plans to betray them, they hurry to the stairs leading to the dragon's lair, just in time to hear chomping noises. Wary of treachery, they decide to search the area-- and find the gnome hiding in a storeroom, having cast an illusion in hopes of tricking them into thinking he was dead. They also find Spugnoir, delirious and malnourished as though he had been there for weeks-- despite the fact that they spoke to him in the Welcome Wench just a few days ago. They also notice to their dismay that there are no corpses where they fought the ghouls and Gren-- only bloody drag marks toward the catacombs.

They interrogate Neiretho, who reluctantly reveals that he was abducted in town for asking too many questions, and tortured by the cultists there until he promised to help them by leading a party of disposable adventurers to kill the dragon and see what was going on in the Moathouse. He tells them that the cultists are in the cellar of the town brewery. They bind him and take him with them.

Determined to finish their business and leave, they find the Obelisk room-- and Geynor, who is convinced that they want to eat him. They hear cries for help from down in the hole. The voice claims to be a Festrath, mage hired to translate runes for the cultists who fell and broke his leg, and needs someone to come help him. The monk begins climbing down the rope to help when the grell attacks and Festrath, cackling maniacally, unleashes a lightning bolt at the both of them. The party gets the monk back up, and they decide just to seal the hole and leave. Geynor dies in an escape attempt (Neirethi was the only one who noticed, but started yelling: "Hey! If I can't escape, you can't! Get him, he's getting away!")

Spugnoir warns them that the dragon above will eat them if they try to go that way (he heard it luring the cultists out with promises of safety and then attacking them). So they set to work breaking down the Wall of Stone that blocks the other exit (19 Str Half-Orc + Warhammer), and find the areas there. They decide to camp for the night just inside the cave, worried that the dragon would find them if they travel by night.

Edited by: errant42 at: 1/21/04 2:14 pm
errant42
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/21/04 2:00 pm)
Reply
Session 4: Hommlet Cultists and the Ruined Temple
*(WARNING: Banewarrens Spoilers)*

Although the dragon doesn't find them, they spot him circling the area during the night. They wake up to find that Nierethi has slipped his bonds and escaped into the night (no one in the party has Use Rope....).

Assuming that the gnome is going to return to town and warn Dunrat, Hagbard the monk and Ogma the barbarian hurry back, hoping to overtake him. However, they find no trace of him, and by the time the rest of the party catches up, they are fairly certain that he fled the area rather than face Dunrat after revealing the cultists' location.

Spugnoir is very worried about his daughter, since there is an imposter Spugnoir in town. Gideon the cleric takes him to the temple of Tyr (St. Cuthbert), asking Y'Dey to give him sanctuary. The rest of the party hurries to Spugnoir's shop, but finds that he has already headed to the tavern for the evening. They decide to go to the brewery and confront the cultists there, telling a guard to alert Elmo that there may be imposters in the town.

Hagbard and Svyrd (the PC gnome illusionist) enter the brewery and speak to the brewer. Svyrd hypnotizes him, and just as he is about convince him to give them "a tour of the basement," Mahri (the wild elf) and Ogma bash through the back door, breaking the hypnosis spell.

So the PCs go to plan B: throw open the cellar door and charge. After taking a faceful of lightning and a few magic missiles, Ogma and Hagbard rush into the cellar and attack -- killing a mage who appears to have some demon blood and a cleric wearing the same symbol they found in the Moathouse, and capturing a whiny, grovelling sorcerer. They question the sorcerer, who swears that Dunrat has escaped already ("He's a madman! A madman, I tell you! If you hurry, you can catch him!"). They bind the prisoner, and while most of the party goes to find Spugnoir's double, Ogma and Somer (the rogue/bard) stay behind to search the cellar. They find a chest with some letters, one from Naquent giving Dunrat instructions to excavate the Moathouse, and one from Vitria (the "cleric of Kelemvor" who betrayed them in the Sunless Citadel), asking Dunrat to join her in Athkatla to the south to explore someplace called "Watcher's Keep." They also find Dunrat's self-aggrandizing memoirs, wherein he outlines the cult's infiltration of the city's arcanist, guards, and local religion. In their diligent searching, they fail to keep an eye on their prisoner, and find that he has escaped (still no Use Rope).

The rest of the party hurries to the tavern, but find that "Spugnoir" has departed. They collaborate with Elmo and the guards, and finally get Rufus and Burne involved. Suspecting Jaroo of being an imposter, they round up the party and meet at the temple of Tyr. Y'Dey verifies that everyone present is who they claim to be, and they exchange information, bringing everyone "up to speed." They determine that Yundi, Jaroo's young apprentice, is missing, and suspect that he is the imposter that Dunrat's memoir's hinted at. Burne asks the party to check on the Temple of Elemental Evil, to make sure that it is not inhabited.

Xerrick of Kelemvor (NPC cleric) tells them that he has no interest in going to the ToEE, that his quest is to find and stop Vitria. He heads south the next morning, while the rest of the party heads to the ToEE and plans to meet him in the Copper Coronet Tavern in Athkatla. They avoid Nulb (shadowy figures spotted flitting from building to building convince them that the undead lurk there), and head straight for the Temple. As Mahri scouts the area, he spots a figure in a forest green cloak slip into the Temple complex, then back out. He approaches the figure, and begins a parlay. She appears to be a ranger of some sort, and although she doesn't offer much information, she appears to be scouting the Temple as well. She tells them of the hobgoblins she has seen inside, and agrees to help them in an assault. They kill the guards without any trouble (three archers positioned near the door to snipe anyone who tries to run and warn the others), and take the whole encampment by surprise... Mahri is nearly killed by a sneak attack from the (invisible) leader, but the party emerges without other serious casualties. To Gideon's chagrin, they mercilessly slaughter all of the survivors, even the Adept who attempts to purchase his life with gold.

Having found nothing significant in the Temple, no sign of the cults that they seek, they return to town. Kendra, the (NPC) scout who helped them in the assault, refuses to answer questions about her identity or mission, but hints that she "seeks the balance of the Harp," which Somer takes to mean that she is a Harper. The next day, the party buys some horses and begins the long journey to Athkatla. Y'Dey agrees to send a message to the Order of the Radiant Heart, an order of Paladins in Athkatla, advising them of the situation and the PCs' approach.

The trip to the south is relatively uneventful, save that the snows of winter fall, closing off the roads to the north for at least a month or two. Once in Athkatla, they head directly to the Copper Coronet, but find that Xerrick is not there. They are approached by a huge, horrifically scarred (as in a fire) warrior. He greets them as if he knows them, and after a few moments of discussion, they realize that he is Worgrid, the big dumb fighter servant that Vitria betrayed and left for dead in the Sunless Citadel. He offers to join them, having vowed vengeance against "the Witch" and tracked her here.

The party heads to the Temple of the Order of the Radiant Heart to speak to the Paladins about the situation. Kendra and Worgrid (NPCs) both conspicuously wait outside, although so do Mahri the wild elf and Svyrd the gnome illusionist. The rest of the party speaks with the Lord Prelate of the order, who (of course) knew that they were coming. He tells them a little of the history of Watcher's Keep: it was once the stronghold of a powerful Lich King, but a mighty cleric of Helm defeated him and built Watcher's Keep around the black tower to entrap the evil. Unable to kill the Lich King, he bound its spirit there. He then began to gather other evil artifacts, creatures, and other "banes," and entomb them there as well... giving the place the name "The Banewarrens." The Order of the Radiant Heart formed to protect the Keep (and the Warrens beneath) from any who would seek to penetrate it. But because it was sealed after Danar's death 500 years ago, the Order no longer actively guards it, being more concerned with Crusades against the Calishite infidels to the south.

However, with Y'Dey's sending indicating that someone was going to try to breach Watcher's Keep, the Order sent a Paladin and his squire to investigate. They have not been heard from in several weeks, and the Lord Prelate would like the PCs to find them.

Edited by: errant42 at: 1/21/04 2:15 pm
errant42
Tolling Bell Cultist
(1/21/04 2:07 pm)
Reply
Into the Banewarrens
As we prepair to transition into the Banewarrens for a few sessions, the party looks like this:

Gideon, M Aasimar Exalted Clr (Lathander) 3, NG
Mahri, M Wild Elf Ftr 4, TN
Hagbard, M Human Monk 4, LN
Somer, F Human Brd 2/Rog 2, TN
Ogma, F Half-Orc Bbn 4, TN
Svyrd, M Gnome Wiz (Illus) 4, CN
Kendra, F Human Rog? (NPC)
Worgrid, M Human Ftr? (NPC)

They are right on the cusp of 5th level (and BW should "officially" start at 6th), so I'm going to give them an encounter or two to get them to at least 5.

Edited by: errant42 at: 1/21/04 2:16 pm
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