The Curse of the Crystal

C3S25-27 XP, inspiration, and recap
Exploration of magical places is slow

Greetings adventurers!

For managing to gain entrance to Drek’Thar by way of exploring StoneTooth Mountain’s public areas and using what you learned there, everyone gains 750 exploration XP. Huzzah! You also gain an additional 5 apology XP due to the DM being late for C3S26. This brings the total common XP up to 33485. Level 8 comes at 34k.

For Harnann praying for guidance on how to gain access to Drek’Thar, which directly resulted in Serla remembering the lizardfolk doing so in the mural she took the time to find and study, Harnann and Serla gain inspiration.

For doing what he could in Drek’Thar despite not having any divine powers, including thinking to contribute the holy water, Alton earns inspiration.

For taking the time to remember why the shadow monster in the mural looked familiar, then realizing the importance it would have to Smut and making a point to show it to him, Demea earns inspiration.

For straining her spiritual muscles and playing herself into exhaustion in her efforts to help cleanse Drek’Thar, Serla earns inspiration (again).

Finally, for having the courage to be waited on by animated furniture and minor elementals, Tim earns inspiration.

  1. Recap of C3S25-27
  • Over the course of the last 18 hours or so, the StoneHill Dragon Guard has found half of the missing Conyberry townsfolk taken as prisoners and kept them safe through the night, raided the stash of a corrupted orc who was guarding them (along with the demonic vultures), explored the ancient and magical mountain of StoneTooth (including coming to an understanding with its huge earth elemental guardian), and found the holy shrine of Drek’Thar.
  • Unfortunately, they were not able to dispel the malign spiritual fog they found within, despite trying really, really hard, and so resolved to find the ones responsible for it instead.
  • View
    C3S24 XP and recap
    Night ambush!

    Greetings adventurers!

    For defeating 3 giant demonic vultures and one black-tattooed orc, everyone earns 1315 XP. Huzzah! This brings the common XP total up to 32730. Level 8 comes at 34k.

    1. Recap of C3S24
  • It is the night of Springtide the 14th, and you are camped near the base of the surprisingly well-hidden StoneTooth Mountain in the middle of the Flaxweed Plains.
  • According to Kala Unai of the orc Council, within the mountain lies Drek’Thar, the shrine to the spirits that Harnann has been seeing in her visions.
  • Hopefully there will also be some answers regarding the demon incursion into the Plains. The fact that you were just attacked by three large demonic vultures plus a burly orc with black tattoos may indicate that you are on the right track.
  • Before being killed by Harnann and Elaria, turning to stone, and exploding, the orc made some threats about you dying alongside the accursed spirits of the Plains when Magdar summoned the Blood Lord.
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    C3S23 XP and recap
    Good thing no one has weed allergies

    Greetings adventurers!

    For expending resources to heal people you didn’t even know of their demonic scars, everyone earns 350 compassion XP. For taking a diplomatic tact when scary strangers suddenly showed up in your midst, everyone earns 350 diplomacy XP, for a total of 700 XP last session. Huzzah! This brings the common XP total up to 31415. Level 8 comes at 34k.

    1. Recap of C3S23
  • It is Springtide the 14th, and you have found the surprisingly well-hidden StoneTooth Mountain in the middle of the Flaxweed Plains.
  • According to Kala Unai of the orc Council, within the mountain lies Drek’Thar, the shrine to the spirits that Harnann has been seeing in her visions.
  • Hopefully there will also be some answers regarding the endless waves of demons that have been attacking the orcs.
  • First, though, there is your bedroll. It took you all day to walk here, and it is now fully dark out. While the full moon will soon bathe the land in light, for now it is still behind the giant mountain dominating your view.
  • Serla immediately collapses into sleep, having been exhausted all day after channeling a primal force of creation this morning to heal two more orcs of their demonic scars. Walter the zombie only carried her books for 5 minutes before getting hacked to pieces, so that wasn’t much help.
  • After Smut messes with Tim by casting Light on his hat a few times, Tim threatens Smut with incineration, and the Cursed Crystal pulls another mostly-broken artifact from the past out of the ether for no apparent reason, things settle down. Just another normal night for the Stonehill Dragon Guard.

    Joe

  • View
    C3S22 XP and recap
    Passing the time in orcville

    Greetings adventurers!

    For going out of your way and making an effort to heal Hasina of her demonic scars, everyone earns 600 compassion XP. Huzzah! This brings the common XP total up to 30715. Level 8 comes at 34k.

    1. Recap of C3S22
  • The Stonehill Dragon Guard is on a mission to stop the demonic invasion of the Flaxweed Plains, both to keep the peace with the orcs that live here, and in response to Harnann’s divine visions.
  • Yesterday you arrived in the orc village, made some new friends, attended the Council meeting, then did various tasks around town for the rest of the day while Smut scouted the Plains near the village.
  • Grulo was accosted by the oldest Kala of the Council, Shani, and spent some time chatting with the locals.
  • Harnann got her new shield straps attached by the blacksmith / Fire shaman, Zuri, and was very pleased with the result.
  • The traveling merchant Reath Bluehawk confirmed she has only sold to local orcs the pouches with her mark like the torn one you found in the desecrated gulo gulo den.
  • Serla was distracted listening to a music only she could hear, which was suggested to be coming from the massive earth elemental following you guys around to make sure you aren’t part of the demon conspiracy, and to make sure you don’t try to leave the plains to warn Skylark of the possible incoming orc invasion.
    * Serla seems to find the very simple, primal melody fascinating, but the rest of you got sick of the couple bars she has managed to pick out after the 15th time she hummed them out loud.
  • Smut managed to find one of the well-hidden group of Buteo nests in the tall Flaxweed of the Plains, and otherwise practiced tracking orc hunting parties through the plains.
    * He also got another mostly-broken magic item summoned by the Crystal, part of an oak staff with a claw on top
  • The rest of the party tracked down Hasina who was getting ready to head out with a hunting party.
  • After getting Hasina’s permission to experiment, Serla improvised a new variation of the Song of Life, guided by a wave of divine energy poured forth by Harnann, and in a spectacular blaze of light the two of you managed to overcome the demonic corruption and heal the scars on Hasina’s face.
    * Being able to call on the spirits of the wind to fully bond with her once more left Hasina with tears of joy running down her face, and also up her face because she was flying loops in the air at the time.
  • Meanwhile, Slurry successfully negotiated with Alton for a raise, while holding onto the rope he was pulling Demea around with.
  • Serla later played a rendition of the Serenade of Life for a group of gathered orcs, earning applause and a persistent pupil.
  • It is now morning on Springtide 14th.
  • View
    C3S21 XP and recap
    More about orcs than you ever wanted to know

    Greetings adventurers!

    For surviving the soporific Too Much Exposition trap and emerging awake on the other side (even Justin!), everyone earns 600 tolerance XP. Huzzah! This brings the common XP total up to 30115. Level 8 comes at 34k.

    Of course, the real test will come when your companions return and ask what details you learned. ;-)

    1. Terse recap of C3S21
  • You are in the orc village in the Flaxweed Plains, trying to find some answers as to what the Abyss is going on with these demons.
  • Daran called in a report that someone from the Lord’s Alliance was sniffing around Phandalin and specifically the Phandelver Mine on the King’s orders.
  • You witnessed two spirit tattoo ceremonies, one successful, one not.
  • You then mostly observed an orc Council meeting, answering some questions when asked. It quickly became clear that the opinion on your presence was mixed at best, and you are now under constant supervision.
  • Kala Unai talked with you privately afterwards, told you about the Turan her people went through after moving to Plains, and you both shared secrets with the other that you normally wouldn’t. She also gave you some directions on a map.
  • It is now lunchtime on Springtide 13th.

    Joe

    P.S. Feel free to add details as comments on this type of post if you want to jot something down and it is easier than opening up Roll20 and editing one of the Player Notes. Note to self: make an Orcs player note.

  • View
    C3S20 XP and recap
    Discoveries and Diplomacy

    Greetings adventurers!

    • For investigating Tamarand’s recent sacking of the troll village, everyone earns 600 Discovery XP. Everyone earns a further 600 Diplomacy XP for successfully making friends with the group of 4 orcs in the village, for a total of 1200 last session. Huzzah! This brings the common XP total up to 29515. Level 8 comes at 34k.

    I believe all inspiration was handed out in-game, as always please let me know if you think I missed something worthy.

    1. Terse recap of C3S20
  • Morning of Springtide 13th
  • You are in the Flaxweed Plains to help solve the orcs’ demon problem, to prevent it from becoming a Skylark problem.
  • The demons that ambushed you at the river were much more powerful than any Hasina had previously seen.
  • Afterwards, you investigated the massive blackened circle centered on a gulo gulo den that was just over the hill. You found:
    * The remains of a sacrificed prisoner
    * Evidence that at least one orc was killed, but no body
    * More purple candle wax
    * Inside the den:
    * Torn pouch with blue hawk on shield design, coins & magic key
    * Harnann’s bday gift
  • Gold dragon flew over, Tim suggested might be the famous Tamarand. Smut investigated Tamarand’s recent sacking of a troll camp.
  • After arriving at the orc village, Hasina headed off to gather the council for a debriefing on her mission, and asked you to wait.
  • While you waited, you made friends with an apparently popular group of 4 orc young adults via various skill challenges (win some, lose some).

    Joe

  • View
    C3S19 XP and recap
    The power of holy ale compels you!

    Greetings adventurers!

    For killing 11 barlguras (giant demonic apes) + 4 imps with the help of your orc allies, everyone earns 2575 XP. Huzzah! This brings the common total XP up to 28315. Level 8 comes at 34k.

    I believe all inspiration was handed out in-game, as always please let me know if you think I missed something worthy.

    1. Terse recap of C3S19
  • Demons scattered by Harnann, picked off one by one
  • Now know why kill imps – added 3 apes
  • Golden mangled gauntlet appeared
  • Smut started small fire in the Flaxweed; appears to be fire resistant
  • View
    C3S18 recap
    So many giant apes!!!

    Greetings adventurers!

    I believe all inspiration was handed out in-game, as always please let me know if you think I missed something worthy.

    1. Recap of C3S18
  • You are traveling with your new Orcish allies to the Flaxweed Plains, with the goal of helping them with their demon problem.
  • If the orcs are driven out of their current home, there is a good possibility that the tentative peace that has held for years will be broken, and nobody wants another war. Not to mention, nobody wants Demons overrunning the Flaxweed Plains and then the rest of Skylark, either.
  • The past day of travel has been significantly improved by Tim’s arcane arts granting you understanding of Orcish and the orcs understanding of Common. They mostly still keep to themselves, but Kesi is almost as friendly as Alton, while her companion Puyet is tolerantly amused.
  • Just after lunch on Springtide 11th the Triboar Trail ended at the Sword River, which separates the coastal area from the Plains. With the orcs in the lead rubbing a statue for luck near the bridge across the river, the day suddenly got very exciting.
  • The thoughts of a random member of the party over the last 15 seconds or so may have gone something like this:
    * “Weird, Hasina just slipped and fell into the river.” or “Hey, most of that bridge is just an illusion!”
    * “Uh oh, those giant apes charging down the hill do not look friendly!”
    * “Gah, the trees are trying to grab me!”
    * “WOAH, how the heck did that ape just jump across a 35’ wide river?!?”
    * “I’m glad Smut helped pull Hasina out of the river, but why is she yelling about killing the pathetic imps up on the hill when these giant apes are pounding the crap out of us, and more are appearing right next to us every second?!”

    Joe

  • View
    C3S17 XP and recap, Halloween session XP
    Turns out 8 hours of adventure is worth more than 2

    Greetings adventurers!

    For working together to cleanse the shrine at Conyberry of demonic taint, everyone earns 600 XP. Nice work!

    For surviving an entire house of horrors for hours upon hours despite the deck being stacked against them, and ultimately escaping the clutches of the ancient and powerful night hag that had drawn them there and trapped them in with her (inadvertently setting her free at the same time, but hey), Alton, Harnann, Serla, and Smut earn 6,510 XP. IF they share the experience and the lessons they learned with the rest of the party, as Elaria taught them to do, so does everyone else. ;-)

    This brings your common XP total up to 25,740, putting you at Level 7! Huzzah! As per our standard procedure, please let me know what new features you are gaining for this level and any other choices you make (new spells, trick arrows, etc). If you are not sure what your new level brings you, consider creating your character on DnDBeyond.com, and the character builder there will walk you through it. :-) (although Demea will also have to consult the rules for his homebrew subclass, which gets a bunch of stuff at level 7)

    I believe all inspiration was handed out in-game, as always please let me know if you think I missed something worthy.

    -Joe

    1. Terse Recap of C3S17
  • Parted with orcs taking cart long way, meet up outside Conyberry to not alarm them
  • Elaria’s Mass Comprehend Languages
  • Uneasy dreams, not feeling well
  • On arrival found slaughter of women & children, most healthy men taken captive
  • Also found Sarah & Kevin Fletcher – they described orcs as attackers, but you found evidence of demons helping
  • Looted town for valuables, gave coins to kids but kept couple magical items
  • Found desecrated shrine, blackened circle, & evidence of demon summoning, healed with help of pooled divine blessing via Cragmaw
  • Followed road into scraggly woods and found lair of Agatha the banshee near an old symbol of Netheril
  • She wasn’t happy with the slaughter of Her town, chased off Grulo (and Smut & kids), described the town as her vassals, but bound there so couldn’t chase orcs & prisoners she saw
  • Offered info on Bowgentle’s spellbook in return for 50 orc noses
  • Spoke with Daran, who said he already sent Fletchers to get their cart back
  • Head with kids on horse to Triboar Trail to meet Fletchers and Hasina
  • View
    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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