Knights of the Longbox

Angel's fall and history unearthed

On the shore of the cursed lake, the team fights through a twisted war crab before scampering across a rickety set of wooden planks. While the group harvests the poison from the crab, they come to the attention of Blag’rath of the Brine, a young adult black dragon, demonically twisted by the Fields. Claude realizes that the dragon can be bribed with an offering of treasure and Rimidan leads the effort to appease the drake. Blag’rath accepts a tribute and flies away and the team begins to climb up the sheer cliff face, eventually encountering a slaad hiding in a cave. Tug advocates killing the anarchic outsider but Rimidan choses to spare the beast although Syd does steal its treasures, including a wand that fires goo.

The party rests for the night and prepares to climb the rest of the cliff face but see that Blag’rath has returned. The party waits until the dragon heads into the water before heading back up the cliff but they’re spotted quickly. As the dragon comes in for an attack, Tug leaps into the fray, throwing the monster to the ground and engaging in a desperate struggle. Rimidan leaps into battle as well and he and Sabrina kill the drake but not before it destroys Tug. Witnessing the angel’s fall, the party struggles to move forward but ultimately climbs the wall and finds Braina Cormanthor’s hideaway, protected by a magic seal, blocking anyone who lacks Cormanthor blood from entering. Ultimately, Sabrina is able to breach the barrier, revealing her royal heritage and finding the secrets of her bloodline.

Within Braina’s hideaway, the group finds a ghostly guardian, Trianne, Braina’s former handmaiden who has been bound by the magic of the fields. She tells the party about the final stand of the Cormanthors and the price some of the elves have had to pay for the magic unleashed. She leaves Braina’s journal to Sabrina, which reveals that Dagna, a dwarven runemaster was buried with the secrets of the lost army. With the diary in tow, the party takes a portal out of the fields and returns to its mission.

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A Faustian offer and the fiendslayer

Entering the deadly Fields of Krane, the party heads south, hoping to get a fuller view of their surroundings. There they find a devil who offers a diabolic pact for power and protection. Fearing betraying his ideals, Rimidan Leney rejects the devil’s offer and, with a better view of the cliff face they seek, the party heads north, towards the woods.

After facing a group of zombie centaurs, the pact devil, now with a pair of bearded devils in tow chases after them. A nearly deadly duel ensues, with both Syd and Rimidan nearly falling to the devils’ cursed spears. The group is eventually able to chase the devil off and heads deeper into the forrest.

Wounded from battle, the group decides to rest for the night. After failing to summon a magical shelter, the group decides to camp in the haunted woods, with Cale guarding them. She manages to fight off an elf wraith that attacks in the night before encountering a wounded wolf. She feeds the beast, which bites her and flees as she realizes that the bite carries the lycanthropic virus. Fearing that she’s contracted the disease, Cale spends all night hunting for the poison Belladonna, eventually finding it and exposing herself, vomiting and escaping the curse of the beast. Wondering if she’s encountered the mysterious Sons of the Drake killer The Jackal, Cale returns to the party as they head deeper into the woods.

After recovering, the party continues heading north, hoping to find the hound archon they’d heard about in the area. Eventually, they find a grisly scene, where a group of undead wights attempts to hang the canine angel. Cale fires an arrow through the noose rope, freeing the angel as the rest of the group slaughters the undead. The angel reveals his name is Tugareen, Hunter of the Seven Mountains of Heaven. He offers to help as part of his crusade to purge the undead within the fields. Together, the new group heads to a hideaway of some of the fiends. The party reequips and plans to head west towards the cliff face.

As they move through the forrest, they’re eventually spotted by the Angel of Death, a rogue erinyes preying on the weak. With a quiver of arrows and a carefully deployed tanglefoot bag, the group sends it back to the Nine Hells as they finally reach the shores of a cursed lake.

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In the Fields of Krane

With the information they were able to gain from Knot, the party purchases supplies and prepares to enter the Fields of Krane to find Braina Cormanthor’s secret spy outpost. The party decides not to inform the Vanguards of the Waste of their intentions, fearing that they could draw the attention of the Vanguards and instead plan to try to talk their way out if they’re caught by the Grey Knight’s agents.

Following the half-orc contractor’s advice, the team leaves the camp and heads west, eventually finding a trapped door Belloq’s expedition left behind. The group heads i, encountering a shapeshifting imp named Thorodius who they interrogate about the fields. Thorodius warns the of “The Angel of Death,” an Erinyes who prowls the skies and kills indiscriminately and informs them of a Hound Archon who’s been hunting demons as well. Thorodius also mentions a figure named The Jackal, who entered the Fields with Belloq’s party but has been killing and feasting on corpses since. The party dispatches Thorodius before he can escape and heads into the fields.

As they witness the destruction and wild magic of the fields, the group instantly falls prey to a hulking, mutated elf corpse. The party dispatches it, but not before being noticed by the erinyes, who flees deeper into the fields. The party endeavors to pick up Braina’s trail as well as try to hunt down the archon waging holy war.

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The road to ruin

With the sick knights in tow, the party takes the pair of Vanguards of the Waste back to the Fields of Krane, hoping to find help for Syd’s insanity as well. Braving a sandstorm, a massive scorpion and a near deadly battle with a pair of sphinx, the team eventually brings Deegen and Olgern back to the fields and to Karsis, a grim priest of The Grey Knight and the Vanguard’s master, Head Valkyrie Gromang.

Gromang and Karsis argue over the fate of a half-orc contractor named Knot, who was found within the Fields. Gromang advocates crucifying Knot but Rimmodan intervenes, pushing for Knot to instead by imprisoned in Shiverling. Gromang reluctantly agrees and Knot promises to repay Rimmidan for his kindness.

Knot reveals that he had been hired by Belloq, an elf archaeologist serving a mysterious master named The Prodigal, to look for clues as to the whereabouts of the Lost Army within the fields. He brought a group of porters into the fields, where they were immediately set upon by fiends and the dead. They eventually found one of Egolas Cormanthor’s journals, which Belloq thought would lead him to the Army’s resting place. He returned to Shiverling while Knot was left behind. However, Knot and his men found evidence that Egolas’ sister and spymaster Braina maintained a secret safehouse deep in the fields that may hold more secrets to the army’s location. He reveals that one would only need to follow a magic trail to find the redoubt and that a secret passage west of the fields could be used to evade the Vanguards.

With new information and a chance to finally get ahead of the Sons of the Drake, the team endeavors to get into the fields and find Braina’s hideout but hope to enlist the Vanguard’s help in the dangerous quest.

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Saviors in sand

Fleeing the city, Cale desperately hopes to find water for the party and a source of healing for Syd. With the horses rapidly exhausted, the search becomes hopeless until the group finds a small oasis, guarded by a pair of sinister extraplanar salamanders. Rejecting their shakedown, Rimidan leads a battle against them, smiting them and freeing a group of Romaden women who had been captured by the beasts. Their leader, a woman named Dema, helps the adventurers and informs them of The City of Brass, an outpost of the ifreet from the Elemental Plane of Fire who are making inroads in setting up a city of their own on the Material Plane by pulling a piece of the City of Brass through a massive portal. The party also meets a pair of members of the Vanguards of the Waste, named Deegen and Olgern. Deegen has been stricken with Mummy Rot and is dying and his sister hopes to heal him. Cale helps Deegen stave off the disease but more powerful magic is needed to help him fight it off for good. Rimidan pushes the teem to bring the Vanguards back to their home at the Fields of Krane but the rest of the team pushes to find the men of the Romaden tribe, who went missing while investigating an earthquake.

The party rests and the next morning set off to find the tribe’s men with Dema gifting an artifact, the magic Shield of Mercy to Rimmidan. The team quickly discover an unearthed arcane door, heavily trapped and filled with dangerous residents. The team makes its way to the compound’s center and finds a gnome named Allecezzar and his major domo, a half genie named Nebbhakai. Allecezzar apologizes for the injuries to the Romaden and is working to heal them of their wounds. The party asks what drove them into the compound and the gnome reveals that they were fleeing from The Glutton, an agent of the Sons of the Drake who has been prowling the desert, knocking off caravans and killing innocents to gather tithes for his masters. Raiding the gnome’s armory, the party gathers new weapons and tools and heads back into the desert after The Glutton.

They’re not forced to wait long and enter battle with the half-dragon warrior, who nearly leaves them for dead twice. Cale finally kills the agent and the team takes his gear, heading back to Dema and suggesting she meet with Alecezzar while the party heads to the Fields of Krane with the wounded Vanguard Knights.

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Into the wastes

Looking for any help they can get before the attack, Rimidan and Cale consult with Nevitch Leney about their plans. Suspecting they’re pushing themselves against a major power, Nevitch asks what they’re planning and Rimidan reveals that the team is planning on striking Felix Reinhard’s slave trade. Nevitch supports the attack but cautions the team against making any move that will bring the whole city against them. Rimidan and Cale leave to gather magic items for the attack.

That night, the team moves into position, with Claude and Sabrina entering with Agora’s guards and Syd sneaking her way into the compound. Violence erupts quickly as Cale stops the caravan and Sabrina goes after a merciless troll mercenary named Erac, the Hammer. Syd quickly finds herself in over her head as opening the secret door behind the building summons a massive fire elemental. She rushes downstairs only to be ambushed by Agora, actually a shapeshifting Lamia.

The rest of the team fights a pitched battle against the troll, mercenaries and the burning creature, desperately holding on until the elemental returns to its plane. They rush to save Syd, whose sanity was drained by Agora as she fled. They’re not able to rest though, as Dread Knight Xanatar, leading a host of House Reinhard guards arrives at the scene to investigate. Panicking and with Syd losing her mind, Rimidan suggests holding off Xanatar so the rest of the party can escape but Cale commandeers a carriage and leads the party into the desert, with the mercenaries firing desperately at them. Without their supplies or water, the team desperately heads into the wastes, fleeing Xanatar’s wrath.

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Shadow games

After a night of investigations, Claude and Sabrina don disguises and attempt to infiltrate Agora’s operation. The pair head into the chapterhouse of her merchant team and meet with Agora, who Claude realizes is wearing some sort of magical disguise. They claim they want to work for Agora as muscle, which Agora needs as they’ve been ordered by Felix Reinhard to bolster security in the wake of the theft of his books. The pair agree to help the next day when the merchants head out. While Claude and Sabrina talk, Syd sneaks around the building, finding a locked door to the basement. She believes Agora has kept slaves there before they’re sold by Dorian and decides to free them in the chaos of their attack.

While one group gains information, Cale and Rimidan look for more from a drunk Nevitch Leney. Nevitch babbles about his last job with Rimidan’s father, infiltrating a cave system where an ancient red dragon once dwelt. They find a hoard of treasure, including a mystical sealed box. Shortly after their excursion, Nevitch’s party is attacked by a mysterious cult, who slay Rimidan’s father’s animal companion, leave the party grievously wounded and sour the mood for adventure. Nevitch fled Sommerset and headed south, taking the box with him and hiding it in a secure, undisclosed location. Cale asks for any magical teaching Nevitch can provide and he advises her to pursue wizardry as she trains to become an arcane archer.

The party reconvenes that night to plan an attack on Agora’s compound, with Claude and Sabrina maintaining their disguises and the rest of the party attacking at a signal. Meanwhile, Syd intends to infiltrate the back of the chapterhouse to free the remaining slaves, who can be housed by Garron. Rimidan plans to seek more help from Nevitch before the attack and the plan is set.

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Abolitionists

With Reinhard’s records intact, Syd, Sabrina and Claude flee into the harbor district to throw off the mysterious figure that may have caught them in the heist. Hiding out in an inn, they eventually make their way back to the Raney compound and wait for the return of Rimidan and Cale.

Rimidan meets with Nevitch Leney who offers Rimidan some of his history with his father. Nevitch tells him of his history of adventuring with Rimidan’s father as well as a pair of Dwarves named Rilli and Filli who have settled in Hammerfell. He says that the Leney brothers made a name for themselves in the northlands, fighting orc tribes and frost giant kingdoms before one last disastrous job brought them south and in contact with a mysterious artifact. Nevitch waves Rimidan off but Cale asks to be trained as an arcane archer by their new friend. Nevitch promises to help where he can.

Back at the Raney complex, the team makes a plan to use Reinhardt’s records to strike a blow against the slave trade. Following the records leads them to a common connection, a black market auctioneer named Dorian the Green. He kicks up a sizable percentage of his profits to Reinhardt’s book keepers once every few weeks for lots of humans. Cale advocates shaking Dorian down for information but Sabrina pushes to get Logan Ducane and the Harpers involved. Claude looks for a contact with the Harpers and finds Garron, a performer and secret agent. Garron agrees to do what he can to take in liberated slaves and gather information for the team but cautions that there are few Harpers in Shiverling and fewer still who can take direct action to bring down Reinhardt’s operation.

Late the next night, the team dons robes and masks and goes to Dorian’s home, a sprawling clubhouse at the top of a derelict tenement housing district. Sneaking in and assassinating his minotaur bodyguard, the group breaks into his apartment and interrogates the auctioneer. Dorian reveals that he sells regular lots that are brought in by a merchant named Agora, who picks up lots of slaves, supplied by The City of Brass deep in the Balro Desert. Cale marks a scar on Dorian and Sabrina steals a chest full of three pseudodragon eggs that were going to go up for auction.

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Blood in the sewers, secrets of the sands

While the group wonders what to do to deal with Pandrius, they work to find a way to heal Barbaxis. Calistara suggests the party head to the local church of Agon, of which she is a priest but Barbaxis thinks the church of Agon will turn him over when he’s healed. He suggests going to an underground priest of Aren in the undercity. Before heading down, the party stops at a magic shop where they meet a pair of noteworthy individuals, Balloc Grehr, an elven archaeologist, and his companion, Kingsley, a sinister, cackling jester. Their meeting is cut short, however, as a chain devil begins massacring passerbys. The party stops the Kython and meets Tanant of the Eternal Flame, a priest of The Eternal Flame who has been summoning demons to fight in the gladiator pits. The party shakes him down for information about his church and request he help them with a favor for stopping his called creature.

The group waits until dark and heads into the undercity, eventually finding the hidden church of Anton Seeng, an eccentric source of evil and malice with a long history with Barbaxis. He offers to heal the half orc if the party will help him with a financial issue. Anton’s side-business selling mind vapor, a highly illegal and extremely addictive drug, is in trouble with Felix Reinhard, a local businessman who’s been muscling in on Seeng’s rackets. He asks Syd to break into a Reinhard business to steal their books. Syd reluctantly agrees and the team leaves, Barbaxis returned to his humanoid form.

As the team escapes, they’re spotted by a member of the Crimson Scourges, a slave-hunting organization. Recognizing Barbaxis, the slave-hunter screams, setting a chase on the team. Barbaxis leads the group into the sewers and attempts to get out of the city. On the way out, they encounter a pair of sickly vampire spawn working with a gauth beholder. With a hard-fought battle, the team escapes the group of monsters and Barbaxis thanks them for all their help, promising to be there for them when they call.

With night fallen, Syd, Cale and Sabrina head out to case the warehouse while Claude and Rimidan try to track down information about Pandrius from Tanant. The women catch up with another thief casing the warehouse and gain some information as they work to come up with a plan. Rimidan and Claude track down the priest and learn about Pandrius’ father as well as his connection to a wizard from the Incarnum Academy in Dern. They track down that wizard, a collector named Ilan, who explains a little more about Pandrius’ eccentricities and history.

After days of casing the joint, Syd, Sabrina and Claude decide to charm their way into the warehouse to steal the books while Rimidan and Cale are pressed into helping House Ruckane in the gladiator pits as a favor to Rakan Baney. The pair head to the gladiator pits where they meet a one-eyed elf gladiator named Nevitch, whose drunkenness and bad behavior has forced the other House Ruckane gladiators to go on strike. Rimidan scouts out the competition, laying eyes on Felix Reinard and a mysterious, warrior cloaked in an unholy aura, but he’s quickly called to face off in the arena with Nevitch and Cale and Reinhard’s combatant, a massive tyrannosaurus rex.

Using Claude’s enchantments, the thieves talk their way into Reinhard’s warehouse before being stopped by the fishhouse’s foreman. Syd convinces their charmed guard that the foreman is a security threat and the party leaves him bleeding out on the floor as they rush to break into the office. There, Sabrina and Syd find an enchanted trap hiding all of Reinhard’s secrets, several volumes of records tracking years of illegal trade, everything from drug sales, slavery, assassinations, mercenary work and a host of other illegal action. Seeing an opportunity for profit, blackmail and righteous action, Sabrina, Syd and Claude steal all the records and attempt to escape with the rest of the treasure but are caught by a mysterious figure who disappears into the shadows.

Meanwhile, Cale, Rimidan and Nevitch face down the dinosaur, with Cale quickly finding a home in the beast’s mouth and then it’s gullet. Rimidan and Nevitch blast away at the animal, with Nevitch’s arcane arrows striking the animal repeatedly. As Cale slips into unconsciousness in the dinosaur’s stomach, Nevitch knocks the animal down and cuts the elf out of its guts to the delight of the crowd. As the group basks in adulation, Nevitch recognizes Rimidan, or a Rimidan, the paladin’s father, before he recognizes that he is, in fact, Rimidan’s uncle. Suddenly having a host of questions, Rimidan rushes to learn his newly found uncle’s secrets.

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The road to Shiverling

With the abomination and Eela dead, the adventurers head deeper into the temple, moving past a trapped door and finding the inner sanctum. There they find the nest of yuan ti eggs as well as a bound Norkas. Rescuing the gnome, Norkas leads them to Eela’s store room and the stone statue of Calistara, a priestess of Agon and the planned sacrifice. Freeing her with a scroll, Callistara thanks the adventurers and explains how she was captured. They catch her up on what has happened since she was petrified a month ago and she asks for their help in getting to her uncle’s compound in Shiverling.

The party returns to the halfling village, asking for Barfa’s help in healing up and taking care of the newst of yuan-ti eggs. Calliope Tass and Logan Ducane agree to stay in town as representatives of The Harpers to make sure the newly hatched yuan-ti don’t attempt to dominate the halfling village again. With a final gift from Barfa and the Church of Yondalla, the adventurers head south, into the woods again with the insane Perry in tow.

Following the path, the adventurers quickly note a plume of smoke and find a dwarven messenger, Corvo, attacked by a group of bugbears, his wagon burning. They chase off the goblin and take up the dwarf, who says he needs to get a message to the Sensei of the Way of the Empty Hand. Summoning his celestial steed, Rimidan takes the dwarf to the temple. There, they find Matteus, Barfa’s other son and Perry’s brother. Realizing that the scared bugbear reported the attack to his shogun, the sinister Oni, Ragorricks.

Preparing for a siege, Calistara takes the temple’s residents to a secure place as the adventurers face Ragorrics and his ninja bugbear clan. They promise to attack by nightfall but Cale starts the battle early by assassinating one of the ninjas. In a fight that nearly kills Sabrina twice, the group manages to defeat the clan, with Ragorricks, falling to an arrow in the eye. One bugbear nearly makes it into the temple when he’s killed by Syd but one person did make it into menace the priestess and temple, the fiendish assassin the group met in Sommerset. Rimmidan faces him briefly, but the killer makes his escape.

Healing Callistara, who fell to the killer, Corvo reveals that the assassin, a mysterious killer named Raz the Sting, wanted to know the secret he was carrying. After some convincing by Rimmidan and Cale, Corvo reveals his message, namely “The forges are lit, the Lost Army awaits command.” With the message in hand, the party takes off from the temple to deliver the words to the Sensei, at a redoubt further south.

The group meets briefly with the Sensei, a githzerai monk and native from the Astral Plane, who thanks them and offers the use of the temple’s hippogriffs to get them to Shiverling. The party agrees and makes the rest of the trip by air. After a few hours, the group arrives at Calistara’s uncle’s compound, the home of Rakan Baney, an art tycoon and merchant. They make a less than impressive impression on Rakan’s court mage, the snooty Agrela, but Rakan offers to repay the adventurers for rescuing his daughter by giving them a home in the compound, in exchange for a little help as muscle. The group, somewhat reluctantly, agrees and heads to their new home for some well-earned rest.

That rest is interrupted however, when Syd receives a mystical message from Pandrius in the form of a nightmare spell. The cambion requests that Syd procure a book for him, the tome “The Fane of Shadows” and promises that there will be hell to pay if they don’t make good on their deal. Syd, knowing Sabrina promised the book to Lavericus, makes a tentative deal while Pandrius attempts to draw blood. Awakened and still frightened by the sorcery, Syd explains what has happened and the team wonders just how soon they’ll have to deal with the eccentric demonic collector they’ve connected themselves to.

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