Auctorias led the party back through the hell they came through sending the Zhentarim to fight any hell spawn they encountered. They watched the mages dispatch some fire elementals and Psaro tear apart some remaining fire giants until they reached the portal which they came in and suddenly everyone was back in the bar the Styx Oresman. The party breathed a sigh of relief as they saw their friends rush to them. Erelosa ran to prim saying how she was glad he was ok and was scared at how beat up he looked. He assured her he was ok as she stated to bandage his wounds. Delsaphine ran to Pokeman and asked if he was ok and he reassured her he got his soul back and she said she was worried they were gone for so long she looked for help but the only ones who were willing to jump into that hell portal were the zhentarim. The Zhent clerics began to patch up zuriel and he dropped off some of his gear with the party and then left with Auctorius and his crew to be used as collateral for their contract.
As they left a gnome approached the party and introduced himself as Norros Graveltoes and said that he was a tinkerer of sorts and he had heard of all the great deeds the crimson mercenaries had done throughout the land and that he was their biggest fan and was hoping he could be of assistance to them in their fight against the giants. Yue immediately noticed he had a Tressym with him and that he and Rillix were playing together. She pulled him aside and they discussed their animal companions. Norros’s companion was actually a familiar which could take several shapes and he gave Yue some instructions on a ritual she could perform in order to help bind Rillix to her so if he fell in battle he would not perish permanently. It would take several steps but she would need to do the following.-carve a figurine for a necklace in the likeness of the desired familiar (dex DC)
- infuse it with spell of soul binding
- Purify it with holy aura so the binding of 2 souls is consensual
- Both touch the necklace as it gets powered by the lightning and she makes an animal handling dc check to complete the ritual.
She thanked Norros for his knowledge and welcomed him to join in on their adventure to help save the sword coast. Norros showed off several of his deviced he tinkered with just as a time piece and a watch work mechanical hand held dragon which was sort of steam punk in theme. Rowan was impressed with his devices and the party took a moment to gather their thoughts and the innkeeper offered them rooms for the night as well as some devil’s water that the man in the white suit had left behind which they immediately dumped into Everfull. The party all tried some as they needed that having such a close encounter with death and they all went to sleep.
As Yue was about to drift off she heard a knock on her door and the familiar voice of Erelosa. She welcomed her in and she said she had a note that came from a messenger for her while they were gone. Erelosa gave her the message and then headed off for the night. Yue opened the note which read:“Yue I have good news and bad news, I believe I have located my mother. Meet me in Phandalin when you can and I will explain further. I miss you so much.
With that the whole party finally got a well deserved rest. They awoke that morning and Yue revealed the info she received last night as she cooked steak and eggs with her hands at the breakfast table. The party decided their next stop should be Phandalin to deliver the weevil to Halia Thornton and from there they could plan their next move in retrieving giant relics. The party spent some time shopping in phandalin restocking on health potions and Harvey sold a gem encrusted staff for a 1/3 of its actual worth as he didn’t understand money but he finally conquered his old nemesis the clean window. The Party boarded the Crimson Tide and set off for Phandalin.
On their Journey on the airship they introduced Norros to the crew and he excitedly wanted to explore every inch of the ship like an excited fan wanting to know everything about their lives if it was the same as he had read. As they were sailing Harvey spotted 5 dots on the horizon and recognized them as his people who had brought him to the party and knew that they had been successful in their mission. They were carrying Draven who’s wings had dissipated and his skin tone was now a pale white color. He greeted his party members and told them of his Journey:
“He found a Paladin with the silver mirror Roam Arniman and his party who were on a quest to prevent Orcus from returning to the world. They tracked a cult to the keep on the Shadowfell and while his party ventured inside to stop the cult, the raven queens forces acted as rear guard for the keep and they fought off waves of Orcus’s forces until the ground shook and a scream was heard throughout the keep as the silver mirror was shattered and Orcus’s plan to return were thwarted. His forces scattered and with their mission complete The raven Queen’s forces returned to the north and searched out Draven’s companions with their mission complete.”
The party welcomed back Draven and Erelosa ran up to him giving him a hug asking if he brought her anything from the south. He said he did not and she said that that is ok she was just glad that he was back. Harvey addressed the party now that his mission was over he was ready to depart and the Aarokroca flew off into the sunset. The party celebrated the return of their companion and drank throughout the night until they arrived in Phandalin.
As they came down the road to the north they 1st spotted Sister Gaerelle sitting at a table in the field having tea with a woman. As they approached she introduced herself as Halia Thornton of the Zhentarim and that she had heard a lot about them and their deeds throughout the land. The party told her of the trouble they had with Auctorius and Halia knew him as Auctorius the Calculating, powerful mage and current leader of the Zhentarim. She informed the party she was not fond of his leadership that she found him heavy handed with his invasion plans and thinks he is pushing too hard and is making too many enemies for her faction. She informed the party that she wants to supplant him.
Halia presented the party with her plan. She believes that Auctorius needs to be made to look weak in front of his benefactors so they abandon him and make his position easier to make a play for. halia wanted to make this happen on several fronts. She wants to make it look like she cares more for the people by securing the Weevil and bringing him back and that she would gladly pay the party for retrieving him. The party agreed and cut him loose to her and she paid them their 5000gp. Next she wanted to secure trade with goldenfields to help the Zhentarim profit. This would show she succeeded in gaining influence wheree Auctorius’s heavy handed ways failed and spilled Zhentarim blood where she would get better results without losing 1 soldier proving her negotiating skills. Then finally to get those who only follow him due to their fear of his military prowess she plans to stage a fake attack on nightstone and then have her forces show up and drive away the assault making her look good in the eyes who value military prowess. She feels that all of these would weaken his position and then she would call for a vote of no confidence in his leadership and attempt to supplant him as leader of the Zhentarim. In return for the party’s help she would make sure that the Zhentarim coming to take Phandalin were under her control and it would all be for show so they can get their companion Zuriel back. She told the party that she has no interest in his military conquest only the influence and growth she can get monetarily with diplomacy. Halia told them they can work together to make this land a better place and she felt Auctorius is an egotistical maniacal warmonger who will run the Zhentarim into the ground and she doesn’t want that to happen.
The party agreed to her plan and Rowan shook on it asking to read the contract to which Halia replied that she is staging a coup and its not wise to have things like that written down before you go do them. Rowan agreed and went to go cast a sending spell to zuriel to try to tell him their plans but Halia stopped her again asking why she is going to tell the captive their recently created plans potentially letting it fall to the enemy as Auctorius is a powerful mage and could read minds or even torture information out of captives to further his position. Halia Urged Rowan to be more careful in the future as it was her head on the line as well that has a stake in all of this. The party reached an agreement with Halia and they went to go visit the rest of their friends in phandalin while the Weevil sat at the table with Sister gaerelle and Halia asking if they had anything hard to drink. The told him sadly they only have tea and offered him a dainty cup ornate with flowers. He half grunted in dismay but pulled out a flask from his pocked and poured some liquor into it and sipped on it with his pinky up in the air not because he was fancy but because of a broken finger that was malformed.
They sat and continued their conversation as Draven and Norros visited Zem Slatedust. Draven knocked on the door and upon crashing and rummaging he finally opened the door yelling “WHO ARE YOU!” and Draven replied “Don’t you remember me?” to which Zem shouted “NO!” and shut the door. Draven knocked again and Zem opened once again and draven told him who he was how he got the cursed pistol off of him long ago which jogged his memory. Zem said he didn’t recognise him becaue he was white now and he didn’t recognize the stranger Norros who introduced himself and stared in wonder at the chaos that was his black powder shop. Draven checked on the goblin kids who seemed to be having a good time with all of their limbs still attached. One was rummaging through some junk piles and the other 2 were playing outside. When Norros shook Zem’s wooden hand he said he could make a mechanical one for him that would be more functional. Thrilled at the sound of this Zem offered draven his latest invention called the shrapnel shot for his pistol which he gladly accepted. Zem offered the pair some coffee which they got in cracked cups which Norros was able to repair for him. Amazed with the new friend he just made he whipped up some coffee quickly for the party which unfortunately was a little gritty with gunpowder. They both poured it into a house plant and out the window when he wasn’t looking and bid him good day and that they would have his arm done for him soon. The goblin kids followed draven and norros back to the center of town to see the rest of the party.
While Draven and Norros were gone Yue found Xing in town with Thalia Dr. Droknar and another woman who introduced herself as Shin Lan. As soon as Xing saw her he ran and embraced her telling her how much he missed her. Xing told Yue he had been tracking this woman since the Harpers claimed they believed he was his mother and that she was part of a traveling merchant group which led her here to Phandalin. Unfortunately she seems to have lost her memory and cannot recall him or the circumstances around her memory loss. Xing stated he started searching for information and found that there has been a string of amnesia cases happening to the northeast of Phandalin and east of the Grandfather Tree in the High forest. He was hoping to meet up with the party if they were headed that way as it might be the fastest way to get answers. The party said they would be passing by that area anyway and would gladly accept his help and company and Xing reunited with the party.
The party celebrated the reunion of so many old friends and new allies and celebrate the night away in the Stone Hill Inn. They drank and Sang with Pokeman Jones and Everfull and got a good night’s rest in proper beds and filled their bellies with a good meal before setting out once again on the Crimson Tide. Yue and Xing were especially happy to be able to reconnect for the night after being apart and everything seemed to be looking up.
Heading to the grandfather tree they 1st encountered a giant burial mound called Flint Rock which looked like a massive elk pressed down into the grass from the sky. The party set down on the outskirts of flint rock and Draven spotted a magical object underneath the alter in the center of flint rock. Norros built a stone bridge so they could just walk up and get right to the alter. 2 Elk stood atop the mound just grazing on grass and the party was on edge the whole time as the elk minded their own business.
The party knew the item was underneath the alter and so Norros devised a plan to lift the alter using an A frame and pulley system which they hooked up and all of the party members tried to lift it to no avail trying one by one and they looked in despair as how they could make it out of hell but be defeated by a heavy slab of rock. They decided to all pull at once and several members pulled muscles and injured themselves lifting this rock eventually they got it upright but not before it sounded like the elk were making bleating noises almost as if they understood their not quite so heroic show of strength. They dug into the earth and found a giant’s Mithril spear tip and added it to their collection before returning to the crimson tide with only their pride wounded from this adventure.