Knights of the Longbox

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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Antivenom

With Syd returned to life, the party packs up the dragon’s hoard and heads into town, encountering Mother Barfa, an elderly halfling priestess of Yondalla. Barfa gives the adventureres some information about how the yuan-ti came to conquer the town and destroy its people, including dominating one of her sons. She requests that the adventurers spare her son as they flush out the serpents once and for all.
Making preparations to attack and finally acting, the adventurers attack a series a gates, pushing closer and closer to the temple, suffering a near fatal disaster when Syd is caught by a trapped ceiling close to the snake’s lair. Finally reaching the temple in the heart of an active volcano, the adventurers attack, encountering Eela, a legion of yuan-ti and the horrible abomination, a snake-man spellcaster.
Braving disaster multiple times, with Claude nearly dying, Sabrina being overwhelmed with fear, Barbaxis being turned into a tiny serpent and Logan Ducane nearly falling to Eela’s arrows, the adventurers push back, slaying the serpents and leaving Eela Ssyzareth for dead as she attempts to escape. Coated in blood and still licking their wounds, the party prepares to go deeper into the temple to find Norkas and the yuan-ti’s sacrifice.

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The snake's den

Trapped in their yuan-ti jailers’ dungeon, the party meets their new compatriot, Barbaxis, a half-orc brigand wanted throughout the southlands for his derring do. Barbaxis was captured by the yuan-ti on his way into the desert, hoping to find the home of the Witch Queen of the sands but has since been jailed. He agrees to help the adventurers if they can get him free. Calliope Tass and Cale work to break out of their cell by shattering the rusty bars and falling into the water, swimming to the shore in the midst of a pack of charmed crocodiles. They free their compatriots, including Barbaxis and Logan Ducane and begin exfiltrating from the dungeon, after interrogating one of the guards.

After securing their equipment from a hidden cache in the yuan-ti’s larder, the group attacks one of the halfbloods that brought them into the desert, slaying him and learning about Ibryxis, the dragon guardian Eela Ssyzareth has bribed into assisting the yuan-ti. For the dragon’s favor, Eela’s given the beast the petrified statues the cult isn’t planning to use in sacrifice and Syd is among them. The party breaks through the last of the yuan-ti in the dungeon and endeavors to track down the juvenile dragon.

Heading into a cairn under the complex, the party finds the ruins of Ibryxis fury in a trove of shattered statues before stumbling into the dragon’s den. The group flings themselves into a fierce battle, weathering the blue drake’s lightening breath as well as its furious attacks but a mortal blow from Calliope lays the beast down. While Cale skins the dragon, the rest of the team goes through its treasures, ultimately finding a stone statue of Syd. With a scroll in the dragon’s hoard, Claude intones the magic words and brings the halfling back to the world of the living.

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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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