The Gates of Thralldom

Isstik Magical weapon Legacy Upgrades

Through bonding and using these magical items, some new abilities are unlocked.

Darkstring

Current Abilities:

Magical. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
Conjure Ammunition. By pulling upon the bowstring, the weapon magically conjures an arrow, nocked into place, ready to shoot. You can choose for an arrow fired in this fashion to deal cold, fire, or lightning damage instead of piercing damage, determined before the attack roll is made.
Alert. While holding this weapon, you have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.
Warded. While holding this weapon, you can use it to cast protection from evil and good targeting yourself only. This ability cannot be used again until the next dawn.

Gnorm’s Puzzle Box

Current Abilities:

Arcane Focus. The item can be used as an arcane spellcasting focus. While holding it, you have a +1 bonus to spell attack rolls.
Labyrinthine. While holding this item, your spell save DC is increased by 1.
Magic Sensitive. While holding this item, you can use it to cast detect magic. This ability can be used twice and regains both uses daily at dawn.
Mindful. While holding this item, you have advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks and you gain a bonus equal to half your proficiency bonus on Intelligence (Investigation) checks.
Reserve. You can use an action to cause the puzzle box to open and regain one expended spell slot of up to 3rd level. Once you use this ability, the box immediately closes and the box cannot be used in this manner again until the next dawn.

Heartcarver

Current Abilities:

Magical. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
Somber. While holding this weapon, you have advantage on saving throws against being charmed.
Lonely. While holding this weapon, you can use it to cast charm person as a 1st level spell (save DC 15). This ability cannot be used again until the next dawn.
Requite. Immediately after you make a ranged attack with this weapon, it magically flies back to your hand.
Lovestruck. While holding this weapon, you can use an action to force a creature that can see you to succeed on a DC 15 Charisma saving throw or be magically charmed by you for 1 hour. If you are of a species and gender the creature is attracted to, it regards you as its true love while charmed. This ability cannot be used again until the next dawn.

Viperkiss

Current Abilities:

Magical. You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
Poison. When you score a critical hit against a creature with the weapon, it takes an
additional 1d10 poison damage.
Poison Resistance. While holding this weapon, you have resistance to poison damage.
Dueler. While holding this weapon, you can use it to cast compelled duel (save DC 15).
This ability cannot be used again until the next dawn.
Venom. You can use an action to cause the blade to become coated in a clear poison that remains for 1 minute or until an attack using this weapon hits a creature. That creature must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or take 2d10 poison damage and become poisoned for 1 minute. This ability cannot be used again until the next dawn.

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Session 10

Our heroes received their original copy of the Tuathan journal back, reassembled and pristine. All the pages were present. While waiting for other party members to return from Isle of Westley by boat, Zeki began reading the book. The book was written by a Tuathan scientists of sorts. Considered on the fringe for neglecting magic and focusing on non-magical technology, the Tuathan set up shop on the island at an old Azlanti site. He was fascinated by the Ones Who Came Before’s non-magical inventions, like the Stone Rings and the holographic map projector. The journal contains more entries, but will take time to read.

Once reunited, the party sets out for the Eastern most Tuathan ruin on the holographic map. Supposedly, it is the site of another Stone Ring. The several day journey was marred by the appearance of Drow one night. Arthur managed to spot about half of them, but many still laid hidden from sight. The hidden ones let loose a volley of poison arrows at the group but was thwarted by Leomund’s Tiny Hut. Arthur and Enzio took some arrows and retreated into the Hut, but not before Arthur took down one of the enemy. A Drow caster attempted twice to Dispel the Hut, but Zeki managed to Counterspell both times. The fight became a standoff until dawn came and the Drow faded back into the forest. The next night, our heroes could tell the Drow were out there yet again and attempted to cover their tracks the next day.

The party eventually came upon a remote hunting camp where trappers, hunters, and furriers work from. Talking to a huntsmen, the party learns the ruins are a couple hours to the east, but that the hunters give the area a wide berth. The ruin is a known stronghold for various goblinoid races. And recently, even stranger things have been seen. One trapper claims to have seen a giant flying snail, though he is known to be oft deep in his cups. Additionally, two hunters have gone missing.

Our heroes go to the ruins and recon the area around it. They find the ruins sit against an escarpment. Below, a small, treeless valley stretches out and in the center, what appears to be a large sailing vessel in the shape of a snail sits upon Y-shaped columns. The ship and a door into the escarpment are guarded by unusual-looking lizardmen.

The ruin itself is in pretty good shape. It consists of a stout outer wall, a tower, and a two-story donjon. The outer wall creates an interior courtyard. The party scouts the courtyard and, seeing no people, decides to enter. The choose to check the tower first.

Hearing sounds from within, Arthur climbs the tower and the party enters from the very top. As they work their way through the tower, they skirmish with hobgoblins and bugbears. They spare no one except a female hobgoblin cook. Interrogating her, they find that their hobgoblin leader has struck a deal with “purple creatures.” this does not sit well with some in the tribe, but no one has yet stood up to Ruknar.

When the party enters the cellar, they find the missing hunters and release them. They also find a well in the cellar that drops down another 20 feet. They cast light on a rock and chuck it down the well, finding out that the water appears to be flowing rather than still. Arthur climbs down and finds a passable route further east that ends at another well. They climb up the second well and find themselves in a new area, estimating it is under the donjon. They know they have a group of gnolls to their northeast and a dozen goblins directly to their south. Zeki casts Arcane Eye to have a look around the complex they are in before the party decides their next move.

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Session 9
We Don't Need No Stinking Puzzles

Our royal Seekers had come to a metallic door with no visible way to open it. There was just an octagonal hole. The party tried to put one of their red crystals into the hole. The door opened. The party entered a room which had two doors on the left and two doors on the right with a tile mosaic on the floor which had symbols corresponding to those above the four doors. After trying various patterns of standing on the tiles, Arthur found out that the symbols above the doors could twist. Giving the symbol a half turn twist opened the door. The first door the party opened led to an illusion of a large room which actually held a trap. luckily, both Arthur and Enzio dived out of the way of a falling block in time instead of being crushed beneath it. The next door the party tried had noxious gas come out of it. Arthur shut that door quickly. The third also held a trap which the party disabled. The fourth door did not open at first. Once all the other doors were locked and its symbols in the right position, the fourth door opened.

This led to a hallway with two alcove in the middle across from each other, and another metallic door at the far end. another crystal poke and this door opened. The party entered into an elongated oval room. To the left of the doorway stood two horse shoe-like table with unknown symbols written all over it. Comprehend languages spell failed on the symbols. There was also something vaguely shaped like a volcano protruding from the wall. Oredoth checked it for traps. As it looked something like a porthole Oredoth looked into this contraption. The thing animated, grabbing his head, and filled his sight with flashing lights. Then it let go. While rather woozy from this mishap, Oredoth could now read the symbols on the tables. The symbols were Tuathian. The tables also had two octagonal holes for crystals. Placing the crystals into the holes caused a hologram to appear revealing the rough location of two other gates unknown to the party. Some other members of the party also decided to look into the device as well and suffered the same results.

The door opposite of the entrance from this room led to a combination study, laboratory, and workroom. The party gathered up some of the vials of unknown material and a lab note book.

Searching some more in the hologram room revealed some very small tracks in the floor. Maelen suggested that Zeki try his arm band that activated Tuathian teleport rings. Sure enough, the rings rose from the floor. The party gathered inside the rings and were teleported elsewhere.

A blade spider ambushed the party upon arrival. the spider’s initial attacks were unsuccessful. Enzio cast faerie fire which allowed Arthur to smack the crap out of the spider. Never the less, the spider gathered its legs and made a leap on top of Mealen. She took the full brunt of the attack and barely got out of the way of the poisonous bite of the spider. Oredoth ended the life of the spider with a well placed guiding bolt. With the battle now over, healing ensued along with butchering the spider.

The party now moved into the next room, finding a well furnished reading room. Their lantern of revealing disclosed a female elf by the name of Zerowyn Etronis. The party recognized this name as the person who had a large tower in Everkeep. After an apology about the spider, Zerowyn and the party had an exchange of information about both this lair, the past history of Astil, and current affairs. Teela and Arthur decided to take the warden back to the prison and get Teela’s cat, while the rest of the party teleported to Zerowyn’s tower. Here the party enjoyed luxurious accommodations while waiting for Arthur and Teela and for Zerowyn’s scribes to copy the lab notes that the party had found.

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Session 8
Flayers and Dragons and Prisons, oh my!

Further exploration by our heroes in the mines reveals that the dwarves had tunneled into what appears to be an older structure. In it, they find another Stone Ring. Also in the room are Kuo-Toa building a brine pool and three Illithids. The party decides to attack their enemies and manages to capture one Mind Flayer alive. While it doesn’t reveal all the Illithid plans, the party does learn Flayers are greatly unnerved by the undead—most likely because there is no mind to reach or for and dominate.

After questioning, the party dispatches the Illithid and removes the control crystal from this gate’s glyph dais. They then set out for Darbin to return the dragon lineage book to Festius Moribund. Festius thanks them profusely and then reveals that he is actually, Vorlianth, a gold dragon. Vorlianth has determined that our heroes are if not completely pure of heart, they are at least foiling evil. And for that, he gives them an old tattered map that is purported to lead to Tuathan ruins. He does warn them to be a beacon of light, for he is watching them…

The Tuathan ruins are shown to be on an island off the coast of Everkeep Harbor. The party charters a boat to the island and discover the only things on it are fishing villages and the prison where Everkeep Harbor sends its criminals. Through some fact-finding, the party learns the prison was built on top of an older structure—one built by the man who founded Everkeep Harbor. They decide the ruins must be somewhere inside or underneath the prsion.

Our adventurers bribe the guards to allow them to talk to the prison’s warden. IN turn, they bribe corrupt warden to give them a tour of the facility. In the cellar of the kitchen and dining hall, they find an entrance to a sub-basement. It is evident that this aarea is much older than the prison itself. The heroes move aside a large stone block to reveal stone steps leading yet further down. It terminates at a metal alloy door…

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The Magical Weapons in Isstik's Treasure Hoard

Upon attuning to these weapons, the item’s history floods into your mind.

DarkString
There’s a certain contradiction at work in this longbow. Its handle and limbs are fashioned from pristine white wood, banded in silver and ivory. The bowstring, however, is a thick, dark strand of sinew born of no earthly creature you can imagine. It bears the blackness of empty midnight.

History
Brandehild Oakheel was a wise and patient elf, and prominent arcane archer. She spent much of her life with those that shared her ardor for knowledge, discovery, and, above all, justice. It was these passions of Brandehild‘s that led her directly into the depths of the Underdark, in the company of some of the strongest adventurers Istil had ever known. Brandehild and her companions had tasked themselves with recovering a relic,
guarded by none other than an the Drow, swearing not to rest until it was reclaimed.
The elf ’s was never far from her iconic longbow, and from the weapon Brandehild launched volley after volley of arrows, each imbued with some of her magical power. It’s unknown what fate befell Brandehild and her allies, or whether or not they were
successful in their endeavor, but one thing was known: at some point, Brandehild’s bowstring was severed. In a grand, and gruesome, act of desperation, Brandehild restrung her longbow with the only option available – a fibrous ligament from a slain enemy. Henceforth, the elf called her weapon DarkString, and it served her until her dying day.

Personality
DarkString shares much of the same perspective as Brandehild; it is calm, patient, and seeks justice above all else. When in pursuit of an evil-doer, or used in battle against Underdark dwellers, the bow seems to shimmer with an opalescent aura. It is resistant to acting recklessly or hastily, and users have found it difficult to draw in such situations.
If there’s one thing DarkString loathes, it’s the tendon that serves as its own bowstring. Though the sinew is wound taunt along its string nocks, small tendrils seem to shift and squirm as if grasping to be freed of it. However, whatever method Brandehild used to bind the string to her bow has proven to be uncannily resilient – the bowstring remaining despite DarkString’s future wielders’ many attempts to untie or severe it. It would seem the elf did not want to face having an unstrung bow ever again.

Current Abilities
Magical: Attacks made with this weapon are considered magical.
Conjure Ammunition: By pulling upon the bowstring, the weapon magically conjures an
arrow, nocked into place, ready to shoot.

Gnorm’s Puzzle Box
This cube is fashioned from dark wood. Grooves divide its faces, and small panels bearing symbols, shapes, numbers, and colors decorate each panel. It looks like you could move these panels along its faces, but despite your best effort, they don’t budge. Just as you’re about to give into frustration, you imagine a panel shifting in your mind, and at the same time the corresponding panel on the box moves as well – gliding through some unseen force. As if pleased by your efforts, the box jostles itself free of
your grasp, and floats gently above your palm as you concentrate upon it.

History
Whatever world Gnorman Gjonbaronn originally came from, it certainly wasn’t this one.
The gnome wayfarer counted as many different worlds in his lifetime as most people count seasons in their own. Whether Gnorm came to this in exploration, or out of plain boredom, his arrival has had a lasting impact. The absent-minded gnome mistakenly dropped a puzzle box of foreign-make (very foreign-make) in one of the venues he visited, shortly before he unceremoniously left for new realm to explore. Since then, the puzzle box has been handled by an innumerable amount of creatures. Most of them have not thought more of it than an amusing token, and only a very few have managed to unlock its powers. Those that bored the box by staying in the same place for too long have, inexorably, found it missing the next time they’ve gone to look for it. In this way, the box has found its way to continue to explore where Gnorm left off.

Personality
Gnorm’s Puzzle Box aptly loves puzzles and riddles; when its user engages in such its buoys with excitement, constantly shifting the panels about its faces. It is also fond of travel and exploration; when its user is exploring an unknown area, it is similarly excitable. The puzzle box gets bored if it’s kept in the same place for too long, especially if its user does not attempt to solve it frequently. If left unattended in the same place for the period of a year, the puzzle box teleports to a random location, awaiting a new user to accompany and travel with.

Current Abilities
Arcane Focus: The item can be used as an arcane spellcasting focus.
Mindful:While holding this item, you have advantage on Wisdom (Insight) checks.
Magic Sensitive: While holding this item, you can use it to cast detect magic. This ability
cannot be used again until the next dawn.

Heart Carver
At first look, this appears to be an ordinary handaxe – small enough to be held in one hand with a short haft and falcate blade. Holding it, however, fills you with an almost dizzying sense of melancholy, a kind of sorrow comparable to that of horrible loss. It passes in the moment, allowing you to collect your senses, but there’s no denying there’s some tragedy inseparable from the axe – a tragedy it remembers.

History
No one living may know the sad story of the human Neville Smith and the elf Vashti Dawnblossom, but Heart Carver carries the sorrow of the jilted lovers to this day. Neville was but sixteen years old when became a lumberjack, given the axe to use for clearing brush and falling small timber. It wasn’t a job the boy was particularly fond of, he was more likely to sing songs of axes than he’d be to carry one, and Neville often found himself daydreaming and wandering through the forests he serviced. It was in such a daydream, one day, he stumbled upon Vashti. She was alone in a clearing, petting a fawn, singing in Elvish. He was immediately taken with her, intrigued by her mystique and sylvan beauty. Vashti was enamored with him as well, admiring his strong build yet gentle soul. Henceforth, Neville would vanish from the logging camps to return to Vashti’s grove day after day, and their relationship deepened with each meeting. Neville made sure to record each visit with Vashti by notching out a heart in a tree trunk with his axe. Neville’s fellow lumberjacks quickly grew suspicious of the youngster’s long disappearances – particularly when he would return with only a meager pile of logs to show for them. One day, when Neville crept away to find Vashti, these woodsmen
shadowed his footsteps to spy upon the boy and the elf. In a fit of jealousy and anger, the loggers returned later to Vashti’s grove, clearing it of every tree in a manner of hours. Upon discovering her decimated grove, Vashti was inconsolable. She cursed and fled from Neville, never to be seen again. The boy could not stand the thought of losing his love, and chased after her. For days he wandered the forest aimlessly, calling her
name, until he expired of hunger and exhaustion. The rest of the woodsmen found his corpse ,gripping the axe in his hand, at the base of an oak tree. Carved into its trunk was a heart.

Personality
Heart Carver remembers the great love, and greater sorrow, of the two young lovers, and passes these emotions onto its wielder. When its wielder fights to protect love, or in the pursuit of love, the axe is comfortably warm to hold. The natural world around it seems more beautiful – bird song seems to loft among the air, flowers carry a certain vibrancy, the wind is sweet and soft, and the smell of summer is ever present. By contrast, Heart Carver cannot abide callousness, or any actions to separate two that truly love each other. If its wielder acts with such heartlessness, the weapon is ice cold to touch. The air about it is sharp and silent, and the natural world becomes imbued with
a certain grayness only perceptible to its wielder. It feeds a feeling of doubt and melancholy to the one that holds it, in an effort to stop whatever maliciousness is at hand.

Current Abilities
Magical: Attacks made with this weapon are considered magical.
Somber: While holding this weapon, you have advantage on saving throws against being
charmed.

Viperkiss
It only takes a brief glance at this exquisite rapier to appreciate its splendor and craftsmanship. The sword’s handle is decorated by a brass serpent, its body coils and contorts in forming the cross-guards, the pommel in the grip of its tail, and the blade
protruding from its open mouth. The relief of a forked tongue extends down the flat of the blade, nearly to its tip. You notice a sheen glint off the weapon, as if freshly polished, and you can’t help but take note of an acrid tinge to the smell of it.

History
The Blade Dancers of Mur-Rae were renowned duelers, their skill in swordsmanship out matched only by their unscrupulousness. The art of Blade Dancing was as much a performance as a method of combat, but those that embraced its teachings learned that
subtlety was often as deadly as flourish. When two of the order engaged in a duel, the notes of clashing swords heralded their Dance – a spectacle that would end in a spray of blood and one of the dancers’ death rattles. It’s proposed the rapier Viperkiss was originally commissioned for legendary dancer Jacob Swift, but it’s impossible to know with any accuracy. The swordsmen were keen on spreading lies and rumors that added to their own intrigue and reputation, and on many occasions victors would claim their opponent’s blades as trophies or to replace their own. It can be assumed, however, the rapier was responsible for far more deaths than those slain in duels. Likely crafted in the snake-touched Serpraxid Empire, Viperkiss possesses an innate ability to produce a coat of poison upon its blade. Often, the rapier would be claimed from a defeated duelist,
only for the victor to die from such poison shortly later, “kissed” by the blade throughout the Dance enough to fall victim to it. Thus, Viperkiss has exchanged hands many, many times.

Personality
Viperkiss enjoys attention and praise. The rapier is truly extravagant, and demands others recognize and commend its beauty. It’s not surprising then, that Viperkiss seeks a wielder that is as conceited as it is, one that revels in the admiration of others. When pleased with such a wielder, the brass snake that creates its handle appears polished, and its blade remains reflective and unblemished despite its countless use in battle. It abhors being insulted or belittled, and cannot abide being upstaged by a more
exquisite weapon. The rapier enjoys combat, but has little care for whether or not its wielder lives or dies. It knows it will pass hands from person to person despite who is slain, and sees each new wielder as an opportunity to dance again.

Current Abilities
Magical: Attacks made with this weapon are considered magical.
Poison. When you score a critical hit against a creature with the weapon, it takes an
additional 1d6 poison damage.

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Session 7
Isstik's Lair

Our heroes strike out from Everkeep harbor and head to the abandoned dwarven mine, which the old librarian told them was now home to a dragon. Scouting the location out, the party finds a work detail made up of Kuo-Toa cutting and assembling stone blocks. An attempt at parleying with the creatures fails and fighting ensues. After defeating the Kuo-Toa, our heroes head for the entrance to the mine.

The group finds a pile of dead kobolds near the entrance. It appears they have been there at least a week. Unfazed, our heroes begin exploring the mines. It doesn’t take them long to find trouble. The main hall empties out into a large cavern with soaring ceilings. Here awaits Isstik, the red dragon that burned Oallhelm to the ground. But as he turns to face the party, it is clear he is no longer a regular red dragon—he has been infected by an Illithid tadpole. Where his snout once was, there are now two grotesque and long tentacles. The party’s only saving grace is that Isstik was a very young dragon, probably under 5 years old.

The heroes live up to the growing reputation and handily defeat the Illithid aberration. They begin searching some of the lair’s rooms and find Isstik’s fledgling treasure hoard. There they find the book the old librarian was hoping to re-obtain, as well as some unusual magical weapons.

However, many questions still remained unanswered and there is still many passages in the mine yet unexplored….

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Session 6
The Village of Darbin

After half a day of traveling South from the remains of Oallhelm, the party comes to the village of Darbin. They decide to stop in the town and take a rest. Eerily, when they arrive in the town, there is no one around. Tracks can be seen traveling into the village, but none appear to be leaving. Upon further investigation, a body is found with what appear to be rope burns around the neck , arms, and legs. Death was caused by strangulation.

Checking another house, the heroes come across three boys who paradoxically cry for help while simultaneously attacking the party. The Seekers notice vines trailing from each of the boys and surmise they are being controlled by something. After freeing the boys, the group is attacked by strange plant creatures that have the ability to take over a person’s body. After dispatching several of the plants and freeing more villagers, the adventurers come to a larger stone house with an amazing garden behind it. Investigating the house, it appears to have belonged to a magic user of some kind, but his body was also found in the house. The magician’s area of study seemed to be plants.

The group heads into the garden and confronts an able warrior being controlled by the vines. Once freed, the group encounters the true menace in Darbin, a shambling mound. After defeating the mound, the group makes sure to dig up and destroy the roots to prevent the shambling mound from regenerating.

The few remaining villagers of Darbin are thankful for the adventurers’ help. The heroes magically create some food for the survivors so they start the process of rebuiilding.

Striking out on the road again, the party comes across an old, rotund man mumbling to himself “it isn’t fair…” The party asks him about his troubles, and the old man recounts how he was a bookkeeper in a library that was ransacked and burned by kobolds. If that was not bad enough, they stole a very important book in particular, one that supposedly lists the names of all dragons in existence. The old man desperately wants the book back and he thinks he knows where it is at. He doesn’t have anything to give in exchange for getting the book back, but he would be very grateful. He explains the kobolds most likely to the book to an old abandoned dwarven mine in the hills where a red dragon is said to lair.

Our heroes accept the old man’s quest and send him to Darbin to await their return with his book. In the meantime, the party heads south to Everkeep Harbor to buy supplies and new equipment. Everkeep Harbor turns out to be quite a large city and has most anything an adventurer could want.

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Session 5
Once More into the Breach

Our group, fresh with new recruits native to Astil, once more make a foray into barrows. They save three more villagers from crazed cultists and return to Hillshollow Crest victorious. Our heroes decide to travel to Oallhelm to spend some of their treasure.

On the road south, the party notices unusually heavy traffic heading north towards Hillshollow Crest. Stopping some of the travelers, the party learns that Oallhelm has been razed by a red dragon. Depending on who they speak too, the dragon ranges in size from a cart up to blotting out the Sun.

Upon arriving in the remnants of Oallhelm, the adventurers find Tymoth James still alive. He regrets sending the group against the kobolds, believing the dragon burned the city in retaliation for their deaths. Tymoth says that after the attack, the dragon flew south.

Our heroes decide to head south. Not only did the dragon fly off in that direction, but the area’s largest city, Everkeep Harbor, is south as well.

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Session 4
The Barrow under Hillshollow Crest

After regrouping, the party heads back down into the barrow. They dispatch the ghasts and head further into the barrow, finding it is actually a sprawling maze. They come up against a variety of inhabitants, the most unnerving being flesh golems of some type, frankensteined together out of missing villagers.

Our heroes eventually run across some of cultists and a crazed leader they cleverly take out without too much trouble. Delving deeper, they are able to rescue some villagers and confront the mad man that has been creating the flesh golems. After the fight, the party decides to lead the villagers out. There is still more of the barrow unexplored, but the party is wary and drained.

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Session 3

Our heroes began where the left off last session, coming face to face with a retinue of kobolds outside their caves. Battered and bruised, the adventurers decide to negotiate their way out of the situation to avoid another battle.

The party heads back to Oallhelm to collect their bounties and informs them the kobolds, now back in posession of the caves, will not attack the town again. The group recuperates, then heads back north to see if Whispin left any messages. When they get to the gate, they find a rolled up parchment that had been thrown through the gate. It is an update of current events from Whispin:

—The Royal Seeker Whispin sent to the gate excavation site found the area occupied by the Githerzai and he was not allowed to transcribe the needed glyphs.

—The Githerzai want the Gate currently in the Citadel in Tammerland.

Hadran has been less than diplomatic with the Githyanki. Whispin fears it may lead to open hostilities.

—From what Whispin has gathered, the Githyanki believe the Illithid are planning something big that involves all the gates spread throughout Astil.

—Whispin has sent out people to find Gratian, who was presumably prepping to retake the capital from his brother. Whispin believes Gratian is better equipped to treat with the Githyanki than his ill-tempered younger brother, Hadran.

Upon reading Whispin’s update, the party travels to Hillshollow Crest. Once there, they are summoned by Count Byron Eyrewell to his estate. He informs them that villagers have gone missing and robe-clad cultists have been seen. He also reveals that Hillshollow Crest sits on top of an old barrow that is a source of local legends and superstitions.

Our heroes set out for the entrance to the barrow as a starting point in their investigation and find it guarded by orcs and ghouls. They dispatch the guards and enter the barrow. However, after encountering a pair of ghasts, they decide to head back to town and regroup.

Lastly, Zeki finally sees a vision when he puts on the magical mask they got from the harpy, Kremkina:

“You are walking in a stone, curved corridor. You are passing other people who are wearing fine robes and other adornments. You come to a thick door and open it to reveal a large chamber with a stone ring in it. The portal is open and there are people standing around it. The vision ends.”

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