Xodus

Ebon Riders Attack

After taking some time off, the adventurers meet each other a year later. While visiting in Fallcrest, a cloud of ravens appears over the town center and asks the party to head at once to the Raven Queen’s holiest temple in the Shadowfel, Zvomarana.

Shortly thereafter, riders appear on the edge of town and attack the group. They turn out to be a group known as the Ebon Riders.

The party makes haste through the portal to Zvomarana. When they arrive they find themselves at one end of a great plateau, where they must begin their pilgrimage to the holy temple. An illusionary priestess instructs them on how they must partake in the journey through the mists to find the holiest of temples. The adventurers quickly learn that the sites along the pilgrimage path have been under attack by the Ebon Riders and other followers of Orcus.

They face many battles on the path to Zvomarana at sites such as the holy high library, gatehouse, and stables.

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Urishtar

Once the adventurers breech the citadel, they dispatch what guards remain and make their way to the tower top. It is there that they confront Urishtar, the shadow dragon and servant of Orcus. The adventurers fight the dragon as it consumes souls from the soul-font to recharge its energy. Ultimately, the party defeats the dragon.

In the aftermath, Nightbringer posseses Torrin and smites the soul-font. It consumes 100 souls before destroying the artifact and freeing the remaining souls.

With the dragon defeated, the adventures split the treasure and party ways with Moyshanna and each other for a time.

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The Ramparts

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After defeating Vorst, the adventurers continue their ascent inside the citadel walls. While climbing a stairway a secret door marked by Ioun reveals itself to the party. The group enters to find a dwarf apparition guarding a sanctuary. Trevok immediately recognizes the dwarf as Jothan Ironspell, the paladin who died defending The Seven Pillared Hall after the events of demon excursion from the underdark.

Jothan tells the group that Magrathar, the castellan of the citadel, has returned and is searching for the party. He has also found the fourth captain’s ring and has passed it onto the adventurers. Fianlly he informs the group that the chief villain of Nightwyrm Fortress is a shadow dragon of immense power known as Urishtar. The group decides to move quickly and strike Magrathar on the battlements while his forces are diverted. The group makes their way onto the massive ramparts and spies Magrathar attended by a variety of slaad servitors. Raef moves into position while the rest of the group attempts to sneak up. They are quickly spotted and the battle is joined. Raef sneak attacks Magrathar and keeps him tied up while the rest of the group advances through the slaad. Eventually Trevok’s astral wind knocks a massive red slaad juggernaut off of the bridge to the central spire.


Magrathar

With Magrathar dying and most of the foes dealt with, reinforcements arrive from the lower chambers to come howling after the adventurers. A great shadowy dragon roars from the spire top and swoops down. The group snatches Magrathar’s castellan ring and bolts down the bridge to the central spire. Trevok puts up an astral wall to slow down the shades and ghasts while Torrin and the others contend with the dragon. On closer inspection they see that the dragon is a shadow projection of Jothan Ironspell but no less dangerous. With a final spell the rings attune and allow the group passage into the tower as the undead and demonic hordes surge toward them. They find a moment of respite inside the lower chambers of the tower.

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The Third Captain

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The adventurers continue their exploration of The Teeth. They ascend into the Halls of Vorst, chambers under the stewardship of the third captain of the citadel.

Raef and Tallis scout ahead and note the temperature drop as they arrive at an icy door. Once Torrin busts it open they find a frost-coated chamber guarded by a chimera and several frost spirits. Upon defeating the enemies they quickly move onto a chamber where the floor is depressed and coated with icy fog. This room is guarded by winter wights and frost archons which posed little threat to Trevok’s rebuking actions.

Finally the group enters the chamber of the captain, Vorst, a lesser dragonkin known as a Blizzard Dragon. Although his archon servitors were a nuisance, Vorst himself was soundly defeated by the group and his treasures, including the third ring, were collected.

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Into the Teeth

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The adventurers arrive in the Shadowfel before a great tower rising beyond a jagged curtain-wall of rock. Spirits of the recently dead are being harvested by draconic-like wraith creatures. The group quickly enters the curtain-wall chambers known as “The Teeth” to evade notice of the wraiths.

Within the walls the adventurers face various undead creatures until they arrive in a chamber occupied by a pleading eladrin. Tallis scouts ahead to see that it is pleading with a dracolich! The group opts for subterfuge but the dragon quickly spots Tallis’ ploy. Bored out of its wits, the dragon doesn’t immediately attack but engages in discussion instead.

Xenro and his prisoner

Xenro, the dracolich, claims no loyalty to the power of this place known as “Nightwyrm Fortress”. He bargains with the group to return his lost phylactery. A general of the fortress known as “Porapherah” keeps the phylactery to ensure Xenro’s obedience.

The group takes the deal and faces off with Porapherah, a nightwalker, who succumbs to the powerful radiant damage salvos delivered by the party.

The bargain is kept and Xenro is freed. In exchange he offers the party information about the keep. Four rings are in the possession of guardians to the tower proper. No living creature can gain access to the tower without attuning the four keys to a master ring in the possession of the lead general of the keep, an entity known as “Magrathar”. Magrathar serves yet a higher power, a shadow dragon that has been collecting souls in the name of Orcus.

By freeing Xenro and by defeating Porapherah, the party has come into possession of two of the key rings.

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Sartine's Tomb

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The adventurers continue on through Sartines tomb. They first encounter Gloamgoth, a ghostly beholder that once battled Sartine in life. The chamber was warded with a teleportation trap that would send enemies into another room guarded by sons-of-kyuss. Torrin battles the zombie creatures whilst the others fight the ghost.

Later, they encounter a catoblepas, and an angel of vengeance. The angel agrees to protect and provide information to the group once they have beaten him. They learn that the efreet Vizim guards the portal to the Shadowfel and holds the secret to finding Sartine’s treasures.


catoblepas

The group negotiates a broken floor, and puzzles out a fiery room with an altar before finding Vizim’s lair. A great obelisk dominates Vizim’s chamber and as soon as the party enters, his servitor archons arrive. The adventurers defeat Vizim and solve the floor-tile puzzle to open the gate to the Shadowfel. They also gain Vizim’s fire which allows them to return to the altar chamber and put out the flames. Once the flames are gone, the party finds Content Not Found: Sartine’s treasure including the relic known as The Skull of Sartine.


Vizim’s lair

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Gloomdeeps and Beyond

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The adventurers continue their foray into The Gloomdeeps to find themselves in a vast, damp cavern. A great iron door is set in the wall at one end of the cavern whist a pool of dank water sat at the other. Flanking the iron door was the great stone statue of a mighty warrior, and two gargoyles on pedestals.


Gibbering Horror

Moyshanna informs the adventurers that the doorway leads to The Tomb of Sartine. The group lets loose an attack on the obvious statue monsters. During the battle a hideous gibbering horror emerges from the pool to join the fray. After vanquishing the monsters, the group disarms the traps in front of the doorway and uses the iron key to enter the tomb.



Bone Naga

After descending through a trapdoor, the group finds themselves in a room decorated with skulls. A bone naga emerges from a skull pile, aided by a boneclaw from the far side of the room. A slime devil sneaks up from a pit in the floor to ambush Trevok, but the dwarf is not pulled into the pit. Sorinas uses the key to disarm two lightning obelisk traps before moving on to the next challenge.


Slime Devil

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Moving on...

In the aftermath of the events in Phaervorul, the adventurers go back to The Seven Pillared Hall to collect their reward from The Mages of Saruun. Upon arrival via the linked portal, they learn that the town had been assaulted by a vanguard of Zirithian’s forces. Much of The Seven Pillared Hall appeared to be under repair as Orontor lead the group to the to the town center where a raise dead ritual was being performed.

Apparently, a dwarven hero named Jothan Ironspell happened to be nearby when the demons attacked and lent his sword to the defense. Unfortunately he fell during the battle, but the town was saved in the end. The adventurers stand by as three different priests aid in the ritual to return him from death but it was to no avail, the hero could not answer the call. Jothan Ironspell’s father, Halumoor Ironspell, had apparently paid four times for the ritual to be performed and none of them worked. Soon after the failed ritual, the group meets with a strange shadar-kai woman named Moyshanna who had tracked a disturbance to The Seven Pillared Hall. It turns out that she is an agent of the Raven’s Wing order of The Raven Queen. The adventurers, the mages, Moyshanna, and the priests all adjourn to discuss the strange events. The surface priests explain that the recently dead have been restless. All of these disturbances appear to be linked.

Finally, Orontor offers to have the adventurers speak with one of Zirithian’s lieutenants, captured in the assault. The prisoner is a sword wight who offers very little, and seems unconcerned with Zirithian’s passing. Nightbringer grows restless during the interrogation and eventually demands to drink the prisoners dead blood. After being satisfied with their questions, Nightbringer feasts on the wight’s blood, which causes a great rotting eye to burst forth from his chest. The Eye of Orcus addresses the group:

You have defied me at Winterhaven Keep, you have defied me at Karnholdt, and now you have defied me at Phaervorul. Kalarel and Zirithian were mere pawns to me as you are to your bitch queen. Know now that you are cursed. The places I named, and other places you have tread are now under my dominion. The souls of the dead now belong to me. Where you reap, I sow!

Nightbringer interrupts Orcus’ tirade and the demon’s eye is smote. In the aftermath, however, a portal opens and undead creatures pour out. The group fights them off with the help of Moyshanna and The Mages of Saruun.

Moyshanna implores the adventurers to help her. Her kind has an empathy for soul energy and she has tracked this disturbance to a place called The Gloomdeeps. Specifically, she believes the soul energy leads to The Tomb of Sartine which is located in The Gloomdeeps. The group agrees to help and set out.

In the underdark wilds, they pass into a massive cavern occupied by “The Crawling God”, a massive carrion crawler worshiped by some local cyclopsi. The group defeats this creature and comes closer to The tomb of Sartine.

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The Fall of House Ulvrain

The adventurers make for House Ulvrain to collect on their deal with the drow. Naturally, Matron Ulvrain welches on the bargain and orders her servants to attack. Sorinas attempts to banish her, but it turns out the matron was nothing but a priestess glamoured as Matron Ulvrain. The true matron attacks from the shadows.


The Temple of Lloth.

With their makeshift barricade about to fail, Trevok invokes an astral wall to hold off the reinforcements. With the matron defeated, the group takes a short rest while Trevok maintains his spell. The astral wall comes down and the reinforcements, including a yochlol demon are pressed on both sides, with Tallis taking up a flanking position. Soon after, all the drow are decimated. The remaining demon forces in the streets of the drow city begin to assault the temple where the adventurers rest once again. They break through the barricade but don’t initially have a quarrel with the group. One of the demons spies Nightbringer in the hands of Torrin. Nightbringer mocks the demons and forces Torrin to charge. The demons soon meet a fate similar to the drow.

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Zirithian

Torrin and Raef fall ill to the mummy rot disease. The adventurers head into the ziggurat to confront Zirithian. The planner gateway into the main chamber actually transports the group to Thanatos, Abyssal layer to Orcus. While passing through the veil, each party member is tested by Orcus. For some he asks them to beg for mercy, for others he offers them power in exchange for some service.

The group passes the tests to find themselves in Zirithian’s inner sanctum. There they battle boneclaws; Lord Dust, the lich; abyssal ghouls; vampire spawn; and Zirithian himself. After a long and brutal battle the adventurers achieve victory.


Boneclaw

As Zirithian falls, an image of Orcus’s eye and Claw appears. Orcus orders Tallis to bring him the sword. Tallis refuses and Orcus hits him with a death curse for his betrayal. Sorinas’s prayer saves Tallis before the curse kills him. Torrin and Sorinas race for the sword, Nightbringer. Sorinas grasps it and plunges it into the Eye of Orcus. With a defiant scream the images disappear and the group is left with their spoils.

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