The Curse of the Crystal

C3S15 XP, inspiration, and recap
Earning your reputation!

Greetings adventurers!

For defeating Hasina and her raiding band of orcs in an honor battle, everyone receives 1100 XP. For doing so in a manner that impressed the orcs with both your abilities and your honor, thereby earning you an important ally, everyone receives a further 600 XP. Huzzah! This brings the common XP total up to 18630. Level 7 comes at 23000.

For cleverly using his Cape of the Mountebank to escape the windstorm and get Serla & himself back in battle, which made a huge difference in its outcome, Tim earns inspiration.

For prioritizing checking on a fallen ally in the middle of combat, Demea earns inspiration.

For thinking to spend limited resources on getting the orcs back on their feet after the battle despite it not being strictly necessary in order to show good faith, Smut and Alton earn inspiration.

For the above, plus setting a new record in hit points healed by one action (approximately 350), Serla earns inspiration.

Recap of C3S15
You just finished a fierce honor battle with the orcs. Hopefully now you can get some answers as to why they have been raiding travelers on the Tri-Boar Trail, breaking the Treaty of Skylark 55 after 62 years of peaceful non-interaction.

Having just witnessed the ferocity and tenacity of just a handful of orcs in battle, you now have a better understanding of why Daran Edermath is so eager to avoid another war with them.

Joe

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C3S14 inspiration & recap
Honor battle!

Greetings adventurers!

For creating the awesome movie visual of an orc getting pulled off the battlements to fall screaming to the ground, Demea earns inspiration.

For posterity, here is the upcoming recap of Chapter 3, Session 14:

Hasina and the orcs under her command have put up a pretty good fight, with focus fire and a well-placed ballista shot taking multiple party members down to unconscious or nearly so. The wind storms called up by Hasina are annoying but you’ve been able to work around them so far.

The Stonehill Dragon Guard has given as good as it has got, though, with Hasina herself down, one defender pulled off the wall and nearly gutted by Grulo, and most everyone else half-roasted by a well-placed Fireball. The Spirit of Mercy has in fact just declared one of the orcs out of the battle by way of a watery healing spell to the face.

Serla’s epic improvisation of the Song of Life has kept your side on their feet up to now, but Serla herself has just collapsed with multiple arrows sticking out of her, the red glow around them still fading away.

Talk to you soon! :-)

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C3S13 recap
Transition scenes are important, too!

For posterity, here is the upcoming recap of Chapter 3, Session 13:

After taking some of Hamun Kost’s stuff from his tent and Smut leaving him a friendly note, and Smut doing some exploration of the Old Owl Well, you headed back out on the trail of the orc raiding party, with Tim shining from Alton’s lantern, and Slurry gleefully pulling a dazed Demea along by a rope.

That evening as you made camp, you were contacted by Daran to let you know Reidoth the Druid had witnessed from afar your interaction with the Order of the Dragon, and was telling all of Phandalin about your apparent betrayal. Fortunately, Alton’s aunt Quelline is telling your side of the story.

The rest of the evening passed with Smut obsessing over his new statue, Alton messing with him, and Elaria trying and failing to explain high level arcana to Serla despite divine guidance and bardic inspiration.

The next day Smut discovered the orc raiding party at the end of the trail by way of a ballista bolt through the chest.

Cautiously approaching the old fort the orcs had taken over, under the flag of truce, everyone except Slurry and Demea heard the leader of the orcs explain that they were sent to get the attention of the Skylark government, but she was under strict orders not to discuss anything in detail except with those who had proved themselves in battle.

You have agreed to an honor battle to back up your claim of being the best fighting force around, and of the 10 minutes you were given to plan your strategy, you spent the first 5 scattering in different directions and then coming back together. Some of the orcs watching from the battlements are snickering at you.

See you Thursday!

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C3S12 XP, inspiration, and recap
Ding!

Greetings adventurers!

For re-killing 10 enhanced skeletons, 4 enhanced ghasts, and 2 enhanced ogres, plus driving off Hamun Kost, everyone earns 4200 XP, bringing your total common XP up to 16280 and catapulting you into Level 6. Huzzah, and congratulations!

The most prepared and/or dedicated of you will have your character’s new hit points and abilities added before tomorrow night’s game. I do apologize for this post being later in the week. Regardless of when you level up your character, please remember to send me an email noting what changed. Thank you kindly!

For excellent roleplaying of his character’s underestimation of Hamun based on their past relationship, Tim earns inspiration.

For ambitiously stretching her performance skills and mastery of the Song of Life to simultaneously un-paralyze the party’s two tanks and heal everyone, Serla earns inspiration.

Recap of C3S12

You were in the process of following the wagon tracks left by the Orc raiders when Smut discovered the Old Owl Well and the undead defending it.


Ignoring the request to Go Away, the party engaged the undead, and despite some harrowing moments you were getting the upper hand before the necromancer showed up and trapped everyone with one powerful spell (two of you count summarily sending Smut on an 8-hour wild goose chase).


Fortunately for you, Hamun Kost recognized Tim as a childhood friend and let down his guard, allowing Harnann to launch a devastating surprise attack. The rest of the party followed suit, and only Hamun’s Contingency spell saved him in the end, whisking him away from the battle.


The undead stopped moving when he left, and you were able to easily put them down and remove the small, runed amethysts causing them to regenerate.

Talk to most of you tomorrow night!

Joe

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C3S11 recap
Fighting undead for posterity!

No XP or treasure to mention, so I’ll just post the upcoming recap for posterity in lieu of an actual summary. Feel free to skip if you just want to hear me read it at the start of next session.

You are attempting to find the orcs raiding the Triboar Trail so you can politely ask them to stop, and also, what the hell?

The trail of wagon tracks from the ambush site was suspiciously obvious, even to the non-outdoorsmen among you.

Cautiously following the trail into the hills below the Sword Mountains has led you past the Old Owl Well, a crumbled old watchtower where undead have been reported.

You have been able to confirm the fact that undead are present through the simple fact that they are currently trying to eat your face. To be fair, they did ask you nicely to go away first.

You have also discovered that these undead are disturbingly resilient, popping back up after you knock them down unless you remove the glowing purple gemstones that are embedded in each of them.

Will the party survive? Tune in to chapter 3, session 12 to find out!

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Graff and the Goblins
It's so difficult to find good minions these days...
Graff Keenblade stood looking down at his three remaining goblins, the tips of their pointed ears not even coming up to his chest. Truly these creatures were the most pathetic type of goblinoids. Honestly, he was still surprised Maglubiyet bothered with their race at all. Sure, the sniveling cowards were useful at times, especially when stealth was required, but it was always a trial to deal with them, and apparently these were not sneaky enough for his purposes.
“Come on, Graff,” Blurk whined. “We shot the dark-haired female you are fixated on like you ordered, now let’s get on with the easier pillaging you promised!”
“Well, SOME of us managed to shoot the female, you missed,” Ronk muttered under his breath.
“Shut UP!” screamed Blurk, punching Ronk in the nose, while Graff rolled his eyes and wondered again where he could get better help with his revenge.
Meanwhile, Blurk continued whining. “There’s no way we’re setting up another ambush turned death trap for us! You said if we immediate hid after shooting once they’d never find us, and they did! That damned wood elf has the eyes of a griffon, and the orc with the flaming sword could cut a tree in half with one swing! Let’s get on with killing some human farmer and taking his stuff already. Forget the female.”
Thinking about Serla and her uncaring sorcery caused Graff to fly into a rage, and he backhanded Blurk across the face, spinning him around and onto the ground. “Silence! How easily you speak of just moving on, when you are not the one who has lost his only chance at finding a mate! Do you not know the meaning of HeartLost? Hobgoblins do not breed like rabbits as you filthy goblins do. Maglubiyet allows our attention to stray from war to courtship only once in our lifetimes, once! And so we only do so with the best mate we can find, and our union makes us stronger. Not that you know anything of strength, you pathetic worms! I have now forever lost that opportunity due to the foul magic of that female, so speak not to me of forgetting the insult that I have been given!”
Turning away, Graff ignored the angry muttering behind him and tried to calm down. Yes, the plan had been for the goblins to do a series of hit and run attacks every hour or so while… she and her companions were in the Wood, but he had underestimated how well they had learned to spot goblins hiding in the trees. Or more likely overestimated his goblins, he thought with another eye roll, as the mutters escalated into the sounds of another scuffle.
“Enough!”, Graff yelled, turning around to face the vicious little ankle-biters wrestling each other on the forest floor. “You are obviously even more useless than I thought. Scurry back to your little holes in the ground, and be thankful I don’t take back the silver I already gave you!”
As the goblins scurried fearfully away into the forest, Graff began planning his next move. He would have to travel back to his homeland and muster some actual forces to get his revenge. It was a long way from here, but the raids from the human city nearby had diminished and then ceased in recent months, and he was sure that the combination of a new, rich, undefended town to plunder along with a desecrated shrine to Maglubiyet would be sufficient to raise interest in a new Host being formed. Serla wouldn’t be able to help but try to defend the town, and would get crushed under the might of the Host just like all of its other enemies.
Doing his best to content himself with that thought, Graff turned and started his journey back home.
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C3S10 XP and treasure
Didn't goblins used to be scary?

Greetings adventurers!

For killing 3 goblins, everyone earns 25 XP. Huzzah! This brings the total common XP up to 12080. 6th level comes at 14000. (Sorry, not every 2 hour session can be a big XP boost ;-))

Searching those three goblins yields 16 cp and 6 sp, which is more silver than you usually find on goblins. These must have been paid recently.

See you Thursday!

Joe

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C3S9 XP, treasure, and inspiration
Pest control

Greetings adventurers!

For killing 7 giant wolf spiders, 3 giant regular spiders, and 6 ettercaps, everyone earns 610 XP. Huzzah! This brings the total common XP up to 12055. 6th level comes at 14000.

As stated in-game, the unfortunate adventurer in the cocoon was wearing studded leather armor (if you are willing to pry it off of the desiccated corpse), a shortsword in the scabbard at its hip, plus a potion of healing and 23 gp and 35 sp in a belt pouch.

For thinking to purposefully target Smut with her fire breath, thus freeing him from the webbing he was wrapped in, Harnann earns inspiration.

As always, if I miss something awesome that deserves rewarding, feel free to speak up!

Joe

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C3S8 XP and inspiration
Diplomacy and intrigue for the win!

Greetings adventurers!

For solving the mystery of the wild magic at the Ruins of Thundertree everyone earns 500 discovery XP. For successfully negotiating a truce with Venomfang and the Order of the Dragon, everyone earns 500 diplomacy XP. Huzzah! This brings the total common XP up to 11445. 6th level comes at 14000.

As stated in-game, the lockbox you found in the ruins of the farmer’s house contained 50 gp, plus the real treasure of the old ledgers which hinted at what befell Thundertree.

For successfully using a very well-written speech to intimidate (or at least temporarily back down) a dragon that is 6 times as long as he is high, Alton earns inspiration.

For giving the performance of a lifetime (at least so far), and thereby sparing Phandalin from a costly monthly tribute, Serla earns inspiration.

For sneaking part of a dragon’s treasure out from under its nose (even if it didn’t technically know it was there, and you put it back afterwards), Demea earns inspiration.

As stated in game, Tim earned inspiration for excellent portrayal of his innate belief in his own awesomeness.

See you tonight!

Joe

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C3S6 & 7 recap, XP, treasure, and inspiration
Bigger monsters == bigger XP

Greetings adventurers!

For killing 3 giant crocodiles in C3S6, everyone earns 1350 XP (C3S6). For clearing out 9 twig blights, 4 shambling corpses, and 4 ash zombies, plus helping to kill 2 giant spiders, everyone earns another 205 XP (C3S7). Huzzah! This brings the total common XP up to 10445. 6th level comes at 14000.

As stated in-game, the chest you found in the ruins of a wealthy merchant’s house contained 700 cp, 160 sp, and 90 gp. Obviously the Dendrar family wasn’t the only one forced to leave valuables behind when tragedy struck Thundertree.

For diving into Neverwinter River to fight tooth to claw with the giant crocodile in order to save Demea, Smut earns inspiration.

For cleverly using a sleep spell to stop one of the giant crocodiles from escaping, Alton earns inspiration.

For cooking a dozen enemies with the first (friendly) Fireball of the game, Tim earns inspiration.

  1. Mini-summary of C3S6
  • As promised, 5 days after the materials for the magical sending objects were dropped off with Julian Swiftwalker (on Springrise day 29), their enchanting was complete, and Smut’s shmeep carving and Daran’s dragon relief carving were returned to the party.
  • While waiting for that, the Stonehill Dragon Guard finished their remaining tasks in the city, or tried to. Smut’s tail whip was obtained. Alton sold off a few more items the party wasn’t using. Sadly, Grulo could not afford half-plate armor, much less the last set of half-plate armor in the city.
  • Tim and Harnann established a relationship with the Alchemists Guild over a beer, discussing magic and brewing, respectively. Good information was exchanged, and both sides left happy, agreeing to meet again the next time the party was in town.
  • Demea was able to find his topaz bear statue with the help of the guild wizard, Tristan, using the Detect Magic spell. Fortunately, it appeared to have resisted being pulled out by the tide, and if anything had been somehow making its way towards the shoreline.
  • Julian relayed a message from Daran, saying that a caravan arriving at Phandalin reported being attacked by an orc raiding party, which after a brief skirmish with the caravan guards managed to make off with an entire wagon of supplies. Emma the professional guard for hire shook her head at the obvious incompetence. Daran asked the party to come back to figure out why the orcs were doing this and stop them ASAP.
  • Deciding to swing through Thundertree and then check on the Cragmaw Castle shrine on the way back, the party headed out west along the Neverwinter river.
  • During a stop at a scenic spot along the riverbank, they were attacked by a trio of ridiculously oversized crocodiles coming from the direction of Neverwinter Wood. Clearly the general populace’s consensus that the Wood was not safe had some basis in fact beyond the goblinoids the party had previously encountered (and dealt with).
  • Both Tim and Demea found out first hand exactly how hard giant crocodiles could bite, but some quick healing by Harnann and Alton got them back on their feet, and fierce fighting by the rest of the party managed to kill the beasts. Slurry landed the final killing blow, a fact that he continues to brag about to anyone who will listen.
  • After harvesting some parts of the very large creatures which took quite a while, the party made camp for the night, then continued making their way to Thundertree, arriving in the afternoon of Springtide day 4.
    1. C3S7 recap
  • You came to the Ruins of Thundertree for two reasons. Firstly to look for a valuable heirloom necklace left behind when the town was devastated by a firestorm and then overrun by zombies. Secondly, to investigate the wild magic that you have heard and read about being here and apparently caused said firestorm.
  • The wild magic saturation in this area was immediately noticeable as you approached the town, and the interactions between it and the cursed Crystal you carry have already caused some odd effects in the half an hour you’ve been here, including spontaneously setting a nearby tree on fire.
  • The necklace appears to have been already found and taken by the Order of the Dragon, a small group of adventurers like you that also dislike giant spiders and undead. Most of them wear stylish matching outfits, and they said they are also there exploring and cleaning up the town.
  • They also seem to be associated in some way with Venomfang, the green dragon that apparently makes its home here. You first heard of this dragon before you left Parabor, having been warned that it had been spotted in the area, and when you arrived in Phandalin Alton learned that it had carried off his uncle-in-law. Smut later had a friendly conversation with it just after you left Cragmaw Castle, and upon returning described it via charades as approximately a thousand feet long.
  • The Order of the Dragon advised you to go pay your respects to Venomfang in his lair in the tower on top of the hill in the middle of the town, and that is where you are headed now…
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