Thieves & Kings

Interlude - Midnight Blues

“Life is full of secrets, and narrow-minded people, and sugar-coated, empty conversations that hold no weight. What’s real is what’s inside us. What’s important is what we feel.”

https://youtu.be/jKPApYdMGPY

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Episode 48 - Darkness Falls

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

https://youtu.be/tD3Vro2gs1Q

Synopsis : The adventurers continue their battle with Mog-Lathar, the Petrified Spider, and eventually defeat it. Afterwards, they are overcome by a series of visions, depicting various historical beings of the region at the moment of their rising to mythic (demigod?) status. Each event is accompanied by the clangor of a deep, sonorous bell. They each see images of their own thoughts, feelings, desires and hopes, and are thrust back into the mortal world once more. Picking up their companions, the group staggers to leave the cult chamber as its floods, reaching the surface and informing their contact Magistrate Stanton Druid, before leaving to rendezvous at Bresal’s workshop to split the loot and plan for their next expedition, a return back to Thornkeep to resolve several unfinished matters.

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Episode 47 - Webs of the Spider God

“To betray, you must first belong.”

https://youtu.be/Gd9OhYroLN0

Synopsis : A tale in which the adventurers continue to explore Mariposa Manor. Amidst various odd dream-like sightings and occurances, and dispatching a clutch of strange acid-blooded monsters, the adventurers dismantle the Shiver distillery. The adventurers follow a great iron elevator into the depths of the earth under Mornhaven, finding it leads to a hidden shrine dedicated to an unknown spider god. Hundreds of cultists had taken refuge in this chamber, and a great melee ensues with several of the most powerful cultists, including a mob of dedicated thugs, and eventually the great spider god himself, Mog-Lathar, the Petrified Spider. And all the while, the prostrate and drugged cultists mutter its name, and pray for deliverance…

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8th of Nolus, TR 1050, Late Evening, Mariposa Manor, the Adventurer’s Quarter, Mornhaven :

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Episode 46 - The House on North Tower Street

“Dreams are as simple or as complex as their dreamers.”

https://youtu.be/bjyGkvNUtRU

Synopsis : A tale in which the adventurers continue investigating the Shiver trade, and enter a hidden passage within the northern city wall itself. This leads through a trapped and spider-infested region, eventually exiting into a building used by a group of fanatic cultists. Summoning a giant elk spirit to open the front portcullis, the adventurers rapidly storm the place, led by an impulsive Ricochet, quickly dispatching numerous small bands of cultists, but become stalled when they encounter a spider woman and its larger, adult phase spider minions.

Scattered across the manor, the adventurers lose the bravado of their initial assault, and Scales is isolated and knocked unconscious by two of the spiders. Meanwhile, the adventurers discover the site to be one of the abandoned manors along the northern city wall, and both Sweet and Kahli find the place to be built around an ancient temple dedicated to a strange goddess symbolized by a purple butterfly; something none present have heard of before. Numerous strange events begin to haunt the adventurers as they explore the manor. Kahli triggers something in one of the outer rooms, and is attacked by a flowing air elemental, that speaks to them in the hauntingly familiar voice they encountered deep under the city in the The Labyrinth of Ghouls some days ago. The group collectively defeats it, but the Voice taunts them as they do so, promising “…I can see you all now…”.

Eventually, they uncover what they believe to be the alchemical room being used to brew Shiver, but Bresal is poisoned with Shiver upon investigating the room, and begins to have a lucid dream in which he sees the local manor in a different state than what the rest see. A beautiful dream-like place, he is attacked by four small children “ghosts” that only he can see in the temple, but is brought out of the lucid dream by Kahli. The group also find a side room holding several people, some are dead and have ash-gray countenances, but others are wound in webbing and affected by the dream-state like Bresal was. One corner is set-up like a shrine with an old tapestry of a handsome young man as its centerpiece. They pull these people out of the room, retrieve the tapestry, and gather to discuss what they should do next…

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8th of Nolus, TR 1050, Late Evening, the Adventurer’s Quarter, Mornhaven :

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Episode 45 - Shiver and Shake-Down

“Generals gathered in their masses
just like witches at black masses.
Evil minds that plot destruction,
sorcerer of death’s construction.”

https://youtu.be/mZBDq2txWos

Synopsis : The continuing tale of the adventurers following the trail of the Shiver trade. After tracking their quarry back around the walls of Mornhaven through Fishtown, they find their target quarry has returned almost directly back to where they started. After several days of observation, they break into the rogue’s lair, fighting a terrible toad demon, before Scales managed to Banish it back to the Abyss. Interrogating the rogues who watch over the residence during the night, they find little of note, though they hear rumors of “Scrabblebones”, a local witch and Rik feels vindicated about his fears of hags being behind the whole “Dream-Thing”. Discovering a secret passage in the demon’s quarters, Rik is nearly slain by a terrible trap, and recovering some treasures they find beyond, they follow a passage carved into the very outer walls of the city; a passage strewn with webs and the reminder of its great age.

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6th of Nolus, TR 1050, Late Evening, The Market Quarter, Mornhaven :

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Episode 44 - Ashes to Ashes....

“You hate because you are scared, and you fear because you don’t understand.”

https://youtu.be/zGa8t9SuS2k

Synopsis : The adventruers discuss their options, and choose to track-down Magistrate Stanton, and inquire after his concerns. They find out more about the recent Shiver addicts and previous murders/suicides, and find he has been placed in charge of the investigation, largely because the local officials don’t take either him or it seriously. They get a promise of 100 gp each for bringing evidence for a conviction regarding the source of Shiver, and depart, beginning their own investigation.

During the events of the Desportium of Magic, they find a ghostly green mist wandering the evening streets of the Adventurer’s Quarter, defeat it, and find it had been dragging the corpse of a local magistrate’s son along for the ride. They track this corpse back to a closed court near the bay, and investigate a suspected drug house, interrogate the owner, shake him down, and then plan to find his suppliers. They enlist the help of their friend Vard Glamour, who has a boat and can help them on the docks.

Over the next couple days, they discover that the Shiver trade is very convoluted, and infiltrate Bresal into the couriers, but are attacked by a cultist wielding a Spider-Leg Sickle who summons a water elemental, only to lose control of it, and have it wreak havoc on the docks. Scales manages to Banish the creature before it does too much damage to Ricochet and Kahli, and securing their one prisoner, attempt to follow along behind Bresal and his cohorts, as it appears his cover remains intact.

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4th of Nolus, Morning, The Adventurer’s Quarter“The Ghostly Minstrel” :

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Episode 43 - Trail of the Banderhobb

“You not only are hunted by others, you unknowingly hunt yourself.”

https://youtu.be/PY-BvPriIBo

Synopsis : Travelling deeper into the Labyrinth of Ghul, the group retires to the Creche for a long rest, and then continues along the confusing passages beneath the city of Mornhaven. They encounter a pack of its namesake ghouls, though they also get the feeling they are being watched, hearing a disembodied chuckle at the end of the fight. They encounter another of teh vast cisterns caverns, and wind about for miles, passing through a rubble-filled section of the Labyrinth, with miles of empty store-houses and cisterns.

Eventually they encounter a fortification spanning a deep ravine, and sack the closest portion, capturing its defenders unawares with the sudden assault. They fight ogres, bestial orcs, and discover the place to be known as the Horned Hold, an outpost of the salver/trader duergar clan known as the “Glimmerjewels”. They rescue more than a dozen slaves from the pits of the fort they attacked, discovering the other portions of the fortress across the ravine to be an armory/forge, and where the bulk of their forces are housed. Taking thousands of gold and platinum coins, and a curious dwarven key, the Key to the Dark Door, they spend several days hiking the slaves out of the Labyrinth, bringing them to the surface and freedom, and spend the night in “The Ghostly Minstrel”, resting and hearing more news about the rising Shiver threat. They also find out that a local Magistrate, one Tavran, a name they had heard was investigating the Chaos Cults, had inquired after the adventurers, seeking an audience.

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30th of Kelen, Evening (?), The Labyrinth of Ghul :

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Episode 42 - The Labyrinth of Ghouls

“Sarah, beware. I have been generous up ‘til now. I can be cruel. Everything that you wanted I have done. You asked that the child be taken. I took him. You cowered before me, I was frightening. I have reordered time. I have turned the world upside down, and I have done it all for you! I am exhausted from living up to your expectations. Isn’t that generous?”

https://youtu.be/5hRTjLd3iQ8

Synopsis : The tale in which the adventurers invest in researching the various names they have discovered in their session with Polina of Quaan, deciding to hire the Mage’s Guild of Mornhaven to do the work, trading another of their Floatchests away. After a day of following various personal agendas, the adventurers descend into the depths of the Labyrinth of Ghouls, and after passing through the “Hall of Seven Gates”, discover the place where they were all raised, a room they know simply as “The Creche”. Strange symbols are carved into a handful of cribs in a back part of the chambers, each matching one of Shared Dreams they all possess, but they notice there are seven (7) cribs, hinting at one other individual they do not remember…

The adventurers are attacked by a pair of large toad-like beasts, that fixate on Bresal and Scales, the two who were casting rituals at teh time. One nearly abducts Bresal, swallowing him and tries to run away, though he is saved by a group effort to slay the beast before it escapes. Noting the direction the beast was headed, the group begins traversing down past the Deep Stair, ever deeper into the Labyrinth, encountering a vast cistern cavern, a massive carved chamber filled with crypts, and an off sigil on one corridor that hints at it leading off to the legendary Daer’Naga, the City of Pedestal. They also encounter a mad dwarf calling himself “King Thain” and his crazy minions, who demand the adventurer’s obedience, though he is quickly subdued and his minions mostly slain.

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29th of Kelen, Evening, The Adventurer’s Quarter“The Ghostly Minstrel” :

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Episode 41 - The Dark Tower

“So through endless twilights I dreamed and waited, though I knew not what I waited for. Then in the shadowy solitude my longing for light grew so frantic that I could rest no more, and I lifted entreating hands to the single black ruined tower that reached above the forest into the unknown outer sky. And at last I resolved to scale that tower, fall though I might; since it were better to glimpse the sky and perish, than to live without even beholding day.”

https://youtu.be/9a4U_XnojwQ

Synopsis : A tale in which the advantruers assault the Tolling Tower, fighting a naga, a basilisk, and several mercenaries led by an unknown war priest, who escapes them. They recover several more Goldwood RIngs, and capture many of the mercenaries, interrogate them, and free them. The group reports on their discoveries to Lalaith, who uses a Leend Lore scroll to uncover the mantra about the Goldwood Rings, finding them to be keys to a dark pact, and the unknown Pactlords of the Quaan. Lalaith then gets them in contact with a refugee from this unknown “Quaan”, Polina who answers many of their questions regarding the place, though much of her tale is wreathed in myth and taken from her perspective. As their questioning slows, they ask for some of the names of the Pactlords, and she relates the most ancient of the Pactlords that she is aware of, naming; Maeritha Moonrise, Charch-Pahn, Father Claw, and the one name they are familiar with; Thornruin, the author of The Elder Scroll.

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26th of Kelen : The Adventurer’s Quarter, Mornhaven : “The Ghostly Minstrel” :

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“A frightful place became the Quaan,
Where the Pactlords plot and scheme beyond,
To thwart and destroy the mortal race,
To strive to keep their rightful place.
Pactlords and their slaves must always bear,
The circle of wood that you also wear.
The Font of the Pact does see you well
Whether boon or curse, only time will tell.”

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Episode 40 - Paying No Toll

“Most people on the ledge of a tall building were not afraid they’d fall; they were afraid they’d jump."

https://youtu.be/DmKDVvIEhBY

Synopsis : After some personal inquiries and business, the adventurers investigate the mysterious “Tolling Tower”, sneaking in and poking about, but finding no denizens. The Goldwood RIng and Nann’s Bone Ring both point to a strange location just off the upper points of the tower, and confound the adventurers. The group does a little research on the Tower, finding something of its original purposes and history as a “Toll Tower” for Phaedran flying ships, decides to invest in some scrolls for divining, and spend a couple days scrying the tower, eventually discovering a band of mercenaries to reside there, and that they have a captive merchant, forcing the adventurers to strike back against them sooner to ensure his safety.

24th of Kelen, Adventurer’s Quarter“Ghostly Minstrel” :

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