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Subject: Dark Curtains - Sessions 43, 44, & 45 rss

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Session 43, 44, & 45 - Some Knowledge is Not Meant for Mortals, Unless You're an Adventurer

Campaign's Master List: Dark Curtains

Previous Session: Session 42
Next Session: Session 46 & 47

Game System: Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition)

Setting: Forgotten Realms

RPG Items Referenced
Volo's Guide to the North
The Grand History of the Realms
The North: Guide to The Savage Frontier
The Rise of Tiamat
Princes of the Apocalypse

Mervyn Lumendyne
Mira Armstrong
Ruvar Wildtoe
Male Rock Gnome
Female Human
Female Half Elf
Male Human
Non-binary Fey
Male Tiefling
Classes & Levels
Wizard 10
Battlemaster 8, Warlock 2
Rogue 9
Druid 9
Warlock 9
Monk 9 *ABSENT*

Significant NPCs

Brynn Windstar - A half elven Harper agent and ranger that operates in the area near Boareskyr Bridge. A guest NPC.

Varram the White - A dwarf leader, wearer of purple, within the cult of the dragon. He is in search of his lost White Dragon Mask. It is somehow involved in the ritual to free Tiamat.

Tumbleweed - A dryad and acquaintance of Nutmeg’s from the Feywild.

Thus Continues the Adventure...

Trail of Bodies - Eleasis 19th to 28th, 1373 DR

Traveling up the Winding Water towards the Serpent Hills the group began to see signs of a large party having traveled the same path around a tenday ago. Their string of encampments told a story of their journey. It was clear that they were moving without caution, hurried. They concluded that this was Varram's expedition.

Varram's quickened paced resulted in his group encountering a group of orc bandits. A couple of days later they found signs that the group was ambushed by a party of lizardfolk. This second attack was marked by two hill giants that were feeding upon the corpses of the fallen. Unlike the previous encounter, which had been marked by the graves of their properly buried companions, Varram left his dead to the elements.

After a tenday of travel, following Varram's trail they came upon a valley that was occupied by several ruined structures. The valley was framed on both sides with rock cliffs into which were carved reliefs. They depicted several scenes that appear to play out historical events.

A dominate relief was one of the moon, Selûne, though the surface features made the moon familiar it was missing the moon's "Tears". The Tears of Selûne appear as a stream of sparkling stars that trail behind Selûne, named Tears of Selûne. Instead the moon appeared under threat, as a comet was looming over the moon as if it was to possibly strike the moon.

Another relief showed an armored figure standing guard at the top of a celestial stair, at its base a group of heroic figures. The figures wore the religious trappings of various gods of the realms. It seemed clear that this was a depiction of the Time of Troubles, when the gods were cast out of the planes. The armored figure was Helm, left to guard against their return. This event occurred only fifteen years ago, while the structures and reliefs were clearly constructed several hundred years ago. The remains of a fallen and forgotten civilization.

Surrounding a fountain that has collapsed leaving a great hole was another encampment. This encampment was different as the occupant's gear remained, but clearly hadn't been used for several days. In fact it looked as if someone or something had wandered through the camp, overturning everything in search of whatever they would find desirable.

Knowledge Not for Mortals - Eleasis 28th, 1373 DR

The reliefs on the northern cliff face were on either side of an entrance. Whatever stairs the temple like structure once possessed were missing. Access is now gained from what looked to be a recently constructed ladder. As the group approached the ladder, two statues adjusted their stance and greeting the group, informing them that this place belongs to a Diderius, Ether Walker and Conduit of Clairvoyance, and clearly warned them to show proper respect.

The entry corridor was lined with statues of cowled wizards. Their cowls encompassed impenetrable darkness. They all heard a warning to look away from the darkness for not all knowledge is meant for mortal minds. Nutmeg, an immortal fey, clearly assumed such warning was instead an offer!

Flying to a cowl, Nutmeg leaned forward to fully engulf her head into the darkness. Her mind was flooded with a cacophony of mind stirring possibilities. With effort she was able to coalesce some of the strands into a prediction of the future. Seeing it clearly she smiled, responding to questions of what she saw with only, "Just that I’m awesome!"

This revelation led to everyone going to a cowled wizard to force their heads into the darkness. All but Ruvar were able to piece together a divine inspired thought, some were as enjoyable as as Nutmeg’s, while others brought tears to their faces. Eimhear’s vision brought an exclamation of "What the fuck!?!?"

In time she would reveal to the others that she was given a puzzle, "Her father was not who he says he was, and that she was the fourth."

The group continued their exploration of the structure, learning that the place once received people seeking divinations from Diderius. Traps were discovered, along with a healthy acknowledgment that extending respect allowed them free access to much of the temple/tomb.
- They encountered a troubled ghost guarding an empty library.
- A group of barbed devils playing a game of chance, that left the party unmolested.

They eventually came to a room that contained a feature that appeared to be a divination pool. Within the room was a dead cultist, and signs of a battle, however the cultist didn’t appear to be a casualty of the battle, as he was stabbed in the back. The exploration of the room resulted in them opening a door that is believed to lead back to the entrance to the facility, which instead unleashed an avalanche of rock. Continuing the search they opened the doors to Diderius’ burial tomb.

Speaking clearly from within his tomb, Diderius knew that they came seeking the Varram. He revealed that the dwarf was taken by a group of yaun-ti. Admonishing the group for their destruction of his tomb’s guardians, he still sided with them. Informing them that the yaun-ti had retreated behind a secret door, which he could open. Attempting to offer a word of caution, he stated the group wasn’t yet prepared. Not understanding the offer, Mervyn objected, stating that they were in fact ready.

The undying being responded dryly, "Very well." A chime sounding and a secret door revealed itself on the far wall. As it lifted a group of surprised yaun-ti that had been listening were just as surprised as the group.

We had ended one of the sessions at this point.

Enemy of my enemy, is still my enemy - Eleasis 29th, 1373 DR

The yaun-ti went into a defensive stance as the adventurers spell casters went into action. Ruvar summoned forth two dryads from the feywild, they nimbly sprouted grasping vines to encompass the yaun-ti and lizard folk and took the front line.

The yaun-ti retreated, leaving behind their initial defenders. The group initiated a pursuing battle, with Brynn falling into a pit of yaun-ti snakelets, Ruvar turning into a giant spider descended into the pit to rescue the ranger.

The group pushed all the way to the yaun-ti throne room. The leader of the yaun-ti, seeing her den nearly destroyed offered an exchange. Assuming them rescuers for the dwarf, she offered to turn over the dwarf in exchange for the group leaving the tomb. The alternative was that she would slay the dwarf, whom was clearly at deaths door due to the their treatment of their prisoner.

They agreed to the terms.

We ended the session here.

Session Notes

The three sessions were basically travel and initial entry, exploration of the tomb, running battle through the yaun-ti section of the tomb. We had a lot of notable events, but since I’m behind on my reports I’ll just highlight my ultra favorites.

Leading up to the groups exploration of Diderius’ tomb, there was a trap in the entry hall. It was basically a warning and to add a sense of divine knowledge. The text of the trap describes how the characters are hearing dark indecipherable whispers. If they are successful in their saves, they are simply given advantage on all intelligence checks for 24 hours. I though that rather dull, and instead wrote short fortune cookie like prophesies, customized for character. I figured that there was a good chance that I wouldn’t use them. I was wrong.

When I handed Nutmeg’s player that slip of paper it became a gold rush! While their character's reactions differed with each divination, the players loved it. This has further confirmed that adding whatever handouts you can to your game, will make a noticeable difference. I learned this from my players when they ran their one shots. They all included handouts. I strongly believe that a GM will put into their game what they want in a game when they're players.

Previous Session: Session 42
Next Session: Session 46 & 47
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