|Nalkris, Spring Eladrin Servant of the Raven Queen and his raven familiar, Avarace||Nuemu, Githyanki Bloodhunter and his friend, Jardeis the wyrmling||Horace, Half-elf Draconic Sorcerer Cleric of Tempest||Cavendish, Aquatic Half-elf Cavalier Hexblade||Balthier, the Shadar-Kai Arcane Trickster||Tennfoll’at, paranoid Hobgoblin Hexblade Abjuration Wizard and Coco, the owl familiar||Murdrum, Half-elf Clockword Soul Sorcerer Hexblade and Tiny Servant, his construct familiar|
Objective: Going to the Briarwall and deal with former slavemasters causing trouble
Went north, then to the lake, used magic on a stone slab, painting a symbol; First we tried in ink to see if we could avoid spilling blood, but as that didn’t work, we did it in blood from Nuermu’s palm to open up a staircase to tunnels
As we ventured through the dark labyrinth-like tunnels, Tenfoll’at informed the party that these tunnels was home to a group of Cloakers, but an agreement had been reached with them, where they would let adventures pass peacefully if we gave them some rations, and true to that, we did encounter Cloakers, that did indeed just want some rations before letting us pass without incident
Once through the tunnels and past the cloakers, it was late afternoon when we emerged in the jungle-like Briarwall Forrest, and we made camp after just a short whiles travel to the east
During the first night, we was woken up by the paranoid Tenfoll’at, due to a drow patrol nearby, but they passed us by without any incident and we went back to sleep.
Then in the early hours, an old ugly woman, later identified as a hag, came out of the forrest towards us, accompanied by several ghostly apparitions, later identified as wraiths, coming straight towards the dome of our magically conjured tiny hut, I suppose a magic user like a hag had no issue realizing what the hut was
While they was dangerous scary foes, we defeated them easily by strong team-work, through it did injure several of our party quite significantly, so they needed to bandage their wounds during the rest of our rest
A while into the 2nd day, we encountered a group of elves, led by Lieutenant Penny, who claimed she was sent to meet any adventures who would respond to their request for aid and guide them to Silver Town, which she did, taking us to the north.
There we was taken first to get Amulets of Ranking Taxonomy (ARTs), where I got a rank 2, several others seemed insulted at their inferior ranks given, and Balthier was downright disrespectful of this aspect of the cultural norms of our hosts, indicating the Shadar-Kai was superior to the drow and that the drow should acknowledge this, something Penny warned him against repeating around town, as some would be less open to someone saying that than she was, not that she seemed to agree, she could just control her emotions and not let him enrage her
After this we was taken to see Elena Coppers, who was acting leaderof the Silver Town in the absence of Silverson, as he was acting as ambassador to the adventures on the island
“As Silverson might have mentioned, we are trying to progress from our previous way of employing slaves, after the fall of Silversons older sister, goldilockheart, problem is, a few of the former slavemasters have been unhappy about that change, and a few days ago, some of them decided to abduct former slaves, and fleed to the southwest until we lost track of them, and would like your help go and free these slaves who were kidnapped”
“If you go to the southeastern edge of the Briarwall Forrest, there is a hidden cave around there somewhere, which is rumoured to have been used by slavemasters before, I advice you to search the southeastern area, here, I’ll circle it on a map for you!”
“Lieutenant Penny and a few of the drow can go with you, and they can provide general directions on where to go, and also, if you should find the slaves, they will help escort them back to silver town, through they might not be at much help during a fight, as they not as experienced as I hope you are, as representatives of the adventures from Ruined Oak”Instructions from Elena Coppers
I asked her about the Ayins, but she hadn’t heard about them, possible they are beings thats not part of the Briarwall.
Escorted by Lieutenant Penny and a bunch of other drow, we ventured southeast, having to pass through a brambled torned part, and as we was unaccustomed to the forrest, it took our athletic and acrobatic skills to get past unharmed, which didnt work too well for Horace and Tenfoll’at, some magic on the thorns even seemed to slightly age Horace, what horrifying foilage this forrest has.
Eventually we made camp, unable to reach the location of the tunnels/caves before sunset
During the night, we saw a skeletal figure on a skeletal horse come riding, initially seeming to just pass us, until he noticed the drow accompanying us, who was not hidden inside a magical tiny hut like us, so we hurried out to cut him off and draw his attention, in case he was hostile.
Fortunately the figure was not hostile, asking if we was in league with gnolls, and when finding out we wasn’t, informed us he had no business with us then
Turned out he was a Revenant, who long ago forgot his name, and now just told us to call him the Skeleton Knight, who was seeking gnolls to the west whom had wronged him, and we offered to give him assistance, through as the gnolls most likely lived outside the Briarwall Forrest, we had to condition the help to be given at a later time.
The Skeleton Knight informed us that if we did indeed want to help him, we could find the vampire Sitaris, whom he knew, and said would be able to facilitate contact with him, the Skeleton Knight, if we desired to help him get his revenge and end his foul unnatural undeath existance.
While saying Sitaris would be the one to go to to make contact with him, he also warned us about trusting the vampire too much, and gave a general warning about the island
“Always beware of the powers that lurk within the depths of this island, they are always watching us”-Skeleton Knight
We told Penny about the nightly encounter, before continuing our travels to the southeast.
We spotted a panther that was eating the corpse of a poor goblin, we let it be.
Later we found tracks of huumanoids, determining it was left by the drows, so we followed them further south, until they lead underground into some caverns or tunnels, which might been the ones mentioned by Elena Coppers back at Silver Town.
We left Penny and the other drow outside to receive the freed captives, should we encounter any, while we went inside.
First part of the cave was full of green crystal spikes and with magic making her able to detect magic, Tenfoll’at informed us a large rock seemed magical in nature, and also spotted a inscribed eye on the wall that seemed to watch out for intruders, most likely to spring a trap on them, making us able to avoid being detected by it.
Then we found a pressure plate that was part of some trap, and while walking around it, the wall collapsed behind us, as two young remorhaz emerged from the wall, leading to combat
After dispatching these two young monstrosities, we ventured into the tunnel their digging left behind, finding four bound hobgoblins tied up with a trap above them. We disarmed the trap and questioned them slightly, before releasing them and telling them which way to go to meet the drow outside,. They did confirm to us that the drow slavers was deeper inside these tunnels, so deeper we went.
This lead us to an area covered in magically enhanced spider-webs and deep cavern drops, dug by remorhaz over the ages, until we on a central platform found the drow slavemaster, along with a drider, two drow minions, an adult remorhaz and an otherworldly hired servant, a Swordswoman of Torture, a type of creature from another plane that hired out their services of formiddable warriors to those who pay them well.
Seeing Elves amongst our numbers, their leader, the slavemaster known as Arara, offered us to join her and boastfuly informed us they had been using the remorhaz to dig tunnels under the Briarwall to reach the outside, where they planned to kidnap members from the new settlements, meaning out people, to turn into new slaves for them, which was unacceptable, and we calmly informed her we was here to end her miserable existance; She did not take that well, and pushed her minions towards us and combat ensured.
The battle was intense, the Remorhaz and Swordswoman of Torture engaged us, forming the frontline of the enemies, while the slavemaster, an arcane guard drow, the drider and her last drow underling, kept their distance, using spells and ranged attacks from bows to attack us, fortunately we was able to counter many of their spells, through one of them did use a wand to cast web upon Cavendish, restrained him and almost enabling them to pelt him down from a distance, until I used my Eladrin ability to gift him my fey step and get him out of the web.
First we got the Remorhaz down, then almost immediately the Swordswoman of Torture. Before the frontline was down, however, the slavemaster, who had introduced herself as Arara, had turned herself invisible, to try and escape the consequences of her actions, but fortunately Jardeis and Tiny Servant was able to detect her in other ways and soon after the drow arcane guard also died, so did Arara, and taking out the last drow and drider was then easy, through we did take substantial injuries on the way, Nuemu, who was very bravely putting himself at the front constantly, was even unconscious briefly, making me worried he might have fallen, but he was soon up on his feet again, swinging his axe skillfully.
After that, we freed the dozen slaves they had tied up behind them, consisting of 2 of each tieflings, hobgoblins, dragonborn, goblins, bugbears and half-orcs, those of the lower tiers in the Drow Taxonomy Rankings, probarly a connection between those two things.
We assisted them out, after taking our plunder from the battles, rested up, I gave all the rescues slaves some food.
Humanoids was spotted near our camp, and upon interview, they let it be known they was monks from a monastery who had come inside the Briarwall by exploring a tunnel that had suddenly appeared in a hill near their monastery and was now just seeking shelter for the night. Agreement was made to speak more in the morning
In the early morning, we spoke more with the female monk leader of the group, whose name was Kirumi
She told us again the tale of how they had just noticed a tunnel suddenly appear in a hill near her monastery, the Monastery of the Rushing Stream, and had gone into it to see where it lead, and it had lead them all the way inside the Briarwall Forrest.
As this might been a tunnel made by Arara, or other drow still favoring slavery, we talked to Lieutenant Penny, who agreed to take the freed captives back to Silver Town for us, so we could travel out with Kirumi to her monastery and see precisely where this tunnel was and if there was signs of it being made by the slavers.
The tunnels was indeed of an apperance making them seem to have been dug by Remorhaz, meaning we should keep vigilant that slavers dont suddenly use these to kidnap innnocent people or adventures from the island to hold indefinitely for the own personal gain.
We was then, once outside, offered to stay the night at the Monastery of the Rushing Stream, for the modest price of a single gold coin each
The stay was quite pleasant, and we was even given special custom made jelly beans with various tastes (mine tastes of seaweed, others go cow liver taste or even fruity tasting ones!) from a monk named Doeumi
Day 5 + Night 5 + Day 6
We travelled straight for Ruined Oak along the road, the Monastery of the Rushing Stream being at the southeastern edge of Briarwall Forrest, and spent all day travelling
Only thing of note on the way, was encountering none other the Empire Earl Sitaris, whom had been mentioned by the Skeleton Knight, who was casually sitting at the side of the road, scooping blood from a slain goblinoid up into a drinking glass and drinking it, raising his glass to us as we approached in a friendly manner, as if that was not a disturbing thing to do.
We talked to him about the Skeleton Knight, whom Sitaris recalled once had told him that his name was Eribor, and that while Sitaris found Eribor’s type unnerving, he would help facilitate contact to him, if we indeed desired to help Eribor one day
He then also asked a lot of questions about a boy/man from Ruined Oak named Alex, who he for various reasons, mostly that Alex supposedly represented a formerly very loyal vampire spawn minion of Sitaris, believed would make an excellent vampire spawn for him who might be equally loyal to the one he represented from Sitaris’ past.
The others had questions about becoming a vampire spawn, how much free will one would have and such, seemingly genuinely interested in becoming vampire spawn themselves, making me feel uncomfortable and highly doubt their rational thinking powers, undead creatures extending their lives beyond natural lives should be eliminated, not something to mimic.
The real question one might asked, through it would have been rude, is if we could help destroy Eribor by making him get his revenge, how would we end the existance of a creature such as Sitaris in peaceful manner!
We split ways with the vampire earl after talking and travelled the last bit, camping a bit more on the way, before getting back to Ruined Oak, having succeeded in our objective.