Hearth and Hell

Session 1
Hello, My Name Is...

Characters Present:

  • Adora Bell
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Meria

For the past year, Dreznoff, a gold dwarf native to the Great Rift, and Jenny, a large flightless bird native to Mystra knows where, have been making the best of things in the Dalelands. They’ve never truly been accepted by the dalefolk, but people have gotten used to them.

Adora-Belle Harpell has recently arrived in Daggerdale on her quest for a prince of marriable age new and interesting magics. While perusing what rustic sights the town has to offer, she noticed a dwarf accompanied by a strange avian creature not recorded in her family’s catalogs. Curious, she began observing the large bird and noticed it retreating to a secret spot just outside town. When she attempted to investigate, Jenny appeared out of nowhere and Adora-Belle beat a hasty retreat.

One night, after drinking heavily, Adora-Belle declared that her prince would soon come and give her the best things in life. Having heard this, a ranger named Meria offered to join her. Whether it was the promise of riches or men that enticed her is anyone’s guess. Upon reaching the bird’s hidey hole, they were confronted by the resolute dwarf and the still cross bird.

Adora-Belle asked to study the feathered monstrosity and said feathered monstrosity sneezed on her. Deliberately. As Adora-Belle was collecting the secretion for further study, Meria attempted to defuse the situation by suggesting they band together to explore the Constable’s Tower. The ranger overheard someone in the tavern suggest that Randal Morn, the lord of Daggerdale, was offering a reward to anyone who could make the tower livable. Meria’s suggestion was met with general assent, and the newly formed party proceeded back into town.

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Session 2
Old Friends and New Poems

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Bombur

Meria, Dreznoff, Jenny and Adora-Belle headed to the Toothy Tankard to find out more about this Constable’s Tower. As they entered, Meria was approached by an anxious waif. After a furtive conversation with the child, she informed her companions that she would catch up with them later.

Meanwhile, Jenny began casting soulful glances at various patrons’ plates with little success. Dreznoff hit the barkeep up for information and discovered that the Constable’s Tower is home to a storm of magic that constantly explodes, destroying anyone who steps inside. The tower itself is still standing because any damage to the building is magically repaired. This has been the state of affairs since Ilthond used the tower as his base of operations when he conquered Dagger Falls.

Adora-Belle used her time to sell “quatrains of wooing.” She had four customers before she noticed a certain dwarf nursing an ale at another table. He looked like someone she had known of old, so she tried to get his attention by throwing something at him. When that didn’t work, she cast Flare and knocked him off his stool. Bombur finally acknowledged her presence and agreed to join her in her quest, since someone had to keep her from blowing her durned fool head off.

After some brief conversation in which it was established that Jenny and Dreznoff arrived in Dagger Falls around the time that Randal Morn wrested control of the town back from the Zhentarim, and that Jenny has an entourage of children who give her carrots, the party decided to speak with Lord Morn in the…well, morn.

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Session 3
Into the Tower

Characters Present:

  • Meria
  • Bombur
  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Adora-Belle

During an audience with Lord Randal Morn, the party learned the specifics of their quest. Lord Morn is offering five thousand gold pieces (and possibly land or titles) to anyone who can clear out the Constable’s Tower. The Zhent wizard Ilthond made the place his base of operations, adding architectural elements as well as enchantments. Randal Morn himself was briefly imprisoned there, and thinks there must have been at least three floors, not counting the cellar. He wishes the party luck and leaves to go about the business of running Dagger Falls.

The party set out for the tower, making the 45-minute hike to the hill overlooking Dagger Falls. The tower itself looks quite new and well-maintained, despite being abandoned for over a year. Adora-Belle examined the arcane energies of the place and established that it is literally glowing with magic. She also sensed an extraplanar presence somewhere inside.

A group of children were playing near the tower. Adora-Belle addressed them sternly, trying to scare them away from danger. Bombur took a gentler approach, but that didn’t stop Jenny from ruffling her feathers a bit in defense of the children. They eventually persuade the little ones to run along, and the rugrats do provide one interesting piece of information before they go: someone has been entering the tower and actually making it back out.

Meria threw a club inside and the tower’s spells chewed it up. However, the ranger noticed a track through the dust and indicated the direction it seemed to take. Adora-Belle threw a crossbow bolt that way and nothing happened. Jenny kicked dust at the doorway, which obscured the path but didn’t set off the spells. However, she did this just as Adora-Belle took a step inside, evoking considerable consternation from the mage.

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Session 4
Spells and Stairs

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Bombur (partial)

Using their highly sophisticated stick-poking method, the party advanced through the first level of the tower without incident. Though no spells hit them, there were significant (and apparently random) discharges of magic, which Adora-Belle noticed stopped in mid-air when they reached the path of safety. The door to the tower closed of its own accord, locking Bombur and Meria outside. Meria left to get some tools while Bombur stayed to bang his head (literally?) against the problem.

As they proceeded, they discovered a storeroom to the west and a guardroom to the south. Proceeding along the safe path, they found a locked door. Adora-Belle knocked and called “Housekeeping!” to no avail. She told Dreznoff to try the door. He attempted to determine if there was anything evil lurking on the other side, but couldn’t feel his god. It was at this time that the party determined they were walking through a dead zone. Dreznoff broke down the door.

Meanwhile, Bombur applied a similarly dwarvish solution to his locked door and joined the party. Everyone went to the second floor to investigate and found two well-appointed bedchambers, some servants’ quarters and a locked room. The spiral stairs leading to the third level were carved with a vaguely humanoid shape that came alive when Adora-Belle started up the stairs. They managed to defeat the creature, but the stairs were obliterated when the statue came to life. As they considered the gaping hole in the fifteen-foot ceiling, Dreznoff attempted to bind Bombur’s wound.

Experience:

Bombur: 60 (general progress, combat and taking one for the team)
Adora-Belle: 80 (general progress, combat and entertaining RP)
Jenny: 80 (general progress, combat, investigation)
Dreznoff: 80 (general progress, combat, investigation)

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Session 5
Spies and Spells and Spirits, Oh My

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Bombur
  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff

After defeating the poorly-constructed (according to Adora-Belle) golem, the party investigated some closed doors. Jenny and Dreznoff examined the portal to the north and determined that it led to a library. After much bashing of heads and dwarven cursing, they managed to break down the door. And Bombur didn’t even have to set anything on fire.

The library looked to have been ransacked: everything was off the shelves and unceremoniously dumped into a pile in the middle of the room. Adora-Belle found a book on transmutation and a book on wild magic. The latter detailed a theory about spontaneous generation of clay, stone and flesh constructs.

Since the golem was the stairs, Dreznoff made a rope ladder to climb up to the top floor. The party found a wizard’s laboratory (yes, a laBORatory) complete with stinky fungus, entrails and instruments of torture disguised as “research.” Bombur found some precious stones and metals embedded in the wooden floor and began prying them up. Meanwhile, Adora-Belle sensed something magical near her dwarven friend and alerted the party. It was a tiny winged demon that slashed Adora-Belle and poisoned her before Dreznoff and Bombur whacked it to death.

After defeating the demon, they examined the room for anything else that might be of interest and found evidence that a Zhentarim spy resides in Dagger Falls.

Experience:

  • All characters received 600 XP for defeating the golem and demon as well as advancing the story.
  • Bombur received 60 bonus XP for combat and roleplay.
  • Dreznoff received 40 bonus XP for combat.
  • Adora-Belle received 40 bonus XP for combat and roleplay.
  • Jenny received 30 bonus XP for roleplay.
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Session 6
Now You See Me...

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Bombur

Adora-belle sat down to examine the codex they discovered. In deciphering the script, she determined that it was actually a book of soup recipes. (!?)

Dreznoff wandered into a corner and discovered a brace of dwarven strongboxes that will require more than a good thumping if they are to reveal their contents. Meanwhile, the circle embedded in the floor yielded 223 gp worth of precious metals and stones.

Intending to catch the Zhentarim agent that appears to be using the tower as his/her base of operations, the party collected some bedding from the lower floors and settled in to wait. Dreznoff was on watch when the wizard tried to sneak up on them using a spell of invisibility. He immediately alerted the party and they deployed various strategies to reveal the attacker, including throwing enchanted ink, rocks and torches.

While Bombur concealed himself to ready a strike, Jenny managed to leap high enough to get ahold of the wizard and pull her to the ground. The wound was severe enough that the wizard teleported out in a panic, leaving behind some scraps of bloodied silk.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 700 XP for defeating the wizard and sending her running with her tail between her legs.
  • Bombur receives 30 bonus XP for combat and RP.
  • Jenny receives 40 bonus XP for combat and RP (highlight: grabbing the wizzy).
  • Adora-Belle receives 60 bonus XP for combat and RP (highlight: planning to give her grandmother the book of soup recipes).
  • Dreznoff receives 40 bonus XP for combat and RP.
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Session 7
Requires Lockpicking (500)

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Bombur

The party met a shady character named Coyote, who opened the dwarven strongboxes without the benefit of a key.

That’s pretty much it, really. Guy was kind of a dick.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 30 XP for RP and negotiation.
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Session 8
On the Road Again...

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Bombur

After spending all night in the tavern arguing about which route they should take to Shadowdale, the party blearily set off down Tesh Trail. On their first night, they were beset by assassins, whom they whupped but good.

But who sent them? Are there more? Will they talk if properly persuaded? Will disagreements over interrogation protocols tear the party apart? Are these rhetorical questions?! THERE’S NO TIME!

Experience:

  • All characters receive 300 XP for beating the not-so-sneaky assassins into submission.
  • Bombur receives 50 bonus XP for being his awesome self.
  • Jenny receives 30 bonus XP for having teh eagle eyes.
  • Adora-Belle receives 30 bonus XP for RP.
  • Dreznoff receives 20 bonus XP for teamwork.
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Session 9
Daggers in the Dark

Characters Present:

  • Adora-Belle
  • Dreznoff
  • Jenny
  • Meria
  • Bombur

Despite an escape attempt along the way (foiled by Dreznoff), the party arrived safely in Shadowdale with their captives in tow. Meria met them at the edge of the village with the intention of escorting them to the tavern. Before they reached the Old Skull Tavern, however, Adora-Belle got it in her head to go to the dilapidated windmill that serves as Elminster’s tower. An argument ensued, during which the guard arrived to ask the party politely but firmly why they were dragging two bound and bleeding men through the streets. The party was provided with an escort to the garrison, where they had a conversation with Captain Danek. The suspected Zhent assassins were taken for interrogation.

While en route to the Old Skull Tavern, Adora-Belle stopped off to leave a note on Elminster’s door. She successfully floated up to the tower and back with all her limbs and faculties intact. When the party reached the tavern, Adora-Belle handed over the papers and wandered off to listen to a ballad. Meanwhile, Meria introduced the Harper agent (a bard named Penelope Aurnor) and took her leave. Dreznoff explained the situation with the papers and Penelope promised to have something by sunset the next day.

Adora-Belle and Bombur went off to sell the wand at the temple of Chauntea. Meanwhile, Jenny and Dreznoff went back to the garrison to see if the prisoners talked. They found commotion as the prisoners were discovered dead in their cells. Dreznoff rushed in and examined the assassins, quickly determining that they had poisoned themselves to avoid retribution. He managed to save one of them and began interrogating the man, whose name was Elias Black. Black admitted to being hired by the wizard from the tower. They were to follow the party from Dagger Falls and attack them on the road. Dreznoff discerned that Elias was holding something back, but the man wouldn’t talk until Adora-Belle showed up with Bombur and threatened to read her poetry at him. The assassin finally revealed that a second team had been sent through the Underdark to “clean up” the Harper agent.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 300 XP for doing their duty as citizens and/or permanent residents of Daggerdale.
  • Dreznoff receives 50 XP for spitting in the face of fate, holding back death, and generally paladin-ness.
  • Adora-Belle receives 30 XP for being endearingly flighty.
  • Jenny receives 30 XP for being a weird alien bird with a predilection for human bondage.
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Session 10
Outta My Way, Y'old Bat!

Characters Present:

  • Jenny
  • Dreznoff
  • Adora-Belle
  • Bombur (late)

The party rushed to the tavern and found Jhaele Silivermane alone in the common room. She refused them entry even after they begged shamefully and vociferously. When pushed, she locked the door to the upper floors and pulled her mace like she knew which end of it was used for whacking. Adora-Belle tried to cast a sleep spell on her but the magic simply flowed over her without effect. This caused Adora-Belle to flee, while Dreznoff and Jenny redoubled their efforts to talk some sense into the woman.

Adora-Belle gathered her courage once outside and snuck around the back to do some second-story work. She found Penelope under attack in her room and gave what aid she could.

Jenny and Dreznoff exited the tavern, were accosted by…Jhaele Siilvermane? And reentered the tavern with a newly arrived Bombur in tow. The real Jhaele Silvermane shouted her head off, urging Belgar (her enormous barbarian bouncer) to kill the doppleganger. This was eventually accomplished, but it was a team effort.

Experience:

  • All characters receive 400 XP for valor in the face of a very grumpy innkeeper and all-around monster slaying.
  • Dreznoff and Jenny each receive 50 bonus XP for a realistic moral dilemma.
  • Adora-Belle receives 50 bonus XP for being both moral and practical, even while fleeing like a little girl.
  • Bombur receives 30 bonus XP for being amusingly befuddled and engaging in axe-bonding.
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