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The Iron Circle
Out of the Frying Pan, into the Fire
After negotiating a truce with Golgon Steamshanks, the party must traverse the Elemental Plane of Fire, in order to get back from the fortress. They pass through two sequential wormholes before being deposited somewhere southwest of Coyote's Refuge. It doesn't take them long to realize they aren't where they hoped to be.

After a quick assessment of where they are, they move in the direction of the trade road and see a caravan moving past. They double time it towards the road and approach the caravan. The guards take them for marauders or madmen and take defensive positions. After a few words are exchanged, the caravan guards decide it's best to attack and ask questions later. Uncharacteristically, the heroes do not return fire and are able to gain the caravan guards trust. So they meet Reniss, a cranky old Ranger, Vaegould a valiant warrior and Durud, a combat healer. But all is not as it seems. Zevron gets the impression that these guards may be overstepping the trust placed in them by Gerroll.

After the caravan arrived in the Refuge, the party went to the Dancing Lizard and reestablished themselves in town. They got to see the eponymous Lizard and Terris Halfjaw. Zevron met with Taleen Quirrelle. Vladyn and Enna noticed the people of the town didn't look well and after some investigation realized that the entirety of Coyote's Refuge seems to be suffering from a drug exposure and addiction problem. In trying to "understand" the symptoms, Vladyn made the poor choice of trying the drug and became hooked.

While this was going on, Drag'Os went out to locate a guide to take them back into Vor Rukoth. He attempted to visit Nocmas Ashwalker but then decided to find Eravor the Sly. When he found him, Drag'Os was perturbed and set Eravor's tent on fire. But it turned out Eravor was in Dunlor's tent waiting for him. As the fire grew, Dunlor returned and was not pleased. But after a heated discussions with Drag'Os, they came to terms. It looked like they might even be willing to help each other.

Dunlor explained that he and Shileena had made several excursions into Vor Rukoth and there were 3 main routes. Zevron heard from Taleen that the White Lantern Consortium had uncovered evidence of a powerful suit of armor located in the Ruby Court. Eravor verified the rumor. Now the party must decide, whether to go straight to the forges and confront Snurre as agreed with Golgon, or whether to take a side trek to acquire the armor. And if so, which of the 3 routes will they take?
Session: Game Session 1901: Return to Vor Rukoth - Friday, Nov 16 2018 from 9:30 PM to 12:30 AM
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A throng of villagers huddled in the raw wind, faces cracked with weary smiles. A blister had formed on Blair’s thumb and she rubbed it, counting the number of arrows shot today. More than any other day in her memory – some kill shots but even more missing the mark.

“Have you seen my sister?”

Blair started, looked down at the grimy face. Was this child speaking to her? Blair was under the impression they had located all of the survivors.

The small voice again: “My sister Bertrada is not here.”

The cleric surveyed the bleak snowswept village. Hadn’t the party done enough? Couldn’t these villagers find their own missing? Surely it was now time for a fire and some mead. A sick feeling billowed up from Blair’s stomach. She had seen numerous remains in the outbuildings, flesh consumed by the lizard creatures, leaving only bones and blood-caked hair. Bertrada was surely one of them.

Oh for Gwydion’s sake, now the child was taking Blair’s hand, the one with the blister.

“Holy woman, will you look for her?”

Since when was Gwydion the god of lost children? But an unexpected maternal tug traveled up her arm. If this kid had someone else to ask, she probably would have.

“I’ll look,” she replied, “but–" The child had certainly lived through horrors these past weeks, Blair decided to let her believe for another moment that her sister was anywhere but in the belly of a lizard invader.

Releasing the tiny child's hand, Blair pulled on her hood and set off across the village square, past the thatched meeting hall, to the stables along the boundary wall. No movement but the swirl of snow. The fierce wind threatened to pull off her hood and she pulled it tighter. The only sounds were the distant murmurs of the villagers, the crunch of boots on snow, and …. a whimper?

She approached the swine shed. Manure and rot assaulted her nostrils. Several pig skulls littered the perimeter. In the doorway, two crows picked at a collection of human bones. “Psst!” She flicked silver sparks at the scavengers, and after one or two more stubborn pulls on the sinew, they reluctantly departed.

Blair knelt near the corpse. Small, yes. But male or female she could not tell. “Bertrada?” she whispered to the empty eye sockets.

“Over here.”

The cleric touched the doorway, infusing it with light. The warm glow illuminated two terrified eyes peering from the filth. Blair stepped into the frozen muck toward the child. “They’re gone, Bertrada. I’ve come for you.”
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Deadly Quests
42nd Session Summary
8th of Ches

The group decides to camp for the night just below the summit of the Thekel Gap. To mitigate the extreme cold, Church paints a marvelous bonfire to keep the party warm while the mounts rest inside a protective shell summoned by Xzar. During the night, the sound of wolves howling in the night proceeds an attack by a wolf spirit swarm. Wyatt calls upon Osiris and the creature is frozen in place while the others prepare their attack. The group then quickly dispatches the creature.

9th of Ches

The final dose is administered to Wyatt and Sevrin as the group travels down the eastern side of the Thekel gap. As the group stops for lunch an imp appears from Yaphyll with an important message; however, Jarna's sword senses the imp's presence and forces her to attack. She slices the imp in half before it has time to deliver its message.

10th of Ches
Wyatt and Sevrin begin their day of deep sleep. The group arrives at Citadel Rashemar and are welcomed inside. It is during this time when they are being watched over by Sevrin and Pickle that Sevrin attacks Wyatt, smothering him with a blanket while Pickle is distracted by Church's nuts. Sevrin calls out that Wyatt has stopped breathing and Church springs in to action, attempting to cast revivify with some of his uncut diamonds. He is successful and Wyatt's breathing is restored in his sleep. Everyone assumes that it was the dream creature that attacked Wyatt. They decide that it would be best to stay at the citadel until Wyatt and Sevrin are awoken so that they can be looked after on a continuous basis. The group enjoys an evening's meal at the citadel and are provided rooms for the night.

11th of Ches
The group awakens and takes turns eating breakfast while they watch over their friends. Jarna is challenged to a wrestling competition by one of the Rashemen warriors whom she quickly realizes has enhanced strength due to a large girdle around his waist. She enlists the help of her friends in her attempt to steal the item. Xzar and Sevrin are left behind to watch over Xaehyd and Wyatt. During the course of their attempt, Nix is turned in to a frog, Church is knocked unconscious and doused in oil and the attempt to steal the girdle is lost. Meanwhile, sensing his opportunity, Sevrin backstabs Xzar in the room. Severely wounded, Xzar says "Sevrin is that you?" To which he does not get a response and proceeds to retaliate unleashing four rays of fire. Sevrin attacks twice, slicing Xzar across his chest and ribs as Xzar falls to the ground, bleeding out. At that exact moment, Roslyn and Pickle return to the room. Roslyn revives Xzar with a potion while Pickle rushes in and distracts Sevrin with a bite. Xzar notices from the bite that Sevrin isn't bleeding and realizes that this is a simulacrum. Using another spell, he immolates the imposter, reducing him to snow.

Eventually Xaehyd and Wyatt awaken. Xzar is healed but a lingering injury from the backstab persists. The group discusses their options and decides to continue on along the Golden Way. Along the road they find a long destroyed wagon and attempt to salvage as much wood as possible.

16th of Ches
The group hears a thunderous approach of horses from behind and as they turn to look a small, armored wagon being pulled by miniature horses begins to overtake them. Church starts a discussion with the driver and the two wagons pull over. Four gnomes emerge from the wagon: Brimald, Gura, Brokkina, and Stromo. They explain that they are headed south through Mulhorand on a quest for their deity Gaerdal Ironhand to return him back to his home plane. After speaking briefly with the gnomes, the groups continue on their way. Stopping to camp for the night, a dim light can be seen in the distance high atop a column of rock that rises out of the mostly flat terrain.

17th of Ches
The group passes through the mostly abandoned settlement of Beacon Cairn where they stop briefly at the general store.

20th of Ches
The group arrives at the Riverview Span, an old stone bridge that crosses the Clearflow River and marks the boundary of Rashemen. A helpful sign in Rashemi states that the group is now leaving the county of Rashemen. They continue over the bridge and through the town of Drubiev.

22nd of Ches
During the night watch a pair of jackals are heard but the animals do not approach close enough to the campfire for a good look at them.

23rd of Ches
Again, at night, the presence of the jackals in the distance observed.

24th of Ches
While camping, Jarna is approached by a pair of humans in ragged clothing asking for a place to camp. The humans explain that they hae been lost in the wilderness. Jarna tells them not to come any closer and that is when the Jackalweres transform and attack. Obviously outmatched, the Jackalweres quickly attempt to escape in to the night. One is killed but the other manages to get away.

25th of Ches
In the evening, the group notices the ever growing signs of increased civilization, as they approach Almorel. The last settlement along the Golden Way.
Session: Chapter 7: Trouble on the Golden Way - Sunday, Nov 11 2018 from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM
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DM Jon
Posted by the GM
Champions of the Coast
Episode 008: Daring Rescue
Campaign Date: Marpenoth 27-Uktar 2, 1489 DR
Adventure Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018

Episode Recap:
The heroes spent the next two days in Greenest following the raiders’ attack. They rested, helped with the cleanup, and discussed their next course of action. The companions also met a young monk named Nesim Waladra whose master disappeared while they defended the temple. Nesim believed his master was alive but was unsure of his whereabouts.

The adventurers followed the raiders’ trail a dozen miles to the southeast where they found their camp located inside a hollow plateau. The heroes climbed the plateau, surveilled the area, and discovered hundreds of kobolds, mercenaries, and cultists within the camp. The companions also noticed a cave opening set into the inner wall of the plateau as well as a large, well-guarded tent that housed the cult’s leaders; Rezmir, Frulam, and Langdedrosa. Finally, they spotted a lone captive tied to a stake steadfastly watched over by cultists.

Under the cover of darkness, Nym descended into the camp, disguised himself as a cultist, and calmly relieved the captive’s guard of his post. The druid then untied the prisoner, transformed into a giant spider and carried him to the top of the plateau. Within minutes of Nym’s return, the camp’s alarm sounded. The adventurers fled into the darkness, armed only with Delg’s darkvision to guide them through the night. A few hours later, the heroes were back in Greenest within the safety of the keep.

The rescued captive, Leosin Erlanthar, was the master of a small sect of monks that included Nesim. Leosin told the companions he’d tracked the cult’s activity for months and determined Greenest was a likely target for their next attack. He was correct. After the attack, Leosin fell in with the raiders while they withdrew. Rezmir, the half-black dragon wearer of purple, spotted him after the sun came up, and the monk was quickly overpowered and captured. Leosin had been severely beaten by the cultists and was near death when the adventurers rescued him.

When Leosin was well enough to travel, he informed the heroes he was headed north to the city of Elturel to relay what he’d learned about the cult to a paladin of Torm named Ontharr Frume. Before Leosin departed, he requested that the companions return to the camp and watch for signs of another raid. The adventurers agreed and when they arrived at the cultists’ camp, they found it almost completely abandoned.

Episode Highlights:
  • Castellan Escobert gave Delg his grandfather’s holy symbol. He too was a priest of Berronar Truesilver.

NPCs Introduced:
  • Nesim Waladra (early 20s human male): Student of Leosin Erlanthar.
  • Odo (mid-teens, human male): Student of Leosin Erlanthar.
  • Rezmir (half-black dragon female): Leader (a wearer of purple) of the black faction of the Cult of the Dragon.
  • Leosin Erlanthar(mid 30s half-elf male): Master of a small monk sect following the activities of the Cult of the Dragon.
  • Ontharr Frume (unknown race male): Paladin of Torm. Concerned about the Cult of the Dragon.

PC Notes:
  • None
Session: Episode 008 - Saturday, Nov 10 2018 from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM
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She’s so beautiful. She looks like walking snow. Her shocking white hair is barely distinguishable from her skin, and her eyes shimmer like icy blue gemstones. I want to touch her to test if she is as cold as she looks, but I don’t think she would like that. She doesn’t say anything yet, though I get the sense she is not unhappy to be with us. I don’t even know how long she was held as a slave, and who knows what happened to her during that time. Perhaps traveling with a peculiar group of strangers and risking her life in a relentless battle with Lizardfolk is pleasant by comparison. Pain is relative, after all.

When I think she’s not looking, I secretly hold up my hand to compare its color to that of her face, and cannot help but marvel at the difference. What she must think of a creature so small and brown. I never thought much about being small until recently. With the loss of Hartmut, and the addition of Solera, larger people make up the majority of our group, and it is difficult not to compare myself and wonder at my worth in the company of those so powerful. Solera has already proven herself deadly with a bow, and she’s also a magic user. Valindra has distinguished herself as a particularly lethal, and Blair is even more magnificent than I thought when I first met her. If her physical presence could ever be ignored, her voice when reading her poems during battle certainly couldn’t.

I wonder if Dill considers his size in comparison with others. He seems utterly confident, always yelling obscenities at those at least twice his size and picking fights for the sheer pleasure of it. I never met anyone so willing to suffer.
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