Cyric the Mad God

Session 3: Patsy, Horace, and Mortis Goom
"A Pretty Promenade of Pack Ponies...and a Lich?!"

Session 3: Patsy, Horace, and Mortis Goom

We start the session in Ashburne, having recently arrived and received an appraisal of the items we’ve acquired along the road. We continue by deciding what to do with the items still in our possession, having sold the gems for gold. The boots and the dagger go to Trilovian, and Nerium is given the ring of protection. In learning a little about the town of Ashburne, we hear that Bahamut, the God of Justice and Law, is dominant in Ashburne. Also notable is that there is a strong underground black market, as well as a military academy. From the treasury, we each take 20 GP, and leave the rest in communal funds to draw on as needed. Some of the group purchases additional rations and ammunition.

Upon our adorable new pack ponies we bestow the names of Patsy and Horace, then stable them at a location near the central plaza. We head over to the Silversword Tavern, known for being more “outsider” oriented, and less of a local gathering place than the Dragoneye. We all enjoy some beverages, while noticing that the tavern is filled with dwarves, humans, elves, minotaurs and orcs-a diverse group. The minotaurs and orcs appear to be enjoying themselves especially well, and are particularly rowdy. Ryallynn approaches the elves to speak with them, and discovers that they are merchants. The elves speak of evil magic rumored to be afoot, and goblins coming up from Sandpoint.

Bonack Bonackson, the head of the guard, is also present at the tavern, and Nerium decides to approach him and introduce himself. Bonackson instructs Nerium to meet him later at the temple for further discussion. There are some dwarves drinking Dwarven Rockgut. Anderian approaches them and buys them another round, before engaging in conversation. The dwarves report that they were attacked on the road by goblins, and it’s clear that these are no ordinary goblins. They seem possessed, and contrary to what one would normally expect from goblins, they show no fear and they never retreat. The goblins were overheard muttering something incomprehensible about Cyric. The dwarves also recount spotting a human female during the attack who wore the same amulet as the goblins. When asked what became of her, they report that she simply disappeared.

Reminding ourselves that we were sent by Craginoor to get in touch with Thorngaar, the mayor, we finish our meal at the tavern and head towards the mayor’s palace. Anderian, Ryallynn and Trilovian approach the mayor’s palace while Nerium and Whittlebert continue on to Felzner Hoop’s house- Felzner being the head of the thieves’ guild, with whom Whittlebert wishes to meet and pay his “respects.”

After being granted permission to enter the mayor’s palace, the group is instructed to wait in a grand chamber by Peter the Bold, the personal servant to Thorngaar. When Peter returns he leads us to the mayor who is sat in a beautiful, elaborately appointed throne room where he is introduced to us as “the slayer of dragons, taller than most halflings ever will be, Thorngaar the mighty, the bold.”

Through conversing with Thorngaar, we resolve that we will help Thorngaar determine the root of the goblin problem, as well as attempt to rescue Tilly Redhands, the daughter of one of Ashburne’s most prominent merchants, who was kidnapped recently, somewhat mysteriously, as no ransom demands have been forthcoming. It is then learned that Mortis Goom, a well known mage purported to be a necromancer with ties to Asgaroth, has also gone missing from the city. Coincidentally, or perhaps not so coincidentally, Mortis Goom’s house is quite close to Lord Redhands’ estate; they are neighbors.

It is decided that the group will travel to the ruins of Ethel, as it is believed to be the source/ hideout of the possessed goblins. Ryallynn negotiates with Thorngaar and they arrive at an agreement for compensation- each member of the party will receive 75 GP each, including Nerium and Whittlebert, who aren’t present, but whose abilities are touted. Thorngaar denies our request for horses to aid in our travels, but graciously provides the group with a third pack pony. At this time, Thorngaar invites the group to feast with him, and a three hour meal ensues.

We speculate that Mortis Goom may have had something to do with Asgaroth becoming a lich.

Meanwhile, Nerium and Whittlebert have called on Felzner Hoop who is described as a somewhat hefty human man with grey hair- somewhat resembling Santa Claus. Whittlebert says he’d like to pay his dues to the Thieves Guild, and Felzner requests the standard payment of 40 GP. Whittlebert attempts to bargain, but to no avail. Whittlebert, having only about half of the required sum, requests the remainder from Nerium, with the promise that he will pay him back soon, and well. Nerium informs Whittlebert that he will give him the sum from his own purse, but will not violate the trust the group has placed in him by dipping into the communal bank. We have now discovered that our beloved minotaur is not only stealthy, but honorable to boot!! Felzner then gives Whittlebert a cygnet ring and instructs him to show it at any local “import/ export” businesses to receive “proper service.” (That’s what she said.)

The group meets back up again, and we leave our new pack pony with Patsy and Horace at the stables.

Nerium suggests multiple times that we give our group a name, but somehow, everyone seems to keep getting distracted. At least I did. I think we still don’t have a name, but maybe I just missed this part because I was distracted…

At this point the group decides to head for the Dragoneye Tavern which has a reputation for being a “local bar” to secure rooms and have a drink, and see what we can learn. Nerium heads off to meet with Bonack Bonackson. Bonackson gives Nerium a dagger and tells him, “You’ll have to go through Mortis Goom to get to Asgaroth.” He further indicates that in order to destroy Goom, we will need to destroy the necromancer’s sanctum, or resting place. Nerium inquires as to whether the enchanted horn we have been carrying could be destroyed at the temple of Bahamut, and Bonackson agrees that it could be. This seems to eliminate the need to carry it into the east to find an arch mage to destroy it, and Nerium, eager to be rid of something that he views as vile and unnatural, agrees to leave the horn to be destroyed at the temple.

MORE DETAILS NEEDED: I have completely forgotten what happened at the Dragoneye Tavern, except that there was a dragon’s head mounted above the bar that Trilovian didn’t feel completely comfortable with, but we did get some food and drink, and secured rooms for the evening. Trilovian engaged somebody in conversation, but I’m not sure who it was, or what was learned from this exchange. I do remember that he asked lots of questions, and was very confident, considering one of his brethren was mounted on the wall.

At this point our illustrious DM granted us all 250 xps for roleplaying, and we all leveled up.

We decide that we have plenty of time to do a little reconnaissance, and so we head off in the direction of the West Gate, which is near to Mortis Goom’s house as well as Lord Redhands’ estate. On the way, Whittlebert pickpockets someone and barely gets away with it, nearly putting the group in a dangerous position. Only Nerium is privy to the contents of the stolen purse.

We inquire after Tilly at Lord Redhands’ house a little before 9:00 PM. He tells us that ten days prior Tilly said, “I love you, Daddy,” left the house, and had yet to return. He reports that she had always been a good girl, but had started acting strangely after she began associating with Mortis Goom. He shows us a portrait of her in a red dress with long, flowing, red hair. He also informs us that Tilly was a student at the academy where Mortis Goom taught. We assure Lord Redhands that we will do everything in our power to return his daughter to him, and he says that if we were to accomplish this feat, he would reward us with “all he has.” Ryallynn feels skeptical about this claim, but doesn’t express it to Lord Redhands. At this point, we decide to head off for the house of Mortis Goom on the recommendation of Lord Redhands.

We cautiously approach and enter the Goom house, noticing that the windows are broken, the curtains are in tatters, and there are piles of what appear to be furniture and junk scattered about the first floor. After some careful checking of the stairs and the fireplaces, we determine that the building is empty. A shed is discovered in the backyard, and in it, what looks to be a previously undiscovered trap door. We decide as a group to open the trap door and go down the stairs.

At the bottom of the stairs we find ourselves in a crescent shaped chamber filled with statues. They all appear to be statues of Cyric the Mad, and glitter strangely in the darkness. There is a door in the middle, and we decide to go through, with Nerium in the lead. Upon entering the door, we see a giant zombie, eight feet tall, and more than half as wide. He almost instantly immobilizes Nerium. Ryallynn misses her attack, but Trilovian and Anderian both hit. After another solid hit from Trilovian, Ryallynn finishes him off (or believes she has), and the zombie drops to the floor. Ryallynn moves into the room to investigate what appears to be an old well emitting an ethereal blue light.

Suddenly, the zombie arises, he has apparently reanimated with about half his original strength. We notice that there is a chest in the room in the process of attacking the zombie a second time. Whittlebert manages to pick the zombie’s pockets during the attack, and pilfers a ball of goo. Nerium deals the final blow to the zombie, and he falls for the final time, exploding in a shower of goo. (This might be a slight exaggeration.) Whittlebert examines the ball of goo to discover a key inside, which he gives to Nerium. Nerium retrieves the zombie’s flail/ chain, and we open the chest. Ten rubies and a ruby amulet lay within. But their hands were stayed momentarily, for on the amulet was…they symbol of Cyric.

It is then decided that we must descend into the well. Peering over the edge, we are able to see what appears to be the ruins of Ethel. Nerium is the first to make his way down the rope and into the well, and upon finishing his descent, we see him peering back up at us, although he doesn’t seem able to see us. We all decide to follow, and suddenly find ourselves within the ruined castle walls of Ethel, however the castle keep is miraculously intact. We investigate the perimeter of the keep, and ascertain that there is a single portcullis guarded by four scimitar wielding skeletons, although they do not make any move to attack, or even register that they are aware of our presence. Whittlebert scales the rear wall to investigate, and finds that there are four additional skeletons guarding each corner of the keep. He climbs back down, gives us a report, and it is determined that we should all regroup, and make a plan as to how to proceed.

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Session 2: The Road to Ashburn
"What would you do-oo-oo for a heal potion?"

Session 2: The Road to Ashburn

With Sandpoint ablaze and goblins attacking that were…more driven…than typical goblins, all wearing amulets with the symbols of Asgoroth, there was little time for the party to consider options. Deftly, the group slayed the group threatening the orphanage alongside Cragganor.

At Stormhelm’s behest, they escaped north, on their way to Ashburn, to speak to Thorngar, a Halfling Major, to inform him of the goblin attack.

The group left at noon for the five-day long journey. The first two days went by uneventfully, and they kept a steady pace. The third night, however, while keeping watch, Oris the Deva Invoker was thrown into a chaotic nightmare. Cyric, The Mad God, was dancing in an opulent ballroom randomly killing guests. As Oris frantically questioned the God, unable to surmise this scene was fantasy, he went to the aid of a felled female guest. During his futile attempt, the guest handed him an amulet which, when he grabbed it, emblazoned the symbol of Asgaroth on his hand. It pulsed with a fiendish power.

Almost in full panic, since recent experience has shown that this mark seemingly causes other beings to lose sense of their faculties and blindly follow Asgaroth’s will, Oris asked Cyric what to do. Cyric, cryptically, informed Oris to follow the symbol. As it turns out, upon awakening, the symbol remained on his hand – this was in actuality an magic compass, which would point the party towards Asgoroth, and was granted to the party in a way only Cyric could possibly dream up.

On the third day around 11:05 AM, the party encountered an old man guiding a donkey, the beast of burden lugging substantial heft. It was clear the tinker knew a bit of magic, with the way he presented his wares.

The party inquired about restorative items, and the tinker stated that he had two healing potions. Whittlebert the Gnome Rogue roguishly bluffed a random rock from the ground as having magical properties. The trade was quickly made, both parties pleased with the outcome.

Ryallyn the Elf Hunter, wily and cunning, seduced the tinker and provided him…oral recompense…to relieve him of his second position. The trade was quickly made, with one party clearly more pleased with the outcome.

His mood substantially lifted, the tinker was willing to bargain for a Bag of Holding, for the javelins and spears looted from the goblins back in Sandpoint plus, the prize of the deal, the horn which seemed to have a power over rats (and clearly was cursed in some fashion). The tinker, satisfied with the day’s business, went along his way, playing a tune upon the horn.

While resting at the end of the day’s travel, however, the horn music remained closeby. Many in the party were awakened by its eerie tune. Strangely enough, it sounded miles away.

On the fourth day, the party passed a quaint farmhouse on the outskirts of Ashburn, to the west about 1/4th of a mile from the road. It was at some point set ablaze, but remained standing as the fire was rapidly subsiding. The more deft of the party members went to investigate in stealth. They came upon a macabre scene as they looked through the windows – the farming family had been slaughtered. They were speared on weapons and spikes, posed in a large room of the farmhouse as if dancing. Their blood was spilled throughout the home.

Despite the compromised structural integrity, Whittlebert the Gnome Rogue stepped gingerly inside the home. On a wall inside, he saw evidence of goblins. In Common tongue, written in the family’s blood, was the cryptic phrase, “Asgoroth is true. Cyric is false.”

The splinter group returned to the road to deliver the doleful news. With sorrow, Oris the Deva Invoker and Trilovian the Dragonborn Cleric went to the farmhouse to give them their last rites. Because the house was practically ready to collapse, they were unable to enter and remove the family members from their poses to grant them some semblance of dignity in death.

After the harrowing discovery, the fourth night brought further torment – three hours into their rest, the playing of the rat horn sold to the tinker was shocking close. In fact, on the outskirts of the campsite, the party was roused to find the tinker, without donkey in tow, clearly entranced. The look in his eyes was exactly the same as that on Whittlebert when they first heard the horn play. And also similar to that day, there was a swarm of rats. And they were ready for a fight.

As the party dealt with the swarm, Nerium the Minotaur Avenger focused his attacks on the tinker. The party agreed that the best way to end this fight would likely be to stop the playing which was had the rats in a trance. Eventually, his attacks came to fruition, and he decapitated the tinker. The rats promptly scattered when the music ended. Relieved, they took what the tinker no longer had use for (including the horn), and lamented that the donkey, and all those potentially precious items the tinker had in tow, were now lost somewhere in the wilderness between Sandpoint and Ashburn.

On the fifth day, as the party drew closer to Ashburn proper, a patrol of horsemen 20 strong approached from the north. To the clear leader of the band, the party explained where they were from, the purpose of their travel, and included the scene at the farm house close by.

The leader informed the group that goblin attacks have become more frequent, and shockingly still, despite the walled garrison in Ashburn, somehow the goblins were getting into the city clandestinely, without penetrating or otherwise compromising the stone wall or its ample defenses. Ashburn was flabbergasted.

The patrol, since the party had official business with Major Thorngar, by way of Cragganor, offered to lead them to Ashburn. They willingly accepted the escort.

Upon entering the town, the party decided, prior to their audience with the Major, that they would alleviate themselves of the loot they accumulated during their recent adventure, as well as visit a Mage Guild in town in attempt to identify their magical items.

While none of the gems found were magical, they did fetch a fair price. The boots seemed to grant the wearer a bit of extra speed, while the dagger seemed to magically cut with slightly better precision. The ring granted the wearer with a slight shield from blows. However, to their surprise, the “potions of healing” were nothing more than cranberry juice. The tinker had gotten the last laugh, clearly. What was left of the remorse they held for trading the tinker the horn, which lead to his undoing, was swiftly dissolved by this discovery.

One of the mages, unsurprisingly, informed the party that the horn was cursed, and that only an Arch Mage would know how to destroy it, if it was even possible. And the closest Arch Mage was far, far east, in a city the mage has only heard of in passing and could not recall the name of.

The mage also informed them that the stone amulet of Asgoroth was one he was rather familiar with – they have been finding them on the goblins that were attacking Ashburn and the surrounding countryside, and it was clear that they were able to control the minds of weak-minded creatures. Also, all the mage could decipher from the “compass” on Oris’ hand was “powerful magic”. He knew nothing more.

Exhausted from their travels, their business transactions complete, and eager for a proper bed and meal, the group made their way to the inn.

EXP: ??? (I need to start making a note of this…)
LOOT: See Nerium, the Treasure Trove Minotaur

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Session 1: Introductions
"Rats! Goblins! Gods! Oh my!"

Session 1: Introductions

In the quiet seaside town of Sandpoint, a group of adventurers respond to a job posting in a local inn, “Cragganor’s Roost”.

Oris, a Deva Invoker. Ryallynn, an Elf Ranger. Beregor, a Dwarf Fighter. Althaea, an Elladrin Wizard. Nerium, a Minotaur Avenger. Whittlebert Figglesby, a Gnome Rogue. A hodgepodge of adventurers to say the least.

The owner, Cragganor Stormhelm, explains that there is a rat infestation of his cellar, and recounts that it seems the trouble started when those in town began noticing odd things in nature – the stars somehow appeared unaligned in the sky…animals’ behavior seemed erratic… To further complicate matters, travelers have reported that orc tribes far north of Sandpoint were beginning to raid villages with regularity, and distant kingdoms to the east are engaged in civil war. Tensions were high.

The party enters the cellar and makes quick work of the rats. However, from out of a corner, a spider appears. Once defeated, the party discovers that it is marked with a peculiar symbol – identified as that of Azgoroth, a renowned wizard who became a Lich and a follower of the god Cyric, also known as Cyric the Mad.

They investigate where the spider appeared and discover a secret passageway, where they happen upon strange rooms with odd statues and cryptic passages. Through cunning, they make their way past the obstacles, only to come upon zombies dancing around a maypole and a skeleton on a throne playing a horn as others listened. Odd indeed. Besting these foes, Whittlebert opens a door and notices a corridor crawling with a swarm of rats. Curiously, Ryallynn believes the horn has something to do with safe passage, but before she plays it, Whittlebert pilfers the horn and begins to play. His will is not strong, and he is smitten by the horn’s evil curse. He opens the door and plays down the corridor, with rats gathering in tow, until they reach the end. There, in a gaping hole (later discovered via an orb of light by the wizard Althaea to be quite deep), the rats plunge to their demise. Whittlebert is broken from his trance, the horn is placed in safe keeping with Nerium, and the party continues on.

The party then encounters wood golems in the form of doors. Sassy and argumentative, Nerium takes them as an affront. “Doors should not speak,” he proclaimed as he swung with his axe to engage them. Thankfully, these were weaker than typical golems and were bested by our neophyte group.

Eventually the party came upon a room that seemed to herald the exploits of the god Cyric, but they turned away and moved on to a different part of the dungeon, wary of having to encounter a being of that magnitude. Alas, the next passage they entered, they were compelled to do so anyway, and found themselves before the seat of Cyric himself. He orders the party to seek out and fetch Azgaroth, his wayward follower, and to return with him. They were under the impression, through their short exchange, that refusal was not an option.

Cyric teleports them back to the cellar where, upon exiting, they discover that Cragganor’s Roost, as well as some of Sandpoint, has been set ablaze. Before leaving, Whittlebert “rescues” some of the more precious of the cellar’s alcohol. Goblins, seemingly more organized and focus than usual, were raiding the town and setting the fires. Nerium and Oris enter a shop amidst the chaos to try and procure better weapons, but come up empty handed.

Caddy corner from the Inn, the party spots Cragganor at the entrance of an orphanage, only recently set with a small fire towards the back, fending off the entry of a half dozen goblins and wielding his ancestral axe from above the Inn’s bar. With both the urge to assist, and to get paid for their earlier efforts, they make haste to lend him their support.

XP: ~300 (I didn’t keep track of per-session amounts. I will from now on.)
LOOT: ??? (See Spencer, our friendly party treasure keeper, for current loot and divvy)

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