The invasion is now attacking Henry and Brown counties. We have 733530 gold, and 29854 war assets to start with. We purchased a barracks, cleared a road in Franklin county, monster trapped three times, assassinated in Carroll County for 5000, and purchased war assets to send aid to many of the counties under attack. We traded our looted items to the king for 129285 gold. We prospected 5 counties, finding two iron nodes, a gold node, and two gem nodes. We purchased an iron mine and a gold mine.
Visiting the Baron…
Upon our arrival at the City, security has been significantly heightened. All of the townsfolk are moving listlessly about their day, as if a depression or malaise has descended upon the city. We spoke with a town girl, and find out that the townsfolk don’t know why the guard has been increased. We could not detect any hints of magical auras or other signs of a malignant magical effect.
When we got to the Baron’s keep, we found that he and his staff were also speaking slowly as if confused. Troy noticed that the effect of this malaise was similar to the effects of a poison derived from the bark of the Ironmaw, a plant native to the marshes of the Abyss.
We asked the Baron why he has not come to the King’s aid. He responded that the province has too many problems to help the king. Specifically, part of the City is under attack by the Underdark. Also, five of his nobles, the ones who replaced the brothers, have gone missing. He provided us with their last known destination in the City. Finally, and most importantly, there is a rebellion fomenting in the City. He tells us where the hide-out is, but is unsure of how to get in. The Baron treated us like we were his subjects to order around.
We arrive at the hide-out which is a ruin of a wooden building with no windows or doors, and a drawing of an Ironmaw on the wall, with the word “Ironmaw” scratched above the door in Abyssal. We find that speaking the word in Abyssal transports us to the Abyssal Plane.
We find ourselves in a large cavern, which is hundreds of feet high and miles long. There is a small camp about half a mile away. There are trails of blood on the ground leading from the portal to the camp. We head towards the camp, and as we get closer, it appears to be a refugee camp filled with about a thousand peasants. They are not affected by the malaise. They are desperate and hungry, many of them having been there for weeks now. They were rounded up by the town guard and other members of the City, and sent to the Abyss, unable to return. With no food, they have had to institute a lottery system to commit cannibalism to survive. This has been going on for a few weeks, but no new shipments of refugees have arrived for a couple of weeks. We teach the word to an ex-priest, who will wait an hour and then teach the word to the refugees so they may return to the world.
We return to our plane, and try to find the bad guys. They guard barracks is empty, with a looted armory. We pull a peasant into a house and try to cure him of malaise. We fail, and leave the house when we hear troops heading to the house. We then go the last known location of the nobles.
We investigate the house where the nobles were last seen. The house is actually an inn/meeting place. The inn has been trashed, and one of the nobles is lying on the middle of the room, dead. Troy speaks with her corpse, and finds that she was stabbed several times in the stomach by Oruk, with a flail. Oruk is one of the other nobles. When asked where Oruk went, she says “down” and points to the wall, where there are secret doors. She says that she and Oruk disagreed about the plan. Oruk is either a demon, or associated with demons.
Oruk Dukasht was a famous paladin the in the region. Tuthin Ir’gutheren was a famous cleric. Iliana was a cleric/warlock. Thomas Riddleweaver was a gnome warlock. Dead girl was famous for being the first humanoid successfully stabbed with a flail.
We open the secret doorway, and go several hundred feet down a tunnel of stairs. There, we meet bad guys in glorious battle. After battling or way through several rooms we find an uncompleted portal that seems to be tied to a life-force, within a day of being completed. We follow a tunnel down to a chamber carved out of obsidian, where we find the nobles, all of them kneeling on runes carved into the floor, in attitudes of supplication and being drained of their life-force. We fight a group of drow, a drider and a minotaur, and pull the nobles out of their positions, but not before the drider sacrifices Tuthin to cast a spell. We also discover that Thomas is a lich.
We wake up the blackguard and try to figure out what has been going on with the nobles. By speaking with the Blackguard and by reading the Lich’s journal, we find that the nobles had discovered the obsidian deposit, and along with it the temple to the demon. They began worshipping the demon, but also wished to sell the obsidian. This led to a rift in their group, explaining the dead noblewoman upstairs. We find that the blackguard is still a devout worshipper of the demon of the chamber. He is placed under arrest along with the other two nobles. We also noticed that each time we killed a combatant, it’s body released spores that slowly begins spreading a disease in the party.
We deduced that the entire town was in the grips of a disease that is being spread on purpose. We went back to the original house with the portal to the Abyss. Upon breaking into the building we see a large grate leading the sewers, and can detect fumes coming out that might be carrying the disease. The party then delved down into the sewers to search for the source of the disease.
We activate a series of glyphs, and find ourselves in combat against a large Ironmaw plant and its flytrap minions. After a protracted battle the Ironmaw was defeated and the effects of the disease began to dissipate.
The Baron’s Fall…
Upon returning to the Baron, the party finds that he cannot remember anything from the last month. The Baron is very confused, but we try to fill him in as much as possible about the brothers and the nobles. When we explain that the brothers may have been wrongfully accused and that everyone had been under the effects of mind control, the Baron gets angry about the illicit affairs between his daughters and the nobles. He summons his daughters and begins arguing with them. Listening in, we find that one of the daughters has been killed in the keep; she was stabbed by one of the guards.
The party joins the Baron in caring for the body of the daughter, and spends the night in the keep. The next day, Troy communes with the daughter’s spirit. She gives him the name of her killer, and finds out it was done under orders. She then states that it was actually the Baron who ordered her killed; and when asked the reason she only responded “Twang”.
In that moment, the guards draw their swords and the party prepares to defend themselves. She then states that she and Twang intended to run away together. At that moment the Baron orders the attack. Paul kills the guards while David catches the Baron and knocks him unconscious. The daughter agrees to be raised from the dead. We tie up the Baron, and prepare to leave for the portal to the capital.
We arrive at the capital and present the Baron to the king. The King provides the cost to cast raise dead on the daughter. The King already knew much, as he had been conducting his own investigation. The Baron is jailed, and the King takes temporary control of the province. The daughter explains her side of the story. The remaining noblemen are also jailed.
We remain in the Capital for the rest of the week awaiting orders from the King, and administering to the distribution of war assets throughout the kingdom.