The Mandate of the Ravenqueen

Session 5 - Bar Fight!

After regaining their breath, the party noticed that they were drawing a lot of attention, probably because of their purple garb in a town where the servants of Death are probably not welcome. After unsuccessfully avoiding pursuit for a few blocks, everyone felt firm hands grasp their shoulders and hoods pulled over their heads. The party felt themselves thrown on a cart and were carried for fifteen minutes before arriving at their destination and have their bonds removed. Their captor introduced himself as Lanir, a priest of Bahomet, along with his friars, Rasq Ironmaw and Skeith Karthanos, two dragonborn paladins of the God of Justice. Lanir continues to explain that they were “kidnapped” for their own protection, for detection in their current attire could mean death at the hands of the goblins, who all serve Orcus in this city. Everyone is provided with silvery-gray cloaks which cover their current garb and are issued an invitation to stay the the temple whenever they should have such a need. (Lokiren is also introduced as a fellow priest of Bahomet and joins the party along with Skeith)

After this harrowing adventure, the party promptly sought out the nearest bar.

The bartender, a shifty-eyed eladrin clad in black robes talks to Lokiren for a bit in the language of their people, and convinces him to play along in a prank, and give the rest of the party enchanted ale. Because dragonborn and dwarves can never stand down to the challenge of a drinking contest, and because Rathis’ ego is a bit big for a human, everyone besides Lokiren promply swallows a few mugs of the dark brew, which refills within the original mugs it was poured in.

After a minute or so, everyone who had been drinking began to see mist at the corners of their vision, which eventually formed into the spectral visages of four men. Four men who promptly attacked the party.

After the fight, which ended surprisingsly well for the party, the eladrin introduced himself to the party, and offered them a job disposing of a few of the human king’s advisers because they passed his “test.” After some debate and deliberation (aka, Lokiren and Rathis said yes, and Erar and Skeit followed along) the party agreed to take the job and stumbled back to Bahomet’s temple for an extended rest.

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Session 4 - The 'Effing Door Bit Me Again!

After their extended rest, the party took the map of caves from the wall of the tower and headed north, toward the location marked the “Eye of the Kingdom.” (“31D” on the map) After walking for awhile, they reached the base of a long stair which took them to a large oaken door after a few flights. After a quick debate they decided to use Thunderwave to force it open, which startled the guards outside.

They were set upon by the guards at the top of the tower, as well as their trained hawks, and they barely managed to fend them off. After a rest they headed back down to the fork in the path (“31B”) only to discover a warded door which damaged any who touched it. After some searching, the party realized that they had forgotten to loot the bodies at the tower for a key, and after a long trek back and back again, they returned with a shiny key which opened the door. They also found a Handy Haversack and some gold. Erar used his new found endless bag to take 40-or-so everlasting torches from the cave walls.

More travel happened, and the party eventually came upon a plaza which had an open ceiling, and was walled by building cut into the stone of the mountain. An elf and a human emerged, and informed the party that their Raven Queen garb was likely to get them killed in the goblin controlled territory. After ignoring this advice, the party tried to sneak past the goblin fortress itself (“31I” on the map), but were managed to get spotted and take a few arrow wounds before they escaped the fortress. On his way out the gate, Adolannan had the presence of mind to cut the chain which held it open, and bought the party valuable time.

The sessions closed with everyone gazing in awe at a gigantic city which they never even knew existed before…

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Session 3 - The Ogre

The party ventured forth from Stonehold using their magic Star-compass, and arrived at the edge of the mountains around early evening. Erar found an indent in a rock that the star fit into, and the mechanism opened a doorway leading into the blackness.

After about fifteen minutes of walking through a dark tunnel, the passage widened out into a vast caver, cut in half by a giant wooden gate. A massive ogre stood chained by both hands to the gate, and a few goblins were seen patrolling around the top of the gate, and in the watchtowers on either side. Rathis managed to sneak into the right-hand watchtower and assassinate two goblins, before alerting the rest of the party to begin attacking.

The ensuing fight was chaos. At least eight "1"s were rolled by the party, and for the first half of the fight, only one or two hits were scored by either side. After a few near death experiences, everyone managed to clean up the goblins and the ogre, and ended the session with an extended rest in the guart tower.

  • Each party member now has 200gp each worth of gold and jewels
  • Everyone is LVL 2 with 2,100xp (total)

The party also found a map to the tunnels:
(They were currently at “31E”)
Tunnels

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Session 2 - Investigation

The party was led up the stairs of Stonehold Tower, and their savior turned to face them. She appeared to be a middle aged woman who had been elected leader of the rag-tag band of refugees who had made the tower their home. She inquired about the travelers and then gave a detailed explanation of how the zombie outbreak started.

About three weeks ago, goblins had launched a raid on the city, as they do every other month or so, but instead of the normal band of roving soldiers, a shaman in crimson robes had been spotted with the group. As the goblins were driven off, he shouted at the defenders, raised his staff, and appeared to cast a spell in their direction. Every man who had been wounded in the fight was branded on the neck with the symbol of Orcus, Prince of Undeath

Wand of orcus

Within a few days, all of those who had been marked were dead. At the funeral for the fallen soldiers, the dead rose out of their freshly dug graves and either killed or wounded most of the mourners. People fled the city as the infection spread, and most of the civilians either escaped, or are now infected. A few bands still survive in safe houses throughout the city.

When the woman finished her story, she grew silent and pale, this whole disaster had taken a lot out of her. A man stepped out of the shadows and introduced himself to the party as the woman took a seat against the wall.

Rathis Slendor is a rogue who has lived in Stonehold his entire life. He told the party what he knew about the disaster, and asked to join them, as his family had been killed in the past week and he had nothing tying him to the area anymore.

After receiving directions to a safe house near the town gate, the party set out. Adolannan took to the roof tops, everyone began running through the streets as zombies started showing up in increasing numbers behind them. Erar and Feanari managed to use the debris littering the road as a barrier of projectiles to keep the undead back while Rathis guided them to the safe house. They found a handful of survivors huddled in a wooden building next to the north wall, and since they had a few days provisions on them, the party decided to leave them behind and keep investigating.

The roof of the building led directly to the city wall; Everyone scaled down and shut the gate which /somebody/ left open when they first arrived at Stonehold. Their investigation led to the graveyard, which showed the freshly disturbed graves of the men who were first inspected. After finding nothing of interest, the party rode towards the mountains to the west.

They rode for two and a half hours, and did not make much progress towards the ring of dark, stony peaks.

About this time, the sky darkened, and lighting started to strike the town, and more often, Stonehold Tower. The party rode back to figure out what had happened, approaching by the south wall so that they could reach the tower as fast as possible. With Rathis being the only skilled party in the group, he was elected to scale the 20 foot wall around the city. He began his climb…

And fell.
And tried again.
And fell.
Laughter erupted from the party.

This continued for a while, and after eight tries, he managed to reach the top of the wall. Both his body and his pride had been wounded, and Rathis took a long moment to flip the party off before he lowered a rope and let them into the city.

They encountered more zombies in the marketplace outside the tower, and after killing a few of them, saw the goblin shaman emerge from the tower and urge his undead minions on to victory. After a few rounds of combat, lightning struck repeatedly over the courtyard, vaporizing the zombies, and narrowly missing the party. The shaman disappeared in the commotion, but his cackling laughter could be heard emanating from the top of the tower. The party began in hot pursuit, and in their rush back up the tower, they saw the slain bodies of the refugees who had saved their lives the previous night, covered in what seemed to be burn wounds from a magical energy.

Once on the roof, everyone observed the shaman conducting some sort of summoning ritual. They promptly rushed into combat, and Feanari managed to magically knock the shaman unconscious before the summoning could be completed. The demon-looking monstrosity which had been forming in the circle crashed to the ground, and the gel-like remains began slithering the party.

Throughout the insuing fight, Andolannan tripped the gel monster, Rathis told it to kiss his ass, and Feanari was taken down.

All the monsters were killed except the shaman, who the group captured for questioning. The only answer they were able to get out of him was that he served Orcus, and could not reverse the undeath curse he had cast. Rathis promptly stabbed him repeatedly in the face. Feanari retrieved an iron star pendant from the goblin’s neck, which appeared to be a way to locate the goblin fortress. On the way down the tower, the party discovered the town armory, and received new weapons.

  • Erar got a Symbol of Life +1 (PHB1 p.237) The three-pronged symbol of a raven’s claw seems to radiate a small amount of warmth when held.
  • Rathis got a Vicious Weapon +1 (short sword, PHB1 p. 236) This weapon has been warded against undeath and seeks actively do destroy it. It will magically propel itself further into the target if you hit true wit it.
  • Feanari got an Orb of Inevitable Continuance (PHB1 p. 238) It glows with a purple light, and images of flying ravens can be seen inside of it.
  • Adolannan got a Flameburst Weapon +1 (PHB1 p. 234) This long spear had a raven’s head at the base of the tip, and the eye of the raven has a burning flame within it.
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Session 1 - Setting out

The party began their quest in Ravenkeep, a training enclave for warrior of the Raven Queen. They traveled to the main sanctuary after receiving a summons from the mysterious high priest, a half-orc cleric with high glasses named Rashnar, and were presented with their quest: They were to investigate and if seen, destroy a possible zombie threat in the nearby town of Stonehold.

The party rode for the better part of a day before making camp, and that night during most of the watch both Erar and Feanari heard the sounds of predatory animals in the underbrush. During the next day, the party came across a man who had been crushed beneath his own cart, and two wolf carcasses. As they investigated further, the wolves rose up from their death and attacked. At one point they took Adolannan down, but Erar and Feanari were able to keep him from dying and kill off the wolves. They gleaned further reports of undead monsters from Stonehold and continued on their way after sending the man back to Ravenkeep with one of their horses.

Arriving at Stonehold the following day, they found the gate partially open and unguarded, a rare sight for the most well guarded town in the Raven Queen’s kingdom. They wandered the streets heading for the main tower, which hopefully held the towns leading cleric, and the answers they were seeking.

The party wanders into a market after going up and down a few streets, and in the center is a small, shaking figure of a boy. Upon further inspection he is around 11 years old, and has multiple bite marks on his right arm. On seeing his wounds, Adolannan quickly interjects, “Let’s bash his head in.” The voice of (un)reason won out however, and the party decided to carry the boy with them to the tower. They barely made it half a block before Adolannan felt a stabbing pain in his neck, the boy on his back had turned undead faster than any of them could have expected.

Now feeling a much greater sense of urgency, everyone sprinted for the tower, climbed up on top of a nearby building and used an elaborate strategy of teleporting rope to each building in succession until everyone was on the last roof before they reached the tower. They made it past the few zombies milling around in front of the tower, and after a series of loud knocks on the door and shouts inside the tower, the door opened, and the heroes were led up the tower to safety.

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