Cauldron

To Redgorge

The group accepted Maavu’s invitation to travel to Redgorge to discuss the recent events in Cauldron. They avoided the Lizardfolk “invaders” and met with The Chisel organisation in a secret room in Redgorge.

During the meeting The Chisel revealed that Alek had disappeared and they were worried about his whereabouts. The Chisel had originally sponsored his challenge of the Cauldron Town Guard Captain. But now with rumours that the Cauldron guard, boosted by half orc mercenaries, were considering a strike on Redgorge they thought that a retraction of the challenge by Alek was the right course of action. Without Alek there could be no retraction and the Cauldron mercenaries were more likely to attack. Once they had dispatched with the Lizardfolk.

The group discovered an old map in an antique shop frequented by Alek which held a potential clue as to his location. They started to follow the map but at an old cave some miles from Redgorge they discovered an injured traveller from another plane who pleaded with them to travel through a portal to his land and rescue his people from the evil magic user who had travelled there to create and test the ultimate weapon with which to enslave Cauldron.

The group discovered a wand in the cave marked with the symbol of Torm and the Cauldron city emblem. Alek had obviously come this way but had he travelled through the portal or continued to follow the map..?

Through the portal the party discovered a world of ice and snow. A fort contained the burned remains of several guards and inhabitants which when the party arrived were being looted by a tribe of Orcs.

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Crazy Zenith

After returning Zenith to his “father” the party again met with the Striders’ leader Meerthan who requested that they return to Triel’s headquarters to close the portal opened by the Cagewrights and rescue his men.

They battled past the undead and demonic forces who actually seemed to be fighting amongst themselves. At the portal they found Shensen, the only surviving member of the Striders and closed the portal.

Returning to Cauldron they rested for only a few hours before alarm bells in the night woke them. It seemed that someone had summoned some fire elemental creatures and set them on the local hostel where the new mercenary half orc town guard were staying.

Having defeated the elementals they rested up before setting out to speak with Maavu in the nearby town of Redgorge only to find a Lizardfolk armay at the gates. Zenith and the envoy had apparently not returned to the Shrine…

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Crazy Jared

The party left the Cusp of Sunrise having accepted the quest from Davked to find his son in the Underdark.

Their only clue was a mad hermit called Crazy Jared. As they approached the hermit’s hut he was attacked by a rogue dragon. The party beat the dragon and obtained directions to a fissure into the underdark. After fighting past several creatures they discovered the old temple of the lizard folk

The temple of Bhal Hamatugn held a tribe of lizardfolk who were initially very aggressive, but through careful negotiation the party made their way through the complex, and met with Zenith. Rather than being a captive, Zenith had actually been elevated to near god status by the lizardfolk, perhaps because of his visions and prophecies. The party narrowly avoided a fight, persuading the barking mad Zenith to accompany them to Cauldron on a “state visit”. In Cauldron Zenith did appear to be greeted as a long lost son by Davked, but Odd had her suspicions.

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Oh well, scratch chapter eight: The return of Triel !

After the bloody battle of the previous day the party spent an evening relaxing in the Cusp of Sunrise (except Gordian who was on edge the whole time, preferring the more down to earth establishments near the docks). Whilst at the Cusp the party were made an offer by a wizened old dwarf, Davked. He explained that because of his poor behaviour as a father his wife, on her death bed, had cursed him. He was to wither away unless he could reconcile with his three sons and bring the family back together. He already has made amends to two of his sons, but the third, Zenith, has been missing for the last couple of years after taking fifty of his best warriors to tame the Underdark. Davked has used powerful divinations, purchased at great cost to determine that Zenith actually still lives, far to the North of Cauldron but has been captured by a band of Lizardfolk Zealots and is being held in an Underdark shrine called Bhal Hamatugn. The party agreed to help Davked by finding his son and returning him to Cauldron.

As they left the Cusp the party heard a scuffle going on in the town Gaol. They happened upon Jil and a group of Last Laugh lackeys and Cultists trying to spring Triel from prison. After a frantic battle Triel was captured, but Jil escaped across the roof tops. Deja vue…

With the exploits of Dawain’s adventurers, the Stormblades, having collapsed entry to the Underdark in the Malachite Hold the party had to find another entrance to the Underdark. They left Cauldron on the two day ride North to try to find a hermit known as Crazy Jared who Davked’s scouts had discovered. Jared apparently knew of secret entrances to the Underdark that would enable the party to find the lizardfolk Shrine.

The party are currently on the road having dispatched a band of Ogres who had stumbled upon them as the Ogres travelled the wilderness. Yog has returned and confirmed that Jared is a very nice man as measured by the amount of milk he has.

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Landshark

The party rested in Cauldron for a few weeks after their recent exertions. They were able to take advantage of their new found fame after the mayor highlighted their success at the flood festival. Several people have recognised them in the street, and at least one young noble has bought them a round of drinks. But over the last week they have had the impression that someone, or “ones” has/have been following them.

Then a week ago the city experienced a very minor earth tremor, which has replaced the players as the latest gossip in town. No one was injured, but it was unprecedented in anyones memories, and there are several elves and dwarves who have been in Cauldron for some time.

The source of the tremor was discovered when the characters were approached in the street by an old acquaintance, Sir Dawain, who they last met in Loudwater. The party ignored his jibes. Even Gordian was unusually restrained despite being tripped up by Sir Dawain. It was discovered that Dawain and his adventuring friends, The Stormblades, had been down into the Malachite hold, discovered one of the tunnelling automatons and used it to collapse the tunnels to the Underdark “to protect Cauldron”. This happened at the exact time of the earth tremor some days ago !

The party have spent the rest of their days wandering Cauldron, learning more of the city and the evenings frequenting the various taverns, or in Liandra’s case reading books and studying her tomes of Arcana.

Soon after Dawain and The Stormblades left the party there was another rumbling and a section of the street collapsed. A Landshark tunneled up through the cobbles and started destroying the buildings around them. Lakesia, Balthazar’s new found “friend”, was trapped under the rubble but balthazar dashed to her rescue whilst the others attacked the monster. It seemed bent on property damage and only responded to the party when seriously provoked.

After killing the Landshark the party received three invitations, and are apparently becoming quite the celebrities.

The first was an approach from two Elves introduced as Fario and Fellion. They asked if the party would meet their mentor and Master: Meerthan Eliothlorn. The group did meet him in The Drowning Morkoth Inn. He asked if they would be prepared to join a loose knit organisation called The Striders of Fharlanghn. Cauldron recently came to the attention of the Striders after the series of kidnappings. However their investigations have revealed deeper machinations. There is talk of an evil organisation called the Cagewrights being present in Cauldron, and much more active than would be expected. The cagewrights have recruited several members of The Last Laugh (the secret thieves guild) to support them in whatever plans they are hatching. The Striders and Meertan do not know anything of these plans other than the Cagewrights specialise in summonings and contacting other planes. Meerthan did offer to help the party financially if ever they needed it.

The second invite was to the Mayor’s residence, where they were presented with an award for saving the city from the Landshark and the mayor offered to commission a magic item for each party member.

Finally the party were approached by a beautiful woman just as they were about to retire for the evening. She introduced herself as Celeste, and asked the group to join her the following evening for a “business dinner” at The Cusp of Sunrise, an establishment on Obsidian Avenue.

The next day Balthazar purchased some fine garments to impress Celeste with, whilst Odd rumaged in the bargain bin for a two gold piece frock. Outside the Cusp the party look up at the large domed building, then approach the front door….

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How many tentacles?

The group pocketed the wands of control water and took a short rest after the battle with the cultists in the caves adjoining Triel’s hideout. As they readied themselves to leave they spotted more of the Fell Taint, tentacled abominations. And then they spotted more of them, and even more. Balthazar stood in a narrow tunnel between two larger caves and tried to hold off the beasts as Odd and Liandra searched for an exit to the cavern. Balthazar injured some of the monsters but was being overwhelmed when a loud crashing in the back of the cave was followed by “Have I missed the party?” and Gordian emerged from the dust of a collapsed wall followed shortly by a gnome he had met in Cauldron. The party managed to escape the tunnels onto the beach, with Liandra musing as to the origins of so many creatures from another dimension. Ancient texts she had read suggested that the Fell Taints came through where the walls between planes was especially weak. Perhaps bad news for the future. On the beach the group took stock, and decided to push on to attack the final cultist. Skaven was in a huge workshop, surrounded by some partially constructed metal cages and several prisoners. He was defeated and the final wands recovered, but not before Balthazar was polymorphed into a rabbit. The group returned the wands to Cauldron, and turned Triel into the authorities. The mayor was most impressed and invited the group to join him for the Flood Festival pageant. The group are becoming quite the celebrities in Cauldron, with several people now recognising them on the streets as the group that caught Triel and recovered the wands. And during the festival a young girl, Lakesia, took quite a fancy to Balthazar even going so far as to help clean the Church of Torm on his suggestion…

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More nudity

Several of the party stayed back in Cauldron looking for further clues as to the nature of the threat to Cauldron from the Slavers, The Last Laugh and most recently from Triel.

The remaining members of the party approached the cave, but were ambushed by a shapeshifting member of The Last Laugh who appeared the spitting image of Balthazar, and warned them off further investigation before being dispatched by the group.

They found the cave easily and entered to find an underground complex built on an underground lake of hot springs, and accessed by a cable car type contraption. Deciding to use a stealthy approach they probed the defences, encountering several traps before capturing some guards and learning more of the layout of the place.

This information enabled them to burst in on Triel, unarmed in her bath. Ever the gentleman Balthazar remained outside whilst Odd crept up to hold a knife to Triel’s throat. Once Triel was robed Balthazar entered and the group searched the room for the wands. They only found four of the twelve wands. Realising the other two cultists with Triel must have the other eight wands the party set off again.

They discovered one of the cultists in some caves covered in drawings of tentacles. The cultist had been trying to summon some Fell beasts from another plane and had done so but failed to control them. After a fight with both the cultists and the tentacle beasts from elsewhere the party dropped Skaven in true Benny fashion. After a chase through the cavern complex Liandra killed him with her taste of his own magic – a tentacle flicked from her hand to destroy Skaven as he ducked through a door way. They discovered another four wands. Only one cultist leader and four wands remain….

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The Lucky Monkey Inn

Or not so lucky for some. The party battled the remaining bandits who were not so drunk as the first bunch.

Tongueater went down after a short time, but several of the other bandits were more hardy and picked on the strongest member of the party, Gordian. They actually knocked him out before being forced to flee to the forest. But Benny was there to chase after them and he caught up with Nathille, enabling Od to kill her and the rest of the party to capture the last two bandits. The bandits surrendered and promised to live a life devoted to Torm from now on. We will see…

Back in Cauldron the city was setting up for the flood festival. Garlands were going up and stalls were setting up in the streets. But the wands of control water were nowhere to be seen. The party spent several days and many gold pieces asking around the pubs and Inns of Cauldron to find any lead they could before they were approached by a shady character called Artus Shemwick who claimed to have sources who knew of a cave complex to the north of the city where Triel had her hideout. The party set off immediately to investigate.

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The Drunken Monkey Inn

Or to give it its proper name, The Lucky Monkey Tavern.

The party raced to the tavern to try to rescue Sarcem Delahsarn and recover the Wands of control water to prevent the flooding of Cauldron in the coming rains.

Yog ran ahead through the night, and the PCs were forewarned that the siege was over and it looked like the bandits had over run the Tavern. The outside had a few broken windows and blood splattered on the ground. Round the back of the inn the players discovered a pile of bodies, looking like the remains of the residents and staff from the Inn.

Balthazar went mad, racing into the inn and slaying the first bandit he met. He followed his initial attack by knocking unconscious several other bandits. The party easily subdued the drunken rabble that was the bandits and managed to confirm their fears that Triel was behind the attack, but that she had left with the wands the night before when the battle was won. She left her lieutenant Tongueater in charge to mop up any further resistance.

All that is left for the characters is to find Sarcem….or his body.

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Malachite Fortress and Kazmojen's Bazaar

The party descended some 200 feet into the underground fortress. After killing several hobgoblin guards they reviewed their strategy and captured two guards, forcing the hobgoblins to lead them into the bazaar.

The party passed several other guards and at least a couple of ogres on their way. In the bazaar they interrupted Kazmojen negotiating with a disgusting pale skinned dwarven figure in a mouldy cloak for one of the child slaves. They intervened and purchased four children from the “dwarf” and then began negotiating for the remaining child. But before they could complete the transaction a giant Beholder appeared and took the child away. He gave little explanation other than “the child should never have been taken, I will see him safely back to the orphanage”. He was true to his word. On returning to the surface the party did indeed find the child was safe in the orphanage.

Kazmojen and Pyllrak

The party returned to the surface and Jenya arranged for them to meet with the mayor who was most appreciative of their endeavours. Odd, the rogue, canny as ever asked about a reward which amounted to the tidy sum of 800 gold.

After a nights rest the party started out toward the Drunken Monkey Inn, a days ride away…

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