February 2, 2018 recap

Several members of the group wanted to use the library in Neverwinter to research things so Mon Ki, Thalaniel, Raylor, Nameless and Thoravil took the portal to Neverwinter. Nameless went to the Crafters’ section of Neverwinter to have a leather bandolier made. The rest of the group went to the library to check things out. They broke into groups, Thoravil and Thalaniel worked together, while Mon Ki and Raylor worked alone for the most part but would come together to share things they had found. Thoravil knew that Thalaniel was trying to find information on his patron. Between the two of them they found the following to begin with:

She is very powerful She is the daughter of the devil himself. Once you are no longer of use to her she will abandon you in the most permanent of manners.

Thoravil had determined the devil was Asmodeus so they searched for any mention of his daughter or daughters. One book said that he had 666 daughters but gave little to no information on who they may be. Another source stated that he had 9 daughters but as they read more of the text it seemed to be less about children than more about the different aspects of Asmodeus being put into daughter forms. They found one last source that said there were 3 daughters, Glasya, Grima and Delenta. Glasya was the name Thoravil had come up with when V had first brought her warning to Thalaniel.

Thalaniel and Thoravil shared what they had found. Thoravil cast Legend Lord to gain as much info as he could.

She is a humanlike creature, the vision of beauty—except for her copper skin, wings, forked tail, and horns. She has a small following of priests and cultists. Queen of the 6th layer of hell Unlike others, she did not take the 6th layer by force Malbolge is the name of the 6th. It as currently shaped from the remains of the former queen, named the Hag Countess. Most of her followers are inexperienced, young, and very naive. The other lords fear her. Even her father is leery when approaching her for anything. She may have had the same lover as her mother.

As they were going over this information, Thalaniel had the urge to visit his Mother. Raylor motioned to Mon Ki to follow him. He drank an Invisibility Potion and hid behind some bookshelves waitin for Thalaniel to leave. Thoravil said he would go with Thalaniel. Thalaniel was hesitant at first but then let everyone come along. Nameless joined them and they all left for Thalaniel’s mother’s house.

They arrived and Ambriel, the girl that Thalaniel had asked to take care of his mother answered the door. She said that his mother was sleeping but they could wait for her to wake up. It would be about an hour or so. Thalaniel wanted to see his mother so Ambriel take him to her room while the others checked out the rest of the house. She was sleeping in her bed. Thalaniel and Ambriel were make they way down the hall when Thalaniel heard her speak: “Go back to the Butcher’s House. Find the portal and go through it. We can speak freely once you are there.” Thalaniel was not sure if she spoke these words or he heard them in his head. Either way, he knew he needed to go back to the Butcher’s House another time. He told the others and they all set out to the house. They arrived and found it was much like they had left it some weeks back. They entered cautiously but had no trouble getting to the room in the basement where the portal was. Thoravil was surprised to see it still there with no signs of the holy water and the sacred flame spell he had cast on it. He then realized that either the Lords’ Alliance had not come to take care of the circle or they had and it had reverted either on its own or may some other force. Thoravil said we need to go to the Lords’ Alliance now. Thalaniel moved toward the circle. Raylor put a hand on his shoulder to keep him from moving foward. Thalaniel stepped into the circle and both he and Raylor disappeared. Nameless, Thoravil and Mon Ki (who was still invisible) stepped through after their friends.

They find themselves in a desert-like area except there is no sand. It feels almost hot but not overbearing and it is a dry heat. They look around and see large boulders or are they mountains floating in the distance in a pale red sky. The ground is a red-orange color and is covered in cracks. Mon Ki lets Raylor know he made it through the portal. As they finished looking around they notice a pathway or an ancient roadway stretching out in front of them. Thalaniel says well lets go. Raylor is hesitant about going anywhere. If there is something coming for them it is better to stay here and let them come to the group. The group discusses it a bit more and Thalaniel is able to convince Raylor it would be better to face the unknown than wait for it to arrive. They set off down the pathway. About 10 minutes down they see something off in the distance in the middle of the road. It looks like a boulder but on more careful observation by Thoravil it is revealed to be a a large stone desk. Sitting behind it is a beautiful woman wearing plate mail. There is a bow and a quiver full of arrows leaned up against the desk and a greatsword on the desk along with ledgers, papers and other documentation. As they approach, Thalaniel recognizes her but is not sure where he knows her from. She motions them to sit and stone chairs appear behind them and they all sit.

The woman greats them and begins to tell the Butcher’s Story – Aldwin was his name. Minor noble and a warlock. Married 4 times, no heirs. Used his warlock powers at first in ways that pleased Her. Power corrupts? Or do the corrupted seem to find power.

After a while the Butcher went against Her and had to be abandoned in the most permanent of ways. A new protégé would be the answer. So things were set in motion. The Butcher should not have gone against her wishes. Plus, his butchering of innocents especially women did not help matters. Great power is to be used responsibly. She then goes into a speech about the empowering of women and that these so called traditional gender roles will fail and all shall see that women have secretly been ruling everything anyway and at some point they will rule in the open. She then turned to Thalaniel and says “One of my sister is being held against her will in Moricthonius Wood. Please go there with your friends and release her.” Thalaniel agrees but Raylor is not having any of this. He says to the woman, “I know who you are and what you are doing.” She turned to him and speaks. “I have no quarrel or business with you or anyone else here but Thalaniel. Raylor says I know bad things when I see them. She responds I know of your struggles with this especially with Goldhammer. He was not as he seemed. I repeat I have no quarrel with you. Raylor goes to attack her and nothing comes of it.

She then turns back to Thalaniel and thanks him for agreeing to find her sister. Then they find themselves back in the Butcher’s House sitting in the stone chairs around the circular portal. Thalaniel then realizes he is not sure where Moricthonius Wood is located. He remembers the armored woman saying he knew where it was but he could not figure out it. They went back to the library and looked at atlases. Nothing mentioned the name Moricthonius Wood. Thoravil remembered a story from his childhood about an old thicket in the center of Neverwinter Wood where they were not supposed to go but other than that was not sure where it was located. Thalaniel asked Nameless to contact Flynrich to see if he could help. Once they screen was open he said he could not get them there but he could give them directions on how they could get there. He asked to touch Thalaniel on the forehead. Afterwards, Thalaniel knew where the Moricthonius Wood were located. He estimated that he would be best to follow the Neverwinter River to the Neverwinter woods and travel south to find the woods than traveling down to Phandalin and then travel north again. It was take a day or so to get there.

The trip there was uneventful. They followed what was in Thalaniel’s head until they came to dead end. Looking around they saw a small gate made of vines and wood. Raylor went to open it and when he touched it they all heard:

“Squeeze it and it cries tears as red as its flesh. But its heart is made of stone.”

It was a riddle they needed to solve to get through the gate. They thought on it a little while and they settled on the object being a fruit of some kind. Someone said “A cherry” and they all knew at once that someone needed to cast a Flesh to Stone spell in order to get the gate open. Nameless had a Flesh to Stone scroll and gave it to Thalaniel to cast. The gate slowly opened into a maze. They maze did not seem too difficult so they entered. There were long straight paths with no turns and then suddenly it would cut back on itself. There were many twists and turns but they never felt lost. Around one corner Thoravil was attacked by a wolf coming of the hedge that made up the maze. He struck back but the wolf disappeared. Thalaniel was attacked by a large bat coming of the hedge on the other side. The group decided to move forward and the attacks stopped. They finally arrived at the center of the maze where in the middle of a glade, stood a large, elaborate, bloodstained altar. Near the altar were a few strange, warped creatures. Some looked like bears that we bits of armor and clothing on them. The others were wolves with the same armor and clothing bits on as well. As they approached the altar the bears and wolves rose up and attacked. The wolves were easy to take on but the bears were a little more difficult. Thalaniel cast Wall of Flame into a circle around the beasts taking out the wolves and damaging the bears. One bear was able to leap over the flames uninjured but they other jumped through the fire taking more damage. While the rest of the group took care of the bears, Raylor Misty Stepped to the altar and tried to attack it with Seigebreaker his magical maul. He was not able to damage the altar at all. He joined the others battling the bears. Thoravil cast Spirit Guardians and was able to damage both bears. Nameless cast Fire Bolt and Fireball. Mon Ki attacked with his Shocking Quarterstaff and his frost gloves. It was not long before the bears were defeated. They looked around and saw adventuring gear scattered about the glade, a map, gold, spell scrolls, a holy symbol, and weapons. Some of the items and clothes seem to be very, very old.

As they are looking at these items they hear a voice coming from the altar and turn and see what appeared to be a moving, vaguely man-shaped mounds of rotting vegetation. It spoke: I demand to know who think they are worthy to brave the might of the demon and win the treasures concealed beneath the altar.