Dragon Slayers Incorporated

Parley with Infernus

You are led to Moonstone Keep and Infernus appears before you.

She acknowledges that you are valiant warriors who have caused her much grief. She admires your capabilities and offers for you to join her in the administration and development of the valley. She claims that you can get rich if you each pay her 10000gp for the rights to control a territory within her jurisdiction, and then each of you find ten others who will each pay you 10000gp for the right to work in your area and so on. You will collect taxes for all commerce in your area, remitting a portion of the taxes to her along with a portion of the fee remitted to you for each person you recruit.

It is her intent to make Fallcrest the richest city in the realms of the Dragon Queen (Tiamat). She points to the great riches of wood, minerals, and farmland. The three major transportaiton routes, and the only solid access to the Northlands on this side of the continent.

The Dawnforge Mountains are in her realm and she controls the pass to the eastlands.

She admits to having swallowed Nimozaran, an ancient bronze dragon who has been in human form for so long, he does not remember how to change back.

She encourages you to think over her offer and tells you she will meet you again in two days.

You arrive back at the Inn to gather your gear. Grae says that he is going to go to talk to Naerumar about business and leaves (after slipping the Dragons’ Bane in Mercaiden’s pack). Unknown to the party, Grae receives a sending from Fra’Nika calling him to join her in Winterhaven as she wants to return home to help her family who are having trouble with the Cultists of Solkara again.

After leaving Infernus, you encounter Shannalotte, Jarcath’s familiar, and she leads you to Jarcath in the Green Tower. After reuniting with the Dragonborn Sorcerer and meeting her companion Iimen, a strangely garbed kobold with a metallic arm, you prepare to join her in the dungeons of the tower to deal with the Far Realm incursion that has started there.

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Gambling at the Lucky Strike

Mercaiden and Grae approach the high roller’s table while Beandr watches from nearby. A dragonborn in formal wear named Medrash runs the table. He invites you to join a game to have the chance to win an 85,000gp Ring of Invisibility for a mere buy-in of 5,000gp.

He makes a call for others to join the game as five players are needed.

Ifrianne, an eladrin woman, walks up to the table to join the game, curious about the group of adventurers. She is seeking Jarcath, whom she knows to be in Fallcrest, but is uncertain of her whereabouts.

Evrett, a half drow (half elf) man, also joins the game amid catcalls and hissing from the crowd that is gathering to watch the game. He is in Fallcrest because he has become aware of a Far Realm incursion happening here and he wants to stop it.

Though not a gambler, Beandr decides to join the game to ensure that the party and not these strangers win the ring.

Medrash introduces himself as a southern gentleman and gambler who has come north to help found the first casino in the northlands and to take advantage of all the new business opportunities being created here. He tries to get the party to talk about themselves, but most of you are cagey and avoid revealing anything.

You buy your chips and Medrash deals a game of The Emperor’s Gambit.

During the game a page brings Mercaiden a note and an amulet. The note reads:

Mercaiden

Baaki and I feel it is foolhardy to risk the whole party in a confrontation with Infernusa fight we will not win.

We will sneak out of the city and join the orc raiders coming from the East. We will watch for your signal.

Tanharath

Mercaiden recognizes the amulet as the Amulet of Vigor that Grae retrieved from the crypt of the lich.

The game moves quickly. It seems the half drow is a particularly good card player and he wins the ring in three rounds.

Medrash reluctantly hands over the ring which Grae immediately tries but fails to steal.

Later in the evening, the five players sit around the table discussing their reasons for being in Fallcrest. Mercaiden, Grae, and Beandr do not reveal that they know where Jarcath is, but they admit to having met her. Grae drinks very heavily and ends up becoming disorderly after the others go to bed.

The party minus Grae meet for breakfast and discuss what they might say to Infernus. Grae awakens in the drunk tank. He has a talk with Mr. Poplin who suggests that there might be someone in the Shadowfell who can reattach his preserved hand. Grae teleports out the window and groggily makes his way back to the Lucky Strike Inn. He meets Mercaiden who is out looking for him.

The party, with its new members, meet with Erik, the emmissary from Infernus, to lead them up to Moonstone Keep where the meeting will take place.

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Disturbing the Ghosts

When you awaken the morning after your fight with the mimicks, you decide to investigage the bricked up doorway before leaving for Fallcrest.

Baaki sunders the wall and you find a hallway that leads to a small crypt. You investigage the sarcophagi and then discover a false wall. Breaking that wall you find another crypt with another false wall.

Breaking the last wall you discover stairs decending into darkness. There is a significant change in the architecture and construction as you move from the original crypt back through to the stairs. You seem to be going back many generations into the past, finding families that date to the height of the Nerath empire.

The chanber at the bottom of the stairs contains two royal burials and four soldier burials. As Grae attempts to open one of the sarcophagi, a ghost comes through the wall and demands he leave. When he does not, the ghost attacks. The others are drawn into the fight when more ghosts rise from the crypt to attack Grae.

The two royal ghosts are destroyed and Mercaiden’s mind is invaded by one of the ghost legionnaires. When she finally shakes off the ghost she realizes that these ghosts are here to keep a lich from escaping from the dungeon below. Your knowledge of history reveals that the lich dates back more than a thousand years and predates the Nerath Empire.

The two royal ghosts had the power to prevent the lich from escaping. The other ghosts were bound there to prevent grave robbers and tomb raiders from penetrating the lich’s prison.

As the party begins retreating, Grae attempts one last time to open one of the royal sarcophagi. He is immediately flanked by the legionnaires and one of them cuts off his left hand.

The party recovers him and retreats from the crypt. Once you are past the entrance, the ghosts vanish once more.

You spend the day recovering. Mercaiden casts gentle repose on Grae’s hand and heals the stump until a way to reattach his hand can be determined.

You find a sleigh in the barn where your horses are stabled. You use this to speed your way to Fallcrest. As you near the city you encounter a patrol who flags you down. They ask if you have received Infernus’ message and are coming to parley. When you tell them that the boy they sent was a monster and not a boy, they think that you are trying to pull off some kind of trick.

Eventually you agree to travel to Fallcrest with the scout and meet with Infernus. You are put up at an inn which has a newly built casino attached. There are many games of chance being played and you keep finding yourselves compelled to sit at table and join in games.

Baaki and Tanharath find the whole experience disturbing and head out of the casino.

Beandr finds himself at the bar buying drinks for a couple of girls. He pushes them away and looks around the room to see where the others are. He notices Mercaiden and Grae at the high roller table.

Grae is poisoning a gem with the plan to use it against someone in the casino.

Mercaiden notices a very well dressed dragonborn in an altercation with another player at the high rollers table. The other patron is dragged off. Mercaiden suddenly finds herself sitting at his table.

He introduces himself as Medrash. He brags that he just took a ring of invisibility off of his previous opponent and offers Mercaiden the chance to win it from he. He also claims to have other items that she might find equally interesting. He begins shuffling the cards.

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Someone’s knocking at the door...

After the fight with the mimics, you search the only object in the house that did not change into an ooze and discover that the old oak statue contains a Harvester’s Staff which Tanharath takes, giving Grae his Windsoul Ki Focus.

You then bed down for the night. Beandr takes the first watch and hears a knocking at the door. He briefly wakes Baaki while he investigates the door, but he does not open the door.

On Baaki’s watch the knocking has ceased. Her watch passes without incident.

On Tanharath’s watch, he becomes concerned about the source of the knocking at opens the door to find an old woman seemingly frozen. He brings her in to see if he can help her. After a time something tries to invade Tanharath’s mind. He realizes the woman is attacking him with some sort of psychic power. He awakes the others and the party begins to do battles with a creature that tries to put you all to sleep and invade your dreams, killing you there.

After a protracted battle, you kill the creature claiming to be Markley’s grandmother. Upon her death, she reverts to a squid like creature with tentacles and pseudopods and enormous eyes. Grae harvests some body parts to sell.

Grae searches his arcane knowledge of the Far Realm and remembers that some mimics can absorb the memories and identities of real people, realizing that Markley might have been a real boy sent on an errand from Infernus who somehow ran afoul of these aberrant creatures.

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Markley or a Mimic?

Your ogres have lost interest in continuing the fight after sustaining such heavy losses during the battle. Shagga suggests he go and meet the orcs coming from Harkenwood and prepare to attack the city from the East when you give the word.

The snow storm is getting worse so you decide to try to find a place to camp.

You spot a lone figure approaching on the road. It turns out to be a half-elf boy carrying a white flag asking for a truce and parley with Infernus. He says his name is Markley and he is a servant to Infernus. Originally his parents were farmers in the valley.

He produces a scroll which he open and starts to read. Grae grabs the scroll and burns it. As it goes up in flames, Grae sees the seal of the Red Hand at the bottom. The scroll begins: “I, Infernus, authorize this servant, Markley, to offer safe passage for the purposes of parley…”

Markley suggests that instead of camping here in the open where there are monsters, you should come to his family farmhouse, about an hours walk closer to Fallcrest.

You arrive at the house and investigate it. It is mostly empty, having had anything of value taken. A few items remain which you investigage. Some of you get the sense that something is wrong, but you cannot pinpoint it. Tanharath senses a presence in the house, but it seems diffuse.

There is a bricked up doorway leading down to what Markley describes as the family crypt.

You bed down for the night and Grae takes the first watch.

Suddenly Grae feels compelled to attack Mercaiden and he strikes her in her sleep. The party awakens finding themselves in a fight with Grae. Then the furniture and other items in the house come to life, transforming into oozes. You quickly determine that Markley is behind the attack and Grae’s strange behaviour. He is able to absorb the oozes which seems to give him more power.

You defeat the oozes, and when you strike down Markley he transforms into an ooze.

All the items in the house had transformed into an ooze except for one wooden statue.

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The Owlbear Pack

As a last ditch effort, the army of Infernus sends a pack of Winterclaw Owlbears against you. They are being ridden by Northmen who seem to have some sort of connection to the beasts, driving them on in a coordinated effort to stop you. Even after you kill the riders, the beasts fight to the death.

Snow begins to fall again as you finish off the owlbears. Your army wins the day as well, but with heavy casualties. You have 15 orcs and 5 ogres left.

You are still three hours walk from Fallcrest and it is getting dark.

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Infurnus’ army attacks

You decide to try to inflitrate Fallcrest by posing as merchants. On the road you encounter Infernus’ soldiers coming out to meet you. You engage wtith five dragonborn of the Red Hand and two fire belchers while your orcs and ogres charge out to meet the rest of their army. You defeat the Red Hand, but reinforcments are on the way.

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Infernus sends out scouts

As you again make your way to Fallcrest, you are intercepted by a band of scouts, a dragonborn raider and two human gladiators, each wearing the marks of the Red Hand, on the road who try to force you to turn around. You fight and defeat them.

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Meeting Infernus for the first time
And ... are the Ogres friends or foes?

Beandr and Mercaiden do a reconnaissance at Fallcrest to determine the state of affairs. Grae is ill and remains at Kobold Hall. The town seems prosperous, though changed. The two do not recognize many faces. Tiefling businesses are still prospering. All the humans are either Northmen or slaves and servants. Markelhay’s keep is well guarded. There is a small volcano engulfing part of the town. It is heavily guarded. The watch as a large red dragon emerges and flies off to the North.

They visit Naerumar whose business is greatly expanded. He has built an additional warehouse adjacent to his store. He offers rooms to the party if they wish to stay.

They inspect the Wizard’s tower. The bridge is broken down, but otherwise the tower seems unchanged.

A temple to Tiamat is under construction. All other temple and shrines have been destroyed.

Meanwhile in the North, Baaki and Tanharath lead the Orc army south but are stopped by a large red dragon that scatters the troops and threatens the party with death should they continue their approach to Fallcrest.

The dragon flies off and returns to Fallcrest. Mercaiden and Beandr mark its return as they return to Kobold Hall.

Late the next day, the two parties are reunited. You recommend that the Orcs do not camp close to Kobold Hall, both to avoid conflict with the kobolds and to avoid drawing attention to the hiding place.

The next morning as the party is planning to return to Fallcrest and infiltrate the Wizard’s Tower the orcs come under attack by a band of ogres. You rush to their aid and wipe out the ogre leaders. the surviving ogres are so impressed by your prowess that they pledge their service to you.

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Wolf Pack and Roc

Baaki, Tanharath, and Fra’nika travel North with Snagga, Lagduff, and the Orc villagers and warriors. They walk into a winter storm which slows them down. Soon they find themselves hunted by a pack of rogue wolves lead by a werewolf. The wlves tear into the Orc ranks, but are driven off after Baaki, Tanharath, and Fra’nika kill the werewolf and the pack leaders.

Meanwhile, Grae, Beandr, and Mercaiden fly the airship West towards Kobold Hall. Beandr scouts ahead on his giffon and is attacked by a Roc. The party is forced to the ground where they are ambushed by some Hill Giants and earth elementals who seem to want to fight them over the rights to the Roc when it is killed. All are defeated, and the giants are looted a box of treasure containing vials of Potions of Vitality and vials of Silver Sand.

Two of the messenger orcs are killed in the fight.

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