Menace of the Obsidian Pillar

Running Running Running away from a Hydra
Log 35

The group stated to check out the Manor finding some useful items and Ysabelle the Dagger informed them of whose room was where, and they found the second part that linked her to becoming a staff, however something seems amiss, they consider resting up when there was a loud battering outside, but counting the slams they realised what was about to come through the door and started to leg it.

And not a moment too soon as a eight headed Hydra bashed its way through the wall and started to pursue them along with a Yuan-Ti Abomination and a Ooze Mephit which quickly fell behind when Beorn and Taklinn cast Entagle to slow them down.

The group was making some headway when something appeared in front of them flying out of the mist, a Harpy which upon seeing them started to do some strafing runs trying to pin them down so the Hydra could catch up, it succeeded when Beorn called up a Wind Wall and shaped it into a dome over the group, he then went to attack the Harpy with mixed success, he managed to get it's attention only to be hit at near point blank range, after two arrows Beorn disengaged, not wanting to feel that kind pain.

The Hydra with Yuan-Ti was seconds away and the Harpy started to move by attacks, the group looked to make a stand here, was it their last as tired as they were?

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To the Manor! (Away from the Beholder!)
Log 34

Lyari step in at this point having just focused on the prospect of fighting a Beholder and strongly opposed going against it, for now anyway. They promised Chal they would return with better weapons to do the deed and headed off to the manor.

Enroute Taklinn discovered the Quann spewed white rocks which he thought looked like diamonds which he retrieved, and showed the others only to find they were even more valuable as they were not diamonds but a type of arcane crystal which gave Magic Users a boost in what they could do. The group thought they could make some money off this plane once they had dealt with the residents.

With that they approach the Manor, they slowed when they saw a Hydra walk past the Manor and towards the back of it, everyone shared glances not sure they wanted to face that.

Before they could go another step eight Orges appeared out of the Manor and charged at the them!

The fight was one sided with only Taklinn and Ragnar getting the worse hits and Taklinn losing his temper on Kalam & Dench which had guarded the rear during the attack.

With that they marched up to the doors and Dench opened them only for a Behir to breath on them making their hair stick on end. During the fight Kalam got swallowed and Grills the bear almost killed if it was not for Lyari magic.

The group recovered before exploring the Manor further…

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Welcome to the Quann, its not all fun and games
Log 33

The group brought Kalecerant around with the aid Of Taklinn (which was retrieving his casually flung axe) and decided to summon the church, to report on Heth's activities and to clean up what vile things there were lying around.

Beorn secretly took the evil dagger to sell only to find the head of Vlaadaam abroad sorting out some financial things with the money they gave her, so he went and hid it on the roof of the Church of Hextor.

With Taklinn they visited Jevicca of the Mages Guild (teaching Taklinn along the way the wonders of flying). Jevicca had found out much around the Banewarrens and found something called the Staff of Shards would be the key to sealing the prison, only thing was there were three parts, one was deep in the Banewarrens, one was in the Quann and one mystriously had been in the Rivergate district and had moved to the Church of Hextor, Boern looked a bit batish when he heard this and said he would have a look for it, Jevicca gave him a knowing look.

With the dagger in hand she purged the evil from it and found it to be pure of heart and good.

The dagger also revealed much about the Pactlords, so much so, Jevicca said the group would be rewarded if they could take out the Original Pactlords, one was dead, another had risen the deity status and the third had not been seen in some time. However the last, Charch Pann was in the Quann who was a Beholder, it didn't sound like much (until Lyari heard about this and quivered a little).

The Church of Lothian had rewarded the group with rare items the church had in its possession to say thank you in finding Heth was working behind their backs and they would be doing a purge to make sure no others were hiding their own activities.

The group were happy until they did an inventory check and found the ring of wish was missing, Mungo had it last and surprise he was also missing along with Kielder, they would have chat with them later (assuming they could find them). With that Beron had a look around and recruited Dench and Half-Orc looking for treasure and an abilty of finding traps, he was hired immediately.

The next day, the group ventured into the Quann. It was cold and marsh like on the other side, they found a structure of the Pactlords and after a brief search by Beorn they found a Tower and a Mansion.

They went to the tower first only to be greeted by a Couatl called 'Chal', who wanted to kill the Beholder, the place was magically tight, so the group decided to rest up and taken on the Beholder when they were ready…

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Heth, Interrupted
Log 32

The group make their way up the tower and interrogated the halfling finding out he was not allowed past the 2nd level for some reason. Various bedchambers were found on the first floor, however the group could hear heavy breathing on the next floor, Kalam took a peek and saw a large lizard looking at him, he felt all stiff and ducked back down. He described it to the group which Lyari recognised….Basilisk.

The group started to discuss how to bypass it upstairs without being turned into stone, eventually Lyari hit on the idea of turning someone invisible with one of their empty backpacks and stick it on its head. Kalam volunteered and snuck upstairs keeping his eyes away from where the Basilisk was and stuck the backpack on its head, and smacked a stunning fist over its head for good measure. The group moved up and led the beast into a nearby room and closed the door, wedging a piton so the door could not be easily opened.

Then they heard groaning and mumblings from the next room, finding a man bound up, after a bit of questioning the group thought something was hinky and they were proved right when it turned into a Dark Nage and fled up the stairs without anyone getting a hit in!

The next floor had two rooms which were inspected but nothing much could be seen and continued up to the top floor.

The Dark Naga, a Bugbear and Brother Heth were waiting for them, the Paladin Kalecerant was laid on a nearby table unconscious and hooked up to some sort of device.

Brother Heth spoke to the group that they should of done what was needed in the Banewarrens but no matter, he would finish them here.

The group went into battle, the Dark Naga fell quickly with the Bugbear to follow, Heth was hard to hit and was doing a lot of damage to anyone that got near him, until Beorn summoned a Grizzly bear that grabbed him and held him still for every blow the party could spare.

At last Heth fell and Kalecerant was released, a Portal was discovered and a talking evil dagger. What will the group decide next?

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A little trouble in Rivergate
Log 31

After a bit more discussion the group sought out the magic shop and searched through the things there and bought what looked useful before continuing on to see Jevicca which said Geri was very useful and gave them a magic item of their choice. Jevicca said that the Inverted Pyramid should have a lot of information in a few days time until then, could you see what the Lothians are up to, they seem to be preparing their own team to descend into the Banewarrens.

The Church of Lothian confirmed this byt in a few days time, however in the meantime they were trying to track down their lost Paladin to no avail.

The group then had some inspiration, Kalecerant had been in the Rivergate area at the beginning of their adventure could it be possible he was their held against his will?

The group entered the district and asked around get a lot of information from an Innkeeper and a lot less from a Tom Cat (Its a long story which involves a river).

They reached the church and met a Halfling lying through his teeth about why the church was not in use until Ragnar jumped on him, some thugs came out to teach the group some manners until Beorn cast Flame Strike upon them and they were ash afterwards.

Interrogating the Halfling revealed the Pactlords were operating from here and a portal to their domain was at the top of the tower. With that they made their way to the stairs….

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Held to Ransom
Log 30

The Lion continued its battle aided with Magic from Lyari which finally cast down the remaining monsters besieging them, they tended their wounds and looted the bodies noting that they were were wearing the strange Bone Rings like the last group they came across and found a note where their Paladin ally used to be. He had been taken  and if they cared about him, they would leave the Banewarrens and await further instructions.

With that the group had a discussion as to what to do next, after some time and a bit of arguing they decided to take Geri to the Inverted Pyramid and report in the the Church of Lothian.

More was revealed to them of the Bone rings when they met Jevicca of the Inverted Pyramid and the Church was concerned about their Paladin but it would take time until they could find him.

With that the group retired to the Inn and discussed what to do, Lyari decided to ask the Innkeeper what the gossip was like in the city the following morning only to find creatures of unusual types had been seen in the Rivergate district, he remembered the Paladin at the start of their adventure had been doing some investigating round there and wondered if there was something more to it.

Just then a message was dropped onto their table, a message had been delivered to leave a sack of ten thousand gold coins behind a shop that night, the look on Taklinn's face said what the group thought of that development…..

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I heard somethi....
Log 29

The group continued on down the large corridor and found another generator but this one assembled, Lyari could see it should work but was powered down for some reason.

Moving around the room they came to a door, getting paranoid, Mungo checked the door and found nothing, Ragnar step through into a small space with another door, Mungo went to check the next door and found nothing, Beorn cast Detect Magic and could sense a source at the edge of his sense. Ragnar opened the door to find a corridor and an alcove just to the left of the door.

Mungo could not see any traps and thus was surprised when Ragnar found one when he stepped into the corridor and was hit by multiple spears that were launched from the alcove, after a bit of poking and a failed attempt to disarm it Beorn flew down the corridor and (somehow) managed to open the door at the other end of it.

The stench within was truly awful and flew back after seeing some of the room, which was fortunate as a Flesh Golem bear attacked him and the group, a few rounds of frantic firing of various weapons later the flesh golem lay slumped over the pressure plates for the trap.

The group decided to backtrack for now to assess their options when they all heard a scream, Kalecerant they all thought and Beorn flew as fast as he could while Lyari grabbed what comrades he could and cast Dimension Door arriving in the room above the Sealed door before Beorn could get there.

They heard the door open and suddenly they were all stunned when their minds screamed at them. Lyari had a feeling what would cause that and almost **** himself when he saw what it was alongside the other monsters, Mind Flayer.

With all of them not in much state to fight Ragnar called upon the Dire Lion to come to their aid, and he did tearing into them with much gusto, much to the relief of Lyari, the Mind Flayer went down dead, by this time Kielder & Mungo had caught up and the Lion was taking a lot of damage, who would give way first before the stun wore off, only time would tell….

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Evil all around, but enough to slay?
Log 28

The apes ran amongst the group striking out at everyone, Kalam came to their rescue and flanked them from the rear. The group managed to kill them all but the paladin had gone down in the fight, quick thinking saved Ragnar from dying though and the group looked around wondering what to do. They stripped the apes of their weaponry and wondered why they were here, they were finished back at the Talons so where did these come from?

They decided to get Taklinn to drag the construct to them since they could not bypass the cold trap, while they waited they tried the next staircase, Ragnar spotted the pit trap and Mungo disabled it. There was a sealed door covered in runes, while it might be possible to open the door and Ragnar could sense evil behind it, it might be wise to ask the construct what the door led to.

By this time Taklinn had dragged the construct 'Gerri' to them and asked it some questions, the answer were mostly meaningless but it was plain he did not want anyone opening the sealed doors, but he would not say why. Mungo was directed by Lyari to try and disable the cold trap, while the magic effect could not be removed, the trigger could. Easy peasy he said getting out his pipe and started smoking it and stuck his pins and licks into where he thought the mechnisms were, he found them, alas due to using one hand the trap went off and he was frozen as solid as ice, various methods were used including stoves, blankets and being hugged by Ook Beorn's Orang-utan.

Just then the Green Hag appeared and attacked them, while the hag was dangerous, the groups combined mettle put her down before she became a major hazard, upon examining what she had about her person, they found a ring of wish. The group had a bit of discussion about the ring and what to do about it and decided to hold onto it for the moment in-case of emergencies.

The group rested up and made their way past the cold trap (one of the answers Gerri had provided was a means to disable the trap) Mungo has defrosted by then and vowed to use both hands when disabling traps in future.

They encountered some constructs which were the builders of the Banewarrens but were unresponsive to any communication, beyond the door they were next to they found a large room with two glass cylinders from floor to ceiling filled with water and large Octopi which stared at them but did nothing, a valve of some sort was in the middle of the room, Mungo was tempted to open it to see if in had some to do with the cylinders but the group gave him stern looks and refrained from using it, for now at least.

Mungo however had spotted and secret door and made his way through it with the others and found themselves on the other side of the wall of force, part of the wall was made from a different rock but did not seem passible and then realised Gerri had told them about a Plug which prevented access to go further into the Banewarrens.

The group retreated and explored the last staircase, Ragnar jumped back onto Mungo as he trigger a boulder trap which slammed down and then rolled to a nearby pit and crashed down into it, the echos were heard about minute after, no-one was keen to go down the pit, but a large corridor was revealed next to it, long and dark, the group moved onward….

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There and back again
Log 27

The group decided to cast some spells upon the key to stop anything that might try scrying for it and track them by doing so, they felt better when the spell was cast and had a discussion about what to do with the key, it was still too early to go to the Mage's Guild and they did not fancy taking a walk to the temple district so after about an hour they descended once more into the Bane warrens, their new Monk however was missing and there were new tracks leading down into the tunnel.

While this was a little disturbing it was only a single set, but Kielder thought he could hear someone or something following, they were quite far behind but were noticeable, the group debated to stop in one place to see if anyone showed themselves but after some time it was clear whoever it was did not want show themselves…..yet.

Walking to the main door they saw Kalecerant and the monk Kalam guarding the door, it was clear who's tracks it was now, they told the group the Blue troll had attacked them but it disappeared before they could kill it, just then the Blue Troll appeared again looked around and vanished. The group were not happy, this thing would be a problem later.

With that they opened the door with the key and stepped inside.

It was old inside, the dust of ages was present, they proceeded up some stairs and found themselves in a room with three flights of stairs and a corridor to choose.

Mungo opted for the left staircase option and made their way up, a trap that was stuck closed was found next to two doors, the larger of which was opened and a metal turntable of some sort was in the room with a series of levers, after some experimenting (a painful experince for some) they decided to return later and tried the other door.

Through the door they found a dead end and a force wall, it made no sense why a force wall would be here unless it was hiding something, Ragnar said he could sense evil coming from the right while Detect Magic from Beorn showed something to the left. Since there was nothing they could find, they backtracked to the room with multiple routes.

Mungo opted for the corridor this time and proceeded along it and saw a flight of stairs at the end and which point he fell over and passed out, Taklinn saw Mungo collapse and dragged him out quickly, there was a cold trap just before the stairs that covered a wide area.

Taklinn cured Mungo and then opted to check out what was ahead carefully with Endure Elements cast upon himself.

He scouted around finding a Spectre which ran as soon as Taklinn raised his holy symbol and discover a construct not hostile, but moaning about it duties, Taklinn helped him carefully and said he would return with help.

Meanwhile the group while waiting for Taklinn to return, started hearing something metallic being struck back from the Door, taking positions and thinking it could be bad they setup an ambush.

They were glad they had, the door opened and six large haired apes with metal crossbows came up slowly the stairs to them.

Lyari whispered 'Kha'dhan' the beings they had met previously, what were they doing here they wondered, with that the ambush was sprung with Lyari throwing a Fireball at them.

The apes were shocked but not surprised and charged the group, wounded as they were they still looked ready for a fight….

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Deal with the Devil
Log 26

The Blue Troll failed to appear again and the group completed their search leaving one of the warded doors closed for now and used Legend Lore next to the big door.

'Wishes can pass this door for a time but a Key of Vladaam will unseal it for good'

Kalecerant had made it down there to guard the door and told the party when they were wondering what this Vladaam was, that Vladaam was a noble house of the city with questionable motives, while it had ties with numerous evil temples it was also well connected.

The party thanked him and made their way to the surface and went to have a chat with Jevicca of the Mage's Guild.

Jevicca revealed the history of the Banewarrens after learning of their exploits, she also details the bone rings they possessed were of a plane called the Quaan which was very hard to get to, she did not know what the rings did however other than whatever power they had would activate on that plane.

Vladdaam she knew a lot about, the family had dealings in questionable stuff, the Head of house was abroad looking for something called a Hungersword, the current representative was the daughter Navanna. If they wanted the key they could try two options.

1. Steal the key, she knew of someone that could help if they tried this.

or

2. Buy or negotiate for the key.

The group shopped around afterwards and discussed what to do at the Griffon. With Ragnar being present it was very unlikely they would try and steal the key so they would try the front door route.

The following day, the party called upon the noble house of Vladaam and were welcomed in, the household were very friendly although Ragnar was getting twitchy, everything he looked at was evil and he could not do a thing about it as it would violate his code of conduct. The host Navanna knew this and flirted with the Paladin, Ragnar thought she was cute until he realised she was a Tiefling!

There was some discussion and after a time Navanna agreed to sell the key for two thousand gold. The party looked at each other wondering if was worth it then made up their minds, they would buy the key when she offered that they could negotiate with sly smile.

With key in hand they politely gave their thanks and quickly departed lest the Paladin give way to killing at will, certainly on their way out she saw a number of Lycanthropes on the grounds and escorting them to the gate made him shiver, he kept to his Code and walked out with everyone.

They headed back to the Griffon, holding the key close and examining it should any kind of spell that could indicate they were being followed was present, there were none they could see but they did not feel safe all the same….

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