Menace of the Obsidian Pillar

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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Go Bananas for Bats!
Log 25

Just before the group set out an unlikely pair turned up, A Monk from the East and a Gorilla with a  large bat on its back. The group was even more surprised when the Bat started speaking to them.

The Bat was a druid by the name of Beorn and the Monk Kalam, which did not know each other despite arriving at the same time, they both were looking for adventure, upon hearing that the group were heading down to a place called the Banewarrens, that sounded that sounded good, so they joined up.

Back down in the Banewarrens the group decided to check out the door nearby that was open, finding a Wraith and a crystal which gave them more trouble than it was worth which Ragnar sorted out and shut the door afterwards with a stern look not to open it again.

The group then proceeded to the next chamber finding a massive empty cauldron and two vermin wights which did not last long against the group's might.

The group continued on to find a corridor lined with doors and then they were ambushed by a blue Troll!

They attacked in force doing what they thought was a large amount of damage but it seemed unconcerned and vanished before their eyes with sharp bang.

Warily they gazed around, wondering where it went….

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Hop, Skip, Jump.....Die
Log 24

The group saw a door with weird runes on it, Lyari cast his eye over it and could see it was warded but could not tell for what purpose, Ragnar indicated he could sense four sources of evil on the other side, with that Mungo tried and tried again to pick the lock which seemed so simple yet could not and decided to leave the door alone for another day and the group proceeded on finding a big pit with chains dangling down into it.

Lyari's owl however had been sitting sentry over the hall with the big door and linked with his master that he could not see anything, but could hear a group approaching. Lyari commanded his owl to relocate in oder to better see what it was. The owl saw a group of humanoid monsters; a few Goblins, two Lamias and a Minotaur, and the goblins started shooting the owl with their bows as soon as they saw it, the group burst onto the balcony while Mungo and Lyari took a detour to gain a flanking maneuver.

Everyone was about to let fly when one of the Lamias threw a bottled Whirlwind into their midst, the owl was battered to the ground where it lay un-moving Taklinn was pressed against the wall and Ragnar was picked up and thrown around hitting anything solid.

Grok jumped from the balcony and took up his fighting stance which promptly failed when the Minotaur almost cleaved Grok's head off, Grok was down and in a bad way.

With concentrated arrow fire from Lyari, Mungo & Kielder they managed to take out the remaining Goblins and one of the Lamias. Ragnar managed to find solid ground just in time to see Taklinn heal the owl and then got a Lamia's Suggestion to hit Kielder which he did much to Kielder & Taklinn's surprise.

Ragnar & Kielder took out the last Lamia while everyone else with the aid of a Paladin which had emerged from another room, the Minotaur.

The group raced to Grok's side but found he was dead.

The paladin introduced himself as Kalecerant, the paladin they were to find!

Picking up their dead, they returned to the city and Grok rose again by the will of the Clerics, in the period of his death, Grok had seen the light of his calling and thanked the group and wished them well on there adventures and set off to find his monk order.

Meanwhile the group had been introduced to the elders of the Lothian church which paid them and bade them to find out more of what was below and one of them gave a scroll of Legend Lore to cast next to the door to see if there was some other way of bypassing the big door.

After resting for a bit, toasting to the memory of their departed comrade and a bit of shopping, they gathered themselves to go down to the Banewarrens again, to explore further and to use the scroll.

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Deep, Down, Underground
Log 23

The hole in the wall led to a tunnel which went up and down, left and right. Taklinn however noticed despite the tunnel path, they were slowing going down.

After about a couple of hours they came across a branch in the tunnels, there was a tunnel going to the left, after a little disscussion which way to go, they decided to investigate before taking the main tunnel, lest anything might sneak up on them if they ignored this tunnel.

Turning the bend they found themselves in a small cave system, recently dug out it would seem. Grok bold as brass strutted into the cave finding the pit trap the hard way. After the echos subsiding Taklinn jumped after him with a rope, the group thought Taklinn was crazy until they saw he floated down at the speed of a feather. At the bottom, Taklinn handed over the rope and Grok started the long climb up at which point sounds of combat were heard above.

The cave system it turned out had been made by an Umberhulk and it attacked them! The sight of it made Ragnar very twitchy and plunged his sword into Lyari's back!

Everyone was getting stuck in with Kielder taking the brunt of the attacks until Taklinn cast Entangle  and the group slowly started to disengage from it so that it could not attack anyone. Not that Ragnar cared, all he wanted was to carve out it's weird eyes, so fixated upon this course of action that he forgot the pit was in-between him and his quarry. The group thought the paladin was crazy when he charged face first into the pit.

Slowly but surely they pelted it with ranged weaponry before it finally fell and Ragnar came back to his senses.

Exploring further into the cave revealed a few dangerous areas of falling rocks and an Ochre Jelly which was fun to deal with until it ate Taklinn's Warhammer.

The group found some valuables and went back to the main tunnel.

After another half hour of walking, the group found the entrance to the prison, except they found a sack with clues that the prison was actually called the Banewarrens and the Umberhelk was not a random creature but one paid to dig the tunnel for someone else, who it was they could not tell, the place was magical but seeped in evil.

A half made sphere inside drew their attention, alongside a very impressive door with a few bodies of Goblins around it, proceeding on into the warrens, Taklinn met a Golem which burst around when it swung at Taklinn, which then exploded after Lyari prodded it, the Banewarrens looked interesting but what was further in, they continued on….

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Two Offers of Employment
Log 22

The group decided to hand in the Drow to the authorities with a stern warning as to what would happen if they touch him, which the authorities think it would do no harm much amusement to those standing nearby.

With the Drow sorted out, the group retired to the Griffon and settled down enjoying some refreshment when a regal looking woman appeared and introduced herself as a representative of the secret mage guild in the city. She knew where the Drow came from and wanted to employ them since they had tried to stop the Drow and his curse. She wanted to learn on how the magical prison he came from was opened and how to shut it permanently to which she offered a substantial reward to all of them.

The group thanked her and were thinking it over when a little while later, a man in priest robes walked in and praised the group for their deeds and told them about a Paladin of their God had gone missing and was connected somehow to there recent deeds and offered them free services and a reward for finding their Paladin alive (preferably).

The group considered both choices which one to take before it was pointed out that both did not conflict as far as they could see and accepted both offers, dispatching Mungo & Kielder to deliver the messages while the group split up and asked around trying to get some infomation.

They discovered the last place the Paladin had been sighted, the Drow had been detected from a Manor house in the old quarter, Ragnar did not like the temple of Heironious was at one end of the street and the temple of Hextor the other in the temple district, ditto for Cuthbert & Obad Hai which shared an altar (part-time) and Taklinn found a magical tattoo shop in which he made some purchases of just to look cool and mean.

The group decided to rest up at the Inn before checking out the manor and gaining lawful entry to the manor house. There were subtle signs that they were being watched before whoever was watching disappeared and could not be found.

Searching the manor revealed a big hole in the wall of the wine cellar and proceeded inside to see where it went…

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Welcome to Ptolus (We have shops a plenty!)
Log 21

In the few days until their departure, the various party members went off to do their own thing to pass the time. In this time Wilbury was in deep thought about the future and what to do about it, she realized she was not keen to go on this Airship and maybe her music could be used elsewhere, so with a heavy heart she wrote a note to the rest of the group and snuck away.

The group found the note and went looking for her but there was no sign.

On the last day before boarding the airship Marcus had an announcement to make, his name was actually Mungo and he had been in hiding from a gang, he wanted to be sure that he could trust the group and that no one had tried laying hands on him from the gang.

With that he changed how he dressed and how he presented himself, when this was welcome news to everyone, they still kept an eye on their coins purses, just in case.

With that they boarded the airship, Kielder was a bit of a sticking point not wanting to board something that flew but was quickly sorted out by a levitate spell from Lyari and a lasso from Grok.

The trip was fast but uneventful, the dread of falling out of the sky never happened and by the end of the week they saw in the distance a huge pillar of black rock reaching into the clouds ahead of them and they they saw the city in it's shadow, Ptolus.

They landed on the merchants guild and wasted no time to sell off their valuable assets, weird technology and various bit of junk they had acquired in their adventures. They got a good price and set to work buying new gear which was not exactly what they wanted but they searched and bought some useful items.

After their spending spree they decided to locate a good Inn, the Griffon had been recommended to them so they went on their way, then they heard the screams.

A Half Orc was on fire, Kielder quick as a flash whipped out a blanket and leapt upon him to smother the flames in which he was successful, The Half Orc had no idea what happened, one moment he was on his way to buy some food, next he was on fire. He thanked the group and continued on his way. Then more screams from the next street were heard.

A stall vendor was rising into the air and was almost at roof level, Grok and his trusty Lasso roped her back to the ground, she had no idea why she started floating. Lyari sensing something afoot checked the next street.

His hunch was right, a Drow radiating cursed magic was walking down the street, the group surrounded him and subdued him and found what Lyari had seen when Kielder touched him. Light sprung forth from every orifice he had, mouth nose, ears….even his arse glowed.

With that they started asking questions finding out he was from a cell in a manor house, why he was being held and what to do with him they debated among themselves….

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