Category Tel Vos

The Perils of Being ‘New in Town’

We stayed in the inn recommended by the outlaw geezers. One of their junior members came with us. He chatted with Stephan through the night and sketched out the local area. Magic is frowned upon and roving bands of ‘Diviners’ move around checking for supposedly ‘unholy’ behaviour.. He also gave us a sketch map of the area and indicated that the Master’s Temple is off to the west.
The cheeky little bastard then nicked some of our money in the night and buggered off!!
We journeyed on to the closest decent sized town and entered with no challenge from the guards. It’s the day before market day, so they’re dealing with lots of visitors. We establish ourselves at the ‘Newgate Inn’, which seems like a nice enough joint. Another merchant train arrived just before us, but we managed to secure a single loft room.
We eat a tasty dinner and supp some ale, but there doesn’t seem to be much action. I consider chatting to locals about any rumours, but Stephan is keen that we remain undercover. So we go to bed. And then the fun starts…
Alya and Magni have taken the first watch but both are unusually sleepy. Alya wakes to find that she’s been grabbed by an intruder!! Surely the door was locked, and we’d checked for secret passages and ceiling hatches!
She escapes the grapple and cries out. Vivec and Mordana are first to wake. They too find that they are being grappled by some sort of humanoid. Vivec is not happy about being grabbed uninvited and shakes off his assailant with some ease, he then leaps out of bed and roars in rage.
The seven (7!) intruders start to realise that things aren’t going their way and run for the door. Vivec grabs one and Mordana drops one with a Blight spell. Vivec punches the guy in the head a couple of times and in response he wriggles and transforms into a giant rat! The rat leaps out of Vivec’s arms and races for the chimney – Alya is now blocking the door. Vivec dives for the rat and manages to grab it again. After some more struggle, it gives up and morphs back into what is likely it’s normal form – a ratty faced, scrawny man. A wererat!
Alya and Mordana tie him up as the rest arise from their poisoned/drugged state. We’re all pretty miffed, to say the least. Vivec and Mordana head downstairs to find the innkeeper while Alya leads the interrogation/intimidation of our prisoner.
The innkeeper tells us a sorry tale of intimidation and extortion. He drugs new visitors and puts them in a attic room and the wererat gang robs them and leaves the inn intact. The prisoner doesn’t give too much away, and goes even quieter when Stephan casts Zone of Truth… The innkeeper is pushed into the zone and his story remains the same – he doesn’t know who leads the gang or where their hideout is. The ruffian is only persuaded to speak after Mordana cuts off his little finger with her silver dagger. He then agrees to lead us to their hideout.

We gag him and head out – I take the lead with Mordana, checking for watch patrols or wererat lookouts. Down the main street we spot two figures, and my innate urban knowledge guides me around behind them. I sidle up and drive my rapier through his chest. He drops in silence, his friend barely has a chance to react before Mordana fires an Eldritch blast in his face. He doesn’t drop immediately, but my superior reflexes allow me to skewer him in the blink of an eye.
Mordana and I drag the bodies down a sidestreet and dump them over a wall.

A few minutes later we’ve arrived at the hideout. Mordana casts Invisibility over the two of us and we check for more lookouts. There are two hapless saps waiting to be dropped.
Repeating our moves from earlier, I sidle up and execute my best assassinate move. My sudden appearance is the cue for Mordana to release another Eldritch blast. Again, it’s not quite powerful enough to drop the lookout, but he soon gets acquainted with the pointy end of my rapier.
There’s a hatch at the base of the wall of the hideout – this must be the entrance to the wererat hideout. Rat Catching Time….!!

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Accusation of spying

Stephan’s inner drive persuades the rest of us that we should try these tunnels again, but this time, we’ll turn left at the first junction.
Amazingly it works, and after a few hours we emerge into a different valley. Several of us notice that the grass is very neatly cropped. I estimate it to be 2 inches, Elune reckons 1 and 7/8ths.
There’s really only one way to go as the tunnel emerges near the head of a valley. As we descend, and note the lack of cover, and ponder on the neatly cropped grass, Vivec spots riders approaching. As they near we realise they are centaurs. They stop about a mile away, and then trot off. A short while later they reappear carrying lances. The approach to hailing distance and ask what we are doing in their lands.
Stephan leads the negotiation and manages not to go on about bloody Hellim for once. They agree to escort us through their lands and we start to trot down the hill.
The valley widens as the stream we follow meets another. It suddenly dawns on us that the centaurs have us surrounded and are pointing their lances in a threatening way. No one is seriously worried as their leader accuses us of being spies for some odd creatures that they claim live in the tunnels.
Stephen’s charismatic approach to negotiation, tied with some cold hard logic actually wins the day and they let us continue un-molested. As a parting shot they advise us to avoid the valley to the left.
This is like a red rag to a bull – Vivec and I fancy a little sneak up there. We dismount and leave the rest in the main valley.
This side valley is hard going – no neatly cropped grass here. It takes us an hour to get a mile through the rocks and suddenly we are halted as a boulder thumps into the ground just in front of us.
I scan the horizon and spot two giant figures above, picking up another boulder. A third figure starts to chant and the air around Vivec’s head goes a bit wavy, but he seems unaffected.
Three cyclops seems like bad odds, so we turn and rush back at TOP SPEED. Several boulders crash behind us, but having terrible depth perception makes their aim awful.
On reaching the others we all decide just to continue down the main valley.
A few hours later we come to an area with many yellow flowers, and a lot of stone statues….
Two caves entrances suggest the lair of some horrible beast.

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We hike down to the gnome encampment, attempting to project a friendly, non-threatening demeanour.
They walk out to meet us, with little bows drawn and their apparent leader approaches with what looks like a letter opener casually held in one small hand.
I attempt to make light conversation but they don’t seem to be in a chatty mood, and claim that they don’t have any food to trade. All in all they are quite stand-offish, and they don’t seem to realise quite who they are dealing with.
The shadows are lengthening, so we retreat from their miniature village and, as we are seeking a suitable camping spot, hear a faint cry on the wind. It seems to be calling ‘Mooordaaaanaaaaa’. It’s hard to tell where the call is coming from, but we veer towards the valley that it seems to come from. The cry is heard several more times and the search for a camping spot eventually finds somewhere. But not before we find the remains of  a mammoth that looks as if it was dropped from a great height. These are strange lands indeed….
We all quietly thank Leomund for his tiny hut and rest for the night. A mighty wind gets up and we consider the fate of the camels. Mordana muses on the fact that Leomund needs to work on a stable extension to his tiny hut.

The morning we must spent time gathering the camels. They have survived the night but look somewhat windswept!

We explore the various side valleys, and eventually find our way to a cave entrance which looks like it may lead us further through the mountains.

The tunnels wind through the mountain and eventually, after many turns, we find ourselves in a large cavern. To Vivec and Elune it seems to be beautiful, lit by glowing moss on the walls, there are pretty toadstools and frolicking woodland creatures. Several pale humanoids seems to be approaching in a friendly manner….

ZONK! Mordana removes the curse and barbarian and druid see the cavern the same way as the rest – a foul, ominous place. And the ‘friendly humanoids’ are zombies looking for a meal! They don’t find much to eat, and won’t be looking again.

We exit the cavern and continue. After many hours we camp out and wonder how bloody long these passages are.

The next morning, more trudging. Eventually we see light and emerge….
Into the SAME BLOODY VALLEY we left two days ago.!!!

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What’s around this corner…?

There was a miniature spear at the bottom of the illusion chest. Mordana proposes to perform an identifying ritual to discern it’s magical properties.
Knowing that this will take some time, Tel Vos decides to sneak up the corridor exiting the room. He’s heard the faint sound of tinkling bells coming from somewhere.

Just around the corner, he spies 2 Bhutts with their backs to him, standing by a cauldron. 4 other Bhutts seem to have also heard the tinkling of bells as they are animatedly exiting the room to the north.

He returns to report his findings and Alya reaches out with her mind to warn Stephan and Vivex that they may soon have company.

Stephan and Vivec shortly hear the sound of someone or something trying to open one of the doors they spiked shut…
‘Oh!’, they slowly think, ‘That means they might go back to fight the others……’
‘Maybe…. we should….errrr….unspike the doors so we can help.’
Despite being tired out by this formidable exercise in critical thinking, they still manage to make a start on un-spiking the doors.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party are making a valiant effort against the Bhutts. When the four extra Bhutts return, Alya drops a Fireball in their midst, and Elune summons 8 wolves to add to the mayhem. With two wolves per Bhutt, we take little damage and the battle is soon wrapped up.

However, when Stephan and Vivec return, they seem to look blank and gormless. More so than usual.
It’s as if some sort of curse or spell effect has hit them.

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Monastery of Evil

(A hollow voice says “Bwah Ha Haaaaa!!”)

After dispatching the frost salamander, we did some more exploration of the monastery under cover of darkness. ‘We’ being Tel Vos, Mordana and Alya. (Was Elune there as well?)
In the courtyard we noticed one building seemed magical. Upon entering we found an armoury and a couple of cells, one of which looked occupied. We figured it would be better to explore further before releasing any prisoners. A guardroom contained three wights. Some stealthy sneaking (possibly aided by Pass Without Trace) got us past and up some stairs. Some further sneaking got us to another room with a big fighter guy. Tel Vos sidled up to him and stabbed him big style!
The big fighter guy then fiddled with a ring on his finger and a genie appeared!! Lucklily, we managed to kill the fighter before he could command the genie to do anything. This guy proved to be fairly influential in The Master’s hierarchy, as evidenced by his magic ring, magic armour, magic shield and magic sword. Plus the notes on the desk.

Happening to glance out of the window, one of us noticed that we weren’t in Kansas any more!! The whole building must be some kind of portal! Kerrazeeeee!
We spent rather too long pondering on this, and the next thing we knew, the wights were upon us – yikes Level Drain!!!
Our obvious combat superiority meant that we weren’t really in danger.

Downstairs we rescued the prisoner – she was a thief who was the sole survivor of an adventuring group who had attempted to raid the Master’s Temple. She could prove to be a useful NPC if we remember that she is with us and tell her to do something!

While the monastery courtyard is quiet, we decide to explore further – the library is next on the list.
Unfortunately, no one notices the two figures hiding in the shadows and we are attacked! They look like monks, but with hideous faces. And they’re quite tough!! Mordana manages to send a message to the rest of the party that we need help, and they dash over. At top speed.
Meanwhile, we defend ourselves gamely. Vivec arrives in time to save us from death and we re-group.

Further exploration of the library reveals various scrolls which tell us some of the background to the monastery. The ugly monk dudes are called Bhuts. They killed off the original monks and this place is now an outpost of the Master, guarding the Great Pass. Erm, there might have been other info too…

Back out in the courtyard, Mordana sent Faustus out to explore the outer portions of the temple area. Key fact – there were two figures hiding in the shadows on guard.
We elect to check out the monks dormitory instead.

Tel Vos attempts to sneak into the dormitory, but the clanking behind him alerts two monks who leg it! A quick search of their room reveals a trapdoor down into some tunnels.
We explore the tunnels and find a pool. The pool is now the former home of a dead Water Weird. We then find a passage that takes us up into our own quarters! Mordana is keen to take a rest as casting spells somewhat takes it out of her.

Rest complete, we descend into the tunnels and try to make our way toward the temple. Through the gloom emerge some stairs and flickery candle light. Tel Vos creeps up the stairs and hears growling and a muffled voice. He peeps around the end of the stairs to find a bear scampering towards him, not looking very friendly!! “Retreat to fight another day,” he thinks, and runs behind Vivec.
The bear doesn’t last long, but it provides enough of a diversion to allow the priest to escape. Vivec, Mordana and Stephen charge after him, and a couple of powerful incantations from Mordana bring him down.

The party is now split. Vivec and Stephen continue to explore and find they are in the courtyard as described by Mordana, via Faustus. The guardians in the shadows fall quite quickly to Stephen’s holy attacks and Vivec’s mighty chopper. There is a prayer wheel with bells on. Annoyingly, some stupid monkey jumps on it, making it turn and the bells tinkle…
Meanwhile, Magni, Elune et al have found a room with some chests. Most have clothes in them, but Magni finds one that seems to be a portal to hell, with fiery demons flying around in the bottom. He is sure something isn’t right as he felt no heat. Some further investigation leads him to think it is an illusion. Is there something in the bottom? I can’t remember…

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