Knights of the Longbox

In the company of serpents

Their hidden traveler revealed, the party is left under the care of two of Eela Ssyzareth’s yuan-ti halfblood bodyguards and meeting the also imprisoned Calliope Tass. Cale, Rimidan and Sabrina slip off their hooks and attempt to make an escape, fighting the serpent men without their weapons as best they can until Eela arrives, a sobbing Norkas in tow.

Eela reveals herself as a yuan-ti, a race of people who, in ancient times, mingled with serpents and were cursed for their hubris. She reveals that the yuan-ti plan to sacrifice a priestess before the full moon, ushering in a new hatching of her people, who plan to rise from the earth and retake the thrones abandoned by the elves. She promises the party will be unable to stop her as they’ll be fed to the yuan-ti as needed.

After days of travel, the party arrives at a cave on the edge of the desert. They’re led down into the dark, past guards and shadowy chambers into a prison area where they’re placed in cages suspended over a pit of crocodiles. Their only other companion: a mysterious wounded half orc, also waiting his death.

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The secret of the circus

Rejoining the circus after slaying the pursuing troll, the party searches for Eela Ssyzareth in the crowd as the South Sea Circus begins drawing an audience. The team eventually meets with Norkas Soldshor. tells them Eela is off negotiating with someone in Good Heel and the circus is without her guards. Seeing an opportunity to break into the forbidden cart, Syd and Cale set up for some larceny while Sabrina and Rimidan head into town searching for Eela. Claude provides a distraction for both groups with a performance.

Rimidan and Sabrina are rebuffed at the gates of the church of Agon by one of Eela’s guards. Suspicious of what she may be doing inside the church, the pair reunite with Syd and Cale and dispatch Cale to figure out what’s happening in the parish. Rimidan looks out for trouble while Sabrina plays lookout for Syd during the break in.

Syd unlocks the cart and finds a statue inside of a frozen woman on her knees. She’s startled by what seems to be an old women, who reveals herself as a medusa and paralyzes the halfling with her horrifying gaze. Outside, Sabrina hears a sound behind the snake cart and finds Logan Ducane, who attacks her, assuming she’s an agent of a group called The Harpers. Sabrina disarms him and convinces him to let her go before the pair hear the scream of the medusa inside.

Cale hops the church fence and takes a peak inside the stained glass windows, hearing Eela speaking in a hissing unknown language with several other figures. She flees from the scene without being noticed, speaking with Rimidan and deciding to return to Sabrina and Syd, just in time to hear the battle breaking out. Unfortunately, Eela’s guards hear the scream as well and everyone converges on the cart.

Sabrina resists Logan’s attempts to pull her out of the fray and she, with Cale and Rimidan fight and bring down the medusa, avenging the statued Syd. Their victory is short-lived, however, as Eela offers to help save the halfling only if the party follows through with her wishes. She disarms them and manacles them inside the snake cart, revealing her pet serpents to be a pair of hideous snake-men bodyguards in service to a horrible cult..

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Deal with the demon

Deep within the ruins of Emery the party arrives at the tower of Pandrius, a half demon elf collector with a taste for the finery of civilizations long past. The negotiations with the cambion are tense as he sizes up the party for artifacts, eventually settling on the magic lenses the party found within the manticore’s lair. Pandrius demands them for himself while Cale and Rimindan offer to make a deal for access to the well. Pandrius seems hesitant but allows the party to test the magic properties of the well for themselves before making a deal.

The party agrees to work with Pandrius for access to the magic healing water of the well, agreeing to take 4 jobs a year from him in exchange for a payment and access to the water. After more tenseness, Cale hands off the lenses to one of Pandrius’ gargoyle servants and the party fills their waterskins with magic water and leave the ruins, with the half-fiend’s laughter echoing behind them.

Upon arrival on the path to Good Heel, the party finds that their water no longer hums with magic or retains its silver hue. Feeling tricked by Pandrius, the group briefly considers demanding answers from the collector but decides instead to return to Eela and the circus in Good Heel. They mount up and continue on their path only for Claude to spot a familiar green shape behind them. A certain troll is following them, having recovered from the wounds of its first encounter with the party. With Rimidan and Cale spurring their mounts to escape, Sabrina falls from the back of her horse, becoming a target for the lumbering monster.

The party dismounts and heads into battle, finally butchering the creature. They ultimately build a fire, charring the troll’s head and hacking its body into pieces before slinging them around the road. With their grim work complete and a storm on the horizon, the party mounts back up and heads into Good Heel, the circus’ performance already in full swing as the clouds break.

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The ruins of Emery

After the excitement with the troll, the adventurers briefly speak with Eela and Ducane before tucking in for the night. Early the next morning, the wagon caravan is up and running again, heading to the party’s first performance in Good Heel.

Along the road, the party spots a set of stone steps leading down into a valley and what appears to be a small berg and ruined keep. Claude remembers the keep is what remains of the community of Emery, a ruined home of a wizard that now is notable for allegedly being the home of a magic well, the water of which can heal any malady. The party discusses taking a side trip to Emery and catching up with the caravan in Good Heel and eventually agrees, heading down the stone steps and towards the ruins.

They eventually dismount in a small graveyard, where they quickly realize they’re being watched by ghouls. Channeling holy power, Rimidan turns half the undead while the rest are finished by Cale. The group finds that the ghouls were attempting to break into one of the masoleums after a certain cache of treasure buried with a corpse. Rimidan is hesitant to take any of the treasure but the rest of the group divides it up evenly.

The party continues to move east into the city but notices they’re being watched by a host of gargoyles, all pretending to be statues. Remembering their encounter with the creatures back in Sommerset, Cale recommends retreating but before the party can come to a decision, they’re confronted by a fast talking half-elf, half-demon named Pandrius, demanding to know if the party are a group of couriers he’s waiting on. Realizing his mistake, Pandrius invites the players to the tower, hoping to make a deal.

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Snakes and secrets

The next morning, the party meets with Eela Ssyzareth again to pitch an act but don’t quite have a plan. Claude ultimately buys the party another day to come up with something to keep them in the circus and they meet the ringleader, Norkas Soldshor, a drunken gnome clown. Gathering onto his wagon, the train heads south.

After a few hours, screams from the front of the train draw the players attention as it appears a manticore has attacked. Eela says the party should investigate as they haven’t proven their value to her yet. They separate from the train and enter the steppes, looking for the monster’s home. They ultimately find it’s cave and battle the flying monster, putting it down from the air and collecting its treasure.

The party returns to the train and is greeted warmly by Eela and Norkas. As the ride nearly ends, Rimidan Leney presses Norkas for details on Eela’s leadership. Norkas talks about how the caravan had to leave behind one member up north as Eela forced the circus to keep moving south. He also reveals that one of the wagons is filled with snakes and there’s another mysterious wagon no one is allowed in. Flubbing his attempt at negotiation, Rimmidan scares off Norkas as he presses for details and the gnome heads into the wagon to sleep it off.

As the train makes camp, the party meets with the rest of the performers, getting Syd’s fortune told by Mystra, meeting with the animal handlers and the dancers as well. They drink and be merry with the rest of the crew until a few begin to notice a loping shape in the dark. The party attempts to notify guards and others about the creature but their warnings fall on deaf ears. They ultimately fire a light enchanted arrow towards the creature and illuminate a troll that they face. The beast rapidly recovers from the wounds the party deals, but ultimately, they’re able to put it down, seemingly for good with a decapitation.

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The journey south

Facing off against a hooded assassin and a pack of summoned, demonic apes, the party goes to work, battling the beasts and the ninja. The hooded assassin complicates the fight with a fog spell and makes his escape, although Syd attempts to keep track of the mysterious figure as he leaps across rooftops. Ultimately, the group fights off the beasts and manages to explore the house a little as the authorities arrive. They take note of a series of scrolls and papers the assassin was going over but don’t think much of them and leave as Eobard Redburn arrives to investigate the scene.

Returning to the Lord’s Pardon and sending Claude to gather information about the home’s tenant, the party decides that they should steal the papers the assassin was going over. They attempt to reenter the house but a guard mentions that the scene is closed as Eobard investigates. Ultimately, Cale decides to send her animal companion in to attempt to steal the scrolls. The snake enters the house but is quickly spotted and returns with only a scrap of one of the scrolls. The party beats a hasty retreat away from the crime scene for a second time.

Sabrina recognizes the writing on the scroll as Draconic and the party decides to seek out someone who could read the words. They ultimately decide to meet with Lavernicus, an alchemist and witch who Sabrina had met previously. Lavernicus recognizes that the scroll was written in code and offers to attempt to break the code if the party would collect four books on Infernal Planes for them. Sabrina agrees and leaves the code with Lavernicus as the party hopes to find the books they seek in Shiverling.

With night approaching and little information revealed about the home’s resident, Syd recommends that the party head south to join the circus they’d heard so much about. The party makes their remaining, last minute preparations and heads out of the city on horseback towards the circus. They arrive late in the night and are accosted by guards who eventually introduce them to Eela Ssyzareth, the manager of the circus. Eela questions the party’s motives and performing experience and Claude manages to help ease her worries about the group. After some convincing, Eela welcomes them to stay the night and promises to negotiate their contract with the circus the next morning.

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Shiverling beckons

Helping themselves to mounts they find in the dwarves’ camp, the party prepares for the long ride back to Sommerset. They make it back by nightfall, selling off many of the weapons and armor they had accumulated and sending a message to Rummiran that they’re prepared to meet with Lady Alice Redburn about the city’s logging operations.

The next morning, the party gathers in front of Castle Sommerset and meets with Queen Lillisandra’s envoy before speaking with Redburn and together enter the court. Negotiations over the logging initially are at a stalemate until Cale and Claude suggest a reforesting process and limiting forrestry to only one specific area of the wood. Both sides seem to be in agreement.

The negotiations are nearly broken up by Varys Akida, who attempts to brush past guards to speak with Redburn about his doomed attempt to enter the mine. Cale attempts to calm him down and appeal to his honor and, while he’s still perturbed, he manages to have a meeting with the Redburns with a slightly less hostile attitude.

The party retires to the Lord’s Arms tavern to plan their next move, hoping to head to Shiverling with some plans of becoming pirates. They send Claude to gather information about groups heading to the city and follow two ledes, one involving a halfling crusade to a long abandoned desert outpost and the other to join a circus caravan finishing their summer loop in the south. They shop for supplies and ready themselves before the North End of Sommerset is rocked by an explosion. Smoke pours from a building and gargoyles, seemingly awakened in the chaos attack a panicking crowd.

The party struggles to battle the gargoyles but a lucky hit from Rimidan Leney and the work of Sabrina the Teenage Sorceress and Cale push the last one to retreat. The party rushes into the house to investigate the explosion and find a mysterious man in a black cloak, flanked by a pair of demonic looking apes.

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The priestess' fall

Attempting to locate Bartek Battlebriar’s equipment within the mine, the party searched through the remaining areas of the level, encountering some hostile flora and a trapped room that nearly drowned Syd and Rimidan. After finally finding Bartek’s equipment, the party made a plan to retake the mine and take down Lyzzra DelOrnazene.

Casting a series of spells of strength, growth and heroism, the party descended into the mine and attempted to stop the priestess’ team of monsters and villains. With his magical strength and size, Rimidan managed to pushing one of the drow’s minotaurs off of a stone bridge, sending the monster plummeting to the mine’s floor and its death. Summoning a swarm of bats, Sabrina kept Lyzrra busy, unable to cast spells and unable to protect herself from a flurry of arrows and the coming blades of Rimidan and Bartek.

As her spells broke and health faded, Lyzzra plummetedd to the ground and her death. She whispered a few words of unintelligible Undercommon before her life was extinguished by Bartek. From there, the group descended into the bottom of the mine, freeing the remaining enslaved dwarves, reactivating a lift back up to the surface and taking the remainder of the treasures Lyzzra had accumulated.

Finally on the surface, Bartek offered the party a hearty thanks and led the rest of his people back to Hammerfell with an invitation for the adventurers to come to the dwarven stronghold someday. The adventurers agreed and watched as the dwarves headed off into the sunset.

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An ambush, a rescue and an ooze

With Kharys lying dead, the party searches the sorcerer’s body and quarters, finding the key to both the stores and the cell block. After briefly debating hunting for treasure, the group decides to see if they can rescue any of the drow’s hostages. The party breaks into the cell block and finds two hostages, a badly tortured elf and a seemingly dead dwarf.

The rescue attempt immediately goes awry however. After getting a loose burst of dust in his eyes while trying to open a cell door, Rimidan Leney is unable to see the attack of a mimic that swings at Cale. The sticky creature grapples both the paladin and Claude, beating the bard nearly to unconsciousness. Sabrina and Cale try to come up with a plan to stop the mimic before it kills Claude and ultimately kill off the creature after Rimidan gets free.

Healing the bard, Sabrina and Rimmidan interrogate Varys Akida, a captured elf noble who was dispatched by Lady Alice Redburn to complete the same task the party was assigned. Varys is less than excited to be rescued and openly scoffs at the half elves among the group as well as Cale, who doesn’t ascribe to any of the Elven High Houses.

Meanwhile, Cale and Syd speak with Bartek Battlebriar a captured dwarf war priest whose friends and family are enslaved by the drow in the mine proper. He’s badly injured but manages to tell the party both about Lyzzra DelOrnazene’s forces in the depths as well as how the drow took the mine. Bartek promises to help the party if they can help him find his equipment. Varys isn’t as eager to tangle with the drow again and takes his leave from the mine, offering one final taunt for Cale and promise to repay Lady Redburn for her perceived slight against House Akida.

The party decides to rest for the night before hunting for Bartek’s equipment. As morning arrives, they exit the jail cells and Rimmidan finds himself face to face with the gelatinous cube that’s been hiding in the mine. The party scrambles to put down the ooze as it tries to squeeze into the jail cells and consume the adventurers but Rimmidan stands his ground and cuts the sentient gel in two. With the monster down, the party decides to explore the rest of the floor, find Bartek’s gear and descend into the final depths of the mine.

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Blood in the mine

After descending into the mine’s depths, the party begins carefully making their ways through the halls. The rapidly stumble upon the mine’s waste disposal area, being taken care of by a pair of goblins and a massive otyugh. Rimidan strikes the beast and is eventually wrapped in its tentacles but is saved by a deadly shot by Cale.

The party dusts themselves off and returns to the mine’s main hallway. While attempting to move about some of the detritis in the hall, Syd falls into the mess alerting one of the drow’s pet minotaurs. The beast grievously wounds Syd and the party rushes to save her, with Claude keeping her alive as Sabrina sticks the monster to the ground and Rimidan defends his compatriots. After a series of deadly blows, the minotaur lay dying and was finished off by Syd.

The group next found a barracks’ taken by the orcs. With some quick thinking, Syd manages to bluff the orcs into surrendering and the party interrogates the goons. Syd learns about the drow’s prison and Kharys Del’Ornazene, the brother of drow priestess, Lyzzra DelOrnazene. The orcs fear the sinister sorcerer and the party decides to attempt to liberate the prisoners before taking on the spellcaster.

After briefly considering sneaking by some vocal plants, the party decides to break into the prison but they quickly draw the attention of Kharys. He plunges the hallway into supernatural darkness and Sabrina and Cale rush to deal with him. Cale delivers the death blow with an impaling arrow and the group breathes a sigh of relief as the drow breathes his last.

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