The "Yes" Group

A New Dawn

After felling the mindflayer our heroes return to Laddenstradda and Manor Rookthalian aboard their new prize, the Astral Sea Wolf. Lady Rookthalian greats them on the lawn to explain that Lord Rookthalian’s mind has been broken from so much time under the Illithid’s influence. Due to her daughter’s involvement in the siege, and the continued absence of her son, she has taken on the mantle of leadership for the House. She promises the creation of a city government to prevent such abuses of power in the future.

Unappeased the team returns to search the hold of their new ship. Several promising items and gems are found and distributed amongst the group. Finding the the Sea Wolf both a promising means of transport, and potentially very hospitable; the team pays their bill from the Slutty Hog, loads their goods and silk, and ascend into the sky. The team watches from on high as a fight breaks out at the city’s teleportation circle, unconcerned they set a course for unknown lands. A few minutes later they realize that their new home has neither food nor beds, nor map, and return to the city for the night.

Unbeknownst to the new aeronauts, they have strayed too close to the boarder mountains of the city, and threatened the airspace of a pair of winged manticore. Battle ensues. A skillful shot from Evaro rots one creature, leaving the bleached skeletal remains as prize. Seizing the opportunity the doctor frightens the mate away, by pointing how how quickly its partner was dispatched. Having survived their first airborne encounter, the team sleeps at ease. Manticore1.jpg

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The Rookthalian Seige
Here follows the fall of Lord (Endaro) Rookthalian and the

At dusk on the final day of mourning the sky is shattered by the explosion of several bombs around the city’s dwarven quarter. Our champions arrive at the Great Hall of the dwarf lords where they find only chaos and anger. A plan is crafted to use the city tunnels and sewer network to invade the Rookthalian Manor. Suddenly the doors of the great hall are flung wide, three creatures of shadow melt into existence.

Stone cold terror grips the heart of any who look into the eyes of these wraiths, who seem to rip the will away from all they touch. Our champions see the fight is lost and escape; determined to strike back at the Lord Endaro Rookthalian while his shadow spawn ransack the would-be dwarven rebels. Hurtling past all manor of defenses, the Yes Group find the Rookthalian Lord in his banquet hall. Though greatly diminished in number the band overcome the final lines of defense and bring Endaro to his knees.

Its host fallen, a tentacled humanoid departs through a portal hanging in the air, leaving the mind and body on the verge of death. Smelling treasure and glory the band press on through the portal, finding themselves on board a flying ship in the Astral Sea. The deck crew is overcome and the off-world beast vanishes, just after mentioning the famed Hearthstone. Moments later he captures the Doctor and appears on the verge of success. With a daring burst of hope, the ship’s master, an enslaved elven mage, plunges the ship towards a gargantuan body of water. The foul beast is knocked loose and drowns.

Our heroes find themselves alive, and in possession of a wondrous ship. Laddenstradda appears safe for the moment and our champions are much enriched by the treasures found in the hold of the ship.

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The Conspiracy Deepens...

After meeting w/ govt, no results, go to invited sweethammer house, tensions high bc redbeareds vs bluebeards, reds lost all their shit and are way
visited khali roomheim to negotiate sale of vol, tensions run high and dr’s attempts at diplomacy fail, the group does some snow and given by child, things get twirly
we wake up with money and no worm, go to the docks (Valdor), meanwhile evero tells us about meeting Elor’s mom, said to go to oracle in the woods, states L is alive and is working towards his fate, great evil threatens the world
and wolf atk down by the docks lightning atks from askyboat twenty feet above, kill the poison wolves and the skyship escapes, left with no answers still, but try to enlist help of dock workers

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A Changed City, A City in Mourning

Return to the graveyard, defeat skels zombs
vol senses water on the other side and bails, 100k dead in flood/fire
7 days of mourning, city vastly changed
Ali tries to buy vol, says he will die if he doesn’t leave new climate
we go to inn and think on the conspiracy, next day go to the docks and ask questions
Captain Timothy from Miranlok sailed her with 2 weeks notices, Sails under lord Rookthalian, and brings silk
Valdor goes to library to learn about Rooks (Lord Endero), we go to govt bldg after playing sweethammer card, and speak to dwarf council, who are reticient to speak about the events
party is left searching

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Saving Laddenstradda

When the party reaches the top of the Licee, they encounter dozens of high mages and professors formed in a circle, and Evero is able to tell they are channeling a powerful protection spell.

They are then approached by Archmage Velouria, who tells the party they are forming a protective magical barrier around the city to prevent the fires from spreading. She asks the group for help extinguishing the fires that surround the barrier, mostly in the poorer districts. They agree, and suggest that their prized arena worm Vol could breach the outer wall in order to flood the city- a scenario in which much of the city will be lost to water, but the remainder will be saved from uncontrollable fire.

They make for the arena and along the way meet a distraught dwarf woman whose house is ablaze with her children missing inside. Springing into action, the Yes group saves the two dwarf children with nary a scratch.

After trying their hand at being firefighters, they hurried to the arena where they were confronted by two ogre gladiators who had just escaped. Soon after, the party looked to the sky and saw Valdor approaching on his flying disk. He had been surveying the damage and could see the party was about to be in trouble. A fight then ensued in the arena courtyard and the party handily dispatched the ogres. However, during the course of the battle a statue of Lo-Kag was destroyed by one of the rampaging ogres.

The party then made their way into the arena and were able to communicate to Vol that they urgently needed his help. They saddled up and rode the great centipede through the ruins of the city to the wall, where they command Vol to begin to bore through to the other side. Upon arriving, the party was taken by an uneasy sense of comfort and rejuvenation that appeared to emanate from the ground below. Before they could even assess what was happening, dozens of undead burst from the rubble and scattered debris and at once attack them.

The group being heavily outnumbered, they scrambled to dispatch the hordes of undead, unsure of what unholy magic drew them to this place or resulted in their creation. Meanwhile, Vol continued to dig as the fight raged on…

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The Eleventh Hour

After ending the warden and Lady Greyana, the party searched the castle complex and found the dwarf they had set out to find. The party found him unharmed he and he informed them he had been hired to find an important document (the Codex) for Ali Rookheim, their previous employer and recent business associate. After being told the location of his daughter, the dwarf entrusted the Codex to the group and departed.

The party also discovered another person imprisoned with the dwarf, who introduced himself as Dr. Franklin De Voir. He was a mysterious character to be sure, but one who was happy to be free from the drow and pledged to help the party in any way he could. He started by providing a healthy dose of inspiration and enthusiasm to the party.

As the party made their way out of the castle with their new compatriot, the entire drow encampment stirred. The slavers and other miscreants had heard what happened in Mistmoore and they wanted blood. Further, the castle servants weren’t happy about the death of their leader. The group hastily fought through the city, searching for the minetrack that the dwarf had told them would lead to the exit. Valdor became lost somewhere in the fray, while Evero and Draela covered the rear, laying traps for their pursuers and fighting off a monster with two vicious pack hounds. Worse still, a great raging bellow could be heard approaching in the distance. When they finally found the track, it lead them to a large vertical mineshaft.

After several failed attempts to scale the chains that led to freedom, Dr. De Voir devised an idea and rigged the chains like a pulley system. One by one the party climbed onto the chain and held on tightly as it propelled them upward. However, eventually the chain began to slow due to the weight. At this moment, Elor could see that if his friends were to make it out of the Underdark alive, someone would have to jump from the chain. In an honorable sacrifice, Elor let go of the chain and plunged into the darkness as his friends ascended to the surface.

The party had little time to mourn however, as they reached the surface with just enough time to save the butcher. After they reached the courthouse, Kevgeon opted to knock out the court clerk who attempted to stop them. They burst into the courtroom and explained the exculpatory evidence they had collected, such that it was. The three elder judges were skeptical, but it was clear the party had just come from the depths of some horrible place. They explained the pathway found in the bottom of the victim’s home, and how it was possible savages from the Underdark slayed him and his family. Further, they explained that the wounds on the victim’s bodies were inconsistent with the means the butcher had available. The judges said they would consider the evidence and then hastily adjourned the preceeding.

Afterwards, they went to visit Ali Rookheim and were met by his daughter, Kalee. They discussed business and the Codex was returned to him, for which the group received a moderate payment. Ali wanted to discuss the party’s arena dealings, but the party was weary from the events of the day and took their leave.

Somber over the loss of Elor and their efforts to save the butcher yielding little success, the group took to the tavern. Here, Evero gets into his cups and lets slip Elor’s surname, Rookthelian. Only a few party members are knowledgeable enough to recognize the name, but the revelation is important. De Voir takes a moment to reassure Evero that Elor is in a better place, although he fails miserably. Meanwhile, Kevgeon (himself a newcomer to the group) becomes suspicious of Dr. De Voir and his aims…

After drinking and mourning for most the night, the party retires. Some sleep better than others, but those who didn’t drink themselves into a coma are awoken by a great earthquake accompanied by splitting earth and torrents of water. The cataclysm is announced with a deep bellow from the earth as the land surrounding Laddenstradda is torn apart.

The city begins to flood and fires break out across the districts. The party then notices an immense magical energy emanating from the Licee go to investigate, fearing the worst…

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Castle Mistmoore
*Now under new management*

Upon returning to the camp with their gnolls prisoners in tow, the party soon found out that gnoll slaves were at the absolute bottom of the slave trade hierarchy. While discussing their options, Valdor decided to set up a makeshift potion shop in the camp and vend his wares to the drow slavers. Meanwhile, the party discovered that the leader of a nearby castle, Greyana Mistmoore, was buying up all kinds of slaves (even gnolls) for servitude. Further, it seems from conversations with other slaves that Greyana likely bought the dwarf the group was looking for as well.

Before heading to the castle, Kevgeon elected to scope out it’s defenses and was able to get inside. Once in, he found himself in an area full of cells- the remnants of an old prison. When he attempted to get a closer look into the cells, he discovered they were all occupied by monstrosities and abominations. The prisoners had been heavily experimented on by unknown means. He narrowly avoids alerting the guards and escapes to inform the rest of the party.

After much planning the group concocts a plan to light one of their remaining gnolls ablaze and sent him hurtling toward the castle. With the guards distracted, the party is able to sneak in and soon makes their way down to the prison. The guards eventually become aware of their presence and a fight ensues. During the fight some of the prisoners escape and join in the melee, so maddened by their deformities that they attack the guards and party alike. The Yes group emerges victorious but before they can fully recover from their fight they are thrust into another one.

Deep inside the prison, the group finds a large room where a half dozen dwarves are toiling away at several large molten furnaces making weapons and armor. Among them is a disembodied brain that walks upright on its appendages and a large lizardman creature who appears to be its body guard. The fight starts as soon as the party is sighted. To make matters worse, Zanabal, the warden of the prison, has heard the commotion and joins the fray with his guards. Meanwhile, the captive dwarves don’t seem keen on helping the party. The fight is brutal but before long all the enemies are slain and the party attempts to piece together the mysteries of Castle Mistmoore.

From what they gathered, Zanabal and Lady Greyana were taking in scores of slaves, mutilating and experimenting upon them until they were unrecognizable (and perhaps enhancing them through these grisly means), and equipping them with crude weapons and armor fashioned by the dwarven slaves. What was their purpose? Were they raising an army to conquer territory in the Underdark, or did they intend to assault the surface world? Was an attack Laddenstradda in their plans? The designs and machinations of the drow are as nebulous as they are vulgar, but the party was secure in the satisfaction that they had at least prevented yet another treacherous act of the drow.

Speaking of which, as the party collected themselves after their battle and went about freeing the dwarves, Draela’s scarlet eyes scanned the now-vacant castle and thought of all the improvements she could make…

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Into the Drow Camp
Wherein the Yes group plunges to new lows...

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After leaving the lair of the bulette (and spending a few minutes to rest and carve up their quarry), the party moved further down the tunnel complex. Shortly after, Evero and Ediza joined up with them. Before they could get caught up on the happenings inside the Underdark, the group found themselves inside of a chamber filled with hooks, chains, and other torture implements.

The ground was covered in scraps of books and notes, and as the group examined them, an apparition appeared and asked them questions about historical events that had occurred since his passing. The ghost’s questions were answered to his satisfaction by Valdor, and he then rewarded the group with his magic painting (a flat plane of inter-dimensional space- that lacked oxygen). The ghost was exceedingly friendly and tried to tell the group many poems and tales but they simply had to move on if they were going to save the butcher.

After passing through a den of spiders without provoking them, the adventurers traversed a steep hill (using Valdor’s disc) and arrived on a level of the complex coated in an acidic haze that made it difficult to breath. Fashioning makeshift masks, the party moved forward until they came upon several pools of acid. One of the pools had a skeletal hand outstretching from it that was grasping a strange rod. The rod couldn’t be moved or manipulated through normal means ((but somehow Draela got it?)).

The party soon approached a reprieve from the dark acidic halls and entered an old mining area filled with barrels of tools and crates of ore. Among the clutter they found a lonely dwarf child who said that her father, Vaagen Sweethammer, had been kidnapped by some Drow slavers and was likely taken to a nearby Drow camp. The party offered to help the girl, and promised to reunite her with her father if he was found (and still alive).

The group soon found the Drow encampment and was horrified by the cruelty within. Flags of skin and ramparts of bone made up the grisly bivouac. This was clearly a terrible place, even for the Underdark. However, the Yes group pressed on, deciding to don “drowface” and disguises in an attempt to sneak into the camp (Elor declined to don his infamous “prisoner” disguise, however). While masquerading as slave traders, the group wandered the camp until they could find where Sweethammer might be held.

The slavers they spoke to were skeptical to say the least. It was a miracle that the party wasn’t outright killed after several failed guesses and false claims of a particular Drow ancestry were made by the group. Everyone in the party was ignorant of Drow customs and traditions, save for Draela, who, upon her recent snow-binging, drug-addled lark had clearly obliterated them from her mind.

Instead of being cast out for being imbeciles, the party offered to return with fresh slaves so that the slavers might respond more kindly to their inquiries. The group was able to locate a pack of wandering gnolls and set up a cunning plan to ambush them involving a rigged boulder that would shoot through the group, hopefully killing most of them and leaving a few to take as slaves. However, Elor had other ideas and thought the best way to enslave the gnolls was through the all-consuming tyranny of fire. He hurled a fireball at them and the fight was soon over. With three gnolls captured, the party made their way back to the camp…

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Dodging a Bulette

After a brief rest, the minecart battle resumed, with more drow being accompanied by their leader- a powerful witch. As the tunnel shrank, our heroes ducked and fought on. Valdor was able to see their track was ending soon, while the adjacent drow’s track went on and the effort was quickly made to hijack their cart. A few drow were slain as the party boarded their cart. Glathale was able to bash the witch off as well and the rest of the drow soon followed.

The battle won, the mine track came to a stop eventually in an open area with plenty of ore remaining. The party explored the area but found little but an abandoned mining operation and a dead dwarf. Upon further inspection, the dwarf bore marks identical to the slain banker’s family. Kevgeon also liberated him of his boots, sensing they were imbued with an uncertain magic.

The group pressed onward and found themselves in a large dark cave with a tall ceiling. After some light was applied, the party found themselves standing within the ribcage of a massive skeleton belonging to some long dead creature. The floor was covered in pieces of small bones, the regurgitating grounds of some still alive and very prolific creature.

Moving forward, the party came across an area covered in phosphorescent fungus of several varieties. The more nature-oriented in the party knew which mushrooms to avoid and which to trample. A strange village was soon found, inhabited by a race of sentient mushroom beings who were very wary of the interlopers. A few attempts to communicate with the beings fell flat (even after Glathale covered himself in mushroom spores to allay their fears), and the party left them alone.

They walked further down the cave complex until they came to a sandy area of the cave marked with protruding rocks. Before they could attempt to move across them, a large, heavily armored creature burst from the sand. Attempts to fight the creature were made difficult by the cramped terrain, and the fight didn’t appear to be going their way.

Elor’s foot was chomped by the beast and Kevgeon’s attempts to sneak attack the creature wounded it but also left him gravely injured. Draela attempted to keep it from rising from the sand with her arrows but it still fought ferociously. Glathale attempted to scout an escape route but returned to the fight when escape seemed unlikely. A last ditch fireball from Elor nearly immolated the monster but also injured some of the already wounded party. Running out of time, Draela was able to finish the injured creature with a final arrow.

The creature felled, the party made attempts to patch themselves up before continuing onward and seeking a way out…

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Murder in Laddenstradda

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With more than his usual amount of reflection, Lo-kag decided to stay with the monks as he sought a new path. Afterwards, The Yes Group made their way back to Laddenstradda and upon returning, they were met by an energetic young rogue who was responding to their recently placed ad for one adventurer with “sneaking skills” and “enough one-liners to fill a bag of holding”. He introduced himself as Kevgeon Wolfsbane but before a conditional offer of employment could be made, a town guard burst into the inn.

The guard was frantic and asked the group if they could help with an emergency occurring nearby. The group accepted and followed the guard to an open area where a crowd had gathered. In the middle of the chaos, they could see a ring of town guards who had a brutish man surrounded at spearpoint. The man held a cleaver to the throat of a woman and was demanding to be set free, screaming about a crime he did not commit. Kevgeon, already attempting to earn his pay, scrambled up a nearby roof to get a clearer shot of the man with his bow.

In the end, the man was talked down and taken away by the guards. He claimed to be falsely accused of the murder of a prominent banker and his family. The guards cited their manner of death as evidence that the butcher had killed them. Sensing the accused may not be entirely guilty, the party asked the guards if they could investigate the murder on their own and were given 12 hours to find the real murderer or else the butcher would be executed.

The party arrived at the banker’s manor and were met by a gruesome scene. The banker, his wife, and two children lay in bloody heaps throughout the house. However, after some inspection, the party surmised that the butcher was unlikely to have caused their deaths, noting their wounds and the particular rage carried out on the banker and his wife. A search of his home and personal effects made it clear that the banker was a wealthy man who profited more than once from the misfortunes of others, but the crime appeared to be carried out by someone especially aggrieved.

Due to an outstanding lockpicking success from their new rogue compatriot, the party was able to access a large safe in the banker’s office. Inside was a more confounding lock- a magical ward consisting of two statue faces who spoke a riddle. Valdor was quick to answer the riddle however, and the contents of the safe were theirs- though no clear evidence of the killer’s identity was found inside.

Further exploration of the house revealed new construction in the basement where the wife’s corpse was found. It was a tunnel that led into the city’s sewers. After following the tunnel briefly, the party walked into a den of spiders and eventually overcame them. As they pressed on, the sewer path turned into a mining tunnel of dwarven construction, but with recent use by someone else…

At the end of the tunnel were two parallel minecart tracks. Having no other option, the party boarded the carts and slowly made their way down the tunnel. Not long after, the sound of screeching metal could be heard behind them and soon they could see dark figures approaching on the adjacent rails- a group of drow with a minecart of their own!

The drow shot arrows while they raced toward the party, who responded by pulling the brakes in their carts to close the gap and meet the drow with melee weapons. A tense, bumpy fight ensued as the combatants scraped down the tunnels. The drow were soon slain though and the party screeched onward into the unknown depths…

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