Searching for Earth Nodes

Magic Games
Frgin Wizards

Thank Dol Dorn someone found this room I feared I would be trapped here forever. Playing that same stupid table again and again. I am not certian of where I am or who the people are that were in the room with me when I came to from the spell the tables were casting over me. To the poor dwarf that I knocked out, I hope there is no long term damage and that you learn to be weary around tough looking adventurers that are locked in magical trances. To the man who saved me from the table that I was originally trapped at I thank you and wish you fair adventures, loose skirts, and strong ale in the future. To the rest of you I may never see you again but I thank you for taking part in my rescue, without you I may have never found Number 2. To the wizard that trapped me in that dispecable room… well, challenge accepted.

Veraciously, Kra
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A Flash of Moonlight
I don't think we are on Faerûn anymore...

There was a flash of dazzling white light and a moment of disorientation, of falling yet remaining still, as the party touched the obelisk in the desert oasis.

Then, just as suddenly, the sensation was gone. The oppressive heat was replaced with a gentle cool breeze carrying the gentle scent of flowers. The sound of rustling leaves and flowing water replaced the still quiet of the desert. The white light faded to a dim silver radiance, and the party found itself standing in a leafy bower, bathed in moonlight. A small spring burbled along one side, emptying into a still, almost effervescent, pool. Water flowed from the pool into a shallow rocky brook, murmuring and tumbling as it went.

Even in the deep of night, the surroundings were obviously lush and green… almost overwhelmingly so. Vespera let out a gasp as her magical senses took in the profusion of magic around her. Everything seemed perfect here; it was as if she has come home. She told they party they were now in the Feywild.

As the party stepped out of the pool of moonlight in which they had appeared, they recognized that not all of the party had made the journey. Astereon, the mighty minotaur monk was not present, nor was Sandor, the stalwart fighter. Immediate investigation did not reveal their whereabouts.

However, several members of the party did notice unusual changes in their equipment. Adder’s shield was glowing with a silvery light, and Orren noticed his chainmail was lighter, made up of finer rings. As Les attempted to use the water in the pool to get the worst of the Sphinx gore off his robes, the blood stains instead spread, deepening to a dark crimson.

Vespera and Tava both analyzed the magic of the party’s equipment, and found that in many cases the auras of the item had grown stronger. It seemed the combination of the ambient magic of the plane, the magic of the portal, and the presence of an Earth node (deep below the bower reacting in sympathy to the fragment of the Earth node carried by Tava) had infused the magic of the company’s items.

As the party rested, they heard scurrying through the brush nearby, the sound of hooves on stone, followed by the sound of predator’s on the hunt. Could it be their lost companions? The group set off to follow the sounds, hoping to reunite their company.

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Welcome to the Searching for Earth Nodes campaign

What has gone before

As Chris creates the starting chronicals of our journey, I will add the ongoing notes in the entry above. Once the journal is caught up, I copy mine into a note following his so we will have everything in order.

Please feel free to add comments to any sections you wish, impressions your character has or corrections as needed.

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"You Look Like You Could Carry a Bunch of Dead Bodies"

The goblin party had been dispatched and Towercrest had been recovered, but the part was not yet out of the woods—literally. There were dead; there were wounded; and there was an arduous march through soggy, thick woods.

The party was insistent upon returning the remains of the fallen dwarves as well as helping those wounded to make it back safely. As they discussed options for getting home with such a beaten up group, a tremendous rustling and howling came from the woods beyond the cave entrance. Les scurried up a tree to see what was the cause.

Towercrest asked the party to investigate while he continued to prep the wounded for travel. When the group came to a clearing in the woods they saw something they had never seen before. There was a massive, hulking minotaur struggling to free himself from thick, dark mud. Reluctantly, they offered to help.

Orren tossed the minotaur a rope and tried to pull him out. He did not budge. The minotaur tried to help himself, pulling on the rope. That did not work as intended. His huge size and tremendous strength simply pulled Orren off his feet—flying wildly into the bog with him. Wisdom eventually prevailed, and after tying the rope off against a sturdy tree, they managed to get everyone out.

But they were not yet safe. Muck and grime started to slither off of the minotaur’s clothes, coming together with a great mass of it that had pooled in the bog. A giant ooze creature formed and attacked them, and the minotaur soon showed why he would become a valuable ally to the party, moving this way and that, striking with fists hooves of precise blows.

When the muck was destroyed, the party walked back over to Towercrest, with a new member in tow. The Captain was doubtful of the creature at first, but after hearing how it dealt with the ooze, and realizing they needed help to get home safely, he reluctantly trusted him. The minotaur was soon introduced as Astereon.

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Blackroot's Missing Dwarves

After the visions faded and the dreams passed, the party awoke in comfortable beds. The residents of Blackroot had dragged their comatose bodies from the weeds outside town and placed them in open rooms at the Boar’s Head Tavern. Convening in the great room, the group met Golby, owner of the inn.

Iapol arrived shortly thereafter and updated the party up on what had been happening in Blackroot. Local dwarves had been taken from town by force. No culprit or cause was known, but clearly they were targeted. Iapol was unable to track the source, so she called in a favor to her friend, Captain Towercrest. He came with two of his men, and they followed a lead into Blackroot Forest.

They had not returned.

Desperate, Iapol put a call out to any capable adventurers she knew in the area, in hopes of recovering at least Towercrest, if not also the missing dwarves.

Roderick and Slashreap spent a little time harassing the inn’s young helper, Geoffrey, but as they’re welcome was about to wear thin, Roderick oddly decided to make good by buying a stew pot at well above market rate.

The party headed out and chased down leads, eventually making way into Blackroot Forest, where they picked up tracks that led them to the mouth of a wide, but dark cave that had been carved out of a low-sloping hill. Beat up mine cart tracks led from the cave mouth inside.

Inside the mine were all sorts of hostile and foul creatures, including goblins and hobgoblins. Les immediately showed of his courage (and lack of balance) by tiptoeing across a narrow rail bridge that spanned an open pit in the cave. Peppered with longbow fire, Les fell helplessly to the cave floor, needing Orren’s immediate healing.

But the party fought on and cleared the room, moving into further cave chambers. Great excavation work had been done in the cave system, though quite hastily. Soon the party discovered also that it had been done at the dwarves’ expense. The missing citizens of Blackroot were found—caged—in the depths of the cave. All had been put to work digging, and several had been worked past their last breath. Towercrest’s men were there as well—alive—but injured beyond purpose in battle. The party freed them and had them wait while they continued looking for Towercrest himself.

In the furthest chamber of the cave the party discovered a band of goblins, led by one called Sharil who had made a home of the place. Towercrest lay chained in the corner of the room. Sharil and his minions were no match for the adventurers, who made quick work of them. They freed Towercrest and tended to his wounds.

Among the spoils of the battle the party found gold, magical boots, and the tiniest bit of residuum. As well, they found a half burned note near the fire pit which read:

S-
What do you think you’re doing!?…
I told you to avoid the town at all costs, and now you’ve taken dwarfs from Blackroot?
…no more digging there. It’s been four months, and you’ve found nothing. Prepare to leave. I’ll send you a new location soon…
No more mistakes, or I’ll come down from Tellgard and deal with you myself. Burn this letter. Kill the messenger. We can’t take any chances.
-X

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A Letter from a Friend

Called to Service

Each of our heroes received an urgent letter from Iapol, an elf woman who serves as the de facto magistrate of the small town of Blackroot, on the southern reaches of Tethyr, abutting an old, swampy forest of the same name.

Her letter read:

Friends, forgive my imposition, but if you can be spared, please come and see me in Blackroot. Captain Towercrest has gone missing, and I fear the worst. I keep a room at the Boar’s Head Lodge. Please hurry.

As the fates or gods would will it, the adventurers arrive late on the same evening. Among them are…

Orren, a noble and selfless dwarf cleric, clad in chainmail and fiercely wielding a warhammer guided by divine might.

Slashreap, the impulsive, yet dangerous Tiefling who needs nothing more than his trusted longsword to protect himself and his allies, and turn the pain and punishment back on his foes.

Les, the rash and fierce Goliath avenger who is always first into battle and last out of the infirmary.

Vespera, a practical and patient witch whose command of the battlefield has often saved many lives, including her own.

Tava, a quiet yet imposing dragonborn wizard. His control over elemental forces make him feared and respected.

Last, and possibly least, Roderick, the half-elf ardent. What he lacks in wits and wisdom (a fair bit most will say) are made up for in an uncanny stubborn determinism. It is certain the tales that will be told of him will be met with laughs and bewilderment.

Disturbing Dreams

As the crew arrived on the edge of town, however, they were overcome by a heavy presence which carried their minds to blackness and drew them into a dreamlike state. The image of Blackroot before them disappeared into the blackness.

When they came to, they found themselves in broad daylight at the remains of an old excavation site. Slashreap sprung into action. He climbed to the top of a small fence and discovered the excavation site was overrun by kobolds. They turned to him and hissed, and soon the party was engaged in fierce battle.

Roderick, by brute force, cleared away for his companions by smashing through two lines of fences. Upon reaching the other side he attempted—in the midst of fierce battle—to engage a pair kobolds in civil discourse. When his words were met with swords he had no choice but introduce them to the foul end of his longspear.

The fighting was intense, but ultimately the party of heroes won. They discovered that a rope ladder descended into the excavation pit below. They climbed the ladder down and continued into the pit.

The cavern below was adorned was clearly the work of dwarves, though which and when was unknown. An open chamber led to a narrow hallway that was guarded by a large statue of a dwarf in full battle gear. Roderick rushed forward to get a closer look and fell right into a kobold trap. The floor opened below him, and he tumbled into a pit where he remained until the party had dispatched the enemies.

The party helped Roderick out of the pit trap, and after a short breather headed down a dark hallway. A larger chamber was at the end of the hall, and Les snuck up to peer around the corner and see what lay within. Seeing only a rabble of kobolds milling about, and emboldened by the last few battles, Les jumped out into the room to face them without even waiting for his party to come help him.

He would regret this decision.

After turning the corner and making his way out into the room a bit, he was surprised to discover that in a side alcove was an infant dragon perched upon a dwarven throne. The kobolds engaged Les in combat, and soon the wyrmling followed. Before his allies could arrive, Les was knocked to the ground and beaten within inches of death.

Help did arrive, however, and soon the tide of battle turned in the heroes’ favor. The wyrmling fell, and soon the kobolds were defeated as well. The battle was brutal and exhausting, but they triumphed.

Some members of the party rummaged through the dragon’s coffers and found gold and gems as well as magical amulet that granted protection to its wearer. Others explored the cave. More signs of dwarf ancestry were evident from carvings, tapestries, and paintings. Most curious was the large, black pit at the far end of the chamber. It was so deep that one could imagine it had no bottom. Stepping close to it made one feel as though it were pushing them back. But the resistance was not a gust of wind or wall of water; clearly there was a strange force at work. Vespera approached and through her wealth of arcane training determined that a weak, but benevolent arcane force emanated from the abyss. She saw flecks of purple light wafting up, and as she leaned over the pit to inspect it more, the orb she carried to focus arcane energy began to glow purple as well. It was as though magic enveloped it.

But then the abyss pushed back hard, and Vespera was thrown away from it. All of the heroes began to feel dark and overcome—a feeling similar to the one they had as they arrived in Blackroot. But as the blackness took root in their minds, other visions flashed in as well.

Each experienced vision of painful, grotesque, and horrible deaths: drowning in violent oceans, peppered by arrows from faceless men, crushed under the thick weight of earth, torn apart by fantastic beasts, starving in an endless jungle, and eviscerated by thousands of pellets of magical energy.

A brief sound of laughter rang in each of their ears. Then they awoke.

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