When morning rose, the group swiftly wrapped up camp and began walking down the trail again, only to run into Toby Fare with his trusty sidekick Quispy sitting on a boulder. His horse had been lost and he had been stuck walking on foot, allowing time for the group to catch up. After introductions, they continued moving down the trail where they ran across a large black bear caught in a trap. Barnstead used his animam speaking skill to see if they could assist it and while the group listened to the bear growl, the bear was actually telling Barnstead to watch out for the thugs who had set the trap because they were still running around. As Barnstead relayed the message out of the woods a whole group of thugs dashed out. With some savage back and forth with arrows flying and Quispy biting, the thugs were easily dispatched and Roscoe took a moment to pilfer through the dead for any goodies they may have. Toby, feeling quite congenial decided to bond with Lance as they continued on their journey, taking small moments to try to give his gear a shine. Each of the newcomers took some time to share their stories with the group, explaining how circumstances had brought them all together.
They continued traveling uneventfully for about three days, the third evening around 9 or so, they crested a hill and saw in the close distance that Greenest, the city they were traveling too, appeared to be under siege. Plumes of smoke and fire filled the darkening sky and they could see small figures moving away from the city, whilst overhead a large, winged figure swooped around. The group deduced immediately that it must be a dragon, and while there was a suggestion about camping til daylight, the group decided to act quickly to help the townspeople.
They rushed into the city and as they started down a pathway a family ran out in front of them, ambushed by a swarm of kobolds. The wife turned to fight, broken spear in hand but the group intervened and told her she could stand in front of her family while they took care of the enemies. Going into action the adventurers wasted no time in dispatching of the nasty kobolds, Amadeus used some magnificent dragon breath to blast most into burning char while the others pounded and shot away at the others.
Upon success, the wife introduced herself as Linen Swift and told the heroes they should make their way to the keep with her family as that was the only place with enough protection to hold off the pillagers. As they made their way down the path, the shortest route to the keep, they ran into two more groups of attackers, crushing them with ease. As the group got to the keeps door the villagers were excited to finally be out of harm’s way for the moment.
While Barnstead finished up his walkthrough of the space, Toby Fare decided to join the group that has just left with Quispy and ensure that they are actually turned over to the proper authorities As he headed out, Doomguide Yovir sent two other adventurers down into the crypt with Cassyt to help keep clearing out the undead. Toby stopped by the Cracked Crown Inn to find out that no one has heard from Janma yet and the worry is escalating. The bartender implored him to go west and find out what has happened to her so he went ahead and left a note for the group at the manor as well as at the Laughing Goblin Inn to let them know where he was going. He also arranged for a horse and buggy for the group so they could catch up as soon as possible. Toby then leapt onto his horse with his pack and faithful familiar and road off to the wilderness.
The group reassembled and Cassyt showed the new adventurers where Roscoe and Barnstead were so they could decide what to do from there. Lance Alot, the gnome cleric wasted no time and introduced himself immediately, letting them know he was on a quest to aid adventurers and wanted to help clear the tomb. Amadeaus the dragonborn ranger had seen Lance Alot and was interested to see where he was going and decided to assist as well. With everyone on the same page the group re-inspected an obelisk in a small area and ascertained that it was covered in runes that talked about the dead in the room. Then they decided to continue down the stairs where they ran into a door.
Barnstead courageously opened it up and crept into the room slowly, Lance Alot not far behind. As they got all the way in, bones fell from the ceiling and plaster and dust filled the room. Skeletons started attacking and the group had to rally together to crush some skulls.
Having taken the brunt of the damage, Barnstead was kindly healed a bit by Lance Alot before moving on to another stairwell. Off to the groups right, a large mummified statue with a crown sat and Lance Alot saw a compartment with weights, giving him the impression that there was more to this room than meets the eye. Amadeus wanted to inspect further as did Roscoe but Barnstead and Cassyt reminded the group that they were there for monsters and not treasures so the group decided to move on.
They decided to enter another doorway which led the group to a chamber full of zombies and kobolds. As the zombies moved in to attack, Roscoe let an arrow fly immediately killing off a sleeping kobold and then the group annihilated the zombies. Their presence in the chamber being known, a red wizard Rorreth in the back area immediately begins packing up while the battle continues and as the group comes around the corner he leaps onto a teleportation circle and disappears, leaving some kobolds, a Thayan knight and a cultist to try to get rid of them.
The cultist was rendered useless as his brains hit the wall when Amadeus shot him with a longbow. Roscoe used his wicked bow skills to do some serious damage to the Thayan knight who was in process of demolishing Lance Alot. Cassyt, seeing that Lance Alot was in imminent danger, dragged his bleeding almost/probably corpse to the side and began some healing to rally him. Meanwhile the knight had turned his attentions to Barnstead who was doing his best to get rid of a couple kobolds, smashing gooey bits. Lance Alot makes a wobbly attempt to throw his weapon, failing but the group manages to dispatch the rest in relatively good shape.
They decided the threat on the tombs was gone and after a quick, not very in depth search of the wizards quarters, the group goes to inform Doomguide Yovir of their findings. Being pleased with the group for not thieving from the dead, he gives them a bonus and they decided to stop at the Laughing Goblin Inn to recuperate and have some ale.
After seeing that the space was cleared, they tracked some small pieces of stale bread and cheese down a little hallway and sent Quispy into a closed area to look ahead and see if the room was worth going into. He saw a warehouse with some barrels of food items and a book with a vial beside it but nothing else so the group decided to pass on it and move on down the pathway. As the path opened, it branched off into several directions beside a small creek and when they entered the area a loud bell style alarm started ringing for about 10 seconds.
In that time, several strange look rats came from each direction straight at the group, ready to protect the cavern to the death if needed. Quispy flew in above to distract the rats by flying in their faces while Barnstead tried swinging his large weapon at them. Two of the rats had disgusting little eyeballs coming out from each side of their bellies and they used the eyes to shoot a ray right at Barnstead, hitting him viciously! Toby Fare (the true name of Goober) managed to push a rat back from the crowd and decided to stay out of the main line of action. Roscoe let loose some arrows but decided fleeing would be best when the rats did not immediately die. After seeing the others backing away, Barnstead also flees rather than facing impending doom! The adventurers head back to up the trapdoor into the bar, sad that they couldn’t defeat the freakish rat creatures. Not to be put off, they decide instead to check in with Doomguide Yovir to see what he needs help with.
Doomguide is very happy to see the adventurers as he is concerned that there may be an undead problem in the catacombs of the graveyard that he maintains. Some of his loyal Kelemvorites have disappeared and though they have recently checked the newest parts of the catacombs, he thinks that there may be trouble further in. He sends his guide Cassyt with the group to give them light and some general aid if needed and they head into the crypts.
The group sees that the crypts are all pretty common, basic burial spaces for the citizens of Phlan and as the enter the first chamber the section has a fresco of an old map of the catacombs themselves that Roscoe points out. It is heavily water damaged and old, giving the impression that it has been down there a long time. The group passes on the banquet hall as they assume the Kelemvorites have already been through there. They continue down the main walkway and enter a hall that has a series of crypts that feature doorways locked with iron grates. Each one has a scene set up of normal daily life with richly dressed folks seated at tables or at writing desks, with each of the folks being of course, skeletons.
Having been warned by Yovir and Cassyt not to steal from the dead as it could upset their families or bring the wrath of the Gods upon them they elect to pass through the hall and move on downwards further into the catacombs. They send Quispy ahead to check a room off to the right and he sees a large pit full of bones and a couple of other small rooms with urns and other hanging bones so the group decides to enter and search more thoroughly.
The pit itself is full of ancient bones but no clothing or jewels so it looks as if it might have a been cult related sacrificial area. They carefully walk around the pit and Toby Fare sees two other rooms, one with rows upon rows of pottery animals made from the ashes of ground up bones. The other room has thousands of disarticulated bones hanging by thin wires from the ceiling, not a single one touching another.
Several corpses lay in the middle of that space having recently been ripped up by some ravenous creature. Toby Fare actually sees two ghouls lingering over them and decides to attack to get rid of them. The group engages and Barnstead manages to smash both into goo relatively easily.
They head back down the hallway to go further into the catacombs, walking down rickety, wooden stairs that look like they could quite easily fall apart at any time. As the staircase ends, Toby Fare sees a statue of a four armed humanoid with insect like features holding a scroll, quill, skull in three hands and nothing in a fourth. It had eyes of jet stone that Toby of course pokes at.
Further down that walkway a semi circular chamber is seen that is lined with nearly 100 loculi, each with bones of residents of Phlan. There is a statue in the center of that space with four faces covered in mysterious runes.
The group continues on and has Quispy check out another closed off room after hearing some shuffling sounds at the door. He sees several forms moving around that look vaguely human but are bumping into another door in the room and so goes back to the group to see what they want to do. They decided to open the door and take on the figures one at a time as the doorway is pretty narrow. After successfully annihilating the undead, they decided to take a closer look in the room. They see some shackles bolted to the walls, an iron lockbox with five wooden stakes, a length of rope hanging from an open grate in the ceiling attached to a grappling hook and a short rusted iron bar on the ground. Quispy goes through the other closed door to see three scared individuals cowering and waiting to be rescued. They are a half-orc, elf and tiefling.
The group is happy when the adventurers open the door to help them out and they mention they came to see if the crypts needed cleared out and got stuck when the zombies attacked and ended up sitting in that room for a couple days. Roscoe doesn’t buy it and sees they are carrying what appears to be looted items and calls them out on it, which they deny to the end. The adventurers then decide to lock the group in the room and send Cassyt to get guards to take them to jail.
As she goes off, Toby Fare sends Quispy in to harass the group, trying to get them to drop the loot and give up. They are insistent that the items are theirs and strike out when Quispy keeps trying to take their stuff. The guards finally show up and take the crew out of the crypts and while the adventurers give the grabbed trinkets to Cassyt to have them returned. Barnstead does a walk through and finds a flask with a bit of high quality ale in it and of course takes it with them as it was dropped by the orc and was not part of the catacombs treasures.
Evening is approaching as the group decides to go back through the other floors to make sure that they didn’t miss anything. Goober goes back to the room with the chessboard and makes the magical single move to put it into checkmate which opens up a drawer to release a skull. Having collected that and put it on the table the group takes another quick look around and after being confident all has been thoroughly searched, especially the picture of the moon in the dining area, they move up to the trapdoor to check out the attic.
Quispy checks out the space above the trapdoor, a small room with no windows and a single door. After determining there is no threat they all go up and see a table with a candle and a body that looks just like Rivana, the woman who has asked for their help. They go ahead and light the candle, preparing for an attack and are pleasantly surprised when it just lights the space up. After seeing her body Rivana remembers that she was killed by a monster with a pointed tail that poisoned her. Beside her body is a final skull that the group then immediately takes downstairs to put at the table. After a bit of rearranging the skulls are placed on the correct bodies which in turn opens up a secret hiding space through the picture in the wall that holds a small trove of treasures for the group to take.
They return up to the attic to continue searching the space and discover an imp hiding past the small room in a large, cluttered space. With Roscoe trailing closely behind the group blindly, they make it to the center of the space and put up the light ball to illuminate the room so they can have a better look. Quispy darts around searching for the imp who mocks the group, telling them they are going to die. After a search for evil in the room, the imp goes into the room with the body, not wanting an unfair fight.
They see a door at the other end of the room with a metal keyhole and just happen to have found a key in the safe that fits perfectly. The group sends Quispy in who sees a basic wizard lair with a bookshelf, chest and table with random ingredients laid out. There is a round table too. The group steps in and Roscoe and Goober attempt to open the chest and fail on the first round but Roscoe takes a second try and manages to get it open. Inside they find some goodies and as Quispy finds that there is nothing interesting on the bookshelf he flies towards the table, disappearing as he nears it to an ethereal plane where he sees an enraged, hungry zombie who is dressed like a wizard.
The group sees Quispy disappear and takes a closer look at the table which is holding a wand that looks kind of like a unicorn horn. Goober picks it up and as he does, all the magic in the house related to the wand disappears. Even Quispy reappears in the space no worse for wear. Having cleared out the magic, Rivana has disappeared and the gang decides to keep the house for themselves so they don’t have to continue staying at the inn. They immediately head back to town as the rhino also has disappeared where they hire some help to clean the house and maintain it for 40 gp a month (per player).
Goober heads to the Cracked Crown Inn, surprised that nothing has been heard from his contact, the innkeeper seems to think she is deep undercover or dead and recommends he head out west to check on her.
The others head to the store to trade in gold for goodies and sell their junk. Roscoe then takes a moment to check in with Robin the Hood to find out that a young boy ran off with some dust of dryness that needs to be returned to its owner asap. The kid was last seen going into the Laughing Goblin Inn.
Meanwhile Barnstead takes a moment to pop by the temple where the priest tells him about an old ruin several days west of town that may have items of interest for his temple and war on orc kind. He also says he could use help in restored some of the older parts of this temple to get it back into pristine shape which Barnstead says he would be happy to help with.
As they meet back up, Barnstead points out the fliers they have been seeing where Yovir has been needing some help at the graveyard but Roscoe says they need to stop at the Inn first. The barkeeper tells them that she hasn’t seen anyone however they are welcome to go downstairs and see.
They send Quispy down the trapdoor and he doesn’t see anything concerning so the whole group heads down to be ambushed by a gang of hungry rats of a variety of sorts. It is dark but Roscoe manages to aim true based on the sound of scurrying rats and gets a good shot in here and there. Goober uses his wicked Eldritich blast to show some rats a thing or two and after enjoying a rat meal himself, Quispy finds himself on the teethy end of a rat entering his stomach in chunks. Barnstead gets off to a rocky start with some hits coming up short and a couple rats take advantage by trying to eat his head. He threw them off easily however and finally gets some smashing success, helping to clear the small area of the vermin.
In the thick green lighting, Goober decides to get a closer look of the giant statue standing by the altar. It is in the pool on a stand that makes it appear to be floating but blood had gotten into the water and touched the bottom of the statue. On inspection the group determines that the statue is actually made from jade so it is very valuable but weighs about a ton so taking it with them is not realistic. They go ahead and continue down the cave pathway to a closed door that Goober’s quasit had located on a scouting mission. It appears to have collapsed on itself a bit and the group has to go through some effort to get a hole smashed in to see what is on the other side.
After meager attempts by Barnstead and Goober, Roscoe ninja kicks a hole big enough for them to crawl through. Barnstead peeks his head through the doorway and sees a couple guards and an altar. Determining that it is safe, they all climb through to chat with the guards who appear to work for the Black Fist. Among them is Sergeant Grim who has been missing. They all are clearly starving and were resigned to dying in the room as the collapse had made it impossible to get out. With help from the adventurers the soldiers get out of the room and wait for them to lead the group out of the temple.
The group takes a quick glance around the cavern the soldiers had been stuck in and they see two more of the large statues of the demon figure although these are made from stone rather than jade. In the center of the room is an older altar that has a representation of Tyr on the center. There were also a couple of bags full of trinkets left on the ground that the group decides not to take along. They spend a bit of time destroying the demon figures in an attempt to remove the evil vibe from the temple. They successfully get the guards out of the cavern, Barnstead even gives them some food since they were starving.
The group determines that the guards should be turned over to Leila at the Black Fist for debriefing so they all hop onto the ferry where Karst the ferryman was waiting for them. As the ferry hit the midway point of the journey the beacon at Sokol Keep suddenly turns on.
Leila is very appreciative of the adventurers success although none of them can say how they got the light working again. Sergeant Hurn appears to grab the guards and leaves with them in tow. Leila offers the adventurers gold for their work and sends them on their way.
Immediately after leaving the office Roscoe tells the group he needs to take a walk and goes in search of his contact at Robin the Hood. Olisara Lightsong happily takes Igan’s journal mentioning that it will be returned to the rightful owner, even though Igan is dead. Roscoe then heads back to the Laughing Goblin Inn for some ale, conversation and sleep. Goober takes advantage of the group separating to stop by the Cracked Crown Inn to see if Jamna Gleamsilver had left any assignments for him. The proprietor of the inn let him know that she had not and had actually left town for Greenest on a mission so she would be gone for awhile. He decides to stay for the evening, heading back to the Laughing Goblin Inn in the morning after a morning visit from the Cracked Crown proprietor for entertainment.
Barnstead used his free time to head out to a small temple in town that worships Moradin. The temple had a couple of acolytes praying, some clerics cleaning and the priest up front worshipping at the altar. The temple is pristine but the majority of the visitors appear to be dwarves. After a bit Barnstead heads back to the Laughing Goblin Inn to meet with the group.
As morning breaks the group stops by the magic shop to find out about the wand they found of Igan’s. It turns out to be a wand of magic detection so they decide to keep it. The shopkeeper asks Goober about Janma and seems concerned that she left town without stopping by the shop first. Goober relays the information to the inn as the group heads back to the Laughing Goblin in and then meets them to decide what they want to do next.
As they sit back and drink ale Goober notices a lovely bard singing in the corner and goes over to say hello. She tells him the house she had been staying at has become unsafe and asks if he would be willing to go and clear out the magic stuff so she could continue living in peace. He heads back to the table with her and convinces the other guys that it wouldn’t take too long as Barnstead wants to go visit Yovir at the cemetery. So they all head south for about an hour to come across a fantastic three story manor.
The house has a stone wall surrounding it that has been overgrown with vines but the group makes their way to the front door that when tapped with the magic detection wand lights up, leading the group to believe that it may be tricky to enter. From behind them on the path they had created they hear loud snorting and feel the ground vibrate as a giant black rhino stomps angrily.
In a panic they open the door, finding out that it was not locked or blocked by any magic after all. They close the door behind them to keep the rhino out and take a look around. A loud booming coming from a room under a stairwell draws attention and they go over to try to open up the door. With each attempt the door is slammed back shut again until they finally get a good grip and yank it open. There was nothing in the room except a skull that on close inspection had a symbol carved in its head that represented the waxing crescent moon. Goober goes ahead and picks it up to take it with them and heads across the space a small parlor with a jar of glowing violet liquid set on a table. He takes a sip to see if it is good and his tongue glows for a minute. Roscoe pours the rest of the liquid into his flask to save it in case they need it. Goober sent his quasit ahead to scope out a couple rooms, he finds a dining space with headless skeletons, a parlor with a chess game going and a room with lovely butterfly decor including a jar with three live butterflies that also held a luxurious looking yellow gem. The group takes a closer look in the dining room where Roscoe grabs up some cutlery and candelabras to take back to town and they uncover eight platters, all of which are empty except one that had a skull with a third quarter moon symbol on it.
They continue on to glance at the room with the chess table that appears to have an active game going on but the only other thing of value in that space was a large black vase that was empty. The group heads to the butterfly room to see about taking the gem and as they lift up the jar, trying to contain the butterflies while getting the gem, the butterflies slide out and begin expanding to about four feet each. They immediately attack and the group has to defend itself against vicious proboscis attacks. The butterflies impale Goober’s quasit only to end up smashed to smithereens.
After checking to make sure all the butterfly atrocities were completely laid to rest Roscoe and Barnstead take a more in depth look around the room to make sure there is nothing of import. Goober and quasit go to have a sit down in the chess room for a bit. Upon inspection Barnstead locates a wand that looks like a generic stick to both him and Roscoe but they take it along anyhow.
They decide to go check out the kitchen at the end of the hallway which appears to have a door that leads into another room, along with a staircase to the second floor and an exit from the house. Amongst all the dusty and old food items laying around they see a bowl with three vibrantly colored apples that look enticing, however they are a bit concerned about taking them. While thinking about them the adventurers take a look around finding some interesting potions and some jars of jam and preserves. They check out a pantry to find that it is pitch black and they can’t see inside at all.
Roscoe makes an attempt to push Rivana through the doorway after an arrow disappears, forgetting for a moment that she was a corporeal being. Around this time Barnstead sees a shelf with some jars that a skull is hiding behind so he pulls it out to see if it is one they are looking for. Goober comes back in with quasit around this time, catching up on the activities. He volunteers to run the skull to the dining area and takes a peek into the room next door only to see that it is a dining room. Each of the adventurers decides to check out the room more closely, finally noticing that there are about a dozen rat statues hanging out around moldy food.
As Quispy the quasit enters the room, the rats transform to life and go into immediate attack mode as they are so hungry! After a smashing first round ending in the crushing of a few of the rats, the adventurers begin turning to stone…..with each continuing round of attacks random groups of rats and heroes turn to stone, making it a little trickier to get rid of the raging rodents. After a close call at the very end of battle everyone slides through while maintaining their human form. They decide then to head upstairs and see what other magical adventures they may find.
As the group gets to the hallway they feel a bit of a breeze and Goober sends Quispy on down to check out what is down there who makes it about halfway before he finds that the wind has picked up and blown him all the way back to the staircase. After a couple extra tries and no success, the adventurers decide to take a look in a different direction to see if there is anything they can use to get down the hallway.
Barnstead confidently walks into what appears to have been a bathroom that water is coming from the ceiling through like rain though it isn’t accumulating. As he goes to look closer there is a tub full of water that a massive frog leaps out of, unleashing a pink gooey tongue in an attempt to suck Barnstead in, but misses. Roscoe immediately puts an arrow through its head killing it instantly and then leaps over to grab the frog and slice it all the way open to see if there are any goodies inside. There is some currency so he grabs it and leaves the frog corpse prone on the floor. Barnstead and Quispy notice a skull in the tub that they pull out to add to the collection.
They then enter what looks like to be a dressing room with a lovely table holding a mirror and Goober excitedly grabs a fantastic looking cloak, draping it around his shoulders he looks into his shimmering reflection in the mirror and promptly goes blind. Roscoe assumes that the mirror is the reason and tells Goober so. Fortunately Quispy can see for him so they work out a team system to get to the next space. They see a small closet and Barnstead heads right in, seeing a pile of small gems that Goober scoops up real quick as his vision has recently returned. Barnstead then takes a couple good wallops to the wall and breaks a hole to enter another closet. As he steps into this space he feels something crawl over his foot and Goober, Quispy and Roscoe see Barnstead completely disappear from sight. He can still be heard and doesn’t seem to be hurt or anything so the others join him, each disappearing in turn as well.
They leave the closet from the doorway and enter a guest style bedroom where Roscoe notices a large globe lighting up the room with what appears to be a firey inferno. He grabs a blanket to pick it up after determining that it was super hot and the group decides to take it down to the pantry and see if it can light up that space. It works effectively and they find some regular pantry items along with a barrel of beer and a gem.
They then head back upstairs following the path they were on before and head to the next guest room space and find that as they cross the room they become 1/12th of the size they were before. Quispy checks out a chest as a giant centipede slithers out from under the bed, hungry and ready for a snack. He fails to get a bite in and gets crushed! Barnstead and Quispy manage to drag the chest out of the room so they can open it up and after successfully picking the lock they find another skull in the chest. Upon lifting the skull, a bunch of gold falls out too.
The group crosses into a library and takes a look around, Roscoe investigates a massive desk with three drawers while Goober keeps an eye on a set of armor in the corner, staying ready for anything. Roscoe finds some interesting goodies including another skull and a magnifying glass while Barnstead decides to put on the armor so he can be seen. Goober nicely helps cram him into it.
The group uses pitons to get past the rest of the crazy windy hallway and decides to take a short rest before moving up the stairwell to the next floor.