Adventures in the Dessarin Valley

Part 5 - Cultists South of Beliard

23nrd Day of Tarsahk

The party arrived in Beliard and learned a few things from the locals…
– That the town is full of retired mercenaries and therefore is usually not a target by bandits.
– Neshor Fleurdin, proprietor of the Watchful Knight inn, spoke with the delegation leaders and learned they planned to head south on the Dessarin Road. They intended to visit Summit Hall next to return the body of a fallen knight.
– Senya, a server at the Watchful Knight, noticed a strange monk who wore a golden mask observing the Mirabarrans closely. The monk left a few hours prior to the delegation.
– Eann, a cattle drover drinking at the Watchful Knight, saw the delegation 10 miles south of Beliard. He then saw five men in sky blue armor with white capes riding giant vultures heading in the same direction the delegation went.
– Helrud Ponden, the townmaster and chief lawkeeper, also saw the same thing (blue-armored warriors on giant vultures) near Feathergale Spire.
– To heal Diero’s curse, Neshor suggested the All Faiths shrine back in Red Larch.
– The Watchful Knight got its name from a Helmed Horror that used to be inanimate in the corner of the the inn, but one day disappeared. Some people have claimed to see it roaming in the woods.

After Helka got her breakfast (with apple juice), the party decided to head south along the Dessarin road to follow the path of the Mirabar delegation…
– About 15 miles south along the Dessarin Road the party spot vultures circling a mile or so west of the trail. Ullr headed towards them and the rest of the group followed. They came across some dead soldiers and broken carriages.
– Kaer Baer recognized the red axe emblem on the dead soldiers as an emblem of Mirabar, and the party believes that these were likely bodyguards for the delegation.
– Kaer Baer also recognized that the rocks and crators in the area are evidence of earth based magic.
– Diero searched one of two cairns found on the site and discovered five dead bugbears in black leather armor with the same triangular symbol found on Larrakh in the tomb under Red Larch.
– In the other cairn, Helka discovered a monk with a golden gargoyle mask.
– Diero studied the nearby tracks and determined that a group of about 30 bugbears and other humanoids headed west, as if the delegates were taken somewhere.
– Ullr removed the mask of the dead monk and thought the woman’s face underneath was cute. He returned the mask after noting that it is was likely an easily made mask made with cheap materials.
– The group believed that how the dead bodies were buried suggested importance to earth cultists, and perhaps that symbol they are finding is somehow related to them.
– Lastly, the party ventured along the footprints path and saw evidence that whoever walked along that path was taken away in some boats on the river.

The party returned to the Dessarin Road and continued to follow it south. Shortly after, they came across an encampment. They could see from the road some thug looking people who were immediately on the defensive the moment they are seen strolling in…
– Kaer Baer held her hands up and cried “Ahhh Kaer Baer Stare!” and a loud sound erupted as one of the thug-looking woman’s head exploded! A nearby thug was clearly shaken as he screamed “Carlene!”
– Diero ran along the encampment and eyed-up the enemies. He determined that the thugs had scimitars, but there were also a couple of warriors holding swords that were surrounded by shark teeth. They were also holding shields that looked like giant crab shells! They were clad in purplish colors and fish netting, and started on their way towards Diero and Kaer Baer. Diero blocked an incoming attack from another nearby thug.
– What appeared to be some type of mage or priest took a drop of water and transformed it to a shard of ice that he fired at Kaer Baer. The shard barely hit, but it also exploded causing some slight damage to both Diero and Kaer Baer.
– Ullr went after one of the nearby thugs, swinging his hammer helicopter style, and utterly murdered him! He then summoned a spiritual hammer that appeared next to another nearby thug and started attacking. Ullr then blocked an incoming attack from that same thug.
– Ginnifer fired an arrow at one of the sea warriors and then yelled “Hey crabby pants, I have another one where that comes from!” The arrow connected just below his ribs and the sea warrior seemed distracted by Ginnifer’s comments. Using the distraction as an advantage, Kaer Baer fired a ray of fire at the warrior immediately after, as well as the female sea warrior, and another nearby thug. Though it missed the female, the other two men frantically started to try to smother the flames.
– Helka took out her wand of magic missiles (which Kaer Baer gave to her first thing in the morning) and fired three missiles at the female sea warrior.
– Diero then turned into a panther. However, this startled the male sea warrior so much that the warrior quickly smashed his sword at the panther and decapitated it! The headless panther quickly shifted back to Diero’s human form. Diero was noticeably injured.
– The female sea warrior then hit Kaer Baer square on with a javelin!
– The mage/priest summoned a necrotic hand that clutched at Helka’s throat and latched on! Meanwhile, Ullr was locked in battle with a thug.
– The male sea warrior was killed however when Ginnifer fired an expertly aimed arrow that went right through his ear and out the other!
– Still with a necrotic hand on her throat, Helka was able to smash a thug with her warhammer, while Kaer Bear attempted to cast a chromatic orb (it just petered out though).
– Diero managed to cast a spell that held the female sea warrior paralyzed, and the warrior struggled to break free while Ginnifer dodged a ray of frost from the mage/priest.
– Ullr finally got a good attack in and made a thug hamburger out the thug he was fighting with – a good two handed down thrust of his hammer. His spiritual hammer connected with another thug and took him down as well!
– The last thug remaining fired off some crossbow shots but missed, and then he started to run away. He doesn’t get far before Ginnifer fired off two arrows from her bow, injuring him greatly in the process.
– With the female sea warrior unable to move Helka stepped up for a finishing blow…but she trips over a root with one foot, and then got tangled up in another and completed misses the paralyzed warrior!
– Kaer Baer is distracted and fails to launch another chromatic orb :-(
– Diero rushed the mage and casted poison spray! Poison comes spraying out of the ground around the mage, and the mage experienced some slight nausea. The mage failed a counterattack on Diero and then fleed behind some nearby tents.
– Ullr then called upon his god Steve and destroyed the female warrior with his hammer, and then he moved towards the mage as Ginnifer totally misses a shot at the mage with her bow.
– Helka flanked the mage at Ullr’s side and hit the mage hard with her hammer while Kaer Baer startled the last remaining thug with a near hit of her firebolt.
– Diero casts poison spray again, and this time is causes the mage to start puking up water.
– As a last ditch effort, the mage casted magic missile and hit Diero, Helka, and Ullr. However, he then tried to flee and Helka delivered the killing blow as he tried to escape.

The adventures then ordered the last thug to stop. They tied him up and questioned him, and discovered the following…
– The thug works for Jolliver Grimjaw, and is stationed at Riverguard Keep. The keep is well guarded.
– The “sea warriors” were water cultists.
– The thugs were hired to protect the water cultists that the adventures killed.
– “Jolly” (Jolliver Grimjaw) reports to someone named Sholar, a water genasi.
– Helka found a bit of gold on the bodies, and also discovered a symbol on the water cultists that looked like an “X” with a line connecting the bottom.
– The group told the thug that he could go. “Go and don’t look back” they told him. As the adventurers released him, Ginnifer put an arrow through the back of his skull. She tells the group that she didn’t want to take any chances.

After a short rest, the adventures continued on to Summit Hall…
– They see a couple of knights open the door and they are greeted by an old women named Ushien Stormbanner, a senior knight of the Knights of Samular.
– Ushien tells the party that they can spend the night.
– The party learns that the Knights of Samular worship the god of Law and Justice, Tyr.
– The Knights were expecting the delegation, but they never arrived.
– When asked about the golden masks, Ushien tells the group that they are likely Monks of the Secret Stone Order, and can be found at the Sacred Stone Monastery.
– Ushien tells the group about some of the history of the Knights of Samular. Hundreds of years ago Renwick was a hero of some renown and the brother of Samular Caradoon, the founder of the Knights of Samular. The two fought bravely in the second Troll war. Renwick’s hunger for arcane knowledge eventually led him to prepare for lichdom, but he became a lich only because his brother fed him a lichdom potion on the battlefield rather than let him die.
– Concerning lichdom, some in the party understood that liches have phylacteries that they keep in a safe space since they insure the continued existence of the lich.
– Ushien was also asked about Feathergale Spire. She told the party that it is in a canyon close to Red Larch and it is home to the Feathergale Knights. She did not know much more than that, or what exactly the Feathergale Knights are.
– When asked about other news and rumors, Ushien also told the group that she has heard of a gathering of druids somewhere in the Sumber Hills…an event that involves a giant burning wicker man.

The group then decided to rest for the night.



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