Summary of Events

The campaign started off with the characters arriving in Ravenswood to attend the funeral of Thorik, a dwarven priest of Moradin who died suddenly, and to investigate the cause of his death. Upon investigating the priest’s death, it was learned that he was still fairly young and had no signs of injury or disease. The investigation lead the party to a series of caves in the Raven Wood which were inhabited by a small tribe of goblins, including Chesty. When the party reached the end of the cave, the learned that the goblins were being lead by a human female that was in the process of conducting a ritual to corrupt Thorik’s soul. It was also at this time that it was learned that somebody named the Serpent Lord was looking for an item he referred to as the Heart, which would later be learned was the Heart of Haemnaethuun.

The party returned to Ravenswood and met Solara for the first time. She revealed more information about the White Lotus Academy and Thorik’s role in the academy. She also expressed her concerns over the Heart and the six Seals protecting it. The party then learned that the priest that was supposed to replace Thorik was coming from Misty Ridge and was overdue. The party traveled to Misty Ridge and learned that Darius McShane had lead a takeover of the city, and that outsiders were not particularly welcome. They also learned that ceremony was set to take place in the caves of the mountains outside of the city. The party worked their way through the caves in an attempt to stop confront Darius and hopefully rescue the priest and were beset by a number of orcs. It was here that Marcus, the paladin of the Silver Dragon, died for the first time. The party regrouped though and eventually defeated Darius and rescued the priest. When they interrogated Darius, they learned he was connected to the Serpent Lord and that the Serpent Lord was hoping to throw the entire Roan Valley into chaos.

After interrogating Darius, the party opted to hurry back to Ravenswood to discover what, if anything, was happening there. They were met on the way by Chesty who informed them that the town was being overrun by undead. The party hurried into town and confronted a horde of undead who had trapped much of the town in various buildings within town. A number of townsfolk had already perished any many more were being surrounded in the temple. Some members of the party were transported to the Plane of Dreams by Solara so that she could show them some of the history of the world in hopes that it might provide some hints as to what was currently happening, and then the party was told to head to the graveyard which appeared to be the source of the undead. Among the observations that the party made while on the Plane of Dreams was that there was a cloaked and hooded figure present at most of the major events in the history of Kitara. As the party fought their way through the graveyard, Marcus was once again killed, but the rest of the party continued on into the tomb of the noble that was known as the Serpent Lord. The tomb was empty but there was a passage to an area beneath the tomb. In that area, the party found a temple apparently erected by the Serpent Lord where one of his lieutenants was leeching the life force from an elven girl as part of a ritual designed to spawn the undead horde. The party stopped the sacrifice and killed the lieutenant but were not in time to confront the Serpent Lord.

The lieutenant informed the party that the Serpent Lord had exited the temple through a portal and the party chose to follow after their enemy. Going through the portal found the party once again in the caverns in the Raven Wood, only now they were much further down than they had been previously. There were three separate sets of tunnels leading from the portal site and after some trial and error, the party was able to track the direction of the Serpent Lord. Ultimately, the party came across a tomb that was labeled as belonging to Lucius Staghelm, who the party quickly realized had been a member of the White Lotus Academy before his death. Lucious was protecting the second piece of the Dyrnnentine (the first having been found on Darius). Lucious gave the party some more information about the Dyrnnentine, as well as about the Heart, and the party was on their way. Unfortunately, the party ran into some orcs and Smasher met his end when he found himself surrounded. The rest of the party escaped and were able to make their to Gryphon’s Bluff.

The party arrived in Gryphon’s Bluff just in time to learn that the mayor had been assassinated and that their were rumors that Captain Wilton and High Priestess Idira were also being targeted for possible assassination. The party did some investigation and soon learned that Heinrich Marsteen, who would be the logical choice to replace Wilton as captain of the guard, appeared to not only be living beyond his means, but also seemed to be an object of interest for a group of shadar-kai. They also learned that Heinrich was actively recruiting mercenaries for various assignments throughout the Roan Valley, a task that clearly went beyond his official job duties.

As this was happening, the party received word that shadar-kai agents were about to strike at Idira. The party raced to the temple of Erathis and worked their way up to the High Priestess’ bedchamber where they encountered a group of shadar-kai in the process of trying to assassinate the High Priestess. Lonys threw himself on Idira (finally finding himself in bed with the High Priestess), and guarded her while the rest of the party worked to finish off the would be assassins. It was discovered that Idira had been poisoned, but the party had arrived in time to save her. With the priestess saved, the party returned their attention to Heinrich. They tracked him down and defeated him. They then learned that his daughter had willingly entered into the Serpent Lord’s service and that the Serpent Lord was looking for an entrance into the White Lotus Academy so that he could learn more about the locations of the remaining shards of the Dyrnnentine.

Solara informed the party that the Serpent Lord was likely headed to Lake Lumana which was home to the most famous branch of the White Lotus Academy. She stated; however, that the party could likely find the same information from the branch that was hidden near Arabel. The party acquired a ride on a halfling ship headed for Arabel and arrived at the small village to discover it largely burned to the ground with no people present. A search of the area revealed what appeared to be gnoll tracks leading several humans away from the town. The party followed the tracks until they split, with some of the humans apparently headed off to the west with new humanoid tracks while the gnolls and some of their presumed prisoners continued south. The party caught up to the gnolls and raided their camp, allowing them access to the caverns in which the chieftian resided. Working their way through the gnollish defenses, the party eventually came across a large chamber guarded by gnolls and a demon. Additionally, the chieftian appeared to be preparing to sacrifice a pregnant human on some demonic altar. The party rushed to her aid and the remaining humans in the encampment were saved, though many gnolls were killed in the process.

After defeating the gnolls, the party learned that many of the people of Arabel had been sold to slavers after the town was raided. The party retraced the tracks of the gnolls to the point where the path had previously diverged. From there they were able to follow the trail of the slavers. The party located the slaver encampment and successfully raided it, freeing a number of people of Arabel. Upon interrogating the slavers, they learned that the slavers were aided by an entity from the Far Realm and that many of the survivors of Arabel had been sold to an individual named Graben Cartwright, a priest of the church of Erathis. With this information in hand, the party returned to Arabel in order to locate the White Lotus Academy branch that was there.

The party was able to follow some clues they had collected in order to locate the academy, which resided within its own little pocket plane. When they arrived though they discovered that they were not the first to get there. Several demons awaited the party, as well as a rift which appeared to have been opened up from the Far Realm. The party defeated the demons and entered the library, wherein they encountered the academy’s own defenses, designed to protect the secrets held within. The party made their way to a secret room below the library and confronted a spell weaver soul collector who claimed to be an agent of the The One Who Hears. Although she had a number of tricks up her sleeve, the party was able to defeat her without too much trouble. She was interrogated at which point it was revealed that the Serpent Lord is also an enemy of the One Who Hears. More importantly though, the party found the tablet that contained the locations to the remaining pieces of the Dyrnnentine. With that, the party returned to Gryphon’s Bluff in order to confer with Solara and the leaders of the city.

When the party returned to Gryphon’s Bluff, they learned that an enemy fleet was on its way toward the city, and that the easiest remaining shard of the Dyrnnentine to collect was the one in Ashenport. With the assistance of some modified Apparatuses of Kwalish, the party stealthily made their way to Ashenport, an island a few hours from Gryphon’s Bluff. Upon arriving in a terrible rain storm, the party discovered that the townspeople had all converted to the worship of the One Who Hears and that once a year, the One Who Hears would call for sacrifices to his service, emitting a deathly call that compelled visitors to the island to walk into the sea, never to return — or rather to return as a strange cross between fish and man. As the party investigated the town they learned that the town had turned from the worship of Pelor and Melora about one hundred years prior, and that the town had been very successful ever since. They also learned that the Serpent Lord had once been allied with the One Who Hears, but that they were now enemies. Nobody was certain exactly what had happened other than that they claimed the Serpent Lord had crossed their master.

After defeating the leaders of the cult to the One Who Hears, the party ventured into the caverns along the shoreline. Inside they fought more aberrations and eventually made their way to a secret temple of Pelor. Inside they found signs of recent fighting between aberrations and undead and eventually confronted a vampire claiming to be the Serpent Lord. As the party engaged the Serpent Lord’s forces, a large group of aberrants teleported into the battle as well and a three-way brawl ensued. In the end, only the party remained standing, and they had Pelor’s shard of the Dyrnnentine.

Summary of Events

Black Heart Gargs454