With the Rangers in tow, the Night Guard snuck up to the Glutton’s Teeth and around the side, to the sewer grate. The massive stone pillars there – the eponymous “teeth” – were dripping with dark slime, which transformed a spider into a Shadow spider as the group looked on. Resourceful as ever, Alfo pried off some of the weeping black stone and hid it in his bag.
The group was momentarily stymied by the sewer grate and the acidic stream flowing under it. Tam scouted ahead and determined the sewer led upwards, to a safe and enclosed cell. Heartened, the group struggled through the acid and the upward-sloping tunnel.
They emerged into a cramped prison cell containing several dead bodies and one frail, emaciated dragonborn. Val opened his cell and Tam stabilized him, giving him a goodberries to help restore his health. Finally the dragonborn was lucid enough to provide his name – Rhoskan – and answer their questions.
The party learned that Rhoskan had been captured by the black dragon Zarelth, the Shadow of the Underdark, who had kept Rhoskan imprisoned for the past sixty-two years. Rhoskan also identified Alfo’s Thunderang as an item of his own past making, along with Alfo’s magic cleats. In fact, Rhoskan explained he was once the master of the Arcane Forge, before his capture and imprisonment.
Rhoskan explained that long ago, when the Glutton’s Teeth was attacked by a dragon, the elevator to the surface was disabled; while he could potentially fix it, it would take hours – and his tools remained within the Arcane Forge itself. Rhoskan drew out a map of the fortress for the party, pointing out the easiest path to the Forge, and pledged to help them by fixing the elevator if they could keep him safe.
Val investigated one possible route but was nearly crisped by a wall of fire; subsequently the group decided to take a different route. However, they were ambushed by a group of kobolds, including a kobold trap master. Val managed to incapacitate the kobolds by casting Stinking Cloud, but their traps and tricks were formidable. Finally, the party managed to get through the minefield of traps, intermingled spell effects, and a last-ditch attack of pocket sand to defeat the kobolds.
The party looted the kobolds’ pitiful throne room, scraping it clean of treasure, then checked the next room over for traps and secrets. Alfo discovered a locked chest and opened it to find a blank piece of paper: a piece of a map written in invisible ink. (An adventure for another time.)
Finally the group managed to reach the chapel, from which they could proceed to the next floor of the building and to the Arcane Forge. However, the chapel was already occupied… by a mysterious, cloaked, scythe-bearing figure who introduced itself as the Harvester. This figure demanded tribute – and when it was not forthcoming, the Harvester locked the doors, opened two portals to another realm, and summoned horrifying metallic monsters to attack the party.
Thinking quickly upon perceiving the Harvester’s shadowy, vermin-riddled form, Val cast Daylight to illuminate the room and weaken the dark entity. Meanwhile, Tam’s scorpion captured one of the metal monsters in its claws, and Manny magically restrained the Harvester. Manny’s electrifying attack shocked the second metal monster into retreat, and it pulled the Harvester back into the portal behind it – but not before the Harvester’s mask clattered to the ground, revealing Tam’s face.
In the aftermath of the battle, the chapel was again clear, bright and holy. Alfo, struck voiceless by fear, prayed fervently for guidance and comfort after the horrors he just witnessed. Meanwhile, the party proceeded to loot the throne room, gathering treasures both commonplace and unusual, as well as a mysterious journal the Harvester dropped in its flight.
The party took advantage of the relative safety of the throne room to indulge in some much-needed rest and healing, and to catalogue their new finds. However, a loud crash from the upper floors of the fortress brought their attention back to their urgent task. The Hobgoblin host was getting impatient.
On the way upstairs, Manny checked a side tunnel, discovered a common room where several kobolds were enjoying a peaceful meal, and incinerated them all in a fireball. After looting the room beyond, the party, with Rhoskan in tow, proceeded up the stairs and finally to the Arcane Forge.
While the door was easy to open with the magical Key, restarting the Forge was much more difficult. The party sacrificed many magical items and their own energy to fuel the flames. Furthermore, the Forge guardians also threatened the party: two animated stone statues and a massive brass golem, all ready to attack the next people to use the Forge. As Rhoskan started up the Forge, Val cast a Tiny Hut around the party, and they huddled together under the blows of the golem’s axe while Rhoskan hurriedly fashioned a metal component to reprogram the golem.
Alfo courageously clambered up the golem’s back, resisting its scalding steam and evading its fearsome grasp. With the help of Val’s inspiring words, he successfully installed the newly forged component. Immediately the golem and its fellow guardians ceased to attack.
With their safety now assured, the group and Rhoskan settled in for a few hours of relaxation. After years of imprisonment, Rhoskan was delighted to be back at his work, and joyfully fashioned new items for several members of the party, including a singing rapier for Val, a cloak for Tam, a weapon belt for Alfo, a jewelry bag for Manny, and best of all, shiny new armor for Shadow.
Meanwhile, Alfo perused the journal dropped by the Harvester. The journal turned out to be written by someone called the Pursuer, whose realm is the Feral Bosque, part of the Shadowfell. Even more harrowing, the journal was very clearly written by Alfo himself – except that the person who wrote the journal made a choice that Alfo had not. They ran from war, when Alfo didn’t. The discovery gave Alfo a new perspective into his life and the world around him.
Well-rested, emboldened after their successful quest to restart the Arcane Forge, and eager to try out their new magical items, the party prepared to continue through the fortress to the elevator.
Then Tam put on his new cloak, and heard a prophecy…
Best Line goes to Manny:
(While the group is debating how to determine the nature of invisible ink on a note, given the risk that it might be toxic)
Manny: Well I could lick it all I wanted!
Best RP goes to Alfo, for performing heroic feats of athletics despite his fear, and for discovering the mysterious journal left by his alternate self.
19:30 – The group sneaks up to the sewer grate, then scouts and traverses the acid-riddled tunnel.
20:00 – The group emerges into a prison. They find and stabilize a frail dragonborn named Rhoskan, the only living prisoner. After giving him some nourishment, the group learns from him many details about the fortress and its history, as well as the impedances they will face on the way out.
21:30 – Val discovers a wall of flame blocking access to the elevator shaft.
22:00 – The party leaves the Rangers to guard Rhoskan and heads towards the chapel at the request of Alfo.
22:30 – En route the party encounters kobolds, including a kobold trap-master. The battle is fierce and lengthy, but the resourceful Night Guard manages to prevail. Val loots the corpses.
23:00 – The party continues to a scorched guardroom. Alfo discovers part of a map drawn in invisible ink.
23:30 – The party continues into the chapel. It is filled with mist and shadows, and a mysterious figure calling itself the Harvester stands at the pulpit.
23:40 – The Harvester demands tribute and, when the party reacts with confusion, summons monsters to attack them. The Night Guard fights back fiercely, however, and the Harvester retreats into shadow.
00:00 – With the chapel clear and safe, Alfo spends time there praying, and the rest of the party continues into the tomb to loot the hoard of the dead dragon. They spend time sorting through the many treasures there, including another fragment of the mysterious map.
08:00 – The party hears a loud crash and surmises the Hobgoblin army is getting impatient.
08:30 – The party returns to the prison to check in with the Rangers and Rhoskan, who are all doing well.
09:00 – The party continues to the second level of the fortress. Manny, with Val’s help, incinerates a roomful of kobolds. The party loots this room and finds a well beyond, where they wash and drink.
10:00 – The party heads upstairs, discovers the door to the Arcane Forge nearby, and decides to break camp and bring along the Rangers and Rhoskan.
10:30 – Rhoskan opens the door to the Arcane Forge and the group enters.
11:00 – Rhoskan re-starts the Arcane Forge and, with the help of Val and Manny’s magic, miscellaneous spare equipment, and with Alfo’s extraordinary courage and feats of athleticism, manages to re-program the powerful golems protecting the Forge.
11:30 – The group takes the opportunity to rest and recuperate while Rhoskan joyfully works the Arcane Forge, creating magical items for the party
08:00 – Then Tam puts on the cloak, and hears a prophecy…