Raunalyn's Princes of the Apocalypse

Sessions 14, 15, 16, and 17

Taking their power for granite, the invasion has a rocky start

The following day, the party returns to the Scarlet Moon encampment, only to discover that the camp is empty. Moving into the tower, the group soon finds that a tunnel has been excavated beneath the central tower, but that it has been collapsed. Digging it would take several days, and the group decides that it would likely be wasted effort.

They head to Verbobonc, hoping to find work there, and hoping to gain a little money and perhaps a little bit of experience before they attempt their assault on the cults. There, Alexander speaks with his contacts in the Thieves Guild. He learns that there is a former guild member who lives in Nulb who is trying to sell off a magical artifact. He also learns of a caravan travelling south past Hommlet that could use a few guards to help protect them from bandits.

The group takes the caravan job, and begins heading south. On the second day of their journey, they are attacked by a large group of bandits. As the group help to defeat the bandits, Ciandara and Sulannus capture a single bandit. After the battle, the party interrogates the bandit, who proceeds to tell them that the caravan is not what it seems.

Alexander and Graeyd decide to investigate the caravan. Alexander is caught trying to look through the wagons, and the caravan leader and guards draw their weapons. It seems like the caravan leader and guards are going to back down when Graeyd insults the leader. Battle ensues.

After barely defeating the caravan leader and his guards, the group searches the wagons. Within, they find several cases with gold bars stamped with the symbol of the Scarlet Brotherhood, which the group knows is a vile organization of power-hungry humans, racists, and cruel manipulators. Returning to the captured bandit, they let him free. The bandit thanks them, telling the companions that he will let his group know what they have done, and promises to find the party soon to offer his services.

Now that the group is 5th level, they decide to return to the Sacred Stone Monastery and descend deeper into the temple below.

The Earth temple is obviously dwarven made, the ancient stone still sturdy despite the large crevices that scar the underground. The group finds themselves fighting a small group of gargoyles on a narrow bridge. Despite the gargoyles trying to push them from the bridge into the yawning chasm below, the party is able to defeat the monsters and continue into the temple proper.

Soon, they encounter a group of hobgoblins being led by a human cultist. As the group moves in to attack, they are peppered with crossbow bolts from arrow slits to their east and west. Meanwhile, the cultist climbs onto his mount, a menacing bullette, and begins to attack the party.

After a fierce battle, the group moves to the east in the hopes that they can find whomever is attacking them from the arrow slits. There, they encounter a small force of duergar and then proceed to handily defeat them.

Moving south, they find a large room filled with statues depicting dwarven warriors. Within, a grey-skinned man is working at an alchemy table. As the group enters, he distractedly asks them to leave and go about their business as he’s too busy to talk to them right now. After a brief exchange, Gilbane moves into the room and casually attacks the mage, who then unleashes his fury on the group. Soon, the party is fighting for their lives against the mage, who is clearly quite powerful, and one of the statues, which animates at the mage’s command. Finally, they are triumphant. Exhausted, they camp in the room for the evening and set watch.

The following day, they move out into the temple again. In the room they had just cleared, a small group of cultists are installing a portcullis while a priest over-sees the work. The group attacks them, then heads south. There, they encounter a group of three bullettes chained to large columns. Gathering together in the ten foot wide hallway, they use the confined space to prevent the large creatures from surrounding them and handily defeat the shark-like monsters. Seeing that the room they have entered has a large chasm that splits it, they decide to head back to the north, encountering another group of cultists along the way, and another mage who greatly injures the party before fleeing.

Eventually, they enter another chamber that has a large number of statues within. This time, the statues are people of various races, all extremely lifelike and with expressions that denote fear.

As the group looks on, a man steps out from behind one of the statues. Arrogantly, he proclaims that they are fools for entering his temple. He motions to one of the statues, and a gargoyle leaps to attack the group. Pulling back his hood, he hefts a large, intimidating iron pick and moves forward to attack.

To the party’s surprise, the man is a medusa. Doing their best to avoid his gaze, Graeyd and Gilbane rush forward to fight him. Meanwhile, Alexander, Sulannus, and Ciandara fight off the gargoyle.

Within moments, the party realizes that they may be in trouble. Weakened and running low on resources from their previous battle, they realize that the creature that they recognize as the Earth Prophet may be more powerful than they, especially after he drops both Graeyd and Gilbane with a mighty swing from his military pick.

Quickly killing the gargoyle, Sulannus starts peppering the Earth Prophet with arrows while Alexander and Ciandara move in to assist Gilbane and Graeyd. Between the two of them, they awaken their fallen companions and team up against the Earth Prophet. The Prophet decided to withdraw, warning the group that he will not forget their impudence and that this battle isn’t over. Injured and bloody, the party is more than happy to let him withdraw, and they do the same. Returning to the surface, they head back to Hommlet to rest and recover.

The party spends the rest of the day recovering. Later that evening, they are brought down to the common room of their inn. An injured man is there, exhausted and nearly dead. The man describes a scene of horror as he tells the group of what happened in the village of Nulb.

Earlier that afternoon, he witnessed a group of men dressed in grey robes run into the village, dropping a small orb into the center of the village before quickly fleeing. Before the villager could do anything else, there was a terrible earthquake that swallowed the small fishing village.

The group decides to head straight there. As they land, they notice that almost all of the village has been swallowed by the surrounding marsh. They spend the rest of the night tracking down any survivors, discovering that the few people still alive are little better than thieves. Alexander talks with a few of them, learning that the village was mostly a corrupt little berg that housed a small thieves guild and was mostly populated by pirates.

The group then decides to head back to the Earth temple and finish clearing it out. After attacking a small group of cultists and smashing down their makeshift portcullis, they head south, crossing the chasm there before heading to the areas they had not explored. They come upon an Ettin there, who proceeds to attack them for invading his lair. After his defeat, the party moves to a large room with several exits to the north and west.

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