The day started reasonably well with The Heroes of Red Larch making their way north east towards Riverguard Keep. Their charge, ‘Brul’ was also pleased to be safe and in their seemingly capable hands as they made the journey to Beliard via Riverguard Keep.
As they marched on Ranor spotted the Aarakocra descend onto Riverguard Keep as they approached it from the south. This displeased him as he does not trust them since they gave the party inaccurate advice when they assaulted Feathergale Spire.
By the time the party reached Riverguard Keep the Aarakocra had gone, but they seemed to be there as guests and not antagonists. Upon arrival both Ranor and Eldearnth chose not to enter thanks to their interactions with a man who captained the Rivermaid and now seems to have control over Riverguard Keep. That man being Kannhan Treen.
Strath greeted Kannhan and the two spoke of how to get Brul to Beliard. Initially Kannahan wanted to take him upriver himself with no assistance from The Heroes of Red Larch, but this was not well received. Amazingly Garrett stepped forward and offered counsel on why that was a bad idea and insisted they escort them up the river in a boat that was not as well known. Kannahan resisted this at first but relented and offered The Lazy Frog as an alternative, a boat captained by Tomlin Featherbrum.
Before the party could move on Kannhan had some important information and news to share with them. He ushered them into his office and explained the following:
- Beliard has heard rumours of a fire witch making trouble for Nettlebee Farm. Wiggan Nettlebee wants to put an end to it.
- A mound has appeared to the northern outskirts of Beliard and the blacksmith has disappeared.
- The Aarakocra are having to fend off attacks by the air cult and they have captured a few to allow them to interrogate their foes. Apparently the password for entry into the air temple is ‘Hail Prince Yan-C-Bin – Lord of Air’.
Kannhan bids the party farewell and they board The Lazy Frog. The journey upriver was uneventful, with only Zoro having a waking dream about an unfamiliar tomb that had been desecrated and it was very cold inside.
Upon arrival at Beliard Brul left the party to gain passage further north and bid them farewell. Waiting at the quayside was a halfling who introduced himself as Wiggan Nettlebee and he requested The Heroes of Red Larch assist him and his family in removing the fire witch from his homestead. Garrett thought this odd as there has never been any history of fire witches in the area.
Eldearnth pushed back against the insistence of Wiggan and instead wanted to investigate the mound. His mind was bent on finding what lied beneath the town and was convinced this mound was linked to it. Wiggan did not take kindly to this and began demanding the party assist him immediately; Strath explained that they would once the mound was dealt with. At which point the petulant halfling strode off northwards towards his home.
Eventually the party came upon a middle aged woman who was crying near the quayside. Her eyes red with tears, she introduced herself and Elanor Greysmith and her husband Devin Greysmith had been abducted by unknown creatures in the night. The party agreed to help her and they investigated the site of the abduction, that being the smithy. Ranor discovers odd tracks leading away from the smithy towards the mound. They are not made using humanoid feed as they were more claw like and there was also a single line depression indicating a tail.
The Heroes of Red Larch made their way towards the mound and found the main entrance to it. A thick smell of chemicals and rotting wood was emanating from the underground passage and bones of animals were seen lying outside with bite marks on them. This the party surmised was the work of insects and very large ones too.
Undeterred by the stench the Heroes of Red Larch made their way into the cavern only to discover the remains of a halfling that had been stripped to the bone. Some remnants of his possessions lay about him and the party recovered them before pressing on deeper into the nest, for this is clearly what it was.
The party encountered swarms of large termites and a large bipedal creatures that had large tails with stingers on them. Zoro took the brunt of attacks from these beings and relied heavily on Strath to remove the poison that started coursing through the dragonborn’s veins at every slash from the barbed tail.
Eventually a large chamber was discovered that contained Devin strapped to a table with blood dripping from him and leading to a portal. This portal was pulsating and Garrett recognised it as being a portal into another realm; a demonic one. These inspects were going to summon a demon of immense power that not even the Heroes of Red Larch could destroy.
Working against the clock the party attacked the creatures in the cavern while Strath stabilised and healed the blacksmith as he lay on the table dying. It was at this moment swarms of gnats spewed out of the portal while a deafening buzzing sound filled the cavern. The sound was so intense that no spell could be uttered and Garrett felt powerless. So much so he fled the cavern away from the din that prevented him from working his magics.
In the cavern chaos reigned as the gnats created a thick cloud that blinded all within the chamber. Despite this Ranor managed to attack one of the stinger creatures to varying degrees of success. While this melee continued Garrett took it upon himself to set fire to the gnats so that he could lift the fog they had created. He did so, although this did result in the burning of everyone in the chamber also.
Eventually the portal exploded and the gnats and buzzing sound was put to an end. Strath had cast dispel magic onto the portal and he thought he had caused it to fail. In fact he had, but not by casting dispel magic. Instead his rescuing of the blacksmith had corrupted the summoning spell as he had to die as well as offer his blood, which he didn’t, so no demon arrived.
Some treasure was recovered and the party now head back to Beliard where they hope to receive a hero’s welcome…