Princes of the Apocalypse

Session 31

They party , still recovering from their battle with Aerisi, decided to make their way back to Red Larch. They set off with Leana in tow and headed out uneventfully toward Feathergale Spire. On the way, the party found a chest left in the temple that they had not seen before. They puzzled over it for a bit, but then when Lantian opened it he found several gifts and a note from his father. With this new knowledge and equipment, the party continued on, reaching Feathergale Spire by nightfall. They were heartily welcomed because they brought good news of the cult’s spread being slowed. The Seekers also told the aarakocra warband that they could go home because reinforcements would be sent to protect the spire. The aarakocra were very happy to be able to go home and held a feast that night in honor of the Seekers. During this time, Lantian spoke with Leizhu and learned of the Tranquil Waters Monastery and that the monks there knew a method to travel quickly by the river. Leizhu told Lantian that he had proven himself and that upon visiting he would be admitted to the monastery. In the morning, the seekers headed for Red Larch with Leana, Leizhu, and Nerise in tow. Leana told the group she left behind some caches and maps within the caves of the cult temples. She decided to train Brenna in the roguish arts to allow her to recognize these hidden caches and to help her overcome some locks and other obstacles. When the group arrived at Red Larch, they were greeted as returning heroes. Nerise was reunited with her husband, the townsfolk were happy to see the Seekers still alive, and Leana told the group she would get ahold of her friend Templeton in Westbridge to see what aid he might be able to offer. The group then learned disheartening news from Beliard: cultists with some sort of elemental device caused serious destruction. The town was all but wiped from the map with an elemental water attack. The Seekers then resolved to take the fight to the water cultists. After spending another evening in the hospitality of Red Larch as the local celebrities, the Seekers trekked back out to the temple, made their way back to the city of Tyar Besil, and headed east to the Temple of the Crushing Wave. Lantian found that the bars that previously blocked the passage receded when he approached with the silver orb that Aerisi had dropped. Further on, Brenna was able to pick a lock barring entrance to the Temple of the Crushing Wave. This new section of the city was dimly lit and full of canals, underground lakes, and winding passages. The group headed off and immediately found a room filled with bugbears. Although they tried to talk the creatures down, they were unsuccessful as the bugbears were warned to be wary of “air cultist tricks”.

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Session 30

The seekers took a short rest and then continued on into the final chamber of the Howling Caverns. There they saw Aerisi working on a ritual with the priests who had retreated, along with a elemental bound to plate armor. Aerisi stood over a bloodstained alter onto which a gnome was bound. The priests stood around a giant thunderhead on a raised dias through which glimpses of an endless sky could be seen. Lantian walked up and shouted at Aerisi at which point she took up her gleaming spear and pointed it at them. A fierce battle raged, full of daring aerial attacks and lightning bolts. Lantian ran up and freed the gnome as Flint used Hunger of Hadar to enclose and damage the group on the platform. Aerisi flung lightning bolts as she flew around the cavern. The gnome (Leana) grabbed her rapier and began sneaking up on the priests to disrupt the ritual. Nessa went toe to toe with the elemental in her saber-tooth tiger form as Flint and Brenna rained death on their attackers. Lantian made a flying leap at Aerisi and pummeled her as they fell to the ground. Leana defeated the priests before they could complete their ritual and the elemental was finally slain, but Aerisi managed to knock out Leana, Flint, Lantian, and Nessa with lightning bolts. She then turned to the air node and began performing the ritual that the priests had failed to complete. Brenna sneaked forward, healing Leana and loosing an arrow. Aerisi ignored her and continued the ritual. As Flint bled out on the floor, Brenna’s last arrow struck home and Aerisi died in a howling whirlwind. Brenna went to her injured companions and healed them, but found that Flint had died in the combat. Lantian, still close to the portal, heard a soft voice emanating from the storm and walked forward to investigate. There he heard Ahtayir the djinni say that he had found Lantian’s father (who turned out to be a djinni noble) and had been given the power to grant Lantian one wish. Lantian wished for Flint to be returned to life which the djinni then granted. Leana then told the group that the portal to the elemental plane of air could be closed by throwing Aerisi’s spear into it, which Lantian immediately proceeded to do. The portal collapsed in on itself and the cavern was finally quiet. The Cult of the Howling Hatred had been defeated.

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Session_29

The Seekers made their way back to the pond to rest and recuperate their strength. The group took on various watches and observed several prowling priests searching for them. Then, on the last watch, Nessa saw the priests performing rituals. When the group finally stirred, they sent Leizhu and Nerise toward the surface before moving back towards the last part of the tunnel system. On their way, they stopped to examine the ritual site Nessa had observed. Flint used his eldritch sight to identify an elemental whirlwind trap. Flint blasted the trap with eldritch blast and the Seekers continued on through the tunnels. They made it across the cavern and disarmed another trap, only to find several priests waiting for them at the end a a very windy tunnel. The party charged ahead, but they were slowed by the wind and dust devils created by the priests. They priests, unaffected by the wind, wreaked havoc on the group who struggled to get to them. When one of the priests was killed, the others made a fighting retreat, leaving the Seekers to plan their next move.

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Session 28

The seekers continued into the caves, finding more wind and stumbling upon the lair of a black pudding ooze. The ooze literally got the drop on them and put up a seriously corrosive fight. They group retreated and then headed off to delve northward. They barely made it past a deep cavern, Nessa’s magic rope keeping Flint from falling to his death. They came upon a group of cultists doing some sort of ritual. The group approached and were ignored. Then Flint charmed the leader and ended the ritual. Flint and Brenna went off with the priest while Lantian and Nessa tried to talk the other cultists down as they woke from the ritual. They persuaded a few to surrender, but they had to fight several others. While they we fighting the initiates, Flint and Brenna followed the priest to a cavern full of large stone columns. The priest made a hand signal and told the heroes to ignore the bloodied captives tied to the columns. At this point, Flint had had enough and he attacked the priest. This ended the charm on him and the priest began to flee, but not before calling something down to attack the party. Then, a telepathic voice started laughing at Flint and Brenna as they went to release the prisoners. Nessa and Lantian showed up and suddenly a large gorilla-looking demon appeared near the ceiling and entangled the party. A second one dropped to the ground and began attacking. The party fought valiantly as the captives escaped. Still, one by one they went down until it was just Nessa left. She managed to defeat the last demon and revive her friends.

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Session 27

The Seekers decided to aid Balix on his escape from the Howling Caves, helping him pass through caves filled with phantom voices that plucked at the heartbreaks and weaknesses of each character. When Balix left, he gave the group his copy of the map he had created while scouting, though somewhat grudgingly. The group then trekked back to the temple and set Kazra free to fly back to the surface. Then they rested within the temple of the howling hatred. While doing so, they were ambushed by Whisper, who they defeated after suffering from some guerrilla tactics. Rested and raring to go, the group headed back down to the caves, exploring with the help of their new map. They went back to the cave of phantom voices, but could not discern their origin. They then passed down through an area of wind-blasted carvings. The carvings looked like strange figures carved by wind blown sand. The group traveled on past a chasm that the wind was coming from and on down to a mushroom forest. Here they found many mushrooms that were not good to eat and a few magical mushrooms. Flint grabbed one of the magical mushrooms and ate it, growing younger in the process. After that, the group continued on to a cavern with a lake where Lantian began catching fish. He and Flint then went out to a large outcropping of rock in the middle of the lake. They discovered a tomb covered in poisonous fungus. Lantian managed to open the tomb and called Flint over to read the dwarvish script inside. After Flint struggled to climb the slippery rock, he determined that they had found the tomb of Godwyd the Wyrmbane. Despite Lantian’s protestations, Flint stole the shortsword entombed with the hero. Lantian offered to hang on to it for him since Flint is untrained with shortswords.

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Session 26

The group prepared to give chase to Aerisi by attempting to defeat Whisper. Lantian used his fire vision to see Whisper and attack, and the rest of the party jumped in the pit after him. They all attacked Whisper, but fell past the elemental without killing it. They landed softly and crept through the dark caves. They happened upon a dead end with a bunch of slain creatures. When Lantian investigated, he realized that the hallway was stealing the air from the lungs of creatures that crept to close. The group backtracked and found the other path split at a cavern with rapidly changing weather. Brenna decided to scout ahead by climbing the walls with her spiderclimb slippers. She went up and down the adjacent caves and found a large open cave that seemed to resemble a town. The rest of the party followed and explored this ruined village. They found a crater in the middle of it and were suddenly attacked by spectres. They fended off the spirits and continued deeper into the cave. They entered another cavern and saw a few figures hanging from the ceiling. Upon closer inspection, the figures were living humanoids hanging from meat hooks. Then, the group heard a telepathic voice inviting them to stay and join. They group searched for the source of the voice and Lantian used his fire vision to see a large fiend sizing them up. He immediately attacked the Nycaloth and a frantic battle ensued. The group was able to drive off the Nycaloth, but not after taking a beating. The group freed the 4 captives, learning that 2 were human cultists, 1 was an aarakocra, and 1 was a drow. The aarakocra just wanted to get to the surface, the drow wanted to get back to his people further below, and the cultists were still delirious from not being healed.

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Session 25

The Seekers ventured downstairs to find Ahtayir had struck down Windharrow and was fighting several other cultists. The group rushed to his aid and cleared the rest of the ziggurat, though they did not see Aerisi again and Windharrow disappeared through a portal. The fight brought them to the door of the building where they witnessed the stone golem guardian in the moat finish off a foe that Lantian knocked in to the water. Suddenly, Kaz swooped in to the doorway and his wyvern attacked Ahtayir. Ahtayir caught them in a whirlwind and the group finished off their enemies. Nessa decided to explore the pit in the middle of the room and Lantian floated above it with his levitation. Flint noticed magical runes around the pit which seemed to power the rushing wind with a permanent gust of wind like enchantment.

At this point, Nessa realized that they were also enslaving Ahtayir and she decided to put an end to it. She ran back to the horn and smashed it with a thunderwave. Once released, Ahtayir agreed to help the Seekers clear out this section of the city and ward it against interlopers if they would end Aerisi Kalinoth. The seekers agreed and Ahtayir continued cleaning out the city as they rested (though Lantian continued to give aid as he was able). Ahtayir informed the group that the section of the city was cleared of cultists, though some creatures were still around (ghouls in crypt, cloaker in market, and umber hulk in estate). He considered his work done and disappeared in a warm breeze, though not before Lantian asked him to try to bring him word of his father. The group then tried to jump into the pit but found it was blocked by Aerisi’s invisible stalker Whisper.

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Session 24

The party decided to make for the Temple of the Howling Hatred next after resting again in Scarlet Moon Hall. As they left the building, they saw a small flame still burning near the remains of the wicker man. Brenna discovered a flaming gemstone that was warm but not hot to the touch. After some testing and observation, the group confirmed that it was some sort of conjuring stone. Brenna kept it to attune to later. They traveled uneventfully through the day, only hearing wolves in the distance as night fell. The following day the group ventured forth to Feathergale Spire, meeting Mercurio and his aarakocra war band at the spire. The group resupplied and set out for the cave entrance to the temple after confirming a signal flare from the cave would mean they need help from the aarakocra. They made their way to the city and approached the gate. The door was locked, so Lantian decided to knock. At this point, Nessa turned into a spider and hid in Lantian’s hood. Nobody answered, so he said that he would like to bring his musical skills in service of the air cult. The door unlatched and the kenku listened intently from the arrow slits. Lantian played very well, then asked for audience and one of the kenku ran off. The kenku returned, opened the far door, and let the party in. They went to the adjacent courtyard and found Windharrow and the Windwyrds in the midst of a practice session. Windharrow sent away his musicians and asked the party to play, giving Brenna a flute to play. Lantian began playing his and Flint’s flute while Flint sneakily cast a spell to charm Windharrow. Windharrow failed the charming and subsequently led the group up to the Queen’s chambers. The party was introduced to the queen as Nessa snuck off to climb across the ceiling towards the horn. The party played music for the queen, but she seemed only mildly amused. Right as she was starting to get bored, Nessa transformed into a gnome and blew the horn. The sound resounded throughout the city and the Queen flew into a rage. She shocked the group with chain lightning and tried to flee to her guards. The Seekers brought the pain, but the Queen managed to escape by turning invisible. Ahtayir showed up just as the group was subduing the drugged cultists who stumble out from the curtains. Lantian helped Nessa give an order to Ahtayir to clear out the cults from Tyar-Besil. Ahtayir began promptly killing cultists, even those that surrendered, as he gave chase to the Queen and her guards.

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Session 23

The group awoke and decided to delve deeper into the fire cult establishment. They went through the doorway and followed a lava tube from and inactive volcano into the depths of the Sumber Hills. The eventually arrive at some fortifications guarded by hobgoblins bearing the marks of the Cult of Eternal Flame. They were ordered to keep out, but the group decided to try to sneak in anyways. They ended up provoking attacks from the hobgoblins and fighting them. The hobgoblins called for reinforcements with a horn and two razerblasts came from the next room. One ran back to bring more warriors while the other and the hobgoblin captain fought the Seekers. Although they finally won out, the group found that more reinforcements were on their way (as Flint saw from exploring further) and they would have to get out of there. They retreated (with Lantian knocking down the barricades to block the way) to Scarlet Moon Hall and made camp for the night.

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Session 22

The Seekers, now down to 4 members, decided to make their way into Scarlet Moon Hall. When they busted open the door, they found a pile of rubble and a few small firey elementals. The magmins turned out to be little pyromaniacs tasked with burning through the rubble. From a hole in the ceiling, a voice told the characters to leave. They ignored the voice and received a fireball for their trouble. The players then fought the magmins, the priest who was upstairs, and eventually his azer cohort, Karthag. The group eventually made a fighting retreat and tried to climb the broken scaffolding. Upon reaching the door they found that the azer had relayed their position and the priest was continuing to tell them to “Begone!”. They finally retreated to the edge of the courtyard and Nessa started blasting the hall with called lightning. In the process she disturbed a roost of giant bats, eventually killing 2 and forcing the others out. The priest showed up at the upper door with a fireball prepared and told them to leave with no more shenanigans. The party backed away but readied actions for if the priest reappeared. He did not. after a little while the group blasted the door open to find the priest and azer gone and the magmins playing in a pool of magma. They finished off all but the last magmin and rested after all their trouble.

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