The Gates of Thralldom

Session 2
The Kobold Caves

Our heroes set out from Oallhelm to find the kobolds that have been raiding the town. After travelling for a day or so, they come across a small cave opening. Curiously, the mouth of the cave is littered with kobold bodies. The group decides to stake out the cave.from a safe distance That night, they see a humanoid creature, which turns out to be a Grimlock, come out of the cave.

The party goes into the cave and fights their way through hordes of Grimlocks and Kobolds, who are often engaged in battle with each other. Deep in the cave, the party encounters a room with a lone Illithid. The Illithid Mind Blasts the group and makes its escape. After the party recovers, they discover the room has a large brine pool full of Illithid tadpoles. A table in the room shows evidence the Illithid was grinding up kobold brains.

As the party makes their way out of the cave entrance, they encounter a large group of kobolds and see the Illithid dead before them…

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Session 1

Our adventurers began their session by traveling back to the stone ring portal to find Whispin had sent another Royal Seeker through. Teela Shortbow, a halfling ranger joins the party and brings with her a metallic sphere in which the group can communicate with Whispin while the portal is open.

Whispin informs them that Hadran has indeed taken over Tammerland but his brother, Gratian, managed to escape. Hadran has Whispin on lockdown, limiting his access to resources and people. Luckily, Whispin has some magical tricks up his sleeve, and can manage to be of help.

The party updates Whispin on what they have found out so far, including finding a set of glyphs at the base of their portal that matches the ones Whispin pressed to open the portal to Astil. Unfortunately, Whispin’s gate is not on the original platform as it was moved from an excavated site. However, Whispin thinks he might be able to get someone to travel there and investigate.

The adventurers then set off to find the ruins on the map they found on the skeleton when they first arrived at the temple. After a day’s journey, they come across a ruined temple. There they find Nezira, a dragon-born who claims she lives there. She insists the party leaves as this is her home. The party sensed she was lying and and pushed the issue. Nezira attacks the party, and after a short battle, is defeated. However, when she dies, it is discovered she had been taken over by an intellect devourer.

After dispatching the devourer, the party explores the rooms under the temple. It appears to be some kind of meeting area. The door had a symbol in Qualith, the rare written language of the Illithid, that said “The Gatherers.”

Next, the party heads south on the road from Hillscrest Hollow to Oallhelm, a midsize mining and agricultural town. The town is experiencing raids from kobolds and the party agrees to take care of the problem in exchange for a bounty. The party heads east and runs into a raiding party of kobolds. They dispatch the group, but are surprised to discover a flying breed of kobold that also breathes fire. The group heads back to Oallhelm to regroup before heading out again.

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The Adventure Begins
Session 0

The session began where the Prologue left off, with some of our adventurers answering a summons from Whispin, the Royal Wizard. He proceeds to show them a large, stone ring that was excavated from an ancient site on the fringes of the empire. After much research, he discovered the ring was a portal and figured out how to activate it. While demonstrating the portal, the city is attacked by Hadran’s troops and the laboratory is stormed, Whispin sends the Royal Seekers through for their protection, hoping he himself is too valuable to kill. He vows to keep studying the portal and hopes he can help them soon.

With that, our adventurers step through the portal and find themselves in an old temple. Besides the gate, there is also a skeleton propped up against a wall. Upon examining the body, they notice part of the skull is missing, yet there is no signs of blunt force trauma. They also find a leather gauntlet and an old map on the body.

The party also notes that at the base of the stone ring is glyphs matching the ones that Whispin pressed to activate the portal in his laboratory.

Our heroes discover the gauntlet activates some kind of transport to an unknown location, perhaps under the temple, that contains living quarters. They find seven sets of remains in a locked room and an elongated red crystal in another.

Using the map, the party heads for the marked town. Traveling a day through heavy woods, they eventually come across farmland and the town of Hillshollow Crest. The village has several hundred people and is ran by Count Byron Eyrewell. The party spends some time in the Hearthflame Inn talking to Caldur One-Eye, the only dwarf in town, and then go to see the Count.

Count Eyrewell informs them his daughter, Lilya is missing and presumed kidnapped by bandits. He offers them free lodging and use of his library while they look for her. The party eventually finds the bandits at some ruins hidden in the thick forest. It turns out the bandits are Kenku and indeed were holding Lilya. The adventurers defeat the Kenku and free Lilya. Before leaving, the party decides to investigate one last building in the ruins and come across a harpy. The party grievously injures the harpy, Kremkina, in an opening salvo and she begs for her life. She gives the party all the baubles the Kenku left for her in exchange for her life. All she wants is to continue living in the ruins and is actually glad the Kenku are gone. The party agrees and suggests they may visit her from time to time, with trinkets in tow.

The party takes Lilya back to Hillshollow Crest and Count Byron Eyrewell.

Through their library research the party learns they are on Astil, a continent just north of Tammerland’s. The area they are in is simply known as The Wilds. It is an area that is not densely populated and is littered with the ruins of an ancient people known as the Tuath.

The Tuath were human magic wielders who subjugated the other races in the area Ages ago. Their civilization is thought to have been brought low by their own magical experimentation. Something went wrong and large swaths of territory were leveled. The Tuath were no more, though humans in the area like to think they are the direct descendants. All that is left of the Tuath now are their ruins that litter the landscape.

The lore seems to indicate that there are more of these stone rings out there, and especially so in this area. It is presumed the Tuath were the original creators, even though there appears to be no magical aura to the portals.

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Prologue

The King is dead.

King Braydon Meadowstar II, after a long and prosperous reign, has died. Power has smoothly transitioned to his eldest son, Gratian, who is very much like his father. Kind, disciplined, and curious, King Gratian is destined to continue Tammerland’s era of peace and prosperity.

You are members of the Royal Seekers—a guild, of sorts, of the Court. Began by Braydon, the group’s myriad functions include exploration, trade, research, information gathering and spying—a catch-all organization whose purpose is to enhance the greater glory of the Kingdom and whose top members consult directly with the King. Due to its dizzying array of duties, the Retinue has a eclectic mix of personalities and backgrounds.

The most trusted and famed member of the Royal Seekers is Whispin, the Court Wizard. A master of magic, a tinkerer,and utterly brilliant—if not a little scatterbrained—Whispin is tirelessly researching ancient artifacts, experimenting with alchemical agents, researching the natural world and advising the King. He has excitedly called you to his Tower to show you his latest discovery.

Yet all is not well in Tammerland, as Gratian’s younger brother, the great general Hadran has arrived at the city behind a sizeable army. Hadran now claims he should be King as he is better suited for leadership. After all, The Kingdom would not still stand if not for his superior stewardship of the Royal army.

With the City on full-alert and prepared for invasion, you arrive at Whispin’s Tower laboratory…

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