We managed to once again rally the troops and pull together a full D&D session on the 6th. Last time we played, we ventured into the Underdark, one of the most dangerous places in all of Faerun. This session we ended up in Myth Drannor, perhaps THE most lethal place in Faerun, period. Well, it seems that way, anyhow...
The party is resting up back in Relkath's Foot when trouble once again is heaped upon us via Nikola and his murderous ways. Before we go there, however, there is first some information to disseminate. Garrity's parents (and Nikola's adoptive parents) had shared the news that Nikola's birth father was indeed dead, and that his sword - The Red Sword - was likely now in the hands of T'See Larak, the weaponsmaster of House Larak. Furthermore, the Red Sword is attuned to Nikola, and T'See wishes to change that. How? Funny you should ask. First, the drow assassin wishes to kill Nikola, and break the attunement the old-fashioned way. Second, it is rumored that T'See is heading to Myth Drannor, where another rumor is going around that there may be some ancient source of magic that allows attuned items to be re-attuned. Swell.
Before we can decide our next move, it is forced upon us by Nikola. We wake up with a dead Relkath's Foot guard in our quarters, and Nik seems to be the killer - although he has no memory of anything prior to falling asleep that night. The funny thing is, that this has happened once before to Nikola in Mithril Hall (yes, THAT Mithril Hall). Dead dwarf guard, bloody Nikola, hasty exit, etc. This time around, we have the power to fix the problem at hand, thanks to Posht's ability to cast raise dead. Long story short, we try to do some 'splainin, piss off the locals, and are quickly shown the exit (Menhir Ring, of course) by Garrity's father before all hell breaks loose. More on this mess later.
We portal out and head to a podunk fishing village, with the aim of hiring a boat to take us to Cormyr. We secure passage and set sail. As luck or fate would have it, we are sharing the trip with a couple of Zhents. Are they truly average Zhents on a trading mission to Aglarond, or are they Zhentarim? I'm sure that our DM just gets a kick out of watching us decide what to do. While we are dealing with the Zhents and attempting to scry on a certain drow assassin/weaponsmaster, we have yet another run-in (or should I say fly-in?) with our bestest enemies, the Thayans. Walked into that one, we did.
Leaving the cover of the Yuirwood, we no doubt popped back onto the Red's radar like the Spruce Goose buzzing the tower at Miramar. One fine evening, our ship comes under attack from above: a griffon-mounted Red Wizard comes alongside the ship, exchanges pleasantries with one of the Zhents, and then proceeds to launch fireballs into the ship from high above us.
While we run around on deck, trying to keep the crew alive and the ship more or less intact, Posht breaks out his Ebon Fly and takes a Zhent with him to engage the Thayan. The Thayan blasts away at his new targets, scorching the dwarf a bit, and doing enough damage to the fly to cause it to revert back to statuette form. The Zhent appears to off the Thayan before he and the dwarf plunge into the waters from several hundred feet up. This is fatal for the Zhent, and very painful for Posht.
Palau swims out to help the soggy dwarf (and relieve the Zhent of a few valuables). The Zhent, sadly, is lost at sea. Hmmm. With the soggy dwarf and halfling back on board, we do what we can to help the crew put the ship back into sailing shape and continue on. I should note that Posht used a make whole on the ship's severely damaged main mast the following day that made it possible for us to continue on at regular speed. We reach land and continue our journey to Suzail on foot.
Once in the royal capital of Cormyr, we consult with the War Wizards. They direct us to some learned colleagues who can help with these types of private endeavours (show them the money!). The wizard who is helping us with our search for T'See discovers that his scrying has been detected, and even worse, he thinks the target knows who is looking at him! He is more than happy to teleport us close to our quarry, if only to throw some bodies in between him and the drow. Normally, this would have been perfect for us. But we usually don't appear in the middle of a hill giant raiding party...
The giants are a tough lot, but we are even tougher. We are fine, except that a lot of Posht's healing has been expended. Pressing on, we aren't able to catch up with the drow, but we do reach the fabled city/ruins of Myth Drannor. We are pleased to discover that there is a large friendly presence here who are in the middle of a grand operation. They wish to reclaim Myth Drannor! Block by block, building by building, large bands of scouts, soldiers, spellcasters, and experts are clearing and cataloging the ancient city. We join up with them and enter the city, both to see what we can see and also try to catch T'See and his minions.
During one of our sweeps, Palau finds an old sealed hidden door. The reason why it was both hidden and sealed is quickly discovered: a pair of hezrou (or Type II, if you prefer) demons have been banished to this room for hundreds (if not thousands) of years! Their stench causes all sorts of problems for our heroes, and all the barfing and dry heaving that followed would have been comical if only the demons weren't trying to tear everyone apart. We FINALLY kill one, and some help arrives to rid us of the other one.
Searching the room, we find a pile of old silver pieces and a bastard sword. The sword turns out to be magic. VERY magic. Magic, as in the +4 Holy Chaotic Bane variety! These details are not lost on Callum. Callum is our paladin, by the way. Remember in Conan the Barbarian, when Conan finds that sword in the tomb?
(photo used without permission of conancompletist.com)
That's pretty much how Callum looked when he picked up his new sword. And it was soon put to good use! On another foray into the city, we finally meet up with T'See and his pals. They spring an ambush on us, sneak attacking Nikola and nearly killing him. In the ensuing clusterfuck, we come face to face with a monstrous retriever. This is actually good news for Callum, since the paladin's new sword is able to unleash its full potential on this evil, chaotic outsider. His +4 bastard sword is now +6, and does bonus damage against evil and chaotic outsiders. Booyah!
We kill the demonic spider, round up Nikola (who had r-u-n-n o-f-t with some elves) but lose track of T'See. We head back to the expedition's fortified base and contemplate our next move. Remember how our story began? Murder, Nikola, Relkath's Foot? Esteyr (Garrity's father) shows up and has some interesting news, to say the least. Turns out the dead guard we raised was a Thayan agent! So we are exonerated of that crime, and perhaps not outlawed from the haven of Relkath's Foot after all. But was still don't know how Nikola is being compelled to become a sleepwalking spykiller. Is it the Red Sword, reaching out to its human companion, guiding his sleeping hand? Is it the mind flayers who probed his gray matter when he was captive? The Thayans? Too many scenarios, in any event. At least for now.
So it was another fun and exciting session. We drank many quality beers (as always, thanks Steve, aka The Beer Meister), watched the Sounders slay Kansas City in the dying minutes of the match (Sounders 'til I die!), and best of all, a group of friends got to hang out with each other for a solid 15 or so hours of gaming and companionship. You guys have been, and always will be, my friends. Come on, Matt, you know you want to say it! 'uman (and look over the top of your reading glasses for good measure).