The Planeteers

The Balcony
  • Stable
  • Chamber
  • Blocked stairs
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Enter Face

The Planeteers are surprised by the last two tieflings bandits, who pull Dave with grappling hooks into the face’s mouth for an 80 foot fall onto spikes. Time stops and he is confronted by a raven. Dave affirms his oath to the Raven Queen to return Sir Malagant’s bones and the Fiend’s Horn. The raven caws and time resumes, but Dave is now fully healed and safely landed away from the spiked floor.

  • The spikes on the floor drain blood into the walls
  • The walls are covered in bas reliefs and text only visible at waist height describing the battle of the Fiend and Sir Malagant
  • The ceiling is adorned with constellations set to occur that night…except for one constellation composed of 13 stars
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Battle on Stargazer Hill
  • Jym demands the tieflings surrender. He gets a flaming sword to the chest.
  • There is a giant face at the top of the hill
  • A Chillborn Zombie makes it into the fight, having followed from the frozen creek, and explodes when destroyed, freezing Dave and Jym in place
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Warwood Creek
  • Tiefling bandits were waiting for the Planeteers behind boulders on the other side of a frozen creek, and demanded to know what happened to Volkanth’s hippogriff
  • When Dave was hit while standing on the creek, Chillborn Zombies burst through the ice (part of the legacy of the Warwood)
  • Once the tieflings were killed, Jym used Turn Undead on the Chillborns to allow the Planeteers to get away from the infested creek
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Brigands!

The Planeteers are traveling southeast from Fort Dolor using a road that follows the border of a tangled wood purportedly haunted by the restless dead of an ancient war. Hence, its name: the Warwood.

Sun glistens off new snow, making a stunning contrast to the tangled darkness of forest next to the road. Ahead you spot a large group of travelers approaching, both on foot and by horse-drawn wagon. They appear well dressed in white and black robes, and in a moment you can hear the mournful sound of their distant chanting. It is a sort of religious pilgrimage.

The pilgrimage approaches to within 30 feet and their leader, Sister Naenia, addresses the Planeteers in a friendly fashion.

The pilgrims are faithful of the Raven Queen, something obvious once the Planeteers take a good look at their vestments and the skulls and ravens that adorn their wagons. There are two wagons. The first is open to the air and carries three white-haired old women and an albino girl of about eight years old. They are heavily bundled against the cold and each wears the vestments of an acolyte. The second wagon looks like a funeral wagon, with open sides beneath a heavily ornamented roof. Behind sheer black curtains, the Planeteers can see a masked figure lying atop a bed. Between the wagons walk a number of priests and acolytes, the hems of their robes stained with mud from their journey.

These people, mostly eladrin but with a few elves among them, are virtually all the faithful from a Raven Queen monastery about forty miles distant. The monastery is hidden away in a wood that has grown up around it since its construction over a hundred years ago. It’s off the beaten path because it honors a little-known hero of their order, Sir Malagant.

Sister Naenia relates that Sir Malagant fought many battles against enemies of the faith and died within a few miles of where the Planeteers and the priests have met on the road. Just over a hundred years ago, a terrible war raged through the area, with the forces of the feywild on one side, and an evil cult of allied monsters arrayed against them. On the eve of what would be the largest battle yet fought, Sir Malagant challenged his foes’ leader to single combat, with the loser vowing to abandon the field and disperse his army. The two combatants killed each other, however, and thus both sides lost the conflict. This stunning result led to some fighting but the leaderless armies did soon disband, and peace has held sway over this wilderness since those days. The penitents of the monastery are making a pilgrimage to the scene of their hero’s death. There they intend to anoint and bury his effigy to honor him as their order was instructed by Achreisis, exarch of the Raven Queen, a century ago.

Olwick remembers a slightly different history for the era, keeping to most of the story told by Sister Naenia, but differing in that Sir Malagant was certainly no hero. Still, opportunity for something interesting has presented itself, and Olwick offers the Planeteers services as protection for the remainder of the priest’s trek to their ritual place.

Just then, a heretofore unnoticed flock of crows raucously rises from the woods and flies overhead to the west, interrupting Naenia. The three old women cluster around the albino girl and in rapid succession, each takes a turn looking toward the wood over the head of the girl. Sister Naenia looks startled and rushes back to the wagon to question them.

The albino girl simply says, “They’re coming.”

  • Tiefling bandits suddenly burst out of the forest to attack the caravan, killing several priests
  • A hippogriff-riding tiefling swoops in and steals the effigy from the funeral wagon
  • Darth Machismo leaps atop the hippogriff, puts it in a headlock, and forces it out of the air, but its rider escapes with the effigy

All traces of the calm confidence Sister Naenia possessed before have fled. She is clearly distraught over the harm that has come to her followers, but there’s more to it than that. You see fear in her eyes.

“They took it! That bandit ran teleported off with his bones! Sweet Lady! Please you must help us. You must get the effigy back! It holds Sir Malagant’s bones and the Fiend’s Horn. If we don’t bury them…I don’t know. I just don’t know.”

Sister Naenia spins in a panicked circle, starting toward the wrecked funeral wagon, then toward a wounded pilgrim, then toward the woods. She seems incapable of deciding what to do.

Jym heals as many of the priests as he is able. Dave calms Sister Naenia down enough for her to relate what she understands of the situation. She believes the attack at the front of the train was a distraction for someone to steal the valuable relics they placed with the effigy. She begs the Planeteers to retrieve the bones of Sir Malagant that were placed within the effigy and the relic they call the Fiend’s Horn. If they do this, Sister Naenia says they can keep the adornments on the effigy, including Sir Malagant’s armor and sword.

She’s desperate to bury his bones and the Horn so that they can fulfill the order of her deity’s exarch. She doesn’t know why it must be done, but she’s certain something grave will happen if it’s not done soon—within a week at most.

Sister Naenia describes the Fiend’s Horn as the actual horn from the head of Sir Malagant’s foe, struck off with Sir Malagant’s dying blow. It looks like a foot-long bone horn with a bit of skull attacked to the end from when Sir Malagant’s sword clove through the Fiend’s head. Sister Naenia knows that Sir Malagant’s longsword was magic, but she doesn’t know how. She doesn’t think his scale armor held magic.

When the Planeteers agree to recover the bones and horn, Sister Naenia asks them to swear in the name of the Raven Queen that they will return with the bones and the Fiend’s Horn. When all the Planeteers (except Jym) swear, she seems relieved and blesses the Planeteers, saying “Fate be with you.”

Olwick is furious at being outpaced by another teleporter and has already traced the path of the tiefling who escaped into the Warwood. The forest is too thick and tangled for horses, but the pilgrims offer to watch over them. Sister Naenia remains behind to tend to her followers and then travel on to a hill where the burial will take place. There she intends to wait with her followers. The hill is visible from further along the road, and the Planeteers would be able to find it easily.

As the Planeteers are leaving, the albino girl runs after them to tug on the crystals of Dread, motioning that he should bend down to hear her whisper. Dread responds that he speaks by transmitting thoughts and the little girl, whose mind seems flavored with chaos, replies back to him:

“Those who dream beneath the stars cannot yet be seen by the blind one who waits beyond them. The stars are safe for now.

The girl then runs back to the three old women who are standing some distance away and looking at the Planeteers with inscrutable expressions.

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Massacre's End

The Planeteers regroup at the mountain cabin to rest and check on the rescued prisoners. Aestriol warns them to avoid disrespecting the Prince of Frost while in the Vale of the Long Night where he reigns.

When the Planeteers arrive in Fort Dolor, safely escorting the eladrin prisoners, the townsfolk are more nervous than ever. The Planeteers soon see why, as the Prince of Frost has set up an outdoor court in the center of the fort. He freezes Xeriope in a clear pillar of ice and banishes Captain Revince, as a warning to the dangers of charms. The Pale Prince then publicly thanks the Planeteers and advises them to seek teleportation back to their realm in the Summer Court. The Prince of Frost offers Olwick a new sword and position as lieutenant in the Fortress of Frozen Tears. Olwick accepts the sword, but politely defers the rise in station.

Darth Machismo has his fists frozen in a ritual to create Gloves of Ice.

Dread has begun having disturbing dreams. In them a skull larger than the moon gazes down from the night sky. Its cold gaze chills Dread to his core, but Dread isn’t frightened until a bloody sluglike creature that must be the size of a mountain pushes its way out a gap between the skull’s clenched teeth. More and more of these slugs crawl out of the skull and make bloody trails over its face. Soon it seems like the skull will burst from all the slugs struggling to escape, and just as that thought crosses Dread’s mind, it explodes. Behind the skull, Dread catches a glimpse of an unfamiliar constellation of thirteen stars before the bloody slug things rain down upon the world like a million falling stars, obscuring the night sky with fire.

In their last night on Aestriol Equidae’s ranch, before they were to ride out on horses to the Summer Court, the dream changed. Rather than ending with Dread awake after the explosion of fire in the sky, it continued. In the dream, Dread fled into the woods, running madly to escape the exploding crashes of things from the sky burrowing mile-long furrows into the ground. As Dread ran, an explosion ahead brought him up short. Unable to resist investigating the glowing crater, Dread looked within and saw the shape of a face burned in the ground. Inside the face’s mouth was a large book opened to pages with words written in blood. Before Dread could read the words, the dream ended.

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The Blood-Soaked Portal

Across the ice-covered chamber is a huge glowing screen of purple-black energy coursing back and forth between two obsidian pillars. Standing before the screen is a creature covered in jangling chains. The chains appear to slither and crawl over the creature’s brown, wrinkled flesh. The chain creature holds an eladrin wrapped in chains from the creature’s body.

Also in the room are a number of creatures wearing black plate armor and wielding red longswords. Green fire glows in the eyes above a mouth full of sharp teeth. Other equally devilish creatures, sporting reddish horns and leathery wings, stand between you and the chain creature.

The chamber’s ceiling is 40 feet above the floor, and an opening at the top of the chamber leads into the sky.

This chamber, the heart of the dragon’s lair, once held its vast horde…and it still holds a portal to Dis, the second plane of the Nine Hells. The chain devil Ichyrot and his personal guard have taken up residence here.

  • Flying Cambion Hellswords, teleporting Legion Devil Hellguards, and Ichyrot himself make this a difficult fight, bottlenecking the Planeteers near the entrance
  • Nearly defeated, Ichyrot attempts to escape through the portal into Dis, but Darth Machismo gives chase, antagonizes a copse of flying demons, and travels back through the portal with a rescued eladrin prisoner
  • The cave is chilled further when the Pale Prince himself arrives to investigate the energies of the portal, which he dislikes. He thanks the Planeteers for their diligence, and advises them to run as he causes a collapse of the mountain cave with an overflux of internal ice and avalanche.
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Vile Works

The passage from the entrance chamber leads up to this strangely shaped cavern. On the far side of the chamber, standing at attention, are several gangly creatures covered in spines. Long, wicked claws hang at the end of their spindly arms. Beyond these creatures is a pit. You believe you hear the sound of an occasional moan or murmur coming from the pit.

Brainwashed eladrin throw themselves at the Planeteers in an attempt to protect the spined devils and the oni. They are vicious attackers, but mindless to their own defense. Two follow the oni leader Urrgh to their death when he jumps from a high ledge.

Urrgh threatened to kill the eladrin prisoners if the Planeteers did not leave. This seemed to be a bluff, as the oni does not kill any of the moaning eladrin in the pit when the Planeteers press their attack. Urrgh the oni is apparently not as dedicated to the cause as the devils. He attempted to use his hypnotic breath to put some Planeteers to sleep, but was greatly wounded and tried to flee using his gaseous form.

Fighting through most of the chamber, the Planeteers find in the pit, bunched together like so many fish in a barrel, are some of the garrison soldiers from Fort Dolor, as well as farmers and loggers from the surrounding area. The pit is 20 feet deep, but when a spined devil is pushed into the pit, the prisoners pummel and kick their captor, dealing extra damage in addition to the fall.

Once all the devils are defeated, the Planeteers rescue the prisoners in the pit. All of them are well enough to climb out of the pit with the lowered rope ladder. One prisoner, Aestriol Equidae, asked the Planeteers if they’d seen his daughter Mardiana, or if they knew her as Xeriope. When asked what else is in the lair, Aestirol related the following information:

  • None of the prisoners have been to the chambers of the lair beyond this point. A couple of them did see creatures passing through, going up into the upper reaches of the lair. One creature that passed through looked like a devil for sure, with red, glowing eyes and leathery wings sprouting from its back.
  • Five or six times a day, one of the spined creatures would pull a crature from the pit and would send the prisoner out of the chamber up the tunnel. None of those prisoners have been seen or heard from since.

The Planeteers sent the prisoners away, giving them direction to the mountain-side cabin and trusting Aestriol to guide them there.

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Entry Guardians
  • A trap and creatures working for a demon now guard the entrance chamber to the former lair of the white dragon
  • The Planeteers take advantage of the older dwarf platforms to attack the owlbear and flameskulls with more relative safety
  • The markings on the walls indicate Hellfire Spout traps, but the Planeteers perservere deeper into the mountain
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The Girl Named Xeriope

Xeriope successfully dominated Captain Revince, Olwick, and Jym in a lengthy fight with the Planeteers. Although she was captured and had her tongue removed by Dread, Xeriope was ultimately deemed too much of a threat by the Planeteers and Dave put her down.

Awoken from his dominated state, Captain Revince revealed Xeriope to be local rancher Aestriol Equidae’s missing daughter, Mardiana Equidae, herself an unfortunate victim of powerful magic and evil.

The howling hag Trilleste and some of her devilish minions had kidnapped the girl, and through much brainwashing and rituals to enslave Mardiana’s mind, alter her body, and imbue her with charm powers akin to a succubus. “Xeriope” was then commanded to assist the howling hag in sowing confusion and treachery around Fort Dolor, before the settlement became too large and too powerful to be conquered.

Jym urged to burn her body, but Captain Revince insisted on bringing Mardiana back to her family in Fort Dolor.

  • Xeriope revealed to be brainwashed slave to Trilleste, shapeshifting hag
  • Planeteers discover marked map to ice cave of recently slain white dragon, Frystiomagythant
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