Chapter 35

After defeating the Demon doorway, the party ventured into the deepest level of the Dragons’ Lair in the swamps of the Abyssal Waste. Reaching Barkhad’s Lair, they were confronted by a swarm of demon-flies that called itself Legion. The demon-swarm blocked the path to the body of Shakhath and surged forward to consume the party.

Blinded and deafened within the swarm, the group struggled to free themselves from the biting flies. Carrion wounded many flies, and set some on fire, while Bronagh projected spiritual guardians to protect them and Dasterbolt also set some ablaze. But the cloud of flies fell upon Dasterbolt and brought him to the stone floor, and killed him.

Using the strength granted to her from the Stone Giant Armor, Bronagh picked up Dasterbolt’s body and fled the room, yelling to Carrion to get out of there. Bronagh and Carrion managed to defeat the last swarms of flies, using everything at their disposal. They found an alcove, and Bronagh began to prepare a ritual spell to bring Dasterbolt back to life.

The spectral form of Shakhath, freed from his entrapment beneath the demon Legion, met up with them and participated in the ritual, along with Carrion and Bronagh. The Resurrection was a success, and Dasterbolt’s soul returned to his body.

Shakhath told the group of his belief, along with the information given to him by Kelemvor, God of Death. He had found a shrine defaced with the symbol of the Nameless God, and the words “O Death, you have lost your hold”, and believed that the Nameless God was not entirely destroyed and was somehow returning.

He blessed the party and they looted some items from Barkhad’s hoard, before an army of Kobolds arrived led by Eadoo. The Kobold had played the dragons against each other, and the party was in the middle, slaying dragon-loyal Kobolds and clearing out traps and demons. The party began to fly over, creating distractions with summoned Worgs, when a dragon returned to the lair: Barkhad the Gorger himself, injured but still alive and furious at his betrayal.

In the chaos, Shakhath levitated the party and flung them and himself down the passage away from the battle. They flew to the Kenku in the Abyssal Waste before Shakhath left them for the Howling Spire to meet with Faelivir.

The party made a deal with the Kenku, to group them with Lohikaarme the Stone Giant, and send them to the Mountains where Dasterbolt would eventually build them a stone nest-fortress. For now, they had the protection of Lohikaarme and the Stone Giant had guides through the bewildering surface world.

The party returned to Thesselmar and gathered their various animals, having freed the first Guardian and sent him to Faelivir, and escaped themselves from the burning mists and fetid swamps of the Abyssal Waste.

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.


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