Thieves & Kings

Episode 62 - Broken Chains

“This is slavery; not to speak one’s thoughts”

https://youtu.be/xdOykEJSXIg

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20th of Kythorn, TR 1050 : The Adventurer’s Quarter, The Curio Court.

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Episode 61 - Dreamfall

“The greater the purpose, the harder it is to understand and to accept.”

https://youtu.be/ikbdildbB-c

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15th of Kythorn, TR 1050 : The Adventurer’s Quarter, Curio Court.

Synopsis : Travelling back into the Labyrinth of Ghul, the adventurers are trailed by Quirrel, as they have no idea what to do with her, and secretly just want the problem to go away, rather than deal with it. But the Quirrel comes back. It wouldn’t stay away.

They approach the Horned Hold, and barter their way through, asking after possible “fiendish gnoll mercenaries or slaves…”, and are directed further down into the Deep Way towards the Cathedral Caverns, where a so-called “Drow Enclave” exists. After several days and subsisting off Fire Beetles, they find the vast series of caves known as the Cathedral Caverns, and encounter strange patrols of drow wearing badges of a “White Hand”, and each warrior leading a ghoul on a chain attached to their belts. They eventually reach a hidden series of chambers.

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Exploration of this Enclave, reveals a repurposed temple of some sort that serves the local bugbears and duergar as a slave trading post some days journey from the Labyrinth. On the wall of the central salve chamber lies a carved, bloody rune that everyone remembers from both the frog-folk under Az-Vassa, as well as that used by Eliseera Applewarden in her Shadowfell lair. Hunting parties, assumed to be those from the White Kingdom, seem to bring prey to this site on a regular basis. The group discovers that back off the Great Hall lies a hidden portal known as the Twilight Gate, and beyond that lies the real slave trade site employed by the Iron RIng, known as The Qanat. It seems that most of the slaves being brought through the markets there aren’t locals, but rather Hepekerian brought in from overseas for trade along the Deep Way.

Returning to the Horned Hold, the adventurers feign interest in acquiring some of the local slaves, and quickly begin attacking the gathered duergar and their devil allies to free the slaves. After clearing the prison chambers, though the leader of the slave section escaped, they retreat and unlike last time are not counter-attacked, hearing the blows of numerous horns across the complex.

The group returns back to the surface, giving the rescued slaves some “seed money”, including the orc slave Ront, and drow slave Sadith, before turning them loose. The strange, mad derro Buppido, is turned loose in Scales own headquarters, and told to stay for a few days, while he decides how to use him better. The adventurers then discuss bringing the entire situation to a close by finding and destroying the slave market of the Qanat once and for all.

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They also discover, from the tales of several adventurers who have recently visited Umbriel, the Shadow Isle with its opening by the navy of Phaedra, that the site was of ancient, seemingly Molkurian origins, filled with an army of primitive green orcs having particularly porcine appearances. In the deeper chambers, they found a battle had occurred some weeks ago, between a large number of Kenku and a band of strangely fiendish gnolls. WHile there was nothing of value nor any persons recovered from these inner chambers, there had once been someone or something of value stored within the deep tunnels and chambers burrowed into the Shadow Isle.

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Episode 60 - At the Gates of Seven

“Whatever they were in life, here, at the end, each stood with courage and honor. They fought for the ones who couldn’t fight for themselves, and they died for them, too. All to win something that didn’t belong to them. It was magnificent.”

https://youtu.be/8XDB7GMnbUQ

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10th of Kythorn, TR 1050 : The Labyrinth of Ghul, Hall of the Seven :

Synopsis : After a quick assessment of their situation, the adventurers call a general retreat, primarily in the face of the massive Purple Worm that has just appeared. Abandoning her sentinel-shield, the group manages to retreat back down the corridors of the Labyrinth, though Sweet feels the touch of the Purple Worm’s poisoned stinger, before making the relative safety of the dungeons. The Seven Gates Gargoyles handily retreat as well.

After taking a rest back down the corridor, the group goes back to the Hall of Seven and scouts around a little, trying to locate Sweet’s shield, identifying it has been taken within the pyramid itself. Scouting the perimeter of the pyramid for entrances, they wander into the northern forest of Zurkhwood, and trigger an attack by strange crimson-purple mushroom creatures, which in turn alerts the Purple Worm, and guardian demons from within the pyramid. As they fall back, they are attacked by a powerful mage from within the pyramid, that supports the demons, and feeling over-powered once more, the adventurers retreat back down the corridor once again.

They scout the pyramid interior using Clairaudience/Clairvoyace, and identify a Teleport Circle within, holding a strange symbol, as well as a broken altar to an unknown being. Fiendish whispers could be heard throughout the pyramid’s interior, as well as numerous doors and unknown rooms.

The group then rediscovered the passage through the Road of Shadows and its ancient storage granaries and cisterns, eventually locating the doors leading to the Horned Hold. They halt, discuss their options and return back the way they had come, passing carefully back through the edge of the Hall of the Seven, and reach the surface of the Curio Court once more.

Taking their rooms, or returning to their personal quarters, the adventurers decide to do a little investigation and research on matters, and send Bresal to his contacts with the Mage’s Guild of Mornhaven, where he hires the the Guild of Arcane Lore to answer three questions; The meaning behind the symbol located in the Teleportation Circle in the Hall of the Seven; the purpose behind the Key to the Dark Door; and lastly, the meaning behind the seventh, unknown image found back in the adventurer’’s own Creche Chamber, located off the Hall of the Seven. He also looked into getting magical armor ensorcelled for Sweet, and acquired the commissioning of a handful of scrolls for himself.

The group then took a three-day period of downtime.

Kahli returned to Green Dagger Farm, spending a few days with Shadowfang and the local huntsmen trying to tame it.

Rico investigated Mariposa Manor, following up on his suspicions that something or someone was back in the underground depths, but found it still flooded and lightly guarded by Harbour Rats. The muggings continued in his home area, where the unknown creature(s) were still murdering lone travellers at night.

Scales spent time with his Green Dagger Gang leadership, examining possibilities, and enacting various “Crimes & Misdemeanors”.

Sweet Began looking for information regarding the so-called Longfingers Guild, trying to identify how to best make contact with the Beggar King.

Bresal Investigated the Yellow Knife Message Stones, and spent time with his apprentice Keltis and his business contacts.

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15th of Kythorn : Gathering back again to the Ghostly Minstral in the Curio Court, the group watched the appearance of three Phaedran Skyships around Umbriel, the Shadow Isle above the city. All three ships immediately laid in overwhelming fire on the island’s outskirts for several minutes, engulfing the island in fire, ice and all sorts of elemental force. The citizens of the city gave a communal cheer in support. The normal sheets of missile fire from the island soon slowed and then stopped, eventually stopping the cries and activities of whatever creatures claimed the island as its own.

Soon thereafter, two of the three ships turned away from the island mote, and vanished just as quickly as they had appeared. The third remained, patrolling in a slow circle around the exterior of the island, with occasional blasts of fire back onto targets on the island’s interior. Everyone in the Court was talking about the wonder they had just witnessed, largely as no one had seen the appearance of a Phaedran Skyship in more than a decade; many within their lifetimes.

Bresal, however, noticed a lone figure lurking in the shadows near the entrance stairway leading down into the Great Hall below the Curio Court. Using his shadow abilities, he slipped behind the figure and captured it, joined quickly by his companions and quickly discovering his captive to be a young female Kenku, that they immediately named Quirrel for the stange questioning coo of its throat. It said only two things they understood; “Bresal…” and “…Go!…”, both with a perfect imitation of the voice of “Skazzy” Saltruin, their rival.

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Episode 59 - Children of Blood

“When you find the one thing in your life you believe in above anything else, you owe it to yourself to stand by it—it will never come again, child. And if you believe in it unwaveringly, the world has no other choice but to see it as you do, eventually. For who knows it better than you? Don’t be afraid to take a difficult stand, darling. Find the one thing that matters—everything else will resolve itself.”

https://youtu.be/-rKwPblSdQA

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6th of Kythorn, TR 1050 : The Upper Caverns, the Deep Way.

Unable to find the mysterious person who followed them, the adventurers slip ahead and after scouting out the band of bugbears, eradicate them with a flash and bang brawl. Interrogating some, they find they were mercs hired “…back in ”/wikis/the-labyrinth-of-ghul" class=“wiki-page-link”> the Labyrinth…", with the group realizing this is the perspective of underdark races for Mornhaven.

Returning to the Upper Caverns, they encounter a handful of local denizens to include trolls, fishmen and at least one strange floating eye thing in the caverns.

The group leaves the Deep Way and returns to Az-Vassa, teleporting directly back to the abandoned manor above the Banewarrens. They search about and then delve into the halls under the Curio Court, before leaving to journey along the way to the Horned Hold. Getting somewhat lost at having forgotten where to go after their Creche Chamber, they find the so-called “Gates of Seven” chamber, and set up camp in a series of ruins behind the shattered pyramid, that seem to have been barracks at some point.

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But they forgot about the Seven Gates Gargoyles, and are attacked en-masse. And at the height of the brawl, their noisy, expansive fight seems to have attracted a Purple Worm…..

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Episode 58 - Velkynvelve

“The only real difference between an ally and an enemy, is that one deserves a quick death.” – Ancient Drow Saying.

https://youtu.be/OuFPMD3y9YU

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20th of Larane, Evening, Az-Vassa : After entering the lesser paths of the Deep Way under the ruins of Az-Vaasa, the adventurers discover the mysterious drow trade village of Velkynvelve. After making inquiries regarding House Saltruin, and acquiring a simple map of the pathway leading through the Deep Way to Mornhaven and the Labyrinth of Ghul, the adventurers settle in to observe the Gate of Ashes along its southern edge for some days, watching various creatures enter and leave, and at one point, a small war party of “fishmen” assault the gate, all to no avail.

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Eventually a figure matching the description of the trader they seek enters the village, and the adventurers follow the small caravan of two Pack Guar and a dozen bugbears protecting a single mysterious figure, travelling for more than a day straight. They travel along the so-named “Dripstone Pass”, a wet and somewhat slimy passage into a massive cavern, miles wide and filled with large, tree-like mushrooms called the Upper Caverns, dominated by a slimy lake of water, known as the Stink Bog according to their map. At the far end, the trail leads back into a wide passage and some hours along they find the small caravan camped in a hand-carved chamber to one side of the path, next to a steaming lava tube with a flowing fountain of water; an obvious trade stop. They scout the caravan, and discover that the goods have been unloaded, but the mysterious figure is missing. Facing exhaustion from their relentless pursuit, they retreat back to the Upper Caverns, and discover a single set of footprints heading off into the caves that seemed to be carefully following the adventurers themselves. They find a cleft nearby to camp, and discuss their options.

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Episode 57 - Requiem for a Dream

“No, he is not Vicious, nor is he in the least demented. His mind is a wonder chamber, from which he can extract treasures that you and I would give years of our life to acquire.”

https://youtu.be/2LhaXf3iTHo

Synopsis : After seizing control over the Yellow Knives the adventurers take a ten-day of downtime to pursue various personal tasks. The group then follows-up on rumors of “Skazzy” Saltruin, and travels back to Az-Vassa, believing that House Saltruin has a likely stronghold somewhere within the underdark, and that they must get their supplies from the small drow trade outpost of Velkynvelve.

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6th of Larane, TR 1050 : Mornhaven : After gathering the leading members of the Yellow Knives as prisoners, and executing the “cultist” leaders, the group assumes control of their former offices at the warehouse, and then takes some downtime to pursue various personal goals, before agreeing to meet up again in ten days.

Kahli : Teleports back to Green Dagger Farm, and after spending a couple days with Shadowfang, moves her court officially to Caer Wyrmgrave. Her various followers accept the changes, and she discovers many of her future subjects are already in close residence to Mosswater. She then returns to Mornhaven.

Ricochet : Gathers some information regarding the Manticores, one of the component gangs of the Black Hand, who have jurisdiction over his mother’s brothel. He learns of the troubles within the Black hand, and the leader of the Manticores is a courtesan named Elgatha.

He also pursues the rumors of the strange murderer who is stalking the western parts of the city, but uncovers nothing new. His inquiries result in discovering that Magistrate Stanton Druid has been missing for more than a ten-day, and many suspect he was slain “…over that ‘Shiver’ thing…”. On the final day, one of the girls from his mother’s shop is found murdered by this same creature. He swears revenge.

Sweet : Spends time with Sword Brother Sava, and realizes she can learn nothing new from him, as she is as experienced in fighting and combat as he is. She learns that he had expected her to start her own shrine or school of fighting on her own by now.

She also asks about learning other skills and techniques, and discovers that an old thieves’ guild once held sway over the city a generation past, known as the Longfingers Guild. Later thought on the subject leads the adventurers to understand that the oldest remnant of that regime is the Kingdom of Beggars, and that its mysterious leader might know more about this guild and its secrets.

Bresal : Spends time working with training Keltis, his apprentice, as well as trying to learn more about “Skazzy” Saltruin and her motivations. He also spends some time working on transcribing his latest scrolls, and searching for information on the western murders, as his own shop lies in the district.

Scales : Spends the time to rebuild the Green Daggers on the territory once claimed by the former gang. He finds himself in possession of a map detailing their old territory, and gathers together a collection of a dozen coves lead by two of the former gang leaders of the Yellow Knives, along with Gurin Rush and Vard Glamour.

Scales also translates the codex recovered from the Yellow Knives treasury, and discovers that it was involved with something known as the Gem Trade, and that it regularly took shipments from something called the Iron Knife. This is later revealed to be a Keelboat that has a sordid past.

16th of Larane : The adventurers then gather again, and after some discussion spend most of the day discussing their various personal tasks, and planning on their next moves. The failure of Lalaith to reappear makes them decide to investigate the fact that Skazzy had used Fiendish-speaking gnolls, an oddity, which takes them to The Curio Court, where they learn that House Saltruin uses such creatures as house troops, personally tied to their clan.

They further learn that the folk of that community likely have a stronghold deep underground and somewhere off the Deep Way, but that they must get their supplies form somewhere. It is suggested that a drow trade outpost, likely the walled fortress they encountered near Az-Vassa is such a place; a place called Velkynvelve. They also learn about the slow collapse of drow society since the Great Retreat, and that much of the power ascribed to their society is in the past.

The adventurers then travel north back through Timberstar and Thornkeep, eventually returning to Green Dagger Farm. The group then travels north along Raven Ridge to the ruins of Mosswater, where they take some time to build most of a causeway connecting the community to the castle itself, using the Lyre of Building.

The group then travels north along the edge of the Candlemere, and reaches the ruins of Az-Vaasa, finding Palmythra sunning himself on the tower’s summit. He welcomes them in, and the group settles-down for a nightcap and some tales, before resting and setting off into the Deep Way and their rendezvous with the drow.

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Episode 56 - Splinter of the Mind's Eye

“Books are the blessed chloroform of the mind.”

https://youtu.be/2K1CXVCQ4e4

5th of Larane, TR 1050 : Mornhaven

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Synopsis : After a quick plan to raid the Yellow Knives headquarters off Whispers Way street in Mornhaven, the adventurers chose to sneak into the warehouse, capturing the caretaker, and then ambushed the leader and his personal gang in the morning hours. They included a drow female that was actually some sort of yellow slime demon.

Careful examination of the facility found it to likely be placed directly over the hidden vaults that held the previously encountered shard of Warphit, the Undergod. Recovered from the site were a matching blade to Devious, a suit of magical scale armor, and a cunning mechanical chest that held various valuable gemstones and a book written in an undecipherable code.

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Episode 55 - Dreams Incarnate

“There’s always the option of deciding for yourself who you are and what you’ll become.”

https://youtu.be/EIVgSuuUTwQ

30th of Nolus, TR 1050 : Mornhaven

Synopsis : After a brief detour, returning to Green Dagger Farm to resolve their lingering brush with lycanthropy, they also receive some sage advice from Lady Feyre Sorreminx, who seems to go out of her way to provide them with assistance. Local famrers complain of the noticably long and unseasonably cool weather, leaving morning frosts on the ground, and thick fogs in the forests.

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The adventurers once more travel back to Mornhaven and investigate the rumors surrounding the Green Dagger Gang, hoping to find more information regarding their own origins. They uncover a deep hidden vault under the gang’s old safehouse, now the embassy for the Westlaws, and finding it “guarded” by a lost shard of Warphit, the Undergod. Defeating its guardian, a Greater Gibbering Mouther, and looting the vault of numerous treasures, they begin to investigate the Yellow Knives, and find the whereabouts of their frenemy “Skazzy” Saltruin. They also hope to hear from Lalaith, and her own investigation.

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Episode 54 - The House of Moon and Stars

“On a certain day, to uncertain parents, incarnate Moon and Star reborn.”

https://youtu.be/Wp0nmZX0xLE

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28th of Nolus, TR 1050, Late evening, Saltruin Manor.

Synopsis : The adventurers quickly penetrate into the manor, and arrive at the Vault, holding both the Key, and three doorways leading into other unknown planes, one of which is assumed to be the Shadowfell. While distracted, Nicalon reveals himself to be Skazzy Saltruin, steals the key and magically teleports (?) away.

The group returns to Mornhaven with a collection of loot from the manor, but has no good news for Lalaith, who takes the corpse of Kala, the half-orc paladin met earlier and recovered from teh dungeons under Saltruin’s manor. They decide to teleport back to Thornkeep for some scrying at the Stone Cauldron of Scrying, and attempt to deal with the growing threat of lycanthropy that looms over several members.

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Episode 53 - Return to Mornhaven

“It is my belief, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in Mornhaven do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.”

https://youtu.be/N6hF3EaICxk

25th of Nolus, TR 1050 : Ruins of Mosswater.

Synopsis : Travelling back to Green Dagger Farm and taking several of the rescued orphans as potential apprentices in the near future, the adventurers deal with some business in Thornkeep, including gathering a sack of Nightshade, though they are attacked by mysterious shadowy cyclops in that realm. After getting Brishtargera Greenbottle to begin brewing some anti-lycanthropy potions, the adventurers Teleport back to Mornhaven in an effort to resolve several unknwon questions.

They find the city talking almost exclusively about the recent appearance of Umbriel, the Shadow Isle, though rumors persist of dark activities still among the back alleys of the city; murders, powerful cults and the general weirdness of Mornhaven’s gangs. They make contact with Lalaith, who connects them with Nicalon Regal, someone quite knowledgable about House Saltruin, and could potentially lead them to the location of a relic key that might open the Banewarrens, possessed by that fallen noble house.

They journey east through Tiller, and after a scuffle with a pair of demon vultures and a strange soul-eating shadow creature, finally reach the ancient elvish mansion of House Saltruin, located on the edge of the northern Smoke Glens.

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