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SCAP Session 25
Game date: December 17th, 2009

As the platform rose, the howling of the hell hounds grew fainter until it could no longer be heard over the clanking of the chains. Finally the platform came to a halt and the PCs caught their breath and debated what to do next. They decided to heal up and head back down, hoping to catch the dark dwarf (duergar) by surprise. They crept back to the darkened room and jumped in, throwing a tanglefoot bag and thunderstone inside. The group circled the outside of the door and attacked the hell hounds and blobs of flesh as they came through. After cutting them to pieces, Rori identified the blobs as minor devils called Lemures.

Riell and Reddur moved into the darkened room and found it empty, no duergar in sight. They opened a secret door to the south, and Riell was immediately attacked by another chest with long arms. The rest of the group caught up and joined the battle with the mimic. As they fought, it spoke to them in Common and insisted that they leave the treasure in the room alone because it belonged to Kazmojen (the dwarf-troll slaver). The PCs insisted that Kazmojen was dead, but the mimic refused to believe them until Rori showed it Kazmojen’s keys. At that point the mimic agreed to release Reddur and let them have the treasure if they let it go free.

Rori found the human slave that they’d seen earlier near death on the floor, but managed to heal him in time. They questioned the mimic about the duergar, and it said that the duergar had come in with the hell hounds and hobgoblins and tried to kill him. Before the PCs entered the room, a goblin came through with the human and then left through the (secret) door on the other side. The mimic did not see the duergar with them though.

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SCAP Session 24
Game date: December 10th, 2009

The PCs began searching and sorting the new pile of loot. Zoon cast Detect Magic and pulled out three potions and a wand as the only magic items in the lot. Rori examined a platinum bracelet and found an inscription to Sondor (the rescued dwarf woman) from her lost husband, Lorthan, and vowed to return it. While checking the room further, Reddur noticed a secret door on one side. It opened into another small room with a suit of armor holding a gnome hooked hammer standing in front of a locked iron chest.

Riell began examining the chest when the armor suddenly began to move. The PCs quickly destroyed the armor before it could hurt anyone, then returned their attention to the iron chest. Riell deftly opened the lock, raised the lid of the chest, and it was… empty. Insisting that there must be some illusion at work, Reddur reached into the chest and pulled out a statuette and several other art objects. This was added to the treasure haul, and the PCs decided to head down to the lower level in search of the slaver’s gold.

The elevator ride was uneventful, but as they entered the hall with the chain-draped dwarven statue, they were suddenly attacked by a pair of hobgoblins with javelins. They cried out, “Intruders!” down the open door behind them. Reddur sprinted across the room and ran one hobgoblin through with his sword. Several more hobgoblins rushed into the room, and the PCs proceeded to cut them down. After the flow of hobgoblins stopped, the group decided to open the door they had been guarding. Aion crept down the hall and found a room that was shrouded in magical darkness. Riell stepped into the shadowy room and could see a few figures, but a sunrod from Rori could not pierce the darkness.

Riell fired an arrow at one of the figures, and then a small orb of black energy flew out of the doorway and landed in the middle of the hallway. A cold, greasy darkness spread out and enveloped everyone. The cold evil damaged everyone and almost killed Zoon and Reddur. Rori recognized that the spell must be from a powerful caster and called for a retreat. A pair of hell hounds emerged from the darkness and began chasing the PCs as they ran for the elevator. The group ran through the series of doors with the hell hounds snapping at their heels, followed by a dwarven creature (who they saw previously with the dwarf-troll and the orphans) and two blobs of flesh. They sprinted to the elevator and held the door shut as they pulled the lever and waited for the elevator to move.

As the hell hounds tried to tear apart the door, the platform finally began to rise and they had to release the door. As it swung open they saw the (now larger) dwarf and the hell hounds in the hallway. The hounds breathed fire into the platform, scorching Aion, Reddur, and Riell. The PCs peppered the dwarf with attacks as the platform slid above the top of the door and rattled up the shaft.

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SCAP Session 23
Game date: December 3rd, 2009

The PCs continued exploring Jzadirune and tore down a wooden barricade at the end of a corridor. They entered a large abandoned factory with balconies on either side. Riell spotted movement on the east balcony and began climbing the spiral stair with Reddur. At the top of the stairs in the darkness hovered a floating creature that looked like a large grey brain with a beak and tentacles like a jellyfish. Riell quickly jumped to the floor and the creature (a grell) dropped on Reddur. The group engaged the grell with ranged weapons, and Reddur finally killed it with two quick arrows before it could do much more damage. Zoon was temporarily paralyzed by one of the tentacles, but there was no (apparent) lasting damage.

A thorough search of the room didn’t turn up much of interest except for some bones and minor equipment from some victim of the grell. Further exploration of Jzadirune turned up some other interesting rooms and signs of recent occupancy, but no other creatures. A hunch led them back to a room they hadn’t thoroughly searched, and they found another secret door. It opened into a small room full of treasure, including a gnomish set of full plate filled with silver coins. And there was much rejoicing!

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SCAP Session 22
Game date: November 5th, 2009

The session began as the PCs arrived at Town Hall to meet with the Lord Mayor Severen Navalant. They were ushered into the Council Chamber by another noble, Lord Vhalantru, and also seated inside were Jenya Urikas, High Captain Terseon Skellerang, and Sergeant Redgreaves. The Lord Mayor thanked the group for rescuing the orphans and asked to hear more about their heroic adventure.

At this point the meeting took an unexpected turn for everyone as Rori launched into an intensive line of questioning directed at the mayor regarding Terrem Kharatys. In an elaborate tale of a beholder and much daring (with himself as the hero), Rori explained how they rescued the orphans and saved the city. The rest of the group looked on with amused bewilderment.

After the grand tale was finished, the High Captain spoke up and asked the group for help with another problem. Bands of goblins have been terrorizing the city, and the town guard would like their help finding and eradicating them. The city offered a bounty of 5 gp per goblin ear recovered, and after insulting the Lord Mayor a bit, the PCs negotiated an additional 500 gp for finding their lair. Finally, the Lord Mayor thanked them again for their help and Lord Vhalantru escorted them out.

Outside the Town Hall, Rori was accosted by a reporter for the local paper, the Cauldron Echo. A young half-elf named Zeke Tarnstrom questioned Rori about their rescue of the orphans while the rest of the group headed the other way. Zeke also revealed that he had gotten the rumor about Terrem being the mayor’s bastard son from one of his sources – a halfling that frequents the Tipped Tankard inn.

The group met up and discussed what to do next. They decided to head back into Jzadirune to look for any remaining treasure and traces of goblins. As they explored new areas of the gnomish enclave, they found some empty rooms, abandoned armor, and another tilting pit trap! Reddur fell into the trap but escaped serious injury, and the rest of the group quickly pulled him to safety.

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SCAP Session 21
Game date: October 22nd, 2009

With their new-found gold burning holes in their coin purses, the PCs went on shopping trips and ran errands around town. Rori decided to search for more info on the family name Kharatys to look for clues to the importance of the orphan Terrem. His efforts to join the Bluecrater Academy and use their library were rebuffed, but the clerk at Town Hall was more helpful. Still the search only turned up two documents: a record of Terrem’s admission to the orphanage 9 years ago and registration for a hauler named Alarik Terrem Kharatys from 12 years prior.

Later in the day, Riell met with her guild contact and came back with some information from their interrogation of the dwarf-troll(!). He had come up from the Underdark about a year ago and took over the Malachite Fortress and started his slave trade. He was in league with another slaver in Kingfisher Hollow, a small town east of Cauldron, but refused to give his name. He had never seen the beholder before and didn’t know why anyone would want the boy. Riell also found out that the guild had been hired by someone with deep pockets to keep an eye on Terrem, but they wouldn’t explain why.

One of the rescued prisoners, Maple, returned to the shop ready to help rescue the others. When she heard that they had been carried off to the Underdark, she resigned herself that they were lost for good. The group discussed with Keygan Ghelve ways to barricade the door from his shop to Jzadirune and the Underdark below. Also, a messenger from the Lord Mayor stopped by and delivered an invitation for the group to meet him at the Town Hall the day after next.

[DM note: I seem to have lost my chat transcript from this session, so this was all typed based on memory. If you have any corrections or other details to add, please use the comments section at the top of this post. Thanks!]

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SCAP Session 20
Game date: October 15th, 2009

The PCs divided up their treasures and examined the magic items they had found. Zoon identified Reddur’s stone as a clear spindle ioun stone that provides sustenance. Reddur experimented with the grey bag he found and tossed the furry ball across the room, and it turned into a bat and circled his head.

The conversation then shifted to the fate of their half-dwarf prisoner. It was agreed to turn him and goblin over to Riell’s guild for questioning. She made the arrangements, and an hour later a small group of humans and a halfling arrived at Ghelve’s Locks with a cart and a crate of “furniture” to deliver. They packed up the half-dwarf and goblin in the crate and took them away.

The group then descended into Jzadirune and the Malachite Fortress again to retrieve the treasures they’d left behind. They hauled out six paintings and piles of armor and weapons, both gnome and dwarf sized. Reddur and Aion even hauled out the dead ogre’s dung-covered chest filled with copper and silver pieces. The only hitch along the way was that the elevator was at the bottom and the lever was across the pit. After much debate and attempts to reach the lever with rope and a bat, the lever suddenly slid upward on its own. Rori whistled nonchalantly and twiddled his thumbs.

Back on the surface, the PCs sold their mundane items at Zanathor’s Provisions and took the gnomish paintings to Tygot’s Old Things. Tygot was an elderly halfling with a tidy antiques shop accompanied by an old blink dog named Lepook (which mesmerized Rori). Tygot paid them 100 gold for each painting but agreed that Keygan Ghelve would have first choice if he wanted to buy any of them back. As the session ended, the PCs discussed the value of their gems and where to sell them.

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SCAP Session 19
Game date: October 8th, 2009

The PCs rested for the night, and in the morning Rori and Reddur went to the Lantern Street Orphanage to check on the children. The headmistress, Gretchyn Tashykk was very happy to see them and thanked them for saving the children. She explained that three of the children were at the church for healing, but that a strange woman had returned with Terrem in the middle of the night and quickly departed. Rori and Reddur spoke with Terrem about how he got back, but he didn’t have much to add. He remembered being in a room with the beholder and a woman in a dark veil, and they were talking about him in another language. Then the woman “jumped” with him to a dark street and walked him back to the orphanage. After chatting more with Gretchyn, the pair headed for the church to check on the other kids.

They arrived at the Church of St Cuthbert and met with Jenya Urikas. She thanked them for saving the children and gave them the reward of 2,500 gold pieces in a small chest. She also offered a discount on healing potions and spells as friends of the Church now. Rori asked about the Underdark, and Jenya suggested that Alek Tercival, a paladin of her order, might have some knowledge of it. He is due back in town in a few days. She also mentioned that she will recommend them to the Lord Mayor and he might want an audience with them. Rori and Reddur thanked her and headed back to Ghelve’s Locks.

While they were gone, Riell went over to the Slippery Eel Tavern to meet with her contact from her organization. They exchanged information and discussed what to do with the half-dwarf slaver, and then Riell returned to Ghelve’s. Aion had also returned from home, and the PCs began splitting up the treasure they had found and the award money.

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SCAP Session 18
Game date: September 17th, 2009

A lengthy battle ensued with the Hammerer construct as the PCs found it very difficult to penetrate its metal armor. Soon, a second Hammerer appeared through one of the (illusory) walls and joined the fray. The Hammerers were equipped with pincers and hammers (obviously) and kept trying to grab a PC and then clobber them with the hammer. This tactic was wholly unsuccessful, so they resorted to just simple clobbering, which was MUCH more effective. Both Aion and Reddur were nearly killed by single blows of a hammer. As the battle raged on, Zoon chatted with the goblin prisoner about this area of the dungeon and played a game of Go Fish. Finally, Aion landed the killing blow on the second Hammerer with his greataxe, and it crashed to the ground in a pile of broken parts. Riell searched the pieces and found a pair of large purple gems.

The group began searching the area and found that the levers on the wall moved stone blocks that opened two more passageways. Rori found a torture chamber nearby that had been used less than an hour ago, judging by some drops of blood. After some debate, the PCs decided to head to the surface and come back later to search for survivors. On the way out, Reddur discovered a trail of blood leading from the torture chamber down a hallway to the north. They followed it to the large entry hall with the double doors to the northwest that they had barred on their way in.

According to the goblin, Ikshnak, the doors led to the Underdark where the slave buyers came from. The group decided that it was too late to go after them, but Rori struck up a deal with Ikshnak. If he would follow them and return with information on the location of the slaves, Rori would pay him. The rest of the party was reluctant but agreed to let Ikshnak go, and he scampered off through the doors. The group then rode the elevator to the upper floor and wearily trudged up the stairs to Ghelve’s Locks to rest for the night.

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SCAP Session 17
Game date: September 10th, 2009

After taking a moment to gather their thoughts, Aion and Reddur rushed off to the grand chamber and rescued the four children. Meanwhile, Rori stabilized the half-dwarf, and the group discussed what to do with him and the rescued prisoners. They finally decided to return everyone they’d found to the surface and then come back for any remaining survivors.

They headed back to the elevator with the 7 rescued prisoners and 1 captured goblin and began the slow journey to the top. As they approached the top of the lift they spotted an unwelcome guest waiting for them. Could it be…no—a beholder?! As the lift rattled to a stop, the monster spoke:

“I have come for Terrem Kharatys. That boy should not have been taken from Cauldron. I intend to see that he is safely returned to his orphanage. You can keep the others. They are of no consequence. Come Terrem, you will be safe with me.”

A long discussion ensued as the PCs refused to surrender the boy and the beholder became increasingly impatient and irritated with them. The monster managed to charm Riell and Terrem, while Aion chose to take the other prisoners and flee upstairs. The beholder paid them no heed and continued to haggle for the boy, even offering a pouch of coins. It insisted that it just wanted to return him to the orphanage, and that it must complete this task itself.

Growing frustrated with the stubborn monster, Rori finally made a bold move and grabbed the boy and ran. This enraged the beholder, who flew towards them and used telekinesis to rip the boy from Rori’s arms. Terrem flew towards the beholder and they both suddenly vanished with a ‘pop’.

Dejected, the PCs brought the rest of the rescued prisoners up to Ghelve’s Locks. Ghelve agreed to guard the goblin and half-dwarf while the halfling woman, Maple, took the 3 remaining children back to the Church of St Cuthbert. Then, the PCs returned to the depths to look for other missing people. They took another route through the dungeon and then reached the prisoner cells, which were empty with four of the cell doors left hanging open. As they explored further, they found a room with another one of the gnomish constructs. It spotted them and lurched towards another lever on the wall.. To Be Continued

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SCAP Session 16
Game date: August 20th, 2009

After mopping up all the hobgoblins, the PCs began searching the area and found one of the remaining goblins hiding under a bed. They interrogated him and then hustled him into the secret weapons room with the rescued prisoners. While plotting their next move, Zoon heard voices from the door to the south. Aion and Reddur threw open the door and quickly slaughtered two more hobgoblins. They then moved onto the next door and tried the same tactic, only this room held more than just a couple hobgoblins.

The grand chamber had a raised platform at the south end where two dwarven creatures were holding a human boy with an iron ring around his neck. Three more children were chained to a post behind them, and a horrible porcupine-dog creature (a howler) rested at the bottom of the steps. Four hobgoblins guarded the doors. The larger dwarven crossbreed demanded to know who the PCs were and why he shouldn’t kill them. Their answers were unacceptable, so he ordered the howler “Prickles” to attack and charged the PCs with his dwarven urgrosh.

The battle was fierce, and the howler was vicious. Prickles tore apart Aion with frightening ease, biting him and sinking his quills through his armor. Reddur tried to drag Aion to safety, but Prickles turned and mauled him next. Shocked at seeing two of the strongest fighters go down so fast, Riell reluctantly slammed the door to the room and shouted for the rest of the group to run! Before fleeing, Rori used his area healing ability and just barely brought Aion and Reddur back to consciousness.

The “plan” worked perfectly! The dwarven crossbreed and Prickles gave chase while Aion and Reddur played dead. Once they were alone, they quaffed healing potions and gathered their weapons. Riell, Rori, and Zoon sprinted through the forge and dove through the secret door into the weapons room. The dwarf and his minions were unable to find the door and began to circle around another way when suddenly Aion and Reddur came charging into the room. Riell opened the secret door, and she and Rori began attacking them from behind as well. With the howler and dwarven crossbreed trapped between them, the PCs began tearing them apart much more effectively.

Riell sliced into Prickles, which enraged the dwarf. He picked up his urgrosh from the floor and swung at her with what surely would have been a devastating blow, but Riell jabbed him with her rapier and Aion tripped him from behind with his guisarme. Once he was down, Riell finished him off with a deft thrust into the back of his neck. With his owner dead, the howler didn’t last much longer either. Finally, the PCs could catch their breath and gather their wits now that all the enemies lay dead.

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