2007-03-04


Adventure: Grasp of the Emerald Claw
Sessions: 2007-02-18, 2007-03-04, 2007-03-14, 2007-04-01
Player: Michael Busch
PC: Mike
Status: Monk 7-9

The stormtalon landed lightly on the edge of the ledge in front of the rookery, back from a patrol of his flock’s section of the river. The evening debate was to begin, and there came the ritual request for new stories. The stormtalon spoke and, as he did, the flock burst into laughter, which stopped after a while.

On the river, I saw a river-boat propelled by an elemental. I think the captain is the same one who tried to run a con on us five years back, although the vessel is now trailing an airskiff. Normally, I’d have given it a wide bearth, but night had fallen and the fair-haired human on watch was talking to himself in Tuilvilanuue, incredibly well for one with such a throat. So I answered, softly, and we spoke without disturbing the rest of the people on the boat.

He calls himself Anethilzair Mykispar. I hear by your laughter that you remember the name: he was the orc who visited the Rifinti a couple of weeks ago, and showed himself to be a reincarnation of a wing-clawed from the monasteries that used to be in Cyre. It seems that the gods have ordained that he die another time, and have made him a human in this life. I’m not sure which of his last two bodies is worse, but I wonder what he will be if and when he passes this way again.

He and his companions pursued forces of the Emerald Claw to the Giant Temple in the south. It seems that the Emerald Claw has allied itself with the Lord of Blades, and they pursue relics of power here, not being content with the havoc they have wrought in Khorvaire.

Anethilzair and his companions were defeated, by poison and betrayal, and forced to return to Stormreach to re-supply and re-group. He warned me that the Emerald Claw force was not completely destroyed, and that he suspected some ancient predecessor to the warforged lay dormant in the temple. We should avoid it still, even though the Drow that lived there are all dead.

There are changes in the world outside our jungle. We will hopefully be passed by, but the last of the Mykispar monks has asked that we do one thing. If any leave the temple before he returns, and we can make it to Stormreach before they would and without hazard, he asks for a message.

* * *

Player’s Notes:

Raptorans have keen ears, and with the party so diminished, this device seems reasonable.

Domenic has given us several options for what to do next in the campaign, not all of which involve Mike returning to the temple, but he would vote very strongly for doing so. I personally do want to know exactly who was on the throne (I suspect changeling, but we killed and burned Garrow once already, and would an undead changeling be able to change form?)

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Adventure: Grasp of the Emerald Claw
Session: 2007-03-04, 2007-03-14
Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Taris
Status: Ninja 1/Swashbuckler 3/Ninja +3

We reached the temple today. I’m writing this just before we rest, so I don’t forget anything.

Let’s see. We found the giant’s left hand and all that, and then stopped the guards on the Emerald Claw airskiff. Then we went in. And were promptly smacked by a large boulder. It seems a number of drow have claimed part of the temple, and didn’t want us in there with them. Mike tried to convince them that we would be perfectly happy to leave them be, but they wouldn’t have it. They’d probably had too much trouble with the Emerald Claw types. We were forced to deal with them via skewering and scorching.

Upstairs, after dealing with a couple more guards, we found a “small” ziggurat inside the temple itself. This place is huge! Well, it was built for giants. We ended up dealing with an Emerald Claw soldier, a few zombies and a mummy. The mummy had some sort of displacing cloak, which made it seem to be where it wasn’t. I’ve got it now. Eldon has my old cloak of resistance in storage.
This seems to be where the Emerald Claw folks were camping, so this is where we’re camping. Although, it seems somewhat deserted now, which bothers me.

***

I’ll fill this in now, now that we’re taking a quick stop before moving on.

Last night, we met some serpent-people called Yuan-ti. It sounds like they’re looking for some other artifact, a giant’s tooth. We agreed to swap if they find the schema and we find the tooth. They also said that they’d found some deceased humans, in an area they did not enter.

We found them pretty soon afterwards. They were all, well, dead, and lying around an adamantine door. Anson sent in an earth elemental, which went through the stone wall, opened the door, and promptly died. He sent in another elemental, which retrieved the giant’s tooth. Without dying. None of us wanted to get too close. According to Eldon, it’s very magical. Xame is concerned about just giving something that powerful to the yuan-ti, and I’ve got to agree with him. Unless they’ve got the schema, which is probably pretty powerful in itself. So long as the yuan-ti don’t plan to do evil, the exchange should be all right.

Mike finally caught up with us this morning. He’d forgotten that humans don’t have darkvision, and gotten lost. He does seem to have a great deal of bad luck. He did seem somewhat surprised when I told him that Eldon had turned into a raptoran for a little while to fight the mummy.

While we were exploring this level, we ran into a bunch of large apes. Dealing with them is far easier than undead, since I know where to hit them.

In one chamber, we found a large monster — an undead gray render. Disgusting creature, living (scratched out) unliving in filth, horribly stupid… and instead of just putting the thing out of its misery, Eldon started commanding it! Ugh. I can hardly believe it. I mean, it’s undead! They’re so unnatural. Well, so are warforged, but at least warforged are truly living beings, not hideous parodies of life. Except for the undead ones…

The undead gray render did prove useful. I haven’t done too much study of traps, and the others have done less. So we let the gray render set off the traps first. It fell down a pit that opened up in front of a door. After opening the door using a pole, Mike jumped across, I jumped across, and Anson flew across on his eagle. I think I should have been the only one to go across, since I’m a bit tougher than Anson, jump well, and can handle magic items, unlike Mike. However… we all went through, and we all were hit by a burst of flame. I grabbed the object — some sort of gold hoop around a crystal lens — and we all went back across before the trap reset.

There was nothing else to see, so we decided to check the ground floor before examing the third floor. Eldon found his gray render, and we entered a room we hadn’t examined earlier. After passing some strange offerings and another dead Emerald Claw soldier (we seem to be doing much better with this temple than they are) we met the largest scorpion I have ever seen in my life. It must have been twenty feet long! The gray render drew most of its attention… until Mike decided he would punch it himself. He got torn a bit and stung. He afterwards was very greatful that monks are immune to poison. I ought to remember that, in case we meet any evil monks. In any case, after some zapping, the scorpion went down. I cut off its stinger, and Xame agreed to put it in his bag of holding, since, honestly, I don’t have space in my pack for a two-foot-plus stinger. But the venom would make a nice poison, I think. I guess I owe Xame one.

We found a strange rod in that room, also. I’d be glad if we find the schema soon, and can clear out. By the Flame, I hope Eldon doesn’t decide to keep his “pet.”

Player’s Notes

So, I just looked up the cost of a Cloak of Displacement, minor… um… that’s a LOT of gold pieces.

But she does get 8th level. Hm. Ninja or duelist? Duelist yields more hit points, but ninja implies being able to put a bunch of skill points into making her search/disable device checks halfway reasonable. Or we could just leave that business to the undead gray render.

And she ought to put a point into craft (poison). Oh, well, worst comes to worst, she could ask Xame to help find a poisonmaker in Stormreach, and get a discount for having the main ingredient. If it doesn’t go bad or something. And share with the others, of course, if they’re interested in such things.

And no, I couldn’t resist the title. Especially with the rolling boulder bit at the beginning.

Adventure: Interlude, Grasp of the Emerald Claw
Session: 2007-03-04
Player: Rachel Reddick
PC: Taris
Status: Ninja 1/Swashbuckler 3/Ninja +2

Our cover story is that we’re with a Morgrave university group going exploring. The captain of the Sea Dart even gave us papers, from Maelik, to that effect. Well, let’s hope we don’t run into any of them while we’re here.

***

Today has been busy. First off, Stormreach is a fascinating place. The buildings are a patchwork of pretty much everything from Khorvaire mixed in with giants’ ruins. And the people are the same.

Xame’s been busy — he found us some information about traveling upriver to the ruins, and that the Emerald Claw, undead warforged and company were traveling by airship, and he sold those magic battleaxes we got in Sharn. Well, I got a bit more than the others… since I knew about one more battleaxe than the others. Not bad for a day’s work.

Xame also bumped into an artificer named Atronarch. He’s a warforged, so I suppose he’s got some extra qualifications in that. He’s joined us. This just proves that at least some warforged have some common sense where the Lord of Blades and evil in general are concerned.

We got a strange message… written in blood. And terrible grammar. Offering information. We eventually decided that regardless of whether this person knew what we were up to, this could be nothing but trouble, and we’d take care of it after we went to the docks to get a boat to take us upriver. At the docks, we met an elf named Murani. She said she was following the Draconic Prophecy, whatever that is, and believes that our particular group is involved, and wanted to join us. The more the merrier, right? I wonder how important what we’re doing really is. Prophecies are so vague anyway that they’re practically useless.

Well, we did charter a boat… and Murani kindly paid the fee, which was high because travel is treacherous in Xen’drik. Meanwhile, we tracked down the person who’d sent us the bloody note. He was some sort of undead my brothers never mentioned dealing with, but some work by Eldon and Xame destroyed him pretty quickly. All that was left of him was a holy symbol Xame said was of the Blood of Vol cult in Karrnath. Karrnathi everywhere. The presence of both that creature and the Emerald Claw seems a bit too much for coincidence.

***

Today we had our first bit of excitement on the river. The ship was attacked by a trio of trolls. Very annoying creatures — as soon as you skewer them, they start to heal back up. Fortunately, they’re not very intelligent, and so Eldon was got them with his spell that seriously slows down stupid things.

However, Mike was killed again. One of the trolls bit at him, dug its claws in and… ugh. Fortunately, Anson still had that instant-reincarnate spell prepared. Which means that Mike is now human. In any case, he can no longer complain that he is ugly… well, maybe by raptoran standards, but I wouldn’t know about those. How many bodies is he going to go through, anyway? If he keeps this up, he just might end up as a raptoran again.

This means, however, that Anson is out of something he needs for the spell. Which means that nobody else is allowed to die until we get back to Stormreach.

Hm. I’ve been feeling kind of guilty about that extra gold Xame gave me. Maybe I’ll just give it to Anson when we get back, and tell him to buy that ingredient he needs. Since I’m probably the person most often in the front line other than Mike, nobody will wonder why I’m contributing.

Player’s Notes

Well, this is going to get interesting. I’m not filling in the rest of what happened this session, since Taris wouldn’t have written an entry inside of the temple just yet…

Meanwhile, Taris took another ninja level right after the troll incident. Whee! Let’s just hope there aren’t any issues revolving around Anson’s lack of spell component.

Also, I did write this one mostly before the following session.

Adventure: Grasp of the Emerald Claw
Sessions: 2007-03-04, 2007-03-14
Player: Dave Zhang
PC: Xame
Status: Rogue 1 / Cleric 4 / Divine Oracle 2

Race for the ruins

The next morning, we started by asking around the piers for a ferry to go south on the river with. A woman approached us that claimed that she foresaw our coming in the Draconic Prophecy, and asked to join us. I was a bit ambivalent and suspicious, but she put up 4000 gp for our ferry passage on an elemental-powered ferry, so we were content to have her along.

The voyage was five days along, and, again, we were attacked because we did not walk. I suppose walking would have taken too long, but given past experience, seemed safer. In any case, we were attacked by three trolls on the third day, which resulted in Mike dying and getting another new body. A human one this time. He wanted to know what he looked like, and the river was pretty murky, so I handed him a mirror. He seemed substantially more pleased with his looks, though a bit disappointed in his new lack of brute strength.

We reached the “Giant’s Left Hand,” as described in the intelligence from Viorr, and saw an airship with two guards inside. Not wanting to fight a full army, we decided to dispatch the two silently so they can’t raise alarm. The silence spell was good for that–in between the skewerings by Taris and the fist smashes by Mike, the situation was quickly resolved. We bound and interrogated them, to find that the main Emerald Claw force had arrived about a full day earlier, and were mostly inside the ruins.

We immediately set off exploring, and immediately ran afoul of some drow who lived there. They ordered us to leave, and despite Mike’s attempts to parley, fighting quickly ensued. It may be worthy to note that Mike was not anywhere close to death in this battle–a rare occurence indeed, considering our enemies had spell resistance.

As we were collecting the magical items after the battle, Eldon insisted on carrying them (apparently the others’ vouching still did not allay his doubts of me completely). Just as well; he also has a handy haversack, so everything is collected in one place. Should he fall like so many of my previous campanions, I’ll know what to grab before running.

We wandered up one of the two massive sets of stairs, and engaged a group of undead warforged stationed there. They were quite high up, and try as I could, I didn’t manage to climb even one of the three giant steps (each 10 feet high), despite expeditious retreat and a grapple-firing crossbow. Will need to remember to buy ladders next time I’m in town.

The others took care of the situation pretty well though, so I just did healing duty at the end. During the night, we were visiting by a pair of snake-men, calling themselves yuan-ti. They asked if we were seeking the same artifact they were, and upon further discussion, it was revealed that our goals actually differed–they wanted a Giant’s Tooth, while we sought the metal schema. Thus, we agreed to a trade, should one group find the other’s.

We explored the rest of the floor the next morning, after placating some dire apes. No sight of the schema, though we did find the Giant’s Tooth after a summoned Earth Elemental died opening the door to the room containing it. The tooth showed strong magical auras, and we began to debate whether it’d actually be a good idea to give such a powerful magic item to the yuan-ti. Especially if they don’t have the schema.

Oh, and Eldon managed to gain control of a large zombie that was initially attacking us. Quite a nifty little trick; wish I had thought of doing something to that effect first. The mindless pet was quite good at setting off traps and opening massive doors for us.

Back to the ground floor, we encountered a Gargantuan Scorpion, and Mike lived up to the expectation of him lying on the ground bleeding profusely. Though not to the extent of needing a new body this time. After defeating it, Taris noted an interest in the stinger in making poisons. Since it was quite large and she didn’t want to do the poison extraction here, I stuck the thing in my pack. This should count for the other part of my favor returned to her. (I also argued for her to have the most expensive item the party collected, a cloak of displacement.)

Player’s Notes:

Hm, depending on whether Bob actually joins us for more adventures, I may edit this and the previous post to reflect Xame’s interactions with Atronarch.

Number of times Mike has been brought below 0 HP so far: 5
Number of times Mike has been brought below -10 HP so far: 2