A 19th Level Storyline told by DM Big Rich
The story of Castle Adikos and The Apotheosis Stone ends and the Tomb of Annihilation begins.
THIS CAMP IS ON FIRE
Vrae’ree Everhurden, Arlan Strangeways, and Tessa teleported to Camp Vengeance from Castle Adikos. They immediately realized that the camp was in ruins, razed to the ground by explosions and fire. The only remaining structure was the Western Watchtower. High in the top of the tower, the two large bells sung to and fro, near silently. All around them, the remains of the camp continued to smolder, the embers glowing red in the light of the pale half-moon.
Vrae’Ree soon discovered his comrade, Adabon, buried within the rubble of the Eastern Tower. The Wood Elf was injured, his arm hurt badly, but he was alive. The Drow Evoker used Telekinesis to lift the huge wooden beam off of Adabon, allowing Tessa and Arlan to drag him to safety. Afterwards, Arlan helped to redirect the wooden beam to allow Vrae’Ree to set it down away from the ruins of the watchtower.
Although Adabon seemed rather tight-lipped, he did inform the three heroes that three others who were travelling with him were buried in the rubble: GrrrgRoot, a Wood Elf Chultan Guide hired to lead them from Port Nyanzaru to Camp Vengeance along the river; Tharivol, one of the Neverwinter Nine who had recently been working with the Order of the Gauntlet; and Emanuel Can, a rogue from the Order of the Gauntlet.
The three worked together to excavate the enormous pile of rubble while Adabon sat quietly, watching. It took nearly two and a half hours for the group to dig Tharivol out of the fallen watchtower. When they pulled him carefully to sit near Adabon, the two exchanged glances but said nothing. After another twenty minutes of searching, the three had to declare that Emanuel was lost. As Tessa, Vrae’ree Everhurden, and Arlan took a short rest from their hard work, they could not know that Emanuel had polymorphed into an ant. The trickster sat watching nearby on a chuck of rubble just watching the others through tiny ant eyes.
None of the adventurers seemed to be talkative. Arlan, Vrae’Ree, and Tessa didn’t ask the others what had brought them to Camp Vengeance, and Adabon and his companions didn’t offer any explanations. Maybe they were all just worn out and exhausted. Maybe they just didn’t care. But more than likely, assumptions were made and that was the end of it.
A Z-REX, TWO BATIRI, AND A HOARD OF ZOMBIES … OH MY!
As the group rested, they started to hear strange sounds out in the jungle. At first they heard a large animal bellow. Some more time passed. A little later, they heard something moving in the high grasses to the North followed by loud munching. This got the best of the group and they decided to check things out. Arlan Strangeways, and Tessa followed GrrrgRoot towards the edge of the Western Trench. Adabon and Tharivol followed behind the Ranger, watching in silence. Emanuel remained in ant form, watching from his perch. GrrrgRoot walked to the edge of the trench, brandishing his polearm, and watched as a four foot tall Tyrannosaurus Rex lumbered out from the cover of the jungle to stand on the opposite side of the trench. It was obvious that the beast was undead, and it was munching on some sort of flesh, although the type of meat was unknown at this point. GrrrgRoot slashed the monster across it’s neck and torso, opening a massive wound and causing it to tumble into the trench when it was impaled on several of the pungi sticks.
At the same time, Vrae’ree Everhurden, High Mage of Neverwinter, decided to go explore the Western Tower … alone and invisible. The Dark Elf, cloaked by Greater Invisibility, discovered that the tower was inhabited by two young goblins who were having a lot of fun swinging on the belltower ropes like it was a see-saw. He noticed that the clappers on the bells had been removed and that was why they were not making noise. Vrae’Ree scared the goblins down to the second level, and took a look out around the area from the top of te tower. He noticed a large group of hundreds of humanoids, a wall of flesh, moving towards the camp. He then used Feather Fall to hop down to the ground, heading back towards his comrades.
Emanuel Can decided to focus on the land around him, using his Druidic powers to Commune With Nature. He gathered a lot of vague information about the area of the Aldani Basin but the foremost threatening at this point was the presence of a large hoard approximately 600 zombies approaching the camp from the South, West, and North. The only direction they were not coming from was that of the East, towards the river.
They decided to hunker down and defend the camp rather than running away. The group took their places in the Western tower, shooing away the two goblins who were still hiding in the tower. They watched the goblins run away towards the river, then turn to run along its banks to the South.
The heroes started to plink away at the approaching zombie horde. GrrrgRoot used his magic to make the jungle plants overgrow and become hard to move through impeding the movement of the horde. After some time, a single zombie made its way to the front of the horde. As they watched it, they saw that the zombie broke from the horde, dashing towards the camp. As the zombie fumbled through the difficult terrain of the overgrown plant life, it cursed angrily in Orcish.
Tessa took aim and shot at the zombie. The arrow hit solidly in the left shoulder. The zombie cried out in pain and went down. Then it started to shout in Common: “Adabon! Tharivol! GrrrgRoot!” It shouted as it struggled to stand up. “Don’t leave me to the zombies! Help me please!”
Confused, Vrae’Ree glanced at Adabon. The tight-lipped Elf shrugged. “He’s with us.”
Adabon finally explained to the rest of the group what had led him to Port Nyanzaru. At first, he simply travelled to Chult because he heard that Vrae’Ree was stirring up trouble with the Factions. He also wanted to check out the rumors of a “Dark Elf Savior” moving through Port Nyanzaru and healing the sick, lame, and dying.
After arriving in Nyanzaru, Adabon ended up travelling to Fort Beluarian, the central power of the Lord’s Alliance in Port Nyanzaru. There he met with Liara Portyr, ruler of the Fort garrisoned with Flaming Fist mercenaries from Baldur’s Gate. This is where he ended up meeting Tharivol, who had broken away from the soldiers at Camp Vengeance due to Commander Breakbone’s increasingly nature of madness. The two remained at the Fort for a few days, getting to understand some of the politics of Port Nyanzaru. It was a complicated political situation but one thing was obvious: The Merchant Princes ruled Nyanzaru.
Aldon was asked to travel to Camp Vengeance to check on its stability as a base camp for explorers on River Soshenstar. This expedition was funded by one of the Merchant Princes named Jobal. Adabon and Tharivol were asked by Liara to accompany Aldon to the camp. GrrrgRoot joined the party as a guide.
Aldon was being surrounded by zombies. but Adabon’s arrows put them down in group of seven or more at a time. Arlan devised a clever rescue plan using a combination of his Engineering and Pirate skills. Using a grappling hook and rope fired by Tessa’s bow, Arlan advised Aldon to tie the rope around his waist. That being done, Arlan swung off of the Watchtower, rappelling to the ground and using his weight to pull the Half-Orc representative across the ground towards the Watchtower. Aldon squealed in fear as he was pulled through the thick jungle plantlife, coming to a rest near the edge of the far side of the Western trench. He quickly untied the rope from his waist, and slid down on his backside into the trench.
THE STAR GODDESS
As the heroes managed to slow the oncoming zombie horde with various tactics, they became aware of an approaching airship. Although Emmanuel was convinced that the airship was dangerous, Vrae’Ree encouraged the rouge to hold off on attacking. Arlan used his goggles to observe the ship, realizing it was a Spelljamming vessel much like his own ship, The Lucille.
As the ship positioned itself over Camp Vengeance, they were brought aboard the Star Goddess, a ship hailing from Neverwinter. They discovered that the ship’s captain, Thasselandra Bravewing, was hired by King Neverember to come find the heroes. Although she was not specific, the crew of the Star Goddess used magic to locate and track the heroes. The crew included the following Halruaan Humans: Ra-Dar the Navigator, Master-At-Arms Faix Haranis, and three other crewmen named Brax,
Nhar, and Velio.
Thasselandra smiled at the party. “I heard you might need some help.”
Return to the TOMB OF ANNIHILATION page