Sacred Blades

Session 12: Loudwater Intrigue

Celebration

Nearly all of Loudwater was gathered today in celebration of two groups of heroes. The Sacred Blades and Pilgrims of Oreme had slain enemies of the town, making life safer for all. Lady Moonfire had declared the day a holiday and ordered a massive party in the city center. Standing before over a thousand citizens, she spoke of the great deeds done and the hope that had been brought to her people. Perhaps a bit dramatic but she had a point. Life had been going very poorly for residents of Loudwater, culminating in a deadly blizzard. Things have been getting better ever since: criminals and slavers brought to justice, a neighboring city freed from dictatorship, goblins and other foul monsters slain. The dragon head at the center of this celebration was proof of good things to come.

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Session 11: Dragon of the High Moor

Swamped

Breaking camp, the Blades prepared themselves for the challenges ahead. They knew a swamp dragon and her lizardman allies awaited. Map in hand, the Blades moved further into the High Moor. They planned to avoid the main entrance and lizardman village, using a rear cave entrance to hopefully reach the dragon. Arriving at the river a mile north of the lair, they swam stealthily downstream.

In the distance they saw two lizards guarding the rear entrance, bows in hand. Large boulders lay about in the swamp, providing cover to approach the lizards. Quietly planning their attack, the Blades were interrupted by several large crocodiles inching towards them. The predators looked like logs in the water, floating slowly. No time to plan now; they rushed forward from the river into the swamp. Boggy terrain slowed them as the crocs closed in.

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Session 10: Pilgrims of Oreme

Dark Knowledge

Exiting the Benadar Manor with haste, the Blades made the quick ride back to Loudwater. They sought a cure for Operious’s new condition. Though he insisted he felt fine, the evil tattoo worried the other Blades. Kriv suggested they speak to his temple leaders back in Waterdeep; surely they could contain the threat. The others agreed, though Operious worried what form this “help” would take. The creature seemed to be imprisoned within him now, and perhaps a magical solution could be found that would avoid the not-so-tender mercies of Tempus. Desiring a second opinion, Operious went to speak with Curuvir while the others took care of business in Loudwater.

Curuvir

Concealing his hands in gloves, the mage casually asked Curuvir for references on containing various extraplanar entities. The request was believable enough – the Blades had previously investigated Draigdurroch Tower, a bastion of a long-vanished devil-worshiping warlock, at the request of Curuvir. The Mage of Loudwater pointed out several tomes of knowledge, and also recommended a local expert of sorts – the warlock Maldreth, who was in town and had traded with Curuvir recently. Curuvir believed the warlock was more trustworthy than his old mentor Draigdurroch.

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Session 9: Benadar Mansion

Family Ties

Safely back in Loudwater, the Sacred Blades finally relaxed and took care of personal business.

They met with Curuvir, newly-returned from his research trip to Draigdurroch Tower, and discussed his findings. He is now sure that Draigdurroch still lives. Whether free or imprisoned he does not yet know. If free the dwarven warlock could become a major threat, especially if he returns to his old tower…or visits his old students. Curuvir also reported seeing patrols of humans lurking around the Dire Wood near the tower. He also mentioned that Orus, the druid of the High Moor, still wanted to speak with them about problems to the south.

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Session 8: Battle for Llorkh

Rally the Troops

The Blades had just delivered the unconscious body of the militia leader Nathan to the remaining defenders of Llorkh. They had barricaded themselves in the merchant district, overturning wagons and preparing for attack by hobgoblins. The militia had no leader, their attack on the goblin camp was defeated, their city was in flames and their families were in danger. Morale was at a low point, it was only a matter of time before men deserted and fled for the hills.

There was no apparent leader of these desperate citizen-soldiers. After a few awkward moments a bald, barrel-chested man stepped forward. He was Robert, a local smith who took part in the attack on the hobgoblin camp. He explained how things went wrong, how the hobgoblins were ready for the surprise attack and fought back the militia. Spies must have revealed the plan. The mercenary hobgoblins pushed back, driving the fleeing militia back to the town, looting and killing as they went. Robert’s squad made their stand here in the marketplace. Over the last few hours, more small groups of militia have trickled in, wounded and exhausted.

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Session 7: Llorkh in Flames

Dwarven Stronghold, Continued

Through the next door, a rumbling voice could be heard speaking Giant. Not good. While the Blades developed a plan for handling a giant, the door burst open. A huge ogre ran out of patience, eager to “smash Zhents”. Clearly confused about who his opponents were, he completely filled the hallway, and fought fiercely before being cut down. Behind him were several orcs, standing no chance once their champion was slain.

The orcs tried to surrender, claiming they worshiped Shar too, just like their Netherese attackers. Turns out they had a wealth of belief, and were open to Tempus or pretty much any god that would keep them alive. They gave up details on the layout of the fortress, location of the slaves, and number of dwarves. They also warned of dwarven undead that kept to a specific room and of summoned demons guarding the slave room, brought here and controlled by the duergar leader.

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Session 6: Approach to Llorkh

Approach to Llorkh

After several days of dangerous travel and a battle with goblin raiders, the Sacred Blades were in sight of the isolated mining town Llorkh. They believed it to be the source of many slaves and a base for the Zhentarim. The Blades were eager to get inside and strike at their hated foes.

Sitting in the foothills of the Greypeaks, Llorkh was surrounded by a simple wooden palisade. Smoke from forges rose into the winter air and guards stood watch at the gates. Just outside the walls, an army of some sort was encamped. Beyond the town, foothills became mountains and a steep canyon divided the nearest peak. There sat a squat dwarven compound of three towers, an ancient ruin still standing as proof of the quality of dwarven construction.

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Session 5: Zelbross

Zelbross

Surviving ambush by a long assassin, the Sacred Blades pressed onward to the ruined hamlet of Zelbross. Once a peaceful village known for its handmade pottery, quality smoking pipes and friendly taverns, Zelbross was abandoned over a decade ago following some forgotten disaster. This was a theme played out time and again since the Spellplague, as homesteads and hamlets were reclaimed by the wild and once-civilized places like Loudwater devolved into dangerous frontier towns.

As the Blades approached, a few remaining structures could be seen in the distance along with smoke from a large campfire. Horses were stowed well out of sight, and the group advanced with caution. Fibbit scouted out the area, seeing several guards on patrol and four wagons circled around the bonfire. He sneaked forward, Yarnon close behind, and the two dispatched a lone guard before he could even cry out. Sneaking into a wagon, Fibbit saw several large kegs – fitting the description of the kegs children were carried in. Quietly prying one open, it was empty inside except a few scraps of cloth; the children had been moved.

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Session 4: Temple Reclaimed

Temple Reclaimed

Chasing a tiefling through the streets of Loudwater, the Sacred Blades arrive at a ruined temple. The tiefling bolted inside, slamming a door behind. They had been warned of this place: once a house of Tempus and waystation for all manner of adventurers, now a shadow of its former glory, a gang hideout. This may be the only chance the Blades have of bringing these thieves to justice; attack now, or they may flee the city and continue their deeds elsewhere.

A clamor arose, men shouting, weapons coming to the ready. One voice rose over the mob, shouting orders and threatening men with the wrath of Cyric for their cowardice. That name gave them pause, as the presence of a Cyricist indicated far greater evil than a mere thieves guild. The Blades hesitated, not wanting to rush into a trap. Inside, sounds of preparation were heard – boxes being pushed over, men moving into position. Unwilling to wait longer, the Sacred Blades burst into the room.

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Session 3: Draigdurroch Tower Finale

Draigdurroch Tower

Taking an elevator of sorts to the third floor, the party found themselves in a library. Preserved from any frost damage were many shelves of books, full of knowledge on countless topics. After disabling a flame trap at the desk, the books were looked over before deciding to save them for later and move on.

Carefully opening the next door, fully expecting ambush by elementals, golems or damn-near anything else, the party found itself in the master suite. Once expensively decorated, carpets and tapestries inside were brittle and stiff, long-since frozen. A large bed dominated the room, a frozen pillow on top and some frozen socks underneath.

A 5-foot high mirror stood next to the wall, four stiff corpses laying on their backs facing the mirror. The mirror’s surface rippled here and there, like the surface of a pond. After some initial investigation and the defiling of a corpse, the party assumed the mirror must show the way out of the room. They tried pointing it at the wall, then looking into the mirror to see the ‘true’ wall…but found themselves staring at the reflection of a halfling inside a black void.

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