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Encounter 7: Cellar Breach

Day 2, Part III
===

Continued our exploration of the bandit’s hideout, Vontarin’s former home.
The basement did not reveal much other than more Tiefling bandits and their
erst-while leader.

I made a quick analysis of the tactical situation and determined that
being exposed to possible attacks from 3 fronts was not the most
defensible position.

We therefore split up to stealthily scout the approaches. I spiked the
door to the east and one of my retinue checked the door to the north.
Unfortunately he stumbled and opened the door accidentally.
This alerted the Tieflings to our presence.

It was decidedly a good thing that I blocked one of the doors as our
group was nearly overwhelmed by the ruffians, stalkers and the
bandit’s mysterious leader. A pair of spectral rogues did their best
to fillet me and nearly succeeded. A timely heal by our stout warpriest
saved me from rejoining Cthulhu…er I mean from my premature demise.

After analyzing the attack pattern of the phasing rogues I realized
a close-knit in-line formation against the wall would reduce their
offensive potential. When they determined I had stymied them, the
cowardly ruffians chose to flee.

A few valuables and magic items including a suit of armor and a staff
that suddenly changed into a mace were our rewards.

We were no closer to the whereabouts of Nethaire.

Summary:
====
XP
350
Loot
1 Earthroot Staff, 1 ? armor.

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Encounter 6: Unwelcome Guests

Day 2, Part II:
===

Roll call:
Kiera Elven Rogue
Brandis Werewolf/human Paladin
Glorgrim Dwarven Warpriest
Vei Human Binder

[Table Two: Fargrim, Jarren, Alu, Ekomen]

After I easily disposed of the lupine rabble, I and my faithful
retainers proceeded south of Dupond on the trail of Nethaire, the
so-called wizard.

We found ourselves outside the run-down ruin of Vontarin’s home.
A two story structure with evident signs of being overgrown, abandoned,
and having the second floor showing signs of pyromancy in the past.

Naturally I anticipated that it would be occupied with foul miscreants.

Advising caution and stealth, we made our way to the side entrance.

Positioning our team, I then gave the signal and our werewolf
paladin kicked down the door. We caught the squatters within by surprise.

A trio of fell court tielfing ruffians, mere bandits by their attire and
accouterments looked up from their table of ill-gotten gains. One
barely had time for a look of shocked surprise as Kiera’s dagger caught
him on his right temple with her usual precision, knocking him out.
The other pair I more mercifully put out of my misery with a little help
from Elder Tentacles of Forced Intrusion. It would perhaps of been
more prudent to simply rip their souls from their infernally-tainted
shells of flesh but I decided to save them for questioning first.

The erst-while leader, a fell court underboss, and a pair of their guard
dogs, a crested felldrake and hissing felldrake then reacted to our
entrance to the not-quite-so-abandoned dwelling by assaulting our team
with force of arms, claw, and spitting acid.

Brandis the werewolf took considerable damage. However with a touch of
divine assistance from our new hireling, Glorgrim, the paladin stayed
in the front line, distracting the foes my rogue and I easily dealt
with the attackers. A quick strike with a hurled dagger, this time in the
left eye, took out the underboss.

The encounter would have no doubt finished more rapidly if not for the
gypsy’s lingering curse with discommoded us for a few seconds.

Finally with a mad dash, the paladin broke out of his curse and cleaved
the last felldrake in twain.

A quick search of the ruined manor turned up some material possessions
which no doubt can be reclaimed and sold to further my research. Also
a scribbled clue “Nimdel” on the dining room table proved to be the
password to the trapdoor to the basement.

Interviewing the ruffians proved somewhat useful. They revealed that
the wizard had came through earlier and that their boss, Harrumor,
no doubt embarassed at their failure to stop a mere pretender to the
arcane arts gathered some of his crew and pursused the wizard.

Afterwards the tieflings proved to be far more useful as material
components for my research.

We took a few minutes to catch our breath and for most of us to shake off
the lingering effects of the Shadowfell. Then we proceeded down through
the trapdoor.

Ty, my ever-eager student apparently was ahead of us as I noticed one
of her hair ribbons caught on the edge of the cellar entrance.

I anticipate that in a few more minutes we will have our next clue towards
defeating this portion of my field study. I am quite hopeful for some
useful datum.

Summary:
====
XP
200
Loot
4 sets of leather armor, crossbows, clubs.
1x bastard sword.
50’ rope
2 sunrods
1 healing potion (to Kiera)
1 belt of vigor (+1 to heal surge value, 520 gp) – to Brandis
4 silver daggers (one to each party member)
35 gold pieces

Despair:
Vei, Glorgrim, Kiera saved.
Brandis not saved.

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Encounter 5: Analysis of Aberrant Anti-Social Behaviors

Analysis of Aberrant Anti-Social Behaviors
Beyond the Established Societal Norms: A Field Study.

By: Dr. Vei
Understudy: Ty

Day 2, Part I:
======
After finding a middle ground with which levy a measured response to the intermittent incursion of Dupont by extra-planar entities of umbrafell origins, I, my students, and our servants have continued our research by leaving the town’s environs and tracking down random errant signs of a person of interest, Nethaire.

Clues uncovered during the previous encounters are beginning to irritate me. If there is a vast power at work it would be best if they would simply make their presence and intentions known. After that it would only require a modest effort on my part to assimilate or annihilate as needed the interloper(s) and I would be able to continue my research.

Ty, my most brilliant student has a flash of insight and set off following her inspiration. Though I admire her enthusiam with which she embraces the unfathomable and the unknowable, sometimes I do believe she needs a bit more seasoning and a lesson in temperance. Of course if I had such qualities, then that night at the campus where we both were exalted would never have happened. Strange how the stars call to us…

To continue my report. A callow youth by the name of Nethaire, allegedy an archeological arcane specialist with an interest in the so-called ‘climactic’ battle between Evard and Vontarin abruptly disappeared during the town-wide planar transposition.

I believe that the brash young wizard may be able to provide some sort of insight, no doubt extremely limited, that may nevertheless help promulgate my theories regarding non-Euclidean time-space interactions and inductions of mass dementia in georgian provincial climes.

My investigation has unfortunately continued an extremely improbable trend of being interrupted by random assaults upon my person.

We encountered a bucolic local, a rather pedestrian seeming youth who introduced us to his grandmother a Vistani gypsy fortune-teller.

Obviously an power-wielder of modest potential she attempted to proceed with the typical side-show flim flam of telling our future. I, wise in the standard operating procedures of such artists refused to participate in such foolish mockeries of true power. Unfortunately the more irresolute members of my expedition chose to partake of her performance and placed themselves under her power as a result.

And the effects of their failings in their own moral turpitude were made manifest shortly after our meeting.

A pair of lupines along with their apparent leader a lycanthrope in half-lupine half-human form assaulted our party. My retainers, including a pair of new hires by the names of Brandis, a human Paladin, Fargrim, a dwarven Fighter, and Jarren, a human arcanist quickly arrayed themselves in a, uh, haphazard combat formation.

Fortunately for me, the song of the stars was still quite strong in my head. No doubt the recent extra-planar tranposition was helping to fortify my ties to my inner power, the Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

A muttered incantation weakened the foolish attackers, and with a few swift strokes from my lackeys the battle was over. Those who trusted the words of the gypsy suffered for their foolishness, but managed to survive the wounds they suffered as a result during the fight. It is my hope they are now a bit wiser.

As a reward for beating off the assault, the scam-art…ahem gypsy grandmother opened up her supplies of divine and alchemical aid. Of course, after the fight, instead of preparing us before the fight.

Well, the day is still young…

Rewards: 100 XP each, 2 healing potions, 1 vicious weapon +1 (Fargrim)

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Encounter 4: A Tomb with a View

The party, now buffed by the addition of Brandis the Paladin, Fargrim the dwarven warrior, and Jarren the wizard, approached the Duponde’s cemetary with trepidation. Unseely shadows flitted among the tombstones, and the gaping maws of open graves threatened to trip and trap any unwary adventurer. Ahead, they could see the squat, stone building of Evard’s tomb, its door breached and now open.

As they approached the tomb, a host of shadows, zombies, and other flesh-seeking beasts fell upon them. Fighting valiantly, the party held them off until the last was slain. Without Brandis, Fargrim, and especially Jarren, though, the already-exhausted Ty, Min, Keira, and Vei would have surely fallen. Reinforcements were most valuable, and reminded them all that new friends can be stalwart, too.

Inside the tomb were scattered pages from a journal, written in crabbed, scrawling script. Jarren and Ty examined the pages carefully. “This is worse than pulling an all-nighter!” Ty complained, rubbing her bleary eyes. “I know this is important, but I gotta rest!”

The party agreed and returned to the Old Owl to rest and reflect on the dire situation in Duponde. As dawn broke over the eastern sky, though, the shadows were chased away, the world twisted in on itself again, and all seemed once again well.

Rewards: 200 XP and 7 gp.

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Encounter 3: Shadows in the Streets

On their way through the streets of Duponde, the party was suddenly attacked by a group of shadowy drakes that leapt from the shadows and struck them with their fangs and barbed tails. A cloven-hooved shadowy assassin show them repeatedly with his crossbow, while two more of the hostile shadows attacked the party, drawing down their life force.

Keira stayed back and away from the main foes, while Ty, Vei, Min, and Borlin closed in. Part way through the assault, a wizardess named Velnay joined the fray, using her arcane powers to blast and harry the shadowy foes.

When the fight was over, the exhausted party recovered some mundane treasure and an amulet bearing a black feather etched into obsidian. The arcane energy it exudes reveals it to be an item of some protective power. Min, as a meleeist, was determined to need its defenses the most.

Rewards: some XP (will update later), 200 gp in mundane treasure, an amulet of protection +1 (Min Yawns).

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Encounter 2: Armory or less

Now fully awake, the party investigated the Old Owl Inn, both inside and outside. Ty was especially disappointed to see that the sky was now completely overcast, while Vey and Keira discovered that the scholar Nethir and his servant Remy were both missing from their rooms, though some of their personal effects were left behind. Another traveler, Min Yawnz, emerged from his room. Apparently, he had arrived unnoticed and retired early the previous evening. Dragonborn and weilding a venomous breath of draconic power, he had the air of one born, if not accustomed, to command, and he made no illusions about his intentions to acquire great wealth and amass an army of followers to help him conquer the less civilized lands.

Grimbol the guard arrived carrying a lantern, which appeared to shed dimmer light in the gloom of the Shadowfell. He reported that Edin, the guard at the north gate, had been stabbed by Remy, who was fleeing the town at the time. There was no report of Nethir.

Meanwhile, Grimbol also reports that something has been spotted lurking in the armory, and the town militia is ill-prepared without access to the weapons and armor housed inside.

The party made their way through the streets of Duponde, though the night was eerie and strange. The streets seem to have shifted location, and houses now loom menacingly in the darkness.

Crossing a small flooded water channel before reaching the armory, the party was attacked by swarms of vile spiders, an enormous leaping arachnid, and the unrestful shades of several of the townsfolk. These shadows, just as before, attacked Ty, Keira, and Min, struggling with them and sapping them of their strength before being expelled. Vei managed to dodge the shadows, using his attacks from afar to support the party’s efforts.

Min took the worst of the attack from the spiders, staggering with every venomous bite they delivered. Eventually, his knees buckled and he succumbed to their attacks. Ty, too, was brought low, though her failing was not to the spiders’ bites, but to the kiss of the deadly shadows. Keira staggered several times in the fight, but kept her footing by eventually dropping back and flinging her daggers at their foes.

When the last enemy had been felled, Vei and Keira rushed to their companions, hurrying to revive them. Groggy and aching, Ty and Min sat up, both still quite wounded. Keira, too, was exhausted after the fight, carefully attending to her short sword as she put it away. From now on, she would need to stay back and away from the enemies, or risk certain death.

Rewards: 100 xp and 2 potions of healing. One of these has been used on Keira. The other is in Min’s possession.

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Encounter 1: Shadows at the Inn

Tasked with delibering a letter to Lord Marklehay, Belgos, Keira, Ty, and Vei had settled into the Old Owl Inn, a cozy place in Duponde on the Nentir River. Duponde was a city on the decline, large swathes of the town having been abandoned years before thanks to a newer, more direct road. Even now, rising waters in the river had risen up, flooding part of the town and damaging the bridges, making passage across hazardous at best.

In the tavern’s common room, various townsfolk were also taking their repasts. Belgos approached Tilda Greenfield, the chatty proprietress, to ask about the town’s history and rumors. She told him of Von Tarin, a wizard who disappeared during an arcane duel with Evard, over 50 years ago. Evard had been slain in the duel, and was now buried in the town cemetary.

“I can hardly believe Evard’s tomb is in such a dinky, backwater place,” Nethaire, the black-haired scholar said. Youthful Ty leaned on her hands, elbows propped on the table, listening intently. “And yet, there it is! Amazing— the author of such spells as Black Tentacles could be right here!”

“Truly,” Ty fawned. “Hey, have you ever heard of an Academy Blaster?” She grinned at him, but he seemed somewhat oblivious to her innuendo.

Vei, her one-time instructor at the university, had settled in next to an elderly man, Harold, who insisted that “Ghosts… they be hauntin’ this town, for certain!” The ghosts appear only to those who can see them, and immobilize but do not injure their victims.

The three rambunctious dwarves, Chrisdide, Catha, and Kildrak regaled Keira the Elf with tales of their masonry conquests.

As the evening grew later and later, the tavern patrons slipped away into the night, beginning with Grimbold the guard, heading for their beds and rest. Nethaire had secured the upstairs suite at the inn for himself and Remy, his halfling servant. This left the downstairs accommodations to the party. Tilda called for last call, and the adventurers took themselves off to bed. Only Old Man Harold was left in the common room, slowly smoking his pipe and reminiscing of days long past.

As they prepared for bed, the adventurers felt the shadows creeping up around them, growing darker and darker. Taking just a moment to secure their gear, they dashed into the common room to find Old Man Harold sprawled on the floor, unconscious, and creeping gargoyles closing in for an attack!

The gargoyles fought visciously with the party, slashing at them and taking almost uncanny glee when one of them was knocked to the floor. Belgos felt the icy fingers of fear down his back as his own shadow began to attack him! Ty, too, was affected by her own shadow betraying her, though both of them were able to shake off its effects and fight back.

Finally, driven almost to their last bits of strength, they fought off the beasts. Belgos roused Old Man Harold, who had been knocked unconscious. Belgos and Keira identified the gargoyles as having once been decorative fixtures on the outside of the Inn, but no one could identify where the shadow beasts had come from.

No one, that is, until Ty’s star-bound took on a distant gleam and a weird smile crossed her lips. “Ah, I see it now— we’ve come under the curse of a Shadowfall!”

“A Shadowfall? What the heck is that?”

“We— the Old Owl Inn and probably the immediate neighborhood— have all slipped unnoticed into the realm of shadow and nightmare. We’re plane-shifted, my friends. In the Raven Queen’s domain. We’ve slid into the Shadowfell itself!”

Rewards: 250 XP.

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