Mythweald

Nightmare
Mysteries of the Dread Mire

Upon waking, surrounded by a deathly, unfamiliar version of Val’s estate, Tam investigated the grounds and discovered Redrick – an older, more battle-worn Redrick – fighting some zombies and skeletons in the swamp. Tam lent his aid and together they quickly squashed the undead.

Meanwhile, within the mansion, Alfo and Val woke up to hear piano music echoing from downstairs. They snuck down to the common room and found a mysterious figure seated there. Alfo, forgoing subtlety, demanded identification. The figure leapt up and revealed himself to be an alternate version of Val – instead of the charming bard the Night Guard knew so well, this figure was a cold, compassionless vampire. Val cast Daylight to drive the vampire back, but he was too powerful to be contained. Despite the combined efforts of Val, Alfo, Tam and Redrick (who had rushed to the mansion at the sounds of battle), the vampire overpowered them, and one by one, threw down the heroes and drained their blood.

In shock, the Night Guard awoke – back in their own quarters, in sunny Tila Estate. Dazed and still tired, Val was greeted by Redrick, who wished to talk about the new hires and resume the previous day’s organizational work. Val reluctantly agreed and, with the rest of the still-disquieted party, decided to go confer with Val’s new information network.

Aunt Taryn, the Thieves’ guild agent, had no information that could help the Night Guard understand their strange experience. However, the Noble informant Adder Goldcrest told the party of the Tila Estate’s tragic history: long ago, a sorceress in the family transformed her husband into a vampire, who went mad and killed the whole household. The vampire was slain by none other than Dagug Goldseeker.

This tale was confirmed by the third informant, Wysafiel, an ex-Seeker spy and Val’s new conduit of magic-related news from across all of Mythweald. Wysafiel performed an augury to demonstrate to the Night Guard that they had, at some point during their recent adventures, traveled to an alternate timeline. In the Mythweald they currently occupied*, the orcish siege on Sindaleth never happened, Val’s debts were paid, and the Night Guard of this realm was very different than the party knew themselves to be. Even Mitch’s amulet had changed – it no longer contained Mitch! And strangest of all, Wysafiel claimed that she had never heard of Syl… as though he didn’t even exist.

Wysafiel identified the party’s nightmare experience as taking place in the Dread Mire, and described that realm as a “specific aspect of the Shadow; a realm manifesting someone’s worst fears.” She also pointed out that if the party could go back through their records of their Underdark adventures, they might be able to determine the exact point in their travels that they left their original timeline**.

With a final cryptic warning to avoid extended exposure to Shadow realms – “the longer you stay there, the harder it is to resist” – Wysafiel left the party to their own devices. Alfo immediately suggested a plan of psychological resistance. If the Night Guard dedicated the rest of their day to happiness, rest, calm, and celebration, he surmised, they would be much less likely to be transported to a realm of dread and despair in their dreams.

The Night Guard enthusiastically adopted this plan, and Val gathered his new staff to launch a wonderful party. Everyone in the estate attended. Val made an inspiring speech to cheer up his new household. Alfo enjoyed the drinks, shenanigans, and the company of his new friend Grud Smasher Jr. Even Tam spent some time socializing. Finally, as the successful celebration began to wind down, the exhausted Night Guard settled in to rest.

They woke to the creeping mist, overpowering stench of death, and familiar piano music that immediately made one thing clear: the Night Guard had returned to the Dread Mire…


Best Line goes doubly to Alfo:

(Attempting to deliver a devastating hex on the vampire Val:)
Alfo: Your hair.. is oily… and flaxen!

(Later, immediately before perpetrating shenanigans)
Alfo: Attention… I just want to inform everyone there will be no shenanigans.

Best RP goes to Alfo, whose efforts to prevent returning to the nightmare realm by instituting a happiness day were greatly appreciated, even if ineffective.


Timeline
? – The party wakes in an unfamiliar, dreadful alternate reality.
? – The party is brutally slaughtered by a vampire version of Val.

[Long Rest… or not.]

10:00 – The party wakes up, disoriented, in their ordinary quarters.
11:30 – The party questions Val’s information network for news, and for clues about what happened to them during the night.
14:00 – Party preparations begin.
18:00 – Partying ensues. Fun, camaraderie, and plenty of good music!
21:00 – The celebration winds down, and the Night Guard go to sleep, confident in their work.

? – They wake to the creeping mist, overpowering stench of death, and familiar piano music that immediately makes one thing clear: the Night Guard has returned to the Dread Mire…


*Henceforth “Timeline B.”

**Henceforth “Timeline A.”

View
Leaving the Underdark
The Battle for Glutton's Teeth

THE STONECAPE PROPHECY

The first gave in to bloodlust, which consumed his drive to spare.
The second fled in fear, forgetting himself in isolation.
The third was plagued by grief, losing his will to live.
The last drowned in despair, cursing his kin to suffer ill.
They can all be redeemed, each confronted by the truth –
For no matter how crooked their shadows, these heroes can still stand in the Light.

These were the words, spoken in four voices, which Tam heard upon putting on the prophetic cloak. Shaken by the cryptic prediction, the group relied upon Rhoskan to map them a risk-minimizing route through the fortress, to the elevator, and then left the Forge.

Immediately they were met by a scene of destruction – an injured troll crouched in a corner of the next room, jealously clutching a treasure chest, while hobgoblin guards approached. The guards attacked the troll for not giving up its treasure; the Night Guard stealthily watched the ensuing battle until all combatants were weakened, then stepped in to finish the job. The troll was slain by a vicious blow from Alfo’s diamond maul; the hobgoblins, after recognizing the party, were eliminated before they could warn their commander of the Night Guard’s betrayal.

After looting the room, Val scouted ahead – and stepped right into the path of a Gelatinous Cube! He barely evaded its grasp, but Alfo was so disturbed by the sight he couldn’t move. The party fled, pulling Alfo with them, as the cube doggedly pursued. Val insulted Alfo severely enough to snap him out of his panic and the party proceeded to the relative safety of the next room.

After (mostly) evading a trapped floor, tripwires, and a warding glyph, the party found themselves in the entryway to the fortress. Adjacent, in the entrance of the receiving hall, were two hobgoblin guards – dead, by drow daggers. The party entered the receiving room only to find themselves face-to-face with the Queen of the drow – and Talila, who revealed herself and her twin brother to be the Queen’s children and trusted aides.

The drow queen explained that the Night Guard were spared at Talila’s grateful intercession, and that the crimes – the murder of other drow in the Underdark – that had so far marked them for death would be forgiven, if the Night Guard helped defend the Glutton’s Teeth from the hobgoblin onslaught. The party swiftly agreed, and leaving the Queen to strengthen the fortress defenses with ritual magic, they headed back out into the hallways to set up traps.

Val investigated the library and discovered two skeletons sprawled next to an ornate scroll case. While grabbing the scroll case he stepped on a Rug of Aging, which aged him 16 years in a few terrifying moments. The case was worth it, though – inside was a scroll written by his uncle Draxus, naming him the new Baron of Tila Estate:

Deed of Entitlement
for the Barony and Estate of Tila

I (undersigned) Bequeath the aforementioned title and lands unto this servant, for services rendered. As to the taxes gathered, this Baron shall owe 1/3 of the Estate’s income to the Crown’s Authority. As to levies, he shall provide no less, and no more than 1/3 his finest troops, your country commends you.

Furthermore, I grant permission to the entitled Party to gather tolls for the upkeep of roads and bridges, given it doth not exceed 1/3 the property income.

Galleon
AB-38-2020

Meanwhile, Alfo helped Rhoskan work on the elevator. When Val returned from finding Deed of Entitlement, Alfo was shocked and disturbed by Val’s change in age. Redrick, however, was unfazed, and verified the deed as legitimate – truly Val was now a Baron. Redrick immediately offered his service as Steward of Val’s new estate, and Val accepted.

Manny, after discovering a book of fire spells, decided to help out the party by killing all the hobgoblin guards asleep in a common room in the fortress with a fireball. After this he felt lucky enough to creep up on the Hobgoblin commander himself – but failed to reproduce his convincing Deva impersonation. The commander immediately ordered his army to attack the fortress.

Chaos ensued. Val, some of the Rangers, and a drow fire team sprinted to the rooftop to secure defenses there. Tam and Talila joined forces to set up an ambush and sent a squad of mercenaries to help Rhoskan. Alfo and Shadow, along with Alfo’s golem, guarded the entryway, which had been trapped with the Rug of Aging. Manny, meanwhile, fought fiercely to incapacitate the Hobgoblin commander, and finally petrified him with a cursed gaze.

While the rest of the party battled to keep the hobgoblins from advancing into the fortress, Manny impersonated the hobgoblin commander and ordered the army to cease their attack. In the subsequent disarray, Val’s fire team and Manny’s destructive casting created discord in the ranks. Meanwhile, within the fortress, Alfo decimated an infiltration team of goblins and was heartened by his success. Victory for the Night Guard and their allies finally seemed within reach!

Suddenly, the blood-chilling roar of a dragon echoed across the battlefield. From his rooftop perch Val glimpsed the skeletal silhouette of a dracolich as it soared down over the fortress. This enemy was familiar – Ewlbkhan the black dragon had returned. Val and Tam sprinted to warn the drow Queen as the dracolich landed in the midst of the battlefield.

But when Val pushed open the door, he saw the Queen lying dead – the murderer, her own son, standing over her with a cursed, ceremonial dagger in his hand. He and Talila had summoned the dragon themselves, he hissed – “for entropy!” The drow twins attacked Val and Tam, but luckily the cousins were able to evade them and take their daggers.

Meanwhile, the battle with the dracolich took a turn for the better when Manny, impersonating the commander, convinced the hobgoblin arm to “attack the dragon!” Despite the army’s best efforts, the dracolich was not deterred – and with a single breath, it killed over half the remaining troops. Alfo sent out his golem to attack the dracolich too, but it was not restrained.

The Night Guard and their allies fiercely attacked their betrayers, the drow twins, and killed them – but not before another bladed creature, identical to those the Harvester summoned in the chapel, burst from her dying body. With a resolute attack from Alfo and quick bladework by Val the monster was dispatched. From outside the fortress, the deep boom of moving earth and the cries of a Purple Worm alerted the party to even more urgent danger.

Racing through the fortress, dragging their wounded with them, the Night Guard and their allies crammed into the elevator and Rhoskan pressed the switch. The battle cries of the dracolich and purple worm faded down into the earth as the party were carried upward, rising into the beautiful city of Emberhearth.

As they arrived, the party were greeted by their old ally Syl, who immediately restored Val’s proper age (but couldn’t fix his hair color, to Val’s delight) and updated them on Pat, who slayed a red dragon after leaving the Night Guard. Syl also identified the ceremonial daggers Tam and Val retrieved from the drow as relevant to Myrkul, the god of entropy, death, and decay, but couldn’t offer any insight on the Harvester or its monster minions. To help the Night Guard investigate the many mysteries they encountered in the Underdark, Syl teleported them to Elder Vale to explore its libraries.

But upon their arrival the party received some harrowing news. Somewhere, somehow, time went wrong. The party now stood fifteen years in the “future,” and a group calling themselves the Night Guard had supposedly already placed the Eye in Ashewood Redoubt – an entire year past. Val discovered that “his” debt had been paid over seven years ago, and eavesdropping in public venues revealed that the party had no particular reputation.

The Night Guard proceeded to Ashewood Redoubt to restore the Eye of the Sun Watchers. Upon arrival, they found that the Eye is just one of a set of two – and its counterpart, the Eye of the Dusk Watchers, had already been placed in the tower. As Tam reached out to restore the Eye to its rightful place, he was overwhelmed by a flickering succession of mental images – ice, fire, glass, murky earth, dragons, elementals, artefacts, undead, potions, caverns, and more flashed through his mind, and again he heard the words of the Stonecape Prophecy.

With that, the Eye was in place, and magic was ostensibly restored to Mythweald. Val and the Night Guard traveled to his mansion, and Val, aided in his task by the expertise and hard work of Redrick, organized his estate by hiring staff and setting up taxes and tolls. After a long day of working on the estate, the Night Guard retired to their new quarters and settled in for a well-earned rest.

But they woke to a horribly different world. The grounds were blanketed in pale mist, as though an autumn chill had swept over the estate. In the mansion, Val heard a piano playing a familiar, sorrowful melody. And Tam was again inundated with images: undead soldiers, a misty swamp, the stench of death, and a dark, terrible figure.

Steely-armored, pale-haired, with a vicious gleam in his eyes and Windsinger in his right hand – the figure was unmistakably Val…


Best Line goes to Alfo:

(When the dracolich enters the battlefield and casually destroys the hobgoblin army)
Rest of the party, panicking: What do we do! What do we do!
Alfo: Well… we get on the elevator!

Best RP is shared between Val, for taking his new age, barony, and esteem in stride; and Manny, for enthusiastically embracing his chaotic nature.


Timeline

08:00 – At the touch of the Mantle of the Weald, Tam hears the STONECAPE PROPHECY.
08:30 – The party battles hobgoblins and a troll.
10:00 – The party allies with the Drow queen and her warriors.
11:00 – Val discovers his title and estate. Redrick verifies the title and Val accepts his Stewardship.
11:30 – Manny accidentally triggers the Hobgoblin attack on Glutton’s Teeth.
11:45 – The drow twins betray the Night Guard and their own Queen by summoning a dracolich to the battle.
12:00 – The Night Guard and their allies flee the battle in the restored elevator.

[Long Rest]

00:00 – The Night Guard and their allies arrive in Emberhearth.

[At this point accurate timekeeping was lost.]

? – The party is teleported to Elder Vale to search for answers in the libraries there, but discovers instead that they have somehow experienced a rift in time.

? – The party travels to Ashewood Redoubt and restores the Eye of the Sun Watchers.

? – The party returns to Val’s estate to rest, recuperate, and discuss their plans.

[Long Rest]

? – The party wakes in a different world. Tam has a vision: death, undeath, dread, darkness, and a familiar figure: Steely-armored, pale-haired, with a vicious gleam in his eyes and Windsinger in his right hand – the figure is unmistakably Val …

View
The Arcane Forge
Trials, triumphs, and mysterious encounters

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.


Timeline

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.

[Long Rest]

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

[Long Rest]

08:00 – Then Tam puts on the cloak, and hears a prophecy…

View
Cruelty and Compassion
New friends and unexpected developments

At the stroke of midnight, in a blinding flash of light, Pateirn disappeared! In his place stood a stranger – a tall and otherworldly-looking Yuan-Ti, who introduced himself as Manuya Teoshi.

The party was initially suspicious, but Shadow’s immediate trust of Manny put everyone at ease. The Rangers also greeted Manny as an old friend – one of the Heroes’ Guild’s first Heroes. Manny explained that he was sent by Oghma to aid the Night Guard in their quest. Keeping sight of their goal, the group continued down the tunnel. During the long walk, Alfo was plagued by memories of his first near-death experience, and felt deeply unsettled.

The group arrived at a large cavern, and examined it for traps. Manny found a pit trap and Val skillfully disarmed a tripwire. The group then took the opportunity to rest, with Val on watch. Manny spent some time talking to his “friend” Oghma, to the mild confusion of everyone else.

After this peaceful interlude, the group set off again, but soon encountered goblins. Their leader/Booyahg used a magic wand to cast Fireball, seriously injuring Clotilde, Redrick and Shadow. The party scrambled to heal their fallen friends, while a magical duel ensued: Val cast Stinking Cloud to incapacitate the enemy goblins, but the Booyahg cast a gust of wind that dispersed the cloud. Alfo and Redrick fought Booyahg fiercely, yet wild magic fortuitously healed the tiny foe. Alfo was frustrated even further when Manny accidentally hit him with a fireball. Finally the Booyahg was overwhelmed and devoured by a rat swarm.

The group took a few moments to heal up and collect themselves after this encounter. Meanwhile, Val and a few others poked around in the side tunnels looking for loot, but instead discovered a hallway filled with goblin-made net traps. One of the victims – a humble drow peasant named Talila – was still alive! Tam freed her from the net and the party escorted her to safety as goblins advanced down the trap-filled hallway.

Manny handily dispatched the entire party of goblins with a well-placed fireball, but the danger was far from over: in the distance, the war horn of a Hobgoblin host rang out. The sound struck terror into Alfo’s heart, and the rest of the group realized they needed to move fast in order to survive the advancing horde. While Val scouted out a route to the nearby Glutton’s Teeth fortress, the rest of the group questioned Talila, who admitted that her people, the drow, had captured the fortress and trapped most of the entrances days ago. After promising not to give away the group’s location, Talila quickly vanished down a tunnel.

The group stood at an impasse. Some party members favored aiding the drow in their efforts to maintain control of the fortress, but others insisted that allying with the advancing Hobgoblin host would give them an easier path into the fortress and to their goal, the elevator to the surface. While the debate continued, the group rested in magical shelter provided by Val. The safety and company of his friends helped Alfo resist his paranoia and settle his nerves.

Meanwhile, Val thought back to his years in school, searching for memories of information that could help the group avoid the wrath of the Hobgoblin army. To his delight, his recollection of the details goblinoid religion – one of his favorite subjects in school – was absolute. Val and Alfo, with the support of the group, hatched a plan to infiltrate the Hobgoblin forces, disguised as messengers from Maglubiyet, the hobgoblin god of cruelty. Alfo’s crafting skills came in handy as he fashioned a Deva disguise for Manny; Val chose simply to rely on his imposing demeanor to maintain the upper hand.

Disguised as a Deva messenger of Maglubiyet and the Deva’s human emissary, and with the chains binding two “subjects” – Alfo and Tam – in hand, Manny and Val set off to coerce and deceive the Hobgoblin war leaders into cooperation. The goblins and bugbears at the gate were easily intimidated, but the clever Hobgoblin warlord proved a match even for Val – especially since Alfo and Tam had difficulty maintaining their deference as “terrified prisoners.” Fortunately, Val’s luck held, and the warlord was convinced: the Deva and Maglubiyet’s emissary would enter the Glutton’s Teeth fortress via a hidden sewer grate, clear the fortress, and open the main doors for the triumphant Hobgoblin horde, at which point the “prisoners” would be sacrificed to bring glory to Maglubiyet.

Once the plan was laid out, the party returned to the Rangers’ hiding place to prepare for their upcoming infiltration mission. Manny took the opportunity to craft a few potions and other items that could prove helpful in the battle, while Alfo restored his even temper and mental clarity with the help of a good dose of Feywine. Finally, the group discussed the hazards they expected to encounter: traps, dungeon monsters, and of course the Drow, who they still regarded as both potential allies… and, given their history with the Night Guard, very likely enemies.

The battle loomed ahead…


Best Line goes to Alfo:

(While the group is brainstorming how to prevent Alfo and Tam’s execution by beheading upon finally entering the Glutton’s Teeth fortress)
Alfo: Guys!! I could craft our heads!

Best RP goes to Val, for enjoying intimidation and subjugation of goblins a little too much.


Timeline

00:00 – In the wake of the group’s victory, Pat vanishes, and Manuya Teoshi (Manny) appears in his place. Introductions are made.
00:30 – The group continues along the tunnel.
01:00 – The group encounters and avoid a pit trap, then takes the opportunity to rest and recuperate.
02:00 – Continuing along the hallway, the group is ambushed by goblins and their magic-using leader. The group is unprepared to deal with the goblin’s magical attacks and repeated accidental regeneration, but finally manages to defeat him, although Clotilde and Redrick sustain serious injury.
02:30 – The group encounters a hallway filled with prisoners trapped in goblin nets. One, a drow, is freed and carried to safety as the group flees from approaching goblins. Manny fireballs the goblins.
03:30 – Val scouts ahead and spies the Glutton’s Teeth, not far ahead, being assailed by a goblin army.
05:30 – The party takes the opportunity to rest and plan.

[Long Rest]

13:30 – Val and Manny pretend to be emissaries of the hobgoblins’ cruel overgod, and with the help of Alfo’s costuming skills, succeed in intimidating the hobgoblin Warlord and gaining his cooperation.
15:30 – The group returns to the Rangers to rest, prepare, and discuss their plan of attack.
16:00 – The battle looms ahead…

View
Under the Drow City
Sneaking through the shadows

The Night Guard and their companions swiftly looted the boat of the defeated drow crew. They took 15gp, 20sp, and the drow captain’s shining armor, which Pateirn identified as Glamour Armor. He reasoned that the armor’s blinding effects were due to flash powder. Most importantly, the group found an ominous note, which read only:

BRING THEM BACK.

The group decided to paddle towards a nearby shore where they could camp, regroup, rest, and discuss their next steps. On the journey, the Rangers explained that a large drow city lay nearby, directly in the group’s path towards Glutton’s Teeth. They also noted that the persistent attacks by drow were unusual: drow are ambush specialists, and their pursuit of the party defied expectations.

Upon arrival at the shore, the group made camp, and the more seriously injured individuals – namely Redrick – settled in for a much needed rest. Shadow was ecstatic to be back on land. The entire group rested and recovered over the next several peaceful hours.

After resting , the group gathered to share a fortifying meal that the Rangers brought along, and discussed strategy for the next part of their journey. Everitt explained that the group faced a difficult choice: either continue across Darklake, or take another path through tunnels. He pointed out that tunnels in the Underdark often shift and collapse, complicating travel, and that the tunnels directly underneath the drow city were likely filled with Thri-keen and other threats. But the alternative was risky too: the route across Darklake passed through a monument called the Stone Pillars, home to a mad drow wizard who was rumored to drown passers-by in whirlpools while cackling with glee. The group decided to continue through the tunnels.

The group set off, under a cloak of silence and stealth, into the tunnels under the drow city. Almost immediately they encountered an east/west split in the path. Pateirn assessed the situation and determined that the eastern path was newer, marked with fresh boot prints and pick marks, and likely used by drow – too great a risk. The group continued along the path leading westward.

As the group continued, the tunnel began to descend, and their surroundings began to grow warm, then hot. Finally, the air was nearly too stifling to breathe, and the halfling Rangers grew faint from the heat. The group was in the center of an immense spinning geode. Surrounded by treacherous molten rock, they tiptoed along the fragile path across the hazard. Redrick slipped, but was only mildly burned. Finally the path began to lead back upward and the group left the geode far behind.

The group heard the sound of falling stones and rubble, and immediately encountered a caved-in part of the tunnel. The main route was therefore blocked, but an east/west choice of side tunnels remained available. Pateirn recalled that goblins often collapse tunnels to re-route and ambush travelers, and reasoned that this cave-in was deliberate. Tam, as beetles, burrowed through the collapsed tunnel portion to assess the risk, and heard at least one goblin waiting in ambush. The group decided to take the western tunnel, towards Darklake, rather than the eastern tunnel towards the goblin warrens.

But no tunnel could be without danger. Val, tipped off by the Dagger of Warning, invisibly scouted ahead and discovered a drow party and a drider lying in wait for the group to stumble into their ambush. The group decided to take the eastern tunnel instead, towards the goblin warrens. Pat consulted the Underdark guidebook and explained that many factions were likely vying for power after the recent death of Ewlbkhan, the black dragon presumed slain by the Night Guard and Lord Murdock Mistymane.

An hour’s march brought the group to a suspicious feature: a crack in the ceiling with the sound of mail and tiny footsteps above. Alfo, decisively stabbed the fissure with his pike. The trap was sprung! False walls collapsed, and rubble, goblins, and hobgoblins poured into the tunnel.

In the ensuing battle, the party easily killed several goblins, but the trio of hobgoblins proved to be a serious threat. Tam tried to incapacitate the hobgoblin leader, but failed. Alfo and the Rangers messily defeated the other hobgoblins while Val delivered a reprimand so scathing it killed the goblin he insulted. Finally, Pateirn finished off the hobgoblin leader with a Scorching Ray.

Then, quite suddenly, the unthinkable happened…


Best Line goes to Pateirn:

(While the group is trying to choose whether to cross Darklake or go through the tunnels under the drow city)
Party: So there’s a mad wizard guarding the lake passage, who is very powerful. Do you think-
Pat, without missing a beat: Sure, I could beat him.
Party: ……..????

Best RP goes to Val.


Timeline
10:45 – The group loots the drow boat, retrieving Glamour Armor, some coin, and an ominous note.
11:00 – The group paddles to a nearby shore to recoup and strategize.
[Long Rest]
20:30 – Given a choice between paddling further across Darklake and following tunnels under the nearby drow city, the group opts for the tunnels.
21:30 – The group successfully navigates a hazardous spinning geode, though the Rangers sustain some damage.
22:30 – A collapsed portion of tunnel blocks the main path. Anticipating an ambush, the group continues on a different path, towards Darklake.
23:00 – The group detects and avoids a drow ambush.
23:30 – The group encounters a goblin trap and is ambushed. In the ensuing battle, the group defeats the goblins and their hobgoblin overseers, but not without injury.
00:00 – Then the unthinkable happens…

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Adrift upon Darklake
The darkness deepens...

After defeating the “Mayor of Forgehome” and exposing him as a doppelganger, the Night Guard received accolades, gifts, the Key to the Arcane Forge, and a map to the Glutton’s Teeth. The rule of Forgehome was given over to Finn, who thanked the Night Guard for their assistance.

The Guard set off towards the Glutton’s Teeth, bearing the Key to the Arcane Forge and accompanied by the Ashewood Rangers and by a Heroes’ Guild agent named Umber. With this extra help, the Night Guard were quickly able to defeat a small party of drow who attempted to ambush them upon the shores of Darklake.

After dealing with the drow, the Night Guard and their companions set out across the lake in complete darkness, paddling a boat belonging to Everett Oakbottom (one of the Rangers). While Shadow cowered in fear of the surrounding water, Alfo resisted his anxieties, and found himself filled with courage and resolve.

However, the peaceful mood was not to last. The party were approached and attacked by a drow crew, who immobilized the boat and sought to board. After a brief battle, the drow and their spider companions were defeated, and devoured either by insects or by the vampiric squid they encountered when they leapt overboard.

A search of the drow boat revealed little (although Alfo did find a stony phial of cockatrice venom). But during the search, the party nearly missed the sound of another approaching boat. This boat was larger and bore a drow in gleaming armor along with his capable crew.

Wasting no time in negotiations, the Night Guard opted to attack, while the drow party attempted to board. The ensuing battle was chaotic and tense. Redrick Tramdus (of the Ashewood Rangers) and Umber were both grievously wounded. Additionally, the drow captain used his magical armor to dazzle his enemies, and succeeded in temporarily blinding Alfo. But due to the valiant efforts of Clotilde Oakbottom (the third Ashewood Ranger in the group) and Alfo, along with wicked cool (and very effective!) magical attacks from Pat and a healthy dose of Val’s bardic inspiration, the Night Guard rallied and prevailed. Finally, Alfo defeated the drow captain with a fearsome swing of his axe.

The journey across Darklake continues…


Best Line goes to Val:

(After dealing damage to an enemy) “Rest in pastrami, motherfucker!”

Best RP is shared by Alfo and Val, for Alfo’s RP-appropriate rolls (including a nat 20 to calm Shadow and a successful fatal attack on a boss in the last battle) and for Val’s inspiring improvised battle songs.


Timeline
19:00 – The party defeats the “Mayor,” speaks with Finn, and retires to the inn, where they meet Umber.
[Long Rest]
05:00 – The party outlines their plans to head into the Underdark on the next stage of their quest.
06:00 – The party makes a run through the markets to pick up supplies.
06:30 – The party is joined by the Ashewood Rangers.
07:00 – The group sets off down the Gold Standard Exchange Mine tunnel. Many side tunnels are blocked off due to various Underdark hazards.
08:00 – The group reaches the shores of Darklake, encounter drow, and launch their boat.
09:00 – The group paddles across the lake. Alfo withstands the pull of madness.
10:00 – The group is attacked by a drow crew but defeats these drow.
10:30 – While looting the first drow boat the group is attacked by a second crew and their captain. Again, the Night Guard and their companions triumph.
11:00 – The journey across Darklake continues…

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Forge Home
Hidden Truth

The Night Guard were thrown a party. Things got a little out of hand:

Pateirn lost a finger.

Alfo woke up in a pile of bile.

Val woke up with an 80 Gold dinner bill.

Tamerlane (“Tam”) Redwyne woke up kidnapped by a doppleganger, tied up, in a furnace.

Please observe a moment for Franklefrag Nightmantle, Uncle to Alfo, and veteran of Ulaa.

Best Line goes to Tam:

(Kidnapped, failing rolls left and right, in a furnace that’s about to ignite.)
“I know it’s out of character, but I need Help!”

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A Fantastically Bright Journey
(in the underdark)

Today The Night Guard fought their way through the Underdark, past several dangerous obstacles.

A cannibal camp – defeated with the code word “Nutmeg!”

The Howling Gorge – where Tam nearly fell to his death.

A tunnel of rotting vegetation – they’re not sure why.

A cavern comprised entirely of Darkstone – with an illusory Magma fall to boot.

After summoning a Unicorn- Lord Murdock Misty Mane, the party set off to save the missing Ashewood Rangers, and discovered a black dragon. After an epic battle that will be retold for centuries, the Dragon was teleported away at Alfo’s touch.

Best Line goes to Tam:

(When plotting against cannibals who planned to eat the party, and who had fed the party people meat)
“We should eat them as vengeance.”

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To the Underdark
A Necromantic Experience

Today The Night Guard entered the Sindaleth-Underdark Passage. They discovered the remains of a zombie mining crew, the ghost of Mitch Barlow, and a Wight Necromancer named Samuel.

Alfo was able to overcome the horrifying experience.

Pateirn discovered new spells, and learned a bit about alchemy.

Val snuck around, obtained a skeleton army and nearly died.

Tam saved a group of giant spiders.

Best Line goes to Val:

(Upon nearly dying to a Wight’s grasp)
Val (singing): “Burn his fucking flesh off!”

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Holding The Wildwood Assembly
And Profit

Today, The Night Guard returned the Eye of the Sunwatchers to Sindaleth. The Wildwood Assembly decided that our Heroes should be the ones to return it to Ashewood Redoubt, to ensure it is used properly.

Val performed a most wonderful concert at the Grande Theatre, earning 3000+ Gold.

Pateirn learned the last known location, and home of the Legendary wizard Otto.

Alfo and Shadow became the Champions of The Beasts’ Call Arena.

Tam conferred with his tutor, Wildwood Assembly Member Orvin Windspeaker.

Before the session’s end, We learned 3 Important things about the world.

1. Alfo’s Mark spreads with whomever it touches.

2. Magic is fading from the Material Plane of Mythweald.

3. The Orcs are Laying siege to Sindaleth.


Best Line goes to Tam.

In reference to the Warlock/Ranger’s Companion:

Tam – “Maybe if we eat her, we’ll gain her power?”

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