After what has felt like years, though has really only been a few weeks, our adventurers have finally returned to the city of Riven. After saying their goodbyes to Thorstag and the crew of the Iron Cask, they make their way to The Guild Hall to meet with the Guild Masters to debrief them on the situation with Grimfang and The Spear, as well as see what they have learned about The Axe. The party, including Tempest, are given one last chance to turn away before entering a one way door into a saga that will change the course of their lives, and perhaps all of Erylia.
As the party tries to sleep, it becomes clear to them that Ariel’s attempt to cleanse The Spear has not worked. After Thorstag and the crew are woken up by the commotion, he levels with them that they need to talk to the crew about what is going on. The party meets with members of the crew to make it clear that the issues that have been happening since they boarded will leave with the party once they land in Riven later that day.
As our adventurers draw closer to Riven and The Guild Hall, members of the group start to think about the future of the party. With Rem staying in the cabin to keep Ariel company, she takes advantage of the private time with him to try and figure out his intentions with group and if he will stay with her after this mission is over. Meanwhile, Kenina seeks out Temptest to more directly ask her to join the guild and to continue on wherever their adventures take them.
With Ariel choosing to stay locked in their room aboard The Iron Cask, the rest of the party take turns spending the day with her while the others explore the ship. Rem breaks out his new fishing gear and Tempest has a chat with Thorstag, revealing that she used to be a part of a sailing crew. Meanwhile, Kenina and Ariel get back to their work outs and teach each other how to play some games from their childhoods. Ziggle brings the entire party a choice piece of the salmon that Rem had caught before they turn in for the night. Though the ride is smooth, some ones dream leaves them shaken.
The whole party is shaken after Ariel was attacked by the shade in her sleep. Realizing that a new threat seems to be after them and the ship is not as safe as they expected it to be, they chose to set up watches for the rest of the journey. Ariel calls every for a meeting and tells them that she thinks it is best if she stays in the room with The Spear in case something happens again. Kenina takes this opportunity to tell the party about her recent dream about Doitean and prods the rest of the party to share any strange dreams that they may be having.
After playing some of the games outside, the party makes their way back into the Port Norsal arena to see what has been set up now that the main event is over. They find an archery range, melee ring, a strange mechanical creature people are trying to ride, and a mysterious tent in the colors of the Midnight Carnival. Tempest and Kenina are most excited head over to the mechanical creature to try their luck and endurance with it, though they convince Ariel to give it a try too. Afterwards, everyone goes to see what the mysterious tent is all about and learn it is a fortune teller. They sit through a couple rituals before making their ways back to get food and head to their room, while Rem goes to check on the status of his armor.
The party remembers they had one last thing to do in Port Norsal before they were distracted by The Midnight Carnival. On the morning of their planned departure, they head over to City Hall to meet with someone from one of the leading families and let them know what had happened with Grimfang. Once that info has been passed along, they head back to The Iron Cask to set sail to return to Riven. Though the ride of the ship is comforting, someone’s new demons make it clear they are not done yet…
Having secured a way home, the party has the rest of the day to explore more of The Midnight Carnival. Tempest is the first to find some games to play, but is quick to try to get the other to play. Meanwhile, Rem takes some time to go through his new gift from Ariel. As everyone gets back together they decide to see what has set up inside of the arena now that the main event has passed.
Feeling unimpressed and put off by the main event of the Midnight Carnival, the party spends some time seeing what else the faire has to offer before turning in for the night. After waking up the next day, they decided to go their own ways to take care of some business before leaving the city. Rem visits an armor smith, Kenina visits the Farren Travel Company, and Ariel and Tempest find a ship named The Iron Cask, before Ariel goes off to find a bait and tackle shop.
Upon reaching the city of Port Norsal, the party is stopped at the gates and informed that inns in the city are quite full, on account of The Midnight Carnival being in town. They are told that if they wish to stay in the city square, that their main options were going to be higher end rooms at some inns right next to the arena, or they could look deeper in the city if they were looking to save some coin. Wanting to treat themselves, the party decided to stay at the VIP Suite of the Farren’s Favour.
They got to experience some of the highlights of being an adventurer during their stay and also chose to see what the Midnight Carnival was all about. They were met with hundreds of stalls selling goods of all sorts, including a few things special to the event. While wandering around, they also ran into Eldeth once again who loaded them up with her Dwarven bread. The show itself was quite a spectacle, ran by a mysterious man named Amandan, The Ringmaster. Though things took turn in the end that left the party unsure of what this carnival is all about…
As the party makes their way along the Norgeld Road back to Port Norsal, a strange person approaches them from the forest. Darodem greats them as a protector along these roads who has started to take watch over the area again now that the gnolls are taken care of. While they offer to keep the party safe as they camp for the night, they can do nothing for what is inside these adventurers’ minds.
Having defeated the gnoll leader, Grimfang, the party and the dwarven Blackguard make their way out of the forest. Ariel has chosen to safeguard the spear the he wielded personally. As everyone sets up camp to rest before returning to the village of Starren, Adriel makes her way around the group, sharing some of her dwarden, and congratulating everyone on a job well done.
After returning to the village, the part meets up with Ulyean, the captain of the Blackguard, to discuss the events that had transpired, as well as divide up their spoils. He also gives the party two letters. One that essentially buys them the horse and cart from the travel company that they had been renting, and one that tells the Guild Masters in Riven about what the party has done in the region.
Their day ends with the party having a small celebration at Lift’s Rest, the local tavern, though each celebrates in their own way, and not all of them seem cheerful.
Our group of adventurers, along with their small contingency of Dwarven Blackguard, have made it to the edge of the forest, near where they had entered previously in the search for Grimfang. They awake on a hazy day and prepare themselves for the trek and battle ahead. Though they run into little trouble along the way, they reach the camp and hear the sounds of gnolls milling about. A quick scout from the top of tree reveals Grimfang himself for the first time, a gnoll larger than any others with a skeletal visage, wielding a weapon none have seen before. After some brief planning for how to attack the camp, action starts.
Our adventures sit down at Lifts Rest, once again, to discuss the Blackguard’s proposal. Rem has already received payment for the information they were able to bring, but they need to decide if they will involve themselves further in eliminating Grimfang.
Having decided to finish the job, Rem informs Ulyean that they will prepare to help the Blackguard kill Grimfang. They set off the next day, accompanied by 5 members of the dwarven elite guards. After a hard day’s ride, they near the point they will enter the forest from one last time. It is at this time, that they hear a gasping snarl come from the woods.
Our adventurers take a night to rest after their encounters throughout the forest. During the night, they receive an interesting gift from an unexpected visitor. Ultimately, though they wish to return it, they decide it would take far too much time given their current plans and they make their way back to the village of Starren.
While in Starren, they have another less than pleasant encounter with the Travel Company. Meanwhile, Rem seeks an audience with Ulyean Blackguard, who makes him a proposal to bring back to the group.
Knowing the location of what they believe to be Grimfang's camp, the group makes their way back through the woods, heading for the road. They divert from their plans as the smell of smoke leads them to believe there may be a fire within the forest and feel an obligation to investigate.
Having finally located the camp that they believe is home to Grimfang, our party prepares themselves to make their way out of the forest to inform the Black Guard. Their plans, however, are interrupted as they have lingered too close to the gnoll encampment for too long, and danger lurks in the wood.
Tempest and Kenina make their way back to Barrowbeard’s clearing to share the news of what they have discovered. After a somewhat uneasy sleep under the watch of the awakened tree, they make their way deeper into the forest, following the markers that had been left behind. It is clear that the gnolls have been hunting out in the area they made it to. After some more exploring, Rem decides to climb a tree to see if he can tell where the camp is from a higher vantage point.
Realizing that it is getting late, instead of leaving Barrowbeard’s clearing, the group discusses staying their for the night in relative safety. Though the decision to stay is made, there is still some time before it gets dark. While half of the party stays behind to set up camp, the other half continues their search into the forest, hoping to find a path to follow in the coming morning. In camp, they discuss what should happen in the event of an ambush, while on the trail, they find exactly what they were after.
Night comes to a close with a fresh kill, leading to breakfast. After another half day's travel, our adventurers say their goodbyes to Eldith and send her on her way, protected and invisible. They back track to an area that feels promising for tracking down the gnolls. Though it is getting late, they decide to set off into the forest. Though not all in the forest is as it seems.
Skill Check Disclaimer – I have already modified the rules on helping another player. This comes up in the next episode.
After a brief sit down after their run in with some crazed wolves, our adventurers continue on their journey to Port Norsal to get Eldith to safety. The day progresses and it seems that they may be dealing with inclement weather in the next day or so. However, the sun does begin to set and the group must find somewhere to rest for the night. Knowing they are getting close to where the gnolls have been active, they chose to camp as far away as possible in their current location, along the shores of Lake Isylia.
As the party makes their way towards Port Norsal, having chosen to take Eldith along with them, they are stopped by the dwarven smith of the village of Starren. He offers them a masterwork quality sword that he has made as a side project for free under two conditions: they use it to kill Grimfang, and they spread the word about his work when they do. However, the party only intends to locate Grimfang, not kill him, so they turn him down.
On the road, Ariel and Eldith share stories of their people. Hoping to get some more information about dragon myths, Ariel instead, gets her first story about creatures from the Underdark. After steering the conversation towards dragons, she comes to learn little that she didn’t already know.
As the afternoon starts to turn to early evening, the group notices some wolves behaving erratic, who end up charging out into the road and attacking their horses.
This episode marks the return of the Erylian Epic campaign and it starts up right where the previous campaign left off.
Having finished their business with the dwarves in Starrengeld, the party makes their way back down the mountain to begin their next leg of the adventure. Currently, the plan is to investigate the location of Grimfang, and return that information to the village to handle the situation. However, waiting for them at the bottom of the lift is Lydia, the mayor, to complicate things.
After their first meeting with Lord Elngard, the group is put up in a luxurious inn in Starrengeld, The Locket and Key. To make the most of their chance to relax and decompress, the group decides to have a bit of a personal banquette and a spa night. During the time at the spa, the party discovers a little more mystery surrounding one of its members, which creates more questions than it answers.
The next day, the party meets once again with Lord Elngard for lunch in the Solarium of Starrengeld. He once again thanks them for what they have done, and he further rewards them by giving each of them an item he felt matched the personalities he had seen of them the day before. He also gives them a padded box with a cache of healing potions, hoping it will help them in their fight against Grimfang.
This was our first recording session after a long, nearly two month break that we took while Caitlin and Damian finished preparing for their wedding and got married. Things are a little crazier than normal because of how long it had been since we last played.
Our band of adventurers makes their way to the king’s pavilion in Starrengeld, looking to find an audience with Lord Elngard himself. After meeting with the king’s advisor, Yodrun, and giving him the note they got from Ulven in the Guild of Jewelers, he takes them back to meet with Elngard.
The party is met with a very old and seeming to be in failing health, dwarf. Elngard take the artifacts from Rem and Kenina and tells them of his daughter, Sylvehd. She had become smitten with one of the craftsmen. When Elngard tried to stop her from seeing a man beneath her status, she decided to run away from home and the city. Elngard had never seen her again, but the bracelet matched bracelets found in her lover’s place when she disappeared, and the painting in the locket was of Sylvehd. Elngard thanks them for the closure he has finally gotten and offers to put the whole party up in one of the most expensive inns in the city, with a generous tab.
The party takes a night to rest at the first inn in Starrengeld, Lift’s End. Kenina wakes up early and is shortly joined by Tempest outside of the inn to get some of their morning exercises done. After waking up, Rem is more interested in filling his belly than he is training with the girls outside and he waits for everyone else to join him. Ariel wakes up last and spend a few moments to write in her journal about the dream she had last night, where Nina had taken up the mantle of being Doitean’s Rider.
As everyone joins together again for breakfast, they try to come up with a plan for the day, to talk to a jeweler about the artifacts they had brought as well as visit the library to learn more information about the dragon problem back home. Thurin tells the party where the guild square is, where they will find the Jeweler’s Guild, as well as The Guild of Surveyors, which is the closest thing they have to a library. When they reach the guild square, the party decides to split up.
Rem and Kenina go to the Jeweler’s Guild, while Tempest follows Ariel to The Guild of Surveyors. Unfortunately, neither Tempest, nor Ariel, can read Dwarven, so while they are able to look through a few tomes, scrolls, and tablets, they aren’t able to read much of it. One of the books was clearly an anatomy of dragons of some sort, describing their various characteristics and what use some of the components of a dragon may be useful for. They also read through an illuminated scroll that tells of an old Dwarven legend, a battle between Dunatis, god of mountains and Fuar, a white dragon.
At the Jewelers Guild, Rem and Kenina get an audience with the grand master of the guild. However, the information they gain is not in the best light. As Kenina show’s Ulven the bracelet, the mood turns sour and he informs them that they should seek audience with the king immediately. He writes them a note that the party brings news of Bruhm and Sylvehd, before quickly asking them to leave and retiring.
Rem and Kenina rejoin with Ariel and Tempest, where Rem, who can actually read Dwarven, deciphers some of the text they had gotten. The most stand out thing that he finds is a stone tablet, engraved with ten names, each associated with a color, of which Doitean is associated with red. Since they needed to go seek their audience with the king, Ariel consigns the help of the guild to do some research for her since she cannot stay. This episode ends with the party approaching the king’s manor.
Our party of Adventurers travels along the lift system from the small village of Staren up to the entrance of the great dwarven city of Starengeld. During this journey, we take a moment to peer into the minds of the individual party members and see how they feel about their current quest.
As they arrive to the top of the lift system, they realize that they haven’t come across any living creatures the whole way, so far they have only seen golems. Slightly worried, they make their way down a tunnel and into the mountain. As they reach the end of the tunnel, they are relieved to hear the sounds of a city located within a massive cavern. As they had been told about in Staren, they find a small tavern called Lift’s End, where they stop to rest before heading into the city proper.
They eat their fill and have a few drinks at the tavern. They take the opportunity to learn a little bit more about both the city across the way, and about the legend of Grimfang the Gnoll. Thurin, the owner of Lift’s End takes a few of them out to see the city, located on a platform, held up by massive pillars in the middle of the open cavern. Here, they learn that the city of Starengeld has many tiers, with thousands of dwarves living and working below where they are staying.
As the night draws to a close, the party retires, and Ariel has a visit from Cossain, her Patron Angel. In this dream, Cossain gives Ariel some more reassurance on her path, but also shows her a vision of a potential future. A future in which Kenina wields Doitean’s Axe for evil, atop a massive red dragon.
The party enters the village of Starren and has some time to kill while they are waiting on the lift to come down and take them up into the city of Starrengeld. The have a run in with a member of the traveling company who they previously rented their now heavily damaged cart from. Hearing about what had happened to them Lydia, the mayor of the village, pulled them into the tavern for some drinks to tell them about Grimfang.
They learn that Grimfang is a large gnoll that may or may not be a myth, however, his band of gnolls that occasionally attack people on the road are very real. Unfortunately, the damage being done hasn’t been enough for Port Norsal’s leadership to get heavily involved, and dwarves do not have enough forces to wipe them out. Rem goes to talk to the leader of the village guard, the Black Guard, and is offered a nice sum of money if they can track down Grimfang’s camp and return with any useful information.
After sorting everything out in the village, the lift up to Starrengeld touches down and the party begins their slow climb up the mountain.
After defeating the rest of the gnolls, or so it seems, the party decides it was not a good idea to set up camp where they were. Kenina offers to power through the night while the rest of the group sleeps in the cart. Her time is uneventful, however Rem has another strange dream, continuing where the last left off, but now two large, strange figures stand above him arguing.
As morning comes, the group stops so they can eat and Rem and Kenina can trade places driving and sleeping. Ariel and Tempest go foraging and Tempest catches a rabbit, much to the disappointment of Ariel. After a brief conversation with a traveling ore trader, the group is off once more.
While Kenina sleeps in the cart, she also goes through another one of her dreams. This time, she is in her village, and the large red dragon she has been seeing in her dreams swoops down to offer her power, and encourage her to take the axe. She tries to chase the dragon down but cannot keep up, and finds herself in a forest that hadn’t existed.
In the early afternoon, the group reaches the village of Starren, where Lydia, the mayor, tells them they’ll have to talk about the gnoll encounter.
After getting to a safe spot by the lake, the group decides to set up camp for the night, planning to reach the village of Starren the following day. With Rem already passed out in the wagon, Kenina offers to take first watch while Ariel and Tempest share the tent. However, an hour or so into her watch, Kenina thinks she is starting to see shapes. After waking Ariel up, who can see in the dark with her the best, an arrow strikes into the center of their camp. They wake the rest of their companions to prepare for another fight.
They learn an important lesson while arguing over placement and tactics, as two gnolls rush over and under the cart, ambushing the group. Rem slams one into the ground as it leaps off the top of the cart at him, positioning it for him and Tempest to take it out. The other tries to dive under the cart to get Kenina as Ariel rushes around the cart to help her out. Kenina takes out the second gnoll with a different form of fire, lightning!
Our cart-bound band of adventurers continue their escape attempt as half a dozen gnolls are hot on their trail, and gaining on them. Things take a turn for the worse as Tempest, a Genasi who has spent the last few years on a boat, ends up in charge of driving the cart. The high speed chase comes to a sudden stop and the group must take the fight to the ground once again.
With a half dozen of gnolls charging out at them from the treeline, the party decides to hop back in their cart and spur the horses away. Unfortunately for the party, these gnolls have sighted them down as prey, and they are relentless. As they push the horses, sling spells, fire arrows, and even change drivers, the gnolls continue to bear down on them, closing the gap with each passing second. Will they be able to slay the gnolls before they catch up to the cart and overtake it? Will fighting upon a moving cart lead to their ruin?
The party enters the bustling port city of Norsal, having gained a new member, Tempest, from the crew of the Whispering Winds. Their first order of business is to secure some sort of travel to get from Port Norsal down to Starrengeld in the South West. After purchasing a cart and a couple of horses, which they have been told they can sell back for some of their money later, though Rem thinks they’ve been swindled, they make a quick stop at a general store. After loading up their new cart with supplies for the road, the head out of the city to begin their three day journey.
Day one goes by uneventful. They pass through many of the vineyards responsible for Port Norsal’s famous wines before making camp for the night.
However, things take a turn for the worse on day two. Rem and Kenina spot a commotion a few miles down the road, which has broken up by the time the party gets to it. Rem investigates and determines that gnolls were responsible. As he checks on the perimeter, gnolls armed with longbows fire upon him and the rest of the party from the trees. We end the session as 6 more gnolls come rushing out from the forest in pursuit of the party as their cart speeds away.
As the party approaches Port Norsal, after their now 6-day journey, the crew of the ship gets to do a bit of whale watching as Tempest spots a pod of orcas approaching from the distance. After hearing they are nearing their destination, Rem tries to get himself thrown off the boat. Meanwhile, Kenina trades some cooking techniques with Miri, offering to give her some spices and teach her how to use them, while being taught how to work with seafood.
During their last night on the boat, Rem has yet another nightmare. He sees himself back at the outpost he used to run, with all of his companions, including Nyxi, Kenina, Ariel, and Karemn. All of them, slain by the bandits who overtook the outpost. He jolts awake as their leader thrusts a longsword through his chest and tells him “Olsyr is mine, old man.” While he takes some time on deck to calm down, he and Tempest have a peaceful conversation about the journey behind and going forward.
As the group wakes up, on the 20th of Belenus, they all gather up their gear and get ready to make port. Kenina says her goodbyes to the dwarf who had been helping her and Rem fish and tries to learn a little bit more about the group’s current quest. She is joined by Ariel to go and try to convince Tempest to come along with them on their journey, where Ariel and Tempest learn that they actually grew up in the same monastery together.
The Whispering Winds finally reaches Port Norsal, and the party leaves the ship, being four members strong, once again.
The crew has to deal with the aftermath of Rem harpooning a giant seahorse and bringing it on board. Little did he, or the rest of the party know, these creatures are rarely seen by ships in the area. Though it was food for the ship, it comes with a bittersweet taste and a warning from The Whispering Winds’ boatswain. Rem feels little remorse while the rest of the party feels awful for what they have done. While he rides the high of his catch, Kenina tries to reach out and make amends with Tempest, while Ariel helps out the ship’s cooks prepare vegetables for the night meal.
During the meal, Rem works on serving the crew as much as they are willing to eat and excited talks about the thrill of the catch. Meanwhile Ariel and Kenina try to get through the meal without too much feeling, though Tempest had chosen not to eat. Before night sets over the ship, Rem runs into Gimble, a gnome from the guild who was on their previous adventure but had so far been hidden on the ship. He agrees not to give away Gimbles presence and eventually returns to his shared bunk room, where Ariel confronts him over his attitude.
Our adventurers continue their journey at sea. They’re all a bit curious about the oddly bluish-green human, Tempest, they’ve seen aboard the ship and attempt to get to know her better. Kenina and Ariel, in an attempt to be helpful around the ship, ask for Tempest’s help in learning to tie knots, often with little success. Rem, trying to be helpful in his own way, takes up fishing with some borrowed gear on the boat. During one of the days at sea, Kenina decides to join Rem and learn a bit about fishing as well. Unfortunately, things don’t go well for her and she loses a pole overboard, but makes up for it by offering to help with the meal for the night. While cooking she meets a brother and sister whose village was overran by bandits and would like the group to look into it in the future. However, during the next day of fishing, they catch something unexpected.
The group cycles through meeting Tempest, a water Genasi played by Caitlin. They tell her a little bit about the journey they are on, and so far, she seems to think things are nothing more than fish stories.
We also run into our first major retcon of the podcast. During the recordings I had given the journey a time frame of 12 days, but while figuring out the distances on my map, I realized it will be closer to 6 or 7 days.
The group meets up with the guild masters to inform them of their party member leaving, check up on their research, and get things set for them to leave. As they get ready to embark on the following day, Ariel finds herself with a strange vistor, while Kenina has a rough night of sleep. In the morning, Kenina discovers a wonderful beverage and they set off to find the Whispering Winds, the ship that the guild paid for their journey on. They familiarize themselves with a few members of the crew and try to stay out of the way until a tall tabaxi female takes the helm and the ship pulls away from Riven.
Our Erylian Epic campaign begins with the party having returned from their first big mission, to defeat a gathering of goblins and kobolds who had attacked the city of Riven. Rem decides to spend his time catching up on sleep and relaxation while the ladies decide to go out for drinks, performance, and general socializing. Little did he know, Rem would not be getting a good night’s rest as recent events have given him nightmares of the many others who have died around him in the past.
After waking, going through their morning routines, and bathing, complaints from Ariel have led the party to discovering she managed to catch fleas while in the goblin caves. With a few worlds and a wave of his hand, Rem makes short work of them, and everyone heads into the city to do some shopping and prepare for the next adventure before them. They stock up on some more portions, Ariel buys a staff and a new hooded cloak, and Kenina sells a spear to the local blacksmith – The Great Kobold Spear, Slayer of Men.
Upon returning to the Guild Hall, Kenina and Ariel meet with Mistress Gallanodel to help Ariel out with finding an arcane focus. Rem, anxious to get going, gets his bags packed right away, informs the record keeper that the party needs to meet with the guild leaders before they depart, and waits for the rest of the party to return. Nyxi heads up stairs to pack her things and write a short letter. With their individual business out of the way, the party meets up once again for their audience with the guild masters.
This episode introduces our upcoming campaign, the Erylian Epic. Like the Mieveht Story, there was an arc of the campaign that took place before we got our current audio set up and improved the quality of our audio. This episode will introduce you to the characters in the Erylian Epic, go over a brief play by play of the previous arcs events, and end with the nightwatch that we recorded after finishing the arc (with our new audio set up as well).