With Mike and Steve both in town, we decided to sling some impromptu dice on Monday night. Present, on short notice, were Connor (Abraxas), Mike (Akkamas), Steve (Braxton), Rodney (Kelwyn), Shaun (Tim), and myself.
This worked out pretty well, because the party was already split. At the end of the “Slim Pickings” session, Abraxas and Kelwyn found their way back to the group just as Braxton and Akkamas were investigating the obelisk in the chamber north of the radiant pool.
We began the session with Braxton confronting a halfling, found cowering behind the obelisk. Frantic and stuttering, the halfling persuaded the party to return to the ruins of the Tower of the Sacred Flame, as he was late for a very important meeting there. He also impressed upon them that they were in grave danger from the master of the dungeon they were in.
Charging Jone, Toman, and Ziyal to keep a close watch on the Wizard’s Lair, the rest returned with the halfling to their base camp, where the elven rogue Tim stood sentry atop the ruined tower. Velios was scouting the outlying area.
Pressing the halfling to answer their questions as to who he was supposed to meet and why, the party was interrupted when the halfling’s master arrived.
Descending out of the clouds, a magnificent Blue Dragon perched itself atop a section of ruined wall, towering above our intrepid adventurers.
It seems the artifact that the party was trying to recover had been stolen from the dragon’s lair and the mighty beast wanted her most precious treasure returned to her. She revealed that inside the cask was one of the most dangerous artifacts in the multiverse — the Hand of Vecna.
She charged the party to aid her in this quest, to bring the artifact back to her where it would be safe, offering each member of the party a pick of any treasure in her horde in exchange.
Abraxas, sensing the dragon’s alignment to be in synch with his own, readily agreed, using charm and flattery to gain favor with the creature.
They learned that the halfling had been pressed into service after a misunderstanding regarding a “souvenir” the halfling had taken from his visit to the dragon’s lair.
The halfling, as the dragon’s emissary, had a pouch filled with magic rings, one each to be presented to the party as symbols of their agreement to pursue the artifact on the dragon’s behalf. The dragon departed and three members of the party donned the rings: Abraxas, Braxton, and Kelwyn.
The rings each caused the wearer to become vulnerable to lightning damage, but also granted a +1 to their Armor Class. Each ring also possessed an additional, unique magic. Abraxas’ ring was imbued with Water Walking, Braxton’s had Locate Object, and Kelwyn’s ring granted Telepathy. An identify spell revealed that the ring Tim held (but refused to wear) offered a +1 to Wisdom. They also discovered the rings could not be removed and became invisible once on their finger.
The adventurers agreed to pursue the artifact by returning to the Wizard’s Lair. The halfling knew a secret way into the “dungeon”, through a backdoor entrance hidden within the Tower ruin. The party learned the halfling’s name was Wilbough Waggons of the Lostonshire Waggonses.
The party made their way into the Long Dark, a narrow tunnel some 500 yards that opened into a seemingly empty ritual chamber. The party was soon attacked by animated suits of ancient armor, decorated with symbols of the God-Lich Vecna.
Narrowly escaping, thanks to the heroics of Akkamas and Braxton, as well as Wilbough‘s timely picking of the lock in a door to the south, the group entered the chamber where Abraxas and Kelwyn had met “Slim”.
They barred the door while Tim climbed down into the 75 foot pit to find the artifact cask that “Slim” had kicked down into the muck. Retrieving the item, Braxton and Kelwyn lowed a rope and Tim returned topside, producing the cask. Kelwyn then opened the box discovering the hand was missing.
Tim took the box and searched it more thoroughly, discovering a map hidden inside. The map detailed a maze-like complex with Crescentian writing. Braxton cast identify and learned the map served as a one-way teleportation spell to the location depicted on the map.
Tim climbed back into the pit and searched through the muck but the hand was nowhere to be found. The elf did, however, uncover a magical sword that, once he climbed back out of the pit, he used to threaten Wilbough, demanding to know where they could find “Slim” — a man the halfling revealed to be Damian Hartfang, criminal kingpin of a band of rogues known as the Green Flame.
Wilbough led the party back to the radiant pool chamber and to a door in the north wall. After navigating a trap filled corridor, the party waited as Braxton pressed ahead, entering a room where Elspeth, whom he and Akkamas had “worked” for back in Daggervale, and several of her men-at-arms were reveling.
After threats were issued, Damian Hartfang appeared from a back room and the party fled, rejoining their companions, Ziyal, Jone, and Toman, outside the Lair.