The Hidden

Session 1: Of Mice and Men
And Kruthiks

Posted by zero

14 Eleint, 1519 DR

An elven sellsword, a wandering priest, and a few wagons filled with pilgrims and their shadowy guardian arrived at The Kickin’ Chicken in Barter’s Pass just before dusk. There, they met with the acting sheriff and his canine companion, and the men begin to discuss the fate of the missing merchant, Thadius Markins. “Sheriff” Jack Wolfram tried to steer the men to more local concerns, and about that time Thrugg Krundle entered the tavern. The half-orc farmer was already drunk, and he persisted in railing against Onyx, the Black Wolf of Chauntea, certain that the beast was to blame for the loss of his herd. The dark elf caravan guard managed to calm him by offering to hunt down the predator.

After a brief encounter with the drunken Trista Harkness, Jack excused himself and followed the dog out of The Kickin’ Chicken and down to the desecrated shrine. The hound transformed into a large black wolf – the slandered Onyx – en route, and when the pair arrived he put his keen senses to work on the now cold scene of the crime. Onyx found something strange about the headless shrine statue – it seemed to have a smooth hollow inside. The wolf pointed it out to Jack, who questioned the priestess Dara Erestelee about it briefly. She didn’t know of anything that might have been kept within the statue of her goddess, but she offered up the few religious texts she possessed for Jack to look through. He thanked her and offered to return in the morning to do so.

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Session 2: A Standup Fight
Or "Another Bughunt"

Posted by zero

14 Eleint (Continued)

A cursory search of the upper floor revealed a handful of coins, some personal trinkets, and a few potions. Kuix regained consciousness a few minutes after the fight and Jack began to question the creature. He admitted that he’d been brought to Barter’s Pass four months previously by a woman he called Gennevive. She’d ordered him to start the hive, and once he had hatched the first few kruthik eggs, he’d returned to the surface and guarded the abandoned house. He said that his mistress was searching for something, and that the kruthiks were digging below the ruins to try and find it.

When asked to describe his mistress, Kuix claimed that she looked “different” and when pressed to explain he said that he’d seen her appear as other people, including a “loud girlie” and a “nice man.” The adventurers determined that Gennevive had already stolen several items, including the gemmed staff belonging to Klaudius Harkness, which was apparently being guarded by the hive queen below the house. Jack offered to let the ratman live, but made him come with the adventurers below the house. Kuix was reluctant, but he was even more reluctant to die or be given up to his mistress after this failure.

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Session 3: Beatdown
Death Count - 1

Posted by zero

15 Eleint (Continued)

Chipper scouted ahead, and returned to the group a few minutes later, reporting a split in the path ahead. The left branch wound back around to the hatchery that the group had passed by along a ledge. The forward branch widened out briefly to form an impromptu feeding chamber before narrowing back into the usual tunnel width. The group decided to take the left branch and engage the kruthiks in the nesting area.

The others hung back while the drow crept past the beasts and onto the ledge where he could throw his daggers from a hidden position. The adults reacted quickly as Jack and Tegalad led the group into the egg chamber, impaling the warriors’ legs with their poisoned barbs. It was not a long or particularly difficult encounter, but healing was still required to make the difference. When it was over, Chipper gazed down the slope on the northern wall of the chamber and informed the others that he could see a larger kruthik down in a large cavern below.

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Session 4: The Buried Temple
"I Attack the Darkness!"

Posted by zero

15 Eleint (Continued)

The battered party returned with Kalan’s body to Barter’s Pass; it was a quiet trip. Fritz and Dara helped prepare the funeral while Jack dug most of the grave himself in the new cemetery where the Lliiran had presided over the burial of the body of the unnamed adventurer woman they’d found in the kruthik hive only the day before.

Forcing the paladin to accept help and go wash up before the funeral got underway, the service was simple, with Dara offering a few eloquent words of praise for the fallen cleric’s generous spirit. Everyone in town that night participated in the party that followed in celebration of Kalan’s eventful life, as befitted the joybringer. The alcohol flowed freely, and sorrows fell to the wayside as people exchanged stories they’d heard – or made up – about the jolly Lliran’s lust for spreading joy to all he met.

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Session 5: Secret Passages
Or "Shortcut to the Boss Fight"

Posted by zero

16 Eleint (Continued)

Chipper went back to the surface to escort Onyx down to the temple after the druid contacted group with an animal messenger ritual (a mole rat). When the two had returned to the trapped hallway, Tegalad noticed a secret door on one wall, and the adventurers opened it, only to be attacked by undead in a small library containing a corrupted fountain. One of the undead could re-raise its fallen allies, but once the heroes took down this reanimator the rest fell swiftly and permanently.

Within the damaged bookcases in the chamber, the party found a ritual book, some religious texts and a decrepit journal that referenced a key stashed in a Chauntean statue and references to some catastrophe. While they rested, they looked over the legible pages and briefly theorized what they could mean.

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Session 6: The Red Moon
Death From Below

Posted by GnomeSplosion

16 Eleint (Continued)

The heroes managed to usher the Harkness family back into town and set them up at The Kickin’ Chicken for recuperation and poor maddened Thadius Markins went into Dara’s care at the shrine. The night heralded new terror as a blood red moon rose into the sky where a dark sphere should have been. Thadius Markins began spouting more tales of a Rose and that someone without shape was searching for something without form and this time they were going without the Rose. Chipper took this as a mad-mans riddle and began to search for any clues possible to solve this puzzle.

17-19 Eleint

Wishing to ensure that the security of the town from the temple that rested underground, the party ventured once more below the farmlands to scout and secure the long dead halls. There was nothing there to impede them and they even managed to find a few trinkets that would be of use to them in future encounters. Jack inquired with Fritz as to the names of the lost adventurers who went below ground before them so that he could properly honor the names of the fallen.

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Session 7: Exterminators
In Which The Heroes Take Some Demons to the Old School

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

The adventurers left the web room behind them and entered an increasingly hot and humid section of the caverns. Chipper scouted ahead and came back to inform the others of a long, narrow natural rock bridge spanning an underground river. There were a number of demons similar to those already encountered as well as a pair of a type he hadn’t seen before. They were smallish creatures but appeared to be mostly fanged maw. All of the demons were defiling the river, and some of them were bringing out a large cauldron from a lighted tunnel on the far side of the bridge. With nowhere to hide, the heroes advanced as one and took the fight to the demons.

It didn’t last long.

Onyx flung one of the blood-seeping demons from his precarious perch in the center of the bridge, and the beast was washed away by the rapidly flowing river. Tegalad and Jack engaged the maw demons at the near side of the bridge while the drow and Ixtab struck at them from range. One of the small, tentacled minions advanced on the paladin of Ilmater and exploded, coating him in sticky tendrils that restrained him, effectively removing him from the fight. Fortunately, the last of the demons fell before the others shortly thereafter.

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Session 8: The Misty Temple
Old Man Mountain Face

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

The heroes stopped the geonid from rushing off alone, assuring the crystalline earth elemental that they would help it rid its temple of demons. It told the adventurers that the invaders were trying to complete a ritual further within the compound. Once rested, the group pressed through the wide corridor at the back of the foggy chamber. The massive room beyond was far less misty, and contained a number of toppled columns as well as another group of demons. The geonid rushed forward and attacked one of the maw demons while Chipper covered the others’ approach with his cloud of darkness.

When the melee began in earnest, the drow and Jack focused on the bloodseep demon while the others kept the lesser demons busy. Jack couldn’t prevent it from vomiting on most of the party, but he did manage to keep them safe from its terrible claws. Once the leader was slain the paladin moved to support the elves and Ixtab, while Chipper went to rescue the geonid from the vicious maw demon. It didn’t take long for the demons to fall before the heroes’ fury.

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Session 9: Aberrant Behavior
Gond With The Win

Posted by GnomeSplosion

21 Eleint (Continued)

After checking the ruins and finding the Font of Convalescence and using its power to rejuvenate their exhausted bodies and minds, Ixtab found a part of one of the statues contained a pouch of platinum coins. The party decided it was time to head on and made the decision to leave the foyer for the hallway on the right. They heard voices on the other side of the door and proceeded cautiously through into the path of a monstrous mass of flesh swarming with emerging and disappearing eyes and mouths that chittered and gibbered maddeningly.

The creature distracted and caused headaches as the adventurers found it difficult to get close to the source of the cacophony. At one point all around it were terrified and startled to find disturbing mouths begin to roil and emerge on their own bodies and proceed to bite their hosts. Disgusted, the team worked diligently to off this abomination to nature so that they could wipe it clear of the realm’s surface.

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Session 10: Ritual Killers

Posted by zero

21 Eleint (Continued)

Used the golden symbol of Gond to open double doors and revealed a ritual in progress. “Tiefling” woman (turned out to be a doppelganger – not Gennevive) making cuts in a live sacrifice, slowly draining his blood. Demons were hanging out, too. We killed them all and looted the place. Magic Shield!

Found a locked door Chipper couldn’t open. Went all the way back around to the door at the end of the opposite hallway. Fought another Neldrazu and a mind-controlling Needle Demon. Spanked them and looted their room. Found the key we needed.

Unlocked the door and came into a room partitioned with metal lattices. Three ogres huddled around a campfire, of all things. They wanted the shiny paladin, but the drow killed one of them with a well placed dagger throw and drew the others’ ire. The brutish creatures were easily brought down and looting their corpses produced the missing parts of another Healing Font. Once these were added, we drank deeply and were restored.


Chapter 2 – Bad Moon Rising

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