We had a Facebook chat session to see how it worked out. This was the result:
Your fight with the Wyvern has just ended. Battling with the scalding pain coursing through their veins Schyld and Godric are tiptoeing the edge of consciousness. As the adrenaline of battle fades both Schyld and Godric need to tap into their willpower to maintain concentration on even the most menial tasks. Schyld, through a brute force of will, was able to concentrate long enough to give Jikar his skinning tools along with a brief description of how to collect the Wyvern’s Poison. As Jikar went to work on collecting the poison as Schyld slumped back down onto the floor.
Mirrin, accessing his experience with ailing street rats in Waterdeep, and Rand, with his unerring book knowledge, started talking about all of their knowledge concerning a Wyvern’s poison. Between them they knew that the poison is meant to debilitate a Wyvern’s prey as it feasts on them…alive. If the prey is strong enough to survive, it is known to only last 24-48 hours. To ensure their survival, Schyld and Godric will require constant attention and uninterrupted rest. They both share this information with the rest of the party.
As Rand and Mirrin relay that information to the party, Godric falls over in a slump. Tiny, as if taking Godrics fall as a queue, yells into the room to bring the poisoned companions into the bedrooms then disappears up the stairs. Schyld, following Tiny’s direction, moves to the base of the stairs and looks as if he is going to follow him up. After a moments contemplation he sinks to one knee and starts a low-toned prayer.
Without thinking both Rand and Mirrin rush to Godric’s limp body. You both realize that Godric is in a much worse condition than the stout dragonborn paladin. Mirrin quickly points out that the flesh around the puncture wound on Godric’s leg is becoming necrotic. Upon seeing that Rand quickly and decisively starts sucking as much of the poison from Godric’s wound as he can…which was surprisingly effective. On top of that, Rand doesn’t feel any ill effects from the poison after doing so. Once Godric is stable, Mirrin asks Rand if he can watch over Godric and Schyld and heads upstairs.
Jikar, after successfully harvesting the Wyvern of numerous scales and a dose of its poison (10d6 dmg + con save on 1 hit) moves next to Rand and says, “Tribes knows to avoid these. Please help my kin” and looks sympathetically in Schyld’s direction.
“We are going to need these two in the beds upstairs Jikar, can you carry Godric up while I help Schyld?” Rand responds and moves to look over Schyld. Without hesitation Jikar carefully picks up Godric and carries him to the room above.
With a quick glance Rand can tell that Schyld is fighting the posion more effectively. Rand also notices that Schyld is giving off a slight aura of positive energy that is very soothing to stand next to. Knowing nothing but rest will help Schyld past this point, Rand helps Schyld climb the stairs.
Upstairs, Mirrin notices that Tiny has made quick work of their situation. A quick glance into the bedroom you were using shows that Tiny has prepared two beds. You also notice faint hints of movement in the shadows and can only guess that Tiny is creeping around the compound setting up noise traps and ball bearing traps to ward against potential danger. As if in answer to your assumption, Sarah (Tiny’s Owl), flies out from a shadow and rests itself on the roof of the roadhouse looking out into the Mere.
Inside the room Godric and Schyld are lain down next to one another with Rand saying that he will stay awak through the night to keep up a constant medical watch. Jikar crosses his arms and says he will be awake as long as Rand is. After a few minutes Mirrin enters the room and without saying a word kneels down, places his symbol of Tymora on the ground, and starts rapidly flipping through a deck of cards.
Three hours pass without incident. Tiny has trapped every possible entrance to Carnath Roadhouse with either noisemakers or ball bearings. After doing so he has scouted a perimeter 20 meters outside of the fortress walls, just to be sure of the layout in case you all need to make a hasty retreat. Every movement and laying of a trap is done with heightened precision because there is an unspoken truth hanging in the air…that an ambush this night would be deadly.
Inside the bedroom is a lot more chaotic. The poison in Godric’s system has diffused very rapidly, and his “rest” is torturous and uncomforting. The silence of the room is periodically broken by his moans of pain and sporadic convulsions. Each time Godric emits one of his cries Rand will wake up from a meditative trance to check on him. Each time there is nothing more that Rand can do with the supplies you have.
Schyld, in contrast to Godric, hasn’t made a sound since he fell asleep praying. Sleeping on his knees, Rand Jikar and Mirrin were briefly unsure whether or not to move him into a sleeping position…but in the end left sleeping dogs lay. The aura that he was emanating earlier seems to pulse every time that Godric cries out but it doesn’t seem to soothe him at all.
Jikar, having taken a statuesque watch near Schyld drew his halberd and seemed to dance his fingers along its grips. As sleep crept silently crept into his thoughts Jikar stood up, and started silently shadow dancing to keep himself awake. Rand, battling with his own exhaustion quietly told Jikar to sit down next to the door and make sure no one but Tiny would be able to enter. Content with his new task Jikar sat down, leaning against the door and listening to the sounds coming from behind it. Sleep took him quickly.
Mirrin, watching Rand and Jikar throughout the night continued in his silent vigil to Tymora. After flipping up a perfectly reshuffled deck Mirrin knew that Tymora would bless him with the spells he needed in the morning and fell asleep to ensure that he had the energy to perform them.
After those initial hours Rand waved his fingers and whispered a message into his hands. After a few minutes passed Tiny quietly knocked and opened the door to the room. Having to step over the still sleeping Jikar, Tiny approached Rand and they had a quiet conversation only they were privy to. Rand stood up and stretched while Tiny checked Godric’s pulse and temperature. Then, almost as abruptly as he appeared, Tiny stood up and silently crept back outside.
The rest of the night went on without any problems. In the morning Schyld was no longer experiencing any of the poisons effects. Godric, while still alive, is on the level with how Schyld was feeling at the start of last night. Both of you are exhausted (Level 1)(You do not regain spells or other daily abilities). Rand, Mirrin, and Jikar though fighting sleep eventually succumbed and got a full nights rest (regaining your spells and other abilities). Tiny, having successfully stayed awake all night to protect the party from outside threats is extremely fatigued in the morning (exhaustion level 2 because you were concentrating and alert all night long).
The next morning Godric pops awake from sleeping, looks directly into Rands eyes, and with a steady calculated growl asks, “How long have I been incapasitated?”
Rand stares blankly back, as if taken back. Mirrin from the corner of the room answers back, “Only 1 night. I just cured your poison so I suggest you get some actual rest. I know your still exhausted, Tymora tells me as much.”
“Your not wrong kin,” Godric coldly replies back as he lays back down and almost instatly drifts back into a slumber. Mirrin, smiling to himself, faces Rand and explains, “Poisons are weird…people react differently to the fever dreams. We are going to have to stay at least one more night if we plan on going out into the Mere.”
Still regaining his bearings from the lightning fast exchange that just happened Rand replies, “Agreed. I know that the Mere is a dangerous place. I’ll access my memory reserves and try to recall what I can about the Mere. I may know a lot or a little…I should know within a quarter hour.” Slowly Rand sinks down into a crossed legged position, places his hands palm up on his knees, rolls his eyes back, and starts a trance.
Schyld caughs a small puff of chilled air to catch Mirrin’s attention, “Lets wake up Jikar and move outside, yes. We need to discuss what our next move is….Bahamut has shielded me against the Wyvern’s poison in an attempt to fast track our preparation in following the Cult. It seems Bahamut does not want us to lose their trail.”
Standing up, without being awoke, Jikar replys, “Jikar does not need to be waked. You talk like tribes children (loud).” He then pushes through the door that he was sleeping in front of expecting to be followed. Mirrin and Schyld do so, leaving Rand in his trance and Godric sleeping on the floor.
Outside in the freezing morning air Tiny scampers up to the three of you. His eyes are sunken back into his head, he has large soot colored bags under his eyes, and he is opening and closing his hands rapidly…seemingly to keep himself awake. He stares unfocused at you, “Everything is trapped….don’t misunderstand me. I mean EVERYTHING
is trapped. You owe me. I expect a good breakfast when I wake up. Bacon and whatever else you can scrounge up.” He then pushes past you and goes directly into the room with Rand and Godric, presumably to fall asleep.
“Okay so don’t touch anything I guess…” Mirrin jokes.
“There is a tower in Mere that has poisons. Best on coast. In the direction of the sun before night (West). Maybe lizards go there…”
“Well that’s definitely a possibility. We can ask everyone else once they are conscious if they know anything else about that. Right now I just want to walk the perimeter and make sure everything is secure. This is easily defendable if more Cultists do come,” explains Schyld. He then walks a long patrol around the outside checking the Roadhouse’s fortifications.
As Schyld’s first perimeter check of the Roadhouse finishes Rand slowly walks out of the room and approaches the three of you. “There are 5 different locations of importance within the Mere that I remember: Wolfhill House, Holk House, Uthtower, Mournhaven Towers and Castle Naerytar. The only one of the 5 that I could remember knowledge of in my short meditation was Uthtower which was home to Ebondeath, an elder Black Dragon, over 1000 years ago. There was a story that he vanished in 922 DR to secretly become a dracolich…and eventually a demi-dracolich. Many adventurers have said to have taken it down but no proof has ever been provided. Today adventurer’s still travel to Uthtower to seeks Ebondeath’s lost horde.”
“Not all black dragons bad,” spouts Jikar at the end of the story.
“While I agree, we need to decide together if going into a dracoliches layer is going to be our first scouted location. Right now I think we should all try and dig up what we know about the locations I spoke about, gather our knowledge, and make an informed decision from there. Sound good?”
“I’ll conjure some breakfast for Tiny…” (Mirrin)
Tiny and Godric are sleeping. While Mirrin, Rand, Jikar, and Schyld are trying to remember information and get ready for travel within the Mere. Lets make some checks…
After getting actual rest Tiny and Godric join Mirrin, Schyld, Rand and Jikar in the bailey of the Roadhouse. Tiny and Godric are still exhausted from keeping watch and overcoming the poison respectively (exhaustion level 1) and Mirrin notes that one more night of rest will be required for them to be fully rested.
Rand says that going out into the Mere is a death sentence for anyone besides seasoned adventurers. Any information that the party can remember about the Mere will be useful in helping track the hundreds of crates full of stolen goods. Each of you split off to attempt to ruminate about anything you have heard about the Mere.
Mirrin: Insight 25, Religion 16, Investigation 19
Mirrin goes up onto the barbican surrounding the Carnath Roadhouse, sets up two candles and places two cards, face up, next to them. He then ponders his memories of Waterdeep trying to recollect anything he had heard of the Mere during his life there. When he believes he has important information he flips a card face up between the two cards already showing. If the third card is between the already face up card he writes down his thought. He comes back to the party with two locations of import within the Mere: Holk House and Mornhaven Towers. He also mentions that Holk House was a sanctuary for priests of Eldath (goddess of peace, pools, and springs) and that he used to hear stories that it is haunted by spirits of Myrkul (god of evil mages and necromancers) worshippers. Finally, Mirrin tells a story of a Paladin of Azuth (god of mages) went to cleanse the Holk House but was never seen again.
Jikar: Nature 16, Survival 13, Intimidation 20
After Mirrin goes up to the barbican Jikar looks at everybody else in the bailey, bares his teeth, and with spine-chilling clarity says, “Time to think.” His gaze lingers longer than is comfortable on everybody and finally after what seems like an eternity he slams his halberd into the ground, leans an arm on it and starts rubbing his temples. (Schyld gets a +1 for his checks but everybody else suffers a -1 for their checks…intimidation). Jikar expands on his previous statement about poisons. After joining with the rest of you he says that his tribe calls the poison Wolfhill Poison because it comes from an area in the Mere named Wolfhill. That lead to the rest of you remembering the name of another house said to occupy the Mere called Wolfhill House. Jikar also says the Mere is going to be swampy and dangerous. His explanation of the swamp, though in broken common, gives you all a grasp of what to expect and gives you a +2 to con saves when battling weather and terrain effects. He also tells you how to spot sinkholes, quicksand, and other natural hazards.
Schyld: Insight 14, Persuasion 21, Nature 9, Athletics 22
After Jikar closes his eyes and starts thinking about the Mere, Schyld pulls everybody away from where Jikar is thinking and persuades them to disregard the looks that Jikar gave everybody (No more -1 from Jikar). Schyld says that Jikar is acutely aware of the danger that the Mere possesses and wants to ensure we are all ready for the danger ahead of us. After calming everybody down Schyld states, in a matter-of-factness, that Bahamut will provide him with the necessary information needed for their journey into the Mere. He draws his sword and places the blade against his forehead. The blade flashes and Schyld almost as quickly as he drew the blade, sheathes it. Once everyone shares the information they got Schyld goes over the best way to walk through swamps while keeping things dry, how to escape quicksand, and how to maintain balance on boggy, uneven ground. Unfortunately Bahamut did not grant any information about locations within the swamp….Schyld says something within the Mere is protected against Bahamuts gaze.
Tiny: Investidation 24
Tiny, after waking up from his rest, eats the large conjured meal provided by Mirrin. While eating he reflects on information that he knows about the Mere. Unfortunately he doesn’t come up with anything. After reconvening with everybody and hearing the information that they were able to come up with he quickly spits out a list of places within the Mere. Wolfhill House, Holk House, Uthtower, Mornhaven Towers, and Castle Naerytar. Those are the only 5 locations that would work to bring all of the stolen goods from the southern Storm Coast. Tiny says that he may, or may not have, heard of all of these locations as potential “major scores” that someone could retire on….as long as they return with their life. These are the areas we are going to want to focus on.
Rand: Religion 19, Insight 22, History 19, Arcana 9, Investigation 20
Rand, after everyone has dispersed to come up with information about the Mere goes back into the bedroom. Again he sits crossed legged, with his palms face up on his knees. He comes up with a decent amount of information concerning the Mere. There is histroical information about Wolfhill House, Mornhaven Towers and Castle Naerytar that remembered. He also adds some more religious insight into Holk House and what to expect there. Rand also brings up that he knows there is a type of magic that gets practiced somewhere in the Mere…but he can’t seem to remember what type of magic it was nor where it was practiced. A majority of the information that Rand relays to the group is unnecessary. He has enough information to cover a major portion of the Mere’s history but it doesn’t seem like a lot of it is necessary besides the information concerning the 5 areas Tiny was able to provide.
Godric: didn’t roll, still surviving
Godric, still affected by the Wyvern’s poison took another day to recover. He is still feeling negative effects.
So together you have come up with this information:
Some of the realms strongest poisons have a secondary name, “Wolfhill Poisons”. This is the area of the Vreal Olo (favored ones). Iniarv’s Tower, a tower in Wolfhill, was the tower of a Demi-lich. Wolfhill’s house was a front for human cloning experiments of the Yuan-ti. The hill has an aura of causing spells to misfire and creatures to grow to gigantic size
Holk House was a sanctuary for priests of Eldath, goddess of peace, pools, and springs, now haunted by spirits of Myrkul worshipers. A paladin was sent here to cleanse the House but was never seen again.
Chardansearavitriol (Ebondeath) a great dragon built his lair in 631 DR, and vanished in 922 DR, secretly becoming a dracolich, and eventually a demi-dracolich. There is a legend that is told by many bards throughout Fearun that Uthtower is a place of unlimited wealth but all those that travel here never return
There have been stories told in Waterdeep that ships sailing to close to the coast are attacked by lizardmen who probably come from these towers. The towers were built by elven sisters, who tried to sink them to contain a demon.
A half-elven wizard built Castle Naerytar (maybe). It was inhabited by Adele Astrolara for a while, a member of the Academy of Stargazers, a female only guild of mages. She was secretly a penanggalan (an undead creature). There is a ruined road of logs and mud heading northeast from the castle to the high road.
This is all of the information that you are going to be able to get before heading into the Mere. From here I want you to consider where you want to head, as a party, and to make sure you have enough supplies to spend weeks, maybe months within the Mere. What do you do?
An intense debate starts in the bailey of the Carnath Roadhouse about your next course of action. One thing is certain: waiting any longer than a few more days to attempt to venture out in the swamp would leave you with an ice cold trail and nothing to follow. Together you all scour the compound for supplies that you can take along on your journey. After several hours you are able to collect 12 days of rations for each person (12 pounds), a dozen unlit torches, and flint and tinder for each of you. Any other travelling gear you could find in moderation as well (rope, whetstone, bedrolls, and waterskins). Once these are all collected and dispersed between the party you group and discuss travel plans.
Jikar immediately demands that you head to Uthtower and looks to quell the Mere of the presence of the Dracolich, Ebondeath. Schyld agrees that he would like to confront the fell dragon as well…especially after the events of Daggerford. Rand then asserts that while going after Ebondeath is admirable, facing him now would be certain death. So for virtue of simply escaping the Mere with your lives it would be best to avoid Uthtower. Mirrin interjects that he thinks the best course of action would be to go to Mornhaven Towers, simply because stopping the cult should be your party’s primary concern. Mornhaven Towers are also the only area that you can think of in the Mere that has reported Lizardfolk activity…so it’s a solid bet that the stolen valuables are being brought there. After saying that Mirrin turns to Rand and asks if he could contact either Ontharr or Oggutar to get more supplies to you before adventuring into the Mere.
Rand, with a concerned look on his face, reveals that the last few messages that he has received from the Harpers have been exactly the same…Elturel is under siege by a dragon. Ontharr probably has his ring set to an automated response. The fact that the Cult is behind this attack on Elturel, and that they are obviously becoming more bold with their attacks only dictates the importance of following the Cult and not facing the Dracolich. Upon hearing that Jikar slams his fist into a wall and storms off. Tiny looks at Schyld and questions him about the orders that Oggutar (Garrick) gave them as members of the Gauntlet; where should your motivations in the Mere lie?
Schyld looks at the rest of you wondering if anyone else wants to say anything, but when nothing else is said Schyld nods and follows Jikar outside of the compound. Mirrin, Tiny, and Rand take this time to discuss how imperative it will be to have a set course of action when setting into the Mere. You all agree that going toward Mornhaven Towers is the smartest bet, to not only follow the Cult activity but to also avoid known dangers. Rand will comment that he would like, for personal reasons, to go to Holk House and Castle Nearytar as well and that if your recollection of the layout of the Mere is correct, a path north by northwest would allow you to hit all of those locations and eventually get out of the Mere. After discussing this for about 10 minutes Schyld comes back to join the three of you. Jikar doesn’t join you again but instead stays on the outskirts of the group leaning against the wall, waiting to set out to the destination that you choose. Obviously unhappy with the events of the last week, Jikar seems more withdrawn than usual, and his temper is more on edge than normal.
After staying at Carnath Roadhouse for one more night, to cure Tiny and Godric of their exhaustion, you will all set out for Mornhaven Towers. This will be your first stop in the Mere but likely not your last, but further stops will be dictated on what you find and encounter in the swamp. You will all have rations for 12 days plus any you had on you previously. I would like you to take careful note of your carrying capacity and take special note into what you are taking into the Mere. This is one of the more dangerous areas in Fearun so I will be running the entire trip as a survival simulator. There will also be monsters and situations that you will not be able to handle…it’s as simple as that. Your characters would know that if you do not plan moves and act smart you will not survive. Have fun and good luck in the Mere. (I loved all of the in character dialog that happened on Facebook between you…it was fun to read. I hope you all enjoyed this little between session….session)
Next session picks up on the morning, gear packed, and you all ready to head into the Mere through the tunnel created by the lizardfolk.