The World of Arith

Rivenroar and Beyond (GM Account)

Having rested for the night, the adventurers made their way deep into the crypt. Sinruth was dead, the Red Hand would not be resurrected, and the final battle was ahead. For deep in the Rivenroar Crypt sat the true Lord of Rivenroar. From the evidence gathered so far, here was a follower of Vecna who had become undead through foul rituals. The crypt itself was a type of shrine to the Lord of Dark Lore.

Finding the grand throne room, the party entered. Immediately the eye sockets of the Lord glowed a chill blue as he shouted, “Arise my warriors!” Piles of bones around the room animated and pulled themselves upright while the two skeletons behind the twin thrones strode to attack. The skeleton on the other throne, which had shards of bone sticking out from its figure also grabbed the scimitar at its belt and charged.

The party felt confident as the skeletons that arose from the bone piles began falling rapidly, they the room pulsed black and those skeletons they had dropped arose again. Every few seconds the room pulsed black and as more skeletons arose, the bodyguards and the Lord’s “wife” were knitted back together by the pulse. Caught up in the battle, the party did not immediately try to analyze this magical effect. Only when they were hurt badly did Torra determine that the pulse fed off of the undead in the room, and that undead killed outside the room would not rise again, nor would they trigger the next pulse. With that knowledge, the party began to fell its undead foes and finally defeated the Lords of Rivenroar.

When the party finally makes it back to Rivermeet, they are greeted as heroes. A grand feast is thrown in the Green Tankard Inn that evening with Lady Moonfire raising her glass to the heroes. Almost as famous are the seven captives who tell harrowing tales of their imprisonment. Jalissa in particular seems very intent on showing her appreciation to Fix again. Even the normally taciturn Curuvar raises his glass once or twice to the adventurers, whom Fix keeps referring to as the “Inglorious Bastards”.

The next morning, bleary eyed and somewhat the worse for wear, the party is summoned to Sheriff Narros’s office. The sheriff is concerned about the details of the letter and would like the group to investigate. Since the meeting time for Sinruth and the Bloodreavers is almost a month away, the party decides to go home to the City of Hawkmoon for a quick breather before tackling the Bloodreavers.

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The Rivenroar Crypts IV (GM Account)

With Sinruth dead at the party’s feet, they find two of the stolen treasures from the Hall of Antiquities in his lair. From his cold body they pry the gauntlets worn by the leader of the real Red Hand all those years ago, and sitting atop the sarcophagus that nearly fills his lair is the Dragoncrest Helm worn by the general who died protecting Brindol during the attack. Among his belongings is a curious letter that speaks of a grander force behind the attack of Rivermeet.

Choosing to proceed further into the crypt, they pass the mosaic of the Black Sun and find a strangely empty room with four large pillars. A creature of hate and strife throws itself against some type of invisible barrier that exists between the pillars. Elias, Brost and Torra identify the creature as a type of tanar’ri, more commonly called demons. This particular one is known as an evistro or carnage demon. While studying the binding a voice calls out from the northern hall, “I release you, crypt guardian!”. The demon bounds at the party releasing possible decades of rage upon its foes. While part of the group fends off the demon’s attacks, Brost and Fix maneuver around to the northern corridor. As they make their way to the corridors, the wererats who unleashed the demon backstab them from hiding. The two gnomish wererat rogues and the evistro result in a two-way fight for the adventurers. When their advantage turned, the wererats attempted to flee back into the corridor.

Upon the defeat of the wererats and demon, the party made its way into the northern corridor to find another doorway, slightly ajar. Proceeding carefully they were nonetheless ambushed by a group of gnomes and their wererat kindred in a shrine dedicated to Vecna. The combination of illusion magic with roguish skill was no match for the party and the gnomes and wererats began falling one after another.

The last remaining gnome found a very secure hiding spot and bargained for its life. He told the party that the gnomes had been hired to help Sinruth and promised to leave the crypts altogether if freed. The gnome also provided one more insight, apparently the original builders of the tomb existed as undead masters of the crypt and had worked out an agreement with Sinruth for his occupation of their domain.

Not quite believing that the party would keep their end of the bargain, the gnome fled and disappeared completely after turning the corner.

A war banner from the original Battle of Brindol, a ceremonial sword and a few Red Hand shields were propped up on the altar of this room, securing the treasures from the Hall of Antiquities, the party set off to finally clear out the crypt.

Back in the entrway, they noticed that the eastern door was open. Descending a stairway beyond the door, they found themselves in a large room, the Von Jallach crypt, with large arcane runes scrawled about the floor. The crypt was defended by needlefang drakes, that immediately swarmed over the party. The swarms worked together to pull down larger prey and when puled down, enough drakes could bite through armor to make a devastating attack as a pack. With horrid wounds, the party defeated enough creatures to break up the swarms which then retreated in tiny holes throughout the crypt.

Past the crypt a smaller area existed which contained a well. Chained to the well was Garwan who told the party that his true jailers, a pair of gnomes had just fled the crypt with another gnome. While Garwan seemed proud of his ability to give very precise directions to get to Jelissa, and was somewhat let down that the party had already been there.

At this point the adventurers decided to retreat back to the campsite and gather their strength for an assault on the undead lords of Rivenroar.

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She's more of a homely wench then a comely wench, by Diego

Despite being severly delpleted in strength and fortitude, I hear the cries of my young cousin Thuron and I refuse to withdraw until we find him. As we descend further into the crypts Elias sends his magic lantern floating ahead of us and that light is enought to save us from a hidden assault. Reacting to the moving light, a pack of ghouls and zombie spawn reveal themselves. I form the sheild wall as they hurl themselves at us. We use every last bit of power we have to fight of the assault. Particually devastaing are the stunning bites the ghouls can deliver when one is immoblized by thier poison tipped claws. If not for the radiant blasts delivered by Elias and Brost I don’t know how we could have survived such a battle. After the menance was defeated we found and rescued Thuron. We also found a magical scrying pool. When the water is stirred, it shows random immages of the rooms here in the crypts. In a nearby room we also find a huge dark sun magically enscribed on the floor. Our religious scholars determine it to be a symbol of one aspect of Vecna, they are not shure what aspect it venerates. With no reserves of strengh or stamina left, we decide to fall back to our redout on the edges of the ruined town to rest and regroup. Along the way I prepare young Thuron for the shock of finding his father dead. I explain glorious death in battle is a high honor to Kord, especially trying to defend and free the weak captives. Those who do so will find themselves honnored in ValHalla, Kord’s great hall in the afterlife. Naturally being a young boy, upon seeing his dead father his heart is saddened but he puts on a good show of strenght, he does our ancestors proud.

In our redout we have counsil with Harrowleaf, Sherrif Narros’s arrogant son a bitch ranger. He agrees to watch the Red Hand crypt during the nite while we rest to see enemy movement and then he will return Jelieasa, Sartenian, Thuron, and my uncles corpse back to Caer Rivermeet when we wake and begin our next assault. To lull the goblinoids into false security we wait untill later on in the day to begin our assault. Now that I know my kin has been secured I vow to bring full the fury of Fenris the Great Dire Wolf on the remainder of the Red Hand. I care less about the last captives and lost relics. Vengence is my goal, and I will not be denied.

As we desend into the crypt, Felix uses his magic ring to gain the illusion of a hobgoblin and he scouts ahead. He spots an ambush for us. He takes up a postion behind the hobgoblin sniper and when I breach the corner he backstabs the archer befor he gets a shot off and knocks him right over the ledge into the pit below. I am quite happy at the courage our new compaion shows in the face of danger. He doesnt seem to be of Jendarri stock or a follower of Kord but he truly seeks glory on the battlefield and for that he has my trust and friendship. We have no time to savor the twarting of the ambush for we hear the rustle of armor and arms from ahead. I take a running start and clear the pit in the corridor, unfortuanlty not all of my companions are not so nimble and as noble Brost misses the legde and falls. Its hard not contain a smirk as a stream of curses in Arkosian reveal his pride is more harmed then his skin as he easily dispatches the archer in the hole and extricates himself. I howl as if the Great Wolf as I round the corner and charge into the fray. The hobgoblin warband had several archers, warriors, and its sargent had a trained talondrake. As I barreld trough the middle Felix used his diguise to get to the rear of the archers and then the slaughter began. Even with all the warriors attention on me they could not overcome the healing power of Tora and Brost combined, that gave Elias and Felix the cover they needed to kill our adverseries.

In the wake of battle we loot and search. We find several alters to Bane the Dark Warlord, not an uncommon veneration among some martially bent. Closer inspection reveals the hidden signs of Vecna cunningly interlaced, we are not sure what to make of it so we travel on. In nearby rooms we find Myrtua,the cook from the Green Tanard bound and guarded by dire rats. Arrogantly I stride forth to do battle with the beasts and suddenly I am stabbed from behind by another fell gnome!! What is with these gnomes! I thought gnomes to be a peacefull people, boy was I mistaken. After dispatching the rats and the gnomes we free the kitchen wench Myrtua. Delerious with fright, she requires a combination of itimidation and compassion to snap too.

We press on. We travel down the pits into the large room with giant mushrooms and other fungus. We are met by two huge rage drakes defending the fungus forrest. In a short but viscious battle we defeat the rage drakes and find another captive, Zerica the Crone. She is trapped in a magical warded circle. Between our arcanists attempting to drain the ward and Felix timing the fluctuations of the barrier, they are able to disable it and get Zerica out. With two civillians in tow we decide to fall back quickly to our redout and leave them in Murphon’s care. With haste we head back to the crypts housing the Red Hand and thier allies.

We quickly make haste to deep into the crypts belly and head into an area previously unexplored. We encounter several guards who sound the alarm. Moments after engaging them the Red Hand leader Cumeth emerges and enters battle. The hobgolins are cagey and are tough foes. They fight together coveringe each other flanks and attempt to break our ranks. With great diffuculty, we trap the leader between Feliz and I. Elias, Tora, and Brost bring down the remaing warriors from afar. Seperated from his allies we finish him off with brutal axe and deft dagger. A grim silence fills the crypts as the battle subsides.

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The Rivenroar Crypts III (GM Account)

After clearing out the hobgoblin barracks in the crypt, the party knew that they were close to Mirtala, the cook taken during the raids. Proceeding through a set of double doors they found the family altar, rededicated to Bane by the hobgoblins. There, chained to an altar and being bitten and swarmed over by dire and giant rats was Mirtala. As they entered the altar room, the gnomes hidden behind statues of displacer beasts attacked. The fight wasn’t even in question, the gnomes and rats were no match for the party. Mirtala however, had been so scarred by her torture that she was unwilling to speak or even to look at the party. After some delicate work reassuring and assisting her, she finally came to enough to tell the group that Garwan was being held downstairs in a crypt that began with a J, though she didn’t remember the name. While Fix, Diego and Elias attempted to bring Mirtala out of her stupor, Brost and Torra investigated the altars. There was evidence that the altars were once altars of Vecna before their rededication to Bane by the goblinoids.

While fighting the hobgoblins, Brost had fallen into the lower crypts trying to jump one of the pits. The party decided to lower themselves down and clear out that lower level before attacking the upper level again. Dropping down into the pits, they found themselves in a large chamber completely filled with mushrooms, fungi and mold. Two large drakes, easily the size of horses attacked them as they attempted to avoid the larger mushrooms spread around the room. Beyond this room they found a side chamber that held a magic circle binding Zerriksa inside it.

Fix was able to deactivate the binding briefly and Zerriska was freed. A door in the fungus room led upstairs to the middle door in the entryway. Bringing the newly freed captives back to the camp, the party rested again for the night.

In the morning, they once again set into the crypts. Proceeding directly up to the zombie room, where they had found a magic pool that showed images of rooms in the crypt in its ripples, they used its magic to determine their remaining opponents.

Finding the lair of Sinruth, the hobgoblin chieftain responsible for this supposed resurrection of the Red Hand, they defeated the chief and his bodyguards.

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The Rivenroar Crypts II (GM Account)

Despite the fact that the party was severely weakened by the monsters already fought, being so close to the rescue of his nephew Thurann el Smithson, Diego pressed the party to continue. North of the Von Adrez Kauthin crypt they found a series of interconnected rooms patrolled by zombies who were in turn being led by ghouls. Drawing forth the last of their reserves and strength, the party defeated the undead and found Thurann chained to a fountain. Although they found a large hallway lined with columns that led north into darkness, they made the decision to retreat and regroup before pressing on.

Before leaving they chose to investigate this area and found one room dominated by a mosaic of the sun. When they entered the room, the sun turned Black and they found it radiated necrotic energy. Elias remembered an ancient text that spoke of Vecna becoming all-powerful when the Black Sun rose into the sky, or it may have been Vecna himself who becomes the Black Sun. Needless to say, this proved that the Rivenroars and the other families were tied to the cult of Vecna, if not the leaders.

Another room patrolled by the ghouls held a pool that Torra determined radiated magic. When they made the water ripple, it showed different rooms of the crypt, many of which contained the dead hobgoblins they had left lying on the floors.

After a night to gather their strength (where Jalissa showed Fix her gratitude), the party again descended into the Rivenroar Crypts. The goblins did not reinforce the entryway, and with a little more time to look around, they realized that the three doors in the entryway were labeled. The western door, which they had taken yesterday chasing the fleeing goblin had the words “To Von Urstadt” engraved above it, the northern door, “To Rivenroar Family” and the Eastern Door read “To Von Jallach”.

Fix again used his ring of disguise to appear as a hobgoblin and quietly took the western path again. He was spotted by a hobgoblin obviously watching the way from a corridor they had bypassed earlier. Fix was able to get by the guard into the corridor before the rest of the party charged the room.

The corridor was broken by two large holes or pits where the floor had broken through to a lower area or cavern. Ropes above the pits and boards on the other side showed the means by which the goblins and hobgoblins crossed. Other hobgoblins were on watch each behind one of the pits. When the main force of the party attacked, Diego was able to force the first guard down the pit, before the other fled north. Fix chased the retreating hobgoblin and upon rounding the corner, saw another crypt surrounded by hobgoblins.

The rest of the party finally got over the pits and assaulted the hobgoblins. It was a bloody fight, but the end was never in question. The hobgoblins dead, the party found that they had stashed their loot in one of the sarcophagi in the crypt. They also found a spiral staircase heading down into another room filled with goblinoid bedding. That lower room had a hall that eventually led to the webbed room of the ettercaps.

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Home Sweet Home, by Diego

After clearing out the pawnshop and finalyzing plans with Coalstone for our residence above his shop my companions and I set out immeadiatly for Caer Rivermeet. Whatever happiness I have at seeing the Ironwerks’ smoke billowing at the horizon is muted by the knowlege of the grim work we have ahead. I lead my fellows to my family’s compound around the Ironwerks and do get some a few laughs seeing my little kin scatter at the sight of Brost and Torra. After a old fashioned dinner of sausage, fish chowder, and dark bread we head to the Green Tankard to celebrate the oncoming fray.

At the Green Tankard I see Lord Sherrif Narros and we catch up. He tells me of the lastest raid and who has been taken hostage and what relics have been stolen from the Halls Of Antiquity. He introduces us to Fix, an adventurer new to town skilled with the blade and fond of wine and wench. We revel for the night and make plans for the moring and then retire to rooms at my family’s compound. Befor I go to sleep I make head to the family shrine and pay homage to my ancestors and make vows to Moradin for vengence, pray to Kord for strenght, and make offerings to Avandra for her favorable blessing in the days to come.

Harrowleaf, Sherrif Narros’ chief woodsman, leads us to the old ruins of Brindle where the hobgoblins have set up camp in an old mausoleum. We desend into the depths and immeaditly run into resistance. We engage several units of gobliniods befor we have a chance to catch our breaths. Our new additon Fix is quite fearless and throws himself right into the fray, I respect his valor. In the interior of the mausoleum we found a crackling wall of fire and lighting that displayed an image of a swamp and a tower in the background. At first we belived it to be a illusion but a vile slime creature and a couple of spectral undead came through and assaulted us.

We proceeded on and encountered some dark gnomes (what is with these dark gnomes) guarding one of our town’s hostages, the Curator of our Hall of Antiquites. After freeing him we send him with Murphon to our redout a few miles form town and we press on. We battle some evil combination of goblin and spider called ettercaps only to find my uncle dead and cocconed. At least I can take him home for propper services. Shortly there after we find the Accolyte of Ioun in a torture room and release her. By this time our abilites are severly taxed and we must prepare to rest soon.

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The Rivenroar Crypts (GM Account)

After defeating the things from the portal, the party ventured further into the crypt. The passageway to the left led to a crypt. Coming in to the crypt from the west, they noticed that the bodies in the alcoves had been pulled out and ransacked and skeletons littered the floor near the alcoves. A set of doors on the northern wall opened, as if by their own accord. Seconds later, two creatures made of solid magma appeared in the open doorway and charged the adventurers. Soon, two gnomes joined the fray, skulking around the edges of the combat, attacking the adventurers when they least expected it. Even in the face of such stern combatants, the party quickly overcame the gnomes and sent the magma things back to the Chaos.

After the battle, Torra detected a magical aura on the doors, with a bit more study, she determined that it was probably a type of summoning magic. While she investigated the doors, Fix scouted ahead and found that the northern doors led to a room containing cells. In one of those cells, and elderly gentleman was yelling and blustering for his release. When this man insulted Fix’s sensibilities once to often, Fix left him locked in his cell and returned to tell Diego about the man.

On Diego’s entry into the room, he identified the man as Sertanian, the caretaker of Rivermeet’s Hall of Antiquities. Sertanian told of seeing Mirtala near a set of spiral stairs and also that Sergeant Kartinex was going to try and overpower his ettercap guards when he had the chance. Kartinex hadn’t been seen or heard from since.

Not wishing to endanger Sertanian any further, it was decided that Myrphon would escort the old man back to the hideaway that Harrowleaf had secured in the ruins of Brindol above.

Moving further into the crypts, the remaining adventurers found a stairway descending into a room nearly filled with webbing. They had found the ettercap guards, who turned out to be difficult opponents. They were continuously hampered by webbing and outflanked by the ettercaps’ ability to pass through that webbing. When only one ettercap remained, it ran up the stairway to the west. Pursuing their opponent, Fix used his magical ring of disguise to appear as an ettercap and also ran up the stairway while the rest of the party took some time to begin burning the webbing. Acting very strangely, Torra’s spirit companion Shiva led the party over to a dark corner of the ettercap’s lair, it was then that Diego found the body of his cousin Kartinex. As the party headed up the stairs, they saw that the last three risers named this the “Von-Adrez Kauthin Crypt”.

Fix was slightly amused when entering the room at the ettercap trying to communicate with the goblin witch doctor and his protectors. While intelligent, it was obvious that the ettercaps possessed no way to communicate with others not of their kind or of spiderkind. The ettercap attacked Fix while the goblins egged one and then the other on. By the time the rest of the party made it up the stairs, Fix had killed his foe and positioned himself near the witch doctor. Soon the goblins lay dead. In the southern crypt they found the beautiful Jalissa chained to a wall. Also in this crypt was the witch doctor’s gruesome experiments. Jalissa fell gratefully into Fix’s arms upon her release. Jalissa said she had been held with Thurann, Diego’s nephew until only recently. The eight year old boy proved to be adept at sneaking food from the guards for both of them. She assumed he was being held nearby, having heard him only a few hours ago.

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Raid on Rivermeet (GM Account)

Securing horses from Kaulvaeras Stables, the party set out for Diego’s home town of Rivermeet. What would have taken two days on foot, or with a caravan only takes the bulk of a single day with the horses. A bit more than half a mile from the walled portion of town, Caer Rivermeet, they begin passing small farmsteads, shops, smithies that make up most of the town outside the walls.

As they get closer to the walls of Caer Rivermeet, the tell-tale signs of an attack become more pronounced. Buildings burned and families dressed in mourning black. Crews are apparently working on the northern sections of the wall, repairing damage done during the raid. Not far from those crews Diego sees the smoke of the Smithson forges.

They enter town and ride to Diego’s home, behind the smithy is stabling for the horses for the night, Kaulvaeras’ groom will take the horses back in the morning. Diego leads his new friends to his home, which is a flurry of activity and people. Young cousins run everywhere, and the older Smithson’s seem to either be running after the children or running errands. The children stop and gawk for a second upon spotting the shifter Torra and the dragonborn Brost, some of the younger children running screaming from the room. Eventually, as all good Smithson’s do, they make their way to the kitchen. There they met Miss Maura, Diego’s mother. After introductions all around, Torra, Brost, Elias and Myrphon were shown guest rooms and the group settled in. Miss Maura quizzed the two strangers a bit, and filled Diego and his new (strange) friends on news of the town, while making sure they filled their stomachs with “good down-home cooking, not like that citified stuff you must be starving on”. Later they went to the Green Tankard Inn, the center of Caer Rivermeet’s nightlife.

The Green Tankard was full that night, as it is most nights, but the mood was somewhat subdued. The owner, Marsh Laval, was concerned about the abductions, one of those taken was his own cook Mirtala. Settling in at a table in the corner, and getting quite a few stares, the group began to relax and enjoy the night. Many of Diego’s old friends came up and said hello, but none stayed long with the dragonborn and shifter alongside him.

Sheriff Dugan Narros eventually made his way to Diego and explained that they could account for seven townsfolk taken in the raid, along with many of the treasures from the sacking of Brindol by the Red Hand. His elven scout, Harrowleaf, had tracked the hobgoblin raiders to the ruins of Brindol. The party needed to enter the hobgoblin lair, free the captives, recover the treasures and pretty much wipe out the hobgoblin menace once and for all.

Sheriff Narros had one other request of Diego. It seems that another mercenary had approached the Sheriff about the job just that day. Not trusting this stranger, and knowing that Diego was on his way, Sheriff Narros put this new guy, Felix , “Fix” Castor off. That night at the Green Tankard, Narros introduced Diego to Fix and asked Diego to take Fix with him and “feel him out”.

The next morning, led by the elven ranger Harrowleaf, the party, now accompanied by Fix, was led to the ruins of Brindol. Here, Harrowleaf had found an out of the way basement to set up camp and directed the party to an old mausoleum. The mausoleum was dedicated to the Rivenroar family, whom Brost recognized from his research on Hawkmoon as a noble family that relocated to the new town of Brindol to escape Hawkmoon politics. Descending the stairs, the party immediately encountered goblin guards in the entryway.

When one of the goblin crossbowmen escaped deeper into the crypts through the left-hand door, the party pursued, right into one of the goblin’s barracks. It was a bloody fight, but the goblins here were eventually defeated.

Taking the next passage left, the party came upon an odd sight, it was a large image of a castle deep within a swamp that looked almost real. When an ooze emerged from the illusion, they discovered that the image may have been more real than they first assumed. Once engaged with the ooze, two spectral opponents joined the fray.

Upon the defeat of this odd group of combatants, the party realized that it had two immediate pathways to pursue. From this room, they could go right or again left. They had also left two doors in the entryway unexplored and a door in the barracks unexplored.

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Apartment for rent, by Brost

[Edited for non dragonborn] We have finished clearing the apartment and remainder of the building. In summary there were wererats and rats on the main store level. The secure vault held a lesser vampire and ghouls, upstairs was a group of gnomes.

Our adversaries were a caster with a psuedodragon familiar and a homunculi as well as a roguish warrior. The gnomes have the ability to use the mists to move around the apartments making it difficult to put them down. After provoking the gnomish caster and sending him tumbling down the stairs we resumed our fight in the main store. The pesky gnome had his escape route was cut off by Murphon. After some back and forth blasting between me and the annoying runt, Deigo manages to surprise him as he attempted to circumvent me. Its last ditch effort was insufficient and he died to my sacred flames. I did have the final laugh. Upstairs the pseudodragon caused Torra much pain with its poison and we almost lost her.

I have taken the necklace this dragonkin wore as a memento. Our new apartments are now paid in advance for a month. It consists of a library, kitchen privy central dining and 4 bedrooms. Murphon and Deigo are going to share one of the larger front rooms. I have chosen the other larger front rooms as my own. Torra took the room between me and the other smaller room that is Elias’s.

Coalstone the landlord said he was going to have the place cleaned up a bit before we get back. He was a bit unnerved about what we told him we found in the crypt below. I say he should be happy with the extra storage space. I have left word of my rental location and basic knowledge that i will be out of town for a bit during the renovations.

There was a locket of potential interest. The locket is made from a large gem cut into a locket with a drop of blood in the center of it. I suspect it was given by the vampires sire. We have rented horses to aid our travel to the town of Deigo’s birth Cear Rivermeet. We leave in the morning to exact vengeance on those goblins and hobgoblins that attacked and killed Deigo’s kin.

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Porbell's Pawnshop (GM Account)

Having dealt with the wererat and it minions, as well as the corpsedrinker vampire and it ghouls, Elias, Diego, Myrphon, Torra and Brost secured the first floor of the old Porbell’s Pawnshop. Myrphon agreed to scout the second floor and spied on two gnomes who were preparing for the noises they heard downstairs. After briefing the others, Diego charged upstairs and found nothing.

Then the lamp on the table rose, and a haunting voice taunted the party to “Depart this place of suffer our curse”, complete with ghostly images etc. Knowing that the gnomes Myrphon saw were behind the “haunting”, Diego began investigating the rooms off the common area as the rest of the party came upstairs. In one of the bedrooms, Diego spotted one of the gnomes and its homunculus, an iron defender. As the rest of the party got into position to give this gnome a really hard time, the second gnome snuck out of the room he was hiding in and attacked from behind with his pseudodragon.

The gnomes were sly, and very difficult to pin down, often using mist-based powers to move about the second floor. Like gnomes everywhere, they were able to fade into invisibility and reappear a few seconds later. Frustrated, Myrphon jumped out the second story window and took up a position outside the doors to surprise any gnome who though about fleeing.

Eventually, the party defeated the gnomes and their guardian creatures, though Torra almost died due to a poisoned weapon. Searching the hidden cellar through the trapdoor in the vault, they found the vampire’s coffin. In its grave dirt was a red garnet carved into a heart-shaped locket. The locket contained a drop of blood and was inscribed with the words, “forever mine”, in a woman’s flowery handwriting.

Spending the rest of the night in the abandoned shop, they searched through the place with a fine-tooth comb. When their new landlord, Kelvin Coalstone, arrived in the morning they had many stories to tell.

The next day, they went to Kaulvaeras Stables and asked about renting horses for their trip to Caer Rivermeet. Though obviously surprised by the request (not many people try to rent horses in Hawkmoon), the half-elf Kaulvaeras Greymantle decided to allow the party to rent, at an exorbitant fee of 15 gp per horse, sending one of his men along with the party to retrieve the horses when they finished. They rode to Caer Rivermeet and only arrived just before dusk.

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