Chapter 34
The Scary Door

The party entered the next layer of castles beneath the swamp, still searching for Shakhath. They encountered Kobold squads that were highly zealous in their defense of Barkhad’s lair. During their decimation of the Kobolds, they were able to convince one to be their guide in exchange for his life: Gernerk. The Kobold led them through the castle (past a Swamptopus and lots of mould) to a room where Illfang and another Kobold squad were. The party easily defeated Illfang and the others, leaving yet another Kobold left alive: Jearda.

Bronagh used her crystal ball to scry upon Shakhath and found what looked like his corpse lying next to other bodies. There were numerous cuts that were old along his pallid flesh, and a droning humming sound filled her senses.

The Kobolds told the group about the door they would need to pass through to reach Barkhad’s Lair proper. It was a door that only allowed people with permission to pass, and could hurt your mind. The party tried to investigate with Carrion’s raven but the raven’s life was snuffed out by a floating ghost hand projected by the door.

When confronting the door, Dasterbolt told a joke while dancing and Carrion told a joke while just standing there. Then Bronagh was asked to spit upon the Holy Symbol of Mielikki. Bronagh refused, and the door assaulted Carrion’s mind. Vines erupted around the party, but Bronagh banished the demon to the Hells from whence it came.

They were now ready to head to the lowest level of the Castles in the Swamp.

Chapter 33
Kleptes the Necromancer

The Party defeated more skeletons and zombies and explored further the Level below Danuka’s surface Castle. They found Kleptes and defeated the Necromancer and his minions, barely saving the life of Morgan Blath.

The Party then sought to reach the next lower level, and parted ways from Morgan and Tessel. They convinced the Kobold guards to let them past their vigilance and the Felhydra Spawn that they kept with them, and the Party went deeper within the Castles in the Swamp.

Chapter 32
Castle in the Swamp

The Black Dragon, Danuka, explained her problem: namely, her father Barkhad, the Gorger. Their choice was between journeying beneath the layers of castles in the swamp to act as a distraction and clear out opposition to her new reign, or being killed by her right then and there. The party chose to live, and acquired some provisions from the Kobolds before moving deeper into the castle, to the layer below.

There they encountered dozens of undead, and found two Blood hunters, Morgan and Tessel Blath. The Blood Hunters were tracking a Necromancer named Kleptes, who was a Red Dragonborn within the Castle. After fighting their way through several rooms and corridors they opened a door into a larger chamber filled with more Undead and prepared for battle once more.

Chapter 31
Best Laid Plans

After defeating the demon that was posing as Quorlinn, the Kenku’s lost God, the party convinced some of the Kenku to lead them to the Fortress ruins where there were said to be two dragons. After some conflicts with Kobolds, sinkholes, and the burning mists themselves, the party reached the outskirts of the ruined Fortress moat.

There were a great many patrols and guards, including Kobolds riding on the back of giant draconic serpents. The party scouted and planned a lot for their entry into the fortress. After their extensive planning, the group did something completely different, but managed to cross the bridge that spanned the moat nevertheless.

Once inside, the party encountered a large black female dragon who spoke to them in a deep voice that rumbled in their bones: “We need to talk.”

Chapter 30
The Cult of Quorlinn

After a harrowing battle with the Treant, Bronagh revived Carrion from death. Dasterbolt and Bronagh searched the fallen shop and found several potions and items, including the Hag’s journal. Her journal told of a Dragonborn Necromancer connected with some commander of armies and the old fortress. There were also a few entries about Kenku and mentioned them searching for items and wishing to assault the castle (the Hag calling them pitiful fools). Bronagh found the Hag’s corpse in the swampwater and took a crystal ball from her body.

The next morning, the party heard sounds coming from the fallen Treant. Inside, several Kenku were looting and searching for items. When confronted the Kenku were ready to fight the party. After some discussion, the Kenku were persuaded to take Bronagh and Dasterbolt to their gathering-place, the place their lost god, Quorlinn was said to be. Carrion followed silently and unnoticed by the Kenku escort.

The group entered an area where the dark twisted trees of the Abyssal Waste grew closer together and formed a woodland atmosphere. Within were many other Kenku, hidden among the trees. Other Kenku lined the pathway, feather-plucked bodies of devotees to their God.

They reached a clearing, where the image of Quorlinn loomed, a tall Kenku-like creation of metal, rock, and scrap, adorned with bits of flotsam and feathers. Beneath was a Kenku wielding a staff, who seemed to be a leader of sorts. The staff-wielder wished to see what Quorlinn thought of Bronagh and Dasterbolt. After some conversation and aggravation, a voice spoke to all present and a battle began. The statue moved and fought, with spells and magic. A few Kenku were convinced to fight with them against this new furious God-statue. When the image of Quorlinn was dismantled by the party, a new shape arose from the debris. A demon struck at Carrion but the party destroyed it as well.

Chapter 29
A Nice Place to get Nice Things

Dasterbolt and Bronagh set off once more within the Abyssal Waste to follow the signs they had found, now with a new companion, Carrion. Carrion slept outside of Dasterbolt’s magical shelter, and the three of them were awakened by the screeching of the Nightscreamers in the dark swamp mists. The ghostly figures emerged from the mist and attempted to slay the party, but were turned back by Bronagh’s divine might. Dasterbolt turned one blue, and another into flaming rags, while Bronagh guided them with bolts into oblivion. Carrion ran around a lot.

The three of them rested together for the remainder of the night within the shelter of Leomund’s tiny hut, and after a few more signposts, they traveled to the location of Malark’s Information and Inflammation, a large, dark tree with the faint glow of firelight within.

Inside, they found a man, Tom Malark, who tried to sell them potions from his shelves, and offered them tea. Carrion gulped his tea down in one draught, wishing to impress the other two. Dasterbolt gave over his Helm of Telepathy in exchange for knowledge about the symbol on his shoulder, and Malark told him that the symbol was a letter or word in Qualith, the language of the Illithids, or at least in that style. After some more exchanges and tea refusal, Carrion dropped to the floor in torpor from the tea he had consumed. Bronagh immediately brought Carrion back to his feet, and the three of them confronted Malark and dispelled his disguise. Beneath was a green hag, a warty gnarled woman that promptly went invisible and tried to escape. Stopped momentarily by Carrion’s blind raven, the hag fled outside the tree and as Carrion followed the tree slammed its branch into his back. The tree also had a false appearance, and was in fact a treant that proceeded to battle the party while the hag attempted escape. She made it into the water and began to swim away before being run through by Carrion’s blade.

Two trees nearby were called into awakening by the treant before Bronagh calmed them with her connection to Mielikki, Goddess of Life and Nature.

The party turned back to face their towering foe, which had once been the hag’s potion shop.

Chapter 28

Bronagh and Dasterbolt continued to follow the signs, and they came to a much disturbed area with the sign: “Malark’s Information and Inflammation has moved, sorry for the inconvenience! 16 miles this way!”

As they continued to follow the direction, they encountered a looming stone giant, stuck in the mud of the swamp, bellowing. After speaking to the giant in Dwarvish, the being revealed that he was lost in the dream of the surface, and his sister was far more lost in the nightmare. She had lost all sense and had gone mad with hunger and insanity. He wished them to put her down, so that he could leave this place.
They found the giant’s twisted sister, Misstreika, and slew her after trying to find some way to cure her of her affliction. They brought the news to the giant, Lohikaarme, and he asked for their aid in leading him out of the Abyssal Waste. They did so, and the giant granted them gifts.

While returning through the mists of the Abyssal Waste, they heard a voice call out their names behind them. A half-elf male spoke to them and tried to explain his situation. He claimed to be himself, and said that he was no one. He said that one of his guises had been Grandelf the Stray, and that he had taken Reaver to give to people whose interests were its secrecy. He had been hired to kill Bronagh and Dasterbolt but was unwilling to follow through, as he saw their mission as important.

The wandering troll appeared and the group swiftly dealt with it before heading back into the swamps of the Abyssal Waste.

Chapter 27
The Burning Mists

Dasterbolt and Bronagh were visited before they went to sleep by Liam, an old friend of Bronagh’s, who was worried about her. They talked for a while that evening. Despite Liam’s prodding about some things to do in Thesselmar, Bronagh and Dasterbolt wished to go to the Abyssal Waste as soon as possible so as to complete their journey. They crossed a river with Water Walk and then encountered the Burning Mists of the Abyssal Waste in full bloom. The animals took the worst of it, Dastiff falling unconscious in the acidic fog and Bronagh’s horse’s skin burning. They decided to send the animals back out to Thesselmar in the morning, convincing Dasterwolf to accompany them though she wished to stay with Dasterbolt.

They flew as well, in the lessened mist of the next day, and saw several disturbing creatures in the mucky ground. Soon they found a sign attached to a gnarled tree, that said “Supplies, this way”. Following a few of these, they encountered some giant rats and a monstrous beast was attracted to their smell. Dasterbolt changed the monster into a slug and cast it into the Ethereal Plane. The two continued their journey through the horrid landscape of the Abyssal Waste.

Chapter 26
A Thief in the Night

Dasterbolt and Grandelf served their jailtime in Solenar. They were both interrogated by the High Inquisitor, and were asked if they knew the name Stormhawk, which none of them did. Dasterbolt mentioned dire events were coming to the world and that disorder was threatened.

Gathering supplies and purchasing two horses, the party left Solenar for the Abyssal Waste. They traveled by road, covering a large amount of ground quickly. They arrived on the outskirts of Thesselmar.

The next morning, Bronagh and Dasterbolt awoke to find Grandelf gone. After a brief investigation, they also found Reaver gone from the Bag of Holding. Shocked and infuriated, the two raced into Thesselmar and riled up the guards to search for someone with a magical sword. They tried to find Grandelf, but were unsuccessful. They were successful in frightening an old man.

After a day of searching the city, they rode off back to their original campsite beside the road, deciding the quest must go on.

Chapter 25
Journeys and Jailtime

Dasterbolt and Bronagh learned from Faelivir of the Guardians that she wished them to seek. The white wolf explained that though the Gods had left Euontel’s Material Plane they had left behind some remnants of their power, whether intentionally or not. One such remnant was herself, as she revealed her ancestry to date back to the War against the Nameless God, in which Mielikki marched with a pack of wolves by her side. The Two Guardians she wished Dasterbolt and Bronagh to find were Shakhath and Mesonyr Watcher of Waters.

The one in the Abyssal Wastes, was Shakath, a human with incredible gifts and access to magic, seeking after a rumour about a knife of death, a dagger that was said to be Kelemvor’s soul-cutter.

The other, Mesonyr, Watcher of Waters had taken up residence in the Endless Sea, guarding an ancient creature, the Last Physeterian, within a place where many currents converge, the Sporanzo Sea.

Faelivir also spoke of Caladhris, the Pale Woman of Savras’ prophecy, and said that this Elven Sorceress often cropped up in tales but only during certain periods of history. The most recent she knew of was a tale said to have taken place 1000 years ago, in which Caladhris stole the mind of the Head Archivist of the Dragonborn, Orlaskan. She also mentioned that Caladhris was said to have stolen the cloak of the Raven Queen herself, which Faelivir doubted.

Bronagh told Ramas and Erdan about Shammah’s death, and they were thankful for her letting them know what had happened.

They left the Isle of Tapuravale together, riding on the back of Faelivir. They reached the Howling Spire with great speed, and upon entering found the Couatl was not there. Instead, written in what seemed to be the creature’s purplish blood was the symbol of the Nameless God, and the message in Sylvan: “A New World is Coming”.

Leaving this disturbing scene, Bronagh and Dasterbolt received a charm from Faelivir to aid them on their journeys ahead, for she said they were dangerous places to go. Bronagh and Dasterbolt met up with Dasterwolf (Nashoba), and attempted to hunt for her. They felt Shammah’s absence then in their fumbling attempts to hunt caribou but eventually managed to get some meat for the worg pup.

The duo and their Worg stray traveled West to Moskva and found the village being repaired and rebuilt from the raids of the Orcs. Natasha informed them that the next ship was scheduled to arrive in about a month. Bronagh sent a message to Bosco and Bell, to meet them there and take them to Solenar if they were willing.

After a few days in Moskva (Dasterbolt hunting Caribou with the Wand of Wonder), the Osborn Gale arrived. Bosco was very upset when Bronagh told him what had happened to Shammah, as he had been training with his quarterstaff, and taking lessons with Bell in how to fight and defend themselves. The voyage to Solenar was uneventful, other than the growing bond between Gnome and Worg.

Dasterbolt and Bronagh stayed at the Toad and Stool, and did various shopping (Dastiff the second, and a pseudodragon were acquired) and researching trips. Dasterbolt met with Meilen and gave her the flowers he had picked in the north tundra. They did some winks and Dasterbolt told her he’d meet again with her in a couple nights.

Dasterbolt and Bronagh, then met up with Grandelf the Stray, an elderly Elven woman who was traveling around. She recognized the Heroes of Nost and wished to travel with them, because she was adventuring about to see the world before she passed on.

Dasterbolt was excited, but Bronagh was not exactly keen on the idea, not wishing to endanger an old woman’s life on the mission they were currently undertaking.

Bronagh eventually went to bed, after it was revealed that a disguise self spell was cast on Grandelf to make herself appear slightly younger than her features were beneath.
Dasterbolt convinced Grandelf to go on a little caper, that ended rather poorly. Dasterbolt successfully distracted the guards, but Grandelf failed to be subtle while placing the “Kick me” sign on the guards’ back.

While being escorted to a night in prison for disrespecting the guards, Dasterbolt and Grandelf made their magical escapes. Returning to a very disappointed Bronagh, the two turned themselves in at the prison in the Bronze Plaza.


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