The Gates of Thralldom

Adding the Baelnorn Template to Characters

Immediately gain 8+ Con modifier in Hit Points

Proficiency bonus +2

Proficiency with Constitution saving throws and gain proficiency in Arcana (Intelligence). If you already have proficiency in Constitution saving throws or Arcana (Intelligence), you now have expertise.

You now Truesight out to 120’.

You may increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can’t increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.

You are now treated as undead. You no longer require air, food, drink, or sleep, though you must still rest to restore your energy. In addition, you have resistance to cold, lightning and necrotic damage; immunity to poison damage; and immunity to the poisoned condition.

Your flesh is withered . You now take no damage from nonmagical attacks and are immune to the following conditions: charmed, exhaustion, frightened and paralyzed. In addition, you have advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.

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Session 19
Prelude to the Finale

Our heroes planeshifted to Everkeep Harbor to regroup and heal. While there, they went to see Zerowyn and follow up on her research into the gates. She presents a Gate Crystal that she believes will cause unstable “Splooshes” out of the gates when activated. They will turn back in on themselves and destroy everything in a 50’ radius—perhaps even the gates themselves. At worst, a hefty blow to the Illithid’s plan, at best, the destruction of the gates making their plan impossible.

The party decides to go finish off the Elder Brain in the cavern and devise a plan. They planeshift in nearby, use Arcane Eye to scope out the situation, open an Arcane Gate right in front the the Stone Ring. Them Arthur, who was at another Gate, connected the two gates, causing the “sploosh” to travel through the Arcane Gate and obliterating the Elder Brain. With the Brain gone, the heroes mop up the other enemies. Sadly, they find the body of Kira Darkscale, her brain extracted.

Shortly after the battle, the metal Sphere the party has activates and Whispin’s face appears. He has arrived through the old temple gate and wants the party to join him.
He informs them that they are now working with the Githerzai to stop the Mind Flayers. Whispin has a plan to infiltrate the location of the Master Gate, which the Githerzai know the l;ocation of, but it involves something the PCs may not like…They have to die.

Whispin explains his idea to turn our heroes into Baelnorns—liches—in order to be invisible to the Elder Brains far reaching mental sensitivity. It still makes the mission very dangerous, but at least their presence wouldn’t immediately be known.

The party agrees in principle to the plan, but Whispin tells them the decision is ultimately up to the Elves. With that, the group travels back to Tammerland and deep into Elven lands. They travel to Castle Briar, a seemingly alive keep made of tree branches and roots and lorded over by G’Wairin Enderan.

G’Wairin takes them to a beautiful garden to meet one of the Seldarine—Elven Gods—for it is them whom create the Baelnorn. Mythrien Sarath, Elven god of protective magic, describes how very few Baelnorn have ever been created. But with the unprecedented situation that has arisen, the Seldarine have granted Whispin’s request—with one caveat. The Baelnorns’ souls will be placed in phylacteries as insurance that once the mission is complete, the heroes will come back and be restored to their mortal bodies.

And with that, Zeki jumps out of the Mind Flayer’s body and Mythrien disposes of the aberration. Then the ritual to create Baelnorns begins…

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Session 18

The battle against the Gnoll Mage continued and ended in victory for our heroes, though they were badly injured and battle-worn. They discovered two more obelisks off this chamber and activated them with jokes.

After heading back to the canyon, the group found another cave to the East. They discovered it was home to two behirs, which they slayed.

In another cave further to the south our heroes ran into another band of gnollos, whom they dispatched. But it was hear they also found a trapped boulder that was blocking another room. They dislodged the boulder and revealed a room with a stone gate as well as more gnolls and several Illithids. One of the Illithids looked different than the others, having much longer face tentacles.

As the battle begins, Zeki traps the long-tentacled Illithid’s soul in a gem and inhabits his body. The group uses this element of surprise to take out a large number of their enemies. However, the PCs are then surprised to learn the pool not only has tadpoles, but an Elder Brain. It lashed out with mental attacks and tentacles. The PCs end up retreating through teleportation to another plane.

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Session 17

Our adventurers decided to explore a cave entrance to the west. The cave is dark, but they here footsteps approaching. The group tries to hide, but one party member is seen and battle ensues. It turns out to be a group of gnolls that were excavating in the cave. After defeating the gnolls, the party finds another obelisk room and a revently excavated door further to the west.

Through the newly created door, the party find a square room with a brazier in the center and a stone slab door and 4 plaques on the southern wall. Each plaque has a riddle on it. The party quickly solves all the puzzles and the stone slab slides open.

The party enters the next room to discover another gnoll warband. This one includes a leader of some sort and two large gnolls holding the leashes two giant hyenas apiece. The leader convulses and speaks words that do not appear to be his own. He informs the group he grows tiresome of them and that he will feast upon their brains. With that, battle ensues.

The leader attempts to Hold the adventurers but is thwarted. Arthur rushes the spellcaster while the giant hyenas are let loose. Zeki, seeing the situation may get out of control, puts up a Wall of Force that traps a gnoll and two of the giant hyenas.

Despite reducing the number of enemies to fight at once, the party finds the leader is quite powerful with both spells and sheer strength. Arthur’s attempts to trip him fail and the leader responds by unleashing massive amounts of damage. Arthur goes down, Zeki retreats into hiding, and Teela is currently in the grips of the leader gnoll…

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Session 16
The adventurers decide to explore a cave to the west inside the canyon. The spot and skirt around an area of quicksand only to run into a cave dragon. They defeat the dragon and subsequently find several round rooms with an obsidian obelisk in them. The plinth has an image of a laughing mask and an inscription that reads “Tell Me a Joke.” The party tells some jokes and at one point the obelisk shimmers and the inscription disappears.

Heading further south in the canyon, the group comes to a ruin henge guarded by a large hyena-like fiend. He convulses and seems to be channeling someone else’s words. He accuses them of being the ones that have been giving him trouble and that he will enjoy seeing them die. With that, he attacks. Zeki ends up exiling him back to his own plane. However, Enzio gets surprised by a Sand Wrym hidden under the soil and it trapped by it’s cage-like spikes on its back. Zeki polymorphs Enzio into a T Rex to break him free and the group defeats the dragon.

THe Henge itself consists of 5 tall standing stones, each inscribed with an indecipherable script. A raven lands atop one of the standing stones and begins speaking. We learn a Dragon Born Warlock named Kira Darkscale is also exploring the canyon. She came here through investigating the Illithid after finding her sister, Nezira, dead from an Intellect Devourer. She is several hours further south of the party’s location, but she can see and speak through her raven, Majeus. The party agrees to allow the Raven to travel with them while Kira makes her way north to the party.

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Session 15

The group travels back to their “home” stone ring in the abandoned temple.

Upon arriving, the group find a message from Whispin:

“Greetings fellow Seekers! We have successfully negotiated with the Githerzai and have been granted access to the stone base of the Ring outside of Tammerland. We have people heading out to get the glyphs off the base as I write this, so depending on when you read this, we should be able to travel through the ring within a few days.

Gratian is back in power and Hadran is under house arrest. The situation here will be delicate as Gratian decides how to handle his brother and those soldiers and politicians who backed him. But that is not our biggest concern at the moment…

The Githerzai have filled us in on what the Illithid have planned. They want to use the Stone Rings to psychically link an unknown number of Elder Brains. They believe that if enough Elder Brains can be linked, a sort of psychic flare will occur, giving them almost unlimited mental powers. The Githerzai believe they are trying to achieve their goal through the rapid production of tadpoles, using the tadpoles to create more Illithid, and then immediately sacrificing those Flayers so that the brains can be used to form new Elder Brains—all of which would need to be near a Stone Ring in order for their plan to work.

There is so much more to say, but we will have to leave it until we can come to Astil. In the meantime, you must do what you can to secure or take back any Stone Rings that you know of. One less stone ring in the Illithid’s control means one less Elder Brain linked.

I have a few more things to look into here, but I will see you as soon as I can.

Whispin”

From here, our heroes head out to find the second gate they learned about from the Azlanti/Tuathan complex under the Everkeep Harbor prison. They are attacked yet again by a group of drow. They dispatch their foes in a hard-fought battle and eventually arrive in Hills Edge, a small village that is essentially a lumber camp.

The adventurers visit the tavern and learn that the city is about to bar visitors due to an outbreak of a laughing disease. The outbreak has shut down the commerce of Hills Edge and its sister town, Duskmoon. Travelling near Laugher’s Gorge hear laughter coming from the canyon and many have been attacked by bands of gnolls. Coincidentally, Laugher’s Gorge looks to be roughly where the Stone Circle should be.

While in the tavern, the party is approached by none other than Zerowyn Etronis. She confesses she knows what the Illithid are up to but that she also has a plan to stop them. She reveals that there is a “master gate” and that she is working on a crystal that will overload all the gates when they are interconnected. She tells the Seekers to come see her at her tower if they find the location of this master gate.

The adventurers head out to the gorge and descend 400 feet to the canyon floor. They encounter a patrol of gnolls with a mammoth. The party does battle with them and then prepares to strike out deeper into the canyon.

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Session 14

After defeating Ruknar, the adventurers search the rest of the goblin compound and then head deeper into the complex. They spot four lizardmen-like creatures hoisting a large metal kettle while a MInd Flayer supervises. Our heroes decide to attack. The din of battle attracts two more Illithid from another room from the south.

The Royal Seekers ably handle their opponents and then backtrack into a large, columned room. Here they find humanoids in various stages of ceremorphosis—the process of transforming into a Mind Flayer. Distracted by the strange sight, the group is attacked by an Invisible stalker. Our heroes dispatch the stalker and then kill the caged humanoids.

The adventurers head further south into a large cavern with a naturally occurring pool. This room contains a large detachment of lizard men and some Illithid. The Seekers engage in battle with them and overcome their enemies, but not before a Mind Flayer teleports out of the cavern.

The heroes realize the pool of water is teeming with thousands—possibly millions— of Illithid tadpoles. It appears they were breeding the tadpoles here and then transporting them in the large kettles to somewhere else. Zeki brings down lightning on the pool and kills all the tadpoles.

Continuing to the next room, the group finds a Stone Ring. THey note the address on the stone base and then use the Ring to transport to their home base in the abandoned temple.

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Session 13

Arthur is confronted with a basilisk in the pit. The party makes quick work of it while they shake off its petrifying effect. They continue further south into the complex, meeting resistance from goblins and bugbears. The adventurers come to a prison area, but the goblins killed the prisoners before the heroes could get to them. Further south they come to what looks to be a “church” of the goblins. There are a horde of goblins listening to an apparent leader goblin. Battle ensues and the goblin regulars are dispatched. The leader goblin tries to strike a deal with the adventurers, but they strike him down instead.

Finally, at the end of the hall, the heroes face off against Ruknar, the Hobgoblin Chieftain of the Blood Moon goblins. Our heroes must battle his concubines and hobgoblin guards. Once they kill Ruknar himself, they realize he was being controlled by an intellect devourer. With quick thinking, Zeki turns it into a frog and throws it in their bag of devouring.

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Session 12
Old Friends

The party’s rest was interrupted when they are attacked by the reconstituted skulls. They deal with them, leave the vault and close the door. The adventurers decide to head back to the ground floor to get to the staircase that leads into the goblin lair.

Upon reaching the first floor, however, the party is attacked by the Drow assassins whom they had clashed with before. They must have been able to track the party here. Our heroes manage to defeat the Drow and capture one for interrogation. All they can get out of him is that he was commanded by his Mistress to kill them. He is rather recalcitrant as he assumes he is dead either way—killed by the battle’s victors or his own Mistress. The party decides to let him go.

The adventurers once again head back down into the goblins’ lower level lair. They fight some more goblins as it appears they have discovered many of their numbers missing, including the gnoll emissaries. The heroes head down the southern hallway to where they know a pit exists, thanks to the use of Arcane Eye. Arthur, leading the way, springs a trap and is catapulted forward into the 30’ deep pit. As he stands up and dusts himself off, a large door in one wall of the pit begins to open…

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Session 11
The Last of the Tuathans

The party decides to go south and fight the goblins. As there are two other doors out of this room, the party plans to block those doors so as to isolate the goblins from help or warning others. Oredoth moves to guard the east door. Zeki’ casts a web spell to block the west door and catch some goblins in it. Teela uses hail of thorns to damage several goblins. The party discovers that these goblins are stronger than goblins they had fought before. Never the less, the party was mowing the goblins down. Then Zeki’ decided to burn the web. Unfortunately, this allowed some goblins to escape to the west. Zeki’ cast another web spell to trap the goblins once again. Problem was that the goblins had moved around a corner and out of line of sight. Arthur waded into the web to try and reach the goblins. Because of the narrowness of the corridor, no one else could do the same. But, no matter; Arthur killed them before they got away. The party found a message on the goblins. It said something about the bleached skull tribe coordinating with the bloodmoon tribe to move the master’s cargo.

The party then checked out a door in the west corridor. The room was some type of armory. They found a secret door which led to a secret room. This room did not look like anyone had been there for a very long time. The party to the chance to rest. While there was some noise in the armory, the party’s rest was not disturbed. The party decided to go east and up some stairs. Oredoth activated a trap while climbing the stairs. It largely only affected him. The party came to the door leading to the court yard of the keep. They found another pair of doors locked and chained. They unlocked the door and chain. They entered the room prepared for a big fight. At first they just saw webs, Spiders they thought. They started shooting arrows with light on it to try and find the spiders up in the rafters. They also discovered that the webs did not burn. The spiders knew their craft and managed to surprise the party. Luckily there were only two. After some heroics from Arthur – climbing up into the rafters to kill one spider and then jumping down to severely wound another – the fight was soon over.

After searching through all the spider webs and finding just skeletons, the party moved upstairs. The party found three large bedrooms with the ghost of a young boy in one. Enzio persuaded the boy-ghost to answer the party’s questions. The boy-ghost told the party that this was the last outpost of Tuathian descent. He also said that there was a secret portal nearby. The party did find the boy’s parent’s remains and buried them in the courtyard under a tree. This brought peace and closure to the boy and his ghost left.

Finding the secret door was a major challenge. The party threw all the upstairs furniture into the main hall below. After much searching, a door was found leading down in the wall of the castle. Near the bottom, the party came upon a strange door. It had what appeared to be a wood replica of a demon’s head above it. It gave off a strange chant. While Maelen and Enzio were prepping Arthur to brave the mystical chant, Oredoth impetuously went forward to investigate. Oredoth froze with a blank stare on his face. Arthur just took a step around the corner and met the same fate inspite of all the protective spells. The rest of the party pulled Arthur back and was able to slap Arthur out of it. Zeki tried several ways to try and understand what this was without success. All this did was summon a fire elemental. As Oredoth was too far away to be rescued, the fire elemental set him ablaze and headed for the remainder of the party. Zeki turned the fire elemental into a toad and then had the brilliant idea to throw the toad down the bag of devouring. With some flame and a puff of smoke, fire elemental was gone. finally, Arthur smashed the wood replica which ended the chanting. Once awoken, Oredoth doused himself with water to put out the flames.

The party now opened the door to face three floating skeletal heads. The combined fire power of the party quickly ended this threat. The party decided that this was a good placed to rest after a long day of adventuring.

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