Stygian Crypts and Shining Heroes

Moonstair Saved!

With King Skalmad and the Stone Cauldron destroyed, the threat of a renewed troll kingdom is ended. Moonstair, Therund, and all neighboring lands are safe.

While returning the Sunwrath blade to Baron Perenon, along the route the heroes hear tales of Valmour Tessount, son of a prominent aristocrat, who needs a party of heroes to investigate a crew of missing miners in his copper mine. Additionally, the heroes have heard several rumors that several cultists have joined a small mining operation nearby. Putting two and two together, our band of heroes has decided to investigate.

The Town of Moonstair

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Entrance Cavern

After spending a few minutes searching the fortress, the heroes discovered that it had long since been abandoned. What, then, were the Cyclopses guarding exactly?

The only notable feature of the fortress was a large rift in the open-air courtyard. The heroes decided to investigate by tossing a rock enchanted with a Light spell into the hole. They found a floor twenty feet below. Benedict and Klyred decided to find the floor the hard way.

Glowing fungi scattered dim light throughout the cavern, casting faint shadows across the cracked and pitted floor. Against the wall in the southeast corner, a large catlike creature lied on a bed of straw, long tentacles emerging from its back.

The heroes had discovered a formerly sleeping Displacer Beast. Unfortunately, it’s sleep had been interrupted by party members slipping and falling to the floor.

The creature rose to its feet, its glowing eyes narrowed as it stretched its back and growled. Its tentacles lashed the air as it sprang to attack.

Soon after engaging the beast,

Suddenly, three translucent gray forms stepped out from the stone wall of the cavern. The figures appeared to be trolls — two with wicked serrated claws, the other with an oversized jaw and razor-sharp obsidian teeth. Wisps of shadow streamed off them as they attacked.

The heroes handily defeated the attackers, despite the displacement ability of the beast, and the Ghost Trolls being insubstantial.

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Guardhouse

A short way down the trail,

The heroes heard snarling voices from what appeared to be a guardhouse ahead. Within the open entryway stood six one-eyed giants, battle axes at the ready as they roared a challenge.

As the party moved up towards the guardhouse,

A shout came from the roof, followed closely by a hail of spears.

The heroes were surprised by cyclops impalers, lurking on the roof, forty feet above. While Juhani and Reed sprinted inside, Benedict, Shamish and Valaar stayed outside to deal with the lurkers on the roof. Two of the lurkers were eventually pulled off the roof, down to the heroes. Klyred positioned himself strategically in the doorway so that he could perform healing on his buddies inside or outside the building.

After a few minutes, the heroes were able to dispatch the enemies.

After catching their breath, the heroes begun searching the fortress.

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Waterfall

The next morning, the heroes set off down the trail past the outpost.

The path ahead was partially flooded where water cascaded down from the cliff above. The wide pond was stagnant and murky, with trees and other foliage from the surrounding forest growing up on both sides of the submerged road.

After examining the area, the heroes decided to move past the shallows, when they were attacked!

A couple of huge crocodiles burst from the water in a shower of mud and wet leaves. At the same time, several fast-moving humanoid creatures bound from the trees. They had short swords in their hands, their oversized teeth bared as they attacked.

The heroes were able to dispatch the crocodiles and the quicklings with relative ease.

The party decided to move on without lingering more than a few minutes.

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Cliffside Portal and the Outpost

The heroes felt a sudden lurch as the throne chamber blurred, then just as quickly snapped back into focus. They appeared not to have moved at all, yet the roof of the cavern had been replaced by open sky. What were once walls had become towering cliffs heavy with moss, a tree-covered landscape around the party torn through by enormous rifts extending down into darkness.

The color of the throne had darkened to a near-black hue. A rock-slide has shattered the doorway that once led to the chamber to the north. A pale yellow glow radiated from that area.

The party found a door inscribed with Rellanic runes, but were immediately attacked by several Helmed Horrors. The Horrors kept being re-animated by the portal, until the heroes decided to open the portal, instead of continue fighting.

Valaar was able to activate the portal, which deactivated the Horrors. After catching their breath, the party moved on.

After following the path beyond the portal for a time, the heroes found an ancient outpost.

The outpost must once have served as an inspection point for travelers bound for the fortress. Eight pillars supported the ceiling, each carved at the top in the shape of a dragon’s head. The open mouth of each pillar dripped an acrid-smelling viscous green fluid. One of the pillars had been smashed, and a section of the ceiling had fallen here without the support of the pillar.

A hunched and misshapen giant stood before them, her skin a sickly purple-gray. One of her eyes was larger than the other, its catlike iris shot through with black veins. With her deformed arms, she raised a gnarled wooden staff.

The party was set upon by a Fomorian, a native to the Underdark in the Feywild.

With some difficulty, the heroes were able to defeat her.

After the battle, the party had to retreat to a safe area, and set up camp.

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King Skalmad defeated again!

Skalmad was defeated a second time in his cavern. Skalmad’s magical eye vanished in a burst of arcane fire as he fell!

After a thorough search of the area, Juhani discovered that Skalmad’s throne was magical, and upon further investigation it was learned that it was a magical portal.

Skalmad’s valet, a human named Dethos, captured from Moonstair over a year ago, emerged from the king’s hidden chambers, and pleaded with the heroes to take him home. The party asked if he would be OK hiding until they returned from the Feywild. He reluctantly agreed, noting that Skalmad’s chambers were stocked with provisions.

He also told the heroes that the missing blade Sunwrath was taken into the Feywild by Skalmad, but he did not bring it back.

After camping the night, in Skalmad’s chambers, the heroes were able to decipher the arcane ritual that allowed the Troll King to use his throne to enter the Feywild.

The heroes decided to use the throne, instead of trekking back to the Moon Door, to see if they could find this rumored stone cauldron that might be the source of Skalmad’s power.

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Collecting Cavern

A short while later, the heroes turned a corner, went down some roughly carved steps, and found:

A dark cavern with a large stream flowing through it from west to east. Stalagmites and columns of stone were scattered around the area.

A few steps into the cave and

Subtle movement in the shadows caught the heroes eye. Several troglodytes rushed from behind the rock columns, javelins clutched in their claws.

A moment after the troglodytes attacked,

One of the stalagmites suddenly opened a single red eye that glared at Reed, and stony tentacles unfurled from around it.

After narrowly defeating the trogs and the roper, the heroes decided that they needed to camp for the night.

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