14 FEB 2021
PARTY: Zak, Joule, Naal, Chemist, Tar, Cober, Eight
As word had gotten about town of a great dark wizard named “Crommwell”, a group of adventurers had made a point to search this fellow out and see to his undoing. The morning of came for all as most other days. An unassuming where most idled about or drank and sang and spent their coin. The few that had made the pact met up in the bitter dwarf, set to make their way north outside the comforts of town, and this is where the story begins from Eight’s perspective.
We headed north from Ruined Oak, meeting up with the Earl of a local estate on the edge of the lake of songs, Earl Sitaris. He is part of a local Vampire family and has relations to others. He seems interested in having a fair and decent relationship with the AFK and should be considered a non-hostile. He is and has been in the past open to provide information on the area as well as provide adventurers with locations of interest that are worth scouting out. He has asked for aid in the past which we have provided. He has not yet been hostile toward us, but has given us the information required to deal with vampires who were both a problem for him and hostile in nature. It is a relation that should be nurtured in my opinion.
We moved further north along the road next to the briar wall, with the Earls having provided new information on our quarry. Approximately three hours walk north, some members of the party were assaulted by strange psychic utterances as snow began to fall somewhat unnaturally around us. We were unaware of anything in the vicinity but decided to check things out none-the-less. Having failed in our efforts, we thought it best to move on before we lost our objective. Somewhat further along our trek, Tar heard some screaming from the river. It happened to be dwarvish so the rest of the party wasn’t able to understand it, but it was a voice shouting for help and screaming to be let go. Naturally we took off toward the bank in order to help the potentially troubled individual.
Getting to the river, we found the scene of a tentacled monstrosity slowly dragging a dwarf against it’s will into the waters. Accompanying the Strange tentacled thing was a beholder, a specter, and some slivers. I had taken off to occupy two of the slivers as Joule went to rescue the Dwarf. Cober, Naal, and Chemist took arms against the beholder kin and a third sliver as the battlefield was set with magical snares and walls of fire. We came out victorious in the end, having saved the Dwarf in question.
The Dwarf told us his name was Durinn Khazad and that he was an archeaologist doing research in the area. He provided more detailed information about the mine as well as Crommwell’s first name, Alfred. We learned that Alfred was a prince from a the kingdom of the Sori. He had done experiments with demons and devils, having been expelled for summoning a demon named Nalfeshnee which was allowed to rampage across the kingdom. After his expulsion he had decided to continue his research, eventually leading to becoming the self named dark wizard and devolving further into his own evil intentions.
With the newfound details we were able to make a more exact approach toward the mine. Curiously, we happened upon some old familiar faces as we got near. Four pilgrims from Alfred’s old order and members of the Sori Kingdom; a wood elf named Luthienne, a half elf named Elron, a high elf named Galadrelle, and a human named Berenn. They informed us that they were still searching for Crommwell’s personal belongings and provided us some details about their kingdom. The Sori are located west of Port Mirandia in the forest of thorns. They dislike outsiders and venturing there without being invited would result in hostile retaliation regardless of circumstances. Crommwell’s father and mother are no longer the sitting royalty. The kingdom is currently searching for it’s new King and Queen. If we are interested in relations, is best to send an envoy on our behalf. Most likely these wandering pilgrims would do as sending our own would only incite retaliation and fighting as they are hostile toward outsiders.
After taking this information down, we parted ways and continued our journey toward the mines. We arrived to find a secret entrance that had some dwarven script which read : “Only those who call themselves comrade may enter the mines of Khazad.” Tar, having read the sentence out loud, triggered the secret and were greeted by a new opening into the earth itself. We had thought it best to rest before entering so Chemist created a door to his demi plane mansion and we rested there for the night. With a new day and a fresh start, we went into the mines. We shortly came upon a note that seemed to be from Crommwell himself that read as follows:
“I had a dream about when I was a prince of the Sori again. The portal experiment was going so well until the nalfeshnee’s true name was not revealed by the altar. Gahzel brought me his newest obsidian altar that is big enough to summon the great demon. As I begin collecting the sacrifices, I no longer have lingering doubts about my kingdom. My next experiment could prove much more successful…”
-Prince Alfred Crommwell the Great Mage
The self naming of ‘Great Mage’ seemed to trigger some of the party and invite the suspicion that Alfred was quite full of himself. Moving deeper into the mine we came upon a housing for beasts of burden most likely used in the mines. We also came to the official entrance into the mining shafts themselves which was a worked stone entryway with shelter for beds, provisions, and a sitting room. Moving past these, we had identified a magical trap which the mages of the party were able to deal with after some time and less than expert poking around. The self appointed ‘Great Mage’ appeared in illusory form to let us know that he had prepared a welcoming of sorts ahead in the mines and that we should be grateful for his hospitality. We took this as another trap and an obvious nod that he knew of our presence so we proceeded cautiously onward without an attempt at stealth.
In the mine shafts themselves, Joule found a second note as I had found a deep silver and sapphire vein. I took the opportunity to collect a rather sizable sapphire as Joule discerned the note which read as follows:
We have found sapphires recently. A silver ore has been found deeper in the mines. The slivers have been slain, but the orc raiders from the outside are growing in number. We are tired from fighting the slivers. We may have to abandon this mine if the orcs do not relent, but not before we finish the boulder trap to catch those orcs off guard… Travel lightly during the night, lest you get caught by orc scouts. I hope we can figure out a command word by the time you get here.
With all due respect,
Having read the note and understood it’s meaning, the party prepared to be met by Orcs as Joule approached a massive reinforced door on the far end of the mining shaft we were in. As she got near to it, the whole thing burst open as she came face to face with the orcs on the other side. There was a slight scuffle which included several control spells, counter spells, feats of daring and brazen acts of pure athleticism by both sides of the encounter, not to mention Joule briefly take the form of a kitten. The end result saw us as victors standing over the dead bodies of the Orcs as well as an Ogre that had appeared from behind us, seemingly the true trap that Crommwell had mentioned.
With the door sundered we made our way deeper still, moving what was a mining shaft into what appeared to be a cavernous expanse which appeared altogether different in form and feel. Crommwell greeted us on the opposite side of a massive obsidian alter as we came to an area that seemed to be well worked by hand and shaped to purpose. As he greeted us, he summoned to his side several different creatures of the abyss and two other mages stepped from the shadows. The fight that followed was intense and dramatic. A great deal of the weave was shattered and forever altered as the self appointed ‘Great Mage’ fell to the barbarian rage of Zak and Joule while Chemist and Cober demonstrated their own mastery of the arcane arts. As Crommwell fell, his form seemed to shift and move on its own, gathering upon the alter before coalescing into what was a great demon. The initial feeling of victory faded into the roars of this new elite demons roar. Joule roared back as she, Zak, and Cober’s skeletal army confronted the thing. The rest of us provided support in various ways as waves of hellfire splashed over the battlefield. Zak, in a state of fury inevitably felled the cursed thing and we were able to consider ourselves the victors untile a final note was found amongst the rubble. It read as follows:
“The Silmaris Stone has shattered, but it matters not. The balor has been summoned. The vessel body has almost fully grown as well. Goldy is keeping it secure. I have almost finished my business with this mine. Three questions remain.
1. Will my theory of opening enough portals to the Abyss and the Nine Hells be enough to summon something even greater?
2. How trusting will the other drow elves be of me?
3. Can adventurers manage to both slay this body and escape from this mine? One can only wonder…”
-Prince Alfred Crommwell the Great Mage
Discerning the meaning of the note, it was decided that we had not in fact ended the life of Crommwell, but a clone. Somewhat saddened but still relieved to have dashed his plans for the mine, we left the area in question through a side passage. We found ourselves arriving on the wrong side of the Briarwall and into the company of Silvers lieutenant, Coppers. Lt. Coppers exclaimed that we had just come from a route that leads to the underdark and that he was surprised to see any of us use that route. We were equally surprised to learn where we had come from since we had never intended to be there. We asked for guidance to the exit and the Lt. gladly led us to the Briar wall. Upon a secret phrase that the Lt. whispered, the wall parted and we were able to make our way unhindered back to the lake side road.
We met back up with the pilgrims and offered them the staff they had been searching for. We shared a description of the events that had unfolded and they agreed with our suspicions. They also thanked us as we parted ways and having completed what we had set out to do, we made our way back to Ruined Oak.