The Barrier

Session 6
The Kenku Fortress

The party stands before the dark kenku fortress, which is topped by precarious balconies and pointed towers and draped with shiny baubles. It looks like whole sections of the fortress might collapse at any moment. Based on the rubble in the ravine and the jagged foundation upon which the fortress is built, it looks like there have been many collapses in the past.

The party watches as caravan member NormiK is led willingly into the kenku fortress, presumably because he saw his father in the strange group of rock-hauling servants that included a nine-foot man and a troglodyte.

The group of kenku Guards communicating in mimicked voices with the party have accepted the gift of northern jewelry provided by Aris and agree to let the caravan pass by. They are, however, very interested in the PCs, and especially in the oxen pulling the carts. Devlamin asks them about their fortress and whether he can have a tour. They seem eager to show off their home and lead Devlamin and Tanis inside. The inside is a twisted maze of jagged, unlevel corridors. Their guide leads them toward the upper balconies, but on the way they pass through a large workroom where non-kenku servants are cutting and hauling stones. NormiK is there, talking to the old, emaciated man he thought was his father. While in the room, Devlamin feels a twinge of positive feeling for the kenku, but it passes, and he notices one of them waving his hands in a strange pattern. Devlamin tells the kenku guard that they are worried about it getting late and must leave, and Tanis leads the way out because what appears to be a jumble of rubble and scrap along all the corridors contains secret direction information in a language similar to thieves’ cant. Tanis also pilfers a nice gold chain he saw on his way in.

Meanwhile, Baltus and Aris’s guards are trying to keep the curious kenkus back from the oxen and all the valuables in the carts. They want to trade something for an oxen, but can only offer information or servants. When Devlamin and Tanis return and tell their story, Baltus offers to trade Wenda’s ox for Normik and his father, offering the PCs two horses to pull Wenda’s cart instead. Wenda likes Normic and agrees. Devlamin tinkers together a small, firebreathing windup toy to trade for leather harneses that kenku make for the horses. The kenkus make good on their exchanges and the party moves on. Normik is happy to have found his father, yet still speaks very well of his new kenku friends. His father also seems content, but is quiet and somber. When asked about how he got there, he speaks of a battle with the undead of an ancients city, but then admits it may have just been a dream.

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Session 5

The party decides they can’t wait until morning to try to rescue Wenda form the troglodytes. They enter the cave where she was taken, led by Normik, who is desperate to recue her, and accompanied by Goodwin and Mott.
The light from Baltus’s holy book and the glow from firebeetle spatters on Devlamin push back the darkness in the cave passage, which opens into a large chamber guarded by two troglodytes and a giant lizard. Baltus hears chanting coming from another passage off of the cavern, and soon everyone can hear it. The troglodytes attack, immediately incapacitating Normik. The stench of the troglodytes is unbearable, and during the fight, Tanis gets too close to one and is sickened, but still makes an impressive show in in the fight with his bow. Baltus manages to stabilize Normik. The enemies fall and the party rushes to the source of the chanting, another chamber, where Wenda is being held down by a troglodyte while a squat, heavy troglodyte chants in Abyssal over her. Just as the party kills the trog holding her down, the ritual completes and two bloated, rotting humanoids emerge up through the stone floor and grab Wenda. They begin to drag her down into the floor and nearly succeed before they are both wounded enough to burst them open.
Still covered in the demon’s rotting entrails, the party heads back to the first chamber, where they make quick work of an armored trog with a magic dagger. Mott and Goodwin take Normik and Wenda outside. Devlamin, Baltus and Tanis head up a flight of stairs to a third chamber where two troglodytes guard a chest. Again, the troglodytes lack of armor and Devlamin’s sturdy armor make it a pretty one-sided fight. The chest contains 80 gold coins, 400 silver, and three gems that baltus estimates are worth about 20g each.
Once back outside with the caravan, everyone rests for the night. The caravan continues along the cliffside road, which curves around a mountain with a demon head carved on one side and a stone fortress on the other. The balconies of the fortresses contain human-sized creatures jumping around. Stone bridges extend across the chasm surrounding the fortress and join the road the caravan is on. A party of five of the hopping creatures emerges from the fortress and heads for the road. From his days on the mean streets of the north, Tanis recognizes them as Kenku – birdlike creatures capable of mimicking just about any sound or voice and prone to petty crime. It’s strange to see a large, organized group of them together. The party walks ahead of the caravan to meet the creatures at the road, but they stay back on the bridge, their bows ready. Baltus begins a conversation with them, in reply they mimic his own voice to ask for compensation to let the caravan pass. Baltus returns to the merchant. Aris, who offers a few pieces of Northmen jewelry he was hoping to sell in the south. The Kenku appear satisfied with this offering and not eager for a fight.
Meanwhile, a second group of kenku appears on the other bridge across the chasm. Then a third group appears up ahead of the caravan, where the road curved out of sight. This group is made up of two kenkus directing five or six half-dead humans hauling carts or carrying stones. The group moves closer and turns onto the second stone bridge across the chasm to the fortress. Normik yells out “Father!” and runs toward the second bridge, but by the time he gets there, the kenkus from the fortess have passed the rock-hauling group as they head in.

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Session 4

Tanner’s halfling rogue, on the run from authorities in the north, had been following the caravan for days and finally caught up to them as the flying magma creatures attacked. He climbed atop on of the carts and used his bow to help slay one of the creatures.

As the caravan moved through dry, rugged terrain, Devlamin noticed remains of small creature scattered around, and small mounds on the ground. He called for the caravan to stop. Fire beetles emerged from the mounds and attacked. Some headed for the caravan, but Devlemin faced most on his own. Batlike pteronodons swooped down from the cliffs above, but Tanner’s rogue could tell they were interested in the beetles, not the travelers, and the did each grab a beetle in their talons and head back up to the cliffs to feed.

After crossing the area between the pteronodon cliffs, the olde, overgrown road passed through a narrow gap in the cliffs, into an area that appeared more dim a colorless. While scouting ahead, Devlemin noticed a nundead-looking creature lurking in the pass that looked a lot like the new caravan member, Tanner’s rogue.

The caravan made it through the pass, into a depressing, grey land which Baltus suspected was a crossover from the plane called the Shadowfell. They followed a twisting road with cliffs on one side and a steep dropoff on the other, watched over by a large, stone head of a lizard-faced god or king.

The caravan was attacked from behind by five or six reptilian humanoids who grabbed Wenda and Janus from the last cart. Quick response from the travelers felled two of the creatures and saved Janus, but Wenda was dragged away into their dark cave, hidden in the roadside cliff.

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Session 3
End of Day 2

Plantlike blights attack the caravan. A blight launches needles at Balthus, but it hits Janus instead. Balthus nearly kills the needle blight before it wounds him so bad he falls unconscious between the carts. Devlamin is scouting up ahead and takes down two twig blights on his own before returning to finish the wounded needle blight. Wenda is hit by a needle blight before one of the guards destroys it, and one of Aris’s guards is killed in the fight.

The caravan decides to load up the dead guard’s body and move on from that spot. Devlamin still can’t locate the road, so he leads the caravan into an area of dry, cracked terrain, with lava showing up through some of the cracks.

While scouting out ahead in a small, rocky canyon, Devlamin sees a creature watching him that appears to be an walking dead version of himself. He calls Balthus up to take a look, but the creature had ducked behind a rock and disappeared.

The caravan makes it about 10 miles and camps on the dry, cracked terrain. Balthus, Devlamin, Mott and Goodwin carry the dead guard a couple hundred feet from camp to an open pool of lava and slide him in. While heading back to the camp, they are attacked by two flying creatures made of magma that breath fire. They also see that a fire creature of some sort has risen out of the caravan’s small campfire and is causing havoc in the camp. The destroy the magma ceatures, but not before Balthus is once again dying. He is only saved by the first aid skills of Mott, the strange companion of Queen Hyretta’s son, Goodwin.

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Session 2
Pressing Onward

Dec 5, 2015

Caravan Day 1-2

Merchant Aris convinces most of the caravan to leave the dead humans and runehound bodies behind and press on. Devlamin and Baltus stay behind to burn all the bodies (because they are worried about stories of undead in the barrier lands). Hyretta’s son Goodwin and his friend stay to help. They all catch up to the caravan on horses.

Justin has a long chat with Janus about undead in the barrier lands, initiated by Janus.

Aris pushes the caravan to go farther, and Devlamin manages to keep them all on the overgrown road, so they make it 20 miles. They camp and roast meat from one of the horses killed by the runehounds.

The next morning, Lucinous and Zafirah join the caravan. One of Aris’s guards (Plarra) seems to take a disliking to the tiefling.

The caravan sets out again, and dispite Devlamin scouting ahead, they loose the road and end up crossing rough terrain. A few hours into the trip, they find themselves surrounded by bushes that are uprooting themselves and twisting into small humanoid shapes.

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Session 1
Entering the Barrier

Nov 6, 2015

Caravan Day 1

Baltus and Devlamin meet up with Caravan outside of the walls of the town of Sorrowmoor.

Devlamin tries to sign on as guard for Aris the merchant, but he’s not impressed.

A few miles into the Barrier, the caravan is attacked by two northern Sental warriors on Runehounds. They go after Gretta and manage to kill one of her young companions and wound the other two, one of which is her son, Goodwin. Devlamin and Baltus help slay the attackers while the merchant’s guards do nothing. Gretta turns out to be Hyretta, the deposed queen of Sentallia. She gives them each 50g and promises 250g more if they make sure she gets safely across the barrier.

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