SC11.01: Ruinstone?/Into Kryptgarden

The level 11 Silvers for this session

Richlen Ilineiros, high elf paladin/Glory mounted on Beans2;
Vernon von Longsington, human wizard/Conjuration, mounted on Nameless;
Dain Frostbeard, hill dwarf bard/Lore, mounted on Morlok;
Garth Ironhewn, mountain dwarf fighter/Battle Master, mounted on Dornar

Hiring on for the Kryptgarden journey, Murcomb, half-orc ranger/Hunter;
and the new pack-pony is Bernice

The Silvers begin 200xp below level 12 and end on 160

Heroes!

The Silvers approach Leilon after some weeks absence. The seasons have marched on: gentle autumn sun warms their way and the lightest of breezes is not enough to ease travel heat. Thanks to their efforts most farms around the Wayside Inn have safely gathered a harvest – though some farms are derelict and fields gone to fallow. Cart-ruts show that Leilon has been stocking the harvest.

As the road gradually rises above the Mere, they can see that the town wall is fully repaired, and that the tumbledown taproom is now a full-built taphouse. And gates have been hung at the gatehouse!

A horn alerts the soldiery: properly attired militia! The uniform makes a strong nod in the direction of Neverwinter’s guard, though less costly. The guards are divided between those that are versed with ranged weapons, and those able to point a sharp stick in the right direction. The Silvers have not to wait: the gates are opened to them immediately.

They have been expected! Cheering townsfolk sound the hurrah! And lining the street, wave, clap, surge forward to touch the riders and beg them to endorse this product or that establishment!

Ilmater and the Ill-matched Priest

At about the point where Richlen is to turn off to find the stables, he spots a familiar but out-of-place face ahead on the main street. Kristoffen the white dragonborn stands proudly dressed in the robes of a priest of Ilmater!?!

Unable to resist, Rich guides his horse thither – and finding it impossible to resist the yarn that must be revealed, Dain too guides Morlok there. Morlok is a gift: Taba won’t be needing the sturdy pony now.

Yep, that’s a pair of hands bound with red cord sigil all right. The austere bleached homespun suits Kristoffen, too.

“Welcome, Sir Richlen! Welcome to this, the shrine of Ilmater I have erected in your honor!”

Richlen dismounts (as does Dain) and allows himself to be taken on the very short tour through the circular timber shrine. It’s not quite finished – Kristoffen mentions that skilled woodworkers are in short supply – but is solid in its construction.

As for Kristoffen, impressed by Richlen’s power, he threw off Talos and took the oath to Ilmater. And applied for, and received, licence from Lord Dagult Neverember to build this, the second shrine in Leilon!

(Dain judges that Kristoffen has a lot in common with the lizardfolk: strength is everything.)

If that guy hadn’t forbid us, I wouldn’t have snuck in…

As for Vern and Garth, they do turn off, and are given closer direction to the stables. They have been moved, and are opposite the fancy inn named the Knight’s Goblet Inn. The stables are obviously still temporary: a ruin has been given a lean-to wall and tied-down roof. But it’s free, and the mounts settle in to the manger alongside about twenty other horses, ponies, mules and donkeys.

Parched from the crowd and travel, the two old sweats walk across to the inn. But with respect, they are turned away: there’s a dress and (sniffing the air around Garth) hygiene standard sorry.

Garth looks at Vern and Vern looks at Garth. Both nod. They sneak around the back, through the offices, and down a good ale each before being politely ejected!

The proprietor of the Knight’s Goblet is Amrisiol Touchfire

DM

New Council calls for fresh Counsel

By that time both halves of the Silvers have been informed, by messenger, that the Council is to assemble and seek their wisdom, and the easiest way to clean up is the public well in the town square.

So freshly sluiced-off and brushed off (or in the bard’s case, wearing town garb) the Silvers join the new Council line-up. It’s exactly the same as the previous admin, except that Jack Torver the grosser represents the burgers; and a new priest is here to witness proceedings alongside Elias (Lathander) and Kristoffen (Ilmater). Finally, Sister Garaele is down from Phandalin to ordain this new priest, an elf named Puck Caribdas.

A letter addressed to the still-mad Gallio Elibro arrived, and was opened. It is from his order, the Many-Starred Cloak, urging him to “recover the ruinstone from the tower’s ethereal spire.”

With ominous feelings, Gallio’s journal – also ancient Thalivar’s journal – is examined again. Sure enough, the last jottings of the current madman: Gallio has secret orders from his superiors in the Order of the Many-Starred Cloak to recover a magical artifact called the ruinstone from the Ethereal Plane. He intends to use the party to lure the ruinstone’s guardians away, allowing him to seize it for his studies. That accounts for the weird monster! But it backfired when the Silvers trapped the possessed wizard.

“We are hoping that you, Sir Richlen, have the miracle that brings Truth?”

Richlen does have Zone of Truth, so the next scene is Gallio’s confinement. If all this seems as though Sr Garaele is orchestrating the scenes, well, she is. And since she knows the Silvers, she isn’t telling them everything, yet.

The theory of an Ethereal Plane is well known to two of the party, and the idea of a deadly artifact being accessible through the now-rebuilt tower is uncomfortable, to say the least. Vern can already guess that it was Thalivar’s meddling with the stone that caused original-Leilon’s destruction.

This isn’t a railroad – players are free to say ‘not interested’. But the basic idea of using Zone of Truth to see if Gallio will reveal anything is agreed on.

DM

Seance and skeletons

All the clerics, the Silvers, and Grizzelda confront Gallio with his journal and the Zone of Truth.

As the words are read to him, a spectral figure emanates from the mundane, bound figure of the madman. “Find my bones” it whispers.

“Workmen found two sets of bones under the last parts to be cleared for reconstruction” Grizzelda states.

“And we have them just nearby,” Garaele reveals.

Dain’s medical knowledge is plenty good enough to conclude that one set is ancient male human bones.

But that’s it! The group vote is to leave the dam’ ruinstone right where it is, and Gallio is left to stay mad. Instead of meddling with his mind, Dain helps the council write a holding letter to the wizard’s order, which should buy time.

Preparations for the Green Dragon’s Lair

It’s time to prepare for what has been their main mission since the vision at Bahamut’s altar, of a green dragon threatening destruction to the coast: a mission into Kryptgarden Forest, where sleeps Claugiyliamatar the Green.

Rumor and ranger

Word has it that Claw’ has his own coterie of evil-tree-huggin’ druids. But it’s even more sure that ever since the Silvers beat off the undead at Wayside, a steady trickle of undead has been high-tailing it out of the Mere and into the forest.

The land is rough, and with mountains, forest so thick with green dragon spirit that it is jungle, headwaters of the Mere, and even lost mines that date back to Leilon’s heyday, any kind of danger can be expected. The general wisdom is that the round trip could be 70 miles, but with wild terrain that could be doubled or even tripled.

Richlen uses some of his plentiful gold reserve to buy a sweet-natured but green young pony for pack duty. He names her Bernice.

Dain asks around for ranger-for-hire and finds that Murcomb, who won a name guiding the giant goats to Phandalin, is available.

Speaking of mines…

Garth’s packing is interrupted, politely, by a pair of hill dwarf brothers. They are prospectors from around Phandalin who want to go big, discover and develop one of the old Leilon mines. Especially silver-tin ore. And since they have little capital and Garth has a lot, how about he comes in as joint owner? And since he’s heading east, how about he prospects for the old diggings for them?

Garth asks Zeke and Podge, politely, for a rain check.

That’s not just natural decay…

The Silvers ride east, at Murcomb’s walking pace. The new cultivations are soon far behind and the days become a routine of careful travel east, wary watch, and preserving gear from the rot of wet and fungus.

Although Claw’s baneful effects are not fully felt, the Kryptgarden canopy is dense at almost all times and there are no clearings to speak of, except where streams cross their path. Rest is short by necessity as they are too few to allow for long sleeps. Thanks to Murcomb’s presence, they are not short of good water, and sure of their course. Though as Garth laments, they will not see the like of the fabled ranger Dakeyras again.

Perhaps it is the sight of clear ground ahead, around a stream: or that the mounts are eager for water: their guard drops momentarily, and at that moment the strong smell of rot, ever-present in this forest, grows in strength as zombies stagger out of bushes near the trail.

Zombie Shambler Token | Monster art, Creature concept art, Horror monsters

With screeches of hate for all life, at least a half dozen ghouls spring out from around the stream. Unseen in the gloom, more begin approaching from the far side!

Naturally the Silvers shred the things. Garth is clawed several times despite his armor, but shrugs off the poison.

Even on a nat 1 Garth resists DC10

But it’s an ominous sign. “We may end up trying to ally with those druids yet,” Dain observes.

Karanor the Flameskull

With due caution, the Silvers rest briefly after watering the mounts and continue east. This time, they see the enemy as it senses them. Glimmering a horrid green in the dim, a flameskull supervises a handful of ghouls.

Flameskull - Monsters - D&D Beyond

They would have more difficulty if, instead of warding itself, Karanor had blitzed them with Fireball first! But as they were not caught unaware, they manage to get Murcomb away to rear with the mounts (Beans2 helps since he is a paladin’s steed!) before the attack.

Rich uses his boots to avoid being slowed down by the underbrush, leaping over the fight as Garth tanks up, to attack Karanor. Alagondar slices true! Dain and Vern chip in with Fire Bolt and Shatter! And as the shocking noise alerts every hostile around, Rich leaps again, delivers two final blows that shatter Karanor, and the session ends.

Next session: Claugiyliamatar’s Lair! Stay tuned!

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