ADVICE FROM AN OLD FARMER

Advice from An Old Farmer

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered… not yelled.
Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles.
When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life… Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
Don ‘t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t bothering you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a Rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..
Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
Don’t pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he’ll just kill you.
Most times, it just gets down to common sense.

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A HARPER’S STORY

Leilith del’Orn tells her tale to the heroes as they settle down for a rest.

“I am a Harper agent, working with the Emerald Enclave. About a month ago, you employer, Syndra Silvane, contacted my superiors in Silverymoon, seeking help in gathering information about a magical disease called “The Death Curse.” Our organization was already aware of the disease, but all we knew was that it was widespread and afflicted only those who had ever been magically returned from the dead. Our network of spies looked everywhere for information, finally finding it is the unlikeliest of places: Maccath The Crimson, a tiefling working with the Arcane Brotherhood. She told us to seek out a floating citadel called Castle Adikos. She explained that the answers lay within the castle.”

“I tell you this only because I feel that you all are trustworthy. I do not believe that this castle holds a device that can cure the Death Curse. My superiors believe that this castle is still inhabited by the Mad King, Pesheour, who is now a lich. We all know that the castle was a Vault, holding the most precious artifacts of all the gods. This is where magical items like The Eye of Vecna were stored before they were unleashed upon our world. But we believe that this Death Curse is being caused by a newly introduced artifact, possibly recently recovered from Castle Adikos.”

Pesheour and his faithful are undead creatures in service to the Raven Queen now. However, they are not evil. They simply follow the code of the goddess of death. The answers will not come easily, but if you can convince Pesheour to tell you what foul artifact has been causing the Death Curse, we will be one step closer to solving this mystery and saving those who we love.”

The druid nods that the door with the red glow behind it. “The answers lay behind that door.”

THE PESHEOUR CACHE

Once upon a time, the gods created a fabulous floating castle, built of gleaming marble and darkest obsidian. Here they housed their most powerful relics and artifacts hidden from the mortal world. To guard this precious warehouse, the gods chose a champion named Pesheour (PESH-ur) to protect the castle endlessly. He willing swore a pact with the gods: Neither he nor his descendants would ever remove the artifacts from the castle or reveal the nature of the secrets held within its walls to any other being or beast, lest a terrible curse befall his line forever.

The Pesheour family swore an oath to all the gods, but their patron was Tyr. As such, the paladins who came to protect the castle to uphold the law and punish lawbreakers. This made the betrayal of Garlond Pesheour even more severe. What few know is that had Garlond’s father chosen to hunt his son down and bring him to justice, the pact would have been restored. However, Garlond’s father (although mortally wounded) ordered the paladins not to punish his son, thus breaking the pact with the gods to protect the castle and its contents. From that day forward, the castle was renamed Castle Adikos, and became the domain of the gods of Death. The paladins were transformed into undead creatures, oathbreakers now bound forever to protect the castle from the living.

Among the items stored within the castle were the offerings made by the paladins to their patron god Tyr. Members of the church acted as lawyers and judges in law courts throughout the civilized lands – charging fees that they donated to the church. They lectured others on their lax observances of the law and reported those they found wanting to lawmakers, regardless of potential reprisals. Priests kept Books of Lawgiving to make detailed notes on such individuals and submitted reports on those whose punishments were commuted through genuine ignorance, just to make sure that they did not try to claim ignorance in the future. Though they tended toward mercy for many minor offenses, members would seek reprisal against serious criminals or repeat offenders. When offenders were hunted down and brought to justice, the paladins would return with treasure and magical devices to be added to the cache.

The cache found by our heroes during their search of the castle was such a collection, intended to be used to fight the wicked. Offered to Tyr as a sacrafice, the items have remained in the cache for centuries. The cache contains the following, split among chests, urns, coffers, crates, and loose mounds of coins.

  • 2,500,000 copper coins
  • 360,000 silver coins
  • 48,000 gold coins
  • 2500 platinum coins
  • A single sapphire the size of a fist worth 12000 gold
  • Dozens of gemstones worth a total of 48000 gold
  • A darkwood violin with silver strings and inlays of platinum and pearl
  • A petrified T-Rex skull carved with Druidic runes detailing three spells: dinosaur stampede, essence of the raptor, and hungry gizzard.
  • A set of seven paintings depicting seven unknown and forgotten gods. Each is signed by the renown bard and sage named  Tvash Prull. Each is valued at 5000 gold.
  • A tattered book called Winter’s Path detailing the virtues of a long forgotten monastic order. To the correct collector, the book is valued at 6000 gold.
  • A scandalous scarlet silk dress emblazoned with gold and silver thread woven into the symbol of Wee Jas. This exotic courtier’s outfit is worth 3500 gold to the proper buyer.
  • Fifteen different wizard’s spellbooks.
  • A cleverly constructed clockwork songbird crafted of mithral and redwood. It cannot fly, but hops around and plays two dozen different soothing songs.
  • A chain shirt +5
  • An adamantine Fire Resistant Breastplate +3
  • A light wooden shield +2
  • An adamantine Vorpal Greataxe +2
  • A Morningstar of Spell Storing +3
  • A rapier of puncturing
  • A Sun Blade
  • A Ring of Air Elemental Command
  • A Ring of Spell Storing
  • A Staff of the Woodlands (34 charges)
  • A Wand of Fireballs
  • A Wand of Lightning Bolts
  • Bracers of Armor +6
  • A Folding Boat
  • A strand of Prayer Beads
  • An Apparatus of Kwalish
  • A Staff of the Magi
  • A Staff of Thunder and Lightning
  • A wooden coffer containing three Talismans of Zagy

 

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UNDERDARK STONE

“The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.”

The Underdark is a cruel, strange, and mysterious place. Many parts of the Underdark of Faerûn are suffused with a magical radiation that the drow call faerzress. A remnant of the mighty forces that originally shaped the terrain of the Underdark, faerzress distorts and interferes with certain types of magic. It also changes things, mutating them into the odd and wonderous. Below are a few examples of materials within the Underdark that have been altered due to their fusion with faerzress.

 

 

SICKSTONE

Originally discovered by the ancient sage James Jacobs, sickstone is found deep within the tunnels and caverns of the Underdark. The radiation of the faerzress has permeated the stone itself, sickening it on a primeval level. Sickstone is found in large deposits and veins, easily identifiable by its glimmering silvery-green color. The illumination provided by sickstone radiates to a distance of 40 feet, and those within its glow feel a sense of dread and unease. If a living being remains within the glow of sickstone for more than one minute, saving throws are required. A living creature must succeed at Constitution Saving Throw (DC:13) or become affected by the Poisoned condition. A poisoned creature has disadvantage on Attack rolls and Ability Checks. Every hour that the creature remains within the illumination provided by sickstone after becoming Poisoned, the creature temporarily loses 1d2 Constitution points as its health, stamina, and vital force are sapped. Creatures that are immune to disease are immune to the debilitating effects of sickstone. Apart from its glow and sickening aura, sickstone should be treated as normal stone, with the exception that natural sunlight causes it to crumble to chalky, inert powder in a matter of seconds.

SOURSTONE

Sourstone is identified by its color and smell. A being coming into contact with sourstone will notice that it glows with a faintly lavender hue and smells of soured milk. It has a bitter taste and is unpleasant to consume. As with sickstone, the illumination of sourstone is debilitating. Remaining within 10 feet of sourstone’s glow causes a living creature to slowly become exhausted. After being within 10 feet of sourstone for a full hour living creatures must succeed at a Constitution Saving Throw (DC: 15) for become affected by the Exhaustion condition, level 1.  Every additional hour of exposure threatens to increase this condition to a deeper level, ending in death at level 6. Every hour after the creature becomes Exhausted due to sourstone, the creature must make another Constituion Saving Throw (DC:15) with a -1 to the roll. Each additional hour adds another -1. Failure adds another level of Exhaustion. The effect of this condition cannot be ended without leaving the area of sourstone.

Exhaustion Effects
Level Effect
1 Disadvantage on Ability Checks
2 Speed halved
3 Disadvantage on Attack rolls and saving throws
4 Hit point maximum halved
5 Speed reduced to 0
6 Death

UNDERDARK MAGIC ITEMS

DnD 5th Logo

“Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.”

The people of the Underdark are adept at crafting and magic so it is no wonder that they produce fabulous artifacts. Presented here is a sampling of several items that have been created by the various races of the Underdark. In most cases, time has shrouded the source of these items, but they remain useful and much sought after commodities nonetheless. Some are suffused with a magical radiation that the drow call faerzress, a remnant of the mighty forces that originally shaped the terrain of the Underdark.

Earth Glide Boots

These boots are made from the skins of three Xorn. Use Requires attunement. While wearing these boots, the user may burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone. While doing so, the wearer doesn’t disturb the material it moves through. The boots may be activated 1d4 times daily for 1d10 rounds at a time.

MIND PROTECTION CIRCLET

When worn, a circlet  grants a +4 bonus on all saving throws against a mind-affecting psychic damage attack. If the wearer of the circlet makes a saving throw against an attack, she can choose as a Reaction to absorb the portion of the effect that would have normally affected her mind, healing the psychic damage. Meaning, the user must have a Reaction to spend in order to get the boost in saving throws. Once a mind-affecting attack has been absorbed in this manner, it automatically protects the wearer from the next attack by ibcreasing the saving throw bonus by +1  each time the same attack is used against the wearer.  After protecting the wearer from such attacks 1d10 times, the circlet crumbles to dust. No attunement is needed.

Stonecunning Ring

This ring requires on attunement. The wearer gains the Stonecunning ability: Stonecunning: Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus. The wearer also always knows the direction of True North.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE, SESSION THREE

The playing characters began the session at Camp Vengeance where they assisted Order of the Gauntlet agents in fortifying the outpost by adding water basins filled with conjured fresh water, conjured food, and other needful resources summoned by spellcasters. The company (Arlan Strangeways, Vrea’ ree Everurden, Tessa, Loral, and Serva) was introduced to agents from Camp Vengeance including: Fee Fee the Half Elf, The Wizard Emanuel Can, Verner the Gnome, Laleth the Druid,  Killeli The Kobold, Edgar the Wild Mage and Augerbucket the Dwarf. The two groups talked about recent events surrounding the Death Curse.

 

Vrea’ree received a message from Syndra Silvane asking them not to continue the mission to Castle Adikos but instead to go into the jungles near the Aldania Basin (also known as The Swamp of Sorrows) in order to seek a lost city called Omu. There, she explained, they may be able to discover the source of the Death Curse. She stated that Wakanga would be instead mounting an expedition to Castle Adikos to seek out and recover any artifacts remaining within its ancient halls.

With this information in hand, Vree’ree was determined to return to the floating citadel. He discussed this course of action with his compatriots, convincing them that they should once again defy Syndra Silvane’s wishes and do the opposite of what she asked by returning to the castle. In turn, Verner convinced Commander Breakbone to send agents of the Order of the Gauntlet with the mercenaries to Castle Adikos. Within a short amount of time, the adventurers all teleported back to the floating castle.

The group appeared back at the gates of the castle, confronted by three death knights. These creatures of undeath were once paladins who swore oaths to protect the castle. Having failed their oaths in life, they are now sworn to fulfill the oath in the afterlife. Having battled one of their kind before, Arlan and Vree’ree explained that they could not be reasoned with and would have to be destroyed. Defeating them, Arlan explained, released them from their unholy oath and allowed them to rest in peace. And so combat ensued, until finally only one of them remained. The death knight dropped to one knee, preparing to unburden himself to the adventurer’s. Before he could finish his first sentence, Verner jumped forward and blasted the creäture in the face with a Thundermonger shell from his Artificer Thunder Cannon.

Having defeated the guardians of the Castle, the group made their way through the castle and returned to the marble and obsidian octagonal room. On the floor was etched (in gold) the Pescheour family crest, but this time it featured a silver sword and a kingfisher. From here they noticed that four very large doors stood along the room’s far wall, all made of some kind of dark, almost black wood and reinforced with iron studs. To the far right hand side of the room stood a staircase that led down several hundred feet to end at a landing in front of two large wrought-iron doors. Behind the doors gleamed a bright red light that filtered through the cracks in the doorway, spilling out along the floor like blood.

 

 

Augerbucket used her skill with lockpicking tools and trapfinding to check each of the doors. She was impressed by the size of each, but found none of the doors to be trapped in any way. However, the last of the four doors was locked with a strange push button combination numbered 1 through 6. Fee Fee, Verner, and Emanuel Can talked about how to solve the riddle while the others searched the other rooms.

The first room was the Pescheour family shrine to Tyr, the god of justice. It was a simple altar constructed of blocks of white marble and black obsidian placed at the far end of the room from the doorway. Nearby sat a wide brazier filled with dimly glowing embers; on the floor sat several bulging sacks of coal. The rest of the room was bare. Edgar refilled the brazier, filling the room with a soft glow, creating the effect of a Holy Aura. Meanwhile, Loral bowed down and prayed to Tyr for help and guidance.

Although the adventurers could not know it, this was the very shrine that the paladins swore their oaths to protect this castle and its contents. It was tended by Princess Jeschute, the only daughter of King Pescheour.

The second room was a furnished with a simple frame bed and mattress, a narrow wardrobe filled with plain robes and boots, and a wooden washstand with a clay basin and pitcher, topped by an unadorned glass mirror. A large wooden chest lay at the foot of the bed.

Again, the heroes could not know it but this was the Princess’s room. She lived alone attending to the shrine and recording information about the dogma of Tyr. The wooden chest, smashed into pieces by Fee Fee during the search, contained Jeschute’s books and scrolls written before the castle was cursed.

The third room required the party to solve a puzzle to open the lock. Edgar used his knowledge of Arcana to determine that the lock’s code was related to mathematical theory.  With some trial and error, the adventurers discovered that by pressing down the Prime number symbols 23it would unlock the door which revealed a cache of treasure.

Again, the explorers could not know this but it was a collection of the wealth and treasure belonging to the paladins who swore to protect the castle. Before they would make their oaths, they would place their worldly possessions within the room, becoming the property of the Order of Pescheour. The explorers poured through the collection, discussing what they might do with their newly discovered loot.

 

 

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