Forgotten Realms: Luruar Campaign

Slivers of Eaerlann, Part II
Heroes and Horticulture

Into Tarnruth’s Rest

Having defeated the orcs at the entrance to the ancient burial tomb, the party sets their sight on entering the crypt that dates all the way back to the ancient Empire of Eaerlann.

Initially, as they enter, the find a large chamber spread out before them, with a filth riddle orc camp, signs of recent battle, non-orc corpses tossed into an alcove, magic motes drifting through the air, and a beautifully carved set of double doors blocking access to the tomb’s further reaches.

As expected, the non-orc corpses turned out to be none other than Halaskar’s lost companions. What wasn’t expected was finding that one of them, a dwarf by the name of Joyin Bladebight, was still tentatively clinging to life! Acting quickly, Quintin Fortier used his arcane powers to save the fallen dwarf. Joyin, surprised and grateful to be alive, quickly gave an account of what happened. For the group, there wasn’t much in it that they hadn’t heard before from Halaskar. Joyin and the others of the Fellowship of the Spear were chased through the forest, driven into this cave. Things were bleak and an effort to escape was made, but no one made it (at least, that’s what Joyin believed). Joyin watched as they tortured and brutally killed the others, one by one, until his turn came up. Cruelly treated, grilled for information on the crypt that he didn’t know, they eventually left him for dead. Alive and overjoyed to hear that Halaskar had also survived, Joyin was still too battered to offer any help beyond that of returning the corpses of his dead companions.

The Double Doors

With Joyin resting and guarding over (as well as prepping) his fallen comrades, the group set about learning more of the lost elven tomb which meant trying to discover the secret behind the double doors that stood locked against further intrusion.

Noell’s sharp Wilden eyes quickly noted quite a few details to the doors that would aid in figure out it’s locking mechanism. It would be Virgil’s religious knowledge that would recognize the significance of the stars and their relationship to the constellations of the immortals which, coupled with Quitin’s historical recollection of the gods, eventually lead to the group’s discovery that realigning the constellations to that of Kelemvor (although, they believed others could have been used) would unlock the doors… which it did.

Deeper Delving

Beyond the doors, they found a tomb that was full of detailed wonder not stale air and accumulating dust, much to their wonder. The initial passage was ten-feet wide, sloping steeply downwards, with walls molded to the likeness of an incredibly lifelike, intricate representation of a lush, verdant forest. So real were the carvings that the trees that rose above them created a canopy that blocked seeing the ceiling (if there even was one!). All of it brightly illuminated by the motes of magic that drifted down from the stone leaves above.

Cautiously, the party descended deeper into the tomb with only the Wilden Ranger taking the time to admire the beauty of the delicate, detailed elven sculpting.

A Quiet Room, An Elven Statue, and a Gentle Pool.. Seems Innocent Enough! Guess Not…

At the base of the downward slope they found another wondrous chamber, a room that seemed more like a woodland glade than a stone walled tomb. High reaching, life-like oaks soared above, creating a stone canopy that again blocked vision beyond. The walls gave the illusion of being within a quiet forest and the quiet pool (with its small island in the middle) that centered the room only added to the impression.

Unfortunately, there were all-too-real guardians of the chamber that came alive and attacked when the group entered it too deeply.

Noell is No Elm!

The chamber’s protectors turned out to be tree like creatures come to life, stepping out of the scenery into forms of very real, very dangerous humanoid-like trees. Anyone under the impression that a tree couldn’t really hurt much (unless you happen to have one topple over and fall on you) has never been leaf-slapped by an Elm Skirmisher! Nor could they possibly have ever been stone stomped or branch bashed by an Oak Brute either. Being a plant life himself, you’d think that Noell, the good-hearted Wilden with a love of roaming through nature, would have been spared the ire of the (stone) woodland garden, but no, both he and the brave paladin Virgil were the early targets of the guardians. Very early on, it became quite apparent that this was not going to be as simple as cutting a little wood for the hearth, but a struggle for survival against foes that might well be too much for the four who dared venture into their home.

The very first strike by the Elm bloodied the paladin, rocking him in his plate boots and staggering him. As Virgil staggered, it was poor Noell who was getting trampled by one of the Oaks as it charged over him, leaving him sprawled upon the floor and lightly wounded. Undaunted, Noell scrabbled to his feet and struck quickly with two arrows (with one striking and marking it solidly), trying to aid Virgil against the dangerous Elm as the Skirmisher clearly was capable of slaying the holy knight if it landed a second blow as powerful as the first. Virgil followed Noell’s lead and carved deeply into the Elm’s with his sword, calling upon the divine powers of his deity. The Elm sagged under the attacks, wilting as it were against the deadly strikes, but not fallen.

Unfortunately, another Oak Brute entered into the fray and trampled over both Noell and Virgil, wounding each further, knocking each prone, and leaving them both bloodied (with Virgil being near death now!). As if that wasn’t dire enough, a third Oak emerged to trample through Nimor, who had been quietly following and trying to stay safe as he was weak from previous encounters. Now, the sly drow was fully engaged, modestly wounded and sprawled across the floor as was everyone but Quintin. Rogue that he is, though, Nimor was quick to his feet and ready for action when it was called for. Striking in a flurry, the drow struck swiftly then encompassed himself and two of the Oaks in a sphere or darkness that blinded his foes while granting him the perfect environment for his stealthy maneuvers. He might have rejoiced at his own cleverness had it not been for the sound of a friend and fellow adventuring letting out a dying gasp. Glancing to where the cry came from he would see Noell crumple to the ground, the victim of a deadly trap which fired forceful arrows.

With one of them down, dying, and the Paladin near death himself, things appeared grim indeed, but that’s when true heroes are made. Acting quickly, it would be Quintin’s healing that would ensure that Virgil could survive more deadly attacks, refreshing the Paladin and removing most of his wounds. Quintin was also capable of inflicting wounds himself with his arcane powers which he did, striking at the Oaks with his magics.

Rejuvenated by the Bard’s healing, Virgil proved to be both the stalwart defender he believed himself to be, but also the heroic holy knight he wanted to prove to be as well. Risking leaving himself vulnerable, he rushed to Noell’s aid, using his own divine healing powers to bring his fallen companion back to life! With that done, he swiftly rejoined combat by strike back at the Elm again, killing the dangerous Skirmisher with one mighty blow!

Unfortunately, the remaining Oaks and the deadly Archer Trap still threatened the group which was all too much, once again, for the Ranger Noell – arrows from the trap stuck him again and again and he was down dying once more. At the same time, with Nimor protected by the globe of darkness, the Oaks struck at the bard too great effect, battering and bloodying the healer.

Again, though, Nimor’s quick blades and deadly crossbow would come into the fray with severity. Striking from the shadows again and again, the drow blasted and punished one of the Oak Brute, eventually proving more lethal than it could withstand. Quintin, giving some breathing room, healed himself and retreated towards the paladin and safety. Virgil was all too ready to protect the Bard and the rest of the group, slicing into one of the remaining Oaks and ending its threat to the party. Finally, it was Quintin himself, through Arcane Song that created powerful energies that struck through his sword, finished off the remaining Oak.

All was not well, though, as the trap still threatened to kill any that were exposed to it and Noell lay dying on the floor. As Virgil rushed, again, to the fallen Noell (stabilizing his wounds and dragging him to safety), Nimor quickly darted from stone tree to stone tree, seeking to avoid the deadly arrows, in hopes of finding a way to approach the trap from a safe angle. The drow, swift of foot and clever of mind, did manage to approach the traps before it could strike and disarmed it.

Relieved, the grouped gathered up and rested safely near the entrance to the chamber, using magic and care to bring back Noell from the brink of death.

A Magic Orb and Some Gold

The battle did not come without some spoils, though, as the group found a magic orb that would aid anyone capable of using it to augment arcane powers (which, unfortunately, none of the four could take advantage of) and a good handful of gold coins.

It was time to take a deep breath and look deeper into the tomb.

More Elven Beauty

What occurred after was quite mild by comparison. The party found a number of chambers with the delicate, intricate elven carvings depicting beautiful woodland scenes. There was a section that was notably different though as the hallway leading to it was decorated by wall-hung paintings that recounted the life of an elven woman, from birth to her elder years. It showed scenes that started with joy and discovery of magic to grim dark accounts of her battles against marauding orcs. The hallway lead to a shrine room dedicated to Corellon, Elven God of Magic, Music, Arts, Crafts, Poetry, and Warfare. Although the group was tempted to take of the god’s offerings, they eventually left the chamber in peace.

The False Tomb

Eventually, the party (very carefully) passed through a hallway with elven statues and came to a burial chamber. It was there that Virgil felt a divine calling that guided him to look deeper into the strangely unadorned chamber and what he found was that it was a false front to a secret passage that lead deeper into the crypt. Believing this to be at the heart of things and the right thing to do, the paladin proceeded down where the secret passage lead. As if confirming his choice, Virgil received a boon for his actions – a magic amulet that would protect him better for attacks against will, reflex, and fortitude as well as from poisons.

One More Deadly Trap

Beneath, the four found a strange chamber that was a large mosaic map of a bygone era – the depiction of the area as it existed during the reign of the Empire of Eaerlann. Spread out across a large chamber’s floor, it reached from wall to wall in astonishing detail, complete with small mountain ranges reached up from the floor and two silvery pools that reflected lakes in its time. Captivating and wondrous, the group approached the scene in awe only to find that another trap was sprung upon them.

The doors, slamming tightly behind them, sealed them in and suddenly, the seemingly harmless pools were stirring to life as they began to bubble and boil, spilling out over their edges and beginning to spread out across the floor! And as if that wasn’t enough, from it, eerie tendrils of blue liquid began snaking from each, reaching for the heroes it what was clearly vicious intent!

What Comes Next….

...we will only know once the adventure is rejoined next time.

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Slivers of Eaerlann

Introduction

A restlessness had come over the characters after some weeks of inactivity. The countryside along the fringes of Glimmerwood had been quiet. Nothing had been happening or seemed to be about to happen, and with worries over whether their provisions will last (along with just plane boredom), the party finally decided that their best bet was to send someone into Silverymoon (more specifically to the famed tavern and inn, The Son of the Goat). The inn is known for its hedonistic atmosphere and famed for its late night capriciousness with into the daylight parties. At worst, it offered a night’s entertainment. More to the point, though, it offered a chance at overhearing rumors, sword-for-hire possibilities, and the word on the street.

To facilitate this, the group sent in their most silvery tongued bard, Quintin Fortier, who was quite familiar with the inn. To make sure that he didn’t enjoy himself too much, Noell and Ottohorn Dragonsbane also joined him. Unfortunately, neither Konga nor Nimor would have found any sort of welcome in the elven city.

Into Silverymoon

The elven city of Silverymoon is a breathtaking display of elven craftsmanship. With it’s tall, graceful towers and abundance of trees, flowers, & plants, it unites the man-made with nature in a seamless kaleidoscope of colors and curves. Renowned as a hub for learning, peace, and quiet contemplation, it is a flower within the dangerous, thorny wilds that dominates most of Luruar.

Onto the Son of the Goat (Inn)

Nestled up against reflective waters of the Suntouched Stream, the Son of the Goat is easily found. It is tall, brightly painted building, cozied by a ring of vibrant, silver-white flowers and with a sign that depicts a stern looking goat, standing on two legs, chastising a young man who looks sheepishly up at what is presumably is his father (it also has Son of the Goat scrawled along the sign’s lower edge). Enthusiastic laughter, lively music, and boisterous talk all escape eagerly out its open and inviting doors at almost any time of day or night.

Inside, the common room was packed and raucous (as per the norm) on the fine spring evening the three party members entered. Standing room was limited as the merry throng of people laughed, danced, drank, and flirted to their heart’s content. A small band of troubadours strove to lift their own music above the hubbub that filled the room. Everything was as one might expect inside the Goat (as it is affectionately called), with one notable exception…

Halaskar’s Misery

A lone figure, disheveled, bleary eyed, and travel-worn, stood out like a sore thumb in the inn. Quitin, who recognized him from previous visits to the place, knew him to be a jovial, boisterous man, so his current state was noteworthy. After coaxing him out of his dark mood (with a couple of mugs of mead), the party heard his grim tale. Halaskar and four others that formed an adventuring fellowship (the Fellowship of the Shining Spear) had set out on a mission to find a lost tomb called Tarnruth’s Rest. Unfortunately, before they could find it, they ran afoul of a band of orcs that drove them into a cavern. The cave, though, turned out to be an elven tomb, of sorts, but they never got the chance to investigate further. The orcs had tracked them down through the forest, despite their efforts to flee, and a deadly battle ensued. A battle that would only see Halaskar live to escape.

Grieved at the loss of his companions, Halaskar turned over the map that the Sage Yatagan (a mysterious elf who only appears where he wishes) had given him and offers 20 GPs to each who help recover the bodies of his lost friends.

Into the High Forest

With the aid of the Bard’s Ritual magic to speed things up, the party quickly set out to where the map indicated (and Halaskar recalled) that his fellowship was lost and the tomb perhaps found – a western region in the High Forest.

Traveling beneath the wood’s dark canopy wasn’t going to be easy, but the impressive Nature Skills possessed by Noell, coupled with the sharp eyes of Ottohorn, and the tree-climbing talents of Konga, made for a fairly uneventful, smooth journey. It didn’t take long before the party came across signs that indicated they were on the right track (most notably an ancient marker dated back to the Ancient Elven Kingdom of Eaerlann).

Orcs!

Having found what seemed like their destination, the party also found it occupied by orcs. A deadly shot by the drow rogue took down one of the orcs, but not before his death rattle alerted another half dozen or so. A lively battle soon ensued.

Considering it would be the first true combat, the first brush with life and death battle, that the party had ever engaged in, they showed remarkable calm and a steeled determination as they went about dispatching the enemy orcs. Even when the Orc Eye of Gruumsh began tossing out explosive hammers of chaos which smashed into the party and knocked numerous people down, they remained unshaken in their focus on bringing down their enemies. Arrows flashed in deadly succession from the Ranger. Crossbow bolts, slashing blade, and consuming dark brought down others as the drow danced across the battlefield. The Druid, calling upon the wrath of nature, strangled three orcs at once with his powers. Powerful swipes of Konga’s sword cut deeply into an orc raider. And finally Quintin, with his healing powers and arcane attacks, changed the tide of battle more than once.

Yes, despite being outnumbered and facing dangerous foes (especially the raiders and eye of gruumsh), the group’s first foray indicates they shall be a force to reckon with.

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