Princes of the Apocalypse 5th Ed D&D Paradice

As smooth as clockwork

We had a plan, then we didn't

Since the victory over the Riverguard Keep, the Heroes of Red Larch have marched on to the Sacred Stone Monastery. There the servants of the Black Earth Cult serve their masters and terrorise the surrounding area.

But before the troop arrived there both Ranor and Eldearnth are summoned to the Bargewright Inn as they are requested to complete a mission on behalf of the Zhentarim. They manage to persuade the rest of the group to attend the inn only to find that they were being tasked to escort a caravan many miles north from the Sacred Stone Monastery.

They also bestowed a necklace each with a small claw attached to it. This appeared to be some kind of recognition for their work for the Zhentarim to date. But Eldearnth took exception to this and refused the mission on the principle that it was beneath him and marched angrily out of the Inn, with the rest of the group in tow. He also removed his necklace as did his brother, Ranor.

The group returned to the quest via Summit Hall where Zoro collected his sword. It was speaking to him in common and appeared to have a bit of a temper…

Upon arrival at the monastery the group decided not to attack it head on as they had done so on many previous occasions by trying to talk their way in. Strath was not convinced by this approach, but decided to go along with it. The group disguised themselves as best they could using the robes and clothes of the many cultists they had killed so far in their adventures together. Dressed as a Eternal Flame and Howling Hatred clan members, they hoped to fool the denizens of the monastery that they had no ill intent.

Amazingly it actually worked! With some smooth talking the group were ushered in after they mentioned some names and references that they thought the cultists would be interested in. Once inside the Heroes of Red Larch suddenly realised they didn’t have a plan beyond getting inside. Noting this, Strath uncharacteristically launched the attack against the occupants of the monastery.

The conflict centred around a great hall that had a defiled altar and a set of stairs in the middle. The group fended off wave after wave of monks, guards, minotaurs and mercenary dwarves only to discover an umberhulk was beneath their very feet.

Before they could venture further the party were visited upon by Renwick the Lich. He spoke to them of his troubles and asked why they were making so much noise. Noting the group’s intentions the lich decided to aid them by giving Zoro an amulet of health that bolstered his constitution quite considerably.

Eldearnth became very curious about the umberhulk and wanted to know of its plight. He discovered that it has been partially blinded and had large blades fixed to its carapace. Saddened by this sight, Eldearnth took pity on the being and named him ‘Ueff’. He resolved to release him somehow and then get him to aid the group.

By some contrivance Ueff was released and distracted by Ranor to attack the creatures that lived beneath the monastery. Ogres were abound as was a strange mechanical monster that appeared to be of dwarven construction. He fought against the ogres, several of whom died in the melee. Three of them remained and they attacked the group while Eldearnth and Ranor headed down a secret tunnel.

Garrett did an excellent job of fending off the ogres as Strath was subjected to a multitude of blows against him. Eventually the party reunited and found a beautifully formed staircase leading down. As they did so they found the mechanical beast that was guarding an entrance. The group charged at the beast and despite the blows rained down upon them as well as being doused by flames they felled the beast. Sadly it did explode as they killed it, resulting in a fair amount of cuts and bruises.

Now the group has gained experience and have become even more hardened for the adventures ahead. Scarlet Moon Hall, the keep of the The Eternal Flame cult is their next target, how will they fare? Only time will tell.

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Kropotkin

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