Posts Tagged With: Spelljammer

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 28

The voyage to Varlden Dod required Sea of Stars to pass through several sphere in the Illithid Dominion. Fortunately for them, the mind flayers were pre-occupied with a war against the witchlight marauders and they were able to complete much of the journey unmolested. One flight of nautiloids approached Sea of Stars, seeking parlay. The mind flayers demanded to know their business in the Dominion, and offered safe passage, as well as a guide them through the most dangerous battle zones. The price: slaves to power their lifejammers, though gold would work in a pinch.

Not willing to sacrifice any of their crew to known brain-eaters, Captain Straxius elected to give the mind flayers their price in gold. A nautiloid broke off from the flight and escorted them through the remaining two spheres until they reached Sunless Sphere.

A single planet orbited a black star. Varlden Dod was a dead world, covered in stagnant marshes with twisted, bare trees. Overhead, the “light” of the black star cast a pall and chill over the world. Preliminary scouting revealed the location of the ruined temple containing the well that once served as a fountain of good; the place where the portal to the positive material plane could be opened.

The wood tower shows the elevation of a flying PC

The crew brought the wand out from the various bags in which they stored it. Straxius summoned a floating disc to hold the pieces. When they were in proximity to each other, the fragments of the wand snapped together until they formed the whole. As soon as the wand was assembled, a visage of Orcus himself appeared above the well as Straxius and Garria approached it to begin the ritual to open the portal. “Bend your knee to me. I’ll give you a minion for each enemy you’ve slain. You will have any army.”

They refused and Orcus commanded his minions to arise and destroy them. Swarms of wolf spirits and ghouls charged out of the swamp. Straxius and Garria continued the ritual as the rest held the undead off. Once the initial wave was destroyed, more poured forth from the befouled waters, ghouls, ghasts, and wraiths attacked.

Straxius left Garria to continue the ritual alone while he lent his magic to defeat the second wave. Still, more undead clambered forth from the marsh. The ghoul king himself appeared, with more wraiths, and a giant skeleton. The battle was hard fought, and though several officers of Sea of Stars nearly fell, they were, at least, victorious. Orcus roared in anger and another form emerged from the swamp: the rotting corpse of a great dragon, its middle torn open, as if exploded from within. Two battered, ruined corpses dangled from the wound.

Garria completed the ritual as the dragon pulled itself from the muck. A geyser of positive energy filled the well. She snatched up the wand and dashed into the portal. As she did so, a flash of warmth washed over the


crew, destroying the dragon. Once their vision returned, they saw a bright, warm sun in the sky, birds and insects resumed their songs, and wind rustled the leaves of once-dead trees. The Wand of Orcus was destroyed and life returned to Varlden Dod.

And with that, another D&D campaign is concluded. For the first time in years, I managed an epic conclusion to a long-running campaign, befitting the destruction of a major artifact. We may return to these characters in the future (they’re only level 11, so they’re perfect for Against the Giants–they even have a Hammer of Thunderbolts and a Giant Slayer sword (but no Girdle of Giant Strength or Gauntlets of Ogre Power), but they’ll have to retire from Spelljamming first; I want to run something more grounded in the future. There’s been some talk about possible playing Tomb of Annihilation, but first, I’m taking a break from GMing for most of the rest of the year.

It’s a little bittersweet to bring a long-running campaign to an end (long being relative; this wasn’t a 20-year campaign, but it was certainly one of the longest-running campaigns I’ve ever run), but honestly, I’m just glad that when the session was over, no one said “Well, thank goodness THAT’S over. What a drag that campaign was.” Now, I’m sure there were highs and lows (certainly, I can identify some sessions where I feel like things could have been a lot better), but overall, I’m pleased with how it all turned out.

Straxius’s player is stepping up to run something for October and November, what exactly has yet to be revealed, and then Sumner/Rune’s player will run his annual Doctor Who Christmas special in December. After that, depending on where I am with the new house my wife and I are building, we’ll see if D&D continues, or we’ll keep doing short 2-3 session games until we get settled. Until then, thanks for reading and keep those dice rolling!

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 27

From the sky, it didn’t take long for the crew of Sea of Stars to locate the main battle. A group of fire giants worked to break the shackles binding the world serpent while frost giants attempted to prevent them from doing so.


The crew discussed options as they descended toward Eorôe. Their first thought was to help with fire support from their catapults. Straxius directed Sumner to barrel through a gap in the friendly lines, ramming the ship into several fire giants, sending them off the edge of the world. The world serpent managed to set Sea of Stars’s port side ablaze with its fiery breath. As they came around, the crew fought the fire with their decanter of endless water. Straxius reconsidered using the ship and they landed at the edge of the battlefield.


Wading into the fray, they worked their way through the salamander minions to reach the giants trying to break the shackles. While they weren’t entirely successful staying out of range of the world serpent’s breath, they did defeat enough giants to inspire the fire giant king to show himself.


He called the crew out, ordering them to cease their fighting and accusing the frost giants of being the true enemy. “It is THEY who upset the natural order of things. Too long have they dwelt in the light; it is time for the World Serpent to cleanse the land and renew the cycle of life. We have dwelt in darkness past our time and it is our turn now to dwell in light.”


The sole remaining frost giant had only one thing to say as she reaffirmed her willingness to fight to the death: “They seek to destroy all that we have built and nurtured. They seek to bring into darkness all that which dwells in light.”


Through a slip of the tongue, Rune challenged the fire giant king to single combat. The fire giant leader accepted, though made no promises his people would accept the outcome. Rune took to the sky and was nearly victorious, but was brought low by thrown boulders. Once the single combat was decided, Veya charged in and killed the fire giant king, rallying the frost giant reinforcements.


Though the force seeking to free the head of the world serpent from its shackles was defeated, there remained several other groups. Over the next several weeks, the crew of the Sea of Stars flew with their frost giant allies around the world, sending the fire giants back to the darkness and earning the Frost Giants and their vassals a century’s reprieve from the Change of Ages.


The crew feasted with the giants and recovered from their wounds before facing the final leg of their voyage, seeking out Sunless Sphere, no fewer than an additional two hundred days away. It was there, on the world of Varlden Dod orbiting the Black Star, that they could open the portal to the Positive Material Plane through which Garria, the reincarnation of Hrothgar the Penitent, would carry the Wand of Orcus to its ultimate destruction.

The whole story with Eorôe and Patria sphere: The outer lands of this disc world are populated by giants who stand vigilant against the threat from the other side. The interior is populated by two groups of avian-folk, White Ones and Black Ones (so named for the color of their feathers). The folk on the interior live and work together in peace, though technically, they are vassals of the giants (the frost and the fire, respectively). Every thousand years, the world serpent is awoken and the world flips. The frost giants, who have been in control of the light side for the last thousand years, bound the world serpent to prevent the Change of Ages, precipitating this conflict where the fire giants fight for their time in the light. As far as the White Ones and Black Ones are concerned, the Change of Ages is akin to a changing of the guard; it doesn’t overly affect their lives.

Eorôe’s Change of Ages is really a whole campaign… which was NOT the one the PCs were currently playing; they just came in at the end and acted as a wild card to change the outcome.

Now, onto the finale…

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 26

Boccob’s Barge

As the hammership approached, Straxius ordered his crew to bombard it with Sea of Stars’s catapults. While their aim was true, Boccob’s Barge continued to close and increased to ramming speed. With a crash, the two spelljammers collided. A mass of arms, legs, and torsos tumbled from Boccob’s Barge onto Sea of Star’s main deck. The Ghoul King contacted Straxius telepathically:  “Surrender the wand and I will call off my minions. You may live and return to your mundane life of hauling cargo. I will even transfer all this infernal beer in my hold.”


The mass rose up and began attacking the crew, even while the Ghoul King and his minions attacked from afar. Straxius and Rune concentrated on the Ghoul King and a familiar woman, Gwen Sallas, the woman they freed from slavers on the Rock of Bral, now a vampire in the service of the Ghoul King.


As the Corpse Mound disgorged zombies to further challenge the crew, Straxius countered spells thrown by the Ghoul King, until the undead leader dimensioned door to a safer haven within the ship.


Though they lost some crew, they were eventually triumphant over the undead crew of Boccob’s Barge. Unfortunately, the ship itself was a total loss, so they looted everything they could from Straxius’s old ship, then scuttled her. There was no sign of the Ghoul King, yet curiously, he left behind all of his accumulated treasure, including Hrothgar the Penitent’s skull; the last piece of the Wand of Orcus. Sumner discovered the skull by licking the Ghoul King’s collection until he tasted the distinct taint of the Demon Prince of Undead.


The crew quickly decided to keep the pieces of the wand separate in the hopes the minions of Orcus would have more difficultly tracking them as they determined how best to dispose of the vile artifact. Meanwhile, they resume their flight to Patria sphere.

Weeks later, Sea of Stars arrived at her destination to find a world on fire… .

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 25

After determining that they were, in fact, on in a pocket dimension, the crew resigned themselves to having to climb back down through the tower to return to the Rock of Bral with the shaft. They took a moment to prepare themselves, then re-entered the storage room at the top of the tower were Seravos laired. They found several valuable items to take with them, and then cast several invisibility spells before descending into the combat zone.


Undead continued to battle with Seravos’s golems, so the crew was able to pass most of the fighting unseen. When they reached the bottom floor, the dead apprentice at the desk in the foyer had become ghoul food, so they quietly evolved a plan to deal with them. Unfortunately, they were not mere carrion-eating ghouls as one might encounter in a cemetery and Rune’s attempt to turn them failed.


They beat down the tough ghoul and exited the tower, Arcane Locking the door on their way out. On the city streets, no one seemed aware of what transpired in Seravos’s tower. The crew returned to the Laughing Beholder for an evening of drinks and carousing before boarding Sea of Stars.


As they made preparations to leave, another Nkosi approached the ship, looking for Captain Ra-Jareez. Suli-ban, Ra-Jareez’s cousin, was greatly amused to hear of the Nkosi’s misfortune in losing his ship and informed Ra-Jaeerz he was there to bring him home. After a brief discussion with the crew of Sea of Stars, Ra-Jareez made his choice: he would stay with his friends on the Sea of Stars until their task was done.


Boccob’s Barge

They set off to sail to Patria sphere and Eorôe to fulfill their obligation to the giants there. As they pass by the Tears of Selune, they discovered they would not have to seek long for the skull to complete the Wand of Orcus. A familiar hammership approached, Boccob’s Barge, it’s crew of undead drawn to the nearly completed artifact.


They readied themselves for battle…

Since I know what’s coming next and the hour was growing late, I ended the session a little early. It was either that, or stop in the middle of a combat (which suuuucks). In two weeks, we’re going to play a Middle Earth adventure to help one of my players play test the adventure he’s running for Cubicle 7 at Gen Con. Two weeks after that is Gen Con. Then, on September 1st, “The Wand of Orcus” will continue. It’s all climax from here on out; the campaign is nearing its close. Will the crew of Sea of Stars be able to reclaim Boccob’s Barge from the Ghoul King and his minions? Will they be able to resist the temptations of a reassembled Wand of Orcus? Will they be able to destroy it before the Demon Prince of Undead comes to claim it?

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 24

A few weeks later, upon returning to the Rock of Bral, Straxius sent Ra-Jareez, Sumner, and Ragnar out to hire a proper crew for Sea of Stars. Meanwhile, he and the rest of the officers decided to go to the Laughing Beholder to see if they could catch up to Seravos the Golden.

As they disembarked from their ship a messenger ran up to Straxius with a letter:

You pledged to aid us.
Dark forces conspire to break the shackles holding the World Serpent at bay.
We call upon you to fulfil your oath.
(It looks better in the stoney, runic-looking font I used on the actual note)

After a brief moment, they remembered the giants with whom they traded to acquire the crystal of ice for the Arcane, so long ago. Since they were already on the Rock of Bral where the man believed to be in possession of a piece of the Wand of Orcus was, they chose to retrieve it from him first, and then swing by Eorôe in Patria Sphere on the way to their next destination.

They hung around the Laughing Beholder for a bit as Rune tried to tell Luigi the Beholder a joke. After the joke Luigi declared he was changing the name of his bar to the Sad Beholder and all that was good in life was now gone. About then, a lithe, golden-haired elf walked in, ordered a drink and sat at a table, alone. Luigi confirmed it was Seravos the Golden.

One failed negotiation later (Seravos was not willing to part with any piece of his collection) and they began to develop a plan to acquire the piece of the wand through extra-legal means. Luigi counseled Straxius, telling him that they should not feel guilty if they needed to remove the evil object from Seravos’s possession; the elf was not troublemaker, per se, but neither was he a good person. They decided on a plan that would have Zinni scope out his home and potentially pilfer the wand’s shaft given the opportunity.

Seravos’s house was in a middle-class part of town, and appeared to be an unremarkable building on a street of row houses.  Through the windows, the interior looked dark and cluttered and Zinni was unable to find a back entrance. There was enough pedestrian traffic on the street that she didn’t feel comfortable picking the lock in broad starlight, so she returned to Straxius and the other officers.

They waited until night, then returned to Seravos’s house as a group. Before taking the step of breaking in, they decided to knock on the door. It swung open as they rapped upon it. Inside, the house was unlike its streetside appearance. It was much larger and round, more like a tower, than a humble single-story house.

From inside, the crew heard the sounds of battle. An apprentice lay slumped over a desk in the vestibule, a pool of blood spreading from his body and dripping onto the floor. They climbed the tower, dealing with both Seravos’s clockwork minions and the invading undead until they reached the top floor. A coffin and a corpse drained of blood gave away Seravos’s true nature, yet he was nowhere to be found. They did spy a hatch in the ceiling above a fallen ladder. They smashed the coffin and climbed.

On the roof, they found Seravos the Golden. Frothing with rage, he declare no one, not the crew of Sea of Stars, not the Ghoul King, NO ONE would have his prize. After a brief battle, the crew put the rampaging vampire down. Seravos tried to flee in his gaseous form, and Straxius summoned an air elemental to take the wispy vampire on a ride.

The shaft of the Wand of Orcus lay on the roof. They picked up the penultimate piece and pondered their next move…

This is really late because not only did I have a mad rush to get two books to the printer (Scars of the Sundering, book 3: Salvation and “Burble’s Big Day,” both of which will be available at Gen Con), but two author events back-to-back right after this game. I’m sure I left out details. Oh well, I think I got the gist of it and I’m sure if there is anything crucial missing, one of my players will chime in in the comments.

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 23

After an attempt at evasion, it was clear the Man-O-War intended to confront Sea of Stars. Captain Straxius ordered everyone to battle stations, but did not order an attack, preferring to let the elves, if that’s who they really were, make the first move.

A projection of the Elven captain appeared on their deck. He introduced himself as High Captain Larethon and informed the crew of Sea of Stars that they were in restricted space and demanded to know their purpose.

Captain Straxius explained who they were and that they were ignorant of the restriction on the space above Brintannia. Captain Larethon had heard of a Straxius Farseer, Captain of Boccob’s Barge, a ship currently implicated in a rash of pirate attacks. Straxius explained that ship had been stolen by a lich and his undead minions, then Queen Garria blurted out that they were on a sacred quest to defeat Orcus, much to the chagrin of the superstitious among the crew who believes saying the Demon Prince’s name invited ruin.

Upon hearing this, Captain Larethon invited the officers to convene aboard his ship. Captain Straxius accepted the invitation, but cautioned his crew to be wary of any attempt by the elves to deceive them. The elves served wine, then they got down to business. Straxius explained their quest in detail and the elf explained piracy enacted by ships crewed by the undead were increasing and there were signs that Orcus’s minions were involved. Captain Larethon told them he was authorized to help anyone working against the Demon Prince of Undead and would send word to their armada in The Grinder that they were to share whatever intelligence they had on these attacks, and the whereabouts of the pieces of the Wand of Orcus.

He wished them luck. Captain Straxius bartered a case of wine from him and Sea of Stars parted ways with the Man-O-War with a new destination: Greyspace.

The journey to Greyspace was uneventful and they navigated their way to The Grinder, the vast sphere of asteroids and planetoids surrounding the inner planets of Greyspace. They navigated their way through the tumbling rocks toward the Elven Armada. Passing between two particularly close planetoids, they were attacked by a void worm, a wild space-dwelling cousin of the dreaded purple worm. Fortunately, Captain Straxius had a polymorph spell handy with which he reduced it to a snail, allowing them to pass with minimum damage to the ship*.

After receiving permission to dock, the crew exited Sea of Stars and met with the commander of the Elven Armada, Lord Corellon. Having been forewarned of their arrival, the Elvish Lord had all the information pertaining to various divinations they’d performed regarding the Wand of Orcus as well as information from the Elvish navy’s vast network of spies. They had narrowed the shaft of the wand down to four possible locations. He dismissed the possibility that it was in the hands of the Kingpriest of Istar immediately; both the location and the man were destroyed ages ago. They determined it could be in the possession of a Dwarven collector of rare oddities, Belgar Blisterstone, a resident of the nearby Ironfist Citadel. Another possibly location was in the possession of Keraptis, in his mountain of power. Unfortunately, the mountain moved at seemingly random intervals. It was last known to be on Reorx, in Krynnspace, but Lord Corellon warned it could very well move before they could get there. Lastly, another collector might have it: Seravos the Golden, last known to reside on the Rock of Bral.

When their business with the elves was complete, they set off for the first of their possibilities: Ironfist Citadel. They found the Dwarven citadel in the Grinder, less than a day away. The dwarves allow them to dock and they were directed to Belgar’s shop. Unfortunately, he was no in possession of the shaft to the Wand of Orcus, though he was more than happy to show them his other wares and trade with them.

Rune cast a divination, attempting to learn from his god what the best investigative option was. Based on those answers, rather than seek out Keraptis’s mountain, they chose instead to plot a course back to the Rock of Bral to next seek out Seravos the Golden…

*Don’t you hate it when players completely bypass a detailed encounter that had a bunch of cool details that were going to be TOTALLY AWESOME? Of course, I still gave them full XP (except for the follow-up encounter that never happened as a result of short-circuiting the void worm encounter). I’m just glad I didn’t bust my butt painting the miniature that didn’t really get used in this encounter. 😀

I must remember their predilection for polymorph when designing future encounters.

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 22

The fungus folk, myconids, though aloof, proved helpful to the crew of Sea of Stars. They described the route to the fortress of the Shadowlords, but warned the crew they’d have to pass through a realm occupied by creatures not of this world who swam through stone as easily as a fish through water. The myconids also warned the crew of the Shadowlords’ servants of metal and stone.

During their discussion, the crew decided they would stick to their goal of rescuing Queen Garria without confronting the Shadowlords, if possible. (The PCs learned at some point that the Shadowlords were not, in fact, in their fortress at the moment, though I no longer remember where they learned that information and it’s not really important.)

After resting, they set off toward the Shadowlords’ fortress once again. Not long after leaving the mushroom kingdom, they encountered an odd, three-armed, three-legged creature emerging from stone. Straxius, with his breadth of knowledge was able to communicate with the creature and they exchanged metals and gemstones for safe passage and a guide. The creatures, xorn, were eager to help those who offered them such refined food.

The Xorn guided the crew to a massive stone bridge over a river of lava. On the far side was a stone monolith: the fortress of the Shadowlords. Creatures of fire swum in the lava, and across the bridge, the entrance was guarded by two massive winged statues. The crew assumed the statues were, in fact, gargoyles, and decided they would defy all the guardians by striding boldly onto the bridge.

Elementals and lava guardians in the river of fire turned their attention to the bridge, but did not approach. The gargoyles, however, had no such compunctions and challenged the crew. Straxius informed them if they wanted to live, they would let them pass. The gargoyles declined but accepted an alternate challenge: single combat versus Veya.

Veya easily beat the gargoyle who challenged her and the other stepped aside, its desire to live outweighing its loyalty to its masters. They descend into the fortress, making their way through ancient crypts defaced depictions of Brintannia’s deities of Truth, Love, and Courage, and tombs unremembered; mysteries for others to discover.

They found their way to a ritual chamber and were able to eavesdrop on an exchange between the image of a goat-headed demon and one of the Shadowlords’ servants. Orcus congratulated them on capturing his old nemesis and ordered them to kill her and bring her skull to him for his throne. The servant responded they would do so and they would continue to hunt Hrothgar the Penitent no matter where or who he was reincarnated as, until the end of time, if need be. Orcus then ordered them to also bring the heads of the ones behind the servant, those would who “save” Hrothgar.

A pitched battle was fought, but the crew of Sea of Stars was victorious and freed Queen Garria. Straxius made use of the contingency escape he prepared before they entered the Underworld and teleported them back to the Cathedral of Truth. Queen Garria confirmed their suspicions: “It’s true. I am Hrothgar the Penitent. I was reincarnated into this form you see before you. It’s not the first time, and until Orcus is vanquished forever, it won’t be the last. Destroying his wand will sever his connection with this plane for a time and will give me a long enough reprieve to enjoy a lifetime, perhaps even two or three. If only I could find the thing…

“For two-and-half-thousand years I’ve been hounded by his agents. Cut down and killed, whenever I was unable to withstand their assault. I know not how many of my skulls decorate his throne by now.”

She agreed to accompany them to find the rest of the wand and destroy it, but first, she needed to spend a day or two to set her affairs in Brintannia in order. Once she gave her allies the information they needed to vanquish the Shadowlords, she left with the crew and the Sea of Stars once more took to the sky.

When they reached space, an elven Man-O-War awaited them….

I had not intended for Queen Garria to be a damsel in distress in need of rescue, in fact, I was going to have her escape on her own and meet up with the PCs in the Underworld and then they all defeat the Shadowlords togethers. The best laid plans of mice and men…

My players weren’t really biting the hook of defeating the Shadowlords, and honestly, the PCs didn’t have a good reason to stick their noses THAT deep into Brintannia’s problem. Finding the Queen was paramount, and most because they suspected she had ties to their main quest (at least I dropped those hints well enough). 

I wasn’t feeling the whole Underworld diversion anyway (and neither were they), so wrapping it up quickly and getting everyone back on the ship was for the best I think. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I failed somewhere in the execution. Frankly, I should just stopped at the tournament and figured out some other way to clue them into the fact that Queen Garria was the reincarnation of Hrothgar the Penitent and they’d need her to actually destroy the Wand of Orcus.

Part of GMing is learning from one’s mistakes. So, these were still valuable sessions for me, but I guess I can’t put off painting those catapult miniatures I bought for the ship any longer.

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 21


After sleeping on it, the crew decided to follow the path into the narrow, twisty tunnels. For days they followed this path, dealing with sheer drops, treacherous under hangs, and ropers. Eventually, they arrived in a vast cavern filled with bones.

The bones covered the ground in all directions, for as far as their eyes could see. Animal bones, from creatures both familiar and unknown, human bones, and many, many dwarf bones. They crunched through the cavern for hours, taking care to avoid areas where they saw undulating motion in the bones. Eventually, they came to a carved, stone doorway. Beyond, lay what appeared to be an ancient library.

Most of the tomes were crumbling or unreadable, written in an ancient dwarven dialect no one could translate. Exploring deeper into the library, they came across an automaton browsing the stacks. It greeted them, despite their suspicious bearing. The automaton introduced itself as Rune; a construct of the dwarves, perhaps the last survivor of their civilization.

From their conversation with Rune, they learned it knew of the Shadowlords’ lair, but nothing of Queen Garria. It asked to accompany them, and after a brief discussion, they agreed. They set out, back into the cavern of bones and Rune led them to passages which took them deeper into the Underworld.

Rune’s guidance took them out of the cavern and down into caverns full of giant fungi. They had entered the Demesne of the Mushroom King….

Rune will be taking the place of Sumner in the coming sessions. Sumner’s player felt the minotaur warlock/paladin was overlapping in abilities with too many other party members and the lack of a dedicated cleric was hampering them somewhat. He’s going to play both characters until the party returns to the surface, then Sumner will retire to the ship. This has the added bonus of keeping the ship in the hands of someone more trustworthy than Ra-Jareez (“Ra-Jareez has done nothing! This one is innocent of these crimes!”).

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 20

Before venturing into the cave system, Kagark presented Straxius with a box and letter given to him by Valen the Ponce while the rest of the crew were acquiring provisions. The letter summarized research The Ponce had done prior to their departure. He also gifted them with the two prizes they failed to win in the tournament: elemental gems and an instant fortress. He said since all the prizes were from the Order of the Sacred Flower’s vaults, he considered the gifts an investment in the success of their quest.

The crew wandered the dark tunnels beneath the catacombs for hours. They navigated using marks left by Grigori. After a while, it became clear they were being followed by some creature. They stopped to confront a trio of carrion crawlers intent on making a meal of them, then continued on their way.

At some point during their wanderings, they found a partially collapsed tunnel and the remains of a hapless explorer. They found some old coins and a couple of notes in the explorer’s possessions that indicated they were not the first to go into the Underworld seeking the Shadowlords. They kept the notes and the money and pressed onwards.

Sometime the next day, they found a sinkhole at the end of Grigori’s trail marks: the entrance to the Underworld. They descended into the depths.

The passageways of the Underworld led them along twisting paths. Zinni and Sumner scouted ahead, narrowly avoiding a cloaker ambush. Once the abominations were dealt with, they continued until the trail split. One direction seemed to lead to an area of vast caverns. The other continued in narrow, twisting passageways. They paused to heal their wounds from their most recent battle before deciding which route to take…

The Underworld is not the Underworld of Greek Mythology, but merely the name by which the world of Brintannia refers to their version of the Underdark. This was a weirdly unfocused session. Those happen from time-to-time. Next time will be better.

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , ,

5th Ed. Spelljammer – The Wand of Orcus, session 19

We hadn’t intended to take an extra week off, but I ended up with con crud from Gary Con, so there you have it.

The crew spent much of the next day preparing for their journey. After making sure they had the gear necessary for an extended underground excursion, they sought out the one man their investigations revealed might know where to find an entrance to the Underworld: Grigori the Dark.

They tracked him to The Screeching Owl, where they found Grigori preparing to leave Bryttan to return to his home in the south. After a brief conversation, they persuaded him to give them directions to the location where he found an Underworld entrance. He admitted he couldn’t tell them what to expect there, exactly, as he turned back when he found the entrance; he was not equipped for a journey of that complexity. The entrance he found was in a cave system accessed from the Cathedral of Truth’s catacombs. The cathedral itself was far to the north, beyond the Great Forest.

They took Sea of Stars and flew north, cutting weeks off their journey. They found the Cathedral of Truth just where Grigori indicated it would be and climbed down to the astonishment of the two acolytes who saw their ship arrive. The bewildered clerics directed the crew to speak to Keepers Brand or Rosalin.

Inside the cathedral, they inquired of Keeper Rosalin regarding catacomb access. She informed them they were not open to just anyone, and there was currently an undead problem they were dealing with; it wasn’t safe. Straxius offered that he and the crew be permitted to look for the cave entrance in the catacombs in exchange for clearing out the undead. The Keepers accepted the terms and allowed the crew entry into the catacombs.

There was nothing particularly unusual about the catacombs, except for the ghost, specters, and wraiths who attacked them. Despite giving Veya new grey hair, the undead were vanquished and the crew retreated back upstairs to seek healing and restoration. Once rested, they returned to the catacombs with Keeper Brand to seek the cause of the hauntings and try to find the entrance to the cave system of which Grigori the Dark spoke. They found it behind one of the tapestries, a dark crack in the wall leading into the depths of the earth…

Unbeknownst to the crew, but beknownst to those of you reading this, a courier gave Kagark a package just before they departed Bryttan. The half-orc held on to the package, because the strange little red-robed man in the sky made some errors in judgement and execution and needed to set things right.

Categories: D&D | Tags: , , , , ,

Blog at