Frostwatch

Session #16 Summary

The PCs had just rescued Yuriel from the crumbling ruins of House Mariz. Everyone got back safely to the airship, which had been repaired a bit but still needed a lot of work. Yuriel knew of an inn on the outskirts of the city that was owned by a friend of his. The airship made the flight there and everyone went inside the inn to rest, recover, and plan. The PCs tried to disguise themselves and enter without attracting attention, since they were still wanted fugitives in the eyes of the council. They got rooms, and Yuriel let them rest while he sent out what agents he had left to figure out anything he could about Etraiv’s plans for the evening’s vote.

The PCs awoke several hours later feeling refreshed and ready for another battle. They found Yuriel in the inn’s common room, speaking with a couple of genasi dressed in street clothes. When he saw you he motioned for them to sit down. The innkeeper served a delicious meal and fine wine while Yuriel finished his conversation with his informants. Then he moved over to the PCs table while his agents left through the inn’s back entrance.

Yuriel explained that he has confirmed that Etraiv would be attending the council vote in person, to make sure that nothing went awry, and to take the throne when the vote was completed. The vote would almost surely go in his favor – he had most of the council under his thumb in one way or another. There was a procession planned that will move from House Qet’aran to the council building, travelling through the main streets of the city. The procession would be ceremonial, and would be aimed at drumming up favor for Etraiv from the common folk of the city.

Yuriel’s spies learned that Etraiv would not be part of that procession, however. Instead the procession would be escorting his body double. Since he still had enemies loose in the city, namely the PCs, he feared an attack. He planned to enter the council building quietly through a back alley that is adjacent to the council building. Yuriel thought that the best chance of intercepting Etraiv would be in that alley.

Etraiv would not have a large force of soldiers with him, but only his elite guard. His elite guards were always fully cloaked and wore golden masks that hid their features. Many rumors existed for who his elite guards are. Some claimed they were demons, some that they were fearsome fighters from a savage race. Others claim that they were just regular genasi that are skilled in combat. Whatever they were, they had never been defeated. The exact total number of them was unknown, but it was somewhere between 6 to 10. It is unknown how many of them would be escorting him that night.

Yuriel also warned that Etraiv was a dangerous foe in his own right. He was a younger man, the youngest to ever control a house. His parents died when he was in his early twenties, in suspicious circumstances. Rumor had it that Etraiv was responsible for their deaths. He supposedly controlled powerful magics; some said he made a deal with a powerful demon lord. He didn’t often do his own dirty work, but he was perfectly capable of handling himself in battle.

The council meeting was scheduled to occur in three hours, which meant that Etraiv would be making his way through the alley in around 2 hours. It didn’t give the PCs much time to prepare, but this was their best chance.

The PCs made their way to the alley about 45 minutes before the council meeting. Helmirion cast some rituals to prepare the PCs for any eventuality – water walking and water breathing in case the battle took to the canals. Lucifan used these to choose his hiding place, crouching on top of the water behind the dock walls. Helmirion hid behind a statue at the base of the bridge. Rosalina and Sariel ducked behind walls of the warehouse buildings that bordered the alley. Telera climbed onto the roof of one of the building, a perfect spot for picking off enemies with her arrows. Rohak laid down amongst a pile of barrels, ready to pretend to be a common drunk if he was discovered.

A few minutes later, the PCs started to notice subtle signs of approaching enemies. Shadowy forms could be seen darting amongst the buildings, and moving inside them. They were either searching the area or getting into defensive positions. One of the cloaked figures found Rohak, said that the drunken dwarf was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and then lunged to attack. Rohak used his ruse to his advantage, getting the jump on his attacker.

At this point the battle broke out in full in different spots in the alley. There were several cloaked figures that turned out to be Shadar-Kai that were working for Etraiv. In addition, some hydrodemons had swum into the canal, making sure they were clear for Etraiv’s entrance. One of them was unlucky enough to stumble into Lucifan, who managed to finish him in head-to-head combat, though not unscathed. Helmirion and Rosalina worked together to keep the other hyrdodemon immobilized in a magical web summoned by the wizard. The PCs were forced to use most of their powerful abilities, but they prevailed against the advance guard.

They quickly regrouped, dumping the bodies into a sewer and finding new hiding places. Etraiv entered the alley shortly thereafter, escorted by the rest of his guard. These guards were much larger. Once the battle ensued, they revealed themselves to be two large, demonic orcs (Helmirion and Lucifan would later explain that these are known as Tanarukks), as well as two fearsome minotaurs. Etraiv also proved to be a powerful foe, wielding damaging spells and draining life from the PCs in order to heal himself.

Eventually the battle turned in the PCs’ favor, and they were able to disable Etraiv and slay his gaurds. Etraiv was still alive but unconscious. The PCs now had to decide what they wanted to learn from him, and how far they were willing to go to extract that information…

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Session #15 Summary

The PCs rushed toward the airship that had escorted them from Hathsarl, which was currently under assault by dragons. As they got closer, they could see that the dragons were being guided by genasi riders. There were three smaller frost dragons, as well as a larger, more formidable adamantine dragon. The PCs caught up to the ship before the entire crew and the ship was destroyed, but not without a few casualties. The battle was tough, but the PCs prevailed.

As the PCs were recovering, the captain of the ship used her spyglass to look back toward the city. The main building of House Mariz was burning! Black smoke bellowed from several different locations. The captained urged the PCs to assemble themselves quickly so they could head back to Hathsarl and see if they could save anyone from the House.

The PCs relented to the captain and gathered on the ship to head back to House Mariz. The airship was damaged from the battle, and moving slower due to lack of crew. The PCs pitched in where they could, and the ship made it back to town in about a half hour. The captain urged the PCs to head inside and see if they could rescue anything, while the airship crew tried to repair the ship to make a hasty escape if necessary.

There was a ranger that had been part of the crew of the airship, working for House Mariz. She had proved useful during the battle with the dragons, and wanted to join the PCs. After Sariel questioned the captain on the ranger’s skill and background, the PCs accepted her into their group.

The PCs headed inside, and found clear signs of battle. Corpses of demons and genasi were evident in several places. As the PCs were making their way through the house, they stumbled upon several groups of small demons, but were able to dispatch them easily. They made their way to the main dining hall of the house, and found a small group of House Mariz genasi had barricaded themselves in the room. They were desperately trying to fend off the advances of a few larger demons when the PCs arrived on the scene.

The PCs dove into battle, getting the demons’ attention before they could kill any more of the defenseless genasi. The fight was tough, but thanks to some clever tactics by the PCs, they were successful.

Yuriel, the older genasi from House Mariz that had been aiding the PCs, was amongst those who had barricaded themselves in the room. He thanked the PCs for saving them. He then explained what he had found out about Etraiv of House Qet’aran.

Yuriel managed to learn through his political contacts that Etraiv was quietly preparing the members of the council for an emergency session where he would vote for himself to act as leader of Hathsarl. The King has refused to show himself in months, and his archons have been preventing anyone from entering the palace. Due to the recent slaad attacks, Etraiv plans to argue that it is important that there be a single voice of leadership in order to ensure the safety of the city. Without a leader, the council is paralyzing itself with political bickering.

Etraiv most likely has enough support from the council for the vote to be a landslide. Yuriel suspects that Etraiv somehow bade the demons to attack House Mariz, thus eliminating any dissension during the vote. Yuriel urges the PC to enter the palace and find the King. He is the only one that can stop Etraiv’s plot, and the city desperately needs his leadership. Yuriel suspects that Etraiv is behind the King’s disappearance somehow, and it is part of a conspiracy to seize control of Hathsarl by House Qet’aran.

The PCs did not have much time to spare if they want to find the King before the vote occurs later this evening. They have just enough time to rest up, recover from the battles of the day, and then make their way to the palace. Although some of the PCs disagree as to the approach, and think that they should ignore the King, and strike directly at Etraiv and House Qet’aran.

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Session #14 Summary

The PCs wrapped up their exploration of House Saravel. They were finishing their exploration of the east side of the lower floor when they came upon a storeroom. They were searching it (and finding nothing of value) when suddenly the floor gave way. None of the PCs got out of the room in time, and they all tumbled into the basement room below.

As they regained their composure, they noticed slimes coming toward them out of the darkness. Two of the slimes buzzed with elemental energy, and the other was pitch black. Their sunrods didn’t seem to functioning correctly, casing only dim light. This turned out to be due to a darkmantle that was lurking in the room along with the slimes. During the battle, a nearly-invisible gelatinous cube also joined in. The battle was tough but the PCs succeeded in slaying the revolting creatures before anyone was seriously wounded.

The PCs continued exploring the basement. Most of the rooms did not contain anything of interest. However, there were some stairs leading down to a pair of large, ornate, stone doors. The PCs familiar with religious symbolism instantly realized that the bas reliefs on the doors were commonly seen at the entrances to crypts. Their was a disconcerting sight in front of the door: a genasi corpse from House Qet’aran. It had been burned and slashed. Based on the blood trail, the wounds had clearly occurred inside the crypt, and the wounded genasi had been dragged out. Helmirion also noticed that there was a hastily cast hold portal ritual upon the door. It was designed to keep something locked inside the crypt, but it would not hold for much longer.

Since this was his ancestral home, Helmirion decided to enter the crypt alone, hoping he could diffuse any aggression due to his birthright. He entered the room cautiously, and found himself face-to-face with a lich. The creature wore markings depicting House Saravel. It wielded a powerful staff. It was surrounded with several flaming zombies. Helmirion also noticed a skeleton sneaking toward him out of the darkness. Helmirion tried to talk to the lich, who appeared to be a ancestor of his that had lost touch with reality.

At first, it seemed like Helmirion might be able to convince the lich to let him and his companions on their way. However, the lich could not see reason, and started to move past Helmirion to deal with the intruders outside the door. Helmirion cast a wall of fire blocking himself and the undead in the crypt. The flaming zombies walked through the flames and opened the doors to be met by the other PCs, who pushed them back into the room. The lich was enraged, and ordered his minions to attack Helmirion. Helmirion was almost overrun, but he managed to concentrate enough to dismiss the conjured wall of fire. The PCs could now get through into the room, and rushed in to save Helmirion and destroy the undead.

After that harrowing encounter, the exploration of House Saravel was uneventful. The PCs explored the few rooms remaining, but did not discover anything of interest. They decided to rest once more in the courtyard to recover, and then head back to their airship. It was a couple hours walk to get outside of the cloud of smoke and steam and find their ship. When the PCs made their way out of the cloud and their vision cleared, the did see the ship about 300 yards away. However, there was something amiss. Three dragons with genasi riders circled around the ship, clearly in battle with the crew members.

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Session #13 Summary

The PCs continued down the stairs toward the main floor of House Saravel. They could hear voices shouting about their approach, as well as a lower, more sinister voice talking about needing to finish a ritual. The PCs charged into battle with two iron archons, two fire genasi rogues, and a genasi knight that wielded dark powers. The genasi were from House Qet’aran.

The target of the ritual was a genasi corpse that bore the markings of House Saravel. During the battle the corpse awoke, and drew its bow to great effect against the knight and his goons. The PCs talked briefly with the revenant and it agreed to help them explore the rest of the house. The revenant introduced herself as Tela.

The PCs began to explore the first floor, splitting up a bit. Helmirion noticed the remains of a spell on the outer doors of the house. It seems that his relatives were magically sealed inside the house before it was crashed into the ground.

Lucifan and Rohak explored some of the rooms to the east while Helmirion, Tela, Rosalina, and Sariel headed west. Helmirion and Tela felt a sense of familiarity coming from the western room. When they went into the room, ghostly spirits were awakened and started swirling around the PCs, moaning and shrieking. Suddenly the door slammed shut behind them, locking Lucifan and Rohak out of the battle.

Ghosts of House Saravel materialized and started to attack the PCs in the room. The PCs implored the ghosts to stop attacking, trying to convince them of their good intentions. Meanwhile Lucifan and Rohak tried to smash through the door which was sealed with ghostly magic. Eventually Rohak and Lucifan were able to join the battle, and the PCs were able to convince the ghosts to stop fighting them. The ghosts relented, and the room returned to deathly silence.

Helmirion found that one of the skeletons belonged to his father, and he was wearing another amulet, one more key for Solkara’s prison. He was also clutching a leather-bound journal written by Helmirion’s mother.

From the windows of the main floor, the PCs could still see the large humanoids – ogres, trolls, and a frost giant – guarding the courtyard outside. They decided to take the battle to them before they were caught off guard by them while exploring the rest of the house. The ranged PCs went back upstairs and took up positions in the upper windows. Rosalina and Sariel charged through the main doors into battle, which the other PCs launched spells and arrows from the cover of the windows. The plan worked well, and the PCs were able to make easy work of the large humanoids.

After that battle, the PCs were out of energy and most of the power was spent. They decided to rest for the night in the courtyard and explore the rest of the house after recovering.

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Session #12 Summary

The PCs got a closer look at the fallen House of Saravel. The building was once 3 or 4 stories tall, but now ended at the second story. The direction the PCs approached from brought them up level to the second floor. In one corner of the building they found an area of the walls that had smashed open during the crash. Although it was a bit of a climb over some unsteady boulders, the PCs opted to use this entrance as opposed to looking around for another.

As they climbed down, some of the boulders and small rocks came loose and started an avalanche. The PCs scrambled inside but the movement caused the unstable ceiling to collapse in that corner of the house. A couple of the PCs barely avoided being buried in the crashing stones, but with the help of the others they escaped unharmed.

As the PCs recovered from the ordeal of entering the house, they overheard voices coming from a courtyard below. Lucifan snuck up to the windows to get a look. The creatures below saw him briefly, but they were not sure what they were seeing. He listened to them argue about whether they should investigate or not. They were told to guard the courtyard. And beside, it might be “them” upstairs anyways. Sariel snuck up to a different window to get a look at them. She saw the courtyard was filled with large humanoids: trolls, ogres, and a frost giant which seemed to be the leader. The PCs decided to ignore those foes for now, and focus on exploring the upstairs.

There were two hallways to choose from, and the PCs decided to head north first. There were a few smaller rooms at the end of that hallway. The PCs carefully explored all of them and found no enemies. They did find a genasi corpse, clearly from House Qet’aran, which had been mauled by some sort of predatory creature. They also found an ornate key in a smashed dresser that seemed to go with a sophisticated lock.

The PCs went down the other hallway. The first door brought them into a large library and sitting room. There were a couple genasi statues and an efreet statue in the room that looked suspicious. The PCs went closer to investigate, and the guardian statues activated, attacking the PCs. Helmirion attempted to use his mother’s locket to command the statues, but was unsuccessful. The PCs were forced to fight them, but bested the constructs without too much trouble. They explored the room and found several valuable art pieces and antiques. Helmirion looked through the books and found one that detailed the genealogy of House Saravel.

The PCs continued down the hallway and found another set of smaller bedrooms. As the PCs started to explore, they realized they could hear sounds of creatures moving about throughout the rooms. They started trying to find the creatures, and came upon a large hole scratched through the wall between two of the rooms. Rosalina went to crawl through the hole, and found herself facing a large elemental boar-like beast, as well as a basilisk hissing at her over her shoulder. She backed out, and the PCs regrouped in the room to fight the beasts. Another boar and an abyssal basilisk joined the fight from another room. It was a tough fight, but the PCs managed to shake off the gaze attacks of the basilisks and slay them. Once that danger was out of the way they focus on the chillfire boars. Once the boars were wounded their fiery skin got hot enough to burn the air around them. The PCs killed them quickly, and the boars died in large explosions which the PCs managed to escape mostly unscathed.

With the creatures slain, the PCs searched the remaining bedrooms. They found a small chest that was filled with coins and gems. With the top floor fully explored, the PCs started down the stairs to the first floor. As they descended, they could hear genasi voices preparing for the PCs entrance…

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Session #11 Summary

The action resumed with the PCs facing off with the earth genasi from House Qet’aran that had followed them from the inn. He was accompanied by another fire genasi as well as a couple of water archons and an umber hulk. The PCs were surrounded in an alley and forced to fight. At the start of the battle Lucifan convinced the earth genasi that he was working for the cult and had been instructed to deliver the PCs. He managed to bluff the slow-witted genasi and ran off when he got the chance, hoping to fetch some guards.

The battle was fierce but the PCs held their own. Eventually Lufican arrived with three archon guards. The archons, however, were not particularly interested in which group of fighters were in the moral right. They demanded that the fighting cease, and started disabling foes in the order that they deemed most appropriate. Luckily, they started with the umber hulk and the PCs were able to take care of the rest while the beast distracted the archons. However, the PCs intentionally did not slay the earth genasi, hoping to question him and get some information about their enemies.

The archons demanded that the PCs accompany them to the guard house, and the PC obliged. They were taken to a cell, along with the remains of their foes. They waited there about three hours and then the captain of the guard came to talk with them. The captain of course did not trust the PCs who were strangers to Hathsarl over a senior member of one of the biggest houses. He informed the PCs that they would go on trial in front of the council in the morning. He also mentioned that if they made a small donation to the guard, they would be released tonight on the promise that they would show at their trial tomorrow. The PCs, knowing that they would not fare well in a trial, and seeing a chance for escape, agreed to pay the bribe.

The PCs took enough time to rest and recover from the battles with the slaad and with House Qet’aran. The meeting that Helmirion had arranged with Yuriel of House Mariz was scheduled for a few hours before the PCs’ trial. The PCs made it to House Mariz without issue and were escorted inside to a sitting room where Yuriel was already waiting.

Yuriel was a shriveled old fire genasi. He almost appeared to flicker weakly like a dying candle. Yuriel had several key pieces of information for the PCs:

  • He recommended that they not attend their trial, as they were almost certainly not be granted their freedom. House Qet’aran is very influential and would almost certainly pit the council against them. He offered to hide the PCs within House Mariz for at least a few days.
  • Yuriel was a good friend of Helmirion’s parents. Helmirion finally learned their names: Denri and Quora. They somehow discovered the plot of House Qet’aran to release Solkara, and were working to stop them. They were trying to find evidence against House Qet’aran to bring their treachery to light but they were not successful in time. House Qet’aran turned things around and deflected the blame onto House Saravel which caused its exile.
  • Yuriel filled in some more details on the fate of House Saravel. Apparently when a house is exiled from Hathsarl, its earthmote is sent crashing into the ground hundreds of feet below. The earthmote of House Saravel crashed inside of the large cloud of smoke and steam at the base of the river where it dumps into the lake of lava.
  • Quora kept a journal of what she and Denri uncovered about Solkara, her prison, and her various allies. The journal was never found, and might still be in the ruins of House Saravel.
  • Yuriel guessed that the disappearance of the storm giant King Aphyr is probably related. It is too coincidental not to be.
  • Yuriel offered a few servants from House Mariz to run errands into town for supplies if the PCs needed, since they had to lay low.
  • The PCs decided to investigate the ruins of House Saravel. Yuriel offered the use of one of House Mariz’ flying ships, as well as a capable pilot.
  • Helmirion came up with a plan to use a ritual to locate his mother’s journal and increasing its power using her locket, since both objects were very important to her. Yuriel offered his house’s library for use in research.
  • Yuriel noticed the lockets that Helmirion and Rosalina wore, and mentioned that he has seen a similar locket on the leader of House Qet’aran, named Etraiv. Etraiv usually remains protected within the walls of House Qet’aran, sending agents to cast votes on his behalf at the council. It is rumored that House Qet’aran keeps stone giants as elite guards.

The PCs took a few hours to prepare for their excursion to House Saravel. Helmirion did some research to figure out a ritual he could use to locate the journal. The PCs met with the pilot and started out. The pilot could only drop them off at the end of the large smoke cloud, which was over a quarter mile in diameter. The pilot promised that he would wait for a day for the PCs to return, though he would not set the ship down but remain hovering in the air.

The PCs made their way carefully to the center of the cloud, and then Helmirion cast his ritual. After some searching, Helmirion did catch some sign of the journal, and the PCs made their way toward it. The terrain changed under their feet, and became much more rocky. Large boulders were scattered about, and they could see the remains of a large building in front of them. They had found House Saravel.

They climbed toward the building, but an ambush was waiting for them. As Rohak neared a stone column, it revealed itself to be a roper, with long tentacles, a single eye, and a huge mouth of razor-sharp teeth. The PCs started to fight it, but found that it was not alone. Apparently it, along with a couple of gargoyles, were the pets of a stone giant that made his home in the ruins. The PCs fought against the creatures and bested them without too much trouble.

With the stone giant and his pets slain, the PCs continued on their way into the ruins…

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Session #10 Summary

The PCs continued their battle with the latest incarnation of Natan. He was very quick and was a tough opponent, but they did prevail. They found Immeral’s necklace on him, as well as several different pieces of the red glass in different shapes and sizes. After picking up the necklace, it seemed to be pulling toward somewhere. It turned out it was Helmirion’s necklace from his mother. They appeared to be two pieces of a spell, but not all of the pieces were present. The spell seemed to have something to do with containment. The PCs deduced that these must be two of the seven keys to Solkara’s prison.

After a well-deserved night’s rest, the PCs decided to continue on their journey into the elemental chaos. Helmirion reactivated the portal to Hathsarl, and the PCs stepped through. At first the feeling of being in the EC was overwhelming. The PCs felt the hum of raw potential in the air. It was very distracting. For Helmirion it felt different; like something he had been missing his whole life.

The PCs found themselves in a small group of buildings. There was a fast-running river nearby. About a half mile downstream was a huge cloud of smoke and steam. Lightning flashes could be seen inside. The buildings were made of stone, and in an architecture that the PCs were not familiar with. The PCs noticed a genasi in front of them dressed in an official-looking uniform. He motioned them toward one of the buildings and told them to check in with the trade office.

The PCs made their over to that building and found another genasi inside behind a desk; a clerk. The clerk was clearly impatient with the PCs unfamiliarity with Hathsarl and its customs. He grudgingly explained to them that the main city was above them, and that this Lower City was a stopping point for travellers until they had a Writ of Entrance. He made an appointment with them to meet with Emere, who was responsible for vetting travellers who wished to enter the city. In the meantime, he explained that the PCs could explore the Lower City. He also explained that the smoke in the distance was a result of the river dumping into a large lake of lava beyond. The PCs also asked about House Saravel which Helmirion’s mother had mentioned in his vision. The clerk had not heard of such a house.

The PCs exited the Trade House and looked up to find the real city of Hathsarl. The city is composed of dozens of floating earthmotes hundreds of feet above ground level. Bridges of stone or rope connect the earthmotes. Various elemental phenomena can be seen on different motes, such as flowing rivers, pits of lava, lightning storms, blizzards, etc. The PCs also notice a large platform that transports travellers up to the city proper and back down to the Lower City. It is guarded by a couple archons – elementals adorned with gleaming sets of armor. Archons also seemed to make a majority of the city’s defenses, based on a look at the barracks in the Lower City.

The PCs occupied themseleves exploring Lower City a bit and trying to get a sense of the goings-on in the city. Rohak meditated alongside the river while the rest of the PCs went into the tavern to socialize. The PCs managed to glean some of the current events in the city. Apparently the storm giant king Aphyr had gone missing recently. He had not been seen in several months. Archons are posted at the entrance to the earthmote that his palace sits on, and no one has been admitted entrance. With the king missing, city politics have fallen into chaos. The Great Houses which have seats on the City Council are trying to increase their power and destroy their rivals. Some houses are threatening defection or open war.

In addition to the political strife, there had been a lot of attacks recently on the city by Slaad. No one knows where the Slaad come from or why they are suddenly targetting the city with such ferocity. So far the attacks had been repelled without any Slaad making it into the Upper City, but many archons have been lost in the battles. King Aphyr is responsible for binding the archons to the city’s defense. With him nowhere to be found, the defense of the city is dwindling. Many residents fear that the next Slaad attack will be able to penetrate into the heart of the city.

The other thing that the PCs learned from their time in the tavern was that no one seems to have heard of House Saravel. Helmirion was starting to doubt his understanding of his mother’s vision.

The PCs met with Emere at the designated time. He was a fire genasi that appeared disintereted in actually protecting the city from dangerous travelers. His only goal seemed to be to use his post for his own means. He questioned the PCs on their purpose in Hathsarl. Helmirion explained that he was from House Saravel, and Emere, as with everyone else, had not heard of it. After some additional questioning, he tried to bribe the PCs into speeding up their entrance. But Lucifan was not about to let that happen. He easily intimidated Emere and he gave the PCs a Writ of Entrance and quickly ushered them out of his office.

The PCs made their way over to the levitating platform. After showing their Writ they were allowed onto the platform and it made its way to the Upper City. They spent a couple hours exploring the city to get a lay of the land. It seemed that some of the private earthmotes which were owned by the different houses were off limits to travellers. Archons silently blocked their way when they tried to pass. But there were several larger earthmotes in the center of the city that were public, housing government buildings, markets, inns, and the like.

The PCs asked around for directions to the House of Records. They found it fairly easily and entered to find an older genasi inside. There were shelves upon shelves of scattered papers, seemingly with no organization. The historian was friendly, and was happy to help the PCs with their inquiries about House Saravel. At first he could not recall the name, but after a few moments he remembered something. He found an official notice related to House Saravel. It was dated over 20 years ago, shortly after the time where Helmirion’s mother had met his eladrin stepfather in the grove near Frostwatch. It was a declaration that House Saravel had been convincted of treason against the genasi people due to colluding with primordial cultists. The House was exiled from the city and removed from the histories. The writ also indicated that there was one councilmember that dissented with the ruling: Yuriel from House Mariz.

The PCs decided that their next step should to contact this Yuriel, provided he was still alive. The historian explained that although the houses were generally sealed to visitors, houses each held representatives in one of the government buildings in the center of the city. The PCs headed over to that building and found the clerk for House Mariz. The clerk explained that Yuriel was indeed still alive, but he was elderly and sickly, and did not often take visitors. He promised to get a note to Yuriel though if the PCs wanted to leave one. Helmirion wrote a note for Yuriel, explaining that he was interested in discussing a matter of some importance. The clerk promised to get the note to Yuriel, and asked that the PCs stop by the next day to see if Yuriel had responded.

Meanwhile, Lucifan had gone around to the clerks of each of the other houses to ask about House Saravel. Most of the clerks responded with genuine confusion – since the House had been struck from the histories most of the citizens had forgotten about it at this point. But one clerk, of House Qet’aran, was obviously familiar with the name and did a bad job of hiding the fact.

It was getting late, and the PCs decided to find an inn and settle down for the evening. As they were checking in with the innkeeper, Rohak noticed someone following the PCs. He chased the earthsoul genasi outside but lost sight of him, and he did not reappear.

The PCs awoke after a good night’s sleep. But as soon as they had gotten ready to head out, they heard shouts from outside. Slaad were attacking again, and had managed to capture the floating platform and gained entrance to the Upper City. The PCs took to action and ran outside. They followed the sounds of battle and discovered a group of the hideous slaad destroying a shop in one of the market areas. The PCs thought quickly and ambushed the slaad. It was a tough fight but the PCs were able to slay the foul beasts. They took a short rest and then gathered themselves up to join back in the fray. As they were making their way down a side street, a voice called out. It was the same earthsoul genasi that had followed them to the inn the evening before. He was escorted by two water archons and a fire genasi. And the PCs turned to a noise behind them to see an abyssal umber hulk bearing down on them…

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Session #9 Summary

The PCs continued on downward into the crumbling temple of Ioun. They reach the bottom floor which was a huge library. There were moldy papers and crumbling tomes everywhere. The PCs made their way into the room and found the drow vampire Dorax’na waiting for them. He offered to let the PCs live if they left their magical items with him. Rohak tried to set him off guard by pretending to agree to this offer, but it didn’t seem to work. The vampire attacked, along with several living drow and a large spider that he used as a mount. It was a tough battle but the PCs prevailed. After the battle they searched the room and found the portal that they were looking for set into the back wall.

After spending the night in the library to recover, the PCs did some research, looking through all of the dusty papers and scrolls to try to figure out how to use the portal. They eventually figured out what they needed to, and got the portal working. They first pointed it back to Helmirion’s home, the eladrin city of Hesinvorn. The PCs bundled up all of the books and scrolls they could salvage. Helmirion attached a note directed to his adopted father explaining what had happened. The PCs pushed all of this through the portal, saving the knowledge from being recaptured by evil such as the likes of Dorax’na.

The PCs then pointed the portal at Hathsarl in the elemental chaos. Initially it seemed to be working; they could see the floating earthmotes of the city beyond the portal. But suddenly the view beyond the portal switched to that of an endless glacier, and the edges of the portal seemed to start to freeze. The deva Natan stepped through, along with a volcanic and blizzard dragon. He explained that the PCs had stopped being a nuisance and had started becoming a real problem, and that it was time for him to kill them. A battle started as Natan cast a spell which split him into four different elementals, one for each of air, water, fire, and earth. The battle was quite tough, but the PCs had superior tactics and were able to best him. After the battle the PCs took a short rest to recover, but Natan was not dead yet. They heard his disembodied voice at first, but then a vortex of elemental energy formed in the middle of the room, and he appeared again. But his form was changing. His limbs elongated, and his hands grew into grotesque claws. His feet burst out of his boots and changed into the webbed feet of an ocean creature. His skin became scaly, and took on a greener hue. His neck lengthened and his mouth widened to reveal hideous razor-sharp teeth.

Again the PCs dove into battle, hoping to finish Natan and make their way to Hathsarl…

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Session #8 Summary

The PCs left the safety of Hesinvorn to brave the Feywild in search of a lost temple to Ioun, god of knowledge. They slept most of the evening, but left Hesinvorn before dawn, and watched from outside the gates as it faded back into the World, leaving them alone. The beauty and strangeness of the Feywild was almost overwhelming to all but Helmirion, to whom it felt almost like returning home. The PCs picked up the trail of the ley line, and followed it east away from the city, as their research indicated that the temple would be found along it.

The travel through the feywild was difficult. The PCs encountered many different types of strange terrain, and at times it was difficult to stay aware of the ley line as it twisted and turned. But they were relatively lucky, as they reached the overgrown temple without having to spend a night in the wilderness, and without encountering any hostile creatures.

The temple was set on a hill. There were signs of outlying buildings and gardens that used to surround it, but they were all crumbled and overgrown now. The stairs leading up to the temple were still intact, and after Sariel scouted a bit, the PCs ascended. They found at the top that the temple was relatively small, only a single story building about 50 ft on either side. The large stone doors to the temple were sealed with a bronze disc. Letters were etched on the disc in an ancient language. Helmirion, Rosalina, and Lucifan worked for some time to translate the lettering, eventually figuring out that it read: “Let the light of Ioun’s knowledge overcome the shadow of deceit”. After a few minutes of thought and experimentation, Helmirion cast a Light spell on the disc, and the doors opened.

The PCs entered cautiously, and found themselves in a single large room. The walls of the room were covered in bas reliefs depicting various scenes of knowledge overcoming tyranny and evil. There were also pedestals displaying artwork, and decaying tapestries that could barely be made out. The floor was covered in a thick layer of dust. In the center of the room were spiral stairs that led down into the darkness.

The PCs took the stairs, and found themselves in a wide hallway that branched both left and right. Both hallways ended in a heavy stone door. Behind the left doorway the PCs could detect a horrid stench of death and decay. They opened the door cautiously, and entered the room. It was lined on both sides with discarded corpses. Rosalina approached the corpses, and one of them sprang up and moved to attack her. However, a beautiful female voice rang out from the darkness ahead of them, urging the undead fiend not to attack. It was a vampire, who introduced herself as Kala’shen. She tried to engage the PCs in conversation, as she did not get a lot of stimulating conversation from her usual minions. During the conversation, she mentioned that her companion, another vampire, was in the library downstairs. Eventually the PCs tired of the conversation and attacked her. The fight was tough, as several of the corpses turned out to be vampires and zombies. Eventually the PCs smote the foul undead, and Kala’shen.

The PCs exited the feeding room on the other side and found themselves in a similar hallway. It branched to another set of spiral stairs heading down, as well as to the other side of the room that the PCs had bypassed. The PCs opened the door and found the room filled with thick, sticky spider webs. They tried to close the doors again and avoid encountering the spiders, but a couple swarms of tiny spiders crawled underneath the door. While the PCs were dealing with the swarms, some wight minions of the brood mother spider reopened the door, joining the combat, and allowing the brood mother to join in as well. The PCs had to deal with the constant immobilization from the webs and the necrotic energy of the wight’s claws. But they did eventually slay all of the spiders and wights.

The PCs were fairly drained after the two battles, and were faced with a tough choice. Do the press on lower into the temple, potentially getting in another fight when they were already low on resources? Or, do they attempt to rest first, either within the temple or in the wilderness of the Feywild, potentially giving their enemies time to regroup?

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Session #7 Summary

The PCs left Frostwatch to travel to Hesinvorn, Helmirion’s home. Their hope was to consult the eladrin about the situation in Frostwatch and about their new-found enemy, Solkara.

The travel through the plains around Frostwatch was uneventful, especially with some summoned magical mounts courtesy of Helmirion. After about two days travel the PCs reach the outskirts of the Everwood.

The horses were dismissed as travel through the wood become cumbersome. The standard scrub pines and evergreens of Frostwatch gave way to a more temperate forest filled with giant oaks, willows, elms, and other trees.

The Everwood was darker and more sinister than Helmirion remembered. The PCs were nervous, and strange shadows darted at the edge of their vision. The paths that Helmirion expected to find were overgrown. The sunlight seemed weaker, and barely reached the forest floor.

The PCs were just starting to think about finding a place to camp for the evening when night suddenly fell around them, at least an hour before it should’ve. They struggled in the dark to find a decent clearing to camp. They found one, but it turns out some others had already claimed the area. Spriggans, goblins that had been corrupted by Fomorian magic, sprang out of the trees and attacked. They also had a shambling mound with them, which proved to be a formidable foe. The PCs eventually fought them back and slayed them all.

After an uneasy rest in the forest, the PCs awoke to a weak sunrise and started off again toward the eladrin city. They reached the city around midday and found Sulor, Helmirion’s adoptive father. Sulor listened intently as Helmirion shared the PCs’ story, and was dismayed to hear about the threats against Frostwatch. He explained that the woods have definitely become less friendly recently, and the city council fears that an attack is imminent. They had been suspecting the drow, but now that the PCs told him about the Spriggans perhaps they should suspect the fomorians instead.

Sulor told Helmirion that he feared he should not have let Helmirion leave the city without telling him the truth about his past. He relayed the story of how he found Helmirion as a baby. He explained to Helmirion that he didn’t simply find him dropped off at the edge of the city. Once when he was travelling to Frostwatch to visit the Red Spire wizards, he stumbled upon a magnificent grove (yes, upon description, the same grove that the PCs have already had a lot of experience with) that radiated strong magic. Intrigued, he stopped to spend some time there. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, a genasi woman appeared, clearly in trouble. She was running from something, carrying a bundle in her arms. The mentor turned to see robed men chasing her. He jumped in front of them, and threw a few spells toward them. They fled, clearly feeling he was too formidable for them. He turned to the woman to find her collapsed. She was gravely injured. She looked at him with purpose and pleaded for him to save her son. She told him her son’s name. The last thing she said was “When he is ready, give him this…” and handed him a trinket of blue glass she wore around her neck.

As soon as Helmirion took the trinket, he had a vision of the woman, which was apparently his mother. The vision ends with the woman saying, "Seek our people, the House of Sarravel, in the city of Hathsarl within the elemental chaos. They will be able to help you. You do not have to fight alone.” Helmirion relayed the vision to the PCs and to Sulor, who was of course very interested in it. He gave the PCs some information about traveling to the EC. There are many ways, of course, but he knows of one particular route. In the Feywild, there are lines of power called Ley Lines. Hesinvorn lies on a Ley Line when it is in the Feywild. When multiple ley lines intersect those areas are very powerful, and travel between planes is easier in those spots. If they travel east along the ley line in the Feywild from Hesinvorn they will arrive at an ancient decaying temple. This temple is built at the intersection with another ley line. It is said that from this temple one could travel to many other planes. However, the temple is rumored to be controlled by a drow vampire, who almost certainly would not let the PCs travel freely.

The PCs then finished up the meeting with Sulor, who recommended that they seek answers in the city library, while he went to the council to relay the information that the PCs brought.

The PCS found the library to be huge, with many tiny rooms and shelves upon shelves. There was no seeming order to the place. There were a few librarians around but they were very protective of the knowledge within the walls and weren’t very eager to help strangers. The PCs employed their various talents in order to do some research on various topics.

Lucifan did some research on various demons and devils. He discovered a tome that described a place in the nine hells which seemed strikingly similar to one of his visions of his Master. The ruler of that hell was known as Mammon. Perhaps Mammon, or one of his underlings, is Lucifan’s Master?

Rosalina did some research on the temple that Sulor described, and found that it is most likely an ancient temple to the god Ioun, a good god dedicated to knowledge and secrets. She also did some research on Solkara’s history, and found a book that described how Erathis imprisoned her and fashioned seven keys to lock the prison. The keys were similar in description to the trinket that was stolen by Natan from around Immeral’s neck.

Helmirion did some research on the elemental chaos, and the city of Hathsarl in particular. He found some information about the city, including some details about its political structure and ruler, as well as some details on the genasi that live there. Helmirion also found a book detailing the ancient language of the Un Hai’kapata. This could prove useful if the PCs come across more writings from that group.

Sariel stumbled upon a book on the history of halflings in the Frostwatch region. It turns out that the Un Hai’kapata and their genasi allies were involved in imbuing a clan of halflings with increased ability to resist the extreme weather. Apparently a Frostwatch halfling is occaisionally born with stark white hair and skin, and these folk have a high concentration of this elemental power. They are known as Wintertouched halflings.

Rohak studied some of the details of Solkara’s more powerful followers. He found a book that described her top two most powerful followers. The first was a mad storm titan priest named Mirmakur, who is focused on assembling legions of fire elementals to melt her glacial prison. The second is a being called Xixecal, the Living Glacier. He was formed from her prison by another being trying to usurp her power, but Xixecal remained fiercly loyal to Solkara. It is said that when Solkara is about to be freed from her prison that Xixecal will be seen in the world again. The book also described a frost giant king rumored to be in the cult as well. Though other sources suggest that this frost giant actually gives his allegiance to the frost giant demon lord Kostchtchie, the Prince of Wrath.

After quite a while of being in the library, one of the eladrin approached Rohak. Upon noticing him, Rohak realized that the eladrin had been watching him for some time, even as he moved to different parts of the library. The eledrin introduced himself as Verath, and explained that he was a scholar of Solkara and noticed that Rohak seemed to be researching her. He had a private collection of scrolls and relics related to Solkara in a room downstairs. He offered to show Rohak, as well as his friends, in case it helped in their research. Rohak suspected a trap, but despite his intense efforts to get a read on the strange eladrin he somehow failed to do so.

Rohak found the other PCs and explained the situation. They agreed to follow Verath, and he lead them into a basement level of the library. The entrance was barely even noticeable, seemingly magically concealed. They got to the basement level and he motioned toward a room along the side of the hallway. However, just as Rohak was about to open the door he noticed an arcane rune upon it. The door was rigged with a trap! Realizing that the game was upon, Verath attacked, and several other cultists burst out of the adjoining rooms. The PCs bested the cultists without too much trouble, and made their way out of the library.

The PCs discussed it a bit, and formed a plan to travel through the Feywild, find the ancient temple of Ioun, deal with the drow vampire, unlock the secrets of the temple to travel to the elemental chaos, and find the city of Hathsarl. It was pretty simple, really.

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