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The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:36 pm
by Shamsy
Having defeated the dream shade, two of the heroes find themselves suddenly in possession of swords that seem to have been drawn from the very dream itself. If anything constitutes a reason to investigate, that does.

Eventually the heroes found themselves in the City of the Dead, by searching for the grave of the semi-famous adventurer Laern ‘Grey Bane’ Stendon. Finding the grave, they are startled by an old grounds keeper, who then proceeds to answer all their questions and give them a detailed explanation of Laerns life. Active in the early years of 1200 DR, she took part in the war against the orcs in the Year of the Black Horde, wielding her magical blade ‘Grey Bane’ against these foes. She enjoyed a moderately successful career exploring The North, until her last expedition to the Mere of Dead Men, which she never returned from (the grave is merely a marker, placed by her comrades he explains).

Armed with only a last known destination and not questioning the oddly precise information coming from a grounds keeper, the heroes rushed off to follow in her footsteps… without doing any research into where exactly they were going! BUT THEY DID BUY A MAP!!!
The journey along the High Road was uneventful thanks to some careful scouting and wise decisions, where they moved the accumulated rubbish of many previous camps to a safe, upwind location. Farewelled by the crow of the cockatrice, they headed into some miserable weather, before arriving at the curve of the road and the edge of the Mere. Unhappy but undaunted, in they went… to be feasted upon by the millions of biting, stinging marsh insects. Cold, wet and besieged, luckily Jonas is able to provide some temporary relief with his herb-lore.

Following a path into the Mere, the party manages to avoid their first obstacle; a crude spear trap, set to catch any individual unwary enough when using the path. The poison on the crude stone head hints how nasty the results may have been… A thick, brown river, running fast from the continual deluge of rain cuts the path ahead, but rather than risking the slimy trunk spanning the width, the heroes look for an alternative crossing. Another good move, as they are able to spot a waiting ambush by a number of scaled reptilians hiding in a shallow pool across on the opposite bank. Surprising them with magic, it is a short lived battle. One of the scaled folk escapes into the river, sure to lead to trouble later…

They push on through the mud, pools of filthy, stagnant salt water, clouds insects and miserable rain. Tripping on roots, slipping around and beset by alien noises, it is truly Hell on Toril. Blasting through a wall of thorns, they push deeper into the Mere, but eventually the path gives out, barely room for the horses to pass. With night falling, the heroes are tempted from the path by ghost-lights, leaving the horses tied behind them. Witnessing running battles between the spirits of goblinoids and men with ancient crests, they find themselves hopelessly lost. With faithful Blue joining them, he leads them to salvation… which turns out to be a tree with some truffles growing on it. Oh well. They spend a miserable night there, getting what little shelter they can find.
In the morning they set off in a random direction, hoping the horses made it through the night. Before too long they find another natural obstacle blocking their progress. A great body of festering water stands stagnant and thick in the tree break. The party determine to build a raft, but wisely chose not to launch until the new day. In the night they are awoken by a splash and slap just over the crest of their camp, further by the water’s edge. The inhabitants of the pond, three giant frogs, have come looking for supper! They find instead arrows and steel, but not before one snatches up poor Nolan and gobbles him down! It ALMOST makes it back to the pond with the prize, but the luck of Tymora is with him, as Jonas JUST manages to land a fatal blow before it disappears into the watery depths.

Spending the night recovering, they set off on the raft at first light. Much more hardship ensues as they battle through the wilds of the Mere, beset by the very environment they are in. As night falls the party once again find themselves following strange, dancing lights through the Mere. These lights are different though, flittering and ghostly white. As they walk the party notice that the surroundings are growing eerie, quiet and fey. The clearing they enter is quiet, still and swept with an ethereal wind that makes the dancing green mists swirl and eddy around their feet. A great swamp house of fieldstone and thatch greets them, suspended on stilts, while a low wooden building hides at the rear. Here the party encounters the Green Hag Gertrude, who trades cures for their ailments and guidance in exchange for blood magic and binding promises. With the promise of a guide and the return of their ‘lost’ horses, the party sleep well under the witch’s roof.

The next day they are refreshed and ready to leave this unnatural glade. Gertrude presents them each with an amulet to guide them safely through the swamp and allow communication between them. They hurry away, to find the guide at the borders of the glade. The guide turns out to be one of the lizardmen encountered earlier… but now animated through magic as opposed to life. They follow it yet deeper into the Mere, past crumbling ruins from some lost civilisation and through clouds of undead, blood sucking mosquitoes (swiftly dealt with by Venegas). Travelling upland, the party reached a plateau rising high over the canopy. A difficult climb, but the guide seems to be indicating that was the way they needed to go. A debate ensued as to how they would reach the top, before grapples went up, followed by Venegas in his magical boots… which spoiled the ambush by several stout lizardmen (of a different breed again) that were waiting to pelt climbing adventurers with arrows. Another pitched battle ensued, with a fireball blowing the cliff apart, burying the horses, donkey and pitching the heroes and lizardmen to the ground below! Nolan swept in, finishing off the ranger leading the lizardmen, before they started to dig free the horses. Sadly the donkey was crushed by the dirt and rocks.
Planning to stop to recover, the party were instead alerted by war-drums from the cliff, before witnessing a war-dance from huge, black lizardmen, covered in paint and bone helms. Unsure what to do, and with a cliff still separating them, the party waited, wondering what would happen… until all of a sudden the frenzies lizardmen launched themselves off the cliff, straight at the party! The impact drove them to the ground, killing one instantly but severely wounding both the lizards and the heroes! A swift and bloody fight ensued, with the limping party finishing off the remaining defenders. Finding the cliff now easier to scale, they make it to the top without further resistance, trudging through the thick underbrush to a ring of trees. Past the trees the party found a crude village of wooden and reed huts, a great fire pit and a huge stone idol. Off to the side stood a pen, where they discovered strange frog-men, which they set free.

On the opposite side of the village rested the ruins of some ancient tower, looking nothing more than a crumbling mausoleum. Descending into the cold below, the party overcame numerous traps through luck and ingenuity, until they found themselves in a large columned chamber, heaped with treasure. The spotted the ambush before it was sprung, the guardian salt mummy lumbering out of the chamber to suck the life fluids from their bodies! Zion nearly perished in the fight, and were it not for the magic of Venegas and the might of Nolan and Jonas, they may all have fallen. Fortunately the tight quarters seemed to hamper their foe, who failed to land a blow on any but Zion!

As the salt mummy split apart, the trapped soul of Laern appeared briefly to the party, mouthing a ‘thank you’ before disappearing off to rest, after nearly 200 years of imprisonment. Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, the party began to stuff sacks with the treasures around them, while Jonas studied the great brass door at the terminus of the chamber. After a few minutes, Jonas detects and disables the collapsing column trap, working on the lock. Eventually the door clicks open, but the party failed to detect the approach of Gertrude and an entourage of frog-like bullywugs approach. There is a brief exchange before the hag enters the chamber Jonas unlocked, the heroes wisely chosing to remain behind with the nervous bullywug. Satisfied with the treasure and sensing trouble, they cast away the amulets and fled the crypt, arriving in the village above. All around the huts more bullywug were rounding up the young and female lizardmen, while dragging together the bodies of a few more slain defender. They were approached by a shaman, who had apparently been instructed to guide them out, but Nolan first insisted in attempting to free some of the lizardmen. After some confusion, he managed to buy one, a stoic female of light grey scales, before following the others.

That night a great, unnatural storm of green, white and violet lightning played over the distant plateau as the party watched, their shaman guide wallowing in awe. The bullywug warrior that had been assigned to guard overnight looked less elated. The following night was uneventful, though the guard went missing, assumed taken by one of the many undead or predators haunting the swamp. Eventually the party makes it back to the original trail and the High Road. They slowly plod their way back to Waterdeep, a blissfully uneventful journey, covered in lumpy bites, cakes in mud, stinking of swamps and battle. It is not unexpected they are treated as lepers by most of the traffic. Getting into the city requires a little talking too, especially as they have a scaled companion among them… but when a fistful of gold is shown to the guards, the party are able to pass without issue.
Lastly, unknown to them one more figure slips into the city behind them, using stolen gold to buy entry… They’re sure to meet the latest addition soon!

((There is a lot of treasure that the party manages to return, but it is only a fraction of the Dead Kings hoard. Each member gets 3,500GP, as well as a selection of consumable items. Feel free to add your own gold to purchase above that limit.
In addition please provide a list of items USED during the adventure to be removed)).

For Nolan and Jonas only:
Their magical swords ‘Grey Bane’ have been strengthened by the touch of Laern’s departing spirit. You may enchant them to;
Ghost Touch – 2500GP
Bane (Orc) – 2500GP

Free consumables (take some within reason);
50 flaming arrows from the lizardman ranger
20 poisoned arrows
A plain basinet helmet (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3584)
3x War-Masks taken from the blackscale lizardmen (viewtopic.php?f=5&t=3584)
This glass oil bottle is in the shape of a grinning demons face (Oil of Animate Dead)
Within an ornately chased solver box rests a bed of velvet, nestling
4x black vials containing Neutralise Poison
4x plain vials containing Remove Disease
4x Clear glass vials with a honey coloured liquid of Cure Moderate Wounds

Amongst the array of treasure are the following items that are identified as magical;
A plain adamantine ring with a shield embossed in the band (Ring of Protection +1 – 1,000GP)
A long willow stick with chased silver spirals inset shallowly into the wood (Wand of CLW – 325GP)
A nice, smooth slender wand of blue wood (Wand of Detect Magic 162GP)
A green felt bag with a silver clasp that feels heavy, but never seems to get heavier no matter the load (Bag of Holding I – 1750GP)
The feathered cloak that was taken off the lizardman ranger is well made but crude, turning out to be magical (Travel Cloak – 600GP)
A silver amulet tarnished black in the shape of a dragon’s skull (Dragon Skull Talisman – 2,000GP)
A helmet with an exaggerated mouth guard set with precious stones (Helm of Comprehend Languages and Read Magic – 2600GP)
A smooth length of blood red wood with a knobbly root cluster on the end (+1 Club – 1,000GP)
A pair of simple steel horseshoes (Horseshoes of Speed 1,500GP)
The dark-wood bow taken from the lizardman ranger is elaborately carved with designs of swamp flora and fauna and seems to be beyond the crude skills of its original owner (+1 Corrosive Longbow – 4,000GP)
A number of crystals are separated from the wealth of jewels recovered;
4x Crystal of Energy Assault (lesser/all kinds) – 1,500GP each
Crystal of Aquatic Action (lesser) – 500GP
An old, battered golden amulet with an ankh set on a rising sun (Amulet of Emergency Healing – 3,000GP)
A set of beautifully tooled leather reigns, complete with mithril buckles set with tiny wings (Reigns of Ascension – 1650GP)
A simple leather belt with a number of small pockets, seemingly too small to be very useful (Belt of Hidden Pouches – 2,500GP)
A pair of nicely made travel boots (Boots of Desperation – 1,400GP)
A pair of steel and leather bracers set with many tiny little motifs of eyes (Braces of Accuracy – 2,000GP)
A transparent crystal mask that seems to meld to your face (Crystal Mask of Languages – 1,750GP)
A silvery helm of mithril, set with sky blue stones and sweeping wings (Helm of Heroes – 2,800GP)
A blued steel ring with simple fish designs (Ring of Water Breathing – 3,000GP)
A simple brass rod (Conduit Rod – 3,000GP)
2x Everlasting Rations – 175GP
A simple looking but comfortable bedroll (Magic Bedroll – 250GP)
A gross length of slimy gut in a moist hessian sack (Troll Gut Rope – 250GP)

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:51 pm
by J.C.
Venegas has perused the items and has chosen the Mask, the Ring, Bag of Holding, and the Belt.

A transparent crystal mask that seems to meld to your face (Crystal Mask of Languages – 1,750GP)
A plain adamantine ring with a shield embossed in the band (Ring of Protection +1 – 1,000GP)
2x CSW potions to replenish his stock.
A green felt bag with a silver clasp that feels heavy, but never seems to get heavier no matter the load (Bag of Holding I – 1,750GP)
A simple leather belt with a number of small pockets, seemingly too small to be very useful (Belt of Hidden Pouches – 2,500GP)

With whatever needed from his own Gold.

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:58 pm
by The Redneck
Nolan will claim the Reins of Ascension (1650 GP) and the Magic Bedroll (250 GP). He might have grabbed more, but he wants some money on hand (1600 GP)for his caravan idea.

Since the arrows are of no use to him, he'll take one of the CSW potions, since he used up all his CLW's, along with one each of the Neutralize Poison and Remove Disease vials.

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:56 am
by JuneBarcarolle
Jonas is definitely interested in the ghost touch ability for his sword. He also speaks up for the traveler's cloak that he's been wearing. After that he'd be interested in the wand of CLW if Zion doesn't want it.

As for freebie consumables, he would like 20 of the fire arrows, 1 Neutralize poison potion and one cure disease potion. (Shamsy, let me know if that exceeds the "reasonable" limit. *g*)

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:13 pm
by adragonb
Zion will gladly take 1 neutralize Poison potion, 1 Remove Disease potion, and 1 Cure Moderate Wounds potion. He will take the rest of the flaming arrows (30) too. ((If that is taking too much let me know Shamsy)).
With him guzzling through his CLW potions (8 of them) like it was water, he will take the CLW wand , if Jonas takes no offense by it. Zion will gladly use the wand since he has found out that Rangers can use them, during the adventure. The rest in gold then for Zion.

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:21 pm
by JuneBarcarolle
Jonas has no issues with Zion taking the wand. Instead of the wand he'll ask for the crystal of aquatic action.

((This requires selling off of his old long sword to get enough cash for it.))

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:22 pm
by adragonb
A pair of steel and leather bracers set with many tiny little motifs of eyes (Braces of Accuracy – 2,000GP)

Could I have an explanation of this item please, when I try to look it up, I keep getting different answers and would like more about this item. Zion might want to get this item also.

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:30 pm
by J.C.
adragonb wrote:A pair of steel and leather bracers set with many tiny little motifs of eyes (Braces of Accuracy – 2,000GP)

Could I have an explanation of this item please, when I try to look it up, I keep getting different answers and would like more about this item. Zion might want to get this item also.


MiC p79

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:25 am
by adragonb
Thank-you JC for giving me the page number of the bracers of accuracy! After reading up on it, I have decided to leave the bracers alone and stick with my first reply. Sorry for delaying the loot awards to our characters!!!!

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:41 am
by Shamsy
Alright guys, loot and XP awarded. Catch you soon!

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:04 pm
by adragonb
Thanks, Shamsy!!!!!!!

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:52 am
by J.C.
THANKS Shamsy!!

GREAT adventure!!

Re: The Mere of Dead Men

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:43 pm
by JuneBarcarolle
Thank you Shamsy!!!