- The party leaves the tent-city of Boregar’s Bridge and journey’s just far enough to feel a bit comfortable before setting up camp for the night. Dumbledilp contacts Frederick to ask what’s going on in Waterdeep and if Sister Garaele is ok. Frederick answers that Waterdeep is in total chaos, politically speaking. The Council has fallen apart. However, he and Garaele have managed to negotiate with the Blue Wyrmspeaker, and he wants to betray the cult. They are headed to him now together with a few other Harper agents to get the mask from him somewhere near the Evermoors. Dilp then receives a seconds Message from Sister Garaele, who apologizes for not answering his earlier messages, and repeats what Frederick told him about the Blue Wyrmspeaker, and clearly stating that this mission to get the blue mask is must succeed, as the Order and the Harpers have something to prove to the council.
- The next morning the party saddles up and takes the road less traveled to the Tomb of Didarius, following the map that Yyn gave to Hector. The trail is narrow, so they proceed in single file. At first, they don’t see anything spectacular – just some mountain goats, birds, and other simple wildlife. As they continue,the layer of snow on the ground gets thinner, and a they can feel a warm breeze blowing. If they listen closely, they can hear what sounds like a giant or two in the far distance. Much closer to them, however, Eric detects an arguement in draconic between 3 or 4 Lizard folk about slaves. As he eavesdrops on them, the conversation gets softer and quieter, as if they were moving away from the party. In spite of this Asuma makes an attempt to hide between some gaps in the rock that wall the party in from both sides of the trail, knocking some large rocks loose in the process. As the rocks crash below, two of the Lizard folk come to investigate. As they approach, Eric casts Fly on Asuma, who is in the front of the party. As the two Lizard men round the corner, Claire casts Crown of Madness on one of them, leading to a scuffle between the two Lizard folk. One of them then throws a spear at the hovering Asuma, who catches the spear in midair and throws it back. The lizard then runs away, as Asuma chases after. As Asuma pursues, he stumbles upon a small army of Lizard folk consisting of a dozen or so troops, apparently led by a shaman with a purple feather. Asuma attacks the running lizard man with his new sword Flametongue, knocking the lizard unconscious, as the shaman casts Spike Growth on the trail, ensnaring Asuma, as six others throw javelins at him – all missing there target as he still somehow manages to dodge all attacks. Hector, now the last in the party, tries to squeeze his way to the front, and tries to pass by the remaining lizard, as the lizard throws him on the ground. As Hector falls, he readies his warhammer, and as his body bounces from the impact of being thrown down, he swings at the legs of the lizard man, breaking his leg and causing him to fall prone in pain. Claire, now last in the procession, also squeezes her way to the forefront, nimbly gliding her rapier into the throat of the fallen lizard-man as she steps over him, killing it. Eric runs to the border of the thorns in the trail, and casts a Fireball, burning and killing all the lizard folk there (except the shaman), and setting the bridge on fire. Dilp follows, and finishes off the shaman with three rays of scorching, as the thorny vines disappear from the trail. Asuma, now freed, flies over the burning bridge after the two remaining lizard people as they flee further down the path. After he pursuing for a minute or two, he catches the two, immediately killing one with his shurikan, and forcing the other to surrender. He brings the creature back to the clearing covered by soot and ash from Eric’s fireball. Meanwhile, the rest of the party gingerly managed to cross what remained of the bridge after Dilp extinguishes the flames with Ray of Frost. As Asuma rejoins the party, prisoner in hand, the interrogation begins. Hector asks Eric to translate something, and Eric says no, this will be easier if he just does the interrogation himself. After some back and forth, the Lizard man confesses that the lizards work for the yuan-ti, and collect human prisoners for them, which they enslave. As the interrogation intensifies, Hector casts Zone of Truth (and the lizard fails his saving throw). The lizard tells the party that Soglash the beholder was in the temple, where he runs the show in these mountains. As the interrogations wound down, the party began to discuss what to do with the prisoner. Eventually Asuma knocked-out, tied him up and hung him from the underside of the bridge. Hector, finding this too inhumane, gave the creature a quick death by cutting the rope, as the unconscious lizard creature fell into the crevice below. The party leaves their horses behind, as the bridge is too severely damaged to get them across.
- As the party walks down the trail, nothing extraordinary happens for some hours, as the air around them gets increasingly humid. Eric sees a gold pocket-watch lying in the middle of the trail. Dilp senses that the watch possesses very powerful Divination magic, and tries to purge it with Dispel Magic, to no avail. After nearly an hour of discussing and debating what to do with the watch, the party leaves it untouched and proceeds down the trail, having successfully persuaded Asuma not to throw a rock at it. Later that afternoon, the party hears the voices of giants again, this time much closer. Dilp listens to the two giants argue about a human child. The party agrees that they should engage the giants in conversation, and Dilp announces the party’s presence and asks if they may approach. Dilp introduces the party, and points out Claire and Hector to the two fire giants (husband and wife it appeared), who were debating what a human looked like. The giants said that they had a human baby, and needed to know what to feed it. Dilp gave them some rations, and after some discussion about where the child came from and what they planned to do with it, it was clear that the giants wanted to feed the child so that it would grow. It was less clear if they wanted to eat the grown child (probably), or just wanted it to be more independent. Yuan-ti and the Temple were also briefly discussed. As the giants began to show interest in snacking on Hector, Dilp tells the party it is time to move on. Asuma makes a note and sticks it in his backpack – ‘Remember to rescue child from being eaten by the fire giants in the Serpent Hills’.
- Later that evening, the party encounters two collapsed human forms on the trail before them. As all but Dilp approach the two, they see that the two men, in armor and wounded, are slowly turning to stone. The older man, barely conscious, hands over a potion and mumbles that there is only enough for one of them, and to give it to his son. The party quickly discusses and decided essentially that the older guy had a long enough life, and it was better to save the young. As they poured the potion into the mouth of the young man, his father completely turned to stone, as Asuma pleaded ununderstandingly with Eric to cast Remove Curse. As the young man lay unconscious, Asuma and Hector struggle to get the old man’s stone body into the PP-bag of holding. The party then sets up camp of the trail, and Asuma binds the hands of the young unconscious man, just in case he has villainous intentions. Eric takes first watch, a quickly dozes off. As Dilp comes to take 2nd watch, Eric wipes the drool from his mouth and says that it was a quiet, uneventful watch. Dilp, however, sees that there are claw marks on nearby rocks and large tracks just feet from the tent. As the party awakens the next morning, the young man is quite upset. Says he and his father were attacked by a basilisk. As the party questioningly looks at each other, Claire says that basilisks are large snake-like creatures that turn you to stone if you look them in the eye. The man introduces himself as Fenrir from Ahm, and is relieved that the party had a bag of holding and were clever enough to realize that putting his father (Lunar Grayback of Ahmian) inside was the best hope his father had of being saved from the curse. After he vows to help the party, they tell him of their plan to go to the temple. He says that he knows it, and tells the party not to worry too much, as basilisks only attack at night. The party heads off toward the temple, and as Fenrir takes place next to Claire, Hector is visibly jealous. After 6 hours of walking, they approach a clearing littered with bones. As the get closer, they can still see the flesh attached to the bone and bloodstains in the dirt. Many of the bones seem human, but others are from slender tiefling-like creatures. Hector recognizes these as bone devils. Around this time something occurs to Asuma, and as he sticks his hand in the bag of holding, he realizes that everything is gone. He swallows heavily, and go to Eric to discuss this finding. As the party walks on, Fenrir asks where the party comes from, as they approach a second clearing, where a giant pyramid can be seen. There are two giant (~20 ft high) statues holding swords in a downward position, their swords’ tips at their feet. Hector and Fenrir think that this is the temple. They decide that they should get some rest before entering the temple. As they set-up camp, Eric investigates the PP-bag, and recognizes that there is something peculiar about it, and thinks that Dilp will know more about such things. He goes to Dilp, who tells him that apparently Pasha Pook had given them a Bag of Devouring, which destroys everything that you put into it. He tells Eric that they are more common than you might think.
- After a long rest in which nothing terrible happened (Dilp did see 3 yuan-ti slither down the trail, however), the party prepares to enter the temple. Hector goes first, and decides to pass the statues without walking between them. As he passes them, they turn, and address him, ultimately asking him if he seeks Wisdom or Knowledge. He answers Knowledge, and continues. The rest of the party follows suit, and all answer Knowledge, except for Eric, who chooses Wisdom. After unsuccessfully searching for a 2nd entrance to the temple, Claire uses Clairvoyance to investigate the entryway. Asuma enters, looking for traps as he does so. As he walks through a second set of doors, he sees 6 more statues, three on each side of the room. As he walks past them, he feels them turn and follow him with their eyes, as he quickly averts his eyes. As the rest of the party follows, he tells them not to look at the statues. Dilp feels again a strong sense of Divination magic, and Eric recognizes that the statues are empowered with the magic of Didarius. Hector senses the presence of 6 demons, 6 undead, and 1 fiend nearby. The party one-by-one enters the next room, and as they are standing around investigating, a mural from the floor rises up and forms a Chimera, which immediately attacks Dilp, Asuma, Eric, and Fenrir with it’s fire breath. Dilp takes full damage and Fenrir takes double (over 1oo HP-worth), as the others avoid getting burned. Dilp attempts an overclocked version of Inflict Wounds, but misses. Asuma stuns it with a flurry of blows, as Hector attacks it from behind. He first hits it with Thunderous Smite, and knocks it forward into Dilp, Asuma, and Claire. Asuma pushes the badly injured Dilp out of the way, taking his damage. Hector further attacks with two Divine Smites, smashing the Chimera into bits, as pieces of floor tile littered the room.
A Band of Brothers from Other Mothers
RoT Session 12: A Hike in the Mountains