Legacy and Destiny

Trials of the Webwood
For The Spider!

The Heroes of Redspire, as they have come to be known, include Elucifer the Cloakbeater, Harken “Wolf-Puncher” Darkeyes, Zaigan (and Idin), Jharysa, Jodocus Ooze-Rider, and Chalex Azure. These heroes explored the spider-infested Webwood outside the town of Redspire (named for the red brick wizard’s tower in the center) and discovered a plot to destroy the town crafted by vile drow druids.

Before Jodocus, Chalex, and Zaigan joined the group, two other adventurers, Castiel and Vanyel, assisted Jharysa, Harken and Elucifer in the exploration in the mages college in the woods that exsted before Redspire was built. Inside they were betrayed by their dwarf warpriest, Kardr, who came back from death later to seek revenge. In the woods they discovered the dilapidated house of the famous artist Jarvanelli, and without a powerful magic paintbrush and a box housing a tiny fire elemental. After that, Harken was killed by a monstrous spider, Castiel betrayed the party, and Vanyel committed suicide. Captain of the Guard in Bazaara, Stahl, rounded up some eager adventurers to bolster the group’s numbers.

With some help from the local fey, Captain Stahl, Vaike the Canary, and a tea-brewer Camellia, the adventurers infiltrated the drow city and caused instability through assassination and propaganda. In the Temple of the Spider, they encountered Kardr for the third time, accompanied by a mysterious being that assaulted the party with visions of the future. In the end, they slew the druids and their god “The Spider”, a massive tarantula. With the town saved, the adventurers left Redspire to enjoy some peace in Bazaara, hoping to resurrect Harken and never lay an eye on another spider again.

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The Resurrection of Harken and the Deck of Many Things
"We interrogate the monkey."

After some rest, the party decides to participate in the activities of Fool’s Day, and proceeds to prank themselves and one another. Some catnip for Iden, glue-laced tea for Elucifer, a gassy monkey for Jodocus, and fake armor grease for Makoa, the newest addition to the party. The party, excluding Jharysa and Chalex venture to the town of Russet Hill with Camellia and Vaike to retrieve the undead Harken from the control of the necromancer bard Cassus Dirgehart. After a very brief run-in with a pack of hyenas, the party is roused form sleep when Elucifer’s cloak begins to choke him. Jodocus pushes the cloak away to reveal it is a cloaker, and the party beats it (and accidentally, Zaigan) into submission. Elucifer checks all the other cloaks in the party with his sap shortly afterwards.

Once they arrive safely in Russet Hill, Zaigan casts Anthropomorphic Animal on Jodocus’ monkey, to reveal it was actually a spellcaster. After chasing and sapping the monkey, Elucifer and Zaigan interrogate it to discover it was a half-elf sorcerer named Frederick that accidentally polymorphed himself on Fool’s Day. They decide to help him return to his original form after they return home.

The next night they party attends the theatre where Cassus is performing and slay him and his undead minions on stage. With Harkens body in tow, they set off for home.

Chalex meets up with them for their return trip. They encounter a massive hammer laying in a field and are surprised to find it belongs to a cyclops who bounds up and snatches it away from them. He informs the party his name is Bug and his chickens were stolen by a bull. Elucifer decides the bull must be a minotaur and Makoa and Jodocus wish to help him retrieve his property. In the minotaurs dungeon, the party hops over some pitfalls and slays a Chimera. Zaigan retrieves the young from a nearby nest to sell. Chalex, still under the effects of his Elemental Touch spell, bolts through the dungeon and triggers several traps in an attempt to not waste his spell. He charges into the minotaur and is slain by its greataxe.

The party catches up and kills the minotaur. Bagging up Chalex’s body, Jodocus sniffs out a secret room filled with treasure. Since he has Muleback Cords, the rest of the party explores the remainder of the dungeon to find the still-missing chickens. They get trapped in a stone room with no doors and attempt to devise ways out. Jodocus, not sure where the group ended up, explores an out-of-place room filled with a warm fireplace, a large banquet table, and young girls preparing a feast. He is confronted by a Kyton who offers his life in exchange for the life of one of his companions. Jodocus instead sells Chalex’s body and his own eye to save his companions.

The illusory room ceses to function and Zaigan and Makoa manage to retrieve the “chickens” which turned out to be a trio of cockatrices. They discover a chunk of Chalex’s flesh on the Minotaur’s greataxe and keep it. Collecting their reward from the dungeon and from Bug, they set off back to Bazaara to revive Harken and reincarnate Chalex, who became a young human.

Chalex, dissatisfied with his new form and fearful of his family shunning him, asked King Ahmen for a letter of introduction to Master Ushlat. Begging Ushlat to use the Deck of Many Things, Chalex and Elucifer, along with Ushlat and a court wizard, were teleported to a weather-worn shack in an unknown location. After the wizard cast Hold Portal on the door, Ushlat placed the deck on the table and instructed Chalex he could only draw three cards, and must suffer any consequences of the deck. Chalex agreed to draw three cards and drew Comet and Donjon. Upon drawing Donjon, Chalex winked out of sight before the eyes of the others, and the deck settled itself into a neatly shuffled stack. Ushlat gathered the deck and explained to Elucifer that Chalex was gone forever, just like a companion of his many years ago when he first found the deck. The mage teleported the group back to the palace in Halo, and Elucifer returned to Bazaara with a great sense of loss.

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Corrupt Merchant
"About that.... He's already dead. I killed him."

Harken, recently brought back into the world of the living by his companions, felt the pains of resurrection and sense of loss for both time and money. Elucifer and Jodocus imparted one thousand gold and a Bladed Belt to get him started, and Zaigan paid for a cleric of Sarenrae to alleviate some of his ill resurrection effects. Harken, seeking to earn a little coin and stretch his legs, sought out some work while the party awaited Zaigan to return with a reincarnated Chalex. Jharysa approached Harken with a book containing a list of contacts and shipments she had acquired a couple months ago in the Webwood.

It mentioned a man named Glevvi, and a series of plots involving robbing silk hunters from Redspire to drive up the price of spider silk. Harken took this book and began to scour the town for info. His questioning seemed to catch some attention, and he was jumped in an alleyway by some thugs. After deftly pinning one against a wall with his axe (and using a potion to save the thug’s life) he threatened the elf to direct him to Glevvi.

The goon brought Harken to Glevvi’s residence and used a secret password to pass a bodyguard. Once inside, Harken was attacked by a pair of iron cobras and single-handedly defeated them. One more swing of his axe brought the guard down and a mighty chop sliced Glevvi (who barely even saw Harken) in two. Harken found the evidence to convict Glevvi and brought it to Stahl, but kept a little of the stolen money for himself to pay for another cast of Restoration.

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Lord Vallon and the Statue
"Do you know that this is?! Neither do I!"

The heroes received a messenger early one morning asking them to go the the manor of a Lord Ricardo Vallon at the request of Jharysa. Figuring this was the new work she had mentioned a few days prior, the group put on their best attire and traveled to town and arrived at the manor proper. After a brief encounter with an elderly elf butler and a couple half-elf twin maids, the party was escorted to a grand sitting room, where several Jarvanelli paintings, among a variety of other interesting art pieces resided. Jodocus lifted a piece of crystallized fire from a curio cabinet just as a man entered the room, accompanied by a large, solid black panther. The man invited the group to sit and introduced himself as Lord Ricardo Vallon, Seneschal of Bazaara. He informed the heroes of a particular map found on the back of one of Jarvanelli’s paintings he bought from Jharysa, which lead to a collection of unique statues he would like to add to his art collection. Agreeing to pay each member of the group two thousand gold apiece with an additional two hundred fifty gold incentive, he showed them the map and pointed to the Slosh, a swamp east of Halo, and the first statue he’d like collected to test their skill and earn their trust.

Vallon took a moment to offer the group tea and get to know them a little better, even producing the crystallized fire Jodocus thought was in his own belt pouch. After the pleasantries had been exchanged, he described the statue as the form of a crocodile on a dais. He explained the statues are mentioned in a few obscure writings, mostly journals of adventurers and dwarven records of ancient times, though none have ever been studied. Jarvanelli was once an adventurer and had collected enough information on the location of the statues, though was much too destroyed by his wife’s death to care. Vallon mentioned an old dwarven bezerker named Flod Stoneforge, a companion of Jarvanelli some hundred years ago, who might still be alive and have more information on the statues or at least how they discovered their location.

Armed with a new quest and promise of gold and adventure, the group rested and gathered a little info and gear. Makoa visited the temple of Torag in town and discovered the Stoneforge ancestral home, a small village in the mountains north of Sunshadow Falls. Elucifer convinced Vaike to ride along with them, so he could get a chance to return to his homeland. Jodocus, distraught by his inability to glean infor on his new eye, got drunk in a bar and passed out, only to wake the next morning in bed with one of Vallon’s maids with a mithril gauntlet of unknown origin. The group departed the next day for Heskr, the dwarven capital. After five quiet days on the road, the plains gave way to rolling hills and windmills of farms in the farthest corners of Bazaaran territory. They came to a town, Bridgemill, which is situated on and around the Torvan river, and known for its extensive wheat fields and massive mills along the banks of the river.

As they got into town, the party quickly noticed that the town was incredibly quiet. This gave them cause for alarm and they drew their weapons and treaded into town carefully and found five ogres munching on someone and hoarding treasure from the town. As Makoa charged headlong into the ogres, the rest of the party was thrown aside as an ogre flipped their wagon. Camellia was trapped under a crate, and as Zaigan and Harken rushed to her aid, Jodocus and Elucifer fired wildly into the ogres. The group made short work of the ogres as Vaike ran around the cart attempting to hold in the supplies as the scared horse tried to drag it away. Zaigan calmed down the horse (along with Vaike and Camellia) as the doors and windows of the buildings opened, revealing a gathering crowd of joyous townsfolk who threw a feast in the heroes’ honor. The group was felt they had earned it, and had some delicious fresh baked goods and decided they would continue on to Heskr in the morning.

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The Giant's Tower
"I got his foot."

Fearing another attack on Bridgemill, the party elected to follow a treasure map Zaigan made magically with a piece of the dead ogres. They followed the map north until they spotted a tower in the distance. Elucifer, casting a few spells to give him a quick and stealthy edge, ran to the tower and found two ogres bound in chains. As he slew them, a hill giant popped up over the tower and began throwing rocks. After a short and exhausting battle, Elucifer fells the giant and waits for the others to arrive. Zaigan, Jodocus and Makoa arrive, leaving Camellia and Jharysa at a leisurely pace. The four men explore into the tower, travelling downstairs and encountering a summoning circle and several chokers. Although the party handled the chokers, a couple rust monsters appeared and rushed Harken, damaging his equipment. They were swiftly killed.

Meanwhile, the women of the group came under a hail of bolts from Bolt and his accomplice. They survive the encounter, but Camellia was nearly killed and the accomplice was captured. Once they arrived at the tower and rendezvoused with the rest who were licking their wounds from the monsters in the keep, they set to interrogating the man with the Manacles of Cooperation (while the paladin was off eating lunch). After a lengthy interrogation including the removal of his left foot by Harken, he revealed his name, Jokan, and his love for Bolt. He also revealed the plot Bolt has to harass the group to steal their findings and turn them over to Vallon, and Bolt’s secret love for Jharysa. With that, Jharysa ended the man’s life and tossed him outside the keep, along with some tools and a table in her rage.

During the interrogation, Jodocus wandered downstairs into the depths of the tower to poke around for valuables. What he found was a straggler choker who brought him down and drug his corpse further in to eat. The party, not knowing Jodocus’ fate, began to wonder where he was, and went down to find a trail of blood leading to him. The dispatched the choker and reincarnated Jodocus as an orc, and decided to rest for the evening. The next morning they explored the rest f the ruins, only to find an altar. Kardr, now a bearded devil burst forth from the altar in flames, screeching and swinging a saw-like greatsword. He was quickly brought down and fell to the ground cursing their names. With the help of Jodocus’ MIser’s Mask, the group found a horde of treasure behind the altar.

After dividing it up and returning to town to rest and continue on their original task, they began to wonder if they could ever escape the foes that haunt them from their time in the Webwood.

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Orc Cave
"Someday you will all be Clan Cornrow."

After Bridgemill, the party headed up to Talfisk hoping to meet Flod Stoneforge and inquire about Jarvanelli and the statues. The mountains are fairly forgiving in the summertime, so the party makes the trip in just four days. There, they discover that Flod has traveled further into the mountain to deal with a white dragon. The party, deciding he might need assistance, follows suit.

After a day’s travel, they are confronted with a rock wall and sheer drop, and carefully make their way across. Zaigan, in an effort to make a secure rope hold, activates an Immovable Rod to discover it is cursed and screams incessantly. The resulting avalanche knocks the party off the wall and breaks Elucifer’s arm, which was attached to his Immovable Shield, and everyone else attached to him with rope. As the group climbs up and continues across, Harken falls a second time in an effort to show off his dance moves to Wilrow, the new party member.

They get around the mountain to be accosted by the white dragon, who stirs up a second avalanche. The party flees into a nearby cave, except for Harken, who gets trapped under the snow.

The cave is filed with orcs, and a battle ensues despite the Elucifer attempting to threaten and plea with them. Jharysa digs Harken out of the snow and escapes while the rest of the party fights, and Harken joins the fray, picking up a Flaming Greataxe from an orc commander. The orc ladder appears and flies around the cave blasting spells at the group, just as Zaigan traps himself in the snow, sealing Harken and Elucifer in together. They make their final stand and Elucifer dispels the chieftain’s flight, and he plummets into an ice spike and is fatally impaled. As the orcs turn to flee, the heroes do the same and dig their way out. Up the mountain, Jharysa encounters Flod and his company, who have slain the dragon. As the rest of the party gets up the mountain they discover Flod is much younger than expected, and it turns out to be his son bearing the same name.

Flod imparts his father’s journal and other gifts on the party before they depart to Heskr to regroup and prepare for the swamp.

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Skum Invasion
"Brace!"

While in Heskr, the party takes some time to visit a tent where jinni seers are telling fortunes. Though expensive, each member of the party gains some insight into the future and into themselves, and picks up a new party member Hammru, who believes the party is tied to his own destiny after a dubious reading from a jinn.

The party rests for a week, collecting themselves and preparing to enter The Slosh, until Frederick brings a letter to Elucifer. The letter is brief and asks the party to return to Bazaara immediately at the request of Stahl. A wizard has been paid to teleport the party there. The party gathers themselves and is warped away to Bazaara, where they find a tearful Conneth, am orphan Elucifer and Harken saved from an Ettercap in the Webwood, and Stahl, who tell them Redspire has been invaded by skum. Knowing that Mayor Cromball of Redspire had once mentioned a possible skum threat, the Heroes of Redspire felt a sense of guilt as they rushed to the mage’s guild to be teleported to Redspire.

Arriving just outside of town, the group immediately smelled the smoke and heard the sounds of warfare. They rushed through the farmland, slaying skum, until they arrived at the home of Tyrin and Keric engulfed in flames. The brothers searched the home, but could not find their mother. They dispached the remaining skum and rescued a handful of Bazaaran soldiers, who thanked them and directed them into the heart of town.

As they crested the hill leading into the town of Redspire, the party was confronted with an appalling sight: The town’s namesake lay in a heaped ruin of burning red bricks, a massive being comprised of fire feeding off the flames and spouting fire at soldier, skum, and homes all around the tower. Soldiers lay dead everywhere as they fought a losing battle. Everywhere were homes in flames. Redspire was no more. Just as the party began to set a plan of action, a succubus bathed in light with black, feathery wings appeared before them, speaking with serious authority.

She directed Keric to the tower and told him to seal the portal to the Plane of Fire. The soldiers would have no chance to fight back the skum so long as the fire elemental blasted the town with flames, and the portal was its connection to the Material Plane. She told Jodocus to go to the Temple of Desna, and find the people he knew. Asking both men to promise her they would succeed, she gave each of them a feather from her wings as a token of that promise. Before she left, she blessed the group with a ward from the flames in the town, and faded away into nothingness.

The party split into two groups, with Jodocus, Elucifer, Makoa, Tyrin, Hammru, and Wilrow charging through the thick of battle to the temple, and Keric, Harken, and Aiden sneaking over to the Redspire to douse the flames of the colossal elemental. As Tyrin and Jodocus wiggled their way through the burning alleyways of the town, hopping over and through the remains of the burning buildings, Elucifer, Hammru, and Makoa charged through skum with shield, halberd, and hoof, knocking them down and blessing the soldiers as they cut their way towards the temple. Once there, they were immediately ushered into the building by three gnomes, who Jodocus recognized as the Silver Pistons. They offered no explanation to their presence, but informed the group that a huge skum with a team of strong lackeys and a battering ram were headed for the front door, and the townsfolk inside the temple must be protected. Elucifer, Tyrin, and Jodocus loaded up their most powerful spells and ammunition and climbed up a ladder to the roof as Makoa and Hammru braced against the door.

Though Tyrin set the ram on fire, the skum were determined to see the temple destroyed. Jodocus shot a gut grinder into the eye of the largest skum, as Tyrin and Elucifer shot and scared the rest of the skum away. The battering ram only got one good ram on the door before dropping, and Makoa’s determination to see the people safe inside held the door in place as it splintered around his hands. Hammru heard the sounds of screams coming from the back of the temple and readied himself and Makoa to run into the back. Outside, the largest skum unexpectedly burst into a cloud of bats and flew to the roof to reform in front of the heroes. Jodocus bashed it in the face and knocked it off the roof, as Elucifer shot the skum who ran up to assist their apparent leader. He once more assumed the form of a bat swarm and flew into the setting sun as Tyrin attempted to blast him with a fireball with no apparent effect. Makoa and Hammru were busy with skum in the rear of the temple, and sensing the skum might have been undead, blasted them with positive energy and halberd.

Meanwhile, the other group snuck into the redspire through an hole in the side where the building collapsed. After navigating the interior, they arrived in the basement where the elemental portals were, Harken passing out from smoke inhalation. Aiden would do the same, but not before they both felled several burned corpses of Mages who had risen due to the catastrophic destruction of so much magical energy in the tower. Glad that he had the Bottle of Air Harken had found and given him, Keric grabbed the focus stone from the portal’s archway and threw it into the portal. The gateway crumbled and the energy lifted up and out of the tower, where the elemental outside was sucked into its home plane and ceased to be.

Exhausted, the party rested and recuperated in the temple, as Vaike and Camellia joined them to mourn and offer peace to the people. Camellia was devastated at the loss of her home, and the party discovered the body of Mayor Cromball. With a feeling a guilt, Elucifer took what documentation he could find on the town and had it couriered to the count. That night, the group was approached by Arenic, the aranea they had met in the Temple of the Spider in the drow city. He invited them into his home in the Webwood, and offered them a chance to strike back at the skum in the town they had already conquered on the shoreline.
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Hunting the Skum
"I'm so sorry."

After a short break, the heroes set forth into the Webwood to discuss the next course of action. The Aranea there informed the heroes of the skum’s home, just off the coast of an island to the west. They collected themselves and headed out, but not before Harken recieved a curse from an overly amorous aranea, which inflicted him with six additional eyes. On the way to the coast, the group encountered a pair of fire giants, and after a few words of little consequence, continued on.

Painting a couple boats with Marvelous Pigments, Elucifer gathered the heroes into the waters and set forth to the small island the aranea had mentioned. The journey was brief and uneventful, though they met a few fishermen on the island’s shore who offered directions. Once at the tip of the island, the group searched the waters for the evening until a cave had been found by Harken. Deciding sleep was in order, they rested and prepared for what may lurk below.

The party elected to leave Makoa, Hammru, and Camellia on the beach in case of an emergency and to prevent any Skum from surprising the exploration team. The rest of the heroes dove into the waters and swam through a dimly lit cave until reaching an air pocket and the skum lair itself. Tyrin caught the attention of several scared and suffocating sahuagin, and through a series of tense conversations, avoided conflict with them. The rest of the lair proved equally forgiving, and the group avoided most of the traps and monsters contained within. In one of the deeper parts of the dungeon, the group encountered Camellia, alone and crying but shriveled and fanged. After a short chase, they captured her and discovered her to be a vampire, although seeing her just three hours before. She explained she stole a purple orb from the skum but dropped it and blacked out, to awake as a vampire. Confused, the party continued on, finding an ornate stone sarcophagus. Assuming it to be the leader skum’s own, they smashed it apart and scattered the pieces.

Jodocus and Elucifer allowed the rest of the party to bring Camellia back to camp in a Bag of Holding while they cleared out the rest of the dungeon, but not before they fell into a few ooze-related traps. Once everyone was topside, they met up with an exhausted Makoa and Hammru, and made their way back to the mainland.

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Hammru's Day Out
"Don't look him in th-! Woah.."

While the rest of the party went into the skum’s lair, Hammru, Makoa, and Camellia stayed ashore to tend the fire and keep lookout. After a few moments, Camellia left to relieve herself, and walked along the beach behind a large stone outcrop. After about a half hour, Hammru was playing with Krythyk and noticed him acting anxious. Makoa decieded to check on Camellia and discovered her tracks leading into the ocean and then two separate sets of tracks leading north along the other side of the beach. The heroes quickly geared themselves and rushed down the beach to investigate.

The tracks led into a shipwreck far up the beach, and they decided to explore. On the top deck of the bow of this shipwreck, they encountered a group of vampire spawn oddly unaffected by daylight. After throwing them off the ship and jumping (or falling) on them, the heroes continued their exploration. On the stern-half of the ship they found a collection of neatly laid bodies with bruises and bite marks. Deciding Camellia was more important, they climbed to the top deck and were met with a skum vampire and spawn lackeys. Taunting the heroes, Makoa and the skum exchanged ideologies before dominating Hammru and tricking him into attacking Makoa. Makoa held his own until Hammru regained his senses, and the two of them bested the vampire as he morphed into a large bat and assaulted them. Broken and defeated, the vampire spoke the name of his leader, Ukur-vo, before fading into mist and disappearing belowdeck. The heroes went back down to mid ship and, finding no Camellia but finding the vampire in his coffin-home, staked his heart and set flame to the entire ship. They grabbed a few ropes tied around the necks of the spawn and, as they dissipated, realized they had the power to protect them from the sun.

Crestfallen, the two returned to camp to discover the party emerging from the cave with a vampire Camellia in tow. Tyrin (though unintentionally nearly killing her) gave her one of the ropes Makoa and Hammru and found, and Elucifer offered her the cursed Hat of Disguise to hide her vampirism.

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