Tales of Valor

The Last Breaths of Ashenport Session 5
Madness

The grotesquely transformed figure of Althanis cackled in the darkness of the damp cave. Wisps of magic running from his slimy fingers to Mikail’s face were just beginning to dissipate. Mikail staggered backwards wiping at his blinded eyes.

“I told you fools that this was not over!”, croaked the high priest of Dagon.

Medrash swore an oath to Kord, the god of strength and battle. He pulled his sword out of the disemboweled fish man, flicking it sharply downward and spattering the clinging giblets to the ground. Pointing his blade toward Althanis who stood a few yards away he cried, “Kord! Punish this weakling!”

Blue-white lightning crackled along the length of Medrash’s weapon and streaked across the cave. The divine power struck the priest full in the chest. He doubled over, shrieking in pain as electrical arcs coursed over and through his body.

The paladin had little time to take satisfaction in the sight before a new threat presented itself.

He heard it first. The sound of a thousand voices babbling incoherently. It was a terrible cacophony, threatening to wrack his mind with insanity. He scanned the cave furtively and finally located the source. An amorphous blob of bulging flesh flipped and flopped across the ceiling of the cave. The creature was covered in hundreds of gibbering mouths and bulging red-veined eyes.

Medrash stared back in horror. He had no fear from threats of magic, steel, or flesh. But this? This was madness!

The party was weary and battered after the battle in the shrine. However, they decided to go ahead and search the room before finding a safe spot to recover. Shardon searched the dark altar and discovered 1100 gold pieces, an Amulet of Protection, and a pair of Bloadsoaked Bracers.

Next they experimented with the statues and discovered that they could use them to teleport from statue to statue safely. Unfortunately Mikail also decided it would be a good idea to vandalize one the statues After breaking a small chunk off the nearest statue, Mikail disappeared in a flash of light.

The rest of the party followed suit, rationalizing that Mikail had probably been teleported somewhere. Indeed the party found themselves together again in a dark cave. They had little time to gather their senses before being attacked by a group of fish men.

As they were finishing off the fish men they were also attacked by a gibbering mouther. The group decided that they did not have the strength left to face the new threat and used the statue to teleport back to the shrine.

Back at the shrine, they decided to finally find a place to rest. They headed back to one of the bed chambers they had found earlier. Immeral cast a ritual on the door to place an arcane lock on it and the party settled down for some much needed rest.

Afterward they used the statues to teleport back to the cave. They found that the area near the statue had been reinforced and they faced even more fish men, Althanis himself, and the gibbering mouther. Refreshed from their rest, the group made short work of their enemies and prepared to explore the rest of the cave.

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The Last Breaths of Ashenport Session 4
Confrontation

It was such a simple thing really. A chest made of wood. Oak, actually. Shardon approached it gingerly to study the thing from all sides careful not to touch it. Not yet.

The already sturdy wood was hardened with age. A dark stain had been worked into the grain so that it appeared almost black in the dim light. The metal bandings wore a slight green patina in some places. Various dents and scuffs indicated that it was probably well traveled. The nautical markings on the back suggested that it was once a ship board locker. There was a blotch on the right that could be a scorch mark, as if it was once rescued from a nearby blaze.

Just a simple chest, but to Shardon it was a thing a beauty. Like all such chests, locked and guarded in the dark places of the world, it held such potential. What would he find, riches or ruin? One miscalculation, one notch overlooked, and this could be the last such chest he ever looked upon.

The halfling took a deep breath. Satisfied with his visual inspection, he ran his hands lightly over the surface. The wood was extremely smooth from many years of wear. Here there was a small nick. Here a slight depression perhaps from some warping of the planks. Along the bandings he felt the slight ripples from the smith’s hammer. What was this? One of the bandings along the curved top felt out of place. The ripples followed a different pattern from the rest. Studying it closer, Shardon deduced that the original banding had been replaced some years after the chest was first created.

Shardon moved on to study the lock. It was a good size. Not so large as to be ostentatious but big enough to do the job. He also knew that the mechanism wasn’t particularly complex. He had seen others like this. It had originated from a locksmith in the southern realms some years ago. It was likely over one hundred years old.

Shardon pulled out his tools, gave the thing another once over, and went to work. It was effortless, really. With one hand he gently worked the tumblers, with the other he gave a slight twist. The lock came free with a click and the halfling winced involuntarily as if expecting the worst.

Slowly he lifted the lock free from the clasp. He was confident that he hadn’t missed anything. There were no needle holes, no poison gas vents, no arcane runes that would spell his doom. Yet a tiny part of him wondered if his next action would be his last.

“Oh well,” he though. “At least it’s been fun.”
He opened the heavy lid with both hands. The iron hinges groaned in complaint. Then… nothing.

Shardon opened his eyes. Light reflected all around him in thousands of mesmerizing iridescent colors.

The chest was full of gems.

In the hallway beyond the secret door, the companions dealt with spiked floor traps and strange motes of light that seared their flesh. Shardon dealt with the floor traps while the rest of the party handled the motes. The source of the motes was a pair of sea snakes carved into the nearby wall. By smashing the sculptures they were able to dispel the motes.

Moving on, the party found a dark bed chamber full of musty tomes and containing a locked chest. Immeral scanned the bookshelves and found three manuscripts of interest, Daemons and Their Ilk, Abyssal Numerology and Symbolism as Applied to Mortal Conjurations, and Iggwilv’s Demonomicon. Shardon studied the chest and determined that it was not trapped. He picked the lock and opened it finding 3000gp worth of gems, a Whistle of Warning, Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade, Boots of Eagerness, and Unfettered Thieves’ Tools.

Finally the party discovered a shrine to Dagon and interrupted a ritual in progress. The head of the cult, Althanis, urged them to lay down their arms and join in the veneration of Dagon. The party refused and moved in to attack.

The ensuing battle was a tough one. The party fought multiple fish men, Althanis and his spells, and Althanis’s assistant who also wielded various spells. To make matters worse, their enemies were able to use the various statues located around the shrine to teleport from place to place. Eventually the odds tipped in favor of the heroes. Sensing this Althanis fled from the shrine with the warning, “This is not over!”.

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The Last Breaths of Ashenport Session 3
Descent

Balasar roared ferociously, swung his ax in a wide arc up over his head and split the fish man’s skull, showering himself in bones, blood, and brain matter. The dragonborn’s grin widened.

Two more of the creatures approached. One from Balasar’s right, the other from behind. Balasar brought an elbow up sharply, smashing the right one in the face. He then spun low to his left and around, driving his ax into the other fish man, taking his legs out at the knees with a sickening crunch. He followed through with the momentum of his deadly ax, bringing it up toward the first creature and severing its arm at the shoulder. Blood spewed in every direction as the creature writhed in agony. Balasar brought his boot up and kicked the fish man in the chest, sending him thudding to the floor. He figured his companions could finish it off.

Balasar enjoyed adventuring with his companions despite their penchant for wasting time in discussion or investigation. Each of them were formidable in their own right. However, when it came to bringing wrath and destruction to their enemies, Balasar had no equal. In his view, the others lacked the purity of purpose he held. Shardon relied on subterfuge. Mikail had his tactics. Immeral was a coward that hid behind magic. He could never trust the wizard. While he did respect Medrash’s martial abilities, he viewed them as inferior to his own, partially because the paladin relied on divine guidance. Balasar had no need of trickery, spells, or help from the gods. He had his ax, his sinews, and his rage. It was enough.

They had spent enough time investigating groves of trees and interrogating old men. He had endured it, knowing that soon his ax would be able to quench its thirst in blood. Eventually they had learned of the the cultists plans and found the secret entrance to the chambers under the church. Now the path was clear; find the cultists and kill every last one of them. It would be glorious.

The companions headed toward the Gleaming Dawn Church after the fight with the fish men. The church sat high atop a hill overlooking the town. A set of stone steps led up to it. As the party looked up they saw two dark robed figures looking down at them silhouetted against the flashing lightning. Quickly the two figures entered the church.

The party found the church empty except for a few burning candles. The interior suggested that the church was dedicated to Melora and Pelor. Medrash pointed out that many of the vestments and religious artifacts appeared to be rarely used. Searching around, Shardon found a secret spiral staircase heading down. The companions descended down the dark stairs.

At the bottom of the stairs they found a stone entry hall with several doors leading out of it. It wasn’t long before fish men were entering through the doors and attacking the group from all sides. The group went to work and dispatched the creatures. Investigating the doors, they found a bed chamber and a religious treatise on the worship of Dagon. They also found two staircases heading further down.

Following one of the staircases they eventually came to large room with a black curtain running down the middle. There they found themselves in fight against fish men, brutish thugs, and cultists wielding spells. Again, the group were victorious.

Immeral found a couple of ritual scrolls in a nearby bookcase. The group also found another set of stairs heading down. Finally, Shardon uncovered a secret door on the eastern wall. Opening the door they found a dark corridor running north and south. It was covered in carving of strange and horrific sea monsters. Shardon halted the group before anyone could enter the hallway. It was also covered with traps.

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The Last Breaths of Ashenport Session 2
Discoveries

The creature shambled toward them through the dense veil of the driving rain. It was a horrid thing. A creature beyond the imaginings of any sane soul. Covered in slimy scales, peering with unblinking, bulging eyes, and secreting a vile stench of rotting fish. It’s mouth constantly gaped open and closed although a faint croak was the only sound it made. Holding a trident out menacingly before it, its intent was clear.

Immeral glanced at his companions. Each one of them stared stupidly toward the sea and began to make their way slowly toward the waves. Obviously the strange call from the sea had addled their brains.

“Fools”, thought Immeral. “Why do I continue to travel with such imbeciles?” He considered blasting them all, fish men and companions alike, with a fiery spell. He thought better of it however and moved in to try and wake Mikail, risking life and limb in the process.

After the battle with the cultists, the companions continued to the ash grove to investigate. Hacking their way toward the center of the grove, they found a small statue to Melora. The sight of the statue gave them some relief until they noticed that it had been defaced some time ago by ax and blade. Obviously the worship of Melora had been a central focus of the town at one point. Now, however, it seemed she wasn’t as highly regarded.

Upon exiting the grove the party noticed some movement behind the curtains of a seemingly vacant house. They decided to approach the house and see if they could ask the occupant some questions. After some incessant knocking the door was finally opened by a frail looking elderly human. At first he claimed ignorance about what was happening. Eventually he gave in to some insistent questioning and revealed some information. The town was apparently dedicated to the worship of Dagon, Lord of the Deep, Bringer of Madness. Dagon blessed the town with prosperity from the ocean. The leaders of the town were also the head of the cult and had headed up the hill to the the Gleaming Dawn Church to prepare an annual ritual.

As they were leaving the house the call from the sea rose up again. Immeral was the lone member of the party that did not succumb to the mesmerizing call. The rest of the group began heading slowly toward the sea. To make matters worse, horrible fish like humanoids approached them with murderous intent.

Immeral managed to snap a few of his companions out of their stupor with a sharp blow to the head. Eventually all of the companions were back to their senses and helping to fight the fish men. After the battle they investigated their fallen foes. They discovered that one of the fish men bared a gold leaf tattoo identical to those worn by the guards of the Goldleaf Consortium trade guild. This must have been one of the guards that had drowned himself in the sea earlier that morning!

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The Last Breaths of Ashenport Session 1
Arrival

Mikail stood on the crest of a small hill overlooking the town of Ashenport. He briefly wondered what had ever compelled the companions to travel through this forlorn region to seek out the dreary, isolated town below him. He already knew the answer to that, however. Greed.

They had come to remote seaside village chasing rumors of an annual trade fair that featured ancient and powerful artifacts fished out of the ocean. They were simply there looking to add to their already formidable collection of gear. Questions about how such a provincial community came by such items were far from their minds.

So they stood in the most intense storm they had ever experienced looking down on the lonely and depressing fishing community. Although it was midday it might as well have been late evening by the amount of light filtering through the heavy dark clouds. Thunder rumbled, lightning flashed, and the torrential downpour beat down on them. Mikail gathered his cloak around him, what little good it did.

“Well”, he thought to himself, “nothing good is likely to come of this. Best get on with it then.”

Deciding to follow up on the rumors they heard of a spectacular trade fair, the party traveled to the remote seaside town of Ashenport. Most of the trip was pleasant enough. However, while still about a day’s journey from the town, an immense thunderstorm set in. The storm was still raging as they entered the town.

The first place they visited was The Bountiful Tide General Store, hoping to get some early shopping in. Inside they met Lena the shopkeeper, a pleasant elderly woman. She mentioned to them that the trade fair was still on, but that the town’s leaders had decided to postpone the start until the storm blew over. In the meantime they were welcome to check out the wares of her store. Not finding anything of interest the party moved on.

Next the party decided to visit The Smooth Sailing Inn and Tavern for some food, drink, and a bed. Inside they found several other fellow travelers that were also staying in Ashenport for the fair. Most of the interesting patrons turned out to merchants seeking exclusive trading rights along with their retinues of advisers and guards. Among these were Terza from the Goldleaf Consortium, Matthias Creel representing Surrens, Creel, and Blackwell, and Jandal Phen and independent jeweler and sculptor.

Immeral managed to sell some evil artifacts of Baphomet to Matthias Creel for a decent sum. The transaction seemed to catch the eye of the strange staff of the inn, but eventually they went back to their business. Finally, after spending some time swapping stories, the party secured a room and headed to bed.

In the early pre-dawn morning, a lonesome, sad wail echoed out over the town seeming to emanate from the sea. It started low, then rose to a high pitched keening that seemed burdened with loss and despair. More alarming, was the fact that several of the party members rose out of their beds in an apparent trance and headed out into the driving rain. Among these were Mikail, Shardon, and Balasar. They were not alone as several of the merchant guards had also risen from their slumber in an apparent trance. They all began heading to the sea. In fact, the first of the victims were already wading into the water in an apparent attempt to drown themselves.

In desperation, Immeral smacked Mikail across the face in an effort to snap him out of his stupor. This seemed to work as Mikail regained his senses. They quickly awakened the others in a similar manner as well as several of the guards. However, not before a few guards had disappeared into the tossing waves never to be seen again.

Gathering themselves back at the inn they discovered that the staff were nowhere to be found. In fact, the entire town seemed devoid of residents. Only the heroes and their fellow visitors remained. Knowing that travel in these conditions was a foolish idea, the merchants turned to the heroes and asked them to investigate the mystery of the town.

The party headed out to start their investigations. They decided to start by checking out the Ash Grove that occupied a prominent spot in the center of the town. As they approached they were ambushed by a few crazed looking townsfolk wielding weapons and spells. The party eventually dispatched of the villains and stared down at their broken bodies in the unrelenting downpour and wondered what could possibly be going on.

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Our story so far...

Since I, your chronicler, have been lax in keeping the records of the deeds of our intrepid heroes up to date, I will attempt to briefly summarize the events leading up to the fateful decision to travel to Ashenport.

Within the Well of Demons, the party finally located the four artifacts needed to complete the ritual to open the door to the Inner Sanctum. As warned by the spectral visitors, the guardian appeared upon completion of the ritual. This Guardian turned out to be a young green dragon. The party faced down wicked traps, undead, elementals and the Guardian itself and finally won entry in the Inner Sanctum.

Inside the Inner Sanctum the party managed to defeat Maldrick Scarmaker, priest of Yeenoghu and his demonic lackeys. From letters uncovered in Maldrick’s chambers they learned of the wizard Paldemar’s plans to bring down the Mages of Saruun. They also uncovered the silver key to Paldemar’s current location, The Tower of Mysteries.

The party traveled to The Tower of Mysteries. Inside they learned that Paldemar was seeking assistence from Vecna with his nefarious plans. After a few tough encounters the party finally confronted and defeated Paldemar. They returned to the Seven Pillar Hall where they were rewarded by Orontor.

Presumably, due to the traumatic events in Thunderspire Labyrinth, the party only had one other small adventure cleaning out a small temple to Bahamut from some evil squatters before seeming to retire. Eventually, however, the party’s thoughts turned back toward adventure as they overheard strange rumors from the seaside town Ashenport and it’s yearly trade fair. At this point the party consisted of Mikail, Immeral, Shardon, Balasar, and Medrash. They set off in search of adventure. Nothing could have prepared them for what they would actually find.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 17
Hall of the Crimson Whip

After the encounter with the ghosts the party explored the Proving Grounds. They found one stone altar that appeared to have been recently moved. Sliding it aside, they found some loose tiles underneath. Hidden under the tiles they recovered some gold and gems.

They continued to explore the area and found a large pit in the center which they surmised is where the dragon guardian would come. They also discovered a few of the runic circles on which they would need to place the four artifacts once they were recovered.

Eventually they headed west and found a chamber of horrors. They stood on a stone platform that rose above a massive pool of dark blood. Several other platforms also stood throughout the room as well as a stone walkway traversing the center. At the far side of the chamber the party could make out the hilt and blade of a dagger resting on two separate platforms. At each end of the chamber huge stone minotaur statues stood with massive barbed whips in their hands.

The party headed into the chamber to recover the artifacts and found themselves in one of their most difficult fights yet. They overcame the stone sentinels and their barbed whips, evil demons lurking under the blood, and the poisonous blood itself and emerged from the chamber with the two items exhausted and ready to collapse.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 16
Warnings from the Grave

From the hyena kennels, the party headed south. They entered a long passageway carved out of black rock. Hearing strange sounds coming from one of the doors to the east, the group decided to investigate. They soon found themselves engaged in a heated battle with a fierce gnoll and her conjured balgura demon. After the battle, in which the party was victorious, the group was approached by two tieflings garbed in black leather armor and carrying adventuring gear.

The tieflings introduced themselves as twin brothers Azkelak and Katal. They claimed to be down in the labyrinth in search of ancient artifacts to sell when they stumbled upon the Well of Demons. They figured that the gnolls had planned to murder them and thanked the party for dispatching them. They also offered their services should the party allow the tieflings to travel with them. The party agreed but the tieflings seemed to become uneasy with the party’s questioning and with some of the evil artifacts that Immeral showed them. They thanked the party for their help again but said they would take their leave. Immeral told them they could not leave and threatened them with violence if they did. The tieflings ignored the threats and turned to leave a which point Immeral cast a spell and hit them with a ball of electrical force. The tieflings retreated toward the exit of the Well of Demons.

Shardon stealthily trailed after them. Unfortunately they had hidden themselves with spells of invisibility and ambushed the halfling. Shardon took a short sword to the side. Injured, he retreated back to the rest of the group. After a few minutes they did not hear or see anything from the tieflings and continued on their way.

They came upon a passageway stained with blood trails on the floor. To their amazement they saw three spectral figures rise up from the blood. The figures were former adventurers who had died in the chambers ahead. First they spent some time testing the party’s aptitude. Satisfied that they were formidable enough for the challenges ahead they provided the group with some advice and warnings.

This place is the Proving Grounds, a testing place for worshipers of the demon lord Baphomet. You must find four items: a knife, a mask, a bell, and a book. You must place each of these items on one of four circles of runes found in this complex. The items must be placed on the runes at the exact same time.

Three of the items are held within chambers built to test Baphomet’s worshipers. You can find these chambers to the north, west, and south of where we now stand, through these eastern double doors and then through another set of double doors that leads to the west. The fourth item, the book, is on an altar in a small shrine to the east.

To the east of the Proving Grounds is the inner sanctum. Its door opens only when the proper ceremony is completed. The items used for the ceremony disappear if you try to remove them from the Well of Demons, and upon completion of the ceremony, they return to their former locations.

Completing this ceremony summons the terrible Guardian and activates several traps in the area. The Guardian is a green dragon imprisoned here. It can swoop past its prey and attack. It emerges from a great pit in the center of the complex.

Each of the chambers in this complex has a magical trap designed to harass intruders. The central corridor is the fastest way to move around, but it also has its own trap: a crushing sphere of magical force that rolls along its length.

There is a treasure hidden in the complex. It is hidden beneath the altar in the chamber south of here.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 15
Claws and Fangs

Immeral’s spell went off sending a blast of heat throughout the chamber. Shardon steadied himself on the hay bale and surveyed the damage. Two of the slavering, vicious gnolls had taken a direct hit. They were retreating to the back of room, patches of burnt skin exposed where the hair had been consumed by fire. To Shardon’s left two of the bales of hay that made up the makeshift barrier constructed by the gnolls were on fire. A choking black smoke was filling up the chamber and the fire would spread down the rest of the hay bales fast. That was unfortunate as Mikail and Shardon currently held a position on the bales at the western end of the barrier which gave them a small tactical advantage over their enemies.

Shardon’s attention snapped back to the battle at hand just in time to duck under the wild swing of a handaxe from the gnoll in front of him. Mikail and Shardon stood side by side on bales and squared off against two of the crazed dog creatures in front of them. The gnolls wore leather armor and came at them with handaxes. Their tongues lagged from their mouths as they snapped at the adventurers with wicked fangs. As they fought, the creatures continuously let out an unsettling laugh-like bark.

The gnoll reared back for another swing at the halfling. Shardon saw the opening he’d been waiting for. As the gnoll swung his axe in a powerful arc toward the rogue, Shardon uncoiled like a panther, somersaulted over the two gnolls to land opposite of Mikail, and buried his short sword into the guts of one of the gnolls. The creature let out a howl and spun around in an off balanced attack on the halfling. Mikail’s longsword flashed out with deadly results. The gnoll’s head was torn from his body and flew over Shardon showering him with crimson gore.

“Thanks”, muttered the halfling.

After the fight with the tentacled beast, the party headed south out of the chamber and down a dark passageway. Eventually they came to a set of double wooden doors leading east.

Entering through the doors, the adventurers found a long chamber that was apparently set up for achery practice. At the north end stood a makeshift pen in which a large dire boar was chained the floor. The boar snorted wildly and the group could see that it had been the target of several arrows, some of which still protruded from the beast. Around the perimeter of the fence were four hyenas. They ran along the fence, snapping at the boar whenever he came too close.

At the southern end stood a barrier of hay bales about three foot high. Behind the hay bales were four gnolls. They were armed with bows and using the boar as a target. The hyenas and gnolls attacked the party on sight. Eventually the party slaughterd the creatures and released the boar. They reckoned that this was the boar lost by Ulthand Deepgem and traveled back to the Seven Pillared Hall to return him.

Ulthand was happy to have his beloved boar back. He rewarded the group with a gem for their trouble. The party then headed back to the Well of Demons and continued their explorations.

Just north of the archery practice hall the group encountered some more gnolls and hyenas. This time they battled within a 10’ wide passageway. Hyenas and a gnoll archer attacked from the east while two gnolls armed with spears and carrying shields ambushed the group from the west. Once again the party’s superior fighting prowess came through and they emerged victorious.

After the battle the party stopped to rest and investigate the area. They recovered a handful of gold and a small topaz gem. Varis decided to check out the disgusting holding pen that had held the hyenas. Wading through urine soaked straw, offal, and rotten food proved to be a foul task. Varis’s gamble paid off however when he recovered a magic cloak under all of the refuse.

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Thunderspire Labyrinth Session 14
Into the Well of Demons

Varis took a tentative step forward, bow at the ready and arrow notched. He swore under his breath wishing that Immeral and Medrash would quit their incessant bickering. The elf tried to tune them out and focus on the chamber ahead, straining his eyes and ears. Just beyond the edge of their dim light he was able to discern the shape of a large pillar that loomed up to the ceiling overhead. The pillar was carved with the huge leering face of a minotaur. While Immeral and Medrash argued over what to do next, Varis stepped into the room. A deep booming voice called out to him.

“Greetings, seekers of Baphomet’s boundless glory. Those who prove unworthy of his attention shall be claimed forever as his slaves. Those who prove worthy shall be granted power beyond mortal reckoning. Mask, bell, blade, and tome.”

As the voice died away Varis spotted a small pale figure lurking behind the pillar. Before Varis could call out a warning, the creature’s tentacle like arm stretched out and Varis could feel it’s powerful hand wrapping around his throat. The elf struggled for a breath, eyes bulging as the creature continued to tighten it’s grip. The stone tiled floor under foot began to tremble and shake. Suddenly more tentacles, much larger this time, burst from the ground throwing dirt and tiles aside. Varis could hear the shouts of his companions behind him. He only hoped he could free himself to aid them before he blacked out.

After defeating Tal Lorvas the party regrouped back at the Lucky Gnome to report back to Kelson. Kelson questioned them intently claiming that Sinruth was especially interested in any artifacts they may have recovered. The group feigned ignorance and did not the mention the ring with the marking of Zehir that they found or the fact that they destroyed it. As promised, Kelson confirmed that Sinruth had forgiven them for missing the match in the Bloody Hole and instructed them to return next week for another match.

The party traveled back to Thunderspire Labyrinth and the Seven Pillared Hall, returned the mules and wagons they had rented from Bersk the Wainwright, and reported back to Orontor. They showed him the letters they had recovered linking Paldemar to the Blackfang Gnolls. Orontor thanked them and urged them to continue their investigations.

Shardon spotted Charrak the kobold as they were leaving the custom house and stopped to question him. Charrak informed him that the citizens of the Seven Pillared Hall were uneasy as the frequency of gnoll attacks near the hall had increased over the last couple of days. He also mentioned that Ulthand Deepgem seemed to be rather depressed for a dwarf.

The party headed over to Ulthand’s shop and found him behind the counter distraught. It seemed that the gnolls had attacked one of his expeditions and made off with his prized pet boar. The party agreed to keep an eye out for the creature.

Finally, the companions headed to the Well of Demons, the lair of the Blackfang Gnolls. In the first chamber, the party encountered a strange voice that seemed to deliver a warning to those seeking the favor of Baphomet. Suddenly the party was ambushed by chokers, a ghoul, and a strange tentacled beast. They group emerged victorious after a tough battle.

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